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Tuesday, September 27, 2005



Myths and Facts of Cold Fusion / Condensed Matter Nuclear Science

"Myths and Facts of Cold Fusion / Condensed Matter Nuclear Science" was presented on 26 August, 2005 to the International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems, in Brussels, Belgium as part of the paper, "How Can Cold Fusion Be Real, Considering It Was Disproved By Several Well-Respected Labs In 1989?"
Paper: http://newenergytimes.com/Library/2005KrivitS-HowCanItBeReal-Paper.pdfPresentation: http://newenergytimes.com/Library/2005KrivitS-HowCanItBeReal-Presentation.pdfAudio Recording: http://newenergytimes.com/Audio/2005KrivitS-ICENES-2005.mp3

Myth 1: Cold fusion is "not reproducible." An effect is reproducible if it happens “more often than not." (Richard Garwin, IBM )
Fact 1: In the early 1990s, the rate of reproducibility was very low. As of 2003, cold fusion shows 83% average reproducibility, with some reports of 100% reproducibility [26].

Myth 2: “Nobody in mainstream science” is researching cold fusion. Mainstream scientists are those "who work in universities.” (Frank Close, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)
Fact 2: Several dozen university scientists have been, or are researching cold fusion [27].

Myth 3 : Cold fusion is “impossible according to current nuclear theory.” (John Huizenga, Chair, 1989 Department of Energy Cold Fusion Panel)
Fact 3: That was true in 1989, but it no longer is [28].

Myth 4: "The claim that cold fusion is a nuclear process producing excess power without commensurate nuclear reaction products, is pathological science." (John Huizenga)
Fact 4: The pathology ended when proportional amounts of reaction products were discovered in the early 1990s, which demonstrated conformance with the first law of thermodynamics [29].

Myth 5: Cold fusion is false because there are no significant neutrons. “There is no reason to think that the branching ratios would be different for cold fusion” than with hot fusion. (John Huizenga)
Fact 5: Cold fusion is not a colder form of hot fusion. The assumption that cold fusion should follow hot fusion branching ratios is erroneous [30].

Myth 6: No “hard evidence” supports the claims of cold fusion. (Frank Close)
Fact 6: Evidence exists for 4He, 3He, tritium, transmutation and charged particles [31].

Myth 7: Only a “dwindling band of true believers” studies cold fusion. (Robert Park, American Physics Society)
Fact 7: ~200 researchers in 13 countries are actively researching cold fusion [32].

Myth 8: Calorimetry is unreliable.
Fact 8: Many calorimeters applied to cold fusion are accurate to ±50 mW. Energy in excess of 1000 mW is frequently measured [33]. Calorimetry has been a common and trusted tool for electrochemists for over 200 years.

Myth 9: “The fact of the matter is Pons & Fleischmann's experiment never did demonstrate any excess heat. ... It was nothing more than experimental error.” (Lee Hansen, Brigham Young University) Another related myth is that all of the claims of excess heat from the last 16 years of research are all the result of operator error.
Fact 9: Wilford Hansen, of Utah State University, in a report to the state of Utah, verified the excess heat claims of Fleischmann and Pons [10]. Hundreds of observations, using a variety of calorimeters, have been made. It is unlikely that they are all erroneous [34].

Myth 10 : Cold fusion “is a simple chemical reaction that has nothing to do with fusion." (Nathan Lewis, Caltech)
Fact 10: Energy generation starts too quickly to result from storage. No specific chemical explanation has been offered for the anomalous heat. The excess heat effect is too large to be of chemical origin. Infrared microscope/ thermographs measure nanoscale hot spots that are hotter than any known chemical heat source. [35].

Myth 11: Cold fusion papers have not been published in peer-reviewed journals.
Fact 11: More than 55 peer-reviewed journals have published cold fusion papers [36].

Myth 12: If cold fusion were “a real phenomenon it would have emerged and be on the way to exploitation.” (Richard Garwin)
Fact 12: Many scientific endeavors are valid but not yet commercially viable including thermonuclear fusion energy [37].

Myth 13: Fleischmann and Pons were incompetent. "Just by looking at these guys on television, it was obvious that they were incompetent fools,” (William Happer, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, former head of the U.S. Dept. of Energy Office of Energy Research)
Fact 13: A refined image does not necessarily correlate with scientific competency [38]. Fleischmann and Pons were poorly prepared by the University of Utah administration for the press conference [39]. Being scientists, not performers, they were ill-prepared for the McNeil/Lehrer TV news show later that day, and their discomfort and unease was evident. They were asked silly questions such as "You did this in the kitchen, right?" by correspondent Charlene Hunter-Gault. Fleischmann was also very worried about other scientists' safety and was concerned that they might inadvertently replicate the "meltdown" experiment and cause fatalities as a result of the news interview.

Myth 14: Fleischmann and Pons were working "outside of their field of expertise." (John Huizenga)
Fact 14: Fleischmann and Pons were among the world's top electrochemists and were experts in their craft and pioneers in a significant new field of science [40].

Myth 15: Fleischmann and Pons "circumvented the normal peer review process." (John Huizenga)
Fact 15: Fleischmann and Pons did not announce their findings before the acceptance of their paper in a peer-reviewed journal [41].

Myth 16: No qualified scientists are convinced of the general phenomena of cold fusion.Fact 16: Dozens of qualified scientists in universities and government laboratories are convinced that the claims of excess heat and transmutation in "cold fusion" research are valid [42].

Myth 17: Fleischmann and Pons observed large quantities of excess heat quickly after turning on their cold fusion cell.
Fact 17: In the early years of cold fusion research, initiation time often took hundreds of hours.

Myth 18: The original cold fusion experiment was "ridiculously simple." ( Fleischmann and Pons)
Fact 18: Not true. It was, and still is, highly complex.

Myth 19: Cold fusion cannot be used for destructive purposes.
Fact: 19: Mankind always seems to find ways to use portable, high-density energy sources for destructive as well as constructive purposes.

Myth 20: Fleischmann and Pons were "incompetent and delusional." (Steven Koonin, Caltech)
Fact 20: The final chapter on cold fusion has not been written. It is yet to be known who was thinking clearly and who was not.

Myth 21: Cold fusion is a "fraud." (Ronald Parker, MIT)
Fact 21: Parker retracted his comment in a press release several days later.

Myth 22: Working cold fusion devices will be available soon. "Prototype cold fusion home heating units are widely expected to emerge this year or next." (Eugene Mallove, 1993)
Fact 22: 12 years later, the only unit to emerge is Dennis Cravens' (Eastern New Mexico University) experimental calorimeter and cold fusion cell which heats up his laboratory.

Myth 23: Cold fusion will provide an inexpensive, inexhaustible source of energy for the entire world.
Fact 23: This is only the hope. The future is unknown.

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