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    The Facts (and Myths) Behind Cold Fusion
    Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2007 @ 23:26:53 GMT by vlad

    Science article by Neuronatrix (OmniNerd.com) on 12 October 2007, tagged as chemistry, cold fusion, and fusion

    What if there existed a cheap, never-ending supply of energy that produced no nuclear or environmental waste? Sound too good to be true? If the theories behind cold fusion were made feasible, it may not be just a dream. But fusion reactions at room temperature have been plagued by experimental problems, lack of reproducibility, and flat out lies. Therefore, the field and its proponents have been looked upon with skepticism, or even as quacks. Yet, the scientific community has demonstrated repeatedly its keen interest in this pie-in-the-sky phenomenon.

    Nuclear Reactions

    Nuclear fusion is the process by which several separate nuclei 'fuse' together to form one heavier nucleus - the byproduct of this reaction being either the release or absorption of energy. The factor that dictates whether energy is absorbed or released is the binding energy of the molecule's nucleus (i.e., the energy required to split the molecule apart). Hence, the higher the binding energy, the more stable the molecule and the more difficult it is to disrupt it through fusion or fission. Nickel and iron have the highest binding energy of the elements, and are the most stable; this is also the reason iron and nickel are quite common in planetary cores, since they are produced profusely in supernovas. Fusion produces energy by combining very light elements into more tightly-bound elements, such as hydrogen into helium, while fission produces energy by splitting very heavy elements, such as uranium and plutonium, into tightly-bound elements.


    More: http://www.omninerd.com/articles/The_Facts_and_Myths_Behind_Cold_Fusion



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