Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Comments on the Constituents of Social Structure

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The 1/2008 edition of Sociologica contains a reprint of Harrison White’s classical “Notes on the Constituents of Social Structure” alongside explanatory notes. This short memo offers a glimpse into the rewriting process of White’s Identity and Control and points out how stable this theory has been over 40 years. Three core concepts already present in the Notes are singled out, namely social space-time, the duality of emergence and constraint, and scale-invariance. Finally, it is argued that Identity and Control can contribute much to integrating insights from social science and complexity science. Read the paper here »

Is Condensed Matter Nuclear Science at a Critical Point?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

In 2007 Edmund Storms’ book The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction was published. This compilation of evidence and explanations about Cold Fusion lists 157 experiments from 1989 to 2004 where excess power in form of heat was generated. In other words: more energy came out than was put in. Figure 39 from the book is reproduced here (click to enlarge images). It shows that more than 100 experiments produced close to 0 Watt excess power. But in the upper limit two experiments produced ~100 Watt, one gave 144 Watt, and one 183 Watt. (more…)

Breakthrough in Extracting Energy from Hydrogen?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Peak oil is now, according to The Energy Watch Group, who predict that by 2030 Germany may not be able to import crude oil. Other fossil fuels, such as coal, do not burn cleanly and uranium fission is risky. Renewable energies and nuclear fusion give hope as energy sources. Hydrogen is often considered as an energy carrier. Wind farms or solar arrays produce electricity to extract hydrogen from water. The hydrogen gas is carried to a point of use, where it burns cleanly. But the US company BlackLight Power claims the possibility to extract from hydrogen 100 times the energy of ordinary combustion. A prototype is said to produce 50k Watt of heat power on demand. This claim has now been scrutinized and confirmed by a US university. Is hydrogen not only an energy carrier, but also an energy source? Read the article at Telepolis »

Cold Fusion is Warming Up – Again

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

For about 50 years science has been trying to reproduce the process that powers the sun and use it as an energy supply on earth. In eight years the international fusion reactor ITER is supposed to get operative and initiate the age of Hot Fusion – a scientific dream and a billion Euro project. Currently a conference is taking place in Washington DC, right at the doorstep of US Congress. It’s motto: “Exciting New Science and Potential Clean Energy.” But it’s not about Hot Fusion. The following is a translation of a report on Cold Fusion that aired on Deutschlandfunk today. It was followed by a conference report by the science correspondent. (more…)

Lobbying for Cold Fusion

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

In 2004 the German online magazine Telepolis ran my mini series about Cold Fusion. The background was an evaluation of the state of research by the US Department of Energy. Their conclusion remained ambiguous. A home program for Cold Fusion, as the proponents had hoped for, was not established. Now the science lobbying has entered another round. Since Monday the 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science is held at the doorstep of US Congress. But ground work is international and especially going strong in India. A key role is attributed to a recent demonstration of Cold Fusion at Osaka University in Japan, which some hope to be the beginning of a breakthrough. Part 7 tells a background story of these scientific and political efforts. (more…)

Burning Water Amazes Researchers

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Water is the most frequent molecule on earth. Yet, it hasn’t revealed all its secrets. When John Kanzius discovered a new way of splitting up und burning water by subjecting it to a radiofrequency field this was first caught up by the local media. A “Water Into Fuel” discussion ensued in the web. Not so fast, says Rustom Roy of Penn State University who checked the claim with a team including Kanzius. Until the recent publication of the first paper, no measurements of efficiency had been made. Roy ponders why water can be split in a weak RF field at all. He points towards the phenomenon of resonance. The following article is a longer version of a report in German that aired in Deutschlandfunk on 21 May 2008. (more…)

Take a Leap Into Hyperspace

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Every year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awards prizes for the best papers presented at its annual conference. Last year’s winner in the nuclear and future flight category went to a paper calling for experimental tests of an astonishing new type of engine. According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There’s just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognised kind of physics. Can they possibly be serious?

For the first time since 1967 this New Scientist feature article introduces the work of the 2001 deceased German physicist Burkhard Heim to an international public. Supporters of Heim theory claim that it is a panacea for the troubles in modern physics. They say it unites quantum mechanics and general relativity, can predict the masses of the building blocks of matter from first principles, and can even explain the state of the universe 13.7 billion years ago. Heim’s work has been extended by Austrian mathematician Walter Dröscher who, with German physicist Jochem Häuser, wrote the prize-winning paper. (more…)