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Team Confirms UCLA Tabletop Fusion

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the doc-oc-not-available-for-comment dept.

Science 354

An anonymous reader writes "A team of New York physicists has confirmed that a tabletop contraption made at UCLA does in fact generate nuclear fusion at room temperatures, using pairs of crystals and a small tank of deuterium. But unlike less reliable reports back in the 1980s, there's no talk this time of producing endless supplies of power. Rather, the technology could lead to ultra-portable x-ray machines and even a wearable device that could provide safe, continuous cancer treatment."

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Key Application Overlooked (5, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708072)


From TFA:
Rather, the most immediate application may come in the form of a battery-operated, portable neutron generator. Such a device could be used to detect explosives or to scan luggage at airports, and it could also be an important tool for a wide range of laboratory experiments.
I'm surprised that the article didn't go into more depth on the explosives detection angle, as a neutron generator is an excellent method for detecting fissionable material, and I'm sure the folks over at Homeland Security would like a better way to guard against nuclear devices being smuggled into our country.

For more info on neutron generators and their possible application in fissionable materials detection, please look here (PDF warning) [latech.edu] .

Well that settles it: Quod Erat Demonstrandum. (0, Troll)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708245)


A team of New York physicists has confirmed that a tabletop contraption made at UCLA does in fact generate nuclear fusion at room temperatures...

If the New York physicists have confirmed it, then it has to be true. Has to be.

Re:Well that settles it: Quod Erat Demonstrandum. (1, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708343)

I only believe it when Netcraft confirms it. :-)

Re:Key Application Overlooked (4, Interesting)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708270)

Everyone's overloaded on hearing about people blowing up airplanes. Hunting down terrorists is the depressing fact harped at us constantly in all directions. A two sentence mention in the article is about all that is really warranted, don't you think? Perhaps they should have said "nukes," or "fissionable material." Fissionable material doesn't really hit home for most people though. Nukes sounds outlandish. Explosives is a bit too broad.

Not being a scientific paper, the details of the procedure aren't germaine to the article.

Eh, it's close enough, right?

Re:Key Application Overlooked (1, Offtopic)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708278)

Of course such devices are only of limited use to DHS. They presume that the potential terrorist must smuggle in his or her device through an airport in the United States.

The reality is that the easiest way to smuggle in a nuclear device would be to get it first into Canada or Mexico. There are stretches of border there that go on for miles that are patrolled by a dozen or fewer officers -- often not even U.S. Border Patrol, but instead local law enforcement agencies that lack the training to properly protect an international border.

Re:Key Application Overlooked (5, Funny)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708521)

I always thought the easiest way to smuggle in a nuke would be to bring it in through Miami hidden in a bale of cocaine.

Re:Key Application Overlooked (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708285)

There's one thing I'm wondering, though.

Assuming terrorists build a working nuclear device, why would they want to smuggle it into the country? Surely, detonating it near the coast would work just fine.

Smuggling nuclear material... (3, Insightful)

burnttoy (754394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708349)

guard against nuclear devices being smuggled into our country.

Ahem... or out of the country. Keeping tabs on one of the worlds largest nuclear stockpiles is a major, fulltime job and not one to be taken lightly.

Re:Key Application Overlooked (4, Insightful)

Temkin (112574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708364)

You missed the other key application... A cheap ready supply of neutrons is exactly what you need to transmute elements... Sadly, this includes the most common element transmutation carried out by mankind to date... U-238 to Pu-239. Cheap tabletop neutrons means cheap Pu-239 without the cost & mess of having a breeder fission reactor...

This will make non-proliferation all the harder. :(

Re:Key Application Overlooked (4, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708577)

You missed the other key application... A cheap ready supply of neutrons is exactly what you need to transmute elements... Sadly, this includes the most common element transmutation carried out by mankind to date... U-238 to Pu-239. Cheap tabletop neutrons means cheap Pu-239 without the cost & mess of having a breeder fission reactor...

This will make non-proliferation all the harder. :(

Not really. You still have to mine and purify the uranium (a decidely non trivial task), then you have to bombard (literally) tons of U-238, then you have to extract the Pu from the U (extremely non trivial). Or, in short, while you avoid the messy step of a reactor - you still have a large and difficult (and messy) industrial process. (I.E. nation state level, not terrorist groups.)

Re:Key Application Overlooked (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708451)

Seriously Trip, you are trying waaay to hard.

Re:Key Application Overlooked (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708535)

I'm sure the folks over at Homeland Security would like a better way to guard against nuclear devices being smuggled into our country.

Inspecting cargo coming into the country would be a good start.

Oh great... (-1, Flamebait)

brouski (827510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708076)

Walking fallout. Tremendous idea.

Re:Oh great... (2, Insightful)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708198)

IANAP (I am not a physicist), but I do know that nuclear fusion doesn't create fallout like nuclear fission does. Perhaps this is what you are thinking of. I ought to also remind you that radiation plays a huge part in medical treatments of all sorts. So while you might have been sarcastic when you said 'tremendous idea,' I'd have to agree with you there.

Re:Oh great... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708337)

IANAP (I am not a physicist), but I do know that nuclear fusion doesn't create fallout like nuclear fission does.

Fallout is caused by one of two events:

1. Excess nuclear materials not consumed in the reaction are left behind.

2. The neutron radiation from the event interacted with nearby materials (such as the dirt on the ground) to create new radioactive materials.

Nuclear fusion is "clean" in that there are no radioactive materials left over from the reaction. However, it does produce an incredibly strong neutron flux which can easily create radioactive fallout in nearby materials.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fallout [wikipedia.org]

Given how destructive neutron radiation is, I'm somewhat surprised that they'd be talking about strapping a reasonably strong source to someone's person.

Re:Oh great... (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708534)

Given how destructive neutron radiation is, I'm somewhat surprised that they'd be talking about strapping a reasonably strong source to someone's person.

I think that's kind of the idea, if you were trying to kill a tumor with it.

At any rate, I get the feeling that the 'cancer treatment' idea was probably just something that whoever gave the interview to the article's author pulled out of their ass when they were asked about 'possible uses.' It sounds good, and who knows, it might even be true.

Re:Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708210)

As the saying goes, your right to treat your cancer with spewing neutrons ends where my nads begin.

Re:Oh great... (1, Troll)

4x5 (945537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708276)

NOTICE TO NEW BUYERS! Please do not eat, drop, fall-on-top-of, get in car wreck, avoid all plane crashes and train accidents...

no thanks, wearing a landmine 'round my neck doesn't seem better than going through chemo.

Re:Oh great... (1)

gebbeth (720597) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708610)

NOTICE TO NEW BUYERS! Please do not eat, drop, fall-on-top-of, get in car wreck, avoid all plane crashes and train accidents...

Do not taunt happy fun fusion reactor.

Re:Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708348)

Thanks for continuing to propagate irrational fear of nuclear materials. Fallout is associated with the older, "dirtier" fission nukes. We haven't seen one like that in, what... 45 or 50 years? This is also different - not only because the amount of emissions are small - but because it's neutrons. Beta and alpha emissions are protons/electrons and protons/neutrons respectively. Also: Nowhere in the article does it mention anything about breaking apart massive atoms and leaving behind radioactive isotopes that are chemically reactive in the human body; Which, I assume, is what you're so worried about.

Re:Oh great... (3, Funny)

brouski (827510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708454)

I never let science get in the way of a snarky comment.

Tabletop fusion (5, Funny)

Bit_Squeezer (824571) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708099)

Crystals and holy water?

Re:Tabletop fusion (1)

jeblucas (560748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708380)

No, no, you misheard. It's "wholly" water. Only more so.

I predict the #1 application for this technology (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708105)

...will be for mood rings that give you finger cancer.

Re:I predict the #1 application for this technolog (1)

CowsAnonymous (697884) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708574)

> ...will be for mood rings that give you finger cancer.

I think that's going to be easily outsold. From TFA:

> The concept could also lead to a portable x-ray generator, according to Danon

Obviously, the big seller is going to be x-ray glasses.

Cool (0)

mwace (923798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708107)

Impressive, I hope this works out as a decent power source - I think its what this world needs more then moderatly effective cancer treatment system.

Re:Cool (2, Informative)

eobanb (823187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708171)

I hope this works out as a decent power source

Sorry to disappoint, but it's just not going to happen. These types of methods of fusion are always going to require more energy input than output. Efficient artificial reactors may be possible in the future, but for now they remain a pipe dream--especially 'cold fusion' ones.

Re:Cool (1)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708209)

I hate to be the pessimist, but it almost certainly won't. Most research into fusion as a power source involes performing it on a reasonably large scale (think ITER). At this sort of size you simply wont get the efficiency you need to get out more energy than you put in.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708301)

LAWL. Yeah that's what we need. People using fusion to power their cars and then ejecting the spent fissible materials.

If you thought smog was bad, consider the radiation coming from the spent fuel rod dumps. Talk about global warming!!!!

Re:Cool (1)

mwace (923798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708358)

We're talking about a device in the not-so-distant future that can create a solution with tempratures up to a hundred thousand degrees kelvin that runs off two, maybe four AA batteries. And you're telling me they'res no way to draw from this power?

has anyone seen... (1, Interesting)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708110)

THE SAINT

Re:has anyone seen... (3, Funny)

Atlantic Wall (847508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708369)

mod parent down, the movie sucked

Interesting (3, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708119)

It's quite an accomplishment. However, as the article noted, they don't mention even the remote future possibility of creating a self-sustaining reaction. So I'm assuming that there is no way even in principle this technology could be scaled to yield more power than it uses.

Re:Interesting (4, Informative)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708279)


So I'm assuming that there is no way even in principle this technology could be scaled to yield more power than it uses.


From the sound of what's going on, I think that's correct. The thing about a confined fusion generator is that it works through having the plasma at enormous temperatures. At these high temperatures the particles are slamming into each other at high speed, occasionally so hard they fuse together. This fusion itself produces more heat, so there's a feedback loop that's sustaining the reaction. This device sounds like it works through just accelerating particles with an electric field to high speeds, and then smashes the particles into one another. I don't see any potential for feedback here, so a sustained reaction seems unlikely.

Re:Interesting (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708334)

"no way ... this technology could be scaled"

More crystals! I need more crystals!

Better than two (5, Funny)

DigitlDud (443365) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708120)

"Our device uses two crystals instead of one, which doubles the acceleration potential," says Jeffrey Geuther

Yeah well, now I'm going to use three!

Re:Better than two (2, Funny)

MacUNIX (309356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708162)

"Our device uses two crystals instead of one, which doubles the acceleration potential," says Jeffrey Geuther

Yeah well, now I'm going to use three!


Ahh...the old "razor company" method, eh?

Re:Better than two (4, Funny)

that_xmas (707449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708193)

Hell, I'm jumping straight FIVE! That'll get you an even closer shave.

And here I was... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708273)

...thinking that the core war between Intel and AMD is gonna be the "who got the most" war of the next decade.

But you won't get my dilithium stash!

Re:Better than two (4, Funny)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708434)

Funny you should mention a razor with five blades [gillettefusion.com] in a thread about Fusion.

Re:Better than two (4, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708268)

According to the Spinal Tap Principle, it's only a matter of time before someone makes one that goes to 11.

Gillette will do it with 5.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708365)

..plus one to trim the output level...

Re:Better than two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708463)

You laugh; but that's pretty much how the vacuum tube triode got invented to not infringe on the vacuum tube diode.

Re:Better than two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708487)

I see the SUV fan here.
Too many of anything will usually create more problems that needed.

Re:Better than two (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708532)


And of course all the New Agers will be saying "See? We told you!"

Oh, and don't forget, in Star Treknolgy, three warp engines is bad, but two or four is good.

Just like numbering the movies...

Room temperature? (2, Interesting)

sploxx (622853) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708126)

Although the device as a whole may be at room temperature, the region where the fusion reactions occur is at a much higher temperature (10^6K or similar) - as it is needed for fusion.

Speedy particles smashing into each other have a lot of kinetic energy in the center of mass inertial system. This is nothing different than 'heat'.

Re:Room temperature? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708324)

Speedy particles smashing into each other have a lot of kinetic energy in the center of mass inertial system. This is nothing different than 'heat'.

Actually, strictly speaking, heat is quite different from coherent, directed particle motion.

What? (5, Funny)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708134)

"application may come in the form of a battery-operated, portable neutron generator"

Wait, what? We finally got cold fusion, but 'batteries not included'?

Re:What? (2, Informative)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708239)

No, we do not have cold fusion. This isn't a power source at all (i.e. over all the process is endothermic), we just have a small "neutron-making-machine".

Re:What? (1)

605dave (722736) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708289)

It doesn't come with batteries because it will require 4200 size Ds. They are getting design help from the xBox 360 team on power enclosures.

Re:What? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708550)

The exciting part is that this device uses electricity flowing through crystals to accelerate neutrons. Dr. Who [wikipedia.org] can now reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.

so is this (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708144)

So would this be considered cold fusion? This is not , but from the article, it appears that it could be called cold fusion. Or am I wrong since I am not a nuclear scientist.

Re:so is this (1)

mwace (923798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708272)

By 'Cold Fusion', I think they mean fusion not accompanied with a mile wide fireball, scalding nuclear radiation, a massive forest-leveling shockwave, and a couple hundred kilos of radioactive dust floating down from the sky.

Re:so is this (3, Funny)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708303)

Now THAT would be a keychain toy worth buying.

I'd buy that for a dollar! (1)

katz (36161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708378)

I'd buy that for a dollar!

hot and cold fusion (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708432)

It appears to be doable at room temperatures, but the ion themselves travel at ~100 KeV (Kilo electronVolt) which translates to absurdly high temperatures (for that single ion)
You need that speed to get fusion, otherwise your nuclei will not come close enough together.
This will probably not be a potential source for nett-positive fusion, it will alway cost more energy to produce than is released (and capured) by the device. This is because on an atomic scale evene crystals are mostly empty space and the chance of hitting a nucleus before the chamber ends is pretty low. If you try to reuse the ions like is done in a fusor [slashdot.org] you loose too much energy in 'bremsstrahlung' when you change the direction of the ions. Sadly, the best chance of succes is still in the big tokamak-like contraptions.

I smell a hoax. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708149)

"'pyroelectric' crystals". This sounds like nonsense.

Often "scientists" fool themselves. This is probably another case of it.

Key chain application overlooked (4, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708164)

Also overlooked is the forthcoming businesses selling crystal pendants and key chains which "fight" cancer and provide other beneficial effects.

Licensing... (4, Funny)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708167)

I will now take bids on licensing my screenname.

Time travel as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708169)

Can the machine also transport its user to 1982?

"So are you ready?"

"Yeah, hold on... I forgot to put in the crystals."

Re:Time travel as well? (0, Troll)

lunchlady55 (471982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708232)

"No, this sucker's electrical, but I need a nulear reaction to generate the 1.2 Gigawatts needed for time travel!"

HELLO MR. FUSION!

(Now where's that beer can...)

This sounds oddly familiar (0, Troll)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708185)

Back in the 1980s there was the same vibe over cold fusion [amazon.com] , and we all know how that turned out.

Re:This sounds oddly familiar (5, Informative)

rossifer (581396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708341)

The difficulty with small scale fusion isn't making it happen. That's been done many, many times [fusor.net] . The difficulty with small scale fusion (and all fusion) is making it produce power (more power extracted from the reaction than put into the reaction).

That's where Pons and Fleishman got hosed. They claimed a 300% power surplus without experimental verification. This announcement is different from that for several reasons.

1) These guys are specifically not claiming excess power.
2) They're claiming to have lots of high-energy neutrons.
3) This is actually the announcement of a second group of scientists repeating the experiment and successfully verifying the results of the first group.

In short, this announcement is nothing like the cold fusion debacle of the late '80s.

Regards,
Ross

Re:This sounds oddly familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708352)

Are you retarded?

Re:This sounds oddly familiar (1)

Fly (18255) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708355)

It was not the same vibe at all. The 1980s cold fusion debacle has little to do with this. If people were claiming this to be a power source, then it would have something to do with the cold fusion vibe, but the people involved are not because the technology is not suitable for power generation as they have stated. The pyroelectric fusion technique is effective as a means to produce neutrons rather than energy. Cold fusion experiments hoped to see excess neutrons as a signal of fusion occuring, while with the new technique the production of neutrons is the primary function.

IS this really FUSION? (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708204)

I have to wonder wether or not this really is fusion. It sounds to me like they are just moving nuetrons around from one atom to another. There is no mention of atomic # increase.
The article did not seem to mention too much technical details.

Anyone have a better link?
   

Re:IS this really FUSION? (2, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708480)

That is fusion. Moving neutrons from one atom to another increases the atomic weight of the recipient atom. You don't necessarily need to fuse atoms together to call something "fusion."

Re:IS this really FUSION? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708510)

like they are just moving nuetrons around from one atom to another

Answered your own question, I see.

Re:IS this really FUSION? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708517)

According to the article, they are combining deuterium with deuterium, which should result in a helium. But there would be no neutrons left over, so their statement that detecting neutron emmissions prove it's fusion sounds fishy to me.

link to old story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708215)

the original story from last year, Room-Temperature, Small-Scale Fusion at UCLA [slashdot.org] , mentions microthrusters for space applications. I couldn't find any more mention at the ucla crystal fusion site [ucla.edu] . I hope this new work has some bearing on this application.

dilithium whosits? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708366)

So this is a different approach that the purported sonofusion experiments? And the Pons & Fleishman's metal crystaline lattice apparatus? And it's not similar to Philo T Farsnworth's electrical confinement experiments at ITT in the 60's?

Pyroelectric particle accelerator (2, Informative)

wiml (883109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708477)

Indeed, it's different from all of those, read TFA. Here's a basic explanation of the device [rpi.edu] from RPI.

Yes, they're different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708587)

Pyroelectric fusion [wikipedia.org] is different from sonofusion [wikipedia.org] , cold fusion [wikipedia.org] , and the Farnsworth fusor [wikipedia.org] .

Incredible (and im not talking about the article) (5, Insightful)

MrTester (860336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708250)

Its amazingly clear that not only have few of you RTFA, most have not even gotten past the title before you threw out a post.

Its a whole 4 sentences which make it clear that this is NOT a power source, and half the posts are talking about its potential as a power source.

Now if I could just find a way to bottle the power of human stupidity...

Re:Incredible (and im not talking about the articl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708372)

Now if I could just find a way to bottle the power of human stupidity...

yeah, if only. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Incredible (and im not talking about the articl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708416)

...you'd probably be drinking it.

Re:Incredible (and im not talking about the articl (1)

What me a Coward (875774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708439)

Nobody can bottle the power of human stupidity! It's out their free in the world man and you're just going to have to deal with it!

  HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! :P

    Seriously if you could that would be to much power in one place at one time, Could end the universe in the wink of an eye. ;)

Re:Incredible (and im not talking about the articl (1)

samureiser (903923) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708484)

Of course, the internet makes it clear that stupidity is NOT a power source...

Darn (3, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708255)

Darn, now I have to go sell my palladium stash that I have put away just in case someone actually made it work the old fashioned way.

could provide safe, continuous cancer treatment. (2, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708271)

Yeah beacuse everyone knows being continuously bombarded with X-Rays is safe.

Re:could provide safe, continuous cancer treatment (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708468)

I think that's why they're marketing it as a cancer treatment. For, you know, people who already have cancer. Which tends to kill you without treatment.

Chemotherapy drugs aren't exactly a walk in the park either, but they have their place.

200,000 Electron Volts (5, Funny)

sarlos (903082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708282)

But can it crank out 1.21 gigawatts?

Re:200,000 Electron Volts (1)

Atlantic Wall (847508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708415)

Heavy. ROFL What the Hell is a GIGAWATT!

Use as weapons? (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708316)

Are we talking x-ray laser sort of technology? Is 200,000 electron volts enough to do significant damage? Surface burns and radiation poisoning?

Jerks (3, Insightful)

breckinshire (891764) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708319)

Is it just me, or did this article make the Renselaar folks seem like smug jerks? As in, "Yes, not only did we prove that it works, but we proved that we can do it a lot better than those toking, surfing, hippies!"

Re:Jerks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708354)

welcome to science by press release

Get the paper here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708330)

The paper [rpi.edu] .

Re:Get the paper here (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708384)

Also, the original UCLA paper [nature.com] .

Re:Get the paper here (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708540)

If you don't have institutional access, the original paper is here: Observation of nuclear fusion driven by a pyroelectric crystal [indiana.edu] .

Re:Get the paper here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708613)

Thanks. I was trying to find a mirror but didn't, so I posted the Nature version. Mods, mod up the parent instead of my post about the UCLA paper.

tabletop fusion (2, Insightful)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708356)

Tabletop fusion has been in use for quite some time. This device looks like it's a little bit simpler than the Farnsworth fusor, but it's an incremental improvement, not a radical breakthrough.

The breakthrough would come should anybody ever figure out how to break even energetically in a tabletop fusion device, and I think it's quite possible that that will happen sooner or later.

Woah.. Flashbacks! (1)

fury88 (905473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708396)

Flash backs of "Real Genius".

I can just see Val Kilmer now... Self-realization, I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said, "I drank what?"

Time travel potential (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708405)

With the mention of crystals, all I can picture is the time machine from Napoleon Dynamite.

Nukes Don't Kill People.People Do. But Nukes Help. (0, Troll)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708431)

even a wearable device that could provide safe, continuous cancer treatment.

Because, after demonstrating they could use personal firearms safely and only in the recommended manner, it was deemed reasonable to give Americans personal nukes.

Gillette? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708470)

So Gilette went from a battery powered three blade razor to a nuclear powered 5 blade one? I gotta get me one of those!

Cool Fusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14708473)

Dr. Lamonte: We need to pursue something less... cold... hence, "cool fusion".

Tabletop Fusion (2, Funny)

jdumps (931324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708479)

Tabletop fusion is hard. You have to be rolling 20's to get it started.

Wearable device (1)

MECC (8478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708584)

"wearable device that could provide"

Similar to a backpack capable of firing a ectoplasmic containment stream? Or portable power supply for a flux capacitor?

Don't let terrorists get ahold of it! (1)

csoto (220540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14708627)

They could use it to make a "suitcase" neutron bomb! Sure, it might take hundreds of hours per individual to dispatch them, but terrorists have time on their hands!
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