Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Table-top Neutron Generator

See the press release from RPI related to the paper that verifies, and -- in the humble opinion of the Institute -- "significantly enhances" the crystal-based table-top fusion experiment from UCLA (neutron generation is seen as evidence that fusion occurred). Check out the bold part of the quote below -- it kinda makes you smile, or just want to run an experiment with a bazillion crystals.
A research team led by Seth Putterman, professor of physics at UCLA, reported on a similar apparatus in 2005, but two important features distinguish the new device: “Our device uses two crystals instead of one, which doubles the acceleration potential,” says Jeffrey Geuther, a graduate student in nuclear engineering at Rensselaer and lead author of the paper. “And our setup does not require cooling the crystals to cryogenic temperatures — an important step that reduces both the complexity and the cost of the equipment.”

Debate rages regarding whether 1980's "cold fusion" afficionados can safely resurrect their old baseball caps and coffee mugs. However, the UCLA and RPI techniques are not -- I repeat, not -- useful for power generation. Basically, fusion is easy; "getting out more energy than you put in," however, continues to make the old hype remain a pipe dream.