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The Cold Fusion - Essay Example

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Towards the end of 1989 saw the appearance of breaking news in the media on the invention of cold fusion, a type of nuclear reaction. Researchers, martin Fleishmann and Stanley Pons of Utah University, USA and pioneer reporters conducted an experiment using Palladium Deuteride crystals…
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The Cold Fusion
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Download file to see previous pages The assumption was that the environment of transitional metal deuterides makes fusions of two deuterons realistic, increasing their probabilities by a certain magnitude. The research drew a lot of criticism about its reality making several energy researchers and engineers around the world dive into the issue. The future of energy resources had been a bother among the industrial nations on how to tap energy for industries and households. If Fleischmann and Pons hypothesis was true, it could solve the energy issues. Cold fusion is hence a proposed type of nuclear reaction that is believed to occur at relatively low temperatures unlike hot fusion. However, its destiny is unclear (Kozima 11-16). Nuclear fusion occurs at super high temperatures, super high environment and requires big sets of apparatus which are extremely expensive. As a new type of nuclear reaction, cold fusion was proposed to explain reports by experiments of unusually high generation of energy under specific laboratory conditions. Researchers have continued to conduct investigations of cold fusion and have found out that the interaction of hydrogen or deuterium with Palladium, Nickel or Platinum produces excess heat effects under extreme conditions. The original reports failed to replicate consistently and reliably causing the rejection by mainstream media. Fleishmann and Pons discovery eventually became invalid as it had not actually detected the by products of nuclear reactions (Fleishmann, and Pons 301-308). Trombay initiated experiments in 1989 to verify the claims of cold fusion. Large busts of neutrons were detected with a Pd-Ni electrolyte cell. Significant amount of neutrons and tritium were found to be produced in gas loaded Ti and Pd samples. D2 loaded Ti disc targets have also revealed some hot spots indicating an uneven distribution of tritium production in the near surface region. Trombay experiments have confirmed the occurrence of cold fusion reaction in both Pd and Ti metallic lattices loaded with deuterium at certain temperatures. Neutron emission has also been observed even when the electrolytic cell is switched off or when there are no externally induced processes like heating, cooling and evacuation are effected (Kozima 11-16). Findings The main product of cold fusion reactions is Tritium. However, its presence inside the palladium electrodes has not been quantitatively evaluated. Cold fusion can be characterised as being ‘aneutronic’ with a neutron to tritium channel branching ratio of less than 10-8. Neutrons from electronically loaded Pd and gas loaded Ti are emitted one at a time. It is hence unclear whether the neutrons are generated in the D-D fusion itself or produced in a secondary reaction involving energetic protons or tritons. Autoradiography of loaded gas loaded Ti targets demonstrates both the occurrence of cold fusion and tritium production. The estimated tritium to deuterium isotopic ratios is several orders of magnitude higher in the initial stock D2O. There is a high concentration of tritium on localised regions or hot spots on the target surface as well as along the periphery of the disc. The high probability of tritium branch in cold D-D fusion reactions indicate processes of neutron transfer across the potential barrier (Report on the workshop on cold fusion, June 3). Some departments of energy like the U.S Department have reported on the inadequate conviction of experiments done by earlier scholars. Based on the review of published reports, reprints, journals and many communications, the results of the experiments of excess heat with the calorimetric cells do not present convincing evidence that useful source of energy would result from the results attributed from cold fusion. Similar ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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