14) My Phys-L Message (December 2002)

Ludwik Kowalski
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043.

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Do you remember the radio-talk file about CF that some of us downloaded after Larry Smith posted the address?


One of the interviewed scientists was M. McKubre from SRI (Stanford Research Institute). I just finished reading the paper which he coauthored in 2000 and I am impressed. The paper can be downloaded as a pdf file from


I admit that many details were not clear to me; the paper should be evaluated by electrochemists and material scientists. But the overall conclusions are very impressive. Palladium was loaded with deuterium by two methods: electrochemically and in a heated pressurized gas container. Control experiments were conducted using ordinary hydrogen. The previously reported anomalies (see below) were observed with deuterium but not with ordinary hydrogen.

1) Generation of heat (in excess of known sources).
2) Accumulation of 4He (and some 3He) atoms.
3) The isotopic 3He/4He ratio in accumulated products
is orders of magnitude higher than in helium from air.
4) A nearly linear relation between the rates of excess
heating and the rate of accumulation of 4He.
5) The slope of the line shows that the amount of energy
per atom is about 76% of what would be carried away
by 23.8 MeV gamma rays in the hot d+d fusion.

Let me remind you that the absence of 23.8 MeV photons, in cold fusion, is a well established experimental fact. One of the authors, Peter Hagelstein from MIT, did write four papers (back in 1990?) on how energy can possibly appear in the form of crystal oscillations instead of photons. But no reference to these theoretical papers was made in his recent overview of the CF field at:


Referring to the 76% outcome the authors write: " Evidence for near-surface retention of 4He in the lattice can be used to accommodate the discrepancy between measured and expected yields of 4He." In other words, a sizable fraction of 4He was presumably not squeezed out from the material in the process of analyzing it. Let me add that they used a mass spectrometer capable of distinguishing 4He atoms from D2 molecules.

My main question is why those who criticize CF usually refer to what happened in 1989 and not to recent work of highly competent scientists? I suppose that many journals still consider CF to be pseudo-science and refuse publishing work done in that field. And that similar attitude exists among funding agencies. Is this a correct guess? I plan to attend the 10th International Conference of Cold Fusion next summer and find out. Information about the conference can be found at:


By the way, in another paper the CF was referred to as the FP effect, to honor those who discovered it. Do you think that the field will be reevaluated for us, and for general public, by an appointed panel? They did it in 1989, why not now when so much more is known? Who should be expected to do this?

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