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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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  • Elium-4? (Score:5, Funny)

    by kyriosdelis (1100427) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @05:28AM (#23526154)
    Must have been a very successful experiment. All the "H" are indeed gone!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bloodninja (1291306)

      Must have been a very successful experiment. All the "H" are indeed gone!
      Obviously, they are Italian. They could even get the trains to run on thyme! Fix It Again, Tony.
    • 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: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.
        • Re:Elium-4? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by bargainsale (1038112) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:03AM (#23526556)
          Latin "h", originally pronounced like English "h", eventually ceased to be pronounced at all; in the modern languages descended from Latin it is has been lost and is found, if at all, only in words borrowed from other languages.

          So Latin "homo" "person" but Italian "uomo", Rumanian "om" and so on.
          (The "h" in French "homme" has never been pronounced and is only there in the spelling by analogy with the Latin word).

          In the time of the later Roman Republic and early Empire (when most of the famous Latin literature comes from) whether "h" was pronounced was a class thing; dropping "h"s was supposed to be a mark of ignorance or low status.
          People insecure about their status would put in "h"s where they didn't belong (the poet Catullus has a whole poem mocking somebody who does this).

          Even those who prided themselves on their education were already getting it wrong by then, though, and some of their mistakes got perpetuated:

          "humerus" "upper arm" should be "umerus"
          "anser" "goose" should be "hanser"

          We can deduce a remarkable amount about how Classical Latin was pronounced; there's a good book about it:
          "Vox Latina" by W Sidney Allen
          • Re:Elium-4? (Score:5, Funny)

            by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @08:09AM (#23526828)

            Well, that was certainly the most interesting etymological post I've seen on slashdot lately! Certainly more interesting than an article on physics posted in an Italian business magazine, which seems to have been the original topic.

      • by name_already_taken (540581) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @09:25AM (#23527140)

        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.

        That's all great and interesting and all, and the other posts on etymology are interesting too, but you see, the thing is, the Slashdot article summary is written in English, for a primarily English speaking audience. In English, the word begins with an "H".

        I'm all for respecting the languages of others, but the English word is spelled "Helium". Or, do we now get to use the spelling and pronunciation rules of whatever language we choose?

    • by Briareos (21163) *
      Nah, at least one got fused into "Deuterium"... sounds like that cold fusion thingamabob does word after all...

      np: Saul Williams - WTF! (The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!)
    • by Mark_in_Brazil (537925) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @08:48AM (#23526954)

      Must have been a very successful experiment. All the "H" are indeed gone!
      Don't be silly. That would violate the principle of conservation of Hs. They appear to have migrated to the the deuterium and converted it to "deutherium."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by davidc (91400)
      If you look carefully, you can see that the H has fused with the deuterium...
  • It'll be just in time for the whole peak-oil extravaganza, and damn useful to power all our new electric cars.
  • i mean, i would have looked for helium-4 as a proof of cold fusion, but elium-4?! that's incredible! did they use dilithium crystals to do that? adamantium? unobtanium?
  • You don't really believe all this cold fusion mumbo jumbo now do you?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pacroon (846604)

      You don't really believe all this cold fusion mumbo jumbo now do you?
      Of course.. You could build the power plant in Sim City 2000, couldn't you?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I want to believe!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by maxwell demon (590494)
      Of course! [adobe.com] :-)
    • Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032) <{moc.cam} {ta} {rcj}> on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:56AM (#23526532) Journal
      Cold fusion isn't ruled out by any known laws of physics, so I'll keep an open mind about it until it's proven one way or another. Pons and Fleischman may not have succeeded, but that's no reason to quit. As long as the people trying to make it work are doing so with their own funds, more power to them. If someone succeeds, then a lot of the scarcity in the world can be solved.

      -jcr
      • 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.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheLink (130905)
          As it is, even if it turns out to not be fusion or new energy source, it still seems to be an interesting phenomena worthy of some study.

          At worst it's an unusual battery or energy storage/conversion device, and someone might later find a real use for it.

          In contrast the hot fusion people have gone through billions of dollars, and what major advance have they produced?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by blueg3 (192743)
            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.
      • 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: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: (Score:3, Informative)

          by JLF65 (888379)

          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.

  • 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...
    • by renoX (11677) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @09:23AM (#23527134)
      >a Japanese professor finds a way to get cold fusion to get work and the reactor[ITER] is obsolete before built!

      A big MAYBE: first the cold fusion experiment must be investigated, reproduced, etc, AND it obsoletes ITER only if it can be harnessed to produce energy, which is far from certain..

      Look about high temperature supraconductors: at a time they were all the rage, but currently in many (most?) setup, it's old fashioned 'cold' supraconductors which are used because of issues with the 'high temperatures' one (britleness, ability to withstand high current, etc.)
  • by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @05:41AM (#23526208)
    ...and what do we get on Slashdot? Nothing but posts about a fracking typo in the summary. Grow up and get some perspective.
  • Neutrons anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomasd (1294992) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @05:48AM (#23526238)
    Shouldn't they been using neutron detector to prove that nuclear fusion tuck place?
    • 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.
      • 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.

  • choice of media? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    As a physicist, I am a little perplexed as to why a story with such signifigance would be published in an Italian economics journal. Why not Physical Review, Nature, or one of the other journals typically used for such groundbreaking work?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Duh! Are you blonde? It's obviously much easier to get past the silly peer review stage of things if you publish in a journal totally unrelated to your field. This is why you physicists never succeed. You should be publishing in a good, well respected journal. Like Penthouse.
  • Hype much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:01AM (#23526288)
    Apparently the original peer reviewed article in Japanese is here: http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jhts/33/3/142/_pdf
    Now, i don't understand much about Japanese or high temperature physics but as far as i can see, there isn't even a mention of Helium-4 in the article's English abstract or the picture and graph subtitles. This makes me wonder quite a bit about who put this hyperbolic spin on the story. Maybe the He-4 discovery is just a recent and unexpected find they decided to (too) eagerly emphasize?

    Could someone who knows Japanese and some physics post his/her views on the article?
  • by DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:02AM (#23526294)
    If found older (English) peer-reviewed papers by this Author here [jst.go.jp] and here [jst.go.jp]. He doesn't seem to have published much on this since then [google.co.uk], except for a very vague patent application to be found here [wipo.int].

    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. All the more since he seems to be working in academia and would thus have a strong incentive to publish in a peer-reviewed journal first (you don't get the Nobel prize for an article in "Il sore 24 ore"). But, here are the papers. Form your own opinion...
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:36AM (#23526448) Homepage Journal
      ``you don't get the Nobel prize for an article in "Il sore 24 ore"''

      But you do get to the front page of Slashdot!

      More seriously, the established journals are often hideously slow in publishing stuff, and often dare to charge you for it, too. In the age of the Internet, all that can be dispensed with. You can get your discoveries and inventions published, peer reviewed, and communicated to the masses, all for free and without having to wait on some organization's release cycle.

      You can also, of course, use the Internet to spread lies and misinformation, create fake peer reviews, and communicate all that to the masses, all for free and without having to wait on some organization's release cycle.
      • by wvmarle (1070040)
        All peer review is doing is fact checking on the articles (numbers used and so), critically thinking whether the methodology is sound and properly explained, and whether or not there are glaring omissions/errors/inconsistencies in the discussion of the results in the article. The results as such are generally not questioned.
        I have learned not to blindly trust peer-reviewed articles. The trust in a certain process/result comes when you find more than one article about the same, preferably articles referring
    • by jcr (53032)
      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

      Who says he called them? Maybe the Italian paper scans for stories they find interesting.

      -jcr
  • 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.

    • 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

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jumperalex (185007)
          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
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ortholattice (175065)

          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.

          This table has to do with the probability of reactions of high-energy particles randomly smashing into each other.

          The physics of cold fusion (if it exists) is unknown. As a wild speculation, the palladium nanomat

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ricin (236107)
      I was thinking this too. Judging from the possible reactions (and assuming this is the set we should be considering):

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion#Criteria_and_candidates_for_terrestrial_reactions [wikipedia.org]

      You can see that the reactions with the "slower" neutrons (~2 MeV) are needed to produce the D+n->T transumtation that the article mentions. I don't think you can get ~14MeV neutrons sufficiently slowed down in this small geometry for them to contribute much to the transmutation. Now this is mentio
  • More info (Score:4, Informative)

    by darkat (697582) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:05AM (#23526314)
  • by imsabbel (611519) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:15AM (#23526356)
    A huge breakthrough of a japanese scientist... ... end of as a story in a italian economy newspaper?

    Doesnt that seem a bit fishy?
    See me again when they actually published something somewhere...
  • some more info (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2008 @06:17AM (#23526370)
    http://physicsworld.com/blog/
  • "I wish them the very best." I'll root for anything that shows promise in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, partcularly oil. Can you imagine the day when we can tell the Saudis to go away and take their extremist sect with them!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxwell demon (590494)

      Can you imagine the day when we can tell the Saudis to go away and take their extremist sect with them!

      Yes. It will be the day when they'll have nothing to lose any more.
      • It will also be the day they go from having economic power to being rather subject to external powers.

        Since the shift away from petroleum will be gradual, if not glacial, I hope they take the opportunity to reform their ideas. Failure to do so could result in creation of the world's largest glass bowl.

  • I am willing to bet 1 USD on the fact that this invention will not turn out to be churning out energy using nuclear fusion. Payments will be done through paypal if anyone is willing to bet 1 USD on that this invention will prove to be generating energy from nuclear fusion.
  • Just an idea... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OpenSourced (323149) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:09AM (#23526580) Journal
    Could we please restrict all further "cold fusion" articles to at least the level of "cold fusion experiment of X successfully reproduced by Y"?. That would help keeping the noise level down.
  • 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 hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Saturday May 24, 2008 @07:19AM (#23526616)

    It seems likely that this will turn out to be a poorly-understood conventional exothermic chemical reaction. It might still turn out to be useful and/or enlightening. If nothing else, it serves to remind us that there's quite a lot of fairly basic chemistry that we haven't quite figured out yet.

  • ... a successful cold confusion experiment.

    meh
  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bakarocket (844390)
      It says that during the experiment they took out the background spectra, so the Deuterium probably wasn't naturally occurring stuff. And the guy who did the experiment seems to have published in quite a few proper journals, so he's probably not a complete quack.
  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @08:03AM (#23526808) Journal
    ... not the opinions.

    No, you don't get Nobels for publishing Japanese cold fusion work in Italian economics journals. You don't get them from publishing any cold fusion work in any peer reviewed physics journal because they don't get published as such, for much the same reasons that make people claim absence of evidence is evidence of absence even though the evidence was only absent in some of the replications. You do, however, publish articles about Japanese cold fusion work in an Italian economics journal when a Japanese company is building cold fusion equipment in an Italian factory purchased from Fiat, said company having hired Pons and Fleischmann as design consultants.

    Neutron flux is a sign of some fusion reactions, but not all. 2 * (1p + 1n) --> (2p + 2n): two deuterium go to one helium. The energy released is from the conversion of mass of two deuterium (2 * 2.014 = 4.028) into one helium (4.002). The difference (.026) is is given off as energy measured in ergs, calculated from the amount of mass "lost" in grams times the speed of light in a vacuum in centimeters per second times itself. The source of the energy is the release of binding energy in the nuclei; the binding energy required grows at a lesser rate than the number of nucleons. This is the mass difference stated in another way. The energy is this particular reaction comes.

    And if cold fusion were as much a hoax as those educated by hearsay rather than science would have you believe, then you wouldn't have symposia on the subject at scientific conferences hosted by the selfsame journals that refuse the publish such articles unless they're written so speculatively as to seem almost fiction, and the phenonemon examined is called something else.

    Regardless of the barriers caused by pathological disbelief masquerading as skepticism, or worse, education at the hands of the pathological disbelievers, over 3,000 articles peer reviewed articles on cold fusion have been published. Enough evidence has been accumulated to convince both the US Many and the US Dept. of Energy that the phenonenon is real, though inadequately understood, and deserved more investigation and funding.

    Those who are so certain that cold fusion is bogus would probably be glad to know that once the bogus cold fusion reactors built at the bogus Fiat plant are primed they crank out 270 kiloboguswatts over 90 bogusdays with no additional input of energy.

    Answer for yourself: if you had something important, but the mention of it made those who were the supposed experts in the field run screaming, just how would you go about bringing the knowledge out into the open without getting quashed? Through many different kinds of channels, a tiny bit at a time, which would by necessity mean some of the announcements would be of results and discoveries from some considerable time prior. The SETI people assert this is how alien contact and/or news of such would proceed and nobody blinks at that. Claim that this same process of being used on news of replicable tabletop physics and their eyes get stuck wide shut.
  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Saturday May 24, 2008 @08:41AM (#23526928)
    If one looks at the past research on palladium, there are many explanations for energy release, all chemical, none nuclear.

    Using Occam's razor, it's a whole lot more likely this guy's results are due to well-known chemical reactions, not anything nuclear.

    Nuclear reactions are easily discerned by the generation of Gamma rays and neutrons. The fact that these were not mentioned in the article suggests nothing exciting is going on.
  • 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.

  • 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.

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