Data Versus Dogma: The Continuing Battle Over Cold Fusion

FAIRFAX, VA (PRWEB) April 27, 2004

Physics Today reported that the U.S. Department of Energy has decided to review the research in cold fusion has been done over the last fifteen years. Ministry officials, many accredited scientists, apparently concluded that sufficient evidence has accumulated since 1989 to justify giving the cold fusioneers a second hearing. The article mentioned a somewhat sarcastic opinion by skeptics that the examination was taken as a political favor by the Secretary of Energy to some older voters. Not long ago, Scientific American was asked to reconsider its refusal to publish articles on cold fusion. The magazine publisher? S replied that, while there was? A large number of publications that ostensibly offered evidence of this phenomenon, even creationists [could] point to thousands of? Publications? and? scientists? apparently support their position.?

These prestigious publications to express clearly and unequivocally the attitude that still prevails among the majority of physicists that cold fusion is the pseudo-science. Although some scientists sympathize with the cold fusion proponents s? Most do not even have the idea that their just demands may have merit. Just after the tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion, the Wall Street Journal points out that cold fusion was? Pathological science? not for lack of evidence, but because scientists must consider applications for cold fusion would not even discuss it. The Wall Street Journal is not exactly a fringe publication.

It has been said many times that? extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.? Since cold fusion was first announced to the world in 1989, sufficient experimental evidence have accumulated to ensure that the burden of proof. Charles Beaudette, an MIT-trained engineer, wrote that in 1996 there were multiple confirmations of excess heat generated by means of electrochemical stimulation. Twenty researchers from seven countries were able to reproduce the original Fleischmann-Pons experiment. In their recent report on the status of research on cold fusion, New Energy Times, Steven investigators Krivit and Nadine Winocur reported that since 1989, almost 15,000 cold fusion experiments were performed, and in recent years the effects claimed by Fleischmann and Pons were reproduced at rates ranging between 83 and 100 percent. A famous website on cold fusion,, has an online library of over 280 original scientific articles that are linked to a bibliography of journal papers of nearly 3000, news articles and books on cold fusion.

In spring 1991, two years after the controversial 1989 announcement, Dr. Wilford Hansen of Utah State University showed that several cells in the original experiment really produce excess heat. According to Professor Hansen, a cell has a heat output of more than 45 electron volts per atom of palladium, another had a heat of more than 1700 electron volts per atom of palladium, and a third had a production heat over 6000 electron volts per atom of palladium. Beaudette noted that the amount of energy released by the conventional electrochemical reaction, however, is only four electron volts. Between August 1990 and February 1991, Michael McKubre of SRI International has conducted experiments in which they observed anomalous power in three of four cells. At the University of Osaka in Japan between 1991 and 1994, Professors Yoshiaki Arata and Yue-Chang Zhang performed successive experiments until they are able to reach a heat of more than 250 watts for 125 watts input, a generation rate of 100 percent. Professor Arata had received numerous awards for his scientific achievements over the years, and had the honor of having a main building on the campus of Osaka University named after him.

U.S. Navy through its Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), has undertaken one of the most comprehensive studies of cold fusion. NRL has decided? Study the effects associated with abnormal prolonged charging system palladium / deuterium.? A laboratory has undertaken a study of the conditions under which the excess heat can be produced in another laboratory, scientists have demonstrated the link between excess heat and helium gas production, which was an indicator of the nuclear reaction produced by the phenomenon of cold fusion. Using sophisticated techniques, the LCN team was able to demonstrate that the effect of cold fusion was reproducible. They found that, as the current flows into the cell and the temperature of the electrolyte solution increased, it was the production of excess heat, and heat sources were located near the contact surface electrode / electrolyte. Melvin H. Miles, a member of the team, described the results of experiments conducted in Japan on December 5, 1997 to February 12, 1998. Dr. Miles reported that the excess energy was generated over a period of seventy days. In another experiment which took place from February 17 and February 26, 1998, excess power was observed in three different cells, especially during the last two days. The data from this experiment indicate that up to 400 milliwatts of heat is present in two abnormal cells.

Some companies

the world? s most energy had also conducted experiments based on Fleischmann? s and Pons? s work. Krivit and Winocur reported that scientists at the Amoco Oil Corporation has found evidence of excess heat generated at a rate of 1000 times beyond what could be explained by normal experimental error. Scientists working on a report from Shell Research said they had confirmed the presence of a maximum of a few watts of excess heat in what they call the? Fleischmann-Pons simple system.?

Not only are there a large amount of data generated by many replications, there are at least two working models put forward by which the abnormal manifestations of the power can be predicted. In a presentation given at the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion, McKubre describes these assumptions. The first shipment identified as significant variable. McKubre put that in the palladium-deuterium systems, waste heat can be observed if a sufficient amount of deuterium is loaded into the network of palladium through the electrochemical process. This hypothesis finds substantial support in the evidence, according McKubre, in that in 51 percent of experiments in which the maximum load was reached, the excess heat was present. This percentage decreases significantly when the load is reduced, even if the reduction is slight. If between 95 and 99 percent of maximum load is reached, the excess energy has been observed that only 38 percent of the time. With the load of less than 95 percent of the maximum, the excess heat is observed only 17 percent of the time. The second assumption has to do with the observed correlation between excess heat and the presence of nuclear waste. McKubre found that the excess heat from a nuclear effect exhibited by the crystalline metals heavily loaded with deuterium. He pointed to repeated experiments showing a correlation between heat and the presence of helium 4, a bi-product of nuclear fusion. This hypothesis predicts that where there is a high production of helium-4, the excess heat will be present in amounts up to 24 megavolt per atom of palladium. What was actually observed, according McKubre, was the presence of excess heat in amounts ranging from 19 to 45 megavolt per atom of palladium. Cold fusion has produced one of the characteristics of a true science – predictability


In most scientific research, only one successful independent replication is needed to demonstrate the validity of a phenomenon and discharge the burden of proof that the phenomenon is real. Thousands of successful replications that took place in the world, the mountain of technical documents that accurately document the presence of excess heat and nuclear signatures, not one but two assumptions should be valid enough to be? Extraordinary? evidence of cold fusion. Skeptics called, however, will have none of it. According to Scientific American, there is no evidence that cold fusion has had? Reached a significant new credibility in the eyes of the general physics community.? A physicist at Princeton University, quoted in Physics Today saying that a further review of cold fusion is a? Waste of time? and that the only reason to establish a review committee is? put the issue to bed.? None of this surprises Peter Hagelstein, a professor of physics at MIT and a supporter of cold fusion research. Professor Hagelstein acknowledged that, despite all the progress that has been made, the majority of mainstream scientists refuse to go near this area on the fear that their careers will suffer irreparable harm.

cold fusion? s critics say they are skeptical. But there is a difference between skepticism in the true sense and almost religious belief in the scientific orthodoxy that pretends to be impartial. Marcello Truzzi, the founding co-chair of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, eloquently described this distinction. According to Truzzi, a skeptic is an agnostic, a skeptic than a believer. Doubt is not denial, a simple recognition that the claim has not been proven. The burden of proof is on the applicant, at any time. Once the burden is satisfied, as with cold fusion, skeptics must either accept the findings or provide another explanation. If they choose the second option, then, by definition, they become plaintiffs in respect of that alternative explanation. As such, they can not express doubts about the validity of the evidence without first examining the evidence themselves. They must master the literature and become familiar with experimental methods and common parameters in the field. In the case of cold fusion, it means to be fluent in calorimetry. They must then perform the experiments according to protocols that have been established over the last fifteen years. They should identify errors in technique and misinterpretation of results. If these errors and misinterpretations are enough material, the assumption can be rebutted and the alternative hypothesis put forward. Only after these steps are taken the skeptics will be able to express doubts about the original claims.

To date, however, no scientific journal has presented a technical document that completely and definitively refutes the assumptions of cold fusion or results. The organizers of the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion guests on the ground? S leading critics to come to the conference and to refute the claims cold fusion. Not shown. Instead, the? Skeptics? continue to recite the catechism, there is no evidence of cold fusion, and continue to rely on an information a priori, referring to the defiance of the advocates of cold fusion that? the true believers.? A positive assessment by the Department of Energy that translates into concrete projects funded would go a long way toward making known to the public the reality of cold fusion.

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by Marc J. Plotkin

Pure Energy Systems News Service

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Beaudette, excessive heat. – Why Cold Fusion Research prevailed (Oak Grove Press, South Bristol, Maine, 2000)

Marcello Truzzi,? on pseudo-skepticism? Zetetic Scholar, # 12-13, 1987.

Michael R.

McKubre, Review of experimental measurements of reactions involving DD, Delivered PowerPoint slide presentation at the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion, Cambridge, Massachusetts (August 2003).

Fusion is

Sharon Begley,? Cold? t dead, it? s Just Withering neglect science? Wall Street Journal September 5, 2003.

Steven B. Krivit and Nadine Winocur, 2004 report of Cold Fusion, (March 2004) (

Toni Feder,? DOE warms to Cold Fusion? Physics Today (April 2004).

United States Navy, Technical Report 1862, the thermal and nuclear Pd/D2O System, Volume 1 (February 2002).

Correspondence between publishers and publishers past and present to the Scientific American between 1991 and 2003 (available at

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