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17 July 2005

Table-top Fusion?

Is bubble fusion back?

Physicists at Purdue University in Indiana claim to have found new evidence for nuclear fusion in a tabletop device. Yiban Xu and Adam Butt say that firing sound waves into a beaker of deuterated acetone that has been "seeded" with neutrons produces tritium and further neutrons through the process of fusion. Known as "bubble fusion", the phenomenon met with widespread scepticism when it was first reported in 2002. The new results are likely to be just as controversial.

Yiban Xu and Adam ButtSonoluminescence describes the process whereby bubbles in a liquid emit tiny flashes of light when they are forced to expand and collapse by sound waves. Some physicists believe that the pressures and temperatures inside the collapsing bubbles could be high enough to initiate nuclear reactions. If achieved, such fusion could lead to a new clean energy source.

I need one of these toys...

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