Here's the 'run-down' on Cold Fusion for those in the dark:
Cold fusion, also known as:
Low-energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) and
Chemically Assisted Nuclear Reaction/ Effect (CANR)
is a process, nuclear in nature, perhaps not a reaction, but a nuclear effect,
which creates excess energy, at a temperature much lower than the required
millions of degrees required for hot fusion. (regular fusion)
hot fusion is extremely expensive. we know it works, just look up at the sun.
However, reactors are costly, large, and are very difficult to extract ANY energy from,
let alone at least to break even. And they may be dangerous if uncontrolled.
(but are safe from chernobyl-like disasters)
Cold fusion uses Deuterium, a hydrogen isotope.
Cold fusion lets off heat, but does not create a runaway thermal effect (so far as we know).
Deuterium fuel is cheap and abundant. Case in point:
there is enough deuterium in the earth's oceans to last us hundreds of thousands of years.
Tritium is another fuel used in hot fusion, but in much smaller quantities, also in sea water.
Most cold fusion experiments, including the first one, use a cathode in deuterium oxide - heavy water
like water, but 10% heavier due to the added neutron of deuterium.
the cathode is usually palladium.
Why palladium? Because experimenters thought palladium's ability to store hydrogen (and
deuterium, by default, as it is an isotope) would 'squeeze' atoms of deuterium through palladium
lattice of atoms, and they would get so close that they fuse together, letting off heat, some minor
non-harmful radiation, and a helium 4 (i believe?) atom.
Cold fusion reactors are often easy to build. It's the measuring equipment for tests that are expensive.
now, experimenters have realised how to perform it more reliably, and the reason fusion works is not
because of the palladium specifically, but certain metals, like palladium and nickel, which, when their surface
is excited by lasers and/or radiation, start to create 'pockets' of superconductivity. Apparently, these are regions where cold fusion may occur. I'm
no expert! but this is what i've heard experts say, so...
Anyways, cold fusion has almost no cons. Imagine: anyone with physics knowledge, some electronics experience and a good DIY mindest, could
theoretically build a small reactor at home with simple materials, powered by a substance taken from seawater (difficult part!) you could use it in
cars, planes, homes, desalination, irrigation, portable generators, or ipods that need recharging every 10 years, provided apple doesn't make you buy
their latest model by then
Basically, that's it.
Check out LENR-CANR for information on where cold fusion is today. there is also a 'layman's terms' guide which spells out what a cold fusion future
would be like. In addition, i wanted to point out that while cold fusion and sonofusion (bubble fusion) both occur at room temperature, they do not
perform the same. Sonofusion is actually like a small scale version of hot fusion, as it reaches high temperatures in a small area.
13-1-2011 by Conspiritron9000 because: Missed Important Information