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No. 69: May-Jun 1990

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Fracto-fusion?

The hot topic in cold fusion research is now fracto-fusion; that is, the inducing of deuterium fusion by means of the electric fields established along microcracks developing in substances charged with deuterium or tritium. Back in 1986, Soviet researchers reported the observation of neutron emission when they violently crushed lithium deuteride in the presence of ice made from heavy water. More recently, they saw the same phenomenon when milling several deuterium-containing metals. Conceivably, deuterium nuclei accelerated by the electric fields along the cracks could be fusing, producing neutrons.

(Amato, I.; "If Not Cold Fusion, Try Fracto Fusion," Science News, 137:87, 1990.)

Pouring cold water on the Soviet results, two American scientists described negative results in the February 15 issue of Nature. They fired small (0.131-gram) steel ball bearings at an ice tar-get made with 99.9% deuterium. Despite the violent shattering of the deuterated ice, no significant numbers of neutrons were measured.

(Sobotka, L.G., and Winter, P.; "Fracture without Fusion," Nature, 343:601, 1990.)

Comment. Whatever the fate of fractofusion, several labs around the world are still pursuing cold fusion. The sci entific mainstream, though, considers cold fusion a dead issue, even though anomalous neutrons and heat emission have been found in several experiments. We are happy to report, however, that cold fusion has definitely generated its first book: Cold Fusion: The Making of a Scientific Controversy, F.D. Peat.

From Science Frontiers #69, MAY-JUN 1990. 1990-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "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