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A general scheme is proposed for the interpretation of phenomena involving low-energy hydrogen-isotope fusion. This scheme was especially developed for the interpretation of the fusion rate observed after the impact of heavy-water clusters onto targets of titanium deuteride (TiD). It is shown that: (i) the impinging energy of large clusters of molecules is equiparted among many target atoms which are brought in collective motion; (ii) data can conveniently be represented in an Arrhenius plot; (iii) this plot suggests that fusion is a thermally activated process from a metastable precursor; (iv) the activation energy for the precursor formation is approximately double the electron binding energy in the hydrogen atom, and (v) the activated precursor can reasonably be identified with the metastable binuclear helium-like (D(+)D(+))2e(-) atom.

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Authors: CEROFOLINI G F, EniChem, San Donato Milanese (IT);DIERCKX R, JRC Ispra (IT);FOGLIO PARA A, Politecnico di Milano, Istituto di Ingegneria Nucleare (IT);OTTAVIANI G, Università di Modena, Dipartimento di Fisica (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Nuovo Cimento, Vol. 13D (1991) No. 11, pp. 1347-1359
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