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Lithium tantalate (LiTaO3), is a crystalline solid which possesses unique optical, piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties which make it valuable for non-linear optics, passive infrared sensors such as motion detectors, terahertz generation and detection, surface acoustic wave applications, cell phones and possibly pyroelectric nuclear fusion. Considerable information is available from commercial sources about this crystal.
Additional recommended knowledge
According to an April 2005 Nature article, Brian Naranjo, Jim Gimzewski and Seth Putterman at UCLA applied a large temperature difference to a lithium tantalate crystal producing a large enough charge to generate and accelerate a beam of deuterium nuclei into a deuteriated target resulting in the production of a small flux of helium-3 and neutrons through nuclear fusion without extreme heat or pressure. Their results have been replicated.
It is unlikely to be useful for electricity generation since the energy required to produce the fusion reactions exceeded the energy produced by them. It is thought that the technique might be useful for small neutron generators, especially if the deuterium beam is replaced by a tritium one. Comparing this with the electrostatic containment of ionic plasma to achieve fusion in a "fusor" or other IEC, this method focuses electrical acceleration to a much smaller non-ionized deuterium target without heat.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lithium_tantalate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|