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In 2006, legendary scientist Dr Robert Bussard Gave a speech entitled "Should Google Go Nuclear", where he proposed that Google could build a 100 Megawatt Inertial Electrostatic Confinement reactor for less then their annual electricity bill.

Dr Bussard had been working on the design on a shoestring budget for the US Navy since 1987, right up to his death in 2007. The current research program was continued by Dr Richard Nebel, and today  a peer review panel could not find any reason why it should not work.

This doesn't mean that it will work, it's just that there's no obvious flaw in the concept.

Extract from the article

Then there's the $1.8 million (yes, million) project that's just been wrapped up at EMC2 Fusion Development Corp. in Santa Fe, N.M. The experiment, funded by the U.S. Navy, was aimed at verifying some interesting results that the late physicist Robert Bussard coaxed out of a high-voltage inertial electrostatic contraption known as WB-6. (The "WB" stands for Wiffle Ball, which describes the shape of the device and its magnetic field.)

An EMC2 team headed by Los Alamos researcher Richard Nebel (who's on leave from his federal lab job) picked up the baton from Bussard and tried to duplicate the results. The team has turned in its final report, and it's been double-checked by a peer-review panel, Nebel told me today. Although he couldn't go into the details, he said the verdict was positive.

"There's nothing in there that suggests this will not work," Nebel said. "That's a very different statement from saying that it will work."

This reactor doesn't require high temperatures or massive magnetic containment for it's power. It also doesn't generate huge amounts of energy - instead they are hoping for 1.2 times the amount of energy that gets put in.

Bussard believed that this device can run with net energy production on boron-11 and proton fuel. Controversies exist over whether the ions and electrons will thermalise and whether bremsstrahlung losses will emit more energy in an unrecoverable form than can be produced by the fusion reaction.

Todd Rider calculates that bremsstrahlung losses with this fuel relative to the fusion production will be 1.20:1.00. Bussard said that his calculation of the losses are about 5% of this, and therefore, greater gains than unity are possible.

Of course, it's still possible that they won't work - Another article extract :

The idea is still way out of the mainstream, however. In his new book about the frustrating fusion quest, "Sun in a Bottle," Charles Seife says that WB-7 and similar contraptions, known generically as fusors, aren't good candidates for power-generating fusion - even though they've attracted "something of a cult following."

"The equations of plasma physics strongly imply that fusorlike devices are very unlikely ever to produce more energy than they consume," Seife writes. "Nature's inexorable energy-draining powers are too hard to overcome."

Nebel is well aware of the naysayers. In fact, that's one reason why he's being so circumspect about the results of the WB-7 experiment. When I mentioned that he'd probably like to avoid the kind of controversy and embarrassment that came in the wake of 1989's notorious cold-fusion claims, Nebel laughed and added, "That's well-put."

Despite the skepticism, Nebel and his colleagues have already drawn up a plan for the next step: an 18-month program to build and test a larger fusor prototype. "We're shopping that around inside the DOD [Department of Defense], and we'll see what happens," he said.

So far the Department of Defense has spent somewhere around $2 million to $4 million on the project over the last 20 years, and it's continuing the funding slowly. It's a low-publicity project, and all involved have been going out of their way to not make big headline grabbing statements - The last two grants were issued to EMC in October 2008 prompted this response from Dr. Nebel :

This isn't a big deal. This is small, interim funding. It's called staying alive until they make a decision.

The news today is that they are getting closer to making a decision.

Luckily, it's not being completely ignored - On February 28th, 2007 in a lecture called "The Energy Problem and what we can do to solve it", given by Dr. Steven Chu this exchange came up at 1:01:20

Q. ... and the other one is have you had a chance to evaluate Bussard's fusion work

A. Ah, partly, (laughs) and I was discussing with people at Google for I don't know, an hour, hour and a half and it's continuing and let me just say that so far there is not enough information so I can give an evaluation of the probability it might work, or not. But I'm trying to get information and I've talked to him a little bit.

Dr. Chu, you might remember, was chosen by President-Elect Barack Obama to be the Secretary of Energy for his administration.

Originally posted to oznick on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:10 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Of course it might not work in the end... (39+ / 0-)

    ... But you'd be surprised how much you can learn , even then. Remember,as Dr. Asimov said :

    The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new
    discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny ...'

    •  I've always loved that Asimov quote... n/t (4+ / 0-)

      What's a community organizer? It's sort of like a small-town mayor, except that you can actually get elected President.

      by SLKRR on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:25:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you don't know what will work (7+ / 0-)

      Try lots (and lots) of little things.

      See what happens.  Compare notes, shake things up, review, revise, try again.

      Inexorably 2 things happen: 1) there's a  convergence to a solution, fast or slow and 2)"To a million eyeballs, all bugs are shallow" - sooner or later, some will see the problem in a new light and  the solution falls out.

      Where when and how can't be predicted, monetarized, scheduled or tied to an IPO.

      Get the researchers back to the universities and out of the corporations.

      Yes We DID!! Thank God. Canada's too friggin' cold.

      by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:35:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SJLeonidas

      High temperature fusion is moving along fine and this year China joined the international consortium giving it an immediate boost in the form of a working reactor, as well as additional funding for alternate approachs.

      It would be great to see the US step-up it's support and put more minds into this consortium which aims to develop standard designs with shared IP that would facillitate rapid deployment.

      I'm personally a bit skeptical of low temperature fusion working on a large scale, but my mind is open and the best solution wins.

      Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

      by koNko on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:26:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh, no... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko, SJLeonidas

        This isn't low temperature fusion.  The operating parameters are straight Lawson criteria.

        The difference is that the plasma is electrostatically confined, not magnetically "confined".  I quote the latter because nobody seems to known any real way to confine plasma magnetically: magnetic fields can only slow leakage.  (One reason Tokomaks and the like are so big.)

        The principles of the Farnsworth Fusactor are well known (see Wikipedia), the problem was always losses to the confinement electrodes.  (It's fairly easy to actually generate fusion with a Fusactor; it's just that nobody could figure out how to get net power out of it.)  Bussard's modification to the fusactor is to use magnetic shielding of the electrodes to keep the electrode losses down.

        Bussard had built and tested a number of small polywell reactors before his death, and believed he had measured the scaling factors.  Those factors, if correct, would seem to make working, power-generating fusors quite practical...

        (I will note, however, that I'm still skeptical of the utility of fusion power.  Even the 'clean' cycles will generate enormous neutron fluxes, which can't be confined.  The best possible result is that we can capture these neutrons for power without generating huge amounts of radioactive waste.  I'm not at all convinced, however, that we can do this and generate less waste than comparable fission reactors.

        Assuming that the concept is practical, it could be great for space travel.  After that, the possibilities are perhaps more limited.)

        •  Yes but. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SJLeonidas

          My question refers to the potential problem of joule heating related to transmission of high current flows out of the system. Perhaps I was unclear on that point. I don't know enough about the tehchnology to answer it myself (I will view the video you linked) but this is a general problem scaling-up high energy devices.

          For example, high density storage cells typically have a volumetric limit related to electrode heating, hence, to scale beyond that point requires redundancy (arrays of cells) to limit joule heating and provide space for cooling media, limiting effective density. As long as the device-level limit is not exceeded, you have a good system but beyond that there are dimishing returns in scalability.

          The secondary problem would be the effect of heating on system efficiency (assuming the heat exceeded a functional threshold).

          I also suggested a potential solution, the use of superconductive materials to transpose the transmission line to a scale where larger conductors of conventional materials (eg, copper) can be used.

          I work in microelectronics/materials science and understand this from the classical problems of high density device cooling. At the point areal density exceeds cooling capacity, "overheating"(ie, joule heating and the associcated secondary effect of increased electrical/thermal resistance) cause devices/systems to fail. Hence, the general approach to reduce device size/current demand, and the recent change from alumuminum conductors to copper.

          So, match a superconductor of compatable temperature range to the system operating range and you may have a solution.

          Ampacity. Google it.

          In any case, a very interesting proposal and a good diary. Thanks.

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 04:50:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ?? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SJLeonidas

            I don't see at all how the original question has anything to do with this answer.

            I'm certainly familiar with high-power computers, which tend to short closed rather than shorting open (i.e., arcing and welding rather than failing and stopping their power draw).  In larger systems, power densities of > 250W/in^3 can tend towards this, even with modest active cooling.

            Nonetheless, these are interesting questions.  Certainly even magnetically shielded electrodes are going to get very hot (both in terms of radioactivity and thermally).  I think that the high levels of radiation will make superconducting electrodes impractical; it will also impair the current-carrying capacity of even plain copper electrodes over time, as well as making them highly radioactive.

            (This is a side-effect of the neutron flux that a running fusor would generate.  It might even be (?) preferable to use a different conductor if that conductor tended to be (or could be selected/refined to be) neutron-deficient so as to diminish neutron capture -> beta decay -> new (different) atom in the conductor.)

            It's still not clear on what the simplest/best/most efficient method of collecting power from such a device would be.  Clearly it will generate a lot of power; collecting that as heat and driving a turbine is certainly well established technology, capable of power levels into the gigawatts.  Direct DC generation is also possible, but probably needs some engineering and experimentation to determine workable designs.  And for propulsion (space) different schemes yet would be probable.

            •  Did I say Short Open? (0+ / 0-)

              I think said heat induced failure as in thermally induced device material failure or functional failures such as heat induced timing failures (the resistance/inductance thingamajig).

              I agree ICs make nice resistance welding devices, I've got a large collection. Since silicon can take a lot of heat and dies have relatively high surface to volume ratio to provide thermal interfaces; and since metal oxides also have pretty high melting points, it the surroundings (terminations, packaging, etc) that tend to fail.

              So, my question is rally about:

              -electrode design & material
              -method of termination and resistance of the junction
              -how much material is needed to transmit the power without excesive resistive loss

              I make the assumption the reactor runs cool, but there might be a problem with the terminations and conductors since transmission is a different process than generation.

              There is not much of a skin effect with DC power (depends of flux), so the most of the line conductor volume is usable.

              Damn, got to catch my plane. Later?  Sorry!

              Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

              by koNko on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 05:44:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  reactor not cool... (0+ / 0-)

                I make the assumption the reactor runs cool, but there might be a problem with the terminations and conductors since transmission is a different process than generation.

                No matter the methods chosen for energy extraction, the reactor will not be cool.  The working plasma's temperature will be in the many millions of degrees, and will be emitting huge amounts of thermal and bremstraahlung radiation.  Most of this will be at wavelengths too short to reflect efficiently.

  •  One indication that it won't work (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLKRR, theran, skrymir, Temmoku, ppl can fly

    It has a "cult following." That's a bad sign.

    •  That is troubling, but then again... (7+ / 0-)

      ...some say that Obama has a cult following, too.  ;-)

      Might as well drop a few million on this to see if it goes anywhere -- it's better than flushing another trillion down the Wall Street commode.

      What's a community organizer? It's sort of like a small-town mayor, except that you can actually get elected President.

      by SLKRR on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:28:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  good to point that out. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RedMeatDem, SLKRR

        frankly, WE are the ones who can keep his head up high, and his feet on the ground, as well as all of his cabinet choices. We can also push for green, and to fix so many problems caused by our current admin.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:51:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  That proves nothing. That's name calling. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Radlein, SLKRR, DocGonzo, koNko, SJLeonidas

      I'm more concerned about effects of entropy and energy dissipation. This is an interesting concept but I don't see any evidence that it's practical for power production.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:34:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what prototypes are for (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Radlein, DocGonzo, eyesoars, JeffW, eshafto

        This is an interesting concept but I don't see any evidence that it's practical for power production.

        Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

        by Anthony Segredo on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:44:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. And .. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          carver

          If we consider the failure rate of prototypes and the inherent problems scaling-up some processes, it only suggests if the idea has merit it should be pursued, not that it's likely to succeed.

          I'm personally doubtful of any low temperature fusion process working on a large scale because joule heating tends to limit the scalability of high density generation and storage devices. The solution is then superconductive materials which, so far, tend to impose a power burden of their own.

          It's an attractive concept, but if you consider that high temperature fusion leverages the heat itself to sustain the process, it's a far more elegant solution, hence, the greater focus in this direction. Vacuums and ceramics work great as heat insulation and don't need power to keep working.

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:40:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  BTW ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            carver

            Before anyone jumps on me with accusations I'm a complainer or whatever, please read my remarks carefully and that I've suggested if the idea has merit it should be supported as research.

            However, I've also stated a basic problem with scaling-up low temperature fusion and I'm equally open to anyone here responding to the basic problem I've posed.

            Keep in mind that a process that works on a small scale often doesn't translate to larger scale, in this case to generate sufficient power to supply baseload.

            Scale is a bitch.

            Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

            by koNko on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:48:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  It has a cult following (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Radlein, maynard

      Because you can build these things in your basement.

      The Fusor incidentally was invented by the same guy who gave us the television.

    •  Obama Has a Cult Following (0+ / 0-)

      Its cult following means nothing except that lots of people are desperate for news of this sort. The kind of guilt by association you're talking about only interferes with innovation.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:09:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not so good in science (0+ / 0-)

        If it had promise, it would have more than a "cult" following. I'd bet that much of that cult following is in the "free energy" circles that we've seen over the years.

        Also, if indeed this can be reproduced in some modern alchemist's basement, then there really isn't much of a barrier for its virtues to be proven if they exist, so it seems rather paranoid to blame naysaying for the fact that it only has a cult following, after many decades, two deceased scientists and counting!

        •  "Everything's irrelevent until it's obvious." (0+ / 0-)

          Of course it's not a good sign that it only has a 'cult' following, but that doesn't mean it won't work, either. It seems like if it were really in cold fusion territory, Chu would have dismissed it more strongly than just saying "I don't know" and Google wouldn't be spending even the modest millions they have been putting into it.

        •  It Has a Peer Review (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SJLeonidas, eshafto

          This research does have more that a cult following. It has a successful peer review by scientists, in addition to the respected scientists (Bussard, then Nebel) who have been leading the project.

          You aren't reading the important parts of the story. You're just hunting for something to complain about. Which is overridden by the important parts.

          Not very scientific of you - it's just carping.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:05:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bring back '"cold fusion", that will solve the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmknapp

    heat problem....and basically, maybe they were just "doing it wrong", anyway! snarkity, snark, snark.

  •  Hard to express how laughably tiny the amount (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zipn, SJLeonidas, JeffW

    invested so far is.

    Four million dollars?  Based on current FY2009 federal expenditure projections, the government spends that much every 40 seconds or so.

    Opposition to an ideology is not inherently another ideology. When you're at the South Pole, there's no other direction to go but north.

    by sxwarren on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:44:29 AM PST

  •  does this mean we get Impluse engines for space (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SJLeonidas, eyesoars

    I hope it works.

  •  First I've heard of it... sounds plausable. (4+ / 0-)

    I'm encouraged. There is enough high tech research going on right now that I think we'll find multiple ways around our energy problem in the near future. Between the Pollywell reactor, IR solar panels, carbon nano-tube battery technology and efficient hydrogen generation technology we may just yet ween ourselves off of fossil fuels. (We had better start worrying about the population growth though, as I fear we may have the energy, but not the food, in perhaps 2-3 more generations).

    I'll keep an eye on this one. Thanks for the diary!

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof - Carl Sagan

    by zipn on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:58:33 AM PST

    •  It is definitely plausible (5+ / 0-)

      This topic has been in discussion over on the advanced concepts forum at NasaSpaceflight.com for about 2 years. Right after Dr. Bussard got out from under a DoD effective-gag order, just a couple years before his death, he pushed this concept out into the public after seeing a very positive outcome on WB-6. Now, the very real skepticism that resulted came from the fact that his positive result (excess neutron generation in a device the size of a washing machine, indicating true fusion occurring and enough that a scaled device would generate energy) came from the fact that it occurred just as his funding ran out. And the device sort of short circuited during that one successful run.

      The concept is really rather elegant, though. And it could result in fusion reactors that are the size of a room or a small house that could power a city. The space fans are obviously eager to see such a thing, because it could result in usable interstellar craft.

      The concept: magnetic fields feed ionized particles in and around the holes in the 'wiffleball shaped magnets and DC grids, thus avoiding the energy losses that occur whenever high temperature gas touches the container wall. (This is the reason so much has been spent on the large toroidal Tokamak reactors. They use massive magnets to try to keep the plasma in a free floating doughnut shape, but the (possibly) workable designs seems to require 100s of billions of dollars to develop and build. And they result in continental scale reactors.) Bussard's design concentrates the plasma's particles in the very center of the wiffleball by applying a high DC field. The plasma forms a clump in the middle, increasing the possibility of high temperature collisions. The basic concept was demonstrated by Philo Farnsworth, one of the inventors of the television, many years ago. Lots of future PhDs created a little Farnsworth Fusor as their High School science fair projects. They really were creating a very small number of fusions in thos devices. But Dr. Bussard seems to have tweaked the basic design to possibly allow for real energy generation.

      If the plasma particles emit photons as they spin around the rather tight magnetic loops, travelling through the DC field, and the photons end up radiating more energy than that generated by the fusion reactions (this is the referenced bremsstrahlung radiation), the device will bleed away the energy and fusion will indeed be achieved, but with no surplus energy. But if not, if the design can be optimized to avoid plasma strikes on the DC grids and the electromagnet coils, while simultaneously minimizing the leakage of the bremsstrahlung radiation, then we have a practical fusion reactor. And the world will change. Dramatically.

      I wouldn't call myself part of the cult. I am skeptical. But if it works, it would be amazing.

      -- I share no man's opinions; I have my own. -Ivan Turgenev -6.75 -3.79

      by tergenev on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:44:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have to admit (0+ / 0-)

    I was looking for a "snark" tag.

    Let's get some Democracy for America

    by murphy on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:59:11 AM PST

  •  The DC power generated directly by the reactor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko

    ... is exactly what we need for the next generation of high voltage power lines.

    I sure hope this thing works!

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof - Carl Sagan

    by zipn on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:59:28 AM PST

  •  It would serve us all right... (0+ / 0-)

    ...if some kid in a suburban science fair built one that did the job right off the bat. After seeing decades of time and scads of money spent on fusion, from ZETA to the Stellarator to the Tokamak, it would be fitting that the humble Wiffle Ball would actually do the trick.

    Of course, having one small enough to power this or this would be a hoot!

    _Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight!_ Joe Lieberman=Momzer!

    by JeffW on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:07:52 AM PST

  •  Article's "Balanced" Criticism Nullified (7+ / 0-)

    "The equations of plasma physics strongly imply that fusorlike devices are very unlikely ever to produce more energy than they consume," Seife writes.

    Well, the entire point of this peer review was to test the equations of plasma physics in this latest fusor, and that peer review found the equations sound.  Supporting the production of 1.2x (or perhaps 1.14x, considering the possible 5% bremsstrahlung loss) the energy consumed.

    Alan Boyle, citing that Seife caveat, should know better than to "balance" the positive peer review with a statement that the peer review just proved wrong.

    Also, producing even just 1.14x the energy consumed could be usable in a revolutionary fusion power industry. Because any production greater than unity can be recycled. The initial energy consumed from other sources could just start the fusor, which then feeds back its production into itself (or another fusor) to keep the reaction going, steadily reducing the outside input. At 1.14x, the output would have to feed back only 7 times until the outside input could be shut down completely. The total output would be only 14% higher than the input, but if the input can be scaled up to large amounts, that 14% extra could be enough power neighborhoods, cities, aircraft carriers, transcontinental railroads.

    The question is therefore the practical test. Will the actual device produce more than unity? Will the device allow inputs of large enough energy to produce large enough energy? How much energy and money will it take to build, operate, fuel (including fuel production and delivery), maintain and eventually dismantle the plant? If the total energy budget for making the energy is less than the energy produced, then we have a winner. The kind of winner that an Apollo-type program could use as a start for a half-dozen years to at least replace nuke fusion plants that are the real losers in this competition.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 07:08:28 AM PST

    •  But capital costs... (4+ / 0-)

      Because any production greater than unity can be recycled. The initial energy consumed from other sources could just start the fusor, which then feeds back its production into itself (or another fusor) to keep the reaction going, steadily reducing the outside input. At 1.14x, the output would have to feed back only 7 times until the outside input could be shut down completely.

      But then how much power could the reactor produce at that level of input to output effectiveness? Would we need to build a prohibitively huge reactor (or rather, prohibitively many reactors) for meaningful amounts of power, or could it be done inexpensively? There are other things we can build that produce essentially free energy, such as wind turbines and solar panels.

      •  I Just Asked That (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SJLeonidas

        Why not quote the other part of the same post that asks what you just asked:

        How much energy and money will it take to build, operate, fuel (including fuel production and delivery), maintain and eventually dismantle the plant? If the total energy budget for making the energy is less than the energy produced, then we have a winner.

        Also, wind turbines and solar panels have to answer the same question. They're not "essentially free energy".

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:07:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Power output should scale dramatically with size (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SJLeonidas

        According to the Wikipedia article, Bussard predicted that net output would be proportional to the 7th power of the size. Other researchers cited there claim a smaller but still very significant scale factor.

        It has to do with the fact that some sources of loss are proportional to the surface area, while others are proportional to the linear size of the reactor (because those losses occur at edges), while fusion rate is influenced by the volume.

    •  Also I didn't take that line as trying to add (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tergenev

      "balance" so much as just a hand-wavy observation by a physicist about why it's so hard to produce fusion power. Because so much energy comes out of a fusion reaction, it can be hard for people to imagine why we can't harness that somehow. In other words possibly poor communication; I imagine a lot of people reading the article know enough science to get the point he's making.

  •  I read recently (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SJLeonidas

    that the "Cold Fusion" report may have been true.  However, it produces too little energy to ever have any practical application.  It looks like the same may be true of hot fusion.

    •  there was another 'cold fusion' report at the sam (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SJLeonidas

      time as P&F's piece of bad science (that report of their's would have gotten a failing grade from a Jr High science teacher) that was based on the isotopic composition of gases from volcanoes and such, suggesting that slow 'cold' fusion might be taking place within the Earth. No desktop apparatus, no exciting world of tomorrow free power verbiage, just some numbers and analysis. P&F pretty much ruined serious consideration of the concept for years, and that other report was forgotten.

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