Skip to comments.Scientists put the Sun in our pockets (nuclear fusion using crystals)
Posted on 04/27/2005 8:30:27 PM PDT by FairOpinion
A pocket-sized device which can harness fusion, the energy source of the Sun, with the help of crystals no bigger than a sugar cube has been developed by scientists.
The "pocket fusion" device, described today in the journal Nature, raises new possibilities in fields as diverse as space propulsion, medical diagnostics, cancer treatment and the hunt for concealed weapons.
Now Brian Naranjo, Jim Gimzewski, a professor from Glasgow, and Prof Seth Putterman of the University of California, Los Angeles describe a breathtakingly simple way to fuse atoms with the help of a crystal.
They fused atoms of deuterium - heavy hydrogen - using a pyroelectric crystal to generate a beam of charged particles - deuterium ions - to bombard a deuterium target.
"These crystals were discovered 2,000 years ago by the Ancient Greeks," said Mr Naranjo.
"It is the electrical analogue of a permanent magnet and if you heat or cool it you can build up a very large charge and very large electric field."
With gentle warming, even by hand, researchers concentrated the field made by the crystal at the tip of a connected tungsten needle.
The neutron emission is 400 times stronger than the usual background level.
"We are getting about 1,000 neutrons a second," said Mr Naranjo. "The amazing thing is that we are heating a crystal to 25C and getting this very large fusion signal with no external power supplies.
"It is just a crystal with a needle. The simplicity is striking."
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
A key part of the apparatus for the nuclear fusion experiment is in the foreground. In the background are researchers Seth Putterman, Brian Naranjo and Jim Gimzewski.
A view inside the crystal-based fusion chamber: "This is an amazing photo," UCLA's Seth Putterman says. "You're actually looking at the tracks of the fusion in the scintillator."
UCLA's Putterman said future experiments will focus on refining the technique for potential commercial uses, including designing portable neutron generators that could be used for oil well drilling or scanning luggage and cargo at airports.
The technology also could conceivably give rise to implantable radiation sources, which could target cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. "You could bring a tiny crystal into the body, place it next to a tumor, turn on the radiation and blast the tumor," Putterman told MSNBC.com.
In the Nature report, Putterman and his colleagues said the crystal-based method could be used in "microthrusters for miniature spacecraft." In such an application, the method would not rely on nuclear fusion for power generation, but rather on ion propulsion, Putterman said.
Damn! My bullshit meter is busted!
I thought so!
Hope it's true. Can't help but think about the cold fusion fiasco we had a few years ago.
That simple, huh? How about my cure: like, take the cancer and digitally subtract it using Photoshop. Then send a robot in to zap out all the gray areas, and VOILA! You're cured!
Damn, it even looks like a flux capacitor...
Thats the best use the could think for this?? If it really is working fussion what the hell would we need oil for?
Just like printing computer circuits on plastic sheets to create electronic paper.
Aye, Go easy with that dilithium crystal, laddy! -Scotty
This was done by very reputable scientists at UCLA.
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These are scientists - don't expect them to be practical.
If this really works on a large scale, there will be others who find applications.
It can solve our energy problem -- of course not quite tomorrow, but soon, definitely before the oil runs out, if it does.
Is that a Fusion Reaction in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
Thats what I was thinking. If it were/is possible. We could all have toaster sized power plants in our homes instead of a plug to the power company$.
This has the making of a major revolution compared to transitors replacing electron tubes!
All it needs is development! Good job, guys!
Send it to Frist - to help with the "nuclear option".
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