Sunday, March 07, 2004

Real Science History

While cold fusion has been pronounced dead over and over by the media, quietly, brave souls have continued the research and new methods of producing fusion without massive amounts of heat are under research. One of the most promising experiments was recently written up in the New York Times a few days ago:
Using ultrasonic vibrations to shake a jar of liquid solvent the size of a large drink cup, the scientists say, they squeezed tiny gas bubbles in the liquid so quickly and violently that temperatures reached millions of degrees and some of the hydrogen atoms in the solvent molecules fused, producing a flash of light and energy.
...When this team of researchers made the same claim in an article in the journal Science two years ago, many scientists reacted with skepticism, even ridicule. But new experiments, using better detectors, offer more convincing data that the phenomenon is real.
What will replace oil? Scientists around the globe are talking about peak oil, meaning we reaching a production peak, after which oil will get more expensive to produce and there will be less of it to go around, to the point where we will eventually have no more left. It makes sense that the top energy producers around the world would be hesitant to embrace new technology that would replace oil's dominance until they could be assured that they would control as powerful and lucrative a piece of the pie as the one they already have. So skepticism needs to be attached to any denials of the reality of cold fusion. If it proves real, it will not be in the business interests of those in power to let that secret out, not until they found a way to control supply. And the beauty of something like cold fusion is that it relies on chemical elements and molecules that are not in short supply. The battle for what is true in science depends not just on objective fact, but who benefits from the release of a fact. So much that is known is kept secret, or publicly discredited, while research continues behind carefully closed laboratory and media doors. More on this over time.


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