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No. 64: Jul-Aug 1989

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The Earth As A Cold Fusion Reactor

In SF#63, we mentioned the possibility that the helium-3 emanating from the earth might indicate that cold fusion was occurring deep down. In a recent issue of the New Scientist, a short unsigned article reveals that this "excess" helium-3 was an impetus for the cold fusion research at Brigham Young University. In fact, P. Palmer, a geo-physicist at Brigham Young, suggested the possibility as long as three years ago! We have not seen Palmer's speculation in print, but the stimulating effect of anomalies on scientific research is reassuring, whatever the final outcome of the cold fusion wars.

The same New Scientist article supports the above speculation as follows:

"Calculations show that more than enough deuterium finds its way into the upper mantle by this route (seawater in subduction zones) to account for the heat emitted by the Earth's core, although the heat obviously comes from other sources as well. The rate of fusion of deuterium nuclei required to produce the observed rations of helium-3 to helium-4 in rocks, diamonds and metals is similar to that observed by Jones in his experiments with electrolytes. Tritium can also be a product of the fusion of deuterium. Jones and his group say that the tritium detected in the gases from volcanoes is further evidence of cold fusion."

Jones has also wondered whether Jupiter's excess heat could be generated deep within the icy planet via cold fusion.

(Anonymous; "Rocks Reveal the Signature of Fusion at the Centre of the Earth," New Scientist, p. 20, May 6, 1989.)

From Science Frontiers #64, JUL-AUG 1989. 1989-2000 William R. Corliss