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Power Science

Successful Cold Fusion Experiment? 387

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the so-cold-it's-hot dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The italian economic journal 'Il sole 24 ore' published an article about a successful cold fusion experiment performed by Yoshiaki Arata in Japan. They seems to have pumped high pressure deutherium gas in a nanometric matrix of palladium and zyrcon oxide. The experiments generates a considerable amount of energy and they found the presence of Helium-4 in the matrix (as sign of the fusion). I was not able to find other articles about this but the journal is very authoritative in Italy. Google translations are also available."
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Successful Cold Fusion Experiment?

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  • Two more reports... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @05:40AM (#23526204)
    I found this article on the demonstration:

    http://physicsworld.com/blog/2008/05/coldfusion_demonstration_a_suc_1.html

    A little more here:

    http://newenergytimes.com/news/2008/29img/Arata-Demo.htm

    Not a first hand account, but still.

    Wouldn't that be nice? After years of delays for a new experimental fusion reactor (ITER) because they could not agree on where it should be built, a Japanese professor finds a way to get cold fusion to get work and the reactor is obsolete before built! Science can move ahead in strange and unpredictable ways as well...
  • Re:Elium-4? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @05:52AM (#23526254)
    italian words for Hydrogen and Helium are Idrogeno and Elio. These translitteration comes from latin, where they didn't have an H phonema. The symbols H and He start with H because the name of the atoms are derived from greek where they did have H starting words.

    It might come to a surprise to you, but not all words come from english; eventually it's the other way round.
  • Re:Neutrons anyone? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:00AM (#23526284)
    That would be if Fission was to be probed ...
  • Re:Neutrons anyone? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:03AM (#23526296)
    It's cold fusion, from H (1P+1N) to He4 (2P+2N).
    Thus no Neutrons. Much safer.
  • How about neutrons? (Score:5, Informative)

    by coobird (960609) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:04AM (#23526308) Homepage

    The article seemed to be sparse on the details of what was actually going on, but if indeed the only evidence that they had a fusion reaction happening is the presence of helium-4, then they may have just detected naturally occurring helium [wikipedia.org] that is present in the atmosphere (0.000524%).

    A better test to see whether fusion reactions are taking place is to try to detect the a stream of neutrons which are being produced. The neutrons flux and the energy should be able to be used to differentiate the fusion neutrons from the background neutron sources, such as those caused by spontaneous fission [wikipedia.org] events of heavy elements like uranium. Also, nuclear fusion reactions tend to produce high-energy, or fast neutrons [wikipedia.org] (upwards of 14 MeV with deuterium-deuterium fusion) which isn't too common unless you have some type of nuclear reaction taking place. (Here's a list of important nuclear fusion reactions important fusion reactions [wikipedia.org] for those who are curious.)

    Detecting helium on the other hand, seems not so out of the ordinary since there is helium in the atmosphere.

  • More info (Score:4, Informative)

    by darkat (697582) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:05AM (#23526314)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:07AM (#23526328)
    Link to observations by Yoshiaki Arata and Yue-Chang Zhang:

    http://www.journalarchive.jst.go.jp/jnlpdf.php?cdjournal=pjab1977&cdvol=74&noissue=7&startpage=155&lang=en&from=jnlabstract
  • Re:Elium-4? (Score:5, Informative)

    by maxwell demon (590494) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:08AM (#23526330) Journal
    Well, actually the Greek doesn't have an H letter (AFAIK there was an H sound, but it didn't have its own character, but an appropriately accented vowel indicated that is was to be spoken with an H before it; I think those accents don't exist any more in modern Greek). OTOH, Latin definitively does have an H letter, although the Romans probably didn't speak it.
  • some more info (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:17AM (#23526370)
    http://physicsworld.com/blog/
  • by BigBadBus (653823) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:31AM (#23526434) Homepage
    Where do these neutrons come from? In this reaction its

    2H + 2H ----> 4He

    - no neutrons "lost" at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:46AM (#23526496)

    The simple answer is that 2H + 2H --> 4He doesn't happen.



    As shown in the link I posted to Wikipedia in my original post, you'll see that 2H + 2H --> 4He does not happen with any significance. In other words, that reaction doesn't happen enough to make it a significant source of the reaction. Nuclear physics doesn't exactly work like arithmetic.



    The primary d-d reactions are listed as follows in the important reactions [wikipedia.org] section of the nuclear fusion article at Wikipedia:


    1. 2H + 2H --> 3H + p
    2. 2H + 2H --> 3He + n

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:46AM (#23526500) Journal

    Well, when you have these kinds of blatant typos it means the poster might not have any idea what he was talking about.
    OR, it's because it's an Italian source translated to English and "Helium" is "Elio" in Italy. I can see an Italian reader easily missing to replace a letter here, it doesn't really take a lack of chemistry understanding, just being unused to the English language.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:05AM (#23526566)
    It seems unlikely to me that the first move an earnest discoverer of a new energy source in Japan would be to call an Italian newspaper.

    And they didn't.

    Professor Akito Takahashi of Osaka University was an eyewitness to the demonstration.

    "Arata and Zhang demonstrated very successfully the generation of continuous excess energy (heat) from ZrO2-nano-Pd sample powders under D2 gas charging and generation of helium-4," Takahashi wrote. "The demonstrated live data looked just like data they reported in their published papers (J. High Temp. Soc. Jpn, Feb. and March issues, 2008). This demonstration showed that the method is highly reproducible."

    Takahashi wrote that 60 people from universities and companies in Japan and a few people from other countries attended, as well as representatives from six major newspapers (Asahi, Nikkei, Mainichi, NHK, et al.) and two television stations.

    pictures [newenergytimes.com]
  • Re:I hope so. (Score:2, Informative)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:07AM (#23526572) Journal

    Bush and his Shadowy Masters(TM) are going to look pretty stupid if a cheap and plentiful power source suddenly appears. How much has the occupation of Iraq cost, so far? We may need to start working on getting that Lunar Helium, though. Maybe they should have invaded the Moon.
  • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:16AM (#23526604)
    That's a very good point. This is not like a perpetual motion machine, which is completely forbidden by the laws of physics as we know it. Cold fusion is only notorious because the people who originally publicized it were total publicity hounds and sacrificed science to get in the news, resulting in it all blowing up in their faces when it turned out that they didn't have anything. Aside from it being a notorious hoax or mistake, there's nothing that makes cold fusion inherently ridiculous or bad.
  • by JochenBedersdorfer (945289) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:18AM (#23526608)
    If you would follow this field more closely you would find that there is a small but steadily growing number of scientists from around the world working in this field.

    Since cold fusion has such a bad reputation, they are calling it Low -Energy Nuclear Reactions. It's not only a better name, but it describes more accurately what those scientists are seeing: Transmutations and excess energy in low energy conditions.

    The offical LENR webcine New Energy Times has all the info:

    http://www.newenergytimes.com/ [newenergytimes.com]

  • by Jumperalex (185007) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:28AM (#23526654)
    Actually balancing chemical reactions is JUST like arithmetic; only you have to actually know all the things you're supposed to be adding up :p
  • by glorpy (527947) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:43AM (#23526720)
    Is at http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jhts/33/3/33_142/_article [jst.go.jp]. You will need to be able to read Japanese, but at least it's the actual research.
  • by mbone (558574) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:48AM (#23526746)

    Well, when you have these kinds of blatant typos it means the poster might not have any idea what he was talking about. In that case, it cast doubts on whether it's really a "world changing experiment"...
    Exactly. Let's see, a report full of errors about a Italian economics journal reporting on a Japanese experiment. Doesn't give me confidence.

    Reading the second article [ilsole24ore.com] does not give me confidence. It is the same old "we did this and that and got out some heat and some Helium." This also does not give confidence.

    The article talks about Deuterium (Hydrogen-2) and Helium-4. Deuterium - Deuterium fusion should give rise to Tritium (Hydrogen-3 - which is radioactive) or Helium-3 plus a neutron (which is a form of radioactivity). Now, either of these products (Tritium or Helium-3) can themselves fuse (with each other or with Deuterium) to produce Helium-4, but these should also produce neutrons. Deuterium - Deuterium fusion to directly to Helium-4 is much harder to do (it has a very small cross-section), and its energy should come out as gamma rays.

    So, they claimed no radioactivity (when there should have been neutrons or gamma rays produced) with an unlikely nuclear reaction (H2 + H2 -> He4) and it produced a moderate amount of heat (1 kilo Joule) without actually stating how much energy it took to run the apparatus.

    It may be real, but the indications in this Italian economics journal are not encouraging.
  • Re:Come on (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:52AM (#23526770)
    Uh...right.

    1. it is easy to learn

    So's BASIC, but I'm not sure I'd build an e-commerce site with it

    2. it is very powerful

    Says you. Last I looked, it's some single-dispatch aberration with a massive, flat namespace. Worse, it insults your intelligence by placing CF before every tag. CFthis, CFthat. Great.

    3. it looks and acts like HTML

    You got HALF that right

    4. it integrates with adobe's other successful and powerful products like Flash and Director and Acrobat

    Let's face it: Adobe's "other successful products" are basically annoying, bloated, and hamhanded vehicles for advertisements and adware. The flashblock plugin is probably the single greatest contribution to humanity and anyone who's ever suffered through the torture of running adobe acrobat will agree it's great to have free solutions to that mess.

    In short, you're wrong. Adobe and Cold Fusion are destined for the ash heap of history.
  • Re:Neutrons anyone? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ZombieWomble (893157) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:58AM (#23526788)
    The 2 Deuterium to 1 Helium-4 reaction is only one of the results which would happen in that situation - the production of Tritium (Possibly leading to Tritium+Deuterium reactions producing He4 and a neutron) or Helium-3 and a spare neutron is also possible, and indeed are significantly more energetically favourable under normal circumstances, and would lead to a neutron flux.

    On the other hand, if it is a purely 2D->He4 reaction, there should be a significant gamma flux with a characteristic (IIRC) energy as the product nucleus relaxed, which should be fairly easy to verify, at least in a ballpark measurement.

  • by ZombieWomble (893157) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @08:12AM (#23526838)
    The key word in the reason why the protons wouldn't be detected was not "heavy", but "charged". Charged particles have vastly more methods to lose energy than neutral ones, and thus have shorter ranges in a material, all other things (like mass and velocity) being equal.
  • Re:So-called geeks! (Score:3, Informative)

    by ZombieWomble (893157) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @08:20AM (#23526866)
    Fusion is "clean" in that it has no inherent long-lived radioactive by-products. The actual reaction which happens in reactors produces significant amount of neutron, gamma and proton radiation (specifically, the most probable reactions are two deuterium to one tritium, giving off a spare proton, and deuterium and tritium to helium-4 giving off a spare neutron, both of which also potentially involve nuclear de-excitation afterwards which would have an associated gamma, and that's only the leading few processes). It's a ferociously hot set of processes, in reality.

    Indeed, one of the main issues with ITER-type fusion powerplants is actually building a confinement vessel which can stand up to such a massive barrage of radiation without becoming so radioctive or physically degraded that it has to be replaced too often.

  • FRAUD? It has been known for more than 40 years, maybe much more, that putting Hydrogen or Deuterium into Platinum or Palladium causes some interesting effects. The metals absorb a huge amount of Hydrogen.

    Apparently the only purpose for this that has ever been found, however, is confusing Slashdot editors.

    There are a large number of people claiming to be "working" on cold fusion. No one has ever been able to demonstrate anything interesting.

    However, there are also a lot of schemes to steal investor money. In my opinion, this is probably fraud, as others have been.
  • by pterandon (967625) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @08:51AM (#23526962)
    I remember my college materials science professor telling me that hydrogen atoms can exist in the matrix of palladium metal at a density (naturally, number of hydrogen atoms per cc) higher than can ever be reached with pressure exerted on hydrogen gas. That reason makes me bet cold fusion could happen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @08:56AM (#23526986)
    Here is an unofficial translation by an
    Italian reader .. I apologize for my English :)
    Moreover, the article is very focused on
    telling the amazing story and embellishing
    it with Japanese stereotype. The "Sole 24 ore"
    is a well reputed economical journal, but
    it is nothing about technical.
    Indeed, they miss any reference to the original
    news.

    The revenge of the Samurai.

    Yoshiaki Arata, 85 years old is a Japanese Professor Emeritus,
    a leading pioneer of the advanced nuclear program in Japan and one of the fathers of research about hot fusion.
    He is a strong NATIONALIST (he speaks only Japanese in public),
    awarded by the Emperor and has now won his 20 years long battle as a Samurai.
    He never gave up about the topic [cold fusion] since 1989, when Fleishmann and Pons announced a possible "constrained" fusion of deuterium inside a palladium cathode.
    [They use] lightweight molecules, made traveling by a moderate anode-to-cathode electron flux in the fluid towards
    palladium exhagonal structures.
    There, they collide, pushing over themselves and trapping them causing the spontaneous pressure to reach million of atmospheres,
    and then breaking nucleus, producing heat and finally converting into Helium-4.
    A genuine nuclear fusion, obtained without the need of the big, high energy toroids as Iter, just like it happens
    in stars.
    Instead, they needed just a bottle with a little "heavy water" (easy to find in nature), a rare metal and the
    same electric power you need at home.
    Without radiations and with the final production of a inert gas, helium, useful to fill balloons.
    Too beautiful to be true. Fleishmann and Pons shocked the whole community but they never managed to reproduce an experiment that would have changed
    the life of humanity , if not in a few, sporadic cases.
    They were defined cheaters, pretenders, not scientific, together with their entourage, up to being marginalized by the scientific community.

    But samurai Arata went straight along the line. Also because
    since the fifties he was amazed by the deuterium supercompression technique,
    due to anomalies that happened using certain metals. So he decided
    to take another line of research while working on low-energy fusion, the
    one of electro-chemic. By simply pushing the deuterium inside palladium
    nanoparticles with more and more atmospheres, up to creating the
    same "crowded" situation and pressure increase of that experiment.
    Today [5/22/2008] he made a public demonstration of his reactor in
    Osaka, moving a Stirling engine with a few grams of palladium.
    The reactor has been partially realized using ideas of Francesco
    Celani and his group at the National Institute for Nuclear Physics
    (INFN) in Frascati: the second-ranked laboratory actively working on Arata's line.
    In the next few days Arata will try to increase the amount from 7 to 60
    grams of palladium, expecting hundreds of Watts in thermal power, that is,
    enough for your house lights for months.

    But the very outstanding news, given in front of a multitude of scientific
    reporters, someone coming even from the USA, is to have proved the production,
    inside palladium hexagons, of a non-neglegible quantity of Helium-4,
    the sign of deuterium transmutation and nuclear fusion.
    This resulted in the reporters' crowd started talking about the "Arata
    Phenomenon", a term he kindly accepted taking a bow, just like an old Samurai.

  • This is a much better report of the same story: Arata-Zhang LENR Demonstration [timebomb2000.com].

    It's an old story, from February 2008. Quote: ' "The demonstrated live data looked just like data they reported in their published papers (J. High Temp. Soc. Jpn, Feb. and March issues, 2008)..." '

    Quote: ' "Some people say we have reached the end of science, that there are no more great discoveries that remain. In my view, nature always has more secrets to reveal," Arata wrote.' My translation: "Please believe in this particular fantasy."

    Apparently Slashdot editors don't do any research.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @09:09AM (#23527056)
    Here is the most recent article.

    They did it: the first public experiment lead by
    Yoshiaki Arata about condensed matter nuclear science,
    also known as cold fusion, has been succesfull.
    A few hours ago in the University of Osaka,
    the realization of what has been named "Arata Phenomena"
    has been performed in front of a very qualified crowd.

    The test has been performed having Deuterium gas
    disperded on a nanometric matrix structure of 7 grams,
    partially composed (35%) by palladium and 65% zyrcon
    oxide, at a pressure of 50 atmosphere, half the pressure
    of a car washing water pump.
    The heat, produced since the beginning of deuterium insertion,
    powered a thermical engine.

    After about 1 hour and a half the experiment has been
    volountarly stopped to check for the presence of Helium-4.
    No dangerous emissions have been recorded, as Helium-4 is
    an inert gas. The energy created was around 100.000 Joules,
    about what is needed to have 1 liter of water reach 25 Celsiuses
    (take into account the tiny size of the matrix: 7 grams).
    The helium quantity revealed to be consistent with
    energy production and it certifies the fusion.
    Beyond the measuremenet, a new era starts now, aimed to understand
    the intrinsic behaviour that let the condensed matter generate. Such
    behaviours seem to be inconstient with classic nuclear physics.

    As of today, another delicate phase starts, towards repeating
    the experiment with a larger amount of Palladium-Zyrcon (in order
    to obtain further quantities of energy) and the extraction
    of the helium from within the matrix without damaing it, so to reuse
    the matrix.

  • Apparently the blog story was stolen from New Energy Times: Arata-Zhang LENR Demonstration, May 22, 2008 [newenergytimes.com]

    Yoshiaki Arata works for the Welding Research Institute of Osaka University. He is not a physicist, apparently.

    Old story: He's been reporting this kind of thing since before October 13, 2006: A New Energy caused by "Spillover-Deuterium" [jst.go.jp]. Quote: "Intermittent operation over a period of two years using this structure proved the complete reproducibility of these results."

    I hope no Slashdot reader invests in this. Would it be too much to ask Slashdot editor Scuttle Monkey [slashdot.org] to do a little research before he posts stories?

    This is not the first complaint about Scuttle Monkey: Who is Scuttle Monkey? [slashdot.org]
  • "It may not be "cold fusion" but they have proof of excess heat and other signs of nuclear process."

    "Excess heat" is not a sign of nuclear fusion. It is a sign of something that has been known for more than 40 years, that Platinum and Palladium absorb Hydrogen, and sometimes heat is generated when experimenting with that.

    Wikipedia: Palladium [wikipedia.org]. Quote: "Incredibly, when palladium is at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, it can absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen, ..."

    The people who "demonstrate" "cold fusion" never seem to be physicists. This Slashdot story is about someone who works for the Welding Research Institute at Osaka University.
  • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcelrath (8027) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @10:02AM (#23527344) Homepage

    Cold fusion isn't ruled out by any known laws of physics

    No, cold fusion is ruled out by basic Quantum Mechanics.

    The electrons are irrelevant since their density is so low, and nuclei must be within 10^-15 m to fuse. This only occurs at temperatures of hundreds of millions Celsius. If these experiments were generating temperatures this high, one could easily tell because they would also emit X- and gamma-rays.

    Explanation of "cold fusion" phenomena (if these experiments are real and reproducible) would require a significant modification of Quantum Mechanics. This is exactly why physicists are so quick to dismiss the experiments. Few papers have been published "ruling it out" because it's so simple. However here is one: http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v63/p191 [aps.org]. The theoretical literature claiming to come up with exotic ways to allow the phenomena to happen are quite extreme, in my opinion.

  • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Informative)

    by blueg3 (192743) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @10:15AM (#23527428)
    There have been a lot of advances in hot fusion -- just not enough to make engineering a fusion power plant worthwhile. Nobody has sufficient economic incentive to make a working fusion plant.
  • I call bullshit (Score:3, Informative)

    by BlueParrot (965239) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @10:25AM (#23527500)
    Typical molecular binding energies are on the order of electron volts. The energy barrier hydrogen isotopes must overcome to fuse is on the order of 10000 electron volts. While there are ways to reduce this barrier, simply putting the atoms in a crystal lattice seem unlikely, given that the electrostatic forces needed to overcome the barrier would tear apart the atoms of every known material.

    One method of cold fusion which does work is to inject muons into the sample. Muons are like electrons, but significantly heavier. Their negative charge in combination with their large mass causes the nuclei of Deuterium molecules to move close enough to one another that quantum tunneling becomes a strong possibility and the nuclei eventually fuse. Unfortunately you lose a lot of muons either through radioactive decay ( muons are radioactive ) or because they get trapped by the positively charged helium nucleus produced. Consequentially you end up spending more energy to produce the muons than the fusion reaction produces.

    Finally I like to add that achieving fusion is not very hard. The potentials required are only a few thousand volts, and desktop neutron sources based on fusion reactions have been available for decades. Heck, it is simple enough that hobbyists have built their own fusion devices. The difficulty is to get the fusion reaction to produce more energy than you need to sustain it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @10:28AM (#23527520)

    You can download the english paper written about the experiment. It is very detailed. You could even try it :)

    http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ran24/inchieste/documenti/Fusione_Fredda.pdf

    There are a lot of other infos (mostly written in Italian) on this page:
    http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ran24/inchieste/19102006_rapporto41.asp

    Also this site covers two researchers that transformed tungsten to gold and other elements:
    http://www.ioriocirillo.com/ita/index.php

  • Re:Elium-4? (Score:3, Informative)

    by bargainsale (1038112) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @11:42AM (#23528170)
    Good question.

    It's evidently based on Latin spelling; I presume that English pronunciation of the "h" in Latin words is based on the prior use of the original Latin "h" letter to represent the English sound in English words (similarly in other Germanic languages).

    It must have been a non-trivial step for the original developers of writing systems for English, German etc to think of using the "h" symbol, which would have represented no actual sound in contemporary Latin-derived speech, to represent our "h" sound.

    There was a lively tradition of Latin grammatical writing to help, though, which included descriptions of the original sound going back to the days when not pronouncing it was a social error.

    We actually pronounce "h" in some words based purely on the spelling, which imitates Latin rather than the historical development of the word.

    American "herb" with silent "h" represents the historically "correct" English form borrowed from (Old) French "herbe", in which the "h" has never, so long as French has been French, been pronounced. (It's there because scribes, knowing Latin, easily recognised the word as being from Latin "herba", in which the "h" was originally pronounced.)
    In British English we pronounce the "h", based entirely on the spelling. Originally this was simply an error, like pronoucing the "b" in "debt".

    Each European nation had its own tradition of pronouncing Latin, based on Latin spelling and internal developments with the native vernacular. Some (English and French particularly) were far removed from the original Roman pronunciation. In the last century there has been a strong tendency in teaching Latin to replace these traditions with something more like the reconstructed original, but this does not affect words of Latin origin long since borrowed into our modern languages.
  • Re:I call bullshit (Score:2, Informative)

    by cobrakai87 (1295112) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @12:51PM (#23528914)
    Actually the coulomb barrier is significantly higher than 10keV. You hear this number thrown around a lot because about 10keV to 15keV is the most efficient temperature to run a d-t fusion reaction at to get a significant number of fusion reactions and maintain a reasonable confinement time. For the d-d reactions that this article is talking about, reaction temperatures must be about 50-100keV because the fusion cross section of the d-d reaction is much smaller than that of the d-t reaction. This article in no way states the amount of helium 4 particles produced nor the amount of deuterium that has been burned. They merely claim that the presence of the helium points to the fact that reactions took place, the same claim that cold fusion proponents have been making for the last thirty or so years. The first time this was claimed it was proved that the measured quantities were merely background levels, and I believe this will prove similar. The refusal to report levels of 14 MeV neutrons produced, which happen about 50% of the time in d-d fusion, leads me to believe that these guys are full of crap. A final note on cool fusion, muon catalyzed fusion is currently the only respected method of achieving fusion at lower temperatures. This is because the muon is so much more massive than an electron that the hydrogen isotope appears to be charge neutral until they are very close to one another, at which point there is already a significant chance for tunnelling. However, the energy cost of producing muons is so high that until a better method is found, there is no commercially viable way of using muons in fusion.
  • by botik32 (90185) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @12:58PM (#23529024) Homepage
    You sound pretty confident, but the first link you included says Yoshiaki Arata is a distinguished japanese physicist. There is also an article on wikipedia about him... says the same...

    This link [iscmns.org] also says he has been nominated for a life member of the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science.

    Now I am really confused... can you provide more details on him being a welder and not a physicist?

  • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Informative)

    by locofungus (179280) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @02:00PM (#23529638)
    This is just plain wrong.

    Muon catalyzed fusion is documented and reproduceable. It can also occur at room temperature or lower.

    It's probably not viable as a power source though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon-catalyzed_fusion [wikipedia.org]

    Tim.
  • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Informative)

    by JLF65 (888379) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @02:24PM (#23529846)

    This only occurs at temperatures of hundreds of millions Celsius.


    You say that like we should be impressed. "Wow!! HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of degrees!!!" Too bad any engineer can tell you that's just several keV. Everything from TVs to neon lighting can reach or exceed those voltages. That's the big problem with hot fusion proponents - all temperature and pressure, overlooking the simple matter of electric fields. It's no wonder they've nothing to show for the HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars spent. What idiots. :)

    So while you claim this "cold fusion" method cannot work because it can't produce the needed heat or pressure, maybe it produces the needed electric fields. You never know unless someone looks into it instead of dismissing it out of hand because of ignorance of other fields of science.
  • Re:Elium-4? (Score:2, Informative)

    by bargainsale (1038112) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @05:04PM (#23531204)
    Yes, I was not very clear.

    The letter "h" is very common in Spanish and French spelling, of course.
    The sound like English "h" is absent in standard Parisian French and Castillian Spanish.

    The details in French are that there are two sorts of written "h", traditionally called "aspiré" and "muet", "aspirated" and "mute".

    "Mute" "h" has never been pronounced in the whole history of French as an independent language; it's found in words like "homme", "herbe" because mediaeval scribes carried over the "h" from the Latin "homo", "herba", in which the "h", originally pronounced as in English, had ceased to be pronounced for centuries before there was a separate French language, so the scribes were used to it as a silent letter, just a matter of traditional spelling, like "k" in English "knee".

    "Aspirated" "h" is also completely silent in Modern standard French, but a few centuries ago it was pronounced as in English, and still is pronounced in some dialects. This "h" comes from words borrowed from other languages, mainly Frankish, the language of the Germanic conquerors of Roman Gaul. There are quite a lot of these words in French, eg "haricot" "bean" "hair" "hate".
    Even though it is just as silent in standard French as "mute" "h", words beginning with it behave as if they begin within a consonant in French:
    l'homme "the man" but
    le haricot "the bean"

    Some Spanish "h" is like French "mute" "h", just a spelling convention based on Latin:

    hombre from homo (actually from accusative hominem)

    But also, in Spanish, original initial "f" became "h" in most words inherited direct from Latin:

    hijo from filius "son" hacer from facere "do, make"

    but eventually this "h" also ceased to be pronounced!
  • by penguin king (673171) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:00PM (#23531564)
    http://newenergytimes.com/news/2008/29img/Arata-Demo.htm [newenergytimes.com]

    With some photos!
  • by Quadraginta (902985) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:42PM (#23531856)
    It doesn't matter what "orientation" the hydrogen atoms have. What matters is the distance between them. The strong nuclear force, which is what pulls protons together to fuse and make helium (and release loads of energy) has an incredibly short range, roughly 100,000 time smaller than the size of a hydrogen atom. Unless you can get the protons this close, they do not feel the strong force, and they cannot possible fuse.

    The difficulty with getting them that close together is, of course, the fact that they strongly repel each other because they're both positively charged. The potential energy of two protons almost close enough to feel the strong force is roughly equal to the kinetic energy per particle in a gas at temperature of a million degrees or so.

    That is, it requires a staggeringly huge force to push protons close enough, against their mutual electrostatic repulsion, for them to finally feel the strong force and fuse. This force hugely exceeds that available in chemical bonds of any type, in any arrangement. You can get that force by raising the temperature to a million degrees, which increase the momentum of the protons so much that they supply the force themselves, when they crash into each other. But any material at all would fracture, vaporize, disintegrate long before it supply that kind of force. Which means pretty much any kind of cold fusion that depends on solid-state material properties is impossible. It's all bullshit, the usual magic catalysis/perpetual-motion kind of scam.

    There are ways to get fusion going at lower temperatures, the most interesting of which is to catalyze it with muons. Google muon-catalyzed fusion for more info.

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