Draft 2 (4 April) with new information, additions, corrections..
                                                           31 March 1989.
Dear colleagues,
  There have been many reports in the papers that Prof. Fleischmann of
Southampton and Dr. Pons of Utah have evidence for cold fusion of
deuterium by electrochemistry. This afternoon Prof. Fleischmann gave a
seminar in CERN. Because of the many media reports, the auditorium was crowded
and although I arrived 20 minutes early, I had to sit on the steps. As I have
given several lectures on Wrong Results in Physics, I went to this and also to
the press conference afterwards - especially as the news reports had been
very hard to understand scientifically, but if true, this could have a major
impact on the world economy.
  Martin Fleischmann had a reputation as a major expert in his subject. As his
talk developed, it became clear that he was a first class scientist and it
seems to me that he has made a major breakthrough, though what the
fundamentals processes are is not yet fully understood.
  Let me try and explain what I think I learnt (I talked to him for a while
afterwards, so it may not be too bad).
  Basically the catalyst used, palladium Pd, is a face-centred crystal. It can
absorb a certain amount of hydrogen. If an electrical potential is applied,
then over a period of time it can absorb a great deal. For F & P, they reached
0.6 atoms of deuterium per atom of Palladium after three months.
    They made tests with four rods each of 10 cm length and of diameters
0.1, 0.2, 0.4 and 0.8 cm. They only have good measurements for the first
three as the fourth one was said to have "died" (this was indicated to be
something chemical and to have nothing to do with fusion). They also tried a
1 x 1 x 1 cm3 cube but one morning when they came in they found that it had
melted and the fume cupboard was starting to smoulder!
They made calorimetric measurements and found that they were getting more
heat out than they had put in and this effect increased with the diameter of the
rod. It seems to be a volume effect and not a surface effect. The excess heat is
about 5 megajoules per cm3 which is about 100 times greater than any known
chemical process.
  A second measurement was by putting a NaI crystal close when they recorded
gammas. The energy spectrum of the gammas was sharply peaked between 2000
and 2400 which is characteristic of the (n,gamma) reaction on hydrogen. This
could be explained as the neutrons interacting in the water bath round the
  Thirdly they observed tritium production and measured and found a
"characteristic" spectrum (I did not understand this fully, partly as he had
an incomplete scale on the graph, but see later).
 Fourthly they looked for neutrons using a polythene sphere filled with BF3.
The count was three times background. In 50 hours they counted 40 000 neutrons.
However there is a point that is a stumbling block for particle physicists - if
you take the rate of release of heat, then there should be 10 E 13 or 14
neutrons - a huge discrepancy. He does not have the equipment to measure
the neutron spectrum - the neutrons have to pass through the surrounding water
bath which tends to thermalise them.
  A conclusion that can be drawn from Fleischmann's talk is that the heating
is not due to the reactions
              2D + 2D  ---> 3He + n                               (1)
  or          2D + 3T  ---> 4He + n                               (2)
which are the ones that spring to mind.
 He gave a table of the excess enthalpy in the Pd rod cathodes expressed as a
percentage of breakeven values;
                0.1 cm   81%
                0.2     189%
                0.4     839%
  He opened his talk with a basic discussion of electrochemistry.
            D2O + e-   <--->  D(absorber) + OD-
           D(absorber)  <--->  D(lattice)
      D(absorber) + D2O + e-  <--->  D2 + OD-
  With the applied field the D can go over the potential barrier by applying
a Potl. Difference at the interface. The result is that inside the Pd there
can be many collisions without repulsion. Effectively there is a PD of 0.8 eV
which can translate into a compression of 10 E 27 atmos. i.e. it would require
this enormous pressure to achieve the same PD. Thus electrochemistry is high
energy chemistry! The D is in a sea of high electron density. The structural
or coherent strength of the Pd is 4000 atm. Thus it is a very strange kind of
Quantum Mechanics (his phrase).
  I have to go to collect my daughter at the airport, but will try and
continue later.
                                                            1 April 1989.
                                              (despite the date, it is serious!)
  Re-reading what I wrote yesterday. I realise that I have been trying to
explain simply. The actual talk contained some more details and two tables of
results that I had only time to copy down partially. There was a fuller
discussion of electrochemistry.
  The question now is what is happening. The observations are of a source of
heat, of emision of tritium, gammas and of neutrons, but the number of
neutrons are many orders of magnitude less than would be expected if the heat
produced came from reactions producing neutrons. Fleischmann talks as if you
have to modify quantum mechanics - this I do not believe - we have to apply it
  An additional piece of information that he gave at his press conference but
not at his seminar, was that the particle emission was not uniform but had
fluctuations which were much larger than statistical - this I think is a very
important piece of information.
  There are a lot of different theories being discussed. The following
comments should be considered private, qualitative and not necessarily
  The catalyst, palladium works by accepting an incredible number of deuterium
nuclei in the spaces of its face-centred cubic lattice. The distance between
deuterium nucleus is therefore reduced. This was first demonstrated by the
observation of muon-induced catalysis where in deuterium, the electron is
replaced by a muon. As the muon is some 200 times heavier, the proton and
neutron are pulled closer together so that the probability of fusion is greatly
increased - by many orders of magnitude. Now there are two suggestions;
  1. Since the deuterium nuclei are in a very dense electron field, it may be
that the electrons have an effective mass much greater than normal and this
increases the probabilty of the nuclei tunnelling through the barrier.
  2. the applied potential difference drives more and more deuterium nuclei
into the spaces between the palladium atoms so that the separation of the
nuclei decreases so that the probability of fusion increases dramatically.
  Personally I have a preference for the second approach, but it is always
possible that both are applicable.
  Instead of saying that there is a discrepancy between the number of
neutrons produced and the heat produced, perhaps we should assume that all
the results are correct and that the reactions ocurring are different.
Maybe the dominant reaction is fusion, D + D ---> 4He, but we need
something else to share the energy and momentum produced - this could be the
close neighbouring structure of the lattice. Thus the dominant reaction is to
produce heat! Of course other reactions will also occur which is why there
is an observation of tritium and one would expect some production of 3He and
4He and neutrons and gammas. If this were true, and again this is mainly
a suggestion which needs experimental confirmation, then this would have
tremendous social effects as we would have a simple source of energy
without the particulate matter, sulphur and other gasses from coal and oil
fired power stations that are killing so many today. Also the radiation
danger would be very much less than with nuclear reactors ( sell your coal
and oil shares if you have any!)
  In answer to a question, Fleischmann said that they had tried to look at
3He and 4He production and ratio, but the experiment is difficult for them
and they prefer to leave that for experts who have the equipment - for they have
been using their own money for 5 years.
  Before the Seminar, things were rather disturbed with the media - lots of
TV crews and flashes popping off. The Chairman, Carlo, asked them all to leave
explaining this was a scientific meeting and he did not want questions on
any other subject, but afterwards there would be a press conference. After some
time the media left. At the end of Fleischmann's talk, the TV crews re-entered
and had to be requested to leave again before the question period.
  On the way to the press conference, Fleischmann was told that there had been
a report on the radio that a group (at Columbia?) had confirmed his result. He
said he had not heard this and during the Press Conference he continued to
emphasise, in a very proper manner, that before leaping to conclusions, there
should be further confirming evidence.
  Fleischmann had described his other press conference in Utah as awful,
but this one went well with Carlo a good Chairman - who was also asked
questions. Fleischmann explained that the work was intentional and not
an accident. He said that after verification, it might take 10 to 20 years
to develop an economically viable system. Carlo was asked his opinion and said
that "Dr. Fleischmann has planted a seed - will the seed grow up? I think yes"
Fleischmann said that he believed in Karl Popper's philosophy - you cannot prove
something right, you can only prove it wrong. "We have spent 5 years trying to
prove ourselves wrong, now other people should try".
  In explaining why they did it, "it was not to do an ego trip (though all
scientists are on an ego trip to some extent), but to try and find a
plentiful source of energy. We have a social conscience"
  Question - "There was a sceptical atmosphere in the room, did you feel
like a chemistry bull in an arena of physics toreadors?"
  Answer - "Are people correct to be sceptical?, yes, it is correct to be
sceptical. But it was not a bad atmosphere. Our experiment fits partly into
accepted ideas but not entirely, therefore either experiment is wrong or
we have extended the conceptions of possible fusion mechanisms".
  Carlo was asked if he found the meeting strange - "No, I am at home in my
own lab".
  Question - "Do you think it is correct?". Answer(MF) - "I think it is correct,
but others should show it is correct". (Note, this was typical of some of the
questions where the journalist asked "for a good quote").
  Carlo was asked if CERN should work on fusion. He replied " There are
different science cultures. In an orchestra everyone tries to play his own
instrument, and does not have other instruments. But we have quantum mechanics
in common. We should do what we do best. But there is also cross-fertilisation
between chemistry and nuclear physics" He also joked that this was the firsttime
 that a chemist had discovered a neutron!
  Question - "Any military applications?"
  Answer(MF) - "There will always be some military application of anything, but
we do not know of any such thing"
  Question - " You said you did not have enough money, have you been offered
money since your press conference last week"?
  Answer - "Up to now have used our own money as we thought it unlikely to
work, so there were some restrictions. Since then we have been approached with
offers but as our capacity to spend money is limited, we have to plan carefully.
  Question - "If it is fusion what will its effect be on other fusion research?"
  Answer - " Glad you asked that. It would be a total disaster to cut back on
other fusion research. Ours is small scale, theirs is large scale generation
of electricity. It would be extremely foolish to cut back".
  There was more, but I hope this gives the flavour - both Fleischmann and Carlo
aquitted themselves very well and responsibly.
  Friedrich Dydak had told me he had two papers confirming the F & P work and
I could copy them. Later when I was returning them, Fleischmann came in for
another TV interview and we talked while he was waiting for the lighting to
be set up. He had not seen the papers, so I gave him copies. The main author
was Stephen Jones who is at the BYU in Utah. We looked quickly at the
papers - he was particularly interested in the dates on the papers.
I explained I was interested particularly for two reasons. Firstly as I was
possibly the first to observe fusion in Europe - in the early sixties I was
scanning bubble chamber film of deuterium and normally when there is the decay
      pion   --->  muon  --->  electron
the muon always has the same short range (if the pion is at rest). But one day
I observed an extra long range for the muon. I spent some time measuring
the curvature and angles of the tracks, but could not explain it. However
someone told me that the Berkeley bubble chamber group had found it and it
had been explained as the muon replacing an electron and causing fusion. At
this Luis insisted that this should be treated as a secret, but quickly it
was calculated that it had no military or economical value. So I left it and
went on to new things(incidently the Scientific American article of July 1987
by Rafelski and Jones on Cold Nuclear Fusion says that this muon
-induced fusion
was first suggested by Frank and Sakharov in the late 1940's).
    Secondly I said I had given several serious lectures on Wrong Results
in Physics and found that they exhibited certain characteristics so that
they could be recognised before they had been proved wrong - after the
press reports I wondered if this was a case in point, but after I had
heard his conference, I was inclined to believe that his results were
correct. He did not seem to appreciate this too much, not unnaturally,
but we continued talking and he told me some remarkable things. I mentioned
that after the press conference, Dr. Wind was looking for him as he used to
work in Utrecht on electrochemistry and had been able to insert 1000 hydrogen
ions per atom of palladium catalyst. Dr. Fleischmann (who had attained 0.6 ions
after 3 months) said he did not believe this number of 1000. It is possible that
Dr. Wind was talking about the reduction in volume that can be obtained when
hydrogen is absorbed in Palladium - this factor of 1000 in volume would then
translate to 0.4 atoms of hydrogen per Pd atom in agreement with Dr.Fleischmann.
  The two papers are;
1. "Observation of Cold Nuclear Fusion in Condensed Matter" by S.E. Jones
and others of Brigham Young Univ. and J. Rafelski of Univ. of Arizona.
2. "Limits on Cold Fusion in Condensed Matter; a Parametric study" by
J. Rafelski and others of Arizona and S.E. Jones of BYU.
  The main point of the first paper is that they claim to have observed
neutrons when there was low voltage electrolytic fusion of deuterons into
metallic titanium or palladium. They believe this is from the reaction;
        d + d  --->  3He(0.82 MeV) + n(2.45 MeV)              (1)
The distribution of counts in different channels give a broad enhancement
which the authors say corresponds to neutrons of 2.45 MeV. This looks
convincing - just; it would be good to repeat this.
  They say they have not yet(?!advertising?) obtained results regarding the
parallel reaction;
          d + d  ---> p(3.02 MeV)  +  t(1.01 MeV)                  (3)
  The electrolyte contains various mineral salts and they say that their
evidence indicates the importance of co-deposition of deuterons and metal ions
at the negative electrode. "hydrogen bubbles were observed to form on the Pd
foils only after several minutes of electrolysis, suggesting the rapid
absorbtion of deuterons into the foil; oxygen bubbles formed at the anode
immediately". The palladium pieces were 0.025cm thick and had the surfaces
roughened or were mossy. They do not say that it took 3 months to get started
by charging the deuterons into the palladium (private comment - this suggests
to me that Fleischmann and Pons would have improved things if they had
increased the surface to volume ratio of the catalyst and roughened its surface,
but it is hard to be sure. However it does suggest that it is possible to
charge the catalyst in much less than three months).
  The experimental part of their paper gives an impression of haste, but there
are a lot of other interesting things in their paper;
In a deuterium molecule the separation between the deuterons is 0.74 A and the
d-d fusion rate is very slow about 10 E -74 per D2 molecule per sec ( calculated
in an interesting paper by Van Siclen, C.D. and Jones, S.E., Journal of Physics
G Nucl. Phys. 12 (1986) 213 - here they state that the fusion rates for
reactions (1) and (3) are nearly equal over the range 10 to 30 KeV. They also
discuss whether piezonuclear fusion - i.e. by pressure - within the liquid
metallic hydrogen core of Jupiter could account for the fact that the planet
radiates 1.5 times as much heat as it receives from the sun. However they
concluded that this process was many orders of magnitude too small to be a
significant energy source - this is where the idea of Fleischmann and Pons of
using electrolytic catalysis is so important). However in muon-induced catalysis
the internuclear separation is reduced by about the ratio of the muon to the
electron masses (200) resulting in the fusion rate increasing by an enormous
factor, 80 orders of magnitude! In the second paper this variation of fusion
rate as a function of the distance is quantified. This made me think of the
observation by Fleischmann that they had observed large fluctuations in the
signals - for the number of deuterons in a space in the lattice of Palladium
is discrete and given by Poisson statistics hence the distance between the
deuterons will vary appreciably - this and other factors(roughness of surface)
could cause there to be local spots hot in space and time, since the fusion rate
varies so violently with distance. In addition to the reactions (1) and (3),
there can occur the reaction on tritium that will exist to some varable extent,
            2D + 3T  --->  4He + n                            (2)
Although there is less tritium than deuterium, this reaction has a much higher
cross section - so that this reaction (2) could also help fluctuations (but
these comments on fluctations are my own, so treat them with appropriate
 Paper (1) also has an interesting chapter on Geophysical considerations
(or the Hawaii effect). Sea water contains about one part in 7000 of
deuterium. By subduction water is carried down to the earth's mantle
where it might undergo fusion via the reaction;
                 p + d  --->  3He + gamma(5.4 MeV)          (4)
under the extreme pressure and temperature there. Calculations are done which
indicate that a substantial contribution to the heat flux through the crust
could come from cold fusion. This heat could also help to explain the localised
heat of volcanism at subduction zones. They quote that the 3He to 4He ratio is
high in rocks, liquids and gases from volcanoes. Further they then predict that
tritium will be produced from d + d fusion and since tritium is relatively
short-lived(12 years half-life), observation of tritium  would suggest a
geologically recent process. On the Mauna Loa mountain on Hawaii, tritium was
monitored from 1971 to 1977 and a correlation is shown in the paper between
the tritium level and volcanic activity. This is very striking for the 1972
Mauna Ulu eruption but later eruption signals were partly confused by
atomic bomb tests. They estimate that in the Mauna Ulu eruption 100 curies of
tritium was released per day for 30 days!
   In paper (1), it is also reported that after diamonds are sliced with a
laser, the concentration of 4He and 3He has been measured - it is reported that
the 4He is distributed uniformly while the 3He is concentrated in spots
suggesting cold fusion reactions. Similar anomalies have been reported in
metal foils.
  The authors also calculate that the excess heat from Jupiter could be
accounted for from cold fusion in the core consisting of metallic hydrogen plus
iron silicate.
  The second paper calculates the cold fusion rate of d-d as a function of
1 - relative energy, 2 - separation of two hydrogen nuclei in a sphere,
3 - the effective electron mass,  4 - the effective electron charge. They
do not consider the effects of the lattice of a catalyst as do Fleischmann
and Pons.
  It is probable that some readers will be thinking that this letter has
wandered off strict physics news. They are right. It is intentional as I
feel this subject will become so important to society that we must consider
the broader implications as well as the scientific ones. Looking into a
cloudy crystal ball, it is not impossible to foresee the situation that
the experiments are so easy that schools will be doing them, that many new
companies will start up, most(not all) will fail and the present big power
companies will be running down their oil and coal power stations while they
are building deuterium separation plants and new power plants based on cold
fusion. No new nuclear power stations will be built except for military needs.
There will be very little if any research on high temperature(plasma) fusion.
Petrol will probably still be used for cars and planes. Overall pollution will
start to be less. Ecologists will be talking about the contamination from
radioactive tritium and asking about the effect of this tritium on the ozone
layer. On the other hand there could be major practical problems, e.g. the
fusion could perhaps destroy the lattice structure of the catalyst before an
efficient amount of heat has been extracted (one needs to understand and
quantify why the 1 cm3 cube melted and why the 0.8 cm diameter rod went "dead").
Clearly many experiments, often simple, are waiting to be done
            It is known(from muon cataysis) that if two nuclei of deuterium or
tritium are held close together then they can fuse releasing energy. Fleischmann
and Pons thought of achieving this by using electrolysis to insert deuterium
nuclei inside a palladium catalyst. They observed production of more heat than
they put in. They also observed tritium production, gammas of an energy
consistent with neutrons interacting with the surrounding water bath, and
neutrons directly. They thus conclude they have observed fusion of heavy
hydrogen producing energy, i.e. cold fusion. A paper by Jones et al. reports
on the operation of similar electrolytic cells with observation of neutrons
with an energy spectrum consistent with that expected from deuterium fusion.
They also describe interesting though rather anecdotal evidence for fusion
in volcanoes, Jupiter, diamonds and metal foils. The theory, while not fully
developed, suggests that the deuterium nuclei inside the lattice of the
catalyst, are held so closely together that the probability of fusion(the
tunneling effect) is dramatically increased by many orders of magnitude. If
there do not turn out to be major practical problems, it may be expected that
this will cause major changes in the energy industry and major social,
economic and hence political changes.
                                              Douglas R. O. Morrison.
ADDITION                                                 4 April 1989.
        The problem is to find an explanation for all the data, or alternatively
most of the data.
  The biggest problem is the discrepancy between the heat produced and the
rate of neutron production in the reaction
         d + d  --->  3He + n                            (1)
  Occurring with about equal cross section is the reaction
         d + d  --->   t  + p                            (3)
  The other energetically possible reaction is
         d + d  --->  4He
but this needs something else to carry off the energy - it could be a gamma
but the cross section for this reaction is much less than for (1) or (3).
The suggestion has been made that it could be the lattice of the palladium
         d + d  --->  4He + L                             (5)
where L is the Lattice.
This sounds attractive as the ratio of the cross section for reaction (5)
to reactions (1) and (3) is not known.
  In discussing with John Ellis this morning he suggested a three-body reaction
         d + d + L  --->  4He + L*                        (6)
where L* would be an excited state of the Lattice.
  However the energy released is about 19 MeV and this seems too much for the
lattice which normals measures its excited states in eV. However if an entire
region of the lattice were to move essentially coherently, say a few 1000
atoms, then MeV energies might be  obtained. However there is the problem of
timing - the nuclear reaction takes place in a much shorter time than the
period of oscillation of a lattice.
  So while reactions (1) and (3) probably do occur infrequently, we still
need a reaction mechanism which is dominant and gives out most of the heat.
  This afternoon I heard from two sources that Fleischmann and Pons used
Lithium salts in their electrolytic solution! If the electrolysis were then to
drive the lithium into the Palladium together with the deuterium then it would
be would be possible to have the reaction
         d + 6Li  --->  4He + 4He                          (7)
This is beautiful as it would explain how one gets energy(heat) but with
fewer neutrons.
  Looking again at the paper of Jones et al., they say they also used
lithium salts! Their actual wording is of interest; "we developed the following
(unoptimised) prescription for the electrolytic cells. The electrolyte is a
mixture of about 160 g of deuterium oxide(D2O) plus various metal salts in
about 0.2 g amounts each: FeSO4.7H2O,  NiCl2.6H20,  PdCl2,  CaCo3,  Li2So4.H2O
NaSO4.10H2O,  CaH4(PO4)2.H2O,  TiOSO4.H2SO4.8H2O, and a very small amount of
AuCN. (Our evidence indicates the importance of co-deposition of deuterons
and metal ions at the negative electrode)".
  Thus the experimental results can possibly be explained if the
deuteron - lithium reaction (7) is dominant and the d - d reactions (1) and(3)
occur but at a much lower rate.
  Thus the ratio of heat to neutrons could be varied by varying the electrolyte
  In the paper of Jones et al. that records anomalies in volcano gases, Jupiter
energy balance and 3He to 4He ratios in diamonds and metal foils, these effects
could possibly be explained as resulting from different conditions and elements
in the "electrolytic cell".
  It should be noted that if (7) is the dominant reaction, then most of the
energy will be emitted as Helium-4 nuclei and these should be searched for.
Also these Helium-4 nuclei will cause severe damage to the Palladium rods
which could also be studied. Again this damage could be important in
constructing a power plant which is economic.

                                                       4 April 1989.
                    COLD FUSION NEWS  No 3.
Dear Collaborators,
    Finally managed to get Martin Fleischmann on the phone at the new number
and got answers to my many questions.
   Firstly, yes, they did have Lithium in their electrolyte. He seemed a little
surprised that a possible way of explaining the discrepancy between the large
heat output and the low yield of neutrons, would be to assume that the
lithium-deuterium fusion reaction
           2D + 6Li  --->  4He + 4He                            (1)
could be the dominant one while the deuterium fusion reactions
           2D + 2D   --->  3He + n                              (2)
           2D + 2D   --->   t  + p                              (3)
were present but much reduced.
   He explained that they take samples of the electrolyte throughout the run
and measure the tritium content. They find that the tritium level initially
drops slightly and he interpreted this as the tritium undergoing fusion
preferentially first via the reaction
           2D + t   --->  4He + n                               (4)
as the cross section is larger for reaction (4) than for reactions (2) and (3).
The tritium level then starts to rise and goes well above the initial level.
  The Lithium was not used for reasons of possible fusion but because it
was light and because it was well known to help to keep the palladium
together after lengthy catalysis.
  The fact that the 0.8 cm diameter rod "died", was not something that worried
him as apparently it is only moderately rare for palladium to be transferred
back from the anode to the cathode. This rod gave out no measurable amount
of heat, less than 0.1 mwatt.
  The spectrum of gamma rays looked a little unusual with only a nice peak
about 2.2 MeV, but he explained that there was some correction for Compton
  The spectrum of electrons from tritium that I found difficult to
understand, was not a Kurie plot but was a simple liquid scintillator.
  He said that the heat output of 5 megajoules per cm3 was for a period
of 100 hours, which was equal to about 10 watts per cm3.
  In the last few days there have been reports in the media that physicists
at the university Lajos Kossuth at Debrecen in Hungary had repeated the
Fleishmann - Pons experiment - he said he knew them and felt they were
good workers in this field.
  They(F & P) have a number of experiments under way but these will take time.
                                                                  5 April 1989.
  Yesterday there was the hope of explaining the discrepancy of the observation
of large amounts of heat but very few neutrons, by invoking the possible
fusion of deuterium with 6Li to give two alpha particles, i.e. heat without
neutrons. However last night I realised that if 6Li can fuse, why not 7Li?
and calculations show the reaction is also exothermic
         d + 6Li  --->  4He + 4He           + 22.4 MeV           (1)
         d + 7Li  --->  4He + 4 He + n      + 12.9 MeV           (2)
 If one reaction takes place why not the other (note, cannot get 5He)?
 Further natural lithium is 7.5% of 6Li and 92.5% of Li (and commercially
available lithium is often seriously depleted in 6Li for military reasons)
So that this also argues against reaction (1) being a solution of the
    Hence the main mystery remains;
1. Fleischmann and Pons measure a heat output of about 10 watts per cm3
2. They measure a neutron production rate which assuming the reaction
            d + d  --->  3He + n            + 4.08 MeV            (3)
   would alone give a rate of heat production many orders of magnitude
   lower than observed.
3. They observe tritium production
4. They observe gammas of an energy which corresponds to neutrons
   interacting in the water bath
5. Jones et al. measure neutrons of about 2.4 MeV as expected from reaction (1)
   but at a rate that would give a heat output many orders of magnitude
   lower than F & P observe.
6. A group from Birmingham working with Rutherford lab people at RAL, are
   reported to have observed neutrons
7. The Hungarian group has claimed to observe fusion but so far have no
   information on what means of detection they used.
    It may be judged that the idea that electrolytic catalysis can cause
fusion to occur is almost confirmed experimentally.
    There is only one result which suggests that the energy output is
big enough to be of economic interest.
    In discussing this with Martin Fleischmann this afternoon, he said that
the experiment to measure the heat produced is not basically difficult, but
it is very necessary to be careful. Thus he hopes that some other independent
group repeats their experiment(they are doing it themselves, but
independence is better, he rightly emphasises).
    In his lecture he had said that an experiment takes months to perform,
however recent experiments have been performed in days. He explained that
to charge with deuterium a one millimeter diameter rod of Palladium takes
about 2 days, a 2 mm rod 8 days, a 4 mm rod a month and an 8 mm rod about
4 months.
  Hence after a fast qualitative result, the variation of measurements with rod
diameter and other variables to obtain quantitative analysis can be long.
  Thus it would appear that neutrons can be observed fairly quickly, but to do
the more extensive experiment with calorimetry, will take longer. These are
the crucial experiments that one now awaits to see if electrolytic fusion is
economically viable or whether, like muon catalysis fusion, it occurs but is
not useful in a practicable way.
Dear Collaborators,                              13 April 1989.
                 COLD FUSION NEWS No 6
  In the history of cold fusion, we seem to have passed phase one where
(1) preprints of the original two Utah experiments have become available for
study and are often considered to be hastily written accounts of work
that has been done with few controls and is described with so few details that
it is difficult to judge the truth or falsehood of the results
(2) press reports of experiments claiming to confirm these results but
descriptions are not available to the scientific community.
  Now we are in phase two where we do not need more press releases but
experiments with good measuring devices and serious controls that would
convince other scientists. In working on cold fusion, one is quickly aware of
the great knowledge gap between electrochemists and particle physicists and
also the different cultures and jargon. An ideal team would include both
electrochemists and particle physicists.
  A major criticism of the neutron measurements, particularly by Tom Walsh,
is that the counting rates are close to the cosmic ray rate. If this background
could be reduced by a few orders of magnitude, then any neutron signal would be
unequivocally established. Such a neutron detector with a very low background
has been developed by the groups of the Institut des Sciences Grenoble,
College de France Paris, CPPM Marseille, Saclay, and LAPP Annecy at the Bugey
Reactor centre near Lyon in the course of studies of neutrino oscillations where
a low background has been found to be esential. It is always dangerous to say
something is the best in the world, but this is one of the best.
 Dr. Cary Miller has make an electrolytic cell at the EPF Lausanne with a
palladium rod of 0.18 cm diameter and 5 cm length and has been running it for
8 days for calorimetric measurements. This morning we took it to Bugey (this is
the first time I have had a running experiment small enough to fit in my car)
and installed it inside the shielding of the Bugey neutron counter. After a few
hours running, already a neutron rate could be established substanially below
the Jones at al. rate and several orders of magnitude below the Fleischmann
and Pons rate and this is a very conservative estimate which will soon be
improved. The shielding is such that the total background rate was about
1 E2 per hour and this was before discrimination between neutrons and other
particles. When the veto against muons was removed (it is only on a few
percent of the time), the background increased and signs of neutrons
could be observed (stopping negative muons are known to produce neutrons via the
decay electrons which interact with protons to give neutrons).
   There is considerable space inside the shielding of this detector and
the constructors (IN2P3 and CEA) invite any groups that have electrolytic
cells wishing to study cold fusion to come to Bugey and make use of the
detector. Please contact Dr. Yves Declais at LAPP Annecy, Email address;
  Earlier versions of the detector and of the pulse shape discriminator are
described in R. Aleksan et al. NIM A273 (1988) 303 and NIM A274 (1989) 203.
The shielding has an outer layer of 10 cm of lead to reduce gammas, 25 cm of
water to slow/stop neutrons, then 5 mm of a plastic containing boron to
absorb the slow neutrons and on the inside 10 cm of liquid scintillator
which counts muons mainly and is normally used as a veto (in our case we wish
also to see if muons can cause more neutrons by muon fusion catalysis - Dr.
Petitjean of SIN who is an expert on muon catalysis, has confirmed what was
written in note No 4, that muons are expected to be unable to cause many
fusion catalysis reactions as they will be captured by the heavy palladium
ions and held strongly). Inside this large shielding box, there is the
detector of 600 litres consisting of 98 cells which contain 6Li in the new
liquid scintillator NE320. The slowing of the neutrons gives recoil protons and
the signal amplitude is correlated to the neutron energy. When the neutron
stops it reacts with 6Li to give tritium and 3He and the height of this gnal
is also measured. The distribution of the times between these two signals is
used to determine the fraction of neutrons as the relation between the
heights of the two pulses so that a discrimination is possible between
protons and electrons.
  This Collaboration also offers space in the Frejus tunnel to any group who
would like to make use of the low background level and large amount of space
available there. Again please contact Dr. Declais.
  Have received messages telling me that as well as Texas A and M confirming
the calorimetric measurements of Fleischmann and Pons, Georgia Tech report
a neutron flux 13 times higher than background - it would be good to wait
and see more details.
  In discussing this morning with Prof. Michael Gratzel and Dr. Cary Miller
of the Ecole Polytechnique Federal of Lausanne, I learnt the importance of
the footnote c to table 2 of Fleischmann and Pons's paper - these high
values of the excess heat as % of the break-even, are not directly
measured but assume a possible future scheme in which the deuterium gas released
is not lost but recombines with the hydroxyl radical OD to give heavy water D2O.
                                            Douglas R. O. Morrison

Dear Collaborators,                                15 April 1989.
                    COLD FUSION NEWS No 7
   There is an Informal Network of scientists who exchange information
about their work and their ideas "in confidence". Including this the overall
situation about cold fusion appears to be;
1. The two original experiments, performed with Palladium (F & P) and with
   Titanium (Jones), gave two unusual results;
   1.A Production of excess heat(Fleischmann and Pons only)
   1.B Nuclear-type effects, production of tritium, gammas and neutrons
   These results have been critised in detail and are not consistent (the
   heat is about 10 orders of magnitude greater than would be expected if
   the origin were nuclear according to the results 1.B, also the neutron rates
   observed in the two Utah experiments disagree by several orders of magnitude
   (but see below).
2. There are several confirming experiments. One or two have been withdrawn
   since (Georgia Tech and possibly Brookhaven). However the main
   conclusions are known only from press conferences, except in one case where
   informal information casts serious doubts on the confirmation.
1. There are no published papers (or press conferences) saying that the
   experiments were repeated and the results claimed were not found, i.e. there
   are no null results.
2. Many groups are performing the experiments - today's Int. Herald Tribune
   says hundreds.
3. From the Informal Network I know that there are a number of groups that
   find no effect. For some of these groups I know enough details to believe
   that the work was done carefully and with good equipment.
1. For the majority of people, the case against is almost unknown, while the
   evidence in favour seems to be getting stronger and stronger (as shown by
   the smart money men who are pushing the price of palladium to ever higher
2. But the members of the Informal Network think the opposite, they are
   more and more convinced that there is no new source of heat and that if
   there are any nuclear effects, there are at a very much lower rate than
3. There have been great hopes that this cold fusion in an electrolytic cell
   could give almost limitless supplies of energy and that with little
   radiation or other pollution. Everyone would love it and greatly wishes
   it were true. But to their regret, those with access to the information of
   the Informal Network, believe it is not true.
   Would it not be so simple just for each experiment to publish so that
   everyone could judge?
   Each group that separately does not find any effect, has two problems
   (a) they ask themselves how can they be sure they themselves have not made a
       mistake somewhere that blocked them from finding the effect? - answer is
       that they can never be completely sure
   (b) They ask if there is some secret part of the technique that Fleischmann
       and Pons and Jones et al. use that they have not talked about for
       some reason - if only they knew this they would find the effect.
Hence up to now no group has wanted to publish a null result.
  There is possibly also a third reason for delaying announcing a negative
result - since there has been so much excitement about the press announcements
of a positive result and such very high hopes have been raised, that the first
group to announce they did not see it would be subject to a tough media
questioning "How can YOU be so sure that you have not missed it when several
others have found it?"
  The second worry (b) can perhaps be answered by noticing that other groups
claim to have found the effects without asking the Utah groups for their
  So how could "no effect" results be presented? It needs either a strong
group that has done many experiments and careful checks to publish alone or
for several groups to present their results at the same time, e.g. at a
conference. Who will be the first to say the Emperor has no clothes.
                                         Douglas R. O. Morrison.


Dear Collaborators,                         17 April 1989.
                COLD FUSION NEWS   NO. 8
   Today Prof. Steven Jones of Brigham Young University visited CERN and
gave a lecture then a few of us involved in experiments, talked with him in
more detail afterwards. His talk was very cheerful and pleasant.
   The first part of his talk was about muon-induced fusion, a subject in
which he is a world expert and it is his group that has managed to have muons
make 150 deuterium-tritium catalyses on the average before decaying or being
stuck on a produced helium nucleus. He said that Van Siclen and he had
calculated the fusion rate for a free deuterium molcule as
             Lambda(f)  =  1 E-74 per deuterium moleclue per sec.
which corresponds to one fusion per year in the galaxy!
[ a very recent paper by Koonin and Nauenberg gives 1 E-64  - my afterthoughts
are in square brackets]
   In 1986 they proposed "piezoelectric fusion" where pressure could cause
molecules of heavy hydrogen to fuse. He showed a very interesting map of the
world with contours of heat flow in units of mW per m2. The greatest heat flow
occurred far off the Pacific coast of the American continent, particularly off
the coast of Peru. Other hot spots were roughly, Hawaii, the Red Sea, Iceland,
North-east Italy [where the North African plate impinges on the European plates
causing the rise of the Alps], etc. He then superimposed a contour map of
regions of the earth where the ratio of 3He to 4He was much greater than normal
 - for example Hawaii was 21 times, 10 to 12 times in the Pacific hot spots,
12 x in the Red Sea region, 18 x near Iceland, 10 x in the N-E Italian region,
The correlation was striking. Prof Jones explained this extra heating as
possibly being caused by "piezoelectric fusion" of proton-deuteron molecules,
produced in the subduction of the Pacific tectonic plate as it forces its way
under the American land mass. For this he calculated the fusion rate to be
      Lambda(f)  =  1 E-24 fusions per deuteron per sec.
[in their paper they gave 1 E-18 ]. He quoted other examples of anomalous
3He to 4He ratios in metal foils.
   Prof. Jones  said their work in electrolytic cells started in May 1986
and as evidence of this showed pages of a log book (later Prof. Jones gave me
a write-up of the history of their work which mentions that some pages of notes
dated 7 April 1986 were notarised that day by a BYU attorney "showing
the importance attached to these ideas by the physicists present". [some later
parts of this long write-up are rather painful to read]).
   He then described his experiments basically as in his preprint. He said that
titanium was better than palladium - both had been used. He showed the
calibration curve of the neutron counter for 5.2 MeV neutrons (not in preprint,
it showed a broad peak near channel 270). Taking his Run 6, he said the shape
of the observed peak near channel 100 is what would be expected from neutrons
of 2.5 MeV. He gave numbers showing the rate of neutrons near 2.5 MeV was
(6.2 +/- 1.3) E-4 while there was no effect on subtracting foreground from
background for energies > 2.7 MeV (later there were serious questions on the
errors from this reference region).
  Run 6 which was the one of the 14 runs reported which had the most significant
effect, used a titanium "sponge" of 3 grams - for it he derived a fusion
production rate of 0.4 fusions per sec. giving a rate of cold fusion
production rate of
        Lambda(f)  =  1 E-23 fusions/deuteron pair/sec
  He showed the  signals for the 14 runs (fig 4) and said they were uneasy at
the way the signal varies so that they could not predict the neutron rate.
  He explained that the unusual collection of salts used for the electrolyte
was learnt by trial and was supposed to represent the mixture of salts
available in geology [ how could they make trials if the only positive results
obtained were the 14 runs?].
  The surface of the electrode was rough(later he gave us samples - it looked
like a mixture of crystals and had sharp points) and was like denderites. They
felt that the sharp points would have a stronger electric field and would
"shield the Coulomb barrier". Work remains to be done to disentangle the
features. When they ran with zero current, no effect was observed. When water
was used instead of D2O, no effect was observed.
  In his conclusions he said they had observed neutrons as a 5 standard
deviation effect at a rate of 0.4 neutrons per sec. This corresponded to a
heat production of 1 E-13 watts. He felt that this was new physics and could
be a mono-energetic source of neutrons.
  Carlo asked whether he thought that his experiment and Fleischmann and Pons's
could agree? Prof. Jones said that they had never done calorimetry nor had
they observed a rod melting. The two neutron results looked different and the
peak shown by Fleischmann and Pons looked too narrow.
  There were several questions about the significance of the 5 sigma claimed,
in particular by Yves Declais and Charles Peyrou concerning the choice of
control region, the scaling of the background and the apparent non-inclusion
of the errors of the background. This would appear to reduce the statistical
significance to much less than 5 sigma.
  I asked then and later in private discussion, about the calibration with 2.9
MeV neutrons which was mentioned in the paper while only the more remote 5.2 MeV
neutron calibration curve was shown - the 2.9 MeV has a curious shape with a
sharp fall-off at channel 190 (corresponding to 2.9 MeV). But as the response
is non-linear it is not really possible to check if the width of 28 channels
claimed in the paper is correct or whether it is wider which would reduce the
statistical significance. Overall the feeling was that if a rigourous analysis
were made by physicists familiar with neutron counters, it could well turn out
that the significance was considerably less than 5 sigma.
    Bernard Hyams asked some interesting questions - as you have been running
for three years, you must have done thousands of experiments (since they last
about 8 hours each), so the probability of finding one series with a 5 sigma
effect, is quite big. Prof Jones said this was based on a false premise as
until December 1988, they only had a neutron flux monitor, after they had the
good neutron counter. Bernard then asked if these were all the runs, and was
told yes, except for one run of four days with two cells, but the cells soon
turned off and the counts were not statistically above background [this
troubled me as part of the syndrome of Wrong Results in Physics is that runs
are discarded because they do not show the effect and therefore there must
be something wrong with them. This reminded me of the 0.8 cm rod of Fleischmann
and Pons which was declared "dead", but when I asked Prof. Fleischmann what his
definition of "dead" was, he replied that it gave no heat, less than a milliwatt
and so it must be "dead"].
   Jean-Francois Cavaignac said that they had a carefully shielded neutron
counter with very low background at Bugey and in the Frejus tunnel they
had a smaller one but with an even lower background - he was invited to work
there if he wished. Prof Jones replied that he was already discussing with
Italian groups to work in the Gran Sasso tunnel (and also Los Alamos).
   For the final question, I said there were hundreds of repeat experiments
being performed, a few had positive results confirming the two Utah results
and they called press conferences (some later retracting) but many had negative
results and none of them had published - there were two reasons for this (1) it
is very difficult to be sure you have not made any mistake and the first
negative experiment will be closely questioned by colleagues and the media,
(2) how can they be sure that there is not some secret trick that the two Utah
groups used. Prof Jones assured us that there were no secrets, except
perhaps that he used these special fused purified titanium crystals with
sharp points. Thus if one repeats the experiment exactly, one should get the
same result.
   Dietrich Schinzel of CERN asked Prof. Jones a number of questions at the
private meeting afterwards particularly on gain control and stability of
detectors. Detailed answers were not available, but it was repeated that the
results were erratic, sometimes falling off after eight hours and another time
the signal  and background all declined by 50%. The electrodes had not been
specially heat-treated before the experiments. Also it was replied that LiOD
had not been tried by itself; that the cocktail of salts used had been developed
over months [again, what criteria were used if this was before the good neutron
detector was available last December?], but were considered not to be
optimised. The current density (probably the maximum) was 100 mA per cm2. The
purity of the Ti was 99.8%
  An interesting new piece of information was that in Run 6 that was described
as having a 3 gram pellet of Titanium (page 4) or as having several fused
pellets with a total mass of 3 grams (page 5), there apparently was also a
palladium cell - and Prof. Jones discussed whether palladium could have been
deposited on the titanium rod [ looking at the drawing of the set-up, it would
be interesting to know how it was determined that the neutrons came from the
titanium and not from the palladium].
  Unfortunately time was very limited and questions were many. Among the things
that were missing from the paper were;
The paper says that "typically 4 - 8 cells were used simultaneously" and I
wondered that their only really successful run, No 6, had only the single
titanium pellet - now we learn that there was a second cell at least in
place at the same time. It would be good to see a complete list of what
electrodes of what size and composition, were in use for each of the 10 runs
plus also a full description of the 4 day run not in the paper.
  The current density should be given for each run and electrode.
  1. Although the price of palladium is rising fast, and annual palladium
production is only about 100 tons per year, it should be noted that other
materials also absorb hydrogen, e.g. titanium, some alloys...
  2. Peter Igo-Kemenes who speaks Hungarian, phoned Prof Csikai of the
Kossuth University in Debrecen, who had reported confirmation of the Utah
results. He said they had only looked at neutrons and had obtained a
(signal + background) of 0.12 neutrons/s while the background alone was
0.04 neutrons/sec. They will publish in one week.
     NEW IDEA AND RESULT FROM FRASCATI          Tuesday 18 April 1989.
  This morning's Italian newspapers are full of a major discovery  by a
group led by Prof. F. Scaramuzzi of Frascati. The papers were rather short in
details but Ugo Amaldi gave me what looks like a press release in Italian
but which also contains two figures, and more usefully he described the
experiment to me.
  Basically they are trying a "dynamic" operation instead of the "static"
work done up to now. That is they are trying to move the deuterons
through the titanium in the hope that they will come closer together
more often and so fuse. They take a cylinder, 3cm in diameter and 18 cm
long and fill it with fine shavings of titanium. This is in deuterium gas. All
is cooled to liquid nitrogen temperature as the amount of deuterium absorbed
should increase at lower temperatures. A pressure of 8 atmospheres is applied.
After a time neutrons are counted and this rate rises and then falls. In figure
2 of the paper, this rise starts after 200 minutes, reaches a peak of 300
counts/(per unit of 10 minutes - I think, but it could be per sec) and then
falls to a background count of close to zero at time 1100 min. Later the cycle
is reversed and the pressure is released and the titanium is warmed up to
room temperature when again the neutron count rises and then falls. It is not
clear whether fig. 2 applies to the first or to the second part of the cycle.
   However in fig.1 there is a counting rate in hours and here again John
Ellis and I have been trying to figure out what it means. It extends over
64 hours and shows a background counting signal of about 1 per 10 min. with
bursts of signals of about 15 to 45 counts per 10 min. It is possibly
impressive, but needs explanation (I will be at a WA84 Collaboration Meeting
all tomorrow, so please ask others for faxes).
   It is said that a peak counting rate of a thousand per second is reached
and that the cycle has been repeated "many times".
   Patent rights have been applied for. It should be noted however that the
energy production is about a billionth of a watt, much less than the energy
required to cool and heat and pressurise the titanium, i.e. it is very unlikely
to be a source of energy production.
   Eric Heijne, the CERN expert on Silicon, has given me some interesting
   On the graph of absorption of hydrogen at one atmosphere as a function of
temperature, titanium looks fairly flat at about 50 000 cm3 (NTP) per 100 gram,
i.e. one would gain little by cooling. On the other hand the curve for
palladium rises very steeply from 300 at 400 C to 800 at 200 C and 8 000 at
120 C, but then the curve suddenly changes and becomes both dotted and flat
giving 9 000 at 0 C.
   Looking at a graph of the diffusionn coefficients of H and D in the
metals Palladium, Niobium and Vanadium (G. Alefeld, Comments on Solid State
Physics, 6 (1975) 53), the diffusion rate always decreases with lowering the
temperature. For D in Palladium, it is 3 E-8 cm2 per sec at -50 C and
8 E-7  at +50 C.
   Hence it would be interesting to know whether the cooling has a positive
or a negative effect on the production of neutrons.
   Overall this seems an exciting physics result, though of probably no
economic importance, and one looks forward to many more results on this
"dynamic" approach.
                                            Douglas R. O. Morrison.

Dear Colleagues,                            19 April 1989.
                 COLD FUSION NEWS  No 9.
   There are a number of exciting new results that when taken together may
help to clear some, but not all of the con-fusion.
   We would like to emphasis again that one should treat the work as being
of TWO experiments. Firstly fusion with the possible observation of its
products such as neutrons, gammas, tritium and helium. Secondly calorimetry
with the possible observation of excess heat. Later one will discuss the
extent of any relationship between the two.
  Recent and less recent results will be given and an attempt made to
understand many(but not all) of them with a hypothesis. This hypothesis will
then be compared with the results presented by Fleischmann and Pons and
by Jones et al.
 1.1  Firstly praise to the Frascati group of Prof. Francesco Scaramuzzi and his
collaborators of the National Agency for Alternative Energy in Frascati for
not copying the two Utah experiments but varying conditions.
   Their idea was that it was a "dynamic" effect and not a stable condition
where you charged up the Palladium until the deuterium reacts. Hence instead of
taking rods of several mm diameter, they used very small pieces of metal so that
the surface to volume ratio was greatly increased. Further instead of using
palladium as did Fleischmann and Pons, they used titanium as Jones et al. - and
looking at the curves for the absorption of hydrogen, it can be seen that
titanium absorbs much more hydrogen than palladium (certainly above 400 Kelvin,
but as in Note No 8, it is not clear at low temperatures). They were rewarded
by seeing 200 minutes after the entry of the deuterons was started, a very
strong emission of neutrons but which fell to normal after about 1000
minutes. When the deuterons were released from the titanium, another burst
of neutrons were observed. This is the first completely convincing neutron
signal that has been seen here.
  In Astrophysics, the first to see a new Supernova, star, galaxy, etc, and who
sends off his telegram first to the International Astronomical Union is
called the discoverer. Someone who found this earlier but did not report it
is called the Pre-discoverer.
 1.2  Secondly praise to the Hungarian group of Prof. Gyula Csikai of Kossuth
University for their powers of observation. We spoke for some time today and
he explained that they had found that they observed neutrons only in the first
20 minutes after switching on their electrolysis. Thus their essential
experiment was to switch on for half an hour, stay off for an hour and then
repeat the cycle. This was done about 20 times. they found that the
    signal  +  background  =  0.12   neutrons per second
               background  =  0.038  neutrons per second
He estimated the signal as being about three standard deviations. We look
forward with interest to the results when this experiment is run for a longer
time to obtain higher statistics.
 1.3 Thirdly praise to the original discoverers of fusion of hydrogen in
palladium, Dr. Fritz Panath and Dr. Kurt Peters of the Chemical Institut of
Berlin University. They performed their experiment at the timme when it was
suggested that the energy of the sun came from the burning of hydrogen to
helium by means of Einstein's equation, E = Mc2. Thus they did their
experiment in 1926! Their original paper is in Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen
Gesellschaft. They say that they passed hydrogen into palladium and by
spectroscopic means observed helium production at the rate of about 1 E-8 to
1 E-9 cm3 per day. They used palladium because it is a good catalyst of
chemical reactions. they used Pd in asbestos, Pd sponge and Pd metal where they
treated the metal to get a bigger surface. They concluded that the amount of
helium produced depends on how the surface was treated. They tried to look for
gamma radiation but did not detect any (it should be recalled that gamma
detectors were not too sensitive in 1926). A result that palladium could
transmute hydrogen into helium, must have sounded too much like the Alchemist's
Stone, for they wrote a second paper in 1927 (same journal) where they describe
the many attacks and the additional experiments that they did to answer these
criticisms - finally concluding that helium had been obtained from hydrogen.
They seem not to have continued this work (because of the attacks?) which is
not surprising because deuterium and the neutron were not discovered until 1932.
In addition to Palladium, they tried Titanium and other metals, but found
Palladium best. (I am indebted to Jaques Trembley, Eric Heinje, and Horst
Wenninger for helping to translate the papers).
  Per-Olaf Hulth tells me that in Sweden, a famous scientist, Dr. Tanberg is
well-known to have observed production of helium from hydrogen in 1927 and
in fact his apparatus is still on display.
  Have recently heard that Prof. Pons of Utah reported that they had found
production of Helium from their electrolytic cell - do not know at what rate
or if it was 3He or 4He.
                                          Recently Fleischmann and Pons and
also Jones et al. have introduced a new way of putting hydrogen into
metals by electrolysis and this method seems to have been successful in
causing fusion. The Frascati group have returned to what may be called
"The old-fashioned way" of using gas pressure and that has been in use for
many decades and it is clear from their very significant results that
this gives fusion.
  Which is the best? Using pressure, ratios of 0.6 to 0.8 atoms of hydrogen per
atom of palladium have been found. Prof Fleischmann said he has obtained 0.6
but when I asked him how he knew, it seems it was theoretical. Have tried
recommending groups to try and measure this ratio. It is perhaps important to
note that Frascati had to wait 200 minutes then they got neutrons for 800
minutes using the pressure method while the Hungarian group only got
neutrons for 20 minutes and this would seem to favour the pressure method but
the efficiency of the two neutron detector devices is not known yet. The
Hungarian group also tried the pressure method but only with a low pressure of
40 to 50 mm of mercury and did not observe a significant signal. Since the
effect depends on surface area, there is also the fact that Frascati chose a
very large surface while Csikai et al. used a rod of 5 mm diameter and a tube
of 5 mm diameter and 1 mm thickness (they thought the tube was better but this
must be at the limit of their statistics). Also one used palladium at room
temperature while the other used titanium at varible temperatures.
Hence we really do not know yet.
                                           The Univ. of Utah group emphasised
that it was a volume effect and that the surface of the material did not matter.
However they seem to have been referring to the possible heat excess and this
was reasonable in their theory, however it may have diverted people doing the
other experiment of looking for signs of fusion. Hence the credit of the
Frascati group and of the Hungarian group in thinking that it could be a
surface effect.
  It would seem that the effect does not occur appreciably in the steady
state but more when there is a change in the direction of the force causing the
deuterium nuclei to diffuse through the metal.
  Now there was a theoretical argument that worried me about fusion in
palladium. The crystal is a face-centred cube and the distance between the
nuclei of palladium is about 2.5 to 2.8 Angstroms and this is very large
compared to the distance of 0.74 A between the nuclei in a free deuterium
molecule. And with a separation of 0.74 A the fusion rate is calculated to be a
very low value of 1 E-64 fusions per deuterium pair per second. Now it is not
too clear just what is the distance between hydrogen nuclei in a palladium
crystal, but they seem to take sites which are more than one angstrom apart
(would appreciate more information on this) and hence their fusion rate would
be extremely low. However when there is a movement through the crystal lattice,
the deuterium nucleus must jump from one site to another and there is a chance
that in the course of this jump, the separation distance between two deuterium
nuclei becomes so small that fusion becomes probable. This would tend to
happen when the pressure is applied or removed. The rate of fusion would depend
on the number of sites occupied in that region and on the rapidity of the
change. The driving force could be physical pressure or electrolytic-induced
pressure. Which is best requires more experiments.
  Thus a hypothesis is proposed in which fusion occurs when deuterium nuclei
jump from one site to another and pass close to another deuterium nucleus
already in a nearby site. Since there is always some diffuse movement this
probably occurs all the time but will be at such a low level that it is not
easily detected except when the driving force is changing rapidly when
copious production of neutrons could be observed and indeed was by the
Frascati group.
                Prof. Fleischmann  and Prof. Pons and Prof. Jones and his
colleagues are to be praised for re-opening the possibility of causing
fusion in a catalyst. They have created great interest in this subject and
have activated many experiments thus opening up a new field.
  In the experiment of Jones et al., it was stated that they were puzzled by
the fact that their neutron yields were very erratic and often stopped
after about 8 hours. There was a tendancy to ascribe this to their poor
statistics and analysis method, but it could be that they were observing
the transient nature of the phenomen observed by the Frascati group who had a
larger surface area of their titanium. When Prof. Jones was here on Monday he
gave us samples of his favoured form of titanium - it had many sharp points
and hence a larger surface to volume ratio than the smooth rods that many
groups used, though not as large a ratio as Frascati.
  The neutron counting rate of Fleischmann and Pons is much higher than
that observed elsewhere and this is hard to understand as fusion. There
overall efficiency of 2.4 E-6 was exceptionally small so that their actual
rate of counting was small and close to natural backgrounmd rates. Natural
background rates can vary from place to place, e.g. people sometime put in
shielding thinking to decrease the background, but this can increase it if muons
are slowed down more and these then interact in e.g. water to give neutrons
via the reaction of the decay negative electrons with protons to give neutrons
and a gamma. It was very worrying that the background rate was established
by taking a reading at a distance instead of the normal and safer way of
taking it in exactly the same situation but with the assumed neutron
producer switched off. Measurement of neutron fluxes is a very difficult
job and is best left to experienced people or at least experts should be fully
  The gamma ray distribution shown in their paper is most impressive and
convinced many. But again people wondered why the background level was
determined by taking  measurements in a different position (5 and 10 meters
were mentioned while 50 metres were stated for neutrons), instead at the same
position and switching off the possible source. The gamma spectrum shown has
a sharp peak centred at 2.2 MeV. A possible explanation may be provided by
a story Dietrich Schinzel told me today. This morning they moved their
electrolytic cell with heavy water and palladium electrode down to a
basement where they had a gamma detector. The gamma detector immediately
gave a very fine peak ressembling that of the Utah group but at the
slightly higher energy of 2.6 MeV. The Health Physics group said that was a
well-known effect seen when a gamma detector is placed near concrete as
concrete contains thorium which gives off a 2.6 MeV line.
                It is generally agreed that calorimetry is a difficult subject.
The problems are to be sure that one has included all the factors in the problem
and that the energy balance is counted from the start. For example one could
try and establish stable electrolytic conditions and then make the heat balance.
But there is the danger that one has neglected the fact that by pushing
deuterium into palladium, the structure of the lattice is deformed and
considerable energy has been stored up, so that really one should start from
time zero, but this means that the effect is small compared to the large
amounts of energy that has entered the system. Also as the lattice fills up
with deuterium, the sites that are being filled change with time and changes
of sites can lead to different energy states. Thus to really understand the
matter it would be better to consult experts on Palladium hydrides.
        The University of Utah group claimed to have observed 10 watts per cm3
being produced. This is an impressive amount and it was stated that the authors
knew of no known chemical process that could account for this rate. Hence they
concluded that it must be nuclear. But if it is nuclear then one would expect to
observe the particles resulting from such processes such as neutrons, gammas,
tritium. However their measurements gave rates which were many
orders of magnittude less (more than a billion times less) and other experiments
all give enormous discrepancies. If you do not observe the products then it is
unreasonable to expect that a fusion process has taken place. However the
authors concluded that "the bulk of the energy release is due to a hitherto
unknown nuclear process or processes". This was a major sticking point to
physicists that a nuclear process could give a billion times more energy
than normal fusion. However helium had not been measured and it was
speculated that the reaction could be
       D  +  D  =  4He  + recoil energy.
However there are two arguments to close this unlikely loophole.
Firstly the recoil energy must be taken up by something and the only thing
available is the lattice of the palladium crystal. In the News note of 4 April,
the crucial point was made that the timing is impossible - the nuclear reaction
takes place in a such a short time that the lattice does not have time to move
in a coherent way. Secondly Paneth and Peters already faced this problem in
1926 when they observed that the amount of Helium observed was many orders
of magnitude smaller than the various terms in the heat balance equation i.e.
there was not enough helium produced. Hence all possible nuclear reaction
products have been covered. The most reasonable conclusion is that there is
some problem in the very difficult calorimetry.
                     There are many more interesting experiments needed, but
they must be of high quality and in general should involve experts from
different fields or at least experts should be continually consulted. Since
it is clear that there is unlikely to be any economic interest, it is to be
hoped that secrecy and first publication via press conferences can from now on
be avoided.
  4.1 There are many obvious experiments involving the two methods of obtaining
the force to drive the deuterium into the metals using pressure and electrolysis
and comparing them. I have already heard of some ingenious ways of doing it and
people are sure to have other new ways of doing it, the subject is so fresh.
Some special suggestions are;
  4.2 Approximately equal mixtures of tritium and deuterium should be tried as
the barrier penetration probability (i.e. the cross section) is so much
greater than for the deuterium - deuterium system.
  4.3 Factors affecting the fusion rate would be expected to include
       4.3.1 the position of the hydrogen sites in the metal and the manner
in which the hydrogen nucleus jumps or flows from one site to another - this
needs consultation with experts in metallic hydrides.
       4.3.2 the amount of hydrogen that can be absorbed by the metals, here
Titanium, Zirconium, Cerium, Vanadium, Palladium (but only at temperatures below
about 200 C), Tantalum, and Niobium are possibilities.
       4.3.3 the rate of diffusion of hydrogen and deuterium nuclei through
metals (they are different being much faster for hydrogen in Vanadium and
niobium but in Palladium deuterium is, surprisingly, slightly faster).
There are two points; the diffusion rate is very temperature dependent, e.g
for deuterium in Palladium it is 2 E-8 at -60 C and 8 E-6 cm2/s at +200 C so
the higher the temperature the higher the diffusion rate but palladium is
particularly bad for the absorption of hydrogen falling steeply with rising
temperature. Vanadium has a very high diffusion coefficient,D,  1 E-5 at -100 C
and 1 E-4 at +200 C (the relationship is linear on a plot of D against 1/T
where T is in K). Hence for their higher values of D, Vanadium and Niobium
would perhaps be worth trying.
             It is clear that there are two very different experimental results
and initially there was great confusion by mixing them. The "result" that there
was an unknown source of heat giving 10 watts per cm3 of palladium should be
considered mistaken. There is a second class of experiments which indicates
that in certain circumstances fusion can take place inside a metal catalyst but
the rate of heat production is so extremely small, about 1 E-10 watts, that even
with extensive developments, it is inconceivable that it could produce anywhere
near as much heat as is required to make the fusion take place. Thus with great
regret, it is clear that cold fusion can never be a practical source of power
as you have to put in much much more power than one gets out. So our best hope
for long term power production with the smallest amount of pollution' is still
"hot fusion" with temperatures of 100 million degrees, but this serious
development work is expected to take several decades.
                           Everyone dreams of an inexaustible source of energy
which creates very little pollution. Anyone presenting experimental results
showing this might be feasible, gets all encouragement and lots of attention.
"Cold Fusion" started this way. One was aware of the social responsibilty
of scientists but it was brought home to me very strongly by the cartoon in
the International Herald Tribune of 4 April which shows the oil spill in Valdez
in Alaska and a buoy floating on which are two seals and a bird covered in oil
and the bird asks "Any more word on how those fusion experiments are going?"
   I heard that in a nearby country there were two groups starting an
experiment to repeat the original ones and not finding anything. Then on the
television news they suddenly heard that in a small town a group had repeated
the experiment and found neutrons! They quickly enquired and asked for details
and learnt that a Geiger-Muller counter had been used (it is famous but does
not count neutrons). They quickly told the media and others and the false news
did not escape from the country. Now in how many other countries does there
exist the possibility for responsible scientists to respond and act quickly?
  6.2 There are strong rumours from several directions that the Utah group
have done the control experiment so often requested, to use ordinary water
instead of heavy (deuterated) water and use their method of calculating It is
said that they found a heat excess! It would be good if this news were
confirmed as if it is true it would clearly establish that the original work
on calorimetry was mistaken and there is absolutely no connection between any
heat measurement and fusion.
  6.3 Several people have asked me how I got the Paneth and Peters paper of 1926
The story is typical. A friend at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Mike
Aderholz, is a member of the E632 experiment at Fermilab near Chicago, and he
gave one of these news notes to a friend in the Plasma Physics section. This
friend took it to a conference in Oak Ridge where they were discussing it.
A Russian who was there said "Why do you not read your own literature?" and
gave the 1926 reference. This came back to Munich and Mike sent me a Telefax
of the two articles yesterday afternoon. It now seems to be circulating very
quickly and some people have asked me if I have seen it.
  6.4 The rise in the price of Palladium seems to have stopped. It is always
possible it will rise again as its unusual propreties have been brought to
wide attention and maybe some one will find other uses for it.
  6.5 I still keep thinking about the two maps of the world that Prof. Jones
showed on Monday of the heat flux coming up through the earth's surface and
the relatively high rates of the 3He to 4He gases emitted. These showed the
highest heat flows in the Pacific Ocean well off the coast of Peru - it would
be interesting to know how this fluctuates with time and if there is a relation
to the temperature of the nearby ocean water as this temperature seems to drive
much of the world weather.
                                                  Douglas R. O. Morrison.

Dear Collaborators,                          30 April 1989.
                 COLD FUSION NEWS   No 11.
1.  Summary of the Situation
2.  APS Session on Cold Fusion
3.  Results and Ideas on Calorimetry
4.  Results and Ideas on Neutrons
5.  Results and Ideas on Tritium
6.  Theories
7.  Regionalisation of Results;
                  Correlation between Results and Information Available
8. Historical Perspective
                          Out of the hundreds of experiments being done,
more are beginning to report so that now the situation can be evaluated in two
(1) by simply counting the numbers confirming or finding no effect
(2) by judging by the quality of the experiment - is it known that adequate
    checks and controls have been made? are the counters reasonably efficient?
    have acceptable statistical errors been given?
  The first is easier to do. For example Le Figaro of 28 April had a front
page story "Treize reussites, treize echecs" which was followed on the
inside by a table listing 26 labs that had reported in a manner accessible to
the newspaper. The table had four columns listing lab's name, confirmation?,
energy(calorimetry) and neutrons. Although the headline suggested the score
was 13 to 13, Georgia Tech was quoted as "oui puis non" and scored as "yes"
whereas one expects they would prefer to be taken as "no" i.e. 12 to 14.
Also Texas A and M are scored as "yes", but they have since retracted their
confirmation, i.e. 11 to 15. There is another experiment that I recognise where
the authors withdrew after learning that Geiger counters have a rather low
efficiency for neutrons, i.e. 10 to 16. On the other hand Tom Wilkie of the
Independent ( the new serious paper of London) lists confirmations of
minimal amounts of neutrons from South Korea, Brazil, and East Germany,
and a couple of research students in Seattle i.e. 14 to 16. But a Berlin group
can explain an apparent emission of heat i.e. 14 to 17. Thus we are
passing through Phase 2.
  The Economist quotes Prof. Pons as saying that "60 laboratories have
privately confirmed different parts of his and Dr. Fleischmann's work", but
as there are no names of labs given, nor details of the checks done, it is
difficult to evaluate this statement but probably this will be possible
at the APS meeting tomorrow.
  Quality is always more controversial, but the few experiments that I know
to have made reasonable checks are all "no". In addition as details emerge of
the four original experiments of Utah University and the one of Brigham Young
University, they are all being strongly criticised (see No. 10 and below).
  A striking pattern is emerging in which in some regions of the world, the
experiments all give "yes" and in others they all give "no". There may be some
correlation between the information available in a region and the results
obtained there.
  There are worrying signs of disunity in the scientific community and it is
important in the future that people behave responsibly and even more
importantly with kindness.
                              On Thursday afternoon I received an electronic
mail message that seems to have originated on Wednesday afternoon and was
sent by electronic mail only. It said that "As a result of the excitement
produced by the the recent cold fusion experiments, the American Physical
Society has agreed to organise a special session on the topic at the
Baltimore meeting of the APS". It will take place on Monday May 1
from 19.30 to 23.00, the room to be announced. It is scheduled that there will
be four half-hour talks by S.E Jones, M. Fleischmann or B.S. Pons, J. Rafelski,
and S. Koonin, and the remaining 90 minutes are for contributed papers.
for contributed papers should reach the APS in NY by noon on 28 April or at
Baltimore up to noon on May first (have been informed that electronic mail and
telefaxes are not acceptable). Foreign scientists are specially invited.
I tried to pass the news on to European scientists who have done or are doing
some of the most interesting experiments, but at that moment all said it was
not possible to attend, but indicated what I could say at Baltimore.
                                   At TIFR, India, a first test has been
done using 20 ml of D2O and with NaCl as electrolyte. The temperature rose
quickly and then stabilised. Their preliminary indications are of a heat
excess  but no error is mentioned to say whether this is significant or not.
Also  no clear analysis of Newton's law of cooling has been done. A nichrome
wire heater was used as controlFull checks or control experiments have not been
done yet. Some workers have reported trouble with such type of electrolyte due
to effects produced by the Chlorine gas boiling off. (This has not been
announced and thus should be taken as very preliminary, and hence is not
counted above.)
  For the Stanford experiment of Dr. Huggins, I am now told that they observed
50% more heat with D2O than with H2O and from which they deduce that there
must be something non-chemical happening.
  I have no details about a report that Tokyo University and the Ghandi Centre
for Atomic Research at Kalpakham in India have both reported as observing
excess heat (Le Figaro, 28/4/89).
  George Yost told me of a meeting at Berkeley where an electrolytic chemist
commented unfavourably on the Fleischmann and Pons calorimetry, in particular
their use of an "open" arrangement where the gases can escape. He said that
Pons had said that they ran for 120 hours at 5 Volts and this gives a measure
of the energy put into the system which is not incompatable with the
4 megajoules talked about. The Stanford Experiment also suffers from being
an "open container" one. He offers a possible model to explain the Stanford
results - it is known that it is much easier to dissociate H2O than D2O (used
to separate isotopes). Thus for the same amount of energy in, more of the light
hydrogen bubbles off (and this is not easily recognised in an open experiment)
so that the energy going into the heavy water, goes less into dissociation
and more into heat production (I think that one has to ask Stanford people
about the accuracy of their measurement of the water levels and how this was
fed into their calculations).
  David Williams of Harwell described to me their calorimetry system. It is well
known that the most reliable measuring instrument is one that measures nothing!
-for example the Wheatstone Bridge. So they have three cylinders at three
temperatures. Heat is added to enable the temperatures to be stable - i.e. it
is a null method and Newton's Law of cooling is not required. If there were to
be excess heat, then the external heat added would have to be decreased to
maintain constant temperature. They are studying both open and closed systems.
They are also using various controls. They intend to do a very thorough job
and find that as new techniques (e.g. Frascati) are reported, they have to
extend their work. He hopes to be ready to publish all at the end of May. He
told me another interesting thing - that Li, which is often used as an
electrolyte, oftens contains some potassium 40 which is radioactive and gives
gammas (I remember it is also a nuisance in glass).
   The Frascati group of Prof. Scaramuzzi say in their paper that they did
not make specific calorimetry measurements, but if an excess heat had
been emmited of the amount claimed by Fleischmann and Pons, then the liquid
nitrogen in the bath around the cell, would have been evaporated anomalously,
and this they did not observe.
   Have been told by several people, but have not seen the report in German
myself, that in Berlin they tried calorimetry. They noticed that as the level
of the D2O fell, more of the palladium electrode got exposed to the air and
the deuterium gas began to be emitted from this part of the palladium. This
released the strains in the palladium rod caused by the inserting of the
deuterium nuclei and caused a heating. They suggest this may be the explanation
of why heat may apparently be given off. This should be easy to check.
   I was reminded that heat produced from changes in crystalline
structure of Graphite in a graphite-cooled reactor was reponsible for the
Windscale fire that caused so much trouble - this is called the Wigner energy.
A similar effect could be responsible for the emmision of heat when changes
occur in the distribution of deuterium nuclei in palladium. It has also been
suggested that changes between octahedral and terahedral sites of deuterium,
could propagate along fault lines in the crystal causing regions of the
crystal to release energy suddenly. Note that these are explanations which
may not be considered chemical by some chemists, and also are not from nuclear
                                A group of electrochemists from Grenoble have
made a cell which has been placed in the high quality neutron counter of
Bugey. No effect was seen. The paper is being prepared (roughly it should
indicate an upper limit about two orders of magnitude less than that of Jones
et al. This experiment is now being repeated in the Frejus tunnel where the
background is very low (one count per year, it is said).
  At Jussieu in Paris, no evidence of neutrons was found.
  At the Erice meeting, M. M. Broer of AT&T Bell labs,  reported that
with a 0.1 cm diameter and 10 cm long rod which was electrlysed for 10 days,
the upper limit on neutrons was three orders of magnitude less than those
reported by Jones et al. Also J. E. Zeigler of IBM said that they had upper
limits of  1 E-3 /s/cm3 for the detection of t or p from the d + d reactions.
An experiment from CNR at Frascati reported that neutrons were observed for the
first few minutes - as reported in News No 10, however having seen these
results, they do not look significant.(reports from Nature, 20 April 1989).
  I have now had a sympathetic talk with Prof. Scaramuzzi who is the leader of
the team at Frascati that reported non-equilibrium emmission of neutrons. He
confirmed that they were not able to do control studies before their press
conference but they were now doing them. He has sent me a preprint of their work
which gave details. In the 7 to 10 April run, the titanium was degassed and a
pressure of 50 atm achieved in several steps and then the cell was lowered into
a bath of liquid nitrogen which slowly evaporated to quite a low level. The
arrows on the graph correspond to times when nitrogen was added. The upward
arrow after 42 hours was when the pressure was released. the authors had also
noticed the "quantised" structure of the counts in units of 20 (but do not
comment on the drift to higher values) and they suggest an interpretation
in terms of counter saturation if the neutrons only come in very short bursts -
however this seems to me to raise more questions than it answers. They will
check this. For the second run, 15/16 April, "the deuterium had been in contact
with the titanium bed at different temperatures and pressures for roughly
one day and counts only just above background had been detected". to study
desorption, "the deuterium was evacuated from the system by vacuum pumping
and the liquid nitrogen dewar was also removed, allowing the cell and its
contents to rise to room temperature. This moment corresponds to time zero
in fig 3." The spectacular and very significant gaussian shape rise and fall
of the neutron counts was then observed betwen 3 and 18 hours. The suggestion of
David Williams that this effect could be due to cold and moist air affecting the
neutron counter will be checked. This is the first time that I had appreciated
that there was a day of running beforehand during which time no significant
neutron counting rates were observed - it would be good to understand this.
The overall counting efficiency is given as 5 E-5, which is rather low
compared with tens of % in some other experiments. They conclude that these
experiments "open an interesting field of scientific investigation".
  David Rogers of the Canadian Ionising Radiation Measurements  Standards
Laboratory says that their group is trying to reproduce these Frascati
results and have used 8 atmospheres pressure so far. They have a null result.
                                At the Ecole Polytechnique of Lausanne,
Claude Friedli and Victor Lopez, have measured the emmision of tritium from
heavy water and found an effect when electrolysis was done over 100 hours with
a current of 0.5 Amp. per cm2. When the palladium electrode (0.1 cm diameter and
10 cm long) was replaced by a platinium electrode, emmision of tritium
continued at the same rate. I hope to get more details from Christos
Comninellis tomorrow on the way to the plane which will allow an opinion on the
significance of this result. The authors feel that the tritium is produced
by a simple effect - the different electrolysis rates of deuterium and
  It is interesting to note that Georgia Tech. originally said at their
press conference that they confirmed the Fleischmann and Pons result by
observing both neutrons and tritium. However the retraction only seemed to
apply to neutrons - should we assume that the tritium result has also
been withdrawn?
           There are a number of theories which assume that the results are
false and these have been given above (e.g that the "heat excess" observed
was a short term phenomenon caused by the energy stored in the crystal
lattice of palladium when it has been charged with deuterium).
   There are also a number of theories which assume that the results are
  6.1 Two Utah chemists propose that helium is formed in an excited nuclear
state which is then de-excited not through the normal modes but rather by
"internal conversion", i.e. processes involving overlap of electronic wave
functions  with the nuclear wave function. they propose that the same
proces that causes the fusion (electron mass enhancement due to solid state
effects) causes also the increase in the internal conversion rate. However
it is estimated that the internal conversion rate should be many orders of
magnitude less.
  6.2 Dr. Peter Hagelstein of MIT has written four papers and MIT has
subsequently released a summary of his papers and filed a patent
application (Nature). He is said to consider the lattice of palladium and the
deuterium atoms as a whole and considers the energy flowing from the fusion
of d + d to 4He to flow freely to the lattice. If a cosmic ray muon causes
one fusion by muon catalysis, then the spread of the energy would help
other fusions causing a chain reaction (hope I have got that right, but I am
not sure). However such ideas seem to ignore the time factor - as written
earlier, the nuclear reaction happens many orders of magnitude faster than
the vibration time of the lattice which therefore cannot react coherently.
  6.3 Dr S. Koonin pointed out at Erice that the reaction  p + d  ---> 3He
has a much higher probability than d + d fusion and there is some H2O in
the heavy water used by Fleischmann and Pons - however this is only 1/2 %.
      There are striking variations of the ratio of confirmation to null results
from one region to another. In North-western Europe ( Britain, Switzerland
France, Germany) there are only null results whereas in Italy there are two
press conference releases announcing confirmation and I have heard of
three other groups with confirming results (two neutrons and one protons).
In Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America only confirming results have been
announced. In the USA, the North-East plus major labs at Livermore and Los
Alamos have reported null results while elsewhere the results are confirmations.
   It is interesting to compare this with the information available in each
region to see if there is a correlation with the results. Initially most of
the world welcomed the information that the dream of energy with little
pollution, had some experimental evidence, though doubts were expressed in a
few papers, particularly the New York Times and some Western European papers.
Responsible journalists in these regions continued to express doubts. As an
example of the effect of the media on opinion, Don Perkins offered his
first year class odds of 100 to one that there was nothing in the reports of
heat generation by Fleischmann and Pons - and no one would take the chance of
losing one pound in the hope of gaining one hundred from their professor. In
Italy on the other hand, the first reports from Frascati that a new technique
had been developed, were extensively reported on the front pages. In the rest
of the world outside of the USA, I do not have enough information. In the USA,
the New York Times has an important influence in the North-East and has
expressed sceptical doubts and reported negative results.
  The State of Utah is exceptional. Only confirmations seem to be reported.
The economy is not in good shape and there are great hopes that cold fusion
could change all this - as California has its Silicon Valley, Utah will have
its Fusion Valley. The State has voted $5 million for fusion. The Office of
Naval Research, ONR has voted an additional grant of $400 000 for the
University of Utah team over the next 32 months nearly doubling ONR support
for Pons's laboratory (Nature 20 April). And now Fleischmann and Pons (or the
University of Utah) has requested $25 million from Congress to set up a
realistic device to generate energy (Le Monde, 28 April). Some people are very
firm believers in cold fusion like the person who taught Prof. Fleischmann at
Imperial College and who now is a professor in the States. His group held a
press conference announcing confirmation. He believes that only women "will
make the world see sense and force governments to produce hard cash for an
environmentally ideal fusion process". Hence he has written "to Jane Fonda to
ask her to lead a campaign, America wide, to persuade Congress of the need for
strong financial backing for nuclear fusion" (Mail on Sunday, April 16). His
University has since retracted confirmation.
  This possible correlation between the climate of information available in a
region and the results obtained in that region, must be considered tentative
as it is based on only partial information and a fuller time study is needed.
  There is another regional divergence that is even more worrying. There seems
to be a slight tendancy for chemists in the USA to be in favour of Fleischmann
and Pons. Thus Nature of 20 April reported that at the American Chemical
Society meeting in Dallas "chemists welcomed the prospect that cold fusion
might represent a victory for chemistry over physics. Opening the special
session, ACS president Clayton Callis said the goal of fusion as an energy
source has remained elusive and that physicists' efforts at hot fusion
using tokomacs and lasers were 'apparently too expensive and too ambitious
to lead to practcal power'. To applause from the crowd, he added, 'Now it
appears that chemists have come to the rescue'. In his speach, Pons joked about
the high cost of physicists attempts at fusion by calling his own apparatus
the 'U-1 Utah tokamak'. A picture showed a glass electrochemical cell inside
a cooling bath made from an ordinary rubber kitchen bucket." This is sad. Not
all results can be correct and clearly some must be wrong. In this difficult
time to come, it is important that all scientists, no matter what their
field of specialisation, should be supportive of those who produced wrong
results and believed too firmly in them.
                          In my studies of the history of Wrong Results in
Science, or Pathalogical Science, a considerable number of the 12 conditions
forming the syndrome, seem to be fulfilled. In particular we have passed
Phase One where there are the original results and a few confirming results
obtained quickly. In Phase Two, there seems to be confusion as there are about
an equal number of confirming and negative results. On a world-wide basis, we
seem to be in that phase now, but in some parts of the world we are already
entering Phase Three where all the results are negative and no one believes
in the effect, except the original discoverer.
  In the past, the originators of the effect have not retracted. In the classic
case of N-Rays, Prof. Blondlot was exposed rather cruelly by R. M. Wood, an
American scientist visiting Europe who was asked by the Royal Society to call
in on Blondlot and investigate. A year afterwards Blondlot published a book
describing positively N-rays. An exception was the great German scientist Prof.
Paneth who believed he had found helium from the fusion of hydrogen in
palladium - he investigated further and published in 1928 very detailed
evidence descibing where he had gone wrong - but he was a great scientist.
   Historically speaking cold fusion seems to heading towards its end though
there will still be strong advocates for some time longer. Some harm will
have been done to Science through raising people's hopes too high, but there
are also some positive sides - many have appreciated the importance of careful
checking and control experiments, of not wishing a result too much. Also many
have learnt something about other branches of Science that they do not
normally consider. There is perhaps a better understanding of scientific method.
   Doubtless this will enter into the History of Science. It is important that
all act responsibly; there is no point in witch-hunting. Everyone makes mistakes
and it is very important to be kind and understanding.
                                                       Douglas R. O. Morrison.
PS For the period 1 to 9 May, my Email address will be