Haiko Lietz writes in Telepolis about Taleyarkhan’s sonofusion, and cold fusion

On July 17, 2005, Haiko Lietz published an article in the Telepolis on-line magazine on Taleyarkhan’s sonofusion experiments, “Bubble Fusion takes next hurdle.” This includes some references to cold fusion. The German version is here: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/20/20541/1.html
English version: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/20/20542/1.html

On July 25 Lietz published another article on cold fusion, “Time to act! The world needs an Apollo-type program for cold fusion.” In German: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/20/20562/1.html
In English: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/20/20585/1.html

Please note that in this web page we have not discussed the sonofusion experiments performed by Rusi Taleyarkhan et al. We are thinking about adding material about this research, but we have hesitated because it seems beyond the scope of our subject matter. We consider these experiments interesting, and the research appears to be skillful, careful and convincing. We are pleased to that this innovative method of producing nuclear fusion on a microscopic scale has attracted serious attention from the scientific mainstream and the press.

The reactions reported by Taleyarkhan appear to be a form of high energy plasma fusion that occurs in cavitation bubbles in the fluid. Cold fusion, on the other hand, is a low energy reaction that occurs in a metal lattice. The Taleyarkhan effect produces a neutron/tritium ratio of ~1.2, which is close to conventional plasma fusion (n/t = 1), whereas cold fusion produces a ratio of roughly 10-9. There are other important differences:

  • Cold fusion produces far more concentrated excess heat, so it seems more likely to become a practical source of useful energy.
  • Cold fusion appears to be a more radical departure from textbook expectations about fusion.
  • Cold fusion has been replicated hundreds of times; the Taleyarkhan effect has only been replicated once so far, by Xu and Butt (Purdue). This is no reflection on the quality of Taleyarkhan’s work; only a few people have undertaken replications.

Despite these differences, Taleyarkhan’s research is important and it bears watching, so even though it is somewhat off-topic, we may add material about it soon.

One method of doing cold fusion bears a passing resemblance to the Taleyarkhan experiment. When cavitation induced bubbles collapse near the surface of metal, they can inject the plasma into the metal lattice, triggering cold fusion. This technique has been pioneered by R. Stringham in his papers at ICCF-9,ICCF-10 and ICCF-11.

The Taleyarkham method counts on achieving sufficient temperature within the bubble to initiate, on a small scale, a “normal” hot fusion reaction. On the other hand Stringham injects the hot plasma created within the bubble into a metal lattice. In the lattice, high temperatures are not required; a mechanism exists that causes fusion at a much greater rate and without neutron radiation and tritium production. Both Taleyarkham and Stringham use cavitation bubbles, but achieve much different results. A comparison can be made between the Taleyarkhan effect, which is hot fusion on a small scale, and the ITER program, which is hot fusion on a large scale. The Stringham effect is similar to the Fleischmann-Pons effect, but it occurs in a smaller environment. In terms of heat production, Stringham produces about 1014 times more heat than does Teleyarkham in the same size apparatus.

Here are some of the links from the Leitz article to reports about Taleyarkham: