[extropy-chat] Elvis Sightings, not
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
By KENNETH CHANG
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.
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