Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Cold Fusion
Name: N/A
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
What exactly is cold fusion? Is it just a theoretical thing that could never happen?



Replies:
No, it is the theories that say it Cannot happen. Well, all the reputable theories anyway. There is a technique for room temperature fusion, called muon-catalyzed fusion, that is perfectly reputable (using a muon, or heavy electron, two hydrogen nuclei can be made to fuse much faster than they ordinarily would). The ruccus concerns a poorly done electro-chemistry/calorimetry experiment in which the perpetrators claimed to have seen a lot of excess heat that they attributed to room temperature fusion going on inside a palladium electrode. This was back in 1989 or so, and they still have not been convincingly disproven, probably because science does not have good mechanisms for disproving determined people...

Arthur Smith



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory