Locklin on science

I hate cold fusion reporting

Posted in cold fusion by Scott Locklin on March 25, 2009

Yes, someone has published another paper on cold fusion. is it the solution to the energy crisis? Is it even cold fusion? Um, probably not. In fact, the same group posted the same results two years ago. In fact, they’ve been at work on this problem since 1991 or so. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But what they’re doing isn’t new or extraordinary. Nor can it be scaled up to produce electricity even if it were actually fusion.

Someone named Kowalski seems to have done the same experiment and drew much different conclusions. Mind you, these are real scientists; their results are worthy of examination. They’re not worthy of popular examination until they’re a little more unambiguous than a couple of microscopic holes in a piece of caustic-soda etched plastic.

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3 Responses

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  1. kwartz said, on August 18, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    The nice thing about this is that there are by now more than 3 or 4 dozens of results from very respectable groups and they roughly split 50% between those who found something relevant and those who didnt. A situation Feyerabend would be delighted of.

    • Scott Locklin said, on August 18, 2009 at 10:22 pm

      Well, I have heard zero credible reports reproducing Pons and Fleischman’s work. I think cold fusion is a respectable topic for scientists to work on; for example, muon catalyzed fusion is known to be real. I just don’t buy the stuff in the popular media. This paper is a great example: some cold fusion researchers, whose work has historically been difficult to reproduce, and who have a history of premature press releases,made yet another press release, essentially, about finding little holes in some plastic. Little holes in plastic ain’t news.
      If they find a reaction that makes lots of radiation by running some electricity through water in a way that can be reproduced: that’s news. Otherwise: not news. Just research.

  2. jj said, on November 23, 2011 at 4:29 am

    I am a physicist and will remain nameless. But you know you are in trouble when your research leads to cold fusion. It is time to run the other way


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