You were thinking wind turbines right off. This is a more serious atmosphere that as I learned more over then past few weeks has been saddening and distressful. It’s the atmosphere in the science community and the press that watches and writes stories about developments. Just a few weeks ago I too was a victim of the atmosphere surrounding Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons who pulled the lid into what is now called “cold fusion” or “condensed matter nuclear reaction or low energy nuclear reactions.” Much to my surprise, the facts have gone nearly underground.

Perhaps no one in modern history has been so abused as Dr. Fleischmann and Dr. Pons.

I have been asking why and looking for the responsibility as to why. Fusion exists from these known sources, compression and temperature situations as in a star or thermonuclear bomb device and perhaps driven by lasers, the velocity method found in the Farnsworth device coming to fruition by the efforts of Dr. Robert Bussard, and the compaction method known as cold fusion and gun fusion. While there is a huge amount of commentary around the world with proponents and detractors for each, its certain now that all these methods can fuse elements. So why are Dr. Fleischmann and Dr. Pons so denigrated with thousands of successful experiments and improvements in hand?

Its long been known that some metals such as palladium and titanium can absorb large quantities of hydrogen and deuterium much as the problem faces hydrogen researchers to find ways pressure store hydrogen, it’s the smallest element and moves into most of the heavier elements. The clue got underway way back in 1926 when two German scientists reported they transformed hydrogen into helium and a year later a Swedish scientist repeated the experiment. In 1934 Percy Williams Bridgman, winner of the 1946 Nobel Prize for Physics published “Thermodynamics of Electrical Phenomena in Metals,” which stood in part for the award that recognized his research in high pressure physics. Professor Bridgman had also reported observing a “cold explosion” in the 1930s.

In the 1960s these events lead to Professor Fleischmann investigating if chemical means could influence nuclear processes. The first target was to show that chemical processes can be employed and illustrated by quantum electrodynamics. In 1983 Professor Fleischmann thought his experiments had shown that quantum electrodynamics explained condensed phase systems developing coherent structures up to 100 nanometers. In the next years, another process was under investigation, explaining the temperatures deep inside the earth. The deep earth process called muon-catalyzed fusion or “cool fusion” is thought a generally accepted theory about deep earth heating attributed to Steven E. Jones, first published in Scientific American in July 1987.

Both Fleischmann – Pons and Jones worked in Utah and the grant proposal from Fleischmann and Pons made its way to Dr. Jones. The two researchers held meetings and it is commonly reported they agreed to submit simultaneous papers to avoid later problems.

It didn’t happen, Fleischmann and Pons were convinced their process was commercially valuable and Dr. Jones was reported to be thinking the Fleischmann and Pons phenomena was simply scientifically interesting. Whether there was an agreement or what the terms were are moot now. Fleischmann and Pons held a press conference March 10th, 1989, and the hunt was on.

Over the next few weeks, Fleischmann and Pons dribbled out details in a poorly executed fashion, as hindsight makes clear. Before good information for repeating the process was disclosed, in fact within hours of the press conference, others were attempting to repeat the experiment. The stage was set for disaster.

Of course, the “table top fusion” and “cold fusion” coupled to press claims and wild prognostications made for a hyped up atmosphere. Lost in the smoke was the scientific method of discovering the physics in the phenomena. It remains unfound today.

I could write about character assassination, libelous comments, slanderous talk and career sabotage, all of which are true to various degrees, all based in what must be the most unsuccessful press conference and public relations effort in history. But the hard reality is that something is going on inside those experiments that put out fusion products, and we don’t know why or how to this day.

Since the Fleischmann and Pons announcement at their press conference, there has been an increasing level of derision leveled at anyone seeking to work out the facts and to explain what takes place in physics that causes the effect to occur. This is an intolerable situation for anyone interested in the progress of science and what might become available for an energy source. It is primarily an American problem as papers are published in Europe and Japan. Saying the effort to cancel out “cold fusion” is a success is only true to the extent that a huge opportunity is being denied to American scientists and what commercial value in the future would become another energy import. It looks like there will come a day the embarrassment and shame may fall on the many who act or talk to damage those who offer to research and further the scientific method in working the “cold fusion” phenomena to an understood and useful product for humanity.

Reports of over 200 scientists in 13 countries working on “cold fusion” and the U.S. out of the hunt, the world’s magnet for the best and the brightest has the torch put out. With the world’s leading research facilities, the most innovative minds and the largest supply of funds running a sign “not welcome here,” reminiscent of the racial segregation era the investigation will change course looking for the why.

If a blogger can find the facts any decent reporter can too. The time has come to turn out those who talk down the field, write unfounded and misleading untruths and undermine the careers of others. Regents, commissioners, committees, grant reviewers and directors need to get current or move on. It’s well nigh time to get up to speed and speed things along.

With an actual history of more than 80 years “cold fusion” is due for the best and the brightest getting in the business. While you might be looking for hard data, well, that’s coming in future posts. I admit that I was suckered into thinking just what most folks think today, that “cold fusion” isn’t. With countless hours of looking into this and figuring “How am I going to get this across?” puzzling me for weeks, I thought the first step is clear the emotional decks. The Internet has lots of bad information, the detractors have been busy. But when you are committed to getting to the facts one answer keeps peeking in, the only fusion method to date that’s shown breakeven is, ready for it?

Cold Fusion.


1 Comment so far

  1. Rob McMillin on January 23, 2008 8:25 PM

    Pons and Fleischman have been abused because they tried to make an end-around the usual peer-reviewed publication process. When researchers around the world were wholly unable to reproduce their experimental results based on the sketchy notes they did publish, they were rightfully castigated and subsequently sent off to the level of hell reserved for tax cheats and adulterers. This isn’t even remotely in the same class as racism or other sorts of ignorance.

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind