About my “learn cold fusion” project
Ludwik Kowalski, <kowalskiL@mail.montclair.edu>
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, N.J. 07043
In the fall of 2002, to my surprise, I discovered that the field of cold fusion is still active. This happened at the International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Systems (ICENES2002 in Albuquerque, New Mexico). Several papers presented at this conference were devoted to cold fusion topics. Intrigued by the discovery I started reading about recent cold fusion findings and sharing what I learned with other physics teachers. I have been doing this over the Internet using Montclair State University web site
What follows is a set of items posted, more or less regularly, on that web site since October of 2002. The items reflect my own process of learning, mostly from articles published by cold fusion researchers. I am still not convinced that excess heat, discovered by Fleischmann and Pons, is real or that nuclear transmutations can occur at ordinary temperatures. But I do think that time is right for the second evaluation of the entire field. I do not believe that extraordinary findings of hundreds of researchers are products of their imagination or fraud. Our scientific establishment should treat cold fusion in the same way in which any other area is treated. Those who study cold fusion do not appear to be pseudo-scientists or con artists. The items on my list are arranged in the order in which they were posted on my web site.
What follows is an email message I received recently:
Dear Mr. Kowalski,
Help! My name is XXX XXXXX and I am a sophomore at XXXXX High School. In my chemistry class, I am doing a project on Cold Fusion. I was looking on the Internet for websites on Cold Fusion, and I came across your links to your Cold Fusion items. I was wondering if you could give me some advice or information? I would like to know what Cold Fusion is, [and] how Cold Fusion was started. . . . .
I am no longer comfortable saying that “cold fusion is voodoo-science.” I am a physics teacher; how should I answer questions about cold fusion?
Can a nuclear process be triggered by a chemical process? The answer, based on what we know about nuclear phenomena, is negative. On the other hand many experiments seem to indicate the opposite. These experiments were performed many years after the first evaluation of “cold fusion” was made by our Department of Energy. As a teacher I would very much appreciate a second evaluation of the field by a panel of competent investigators. What can one do to make this happen?