Fleischmann's outstanding research in this area earned him a Fellowship in the Royal Society, arguably the world's most prestigious scientific society. In other contexts Park claims allegiance to established theory and the expertise of leading ities; in this case, he does not even realize who the ities are. If Park doesn't get his information about cold fusion from technical papers, the normal approach in science, from where does he get it? Apparently he is briefed by fact-resistant critic Dr. Douglas Morrison of CERN, who has attended the international cold fusion conferences where he asks mostly obtuse questions, proving that he, like Park, has not read the cold fusion literature.
Morrison has "kept an eye on cold fusion for the rest of us," as Park puts it. The result of all this is to have Morrison, the prime purveyor of the "pathological science" theory of cold fusion, passing misinformation to Park, who then jazzes it up with snide remarks suited to the Washington beltway crowd. Morrison is the only skeptic to actually publish a paper that attempts to come to grips with quantitative issues of cold fusion calorimetry and electrochemistry.
Every paragraph in his paper included an elementary mistake. A few examples: he subtracted the same factor twice. He confused power watts with energy joules.
He claimed that hydrogen escaping from a 0. This is the "expert" Park relies upon for news of cold fusion! And Park well knows the propaganda value of turning a serious subject into a joke. In his account of the early days of cold fusion he observes, "Cold Fusion was becoming a joke. In Washington that is usually fatal.
Fusion Neutrons are Critical
After assaulting the main body of cold fusion research, Park singles out for attack Dr. He says that Mills did not offer "any experimental evidence" for his claims of excess energy caused by catalytic hydrino formation. Park does not discuss the multiple channels of experimental and astrophysical data that Mills has cited to defend his theory. But Park, at his core, argues mainly from theory: "But those who bet on hydrinos are betting against the most firmly established and successful laws of physics. Certain asks rhetorically, "What are the odds that Randall [sic] Mills is right?
To within a very high degree of accuracy, the odds are zero. Though I expected Park to bash scientific anomalies, I was unprepared to discover the depths of his ignorance about spaceflight and its future. Commenting on his early s testimony before Congress in support of unmanned space missions, he recalls, "I wanted to explain why the era of human space exploration had ended twenty-five-years earlier and was unlikely ever to come back.
Is Park for real? He ends his myopic refrain with inept poetry bearing an absurd message, "America's astronauts have been left stranded in low-earth orbit, like passengers waiting beside an abandoned stretch of track for a train that will never come, bypassed by the advance of science. Amateur astronaut Park offers an amazing blooper, "If there was gold in low earth orbit, it would not pay to get it. He apparently does not understand such elementary concepts as the small propulsion energy cost of de-orbiting with rockets and aero-braking, when he makes this and other claims.
In the emerging era of commercial space transportation, this Park faux pas will be remembered as a late twentieth century howler, on par with statements by astronomer Simon Newcomb earlier in the century that heavier than air flight was likely to remain impossible.
In Park's crusade against manned spaceflight, he even goes after astronaut hero John Glenn: "Both Ham [a chimpanzee aboard an early U. Senate, Ham in the national zoo. Ham died a short time later without ever returning to space. In March Michael H. Salamon, a physicist from the University of Utah , and nine co-authors reported negative results. The lawyer later apologized; Fleischmann defended the threat as a legitimate reaction to alleged bias displayed by cold-fusion critics.
On 30 June the National Cold Fusion Institute closed after it ran out of funds;  it found no excess heat, and its reports of tritium production were met with indifference. Mostly in the s, several books were published that were critical of cold fusion research methods and the conduct of cold fusion researchers. A review by a cold fusion proponent had calculated "about scientists" were still conducting research.
These small but committed groups of cold fusion researchers have continued to conduct experiments using Fleischmann and Pons electrolysis setups in spite of the rejection by the mainstream community. Cold fusion research continues today [ when? The researchers who continue acknowledge that the flaws in the original announcement are the main cause of the subject's marginalization, and they complain of a chronic lack of funding  and no possibilities of getting their work published in the highest impact journals.
A pariah field, cast out by the scientific establishment. Between cold fusion and respectable science there is virtually no communication at all. Cold fusion papers are almost never published in refereed scientific journals, with the result that those works don't receive the normal critical scrutiny that science requires. On the other hand, because the Cold-Fusioners see themselves as a community under siege, there is little internal criticism.
Experiments and theories tend to be accepted at face value, for fear of providing even more fuel for external critics, if anyone outside the group was bothering to listen. In these circumstances, crackpots flourish, making matters worse for those who believe that there is serious science going on here. In August , the U. Hagelstein ,  : 3 and the publication of many new papers, including the Italian ENEA and other researchers in the International Cold Fusion Conference,  and a two-volume book by U.
The report was released in The reviewers were "split approximately evenly" on whether the experiments had produced energy in the form of heat, but "most reviewers, even those who accepted the evidence for excess power production, 'stated that the effects are not repeatable, the magnitude of the effect has not increased in over a decade of work, and that many of the reported experiments were not well documented. While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in , the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the review.
The current reviewers identified a number of basic science research areas that could be helpful in resolving some of the controversies in the field, two of which were: 1 material science aspects of deuterated metals using modern characterization techniques, and 2 the study of particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils using state-of-the-art apparatus and methods. The reviewers believed that this field would benefit from the peer-review processes associated with proposal submission to agencies and paper submission to archival journals.
Cold fusion researchers placed a "rosier spin"  on the report, noting that they were finally being treated like normal scientists, and that the report had increased interest in the field and caused "a huge upswing in interest in funding cold fusion research. The grant was intended to support research into the interactions of hydrogen with palladium, nickel or platinum under extreme conditions.
Hubler, a nuclear physicist who worked for the Naval Research Laboratory for 40 years, was named director. He claims that the new experiment has already seen "neutron emissions at similar levels to the observation". Since the Fleischmann and Pons announcement, the Italian national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development ENEA has funded Franco Scaramuzzi's research into whether excess heat can be measured from metals loaded with deuterium gas.
In —, the ENEA started a research program which claimed to have found excess power of up to percent, and in , ENEA hosted the 15th cold fusion conference. We can't find any reason to propose more money for the coming year or for the future. In the s India stopped its research in cold fusion at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre because of the lack of consensus among mainstream scientists and the US denunciation of the research. Electrolysis cells can be either open cell or closed cell.
In open cell systems, the electrolysis products, which are gaseous, are allowed to leave the cell. In closed cell experiments, the products are captured, for example by catalytically recombining the products in a separate part of the experimental system. These experiments generally strive for a steady state condition, with the electrolyte being replaced periodically. There are also "heat-after-death" experiments, where the evolution of heat is monitored after the electric current is turned off. The most basic setup of a cold fusion cell consists of two electrodes submerged in a solution containing palladium and heavy water.
The electrodes are then connected to a power source to transmit electricity from one electrode to the other through the solution. The Fleischmann and Pons early findings regarding helium, neutron radiation and tritium were never replicated satisfactorily, and its levels were too low for the claimed heat production and inconsistent with each other. An excess heat observation is based on an energy balance. Various sources of energy input and output are continuously measured.
Under normal conditions, the energy input can be matched to the energy output to within experimental error. In experiments such as those run by Fleischmann and Pons, an electrolysis cell operating steadily at one temperature transitions to operating at a higher temperature with no increase in applied current. Unable to produce excess heat or neutrons, and with positive experiments being plagued by errors and giving disparate results, most researchers declared that heat production was not a real effect and ceased working on the experiments.
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Known instances of nuclear reactions, aside from producing energy, also produce nucleons and particles on readily observable ballistic trajectories. In support of their claim that nuclear reactions took place in their electrolytic cells, Fleischmann and Pons reported a neutron flux of 4, neutrons per second, as well as detection of tritium. The classical branching ratio for previously known fusion reactions that produce tritium would predict, with 1 watt of power, the production of 10 12 neutrons per second, levels that would have been fatal to the researchers.
Several medium and heavy elements like calcium, titanium, chromium, manganese, iron, cobalt, copper and zinc have been reported as detected by several researchers, like Tadahiko Mizuno or George Miley. The report presented to the United States Department of Energy DOE in indicated that deuterium-loaded foils could be used to detect fusion reaction products and, although the reviewers found the evidence presented to them as inconclusive, they indicated that those experiments did not use state-of-the-art techniques. In response to doubts about the lack of nuclear products, cold fusion researchers have tried to capture and measure nuclear products correlated with excess heat.
In the report presented to the DOE in , the reviewers' opinion was divided on the evidence for 4 He; with the most negative reviews concluding that although the amounts detected were above background levels, they were very close to them and therefore could be caused by contamination from air. One of the main criticisms of cold fusion was that deuteron-deuteron fusion into helium was expected to result in the production of gamma rays —which were not observed and were not observed in subsequent cold fusion experiments.
Researchers in the field do not agree on a theory for cold fusion. This creates a high partial pressure, reducing the average separation of hydrogen isotopes. However, the reduction in separation is not enough by a factor of ten to create the fusion rates claimed in the original experiment. Electron screening of the positive hydrogen nuclei by the negative electrons in the palladium lattice was suggested to the DOE commission,  but the panel found the theoretical explanations not convincing and inconsistent with current physics theories.
Criticism of cold fusion claims generally take one of two forms: either pointing out the theoretical implausibility that fusion reactions have occurred in electrolysis setups or criticizing the excess heat measurements as being spurious, erroneous, or due to poor methodology or controls. There are a couple of reasons why known fusion reactions are an unlikely explanation for the excess heat and associated cold fusion claims. Because nuclei are all positively charged, they strongly repel one another.
Paneth and Peters in the s already knew that palladium can absorb up to times its own volume of hydrogen gas, storing it at several thousands of times the atmospheric pressure. This was also the belief of geologist Palmer, who convinced Steven Jones that the helium-3 occurring naturally in Earth perhaps came from fusion involving hydrogen isotopes inside catalysts like nickel and palladium.
Huizenga says they had misinterpreted the Nernst equation , leading them to believe that there was enough pressure to bring deuterons so close to each other that there would be spontaneous fusions. Conventional deuteron fusion is a two-step process, [text 6] in which an unstable high-energy intermediary is formed:. Experiments have observed only three decay pathways for this excited-state nucleus, with the branching ratio showing the probability that any given intermediate follows a particular pathway.
Only about one in one million of the intermediaries decay along the third pathway, making its products comparatively rare when compared to the other paths.
The known rate of the decay process together with the inter-atomic spacing in a metallic crystal makes heat transfer of the 24 MeV excess energy into the host metal lattice prior to the intermediary 's decay inexplicable in terms of conventional understandings of momentum and energy transfer,  and even then there would be measurable levels of radiation. Cold fusion setups utilize an input power source to ostensibly provide activation energy , a platinum group electrode , a deuterium or hydrogen source, a calorimeter , and, at times, detectors to look for byproducts such as helium or neutrons.
Critics have variously taken issue with each of these aspects and have asserted that there has not yet been a consistent reproduction of claimed cold fusion results in either energy output or byproducts. Some cold fusion researchers who claim that they can consistently measure an excess heat effect have argued that the apparent lack of reproducibility might be attributable to a lack of quality control in the electrode metal or the amount of hydrogen or deuterium loaded in the system.
Critics have further taken issue with what they describe as mistakes or errors of interpretation that cold fusion researchers have made in calorimetry analyses and energy budgets. In , after Fleischmann and Pons had made their claims, many research groups tried to reproduce the Fleischmann-Pons experiment, without success. A few other research groups, however, reported successful reproductions of cold fusion during this time.
Iyengar and M. Groups that did report successes found that some of their cells were producing the effect, while other cells that were built exactly the same and used the same materials were not producing the effect. The claims of cold fusion, however, are unusual in that even the strongest proponents of cold fusion assert that the experiments, for unknown reasons, are not consistent and reproducible at the present time. Internal inconsistencies and lack of predictability and reproducibility remain serious concerns.
The Panel recommends that the cold fusion research efforts in the area of heat production focus primarily on confirming or disproving reports of excess heat. Some research groups initially reported that they had replicated the Fleischmann and Pons results but later retracted their reports and offered an alternative explanation for their original positive results.
The calculation of excess heat in electrochemical cells involves certain assumptions. But with the stark example of Pons and Fleischmann, any new claim to cold fusion will have to be carefully substantiated by a number of scientists before it can overcome existing skepticism. Park, Robert. Voodoo Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Taubes, Gary. New York : Random House, Pollack, Andrew.
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Fusion, the reaction involved in the release of the destructive energy of a hydrogen bomb , requires extremely high temperatures, and investigations of fusion as a possible energy source have focused on the problems involved in designing an apparatus to contain and sustain such a reaction see nuclear energy ; nuclear reactor. In B. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, chemists at the Univ. Attempts to replicate their experiment produced initially conflicting results, but several early announcements of experimental confirmation were later retracted. Pons and Fleischmann were also later criticized for having skewed data to show the emission of gamma rays at an energy level typical of fusion.
Research into the possibility of low-energy nuclear reactions as the field is also called nonetheless continues, because of intriguing but inconclusive experimental results—such as claims of the production of excess heat, helium, or tritium where heavy water reacts with metals—and because of the desirability of producing relatively nonpolluting fusion energy in quantity at any temperature.
Voodoo Fusion Energy
Cold-fusion proponents believe that the fusion mechanism is different from that of "hot fusion" in that it encompasses some type of unusual nuclear reaction in the metal lattice involving deuterium and possibly other atoms. Several dozen models to explain the observed phenomena have been advanced, but none accounts for the full range of experimental observations.
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See F. In nuclear fusion hydrogen atoms merge to form one helium atom, releasing energy. In its conventional form, such as that occurring within stars and hydrogen bombs, nuclear fusion requires high pressure and temperature, which force the atoms together. Proponents of cold nuclear fusion maintain that certain catalysts can coax hydrogen atoms to fuse without extreme pressure or heat. One form of cold nuclear fusion, known as muon-catalyzed cold fusion and first suggested in the s, is undisputed.
The process, in which a subatomic particle known as a muon captures two hydrogen atoms and forces them to fuse, has been demonstrated in the laboratory but appears not to be feasible as an energy source. The controversial form of cold nuclear fusion was first heard of in March , when two University of Utah chemists, Martin Fleisch-mann and B. Stanley Pons, reported that they had produced fusion in a test tube at room temperature by running an electrical current through heavy water, a type of water in which the hydrogen atoms are of the isotope deuterium.