Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Navy Experiments Confirm Cold Fusion

In 1989, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann jolted the world with their announcement of Cold Fusion, but were unable to substantiate their claims. After all these years, the Cold Fusion debate hasn't died. Many experimenters have had positive results, yet obtaining reproducable results has remained elusive. Now, a pair of Navy researchers have published a test which can be easily reproduced and verified by others.

The key elements are a thin wire coated with palladium and deuterium then subjected to electric and magnetic fields, and a detector consisting of a special plastic called CR-39. High energy particles create tracks in the plastic which can be analyzed to determine the type and intensity of any particles emitted. According to the Navy researchers, "The density of tracks registered by a CR-39 detector was found to be of a magnitude that provides undisputable evidence of their nuclear origin."

Experimenters still must be careful to shield the apparatus from other sources of radiation, but it's still the simplest way to verify the cold fusion reaction is real. And, according to the Wikipedia article on Cold Fusion, at least two other teams have reported similar results to the Navy researchers:
In 2006, Mosier-Boss and Szpak, researchers in the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego, developed a new experimental technique, a key feature of which is the electroplating of probes to a set ratio of palladium and deutrium. These experiments have produced evidence of high-energy nuclear reactions concentrated near the probe surface.[3] Based on this work, two other teams have reported similar findings at the American Physical Society meeting of March 2007 (sessions A31 and B31) although interpretations vary.
It may never become anything commercially exploitable, but it's worth investigating it because of the enormous potential benefits.

4 comments:

Jed Rothwell said...

You wrote:

"In 1989, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann jolted the world with their announcement of Cold Fusion, but were unable to substantiate their claims."

That is a myth. The cold fusion effect was soon replicated at high signal to noise ratios by hundreds of researchers at world-class laboratories such as the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, Amoco, SRI, Los Alamos, BARC Bombay, and do on. By September 12, 1990, 92 groups in major laboratories reported replications. See: Will, F.G., Groups Reporting Cold Fusion Evidence. 1990, National Cold Fusion Institute: Salt Lake City, UT., http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/WillFGgroupsrepo.pdf Hundreds of positive, peer-reviewed papers on cold fusion were subsequently published in mainstream journals.

The research has often been attacked by newspapers and magazines such as the Scientific American. See: http://lenr-canr.org/News.htm#SciAmSlam

Our web site, LENR-CANR.org, includes a bibliography of over 3,500 papers on cold fusion, and the full text of over 500 papers.

- Jed Rothwell
Librarian, LENR-CANR.org

Jed Rothwell said...

Regarding the "enormous potential benefits" of cold fusion, please see:

http://lenr-canr.org/BookBlurb.htm

- Jed Rothwell
Librarian, LENR-CANR.org

astroroach said...

Hey, the post says NAVY EXPERIMENTS CONFIRM COLD FUSION. What more do you want?

It doesn't say "no one was able to substantiate their claims"; it says Pons and Fleischmann weren't. I think most would agree they themselves weren't able to defend their claims.

Jed Rothwell said...

You wrote:

"It doesn't say 'no one was able to substantiate their claims'; it says Pons and Fleischmann weren't. I think most would agree they themselves weren't able to defend their claims."

Ah, well, I took the word "substantiate" in this context to mean: "teach others to replicate" or "to be widely replicated." That is usually the standard of success in experimental science. It is good if you can repeat the experiment yourself, but even better if other researchers can repeat your work and see the same results.

I think most researchers would agree this is the best way to "defend" a result, since the experimentalists I know trust their own results more than arguments or discussions.

Fleischmann and Pons were not only replicated by others, but they repeated their experiments and improved on them to a considerable extent. They published many more papers. (You can find several in the LENR-CANR library.) For a while they made great progress with the support of Toyota, but alas that program came to an end. They are now retired.

I have no argument with the headline about the Navy confirming cold fusion. Navy researchers have published many excellent papers on this subject, starting in 1990. See:

http://lenr-canr.org/Collections/USNavy.htm

- Jed Rothwell