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Ionization can affect the atom nucleous?

I;m posting this conversation as a debate to allow TED comunity, scientific and not scientific, express their opinion on scientific topics and to encourare the scientific research and critical thinking. Any ideas expressed on this topic are welcome.

I remember when in scool my science teacher told me that electrical reactions, such as ionization, and chemical reactions does not have any effect on the nucleous?

I do not read enogh to have an anwer to this question. If the charge of an electron is equal to the charge of a proton but with different polarity, why it does not create any effect on the nucleous?

Readings on cold fusion topic make me think my teacher was wrong and there is a little effect on the nucleous caused by chemical processes such as electrolysis.

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    Jul 30 2012: that's an easy one: by definition. ionization means ripping off one or a few electrons of an atom. so we simply defined the word that way. if anything happens with the nucleus, it is called something else.

    btw there is no equivalent of that process with the nucleus. you can't act on the nucleus and remove one proton from it. if you hit the nucleus with something, it gets "excited" and start vibrating. at some point, it will break apart to two. the closest thing would be the beta decay, which means that one neutron in the nucleus splits into a proton and an electron, and the electron gets ejected. such a process leaves us an ion, since the number of electrons are not good anymore. but we don't call that process "ionization". we call it beta decay.

    just as a fun fact, i tell you that electrons can be ripped off not only from the outmost layer, but from an inside layer, even the inmost layer. to do that, you need high energy photons though, in the x-ray or gamma range. there is an analytic method based on this, called x-ray fluorescence analysis.

    on the question about cold fusion: the nucleus and the electrons are entirely in different realms energetically. the nucleus is so strongly held together, you need several orders of magnitude more energy to do anything with it. at a few million kelvin temperature, the electrons are all completely ripped off of the atom, but the nuclei still don't do anything.
    • Jul 30 2012: Very good answer and you write in a clear and concise way that allows laymen like myself to understand.
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      Jul 31 2012: the second link looks like shameless mockery. on your level (non-expert, that is) it is good enough to read wikipedia. without advanced knowledge in physics, you can't tell apart crackpottery from genuine science, so why bother? you don't need to find original articles. go to wikipedia.
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      Jul 31 2012: addition: i would not trust the first one either.
      • Jul 31 2012: This is the purpose of this conversation. I'm not an expert on this topic and I appreciate your comments. Do you have any idea why this topic is subject of study?
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          Jul 31 2012: as far as i know, it is not subject of study. there are no respectable scientific institutions on the world that would study cold fusion. all the result from the past years came from unexpected results of experiments. later they were proven to be mistakes. as of now, we can imagine no way to get two nuclei together but sheer force. it is because they are both positive, and thus repel each other. it is not a final statement, just what we have today.
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    Jul 30 2012: Ionization doesn't affect the nucleus in any meaningful way. Also cold fusion has never been proven, the researchers who claim to have achieved it never produce a repeatable experiment or you know go to the trouble of videoing the experiment.
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    Jul 30 2012: That is a very good thought!

    I unfortunately am very poor in chemistry, but I think you have a valid question that should need verification. Perhaps other members here know more about this than I do. And by chance, if you do happen to be on to something no one else has realized, then you would thus have "ideas worth spreading".