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Old 04-21-2009, 08:42 AM
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Default Cold Fusion back in the spotlight.

Here we go again! (I always thought this experiment was debunked just a little too quickly...) Cold Fusion is being studied again. Although scientists are not entirely sure it's honest-to-Vol fusion going on in those jars, there IS something happening that needs to be studied. Apparently, the experiment produced 25 times more waste heat than it should otherwise.

The current (pun) news peice explaing the renewed interest is available on the CBS News/ 60 Minutes site.

It would be sooooo cool (pun) if it turned out this "nuclear effect" was capable of solving our energy and greenhouse gas problems in one fell swoop! Imagine a world where the Middle East no longer held that power over us all... cars that wouldn't have to be gassed up, nuke generating plants that have no risk of radiation...

It would be one HUGE step toward that "Star Trek" world we all know, love, and yearn for!

(but, then again, it could all be just BS.)
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:45 AM
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Cold fusion, is that the idea of creating nuclear fusion on a very small scale?
That term cold always puzzled me because, well on the atomical level there still has to exist enormous temperatures/pressure to make fusion possible, or not?
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:35 AM
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Exactly, horatio. That's the big question... what is going on inside those jars?

The experiment is a simple one... You could probably do it yourself as a science fair project. You take a filiment of palladium, immerse it in a bath of deuterium (heavy water) and apply electrical current, the same way you would in electrolisis. The thing is, in some cases, this experiment seems to produce far more energy coming out, (in the form of waste heat) than going in. Some people are calling it a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR). Part of the problem most scientists have with calling it 'fusion" is that there is no theory that would describe why such a reaction would take place...

So, we seem to have an effect here that we can't really explain, that has varied results, yet seem to, in certain cases, produce energy that is greater than what's going in... sometimes as large as a factor of 25X.

Maybe it's just me... but if there's nothing to any of it, why are so many countries other than the US still studying the experiment, even to this day?
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:26 AM
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Thanks for the information and explanation, Fan.

If I understood it correctly, cold fusion is a theory to fit this experimental anomaly.
This really sounds intriguing, especially because research in tha area probably costs much less than the conventional fusion research (though not intending to imply that it is not worth to put billions or trillions of $ or € into fusion research, after all it should be THE fundamental research project of the 21st century)
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:11 AM
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Sounds great. Why did they stop research about Cold Fusion at the fist place? Even if there won't be any technical fulfillment it might be important for theoretical physics.


Anyone knows which kind of nuclear fusion concept ITER is using and if the USA still takes part in that project (I think they quit for some time but came back again?).
What other projects about nuclear fusion are done atm and which are the most promising? I vaguely remember two others, NIF and Wendelstein.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTrekkie View Post
Sounds great. Why did they stop research about Cold Fusion at the fist place? Even if there won't be any technical fulfillment it might be important for theoretical physics.
As far as I know every cold fusion experiment failed in the peer reviews or didnt even face the peer reviews to begin with. Means, some scientists proclaim they have created such an effect, but either do not bother to demonstrate it to other scientists, fail to give exact discriptions about how they acomplished the effect or fail to demonstrate it.

The term is fraud. I can do magic, but I do neither want to show you, nor can I tell you in detail how I do it and when I attempt to demonstrate it I happen to have a headache or a bad day and nothing happens. But I can do magic. Trust me! Now, where is my nobel prize?!
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:50 AM
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I wonder how the scientific community reacted to the writings of a physicits who worker in a patent office in Switzerland at the beginnign of the last century ...
Peer review bases journals are a nice invention for quality control; but tell you what, the best scientific stuff I have read in my life was not published in such journals. Perhaps because I have not read enough ... or because in economics researchers who think outside the box have a hard time publishing their ideas. No idea how the world of physics is, but peer review tends to limit the boundaries of a science.

Until now it is just a theory but just because mainstream physics does not like the idea, it does not have to be false.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
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Until now it is just a theory but just because mainstream physics does not like the idea, it does not have to be false.
I agree wholeheartedly. Just posted how I have heard the story behind cold fusion. If its real, then peer reviews will account for it sooner or later. Until then every report in news magazines or the world wide web should be taken with a grain of salt. Like all those stuff about antigravitation or the final breakthrough in the fight against cancer, you know the articles I mean.

By the way, "mainstream physics" loooooove the idea of cold fusion. Scientific scepticism and critique are not the same as vilification and ignorance.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:00 AM
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Sure, the media overfocuses upon such scientific mysteries. It might exist, might not, but as the experiment seems to be fairly cheap, especially compared to the conventional fusion projects, I'd still advocate public research money for such projects.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:14 PM
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And what about the other fusion concepts?
do they have a realistic chance to prevail.
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