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72) Anecdotal Evidence ?

Ludwik Kowalski (June 27, 2003)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

The fragments below were extracted from the Introduction to Tadahiko Muzino's book "Nuclear Transmutation: The Reality of Cold Fusion." The book, published in 2000, can be ordered from The introduction was written by Jed Rothwell; it can be downloaded as "MizunoTnucleartra.pdf" file from the library at html://

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. . . Mizuno wrote this short book about his work and personal experiences. It is the best informal account yet written about the daily life of a cold fusion researcher. It gives you a sense of what the job feels like. It is not intended to be technical. For technical details, the reader is invited to examine Mizuno’s numerous scientific papers, some of which are listed in the references. One event described here which is not described in the technical literature is an extraordinary 10-day long heat-after-death incident that occurred in 1991. News of this appeared in the popular press, but a formal description was never published in a scientific paper.

Mizuno says this is because he does not have carefully established calorimetric data to prove the event occurred, but I think he does not need it. The cell went out of control. Mizuno cooled it over 10 days by placing it in a large bucket of water. During this period, more than 37 liters of water evaporated from the bucket, which means the cell produced more than 84 megajoules of energy during this period alone, and 114 megajoules during the entire experiment. The only active material in the cell was 100 grams of palladium. It produced 27 times more energy than an equivalent mass of the best chemical fuel, gasoline, can produce. I think the 36 liters of evaporated water constitute better scientific evidence than the most carefully calibrated high precision instrument could produce. This is first-principle proof of heat. A bucket left by itself for 10 days in a university laboratory will not lose any measurable level of water to evaporation. . . .

It is a terrible shame that Mizuno did not call in a dozen other scientists to see and feel the hot cell. I would have set up a 24-hour vigil with graduate students and video cameras to observe the cell and measure the evaporated water carefully. This is one of history’s heartbreaking lost opportunities. News of this event, properly documented and attested to by many people, might have convinced thousands of scientists worldwide that cold fusion is real. This might have been one of the most effective scientific demonstrations in history. Unfortunately, it occurred during an extended national holiday, and Mizuno decided to disconnect the cell from the recording equipment and hide it in his laboratory. He placed it behind a steel sheet because he was afraid it might explode. He told me he was not anxious to have the cell certified by many other people because he thought that he would soon replicate the effect in another experiment. Alas, in the seven years since, neither he nor any other scientist has ever seen such dramatic, inarguable proof of massive excess energy.
Here is a chronology of the heat-after-death event:

March 1991. A new experiment with the closed cell begins.
April 1991. Cell shows small but significant excess heat.
April 22, 1991. Electrolysis stopped.
April 25. Mizuno and Akimoto note that temperature is elevated. It has produced 1.2 H 107 joules since April 22, in heat-after-death. F. Nakano, “Mohaya hitei dekinai jyouon kakuyuugou [The reality of cold fusion can no longer be denied],” Bungei Shunju, September 1991
The cell is removed from the underground lab and transferred to Mizuno’s lab. Cell temperature is >100 deg C.
April 26. Cell temperature has not declined. Cell transferred to a 15-liter bucket, where it is partially submerged in water.
April 27. Most of the water in the bucket, ~10 liters, has evaporated.
The cell is transferred to a larger, 20 liter bucket. It is fully submerged in 15 liters of water.
April 30. Most of the water has evaporated; ~10 liters.
More water is added to the bucket, bringing the total to 15 liters again.
May 1. 5 liters of water are added to the bucket.
May 2. 5 more liters are added to the bucket.
May 7. The cell is finally cool. 7.5 liters of water remain in the bucket.
Total evaporation equals:
April 27 10 liters evaporated. Water level set at 15 liters in a new bucket.
April 30 10 liters evaporated. Water replenished to 15 liters
May 1 5 liters replenished.
May 2 5 liters replenished
May 7 7.5 liters remaining.

Thus, evaporation since April 30 is: 15+5+5-7.5=17.5 liters. Total evaporation is 37.5 liters. The heat of vaporization of water is 540 calories per gram (2,268 joules per gram), so vaporization alone accounts for 85 megajoules. One aspect of the heat-after-death event seems particularly strange. It is as if the cathode is trying to maintain stasis inside the cell. After the external 60 watt heater was turned off, the heat-after-death reaction increased just about enough to compensate for the loss of external heat. This sounds like an instrument error. It prompted Mizuno to double check all instrument readings with meters attached directly to the sensors. As unbelievable as this sounds, it is a real phenomenon which others have observed. Stanley Pons noted that the cold fusion effect has a kind of “memory.” After a perturbation, temperature tends to return to a fixed level. Perhaps this is not so strange. The physical configuration of deuterons in the metal controls the power level.

. . . Mizuno has often talked about the prehistory of cold fusion. Most great discoveries are visited and revisited many times before someone stakes a permanent claim. People sometimes stumble over a new discovery without even realizing what they see. Mizuno did his graduate and post graduate work on corrosion using highly loaded metal hydrides. His experiments were almost exactly like those of cold fusion, but they were performed for a different purpose. In retrospect, he realized that he saw anomalous events that may have been cold fusion. At the time he could not determine the cause, he did not imagine it might be fusion, and he had to leave the mystery unsolved. No scientist has time to track down every anomaly.

. . . Recently, Mizuno, Bockris and others have increasingly focused on so-called “host metal transmutations,” that is, nuclear reactions of the cathode metal itself. The cathode metal was inexplicably neglected for many years. The term “host metal” is misleading. It was an unfortunate choice of words. It implies that the metal acts as a passive structure, holding the hydrogen in place, cramming the deuterons or protons together. The metal is a host, not a participant. The hydrogen does the work. Now, it appears the metal itself is as active as the hydrogen. The metal apparently fissions and fusions in complex reactions. Now the task is to think about the metal, and not just the hydrogen. Theory must explain how palladium can turn part of itself into copper and other elements with peculiar isotopes. One of the few “Eureka!” events in this book is the moment when Mizuno and Ohmori saw the scanning electron microscope images of the beautiful lily-shaped eruptions on the surface of Ohmori’s gold cathodes. This was visual proof that a violent reaction takes place under the surface of the metal, vaporizing the metal and spewing it out. Later, these vaporized spots were found to be the locus of transmutation. Around them are gathered elements with an isotopic distribution that does not exist in nature. The only likely explanation is that these isotopes are the product of a nuclear transmutation.

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What might skeptics say about recent cold fusion data?

1) Muzino and others in Japan are liars, like Karabut and others in Russia, like Bressani and others in Italy, like Lonchampt and others in France, like Bockris and others in the US. The data are fraudulent.

2) These people only pretend to be scientists. Their Ph.D.diplomas were counterfeit; their professorships at famous universities were bought; the books and hundreds of articles they published were produced by somebody else. They are members of an international “mutual support society.”

3) We already know everything about nuclear phenomena; facts which disagree with existing theories are not acceptable. Absence of commensurate amounts of neutrons and protons is a sufficient reason to ignore claims about unusual nuclear processes.

4) Cold fusion researchers were often wrong in 1989. Therefore what they are finding now must also be wrong. They should never be forgiven for announcing a discovery via a press release, or for claiming that excess heat experiments are very simple.

5) Claims made under the banner of cold fusion were not described in articles published in leading journals. Therefore they cannot be accepted. The editors of these journals refuse to publish cold fusion articles; they know better what is right and what is wrong.

6) Neither the Department of Energy nor the National Science Fundation support research in the area of cold fusion. Therefore such research is not worth taking seriously. Those who perform experiments cannot be objective about their own research.

7) Practical applications of cold fusion have not been demonstrated; therefore the underlying phenomena cannot be real.

8) We know nothing about recent cold fusion findings; therefore they must not be correct. The entire field was declared pseudoscientific in 1989 by a panel of experts. The opinion of experts must be respected; it can not be challenged by new findings.

9) Experiments should be 100% reproducible before they can be accepted.

I agree with the last reservation. Lack of reproducibility is a clear indication that some important parameters are still not under control by experimentallists, and that conclusions are tentative. I elaborated on this in item # 54. Electrostatic experiments used to be called “irreproducible” before the effect of humidity was recognized. I do not think that it is appropriate to identify “irreproducibility” with “not being real;” Irreproducibility is typical in all areas of emerging science. I see nothing unusual when a competent cold fusion scientist is successful only eight or nine times out of ten to demonstrate a new phenomenon. As far as i know, this is typical in only some types of cold fusion experiments. The situation is no longer as bad as it was in 1989.

That is why I think that the time is right for a new investigation of the entire cold fusion field by a panel of experts. They should focus on experiments which are nearly always
reproducible, not on observations which were reported only once or twice. If you, a reader of this item, do not accept my suggestion, then please explain your position on the Phys-L list. Perhaps your message will influence our thinking. Or write to me at : <>, if you prefer. Thanks in advance.

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