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Cold Fusion is Back (there's just one problem)

  • Published on Jun 7, 2023 veröffentlicht
  • Try out my quantum mechanics course (and many others on math and science) on brilliant.org/sabine. You can get started for free, and the first 200 will get 20% off the annual premium subscription.
    In the past couple of years cold fusion has received renewed attention, though it's now been renamed to "low energy nuclear reactions" or LENR for short. In this video I look at what we know and don't know, and how promising it is.
    The early papers on muon catalyzed fusion that I mention are here:
    The papers about electron shielding in lattices are here:
    The references for the early cold fusion papers from the 1920s are
    Paneth & Peters, Naturwissenschaften, 14(43), 956-962 (1926)
    Wendt & Irion, JACS, 44(9), 1887-1894 (1922)
    Huw Price has a paper about the entire cold fusion story here
    If you want to get started with reading about the topic, I suggest you start with Huw's paper.
    The paper with the laser modulation is this:
    The report from the follow-up experiment that failed to reproduce the laser modulation results is here:
    The paper from Edmund Storms is here:
    Arvin Ash's video about the strong nuclear force is here:
    • Why Don't Protons...
    The recent paper with hypotheses for how low energy nuclear reactions might come about is here:
    💌 Sign up for my weekly science newsletter. It's free! ➜ sabinehossenfelder.com/newsle...
    👉 Support me on Patreon ➜ www.patreon.com/Sabine
    📖 My new book "Existential Physics" is now on sale ➜ existentialphysics.com/
    🔗 Join this channel to get access to perks ➜
    / @sabinehossenfelder
    00:00 Intro
    00:31 Cold fusion works
    05:27 Cold fusion doesn't work
    09:41 Something works, but we don't know what
    14:12 What does it mean?
    18:16 Sponsor message
    #science #physics #technology
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 4 619

  • Lubricus the slippery
    Lubricus the slippery 8 months ago +1289

    I didn't know that there where some cold fusion that actually works. Even if the current methods is impractical for energy generation it doesn't sound like we have to break a few of the laws of physics to achieve it. So then it worth while to do some research about it.

    • Rune
      Rune 8 months ago +90

      Yeah, it won't save the world, but careful funding and experimentation is likely to produce some new knowledge.

    • Alexander Gräf
      Alexander Gräf 8 months ago +45

      Exists for a long time as a neutron source, for which it is really handy. For example, the "Fusor" was developed in the 60s and is a viable neutron source. A company called "NSD-Fusion" produces them as a commercial product today.

    • Rob Collins
      Rob Collins 8 months ago +87

      the wright brothers first plane flew only 180 feet, it was a glider with an engine and was shot off the ramp with a catapult, basically a worthless piece of crap,

    • Tiger
      Tiger 8 months ago +9

      @Alexander Gräf Fusors use hot fusion

    • Paul Ohlstein
      Paul Ohlstein 8 months ago +36

      @Rob Collins No catapult for the first Wright flight. We all have seen the film clip, but that was not their first plane, which was wrecked on the first day.

  • Will Giani
    Will Giani 8 months ago +2416

    I love Sabine’s sense of humour. There’s just one problem [insert sad violin music]... only she can do it.

    • Audio Dead
      Audio Dead 8 months ago +87

      What about Einstein? Yes, that guy again.

    • Rick Townend
      Rick Townend 8 months ago +102

      So - no one else has been able to reproduce the results...

    • Paul Martin
      Paul Martin 8 months ago +57

      I had an elegant response to this, but this comment section is not large enough to contain it.

    • Ray the vagabond
      Ray the vagabond 8 months ago +25

      At the end I am glad that there is just one problem ...

  • PJK
    PJK 7 months ago +405

    I led one of the teams that Sabine cites in this video (at the 10.34 mark). We spent almost five years looking into LENR. In the video, Sabine states that we could not replicate the prior results. That's true, but there’s more to it. We observed the claimed heat effect, both in magnitude and duration, in our parallel *control* cells. This indicates a calibration error in the apparatus. One little known fact about these electro-chemical cell experiments is that they are run for a week or more before the effect is observed. Typically, calibration is conducted over a few hours and is done both before an experimental run and intermittently during it, to re-check thermal stability.
    We submit that this approach to calibration is inadequate for establishing a calorimeter’s propensity for heat artifacts. Stability over time periods longer than the experiment should be demonstrated in order to minimize the possibility of misinterpreting the fluctuations that we observed as “excess heat” events.
    Consequently, we contend that all claims of anomalous heat in LENR experiments using electro-chemical cells that do not exhibit thermal stability on a time period longer than the time duration of the experiment itself must be thrown out. As the majority of research over the past 30 years has not demonstrated this kind of calibration stability, that eliminates most of the effort in this field. You can read more about our work on the ReResearch LLC website.
    That is not to say that we know everything about hot fusion in the solid state or how quantum mechanical interactions might impact fusion reactivity. There is much still to be discovered. But these electro-chemical LENR heat experiments are noise, not signal.

    • iCost Hop
      iCost Hop 7 months ago +7

      Gave you a thumbs up, I followed your report a little bit. ( Absolutely totally Out of my field)
      I was Hoping to see some input from the female narrator and the owner of this channel, about your findings.
      But she didn't say nothing. 🥺

    • amentrison
      amentrison 7 months ago +3

      thanks for sharing; i appreciate the insight.

    • David Quinn
      David Quinn 7 months ago +7

      At least the experiments are cheap. And you're supposed to say that more research is always better, right? Am I allowed to say it's never been shown to work above experimental error (is this still true if multi experiments are combined into a big meta-experiment?) and I wouldn't advise a friend to get involved in this direction?

    • Simon Multiverse
      Simon Multiverse 7 months ago +1

      As George Orwell wrote, "All objects are cold, but some objects are colder than others."

    • Simon Multiverse
      Simon Multiverse 7 months ago +6

      As Oscar Wilde wrote, "To make one video about cold fusion is unfortunate; to make TWO begins to look like carelessness."

  • Ned Ames
    Ned Ames 7 months ago +49

    Even if we don't get net energy gain, it's still a relatively inexpensive way to explore some fundamental physics. Love your videos.

  • Joe Okabayashi
    Joe Okabayashi 6 months ago +22

    I wish my high school science, chemistry, and physics teachers had been as effective as Sabine in communicating complex ideas.

    • August Landmesser
      August Landmesser 3 months ago +3

      Definitively! If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough - Albert Einstein.

  • Michael Strathman
    Michael Strathman 6 months ago +18

    I am retired now, but back in the day, I spent a lot of time studying the channeling phenomena of MeV alpha particles in single-crystal silicon.
    The channeling phenomena widens and becomes less pronounced as you decrease the incident particle's energy. It often struck me that if you aligned a single crystal substrate with a low-energy deuterium beam the beam would be focused to the center of the channel. as the deuterium piled up in the center of the channel the incident beam would be focused on that deuterium, effectively "Increasing" the d-d cross-section. It seems to me that an optimum energy and crystal substrate could be found to get a enhanced reaction going. There are some other tricks with two crystals you can do, but I digress

  • Γιώργος Φερετόπουλος

    Ι remember I was a physics student in 1989 when Fleischmann and Pons conducted their experiment; we were all in the auditorium talking enthusiastically about it, when the Nuclear Physics Professor came in and, when we asked him about it, he managed to wipe the smiles off our faces in five minutes! Still, I remember the excitement. We must never give up hope!

  • Richard Anderson
    Richard Anderson 8 months ago +662

    “Understanding the strong nuclear force in LHC collisions is quite simple, by which I mean a PhD in particle physics will do.” Loved that!

    • Vulture TX
      Vulture TX 8 months ago +14

      Rocket scientists need not apply evidently ! hilarious zinger on her part.

    • Robert Brandywine
      Robert Brandywine 8 months ago +20

      From what I understand (mainly from Dyson Freeman), a Masters in particle physics should do, then. A PhD involves working for 3 years on one tiny little area of something but the general knowledge comes with the Masters.

    • HeartlessXiao
      HeartlessXiao 8 months ago +14

      @Robert Brandywine not many people that choose to get a Masters in Particle Physics tbh. If you're going into that field, you'll likely need a phD anyways, so there's often no point in getting the Masters first. AFAIK, there are no Masters degree programs for particle physics in the US, though there are several in the UK and EU

    • John DoDo Doe
      John DoDo Doe 8 months ago +2

      @HeartlessXiao Well, if a MSc is enough, doing the work can be a legitimate PhD project. If a PhD is needed, the PhD probably has to be closely related.

  • SlowMonoxide
    SlowMonoxide 7 months ago +28

    How have I not watched any of your videos before? This is solid gold. Clear and concise explanations, absolutely hilarious dry humor, and a healthy questioning of the current Doctrine of Science which masquerades as science? Excellent, I love everything about this.

    • JackSquat54
      JackSquat54 5 months ago +1

      Yes, pseudo science for profit.

    • Richard Hussong
      Richard Hussong 4 months ago +2

      Are you sure you are describing this video? I don't think it contains any "questioning of the current Doctrine of Science" at all. What would that even mean?

    • Coda Alive
      Coda Alive 4 months ago +1

      Well said, i just found her too, great content. Haven't seen another person as unbiased as she seems to be so far, have to see more videos about nuclear power to be sure about it.

  • Never to Late to Prepare
    Never to Late to Prepare 2 months ago +1

    A couple decades ago, while I was working at Comanche Peak, we received a report of a cold fusion lab accident where there was an anomalous thermal explosion of the experiment. It was reported because deuterium was released throughout the lab.

  • Martin van Gijn
    Martin van Gijn 7 months ago +3

    I did an experiment myself. Palladium, deuterium and lithium. The thing is.. it takes a long time to start the proces. It can be take one or two days to start. Keep that in mind.

  • Kurtis Erikson
    Kurtis Erikson 20 days ago

    I stumbled upon her videos when a discussion of the pros and cons of nuclear power were discussed. I fell in love with her lectures because she does her best to avoid hype and present the material with humor and in terms I can understand. It’s like having a good professor.

  • D2 D3
    D2 D3 7 months ago +5

    Really interesting! I always wondered what the theory was behind cold fusion. I remember it being something to do with muons somehow catalysing the fusion reaction but I didn't understand what it meant until now 😊

  • Pete Smith
    Pete Smith 8 months ago +357

    I love that the "there's just one problem" line had its own theme music!

    • IZn0g0uDatAll
      IZn0g0uDatAll 8 months ago +20

      That was hilariously obnoxious

    • IZn0g0uDatAll
      IZn0g0uDatAll 8 months ago +16

      Or obnoxiously hilarious. I don’t know

    • ᛗᛖᛚᛖᚨᚱᛞᛁᛚ
      ᛗᛖᛚᛖᚨᚱᛞᛁᛚ 8 months ago +9

      It was funny at start, but than it became more of a distruction and annoyance because of two reasons. Sabine kept talking and the music was too loud. Good idea, but needs work. :)

    • Ruben de León
      Ruben de León 8 months ago +6

      I agree... But... There is one... 🎻🎵😈🤣

    • Steve B
      Steve B 8 months ago +9

      Sorry but for me by the end I couldn't stand it. It ruined what would otherwise have been an interesting video.

  • 007attaboy
    007attaboy 3 months ago +1

    Love your videos, Sabine. I would love to see a video on the suncell of Randell Mills. His hydrino theory is particlarly fascinating since to me (as a chemist) it doesn't appear to be supported by quantum mechanics.

  • Austin P
    Austin P 5 months ago +2

    This is far more interesting than I expected. I came to hear about cold fusion research, but I was intrigued by the particle physics questions.

  • C.J. Banks
    C.J. Banks 4 months ago +2

    I am not a physicist. But I have read about cold fusion some. I also read a considerable amount about thorium reactors. And the working reactor at oak ridge national laboratories in Tennessee. I would love to see a video about that! Thanks for your time. I enjoyed your video.

  • Tore Fossum
    Tore Fossum 6 months ago +3

    Stanley Pons introduced cold fusion to the American Chemical Society in Dallas in 1989. It was very exciting. Later attempts to replicate were like trying to play basketball when the air goes out of the ball. One person at Texas A & M explained that in their further work, when it seemed to work, there was a lot of heat and the palladium rods would distort. And, that pure palladium would not work; it had to have impurities, possibly if i recall 5% platinum. Something was happening, if not cold fusion, but possibly neutron capture? Very obvious is that if we stick to known channels using known paradigms, we will not discover new worlds. Kudos to those who continue this work. Thank you Professor Sabine, for an insightful presentation.

  • ARailway
    ARailway 2 months ago +1

    I remember cold fusion coming out in the late 1980's.
    There was a hard push against it.
    The same thing happened against Rosse, the Clem engine, etc.
    And nobody talks about cavitation even though the Japanese have found 10,000 degree
    spikes. Could it be that the big trees are shading out the seedlings?
    Yay! We have Sabrine!

  • Calvin Coolidge
    Calvin Coolidge 8 months ago +437

    I admire Sabine's commitment to speaking the truth and letting the chips fall where they may. The first time I heard of her was her article in Symmetry Magazine attacking the sacred cow of "beauty" in physics. As a practicing physicist in the US, I can tell you that was an important message that physicists needed to hear. This video may have an even more important message since it address the conformity rampant in all fields of science. I am certainly guilty of thinking cold fusion is a hoax, but I am now willing to reconsider. Thanks Sabine!

    • Sam Anderson
      Sam Anderson 8 months ago +18

      This is really what I come to Sabine for. There are a lot of Science enthusiasts ready to explain the specifics of an experiment or project, but only she really brings the broader context. So thankful that she speaks plainly and from her experience in the field about practicalities

    • Tom Schmidt
      Tom Schmidt 8 months ago +10

      As a non-scientist I have the same appreciation of Sabine. I've read her book about the issue of beauty in physic. The problem is in the past that notion worked. However now we are so far beyond where our brains evolved to keep from being eaten by lions I'm amazed at the progress we have made.

    • Llama llama
      Llama llama 8 months ago +19

      She's speaking her opinion, not the truth. Maybe her opinion will eventually turn out to the right one, or maybe it won't. I'm not sure it's a good idea to take any one source and treat them as "the truth", it's better to just keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out, and listen to a lot of sources. And you don't have to decide which claim is true, you can listen to competing claims and end up just saying that there's not enough evidence to choose and so I don't know what the truth is.

    • mnml2006
      mnml2006 8 months ago +3

      I first heard about Pons & Fleischmann back when the big story broke, and I thought it was the most exciting thing, and the following months were such a letdown. I'm considerably more skeptical now... maybe cautious or patient. Glad there's a lot of fusion research going on today, public and private, exploring so many different approaches.

  • Robert White
    Robert White 7 months ago +1

    Thank you, Sabine, for the courage to Question and to risk your reputation on this volatile area of scientific research.

  • Mikko Rantalainen
    Mikko Rantalainen 2 months ago

    Great summary of the current state and I have to say that there's more promise for the cold fusion in the future than I expected before this video.

  • A W
    A W 7 months ago +3

    Love this video. We are all so optimistic about the future. But so few understand what it takes to get there. And even fewer want to acknowledge the very real limits. Thanks Sabine!

    • D D
      D D 6 months ago +2

      It blows my mind.. that Scientists are now meme-ing to communicate with us. :-(

    • A W
      A W 6 months ago

      @D D it got your attention.

  • Kaylee Amelia
    Kaylee Amelia 5 months ago +6

    I would love to see a follow-up on muon-catalysed fusion, it sounds fascinating.
    Is it posdible to use muon-catalysed fusion with deuterium? Would that yield a better energy output?

    • lluch13
      lluch13 4 months ago

      Yes, but it's extremely inefficient

  • Mark Huebner
    Mark Huebner 7 months ago +1

    Very beautiful summation of the current state of cold fusion research. I seem to recall a very similar set of cold fusion research summaries from the late 1980s. Something is still going on but what exactly is still not easy to resolve. Go Dr. Sabine, go!

  • Madness by Design
    Madness by Design 7 months ago +296

    I like that she acknowledges her skepticism, yet believes more study is beneficial. So often, science is treated as established fact. "There's just one problem..." - it is not. Science is still very much 'figuring it out'. That's not bad. We just need to recognize that our models are incomplete, and keep studying.
    Much continued success, Sabine. I like your attitude, and clear explanations. Well done! :)

    • Didack
      Didack 7 months ago +4

      The problem is when something is so unlikely to be achieved in theory that we might be wasting resources on that that we could use on more achievable stuff that is also very important.

    • Sami Jumppanen
      Sami Jumppanen 7 months ago +2

      Yes. We are the science. That's why it's incomplete.

    • Madness by Design
      Madness by Design 7 months ago +14

      @Didack But given that our 'knowledge' is so limited, any ideas of what is 'so unlikely' could be way off. It's by stretching the limits of our perceived limitations that we exceed them, and find new horizons... :)

    • Didack
      Didack 7 months ago +1

      @Madness by Design But resources are limited (money, HR, materials), if you have to choose between several options, you have to invest into what is realistic to be achieved yet important, not on what is hypothetical.
      We need some standards, it can't be that we invest on whatever we feel like it regardless of how likely it is to give results.

    • Motti Shneor
      Motti Shneor 7 months ago +6

      The problem isn't really in science. REAL scientists (I'd say the majority of them at least) never claim to have "full knowledge" of anything, and are very much aware of the gaps and vast areas uncharted. They are even afraid sometimes to get to these vast uncharted areas in their research.
      The problem is with the billions of ignorants who MUST have something to believe in, and with the decline (in popularity) of religion, have made the scientist figure (yes, the one with strange hair-cut and white apron, holding glass test tubes and colorful liquid in them) their new high priests, doing the rituals of the new religion.
      True, we owe much of modern day's technology to the findings of scientists, still... the masses put way too much faith on the scientific method and "what we know at present" for their own health.
      I think the strongest example is the huge political force on scientists today to align with the new prophetic warnings of "global climate catastrophe" which is of course a big fat lie - there's absolutely no evidence, or even reasonable model to predict that. Anyway - the workings of religion severely damage scientists ability to do their thing successfully.

  • o0alessandro0o
    o0alessandro0o 4 months ago +2

    Okay, coming back to this, because I watched it when it first came out, and youtube just proposed it to me again, and it made me laugh.
    That "there is just one problem"...
    Sabine is a very talented educator and communicator. We need more of her. In fact, we need at least one of her in every school.
    If you make your lessons interesting and engaging, students will learn. If you bore them to tears, they won't. It really is that simple. Of course, simple is not easy, and finding a good educator is an endlessly frustrating task.
    During my entire schooling I had... I think two teachers who were both engaging and effective. I had a great one that taught me next to nothing, because he was engaging but not very good at teaching, and none that were great at teaching but not very engaging, because the latter is a prerequisite for the former. Over the course of two decades, that is a very small number.

  • Michael Hermary
    Michael Hermary 5 months ago

    Thank you! It's refreshing to see you are willing to say something maybe possible because of things we do not understand.

  • captainmaim
    captainmaim 7 months ago +2

    We need a buzzer and a scorecard for every time she says "there's just one problem."

  • Lisa J
    Lisa J 4 months ago +1

    She’s so great. She explains so well and is funny!

  • Bill Cape
    Bill Cape 7 months ago +3

    Sabine, I love your articulation of this cold fusion problem (just one, of course). Even the simple discussion is complex, and I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. Thank you.

  • NSV
    NSV 8 months ago +171

    One thing I really value about this channel.
    Sabine is frank about the holes in our scientific knowledge.

    • Norfolk Sceptic
      Norfolk Sceptic 7 months ago +4

      It's what Physics is about, though most holes are just in my knowledge. :)
      Another, similar, example is being a Project Manager and not liking to solve problems.

    • Hans-Joachim Bierwirth
      Hans-Joachim Bierwirth 7 months ago +1

      She's making them up.

    • Wayne Lambright
      Wayne Lambright 7 months ago

      You only said "holes" because she's a woman

    • memespace
      memespace 7 months ago +1

      Frank? She draws the gaps in knowledge out, puts them in a party dress, covers them in beaded necklaces and parades them around in the town center, describing them in detail with a megaphone to anyone who will listen.

  • Henry J.
    Henry J. 6 months ago +1

    Dr. H. This is probably the best-written one you've done.

  • OJB42
    OJB42 6 months ago +1

    Thanks for the very clear and interesting video. I hadn't realised that cold fusion was quite so feasible. There's just one problem...

  • Robert Taylor
    Robert Taylor 7 months ago +1

    It's going back many years, but I read about cold fusion, not long after it was initially proposed, the article claim that the reason the experiment couldn't be repeated was the fact that the metals used as the anodes/cathodes had microscopic cracks in them, some were produced without these cracks (apparently by happenstance), and these would produce the "cold fusion".

  • SpikeTheSpiker
    SpikeTheSpiker 7 months ago +2

    Subscribed! Great explanation into a subject matter I haven't seen explored by others on youtube. Thoroughly well researched and I love that you have citations!

  • Koi Yujo
    Koi Yujo 3 months ago +1

    I'm very excited that cold fusion could be very possible and I'm very excited if it does manage to happen

  • basementpoet
    basementpoet 8 months ago +104

    I never entirely understand what’s going on in these videos, but they give me such excellent research rabbit hole fodder. I get to be confused about so many new, exciting things. Thank you, truly!

    • yr obt svt
      yr obt svt 8 months ago +5

      You have to be careful with cold fusion, it is easy to waste time on rabbit holes. Actually I've watched a bunch of stuff about it and I've never seen a better explanation than this video...

    • C Thompson
      C Thompson 8 months ago +1

      I've learnt rather a lot that I'm more confused about in these last couple of years than my entire life beforehand, regarding physics. 😆

    • chichi
      chichi 8 months ago +2

      @C Thompson that is called the beginning of the enlightenment phase. Once you reach that stage, you stop working but continue talking.

  • Aurovrata Venet
    Aurovrata Venet 6 months ago +1

    Great overview. I don't think i will be buying palladium any time soon 😂 but one aspect of the ongoing research in cold fusion that has been omitted is the detection of helium which would be the ultimate proof of fusion rather than decay particles or excess energy. A difficult task given helium's volatility

  • Edward Allan
    Edward Allan 3 months ago

    I love Sabine's understandable explanations of physics! And her selection of topics. The things I am curious about! Less importantly, but still nice, she is charming, humorous & adorable.

  • Gunnar Ólason
    Gunnar Ólason 7 months ago +2

    One thing I newer see mentioned is the fact that when you "dissolve" the deuterium in the metal lattice the deuterium electrons will be no longer fully associated with the D but be floating. This also means the D would be floating in between in the lattice and be pushed or pulled depending on applied current in the system. Hence I have never seen a report which looks into the possibility that overtones from the power source with the lattice imperfections could be the source of the excess energy needed for the collision. Nor have I ever seen anybody try to make the experiment with alternating frequency which should possibly give some D atoms enough. We are talking about a small fraction of the D which are needed for this instance and therefore the explanation why this works and sometimes not. Maybe I am wrong.

  • Wally Friend
    Wally Friend 7 months ago

    I was a physics major in College and then I switched EE when a lot of my Physicists friends were getting side jobs in anything they could find. After getting a PhD in EE, I often wondered if I chose the right road. At the time, there wasn't these big species ending problems like Global Warming or Energy Crisis. If there were, maybe I would have stuck it out.

  • Mark Valor
    Mark Valor 4 months ago +1

    The studio lighting in this video is superb, really makes your eyes pop. And the scientific content is great, of course.

  • Bread
    Bread 8 months ago +89

    Sabine is literally one of the most respectable creators on the platform

  • Trevor Ward
    Trevor Ward 7 months ago +1

    Thanks for an enjoyable video on a controversial subject. Coincidentally, I had watched the movie The Saint this past week-end so this was a great answer to many of the questions. The comedic trope of "... there's just one problem" was a nice touch.

  • Jeff Taylor
    Jeff Taylor 3 months ago

    Thank you. This is the most informative video I have seen in a long time.

  • Lorenzo Montoya
    Lorenzo Montoya 5 months ago

    Most of what she imparts glides over my head. But love listening to her.💙

  • Chris Finan
    Chris Finan 6 months ago

    One of the clearest technical presentations I've ever listened to.

  • betwys1
    betwys1 7 months ago +1

    I attended one meeting where Pons & Fleischman described their experients, long ago. This seems like a good summary description of methods. And yes, I tried to replicate: and failed.

  • George Chen
    George Chen 8 months ago +93

    Sabine, you are absolutely BRILLIANT. I suffer from a lifelong allergy to math, and yet with your presentation I can actually understand the broad outlines of this research and some of the problems the scientists are encountering. You are a highly gifted teacher providing people like me a glimpse into areas of thought we would not otherwise have access to. Thank you so much!

    • Andy M
      Andy M 7 months ago

      George, you may also want to check out (if you don't already), PBS's "Spacetime". Much in the manner of Sabine's show, the host takes a lot of really gnarly stuff and breaks it down into, "these are the theories between certain ideas physicists are toying with, minus the crazy math."

  • MrSnowman
    MrSnowman 5 months ago

    There's a lot of work making videos like these. But this has sown a lot of fusion scepticism in me from having been relatively hopeful for projects like ITER. I'd like to hear Sabines take on the Lawrence Livermore National Lab news, it's hard to know if this is real progress.

  • Joe Turner
    Joe Turner 7 months ago

    Dr Hossenfelder. Explaining very difficult ideas, and these are difficult, simply is a facet of genius. I wish that I had your skill. Brilliant.

  • The True Nolan
    The True Nolan 7 months ago +1

    Very nice video! One of the only videos I have ever seen which gives a clear, unbiased look at cold fusion. Thank you!

  • Cecil Compagnon
    Cecil Compagnon 5 months ago

    Very informative and well presented. Thank you

  • khaoliang
    khaoliang 4 months ago

    very well presented, easy to follow and understand, and it made me laugh several times.

  • Ghost Of Recon
    Ghost Of Recon 7 months ago +144

    “It’s not just that lab life is lonely and neutrons are better than nobody” you’re awesome. I love your videos

    • Raven4K
      Raven4K 7 months ago +1

      cold fusion is the ultimate fantasy energy source

    • Dean Moore
      Dean Moore 7 months ago

      I feel like there needs to be a large tattoo proclaiming "LAB LIFE!" across the abdomen of a particularly smug researcher...😉

    • Raven4K
      Raven4K 7 months ago +1

      @Dean Moore please don't give them ideas like that🤣

    • Raven4K
      Raven4K 7 months ago +1

      @Dean Moore are you like a badger just taking resources or something?🤣🤣

    • Dean Moore
      Dean Moore 7 months ago

      @Raven4K Honey Badger don't care! 😁

  • msideratos
    msideratos 6 months ago

    ΜΠΡΑΒΟ ΡΕ SABINE ΜΠΡΑΒΟ! Μπράβο για την έρευνά σου και για την υποδειγματική επιστημονική και ανθρώπινη προσέγγισή σου. Είσαι ΑΞΙΑ!

  • Wilfoe
    Wilfoe 7 months ago

    Clear and educational. Thank you for this video!

  • Robert Goss
    Robert Goss 5 months ago +1

    I have come to greatly enjoy your programs. You explain complex issues and problems, with no dumbing down. That takes great skill and a thorough understanding of the subject. I may just be a bohunk Georgia boy, but I am not an ignoramus. I think you respect the intelligence of every viewer.

  • Harald Mohr
    Harald Mohr 7 months ago +2

    Thank you very much for this high-interesting-article. I remember the hype about the »cold fusion« during my mechanical study at the FH-Lübeck end of the 1980th and I thought: This issue setteld once and for all - but think.
    Very interessting; it seems: Some few sub atomar operationes we don't understand till now. I will take a look from time-to-time in accordance to this issue. It looks like some surprises will happen to us. The next few decades will be very interesting also referring to this. 🙂

  • sana9489
    sana9489 4 months ago

    Thanks, Dr. H. Is the LENR output within the margin of error?

  • Steve Brown
    Steve Brown 8 months ago +160

    A solid-state diode was in use for radio reception long before science explained how it worked. It was found that a metal wire in contact with a crystal of galena could perform rectification on weak amplitude-modulated signals. It was used simply because it worked.

    • Michael Moorrees
      Michael Moorrees 8 months ago +23

      Yep, it highlights the difference between science (knowledge for knowledge sake) versus technology (tool making). Blacksmiths were making metal, not just metal objects, thousands of years before metallurgy became a thing. Science and technology are now linked, because science is a tool that technologist can use to make their wares. They are still separate disciplines. Just because you use a computer does not make you a computer programmer.

    • Steve Wilson
      Steve Wilson 8 months ago +109

      Ha! You bring back old memories. I read an article in Popular Mechanics or some similar publication on how to build a crystal radio using galena. A friend of mine was a rock collector and gave me a small crystal of galena. I remember heating a lump of lead with my father's gasoline blowtorch and dropping the crystal in it. Then I needed to make an inductor. It turns out that Quick Quaker Oats came in a cylindrical container of the right diameter. I pestered my mom to make me Quaker Oats for breakfast.
      When the tube was finally empty, I asked my mom if I could have it. The next problem was finding wire to wind the inductor. It turns out that old power transformers from radio and TV sets had a lot of wire. I used some to make the inductor, and some heavier wire to make the antenna. Now that everything was together I found a sensitive spot on the galena crystal, and lo and behold I heard voices!
      The signal was much stronger than I expected, so I got on my bike and followed the road down to the end. There sat radio station CFRB, a 50,000 watt station on 1010 kilocycles. The friendly engineers let me in and took me on a tour of the station. I was completely fascinated and returned many times for more explanations of how the station worked. This started a lifelong career in electronics. I am now 80 years old and retired with a total of 6 United States Patents and numerous inventions. All thanks to a small crystal of galena from a friend.

    • Txori Morea
      Txori Morea 8 months ago +9

      We probably run out of low hanging fruits that can be found just by clumping stuff together, and some luck.

    • John Curry
      John Curry 8 months ago +5

      @Steve Wilson : Your story deserves to be recorded.

    • Ray of Light 62
      Ray of Light 62 8 months ago +6

      @Steve Wilson I used a cat whisker on the Galena crystal using some tungsten wire, which I obtained by cracking open a 100 W lightbulb.
      But OA91 diodes become available not long after...

  • Greg Feneis
    Greg Feneis 7 months ago

    Keep up the good work, Ms. Hossenfelder. To save your reputation, when a colleague asks what you're working on, tell them you're improving your alchemy methods.

  • Andrew McAuley
    Andrew McAuley 5 months ago

    It's now forever etched in my mind:
    Cold fusion is a promising field, there's just one problem

  • Werner Engel
    Werner Engel 5 months ago +2

    Ponds & Fleischman did inspire me in the 80s to follow the development of TOKAMAK based fusion. Today I work with plasma on a daily base and give lectures about ITER. So yes, cold fusion worked for me ;-)

    • chuck les
      chuck les 4 months ago

      -30 reputation points

  • Harrs2
    Harrs2 5 months ago

    Absolutely fantastic video, very well explained and funny too

  • 85rockhound
    85rockhound 7 months ago

    Very enjoyable and informative video. Glad I found your channel.

  • ethical_researcher47
    ethical_researcher47 8 months ago +210

    Sabine: There's just one problem...
    Me: Wow. Only one problem remaining to solve? That's fantastic!
    Sabine: It's not working.
    Me: ...oh

    • Marqan
      Marqan 8 months ago +25

      "there's just one problem" x 30

    • Luke Bunyip
      Luke Bunyip 8 months ago +14

      I'm reminded of Isaac Arthur's favourite catchphrase: "The first rule of warfare is..."

    • Duke de Pommefrites
      Duke de Pommefrites 8 months ago +5

      Reminds of Colombo, "There's just one thing..."

    • Zyansheep
      Zyansheep 8 months ago +2

      Well... it *might* work, it just hasn't been replicated :P

    • mario degroote
      mario degroote 8 months ago

      hahahaha yeah :D shes always funny to the bone:D

  • edward rochester
    edward rochester 5 months ago

    Fascinating! I never knew there had been so much cold fusion in the past. Apart from the science, there is a lot of interesting stuff about the psychology of the scientist.
    In the early 2000s, there was an initiative entitled Sonofusion (an amusing multiple meaning there) in some way a similar approach to the earlier cold fusion. An acoutic device generated small bubbles which produced a highly localised intense energy pulse when they collapsed. The fluid medium was C3D6O. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_fusion)
    Scientifically, the credibility was supported by a some very eminent scientists in the field of two-phase flow, experts on everything to do with bubbles.They even did some predictions using models based on the classical gas laws and hydrodynamic equations, which showed pressures high enough for fusion to be credible. There are papers which include it. Isn't that enough to convince sceptics?
    But there's only one problem. ..... the gas laws and fluid equations dont apply anywhere near those pressures.
    Re - the reputation trap. Weren't they concerned about their reputations? Oh no, they were well past retirement age, no need to worry about reputation and future career

  • Pikachu 2111 2
    Pikachu 2111 2 7 months ago

    This video really only talked about D-D fusion, but what about D-T fusion? Could that work in cold fusion? If not, would it be at least more efficient than D-D?

  • Alexandre Robidoux
    Alexandre Robidoux 7 months ago

    First timer here, my take away of this whole video is that there is always "one problem"... love the fact that there is no click bait, facts are verified and her telepromter is very accurate lol looks like she's also a good writer... the information is differently presentede than other videos. I like that. Thank you.

  • Maxaldojo
    Maxaldojo 7 months ago

    Well done, Sabine and team!

  • Pedro Rafael
    Pedro Rafael 6 months ago

    Very informative and detailed explanations. It cleared a bunch of ideas from other readings. Thank you!

  • Rodders
    Rodders 8 months ago +54

    The "there is just one problem" got me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

    • Neil Youngman
      Neil Youngman 8 months ago +1

      A highly reproducible phrase

    • flagmichael
      flagmichael 8 months ago

      There are not many people who could pull that off. This is the first of her videos I have seen (won't be the last!) and I adore her delivery. Lively enough to keep us listening, and punctuated enough to know when we are taking a sharp turn.

    • Ricky Earp
      Ricky Earp 8 months ago

      Yes, priceless isn't it? Bordering on profound!

  • Paul Freedel
    Paul Freedel 7 months ago

    Fantastic lecture Sabrina. Many thanks.

  • Ambienfinity
    Ambienfinity 7 months ago

    I've always thought of cold fusion as physics version of snake oil, thanks for straightening out the bag of snakes, Sabine!

  • Doug Wray
    Doug Wray 7 months ago

    Fascinating lecture and excellent presenter!

  • James Wright
    James Wright 6 months ago +1

    Today I learned that if I get lonely, I only need a neutristor. Great video as always!

    • GreyDeathVaccine
      GreyDeathVaccine 6 months ago

      But neutrons are very short lived companions - only 15 min.

  • John Knight
    John Knight 5 months ago

    I love her comedic timing with the musical cues.

  • Jan Bruun Andersen
    Jan Bruun Andersen 8 months ago +113

    According to Sabine, there is only one problem with LENR: Labs aren't blowing up left and right.
    Finally somethings about physics that I can understand.

    • Thierry Phillips
      Thierry Phillips 8 months ago +4

      Not left and right, but there have been anomalous explosions, from the nano/micro-scale up to SRI losing one of their researchers in a lab explosion that COULDN'T possibly be accounted by a H + O or D + O or any combination thereof.

    • Peter Andrews
      Peter Andrews 8 months ago +2

      I remember this being described as ‘the dead graduate student problem’ (i.e. there should be explosions if this was working)

    • Jim Urrata
      Jim Urrata 8 months ago +2

      @Peter Andrews Schrodinger's lab intern?

  • Raptary
    Raptary 5 months ago

    Thank you for all your work.

  • kevin o'malley
    kevin o'malley 6 months ago

    could tau particles be used in place of muons to further decrease the distances?

  • stopscammingman
    stopscammingman 6 months ago

    Thank you for the thorough breakdown.

  • Kanwaljit Singh
    Kanwaljit Singh 5 months ago

    Sabine I love your style. Keep it up. Eagerly watch your videos.

  • mikeall
    mikeall 6 months ago +1

    I appreciate you covering this taboo topic. Science is subject to popularity contests and politics that restrict technical curiosity and as a community we should recognize and resist that. The examples of discoveries from subjects once considered "pseudo science" is countless.

  • Jimmy Zhao
    Jimmy Zhao 8 months ago +68

    *I love Cold Fusion.* It brings me back to my university days when Fleischmann-Pons first made their 'announcement'
    I remember so many people setting up their own experiments, and faxing, yes faxing each other their results(or non-results)

    • Alice Phoenix
      Alice Phoenix 8 months ago +4

      I hate to break it to you, but fax machines are still widely used. Xerox on the other hand..

    • Dave Storm
      Dave Storm 8 months ago +8

      @Alice Phoenix Indeed. We were warned, a long time ago, that it was always important to practice "Safe Fax" and use a cover sheet. 😊

    • Gee Trieste
      Gee Trieste 8 months ago +5

      Fax machines pre-date the telephone, and are still widely used today. I just faxed someone yesterday.
      Reasons for use today often involve faxing legal documents, which are recognized in law as something close to the original for legal purposes, and also that a hard copy is necessarily produced in normal fax communications.

    • Allan {a.k.a. RocKITEman}
      Allan {a.k.a. RocKITEman} 8 months ago +1

      *_"There was just one FAX?"_*

    • QuartuvLarry
      QuartuvLarry 7 months ago +1

      Hey. Hey there. Some of the Floridonians’ electrical cars caught fire when hurricane Ian flooded the salty sea water up to them. It was salty seawater. ohmigod. Why’d they catch fire BECAUSE of water? OhmiGAHD! I don’t know why because I’m a casual savant, and I didn’t look up shit.

  • Oliver Buenaflor
    Oliver Buenaflor 4 months ago

    I've wanted Cold Fusion to work since I saw The Saint in theaters in the 90s. The guilty pleasure of a movie starring Val Kilmer and Elizabeth Shue. Been your fan since the British Scifi writer Ashley Pollard ahared your videos 2 years ago. Cheers

  • David Christy
    David Christy 6 months ago

    Wait, I didn't know about that form of neutron generation using titanium. What really got my attention was that this could be used as the seed for a portable thorium reactor with an on off switch. It's not as exciting as fusion, but if you could make cost efficient portable energy generation that fits on a normal semi truck, that would be a big deal. Has anybody ever looked into this?

  • JamesBourne /gentlemanghost

    The first successfully verified cold fusion experiment = an explosion at the lab! Thanks for the video.

  • Luke Dornon
    Luke Dornon 7 months ago

    "There was just one problem..." Pretty much describes the entire history of the search for fusion energy generation so far.

  • Steve Anderson
    Steve Anderson 7 months ago

    I soo fortunate that cold fusion didn’t work in 1989. I was a physics grad student working on atomic force microscopy and there was a cold fusion reactor on the floor above my lab. When I visited the lab, they had shielding on the top and sides…..but not on the bottom….directly above my lab. Thank you WSU.

  • diogenesagogo
    diogenesagogo 8 months ago +46

    Fanbloodytastic video! You're an absolute star. Your videos should be part of the school curriculum, they're pitched at just the right level for kids who have any interest in science with just the right amount of detail to make them want to know more without overcomplicating it. And you're a born entertainer!

    • Kerri
      Kerri 8 months ago +5

      Pitched at kids? I'm 47 and don't understand any of it 😂💖

    • ffggddss
      ffggddss 8 months ago +1

      @Kerri I think diogenesagogo is referring to her methods of presentation. The particular points she makes, could be simplified for a younger audience.

    • C Thompson
      C Thompson 8 months ago +1

      @Kerri I understand enough to go and ask Sabine and her other more knowledgeable followers random questions later. :)

  • Egon Freeman
    Egon Freeman 7 months ago

    From all of this, it makes me think - a "gut feeling", if you will, which is in essence a predicted result based on information I have, but can't effectively correlate consciously - that "cold fusion" is going to follow everything else and produce just a little bit less energy than gets pumped into it. The only way to get extra energy out is to have it put in there in the first place - so unless we find a fundamental interaction or mechanism to release said energy (zero-point energy extraction style), I think we're stuck with what we can currently see. I do strongly agree, however, that there are things we don't yet know, and while we probably won't get _an energy source_ out of this, there are other things waiting for discovery. Perhaps new methods to produce metamaterials?

  • Char Harn
    Char Harn 6 months ago

    I agree with the part, if a cold fusion or LENR occurrence was present I predict that there is no reason they could have contained the process from an extreme event. Unless that some fail safes where present which I am not aware of and even if could be theorized or imagined prior to the experiment.

  • Steve Deacon
    Steve Deacon 2 months ago

    The findings from the university has suggested that Sabine has a unique way to make difficult scientific subjects interesting, there is only one problem, nobody has been able to replicate their findings

  • Alex Buchanan
    Alex Buchanan 6 months ago

    Could we design a custom meta-materail (a material with specifically arranged elements in a stable crystalline structure, look up negative index of refraction [holograms] or light based MUX for reference) that capture, constrain, and fuse nuclei trapped in their interstitial spaces?

  • Who's a good Dogue
    Who's a good Dogue 7 months ago

    Cold Fusion? Ahh yes, I remember (accidentaly) discovering it as an 8 year old child. It was winter time in Scotland, with the temperature was about minus 15C. I decided to try and lick the ice off a cast iron lamp-post (as you do). Result: My tongue instantly froze (and stuck) to the pole - thus, discovering ''cold fusion'' at 8 years old.

  • Ollie Ox
    Ollie Ox 6 months ago

    You keep getting my hopes up and then crashing them down with, "there's just one problem ..." It's like a lot of dates I've been on and I think I'm gonna get lucky.

  • Timothy Vincent
    Timothy Vincent 7 months ago +2

    Not what I expected (not a farcical "free power" scam.). I was aware of the neutron generator and the technique of inserting d2 atoms into the crystal lattice. The idea of nano cracks on an active surface was intriguing. I helped play around some with nano engineering metal crystals for catalysis and can say it's difficult to produce the effect you want. I've read that the deuterium ion beam might be targeted on a crystal full of screw dislocations that might pinch the beam to a point, but it would take an impossibly dense beam to work. A pity academia is so conservative about following theory.

    • ba doem
      ba doem 5 months ago

      just curious, can't you use multiple beams? light is not that cost demanding I thougt but can be focusd and recycled pretty simple relatively of course

  • Donald D Giesler
    Donald D Giesler 7 months ago

    Very good run through on cold fusion that works and what does not and why and why not or is questionable to continue investigation of additional data of future functionality outputs for generating more power out than what is inputted. Thank you..