Cold Fusion Essay

This essay has a total of 985 words and 4 pages.

Cold Fusion

Cold Fusion: The Continuing Mystery

In March of 1989, a discovery was made that rocked the scientific world. Stanley Pons and
Martin Fleischman had announced that they were able to create and sustain a cold fusion
process. After intense media attention, and corresponding interest in future test, the
subject seemed to have faded away. Future tests proved inconclusive, and when the quick
promise of easy energy didn't materialize, most quickly forgot the subject. Little is said
about the continuing research in the scientific community to further our understanding of
the free energy enigma. Is it science fiction, on the border of legitamete science, or is
it a practical field worthy of serious attention?

Cold Fusion is the merging of two dissimilar metal hydrides. The process is exothermic,
and can generate energy in one of two ways. Energy can be input in to a system and
multiplied, or energy alone can be generated although in a much smaller amount. For
example, one watt of energy can be input and 3 watts recovered. Some systems are capable
of producing hundreds of watts per individual watt. The actual physics of the reaction is
not completely understood. Some claim it is merely a chemical reaction not yet understood,
while others are convinced it is a nuclear reaction.

One example is a cold fusion cell which used .04 grams of metal hydride. It produced 86
megajoules over a two month period. A similar chemical reaction would have required 2,000
grams of chemicals to produce the same amount of energy. Another interesting point
regarding this cell was the fact it had to be deliberately shut down. There was no sign of
the reaction tapering off.

The skepticism regarding cold fusion stems from two separate studies, one done by MIT, and
the other by the Energy Resources Advisory Board. The MIT study has been palled by attacks
on the methods used to present the information. The chief science writer at the Institute
denounced the study and resigned. The report contained altered graphs and an unclear
method. The ERAB report was inconclusive, but presented to congress in a such a way as to
present all of the negatives in order to maintain funding for their existed programs,
instead of transferring research money to others.

Numerous labs across the country are still conducting cold fusion research. Among the most
noticeable are Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, The Naval Research Laboratory,
and a large Japanese energy consortium. Cold fusion is only produced three out of ten
times under the best conditions, but this is enough to justify continued research. The
first transitors were only successful one out of a hundred times until the mechanisms were
completely understood. The science of the reaction taking place in cold fusion is still
not clear. When pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together better, the success rate will
increase, and yields will go up.

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