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1 comment

Cold fusion is not Rossi (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year and a half ago | (#42465139)

All evidence I've seen to date suggests Rossi's technology is either fraud or self-delusion (which is the worse charge to level at a researcher?) The isotope mix of his "waste material" is almost exactly the same as found naturally, which is an *extremely* unlikely outcome for one. And it doesn't help that e refuses to allow rigorously controlled tests or that his higher-energy demos are creeping ever closer to unity with input energy. If he doesn't want to prematurely spill his secrets fine, refuse radiation detectors. But precision measurement of wattage input versus heat produced would be trivial to perform with someone else's equipment. Instead we get un-metered power cables and hoses venting wet steam into the sink. That's no way to run an experiment.

That's not to say though that the entire field is fraudulent though. Since Fleischman and Pons there has been a large number of researchers around the world that have seemed to verify that *something* is going on. Excess energy. Confirmed elemental transmutation. The sort of stuff you'd expect from fusion, but in a manner that should be impossible according to our current understanding. The problem is that the results are thus far unpredictable. Seemingly identical experiments have wildly different outcomes, and we have no consensus hypotheses to explain what exactly is happening, or how. The last I heard the consensus seemed to be growing that imperfections within electrodes were actually critically important, but until we can figure out why, or at least how to reliably recreate them, it's very much research into anomalous physics rather than any sort of potential energy-generating technology (not that things couldn't change overnight with a fortuitous discovery).

Then there's the fields of alternative hot fusion such as the Polywell fusor that sometimes get inappropriately lumped into the same boat due to their relatively cheap, low-tech, low-energy techniques. Those however are operating entirely within the realm of understood particle physics and are actually among the most promising fusion technologies being developed - they're simply operating outside the mainstream high-energy, high-dollar fusion research circles.

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