Imagine if you didn't need to worry about over heating cores at nuclear facilities. If cold fusion were ever actually attained we could basically have the power of a star at room temperature. The main reason it has never been put into actual testing is because of two factors: radiation leaks and long term environmental effects.
We know that radiation would quite possibly leak out but we have no way of measuring how much and how it would affect us. It would absolutely affect those that work closely with fusion reactors. Who's to say they would be willing to risk their health for an alternative that could potentially provide cheap energy sources to the world? Some of the environmental effects would be longer spring seasons. So plants would grow longer and become more prevalent which would increase pollen and disorient living for those that suffer from allergies. Since the reactors would be a cheap source of energy the influx of toxic waste dumping could sky-rocket. These devices have the potential to create better ways of living in third world countries. They could help provide drinking water. Although, a desalinator would need to be involved as heavy metals, salts, and minerals could form in the water provided.
Negative ResultsThe hunt to prove this energy source outside of just theories started in 1989. The masterminds behind the tests were Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann. They claimed to have proved the theory in a lone test tube with none other than a palladium electrode and heavy water. Physicists everywhere took to their labs and began attempting to replicate the experiment but they all received negative results. Repeatedly, due to the hype over the successful experiment before them and the anxiety created by the possibility it might actually be proven physicists kept trying their hand and bending over backwards trying to have another successful experiment. After so many experiments ended in failure Pons and FLeischmann were called into question by the scientific community. Eventually, their experiment, the only proven experiment was deemed falsified. No one else was able to replicate what they had done and so they were deemed to have fooled everyone into false hopes.
Research for the scientific version of the holy grail is still continued today. In about eight countries, the search for was not over and done with. Dr. Alexander Borisovich Karabut was one of the scientists who didn't give up hope when Pons and Fleischmann's theory was declared false in the 1990s. Pons and Fleischmann's theory rallied around electrolysis while Dr. Karabut thought the theory might be proven if they went down the path of using plasma. His entire life became a contradictory. His whole education had ingrained in him the simple fact that nuclear energy would not work at low energies. He was determined and sought to prove that it was indeed possible. However, this tenacity would be his downfall. In some of his papers he confessed to having seen neutrons when they weren't there. It was just a mistake of measurements. His tedious work was not all for not, he did come to some conclusions and made steps, however small, towards making it a reality. He had a break through when he used an x ray along with a lead screen. By all laws of physics, the x ray should not have made an emission due to the lead screen but it did. He had his work double checked by a fellow doctor at the University of Russia and he confirmed what Karabut saw but he did not want to be associated with the experiment whatsoever. Dr. Karabut died in March 2015 due to a stroke but his work was continued on by Professor Peter Hagelstein and Dr. Fran Tanzella.
While majority of experiments have received little to no results, we are still closer to solving the unattainable. Perhaps we will be successful when our great grandchildren have grandchildren but it is a great hope that we succeed.
ReferencesResources on cold-fusion: Experimental Evidence - Cold-Fusion IE Magazine Resources on Dr. Alexander Borisovich Karabut: IE Magazine - Karabut Continuing Karabut's experiments - Hagelstein and Tanzella Resources on Pons and Fleischmann: Berkley.EDU - Pons and Fleischmann NY Times - Pons and Fleischmann
Written by Dr. David Alcantara for The All Results Journals