[extropy-chat] Elvis Sightings, not

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Fri Jan 26 22:33:27 UTC 2007

Reading more background in this surprising history, I find a NYT 
report from a little over 2 years back:


Evidence on Cold Fusion Remains Inconclusive, New Review Finds


Published: December 2, 2004

In a new review of cold fusion - the claim that energy can be 
generated by running electrical current through water - the 
Department of Energy released a report yesterday that says the 
evidence remains inconclusive, echoing a similar report 15 years ago.

Over the past several months, 18 scientists reviewed research in cold 
fusion, and two-thirds of them did not find the evidence for nuclear 
reactions in the experiments convincing. Almost all of them, however, 
said that aspects of cold fusion merited consideration for further research.

"I think the new review has shed some light on the status of research 
that has been done over the last 15 years," said Dr. James F. Decker, 
deputy director of the science office in the Energy Department who 
agreed to the review at the request of several scientists involved 
with cold fusion research.

Dr. Decker said the department was open to proposals for cold fusion 
research, but added that was not new. "We have always been open to 
proposals that have scientific merit as determined by peer review," 
he said. "We have never closed the door to cold fusion proposals."
Other scientists, however, had trouble reproducing the findings, and 
at the end of 1989, a review by the Energy Department recommended 
against a specific cold fusion research program, although it did 
support further investigation into some aspects.

After that, most scientists regarded cold fusion as a discredited 
farce, but a small group of scientists continued work in the field. 
Measurements have become better, but cold fusion experiments still 
produce heat at best half of the time. At the end of last year, 
several cold fusion scientists approached Dr. Decker, asking for a 
review. Dr. Decker agreed.

In the review, nine scientists chosen by the Energy Department 
considered a paper submitted by the cold fusion scientists. Another 
nine listened to oral presentations by cold fusion scientists in August.

"This was a very, very scientific, very level-headed, review by 
everybody," said Dr. Kirby W. Kemper, vice president for research at 
Florida State University and one of the reviewers of the oral 
presentations. But Dr. Kemper said, "I don't think we've made much 
progress since '89 in really nailing down the parameters that make it 

He said there were interesting scientific questions on the behavior 
of hydrogen within metals that merited research, and he said his 
comments tried to offer a future research path.

Dr. Michael McKubre, a scientist at SRI International, one of the 
scientists who approached Dr. Decker last year, said the conclusions 
were at least "mildly positive" in endorsing consideration of further research.

"All we set out to demonstrate was there were serious issues of 
science that had to be developed further," Dr. McKubre said. "If you 
look through the materials, the majority, if not the entirety, agree 
on that point."


This is a long way from John's "BULLSHIT!" It's worth noting that 
MIT's Peter Hagelstein (who seems to have been treated very shabbily 
as a result of his continued interest in CF research) was the 
breakthrough designer of Xasers. Not really your high school teacher.

Damien Broderick 

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list