Nuclear Fusion and Energy

Ostronomos Offline
It was in the 1930s that Szilard and other Physicists discovered that nuclear fusion, as opposed to fission, proved to be the sun's power source. Because of the complex interplay of forces, when two nuclei fuse to form a heavier one it gives off energy. Similar to fission except it's the opposite.

My question: can energy be produced from literally nothing?

I realize that the Joint European Torus (JET) produces conditions on earth for nuclear fusion to occur but is there a source of energy with never-ending power that can be found in the fabric of the universe itself? What of pair production and annihilation?

The Wikipedia article on Gibbs Free energy explains this as follows:

In thermodynamics, the Gibbs free energy (or Gibbs energy) is a thermodynamic potential that can be used to calculate the maximum reversible work that may be performed by a thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and pressure. The Gibbs free energy (Δ G = Δ H − T Δ S {\displaystyle \Delta G=\Delta H-T\Delta S}

[Image: 062377921bd620d44f679e76b7fc687d07ce2c79]

[Image: 062377921bd620d44f679e76b7fc687d07ce2c79]

, measured in
joules in SI) is the maximum amount of non-expansion work that can be extracted from a thermodynamically closed system (one that can exchange heat and work with its surroundings, but not matter). This maximum can be attained only in a completely reversible process. When a system transforms reversibly from an initial state to a final state, the decrease in Gibbs free energy equals the work done by the system to its surroundings, minus the work of the pressure forces.[1]

C C Offline
(Jun 4, 2021 03:43 PM)Ostronomos Wrote: [...] My question: can energy be produced from literally nothing?

Only loaned, with restrictions.

Vienna University of Technology: Quantum theory, however, allows negative energy. "According to quantum physics, it is possible to borrow energy from a vacuum at a certain location, like money from a bank," says Daniel Grumiller. "For a long time, we did not now about the maximum amount of this kind of energy credit and about possible interest rates that have to be paid. Various assumptions about this "interest" (known in the literature as "Quantum Interest") have been published, but no comprehensive result has been agreed upon.

The so-called "quantum null energy condition" (QNEC), which was proven in 2017, prescribes certain limits for the "borrowing" of energy by linking relativity theory and quantum physics: An energy smaller than zero is thus permitted, but only in a certain range and only for a certain time. How much energy can be borrowed from a vacuum before the energetic credit limit has been exhausted depends on a quantum physical quantity, the so-called entanglement entropy.

Quote:[...] The Wikipedia article on Gibbs Free energy explains this as follows [...]

"Free energy" in chemistry and physics signifies not "something from nothing" -- but rather, with respect to a thermodynamic system, the amount of internal energy it has available (free) to execute work. While that might be crude and oversimplified to the point of potential distortion, it at least gets us directed on a road away from that "lack of an accounting system" misconception of what "free" refers to.

"The terms Gibbs free energy and standard free energy are common in physical chemistry. Both these terms give a nearly similar idea with a slight difference. [...] The key difference between Gibbs free energy and standard free energy is that the Gibbs free energy depends on the experimental conditions whereas the standard free energy describes the Gibbs free energy for reactants and products that are in their standard state."


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