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nuclear cold fusion

Redux Extra October 10, 2021
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bridging the Gaps: An Anthology on Nuclear Cold Fusion

by Randolph R Davis

A small team of scientists and engineers in Northern Virginia have created information for Bridging the Gaps, a novel program to develop green, non-polluting energy and enable local communities to become independent of the power grid, significantly reduce their cost for electricity, and supply power for modern electric automobiles.  “Bridging the Gaps: An Anthology on Nuclear Cold Fusion,” describes a path that can be taken by advanced research and development (R&D) companies to develop cold fusion power generators as a solution to the world’s climate crisis.  It tackles energy production without carbon pollution as one of the most important issues now facing mankind.

This book is critically important at this time as severe storms are increasing in number and intensity due to global warming. The key finding of the latest scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis,” (August 9, 2021) is that this immediate threat is widespread, rapid and intensifying. The IPCC is the United Nation’s body for assessing the science related to climate change.  The IPCC report describes changes in the earth’s climate in every region of the earth and across the whole climate system.  Many changes are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds-of-thousands of years. Some, such as continued sea-level rise, are irreversible over hundreds-to-thousands of years. The report points to the need for strong and sustained reductions in emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to limit climate change.

Columnist Eugene Robinson writes in, “Opinion: The U.N.’s Dire Climate Report Confirms: We’re Out of Time,” (The Washington Post, August 9, 2021): “We’re out of time. It’s as simple as that. … If the world immediately takes bold, coordinated action to curb climate change, we face a future of punishing heat waves, deadly wildfires and devastating floods – and that’s the optimistic scenario, according to an alarming new U.N. report.  If, on the other hand, we continue down the road of half-measures and denial that we’ve been stuck on since scientists first raised the alarm, the hellscape we leave to our grandchildren will be unrecognizable.”

Bridging the Gaps is concerned with a promising technology solution to the climate crisis – the infamous science of “cold fusion” first discussed in 1989 by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons at the University of Utah, and in related work by Stephen Jones at Brigham Young University.

The criticism surrounding cold fusion in the first few years after that announcement in 1989 largely debunked this area of science and technology in the eyes of many scientists and laypersons alike.  What was not foreseen at the time, however, was that, instead of just simply ending up in the annals of scientific history, cold fusion would continue to be studied worldwide by professional and amateur scientists over the next 30 years, and to the present time.  During this time, scientists have verified that fusion-type nuclear reactions can be made to occur without the need to use a high voltage or million-degree temperatures required for hot fusion.

Nuclear fusion is a process in which atomic nuclei join, or fuse, to form a product nucleus.  Because the small nuclei are positively charged, they repel each other, and only nuclei that move quickly enough with high kinetic energy actually fuse.  Energy is produced due to the difference in mass of the product nucleus (or nuclei) and the mass of the initial nuclei.  The missing mass is converted to energy.  In hot fusion, high-speed nuclei are created through particle accelerators or heating nuclei to extremely high temperatures.  In cold fusion, conditions for the reaction cause fusion at a much lower temperature than previously thought possible.

Laboratories of the US Navy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and private industry have demonstrated this technology should now be given more serious attention.  Their scientists have determined in the process of performing cold fusion experiments that more energy can be produced per reaction than is possible with chemical reactions.  They have importantly shown that a product of the cold fusion reactions, helium, can be created in the laboratory in quantities that correspond to excess heat developed in the experiments.  In addition, scientists have observed that various types of new products can be formed, possibly the result of nuclear fusion, nuclear fission, nuclear transmutation, or a combination of these three types of reactions. 

These advancements in this new area of technology have been possible through the application of accurate scientific instrumentation and measurement methods and the ability to discuss results easily with the international scientific community.  Many technical reports describing this progress are available in technical journals and on websites where cold fusion is discussed.  Annual international conferences and other research meetings to discuss cold fusion have been held over the last 30 years.

Bridging the Gaps is written in easily readable scientific language that can be understood by first year college physics and engineering students, by environmentalists and ecologists on the cutting edge of science, and local and federal government agency personnel responsible for solving the climate crisis.  It also identifies areas for continued research, providing a launching pad for managers and scientists in research and development to take the next steps in advancing nuclear cold fusion technology. Commercial cold fusion systems may be the only realistic technical solution to the climate crisis since nuclear power plants are very expensive to build and operate.  Nuclear power plants are also not acceptable due to radioactive pollution they produce.  Hot fusion cannot be seriously considered as a solution to climate change since it is many decades from being commercialized.

Due to the climate threat, agencies of federal and state governments now need to be called upon to support cold fusion systems development, especially those that are large power users and those with an R&D mission for energy development.  Public-private partnerships are also needed.  These joint efforts will produce a united community of scientists, engineers and administrators who are able to realize the benefits of this important new technology for all of humanity.


About the author

Randolph R. Davis is a scientist who worked for 40 years in the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Energy on nuclear and space-related research and development programs. He served as president of DOE’s chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, and as a member of DOD’s Acquisition Corps. He and his associates in Northern Virginia have studied nuclear cold fusion for the last 25 years. “Bridging the Gaps” is his first book.

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