NEW REPORT ESTABLISHES CASE FOR COLD FUSION
Date: Monday, March 22, 2004 @ 18:05:02 EST
Steven Krivit writes: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 22, 2004
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY TO TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT
LOS ANGELES, March 22, 2004 -- Coinciding with the U.S. Department of Energy's decision to re-open the case on cold fusion, investigators Steven Krivit and Nadine Winocur have released the most current work on the history and progress of the science.
"The Cold Fusion Report" is based on personal communication with more than 50 scientists from around the world, 28 of whom Krivit interviewed on camera at the 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion in Cambridge, Mass. As documented in the report, prominent U.S. scientists verify the efficacy of this controversial discovery.
The report follows confirmation by U.S. Department of Energy spokeswoman Jacqueline Johnson, as detailed in the "Upfront" section of the latest issue of New Scientist, that the department has committed to a second review of cold fusion. Another story, tentatively titled "DOE Warms to Cold Fusion," will be published in the April 1 Web edition of Physics Today, at www.physicstoday.org .
The U.S. Department of Energy discussed a re-evaluation of cold fusion on Nov. 6, 2003, when representatives from the Office of Science met with a team of established scientists who have studied cold fusion for 15 years. The scientists reported that cold fusion is real, with results that are robust, verifiable and repeatable.
This review is expected to evaluate the credibility of current claims and, assuming they are verified, decide whether government funding should be directed to cold fusion research.
Although recent experimental results are promising, their commercial viability remains unknown. Scientists hope that new research will provide an answer to whether cold fusion may become a future energy source.
The 53-page report includes quotes from such scientists as Dr. Melvin Miles, former senior electrochemist of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, Calif., who, commenting on an eight-year series of U.S. Navy cold fusion experiments, concluded, "In our opinion, these [findings] provide compelling evidence that the [cold fusion effects] are real. This research area has the potential to provide the human race with a nearly unlimited new source of energy. It is possible that [cold fusion] will prove to be one of the most important scientific discoveries of this century."
It also cites a senior member of the technical staff at the U.S. government's Sandia National Laboratories, James Corey, who expressed at the September 2003 Energetic Materials Intelligence Symposium that "an overdue revolution in science will arrive, [and] the reputations of cold fusion scientists and those who revile them may be reversed."
Although 3,000 scientific papers have been written about cold fusion, progress is underreported in the scientific and popular media because of a rift between cold fusion researchers and the scientific establishment, which has refused in its journals to publish articles relating to cold fusion.
In a September 2003 article, science columnist Sharon Begley of the Wall Street Journal noted of this phenomenon, "the only thing pathological about cold fusion is the way the scientific establishment has treated it."
"The Cold Fusion Report" includes the following findings:
o More than 150 scientists worldwide, including 60 physicists, hold that cold fusion
is a verifiable, reproducible low-temperature nuclear reaction, free of harmful radiation
and nuclear waste.
o Evidence that the effect is reproducible and has been demonstrated
in many laboratories around the world, through a variety of methods.
o Citations from five scientific papers which report correlation between excess energy
and the nuclear by-product helium-4, a key finding which verifies the claims of low-
temperature nuclear reactions. Historically, critics of cold fusion erroneously
assumed that "cold fusion" should emit the same nuclear products as "hot fusion."
Later research demonstrated that the hunt for the "missing neutrons" was
misdirected and that the dominant product of cold fusion, instead, is helium-4.
"The Cold Fusion Report" also includes evidence of the veracity of cold fusion in several previously unreleased documents:
o A 1993 report to the Pentagon by former JASONS chairman Richard Garwin and by
chemistry professor Nathan Lewis of Caltech that supports the findings of "excess
heat," providing key evidence for the cold fusion effect. Four years earlier, Lewis
tried unsuccessfully to replicate the cold fusion effect and subsequently became one
of the most outspoken critics of cold fusion.
o A 1991 report by chemistry professor Alan Bard of the University of Texas,
a vocal critic of cold fusion who confirmed the presence of "excess heat"
in an independent laboratory experiment at SRI International.
o Two 1995 papers by scientists from Amoco Production Co. and Shell Research
reporting positive, unambiguous evidence from their own cold fusion experiments.
Part 1 of "The Cold Fusion Report" examines factors that led the scientific community to a premature rejection of the validity of cold fusion and explains why developments in cold fusion have gone virtually unreported. It reviews studies revealing that the early experiments conducted by prominent laboratories that were presumed to have debunked cold fusion were in fact seriously flawed.
Part 2 of the report discusses the current status of cold fusion research. It reviews advances over the past 15 years and identifies the major unanswered questions. The report concludes with a glimpse of possible future applications for cold fusion technology.
"The Cold Fusion Report" was reviewed for technical accuracy by two physicists with decades of experience in conventional fusion, one of whom has studied cold fusion, as well. The other, a skeptical plasma physicist who works for a major U.S. fusion research center, described the report as "correct, readable, even and unbiased, suitable for reaching physicists and educated people."
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