Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

This forum is for other possible methods for fusion such as Sonolumenescense, Cold Fusion, CANR/LENR or accelerator fusion. It should contain all theory, discussions and even construction and URLs related to "other than fusor, fusion".
TeenExperimenter
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Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by TeenExperimenter » Thu May 27, 2010 12:22 am

Hello everyone,

Cold Fusion has created much hype over it's credibility - little or no neutrons - anomalous excess heat. Though many of us are stuck to Hot Fusion because it's scientifically proven to work, Cold Fusion has been a large curiosity of mine because of it's "mysteriousness".

Personally, I think there is something to it. I could surely be wrong but I may also be right.

What are your opinions on this controversial topic?


Michael Konieczny

"Making a difference one neuton at a time"

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Carl Willis
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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by Carl Willis » Thu May 27, 2010 2:34 am

My opinion of the topic, at least as it is represented in public internet forums, is that it's a crackpot magnet, historically attracting nothing in the way of legitimate hobby research. (You could power a small city with the hot air rushing about in the low-information online discussions, however.)

Arguably there is some credible peer-reviewed professional research on the effects that are associated with the "cold fusion" moniker. But my personal judgment of the quality of this material (what has been linked on this board, what has been emailed to me, what I see at conferences on occasion) is disappointment in the methodology and the ubiquitous pitfall of wishful thinking in the conclusions. None of this is to say that good work isn't being done / hasn't been done / can't be done.

-Carl
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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Thu May 27, 2010 11:19 am

Michael,

Believing, belongs in another forum, as Carl says, there is plenty of material out there on CF, and from what I too have read, non of them can prove that any fusion is going on. Excess heat alone is not evidence of fusion, especially when it can only be sustained for a short period.

On the other hand, nobody can dispute that we have 15 year old scientists in this group that are doing IEC fusion.

I also agree with carl, that the book on CF is probably not closed yet, and that there might still be a way to force that CF devil to it's knees

Steven
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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by hjerald1 » Thu May 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Michael,
Here is a link to a "CF" site. Lots of info here but keep in mind this is the "premier" proponent site, so use your scientific skepticism when digesting this information:
http://www.lenr-canr.org/

My view as a chemist is that there are some well done and compelling experiments dispersed among some less believable reports, which suggest unusual phenomena occurring under certain conditions. Is it fusion or something else? The jury is still out IMHO .

Jerry

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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by tligon » Thu May 27, 2010 5:27 pm

LENR is a field with a difficult legacy to overcome. I personally think there is something real going on, and that something real is nuclear. If the theory I am familiar with is correct, LENR is an interesting little corner to physics that will never produce significant power, but may produce some useful science if it is allowed to practice as real science (i.e. competent researchers must have access to proper facilities and undergo rigorous peer review by competent peers without being automatically marked as kooks).

The only way CF could occur would entail dropping down to the bottom end of the cross-section calculations. If you track down the source of the universally-used cross section calculations used today, in the NRL Plasma Formulary and elsewhere, you'll find references to George Miley et. al. Miley risked his career by being willing to take an honest look at CF, and dabble in it himself.

The bottom end of the cross sections is virtually all Gamow Barrier Penetration, a quantum mechanical shortcut across Coulomb repulsion akin to electron tunneling. It is real enough, just a fairly small cross section. Dr. Bussard ran the numbers on this and determined that DD fusion would, indeed, take the aneutronic branch of this reaction most of the time. He also identified a family of virtual fusion reactions involving transition metal nuclei. If his analysis is correct, CF is totally based on conventional nuclear physics and should not be considered a radical idea.

The initial knee-jerk assumption was to assume high-energy DD fusion must be the route (a patently silly idea) and then assume fast neutrons must be produced and the absence thereof denies that anything nuclear is occurring. That misconception misdirected people early on so that the field's reputation was tarnished and the real physics was not looked into.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:09 pm

Most who have been here for any period know my feelings which fall in line with Jerry and Tom's. A gut feeling more than science. The smell of something in the form of new science as opposed to blind belief or even strong hope. I'll certainly not be part of it, though I often talk of dabbling in it. (I fear that is about all it would be)

Carl's interesting point is that amateurs have not addressed this issue in any serious manner, though many nutballs not even rising to the level of amateur scientist, much less hands-on types, continue to construct any number of wild fantasies around cold fusion and splatter it all over the net.

What dismays me most is that all the worthless splatter hurts what real efforts are being attempted. It's like covering french toast with vomit. All that is seen is the vomit.

The big boys are off where the big money and jobs are......Odd how they have families to support and all. The rest of the big boys dare not fall in with the unproven, quixotic questing.

This will either turn out to be the longest "polywater" quest in history or the most ignored opening to new science, ever.

We will see.

I hope I survive long enough to find out. I know I will never see fusion power on the grid and certainly never see long running break-even fusion in a test bed system. Who knows the 60+ year quest for hot fusion, as currently embodied, may one day be seen as the longest and most expensive polywater quest in science, rivaling the alchemist's quest to turn based metal to gold.

Richard Hull
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Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by tligon » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:31 pm

People keep focussing on energy production, but if CF turns out to be real the big benefit to science might actually be understanding isotope abundance in nature, plus a few other interesting tidbits regarding heat production in large bodies in astronomy.

Earth is believed to have been heated by isotope decay, primarily K40. If CF reactions were to play a significant part in heating the interior of planets it might alter some theories of planet formation. It might also adjust the line between brown dwarf (capable of fusing deuterium) and gas giant.

So it may not run powerplants, but it might answer some questions.

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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by Hector » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:53 am

The problem with "Cold Fusion", is that it's too cold. While there is evidence to support that some novel new energy process is occurring in the phenomenon, there is simply no clear path to achieve meaningful power output from such processes.

It certainly does not behave like what we would define as Fusion, but instead may require a new definition all together for what it does and how it does it.

It's and interesting phenomenon and I think it deserves to be studied and understood, but for right now it does not appear like a viable path for achieve the dream of Fusion power.

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Chris Bradley
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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by Chris Bradley » Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:35 pm

Hector wrote:
> The problem with "Cold Fusion", is that it's too cold. While there is evidence to support that some novel new energy process is occurring in the phenomenon, there is simply no clear path to achieve meaningful power output from such processes.

This appears to be entirely correct.

It is bizarre and anti-science to have jumped to the conclusion of 'nuclear fusion', even if heat and helium have been detected. If such things have emerged, it is far far more likely to be 'cold fission' [which is know to happen at room temp, after all!].

There is a Coulomb barrier. You can overcome it by locally [viz on nuclear distances] reducing the space charge around the nucleus, as muon fusion works, or tunnel under the barrier by well-known physics that implies keV energies. There is currently no proposed mechanisms to otherwise overcome this barrier, even if all these fanciful ideas of some weak-interaction process hold true the nucleii still have to get close and personal.

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Re: Opinions on "Cold Fusion"?

Post by DaveC » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:23 am

Also, as previously discussed long ago, here... what has helped keep interest alive, is not really the "beliefs" of this or that person, but the tantalizing, occasional glimpses of something high energy happening - evidence of ionizing radiation

I have seen shadowgraphs of internal electrodes made from outside metal enclosed cells wrapped in photographic film.... reminded me of the earliest work on natural radioactivity. the researcher claimed no idea exactly what was going on, process-wise, but these photos spoke of something apparently non-thermal.

"Excess heat" has always seemed fairly nebulous to me, but evidence of ionizing radiation is hard to explain away. The answer is probably old physics in a surprising way, but that's just a belief of mine. This will become "science", once the experiment is reproducible in many labs, at any time, and... when the explanation is provided with supporting documentation.

Dave Cooper

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