March 23, 2009

Studies advance "cold fusion"

Two studies provide compelling evidence that nuclear reactions are occurring in tabletop experiments, advancing the still sketchy understanding of the process popularly known as "cold fusion".

One study measured excess heat and gamma ray emission from the reaction of the hydrocarbon phenanthrene with platinum in a chamber filled with pressurized hydrogen gas. Nearly all of the phenanthrene and platinum survived the experiment and no other substances were found, which rules out ordinary chemical reactions as the source of the heat.

The other study used a thin sheet of plastic to record the results of a traditional palladium-deuterium experiment. New analysis of the shapes and orientations of microscopic pits in the plastic indicates the presence of highly energetic particles that are produced by nuclear reactions but not ordinary chemical reactions.

A better understanding of these low-energy nuclear reactions could lead to ways of harnessing them as a renewable energy source.

Research papers:
Anomalous Heat Generation during Hydrogenation of Carbon Hydride
Characterization of Neutrons Emitted during Pd/D Co-Deposition
The 237th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, March 22-26, 2009

Researcher's homepage:
Tadahiko Mizuno

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