# Thread: "Cold Fusion" that really works?

1. How about this, guys--wanting a bit of input on the subject.

My sixteen-year old son is writing an essay for the DuPont Essay Challenge. He's supposed to write about any science topic at all.... and he picks Cold Fusion. So he presents to me, today, a theory that it could work... and I don't know what to tell him. It sounds like it would work to me..... but I'm wondering what you guys might think.

As he typed it in the e-mail:

For my project on cold fusion that I told you about before, here's my current research:

a) To fuse H2 and O together, the atoms must be heated to approx. 600,000 degrees celsius.

b) You could *also* have them fuse by propelling them towards each other at 26% the speed of light.

c) One O atom and two H atoms fusing to create one molecule of water produces 3200 KJ of energy.

d) There are 4.184 calories in one joule.

e) 3200x1000= 3,200,000 joules x 4.184 = 13,388,800 calories produced with one molecule of water fusing.

f) One calorie = power to heat 1 kg of water 1 degree celsius.

g) 13,388,800 / 21 = 637,561.904761904...

This means that if you were to store water at 21 degrees celsius (70 degrees fahrenheit, about room temperature), you would be able to instantly heat 1kg of it 637,561.9 degrees celsius by the fusion of ONE molecule of water! Which means...

h) 637,561.9 / 79 = 8,070.

In other words, since it's already at 21 degrees celsius, each kg of water must be heated 79 more degrees. Meaning that you could INSTANTLY boil 8,070 kg of water (8,070 liters, meaning 2,135 gallons of water) by the fusion of one single water molecule. If this was done, it would be turned to steam and used to turn a generator's power wheel. Surely out of over twenty-one hundred gallons of water instantly being boiled, you would be able to restore the power it took to get the atoms to that speed, yes?

And surely you wouldn't have to do it one atom at a time. You could probably fuse about a tablespoon of water at one time--how many atoms is that? How much water would that boil? Surely THIS would restore the power and regain some as well. What do you think?

I think my son may have just discovered the secret of cold fusion.

Though at that speed and that heat, it's not really... cold. But it's definitely colder than any other sort of fusion we have in this day and time. Compare it to the temperature of the sun... pretty cold if you ask me.

In any case, what do you guys think? I honestly don't know what to tell him--because I'd have to test it to find out.

2.

3. Just a few things:

What they mean by cold fusion is that you need not add much energy for fusion to occur.

Fusion as in nuclear physics is the fusion of atomic nuclei, whereas 2H<sub>2</sub> + O<sub>2</sub> = 2H<sub>2</sub>O is a chemical reaction. The Hindenberg Zepelin was filled with Hydrogen when it exploded. In this explosion H<sub>2</sub> and O<sub>2</sub> chemically bonded (combustion) to produce H<sub>2</sub>O. While this combustion certainly produces lots of energy, the problem is that we first have to extract free Hydrogen from some source, which with current technology is too slow and inefficient. Current hydrogen fuel technology cars either use the extra electrons produced during the bond between H<sub>2</sub> and O<sub>2</sub> to power an electric motor or combusts to produce water.

4. Ah, I didn't add that bit. He didn't note it in the e-mail, he already told me this much:

As far as getting the elements separate, he wishes to take the water that is to be fused while it is still water, and run an electric current through it. This process is electrolysis, which separates the hydrogen from the oxygen. That's how you would separate the atoms apart, and it actually doesn't require very much energy to do that at all--you can do it to a glass of water, 8 oz. , with a simple 9-volt battery--it just takes a while.

5. Â*
a) To fuse H2 and O together, the atoms must be heated to approx. 600,000 degrees celsius.
Not really; a simple spark or a carelessly-tossed cigarette will do the trick.

Let your son know that the judges will not be impressed by the failure to understand the difference between a simple chemical reaction and a true nuclear reaction.

Â*

6. Originally Posted by Xiar
Ah, I didn't add that bit. He didn't note it in the e-mail, he already told me this much:

As far as getting the elements separate, he wishes to take the water that is to be fused while it is still water, and run an electric current through it. This process is electrolysis, which separates the hydrogen from the oxygen. That's how you would separate the atoms apart, and it actually doesn't require very much energy to do that at all--you can do it to a glass of water, 8 oz. , with a simple 9-volt battery--it just takes a while.
And the total amount of energy needed to perform the electrolysis will be more than the energy you can get out of recombining the resulting hydrogen and oxygen.

7. you can do it to a glass of water, 8 oz. , with a simple 9-volt battery--it just takes a while.
As noted before by Janus, the energy needed to produce the battery is more than would be gained from the hydrogen and oxygen generated by electrolysis. The total energy required for the production, from making the battery's chemicals to mining the iron, to the fuel used for transport, etc. need be taken into account. One other way to do it is to employ solar cells to provide the current, but as I said, that takes way too long with current technology to be viable.

8. Originally Posted by Xiar
a) To fuse H2 and O together, the atoms must be heated to approx. 600,000 degrees celsius.
Really? Where did this figure come from? I have found they combine quite readily with the heat from a match. I think that is substantially less than 600,000 degrees. Comments?

9. Originally Posted by Ophiolite
Originally Posted by Xiar
a) To fuse H2 and O together, the atoms must be heated to approx. 600,000 degrees celsius.
Really? Where did this figure come from? I have found they combine quite readily with the heat from a match. I think that is substantially less than 600,000 degrees. Comments?
Less than 1/1000 of that. The auto ignition temp(without spark or flame) of hydrogen is 500 degrees celsius.

10. Originally Posted by Xiar
How about this, guys--wanting a bit of input on the subject.

My sixteen-year old son is writing an essay for the DuPont Essay Challenge. He's supposed to write about any science topic at all.... and he picks Cold Fusion. So he presents to me, today, a theory that it could work... and I don't know what to tell him. It sounds like it would work to me..... but I'm wondering what you guys might think.

As he typed it in the e-mail:

For my project on cold fusion that I told you about before, here's my current research:

a) To fuse H2 and O together, the atoms must be heated to approx. 600,000 degrees celsius.

b) You could *also* have them fuse by propelling them towards each other at 26% the speed of light.

c) One O atom and two H atoms fusing to create one molecule of water produces 3200 KJ of energy.
Hydrogen and oxygen do not undergo fusion to form water. Hydrogen undergoes chemical combustion with oxygen to form water. Even if you were to force Oxygen and Hydrogen to fuse into a new element, it would liberate less energy than the more efficient Hydrogen-hydrogen fusion, and that only produces about 0.0000000000005 J per set of nucleons fusing. Chemical conbustion produces many magnitudes less energy.

d) There are 4.184 calories in one joule.

e) 3200x1000= 3,200,000 joules x 4.184 = 13,388,800 calories produced with one molecule of water fusing.

f) One calorie = power to heat 1 kg of water 1 degree celsius.
Common mistake. a calorie is what it takes to heat a gram of water 1 degree C, It is a Calorie that heats a kilogram. There are only .004184 Calories to a joule.

g) 13,388,800 / 21 = 637,561.904761904...

This means that if you were to store water at 21 degrees celsius (70 degrees fahrenheit, about room temperature), you would be able to instantly heat 1kg of it 637,561.9 degrees celsius by the fusion of ONE molecule of water! Which means...
The above equation does not lead to the conclusion following it.

h) 637,561.9 / 79 = 8,070.

In other words, since it's already at 21 degrees celsius, each kg of water must be heated 79 more degrees. Meaning that you could INSTANTLY boil 8,070 kg of water (8,070 liters, meaning 2,135 gallons of water) by the fusion of one single water molecule. If this was done, it would be turned to steam and used to turn a generator's power wheel. Surely out of over twenty-one hundred gallons of water instantly being boiled, you would be able to restore the power it took to get the atoms to that speed, yes?

And surely you wouldn't have to do it one atom at a time. You could probably fuse about a tablespoon of water at one time--how many atoms is that? How much water would that boil? Surely THIS would restore the power and regain some as well. What do you think?
Assuming you could get the same energy from hydrogen-oxygen fusion as you could from hydrogen-hydrogen fusion, you would produce 0.0000000000005 J of energy. To accelerate the hydrogen and oxygen up to the 23% of the speed of light takes 0.000000003 J, over 5,000 times as much energy as you would get from the fusion.

I think my son may have just discovered the secret of cold fusion.

Though at that speed and that heat, it's not really... cold. But it's definitely colder than any other sort of fusion we have in this day and time. Compare it to the temperature of the sun... pretty cold if you ask me.

In any case, what do you guys think? I honestly don't know what to tell him--because I'd have to test it to find out.
To be quite frank, it's a mess from start to finish.

11. Thanks, guys for the input. I'll let him know your tips and information about it--yeah, it's messily put together--he hasn't written the essay on it yet. Right now it's sort of..... a three-foot pile of research. Oh well. Thanks for the input again, if he has any more ideas for it, I'll post 'em up here and see what you guys think.

12. Hi Xiar. Can I offer a polite suggestion?

Since your son hasnâ€™t started on the essay yet, Iâ€™d like to suggest that you advise him to change the subject and write instead on a science topic heâ€™s more familar with. From the questions he posed, it is clear that he doesnâ€™t know much (if at all) about the topic of nuclear fusion. This is most likely a topic he hasnâ€™t learnt in school yet â€“ which may be why heâ€™s under the misunderstanding that fusion is a chemical reaction. He may only have learnt the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen at school â€“ and thinks thatâ€™s what fusion is (which it isnâ€™t). If he chooses a topic heâ€™s learnt before and is more familiar with, I should think heâ€™ll be able to do a much better job with it.

And please ignore the poster below me. He has no understanding of nuclear fusion either.

13. Originally Posted by Xiar
How about this, guys--wanting a bit of input on the subject.

My sixteen-year old son is writing an essay for the DuPont Essay Challenge. He's supposed to write about any science topic at all.... and he picks Cold Fusion. So he presents to me, today, a theory that it could work... and I don't know what to tell him. It sounds like it would work to me..... but I'm wondering what you guys might think.

As he typed it in the e-mail:

For my project on cold fusion that I told you about before, here's my current research:

a) To fuse H2 and O together, the atoms must be heated to approx. 600,000 degrees celsius.

b) You could *also* have them fuse by propelling them towards each other at 26% the speed of light.

c) One O atom and two H atoms fusing to create one molecule of water produces 3200 KJ of energy.

d) There are 4.184 calories in one joule.

e) 3200x1000= 3,200,000 joules x 4.184 = 13,388,800 calories produced with one molecule of water fusing.

f) One calorie = power to heat 1 kg of water 1 degree celsius.

g) 13,388,800 / 21 = 637,561.904761904...

This means that if you were to store water at 21 degrees celsius (70 degrees fahrenheit, about room temperature), you would be able to instantly heat 1kg of it 637,561.9 degrees celsius by the fusion of ONE molecule of water! Which means...

h) 637,561.9 / 79 = 8,070.

In other words, since it's already at 21 degrees celsius, each kg of water must be heated 79 more degrees. Meaning that you could INSTANTLY boil 8,070 kg of water (8,070 liters, meaning 2,135 gallons of water) by the fusion of one single water molecule. If this was done, it would be turned to steam and used to turn a generator's power wheel. Surely out of over twenty-one hundred gallons of water instantly being boiled, you would be able to restore the power it took to get the atoms to that speed, yes?

And surely you wouldn't have to do it one atom at a time. You could probably fuse about a tablespoon of water at one time--how many atoms is that? How much water would that boil? Surely THIS would restore the power and regain some as well. What do you think?

I think my son may have just discovered the secret of cold fusion.

Though at that speed and that heat, it's not really... cold. But it's definitely colder than any other sort of fusion we have in this day and time. Compare it to the temperature of the sun... pretty cold if you ask me.

In any case, what do you guys think? I honestly don't know what to tell him--because I'd have to test it to find out.
They do perform fusion in industry and have for hundreds of years. They use electric usually, to steal a proton or a bunch or a half of element sometimes, and add it to another atom to increase its atomic number. Sometimes they use heat, and believe it or not they even use cold radio active chemical fusion to create larger elements.

Some plating operations are capable of changing elemental structures. Up or down. A really, really good plater makes no hazardous waste and is often accused of illegal dumping. And has no recourse because he has no waste. He is capable of turning elements into other elements.

Most fusion reactions that I know of just use one proton, and transfer it.

Today I believe they use larger less reactive elements like magnesium and calcium to make argon. Originally they say that Argon was formed by radio active potassium.

Sincerely,

William McCormick

14. This is totally off topic however I thought it might make a cool science experiment.

This is old stuff. It is the one where you take a red rose turn it white and then turn it red again.

http://www.Rockwelder.com/Chemicals/Sulfurous.pdf

With explanation.

Sincerely,

William McCormick

15. Originally Posted by JaneBennet
Hi Xiar. Can I offer a polite suggestion?

Since your son hasnâ€™t started on the essay yet, Iâ€™d like to suggest that you advise him to change the subject and write instead on a science topic heâ€™s more familar with. From the questions he posed, it is clear that he doesnâ€™t know much (if at all) about the topic of nuclear fusion. This is most likely a topic he hasnâ€™t learnt in school yet â€“ which may be why heâ€™s under the misunderstanding that fusion a chemical reaction. He may only have learnt the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen at school â€“ and thinks thatâ€™s what fusion is (which it isnâ€™t). If he chooses a topic heâ€™s learnt before and is more familiar with, I should think heâ€™ll be able to do a much better job with it.

Thanks very much. I was thinking of telling him that, haha. I just hope he's not gonna pick another certain topic that I'm almost sure he will.... he happens to have a fascination with black holes of all things.

16. Originally Posted by Xiar
Originally Posted by JaneBennet
Hi Xiar. Can I offer a polite suggestion?

Since your son hasnâ€™t started on the essay yet, Iâ€™d like to suggest that you advise him to change the subject and write instead on a science topic heâ€™s more familar with. From the questions he posed, it is clear that he doesnâ€™t know much (if at all) about the topic of nuclear fusion. This is most likely a topic he hasnâ€™t learnt in school yet â€“ which may be why heâ€™s under the misunderstanding that fusion a chemical reaction. He may only have learnt the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen at school â€“ and thinks thatâ€™s what fusion is (which it isnâ€™t). If he chooses a topic heâ€™s learnt before and is more familiar with, I should think heâ€™ll be able to do a much better job with it.

Thanks very much. I was thinking of telling him that, haha. I just hope he's not gonna pick another certain topic that I'm almost sure he will.... he happens to have a fascination with black holes of all things.

I was taught that black holes were just very large rather somewhat cool, bodies blocking an almost infinite length of partially excited vacuum of space. Creating a beam of light-less-ness. That some excited gases intermittently encroach into the beam of blackness. Causing that wavy effect around the edges.

Sincerely,

William McCormick

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