Fusion: Superenergy or eternally elusive? Maybe a congressional subcommittee will find out. For the non-scientist, just remember there is a difference between fission and fusion.
Congress Asks Purdue for Fusion Claim Findings
Kenneth Chang, March 23, 2007 (NY Times)
The Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee; Purdue University President Martin C. Jischke; Purdue scientist Rusi P. Taleyarkhan
The congressional subcommittee is investigating claims of the university’s scientist to have generated nuclear fusion in a desktop experiment. Nuclear fusion, explained in detail here, is the coming together of atomic nuclei to propagate the release of energy, as is done by the sun when it releases heat and light. Extensive research has so far failed to do what Taleyarkhan claims, which is to have used sound waves to generate temperatures hot enough for hydrogen atoms to meld and release energy.
Taleyarkhan began publishing the work in 2002.
Extensive government funding has been expended attempting to validate the possibility of fusion. Published U.C.L.A. research argues that what Dr. Taleyarkhan took as evidence of fusion consisted of emissions from a piece of californium, a radioactive element stored in Dr. Taleyarkhan’s laboratory. A LeTourneau University researcher claims to have reproduced Dr. Taleyarkhan’s findings using the Purdue lab and equipment.
“There’s enough in published reports and in talk in the scientific community to raise questions,” said Representative Brad Miller, the North Carolina Democrat who is chairman of the subcommittee…In view of the billions of dollars the government spends on scientific research, Mr. Miller said, “we need to know we are getting valid sound research and not research that is being manipulated.”