Douglas R.O. Morrison's Cold Fusion News
No. 23—27 May 1990

Back to Morrison Index

(Source: New Energy Times)
Dear E632 and WA84 Colleagues,



The lawyer of Dr. Pons has written to Mike Salamon et al. asking them to retract the paper they wrote describing how they had found no fusion products while working in Pons's lab and further he threatened him and his colleagues. It seems the centuries old method of scientific discussion and experiment is being replaced by legal injunctions requiring silence on the other side. This is the first time such a thing has happened, as far as I know, and should be discouraged now. In the past governing organisations have used legal and organisational means to support Pathological Science and examples are given and related to Cold Fusion.

Some further comments are made on the First Annual Cold Fusion Conference. Some interesting corrections are made.

STOP PRESS - financial scandal breaks - this might be the end.

1.1 The Legal Situation
1.2 What can Salamon et al. do?
1.3 Why did legal action occur at this moment of time?
1.4 Financial Situation
2.1 Galileo
2.2 Aryan physics
2.3 Soviet genetics - Lysenko
2.4 Soviet physics.
2.5 Conclusions
3.1 Experimental summary
3.2 Results of Scott et al.
3.3 Some Theoretical presentations
5.1 Origin of Meshuga
5.2 Guilano Preparata



The story of Cold Fusion has taken an unpleasant twist which could end it prematurely. For some weeks I had been hearing that Dr. Pons was talking of taking legal action against Mike Salamon who was leader of the group from the University of Utah who had been asked to install counters in Pons's lab to find fusion products from four of his cells placed on the table above. During five weeks of running in May and June, no signal was found and the result was published in Nature on 29 March 1990. The story broke on 18th May in the Salt Lake Tribune;

"Triggs(who is the lawyer of Dr. Pons) wrote a letter April 3 to Dr. Salamon in which he called on the physicist and his scientific co-researchers to retract the paper they published in the scientific journal Nature"

"'Please be advised that any damages suffered by my clients proximately caused by any act or omission on the part of yourself or any other co-author on the subject paper will not be tolerated. I have been instructed by my clients to take such legal action as is deemed appropriate to protect their interests in this matter'"

The letter talks of "my clients" - who are they?

(Triggs) "has received payments of more than $50 000 from the University of Utah for legal work related to Cold Fusion.

"'Triggs represents Stan and Martin and is advising them on a number of issues, including patent prosecution issues' said Greg Williams, with Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall and McCarthey (the state's attorneys). 'He is not representing the University'".

Now what is a "patent prosecution issue" - does it mean proceeding with a patent, or does it mean prosecuting people who get in your way? Anyway the State's attorneys seem aware of Mr. Triggs's activities

"Mr. Triggs was paid out of funds in the Office of Technology Transfer, the University department that assists in turning useful scientific research into profitable ventures. The Office is one of the departments under the supervision of (University Vice-President for Research, James) Brophy".

"'How they (pay for) it is their business' said Mr. Triggs. 'I simply send the bills'.....(he) said he had not billed anyone for the Salamon letter. 'I think that is between me and my clients, but I think it's a matter that affects the entire (cold fusion) program'.

When I saw Mike Salamon at the end of March, he did not seem too worried about the rumours - he felt he had finished with Cold Fusion and was busy working on other things - though he appreciated that he was likely to figure prominantly in Gary Taubes' forthcoming book. His reaction to the legal letter was typically direct;

"Dr. Salamon said in a written statement (that) Mr. Triggs has sent several letters to people threatening them with legal action. 'These people include several of my colleagues and myself at the University of Utah (even a U of U undergraduate received such a letter). I am extremely disturbed, in fact disgusted, that the University has apparently been financially supporting such detestable activity, activity which is antithetical to the spirit of free academic enquiry"

"What is particularly obscene about this is that my colleagues and I at the University of Utah are being threatened with legal action for honest scientific work done at the behest of the University of Utah, and yet the administration has so far refused to provide us with any legal counsel whatsoever"

This new issue of why the University was supporting some employees and not others, was raised with the University;

"Dr. Brophy said that Mr. Triggs was 'certainly' not working for the University when he wrote the letter, and said he saw no problem in the University paying Mr. Triggs even though he was involved in a legal matter between faculty members".

How can Dr. Brophy say this? He is very charming man and seems to do most of the Public Relations work on Cold Fusion, but as someone said, has he not heard of "conflict of interest"?

Have now received more information. Of the ten authors of the paper by Salamon et al., nine have received legal letters, the tenth, Haven Bergeson is an employee of the National Cold Fusion Institute. Several other people have also received letters including the writer, Gary Taubes and David Lindley who is an Associate Editor of Nature and is based in their Washington office - he received his letter personally, not as an employee of Nature.


It would be good to believe that they can continue to speak out freely. However the Law of Tort is very complicated and scientists' notions of truth and natural justice could mislead them. An American friend who is a professor, and two colleagues spoke out about an abuse. The man concerned sued them for a million dollars each. Their University and the State both agreed to defend them free of cost and said they should win. They knew they should win, but a million dollars is a lot of money and it would mean losing house and everything. Eventually they did win easily, but it took over a year. And there was a major catch - the University and the State's lawyers said they would be pleased to defend them and they had a winning case, provided they did not say anything that could cause it to be lost. Hence their lawyers forbade them to say anything - they were muzzled by their own lawyers while the other man continued to say scandalous things about them and they could not reply!

At some stage Mike and the others will need lawyers. And these lawyers may well ask them not to comment further. Thus it is possible that they will be muzzled for some period.

But the rest of the scientific community which believes in academic freedom is not muzzled.

Does this mean that the use of legal restraints works? Yes and No. Yes, in the sense that the people attacked are probably muzzled so that in the short term the legal tactic to win a scientific argument is successful. No, probably it is not successful in the long term, for it turns scientists against those who use the law to silence oponents in a scientific discussion. The continuing story of the scientific publishers, Gordon and Breach is illustrative. A retired professor Henry Barschall studied the cost effectiveness of various periodicals issued by different publishers. He defined cost effectiveness, CE, as the cost per printed character divide by the frequency of articles being cited. The CE values varied by a factor of 850 and Gordon and Breach came near the bottom. Normally one ignores such indices or one could point out that the CE index was seriously flawed - for example Fleischmann and Pons original paper is very frequently cited, though not everyone considers it a model paper. However Gordon and Breach decided to use the law and sued Barschall. And since Barschall's article had been published in the American Institute of Physics's monthly journal, Physics Today, they tried to stop Physics Today being displayed. Thus a judge in Zurich was given a list of Institutions, Universities and CERN and an attempt was made to to forbid them from displaying Physics Today or if they displayed it, certain bits had to be removed. It was pointed out that CERN being an international organisation, the court had no jurisdiction.

Robert Park quotes Fred Spillhaus, the Executive Director of the American Geophysical Union as suggesting that scientists not only refrain from publishing in the low quality, high cost journals that have proliferated in recent years, and also they should refuse to serve such journals as reviewers or editors. Then the Association of Research Libraries formally honoured Barschall for his "contributions to research libraries and the scholarly academic community", citing "the personal risks he has taken in pursuit of access to scientific information"

Thus in the long term it is probable that the attempt to silence Mike and the others, will hurt those who use legal means in an unscientific manner.

Sometimes the best way to fight fire is with fire. Mike et al. are quite prepared to make their logbooks available, but although they have requested to see the logbooks for Pons's four cells, these have never been made available to them. This could be important as at one period one of the cells started to boil for two hours and no fusion products were observed - it was turned off on the instructions of Dr. Pons. The lab workers considered this to be a typical example of excess heat as claimed, but in a curious letter from Dr. Pons, he asked that they should not "reference these events as being due to release of excess thermal energy". Much later Dr. Pons wrote that "there was a two-hour segmentin which there was excessive thermal release from cell 2-1..... unfortunately your computer and detector were not under power at that time since they had not been reset from a power failure which had occurred in the lab". Salamon et al. agree that 48 hours of data were lost after a lightning strike but as was later pointed out to them, any neutrons produced could convert the 23Na of their detector to 24Na and as this decays with a 15 hour half-life, they should have detected a strong signal - but did not. It is clearly very important that if the Salamon et al. experiment is being attacked, then these logbooks of Dr.Pons should be available for inspection by a court. Thus it would perfectly appropriate for Mike Salamon to ask a court for an injunction to ensure that these logbooks not be destroyed and, better, that copies of these logbooks be deposited with the court.


The experiment was performed in May and June 1989 and Dr. Pons was made aware of the results at that time. In Cold Fusion News No.18 on 30 July, the first report of the experimental results was given. When the draft paper was written, Dr. Pons was asked to comment on it. His reply struck me as unusual, but he did not request the paper not be published, and it was submitted last year. So why were the legal letters only sent out now? (In the saga of Cold Fusion there was already a time when critical notebooks disappeared - but that is another fascinating story).


It is interesting to consider the financial situation of the National Cold Fusion Institute. It was funded with $4.5 million from the State of Utah, but it has so far failed to attract any outside funding agency (though an anonymous private person has given some money). These funds are fast running out and there are no convincing results to show. For the lawyers the situation was even more serious - of the $500 000 available it was said on 23 March, that the money would run out this summer, assuming that legal fees of $30 000 per month were paid - this was said to a "normal" amount, though activity did not appear to be great. Now there are reports that some of the potential "profits" from Cold Fusion exploitation were being offered to investors. The price was high - 2% of the "profits" for $1.5 million; up to a maximum of 20% was available. If 20% of the potential profits were disposed of this way, then many million dollars would be available for continuing the National Cold Fusion Institute (apart from other uses such as funding lawyers). Now if one is offering "profits" to investors, it is necessary to give them a prospectus. And by law this prospectus has to be fair. Clearly this is not a time to have discordant experimental results widely presented.


Irving Langmuir in the original work, listed six characteristics of Pathological Science. However with more study, found this inadequate and in 1976 I listed 12, and now with still more examples, in particular Cold Fusion, list 15 with the three most significant being given weights. Sometimes am offered suggestions for other characteristics but I prefer each to apply to more than one example. Thus now when legal means are used for the first time to bolster an experiment, was inclined not to include it as a characteristic as it was an isolated case. However on consideration there are quite a number of examples where legal and organisational means have been used to assist wrong scientific ideas. Some well-known and some less well-known examples are given below and the effectivenness of the pressure commented on.


One of the most widely known example was the legal action taken against Galileo in 1633 for opposing the idea that the earth was the centre of the world and suggesting a heliocentric system. The persecution was such that Galileo, an ill man of 70, recanted.


When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they used organisational and legal means to force out Jewish professors and support their pseudo-scientific beliefs on race. Also they did not believe in Einstein's relativity theory and even attacked Einstein and all theoretical physicists as Jews or products of the Jewish spirit. There was talk of German or Aryan physics. People who did not support these ideas were attacked. Thus in 1937, Heisenberg was attacked. His mother went to see the mother of the sinister Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the secret police, the Gestapo. After Heisenberg sent a letter to Himmler and friends intervened, Himmler stopped attacks on Heisenberg. The organisational pressure was successful in that Jewish scientists were driven out of universities and other institutions and protests by other scientists were silenced. The teaching of theoretical physics was often restricted and pseudoscientific theories were presented with no opposition.


In the Soviet Union, Michurin and later Lysenko, refused to believe in the ideas of Mendel on heridity and the concept of spontaneous mutation. They rejected all the numerous experiments on which the science of genetics were based. Instead they believed that if a characteristic could be acquired, it them became heriditary. Lysenko published in newspapers, special scientific journals and pamphlets (an early example of using the media, as the press conferences and Deseret News in Cold Fusion). When his analysis of his own experiments was shown to be wrong - he rejected mathematics. When his work was shown to be in contradiction with a great body of experimentation in genetics - he rejected genetics (one is reminded of believers in Cold Fusion who are happy to believe that in d-d fusion one can obtain a ratio for tritium to neutron production of 100 million to one whereas there is a large body of experiments at all energies down to zero which finds unity in agreement with the very general considerations of charge symmetry. Only last week I was accused of using "conventional science" by saying this).

Lysenko was supported by the local political authorities, especially Khrushchev, even though his results could not be repeated outside the Soviet Union (an early example of the Regionalisation of Results as I observed with Cold Fusion; also the local authorities in Utah support Cold Fusion). Money was invested in planting according to his theories - great losses resulted but scientists who reported such facts were dismissed.

Gradually most scientists who believed in genetics were made silent or dismissed. N. I. Vavilov who had originally supported Lysenko, opposed his ideas and in 1939 said "We will go to the stake, we will burn, but we will not renounce our convictions". In 1940 he was arrested. His brother, the physicist S. I. Vavilov, and others tried to help, but he died in prison in 1943.

In August 1948, the V.I. Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences held a session where Lysenko's supporters dominated. A few people still tried to say they believed in genetics but were shouted down. At the end of the meeting, Lysenko gave the final talk and the entire assembly rose and applauded( the only scientific meeting at which there was a similar spirit and where after the final speaker, most of the audience rose to their feet and applauded, was the First Annual Cold Fusion Conference where Dr. Fleischmann was the final speaker).

The above three examples of Pathological Science are partly taken from a new book by Morris Goran, "The Dangerous Ideas of Science", published by Peter Lang.


What is not so well known, is that after the "success" of the session of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences in asserting political control over that subject, the authorities started to organise a similar session to control physicists with the aim of routing out the "idealism in physics" and "cosmopolitism" of leading Soviet scientists, as well as the concepts of relativity and quantum mechanics(at CERN Martin Fleischmann suggested that his surprising new results meant that conventional ideas had to be abandoned, that maybe quantum mechanics was wrong - John Ellis kindly said he was prepared to abandon some ideas but not quantum mechanics!.

V. I. Vavilov had become the President of the USSR Academy of Sciences and at the end of 1948 he and the Minister of Higher Education, appealed to Malenkov, the Secretary of the Central Committee for permission to hold a meeting of leading physicists and mathematicians to overcome "evident shortcomings" such as;

"Idealistic philosophical trends which seek corroboration from modern physics are not uncovered and duly criticised. Idealistic philosophical conclusions from concepts of modern theoretical physics (quantum mechanics and relativity) are particularly dangerous for the students' minds"

"Some Soviet scientists often embrace these idealistic trends instead of resolutely unmasking them(which get into Soviet higher educational institutions through the loophole of physics) as contradicting Marxism and Leninism".

In December 1948, an organising committee was set up to make the meeting comparable with the V. I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences. As previously, every speech and report had to thoroughly rehearsed and checked by the committee. The committee held 42 meetings up to 16 March 1949. Most of the 29 speeches were aimed to unmask, brand, condemn and deal with "idealism" and "cosmopolitism" in Soviet physics. Some, mainly people from the Institutes of the the USSR Academy of Sciences, tried to avoid this. While Vavilov was expected to set the tone, however his report did not satisfy the committee as most of it was a serious analysis of the development of Soviet physics, and the committee debated it for two days.

The main theses were "Physics is a partisan science", "some Soviet scientists in their books articles and speeches, make ideological mistakes when repeating conclusions made by bourgeois idealist physicists". Names mentioned were Academicians Frenkel and Ioffe, Corresponding members Fok, Tamm and Markov "who have adopted a servile attitude towards idealistic wisdom". The speech of professor Akulov was so strong that it aroused indignation - Academician Andronov said "the only effect of this speech on me was of disgust.... Accusing Academicians Papelekski and Mandelshtam of being German spies is dirty, unsubstaniated and slanderous". It was expected that many prominant scientists including P. L. Kapitza, A. F. Ioffe, L. D. Landau, V. A. Fok, I. E. Tamm, Ya. I. Frenkel, M. A. Markov and V. L. Ginsburg would have been victims.

Fortunately between 16 and 21 March, this major meeting was cancelled. It is not known exactly why, but the sinister Beria, chief of the secret police, who was also responsible for the Atom bomb project, asked Kurchatov, the physicist who was head of the project, if it was true that quantum theory and relativity were an idealist contraption and had better be cast off. Kurchatov replied "We are working on the A-Bomb project now. The A-Bomb is based on the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Should we discard them, the project would have to be discarded as well". Probably Beria passed the information on to Stalin and the meeting was cancelled saving Soviet physics and physicists.

When I gave a talk (on "N-Rays, Cold Fusion and Pathological Science") at a major physics institute in Moscow, I noticed a large portrait of an interesting looking man on the wall of the auditorium and asked who he was. Was told it was a very fine scientist, Vavilov. Asked how it was possible that such a man could be involved in such things. It was explained to me that Vavilov did not want to be President of the Academy but the only other candidate was Vyshinsky who was a horrible man. He was initially a Menschevik but changed to being a Bolschevik and apparently felt he had to more cruel to show his belief. He was responsible for many deaths in the Ukraine before becoming Chief Prosecutor. A personal experience of him was recounted to me. So Vavilov sacrificed himself to avoid disaster.


Recounting these stories of Galileo, German science, Lysenko and Soviet physics, is not pleasant, but we must not forget they actually happened - that legal and organisational power can be used to support Pathological Science. And can be successful for some time, good people can be made to conform. This is the reason that I am so strongly against this new practise of using threatening legal letters to silence scientists who may report experimental results that are contrary to others. It should be stopped NOW before it is used again. Science can only flourish if ALL results are freely available.


3.1 Experimental Results - General

At the end of the First Annual Cold Fusion Conference, it was possible for Believers, who made up about 200 of the 230 attendees, to be reasonably happy. Apart from odd comments and someone saying that 90% of the World's results, including the best experiemnts, were negative, there was a steady flow of positive results. Previously there had been unwelcome comments that none of the big National Labs had positive results, but now there were some from two - Oak Ridge, ORNL, and Los Alamos. At the final Round Table discussion (as usual the table was straight not round), Dr Storms gave out a summary of the Positive Results. For 25 groups, their results for tritium, neutrons, and heat were classified mainly as Yes, No or "?" For tritium the totals were 15 Yes, 1 no and 9 "?" . For neutrons the score was 13 Yes, 0 No, and 11 "?". For heat there were 12 Yes, 0 No, and 12 "?". It looked impressive and sent many away with a good feeling.

However some points should be made;

(1) This was only 10% of the groups -the other 90% that obtained negative results were excluded, and this exclusion was not commented upon - unusual for a report labelled "Los Alamos".

(2) As far as I could make out the "?" entry meant that the quantity had not been measured, or the result had been withdrawn.

(3) I am familar with many of the measurements and think the conclusion in some cases should have been "No" and not "yes".

(4) Some results I had not seen and were not presented such as Alqasmi from the Arab Emirates.

(5) No attempt was made to see if the results agreed with one another.

(6) Claims of high rate of cells giving effects were made but no set of statistics were given. The highest rate, 80%, has been several times claimed by Appleby and his group. When one of his group presented their results, this claim was not made. However in the discussion Dr. Bockris mentioned it and it was confirmed. I then pointed out that if 5 cells are operating then if 80% of the time they are giving excess heat, then the probability of none of the five performing during a visit was 3000 to one and if there were 7 cells, the odds of none giving excess heat was 80000 to one. But when the DOE panel made their visit, none of the cells was working. The Chairman intervened to say this subject had not been raised during the talk and by the rules could not be discussed, however I pointed out that the speaker had talked about it during the discussion. The speaker then said he thought one cell was in fact working during the visit, but John Huizenga, the Co-Chairman of the DOE Panel, could confirm for me that no cell was working. Similarly during my visit none of the 7 cells there was working. Later the Chairman apologised and said he hoped I did not think he was trying to restrict the discussion.


This is one of the murkiest regions of Cold Fusion. At one time Dr.Pons claimed that helium 4 had been observed. But then the cathodic rods were said to be sent to Johnson-Matthey for analysis. Although the analysis should not have taken very long, no results came out. The DOE panel was told "soon". At the NSF/EPRI meeting in October it was said that the result had been made meaningless by mishandling of the rods, though it was hard to see how touching the surface could remove helium created deap inside the rod. At this Conference D. T. Thompson of Johnson-Matthey managed to give a long technical talk that gave no result. Nate Hoffman who said he was neither a believer nor a sceptic, gave a carefully worded talk (for he was not entirely a free agent) which hinted but did not quite say, that they had found no helium.

Other experiments have analysed their rods and found no helium, but then if they did not claim to observe excess heat or fusion products, it could be argued that they would not be expected to observe helium. Still if people claim to observe Watts of excess heat for hours, then easily measurably amounts of helium should be observable. It smells of cover-up.


After the conference two Believers asked me how I regarded the results of Scott et al. from Oak Ridge National Lab. giving positive results for excess heat, neutron emission, gammas and tritium formation. This is the experiment that seems to have impressed Believers most. I already made some comments on the work from my notes, but have since received a copy of the paper of Scott et al.

My comments are;

a) tritium - like the others I had the impression that they had observed tritium, but my notes actually say "Within errors cannot say any tritium" Also the paper by Scott et al., accepted by Fusion Technology, 4/17/90, does not claim any tritium formation in the conclusions.

b) Neutrons - the effects are surprisingly small, about 25 extra counts per day which would correspond to about 0.0003 neutrons per second. After correction for inefficiencies, this becomes 0.23 neutrons per second. If the neutrons came from fusion this would correspond to less than E-12 Watts or one picoWatt. The authors conclude "the detected rates are too low, by many orders of magnitude to explain the observed energy excesses in terms of conventional d-d fusion theory".

The operating conditions (current density, electrolyte temperature and concentration) were changed rather frequently. Some of the best neutron peaks occurred when fusion was not indicated.

There is only one neutron counter whereas experience has shown that one should have several. Also no control seems to have been made for Cosmic Rays or solar showers, etc.

c) Gammas - "The most significant increases in gamma ray counts occurred in the energy range 2.64 to 3.14 MeV; therefore, mean values of the count rate for this range have been included' But why? this is an unexpected energy range and more likely indicates that something is wrong. it would be good if the authors were to explain their unconventional energy spectrum. They also say "Surprisingly, there were no statistically significant increases in the gamma-ray rate count in the energy region of 2.12 to 2.63 MeV(the energy level where gamma rays are emitted from neutron interactions with proton". Thus it seems any anomaly is claimed even if it the wrong effect.

d) Excess heat - Initially an open cell was used (as do Fleischmann and Pons) but this was found to be unsatisfactory because of "inherent incertainty". The results a closed cell were considered "most significant" in the paper. As there is still heat loss from the top of the cell, a future design is being made to rectify this problem.

For the open cell, after 540 hours, heat excesses were observed ranging up to 11% (error is about 3%), but after a few hours they tended to fade away. Looking at fig. 8, these are not the biggest effects which are negative energy balances which also last much longer, about 60 hours when the run finished. In the paper these negative results are explained by noting that the current had been increased to 800 mA/cm2, and "This was probably due to increased heat loss to the environment". Unfortunately for this "explanation", the temperature of the electrolyte had been lowered at this time, and was lower than previously. Further it is interesting to recall that this cell was open similar to F&P's and who claim that increasing the current to the range of 800 mA/cm2 should greatly increase the heat excess instead of driving it negative.

For the closed cell, the power balance during the first 740 hours was more negative, but later there were two periods of excess power which lasted several hours (i.e. small compared to 740 hours) with "relatively modest excesses with maximum values of about 6%". Later after 1320 hours there was a sustained excess of 5 to 10%.

Two comments can be made;
A) Since neutrons are claimed and no tritium (limit 200 Bq/L), this result is in contradiction with the belief of Believers that the tritium to neutron ratio is about 100 million to one
B) For a major laboratory like Oak Ridge, this is a very small effort with only one neutron and one gamma counter -other national labs such as Harwell, Karlsruhe, Sandia did much more complete experiments (e.g. Harwell used 56 neutron counters) - and they found nothing, no tritium, no neutrons, no gammas and no excess heat.

I am still waiting for one single good convincing experiment.


As a Nobel prize winner, Julian Schwinger commanded great respect and it was quite out of character that he was not at a press conference or on a panel - in fact he was hard to find. Will not try to reproduce his theory but seemed to saying d-d fusion creates excited states of 4He and lots of phonons. Carleton Detar asked questions about the absence of barrier penetration factors. Afterwards Richard Petrese and I tried to get him to say what the final state was - Was it 4He? No it could be something else; Was it 3He? No it could be something else; Was it 3H? No it could be something else. The point of the questions were that we could then compare with experimental results. Finally I asked if he assumed baryon number conservation - end of discussion.

Guiliano Preparata was one of the main characters of the conference, speaking frequently and powerfully. He started by pointing out all the problems of Cold Fusion - it sounded as if he was a Sceptic, but then explained he would present a solution that could account for them all, including the "Believers" ratio of tritium to neutron production of 100 million to one. His talk was a modification of his paper, T. Bressani, E. Del Guiice and G. Preparata, Il Nuovo Cimento, 101(1989) 845. I made a serious effort to understand it by spending three sessions of 1, 2 and 2 hours with one of the authors. They calculate that the 10 d-shell electrons of Palladium oscillate coherentlty with an amplitude of 0.3 A and the deuterons also oscillate coherently with an amplitude also of 0.3 A. They then consider the "superradient" dynamics of a plasma of deuterium nuclei in a metal matrix. While I could follow some of the calculations, my real problem was that when I unearthed the assumptions, I could not find justifications for them and in fact they seemed in contradiction with my image of potential in a three-dimensional Palladium lattice ( a two-dimensional lattice was drawn in the transparencies). So finally we agreed to differ. Another paper is being written. However if the theory deduces that the tritium to neutron ratio is 100 million to one, and if experimentally, this has not been established, for example the work of Scott et al. then this must require some serious modification of the theory.

Have just found a write-up of the talk - it is Milan preprint MITH-90/3 and is entitled "Theoretical ideas on Cold Fusion" by Guilano Preparata Peter Hagelstein had a theory which also seemed to depend on superradients in the Dicke sense which accelerates the coherent reaction. Again if one assumes baryon conservation, what is the form of the product baryons, 4He, 3He plus neutrons or tritium and protons and why have they not been found?


Am told that in Japan the situation is still unclear as when Prof. Ikegami came back from the First Annual Cold Fusion Conference, he wrote an article for a major popular science magazine without making any critical comments. But most scientist outside of Cold Fusion, do not believe in it.

As a counter balance, there is an article in the science magazine, Kagaku which has the Scientific American level of articles. It is in vol 60, (1990) pages 395 - 397 and is mainly based on a note of mine (it is freely available and will give a copy to all who read Japanese).



When Edward Teller decided to try and explain all the contradictory results on Cold Fusion (even though he does not believe in it), he invented a new particle which he gave the name "Meshugtron" He explained to me that this was from the word "meshuga" meaning crazy. In news No.21 I said the word was from Hebrew, but later was told this was wrong, so in No.22 gave a correction to say it was a Yiddish word.

Have now received delightful and erudite letters from a friend at the Technion in Haifa, Jacques Goldberg

Firstly he says meshuga is a Hebrew word, being applied by Avilek to King David. It has been used as an adjective in Deut 28-24, Jeremiah 29-26, Osias 9-7, Kings 11, 11-9 and Samuel 1, 21-16.

While Meshuga is a Hebrew word, there is a Yiddish word Meshuge'a which means drivINg rather drivEN into a state of being crazy.

There is a claim that there was a thriving Jewish community in the Mainz-Worms region when the second temple was being built, about 350 BC and this is about the time when the oldest known manuscripts of the bible were being written. However it is unlikely that they invented Yiddish and wrote it into the Bible in time. To trace this claim, it would be necessary to contact the author, but he was murdered by the Nazis in Budapest in 1945.

There is much more, but you should contact Jacques.


I had been told that Dr. Preparata had explained some anomalous theories of water, but when he protested, I went back to the papers and could not find any refernce to it among his papers on the structure of water. Asked my source, whom I regard as a very reliable person, who confirmed his belief and we searched together in the library. On thinking further, he started to realise that he had been given a paper on water and had been told it explained the anomalous water theory, so he naturally threw the paper away. However we now realise that this statement to him was incorrect. Thus I would like to withdraw completely what was written about water in No.22 and apologize to Dr. Preparata.

There was also a comment about Dr. Preparata and gravity waves that needs expansion now that I have done some research on it. Dr. Weber has claimed the observation of gravity waves and this claim is rejected by the scientific community. However Dr. Weber has a new theory of coherent motion in the antenna which he claims (as recently as March at a Californian meeting) gives an enhancement of his signal of 40 orders of magnitude (!) and hence his observation of gravitational waves was correct. Dr. Preparata investigated this and in Nuovo Cim. 101B (1988)625, claimed to found a flaw. But in Milan preprint MITH 89/11, Dr. Preparata noted the analyses of coincidences between events recorded at the antennas of Rome and Maryland and the neutrinos detected at Mont Blanc, Kamioka and Baksan at about the time when Supernova 1987A exploded. Such a coincidence would require the gravitational waves emitted to be 6 orders of magnitude stronger than standard theory. Dr Preparata investigated this and found a mechanism giving 5 orders of magnitude, as required! He used his ideas of "superradience" and that a high degree of order and coherence exists in solids. He concludes that "Weber's intuition that the coherent behaviour of the atoms in a bar greatly enhance their gravitational interaction is seen to be confirmed, though through a different logics".

Now it happens that I worked extensively on Supernova 1987A. The idea that there were two neutrino burst some four hours apart and that the first burst gave a strong gravitational wave, is still held by a very few. The only detailed rejection of this hypothesis that I know of is one that I wrote in a review of Supernova 1987A which appeared as CERN EP 88-9 also was published in Usbecki vol 156 p719 of Dec. 1988.


The National Cold Fusion Institute has a funding problem as the money, $4.5 million, given from the State of Utah was meant to be seed money and it was expected that industry would pour in many more millions. However industry has studied Cold Fusion, has even received cells that are claimed to be working, but because of tight agreements are not allowed to say if these cells worked - though from comments it is clear that they did not work. So industry has given almost no money to NCFI. At the Supervisory meeting on 23 March, it was said that an anonymous person had given a donation. I was told the identity of this donor and it seemed very reasonable and in character. However Gary Taubes who is writing a book of Cold Fusion and who is unhappy with what he finds (to say the least), investigated and found out that the mysterious donor was none other than the University of Utah itself. And the name I was given may have been disinformation?

The trouble is that this money, $500 000 was in a foundation controlled by U. of U. It derives its income from rent on office space in the University Research Park (where NCFI is located) and from proceeds from university owned patents.

The story should have appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday but as Dr. Brophy, the Vice-President for Research, did not return the Trib's phone calls, they gave him another day. So it really broke last night, 1 June on the channel 2 News at 10. Dr. Brophy had some problems but has said that "anonymous donation" was an "inappropriate terminology" and that they would not use that terminology any more - one is back with the wonderful jargon of the Nixon White House!

Have now been sent the full text of today's article in the Tribune by Tim Fitzpatrick (Thanks to sender).

The money was referred to in the Institute's quarterly report as "external funding" and a May 3 press release called it a "recent anonymous gift of $500 000" which had been used to bring in three visiting scientists from Malaysia, Poland and South Dakota.

"The revelation prompted disdain from members of the panel that oversees the State's $5 million investment. Panel Chairman Raymond l. Hixson said 'I'm a little upset about it because it was inferred that it was a private, anonymous donor and therefore we could consider it as an effort by the University to secure outside funding. This, to me, is not quite the same thing. I'm going to have to look into it. At this stage, I can tell you I'm not very happy about it".

Faculty members also were not happy. "The following statement came from College of Science Dean Hugo Rossi and 22 Faculty members representing all of the college's departments;

'After learning that an unnamed donation, described as "external funding" in the last quarterly report of the Cold Fusion Institute, was in fact, from the University Research Foundation, I called a meeting to discuss the implications of this apparent deception'.

'The perception that desperate means are now being used to continue support of claims unsubstantiated by peer review of the data is unavoidable. It was the sense of the group that a complete and objective financial audit and scientific review must procede any further state or university funding of this project, and in a separate document we are asking the chair of the board of directors of the institute as well as the university, to convene such review panels in consultation with the faculty of the University of Utah'".

"Dr. Rossi, who was at one time the interim director of the fusion institute, said he wanted to make it clear that the statement came from faculty in all departments in his college, including the Chemistry Department, to put to rest the notion that there is a battle between physicists and chemists over how the fusion situation has been handled".

I am very pleased with this statement, in particular the call for Peer Review which I regret was dropped from the final DOE report (though a weaker phrase was employed) as consider this an essential part of the scientific process which can greatly reduce (though not eliminate) Pathological Science. It is also good that now that Dr. Pons has given up the Chairmanship of the Chemistry Department and Cheeves Walling has taken over, that there is now a normal relationship between all Science departments.

There is a rule in politics that when something exciting is happening, one should be there - for the last two weeks Drs. Pons and Fleischmann have been at a conference in Portugal and discussed Cold Fusion very little. There is the question of how those implicated reacted;

Dr. Brophy has already been mentioned with his "inappropriate terminology". The U President, Chase Peterson said "there was no intention to mislead anyone" according to the Tribune. "we assign hundreds of large and small amounts of money to different parts of the university during the year, and we rarely discuss the source of the particular fund, nor does anyone generally care".

"Dr. Peterson said that after a report in the Tribune referred to the donation as anonymous, he called Institute Director Fritz Will to clarify it. 'I called to say that it was inappropriate to suggest the gift represented support of the fusion study from an outside person or corporation'". Curious, this seems in contradiction with Dr. Peterson's previous comment that it did not matter and no one cared!

"Dr. Will said he never knew until Wednesday what the source of the money was. He said he was asked after the money was sent if he was comfortable with not knowing the source, and he said he was". Strange this does not seem to quite agree with the statement above of Dr. Peterson.

"When (Dr. Will was) asked who had asked him if he was comfortable with the arrangement, Dr. Will said 'I'd rather not say'".

Dr. Fleischmann was in Southampton this last week. In view of the serious nature of the stories I was hearing, I tried to warn him by letters, many phone calls and even a draft version of this News, as I liked him and found he had put forward many fine principles that were the hallmark of not merely a good scientist (which he has amply shown himself to be), but also a responsible and moral scientist. However he consistently avoided replying. Maybe this was to protect a colleague, though the lawyer's comments suggest otherwise. I cannot but feel disappointed.

So who was responsible for this fiasco? Probably not any one person but rather a group of people, with a hint of paranoia, who reinforced one another.


From my studies of Pathological Science, it is possible to make some guesses.

The National Cold Fusion Institute will continue a bit but will fade away even though the Tribune says that the Electrical Power Research Institute has approved in principle the giving of $172 000 "but the patent lawyers are still ironing out final details before the money will be sent". This is a relatively small sum.

Those groups that have found positive results will not suddenly find errors and withdraw their papers. Rather they will publish work en route but then will stop publishing. They will say they have never found anything wrong with their experiments.

There will be a few more publications of positive results from groups who have not heard it is dead.

Fleischamnn and Pons will write a book, and will find a publisher. It will describe the positive results but barely mention the negative results. Many other books and articles apart from those of Gary Taubes, Frank Close and David Peke, will be published and Science Historians will feed on it for ever.

I hope I am wrong partly.

I have come to like the University of Utah and Utah (especially the great skiing at Alta). There are many fine people and scientists there. The University has clearly suffered from the Cold Fusion incident, but it seems a cleansing is already under way. I happened to get to know some people working on artificial hearts - there was a premature beginning with the Jarvik heart (in which Dr. Chase Peterson was involved as PR man with almost daily press conferences), but they have recovered from that and now are doing some of the most advanced work on something that is greatly needed and that is sure to come in time. Let us hope that the similar false start on studies of metals structure and metal hydrides that were done for Cold Fusion, will also lead to something.

This is probably my last Cold Fusion News.

Let us be sympathetic for the unfortunate and humble for ourselves.

Good Night and Good Luck!

Douglas R. O. Morrison.