Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

ACS: Cold fusion anyone?

Things are winding down here. I just went along to the session on cold fusion (read the story here), but my expert timing meant that I arrived just in time for the break. Nevermind, I was treated to an advance showing of one of the talks yesterday. I have to admit, I was skeptical, but this is pretty cool stuff. As Frank Gordon, one of the cold fusion scientists said to me, “this actually looks like real science” – and he’s right.

In spite of all the disdain that the field is treated with, the cold fusion people I met were all very positive cheerful people, all completely convinced by their research and with what look like compelling arguments. Even the programme chair for this session (not a cold fusion scientist) told me that he was impressed by the results being presented. He’s keeping an open mind on the matter. That’s quite a way for the field to come since it was laughed almost out of existence in 1989. Gordon was keen to tell me that since they have been quietly plugging away at their work they have not come under attack in the same way Pons and Fleischmann did. “The silence has been deafening” he said.

Cold fusion? I don’t know, but the evidence that something weird is happening is there. Maybe it’s time to think about this again…

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    Lewis G. Larsen said:

    Formerly in great disrepute and previously called “cold fusion,” the field is now in the process of being rehabilitated as a legitimate area of serious scientific research. This is occurring because of major advances in theoretical understanding of the physics of the phenomenon, as well as substantial improvements in experimental technique and somewhat more reproducible experimental results.

    In addition to Katharine Sanderson’s recent commentaries in Nature newsblogs, a short article by veteran science reporter Jon Van titled, “Nuclear reactions may produce phones’ power,” published in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, April 16. It can be found on the web at:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-0704140065apr16,0,1831279.story?coll=chi-business-hed

    Contrary to most of the existing “cold fusion” scientists, Lattice believes that certain well-established anomalous experimental results (e.g. He-4 production, excess heat, transmutations) that have frequently been reported by researchers in the field since 1989 are best explained by invoking the weak interaction, not strong interaction fusion or fission. Our theoretical model of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions is outlined in four readily available papers listed below:

    “Ultra low momentum neutron catalyzed nuclear reactions on metallic hydride surfaces” Eur. Phys. J. C 46, 107-111 (2006)

    “Absorption of Nuclear Gamma Radiation by Heavy Electrons on Metallic Hydride Surfaces” http://www.arxiv.org/pdf/cond-mat/0509269

    “Nuclear Abundances in Metallic Hydride Electrodes of Electrolytic Chemical Cells” http://www.arxiv.org/pdf/cond-mat/0602472

    “Theoretical standard model rates of proton to neutron conversions near metallic hydride surfaces” http://www.arxiv.org/pdf/nucl-th/0608059

    Importantly, no “new physics” is involved here, merely an extension of collective effects to electroweak theory within the context of the Standard Model.

    Thus, the phenomenon of LENRs is not strong interaction “cold fusion” and never was!

    L. Larsen, CEO of Lattice Energy LLC and Prof. A. Widom, Dept. of Physics, Northeastern University

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    Organic Chemistry Help said:

    With all of our fuel probs, maybe it is time to examine it in reference to vehicle fuel (I understand it is an engineering nightmare, but still sounds cool.)