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Author Topic: Is cold fusion possible?  (Read 8759 times)

Offline science_guy

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Is cold fusion possible?
« on: 15/12/2006 16:39:38 »
Ive heard of all the stories of how impossible this process is, but can't you put two atoms into a particle accelerator and give them a collision at high speeds from opposite sides?  Or can we already do this, but it takes more energy to fuse them this way then it gives for fusing?

And If I happen to be right, I might want to put out a patent... ::) ::)
« Last Edit: 22/12/2006 23:49:21 by chris »


 

Offline harryneild

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Re: Is cold fusion possible?
« Reply #1 on: 15/12/2006 20:45:27 »
Cold fusion is basically just nuclear reactions at reasonably normal temperatures and pressures. We can fuse two particles together in particle accelerators, but that is hardly normal :). Also, it should be done with fairly simple equipment, another thing that a particle accelerator isn't.
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Is cold fusion possible?
« Reply #2 on: 16/12/2006 11:52:31 »
You can do fusion, there was a recent story about doing it on a table top, however doing it so that you get more energy out than you put in is very difficult.

It is possible to get more energy out than you put in, they managed it at the Joint European Torus near oxford, but the energy was coming out in high energy neutrons which are difficult to capture, and the fusion was hapening at 200 000 000 C which isn't very cold. There is a project called ITER which was recently funded which should be able to capture some of this energy.
 

Offline Simmer

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Re: Is cold fusion possible?
« Reply #3 on: 16/12/2006 23:11:55 »
Yes, quite exciting but best not hold your breathe. According to the register it won't be up and running till 2015 and they're unlikely to have worked out the design for an actual power plant till 2035! http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/29/france_fusion_win/

Cold fusion would be the business but, AIUI, the problem is getting the nucelei close enought together against charge repulsion unless they collide at fantastic speeds (ie high temperature)  :(
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Is cold fusion possible?
« Reply #4 on: 17/12/2006 11:55:58 »
There was a very neat idea put forward called muon catalysed fusion. A muon is a heavier verison of an electron, because it is heavier it has more momentum for a given energy. This means it has a shorter wavelength and can orbit a nucleus much closer to it and therefore it will screen the positive charge very effectively allowing the two atoms to get much closer before they begin repelling and therefore fuse much more easily. This works, however the lifetime of the muon is short and it takes a lot of energy to create so the concensus is it is unlikely to actually produce energy...
 

Offline Heliotrope

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Re: Is cold fusion possible?
« Reply #5 on: 17/12/2006 17:55:38 »
As I understand it, "cold" fusion is a bit of a misnomer.
If you're going to be fusing two atoms together then regardless how you're going to do it you still have to use energy to get them together.
That energy might be very precisely targeted to make it more efficient but it still has to be there.
That makes the reaction very hot indeed on the scale of particles and usually on much larger scales too.

 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Is cold fusion possible?
« Reply #5 on: 17/12/2006 17:55:38 »

 

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