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Successful Cold Fusion Experiment?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the so-cold-it's-hot dept.

Power 387

An anonymous reader writes "The italian economic journal 'Il sole 24 ore' published an article about a successful cold fusion experiment performed by Yoshiaki Arata in Japan. They seems to have pumped high pressure deutherium gas in a nanometric matrix of palladium and zyrcon oxide. The experiments generates a considerable amount of energy and they found the presence of Helium-4 in the matrix (as sign of the fusion). I was not able to find other articles about this but the journal is very authoritative in Italy. Google translations are also available."

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Elium-4? (5, Funny)

kyriosdelis (1100427) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526154)

Must have been a very successful experiment. All the "H" are indeed gone!

Re:Elium-4? (3, Funny)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526166)

Must have been a very successful experiment. All the "H" are indeed gone!
Obviously, they are Italian. They could even get the trains to run on thyme! Fix It Again, Tony.

Re:Elium-4? (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526174)

All the "H" are indeed gone!
Obviously they were fusing Ydrogen.

Re:Elium-4? (1)

thhamm (764787) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526476)

Obviously they were fusing Ydrogen.

They should have used Zdrogen. It's one better than Ydrogen.

Re:Elium-4? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526254)

italian words for Hydrogen and Helium are Idrogeno and Elio. These translitteration comes from latin, where they didn't have an H phonema. The symbols H and He start with H because the name of the atoms are derived from greek where they did have H starting words.

It might come to a surprise to you, but not all words come from english; eventually it's the other way round.

Re:Elium-4? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526278)

Where is the -1 Rod Up Arse mod when you need it?

IT WAS A JOKE.

Re:Elium-4? (5, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526330)

Well, actually the Greek doesn't have an H letter (AFAIK there was an H sound, but it didn't have its own character, but an appropriately accented vowel indicated that is was to be spoken with an H before it; I think those accents don't exist any more in modern Greek). OTOH, Latin definitively does have an H letter, although the Romans probably didn't speak it.

Re:Elium-4? (5, Interesting)

bargainsale (1038112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526556)

Latin "h", originally pronounced like English "h", eventually ceased to be pronounced at all; in the modern languages descended from Latin it is has been lost and is found, if at all, only in words borrowed from other languages.

So Latin "homo" "person" but Italian "uomo", Rumanian "om" and so on.
(The "h" in French "homme" has never been pronounced and is only there in the spelling by analogy with the Latin word).

In the time of the later Roman Republic and early Empire (when most of the famous Latin literature comes from) whether "h" was pronounced was a class thing; dropping "h"s was supposed to be a mark of ignorance or low status.
People insecure about their status would put in "h"s where they didn't belong (the poet Catullus has a whole poem mocking somebody who does this).

Even those who prided themselves on their education were already getting it wrong by then, though, and some of their mistakes got perpetuated:

"humerus" "upper arm" should be "umerus"
"anser" "goose" should be "hanser"

We can deduce a remarkable amount about how Classical Latin was pronounced; there's a good book about it:
"Vox Latina" by W Sidney Allen

Re:Elium-4? (1)

utenaslashed (882318) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526422)

So they seems.

Re:Elium-4? (1)

Briareos (21163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526440)

Nah, at least one got fused into "Deuterium"... sounds like that cold fusion thingamabob does word after all...

np: Saul Williams - WTF! (The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!)

Re:Elium-4? (1)

Petersson (636253) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526666)

The experiment was performed in Japan, however the italian article is cited. And italian language doesn't use 'h' as a pronouncable letter. Italian uses 'h' only to change pronounciation of other letters, as in 'gh' or 'ch'.

So, Italians who just started to learn foreign languages are having troubles with words using 'h', they pronounce 'heating' as 'eating', etc.

Italian english beginners also tend to speak english words, but using italian grammar.

I hope so. (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526164)

It'll be just in time for the whole peak-oil extravaganza, and damn useful to power all our new electric cars.

Re:I hope so. (2, Informative)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526572)


Bush and his Shadowy Masters(TM) are going to look pretty stupid if a cheap and plentiful power source suddenly appears. How much has the occupation of Iraq cost, so far? We may need to start working on getting that Lunar Helium, though. Maybe they should have invaded the Moon.

It's not Rocket Science! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526172)

'Elium-4'? 'Deutherium'? 'Zyrcon'?
While I'd like to say that proper spelling is not rocket science... In this case it seems to be more difficult than cold fusion!

Re:It's not Rocket Science! (3, Insightful)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526210)

Not everyone speaks or uses English or its way of spelling.

Re:It's not Rocket Science! (4, Funny)

Megane (129182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526234)

That's why Slashdot has editors to clean up the submissions, and discard the dupes.

Oh, wait...

Re:It's not Rocket Science! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526240)

Yeah really-- I can't wait to ditch it for lojban.

~Ethan Anderson (ethana2) too lazy to sign in.

wow, elium-4 (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526194)

i mean, i would have looked for helium-4 as a proof of cold fusion, but elium-4?! that's incredible! did they use dilithium crystals to do that? adamantium? unobtanium?

Re:wow, elium-4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526262)

Isn't that the stuff that powered the UFOs in X-Com??

Re:wow, elium-4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526458)

No, that's balognium-snacktacular.

Re:wow, elium-4 (4, Funny)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526446)

No, they used Italianium and Machinetranslatium.

english.it (5, Funny)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526534)

In my personal experience, machine translation has long since surpassed your average Italian English speaker.

no, just west end London (2, Funny)

Marbleless (640965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526620)

'ere guv, 'ave some 'elium-4 :)

The good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526676)

is that they were able to find out about cold fusion and run the experiment in less time than it is taking you to do your movie.

Come on (1)

user24 (854467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526202)

You don't really believe all this cold fusion mumbo jumbo now do you?

Re:Come on (3, Funny)

pacroon (846604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526216)

You don't really believe all this cold fusion mumbo jumbo now do you?
Of course.. You could build the power plant in Sim City 2000, couldn't you?

Re:Come on (2, Funny)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526298)

I want to believe!

Re:Come on (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526376)

Of course! [adobe.com] :-)

Re:Come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526384)

I don't believe in proprietary software, so no.

Re:Come on (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526390)

YAAY COLD FUSION THREAD!!

Cold fusion is the best language. I'm glad someone mentioned it.

Let's talk about why Cold fusion is the best:

1. it is easy to learn
2. it is very powerful
3. it looks and acts like HTML
4. it integrates with adobe's other successful and powerful products like Flash and Director and Acrobat

I don't know why anyone uses anything else. I can query a database and output the results to the screen in about 4 lines of code. Try that with Java!!

Why not? (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526532)

Cold fusion isn't ruled out by any known laws of physics, so I'll keep an open mind about it until it's proven one way or another. Pons and Fleischman may not have succeeded, but that's no reason to quit. As long as the people trying to make it work are doing so with their own funds, more power to them. If someone succeeds, then a lot of the scarcity in the world can be solved.

-jcr

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526592)

whooosh

Re:Why not? (4, Informative)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526604)

That's a very good point. This is not like a perpetual motion machine, which is completely forbidden by the laws of physics as we know it. Cold fusion is only notorious because the people who originally publicized it were total publicity hounds and sacrificed science to get in the news, resulting in it all blowing up in their faces when it turned out that they didn't have anything. Aside from it being a notorious hoax or mistake, there's nothing that makes cold fusion inherently ridiculous or bad.

Two more reports... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526204)

I found this article on the demonstration:

http://physicsworld.com/blog/2008/05/coldfusion_demonstration_a_suc_1.html

A little more here:

http://newenergytimes.com/news/2008/29img/Arata-Demo.htm

Not a first hand account, but still.

Wouldn't that be nice? After years of delays for a new experimental fusion reactor (ITER) because they could not agree on where it should be built, a Japanese professor finds a way to get cold fusion to get work and the reactor is obsolete before built! Science can move ahead in strange and unpredictable ways as well...

A world changing experiment... (4, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526208)

...and what do we get on Slashdot? Nothing but posts about a fracking typo in the summary. Grow up and get some perspective.

Re:A world changing experiment... (1, Insightful)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526242)

Well, when you have these kinds of blatant typos it means the poster might not have any idea what he was talking about. In that case, it cast doubts on whether it's really a "world changing experiment"...

Re:A world changing experiment... (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526264)

It was obviously just rushed through the Firehose since everyone would have just gone "COLD FUSION!?! WOW!", and modded it up.

Re:A world changing experiment... (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526270)

They spell differently in Italia, dufus. So apparently if intelligent beings from another planet land here, most people will be too busy making fun of them to understand their message?

Re:A world changing experiment... (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526398)

Do you mean that the aliens will be from Italy? Then ... surely they are already amongst us!

Re:A world changing experiment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526452)

"Italia"? "dufus"? What planet are you from? You guys SUCK! Ha-HA! ...on a more serious note, one usually expects a paragraph written in English to feature English words. Nessuno ha preso in giro l'articolo del Sole 24 ore, mentre anche questo era scritto con molte parole "sbagliate" dal punto di visto americano.

Re:A world changing experiment... (5, Funny)

coldmist (154493) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526348)

or at best, it's a "word changing experiment". ;)

Re:A world changing experiment... (3, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526500)

Well, when you have these kinds of blatant typos it means the poster might not have any idea what he was talking about.
OR, it's because it's an Italian source translated to English and "Helium" is "Elio" in Italy. I can see an Italian reader easily missing to replace a letter here, it doesn't really take a lack of chemistry understanding, just being unused to the English language.

Re:A world changing experiment... (1)

akzeac (862521) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526648)

Or maybe it was submitted by someone for whom English is not their native language? Helium in Italian is "Elio". Unless you're assuming that you need to know perfect English to have a clue of what you're talking about.

Re:A world changing experiment... (0)

dan dan the dna man (461768) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526280)

Seeing this is largely unverified by anyone outside of an Italian economics magazine, I think nit picking is quite frankly the proper and correct thing to do.

World changing snakeoil^H^H^H^H^H^H^H experiment indeed.

Re:A world changing experiment... (1)

jnnnnn (1079877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526302)

You're right. We get typos in summaries all the time; articles about cold fusion only come along every week or so! It's quite clear which one is more important.

Re:A world changing experiment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526410)

There is humor in everything. If I had a choice between a world without laughter and a world without fusion power, I would choose the latter. Who really needs the perspective?

Neutrons anyone? (3, Interesting)

tomasd (1294992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526238)

Shouldn't they been using neutron detector to prove that nuclear fusion tuck place?

Re:Neutrons anyone? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526284)

That would be if Fission was to be probed ...

Re:Neutrons anyone? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526296)

It's cold fusion, from H (1P+1N) to He4 (2P+2N).
Thus no Neutrons. Much safer.

Re:Neutrons anyone? (1)

DrBoumBoum (926687) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526672)

Except the summary is talking about deuterium (1P + 2N). AFAIK "cold" fusion means only that, i.e., no tremendously high temperatures.

Re:Neutrons anyone? (0, Offtopic)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526346)

Shouldn't they been using neutron detector to prove that nuclear fusion tuck place?
It tuck place? Did they use a very strong warp field?

Hang on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526252)

Why are we first hearing of an experiment in Japan from an Italian journal?

Sounds like this old, ridiculed experiment (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526292)

Exactly. Also, half an hour to get 25 degrees of heat from 7 grams of material does not sound like a nuclear event to me, although I'm admittedly no expert (or even a layman).

It sounds a lot like this experiment with similar materials from around 2002 [newscientist.com] , which was ridiculed.

Re:Sounds like this old, ridiculed experiment (4, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526558)

There appears to be something happening - but as long as we don't know the mechanism there is nothing to be said about kinetics.
From the article (and some other links in the comments), and assuming fusion really takes place, I would guess that this is some surface-related mechanism. Some unknown mechanism where the D-atoms are first adsorbed on the Pd, and then fusion takes place. If so it can very well be a relative slow process. I have not read the articles in much detail, I'm a chemist, not physicist. The articles also mention that imperfections in the Pd crystals appear to play a major role - again limiting the available area where such a reaction could take place.
And on top of it all, this reaction takes place at much lower temperature than most fusion reactions, thus the movement of the atoms is slower.
All in all, don't let the very slow kinetics put you off the idea that atomic fusion may take place, the most interesting fact reported is that the experiment produces energy over a long period of time and that I think is worth further investigation. First of all of course reproduction of the very experiment by some other scientists, and then improving the efficiency and figuring out what REALLY is going on.

choice of media? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526274)

As a physicist, I am a little perplexed as to why a story with such signifigance would be published in an Italian economics journal. Why not Physical Review, Nature, or one of the other journals typically used for such groundbreaking work?

Re:choice of media? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526336)

Duh! Are you blonde? It's obviously much easier to get past the silly peer review stage of things if you publish in a journal totally unrelated to your field. This is why you physicists never succeed. You should be publishing in a good, well respected journal. Like Penthouse.

Hype much? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526288)

Apparently the original peer reviewed article in Japanese is here: http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jhts/33/3/142/_pdf
Now, i don't understand much about Japanese or high temperature physics but as far as i can see, there isn't even a mention of Helium-4 in the article's English abstract or the picture and graph subtitles. This makes me wonder quite a bit about who put this hyperbolic spin on the story. Maybe the He-4 discovery is just a recent and unexpected find they decided to (too) eagerly emphasize?

Could someone who knows Japanese and some physics post his/her views on the article?

Peer-Reviewed Articles (5, Insightful)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526294)

If found older (English) peer-reviewed papers by this Author here [jst.go.jp] and here [jst.go.jp] . He doesn't seem to have published much on this since then [google.co.uk] , except for a very vague patent application to be found here [wipo.int] .

It seems unlikely to me that the first move an earnest discoverer of a new energy source in Japan would be to call an Italian newspaper. All the more since he seems to be working in academia and would thus have a strong incentive to publish in a peer-reviewed journal first (you don't get the Nobel prize for an article in "Il sore 24 ore"). But, here are the papers. Form your own opinion...

Re:Peer-Reviewed Articles (4, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526448)

``you don't get the Nobel prize for an article in "Il sore 24 ore"''

But you do get to the front page of Slashdot!

More seriously, the established journals are often hideously slow in publishing stuff, and often dare to charge you for it, too. In the age of the Internet, all that can be dispensed with. You can get your discoveries and inventions published, peer reviewed, and communicated to the masses, all for free and without having to wait on some organization's release cycle.

You can also, of course, use the Internet to spread lies and misinformation, create fake peer reviews, and communicate all that to the masses, all for free and without having to wait on some organization's release cycle.

Re:Peer-Reviewed Articles (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526582)

All peer review is doing is fact checking on the articles (numbers used and so), critically thinking whether the methodology is sound and properly explained, and whether or not there are glaring omissions/errors/inconsistencies in the discussion of the results in the article. The results as such are generally not questioned.
I have learned not to blindly trust peer-reviewed articles. The trust in a certain process/result comes when you find more than one article about the same, preferably articles referring to one another, reporting about the same phenomenon. This is called reproducibility. And even then, if you really want to build on that research, to know for sure you have to do the experiment by yourself. Good experience, anyway.
In the case of this cold fusion experiment, what I miss are references to other scientists reporting the same phenomenon, independently. A scientist would see this as something interesting, and then first of all try to copy the experiment. Read the article, look for similar experiments done, contact the author maybe when there are questions on the experimental set-up, and then start measuring. And in case they see the same effect, of course continue the research to figure out what is happening.

Re:Peer-Reviewed Articles (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526542)

It seems unlikely to me that the first move an earnest discoverer of a new energy source in Japan would be to call an Italian newspaper

Who says he called them? Maybe the Italian paper scans for stories they find interesting.

-jcr

Re:Peer-Reviewed Articles (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526566)

It seems unlikely to me that the first move an earnest discoverer of a new energy source in Japan would be to call an Italian newspaper.

And they didn't.

Professor Akito Takahashi of Osaka University was an eyewitness to the demonstration.

"Arata and Zhang demonstrated very successfully the generation of continuous excess energy (heat) from ZrO2-nano-Pd sample powders under D2 gas charging and generation of helium-4," Takahashi wrote. "The demonstrated live data looked just like data they reported in their published papers (J. High Temp. Soc. Jpn, Feb. and March issues, 2008). This demonstration showed that the method is highly reproducible."

Takahashi wrote that 60 people from universities and companies in Japan and a few people from other countries attended, as well as representatives from six major newspapers (Asahi, Nikkei, Mainichi, NHK, et al.) and two television stations.

pictures [newenergytimes.com]

How about neutrons? (5, Informative)

coobird (960609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526308)

The article seemed to be sparse on the details of what was actually going on, but if indeed the only evidence that they had a fusion reaction happening is the presence of helium-4, then they may have just detected naturally occurring helium [wikipedia.org] that is present in the atmosphere (0.000524%).

A better test to see whether fusion reactions are taking place is to try to detect the a stream of neutrons which are being produced. The neutrons flux and the energy should be able to be used to differentiate the fusion neutrons from the background neutron sources, such as those caused by spontaneous fission [wikipedia.org] events of heavy elements like uranium. Also, nuclear fusion reactions tend to produce high-energy, or fast neutrons [wikipedia.org] (upwards of 14 MeV with deuterium-deuterium fusion) which isn't too common unless you have some type of nuclear reaction taking place. (Here's a list of important nuclear fusion reactions important fusion reactions [wikipedia.org] for those who are curious.)

Detecting helium on the other hand, seems not so out of the ordinary since there is helium in the atmosphere.

Re:How about neutrons? (3, Informative)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526434)

Where do these neutrons come from? In this reaction its

2H + 2H ----> 4He

- no neutrons "lost" at all.

Re:How about neutrons? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526496)

The simple answer is that 2H + 2H --> 4He doesn't happen.



As shown in the link I posted to Wikipedia in my original post, you'll see that 2H + 2H --> 4He does not happen with any significance. In other words, that reaction doesn't happen enough to make it a significant source of the reaction. Nuclear physics doesn't exactly work like arithmetic.



The primary d-d reactions are listed as follows in the important reactions [wikipedia.org] section of the nuclear fusion article at Wikipedia:


  1. 2H + 2H --> 3H + p
  2. 2H + 2H --> 3He + n

Re:How about neutrons? (2, Informative)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526654)

Actually balancing chemical reactions is JUST like arithmetic; only you have to actually know all the things you're supposed to be adding up :p

Re:How about neutrons? (2, Interesting)

Ricin (236107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526482)

I was thinking this too. Judging from the possible reactions (and assuming this is the set we should be considering):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion#Criteria_and_candidates_for_terrestrial_reactions [wikipedia.org]

You can see that the reactions with the "slower" neutrons (~2 MeV) are needed to produce the D+n->T transumtation that the article mentions. I don't think you can get ~14MeV neutrons sufficiently slowed down in this small geometry for them to contribute much to the transmutation. Now this is mentioned specifically, so it seems that the tritium involved doesn't get created by fusion (d+d->t+p) but instead through transmutation by neutrons that are a byproduct of d+d->He(3)+n(2.5MeV)

So (2ii) to (6i), as numbered in the wikipedia article, are the reactions they claim to see (with the neutrons being high energetic, assumingly too high to be significantly useful to create tritium, hence the talk about transmutation), or at least one or more of them.

So as I understand it, they argue that the metallic Pd/Zr configuration acts as some sort of catalyser similar as (surface-)catalysers in chemical reactions do.

What you'd want to detect are both high and "low" energy neutrons AND PROTONS, right?

Re:How about neutrons? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526518)

I don't think the protons would get to the detectors; protons are heavy charged particles, and therefore should deposit their energy in the medium quite fast (similar to alpha particles, which are already shielded quite efficiently by a normal piece of paper).

Re:How about neutrons? (1)

Ricin (236107) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526570)

Erm, are you saying that a proton is much heavier/larger than a neutron? They are of the same size/weight (1u). Alpha particles are helium nuclei (4u).

There may be reasons that make detection problematic, but I don't think size is one of them, neither should their velocity/energy be because both are in the same order of magnitude.

The New Energy Times has some coverage as well (1)

quinta (769856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526316)

Re:The New Energy Times has some coverage as well (2, Funny)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526392)

The New Energy Times describes itself as "The leader in news and information on low energy nuclear reactions".

Isn't that like going to a Nationalist Socialist website to learn about the holocaust? ;)

Ah, crap. Godwin. I always do this.

Solid-state plasma fusion (1998) (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526328)

Link to observations by Yoshiaki Arata and Yue-Chang Zhang:

http://www.journalarchive.jst.go.jp/jnlpdf.php?cdjournal=pjab1977&cdvol=74&noissue=7&startpage=155&lang=en&from=jnlabstract

An authoritative journal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526334)

Il Sole 24 Ore is a freaken newspaper. Not a peer reviewed scientific journal and definitely not the place to look for cold fusion research.

If it was valid research it would be published in a reputable primary source.

Think for a moment! (3, Insightful)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526356)

A huge breakthrough of a japanese scientist... ... end of as a story in a italian economy newspaper?

Doesnt that seem a bit fishy?
See me again when they actually published something somewhere...

Re:Think for a moment! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526504)

Apparently it was published in the Journal of High Temperature Society [jst.go.jp] in the Feb and March issue of 2008. However their website doesn't seem to have those issues online.

MY ASSHOLE IS VERY "authoritative" (0, Troll)

lennyhell (869433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526362)

The press in Italy is shit, pals. Just like Slashdot. And please CITE NUMBERS. NO NUMBERS == NO FACTS == NO NEWS. "Considerable" is not a number you fucking turds.

some more info (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526370)

http://physicsworld.com/blog/

nanometric matrix? (1)

spandex_panda (1168381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526380)

I distrust anything that contains the words 'nanometric matrix of palladium and zyrcon' it sounds very low budget sci-fi to me. Why not a defribulating constant vortex of endoplasmic singularities? eh?

Re:nanometric matrix? (2, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526402)

Why not a defribulating constant vortex of endoplasmic singularities?

Everyone knows those are unstable. What were you thinking?

Re:nanometric matrix? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526480)

Well, you can stabilize them with a tachyonic neutrino resonance. Just make sure you properly shield the semileptonic field.

Re:nanometric matrix? (1)

Briareos (21163) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526438)

Because everyone knows that polarizing the hull plating is more than enough...

np: Saul Williams - WTF! (The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!)

Loro Voglio Moltissimo Bene (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526432)

"I wish them the very best." I'll root for anything that shows promise in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, partcularly oil. Can you imagine the day when we can tell the Saudis to go away and take their extremist sect with them!

Re:Loro Voglio Moltissimo Bene (2, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526454)

Can you imagine the day when we can tell the Saudis to go away and take their extremist sect with them!

Yes. It will be the day when they'll have nothing to lose any more.

Re:Loro Voglio Moltissimo Bene (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526530)

It will also be the day they go from having economic power to being rather subject to external powers.

Since the shift away from petroleum will be gradual, if not glacial, I hope they take the opportunity to reform their ideas. Failure to do so could result in creation of the world's largest glass bowl.

It uses Zirconium (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526442)

Zircon, of gawdy jewelry fame, contains zirconium. Maybe my father's gawdawful giant zircon ring will finally become valuable. That can't happen. My father's sense of bad taste was infallible. On those grounds alone, I declare that the experiment was a hoax.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zirconium#Applications [wikipedia.org]

Mr fusion (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526456)

Now all we need is a way of turning egg yokes into deuterium and palladium.

Zyrcon oxide?? Elium-4?? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526464)

No such thing. It's zirconium oxide. Same for "Elium-4", which is supposed to be helium-4.

It's a little hard to tell from the mediocre quality of the translations, but I can't see where they say they've actually discovered helium-4 or evidence of any other nuclear products. The argument seems to be based purely on the amount of energy produced. The articles *say* helium-4 should be produced, but that's quite different from detecting it.

If there's something there, why can't it be ordinary chemistry?

Cat got my tongue :( (2, Funny)

louzer (1006689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526490)

I am willing to bet 1 USD on the fact that this invention will not turn out to be churning out energy using nuclear fusion. Payments will be done through paypal if anyone is willing to bet 1 USD on that this invention will prove to be generating energy from nuclear fusion.

So-called geeks! (1, Interesting)

Terri416 (131871) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526494)

Firstly, let's remember that so far, cold fusion has been a con. A rip-off. A fraud. Call it what you will. Treat it with major-league skepticism.

Secondly, remember the Nuclear Physics. Any useful reactor is going to produce prodigious amounts of radiation, neutron and gamma. That means lots of heavy and bulky shielding. This is not going to appear in a home or car near you.

Thirdly, remember thermodynamic efficiency. If the hot side of the reactor is 100C and the cold side is - say - 40C, then your *maximum* efficiency is about 15%. For every kW you extract, there's about 7kW of waste heat (assuming that everything else is 100% efficient). If you want to make the thing efficient you have to raise the temperature of the hot side to - say - 800C, with a cold side of about 100C. That's much more practical, but has a maximum efficiency of only 50% and requires a strange definition of cold.

If all you want is to warm the planet up, cold fusion might help. Provided it's not a con. Again.

Re:So-called geeks! (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526552)

Firstly, let's remember that so far, cold fusion has been a con. A rip-off. A fraud.

None of the above, actually. It's been a failure to date, but who's been defrauded? Can you show that anyone who funded it was lied to about the difficulty of bringing it to market?

Investments in basic research are a long shot, and long shots can pay off very well if they come through.

-jcr

Re:So-called geeks! (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526622)

A cold fusion reactor which is able to achieve 15% efficiency in transforming hydrogen to helium would be a civilization-changing invention, on par with practical electrical generation or the industrial extraction of oil from the ground. Don't think that just because the efficiency is low that it's impractical. You would be getting enormous amounts of energy from the most abundant element there is. Losing seven eights of that energy to system inefficiencies wouldn't matter. I'm skeptical about the whole deal, but this particular reason is just plain bogus.

Re:So-called geeks! (1)

nukeindia.com (463153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526690)

Secondly, remember the Nuclear Physics. Any useful reactor is going to produce prodigious amounts of radiation, neutron and gamma. That means lots of heavy and bulky shielding. This is not going to appear in a home or car near you.
True for fission reactors, but not for fusion reactors. Fusion is clean. No radiation, no neutron, no gamma. Just pure energy as heat. Which is why cold fusion matters. Actually fusion, if possible, will be one of the cleanest source of energy.

Re:So-called geeks! (0, Redundant)

Artraze (600366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526706)

> Any useful reactor is going to produce prodigious amounts of radiation, neutron and gamma.

Actually, the listed process is H-2 + H-2 -> He-4, this doesn't release a neutron. Gammas are (generally) released when a nucleus rearranges itself. For something the size of He-4 this isn't always necessary.

> Thirdly, remember thermodynamic efficiency.

For what, exactly? This is a nuclear process and has nothing to do with heat engines. Unless, of course, you're referring to the generator turbine, but that's not really what we're discussing. Finally, "cold" fusion (as often attempted) isn't exactly cold; when warm is about 15000C the 'cold' ain't exactly the freezing point of water.

Off the cuff ... (0)

the bluebrain (443451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526522)

... engineering is based on science.
Science is all about observation, i.e., how things play out when left well alone.
Engineering is all about stacking the odds, i.e., setting things up in such a way that they play out to be "useful" - play out according to the rules observed during the "science" stage.

Now to nuclear fusion: there are just two types of nuclear fusion that have been observed by humans that result in a net output of energy: stars, and hydrogen bombs.
The first is pure science, no engineering involved. And kind of hard to reproduce, as the required heat and pressure has the tendency to turn into plasma anything that is close, for example a vessel. Indeed, this is what happens in the "bomb" thing - very useful, but of equally limited applicability.

Most of the fruits of engineering are devices that do not occur in nature (although they universally follow the rules of nature). For example: Mix gasoline vapour and air, chuck a spark through it, and you get a net energy output. Do this in a confined space, and you get an explosion. Do this in a rather intricately designed confined space that can expand (and re-contract) within well-defined parameters, and you get an internal combustion engine (well ... skipping a few steps there). This is all according to the rules of nature - but that doesn't mean that you can expect to find an internal combustion engine that just fell into place anywhere in the universe.

As for nuclear fusion: although only the "hot" variant has been observed in nature up until now, that doesn't mean that if there is a cold variant, that it will be anything that is immediately obvious. Indeed, if such a beast be born, it will be "obvious" only in retrospect. Initially, it is likely to be some mechanism based on some fringe effect that has been observed in nature, but hasn't found application in any machine yet.

And any upside would be quite revolutionary - so to anyone who's still seriously tinkering with this tuff even after the train wreck that was Pons and Fleischmann - bully to you.

Book on Amazon (0)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526536)

There is a book on Amazon about the subject [amazon.com] . Don't ask me what MX stands for. Probably some Japanese abbreviation for "nanometric matrix of palladium and zyrcon oxide".

Just an idea... (5, Insightful)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526580)

Could we please restrict all further "cold fusion" articles to at least the level of "cold fusion experiment of X successfully reproduced by Y"?. That would help keeping the noise level down.

There is more than only this experiment (5, Informative)

JochenBedersdorfer (945289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526608)

If you would follow this field more closely you would find that there is a small but steadily growing number of scientists from around the world working in this field.

Since cold fusion has such a bad reputation, they are calling it Low -Energy Nuclear Reactions. It's not only a better name, but it describes more accurately what those scientists are seeing: Transmutations and excess energy in low energy conditions.

The offical LENR webcine New Energy Times has all the info:

http://www.newenergytimes.com/ [newenergytimes.com]

It's still interesting... (2, Interesting)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526616)

It seems likely that this will turn out to be a poorly-understood conventional exothermic chemical reaction. It might still turn out to be useful and/or enlightening. If nothing else, it serves to remind us that there's quite a lot of fairly basic chemistry that we haven't quite figured out yet.

More like... (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23526640)

... a successful cold confusion experiment.

meh
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