Cold Fusion: The Continuing Mystery
In March of 1989, a discovery was made that rocked the scientific world. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman had announced that they were able to create and sustain a cold fusion process. After intense media attention, and corresponding interest in future test, the subject seemed to have faded away. Future tests proved inconclusive, and when the quick promise of easy energy didn’t materialize, most quickly forgot the subject. Little is said about the continuing research in the scientific community to further our understanding of the free energy enigma. Is it science fiction, on the border of legitamete science, or is it a practical field worthy of serious attention?
Cold Fusion is the merging of two dissimilar metal hydrides. The process is exothermic, and can generate energy in one of two ways. Energy can be input in to a system and multiplied, or energy alone can be generated although in a much smaller amount. For example, one watt of energy can be input and 3 watts recovered. Some systems are capable of producing hundreds of watts per individual watt. The actual physics of the reaction is not completely understood. Some claim it is merely a chemical reaction not yet understood, while others are convinced it is a nuclear reaction.
One example is a cold fusion cell which used .04 grams of metal hydride. It produced 86 megajoules over a two month period. A similar chemical reaction would have required 2,000 grams of chemicals to produce the same amount of energy. Another interesting point regarding this cell was the fact it had to be deliberately shut down. There was no sign of the reaction tapering off.
The skepticism regarding cold fusion stems from two separate studies, one done by MIT, and the other by the Energy Resources Advisory Board. The MIT study has been palled by attacks on the methods used to present the information. The chief science writer at the Institute denounced the study and resigned. The report contained altered graphs and an unclear method. The ERAB report was inconclusive, but presented to congress in a such a way as to present all of the negatives in order to maintain funding for their existed programs, instead of transferring research money to others.
Numerous labs across the...
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...clear reaction at all. Some think that the process is merely a chemical reaction not yet understood by today’s laws of chemistry. This presents numerous gray areas in the understanding of the reactions taking place in the experiments. If indeed it is a chemical reaction then there is some flaw in our understanding of chemical reactions. The lack of nuclear byproducts when in theory there should be lends strong credence to this belief though. Only continued experimentation and new exploration will help explain the mystery.
The use of cold fusion would be a boon to mankind. It’s use would solve all energy delimmas currently facing the petroleum dependant modern society. Elimination of pollution, economy, and ready availability of raw materials would be a tremendous improvement over today’s combustion engines and chemical cells. More so than any other alternative energy solution, cold fusion presents a source that is truly renewable and, if it lives up to it’s hypothesis, a large enough amount of power. No other means to date has proven it’s practical use on a large scale. Cold fusion could be the solution to the problems of global warming and pollution.
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