Cold Fusion Update

Monday, March 06, 2006
The Cold Fusion story puts the lie to the rosy picture of scientific progress that is so often painted. Everyone likes to believe that we dwell in a time of endless progress, and it's just one happy step forward after another with everyone in agreement. We all look back at Einstein and think we, unlike those foolish uptight Victorians, would certainly have agreed with the paradigm shift he engendered had we been living during those times. Well, we wouldn't have. We deride Hitler's characterization of relativity theory and quantum mechanics as "Jewish physics", but when something new really does come along in our own lifetimes we as a society are even more belittling and ostracizing than he was. New scientific discoveries--truly new scientific discoveries--will necessarily upset the scientific apple cart. The problem is this: the more we know about nature, the richer we become in both material and mental wealth, the more we wish to believe that we've got it all, and the less willing we are to have that gravy train of grants overturned. Too much money and too much knowledge leads to very poor science.

Nature is what it is, not what we want it to be or have convinced ourselves it is; nor even what our theories tell us it is. The universe is elegant only if it truly is elegant, and not if it isn't.

Despite the best efforts of grant-burdened physicists and the parochial New York Times, the Cold Fusion story just keeps picking itself up off the ground, stronger than ever. This latest update comes from the NPR show Living on Earth.

GELLERMAN: Dr. Pamela Boss works at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego. She and Dr. Stanislaw Szpak have produced some of the most definitive evidence of the cold fusion phenomenon. They fund the research mostly out of their own pocket and, even though he's retired, Dr. Szpak still comes in almost every day to conduct cold fusion experiments, perfecting a method that he says speeds up the reaction. Now, instead of waiting weeks for cold fusion to begin, it happens instantaneously.

SZPAK: Now we have 100 percent reproducible results. In other words, we always get to that last step. We are doing that within seconds.


GELLERMAN: Like Michael McKubre, Szpak and Boss have measured elevated levels of tritium and have focused on detecting the other radiation byproducts of fusion reactions, gamma and x-rays. Pamela Boss:

BOSS: We work with a lot of physicists here and they, of course, were very skeptical. So then, we borrowed equipment to do gamma ray measurements and x-ray measurement. And you could see they were tracking one another. When the gamma ray detector was going up, so was the x-ray detector. And I pointed this out to the physicist who was helping us and he was a little bit disturbed by that because he made sure that everything was on separate circuits, there was no cross talk.


SZPAK: We see appearance of elements which weren't there to start with. In other words, during the experiment itself these elements have been created. Now, by what mechanism, if you're asking me that question, I cannot answer because I simply don't know yet.


GELLERMAN: Szpak and Boss have published the results of their experiment in a prestigious, peer-reviewed physics journal. And Japanese scientists have reported similar findings. So, how might cold fusion work? Well, few researchers at U.S. universities are investigating the question because it's a career destroyer; those who study cold fusion do so at their own peril. One of the few who has from the very beginning is Peter Hagelstein of MIT.

HAGELSTEIN: This experiment implied the existence of some new physics. Hence, if there's going to be heat there are going to be neutrons; if there's no neutrons hence there's no heat, hence it's all wrong. It got very confused very quickly.

GELLERMAN: Today, because of his continued work on cold fusion, Peter Hagelstein lives a life of virtual academic exile at MIT. He lost funding for his lab and he never did make full professor.


GELLERMAN: As Peter Hagelstein sees it, cold fusion is not just a colder version of plasma or hot fusion, but an entirely different phenomenon. His theory doesn't violate any of the fundamental laws of nature. But it does require a rethinking of modern physics.

HAGELSTEIN: So, we start out now with a picture of a communication between reactions at different sites, and this is not in the textbooks.

There you have it: it's not in the textbooks, it upsets current theories, it can't be true, so cut off his funding, defrock the heretic. Is house arrest too good for him?

Science as it's really practiced.


terrye said...

It seems to me it always been like this. The people most likely to come up with something new are the people most likely to take a risk.

Scientists can be just as stodgy as anyone else.

Rick Ballard said...

So, Cold Fusion causes global warming right?

Excellent piece, MHA, although it makes me nervous to think of science as a faith system - for some scientists anyway.

Eppur, si muove.

truepeers said...

Scientists have always had to chase funding, unless they were gentlemen of independent means. But what is perhaps different today are the importance of belonging to research teams, and to finding one's place in a highly-differentiated peer-review system.

Is there no one funding independent minds, in attempts to recreate the few heroic individuals of yore? If not, how might we encourage a movement to make this happen, if only at the margins of Mainstream Science?

MeaninglessHotAir said...


It's an excellent question. The closest thing we have is probably the MacArthur "genius award" grants. But my experience has been that, like retirement, the usual effect of the MacArthur grant is to dry up, rather than to encourage, the creative juices of the individual involved.

You raise an excellent point--the deeper we seek to probe the more massive the resources required and the more official approval required in order to make progress. No more "garage band" science.

Syl said...

I think public awareness, interest, and advocacy is important too. There exists the general notion that cold fusion is too good to be true, therefore 'don't get me excited about something so I look like a fool later' which implies 'don't waste your time on it.'

If the public were to get the sense that perhaps there really is something to it, then minds will slowly change and the environment in which funding is allocated will change too.

Of course, to be realistic, this is ass-backwards from the way science has worked through the years. Scientists lead, the public follows.

But the internet and communications in general have empowered the 'masses' to a degree never seen before in history. Not just for advocacy, but for the absorbtion of knowledge on which to base advocacy decisions. The situation may very well tip in reverse: the masses may now lead and scientists follow (in the sense of what to research not in what they find.)

The hockey stick business is a good example of the reversal.

VGolubic said...

Yes, we live in the scientific Dark Ages when it comes to science that is disruptive of the status quo.

Even if the DoE announced tommorrow that CF was achieving some measure of success in labs behind closed doors it would takes years for this technology to develop into commercial products.

Sure it is all supposed to be clean and abundant, but my fear is that until the security aspects are solved, it will take a while to be adopted on the commercial side in a big way. Until then, it will progress in measured steps safely revealed to the public.

-Johnathan Chan


I would like to say some words concerning what said by the journalist Bob Weber:
"Regardless of experimental results, one needs a convincing theory of CF"
in the link:

Before to understand cold fusion, we neeed to have a complete understanding of the nuclear phenomena. However we dont have it.

In the Introduction of my book QUANTUM RING THEORY, it is written in the page 4:
“Perhaps one would like to say that the foundations for cold fusion are the same of that proposed in Quantum Mechanics. Indeed, in Jan-2004 the cold fusion researcher Dr. Dimitriy Afonichev sent me an e-mail where he said the following:
‘I think that occurrence of cold fusion can be explained on the basis of the existing theories’.
Truthfully his words transmit not merely a personal opinion, because actually several theorists those try to explain the cold fusion occurrence share his viewpoint. However such opinion is very intriguing, since the own academic community is agreeing that the existing theories in the branch of Nuclear Physics are unable to explain even the ordinary nuclear properties, as confessed by Eisberg and Resnick in their book Quantum Physics, where they say in the first page of the Chapter 15:
‘Though we dispose nowadays of a sufficient complete assembly of information about the nuclear forces, we realize that they are too much complexes, not having been possible up to now to use this acknowledge for building an extensive theory of the nuclei. In other words, we cannot explain the whole properties of nuclei in function of the properties of the nuclear forces that actuate on their protons and neutrons’.
So, as the existing theories are unable to explain the nuclear properties responsible for the hot fusion occurrence (which occurs according to the principles of Quantum Mechanics), it's hard to believe that such existing theories could explain nuclear properties that would be responsible for the occurrence of some so much complex as it is the cold fusion (which occurs by infringing the principles of QM). “

For a layman to understand easily that said in the Introduction of my book, take for instance the interaction between two neutrons.
Two neutrons have no repulsion. But in a short distance, they are attracted by the strong force. So, after interacting within a nucleus, two neutrons would have to form the 0n2, and would never separate anymore.
But 0n2 does not exist in nature. Heisenberg tried to explain it with the introduciton of the concept of Isospin. Unfortunatelly the isospin is an abstract mathematical concept.
Two neutrons tied strongly by the strong force cannot be separated by an abstract concept, because an abstract concept cannot produce a FORCE capable to win the force of attraction by the strong force.
Only a FORCE of repulsion can win the force of attraction.
A NEW NUCLEAR MODEL (that shows what is the force of repulsion between two neutrons in short distances) is proposed in my book Quantum Ring theory.

In 2002 the Infinite Energy magazine has published my paper “What is Missing in Les Case’s Catalytc Fusion” , in which I have proposed some improvements to be addopted, in order to avoid the missing of replicability.

In 2003 in the ICCF-10 Lets and Cravens exhibited their experiment, in which they have adopted the suggestions of mine in my paper published in 2002 by IE.

In my book I propose an explanation for Lets-Cravens experiment, showed in paper entitled “Lets-Cravens Experiment and the Accordion-Effect”

The Accordion-Effect is a nuclear property unknown by nuclear theorists, and it is responsible for the resonance that takes place between a nucleus (for instance Pd) and the oscillation of deuterons due to zero-point energy.

After reading some of my papers, the late Dr. Eugene Mallove said in 2004: "Guglinski has interesting and intriguing ideas".
That's why he suggested to put my papers on a book form, and to publish it.

However, Dr. Mallove did not read my papers concerning the new nuclear model.
The stronger reason why the scientific community neglects cold fusion is because its occurrence requires a neutron model n=p+e formed by proton and electron. However such theoretical model violates the Fermi-Diract statistics.

A model of neutron n=p+e that does not violate Fermi-Diract statistics is proposed in the book QUANTUM RING THEORY (QRT).

Two papers on the neutron new model n=p+e of QRT are available in the Internet.
They are:


Before to post here the two links, I would like to give some enlightenment on the paper NEW MODEL OF NEUTRON, as follows:
1) When we analyze the mass of pions according to the current Standard Model, we arrive to contradictory conclusions about the mass M(d) of the quark down and the mass M(u) of the quark up.
In the paper NEW MODEL OF NEUTRON it is shown that we arrive to the following two conclusions:
CONCLUSION 1: M(d) > M(u)
CONCLUSION 2: M(u) > M(d)
2) Look at the chemical reaction Na+Cl->NaCl
QUESTION: what is the matematical formalism underlying such a chemical reaction?
ANSWER: No one. The chemical reactions have not been established through the mathematical formalism.

The chemical reactions have been established based on the LOGIC, and such a procedure was viable because the chemists had the help of a property of the chemical reactions: the mass of the reagent elements does not change after the reactions. For instance, the mass of Na is the same in the two sides of the equation Na+Cl->NaCl.

In the case of the high energy nuclear reactions the discovery of the equations became very complicated, for two reasons:

1) Either particles can desintegrate by discharging energy, or particles can be created, by the transformation of energy to matter.

2) In the model adopted by the theorists, the addition of spins is applied to all the reactons.
However in the beta decay the addtion of spins cannot be applied (but there is conservation of the total angular momentun, because in the reactions there is creation of neutrinos and antineutrinos).

Such anomaly in the addition of spins in the beta decay made the situation to be very bad, and the theorists could not apply the LOGIC for the discovering of the mechanic of high energy reactions, as the chemists made in the Chemistry.

That’s why the theorists tried to solve the problems by the mathematical formalism, through the Lie symetries as SU(2), SU(3), etc.
But the result was unsatisfactory, as one can understand easily. There are particles that does not fit to the theory, and that’s why Murray Gell-Mann felt the need of proposing ad hoc bandages, like the Strangeness.

As the theorists did not discover the true cause of the beta decay anomaly, they impute to other cause the occurrency of that anomaly: they state that the parity is not kept in the beta decay.

By addopting the “spin-fusion” hypothesis proposed in QUANTUM RING THEORY, it is explained the anomaly of the beta decay, and from such a way the high energy reactions can be explained through the LOGIC, in the same way as occurred in Chemistry for the establishment of the chemical reactions.

The two links are:



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