New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: As a reader of NewMars forum, we have opportunities for you to assist with technical discussions in several initiatives underway. NewMars needs volunteers with appropriate education, skills, talent, motivation and generosity of spirit as a highly valued member. Write to newmarsmember * gmail.com to tell us about your ability's to help contribute to NewMars and become a registered member.

#1 2011-11-28 00:26:26

Adaptation
Member
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 42

The fusion age has begun.

After decades of perpetually being ten years away an economically viable repeatable low energy fusion reaction method has been developed, this will drastically change the amount of resources needed to start a mars colony.  They have sold 500kw heat plant operating at 200c, a recent development has allowed the inventor to increase the temperature to 400c which is suitable for efficiently producing electricity.  The previous generation of units where sold to military customers for $2/watt of heat energy.  To learn more google E-cat.

Offline

#2 2011-11-28 08:04:37

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Nickle fusion doesn't generate energy, though...?

Anomalous results are anomalous. Either he's a scam, or something other than Nickle transmution to Copper is providing the energy.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#3 2011-11-28 18:48:17

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,097

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Sorry for the very long post in advance...
I am sharing some posts as made by

Shaun Barrett wrote:

Not sure if anyone else here follows the Cold Fusion news from around the world? :huh:
Anyhow, those of us with an interest in it have been looking forward to the October 6th public test run of a Cold Fusion reactor built by a team in Bologna in Italy.
The chief researcher is a man called Andrea Rossi, who has created units , called 'E-Cats', which run on nickel and water to produce essentially free energy.
This is a picture of the E-Cat used for the test:

111006_Radio24_E-Cat_test_set-up_300.jpg

The roughly cubic container wrapped in foil insulation is the reactor chamber. Much of the rest is plumbing for the hot water produced (up to 110 deg.C) and gauges to measure the output.

Apparently it ran successfully for a number of hours, under the watchful gaze of scientists and businessmen, producing around 3.5 to 4 kW.
[See THIS SITE for more details.]

Rossi has a much bigger set-up in the final stages of construction, which is designed to produce 1MW (1 MegaWatt, i.e. 1000 kiloWatts) of power:

newecats-290x290.png

This 1MW reactor is due to be switched on around the end of this month.
It's been mentioned that, if you don't believe the single-unit E-Cat test result from the 6th of October, you'll find it harder to dismiss a whole MegaWatt of power coming out of the scaled-up version.
It's one thing to sneak maybe 3 or 4 kW of energy into an experiment by sleight-of-hand but 1000 kW is going to be much more difficult to explain!

Anyhow, Rossi claims he'll be selling units for home use in a matter of months. He hopes the price will be about 500 Euros per kiloWatt output.
(1kW will power 10 100W light bulbs ... presumably indefinitely and presumably for nothing!)

So far at least, no one has been able to find a show-stopping flaw in the E-Cat (energy catalyzer) demonstration, although some complained that Rossi should have fired up all 3 elements inside the reactor to produce more power, and that he should have left it running for longer.
Rossi's reply was that the demonstration was sufficient to prove the principle, and he doesn't have time for playing games just for entertainment.

Rossi has used his Cold Fusion reactors to heat a factory in Italy for two years. He's studied, built, and refined these devices for many years now and he says the real demonstration won't come until consumers are getting their electricity for free some time in the coming months.

Rossi has now been granted a patent for the E-Cat from the Italian authorities, and U.S. and E.U. patents are pending.

The main consumable used is powdered nickel and Rossi says his E-Cats will provide electricity for less than 1 cent per kWh.
The other good news is that the devices produce no radioactive waste of any kind.

If this is all true, you can forget about graphene as something revolutionary.
This would change the our world more profoundly than anything else I can think of; at least as profoundly as the invention of electric power itself. 

Imagine no more power bills, no more shelling out money at the gas station, no more wars over oil and gas supplies, no more lack of drinking water anywhere, no more hunger and destitution in 3rd-world countries, etc., etc. etc. .... the list could go on forever. 

What's so encouraging about this development is that it follows on from the upbeat attitude of Dr. McKubre, as I've mentioned.
However, it appears that the theory is starting to catch up with the practice - something absolutely necessary if you're to get mainstream physics onside.

I've been reading through this peer-reviewed paper on the website of the 'Journal Of Nuclear Physics' [ See THIS SITE. ].

{ Warning: The above linked site contains complex graphs and equations based in quantum mechanics!! It utilises mathematics to explain, possibly for the first time, how the energy of nuclear fusion can be obtained at room temperature ... WITHOUT the production of radiation or dangerous radio-active nuclear waste products.
Please DO NOT access this site if you are nervous around algebra and numbers in general!}

Suffice it to say that the paper describes how the likelihood of nuclear fusion is greatly enhanced if the target material is ensconced in the crystal lattice of certain compounds.
In other words, the enormous repulsive forces (called Coulomb forces) preventing positive nuclei from fusing can be overcome by bracketing the material destined for fusion in a quantum electrical 'cage' to keep it from rejecting that fusion.

Here are the three most important parts of the paper, found in the sections marked 'Abstract', 'Introduction', and 'Discussion', respectively:

Recent accelerator experiments on fusion of various elements have clearly demonstrated that the effective cross-sections of these reactions depend on what material the target particle is placed in. In these experiments, there was a significant increase in the probability of interaction when target nuclei are imbedded in a conducting crystal or are a part of it. These experiments open a new perspective on the problem of so-called cold nuclear fusion.

... One of the convincing arguments of skeptics was the lack in these experiments of evidence of nuclear decay products. It was assumed that “if there are no neutrons, therefore there is no fusion.” However, quite a large international group of physicists, currently a total of about 100-150 people, continues to work in this direction. To date, these enthusiasts have accumulated considerable experience in the field. The leading group of physicists working in this direction, in our opinion, is the group led by Dr. M. McKubre.

... Perhaps, in this long-standing history of cold fusion, finally the mystery of this curious and enigmatic phenomenon is gradually being opened. Besides possible benefits that the practical application of this discovery will bring, the scientific community should take into account the sociological lessons that we have gained during such a long ordeal of rejection of this brilliant, though largely accidental, scientific discovery. We would like to express the special appreciation to the scientists that actively resisted the negative verdict imposed about twenty years ago on this topic by the vast majority of nuclear physicists.

I think this is vitally important stuff. smile
And I'm proud to see the name of Dr. M. McKubre mentioned as a leading light in this research, since he's the man I spoke to on the telephone 14 years ago.
He told me then that Cold Fusion is no fantasy, and I listened to him and I detected nothing but sincerity in what he said. And I believed what he told me. B)
He's a real honest-to-God scientist.
He hasn't had his snout in the trough of nonsense like Global Warming pseudoscience.
He's been labouring against the trend in nuclear physics.
No public exaltation or public largesse for him and his compatriots.
Quite the opposite - they've had to weather ridicule for their curiosity!
Now THAT'S real science!! smile

Nevertheless, I still can't believe Cold Fusion is finally finding recognition in mainstream physics.
I was beginning to think I'd be dead before it finally happened. roll

I think we could be onto something very big here.
(Incidentally, the 1 MW Cold Fusion reactor is scheduled to be powered up on the 28th of this month. Possibly history in the making. Fingers crossed!  smile  )

As far as I can tell, given that Rossi is keeping his cards fairly close to his chest, the 1 MW reactor is inside a shipping container for ease of transport and the test is to be conducted in America.
I found out just yesterday that's because the test is to be conducted in front of a potential American customer, who'll presumably write a cheque for the device and take delivery immediately(?).

Two potential problems with all of this.
One is that there are laws about setting up your own 'nuclear reactor' on U.S. soil, which might give authorities an 'out' if they were inclined to smother Cold Fusion and shut Rossi down. [Mind you, if they did invoke that law, it would be tanatamount to admitting Rossi's device is a low-temperature fusion device.]
Secondly, Rossi's first two factories (one being built as we speak and another due for construction soon) are in Greece - possibly because Europe's biggest nickel reserves are there. However, I've seen sketchy reports of disruption among executives of the company, which is called Defkalion I believe. There's some kind of argument going on somewhere, which I don't like the sound of. 

Anyway, I suppose 'all will be revealed' at the end of this month .... we hope!

:: EDIT :: (3 hours later)
Correction. It seems the 1 MW test is to be conducted in Bologna, Italy. When questioned about the way the test will be conducted, Rossi said the American customer will determine that.
I'm not sure at this stage whether the suggestion of the test being conducted on U.S. soil was always inaccurate or whether they changed their minds because of logistical difficulties or possible legal implications. 
We'll have to wait and see.

By the way, in common with all these devices (as far as I know), it takes conventional power input to get them started. Then it appears they self-sustain.
I'm thinking of how you would get them up-and-running in villages across Africa and India - perhaps with batteries or portable generators(?). I suppose, once you have one unit operating in a village, it can be used to power up a second unit ... and so on.
While you're cleaning and 're-fueling' a unit with nickel powder etc., you'd need to have another unit operating to get the first one started up again afterwards?

Up until now, very few mainstream media outlets have had much to say about the E-Cat.
However THIS ARTICLE in the prestigious Forbes magazine has started the ball rolling .. at least in the United States. smile

The article, by seasoned journalist Mark Gibbs, asks some very interesting questions about the effect of this potentially game-changing technology:

So, here’s what I’m wondering: If the E-Cat does work, how will ultra-cheap energy transform your world? Imagine the following:

•Where today you use petroleum products for motive energy (for example, to propel cars, trucks, and planes) you will be using steam engines or Stirling engines. In theory you’ll be able to drive across the country for cents. What will that do to the trucking industry? The shipping industry? Aviation?

•With the demand for gasoline falling overnight and petroleum becoming needed primarily as feedstock for plastics, the US would immediately become self-sufficient in crude oil. What will happen in the Middle East without the huge flow of cash from the Western hemisphere? How will world politics be changed?

•An E-Cat system could power your house or office making the existing grid obsolete. What would it mean to make your personal and corporate electricity and gas bills nearly zero?

•The cost of manufacturing would fall very quickly with energy removed from the equation. If you are in manufacturing of any kind, this will affect you enormously. How fast could and how would you rework your corporate strategy to become competitive in a market where prices suddenly plummeted (note that the suddenly reduced cash flows would play havoc with the finance structures of many corporations).

He ends by saying how much he's looking forward to the 28th of October.
Me too! smile

As the day of the demonstration of Rossi's 1MW Low Energy Nuclear Reactor (LENR) to his American customer approaches, Rossi has begun his own lead-in tests of its output and reports he is satisfied with the performance.

Meanwhile, affiliate professor Dr. George Miley at the University of Illinois, a respected cold fusion researcher, has offered his expertise to Rossi, to analyse exactly what processes are producing the energy of the E-Cat.
Dr. Miley has developed a process called SIMS-NAA (sorry, not sure what the acronym stands for) which has been used to investigate changes in the isotopes of the electrodes utilised in cold fusion devices.
[ See THIS SITE. ]

... a unique SIMS-NAA analysis technique for studies of isotopes in thin films after electrolysis in a packed cell bed.  The idea being for the electrolysis to help narrow up and isolate the metals.  Then the materials can be identified and quantified.

.. That would clearly identify the difference between the material going in before use and the condition or changes undergone during a reaction period.

Seems a good idea to apply the technique to the E-Cat. smile
If a detailed understanding of what's happening in the E-Cat is obtained, it should be possible to refine the reactor to maximise results:

Using the analysis should also offer more insight on what is happening inside a Rossi E-Cat while operating.  That’s the sort of information that would allow Rossi and others to grasp the operation inside the reactor and optimize and modify it to suit a wider set of needs.

I don't think Rossi is particularly concerned at the moment about the fundamentals of the reaction. His primary concern is to get commercial reactors out there into the market and worry about the details later.

I think the present state of play might be likened to the advent of internal-combustion powered motor vehicles over 100 years ago.
Long before the finer points of combustion chamber dynamics, fuel injection, or electronic timing were even thought of, the main objective was to build and sell working vehicles.
It took decades before cars approached their present levels of sophistication and reliability.

If Rossi shows the world a 1MW LENR, up and running and churning out cheap, clean, inexhaustible energy, then he'll have achieved his aim. B)
Plenty of time, at that point, for the theoreticians to do their calculations and the engineers to do their modifications, so that more efficient versions can be created for towns, cities and individual homes.

Just a few days left until E-day.

I've been wondering for weeks now just how much nickel is used in Rossi's E-Cat reactor.
I just found out today that, according to Rossi himself, the 1MW reactor will run continuously for 6 months on about 10kg of nickel (which is about $170 worth at curent prices).
That means 1 tonne of nickel would keep it churning out 1MW of power for 50 years.

There are current known global reserves of nickel totalling 140,000,000 tonnes.
Theoretically enough to keep Rossi's 1MW reactor going for ... 7 billion years! 

Not bad. 

Incidentally, the concentration of nickel in a typical nickel-iron asteroid varies from about 5% to as high as 25%.
There are more than 1 million asteroids greater than 1 kilometre across in the Asteroid Belt, of which around 10% are almost pure nickel-iron.

Let's take a 1-kilometre diameter (spherical, for the sake of argument) nickel-iron asteroid.
That's about 500,000,000 cubic metres of nickel-iron.
Around 10%, or about 50,000,000 cubic metres of that, is nickel.

The density of nickel is 8.9 tonnes/cubic metre.
So 50,000,000 cubic metres of nickel comes to about 450,000,000 tonnes of the stuff. 

That's roughly 3 times all the known recoverable reserves of nickel on Earth.
All in just one modest nickel-iron asteroid.
If the E-Cat works as advertised, we have enough nickel on Earth to last for a long time, but we have so much more of it available if we mine the Asteroid Belt. 

Well, it seems to have worked O.K. 
The reactor produced 470kW continuously in self-sustain mode, which was enough to satisfy the mystery customer. The deal was struck and the sale has been made.

The word is that Associated Press has the exclusive for today but then its open to all news agencies.
We should be getting more information as the day progresses.

I'm not sure why the output was only 470kW and not 1000kW, as expected from a 1MW reactor, but there may have been safety considerations.
They've never operated one of these E-Cats up to 1MW before, and there were a lot of important people there to see it.
An explosion would have been bad for business I suppose.   

This could possibly be Day 1 of a new future for humanity. Maybe.
It's a very good start anyhow. 

The less-than-expected power output (0.47MW instead of 1MW) was due to a glitch with the pipework, so I'm led to believe.

Anyhow, Rossi has now sold a second 1MW type reactor to a different party - don't know much about that one yet either. roll

He has the CE mark for company-to-company sales but not the CE required for sale to individual private customers as yet. (The CE mark is a kind of permit for sales in the E.U.)
He thinks he should sell another 30 to 100 of these bigger units to various organisations over the next 12 months.

At least some of the manufacturing is being undertaken in Florida, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Rossi will be over there shortly to oversee a ramping up of production.

[ See THIS SITE for details if you're interested in any of this stuff. If and when this story breaks in the mainstream media, I'll leave you to it. smile  ]

Unsurprisingly, the knives are out for Andrea Rossi and his E-Cat ... and that's a good thing. smile
So far, there's been no news from Associated Press outlets regarding the purported sale of one or more of these LENR devices to mystery customers, which leaves an information vacuum into which rumours and hypotheses are inevitably drawn.

There are many good reasons not to believe in E-Cats, not least of which is the one written clearly on page 1 of that ever-popular publication: “The Wide-Eyed Romantic’s Guide To Bullshit Detection”, where it says: ‘If something seems too good to be true .. quickly check your hip pocket to see if your wallet’s still there’, or words to that effect.
But the following article in Forbes magazine treats the subject about as even-handedly (perhaps even generously) as any I’ve seen:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markgibbs/2011...-and-the-e-cat/

The author, Mark Gibbs, admits he’d like it to be real but remains skeptical. Nevertheless, if it's all some kind of a 'sting', he can’t seem to find any clear-cut pattern to Rossi’s behaviour which would explain his motives. If Rossi wants fame and/or fortune by sleight-of-hand, Gibbs doesn’t understand how he plans to achieve either.

If Rossi really is involved in a scam, he’s spent a significant proportion of his life and personal assets on it so far and, when the truth is revealed, which it surely will be, he’ll have little to look forward to in his old age but poverty and vilification. But on the other hand, if he’s just a delusional old man, he has Emeritus Professor Focardi of Bologna University at his side as his equally-delusional compatriot. :huh:

Now skeptics have latched onto unconfirmed reports that there was an external cable connected to the 1MW E-Cat during the customer demonstration last Friday. They maintain that energy was fed into the device from the grid; that the whole thing is clearly fraudulent. If so, it’s a very transparent deception perpetrated by someone who has, in all other respects, gone about it in a deviously detailed and sophisticated way. Surely he would have been a bit more careful about something as glaringly obvious as a bloody great power cable trailing out of his wonder machine! big_smile

And what about ‘the customer’? It beggars belief that someone would part with a large sum of money to buy nothing more than a 470kW immersion heater powered with conventional electricity from the local grid!
What manner of fool would fall for a trick like that, I hear you ask?
“Ahaaahhhh!!” say the skeptics, knowingly. “The mystery buyer doesn’t exist either!”
In fact, it’s a well-known part of scams of this sort that in the background there’s always a powerful backer, purchaser, collaborator .. whatever ... whose identity cannot be revealed, but whose shadowy presence lends an air of gravitas to the whole thing.

In short, E-Cats bear many of the hallmarks of trickery, yet there’s no clear motive for it. Mind you, the longer I live the more I realise that trying to apply logic to human behaviour frequently doesn’t work, and there may be no limit to what some people might do to carry off a hoax and then laugh at us for believing in it. :unsure:
So who knows ..?

As I said, skepticism is a good thing and of course it should be applied vigorously to all hypotheses.
It's only a pity that it isn't applied more vigorously, and more publicly and by more scientists, to the hypothesis of man-made Global Warming. <_<
But then, there's that human behaviour thing again ...

Online

#4 2011-12-05 22:20:06

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,576
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

I hope the E-cat guy is for real.  Historically,  our best,  most dramatic advances took place when somebody upset the applecart of conventional wisdom.  It's way past time this happened to the "fusion business". 

GW Johnson


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

Offline

#5 2011-12-06 04:25:05

Glandu
Member
From: France
Registered: 2011-11-23
Posts: 106

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Trap is, 99,99 of parralel thinking is bullcrap or misunderstanding, & it's rather tough to distinguish the real added value in the middle of the crap. Geniuses see it before anyone else(and it usually requires a lot of determination from them).

Of course, I'd love to see it work.


"I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation." (Alistair Cockburn, Oath of Non-Allegiance)

Offline

#6 2011-12-06 10:42:13

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

I'm with Glandu on this.  Like many other instances where cold fusion has been claimed, this has not been fully scientifically verified.  There are plenty of scientists out there who could fairly easily take a look at this E-cat machine and pick it apart and see if it actually works.  Further, I noticed that complaints about his test were challenged because the machine was not fully started up and was not running for a significant amount of time.  Rossi responded by saying he didn't have time for that; Who doesn't have time to revolutionize science and legitimize themselves in the process?

I am highly suspicious, and intend to be until I see significant numbers of working plants that are proven to generate net energy.


-Josh

Offline

#7 2011-12-06 11:22:10

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Well, isn't the fusion energy available from fusing hydrogen to helium more than that required for helium-nickel fusion?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#8 2011-12-06 11:39:42

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

So?  The laws of physics don't just talk about the energies involved, but also talk about mechanisms etc.  It is my understanding that if fusion worked at such low temperatures and energies, conservation of energy and momentum would have to be violated in the course of the reaction.


-Josh

Offline

#9 2011-12-06 12:40:43

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

No, not really. The hypothetical (and in my opinion, unlikely) mechanism to my mind would be that the Nickle nuclei would somehow catalyse hydrogen fusion, the resultant nuclei then fusing with the nickle to give copper, plus a smattering of other elements and isotopes. Remember, P-P fusion isn't supposed to occur at temperatures as "low" as those found in the Sun, but it does.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#10 2011-12-06 15:32:38

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

I'm no expert on quantum physics, but based on my understanding of quantum tunneling, it is effectively impossible for fusion to happen at any significant rate at such low temperatures.

Do you have a citation that shows that theory says that fusion should not occur in the Sun?  I find it highly unlikely that that is true, especially because the temperature at the center of the Sun is very poorly constrained.  Keep in mind that the sun generates about a milliwatt per cubic kilometer, even at a temperature at the core of about 15,000,000 K.


-Josh

Offline

#11 2011-12-06 20:08:29

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Hi Josh,

Cold fusion is just a couple of words.  A lot of people prefer to call it Low Energy Nuclear Reaction. Clearly it is being taken seriously by a lot of scientists.  Have you heard of what Bushnell of NASA had to say?

http://ecatnews.com/?p=1554


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#12 2011-12-06 22:42:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,097

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Welcome back Louis....

Online

#13 2011-12-07 03:12:03

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: The fusion age has begun.

I'm going to go with my usual response to claims like this. Hope it works. World changing, etc, etc. Get back to me if it does (though I don't think I'll have a problem being informed of that).


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

Offline

#14 2011-12-07 03:14:44

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: The fusion age has begun.

What kind of radiation is this thing producing?  That should be pretty easy to figure out, and is certainly absolutely essential for the safety of those involved.  What? No neutrons?  No alpha, no beta, no protons, no gamma, no X-rays, no nothing?   Hmmm. 

What was it P.T. said?

Offline

#15 2011-12-07 03:21:43

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Nice to see New Mars back after such a long break.  Hello all the usual suspects.

Offline

#16 2011-12-08 14:31:15

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

louis wrote:

Hi Josh,

Cold fusion is just a couple of words.  A lot of people prefer to call it Low Energy Nuclear Reaction. Clearly it is being taken seriously by a lot of scientists.  Have you heard of what Bushnell of NASA had to say?

http://ecatnews.com/?p=1554

"Just a couple of words"? That's the name of the process that you are propounding as a solution of the energy crisis.  LENR is BS.  It's a euphemism designed to hide the fact that they're engaging in grossly unscientific and often downright corrupt behavior.  If this e-cat ends up providing net power to the grid I will eat my hat, and you can quote me on this (and choose from all of the hats I own which one I would eat).

The science behind Cold Fusion (specifically with designs like the "E-cat," which seems to be little different from past devices, all of which have failed to demonstrate net energy production) is just not there.  What "evidence" exists comes from distortions of data, bias, and bad scientific practice.

Also, Welcome back Bobunf!

Last edited by JoshNH4H (2011-12-08 14:31:35)


-Josh

Offline

#17 2011-12-08 15:16:57

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Well, I wouldn't claim that cold fusion is physically impossible - you need a lot of kinetoc energy, but that doesn't mean a lot of heat, and the more pressure you have the less kinetic energy you need, so if you can get ridiculously high pressure (converging waves?) you don't need much kinetic energy at all...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

Offline

#18 2011-12-08 19:42:32

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Well, Cold Fusion is possible in limited circumstances, where something weird is going on; For example, Muon Catalyzed fusion is entirely viable and takes place at temperatures actually below room temperature, around 3K.  Sonofusion is also a relatively well-established phenomenon, though it does not (Cannot?  I don't know) achieve Q>1.  In the case of sonofusion, there is actually an intermediary of heat.  This is true for all wave-based fusion, unless you can compress a substance without a release of heat, which so far as my understanding goes is impossible.

Also, if you want to get technical, atomic nuclei which are being fused in a particle accelerator are not technically hot, because their motion is not random, but to call a particle accelerator an example of cold fusion would be just plain wrong.

Nevertheless, lest I be forced to spuriously eat one of my hats, I should clarify that I mean Cold Fusion as a device in which fusion occurs at significant rates without lowering the potential energy barrier that prevents fusion happening and without providing sufficient energy to surmount that barrier, even with quantum tunneling ad other currently understood phenomena factored in.


-Josh

Offline

#19 2011-12-09 01:04:27

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: The fusion age has begun.

I'm reminded of the mechanical Turk - the supposed chess playing automaton that fooled Europeans and American for nearly a century, even including Benjamin Franklin, Edgar Allen Poe, and Napoleon Bonaparte. 

And, is it not so very convenient that it not only produces no emissions, no radioactivity, but also no radioactive isotopes?  And it's cheap.

There lies the same problem as with Polywell.  These guys been heating some factory for the last two years.  The Polywell guys have been doing stuff for decades.  If the things actually worked, an awful lot of entities would be very, very interested. 

>  Countries with energy security issues like Japan, Israel, Taiwan, Malta and about a hundred others
>  Big exporters of oil and other energy resources like Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and about 20 others
>  For nuclear physicists of all types this would be evidence of a completely new and previously unknown type of nuclear reaction challenging our basic understanding of nuclear processes.  They should be all over this.  As others have been known to say, "Fascinating."
>  Big oil, coal and nuclear companies for the same reason as countries who are big exporters of energy
>  Companies that use large amounts of energy could save a lot of money.

Many of these entities have very effective intelligence services.  They should be swarming all over projects like this one, which, if true, could transform the world economy and political situation within a few years.  And the media should follow along. 

But governments, intelligence services, large corporations and the media seem pretty uninterested.  Could they all be that blind and stupid?  My instinct for nonsense is energized.

Offline

#20 2011-12-09 21:08:54

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Bobunf -

Benjamin Franklin didn't work on a series of protoypes of the Turk over 4 years did he?  But Sergio Focardi, well respected prof at Uni of Bologna, did work with Rossi on prototypes over 4 years. If Rossi is a scammer he is (a) a very patient one and (b) one who can fool a scientist such as Focardi working close up on a machine.

I think you have to admit it is not inherently plausible that he is a scammer - if he is a scammer, it will be a VERY UNUSUAL example of a scam, completely atypical.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#21 2011-12-10 00:09:48

Adaptation
Member
Registered: 2011-11-22
Posts: 42

Re: The fusion age has begun.

The guy says that fusion happens even with out his fancy catalyst, I don't just want to be on the sidelines for something this big; I'm going to put it to the test. 

I found a makeshift schematic from a NASA paper on the subject, bought some nickle powder.  I have a well suited machine shop for the metal fab and have more than adequate vacuum pumps for degassing and I'm bidding on a guiger counter. 

http://newenergytimes.com/v2/government … rkshop.pdf

Josh when I turn it on and detect elevated gamma radiation will you eat a hat I give you?

Offline

#22 2011-12-10 03:56:22

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Louis, it was also not plausible that Bernie Madolff, former Chairman of NASDAQ, in business, successfully, for 40 years, would be a scammer.  But it doesn't take a scammer; just somebody who's delusional. 

Start with the folk wisdom:  If it's too good to be true, it isn't.

Offline

#23 2011-12-10 07:45:55

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,865

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Bobunf,

Madoff is a good example of the way a real scammer works - he didn't court publicity. He operated on the basis of word-of-mouth "recommendations" and people's greed to bring them to him.  His scam required very little investment of money or even time from him.

Rossi, on the contrary has done rather a lot to court publicity. His demonstrations have been witnessed by a range of observers close up.  He has made a substantial investment himself as far as we can tell. He has spent a lot of time on developing the machine in close collaboration with a well respected scientist who is 100% convinced about what the machine can do.

Am I not ruling out the possibility that he is a scammer, but it doesn't really accord with other scams.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

Offline

#24 2011-12-11 08:53:30

CheckDavid
Member
Registered: 2011-11-21
Posts: 12
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Have you guys ever heard about Focus Fusion?

I don't have the scientific of technical know-how to figure out if it is even true or not.


Check me at CheckDavid.com

Offline

#25 2011-12-12 09:15:39

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,576
Website

Re: The fusion age has begun.

Odd I have to log in twice3 to stay logged in.  Hmmm.

Cold fusion,  or whatever you want to call it,  may or may not be "real",  in the sense that it may or may not work,  regardless of what current theoretical thinking is.  Being an engineer,  I'm a lot less preoccupied about physics theories,  and a whole lot more concerned with results.  If this guy's E-cat machines really do generate power without a scam or cheat somewhere,  then I say use them,  and let's go get some new theories. 

I guess you could say I'm skeptically open-minded.  The skepticism is proportional to the lifetime of the theory being "violated".  Nuclear reaction stuff only dates to the 1930-1940's.  A lot of it could still be wrong or incomplete. 

On the other hand,  conservation of energy / first law of thermodynamics goes back more than 3 centuries without a single violation (for proper system definitions).  When people come to me with perpetual motion machines based on weights or magnets,  I am very,  very skeptical. 

I don't see E-cat as violating the first law yet.  It's either a scam,  or the energy release is coming from something outside prior well-known physics.  That second possibility is not something we can rule out.  Yet.  Being outside an existing theory is not a disqualifier:  see Ptolemaic vs Copernican astronomy (both made usable predictions),  see also Newtonian mechanics vs relativistic mechanics (both make the same predictions at low speeds and Newton is easier to use). 

The original Pons and Fleischman cold fusion incident was not an intended cheat.  It turned out to be irreproducible by others.  Pons and Fleischman sincerely believed they were on to something. 

Why was it irreprodicible?  Well,  either they were wrong,  or else what was happening in their experiment had more parameters than they knew to control for,  which means they could not communicate what they didn't know to others.  Even today,  that second possibility cannot be ruled out,  because there are no theories for this sort of thing. 

So,  until I see what happens with E-cat machines sold for use (do they generate power or not?),  I think the jury is out.  Polywell fusion is another one on which the jury is still out.  The US Navy recognizes it to be a "long shot",  but worthy of trials to find out.  I'm not holding my breath either,  but I hope the polywell guys succeed. 

Similarly,  I do hope the E-cat guy is successful.  We need some breakthroughs.  But it's only hope,  and a willingness to investigate. 

You have to investigate the new ideas that violate preconceptions,  which does not mean you bet the farm on them being right.  You just have to go find out whether they're right.  History says the best advances come from that process.  It's like evolution:  fits and starts punctuating long periods of stagnation.  Science and technology doesn't change very much at all by incremental improvements.  Never has. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB