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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