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(Source: New Energy Times)
Impressions and Some Highlights of Fourth Intl. Cold Fusion Conference.
Science Down; Funding Up: Enthusiasm Down; Weird Results Up.
Do Fleischmann and Pons Sincerely Believe in Fusion?
1. General Impressions
1.2 Why such Major Japanese Funding?
2. Experimental Talks
2.1 M. Fleischmann
2.2 D. Gozzi
2.3 IMRA Japan, K. Kunimatsu
2.4 IMRA Europe, S. Pons and M. Fleischmann, "Heat After Death"
2.5 J. Dufour
2.6 Spark and Glow Discharges - Lukewarm Fusion
2.7 Transmutation, Alchemy
3.1. P. Hagelstein
3.2 G. Preparata
4. Historical Talks
4.1 Y. Kim
4.2 Other Examples - Fleischmann, Reifenschweller
5. Round Table
Paper delivered by Douglas R.O. Morrison at ICCF4
[New Energy Times ed. note: paper was included as part of Cold Fusion News No. 9.]
1. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS
The Fourth (not-annual) International Cold Fusion Conference, ICCF4, was
held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel - one of the most luxurious on the island of
Maui. However the cost was semi-reasonable (fortunately for my pocket)- the
conference was not, as far as could be seen, sponsored by anyone (certainly not
the University of Hawaii), but was "facilitated" by the Electrical Power
Research Institute, EPRI, which must have cost them a fair sum, but Tom Passell
and Linda Norman should be congratulated for the very competent organization of
There were about 300 attendees - the exact number was not clear as there
were a certain number of noticeable no-shows. There seems to have been no press
conferences; indeed there were only two representatives of the press present -
Jerry Bishop of the Wall Street Journal and Sandi Magaoay of Ka Leo O Hawai'i
which is the student journal of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Both wrote
of the funding and of the outside skepticism and mentioned some positive
Perhaps the most outstanding feature compared with previous 'annual'
conferences, was the lack of enthusiasm for Cold Fusion. Even when Dr.
Fleischmann spoke, he was not successful in rousing his audience as he had done
at the first annual conference.
Another outstanding feature was that there were many very strange results
and some which were in major contradiction to the original 1989 work of
Fleischmann and Pons. In particular F&P and most True Believers had up to 1992,
declared that they knew it was nuclear fusion because they observed excess heat
and other effects with heavy water, D2O, but not with normal light water, H2O,
but at the 3rd conference at Nagoya in October 1992, five groups had declared
that they now observed excess heat with light water, H2O. This tremendous
change was not really discussed at Nagoya but one expected it to be a main
subject at the 4th meeting. Despite some efforts, particularly by Steve Jones,
this contradiction was rather swept under the carpet again even though there
was said to be seven groups claiming excess heat now with normal H2O. Apart
from this major weird claim, there were many very strange claims, both
experimental and theoretical, a few of which will be listed below - some of the
most frequent were claims of transmutations. Another weird claim was by
Fleischmann and Pons which they named "Heat After Death". These weird claims
were interpreted differently by different people, e.g. Fleischmann said "We are
seeing a much wider diversity of experimenting being discussed here with
important measuring techniques. We're seeing a body of results, either with
conventional chemists or nuclear physicists. Sooner or later people are going
to have to come to grips with this" - from Ka Leo.
The Monday morning finished with Dr. Kazuaki Matsui announcing the
creation by MITI, of an entirely new organization, New Hydrogen Energy, NHE, to
investigate, confirm and demonstrate the excess heat phenomena. The NHE project
would collaborate with major Japanese companies (Toyota, Sony, Nippon Steel,
Toshiba and Japanese Electrical Utility companies, have been mentioned) and
would have a budget of $30 million over four years. Dr. Matsui said that at the
end of next year, 1994, they would have a major review of progress and one
would decide whether to continue - it will be interesting to see whether they
invite also serious and well-informed skeptics of Cold Fusion in order to have
a serious study or whether it will be a tame committee. It may be noted that
the name NHE does not mention Cold Fusion - some would say this is a
The other major source of funding is EPRI, although because of strong
internal disagreements, this appears to be called "facilitating" rather than
"supporting" Cold Fusion.
Ka Leo reports that "The Italian government is working with the Fiat Motor
Corp. to develop a cold-fusion field" - did not hear this myself - would be
interesting to discover which Italian agency this is.
A new Cold Fusion financial organization has been set up in Utah called
ENECO Inc. It has bought or acquired a large number of patents or licensing
rights including those of the University of Utah for Fleischmann and Pons' work
- for a sum "in the low six figures" according to Science, and the U. of U will
receive royalties for (any) profits arising from these patents. From the
literature distributed from their booth, they have "funded and acquired
technology rights in heavy-water, light-water, molten-salts, gas-plasma and
solid-state cold-fusion reactions". "ENECO has sponsored or is sponsoring cold
fusion research at MIT (Hagelstein), Texas A&M (Bockris), Cal-Poly (Bush and
Eagleton), Univ. of Hawaii (Liebert and Liu), Local universities (U. Utah),
ENECO's Lab., and at two laboratories in Russia (Kucherov etc.). As a result
ENECO is sponsoring 22 representatives, including 8 Russian scientists to the
ICCF-4" in Maui. Mark Hittinger, who has some stock experience, wrote that
"ENECO looks like it is being readied for some type of public stock offering."
This could be interesting as believe the SEC requires that when a stock
offering is made, adequate information is given to the potential investors - so
will ENECO say that most scientists do not believe in Cold Fusion and that most
published scientific papers do not find the effects claimed - for example there
are 37 published claims to have observed excess heat but 50 papers which find
There were a very large number of papers submitted to the conference -
almost all were presented and only a few were posters. This was achieved by
having plenary sessions in the morning and three parallel sessions in the
afternoon plus some posters - this meant that only half of the presentations
could be attended. Hence any account of the talks must be incomplete though
abstracts were provided which helps. The fact that they were many papers,
encouraged some to say this showed that Cold Fusion was proved, especially
excess heat, but in fact rather few were experimental measurements searching
for direct evidence for Cold Fusion, while many were descriptions of how to
load the hydrogen into metals (people who could not now repeat their previous
claims tended to do associated experiments). There were many theoretical
papers; these tended to be mutually exclusive - if theory A explained the
positive results fully, then there was no need for theories B, C. D, ...which
also fully accounted for the results. Those who believe that having large
numbers of papers and a busy four-day meeting, means that Cold Fusion is
established, should note that a conference on dousing was scheduled to last
Another feature of ICCF4 was the absences and the silences. Kevin Wolf had
been advertised beforehand and had been given a place of honour opening the
Tuesday programme, but no explanation was given for his non-appearance, though
having talked to him recently, was not surprised. Dr. Ikegami who was a major
figure and conference chairman of the Third conference in Nagoya and who is the
only Japanese scientist I have ever met who was impolite, was at the meeting
but did not speak as far as I know. Some other stars of Nagoya did not talk,
such as Dr. E. Yamaguchi of NTT whose talk caused NTT shares to increase by
some $8 billion for a day or two. Dr. Huggins whose reported work on excess
heat at Stanford, was exploited in the media, is now in Germany and does not
seem to have any new results on excess heat. Dr. McKubre gave a talk so was
technically not silent, but he mainly said that they were going to start good
experiments soon - one is still waiting for a published and refereed paper,
even in Fusion Technology or Physics Letters A, from him.
There was a curious tendency of Fleischmann et al. to re-write history and
show that Cold Fusion had already been discovered some 60 to 70 years ago - one
might have thought they would instead have been fully employed doing good
critical experiments to try and prove themselves right or wrong.
As there have already been a number of reports of ICCF4 on the net,
especially by Tom Droege, will concentrate on other highlights. Since I have
been involved in the law suit where the Italian newspaper La Repubblica said
Cold Fusion was "scientific fraud" and Fleischmann, Pons, Preparata, Bressani
and Del Guidice are suing them for 8 billion lire (about $5 million) - see
Nature 363(1993)107 - have been checking carefully all the claims these five
people have been making at various times, and hence some of my questions at
ICCF4 arose from extensive studies of the facts.
Perhaps the most far-reaching question was to Dr. Pons who was asked if
people near their experiments wore film badges? The point is that if
Fleischmann and Pons sincerely believed that excess heat came from d-d fusion,
then they had a responsibility to ensure the safety from the resultant
radioactivity, of all the people who would be near their experiments. This
discussed in section 2.4 below.
After the un-Japanese behaviour of Dr. Ikegami following my talk at
Nagoya, I had intended not to give a talk at Maui but was strongly encouraged
to give one and to write it up, by Japanese friends. Wondered how the
conference organizers would react - on the one hand they wished it to be a
scientific conference where all shades of opinion were allowed to be presented,
but on the other hand.... Soon found out. One of the weirdest talks was by Dr.
K. Chukanov from Bulgaria who is now president of General Energy International
Inc. of West Jordan, Utah. He said that he has a theory - "Dr. Chukanov's
Quantum Limitations of Matter Theory", which explains his and Fleischmann and
Pons's experimental excess heat results. Most of the energy "is the result of
the violation of the Law of Conservation of Energy. This effect is called the
'Chukanov Effect'". He claims his company has created "two-stage SE Boiler and
Cooler" which "can produce about 20 KW power" - "Very soon General Energy's SE
Generators will be presented for commercialization on the World Energy Market".
Now these quotations are from the Abstract published before the meeting, so
asked Tom Passell who is from EPRI and was the Chairman of the ICCF4 meeting,
how EPRI could allow such a talk to be given, for Chukanov is likely to claim a
successful presentation and support from EPRI. Also this seemed a very doubtful
legal question (was worried that the SEC would want to investigate). Tom
replied that it did not matter as Chukanov had been scheduled to speak in a
small parallel session where no one would attend. I said "Tom, that's where you
have scheduled me to speak"!
The actual order of speaking on the session on "Special Topics" was; Fox,
Morrison, Mallove, Chudakov, ..... Tom's ploy was partly successful as the room
held about 70 chairs and when I spoke there were many standing but many left by
the time Chudakov spoke.
1.2 Why such MajorJapanese Funding?
At present the greatest part of the funding for Cold Fusion comes from
Japan; IMRA (supported basically by Toyota) has set up labs in France and
Japan: and MITI is starting to devote $30 million over four years. The question
is, why? Have talked to several Japanese people and their replies are
1. We have no oil.
2. As the World's oil will not last for ever, new sources of energy are needed.
3. If there is a 1% chance of Cold Fusion giving energy, then it is worth
Would agree with this reasoning for MITI if the probability of Cold Fusion
being an energy source were 1% since the Return on Investment, ROI, would be
100 times $30 million = $3 billion and a new major energy source is worth more
than $3 billion. So it would be a good investment.
However for an investment decision, the Risk Return Profile must be
If the probability of Cold Fusion being useful were one per thousand, then
the ROI would be 1000 times $30 million = $30 billion and this would still be a
reasonable return on the investment. However if the probability were one in a
million, then the Return on Investment would be a million times $30 million =
$30 000 billion and this would not be a reasonable figure, that is the
$30 million would be a poor investment.
So the basic question to determine the ROI, is; What is the probability of
Cold Fusion being a useful energy source?
If one considers the Kamiokande experiment in the Japanese Alps with its
3000 ton detector, to be one of the most careful and well-controlled
experiments, then they found the neutron rate to be less than 10 E-4 neutrons
per second (T. Ishida, ICRR-Report -277-92-15, Univ. of Tokyo). Now normally
one watt of power produces 10 E12 neutrons/second, so that the probability of
Cold Fusion is then 10 E-16. hence an investment of $30 million would be
justified if the expected return were $3.10 E14 billion - an unreasonable
Taking all knowledge previous to 1989, about d-d reactions and the
behaviour of hydrogen isotopes in metals such as palladium, then the
theoretical framework consistent with all these data, would give a probability
of less than 10 E-50. So a $30 million investment would require a ROI of at
least $10 E48 billion.
On the other hand, if La Repubblica is right and Cold Fusion is "scientific
fraud", then considerations of the Risk Return Profile do not apply.
Hence the importance of the question "Do Fleischmann and Pons sincerely
believe in Fusion?"
2. EXPERIMENTAL TALKS
2.1 M. Fleischmann. "Calorimetry of the Pd D2O system: the Search for
Simplicity and Accuracy"
The first speaker at 08.00 hours was M. Fleischmann on behalf of
himself, S. Pons, Monique Le Roux and Jeanne Roulette of IMRA Europe SA. It was
entitled "Calorimetry of the D2O System; the Search for Simplicity and
Accuracy". It was a typical Fleischmann talk with frequent references to
undefined things and to named effects where it was assumed that all the
audience already knew what the effect was. Thus there were references to the
1928 work of Alfred Coehn, the work in 1934 of Pereg (?), the Gorsky factor,
pondermotive force, and "hidden state variables" which naturally were not
defined or explained. Next was what he called a "multi-linear regression
analysis" where the equations seemed similar to those of the non-linear
regression analysis published previously. He then said this was not
user-friendly and therefore he would recommend employing a linear regression
He stated that there was no oscillation in the cell voltage - this was in
answer to many people's astonishment that data were only recorded every 300
seconds when F&P were studying the final boiling period which lasted a total of
only 600 seconds, so that they wondered how one could detect any oscillations.
So now we have an affirmation but no evidence. Some graphs were shown but even
from the front row, it was impossible to read the writing so like others, do
not know what was being shown. Tom Droege very well described the talk as
Fleischmann said an interesting phrase - "We should not invoke miracles to
After his talk, D.R.O. Morrison asked two questions;
a) In the present work it is assumed that the heat loss from the cell was 100%
radiative and there was no conductive loss. But in the original 1989 work, the
heat loss was always based on Newton's Law of Cooling which assumes the heat
loss is 100% conductive and 0% radiative. Both cannot be correct - which is
correct and which is wrong? (note; this can be seen from the power of the
temperature in the heat loss term - for 100% radiation the term has temperature
to the fourth power (Stefan's law) while for 100% conduction the temperature
is to the first power). The only group to use the non-linear regression
analysis were the General Electric group with Fritz Will, who found that one
needed both radiative and conductive terms.
b). In the original F&P 1989 paper and lectures, it was said that fusion
occurred because of the tremendous pressure on the deuterium, some 10 E26
atmospheres. Was this statement still valid?
Fleischmann replied only to the first question saying that the problem of
radiation was solved by applying a silvered coating to the top of the tube of
the cell. The matter was left there although this reply did not in any way,
answer the first question.
Later in his talk, Dr. Oriani answered the second question saying that
while the fugacity was high, it could not be used to assume a pressure of 10 E27
Further critical comments were made by Drs. Bockris and Oriani. Finally
the lecture did not seem to have inspired great enlightenment or enthusiasm.
2.2 D. Gozzi - Excess Heat and Nuclear Product Measurements in Cold Fusion
Dr. Gozzi reported the new work of the Rome group. Excess heat and 4He
in the gas stream were found but the time correlation of the two effects were
not as expected. No analysis of 4He in the palladium seems to have been done
nor was any analysis reported for 3He, particularly important when the amount
of H2O in the D2O was varied.. The excess heat does not seem to have been
measured as a function of the separation of the anode and cathode yet. There
were two rings of neutron counters (were they segmented as Steve Jones does
now?) and no effect seems to have been found. Found it difficult to follow all
the results and would like to study the full paper - also there seems not to
have been enough time to make some of the variations that allows one to try and
prove oneself wrong.
2.3 IMRA Japan Co. Ltd - K. Kunimatsu "Observation of Excess Heat During
Electrolysis of 1M LiOD in a Fuel Cell Type Closed Cell".
Here one had the excellent impression of an honest scientist who
expected to be able to find Cold Fusion effects, especially with the help of
the experts from IMRA Europe, but who was surprised that the results were not
quite as expected. Excess heat was observed especially at high loadings. The
use of thiourea and of choice of palladium was discussed, forgetting that in
1989, Fleischmann had said that there was no secret to obtaining excess heat.
With the facilities at their disposal it is to be hoped that soon they will
design and perform major experiments looking for 3He, 4He, t, n, p, and 21 keV
X-rays and will also vary the electrode separation. One looks forward with
pleasure to future reports in this honest style.
2.4 IMRA Europe S.A. - S. Pons and M. Fleischmann - "Heat After Death"
S. Pons presented results of experiments where the cell was made to boil
and then noted that when the cell was dry, instead of the cell temperature
falling steadily as expected from the estimated heat loss rate, it maintained
its temperature near 100 oC for some three hours - this was described in their
Physics Letters A paper ( Phys. Lett. A 176(1993)118). They now name it "Heat
After Death" where death refers to the "cessation of polarization" in their
language. This paper has been criticize by D. R.O. Morrison (Phys. Lett A, to
be published and CERN preprint CERN-PPE/93-96), one of the comments being that
at the higher temperatures, there had been no control experiment performed with
H2O instead of D2O. In Pons's talk an important new result was that a control
has now been done with H2O and is no Heat after Death was found, as the
temperature falls immediately on terminating the experiment. This claim, Heat
after Death, is considered truly miraculous by many and it will be very
interesting to see if it is confirmed by many other Believers, for it is a
very simple experiment to perform.. An important consequence of the claim that
the heat after death is observed with D2O but not H2O is that this indicates
that fusion is occurring - though it was remarkable that their Phys. Lett. A
paper never used the word "fusion" - very diffferent from March 1989 when
Cold Fusion was declared to be fusion.
S. Pons then showed a slide from their original 1989 paper saying "Warning!
Ignition!" Steve Jones then asked if this result meant that they were claiming
fusion? Pons seemed very reluctant to reply and avoided for some time repeated
questions, saying it was evidence for fusion. Jones then reported that at BYU
they had repeated these experiments of making the cell boil, and had observed
no excess heat. Further he noted that they had observed wild fluctuations of
the current and voltage during boiling, so that making observations every
300 seconds for a phenomenon that only lasted 600 seconds (the time to boil dry
the last half of the cell), would give incorrect results. Thus the first
reported attempt to repeat the simple experiment of F&P had resulted in strong
contradiction with F&P's results and claims of "Heat After Death" etc.
During this discussion, S. Pons made a Freudian slip. One of the arguments
presented (CERN-PPE/93-96) against the F&P paper, was that the water would
leave the cell in an orderly way as gas vapour only, and would not carry water
droplets with it as it was blown out. This would mean that the basic assumption
used in claiming excess heat, that all the water could be assumed to have been
converted into vapour in the cell, was incorrect. Pons said "with palladium it
blows......it evaporates it all out". Tom Droege called this the "quote of the
D.R.O. Morrison then followed up the "Warning! Ignition!" claim by asking
if in view of the dangers of ignition caused by fusion, whether they had worn
film badges. This greatly disturbed Pons who again was very evasive and tried
not to reply, causing the question to be re-phrased several times to be
absolutely clear. Finally it was appreciated that they did not wear film
Most people appeared not to have understood the great importance of this
question - an exception was M. Fleischmann who was furious. The point of the
question is, do Fleischmann and Pons themselves really believe that they have
observed nuclear fusion? For if they had really and sincerely believed that it
was fusion, then they would have insisted that everyone took precautions
because of the danger of radioactivity. The carrying of film badges would be
not merely to check for the sake of their own health, but as responsible
people, they should worry about the safety of the lab assistants, cleaners,
technicians and others who may enter their lab.
One should also ask if normal safety controls for radioactivity have been
carried out elsewhere? - at SRI, IMRA Europe, IMRA Japan, Rome, Turin, China
Lake, etc? If a cleaner claims she has cancer because of radioactivity caused
by Cold Fusion experiments, will those responsible for the lab be able to
produce records covering the period?
The fact that over the 8 years that they claim to have worked on Cold
Fusion in Utah, they appear not to have used film badges, casts great doubts on
the sincerity of Fleischmann and Pons's belief that excess heat came from
2.5 J. Dufour - "Cold Fusion by Sparking Hydrogen Isotopes, Energy
Balances and Search for Fusion Products".
In May 1989, was surprised to find that there was a "Regionalisation of
Results" - that in some parts of the World, Cold Fusion was never observed.
This seemed a good indicator of Pathological Science since one believes that
Science is universal and should not depend on the region. Until recently it was
the case that, as Dr. Scaramuzzi said "Cold Fusion stops at the Alps", for no
Cold Fusion claim had been made in France, Germany, Britain, Switzerland, etc.
However this clean situation has been changed by Dr. Dufour of Shell Research
who has carried out experiments at the Laboratoire des Sciences Nucleaires,
CNAM in Paris with Profs. Foos and Millot which they have published (in Fusion
Technology). The technique is by passing sparks through hydrogen isotopes
between electrodes made of palladium or stainless steel. They claim 100% excess
heat and suggest it comes from three-body reactions, the simplest being
1H + 1H + e- ---> 2H + neutrino
In the discussion, D.R.O. Morrison pointed out that the rates of three-body
reactions are exceedingly small as is shown in calculations of neutrinos from
the Sun. Tom Droege comments that "The problems of sorting out where the power
goes in this system are 'Awesome dude'". Further he notes that they say that in
the three-body reaction "most of the fusion energy being carried away by the
neutrino" and since neutrinos have a very low interaction rate, Tom
commented: "Let's see, how many earth diameters of moderator do we need to
capture that energy and turn it into useful heat?"
2.6 Spark and Glow Discharges - Lukewarm Fusion
A number of results were presented using glow or spark discharges, which
appear to show production of nuclear particles which were attributed to Cold
Fusion effects. However it was pointed out several times that it is quite easy
to generate high voltages of several keV and this would be enough to cause
energetic deuterons to produce nuclear reactions yielding the observed products
(note the particles near the centre of the Sun have about one keV energy). Thus
such glow and spark discharge experiments should really be considered as normal
nuclear reactions, that is lukewarm fusion (note - when I was talking with Dr.
Kucherov, someone approached and provocatively asked me what I thought of Dr.
Kucherov's experiments? Replied as above that I thought it was lukewarm fusion
and quite normal - Dr. Kucherov did not comment).
2.7 Transmutation, Alchemy
Several groups have claimed to have observed transmutations.
Sometimes these are modest claims, Potassium to Calcium, Rubidium to Strontium,
but some are more extensive such as the Russian claim of Kurcherov et al.,
"Concentration of individual elements (Na, S, In, Ag, Zr, Nb, Sn, K, Cl, Br,
Se, Ni, Mg, Zn, Ge, Sr, and some other) which were not present in the discharge
environment increased up to 104 times."
The most dramatic claim, made first a year ago, was from Texas A&M. They
claimed to be able to transmute mercury into GOLD - the alchemist's dream!
However the only person who could perform this alchemy, Mr. Champion, was
arrested in Arizona on a fraud charge - a different one. Apparently he was
hired after he offered to a True Believer to bring $200000 for the research
work at Texas A&M. The question is where did this $0.2 million come from? It
appears there was an investment advisor in San Diego who had raised $7.8
million and who has now been charged by the SEC. The Texas A&M authorities are
considering the matter.
Some researchers at Hokkaido University claim to have transmuted gold
into iron. Is this a success or a failure? as it is much more useful to go in
the other direction and to transmute iron into gold.
3.1 Peter Hagelstein - "Nuclear Transfer Reactions and Lattice-induced
A typical talk with many familiar looking Feynman graphs and many
multi-integrals and multi-summations - impressive but not too easy to follow
the physics. The main idea was that "significant energy transfer between nuclei
and a lattice can occur when highly excited impurity phonons modes are
frequency-shifted in the course of a nuclear reaction". Including coherence
effects, this gives four classes of reaction which can give different products
- however perhaps missed a precise prediction of the relative rates of tritium
to neutrons to 4He to gammas to 3He to excess heat - such ratios would have
allowed tests of the model. However many transmutations were predicted and
these will allow some tests of the model.
D.R.O. Morrison asked two questions;
(1) It appears that the Laws of Physics apply everywhere in the
Universe from the largest to the smallest scales except in Cold Fusion
experiments performed by Believers inside certain metal lattices where
different laws apply which result for instance, in different ratios of nuclear
products from d-d reactions. Now there must be a boundary where there is a
transition from the Universal Laws of Physics to Cold Fusion Laws - could
such a boundary be described in this theory?
(2). The essential feature of the model is the presence of a lattice -
could this lattice be defined? For example could Cold Fusion occur in water,
perhaps in a lattice of ice?
No real answer was given to the first question. For the second, Peter said
that he did not expect Cold Fusion to occur with water.
3.2 G. PREPARATA - "COLD FUSION '93 - SOME THEORETICAL IDEAS".
Dr. Preparata essentially explained his theory of Cold Fusion based on QED
D.R.O. Morrison noted that Dr. Preparata had applied his ideas of
coherence to water and had used them to support the claims of Dr. Benveniste
who said that it was possible to dilute antiserum by enormous amounts, up to
10 E120 times, and the beneficial effects were retained or enhanced - this was
considered the only scientific proof of homeopathy. Did Dr. Preparata consider
that Cold Fusion could occur in water? Dr. Preparata replied that he had never
written a paper to justify Benveniste's work. This rather surprised Morrison as
he had strong indications to the contrary, but in view of this unequivocal
statement, which did not even say that he had not published any paper, let the
matter drop while searching for references. During his talk later he quoted
Dieter Britz who had abstracted an article from Panorama of 18 April 1993.
Dieter's article says "A popular article describing the latest theory of of
Prof. Preparata, Milano, and co-worker Del Guidice, as well as the persons
themselves. Water, they point out, is quite anomalous. They suggest the
existence of egg-like clumps and long-range cooperative properties in water,
even at ambient temperatures. They then suggest that this may have a bearing on
Cold Fusion, as well as support the claims of Benveniste, a few years ago, who
claimed a kind of structural memory in water, and was ridiculed, especially by
the journal Nature, in which his paper appeared". By a coincidence the 9th
December edition of Nature contains a paper by Hurst et al. (Nature
366(1993)525) who repeated Benveniste's experiments and could not find the
effects claimed by Benveniste even going to dilutions of 10 E60.
It was not a very happy conference for Dr. Preparata. According to Tom
Droege's report, the talk by Dr. Rabinowitz on "Opposition and Support for
Cold Fusion", made Dr. Preparata mad as he was not mentioned. The shouting
match finished with Dr. Rabinowitz saying that "there were three possible types
of errors that it was possible to make, and that Preparata had made all of
4. HISTORICAL TALKS
4.1 Y. Kim, Special Lunch-time talk.
One day it was suddenly announced that the lunch-break would be
shortened by 20 minutes to allow us to hear a special plenary talk by Dr. Y.
Kim, a theoretician from Purdue University, about early evidence for Cold
Fusion. A large fraction of the delegates cut their lunch short to hear this
important new result. Was greatly astonished to hear Dr. Kim report that Philip
Dee when working at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge in the early 1930's,
had observed Cold Fusion in an experiment of firing deuterons on deuterons. Now
Prof. Phillip I. Dee was one of Lord Rutherford's closest colleagues and when he
became my professor in Glasgow, taught us all the Rutherford no-nonsense
approach to research. Prof. Dee was a man that I greatly admired as a scientist
and as a person. Unfortunately Prof. Dee is no longer with us and I am sure is
in Heaven, so I felt it was my responsibility to defend his honour. Told Dr.
Kim that Prof. Dee would have a strong opinion about Cold Fusion and would be
horrified at a theoretician taking one of his experiments as evidence for Cold
Fusion. If Dr. Kim was unfortunate enough to have to change his abode, would
recommend him not to chose Heaven as he would meet a very angry Prof. Dee.
Dr. Kim replied at length, but the main thing I learnt was that he has
done little experimental physics. For a previous conference, he had written
that Cold Fusion could explain the Solar Neutrino Problem.
4.2 Other Examples - Fleischmann, Reifenschweller
In view of the relatively few new positive experimental results,
especially from IMRA Europe, it is perhaps not surprising that Fleischmann and
others have tried to scrape the barrel of science history to try and find some
odd result that would bolster Cold Fusion. Naturally there are a few odd
results caused by poor experimentation, poor analysis etc. which are in
contradiction with the majority of results which form a coherent picture.
At Maui Dr. Fleischmann presented a paper by himself, Larramona, Pons,
Preparata and Suigiura entitled "Alfred Cohen and After; the alpha, beta and
gamma of the Pd-H system". The first part of the talk was a discussion of how
Cohen's name should be spelt - apparently he favoured a different spelling.
This was followed by a rambling account of who said what when. In the second
part the phases of the Pd-H system were discussed and in addition to the
well-known alpha and beta phases, it was proposed that there must be another
new phase, the gamma phase. However no evidence apart possibly from Cold
Fusion, was presented to justify this hypothesis and possible contradictory
evidence was not discussed. A serious paper on this subject is awaited.
While discussing Cold Fusion with Arthur C. Clarke at his home in Sri
Lanka, he showed me a paper he had received from a Cold Fusion advocate, which
was an article by William Bown in the New Scientist of 8 January saying that
Dr. Reifenschweller of Phillips had made some experiments in the 1960's where
he had observed that when a mixture of titanium and tritium was heated, the
radioactivity declined. This is now published in Phys. Letters A 184(1994)149.
He proposes "a highly unorthodox hypothesis, the nuclear pairing hypothesis"
where he assumes "that tritons absorbed in the extremely small single
Ti-crystals can combine into pairs and the decay constant of such a pair is
much smaller than that of a free triton". However Dr. Reifenschweller does not
seem to have checked that the tritons in Titanium are further apart than in T2
gas so this goes in the wrong direction to overcome the coulomb barrier effect.
His director then, Dr. Casimir, a famous and respected physicist, is quoted as
having said "it could be extremely important - but I didn't believe it". In
fact there are many experiments and a solid theoretical understanding based on
them, which have shown that radioactivity is not affected by external effects,
and there is no reason to suppose that this single experiment performed many
years ago, is different. Is it worth repeating? One has to take great care to
avoid movement of tritium since the viscosity of hydrogen is very small
(spent part of my life checking hydrogen seals - tough). Opinions will differ
just as they differ as to whether one should check all Elvis sightings.
5. ROUND TABLE
The meeting finished with a round table (as usual it was not round but a
row of tables). It was announced that the next meeting - the fifth - would be
in early 1995 (March?) in the South of France and possibly a sixth in China in
the summer of 1995. Twelve people were asked to describe in three minutes, the
best talk that they had heard. Many ignored this and gave their opinion of the
conference or some other matter. For myself, nominated Steve Jones's talk for
it is my experience that when a scientist has announced an experimental result
which turns out to have been a mistake, he generally is reluctant to state
publicly that he was wrong. Steve has said that when he checked his claim that
large bursts of neutrons occur and this was evidence for Cold Fusion, he found
on improving his technique, that the effect vanished and hence he withdrew his
claim. This public scientific morality should be recognized, which is why he
got my vote.
After the 12 three-minute statements were made, Tom Passell asked for any
comments from the audience - no one spoke. He asked for the panel members to
say something - silence. Then a voice from the audience asked "When can we go
to the beach?" This was supported and agreed to. It seemed a good reflection of
the enthusiasm of the True Believers for Cold Fusion and a fitting end to the
(c) Douglas R.O. Morrison.