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October 23, 2003

Dr. Rusi P. Taleyarkhan
Arden Bement Jr. Professor of Nuclear Engineering
Purdue University
(and Distinguished Scientist, Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

Title: Nuclear Emissions During Acoustic Cavitation - Progress, Future Challenges/Opportunities

A team consisting of scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Russian Academy of Sciences reported the production of nuclear emissions in a deuterated liquid using focused mechanical / acoustic energy, which was published in Science (3/8/2002). In a resonant acoustic reaction chamber, tiny (nanometer scale) vapor pockets are generated using neutrons and then made to grow by factors of ~100,000 prior to implosion during which ultra-high compressions and temperatures may well be induced per shock code modeling and simulations. Sonoluminescence light flashes and nuclear fusion reaction products are observed when induced in deuterated liquids. The team reports evidence for the production of statistically significant (>50 SD) 2.45MeV neutrons and gamma rays which are time-correlated with light flashes occuring during bubble implosion, accompanied with statistically significant tritium emissions. The colloquium talk by Dr. Taleyarkhan (the team leader, and now a Professor at Purdue University) will review the experiment, present additional and new (as yet unpublished) results that provide additional compelling evidence, clarifications to world-wide requests for further experimental data, along with insights into the transient aspects of the physics involved. Challenges to be overcome and questions related to scalability potential, opportunities for application in diverse fields ranging from chemistry, materials sciences, national security, power, and medicine will be addressed.