Cold Fusion

Cold Fusion is a hypothesized type of nuclear reaction that would occur at, or near, room temperature. Interaction of hydrogen or deuterium gas with metals such as palladium, Zirconium, Nickel is claimed to set off a nuclear reaction at low temperature releasing energy.

In 1989 Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons reported that their apparatus had produced anomalous heat or excess heat. They asserted it would defy explanation except in terms of nuclear processes. They further reported measuring small amounts of nuclear reaction byproducts, including neutrons and tritium. The small tabletop experiment involved electrolysis of heavy water on the surface of a palladium (Pd) electrode.

Many scientists tried to replicate the experiment. The large number of negative replications led to a claim by the scientists that cold fusion was dead. But small community of researchers continue to investigate cold fusion.

Advantages of cold fusion:

  • Cold fusion seeks to produce nuclear energy without harmful radiation, complex equipment and the application of very high temperatures and pressures.
  • It has garnered attention as a way to produce clean energy.

Criticisms:

  • Claims lack scientific vigor.
  • There is no guarantee that every time a cold fusion or LENR experiment is done, energy will be produced.

But advocates put forward that much progress has been made in achieving repeatability. Low energy nuclear reaction is regarded as the successor of the cold fusion. Even India is taking tentative steps towards restarting research into it which was stopped years ago at BARC. [Reference]

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