When most people hear of Cold Fusion or LENR they immediately think of Fleischman-Pons’ press conference of 1989. However, LENR had been in the Science field for decades before that. The term Cold Fusion was first used by Physicist Luis Alvarez’s in 1956, but the phenomena of excess heat itself was first discovered in 1909 by Chemist Irving Langmuir, the inventor of the blowtorch that was the first to create Atomic Hydrogen. Later, as Quantum Physics progressed in the 1940′s the world of science lost interest in the Weak Nuclear force & jumped onto the strong Nuclear force bandwagon. Today, Scientists are revisiting the Weak Nuclear force for answers to the conundrum of excess heat generation seen in LENR experiments.
According to the Widom-Larsen theory that we discussed earlier, LENR experimental results are actually the result of a combination of condensed matter phenomena known as many-body collective effects. Guess what, in 1951, a young Phd Student known as Srernglass observed some interesting neutron production in his experiments and phoned Albert Einstein for assistance in understanding what was happening. Einstein simply looked at Sternglass’ data and then immediately realized that the observed neutron production involved some sort of many-body collective effects, and this was at a time when very few physicists really had any idea what collective effects were. Unfortunately, Sternglass didn’t heed Einstein’s strong advice to publish the deeply anomalous results and as a result Sternglass’s bizarre experimental discovery was lost and soon forgotten. Einstein, the only contemporary scientist who had any real understanding of what might be happening in Sternglass’ puzzling experiments died just four years later.
Fleischman & Pons 1989
In 1989, at the University of Utah, two well respected Physicists, Fleischman and Pons, announced at a press conference that they had discovered a phenomena they termed cold Fusion that could produced the power of the sun in a jar at room temperature. The whole world was fascinated but as scientists scrambled to replicate the reaction, none was able to produce any excess energy and so the idea of Cold Fusion was ridiculed and thrown into the dustbin of science. The careers of Fleischman and Pons immediately ended in disgrace as they themselves could not even explain the phenomena. Since then, LENR has become a fringe science, not accepted in any respected peer review journal and certainly not eligible for funding.
Over the years however, numerous scientists all over the world remained curious about the science and continued striving to produce the excess heat. During these years, the scientists did encounter excess heat but only erratically. They also experimented with various metals until eventually settling on Nickel as the best candidate for LENR. One of these scientists, Randell Mills in USA, discovered that grinding the Nickel to a powder aided the reaction by increasing the reaction surface area, while another, Andrea Rossi, discovered that applying pressure also made a major difference.
In January 2011, Andrea Rossi announced at a press conference in Italy that he had managed to control the LENR process and reproduce it at will using a secret catalyst he discovered during his years of experimentation, seemingly bringing to an end the question of whether LENR is real or just fringe science.
If you want to understand that sad history, there are few books and theories.
About cold fusion scientific tragedy, the best book is “Excess Heat” by Charles Beaudette.
It was published for ICCF9, but best is to buy it on amazon or alike
Click to access BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf
I advise also the theories of thomas Kuhn about paradigm change
and the theory of groupthink, collective delusion in organizations ad markets, mutual assured delusion by Roland Benabou
Click to access Groupthink%20IOM%202012_07_02%20BW.pdf
I tried to propose my own vision about the fallacies around cold fusion denial
jed rothwell in this wikipedia article details the fallacies with some irony
anyway, just the first chapter of Beaudette’s book is enough to understand all…
Indeed the history of LENR is a sad one, not only because of negative external factors but some self implosion withing the CF/LENR community; lack of replicability, mw-W power output that isn’t useful, infighting among major players a la Rossi/Piantelli, and scam artists, inter alia. Very sad. I read your your vision about the fallacies around cold fusion denial, it’s spot on.
the lack of replicability is a bit exaggerated. Thos who tried finally succeded, even if they were often failing too.
mW power is a non argument since in science the precision of the measurement is more important than it’s value. 50 sigma (ask jed for details) is far better than the usual results physicist admit as true.
basically most arguments shouted are simply pathological.
lack of replicability is usual in early technology, and not being aware about that show how pathological the situation is. Naive laymen can ignore that, but for scientists it is a shame. Any engineer know that. not a surprise Beaudette is an engineer.
the low power critic or tea kettle argument, is another well known fallacy that you can understand from pop&mum, but not for a scientists.
basically scientist behaved like absolute incompetent. I estimate it was not the fact, bu they abused of mom and pop (and journalist) gullibility to defend their comfortable position in the science and government hierarchy.
for NiH results, given the value of that technology above 70trillion (10% of world GDP), you can understand they stay a little secretive. Rossi seems a controversial actor, but he is not the only actor, and some are more classic if not mainstream like Xanthoulis, Chauvin, Godes or Miley.
It is classic to find such crazy entrepreneurs (and if you see how Rossi was employed immediately after Petroldragon crash, you understand he was respected by people from the domain) in technology revolutions and against establishment denial.
“basically scientist behaved like absolute incompetent. I estimate it was not the fact, bu they abused of mom and pop (and journalist) gullibility to defend their comfortable position in the science and government hierarchy.”
You’re right. Though perhaps we would all act the same way if our billions of funding for Hot Fusion experiments were in jeopardy, or if mega rich oil tycoons offered us millions to discredit the new science known as cold fusion.
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