Cold fusion, the ability to generate nuclear power at room temperatures, has proven to be a highly elusive feat. In fact, it is considered by many experts to be a mere pipe dream -- a potentially unlimited source of clean energy that remains tantalizing, but so far unattainable.
However, a recently published academic paper from the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego throws cold water on skeptics of cold fusion. Appearing in the respected journal Naturwissenschaften, which counts Albert Einstein among its distinguished authors, the article claims that Spawar scientists Stanislaw Szpak and Pamela Mosier-Boss have achieved a low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) that can be replicated and verified by the scientific community.
Cold fusion has gotten the cold shoulder from serious nuclear physicists since 1989, when Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann were unable to substantiate their sensational claims that deuterium nuclei could be forced to fuse and release excess energy at room temperature. Spawar researchers apparently kept the faith, however, and continued to refine the procedure by experimenting with new fusionable materials.
Szpak and Boss now claim to have succeeded at last by coating a thin wire with palladium and deuterium, then subjected it to magnetic and electric fields. The researchers have offered plastic films called CR-39 detectors as evidence that charged particles have been emerging from their reaction experiments.
The Spawar method shows promise, particularly in terms of being easily reproduced and verified by other institutions. Such verification is essential to widespread acceptance of the apparent breakthrough and is an important precursor to scientists receiving the necessary funding to fuel additional research in the field.
quote: Most forms of electricity generation require enough heat to boil water (to make steam to turn a generator), with the exception of photovoltaic conversion of light into electricity.
quote: According to your logic; I guess that batteries, methane fuel cells, hydrogen fuel cells, diesel/gas generators, solar panels, electric eels, wind turbines, tribocharging, hydro-electric, and hand cranked radios all require boiling water to operate?
quote: You've forgotten the principle of relativity. No matter how fast you yourself travel, a ray of light always travels to (or away) from you at the same constant speed.
quote: If the average density of the interstellar medium was anything but extremely low, we wouldn't be able to do this; the particles would occlude the light.
quote: Think of space as having a very very very very thin atmosphere. In space, when you get to 20-30,000 miles per second, the thin atmosphere starts to feel like wind. When you get close to the speed of light, the thin atmosphere will feel like an ocean. Even the atoms of hydrogen floating in the void will tear through your ship.
quote: Dailytech had an article a few months ago about the European research fusion reactor that either started construction or started operation. They said fusion on an industrial scale was still 30-50 years away.
quote: Through a small, constant acceleration, you could achieve fantastic speeds and not have to deal with the effects of prolonged micro-gravity or all of the food storage issues NASA is currently struggling with.
quote: If a fission reaction goes wrong somehow, you get Chernobyl all over again, but if a fusion reaction goes wrong, it will shut itself down...