Posts Tagged ‘exposion’

Why cold fusion is bullshit

November 21, 2011

So why is cold fusion bullshit?

    Firstly you need to understand the orders of magnitude of energy.  Imagine a kilogram of explosive.  Blow it up and you get a lot of energy.  In fact that energy actually comes in the form of accelerated atoms/ molecular fragments, and the pressure and temperature from these is what causes damage.  Okay, so when you blow up explosive you are releasing chemical bond type energy, and that’s typically in the eV (electron volt) range per nuclei.

     Now imagine a fusion type event.  This typically releases MeV (a million times as much energy) per nuclei.  This is why 10kg warhead, when releasing its energy all at once, can give kilotons of chemical explosive equivalent energy.  Bear in mind that for chemical explosive, you have eV type amounts of energy per nuclei (about the energy of a chemical bond), while with fusion you have a million times that.  So you fragments from fusion type events typically have a million time chemical bond energy, and this is why they are so dangerous.  That can make a mess of your DNA and kill your cells.  The bottom line is it really doesn’t matter if your fusion takes place at room temperature or millions of Kelvin, the products still have CRAZY amounts of energy.

    This is why if you really did have cold fusion on your desktop, you would be a gold plated idiot to be in the room while the reactor was running.  This is apparently what our Italian scientists are doing while running their ‘cold fusion reactor’.  However for some strange reason our Italians don’t find any high energy radiation.  This was also the problem with Pons and Fleischmanns claims of cold fusion.  They were claiming to get enough energy out to boil water.  Hmmm well if they had had that sort of fusion energy flux, everyone in the room would have died from the radiation.

Cold Fusion, normally turns out to be a poorly calibration thermocouple.

     This is where the whole thing goes into the category of bullshit.  Fusion is great ‘cos you generate MeV per reaction.  If you don’t have those high energy particles, then whatever you are doing is not fusion!  Even more perculiar is if you wanted to work out what sort of fusion you had going on, the first thing you would measure would be the energies and fluxes of the radiation coming off the sample.  Not only have our Italians not tried the obvious analysis (well how can they when they have no high energy radiation) but instead they focus on the bloody silly metric of ‘excess energy’.  That is they claim to put X energy in, get Y energy out and ascribe the difference to fusion, even though it’s bloody obviously from the lack of high energy particles that its not fusion.  The nearest analogy I can think of its like lighting a firework, watching it generate more energy than was put in, then concluding that the ‘excess energy’ must have been cold fusion.

Supernova Watch Live begins tonight!

August 25, 2011

The great thing about time lapse and high speed photography, is they give you a sense of the orders of magnitude of time, from the beat of a humming birds wings (below), to the movement of a distant planet.

However, there really is a limit to the motions you can see, and capture in the heavens on a human time-scale.  The further away things are, the more they have to change for you to be able to see them.  I figured that after sunset on the moon,

the rotation of Jupiter,

and the motion of Uranus and its moons, that was pretty much as far an object as you could look at!

Then this happens:

http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=3581

Yup there is a supernova popping off in a nearby galaxy, M101, which by pure chance I took a picture of last month! and yes, I intend to do the time lapse of a star exploding in another galaxy!

M101, taken on 29th July 2011, with cpc1100 and canon60D (~10min exposure)

Now it should be said that this is a MONSTROUS undertaking.  SNs typically brighten and fade over a period of weeks!  This is all but perfect, arguably a once in lifetime experience.  A potentially bright SN, in a nearby galaxy, near the new moon, when I have the time to spend on it!  We are a few days before the new moon, which means I can get good observations for maybe two weeks, before the moons glare washes the galaxy out.

Supernova Watch Live begins tonight!