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No. 65: Sep-Oct 1989

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How fares cold fusion?

During the past two months, you could have read across a very wide spectrum of conclusions and opinions concerning cold fusion.

Nature. This editorial begins with:

"Although the evidence now accumulating does not prove that the original observations of cold fusion were mistaken, there seems no doubt that cold fusion will never be a commercial source of energy."

Editor J. Maddox concludes by stating that Pons and Fleischmann should have placed their responsibility to the scientific community above publicity. (Maddox, John; "End of Cold Fusion in Sight," Nature, 340:15, 1989.)

American Scientist. Here are reported the observations of neutrons at Los Alamos. (Hively, William; "Cold Fusion Confirmed," American Scientist, 77:327, 1989.)

Science. Some laboratories have seen neutrons and heat production. (Pool, Robert; "Cold Fusion Still in a State of Confusion," Science, 245:256, 1989.)

Baltimore Sun. The chemist quoted is Utah's B.S. Pons.

"In the experiment, a 'boiler' the size of a thermos emitted 15 to 20 times the amount of energy that was being put into it - a reaction that 'cannot be explained by normal chemical reactions we're aware of,' according to Dr. Pons.

He said he was convinced his device could be developed to have practical household applications - providing a home with hot water year-round, for example."

(Uzelac, Ellen; "'Cold Fusion' Boils Water, Chemist Says," Baltimore Sun, July 12, 1989.)

Comment. There does seem to be some slight divergence of opinion among these four sources!

From Science Frontiers #65, SEP-OCT 1989. 1989-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987