Quark Catalysis of Exothermal Nuclear Reactions

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Science  15 Sep 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4360, pp. 973-979
DOI: 10.1126/science.201.4360.973


This article discusses circumstances under which free quarks catalyze exothermal nuclear reactions. It also presents possible methods for removing quarks sequestered by nuclear reaction products.

Stable quarks that are negatively charged and significantly heavier than electrons attract positively charged nuclei to form new states of matter. The nuclei and quarks are closely bound, and presumably interact through both electromagnetic and nuclear forces. Nuclear fusion and fission are possible, as well as a new class of plural reactions in which either a quark isobar, isotope, or isotone is created in each individual reaction, with catalysis resulting in the overall system because the net transfer of charge, neutrons, or protons to the quarks is zero. The quark with quantum numbers of üü is a promising catalytic candidate. A satisfactory understanding of which reactions are or are not possible awaits the isolation of free quarks and a description of their strong interactions with matter. Finally, other kinds of stable negatively charged particles (such as heavy leptons), if discovered, can catalyze deuterium fusion reactions if thermal neutrons are used to liberate He3-bound catalytic particles.