Homepage Forums Noise, ZPE, AGW (capped*) etc. Rossi’s Cold Fusion

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  • #1067
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    This is the latest offering in the Cold Fusion sphere: 10kW devices to go on the market this year:

    http://pesn.com/2011/01/17/9501746_Focardi-Rossi_10_kW_cold_fusion_prepping_for_market/

    Some kind of fusion of hydrogen and nickel to form copper. Can’t get much of a grip on the science from the report, though.

    Update;
    More links:
    Patent app’n: http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2009125444
    Claims: http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2009125444&IA=IT2008000532&DISPLAY=CLAIMS

    PesWiki: http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Andrea_A._Rossi_Cold_Fusion_Generator

    #9504
    AvatarTulse
    Participant

    I thought the binding energy of nickel meant that it took more energy to push a nucleon into it than the fusion releases — isn’t that why the heaviest element produced by normal stellar fusion is iron?

    Like all these kind of claims, I figure the ultimate proof is in a mass produced device, as if it can legitimately generate as much energy as they claim, it won’t matter to the commercial sector that the theoretical mechanism is unclear.

    #9506
    Avatarjamesr
    Member

    I found this report from a few years ago http://www.enea.it/produzione_scientifica/pdf_volumi/V2008_16Cold_Fusion_Italy.pdf

    see page 171-180 for a related experiment.

    From this report I seriously doubt their claims.
    For example the copper peak in the SEM-EDAX graph (p176) is tiny – look at the number of counts on the scale Poisson error on N counts is sqrt(N) so peak is barely above noise level. To me that graph just looks like the sample was badly cleaned and contaminated from other sources.

    The measure flux of 10 neutrons /cm^2/s although higher than background is still very low. All other sources need to be ruled out, as they could easily come from experiments in nearby labs, or just false detections due to electrical noise.

    There is no analysis of the isotopic composition of the nickel sample beforehand – there are many isotopes of nickel and ratios vary depending on where it was mined and how it was processed.

    I suspect most of the energy is just chemical as in NiMH batteries. They force hydrogen into the metal first (charging it up) then let is discharge.

    Above all though fusion needs the nuclei to get close enough to overcome the Coulomb barrier. To do this they must have enough kinetic energy – ie be HOT.

    #9507
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    I have no good knowledge of physics but I think their claim is not about nickel hydrogen fusion, but about hydrogen – hydrogen fusion when there is enough hydrogen in the metal latice to fuse. I think it would require enourmous pressure though. Anyone cares to put forward the density/temperature calculation?

    #9508
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    No, they’re quite specific about a small amount of nickel being converted to copper. One claim is that running continuously for 6 mo. converts over 50% of the sample.

    WUWT has a posting and discussion here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/22/cold-fusion-going-commercial/

    Summary statement:

    What should we make of all this? In a skeptical group like this, some healthy skepticism is warranted. On the other hand, the energy release is impressive and very hard to explain chemically or as physical storage in a crystal lattice. It will be interesting to see how things develop.

    UPDATE: a somewhat clumsy English subtitled version of the 3 videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/batman40157#p/a/u/2/Jr0ysNSN9Ng . Use the ‘CC’ button to show the captions. (If it’s word-for-word, it seems to take 5x as many words in Italian to say something as in English!)

    Here’s a PopSci article: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-01/italian-scientists-claim-dubious-cold-fusion-breakthrough

    #9512
    Avatarvansig
    Member

    Brian H wrote: No, they’re quite specific about a small amount of nickel being converted to copper. One claim is that running continuously for 6 mo. converts over 50% of the sample.

    if there’s *any* copper produced whatsoever, then it would be altogether too surprising if there weren’t also quite a lot of radioactive Ni-59 produced; (half-life 101 ky), formed by the reaction
    Ni-58 + p -> Cu-59 -> Ni-59 + e+.

    A test for Ni-59 that would seem to be conclusive.

    #9513
    Avatarjamesr
    Member

    vansig wrote:
    if there’s *any* copper produced whatsoever, then it would be altogether too surprising if there weren’t also quite a lot of radioactive Ni-59 produced; (half-life 101 ky), formed by the reaction
    Ni-58 + p -> Cu-59 -> Ni-59 + e+.

    A test for Ni-59 that would seem to be conclusive.

    A small point – the tables I normally use :
    http://www.nndc.bnl.gov/chart/reCenter.jsp?z=29&n=30 or http://atom.kaeri.re.kr/ton/nuc4.html

    have Cu-59’s decay mode as electron capture, rather than e+ to Ni-59 with a half life of 81.5s
    and Ni-59’s half life is 76,000years not 101,000

    #9514
    Avatarvansig
    Member

    Interesting. I’m reading NUBASE data. here’s its help file…

    NUBASE is a “horizontal” nuclear evaluation designed by
    G. Audi, O. Bersillon, J. Blachot and A.H. Wapstra.

    NUBASE has integrated results from 2 evaluations:
    a) The Ame (Atomic Mass Evaluation);
    b) The Ensdf (Evaluated Nuclear Structure Data File)
    It has been completed and updated from literature. Full
    references are given for all experimental information.

    If no experimental data exist for a nuclide, in many cases a
    value could be estimated from systematic trends. Such values
    are clearly labeled with the `#’ symbol.

    The most recent published version of NUBASE is Nubase’97:
    Nuclear Physics A624 (1997) 1.
    The present data are from Nubase’97 plus updates from literature.
    Corrections are gratefully received (audi@csnsm.in2p3.fr).

    #9515
    Avatarjamesr
    Member

    After a bit more idle browsing it seems one use of the p+Ni-58 reaction is the production of Ni-56 (for academic study into astrophysical processes) as the reaction when firing a 50MeV proton beam at a nickel target does not produce Cu-59 instead it is

    p + Ni-58 -> Ni-56 + 2p

    note the energy needed is 50MeV, this emphasizes the huge Coulomb barrier a heavy ion like nickel has, and why fusion at a few hundred degrees is VERY unlikely. This is the sort of reaction that normally only happens in supernovas

    (source http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v80/i4/p676_1)

    #9516
    Avatarvansig
    Member

    jamesr wrote:
    For example the copper peak in the SEM-EDAX graph (p176) is tiny – look at the number of counts on the scale
    Poisson error on N counts is sqrt(N) so peak is barely above noise level. To me that graph just looks like the sample was badly cleaned and contaminated from other sources.

    I’ve lately been reading up on metal electroplating processes, and my opinion after studying this graph is,
    that we are looking at nickel-plated aluminum electrodes as they would appear after routine wear.

    Lots of aluminum alloys contain silicon and magnesium; further, copper plating is often applied before the final nickel finish.

    #9528
    AvatarRezwan
    Member
    #9529
    Avatarjamesr
    Member

    I ‘m inclined to share this viewpoint from the article:

    One comment in the forum contained a message from Steven E. Jones, a contemporary of Pons and Fleishmann, who wrote, “Where are the quantitative descriptions of these copper radioisotopes? What detectors were used? Have the results been replicated by independent researchers? Pardon my skepticism as I await real data.”

    I think this thread deserves to be moved to the noise & ZPE category

    #9538
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    jamesr wrote: I ‘m inclined to share this viewpoint from the article:

    One comment in the forum contained a message from Steven E. Jones, a contemporary of Pons and Fleishmann, who wrote, “Where are the quantitative descriptions of these copper radioisotopes? What detectors were used? Have the results been replicated by independent researchers? Pardon my skepticism as I await real data.”

    I think this thread deserves to be moved to the noise & ZPE category

    Seconded.

    #9541
    AvatarBrian H
    Member

    Oh, give it a while. It is an “aneutronic contender”, the name of this forum after all, and about 3 months should see a make-or-break point when the commercial version is out and about.

    #9542
    Avatarjamesr
    Member

    Brian H wrote: Oh, give it a while.

    Why?
    They have very little evidence. If the Focus Fusion Society is to be taken seriously it needs to be critical of all claims (LLP’s included).

    This recent PR attempt, once they were rejected by all other peer reviewed journals to the extent that they felt the need to set up their own to publish it in, hardly qualifies as evidence.

    Science should be based on repeatable, verifiable evidence. If and when they can specify their experiment in enough detail for it to be replicated by someone independent and the results scrutinized by others, then maybe I’ll give it a second glance

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