60 Minutes segment last weekend "Cold Fusion"

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Robert Brummitt, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    I was watching this segment on Cold Fusion and the scientist who is working on this mentions the main component is Palladium. They use the purest Palladium somewhere in Europe to create the reaction. I then went to the website and they use both,Platinum/Palladium for the process.
    OH-oh! Can this mean prices for the metals will go up some more? I wonder if I could use my prints to make a cold fusion reaction?
    :wink::wink::wink:
    http://superwavefusion.com/the-process
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    This broadcast was quite a big bore. For all their talk, they had no documentation, no repeatability, no theoretical basis, ...

    Aside from the fact that what they claim violates the laws of thermodynamics! [Perhaps they can get Congress to rewrite the laws of thermodynamics in the spare time they have available for solving the Worldwide Bush Depression.]

    Steve
     
  3. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    Steve, actually since it is not a chemical reaction cold fusion doesn't violate the laws of thermodynamics. It would fall with other nuclear energy processes and follow the E=MC^2 relationship. Fusing two deuterium results in a helium with less mass than the deuterium. The lost mass is converted to heat energy.

    This is not to say I think they have it working, though I will withhold judgement as it is potentially possible.
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Cold fusion per Pons and Fleischman is going nowhere. It is a standard joke at any physics conference that I attend; why the chemists decided to give it more press this year is beyond me. I wish them lots of luck with that.

    The real cold fusion is muon catalyzed and is quite well known in the physics community.
     
  5. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Will I be able to hook wires to my box of reject platinum/palladium prints and provide power for my house? It would be nice to get some return for the $ tied up in those prints!

    Vaughn
     
  6. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    It was a farce the first time and its a farce this time. Just another scam to get research money and tenure.
     
  7. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I don't know. I don't think it was an intentional scam the first time, just sloppy research. The current guys I am not sure I trust though.
     
  8. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    Thank you Steve. Those were my thoughts exactly... down to the last detail (Including the stuff inside the square brackets :smile: ).
     
  9. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Can I get an amen, brother?

    That and a Prius would just about do it for me...
     
  10. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Title made me think it was a show about an old ex-girlfriend.
     
  11. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Is this really the right place for this topic? I thought it'd be about alternative processes, not silly chemistry/physics... Lounge might be more appropriate...
     
  12. Pete H

    Pete H Member

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    I don't know, it sounds highly alternative.
    Coat your paper negative with palladium, use their Superwave (TM) bulbs in your studio lights, and develop the paper in heavy water. Lo and behold, the energy release from the cold fusion burns holes in your paper to form the image! :D

    Trouble is, we're already all pedophiles and terrorists. You can just imagine the fuss from the nuclear weapons inspectorate if we starting buying or purifying heavy water too!
     
  13. oldgeek64

    oldgeek64 Member

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    They missed alot

    The broadcast did miss alot . I wanted to hear more about the company they mentioned called Energetics Technologies.
    I checked them out on the web and it turns our it is an American company
    and their work has been replicated by the other 2 labs show in the story.
    Here is is a link to their website.
    www.energeticstechnologies.com
     
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  15. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I guess this means that someone will buy up all the palladium, and artificially inflate the market ala the Hunt brothers did to silver in the 80's, therefore making us dig even deeper into our already empty pockets to practice our art(passion). Maybe we should form a consortium and buy up all the palladium. then as members we would have the only access to it. Ultimately, anyone else wanting it, would have to pay our outragiously inflated price, thus allowing us(the members) to have extra working capital to spend on our PASSION--buying silver at an unbelievably high price.
    Well enough ranting for today -- Every body keep shooting -- the silver market depends on us to stay alive.
    Rick
     
  16. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    There isn't much work being done on "cold fusion" these days, and it will probably not have any effect on the price of the metal. The original claims were pretty well discredited several years ago, but there are still some important questions (probably in the area of the physical chemistry of hydrogen adsorption by palladium) that need to be answered.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    What he said.

    Steve
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    And what he said.

    Steve
     
  19. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I'm not saying that there might not be some actual physics going on in cold fusion, I don't know. But it's certainly no way to a practical or theoretically possible source of energy. In order for two atoms to fuse, you need to overcome the Coulomb potential of the two nuclei. Guess what, that takes energy. To give enough atoms enough energy to fuse, you're going to have to put in a lot of energy. They might not be thermalized, so not technically hot, but they are going to have a lot of energy. So I think the whole idea of a bunch of room temperature deuterium is just magically going to all fuse without a big source of input energy is silly.
     
  20. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    If you can get two deuterium atoms close enough to fuse, they will give off a lot more energy than it takes to bring them together. But getting them close is not that easy. One of the original conjectures about "cold fusion" was that the palladium environment might allow a very few atoms to come close enough that they could interact by some quantum tunneling mechanism. It might, but probably couldn't, happen. Then there was the problem of neutron release. The "cold fusion" reaction does not release neutrons, but the known D-D reactions do, and neutron release is required by the known physics. Pons an Fleishman postulated that another reaction path was used that did not require neutron release. After all, the basic equations balanced, and such alternative paths are common in chemistry. That explanation was not really satisfactory. But the anomalous energy release in the "cold fusion" process does exist, and it has not been fully explained. The most satisfying conjectures involve lattice relaxation in the palladium ingot under the influence of deuterium adsorption, but the theoretical and experimental work to fully explain what is happening has not been done very fully. This work could be quite valuable in physical chemistry even if "cold fusion" as an energy source doesn't work.
     
  21. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I know all about 'hot' fusion. I am aware that you get more energy out then you put in in fusion processes. That's the whole point. My point is that in order to cross that threshold for fusion to happen, your atoms need a lot of energy. Less then you will get out from fusion, but still a lot. My bone to pick is that many people hear cold fusion and think room temperature with no energy input. There will be energy input for fusion to happen. Maybe it comes from big lasers, maybe lattice relaxation, maybe Ohmic heating, but it's coming from somewhere. The cross section for DD fusion is not even on the graphs until 10 keV. Thats 100,000 K. To put things in perspective, the plasma in a fluorescent light is probably somewhere around 11,000 K and it's nowhere near fusing. I'd call that hot, even though it's not really hot for a plasma.

    I agree that there might be an interesting physical process going on in cold fusion. And it might be actually be fusion. But not as an energy source - as you said, 'a very few' atoms. If you want enough atoms participating to make an energy source, you are going to have to give a large population of them a lot of energy.

    If you are fusing DD, you will have either have neutron production (He + n), or tritium production (T + p) - DD fusion doesn't always produce neutrons.
     
  22. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    Tim: We very much agree. Unfortunately, with the personalities and almost religious fervor involved, I don't think we will find out anything useful about the process for a very long time. I just wish people would study the phenomenon without such fervent preconceived ideas. Maybe then we would determine what is going on, whether it is fusion, structural, or something else.
     
  23. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    I knew Pons and Fleischman back in the mid 1980s, just a few years before the cold fusion thing.
     
  24. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Tim,

    Please do the calculation again. 100,000 K corresponds to 8.6 electron volts, not 10 Kev.

    Actually, it takes surprisingly little energy to get deuterons close enough for fusion to begin to be a significant process.

    Some years ago I looked at the figures. I don't recall what they were, except that they were in the low eV range, not the KeV range. The 8.6 eV figure is probably not too far off, probably within an order of magnitude.

    Alan
     
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  25. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    My mind is open on the original issue of fusion in metal lattices, Pd in particular. I see no fundamental reason why it couldn't work, the only real problem is the endless hype over possible applications. For example, I don't ever see it becoming a way of generating significant power, because you still have the fundamental problem of turning low level heat into mechanical work.

    That low-level energy inputs can be concentrated to produce localised keV energies is now well-established. Two of my favourite recent Nature papers involve making neutrons by gently heating a pyroelectric crystal, and X-rays from sellotape:

    "Observation of nuclear fusion driven by a pyroelectric crystal"
    B. Naranjo, J.K. Gimzewski and S. Putterman
    Nature 434, 1115-1117 (2005)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v434/n7037/full/nature03575.html


    "Correlation between nanosecond X-ray flashes and stick-slip friction in peeling tape"
    C.G. Camara, J.V. Escobar, J.R. Hird and S. Putterman
    Nature 455 1089-1092 (2008)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v455/n7216/full/nature07378.html
     
  26. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Haha. Sorry. Left off the k in the keV. 100,000,000 K. That should be better. And its just order of magnitude - 11,000 K/eV, even though the real conversion is 11,604 K/eV. But what's a couple hundred degrees amongst friends.

    Fusion does not occur at 8.6 eV. Trust me on that one. Hydrogen ionizes at 13.6 eV. It's not going to start fusing at a lower energy.

    I've attached a graph of fusion cross sections for DD, DT, and DHe3. Sorry its a pdf. DT is the reaction of choice because it peaks at such a lower temperature. Fusion projects shoot for 20-40 keV.

    I'm sure there's something interesting going on in cold fusion experiments. Like I said, maybe even fusion. But as an energy source, you'd have to dump a lot of energy in to get a lot of energy out. Fusion doesn't spontaneously happen on a large scale, unlike fission.
     

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