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March 25, 2009

Must be a slow news day

Whaddaya know? Cold fusion is back in the news:

Is the science community warming to cold fusion? It's been 20 years to the day since Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, electrochemists at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, announced the discovery of what they believed to be "cold fusion" (now often referred to as low-energy nuclear reactions, or LENR), a room-temperature nuclear reaction that reportedly generated an unexplained amount of heat. The pronouncement spawned a flurry of excitement about a new renewable energy source, but enthusiasm quickly waned after the result wasn't satisfactorily replicated. Today at the American Chemical Society's national meeting in the very same city, researchers are recapping recent developments in the field — including images of what some believe are telltale signs of reaction-born subatomic particles, as well as documentation of heat, helium, gamma rays and other products from possible low-energy nuclear reactions.

"We have been working for . . . years to know what kinds of questions to address," one of the presenters Antonella De Ninno, a scientist at the New Technolgies Energy and Environment in Italy, said in a statement. "After long term and intensive research, we found ourselves able to give a reasonable . . . explanation."

So far, the US Department of Energy appears unimpressed saying that the evidence "did not conclusively demonstrate the occurrence of cold fusion."

Posted by Nicholas at March 25, 2009 11:30 AM
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