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Those who follow the unpecedented Cold Fusion episode might be interested in my new essay; 

 

it is posted at:    http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/xyz.htm

 

Please share this link with those who might be interested, for example, with journalists, friends, colleagues, students, etc. Or forward this post to them.

 

The essay is not copyrighted; feel free to use it in any way you wish. Comments will be appreciated, as usual.

 Thank you in advance,

 

 Ludwik Kowalski, Ph.D. (see Wikipedia)

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Those who follow the unpecedented Cold Fusion episode might be interested in my new essay; 

 

it is posted at:    http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/xyz.htm

 

Please share this link with those who might be interested, for example, with journalists, friends, colleagues, students, etc. Or forward this post to them.

 

The essay is not copyrighted; feel free to use it in any way you wish. Comments will be appreciated, as usual.

 Thank you in advance,

 

 Ludwik Kowalski, Ph.D. (see Wikipedia)

This is quite interesting, but I am not sure where your essay is going. Do you have any conclusions, or key issues, or something, arising from the situation you describe? 

 

I must say that the principal thing I take from your essay is your comment about the "pathology" of cold fusion work. It seems we have (a) a lack of reproducible observations and (b ) squabbling about what theory, if any, underpins the idea that cold fusion is a real phenomenon. (On the theory side what you do not say is that conventional theory predicts there cannot be such a thing as cold fusion. It seems to me the CF theory people do need to show somehow that current theory has lacunae in it that could allow it to be possible.)

 

In the circumstances one can perhaps understand why the editors of science journals are reluctant to publish papers on the subject. One can also understand why some people, perhaps most, think that cold fusion is most likely "junk science". In fact I have seen it referred to as "zombie science", a term designed to convey that it won't die because its proponents are emotionally wedded to it, but paradoxically it can't live either, due to lack of any accepted body of either theory or reproducible observations. 

 

I note it was you that highlighted the lack of reproducible observation and I think for me that is the key source of scepticism. If one has neither a theoretical prediction of a phenomenon, nor any reproducible observations of one, what is there? Very little indeed!

 

In the circumstances I do not share your view that government (e.g. the Dept of Energy) should devote funding to the subject. You say yourself the chances of there being anything real may be small, but point out the potential gain for society if it did turn out to be real. But the same could be said for perpetual motion machines. Like cold fusion, these too are forbidden by current theory and lack experimental support. If I were a government official I think I might ask what cold fusion has in its favour that perpetual motion machines do not.  

 

It looks to me as if the party's over, most guests have got their coats, but there are still a few reluctant to go home.

Edited by exchemist
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