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Back to Basics addresses cold fusion

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The Happy Dancing Turtle Back to Basics event was held Saturday, Feb. 1, at Pine River-Backus School for year eight, featuring a presentation on cold fusion by Ryan Hunt from Hunt Technologies of Pine River.

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Hunt gave a brief history of research into cold fusion as well as an explanation of the differences between fission, which is our current source of nuclear energy, and fusion.

Fission is a process in which the atoms of a radioactive material — uranium — are split to create energy. This dangerous process leaves behind radioactive waste.

Fusion, on the other hand, is a process by which two atoms are combined. This reaction also produces a lot of power, but less or no nuclear waste.

There are two types: cold and hot fusion. Hunt discussed cold fusion research as it is being done in Pine River.

Hunt Technologies research into cold fusion began with multiple claims of cold fusion breakthroughs. Hunt and his group attempted to recreate these breakthroughs.

Since beginning, research in Pine River has been inconclusive. Hunt said attempts to replicate various breakthroughs have failed, not only on the Hunt campus, but in many other research labs.

In spite of cold fusion shortcomings, Hunt and his group stumbled across a completely different breakthrough when they began posting their results online live in a process called “live open science.”

All of the research processes are available for anyone interested in replicating the Hunt experiments. Furthermore, at any given time the data from experiments at Hunt are available online at liveopenscience.org. This means that even when Hunt is sleeping, someone across the world can monitor the results of their cold fusion research, do calculations and even come up with hypothesis.

Traditionally, results from potentially lucrative scientific experiments are closely guarded and kept proprietary, so that when a breakthrough happens, the details of the scientific process can be sold. Unfortunately this limits the number of people who can be present to conduct or measure the results of the experiment.

Live open science is not bound by the same restraints.

This new adaptation to the scientific method has proven valuable, if not as valuable as cold fusion. Hunt said someone even joked that they should be given a Nobel Peace Prize.

Some say cold fusion is not possible. Hunt said he is not willing to take a stance at this point; but if nothing else, live open science could be used for other promising research.

For those attendees not interested in engineering and physics, Back to Basics also featured a plethora of different topics to discuss, including composting, soap making, kombucha brewing, and many gardening sessions. Those who weren’t interested in presentations also had vendors to visit, including Brambleberry Farm from Pequot Lakes and the Foothills Alpaca Farm from west of Backus.

Travis Grimler can be reached at travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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