Cold Fusion Makes A Comeback
Quantum theory asks us to believe that the location of a charged particle in a charged box is
described by a bell curve which states that there is a chance that the particle in the box is not
in the box for at lease part of the time.
Quantum theory asks us to believe that if we release many light waves at a barrier with two
holes, we will have an interference pattern projected on the final target as the waves going
through one opening interfere with the waves going through the other opening. Quantum
theory then goes on and asks us to believe that these waves are also particles and that if we
slow down the light emission so that only one photon is emitted every second, the
interference pattern will still form on the film target. Is the single photon going through both
holes? How can one item go through two holes in a parallel fashion?
Even more shocking than quantum theory will be the new theory which can describe how cold
fusion works. Under current theories of physics (including the shocking quantum theory)
cold fusion is not possible. If it were true, the logic goes, it would be more shocking than
quantum theory. But that is not good logic given the truth of your quote. If quantum theory is
shocking, what prevents nature from shocking us once more with a theory which explains
So far, the answer has been tied up with egos and politics among scientists. Scientists
working on hot fusion couldn’t believe that cold fusion could possibly work. For a hot fusion
scientist to believe in cold fusion he or she needs to first accept that his or her whole life spent
working on hot fusion may have been a waste of time. This thought is unacceptable. This has
led to the political climate in which the discoverers of cold fusion were derided and scorned
The fact is that Dr. Michael McKubre has two sealed containers at Stanford Research Institute
(SRI International or just SRI). Both “Vessel 1” and “Vessel 2” are stainless steel dewars which
have the catalyst suggested by earlier experiments. The first vessel is filled with hydrogen and
the second one filled with deuterium gas. The temperature is elevated to a range between 170
deg C and about 270 deg C. Measurements of the helium content in both vessels are taken
with a standard HP instruments which measures the helium content of each vessel. (Helium
has two protons, two neutrons and two electrons as does the molecule containing two
deuterium atoms. He4 is a tad lighter than D2 and it is in that reaction (D2=>He4) that E=MC2
types of energy are produced.) It turns out that the helium content of the vessel containing
hydrogen remains at zero whereas the HP instrument measuring the helium content of the
second vessel increased to 11 parts per million (ppm). A third HP instrument measures the
helium in the atmosphere of the room to be 5.22 ppm. Vessel 1 remains at zero, Vessel 2 rises
to 11 ppm and the room stands constant at 5.22 ppm which is typical for the air we breathe. To
explain why this phenomenon occurs requires changing physics in a way which will be even
more shocking than quantum theory was to all of us.
Picture one set of scientists trying to create temperatures in the millions of degrees as seen
on our sun and having troubles doing it while another few scientists are causing the same
reaction to occur at 200 degrees Celsius.
In 1998 Wired magazine published an article about cold fusion which included the following:
• George Miley, who received the Edward Teller medal for innovative research in hot fusion
and has edited Fusion Technology magazine for the American Nuclear Society for more than
15 years: “There’s very strong evidence that low-energy nuclear reactions do occur.
Numerous experiments have shown definitive results - as do my own.”
• John Bockris, formerly a distinguished professor in physical chemistry at Texas A&M
University and a cofounder of the International Society for Electrochemistry: “Nuclear
reactions can occur without high temperatures. Low-energy nuclear transformations can -
and do - exist.”
• Michael McKubre, director of the Energy Research Center at SRI International: “I am
absolutely certain there is unexplained heat, and the most likely explanation is that its origin
• Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction writer, futurist, and founder of Infinite Energy magazine:
“It seems very promising to me that nuclear reactions may occur at room temperatures. I’m
quite convinced there’s something in this.”
For the whole article see: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/6.11/coldfusion.html
That article was NOT enough to turn things around. Why be confused by facts when our
instincts and politics are in control?
Another piece of politics now enters the scene. The CIA is now reporting that Chinese
scientists are making progress in the field of cold fusion. While the hot fusion consortium
decides whether to spend their billions building a Tokomak reactor in Japan or in Europe,
what would happen if Chinese scientists beat us to the goal using the very cold fusion
originally discovered by US scientists in Salt Lake in 1989?
As a result, some US scientists who have seen the data have decided to give one more review
to the concept of cold fusion. Within six months a new report is due from the department of
energy on the subject of cold fusion. Let us hope that this time they get it right.
Let me be clear. To date there has not been any experimental setup which could be scaled up
to a real-world power source. The cold fusion phenomenon, however, deserves investigation
because if it can be understood well enough to be scaled up, our dependency on oil as an
energy source will be over. The importance would be immense. It seems about as impossible
as the invention of the atom bomb seemed at the time. Without the phenomenon of tunneling
predicted by quantum theory, we would not have the transistor and all computers and TVs
would be made from vacuum tubes. The atom bomb became a surprising reality, quantum
physics remains surprising and I suspect that cold fusion will continue the saga of surprises.