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national-ignition-facilityCold Pursuit is centrally a mystery (and a romance). When Professor Takishida’s project in the basement of the Physical Science Complex at the local university is sabotaged, Kennady and Atticus work together (usually several steps ahead of Detective Grimes) and discover who the perpetrators are. The project Dr. Takishida led was a working prototype of cold fusion. It’s all based on facts, but the actual solution (in real life) had not yet been produced.

This last week my DH sent me a link to an article Fusion Scientists See Progress . . . . It points out that there is a new name for this technology: Ignition. And it is still being pursued!

400px-Exterior_patio_of_the_National_Ignition_FacilityFor Sci-fi fans, this paragraph is cool: “Technicians gather in the control room of the NIF [National Ignition Facility], where scenes in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ scheduled for release on May 17, were shot last year. They rivet their eyes on 5-foot-high screen projections as the world’s most powerful supercomputer sorts data in a system that rivals the U.S. air-traffic-control network for complexity.”

Yes, that’s a bigger facility than in my book, but I’m okay with real life being this far advanced!

And you have to read this line (about a laser): (I’m making it bold and caps so that you’ll be sure to see it if you’re just skimming):

“[IT] DELIVERS 1,000 TIMES MORE ENERGY THAN THE US ELECTRICAL GRID AT ANY INSTANT IN TIME.”

Now, that is beyond amazing! It kind of deserves a moment of silence.

Since you’ve all been so patient with the release of the book, here’s a clip from Cold Pursuit where Vivian (a lab assistant to Dr. Takishida) is explaining the nuclear effect (cold fusion) to Kennady and Atticus: (warning: it’s the most technical part of the story—the rest is more adventure and suspense, and, alright, a bit of romance).

“Imagine it this way,” Vivien said. “Think of 250 train cars loaded with coal being shipped to supply a power plant. Those cars could be replaced with one pickup-sized load of heavy water.”
“And the byproduct is just helium,” Atticus added.
“Like in a helium balloon?” Kennady asked. “That’s harmless, isn’t it?”
“Exactly,” Vivien said. “And the amount of fuel needed to power a small city would produce only 150 grams of helium.”
“Also, there is no radioactive waste like with nuclear power from hot fusion,” Atticus said.
“What is heavy water?” Kennady probed.
Vivien crossed her hands over a knee. “It’s a form of hydrogen called deuterium. They concentrate it from seawater, and seawater is our most plentiful resource.”

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