2014-03-04 18:33:39 UTC
The soft x-rays can both completely ionize the atomic nitrogen and oxygen ions (they are continously beeing thrown into the "star" region of the hollow cathode), and then by dilating time between adjacent fuel nuclei, induce fusion reactions. The precise dynamics is unknown for now; it could be a two stage reaction. First one photon completely ionizes, say a N2+ atom (atomic nitrogen that has lost two electrons), then another photon induces the fusion between that nucleus and a proton that happens to be nearby, or it all happens in one collision. There are other elements that could be involved in the nuclear reactions; carbon and Argon.
clagwell wanted to build a star in a jar; he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams! A CNO reaction in your basement...
clagwell left the room on the occasion; how wise, otherwise there would be one amateur fusioneer less in this world.