schwit1 writes: Researchers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center have now demonstrated a method of inducing nuclear fusion without building a massive stellarator or tokamak. In fact, all they needed was a bit of metal, some hydrogen, and an electron accelerator.
The team believes that their method, called lattice confinement fusion, could be a potential new power source for deep space missions. They have published their results in two papers in Physical Review C… “What we did was not cold fusion,” says Lawrence Forsley, a senior lead experimental physicist for the project. Cold fusion, the idea that fusion can occur at relatively low energies in room-temperature materials, is viewed with skepticism by the vast majority of physicists. Forsley stresses this is hot fusion, but “We’ve come up with a new way of driving it.”
The article contains a good description of the technical details, and end by summarizing the hopes of the project’s analytical physicist and nuclear diagnostics lead. “This method of fusion offers a potentially reliable source for craft operating in places where solar panels may not be useable, for example.
“And of course, what works in space could be used on Earth.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.