This week saw nearly 50 presentations describing the latest discoveries on Cold Fusion at the American Chemical Society’s 239th National Meeting over two days at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.  Cold Fusion is a potential new energy source so controversial that people once regarded it as junk science is finally moving closer to acceptance by the mainstream scientific community. As a battle, the chemical community is racing out in front of the physics folks leaving them with the emotional scars that drove a fight to discredit the science in the first place.

New Cold Fusion Calorimeter. Click image for more info.

The presentations describe invention of an inexpensive new measuring device that could enable more labs to begin cold fusion research; indications that cold fusion may occur naturally in certain bacteria; progress toward a battery based on cold fusion; and a wide range of other topics.

Jan Marwan, Ph.D., the internationally known expert who organized the symposium said, “Years ago, many scientists were afraid to speak about ‘cold fusion’ to a mainstream audience.”  50 presentations describing the latest discoveries on the topic are in a symposium Entitled “New Energy Technology.”  Dr. Marwan heads the research firm,  Marwan Chemie in Berlin, Germany.

Marwan says, “Now most of the scientists are no longer afraid and most of the cold fusion researchers are attracted to the ACS meeting. I’ve also noticed that the field is gaining new researchers from universities that had previously not pursued cold fusion research. More and more people are becoming interested in it. There’s still some resistance to this field. But we just have to keep on as we have done so far, exploring cold fusion step by step, and that will make it a successful alternative energy source. With time and patience, I’m really optimistic we can do this!”  The man is excited, and justifiably so.

In 1989 Martin Fleishmann and Stanley Pons claimed achieving nuclear fusion at room temperature with a simple, inexpensive tabletop device.  But when other scientists could not or reliably reproduce the Pons-Fleishmann results, the research on cold fusion fell into disrepute. Humiliated by the scientific establishment and their reputations near ruin, Pons and Fleishmann closed their labs, left the U.S., and moved out of sight.

Yet a handful of scientists continued research avoiding the term “cold fusion.” Instead, they used the term “low energy nuclear reactions” aka LENR.  Now the research papers at the ACS symposium openly refer to “cold fusion” and some even describe cold fusion as the “Fleishmann-Pons Effect” in honor of those earliest pioneers.  Just so.  This writer is glad for it.

The evidence is piling up, interest is building, and funding in significant sizes should be forthcoming.

The work has quietly gone on with now some surprising names and researchers listed as presenters.

Peter Hagelstein, Ph.D. with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology described new theoretical models to help explain the excess heat production in cold fusion, one of the most controversial aspects of the field.  One hopes his presentation makes it to youTube.

Michael McKubre, Ph.D., of SRI International provided an overview of cold fusion research. McKubre discussed current knowledge in the field and explain why some doubts still exist in the broader scientific community.

George Miley, Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in Urbana, director of its Fusion Studies Lab reported on progress toward a new type of battery that works through a new cold fusion process and has a longer life than conventional batteries.

Tadahiko Mizuno, Ph.D. with Hokkaido University in Japan discussed an unconventional cold fusion device that uses phenanthrene, a substance found in coal and oil, as a reactant. He reported on excess heat production and gamma radiation production from the device.  Dr. Mizuno is author of the book ‘Nuclear Transmutation: The Reality of Cold Fusion.’

Vladimir Vysotskii, Ph.D. with The Kiev National Shevchenko University in Kiev, Ukraine presented surprising experimental evidence that bacteria can undergo a type of cold fusion process and could be used to dispose of nuclear waste. He will describe studies of nuclear transmutation – the transformation of one element into another – of stable and radioactive isotopes in biological systems.

It’s getting so one can look forward to LENR or Cold Fusion research efforts and the results.  The effect seems small, but so is a fission or a fusion event. It’s about learning how to add ‘em up. Lets get on with it.


8 Comments so far

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