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Cold Fusion lives again?

  1. May 6, 2007 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.springerlink.com/content/75p4572645025112/
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2007 #2
    I am not going to pay 32$ for bad stuff.
     
  4. May 7, 2007 #3

    Galileo

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    Cold Fusion Achieved?

    Not my area of expertise by far.
    I`d like to hear some expert advice about whether this holds any water.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/75p4572645025112/

    Some more links:
    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=7168
    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/fundamentals/mg19426021.000-cold-fusion--hot-news-again.html
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  5. May 7, 2007 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think this is more a matter of duplication and verfication or not, and not opinion; provided that this statement is accurate:
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  6. May 7, 2007 #5

    russ_watters

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    Well, the fact that they seem to think P&F actually found something doesn't inspire confidence in their research. I don't expect people will be crawling out of the woodwork to try to verify their claim.
     
  7. May 7, 2007 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Where do they say that?
     
  8. May 7, 2007 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    P&F made a number of claims. IIRC, some [key to claims of a nulcear reaction] were attributed to contamination.
     
  9. May 7, 2007 #8

    Office_Shredder

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    The whole abstract is building on the original studies from P&F

     
  10. May 7, 2007 #9

    russ_watters

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    Though I have little doubt that at least initially they believed in what they found, P&F were essentially complete frauds. Pretty much everything they claimed was a lie or deception and in the end whether it was pathological or intentional is immaterial.

    Anyway, the biggest sin they committed was in short-circuiting the scientific process, trickling-out information in an attempt to control/capitalize on their "discovery". Because of that it is difficult to even pinpoint their precise claims - they even lied about their lies.

    But their initial claims were quite simply 'Excess energy!!' 'Must be fusion!!' Everything else after was simply an attempt to keep the initial fraud alive.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "contamination", but one of their frauds was in the claim of pretty much every possible piece of required physical evidence - from helium to radiation. It wasn't that the data was contaminated - the evidence simply wasn't there, but when [the lack of] such evidence started to come to light, they responded by saying they didn't just have a fusion cell, but one that suppressed the evidence of fusion!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  11. May 7, 2007 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    My first comment was due to a slight misread of your post. I should have deleted that.

    This was not my take at all. Do you have any evidence to support your accusations? They certainly appeared to have screwed up, but I was never aware of any intent to deceive. What I remember is that they didn't know how to use a neutron counter, they didn't fully understand their data, there was a slight contamination of something indicative of a nuclear process...I think it was a slight presense of Helium 3 in the paladium.. not sure anymore but something like that, and it was eventually attributed to contamination.

    Really stretching here for recall, but when P&F presented their data, Cal Tech made it abundantly clear that they didn't recognize a key signature in their data that I believe was referred to as the Compton Bulge - the overall impression was that these guys were out of their league but not that they were frauds. And years later they certainly weren't mentioned as such in nuclear physics classes.

    There is nothing wrong with being wrong, AFAIK their only offense was in going public for fear of losing what they believed were the rights to the most important energy source since oil.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  12. May 7, 2007 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    The biggest difference that I noticed here is that P&F never even claimed that their results could be duplicated reliably. There were anomalies that would come and go with no known cause. And to this day scientists have continued to study these anomalies[from https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=58374]. If this group is reliably detecting a known signature of nuclear events, that would be quite a different situation than that of P&F.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2007
  13. May 10, 2007 #12

    russ_watters

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    Their first deception was in releasing their paper before a date agreed-upon in advance by them and another researcher on a similar project.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion

    Next, they lied and misled the scientific community about their experimental setup and results every step of the way for the 3 weeks it took for the truth to come out. Unfortunatly, that comes mostly from "Voodoo Science" so while I'll try to find you some quotes, I can't link them - I'll have to type them in myself.
    Is ignorance a legitimate defense for such basic errors and radical claims? Perhaps stupidity is the alternate explanation for their actions, but I have trouble accepting that they are that stupid.
    ...and....
    To me, the distinction between lying to/misleading others due to self-delusion (pathological science) and actual conscious fraud is mostly just hairsplitting (afterall - a pathological liar is still a liar regardless of if they can control their lies), but the "road from foolishness to fraud" eventually gets to fraud because of the magnitude of self-delusion required to make so many massive "mistakes" for so long. That's the sub-title of Voodoo Science, in which P&F are the test-case. And the reason is:
    Everyone makes mistakes, but when you pile mistakes on top of sabbotage/bypass/cheating of a process designed to catch and mitigate them, that is not acceptable for people who have an ethical responsibility to do better. That's essentially the same as your criticism of Bush for thinking he's above the law and able to do illegal things if he thinks they are necessary for a higher purpose.
    Isn't attempting to bypass/cheat the scientific process the worst possible sin a scientist can commit against science? Does ethics not apply to scientists?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2007
  14. May 10, 2007 #13

    russ_watters

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    If you can't verify your own results, then you have nothing to report. When is it acceptable in science to publish results that can't be reliably duplicated? That's the #1 requirement/purpose of scientific testing!
    Well, my main point in all of this is that the standards by which they measure their research are from P&F's example - the process or the quality - that doesn't inspire confidence in it.

    Edited to correct misquote. Ivan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2007
  15. May 15, 2007 #14
    Heres an interesting blog post about the cold fusion news and the skepticism towards it:

     
  16. May 15, 2007 #15

    russ_watters

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    Uh, the article they are talking about in your article is the article linked in the OP....

    All that blog post proves is that bloggers see what they want to see.
     
  17. May 15, 2007 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Russ, if they report the results accurately then this is not deceptive. And they did. And since when is Wiki a source for something like this? Anyway, they were getting these bursts of energy that seemed to related to nuclear events, but the bursts were not predicatable.

    No doubt they screwed up, and perhaps they acted unethically, but fraud has a specific meaning.
     
  18. Jul 17, 2007 #17
    Could not cold fusion be possible after all? I am a chemical engineering student and i read many science books, magazines(physics, chemistry, math) as a kid and now i am still doing that. So i know it's not by far likely to have nuclear reactions at such low temperatures, but still i think there is maybe a chance for this to happen. Maybe there is an unknown mechanism there that lurks around just waiting to be found. I accept that.
    I don't know... maybe i am still under the influence of that documentary from the Phenomenon Archives...:)
     
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