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Thread: Cold Fusion

  1. #1 Cold Fusion 
    Forum Ph.D. Heinsbergrelatz's Avatar
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    recently i read a news article and apparently we are moving one step ahead closer to cold fusion. i know i have heard of the term nuclear fusion before but cold fusion just seems to puzzle me. is it the same thing as nuclear fusion?? or is there any difference?

    i would appreciate the explanation.

    thank you in advance.


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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Cold fusion is nuclear fusion at room temperatures.

    back in the early '90s, a couple of researchers claimed to discovered how to to do it but further investigation and the fact that no one could reproduce their results cast serious doubt on their claims.

    The generally accepted view is that it is not even possible. I would take any article that says the we are "one step closer" to it with a grain of salt, as the source is most likely one of the few enthusiasts left.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. Heinsbergrelatz's Avatar
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    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0321182909.htm

    perhaps i misstated the "one step closer" but here is where i read the article.
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  5. #4  
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    I believe that "cold fusion" refers to making nuclei fuse by some means other than banging them together at such high speeds that they overcome the potential barrier for fusion. Since the kinetic energy of the nuclei is related to their temperature, this means that the nuclei are "cold" when they fuse.

    It gets a bit confusing, because there are some exotic schemes for accelerating nuclei to fusion-inducing speeds that don't involve applying a lot of heat to a big mass of matter. For example, you can cause fusion in a solution of room-temperature liquid by doing freaky things with ultrasonic waves that create extremely high-energy collapsing bubbles. This is "cold" in the sense that the bulk solution don't get hot, but it's not really "cold fusion" because although the mass of liquid isn't getting hot, the small number of nuclei that are undergoing fusion are moving fast enough to overcome their potential barrier - so the specific nuclei that fuse are "hot," even if most of the solution isn't. A similar example is inducing fusion in a liquid solution by doing freaky things with surface plasmon effects on electrodes to accelerate a very small number of nuclei near the surface of the electrode to fusion-inducing velocities. The bulk solution doesn't get hot, but the nuclei being accelerated by the electrodes most definitely are hot.

    True "cold fusion" would involve some sort of fusion catalyst that would lower the activation barrier for fusion, thus allowing nuclei to fuse without having such high kinetic energies.
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  6. #5 Re: Cold Fusion 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    recently i read a news article and apparently we are moving one step ahead closer to cold fusion. i know i have heard of the term nuclear fusion before but cold fusion just seems to puzzle me. is it the same thing as nuclear fusion?? or is there any difference?

    i would appreciate the explanation.

    thank you in advance.
    To add to what Janus said, I know some of the people involved in the periphery in the first fiasco. By periphery, I mean that they were not actually Pons or Fleishman, and not public advocates, but were very close to the issues at the time. High level scientists, professors, deans etc. but not hands-on in the cold fusion laboratory.

    There is book, entitled Bad Science about the intial hubbub which is pretty accurate. This is corroborated by at least one of the people that I know who was closest to the issue.

    Not surprisingly, lawyers were involved in the decisions to anounce "results" publicly in order to establish a patent position. Not the best decision.

    It was a debacle which was basically do to poor techique in calorimetry experiments. That lack of technique was subsequently reproduced in many laboratories in the fever to cash in commercially on a pipe dream.

    Hydrogen fusion requires that you get two hydroden atoms sufficiently close together that the strong force between the nuclei overcomes the electromagnetic repulsion between then. That generally requires that the nuclei be moving fast enough to get past that electromagnetic force and "moving fast" is the definition of high temperature.

    So far all of the research in cold fusion reporting results that I have seen has either been in error or downright fraudulent. Disciplinary action has been taken recently against at least one researcher at a major university for faking it.

    To be blunt, I personally would not believe the recent cold fusion clowns if they said the sky was blue.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janus
    Cold fusion is nuclear fusion at room temperatures.
    I disagree with this to the aspect that it is cold relative to normal fusion. My understanding is this concept is thought to be seen with various presumed successes in the 300F range. I also think that if these types of small devices could be made in large scale, then we have more heat generation than input power, and would be great to heat a home and water with.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Quote Originally Posted by Janus
    Cold fusion is nuclear fusion at room temperatures.
    I disagree with this to the aspect that it is cold relative to normal fusion. My understanding is this concept is thought to be seen with various presumed successes in the 300F range. I also think that if these types of small devices could be made in large scale, then we have more heat generation than input power, and would be great to heat a home and water with.
    What you or anybody else thinks is completely irrelevant.

    The only thing that matters is what researchers can show repeatedly under controlled circumstances, and what is consistent with known physics.

    With that criteria there is no support for cold fusion, whether at room temperature or 300F. 300f relative to the temperatures usually associated with fusion is downright frigid.
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  9. #8  
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  10. #9  
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    The I closest I heard is that the Joint European Torus research facility in Europe actually got more energy out than they had to put in. I think this was accepted as real results at the time but it only occur for a fraction of a second. I think Cold Fusion has been deemed pretty much impossible.
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  11. #10  
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    Given that hydrogen fusion would produce heat energy, the term "cold fusion" could hence have meaning if one could fuse hydrogen that needed no preheating. Such a process is unknown to so many physicists that I hesitate to offend so many mistaken people. However, for pointers on stellar core fusion, go to: - http://dalescosmos.blogspot.com/
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." --Buddha (563BC-483BC)
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I believe that "cold fusion" refers to making nuclei fuse by some means other than banging them together at such high speeds that they overcome the potential barrier for fusion. Since the kinetic energy of the nuclei is related to their temperature, this means that the nuclei are "cold" when they fuse.

    It gets a bit confusing, because there are some exotic schemes for accelerating nuclei to fusion-inducing speeds that don't involve applying a lot of heat to a big mass of matter. For example, you can cause fusion in a solution of room-temperature liquid by doing freaky things with ultrasonic waves that create extremely high-energy collapsing bubbles. This is "cold" in the sense that the bulk solution don't get hot, but it's not really "cold fusion" because although the mass of liquid isn't getting hot, the small number of nuclei that are undergoing fusion are moving fast enough to overcome their potential barrier - so the specific nuclei that fuse are "hot," even if most of the solution isn't. A similar example is inducing fusion in a liquid solution by doing freaky things with surface plasmon effects on electrodes to accelerate a very small number of nuclei near the surface of the electrode to fusion-inducing velocities. The bulk solution doesn't get hot, but the nuclei being accelerated by the electrodes most definitely are hot.

    True "cold fusion" would involve some sort of fusion catalyst that would lower the activation barrier for fusion, thus allowing nuclei to fuse without having such high kinetic energies.
    If I understand it right, the original cold fusion fiasco was based on a method that attempted to fuse them by forming crystal lattices around them using some exotic element like Palladium. They believed that the strength of the chemical bond was going to be great enough to crush the Hydrogen atoms together.

    I should look it up before I really say for sure, but that was the gist of it. I thought it was very creative of them to attempt it. It's just unfortunate that their experiment arrived at a false positive. They'd probably be doing some cool things in science right now if they'd been more careful, and kept their reputations.
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  13. #12 Re: Cold Fusion 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heinsbergrelatz
    recently i read a news article and apparently we are moving one step ahead closer to cold fusion. i know i have heard of the term nuclear fusion before but cold fusion just seems to puzzle me. is it the same thing as nuclear fusion?? or is there any difference?

    i would appreciate the explanation.

    thank you in advance.
    here is a great documentary discussing the reality of "Cold Fusion" (aka Room Temperature Fusion):

    Heavy Watergate (Documentary | 45mins) : http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...30534380820378
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