The debacle that resulted from the 1989 announcements of Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons at the University of Utah had quite a negative affect on cold fusion and LENR research. Many would say it became career suicide in academia to be a proponent of LENR research. Dr. George Miley and associates at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign have bucked this trend. Dr. Magdi Ragheb, Associate Professor of the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering, has incorporated some LENR discussion into his course, Nuclear Power Engineering 402. In fact, an essay entitled Deuteron Disintegration In Condensed Matter, gives a good overview of some of the competing LENR technologies and theories out there.
We commend this type of exposure and education to our future nuclear engineers and academics. One of these students just might lead the way to developing commercial or useful fusion – LENR technology. Good luck on the midterms!
This Volume 22 marks the tenth anniversary of the publication of the first volume of the Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. This journal was created to fill a void in the scientific world. Since the beginning, in 1989, the subject of Cold Fusion, discovered by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, has been, and is still, rejected by the scientific community. There was a need to go beyond the International Conferences on Cold Fusion proceedings to publish papers. It was necessary to have an internal way of communicating between scientists working together, just like in any other field of science. From the very start, it was decided that the journal would be peer reviewed. Also, since ICCF16, the Journal publishes the proceedings of the conferences and workshops dedicated to Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. A total of 312 papers have been published, 93 of them being conference proceedings.
There is a growing community of eyes watching the progression of LENR. From former U.S. Vice-Presidents to the richest man on the world, the anomalies discovered by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons over 25 years ago, are on the radar at the highest levels. BlackRock Inc. A 2012 investment report by the world’s largest asset manager, mentioned that they were following LENR and fusion start-ups. Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President. Mr. Gore references LENR and thorium in an online Google+ conversation in 2013.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation. In 2014, Bill Gates visited the laboratories of ENEA in Frascati, Italy, where he was briefed on ENEA’s research activity, including in the field of LENR.
Steven Chu, former U.S. Secretary of Energy. Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and former cabinet member under President Obama, meets with Robert Godes, founder of Brillouin Energy, a leader in LENR experimentation, in an undated photo.
The single biggest hurdle to the acceptance of LENR fka Cold Fusion is control of the reaction. There is little doubt in the learned scientific community that the anomalous and excess heat generated by the unidentified reaction is real. This has been proven thousands of times in the past two decades.
Much to the dismay of the pioneering Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann (whom took this to his grave), the lack of control destroyed their careers and gave Cold Fusion a permanent black eye. Early experiments show that excess heat is somehow released by the absorption of deuterium in a palladium lattice, but their crude experiments were not controllable and virtually impossible to reproduce by others. Their work was dismayed as pseudoscience and all but killed further funding for research.
Twenty plus years later, the entrepreneurs now seem to have the upper hand. While the research dollars disappeared, experiments continued quietly in small labs across the globe. There are a handful of companies actively working to bring a LENR device to market. Again, control is the key issue if one believes Rossi, Brillouin, Blacklight and Defkalion all have devices which produce excess heat. Brillouin Energy Corporation seems especially in tune with the issue. Its founder, Robert Godes, has been working for many years to solve the control issue. His innovations apparently allows Brillouin a controlled and predictable output and a working theory they call a Controlled Electron Capture Reaction. Their theory and stability has generated millions of dollars in funding and a relationship with the Standford Research Institute.
Further developments in control will spur more funding and more research. As the phenomenon is more fully understood, a solid reproducible reaction will be available to everyone.
Michael McKubre, an esteemed electrochemist at SRI International, has been at the forefront of Cold Fusion/LENR research from the beginning. A former student of Martin Fleischmann, Dr. McKubre has been an integral figure in ongoing LENR research and testing.
In a recently published interview in New Scientist, Dr. McKubre speaks of his mentor’s legacy and a theoretical model on his controversial work:
We need a good, sound theoretical model – then we can experimentally test it. We have a general idea of what’s generating the heat, but the details – how deuterium nuclei get together to fuse – have yet to be resolved. The hot fusion folk who criticised cold fusion got one thing right: if it were a pairwise reaction of only two deuterium nuclei, like in free space, you should always see the same products as in hot fusion. But, generally, we don’t see those types of products. A theoretical model is coming. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a good one in the next four or five months.
Clive Cookson, of the Financial Times recalls the Fleischmann Pons announcement 23 years ago.
The Los Angeles Times recalls: Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons thought they were going to change the energy world forever.
The Washington Post recounts when the claim of Cold Fusion could not be satisfactorily substantiated, science turned its back Martin Fleischmann.
A handful of LENR and cold fusion sites are reporting Martin Fleischman has passed away at his home in Tisbury, U.K. on August 3, 2012. Dr. Fleischmann, a Professor of Electrochemistry at the University of Southampton, England became an instant celebrity in 1989 when he and associate professor Stanley Pons announced what was to be called a “cold fusion” reaction in experiments at the University of Utah. The March 23, 1989 press conference created a firestorm of controversy as hundreds of scientists immediately started work at their laboratories to reproduce the anomalous heat effect. With several failed efforts to reproduce the effect, Fleischmann and Pons were labeled as frauds and cold fusion was derided as junk science, with the general scientific community still remaining skeptical to this day.
We can only hope Dr. Fleischmann’s work will continue to be carried out by the small, but growing community of LENR scientists and researchers. While a Nobel Prize cannot be awarded posthumously, I think generations to come will recognize the debt of gratitude owed towards Martin Fleischmann, a man who never retired or wavered in his belief.
I don’t suppose I’ll ever retire completely. -Martin Fleischmann (1927-2012)
The vast majority of the people in the world have never heard of Cold Fusion, or LENR, as it is now popularly called. The study of LENR was nearly buried, but positive experiments have continued twenty years after Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann’s announcement in 1989. As seen below, the late Eugene Mallove, a brilliant scientist and cold fusion expert, tells of how “arrogant physics” and the efforts of negative and close-minded hot fusion advocates led to the public smear campaign against LENR. Thankfully, the honorable efforts of Mallove and others have continued and now we appear to be close to legitimizing their work.
Dr. Mallove prophetically told in a 1994 Good Morning America interview, the very first cold fusion application will be “a home heating unit, and followed very quickly thereafter will be a small electrical generator.” Could this moment be upon us with the commercialization of Rossi’s E-Cat? If so, the world will owe a debt of gratitude to brave individuals like Eugene Mallove who remained steadfast in light of tremendous efforts to destroy an idea.
Andrea Rossi’s recent developments with his Ecat reactor has cast a new light on LENR (low energy nuclear reaction) research. Often synonymous with “Cold Fusion,” widespread scientific and mainstream attention began with the assertions of Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, whom posited that previously unknown kinds of nuclear reactions and excess heat of a large magnitude could be observed in certain electrochemical cells.
With these principles in mind, Melvin Miles and colleagues were among the first researchers to observe the temporally correlated production of helium and heat during LENR electrolytic experiments. Miles’ work was groundbreaking in that it showed that the heat was related to some sort of nuclear effect.
Dr. Randell Mills and others reported significant excess heat from ordinary water cells with nickel electrodes, an energy which they deemed to be coming not from nuclear reactions, but from a new form of catalyzed shrinkage reaction via a remodeled form of the hydrogen atom, dubbed “hydrinos.” Mills has gone on to try and distance himself from the Cold Fusion moniker to write his own model of quantum mechanics and start commercial production of his own energy source.
What is the correlation between nickel and hydrogen atoms that strongly hints at a low level nuclear reaction can occur with the proper catalysts? Time will tell as a world dominated by massive fossil fuel consumption looks for new sources of renewable energy.
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