Cold-fusion research continues in many labs, particularly outside the US, where minds seem more open. At a recent meeting in the Soviet Union, 45 coldfusion papers revealed intense foreign activity. The Soviets are spending 15 million rubles for further research. In Japan, a Japanese-American team has even set up an experiment a half-mile underground to cut out stray radiation. (R2) However, the US is doing something despite the ridicule from the popular and scientific media.
B.F. Bush and J.J. Lagowski of the University of Texas in Austin and M.H. Miles and G.S. Ostrom of the Naval Weapons Center in China Lake, Calif., say the helium levels they measured correlate roughly with the amount of heat generated in the fusion reaction.
Those who believe in cold fusion are quite excited. "It's a world-turning experiment, a lollapalooza," says John O'M. Bockris, a physical chemist who has researched cold fusion at Texas A&M University in College Station. (R1)
According to Dr. Mallove of M.I.T., another provocative set of experiments are those at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico where Dr. Howard Menlove has repeatedly detected bursts of neutrons, subatomic particles that are a fusion byproduct. (R2)
In an interview, [Dr. R.I. Mills] said he had conducted 1,000 experiments with a simple apparatus over the past 18 months and had applied for patents on the process, which differs markedly from the Utah one. He also asserted that he had set a new record for generating heat, saying his apparatus puts out up to 40 times more energy than put in. (R4) (R3)
Physicists F.J. Mayer and J.R. Reitz theorize that cold fusion as well as several other riddles of physics can be explained with a hypothetical new particle created through the fleeting union of a proton and electron. (R4) In sum, coldfusion research seems to be rising
Phoenix-like after being zapped by most establishment scientists. It will be difficult to overcome the PR campaign orchestrated (by whom?) against cold fusion. However, honest doubts do remain: "It just violates all that we know about nuclear physics," said nuclear chemist J.R. Huizenga. (R1)
R1. Pennist, E.; "Helium Find Thaws the Cold Fusion Trail," Science News, 139:180, 1991.
R2. Broad, William J.; "There Still May Be Something Scientific about Cold Fusion," New York Times, April 14, 1991. (Cr. P. Gunkel)
R3. Anonymous, "Pennsylvania Company Claims It Has Solved Cold Fusion Mystery," Butler (PA) Eagle, April 25, 1991. (Cr. E. Fegert)
R4. Broad, William J.; "Two Teams Put New Life in 'Cold' Fusion Theory of Energy," New York Times International, April 26, 1991. (Cr. P. Gunkel)