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Direct production of electricity from nuclear fusion
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Recently my "Cold Fusion Hypothesis" was published (see link). It describes a way for "conduction band" electrons in certain metals to be involved in a nuclear fusion reaction, such that they can carry away most of the energy of the reaction. No gamma rays, no neutrons, just moving electrons.

"Moving electrons" is the simplistic definition of "electricity". For it to be useful, we have to arrange for them to mostly move in the same direction.

So let us design our Cold Fusion (CF) reactor like this: Start with a rod of titanium. Titanium is one of the elements that can absorb a lot of hydrogen, and some researchers have claimed that Cold Fusion can happen inside it. It also happens to be a lot less expensive than some of the other Cold Fusion metals (like palladium), and it can do one very interesting thing that palladium can't; it can be a Super Conductor (SC).

The theoretically-lowest-possible temperature is called "Absolute Zero", and at about one-third of a degree above that ("Kelvin" temperature scale), titanium loses all its normal/natural internal resistance to moving electrons (see link). Therefore, for any electrons that we can make move, inside superconducting titanium, we can begin to think of them as having more electrical energy than thermal energy. We still have to get them going in the same direction, however.

At each end of the titanium rod we attach a different superconductor, one that does not absorb any significant amount of hydrogen. Along the length of the rod, surrounding it, we attach another material that does not become a superconductor. More, we want this material to act like a semiconductor "diode" (see link). We now have a situation in which superconducted electrons can move in two directions away from the titanium rod, and can be replaced by electrons arriving ONE WAY ONLY through the diode-material that surrounds the rod. Let's try an ASCII sketch:
diode material
other|titanium rod|other
diode material

Now imagine the "other" superconductor (both of them)being stretched out into long wires that feed various devices that need electricity as their power source. Note that while liquid helium might be required for the "core" device, higher-temperature superconductors can be used away from the core. Also, more wires are required, to complete the electrical circuits; those wires are attached to the diode material.

Now let's consider a certain "thermal logistics" thing. A significant amount of deuterium-hydrogen has to be "loaded" into the titanium before we can expect any Cold Fusions to happen. If we "load" the metal before we cool it down, then fusions will mostly yield heat (electrons moving through the resistance of the metal), and it will be very difficult to cool down the metal to nearly Absolute Zero while that is going on. Therefore we want to start with the cold metal, and then add deuterium-hydrogen to it.

So, we need to leave an "opening" in the earlier description, so that we can feed deuterium-hydrogen into the titanium rod. That should be easy enough; the diode-material doesn't really need to surround every square centimeter of the surface of the titanium rod. Next, one might at first think there is a significant problem here, because at the temperature where titanium is a superconductor, hydrogen is normally a solid substance, and can't be expected to flow easily anywhere, much less into solid metal.

However! Ordinary hydrogen is a two-atom molecule, and it is possible to make "monatomic" hydrogen, which has some interestingly different physical properties. Indeed, while helium can manage to still be a liquid even at Absolute Zero, monatomic hydrogen can be a gas at Absolute Zero (see link)! I will note that that link is talking about ordinary protium-hydrogen and not deuterium-hydrogen, which has twice the mass and could possibly condense into a liquid because of that. Either way, though, super-cold monatomic deuterium-hydrogen will be able to flow into the solid titanium metal just fine, thank you, especially if we add a bit of pressure.

I see the linked article using the phrase "catastrophic adsorption" (see linked definition) which sounds like Trouble, but this is the Half-Bakery and I will assume that that can be mitigated somehow--the article mentions coating stuff with liquid helium as one way to do that. I suspect that all we need is a really tiny area of the titanium metal, through which we want the monatomic deuterium to pass, so that it gets absorbed faster than it can adsorb.

If the hypothesis is correct, then eventually Cold Fusions will start to happen inside the superconducting titanium. Electrons will acquire energy and begin to move. The diode-material surrounding the titanium will encourage them to prefer to move in two main directions away from the rod; electrons do prefer to take the path of least resistance, after all. If we can find an appropriate Type II superconductive metal that can support Cold Fusion, we may be able to add a magnetic field, to help encourage newly-energized electrons to flow toward the ends of the core-rod. The type of electricity is typically known as "Direct Current" (DC), which explains the last part of the title of this Idea.

Vernon, Nov 24 2008

Cold Fusion Hypothesis http://www.infinite.../issue81/index.html
Publication info [Vernon, Nov 24 2008]

Cold Fusion Hypothesis http://www.nemitz.n...oldfusionhypoth.pdf
The article [Vernon, Nov 24 2008]

Superconductivity http://hyperphysics...e/solids/scond.html
A fair amount of basic information, including some tables of materials and the temperatures at which they become superconductive. [Vernon, Nov 24 2008]

Diodes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diode
What semiconductor diodes are and how they work (scroll down to it) [Vernon, Nov 24 2008]

Monatomic Hydrogen http://www.science....arch/quant/sph.html
Nifty stuff! [Vernon, Nov 24 2008]

Adsorption http://dictionary.r...m/browse/adsorption
Kind-of looks like a fancy word for "causes condensation" [Vernon, Nov 24 2008]

Relevant quotation for Vernon http://books.google...&resnum=3&ct=result
[MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2008]

Why don't the researchers quit? http://www.wired.co.../coldfusion_pr.html
Quite a bit of heat is routinely measured. Not enough so far for industrial-scale use, though. [Vernon, Nov 24 2008]

Some Support for the Hypothesis http://www.google.c...IHzSV1f_Qfgb6E9hNFA
I hadn't known about this when I wrote the article, but found out about it while it was in preparation for publication. The hypothesis suggests that a hydrogen atom can donate its sole electron to the conduction band of the metal, thereby "alloying" with the metal. It also means that the electron can no longer prevent that nucleus from approaching the nucleus of a second hydrogen that has also donated its electron to the conduction band. The article suggested pumping deuterium gas into palladium to see if unexplained heat would appear (a different "loading" mechanism than the original electrolysis experiments). [Vernon, Nov 25 2008]

Table of electronegativites http://library.thin...aphics/electro.html
As mentioned in an annotation. Hydrogen is 2.1, palladium is 2.2 --palladium is also sometimes called a "noble" metal because it doesn't chemically react with most other elements (like platinum, which also has a value of 2.2 on this table). [Vernon, Nov 25 2008]

bumblebee discussion http://www.math.niu.../known-math/98/bees
As mentioned in an annotation; search for "rumours". A search for "xerox" will be informative, too. [Vernon, Nov 25 2008]

Metallic hydrogen http://en.wikipedia...i/Metallic_hydrogen
A description of somthing mentioned in various annotations. Hydrogen as part of an alloy is described, too. [Vernon, Nov 25 2008]

More evidence http://www.newenerg...s/2006/NET19.htm#ee
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." OK, [WcW], how does this repeatable evidence NOT mean that a working CF device exists? [Vernon, Nov 25 2008]

The moon DOES NOT exist http://www.revision...Mad-Revisionist.htm
There is a $100,000 reward for proving otherwise. [neelandan, Nov 26 2008]

This is a being of great spiritual power. http://www.palmyria.co.uk/humour/ipu.htm
Because she is invisible and pink at the same time. [neelandan, Nov 26 2008]

American Physical Society http://meetings.aps...g/MAR07/Event/56744
for [WcW] [Vernon, Nov 26 2008]

The European Physical Journal Applied Physics http://www.epjap.or....1051/epjap:2007152
for [WcW] [Vernon, Nov 26 2008]

SpringerLink http://www.springer...t/022501181p3h764l/
for [WcW], this journal may not be as "big" as some of the others, but it is respected (published some of Einstein's work) [Vernon, Nov 26 2008]

Zero-point energy http://en.wikipedia...i/Zero_point_energy
Zero-point energy causes zero-point motion, and so helium is a liquid even at Absolute Zero, and monatomic hydrogen would still be a gas. [Vernon, Nov 26 2008]

Another Cold Fusion Article http://knol.google....ion/2zjj2hvn3qzi5/2
Fairly balanced; I added a comment describing the Hypothesis in a form derived from some of my annotations here. [Vernon, Dec 03 2008]

Muon Catalyzed Fusion http://en.wikipedia...on-catalyzed_fusion
As mentioned in an annotation; it is because this is an Actual Real Factual Phenomenon, that the Hypothesis has a chance of being valid. [Vernon, Dec 04 2008]

A superconducting hydrogen alloy http://nextbigfutur...n-and-hydrogen.html
Now I wonder what would happen if all those hydrogens (or even most of them) were replaced with deuterium, before the pressure was applied? [Vernon, Jan 30 2009]

Superconduction https://books.googl...20structure&f=false
Doped Palladium is mentioned [neutrinos_shadow, Jun 14 2015]


       Gold fusion in titanium is going to generate a few pretty trinkets.
neelandan, Nov 24 2008

       My gut reaction is that this isn't going to work. However, on closer inspection I think it will fail.   

       I may be misunderstanding, though.   

       As I see it, you are assuming that cold fusion in the titanium rod will give electrons thermal energy, and then the diodic nature of the setup will tend to shepherd them in one direction, creating a current flow. Is this about right?   

       First, I think cold fusion itself is probably not going to happen, because I don't think it does happen. But, that's a whole other can of wormholes.   

       Second, if you use cold fusion to stir up your electrons, what is that going to do to your superconductivity?   

       Third, something just smells fishy about the idea that the electrons will convert thermal energy into net unidirectional motion. I just don't think it'll happen, but my physics isn't good enough to say why. (Against me, though, are things like thermocouples; are you really just building a fancy thermocouple here?).   

       It seems to me that the same device should work (albeit less efficiently) without resort to cold fusion and superconductors. Could you not create an analogous device in which the electrons were just given good old- fashioned thermal energy from a flame, and the conductivity differences did not involve superconductors? If such a device would not work, why would yours, in general terms?   

       If you ever find the time to write a short idea, it might help mortals like me to understand.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2008

       [MaxwellBuchanan], a thermocouple in some respects qualifies as a diode, since current does tend to flow one way through it, but it is very inefficient compared to constructing something deliberately to act as a diode.   

       In this case, I know full well that I'm not talking about 100% efficient conversion of fusion energy to electricity (the helium that gets produced by fusion is going to have thermal energy, too!), and of course part of the reason this Idea is Half-Baked is because I expect it to be difficult to maintain a temperature of 1/3 Kelvin with fusions going on.   

       On the other hand, part of the reason CF is controversial is because to whatever extent it MAY happen, it just hasn't been blatant enough to convince doubters. That means PERHAPS the rate of fusions in this Idea will be low enough that superconductivity can be maintained. It probably depends strongly on the dimensions of the rod.   

       Next, Quantum Mechanics, which allows superconductivity to exist, is such a nicely weird thing that I'm pretty sure I'm not wrong is saying that current can flow both directions along that titanium rod at the same time. If we imagine lots of conduction-band electrons getting kicked in all directions away from the site of any particular fusion event, then, in an SC environment, ONLY the electrons moving directly toward the cylindrical wall of the rod should be expected to be problematic. The others will each have some angle of motion toward one end of the rod or the other, and all those angles and motions can be averaged out. It is that average which I would consider to be the electric current flowing towards the ends of the rods (being replaced by electrons coming through the surrounding diode material)
Vernon, Nov 24 2008

       Hmm. But if cold fusion is so weak a phenomenon as to be hard to demonstrate, that presumably means that it is far too rare an event to generate useful power? After all, if you can't demonstrate cold fusion by its producing detectable amounts of heat, neutrons, etc...   

       And I'm still not sure why cold fusion is going to generate current here. It seems to me that you can't just go from random thermal motion to directional (or even bidirectional) current within the body of a material. Aside from anything else, you could use such a system to violate plenty of laws (like conservation of angular momentum, if you had a different geometry). Aren't you just going to get a lot of slightly angry electrons?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2008

       [MaxwellBuchanan], perhaps you should read the hypothesis, to see how the electrons get kicked into motion. THIS Idea is all about trying to tame that motion.
Vernon, Nov 24 2008

       I think I follow the hypothesis (the electrons get activated and move around, and the only way they can escape is out the ends of the rod, to be replaced by new ones coming in from the diode material alongside the rod. Have I got this right? Apologies if not.)   

       If that is the case, though, then I still don't think this will work. Otherwise, you could surely do the same thing (to a lesser extent) with a non-superconducting, non-cold-fusing system?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2008

       (fantastic unproven and untestable notion)^2 = a(fishbone)^2
WcW, Nov 24 2008

       [MaxwellBuchanan], right, if the hypothesis is valid, then hordes of electrons can be set in motion in lots of directions anywhere and everywhere within the body of the rod, and the goal here is to restrict their options, so that we obtain useful electricity. Superconductivity is necessary to help prevent some of those motions from cancelling each other out, before the electrons reach the ends of the rod.   

       Also, your alternative offers no means of setting MOSTLY electrons in motion. Ordinary heating would affect all the whole atoms in the rod as well as electrons (inefficient application of energy). The only whole atoms that are directly affected by Cold Fusion would be the helium "waste" product. Of course, in an ordinary room-temperature CF experiment, the energized electrons quickly transmit their heat to the whole atoms because of electrical resistance (and titanium at room temperature is a rather poor conductor, compared to other metals like aluminum). SC is quite necessary here, to make sure the electrons keep their energy.   

       Finally, to the extent that most of the energy released by fusion is carried off by conduction-band electrons in a balanced way (and SuperConductivity might actually aid that! --to be determined), the final thermal energy of those heliums could be reasonably small. After all:
D-->(fuse to He4)<--D
in the above description, Momentum is balanced out. That's actually why the D+D->He4 reaction is so extremely rare in Nature, compared to:
<--n (D->fuse to He4 which splits<-D) He3-->
<--p (D->fuse to He4 which splits<-D) T-->
the typical fusion reactions yield moving objects (a neutron and He3, or a proton and Tritium) that can carry away the energy of the reaction! Meanwhile, the Cold Fusion Hypothesis allows lots of conduction-band electrons to get between the approaching deuteriums, and to be kicked out in all directions, so momentum is balanced and He4 can be the result, hardly moving anywhere (and therefore not qualifying as especially thermally energetic).

       [WcW], in what way is this Idea untestable?
Vernon, Nov 24 2008

       Hmm. I take your point,Vernon, but it still smells fishy. Your electrons have to enter and leave through non- superconducting material (or, more generally, they have to do work) - doesn't this create a back-potential which is going to render the superconductor superfluous?   

       However, I should shut up, since I haven't the physics to support or refute my view. One final question: if cold fusion worked, wouldn't it be as efficient to just use it in the good old-fashioned way, as a heat source? What's the expected efficiency of your device?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2008

       Sign me up. I need the free energy that I can make with a simple titanium rod and power things with, simply, easily, in the comfort of my own home.
WcW, Nov 24 2008

       [MaxwellBuchanan], a diode is basically a one-way device; electricity flows through it one way easily, and the other way with a lot of difficulty. I don't see where you can expect a lot of back-potential, if lots of energized electrons have left the central rod-ends, and all the unbalanced charges on the atoms left behind, inside the rod, are there to attract electrons through the surrounding diode-material.   

       There is no reason why CF, if it works, can't be used as a modest heat source, say for a home water heater or house-heater. But more and more gadgets run on electricity these days, not heat, so the more efficiently electricity can be generated, the better. I don't know what the efficiency of this Idea is likely to be, but ordinary heat-powered electricity-generation methods (including ordinary nuclear-fission power plants) tend to max out at about 50% efficiency. The rest of the heat is just wasted. Here we have a chance to start with non-fossil-fuel nuclear energy released directly as moving electrons, just inviting us to find a way to tame it to usefulness. I think it's worth the doing, just to find out how efficient (or inefficient) it is. Not to mention that others might come up with alternate and better ways to tame it, AFTER learning about the tantalizing prospects in this Idea.   

       [WcW], nice try, but I never said anything about this being "free energy". Liquid helium is expensive, super-cold-anything is dangerous, and monatomic hydrogen is both expensive and dangerous. Those things won't keep well-equipped and well-funded researchers from being able to put this Idea to the Test, however. You indicated that it couldn't be tested, and I'm asking you to explain.
Vernon, Nov 24 2008

       Let me refer you to your own text, p3, where you assert that a rather simple and uncomplicated setup (lets be honest, scale is no factor here) that "should" produce energy. Also, nice "journal".
WcW, Nov 25 2008

       Fusion is something that happens to the nucleus. The electrons are far away, and the photons that do carry away the energy from the energetic nucleus are of the wrong sort to interact with the electrons associated with that particular nucleus.   

       The statement above is wrong. I feel it is wrong. I might prove that it is wrong, but I do not have the necessary mathematical tools which analyse the physics behind fusion and interaction of energy and electrons and stuff like that.   

       Sitting there, drowsing, in the class which taught the physics behind semiconductor devices, I remember the professor droning on, the gist of which, to the best I can remember, is that the behaviour of electrons can be described by mathematical equations, and those equations, when experimentally observed values of fundamental constants are substituted into them, do predict, to considerable accuracy, the behaviour of devices which one can buy at an electronics component shop.   

       In particular, equations describe the behaviour of a silicon diode when it heated up by putting a soldering iron against it.   

       In any Vernon idea, there is an abundance of conjecture, a lot of unobtainium, an excess of impossifacture, to arrive at length at a few percent of improvement over conventional means.   

       Let us have the equations. Describe the process of fusion in mathematics. Derive the process using work functions, barrier potentials, and the shroedingmuffler equations with the correct boundarification conditions and prove that all this works. The onus is on you, to prove that your proposed device is not just unentertaining science fiction.   

       I wish I could help you there, but, I really do not have the necessary mathematical tools.
neelandan, Nov 25 2008

       Let's annotate realistically another elusive equation "CS + SC = DC" in a following manner: Certified Fission + Super Collider = Definitive Current generation, as long as the introduced radioactive fission elements are miniscule though rapidly fired sequentially traversing the path of neutron projectile, thus easily manageable, and the impact zone covered by solar panels around in spherical array. Hahah...   

       Oh, there it is!
rotary, Nov 25 2008

       [WcW], I don't see a description on the third page of the article, of a setup that should produce energy. Instead I see that page mostly describing muon catalyzed fusion and certain things about metals and the conduction band. Be more specific, please. (When a detractor can't even adequately identify data claimed to support the detracting, why should anyone believe the detractor?)   

       [neelandan], see the "some support" link. It's a fact that if you have two equal-sized containers, one holding vacuum and the other full of solid palladium, you can pump more hydrogen into the palladium than you can into the vacuum, at the same pressure. How would you explain that fact?   

       Next, I've read that even for ordinary hydrogen this packing-into-palladium is an "exothermic" or energy-releasing thing. It's not a chemical reaction because palladium has basically the same "electronegativity" as hydrogen (the greater the difference in electronegativities, the more likely a chemical reaction can happen). If it was a "phase change" of the hydrogen, condensing from gas-form to a metal-alloying-form, that could explain the released heat nicely. Deuterium-hydrogen can be expected to do exactly the same thing.   

       Whether or not MORE heat than that can be produced when deuterium is used -- that was a thing I mentioned finding out, in the article. The experiment apparently has been done, producing excess heat that needs to be explained. What is YOUR explanation for it?   

       Finally, remember the math that "proved" a bumblebee could not fly. Fortunately, this is the HalfBakery; I don't have to prove anything here. Nor do I need to prove anything about the published Hypothesis. It is ALLOWED to publish guesses in Science, provided they make a certain amount of sense to the peer-reviewers (and it WAS reviewed by various CF researchers). Publication allows others who have additional facts at their disposal to see if they fit the guess, or don't. Having a guess to work with encourages experiments to be done, to gather additional data that may or may not fit the guess. In mathematics you can have Proofs, but in Science all there is, always, either evidence that supports a guess, or evidence that doesn't. When enough supporting evidence is accumulated, a Hypothesis can graduate to the status of Theory. (Irony: "Creationists" claim that Evolution is "only" a Theory, and they are right! --but Creationism itself only qualifies as a Hypothesis! A very-poorly-supported Hypothesis, too.)
Vernon, Nov 25 2008

       [Vernon] I've always been intrigued by this claim that mathematics "proved" that bumblebees can't fly. Do you have the reference?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2008

       The proof probably was done by the same genre of experts who argued that rockets wouldn't.   

       The best proof, in this case, would be a demonstration.
neelandan, Nov 25 2008

       I think I've put my finger on the problem. You are creating a diode, and relying on electrons to "diffuse" across it in one direction, rather like gas molecules "diffusing" through a non-return valve.   

       However, in the case of a gas, you can't put a one-way valve in the middle of a chamber, and use one-way diffusion to create a vacuum on one side and a pressure on the other. You're almost getting into Maxwell's Demon there, and it doesn't work.   

       I think the same is true of a diode: it can't use "electron diffusion" to create a net flow of electrons.   

       As before, I can't argue this rigorously enough, but I am pretty sure that the problem lies at the diode junction.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2008

       [MaxwellBuchanan], let's take your analogy a little further. Start with a tubular chamber, and extend the ends of the chamber to two turbines. From there feed the exhaust of the turbines back toward the tubular chamber, connecting to it with a one-way valve. Now heat the gas in the chamber. If the expanding gas can turn the turbines in that simple system, then the analogous electrons in this Idea can be tamed similarly (provided the Hypothesis is valid, of course). I'm aware that such a hot-gas system may not be very efficient, but you are indicating that it shouldn't work at all. Well, if we need to add something to it, to make it more closely resemble, say, a known-to-work gas turbine power plant, then logically we could add some operationally equivalent thing to this Idea, right?
Vernon, Nov 25 2008

       Bumble bees can't fly when analysed with flawed fluid dynamic assumptions. Do the calcs properly and viola, flight.   

       So they're not magic. A revelation!
Texticle, Nov 25 2008

       [Texticle], exactly. Which is why folks who dismiss Cold Fusion need to be sure their assumptions are accurate, first. For example, it is a fact that various theorists have speculated that hydrogen can exist in a metallic state. It is even likely that certain experiments have actually produced it (temporarily in very small quantity).   

       Well, for hydrogen to exist as a metal, it must be able to give up an electron (its ONLY electron!) to form one of the hallmark identifiers of any metal: the "electrical-conduction band". We also have a lot of evidence that different metals can be mixed to form "alloys". It is therefore easy to speculate that inside palladium, hydrogen can be an alloying substance, giving up its sole electron to the overall conduction band.   

       Which would nicely eliminate the first assumption of the doubters, that inside palladium, the electron-shells of deuterium-hydrogen MUST EXIST to prevent their nuclei from starting to closely approach each other. Must they, really???
Vernon, Nov 25 2008

       //let's take your analogy a little further.//   

       Your turbine model won't work, except very briefly at the beginning, as far as I can see. But let me make sure I understand the model.   

       If I understand, you're talking about a letter "B", where the vertical part is heated. There are one-way valves at the top and bottom of the vertical stem, and there are turbines in the top-most and bottom-most horizontal parts, yes? So, you heat the gas in the vertical part of the stem, and it expands, and pushes out through the one-way valves and turns the turbines; the gas then continues to flow around the two curves, and re-enters the vertical pipe at the "T" junction in the middle.   

       If I understand your model correctly, it will only work for a brief "puff" as the gas first expands. Gas will never flow from the central "T" junction back into the vertical pipe, because it's going against a pressure gradient. So, after a very short while, the gas will be at uniform pressure throughout the system, there will be no gas movement, and hence no turbine turbination.   

       However, it's quite possible that either (a) I've misunderstood your model or (b) your model isn't a valid analogue of your proposed electrical system.   

       One final point: you mention the fact that electron shells might well break down in a metal/hydrogen solution, thereby removing a barrier to the nuclei fusing. However, as I understand it, it's the positive charge on the nuclei, rather than the negative charge of the electron shells, which prevent fusion; that's why creating a plasma isn't enough for regular fusion.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2008

       you want to know what irritates me about these ideas? It's the assertion that somehow the burden of proof is on the side of the detractors rather than the believers. The stigmata of crankery is the constant reiteration of the "you can't prove the idea wrong" in response to the query "how could this be proved". I have no reason to believe that cold fusion is impossible or that it cannot be harnessed to produce power. On the other hand there seems to be a growing consensus that every previous "example" of cold fusion was either fraudulent or unreproducible. This is a high bar to overcome in future research. I also perceive that C/F is an auxiliary in this idea, a red herring, and that the idea also fails the basic sniff test. An efficient electric thermocouple is the holy grail of material sciences and I doubt that so obvious and simple a design has been overlooked. So easy to try; if you build it and it works you will be instantly wealthy. That smell, rotting fish?
WcW, Nov 25 2008

       [MaxwellBuchanan], only one valve is needed, at the "T" junction. The rest of your description is quite close to what I had in mind, including (although I didn't say it) the idea that the turbines would only turn for a brief time. That's fine, since that is better than not working at all. Also, there is the engine of the WW2 German V1 "buzz bomber", a "pulse-jet", which perhaps could be imitated in terms of heat pulses, instead of a steady heat supply, in the analogy....   

       Next, the analogy breaks down because one feature of the CF+SC system does not exist in the analogy. If you can accept the hypothesis that electrons can get pushed by a single CF event, then it must be recognized that that push qualifies as an "impulse" of pressure. Are you aware that for an ordinary conductor, the electrons move through a wire at a rate measured in millimeters per second?   

       The reason we immediately see electricity arriving at the far end of the wire is because the electrons affect each other through the ElectroMagnetic Force. Imagine a wire as a thin tube full of marbles; push a marble in at one end and another immediately pops out of the far end. That's a mechanical-force event that operates at the speed of sound through the glass of the marbles; the equivalent event involving electrons operates at nearly the speed of light.   

       An impulse that pushes ANY electrons toward the ends of the titanium rod will be an event that cascade-pushes replacement-electrons through the diode and back into the rod, because a complete electric circuit has been specified. Remember that that push through the diode is HELPED --electrons are pulled-- by the positive charges that are left behind, when electrons stream towards the end of the rod. That's the main thing not copied in the gas&tube analogy.   

       In terms of averages, when lots and lots of fusions are pushing electrons inside the rod, we have SuperConductivity to allow them to NOT cancel out each other's motions when this happens at opposite ends of the rod:
Each * represents a fusion that pushes many electrons, although the sketch only portrays one per fusion. If this was a normal model involving gas, we would expect the electrons to collide and lose some of their potentially useful energy. In a superconductor, though, that's not so likely. Quantum Mechanics will allow their momentums to carry through each other like waves --and the motion of each one is **equivalent** to the result of them being acted on by the ordinary ElectroMotive Force (EMF) from a generator or battery. So their non-collision is another way in which the analogy breaks, because our fusion impulses DON'T average-out so neatly. We can expect the impulses to keep on pushing electrons through the diode-material surrounding the central rod.
Vernon, Nov 25 2008

       "(fantastic unproven and untestable notion) — WcW, Nov 24 2008 "   

       [WcW], you are digging yourself deeper into nonsense. I did not ask you to offer any proof that this Idea could not work; I ONLY ASKED YOU TO EXPLAIN HOW IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO TEST, which was part of your original claim (quoted above). Which question you have still avoided answering.
Vernon, Nov 25 2008

       Yo Vernon. Yes, I know electrons move slowly in a wire. Also, I still don't see why you don't just have a closed system which will work for a microsecond or two and then equilibrate to a standstill.   

       But, I guess I'll leave it here - I'm out of my envelope. I'm pretty sure it won't work, but the proof will be in building one. Either it'll work or it won't. I don't think it will, but I'd love it if it did, so best of luck. It should be cheap enough to build a prototype.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2008

       Impossible to test, until you have a working C/F reactor........ waiting.........waiting...... waiting......
WcW, Nov 25 2008

       [WcW], I found a link just for you. And, actually, this Idea does not require a working CF reactor. The Idea assumes that IF the specified Hypothesis is valid, then if the described device is built, CF should occur within it. THAT should qualify as "putting it to the test", right? Which ought to invalidate your claim the thing is untestable. Sure, it could fail to work if CF doesn't happen, and it could fail to work if the problem posed by [MaxwellBuchanan] is significant, but neither of those things have anything to do with being able --or unable-- to TEST this Idea.
Vernon, Nov 25 2008

       First, prove that the moon exists. <linky>   

       Then, just for fun, prove that the invisible pink unicorn exists. <linkyy>   

       OK. THAT should put you in the right frame of mind to prove that Cold Fusion takes place and that this sort of CFSCDC does really work.
neelandan, Nov 26 2008

       we already know how i feel about the New Energy "journal".
WcW, Nov 26 2008

       [WcW], so? I admit that publisher can be overzealous, but that particular group of experiments has also been published elsewhere. I'll add some more links, just to show how stupid this prejudice against CF can be. Especially since at the "big" journals, all you get for free is an abstract, not the main body of descriptions of the experiment. Which means you might as well read the "New Energy" article.
Vernon, Nov 26 2008

       Everybody is stupid, except those who believe in Cold Fusion.
neelandan, Nov 26 2008

       As far as I know cold fusion can start a fusion can occur probabalistically, but is only relevant to start hot fusion.   

       Its all about the fact that the main temperature of the gas body is below the energy level required, but this is only the average energy. As it is an average some particles will be below the average energy and some above. Cold fusion occurs when 2 particles above the energy level colide. The cold fusion can only be sustained if the energy released is used to excite other particles to higher energies.   

       At 1/3K the probability of a particle pair having enough energy is almost 0.   

       Am I far off?
miasere, Nov 26 2008

       [neelandan], no, it is prejudice, a pre-judgement of something, based on unsupported assumptions, that is stupid. Perhaps you should look up the history of Science trying to explain the energy-output of the Sun, after the Law of Conservation of Energy was established, and before E=mc² was discovered (late 1800s time frame). Creationists had a field day, since nothing worked, to explain sunshine for as long as the time that geologists had discovered about the age of the Earth.   

       Does Science know everything yet? Certainly it doesn't seem to know how to deal with petty squabbles about whether or not some experimental apparattus can generate more heat than is explainable by conventional means. TO THE EXTENT THAT EVEN ONE REPETITION OF SUCH AN EXPERIMENT DID THAT, Science has the Duty to start looking for an explanation for that excess heat. Sure, one repetition might involve experimental error, just like the original experiment might involve experimental error. But hundreds of repetitions by many researchers have now been reported over the years.   

       How many repetitions of any controversial experiment SHOULD it take, before the conventional/mainstream opposition deserves the label of "prejudiced"? (That's a serious question, [neelandan] and [WcW].)   

       Part of the problem has been the lack of a decent guess/explanation. Just because there hasn't been one, though, that doesn't mean the experimental results must be ignored. And now, perhaps, there is a decent explanation. More experiments are necessary, of course. This Idea would directly test the primary hypothesis that fusion is the explanation for the excess heat, and the secondary hypothesis that CF directly acts upon conduction-band electrons. What's wrong with that?   

       [miasere], ordinarily, what you describe first requires the electrons of atoms to be stripped away from the atoms. Only then can there be any possibility that two nuclei might probabilistically acquire enough energy to overcome the Coulomb barrier (their mutual electrostatic repulsion) and fuse.   

       In the case of "Cold Fusion", no mechanism is yet widely accepted, to separate hydrogen nuclei from their orbiting electrons. Also, far too much heat is released, for explanation in terms of ONLY thermal-energy probabilities. That is, some additional mechanism must exist to reduce the Coulomb barrier, to allow enough fusions to occur to explain the observed heat -- and there is no widely accepted explanation for that barrier-reduction, either. On the other hand, should there actually exist a mechanism to lower the Coulomb barrier, the question of "how low can it go?" will be directly related to whether or not Cold Fusion is probable at 1/3 of a Kelvin degree. Per the Hypothesis that was published, though, CF seems entirely possible even then. Hydrogen nuclei will have "zero-point motion" even at Absolute Zero, and this suffices for any two of them to begin a collision course.
Vernon, Nov 26 2008

       //And now, perhaps, there is a decent explanation//   

       Fraud, perhaps?
neelandan, Nov 26 2008

       An impartial question from someone who hasn't followed cold fusion (but who would love it to be true). What about neutrons? My understanding was that the expected neutrons have never been detected reliably, aside from arguments over heat. Given that there are more ways to make heat than neutrons, wouldn't they be the key signature for fusion?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 26 2008

       [neelandan], you are grasping at straws. Fraud requires secrecy, and too many researchers are involved, and have been involved for too many years, for such a secret to have remained secret.   

       [MaxwellBuchanan], a neutron is only produced from D+D fusion when the result of that fusion also includes He3. What if the fusion didn't have that result? Then no neutron would be loosed to be detectable. Heh, look again at the Hypothesis, "Part 7, The Controversy" and read the second paragraph.
Vernon, Nov 26 2008

       Hmm - fair enough. I do hope cold fusion works, and I think there's a small chance it might, but at the moment I'm not convinced. Still, this wasn't really a discussion about whether cold fusion exists, so I won't labour the point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 26 2008

       Ah, the delicous irony of it.   

       Whilst I think this idea is probably one of the better contenders around here for a BAD SCIENCE tag, it's certainly not bad science for the reason you offer.   

       //But surely if titanium can absorb hydrogen, it absorbs diatomic hydrogen. It certainly cannot absorb monatomic hydrogen// - What's Shirley got to do with this?   

       I mean, we somehow ignore the whole cold fusion fallacy thing and go and attack the idea based on supposition? Are ye daft?   

       Although I must say, I just had a look up there ^^, at the links. Vernon's latest one reads //Zero-point energy causes zero-point motion, and so helium is a liquid even at Absolute Zero, and monatomic hydrogen would still be a gas// . Gawd. That's some interesting logic tight there.
Custardguts, Nov 27 2008

apnea, Nov 27 2008

       Awww, c'mon guys. The science here may be wrong, but it's not that bad compared to a lot of stuff, and I think it's driven an interesting discussion at the very least. I think there are several errors in the plan, but it's been fun and I think it should stay.   

       Incidentally, the debate about monatomic vs diatomic hydrogen may be a red herring. When hydrogen is absorbed by a metal, I thought it went into solid solution as dispersed atoms (like any other alloy). If this is true, then there's no point in using monatomic hydrogen, but equally it would behave the same as molecular hydrogen. Or I could be talking bollocks, of course.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 27 2008

       A way to generate DC using CF inside SC:   

       First, get a strand of hair from the tail of a unicorn. It is silvery and glows in the dark. Remove the pith from the inside of a birch rod and make it supple by boiling it at midnight inside a pewter cauldron in oil of moore's law for two fool moons. Place the hair inside and pack it in with the barbs from the tail feather of the phoenix.   

       This assembly, if made with the proper incantations from physical textbook by a master who really understands what he is incanting, will be a super conductor at room temperature. For our purpose this can be taken to be 300 degrees Kelvin or thereabouts.   

       Now attach two super conductors to the ends of this rod, and wave it and say -- those words which are best left unsaid, and current will flow.   

       Since I do not have access to many of the materials needed, I have to be content to post this idea as an annotation and let history decide whether the whole thing is utter bollocks.   

       The other thing was at least entertaining.
neelandan, Nov 28 2008

       Unicorns exist
Voice, Nov 28 2008

       [apnea], your claim of "bad science" does not meet HB requirements for that. Example, to claim the Moon is made of green cheese is Bad Science, because we KNOW otherwise. We do not KNOW that Cold Fusion is impossible. At the HalfBakery, Bad Science has to be a direct contradiction of Known Facts.   

       We DO know that a lone hydrogen atom must be about half the size of a regular diatomic hydrogen molecule, and therefore we can be reasonably sure that anything permeable by diatomic hydrogen will be even more permeable by monatomic hydrogen. YOU have presented no rationale for your statement that titanium can't absorb monatomic hydrogen. Not to mention that a key part of the Hypothesis is that inside certain metals, ordinary diatomic hydrogen will dissociate, anyway, with even the electrons leaving their orbits around the protons. I have not confused the two types of hydrogen at all, and actually expect monatomic hydrogen to come apart even more easily than the ordinary molecule, inside titanium (because none of the energy normally released as diatomic hydrogen dissolves in the metal need be applied to breaking the H-H chemical bond). ALSO, you completely ignored my quite-specific statement that, regarding adsorption, "I will assume that that can be mitigated somehow", and mentioned the possibility that a small-enough area of exposed titanium might do it.   

       Also, no posting here is required to be humorous.   

       [Custardguts], if you read the "Monatomic Hydrogen" link, you will see it also states that at Absolute Zero it will be gaseous. My comment was merely the standard explanation for it, although I did not happen to provide a more-complete version of that explanation. Therefore:   

       It happens that even at Absolute Zero, where you might THINK that something has exactly zero energy, the Uncertainty Principle. requires the energy of it (and anything else) to be Uncertain. That requirement is the foundation for "Zero Point Energy" --and obviously if a molecule actually has some Uncertain non-zero quantity of energy (typically KINETIC energy), it also has some small amount of motion. For helium, this motion is enough to keep it liquid even at Absolute Zero. For monatomic hydrogen, which has 1/4 the mass of helium, Zero Point Energy lets it move rather faster than a helium atom, and that motion is enough for it to be a gas. OK?   

       [neelandan], are you having fun yet? I see you have so far failed to answer my simple question: How many repetitions of any controversial experiment SHOULD it take, before the conventional/mainstream opposition deserves the label of "prejudiced"?
Vernon, Nov 28 2008

       [UB] hydrogen certainly goes into several metals - that's not an issue. However, as I noted above, I think the hydrogen dissolved in the metal is probably present as a dispersal of single atoms (ie, just like most metal-metal solutions), so the monoatomic/diatomic debate is probably irrelevant.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 28 2008

apnea, Nov 28 2008

       [UnaBubba], you have it backward. While the proton has 1836 times the mass of an electron, the volume of space a loose proton typically occupies is 1/1836 of the diameter of the volume of space typically occupied by a loose electron. Per E=mc² the proton is associated with more energy than an electron, and per E=hv (Planck's Constant multiplied by frequency), things with higher energy are associated with higher frequencies and smaller wavelengths/sizes (example, ultraviolet light has more energy and higher frequency and shorter wavelength than infrared light). And per the wave-particle duality, those facts apply to particles as well as to waves. Your argument doesn't work.   

       [apnea], I'm preparing to tie that Hypothesis article to the Wikipedia article on Cold Fusion. One last nitpicky copyright-related thing is awaiting resolution under the WikiMedia umbrella, before I do that. Then anyone who reads the Wikipedia article will have a chance to encounter the Hypothesis, and no doubt as time passes a number of readers will be Phd physicists.   

       The Hypothesis article mentions at least four things that might be studied by those physicists. One of them is to see if "muon catalyzed fusion" (Real Science, that) can ever cause the D+D->He4 reaction, such that only the helium4 and the muon carry away all the reaction energy. If so, this increases the chance that many physicists' main objection to Cold Fusion (almost no radioactive reaction products) can be answered by the D+D->He4 reaction, which yields no radioactive reaction products. Of course something besides muons would have to carry away the reaction energy inside some metal's electrical conduction band, but inside any decent-sized solid chunk of metal, there are plenty of electrons (practically identical to muons in physical properties, except for mass and lifespan) available to do that.   

       I'll be willing to delete this Idea sometime after I find out that Actual Facts have been gathered that make this Idea impossible. But I'm in no hurry. If you think this should be deleted sooner than later, then simply encourage any nuclear-chemistry physicists you know, who happen to have relevant testing equipment, to seek such Facts. I might mention that I started studying nuclear chemistry more than 35 years ago, when I was in high school, but have never had any relevant equipment to play with.
Vernon, Nov 29 2008

       my trust in the wiki has just fallen a notch. It may, however, be a hotter forge than the halfbakery and i wouldn't be too confident that your idea will survive the light of public consensus.
WcW, Nov 29 2008

       The wiki is a site any damn fool can edit. The internet is no substitute for education.   

       It is a place where the educated go to have fun.   

       Like picking apart the rantings of misguided inventors proposing devices which do not work.
neelandan, Nov 30 2008

       [WcW] and [neelandan], public consensus can't change physical facts. Cold Fusion either exists or it doesn't; mere opinions on the subject are inadequate, all by themselves, for influencing Nature. Also, WikiPedia requires verifiable sources for its articles (verifiable in the sense that everything in an article must have first been published elsewhere).   

       The Hypothesis mentioned here meets that criterion. It is also more factual than speculative. Its main guess is simply that hydrogen completely dissociates when permeating a metal like palladium or titanium, leaving bare nuclei free to randomly approach each other. Almost everything else logically follows (mere opinions can't affect logic, either).   

       One thing NOT in the Hypothesis, which could have been useful, is a short discussion regarding the fact that a muon, after catalyzing a fusion reaction between two deuterons, can shoot away from the scene, and is available to catalyze another fusion. See, the muon starts by replacing a deuterium atom's electron; as a loose particle it can can pass through the electron shell of the atom, and find itself electrically attracted to the nucleus. When it goes into orbit, the original orbiting electron is now shielded from the nucleus by the "shell" of the orbiting muon, and so it can fly free.   

       Next, the Hypothesis notes that because the muon is 206 times the mass of the electron, it orbits 206 times closer. This means that the Force of Electrostatic Attraction between the muon and the lone proton in the deuterium nucleus is 206*206 (=42436) times the original attraction between that proton and the original electron.   

       Next, when the catalyzed fusion reaction occurs, now there are TWO protons attracting that muon, so the electrostatic attraction is doubled, to 84872 times the original attraction between one proton and one electron.   

       Yet the muon can shoot away from the fusion reaction with a considerable amount of energy, in spite of that quite large attractive force trying to keep it in the vicinity of the two protons! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?   

       WHATEVER the mechanism is that did that, then since we know that electrons have practically the same physical behavior-properties as muons (except for having less mass and lasting longer), it is perfectly reasonable that that mechanism can also operate on conduction-band electrons which the two protons can also attract, when inside a metal. The Hypothesis makes a stab at guessing what the mechanism is, but in the sense described here, the details shouldn't matter at all! We should EXPECT electrons to be able to shoot away from the site of a fusion reaction, if that reaction takes place in a metal's conduction band, because (A) they are extremely numerous, (B) they are attracted to protons, and (C) their ability to interact with other particles is practically identical to that of muons. And (D), if they are not actually orbiting the deuterons (primary Guess of the Hypothesis), then they can approach the dueterons just as closely as can a muon (and even closer, actually, since a catalyzing muon IS orbiting one of the deuterons). Like I already said, the rest simply and straightforwardly logically follows.   

       Go ahead! If you think that reasoning is flawed, feel free to point out the flaw!
Vernon, Nov 30 2008

       Somehow, this reminds me of a scene from "The Great Dictator":   

       Hinkle says a few words.   

       His secretary goes "tap tap tappetty tapetty tap tap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty taptap tap tappetty tapetty tap" for some two pages.
neelandan, Nov 30 2008

       So, is this invention primarily about the theory behind cold fusion, or about a way to use cold fusion if it exists?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 30 2008

       [UnaBubba], I chose titanium in this Idea (and in another CF Idea posted somewhere around here) simply because (A) it is a LOT less expensive than palladium and (B) I had once read somewhere that experiments had been done using titanium and hydrogen, that produced some unexplained heat. I can't now recall where I read that, though. A Google search for this word group: [hydrogen titanium "cold fusion"] (not including the brackets) yields "about 6870" results. At least one of the results on the first page links to a description of an attempt to pressurize deuterium gas into titanium, and seek any neutrons that CF might produce. I can only see the abstract, so don't know if an unusual amount of heat was detected in the experiment (no neutrons were detected, which doesn't bother me a bit).   

       The description you wrote about appears to be about using electrolysis? It is possible that without pressurized assistance, not enough deuterium will EVER by itself permeate titanium. For palladium, it appears that at least 80% as many deuterium atoms need to be loaded into the metal, as there are atoms of metal, before CF starts to be notice-able. That is, a deuterium:palladium ratio of 0.8:1 or better is required. If that is a GENERAL requirement for loading hydrogen into a metal's conduction band, then the data you presented for titanium would imply that the deuterium would need a significant amount of pressurization/assistance.   

       If we are stuck with using palladium, then this Idea can't work (Pd doesn't become a superconductor). On the other hand, a Google search for [hydrogen absorption metal] yields "about 337,000" results. Perhaps there IS a suitable superconductor out there, waiting to be used in this Idea!   

       [Maxwell Buchanan], this invention would in theory allow fusion energy to be accessed as electrical energy more efficiently than by using the usual method of making lots of heat and extracting energy as it flows toward a heat-sink. ALSO, however, if any electricity at all is produced, then just about the only possible explanation for it would be CF in accordance with the published Hypothesis. And electricity is a lot easier to measure accurately than heat...so, [UnaBubba], in answer to your Question, "I don't know." I'm reasonably sure that if CF happens at all, then the amount that happens will be rather directly related to the size of the metal-rod "core" of the device, and how much deuterium has been loaded into it. The bigger the rod and the more deuterium, the better the electrical output should be, right? But we COULD start off small, partly to save experimentation funding, and partly because of the expected sensitivity of this Idea, for detecting whether or not any CF happens.
Vernon, Dec 01 2008

       [lurch], that's a quite reasonable objection. My own biggest concern was related to the Table of Electronegativities, with titanium having a value of 1.5. This is different enough from hydrogen that an actual chemical reaction could be possible. Not desirable at all, if we want deuterium-hydrogen to "alloy" with the metal!   

       Embrittlement is not an issue where the metal is not subjected to a mechanical stress like tension --true in this Idea-- so I can in theory say "so what?" if some hydrogen/metal alloy happens to be brittle. We just want it to be able to superconduct, and to hold enough deuterium for CF to occur..... :)   

       One oddball possibility is the hydrogen-palladium alloy. Palladium itself can't superconduct, but can the alloy? There are expectations that pure metallic hydrogen can superconduct, and even do that near room temperature!
Vernon, Dec 01 2008

       [lurch], the re-edit is fine. I would be interested in knowing how you know that hydrogen absorption by a metal always (or almost always) involves dissociation/alloying. If that means the primary Guess in the published Hypothesis is not a Guess, after all, then per my first Nov 30 anno here, I'd say that CF is practically guaranteed-possible, if enough deuterium can become alloyed with the metal.   

       Some of what you wrote appears to be conflicting with some of the other stuff you wrote. Remember that hydrogen is normally a solid at the temperature where titanium becomes a superconductor. That's why I talked about monatomic deuterium, so that as a gas it would have a means of flowing into the metal. It should still flow even if pressurized to the liquid state, although I'm not sure if the gas would stay monatomic if we had to pressurize/liquefy it! Anyway, INSIDE the metal, if dissociation occurs, then bare nuclei should have no trouble continuing to move throughout the conduction band and the body of the metal. I'd like to know what basis you have for assuming that if the deuterons find a way to escape the metal and to reassociate, the result would not be solid diatomic molecules at that temperature? Some special effort went into making them originally monatomic, after all, and that effort is not present when reassociation occurs.   

       Of course, that doesn't at all change the internal-pressure problem you raised!--but mightn't that pressure provide a rationale for the hydrogen to flow back into the metal? It could be that except for the small exposed area where we want to force hydrogen into the metal core of the device described in this Idea, we would want the OTHER stuff surrounding the core (diode material and carry-power-away conductors) to be able to resist absorbing hyrogen, and to also apply some compressive force, to help prevent the core rod from suffering as you have described.
Vernon, Dec 01 2008

       Last night it occurred to me that if super-cold palladium can become a superconductor after absorbing a bunch of hydrogen, then that would pretty much prove that the hydrogen has alloyed itself with the metal. If it DIDN'T become a superconductor, that wouldn't necessarily prove anything about how the hydrogen became absorbed (a supercold palladium/hydrogen alloy simply might not be a superconductor), but if it did superconduct....
Vernon, Dec 02 2008

       Wouldn't It Be Nice If ...   

       ... Titanium absorbed Hydrogen?
... Palladium with absorbed Hydrogen was a super conductor?
... Fusion of hydrogen into helium took place below 1 Kelvin?
... A junction between two pure metals exhibited rectifying behaviour?
... Subatomic particles behaved like billiard balls?
... All this made an iota of sense?

       Alas! We can only hope.
neelandan, Dec 03 2008

       not hope; wish or imagine. hope has no place in so extreme a speculation.
WcW, Dec 03 2008

       [neelandan], if you are going out of your way to try to make nonsense out of sense, you could at least not lie about it. A lot! I did not say anything about the diode material being a junction between two pure metals, nor did I say anything to imply that subatomic particles behaved like billiard balls. Also, titanium DOES absorb hydrogen; there's no WIBNI about that. Also, muon catalyzed fusion will work fine below 1 degree Kelvin, so, IF electron catalysis can happen at all, what basis do you have for assuming it is wishful thinking, that it could happen below 1 degree Kelvin?   

       I'd like to see you and [lurch] discussing hydrogen dissociation as it permeates a metal. Keep in mind that some metals are more impermeable than others, MOSTLY because they have a thin and tough oxide coating at their surfaces. Palladium likely doesn't (a fairly unreactive metal), but titanium's tough coating is famous (gives that metal better corrosion resistance than stainless steel --and the resistance of SS is due to its own oxide coating). I suspect quite a few metals become rather more permeable by hydrogen after the oxide coating is removed.   

       I fully agree that it WBNI hydrogen-saturated palladium could be a superconductor (at very low temperature is just fine), but that happens to be a fairly easy experiment to do (for any appropriately-equipped lab). Do you have some reason to object to that experiment being done?   

       Finally, I see that neither you nor [WcW] have yet shown the courage to answer a simple Question: How many repetitions of any controversial experiment SHOULD it take, before the conventional/mainstream opposition deserves the label of "prejudiced"?   

       Worse, [WcW] appears to be ignoring repeatable-CF evidence that was published in reputable places. How can that be anything other than an exhibition of prejudice?
Vernon, Dec 03 2008

       this is crankery.
WcW, Dec 03 2008

       [WcW], the HalfBakery is for wild ideas. If you can't accept that, then what are you doing here?
Vernon, Dec 03 2008

WcW, Dec 03 2008

       [UnaBubba]: (1) It is possible that titanium is not the best choice of metal for this Idea. But certainly we need a better option than expensive pure palladium for absorbing hydrogen (pehaps some alloy of mixed large and small atoms, like lead and copper, would have spaces between the atoms suitable for hydrogen permeation). Of course we still want a superconducting alloy; I don't know if lead/copper qualifies (or if lead/copper/hydrogen qualifies).   

       (2) Even for titanium, the rate of absorption does not have to be large, so long as it eventually absorbs ENOUGH hydrogen. One could imagine preparing core-rods at room temperature that are preliminarily soaked with deuterium to say 75% of the final value, and then cooled down before feeding the last amount of deuterium into the metal. That should make the overall process faster, but in one sense "faster" isn't terribly necssary (see below).   

       (3) Why is it a "concern", that electron flow is enhanced by supercooling? In this Idea, that is a GOOD thing!   

       (4) I take this to mean you haven't read the Hypothesis. Perhaps you never heard of "muon catalyzed fusion" either? I'll add a link, but note that muon catalysis was discovered in the 1950s and it works just fine in liquid hydrogen (about 20 degrees Kelvin above Absolute Zero). The Hypothesis basically proposes an "electron catalyzed fusion" mechanism, so the energy problem you mention, in causing fusion, is not really a problem; the fundamental advantage of any catalysis process is that energy requirements can be greatly reduced. Another thing about the Hypothesis is that it purports to allow a D+D->He4 reaction, which yields something like 16MeV, instead of the rough 50/50-probability D+D->He3+n or D+D->H3+p reactions that yield the 3.5 MeV that you mentioned. (Normally He4 is NOT produced by D+D fusion, because nothing exists to carry away that large energy yield. In a metal's conduction band, though, plenty of electrons exist that can become involved, to carry away energy.) Do remember that many detractors of Cold Fusion say that it can't happen because no neutrons are detected. Well, if the actual reaction is different from what they expect, fewer reactions could produce the observed heat, and no neutrons are released to be detected!   

       (5) It takes several kilograms of uranium or plutonium to make a blinding flash. NO CF experiment has ever used an equivalent (in terms of possible energy production) amount of deuterium. And when diluted, even many dozens of kilograms of U or Pu can exist in a container without making a blinding flash (we get useful nuclear power that way). ALL CF experiments have been using diluted deuterium. Why are you concerned, therefore?
Vernon, Dec 04 2008

       //But certainly we need a better option than expensive pure palladium// Ah, this is a little like saying that we need a cheaper alternative to silver bullets to kill vampires. It's not the cost of the bullets that in question.   

       Palladium is, what, a couple of hundred dollars an ounce? That is not a relevant factor, under the circumstances.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 04 2008

       [MaxwellBuchanan], OK, yes, only a small amount of palladium is needed to do CF experimets. However, should some experiment ever convince Orthodox Science, then right after that time there will be a major search for ways to do CF on a large scale --and palladium IS far too expensive for that purpose.   

       For this Idea, if we want to make lots and lots of electricity, then we need a core rod that is more large than small --and I initially assumed that palladium couldn't work here, at all.
Vernon, Dec 04 2008

       // On the other hand, part of the reason CF is controversial is because to whatever extent it MAY happen, it just hasn't been blatant enough to convince doubters. That means PERHAPS the rate of fusions in this Idea will be low enough that superconductivity can be maintained. It probably depends strongly on the dimensions of the rod. //   

       This reminds me of the following theory about Bigfoot: Bigfoot is a species of ape that, due to its large size and hairiness, cannot spend much time moving around because it would overheat. Therefore, it is largely sedentary. Therefore, we can expect that there will not be many sightings of it. Therefore, there is no reason to doubt that it is real.
notexactly, Jun 13 2015

       This reminds me that a standard axe can be swung different ways to use all of the head profiles. When cutting down a tree, each profile needs different amounts of energy to complete the task. In theory, flipping the handle counts as catalytic conversion.
wjt, Jun 14 2015

       (I'm a bit late to the party...)
For fusion to occur, I would expect that the protons/deuterons would need to move, but in the metal matrix, won't they be fixed in place?
Cooling things down to near absolute zero takes a shitload (that's the technical term) of energy. If fusion occurs, there will be heat generated, which will also need to be "dealt with" by the cooling system. So even reaching "break even" will need a huge amount of energy to be generated.
Hydrogen-doped Palladium is a superconducter, critical temp around 9K. Deuterium-doped Palladium is even better, superconduction critical temp of maybe 17K! (See linky)
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 14 2015

       My understanding is that the fuel is free to move around in the rod somewhat, like water does in a sponge.
notexactly, Jun 15 2015


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