What type of research n and/or experiments are going
on dealing with cold fusion? What is happening with cold fusion
around the world?
Is any of it doable in a high school?
We are trying to do a fusion experiment. Is that possible?
It seems that "cold fusion" was a hoax. Whether cold fusion is
possible is another matter. The consensus of people who have examined
the question have concluded that it is not possible.
Can you do a fusion experiment? Possibly, if you are both rich and
clever, but you and your neighbors would probably not survive the
experiment. Remember that the sun runs on fusion, and that the very
outside of the sun (far from where the fusion is happening) is at a
temperature of 5000 degrees.
The world might wake up to some surprises after the 4th International
Conference on Cold Fusion early in December on Maui. The Japanese
are investing big bucks in research, having built Pons and Fleischman
a new 50,000 sq.ft lab in the south of France. Research is continuing
at companies like SRI International, EPRI, Lockheed, and at least one
national lab: Los Alamos.
Yeah, and the big question is why are they wasting so much money
on it? Obviously because the potential payoff is huge - if
all you need to get fusion energy is heavy water and some
palladium (plus electricity and a bunch of trace ions in the
water) then you the worlds energy problems are solved, at least
for the next 500 years or so... As far as I know there is no widely accepted
theory that suggests any way in which cold fusion could potentially
be possible, and NONE of the experiments has produced more energy
than it took in over time. They certainly claim to for limited
periods be producing a net energy output, but the system is highly
complex - you have Hydrogen and Oxygen dissociation in particular
going on, which involves things in the gas phase, and few of the
experiments properly control these gases - when they recombine
of course they will produce energy (that is partly why experiments
on these systems can be dangerous - H2 and O2 can explode when
combined). But that energy was originally taken in from the
electrical current through the electrodes. Fleischmann and Pons
have been great showmen, and seem to have won fame, money, and some
small following from all this, but there really does not seem to
be anything to it.
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012