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14 Years Later, Cold Fusion Still Gets The Cold Shoulder

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the bravery-misplaced dept.

Science 561

segment writes "It has been 14 years since two little-known electrochemists announced what sounded like the biggest physics breakthrough since Enrico Fermi produced a nuclear chain reaction on a squash court in Chicago. Using a tabletop setup, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, of the University of Utah, said they had induced deuterium nuclei to fuse inside metal electrodes, producing measurable quantities of heat. That was the opening bell for one of the craziest periods in science. Cold fusion, if real, promised to solve the world's energy problems forever. Scientists around the world dropped what they were doing to try to replicate the astounding claim." The linked AP story (carried on SFGate.com) is about the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion, which took place in the last week of August.

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fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895163)

fp, thankyou.

dont do drugs. streetcrime is for girls, nobody ever got hired for reccomending sco.

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895170)

I, for one, welcome our new fp overlord.

FIRST POST (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895167)

THIS IS THE First time for me! yay yay yay.

Re:FIRST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895191)

No it isn't

"Still gets the cold shoulder" (3, Insightful)

koreth (409849) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895171)

Maybe it still gets the cold shoulder because there didn't turn out to be anything to it? Nah, stilly me, must be some kind of conspiracy.

Re:"Still gets the cold shoulder" (4, Insightful)

naasking (94116) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895241)

The whole situation was handled poorly by all parties involved. The politics doesn't mean there wasn't a phenomenon worthy of investigation.

Simple rule of thumb: (2, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895243)


> Maybe it still gets the cold shoulder because there didn't turn out to be anything to it?

"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't."

That's what I said to a friend the day after the "discovery" hit the news, and I haven't had any cause to reconsider my position since.

Re:"Still gets the cold shoulder" (4, Interesting)

LS (57954) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895276)

Did you RTFA or anything else on cold fusion in the last few years??? There IS something, though whether it is caused by cold fusion or not is the question. In fact, the article is specifically about people like you who deny things before they investigate them.

LS

Re:"Still gets the cold shoulder" (4, Insightful)

d'fim (132296) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895325)

Whatever "it" is, it is NOT fusion.

So call it something else already, and maybe those who study whatever "it" is may have a shot at being taken seriously.

Re:"Still gets the cold shoulder" (4, Insightful)

d'fim (132296) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895444)

.....adding to my own post:

They have been studying "it" for 14 years now, and they are STILL at the "we suspect that something is there, but we don't really have a clue as to what it might be, nor do we even have any real evidence that anything is really there at all" stage.

Nonetheless, cold fusion conspiracy theorists like to point out that a "major Japanese corporation" has a working model that is due to be demonstrated Real Soon Now.....

and has been so due for 14 years so far.

Re:"Still gets the cold shoulder" (1)

bcboy (4794) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895334)

It was investigated by all the best labs in the world. Result: they have no theory; they have no data.

Re: "Still gets the cold shoulder" (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895408)


> It was investigated by all the best labs in the world. Result: they have no theory; they have no data.

Never stopped other varieties of kook from sticking to their story.

Re:"Still gets the cold shoulder" (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895351)

Let me think. Either a lot of physics is a crock, or there's "something there"...

Yeah, I know, scientific theories get invalidated all the time. But a lot of badly controlled experiments done by people out to prove a really silly point aren't going to do it.

full text (-1, Informative)

MADbull (705032) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895172)

for when it get slashdotted: Cold fusion gets cold shoulder from many scientists SHARON BEGLEY, The Wall Street Journal Friday, September 5, 2003 (09-05) 06:01 PDT (AP) -- "Well, we're here," said physicist Peter Hagelstein to the 150 scientists at the 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion in Cambridge, Mass., last week. "Many people in the scientific community feel we should be shot." That, actually, would be a big step up for the beleaguered community of cold fusioneers. It has been 14 years since two little-known electrochemists announced, at an infamous news conference on March 23, 1989, what sounded like the biggest physics breakthrough since Enrico Fermi produced a nuclear chain reaction on a squash court in Chicago. Using a tabletop setup, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, of the University of Utah, said they had induced deuterium nuclei to fuse inside metal electrodes, producing measurable quantities of heat. (Deuterium, a.k.a. heavy hydrogen, has one proton and one neutron in its nucleus.) Although nuclear fusion is supposed to be impossible at temperatures much below those in the sun or a hydrogen bomb, the Utah duo said they had managed the feat at room temperature. That was the opening bell for one of the craziest periods in science. Cold fusion, if real, promised to solve the world's energy problems forever. (There is enough deuterium in seawater to provide electricity for millennia). Scientists around the world dropped what they were doing to try to replicate the astounding claim. Some did, most didn't. When a U.S. Department of Energy investigation concluded in November 1989 that cold fusion was a mirage born of bungled measurements and wishful thinking, the field became a pariah. Yet the cold fusioneers persist. In paper after paper last week, scientists reported that when a metal, usually palladium, absorbs huge amounts of deuterium into its atomic lattice, the result is more heat than plain old electrochemistry can explain, as well as particles thought to be by-products of nuclear fusion. Some of the most extensive work has been at the Naval Research Laboratory, whose scientists found both excess heat and a telltale sign of fusion, particles of helium-4, in dozens of experiments. And Michael McKubre of SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., is still, after hundreds of thousands of experiment-hours and $4 million, getting more heat from his cold-fusion cells than can be explained conventionally. Some of the most intriguing research is by physicist Steven Jones of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. Several years before Prof. Pons and Prof. Fleischmann, he reported low-temperature nuclear fusion, but virtually no excess heat. That made his cold fusion a big fizzle as an energy source, but much more acceptable to science. "The question I get more than any other is, 'Are you still doing this?', " says Prof. Jones. "The answer is yes, and what we are seeing is very difficult to explain outside of cold fusion. The repeatability of these experiments now approaches 80 percent." Although he still detects no excess heat, the telltale signs of nuclear fusion "make us conclude that we are seeing new physics." Although the persistence of the cold fusioneers makes skeptics shake their heads, proponents see it differently. "If there were no effects and it were just experimental error," says Prof. Hagelstein, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "we would have figured that out by now. I don't think there is any doubt about the existence of nuclear anomalies. Excess heat might be real, too." Right about here, I would cite physicists explaining why Prof. Hagelstein is wrong. But I can't. Almost no scientist outside the ostracized community listens to its claims anymore, much less critiques them. It has been years since a major physics journal published a paper on cold fusion. Prof. Hagelstein invited some of the original critics to last week's meeting; none showed. Cold fusion today is a prime example of pathological science, but not because its adherents are delusional. Yes, it's disconcerting that many of the experiments inexplicably and unpredictably stop (and start) producing heat. But the real pathology is the breakdown of the normal channels of scientific communication, with no scientists outside the tight-knit cold-fusion tribe bothering to scrutinize its claims. "If you 'know' that cold fusion is impossible, then you don't have to pay attention to these results," says Prof. Hagelstein, an award-winning DOE physicist before being ostracized for his work in the theory of cold fusion. "The initial criticism was that people needed to do the (heat measurements) right, but now that some groups have spent millions of dollars doing just that, the critics still won't read the papers." I, for one, would love to hear smart physicists explain why the excess heat from the deuterium-filled palladium reflects not nuclear fusion but the release of mechanical energy -- sort of like letting go of a stretched spring. I'd love to see a smart critique of a 2002 paper by Japanese scientists, published in a Japanese physics journal that few American scientists saw, describing (shades of medieval alchemists) the transmutation of elements through cold fusion. What these claims need is critical scrutiny by skeptics. That's how science normally functions. But in cold fusion, it isn't. And that's the worst pathology of all.

Re:full text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895200)

First of all, SFGate doesnt get slashdotted. They have enough servers to handle the load.

Secondly, if you ever again post article text, GET THE FUCKING PARAGRAPH FORMATTING CORRECT!

Re:full text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895212)

i can post trolls as AC, too.

Re:full text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895209)

Redundant, and poorly formatted.

Have you no pride?

Re:full text (2, Interesting)

Madcapjack (635982) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895255)

I read an ethnography about scientists and the detection of gravity waves. It described how scientists, after having decided that something was wrong, persisted in simply ignoring papers that continued the research despite the productivity and interesting results of the further research. It was interesting, too bad I don't have a reference.

Sorry ... Now with correct formatting!! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895261)

FOR WHEN IT G3T SLASHDOTED COLD FUSION GATS COLD SHUD3R FROM MANY SCEINTISTS SHARON BGLEY TEH WAL STRET JOURNAL FRIDAY S3PT3MBR 5 203 (09-05) 0601 PDT (AP) - WEL W3R3 H3R3 SADE PHYSICIST PET3R HAEGLSTAIN 2 TEH 150 SCEINTISTS AT DA 10TH INT3RNATIONAL CONFARANC3 ON COLD FUSION IN CMBRIDGE MAS111!1!1 OMG LAST WEK11111!! OMG WTF LOL MANY PEOPL3 IN DA SCEINTIFIC COMUNITY FEL W3 SHUD B SHOT1!!1! LOL TAHT ACTUALY WUD B A BIG STEP UP FOR TEH BL3AGU3RAD COMUNITY OF COLD FUSIONERS!111 WTF LOL IT HAS BEN 14 Y3ARS SINCE TWO LITLA-KNOWN 3LECTROCHEMISTS ANOUNCED AT AN INFMOUS NEWS CONF3RENCE ON MARCH 23 1989 WUT SOUNDED LIEK DA BIG3ST PHYSICS BR3AKTHROUGH SINCE ENRICO FARMI PRODUC3D A NUCLEAR CHANE RAACTION ON A SQUASH COURT IN CHICAGO!!!!! OMG USNG A TABLE2P S3TUP STANLEY PONS AND MARTIN FL3ISCHMAN OF DA UNIEVRSITY OF UTAH SADE THEY HAD INDUCED DAUTERIUM NUCLAI 2 FUSE INSIED M3TAL 3LACTRODES PRODUCNG MAASURABL3 QUANTITEIS OF H3AT1!!1 OMG (DAUT3RIUM AKA11!!!!1! LOL HEAVY HYDROGEN HAS ONE PRO2N AND ON3 NAUTRON IN ITS NUCLEUS)1!!!!11 WTF ALTHOUGH NUCL3AR FUSION IS SUPOS3D 2 B IMPOSIBL3 AT T3MPARATUR3S MUCH BLOW THOSE IN TEH SUN OR A HYDROGEN BOMB TEH UTAH DUO SADE THEY HAD MANAEGD DA FEAT AT ROM TEMPERATURA!11!!!!! OMG TAHT WAS TEH OPENNG BL FOR ON3 OF DA CRAZEIST P3RIODS IN SCEINCE!1!!11! WTF COLD FUSION IF REAL PROMIESD 2 SOLV3 TEH WORLDS 3NERGY PROBLEMS FOREVER1!1! OMG WTF LOL THEYRE IS ANOUGH D3UT3RIUM IN S3AW8R 2 PROVIED ALACTRICITY FOR MIL3NIA)111!1!!! OMG WTF SCEINTISTS AROUND DA WORLD DROP3D WT W3RE DONG 2 TRY 2 REPLICAET DA AS2UNDNG CLAME!!11 OMG SOME DID MOST DIDNT!111 LOL WHEN A US11111!! OMG WTF LOL D3PARTMENT OF 3NARGY INVESTIGATION CONCLUD3D IN NOVEMBR 1989 TAHT COLD FUSION WAS A MIRAEG BORN OF BUNGLAD M3ASUR3M3NTS AND WISHFUL THINKNG TEH FEILD BCME A PARIAH1!1! OMG WTF LOL YET DA COLD FUSIONERS PARSIST!11!11 OMG LOL IN PAEPR AFTER PAEPR LAST WEK SCEINTISTS R3PORTED TAHT WH3N A MATAL USUALY PALADIUM ABSORBS HUGE MOUNTS OF DAUTARIUM IN2 ITS A2MIC LATIEC TEH RESULT IS MORA H3AT THAN PLANE OLD ELACTROCHAMISTRY CAN 3XPLANE AS WEL AS PARTICLES THOUGHT 2 B BY-PRODUCTS OF NUCLEAR FUSION!!111 WTF LOL SOME OF DA MOST 3XTANSIEV WORK HAS B3N AT DA NAVAL RESAARCH LABORA2RY WHOSE SCEINTISTS FOUND BOTH EXCES H3AT AND A T3LTAEL SIGN OF FUSION PARTICLES OF HALIUM-4 IN DOZ3NS OF AXP3RIEMNTS!!1!!111 OMG AND MICHAAL MKUBR3 OF SRI INTERNATIONAL M3NLO PARK CALIF!!!!!!!! OMG WTF LOL IS STIL AFT3R HUNDR3DS OF THOUSANDS OF EXPERIEMNT-HOURS AND $4 MILION G3TNG MORE HEAT FROM HIS COLD-FUSION CELS THAN CAN B EXPLANEAD CONVENTIONALY11!11 LOL SOME OF DA MOST INTRIGUNG RESEARCH IS BY PHYSICIST STEVEN JONAS OF BRIGHM U UNIEVRSITY PROVO UTAH!1!!!1 WTF LOL SEVERAL Y3ARS BFORE PROF11!! OMG WTF LOL PONS AND PROF1!!! OMG LOL FLEISCHMAN HE REPORTAD LOW-TEMPARATURE NUCLEAR FUSION BUT VIRTUALY NO AXCES HEAT1!1! OMG TAHT MAED HIS COLD FUSION A BIG FIZLA AS AN ENERGY SOURC3 BUT MUCH MORE ACAPTABLE 2 SCEINCA!!!!!! DA QUASTION I G3T MORA THAN ANY OTHER IS R U STIL DONG THIS??!?!?!!? OMG WTF SAYS PROF!!1!!11 JON3S1!1!!!!! OMG WTF DA ANSWER IS YAS AND WUT WE R SENG IS V3RY DIFICULT 2 3XPLANE OUTSIED OF COLD FUSION11!! OMG WTF DA REPEATABILITY OF THES3 3XPERIEMNTS NOW APROACHES 80 P3RCENT!!1! WTF LOL ALTHOUGH HA STIL D3TECTS NO EXCAS HEAT DA T3LTAEL SIGNS OF NUCL3AR FUSION MAEK US CONCLUDE TAHT WA R SENG NU PHYSICS!1!1!11 WTF LOL ALTHOUGH TEH PERSISTANCE OF TEH COLD FUSIONERS MAEKS SKAPTICS SHAEK THEYRE H3ADS PROPON3NTS SE IT DIFERANTLY!1!11 OMG IF THEIR WER3 NO EF3CTS AND IT WERE JUST EXPERIEMNTAL EROR SAYS PROF!!1!!! WTF HAEGLSTAIN ASOCIAET PROF3SOR OF 3LECTRICAL ANGIEN3RNG AND COMPUT3R SCEINC3 AT TEH MASACHUSETS INSTITUTA OF TECHNOLOGY W3 WUD HAEV FIGUR3D TAHT OUT BY NOW11!1!! WTF LOL I DONT THINK THEYRE IS ANY DOUBT ABOUT TEH EXISTANC3 OF NUCLEAR ANOMALEIS!!1! WTF EXC3S HEAT MIGHT B R3AL 2!1!!1 WTF RIGHT ABOUT H3RE I WUD CIET PHYSICISTS 3XPLANENG Y PROF!1!!1 LOL HAEGLSTEIN IS WRONG!!11!11 OMG BUT I CANT!1!111 OMG WTF LOL ALMOST NO SCEINTIST OUTSIED TEH OSTRACIEZD COMUNITY LISTENS 2 ITS CLAMES ANYMOR3 MUCH LAS CRITIQUES THAM111!!!! OMG IT HAS B3N YAARS SINCA A MAJOR PHYSICS JOURNAL PUBLISHAD A PAEPR ON COLD FUSION!!!111!! OMG WTF LOL PROF!11!1!1! WTF HAEGLSTEIN INVIETD SOME OF TEH ORIGINAL CRITICS 2 LAST WEKS METNG NONE SHOW3D1111!111 OMG WTF LOL COLD FUSION 2DAY IS A PRIEM EXMPL3 OF PATHOLOGICAL SCEINCE BUT NOT B/C ITS ADHAR3NTS R DELUSIONAL1!11 WTF Y3S ITS DISCONCARTNG TAHT MANY OF TEH EXPARIEMNTS IENXPLICABLY AND UNPREDICTABLY S2P (AND START) PRODUCNG HAAT1!!11!! LOL BUT DA R3AL PATHOLOGY IS DA BRAAKDOWN OF DA NORMAL CHANALS OF SCEINTIFIC COMUNICATION WIT NO SCEINTISTS OUTSIED DA TIGHT-KNIT COLD-FUSION TRIEB BOTH3RNG 2 SCRUTINIEZ ITS CLAMES!11! WTF LOL IF U KNOW TAHT COLD FUSION IS IMPOSIBL3 THAN U DONT HAEV 2 PAY AT3NTION 2 THESE RASULTS SAYS PROF!!!1!! WTF LOL HAEGLST3IN AN AWARD-WINNG DO3 PHYSICIST BFOR3 BNG OSTRACIEZD FOR HIS WORK IN TEH TH3ORY OF COLD FUSION1!1!!!! LOL TEH INITIAL CRITICISM WAS TAHT PEOPL3 NEDED 2 DO DA (H3AT M3ASUR3M3NTS) RIGHT BUT NOW TAHT SOME GROUPS HAEV SP3NT MILIONS OF DOLARS DONG JUST TAHT TEH CRITICS STIL WONT READ TEH PAEPRS!111!11 OMG WTF LOL I FOR ONE WUD LOVE 2 HEAR SMART PHYSICISTS EXPLANE Y DA 3XC3S HAAT FROM DA DAUT3RIUM-FIL3D PALADIUM R3FLACTS NOT NUCLAAR FUSION BUT DA RELAAES OF MACHANICAL 3N3RGY - SORT OF LIEK LETNG GO OF A STRETCH3D SPRNG11!11 OMG LOL ID LOVA 2 SE A SMART CRITIQUA OF A 202 PAEPR BY JAPAENSE SCEINTISTS PUBLISH3D IN A JAPAENS3 PHYSICS JOURNAL TAHT FAW M3RICAN SCEINTISTS SAW DASCRIBNG (SHAEDS OF MEDEIVAL ALCHAMISTS) DA TRANSMUTATION OF ELEMENTS THROUGH COLD FUSION!111 OMG WTF LOL WT CLAMES NED IS CRITICAL SCRUTINY BY SKAPTICS111!1!!! WTF LOL TAHTS HOW SCEINCE NORMALY FUNCTIONS111!1 OMG WTF LOL BUT IN COLD FUSION IT ISNT11111!!1 OMG WTF AND TAHTS DA WORST PATHOLOGY OF AL1!!11!

Re:Sorry ... Now with correct formatting!! (0)

MADbull (705032) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895330)

you saved me the trouble, thanks TROLL TROLL TROLL

If real? (4, Funny)

thinkninja (606538) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895178)

What do you think powers my flying car?

Re:If real? (2, Funny)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895231)

If it's anything like my flying car, probably good ol Mr. Fusion

Re:If real? (3, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895237)

I thought just powers the time circuits.

Re:If real? (1)

DA-MAN (17442) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895310)

Well yes. The time circuit, or flux capacitor, and the hover capabilites of the car are both powered by Mr. Fusion. Old model's required primitive Plutonium or Lightning as a source of power, pfft.

Re:If real? (5, Funny)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895268)

Imagination

Re:If real? (1)

Subcarrier (262294) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895272)

You don't need a flying car to take off on Cold Fusion [bumpkinland.com] .

Re:If real? (4, Funny)

falzer (224563) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895328)

> What do you think powers my flying car?

Your own sense of self-satisfaction?

Re:If real? (1)

sydb (176695) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895461)

My karmah powers my flying car.

Squash Court (-1, Offtopic)

joebolte (704665) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895180)

First Comment?
I walked by th very site mentioned in the posting a minute ago and there was very clearly a tennis court there. Hah!

cold fusion is a great programmingenvironment thou (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895182)

first post ;)

they made a movie about it too! (1, Informative)

civilengineer (669209) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895193)

Val Kilmer in "Saint" is about some bad guys in Russia trying to steal cold fusion tech from an american scientist in Britain.

Re:they made a movie about it too! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895226)

But the scientist concerned wore a real lab coat, so it must work...

They probably have achieved cold fusion (-1, Troll)

stewart.hector (87816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895195)

They probably already have achieved cold fusion or some other high energy - low cost "fuel".

However, with oil, there is way too much money to be lost and too many jobs will go - right throughout the chain - oil refinaries up to petrol stations etc etc.

Re:They probably have achieved cold fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895288)

Now that's dangerous thinking there, Stewart. You'd best get back to your sunday activities.

But seriously, I've wondered if some mad scientist types have created what you speak of. Of course, if it's a well-kept secret, then we won't know about it and that's the end of the story, for now anyway.

I'm not so sure some new low cost fuel tech would be suppressed. There's still a way for all that old tech to be repurposed and recycled. New jobs involving the new tech replace the old jobs involving fossil fuel.

Re:They probably have achieved cold fusion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895292)

I know this is flamebait, but I just have to point out what an idiot you are.

Suppose such a technology exists...big oil is in the best possible position to exploit it; they have the money, and the distribution networks. If they dominate the technology, they'd make much more money than the do through oil that they have to dig out of the ground or buy from an arab cartel.

Re:They probably have achieved cold fusion (1)

Sir Holo (531007) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895343)

And just who is this "they" that you speak of? Please clarify.

Re:They probably have achieved cold fusion (0, Troll)

stewart.hector (87816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895399)

Countries, or more probable Energy related companies - such as Oil Companies.

It is well known companies, such as Shell, BP etc are researching renewable energies - for example, wind power, solar power. Whats to stop them from researching Cold Fusion or other advanced power sources?

Whilst Oil is very profitable, they aren't going to remove their cash cow.

Take for example, a Light Bulb that lasts 20 years... , once such things have been purchased, there isn't any insentive to buy more...

Its all to do with money.

As an example - Years ago, an inventor invented a non addictive ciggerette (spelling)... a large tobbacco company bought the product... and well, its not around any more.. forgotten.

Re:They probably have achieved cold fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895466)

actually, you CAN buy nicotine-free cigarettes. They just don't sell very well.

Re:They probably have achieved cold fusion (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895376)

yes and there's foolproof cure for cancer and aids too, and for aging too but they dare not bring it about since gwb might use it. you should be modded up as funny, not insightful.

think for a moment what amount of cold money could be made on such invention combined with hmm, patenting it? you think any party that had the chances to something like that would keep it under lid until someone else figures it out too, as is usually bound to happen in the way that such advances work out to happen nowadays? why would they do such research if they didn't want to do anything with it and especially would like it to be stuffed away?

Re:They probably have achieved cold fusion (1)

stewart.hector (87816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895418)

Think about what Cold fusion or other low cost, high energy power source, would do internationally - This would cripple countries - namely, Middle East countries that rely soley on Oil Exports.

Would it not be possible that the impact of such fuel sources be too high for the world to bear, at the moment.

cold fusion? (-1, Offtopic)

Keltus (662411) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895202)

heh, when I saw the article I thought it was about the Cold Fusion programming language

Re:cold fusion? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895220)

die you fucking moron

Re:cold fusion? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895247)

me to. fucking science faggots

Re:cold fusion? (2, Funny)

Joe U (443617) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895259)

No, the title for that article is:

"6 versions later and ColdFusion still gets the cold shoulder (And crashes now and then for some reason)"

Re:cold fusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895266)

I thought they were describing sex with my ex-wife.

Yea. I got cold fusion working in a Pepsi bottle. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895204)

But, does naybody give a shit? Noooo.

Well screw you all. I'll never pay electric bills again and will simple laugh at you for the rest of my life. Screw you, and sand niggers too.

What really happened (5, Funny)

sonicattack (554038) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895224)

This is from the good ole' fortune file. It really has an answer to everything!

- "Yo, Mike!"
- "Yeah, Gabe?"
- "We got a problem down on Earth. In Utah."
- "I thought you fixed that last century!"
- "No, no, not that. Someone's found a security problem in the physics program. They're getting energy out of nowhere."
- "Blessit! Lemme look... Hey, it's there all right! OK, just a sec... There, that ought to patch it. Dist it out, wouldja?"

-- Cold Fusion, 1989

Re:What really happened (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895295)

It seems that Utah is the center of all possible problems...

In other news... (4, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895232)

Scientists for the International Society of Alchemy held their 284th annual conference next door to the cold fusion conference. Still under debate is: did Gaythorpe the Great really turn lead into gold?

Cold fusion works! (4, Funny)

Alomex (148003) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895235)

My neighbor had a cold fusion plant working like a charm, but he hasn't done much with it since the time he decided to connect to the electricity grid and give all his fellow Ohians free juice.

Ah, what do MIT professors know anyway... (0, Troll)

patoco12 (562039) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895242)

We all know nothing but nonsense has been produced by that school!

Chain Reaction (4, Interesting)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895244)

I always liked the hidden commentary in the movie Chain Reaction [imdb.com] that someone really did discover cold fusion but it has been massively covered up by existing power interests (e.g., oil, coal). Surely nonesense, because this is a genie that would not go back in the bottle if it was true, but if cold fusion really was developed you can bet your ass we'd see Congress trying to pass some kind of doublespeak like "Protecting Home Access to Electricity Act" which makes it illegal to purchase non-coal generated electricity.

Re:Chain Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895277)

Why would they do that? Much better to patent the process so your competitors can't use it. Then you can undercut the competition's prices while still increasing your own profits. It'd be like printing money.

Re:Chain Reaction (2, Insightful)

Prior Restraint (179698) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895340)

[I]f cold fusion really was developed you can bet your ass we'd see Congress trying to pass some kind of doublespeak like "Protecting Home Access to Electricity Act" which makes it illegal to purchase non-coal generated electricity.

I'm always up for a good conspiracy theory, but the more realistic outcome would be along the lines of forcing whoever patents it to give RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms to all the existing power companies so they can upgrade their netowrks on the cheap.

Let us dream (4, Insightful)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895245)

I know the popular thing to do is bash psuedo-sciences, and cold fusion because of its shaky introduction into popular thought quickly falls into this quagmire. But, let the human race dream before summarily dismissing the entire concept. I for one dont believe that all I have to look forward to as i grow older is a greater dependence on big oil, old money, and the like. Many groups (and by that I mean countries, companies, and current presidents) would love to convince us that there is no better way to live than under our present conditions. Not giving cold fusion and other radical departures from our current system an honest chance is not far from why were are stuck with Windows as the dominant platform in computers and oil as the backbone of our way of life.
Im not saying that cold fusion itself is the future, but what we are presently using is certainly not the platform for all future generations. Hell, if Bush gets his way there might not even be enough sun left for solar energy so there has to be soemthing to fill the void.

GO HUG A FUCKING TREE (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895293)

I only hope that a spotted owl shits on your head.

I've seen a lot of Bush bashing but, even suggesting that he will have some impact on the Sun is so ridiculous that Green Peace would bitch slap you. Go hug a tree and STFU you moron.

Re:GO HUG A FUCKING TREE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895363)

No you dork, what he was probably trying to say was that the Bush administration's position on power plants (they don't have to minimize pollution when modernizing), the kyoto treaty, arctic drilling, oil fires from the iraq invasion etc. is indicative of a trend - it's not outside the realm of possibility that we'll have LA like smogs throughout the country , thus disrupting ground based solar power. Of course, you'll probably come back with a response along the lines of "I hope $animal does $action on $portion-of-your-anatomy", so you might as well not bother.

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895451)

Troll alert!

Re:Let us dream (1)

fastdecade (179638) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895429)

At the same time, you can't always dream because resources are finite. If we dreamt like Rip Van Winkle, we'd be spending billions of dollars and a few fine minds researching parapsychology, astrology, and endeavouring to produce a perpetual motion machine.

In this case, though, the stakes are huge and quite frankly no method is a clear winner, so it seems justified to spend heavily even on very speculative ideas.

No kidding (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895246)

Yes, "cold fusion" is getting the cold shoulder from the scientific community. As are theories about the ether, hollow- and flat-earth theories, and creationism. Wow, what a shock.

Stop cold fusion research... (4, Funny)

ryen (684684) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895250)

by grabbing the www.iccf11.org domain before the 11th conference ;)

Re:Stop cold fusion research... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895289)

www.iccf11.org is not a domain. iccf11.org is a domain.

So you could say the trail has grown cold? (4, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895260)

"It has been 14 years"

It been at least that long since we were promised Hydrogen fuel cells. Where's my fuel cell powered truck?

I think consumers have been patient enough. Now it is time for companies to deliver something.

Re:So you could say the trail has grown cold? (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895364)

Dude. FUEL CELL POWERED LAPTOPS. Duh. And there are fuel cell powered busses operating in Vancouver, thanks to Ballard Power.

Re:So you could say the trail has grown cold? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895370)

Chill. We're working on it. This is a tenth of what we do, the site is under construction yet:
Argonne National Laboratory Hydrogen Research [anl.gov]
Give us 0.1% of the money we spent on Iraq and we'll give you a hydrogen economy. The question is, do you really want a change, or will you ride your SUV into oblivion?

Embarassed (4, Insightful)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895287)

This is a pride issue. The cold-fusion scientists are trying to get recognition from their detractors but they don't want to have anything to do with it. There are two reasons,
  1. They got burned the first time because the conclusion, it was a hoax. Nothing makes a scientist burn up more than to have been tricked by some psuedo science experiment.
  2. They really would hate to admit that they are wrong a second time. If they look and find that they are wrong and it was not a hoax it looks bad for them. Worse, they back it up and they find out that it was still considered a hoax, they fell like fools for a second time.

No win situation for their critics really. They are going to have a tough time getting any support.

But as far as I know, it is not wapor-ware at all! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895296)

See http://www.macromedia.com/ [macromedia.com]

SCOX's new business plan? (-1, Offtopic)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895300)

finally a new business planbthat matches SCOX's CEO FUD tactics..Cold Fusion!

Cold Fusion? (5, Funny)

mlush (620447) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895304)

Just a Fleisch in the Pons

i didnt know.. (-1, Offtopic)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895311)

.. that they had a web design environment 14 years ago. Al Gore must've invented the internet way earlier than we thought.

Pons and Fleischmann (4, Interesting)

gribbly (39555) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895313)

[disclaimer: from memory]

The Pons and Fleischmann "cold fusion" experiment was thoroughly discredited shortly after the press conference (in which they grossly overstated their results). Apparently they were spooked by another researcher working in a similar area. They had signed an agreement with him not to release any results, but got paranoid that he was going to "claim the credit", and went ahead and announced - kind of an "announce and hope the results back you up" gamble. Well, the results *didn't* back them up, although it is interesting that many reputable teams who sought to replicate the results initially did so, but one by one retracted their findings when they discovered various flaws in their methodologies.

I think the basic problem with the original Pons and Fleischmann experiment was that their calorimeter (which they used to get their "excess heat" measurements) was either faulty, or inappropriate for the experiement they were performing, and they didn't control for it.

grib.

What are you talking about? (-1, Redundant)

spudchucker (680073) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895317)

I'm confused, I thought Macromedia bought that steaming pile of shit a few years ago.

Broadband access for $2/month (4, Funny)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895318)

Using the techniques published in the paper, I've been developing a method a quantum communication over great distances. The possibilities of these innovations to the original deuterium breakdown system are staggering; among these breakthroughs are advances in communication.

We all know the typical objection to unlimited data compression. One needs only to Google for "counting argument" to realize that further compression of essentially random (e.g., binary) data is impossible. Searches for better compression algorithms at best have minimal returns (1-2% reductions are considered remarkable) or at worst ineffective or outright hoaxes.

My new technology builds upon quantum duality -- influence at a distance. From first year quantum physics we know that observation of a particle can fix its state. Should a particle and anti-particle be released, we can *at a distance* fix the identity of the opposite particle merely by observation. What does this mean? Well, for one, by sending a stream of anti-particles to a remote observer then observing its opposite, we can then fix the identity of the remote particles *no matter how much distance*. This means we can instantaneously send as a stream of quantum particles. Schroedinger's and Heisenbergs body of work more than amply addresses the mechanics of this remote communication so I won't bore you with the technical details here.

How does my method overcome the inherent randomness of quantum identity? It doesn't. I rely upon a remote lookup table. The receiver will only need to be sent a key of several bits. The remote receiver can then index the key to a table of longer values. For example, a key code of 001 would correspond to a larger sequence such as 00100111. By performing a lookup on this table the receiver can then expand the key to arbitrarily large bit sequences. How are the keys transferred? Our new technology -- Extended Schroedinger Particle (ESP) -- bases itself upon the aforementioned work by Mr. Schroedinger. Of course, trade secrets and corporate lawyers prevent me from revealing the exact method.

Anyhow, please send me money so that I can continue my research. It has the potential to obviate and obsolete all current telecommunications networks.

KLL

Old Cold Fusion Stuff (5, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895336)

Stuff on the US Navy and Cold Fusion

http://www.spawar.navy.mil/sti/publications/pubs /t r/1862/tr1862-vol1.pdf

and when we do achieve cold fusion... (5, Funny)

forgotmypassword (602349) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895349)

we will use it to boil water

(you have to know how a nukular power plant works to get this joke)

Cold Fusion experiments for everyone... (2, Interesting)

joestar (225875) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895350)

Hi - I just wanted to tell you that there is a guy - Jean-Louis Naudin - who performed many cold fusion experiments recently, using different setups, with different kinds of electrods.

It seems that he is successful in getting more power produced than power eaten (around 200%).

You'll like all his experiments (full description, RealPlayer videos and full results are publicly available) at:
http://jlnlabs.imars.com/cfr/index.htm [imars.com]

If there are real physicists here, please comment his results, it can be interesting.

Jean-Louis is also the guy who successfully replicated the Lifter [jnaudin.free.fr] (electrostatic propulsion).

Re:Cold Fusion experiments for everyone... (3, Interesting)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895398)

Here [imars.com] is where the "magic" really is. You see, the "Cold Fusion Reactor" is plugged into a 220volt socket. If you unplug the 220volt power supply the light goes out.

If he really had a reaction that was actually creating energy, you could unplug the power supply and the reaction would continue. Infact the reaction would continue to grow and a means of throttling the reaction would be necessary.

What he really has here is a rather dangerous light bulb. It's none too efficient either.

Re:Cold Fusion experiments for everyone... (1)

joestar (225875) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895442)

Well... this is only *your* claim. I guess that if you unplug power supply in any power plant, it stops to produce electricity quite quickly. The real question is: is there more energy produced than electricity consumed or not.

Re:Cold Fusion experiments for everyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895455)

Any energy created in the form of heat does not power the electrodes.

Re:Cold Fusion experiments for everyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895436)

I wonder why he reads the kWh from the meter as power instead of energy?

Paralell Science story (0, Redundant)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895362)

I'm not saying that these guys did indeed produce cold fusion -- but sometimes weird shit happens

I point you to a (true) story my history teacher told us in college (if someone could sorce this that would be awesome). This scientist had produced a laser that turned out to have some special property. It's not important what the property is -- only that the laser had it, and it was unusual. The scientist published papers about his unusual lasers and the scientific community rushed to build them. Low and behold -- none of their lasers worked, but his did. Some called him a fraud, and others came to study how the lasers were made. It turned out that one of the scientists assistants had an unusual way of working with the laser tube glass -- she closed them by using the normal technique *WHILE* jumping off her stool. It turned out this was what gave the lasers their special properties.

My point is that these guys were probably wrong about cold fusion, but stranger things have happened.

History teacher ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895432)

Maybe you shouldn't rely on your history teacher for anecdotal scientific stories about lasers...

Re:Paralell Science story (1)

benzapp (464105) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895493)

You had me going until I read: she closed them by using the normal technique *WHILE* jumping off her stool.

I wonder if she engages in some acrobatics in the sack. THAT would be interesting.

If it is getting the "cold shoulder"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895368)

...how come there have been 10 international conferences on the subject, with the last one just a couple of weeks ago???

maybe not cold but... (1, Informative)

jbloggs (535329) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895373)

Hot fusion is alive and working in experimental reactors. They are able to keep in 10^8 kelvins using a magnetic field. It also is powered using heavy water and will be available commercially in 50 years or less. http://www.fusion.org.uk/

Cold fusion gives cold shoulder to linux too. (0)

Whammy666 (589169) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895374)

If you read the "Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion" link and go down to about the middle of the page, you'll see submission guidelines for submitting articles to World Scientific. However, the templates for article submission are for M$ Word as it seems that they only accept docs in ms-word format. How can anyone take these guys seriously when they don't accept Tex/LaTeX?

Cold Shoulder? (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895388)


What the heck kind of shoulder did you expect cold fusion to get?

Things to remember (4, Interesting)

cluge (114877) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895393)

Some quick facts:

Science by press release is almost never ever good science.

Big physics has been getting more money than big chemistry. Many chemists jumped on the bandwagon in the hopes of getting research grants in their discipline.

The nature of fusion makes the whole idea of "cold fussion" an oxymoron.

A lot of ameteur's have been getting closer to fusion in their homes [fusor.net] than the cold fusion people have ever gotten.

See sig for final thoughts on this subject.

Cold fusion announcement timing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895394)

The announcement that the two guys had possibly achieved cold-fusion just happened to coincide with the annual government grant-funding period. Of course, more research was required....

Didn't you hear the man? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6895421)

Einstein said it was impossible. C'mon guys, give up already. Sheesh.

The primary beneficiary (3, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895427)

It has been 14 years since two little-known electrochemists announced what sounded like the biggest physics breakthrough since Enrico Fermi produced a nuclear chain reaction on a squash court in Chicago.

Coincidentally, it's been 14 years since my Introductory Physics professor blew off pretty much the entire second semester to try to replicate the Pons & Fleischman findings. It worked out well -- he got a cover article in Nature and I got an A+ after he reused all the previous years' exams verbatim.

(You'd think everyone else would have gotten old exams from their friends, but I, though hardly an Alpha Beta, was apparently one of the few students who _had_ friends. For that matter, I could never understand how people could be given a word problem with the force and mass, told to find the acceleration, and given the relevant equations, couldn't locate f=ma and plug the values in.)

The same guy, when he talked about the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse pronounced it "Tacomanaros". It was years before I learned that it wasn't in Uruguay or Bolivia...

Who cares? (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895437)

So we'll have cold fusion. It's more convenient than hot fusion.

Doesn't solve a few problems.
#1 is it safe?
#2 will it pollute? Radiation is the 'obvious' one, but what about spent fuel? is it poisonous?
#3 where will we get the fuel for this? It won't run on nothing.

Why not focus on using less energy, and improving the efficiency of current sources. Solar cells have a LONG way to go both in efficiency and financial competativeness.

Cold fusion in Cambridge (1)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895438)

Some months after the original story I was at some dinner or other at which some Cambridge physicists were present, so we asked them their views.

"Well," they said, "we've set it up in the lab, and it gets hot." Then they shrugged and talked about something else. (I don't remember who this was or I'd maybe ask them what their views are now.)

Today's choice from the random article file (0, Troll)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895440)

Gack. A monkey could handle the editorial duties here.

Let's see:

SCO
Cold Fusion
Software Patents
Microsoft Security Problems
Microsoft Conquers World
Latest Version of Apache released
Java suckage
BSD is dying
RIAA is stopping me from downloading
Somebody shoots something into space
Supression of video games
Latest hardware iz kewl

Guess what, much like in the MASH episode where Hawkeye is told for the 2345th time in a row that he has to choose between liver and fish,

WE WANT SOMETHING ELSE!

Re:Today's choice from the random article file (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895477)

Um, do "we"? What exactly - that there isn't other sites you can visit instead, by the way?

Coldfusion (-1, Offtopic)

revividus (643168) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895441)

I use Coldfusion at work, and while I would possibly choose other methods of web application development if it were up to me, it still remains a good, solid Web application development tool, which is easy to learn and quite powerful.

It runs fine on linux, as well!

Cold Fusion"and Neural Networks: Similar Fates (3, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895443)

What is happening to the research in the cold fusion also happened to the research in neural newtorks. Please read the following.

  1. " Perceptrons: An Associative Learning Network [vt.edu] ".
  2. "Single and Multi-Layer Perceptrons [tripod.com] "
  3. Perceptron [wikipedia.org] .

To briefly summarize the tale of woe, Frank Rosenblatt invented the perceptron in 1957. It had one layer of artificial neurons and sparked an entire field of research in artificial learning. In 1969, Marvin Minsky at MIT wrote a book called "Perceptrons: An Introduction to Computational Geometry"; in it, he mathematically proved that the perceptron could not solve certain classes of problems. This book essentially decimated funding for neural-network research for about 15 years.

In 1982, John Hopfield at Caltech revived the field with the invention of the Hopfield Networks. Further, several researchers invented backpropagation as a way to train neural networks with 2 or more layers or artificial neurons and overcame the limitations that Minsky indicated. Now, the field of neural networks has plenty of money to do research.

So, there is a possibility that research into cold fusion will grow hot again.

... from the desk of the reporter [geocities.com]

Media, Culture vs Science (4, Interesting)

smoondog (85133) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895453)

There are two things that could be at work here. First, scientists may hate everything to do with cold fusion and not want to see it go anywhere. And/Or, Two, the media may be fueling the perception that scientists don't want anything to do with it.

I spoke [stanforddaily.com] with a nobel laureate physicist about cold fusion. I found that while he didn't think there was much to cold fusion (it isn't his primary area of research, but if he can't comment on it, who can?), I didn't get the feeling he held the anomosity usually attributed to the scientific community at large. (I frankly don't either) I think that the media plays a significant role in blackening the field. Kind of like the kid on the playground who eggs on fights, but never participates in them.

Scientists believe in publication, in particular good ones. If cold fusion-ites publish interesting/good research on the subject, they will be recognized. As pointed out in the above link, there was a seemingly cold fusion-like experiment that was published in science quite recently (it isn't quite cold fusion, because the events themselves are hot and very small).

Most scientists deal with skeptical peers regularly, this isn't just a property of the cold fusion community. That said, just because there is a conference on it doesn't make it real or even interesting. I personally find it interesting, but I wouldn't bet on seeing commercial applications of this in our lifetimes.

-Sean

If they had really discovered cold fusion... (1)

Black Art (3335) | more than 10 years ago | (#6895474)

they would be dead right now.

Fusion produces lots of hard radiation. A slight detail that the believers tend to gloss over.

If they had discovered fusion in a bottle, they would have been well done a few moments later.
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