Two Hungarian Physicists Claim They Produced Controlled Nuclear Fusion
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) _ Two Hungarian physicists replicated an experiment first done in Utah to produce controlled nuclear fusion using basic chemistry, the official MTI news agency reported today.
Gyula Csikai and Tibor Sztaricskai from the experimental physics department of Lajos Kossuth University in Debrecen, eastern Hungary, succeeded in reproducing the experiment on Thursday, MTI said.
They produced an electrolysis in ″heavy water″ - water that includes an isotope of hydrogen - between platinum and palladium electrodes and were able to register nuclear fusion by neutron counters, the agency said.
Fusion occurs when the nucleus, or core, of one hydrogen atom fuses with the nucleus of another hydrogen atom, creating heat.
″This result was reinforced by subsequent control tests,″ the agency said.
The report on the experiment was confirmed today by Istvan Palfy, rector of Kossuth University.
B. Stanley Pons, chairman of the University of Utah’s chemistry department, and Martin Fleischmann of Southhampton University in England claimed the breakthrough in nuclear fusion March 24. They predicted the development could lead to a technology capable of driving electrical generators.
Other nuclear scientists said the experiment would have to be duplicated independently before the findings of Pons and Fleischmann could be accepted.
Nuclear fusion, the power that fuels the sun, is regarded as science’s next great frontier in developing new sources of energy but has generally been considered to be years away from commercial exploitation.
It differs from conventional processes in that it fuses atoms, rather than splits them, and generates little radioactive waste. But standard fusion experiments have required extremely high temperatures for the reaction to occur.
MTI said the departmentplans to conduct further experiments ″to trace the exact mechanism of the process taking place in palladium, which may finally make the practical application of nuclear fusion possible.″