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Wikiversity/Cold fusion/Excess Heat/Clarke Foreword/Abd

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This page is a personal report from Abd, but may be discussed on the attached Talk page.

  • Does Clarke "believe" in cold fusion?
  • Clark believes that "something strange" is happening at the "fringes of physics." He takes a "wait and see approach," in 2000, when the foreword was written.
  • What errors (or possible misrepresentations), if any, are present in the Clarke foreword?
  • Clarke writes:
For where are the neutrons and gamma-rays and tritium and helium -- the lethal "ashes" such a reaction should produce? Well, later experiments claim to have detected them, but in quantities far too small to account for the energy liberated.
  • This is true as to the first three ashes or products mentioned. It is not true (and was not true in 2000) as to helium which, first of all, isn't "lethal," far from it, or else my squeaky voice at a kids' party would have been my last utterance, and, secondly, was reported and confirmed at quite the quantity adequate to explain the excess heat, expected if the reaction is deuterium fusion. But because of the absence of gamma rays, the reaction is probably not ordinary deuterium fusion (i.e., d-d fusion), but something else, an "unknown nuclear reaction" as was Pons and Fleischmann's actual claim.
  • Clarke correctly notes that the theoretical basis for cold fusion is "still a mystery," and that's still largely true, though there has been some progress as this is written (January 2011).
  • Clarke also wrote, about Pons and Fleischman
  • What possibility, consistent with what Clarke appears to accept, would Clarke consider "disappointing"?
  • That the effect turns out to be real, but not practical for use. (Which remains a real possibility as of 2011.)