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Douglas R.O. Morrison's Cold Fusion Updates
No. 9—December 1993-January 1994

Back to Morrison Index

(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
1.1 General
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. Theory
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

1.1 General

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 the meeting.

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 results.

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 far-sighted precaution.

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 no effect?

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 five days.

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 basically;
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 trying.

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 studied.

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 expectation.

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 analysis.

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 "obfuscation".

Fleischmann said an interesting phrase - "We should not invoke miracles to explain results".

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 atmospheres.

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 Electrochemical Cells.

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 conference".

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 badges.

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 deuterium-deuterium fusion.

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. THEORY

3.1 Peter Hagelstein - "Nuclear Transfer Reactions and Lattice-induced Nuclear Decay"

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 coherence.

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 them".

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 conference.

(c) Douglas R.O. Morrison.