1989, many of the stewards of nuclear science, the nuclear
physicists, felt certain that the explanation for cold fusion
must be laboratory error. The claims of table-top nuclear energy
were inconceivable in view of half a century of established
theory and hot fusion experimentation. The physicists raised
four main objections: the standards for reproducibility were not
met; the usual evidence for nuclear reactions (neutrons and
gamma rays) was absent; available techniques for measuring
excess heat were unreliable; and theoretical understanding was
key to understanding the controversy and its outcome is this:
the nuclear physicists' unstated objective was to explain the
phenomenon away, while the discoverers' aim was to explain its
existence. Those who panned the discovery were content to end
their inquiry there. Those who pursued cold fusion research were
eager to explore its nature and potential.
has transpired over the last 15 years in the science of cold
fusion. The primary objections have been overturned, and
fascinating new discoveries have taken place.
many researchers indicate that cold fusion is highly
reproducible. The basic claims of nuclear-scale energy without
nuclear radiation have been substantiated hundreds of times
over. Scientists around the world have replicated the effect
repeatedly (Figure 3-1), and they have demonstrated it using a
variety of experimental methods.1 The supposedly
lacking nuclear products, which originally prompted critics to
dismiss cold fusion's founders as delusional, have been measured
common myth about cold fusion is that a single key will make it
work. To the contrary, the subject matter is infinitely variable
and complex; its success depends on a multitude of incremental
insights and understandings, rather than one "Eureka"!
moment. While many of these triumphs appear only as abstruse
readouts on diagnostic equipment, dozens of important advances
have indeed occurred, and many pieces of the puzzle have been
had researchers gained the initial support of the scientific
establishment, progress would have been much greater by now.
Perhaps cold fusion-powered generators would have arrived.
Nevertheless, with only modest resources available to them,
scientists around the world have made impressive headway in
their understanding of this burgeoning new field of science. No
longer is there a question of whether cold fusion is real, or
even if it works. Scientists are improving their
understanding of how and why it works. The
greatest remaining mystery is, Can cold fusion be scaled up to
provide for civilization's needs for electricity and heat?
a confidential survey of cold fusion researchers who attended
the August 2003 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion
(Figure 3-1), the authors of this book learned that research
continues in at least 13 countries. While far more researchers
undoubtedly are working than are represented by this survey,
these numbers portray a continuing worldwide effort. Among
survey respondents, 73 researchers work in university
laboratories, 53 in government and military laboratories and 49
in private industry.
the United States, although many work in military or university
settings, the lack of government funding has meant that quite a
few cold fusion researchers have resorted to setting up their
own private laboratories. Many have devoted their retirement
years to solving the mysteries of cold fusion.