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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353


RAKITYANSKY, S.A.  and  DICKS, J.. Can water burn?. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2007, vol.103, n.5-6, pp.211-215. ISSN 1996-7489.

We investigate the possibility of a spontaneous collapse of the nuclei constituting the water molecule. We show that, due to a practically exact agreement of the energy of the p + p + 16O threshold and a resonance state of the 18Ne nucleus, the probability of nuclear fusion involvingp+p+ 16O → 18Ne*(4.522, 1-) in the rotationally excited H2O molecule is significantly enhanced. The calculation of the fusion probability is performed using a scheme analogous to the linear combination of atomic orbitals (LCAO), well known in the theory of molecules.

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