As a person who has an advanced degree in Physical Chemistry, this article about the Italian Cold Fusion saga piqued my interest. Reading the article, the papers, observing their high school attempts at being scientific, and looking at the amateurish lab equipment makes me adopt a "wait and see" attitude, the same attitude I adopted when the guys from Utah announced their debunked "Cold Fusion." I think my "wait and see attitude" will still be in effect in the next hundred millenia or so. One key caveat was when I read that Zero Hedge, Popular Science and other minor players were interested, and the AIP Journal, Journal of Applied Physics, and International Journal of Applied Physics wasn't included, and showed no interest. I like to question why do these pseudo breakthroughs always come from minor league universities and research facilities, and not from MIT, Cambridge, Harvard, Caltech, Rensselaer Polytechnic (The Toot) etc? These attempts and vast pronouncements that crop up every decade or so and defy every conceivable law of science, and frankly, they bore me. Somehow, I suspect that there are gullible investors involved who are chomping at the bit looking for free energy and untold riches. Frankly, I wish they would perfect a perpetual motion machine and do away with all this ballyhoo..

Rocky Humbert replies:

Jeff: One cannot help but smile when one notes that the research was done at the eponymous University of Baloney. (I've forwarded the paper to my brother who has a Princeton PhD in Plasma Physics (say that five times fast)– and who changed careers after both developing a stutter and concluding that we will not see commercially feasible fusion in his lifetime.)I may have already shared this seminal MIT paper– which tests the Effectiveness of Foil Hats … with surprising results. Interestingly, ZeroHedge has not mentioned the paper. See this article.

Michele Pezzutti comments: 

Jeff and Rocky: have you spent more than five minutes in doing research on comments and opinions on their work before brushing this off? Or you have just stopped looking at the words 'cold fusion', the picture or the name of the University? By the way the University of Bologna has very ancient origins, it is considered the first University of the Western world. Conventional date set by a committee of historians dated the origin of the University of Bologna in year 1088. May be it is not cold fusion but an efficient way of producing energy anyhow and deserves attention and funding. And regarding the amateurish lab equipment, many scientists started their work building their own equipments in an amateur way. Is it really true that great discoveries can be done only by huge and rich institutions or it is more the individual genius that matters? Where was Bill Gates when he created MS-DOS? At MIT with a team of 300 scientists or in a garage with a friend? 





Speak your mind

7 Comments so far

  1. Randy on January 27, 2011 8:00 pm
  2. Anonymous on January 28, 2011 3:50 pm

    Why can’t the experiment be relocated with the same results each time? From the amount of chemicals used, the room should be destroyed. One micro gram of precursor should have the energy equivalent of a few hundred tons of coal. Controlled reaction, fusion????fuggetaboutit. Dilithium crystals would probably be a better choice for energy, especially with those new warp drive engines they’re working on at the Sam Houston Institute of Technology.

  3. Jeff Watson on January 31, 2011 2:42 pm

    Michele, are you really listening to what you’re saying? I suspect that we inadvertently insulted your national pride, and for that I am sorry, truly sorry and no malice was intended. But please believe me that as one with a scientific bent, I have serious doubts of such claims. The University of Bologna has a decent physics program, being ranked 197 out of 200 in the world. No Nobel Prize winners on the faculty as far as I can tell, but please correct me if I’m wrong. As far as spending time reading comments and opinions, I prefer to look at hard data obtained through consistent scientific methods, and results which are replicable by others. I don’t believe in science by consensus, but believe in science by the utilization of the scientific method, rigorous testing, and replication of the results by a third party. That’s how science gets done, that’s how hypotheses get proven. If you are serious about this cold fusion, I would be willing to make a wager that the guys at Bologna are not creating cold fusion(using the9ir method as described) in a reliable method that can be replicated by others from a leading university or major independent lab? If you care to make a small wager, 25,000 euros sounds like a nice round number but I’d be willing to go higher, much higher.

    Regarding Bill Gates, MS-DOS was not created in a garage, but Gates got it from the original author Tim Patterson By the time MS-DOS came around, Microsoft was well entrenched and even had an international presence with an office in Japan. Unlike Apple and Hewlett Packard, Microsoft was not a garage operation as Gates father was a stockbroker who arranged for initial financing at the genesis of the company.

    I would also say that it deserves to be tested as to whether most inventions come from guys working in garages or from well equipped, well financed labs like Bell, IBM, Sandia, Intel, etc.

  4. Wayne Slater on February 2, 2011 12:10 pm

    It would be a serious punch in the face to big science and big oil if in fact this turns out to be real, although I am also skeptical. If the claims are verified by scientists from more recognized universities, it would nothing short of Armageddon for many of the powerful interests that control our economies and governments. I would expect them to use whatever means it takes to stop it. I for one am hopeful that this will not only be verified, but that the inventors will share all the details of the invention publicly, or alternatively submit it to Wikileaks with instructions to release the information in the event that “imperial entanglements” arise. We could work out the inventors royalties later.

  5. Wily Wayne on March 7, 2011 11:08 pm

    It would be very humbling to say the least if it were all true. Time will tell. Soon, the truth will emerge one way or the other.
    It was reported that no radiation was detected. The end product, if fusion, I believe, is Ni-59, giving off a low energy gamma ray via electron capture. This should have been detectable. Anyway, the poor university needs a nobel prize rather than the potentially infamous failure to effect cold fusion. I wish them luck.

  6. Roy Batty on June 30, 2011 5:41 pm

    How about something that does NOT violate the laws of thermodynamics ?

    pion catalyzed fusion


  7. Canian on November 14, 2011 3:51 pm

    Mr. Pezzutti: You had me up until the last sentence. Bill Gates did not create MS-DOS…. he bought all the rights to it and leased it to IBM. That was his genius. Oh and he did it while studying at a BIG name university. True university of Bologna (small minds like to mispronounce this like the lunch meat thinking they are showing their superior mental accumen) has a rich history dating much farther back than any of those other institutions. True again that most inventors and innovators have to create their own prototypes (light bulbs come to mind).

    I have now read several articles, along with their associated comments, on this sight and instead of offering constructive criticism on the methods used (which is the point of the site) the writers and commenters seem more interested in simply pointing out the flaws in either the topic, the testing methods, or the place it was performed.

    I bid you all fairwell and invite you to flame away.


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