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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

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987