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Desktop Fusion? February 13, 2006

Posted by nukemhill in Math/Science.

Got this from Slashdot:

NY team confirms UCLA tabletop fusion

Color me skeptical. There’ve been so many ‘breakthroughs’ in this area since the original Cold Fusion fiasco in … 1988? Lessee. I moved from San Diego to Pacific Grove in September of ’89, just before the Loma Prieta quake. I remember living in La Jolla when the CF claims were first made, so it had to have been after Spring of ’88. Somewhere in that time frame.

Anyway. Not to get too far off tangent here. I could just google it, after all. If I really cared….

Here are some quotes:

The device, which uses two opposing crystals to generate a powerful electric field, could potentially lead to a portable, battery-operated neutron generator for a variety of applications, from non-destructive testing to detecting explosives and scanning luggage at airports. The new results are described in the Feb. 10 issue of Physical Review Letters.


The device is essentially a tabletop particle accelerator. At its heart are two opposing “pyroelectric” crystals that create a strong electric field when heated or cooled. The device is filled with deuterium gas — a more massive cousin of hydrogen with an extra neutron in its nucleus. The electric field rips electrons from the gas, creating deuterium ions and accelerating them into a deuterium target on one of the crystals. When the particles smash into the target, neutrons are emitted, which is the telltale sign that nuclear fusion has occurred, according to Danon.

All I know is, until they can sell me an off-the-shelf battery that will power my laptop for 20 years without a) killing me, and b) having to recharge, I’m just not gonna believe it.

Worth paying attention to, though.



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