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- n. A stable isotope, 115B, having five protons and six neutrons, that makes up about 80% of natural boron.
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Both boron-11 and deuterium also undergo the gamma-neutron reaction, though not as efficiently as beryllium.
Indeed, the nuclear formation of Be-8 (from a Li-7 plus a proton, say), or C-12 (boron-11 plus a proton) form the basis of proposals for “light fission” nuclear power, because the created nuclei fly apart to He-4, liberating considerable energy.
The intense laser beam would be used to ignite a fuel made of light hydrogen and boron-11.
Fusion is also possible with hydrogen and boron-11, and this could produce cleaner energy as it does not release neutrons, explains Hora.
Now, a team led by Hora has carried out computational studies to demonstrate that new laser technology capable of producing short but high energy pulses could be used to ignite hydrogen/boron-11 fuel using side-on ignition.
This type of fusion can use boron-11 and hydrogen as the fuel.
The pulse would ignite a fuel made of ordinary hydrogen and boron-11, "said Hora.