Welcome to the Cold Fusion learning project. The Wikipedia article on cold fusion is here.
These resources and seminars may present personal opinions of the writer(s). As the resources mature, controversial statements should be clarified and sourced, and any contrary opinions presented. Opinions expressed as original research, and not as a general consensus, should be attributed. Please help make this top-level resource neutral.
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Most current activity is in the Excess heat correlated with helium seminar. Participation is invited.
- The phenomenon called cold fusion has been studied for the last 21 years since its discovery by Profs. Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. The discovery was met with considerable skepticism, but supporting evidence has accumulated, plausible theories have been suggested, and research is continuing in at least eight countries. This paper provides a brief overview of the major discoveries and some of the attempts at an explanation. The evidence supports the claim that a nuclear reaction between deuterons to produce helium can occur in special materials without application of high energy. This reaction is found to produce clean energy at potentially useful levels without the harmful byproducts normally associated with a nuclear process.
- 1 Content summary
- 2 Controversy
- 3 Types of Cold Fusion
- 4 History
- 5 State of the field
- 6 Experimental Evidence
- 7 Negative replications and evidence contrary to fusion
- 8 Hypotheses
- 9 Learning materials
- 9.1 Texts
- 9.2 Sources
- 9.3 Seminars
- 9.4 X-rays
- 9.5 Lessons
- 9.6 Conferences
- 9.7 Assignments
- 9.8 Activities
- 9.9 Infusion Institute
- 10 References
- 11 External Links
- 12 Active participants
- 13 Learning Project Summary
Cold fusion is technically the name for any nuclear fusion reaction that may occur well below the temperature required for thermonuclear reactions (millions of degrees Celsius).
This is known to occur with muon-catalyzed fusion. However, popularly, "cold fusion" now refers mostly to hypothesized fusion or other nuclear reactions taking place in condensed matter, per the claims of Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann (1989) and others.
"Cold fusion" also refers in some applications to heavy nuclei fusion at energies below those normally required for fusion, but still very high, causing the fused heavier nuclei to be at low excitation and thus a bit more stable, but this educational resource will only address the more popular meaning, following the discoveries of Pons and Fleischmann.
While there are various theories attempting to explain the experimental results from cold fusion researchers, no theory, according to Storms (2007), is, as yet, fully satisfactory in explaining all the observations. Helium has been confirmed as a primary reaction product, correlated with heat, in roughly the expected ratio for deuterium-deuterium fusion, but this is not proof that the reaction is the normal d-d fusion that was originally suggested, for there are other theorized pathways that could produce that ratio, or approximate it, without ever involving the direct fusion of only two deuterons.
Cold fusion apparently remains controversial among many scientists, though there is a lack of negative peer−reviewed general review since the 2004 U.S. Department of Energy review (the report of which was not peer−reviewed, and which was only partly negative).
Lack of any accepted theoretical explanation, and questions raised about the quality of the original research that established the field, led to a general rejection of cold fusion in 1989-1990.
However, in peer-reviewed mainstream journals, many independent research groups have reported anomalous heat in palladium deuteride, and this result was never conclusively impeached, nor has helium production correlated with heat, been found to be artifact. Widespread findings of unexpected tritium, transmutations, radiation, and possible nuclear effects support the idea that nuclear reactions are taking place outside of expected conditions.
Despite over 25 years of serious efforts by many researchers, occasionally well-funded, such as the Technova effort (Toyota) and an official Japanese research project, you still cannot buy a "Cold fusion hand warmer" or a "Cold fusion samovar" in which to brew cups of tea, nor is there any readily-obtainable device that can be used for demonstrations on demand.
This resource is largely being developed from the point of view that research into this field is legitimate, and that point of view is confirmed by how the field was treated in the 2004 U.S. Department of Energy review, as well as the publication of many secondary source reviews, in mainstream journals, since that formal review. (The 2004 DOE review stated, "The nearly unanimous opinion of the reviewers was that funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV.")
(The review statement appears to assume that, if cold fusion is real, it would be "D-D fusion." This assumption plagued cold fusion research from the beginning. It readily leads to expectations that are not matched by experimental results. "Cold fusion" is experimentally defined, it is not a theory of mechanism.)
Nevertheless, the intention is for this resource to be, overall, neutral. Because some of this is written by someone relatively expert in the field, and because one does not become an expert, ordinarily, without some sort of trust in the value of the research, it may seem, at times, overly positive. Please respond to this by balancing this, and we will seek consensus, where possible, and attribute what remains controversial among us.
There is, for example, a list of sources at Cold fusion/Recent sources, showing all known peer-reviewed papers relating to this field, 2005 or later, as judged by the formally skeptical electrochemist Dieter Britz. If there is a source missing, please add it. (If it is not in Britz, please note that.) If there is a comment you'd like to make, please make it; preferably such comments should be signed if not acceptable by consensus.
Under the Cold fusion/Excess heat correlated with helium seminar, there is another page with sources relating to this specific issue. This is intended to eventually be a much deeper list of sources, including primary sources, media sources, etc. It is currently written with some critical commentary, but that is not necessarily the ultimate form of the page, commentary might be moved, for example, to the associated Talk page, with section references being left on the resource page.
The goal of this resource is for participants to become familiar with the science, the history, what is known, what is believed and by whom, what is found in sources, and what activities are going on.
There is no requirement in all of this to be a "believer." Skeptics are welcome. It is, however, assumed that all of us are "learners." In this field, especially, where there is no theory explaining the known "cold fusion" phenomena, in a satisfactory way, we may all assume that we have something to learn.
If nothing else, there remain widely-reported anomalies that have never been satisfactorily explained, with the explanations confirmed by controlled experiment. Some of the discussion in subpages of this resource have been attempts to propose "prosaic explanations." The basic experimental phenomena reported (anomalous heat, helium and, to a lesser degree, tritium production) have never been shown, under peer review, to be artifact in the general case.
Various people have, at times, proposed speculative explanations, unconfirmed by experiment. This is the mystery and history of cold fusion, a history where theory was assumed to be valid and apparently contrary experiment disregarded or deprecated because it seemed to conflict with theory.
Yet, in fact, there was no theory that intrinsically showed that low-energy nuclear reactions were impossible, and, in fact, there are known and accepted low-energy nuclear reactions.
Pons and Fleischmann most clearly claimed, not "d-d fusion," in their publications, but an "unknown nuclear reaction." They then confused the matter by attempting to explain their finding of low levels of neutrons using classical fusion reactions, but they knew that ordinary fusion would have produced fatal levels of neutrons. To make matters worse, their neutron findings were artifact. While there is evidence that the same environment that may produce cold fusion, as manifest by heat and helium, may also produce extremely low levels of neutrons, there is no evidence that this production involves the same mechanism as produces heat and helium, and neutron production has not been correlated with heat.
Many, including those preparing the 2004 U.S. DOE report, have assumed that if there is a nuclear reaction, it must be the fusion of two deuterons, which indeed suffers from some severe theoretical obstacles. However, it is impossible for theory to conclusively rule out an "unknown reaction," it would require omniscience. Rather, the first research issue is "what happens," not "what does not happen." If there is anomalous heat and if there is helium measured, correlated with that heat, at roughly 25 MeV/He-4, this is an experimental result. Theory is not required.
The heat/helium ratio has been experimentally verified and confirmed, it is not an isolated finding, though there is plenty of room to question the exact figure, because of the difficulties of measuring helium in these experiments.
If there is heat, there is heat, and the question becomes "how much," and we risk blinding ourselves if we avoid that question and simply assume error because we don't like the "lack of theory."
Unlike the situation with N-rays and polywater, there never was experimental refutation of the basic cold fusion findings, only, in the case of Pons and Fleischmann, of their neutron findings -- which were in gross error.
The theory that the anomalous heat findings are artifact is unsupported by experiment; it was assumed that it was impossible to replicate, because some groups, early on, when inadequate information was available, failed. It is impossible to review the literature and agree with this assessment (there are at least 153 reports, published under peer review, in mainstream journals, of excess heat in PdD), and the work that correlates heat with helium cuts completely through that Gordian knot. Some experiments produce neither heat nor helium. Where the early negative replication attempts measured helium, they found none, together with no heat. That is a confirmation of the later work, it does not negate it.
It's been claimed that the positive results are due to confirmation bias, and, in particular, that only positive results are reported, while negative results remain unreported. While incomplete reporting is a problem in this field (as in many fields), some published work includes data on all experiments, not just those which showed anomalous heat, and the distribution of data from these reports does not resemble that of random variation that has been selectively reported. The heat signal (and other signals) are often far above the noise. The correlation of heat and helium, to be properly done, must report all experiments, and the experimental discoverer of the heat/helium correlation did exactly that, including experiments that were outliers.
The Holy Grail was a replicable cold fusion experiment. It was actually first reported and published in 1991, the work of Miles on heat and helium. There are no negative replications of this, and it's been amply confirmed, as shown by Storms in his 2010 review. The "replicable experiment" simply requires using the state of the art to generate the anomalous heat -- or what appears to be anomalous! -- and measuring helium, over many cells, and seeing if the two results correlate. They do, strongly, so strongly that it's conclusive. Whatever is producing the heat is increasing measured helium proportionately, and at remarkably close to a special value, the value expected if deuterium is transmuted to helium with no loss through gamma radiation.
By far, the bulk of the experimental evidence shows that unexpected heat is often produced, well above noise levels, and no artifact has been found that explains this body of evidence. (For some experiments, individual possible artifacts are proposed that might explain some of the results, but then other experiments exist where those artifacts could not have existed. In some cases, these artifacts are ruled out by data from within a single experiment, and in particular with controls.)
The work with helium provides an independent measure of the reaction, thus validating both sets of measurements. Most of the original objections to the hypothesis that some nuclear reaction was involved have been answered through years of research; the missing "ash" was an original objection. It was helium. This was not expected, it was expected that if there was d-d fusion, there would be copious tritium and neutrons, and only a little helium.
There were two obvious possible conclusions: there was no reaction at all, the heat (and, later, the helium) were artifacts, afflicting hundreds of research groups, all unaware of them, or there was a reaction and it was not ordinary d-d fusion. A third possibility remains, which would be that some unknown, unrecognized condition was affecting the branching ratio and also causing the gamma ray expected from d+d -> He-4 to be suppressed or turned entirely into heat.
Since that requires two miracles, besides the original miracle of overcoming the Coulomb barrier, it's no wonder that many were highly skeptical. Occam's Razor here: there is a nuclear reaction, and it has not been identified. It's a nuclear reaction from helium being produced, and from the levels of energy generated per product nucleus. But what is it? And, while Storms notes that there are some "plausible theories," nothing yet is adequate to make solid predictions. This is new science. There is something to be learned, something that nobody expected, in the face of what seemed to be totally solid and reliable quantum mechanics, capable of making highly accurate predictions under plasma conditions.
What was missed was that these predictions were only highly accurate under 2-body conditions, as in a plasma, not necessarily under all conditions. It was known that the solid state was far more complex, and Pons and Fleischmann were not engaged in a search for "free energy," but for confirmation of the predictions of 2 body quantum mechanics by testing them under an extreme condition, the highly dense packing of deuterium into a palladium lattice. They expected to find nothing.
Types of Cold Fusion
Generally cold, locally hot fusion
Bubble fusion and Pyroelectric fusion are examples of generally cold, locally hot fusion. This type of fusion, even though taking place in an apparatus at overall low temperatures, is the same, as it concerns the individual particles, as hot fusion, involving intense heat within a collapsing bubble or the formation of an intense electric field, and the reactions taking place in these situations (still controversial with bubble fusion) show the ordinary characteristics of hot fusion, such as the generation of neutrons or tritium or Helium-3. Such mechanisms were proposed by some, originally, to explain the excess heat found by Pons and Fleischmann, but as it was realized that this new kind of nuclear reaction produced no significant neutrons or other such products, aside from helium, theorists turned elsewhere.
This study will not cover "locally hot" fusion, except as to possible side-reactions. (If nuclear reactions are taking place in condensed matter, possibly hot reaction products could then cause secondary reactions involving hot fusion. These are, for example, postulated to explain the neutron findings of the SPAWAR group (Pamela Mosier-Boss et al). The levels of neutrons reported by SPAWAR are very low, though well above background.
Pons and Fleischmann in 1989 claimed to have observed anomalous heat and radiation in palladium highly loaded with deuterium (palladium deuteride), at room temperature. In the early period after that announcement, the claim was common that the reaction responsible for the observed phenomena was the fusion of deuterium; however, it was soon realized that ordinary deuterium fusion had expected characteristics very different from those observed in the experimental cells of Pons, Fleischmann, and others. The mechanism behind the Pons-Fleischmann effect is not known, though there are unproven theories.
The early claims of radiation were found to be artifacts, and were retracted. Excess heat, however, was never found to be improperly measured, and as of 2009, there were 153 peer-reviewed publications finding excess heat in palladium deuteride.
Later, careful work by many research groups found that where helium in cold fusion cells was measured with mass spectrometry, and compared with excess energy determined through calorimetry, the two were strongly correlated, at a value estimated by Storms (The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, World Scientific, 2007) at 25 +/- 5 MeV per helium atom. This compares with a theoretical value for the fusion of deuterium to helium of 23.8 MeV. However, this does not prove that the reaction is deuterium fusion to helium. For example, Takahashi, originally basing his work on anomalies with bombardment of palladium deuteride targets with deuterons, indicating multibody fusion (more than two nuclei fusing simultaneously), has proposed and calculated, using quantum field theory, that, if it forms, a "Tetrahedral Symmetric Condensate," a Bose-Einstein condensate, which would start with two deuterium molecules in confinement, will collapse and fuse within a femtosecond to form a single excited Beryllium-8 nucleus, which could then radiate energy as photons to the metal lattice, until it decays into two helium nuclei. The net energy generated would be the same as for deuterium fusion, 23.8 MeV. There are other theories and possibilities, and the exact ratio of excess heat to helium generated needs to be measured with improved accuracy. The fact that some of the generated He is retained in the Pd metal makes an exact measurement challenging.
The following techniques are used experimentally to study possible low-energy nuclear reactions:
- electrolytic cell. Fleischmann and Pons used a double-walled vacuum flask for the electrolysis chamber (palladium cathode), so that heat conduction would be minimal. They used an open cell, thus allowing the gaseous deuterium and oxygen resulting from the electrolysis reaction to leave the cell. It was necessary to replenish the cell with heavy water at regular intervals. These cells take substantial amounts of power; however, the power is used to generate the deuterium, most of which is released in an open cell. Measurements of excess heat require great skill and care and a knowledge of the various ways that energy can be distributed in the operation of such a cell. In other work, closed cells are used to recombine all the generated gases, recovering that energy, so that the electrical input of energy can be compared with the heat generated. Closed cells can be dangerous, the only fatality in cold fusion research resulted from a closed cell where the recombiner apparently stopped working for a time and reactivated when a researcher moved the cell, causing a powerful chemical explosion that killed him.
- Codeposition cells begin with a metal cathode, typically silver, platinum, gold, or nickel, placed in a heavy water electrolyte containing a palladium salt. The palladium is electrochemically deposited on the cathode, supposedly at the same time as deuterium gas is being evolved there. The result is, allegedly, fully loaded palladium deuteride, from the start, whereas Fleischmann cells began with a metal cathode that was slowly loaded as deuterium was evolved, taking weeks or months to reach some possibility of reaction. Codeposition cells are claimed to produce effects almost immediately.
- Gas loaded cells Gas-loaded cells are used by Arata and others to create loaded palladium deuteride by pressurizing deuterium gas into nanoparticle palladium. These cells also are claimed to produce immediate heat, more than the normal heat of formation of palladium deuteride, and continuing much longer than the similar phenomenon with hydrogen gas loading; In Arata's work, and in a confirmation, with normal hydrogen, the cell returns to room temperature within an hour or so, whereas with deuterium, the temperature of the cell remains elevated beyond 50 hours.
Relatively sparse reports existed of evidence of LENR in experiments with nickel and hydrogen. However, in early 2011, a demonstration of a claimed "Energy Catalyzer," with undisclosed internal details, gained widespread notice and stimulated discussion, and, aside from the announced plans of the inventor, research resources have begun to be diverted from other LENR approaches to devices exploring nickel and hydrogen. The inventor, Andrea Rossi, claims to have constructed and discarded a thousand attempts before finding the high output reported, 12 kW from a reaction chamber of one liter volume, sustained for substantial periods, with steady input energy on the order of 300 W (claimed to be used in control circuitry). Because the details have been kept secret, for reasons that could be justified by the difficulty of patenting any devices involving LENR, it is impossible to fully evaluate these claims at this point, but there have been a number of demonstrations and quasi-independent observations.
Other companies and organizations are also involved in researching nickel-hydrogen systems, including Defkalion Green Technologies, Brillouin Energy, as well as the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project, which has been working on replication of experimental reports from Francesco Piantelli (Nichenergy).
Huizenga, in the title of his book, called cold fusion "The Scientific Fiasco of the Century". Our subpage will study the history of cold fusion.
State of the field
While cold fusion remains highly controversial, the field is now far more accepted than it was after the highly negative 1989 U.S. Department of Energy review. In 2004, the DoE reviewed the field again, and, of 18 expert panelists, half considered the evidence for excess heat to be "conclusive" and one-third considered evidence for nuclear reactions to be "somewhat convincing.". Given that, in 1989, the panel was almost entirely negative, it can be considered that, by 2004, cold fusion had become "emerging science."
More recent results and publications have made this even more clear. Papers on low energy nuclear reactions, both experimental and theoretical, are now appearing in mainstream journals such as Naturwissenschaften. The critical work that is appearing is now mostly criticism from within the field, and general rejection has almost entirely disappeared from scientific journals.
The American Chemical Society, the largest scientific society in the world, published, in 2008, with Oxford University Press, a Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook, with 15 peer-reviewed original papers, including secondary reviews of the field, plus a previously presented conference paper by Martin Fleischmann, detailing the theoretical considerations behind his original work. Research continues around the world, with governmental support in the U.S. (mostly through various U.S. Naval Research Laboratories, but also through SRI International), Italy (ENEA), and other work in Russia, Japan, China, and India.
In 2009, there was considerable excitement when the United States Naval Research Laboratory SPAWAR group (San Diego) presented, at the American Chemical Society conference in Salt Lake City, on the twentieth anniversary of the original cold fusion announcement, evidence of energetic neutron radiation from codeposition cells, characteristic "triple tracks" in solid state nuclear track detectors, which result from the breakup of carbon nuclei into three alpha particles, caused by neutron impact. The level of neutron radiation found was very low, but well above background and not present in controls. This radiation could not be a normal product of whatever reaction is primarily taking place in the cells; rather, the authors theorize that it is due to a secondary reaction of some kind. This work was previously published in Naturwissenschaften.
While there is current experimental work that might eventually lead to practical applications, the conditions which produce these reactions are still too poorly understood to predict if or when it will be possible to use cold fusion for practical energy generation. The 2004 DoE review did not recommend a focused program of research, probably for this reason; however, it did recommend funding under existing programs to address the basic scientific issues. Cold fusion researchers agree that without an understanding of the basic mechanism, engineering improved reliability and energy yield could be hit-or-miss.
- The phenomenon called cold fusion has been studied for the last 21 years since its discovery by Profs. Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. The discovery was met with considerable skepticism, but supporting evidence has accumulated, plausible theories have been suggested, and research is continuing in at least eight countries. This paper provides a brief overview of the major discoveries and some of the attempts at an explanation. The evidence supports the claim that a nuclear reaction between deuterons to produce helium can occur in special materials without application of high energy. This reaction is found to produce clean energy at potentially useful levels without the harmful byproducts normally associated with a nuclear process. Various requirements of a model are examined.
This paper may be reviewed at Storms (2010). Please place any relevant evidence or fact on the page linked, and discuss on the attached Talk page.
An RfC was conducted on Wikipedia on two questions:
- Should the article state that the experiments reporting cold fusion are widely considered to be pathological science?
- To which of the four categories defined in WP:ARBPS in principles 15 through 18 should the article say cold fusion is considered to be? 1. Almost universally considered pseudoscience. 2. Generally considered pseudoscience, but with a following, such as astrology. 3. Widely accepted, but considered by some to be pseudoscience, such as psychoanalysis. 4. Alternative scientific theories or formulations.
Our subpage looks at the RfC, its process and aftermath, and consider the issue from a wider perspective.
A user on Wikipedia created a user page studying sources referring to cold fusion as pathological science, or referring to this as mainstream opinion. That material is brought here for study.
Many researchers have reported anomalous heat generated from palladium deuteride under certain conditions:
High loading ratio
In standard electrolytic experiments, a loading ratio above 90% appears to be required. Conventional wisdom was that 70% was the maximum attainable loading, but apparently, some palladium has microstructure adequate to prevent the loss of deuterium through cracks. In addition, oxide coating on the cathode may help retain deuterium. High loading, alone, does not appear to be adequate to trigger the reaction, there are other conditions. It is possible that the actual loading required, on a very small scale, must be in excess of 100%, and loading higher than 100% overall is seen in gas-loading experiments. Experiments that do not attain high loading ratio can be expected to not find excess heat or other signs of nuclear reaction; this, alone, explains a good deal of the early replication failure, and the variability of palladium samples as to how high a loading can be obtained with them may explain continued unreliability. (I.e., in a series of many cells, only a certain percentage (now often more than 50%) may show significant excess heat. Some reports indicate that 100% reliability has been obtained, but even in those cases, the amount of heat produced from each cell remains unpredictable in advance.)
Excess heat is well-correlated with current density, though the variation is much greater than the variation in heat/helium.
Measured excess heat in palladium deuteride experiments is strongly correlated with measured helium, many reports, at experimental values consistent with deuterium fusion. Note that this does not indicate the specific responsible mechanism, only the fuel and the result. This is the most conclusive evidence available that cold fusion is a real effect and that it is, in fact, fusion. However, given that the mechanism is not known, and that some theories proposed the formation of unexpected neutrons, which could cause reactions and heat and helium, "fusion," here, must be understood in a general sense, and should include the possibility that a series of reactions with, say, neutrons, are responsible for the effect. If the reaction starts with deuterium and ends with helium, with or without other ash, it's "fusion," because lower-atomic-weight materials have been brought together to make a higher-weight element.
See the seminar on Cold fusion/Excess heat correlated with helium.
Light hydrogen content above 1% or so seems to poison the reaction. However, at the other end, some level of reaction is reported with light water, perhaps based on a small normal deuterium content. Light water experiments appear to favor transmutation and radiation effects over excess heat/helium.
Some kind of stimulation or departure from equilibrium seems to favor the reaction. Illuminating palladium deuteride with a laser has been reported as increasing evolved heat by more than the amount of energy involved in the illumination. Changing the electrolysis current appears to trigger the reaction.
Elemental transmutations have been reported in cold fusion cells, including light water experiments. The collection of reports is enough to indicate a likelihood of transmutation, particularly when the isotopic ratios found are themselves not what would be expected from contamination. It is possible or even likely that more than one unknown nuclear reaction exists, or that the same basic reaction functions differently under different conditions. Storms (2010) wrote, "Absolute proof is not yet available because replication is difficult and many obvious sources of errors torment the measurements." See the review, pdf page 15.
See also, for an in-depth review of transmutation evidence: Srinivasan, M., G.H. Miley, and E. Storms, "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions: Transmutations," in Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia: Science, Technology and Applications. 2011, Wiley. p. 503-540. Preprint
Many early "negative reports" focused on searches for neutrons. Neutrons were expected based on the theory that the "unknown nuclear reaction" was the fusion of two deuterons, or d-d fusion. That reaction is well-known, and that the condensed matter environment could have a large effect on the branching ratio and the apparent distribution of energy seemed implausible. However, experimental evidence became clear: cold fusion, even when excess heat is being generated, does not produce large numbers of neutrons, enough to reliably detect without extremely sensitive procedures. On the other hand, neutrons are generated, the evidence for that is strong; but the levels are so low that the neutrons only indicate that some kind of nuclear reaction is taking place in the cells, but provide no clue as to the main reaction. Any main reaction that can generate 25 MeV per He-4 can make the necessary energy occasionally available for ordinary hot fusion, or other secondary reactions, that might produce neutrons.
Significant levels of tritium are also reported. The levels of tritium are far lower than would be indicated if the reaction were d-d fusion, so tritium is also likely to be a side-effect (much more common than the neutrons).
There are also many reports of low levels of X-rays being generated.
The Karabut experiment
/Karabut will study the Karabut experiment, which may have generated collimated X-radiation.
Other effects are reported, but with fewer reports; these reports are adequate to suggest further research, but, until the main effects are better understood, many reports are made that are striking and obviously of significance, if they can be verified, but replication is not being undertaken, probably because of the general reputation of cold fusion as a pariah field. An example is biological transmutation evidence developed by Vyosotskii. On the face of these reports, published under peer review, there would seem to be strong (but unconfirmed) evidence that some organisms can set up cold fusion conditions. ("Cold fusion" here refers to any sort of nuclear effect produced by a chemical environment.)
Negative replications and evidence contrary to fusion
See Contrary evidence. The referenced seminar will study specific experiments, or reviews, appearing to present evidence contrary to the fusion hypothesis.
At the present time, because the subject is still controversial, there are no accepted theories that can explain in detail the data that suggests nuclear fusion could be occurring in the experiments. A number of proposals have been made, however. While some of them have been called "theories", in actual fact, without additional experimental evidence to support them, currently they should all be more accurately referred to as "hypotheses". Those that are described below are listed in order of publication date.
Multi-body quantum mechanics: Similar to the unsolved general multi-body problems in gravitational physics, Pons and Fleischmann suggested that in the domain of quantum mechanics, multi-body effects offered opportunities for very unusual events to occur, such as nuclear fusion inside a solid metal lattice. Unfortunately, this hypothesis has few other details.
Hydrinos: If hydrinos can exist, then they would be smaller-sized hydrogen atoms, much like muonic hydrogen atoms are a great deal smaller than normal hydrogen atoms. It has therefore been proposed that a hydrino could catalyze nuclear fusion much as happens during Muon-catalyzed fusion.
See Cold fusion/Theory for detailed study of theories regarding cold fusion.
- Taubes, Gary (1993), Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion, Random House, ISBN 0-394-58456-2
- Huizenga, John R. (1993), Cold Fusion: The Scientific Fiasco of the Century (2 ed.), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-855817-1
- Beaudette, Charles G. (2002), PDF, Excess Heat & Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed, Oak Grove Press, ISBN 9-9678548-2-2, http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf PDF,
- Simon, Bart (2002), [Googlebooks Undead science: science studies and the afterlife of cold fusion] (illustrated ed.), Rutgers University Press, ISBN 9780813531540, Googlebooks
- Storms, Edmund (2007), Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction: A Comprehensive Compilation of Evidence and Explanations, World Scientific, ISBN 9-8127062-0-8
- Krivit, Steven B. (2008), Marwan, Jan and Krivit, Steven B., editors, ed., Low energy nuclear reactions sourcebook, American Chemical Society/Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-8412-6966-8
- /Recent sources (mainstream journals) (this page is currently out of date, only goes through 2010. This should be updated from the Britz database, which will include the many papers from Current Science in 2015.)
- /Current Science. The February 25, 2015 issue of w:Current Science includes a special section on cold fusion, with many articles. See the special section. Wikiversity User:Abd has a paper in this issue. The subpage will list the articles and set up study of each article.
This collection was peer-reviewed, and includes reviews, i.e., much is peer-reviewed secondary source.
Seminars may begin as discussions, which may be relatively unfocused, but seminar participants should eventually work toward a seminar report, which covers the major points of the discussion in a neutral manner, with consensus and attribution of opinion. The seminar report should become the main seminar page, with prior discussion and detail as subpages or on attached Talk. Seminars in process may be quite messy and even combative, but participants should remain within the boundaries of, at most, spirited academic debate. Transiently, the debate might become personalized. We should be careful not to remain stuck in that. Ultimately, our topic here is Cold fusion, not individual personalities and their foibles.
Condensed Matter Nuclear Science is a controversial and complex field, and many questions are raised that might require expertise to answer. Ask questions of experts and discuss the answers with other students.
The Galileo project was a 2007 effort to coordinate replication of charged particle findings by a U.S. Naval research laboratory. What happened? We will gather the evidence and consider the issues.
Those who know the field find it frustrating that many arguments which were reasonable, perhaps, in 1989, are now repeated in discussions of cold fusion, as if no further research had been done, as if the reasons for the early problems in replication had not become known, and as if the balance of publication had not shifted. We will examine the arguments which are raised supporting the continued consideration of cold fusion as "junk science," and see to what extent these arguments are still valid. Wide participation will be invited, and our goal will be careful consideration of of each issue. We will use subpage structure and refactoring, as needed, to allow organized access to the material, seeking the creation of a consensus document.
Recent signs, beginning with the United States Department of Energy review in 2004, have shown an increased willingness to consider cold fusion research as addressing legitimate unanswered questions about the original and subsequent evidence asserted by experimental scientists. Cold fusion was "dead," it certainly appeared so. Yet, as Simon (2002) points out, it is also "undead." Is Cold fusion still "fringe"? How would we know? This seminar will address this issue.
Huizenga, the highly skeptical co-chair of the 1989 U.S. Department of Energy review panel, noticed, in the second edition of his book, Cold fusion: scientific fiasco of the century, (Oxford University Press, 1993), the Miles report that cold fusion cells tested for helium and monitored for excess heat, showed that helium was commensurate with heat; no heat, no helium, and the more heat, the more helium, at a value within range of that known for fusion of deuterium to helium, and commented that, if confirmed, this would solve a major mystery of cold fusion. Was this confirmed? What is known about this?
What theories have been proposed to explain cold fusion? To the extent that rejection of cold fusion is based on theory, what established theories or understandings would cold fusion violate?
We will study the Wikipedia article and analyze statements in it and its coverage. Is the article a fair representation of what is known about the science involved in cold fusion, what researchers in the field and other scientists notably believe or assert, and the history as found in reliable sources? This seminar will study a moving target, using snapshots of the article at a stated time. (This will not be about the editors or the editorial process, per se.)
This project will create one or more draft Wikipedia articles, designed by participants to fully satisfy Wikipedia policies, and produce a better organized, more informative, more readable article, that reflects the best sources. Participants may form working groups to compete for best article, or may choose to collaborate. Drafts may have a named supervising editor.
The recent review by Edmund Storms is the most extensive review of the field in recent publication under peer review. Examine this review, explore it and criticize it, and relate it to other published work.
Study and review papers that appear to present evidence contrary to the cold fusion hypothesis.
What are the social implications of the history of cold fusion, as well as the social impact of possible applications?
X-rays are reported in some cold fusion experiments. What's known about this? What could be generating X-rays?
A course on Cold fusion based on Excess Heat, Beaudette (2002), cited on the course page.
Charles Beaudette is a retired electronics engineer who attended ICCF 5 in 1995, and noticed "competent scientists doing serious research." He found that the "best" conference "technical papers were up to the standard that I was accustomed to from my days in engineering." This resulted in "an investigation that was undertaken to determine why there was so much confusion in the subject and to find out whether a new science did exist."
Beaudette did conclude that there was real science in the field of "cold fusion" (while noting that the name can be misleading), and his book, he also notes, can be seen as an "apologia for the two chemists who started it all."
An introductory essay on Cold Fusion by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax.
ICCF-18 was held at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, July 21-27, 2013. Read linked materials and discuss.
Perform, support, and analyze real experiments in the field, managed by participants here.
Create scripts and discuss the making of educational videos for various purposes and audiences about cold fusion. Each video project subpage will be owned by a "producer," and other editing there will be subject to approval of the producer. Any user may create a video project subpage. See the subpage linked above for details.
Infusion Institute, Inc (III), has been incorporated, as a Massachusetts non-profit corporation, to facilitate the kind of basic work needed to definitively confirm/disconfirm existing cold fusion research. The subpage, III, describes the purpose of III, how it is expected to operate, and certain implications or possibilities relevant to Wikiversity.
Additional helpful readings include:
- Dieter Britz bibliography -- Dieter Britz is an electrochemist who is generally considered to be skeptical about cold fusion. However, Britz and Jed Rothwell of lenr-canr.org generally cooperate to cover the field fully.
- lenr-canr.org, on-line library of papers on cold fusion.
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- Abd 18:59, 13 April 2010 (UTC)