Fusion alternative to fossil fuels
Date: Sunday, June 06, 2004 @ 21:45:24 GMT
In the Independent.co.uk Professor BRIAN JOSEPHSON writes:
Sir: In regard to the letter of Jon Summers (1 June), nuclear fusion already works: the way to make it work was demonstrated 15 years ago by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann but an inadequate, poorly analysed experiment by rival workers specialising in high-temperature fusion led to the scientific community concluding that "cold fusion" was a delusion, and to the suppression of such investigations.
Research continued in some laboratories nevertheless, and on a recent visit to the US I visited one, witnessing an apparently well-designed experiment where the heat energy output was some 40 per cent in excess of the energy put into the system. Total energy excess amounted to 48 kilojoules per cubic centimetre of electrode, an amount significantly greater than can be accounted for by any of the non-fusion mechanisms suggested by the sceptics.
It should be feasible, according to Dr Mitchell Swartz of JET Energy Technology, the scientist in charge of the experiment, to scale up this process to provide a source of energy on a large scale that does not generate greenhouse gases and is radiation free. In frustrating such a development, the scientists who denounced the original cold fusion research appear to have done mankind a grave disservice.
Professor BRIAN JOSEPHSON
Department of Physics
University of Cambridge