Possible Sound-Induced Nuclear Fusion Posited
Additional Experiments Are Needed
Troy, N.Y. — A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National
Laboratory (ORNL) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has
reported the observation of phenomena that could point to the
possibility of nuclear fusion using a novel technique for
The approach, called “bubble fusion,” is reported in the March
8 issue of Science magazine.
Attempts to confirm these results by looking for the telltale
neutron signature of the deuterium fusion reaction have yielded
mixed results. Additional experiments are needed to verify
The research team reported that ultrasonic waves were used to
implode small cavitation bubbles of deuterated-acetone vapor.
The team further reported that, during bubble implosion,
evidence pointing to nuclear emissions and sonoluminescence
light flashes was observed, as well as evidence of tritium
which could suggest the fusion of deuterium atoms in the highly
“It’s hard to know at this point what the ultimate importance
of this discovery will be. However at this time, it looks
promising,” said Professor Richard T. Lahey Jr., the Edward E.
Hood Professor of Engineering at Rensselaer, one of the authors
of the published research.
The cavitation experiments were conducted at ORNL by Rusi
Taleyarkhan, Colin West, and Jae Seon-Cho. Lahey and Robert
Nigmatulin, a visiting scholar at Rensselaer and a member of
the Russian Academy of Sciences, performed the theoretical
analysis of the bubble dynamics and the shock-induced
pressures, temperatures, and densities in the imploding
bubbles. Robert Block, professor emeritus of nuclear
engineering at Rensselaer, helped to set up and calibrate a
neutron and gamma detection system.
Contact: Bruce Adams
Phone: (518) 276-6531