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Fleischmann to Work on Commercial Fusion Heater

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the household-fusion dept.

245

deeptrace writes "California company D2Fusion has announced they are hiring Dr. Martin Fleischmann (of 'Pons and Fleischmann' fame). The company belives that they can produce a commercial fusion based home heating prototype within a year. They are also looking at other applications, such as using it as a heat source for a commercially available Stirling electrical generator."

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...Fusion in a ... year? (5, Interesting)

punkguitarist (962709) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993564)

Lets hope Dr.Martin Fleischmann doesn't embaress himself again. I very much doubt this too be true, but fusion in a year would be great!

Re:...Fusion in a ... year? (4, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993597)

Rumour has it that this is going to be turned into a challenging console game: "Duke Fusion Forever"

 

Play it? (2, Funny)

stevenm86 (780116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993774)

Will I be able to play it on my Phanton console?

Re:Play it? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993951)

No, the Phantoon was destroyed by Samus Aran in Super Metroid.

Fusion power in your home (2, Funny)

Quantum Fizz (860218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993650)

No, direct fusion-powered heating and cooling systems have been around [energy.gov] for quite some time now. I mean, getting energy from fusion is pretty old hat these days.

And if you consider intermediary methods of storing energy, fusion power for home heating goes back much further [vt.edu] .

Re:...Fusion in a ... year? (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993716)

Lets hope Dr.Martin Fleischmann doesn't embaress himself again.

What has he got to lose? Work out the possible scenarios

1. Fleischman is a crank and...
1.1 He succeeds by accident.
      Success through monumental incompetence is indistinguishable from briliance to the general public.
      See Christopher Columbus. Fleischman will spend the rest of his life unjustly rubbing his
      detractors' noses in their public humiliation.
1.2 He fails.
      Nobody's opinion of him changes. The only people who profess to believe him are credulous people
      and those who would exploit them. The people who've been saying he was a crank will be vindicated.
      The wait and see people will also feel vindicated, and continue to wait and see, as it's no skin of
      their proverbial noses.

2. Fleischman is a misunderstood genius and ...
2.1 He succeeds by dint of preserverence.
      Vindication is sweet. Fleischman will spend the rest of his life justly rubbing his
      detractors' noses in their public humiliation.
2.2 He fails through no fault of his own.
      Nobody's opinion of him changes. The only people who profess to believe him are credulous people
      and those who would exploit them. The people who've been saying he was a crank will be vindicated.
      The wait and see people will also feel vindicated, and continue to wait and see, as it's no skin of
      their proverbial noses.

The moral of the story will either way: it never pays to give up. The only thing at stake is whether future generations of school children will be forced to produced earnest essays drawing this conclusion from the story.

Re:...Fusion in a ... year? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994199)

The negative outcome:

Fleischmann was a good scientist, who in a moment of over-exuberance over what he thought was a world changing discovery, rushed to publish in the publish or perish world.

He perished when it was discovered his research was not reproducible. Having become the laughinstock of the scientific world, he can no longer get his research published. Making a living is becoming hard, as he can't get research funding.

Rather than give up on science, and take a lower paying more menial job, he falls in with crooks, and fleeces millions out of investors.

Now he's not just a guy who made a mistake, he's a guy who decided to do something immoral with deliberate intent. Old ladies die when they can't buy their winter heat because they got fleeced by this scam. Now he's a murderer in the eyes of history, like Ken Lay.

I'd say that's a worse outcome.

Pick up that phone! (1)

Von Rex (114907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994058)

If you order within the next ten minutes, he'll mail you an anti-grav generator, too.

Fusion in a year... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993572)

...and vapour(ware) in two years ?!?

Is that company publicly traded? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993575)

I'm gonna short-sell and be rich in a year!

Re:Is that company publicly traded? (1)

gvc (167165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993865)

You are making the specious assumption that stock-market price has something to do with having a viable product.

Re:Is that company publicly traded? (1)

greginnj (891863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993891)

You are making the specious assumption that you understand what the term 'short-selling' means.

Umm... (0)

fhic (214533) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993578)

Maybe this should be tagged as "what were they thinking?"

Hmm...come to think about it... (4, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993579)

A lot of businesses rely on stupidity of people. Usually on stupidity of consumers. This one just relies on stupidity of investors...

Re:Hmm...come to think about it... (1)

0xC0FFEE (763100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993706)

When the business plan isn't about sound business, than the business plan is the business.

Re:Hmm...come to think about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993913)

To paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke: Any business plan with sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Will it explode (2, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993582)

like a cell lithium laptop battery?

Re:Will it explode (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993632)

If you connect the + directly to the -, watch out!

What? April 1st already? (5, Funny)

pentalive (449155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993587)

My first though was "What is it, April 1st?" heat a home with fusion?? Hmm nope, not april 1st. Rent is not due.

They want you to invest, not pay rent (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994026)


In me opinion, me conjectures/thinks they announced Fleischmann was hired to encourage people to invest in their company's stock. After all, if Fleischmann is willing to sign on.. they must have something of potential value. They even provided their stock ticker symbol in the article, so if you want to invest ..it's easy!

So, to me, this does not mean they have a viable product that is guaranteed to make millions, it just means they want people to invest money in their company.

Fleishman has balls (2, Funny)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993588)

Fleishman is delivering the science which everybody rejected until they no longer could ignore their discovery. This guy has balls. Willing to apply the science while the Doubting Thomas's snicker and lift a finger to type diatribes at him.

Re:Fleishman has balls (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993618)

He might have balls but that doesn't mean that he's not full of it. This is no more than a cynical attempt by this company to aquire venture funding. People have not ignored his 'science'; they have tested it, found that there is nothing in it and moved on.

Re:Fleishman has balls (1)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993626)

Even if he has balls, he has no semen so-to-speak. No proof that his inventions work.

Re:Fleishman has balls (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993779)

Fleishman is delivering the science which everybody rejected until they no longer could ignore their discovery.

You mean D2Fusion delivered the cash to Fleischmann to be a figurehead in the company.

Re:Fleishman has balls (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993831)

Indeed he does have cojones. There was a good special on Living on Earth about cold fusion. Turns out, the experiments have in fact been replicated but it's difficult to do so. Seems that Pons and Fleischmann jumped the gun with their discovery. Instead of publishing it and subjecting it to peer review, they put it to the media first.

That was their first mistake because in the process, critical details about the procedure for producing cold fusion were left out.

http://www.loe.org/series/fusion.htm [loe.org] where you can download mp3's of the show.

Re:Fleishman has balls (1, Offtopic)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993833)

Sorry, but you just hit on one of my pet peeves.

If you know your Bible, you'll know that the rest of the disciples had locked themselves in a room, afraid to venture out, which is a hardly a ringing endorsement of their faith. We don't know why Thomas was not with them, but if we follow earlier passages in John, we might guess Thomas is what we'd call a pragmatist. When Jesus says "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.", it's Thomas who comes up with the simple question than any practical thinker would ask: "Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" Everyone else would have stood around nodding sagely but with no idea at all what was being said.

We don't know why Thomas is not with them when the resurrected Jesus makes his appearance; some have inferred he was disillusioned by Jesus' execution. However, we have no evidence that Thomas has abandoned the other disciples. I like to think that somebody had to go out to buy food and get news and see to other practical concerns while the others cowered behind their locked door. And Jesus, while chiding him very gently, returns to give him exactly what he asks for.

So, the lesson I'd draw from this is like the story of Martha and Mary. We all understand the importance of pragmatism. But you can't live for and by pragmatism alone. Which is a wise thing for a man to live by, but an unwise one for a scientist or investor. Doubting Thomas had his virtues, one of which is courage, which implies a kind of faith that is not exactly belief. Likewise his skeptical namesakes througout the ages can claim a share of those same virtues.

Fleishman found something, but what? (5, Informative)

leftie (667677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994004)

There is no question that Pons and Fleischmann discovered some kind of previous unknown phenomena in their U Utah lab in the late 1980's. The question is what? If Pons and Fleischmann send in their research to scientific journals saying we did this experiment and we regularly got excess heat we can't expalin and we don't know why, Pons and Fleischmann are heroes to the scientific community.

Where Pons and Fleischmann made their mistake was rushing to the press to stick a label "Cold Fusion" to their unexplained phenomena that they even admitted they didn't really understand.

Whatever the phenomenon Pons and Fleischmann discovered is, too many people have repeated similar work and been successful getting similar results.

Mendel did a lot of great work on genetics and heredity without knowing a thing about DNA. I have a feeling the Pons and Fleischmann work will be a similar situation. They found an experiment that proves something in a science we are incapable of analyzing yet.

This is smart. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993593)

Since he's the only guy on the planet (or one of the only two, I suppose) who has the skills to make his experiment function as described.

Who would you hire, one of the hundred or so people who couldn't do it, even though they followed the protocols to the letter?

Re:This is smart. (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993622)

Actually, if I remembr correctly D. Fleischmann always said that his experiments where not carried out by the protocol. In one case they were, but the results were interpreted in a wrong way. I can only hope he's right. That would be awesome.
Sorry, too tired to look for the actual source of my statement, but I am pretty confident that's what he said...

"Within a year" (4, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993595)

Most of them say that. "Within a year". "Within two years". "Within four years".

But never "now", or "in the stores next week", or "come, see this working!"

Re:"Within a year" (1)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993648)

the standard is usually; "Within 5 years". So at least it's improving....

Re:"Within a year" (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993682)

Perhaps they meant "dog year"....

Re:"Within a year" (0, Offtopic)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993794)

Whenever Steve Jobs says "now" or "in the stores next week" he usually means "within a year".

Re:"Within a year" (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994187)

Given that he's never even proven his original experiment was authentic or repeatable, I'm leaning toward never. D2Fusion is robbing themselves blind, or getting bilked.

Hot fusion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993598)

but cold news.

Stupid, Party of Many, Your Table is Ready! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993607)

Where are the investors of D2Fusion when you need them for my own whacky ideas! Hey, check out my shareware commodity server, my blog, a few unfinished next generation C languages.... come on dudes, shower some of those greenbacks over my way and I'll throw in a stupid fusion fraud to boot!

Fusion ? (5, Funny)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993628)

Perhaps it will fuse hydrogen atoms with oxygen atoms - after all, no one said anything about nuclear fusion, now did they ?-)

Re:Fusion ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993933)

Thats Nu-cu-ler. Nu-cu-ler.
Homer

D2O from the tap? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993629)

Does using this fusion-powered home water heater mean I
have to shower with heavy water?

Re:D2O from the tap? (0, Redundant)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993679)

yes

Another interesting tech used. (1)

AWhistler (597388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993640)

They are talking about using a Sterling engine in their product. Actually, so that there is little vibration from the engine, they are combining 4 of them together, in series, so the vibrations cancel out. However, they claim to have a patent on a "Wobble Yoke" that connects the four pistons together onto a single rotating shaft. This sounds just like a crank shaft on a regular engine. How can that be patented?

Re:Another interesting tech used. (2, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993688)

However, they claim to have a patent on a "Wobble Yoke" that connects the four pistons together onto a single rotating shaft. This sounds just like a crank shaft on a regular engine. How can that be patented?

A wobble yoke (otherwise called a wobble plate) transfers the up and down motion of the pistons into a rotation ALONG THE SAME AXIS AS THE PISTON MOTION. In a car, the crankshaft rotates perpendicular to the piston motion. Wobble plates are not new (they've been used in torpedoes among other things), but they may have patented some aspect of the linkage that hasn't been done before...

Everything can... (1)

woolio (927141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993854)

This sounds just like a crank shaft on a regular engine. How can that be patented?

Oh, you must be new to Slashdot....

Recently I was in a restaurant. As I removed the paper ring holding my napkin & utensils together, I noticed a little inscription:

"Patent No. xxxxxx" [with a real number].

WTF!?!?!? Sure enough, someone patented napkin rings. I don't have the patent doc in front of me, but they made the description very general -- it covers much more than just napkins [but I think it mentioned food/utensils]. I understand the USPTO getting fooled by software patents... But most people understand the concept of napkin rings... even those without a college education. Heck, I would have thought the patent examiner would have remembered seeing them in their childhood/daily lives...

So yes, I bet the "Wobble Yoke" will get patented....

Re:Everything can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993897)

Recently I was in a restaurant. As I removed the paper ring holding my napkin & utensils together, I noticed a little inscription:

"Patent No. xxxxxx" [with a real number].

WTF!?!?!? Sure enough, someone patented napkin rings.


Are you sure it wasn't a design patent [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Another... Pictures are good (2, Informative)

smokin_juan (469699) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993886)

Animations are better... a wobble yoke in action [whispertech.co.nz] .

Re:Another interesting tech used. (1)

kreuzotter (13645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994194)

the trick here is to arrange the cylinders in a square to make all the connections the same length. reduction of the vibrations is a side effect. the yoke is a novel idea, although i think one could use two conventional crank shafts. (fewer moving parts, probably less friction).

What a load of crap (4, Insightful)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993641)

A company press release explains that, in brief, "cold" fusion involves the fusion of two nuclei of deuterium or heavy hydrogen into a single helium atom, accompanied only by a burst of heat. Unlike "thermonuclear hot fusion" that requires the plasma-inducing inferno temperatures of the sun or a hydrogen bomb, solid-state fusion reactions can be produced at normal temperatures in certain hydrogen-loving metals without unleashing hot fusion's dangerous radiation.

Genius. They can't detect any excess neutrons so obviously there's a new, radiation free, type of D-D fusion going on.

Re:What a load of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993678)

"a new, radiation free, type of D-D fusion going on."

Actually, by increasing the size of the bra, there is less spillage around the sides. They call this DD-DD fusion.

Re:What a load of crap (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993775)

..."cold" fusion involves the fusion of two nuclei of deuterium or heavy hydrogen into a single helium atom, accompanied only by a burst of heat.

Yo, Fleischmann, that 'puff of heat' didn't come from fusion. Exactly what did you have for lunch that day?

Re:What a load of crap (5, Insightful)

barawn (25691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993788)

That's kindof the crux of the problem, actually. Assuming their measurements are right (that's a bit of an assumption, but there are quite a few people who claim that Pd-D cells generate excess heat, so maybe it's not THAT crazy) they're correct that it has to be nuclear - the energy density required is too high for it to be chemical.

But it doesn't have to be -fusion-. Palladium is past iron, so -in theory- you can gain energy by transmuting it downward, and some of them are claiming that they're seeing elements after the cell was run that weren't there before.

I'm not saying they're right, of course. It's still physics that would break with standard nuclear physics, but I'm always surprised that they keep pushing it as -fusion-, when they clearly don't understand (and admit that they don't understand!) what (if anything) is going on.

Note, incidentally, that if you read, for instance, the DOE report on anomalous heat from D-Pd cells, that both sides of the discussion are at fault here. A fair number of the criticisms ("your explanation doesn't agree with current theory, so it must be wrong!" even when the explanation is essentially "it must be nuclear, but we have no idea how") and arguments on both sides are pretty crappy.

Re:What a load of crap (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994108)

If you pull two deuterion nuclei togheter, you should get helium 4, and no neutrons. Or you get helium 3 and a neutron, but this is may be very unlikely (well, I didn't make the calculations, they are hard), so you'd produce almost no neutrons.

Not to say that I belive that he does what he says. But if he did what he says, he could very well get the results he says he get.

I for one... (0)

cosmicaug (150534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993653)

I for one welcome our new cold fusion heating overlords!

How much is D2O these days? (1)

stox (131684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993655)

I don't see any vendors in the Yellow Pages. How much can I expect that to set me back?

Sounds a lot like (1)

Vadim Makarov (529622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993669)

those SmallCaps stock adverts I have in my inbox. Do they sell shares, too?

That'd be Fusion Waporware (FSWP).

All I can say is ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993676)

Doc would be proud. Beats Plutonium as a power source for your time-travelling DeLorean.

Re:All I can say is ... (1)

greylion3 (555507) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993778)

Beats Plutonium as a power source for your time-travelling DeLorean.

Maybe you don't remember the end of part I, where Doc Brown had attached a "Mr. Fusion" device on the DeLorean :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Fusion [wikipedia.org]

Re:All I can say is ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993870)

I was making what is called an "oblique reference" to Mr. Fusion.

Energy industry crisis (-1, Troll)

Teun (17872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993680)

Bush might have said the USofA is an oil enslaved junk.

But he stopped short from calling his VP the pusher.

So even if this company could pull cold or solid fusion off technically they won't stand a chance against the present governement's first source of private funding.

Baloney (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993681)

This baloney smells so bad I'm smelling it from the other coast.

are they getting more out of it? (1)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993684)

Are they getting more out of it than they put in? Does it matter? At the worst it will be as efficient as a normal electric heater. So my guess is that they are going to pitch a super efficient heater. Given that, even producing such a device won't resolve the controversy -- even if they sell them. If they can't prove to scientists they are doing this, I can't believe they will be lowering anybody's heating bill soon.

Re:are they getting more out of it? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993702)

Actually, an electric heater is one of the most efficient devices known to Man. I mean, if you set up your device to waste energy and nothing comes out of it that qualifies as "work", then it's one hundred percent efficient.

Re:are they getting more out of it? (1)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993861)

It is possible to do better than this, however. For example, heat pumps are more 'efficient' than electric heaters, although you are technically correct.

Heh: Probably be available before.... (2, Insightful)

mikerand98682 (961847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993689)

...Windows Vista

The end result would be very progressive (1)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993695)

I agree that this is probably yet another dose of false hope but I'd love it if it were true.

Personal access to cheap energy for everyone can have a very progressive effect on society. Cheap personal transportation means that a highly mobile work force can supply labor at a wide and changing array of locations near or far from their homes. I like this better than the utopia envisioned by some where we are all compelled by force to live in commune like dense housing with access only to 'public' transit. That vision is extremely regressive and a sure way to cement forever the wide gap between rich and poor.

Cheap and private transportation is the great emancipator and I hope that this long shot of personal fusion devices can enable it.

neutrons (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993708)

If it worked, the neutron flux would kill you. Well, actually, if Pons and Fleischmann's original experiment had worked, the neutrons would have killed them. Of course they don't feel constrained by the standard model [wikipedia.org] of particle physics, so they get to make up any excuse for that that they like.

Re:neutrons (4, Insightful)

barawn (25691) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993830)

Wait, that's a crappy argument. I mean, a really, really crappy one.

By that argument, you could say that Ray Davis's experiment didn't work, because it didn't agree with the Standard Model, so it obviously must have been wrong.

Ray Davis built the first neutrino detection experiment [bnl.gov] and found that there was only about a third of the neutrinos coming from the Sun that you would expect.

We now know that he was right - the Standard Model was (slightly) wrong, although in hindsight it should've been relatively obvious.

Saying "their experiment doesn't work because it doesn't agree with the Standard Model" is horrible science. The Standard Model is a theory. It doesn't describe reality. It's a -guess- for how the world works - a well founded, well supported guess, and the best one we have, but still a guess. If you find that the world works in a different way, that doesn't mean your experiment must be wrong.

There are plenty of other reasons to criticize cold fusion (the lack of repeatability being the main one) but "it doesn't agree with current theory" is about the worst criticism you can give.

Re:neutrons (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993880)

Holy crap! Someone who can think! I hate to tell you, but around here, if it conflicts with the established norm, it's 100% BS. Things like critical thinking, logic, or the ability to infer is not allowed around here!

I highly suggest you take your toys and go home...where intelligence will be appreciated!

extra ordinary clams (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993713)

As the saying goes extra ordinary clams require extra ordinary proof. I'll have to believe this one when my feet are propped up next to it keeping my feet warm. Maybe it will be small enough that I can toss it under my desk like my old C64 power supply.

Next product (1)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993717)

They expect to have the "anti-cockroach flamethrower" ready to go a month after that.

Proposed device name: (2, Funny)

flyonthewall (584734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993723)

To be called:

Sans Nuclear And Killing Energy Overly Induced Liquid

power unit.

Back in 1945 someone was saying the same thing... (4, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993725)

You have to admit, subjecting these claims to the marketplace should prove whether or not there's anything to them. The number of people willing to believe their houses are warm when they are cold is probably a lot smaller than the number of people willing to believe they've been cured by quack medicine.

But... the more things change...

In 1945, The World Publishing Company published a nice little volume, The Atomic Age Opens edited by one Gerald Wendt and helping explain to the public what recent events meant. Along with quotations by military people who had witnessed the Trinity test, tutorials on neutrons and protons "doing their stuff" (as George Orwell once phrased it), and so forth, were some predictions for the future:

"Dr. R. M. Langer, physics research associate at the California Institute of Technology, said five years ago in _Collier's_ magazine that U-235 could create a civilization in which man would dwell underground for better living....

[In the future] 'Light is generated by fluorescence which occurs around U-235 and is piped under the house through transparent plastic sheets along the interiors of rooms,' Langer said. 'The household supply of U-235 is stored and used slowly in the chamber where plants are grown. Appropriate portions are automatically delivered through a tube-distribution system to stations where they are needed to provide heat or power for machinery or cooking....'

Families will travel short distances in automobiles powered by small chunks of U-235 in a water tank inside the car, he said....

Admitting that none of the ideas he envisioned have yet been worked out in practice, Langer declared that the difficulties were those of detail...."

Re:Back in 1945 someone was saying the same thing. (1)

ajpr (921401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993773)

Isnt U235 weapons grade?

Re:Back in 1945 someone was saying the same thing. (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993800)

High enrichment uranium (i.e. high in 235 - normally >90%) is weapons grade. So, basically, yes. However 235's also the bit that gives us power in power plants so it's not quite that simple!

Re:Back in 1945 someone was saying the same thing. (2, Interesting)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993823)

Hmmmm....

You could power your house off 235 fission (hey, we do with power plants), possibly even light your house via the glow discharge around a reactor but some people suggest that giving every house a big lump of uranium may not be the most sensible thing to do. So, what prevents us doing this is health, politics and efficiency concerns.

What prevents us using cold fusion is the fact that it doesn't work and has never worked!

Re:Back in 1945 someone was saying the same thing. (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993919)

Actually, last I heard, two groups were able to reproduce his results using the published protocols. Many groups tried either by NOT following the protocols or tried to make up their own protocol. These groups failed! But, we can safely ignore those groups because that's called BAD SCIENCE; which is what you're basing your statement. One group which did follow the protocol, did reproduce the results but came to a different conclussion of what the results implied. Another successful group was simply unable to conclude exactly what was happening...but did confirm *something* was going on. Thusly, both indepent groups agreed more research and study was required. Both groups agreed that *something* was going on. Even the first group, which came to a different conclussion, were not able to completely explain all of the data the experiement provided.

So clearly saying, "that it doesn't work", is at best premature and at worst, simply ignorant. Either way, you sound of someone who is afraid of science doing science. IMO, the only responsible position to take on this is one of wait-n-see, to let real scientist do their job and come to an actual conclussion. At this point in time, no real scientist has been able to come to a factually supported conclussion based on available data. And those that have, are saying more study is required.

Re:Back in 1945 someone was saying the same thing. (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993956)

Actually, I'd count myself as a scientist (a nuclear physicist to be specific). Do you have a link to a paper by these groups? Many, if not all, of the 'cold fusion works' claims fall down upon close scrutiny. Measuring very small neutron fluxes is a very, very difficult thing to do accurately. Indeed the cold fusion lobby has now moved on to claiming that there is a new form of neutron free, D-D fusion taking place which explains the lack of neuts. The other indicator, small temperature rises, is also very difficult to monitor.

Before jumping all over me you should carefully consider what is being claimed here. Saying "We did this experiment and there seems to be a an anomolous source of heat, which we cannot explain" is very different to saying "We did an experiment which demonstrated a new form of fusion, which has never been seen before and can solve the worlds energy problems!"

not sure about fusion... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993747)

...from terrestrial sources, but if you take solar thermal and combine it with Stirling technology it will work. The Sun is still our most practical fusion source.

It's not April First yet!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993753)

Why is this article posted early?

I was expecting somthing like this next saturday.

The Fuel Comparison Chart (2, Funny)

ajpr (921401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993805)

http://d2fusion.com/images/fuel.jpg [d2fusion.com]

Check it out. It's suddenly eased my mind. For a minute I thought it was a scam, until I saw the milk float.

Two Possibilities (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993812)

Either this is real and Exxon buys them out and stores the blueprints in a warehouse right next to the Arc of the Covenant and the 80mpg carburetor, or it's all bullshit.

Seriously, this would be the biggest thing since the invention of the AC dynamo, and as such would have a profound effect on the world's economy and socio-political power structure. And many folks out there hate change.

Home heating by fusion power - here already (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14993819)

I've a fusion powered home heating source already.

It's a south facing window.

Re:Home heating by fusion power - here already (1)

waferhead (557795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994245)

Kids, that's not funny that's...
+5 insightful

If _every_ home had a decently set up south facing solar collector setup
(thermal wall/hot water/photovoltaics pick one or several) it would put at least SOME measurable dent in your energy bills.

peer review (2, Funny)

xPsi (851544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993860)

I see this time he's publishing his results through http://home.businesswire.com/ [businesswire.com] in instead of the New York Times. Ahhh, now there's peer review for you.

article explaining the Cold fusion process (1)

doyoudig (574696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993879)

All the smarty pants out there -- read this and help me understand if it's BS: http://www.d2fusion.com/education/essay.htm [d2fusion.com] Still clearing the cobwebs in my chemistry section

I am convinced! (1)

Hershmire (41460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993900)

With such a snazzy website and professional press releases, I am totally confident this product not only exists, but will also be available within the "next two years."

can't chat now (1)

aachrisg (899192) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993922)

I've got to run out to the bank to take out a second mortgage on my house to invest in this company. not.

I'm concerned about all this excess helium. (3, Funny)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993923)

>

Do you know what your helium footprint is?

Are you producing excess helium with your basement fusion unit just so you can run your massively overclocked Intel Macintosh on your zero refresh time flat screen monitor at enough frames per second to keep you alive in Duke Nukem Forever?

What about all that helium produced when you're charging up your jet pack or opening the wormhole to your new office in Tokyo?

We're producing so much helium now that that the earth is lighter than its ever been! People are speaking in high pitched voices remote regions of New Jersey, and there are reports of rain falling up! Soon, we could see the earth become light enough that its mass is no longer in balance with its speed and our orbit of the sun increases, causing a new ice age! And its your fault! Stop the madness, burn fossil fuels.

High pitched New Jersey voices? (1)

FunkyRat (36011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994146)

So what you're saying is that in the future we will all sound like Fran Dresher?

Re:High pitched New Jersey voices? (1)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994181)

May the FSM have mercy on us all, I hope not.

FTC? (2, Insightful)

curtvdh (738461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993974)

Not that I have much faith in the Federal Trade Commission (after all, Sunday morning TV is still peppered with those infomercials for the handy-dandy Quattro (or whatever they're) called 'healing magnetic bracelets'), but someone is going to be mighty pissed when they find out that they've forked out 5 or 10 grand for what is effectively just a bunch of clever heat exchangers (i.e. Stirling engines) that they could have bought for a less than a thousand bucks. Probably pissed enough that they complain to the feds. Methinks that this unit will be available 'any day now' until Fleischman takes the money and skips off to the Bahamas...

Logistic issues... (1)

blindseer (891256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993991)

From my understanding this "cold" fusion requires heavy hydrogen just like the traditional "hot" fusion. That means tritium or the more stable deuterium. Where can a person go to buy this stuff? Is the density of heavy hydrogen in normal tap water high enough to make this "Mr. Fusion - Home edition" work? Can the heavy hydrogen be derived from sources other than water? Such as natural gas? Imagine that, a standard house furnace or water heater with a fusion "afterburner" to get the most out of your natural gas bill.

Maybe this is all moot since the heater will have a 30 year supply of heavy hydrogen inside out of the factory. Just bring it home and turn it on. When the fuel runs out send it back for disposal and buy a new one.

Even if this does work many questions are going to have to be answered before people go out and buy it.

Re:Logistic issues... (1)

ductonius (705942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994104)

"Where can a person go to buy [deuterium]?"

Any gas supply store such as a welding shop should be able to order deuterium.

Shows how much of a science geek I am but I actually checked once for a science fair project. It's not cheap ($70 CAN for a couple of liters) but it's avilable, at least in Canada.

So whatever happened to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14994070)

Iter project anyone?

http://www.iter.org/ [iter.org] Apparently it is good to encourage children to stare into the sun, but only if it's man-made.

Background on Iter: Multi-national project involving many forward thinking nations in the interests of capturing fusion power. I beleive the list was something like France, Germany, Japan, Canada... Zimbabwe. It's also fairly old news, I remember my father speaking about it late 2001, while driving past one of the prospective building sites, alas Canada was outbid.

The drawbacks? (1)

EZLeeAmused (869996) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994093)

You can only heat your house once, and it gets REALLY hot. [hypertextbook.com]

Here's their SEC filing (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994098)

Here's their SEC filing. [yahoo.com] . Remember, lies here are felonies.

On August 18, 2005, the Company acquired D2Fusion Inc. ("D2Fusion"), as a wholly owned subsidiary in exchange for a five (5) year convertible debenture in the amount of two million dollars ($2,000,000) and an agreement to advance up to two million two hundred thousand ($2,200,000) in the form of loans over the next twelve (12) months to capitalize D2Fusion' initial business plan. The stock purchase agreement further commits the Company to assist D2Fusion to have direct access to public markets within the next six (6) months for the purpose of raising additional funds in excess of those committed by the Company. D2Fusion is a research and development company staffed by scientists and engineers working toward the delivery of proprietary solid-state fusion aimed at entry level heat and energy applications for homes and industry. Solid-state fusion is a technology more widely recognized under the name "cold-fusion." Unlike the reactions in "cold-fusion," D2Fusion technology uses much simpler and more reliable solid state processes more akin to high temperature super-conductor physics to produce and control radiation-free fusion reactions. In this simplest form of fusion two deterium atoms which are contained and constrained under solid state conditions fuse to form a single helium atom. Each new helium atom created is accompanied by an enormous energy release. Under ideal conditions, one gram of hydrogen fuel is equivalent to billions of watts of energy. Russ George and Dr. Tom Passell, who head the Palo Alto based company, have been involved with solid state fusion research since 1989. Successful experimental prototypes have been tested at Stanford Research Institute. The immediate intention of D2Fusion is to produce kilowatt scale thermal prototypes which will be further tested and refined by collaborating research groups in the Silicon Valley, Los Alamos, the US Navy, and Frascati, Italy. D2Fusion's ultimate goal is to produce heat and electricity at a fraction of today's cost with no emissions. The Company is well aware of the controversy surrounding "cold fusion" technology. However, the Company believes that there is sufficient global evidence that the risk/reward ratio merits investment. Should D2Fusion's prototype technology be scaled to commercial size it will help solve much of the world's energy, water, and pollution problems.

That "successful experimental prototypes have been tested at Stanford Research Institute" line looks very suspicious. For one thing, there is no "Stanford Research Institute" today. It's been "SRI International" since 1970.

disclaimer from TFA (1)

phlegmofdiscontent (459470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994133)

"A number of assertions in this press release may be considered to be forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including timely development, and market acceptance of products and technologies, competitive market conditions, and the ability to secure additional sources of financing. The actual results Solar Energy Limited may achieve could differ materially from any forward-looking statements due to such risks and uncertainties"

That's one big CYA.

Wrong icon on this post. (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994134)

With the foot icon this would have been a good fun Saturday article to let folks have some fun. Posting it as a power dept article is just wrong. Guess we can feel fortunate it wasn't posted with the science icon.

Their picture looks more like (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994164)

a commercially-available dishwasher than anything else.

Why this is good for the country (1)

marciot (598356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994166)

The government should support this, since it will encourage nuclear families in the United States, and that is good for the children.
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