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Cold Fusion

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Eelco Eelco 6 years, 7 months ago.

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    Profile photo of cthulhujunior


    Thought I’d throw this out here. I know cold fusion’s a pie-in-the-sky impossibility, but this looks promissing. Says the old palladium-seawater experiment might have some merit after all. Sadly, I don’t have a masive pile of palladium in my back yard to experiment with. Still, with some refinement, it should be nifty. An experimental power for an experimental cause. Your thoughts?

    Profile photo of horton

    There’s definitely something going on there. Here’s another article on the subject.


    Palladium is about $225 an ounce. Why couldn’t you do some experiments? It seems like getting lattice structures to line up in a certain way is what needs to be done.


    Profile photo of kbxx

    Yeah, its far out stuff, but if anyone does crack cold fusion, seasteading becomes massively easier. The energy generation problem is the biggest technical issue for seasteads. Once that issue is solved, getting fresh water, purifying sewage, and even growing food can become much easier.

    Profile photo of Eelco

    There is definitely nothing going on here. This has all the characteristics of a typical cold-fusion hype.

    “It’s possible, it is possible, that I have been mismeasuring energy for 20 years, but I think it extremely unlikely. A very large number of people have been making these measurements and measurements of current, voltage, temperature, resistance they’re some of the simplest measurements that a physicist or a physical scientist will measure,” McKubre said.

    Hear the words of the snake oil salesman. Define ‘simplest’. Anyone can get a reading. Any real scientist will concede getting a reproducable reading is as good as impossible. Its all about the error bars. They appear to be of the same order of magnitude as the claimed heat ouput. Oops.

    The very notion of a measurable heat output with no measurable radiation output is, by the way, ridiculous. If these guys really believed themselves nuclei were rearranging themselves with a measurable heat output, theyd be doing their experiments behind a few inces of lead.

    If there is anything beyond measuring error here, there might be a host of other explanations. For instance, an hiterto unknown phase-transition induced in paladium with deuterium mixed into it, with an appreciable latent heat. Would explain the unreliability of their experiment. Metal isnt just metal, there are a gazillion different atomic configurations it can be in, depending on the most subtle amount of trace elements, thermal history, and god knows what.

    Profile photo of horton

    Eelco, did you read the article about the US Navy lab? They detected neutrons during the process. How would you explain that? Another group of snake oil salesmen and their sloppy measuring?

    You’re right, it could be an unexplained non-nuclear reaction, but I think at this point passing it of as bad measuring is completely wrong. There’s definitely some unexplained process taking place.

    You’d expect to find He, and there is at least one lab that has claimed that. How much He for that the type of heat they’re measuring, I don’t know. Would anybody here be able to calculate that? Would it be measurable? I think you’re talking about raising the temperature of a small amount of water, say half a liter, from 20 degrees to 50 degrees for a couple of days. How much He would expect from a nuclear reaction like that?

    Profile photo of bencoder

    There are numerous people working on “cold fusion”- There is definitely abnormal “extra” heat being generated, whether it’s cold fusion or not has to be determined, but to deny outright that there is something there is just wrong:


    Profile photo of kbxx

    I agree with bencoder. And Eelco, I would point out that several LENR researchers have measurable neutron outputs (thats the radiation you’re looking for) but it just isn’t enough to be concerned with radiation poisoning. And yeah, Cold Fusion is still a long shot, and seasteaders shouldn’t get their hopes up (at least not too much) but the implications for seasteaders if a breakthrough in cold fusion works out are huge.

    Its at least worth thinking about.

    Profile photo of kbxx

    And it isn’t quite “cold” fusion, but this company has also generated neutrons, and they’ve done well with venture capital firms, so it seems the market is behind them. http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/03/general-fusion-research-update.html

    Profile photo of

    Of course, even if this is proven to be fusion that doesn’t automatically mean that it will be an economical and practical power source. Or does it?

    Anyway, I think I’ll wait until they actually power something useful and clearly observable with it until I break out the champagne.

    Regarding fusion in general, I understand there are a lot of theoretical ways of doing it. I’m sure a number of these are possible, and a number of these are practical and economical. If this is one of them, who knows.

    Aneutronic fusion with direct conversion of the particles into electricity would be pretty useful…

    Profile photo of Eelco

    Their neutron measurements seem very questionable to me. A control experiment would be nice, for instance. For all i know, their measured neutrons are cosmic radition or radon decay.

    Whatever radition is claimed, it is not anywhere close to being in the same ballpark as the claimed heat. What reason is there even to believe that these claimed effects have the same cause, let alone it being cold fusion?

    Regarding fusion in general, I understand there are a lot of theoretical ways of doing it.

    There is no place whatsoever for cold fusion in our theoretical understanding of the electroweak force. If there do exists experiments showing cold fusion, that pass the minimum bar of rigour of experimental science (havnt seen them yet), it seems we would have to kiss the standard model goodbye.

    Im not saying this isnt worth looking into: there might be something interesting going on here: any unexpected measurement is interesting in itself. Cold fusion? I can think of a gazillion explanations that are more likely, including a cold day in hell, but who knows.

    I know someone who used to take classes from the guy behind the first cold fusion hoax. If we are to believe him, the guy was a complete crackpot. Just because you managed to obtain a phd doesnt mean you are actually sane.

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