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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

THE RETURN OF COLD FUSION?

I'm a dreamer.  My imagination runs rampant.  From dark energy as fuel for future galactic journeys to the Blue Revolution to The Venus Syndrome, my life has been bedeviled and vivified by these flights of fantasy.

Having worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on laser fusion, and faced with attaining a temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius (our Sun only has a surface temperature of 5778 Kelvin--or a mere 15 million C in the core), the prospects of room temperature fusion intrigued me.  For those new to this subject, here is a 3-hour cold fusion lecture from MIT.  Keep in mind, though, that physicists, national laboratories and MIT have tended to assail the very notion of the concept.  Here is a 43-minute You Tube negative clip:  The War on Cold Fusion

More than six years ago I posted on Where Is Cold Fusion Today.  All of this remains valid today.  So go to these other links to understand the differences among laser/donut fusion, the Hydrogen Bomb and cold fusion, for I will from this point today only provide recent information suggesting that, maybe, perhaps, there just might be something worthy of exploration again.  

Before continuing, I should disclose that I was at the forefront of the activity at the time of the 1989 Fleishmann and Pons announcement, for I was able to hire one of the very first researchers in the field into the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute to investigate a table-top experiment at a hundred degrees or so C (still very cold compared to 100 million degrees C).  I now share a corner of the Pacific Ocean Science and Technology building on the Manoa Campus of the University of Hawaii with this individual, so for the past quarter century and more he has been keeping me up to date on the subject.

Here is a 13 minute portion of a 60-Minute TV show two years ago on Cold Fusion is Hot Again, where Michael McKubre of SRI is quoted to say that there is ten times more fusion energy in the limited deuterium in a gallon of sea water than from a gallon of gasoline.  Not only has he been directly involved in the experiment and trial of the subject, but in 1992 was in the room when his fusion equipment exploded, killing a researcher and leaving shards of glass still in his body.  McKubre is the standard bearer for the technology.

Early this year WIRED reported on The Cold Fusion Race Just Heated Up, with recent details of the Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat), secretly promoted by Andrea Rossi.  Not exactly a positive advancement, for Rossi is a philosopher and convicted fraudster / tax evader.  Yet, I include this story because researchers at the Universities of Uppsala and Bologna were given an opportunity to conduct some independent studies of E-Cat, and everything was astoundingly positive.  

Further, distinguished Professor Alexander Parkhomov of Lomonosov Moscow State University published a paper on his replication of E-Cat, claiming an output 2.74 times the input energy.  Parkhomov has lost a number of test reactors from runaway reactions, and in February, it was reported that the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project  also exploded a system.  In April, Jack Cole, an American hobbyist into LENR (low energy nuclear reaction) , too, lost control of his experiment.  

Just last week:

This past Saturday, Nikkei Asian Review wrote on cold fusion in Japan, but here, mostly to clean the messy nuclear waste problem at Fukushima.  On the same day from Sweden, Is Cold Fusion Solution to the Climate Crisis?  What organizations are now involved?


You think, maybe, something is happening with cold fusion?  Hmmm......

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Lockheed Martin's compact fusion