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November 14, 2012

Cold fusion lives!

Sort of. Would you believe "low-energy nuclear reactions"?

Their theory showed how a film of negatively charged electrons covering the palladium could combine with positively charged protons from the water’s hydrogen atoms to form neutrons. Those neutrons could then be gobbled up by nearby lithium nuclei, disturbing the delicate balance of protons and neutrons that keep the nuclei stable. The lithium nuclei would rapidly decay, first into beryllium and then into helium, and emit radiation. Finally, the film of electrons would absorb the radiation and reemit it as heat. 


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"Cold fusion lives!"

Er, ... no. The study of "low-energy" nuclear reactions concerns the domain of nuclear physics that is BELOW the energy regime for nuclear fusion. "Cold fusion" (i.e., "low-energy fusion") is an oxymoron.

That is not to say that high-power exothermic "low-energy" nuclear reactions don't exist; recall Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and nuclear-energy reactors that generate electric power. Such fission-based energy sources, however, are not based on nuclear fusion, as is our high-energy source -- the sun.

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