Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is cold fusion possible?

  1. Absolutely!

    2 vote(s)
  2. Possibly

    3 vote(s)
  3. Probably not

    5 vote(s)
  4. Alsolutely not

    1 vote(s)
  1. Mar 30, 2003 #1
    Do you think that cold fusion is posible?

    Also, if it is what would some of the implications of this be, how would it change our world?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2003 #2
    The most obvious obstical to overcome would be the repulsion of like particles. The reason fusion is hot to begin with is because fusion reactions don't happen unless there is enough kinetic energy to get the protons close enough to fuse. Now if you could get crafty and have two neutrons come together then somehow get them to decay at the same time into protons, electrons, and (ok I always forget this part but I think its a muon or a pion or something-on), this may work. Because the there is no em repulsion between two neutrons, thus you wouldn't need all of that kinetic energy which basically translates to heat.

    Of course this means manipulating things below the nuclear level and I just don't think it can be done (with what we know today).

    The intense heat needed for a fusion reaction is the main reason a fission reaction is used to ignite a nuclear explosion.
  4. Mar 30, 2003 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Also, it could be possible for cold-fussion to be really cold-fission, or even just cold-alpha. I find more likely for coldfussioners to be able to get some cold alpha radiation, perhaps due to some solid-state effect.
  5. Mar 31, 2003 #4
    With the understanding that the end result is to generate energy for consumption I don't understand why you would want to deal with alpha particles. What energy is that going to generate?
  6. Mar 31, 2003 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have no idea what you just said.
    neutron -> proton + electron + anti-electron-neutrino
    This is very possible -- you can get deuterons this way. However, you're missing a big piece of the puzzle:

    Where do we get all of those free neutrons?

    The answer: we'd have to make them, investing energy. The best we could then hope to do is to get the energy back. Hydrogen (or deuteron) fusion, however, makes use of particles we already have in relative abundance -- we're just coaxing them over an activation energy hill and using the released energy.

    - Warren
  7. Apr 1, 2003 #6
    What is the best way to describe cold fusion as oposed to normal fusion?
  8. Apr 1, 2003 #7


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    chroot, I was referring to the original Fleishmann-Pons experiment. They got some helium, a bit of extra energy and some traces of gamma radiation in a very random manner. All that could fit also with an (unknown) catalisis of alpha disintegration, instead of an (unknown) catalisis of nuclear fusion.

    FrankM, yep, such thing could not be useful direcly for energy production. But cheap transmutation implies a disposal method for usual radioactive waste, for instance.
  9. Apr 1, 2003 #8
    The problem with the original Fleishmann-Pons experiment was that no-one could reproduce the results that they were claiming.

    As far as the cold fusion question goes ... it depends upon what you regard as cold fusion i.e. a useful level of power production or not. One possiblity could be Single Bubble sonoluminescence .... but you aren't going to get much energy from a single bubble :smile:
  10. Apr 1, 2003 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Zvonko Maric

    Maric was said to have a running reaction using lithium instead of deuterium.

    Vigier, JP: he defended cold fussion back in 1994, I bet he was influential to get F&P going into France. Vigier is a strange old man. He is DeBroglie's "scientific son". He was commisioned to develop the pilot wave theory, which he dis jointly with infamous Bohm; initially he was supossed to work in Princeton with Einstein, but he was linked -just as Bohm, or because of it?- with communism, so he was "witchhunted".

    There are very used to strange physics research. Back in the fifties, they also developed Hestenes theory (yep, before Hestenes). Funny people. Anyway they are influential enough to keep publishing in refereed journals. For instance Dragic A, Maric Z, Vigier JP; Phys. Lett. A 265 (2000) 163. "New quantum mechanical tight bound states and 'cold fusion'".

    As for Z. Maric, I have no ide if he is related to Mileva Maric. I have read that Mileva's family was a well-accomodated one in Zagrev.
  11. Apr 1, 2003 #10


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    "Cold fusion" is a contradiction in terms. It is not possible.
  12. Apr 1, 2003 #11
    Depends on your definition of cold fusion
  13. Apr 1, 2003 #12
    Cold fusion is absolutely possible. All because it is virually impossible.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook