Wikiversity/Cold fusion/Storms (2010)

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Status of cold fusion (2010)

Preprint is available at


The phenomenon called cold fusion has been studied for the last 21 years since its discovery by Profs. Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. The discovery was met with considerable skepticism, but supporting evidence has accumulated, plausible theories have been suggested, and research is continuing in at least eight countries. This paper provides a brief overview of the major discoveries and some of the attempts at an explanation. The evidence supports the claim that a nuclear reaction between deuterons to produce helium can occur in special materials without application of high energy. This reaction is found to produce clean energy at potentially useful levels without the harmful byproducts normally associated with a nuclear process. Various requirements of a model are examined.

Meet the Author

Edmund Storms works and publishes using the name of his private laboratory, Kiva Labs, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

In 2007 he recorded this presentation of his work on Chemically Assisted Nuclear Reaction.

It is clear from this presentation that he believes the phenomenon of cold fusion is real, and he proceeds to explain how it works. Storms opens the video with this introduction:

Hello, I'm Edmund Storms, and I'm here in my office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on a cool day in December, 2007. I would like to tell you about cold fusion. Cold fusion is the most important and under-appreciated discovery of this century. In fact, this discovery has the potential to change the lives of every one on this planet, and provide clean cheap energy for the foreseeable future.

In 1998, Storms published an earlier paper, "Cold Fusion Revisited," in which he expressed considerably more skepticism:


A collection of recent studies of what is incorrectly called "Cold Fusion" shows the present status of the phenomenon and provides some explanations for the claims. An understanding of many claims continues to improve while new discoveries still challenge the most creative theories. A case is made to support a new field of study involving chemically assisted nuclear reactions.

Did Storms undergo a conversion from "skeptic" to "believer"? If so, what influenced this? Study this question at Cold fusion/Experts/Edmund Storms.


Radioactive decay of contaminant

Storms shows a table (Table 2, p. 867) of "Proposed reactions producing helium from materials expected to be present in cold-fusion environments," and then adds that "Involvement of neutrinos and radioactive decay products are ignored." Since radioactive decay from a contaminant might produce both helium and heat, could this explain the helium?

Radioactive decay is a slow process and one that makes detectable heat only when a very large amount of the radioactive material is present. In this case, the element would have to be an alpha emitter. The alpha emitters exist only at high mass numbers and these elements are very rare in the normal environment. If enough were present to make detectable heat and helium, their presence would be clearly visible from the energetic radiation they would generate. In addition, the rate at which heat and helium are produced would slowly decrease as the material decay away. None of these consequences of radioactive elements being the source of heat and helium have been seen. comment added by Edmund Storms 16:31, 2 December 2010.

Study this question at Radioactive decay of contaminant.

I don't know if the math is right or not, but the logic is flawed in several ways. First, radon is part of the decay chain of uranium and has a half-life of 3.8 days. Once removed from the source, i.e. uranium, radon will quickly disappear. Therefore, no radon would be in any heavy-water older than a month. Second, heavy-water is carefully purified. The few impurities are carbon based sulfur compounds that are hard to remove by distillation. Third, direct measurement show that heavy water contains no radioactive element other than a small amount of tritium. What is the point of making an assumption and subsequent calculations for which very good counter evidence exists? comment added by Edmund Storms 19:19, 4 December 2010.