Friday, September 30, 2011

LENR is not cold fusion, cold fusion is not LENR- a competition for fame and fortune

It seems a bit too obvious to say it, but the confusion seems to be out there. Some may see it as nothing more than a public relations stunt to rename cold fusion as LENR, but it is completely different. Fusion means two different elements uniting to form yet a third new element. For example, hydrogen to helium. LENR, if I understand it correctly, needs neutrons to combine with nucleii.  Neutrons, which are unstable on their own, bombard elements which bring about radioactive decay.  New elements are formed too, but the difference is that neutrons can't exist on their own, and therefore aren't nucleii. There is no fusion in LENR, LENR does not fuse.

Thus the fundamental conflict between cold fusion and LENR.  The proposition that cold fusion is advancing is that there is a way around the coulomb barrier without the need for high energy.  This is not entirely unheard of- muon catalyzed fusion doesn't require high temperatures. If there's another process that can get around the coulomb barrier, it too will be low energy.  Low Energy fusion is indeed nothing more than a semantic change. But it is for all intents and purposes, cold fusion.

This semantic difference may mask the real differences between LENR and cold fusion. And it brings forth the confusion, as it all appears to be the same, when it isn't.

There's this feud going on between Krivit and Rossi, which illustrates the confusion. Who do you believe? One of the other or both?  The fact of the matter is that both processes may be valid.  It isn't one or the other intellectually, but it could mean a competition for real world business.  Or real world fame.  That isn't new in science nor business.  Witness the historic argument between Westinghouse and Edison over AC or DC current, respectively.  Nowadays, AC and DC current are both valid ways of transmitting electricity.  One or the other had to win in the economic sense though, and AC won.

Krivit and Rossi can't be friends because they are competitors.  It is a high stakes game for fame and fortune. One or the other must win economically because the two processes are completely different from each other.

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