Buzz Blog

Highlights from 25 Years of Cold Fusion Research

Friday, August 29, 2014

Back in 1989, Stanley Pons  and Martin Fleischmann stunned the world by announcing a new form of fusion that could take place at nearly room temperature. That's not particularly cold, but it's much colder than the temperatures of the sun, fusion bombs, and most controllable fusion proposals. On March 23 in '89, cold fusion was born.

I still have a copy of the very first paper Pons and Fleischmann released. It had been faxed (yep faxed!) from lab to lab in universities across the US and around the world. Many technical details were omitted, presumably because the cold fusion pioneers were eager to turn the revolutionary discovery loose to make the world a better place.

In honor of a quarter century cold fusion research, I've compiled the top ten advances in the field since that momentous spring day. 1. Ummmm . . . .

Actually, there haven't been any advances in cold fusion. Sorry.

So here's a picture of a bunny with a pancake on it's head.

Posted by Buzz Skyline


Gaby de Wilde said...

Not at all, If you look objectively you can see it doesn't follow the most basic Wikipedia guidelines.

Articles about LENR and CMNS have been merged into the article. This places various experiments and many hypothesis in an article about palladium electrolysis. It is like merging an article about mammals into an article about rabbits.

The fallacy is repeated where Pons and Fleischmann become the parent item of cold fusion. One should look if the sub topics are notable enough for their own article. There are simple notability criteria for that. Despite hundreds of books and thousands of news articles the Pons and Fleischman some how failed the notability test? Why would skeptics describe it as THE fiasco of the 20th century if it was less notable than the American Fuzzy Lop?

By those same Wikipedia guidelines LENR should be equally worthy of an article. In stead we see that most of the CF article is dedicated to Pons and Fleischman. If an item on an article merits excessive coverage one should create an article about it. A tiny sub set of other palladium researchers have been reduced to single sentences while others and all LENR topics are not covered. Things like ball lightning.

There should even be a Cold fusion in popular culture article, it is notable enough. Like Terraforming in popular culture, Dyson spheres in popular culture or the African-American Civil Rights Movement in popular culture.

As there is no lack of publications one could write an entire article about cold fusion conspiracy theories

The criticism section, with sources from the 90's talks about Pons and Fleischman, it cant sensibly apply to research after that, LENR it not criticized at all?

Then there is the awkward value attributed to the US DOE report and it is repeated all over the article. It is excessive use of a single source but look what kind of source: It was a talk-only review without any experiments. After the review they took a vote and the "lets not research this" group won by a margin of 1 vote. As the DOE they couldn't find the budget for a flask it is very far from the quality their reviews can have.

The article history has so many tiny tweaks that deleted contritions are impossible to find. All discussions end with a proposal being refused.

There is the use of vote counting to establish what "most scientists say" and to get the slur "pathological science" into the article. Normally that requires sources.

I think Blacklight Power inc, Solar Hydrogen inc and the E-cat can be quite sensibly be referred to as LENR but when one tries to write a LENR article one is told that the topic was merged into the Cold Fusion article, then when one tries to write about them there it is all of a sudden not what the article is about.

Anyone can see those things.

Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 1:55 AM

Buzz said...

I've read a lot more of this crap than I care to recall. I'll gladly eat my hat if CF or LENR ever pay off. My hat, BTW, is not scared.

Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 12:33 AM

Gaby de Wilde said...

no, that would be the link that proves you didn't bother to read them.

Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 12:15 AM

Buzz Skyline said...

I can dream about pixies too. But that doesn't make them real.

There are lots of ideas that are wrong, and cold fusion (LENR) is one of them.

It's OK, though, we may not have cold fusion or pixies, but we still have physics and bunnies. So it's all good.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Øystein Lande said...

Dear Lazy Bunny Buzz! ;-)

The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.

Professors Martin Fleischmann and Pons said it started with an idea, a dream.

And we noted then and now the theoretical physicists that likes to talk.

Unfortunately, talkers are usually more articulate than doers, since talk is their specialty.

But talkers have never been good doers. It's the doers that change this world.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Buzz Skyline said...

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Buzz Skyline said...

"CF is alive and well, and good replications had been performed just too many times by too many good scientists in too many good places."

No, no it's not.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Øystein Lande said...

HaHaHa, "Wikipedia the teller of truth", HiHiHi, "Wikipedia the Objective source of information", HAHA please stop I'm laughing to death here, "don't need to look at other sources of information than Wikipedia" HoHoHo, I almost Choke laughing now, please STOP hahahaha.

CF is alive and well, and good replications had been performed just too many times by too many good scientists in too many good places. And still it is not part of mainstream science. Why? Because experimental results would not comply to our precious theory of physics.

So theory rules over experiment? In the 1930's it was the other way around.

The whole issue is pure insanity. And in 2014 LENR is more "alive" than ever, with or without mr.Rossi.

F&P discovered a new branch of nuclear reactions happening in deuterated condensed matter. Many theories have been suggested that would embrace both new and "old" physics.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Øystein Lande said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 12:20 PM

maryyugo said...


Not sure what you mean "Mary Yugo's back." Where did I go? Rossi, on the other hand, is fading fast. Hey, he says his newest test could be positive or negative! His only honest word in a long time and it's a tautology!

Something big? Nah. Rossi's deconstruction isn't big. But it could be fun!

Friday, September 5, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Anonymous said...

Something big must be about to happen, Mary Yugo's back.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Alain Coetmeur said...

What is crazy is that such incredible example perfectly match too this epistemology failure.

I never imagined that cow would fly, but they do.
The worst is that I jumped from plane designed to transport cattle. I should have known.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 8:15 AM said...


If we only study birds under water we could easily be lead to believe that birds does not fly either.

In the right environment a cow will most certainly fly!

* In a airplane
* In the weightlessness of space
* In a tornado

The cow in the vortex of a tornado is of course a great example of how the environment at extreme situations can change the properties of an object making it behave different than what we are used to.

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Alain Coetmeur said...

In some top japanese kindergarten, there is a competition to get in.

they let the kids get in
thy put some big heavy bag in from of each kid

and they say that the bag have to be moved

and they have successful kids who have moved the bag, and understand the secret of life, of entrepreuneurship, and of cold fusion.

They don't have a PhD in physics, but they understand some secret of nature.

I told you.

the second is that if cows don't fly, this mean this is not cows who fly, not that no animal fly.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM said...

If you do, Dr Michio Kaku might consider to mention you as a reference when he writes Physics of the Impossible II (?)

Based on some of your earlier work, these calculations would take your no less than 5 minutes.

I think however that you should take things to another level. If you could calculate the probability of using spontaneous fusion reactions in glasses of water as a commercially viable power source, then I would be really impressed.

Heck, I would even publish such a scientific paper on my webpage after peer review.

The problem however is - as you correctly pointed out the the probability of such reaction is very low. According to my estimations we would have to wait at least between 4-10 billions of years before such an reaction takes place and the water would probably evaporate long before that. To back up your theory with observations within our lifetime we would probably need many billions of glasses of water in some kind of purpose built underground particle detector.

There is however something else I rather want your opinion on. Something even more taboo than Cold Fusion that few people in the Science Community dare to address - may I?

Kind Regard / DB

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Buzz Skyline said...

DB, I confess, I misread your comment (I was browsing on my phone). I thought you said "Fusion will take place in a glass of water if you let it stand for ten years."

I imagine fusion could eventually take place in a room temperature glass of water via quantum tunneling, but I wouldn't be surprised if the chances of it happening in the lifetime of the universe is vanishingly small. It would be an interesting calculation. I may attempt to estimate it, if I have a spare moment or two,

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 11:03 AM said...

Hi Buzz,
You are pretty sure about much things that are not correct

The glass of water analogue is not something I have taken out of a text book, its a quote from my teacher. Supposedly it can happen but its a very rare reaction with low probability.

I have also heard that Nuclear Fusion takes place inside the Large Hadron Collider - sometimes - with a very low probability but slightly higher than that of Fusion processes in a glass of water. And then I heard about a 4th Nuclear Technology called Muon Catalyzed Fusion where Fusion takes place quite a lot but not often a lot yet for commercial practical technologies.

Then we have the X - factor, anomalies in nature which we can not explain, for example the "Oh My God Particles". Lets say a "Oh My God Particle" collides with my plate of porridge in the morning, that would make a whole lot of mess in my kitchen all though its just a subatomic particle. The Oh My God Particles carries 40 millions times more energy than the Protons within the LHC, no wonder that no one have been able to explain them fully yet. Being hit by a Oh My God Particle would feel like being hit by an Apple coming at you at 100 km/h, quite an energetic reaction - right?

The Coulomb Barrier makes sure that particles does not fuse to often, and thank God for that because I kind of like matter being stable rather than unstable.

Within Cold Fusion - which is in fact a material science based on nano technology - we see that there is reactions that can take place under just the right conditions. What is being done right now in labs all over the world (ukraine, japan, china, finland, france, italy, us......) is to research on how to optimize materials in order to make sure that these reactions takes place more frequently.

Hydrogen Atoms are very very small, we use many millions of them. If we can have a minute amount of them create a reaction forming Helium4, then the excess energy from that reaction whatever it is - is more than enough to cool keep your Igloo cool during the summer.

I look forward to your reply

Your Friend / DB

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Alain Coetmeur said...

calorimetry is a job.

it is not because physicist are culturally incompetent that they can dismiss competent experimenters.

It is tricky, and it is real that many negative experiments, end all the authors of critical papers (Hansen, Lewis, Morisson) except Wilson (who in fact confirmed beside correcting) had done basic mistakes that competent calorimetricians know about.

yo claim there is an artifact you have to find which one..
In can just say LHC, which is not a reproduced experiments, is wrong in it's mesurement... needing no evidence. It would be less unfair than what is done on cold fusion.

For a course on calorimetry, you could read the book of edmund Storms,
where there is also basic directive to make a calorimeter.

you can also read that free student guide

of this one

best is anyway to let professional do calorimetry, and work on theory to explain the results.

the summary of history is that cold fusion is a chemistry experiment that was massively replicated, with huge signal over noise.

Simply physicist could not find any theory, so they assumed the chemist were wrong as you do.

no need of any evidence (required since there is none) since physicist are always perfect.

Some were more honest and admitted they have to find a better theory, but they were insulted. not very motivating.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Alain Coetmeur said...

you cannot exclude that there si some collective phenomenon.

your hypothesis is based on hidden assumption of two body physics in free space. too bad it is something between bulk and surface, probably none of those, probably in undetermined alloy and lattice context, in non-equilibrium conditions... I agree it is a mess, but science is not easy.

HTSC was also judged impossible, and scientist had to hide their findings in footnotes to make them pass, until is worked so reliably that they dared to publish it really...
this mean that for yes (not decade like CF) people could not exchange about anomalies they observed because there was no theory, and too much unknown in the required conditions...

the ego of physicist is so high that they refuse to work on uncertain phenomenon in uncertain condition, even if it is intriguing and anomalous.

more ego the curiosity is not good for science.

HTSC discoverer were just more lucky because physicist were more competent in electricity than in calorimetry...

Just read the theory of Edmund Storms, the less weird, based on careful analysis of the experimental results accumulated since 25 years.
best is to read his book, which contain more details, better review of experiments and theories, with numerous problems listed.

about why physicis refuse anything without a theory and absolute reproducibility, unlike many real science domain like chemistry, you should read the book of Charles Beaudette in the second part "Validation"

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Buzz Skyline said...

drboblog, I'm pretty sure that's not right.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 12:32 PM said...

lol - Fusion will take place in a glass of water if you let it stand long enough
A 10 year old kid would know that

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Buzz Skyline said...

Calorimetry is hard to do properly, and very easy to screw up, especially if you're out to verify a small effect that you want very badly to be true. If you think that QM is wrong, despite the enormous body of research proving it to be true and countless devices that rely on it (lasers, transistors, MRI machines, and so on and so on), then you might as well give up on physics altogether. Although, your comments make it clear that's the path you've already chosen.

Time will tell, of course, so in five years, I'll post another bunny pic unless someone manages to break out of the cold fusion quagmire and actually build a cold fusion generator or functioning machine of any sort. I'm completely certain that's not going to happen. So, look for the pancake bunny in 2019.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Anonymous said...

Physics leaves no room for cold fusion. Sorry. In order to start a fusion reaction you need huge quantities of energy. That is why fusion generally begins in the heart of a massive gravitational field, with significant compression of Hydrogen atoms. Fusion just cannot be initiated at 30 degrees Centigrade.

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Alain Coetmeur said...

from that work thread

the article is there

Mats lewans report a compatible story in his errata,

you also have more realistic theory on the TEG story, plus some details...

in the old lenr-forum thread you have better theory about the TEG... where there is not massive conspiracy of DoD, or LTI boss, of Rossi and all people working on the subject...

from an rational analysis of those data, from Mats Lewan book, you simply see Rossi is stubborn, loose, but creative and working hard for his ideas, even stupid.

The failed demo you denounces, were either working, or visibly broken with subborn Rossi refusing to admit it... Mats Lewan explain it well. It is not stage magic, but bad test, last minute changes, immature technology.
Stage magic and mythology is always looking good, like Nathan Lewis theory, like MIT experiment tweaking.

anyway scientifically it is useless, because of Levi&al test.
no way you will ever accept it.
maybe like NYT who bashed Goddard on his stupid ideas of rocket, or SciAm who bashed Wright Bro for fabled performance (despite public tests, and multiple reports), you will take 60 years to give excuses.

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 9:18 AM

John Milstone said...

Alain, I supplied references to the newspaper articles proving everything I said.

You are still lying.

If you have any actual evidence that Rossi's fraud convictions were overturned, you need to provide them.

And, no, "Rossi said so" is not actual evidence.

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 7:46 AM