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Fusion Fiasco (Explorations in Nuclear Research Book 2) Kindle Edition
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The book is a jewel for people who appreciate the predicament humanity is in trying to escape global warming, and have an interest in the science and engineering of alternate energy sources. It is also an eye opener to what happens to the way some scientists think and act, i.e. their politics, when research-funding and potentially very large patent money and fame is involved. It could serve as the basis of a course for how the mix of: greed over funding and patents, reputation, pride, prejudices, administrators, lawyers and the regular news media, can make a make a terrible mess. Bad technical assumptions were also at the core. Some were explicit but thought to be too obvious to argue with, or investigate thoroughly. Some were rather hidden or unconscious and of course not explored at all.
From previous reading on the subject, especially, “Hacking the Atom”, I was aware that there was a very complex history at the beginning of what was initially incorrectly and tragically named “cold fusion”. The history is not straight forward. Fiasco is a good term for it. It is like an enormous knot, the size and complexity not understood till this book. To give a complete and accurate account, a very large amount of research and effort, plus a keen mind with balanced, non-prejudicial judgement was required.
The book does great service to the field alternate energy, by replacing gossip and assumption with fact and history. It makes it possible to restore LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions) to the list of potential alternate-energy candidates. Now enlightened by the technical aspects of the authors book, “Hacking The Atom” and freed from the popular prejudice against “cold fusion”, I very much think that LENR is an alternate energy candidate that should be much more vigorously pursued.
This book covers the 1989 debacle of Pons & Fleishmann rediscovering the turn-of-the century observations of LENR and transmutation using the tools of chemistry, rather than the tools of physics. Krivit here shows how early in the century such work had had top billing in science publications such as the American Chemical Society.
Covers the history and sociology as well as the chemistry and physics of this field of low energy nuclear reactions. Crossing the boundary between physics and chemistry isn't easy, but it's not as hard as it is to create a Ph.D. Committee with both Chemists and Physicists on it.
Weak force interactions, the central organizing principle of chemistry, do have ways of speeding up some nuclear reactions. Observations have a way of getting ignored. STrong force nuclear reactions had earth shattering implications, and tended to get all the attention after 1922 or so. But that didn't make the earlier observations wrong. We just stopped funding that sort of work. It's time for another look about what has been reliably shown.
Krivit has done a huge amount of exploration in the field of LENR which was initially confused with a form of fusion, cold fusion.
The reaction has a lot of potential to be economically relevant.
THere are good companies working on it. SOme in stealth. Some publicly.
Krivit's weakness is that he is a journalist, a man of words, not science. So he gets totally hung up on nomenclature and is terribly offended by anyone who still want's to call the reaction "cold fusion". He also plays Gotcha when he thinks he caught some scientists being biased and the book suffers a bit by occasional notes of inaccurate and even nasty criticism.
Krivit is very enamored by the Widom-Larsen theory and unhappy with other understandings.
However the value of the work is incredible, both scientifically and historically. It is very well written.
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