Talk:Cold fusion/Archive 14

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Theres a glaring error in the begining part of the article. Fusion (of any type) would not be a renewable energy source; it would be plentiful, but it is constantly replenished by natural sources. --Lophoole (talk) 01:07, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, energy can't get any more renewable without violating the second law of thermodynamics. Solar energy is fusion. MigFP (talk) 12:37, 22 January 2008 (UTC) sock


I have now requested arbitration on all the pending subjects. See here.Pcarbonn (talk) 19:36, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Summarising the relevant scientific papers

Five papers have been listed as finding cold fusion effects. They are all put together in a lump and no-one has gone through them to summarise what they say. And I just searched for "cold fusion" on ISI and found about 150 references of different kinds, from peer-reviewed journal papers to conference proceedings to a couple of recent articles in the scientific magazines that seem to be saying that cold fusion research is "back" (possibly prompted by the appearance of Storms' book). I'm sure that if editors more scientifically literate than me are willing to put in the work, then an article can be written that sums up the current state of the research in a way that will be acceptable to all. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:00, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your optimism. I wish you good luck... Pcarbonn (talk) 17:14, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I wish you good luck Pcarbonn, since if anyone is going to summarise those papers it will have to be you. It won't be me anyway as I don't have the science background. I'm going to keep the page on watch but all I can do is to help with the spelling, grammar, style and referencing, and to ensure that it remains at least partly accessible to lay readers. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:19, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the trust you place in me. Unfortunately, it's taking way too much of my time to defend reliable sources. Because the statements from the 2004 DOE panel are challenged, I don't see how statements from the articles you mention would not be. I can have a better use of my time than arguing about this. If the arbitration committee does not consider the case, and if the position of the other editors does not change, I'll say goodbye to wikipedia. Pcarbonn (talk) 17:29, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
ArbCom won't consider the case, for the reasons stated above. NB that WP articles on controversial subjects are usually themselves controversial for a long time, but eventually editors get fed up with the warring and start focussing on improving the article. I was marginally involved with the Islam article which is now a Featured Article - if it can happen there it can happen here. Anyone who wants a page that unequivocally advocates CF or unequivocally debunks it can dream on. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:00, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
As I said, I wish you good luck.
Maybe the drama of all this can be summarized this way. As I contributed to the article, I have had a lot of fun learning about the fascinating field of cold fusion. It progressively became clear to me that cold fusion is a serious scientific question worth of further investigation. I contributed to the article in this direction. Yet, every once in a while, editors that know nothing of the subject come and are surprised to see what's in it. Some rejects it based on their prejudice, and destroy all the work that was done. Others, like you, keep an open mind. Now, it may be your turn to go through the journey I made. If so, I wish you a pleasant experience. Let me know if I can help: I'll be happy to support you. Feel free to look at the version that was reverted: it has all the elements you need to bring the article to FA status. Pcarbonn (talk) 18:45, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
And after talking to a friend who was part of the original Fleischmann experimental team and is now a full professor at a British university, specialising in electrochemistry and with an international lecture career, numerous patents, many tens of publications in mainstream journals and a standard text published by Oxford University Press - in other words, a person who by any rational criteria could be counted not only an expert in the subject but a particularly well-informed one - I am equally convinced that the main claims made by more recent publications are pure hokum, and that's probably why they are not published by reputable mainstream journals. I am not a believer in the free energy suppression school of conspiracy theorising. You probably worked that out already, of course. Guy (Help!) 19:04, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
In what I would consider the normal process of science, he would have to go on the record and publish the reasons for his position in a scientific journal. Was his paper also rejected by mainstream journals ? Then, how much credence should he have ? Pcarbonn (talk) 09:11, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Guy is just explaining why he personally isn't convinced. Of course a personal conversation with a scientist can't be used as a source for the article. We have to look at the recent papers one by one and find out what they claim. The status of the journals can be ascertained by citation indices. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:27, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I must have been mistaken. I thought that wikipedia was based on facts, not opinions. I now realize my mistake. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:55, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
It's based on sources! Itsmejudith (talk) 12:53, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Then, please explain to me what's going on on this page, because I don't get it. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:45, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Pcarbonn, what you don't get is that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The probability of deuterons overcoming coulomb repulsion is so small and so well understood that extremely convincing data is required. The JJAP and New Energy Times articles have data which hints at fusion, true, but the burden of proof here is on the side of the fusion advocates. Wikipedia is built by editors' opinions, and what you see are the results of many peoples' opinions that electrochemisty-driven fusion is very unlikely in any of these experiments.
I'm curious why we seem to apply double standard. Surely, the pioneer anomaly would require extraordinary proof : it makes the extraordinary claim that the theory of gravitation may need to be revised. What is so extraordinary about the proof of the pioneer anomaly that makes it a valid subject of scientific discourse ? What is missing from the cold fusion proofs ? Pcarbonn (talk) 08:24, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Something else you might not get is that scientists rarely write papers which disprove other papers. Remember that a scientist's most valuable resource is time, which means that if one thinks certain experiments are a waste of time, they will avoid that field. That is exactly what you see when you compare the number of scientists at prestigious institutions working on conventional fusion issues to the number working on cold fusion issues. The absence of large numbers of papers showing evidence against cold fusion is completely consistent with the scientific process. It should be noted that articles critical of cold fusion have appeared in prestigious journals: Science "DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: Outlook for Cold Fusion Is Still Chilly" (2004); Nature "The embarrassment of cold fusion"(1990); and Physical Review "Cold fusion: How close can deuterium atoms come inside palladium?"(1989).
If it matters, I have posted previously as I started posted several months ago trying to consider the effect this article would have on a nonexpert wikipedia reader. At that time, the article gave the impression that the chance that electrochemistry-driven fusion is occurring is better than 50%, which is completely against the scientific consensus. The lack of favorable articles in journals like Physical Review, together with the 2004 DOE panel recommending against federal funding are strong indicators that scientific consensus does not believe in the fusion effect.
So where does that leave us? The article should indicate the scientific consensus view while describing the 1989 activities and the post-2004 results. The current article at least does not give the reader an inaccurate view of the scientific consensus. However, it should probably have 2 or 3 references to post-2004 results such as the Navy-related reports. Olorinish (talk) 20:51, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

To sum up, both sides of the controversy should be presented by reference to papers in peer-reviewed journals or other very good sources. The article should indicate that the current consensus is unfavourable to the idea, but that pro-cold fusion is a notable minority scientific view. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Actually it's probably more like a notable fringe view, a notable minority scientific view would be held by a meaningful number of mainstream academics, which this does not appear to be. Guy (Help!) 23:22, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid you are misinformed. There is an interesting discussion going on on my talk page. Feel free to participate.Pcarbonn (talk) 08:05, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
By misinformed, you mean, I take it, informed by those with whose views you disagree. My primary source of information here, as I have said before, was actually active in the original Fleischmann & Pons experiments. Guy (Help!) 18:49, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I would be interested to know what this person said that confirmed your conviction that "the main claims made by more recent publications are pure hokum". Hopefully, this will convince me too. Also, would you mind giving us his name ? Pcarbonn (talk) 08:24, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I suggest not carrying on this conversation as it will lead nowhere. The purpose of the talk page is to discuss how to amend the content of the article, not to argue out the topic of the article. Itsmejudith (talk) 08:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Checking sources

Checking sources, always a good idea. For example, when the article mentioned the DoE report it linked to what looked as if it was a mirror of the report on I would prefer to link direct to the report on a .gov domain, so I opened the pdf to get the report number and reference. Guess what? The pdf turns out to begin with a polemic by Jed Rothwell. Who, as far as I can tell, linked the thing. I'm also removing copies of copyright works hosted on that site with no evidence of permission. Authors are allowed to distribute copies for private study, but not, as far as I am aware, to release the documents for hosting on websites, the copyright attaches to the publication, as was made clear in the first one I just removed. I do have some experience here, I am on the editorial board of a website that discusses published research in another area; many of the contributors have published papers but we cannot, in most cases, use the originals on the site, we clarified this with our lawyers. Guy (Help!) 17:06, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for fixing the link on the DOE report. The wikipedia policy on copyright says: "However, if you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work." Do you know that LENR-CANR violates the rights of the creator ? Please have a look at its home page, which states: "It features a library of more than 500 original scientific papers in Acrobat format, reprinted with permission from the authors and publishers." Do you have evidence that this is incorrect ? If not, please do not remove proper links to articles on Pcarbonn (talk) 16:35, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The burden of proof, in cases where a site is hosting material not its own copyright, lies with the editor seeking to include such links; in other words, prove it's not a vilation of the copyright notice clearly reproduced within the document. Given that at least one link has been manipulated in this way I am not inclined to trust lenr-canr anyway, since the same editorialising could be applied to any of its content and there is no known process of review on that site to prevent it. Actually the onus is always on the editor seeking to include any disputed content within an article to achieve consensus for its inclusion, whihc is the meaning of bold, revert, discuss. So, what evidence do we have that journals are prepared to waive copyright in this way? I think you'll find that the more likely they are to do so, the less willing we should be to accept their papers - no reputable journal of which I'm aware would allow an activist-run website to republish full article text in this way. Guy (Help!) 17:12, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
I came to this article from the Fringe Theories Noticeboard where help was requested. I had and have no opinion on cold fusion, my knowledge of physics being quite limited. I'm 100%convinced that fusion will be the solution to our planet's energy problems, mind you, it's just that I'd give priority to working out better ways to use the energy already being generated through fusion in the Sun and radiated to us on Earth.
What I came here to help achieve is an NPOV article written up from good sources. Now from everything that I can see, the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics and die Naturwissenschaften scream out their good source credentials. They are both ISI-listed peer-reviewed academic journals. Yes? No? Die Naturwissenschaften was founded by Max Planck, someone even I have heard of. Am I missing something really important? If I am please tell me in simple language.
I also understand that the effects researchers are claiming to have found, if they are real, might shake much of the currently accepted knowledge of nuclear physics. That makes them extraordinary claims, and as we are repeatedly reminded, "extraordinary claims need extraordinary sources". But that is a warning relating to claims that can be stated as fact in the encyclopedia. In this case no-one is proposing that we state the cold fusion effect as fact. It is only being suggested that the fact that these papers have been published is a notable part of the controversy. Which it is - a search shows up news reports in the mainstream science magazines on the lines of "cold fusion is back". So someone needs to summarise very briefly the methods and findings of each of the significant papers that reports cold fusion or related effects, say one or two sentences per paper. It needs someone with a good physics background to do the summarising. Anyone fancy a bit of "writing for the enemy" practice in this season of goodwill? Itsmejudith (talk) 21:30, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
It is extremely unwise to be convinced to any extent that cold fusion, as described here, will be the solution to anything at all. I am very passionate about bicycles, and believe to a near religious level that they are the perfect solution to many modern traffic and health problems, but humans being at root both lazy and ingenious I have no doubt that it is equally possible that our salvation will be belliwheels and tablets to stop coronary artery disease and thrombosis. I think that Heinlein's The man who was too lazy to fail is an incredibly perceptive piece of writing. Guy (Help!) 22:54, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

The wikipedia policy on copyright says: "However, if you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work." The burden of proof is on your side. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:43, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

No, the burden of proof is always on the editor seeking to include disputed content. Anything else would be a POV-pusher's charter. Guy (Help!) 16:24, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I've submitted the issue to the noticeboard on reliable sources. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:38, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
You've misunderstood my comment, Guy, which I should have attached a smiley to. I meant that if you're looking for a free source of renewable energy, look no further than solar energy (which is produced by fusion unless my scientific knowledge is even more limited than I'd like to think). It seems that it was the hope of a something-for-nothing "technofix" to the energy crisis that led to the initial high hopes placed in this science and then to the correspondingly deep disillusionment. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:15, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Issues of copyright aside, what we have a Wikipedia editor passing off his own editorial content as a DOE report. That is enough to render any reference at lenr-canr suspect. JohnAspinall (talk) 17:35, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Suggestions for Article Improvements

Why not consider these possibilities?
  • 1. Have all these alternative names for this stuff added to wiki as redirects, so if someone does a search they end up in the one place.
  • 2. Instead of having a huge sub topic in the middle of any article, slice it off to it's own article.

There is possibly a good reason for doing this as it would appear that some protagonists see this as either an article;

  • that describes a theory or;
  • that presents the history of an experiment that made headlines and had been subject to further controversy in the media or;
  • that describes a process that allegedly or otherwise does something or;
  • that describes current research on the subject;
  • attempts to describe in an encyclopaedic way all the above in one article.

I seem to think that some appear to want to encompass everything possibly known in this topic into the article, and that others appear to either want it to be only about one (or a mix) of the above style of presentations. I suggest breaking it up and turning Cold Fusion into a disamb page, sort of like an index to articles about the theory, the process, the media history, the research to present day, and whatever other topics that may not already be covered elsewhere in wiki. Regards.petedavo (talk) 22:00, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I would be happy to split the deleted version of the article, as you suggest, and work from there. The current version is too short to justify this splitting, in my opinion. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:43, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I also don't think there is enough for several articles, but there is enough for an article on the Fleischman-Pons experiment and its reception. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:17, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

European Physical Journal article

Here's what I take away from the recent CR-39 article in the European Physical Journal. Mosier-Boss, et. al., describe a repeatable mechanism for generating and detecting energetic particles from a Pd-D cell. They assert that the characteristics shape of pits in the CR-39 detectors can only be made from energetic particles, and not from other sources such as background radiation or chemical attack. They also describe a number of experimental controls that were designed to rule out these other sources of pits. They do not make any claims regarding excess heat. Comments? Ronnotel (talk) 05:22, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Is the DOE a reliable secondary source ?

Can we consider the 2 DOE panels as reliable secondary sources ? If so, shouldn't we write the article to represent its views ? We should then try to agree on what it said, and complement this with the recent developments. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:41, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

  • It's a primary source, what do the reliable secondary sources (as in: not New Energy Times) have to say about the reports? Guy (Help!) 16:13, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't see why you think it is primary. I'm going to take this to the reliable sources noticeboard to get some more comments. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:20, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Guy, you are incredible. How can you argue that it is a primary source, since it is a review, not a report on an experiment ? In addition, in the case you are unaware of it, the 2004 DOE panel generated a lot of comments, showing its notability: [1] [2] [3] [4]Pcarbonn (talk) 16:26, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

For a good source for NPOV description of the state of the debate: Daviss, Bennett. "Cold fusion rides again: physicists scoff, but enthusiasts say they now have hard evidence that proves room temperature fusion is real." New Scientist 194.2602 (May 5, 2007): 32(3). Itsmejudith (talk) 16:49, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Here is what New Scientist also said in Dec 2004: "Grab a beaker of heavy water and a pair of palladium electrodes: it's time to start experimenting with cold fusion again, without any need for embarrassment."[5] Pcarbonn (talk) 16:58, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that was their report of the issue of the second DoE report. It may be relevant to bear in mind though that this is a science article on an area of scientific research (however contested, however minor). If it were a sociology of science article on an a scientific controversy or a philosophy article on an epistemological controversy then the DoE reports would be primary sources and we would need the New Scientist to show how they were presented. As it is, the DoE reports are good secondary sources and the New Scientist is not needed except for updates. That's my current understanding anyway; hoping for some further views from the RS/N. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:25, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I fully agree with your analysis. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:34, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

question about cold fusion

This is a partial copy of a discussion that took place on my talk page.Pcarbonn (talk) 09:57, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Forgive me if this is bold taking this "offline," but I am curious about what you personally think about cold fusion. Do you actually think it is occurring? There has been 17 years of failure since 1989. If there had been any real hope the 2004 DOE panel would have recommended funding. If you do believe it is occurring, how many years without practical devices or mainstream respect would it take for you to change your mind? (talk) 12:28, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

First of all, my opinion does not matter in writing the wikipedia article. To respond to your question, I have no doubt that something strange is happening in CF experiments, and that we should fund additional research. I'm not sure why you say "17 years of failure". What is failure, when you have only a trickle of money to conduct the research ? Still, I encourage you to buy the book of E. Storms to see the wealth of quality research that has been done in the last 17 years. The informal information I get shows that the wind is turning, and that mainstream science is getting more and more interested. Pcarbonn (talk) 12:36, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, all edits are a product of the editor's opinion of the relative merit of facts and phrasing. I will try to get the Storms book. (talk) 13:05, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
The Storms book wasn't in the Chicago library system, but I requested it through inter-library loan, which might take a few weeks. If you will indulge me, please tell me the 2 or 3 best references that show electrochemistry-driven fusion is real. In case it matters, I have a Ph. D. in condensed matter physics and I am a coauthor on 11 patents and 17 scientific articles (PRB, APL, PRL, JAP, etc.). (talk) 18:02, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
You may want to look at the list of selected papers on New Energy Times, or at the end of the document presented by researchers to the 2004 DOE panel.
Here is my personal selection. On excess heat:
On nuclear reactions:
Pcarbonn (talk) 09:30, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
In any case, the article should reflect the best review available on the subject, and that's the 2004 DOE panel. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:46, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the links. As I suspected, the papers are pretty flawed. I have been a reviewer and a submitting author for journals like Physical Review, and in my opinion none of those papers would be published there because of incomplete disclosure and experimental methods. Getting published in prestigious journals is the oxygen of a successful scientific career. I strongly suggest you advise your informal contacts to stop submitting to second rate journals and do the hard work of getting their results published in Physical Review (or similar journals), since that is how mainstream scientists earn respect. On a related note, I am curious, does the lack of publication in prestigious journals cause you to doubt the reality of electrochemistry-driven fusion? It should. (talk) 23:37, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

User states: "As I suspected, the papers are pretty flawed." A PhD and you still don't realize that opinions means nothing in Wikiland. If you really want your efforts here to have an impact, and even help improve things, then provide us with a list of the flaws. Ought to be a piece of cake for you since you've just finished reading all the references and the material is still very fresh in your mind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

According to you my opinions are irrelevant, so that would be a waste of time. I am still curious, does the lack of publication in prestigious journals cause you to doubt the reality of electrochemistry-driven fusion? It should. Confirmation of transistor amplification and high Tc superconductivity both appeared in Physical Review less than a year after they were announced to the public, but it has already been 17 years without such confirmation for cold fusion. (talk) 13:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't know who wrote the anonymous comment before yours. While the lack of publication causes me to doubt the reality of electrochemistry-driven fusion, it is counterbalanced by the breadth, depth and quality of experimental evidence published elsewhere. Prestigious editors may have plenty of good reasons to reject papers, as you suggest, and authors should improve the quality of their papers as the 2004 DOE panel said. But they have also plenty of bad reasons to not publish, such as the need for conformity, and the difficulty to recognize an error that they made 18 years ago when they rejected it. Sometimes, papers are rejected for reasons that are not scientific: eg. the lack of a theory to explain it, or the difficulty to reproduce them. While these reasons could reasonably prevent publications in prestigious papers, they cannot remove anything to the scientific validity of the results. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:23, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Another reason for me to believe cold fusion is worth researching is the 2004 DOE panel. After all, they were better place than me to judge it. When 1/2 the panelists accepts the excess heat, and 1/3 does not reject a nuclear origin, it tells you that something is going on, and that's worth investigating if you are curious. And that was without reviewing the anomalous transmutation evidence (for some reasons the researchers did not present it). I'd be happy to hear your comments on the Iwamura paper: do you see a flaw ? Is it not properly described ? How do you explain the results ? Pcarbonn (talk) 17:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
The Imawura paper is extremely incomplete. They report no heat, no radiation, and no intermediate products with an atomic mass change of 4. They also have no graph of [fusion indicator] vs. [time of chemical reaction]. In this case, they could make a series of samples(~20) which have varying amounts of exposure to D2 or H2, and perform identical isotope analysis on all of them. If the graph shows a monotonic increase for longer reaction times, they may have something. However, if they really want to convince people that deuterons are fusing, they have to address the issues of radiation and intermediate products. Of course, even if cold fusion was present there, it would have very little to do with heavy water fusion. (talk) 21:09, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for looking at the Iwamura paper. You say: "They also have no graph of [fusion indicator] vs. [time of chemical reaction]. They could make a series of samples(~20) which have varying amounts of exposure to D2 or H2, and perform identical isotope analysis on all of them". I believe that's what they did in Fig 4.a, 5.a, 6.a, 7.a and 8.a Let me know if I'm mistaken.
When you say "they have to address the issues of radiation", IMHO, you are asking more than is required. You are trying to see if the experiment fits current theoretical knowledge. Obviously, it does not: current knowledge says that transmutations cannot occur in this environment. And that's the whole point. You should go back to your original requirements: is the experimental protocol flawed ? Is it properly described, so that replication can be done (it has, by the way) ? If so, the paper supports the view that additional studies are necessary, like the one you suggest, rather than the conclusion that it is all bogus. The deleted version of the article never said that cold fusion is absolutely sure; it said that more research is justified.
You say "it would have very little to do with heavy water fusion". Indeed. That's why researchers believe the name should be changed from cold fusion to low energy nuclear reaction.Pcarbonn (talk) 11:21, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Since you are asking for traces of radiation, I would invite you to look at the recent paper in the European Physical Journal, reporting on the SPAWAR experiment with CR-39 detectors. Use of CR-39 in Pd/D co-deposition experiments.Pcarbonn (talk) 08:13, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
You are not mistaken. I should have said "They have no convincing graph of [fusion indicator] vs. [time of chemical reaction]." Your comment on "asking more than required" is core of the disagreement. When an extraordinary claim like cold fusion is made, the burden is on the advocates to have extraordinary protocols (many many data points, multiple labs, multiple analytical techniques, etc.). If they do those things and get consistent results, mainstream scientists will listen. When high Tc superconductivity was announced in late 1986, it only took weeks for it to be confirmed. Physical Review Letters published one key paper (Wu et al., March 2, 1987) less than a month after it was submitted because they want to disseminate important news quickly. (talk) 03:57, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me if I butt in. I don't particularly like the sentence about "extraordinary evidence", not because I don't accept it in principle but because it's often associated with "moving the goalposts". In the case of cold fusion, the critics asked for better repeatability, they got it after some years (H/Pd > 0.95 and all that jazz) and in most cases never acknowledged it. They asked for radiation and got it (tritium production well above background measured multiple times) but, same as above. They asked for helium production correlated to heat, and when it came they mostly dismissed it citing contaminations (without demonstrating that a contamination indeed happened, I mean). I'm not accusing you personally, obviously, but I don't detect much good faith in this pattern. Well, at least here in Italy academic people in the last years went back to speaking openly of cold fusion without fearing ridicule or immediate dismissal... we'll see what they can come up with (and if I manage to get in the position of helping, I'll be there ;) --Holland-it (talk) 07:05, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and about the "17 years of failure", for me the "upper bound" for this kind of thing is the time it took to accept continental drift: 40 years ;) Not to mention that Wegener's evidence, after all, was less than what the CF researchers have to offer in defense of their field, and his attempt at a theory was very clumsy (like those of many CF researchers, sadly). Yet right he was.... --Holland-it (talk) 08:18, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I fully agree with Holland-it. You ask for "many many data points, multiple labs, multiple analytical techniques, etc.". Then look at Ed Storms book: you'll see plenty of protocols, plenty of reports, plenty of labs. The extraordinary evidence are there, if you look for it. If you ask for a publication in Nature, we just need to wait: it will happen, eventually. But I don't see the scientific basis for asking it. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:52, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Just to clarify further: I completely agree with our friend that the Iwamura paper by itself shouldn't convice anyone of anything: it's the way it fits in the picture drawn by many more studies, most of which were concerned with different things, that should be evaluated.
Recently, an article published on the EJP brought evidence of anomalous d+d branching ratios for conventional deuteron-beam experiments at low energies. They didn't reproduce the CF ratios, and their setup didn't have anything to do with Fleischmann-Pons experiments, but that's just why it's so interesting: when a number of completely different methods of inquiry continue to crash into "something strange going on" with hydrogen isotopes in metal lattices, in my opinion, you have a much more compelling evidence than what would come from incremental betterments of a single experiment.
The obvious sign of real pseudoscience is that no matter how high the efforts, the quality of evidence never increases with time or even diminishes. The quality of CF evidence, on the other hand, has steadily increased. If you say "I think it's still not enough to make us rewrite nuclear physics", fine with me. But it's surely enough to make us want to know what the hell is really going on there ;) --Holland-it (talk) 11:40, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
The Wegener episode is a great example of how science succeeds. There was a shocking proposal with only limited data. People discussed it openly but few believed it. Years later new measurements in several areas, especially sea floor magnetism, convinced people that the continents are moving. When cold fusion advocates have data like that, people will definitely pay attention. (talk) 13:08, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
And many people are paying attention again, I tell you, especially outside the USA (You keep paying attention to string theorists in the meantime, I really doubt that it is a more intelligent bet but we'll see ;) The Wegener comment was just in response to your "17 years are too much" sentence: since sometimes it took more than double the time to vindicate a theory, I surely won't dismiss CF just because of that... I would if I saw published papers just going in circles around the same old things. But they are not. --Holland-it (talk) 13:25, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I would like to thank User for responding in a scientific manner: namely, reading and bringing up what he believes are SPECIFIC flaws in the papers, and doing it in a sincere, non-condescending way. If we could get the main editors of the CF page to do the same, it would shape up quite nicely. Instead they want to criticize the journal, the publisher, the country it was published in, the scientists, etc. They find all kinds of things to criticize except experimental setup, procedures or analysis of the science! That is completely unscientific... PhysicsEng (talk) 06:03, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

POV tag

The current version of the article portrays cold fusion as pseudoscience and fringe science, a position that was valid in the '90's, but fails to recognize the rebirth of the field, with the 2004 DOE review and recent publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals such as European Physical Journal. In addition, the current version of the article lacks reliable sources for many of its controversial statements. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:26, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Um, rebirth? The report concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to justify a federally funded research program. The supposed "rebirth" is also not published in mainstream journals with anything like the profile of the original. It's now very evidently a fringe field. Guy (Help!) 22:10, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
One person's fringe is another person's niche. Anyway, what we think doesn't matter. Bring on the sourced mainspace edits. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:02, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
Dieter Britz's graphs of submissions and publications of cold fusion papers versus time show no evidence for a revival. Cardamon (talk) 00:22, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Moving the article forward

The article now needs to be moved on towards consensus. There is no point in lengthy "oh yes it is - oh no it isn't" arguments here. We need to work through it point by point, establishing which sources say what and bringing disagreements here. The disagreements should be on specific intepretations of the validity of specific sources, not on the generalities of the science. Compare solar energy, which was bogged down for a long time in argument, now GA and moving towards FA, due to editors willing to do the painstaking groundwork. Itsmejudith (talk) 10:06, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, and ideally without giving the impression that the true believers are anything other than the tiny minority they are, and hopefully without the kind of fringecruft that caused demotion from FA and two reverts to the FA version. Guy (Help!) 16:01, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
As Itsmejudith says, this can be easily resolved by providing sourced edits. That's how FA article are made. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:13, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
And as has been pointed out numerous times, when you are challenging the scientific mainstream you need good sources, ideally from journals of the degree of prominence of the original journal in which Fleischmann and Pons published. You also have to be on the lookout for the "free energy" kooks and their spin on it all. There seems to be a historical problem with the latter in this article. Guy (Help!) 18:22, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I can't see the logic of demanding that the journals should be "of the original journal in which they published". I'd prefer us to follow through the approach in WP:NPOV by referencing both sides of the argument and allowing the reader to decide. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:43, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
The problem with this is the tacit assumption that the two sides in this "controversy" should be weighted equally when clearly the "pro" side is consistently marginalized. Wikipedia should carefully conform to a similar kind of marginalization of the "pro" side since focusing too much on it will result in an accommodation and inappropriate soapboxing of the fringe. ScienceApologist (talk) 21:50, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
The two sides in this "controversy" should be weighted according to the votes in the DOE panel: evenly split on the evidence of excess heat, and 2/3 vs 1/3 on the evidence of nuclear origin. Pcarbonn (talk) 22:52, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Rather, I think an appropriate reading would be minimal support of cold fusion as a nuclear reaction as described by cold fusion proponents. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:57, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Todd Rider thesis

There is no indication of why this is relevant to cold fusion research. Could someone either delete it or rewrite it so that it is clear why it is included. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:30, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree that this is not relevant to the cold fusion article, and that it could be deleted. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:12, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
The paragraph about Rider's thesis is in the wrong place. It should be in the subsection titled "Generally cold, locally hot fusion". It is talking about non-equilibrium systems. That's why it's there. I think the general question of how big to make the "Other kinds of fusion" section is a good one, though. JohnAspinall (talk) 17:10, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
In fact, looking at it more, I'm sure it was intended for the "Generally cold, locally hot fusion" section. The referent for "these systems" is clear. I made the edit. I'm open to further edits here. JohnAspinall (talk) 17:19, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I have proposed to shorten the "other types of fusion" by talking only about cold fusion (see this version). After all, this is the subject of the article. Unfortunately, it was reverted. Any third opinion on this ? Pcarbonn (talk) 15:53, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, many other reverts were done here, and third opinions on them are more than welcome. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:58, 24 December 2007 (UTC)
I believe the other kinds of fusion section is necessary because there are a sizable set of readers who come to this page looking for sonofusion or cluster impact fusion who become confused if these things aren't clarified in the cold fusion article. Before that section was added there a description of sonofusion, for example, was added by editors trying to help several times, sometimes in multiple disjointed sections concurrently. The fact that some media sources call these other things 'cold fusion' means that even if they are not formally cold fusion they should be addressed here if only to redirect folks to the appropriate pages. --Noren (talk) 15:30, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Mizuno belongs

Dr. Tadahiko Mizuno's book belongs per the information about it already included. But the Japanese publisher is Kogakusha. PRtalk 21:51, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

News section

Do we need a News section ? The relevant WP guideline does not list this as a standard appendix. I would suggest to remove it, which I did, but it was reverted by Guy. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:07, 24 December 2007 (UTC)


Do those who reverted and supported reversion to the 2004 version intend to do anything on the lengthy To-Do list above, which ScienceApologist said was required after the reversion? MigFP (talk) 09:37, 26 December 2007 (UTC) sock

  • Yes, we intend to resist attempts by Pcarbonn and others to insert only those things which pretend that this is anything other than a tiny fringe belief. This includes the fact that the lead must make it abosolutely clear that the DoE reviews represent the mainstream view, something Pcarbonn seems to think is not rleevant. Guy (Help!) 10:19, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I fully agree that the DoE represent the mainstream view. The DoE was split on the evidence of Cold fusion. It is a gross oversimplification to say that it has rejected it. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:18, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Hopefully, this will be done by providing adequate sources. Pcarbonn (talk) 11:40, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
An argument which fails on one very important point: the majority of scientists simply are not investigating this. As with most fringe science, the mainstream recognises lack of publication in serious journals as being functionally equivalent to rejection of the theory. The original experiments were problematic on a number of levels, and there is pretty much nothing in the major journals to change that, as the DoE reviews found. The DoE reviews are the best overall review we have, and the 2004 review should set the tone for the whole article. I think the Physics Today piece says it best: "The cold fusion claims made in 1989 by B. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann didn't hold up. But they did spawn a small and devoted coterie of researchers who continue to investigate the alleged effect." Spot on. Guy (Help!) 12:20, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Problem is, the Physics Today was written in April 2004, before the 2004 DOE panel published its finding. Compare this to what Wired says in August 2007: "At an MIT lecture hall on Saturday, a convocation of 50 researchers and investors gathered to discuss a phenomenon that allegedly does not exist. " or "Verification of these controversial results is not the problem -- many labs around the world have reproduced parts of the results many times. "[6]. So please find a more recent source. In any case, it's better to stick to what the DOE has said, rather than rely on the interpretation by journalists.
If all the subjects that "a majority of scientists simply are not investigating" are pseudoscience, as you suggest, then there would not be much real science left, because it's not possible for everybody to study everything.
You say: "the mainstream recognises lack of publication in serious journals as being functionally equivalent to rejection of the theory". This is in direct contradiction with WP:fringe policy : "a lack of consideration or acceptance does not necessarily imply rejection either; ideas should not be portrayed as rejected or labeled with pejoratives such as pseudoscience unless such claims can be documented in reliable sources." In addition, we have listed several CF papers in respectable scientific journals: how can you talk of a "lack of publication in serious journals" ?Pcarbonn (talk) 14:40, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Keyword being "necessarily". Sometimes obscure ideas are just obscure and not rejected. You'd be hard-pressed to find people in the field who hadn't at least heard of cold fusion. ScienceApologist (talk) 19:16, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
  • "resisting attempts ... to insert only those things which pretend that this is anything other than a tiny fringe belief" is not listed on ScienceApologist's to-do list. I ask again: Does anyone who supported the reverting intend to do anything on that list? MigFP (talk) 04:50, 28 December 2007 (UTC) sock
If you'd care to read the CF page you would note that progress has been made on his first two suggestions, both by myself and by others. I'm less convinced of an urgent need for some of his other suggestions. Also, for Pcarbonn's request for a cite for more recent indications of fringe status: "Fleischmann and Pons's results quickly proved elusive in other research labs. The hapless pair were laughed out of mainstream science, and most nuclear physicists since have refused to give the slightest credence to the idea." - New Scientist, May 2007 [7] (text bolded by me, as it seems to be popular in this thread.) --Noren (talk) 06:45, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Sentence in intro

There is a dispute over the following statement in the intro:

The mainstream view, reflected in the DoE reports, is that these effects are not due to nuclear fusion. None of these publications has achieved the prominence or been published in a journal with the same prestige as the original Fleischmann and Pons

The second part presents an unsourced, original research argument that has absolutely no notability. It does not belong in the intro, let alone in the article. As for the view from the DOE, only 2/3 rejected the evidence of nuclear evidence, the other 1/3 found the evidence somewhat convincing, and one was entirely convinced. The DOE offers no support for the absolute statement that is proposed above. Rather, it shows the nuclear origin as an open scientific question, not unlike the one on the pioneer anomaly (which is also a challenge to a core theory of current physics, the theory of gravitation). Any comment ? Pcarbonn (talk) 11:23, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • It's there to balance out your dogged insistence on including laundry lists of citations to publications by true believers in minor journals. If you'd like to stop doing that, and stop trying to slant the lead to give the impression that this is anything other than fringe science, then it would not be necessary. Guy (Help!) 12:07, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
This is not fringe science, but a valid subject of scientific inquiry, as the DOE said. That's why respectable scientific journals, as listed in the article, publish articles on the subject. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:44, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
It's fringe science. Most of the DoE reviewers were unconvinced, and most of the scientific establishment is, too. Guy (Help!) 14:46, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
In case you missed them, here are the journals who recently published articles on CF: European Physical Journal A, C and AP, Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, Naturwissenschaften, Journal of Physics D. Hardly minor journals, as you suggest. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:51, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
The fact that many DOE reviewers were not convinced only shows that there is a scientific debate, not that it is fringe (see also the discussion above). Please note also what Wired said in Aug 2007 : "[The SPAWAR paper] joins a long list of cold-fusion research papers that many scientists now reflexively write off as junk". It clearly says that many scientists have not reconsidered the recent evidence, but instead rely on past judgements. I don't see why the wikipedia article should be written to represent this view. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:03, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
That sounds like special pleading to me, and an implicit acknowledgement that what I said is true: the mainstream reflexively writing stuff off as junk is exactly what's meant by consensus. Plus, if the mainstream reflexively writes this off as junk, then it means that a lot of junk must have been produced (because scientists take even longer than Wikipedia to get tot he point of reflexively writing off junk). The very source you cite begins "Despite a backdrop of meager funding and career-killing derision from mainstream scientists and engineers..." Guy (Help!) 19:14, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Links to copy of article on New Energy Times ?

Someone has deleted the links to copies of the article on New Energy Times (see here). Yet, this site is linked to from [a wired article (search for "cold-fusion research papers"), giving him a label of reliability and notability. Another such list that is linked from the same article is here (search the wired article for "long list"). I would think that the links to the scientific paper are useful to Wikipedia readers, and I would thus propose that we add a link to the copy on these 2 sites when citing scientific papers. Any comments ? Pcarbonn (talk) 11:50, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • What, apart from finding it problematic that you keep introducing laundry lists of papers by true believers, you mean? Guy (Help!) 12:05, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Some beating of a dead horse

I removed some stuff from the article, and would like to discuss it here:

The generation of excess heat has been reported by...

Now this whole paragraph was basically a POV-push without proper criticism being made available. People report observations all the time, but not every report is worthy of inclusion at Wikipedia. We have to be especially careful because of publication bias. Since these "reports" are not generally considered to be necessarily evidence for cold fusion, they should not be included in our encyclopedia. If someone wants to include commentary on these reports, please find a secondary source that connects them directly to the topic of this article.

Dr. Michael McKubre thinks a working cold fusion reactor is possible. Dr. Edmund Storms, a former scientist with The Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, maintains an international database of research into cold fusion.

Seeming non-sequitors and uncited statements. We need to have a reason to report the opinions of these people.

In March 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) decided to review all previous research of cold fusion in order to see whether further research was warranted by any new results.

Not really relevant to the section of the article since this was a review and does not represent further research. Plus, this statement doesn't convey any useful information to the reader about the review.

Since January 2000, the following scientific journals have published articles on cold fusion...

See comments above on the reports of excess heat. We should not be simply "listing" journals for the sake of listing them. This has no purpose other than to promote the idea that cold fusion is a mainstream research project. Whether it is or isn't is not Wikipedia's job to insinuate.

ScienceApologist (talk) 18:32, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

what happened to transmutation?

the related topic, low energy nuclear transmutation, seems to have disappeared, as has the broader topic, low energy nuclear science (a.k.a) chemically-assisted nuclear science. Kevin Baastalk 19:40, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

  • What were the exact article titles? Guy (Help!) 20:09, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
i don't think i can remember the exact articles titles, but i think at one point, there was brief mention of them here. Oddly, this article links to "transmutation" in the see also section, which is a disambiguation page that includes "nuclear transmutation", and the article of interest: low energy nuclear transmutation - which is now a redirect back to this page, which has not a word on transmutation save the aforementioned "transmutation" link. it's a shame, really, because there has been some really interesting experiments done in this field.
LENR-CANR (low energy nuclear reactions / chemically assisted nuclear reactions) is the broader topic under which both cold fusion and low energy nuclear transmutation fit. Kevin Baastalk 02:27, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
There was this one experiment where they put powderized palladium in - i think - a lithium-oxide solution and ran electricity throughout, and the palladium would get deposited on the cathode through electrolysis. They had a paper with slides showing magnifications that showed reaction sites, and they examined the shape of the disruptions left by the reactinos and used spectroscopy to measure the chemical composition of the reaction sites. there ws tons of informatino. great work. i remember a graphic on wikipedia showing a frame of the heat distrubition video they had recorded from one of the experiments. Kevin Baastalk 02:42, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Here's some of the info: [8]. Szpak, i guess is the name of the researcher, and if I remember correctly, SPAWAR is where the research was done. This is the Pd/D co-deposition technique, where pallidium and deutrium are simultaneously deposited on a cathode, thus one doesn't have to wait for the deutrium to get "packed in" to a pallidium lattice. I also found this: [9] which goes over some more of their results, and talks a little about low energy nuclear transmutation. The heat profile picture i was talking about above is on page 12.
There's also transmutation experiments that used (if i understand correctly) pressured gas applied over a surface over a long time - or something of the sort - inspired by the idea that this would be a more-controlled environment because one doesn't have to concern oneself with turbulence and cavitation as one would with a liquid. From what I recall, the results where, as expected, much more reproducable, thought the experiments were also much more expensive. When putting different atoms in there they were able to get different transmutations, (i believe strontium and molybdium (sp?) where two examples.) Each transmutation moved the element up four units in the periodic table (i.e. it seemed to gain four protons) The new, anomoluous elements appeared at the same rate that the source elements disappeared, and they appeared in isotopic ratios that differed significantly from their naturally occurring ratios. These are certainly interesting and important results, and verifiable by way of these papers and the reproducability of the experiments. And they are thermodynamically "cold" nuclear reactions, so they belong in the same general subject area as classical "cold fusion". Kevin Baastalk 16:30, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
It was:
  • Szpak, et. al., Pd/D co-deposition, &
  • Iwamura, Y., Low energy nuclear transmutation by loading Pd w/deuterized gas.
In the latter (the transmutations), regardless of what element was transmuted, the element always gained 4 protons and 4 neutrons, (as if two helium atoms somehow joined it), hence the unnatural isotopic ratios of the (apparent) products. In any case, I feel that these two experiments (or series thereof) are the most important contributions to LENR-CANR /(a.k.a. CMNS (condensed matter nuclear science)), besides the well-known pons-fleishman experiment. And I think they merit mention in this article, as not only are they relevant, but they provide corroborating evidence. And they certainly should be in a LENR-CANR/CMNS article, if there is one (and if there isn't, there should be.) Kevin Baastalk 20:50, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Cold Fusion = IMPOSSIBLE

Im knowledgeable eneough about this topic to make this factual statement. This may be a little informal, but I have the right to my opinion just like everybody else around here.I AM JOHN SMITH (talk) 19:43, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

If you want, I can elaborate. I just didnt want to get too wordy and get my ass banned for that.I AM JOHN SMITH (talk)
It usually takes more than one or two wordy statements to get your ass banned. Guy (Help!) 20:06, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
It just seems as if I'm getting ganged up on, sometimes. Whoever is in charge, or owns the articles is always ridin me.--I AM JOHN SMITH (talk) 22:06, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Rest assured, i am john smith, there is no cabal. On the topic of disbelief here - I think it may be useful to take a look at what is required for a nuclear reaction to occur and what "cold" fusion means:
  • Nuclear reaction probability is measured in units of a "cross-section", which uses MeV (electron volts), not temperature.
  • "Cold" fusion means thermodynamically "cold" fusion. Only high MeV (and high density) is required for a reasonable probabilty of fusion, and high MeV does not necessarily mean high temperature.

Furthermore, there may be ways to lower this "cross-section" through known (or possibly unknown) physical effects, such as quantum tunneling, or, more classically, electron screening.

This is an attempt to resurrect two pieces of fringecruft that went away in the big revert. Electron shielding is discussed earlier on this talk page. As for tunnelling as a mechanism, I discussed it on the (since deleted) LENR article's talk page. Summary: Neither "theory" survives even the briefest critical analysis. Every time cold fusion proponents trot out some misunderstood, poorly constructed piece of theory they make their own case worse. JohnAspinall (talk) 21:44, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Ummm, thanks for the opinion, original research, and commentary, but it's quite unneccesary. And in this context, it's what's called a "non-sequitor". It in no way address my point that "There may be ways to lower this "cross-section" through known (or possibly unknown) physical effects." Kevin Baastalk 02:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Like I said: "every time...". Hint: if you want more reactions, you have to raise, that is increase, the cross section. JohnAspinall (talk) 23:37, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
??? Thanks for the correction, though I do not appreciate the condescending "Hint:". I was thinking of coulomb barrier when i said "lower", though i did mean the raise the cross-section because that's more general. Again, I do not appreciate condescension. My point stands. Kevin Baastalk 15:58, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Thus, to say it is "impossible" to have thermodynamically cold fusion is to disregard the possibility of ways to lower the cross-section, AND to mistake K (temperature) for MeV (electron volts). Not to mention, to hold a belief that is contradicted by empirical evidence, which is - in a word - unscientific. Holding current mainstream scientific thought as gospel and immutable is also, by the very canons of science, unscientific. But I digress. If K = MeV, then Cold fusion would = IMPOSSIBLE, but K <> MeV. Kevin Baastalk 17:01, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

The conversion from Kelvin to electron volts is simply a matter of multiplying by Boltzmann's_Constant. There is a larger point here that there is a difference between a thermal distribution of energies, and a single energy, but the units in which you measure energy have nothing to do with it. Cross sections, since they are usually measured most accurately by particle beams hitting cold targets, are usually published as a function of energy, but to convert to cross sections in thermal distributions is simply a matter of doing an integral. JohnAspinall (talk) 17:10, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
This doesn't refute anything that I said. While it is true that energy is a function of temperature, that does not imply that the two are interchangeable. energy is a function of lots of things, not just temperature. it is a linear combination of a number of terms. while you can't have low energy with high temperature, you CAN have high energy with low temperature. So you see, the relation isn't bijective. a implies b does not mean that b implies a. That's another logical fallacy. Kevin Baastalk 02:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Then I suggest you go edit Temperature accordingly. JohnAspinall (talk) 23:47, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't see anything in the temperature article that needs changing. Kevin Baastalk 18:44, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I will attempt, Kevin, not to call anything you say wrong, but a lot of your pronouncements use phrasing sufficiently non-standard as to raise my crackpot alarms. Perhaps they are false alarms.
I don't care if you call anything I say wrong, provided that it _is_ wrong. I care when people insult me be using words like "crackpot". Kevin Baastalk 17:04, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
This subthread started with you asserting that Kelvin and MeV were incomparable. Now on the face of it, that would appear to be an indefensible statement. Both Kelvin and MeV are units of energy after all. However let's assume good faith. A more standard (though pedantic, sorry) phrasing might be "temperature, a quantity typically denoted in Kelvin, is not the same as individual particle energy, a quantity possibly denoted in MeV."
I never asserted that Kelvin and MeV were incomparable. You're putting words into my mouth and then attacking me for them - for words that I did not say. Do you see how I could find that a little unfair? I do not enjoy being a punching bag for you. Please do not make of me a straw man. Yes, I agree that on the face of it, the statement "Kelvin and MeV are incomparable" is indefensible. That's why I would never say such a crazy thing. What I said was, and please read carefully:Nuclear reaction probability is measured in units of a "cross-section", which uses MeV (electron volts), not temperature." and that "high MeV does not necessarily mean high temperature". Now the first statement can be verified just by looking at the article on nuclear cross section, and the second can be verified by throwing a charged tennis ball. Neither of these statements are indefensible. In fact, they are well backed up by mainstream scientific thought, and have been for a long time. Kevin Baastalk 17:04, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
(Aside: temperature isn't always in Kelvin; plasma physicists tend to express temperature in eV or keV or MeV, it's handy to have individual energies and averages expressed in the same units.)
I know. But keep in mind that it's important to distinguish between a Maxwellian system and a non-Maxwellian system. Kevin Baastalk 17:04, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Then you went on to say that energy was a function of temperature. A more standard phrasing might be "temperature is a function of energy". When the temperature article says "temperature is average energy..." that is exactly the same thing. Temperature is a function of energy and the function is "average". Now information is lost when you take an average. Many energies yield one average. So you can't invert the function and once again, your statement "energy is a function of temperature" raised a red flag. But again I will assume good faith, and guess that some other unnamed energy was the function of temperature that you mention.
This is flat out wrong. Temperature is a form of energy. Energy#Forms_of_energy, related to, but distinct from the kinetic energy of a charged particle. All forms of energy are related through the law of conservation of energy. That is, they can all be put in one big equation, with "E" (energy) on one side, and a bunch of linear terms on the other side. Temperature is one such linear term. It is not the "E". Temperature is the average inertia of particles whose positions and velocities follow a gaussian distribution ("Maxwellian distribution"). It is not a function of the big "E".
E = mc^2 + mv^2/2 + T*C...
where E is energy, m is mass, c is the speed of light in vacuum, v is velocity, T is temperature, and C is the specific heat. The above equation represents the function, E (energy) of the variables m(mass),v(velocity),T(temperature), and C(specific heat). Thus, energy("E") is a "function" of temperature("T"). I don't know if you realize this, but you're disputing the first law of thermodynamics. Kevin Baastalk 17:04, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
As for condescension, I figure your comments below under "familiarity straw poll" form the broadest shotgun blast of condescension seen on this page. So going forward: you want to discuss science, I will be delighted and hospitable; you want to discuss crackpottery, expect more condescension. Good faith would require me to assume that you can tell the difference. JohnAspinall (talk) 06:48, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what you are trying to accomplish with this last comment. It doesn't seem at all productive to me. It seems rather uncivil and disrespectful to me and I would appreciate it if you would try to avoid making such comments in the future. Thank you. Kevin Baastalk 17:04, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong." - Clarke's_three_laws. Kevin Baastalk 16:03, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

"When, however, the lay public rallies round an idea that is denounced by distinguished but elderly scientists and supports that idea with great fervor and emotion -- the distinguished but elderly scientists are then, after all, probably right." - Asimov's corollary to Clarke's first law --Noren (talk) 20:37, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Nice. Kevin Baastalk 20:54, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

By the way,...

This isnt called a controversial article for nothing, so yeah, Im gonna bring it sometimes.I AM JOHN SMITH (talk) 22:08, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

The DoE did recommend further research

The last part of the statement was deleted: "This and a second panel of 2004 did not find the evidence convincing enough to justify a federally-funded program, though they did recommend further research." Why would that be POV ? The panel was evenly split on the evidence of excess heat, and only 2/3 rejected the nuclear origin. We need to represent fairly those that did accept the evidence. The panel did say that they recommend further research in their conclusion. Where is the POV ?Pcarbonn (talk) 22:15, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

It isn't related to cold fusion per se. Including it makes it seem like the DOE panel wanted there to be further research into cold fusion which is something that they explicitly avoid saying in their conclusions. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:58, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
Wrong. They did say this in their 2004 conclusions: "The current reviewers identified a number of basic science research areas that could be helpful in resolving some of the controversies in the field, two of which were: 1) material science aspects of deuterated metals using modern characterization techniques, and 2) the study of particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils using state-of-the-art apparatus and methods." The second one is clearly about nuclear reactions. It complements the following quote on the same page of the report: "The nearly unanimous opinion of the reviewers was that funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV.". Pcarbonn (talk) 23:25, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
You appear to be reading this as support for cold fusion, when actually most of the reviewers consider cold fusion to be bunk. Resolving the controversy, to my reading, means showing what non-nuclear process is producing the anomalous results, not recommending more cold fusion research. "Specific issues" is pretty much the polar opposite of trying to reroduce the cold fusion experiments, in this context. Guy (Help!) 01:30, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Your unsourced opinion and interpretation is irrelevant in this context. The quoted statement simply says that cold fusion is a valid area of scientific research in order to determine whether it is real or not. This clearly shows that CF is not pseudoscience, nor that it is absolutely rejected by scientists. Hence, both sides of the scientific controversy deserve to be presented properly. Pcarbonn (talk) 10:15, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Let's put it this way. Because the panel was divided, some of its members believe, like you, that further research will show that the excess heat has a simple explanation other than fusion; other reputable scientists believe that it will show it is real. That's why the panel called it a controversy: different people have different opinion on it. Just as I accept that some scientists believe that CF is not real, please accept that a significant number of reputable scientists in the panel believe that it could be real, and that both views should be presented in this article to reflect the divided nature of the DoE panel's conclusion. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:21, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
And a handful of scientists have signed a petition saying they believe evolutionary theory is wrong and the universe is God's creation. But that, like the views of those who believe in cold fusion, is a minority view, a tiny minority view, and not supported by the evidence. The DoE investigation says, in pretty much as many words, that the CF experiments are a waste of time, there needs to be new basic science demonstrating the proposed mechanism before they will be taken seriously. And I agree with that. I said so up front, not least because a friend of mine told me this is his view, and he is an expert in the field, a full professor workign in the field of electrochemistry, has patents and extensive publications on surface effects, and took part in the original experiments. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence; thus far, they are repeating the same evidence (or not repeating it in many cases) and demanding that people change their minds. Science does not work that way. Guy (Help!) 15:03, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

The statement "The second panel found the claims of cold fusion to be no more convincing than they had been 15 years previous" comes from "Cold Fusion Gets Chilly Encore" Physics Today, Jan. 2005. We should not quote tertiary sources talking about one secondary source. Instead, we should quote the secondary source directly. Pcarbonn (talk) 19:20, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

The statement "The second panel found the claims of cold fusion to be no more convincing than they had been 15 years previous" is a paraphrase of the first sentence of that mainstream press article summarizing the 2004 DoE finding. That article is a secondary source on the topic of the conclusions reached by the 2004 panel. That particular quotation is a paraphrase from the primary source of the 2004 review document- the first paragraph of the conclusion section (What would appear to me to be a fine place to look for the summary): "While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review." That is the substance of the conclusion the panel reached. To avoid skewing the results by selective quotation, it is best to use a secondary source (such as the mainstream press Physics Today article) to summarize the results of the 2004 panel rather than having individual editors cherry pick sentences from the primary source that reflect their views. --Noren (talk) 01:24, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

To be workshopped

Wow, was this ever terrible! I removed it here for triage.

== Experimental reports ==
===Measurement of excess heat===
The cold fusion researchers presenting...

Anyone notice how many goddamn paragraphs in this article presently begin with this phrase? This obviously indicates a problem. Did anyone other than cold fusion researchers present to the panel? Why should only their views be described? This is a major issue we need to address immediately.

This is done in accordance with WP:NPOV, which says that all sides of the controversy should be presented, with proper attribution. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Feh. WP:WEIGHT seems to indicate that we are giving too much credance to cold fusion believers. ScienceApologist (talk) 08:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Again, the 2004 DOE panelists were evenly split on the evidence of excess heat, so it is legitimate to present this evidence. Pcarbonn (talk) 21:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
That's irrelevant to cold fusion itself. Excess heat is caused by lots of things that have nothing to do with cold fusion (as the further conclusions of the panel support). ScienceApologist (talk) 23:12, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
their review document to the 2004 DoE panel on cold fusion said that the possibility of calorimetric errors has been carefully considered, studied, tested and ultimately rejected. They said that over 50 experiments conducted by SRI International showed excess power well above the accuracy of measurement. Arata and Zhang said they observed excess heat power averaging 80 watts over 12 days. The researchers also said that the amount of energy reported in some of the experiments appeared to be too great compared to the small mass of the material in the cell for it to be stored by any chemical process. They said that their control experiments using light water never showed excess heat.[1]

This is ridiculously detailed for the claims being made: "We didn't make a mistake. We have produced energy. Our experiments have been properly controlled." Yes, I get it, that's the argument. So why are we allowing this kind of soapboxing? Answer: we shouldn't.

This is done in accordance with WP:NPOV, which says that all sides of the controversy should be presented, with proper attribution. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Except, we have overly weighted the pro-cold fusion side inappropriately. ScienceApologist (talk) 08:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
It would be so if the panelists unanimously rejected the evidence of excess heat. They didn't. Pcarbonn (talk) 21:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Irrelevant. "Excess heat" could be due to a lot of things that aren't cold fusion and it's not strictly relevant to our article. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:12, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
When asked about the evidence for power that cannot be attributed to an ordinary chemical or solid state source, the 2004 DoE panel was evenly split. Many of the reviewers noted that poor experiment design, documentation, background control and other similar issues hampered the understanding and interpretation of the results presented to the DoE panel. The reviewers who did not find the production of excess power convincing said that excess power in the short term is not the same as net energy production over the entire time of an experiment, that all possible chemical and solid state causes of excess heat had not been investigated and eliminated as an explanation, that the magnitude of the effect had not increased after over a decade of work, and that production over a period of time is a few percent of the external power applied and hence calibration and systematic effects could account for the purported effect.[2]

This is supposedly the "counter" to the pro-cold fusion side. Only it isn't. It is simply a summary statement made by the DOE. This is a good source for describing why cold fusion is rejected, but our article does not need to detail the ins-and-outs of how the panel voted, for example. Not useful to the reader, you see.

This is important to show the level of consensus that the panel had. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
And why is that important to go through such detail? ScienceApologist (talk) 08:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Other reported evidence of heat generation not reviewed by the DoE included the detection of infrared hot spots (see picture), the detection of mini-explosions by a piezoelectric substrate, and the observation of discrete sites exhibiting molten-like features that require substantial energy expenditure.[3][4]

Complete and utter original research. We cannot probe that the DOE panel had no awareness of this so-called "evidence".

Some of these papers were published after 2004: the DOE could not have awareness of this. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
That's just an unwarranted synthesized insinuation (as though if the DOE could redo their panel, they'd come to a different conclusion). ScienceApologist (talk) 08:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
===Nuclear products===
A CR-39 detector showing possible nuclear activity in cold fusion experiments at SSC San Diego.[5]

This image itself looks to me to be original research as it is presented as a slide at a conference and was not published. ScienceApologist (talk) 00:04, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

The cold fusion researchers presenting their review document to the 2004 DoE panel on cold fusion said that there are insufficient chemical reaction products to account for the excess heat by several orders of magnitude. They said that three independent studies have shown that the rate of helium production measured in the gas stream varies linearly with excess power. Extensive precautions were taken to ensure that the samples were not contaminated by helium from the earth's atmosphere (5.2 ppm). Bursts of excess energy were time-correlated with bursts of 4He in the gas stream. However, the amount of helium in the gas stream was about half of what would be expected for a heat source of the type D + D -> 4He. Searches for neutrons and other energetic emissions commensurate with excess heat have uniformly produced null results. Although there appears to be evidence of transmutations and isotope shifts near the cathode surface in some experiments, they said that it is generally accepted that these anomalies are not the ash associated with the primary excess heat effect.[6]

Again, this is ridiculously detailed for a simple claim: "Cold fusion supporters believe that the reactions that they attribute to cold fusion have created helium nuclei." That's it. Why there's all this excess garbage seems to me to be simply pandering.

This is done in accordance with WP:NPOV, which says that all sides of the controversy should be presented, with proper attribution. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Unduly weighted. ScienceApologist (talk) 08:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Not undue weight in view of the fact that a significant number of panelists were somewhat convinced by the evidence. Pcarbonn (talk) 21:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
You are way too stuck on thinking that the DOE panel somehow gives you legitimacy. It doesn't. It concluded that there was no evidence for cold fusion. Move on already. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:12, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
For a nuclear reaction to be proposed as the source of energy, it is necessary to show that the amount of energy is related to the amount of nuclear products. When asked about evidence of low energy nuclear reactions, twelve of the eighteen members of the 2004 DoE panel did not feel that there was any conclusive evidence, five found the evidence "somewhat convincing" and one was entirely convinced. [7]

Too detailed an accounting for our readers. The point is that the majority of the DOE reported that there wasn't conclusive evidence for nuclear reactions. This, however, is totally unrelated to nuclear products, per se, unless you allow original research.

Same point as above. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Same response. ScienceApologist (talk) 08:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
In 2007, Pamela Mosier-Bos and her team reported their observation of pits in CR-39 detectors during D/Pd codeposition experiments in the European Physical Journal. They said that those pits have features consistent with those observed for nuclear generated tracks, that the Pd cathode is the source of those pits, that they are not due to contamination or chemical reactions. They attributed some pits to knock-ons due to neutrons, and said that others are consistent with those obtained for α particles.[8]

Total soapboxing. This paper is not widely cited and has not received enough secondary-source recognition to belong in the article.

Your to-do list above says that the article should be adding some findings on SPAWAR work. This is what this paragraph does. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:05, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
It does a poor job of it. I would rather have a report from an independent source to explain what's going on. ScienceApologist (talk) 08:48, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
Though also not a good enough source for inclusion here, this report points to a chemical or possibly a mechanical source to the pits. This report is from a corporation that has a primary goal of energy generation from ZPE- itself quite the fringe concept. The cold fusion true believers perhaps thought that an 'allied' free energy theory would be a safe option to 'test' their protocol but instead glaring flaws and alternative explanations were found. For the most part, cold fusion isn't notable enough to generate many critical publications from reputable scientists- there's little point in refuting something nearly no one believes. --Noren (talk) 06:30, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Note that the article cited above is a reply to that critique. MigFP (talk) 07:24, 28 December 2007 (UTC) sock
It didn't appear to be a reply to me, as it does not address the mechanical explanation of pit formation. If it is a reply, it is a poor one. The mechanical explanation predicts that if the substance electroplated is dendritic, then pits would be created, causing the large pits as reported for electroplating of CuSO4 as well as PdCl2. If the plated metal is a 'soft mass' such as CuCl2 they report no pits. Mosier-Boss et al. do not reply to this at all, but merely present the lack of pits in CuCl2 and do not address pit formation in CuSO4 at all. --Noren (talk) 14:14, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
The paper by earthtech says that there are strong indications of chemical or mechanical pits, something that is not disputed. But they stoped short of saying that there is no nuclear pits: they recognized their ignorance at recognizing them. So, I would not say it is a critique, and besides, it has not been peer-reviewed. The APJ paper clearly says that, while some pits can be explained by chemical or physical effects, other pits had all the characteristics of nuclear pits. For example, some pits appeared after additional etching or were elliptical in shape, something that cannot be explained by mechanical or chemical effects. Also, some pits are on the back side of the CR-39: how can you explain them with a mechanical effect ? In any case, were are not here to do a peer-reviewed of the APJ paper. Pcarbonn (talk) 21:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Do you agree that the symmetrical pits on the front of the film (like, for example, the ones depicted in your preferred version of an experimental section) are as easily explained by mechanical effects as they are by fusion? I agree that we're not here to critique either report, that's the trouble with trying to include primary sources - both should be avoided for use in the article, as both are primary source. --Noren (talk) 01:52, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

In sum, there may be about three to four sentences worth of content to save here. The rest needs to be confined to the dustbin of the history tab.

ScienceApologist (talk) 00:04, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


Could we have a vote on the following issue: should we keep the recently-deleted "Experimental report" section, possibly with some adaptation ?

Keep the Experimental report section

  • Pcarbonn (talk) 07:50, 27 December 2007 (UTC). Our intro describes "most scientists as deeply skeptical, while noting the existence of a small and devoted coterie of researchers who continue to investigate the alleged effect." This can also be said of the pioneer anomaly. This does not prevent that article to present all sides of the controversy in detail. Also, the DOE panel had a large share of reviewers favorable to cold fusion: the corresponding view deserves to be presented properly. Finally, the to-do list above says that we should "Add summaries of both DoE reports". This is the summary of the 2004 DOE report. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:57, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Keep: The encyclopedia is supposed to be comprehensive. Half of the DoE panel agreed there were anomalous events. There is plenty of skepticism in this article and including this material is in no way undue weight. MigFP (talk) 04:52, 28 December 2007 (UTC) sock
  • Keep: What is an emerging science without experimental evidence? What worth would this article have without it? "Oh it's some kind of theory, no work has been done about it, no experiments performed. Just some imaginary postulate of some imaginary results. Kinda like the tooth-fairy." If there shouldn't be an experimental evidence, then there shouldn't be a history section, because what is the history without the history of scientific experiments? Kevin Baastalk 20:58, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

The experimental report section was deeply flawed

  • ScienceApologist (talk) 08:43, 27 December 2007 (UTC). I have no objection to an "experimental report" section in principle. I have many objections to the way this particular section went as I outlined above. Summary of the DOE report is already fairly adequate in this article, I'd say. ScienceApologist (talk) 08:43, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • The section reads as special pleading and an attempt to point out from our own researches by reference to primary sources why the dominant view in the scientific community is wrong. Guy (Help!) 09:11, 27 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Not much there is worth saving. --Noren (talk) 06:30, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Since we agree that there should be a "experimental report" section, could you propose a better one, instead of deleting it ? Pcarbonn (talk) 23:18, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Agree that it is now necessary to decide by consensus how this material is to be presented. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:55, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Lack of parity and lack of controversy

There is an attempt by cold-fusion advocates to declare the existence of a controversy, even a scientific controversy. Clearly, there is no controversy as cold fusion has been relegated to the fringes of academia and respectable science. The attempts to "balance" the article with "pro" and "anti" sides are artificial unless it is recognized that the "anti" side, being mainstream and the assumed position of those in the relevant academic research communities, is the one that deserves most weight. Since the very idea that "cold fusion" is "controversial" assumes that the "pro" side has a point, trying to form the article into a "balance" between the two "sides" is a synthetic violation of WIkipedia's neutrality policy. In short, there is no parity between anti-cold fusion and pro-cold fusion: anti-cold fusion has the obvious upperhand. As well, there is really no "controversy" except that manufactured by the cold-fusion believers themselves. ScienceApologist (talk) 08:52, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

I beg to differ about the meaning of controversy. Wikipedia is not endorsing the pro side, when it says that there is a dispute about the legitimacy of alleged phenomena. There is in fact a lot of disputation about whether anyone has achieved cold fusion.
With all the research funds at stake, we'd do humanity a better service to indicate just what sorts of people are claiming they can get this process to work. You know, "consider the source." And then let readers decide if those guys seem reputable or not.
I think most Wikipedia readers are smart enough to discern whether cold fusion is a reproducible phenomenon or not, even if a US president get snookered into it way back when. --Uncle Ed (talk) 00:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
The 2004 DoE report clearly says that there is a controversy: "The nearly unanimous opinion of the reviewers was that funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV." You cannot make it more clear than that, I would say. Pcarbonn (talk) 21:51, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
We can all agree that cold fusion is 20 years away (and always will be); no controversy there. Antelan talk 08:57, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

ScienceApologist's statement seems suspiciously absolutist, and clearly false. Here is the abstract from the March, 2007 review by the head of the Materials & Sensors Branch in the Materials Science and Technology Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, published in the peer-reviewed Surface and Coatings Technology journal:

There are more than 10 groups world wide that have reported the measurement of excess heat in 1/3 of their experiments in open and/or closed electrochemical cells with a Pd solid metal cathode and deuterium containing electrolyte, or D2 gas loading of Pd powders (see Table 1 of the main text). Most of these groups have occasionally experienced significant events lasting for time periods of hours to days with 50–200% excess heat measured as the ratio between electrical input energy and heat output energy. Moreover, these experimenters have improved their methods over time and it is to be noted that the reported excess heat effect has not diminished in frequency or magnitude. This paper cites selected data generated over the past 15 years to briefly summarize what has been reported about the production of excess heat in Pd cathodes charged with deuterium. A set of new materials experiments is suggested that, if performed, may help to reveal the underlying mechanism(s) responsible for the reported excess heat.

S&CT was chosen because it is the one journal that concerns electroplating and similar deposition technology most closely, and that is the technology used by Szpak and Boss in their SPAWAR work, which has produced the most promising results so far; many of the recommendations in the review involve similar kinds of research. Note also that there is an active dialog between the critics and SPAWAR researchers.

I ask ScienceApologist: What would it take for you to believe that there is, indeed, a legitimate controversy with two sides to it? MigFP (talk) 05:00, 28 December 2007 (UTC) sock

Please don't ask SA this - we are not interested in his/her views. We need to get back to the article content and to refer closely to WP policies and guidelines in all cases of disagreement. SA, clearly there is a disagreement about CF, therefore there are two sides. Everyone editing here agrees that the article should make it clear that the anti-CF side is mainstream at this time and the pro-CF is a minority view. What we now need to do is to write up each side summarising the best sources. Not rocket science (er perhaps it is rocket science, but never mind). Itsmejudith (talk) 11:49, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Don't get caught up in the idea of a false dilemma. If I say that black is white, up is down, and right is left, does that mean that there are two sides to the issue? No. It means that I have a view that opposes reality. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:23, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
The idea that cold fusion is real is a notable minority view, therefore we present it accurately as such in the encylopedia. Else, would it even be worth having an article on the topic? Itsmejudith (talk) 14:45, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Let's put it this way: cold fusion was a notable view a decade-and-a-half ago. People were trying to work out the details of what was being claimed. Since then, the cold fusion enterprise has been moving more and more towards the wacky territory of not deserving mention. The problem is that the people here who are presenting the "pro-cold fusion" side are more or less current advocates and are not as interested in the historical nature of the subject (which is, indeed, where cold fusion derives its notability). If we could reposition the conversations in that vein then we would be cooking with gas. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:49, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I'm inclined to agree. Back in 1989 tis was really big news, and published in Nature; now, they seem to be scratching round for any journal to publish in, it's completely ignored in the major journals, the mainstream, even in Pcarbonn's preferred sources, is described as dismissive and even derisive, and we'd need a really powerful source to say that this is anything other than a fringe field right now. If that changes, all well and good, but Wikipedia is not the place to make that change happen. Guy (Help!) 20:59, 28 December 2007 (UTC)
The "really powerful source to say that this is anything other than a fringe field right now" is the 2004 DoE report: "The nearly unanimous opinion of the reviewers was that funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV." It clearly shows that the field is a valid scientific research topic. In a past discussion, we did recognize the DoE as a reliable secondary source, so why don't we simply represent their view ? We don't need to throw our own interpretation in it, we just need to quote them. That's what the deleted section on experimentation was trying to do. If it needs adapation, it can be done; but I don't see any reason to delete it. Pcarbonn (talk) 21:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
So, Guy, Surface and Coatings Tech. isn't a major journal? The U.S. Office of Naval Research is out of the mainstream? What do you mean by a "really powerful source"? MigFP (talk) 23:55, 28 December 2007 (UTC) sock
No, it is not. You'd be looking for publication in a top tier journal, as with the original Fleischmann and Pons publications. Small journals may well publish things tat are interesting but where their reviewers do not have sufficient specific expertise to spot problems which a bigger journal's peer review would spot. And of course peer review is no magic talisman, some complete twaddle has been published in some really important journals - I can point to a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in which elementary statistical errors were completely missed. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Surface coatings tech. is scarcely the place most physicists and electrochemists will be looking for thought-leading publication on something which, if proven, would be of huge significance. Guy (Help!) 11:30, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
ScienceApologist, what kind of evidence would you need to see to believe that the controversy is legitimate and not a false dilemma? It sounds like you have made up your mind and are not open to new information. Is there anything that would change your mind? MigFP (talk) 23:55, 28 December 2007 (UTC) sock
Replying for myself: coverage of the controversy as a controversy in a top tier journal; the journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry or some other body whose journal makes a habit of covering interesting debates in the field. Guy (Help!) 11:33, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
As much as I question the value in asking this of someone who thinks there is such thing as "the" journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry (there is not), how do you define "top tier"? Would you agree that Fusion Science and Technology (published by the American Nuclear Society; formerly Fusion Technology) is a reputable journal in the field? They published at least three articles on Szpak and Mosier-Boss's findings.[10][11][12] MigFP (talk) 12:47, 29 December 2007 (UTC) sock
The requirement for a "top tier" journal is a complete red herring. A second or third tier journal is exactly what would be expected for a notable minority view. As I said before and please note carefully because I won't say it again, extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence, true. Which is why CF won't be presented here as uncontested fact. I don't personally have a clue whether CF is fact or fiction BTW - I don't have the background to be able to read the papers. But what I do know is that WP disputes are best resolved by looking at what the sources say and then summarising them fairly. Anyone willing to put aside differences and start doing just that? Itsmejudith (talk) 20:20, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
"A second or third tier journal is exactly what would be expected for a notable minority view." Really? You have a source for this opinion? Or is it just one you made up? Admittedly, you don't have a background in the subject and so are not familiar with peer-review processes, but I've seen plenty of notable minority views published in top-tier journals. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:39, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
So is Fusion Science & Technology reputable enough, in your opinion, to make the SPAWAR work a "notable" minority view, and therefore the controversy is legitimate? I'd like to see you try to name a more reputable journal focusing on fusion. There isn't any. MigFP (talk) 04:41, 30 December 2007 (UTC) sock
Absolute bollocks, MigFP. The pre-eminent fusion journal is [[13]]. JohnAspinall (talk) 17:33, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Joshua, let's assume that cold fusion is about as real as the flat earth. We'd still need to write about the research claims. Why not focus on how elusive the phenomenon is? You're an expert on science, so let's shed some scientific method light on it.

Is there a theory? Does this theory lend itself to making of predictions? How often do these predictions come true? Who says so? Who says it's a crock of hooey? --Uncle Ed (talk) 00:46, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

I think the article as it currently stands does a decent job of answering your questions, Ed. ScienceApologist (talk) 01:25, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I updated the intro accordingly. [14] --Uncle Ed (talk) 01:43, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

In response to Science Apologist above: I don't have a background in physics but as it happens I do happen to know something about peer-reviewing. I came here to help after you placed a message on the fringe theories noticeboard. I have absolutely no POV to push on this question but am going to stick around to help editors achieve consensus about this controversial topic. Itsmejudith (talk) 08:18, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

familiarity straw poll

Just to get a sense of people's relative degrees of knowledge on the subject, who here has read and feels they are familiar enough with the papers/research to be able to discuss them seriously?

  • Szpak, Mosier-Boss, et. al., Pd/D co-deposition
  • Iwamuri, Y., loading Pd w/a deutuerized gas

And to top it off, a few special questions to test people's knowledge here: what is the significance of Pd? can other elements be used in place of Pd to produce the same effects experimentally that have been found with Pd in relation to nuclear science? Has evidence of LENR been found in experiments that did not use electrolysis? And finally, what are some of the difficulties in producing evidence of LENR through electrolysis? Anyone who has any idea of what they're talking about should at least be able to answer some of those questions right, IMO. Kevin Baastalk

What the hell does this have to do with improving the article? ScienceApologist (talk) 23:38, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
It determines whether one should "improve" the article in controversial ways or not. People shouldn't edit (or debate) things that they're not knowledgeable about. Kevin Baastalk 17:00, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
No, that's not true. People who consider themselves knowledgeable should instead ensure that what they propose is understandable to the general reader. Otherwise we'd exclude non-believers in all kinds of pseudoscientific gibberish from venturing an opinion because they are not "experts". The idea of expert-only editing has been soundly rejected several times. Guy (Help!) 20:19, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
Apparently you didn't understand me. I am not proposing "expert-only editing". As I pointed out directly above your reply, people who consider themselves knowledgeable have a greater responsibility than just ensuriing that what they propose is understandable to the general reader. They also have a responsibility to ensure that the content is verifiable, NPOV, accurate, thorough, and balanced. Kevin Baastalk 15:59, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Note that Wikipedia:NPA, in a nutshell, is "Comment on content, not on the contributor." This section appears to bave been created to discuss contributors rather than content, and thus is in violation of that policy. --Noren (talk) 20:09, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm just concerned that false statements will be put in the article and true statements removed by people who can't tell the difference between them because they haven't put in the time and effort to find out. Kevin Baastalk 01:56, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
While you may be correct that only some of the editors here understand the truth, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. --Noren (talk) 05:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me, I don't appreciate your tone. Obviously I'm referring to verifiability and my concern is valid. Kevin Baastalk 15:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I also do not appreciate your tone. You were addressing contributors rather than content in direct violation of Wikipedia:NPA. My concern is valid and supported by official Wikipedia policy. --Noren (talk) 01:04, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Baas, why do you think that familiarity with those two papers in particular is at all required for making sensible edits to this page? Michaelbusch (talk) 05:25, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Did I say that? No, I didn't. Please read more carefully. Thank you. Kevin Baastalk 15:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
There is much that a non-expert can do to help an article forward. I can correct spelling, for example, and can comment on whether an article is accessible to lay readers. I would never attempt to summarise a scientific paper that I did not understand. Assuming good faith, I don't think anyone editing here would. Itsmejudith (talk) 08:54, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree. I never said that there wasn't a bunch of different areas one could contribute in. But admittedly, I don't have the same faith as you. Though I do have faith that everyone is trying to make the article better, I don't have faith that everyone has the same metric for learning before speaking. Some people are more thorough and careful than others. It's important to remember that on a forum such as wikipedia, one has to be much more careful in this regard. And I appreciate the fact that you are. Kevin Baastalk 15:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

misleading edit summaries

In a recent edit summary, Michaelbusch said "reverting reversion of JzG's changes - Baas, I do look at the changes and not just the edit summary". I'm glad he does. I do, too. Which is exactly why I reverted JzG's changes. In his change, he replaced quotations from the DoE report with interpretation, while in the edit summary, he wrote: "This is what the conclusion actually says, their words are probably better than ours.". In my native language and vernacular, (american english), his description of what he did is pretty much the opposite of what he actually did. In reverting his edit, I wrote in the edit summary "This is what the conclusion actually says, their words are probably better than ours.", because I replaced an interpretation ("our words"), with an exact quote from the report in question ("what the conclusion actually says"). I know that it's exactly the same thing that JzG wrote in his edit summary, but I believe that, while it may not accurately describe the change that JzG made, it accurately describes the change that I made in reverting that change. Kevin Baastalk 20:13, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Your edit summary was clearly misleading and was blatantly incivil, parroting mine, so please don't do that again. We are discussing the DoE review and its conclusions, therefore we should quote its conclusions, not an editorialisation thereof. I cannot see any possible justification for using someone else's description of what the DoE conclusion says rather than the conclusion itself when we are discussing the conclusions of the report. There wa sa dispute about the wording, so I went to the report itself and put in what the report's conclusion says about areas for future research; that is 100% accurate and therefore neutral in a way that quoting someone's editorialising (even that of a good source) is not in the context of discussing the report's conclusions, which is what is being described. Adding the editorial comments in a way that suggests the minor commentary made the final conlusions of the report is simply not on.
These are the exact words of the conclusion, in full:

While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review. The current reviewers identified a number of basic science research areas that could be helpful in resolving some of the controversies in the field, two of which were: 1) material science aspects of deuterated metals using modern characterization techniques, and 2) the study of particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils using state-of-the-art apparatus and methods. The reviewers believed that this field would benefit from the peer-review processes associated with proposal submission to agencies and paper submission to archival journals.

What you and Pcarbonn are inserting is an editorialisation of that, subtly different, and implying, in a way that the report does not, that this is still an active field of research. It isn't. The best that can be said is that there are some related areas of basic research that merit investigation. And I'm pretty sure the comment about "archival journals" is actually a criticism of the journals in which the cold fusion mob are currently publishing, not an encouragement to publish more. Archival journals means, as has been noted above, the major journals like Nature and respected review journals that summarise the state of mainstream research. Guy (Help!) 21:42, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
My apologies, JzG. If that is the exact words of the conclusion, then I would say that the conclusion is rather uninteresting and uninformative. But that's just my opinion and it's not very relevant. If any wording is implying that there's active research in the field, well, that's because there is active research in the field. (What you might call "the cold fusion mob", while other, less blatently biased people call simply "scientists".) As regards your selection of journals, any scientist that selective would be a rather poor scientist. An extremely and pathologically uninformed one, if you will. And compared to what it is now, the state of science, from bioinformatics to geology, would be, well, really bad. Kevin Baastalk 22:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
One minor point - I think the reference to archival journals was meant to say, "Last time we reviewed this field, we suggested you start using peer review processes, including submission to agencies and archival journals." The implication is that, despite this recommendation, this has not happened. The subtext is likely that nobody has found anything that would survive the process, but that is just my editorializing. Antelan talk 21:58, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
If that is the implication, it is certainly incorrect, as much CMNS work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. Kevin Baastalk 22:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
But minor ones, not benefiting from the rigour of the high profile journals. That, I think, is the point. Guy (Help!) 23:33, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I concur with Guy on this one. Antelan talk 02:53, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Could we discuss the status of each of the journals which has published relevant papers since 2004? From the WP entries of die Naturwissenschaften and European Physical Journal they would seem to be top-ranking, but I appreciate that that is not the whole story. Is anyone disputing that these are peer-reviewed journals? Are they reliable sources? Itsmejudith (talk) 16:06, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

US federal funding

did not find the evidence convincing enough to justify a federally-funded program
found the claims of cold fusion to be no more convincing than they had been 15 years previous, and not convincing enough to justify a federally-funded program,

Neither of these dueling versions seems good to me. Both sound like they are making an argument, and encyclopedia articles should not argue (see NPOV).

Perhaps we should mention that there are certain groups trying to get funding for their research, and maybe even certain other groups trying to withhold funding from them.

Maybe even say that X offered Y as justification for federal research funds. Then say that Z argued that the justification was not sufficient and/or that Q turned down the request. --Uncle Ed (talk) 21:47, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

  • See above for the exact words in the report's conclusions. The closer we get to that, in discussing said conclusions, the better. Too long to go in the lead unedited, unfortunately, but amenable to a two sentence precis I think. Guy (Help!) 21:56, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
As a read the DOE report, it states that none of the reviewers suggested a federally-funded program, but they were basically unanimous in accepting the idea of federally-funded research into CMNS. Kevin Baastalk 23:00, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Wishful thinking. What it says is, they were almost unanimous in being unconvinced by the cold fusion proponents, they conclude that the position has not changed in the last 15 years, and they effectively told the cold fusion proponents to go away and get published in some proper journals. Politely, but firmly. Guy (Help!) 00:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I really don't see any support in the report for your statement that "they were almost unanimous in being unconvinced by the cold fusion proponents". Please explain. Pcarbonn (talk) 12:11, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Quite right, they were simply unconvinced. The conclusion can be allowed to stand on its own merits. "While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review." Guy (Help!) 12:47, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
We should be careful not to put words into the report. Too much interpretation can be dangerous. It is not our job to try to read between the lines of the report and doing so often leads to contradictory results, depending on who's doing it. Kevin Baastalk 18:50, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

dispute: intro wording

Both versions quote directly from last page of the DOE report. Both versions are verifiable and, in my opinion, contain little, if any, editorializing. To me, it is simply a question of balance; that is, of accurately/proportionally summarizing the report. The full last page, +2 lines of the previous page (the section heading) is:

Charge Element 3: Determine whether there is a scientific case for continued efforts in these studies and, if so, to identify the most promising areas to be pursued.

The nearly unanimous opinion of the reviewers was that funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV. These proposals should meet accepted scientific standards, and undergo the rigors of peer review. No reviewer recommended a focused federally funded program for low energy nuclear reactions.

Reviewers identified two areas where additional research could address specific issues. One is the investigation of the properties of deuterated metals including possible effects of alloying and dislocations. These studies should take advantage of the modern tools for material characterization. A second area of investigation is the use of state-of-the-art apparatus and techniques to search for fusion events in thin deuterated foils. Several reviewers specifically stated that more experiments similar in nature to those that have been carried out for the past fifteen years are unlikely to advance knowledge in this area.


While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review.

The current reviewers identified a number of basic science research areas that could be helpful in resolving some of the controversies in the field, two of which were: 1) material science aspects of deuterated metals using modern characterization techniques, and 2) the study of particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils using state-of-the-art apparatus and methods. The reviewers believed that this field would benefit from the peer-review processes associated with proposal submission to agencies and paper submission to archival journals.

Attachment 1: Review document submitted by requesters, "New Physical Effects in Metal Deuterides."
Attachment 2: Charge letter to reviewers

Now, that first paragraph, as I read it, says that the reviewers agreed pretty much unaminously that the government should fund research into CMNS when given a well-formed proposal, but none of them suggested starting a government program for the sole purpose of researching CMNS. That is certainly a remarkable statement. But I'm not reading that from some of the people on this talk page. Some of the people on this talk page seem to be arguing the contrary; they seem to be arguing that the reviewers determined that there was not "a scientific case for continued efforts in these studies". But perhaps I'm misinterpreting them. If so, then another reader of the article may be likely to misinterpret their language, too, so we should focus on developing language that isn't so easily misinterpreted. Now ofcourse I don't mean by this that this should be the only thing communicated to the reader, just that we should strive to avoid leaving the reader with any misconceptions. Kevin Baastalk 22:42, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

  • You are missing one crucial fact: one is the charge document, the other is the conclusion. Fifteen years, no change. That's the overall message. Guy (Help!) 23:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that the DoE report contradicts itself ? That the conclusion is contrary to the section in Charge 3 ? This would be an extraordinary claim, and you would need a quote to support it. In the meantime, let's assume that both the conclusion and charge element 3 are correct. Please note the "similar" in the final conclusion of the report: this is not the same as "identical". So, there is little you can infer with certainty from "the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review".Pcarbonn (talk) 12:08, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I would phrase a summary of the second paragraph of the conclusion of the report along the lines of 'Some research in basic science in these two areas that are not cold fusion but are somewhat related would be appropriate, and might explain away some of these results, but the actual field of cold fusion will not be funded. To become more credible, cold fusion researchers would need to publish in better quality journals.' --Noren (talk) 02:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Why would they propose to search for "fusion events" and "particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils", if they were sure that cold fusion is not real ? Don't you think that they would propose to search for chemical products or calorimetric errors instead ? Pcarbonn (talk) 12:08, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Read it again. "the study of particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils using state-of-the-art apparatus and methods." This is absolutely not an implicit acknowledgement, still less an explicit one, of any nuclear process. Guy (Help!) 12:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I've not claimed that they accept cold fusion, only that they keep an open mind on it. You have claimed that they flatly rejected it, and that they do not recommend further research to resolve the controversy, because you say there is no controversy. That is clearly contrary to what the report says. Pcarbonn (talk) 13:53, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Wishful thinking. The text is pretty clear: "The nearly unanimous opinion of the reviewers was that funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV. These proposals should meet accepted scientific standards, and undergo the rigors of peer review. No reviewer recommended a focused federally funded program for low energy nuclear reactions." On its own that might be encouragement, but in the context of fifteen years and millions of dollars spent, including on programs which have been abandoned due to lack of results, it says to me "go away and don't come back until you got the fundamental science right". The conclusion is not ambiguous, it specifically does not endorse trying to reproduce the experiments, it's about telling them to go back and do the fundamental science to see if there is even a theoretical possibility it could work. Back to basics. Guy (Help!) 17:59, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
The fundamental problem here is that is opinion and speculation. What the article needs to do is represent what the report says. You can italicize things to try to dimunize it all you want, but it's written in plain english. Really, your italics seem pretty arbitrary to me. relevant to? Would you really expect them to study things not relevant to it? well-designed? would you really expect them to fund poorly-designed experiments? should meet accepted scientific standards? would you really expect them to say "should not meet accepted scientific standards" or "doesn't have to meet accepted scientific standards"? I don't feel I should have to repeat myself here: "we should strive to avoid leaving the reader with any misconceptions." We should also strive to avoid injecting are own opinion, speculation, and above all putting words in the DoE's mouth! Kevin Baastalk 18:17, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
We must faithfully represent the report with the minimum possible spin in either direction. I don't think we'll be able to do that without including some direct quotes. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:22, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Protoscience or pseudoscience

Two issues are cited as being problematic: the lack of consistently reproducible results and the lack of a theoretical mechanism.

Aside from that, there is no problem. Clearly, more research should be done. It sounds like a very promising area. But the big question is who ought to pay for it.

I suggest that scientists approach someone with deep pockets who is interested in long range results. But don't use Wikipedia to whip up support. All we can do here is *report* on the various efforts, pronouncements and funding requests.

Anomalous phenomena happen all the time. Didn't penicillin get discovered because someone forgot to wash a dish or something? So many discoveries came about because someone noticed something strange and tried to figure out how to make it happen consistently. (Like a programmer trying to "reproduce a bug".) You gotta ferret out the cause.

It's not "science" until they can make it happen on demand. Like faith healing, cold fusion is going to have a bad rap until they can do it by turning on a switch. For a great sci-fi story about a new and incomprehensible energy source, go read Robert Heinlein's Waldo (short story). --Uncle Ed (talk) 02:40, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, for a bit of perspective it may be informative to read [[16]], which is brimming with optimism for the great strides that cold fusion is making, predicting a car battery recharger within a year. The only problem is that it was written in 1996. Note that the "$100 million" research program in Japan that it mentions was shut down in 1997 with the announcement that they couldn't replicate the original CF results. --Noren (talk) 03:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I would argue that once they can make it happen all the time, it is no longer science. At that point, it is engineering. Kevin Baastalk 22:52, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I would argue that the additional step of knowing why it happens all the time would be required before something passes from science to engineering. I suspect that a majority of science is done of things that can be made to happen all the time, but for which the reasons are poorly understood. Widespread inability to replicate scientific findings is quite unusual in most areas of science. --Noren (talk) 02:09, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
And the mention of faith healing is a false analogy if there ever was one. Faith healing does not use empirical methods, or any other canon of science, for that matter. It certainly doesn't employ the scientific method. Kevin Baastalk 22:54, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


I asked you guys before to split the article, but everyone said keep one big page. Now you got it locked. Anyway, you're welcome to join me at cold fusion research. I intend this child article to be merged into the parent cold fusion article as soon as the edit war ends.

Let's list all the major experiments and describe their results, shall we? --Uncle Ed (talk) 03:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I think the point of locking this page is not to encourage editing in the main namespace under different article names, but to work out the issues on this talk page. Antelan talk 03:41, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I know that. This is not a rose by another name that smells equally sweet. This is a section of the article which has not had enough attention before and is *not* part of the edit war. --Uncle Ed (talk) 03:45, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I've redirected cold fusion research back to this page. I don't like POV forks or spreading the mayhem. Ed, if you want to work on the article while the page is locked, you can copy the source into a user-subpage sandbox. Michaelbusch (talk) 04:33, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually that's no better as an idea. Better by far to propose a change, gain consensus and then use {{editprotected}}. POV-forks anywhere are not the way to resolve the dispute. Guy (Help!) 12:35, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I do not understand in what way you or others regard the sub article as a "POV fork". I assume a POV fork would be in violation of NPOV in some way. Is this assumption correct? If so, please point out the violation so I can correct it, if only in my user space.
Or is a POV fork something other than an NPOV violation? If so, does this mean that what I wrote was neutral but that's not your objection to it? If you think what I wrote was neutral, then what was your objection? (Try not to give a circular answer like "It was neutral but my objection was that it was a POV fork" ;-)
This is important to me, because I'm on probation for "creating POV forks" but I've never understood what that means specifically. Anybody want to help me out here? --Uncle Ed (talk) 16:18, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Here is the definition of a POV fork. I do not know if it applies here. Pcarbonn (talk) 17:32, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, Ed, I have the irresistible urge to point out that your inability to understand is precisely the problem that led to your probation! Forgive me, please, I am a bad man. Guy (Help!) 23:31, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm willing to entertain the possibility that (1) the definition is crystal clear and (2) I am simply unable to understand it. I will sing to it, and offer it beer and pretzels (to entertain it ;-) while relying on my peers to alert me to any "POV fork" violations.

But while I am relying on your judgment and trusting you, please from time to time make the effort to awaken my understanding with a cue stick or fish slap? For example, is a POV fork an article which itself is a NPOV violation? Or is it just a case of trying to break apart a large article when others simply don't want to have a parent article and one or more child articles? --Uncle Ed (talk) 23:59, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Assuming the cold fusion research article maintained a neutral point of view - which no one has contested, so I assume it did - and was not created to avoid NPOV, then it is not a "POV fork", but merely a "content fork". "A point of view (POV) fork is a content fork deliberately created to avoid neutral point of view guidelines" The two are not synonymous, and it helps communication to use the correct term. Feebas_factor 02:25, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Sadly not. It was another of Ed's POV forks, see this [17] - a tiny summary of the experiment and one quote from a true believer. Unambiguous, that one. Guy (Help!) 16:05, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Error of fact

I was looking at the cite for the DoE report and spotted an error, which I have WP:BOLDly corrected as an uncontroversial and unambiguous correction of a simple mistake. In referencing the conclusion of the DoE report we had inadvertently quoted instead a paragraph higher up in the report; I have replaced this with the (similar in sense) wording from the conclusion itself, less the two examples which seemed to me to make the quote too long this is the diff. If people think the two examples should be in, then I will add them, it's no big deal. Guy (Help!) 12:52, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

The fact that the quote was not in the conclusion but in the paragraph above it is not a valid reason to remove it from the article. Please put it back. Pcarbonn (talk) 17:29, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Would you re-read what I wrote, please? We said "conclusions" but included text that was not the conclusion. Simple mistake, I fixed it. Can you give me a good reason from policy or guidelines for restoring an inaccurate statement instead of an accurate one? Guy (Help!) 17:47, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Umm, yeah: WP:NPOV. Kevin Baastalk 18:38, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
JzG, you are not meant to be editing the page while it is protected, even to correct an error of fact. You really have to self-revert your edits straight away as there is no consensus for them. Meanwhile I am requesting an immediate move back to semi-protection. Itsmejudith (talk) 18:42, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
It was a simple, and no doubt innocent error of fact. I don't know which editor included that citation, but he para was not from the conclusion, as the cite said, but from the response to the third charge. There are three possible fixes: remove the quoted text; the original editor to clarify what he actiually meant; or to leave it. Any of these is fine by me, all I did was correct an obvious error. Guy (Help!) 19:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
JzG (Guy), you know full well that that text is in dispute as you yourself were (and are) involved in the dispute. Everybody here knows that. When a page is protected, disputed text is off-limits, regardless of whether or not JzG feels it is a "factual error". Please respect wikipedia policy and wikipedia's contributors by self-reverting. Thank you. Kevin Baastalk 19:42, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Guy, I inserted the citation you deleted, and I did not do this by error: it was the sentence that most clearly described the fact that the panel did recommend further research to help resolve the controversy. Looking at your comments in the last discussions, it's easy to understand why you would want to remove it. You have abusively used your admin right, and I'm checking what corrective action can be taken. Pcarbonn (talk) 20:26, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
See also JzG misuse of page protection Pcarbonn (talk) 20:43, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Hang on, you mean you deliberately used a misleading link summary? I hope not. There was clearly an error here, it didn't occur to me that it would be a deliberate misrepresentation of the source, so I hope I was not wrong there. It said "conclusions", but the quoted text was a detail form the reply to the third charge. I just assumed that whoever it was had got their cpoy-and-pastes mixed up. Per my comment above: either we can remove the quotation (perfectly reasonable IMO), or you can clarify what you meant to put and we can talk about that, or we can leave it as-is,. which is accurate. Any of these is fine with me, it's no big deal, this is after all only a summary in a reference, not text in the article. Guy (Help!) 20:44, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I did not say I deliberately used a misleading link summary. I said that I deliberately quoted the statement that you deleted. I request that you put that statement back, and I propose that you replace the link summary with "DoE report" instead of "DoE conclusion", as you point out correctly but addressed incorrectly. Thanks in advance. Pcarbonn (talk) 20:55, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
It may well be that it is the sentence you would select to represent your views, but that does not mean that it is the best sentence to summarize that report in a neutral fashion. I believe that the Conclusion section of the report is the obvious, NPOV place to look for a quotation to summarize the findings. (Using a secondary source seemed like a reasonable alternative to me, but there was disagreement about that.) It might be reasonable to include that sentence, placed in proper context, in the body of the article. In my opinion only a summary of the 2004 panel is appropriate for the lead, rather than the inclusion of select sentences plucked from the body of the report. To clarify, I do not wish to delve into the details of the current process and am not making a comment here about the appropriateness or timing of Guy's edit, but rather am attempting to look forward to discuss what the lead should be. --Noren (talk) 21:04, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I could possibly agree with you if we were talking about a sentence in the article itself. Here we are talking about a quote to support the statement made in the article.
Concerning what the lead should be, I maintain that Physics Today's quote is not appropriate as it is an interpretation of the DoE report that has no notability. Furthermore, it implies that no progress has been made, while the DoE said that progress was made in calorimetry. I propose the following lead :"This and a second panel of 2004 did not find the evidence convincing enough to justify a federally-funded program, though they identified a number of basic science research areas that could be helpful in resolving some of the controversies in the field. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:44, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
No, it's not an interpretation of the DoE report, it's an article in a popular and respected science journal which discusses the background of the DoE report before the report was published. It was written in April 2004, the DoE report was published in December 2004. And although it was prompted by the DoE report, it is mainly a summary of what the mainstream view is on cold fusion, so it's exactly what's needed in the lead: a summary article in a journal with a decent reputation, showing the mainstream perspective. I know you don't like the mainstream perspective, but I'm afraid we can't fix that, and I'm sure you;re not going to suggest that the journal of the American Institute of Physics is anything other than a solidly respectable source. This [18] is Physics Today's report of the DoE project, and it's interesting that its view of the report emphasises "Reviewers were split on whether the experimental evidence for excess power production is compelling. But, the report says, most reviewers, even those who accepted the evidence for excess power production, "stated that the effects are not repeatable, the magnitude of the effect has not increased in over a decade of work, and that many of the reported experiments were not well documented."", while noting that the pro cold fusion guys put a "rosier spin" on it. Exactly as we've seen here, in fact! Guy (Help!) 12:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You are mistaken: the Physics Today statement "cold fusion to be no more convincing than they had been 15 years previous" comes from the article published in Dec 2004, not in April 2004. That article is exclusively about the 2004 DoE report. The DoE report has much more notability than the Dec article of Physics Today. I'm not challenging the quote on reliability, but on the notability of that statement. It's much better to stick to the DoE report. Pcarbonn (talk) 12:51, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
In any case, would you consider reverting the change that you did despite the protection of the page ? Pcarbonn (talk) 12:53, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
The statement in the lead is cited to the April edition. And no, per consensus on ANI that the change was a correction of an unambiguous error, making it wrong again makes no sense. And no, the 2004 report does not have more notability than Physics Today. What Physics Today says is of great importance as a statement of the mainstream view on the subject, and indeed as a statement of the scientific establishment's reception of the report - which seems to differ from the spin you want to put on it, pretty much as the Physics Today article states. Guy (Help!) 13:25, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
While it is true that the statement that is currently in the lead is from the April 2004 edition, the sourced statement that I was referring to Pcarbonn has twice deleted and is thus no longer in the lead is from the January 2005 edition. That statement is a paraphrase of the first sentence of that article which itself is a paraphrase of the first sentence of the conclusion section of the DoE report.--Noren (talk) 13:46, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. There are indeed 2 statements from 2 different Physics Today articles. The one that I dispute is from the Jan 2005 article. I do not dispute the separate statement from the April 2004 article. Pcarbonn (talk) 13:52, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You dispute the text from the 2005 article, or you dispute its inclusion? Of the two, the Jan 2005 reads to me as the more thoughtful, so I'm wondering why you'd prefer the other. In any case, the DoE report is the thing being discussed, and Physics Today is a secondary source in respect of the report itself, an authoritative journal commenting on the report. I don't see a problem with quoting that, it seems to me to be exactly the kind of thing we want included to show how the report was received by the scientific community. Seems entirely reasonable. Guy (Help!) 15:32, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd say from its WP entry Physics Today is OK as a source, but not fantastic. As you'll have seen I made a query on the RS noticeboard and had just one response. That said that some of the journals I had listed were high-status ones (still waiting to hear your views on die Naturwissenschaften and the European Physical Journal) but that we had to exercise caution in the case of the New Scientist. Physics Today may be better than the NS, but if we are going down the road of using coverage in non-refereed science news outlets, then we have to decide where to draw the line. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:44, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
New Scientist is a pop science journal, a bit of a curate's egg, but Physics Today is the journal of the American Institute of Physics; as a source for what the scientific establishment thinks about something I would argue that it is authoritative, and that's what we're using for. EPJ and Naturwissenschaften both seem to be from reputable publishers but the impact factors are not high - which EPJ was this in? There are five aren't there? One of them is markedly higher than the others. Guy (Help!) 16:03, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
It would be OK to include the conclusion of the 2004 report, saying that "While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review.", but that would be too long, and the second part would be meaningless to the WP reader. The DoE report is a secondary source on the subject of cold fusion research because it is "one step removed from an event", it "creates a general overview", and "make analytic or synthetic claims." (see WP:PSTS). The Physics Today article is 2 steps removed from cold fusion research, and represent the view of the physics community in America, as you say, not of the international scientific community at large. The DoE panel was composed of scientists with backgrounds in experimental and theoretical nuclear physics, material science, and electrochemistry, which is a better representation of the scientific community to asses the evidence presented by the researchers (otherwise, why would the DoE requests material and electrochemical scientists ?). Pcarbonn (talk) 22:06, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Also, please note that the sentence you propose does not make sense: "This and a second panel of 2004 found the claims of cold fusion to be no more convincing than they had been 15 years previous". Only the 2004 panel could have found claims to be no more convincing than they had been 15 years previous. Pcarbonn (talk) 22:34, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Condensed matter nuclear science

This page, which I and others interpret to be a PoV-fork, had been a redirect to here for some weeks. It was recently reverted to its previous state by Kevin Baas. --Noren (talk) 14:40, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Fixed. POV forks are simply not the way to fix editorial disputes, all they do is spread the misery. Guy (Help!) 14:51, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I think you mean broken. Page blanking and insinuation is simply not the way to fix editorial disputes. It's imperative that you follow due process. If you feel the article should be deleted, file an RfD. You do not get to decide what articles should exist and what articles should not. Other people have different opinions than you do and they are equally valid. That is why we have a process for this in which we vote. Show some respect for your fellow contributors by following it. Kevin Baastalk 18:23, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Oh, and for everyone's information, and since it's a matter of public record anyways: JzG (Guy)'s "fix" involves full page protection. (diffs: [19] [20]) Kevin Baastalk 18:59, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
    • And JzG, please read the definition of a POV fork more carefully. I don't believe that the CMNS article meets the definition. And it's certainly not an "extreme case of repeated vandalism". Here's an excerpt from the page that is especially relevant:
"Since what qualifies as a "POV fork" is itself based on a POV judgement, do not refer to forks as "POV" — except in extreme cases of repeated vandalism. Instead, assert the application of NPOV policy — regardless of any POV reasons for making the fork, it still must be titled and written in an NPOV-consistent manner. It could be that the fork was a good idea, but was approached without balance — or that the person making it has mistakenly claimed a kind of "ownership" over it." Kevin Baastalk 20:14, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I have asked the opinion of another administrator on the behavior of Guy (see here). Pcarbonn (talk) 20:19, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

If you Google "Condensed Matter Nuclear Science", you will see that it is used as a synonym for "Cold Fusion Science". E.g. [21], [22], and [23]. If you look at Hagelstein's journal [24] titled "Condensed matter nuclear science" you will see that it "...focuses on the various anomalies in metal deuterides and hydrides". The evidence suggests that there is no content in CMNS that isn't cold fusion related. JohnAspinall (talk) 21:20, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Iwamaru's work is an example of CMNS that isn't fusion-related. You can justify any story you want by looking at only part of the evidence. 21:33, 1 January 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kevin Baas (talkcontribs)

The referenced paper by Iwamura is about Palladium and Deuterium. If that's not cold-fusion related, it's very close. This pro-CF reference [25] says "... renamed their subject more appropriately, “Condensed Matter Nuclear Science"". That's a point-blank statement, from pro-cold fusion types, that CMNS is a rename of CF. JohnAspinall (talk) 23:18, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, John. So the redirect is a good idea, and we should leave it at that. Thanks, Ed, for noting the variant title, please use {{editprotected}} to propose an appropriate paragraph in this article to cover the terminology issue. Guy (Help!) 23:29, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
That does not mean that CMNS is CF. It means that CF is CMNS. That's another logical confusion, the same confusion i mentioned earlier regarding temperature and energy. I believe it's called affirming the consequent. A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not neccesarily a square. CF is a subset of CNMS. It is a popular name given to a phenomena of a particular experimental apparatus: the pons-flieshman cell. It is not the name of a science. CMNS is the name of a science, given by those who study it. It is the study of nuclear reactions in condensed matter and at low energies. "Cold Fusion" is not the study of anything. It is a phenomena observed in certain metal lattices under certain conditions. Kevin Baastalk 00:01, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Platinum can also be used for the cathode. It turns out pretty much anything in the same column of the periodic table can be used. (Which suggests, as is believed to be the case, that the structure of the metal lattice is an important aspect of whatever's gone on.) One might also that it's the study of "deuterons in metal lattices". there's also LENR and CANR. What's in a name? The thing is, when people think "cold fusion", they usually think fusion-in-a-jar, i.e. a pons-fleishman style fusion cell; electrolysis of heavy water. But there have been many other experiments that used completely different setups and measured completely different things. You're right, all of them used deutrium, and most of them used pallidium. They also used an abundance of different elements, such as lithium, chloride, strontium, cesium, etc. But it's a far stretch to suggest that they were all just repeats of the same experiment, or even all just an examination of the same property. Some of the experiments deal with transmutations, for example, and only some of them are concerned with excess energy. Such experiments clearly can't produce any results that could be used directly as a power source, as the title "cold fusion" implies to most readers. That is why they re-named it, because they wanted to broaden the scope, and the scope was broadened, and the words "cold fusion" just doesn't accurately describe many of the experimental setups, like the transmutations discovered by iwamaru and others, for instance, where there is no fusion. I'm not saying they're not related. Obviously they're related as they're both interested in nuclear reactions at low energy. But see, that's why they came up with the name "Low energy nuclear reactions" to describe what they were studying, because that's how they're related. Not all of them are fusion but they're all nuclear reactions. Kevin Baastalk 23:43, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Most people understand "cold fusion" to refer to the pons-fleishman setup. But there have been a lot of experiments that don't use this setup and don't even examine fusion. Wikipedia shouldn't use it's own definitions for words. We should use the mainstream definitions, i.e. what people understand the words or phrases to refer to. Kevin Baastalk 23:50, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

In [[26]] Kevin Baas summarizes "the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV." as "research into CMNS." Your own usage of that acronym in the past does not appear to draw a distinction between CF and CMNS. If CF were merely a subset of CMNS and the distinction between the two were significant and profound, I would not expect you to use the acronym CMNS to summarize a passage that explicitly does not refer to transmutations or non-palladium based systems. --Noren (talk) 04:28, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Firstly that was a quote from the DOE report, not me. Secondly, you seem to be having trouble understanding the difference between bijective and non-bijective. Even if I had said that, it would not be a contradiction. There's an important difference between "if" and "only if". Kevin Baastalk 23:00, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
It so happens that I do understand that concept. In the edit I cited, you did quote from the DOE report, and then you chose to summarize that quoted passage as one that was referring to CMNS. Perhaps you do not understand the concept of a summary, so I shall endeavor to explain it to you. When rephrasing a longer passage of text into a more concise one, it is best to choose words or abbreviations that closely match the meaning of the original passage. In this case, you were summarizing a passage that explicitly did not include non-Pd or non-fusion reactions. If the distinction between CMNS and CF is significant in your mind, you should summarize a passage that only refers to the CF subset as CF rather than as the broader category CMNS. Choosing an overly broad term rather than a more specific term is a poor choice for a summary if the terms are substantially different in your mind. On the other hand, if the two were nearly synonymous in your mind- if CMNS were merely a rename of cold fusion with a few insignificant differences- I would expect you to use the terms interchangeably. It happens that this was the way that you chose to use the abbreviation 'CMNS' in practice. --Noren (talk) 03:01, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I have no idea what you're talking about regarding using "CMNS" to summarize the DOE report. And I do not appreciate your patronizing and condescension. A small correction, by the way: "explicitly did not include" - explicit means, roughly speaking, that it was written or said. The report would have had to say something like "the reviewers are not to review non-Pd or non-fusion reactions.", and in any wording would contain a double-negative. I don't recall any place in the report where non-PD or non-fusion reactions were mentioned, so I would have to conclude that their lack of inclusion of those things were not explicit. As to whether or not I think the reviewers examined non F-P type experiments, I would have to say no. Their review was fairly narrow and did not include broader topics in CMNS than cold fusion. I do not recall suggesting the contrary, and know for certain that I would not have, given my view on the matter. If you interpreted anything I wrote that way, you were mistaken. Kevin Baastalk 21:13, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Definition of "explicit": [27] compare with "implicit: [28] Kevin Baastalk 21:30, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh I see, "The reviewers believed that this field would benefit from the peer-review processes associated with proposal submission to agencies and paper submission to archival journals." ... "Last time we reviewed this field, ... The implication is that," ... "If that is the implication, it is certainly incorrect, as much CMNS work has been published in peer-reviewed journals". You could have done a better job of clarifying what you were talking about. Anyways, the usage of the word "field" is ambiguous, but is usually meant to refer to a broader scope than a single apparatus, experiment, phenomena, or reaction. There are no fields in science that singular or specific. It is reasonable to attribute the meaning of "field" to a scope that would be typical of science, and would fit the constraints given by the context. The context here is what studies could usefully contribute to answering the questions given and shedding light on the mechanism behind the reported phenomena. Such studies are not limited to repeating the P-F experiment. Indeed, the reviewers even recommended being more discursive. And rightly so, because clearly the studies needed to shed light on the mechanism behind a phenomena should go beyond the bounds of those done and reviewed which have not shed sufficient light on the mechanism. It is clear that by "field" was meant something broader than the scope of the review, and with a scope fairly typical of scientific fields. By "field" they were not limiting themselves to the narrow scope of what they had reviewed. Interpreting the report as if they were would not only by using words outside of their standard definitions, it would also introduce contradictions into the report. Kevin Baastalk 21:56, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I apologize if my meaning is still unclear, and I certainly empathize with your dislike of posts that are patronizing or use condescension. Let me break down that quote a bit, and see if it helps. In the edit I cited, [[29]], you make a quotation. The final paragraph is your own words, and begins with the sentence "Now, that first paragraph, as I read it, says that the reviewers agreed pretty much unaminously that the government should fund research int CMNS when given a well-formed proposal, but none of them suggested starting a government program for the sole purpose of researching CMNS." I interpret this sentence to be a summary of the paragraph, "The nearly unanimous opinion of the reviewers was that funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV. These proposals should meet accepted scientific standards, and undergo the rigors of peer review. No reviewer recommended a focused federally funded program for low energy nuclear reactions." That paragraph I parse as explicit in referring to Pd systems and fusion rather than the other non-'CF' aspects that you propose act to distinguish CMNS from CF. Yet you choose in practice to summarize that paragraph as referring to CMNS. Your usage of 'CMNS' is as a synonym to CF rather than as a superset. --Noren (talk) 18:29, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for that. "experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV". By using "or" there, they don't limit it to anomalous heat in Pd/D systems and D-D fusion reactions, but either. And furthermore they state only that the experiments should "address specific scientific issues relevant to the question[s]", and certainly non-P-F type experiments and non-CF experiments may "address specific scientific issues relevant to the question[s]". Indeed P-F type experiments cannot address some of the areas that they identified as "promising areas to be pursued". It's important to realize that the experiments reviewed and the research areas proposed are not the same thing, and thus their scopes can be different. As far as I can tell from reading the report, they only examined P-F type experiments and anomalous heat. However, to understand the mechanism of an observed phenomena requires looking at more than just the product of the mechanism -- it requires looking at the parts of the machine from different angles. Thus, the latter scope is broader. Besides, the report is titled "Report of the Review of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions". Now I'm quite willing to say that the titles "LENR", "CANR', and "CMNS" are pretty much interchangeable. So if you want to replace my usage of 'CNMS' w/'LENR', be my guest -- as far as I'm concerned it won't change the meaning of my words. CF is, purportedly, a LENR, but not all LENRs are D-D fusions. It seems to me that the review was rather limited in scope, only reviewing a particular subset of 'LENR' that dealt w/anomalous heat in P-F style setups. But what the title of the paper suggests the scope of their review was, what the actual scope of their review was, and what the scope of the "promising areas to be pursued" were, are three different thing; three different scopes. In this case, I'd say that the largest scope was that suggested by the title of the review, followed by the "promising areas to be pursued" and such, followed by what they actually reviewed. I say put the areas to be pursued part in the middle largely because of the second paragraph:
"Reviewers identified two areas where additional research could address specific issues. One is the investigation of the properties of deuterated metals including possible effects of alloying and dislocations. These studies should take advantage of the modern tools for material characterization. A second area of investigation is the use of state-of-the-art apparatus and techniques to search for fusion events in thin deuterated foils. Several reviewers specifically stated that more experiments similar in nature to those that have been carried out for the past fifteen years are unlikely to advance knowledge in this area."
And largely because of it's last sentence. "Several reviewers specifically stated that more experiments similar in nature to those that have been carried out for the past fifteen years are unlikely to advance knowledge in this area." Says to me that the reviewers think they should broaden the scope of their experiments in comparison to what they reviewed. Kevin Baastalk 19:58, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Cold Fusion = CANR??

Irrespective of what's behind the topic of the article: shouldn't the name instead be CANR? "Cold Fusion" is a term that variously has used for many kinds of nuclear reactions, that are just cooler than "hot" nuclear fusion. The article "Cold Fusion" would serve better as a disambiguation page directing towards a lot of "Cold Fusion" topics such as the Pons and Fleichmann CANR/LENR or whatever. Said: Rursus 09:46, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

(Besides, I've decided to make a reactor in my bathing tube, except that I've not found a shop where to buy palladium cheaply) Said: Rursus 09:48, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Cold fusion is what it's popularly known as, following the Fleischmann-Pons experiments, which were by far the highest profile part of its history. A redirect to here from any variant title or likely search term is, of course, perfectly reasonable. Guy (Help!) 12:14, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
obviously there is a dispute here, which you seem to have trouble acknowledging. As I have said before, many different experiments have been done that are quite different from the F-P cell popularly associated w/the term "cold fusion", but nonetheless have observed what appears to be nuclear reactions (not limited to fusion) at low energies. Kevin Baastalk 23:06, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


I would propose to reorder the sections as follows : experimental report, argument in the controversy, history (instead of the reverse order). The reason is that it reflects better the fact that cold fusion is still an unresolved controversy, rather than a long-forgotten footnote of history. Any comments ? Pcarbonn (talk) 12:56, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Except that it isn't a controversy, other than in the minds of a very few. The mainstream view is, this is a sideline at best and likely a dead end. Why is it that every change you propose would have the effect of boosting the tiny band of cold fusion researchers while obscuring the mainstream view, which is dominated by the 1989 Pons-Fleischmann debacle? As far as the average reader is concerned, the first thing they expect to see is probably Pons-Fleischmann, since that was and remains the highest profile discussion of the concept. Guy (Help!) 13:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
It is a controversy in the mind of the DoE reviewers, as the DoE report clearly says. How can you claim the contrary ? I did not invent the word, they did. Furthermore, the panel was split on the excess heat issue and divided on nuclear evidence. They did recommend further research to search for further evidence of fusion events and emitted particles. The DoE report was much more cited than the Physics Today article you like to refer to, and has thus much more notability. In fact, most people have heard of it thanks to the 2004 DoE review which had wide news coverage, so this is what they expect to hear. Pcarbonn (talk) 13:48, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
See, I read the DoE report, and it seems to me to be saying very much what Physics Today says: this is essentially a dead field which raises a few minor but interesting questions that need to be addressed with some good solid basic science. It's only controversial in the way teach the controversy asserts evolution to be controversial. Guy (Help!) 14:24, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You can think what you want, as long as your personal opinion does not get represented in the article. In this case, it is not the cold fusion proponents who say that there is a controversy, but the independent panel set up by the DoE: your comparison does not apply. You ask "Why is it that every change you propose would have the effect of boosting the tiny band of cold fusion researchers". I guess this is because, if I had been in the DOE panel, I would be one of those that found "evidence for excess power compelling", and "the evidence of low energy nuclear reactions somewhat convincing". This does not put me in the fringe of science, as you would like to put it, but instead in company of a significant number of the reputable scientists invited by the DOE to review the evidence. They deserve to be fairly represented in this article. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:28, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Gotta love that - you've spent weeks trying to mould the article more closely to your personal opinion, which is why I cam here in the first place, and now you're accusing me of that? Wow. I note that you never once complained about us linking to Jed Rothwell's editorialised version of the 2004 report, but you are terribly terribly anxious about our use of the conclusion instead of a cherry-picked paragraph form the body of the report. Do be careful that you don't cross the line from editor with an opinion to POV-pusher here. Guy (Help!) 14:50, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
No, I said that I spent weeks trying to mould the article to represent the view of the significant number of panel members who found the evidence convincing, which happen to be my view. I wonder whether we are speaking the same language, assuming that you read my post carefully.
For some reason, what you are reading from the DoE panel is not the same as what I read in it. Are you disputing the fact that the report says that the panel was evenly split on the evidence of excess heat ? Below is the full quote. Or are you saying that this sentence should be ignored ? If so, why ? The same question could be asked on the evidence of nuclear reaction. Please clarify your position so that we can resolve our difference. Also, comments from other editors would be greatly appreciated. Pcarbonn (talk) 21:36, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

The excess power observed in some experiments is reported to be beyond that attributable to ordinary chemical or solid state sources; this excess power is attributed by proponents to nuclear fusion reactions. Evaluations by the reviewers ranged from: 1) evidence for excess power is compelling, to 2) there is no convincing evidence that excess power is produced when integrated over the life of an experiment. The reviewers were split approximately evenly on this topic.

Also, please note that I wrote "for the other sides" many times in the past. Here is a recent example, where I added the argument that direct conversion to heat is contrary to known physics. Did you ever write "for the other side" ? Please provide an example. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:38, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


Would anybody care to archive old discussions ? I have already done more than my share of this house-keeping task. Thanks in advance. Pcarbonn (talk) 12:56, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

It may be wise to allow a bot to do the archiving, to avoid accidentally archiving recent comments rather than responding to them. --Noren (talk) 13:57, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Editing protected page

For what it's worth, I've withdrawn my ANI. Let's just get the page unprotected, so we can all collaborate again. It's a bit embarrassing to have the page protected on the wrong version - substantially my intro - anyway. (I don't like using power to get my way. My new year's resolution is to respect the consensus! :-) --Uncle Ed (talk) 21:36, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


I have unprotected this. But can those involved in the dispute PLEASE AGREE THROUGH DISCUSSION HERE before making edits they know are likely to be reverted. If an edit war breaks out again, I am prepared to block the guilty parties rather than protect the whole article. Just don't make controversial changes without discussion, and use the dispute remedies if necessary rather than edit warring. You have been warned.--Docg 22:00, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

For goodness sake!!!

I unprotect for 1 hour and the edit war resumes. Take this to dispute resolution - those involved in this page are obviously not capable of working together without edit warring.--Docg 23:06, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I did request a mediation on Dec 10 (see Talk:Cold_fusion#Mediation. For dispute resolution to work, all parties need to accept it. For some reason, only one side of the issue seems ready to do it. Pcarbonn (talk) 23:18, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. Is there no higher level of dispute resolution for content disputes? I know the Arbitrators reject content disputes. If one side refuses mediation, but remains within the rules, then effectively there is no dispute resolution possible.
Should we propose mandatory mediation of some kind? MigFP (talk) 00:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC) sock

The problem is that editors that rejected the mediation are asking for some pre-conditions (e.g. Will only agree to mediation if a mediator has a degree in physics, chemistry, or related field.). That is highly unusual, as mediators are not judges. Mediators will assist editors in finding common ground, not dictate content or rule on what is permissible or not. I would encourage involved editors in re-applying for mediation. Note that if mediation fails, this will end up and arbitration, and arbitrators will certainly not look favorably on those editors that reject dispute resolution processes. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:22, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Editors may want to refresh their memory and re-read Wikipedia:Mediation. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:26, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Experimental reports

In an above section #To be workshopped I detailed the reasons for removing the section on experimental reports. However, these issues have gone unaddressed and User:Pcarbonn has now twice reinstated the section. This needs to be rectified. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:43, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

For my part, I'm concerned at the hurdle you seem to be setting for the SPAWAR work. Quoting a peer-reviewed journal of high quality should be enough for use. I've never seen another scientific article of this caliber challenged because it hasn't been re-quoted by another source. You agreed earlier that the SPAWAR work should be covered, let's please stick with that agreement. Ronnotel (talk) 22:50, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem "covering" SPAWAR, but the way you guys have written this section is a definite violation of WP:WEIGHT and WP:FRINGE. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:01, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you could respond to my summary of the paper in the section above titled European Physical Journal? I'm happy with pretty much any neutral text that describes the claim of high-energy particle detection from a low-energy device in a repeatable configuration. Ronnotel (talk) 00:03, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I have responded to all your issues above. Saying that there is a consensus of the panelists when there isn't is misleading. Pcarbonn (talk) 22:49, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You haven't "responded to all my issues". There is a real problem of over-reporting experimental "results" in a fashion that is very un-NPOV. The issue here is that cold fusion is at best fringe science and many advocates spill into pseudoscience. By giving them a platform to display their research, we are effectively going against the spirit and letter of this policy. What we need to do is start from scratch: remove the experimental reports section and see what we can say about the ACS, APS and SPAWAR stuff. I'm thinking that something along the lines of a few sentences should do it. The section is overkill in the extreme. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:00, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
It is not un-NPOV, because a significant number of panelists found the evidence convincing. The section explains what researchers selected by the DOE said: are you suggested that they were pseudo-scientists ? How come the Doe selected them, then ? On what basis are you saying that ? Also, I did remove a disputed paragraph. Pcarbonn (talk) 23:05, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
The conclusion of the report was that there wasn't enough evidence to support cold fusion advocates. That's the conclusion. The number of panelists who believed one thing or another is irrelevant to the fact that the DOE panel as a whole (which was less than two dozen scientists) declined to pursue the matter further. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:07, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
By doing this, you would be giving undue weight to one side of the controversy, which the DoE panel said still existed. Pcarbonn (talk) 23:14, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
No, the DOE panel made no comments as to whether there was controversy in the scientific community on these matters. That was not one of the questions they had to answer. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:19, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
(resolve edit conflict) As I understand it, the report didn't even examine that question. Maybe you just worded it wrong. The wording to me is too subjective and ad hominen to be examined scientifically. Kevin Baastalk 23:15, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Which wording? ScienceApologist (talk) 23:19, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
"that there wasn't enough evidence to support cold fusion advocates". I don't believe that was one of the questions they had to answer. The closest to that question seems to be charge #3, which is worded somewhat differently. Replace "cold fusion advocates" with "more scientific investigation" and the question wouldn't be ad hominem anymore, making it much closer to charge #3. Kevin Baastalk 23:30, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't proposing putting this in the article. ScienceApologist (talk) 17:52, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Nevertheless you were misrepresenting the report by injecting your own opinion. Kevin Baastalk 15:51, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Consensus and the SPAWAR work

I'm curious whether the SPAWAR work has had any impact whatsoever on scientific consensus. For instance, I found this quote from Robert Park, perhaps one of the strongest opponents of cold fusion research: "there are some curious reports - not cold fusion, but people may be seeing some unexpected low-energy nuclear reactions", from RSC, March 2007. Certainly Park can be considered an opinion leader in the field - is it notable that someone of his stature is voicing equivocation? Ronnotel (talk) 22:44, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

This is a decent question. Right now, I think that the way to best describe the sentiment is one of "guarded skepticism". The only thing that has changed is that it is no longer "complete skepticism". Hardly a rousing endorsement. Of course, if something comes out of this, we have the ability to change the article as scientific consensus changes. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:46, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I can scarcely believe that you are the same ScienceApologist who less than a week ago wrote, "there is no controversy." MigFP (talk) 23:14, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock
I see no contradiction. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:18, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
At what level of skepticism by the majority would you say a dispute becomes a controversy? MigFP (talk) 23:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock
A controversy exists within the community when the split is nearly 50/50 as happened with the steady state theory vs. big bang theory in the 1940s and 1950s. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:27, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I can't find a dictionary on my desk or online that comes anywhere close to agreement. Do you have a source? MigFP (talk) 23:31, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock
Here's a good one: [30]. ScienceApologist (talk) 17:50, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Which says nothing about the "split nearly 50/50" criteria, which now looks like something made up for the purposes of pushing a POV. MigFP (talk) 05:36, 4 January 2008 (UTC) sock

Report summary

Pcarbonn, reinserting your preferred cherry-picked paragraph is not acceptable. It is a blatant violation of WP:NPOV. Either have no summary, or quote the conclusions of the report. Guy (Help!) 23:01, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

The absurdly invective 2004 Physics Today quotation from a review at the far negative end of the spectrum of the dozens of reviews in the peer-reviewed literature, was a far worse example of cherry-picking. MigFP (talk) 23:11, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock
Physics Today is a perfectly reasonable and reliable source. It is also at a good level for our audience. I support its inclusion. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:17, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Would quoting the summary's conclusion in full be acceptable? Addhoc (talk) 23:16, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that the summary is pages long and the summarizing statements of rejection are not liked by the cf advocates because they really want it to be known that not everybody disagreed with everything they said. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:17, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, however the conclusion is fairly short:
"While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review.
The current reviewers identified a number of basic science research areas that could be helpful in resolving some of the controversies in the field, two of which were: 1) material science aspects of deuterated metals using modern characterization techniques, and 2) the study of particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils using state-of-the-art apparatus and methods. The reviewers believed that this field would benefit from the peer-review processes associated with proposal submission to agencies and paper submission to archival journals."
Addhoc (talk) 23:23, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
You are quoting the DOE Panel, not the Physics Today article -- which, should be noted, is not even a review of research, but rather a non-peer-reviewed news item reporting on the DOE findings. I replaced the DOE mention in the lead with a completely neutral summary of it's conclusions section. MigFP (talk) 23:28, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock

Finding a peer-reviewed review (and there are many to choose from) that reports in objective language without invective would be acceptable. How about from last year instead of four years ago? MigFP (talk) 23:24, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock

That is not a journal specialising in physical or electrochemistry, I would be very wary of citing a paper which may have been peer-reviewed by people without sufficient expertise in the field, or according to criteria which differ from those used in the major archival journals. I would also be wary of using a single paper by a single individual (whose biases are unknown to me) versus Science Today, which is an overview journal of the organisation representing a very large number of scientists. Minor specialist journals are much more likely to make an error when publishing at the margins of their field. Guy (Help!) 13:00, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Do you admit that the Physics Today article was an unreviewed news item with a byline showing a single author? MigFP (talk) 05:38, 4 January 2008 (UTC) sock

I don't think putting words in peoples mouths is going to lead to a more productive discussion, ScienceApologists, nor do i think it helps to answer the question. I beleive I did a good job of answering this question above, when I said that we should strive to avoid leaving the reader with any misconceptions. Also, as ScienceApologists and others have pointed out, an important question in all this is whether the reviewers considered the observations strong enough to warrant more scientific research. Charge 3 of the report deals specifically with that question. Kevin Baastalk 23:24, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

benefit *from* peer-reviewed


In my next-to-the-last edit before protection was re-imposed, I accidentally hit return on submit instead of preview, and in scrambling to tack on an edit summary in a whitespace edit, I missed a typo. Please change "benefit peer-reviewed" in the fourth paragraph to "benefit from peer-reviewed". Thank you. MigFP (talk) 23:18, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock

Thanks. MigFP (talk) 23:29, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock

  • Minor problem: the quote is inaccurate.

While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this

subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review.
The current reviewers identified a number of basic science research areas that could be helpful in resolving some of the controversies in the field, two of which were: 1) material science aspects of deuterated metals using modern characterization techniques, and 2) the study of particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils using state-of-the-art apparatus and methods. The reviewers believed that this field would benefit from the peer-review processes associated with proposal submission to agencies and paper submission to archival journals.

So I'd certainly support an edit, but it should fix the slightly inaccurate paraphrase as well, perhaps "benefit from the peer-review processes associated with proposal submission to agencies and paper submission to archival journals." The term archival journals is significant; the lead makes a huge fuss about the number of peer-reviewed papers published, so the sentence as-is raises a "huh?" for the reader. Guy (Help!) 23:30, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


While I am sure that there is no agreed-upon definition of what is and is not an "archival journal," I agree in the name of harmonious editing to request that "archival" be inserted before "journal" in the fourth paragraph, please. MigFP (talk) 23:35, 2 January 2008 (UTC) sock

Just to be clear, is this what you want?

The United States Department of Energy convened a panel to investigate their claims in 1989.[9] A second panel in 2004 reached similar conclusions, with reviewers identifying basic research areas that could help to resolve some of the controversies, and stating that the field would benefit from peer-reviewed funding proposal and archival journal article submission.[10]

≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:54, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Looks good. Guy (Help!) 23:57, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
YesY Done ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 00:02, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks much. Guy (Help!) 00:04, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Mediation (take 2)

I am a member in good standing of the Mediation Committee. No one who has contributed to this article has accused me of "having a side". I took 2 years of college physics.

If asked, I would agree to mediate. --Uncle Ed (talk) 00:41, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Alas, I feel I must point out that Guy has accused you of pushing a PoV. --Noren (talk) 03:11, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Ed is absolutely unacceptable as a mediator; I am astonished that a member of the mediation committee would even think of offering their services in a case where they have already weighed in on one side of a dispute. Good grief no. Guy (Help!) 09:31, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I'd be very pleased if you continued to hang around the article, Ed, as I think your contributions have been useful in the main. But I didn't agree with the forking off of the Cold fusion research article, and you seemed to have problems with understanding the very concept of a POV-fork. So it would be better to get a mediator who hasn't been involved at all yet. I'm sure your mediation skills are needed in many other places. Itsmejudith (talk) 10:14, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Ed, I suggest that you take part in the mediation as a party, not as a mediator. Your experience in mediation will surely be helpful in that way too. Pcarbonn (talk) 12:42, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. I guess asserting that "there is a controversy" amounts to taking a side. Is that it?

Can I get a list of the "sides" here, and who's on each one? --Uncle Ed (talk) 15:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

yes, indeed, some people say that there is no scientific controversy, and that there is thus no need to present the 2 sides : they say it would give undue weight to the CF researchers. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:20, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that labeling every editor by 'side' would be helpful. We should be discussing content rather than contributors. The act of characterizing the 'sides' could encourage adverse characterization of 'opposing' sides, possibly leading to incivility. --Noren (talk) 01:09, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I'll admit I am not a member of any official mediation committee, but I would be happy to do what I can to mediate, provided that everyone agrees to it. For background, I have an Engineering Degree and took a year of college physics. I feel I have a reasonable grasp of Wikipedia policies/guidelines/etc. with over 6000 edits and two articles I worked on were featured on the main page in the past 100 days. — BQZip01 — talk 05:53, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I think BQZip01 would be a fine mediator. I wonder if an engineering degree satisfies ScienceApologist's request that the mediator "have a degree in a science field"? MigFP (talk) 06:24, 4 January 2008 (UTC) sock
I still would like to assist. If I am still wanted, please contact me on my talk page. — BQZip01 — talk 21:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Mediation (take 2.5)

Request created. Wikipedia:Requests for mediation/Cold fusion. Guy (Help!) 09:47, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Why have the people named as parties not been notified that they are listed? MigFP (talk) 05:38, 4 January 2008 (UTC)  Done I sofixedit. MigFP (talk) 05:48, 4 January 2008 (UTC) sock
You so fixed it! :-) --Uncle Ed (talk) 18:56, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Shoud wikipedia present the view of "most scientists" ?

I think a key issue here is whether wikipedia should represent the view of "most scientists" or the view of the 18 DOE panelist members. Here is what wikipedia says about reliability: "Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Sources should be appropriate to the claims made." In that sense, I don't think that "most scientists" is a reliable source: they did not publish anything, and they have not done fact-checking (in the sense of talking to researchers and visiting labs). The DoE meets all the requirements. So, in my view, even if most scientists dismiss cold fusion, and even if they say that there is no cold fusion controversy, (and I'm ready to believe that they say so), the article should not reflect it. Instead, it should reflect what the DoE report says in its report, and in its conclusion: there is a cold fusion controversy. Please note also that Physics Today does not take a position by itself: they report on what the Doe and "most scientists" say. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:54, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I completely disagree. See WP:Undue Weight, it is not appropriate to weigh 18 people as greater than the majority of scientific community. Jefffire (talk) 10:57, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
So, are you defending the view that "most scientist" is a reliable source ? Pcarbonn (talk) 11:04, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
You are playing semantic games. The controversy exists, in as much as there exists a small but zealous group of people who are pursuing this research, but in the scientific world as a whole the controversy is pretty much limited to two very respectable scientists, Pons and Fleischmann, who made asses of themselves. The report speaks of resolving the controversy, that is nothing more than an acknowledgement that a group of people petitioned the DoE to prepare the report in the first place. The view of mainstream science is clear and is established by Physics Today: this is a fringe field. The way to change that is not to rewrite history via Wikipedia, it's to go back and do better science. Guy (Help!) 12:50, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

You are gaming the system, Pcarbon. If one report differs significantly from what the scientific community says, (as you seem to concede) then that report must not be given undue weight. It may be difficult to get sourced statements that represent the wider scientific community - but the challenge is to do that, not use the difficulty to load the article in the direction you wish. You are supposed to be working for a neutral encyclopedia, not spinning things so that the interpretation of one report skews Wikipedia's presentation in the way you wish. Help find sources that DO reflect the scientific community. I'm a non-scientist, and have no intention of editing this article, but I'd also point out that this is an international encyclopedia, and so the views of the DoE (which I presume is some sort of abbreviation for some US body) are simply one report of one body at one time in one nation (and thus not internationally very authoritative): what is the rest of the world saying?--Docg 11:26, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not gaming the system, but striving to base wikipedia on a good scientific basis. The problem is: DoE is the only recent neutral, scientific review of the field, as far as I know. The article cited below are only references to it, I suspect. Let me know otherwise.
Here is what scientific consensus has to say: "Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of science at a particular time.", and "Consensus is normally achieved through communication at conferences, the process of publication, and peer review." By this definition, I don't see any evidence of a scientific consensus that cold fusion is junk, on the contrary. The presentation at the APS (sessions A31 and B31) and ACS last march are overwelminghly in favor of it. All recent publication in reputable peer-reviewed journals are positive. So, I suggest we need to distinguish between a scientific consensus, and a consensus of scientists. Pcarbonn (talk) 11:48, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
It is true that those in the field of cold fusion research are enthusiastic for it. It is also true that they are viewed with something approaching ridicule by those who are not part of that small world. Guy (Help!) 12:53, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
The question is whether that view has been reached by the scientific method. I say it hasn't, even if it has been reached by scientists. The cold fusion topic is a scientific question, and should be approached in a scientific manner. If not, wikipedia would fail its principles. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:40, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Pcarbonn, that comment of yours should be bolded, it is probably the most telling you have made in this entire discussion. Yes, you think this decision was not reached byt he scientific method. But what you think (even if it is echoed by a few people in a backwater of science) has absolutely no relevance here - in fact, you need to actively shelve what you think. Because although you think the conclusion was not reached by the scientific method, what you think is in conflict with the American Insitute of Physics, the US Department of Energy and mainstream thought as demonstrated by the low level journals and very low levels of cross-citation of the papers you keep proposing as sources. Yes, you think they are wrong, but Wikipedia is not about what you think, is it? Guy (Help!) 15:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. Editors make judgement on what is a reliable source all the time. There is even a notice board to help make the decision. I say that "most scientists" does not constitute a reliable source for a scientific article. This is the center of the issue, and must be debated. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:06, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict) The simple answer is - both. The DoE report itself is a good source. It just needs to be included in as balanced a way as possible. After having read the discussion, I think the Physics Today article is also good so long as we make clear that it is not Wikipedia that knows what "most scientists" think but the Physics Today author. Since Physics Today is not a peer-reviewed journal but a serious science news medium, we should also consider other articles in the science press. A search threw up the following references:

Hanley, JR Cold fusion communications CHEMICAL & ENGINEERING NEWS, 85 (32): 4-4 AUG 6 2007

Daviss, B Cold fusion rides again NEW SCIENTIST, 194 (2602): 32-34 MAY 5 2007

Van Noorden, R Cold fusion back on the menu CHEMISTRY WORLD, 4 (4): 12-12 APR 2007

Ritter, S Cold fusion makes its case in Chicago CHEMICAL & ENGINEERING NEWS, 85 (17): 42-42 APR 23 2007

Itsmejudith (talk) 11:29, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't have an issue with saying that, according to Physics Today, most scientists are deeply skeptical of cold fusion. I have an issue if we use this argument to present a deeply skeptical view of cold fusion throughout the article. Pcarbonn (talk) 11:55, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
WP:NPOV, WP:V, WP:RS. We should reflect the facts as documented by independent sources, which includes the inescapable fact that this is generally considered fringe science. That should define the overall tone of the article. Wich doesn't mean we don't cover the view of the "small and devoted coterie of researchers who continue to investigate the alleged effect" but it does mean that the dominant message must be the high profile Pons-Fleischmann experiments (which is all most people will ever have heard of and is essentially responsible for the existence of the article), the fact that they were found wanting, and the fact that the scientific establishment varies between unconvinced and ridicule. We already know that CF proponents are still making noise, and it's fine to cover that, but the fact of their making noise absolutely does not change what must be the overall message of the article, which is that it is a field which is ignored or rejected by most scientists. I think that most professional scientists are likely to agree with the DoE conclusions, that before you try to persuade people by new variants of the Pons-Fleischmann experiment, you must fist go back and do the fundamental science that provides some kind of mechanism by which this can work. Back in the Age of Enlightenment people would believe an inferred mechanism, now they want you to prove that the mechanism exists and fits with what is already known. Guy (Help!) 12:46, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
If what you say is true, how do you explain that the DOE panel was evenly split when asked if the evidence of excess heat is convincing ? Surely, they would all have said that it is not convincing. Did the DoE say that it was fringe science ? I do not think so. Also, how do you explain that APJ would publish a paper in 2007, if the science was not done right ? Pcarbonn (talk) 13:20, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Excess heat != cold fusion. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:55, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Where did that come from?! I don't see how that addresses one iota of Pcarbonn's response. And I'm not going to humor the non-sequitor. Kevin Baastalk 15:42, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Excess heat is an essential part of the cold fusion controversy, since this is the observation that F&P reported, as you know. This is also supported by the area of research proposed by the DOE to help resolve the issues "relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV.".
A good name for the effect is hard to chose because there is no scientific consensus on how to explain their observation: "cold fusion" has been selected for historical reasons more than for scientific reasons. As you know, the DOE used "low energy nuclear reaction", but somehow that name was disputed here before.
Furthermore, my comment above can be said also on the nuclear evidence: see quote below. How would panelists be somewhat convinced if the science was obviously flawed ?Pcarbonn (talk) 15:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Two-thirds of the reviewers commenting on Charge Element 1 did not feel the evidence was conclusive for low energy nuclear reactions, one found the evidence convincing, and the remainder indicated they were somewhat convinced.

We are disgressing on the basic question of "whether most scientists is a reliable source", but Guy's statement that "they want you to prove that the mechanism exists and fits with what is already known." is unscientific and contrary to what the 1989 DOE said: "the failure of a theory to account for cold fusion can be discounted on the grounds that the correct explanation and theory has not been provided". This is another example of rejecting cold fusion on unscientific grounds. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Once again you are digging in the body of the report for statements that support your POV. The conclusion says that the evidence is no more compelling than it was 15 years ago, and that new, basic science needs to be done before that changes. That science has not been done. No matter how many times Uri Geller bends a spoon, without a scientific explanation of how it's done the scientific community will always regard telekinesis as a circus sideshow act. Physics Today is an example of mainstream thinking on this, and actually the conclusions of the DoE review are much more moderate than the statements you keep cherry-picking from the body of the report. There's also a lot of what one might term resume padding going on here. It doesn't matter how many individual experiments you describe, how many papers exist, how many pro-CF activists you quote, the balance of opinion is not convinced. And after over fifteen years of experimentation, that looks unlikely to change without new basic science, which is what the DoE said was needed and what appears to be lacking. Guy (Help!) 15:51, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Your comparison with Uri Geller does not hold because he has not published in reputable peer-reviewed journal like APJ. For the rest, I have already explained my arguments, saying that the DoE report who took the pain to review the evidence was evenly split on the excess heat issue. So, one cannot say that the balance of informed opinion is not convinced Pcarbonn (talk) 16:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't think the opinion of Wikipedians about "how many scientists accept a theory" is relevant. This article keeps getting locked up when we try to do that.

Better to leave the question of "what most scientists think" as an undecided issue. We can say for example that in the view of the DOE most scientists reject cold fusion as a science fiction dream (it would require a brand new theory of physics). We can also point out that there have been hundreds of reports from researchers of extra neutrons, heat, or electric power from experimental apparatus.

Reporting a DOE statement is neutral. Reporting a the existence of 300 reports is neutral.

We (as encyclopedia writers) do not have to take sides on any aspect of the dispute over cold fusion.

Just leave it as X says yes, and Y says no. Let the readers decide which side is more credible. --Uncle Ed (talk) 15:12, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I disagree when you say "in the view of the DOE most scientists reject cold fusion as a science fiction dream (it would require a brand new theory of physics)", but I suppose you are just giving an example. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know you disagree. You are giving a great example of the "more positive spin" that the Physics Today article notes CF proponents give the DoE report. But, you know, there's a funny thing. Above, we have mention of some sessions at a conference, but as far as I can tell, those sessions were just more along the lines of "look, see, it does work!", I don't see any evidence of the basic science that the DoE called for. Have you got references for the new basic science that investigates and quantifies the proposed mechanism? Without that, you see, this is always going to be fringe science. The scientific establishment has a very long track record of not accepting that which appears to be magic, without solid basic science explaining the magic. And unless something really fundamental has been published since December 2004, that's still the position. Guy (Help!) 15:46, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Wrong. The DoE suggested "the study of particles reportedly emitted from deuterated foils using state-of-the-art apparatus and methods". Guess what, the APS and ACS spent several presentations on the use of CR-39 detectors, as commonly used in nuclear physics. And guess what, particles were detected. And guess what, this was reported in a reputable peer-reviewed journal as APJ. Exactly what the DOE has proposed to do. If that's not basic science, then what is. Did the DoE ask to "quantify the proposed mechanism" or "to explain the magic". No, not in 1989, and not in 2004, so why do you request it ? Pcarbonn (talk) 15:56, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Regarding the original post about "most scientists", I disagree. What is required are reliable sources that clearly state the view of most scientists. For example:
  • Alexander Bird (1998). "Philosophy of Science". Routledge: 262. ISBN 1857285042. Eventually, most scientists concluded that, whatever results may have been found, they were not to be explained by cold fusion, at least not on a significant scale. 
  • Bart Simon (2002). "Science Studies and the Afterlife of Cold Fusion". Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0813531543. the vast majority of scientists certainly believe that the controversy over cold fusion has ended and that the phenomenon reported by Fleischmann and Pons and others was most likely due to experimental artifacts of some kind. 
  • Robert Jurmain, Lynn Kilgore, Wenda Trevathan (2005). "Introduction to Physical Anthropology". Thomson Wadsworth. ISBN 0534644228. For example, repeated failures to duplicate the results of highly publicized cold fusion experiments led most scientists to question and ultimately reject the claims made 
Addhoc (talk) 16:21, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
PCarbonn, doesn't matter how you paint it, DoE said "go away and get the science right". Where's the paper in Nature saying Pons & Fleischmann were right? Oh, wait, there isn't one. You're a great spokesman for the CF lobby, but you're not really helping Wikipedia here by so obviously pushing what you think rather than what the mainstream thinks. Guy (Help!) 16:42, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Pcarbonn's edits of (22:58, 2 January) and (22:39, 2 January) and (22:24, 2 January) are pretty good examples of his vision of NPOV. He adds large sections of commentary on the 2004 DOE panel, but that commentary fails to mention or discuss the following section:

"The preponderance of the reviewers' evaluations indicated that Charge Element 2, the occurrence of low energy nuclear reactions, is not conclusively demonstrated by the evidence presented. One reviewer believed that the occurrence was demonstrated, and several reviewers did not address the question."

Instead, he chooses the sentences which are most favorable to the pro-cold fusion position. Some might argue that those edits provide balance missing elsewhere, but to my eye, those edits are closer to advocacy than improving the article's NPOV.

So where do we go from here? I think the present version is pretty good, by which I mean accessible and useful to nonexpert readers. Among other things, it has some discussion of the Mosier-Boss work, links to the books by Storms, Mallove, Park, and Taubes, links to the Imawura and Arata papers, and a link to New Energy Times.

IMHO, the best way to improve the article now is to (1) slow down the editing, and (2) try to produce a paragraph in the introduction on the 2004 DOE report that could be tolerable to all parties. Here is my attempt:

"A United States Department of Energy panel convened in 1989 to investigate cold fusion claims was unconvinced that nuclear reactions were occurring.[5] A second panel in 2004 was divided on the question, with a "preponderance of the reviewers" indicating that occurrence of low energy nuclear reactions "is not conclusively demonstrated by the evidence presented." The 2004 DOE panel did not recommend a federally funding cold fusion research program, but it did identify basic research areas that could help to resolve some of the controversies, and stated that the field would benefit from peer-reviewed funding proposal and archival journal article submission.[6]" Olorinish (talk) 18:28, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure if inline quotes (like "preponderance...") is the best way to go, or if proportions and dissenter's views should be omitted. I like the existing summary of the conclusions section alone for the intro. There is plenty of space to describe all of the questions, the number and kinds of responses, and other details in the body of the article. MigFP (talk) 05:52, 4 January 2008 (UTC) sock
I'm still wrapped up in the fact that Guy was able to say that it "doesn't matter how you paint it," while simultaneously (in the same sentence!) insisting that it be painted a certain way. Kevin Baastalk 21:26, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Er, no, I read the report, the report was pretty clear that the problem is holes in the basic science. Guy (Help!) 23:30, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
If by "holes" you mean unanswered questions, I agree. Because the report said nothing about shoddy or fraudulent research. MigFP (talk) 02:45, 8 January 2008 (UTC) sock
I would think that passages like "Experts noted many deficiencies in the techniques, methods, and interpretation of the data presented. The present state-of-the-art for tracking coincidences and the methodology for low data rate experiments is far advanced beyond methods used in the experiment contained in the review document and oral presentations." from the report would qualify as a somewhat more polite phrasing for calling the research shoddy. --Noren (talk) 15:23, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
There's a name for that: it's called "interpretation". Kevin Baastalk 23:19, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
This is my response to Olorinish's comment on choosing one sentence vs the other. I choose the conclusion of charge element 1 (CE1) instead of the one of charge element 2 (CE2) because it is more precise. The conclusion of CE2 is a direct consequence of the conclusion of CE1: if only one panelist is "entirely convinced", then obviously, the vast majority says that nuclear activity is not "conclusively demonstrated", a statement that nobody is disputing. But the conclusion of CE1 gives more details by saying that a significant number of panelists was somewhat convinced (but not beyond doubt). The intro you propose is thus less precise than it could easily be. While most editors, including me, will say that cold fusion is not conclusively established, many will say that there is some evidence that it could be real, and that this evidence should be presented as somewhat convincing in the article. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:53, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Pathological Science

The statement that it is an example of Pathological Science should be sourced or removed.--Blue Tie (talk) 00:56, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Have a look at this link Addhoc (talk) 01:33, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Given that there have been many repeated removals of material because it was not peer-reviewed, I can not understand why anyone would think that an un-reviewed book by a sociologist would be reasonable to cite. Simon is nowhere near "an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications" as required by policy. Does the term "pathological" appear in any of the peer-reviewed literature? MigFP (talk) 02:01, 6 January 2008 (UTC) sock
Sociologists are more equipped to evaluate the status of a movement than scientists. Also, for the social sciences, the published book is considered the highest form of academic acheivement and, of course, is reviewed by editors in the know. Journal literature is actually secondary. ScienceApologist (talk) 17:16, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure the sociologist's book will make a fine source in an article about a movement or a social science topic, but this article is about a disputed physical phenomenon. Actual electrochemists disagree quite strongly with the "pathological" label. MigFP (talk) 18:26, 6 January 2008 (UTC) sock
This article should be about cold fusion in all its aspects. To the extent that sociological aspects are relevant to the topic, they should be included here, not excluded a priori. --Noren (talk) 18:35, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
If you want to include a perjorative label from a book by a sociologist, then surely you will have no problem with including the objections to it in the peer-reviewed literature and all of the books on the subject by actual researchers in the field. Do you? MigFP (talk) 18:43, 6 January 2008 (UTC) sock
In my experience of article content disputes, 'trading' whereby if a side is permitted a sentence/paragraph/section, then the opposing side is permitted a sentence/paragraph/section, rarely works - the result is a disjointed article that later gets reduced to a stub. Also, the link I provided was only meant to illustrate that sources are available to substantiate the assertion; I wasn't implying the current article is perfect. Addhoc (talk) 19:17, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Am I missing something here? The book identifies a source, an article by Morrison in Physics World of February 1990. Why are we talking about the book, when the book cites a source, which is the membership magazine of the Institute of Physics, one of the largest physical societies in the world? Surely that's a pretty good source in its own right? Guy (Help!) 23:35, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Probably that Physics World is also not peer-reviewed, and the single-author "feature" in question is from February, 1990, less than a year after the original announcement. If your threshold for inclusion is so low that you would quote a pejorative directly from a non-peer reviewed source written that long ago, then what objection could you possibly have to quoting from confirmations in peer-reviewed scientific journals published the same year?[31][32][33][34][35][36] MigFP (talk) 02:42, 8 January 2008 (UTC) sock
See that, over there in the far distance? That's the point, and you missed it. What I said was, we're debating the wrong source. That said, non peer-reviewed material in a magazine which is the membership journal of a large and influential society can be a good indicator of mainstream thinking in a way that papers published in peer-reviewed journals but outside their specialism might not. Guy (Help!) 23:36, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
See that, two paragraphs up? It's the question, and you didn't answer it. You know very well that using an un-reviewed source to include a pejorative when the peer-reviewed literature disagrees is against policy. It's just a half-assed attempt to push your POV. And it's nowhere near "a good indicator of mainstream thinking" because (1) it's so old, and (2) news reports afterwards aren't so dismissive, e.g. [37]. But let me guess, there is some reason you would include the pejorative report you like, but not the news reports with which you disagree. MigFP (talk) 14:54, 9 January 2008 (UTC) sock

(undent) I am not proposing "trading" sections, this is a question of adhering to NPOV and the threshold for inclusion. I am asking whether if a sociologist's book is used to support inclusion of a pejorative term ("pathological") in the article, then should or should not (A) the opposing view by an electrochemist published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature also be included, and (B) a summary of the books by the scientists actually working in the field be included as well? MigFP (talk) 20:54, 6 January 2008 (UTC) sock

Ok, the case has been accepted for mediation, I'm not listed as a party, so I'll disengage. Good look with the mediation. Addhoc (talk) 21:12, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I do not think it matters whether the source is peer reviewed or not, that a source exists is sufficient to report that at least someone has identified it as pathological science. However, that may not be the same as saying it has a reputation as pathological science. It may be labeled that way by someone but it may not be labeled that way by most people. We cannot make opinion a fact. --Blue Tie (talk) 04:05, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that any newswriter or feature article author can write that something is pathological, but that doesn't tell us how widely or reputably that belief is held. In the absence of more reliable information, there is no way to tell whether including such a pejorative viewpoint is WP:UNDUE weight. Strictly adhering to the WP:NPOV policy under those conditions would require quoting praise from an un-reviewed news item which holds the opposing viewpoint, and it is no secret that the anti-CF editors would never allow that. But if they insist on un-reviewed sources, then they have no standing to challenge anything from the peer-reviewed literature. As the WP:V policy says, "In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals.... peer-reviewed publications are highly valued and usually the most reliable sources in areas where they are available, such as history, medicine and science." I have no problem with the existing, "Early attempts to replicate the effect were unsuccessful after which cold fusion gained a reputation as an example of pathological science," except I think the word "Some" should be inserted at the beginning. MigFP (talk) 08:16, 8 January 2008 (UTC) sock
I believe that, in essence, I agree that anyone can write it, and if they are notable, their opinions can be quoted, as their opinion. It should not be in the voice of wikipedia. If their opinion is an example of a large group, then it becomes more important. If they are the only person holding that opinion, it starts to become undue weight and cruft. I do not know the situation here. --Blue Tie (talk) 12:29, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
It is far from clear to me that the philosophy journal from which you quote is within the history, medicine or science categories. If that source were used, we should look to its conclusion, rather than its body, which characterizes cold fusion as a potentially revolutionary discovery that did not pan out. There has been trouble here before in cherry picking sources rather than looking first to the conclusions. --Noren (talk) 15:16, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
That it "did not pan out" I will agree. Because the effect, if it exists, which is far from conclusive, is so tiny that it will never be anything more than a curiosity. Part of the controversy is that there are still people promising a viable power source, and those are just as bad as the people who ignore the hundreds of reports and replications in the peer-reviewed literature and pretend it's all a hoax. MigFP (talk) 14:57, 9 January 2008 (UTC) sock

Scientific status vs Policy decision

As there is no article on "scientific controversy" in wikipedia, I looked at its contrary, scientific consensus. That article makes an interesting distinction between policy decision and the scientific status of the controversy:

The inherent uncertainty in science, where theories are never proven but can only be disproven (see falsification), poses a problem for politicians, policymakers, lawyers, and business professionals. Where scientific or philosophical questions can often languish in uncertainty for decades within their disciplinary settings, policymakers are faced with the problems of making sound decisions based on the currently available data, even if it is likely not a final form of the "truth".

Applying this distinction to the DOE report, one could see that the DOE is a policy maker, and the conclusion of the 2004 DOE report represents its policy, not the scientific status. To find the scientific status as evaluated by the panelists, one would have to turn to Charge Elements 1 and 2 of the report. Thus, quoting these sentences from the report is not "cherry picking", but finding the proper source for the scientific status of the field, as reviewed by reputable experts in relevant fields. As far as I'm concerned, wikipedia should present the scientific status of the field, not its sociological status. Pcarbonn (talk) 10:29, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The only way to present the charge questions fairly is if all of them are presented, and the answers described in detail, or none of them are presented at all and we report just the conclusions. MigFP (talk) 14:59, 9 January 2008 (UTC) sock
If you're suggesting putting all of the charges in there, then I'll accept that for the sake of consensus. Kevin Baastalk 23:29, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree as well, given that the Charges are quite detailed in comparison to the relatively lacking conclusion. But if you were to include the Charges, all three should be presented to present a full and equal response. I don't find any major issues with the Charges, in that they pose unscientific viewpoints or bare any irrelevant topics, and it would still be wholly relevant to the article. Seicer (talk) (contribs) 01:11, 14 January 2008 (UTC)


So Guy, when are you going to unprotect the illegitimately protected Condensed matter nuclear science article? Did you forget about this? I know you asked me to drop it. But now that multiple administrators have agreed with me in that you are involved in the dispute, and that you should not have protected it, I thought you would have self-reverted by now. Kevin Baastalk 23:39, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Shortly after the POV-pushing ceases. I have a mental note to start checking for that after the heat death of the universe, based on current evidence. Guy (Help!) 19:43, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I can't make any sense out of this response, unless by it you mean to allow your personal feelings and opinions to triumph rule-of-law (wikipedia policy, in particular), and to thwart wikipedia policy indefinitely on account of this. What you wrote could easily be read as an explicit verbal refusal to follow wikipedia policy. I assume, in good faith, that this is not the case. I assume, in good faith, that you recognize that you are a party to this dispute, and are clearly biased, as evidenced by the phrase "after the POV-pushing ceases" and affirmed by multiple other administrators, and thus it is best for the neutrality of the articles on which you are involved in a dispute on that you refrain from applying any unequal advantage, such as administrative powers, because that would upset the balance of representation. Though other administrators have pointed out that you don't seem to realize that what you did was wrong. Perhaps that is the case, in which case you should probably take a step back and review the policy. Kevin Baastalk 19:54, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Minor error

The word is spelled "absorb", not "adsorb".

  • 'Adsorb' means to adhere onto the surface of. It is used correctly here. Jiahui1992 (talk) 09:19, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Newsbyte in Nature

For those who trust only Nature, here is a newsbyte from the Indian edition: "Cold fusion hot again". Pcarbonn (talk) 19:06, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

It's also a source for the use of the LENR abbreviation. MilesAgain (talk) 20:00, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
There is a Google video recorded last month by Edmund Storms, explaining how to cause low energy nuclear reactions (LENR). It last 52 minutes and is like a Dummies Guide to CF. The charts are difficult to read though. (talk) 18:26, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
That's a decent video, and it meets WP:SPS because Storms has plenty of published journal articles, conference papers, and a couple books, and he is recognized as an expert electrochemist. Does anyone object to putting it in the external links? MigFP (talk) 20:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC) sock
A copy of the video is now available here:
The slides shown in the video are available here:
- Jed Rothwell, Librarian, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

  • And if Nature India is right and the field does take off, then we will reflect that. But, as has been pointed out before, Wikipedia is not an appropriate place to be the launch-pad for that initiative. Guy (Help!) 21:07, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you missed the first half of the sentence: "For those who trust only Nature...". The meaning, I believe, was that those who consider Nature a "reliable source", might be interested, therefore, to see what they have to say about the topic of this article. Kevin Baastalk 23:56, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm amused that you're unable to see the difference between peer-reviewed published material in major journals, opinion establishing how the field is received, and the respective uses to which these might be put. The piece in Nature India is an excellent source for the fact that CF is a pariah field in the US, and to support the fact that a few individuals are nonetheless pursuing the field, but it completely fails to establish any kind of resurgence of CF research, since it's a news piece not a published paper. Guy (Help!) 21:15, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Has the fact that CF is a pariah field in the US been the subject of dispute? MigFP (talk) 20:18, 28 January 2008 (UTC) sock
I'm glad that you're amused by your imagination. I see that you have read the article. Good, then it appears that Pcarbon was right in that people might take an interest in it. I fail to see how Pcarbon being right makes me wrong. For telling you what he was saying? I'm still not sure you understand what he was saying, or that I was trying to re-phrase it for you. It doesn't seem to me like my attempt at communicating with you has been successful. In any case, I'm happy that you took an interest in the article. Kevin Baastalk 01:44, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

2004 DoE panel on cold fusion article

I have requested that the former 2004 DoE panel on cold fusion article be restored to my user space for reference by myself and others. It is at User:MigFP/2004 DoE panel on cold fusion. MigFP (talk) 17:41, 26 January 2008 (UTC) sock

Why is the page protected?

The page is protected and it seems to have been so for a while, but I'm not seeing a discussion about why it is still protected. Can the page protection be lifted? I went to improve the article then noticed the protection. Or is there an active edit dispute and I'm just not seeing it? Titanium Dragon (talk) 21:04, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_mediation/Cold_fusion JohnAspinall (talk) 21:47, 20 February 2008 (UTC)
So if I've got this right, fundamentally the fringe people are trying to make the article more sympathetic to cold fusion while the non-fringe people are trying to get the article to reflect the consensus of the scientific community that cold fusion is nothing but a screw-up? And basically they both feel the other group are winning so refuse to end it? Titanium Dragon (talk) 11:16, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
You've described the two extremes of the spectrum of opinion, but the participants in mediation are (a) trying to suppress their opinions in favor of NPOV, and (b) when it does come down to opinion, most seem to hold a more nuanced view than either of the two extremes. JohnAspinall (talk) 21:35, 22 February 2008 (UTC)