Friday, December 31, 2010
Nuclear Reaction Defies Expectations
All our work has been focused on naturally occurring fission reactions and living with the consequences. Here we have an empirical result that questions the present theoretical regime and we need to ask what is next?
We have learned what we have learned by hurling neutrons mostly at speeds sufficient to overcome the electrostatic potential of the target. Now we have an unusual alternative outcome that is unpredicted in our modeling.
There could be a whole range of very low probability events in play that could completely reshape our knowledge of the detail. One should not think that what we have is anything more than a good approximation to the empirical data that is likely to run foul of the facts as has just happened.
Cold fusion, by the way, is a strong hint.
The electrostatic fields are not necessarily continuous or mathematically convenient and many good questions have never been asked let alone answered in the lab. I thought cold fusion was an apparatus able to ask and answer some of those questions. Other similar apparatus need to be fabricated.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to move a low speed neutron along an axis to direct contact with an elemental nucleus at a specified location? If we ever pull that off, then perhaps we know something that can be trusted about the nucleus.
Nuclear reaction defies expectations
Dec 10, 2010