I waited all day for Concast today. Kill me.
A gif representing nuclear fusion and how it creates energy.
[Click for more interesting science facts and gifs]
For those who don’t understand the GIF. It illustrates the Deuterium-Tritium fusion; a deuterium and tritium combine to form a helium-4. Most of the energy released is in the form of the high-energy neutron.
Nuclear fusion has the potential to generate power without the radioactive waste of nuclear fission (energy from splitting heavy atoms into smaller atoms), but that depends on which atoms you decide to fuse. Hydrogen has three naturally occurring isotopes, sometimes denoted ¹H, ²H, and ³H. Deuterium (²H) - Tritium (³H) fusion (pictured above) appears to be the best and most effective way to produce energy. Atoms that have the same number of protons, but different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes (adding a proton makes a new element, but adding a neutron makes an isotope of the same atom).
The three most stable isotopes of hydrogen: protium (no neutrons, just one proton, hence the name), deuterium (deuterium comes from the Greek word deuteros, which means “second”, this is in reference two the two particles, a proton and a neutron), and tritium (the name of this comes from the Greek word “tritos” meaning “third”, because guess what, it contains one proton and two neutrons). Here’s a diagram
Deuterium is abundant, it can be extracted from seawater, but tritium is a radioactive isotope and must be either derived(bred) from lithium or obtained in the operation of the deuterium cycle. Tritium is also produced naturally in the upper atmosphere when cosmic rays strike nitrogen molecules in the air, but that’s extremely rare. It’s also a by product in reactors producing electricity (Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant). Tritium is a low energy beta emitter (unable to penetrate the outer dead layer of human skin), it has a relatively long half life and short biological half life. It is not dangerous externally, however emissions from inhaled or ingested beta particle emitters pose a significant health risk.
During fusion (energy from combining light elements to form heavier ones), two atomic nuclei of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium must be brought so close together that they fuse in spite of the strongly repulsive electrostatic forces between the positively charged nuclei. So, in order to accomplish nuclear fusion, the two nuclei must first overcome the electric repulsion (coulomb barrier ) to get close enough for the attractive nuclear strong force (force that binds protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei) to take over to fuse the particles. The D-T reaction is the easiest to bring about, it has the lowest energy requirement compared to energy release. The reaction products are helium-4 (the helium isotope) – also called the alpha particle, which carries 1/5 (3.5 MeV) of the total fusion energy in the form of kinetic energy, and a neutron, which carries 4/5 (14.1 MeV). Don’t be alarmed by the alpha particle, the particles are not dangerous in themselves, it is only because of the high speeds at which they are ejected from the nuclei that make them dangerous, but unlike beta or gamma radiation, they are stopped by a piece of paper.
Pumpkin Fettuccine, Roasted Chicken and Spicy Corn Purée
submitted by thewayweate
By the late 1980’s, Americans had already become completely enthralled with the glamour and simplicity of Italian Cuisine. Fresh pasta was something of a national obsession as a new generation of gourmands were introduced to the old-world array of pasta-bilities that Italy had to offer. Also popular in the late 1980’s was a leaning toward low-fat, recipes that relied far more on olive oil than the copious amount of butter called for in the 1960’s and 70’s. Grilled chicken breast became not only a restaurant staple, but an oft featured item on home menus from decadent dinner parties to weeknight whip-ups at home.
With a nod to both of these well held trends of the 1980’s, The Way We Ate offers a dish that would have easily been found in an American dining room or restaurant in the era of big hair, big shoulder pads and even bigger egos.
Pumpkin Fettuccine, Roasted Chicken and Spicy Corn Purée
Prepare the Spicy Corn Purée:
2 - Fresh, whole Jalapeño Peppers
1 - Can of Baby Corn
1/2 Cup - Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper
Heat a heavy cast iron skillet over high heat, and dry roast the peppers on the skillet.
Press the peppers occasionally into the skillet using a large heavy spoon, turning the peppers frequently to blacken and char them on all sides. Once fully blackened (about 10 minutes) remove peppers and allow to cool. Slice peppers in half, removing all stems, seeds and ribs. Using a small knife, remove the dried blackened skin to reveal the charred flesh. set aside.
In a food processor, combine drained corn, jalapeños and spices. Process on high for about 1 minute with a tablespoon of water, until smooth. Restart Machine and add heavy cream in a stream to processor, and process until combined (about 30 seconds). Set aside at room temperature.
Prepare the Pumpkin Fettuccine:
1 Cup - All-Purpose White Flour
1 Cup - Semolina Flour
1 Teaspoon - Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons - Olive Oil
2 - Egg Yolks
2/3 Cup - Canned Pumpkin Puree
2 Cups - Grape Tomatoes
10 to 12 - White Pearl Onions
1 Tablespoon - fresh rosemary
3/4 Cup - Tinned Chicken Broth
1 Cup - Sliced Black Olives
1 Cup - Fresh Chick Peas (Casing Removed)
Preheat oven to 450.
Combine the flours, salt and pepper in a large bowl and stir with a whisk. Add egg yolks and pumpkin, combining the mixture with hands until fully incorporated. If necessary, add more flour or pumpkin to obtain a consistency that’s solid and moist, but does not stick to hands. roll dough into a tube and cut in four pieces. Press each piece into a disc, and wrap well in wax paper. Place discs in refrigerator to rest.
Meanwhile, slice tomatoes in half and add to a bowl. Peel pearl onions, slice in half, and add them to bowl with rosemary, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Combine to coat with the olive oil and pour them into a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven on center rack for 20-30 minutes until well roasted, but not blackened. Set aside to cool.
Add cooled ingredients to food processor, and purée well. place mixture in small sauce pan and add tinned broth stirring to combine. over very low heat, reduce mixture by 1/3. (about 30 minutes)
in another small saucepan, Steam chick peas in a vegetable steamer over medium heat, with water in a small saucepan for 15-20 minutes. Place in a small bowl and allow to cool.
Remove 2 discs of pasta from refrigerator (reserving other two for another meal).
On a well floured surface, roll pasta out to about 1/16” thickness in a large rectangle, using a straight or “french” rolling pin.Dust pasta sheet liberally with flour and starting with the shorter end of the rectangle, roll pasta into a tube (as you would a Jelly Roll), and slice tube using a large kitchen knife at 1/2” intervals. Unroll each noodle and hang on plastic hangers. Repeat with second disc and allow both hangers of pasta to dry slightly.
Prepare The Chicken Breast:
2 - Bone-in Chicken Breasts
1 - tablespoon olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
Rinse chicken breasts under cold water and pat dry. Coat breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Prepare a charcoal grill and roast the breasts over medium hot smoldering coals. Turn chicken frequently and roast on all sides for 10 minutes, or until the breasts read 165 Degrees on a thermometer. Remove from grill and tent with tin foil.
Combine and serve the dish:
Prepare a pot with about 1 quart of salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Boil pasta for 30-60 seconds until done and strain, reserving a few tablespoons of the water, if needed.
In a large bowl combine the pasta, the reduced tomato mixture, the chick peas, and the sliced olives. Toss and add a few teaspoons of the pasta water if needed to loosen the mixture and coat the pasta well. Plate the pasta with one chicken breast per person, and add about 1/4 cup of the spicy corn puree over or alongside the chicken.