NY Times: U.S. Will Give Cold Fusion Second Look, After 15 Years

posted Mar 25, 2004

Cold fusion, briefly hailed as the silver-bullet solution to the world's energy problems and since discarded to the same bin of quackery as paranormal phenomena and perpetual motion machines, will soon get a new hearing from Washington.

Despite being pushed to the fringes of physics, cold fusion has continued to be worked on by a small group of scientists, and they say their figures unambiguously verify the original report, that energy can be generated simply by running an electrical current through a jar of water.

Something about the cold fusion thing has struck me as not quite ringing completely of quackery. Perhaps it was that the cold fusion counter-argument that the effect depends on microscopic qualities of the catalysts that the discovers found accidentally, and those who attempted to repeat the experiment never matched didn't seemed to be adequately answered, in my mind, and it seemed a plausible, if unlikely, claim. Cold fusion was dismissed so quickly and so publically, I guess I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out it was more emotional then rational.

I hope this time, it gets a fair and scientific hearing. Let the Universe decide the truth of the cold fusion claims, not a panel of scientists. If they can't back their claims up to the Energy Department now, then I'll feel fairly justified in deciding that cold fusion is indeed almost certainly bunk.


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