Skip to comments.University checks "bubble fusion" fraud claim (cold fusion fraud)
Posted on 03/08/2006 10:45:09 PM PST by saganite
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Purdue University is investigating complaints about a scientist who claimed to have achieved "cold fusion" using sound waves to make bubbles in a test tube, the university said on Wednesday.
Nuclear engineer Rusi Taleyarkhan's work has been controversial since he published a study in 2002 claiming to have achieved the Holy Grail of energy production -- nuclear fusion at room temperature.
Nuclear fusion is the process that powers the sun.
If scientists can duplicate the results and harness the technology, tabletop fusion has the potential to provide an almost limitless source of cheap energy.
Many labs are working frantically to try to do so, but their efforts are difficult to substantiate and especially susceptible to being labeled as fraud.
Taleyarkhan, whose study was published while he was at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, now works at Purdue University in Indiana and has also been trying to replicate his earlier findings.
He claimed to have done so in 2004.
Purdue Provost Sally Mason said her office was checking complaints from some of Taleyarkhan's co-workers.
"Purdue last week initiated a review of this research and these allegations," Mason said in a statement.
"The research claims involved are very significant and the concerns expressed are extremely serious. Purdue will explore all aspects of the situation thoroughly and announce the results at the appropriate time," she added.
"To ensure objectivity, the review is being conducted by Purdue's Office of the Vice President for Research, which is separate from the College of Engineering."
The journal Nature reported on Wednesday that it had interviewed several of Taleyarkhan's colleagues who suspect something is amiss.
"Faculty members Lefteri Tsoukalas and Tatjana Jevremovic, along with several others who do not wish to be named, say that since Taleyarkhan began working at Purdue, he has removed the equipment with which they were trying to replicate his work, claimed as 'positive' experimental runs for which they never saw the raw data, and opposed the publication of their own negative results," Nature said in a statement.
"In addition, Brian Naranjo at the University of California, Los Angeles, is submitting to Physical Review Letters an analysis of Taleyarkhan's recently published data that strongly suggests he has detected not fusion, but a standard lab source of radioactivity."
Naranjo's lab reported in April 2005 that it had achieved cold fusion by heating a lithium crystal soaked in deuterium gas.
Engineers and physicists have been cautious about Taleyarkhan's technique but say in theory it could work.
In his original report, published in the journal Science in 2002, Talayarkhan and colleagues said they created nuclear fusion in a beaker of chemically altered acetone by bombarding it with neutrons and then sound waves to make bubbles.
When the bubbles burst, the researchers said they detected fusion energy.
The 2004 experiment used uranyl nitrate, a salt of natural uranium.
Experts have been especially skeptical about cold fusion claims since Britons Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons of Southampton University held a news conference in 1989 to claim they had achieved it.
Announcing a major scientific advance in a news conference rather than submitting experiments to expert peer review and scrutiny is considered poor form by scientists -- and Fleischmann and Pons were further ridiculed when no one could duplicate their efforts.
Possibly painful as well.
here it how others think its done;
Sandias Z machine exceeds two billion degrees Kelvin
Temperatures hotter than the interiors of stars
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. Sandias Z machine has produced plasmas that exceed temperatures of 2 billion degrees Kelvin hotter than the interiors of stars.
The unexpectedly hot output, if its cause were understood and harnessed, could eventually mean that smaller, less costly nuclear fusion plants would produce the same amount of energy as larger plants.
It's Visual Cliche time!
I've been following Taleyharkin's work for a while and it looked like he was making progress. However, trying to silence your critics and falsifying data generally mean your research is suspect, don't you agree?
Everybody knows God would not create anything that reduces the dependence on oil.
The source of anti-CF rhetoric is the hot fusion guys in the DOE, for 15 years they have FEARED CF as a serious competitor. They have been funded by the federal government(your taxes)for 50 years to achieve controlled thermonuclear fusion and have never produced a single WATT of over-unity fusion energy. CTHF has always been 50 years in the future, and always WILL be 50 years in the future; and GWB's science advisor is Charles Vest, Mr CTHF at MIT. Thus CTHF is a (vest)ed interest and their minions in academia are ORDERED to bad mouth CF whenever and whereever they can...I've done CF myself in a simple experiment, produced tritium in abundance and doubled the K41 ratio from 8% to 16%(vs K39)in a table top cup for under $100. If you have access to a mass spectrometer you can prove it to yourself, or buy the CTHF lie. Science should be a critical analysis process, not money-driven.
I don't disagree with anything you've said but Taleyharkin is a leading bubble fusion researcher and now he's under a cloud of suspicion. Would you suggest that he's being hounded by the hot fusion crowd?
Then suddenly it occurred to him...REVERSE THE POLARITIES!
The definitive test for the fusion reaction is the the copious production of neutrons and gamma radiation.
The preferred reaction for fusion is:
2 Deuterium yields 1 atom of Helium-3 plus a neutron and gamma radiation (energy yield of about 17 MEV per fusion).
It turns out that a 1 watt yield of energy from fusion, would rapidly (within minutes) expose the lab worker to a fatal radiation exposure (gamma + neutron)
There's your problem, ya daft idiot! You gotta use dilithium crystals or you're never gonna get yer self any fusion, much less warp speed. (/outrageous scottish accent)
It appears likely that any reactions that occur in a cold-fusion cell would involve the deuterium fusing with some of the heavy atoms in the electrode, which would probably eject a medium energy alpha particle.
The absence of observed high-energy neutrons and gammas is strong evidence that D+D fusion is not occurring, but does not imply at all that no nuclear reactions are involved.
Philo T. Farnsworth, the Father of Television
Chapter 2: Fusion
The official family site of the Farnsworth Archives
> Naranjo's lab reported in April 2005 that it had achieved cold fusion by heating a lithium crystal soaked in deuterium gas
In theory, the Li-6 + deuterium fusion reaction would be extremely well suited for clean energy production, especially in a colliding beam reactor - http://www.qtp.ufl.edu/~monkhors/cbfr_RD.htm . The reaction products, two He-4 nuclei, would have identical energies - idea for turbine-less electricity production in a particle decellerator.
Are you saying that pure science can become political?
Please inform us novices on the potential benefits of cold fusion.
I certainly hope they're on to something cedible.
I know for certain that Gillette has produced fusion with the addition of the fifth blade (I couldn't resist).