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Thread: Another pseudo-science cold fusion scam?

  1. #1 Another pseudo-science cold fusion scam? 
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    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-...ion-video.html

    I'm no physicist, but this looks like another scam to me. Have been up in some "respectable" newspapers though.

    Sorry if reposting this, couldn't find it when searching...[/url]


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    Hey there, right you are to question this. The key thing in science is peer-review. The process by which the paper they try to publish on the topic is looked at by professionals in similar fields.

    From the article:
    "Rossi and Focardiís paper on the nuclear reactor has been rejected by peer-reviewed journals"

    The best thing to do is completely ignore this, there are many tens of billions being spent on fusion research.

    The fact it is in respectful newspapers is justified in the link you gave because;
    a) they didn't say nuclear fusion had been tamed, only that a group had claimed it
    b) they quoted that this work had been refused by peer review


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    I disagree. The key thing in science is evidence. Examine the claim critically, and be sceptical. Ask yourself if there is any evidence, whether what's presented as evidence is reliable, and whether the experiment or procedure is reproducible. The answer might be no, no, and no, but such is life, people are people.

    But because they are, don't dismiss potential evidence on the say-so of somebody else. Don't let somebody else tell you to dismiss a claim without looking at the evidence. Peer review can be abused, and it does sometimes get in the way of scientific progress.


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    I completely agree, Farsight.

    In this case though peer review is the justification required to debunk the story.

    Perhaps I was too hasty to shove the word science in there :wink:
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    I am suspicious of this one, JD. But I watched Men of Rock last night. It was a prime example of what I was talking about.

    When it comes to cold fusion in general however, I'm not so suspicious. IMHO welding offers an insight. An arc-welder uses heat, but a blacksmith uses less heat along with pressure delivered via a hammer. Then one can perform cold welding with no heat and a lot of pressure. Since heat doesn't exist at the subatomic level, heat being merely an emergent property of motion, find a way to deliver pressure via the atomic-level equivalent of a diamond anvil, and cold fusion might be achievable.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farsight
    I am suspicious of this one, JD. But I watched Men of Rock last night. It was a prime example of what I was talking about.

    When it comes to cold fusion in general however, I'm not so suspicious. IMHO welding offers an insight. An arc-welder uses heat, but a blacksmith uses less heat along with pressure delivered via a hammer. Then one can perform cold welding with no heat and a lot of pressure. Since heat doesn't exist at the subatomic level, heat being merely an emergent property of motion, find a way to deliver pressure via the atomic-level equivalent of a diamond anvil, and cold fusion might be achievable.
    Pressure is as much an emergent propeerty of motion as is temperature. In many cases pressure comes with high temperature.

    No matter how you cut it, to achieve fusion you must get two nuclei sufficiently close together to overcome electrostatic repulsion and let the residual strong force take over. I know of only two ways to do that, high temperature or muon catalization. The latter is not a practical solution, by a long shot.

    The welding analogy does not stand up to scrutiny. The fundamental principles are completely different.
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    They aren't completely different, Doc. Look beyond the kinetic theory of gases. Have a look at this 11 Mbyte BNL powerpoint lecture, slide 24. Or search arXiv on say quark and pressure. In particle physics there is no fundamental property of heat, a hot particle is a fast-moving particle. Slam two particles together and the collision generates a pressure sufficient to overcome the Coulomb force. In a collider it overcomes the residual strong force too, but such is life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farsight
    They aren't completely different, Doc. Look beyond the kinetic theory of gases. Have a look at this 11 Mbyte BNL powerpoint lecture, slide 24. Or search arXiv on say quark and pressure. In particle physics there is no fundamental property of heat, a hot particle is a fast-moving particle. Slam two particles together and the collision generates a pressure sufficient to overcome the Coulomb force. In a collider it overcomes the residual strong force too, but such is life.
    You have gone off the deep end.

    The kinetic theory of gasses is quite adequate for pressure in your "welding analogy', which has nothing to do with nuclear fusion.

    QCD pressure is a completely different animal and applies to a quark-gluon plasma, which exists only at VERY high temperature and/or density -- think the moment of the big bang or the core of large neutron stars. It has been produced in high energy collision experiments, which is what is depicted in the PowerPoint chart to which you refer. This is hardly consistent with cold fusion, or cold anything.

    Yes a hot particle is a fast particle -- aka a high temperature particle or high energy particle. That is what produces the ability to get nuclei sufficiently close together to overcome the Coulomb repulsion, lrt the residual strong force dominate and result in fusion. "Pressure" is not a particularly good description, and it has nothing to do with "pressure" in the usual sense.

    Also note that temperature and heat are different things, though temperature and heat content are related by the equipartition theorem. In this application, it is temperature that is important.

    Thus far all reports of cold fusion have been in error, and some fraudulent. No viable mechanism for practical cold fusion has yet been proposed. I would not get myself excited by yet another claim.
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    If these guys can fuse hydrogen nuclei to nickel nuclei (with 60+ protons) using the power consumed by four 100-watt light bulbs, it seems to me that our multi-billion dollar fusion research projects should be able to figure out how to fuse deuterium and tritium nuclei together with a couple of 12-volt car batteries

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSMYTH3025
    If these guys can fuse hydrogen nuclei to nickel nuclei (with 60+ protons) using the power consumed by four 100-watt light bulbs, it seems to me that our multi-billion dollar fusion research projects should be able to figure out how to fuse deuterium and tritium nuclei together with a couple of 12-volt car batteries

    Chris
    If the wackos could do that the real fusion experts could fuse deuterium with a baseball bat.

    If frogs had wings they wouldn't bump their ass.
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    Fusion itself is a piece of cake, see http://fusor.net/newbie/files/Ligon-QED-IE.pdf . What's tricky is getting more power out than you put in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farsight
    Fusion itself is a piece of cake, see http://fusor.net/newbie/files/Ligon-QED-IE.pdf . What's tricky is getting more power out than you put in.
    Interesting article. If this is truly a practical route to nuclear fusion do you have any thoughts on why billions are being spent on other methods?

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSMYTH3025
    Interesting article. If this is truly a practical route to nuclear fusion do you have any thoughts on why billions are being spent on other methods?
    I'm not sure it is a practical route to nuclear fusion. As for billions spent on other methods, I'd say it doesn't matter that much. People spend billions on far less worthy ventures. But I'd say that there is something of a "big science" issue in that you don't get to hear about benchtop fusion or what these guys are up to: http://www.fusor.net/
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    The incredible nature of these claims spurred me to investigate the current state of cold fusion research.

    I found something worth looking at:

    Eur. Phys. J. Appl. Phys. 51, 20901 (2010)

    This experiment quantifies high energy particles repeatedly observed from an electrochemical experiment. Basically, if these observations are correct (the publications on this line of experiments go back several years and have not been refuted), then cold fusion is a real phenomena in these systems.

    Regardless of whether cold fusion is a source of energy (it could exist and never be practically useful), this exciting paper deserves some serious attention because it hints at the possibility of testing new theoretical thinking.

    Which is the only reason a true scientist needs to get excited about something.
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