EUROfusion Glossary

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Glossary Term: Alpha particle

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The nucleus of a helium atom, consisting of two protons and two neutrons bound together. In a fusion power plant, energetic alpha-particles (as well as neutrons) will be created by the fusing of deuterium and tritium nuclei. The heating which is provided by these alpha-particles as they slow down due to collisions will be essential in achieving ignition.

For more information see the FAQ about alpha particles.