Cold Fusion, or LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions) reactors have purportedly been built in recent years that offer new possibilities in terms of energy production. These reactors use very small amounts of nickel and hydrogen, combining them with trace amounts of other ingredients. Once these reactors are brought online, there is hypothetically an anomalous amount of heat generated internally, an amount which cannot be explained by chemical or nuclear reactions alone. However, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and the idea is not without its skeptics. Even the name itself has come under fire. Nonetheless, scientists working on the technology remain adamant about its future potential.
Exploring Fusion Power
Fusion power was once in the realm of pure fantasy, since hot fusion requires reactions of millions of degrees along with materials and engineering concepts to support such high temperatures and associated pressures. Hot fusion will likely remain out of reach for the foreseeable future, given its enormous energy input requirements. Cold fusion on the other hand seemingly can be conducted in experiments and laboratories without such immense energy inputs and physical requirements, and has become something that inventors and scientists have tinkered with in recent years, albeit with limited results.
Many of the foremost scientists in this area are heavily scrutinized because they are not able to develop a single theory as to why the extra energy output, in the form of heat, actually occurs. The reality is that until this question is answered and the technology can be easily replicated, it may continue to be disregarded. Check out the video below which discusses why Dr. Peter Hagelstein, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, believes that cold fusion continues to be dismissed as fringe science by others in the field.
It is important to remember that many scientific discoveries are made before a supporting theory or hypothesis has been developed, and many organizations are investing huge sums of money to help develop this technology. While fossil fuel giants like BP and Exxon continue to pour huge sums of money into shale oil and fracking technologies, other companies and individuals with the foresight and concern for sustainability are looking to other means of energy development.
The Man Behind the Idea
Italian scientist and inventor Andrea Rossi is the primary proponent of cold fusion, at least for the time being. Rossi worked with University of Bologna physics professor Sergio Focardi to develop what he calls an E-Cat, or energy catalyzer. This E-Cat has supposedly been tested and put through numerous trials by outside investigators and scientists, all of whom observed the same anomalous production of energy. These scientists and observers have published a series of papers outlining their findings which seemingly support the notion that such E-Cats are actually some kind of cold fusion reactor, the likes of which have not yet been understood by other scientists. This presents a problem for many hard-line scientists and energy experts, one that often leads them to dispute or even refute the physical evidence that E-Cats are generating more energy than they are intaking.
E-Cats are proclaimed to be relatively inexpensive with the ability to offer billions of people the opportunity to switch from fossil fuels to a much more sustainable energy source . E-Cats do not produce any toxic or nuclear waste and the spent materials, mostly nickel and hydrogen, can be recycled back into the environment quite effectively.
The long-term commercial success of cold fusion is dependent on whether or not it can ever actually be taken to market. Right now, I don’t have much confidence that this will ever occur but if this technology (or a viable alternative) is ever actually proven, it could one day offer humans the ability to colonize other planets and solar systems due to it’s extremely modest and simple material input requirements. No matter how we get there, this idea is what I’m most excited about. Stay tuned…
Share the post "Let’s Explore ‘Cold Fusion’"