Jump to content


Photo

Cold Fusion

  • Please log in to reply
97 replies to this topic

#1 Otto Piechowski

Otto Piechowski

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1463
  • Joined: 20 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Lexington, KY

Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:31 AM

I am under the impression that two of the recent attempts to create cold fusion are called the e-cat of Andrea Rossi (ECat) and an attempt by Pons and Fleischman (PF).

For the sake of my questions which follow, let us assume that the ECat and PF were both successful cold fusion experiments. Operating under that assumption I have three questions:

For ECat:

1. Does this method require human intervention or can/does it happen "naturally"?

2. If naturally, at what point in the history of the universe, as we currently believe it to have unfolded, was the physics and chemistry "right" for this method to have occurred?

3a. If the answer is that this method could and did occur prior to the formation of stars, why does it then make sense that fusion production would have evolved toward the form of stars; i.e. huge volumes of fusionable material which made fusion by a process of crushing pressures, since fusion was already accomplished by a simpler/different method?

3b. If the answer is something like later-than-the-formation-of-stars in the universe, to what degree does this method, in order to be effective, depend on heavier elements generated by stellar processes?


For PF:

1. Does this method require human intervention or can/does it happen "naturally"?

2. If naturally, at what point in the history of the universe, as we currently believe it to have unfolded, was the physics and chemistry "right" for this method to have occurred?

3a. If the answer is that this method could and did occur prior to the formation of stars, why does it then make sense that fusion production would have evolved toward the form of stars; i.e. huge volumes of fusionable material which made fusion by a process of crushing pressures, since fusion was already accomplished by a simpler/different method?

3b. If the answer is something like later-than-the-formation-of-stars in the universe, to what degree does this method, in order to be effective, depend on heavier elements generated by stellar processes?


Otto

#2 Joad

Joad

    Wordsmith

  • *****
  • Posts: 18176
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2005

Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:09 PM

If ECat and PF were successful cold fusion experiments, Rossi, Pons, Fleischman, and/or their estates, would be very very rich by now.

But the PF experiment has been internationally declared a dud, and Rossi, more than a year after declaring that his device worked, still refuses to let anyone look at it properly and there has been no evidence of a working device.

So let us assume instead what the current evidence offers, that cold fusion is not a reality. If any other evidence comes in, we can change our assumptions.

#3 Otto Piechowski

Otto Piechowski

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1463
  • Joined: 20 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Lexington, KY

Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

If everyone here is agreed that PF is disproven, we can drop that from consideration.

However, because there are always two ways to disprove an assertion (by proof and by internal self contradiction), I ask that we continue to consider the ECat method.

Assuming ECat is a successful cold-fusion experiment:


1. Does this method require human intervention or can/does it happen "naturally"?

2. If naturally, at what point in the history of the universe, as we currently believe it to have unfolded, was the physics and chemistry "right" for this method to have occurred?

3a. If the answer is that this method could and did occur prior to the formation of stars, why does it then make sense that fusion production would have evolved toward the form of stars; i.e. huge volumes of fusionable material which made fusion by a process of crushing pressures, since fusion was already accomplished by a simpler/different method?

3b. If the answer is something like later-than-the-formation-of-stars in the universe, to what degree does this method, in order to be effective, depend on heavier elements generated by stellar processes?


Otto

#4 Jarad

Jarad

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6387
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2003
  • Loc: Atlanta, GA

Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

Assuming ECat is a successful cold-fusion experiment:


1. Does this method require human intervention or can/does it happen "naturally"?

2. If naturally, at what point in the history of the universe, as we currently believe it to have unfolded, was the physics and chemistry "right" for this method to have occurred?

3a. If the answer is that this method could and did occur prior to the formation of stars, why does it then make sense that fusion production would have evolved toward the form of stars; i.e. huge volumes of fusionable material which made fusion by a process of crushing pressures, since fusion was already accomplished by a simpler/different method?

3b. If the answer is something like later-than-the-formation-of-stars in the universe, to what degree does this method, in order to be effective, depend on heavier elements generated by stellar processes?



Rossi claims the E-cat works by immobilizing hydrogen in nickel at high pressure, then triggering the reaction with either heat or some radio frequency (depending on which reports you read - he keeps the details a trade secret). You can read what little info there is here (wiki) and here (fan page).

So it is not natural, nor could it have happened in the early universe since there would have been no nickel around until after the first generation stars went supernova to generate heavy elements.

As for whether or not it is real, I hope it is because we could really use an affordable and clean source of energy. But, given that he has refused to allow inspection of the device or allowed the conclusive tests to be run to demonstrate that fusion has occurred, I doubt it. The simplest, most straighforward test to run would be to take samples of the nickel core before and after running the system, and measure the isotopes present by mass spectrometry. If heavier nickel isotopes and light copper isotopes appear and increase in the after sample, then nickel-hydrogen fusion occurred. If they don't, then nickel-hydrogen fusion did not occur. This is not a difficult or expensive test to run, and will answer the question without a shadow of a doubt (as long as he allows monitoring with enough transparency to ensure that no "swapping" of samples takes place).

Jarad

#5 Pess

Pess

    (Title)

  • *****
  • Posts: 2872
  • Joined: 12 Sep 2007
  • Loc: Toledo, Ohio

Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

My personal opinion is that E-cat claim1 stretches credulity. No explanation of the mechanism? Secret military purchases without disclosure? Does the thing actually work without being plugged into a wall?

As for the FP effect, Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR's) is actually gaining a bit of ground. No one really has a good clue as to how packing the latice of, say, palladium atoms results in fusion. Something does happen..sometimes...and it doesn't appear to be chemical. But right now the energy 'light off' is unpredictable and not readily reproducible and certainly does not lend itself to any practical applications at this time.

Combine this with the fact that you have a very financially invested 'hot physics' science group and you see the potential problem.

here is also the obvious problem that the reactions seen do not clearly result in the normally expected and understood fusion by products (neutron generation for one).

I guess if LENR reactions ARE nuclear fusion then we don't fully understand the underlying physics.

Pesse (shrugs) Mist

#6 Otto Piechowski

Otto Piechowski

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1463
  • Joined: 20 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Lexington, KY

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:53 PM

Thanks, Jarad.

What other examples do we have in science, of a fundamental aspect of the universe such as stellar fusion, which have been

1. replicated in nature by other methods after the fact

2. replicated by human inventiveness

Otto

#7 Jarad

Jarad

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6387
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2003
  • Loc: Atlanta, GA

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:14 PM

Um, I am not sure what would qualify as a "fundamental aspect of the universe".

But in general, everything that humans have done is replicating something that is possible in nature. Whether or not it is "fundamental" is a bit of a judgement call...

Jarad

#8 llanitedave

llanitedave

    Humble Megalomaniac

  • *****
  • Posts: 22546
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:53 PM

Not to mention that everything we do is already "after the fact".

#9 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14786
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:50 AM

If ECat and PF were successful cold fusion experiments, Rossi, Pons, Fleishman, and/or their estates, would be very very rich by now.


Ha! More likely, they would have disappeared mysteriously, and a series of unexplained black helicopters would have emptied their laboratories.

(Cynical? Moi?)

#10 Otto Piechowski

Otto Piechowski

    Apollo

  • -----
  • Posts: 1463
  • Joined: 20 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Lexington, KY

Posted 22 December 2012 - 10:57 AM

I think your statement about what is or is not fundamental being a judgment call is correct.

#11 llanitedave

llanitedave

    Humble Megalomaniac

  • *****
  • Posts: 22546
  • Joined: 25 Sep 2005
  • Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA

Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:29 AM

If ECat and PF were successful cold fusion experiments, Rossi, Pons, Fleishman, and/or their estates, would be very very rich by now.


Ha! More likely, they would have disappeared mysteriously, and a series of unexplained black helicopters would have emptied their laboratories.

(Cynical? Moi?)


No, there's a huge and immediate market out there for cold fusion. The demand is there right now. Those guys would have made Bill Gates and Steve Jobs look like back-alley shysters if cold fusion had worked. Tim Berners-Lee would have been off-line. Henry Ford would have been thrown under the bus. Alexander Graham Bell would have been put on the "Do not call" list. Thomas Edison would have been powerless. Einstein would have been a relative nobody. Even Newton would have missed the gravity of the situation.

Pons and Fleishman and perhaps Rossi would be selling powerplants to those black helicopters for a very pretty penny.

#12 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14786
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:23 PM

If ECat and PF were successful cold fusion experiments, Rossi, Pons, Fleishman, and/or their estates, would be very very rich by now.


Ha! More likely, they would have disappeared mysteriously, and a series of unexplained black helicopters would have emptied their laboratories.

(Cynical? Moi?)


No, there's a huge and immediate market out there for cold fusion. The demand is there right now. Those guys would have made Bill Gates and Steve Jobs look like back-alley shysters if cold fusion had worked. Tim Berners-Lee would have been off-line. Henry Ford would have been thrown under the bus. Alexander Graham Bell would have been put on the "Do not call" list. Thomas Edison would have been powerless. Einstein would have been a relative nobody. Even Newton would have missed the gravity of the situation.

Pons and Fleishman and perhaps Rossi would be selling powerplants to those black helicopters for a very pretty penny.


Hmmm. Maybe, on some planet where the status quo and the next quarterly profits weren't more important than doing the right thing. But not here, I don't believe.

#13 Jarad

Jarad

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6387
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2003
  • Loc: Atlanta, GA

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

The quarterly profits for cold fusion would make oil look like a losing proposition. The race would be to patent and perfect it, not hide it.

Jarad

#14 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14786
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 22 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

Well, I hope you're right and I'm wrong. Oil is certainly a losing proposition in the long run. If there are some forward-thinking people involved, maybe there's a chance.

#15 Jarad

Jarad

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6387
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2003
  • Loc: Atlanta, GA

Posted 22 December 2012 - 04:19 PM

I am pretty confident that if someone figures out a way to make cold fusion work, it will get used.

I am lot less confident that it is possible at all. Still hope so, but not confident.

Jarad

#16 star drop

star drop

    contra contrail

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 72035
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2008
  • Loc: Snow Plop, WNY

Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:56 PM

Rossi claims the E-cat works by immobilizing hydrogen in nickel at high pressure, then triggering the reaction with either heat or some radio frequency (depending on which reports you read - he keeps the details a trade secret).

Might there be a hidden radio frequency beam supplying energy to the device?

#17 seryddwr

seryddwr

    Innocent Bystander

  • *****
  • Posts: 3389
  • Joined: 19 Feb 2010
  • Loc: La-la land.

Posted 22 December 2012 - 08:03 PM

If it were possible, the real problem would be that the oil companies would buy it and sell products for 10 times what they are worth.

#18 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • -----
  • Posts: 6879
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:02 AM

The person to read about this is Jed Rothwell, a rare thing in internet science writing, that is, a completely sane and grounded person who is utterly reliable.

Don't want to argue about it but IMO what we have here is a new solid-state physics phenomenon involving nickel hydrides. No one would have believed in semi-conductors in 1900. In the year 2100, it will be hard to remember a world without nickel hydride energy production.

-drl

#19 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • -----
  • Posts: 6879
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

Rossi claims the E-cat works by immobilizing hydrogen in nickel at high pressure, then triggering the reaction with either heat or some radio frequency (depending on which reports you read - he keeps the details a trade secret).

Might there be a hidden radio frequency beam supplying energy to the device?


No. Simple arguments remove all possibility of an external source. Read Jed Rothwell.

-drl

#20 Joad

Joad

    Wordsmith

  • *****
  • Posts: 18176
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2005

Posted 23 December 2012 - 12:45 PM

I took your advice, looked up Jed Rothwell, and found his cold fusion web site/archive. His "introduction" to the site begins with these words, and I quote:

"Cold fusion is a nuclear effect discovered by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons in the 1980s. They announced the discovery in March 1989 at the University of Utah."

He does not mention anywhere that after this "discovery" was announced to much fanfare, an international investigation ensued, with the outcome that the "discovery" was rejected. (Let's not hear any conspiracy theories about this, shall we? The rejection was ecumenical.) Rothwell's exclusion of this essential information, while asserting the success (!!??) of the Pons/Fleischmann experiment, does not betoken reliability or objectivity on the subject.

#21 InterStellarGuy

InterStellarGuy

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 561
  • Joined: 25 Jun 2008
  • Loc: Overland Park, KS

Posted 23 December 2012 - 02:49 PM

Rossi claims the E-cat works by immobilizing hydrogen in nickel at high pressure, then triggering the reaction with either heat or some radio frequency (depending on which reports you read - he keeps the details a trade secret).

Might there be a hidden radio frequency beam supplying energy to the device?


No. Simple arguments remove all possibility of an external source. Read Jed Rothwell.

-drl


There is no way to eliminate the external source argument as Rossi will not allow close inspection of the innards of his device, nor will he allow the type of tests needed to definitively state that fusion is occurring.

#22 deSitter

deSitter

    Still in Old School

  • -----
  • Posts: 6879
  • Joined: 09 Dec 2004

Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

I took your advice, looked up Jed Rothwell, and found his cold fusion web site/archive. His "introduction" to the site begins with these words, and I quote:

"Cold fusion is a nuclear effect discovered by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons in the 1980s. They announced the discovery in March 1989 at the University of Utah."

He does not mention anywhere that after this "discovery" was announced to much fanfare, an international investigation ensued, with the outcome that the "discovery" was rejected. (Let's not hear any conspiracy theories about this, shall we? The rejection was ecumenical.) Rothwell's exclusion of this essential information, while asserting the success (!!??) of the Pons/Fleischmann experiment, does not betoken reliability or objectivity on the subject.


No such thing happened, an "international investigation" did not "ensue". The people who had some reason to believe in the reality of the phenomenon in hydrated palladium continued on with their research with almost no support. Since this is bound to become emotional, with me, the physicist, most likely to become so, I will bow out now. You are free to believe whatever you wish, but I actually understand what is happening.

-drl

#23 Joad

Joad

    Wordsmith

  • *****
  • Posts: 18176
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2005

Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:05 PM

Man, are you ever in denial.

See the "Response and Fallout" section.

#24 Rick Woods

Rick Woods

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 14786
  • Joined: 27 Jan 2005
  • Loc: Inner Solar System

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:54 PM

Aww, somebody needs a hug!

#25 Jarad

Jarad

    Fly Me to the Moon

  • *****
  • Posts: 6387
  • Joined: 28 Apr 2003
  • Loc: Atlanta, GA

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

Play nice, guys.

:4

Jarad






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics