Brit Liggett

Scientist Claims He Has Achieved Cold Fusion, Scientific Community Says 'Impossible'

by , 11/07/11
filed under: News, Renewable Energy

cold fusion, nuclear fusion, nuclear power, nuclear energy, andrea rossi, university of bologna, is cold fusion possible, physics

An Italian scientist at the University of Bologna recently announced to the world that he has successfully achieved cold fusion – a process that physics says is impossible – but if it were proven achievable it would provide the world with vast amounts of safe, cheap energy. Nuclear fusion is the process of combining, under very specific circumstances, two atomic nuclei into one heavier atomic nuclei, releasing an enormous amount of energy in the process. The scientist in question, Andrea Rossi, is being greeted by the scientific community with nothing less than skepticism — perhaps because everyone in history who has claimed to achieve the process has been proven to be unsuccessful.

cold fusion, nuclear fusion, nuclear power, nuclear energy, andrea rossi, university of bologna, is cold fusion possible, physics

Andrea Rossi calls his cold fusion machine the E-Cat machine and he claims that it fuses nickel and hydrogen nuclei at room temperature. In addition to skepticism from physicists around the world, the United States Department of Energy the U.S. Patent Office say that the basic laws of physics prove that cold fusion is impossible. Rossi claims that his machine provides just a small amount of energy for the nickel and hydrogen nuclei to fuse and in return gives off a much larger amount of energy.

The scientific community is asking Rossi to let his machine be removed from his laboratory in order to be tested by the greater physics world. To that Rossi says, “We have nothing to say, just to make plans that work properly and let those facts win against the scepticism.”

Energy experts and scientists are not mincing their words in response to Rossi’s confidence in his machine, energy consultant Jonathan Koomey told the Daily Mail, the E-Cat experiment, “Should be treated as a hoax until independent scientists are able to replicate these results.”

Outside testing will surely be done on Rossi’s machine to see if he’s achieved the impossible. If he has, it could mean great things for the world of renewable energy — and it could be the end of disasters caused by existing nuclear power plants.

Via The Daily Mail

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2 Comments

  1. ScienceFan November 14, 2011 at 8:35 am

    (Sigh)

    No, cold fusion doesn’t work, and it isn’t an “obvious threat” to physicists studying fusion in a more traditional setting — if a fusion reactor could be made cheaply they would be ecstatic, because then they wouldn’t have to fight for huge grants all the time and funding. Academics don’t make any money off the research they do, unless they patent something and it sells.

    And if you ask the physicists, the issue is that there isn’t any viable physical mechanism to achieve fusion at “cold” temperatures. And no, the fat is nobody has been able to duplicate the Pons and Fleischman work, the “anomalous heat” has almost always been well within the error bars.

    Sure, it’s possible there is something a lot of people have overlooked. But it isn’t very likely. There are too many other well-established bits of physics that would work against something like this.

    I mean, this is why all kinds of technologies are designed the way they are. The work on designing solar cells, for instance, is based o sound physical principles around the photoelectric effect. Can you get better at exploiting that? Sure, but you aren’t going to get more than 100% energy conversion.

    And when you build your understanding of the world, as scientists do, you can eliminate certain possibilities. So we now know that is not possible to say magic words and turn someone into a frog, that dragons do not exist, that you can’t zap a dead body with electricity and make a Frankenstein monster. New theories don’t replace old ones — they just describe certain things better. Relativity, for instance, doesn’t “overthrow” Newton’s laws, it just describes situations that Newton’s laws don’t apply in. Newton’s laws are still perfectly useful and are in fact used all the damned time whenever anyone launches a communications satellite.

    Rossi hasn’t offered up his machine for any kind of independent testing. There is currently no way to tell if the whole thing isn’t a scam. Just because he says he has a customer– which he won’t reveal, by the way — doesn’t make it so.

    Rossi is proposing that he is achieving fusion of two metals, essentially, and somehow does it without it producing any of the associated radiation effects that fusing anything makes, or an isotope composition that makes any sense. That by itself is a big red flag.

    Peer review isn’t perfect. But it exits for a reason. It is a backstop. It is a way for a researcher to ask “did I miss anything?” “Did I screw something up?” Rossi hasn’t done that.

  2. swb338 November 8, 2011 at 6:38 am

    This article is somewhat dated and inaccurate. Rossi’s machine has been proven to work, independently validated by his first customer, and was sold on Oct. 28.

    It’s not true that every attempt has been proven not to work. Google 60 Minutes Cold Fusion to learn about the teams around the world who have observed anomalous heat thousands of times since the original discovery. What is true is that the field has been pushed to the fringes due to the difficulty in controlling the effect and the obvious threat the technology holds to physics departments and physicists who have spent their whole careers and billions of dollars studying traditional nuclear fusion. Rossi’s contribution is that he’s the first to control and commercialize the process.

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