BBC story on cold fusion 
Author Message
 BBC story on cold fusion

From the BBC: Tuesday, March 23, 1999

"Should the cold fusion dream die?"
    by BBC Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse

 "Cold fusion has had only a tiny fraction of the effort and

resources that
  have been lavished on "hot" fusion research. And we have
  had virtually no return on that investment.
  We should give the cold fusion camp time and
  encouragement.   We live in a fusion universe."

   Click here for story:

http://www.***.com/

   More on cold fusion at:
    http://www.***.com/ ~mica/cftrefs.html
 and http://www.***.com/ ~db/fusion



Mon, 10 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:

> From the BBC: Tuesday, March 23, 1999

> "Should the cold fusion dream die?"
>     by BBC Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse

>  "Cold fusion has had only a tiny fraction of the effort and

> resources that
>   have been lavished on "hot" fusion research. And we have
>   had virtually no return on that investment.
>   We should give the cold fusion camp time and
>   encouragement.   We live in a fusion universe."

[snip]

The Japanese have dumped a fat wad of cash into cold fusion researuch,
as have other nations.  Does anybody have problems making transistors
work?  Particle accelerators?  Telescopes (the Hubble was corporate
idiocy, precise but not accurate)? Petroleum refineries?  CVD reactors
and optical coaters?  Genetic projects?  Nuclear and electron magnetic
resonance spectrometers and imagers?  

What does that tell you about cold fusion?

--
Uncle Al Schwartz
http://uncleal.within.net/
http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/
http://www.ultra.net.au/~wisby/uncleal/
http://www.guyy.demon.co.uk/uncleal/uncleal.htm
 (Toxic URLs! Unsafe for children and most mammals)
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"  The Net!



Mon, 10 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:

> The Japanese have dumped a fat wad of cash into cold fusion researuch,
> as have other nations.  Does anybody have problems making transistors
> work?  Particle accelerators?  Telescopes (the Hubble was corporate
> idiocy, precise but not accurate)? Petroleum refineries?  CVD reactors
> and optical coaters?  Genetic projects?  Nuclear and electron magnetic
> resonance spectrometers and imagers?

> What does that tell you about cold fusion?

Actually, there are a lot of doable things that people dumped
considerable resources into before getting reasonable success.
Rocketry, nuclear power, hot fusion (is that a hoax too?),
quantum computers.  Yada yada yada.

--
Jonathan Goff

"If it should ever come to pass that nothing is worth dying for,
then so shall cease any reason for living." -Thomas J. Clark



Mon, 10 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

: > The Japanese have dumped a fat wad of cash into cold fusion researuch,
: > as have other nations.  Does anybody have problems making transistors
: > work?  Particle accelerators?  Telescopes (the Hubble was corporate
: > idiocy, precise but not accurate)? Petroleum refineries?  CVD reactors
: > and optical coaters?  Genetic projects?  Nuclear and electron magnetic
: > resonance spectrometers and imagers?
: >
: > What does that tell you about cold fusion?

: Actually, there are a lot of doable things that people dumped
: considerable resources into before getting reasonable success.
: Rocketry, nuclear power, hot fusion (is that a hoax too?),
: quantum computers.  Yada yada yada.

One of the differences between hot and cold fusion is that we have
existence proofs of hot fusion; the problem is to make it economical
for power generation.  You can get a self-starting hot fusion reaction
by dumping about 1e27 metric tonnes of hydrogen in a pile and adding a
bit of carbon as a catalyst.  Or by compressing and heating a smaller
pile.  The existence proofs for cold fusion seem a bit dubious.

The other big difference is that hot fusion is consistent with physics
as we know it; cold fusion isn't.

Neither of these is proof that cold fusion will never work, of course;
but I know which way I'm going to bet.

Paul Hughett



Mon, 10 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:

> One of the differences between hot and cold fusion is that we have
> existence proofs of hot fusion; the problem is to make it economical
> for power generation.  You can get a self-starting hot fusion reaction
> by dumping about 1e27 metric tonnes of hydrogen in a pile and adding a
> bit of carbon as a catalyst.  Or by compressing and heating a smaller
> pile.  The existence proofs for cold fusion seem a bit dubious.

Still depends on who you ask.  But just saying something is a
hoax because lots of research hasn't payed off yet isn't
neccessarily true (I'm still rootin for CF while locking my
sites on more attainable stuff like Breeders, IEF, and Nucleide
Batteries).

Quote:
> The other big difference is that hot fusion is consistent with physics
> as we know it; cold fusion isn't.

Not neccessarily.  Aerodynamic flight wasn't consistent with
modern science until proven so.  When you have tons of possible
interactions, some can get rather complex.  Deriving the
bernouli's equation from basic chemistry is not very easy.  But
once its been done empirically, its found to follow the laws of
physics after all.  What if it uses some combination of quantum
interactions that nobody has thought about?  You gotta admit
it is a possibility.

Quote:
> Neither of these is proof that cold fusion will never work, of course;
> but I know which way I'm going to bet.

I'm not betting on it either.  I'm just hoping that it does work.
Breeders are sufficient, Cold Fusion would be groovy.

--
Jonathan Goff

"If it should ever come to pass that nothing is worth dying for,
then so shall cease any reason for living." -Thomas J. Clark



Mon, 10 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion
What you probably don't understand (unless you are a chemist) is the
eagerness with which chemists such as myself embraced cold-fusion and
hoped it was right and that the physicists had missed something - it's
happened before. The poor work in calorimetry and other thermodynamics
analyses that supported the cold-fusion work was a wrenching
disappointment to the science world that was not involved in nuclear
fusion. We had hoped to see some of the things come true that we
believed would be true subsequent to WWII. Now we are growing old and it
has not come to pass. We will probably not live to see a controlled
nuclear fusion as a major source of energy. If we are skeptics it is
because we have been so often disappointed and that is good science in
any event. We are optimists because we have lived long enough to marvel
at what can be accomplished and has been accomplished in our lifetimes
from early in this century. We wish the cold fusion people well but
cannot uncritically support their work until such time as they start
doing some really good thermodynamic calorimetry.

And BTW there is nothing in molecular chemistry that leads to the
derivation of the Bernoulli equation. It's physics of the kinetic
molecular theory pure and simple.

Fred Kasner

Quote:


> > One of the differences between hot and cold fusion is that we have

... snip ...


Mon, 10 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:



> : > The Japanese have dumped a fat wad of cash into cold fusion researuch,
> : > as have other nations.  Does anybody have problems making transistors
> : > work?  Particle accelerators?  Telescopes (the Hubble was corporate
> : > idiocy, precise but not accurate)? Petroleum refineries?  CVD reactors
> : > and optical coaters?  Genetic projects?  Nuclear and electron magnetic
> : > resonance spectrometers and imagers?
> : >
> : > What does that tell you about cold fusion?

> : Actually, there are a lot of doable things that people dumped
> : considerable resources into before getting reasonable success.
> : Rocketry, nuclear power, hot fusion (is that a hoax too?),
> : quantum computers.  Yada yada yada.

> One of the differences between hot and cold fusion is that we have
> existence proofs of hot fusion; the problem is to make it economical
> for power generation.

   There has been more power generation, certainly for longer periods
with cf than hf.

   Nonetheless, we should give both hot and cold fusioneers a break.  ;-)X

Quote:
> You can get a self-starting hot fusion reaction
> by dumping about 1e27 metric tonnes of hydrogen in a pile and adding a
> bit of carbon as a catalyst.  Or by compressing and heating a smaller
> pile.  The existence proofs for cold fusion seem a bit dubious.

> The other big difference is that hot fusion is consistent with physics
> as we know it; cold fusion isn't.

      Stated but not proven, because it appears to be incorrect.

       Mitchell Swartz



Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:


> > From the BBC: Tuesday, March 23, 1999

> > "Should the cold fusion dream die?"
> >     by BBC Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse

> >  "Cold fusion has had only a tiny fraction of the effort and
> > resources that
> >   have been lavished on "hot" fusion research. And we have
> >   had virtually no return on that investment.
> >   We should give the cold fusion camp time and
> >   encouragement.   We live in a fusion universe."

> [snip]

> The Japanese have dumped a fat wad of cash into cold fusion researuch,
> as have other nations.

And to be fair another form of cold fusion sort of works (not very well)
see for example

    http://www.triumf.ca/muh/pres/cam_ovhd/cam_ovhd.html

Quote:
>  Does anybody have problems making transistors work?  Particle
> accelerators?

They did at first. The story of early microprocessor fab lines is quite
funny now.

Virtually all bleeding edge kit is  exceedingly fickle.

Quote:
> What does that tell you about cold fusion?

I don't think the original F & P experiment worked as advertised either,
but
it did make it rather hard to buy palladium and heavy water for a few
weeks.
That doesn't necessarily rule out cold fusion though.

If it could be made to work it then would be well worth having.
A bit like room temperature superconductors.

Regards,
Martin Brown



Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:

> >  Does anybody have problems making transistors work?  Particle
> > accelerators?

> They did at first. The story of early microprocessor fab lines is quite
> funny now.

> Virtually all bleeding edge kit is  exceedingly fickle.

Good grief.  Proof-of-principle transistors and accelerators
could be, and were, made by small groups on a benchtop,
and manifestly worked.  That is: the first transistor was
used in an oscillator, and the accelerator (cathode ray
tube) produced visible fluorescence at the target.

        Paul



Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:


> > >  Does anybody have problems making transistors work?  Particle
> > > accelerators?

> > They did at first. The story of early microprocessor fab lines is quite
> > funny now.

> > Virtually all bleeding edge kit is  exceedingly fickle.

> Good grief.  Proof-of-principle transistors and accelerators
> could be, and were, made by small groups on a benchtop,
> and manifestly worked.  That is: the first transistor was
> used in an oscillator, and the accelerator (cathode ray
> tube) produced visible fluorescence at the target.

   Issues of time, funding, and complexity ought be
considered.  The time between the discovery of
ionizing radiation (~1897) and the linear accelerator was
more than few years.
  The measurement of electrical conductivity in semiconductors
dates back even further (consider the debates regarding
thermoelectricity in the 19th century).  And, even in this century,
years of "cat whiskers" on galena preceded
the transistor (e.g. CK722).

   Beyond the times involved, is the comparison fair?

   Transistors seem less complex than the attainment of cold fusion.
And even then, it is doubtful that every transistor "off
the line" initially worked, or had the same beta (gain).

   Finally, the development of those devices used numbers of people,
resources and funds which dwarf those allocated to cold fusion.

     Have a good day.
       Mitchell Swartz



Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

: > ...The existence proofs for cold fusion seem a bit dubious.

: Still depends on who you ask.  But just saying something is a
: hoax because lots of research hasn't payed off yet isn't
: neccessarily true (I'm still rootin for CF while locking my
: sites on more attainable stuff like Breeders, IEF, and Nucleide
: Batteries).

I'm not saying that it was a hoax (at least not by Pons and Fleischman);
from what I've read, it was a combination of wishful thinking and sloppy
science, compounded by greed in the university administration.  I have
this suspicion that there is something odd about hydrogen in palladium
that is worth studying; but I won't believe cold fusion without lots
better evidence than has been provided so far.

: > The other big difference is that hot fusion is consistent with physics
: > as we know it; cold fusion isn't.

: Not neccessarily.  Aerodynamic flight wasn't consistent with
: modern science until proven so.  When you have tons of possible
: interactions, some can get rather complex.  Deriving the
: bernouli's equation from basic chemistry is not very easy.  But
: once its been done empirically, its found to follow the laws of
: physics after all.  

Ah yes, the old bumblebees can't fly urban legend.  Even today, if you
treat the bumblebee as a fixed wing device, you will discover that it
can't possibly fly; but it is, of course, NOT a fixed wing device.

: What if it uses some combination of quantum
: interactions that nobody has thought about?  You gotta admit
: it is a possibility.

I admit the possibility.  But wouldn't it be a good idea to get a
reproducible effect and study its phenomenology _before_ spinning wild
theories?  The tragedy of cold fusion may be that the wild claims made
have turned researchers and funding agencies away from investigating
what is really happening there.

Paul Hughett



Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:


>> One of the differences between hot and cold fusion is that we have
>> existence proofs of hot fusion; the problem is to make it economical
>> for power generation.
>   There has been more power generation, certainly for longer periods
>with cf than hf.

I think when Paul was talking about existence proofs of hot fusion, he
was including stars.  In that light, your claim appears ludicrous.
I'm sure you didn't mean it to look that way, though.

JeffMo

Is it better to be bored, wishing you're not,
or not to be bored, wishing that you were?

Remove dipstick for email replies.



Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:
>Date: Fri, Mar 26, 1999 10:36 EST



Much deleted

Quote:

>: Not neccessarily.  Aerodynamic flight wasn't consistent with
>: modern science until proven so.  When you have tons of possible
>: interactions, some can get rather complex.  Deriving the
>: bernouli's equation from basic chemistry is not very easy.  But
>: once its been done empirically, its found to follow the laws of
>: physics after all.  

>Ah yes, the old bumblebees can't fly urban legend.  Even today, if you
>treat the bumblebee as a fixed wing device, you will discover that it
>can't possibly fly; but it is, of course, NOT a fixed wing device.

About 15 years ago, +/- 15 years (?) there was an article in the American
Scientist about the legend.  NO published report has been found that included
eqations that would indicate that bumblebees can't fly.  There is some
indication that before the first equations were published a graduate student
was asked to check them, a standard practice, even today, and infinformed his
professor that there was a problem concerning insects like bumblebees.
Publication was delayed until the equations had been modified to allow for
small heavy insects like bumblebees.  The American scientist article indicated
that it depended on the memories of some elderly scientists who had been
graduate students about the time aerodynamics was being born.  If my memory of
the account has not faded too much.

The ability of bumblebees to fly was always compatible with aerodynamics etc.,
even if we didn't know it.

Irv

Bunch blasted away

Quote:

>Paul Hughett


The only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
My e-mail address will work better if you un-despam it.  
      That is, remove "don'tspam".


Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion


[snip]
Quote:
>>  "Cold fusion has had only a tiny fraction of the effort and
>>   resources that
>>   have been lavished on "hot" fusion research. And we have
>>   had virtually no return on that investment.
>>   We should give the cold fusion camp time and
>>   encouragement.   We live in a fusion universe."
>[snip]
>The Japanese have dumped a fat wad of cash into cold fusion researuch,
>as have other nations.  Does anybody have problems making transistors
>work?  Particle accelerators?  Telescopes (the Hubble was corporate
>idiocy, precise but not accurate)? Petroleum refineries?  CVD reactors
>and optical coaters?  Genetic projects?  Nuclear and electron magnetic
>resonance spectrometers and imagers?  

>What does that tell you about cold fusion?

[snip]

That it is an interesting research topic?
Does Big Bang cosmology work? (Geomagnetical) fluid dynamo?
Geopolitical conflict research? Psychology? ...?

Wolfram 8-)#



Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 BBC story on cold fusion

Quote:

> About 15 years ago, +/- 15 years (?) there was an article in the American
> Scientist about the legend.  NO published report has been found that included
> eqations that would indicate that bumblebees can't fly.  There is some
> indication that before the first equations were published a graduate student
> was asked to check them, a standard practice, even today, and infinformed his
> professor that there was a problem concerning insects like bumblebees.
> Publication was delayed until the equations had been modified to allow for
> small heavy insects like bumblebees.  The American scientist article indicated
> that it depended on the memories of some elderly scientists who had been
> graduate students about the time aerodynamics was being born.  If my memory of
> the account has not faded too much.

> The ability of bumblebees to fly was always compatible with aerodynamics etc.,
> even if we didn't know it.

Agreed, but the first 9 references for Nature (384) 626-630, 1996 are
full of calculations that can't explain the lift of a flying insect. It
is not an urban legend. (The Nature article that I cited does locate the
extra lift coming for a leading edge vortex - and thus ends the legend).

John
--
"A conclusion is the point at which you stopped thinking."

Opinions expressed herein are my own and may not represent those of my employer.



Tue, 11 Sep 2001 03:00:00 GMT
 
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