Cold fusion, the holy grail of physics, promises a virtually unlimited supply of clean energy. Cold fusion is a nuclear reaction that is considered a myth by the contemporary physics establishment. Undaunted, Italian researchers have announced that cold fusion is real and ready for the energy market.
Cold fusion defies known laws of physics
Cold fusion was first announced by a pair of physicists in 1989, but other physicists failed to replicate their results and cold fusion was dismissed as junk science. Cold fusion is still considered theoretically impossible, but Italian scientists Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi demonstrated a cold fusion reactor at the University of Bologna last Friday. They claim their device generates power via cold fusion, but they can’t explain exactly why. Their application for a patent was rejected for lack of a theory conforming with accepted laws of physics. But they are confident a commercial cold fusion reactor can be developed in as little as three months.
Nuclear fission versus cold fusion
The sun creates massive amounts of energy with nuclear fusion. Rossi and Focardi claim to have successfully achieved cold fusion — a process occurring at room temperature — by fusing the atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen. The reaction produces copper and a lot of energy in the form of heat. Atomic reactors and nuclear weapons generate energy via nuclear fission — which splits atoms to release energy along with a great deal of radiation and toxic waste. The Italians said their cold fusion reaction uses just 400 watts of power to generate 12,400 watts. They claimed a commercial version of their cold fusion reactor could produce eight times more energy than it takes to operate. Their cold fusion power would cost about 1 cent per kilowatt-hour. The average cost of coal generated power in the U.S. in 2004 was 7.62 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Coming to a power plant near you
Rossi and Focardi wrote a paper on cold fusion that was rejected by peer-reviewed journals. They created their own online journal “The Journal of Nuclear Physics,” and published it themselves. They say operating their cold fusion reactor is as simple as flicking a switch and following the instructions. Their reactor would be refueled every six months by an authorized dealer. A Greek utility company has said it is interested.