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Journal of No. 118

March 24th, 2009

On the 20th anniversary of cold fusion, cold fusion @ 11:54 am

The Navy SPAWAR in San Diego is announcing evidence of neutrons emitted by cold fusion low-energy nuclear reactions.

In the new study, Mosier-Boss and colleagues inserted an electrode composed of nickel or gold wire into a solution of palladium chloride mixed with deuterium or "heavy water" in a process called co-deposition. A single atom of deuterium contains one neutron and one proton in its nucleus.

Researchers passed electric current through the solution, causing a reaction within seconds, according to the statement. The scientists then used a special plastic, CR-39, to capture and track any high-energy particles that may have been emitted during reactions, including any neutrons emitted during the fusion of deuterium atoms.

At the end of the experiment, they examined the plastic with a microscope and discovered patterns of "triple tracks," tiny-clusters of three adjacent pits that appear to split apart from a single point. The researchers say that the track marks were made by subatomic particles released when neutrons smashed into the plastic.

I'd love it to be true, and it seems to be a curious result, but it sounds not too dissimilar from alchemical transmutation. On the other hand, Frankenstein ran electricity though non-living matter and made it alive, so it's pretty plausible that electricity can cause fusion in heavy water, right?
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Date:March 24th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
I've been reading for years that the end result of the "cold fusion" flap from when I was in high school was that there were, in fact, occasional odd energy spikes that might belie a process happening that wasn't understood, but which clearly wasn't fusion. Without reading the actual papers, it's hard to judge whether this mechanism actually explains the anomalous results (assuming those results to be real), but I wouldn't be confident to dismiss it out-of-hand...

Journal of No. 118