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Fusion In Sonoluminescence (Again)? 417

Posted by timothy
from the makes-a-poor-nightlight dept.
srhuston writes "According to a story at the NY Times (first born child req'd, yadda yadda), 'Scientists are again claiming they have made a Sun in a jar, offering perhaps a revolutionary energy source, and this time even some skeptics find the evidence intriguing enough to call for a closer look.' This has been covered here before (First, second, third) but it looks like they claim that the latest round of experiments, using better detectors, 'offer more convincing data that the phenomenon is real'." The scientists involved come from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Purdue University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Russian Academy of Science; here's their press release.
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Fusion In Sonoluminescence (Again)?

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  • Energy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:54PM (#8454238) Homepage Journal
    So, the problem with extracting energy from this is still sustainability combined with total output right? The amount of energy invested in the system will have to be exceeded by the energy produced or else it is for naught. The things about traditional plasma fusion is that energy output is extensive, but the reaction cannot be sustained. Bubble fusion appears to be sustainable, but likely does not produce significant caloric heat......

    • Re:Energy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dave420 (699308) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:01PM (#8454327)
      It's not just sustainability, it's getting it to react. You need intense pressures, and the only ways to do this previously, require very large (read: industrial) bits of equipment, just for the proof-of-concept. Even then, the proofs have been lack-lustre at best, always with a big ol' helping of disclaimers :-P

      If this is right, it's great news. A new method of plasma containment (or usage thereof) is always good, if not for this project than others.

      • Re:Energy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by addaon (41825) <addaon+slashdot@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:32PM (#8454671)
        If this is true (as mentioned elsewhere, I'm not convinced), it's more than just a method a plasma containment, it's a method of plasma generation. Which, from a sheer elegence perspective (the same one that makes people use Scheme and doubt brane theory) is kinda cool.
      • Re:Energy (Score:5, Informative)

        by pla (258480) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:32PM (#8454672) Journal
        It's not just sustainability, it's getting it to react. You need intense pressures, and the only ways to do this previously, require very large (read: industrial) bits of equipment, just for the proof-of-concept.

        If you mean "fusion in general", I'll accept that.

        If you only mean to refer to sonoluminescence, then no, you do not nead large and expensive industrial equipment - You can do it in your basement with roughly $100 in equipment (though having a low-end oscilliscope helps, you don't absolutely need it, you could get away with a simple analog meter).

        Check out the Single Bubble Sonoluminescence HOWTO [physik3.gwdg.de] for a nice, detailed example of a functional experimental setup.

        Not exactly rocked science - As the basic idea, you make a flask of degassed water resonate at roughly 25khz. Insert a tiny air bubble, and bingo, with a bit of trial and error, you have sonoluminescence.


        Of course, I agree that getting energy out of such a system may take some doing, but as a proof of concept (and just a really cool experiment in general), any advanced-amateur EE geek would already have all the parts they need.
      • Incorrect (Score:5, Informative)

        by beldraen (94534) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <risialptnom.dahc>> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:43PM (#8454833)
        Causing fusion is, in fact, not hard to do. Slash recently had such an article: College Freshman Builds Fusion Reactor [slashdot.org]. Unfortunately, it's getting the reaction to generate more energy than it consumes, is the problem. The bubbles may heat to 1 million degrees, but a few thousand atoms at a 1 million degrees will quickly lose its heat to the surrounding billions of atoms of matterial. This is why conventional reactors have been attempting to heat a large mass that is contained by magnets--the heat stays at those levels and hopefully enough heat can be tapped away to run some generators.
        • by Eccles (932) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:02PM (#8455118) Journal
          Unfortunately, it's getting the reaction to generate more energy than it consumes, is the problem.

          Actually, they solved that problem in the 50's. [bikiniatoll.com] It's controlling that reaction that is rather more difficult...
      • Re:Energy (Score:5, Funny)

        by scotch (102596) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:58PM (#8455852) Homepage
        ... require very large (read: industrial) bits of equipment ....

        If you had meant us to read very large as industrial, why didn't you just write industrial?

        Just curious (read: baffled (read: confused) by this common (read: prevelant on slashdot (read: idiot funhouse)) idiom (read (read: interpet and understand writing): little bit of stupidity (read: you)).

    • Re:Energy (Score:4, Funny)

      by etLux (751445) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:22PM (#8454565) Homepage
      The *real* problem is forgetting to hide the little battery in the bottom of the apparatus.

      Without that, they usually don't work very well.
    • Re:Energy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mozumder (178398) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:28PM (#8454633)
      If this does produce fusion then it should also produce some heat. If the liquid is heated, then that should be harnessable as an energy source. That's when you can start to optimize the energy output vs. the energy input.
    • Re:Energy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Doubting Thomas (72381) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @05:12PM (#8455998)
      > The amount of energy invested in the system will have to be exceeded by the energy produced or else it is for naught.

      Perhaps not in this case, but that is not generally the correct litmus test for the viability of a power source.

      Portability matters. Batteries are horribly inefficient, yet they seem to keep me from stumbling around in the woods at night quite nicely. Similarly, the photovoltaics on a satellite, or on a water pump in rural Bangledesh, may take far more power to create than they will ever produce, and yet they are useful because we can't run an extension cord up to geosynchronous orbit, or run power lines for hundreds of miles through sparsely populated territories, (especially where the scrap metal value of the powerlines exceeds the yearly income potential of the local population, but that's an economic issue, not a matter of physics).

      Now, given the comparative simplicity of the current prototypes, it's probably safe to say that the power input required to create the device is not a limiting factor. However, for arguments sake, let's say that a working design which sustains the reaction may well require a more precise fusion chamber, made of specific materials machined to tight tolerances, and perhaps involving active electronic control. All of these involve great expenditures of energy, to mine the materials, refine them, and produce the finished product. Could it be used to power our cities? Of course not. And yet, that product could still be the most efficient (well-to-wheel, so to speak) portable power source ever built. That alone would make the effort worthwhile.
    • by Valdrax (32670)
      I wonder if these results may lead to legitimacy for the claims of Grigg's hydrosonic pump -- a boiler-sized device that claims to generate over-unity heat generation from cavitation. The creator claims that it generates sonoluminescene which is its primary source of power.

      Of course, as with any supposed "free energy" device, there's a lot of claims like, "Scientists have done tests that verify that it works," but I've never seen any published papers on the fact, and the device has been apparently known i
  • obligatory.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by hookedup (630460) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:55PM (#8454251)

    *cough*google link [nytimes.com]*cough*
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheSpoom (715771) * <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:55PM (#8454252) Homepage Journal
    All I want to know is when I can throw garbage in the gas tank of a DeLorean to fuel it.
  • by tbase (666607) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:56PM (#8454263)
    This is news? We've had canned sunshine in our gift shops here in Florida for years!
  • by AtariAmarok (451306) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:56PM (#8454266)
    A SUN in a jar? If you think Darl is bad, just wait to see the look on Scott McNealy's face once everyone starts creating his server in their mayonaise jars.
  • by Spyffe (32976) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:57PM (#8454269) Homepage
    they have made a Sun in a jar
    In Soviet Java, Sun .jars YOU!
  • by ChiralSoftware (743411) <info@chiralsoftware.net> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:58PM (#8454291) Homepage
    It is the perpetual motion of the nuclear age. It works even better than zero-point energy [rcn.com] and has replaced the 200mpg carburetor. [onlawn.net].

    --------
    Do you have Wireless-Enabled Hosting(tm) [chiralsoftware.net]?

  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @02:59PM (#8454305)
    Well, at least this finally fills that ugly hole on Wednesday in the Slashdot weekly schedule:

    Monday: Patch Windows
    Tuesday: Stop SCO's latest plan
    Wednesday: Invent Fusion
    Thursday: Patch Linux
    Friday: Watch LoTR while patching Windows

    Since they got Fusion out of the way early today, I think I have a little time to go bash Infinium Labs some more. Tally ho!
  • Lots of potential (Score:5, Interesting)

    by overbyj (696078) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:00PM (#8454311)
    Without understanding all the physics here, I think there may be something to this. One of the reasons chemists are kind of intrigued with sonochemistry (chemistry facilitated by sound) is that ultrasound generates "bubbles" (for lack of a better word) where the local temperatures can reach into the thousands of degrees of Celsius. You can do some really amazing chemical syntheses using ultrasound all because of the extremely high local temperatures generated. The same idea extends to using microwave ovens for chemistry. You can do lots of reactions in a microwave because of the intense and neatly condensed amount of heat generated.

    So, there may really be something to this. It would be great if it did work out.
    • Seriously - the implications are massive. If not for fusion, someone else will definitely have a really good use.

      Ain't plasma coooool? oh, wait...


    • I can make bubbles in my bathtub, and the sound generated during that process is not very high frequency...

      It even produces a little bit of heat!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:00PM (#8454317)
    ...people standing around said jar start dieing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:00PM (#8454320)
    I was so hoping this was an item about "the son of Jar Jar". My bad. "Meesa so sorry."
    • by billstewart (78916) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @10:08PM (#8459288) Journal
      Greetings. Meesa am Jojo Binkasa, Nephew of late engineer JarJar Binks. Meesa Unkle hadsa 65,000,000 credits in the Jedi bank of Tatooine whensa badsa things happendsa, and meesa needsa to find off-planet correspondent to transfer the money to the alliance. Plleeesa Helpsa meesa! Yousa are Meesa's Only Hope! May the Forsa be with yousa!
  • Eh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by addaon (41825) <addaon+slashdot@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:00PM (#8454323)
    I've done a bunch of work in sonoluminescence. It's deeply cool, don't get me wrong. But the highest temperature we were able to measure was about an order of magnitude too low for fusion. Even if our measuring had an error factor of two or three (not impossible, since we had to dope the water to get high enough brightness for using a spectrometer), I'm far from convinced.
    • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:22PM (#8454573) Homepage Journal
      An order of magnitude too low is also within merely one order of magnitude of success. What actual quantity was in the range? Degrees Kelvin? Joules:m^3? Order of *decimal* magnitude, logarithmic, other? In a statistically distributed energy system, an average miss by 0.1% might mask hits in 1% of the material, balanced by farther misses in the other 99%. And if you were really only 33% off, considering a 2-3x error margin, might their experiment not have been more precise in efficiency, and in measurement, offering a hit at the threshold?

      When fusion is industrialized, I expect that some processes will far exceed the fusion thresholds, for their own specific reasons. The threshold is not a bullseye, but rather a welcoming shore of a virgin territory. News of our drawing ever nearer is tantalizing, but not discouraging, as we prepare to colonize the territory.
      • by addaon (41825) <addaon+slashdot@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:30PM (#8454646)
        Our maximum temperature for sonoluminescence in water was about 280 kK (kilokelvin). Our maximum temperature for sonoluminescence in seeded water (water + hydrogen, for example, although we used water + argon and water + helium; both gave similar results) was around 100 kK. I'll readily believe the second number can improve to approximate the first, but the first just isn't close.

        In other substances, nothing seemed quite as good as water. Glycerine and alcohol were both within a factor of two; everything else was lower. Lower molecular density seems to give higher maximum temperature (although I'd have to check the theory to verify this isn't just a coincidence), so trying liquid helium might be cute... but I can't believe it'll help much.
    • by justanyone (308934) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:39PM (#8454778) Homepage Journal
      Can you (or someone!?) please comment on how much energy was put INTO the experiment vs. how much was released ?

      Desktop fusion is no big deal, after all - the Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor (
      Here's a link [wikipedia.org] ) does this.

      The fusor operates by accelerating deuterons in a static electrical field towards a central locus ('juicy nugat center')(grin).

      The trick to a fusor is that there's a lot of possible factors to setting one up:
      • The electrical field voltage,
      • the size of the containment vessel,
      • the partial pressure of gas in the vessel,
      • the total pressure of gas given impurities,
      • the size and configuration of the screen (charged mesh),
      • the cycle time (on again, off again),
      • whether you want the fusion to occurr on the surface of the mesh (it does, and makes it very hot),
      • the material the mesh is made from,
      • if you have a mesh to catch the ions and regenerate power,
      • if the light given off is converted to electricity,
      • if you're hoping for D-D fusion, D-T fusion, or some wierd Li6 variant.

      among other factors. more info is at a homebrew club of amateur experimentors [fusor.net]

      I've been tempted to try this, but my wife has overruled all discussion of it. She has something against hot neutron sources in the house when we have 3 small kids. Alas. (Especially since this thing emits the particles in 3 dimensions, so shielding would be significant.)

      SO: MY QUESTION FOR THE EXPERIMENTERS: WHAT IS THE TOTAL ENERGY (JOULES) PUT INTO THIS EXPERIMENT VS. HOW MUCH EMITTED? Is this going to be another wildly inefficient methodology, or does it have advantages over Fusor or Tocamak designs?

      -- Kevin J. Rice
      • by addaon (41825) <addaon+slashdot@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:03PM (#8455126)
        In all of the sonoluminesence work I've done, input power has been between 1 and 100 watts. I know people use both lower and higher power, but this is a very reasonable range.

        With no additional gas, the bubble size is probably ROUGHLY 10^15 atoms (read as 10^10 - 10^20), depending on a million things. This is at a frequency of roughly (not quite as rough, but close) 10^5 Hz. Assume 10^18 deuterium atoms, for fun, and 0.01% D-D fusion. That gives you (roughly, what, 3.3 MeV for D-D fusion?) around 5kW to play with.

        Understand that these numbers are rougher than back of the envelope... these are the kind you do when the envelope will never be found. But if you can pull off fusion at all in sonoluminescence (which is the question at hand), you're pretty much guaranteed decent return on investment.

  • by stevesliva (648202) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:01PM (#8454330) Journal
    In other news today, Hell has frozen over. Satan responded to the sudden freeze by noting, "Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Russian Academy of Science collaborating on nuclear research? Who would've thought it possible?"
  • by cur3 (514524) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:03PM (#8454348)

    Young lady, in this house we obey the second law of thermodynamics!
  • Important to note... (Score:5, Informative)

    by zeux (129034) * on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:04PM (#8454368)
    ... they squeezed tiny gas bubbles in the liquid so quickly and violently that temperatures reached millions of degrees and some of the hydrogen atoms in the solvent molecules fused, producing a flash of light and energy.

    Please note that this is *NOT* cold fusion.
    • by CKW (409971)
      Please note that this is *NOT* cold fusion.

      Yes it is.

      The surrounding fluid within which the atoms being forced together is cold. The palladium rods which "contained" and "violently forced together" the atoms in "cold fusion" was cold.

      In both cases the atoms being forced together were effectively (on the microscopic scale), hot. That doesn't stop us from calling both "cold fusion", to distinguish it from very large scale macroscopic super-heated environments.

      Neither process has two COLD helium atoms m
      • by zeux (129034) *
        No it's not.

        The surrounding fluid within which the atoms being forced together is cold.

        The fluid is cold of course, but the middle of the bubble is very hot due to compression, it's in the article. And the reaction takes place in this little area (middle of the bubble) that *is* very hot.

        The palladium rods which "contained" and "violently forced together" the atoms in "cold fusion" was cold.

        Yes but here the atoms themselves were hot, not the surrounding material. That's a huge difference because in
  • by jkitchel (615599) <jacob_kitchel AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:06PM (#8454392)
    here's a link from a local paper [boilerstation.com].

    An interesting quote from the article:"Willy Moss has been trying to reach that brass ring for a long time, and he's had way more money than Taleyarkhan and way more facilities," George said. "And when Taleyarkhan said he had neutrons, (Moss) sort of chimed in and said, 'No, no you don't,' because he was hard on the trail trying to get there first."

    Seems there is a bit of anonymity here. In the defense of the researcher(s):The evidence now is "far more compelling," he said. "This time around, before publication took place, I deliberately involved a series of highly acclaimed physicists to come down to the lab and review the experimental setup and the way we were obtaining data and look at the experimental data."

    After receiving positive reviews from them, he took the findings to the management of Oak Ridge, which conducted its own internal review, making the forthcoming publication "perhaps the most peer-reviewed paper in the history of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory," Taleyarkhan said.
  • Oils replacement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DrugCheese (266151) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:08PM (#8454410)
    Don't we already have several technologies to replace oil? If this is working and could be used Great!
    But when will it roll out and effect the everyday Joe?

    Just curious why we're always pushing the limit higher, when we haven't pushed the bar up.

    • by KingOfBLASH (620432)
      Well there are a number of technologies out there to replace oil, the problem is energy. You can power your car on alcohol -- but to make ethanol you need to spend more energy then you get from it -- generally from oil or coal power plants. Same thing for hydrogen fuel cells, you need to strip the hydrogens from hydrocarbon rich oil. All this boils into a big problem, we need a source of the original energy that is non polluting. This, will, hopefully be fusion.
      • Re:Oils replacement (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cr0sh (43134) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:37PM (#8455544) Homepage
        Many of the issues surrounding ethanol and/or biodiesel production are lowered or removed if instead of using the typical crops for such production (corn and soybean), we use hemp.

        Since it is a nitrogen fixating crop, nitrogen-based fertilizers would not be needed (such fertilizers are generally made from fossil fuel sources). Since hemp is naturally pest and disease resistant, herbacides and pesticides would not be needed (both of which are produced from oil). Used in rotation with other food crops (where possible to grow), use fertilizers, pesticides and herbacides for those crops would be reduced and/or eliminated.

        The one great thing about bio-fuels over fossil fuels is that while both give off emmissions (though bio-fuels are typically lower), only bio-fuels close the carbon cycle (ie, carbon mono/dioxides) - whereas fossil fuels release the stored carbon back into the envioronment.

        I tend to wonder if I will ever see hemp-based biofuel production in the US in my lifetime - I just recieved a letter back from one of my state reps about hemp and biofuel production, and I wasn't very impressed...

  • It'd be nice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gr8Apes (679165) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:09PM (#8454429)

    if this particular discovery bears fruit, it might be really cool, as the cost for implementing it appears much lower than other attempted fusion experiments. But, how much would a true power plant cost? Or, how much would a "home unit" cost, since distributing the grid would probably be a better long-term solution to our power needs.

    Then come the obvious questions about environmental impacts, as energy = heat, and here is an energy source without effective limits, hence limitless energy, and limitless heat. Perhaps they can use some of this limitless energy to pump the generated heat out of the planet? (ie, big heat radiators? Energy recycling? Something totally out of my depth?)

    • Re:It'd be nice (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:34PM (#8454696) Journal
      Both fossil fuels and fission nuclear reactors produce heat that would not otherwise be released (or at least, not so quickly). And they are both absolutely dwarfed by the amount of heat unleashed on the earth by mister sun. I doubt "heat pollution" would be a major concern. And if it reduces the amount of green house gases generated, then the earth might actually be cooler.

      Course we have no idea whether the claim is true. It needs to be verified by reputable third parties. Or if it could ever be practical for energy production.

  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:10PM (#8454437)
    $discovery is really cool. Once again, $scienceFictionAuthor was a visionary when he wrote about this concept in $book. I hope that we can come up with some practical applications using $discovery soon.

    $wittySig
  • Sonoluminescence 101 (Score:5, Informative)

    by dark-br (473115) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:10PM (#8454439) Homepage
    • by dark-br (473115) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:49PM (#8454937) Homepage
      From the HOWTO:
      Equipment (required):

      * sinus generator:
      any function generator working around 25 kHz, adjustable to +/- 1 Hz (+/- 10 Hz may work, too)
      * amplifier:
      nearly any kind of audio amplifier will do. If you're not sure, measure the saturation voltage: 40 V peak-to-peak should be enough.
      * 2-trace oscilloscope
      * 2 piezoceramic Transducers (drivers):
      around d=16 mm in diameter, h=8 mm thick
      * piezoceramic pill-transducer (microphone):
      around 3 mm in diameter, 1 mm thick
      * three finger clamp
      * laboratory stand
      * flask:
      take a 100 ml Pyrex/Duran spherical flask, diameter 65 mm, with a small neck. An industrial one has poor optical quality, so better take a free blown one.
      * coil(s): around 20 mH, see text
      * resistors: 1M, 10k, 1R
      * coaxial cable
      * quick-drying epoxy glue
      * an eyedropper or a syringe (one of those little do-it-yourself subcutaneous is very good)
      * degassed distilled water:
      o Pyrex/Duran Erlenmeyer flask (0.5 or 1 l) and airtight stopper with pipe, rubber hose and clamp to close it
      or
      o aluminium/highgrade steel drinking bottle (0.5 or 1 l) with screw cap; one of those found in camping stores, a bare one without varnish
      * a bubble ;-)
      Oh! Ok, I'll check in the garage...

  • by radiumhahn (631215) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:14PM (#8454488)
    I though Sunny Delight was "Sun in a jar"
  • by menscher (597856) <menscher+slashdot&uiuc,edu> on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:18PM (#8454525) Homepage Journal
    When I was an undergrad at BYU, I had a friend who was working in this field. He worked under a mountain (less background radiation from cosmic rays). Made measurements while running, and compared to background when not running. Sadly, back then ('96 or '97) there was less radiation when running than when not (*very* disturbing). I told him he should change his project from "fusion generator" to "radiation absorber". Of course, the field has had 7-8 years to develop since then, so hopefully things are better now. Still, you have to wonder if it could scale up to a useful level....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:28PM (#8454630)
    ...tastes better than Bud.
  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:36PM (#8454723)
    Does anyone remember this sonoluminescence article:
    http://www.sciencenews.org/scripts/print this.asp?c lip=%2Farticles%2F20011006%2Fclip%5Ffob3%2Easp

    what I found particularly funny/interesting is the last lines of the article, which read:
    "Cavitation bubbles in synovial fluid may even explain the sound of "cracking" knuckles, he ventures. And if that's the case, he says, "I'd be willing to bet pitchers of beer that cracking knuckles will also generate small amounts of luminescence."
  • Voodoo Science? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:39PM (#8454771) Homepage
    How ironic is it that I just started reading Voodoo Science [amazon.com] last night, and the first chapter deals with Cold Fusion. The author notes that with the wide discreditaion of Cold Fusion, the new Fusion in a Jar proponents are coming up with similar things - but with different names - to Cold Fusion.

    I have a few questions for this type of fusion (Those of you who have read the book, or are up on the cold fusion controversy will get this):

    1) Can I have a cup of tea?

    2) How many neutrons are emitted over the background noise?

    3) How is the health of the lab assistant? (Related to question 2).
  • by abcxyz (142455) * on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @03:47PM (#8454897) Homepage
    "Neutrons are slippery little rascals," he said. "They can fool you. They can bounce and show up around corners you don't expect."

    Yep, ran into three of them on the way to lunch this afternoon at the corner of Hargett and Fayetteville St.........
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:07PM (#8455181) Homepage Journal

    Good News:
    Piping hot coffee or soup in seconds.

    Bad News:
    Everything metal in kitchen becomes mildly radioactive from neutron bombardment.

    Good News:
    Rats, mice, cockroaches hate the sound of a sonofusor in operation, emptying cities of vermin.

    Bad News:
    Sound also drives dogs into a frenzy of mindless leg-humping. Except Boston Terriers, whose tightly sutured little skulls explode.

    Good News:
    Leads to development of ultra-efficient (but low thrust) rocket motor that uses water as a reaction mass.

    Bad News:
    All water outside of Mars orbit turn out to be owned by Capella OmniVolatile GMBH, who charge a heavy fee, payable in increasingly rare Boston Terriers.

    Stefan Jones

  • by MagikSlinger (259969) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @04:13PM (#8455259) Homepage Journal
    "Neutrons are slippery little rascals," he said. "They can fool you. They can bounce and show up around corners you don't expect."
    So Neutrons are like Bugs Bunny?
  • by Zenmonkeycat (749580) on Wednesday March 03, 2004 @06:09PM (#8456662)
    ...PLEASE issue a full report in a respected journal devoted to the subject, and give full instructions on how to replicate your results. It's not like someone is going to take your idea directly from the journal and patent or copyright it.

    Issuing a press release to the general public before peer review just reeks of pseudoscience. "Look what we did! It's so cool that the respected journal would have covered it up! In your face, respected journal!"

    Sure, what they claim may be possible, but I'll be much less likely to believe it until I see it validated by other scientists.

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