Cold fusion?

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Hi I was reading an article in the New Scientist, about how fusion can be created in a device no bigger than a coffee cup.

It said that an electrically polarised piece of deuterium doped lithium tantilate (don't know if this is the right spelling) placed in a strong electomagnetic field, could start up fusion. I cant remember the full detail. However I was wondering if this is a possiblility and if so can this be consequence to a new
form of propulsion?
 

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  • #2
ZapperZ
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Oy vey.... And people wonder why I dislike reading New Scientist.

Zz.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
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Do you have a link to the article?
 
  • #5
ZapperZ
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I knew it! It was the UCLA experiment that was published in Nature a few months ago!

Of course, New Scientist WOULD run away with it and proclaim a "cold fusion" device, just like other popular media have. I'm not surprised.

I wish people (especially New Scientists' editors) could read the source, or even Mike Saltmarsh's review of the paper in the same issue of Nature. It is a demonstration of a NEUTRON producing generator, more than a energy-producing fusion device. But neutron generator isn't sexy. Cold fusion, on the other hand, sells magazines and gets free publicity.

Zz.
 
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  • #6
krab
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hhh79bigo said:
Hi I was reading an article in the New Scientist, about how fusion can be created in a device no bigger than a coffee cup.
This is probably a story about the fact that DOE would re-review it in March 2004. This has happened. The report is http://www.science.doe.gov/Sub/Newsroom/News_Releases/DOE-SC/2004/low_energy/CF_Final_120104.pdf [Broken].
I'll save you the bother of reading it. The important paragraph is:
While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review.
IOW, after 15 years of intensive effort by some people, they could not convince DOE to fund this science. I think the review was a good idea, and I hope this is the final nail in the coffin.

(Oh. UCLA experiment. Nuff said...)
 
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  • #7
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So you are saying that the new scientist magazine is more of a "comic" rather than say a science publication like Physics World by the IOP?

I agree, however looking at this it seems that the idea of this can be used as a neutron accelerator, which in essence could lead to a cold fusion generator. However, obviously there isnt sufficient research, funds to do such a thing is there?
 
  • #8
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How could that lead to cold fusion? The device can be used as a neutron source. Period. That's all there is to it.
 
  • #9
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whats a period got to do with it?

I was merely adding a little speculation into the discussion isnt that the basis into research afterall have you tested this??? I havent yet I haven't drawn the line. This is why physics doesnt advance as quickly as it should, because people are too eager to draw the line instead of taking it further. Takes the p*** and it annoys the hell out of me!
 
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ZapperZ
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hhh79bigo said:
So you are saying that the new scientist magazine is more of a "comic" rather than say a science publication like Physics World by the IOP?
I'll be in the dog house of many people here, but I'll say it. Publications like Sci. Am and New Scientist tend to go for the sensational spin on many physics news. And what I hate even more is that they very seldom make an accurate citation of the source of the news they are reporting. I'm guessing this is because the publications assume that it is for people who really don't know what "Phys. Rev. Lett" or "Nature" is and really don't care about the actual source. What is worse, one can seldom tell if it is an article of speculation about the "possibility" based on current physics, or if it has already been verified or discovered. I just think that most people, even casual readers, can do and deserve better sources.

I highly recommend Physics World and Physics Today. Articles in those two try to explain things in simple terms without sacrificing accuracy, without sensationalism, and full of clear references.

I agree, however looking at this it seems that the idea of this can be used as a neutron accelerator, which in essence could lead to a cold fusion generator. However, obviously there isnt sufficient research, funds to do such a thing is there?
Er... a neutron generator could lead to a cold fusion generator?

Zz.
 
  • #11
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hhh79bigo said:
whats a period got to do with it?

I was merely adding a little speculation into the discussion isnt that the basis into research afterall have you tested this??? I havent yet I haven't drawn the line. This is why physics doesnt advance as quickly as it should, because people are too eager to draw the line instead of taking it further. Takes the p*** and it annoys the hell out of me!
I'd rather see it this way: Physics is advancing as fast as it is because time isn't wasted on wildly speculative ideas but instead is focused reasonable projects.

If I proposed that we should look into baquette based teleportation and the entire physics community would focus on this thrilling subject for years how much do you think physics would advance?
 
  • #12
pervect
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hhh79bigo said:
So you are saying that the new scientist magazine is more of a "comic" rather than say a science publication like Physics World by the IOP?

I agree, however looking at this it seems that the idea of this can be used as a neutron accelerator, which in essence could lead to a cold fusion generator. However, obviously there isnt sufficient research, funds to do such a thing is there?
We already have neutron sources (note: not neutron accelerators). For instance,

http://www.lbl.gov/Tech-Transfer/techs/lbnl1764.html

reports that a 26cm diameter, 28 cm long cylinder can produce a neutron flux of 10^12 (with D-D reactions), and a neutron flux of 3.5*10^14 (with D-T reactions).

A new design is expected to increase this 10-fold.

The article you quoted cites generation of a few hundered neutrons per second. The existing desings produce a trillion neutrons per second. (That's what "a neutron flux of 10^12 means).

It will take a lot of work before the lithium tantalate is even particularly competitive as a neutron generator, though it has the advantage of not needing a power supply (the power requirements for the design I cited are not listed, but are probably quite high).

Hopefully this helps put things in perspective for you. If not, well, I tried.
 
  • #13
russ_watters
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ZapperZ said:
Cold fusion, on the other hand, sells magazines and gets free publicity.
Point of order: if the particles are being accelerated to a high energy level, as the article says here -
The resultant electric field accelerated deuterium nuclei over a distance of 1 centimetre to energies in excess of 100 kiloelectronvolts.
- does the term cold fusion really even apply?
 
  • #14
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russ_watters said:
Point of order: if the particles are being accelerated to a high energy level, as the article says here - - does the term cold fusion really even apply?
I guess anything that doesn't cause a sustained plasma ball is termed as "cold" fusion.

Zz.
 
  • #15
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inha said:
I'd rather see it this way: Physics is advancing as fast as it is because time isn't wasted on wildly speculative ideas but instead is focused reasonable projects.

If I proposed that we should look into baquette based teleportation and the entire physics community would focus on this thrilling subject for years how much do you think physics would advance?

Whilst I take your point and I do agree that physics should be taken step by step, however why not use a little bit of imagination with the knowlege, after all wasn't it the godfather of modern physics Albert Einstein who said, "The imagination is more important than knowlege!" If there is no speculation in anything to do with physics, then how did people make the fundermental discoveries that define what physics is today.

For example. Yes the coffee cup design as suggested in the new scientist although only produces 100 neutrons per second which is a very small amount compared to others, with more research and work this very thing could be the next huge advance. Who knows?

I just didnt like the full stop/period attitude that inha had. Frankly I dont think that is what physics is all about.
 
  • #16
Cold fusion and over-unity are not possible in my opinion.

But the way in which cold fusion has been sidelined by the mainstream scientific community (following the infamous publication of Fleishman's team whose results could not be replicated) is interesting. Peer reviewed journals decline articles about cold fusion with almost religious zeal and the area has become a graveyard for scientists with ambition, because getting tenure after cold fusion research has become virtually impossible.

Some scientists 'feel' so strongly about certain subjects (for example about string theory (almost universally approved), "over unity" (universally condemned) and cold fusion (almost universally condemned) that they enter discussions about these subjects with real anger and emotion.

In short they are highly unscientific in their attitude to ideas they find untenable. They will do everything in their power to prevent such subjects even being discussed.

Religious groups tend to do the same thing. If subjects not falling under the umbrella of approved dogma are raised, such discussions are shut down and further dialogue prohibited.

It would be thousand pities, even if people would like to discuss things we consider impossible or very improbable, if dialogue were prohibited by unimaginative scientists.

Error is the most fertile ground from which to learn and innovate.

The whole history of human thought is a history of error. Thinking that the world was flat was actually a step forward at one point.

So I hope we will never allow narrow minded dogmatic scientists to stifle discussion, even about subjects such as cold fusion and over unity which we know from theory and experiment to be impossible.

Sometimes discussions about the impossible can lead us towards a better understanding of what is possible.
 
  • #17
ZapperZ
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Er.. you are resurrecting a thread that had its last activity in.... get this .... 2005!

Thread closed, since similar threads already appeared in the S&D forum.

Zz.
 

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