PDA

View Full Version : Nuclear fusion in a beaker - a reality?


chibianh
Mar 11, 2004, 11:21 AM
Well, for those interested in physics, bubble fusion has recently made headlines in the science world again.. except there's evidence to back it up this time. Imagine, nuclear fusion on your desktop. Think of the impact this will have on society with the amount of space it takes up!

http://www.physicsweb.org/article/news/8/3/3

wdlove
Mar 11, 2004, 11:28 AM
If this time it can be verified then it is a great breakthrough. I'm sure that the uses would be limitless.

Mr. Anderson
Mar 11, 2004, 11:31 AM
Really cool stuff - and I'd love to see it become mainstream. A cheap form of energy would be quite welcome - and its only acetone :D - but I'd be interested in knowing what would happen to all the Tritium and Deuterium generated....

D

Torajima
Mar 11, 2004, 11:48 AM
Well, for those interested in physics, bubble fusion has recently made headlines in the science world again.. except there's evidence to back it up this time. Imagine, nuclear fusion on your desktop. Think of the impact this will have on society with the amount of space it takes up!

http://www.physicsweb.org/article/news/8/3/3

"Cold Fusion" has been a reality for a long time, it's just that the mainstream scientists don't want anything to do it with it because it doesn't jibe with established theories.

Note that I don't think fusion is actually taking place... but I do think the process is capable of producing energy, and THAT is what's important.

JesseJames
Mar 11, 2004, 12:51 PM
I got nuclear fusion going on in my colon right now. I just ate Taco Bell.

D*I*S_Frontman
Mar 11, 2004, 12:55 PM
Now it all makes perfect sense.

The G5 laptop delay is obviously due to working out the final details to the cold fusion reactor core. Getting the deuterium tank and the sound emitters to fit in a 3/4" aluminum case is a bit tougher for Ives and the boys than they first imagined.

It will be worth the wait. A shotglass worth of deuterium would have enough energy to run the thing for 50 years, even the biggest power-hog G5 CPU and a 17" display as bright as the sun.

Go Apple! Can I preorder mine yet?!

Opteron
Mar 11, 2004, 04:05 PM
While still very vague, it's a step forward

"Thermonuclear sono-fusion may not be impossible," says Willy Moss of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, "but more tests need to done. Personally, I would like the results to be real, but I believe that the nature of these claims requires absolute proof."

I love it when published articles don't get proof read.:p

tpjunkie
Mar 11, 2004, 04:13 PM
When I was working over the summer, we had one of those things rigged up using water, it was really cool, and no one could give me a sufficient answer for how it works that wasn't Waaaaaay over my head

nuclearwinter
Mar 11, 2004, 04:18 PM
how many times are we going to come back to this? every time it gets shot down. someone just won't admit they are wrong... sounds like alchemy to me, just another iron into gold story...

MongoTheGeek
Mar 11, 2004, 04:36 PM
While still very vague, it's a step forward

"Thermonuclear sono-fusion may not be impossible," says Willy Moss of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, "but more tests need to done. Personally, I would like the results to be real, but I believe that the nature of these claims requires absolute proof."

I love it when published articles don't get proof read.:p

If they did it with ethanol instead of acetone would you need absolut proof?

stoid
Mar 11, 2004, 08:44 PM
If we are to truly advance as a species and as energy users, we need to drop this stupid idea of boiling water to generate energy.
It makes sense to burn gasoline to boil water, but seriously think about it. We smash a ****ing atom! Why? So we can boil a ****ing pot of water?!? Meanwhile we have layers and layers of insulation so that the operators faces don't get melted Raiders of the Lost Ark style! Certainly there it a better way to harvest the insane power of the intermolecular bond than using it like a household radiator! It's just so damn inefficient. Sad really.

Les Kern
Mar 11, 2004, 09:29 PM
"Cold Fusion" has been a reality for a long time, it's just that the mainstream scientists don't want anything to do it with it because it doesn't jibe with established theories.

Yep.
Another conspiracy to keep them pesky scientists away from a Nobel prize and untold riches.
Gather your stuff up and take a sabbatical.

Les Kern
Mar 11, 2004, 09:34 PM
Now it all makes perfect sense.
A shotglass worth of deuterium would have enough energy to run (a G5) for 50 years, even the biggest power-hog G5 CPU and a 17" display as bright as the sun.
Go Apple! Can I preorder mine yet?!

It's even weirder than that:
I was on the Apple campus recently. They said the big hole in the ground was the foundation for an iAuditorium and Vegan restaurant, but the word around the quad was that the first test of the fusion powered G7 was an unmittigated disaster. Three designers and a SW engineer suffered a Level 7 sunburn, and a PC user was sucked into the black hole it created when it blew.

Les Kern
Mar 11, 2004, 09:38 PM
When I was working over the summer, we had one of those things rigged up using water, it was really cool

We had one too, but the experimant failed because we used Squirt.
But it DID make a nice vodka mixer.

Torajima
Mar 12, 2004, 07:13 AM
Yep.
Another conspiracy to keep them pesky scientists away from a Nobel prize and untold riches.
Gather your stuff up and take a sabbatical.

Conspiracy or no, Cold Fusion exists. There are already Japanese companies basing commercial products on the technology.

Remember, just 20 years ago no one believed in Plate Tectonics... now it's an established fact. 100 years ago, no one believed rocks could fall from the sky... now scientists are worried about giant meteors hitting the earth.

Bigheadache
Mar 12, 2004, 07:31 AM
Conspiracy or no, Cold Fusion exists. There are already Japanese companies basing commercial products on the technology.



If that were true you'd think someone would have scored a nobel for it by now....

P-Worm
Mar 12, 2004, 01:39 PM
Why are all of you bad mouthing these guys for trying. Maybe it's not possible. Maybe all of this work is a waste of time and money.

But if it does happen...

It would change the world. Almost free energy for people. The gains on this would be so extreme, we might not need gas anymore.

If we don't try, we can't succeed.

P-Worm

iindigo
Mar 13, 2004, 10:42 AM
Why are all of you bad mouthing these guys for trying. Maybe it's not possible. Maybe all of this work is a waste of time and money.

But if it does happen...

It would change the world. Almost free energy for people. The gains on this would be so extreme, we might not need gas anymore.

If we don't try, we can't succeed.

P-Worm

Well said :cool: :)

Thomas Veil
Mar 13, 2004, 12:33 PM
It could happen, and it would be wonderful if it did, but we've been down this tired old road many, many times before. Seems every year or two somebody "discovers" fusion power. I'll believe it when I see it.

Les Kern
Mar 13, 2004, 01:31 PM
Conspiracy or no, Cold Fusion exists. There are already Japanese companies basing commercial products on the technology.

Remember, just 20 years ago no one believed in Plate Tectonics... now it's an established fact. 100 years ago, no one believed rocks could fall from the sky... now scientists are worried about giant meteors hitting the earth.

And Hilton Hotels drew up plans for the first hotel in space. Did all the research, drawings, etc.
Of COURSE cold fusion MIGHT be possible, but my point in the post was to address the conspiracy theorists who would actually think the truth could be kept from us, and in fact keeping the truth from us was an idiotic concept in itself. Reminds me of the 80 MPG carburator back in the 70's.
Further, you say NO ONE believed in plate techtonics. That's quite wrong, but you make no distiction between ALL and MOST". No one believed rocks from the sky? Where is that from. You use two examples that are wrong to try to prove CF, then, by grouping it with faulty example, try to prove it must be true. I don't get it.
I don't mean to be snide, but one thing is for sure: We had BETTER find other sources of power and pronto. Hey, instead of 100BN for Iraq, we give it to corporations to find a solution?
I'd be willing to bet the 100BN it WON'T be CF.

Les Kern
Mar 13, 2004, 01:33 PM
If we don't try, we can't succeed. P-Worm

EXACTLY. Nothing should be ruled out initially. We need a national project to find solutions.

agreenster
Mar 13, 2004, 11:00 PM
In behalf of all non-scientific dudes out there (like me)...

WTF is cold fusion?

rainman::|:|
Mar 14, 2004, 12:14 AM
yeah, it's dubious at best, but damn it, i want my Mr. Fusion by 2015 as Back to the Future II promised!

better start saving for my delorian now.

carry on.

paul

Bigheadache
Mar 14, 2004, 12:19 AM
yeah, it's dubious at best, but damn it, i want my Mr. Fusion by 2015 as Back to the Future II promised!

better start saving for my delorian now.

carry on.

paul

Just glue a blender or a food processor on your car. It looks exactly the same :D

GeeYouEye
Mar 14, 2004, 11:34 AM
In behalf of all non-scientific dudes out there (like me)...

WTF is cold fusion?

Cold Fusion is the collective name of several possible (or impossible) ways of doing nuclear fusion as happens in the sun, but at or near room temperature and pressure. The first cold fusion experiment took place at some university in Utah (which one I don't remember). It was basically the electrolysis of heavy water on a positively charged plate of palladium. They found helium among the byproducts, which, without fusion, should have been impossible. It was decided by the DOE to be false within a month. Most (all?) later attempts involve sonnofusion, by which incredibly small bubbles of deuterium in water or other media are collapsed by ultrasonic sound waves. But no one knows for sure whether fusion is actually happening. The indication is a tiny flash of light when it happens.

Personally, I think that the former method would be more likely to work than the latter; seems to me like the deuterium in the bubbles should just dissolve into solution if they were collapsed, and the idea of using a catalyst to bring the nuclei together is proven thing (just not for fusion. yet). For example, the reaction of Hydrogen gas and ethane (IIRC) just doesn't happen under normal conditions. But drop a pinch of platinum powder in, and the reaction is spontaneous, exothermic, and the platinum is reusable.

topicolo
Mar 14, 2004, 12:27 PM
Certainly there it a better way to harvest the insane power of the intermolecular bond than using it like a household radiator! It's just so damn inefficient. Sad really.

technically, a nuclear reaction harnesses the power of an INTRAmolecular bond, as in the nuclear forces between protons and neutrons. In chemical reactions like the combustion of petroleum, the INTERmolecular bonds are broken. Needless to say, the intramolecular bonds release MUCH more energy than just combusting a bunch of kerosene or something.

gopher
Mar 14, 2004, 06:51 PM
Cold Fusion? 10 years ago Pons and Fleischman came to my college to talk about it. From the sounds of what they did, I don't believe they calibrated their thermometers. I wouldn't be surprised if these people did the same. Only through repetitive experimentation can you believe the results. If this is cold fusion, I'll eat my hat. Too many people trying to make a quick buck out there. Prove it works reliably first, then I'll believe it.

windowsblowsass
Mar 14, 2004, 09:19 PM
If we are to truly advance as a species and as energy users, we need to drop this stupid idea of boiling water to generate energy.
It makes sense to burn gasoline to boil water, but seriously think about it. We smash a ****ing atom! Why? So we can boil a ****ing pot of water?!? Meanwhile we have layers and layers of insulation so that the operators faces don't get melted Raiders of the Lost Ark style! Certainly there it a better way to harvest the insane power of the intermolecular bond than using it like a household radiator! It's just so damn inefficient. Sad really.
actually its extremely efficient like inchomprehensible effeciant ohh yeah and fusion is spliting an atom thats fission fusion is merging 2 atoms together ps the reason fusion is so hard to accomplish is that it gets so hot that it can not be contained byanything i heard something before about someone using some sort of gravity generator to keep the gases and such from touching the sides of the containment area

MrMacMan
Mar 14, 2004, 10:22 PM
yeah, it's dubious at best, but damn it, i want my Mr. Fusion by 2015 as Back to the Future II promised!

better start saving for my delorian now.

carry on.

paul

get the parts together fast man!

Its happening!

But really look.

Some groups have said it works others haven't.

We need it recorded and we need some proof.

We need it done several times with scientists which don't believe in it.

MongoTheGeek
Mar 15, 2004, 12:34 PM
Cold Fusion? 10 years ago Pons and Fleischman came to my college to talk about it. From the sounds of what they did, I don't believe they calibrated their thermometers. I wouldn't be surprised if these people did the same. Only through repetitive experimentation can you believe the results. If this is cold fusion, I'll eat my hat. Too many people trying to make a quick buck out there. Prove it works reliably first, then I'll believe it.

Pons and Fleishman were very careful chemists. They did show heat greater than energy in, but not enough to over come the limits of Carnot efficiency. In theory (even more unlikely than cold fusion) they built a no moving parts space heater. There were some people who were able to repeat but it was much more difficult to reproduce than the initial reports made it seem. Getting the experiment to reproduce is nigh on voodoo. Sometimes it works and others it doesn't. The theories that I have heard had to do with imperfections in the crystal structure of the anode.

topicolo
Mar 15, 2004, 10:56 PM
actually its extremely efficient like inchomprehensible effeciant ohh yeah and fusion is spliting an atom thats fission fusion is merging 2 atoms together ps the reason fusion is so hard to accomplish is that it gets so hot that it can not be contained byanything i heard something before about someone using some sort of gravity generator to keep the gases and such from touching the sides of the containment area

Uhhh... gravity generator? Are you sure you didn't hear that from Star Trek or something? We don't have the technology to "generate gravity." The heated deuterium atoms in a Tokamak fusion reactor has all of its electrons stripped off , creating a charged nucleus which is basically plasma. This plasma can be deflected away from the sides of reactor by giant magnetic fields which basically shield the sides of the reactor from melting.

Although the fusion reaction creates energy, the energy used to sustain the field and everything else is greater, so for now, fusion isn't useful.

Santiago
Mar 16, 2004, 12:10 PM
Remember, just 20 years ago no one believed in Plate Tectonics... now it's an established fact. 100 years ago, no one believed rocks could fall from the sky... now scientists are worried about giant meteors hitting the earth.

Plate tectonics was first proposed around 1930, but did not gain any real acceptance until the early 1960s.

G4scott
Mar 17, 2004, 08:11 AM
I heard something rather interesting today, and I'm definitely taking it with a grain of salt until I can verify it, but I was told that there is some lab that has a working fusion reactor. I don't know if this guy was telling the truth, or had just read about this, or what, but he claims that this fusion reactor has just started to produce more power than it consumes (which was the primary problem with them before). They also supposedly use radioactive waste for fuel, since this reactor gets hot enough to run off of anything you throw at it. To keep it from overheating, it uses sodium instead of water for cooling, because the sodium is able to keep the reactor stable, no matter how hot it gets. The only problem is that after this thing has eaten up all the radioactive waste, and landfill waste, and everything else we throw at it, we're out of fuel...

I would take all of this with a big grain of salt, but judging what all he does for a living, I think there might be credibility to all this...

CapnMorgan
Mar 17, 2004, 09:44 PM
If we are to truly advance as a species and as energy users, we need to drop this stupid idea of boiling water to generate energy.
It makes sense to burn gasoline to boil water, but seriously think about it. We smash a ****ing atom! Why? So we can boil a ****ing pot of water?!? Meanwhile we have layers and layers of insulation so that the operators faces don't get melted Raiders of the Lost Ark style! Certainly there it a better way to harvest the insane power of the intermolecular bond than using it like a household radiator! It's just so damn inefficient. Sad really.

Not to be an ass here, but how exactly do you think power generation works? Fossil fuels are burned to boil water, so that water can move a turbine to generate electricity. Boiling water isn't the end result, it's an intermediate step.

G4Scott,
I would take what your friend told you with a huge grain of salt. Using radioactive waste for fusion fuel makes absolutely no sense at all. Fusion = Combining light atoms to form heavy atoms. Most radioactive waste is composed of quite heavy atoms (transuranic, lead, iron, etc.) As I am to understand it, the fusion efforts have been to combine two hydrogen atoms to form helium and energy. As far as using sodium goes, liquid sodium is an excellent high temperature heat transfer fluid for high temperature reactors(500-850 C).

Dippo
Mar 17, 2004, 10:35 PM
Most radioactive waste is composed of quite heavy atoms (transuranic, lead, iron, etc.) As I am to understand it, the fusion efforts have been to combine two hydrogen atoms to form helium and energy. As far as using sodium goes, liquid sodium is an excellent high temperature heat transfer fluid for high temperature reactors(500-850 C).


Actually both Helium and CO2 is also used in both the Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor and Pebble Bed Reactor Design (of course in the AGCR the CO2 is only used as a primary coolant).

MongoTheGeek
Mar 18, 2004, 07:10 AM
Actually both Helium and CO2 is also used in both the Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor and Pebble Bed Reactor Design (of course in the AGCR the CO2 is only used as a primary coolant).

Typically in new designs gas is used for the primary and water is used in the secondary. This prevents having huge amounts of radioactive steam available for release and allows for a lower operating pressure inside the reactor.

Liquid sodium has been tried as well but there are issues with its reactivity and generally being a mess. Neither of which are insurmountable.

Powerbook G5
Mar 18, 2004, 12:58 PM
There have been some attempts with working cold fusion reactors which used ultra powerful magnetic containment to keep the plasma from making contact with the walls, but unfortunately, the process takes so much energy that the resulting output is barely enough to power the facility itself.

jsw
Mar 19, 2004, 12:33 PM
There have been some attempts with working cold fusion reactors which used ultra powerful magnetic containment to keep the plasma from making contact with the walls, but unfortunately, the process takes so much energy that the resulting output is barely enough to power the facility itself.

Do you have sources for that? I was unaware of any fusion systems that had gotten anywhere near breakeven, not had I heard of cold fusion being anything but a hoax. I'd be happy to be enlightened, though, if this is true.

Powerbook G5
Mar 19, 2004, 12:45 PM
I don't have time to do a lot of research, but just a quick google can bring up a few hits, such as:

http://www.pppl.gov/projects/pages/tftr.html

http://encarta.msn.com/media_461526151_761553206_-1_1/Tokamak_Fusion_Reactor.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_fusion_energy

I did a research project on magnetic fusion for science class a few years back and remember finding info on at least two fusion reactors that were in experimental use. I'd do much better research for you, but I have to go to class in five minutes.

jsw
Mar 19, 2004, 12:50 PM
I don't have time to do a lot of research, but just a quick google can bring up a few hits, such as:

http://www.pppl.gov/projects/pages/tftr.html

http://encarta.msn.com/media_461526151_761553206_-1_1/Tokamak_Fusion_Reactor.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_fusion_energy

I did a research project on magnetic fusion for science class a few years back and remember finding info on at least two fusion reactors that were in experimental use. I'd do much better research for you, but I have to go to class in five minutes.

Thanks for the search, but my points are that: (a) cold fusion is a hoax; and (b) fusion hasn't produced break-even energies yet. I know that we've had fusion reactors for some time. But they all suck more power than they produce - and none of them are "cold". Again, I'd be happy to be shown the path out of my ignorance, but none of those sites helped.

Powerbook G5
Mar 19, 2004, 11:34 PM
I know that nuclear fusion hasn't broken even, hence the comment I made about them barely able to light the light bulbs in the facilities themselves. It's just not mature enough as a technology. As far as it not being "cold" fusion, I am pretty sure that even at those extreme temperatures, they are considered to be "cold" fusion. The term cold, as far as I understand, can be applied if the reactor actively cools the plasma while in the process of keeping containment. It's been years since I've really looked at the technology, so I can't say I know much about the process anymore.