Desktop Fusion
April 28, 2005 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Putterman also suggests the crystals could be used as microthrusters for tiny spacecraft. By accelerating deuterium in one direction, the spacecraft would be propelled in the opposite direction.
Ok, so I know nothing about physics, apart from what I learned getting beat up in grade school, but this seems both legit and cool. Here's a MeFi discussion of the other kind of desktop fusion, you know, the kind with the bubbles. A picture of the bubble machine.
posted by OmieWise (11 comments total)
It'd work much better if he were using dilithium crystals.
posted by stenseng at 7:44 AM on April 28, 2005

Drats!! stenseng beat me to it, but I will say,

"Damn the photon torpedos! Full warp speed ahead!"
posted by The Infamous Jay at 7:58 AM on April 28, 2005

Heh. Even Lyndon LaRouche has some nonsense to say about sonoluminescence. Last time I summarized the Oak Ridge results; maybe later today I'll read Putterman's Nature article and post again.
posted by fatllama at 9:09 AM on April 28, 2005

Ok. So if there is anything that will help me sleep better at night and stop worrying about the Road Warrior Future that is post Peak Oil - it is things like this. Thanks OmW.

Why does this Putterman guy sound so familiar? Please don't tell me he is a crank?
posted by tkchrist at 9:16 AM on April 28, 2005

Putterman has been embraced by the cranks but isn't one himself, per se. He did favor an early explanation for sonoluminescence that was completely nuts (release of quantum free energy via the Casimir force) but he's an experimentalist and seems to have done a respectable experiment (completely different than sonoluminescence) for this writeup.
posted by fatllama at 9:28 AM on April 28, 2005

Ok, so I know nothing about physics, apart from what I learned getting beat up in grade school, but this seems both legit and cool.

Well, there are a couple of good comments in the /. article that will probably explain it better. If you'd like to build your own, here are some instructions.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:34 AM on April 28, 2005

Thanks for the link. I like hearing about possible alternative energy sources, even if they aren't likely to be available for the general public anytime soon.
posted by PossumCowboy at 9:39 AM on April 28, 2005

Fatllama: I didn't think that Putterman ever embraced the Unruh/Casimir explanation for sonoluminescence, but I could be wrong... do you happen have a reference for that?
posted by cgs06 at 9:47 AM on April 28, 2005

No, cgs06, but I recall such a comment given at a colloquium on the subject. I went hunting, and the presence of early articles like this suggest just the opposite. I now think you're right.
posted by fatllama at 10:06 AM on April 28, 2005

Thanks! And yeah, this looks like a solid experiment. What convinced me is their neutron data -- compare them with those from Taleyarkhan's original study and the difference is pretty dramatic.
posted by cgs06 at 10:25 AM on April 28, 2005

Wondering if those making the Star Trek cracks realize that deuterium is used as the "matter" part of the matter/anti-matter reaction powering the warp core.
posted by theonetruebix at 3:26 PM on April 28, 2005

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