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First Cold Fusion Demonstration since "1989"

by fredouil Mon May 26th, 2008 at 05:48:37 AM EST

I find it news worthy :

http://physicsworld.com/blog/2008/05/coldfusion_demonstration_a_suc_1.html

I hope that our honorable eurotrib physicists could add some details (hoax?).
some more here http://newenergytimes.com/news/2008/29img/Arata-Demo.htm
and in Jap :
http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jhts/33/3/33_142/_article


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FWIW, the Physics World piece links to these two background papers [PDF]:


When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done. — John M. Keynes
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 26th, 2008 at 06:51:33 AM EST
I see at least one Galileo Gambit and no report of gamma rays, hard x-rays, high-energy electrons or neutrons.

If I had to bet money, I would bet on a PR stunt.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon May 26th, 2008 at 08:10:52 AM EST
The man seems legitimate.  The cited research articles describes evidence that deuterium is adsorbed into the catalyst and that energy in excess of the input is generated when the apparatus is appropriately energized, that excess energy production declines when the apparatus is de=energized, and that the excess energy is only produced when all of the requisite elements are present in the required configuration.  The New Energy Times, which is devoted to "cold fusion" research, is the only one to report generation of He4 and they don't describe the verification protocols.  Were that gap closed in a peer reviewed paper I would hope another lab would try to replicate and publish.  

So they may look a little foolish if their results are negative.  Others could look more foolish should the results be confirmed.  Is there any known reason why a fusion process could not be catalyzed?  At this time the Arata apparatus appears to be capable of being a very expensive coffee warmer, but it would be "proof of principal."

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 27th, 2008 at 03:47:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they have fusion, then they have high-energy particles. High-energy neutrons, gamma rays, hard x-rays, high-energy electrons, that kind of stuff. The most obvious would be to look for those, because many of them don't come from a lot of other terrestrial sources (gamma rays excepted, but if you energy-resolve those, it should be possible to remove the background unless you're fatally unlucky and the radiation is in the same energy interval as the potassium background).

That they have helium is good. That they have excess heat... well, I'm less impressed by that. Heat just proves that Something Happens, not necessarily that it is fusion.

To "catalyse" fusion... Well, Conventional Wisdom says that chemical processes are several orders of magnitude too small in terms of the energy involved to perceptibly change the interaction potential between nuclei. I'd have to read their actual technical description in some detail to know whether they have a convincing case against the Conventional Wisdom. And I have neither the time nor the inclination (nor, I think, the competence) to do that, so I will leave it to the professionals.

I wish them luck, by all means, but I won't be betting money on it...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 29th, 2008 at 03:38:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]

And I have neither the time nor the inclination (nor, I think, the competence) to do that, so I will leave it to the professionals.

Ditto here.  I don't even know how to start calculating the energy yeild for D + D --> He4, but it is at least to my 45+ year old undergrad physics brain, conceivable that , were it to occur in a lattice, that said energy could be released as heat via vibratory excitement of the lattice.  That is what they seem to be describing.  In their medium even large numbers of photons would be absorbed and likely release heat.

Since reading Thomas Kuhn in 1964 I have considered that my suspicions were confirmed regarding the power of preconception and the "not invented here" syndrome.   This makes me concerned in this case.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 30th, 2008 at 01:47:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most substances are fairly transparent to gamma rays and high-energy neutrons.

A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation gives a total energy release for 2D->He on the order of 25 MeV. Even if it happens in two or three steps, we are still talking fairly hard gamma rays. Some will be absorbed, of course, but absorbing a 25 MeV photon just gives you a 25 MeV electron instead (the electron mass times c^2 is about half a MeV, so the electrons in question are going to be the next best thing to super-relativistic).

I seriously doubt that a perceptible fraction is released as vibrations in the lattice - at least initially: Ionisation energies are on the order of tens of eV, binding energies typically an order of magnitude less and excitation energies are maybe half that. If even one percent of the released energy is absorbed directly by the six nearest atomic bonds, there is a better than even chance that you no longer have a lattice.

Modelling what happens when you kick stuff that hard can get kinda messy, and nuclear physics was never really my thing, but I would definitely say that if they have fusion, then they will have more convincing indicators than heat.

Then again, I never much cared for the Kuhnian notion of paradigms either, although that may have more to do with overzealous disciples than the original, since I haven't found time to read it yet.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jun 1st, 2008 at 11:23:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Cold fusion is for romantics :-)

The Arata group do not look like anxious fools, but well aware of status risks, and working on the particular reaction for a few years.  

Is Osaka University gonna rock the world with robotics and fusion energy?! It is within an hour from my uni...

by das monde on Tue May 27th, 2008 at 06:22:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My view is that we are all fools.  Part of the human condition.  Therefore there is nothing so foolish as being afraid of appearing foolish.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 27th, 2008 at 12:32:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While I have ever striven for balance in my life it is likely because I am, in truth, a hopeless romantic.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed May 28th, 2008 at 12:28:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It'll be nice if it's true but I ain't holding my breath for the results to be replicated.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 27th, 2008 at 07:10:01 AM EST


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