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(Source: New Energy Times)
WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 12 June 2009 Washington, DC

5. COLD FUSION: SPEAKING OF NEVER-ENDING CONTROVERSY.
In the Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2009, Eugenie Reich discussed "the five best books on scientific fraud," including my "Voodoo Science" (Oxford, 2000), which she referred to as "devastating" on the subject of "cold fusion." Cold fusion 20 years later remains a curious mix of self deception and outright fraud.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 May 2009 Washington, DC

1. IT'S STILL COLD: BUT DO I STILL THINK IT'S SCIENCE?
A month before CBS aired the 60 Minutes program on cold fusion, I commented in WN that "I think it's real science." I still do. That doesn't mean I think it's good science. Science is conditional; everything is open to further examination. Some scientists think the community was too hasty in writing off the claims of cold fusion in 1989. They believe there may be important truths yet to be revealed. They have searched for those truths for 20 years and have every right to continue doing so. However, I think the likelihood of success is extremely low and, if asked, I would recommend against the use of public funds for that purpose. Their case is not helped by embracing any scientific sounding nonsense that purports to show excess energy -- which brings us to Irving Dardik.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 24 April 2009 Washington, DC

1. COLD FUSION: PLEASE, MAY I HAVE A CUP OF TEA?
Last Sunday's edition of the CBS News program 60 Minutes was titled "Race to Fusion." It was 1989, Fleischmann and Pons are shown with the "cold fusion" test tube that would have killed them had they been right. Because they lived, the race was called off. Michael McKubre of SRI apparently didn't get the memo; he just kept doing it over and over for 20 years. Lucky for him there's still no fusion, but he says he does get heat – except when he doesn't. How does it work? He hasn't a clue, but he showed a video cartoon of deuterium defusing through palladium and said it might be fusion. In fact McKubre called it "the most powerful source of energy known to man." Whew! But wait, Dick Garwin did a fusion experiment 60 years ago; it worked all too well. Garwin thinks McKubre is mistaken. Just about every physicist agrees, so the American Physical Society was asked to name an independent scientist to examine the claims of Energetics Technology, according to 60 Min correspondent Scott Pelley. An APS statement issued Wed. says this is totally false, and the APS does not endorse the cold fusion claims on 60 Min. (Aside: This morning I thought I should watch the video on the 60 Min web site one more time. Drat! CBS took it off. No matter, there's a full transcript. Uh oh! The part where CBS says the APS picked Rob Duncan to look into the ET SuperWave is gone. CBS can change history? My God, time travel! Now that is powerful.)

2. SUPERWAVE: IMPALED ON THE SHARP STAKE OF REPLICATION.
Rob Duncan, vice chancellor of research at the University of Missouri, went to Israel with 60 Minutes to visit Energetics Technologies, which claims SuperWave Fusion will solve the energy problem. It shouldn't be necessary to remind scientists that neither visiting a laboratory, nor peer reviewing a manuscript, is enough. There must be independent replication of the ET claims. Without replication, the claims are nothing. The genius behind ET is the CVO, Chief Visionary Officer, Irving Dardik, MD. Dardik got into cold fusion after losing his license to practice medicine in New York. It puts us in mind of Randy Mills of BlackLight Power, another MD who says he can solve the energy problem. Is SuperWave Fusion another scam?

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 17 April 2009 Washington, DC

4. COLD FUSION AT 20: IT WILL BE ON 60 MINUTES THIS SUNDAY.
The faithful, who regard themselves as martyrs, have endured the scorn of skeptics for 20 years. An appearance on an evening entertainment program won't make it science, and it's unlikely to change the minds of many scientists, but it's the most they've had to cheer about. At least three well-known scientists who were interviewed by CBS will not appear on the show. I don't know who will.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 27 March 2009 Washington, DC

4. COLD FUSION: TWENTY YEARS LATER, IT'S STILL COLD.
Monday was the 20th anniversary of the infamous press conference called by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to announce the discovery of Cold Fusion. The sun warmed the Earth that day as it had for 5 billion years, by the high temperature fusion of hydrogen nuclei. Incredibly, the American chemical Society was meeting in Salt Lake City this week and there were many papers on cold fusion, or as their authors prefer LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions). These people, at least some of them, look in ever greater detail where others have not bothered to look. They say they find great mysteries, and perhaps they do. Is it important? I doubt it. But I think it's science.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 28 November 2008 Washington, DC

1. COLD FUSION: OR IS IT THE "FLEISHMAN-PONS EFFECT"?
It's been almost 20 years since the March 23, 1989 announcement that cold fusion had been discovered by two chemists at the University of Utah. By June, cold fusion was an object of ridicule. A small band of embattled defenders retreated to holding annual conferences of like-minded scientists to which skeptics were not welcome. The story now seems to be entering a new chapter. Believers have begun showing a willingness to confront skeptics, submitting papers to open meetings of major scientific societies. They no longer use the term "cold fusion," preferring the less contentious "low-energy nuclear reactions" (LENR) to describe their field; LENR more accurately describes what, if anything, is going on. However, the use of LENR has been undone by referring to "excess heat" as the Fleischmann-Pons effect. This only serves as a reminder of the outrageous conduct of the university administration and the incredibly sloppy research on which the claim was based. This year, there is great excitement over the work of Yoshiaki Arata, a respected professor at Osaka University. In May Arata demonstrated the production of excess heat to an audience of 80, but there have been many such claims over the years and until it is replicated by someone outside the LENR community and a plausible explanation is advanced, it will change few minds.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 31 October 2008 Washington, DC

4. HYDRINOS: BLACKLIGHT POWER ANNOUNCES CONFIRMATION.
No, no, not confirmation of hydrinos, of a new 50 kilowatt reactor. What, you might ask, does it react? Good question. It all began on April 25, 1991 when Randy Mills M.D. held a press conference in Lancaster, PA to announce that "cold fusion" isn't fusion at all. "It's hydrogen atoms decaying into a state below the ground state." He called the new state "the hydrino", (WN 26 Apr 91) , and formed a company, HydroCatalysis Inc., to exploit its wonderful properties. Somehow, the name lacked zing, so he changed it to BlackLight Power. Perfect! Soon, investors with deep pockets were begging him to take their money, which he did; reportedly to the tune of about $60 million. Sales, however, have been slow; reportedly about $0. The solution to that, Mills says, is BlackLight's new 50 kilowatt energy generator. An engineering team from Rowan University in New Jersey, headed by Peter Jansson, reports that, following BlackLight's procedures using material supplied by Blacklight, it has confirmed the energy production. But they are silent on the hydrino explanation.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 25 July 2008 Washington, DC

3. MISCONDUCT: THE FUSION BUBBLE BURST SIX YEARS AGO.
The March 8, 2002 issue of Science published a controversial Taleyarkhan article reporting d-d fusion in sonoluminescence even though several distinguished scientists had asked that it be delayed and published with a conflicting paper (WN 8 Mar 02) . Meanwhile, Taleyarkhan moved to Purdue, which has been embroiled in the controversy ever since. Today's issue of Science relates what may be the final chapter in a sad journey of Rusi Taleyarkhan from foolishness to fraud. The third Purdue committee to review the controversy "clearly documents that there has never been any successful replication except when Taleyarkhan is present or supervising."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 4 July 2008 Washington, DC

4. HYDRINO SCAM: IT COULD HAVE BEEN A LOT BIGGER.
According to an article in Wednesday's CNN Money.com, BlackLight Power has raised $60 million from investors "in its 19-year history." Nineteen years would take it back to its cold fusion roots. WN has followed Randy Mills since 1991 (WN 26 Apr 91) when he held a press conference in Lancaster, PA. The full history can be found in the What's New archives, http://www.bobpark.org, click on Search and type in "hydrino." Some estimates were that Mills could raise $1 billion with an IPO, but he was unable to protect his intellectual property, if any, with a US patent (WN 6 Sep 02) . He then sought to patent the process abroad. In April 2008 he was denied 4 patents in the UK.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 6 June 2008 Washington, DC

1. ENERGY: $4 GAS SEEMS TO BE THE TIPPING POINT.
The nation has suddenly become energy conscious, forcing GM to slash production of SUVs and dump the Hummer. Why, you may wonder, did it take so long? Meanwhile, old energy scams are blossoming again. This week, a reader pointed out, a new web site that sells instructions ($49.95) for converting your car to run on tap water www.runyourscarwithwater.com. It uses the car battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Are these the same people who sold George W. Bush on the hydrogen car in 2003? Predictably, the focus on energy has even brought cold fusion back, with physicist Yoshiaki Arata at Osaka University claiming to have the first "real" demonstration of the 1989 Pons and Fleischmann fizzle. Even the hydrino is back.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 18 May 2007 Washington, DC

2. COLLAPSING BUBBLE: PURDUE LAUNCHES A NEW PROBE OF TALEYARKAN.
Our last episode in the continuing Rusi Taleyarkhan sonofusion mystery ended as Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), chair of the Science Investigations Subcommittee, asked for the report (WN 23 Mar 07) . Last week, the subcommittee concluded that, although Purdue had bungled the investigation, the still-secret internal report reveals serious deviations from accepted scientific practices. In today's installment, according to Science, there are new allegations, as a result of which the University is undertaking a broader study, expected to take another 3 months. It's already been a year.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 23 March 2007 Washington, DC

1. MARCH MADNESS: COLD FUSION PEAKS AROUND THE VERNAL EQUINOX.
On this day 18 years ago, the University of Utah announced the discovery of cold fusion without giving any technical details (WN 24 Mar 89) . The peak came three weeks later when Stanley Pons received a standing ovation at the annual ACS Meeting in Dallas, but by June it was over. The Utah research was exposed as a pitiful embarrassment. For years the faithful sulked at their own annual meetings held at swank resorts around the world. There they could congratulate each other on their progress. Each year another experiment would be hailed as proof, but never survived replication. A few years ago, however, the bolder of the faithful began to reemerge from the dark, giving papers at professional society meetings. They now prefer to call their field Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR),and they held a session at the APS March Meeting in Denver. Next week they will hold a session at the ACS Meeting in Chicago. Once again, there is a new experiment that is being hailed as proof-at-last. Who knows, maybe this will be the one.

2. BUBBLE TROUBLE: CONGRESS LOOKS INTO THE OTHER COLD FUSION.
Last month we predicted that Rusi Taleyarkhan's troubles aren't over (WN 16 Feb 07) . You will recall that while he was at ORNL Taleyarkhan claimed in a paper published by Science that he had generated deuterium fusion in sonoluminescence. His claims were disputed by two experienced physicists, Putterman and Suslick, who repeated the work and got no indication of fusion. After Taleyarkhan joined Purdue as a Nuclear Engineering professor, another paper was published that seemed to independently verify his ORNL results. Who were the authors? Taleyarkhan's students. What were they being trained to do? They apparently had little to do with the research. When a Purdue misconduct investigation seemed headed for the wrong answer it was terminated. A second Purdue investigation cleared Taleyarkhan of misconduct. Now Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), chair of the Science Committee's Investigations Subcommittee has requested a copy of the University's internal investigation reports.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 16 February 2007 Washington, DC

4. UNCLEARED: LIKE THAT OTHER FUSION, BUBBLE FUSION DRAGS ON.
A year ago Purdue announced a full review of the "bubble fusion" claims of Rusi Taleyarkhan, but four months later a story in Nature raised serious questions about the pace and secrecy of the review. This week, the university seemed to clear him, but supplied little detail. Taleyarkhan says he feels vindicated. Others are not so sure. It doesn't seem quite over.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 27 October 2006 Washington, DC

3. CONSPIRATORS: HAVE THEY INFILTRATED BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY?
In June, we mentioned the World Trade Center conspiracy theory of physics professor Steven Jones at Brigham Young University (WN 23 Jun 06) . He believes the Trade Center was rigged with explosives on 9/11, with the connivance of the U.S. government. BYU suspended Jones pending a review of his 9/11 theories, but Jones has now agree to retire. This isn't his first trip into delusion. Seventeen years ago his delusion of geologic cold fusion got Pons and Fleischmann at the U. of Utah started on a cold fusion delusion of their own.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 21 July 2006 Washington, DC

2. BUBBLE FUSION: SOMETIMES SCIENCE HAS TROUBLE GETTING ANSWERS.
Four years ago Rusi Taleyarkhan, then at Oak Ridge, claimed in Science magazine that he had achieved d-d fusion in collapsing bubbles (WN 1 Mar 02) . The bubble burst three months later, but he moved to Purdue and again claimed fusion. Others still found nothing. In March of 2006, Purdue, citing "extremely serious concerns," announced a full review of Taleyarkhan's work. A story in Nature this week raises serious questions about slow progress and secrecy of the review.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 23 June 2006 Washington, DC

2. CONSPIRACIES: PHYSICIST'S NEW THEORY IS AS GOOD AS HIS FIRST.
A few weeks ago a cab picked me up at the U. of Wisconsin Physics Dept. to take me to the airport. The driver began, "You a physicist? I like physics. You know this guy Steven Jones? He's a physicist. He proved the World Trade Center couldn't have fallen that fast on 9/11 unless it was rigged with explosives." I'd heard it before. Today there's a good story about Jones and the 9/11 "conspiracy" by John Gravois in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Seventeen years ago Steven Jones imagined that cold fusion is responsible for Earth's molten interior. That's what led Fleischmann and Pons to rush into print with their dumb idea.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 19 May 2006 Washington, DC

1. DA VINCI CODE: CARDINALS COMPLAIN THAT THE NOVEL IS FICTION.
Aren't they always? Cardinal Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, expressed shock this week at the Da Vinci Code promotion: "It had nothing to do with the truth." Like "transubstantiation" is the truth? Another powerful Cardinal, Francis Arinze, is urging legal action. Members of Opus Dei seem particularly upset at the shot of Silas with blood running down his leg from a cilice. Opus Dei says their members do not do this. Mother Teresa maybe. Ironically, you may recall that just two months ago, Random House, publisher of the Da Vinci Code, was being sued in the UK because the underlying theme was lifted from a 1982 best-selling history book, Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Scientists understand how the church and the historians feel. After all, science-fiction writers have been stealing our themes for years, and portraying us as Dr. Strangeloves. And if we're the good guys, they get the physics wrong, like in Chain Reaction, where cold fusion works.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 31 March 2006 Washington, DC

2. COLD-FUSION DAY: DOES FLEISCHMANN STILL BREW TEA ON HOT PLATE?
On 23 March 2006, D2Fusion, Inc., a subsidiary of Solar Energy, Ltd., issued a press release to announce that cold-fusion pioneer Martin Fleischmann had agreed to serve as "senior scientific advisor" to produce a cold-fusion heater. Seventeen years ago, on 23 March 1989, the University of Utah held a press conference to announce the discovery of "cold fusion" by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons. Fleischmann modestly told the press that cold fusion was so far capable only of 'heating water for a cup of tea." D2Fusion believes "he still holds the secret."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 17 March 2006 Washington, DC

2. BELOW THE GROUND STATE: BEFORE SPRING THERE IS MARCH MADNESS.
On March 23, 1989 in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah held a press conference to announce the discovery of cold fusion, but the story had already been leaked to the world's most influential financial dailies, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. Both papers continued to print unfailingly optimistic reports for weeks. Among those lured into the swamp was Randell Mills, a 1986 graduate of Harvard Medical School. Two years later Mills held a press conference of his own to announce that it wasn't fusion. It was better! Hydrogen atoms can shrink into "hydrinos," releasing energy. With the 17th anniversary of cold fusion approaching, both papers are now running credulous stories about Mills and his company, BlackLight Power. BLP, which has never produced anything, is rumored to be preparing an IPO.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 10 March 2006 Washington, DC

1. BUBBLE FUSION: NEWS OF SCIENCE THAT WON'T CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
The story sounded vaguely familiar. A claim was made in the month of March that deuterium fusion had been produced in a desktop experiment. However, experienced nuclear physicists, using the same experimental setup except for better detection equipment, found no evidence of fusion. By early summer, the bubble burst. "Cold fusion" in 1989? No, "bubble fusion" in 2002, (WN 1 Mar 02) . But like cold fusion, the corpse of bubble fusion keeps twitching. In 2003, Rusi Taleyarkhan, who made the claim, moved from Oak Ridge to Purdue University. There he claimed to confirm fusion. Others found nothing. Last week, citing "extremely serious" concerns, Purdue announced a full review of Taleyarkhan's work.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 27 January 2006 Washington, DC

1. ALTERNATE WORLD: A LEAP INTO HYPERDRIVE? OR MAYBE JUST HYPE?
New Horizons, which is on its way to Pluto, is the fastest spacecraft ever built. Even so, the trip will take nine years. At the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics meeting last year, an award was given for a paper about a new propulsion system that could do it in a day. So why are we doing it the old-fashioned way? Because it works. There are two worlds. There is the world that sends robots to explore Mars, finds a vaccine for cervical cancer, unravels the structure of DNA, invents Global Positioning, etc. And then there is an alternate world that discovers cold fusion, homeopathy, the Podkletnov gravity shield, hydrinos, and the Heim space drive. Inhabitants of both worlds speak similar languages, look alike, even have identical DNA. It's not just that things don't work in the alternate world, that can happen even in the real world. But in the alternate world it doesn't seem to make any difference.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 9 September 2005 Washington, DC

2. ZERO-POINT ENERGY: KATRINA REVIVES A STRUGGLING INDUSTRY.
Even as gas approaches the price of bottled water, Katrina has cut oil production in the Gulf and shut down key ports. Drilling in the ANWAR faces a key vote, and the President has ordered oil released from the strategic reserve. So where is the free-energy industry? Right on schedule. The San Francisco Chronicle had a rather skeptical article in the business section this week about a "clean, inexhaustible energy source." However, we don't do perpetual-motion in the 21st Century. Nowadays we tap zero-point energy (WN 2 Aug 02), and Magnetic Power Inc says it's "on the verge" of it. "We are still having trouble making it repeatable," the CEO said. "All we know is that we're seeing more energy output than input, what else could it be?" Is this sounding vaguely familiar? The Air Force sank $600,000 in the company. Last year, the AF was investing in teleportation (WN 29 Oct 04). Any time now we can expect to hear new claims for cold fusion.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 15 July 2005 Washington, DC

5. PRAYER: AND WHILE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THINGS THAT DON'T WORK.
The shuttle is still on the ground, the Kansas City Royals are 28 games behind, cold fusion is a memory, missile defense isn't even being tested, and intercessory prayer has no effect according to researchers at Duke reporting in Lancet. Didn't we already know that (WN 3 Dec 04)? Prayer is just one of the things the Samueli Institute supports that don't work. The Institute is headed by Wayne Jonas, a genuine authority on the subject of things that don't work. Former head of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, Jonas authored Healing with Homeopathy (WN 2 Aug 96).

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 6 May 2005 Washington, DC

3. TABLE TOP FUSION: TOTAL MEDIA CONFUSION OVER UCLA FUSION DEVICE.
Last week, WN pointed out that media stories about a UCLA neutron generator were, uh, uninformed (WN 29 Apr 05). High-energy deuterium ions strike a deuterium-loaded target. Now and then you get d-d fusion, as Rutherford did in 1934. The new wrinkle is a pyroelectric crystal to generate the accelerating voltage. The Economist on April 30 totally mangled the story, referring to it as cold fusion in an editorial (it's VERY hot fusion). The story speaks of "energy from crystals" (groan), and winds up with Dr. McCoy on Star Trek.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 11 February 2005 Washington, DC

1. D. ALLAN BROMLEY: FORMER APS PRESIDENT DIED YESTERDAY AT 78.
Moshe Gai informs us that Allan was stricken yesterday at lunch. He died on the way to the hospital. One of the world's leading nuclear physicists, he was also an outspoken proponent of science and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1988. In a 1989 meeting with George H.W. Bush to discuss the position of Science Advisor, the President's first question was about cold fusion. Bromley had just learned the results from a collaboration he had arranged to test the claim. There were no neutrons. Confidently he told the President that the reports out of Utah were in error.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 17 December 2004 Washington, DC

2. NASA: THE SEARCH IS ON FOR SOMEONE TO REPLACE SEAN O'KEEFE.
General Kadish is said to be high on the list. Under O'Keefe, top NASA positions were often filled by military men, but competition is stiff. Although several former astronauts are rumored to on the list, the front runner is thought to be Bob Walker, a former Member of Congress who was chair of the House Science Committee. He predicted the space station would produce a Nobel Prize, backed cold fusion, and introduced his Hydrogen Futures Act, which in the initial version violated the First Law of Thermodynamics. He is now the Chairman of Wexler & Walker, a Washington lobbying firm tied to science and space interests. A member of the President 's Moon-Mars commission, Walker has no science background, but then neither does O'Keefe, who has just accepted the job of Chancellor of Louisiana State University. He says he took it for the money.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 10 December 2004 Washington, DC

3. COLDER-THAN-EVER FUSION: THIS BOOK WON'T END THE CONTROVERSY.
Several cold-fusion proponents took the trouble this week to send WN the announcement of a new book, The Rebirth of Cold Fusion: Real Science, Real Hope, Real Energy by Steven Krivit and Nadine Winocur. It was clearly timed to coincide with release of the DOE report. The book drew praise from Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Josephson, and Martin Fleischmann, among others. It's not in the bookstores here yet, but Amazon lists it. The authors are editors of New Energy Times, which calls itself "Your best source for cold fusion news and information." Krivit has a bachelor's degree in business management, Winocur maintains a private psychotherapy practice. They've got the right qualifications.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 3 December 2004 Washington, DC

1. COLD, COLD FUSION: SO AFTER 15 YEARS, WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED?
We've learned that DOE should stop playing games with the Federal Advisory Committee Act while shrouding its review in secrecy (WN 17 Sep 04). Beyond that, we haven't learned much. The report released this week is an attempt to summarize individual comments from 18 unidentified reviewers. The conclusions at the end of the report were: 1) "significant progress has been made in sophistication of calorimeters," and 2)"conclusions reached by reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review." That's it? After 15 years we've got better calorimeters? The 1989 review called for no more cold fusion research. Good advice. Proponents now prefer "low energy nuclear reactions," but "no more" is still good advice.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 26 November 2004 Washington, DC

4. COLD, COLD FUSION: AND THE FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ACT.
Sunday's Washington Post Magazine had an article about a secret review of cold fusion (WN 17 Sep 04). A panel of scientists selected by DOE allegedly met with a small group of cold-fusion believers. No announcement, no reporters, no names of attendees. Panel members were instructed to comment individually to circumvent the Advisory Committee Act. If it was actually of any importance it would be truly outrageous.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 17 September 2004 Washington, DC

4. COLD FUSION: DOE REVIEW IS HIDDEN BEHIND A CLOAK OF SECRECY.
Believers see DOE's review as vindication after 15 rough years (WN 2 Apr 04). But watchers are puzzled by how little is known about the process. Who are the reviewers? Who are they talking to? WN hears that DOE is claiming anonymous peer review. That shouldn't please anyone. The controversy will simply continue.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 6 August 2004 Washington, DC

1. COLD FUSION: JUST WHEN YOU THINK LIFE CAN'T GET ANY SILLIER.
The cover of Popular Mechanics for August warns that "Cold Fusion Technology Enables Anyone To Build A Nuke From Commonly Available Materials." A nuke? The cold fusion guys can't brew a cup of tea. The article: "Dangerous Science" is by Jim Wilson, whose cover story in April proclaimed the dawn of the age of atomic aircraft powered by hafnium-178 isomer reactors, which don't exist and never will (WN 16 Apr 04). OK, so grownups aren't supposed to read Popular Mechanics, but if the cold fusion faithful think they're going to get a cover story in Time, get over it. DOE recently announced that cold fusion research will be reviewed, and believers imagined they'd been vindicated (WN 02 Apr 04). Wilson says Eugene Mallove of Infinite Energy Magazine assured him that the experimental evidence for cold fusion is too compelling for DOE to ignore. Mallove couldn't be reached for comment.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 16 April 2004 Washington, DC

1. HAFNIUM-178: JUST WHEN YOU THINK LIFE CAN’T GET ANY SILLIER.
The cover of Popular Mechanics for May proclaims the dawn of the age of atomic airplanes powered by miniature nuclear reactors. These are not old-fashioned fission reactors. These are the new "quantum nucleonic reactors," a.k.a. hafnium-178 isomer reactors. The problem with fission reactors was that they required too much shielding. The problem with the hafnium-178 reactor is that it doesn’t exist. Carl Collins at U. of Texas, Dallas, claimed to be able to trigger decay of the hafnium-178 nuclear isomer with x-rays. That would be a miracle, but several other groups found it just doesn’t happen. That detail was left out of the Popular Mechanics story, which contains nothing beyond the New Scientist story a year ago (WN 15 Aug 03). The hafnium-178 isomer avalanche now seems destined to join hydrinos, zero-point energy, gravity shields, cold fusion and all the other free-energy fantasies that only work for believers. In the paranormal world this is known as "the investigator effect."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 2 April 2004 Washington, DC

1. COLD FUSION: TRUE BELIEVERS SEE DOE REVIEW AS "VINDICATION."
There hasn’t been much to celebrate in the 15 years since the University of Utah held a press conference in Salt Lake City to announce the discovery of "cold fusion." Although a brave little band of true believers continued to trumpet cold fusion, the band leader was publishing "Infinite Energy Magazine." That made it pretty hard to take this stuff seriously. Although there was no press release or announcement, DOE has apparently agreed to take a second look. That’s not really too surprising; not since the Reagan administration has unbridled technological optimism so dominated Washington decision making: missile defense, hydrogen cars, hafnium bombs, manned missions to Mars. How are these other ventures doing? Let’s take a look at one.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 5 March 2004 Washington, DC

3. BUBBLE FUSION: CORPSE OF "SONOFUSION" IS SAID TO BE TWITCHING.
A new claim of desktop fusion from collapsing bubbles is coming out. It’s been two years since Taleyarken et al. at Oak Ridge National Laboratory reported in Science magazine that they had observed 2.5 MeV neutron peaks correlated with sonoluminescence from collapsing bubbles (WN 01 Mar 02), but others could not confirm their results. By mid summer the bubble had burst (WN 26 Jul 02). That was remarkably similar to the lifetime of cold fusion. But now Taleyarken has new results that some say are more convincing. Perhaps we should wait for independent confirmation. Cold fusion, of course, still has believers, but not much confirmation.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 27 December 2002 Washington, DC

2. HUMAN CLONING: RAELIANS ANNOUNCE THE BIRTH OF BABY “EVE”.
Do you recall the controversy stirred up by physicist Richard Seed, PhD Harvard ‘53, when he announced his intention to clone the first human (WN 9 Jan 98)? We haven’t heard anything from Seed lately, but today the scientific director of Clonaid says her company has created the first human clone. Clonaid was founded by Raelians, a religious group that believes extraterrestrials created humans. There are no details on how the supposed cloning of Eve was achieved, but physicist Michael Guillen, PhD Cornell, has been selected by Clonaid to verify the claim. Guillen has just the credentials Clonaid needs. In 1997 as the science correspondent for ABC Good Morning America, Guillen did a three-part series, “Fringe or Frontier”.Of precognition he concluded “these guys are not flakes”; on astrology, “I think we’re just going to have to suspend judgement”; on psychokinesis, “you have to take it seriously” (WN 3 Oct 97). Indeed, Guillen covered everything from James Patterson’s cold fusion cell to Kirlian photographs of the human aura with the same credulity. A PhD in physics, after all, is not an inoculation against foolishness. We called ABC, but were told emphatically that their relationship with Guillen ended nearly a year ago.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 26 July 2002 Washington, DC

1. BUBBLE FUSION: THE BUBBLE SEEMS TO HAVE COLLAPSED.
In March, against the advice of physicists, Science published an article by Taleyarkan et al. claiming to get fusion out of sonoluminescence (WN 1 Mar 02). Two experienced nuclear physicists, D. Shapira and M.J. Saltmarsh, using better neutron detection in the same apparatus, said there was no evidence of fusion. Science refused to hold up publication of the Taleyarkan paper until the Shapira and Saltmarsh findings could accompany it, or even add a note warning that there were contrary results. Not to worry! The Shapira and Saltmarsh paper is about to come out in Physical Review Letters, and is expected to directly refute the Taleyarkan et al. paper. And in this week's Nature, a letter by Didenko and Suslick seemed to rule out bubble fusion entirely. Reactions of gases trapped inside bubbles soak up so much energy that bubble temperatures could never get close to the threshold for fusion.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 28 June 2002 Washington, DC

1. FREE ENERGY: APS BOARD SPEAKS OUT ON PERPETUAL MOTION.
Well, it's not exactly the frontier of physics research, but somebody had to say it. Already this year we've had the Jasker Power System (WN 25 Jan 02), Chukanov Quantum Energy (WN 8 Feb 02), and the Motionless Electromagnetic Generator (WN 5 Apr 02). Not to mention Bubble Fusion (WN 1 Mar 02), hydrino rockets (WN 21 Jun 02), and whatever scam Dennis Lee is running now (WN 3 May 02). So, on Saturday, 22 June, the Executive Board of the American Physical Society unanimously adopted the following statement:

"The Executive Board of the American Physical Society is concerned that in this period of unprecedented scientific advance, misguided or fraudulent claims of perpetual motion machines and other sources of unlimited free energy are proliferating. Such devices would directly violate the most fundamental laws of Nature, laws that have guided the scientific advances that are transforming our world."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 5 April 2002 Washington, DC

2. FREE ENERGY: PERPETUAL MOTION SCAMS ARE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH.
In 1999, I went to Columbus, Ohio for ABC News to witness Dennis Lee demonstrate a permanent-magnet motor that was "more than 200% efficient." Actually, he didn't really demonstrate it. He stuck a magnet on the side of a steel file cabinet; turning to the audience he asked, "How long do you think that magnet will stay there?" He answered his own question, "Forever. That's infinite energy." Don't laugh, this week, Patent 6,362,718 was issued for a "Motionless Electromagnetic Generator" that "extracts energy from a permanent magnet with energy-replenishing from the active vacuum." Already in 2002 we've had the Jasker Power System (WN 25 Jan 02), Chukanov Quantum Energy (WN 8 Feb 02), Bubble Fusion (WN 15 Mar 02), and now a permanent magnet motor.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 15 March 2002 Washington, DC

2. BUBBLE FUSION: IT'S NOTHING LIKE THE COLD FUSION FIASCO.
But it's getting there. The first warning sign that a scientific claim is voodoo is that it's pitched directly to the media. That didn't happen with the Taleyarkhan et al. bubble-fusion paper (WN 8 Mar 02). The authors went through all the hoops, submitting their paper to a respected, peer-reviewed journal. It was Science that seemed determined to sensationalize the work. In the course of a year, various drafts went to 13 or 14 reviewers, which does not inspire confidence. A number of reviewers reportedly advised against publication and some complain that Science did not tell them of Shapira and Saltmarsh's failure to confirm fusion claims. The second warning sign of voodoo science is that any failure to confirm is blamed on an "establishment" conspiracy. A Business Week story says one author of the Taleyarkhan paper "hinted" that Shapira and Saltmarsh were protecting "the fusion establishment."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 8 March 2002 Washington, DC

1. BUBBLES: TO FLACK OR NOT TO FLACK.
An editorial by Don Kennedy in the March 8 issue of Science, "To Publish or Not to Publish," describes his courageous stand in publishing a controversial paper even though "it had become clear that a number people didn't want us to publish this paper." Last week WN revealed that Science would carry an article by Taleyarkhan et al. from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (WN 1 Mar 02), claiming evidence of d-d fusion correlated with sonoluminescence from collapsing bubbles in deuterated acetone. However, Shapira and Saltmarsh, also from Oak Ridge, using purportedly superior detection and analysis equipment, found no evidence for fusion. Kennedy, it turns out, was merely urged to delay publishing the Taleyarkhan result until it could be accompanied by the Saltmarsh finding. Instead, Science accompanied the Taleyarkhan paper with a glowing "Perspectives" article, a "News" report and an editorial. Worse, Science issued an embargoed press release. A press embargo is a device meant to suppress dissenting views the day a story breaks. We at WN are not press, however, nor did our information come from Science. After WN broke the story, Science dropped its embargo. Both sides, Kennedy's editorial concludes, "would do well to wait for the scientific process to do its work." But in the end, it was Science that refused to wait until it had a balanced report.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 March 2002 Washington, DC

1. BUBBLE FUSION: A COLLECTIVE GROAN CAN BE HEARD.
A report out of Oak Ridge of d-d fusion events in collapsing bubbles formed by cavitation in deuterated acetone, is scheduled for publication in the March 8 issue of Science magazine. Taleyarkan et al. observe 2.5 MeV neutron peaks, evidence of d-d fusion, correlated with sonoluminescence from collapsing bubbles. Pretty exciting stuff huh? It might be, if the experiment had not been repeated by two experienced nuclear physicists, D. Shapira and M.J. Saltmarsh, using the same apparatus, except for superior neutron detection equipment. They found no evidence for 2.5 MeV neutron emission correlated with sonoluminescence. Any neutron emission was many orders of magnitude too small to account for the tritium production reported by the first group. Although distinguished physicists, fearing a repeat of the cold fusion fiasco 13 years ago, advised against publication, the editor has apparently chosen not only to publish the work, but to do so with unusual fanfare, involving even the cover of Science. Perhaps Science magazine covets the vast readership of Infinite Energy magazine.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 8 February 2002 Washington, DC

3. THE GREAT SPAM SCAM: A "NEW GROUNDBREAKING SOURCE OF ENERGY."
You probably got the same SPAM this week, announcing discovery of an "unlimited source of energy," having something to do with "ball lightning." I don't know what the big deal is: new sources of "infinite energy" are announced almost daily, and "ball lightning" is invoked about as often as "zero point energy" or "cold fusion." One thing is new; the most frequent warning sign of voodoo science is that claims are pitched directly to the media (WN 25 Jan 02). Chukanov Quantum Energy, has taken a different road, e-mailing their pitch to thousands of scientists.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 June 2001 Washington, DC

4. THE BELIEF GENE: IS CREDULITY ENCODED INTO HUMAN DNA?
It's happened again. A notorious believer in cold fusion has revealed that he knows that magnet therapy works. At a meeting on UFOs, you'll find yourself in a room full of believers in everything from mental telepathy to homeopathy. Did belief confer some survival advantage on our primitive ancestors? Perhaps the Pleistocene forest was too scary to face without a belief in magic. The belief gene may cause more trouble than "fat gene."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 20 April 2001 Washington, DC

3. COLD FUSION: MAYBE ONE MORE STUDY WILL CLEAR THINGS UP.
Or maybe not. We hear often these days from cold fusion believers about the great progress that has been made in cold fusion. We will hear it again on April 30, at the APS meeting. This week, WN received a long report from the Naval Research Laboratory. It was dated March 26, 2001, just three days after the anniversary of the 1989 cold fusion press conference in Salt Lake City. The report was about a Pons and Fleischmann kind of experiment: an "open" electrolysis study of excess heat in the electrolysis of heavy water, using a Pd-B alloy cathode. One of the authors is none other than Martin Fleischmann. How appropriate. Twelve years ago at this time, the news was about the unreliability of closed calorimetry experiments. Twelve years later, cold fusion research is still struggling with the same point. Progress?

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 23 March 2001 Washington, DC

2. DOUBLE ANNIVERSARY: PROMISES WERE MADE TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
On 23 March 1983, President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative. He called on scientists, "those who gave us the atomic bomb," to turn their great talents to developing a missile defense that would render nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete." Six years later, on 23 March 1989, the discovery of "cold fusion" was announced. Coincidence? Either that or Nancy Reagan and Stanley Pons used the same astrologer. Remarkably, there has been equal progress on missile defense and cold fusion.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 16 March 2001 Washington, DC

5. FREE ENERGY: BELIEVERS SEEM TO BE GETTING A LITTLE UNEASY.
With the NASDAQ sinking below 2000, a lot of investors in high- tech stocks are uneasy, but things are even worse for ideas that never made it to the NASDAQ. The word is out that a serious attempt to replicate the hydrino power results claimed by Randy Mills, carried out by a committed free energy believer, found zip. And on Monday the Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision not to review a cold fusion patent case (WN 23 Feb 01).

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 23 February 2001 Washington, DC

2. COLD FUSION? SUPREME COURT GIVES IT THE COLD SHOULDER.
Last fall, the US Patent Office denied a "cold-fusion" patent to Mitchell Swartz, on the grounds that it lacked "operability" (WN 10 Nov 00). Despite testimony by cold-fusion gurus, a federal appeals court upheld the Commissioner of Patents, ruling that the patent failed to convince sensible people that the idea could work. Undeterred, Swartz appealed to the US Supreme Court. The highest court in the land is unlikely to review the case, which has the effect of upholding the appeal court ruling. After twelve years, cold fusion still has trouble being taken seriously.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 8 December 2000 Washington, DC

1. COLD FUSION: THE "PALLADIUM BOMB" AND OTHER FANTASIES.
There are highly-classified intelligence warnings circulating among federal agencies that certain rogue nations are planning to use "cold fusion" to make a terrorist bomb. This comes from an old speculation by Martin Fleischmann, based on what he thought was going on in Pons' lab. But why now, years later? The answer lies in the intense PR campaign waged by believers to convey the impression that cold fusion has become respectable. Even "Science and Government Report," a Washington newsletter, writes: "Cold fusion may be wearing down opponents in the science mainstream." Well, not exactly. The newsletter cites the fact that the APS allows CF sessions at its meetings, but the APS has always accepted all contributed papers. This leads to some nutty sessions, but it's preferable to censorship.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 10 November 2000 Washington, DC

1. COLD FUSION: CONFERENCES HELD, PATENT REJECTED.
The American Nuclear Society is holding an embarrassing session on cold-fusion at its meeting next week in Washington. Capitalizing on the presence of so many fanciful minds, the new-age Integrity Research Institute (WN 5 Mar 99) holds its free-energy conference two days later. A likely topic of discussion is last Wednesday's ruling by a Circuit Court of Appeals to reject the appeal of Michael Swartz for a cold-fusion patent on the grounds of "lack of operability." The Court ruled that the patent didn't convince sensible people that the idea could work. But, not everybody falls into that category. Testifying for Swartz were two invited speakers at the IRI conference - Eugene Mallove and Scott Chubb.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 September 2000 Washington, DC

5. IG NOBEL DREAMS: COLD FUSION MEMO TO PRESIDENT CLINTON.
Who has not heard of the car that runs on water, suppressed of course by the oil industry? In 1979, Sam Leach raised millions from deep-pocket investors, including the founder of Budget Rent-A- Car, for a laser device that separated water into oxygen and hydrogen fuel with a net gain in energy. Now, Eugene Mallove has released a 13-page memo he wrote for President Clinton at the request of the White House, titled `The Strange Birth of the Water Fuel Age: the Cold Fusion "Miracle" Was No Mistake.' The request, according to Mallove, was prompted by Sir Arthur C. Clarke. The President, Mallove reports, has not yet responded.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 18 August 2000 Washington, DC

2. BLACKLIGHT: SUIT AGAINST THE PATENT OFFICE FAILS.
BlackLight Power's plans to go public with an estimated $1B stock offering are presumably on hold. You may recall that on 15 Feb BLP was awarded a patent on a process for putting hydrogen atoms into a "state below the ground state," shrinking them into teeny little things called "hydrinos" (WN 18 Feb 00). A second patent dealing with hydrino chemistry was set for issuance two weeks later. But on 17 Feb the Patent Office withdrew the second patent, and opened up the first for reexamination. One patent official was concerned that the BLP technology involves perpetual motion and "cold fusion." With its intellectual property somewhere in patent purgatory, BlackLight filed suit in Federal Court against the Commissioner of Patents. Tuesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled the Patent Office action was "neither arbitrary nor capricious."

3. INFINITE ENERGY: EEOC RULES THAT COLD FUSION IS A RELIGION.
Paul LaViolette was terminated by the Patent Office on 9 Apr 99. He had been recruited by patent examiner Tom Valone, who issued an e-mail appeal for "all able-bodied free energy technologists" to "infiltrate" the Patent Office (Science, V.284, p.1254, May 99). It was Valone, you will recall, that organized the much- traveled Conference on Future Energy (WN 30 Apr 99). Claiming he was fired because of his belief in cold fusion, LaViolette turned to the Equal Employment Opportunities Office. He argued that his belief in cold fusion amounted to a religious belief. Actually, LaViolette believes in lots of stuff, like the B-2 bomber relies on antigravity technology (WN 20 Nov 98). Anyway, on 7 July the EEOC ruled that cold fusion is indeed protected religious belief. This appears to confirm what many have been saying all along.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 24 March 2000 Washington, DC

1. MISSILE DEFENSE: PENTAGON POSTPONES "DECISIVE" TEST.
In a televised speech on March 23, 1983, President Reagan called on "the scientific community, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace," by finding a way to, "intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reach our soil." There was no celebration yesterday to mark the "Star Wars" anniversary. On the contrary, the Pentagon announced Tuesday that the third test of a hit-to-kill interceptor would be delayed by at least two months, pushing back President Clinton's deployment decision (WN 24 Nov 99) to October. The 17-year history of missile defense is littered with the remains of failed concepts--chemical lasers, X- ray lasers, brilliant pebbles. Which reminds me that yesterday was also the anniversary of the 1989 announcement of cold fusion. Coincidence? Or did Reagan and Pons consult the same astrologer?

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 10 March 2000 Washington, DC

2. SCIENTIFIC FREEDOM: THREATS FROM SOUTH OF THE SOUTH POLE.
Ten years ago, Pons' lawyer wrote to physicist Michael Salamon demanding that he retract a paper contradicting cold fusion claims or face legal action (WN 20 April 90). Then APS President Eugen Merzbacher denounced the threat in the Wall Street Journal. Recently, a patent was issued for a method of releasing energy by getting hydrogen into a "state below the ground state," creating teensy little hydrogen atoms called "hydrinos" (WN 18 Feb 00). The inventor, Randy Mills, first made this claim nine years ago (WN 26 Apr 91). Physicists were unimpressed. Nevertheless, Mills' company, BlackLight Power, has now raised more than $25M from investors, and is reported to be preparing an IPO. This week, prominent physicists who have scoffed at Mills' hydrino claim, including Nobel laureates, got letters from Mills' lawyers demanding that they "stop engaging in further defamatory and disparaging activities concerning BlackLight and Dr. Mills."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 15 October 1999 Washington, DC

2. FREE ENERGY: MARTIN FLEISCHMANN SPEAKS ON COLD FUSION AT NRL.
The term of choice these days is "chemically assisted nuclear reactions," but the co-discoverer of whatever it is was having none of that; his seminar was titled Cold Fusion: Past Present and Future. He acknowledges that after ten years of research the effect is still plagued by irreproducibility, but if he has any doubts about the source of "excess heat," it didn't show. At one point, as if speaking to himself, he reflected that "sometimes I think we've made no advance since 1990. Certainly, not since 1994." Sure we have; for one thing, Steven Jones at Brigham Young, who also claimed back then to see cold fusion, albeit at barely detectable levels, is now working on a simple solar cooker for people in Third World countries to use instead of open fires. On the minus side, we find that the Entropy Systems, Inc. ad in Physics Today, for a machine that runs off ambient heat (WN 24 Sep 99), was also carried by Applied Physics Letters.

3. CREATIONISM: TEACHING STANDARDS IN NEW MEXICO ARE EVOLVING.
In 1996, the New Mexico State School Board was taken over by religious fundamentalists, who voted to remove "evolution" from the state's teaching standards. The legislature later voted to put evolution back in after a debate in which a creationist senator brought a stuffed ape to the floor. As has happened in other states, people began paying attention to school board elections. The result was that last week, alarmed by events in Kansas (WN 17 Sep 99), the new school board amended the standards to prevent religious alternatives from creeping in. For example, "Discuss evidence for and against evolution," was replaced with "Discuss the various mechanisms proposed to interpret evolution." Meanwhile, Kentucky replaced the emotionally loaded "evolution" with "change over time." Hmmm. It's sort of like replacing "cold fusion" with "chemically assisted nuclear reactions" isn't it?

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 24 September 1999 Washington, DC

3. PERPETUUM MOBILE: BETTING AGAINST THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS.
Most free energy scams invoke outlandish new physics: cold fusion, hydrinos, zero-point energy, gravity shields, antimatter. But there are also throwbacks to the 19th Century that directly challenge the laws of thermodynamics. Physics Today carried a full-page ad for Entropy Systems, Inc. describing a heat engine that runs off ambient heat. It's hardly a new idea. Two years ago Better World Technologies was touting the "Fisher engine" that violated the Second Law (WN 18 Jul 97). But it wasn't new then either--it was the "zero motor," invented by John Gamgee in 1880. It didn't work then either, but Gamgee sold it to the U.S. Navy anyway. Better World Technologies quietly dropped the Fisher Engine, but if they couldn't get around the Second Law, how about the First? In a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last Friday, BWT announced 45 FREE meetings across the country to demonstrate free energy using "Counter Rotation" technology.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 6 August 1999 Washington, DC

1. COLD FUSION: RESULTS OF "PATTERSON CELL" TEST ARE WITHHELD.
Two years ago, Norman Olson told correspondent Michael Guillen on ABC Good Morning America that he was taking a "Patterson cell" back to Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories to see if it could neutralize radioactive waste (WN 13 Jun 97). He said he was optimistic. Alas, nothing more was heard about the test. Last week, Science magazine reported on a controversial proposal to DOE for neutralizing radioactivity. Since the proposal's author was also involved in the Patterson cell, WN suggested that someone should check with Norm (WN 30 Jul 99). We have since learned that the results of the PNL tests are proprietary and have never been disclosed. So WN asked: "Does PNL plan to pursue this remarkable technology?" The answer was an amused "No!"

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 30 July 1999 Washington, DC

5. DOE: SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT "LOW-ENERGY NUCLEAR REACTIONS."
Science magazine reports that DOE is reviewing its decision to spend $100,000 to study the use of cold fusion to neutralize radioactive waste. According to the proposal from a nuclear engineer at the University of Illinois, "the discovery seems certain" and a follow-on scale up to pilot-plant levels is next. DOE, however, may have already paid for such a study. As WN reported two years ago (WN 13 Jun 97), Dr. Norm Olson at Battelle Pacific Northwest appeared with reporter Michael Guillen on ABC Good Morning America to say he was taking a "Patterson cell" back to Hanford to test it out. Maybe DOE could just check with Norm.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 4 June 1999 Washington, DC

4. SHIFTING PARADIGMS: SOCIETY FOR SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION MEETS.
Yes folks, it's going on right now in Albuquerque, with talks on Newton vs Einstein (Newton wins), alien abductions, evidence of a human consciousness field in World Cup soccer and, of course, cold fusion. A major theme of the meeting is "the Suppression of New Science." So far, the best quote came after an invited talk attacking Darwinism. Asked what the benefits to society would be if "intelligent design" won acceptance, the speaker solemnly explained that, "We could avoid wasting time looking for natural explanations where none exist." It's that kind of meeting.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 16 April 1999 Washington, DC

4. COLD FUSION: PONS AND FLEISCHMANN CITED IN TIME MAGAZINE.
The magazine devoted a special issue to The Century's Greatest Minds. However, the two "fusion pioneers," as they are referred to in Infinite Energy magazine, did not actually make the list of scientists and thinkers. Instead they were listed along with Wilhelm Reich, the discoverer of "orgone energy," as "cranks" of the Century. This did not sit at all well with Eugene Mallove, the editor of Infinite Energy, who fired off a letter to the editors of the issue, calling the designation a "vile outrage."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 26 March 1999 Washington, DC

4. ANNIVERSARY: TEN YEARS OF COLD FUSION CELEBRATED IN ATLANTA
Tuesday, March 23, was the tenth anniversary of the Salt Lake City announcement of the Pons and Fleischmann "discovery." A session titled "Palladium Electrochemistry," being held this afternoon at the APS Centennial, will seek to revive the corpse.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 5 March 1999 Washington, DC

4. FREE ENERGY: STATE DEPARTMENT OPENS ITS DOORS TO NEW AGERS.
Something called the Integrity Research Institute has announced the First International Conference on Free Energy (CoFE), April 29-30. IRI markets books and videos with such titles as The Race to Zero Point Energy, Anti-Gravity: The Dream Made Reality, and Holistic Physics and Consciousness. It is headed by a US Patent Examiner named Tom Valone, who has been recruiting other open- minded people to become Patent Examiners (WN 20 Nov 98). The speakers list for CoFE is certainly open minded; topics include: assisted nuclear reactions (a.k.a. cold fusion), sonoluminesence (a.k.a. cold fusion), hydrogen technologies (a.k.a. cold fusion), tabletop nuclear transformations (a.k.a. cold fusion), as well as zero point energy generation, negative resistance and...well, you get the idea. Where would you hold such a uh, um open-minded conference? The notice says CoFE will be "under the auspices of the U.S. State Department in the Dean Acheson Auditorium."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 8 January 1999 Washington, DC

2HYDRINOS: NEW CHEMISTRY USES PRE-SHRUNK HYDROGEN.
Remember Randy Mill, MD Harvard '86? He pointed out in 1991 that cold fusion wasn't fusion at all -- it just puts hydrogen atoms into a state below the ground state, shrinking them into tiny little things he calls "hydrinos," releasing lots of energy (WN 26 Apr 91). WN has been told that Mills' company, BlackLight Power, has raised a few million from utilities companies, such as PacifiCorp and Conectiv, and is ready to go prime time. But he wants to avoid the endless arguments over "excess heat" that plague the cold fusion guys. So, he plans to reveal the discovery of a class of novel chemical compounds he calls Hydrino Hydride Compounds (HHCs) that will revolutionize chemistry and physics. Stay tuned.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 January 1999 Washington, DC

1. THE UNDEAD: A REVIEW OF "NUCLEAR TRANSMUTATION." The subtitle of this thin volume by Tadahiko Mizuno is "The Reality of Cold Fusion." The publisher is Infinite Energy Press, which probably tells you everything you need to know. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the announcement by the University of Utah that Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann had achieved deuterium fusion in a simple electrolytic cell (WN 24 Mar 89). Within a matter of weeks, a DOE panel officially pronounced cold fusion dead, amidst revelations of altered data and suppression of evidence. But the corpse does not rest peacefully. This personal account by one of a small corps who have not given up on cold fusion is wonderfully revealing -- but not for what it tells us about science. "If you limit your goal to finding fusion products," Mizuno snorts, "anyone can see you will not learn much. This is why the focus is now on transmutation." He says of his fellow believers, "They have been treated like heretics by the rest of the scientific community. This has formed a bond of solidarity between them. Working with practically no funding against a tide of opposition ...they have slowly but surely brought about a new discovery." It is an eloquent statement of how pathological science survives. In the final chapter Mizuno asks rhetorically, "What sort of reaction is cold fusion? As you have seen in this account we still have no clear idea." After ten years, nothing has changed.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 25 December 1998 Washington, DC

6. THE WHAT'S NEW NOTABLES OF THE YEAR FOR 1998:
PHYSICIST: Richard Seed, who plans to clone humans (WN 9 Jan 98).

BOOK: "Nuclear Transmutation: The Reality of Cold Fusion" by T. Mizuno, Published by Infinite Energy Press (see next week).

DISCOVERY: Moxibustion corrects breech birth (WN 13 Nov 98).

INVENTION: DKL Lifeguard unerringly finds pigeons (WN 25 Sep 98).

RETIREES: Bob Livingston, John Glenn and Burt Richter.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 17 April 1998 Washington, DC

3. 1997 PIGASUS AWARDS: ANOTHER COVETED FLYING-PIG TROPHY.
Two weeks ago (WN 3 Apr 98), we reported winners in the first two categories. WN is pleased that the award in category #3, "for the media outlet that reported as fact the most outrageous supernatural, paranormal or occult claim," went to ABC-TV News, "for their unquestioning and enthusiastic endorsement of "cold fusion, ESP, psychokinesis, astrology, magnetic therapy, and all sorts of questionable alternative healing modalities." We at WN are proud to note that we informed our readers of each and every one of these ABC reports during the year.

5. COLD FUSION-7: VANCOUVER MEETING REPORTS MORE THAN HEAT.
The preferred term among believers is now "chemically-assisted nuclear reactions." Nowadays it seems to transmute gold into base metals, neutralizes radioactivity and works fine with ordinary water. We note that the probability of N miracles is equal to the probability of one miracle to the Nth power.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 27 March 1998 Washington, DC

2. STAR WARS II: PANEL DESCRIBES PROGRAM AS "A RUSH TO FAILURE."
Sunday, March 23, was the anniversary of two remarkable events: The 1989 announcement that Pons and Fleischmann had discovered cold fusion, and Ronald Reagan's 1983 call for an impenetrable shield against missile attacks. Progress in both areas has been modest at best. Prompted by a string of flight test failures in a drastically scaled-down missile defense effort, the Pentagon appointed an independent panel to find out what's going on. The panel concluded that political pressure to hasten deployment had resulted in "risk taking." The response from proponents was that the panel just didn't understand the urgency. Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) said the real problem is inadequate funding by the Clinton administration. So far, Star Wars has eaten about $40B.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 13 March 1998 Washington, DC

2. COLD FUSION: UNIVERSITY OF UTAH ABANDONS PATENT PURSUIT.
Ten days from now the world will celebrate the ninth anniversary of the announcement by the University of Utah of the discovery of "cold fusion." Utah anticipated a bonanza in licensing fees, but instead, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, spent as much as $1.5M in legal fees in a futile effort to patent the technology. Pons and Fleischmann, the "discoverers," had the option to take up the fight, but the University never heard from them. Fleischmann, however, is to be a speaker at the 7th International Conference on Cold Fusion in Vancouver in April. Pons, for the first time, is not on the program. The dwindling band of true believers meets each year hoping for good news, but MITI, the sponsor of ICCF-6 pulled out last summer (WN 29 Aug 97). This year, for the first time, there is no sponsor.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 31 October 1997 Washington, DC

3. SCARY: MICHAEL GUILLEN RETURNS WITH HALLOWEEN TIPS.
Guillen, a PhD physicist, is the science editor of ABC-TV's Good Morning America show, who did the three-part series "Fringe or Frontier? Science on the Edge" (WN 3 Oct 97), explaining that precognition, astrology and psychokinesis are serious scientific questions. In June, he showed us the Patterson cold-fusion cell "neutralizing" radioactivity (WN 13 Jun 97). This week, he played Martha Stewart in a Dracula cape, giving us tips on how to use "science" to make scary special effects. Host Charlie Gibson explained that Guillen is "normally a Harvard Professor." Now that would be scary.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 10 October 1997 Washington, DC

5. 1997 IG NOBEL PRIZE: CHEMIST WINS PHYSICS PRIZE--THANK GOD.
John Bockris of Texas A&M was honored at a Harvard ceremony by the magazine "Annals of Improbable Research," for transmuting base metals into gold by means of a cold-fusion cell.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 3 October 1997 Washington, DC

1. ABC-TV: "FRINGE OR FRONTIER? SCIENCE ON THE EDGE."
It was more like over the edge. Remember Good Morning America science editor Michael Guillen? We last saw him gushing over Patterson cells (WN 13 Jun 97), cold-fusion devices that also "neutralize radioactivity." Well, this week Guillen was back with a three-part series, gushing over precognition ("these guys are not flakes," he concludes), astrology ("I think we're just going to have to suspend judgement") and psychokinesis ("you have to take it seriously...if it's right you can foresee a future of mind-controlled wheel chairs, computers and jet fighters"). Guillen, a PhD physicist who is uniquely positioned to help millions of viewers understand that they live in a rational universe, has chosen instead to tell them that their sad superstitions are open scientific questions. It must be very good for ratings.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 29 August 1997 Washington, DC

2. INFINITE ENERGY: JAPAN THROWS COLD WATER ON COLD FUSION.
Timing, they say, is everything. Japan continued to buy cold-fusion lottery tickets long after the rest of the world had sworn off. However, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) announced Monday that the odds no longer justify even a small program. The announcement came just as Eugene Mallove, the editor of Infinite Energy Magazine, was writing to reporters to berate them for failing to cover the good news about cold fusion. What good news, you ask? Why, the discovery that cold fusion also neutralizes radioactivity (WN 13 Jun 97). I proudly note that WN cannot be faulted for ignoring this story (WN 1 Aug 97).

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 8 August 1997 Washington, DC

3. FREE ENERGY: "OVER UNITY" DEVICES GENERATE FREE PARANOIA.
Among the 80 or so sessions at the 32nd Energy Conversion Engineering Conference in Honolulu last week, four were devoted to "Innovative Concepts," which turned out to be a euphemism for violations of the first law of thermodynamics, e.g. free energy from space quanta manipulation, Patterson cells (cold fusion), high-density charge clusters, etc. Does this look like a really hot field or what? Alas, there was less than meets the eye. All four sessions were organized and chaired by Patrick Bailey, an engineer at Lockheed-Martin, who gave his affiliation as the Institute for New Energy. Bailey also gave most of the talks. The talks were content free, but there were important questions raised like, "Is there an attempt by the government to suppress free energy devices?" and "Why is project HAARP planning to modulate the aurora at frequencies similar to brain waves?"

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 August 1997 Washington, DC

4. COLD FUSION: SOMETIMES THE MESSENGER SHOULD BE SHOT.
In a grossly irresponsible report in June (WN 13 Jun 97), ABC'S Good Morning America science editor Michael Guillen showed a device "neutralizing radioactivity." According to Guillen, "the Patterson cell" has mainstream scientific support. To prove his point, he said a paper on the device had been "well received" at a recent meeting of the American Nuclear Society. One good turn deserves another; yesterday, at a meeting cosponsored by the ANS, a tape of the ABC story was replayed to prove the Patterson cell has mainstream scientific support.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 13 June 1997 Washington, DC

3. COLD FUSION: IT'S BACK! AND NOW IT NEUTRALIZES RADIOACTIVITY.
It was a stern test of my dedication. I had been assured that, because of its importance, the story would be in the first hour of "Good Morning America" on ABC. Alas, it was bumped by a story about the Loch Ness monster popping up in a lake in Turkey, so I sat through nearly two hours of cheerful goo to get to the big payoff: James Patterson was back with his cold fusion cell (WN 9 Feb 96). Well, nobody says "cold fusion" anymore; now it's "low-energy nuclear reactions,"and it doesn't just produce heat these days, it "neutralizes" radioactivity. Just crank it up and watch the Geiger counter reading drop. ABC science editor Michael Guillen says this is "attracting big-name scientists like Norm Olson." I located Dr. Olson at Battelle Pacific Northwest Labs. He cleared up a lot of my confusion; you see, the Patterson cell allows hydrogen or deuterium to fuse with radioactive nuclei, transmuting them to stable isotopes. Pretty neat, huh? He's very optimistic about its potential for eliminating nuclear waste. So goodbye Yucca Mountain. Michael Guillen, who is a physicist, did not return my calls. I'm not upset, he must be very busy.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 9 May 1997 Washington, DC

3. HYDRINOS: HONEY, I SHRUNK THE HYDROGEN.
Well, he's back! Randy Mills, MD Harvard '86, burst upon the scientific world six years ago when he discovered a simple way to get hydrogen atoms into a state below the ground state. The result is teensy little hydrogen atoms he calls "hydrinos" and a big wad of energy. It was a crushing blow to physicists, who imagined they understood the hydrogen atom. Mills' company, HydroCatalysis Power, sold a couple of his devices (which look a lot like cold fusion cells) to NASA Lewis, where they vanished. HydroCatalysis has since reemerged as BlackLight Power, and sources tell WN that several utilities are ready to put money in it. Hmmm, it may be time to look back and see if we got the harmonic oscillator right.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 28 February 1997 Washington, DC

3. SCIENCE UPDATE: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED LATELY?
Lets see, first we found that the Mars fossils probably aren't (WN 27 Dec 96). Now a Canadian astronomer, David Gray, claims that some of those planets orbiting other suns aren't either. A group at DESY in Hamburg thinks they may have found a new particle they're calling a "leptoquark." This happens from time to time, but they usually go away. Back in December, Reuters carried a wire story about a room-temperature superconductor discovered at the National Institute for Applied Science in Lyon, France. The material is a LiBe hydride, which has a long chapter in superconductivity lore. Alas, promised details have not been released. While praising the cuisine in Lyon, one superconductivity expert told WN this is too much to cook up. Oh yes! Clean Energy Technologies Inc. is offering the Patterson Power Cell research kit for $3,750. It also transmutes elements at no extra cost. Patterson demonstrated his device on ABC News a year ago(WN 9 Feb 96), claiming it put out 200 watts for every one watt in. How did it work? He said he had no idea. He carefully avoided the term "cold fusion."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 5 April 1996 Washington, DC

4. COLD FUSION: ITALIAN COURT FINDS FRAUD CHARGE IS REASONABLE.
When the Italian newspaper La Republicca called Fleischmann, Pons and three Italian researchers "scientific frauds," and compared them to "fornicating priests," they sued La Republicca and its science editor for $5M (WN 28 May 93). La Republicca asked CERN physicist Douglas Morrison to be their scientific advisor. Last week, Morrison's view prevailed; in a 14-page decision the court rejected the complaint and ordered the five to pay the paper's legal expenses. The court cited such standard examples as the gamma ray peak that moved when F&P were told it was at the wrong energy. But in the unkindest cut of all, the court noted that nothing has happened (Fleischmann still brews his tea on a hot plate), and concluded that F&P are "separated from reality."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 8 March 1996 Washington, DC

4. TELEPATHY SURE, BUT DOES SONY KNOW HOW TO TELEPORT GOULASH?
Sony's previously hush-hush "Institute of Wisdom" is also working on spoon-bending, but it's in the body's "qi," or "energy field," that the Japanese giant sees the greatest commercial promise. Much of traditional oriental medicine is based on getting your qi balanced. According to a story in the London Independent, Sony decided to go public with its paranormal research after the nerve gas attack by the Aum Shinri Kyo cult aroused public suspicion of secret research. In the US, qi research is supported by the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, but with Toyota supporting Pons and Fleischmann, concern mounts over a pathological science gap.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 9 February 1996 Washington, DC

3. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: READY FOR A REMAKE OF PONS & FLEISCHMANN?
An ABC News story this week followed a familiar script: credulous reporter interviews smiling man in white smock, who explains that when he coats tiny beads with copper, nickel and palladium, puts them in salt water, and then runs a current through the mess, he gets 100 times more energy out than he puts in. Reporter touches cell and exclaims, "It's warm!" How does it work? Inventor says he has no idea. Reporter puts on his serious face and looks into the camera: "There have been dozens of claims of ideal energy sources, but this device is different. It has attracted serious interest from major companies and been verified by scientists at prestigious universities." Now insert a seven-second sound bite from a skeptic for "balance," and then one final shot of the inventor, James Patterson, writing science stuff on a blackboard.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 28 April 1995 Washington, DC

4. A FEW COLD FUSION DIE-HARDS GATHER IN ANAHEIM AND MONTE CARLO.
The only story was the contrast in ambiance. A luxury hotel in Monte Carlo, near Fleischmann and Pons' luxury lab, was the venue for the 5th International Cold Fusion Conference; the wine bill was picked up by an unnamed benefactor. A week earlier, at the American Chemical Society meeting in Anaheim, cold fusion was relegated to a poster session in a hotel parking garage; only five presenters actually showed up. Rumors of sensational new results at Texas A&M and in Italy failed to materialize. The Electric Power Research Institute, until now the major patron of cold fusion research in the U.S., reportedly has called it quits.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 7 April 1995 Washington, DC

3. GARY TAUBES WILL RECEIVE THE 1995 AIP SCIENCE WRITING AWARD
for his article in Discover Magazine, "Welcome to Femtoland." The award is for a journalist writing about physics and astronomy for the general public. Sally Ride and Tam O'Shaughnessy will receive the AIP award for writing for children for their book, "The Third Planet." Taubes is best known to physicists for his unflattering look at Carlo Rubbia in "Nobel Dreams" and his scathing account, "Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion."

4. HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: ANNOUNCING "INFINITE ENERGY MAGAZINE"!
One year ago we noted the premier issue of "Cold Fusion Magazine" edited by Eugene Malove (WN 29 Apr 94); it lasted two issues. Now it's spring again and Mallove has brought forth a new blossom.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 17 February 1995 Washington, DC

5. OTA REPORT ON THE FUSION ENERGY PROGRAM SHAPES HOUSE DEBATE!
A background paper on the Tokamak Physics Experiment (TPX) and alternate concepts was released at a House hearing. According to OTA: "The fusion energy program focused on the tokamak primarily for budgetary rather than technical reasons. This narrowing is widely perceived to have been premature and did not reflect the benefits of pursuing alternative concepts." No one brought up cold fusion or mining the Moon for helium-3, but the Energy Subcommittee chairman, Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), did ask about sonoluminescence. The TPX is awaiting congressional approval.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 17 June 1994 Washington, DC

1. ENERGY & WATER APPROPRIATIONS BILL PASSES THE HOUSE UNSCATHED!
There were only two challenges to the Committee's recommendations (WN 3 Jun 94): Leslie Byrne (D-VA) sought an amendment to remove the $12M the Committee added for the gas cooled reactor, and Dick Swett (D-NJ) tried to stop construction of the Tokamak Physics Experiment $67M). Swett, an early cold fusion enthusiast, said he was not opposed to fusion research, only to tokamaks! Both amendments were easily defeated. George Brown contented himself with listing academic pork projects totaling $20M, well below past years, but more may be added in conference with the Senate.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 29 April 1994 Washington, DC

3. SUDOPLATOV'S "MEMOIRS" ARE "THE COLD FUSION OF THE COLD WAR,"
according to Stanley Goldberg, a physicist who is writing a biography of Leslie Groves, the military head of the Manhattan Project. At a press conference on Tuesday, APS Past-President Don Langenberg, read a Council statement deploring unsubstantiated claims of a Stalin era "spymaster" that some of the most eminent physicists of this century passed bomb secrets to Russian agents (WN 22 Apr 94). The book was savaged by a panel of scientists and historians. Norman Ramsey, who helped to develop the bomb, remarked that if such errors were found in an article of his he would withdraw it at once. Bill Lanouette, biographer of Leo Szilard, characterized "Special Tasks" as "check-book history."

4. COMPETITION IS EXPECTED TO BE KEEN FOR "THE FLYING PIG AWARD."
The Clinton Administration is against all things nuclear, so NASA has asked the Lewis Research Center to find a non-nuclear energy source to replace radioisotope generators on deep space probes, such as the mission to Pluto. The solution? NASA Lewis is trying a couple of electrochemical cells from Hydrocatalysis Power Corp. It works like cold fusion, but Randy Mills of HPC explains that the energy comes from hydrogen atoms dropping into a state below the ground state! Meanwhile, MIT's "Technology Review" hit the stands with a cover story by Los Alamos chemist Ed Storms: "Cold Fusion Heats Up." Reports of cold fusion, he says, are pouring in from around the world. In the premier issue of "Cold Fusion" magazine, Storms predicts true believers will profit when the world discovers the truth. To thank the skeptics, he proposes an award for the best job of scoffing at cold fusion; the name comes from a scoff by physicist Steve Koonin: "Pigs don't have wings."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 18 February 1994 Washington, DC

3. ALTERNATIVE SCIENCE UPDATE: COAST GUARD SAILS INTO THE NEW AGE
The Strategic Planning Staff of the U.S. Coast Guard figured they could do a better job of planning if they knew where the world is headed, so they hired the Arlington Institute to tell them. The result was "The Road to 2012," 348 pages of clairvoyance. It is very informative. One learns, for example, that we will be able to tap the zero point energy in the vacuum. The technology for this is, the report says, "revolutionary," but, alas, it is protected by international patents. "Cold fusion," the report says, may simply be a manifestation of zero point energy. It gets even more exciting: "Dozens of studies have shown that the prayers and meditations of widely separated individuals correlate with significant improvement of the health and well-being of others." (Presumably it also works if they are close together.) "The well known phenomenon of dowsing may be a spontaneous twitch of muscle as one is moving over a geological gradient due to variations in extremely low intensity geophysical fields." Or how about this: "Herpes has been linked to loneliness." Now that's revolutionary; everyone else recommends being alone as a sure-fire preventive. "Remote perception, or the ability to ascertain information non-locally, has been demonstrated....Mind interacting with matter transcends the limitations of ordinary space-time." To perceive what this report cost, we were able to transcend the space-time limitations of the U.S. Coast Guard bureaucracy using non-local means (the telephone). The cost to the taxpayers was $100,000.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 3 December 1993 Washington, DC

3. IT'S TIME TO CATCH UP ON THE NEWS FROM "ALTERNATIVE" SCIENCES.
A year ago(WN 4 Sep 92), we told you about string theorist John Hagelin's candidacy for President on the Natural Law ticket. His bid fell a tad short, but in the recent Canadian elections, the NLP won just two fewer seats than the incumbent Progressive Conservative Party--which won two seats. A pity, the NLP had hoped to unleash its super-string unified-field Lagrangian on Canada's problems. It was three years ago (WN 15 Jun 90) that we reported the strange events in the cold fusion laboratory of John Bockris at Texas A&M. Bockris doesn't seem to find tritium anymore, but things have gotten stranger. Now he mixes a dab of this and that with saltpeter, ignites the mixture, and POOF! Gold! Just last month (WN 5 Nov 93), we reviewed "The Great Power-Line Cover-up." Now it appears that Finland has joined the cover-up! The Finns, it seems, are obsessive about keeping records, making it possible to calculate the exposure levels of children living near power-lines amounting to one-million person years! In the whole cohort of 134,800 children there were 140 cancers, 5 less than expected. The only increased risk was for nervous system tumors among boys, but even that was attributed to one boy who had three tumors.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 28 May 1993 Washington, DC

4. DO YOU EVER MISS FLEISCHMANN AND PONS? WELL, THEY'RE BACK!
They still can't seem to get the hang of calorimetry, and the editor of Physics Letters A would not allow them to use the word "fusion," but they continue to claim that "explanations in terms of chemical changes must be excluded." That much is probably true--which leaves error and fraud. A good case can be made for both. They are still trying to use an open system, which they justify with a solemn warning about "possible consequences" in closed systems. This is powerful stuff! Meanwhile, an Italian newspaper referred to F&P as "scientific frauds," which it compares to "fornicating priests." They are suing the paper.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 26 March 1993 Washington, DC

1. SENATOR MOYNIHAN (D-NY) SAVES B-FACTORY FROM THE PORK BARREL!
When high-energy physicists first began whooping it up for a B factory, it was given lower odds than cold fusion. Nobody argues CP violation isn't important, but new accelerators are a tough sell when a supercollider is being built. DOE and NSF politely reviewed B factory proposals from Cornell and SLAC and said "no," and if they changed their minds, there would have to be a review to choose between proposals. So it was a shock when an earmark for a B factory at SLAC showed up in George Bush's "baseline budget" (WN 8 Jan 93) . This week, Sen. Moynihan (D-NY) persuaded OMB to remove the earmark, thus preserving the virtue of physics.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 5 February 1993 Washington, DC

4. STEVEN WEINBERG AND LEON LEDERMAN STEP ON EACH OTHER TOES
with new books! Whether by accident or design, Weinberg's "Dreams of a Final Theory" and Lederman's "The God Particle" were released within days of each other. Both dream of a "theory of everything" (TOE), or as Lederman puts it, "the laws of physics reduced to a formula so simple and elegant that it will fit easily on the front of a T-shirt." Both begin with Democritus and end up in Waxahachie with the search for the Higgs boson. Both justify the SSC on the grounds that to stop now, with the TOE in sight, would be unthinkable. Both concede that physicists could still find rewarding work after the TOE is in place by tackling complexity. Lederman's sappy title notwithstanding, neither author has any patience with psychokinesis, creationism, cold fusion, Eastern mysticism or New Age wackos. What's different? They both begin each chapter with a selection from "Barlett's"; but Weinberg's taste runs to John Donne, while Lederman prefers Jay Leno.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 13 November 1992 Washington, DC

4. IS COLD FUSION PRACTICAL? IT IS IF YOU OWNED STOCK IN NTT
prior to the Third International Cold Fusion Conference in Nagoya on 21 Sept. Two scientists from Nippon Telephone and Telegraph held a press conference to announce that they had detected excess heat and helium in a reproducible cold fusion experiment. NTT stock rose 11% on the news. NTT is one of the biggest stock capitalization companies in the world. The paper profits after the cold fusion announcement were nearly $8 billion.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 23 October 1992 Washington, DC

3. OH NO! CANCER FROM POWER LINE FIELDS AND COLD FUSION ARE BACK?
What a week for science! Researchers in four laboratories report that cold fusion experiments work as well with ordinary water as with heavy water. (That I can believe!) At the third annual cold fusion seance in Nagoya this week, Hideo Ikegami concluded that the excess heat he measures cannot be coming from fusion. Where does it come from? From hydrogen atoms dropping into states below the ground state, explains Randy Mills, of Hydrocatalysis Power Corp. His explanation dealt a crushing blow to physicists, who thought the hydrogen atom was the one system they understood. In Stockholm, a new study confirms an increased risk of leukemia for children living near powerlines. On the positive side, the study found that powerlines have suddenly stopped causing brain tumors.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 14 August 1992 Washington, DC

3. THE "NUCLEON CLUSTER MODEL" EXPLAINS COLD FUSION REACTIONS!
You probably thought cold fusion already had been explained by "hydrons," a sort of pre-shrunk hydrogen atom (WN 26 Apr 91). This week, however, Clustron Sciences Corporation in Vienna, VA, revealed an amazing discovery: it is the "concealed antimatter component of the proton" that produces the heat. The link between hydron theory and the nucleon cluster model is Eugene Mallove, a former science writer at MIT, who is Vice-president for Research of Clustron Sciences. A year ago, Mallove was peddling hydrons.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 20 March 1992 Washington, DC

1. THE ZERO-BUDGET B FACTORY: BOLD PROPOSAL OR DESPERATE GAMBLE?
When a group of high-energy physicists first began whooping it up for a B factory, it was given lower odds than cold fusion. The Supercollider had just been sold to Congress, and it's fair to say that no one had understated its importance. Politically, it was not the best time to bring up another accelerator. So, DOE and NSF politely reviewed B factory proposals from Cornell and SLAC and said "no." And yet, a B factory makes sense. It would cost 2% as much as the SSC and keep high-energy physicists busy studying CP violation while the SSC is under construction. Now, Burton Richter, the director of SLAC, proposes to convert PEP to a B factory with no new funding- --by cutting back on operations. It's a risky strategy; questions will be raised about the current programs. Some say it's a matter of survival for SLAC, which was trounced by CERN in the Z-zero event of the high-energy olympics.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 21 February 1992 Washington, DC

2. DOES THE SACKING OF TRULY SIGNAL THE POLITICIZATION OF NASA?
Stories circulating in Washington link Lowell Wood's name to the changes in NASA. You remember Wood. He brought us Excalibur, the fearsome Star Wars x-ray laser named for another mythical weapon; it never produced enough x rays to check luggage at the airport. He also dreamed up Brilliant Pebbles (one congressman calls them "loose marbles"). And then there was the inflatable Kevlar space craft, or "flying condom," that could be wadded up and shot into space for peanuts. Wood even conducted an exciting cold fusion experiment (it blew up!). He is the guy to see for quick, cheap solutions. Now Wood has the ear of Dan Quayle. According to Aviation Week, he is pushing a plan to reform the space program and transfer control of NASA to the White house. A lot of people think reform is overdue; this may not be what they had in mind.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 10 January 1992 Washington, DC

4. DID A LIVERMORE COLD FUSION ACCIDENT "DESTROY" A LAB? PSHAW!
A glass electrolysis cell did not explode at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, as WHAT'S NEW stated last week, it "burst," we are told by the LLNL Public Affairs Office. The shards were stopped harmlessly by the water bath in which it was submerged.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 15 November 1991 Washington, DC

3. COLD FUSION GROUPIES REACT TO NEWS WITH PETITION TO CONGRESS.
The good news in hot fusion prompted an "urgent appeal" to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee to hold hearings to assess the "enormous body of evidence" supporting cold fusion. The petition carried 132 signatures, ranging from a retired latin teacher to Nobel Laureate in Physics Julian Schwinger. They com-plain that funding for cold fusion dried up as a result of the "untenable conclusions" of the 1989 DOE Cold Fusion Panel.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 30 August 1991 Washington, DC

1. URI GELLER'S PSYCHIC POWER IS UNABLE TO BEND JAMES RANDI,
so the psychokinetic spoon bender has employed the quirky American judicial system to try to silence the great debunker. Geller is suing Randi for $15 million, claiming defamation. Truth may be a good defense against libel, but the "American rule" is that each side of a lawsuit must bear its own costs, no matter who wins. Even a successful defense is often costly and the mere threat of a lawsuit can stifle scientific opinion. Last year, Pons and Fleischmann sought to intimidate cold fusion critics into withholding contrary evidence by threatening legal action (WN 25 May 90). In the case of helium assays of their used cathodes, they apparently succeeded. Randi says he spent $150 thousand defeating two earlier Geller suits, and now he is broke. The Skeptics Legal Fund has been established to defend Randi.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 21 June 1991 Washington, DC

4. THE COLD FUSION INSTITUTE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH WILL CLOSE
its doors at the end of this month when its funding runs out.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 3 May 1991 Washington, DC

4. MIT FUSION FLAKE FLACKS NEW BOOK! TINY LITTLE HYDROGEN ATOMS,
called "hydrons," explain cold fusion, according to two Ann Arbor physicists who held a press conference in Boston last week (WN 26 Apr 91). Why was the press conference in Boston--and why was the MIT press office helping? The answer seems to be that an MIT science writer is promoting his new book, which contends that the evidence for cold fusion is persuasive. He predicts that in the history of science Pons and Fleischmann will be viewed as heroes.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 26 April 1991 Washington, DC

2. TINY HYDROGEN ATOMS INVOKED TO EXPLAIN "COLD FUSION" CLAIMS!
From the beginning, physicists marvelled at the robust health of Pons and Fleischmann. At the power levels they claimed from cold fusion cells, even the cockroaches in their lab should have been exterminated by radiation. The explanation, it was revealed in a press conference yesterday in Lancaster, PA, is that there wasn't much fusion going on to begin with. Big news, you are probably saying! So where did the heat come from? That's the surprising part; it comes from shrinking the hydrogen atoms! This is done by getting the atoms into a state BELOW the ground state. If the shrunken atoms are deuterons, of course, they may fuse from time to time, which explains why cold fusion results are erratic. This remarkable discovery was made by Randy Mills, MD Harvard Medical School, '86 and will be published by Fusion Technology in August.

3. INCREDIBLE COINCIDENCE: SIMULTANEOUS BOSTON PRESS CONFERENCE!
At the very instant that Mills was revealing his startling new findings in Lancaster, two well-known physicists, Fred Mayer and John Reitz, were in Boston announcing their new cold fusion theory, with the help of the MIT press office. Their paper, which will also be published by Fusion Technology, invokes--are you ready?--tiny hydrogen atoms! Except they call them "hydrons," and attribute them to "continuum bound state resonances." Mayer expects prototype power generating systems in about five years. Neither Mayer or Reitz are associated in any way with MIT. How then did the MIT press office get involved? Very good question.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 22 March 1991 Washington, DC

4. TOMORROW MARKS THE 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE COLD FUSION CLAIM
by Pons and Fleischmann. It is also the eighth anniversary of Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" speech. Coincidence, you say, but perhaps not! Pons and Fleischmann may have consulted Nancy Reagan's astrologer. A book on cold fusion by physicist Frank Close, to be published in May, reviews the case of the infamous gamma-ray spectrum that was altered to put the peak at the right energy, leading to the conclusion that fraud was committed in the days immediately following the announcement. It was in any case committed by 7 June, which is the first occasion on which Ponds and Fleischmann withheld results of a helium assay. That story will have to be told in another book. Nevertheless, cold fusion acolytes will celebrate the anniversary at a meeting in Italy.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 9 November 1990 Washington, DC

4. COLD FUSION UPDATE: DR. PONS CAME IN FROM THE COLD THIS WEEK.
The shy chemist showed up for a meeting with a scientific review panel on Wednesday. The outside review panel, consisting of two chemists, a metallurgist and a nuclear physicist, met with Pons for two hours behind closed doors. The following day Pons met with the Fusion Energy Advisory Panel at the state capital. A joke making the rounds at the Cold Fusion Institute asks: Why is it that neutrons, tritium and heat are never seen in the same experiment? Answer: No one could make that many mistakes.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 26 October 1990 Washington, DC

2. THE WHEREABOUTS OF STANLEY PONS IS THE LAST REMAINING MYSTERY
in the bizarre saga of cold fusion. The Fusion Advisory Board, which oversees Utah's $5M investment in cold fusion, was to review progress of the National Cold Fusion Laboratory yester- day. Alas, the increasingly reclusive superstar was nowhere to be found. News reports say his phone has been disconnected and his house is up for sale. A colleague is teaching his classes.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 31 August 1990 Washington, DC

3. IS MAGNETIC FUSION ON THE THRESHOLD OF BREAK-EVEN?
The Wall Street Journal, which seems to have trouble with fusion, hot or cold, says "break even" may be announced before the international fusion conference in Washington in late October. In fact, TFTR (the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor at Princeton) is approaching "equivalent" break even, which means reaching conditions in a deuterium plasma that would be expected to give break-even in a deuterium-tritium mixture--if their extrapolation is correct. The energy difference is about 300, which is a lot of extrapolation. The recently-passed Senate Energy Appropriations Bill ordered the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory to conduct the D-T experiment at once, but the lab says they won't be ready before July 1993. Besides, once they do it, TFTR is finished. In any case, break- even is a long way from ignition; for that they need the CIT.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 24 August 1990 Washington, DC

3. COLD FUSION OFFERS AN ALTERNATIVE TO DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL
according to a letter from the Fusion Information Center in Salt Lake City to key members of Congress. According to the August 8 letter, DOE has been misled by advisors, "most if not all of whom are supported by DOE hot fusion funds." The letter cites work in Taiwan, Japan, Hawaii and Los Alamos as conclusive proof of the reality of cold fusion, and urges the Chairs of the Senate and House Energy Committees to schedule public hearings. Congress, however, seems content to leave this technology to the Japanese.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 8 June 1990 Washington, DC

3. UTAH PRESIDENT CHASE PETERSON IS GETTING IT FROM ALL SIDES.
Following disclosure that the source of an "anonymous donation" of $.5M to the University's National Cold Fusion Institute was the University of Utah itself (WN 1 Jun 90), the Academic Senate passed a resolution on Monday calling on the Board of Regents to examine whether "continuation in office of the current president is in the best interest of the University and the community it serves." In other action, the Fusion-Energy Advisory Panel that oversees the state's $5M investment in cold fusion, met yesterday and called for a financial and scientific audit of the program by Aug 20. No one at the University has ever had a look at Pons's data. If that wasn't enough, Peterson himself reportedly received one of the legal threats from Pon's lawyer (WN 25 May 90).

4. TRITIUM CONTAMINATION OF THE PALLADIUM USED IN CATHODES
has been identified as the source of some of the persistent "Elvis sightings" that have kept the spark of hope alive in the breasts of cold fusion loyalists. Kevin Wold, a Texas A&M physicist who has reported small amounts of tritium in cold fusion cells, has traced the origin to a single supplier of palladium. The same palladium was used at Los Alamos and in the Chemistry Department at A&M by John Bockris. The contaminated palladium does not explain the occasional large tritium bursts reported by Bockris, but the source of that tritium is expected to be revealed soon. Be patient, the long night of cold fusion is almost at an end.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 June 1990 Washington, DC

x. Record Missing
xxx

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 25 May 1990 Washington, DC

3. AT WHAT POINT DOES FOOLISH SCIENCE BECOME BLATANT MISCONDUCT?
Perhaps when a lawyer is hired to intimidate critics into withholding contradictory evidence. In an article in Nature on 29 Mar 90, ten scientists at the University of Utah who were allowed to monitor cold fusion cells in Pons' laboratory reported that over a five-week period last year they found no fusion emissions. Each coauthor has since received a demand from Pons' lawyer that the article be retracted or they will face legal action. And it gets uglier: the Salt Lake City Tribune reports that the lawyer has been paid more than $50,000 dollars by the University of Utah for legal work related to cold fusion ($68,000 to date). The stunned coauthors say they undertook the monitoring at the behest of the University. There are reports that scientists involved in assaying the Utah cathodes for helium and at least one journalist have also been threatened with legal action. This challenge to free academic inquiry raises serious questions about the resolve of University of Utah officials to police academic misconduct.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 4 May 1990 Washington, DC

3. DOES THE HELIUM ASSAY OF THE UTAH COLD-FUSION CATHODES SEEM TO BE TAKING A LONG TIME?
By now, dozens of used palladium cathodes from other laboratories have been analyzed without finding any He above background; that includes cathodes from Stanford that were said to have produced substantial excess heat. Eleven months ago, Pons got the first helium assay from Johnson-Matthey (WN 8 Jun 90), but declined to make it public on the grounds that it had not been peer reviewed. In September, Pons agreed to a double- blind round-robin assay conducted by six qualified laboratories. The assays were done six months ago, but have been withheld amid rumors that the double-blind protocol was violated. Would the He assay settle the question? Be serious. Fleischmann is said to feel they were too hasty in labeling the effect "fusion" anyway; the excess heat, he says, must result instead from Pd fission!

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 20 April 1990 Washington, DC

4. THOSE WHO DOUBT THE VALUE OF COLD FUSION ARE NOT LAWYERS.
Mike Salamon, whose paper in Nature described a negative search for fusion emissions from Pon's cells (WN 30 Mar 90), has reportedly gotten a letter from Pon's lawyer demanding he retract his paper. According to Pons, Salamon left out positive data. In fact, it is Pons who has yet to reveal the helium content of his cathodes.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 13 April 1990 Washington, DC

1. PORK-BARREL REGS TARGET ACADEMIC LOBBYISTS--BUT HIT BYSTANDERS
as well. Back in August (WN 11 Aug 89), Sen. Byrd (D-WV) scuttled an $18M science project at the University of West Virginia after the University hired Cassidy Associates to represent it. He also put through an amendment to curb the growing practice of earmarking science funds for specific university projects, which threatened to undermine the peer review process. The amendment bars recipients from paying lobbyists out of federal grants and requires disclosure of lobbyists' names. Cassidy, who specialized in getting big projects for second-rate schools that stand little chance in open competition (his clients include the University of Utah in its bid for a $25M Federal cold-fusion center), has found the pork to be pretty lean lately and has reportedly shifted his emphasis to other kinds of clients. According to the Wall Street Journal, earmarks this year are down to $37.5M from $128M two years ago. In December, the Office of Management and Budget published interim guidance to implement the Byrd Amendment. Final rules, now being prepared agency-by-agency, follow the OMB model. Some university groups are concerned the new rules will inhibit contacts between researchers and their agency counterparts. A visit to an agency to report progress on a grant, during which the subject of renewal comes up, could violate the law if Federal funds were used for the trip.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 30 March 1990 Washington, DC

2. ET TU BRUTUS? OTHER UTAH SCIENTISTS DETECTED NO FUSION ACTIVITY
in Pons' cells over a five-week period following his initial press conference. The celebration in Salt Lake City this week of one year of cold fusion was dampened when a new report by other Utah scientists came out in Nature. They had been allowed to monitor Pons' own cells. No fusion emissions were detected. But Pons complains that the cells they studied weren't quite up to par during that period. The cells did work for a few hours, he said, during which time the computer operating the detectors was off, but stopped when the computer came back on. Darn! Missed it again!

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 23 March 1990 Washington, DC

1. SALT LAKE CITY SEANCE CELEBRATES FIRST COLD FUSION ANNIVERSARY!
It was one year ago today that Pons and Fleischmann astounded the scientific world by announcing that they had achieved deuterium fusion in a palladium lattice during electrolysis of heavy water. Cold fusion died barely two months later, when a helium assay of their palladium cathode found zip--a result they have declined to make public. Next week, however, more than 30 true believers will assemble behind closed doors for the "First Annual Conference on Cold Fusion," sponsored by the National Cold Fusion Institute. Although non-believers and the press will be barred from technical sessions, any manifestations will be reported at press briefings.

2. DOE PLANS TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR COLD FUSION TO $2M NEXT YEAR,
according to a story in Nature this week. That is about twice what they are spending on the non-phenomenon this year. The Director of the Division of Advanced Energy Projects, Ryszard Gajewski, says the funds will go to cooperative research between those who have seen effects and those who have not. The Cold Fusion Panel in its report was "sympathetic toward modest support for carefully focused and cooperative experiments within the present funding system."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 9 February 1990 Washington, DC

4. GYROSCOPE CLAIMS OF JAPANESE RESEARCHERS WERE TAKEN LIGHTLY
by most scientists (WN 5 Jan 90). A recent report in Physical Review Letters that counterclockwise rotating gyroscopes exhibit weight loss generated considerable popular interest, but few physicists rushed to repeat the experiment. Perhaps it was too soon after cold fusion. A forthcoming issue of PRL, however, will carry a report by a group in Boulder, CO, at the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, that repeated the experiment--and got a null result. It's a relief. If hundreds tried the experiment, as with cold fusion, a few would inevitably find screwy results and somebody would be calling for an Antigravity Institute.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 2 February 1990 Washington, DC

1. THE PRESIDENT'S FY 91 BUDGET WOULD INCREASE BASIC RESEARCH 8%
above the level enacted for FY 90. And for the first time in a decade, civilian R&D would grow faster than military R&D. The new budget emphasizes science and math education, global change research, and manned exploration to the Moon and Mars. Portions of the request, such as a $1B increase for SDI, are throwaways. Congress is almost certain to cut SDI again. Some highlights:

o NSF Director Erich Bloch still talks about doubling the budget, but not in five years. Ignoring inflation and taking 1987 as the base, NSF now projects doubling in 1993. The request for FY 91 is $2.38B, up 14%, the same as last year, but Congress cut that in half and may again. The budget would double spending for global change studies. Education rises 30% (education for undergraduate engineers is called "engineering infrastructure development"). A dozen new Science and Technology Centers are included in FY 91; they were scrapped in FY 90. The smallest increase is 5% for the Physics Division. Last week Rep. Wayne Owens (D-UT) told the House, "The National Science Foundation is now eager to support further research [into cold fusion]," but when Irwin Goodwin of Physics Today asked Erich Bloch how much, he replied "nothing."

o DOE has lumped basic research into something called "Fortifying Foundations." Secretary Watkins apparently accepted the $1.3B overrun on the SSC (WN 12 Jan 90), but Allan Bromley warned that, if the price of "the activity in Texas" keeps rising, Congress may find it impossible to continue. The $318M requested for the SSC in FY 91 is behind schedule--even at the old price. But SSC planners, making a virtue of necessity, say redesign will slow FY 91 spending anyway. Elsewhere in DOE, the request for High Energy Physics is up 7%, while Nuclear Physics and Basic Energy Sciences are both up 14%. Magnetic Fusion is up less than 2%; the Compact Ignition Tokamak has been put on hold indefinitely at just $17M.

o NASA is the big winner. The $2.45B increase requested for the manned space station alone is larger than the entire NSF budget. In a packed House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing on Tuesday, however, our international partners complained that NASA's "rephasing" of the space station was really a "descoping" (yes, the hearings were in English). Another $1.3B would be used to prepare for a manned mission to the Moon and Mars, and $1B for the Earth Observing System. Space science was barely mentioned.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 15 December 1989 Washington, DC

3. ANOTHER "COLD FUSION SIGHTING" IS BEING HAILED AS VERIFICATION
by Pons. Scientists at Oak Ridge reported a slight heat excess in heavy water electrolysis, correlated with neutrons counts above background. But there are far too few neutrons to explain the heat by fusion. Two other groups at Oak Ridge found no anomalies.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 1 December 1989 Washington, DC

4. JAPAN TAKES THE LEAD IN COLD FUSION RESEARCH.
Researchers at both Nagoya University and Osaka University report large neutron bursts coming from cold fusion experiments. The head of Japan's national cold fusion research effort, Hideo Ikegami of Nagoya, attributed the Japanese success in cold fusion to the fact that they are more interested in observing the effect, while Americans are more interested in denying it. That will do it every time.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 17 November 1989 Washington, DC

1. LIGHTWEIGHT UNIVERSITIES HIRE HEAVYWEIGHT LOBBYIST--BUT LOSE
anyway! House conferees insisted on earmarking $61M of the FY 90 Defense Appropriation Bill for non-competitive grants to seven universities, in spite of evidence that Congress is fed up with the practice. Four of the schools, Lehigh, Scranton, Loyola and Medical College of Ohio, had hired Cassidy and Associates--the Washington lobbying firm that specializes in pork-barrel funding of university research projects that stand little chance in a review based on merit. Cassidy has been less successful lately. The University of Utah hired them in its unsuccessful effort to get $25M in federal funds for cold fusion (WN 28 Apr 89). Sen. Byrd (D-WV) became so incensed at the manuvering of Cassidy that he scuttled a project in his own state (WN 11 Aug 89). This week, both houses rebelled and struck the earmarks from the Defense Bill. It was a stinging defeat. But Cassidy, who charges clients $10,000 per month, will now try to insert the projects elsewhere.

5. THE NSF/EPRI COLD FUSION MEETING WAS DEFENDED BY JOHN WHITE,
the head of the Engineering Directorate at NSF, in a letter to APS president Krumhansl (WN 3 Nov 89). The fifty participants, he says, were selected from 200 applicants. (Yet, of the fifty chosen, only one had reported negative experimental results.) "A special effort," he writes, "was made to include skeptical, but unconvinced physicists such as Dr. Teller." Teller, of course, was one of the first to endorse the Utah claim. Although White acknowledges that participants were asked not to talk to the press, he claims the purpose was to encourage open discussion.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 3 November 1989 Washington, DC

1. THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD HAS BEEN ASKED BY APS TO EXAMINE
the circumstances surrounding NSF involvement in a closed meeting on cold fusion (WN 20 Oct 89). In a letter to NSB chair Mary Good, APS president James Krumhansl requested that the Board's findings be made available before the 12 Nov 89 meeting of the APS Council. The APS has consistently affirmed its support for the unfettered communication of scientific information. Pons and Fleischmann, however, have refused to make public the helium content of their used cathodes, including results from several laboratories of a recent round-robin assay, which proponents of cold fusion describe as "inconclusive." Translation: no helium was found above background. You might think that would settle things at last. Not quite. Pons had wiped the palladium rod with a cloth before it was cut into pieces. At the NSF/EPRI meeting there was speculation that cold fusion may occur only in surface dendrites--which might have been removed by the wiping. While the world is waiting breathlessly to learn all this, estimates of the total expenditure on cold fusion research start at $50M.

2 . THE DOE COLD FUSION PANEL'S FINAL REPORT WILL BE MORE NEGATIVE
than the interim report it issued in July (WN 14 Jul 89). The interim report held out the hope that interesting physics might be found in the very low levels of fusion products reported by Steven Jones, but in a joint report to the panel this week, Jones and Moshe Gai of Yale agreed that no indications of fusion were found in a collaborative experiment conducted in August. The DOE panel met this week in open session to discuss its final report, which is due on 15 Nov 89. The panel was clearly annoyed that the organizers of the closed NSF/EPRI meeting plan to issue their own report at about the same time, an obvious end run. One of the co-chairs of the NSF/EPRI meeting, Paul Chu was in Washington to testify on superconductivity. He declined to meet with the Cold Fusion Panel, however, citing conflict of interest.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 27 October 1989 Washington, DC

2 . COLD FUSION HAD ITS TURN LAST WEEK--BUT THE PRESS WASN'T THERE
to report what happened (WN 20 Oct 89). Attendance at the meeting, which was sponsored by the NSF and the Electric Power Research Institute, was by invitation only. The fifty scientists who were allowed to attend agreed not to disclose what they learned to the press. Nevertheless, at an NSF press conference after the meeting, the organizers claimed that recent research findings justify additional funding of cold fusion research. Some of the participants disagree and feel that the press conference violated the gag agreement. The whole thing appears to have violated NSF policy. In April, NSF Director Erich Bloch issued an "Important Notice" to heads of NSF grantee institutions which states, "The NSF advocates and encourages open scientific communication." There are circumstances under which the NSF properly meets behind closed doors to protect the privacy of research proposals, but that does not seem to be the case here.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 20 October 1989 Washington, DC

1. "ANOMALOUS EFFECTS IN DEUTERATED MATERIALS," OR "COLD FUSION,"
as it used to be called, was the subject of a three-day closed meeting in Washington this week. The meeting, co-sponsored by the NSF Directorate of Engineering and the Electric Power Research Institute, was described by an NSF organizer as a "research planning session." It was an apparent attempt to counteract the final report of the DOE's Cold Fusion Panel, due on 15 Nov, which is expected to recommend against any substantial new funding. A heavy majority of the 50 scientists invited to attend were drawn from the ranks of those who have claimed anomalous results of some sort, including Stanley Pons. They were all sworn to secrecy about what transpired, something Pons is clearly expert at. In particular, Pons got agreement to withhold the results of a new helium analysis of the Utah cathodes by Rockwell International. But who needs helium? A hitherto unknown nuclear process is now being invoked to explain the "anomalous effects." In fact, Edward Teller proposed that it might be "an as yet undiscovered neutral particle," acting as a catalyst to transfer neutrons. An official press release issued after the conference contained nothing of substance, but ended with the usual appeal for funds: "...further research is definitely desirable to improve the reproducibility of the effects and to unravel the mystery of the observations."

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 13 October 1989 Washington, DC

3. THE NAS COMMITTEE ON THE CONDUCT OF SCIENCE
today released a stunning booklet, "On Being a Scientist," primarily for students who are beginning to do scientific research. The committee was chaired by biologist Francisco Ayala, who produced the wonderful NAS booklet on Creationism five years ago. The new booklet is particularly relevant in light of the claims of "cold fusion." The helium assay of the Utah cathodes has never been released.

4. THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY REVISITS "COLD FUSION" NEXT WEEK
at its meeting in Hollywood, FL. This time, the society did not restrict papers to "confirmations" of cold fusion (WN 5 May 89); the 26 scheduled papers are almost all negative. Fleischmann and Pons were invited but said "no" when the society declined to pay their regular speaking fee. Meanwhile, reports of aliens landing in the Soviet Union were scoffed at by flying saucer experts in Britain and the United States. They pointed out that the aliens were described as twelve feet tall with small heads, whereas it is well known that they are only four feet tall with large heads.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 6 October 1989 Washington, DC

3. THE "NATIONAL COLD FUSION INSTITUTE" HAS FOUND NO COLD FUSION
according to a story in the Washington Post. Hugo Rossi, director of the University of Utah facility, acknowledged that experiments done recently have shown no sign of fusion. The NCFI was created with $4.3M in state funds remaining after lawyers and promotional expenses were paid out of the $5M total. "We have a conference coming up here next February," Rossi said, "if we don't have any papers to present, then this place will be closing up shop." And return the unspent funds? I think they will present some papers.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 15 September 1989 Washington, DC

3. FUSION HAS LOST NONE OF ITS FACINATION FOR THE PRESS.
Cold fusion is now confined to the University of Utah's Chemistry Department (physicists at the University report they find no evidence of fusion), and magnetic fusion seems to be receding ever further into the future. But a report this week in Physical Review Letters of "cluster-impact fusion" at Brookhaven still got 20 column inches in the New York Times. The experiment consists of 300 keV singly-ionized droplets of heavy water impacting on a TiD target. Individual deuterons accelerated to that energy would produce some fusion, but the energy per nucleon in the cluster is only a few eV. Fusion is attributed to compressions and high energy densities resulting from collision spikes, but the details are not understood and no one is predicting "break even"--yet.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 18 August 1989 Washington, DC

1. PATHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, PSEUDO-SCIENCE AND "CREATION" SCIENCE:
Rep. Wayne Owens (R-UT), whose district includes the U. of Utah, recently sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to fellow members of Congress, urging them to keep an open mind on cold fusion, in spite of the negative report of the DOE Cold Fusion Panel (WN 14 Jul 89). James Brophy, Vice President for Research at Utah, is still optimistic that Congress will eventually supply the $25M the University requested to develop cold fusion, but Pons and Fleischmann have yet to reveal the He content of their cathodes.

Joe Newman, the back-woods inventor of the "energy machine," announced he will take his case to the Supreme Court, following a defeat in Federal Appeals Court. Newman is attempting to force the Patent and Trademark Office to issue a patent for his energy machine, which he claims produces more energy than it uses. "Put one in your home," he once declared, "and you will never have to pay another electric bill." At last report, however, his own home in Lucedale, Miss. was still connected to local power lines.

The "creationism" battle has moved from Texas to California. Christian fundamentalists are seeking to block adoption of new science textbook guidelines that exclude biblical accounts of evolution. The California Board of Education will vote on the new guidelines this fall. Texas guidelines were amended in March to require inclusion of "other valid scientific theories" along with evolution. Since their guidelines are set statewide rather than by local districts, the two states, which make up about 20% of the market, have a disproportionate influence on publishers.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 11 August 1989 Washington, DC

4. AN $18M PORK-BARREL PROJECT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST VIRGINIA
was apparently scuttled when West Virginia's own Senator, Robert Byrd, withdrew his support. The powerful Appropriations Committee Chairman reacted angrily to the discovery that the University had hired Cassidy Associates, the lobbying firm that invented post industrial pork, to promote the project in Congress. Byrd thought he was elected to do that. Pork-barrel projects at several other universities represented by Cassidy were also sunk by the wave Byrd generated. Byrd also introduced a bill to curb the influence of pork-barrel lobbyists, which was quickly passed by the Senate. It was a major setback for the high-flying Cassidy firm, whose university clients include the University of Utah, which has not given up on a request to Congress for a $25M cold fusion center.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 28 July 1989 Washington, DC

7. A UTAH ADVISORY PANEL VOTED TO RELEASE $4.5M FOR COLD FUSION.
Last Friday the nine member panel, which is alleged to include scientists, voted unanamously to release $4.5M in state funds to start a cold fusion research center at the University of Utah. The panel cited "a clear body of evidence that claims of excess heat by Pons and Fleischmann have been duplicated," and was said to have been reassured that safety concerns have been addressed. There is certainly no danger from neutrons, but rumors persist of scientists around the world laughing themselves to death.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 21 July 1989 Washington, DC

2 . COULDN'T THERE BE JUST A TEENSY BIT OF COLD FUSION?
While discounting any possible production of useful energy, the draft report of the DOE Cold Fusion Panel (WN 14 Jul 89) clings to the hope that interesting science might be found in reports of fusion at levels some 12 orders of magnitude lower. Alas, experiments conducted by Sandia scientists, using multiple neutron detectors in a deep underground laboratory, would seem to bury the Brigham Young reports of cold fusion right alongside the more extravagant claims of Pons and Fleischmann. By requiring events to register simultaneously on three detectors, detector artifacts were eliminated, including "neutron bursts," that have previously been interpreted as evidence of low levels of cold fusion. The tour de force by a 20-scientist collaboration covered all aspects of the cold fusion controversy, including helium analysis of used palladium cathodes supplied by several US labs--but not by Utah.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 14 July 1989 Washington, DC

4. THE CORPSE OF COLD FUSION FINALLY STOPPED TWITCHING THIS WEEK
when the DOE Cold Fusion Panel drafted its interim report. It took only four pages to establish that no persuasive evidence of cold fusion exists and that new efforts to find cold fusion are not justified. The panel carefully distinguished between reports of cold fusion at very low levels, which might justify modest support, and claims of cold fusion producing measurable excess energy, for which no substantial expenditure is recommended.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 7 July 1989 Washington, DC

3. COMPANIES ARE STILL PAYING FOR A PEEK AT COLD FUSION.
General Electric has signed a cooperative research agreement with the U. of Utah involving four GE scientists, one of whom will be located at the University. Johnson Matthey, the London firm that supplied the palladium cathodes, signed a letter of intent to negotiate an agreement. The University says 65 companies have paid for the right to review the patent applications. Perhaps they would also be willing to pay to see the results of the helium analysis!

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 23 June 1989 Washington, DC

4. IS COLD FUSION PRACTICAL? YES! UNLESS IT'S ENERGY YOU WANT.
People are making money right now. Patent lawyers and lobbyists for the University of Utah have been paid about $300,000. A cold fusion kit consisting of a test tube with electrodes and an Alka-Seltzer is on sale at $4.95, "regular price $5M." Just add heavy water. A company calling itself Princeton Fusion Reports, formed by three MBAs, is marketing a report entitled "Cold Fusion: An Objective Assessment" for $647. The advertisement announces, "We believe cold fusion is real." At least the money is real.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 16 June 1989 Washington, DC

4. LOS ALAMOS HAS BROKEN ITS ENGAGEMENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
after many weeks of stalling by the patent lawyers who run the University. An impending collaboration with Los Alamos to verify the cold fusion claims of Pons and Fleischmann was announced by Pons before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on 26 April, but the match was never consummated. The secret formula remains secure, along with the helium analysis (WN 9 Jun 89).

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 9 June 1989 Washington, DC

5. PONS DENIED THE DOE'S COLD FUSION PANEL ACCESS TO HIS LAB
last week (WN 2 Jun 89) until he got the OK from the University of Utah's lawyers. In a university run by lawyers, intellectual property is no doubt well protected, but it must be difficult to know whether it's worth protecting. The panel also intends to visit Texas A&M, Stanford, Brigham Young and Cal Tech. Other labs, including national labs, will simply be contacted by phone.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 2 June 1989 Washington, DC

1. FIVE MEMBERS OF THE COLD FUSION PANEL
of the Energy Research Advisory Board (WN 19 May 89) are in Salt Lake City today meeting with officials of the University of Utah. Among the issues that are certain to come up is the analysis of the helium content of used palladium cathodes. According to James Brophy, the Vice-President for Research, the analysis has not yet been received. However, a representative of Johnson-Matthey, the British company doing the analysis, is expected to visit the University next week with the full results. Johnson-Matthey supplied the palladium.

2 . THE EXPERTS ON HYDROGEN IN METALS WILL CONSIDER "COLD FUSION"
at the 1989 Metal Hydrides Gordon Conference on July 10 in Tilton, N.H.. The special half-day session has been added to the regular program to allow an audience of specialists in the field of metal hydrides to hear more about recent non-developments.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 26 May 1989 Washington, DC

4. WHERE'S THE HELIUM? AT THE COLD FUSION WORKSHOP IN SANTA FE
this week no one offered any evidence to support the claim of Pons and Fleischmann that the "excess energy" they measure is the result of deuterium fusion. Even the Texas A&M group, which sees "excess energy," drew a blank when they analyzed the palladium cathodes for helium. However, the increasingly reclusive Pons told the Associated Press that their work is "going fantastic." The critics, he said, "are going to have to eat a lot of crow." But crow was not on the menu in Santa Fe. Two Italian groups, Los Alamos, and Texas A&M, all reported neutrons at the Jones level. Even that was disputed by Moshe Gai of the Yale-Brookhaven team, who challenged the statistical significance of the neutron data, but agreed to make measurements on the Jones apparatus. In comparing these results to the Utah claim, the media did not seem to appreciate fully the significance of 13 orders of magnitude.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 19 May 1989 Washington, DC

3. THE COLD FUSION PANEL OF THE ENERGY RESEARCH ADVISORY BOARD
will be co-chaired by physicist Norman Ramsey and nuclear chemist John Huizenga. The distinguished 20-member committee was formed at the request of Energy Secretary Watkins (WN 28 Apr 89), who asked for a preliminary report on experimental and theoretical results by Aug 31. The final coroners report is due Nov 15.

4. A PALLADIUM CURTAIN HAS DESCENDED OVER THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH.
In spite of the $400 ticket price, a near-capacity crowd of 1500 is expected at the May 23-25 Workshop on Cold Fusion Phenomena in Santa Fe. Although the preliminary program gives Fleischmann and Pons top billing, the temperamental stars apparently decided to cancel their appearance. Plans to invite K.G. Lynn of BNL to give a colloquium at Utah were also cancelled when Pons objected. Lynn is coauthor of an invited paper at Santa Fe that reports no evidence of cold fusion. University lawyers are said to have been worried that Pons might feel pressured to reveal the secret formula. The Santa Fe non-confrontation will be broadcast live via satellite. For details on pickup call David Phillips, LANL, (505) 667-1233. The APS cold fusion sessions from the Baltimore meeting are now available on video tape. The tape costs only one-fourth as much as registration at Santa Fe, and also doesn't have Fleischmann and Pons. Call APS Cold Fusion (212) 682-7341.

5. THE OTHER KIND OF FUSION WAS BACK IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK
after the leak of a National Academy of Sciences report on magnetic confinement fusion. The report calls for accelerated construction of the $455M Compact Ignition Tokamak to produce a sustained reaction in the early 90's. It would be followed by construction of a prototype fusion power plant, the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor, around the end of the century. The report was completed in March, but the Academy had no desire to invite the inevitable comparisons of tokamaks and Rubbermaid dishpans during the peak of the cold fusion hysteria. In terms of energy gain, tokamaks and palladium cathodes are currently about even.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 12 May 1989 Washington, DC

1. THE WHITE HOUSE SEEMS IN NO HURRY TO HAVE BROMLEY CONFIRMED
as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (WN 28 Apr 89). Senate sources say they can not schedule hearings until a request comes from the White House. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News Bromley was characteristically candid. His primary goal is to restore American competitiveness by rebuilding the research base, which has been allowed to wither in recent years. He promised to fight hard for the SSC, but acknowledged that in view of the federal deficit the prospects are dim. He thought the prospects for cold fusion were a lot dimmer.

2 . MEANWHILE, WILLIAM GRAHAM IS STILL SERVING AS DIRECTOR OF OSTP
until Bromley is confirmed. In the midst of the controversy this week over the alteration of a NASA scientist's testimony on global warming by someone at OMB, Graham clarified the position of the Bush Administration: "We should have regulations be a consequence of what we understand and be determined by a knowledge of the consequences of regulating or not regulating."

3. PONS AND FLEISCHMANN SOUGHT TO HAVE THE PRESS EXCLUDED
from the Electrochemical Society's cold fusion session in Los Angeles on Monday. It was a curious turnaround for the two scientists, who used the press to trumpet their results six weeks earlier. A compromise was reached in which the press was allowed in, if they paid the $205 registration, but cameras and recorders were banned in an apparent effort to preserve deniability. Rent-a-cops were on hand to enforce the ban. Twelve reporters refused to pay the registration and were turned away.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 5 May 1989 Washington, DC

1. THE CORPSE OF COLD FUSION WILL PROBABLY CONTINUE TO TWITCH
for awhile, even after two nights of unrelenting assaults at the APS Baltimore Meeting. Perhaps the most devastating paper was by Cal Tech chemist Nathan Lewis. Scientists attempting to replicate the Pons-Fleishmann experiment reconstructed the Utah "fusion" cell from press photographs, calibrating by the width of Pon's wrist. It is at the same time amusing and outrageous. The details have presumably been shared only with companies that sign a contract with the University of Utah. Pons and Fleishmann said they were too busy preparing for a Congressional visit (WN 28 Apr 89) to speak in Baltimore. However, Pons was rumored to be in Washington this week to meet with White House Chief of Staff John Sununu. A call to Sununu's office to check out the rumor produced one of those exquisite exchanges that make life in Washington enjoyable: "Is Gov. Sununu to meet with Professor Pons?" we asked, "I cannot confirm that," the voice replied, "since the meeting is private." But when the time came, Sununu stood Pons up. Fortunes change.

2 . THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY WILL PROVIDE THE IDEAL PULPIT
for Pons and Fleishmann at its meeting in Los Angeles on Monday. Not since the trial of Galileo has science seen anything like the special evening session the electrochemists are arranging on the topic of "Electrochemically-Induced Cold Fusion." According to the announcement, Pons and Fleishmann are the featured speakers, followed by Steven Jones. "Afterward, research groups who have verified the initial reports of Professors Fleishmann and Pons, or Professor Jones, are invited to present short (approximately 10-minute) summaries of their work. To make arrangements for a brief presentation of confirmation results, please contact Elton Cairns, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory." Was this a forgery by some evil prankster bent on discrediting the Electrochemical Society? A call was placed to the organizer, who explained with perfect logic that "since the subject of the session is fusion, papers that don't report seeing fusion would not be relevant."

3. GERALD CASSIDY ARRANGED LAST WEEK'S COLD FUSION HEARINGS
at which the President of the University of Utah asked for $25M to develop the new discovery (WN 28 Apr 89). Cassidy, the Washington lobbyist who invented "pork barrel science," was hired by the University just two weeks earlier. The Cal Tech team that so thoroughly debunked Pons and Fleishmann at the APS meeting met with stunned members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee this week. But Rep. Robert Walker (R-PA), reportedly annoyed at what he took to be arrogance, refused to withdraw his amendment to move $5M from magnetic confinement to cold fusion.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 28 April 1989 Washington, DC

2 . A COLD FUSION RESEARCH INSTITUTE WAS CALLED FOR IN HEARINGS
on Wednesday before the Science, Space and Technology Committee of the House. The President of the U. of Utah requested $25M to start an institute to exploit the new technology. Rep. Walker (R-PA) said later it was "the very least" the federal government could do. Walker had already introduced a budget amendment to move $5M from conventional fusion research. Rep. Morrison (R-WA) wondered whether we should bother to maintain an investment in hot fusion research. Pons and Fleishmann began by announcing that their apparatus is producing more energy than ever. Prof. Huggins of Stanford testified that his group detected an energy excess only when heavy water was used. A "business strategy consultant" for the U. of Utah urged Congress not to "dawdle" around waiting for confirmation. He seemed to invoke the Pennsylvania Lottery principle: if the pot is big enough, we shouldn't pay too much attention to the odds. By the time the hearings got around to the skeptics, only two committee members remained, the television cameras were gone. The "Garn Express" to Salt Lake City for a cold fusion briefing (WN 21 Apr 89) has been delayed to 12 May.

3. LOS ALAMOS WILL SPONSOR A COLD FUSION WORKSHOP IN SANTA FE
May 23-25, under the auspices of the DOE. Norman Hackerman and Robert Schrieffer will co-chair the workshop, which is intended to cover recent experiments and calculations involving cold fusion. DOE Secretary James Watkins has ordered the national laboratories to intensify their research efforts in cold fusion. A panel of the Energy Research Advisory Board will assess the field for Watkins.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 21 April 1989 Washington, DC

2 . THE COLD FUSION PLAYOFFS ARE SCHEDULED FOR 1 MAY IN BALTIMORE
at the Spring Meeting of the APS. The special Monday evening session will be at 7:30PM in the Baltimore Convention Center. Invited speakers include both M. Fleishmann and S.E. Jones, as well as J. Rafelski and S. Koonin. Abstracts of brief contributed papers will be accepted at the APS office in New York until noon on Friday, 28 April and at the Registration Desk in Baltimore on Monday, 1 May, until noon. For those not registered for the regular meeting, special registration for this session only will be available for $20, beginning at 5:00PM. Meanwhile, the lead keeps changing hands. Just as Georgia Tech and Texas A&M were retracting their confirmations (WN 14 Apr 89), a researcher at Stanford claimed more heat from heavy water than from ordinary.

4. SEN. JAKE GARN HAS CHARTERED AN AIRLINER TO SALT LAKE CITY
to give government officials a first-hand briefing on cold fusion. They will fly out Friday, 28 April, for a demonstration Saturday morning. They will also meet with university officials and the Governor. This is not the first trip into outer space for Sen. Garn (R-UT), who was a passenger on the Space Shuttle in 1985.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 14 April 1989 Washington, DC

4. SEVERAL NEW SIGHTINGS OF COLD FUSION HAVE BEEN REPORTED:
Texas A&M saw heat, Georgia Tech saw neutrons and the University of Moscow saw something or other. At the Chemical Society meeting Wednesday in Dallas (WN 7 Apr 89), the best placed shot was fired by Harold Furth, who heads the hot-fusion effort at Princeton. What happens, he asked, if the heavy water is replaced with ordinary water? Stanley Pons said he hadn't tried that. The same question was being asked at a hastily arranged international meeting in Sicily, attended by Martin Fleischmann, the other half of the Utah effort, and S. E. Jones of Brigham Young. Serious questions were raised about the quality of both experiments.

5. A SPECIAL SESSION ON COLD FUSION AT THE APS MEETING
in Baltimore has been arranged for Monday, 1 May, in Room 317 of the Convention Center. The session begins at 7:30 p.m.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 7 April 1989 Washington, DC

2 . COLD FUSION PAPERS WERE SCHEDULED FOR THE SPRING APS MEETING
in Baltimore, May 1-4, weeks before the University of Utah began contacting financial publications. These include an invited paper on Wednesday morning by Steve Jones of Brigham Young University, titled "Cold Nuclear Fusion: Recent Results and Open Questions." The paper is part of a symposium organized by the Topical Group on Few-Body Systems and Multi-Particle Dynamics. This may lead to speculation of pre-cognition by the organizers. A special Monday evening session for presentation of new results on cold fusion is also being arranged. It could be the denouement. A quick survey of laboratories late today turned up no support for either the Utah or Brigham Young claims. A report in the press that Brookhaven scientists had evidence of fusion was incorrect.

3. THE FIRST COLD FUSION SHOOT OUT WILL TAKE PLACE AT HIGH NOON
in Dallas next week at the American Chemical Society Meeting. Stanley Pons will be there in person at a special session on Wednesday, but a news conference planned for Wednesday has been cancelled. Two well-known electrochemists will speak in the session along with Harold Furth, who heads the hot fusion effort at Princeton. Meanwhile, copies of the paper submitted to the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry by Pons and Fleischmann have been spewing out of FAX machines all over the country.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 31 March 1989 Washington, DC

1. SO FAR SCIENTISTS HAVE FOUND MORE CONFUSION THAN COLD FUSION.
Researchers at several of the most prestigious university and industrial laboratories in the nation have so far been unable to reproduce the Utah results. But the Utah researchers, Pons and Fleischmann, now say that the experiment must be run for some ten days before fusion starts. From the few details in TV interviews and press reports, their claim is that deuterium nuclei can be so closely confined in a palladium cathode during electrolysis that fusion occurs by tunneling through the coulomb barrier, producing a net gain in energy of 400%. The tunneling probability is finite, of course, but even in the sun the probability is small. On the other hand, Edward Teller has endorsed the Utah claims.

2. A GROUP AT BRIGHAM YOUNG ALSO REPORTS COLD FUSION OF DEUTERIUM
in metal lattices, but makes no claim of energy gain. The group is led by S.E. Jones, who demonstrated muon-catalysed fusion three years ago. They report observing neutron production during electrolytic infusion of deuterons into palladium and titanium.

3. JAMES C. FLETCHER WILL HEAD THE "COLD FUSION" EFFORT AT UTAH.
The retiring NASA Administrator, who served as President of the University of Utah in the late sixties, will apparently have $5M to get things going while he negotiates with the more than 200 private companies that don't want to be left on the platform when the gravy train pulls out. The University says it will only sign with companies that agree to base some of their effort in Utah.

WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 24 March 1989 Washington, DC

2. CLAIMS OF "COLD FUSION" EMPHASIZE THE NEED FOR REFEREES.
The remarkable report by the University of Utah that researchers had achieved deuterium fusion in an electrolysis cell was initially provided to the Financial Times of London and the Wall Street Journal. From what little is known, the claim seems to be that deuterium ions from heavy water diffuse into the lattice of a palladium cathode at sufficient concentration to fuse. Palladium is well known for its ability to take up large quantities of hydrogen. Indeed, solid-state storage of deuterium in metals such as titanium and scandium is standard practice in nuclear weapons, where dihydrides and even trihydrides do not result in fusion. Whatever the technical merits of the Utah claim, however, serious questions of scientific accountability will certainly be raised. The press statement is devoid of any details that might enable other scientists to judge the strength of the evidence. A technical report will not appear in the scientific literature until May, according to the statement.