Sonofusion Bubbles Up

Jan 12, 2006

Sonofusion works, according the latest volley in the argument over the feasibility of acoustically driven nuclear fusion.

A collaboration of researchers from Purdue University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has detected neutrons, with energies typical of certain fusion reactions, emanating from a container of a specially prepared mixture of benzene and acetone that was exposed to high frequency sound waves.

The sound waves produce tiny bubbles, which expand and then rapidly contract, generating high temperatures that the researchers believe lead to nuclear fusion reactions. The group announced similar results about two years ago, but faced ardent criticism over aspects of their experimental set up that could have created false positives in their data. In the earlier experiments they had used a beam of neutrons in an attempt to initiate the bubbles leading to sonofusion reactions.

Critics claimed the beam could have been mistaken for neutrons emitted by fusion reactions. In the new experiments, the researchers dissolved natural uranium into the solution, which acts as a source of bubble-initiating neutrons. They claim that the new technique eliminates any confusion in identifying the neutrons they measured coming from the experiment as the products of sonofusion reactions.

Publication: R. P. Taleyarkhan, C. D. West, R. T. Lahey Jr., R. I. Nigmatulin, R. C. Block, Y. Xu Physical Review Letters (upcoming article)

Source: American Physical Society

Explore further: Lightweight membrane can significantly reduce in-flight aircraft noise

Related Stories

High-pitched sounds cause seizures in old cats

1 hour ago

When the charity International Cat Care asked veterinary neurologists at Davies Veterinary Specialists, UK, for help with several enquiries it had received regarding cats having seizures, seemingly in response ...

Facebook rolls out video calls on Messenger

1 hour ago

Facebook on Monday began rolling out video calling on its Messenger mobile application, enabling face-to-face conversations among users of the app around the world.

Recommended for you

Thinner capsules yield faster implosions

9 hours ago

In National Ignition Facility (NIF) inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments, the fusion fuel implodes at a high speed in reaction to the rapid ablation, or blow-off, of the outer layers of the target ...

Bendable glass devices

10 hours ago

A special class of glass materials known as chalcogenide glasses holds promise for speeding integration of photonic and electronic devices with functions as diverse as data transfer and chemical sensing. ...

Direct visualization of magnetoelectric domains

11 hours ago

A novel microscopy technique called magnetoelectric force microscopy (MeFM) was developed to detect the local cross-coupling between magnetic and electric dipoles. Combined experimental observation and theoretical ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.