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239) What is cold fusion?

Ludwik Kowalski (12/7/05)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043



1) Two physicists commented on unit #237; they asked for anonymity. Yes, I will respect such request, except in situations in which statements are “already very nearly public.” One physicist made an interesting observation about a simple way of convincing others that a very large excess heat, in the iESiUSA device, is real. That device consists of circulating fluid (water, or oil). What can be more simple than to compare the temperature of a unit volume before the cell and after the cell? That would show how much heat is generated.

James Joule would insist on this kind of test. I am thinking about his experiments at Niagara Falls (comparing the temperature of water after the fall with the temperature before the fall). In the case of the iESiUSA device, the task should be much easier, because changes in temperature are said to be much larger than a fraction of a degree. Those who were invited to witness the device demonstration -- “Hagelstein, Fleischmann, McKurbe, etc.” -- should have asked for a calorimetric test. If I had a large excess heat device to promote I would certainly make such test an essential part of a demonstration. The costs would be negligible in comparison with other investments. And I would not be secretive about the demonstration; I would not ask invited guests to sign an NDA (a legal non disclosure agreement).

2) The 11th issue of New Energy Times,

http://www.newenergytimes.com/news/NET11.htm

published yesterday, has a link to the result of a recent survey conducted by Peter Gluck and Steven Krivit:

http://newenergytimes.com/Reports/2005GluckKrivitSurvey.htm

It is an interested compilation of answers to the following four questions: (a) What Is cold fusion? (b) How Does It work? (c) What chances does it dave to be scaled up to a technology? and (d) What must we do in order to attain this? Here are some answers to the first question.

I wrote that cold fusion (CF) “is protoscience claiming that nuclear activities result from some chemical processes, such as those taking place in electrolysis, or when hydrogen ions diffuse through some solids.” Gimpel wrote: “Electrolysis and other chemical processes can supply enormous pressure that compresses and crowds atoms. It can also supply very energetic particles (electrons, protons, and deuterons from heavy water) near the surface of the cathode of electrolysis for example. Some of these particles find there way toward the nucleus of neighboring atoms. If penetration is deep enough, there is remote possibility (but a reality how ever small) that the particle may find itself on the other side of the coulombic barrier.”


And Li said that CF “is a kind of a nuclear reaction inside the condensed matter at low energy. It is a nuclear reaction without strong neutron or gamma radiation.” Biberian, just next to me on the list, puts emphasis on the excess heat. “During loading of metals like palladium with hydrogen and-or deuterium, under some unclear conditions, more heat is produced than energy introduced in the system. This occurs in such a way that chemistry or other traditional reactions can be excluded. The only alternative being nuclear reaction.”
According to Spaandonk CF is “any process generating heat beyond normal chemistry, &/or resulting in transmutation of elements, that happens at near room temperature.” Haffner, on the other hand, mentions that heat may or may not be generated in “a loaded lattice environment.”

These answers compliment each other. I am saying that CF is protoscience (because phenomena are not reproducible), Li puts emphasis on the unusual nature of reaction products while Biberian reminds us about unexplainable amounts of excess heat. Dufour writes that in cold fusion “the enthalpy is in the order of keV per atom, intermediate between chemical reactions (eV) and nuclear ones (MeV). This reaction has none of the characteristics of a nuclear reaction.” De Nino writes: “ In condensed matter the coulomb barrier is modeled and weakened by the dynamic of the plasmas of palladium d- electrons and deuterons. Such a mechanism envisages the existence of a threshold in the deuteron concentration in order to sufficiently modify the potential barriers.

The fusion between two deuterium nuclei creates an excited (hot) helium nucleus (2+2=4). In vacuum, this nucleus will break in pieces (3He+n or T+p) that will carry away the excess energy, or, with a very lower probability, it can emit a very energetic photon (gamma ray of 24 MeV). In condensed matter, however, the electromagnetic fields acting in the medium can drown away the energy of the excited nucleus and convert it into thermal radiation. It is worthwhile to note that here we are talking about classic electromagnetic fields, not about quantum fields, that is, many low energy photons instead of one high energy photon, such as a gamma ray.” Storms defines cold fusion as “the initiation of various nuclear reactions within special solid structures without the need to apply an amount of energy normally required to overcome the Coulomb barrier.” Lietz thinks that biologically assisted nuclear reactions, reported by some researchers, are part of cold fusion.

T. Chub writes that cold fusion “combines mainly nuclear physics, condensed matter physics, and surface science, but also includes inputs from physical chemistry and thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, atom Bose condensate studies in optical lattices, etc.” Likewise, Beaty thinks that “there may be more than one fundamental energy-producing phenomenon involved.” Kozima, for example, thinks that cold fusion reactions are due to neutrons. Miles puts emphasis on “coherent field effects provided by the solid state” while Gluck thinks that the field “is immensely complex and difficult to comprehend. . . .[It is] nanoscience at its best and worst.” And Krivit starts answering the question by saying that “Cold fusion is clean nuclear energy.”

This website contains other cold fusion items.

This website contains other cold fusion items.
Click to see the list of links