Notices
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Cold fusion question

  1. #1 Cold fusion question 
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,893
    I asked this question in another thread, but it got moved to pseudo-science, so I suppose I'll ask again.

    My PhD is in chemistry, not physics, and my knowledge of nuclear physics is limited to what I learned in undergrad physics classes. That being said, it's not clear to me why so many people seem to think that cold fusion is an inherently absurd concept. In chemistry it's very common to use catalysts that lower the activation barrier that must be overcome before a reaction can occur. Why is it so crazy to imagine a "nuclear catalyst" that could lower the potential barrier involved in fusion?

    Any of you cold fusion haters feel like educating me?


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    416
    if you were using a catalyst such as an enzyme which was engineered to do such a task it would have to hold the reactants in such a way to force them together. usually such high temperatures are required because of the extreme forces the particles exhibit when very close.

    and once fusion has occured the heat increases dramatically, so your enzyme would need to be able to withstand the energy released, or you would have to produce new ones for every reaction. and if there were many reactions going on in a small volume then not only would the catalyst be affected but other enzymes around it.

    all in all it is very hard to build enzymes that would be able to force nuclei together through chemical attractions. perhaps you should play around on a virtual chemical simulator with modified laws to allow for fusion when the correct circumstances are achieved.

    i have little doubt that you can build such a molecule, but i bet it would be a very complex and large structure due to all the energy required to do what you're suggesting.

    i cannot be sure of it, but with my knowledge of chemical engineering, it would be more cost effective to just use plain old nuclear fusion than to build highly complex chemicals in a lab that likely can only produce one reaction.


    physics: accurate, objective, boring
    chemistry: accurate if physics is accurate, slightly subjective, you can blow stuff up
    biology: accurate if chemistry is accurate, somewhat subjective, fascinating
    religion: accurate if people are always right, highly subjective, bewildering
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,893
    I wasn't really suggesting that a molecule could be used as a fusion catalyst in the same way that molecular catalysts catalyze chemical reactions. I was thinking more along the lines of a generic process for lowering the fusion reaction's activation energy, or increasing the reaction cross-section.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Transient
    Posts
    2,914
    It isn't so much that there may or may not be a catalyst that could lower the activation temp, but that the output energy will invariable raise the temperature to the point it's at in stars. Perhaps one fusion reaction occurs, that's a large amount of energy that comes out of that one reaction
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5 Re: Cold fusion question 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,486
    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    I asked this question in another thread, but it got moved to pseudo-science, so I suppose I'll ask again.

    My PhD is in chemistry, not physics, and my knowledge of nuclear physics is limited to what I learned in undergrad physics classes. That being said, it's not clear to me why so many people seem to think that cold fusion is an inherently absurd concept. In chemistry it's very common to use catalysts that lower the activation barrier that must be overcome before a reaction can occur. Why is it so crazy to imagine a "nuclear catalyst" that could lower the potential barrier involved in fusion?

    Any of you cold fusion haters feel like educating me?
    Because no one knows of any "catalyst" or any hypothetical mechanism whereby one can force two nuclei sufficiently close together in the face of electrostatic repulsion so as to permit the strong force to overcome that repulsion -- except to get the nuclei moving fast enough to have sufficient kinetic energy, and that high kinetic energy is precisely what is meant by high temperature.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6 Re: Cold fusion question 
    Forum Professor
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,893
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Because no one knows of any "catalyst" or any hypothetical mechanism whereby one can force two nuclei sufficiently close together in the face of electrostatic repulsion so as to permit the strong force to overcome that repulsion -- except to get the nuclei moving fast enough to have sufficient kinetic energy, and that high kinetic energy is precisely what is meant by high temperature.
    Really?
    To create this effect, a stream of negative muons, most often created by decaying pions, is sent to a block that may be made up of all three hydrogen isotopes (protium, deuterium, and/or tritium), where the block is usually frozen, and the block may be at temperatures of about 3 kelvins (−270 degrees Celsius) or so. The muon may bump the electron from one of the hydrogen isotopes. The muon, 207 times more massive than the electron, effectively shields and reduces the electromagnetic resistance between two nuclei and draws them much closer into a covalent bond than an electron can. Because the nuclei are so close, the strong nuclear force is able to kick in and bind both nuclei together. They fuse, release the catalytic muon (most of the time), and part of the original mass of both nuclei is released as energetic particles, as with any other type of nuclear fusion (see nuclear fusion to understand how this energy is released). The release of the catalytic muon is critical to continue the reactions. The majority of the muons continue to bond with other hydrogen isotopes and continue fusing nuclei together. However, there is a major drawback with muon-catalyzed fusion: not all of the muons are recycled, and too many bond with other debris emitted following the fusion of the nuclei (such as alpha particles and helions), removing the muons from the catalytic process. This gradually and ultimately chokes off the reactions, as there are fewer and fewer muons with which the nuclei may bond. The highest success rate achieved in the lab has been on the order of about 100 reactions or so per muon.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon-catalyzed_fusion

    3K seems to be very cold fusion indeed. In catalysis chemistry a catalyst turnover of 100 wouldn't be considered great, but it's not terrible either. In any case, it certainly seems to prove the point that fusion can be catalyzed to occur at low temperatures. Perhaps there are other, even better ways to do it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7 Re: Cold fusion question 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,486
    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Because no one knows of any "catalyst" or any hypothetical mechanism whereby one can force two nuclei sufficiently close together in the face of electrostatic repulsion so as to permit the strong force to overcome that repulsion -- except to get the nuclei moving fast enough to have sufficient kinetic energy, and that high kinetic energy is precisely what is meant by high temperature.
    Really?
    To create this effect, a stream of negative muons, most often created by decaying pions, is sent to a block that may be made up of all three hydrogen isotopes (protium, deuterium, and/or tritium), where the block is usually frozen, and the block may be at temperatures of about 3 kelvins (−270 degrees Celsius) or so. The muon may bump the electron from one of the hydrogen isotopes. The muon, 207 times more massive than the electron, effectively shields and reduces the electromagnetic resistance between two nuclei and draws them much closer into a covalent bond than an electron can. Because the nuclei are so close, the strong nuclear force is able to kick in and bind both nuclei together. They fuse, release the catalytic muon (most of the time), and part of the original mass of both nuclei is released as energetic particles, as with any other type of nuclear fusion (see nuclear fusion to understand how this energy is released). The release of the catalytic muon is critical to continue the reactions. The majority of the muons continue to bond with other hydrogen isotopes and continue fusing nuclei together. However, there is a major drawback with muon-catalyzed fusion: not all of the muons are recycled, and too many bond with other debris emitted following the fusion of the nuclei (such as alpha particles and helions), removing the muons from the catalytic process. This gradually and ultimately chokes off the reactions, as there are fewer and fewer muons with which the nuclei may bond. The highest success rate achieved in the lab has been on the order of about 100 reactions or so per muon.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon-catalyzed_fusion

    3K seems to be very cold fusion indeed. In catalysis chemistry a catalyst turnover of 100 wouldn't be considered great, but it's not terrible either. In any case, it certainly seems to prove the point that fusion can be catalyzed to occur at low temperatures. Perhaps there are other, even better ways to do it.
    You are correct that muons can be used to "catalyze" this reaction. But it does not appear to be practical as an energy source.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8 Re: Cold fusion question 
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    223
    [quote="Scifor Refugee"] ... That being said, it's not clear to me why so many people seem to think that cold fusion is an inherently absurd concept.
    and Dr. Rocket wrote: "Because no one knows of any "catalyst" or any hypothetical mechanism whereby one can force two nuclei sufficiently close together in the face of electrostatic repulsion so as to permit the strong force to overcome that repulsion -- except to get the nuclei moving fast enough to have sufficient kinetic energy, and that high kinetic energy is precisely what is meant by high temperature."


    Would join Scifor Refugee in protesting the absurdity of holding cold fusion an absurdity. Past phony claims to cold fusion bear no worthy fault against the concept. One way to get fusion might well be getting fuel going so fast that particles crash, so they just heat the stuff up. Another way to get it might be to remove the electrons and just put the squeeze on them. The second way would make a lot more sense because if it could be done, heat resulting from such fusion would provide the negative feedback needed for a regulated process. Hotter stuff parts the proximity. The other way, the lickety split way, would naturally bring on positive feedback, food for catastrophic consequences.

    Runaway fusion in adjacent strata might well be averted if such strata relied upon core temperature for persisting fusion. The enclosed core would cycle down in response to surrounding temperature increase. Anti-neutrinos would be absent from core fusion due to absence of electrons. However, the cold fusion implied for our star would bear the additional stigma of an electric universe! Two stigmas bearing the shame of fraudulent pioneers on the subjects.

    Loosely analogous to catalytic assist, but honoring Dr, Rocket's reservation for an hypothetical mechanism, is my contention that if we could, we should fashion a huge ball of hydrogen nearly a million miles across, and position a core of protons in the center, held in place by the counterintuitive natural concentric electrostatic formation of a surrounding bubble of electrons. This would exploit electrostatic compression as supplemental pressure added to compression from nigh onto half a million miles of stellar matter. The resulting torch would supply surrounding strata with heat appending stellar output with maybe half again that of the core.

    This edit is to eat a little crow. Found out that lifting effort imposed upon regenerating hot fusion tucks big share of resulting energy production into potential energy storage vice heat.

    This, another edit, to say it is simpler than that: Depth fixes the pressure so that volume change is proportional to temperature change, meaning that any shift in temperature just moves solar matter up or down in maintenance of steady temperature. The exception is at any vortex that dips through fusing plasma to chill it out in the middle and let it rampage from a surrounding sleeve. We call the top of the middle a sunspot and its rim (the top of rampaging fusion) sometimes the bottom of a solar flare.
    "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)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9 Cold fusion 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1
    Dear people, as a lay scientist I have been personally involved in causing a form of what I consider to be cold fusion. I did this through collapsing the electron cloud and bombarding the molecular core with enough electrons to fuse them together in a new molecular core. I have the equation that deals with such and know it functions.
    In essence one collapses the electrons stability by causing a state in which the inherent structure of the "orbiting" to fail in regards their stability around the moleculat core.
    Currently lacking a lab I am left to just this through, but does anyone have a decent opinion on the possiblity of what I am describing here?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10 Re: Cold fusion 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,486
    Quote Originally Posted by BlokAlexander
    Dear people, as a lay scientist I have been personally involved in causing a form of what I consider to be cold fusion. I did this through collapsing the electron cloud and bombarding the molecular core with enough electrons to fuse them together in a new molecular core. I have the equation that deals with such and know it functions.
    In essence one collapses the electrons stability by causing a state in which the inherent structure of the "orbiting" to fail in regards their stability around the moleculat core.
    Currently lacking a lab I am left to just this through, but does anyone have a decent opinion on the possiblity of what I am describing here?
    Yep.

    It is complete nonsense.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •