Paths To Knowledge (dot Science)

What is actually real in Objective Reality? How do you know? Now, prove it's real!

Cold Fusion Rises From the Ashes?

Posted by pwl on March 26, 2009

“On 22-25 March 2009, the American Chemical Society held a four-day symposium on “New Energy Technology”, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the announcement of cold fusion. At the conference, researchers with the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) reported detection of neutrons in a cold fusion cell using a CR-39 detector,[59] a result published months earlier in the peer-reviewed life sciences journal Die Naturwissenschaften. The findings were described by the researchers as “very significant”, although it was criticized by Paul Padley, one of the reviewers of Mosier-Boss’ work, because it doesn’t explain how could fusion could happen in the described conditions. Steven Krivit, editor of the cold fusion magazine New Energy Times, pointed out that the results could be caused by some other unknown nuclear process.” – Cold Fusion, Wikipedia

Here is a google news search for “cold fusion” since the news is likely to change on the validity of this topic.

To try to persuade their fellow researchers of the reality of cold fusion, Pamela Boss and her colleagues decided to search for evidence of the presence of high-energy neutrons, which should be produced when two nuclei fuse. Dr Boss works for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Centre in San Diego, California, an organisation that develops communication systems for the American navy. The experiment that she thinks results in cold fusion uses an electrochemical technique in which two electrodes are plunged into an electrolyte made from a recipe that includes heavy water.

Heavy water gets its name because it contains deuterium, a form of hydrogen that has a neutron in its nucleus as well as the usual proton and thus weighs twice as much as the ordinary sort. Deuterium is easier to fuse than simple hydrogen, and so is favoured in these sorts of experiments. Dr Boss and her colleagues reported that one of the electrodes in their experiment got hot, an effect they attribute to fusion.

Most researchers in the field, though, do not accept that heat is sufficient evidence of fusion (if only because it was the basis of the Pons/Fleischmann claim). So to strengthen her case, Dr Boss placed a special plastic called CR-39 next to the hot electrode. If fusion was taking place, then neutrons flying through the plastic would cause protons within the material to recoil, leaving telltale tracks.

Studying CR-39 under a microscope and counting the number of tracks is a standard way to assess how many neutrons bowled past. Dr Boss and her colleagues reckon they have seen enough tracks to provide evidence for the emergence of high-energy neutrons from their experiment. They published the results earlier this year in Naturwissenschaften. Dr Boss told the meeting, “taking all the data together, we have compelling evidence that nuclear reactions are stimulated by electrochemical processes.”

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