Article 4711 of sci.physics Subject Cold Fusion preprint from Fleischmann and Pons Summary

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Article 4711 of sci.physics: Path: dasys1!cucard!rocky8!cmcl2!rutgers!njin!princeton!phoenix!pupthy!jhh From: jhh@pupthy.PRINCETON.EDU (Jim Horne) Newsgroups: sci.physics Subject: Cold Fusion preprint from Fleischmann and Pons Summary: "Electrochemically Induced Fusion of Deuterium" Message-ID: <7514@phoenix.Princeton.EDU> Date: 31 Mar 89 19:25:18 GMT Sender: news@phoenix.Princeton.EDU Reply-To: jhh@pupthy.PRINCETON.EDU (Jim Horne) Organization: Physics Dept, Princeton Univ Lines: 70 Posted: Fri Mar 31 14:25:18 1989 The preprint of the Fleischmann and Pons paper is now being distributed. The paper is called "Electrochemically Induced Nuclear Fusion of Deuterium" by Martin Fleischmann, Department of Chemistry The University, Southampton, Hants. SO9 5NH, England and Stanley Pons*, Department of Chemistry University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 USA *to whom correspondence should be addressed. It was submitted to the Journal of Electroanalytic Chemistry on March 11, 1989; in final form March 20, 1989. I'm not going to type in the whole thing, but a brief summary follows. The basic experimental setup is described as "D+ was compressed galvanostatically into sheet, rod and cubic samples of Pd from 0.1 M LiOD in 99.5% D2O + 0.5% H2O solutions." They don't really describe things in much more detail. They ran four types of experiments. 1) "Calorimetric measurements of heat balances at low current densities" 2) "Calorimetric measurements at higher current densities" 3) "The spectrum of gamma-rays ... due to the (n,gamma) reaction" 4) "The rate of generation/accumulation of tritum" The results from 1) and 2) [in my opinion the most questionable ones] are "enthalpy generation can exceed 10 watts/cm^3 of the palladium electrode; this is maintained for experiment times in excess of 120 hours during which typically heat in excess of 4 MJ/cm^3 of electrode volume was liberated. It is inconceivable that this could be due to anything but nuclear processes." It is not very clear to me how they made sure they had subtracted all possible energy produced in chemical reactions. An obvious test would be to run the experiment with pure H2O and compare the heating rates. The result of 3) is the most impressive. They put a water bath nearby to soak up the neutrons produced, and convert them into gamma-rays. Figure 1A shows a graph of the gamma-ray spectrum, which has a peak of about 21000 counts per channel at an energy of about 2.21 MeV. The background level is 400 counts per channel. They is no way these photons can be produced in a chemical reaction. From the intensity of the photon flux, they estimate the D+D -> He3+n to be 4*10^4/sec for a 0.4x10cm rod. For experiment 4) they measure the tritium production rate, and get a rate of 1-2*10^4 atoms/sec. The reaction rates given by 3) and 4) are much too small to account for the energy production in 1) and 2), by a factor of about 10^9. They conclude that the He3 and T reactions "are only a small part of the overall reaction scheme and that other nuclear processes must be involved." Thus there still seems to be a problem with the total heat production. Their evidence for fusion seems clear, but the total rate seems rather uncertain. I would be much more skeptical if I hadn't also read the BYU preprint from yesterday. There are at least three groups at Princeton trying to reproduce the results, none of which have seen anything yet. In a week or two, we should know more. Remember, kids, don't try this at home unless you want your baby brother to have three arms. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Jim Horne A quote? I'm supposed to have a quote? jhh@pupthy.Princeton.EDU Article 4777 of sci.physics: Path: dasys1!cucard!rocky8!cmcl2!lanl!hc!lll-winken!uunet!tektronix!tekcrl!tekgvs!arnief From: arnief@tekgvs.LABS.TEK.COM (Arnie Frisch) Newsgroups: sci.physics Subject: Re: Cold Fusion preprint from Fleischmann and Pons Summary: This, of course, is the key question ....... Message-ID: <4878@tekgvs.LABS.TEK.COM> Date: 3 Apr 89 15:56:20 GMT References: <7514@phoenix.Princeton.EDU> Organization: Tektronix Inc., Beaverton, Or. Lines: 18 Posted: Mon Apr 3 10:56:20 1989 In article <7514@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>, jhh@pupthy.PRINCETON.EDU (Jim Horne) writes: > The preprint of the Fleischmann and Pons paper is now being distributed. > It was submitted to the Journal of Electroanalytic Chemistry on March 11, > > It is not very clear to me how they made sure they had subtracted all > possible energy produced in chemical reactions. An obvious test would > be to run the experiment with pure H2O and compare the heating rates. > This, of course, is the key question. The very simplest confirmation of the fusion power output would be based upon comparisons of identical systems without the fusion capability. It is the lack of such a simple comparison that has me worried. In four years of research, this surely must have occurred to them!

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