If you exposed large amounts of Protons or Neutrons to Deuterium Oxide, could it possibly explode or implode.

Im basing this off a Chemical Simulation, in which simulated Protons are exposed to simulated D₂O, and a large energetic explosion occurs.

In the other scenario, simulated Neutrons are exposed to simulated D₂O, and an extremely energetic (it can overcome proton energy explosions, meaning it will consume the deuterium faster than the protons could) implosion and causes a gravitational wave that sucks all simulated material around it into the core, where it is vaporized and destroyed versus a proton bomb causing matter to explode outwards.

Is any of this even realistic? In one scenario, simulated Deuterium acts like a liquid nuclear fission material, but in real life... its heavy water...

This is all from a computer simulation, I doubt any of it is realistic, but I've never heard of a Deuterium nuclear reaction, Im just curious

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What kind of "computer simulation" is this supposed to be? What is "go nuclear"? Temperature, pressure? And that part about a gravitational wave is just complete nonsense, sorry. Are you writing a novel? I´m sure it could be funny, but sounds to me like there is no science in your fiction. $\endgroup$
    – Karl
    Apr 8, 2020 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ Out of curiosity, what program and input parameters were used for such "simulation"? $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Apr 8, 2020 at 8:57
  • $\begingroup$ I think, the current question offers (too) little detail for a reasonable answer on ChemSE. Speaking of the later, possibly PhysSE is more suitable for this type of question. ChemSE here typically deals with reactions with atom's electrons, rather than their nuclei. Thirdly, «nuclear» ... of course you may start with heavy water $\ce{D2O}$ (there equally is $\ce{HDO}$ ...) to convert some of the nuclei into (than radioactive) tritium. But it is not spectactular efficient (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritium#Deuterium). $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Apr 8, 2020 at 9:13
  • $\begingroup$ Deuterium plus a proton makes 3He, a stable isotope. Deuterium plus a neutron makes tritium which decays by beta emission. Neither will 'go nuclear' whatever that means. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 8, 2020 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ This question is a typical non-sense, based on nothing else than imagination, and fear of scientific discoveries. But well ! Maybe it is related to the process of fusion of deuterium nuclei in a plasma to produce Helium nucleus at a temperature about one million degrees in the so-called H bomb. Maybe the applicant thinks a deuterium nucleus can be obtained from deuterium oxide. It cannot, of course. And protons or neutrons are no use here. it is a typical delirium. $\endgroup$
    – Maurice
    Apr 8, 2020 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


Deuterium is a stable combination of a proton and a neutron, but it could accept and bind a proton, forming helium-3 or a neutron, forming tritium. Neither reaction would be explosive, in the sense of liberating enough energy to cause some other nuclear reaction. You might be able to make a small explosion as the sudden heat boils something very fast.

Now, if you could mash two deuterium atoms together, you would get a very hot helium-4, which 50% of the time ejects a proton to give tritium, and 50% of the time ejects a neutron to give helium-3. The heat liberated is significant (2-3 MeV), but not enough to cause another nuclear reaction. Once in a million times, the product is helium-4 and a very energetic gamma ray (about 24 MeV). The pressure required is enormous.

Some fission reactors use heavy water as a moderator because deuterium slows down neutrons without absorbing them much, so if you think about it, D2O would tend to extinguish a nuclear reaction rather than adding to it.


In a sense, atoms are "going nuclear" all the time, forming radioactive isotopes under the influence of high-energy particles in the upper atmosphere. In perhaps the best-known example, the bombardment of nitrogen with high-energy neutrons may generate carbon-14, which subsequently enters organic matter before it slowly decays (half-life = 5700 years), providing a basis for dating said organic matter.

Carbon-14 is only one of many similarly generated radioisotopes. A list of such cosmogenic nuclides is found here.


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