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Revert to FA version

Over at Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates/Cold fusion there seems a fair number of people (including me) who want to revert this to its featured state. So I have. If you think thats a good idea, you know what to do when the inevitable happens... William M. Connolley 20:10, 3 January 2006 (UTC).

That looks fine. Now let us delete any remaining statements from this version that lend support to cold fusion, and then insert the Storms draft after this. That will clearly delineate the two points of view. This version is particularly good because it contains no references to the experimental literature, journal articles or books. It is based entirely on opinions and rumors. --JedRothwell 21:12, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
No. Wiki isn't here to give equal space, nor is it acceptable to attempt balance by merely juxtaposing opposing views. Wiki is here (in the science articles) to represent, first and foremost, the current scientific opinion. Which (as Joke points out) is clear from the state of the literature. The Storms draft is unacceptable. William M. Connolley 21:33, 3 January 2006 (UTC).
William - wow, that was an incredibly counterproductive thing to do. You're simply tossing out a lot of good material, for example two whole pages of references. I can understand if you don't like the writing in the body of the article, the latest version is messy and I don't like it either. But I really don't understand why you want to delete stuff which is sourced (or heck, which is sources). What is your objection? Yes, I read your comment on the vote page (so, am I one of the "loonies" according to you?). It still doesn't explain why you want to do this. If there is a specific problem, point it out or fix it. ObsidianOrder 22:11, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Like it or lump it, the FARC discussion does represent a clear consensus and needs to be followed until another one is established. - Taxman Talk 22:17, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Do you think there's a clear consensus for a "revert to FA version"? Based on the current voting I think the FA removal will probably win, but I don't see the consensus for a revert. Let me do a quick count. ObsidianOrder 22:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, as of right now the voting is 18 remove, 11 keep (not counting revert-and-keep votes), and 8 revert (including revert-and-keep). Consensus for a revert? Hardly, I'd say that's a consensus for don't-revert ;) There is also (barely) a consensus for a FA removal. (the last vote I counted was the Pjacobi vote btw). ObsidianOrder 22:33, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
The problem is many of the "votes" there are not in good faith and a simple count won't suffice. You don't know me and probably assume I'm biased, but if the result was against my own POV, I'd still have to defer to my integrity and conclude many of those comments are not legitimate, and it only occured on one side of the debate. In any case we've already esablished a way forward, so there's no reason for major fuss. - Taxman Talk 22:31, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Taxman - I don't assume you're biased, you certainly haven't said anything to make me think so. On the contrary, your comments on Storms pretty much matched what I thought about it. Why do you think many of the votes are not in good faith? I agree that we should move forward, but I fear it will be much more dificult to do from the reverted state. ObsidianOrder 22:37, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
The discussion was officially about removing FA status and nothing more. But if you think about it for a minute, you can see that almost all the remove votes essentially felt that the article has degraded recently and all the votes specifically on the issue were for reverting to the FA version except Jed's. But lets not spend any more time on this since the way forward is discussed below. Edit a temp page combining the draft version with the current FA version. If consensus decides that's better, then we go with that. It works for everyone as long as NPOV is followed. See below. - Taxman Talk 22:55, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
ObsidianOrder wrote:
". . . but I fear it will be much more dificult to do from the reverted state."
Why? What's the big deal? It look like a piece of cake to me. There are no footnotes or references in the present version, so it should be no trouble to put the two together. There are no sources at all. Just have one of the skeptics chop out everything they disagree with and boom, you have the "Skeptical Point Of View" intro. Taxman wants to make it longer than the Storms portion, because he feels that the number of words should more or less reflect the number of people on each side. Why not? It could be 100 megabytes for all I care, as long as our side is also represented in a clear, undistorted, unbiased presentation somewhere in the article. I could not care less what percent of the whole it is. --JedRothwell 22:53, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

William M. Connolley writes:

The Storms draft is unacceptable.

Storms and I find it acceptable. Who put you in charge of this article? Ours is a "significant view" per the NPOV policy:

"If we are to represent the dispute fairly, we should present competing views in proportion to their representation among experts on the subject, or among the concerned parties."

Storms is an expert, by the commonly accepted standards of science: he has a PhD, he worked for decades at LANL, and he has published peer-reviewed papers on the subject in mainstream journals. Who are you tell us he will not be allowed to contribute to this article?

Wiki is here (in the science articles) to represent, first and foremost, the current scientific opinion.

The current scientific opinion is evenly divided, judging by the DoE review panel. There have been no polls or other objective measurments.

. . . nor is it acceptable to attempt balance by merely juxtaposing opposing views.

Well, if you can find a way to integrate the two points of view, be my guest. For example, you might want to explain why hundreds of autoradiographs from places like the NRL and BARC are all, without exception, wrong. Have the laws of physics changed? Does film no longer reliably record x-rays? What is your hypothesis? I doubt you can address these issues, so I think it would be easier to keep these points of view seperate, since they appear to be mirror opposites in every important respect.

While we are on the subject of acceptability, it certainly is not acceptable to revert an article and then not allow any opposing point of view! It is hard to imagine anything less acceptable by the standards of this forum.

--JedRothwell 22:01, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

In response to the revert to the FA version, until there is consensus to move to something derived from the above draft version, editing the article to include more pro CF POV is against consensus, is disruptive, and can be reverted. Wikipedia is ruled by consensus and the NPOV policy above all. - Taxman Talk 22:05, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, for now, the FA version seems handy. As far as I can tell, it concisely and accurately expresses the views of the skeptics. So let's leave it for now. The Storms version will be ready tomorrow (or as soon as I can figure out how to make the footnotes work). Why don't you figure out a simple way to combine them, with the skeptical version first? What is the big deal?

Just delete the redundant parts and the few sections which are in agreement.

I think this will be easier than you seem to think, and it will satisfy everyone. It may be a little unconventional by the standards of Wikipedia, but why should every article be formatted and presented the same way? Why not allow some variation to fit the circumstances, which are unusual.

It seems to me that a "consensus" view is not the same as everyone agreeing on everything. It means we agree that both sides are fully and fairly represented and expressed. There is obviously no middle ground between these views, so why not make that explicit? I have no objection whatever to the skeptical viewpoint being expressed here in the strongest version. I would like it if you would quote Robert Park, who says that cold fusion results are caused by lunacy and fraud. The more extreme, the better, since it makes the skeptics look unreasonable. (I have not quoted Park because I would not want to overstate or misrepresent the skeptical point of view, but if most of you agree with him, and you think cold fusion is fraud, please say so!)

--JedRothwell 22:16, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

That's my point. You can do a merged version or whatever in the temp page. But you have to reallize that NPOV is to give smaller space in the main article to the non mainstream viewpoint. It's not deciding who's right, just characterizing the debate. There is adequate evidence that CF is not the mainstream viewpoint yet and there's nothing wrong with that. Then it can be discussed if the merged version is better. If there is consensus that it is, then all the better. If not, we still have a version of the article that is considered by consensus to be better than it was yesterday. - Taxman Talk 22:25, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Taxman writes:

"But you have to reallize that NPOV is to give smaller space in the main article to the non mainstream viewpoint."

Look, for crying loud, make the skeptical portion as long as you like! Make it ten times longer than Storms. Frankly, I do not know what you have to say that will fill up all that space, but make it as long as you feel necessary to fully express your views. Some of the articles here in Wikipedia are far longer than this, such as the one on Japanese (which I recommend, by the way).

For that matter, why do you think the number of words should be proportional to the number of people on one side or the other? That seems like a crude metric.

What is the big deal? You write your side, Storms writes our side. A few adjustments to blend them together and voila, problem solved. It seems like the present reverted version is close to what you support, so why don't you just tweak it a little?

I honestly do not see a problem here. This is working out well for everyone.

--JedRothwell 22:32, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

The point is the article for FA standards needs to stay around 40kb or below, so the space covering the arguments of your POV is limited, and still needs to conform to NPOV. So yes, as has been established, see what you can do in a temp page to merge an article that everyone can agree on. The below points are spot on too. - Taxman Talk 22:55, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Taxman writes: "The point is the article for FA standards needs to stay around 40kb or below . . ." I have seen articles here on television shows and rock groups that were longer than that! But OKAY aready, if you insist, you go ahead and write 35 KB of skeptical blather, I will reduce Storms from 17 KB down to 15 KB. Would that be acceptable?
Why are you so obsessed with word counts, anyway? It seems to me that if you are truly convinced you are right, you could express your point of view in a short, elegant segment no longer than Storms, and convince everyone. Why does the number of words have to be so much larger? Do you think a mass of verbiage will be more impressive to the reader?
For that matter, what can you possibly say that will take up 35 KB? You cannot point to a single experimental paper. You have no body of literature to point to. Your only real statement is that you do not believe any of the experiments are correct. What more is there to say? How many ways can you say that? The present reverted article seems to cover all skeptical arguments, as far as I can tell, and it is 17 KB. (About 5 KB is non-skeptical, so it can be cut.) Huizenga sums up his arguments in a few paragraphs at the end of his book. His argument boils down to this: 'theory overrules experiments.' If you agree, say so and have done with it. --JedRothwell 23:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Comments on general policy

Having had an edit conflict, but finding the same thing come up again and again, I'll make some general points here:

Jed/OO seem to be suggesting: "its referenced, therefore it should be in the article" - this is one of the standard arguments of minority view pushing, and its wrong. Its backwards. Anything in the article should be referenceable/supportable. But just because it can be ref'd doesn't mean it belongs. The problem is balance - minority views should be represented in rough proportion to their acceptance by science. In this case, from the publication record, its clear that CF is very fringe indeed. Jed seems to be suggesting that the two "sides" simply write competing versions. This is not acceptable.

Experts and balance: Storms is very clearly pushing a fringe viewpoint. If he has any PR papers on CF, I don't see any evidence for them: http://www.nde.lanl.gov/cf/iccf6ab.htm for example is not from a journal. Nor does User:ObsidianOrder/Cold_fusion list any. The balance in the NPOV policy refers to the balance of papers in the literature, not to you finding one pet expert.

The primary decider of scientific content (as far as wiki is concerned) is presence in the literature. CF just isn't there.

William M. Connolley 22:46, 3 January 2006 (UTC).

Don't get rid of the external links section. It is very useful to anyone wanting to learn about this subject. I don't know why the current external links section was removed? Rock_nj

William M. Connolley writes:

Jed/OO seem to be suggesting: "its referenced, therefore it should be in the article"

Actually, I am saying these are references published in peer-reviewed mainstream scientific journals. I believe that is the usual standard of excellence and credibility, but perhaps Connolley has some other standard in mind.

The problem is balance - minority views should be represented in rough proportion to their acceptance by science.

FINE! Good. Great. Storms has 31 references, so Connolley should please go find 310 references to support his point of view. Or 3,100. However many he wants would be okay with me. As far as I know only two skeptical papers have appeared in peer-reviewed journals in the last 16 years, but maybe Connolley knows of many others. (It is not for me to judge what is "skeptical" and what supports his point of view.)

As I said the word count or number of references seems like an odd metric, but if that is what you want, please be my guest and add all the references you like.

By the way, Storms published in Fusion Technology and J. Alloys and Compounds. I do not know why they are not listed at the LANL site. As for "experts and balance" everyone on our side considers Storms an expert. ("Everyone" includes several hundred researchers and the people who have downloaded 450,000 papers from LENR-CANR.org. Storms is a clear favorite with both.)

We will pick our experts and you pick yours. Don't quibble with our choices, or we will insist you quote Huizenga and Taubes -- and you don't want to go there.

--JedRothwell 23:02, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Its a bit unclear to me whether you're being deliberately silly here, or just genuinely don't understand. Firstly, Storms has 31 refs - oh yes - but #4 is the retraction of a claim made in #3, and a pile of others are from "Infinite Energy" which is not a reputable journal, several are www.LENR-CANR.org, one is to Kuhn! (a reputable book, but hardly to be counted as pro-CF). Storms wouldn't be citing things like that, and conference papers, if there was a solid body of real peer-reviewed literature. Why not, as an exercise, hack out all the goo and the dribble from that ref list and leave only peer-reviewed journal articles from the last 5 years and see what you're left with. William M. Connolley 23:10, 3 January 2006 (UTC).
Storms can reference anything he wants, and you can reference anything you want, and the readers will decide which is more credible. Okay? Do you have a problem with that? Probably the reason he referenced the stuff at Infinite Energy is because it is available on line whereas most of the journals papers are not. (Because of copyright issues). --JedRothwell 23:15, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
A journal does not have to be online to be referenced. - FrancisTyers 23:42, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Sure. I think Ed selected mainly on-line resources to make it easier for the reader to find out more. --JedRothwell 02:20, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

-- Why do you [deleted insult for the sake of civility - WMC] skeptics keep deleting the Resource Links section? There is nothing controversial about providing links to relevant webpages that discuss the cold fusion controversy to some extant or another. The Resource Links are not related to the ongoing controversy surrounding the content of the Cold Fusion article, so please leave the links along. Please stop deleting this useful resource. Rock nj 03:16, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

There are issues with that section: various pro-CF websites are described as journals, for example. There's probably more. It needs a cleanup. William M. Connolley 09:36, 4 January 2006 (UTC).
William - if it needs a cleanup, by all means clean it up! How does "needs a cleanup" translate into "delete it all"? You deleted among other things a link to the original P&F paper, for crying out loud! I started out assuming good faith, but this is just completely unreasonable. It's really beginning to look like an attempt to sweep under the rug inconvenient references (like for example the complete 2004 DoE reviewers' comments). I don't think that will work, though. ObsidianOrder 11:06, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
ObsidianOrder - Right on. There are issues regarding the content of the article that need to be addressed. But to just erase two years worth of External Links, many of them extremely relevent to the topic of cold fusion and anyone looking for more information about this topic and the saga behind it, seems to be going well beyond the bounds of editorial housecleaning, more like a wholesale purge. There is no need to withhold informational links in a public forum like Wikipedia, as long as they are relevant to the article. Rock nj 14:12, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Was interwoven, will be top-bottom

Before this article was revised, it included pro and con points of view mixed together in each section, and sometimes in one paragraph. It was actually a rather civil and balanced article. Most of the time, both sides were careful not to whack the other. The only problem was, the article was awkward, repetitive, too long, and hard to read. So I asked Ed Storms to write a better version of our side. He actually reduced the overall text devoted to the supporter’s point of view.

Now I have a simple suggestion: we present the same material, only rearranged to make it easier to read. Skeptics first, supporters next. Instead of interweaving we present them top to bottom. Of course it would be fine if the skeptics make minor changes or corrections to the Storms text, but in general, we should respect our turf just as we did before. It is divided up a little differently, that's all.

This is the same proposal above, and I've pointed out there why it isn't acceptable. Do you really think that just repeating the same thing again and again will work? William M. Connolley 09:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC).
Seriously Jed, repeating the same thing over and over and trying to win your argument solely by volume isn't going to be effective anymore. Please learn to be concise and don't repeat the same things that have been shown to be spurious. Learn how Wikipedia works before you keep proposing things that have been shown over and over not to meet Wikipedia policies. - Taxman Talk 14:21, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
You misunderstand: I was just kidding. I am surprised you did not pick up on comments such as "he is our pet." Does that sound serious to you? I know perfectly well that you will not allow any cold fusion researchers to contribute to this article, and I will not waste any more time trying. --JedRothwell 14:41, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

The skeptics feel that they in the majority and they should have a larger share of the article.

No. As explained above (are you really this bad at reading?) most of us feel that CF lacks any real support in the scientific literature and that this should be reflected in the balance of the article. William M. Connolley 09:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC).

I doubt they really are a majority, but okay, they can write up to 35 KB of their arguments, and they can have the top spot. They can preserve every single sentence in the present reverted version. Better yet, they can strip away all remaining arguments in favor of cold fusion in the current version. They can add back in several arguments that were cut. They can add more undocumented history from 1989.

Why is this such a big deal? Why are there such loud objections? Why is it "unacceptable"? Everyone agreed we need an expert, so I persuaded Ed Storms, one of the leading experts, to write a draft. Now OBVIOUSLY the skeptics, who do not believe one word about cold fusion, will consider Storms to be misguided, incompetent, crazy or what-have-you. They think everyone who is in any way associated with the field must be incompetent. They think that all papers about cold fusion are "goo and dribble."

Sigh. You're moving off into aggressive-defensive. I didn't say *all* such are goo and dribble - I pointed out that your proud count of 31 refs in Storms draft included a lot of stuff that were not proper peer-reviewed papers. I challenged you Why not, as an exercise, hack out all the goo and the dribble from that ref list and leave only peer-reviewed journal articles from the last 5 years and see what you're left with - so... why don't you? William M. Connolley 09:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC).
Nope. Not aggressive defensive. I find you funny & pathetic but nothing to be upset about. I am miffed only with myself, for wasting so much time. Although I must say, the next time you go to the trouble to add 40 footnotes to an article, please let me know and I will go delete them for you. I should have known that one of you people would do this. You can tolerate only your own point of view, and you are allergic to facts. You will not allow dissent, dialog or views that are not strictlly according to what Nature or Sci. Am. dictate. --JedRothwell 23:20, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Why is that a problem? If I were a skeptic, I would want the supporters to present "goo and dribble." They claim that Storms is a "pet expert." So what if he is? He is our pet, not yours. Just about everyone on our side agrees with him. If you think he is incompetent, you should be glad we cannot find anyone better. Why do you care who we select to write our side of the argument? If this were a debate between, let us say, Creationists and biologists, why would the biologists feel upset if the Creationists managed to persuade the person they considered their top expert to write the article?

If you want an expert skeptic, go ask Huizenga, Taubes or Robert Park to write your part, or simply use the material that is already there in the reverted article. It just needs a little brushing up and it will be a clear statement of your beliefs. Or I can send you the last page of Huizenga's book and you can quote it. Or keep every word as is -- you decide.

I cannot understand why anyone would complain about this arrangement. Frankly, I think that the skeptics want to eliminate all material written by supporters. If Storms is not satisfactory to them, no one will be. They want to have this entire article supporting their point of view only. That, I gather, is against the rules in this forum.

--JedRothwell 03:21, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

No. The NPOV rules of wiki clearly state that the balance of the article should reflect, roughly, the weight of scientific opinion (in those bits which are describing disputed bits). That isn't done by presenting two competing versions and letting the reader decide which they prefer. William M. Connolley 09:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC).
And you have no idea what the weight of scientific opinion might be. You claim you know, but only two objective measurments have been made: 1. A poll of Japanese researchers a few years ago; and 2. The DoE panel review. Both showed that scientific opinion is sharply divided, and about even on both sides.
Let us drop this discussion. I will let you take over the article and upload any nonsense that crosses your mind. --JedRothwell 14:38, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

totallydisputed - Problems with the FA version

  1. FIXED "most scientists believe that there is no proof of cold fusion in these experiments" - source?
  2. FIXED "A majority of scientists consider this research to be pseudoscience" - source? (this is actually repeated twice)
  3. FIXED "Unfortunately, no "cold" fusion experiments that gave an otherwise unexplainable net release of energy have so far been reproducible." - factually incorrect, see McKubre 1994 etc.
  4. "claimed that there was a "secret" to the experiment" - source?
  5. "electrical heater to generate pulses of heat and calibrate the heat loss due to the gas outlet" - this statement displays simply astonishing ignorance of how indirect isoperibolic calorimetry works; it is wrong in about six different ways.
  6. FIXED "The level of neutrons, tritium and 3He actually observed in Fleischmann-Pons experiment have been well below the level expected in view of the heat generated" - factually incorrect, see Miles 1993 etc. (update: or rather, correct by omission - the level is below that expected for D+D->T+p or D+D->3He+n, but consistent with a primarily D+D->4He reaction)
  7. FIXED "the power balance over the whole experiment does not show significant imbalances" - absolutely factually incorrect, see Storms 2001 or any report on successful reproduction of P&F-type experiments.

and that's just a quick read-through, and I'm not even including what is missing (any info on the reported transmutation products by Iwamura et al, just to pick a random example). For those reasons, I'm tagging this totallydisputed. ObsidianOrder 11:28, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I'll start with your points 1 & 2. And return to the challenge I set Jed: how many of the papers from Storms list-of-31 are valid journal papers from the past 5 years? The answer turns out to be one, Iwamura, Y., M. Sakano, and T. Itoh, Elemental Analysis of Pd Complexes: Effects of D2 Gas Permeation. Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. A, 2002. 41: p. 4642. lenr-canr.org/acrobat/IwamuraYelementalaa.pdf] And of course the significant thing about that paper is... that it isn't about cold fusion. So really the answer is zero. So, cold fusion as a topic is simply absent from valid research journals.
The article clearly needs to say something about how mainstream science views CF. Perhaps psuedo-science is a bit harsh. It would be fairer to say that most simply ignore it as being of no interest. So we could replace A majority of scientists consider this research to be pseudoscience with something more specific: how about: Mainstream science ignores cold fusion; there are no recent peer-reviewed journal publications on the subject?
William M. Connolley 21:39, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

William M. Connolley writes: "So, cold fusion as a topic is simply absent from valid research journals." Is there a statute of limitations for physics and chemistry? After 5 years, scientific papers are no longer valid? That would mean Einstein's theories, for example, are defunct. There are two very good reasons why few papers on cold fusion have not been published lately. The first is exactly the same as the reason Einstein has not published lately: most cold fusion researchers are dead or incapacitated. They were old men in 1989 and they are older now -- or dead. The second reason Mr. Connolley can discover by looking in a mirror. Many of the editors and opinion makers are just like him. They know nothing about the subject, they have read nothing, but they condemn it out of hand, and they invent outrageous reasons for doing so, such as claiming that papers over 5 years old no longer matter. The editor of the Scientific American is a prime example. You can see from the letters he wrote to me, here: lenr-canr.org/AppealandSciAm.pdf] He brags that he knows nothing and he will not look at the data! In a sane world he would be ashamed. The times are out of joint. --JedRothwell 00:17, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
That is a pretty good proposal. I have no problem with that (although I would say "few" rather than "no" - would you like a list? also, to nitpick, the Iwamura paper is very much about cold fusion of D in Pd, just in a non-electrochemical type experiment). However, a more complete statement would be something along the lines of "After a number of prominent individuals and organizations (list: Nature, Sci Am, Parks, Huizenga ...) made comments (cite) describing cold fusion as a pseudoscience, it has become a taboo subject in physics, and it is very hard, or in some publications forbidden by policy (cite) to publish cold fusion papers. Nonetheless, there are a number of prominent scientists (list: Brian Josephson, Julian Schwinger, ...) who are outspoken proponents of cold fusion, and work in the field continues with support from a number of institutions (list) in different countries. Most current work on cold fusion is now presented at regular cold fusion conferences (ICCF)." ObsidianOrder 22:10, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Well a list of prominent people/orgs who have said CF is psuedoscience would be a good idea. Taboo is wrong... it would seem more natural to say that it becaome unpopular. If some journals have policies against publishing CF (a bit like the US patent offie won't allow perp motion machines, perhaps) that would be worth recording too. Not happy with the Nonetheless onwards. William M. Connolley 22:44, 5 January 2006 (UTC).
Yes, I think it's worth recording too. This is just the kind of thing the article needs (meticulously supported by cites, of course). I think "taboo" is accurate, but if you want to rephrase that, go ahead. I'm thinking for example of the treatment that Bockris was subjected to [1] and similar events elsewhere. Regarding the second part - what about it are you not happy about? Ok, using "nonetheless" to contrast it to the first part is a bit of editorializing, but it is all factual, is it not? ObsidianOrder 23:37, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Regarding your question about papers in mainstream peer-reviewed publications in the last 5 years, I made a list for you: User:ObsidianOrder/Cold fusion biblio. From one point of view, considering the potential significance of the field, that is not much. From another point of view, it is a hell of a lot for a "pseudoscience". Considering the effective ban on publishing cold fusion papers, it is somewhat absurd to judge the field by their relatively small number. You have to also consider tech reports like this Szpak et al, SPAWAR/US Navy, 2002 (highly recommended, by the way - and it's another reference that was deleted by your revert), and the ICCF proceedings. Ok, so they're not "peer-reviewed journal articles" but they do carry some weight. ObsidianOrder 01:36, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

The recent edits by Maury and William have been an improvement, in that they have adressed #1 and one of the instances of #2 on my list. The rest of the problems are still there, however. I am putting back the totallydisputed tag. I am hopeful that the rest of these problems can and will be addressed without a huge ruckus, it will just take us some time and work to get there. However the current version of the article is not ok. Please leave the tag for now, and let the "other side" judge when it should be removed. (although actually I prefer not to think of myself as being on the other side, we're all in this together, right? ;) ObsidianOrder 22:41, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok, quite a lot of stuff was fixed (but not all). I note those in the list above. However Lumidex and WMC just introduced a bunch of other problematic statements:

  • FIXED "the panel is convinced that the experiment is flawed while it admits a very hypothetical chance..." - POV. they have never said the experimental results were all in error.
  • FIXED "why "chemical labs" cannot help us to achieve fusion" - POV.

I tried to write a compromise section but it was reverted. I think this is gonna have a totallydisputed tag forever, at this rate :( ObsidianOrder 00:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I went and fixed a couple of these. I think what remains now is mostly technical issues, hence we probably don't need the tag. I removed it. (Unless anyone disagrees?) ObsidianOrder 22:31, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Suggestions for improvement

One: I strongly object to the FA version but I will not revert it. Let's work on making a better article instead. However, while this version is up, it's gonna have the totallydisputed tag (because it is - see above, also see this entire discussion).

Nope. Its not totally disputed, and you don't get to add the tag just cos you're presistent. William M. Connolley 18:52, 4 January 2006 (UTC).
William - yes, it is disputed. I have described specific serious problems with this version. You have not even tried to respond to the issues I brought up about this version, and neither has anyone else. Other editors are disputing it as well, as should be extremely obvious from this talk page. Heck, well-known experts in the field are disputing it. Your original revert to the old FA version was counterproductive and heavy-handed, and it does not in any way represent consensus, since (1) the FA removal vote was not about a revert and (2) the votes for a revert just aren't there if you count them anyway. In any event, I have refrained from reverting the page as a whole in the hopes of avoiding an edit war and moving forward. However, removing a npov/disputed tag when there is an active ongoing dispute is just not done (see WP:AD and WP:NPOVD). What you're doing is wrong. Please stop. ObsidianOrder 19:27, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, let's recap: I added the totallydisputed flag for reasons which I explained right here, at Talk:Cold fusion#Problems with the FA version, exactly as I'm supposed to as per WP:AD. Those include both factual and POV problems, therefore totallydisputed is the correct tag. They are also very serious, since some of the key claims in this version of the article are not sourced at all (and perhaps cannot be sourced). There are other editors which I beleieve would agree with the tag. William M. Connolley has reverted it three times, with the following explanations: "Its not totally disputed, and you don't get to add the tag just cos you're presistent.", "rm'ing unjustified totallydisputed tag", "Nope, its not justified by the talk." and "you haven't justified it, and this is an FA"; and FrancisTyers reverted it once with "removing tag per WMC". Whether an article was FA has absolutely nothing to do with whether it should have a disputed tag (unless you can point to a policy that says otherwise? no?). I've made a substantive criticism; you haven't responded to my criticism at all, or done anything else to attempt to reach a consensus; obviously as it stands now there is no consensus; but you think it's appropriate for you to remove the tag? What makes you think that? Just saying "not justified" is not good enough. If the problems I point to above are not enough justification for you, what would be? In case you guys need a refresher on Wikipedia policy and customs, you may want to read Wikipedia talk:NPOV dispute which discusses when it is appropriate to remove a tag. ObsidianOrder 01:02, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Two: A version based on the Storms draft is at User:ObsidianOrder/Cold fusion. This includes a verbatim copy of the references from before the FA revert, the Storms writeup and references with some possibly POV parts removed or changed, the "Other kinds of fusion" from the FA, and a rewritten intro based on the FA intro which I hope should get no objections from either side. You are all invited to look it over. Please point out anything you think is a NPOV or other problem here. You may edit it constructively, but no reverts please - this is my user space, and I don't have time for edit warring. I will try to take edits into account and build a reasonable consensus version. I would like this to become the active version of the article in the relatively near term, unless anyone can point out unfixable problems with it.

Three: An outline of a completely new version is at User:ObsidianOrder/Cold fusion redux. This would, I hope, cover all sides of the subject considerably better than what exists now. (and please, don't try to pidgeonhole me as a "cold fusion advocate" or whatever. I am genuinely interested in the truth, and I think none of the versions we have at the moment does justice to either side, even aside from being pretty muddled writing). Again, feel free to edit, but no reverts. I intend to write this up referencing every single detail as I go along. For now, think just about the outline, and possibly brief bullet points about what would go in. This is a somewhat longer term project, but I think it can result in a radical improvement all around.

ObsidianOrder 18:39, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

You're welcome to create a version in your userspace for you (and perhaps your friends) to edit. But since you control it, you can't really expect others to want to edit it too; or to watch it; nor can you take other peoples silence on it as endorsement. The other way is to create a sub-page here called "tmp" or somesuch. But then you don't get to control it. William M. Connolley 19:19, 4 January 2006 (UTC).
That is a valid concern. You're jumping a bit ahead though, considering I haven't actually undone any edits yet ;) It was my intention to move the page out of userspace once I felt it is ready. If you prefer I do so now, I'd be happy to, but I am sincerely hoping to avoid the back-and-forth edits of the type you and I are currently engaged in over the totallydisputed tag. As much as possible, I will not revert, I will leave alone or rewrite instead. Fair? Anyway, the version incorporating the Storms draft is now at Cold fusion/tmp. Edit away. ObsidianOrder 19:35, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Message sent to HelpDesk

This is probably a total waste of time, but I sent the following message to helpdesk-l@wikimedia.org. People who know a lot about Wikipedia might wish to forward it to other addresses. --JedRothwell 15:41, 5 January 2006 (UTC)


As you probably know, cold fusion is a very controversial subject. Until this week, the Wikipedia article on this subject contained a balance of statements from people who do not believe that cold fusion exists, and statements by cold fusion researchers who think that it does exist. The researchers and I added 40 references to experimental literature, mainly papers in peer-reviewed, mainstream journals (not those devoted only to cold fusion.)

Unfortunately, this week one of the opponents deleted all of this work, and he will not even allow us to add a tag saying this article is disputed. We consider it technically inaccurate and biased, but we are not even allowed to post a single sentence to this effect. We have never deleted or distorted the claims of opponents, but only clarified why we consider them technically incorrect. (See example below.)

Please note that the researchers include many of the world's top electrochemists, two Nobel Laureates, a Fellow of the Royal Society and so on. I added some relevant, uncontroversial quotes from a deceased Nobel Laureate regarding theory and reproducibility, but the opponents deleted these along with everything else. I believe that comment by someone like this represents a "significant viewpoint" but opponents will not allow it.

If you allow this to go unchallenged, I think it shows the Wikipedia cannot support an honest, fair debate about a truly controversial subject.


Jed Rothwell

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT WAS DELETED. This discussion about energy storage versus production is vital. It is one of the most important aspects of cold fusion.


Energy source vs power store

While the output power is higher than the input power during the power burst, the power balance over the whole experiment does not show significant imbalances. Since the mechanism under the power burst is not known, one cannot say whether energy is really produced, or simply stored during the early stages of the experiment (loading of deuterium in the Palladium cathode) for later release during the power burst.

A "power store" discovery would have much less value than an "energy source" one, especially if the stored power can only be released in the form of heat.


Energy source vs. power store

Some skeptics hypothesize that while the output power is higher than the input power during the power burst, the power balance over the whole experiment does not show significant imbalances. (In other words, each positive exothermic power burst is balanced by a previous period of negative power, or endothermic storage.) Since the mechanism under the power burst is not known, one cannot say whether energy is really produced, or simply stored during the early stages of the experiment (during the loading of deuterium in the palladium cathode) for later release during the power burst. A "power store" discovery would yield only a new, and very expensive, kind of storage battery, not a source of abundant cheap fusion power.

However, this cannot be the case, because large endothermic storage is not observed. When the experiment begins, there are a few hours of endothermic storage as the palladium is loaded, and this is readily detected. (A calorimeter measures a heat deficit as accurately as it measures excess heat.) In most bulk palladium electrochemical experiments, this is followed by an incubation period of 10 to 20 days, during which there is neither excess heat nor storage. Following that, there is continuous excess heat production, which often continues longer than the incubation period, and produces far more energy than the initial endothermic storage. "Isothermal Flow Calorimetric Investigations of the D/Pd System" shows typical examples. [REF McKubre0] Since the excess heat is easily detected, at a high signal to noise ratio, if there were an initial endothermic storage phase to balance it, this would be even easier to detect, because it would have to be larger.

Furthermore, this energy storage hypothesis would violate the laws of physics, because most cells produce far more energy than any known chemical storage mechanism would permit. Chemical processes store (or produce) at most 12 eV per atom of reactant, whereas many cold fusion experiments have produced hundreds of eV per atom of cathode material, and some have produced ~100,000 eV per atom.

Finally, many researchers, notably Kainthla et al. [REF Kainthla] and McKubre et al. [REF McKubre1] have conducted careful inventories of chemical fuel and potential storage mechanisms in cold fusion cells, and they have found neither fuel nor spent ash that could account for more than a tiny fraction of the excess heat. Since many cells have released large amounts of energy, a megajoule or more, this chemical fuel would have to be present in macroscopic amounts. In fact, in many cases the volume of ash would greatly exceed the entire cell volume. These issues of energy storage and chemical fuel hypotheses have been discussed in the literature exhaustively. See, for example, "A Response to the Review of Cold Fusion by the DoE", section II.1.2.[REF Storms]

Jed - unfortunately there are just two ways to do something here: (a) talk (and try to reach common ground) or (b) edit things you think are wrong. Appeal to higher authority doesn't usually work ;) The current reversion to an article from over a year ago is wrong, don't take it as the "word of god". It was done by just a couple of people (William M. Connolley, FrancisTyers and Taxman - who has indicated he could possibly support a version based on the Storms draft). There are about the same number of people who support a different version: me, you, Rock_nj, and judging from the past talk history quite a number of other people who just don't happen to be editing the article actively right now. This doesn't have to stand. You don't like it, change it ;) I think I would wait a decent period (a few days) for comments on the Storms draft, then change over to that. If people simply revert it without talking, well, I recommend to revert them right back :( ObsidianOrder 16:28, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

ObsidianOrder writes:
"Jed - unfortunately there are just two ways to do something here: (a) talk (and try to reach common ground) . . ."
There is no common ground. Our side believes in the scientific method and the primacy of experiments over theory; their side believes in voodoo and mob rule.
". . . or (b) edit things you think are wrong."
The whole article is wrong -- it is a travesty. I will not waste another moment editing things that are wrong. It is obvious that opponents will simply erase my work. I will not get into a mud fight with pigs.
"Appeal to higher authority doesn't usually work ;)"
Well, who knows, it might work in this case. Cold fusion is widely known to be controversial. It is worth a letter. There is no point to dicussing this issue with ignorant barbarians who will not even bother read the literature they attack.
--JedRothwell 16:37, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Jed, please don't make personal attacks. I remember warning you about this before. Personal attacks are against Wikipedia policy. Please try to be civil. - FrancisTyers 16:53, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Francis - technically that is not a personal attack, since it is not directed at a specific person. I seem to recall fairly similar comments at Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates/Cold fusion. I might point out that removing a dispute tag when there is a very active ongoing dispute is also against Wikipedia policy. ObsidianOrder 17:13, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi, I'd like to point out that I reverted once and have not reverted since. I would also like to point out that it is a personal attack and I have warned him about them before, as I have warned many other people about making personal attacks. Thanks :) - FrancisTyers 17:17, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

FrancisTyers writes, "please don't make personal attacks." That wasn't a personal attack. I do not know what person deleted all of the content and swept away my 40 footnotes, so I cannot attack him. My comment about "voodoo and mob rule" applies to all opponents, with strict impartiality. I do not insult any one them personally, but rather all of them, en mass. That appears to be perfectly okay judging by what they write about cold fusion researchers. (Or is it only okay for them to insult us?) My comment about mud wrestling with pigs is a folk expression, not an attack, and in any case I am fond of pigs and would not attack them. They are sweet animals, but you do not want to wrestle with one. --JedRothwell 23:55, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

And the Help Desk mailing list (or at least, myself) responded with a suggestion that the emailer review the [resolution] process. User:Zoe|(talk) 19:00, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes you did, and promptly too. Thanks! The people at "Dispute Resolution" redirected me to some other section of Wikipedia. I feel somewhat lost in the bureaucracy, and I do not understand the section where the fellow at "Dispute Resolution" wants me to go to, so I asked him to please forward the message to whom it may concern. See:
You have a daunting thicket of procedures & departments here at Wikipedia, I must say. --JedRothwell 23:55, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
You wanted a request for comment, which ObsidianOrder has done below. Now we talk. There's no higher authority than talking for content disputes. -- SCZenz 02:58, 6 January 2006 (UTC)


I posted this as an RfC [2]. Please comment here. It is also posted on WikiProject Physics [3]. There is quite a bit of discussion at the featured article removal vote [4]. ObsidianOrder 02:49, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Summary of the dispute

  • 1. JedRothwell posted a draft of a version written by Edmund Storms, a retired Los Alamos scientist and well-known researcher in the field. The latest draft is at Cold fusion/tmp.
  • 2. Article was listed as Featured Article Removal Candidate by Noren. The vote so far [5] indicates the article will probably lose its featured status.
  • 3. William M. Connolley reverted [6] the article to a version dating back to 2004-08-20, claiming consensus for a revert from the FA removal discussion.


The main point I'm interested is how to move forward. Obviously, I'd like to see the Storms draft Cold fusion/tmp adopted, since in my opinion it is much better all around than either the current reverted version or the pre-revert version. For one thing, it is very meticulously sourced. Yes, it still has a few lingering NPOV problems, we can fix those. I have solicited comments and edits to the draft, but have so far received absolutely none (aside from links to online papers contributed by Jed). If you see specific problems with the draft, or have a reason why it is bad in general, please list it here. ObsidianOrder 03:16, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

The introduction of this temporary article grossly understates the degree to which the majority of the scientific community disbelieves, and therefore ignores, cold fusion. "It's a subject of controversey" just isn't accurate. That's as far as I've got, but I think that's enough to make the discussion lively. -- SCZenz 03:27, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

AGAIN let me ask: How do you know what the majority of the scientific community believes? Do you have any data from a poll, or any other objective data? You are making an assertion here without a shred of evidence to back it up. The only poll I know of regarding cold fusion was taken by a Japanese science magazine years ago, and it showed that professional scientists were split evenly on the subject. The only thing resembling a poll taken in the U.S. lately is the DoE panel review, and it too was split evenly, although the DoE misrepresented that fact in its summary. If you want to say the majority of journal editors appear to be hostile toward cold fusion, that is true and I have plenty of evidence for it. If you want to say that a noisy and assertive group of skeptics at Wikipedia and elsewhere oppose cold fusion even though they know nothing about it, that is also self evident. But these facts tell us nothing about the larger scientific community. I have spoken to hundreds of scientists about cold fusion. People have visited LENR-CANR 780,000 times in the last few years and downloaded 450,000 papers. Visitors have contacted me from hundreds of universities and national laboratories in ~30 different countries. They have set up a "mirror site" at Tsinghua U., one of the world's most oustanding technical universities. Never, in all this time, has a single one of these people expressed any hostility or disbelief toward the subject. On the contrary, they are supportive and the only thing they ask for is more information.
Let me add that this imaginary assertion of yours, about what scientists believe, has nothing to do with cold fusion itself. If you going to discuss this, you should put it in another article about social problems and the dysfunctional behavior of scientists. Including it here is like discussing paranoid fear of airplanes in an engineering article an aircraft.
Furthermore, if you insist on describing the hostility of the journal and magazine editors, then you should cite the letters from the editor of Sci. Am. to me, in which he boasts that he has read nothing about cold fusion. Robert Park also brags about the fact that he has never bothered to read a paper, and Taubes wrote a whole book that does list a single reference, even though thousands of papers had been published when he wrote it. These are major scientific leaders and some of the loudest voices attacking cold fusion, and they themselves brag that they know nothing about the subject! By the conventional, traditional standards of science, these people are crazy. --JedRothwell 15:43, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Hey Jed - keep your cool ;) I for one would really like some sources on journals that have an explicit policy of not publishing CF papers (or whose editors have said so off the record, or expressed hostility otherwise). Ok, the SciAm editor is one data point, are there more? ObsidianOrder 20:19, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Miles and others have sent me letters from time to time from various journals saying their policy is to reject cold fusion papers without peer review. I could probably dig up copies, but it does not seem important. You can contact most journals and they will confirm that is their policy. They will also repeat verbatim the nonsense the skeptics spout here, such as "cold fusion was never replicated" and "no peer-reviewed papers were every published." The latest editorial attacks by Nature and Sci Am. are listed here: lenr-canr.org/News.htm]. Two things are obvious from these attacks: 1. They are unalterably opposed and they will not publish a paper about cold fusion, or even a letter -- even one from a Nobel laureate; 2. They know nothing about cold fusion. Regarding the early history of cold fusion rejections, someone gave me an interesting memo from the Patent Office dated June 5, 1989, describing how they will intercept (and deny) all applications relating to cold fusion in the "preexamination screening process." --JedRothwell 21:52, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I think this is actually very important. If you can dig up copies of some of those letters and make them available on lenr-canr.org that would be great, I'll make sure they're mentioned. Also if you could make available the patent office memo? Thanks! ObsidianOrder 22:27, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, let's assume you're right. How would you write it? There are no polls conducted on what the scientific community thinks about this, as far as I know. The fact that it is a subject of controversy is trivially easy to source; "majority disbelieves" is impossible to source. Anyway, I'm open to suggestions. ObsidianOrder 03:30, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
How about the major peer-reviewed journals that don't publish anything on cold fusion? There are facts there that can be cited. -- SCZenz 04:16, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree. This should be documented. There are two sides to that: on the one hand, there are a number of journals that generally do publish such papers [7], with Japanese Journal of Applied Physics and Journal of Electroanalythical Chemistry being perhaps the most influential of those; on the other hand many journals have an implied or stated policy to reject such papers without reviewing them (unfortunately I don't have a reference for that handy, but it shouldn't be too hard to find). The latter category includes many of the top journals such as Nature. For a more pessimistic assessment: "According to an estimate by David Nagel at the Naval Research Laboratory, only four of approximately 5,000 academic journals worldwide will consider papers that mention low-temperature fusion." [8] (but also presumably most of the 5000 are not in fields relevant to this topic) ObsidianOrder 05:48, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I followed that link; its just a list of journals, not papers: we have to take that list on faith, and I'm not about to. The first two I tried aren't even on the ISI index. Storms cited 31 papers; not one was from a P-R journal of the last 5 years; I find that rather telling. JJAP has an impact factor of 1.142; JEAC manages somewhat better at 2.228. These are not high-ranking journals. William M. Connolley 21:28, 6 January 2006 (UTC).
William - you said there were literally no publications in p-r journals in the past 5 years;

No. I said that the Storms paper didn't refer to any. I presume that means that none of them are terribly important?

No, you said "how about: Mainstream science ignores cold fusion; there are no recent peer-reviewed journal publications on the subject?". I think I have successfuly demonstrated that is inaccurate; the fair statement would be "few". I can't presume to guess why Storms picked what he picked. ObsidianOrder 23:38, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I didn't assert it; I threw it out as a suggested text. Its clear that "no" is wrong, though I don't think you're doing a good job because you keep bulking out your lists with dubious stuff. William M. Connolley 22:44, 7 January 2006 (UTC).
Ok, I think we're mostly in agreement then. ObsidianOrder 01:17, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I gave you a list User:ObsidianOrder/Cold fusion biblio.

Ah. So many comments, Some get missed. Sorry. William M. Connolley 23:03, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Case closed? Those two journals are not top-ranking, but they are high-ranking for their fields, in particular JJAP is easily the top physics journal in Japan afaik. By the way, add a couple more: Naturwissenschaften and Europhysics Letters. Nobody is trying to argue that it is easy to publish CF papers in most journals. It is, however, quite possible to publish them in some journals with good reputations, and quality papers do get published. That is all i was trying to say. ObsidianOrder 22:01, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

No, case not at all closed. Its a list of... what? "Clarke, W. B. (2001) Search for 3He and 4He in Arata-Style Palladium Cathodes I: A Negative Result. Fusion Sci. & Technol. 40:" - is this supposed to support your case? Can JJAP be the top phys journal in Japan with an IF of 1.142? All that says is that Japan doesn't really have a native top-ranked phys journal, and there's nothing odd about that. William M. Connolley 23:03, 6 January 2006 (UTC).

Your perception of what is a high impact factor for physics is a bit off, see [9]. Europhysics Letters is probably somewhere in the top 10, with an impact factor around 2, and they do publish at least some CF papers. Again, I'm not saying that it is very easy to get published, but you have to acknowledge it is possible. ObsidianOrder 23:38, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
You're out of date. #10 is now 7.739; #20 is phys rev d at 5.156; Euro phys is #60. JJAP is #143. This is on the basis is searching all physics journals. William M. Connolley 22:44, 7 January 2006 (UTC).
Regarding taking the list on faith - I guarantee you that every one of those has published a cold fusion paper at least once ;) If you look you will easily find those papers, e.g. on lenr-canr.org. Granted, many of them probably haven't published anything in the past few years, but many were still publishing stuff ca 1994. For what it's worth ;) ObsidianOrder 22:01, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Errr, you're missing at least one point: as I said, the first two I checked weren't even proper journals, so the list has at the very least been bulked out. William M. Connolley 23:13, 6 January 2006 (UTC).

Yes, it's probably bulked out, hence my quote of David Nagel which presents an alternate view of the situation. ObsidianOrder 23:38, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Well it must be: cos if Nagel is right only 4 journals accept CF papers! Which of your claims (your list is useful, or that Nagel is correct) do you retract? William M. Connolley 22:44, 7 January 2006 (UTC).
I didn't claim anything aside from that there exist some reputable p-r journals which have published some CF papers in recent years. I pointed to Nagel and the newenergytimes list as possibly interesting, but hardly definitive, sources on the subject. I don't have to retract anything, they're not my claims ;) I would have to say that Nagel is closer to being right, although in my estimate (and as you can see from my list) it is probably something like 8-10 out of a few hundred, rather than 4 out of 5000 (for one, there simply aren't 5000 physics journals). I think we don't need to debate this further, we're basically in agreement; anything beyond this is just splitting hairs. ObsidianOrder 01:17, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

THIS REFERS TO ITEM 1. This is not part of the dispute as far as I am concerned. Storms & I do not care whether you use his draft or not. Someone posted a "tag" here saying they wanted a professional version of this article, so Storms wrote one as a favor, in the approved academic style. The content was pretty much the same as the version on Dec. 30, except it was shorter and better written. However, if the people do not want it, that is fine with us. The only dispute I have is that someone deleted everything that supports cold fusion and all of actual scientific content, leaving only imaginary skeptical dreck. --JedRothwell 15:25, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Jed - I think it is part of the dispute, from my point of view at least. Let's keep it there for now, it's informative at least. ObsidianOrder 20:19, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
See Jed, this is the real problem. You have this us against the world thing going on and instead of stepping away from your view and just characterizing the debate, you are stuck on taking sides. It's not helping the article. Cue the standard voluminous reply. - Taxman Talk 20:24, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I am characterizing the debate! The Storms draft has nothing to do with it. (ObsidianOrder thinks it does, but I do not see why . . .) Speaking for myself and Storms, we do not care whether you use it here or not. If the people here prefer the Dec. 30 version or the one ObsidianOrder is working on, that's fine. Also, I also would not care if 80% of the article is unsourced skeptical nonsense. My only objection is to unilaterally erasing statements made by supporters. As long as we get a word in edgewise I do not care what you say, or how much you say, or how badly it is written. --JedRothwell 21:56, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
At least we've established you don't care about improving the article or having it be well written as long as it promotes your POV. - Taxman Talk 18:09, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Taxman writes: "At least we've established you don't care about improving the article . . ." Of course I would like to improve the parts about the science of cold fusion. But why would I care about improving your portion of the article?!? On the contrary, I hope you stick to your present dismal standards. The article now contains only sloppy, half-baked hot air, rumors and nonsense that violates the laws of physics and chemistry, such as the claim that a chemical reaction can produce gigjoules per mole. It does not contain a single reference to the experimental literature. This is your "skeptical" POV. The only good thing about the article as it now stands is that anyone who knows some elementary physics can see that the skeptics are wrong. --JedRothwell 18:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Guys, let's be nice to each other, ok? I'm pretty sure that Jed does care about improving the article, what he said was just a rhetorical device to indicate he didn't think it was possible to do so. Obviously he is rather frustrated with the fact that a lot of useful information was deleted. Describing the Storms version as something that "promotes a POV" is hardly fair either. ObsidianOrder 19:05, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
You are wrong. Since the skeptics will not allow us to publish anything I hope they will add more of their own nonsense. The next best thing to improving the article would be to make it even worse than it is now. I was thinking about adding in some comments by Taubes and Park vilifying and ridiculing cold fusion. I doubt the skeptics will delete that. --JedRothwell 18:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

A few more general comments: The reason for the RfC is primarily because I feel the article could use more impartial editors who are involved in working towards a reasonable and more complete version. The listing at FARC drew in several new editors and has resulted in some fairly drastic changes, by editors who do not appear to be especially familiar with the subject (but maybe if they stick around they'll become more familiar ;) I may not like the specific changes but I do think we need more people looking at this and involved in improving it. Some issues to consider: What claims can be made, especially far-reaching claims like "the scientific community considers cold fusion to be ..." or "cold fusion is a ..."? What are acceptable sources? How much space to allocate to different parts of the article, for example history of the field/Pons&Fleischman vs current work vs theoretical objections? Should some of those go in their own sub-articles? ObsidianOrder 03:30, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes this is quite the trouble because citing lack of acceptance of an idea is quite difficult. Just the logical difficulty of proving nonexistence of an effect. It's always possble the effect exists, but it takes indisputable evidence to show that it is accepted, not the other way around. That's just how the scientific method works. The DoE review of what the proponents considered their best evidence and the fact that very few actually peer reviewed journals with any appreciable impact factor even take papers on the topic, pretty much lock it up I'd say. Pretty much everyone do not accept the effect as real fusion except the cold fusion proponents (that what number a couple hundred maybe). If cold fusion were accepted to the satisfaction of the scientific community the reaction to papers on the topic would be different. It's not and that's how we know it's not accepted, but the only citable things are the DoE review and the lack of influential publications on it and the lack of citations of CF papers in other influential papers other than for noting what claims are made. Add that to the fact that the theoretical models for cold fusion are not accepted and it's the combination that provide the backing for CF not being accepted yet. - Taxman Talk 20:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Ah, a meta-analysis. You base your opinion on a faulty summary of a sloppy analysis of a general review of selected papers. An opinion of an opinion of an opinion of an opinion of the literature. No, this is not “how we know it's not accepted” and what you are doing is not science. In science, you look at original sources and actual data. You consider the basic laws of physics and chemistry, and you think for yourself. Consider the autoradiograph I posted, which is one of hundreds. That evidence proves beyond a shadow of doubt that cold fusion is real, and that it is a nuclear effect. It outweighs the opinions of ten-thousand DoE officials and journal editors tied together. Widely replicated, high-sigma experimental data is the only standard of truth in science. It overrules everything else: all theory, all authority, all precedent. You have turned your back on the data, so what you are doing is not science. It is more akin to religion. --JedRothwell 04:30, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Finally, let me solicit comments on an outline for a complete rewrite of the whole article: User:ObsidianOrder/Cold fusion redux. I've tried to be reasonably impartial, but also to cover everything I felt was not covered in any version of this article, and to do so in a more organized and readable way. It's a long way from done, but I'd like to get some input on it now. ObsidianOrder 03:42, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

  • All that said the outline fits with the general position that cold fusion is not accepted, but still covers the fact that research is ongoing anyway and proponents claim success. As it should be, less space is given in the outline to the claims of proponents. The crux is going to be in how the outline is filled out. One specific comment is that an intro section is now deprecated because a proper lead section should give the overview and each section after that should simply cover an important point. Whatever is in the introduction should be refactored as needed to fit in other sections. - Taxman Talk 20:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Taxman - thank you. Yes, the intro heading is just a placeholder, it will go above the table of contents. On to the other comment - i prefer not to think of it as a pro-vs-con debate. I really want the objections to be explained as clearly and completely as possible, since that's important for anyone trying to evaluate the controversy for themselves. So I've tried to do that in the outline. I will try to continue doing that as it is filled out, but of course I hope you and others will help ;) So, in summary, do you think something based on that outline has potential? If it was just a straightforward expansion (each bullet point expanding to maybe a couple of sentences in the final version, and with cited sources as indicated), would you support that? ObsidianOrder 01:37, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

I've modified the intro to Cold fusion is the name for a postulated nuclear fusion reaction that is supposed to occur well below the temperature required for thermonuclear reactions adding the bits in bold. Without those, it asserts that CF works, which is the entire dispute. Per OO, I added some stuff about journal policy. William M. Connolley 21:20, 6 January 2006 (UTC).

journal policy - ok. intro - i think that's a bit of an example of bias in attribution. How about simply "Cold fusion is the name for a nuclear fusion reaction that is reported to occur ..."? That is literally correct, and does not imply anything. I don't think there was any assertion that CF works even before the modifications, simply that if it does work that's what it would be called. ObsidianOrder 23:55, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Why "is reported to occur"? Thats hardly neutral. Why are we selecting the reports of it occuring, as against the many more reporting that it doesn't occur? The reaction is postulated; this is literally correct, and doesn't imply that it does occur. William M. Connolley 22:44, 7 January 2006 (UTC).
"against the many more reporting that it doesn't occur" - whether it was "many more" is debatable. I would like to put together a full list of anyone who has tried to reproduce the effect, what exactly experiments they ran, what they have reported seeing, and whether anyone else has a done an independent analysis of their results. Then we can talk about this with some degree of confidence. For now I would set that issue aside. "postulate" means "1. To make claim for; demand. 2. To assume or assert the truth, reality, or necessity of, especially as a basis of an argument. 3. To assume as a premise or axiom; take for granted.". Meaning 1 is correct, meanings 2 and 3 are wrong, and the connotation of the word (which is primarily based on #3) is very wrong. Even "claimed" would be more neutral. "supposed to" is as clear an example of bias in attribution as you can ask for; it basically says the writer doesn't believe the claim. Anyway, regarding "why are we selecting the reports of it occuring" - because we are describing what it is, obviously; it may or may not exist, but if it exists, this is what it is. Even articles on Bigfoot, Loch Ness monster or UFOs don't have the kind of language you're proposing (they use "described as", "said to", and "defined as", respectively). ObsidianOrder 01:45, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Postulated: I meant sense 1. If I were pro-CF, I'd prefer postulated to claimed; but I don't mind. I've changed it to claimed. Supposed to: I've tried "would" instead. I really don't care too much about the exact langauge. But I disagree with you (and argue that LNM is wrong too) about what the language should be. Things that are in doubt should not be described with langauge that asserts their undoubted existence. I'm not going to go off to LNM though. I'm going to raise this point at Wikipedia_talk:Neutral_point_of_view#Language_style_question - I have my own opinion, but its a valid question and worth considering. William M. Connolley 19:15, 8 January 2006 (UTC).

The article is fine

After reading over the majority of the comments here on this page, I have to state that in my opinion the article in its current form is informative, interesting and balanced. I feel it does not require major surgery, although certainly cleanps and more information will definitely help it. I further agree that the version from Storms is biased, and versions suggesting CF to be total pseudoscience equally so.

As to the Storms version, I certainly think the ISSUES IN THE DEBATE section could be included, largely in its current form. As some have rightly pointed out, the "header" section under "Continuing efforts" seems highly arguable, and Storms has embedded a large number of emotional-based arguments in the text itself -- for instance "The stakes are now too high for trivial skepticism". But these can be easily removed without effecting the overall flow of the article, and the content within strikes me as an excellent overview of the topic in its current state of the art.

I argue for its inclusion.

Some have suggested (even in the block header on this page) that the history of the P&F experiment be condensed. As the primary author of that section, I have to argue against this. For one thing it runs to about one written page, which is hardly excessive for such a topic. But much more importantly, I think the Jones/P&F "argument" is absolutely vital to the understanding of the topic's cold reception in the scientific community. This is not the only concern, of course, but the "rush to publish" or "science by press release" that occured certainly taints the topic for many.

Does anyone disagree with this comment? I'm certainly open to the possibility that its not as important as I think it is.

Finally, I would argue that the Other kinds of fusion section could easily be reduced to a "see other" point form. This is an article on cold fusion, not other "coldish fusion" topics. Those are already listed in their proper place, the general fusion power article.

Maury 13:15, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I must strongly disagree with your characterization of the need for that much material on PF. First nearly the whole 'Pons and Fleischmann's experiment' (10 paragraphs) and the 'Experimental set-up and observations' (3 more) are about that one experiment. Yes, some about it and the reaction to it are needed, but currently that's half the article, and is way to much for proper balance. - Taxman Talk 20:32, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Maury - what do you think we need to change in the "issues" section in Storms before we can include it? I had gotten rid of the "stakes are too high" bit and other similar problems already (the latest version is at Cold fusion/tmp, I hope that's the one you're reading). Also, would the "issues" secion replace the "issues in the controversy" in the present article? Let's see if we can polish this and get it in. ObsidianOrder 23:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I absolutely see your point about the importance of history, I'm just not sure how well it can be covered in an article that also covers everything else it should. It will be pretty long... then again, I'm not that concerned with length, as long as it's good ;) Anyway, that was the main reason for the suggestion to move it into a sub-article. If it was split, the history can be covered in more detail, listing all of the reproductions (successful or not), and a mini timeline, while the summary on the main page talks about why it was important, and the fallout from it. ObsidianOrder 23:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Maury - unfortunately I have to disagree with the "it's fine" view... a lot of good information was simply tossed out in the revert. Please have a look at the old version, [10], for example the "Continuing efforts" section (a prime example of the kind of thing that was deleted: [11]). The old version badly needed a rewrite - ok; but deleting key information like that is not ok and will not stand long term. The current version amounts to misinformation by omission (even aside from the few wild unsourced statements for which it has a disputed tag). I haven't engaged in a revert war over this only because I think we can come up with something even better and I'd prefer to work on that. The Storms version is also not perfect but should provide the basis for a short-term solution. Anyway, I hope you can understand why I don't think that it's fine as it is. Now, let's actually come up with something better ;) We have our work cut out for us. ObsidianOrder 01:02, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, an addendum. I finally read ObsidianOrder's outline. It's superb. I have only one suggestion, and that is the addition of another section in the History about the release to the press. As I argue above, I think this is vital to the story.

I'll volunteer for much of the actual work. Obsidian, I need details on "Palmer", mentioned in the Early Work section. Maury 13:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you! It started out as just a list of what was missing, but then I kept working on it and it turned into... this, whatever it is ;) You are absolutely welcome to work on it. We can also probably reuse quite a bit of specific wording from various existing versions. One suggestion, let's nail it down in outline form, then flesh it out? I am somewhat concerned with overall length and verbosity, do you think this will cover too much or in too much detail in any area? I have most of the references needed, after that it is just a matter of going through and picking the best ones. Oh, and writing a bit of stuff (grin) ObsidianOrder 23:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
btw "Palmer" is just Dr Paul Palmer who was working on geofusion. Not very important, brief mention since he probably used the term first. ObsidianOrder 23:15, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

One of the things that should be added is that H2 dissociates to H atoms on palladium surfaces which goes into the bulk as protons ie you don't observe any hydrogen atoms as such in the palladium matrix.

josh halpern

josh - you are quite correct. There are no D atoms or D2 molecules, what is actually in there is a form of d+. We should also mention the anomalous conductivity of the D/Pd system, it is very important since it is precisely what led P&F to the experiments they did. This is in my outline User:ObsidianOrder/Cold fusion redux, as "rationale for the experiment: combination of monoatomic absorption and high conductivity in deuterated palladium" and "setup: D2O electrolysis to load up palladium cathode with monoatomic deuterium produced in situ". Perhaps you can help write a paragraph describing this? ObsidianOrder 01:51, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Describing them as protons is not very accurate, though it's useful to make it clear that they dissociate. They're usually referred to in the inorganic chemistry literature as hydrides(H-), a convention that makes sense as hydrogen is more electronegative than palladium. (Transition metal-H bonds often have considerable covalent character so H- isn't the complete story, but is a zero-order approximation reflected in the nomenclature.) η2-H2 coordination is possible on transition metals, but usually only as a short lifetime intermediate, but modeling shows that the η2-coordinated H-H bond distance is greater than in molecular H2(as would be expected with the loss of H-H bonding character.) If a site in palladium did have a H2 unit (I don't know if this happens or not) the H-H distance would be longer than in molecular H2. This isn't in the article as there's no chemical theory to properly explain "cold fusion", in much the same way that there is no physical theory. --Noren 02:34, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Noren - this is an interesting subject. The electronegativity of hydrogen is pretty much exactly the same as that of palladium, so an assignment of H- or H+ on those grounds is arbitrary. What is present in Pd/D is most certainly not D- ions, and is it probably not anything involving covalent bonds. You're quite right in that a lot of the complexes Pd forms when acting as a chemical catalyst do have substantial covalent character, but that is on a Pd surface, not in bulk Pd/D. Any explanation of what Pd/D actually is has to account for the anomalous conductivity, which strongly suggests that it is something in between an ionic conductor and a metal alloy, rather than a covalent hydride or even typical ionic hydride. Also, there are at least two known phases of Pd/D (alpha and beta), and they have very interesting transitions that can be observed with Xray spectroscopy and neutron scattering. Some evidence suggests that fusion occurs in a third phase, possibly one involving D2-; in any case it appears to only occur at D/Pd ratios > 0.8, and possibly locally closer to 2. A lot of the reproducibility problems here seem to come from the fact that most Pd samples simply cannot be loaded to such a high D content, regardless of how you go about it. I think it would be fair to say that chemical or physical theory does not adequately describe Pd/D at this time. ObsidianOrder 06:11, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
You're right about the (Pauling) electronegativities of Pd and H; I should have said that the hydride nomenclature is for all transition metals, many of which are much less electronegative than H. In ternary (alkali/alkaline earth)(second-row transition metal, including palladium) hydrides, metal-H bonds are often well described as covalent bonds or as 3-center, 4-electron (H-Pd-H) interactions analogous to the bonding found in hypervalent main group compounds. These compounds that I'm more familiar with didn't have Pd-Pd bonding, but were better described as salts. I can imagine and would expect that this binary Pd/H combination would be different. I would expect that the hydrogen would still be tightly bound to Pd rather than ionic... but I haven't worked much at all with metallic palladium, so we move out of areas in which I have direct expertise. I can certainly believe that there is interesting and inadequately explained chemistry in a Pd/H (or Pd/D, though I would expect any difference to be results of kinetic isotope effects) --Noren 19:03, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
"the hydrogen would still be tightly bound to Pd" - ah, you see, this is the crux of the anomalous properties of Pd/D right there. You are correct to expect that the hydrogen would be tightly bound, that is the conventional prediction. However, both the high speed of hydrogen diffusion, and the fact that Pd/H has greater electrical (and thermal) conductivity than bulk Pd metal, suggst that it isn't tightly bound. Some of that conductivity pretty much has to be carried by electrons from the hydrogen and some by migration of the hydrogen itself (diffision is accelerated by electic fields). On the other hand, if the hydrogen isn't tightly bound, then why the heck does it spontaneously dissociate and form a hydride? That would seem to imply that the Pd/H state is more energetically favorable, wich suggests tight binding. The combination of these two contradictory properties is precisely what led P&F to look for other oddities in Pd/D; they pretty much expected to find some kind of multi-D-nucleus cooperative phenomenon, if not specifically fusion. ObsidianOrder 19:28, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
"in much the same way that there is no physical theory" - I would politely disagree with the implication that (a) such a theory could not ever be developed and (b) since it is theoretically impossible, the observations must be wrong. I certainly wouldn't claim that there was a physical theory which offers a full explanation, but there are several proposed theories which do point the direction to a possible explanation. The typical approach deals with things like Bose condensates, many-body wave functions, coherence, non-local momentum transfer, etc. If you'd like to read up on it: Chubb&Chubb, Fusion Technol 20:93; Hagelstein, ICCF8; Kim&Zubarev, J Phys B 33:1; Preparata, Trans Fusion Technol 26:397; Schwinger, Progr Theor Phys 85:711 (and by the way I'm shamelessly cribbing these from the much lengthier list of references at the end of ch. 5, pg 91-110, of [12]). ObsidianOrder 11:48, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I didn't claim a), note my use of present tense. b) seems to be a commonly used strawman by the pro-cold fusion crowd, I never said anything of the sort. Competent scientists who were not attempting to bilk the credulous for "research" money did experiments and saw no energy/neutrons/etc. For that matter, I haven't read any reports of electrodes melting since the original paper... so if we believe all the pro-cold fusion papers it would imply that the wattage produced has drastically decreased since 1989. Modern "cold fusion researchers" associate themselves with "science" of similar merit- energy from zero point energy and from perpetual motion machines. --Noren 19:03, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry if I took your statement to imply something it didn't. Yes, there still are occasional reports of random high energy release events, e.g from Mizuno's lab (a single electrode which released ~500GJ/kg over a couple of days). However, the occasional report of that is far less interesting than the fact that reproducibility is vastly improved (see e.g. the Navy labs' work on Pd-B alloys and electrodeposited Pd). You are quite wrong to dismiss cold fusion researchers, many of whom are extremely competent scientists working in major research institutions. "Competent scientists did experiments and saw no energy/neutrons/etc" - true, sort of (since some of them did see energy, e.g. at MIT), but the factors required for reproduction were not well understood back then. It may be time to revisit these experiments. ObsidianOrder 19:28, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

New images

I just added a couple of diagrams: and . Steven Krivit added this photo: . I think the first diagram could replace the one there now, and the picture be used in addition to the Charles Bennet pic which is used now. Comments? ObsidianOrder 11:16, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Explanation of thermonuclear fusion

ObsidianOrder told me to join the discussion. So let me join and confirm that I agree with the comments by William M. Connolley.

I also assume that he agrees that it is essential for this page to explain clearly why cold fusion cannot work. The article IS about cold fusion and the most important fact about cold fusion is that it cannot work.

This is why I also find it necessary to explain the main reason: the nuclei can't be pushed closer together just by some silly 1-electronvolt games with the electrons because the energy we need to squeeze the nuclei, in order to overcome the Coulomb barrier, is of order many megaelectronvolts.

It seems clear that the current version is deliberately murky because it does not want this explanation to be clear.

I have again corrected the completely wrong statement that the DOE does not say that the experiments are flawed. Of course that DOE does say it. What we see here is the price that we often pay for diplomatic formulations. Do you want to be nice? Yes, you can, but be ready that whoeever will want, will try to misinterpret your statement.

Please, ObsidianOrder, do not revert this page unless there is a consensus on this talk page.

Best wishes, --Lumidek 21:25, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok, I think we can work this out. First, I didn't delete the explanation of the Coulomb barrier; there was an older section on distance which did not clearly explan the energy required, and I merged what you wrote with that, while preserving most of it, and expanding on some. Second: please review my outline for an article rewrite here: User:ObsidianOrder/Cold fusion redux. I would like to get some feedback on that. On this particular point I had written: "Insufficient energy to bring nuclei together - in hot fusion, D nuclei require ?? MeV to overcome the electrostatic repulsion and bring them together. that corresponds to an effective temperature of ? degrees K. it is unclear how any process can concentrate that much energy in a single deuterium atom in an electochemical cell, or inside the palladium metal lattice, at room temperature.". Is that deliberately murky? I think it is very close to your explanation. However (and this is where we get into a serious POV dispute) you also say "the most important fact about cold fusion is that it cannot work" - no, the most imoprtant fact about it is the experimental observation that it does work; the fact that conventional theory cannot explain why it works is purely incidental. Even so, people have done good work on the theory angle as well, see my discussion with Noren above. ObsidianOrder 21:31, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Dear ObsidianOrder, thanks for your friendly and constructive approach. Your statements, when analyzed properly, of course do contain enough information - and from some perspective, more than mine. But after 10 paragraphs explaining the hypothetical achievements of cold fusion and details of its experiments, your technically sounding comments about the possible problems may be lost for the reader. Although this article is "cold fusion", it is still about fusion, the process in which two nuclei should be merged. That's why the setup and its technical difficulties should be explained first, and only afterwards, the particular revolutionary proposals of "cold fusion" should be discussed. In other words, I feel that the general physical discussion should be first. Then you may have your uncritical discussions of these experiments you believe, and then criticisms.
But it looks pretty illogical to describe successes in merging the nuclei - and the details of the apparata with palladium batteries and tomato soup or whatever you exactly think can ignite the fusion - without actually saying what it means to merge them. The previous form of the article was even more extreme because physics - such as the Coulomb repulsion - was at the end of the last relevant section, which is just too late. Best wishes, Lubos --Lumidek 21:42, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Lumidek - You may be interested to read chapter 5, pg 91-111 of [13]. The major theoretical ideas are described in Chubb&Chubb, Fusion Technol 20:93; Hagelstein, ICCF8; Kim&Zubarev, J Phys B 33:1; Preparata, Trans Fusion Technol 26:397; Schwinger, Progr Theor Phys 85:711. In short, the explanation is that while you cannot actually push two nuclei together against electrostatic repulsion, in a quantum-mechanical many-body system with cooprative features (such as D in Pd), the operator for the distance between nuclei produces a non-negligible probability of very short distances. That would not be any more weird than superconductivity, for example. And yes, this is not a widely accepted theory at this time, but it provides a direction in which one may look for a reasonable explanation. Your comments about "tomato soup" are uncalled for. ObsidianOrder 22:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Regarding the order of sections - I mostly agree, the explanation of why this seems impossible within conventional theory is important. That's why I have in my outline: History - Theoretical objections - Practical difficulties - Proposed mechanisms - Current research. How would you reorder these? ObsidianOrder 22:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
One minor note - the electrostatic repulsion problem may not be the most serious theoretical objection either. I would say the differing branch probabilities for nuclear reactions are the "most inexplicable" feature, the lack of energetic particles (a.k.a. "non-localized momentum transfer") comes after that, and electrostatic repulsion is actually last ;) However, the fact that branch probabilities are different in condensed matter has been very conclusively established by bombardment of deuterated films (and this observation btw is not at all controversial like "excess heat" is). So, clearly the theory is incomplete ;) ObsidianOrder 22:12, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
[Edit conflicts...] Thanks to Lubos for his additions to the article, which I agree with. He's got me slightly wrong above (I also assume that he agrees that it is essential for this page to explain clearly why cold fusion cannot work). Of my own knowledge, I don't know that, since I lack sufficient expertise. I know where it stands in the literature, though, which is compatible with Lubos's version but not the pro-CF sides. I strongly disagree with OO's the most important fact about it is the experimental observation that it does work. William M. Connolley 21:45, 8 January 2006 (UTC).
Ok, that's my opinion ;) A NPOV way to state that would be "the fact that a number of reputable scientists have experimentally observed that it does work". (namely: Fleischman, Bockris, McKubre, Miley, Storms, ...) (And yes, before you say anything, ok, a number of reputable scientists have also observed that it doesn't work - but then we get into a technical discussion of factors affecting reproducibility, on which we may reasonably have disagreeing opinions). ObsidianOrder 21:55, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Right, sorry, William, I said it incorrectly. It was not meant to argue that William is a leading expert in cold fusion - maybe warm globalization. OO's general sketch of a new version is relatively plausible, but whether or not it is better than the current version will depend on the details how the sections are completed. Generally, it looks OK to me to describe the history - including the relevant people first, and then the section with theoretical problems could follow as long as it is clear enough. After that, you can have more details about the other setups, I would say. OO, unless you get financial interest in cold fusion, please be aware that it is easy to fool yourself. These discoveries usually start with the assumption of the physicist that he was selected by divine forces, and it must work - and then it is measured until something is "seen". But of course, there was not a single MeV ever obtained in these experiments. One does not need to know physics to know that this is probably the case. If it were possible to get energy this easy, the discoverers - who often get a lot of money from sponsors - would have already build power plants that would feed whole cities.
OO, I don't quite understand what you mean by "reputable scientists". It does not seem to be a scientist who has at least some publications with at least some citations. For example look at [14] Compare with average scientists like [15] All the best, Lubos --Lumidek 22:17, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Lumidek wrote: look at //scholar.google.com/scholar . . . "martin+fleischman" Try spelling the name right. You could also look here: http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/view_fellow.cfm?FID=495&N=f Before you dismiss a scientist and his research, you should learn spell his name and look up and read some of his papers. --JedRothwell 23:02, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
You have a grammatical error, "learn spell his name", but that's ok, because it has no effect on what you're saying, which is "it seems that you've spelt his name wrong - it's 'mann' at the end, and not 'man' :) The correct spelling returns 153 results." Try to not be so hostile in your replies. –MT 23:38, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

M writes: "You have a grammatical error, 'learn spell his name' . . ." That's a voice input error, actually, but an error is an error. This is what happens when you let a computer act as your secretary. Martin Fleischmann is an internationally famous scientist, a Fellow of the Royal Society one of the most important electrochemists who ever lived. Why is it hostile for me to suggest that Lumidek familiarize himself with Fleischmann's work before dismissing him? It seems to me this is a quiet, modest suggestion and it is in line with academic traditions. --JedRothwell 17:38, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Dear JedRothwell, I apologize for the incorrect spelling. The page with the correct spelling is here [16] and it is not too different as it only differs essentially by one paper - the original paper that we consider incorrect these days. Despite the false attention the paper attracted, it does not seem to be a terribly famous one. And the adjective "reputable" could still be a bit of exaggeration. It is not a good idea to use the words like "reputable" because it makes it harder for most polite people to object. Still, some of us will still say that the adjective "reputable" is simply not justifiable. Incidentally, among the 153 papers, at most 10 have MF as a co-author (CM Fleischmann is not the same person, is he?). If you want to compare MF to a truly reputable fusion expert, try W.A. Fowler, for example [17] Best, Lubos --Lumidek 23:50, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I suggest you consult some references outside of the Internet. You will find that Fleischmann is, as I noted above, one of the most famous electrochemists who ever lived. His contributions to the field have been wide-ranging and vitally important. It is a safe bet that he knows much more about calorimetry and electrochemistry than you do. I suggest you read his work carefully before criticizing him. --JedRothwell 17:38, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Lubos - Martin Fleischmann has well over 200 published papers (try [18], all of the electrochem papers are his; also, most of what he published is pre-1990 and would not be in there). He is widely considered one of the top electrochemists in the world. So is Bockris, by the way. Scwinger was not an experimentalist but he did quite a bit of work on the theoretical basis, and he's a Nobel prize winner in physics. Your idea of "reputable" may vary ;) What happened in the whole CF debate is interesting: most electrochemists who knew how to do the experiments right and didn't insist on having a theoretical explanation from physics, tended to reproduce the findings; while most of the physicists couldn't reproduce for a variety of practical reasons, and tended to be strongly opposed, largely on the grounds that it is theoretically impossible... just like you ;) ObsidianOrder 00:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Dear ObsidianOrder, your error is that you count Roy M. Fleischmann who is a cancer biologist with hundreds of papers and thousands of citations [19] to be the same person as a fusion researcher Martin Fleischmann who has written nine unknown papers and one well-known wrong paper [20]. Please think twice before you dispute my data again. Thanks! ;-) The power of science is that we can actually make conclusions without trying every single awkward experiment that as someone invents should be done. --Lumidek 00:19, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Lubos - no, I have not made that error ;) Go through the papers, and you will see a large number of papers on electrochemistry by "M Fleischmann" e.g. "Dispersion in electrochemical cells with radial flow between parallel electrodes. ... M Fleischmann, REW Jansson - Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, 1979" - and there's literally hundreds of those. That's our guy ;) The total number of papers I cited is from his biography in Mallove's "Fire from Ice", but I have independently confirmed that by checking ISI, and I recommend that you do the same (since Google is not a reputable bibliographic citation database ;) Again, as I said, Martin Fleischmann is widely considered one of the top electrochemists in the world. Please do some research before you make prposterous claims. ObsidianOrder 00:41, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Everyone can easily verify that you have made this error, and all the well-cited papers in your original list are by R M Fleischmann whose first name is Roy and whose field is biology. The only cited paper by Martin Fleischmann is the single original "bombastic" paper about cold fusion. Your other statements about MF are equally unjustifiable. What you say is certainly not true at Harvard, in the U.S., or in the rest of the civilized world. --Lumidek 04:30, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Error? Huh. You're moving the goalposts: your original claim was that he didn't have any papers (quote: "does not seem to be a scientist who has at least some publications with at least some citations"), then that he had nine papers total (quote: "fusion researcher Martin Fleischmann who has written nine unknown papers and one well-known wrong paper"). Now that you realize there are hundreds of papers, they're just not sufficiently well cited for you? LOL. The most cited paper by MF is not the CF paper, it is actually "Raman spectra of pyridine adsorbed at a silver electrode - M Fleischmann, PJ Hendra, AJ McQuillan - Chem. Phys. Lett, 1974" with 181 cites (at least if you trust google, which does not have good coverage of pre-1980 stuff - I think you'll find even more esp. on surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy). Let's get this straight (again): MF has 200+ papers (and a book, and so forth), he is a fellow of the Royal Society, and a top-flight electrochemist. You, on the other hand, suggested that he had only published one paper, namely the infamous CF paper, after checking only google (and misspelling his name). I sincerely hope you have more familiarity with other aspects of CF. P.S. a few more cold fusion researchers you may want to look up: Bockris, Miley, Oriani and McKubre. ObsidianOrder 05:28, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Lumidek, you failed to justify why you reverted my edit. To repeat the justification of my edit: 1) Connelley's refs are not books, they are papers. If you, or someone feels so strong that these papers should be listed, then they should be listed in the "Papers" section. Second, I see no justification for the 4 Jan shuffle by WMC which appears to randomly place the last, pro-cf book at the bottom of the list.

STemplar 00:36, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

The main reason why I think it is inappropriate to justify why people revert your edits is that you are quite obviously a sockpuppet who was created today and whose only role is to create problems on this page. [21] --Lumidek 04:30, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Lubos - "OO's general sketch of a new version is relatively plausible, but whether or not it is better than the current version will depend on the details how the sections are completed." - of course, and I'd like your help in completing that. I have tried very hard to both not omit anything important, and to make a fair presentation of the different sides. I'd appreciate it if you could do the same. In the interest of peace and harmony, I have pointedly not engaged in an edit war to try to restore the pre-WMC-revert version [22]. Let's try to work together on the new version? ObsidianOrder 00:41, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

New and improved: Storms draft partial merge

Hello, a quick explanation of the changes I just made: I copied the list of papers cited in the Storms draft, and merged the "Issues in the debate" section of that with the "Continuing work" section of this article (thus leaving the "Arguments in the controversy" section intact). The "Continuing work" section was also moved down after the "Arguments", in order to give the "Arguments" more prominence. All of the new information is well sourced (much better than the rest of the article anyway), and has been looked over for NPOV by several people; any other changes are relatively minor and should not affect the balance of the article. I believe based on prior discussion that this set of changes would in principle be supported by a majority of the editors here (although possibly not the exact way I did them). I think this is a reasonable compromise state. If you object to it, please point out what exactly you object to, and I will try to fix it. ObsidianOrder 09:15, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

What would make you think that would be supported by many users here? Multiple people have pointed out that Storms draft is unnaceptable. At best I said it was better than Jed's version [IT IS NOT JED'S! - JR], but since many problems with it have been pointed out. Not only does it violate NPOV by making way too many opinions stated as facts, but giving that much space in the article to a view clearly shown to be the minority also violates NPOV by giving it undue weight. Just for specifics "The source of tritium is still unknown although it clearly result from a nuclear reaction that is initiated within the apparatus.", "Clearly, unusual nuclear processes are occurring in material where none should occur.", "In spite of these well documented and replicated observations..." (POV), "In contrast, other prestigious journals such the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics continue to publish well done studies on the subject." It has already been discussed that the peer reviewed status of the citations in Sotrms draft is very weak compared to other areas of science. So yes this is just another example of trying to tilt the POV towards pro CF. - Taxman Talk 18:00, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
(I took the liberty of correcting the above text to avoid confusion. It said: "At best I said it was better than Jed's version . . ." I uploaded Storms' original version. I have not written or uploaded any version of my own, and I would not want to take credit for Storms' work. To answer Taxman's rhetorical question: "What would make you think . . ." It would take a miracle to make me think that. The "skeptics" would have to suddenly reverse course, reject the party line, and allow references to the literature and statements based on actual science rather than their opinions. Taxman and others have already demonstrated that will reject all facts and squash or delete any POV but their own.) --JedRothwell 21:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Jed - you're not supposed to edit other people's comments, this is considered really bad around here. I restored it. Obviously you werent trying to do anything underhanded, but most people who would edit other ppls' comments are, hence the reason for the policy. ObsidianOrder 22:04, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
ObsidianOrder wrote: ". . . you're not supposed to edit other people's comments, this is considered really bad around here." I realize that, but you exaggerate a little. Other people here, including Taxman, have changed my statements to avoid confusion. I see nothing wrong with that. Anyway, let me insert a comment in brackets, and perhaps Taxman will edit the paragraph himself. While he is at it, he should delete this paragraph and the two above it. --JedRothwell 22:42, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure when Taxman says "Jed's" he means the pre-revert version, up until Jan 2 or so [23]. ObsidianOrder 22:47, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Taxman - you had said "This is better than the current state of the article and does represent a great starting point to move forward. There are some problems, but overall I believe they're all reasonably easily fixable." (talking about Storms' original version). That's what made me think you would support it; I'm sorry if I misunderstood you. Maury also said earlier that he is in favor of including only the "Issues" section from Storms. That's what made me think it would have a fair amount of support. I did go through and remove a lot of POV language that was pointed out by you and others. Thank you for pointing out more things that need to be changed, I will go and change them now. ObsidianOrder 21:38, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I did say that, but remember what version I was referring to. It wasn't the FA version that you inserted this material into. I also thought you would take into account the problems that were discussed in the material since then. - Taxman Talk 22:29, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I think I cleaned up all of the specifics you mentioned (and I do think the new state is an improvement, btw). Regarding citations - you may be correct, however I must point out that before this the article had essentially no citations (peer reviewed or otherwise) to specific sources for any of the important points (except the original P&F paper, of course). How would you propose to address the citation problem? ObsidianOrder 21:52, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
It simply wasn't custom in the past to extensively use inline citations--for various stange reasons. That's not a good thing, but neither is citing low quality sources just because they are there. The section is about twice as long as it should be and should be accompanied by a more detailed discussion of the lack of acceptance of CF papers by mainstream journals. I'm not saying we shouldn't report cold fusion research. We just can't report it's results as fact, it can't have undue space in the article, and it can't be reported as if they are accepted science. And changing is to appears to be isn't helpful either. It only appears to be to CF proponents, so why not just state CF proponents believe x because of y. By the way, the above were just what I happened to point out first. There's many more problems in there. Honestly going through it I see more and more that are simply Storms asserting his opinion. In the spirit of there being no support for the added material I think it would be better if it were taken out. Why not instead of shoving material like this in, just work on fleshing out the outline you're working on? - Taxman Talk 22:29, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
"Why not ... just work on fleshing out the outline you're working on?" - Indeed, I wonder about that myself ;) That's what I probably would have done if not for the revert. Arguably that's what I should have done anyway. I guess I wanted to get the article to some kind of reasonable short-term state before starting to work on the outline. Also, I wasn't sure how much traction the outline would get - still not sure actually, even if it was completed today it would probably face a pretty steep opposition to replacing the whole article with it en masse. "undue space" - ok, but the new material is less than one page out of six (in the body of the article), and a lot of the references are actually for the other sections (cites for Paneth, Huzeinga, etc). "There's many more problems in there." - I do see problems with it, but I don't think it is that terrible. Let's leave it this way for now? I am happy to leave it alone at this point (aside from fixing any problems that people point out, of course). ObsidianOrder 23:54, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Dear OO, I found a couple of minutes in the evening to look what happened with the page today, and I am moderately pleasantly surprised. It's not perfect but it's not a disaster. If you can keep the standards, instead of converging to some shallow promotion, you could actually gain a long-term support of people like me in your maintanance of this page. --Lumidek 03:35, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Lubos - thank you. I sincerely hope to be able to come up with something that presents all of the important information in a reasonably neutral way. Let me also apologize if I have been too argumentative here on the talk page - arguments are much easier to get into than out of ;) ObsidianOrder 05:15, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

No polls?

I have started summarizing this issue in the new DoE panels on cold fusion article. Feel free to complete it. The idea is to later link to it from the cold fusion article, and to archive this discussion. Pcarbonn 21:38, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Jed keeps misrepresenting the result of the DoE panel. Two-thirds believed that cold fusion did not exist. That's a clear majority that don't believe it exists. The only "split" is over whether or not excess power was produced, not whether or not it's cold fusion. Among the one-third remaining, all but one only found it somewhat convincing. There's no way you can reasonable interpret that to mean anything other than the majority of scientists disbelieving it and the vast majority not finding it fully convincing.

Also, where are the theories of how to overcome the electrostatic forces in the article? If we are to include pro-cold fusion views, they should at least include their theory.

Nathan J. Yoder 10:44, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Nathan J. Yoder writes: "Jed keeps misrepresenting the result of the DoE panel." I am not misrepresenting it. I am disagreeing with the DoE's own summary of the panel members' remarks. The panel members themselves also disagreed with this summary. I have clearly and repeatedly stated that this is my view and my tally, so you should stop claiming that I am "misrepresenting." (How can I misrepresent my own opinion?) The DoE summary does say "two-thirds" but my count is: 7 No, 5 Yes, and 6 Maybe. I suggest you read the reviews here lenr-canr.org/acrobat/DOEusdepartme.pdf] and post your own tally. Your tally would probably be different from mine. --JedRothwell 20:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Nathan - ignore for a moment what the official DoE panel report says, and read the comments by the individual panel members: lenr-canr.org/acrobat/DOEusdepartme.pdf]. I am curious how you'd tally them up. Excess heat at the GJ/kg level is cold fusion, or some other equally extreme physical anomaly (any suggestions?).
On the second point: yes, indeed. Please read chapter 5, pg 91-111 of [24] for a summary; you will find a lot of pointers there, for example lenr-canr.org/acrobat/ChubbTAcoldfusion.pdf] and lenr-canr.org/acrobat/SchwingerJnuclearene.pdf]. That's probably too much matterial to include in the article, especially since there are a number of competing theories neither of which is completely developed (and neither of which is broadly accepted, obviosuly). The short answer is cooperative behaviour; the exact nature of which is debatable, but you can see some parallels with Bose condensates and with the Mossbauer effect. The question is not how to overcome the electrostatic force per se; the question is how the chemical environment of an atom can in any way affect its nuclear reactions, considering that the two occur at completely different distance and energy scales (six orders of magnitude apart, as Lubos pointed out). However, there are plenty of non-controversial experiments that demonstrate that the chemical environment does affect nuclear reactions: namely in the case of bombardment of deuterium/hydrogen in a thin metal foil, different nuclear reaction branch probabilities and a different capture cross-section is seen than in free space. So clearly the conventional theory is incomplete. I would not claim that there is another theory which completely explains this kind of effect, but there are the beginnings of one. ObsidianOrder 11:51, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I skimmed over the first 8 reviews and only found one stating that he thought cold fusion was real. Some were a bit leanient in suggesting that there should be some minimal funding, but that was only to investigate the cause of excess heat, not an acknowledgement that the cause was a result of fusion reactions. If you're going to make the claim that the DoE misrepresented its own panel, then please list how each reviewer stands and not just an anonymous tally of them. Nathan J. Yoder 06:45, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Very well, I went through them again:

  • Review 1. NO ("The evidence does not demonstrate that a new phenomenon is occurring.")
  • Review 2. MAYBE/YES ("... there appears to be rather convincing evidence for the production of excess heat and for the production of 4He in metal deuterides. ... There is no convincing evidence for the occurrence of nuclear reactions in condensed matter associated with the reports of excess heat production.") I am completely perplexed by the juxtaposition of these two statements, but that is what they guy wrote - OO
  • Review 3. YES ("... the evidence strongly suggests a nuclear origin for the excess heat observed in palladium rods highly loaded with deuterium.")
  • Review 4. YES ("This set of articles make a significant case for phenomena in the deuterium/palladium system that is (I) markedly different from that of the hydrogen/palladium system, (ii) supportive of the claim that excess energy is generated in the deuterium/palladium system, and (iii) without a coherent theoretical explanation.")
  • Review 5. MAYBE ("My feeling is that there should be no funds set aside for support of CF research but, if the DOE receives a proposal in this area which suggests some definitive research which settle some of the issues, it should consider it for support as it would any other proposal.")
  • Review 6. NO ("I find nothing in the articles that I've read that convinces me that the new anomalies reported are not experimental artifacts.")
  • Review 7. NO ("I find in summary that, even after all of the work that has been done, the case is spotty for the existence of the cold fusion phenomenon. I am not convinced by the evidence that I have seen ...")
  • Review 8. MAYBE ("If the bottom line is that experiments in which x > 0.95 in PdDx (at room temperature) give anomalous effects reliably (even if achieving that high x is very difficult and very dependent on the materials science of the Pd), while heat balance is attained for x < 0.9 in PdDx (or when using PdHx at all x), we've got the start of science.")
  • Review 9. YES ("Evidence for excess heat in LENR experiments is compelling and well established. ... The body of work that has resulted from LENR investigations is formidable and worthy of attention of the broader scientific community. It is unfortunate that a few vocal individuals have manage to stigmatize this field and those working in it.")
  • Review 10. MAYBE/YES ("In a general summary of the calorimetric results, the observation of sudden and prolonged temperature excursions ..., has been made a sufficient number of times that, even if not totally reproducible, still have not been explained in terms of conventional chemistry or electrochemistry ... At this stage, I think the evidence suggests the possibility of such events, [but] cannot be considered conclusive beyond a reasonable doubt, for reasons alluded to above.")
  • Review 11. YES ("the care in which the measurements are done for experiments that do show excess heat are convincing evidence of low energy nuclear reactions. ... There is strong evidence of nuclear reactions in palladium, and suggestions of reactions in the titanium foil experiments.")
  • Review 12. MAYBE/YES ("There seem to be increasing evidence for the production of excess heat, even though the reason is totally unknown. ... Yes, it is likely that an unknown process (in materials physics or in nuclear physics) is responsible. However, the link to nuclear reaction is still not strong enough at the present time. ... The current evidence is not sufficiently conclusive to demonstrate that nuclear reactions occur in metal deuterides yet.")
  • Review 13. YES ("... there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that very low energy nuclear reactions can occur in condensed matter at rates that are totally unexpected")
  • Review 14. NO ("I am not persuaded that such energy has been produced.")
  • Review 15. NO ("As one of the reviewers stated, one can never disprove something and this is my feeling about "cold fusion".")
  • Review 16. MAYBE ("My opinion is that none of the experimental evidence directly presented to us is conclusive that nuclear reactions are occurring in these environments, but some of the evidence is certainly suggestive that they are.")
  • Review 17. NO ("Most "nuclear" measurements (particle emission) are not convincing in comparison with the state of the art in low energy nuclear physics.")
  • Review 18. NO ("Although experiments have become more sophisticated there is no new convincing or even tantalizing evidence for LENR.")

The final tally is: 5 YES, 7 NO, 6 MAYBE (and 3 of the MAYBEs are leaning towards a YES). This turns out to be the same as Jed's tally, although I have no idea whether he assigned them the same way. I am still curious how you would count them, and why. Note: I would obviously not argue to include this analysis in the article, since it is original reseach. I can only suggest that people read the whole thing and decide for themselves (especially since many of the reviewers make very interesting points). However, this does provide compelling evidence in my mind that the scientific opinion is not nearly as uniformly against CF as others here have suggested, and of course that the DoE report substantially misrepresented the findings of the panelists. ObsidianOrder 08:34, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Here is my tally, from Talk Archive 4:

  • 7 unequivocally No: #1, 2, 6, 14, 15, 17, 18
  • 5 conclusively Yes: 4, 8, 9, 13
  • 7 maybe: 3, 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 16

I got my arithmetic wrong, which I often do. It should say: "7 No, 4 Yes, 7 maybe." In my first tally I must have moved one of the "iffy maybe's" to Yes. This is pretty close to ObsidianOrder. It is surprisingly difficult to categorize these reviews. --JedRothwell 16:51, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

A number of the yes's both of you have categorized say that they believe there is excess heat, but fusion is not proven. You can't count that as a yes for Cold fusion in general. They're just agreeing that something is going on, but it's not yet known what. Again that's fine to report too, but it's not fine to say they are a "conclusive yes" because that implies they are agreeing fusion is going on. At best it should be split out whether the reviewer felt evidence for excess heat was compelling, and separately if they felt that meant fusion was. Further, any of our counts are decidedly OR and are not acceptable in the article precisely for the difficulty of deciding whether they are positive or negative at all. It's too easy to take them out of context. For example I would count many of the above characterizations as quite generous-especially #12. That's a clear no on fusion, but a maybe/yes on excess heat. In any case it's interesting because it represents an overall more positive result than the review summary does. One the whole though, mixed, mainly negative is still the result, and that's fine. We just need to report the facts, not some rose colored view of them. The facts are enough to support that some believe something is going on and a few believe it is fusion. - Taxman Talk 18:50, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Taxman writes: "A number of the yes's both of you have categorized say that they believe there is excess heat, but fusion is not proven." The heat itself proves that the reaction is nuclear (or something even more exotic, such as ZPE). If you believe the heat is real -- as these reviewers apparently do -- then the only logical conclusion is that it must be nuclear. The amount of heat is often 100 and sometimes 100,000 times greater than any chemical reaction can produce, and there are no chemical changes, chemical fuel, or ashes in the cell. Since the heat is accompanied by neutrons, tritium and helium I believe this must be fusion, but the reviewers may think otherwise. In any case, a chemical reaction is ruled out. So are calorimetric errors, by the way. To put it another way, as Fleischmann said, 'heat is the principal signature of the reaction.' A strictly descriptive definition of cold fusion would be: massive heat in the absence of any heat generating chemical reaction. --JedRothwell 19:43, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. The last sentence written by reviewer number two says "there is no evidence for this being a nuclear physics phenomenon." Yet he is listed as MAYBE/YES. Likewise, reviewer three says "Have the authors provided evidence that LENR exists? Maybe!" However, rather than being listed as maybe, he was listed as yes. I haven't read the rest, but if this holds true for the others, this seems like a highly biased interpretation. In fact, an absurd interpretation. –Joke 19:08, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Joke writes: "The last sentence written by reviewer number two says 'there is no evidence for this being a nuclear physics phenomenon.' Yet he is listed as MAYBE/YES." Yup. Because, as OO notes: Reviewer #2 also says: "... there appears to be rather convincing evidence for the production of excess heat and for the production of 4He in metal deuterides." Excess heat and helium-4 are cold fusion. That is the definition. What would you call heat and helium production in a cell with no chemical fuel? In other words, the reviewer is saying he agrees there is evidence and he also emphatically denies it. I pegged him as "Emphatically No," but schizophrenic might be a better description.
Here is the take-home lesson for you skeptics: you must deny everything, every time. As the Japanese say, "mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru" (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil). You cannot admit there is heat anywhere even though hundreds of researchers have observed it using the most expensive and precise calorimeters ever made, and it is sometimes so intense it has melted ceramics with no energy input. You cannot admit there has been a single observation of tritium, x-rays, or gamma rays even though hundreds of autoradiographs and spectra have been published by world-class laboratories. Do not let yourself be trapped like reviewer #2 into admitting that anything is "rather convincing." It will only make you look silly. Reviewer #7 fell into the same trap. See: lenr-canr.org/Collections/DoeReview.htm#StormsRothwellCritique] It is best to refuse to look at any evidence. Do not read a paper. Only look at information which is at least four times removed from original sources: an opinion of an opinion of an opinion . . . By the time the account has been filtered by four different people all the information content will be distorted or deleted. If you catch yourself looking at anything, make it quick -- skim; don't read, and do not finish the document. Grasp at straws and jump to conclusions; do not analyze. N. Yoder demonstrates the technique above where he writes he "skimmed over the first 8 reviews . . ." and then he promptly jumped to the conclusion he imagines the report came to, which happens to be diametrically opposite of what it actually says. Above all: never think for yourself. Obey Authority. You will only maintain your opinion by blind obedience to the party line, and by rigid robotlike rejection of reality and the scientific method. --JedRothwell 23:05, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Two comments: first, perhaps I should explain what I mean by "yes" and "no". To my mind, the controversy is on one hand between those who consider claims of cold fusion are somewhere between outright fraudulent and due to incompetence (experimental artifacts/errors/etc). Those are the NO votes. On the other hand are those who believe that there is some real phenomenon which is observed which cannot be explained by accepted theories (but which is not necessarily well understood). Those are the YES votes. In other words the split is between those who think it is pseudo/pathological science and those who think it is legitimate research dealing with what is probably a new phenomenon. For the yes votes, fusion does not have to be the only explanation, it is merely the least extraordinary hypothesis (and again, does anyone care to propose a different one?); and if it is fusion, then a particular mechanism or pathway (such as d+d->4He) does not have to be the correct explanation (and in any case evidence strongly suggests there is more than one pathway). If you go through my list you will find that it is entirely consistent with those ground rules.

Second, both Taxman and Joke questioned my assignemnt of particular items when a reviewer stated that there is evidence for one thing (e.g. excess heat, particles, isotopic products) but not another. If you read the actual comments, you will see that many of the revewers specifically state they will only evaluate the aspects which lie within their field of expertise (e.g. an electrochemist may only look at calorimetry but not detection of particles). If one of those guys says "I will only evaluate calorimetry... I see strong evidence for excess heat... I am not convinced it is a nuclear reaction" - that is a YES, because by their own statement they are not even trying to evaluate the evidence which may directly point to a nuclear reaction. And so on.

Let me again invite anyone who is interested to come up with their own tally, supported with citations just as mine is. ObsidianOrder 04:12, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Is there a source for these alleged reviews other than JedRothwell's personal web site? That 2/3 were unconvinced that low energy reactions occur is a fact taken from the official DoE site. --Noren 16:39, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Earth to Noren: Come in please! Two Questions: 1. Do you seriously think I am capable of inventing these comments? I am flattered that you think I could master so many different fields and impersonate so many cranky, biased experts. 2. If I did invent them, why would I make so many of them hostile toward cold fusion? The source of the document is shown at the top, and the original source was, obviously, the DoE. No other institution would conduct such a sloppy review or issue such a document. When the Italian Government conducted a similar review last year under the auspices of the Italian Senate, they concluded that cold fusion is real and that it should be funded at the national level. This is how a sane government does a real review. --JedRothwell 17:01, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

> My understanding of the discussion boils down to this. According to the reviewers' written comments and the summary by DOE, the reviewers have mixed feelings about the evidence of excess power, but, at the same time, they are generally convinced that nuclear fusion has not been observed. In other words, several reviewers said that something strange is going on, but it is not nuclear reactions. If we recognize this distinction, the summary report by DoE did represent the comments of the reviewers fairly. Depending on your definition of cold fusion, you could say that the panel did not see convincing evidences of cold fusion (defined as nuclear reaction), or that one half of the reviewers were somewhat convinced of it (if defined as excess heat). So, it's all about a question of definition. Pcarbonn 20:55, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

Pcarbonn writes: "In other words, several reviewers said that something strange is going on, but it is not nuclear reactions."
Yeeesss, but. The reviewers (and the DoE) fail to own up to the facts. If you accept that the excess heat is real, you are compelled to conclude that it must be nuclear in origin (or something totally unknown to science). To conclude that it might be chemical is simply absurd. You would have to redefine "chemistry" and throw away everything we have learned about chemistry since the mid 18th century. You have to accept that chemical reactions can produce megajoules per mole without a trace of chemical ash.
"If we recognize this distinction, the summary report by DoE did represent the comments of the reviewers fairly."
Agreed. The reviewers and the DoE were on the same page, which was orchestrated by Steve Jones, in case you are wondering. They are both frantically denying reality, and trying to reinvent the terms "chemistry" and "nuclear." Half of the reviewers are trying to have their cake and eat it; they are forced to admit the heat is real, but they are pretending it does not mean what it inescapabably must mean. The other half -- the hard liners -- are trying to pretend that calorimetry does not work. That is, at least, consistent. Both are absurd, but the hard-liners are smart enough to see that they should not give an inch. If the reality of cold fusion ever penetrates into the public consiousness, both views will be seen as about equally ridiculous and deluded, with little practical difference between them. Whether you deny everything discovered in the last 250 years, or 99% of everything, you are still a flake. --JedRothwell 21:21, 11 April 2006 (UTC)
Jed, you can look at it like you say. But you can also look at it in a positive way: the panel did say that 1/2 the reviewers were somewhat convinced that excess power was observed. This is a significant recognition by a reputable source, and a big change compared to the original panel in 1989. I don't think anybody could argue with that. Why not take advantage of it, and communicate this statement widely ? Pcarbonn 11:54, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Incoherent rant...

No, I'm not talking about CF, but you may like to view http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia2/. Its not as funny as the first one, sadly.

William M. Connolley 17:12, 9 January 2006 (UTC).

If you are not talking about cold fusion, why did you post the message here? --JedRothwell 17:02, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Did you not read section 5? I thought you might be interested... http://www.aetherometry.com/antiwikipedia2/Section_V.html William M. Connolley 20:35, 10 January 2006 (UTC).
Haha, nice to have some light relief! :) Jed, read down, it relates to Cold Fusion. Their use of etc is second to none. - FrancisTyers 20:46, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Ah, there he goes again . . . Correa is one a strange dude. You are right, this does connect with cold fusion in a nutty way. Well, I am relieved that he is still on my case. I would worry if he praised me. --JedRothwell 22:42, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Wow, is this ever a blast from the past!

My friend Séamus (now Professor of Bio and Electro Sensing at Cranfield) was at Southampton in the early 90s and actually ran some experiments for Martin Fleishmann. I think his conclusion was that there was something going on, but not fusion. There was a heck of a lot of energy released, though. All controlled by a BBC Model B computer, as I recall :-) - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] RfA! 17:22, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Connolley applying for adminship

In other but related news, you-all might be interested in knowing that Connolley is applying for Wikipedia adminship. You can vote here: [25] 01:54, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

The Term Cold Fusion

This paragraph:

"It should be pointed out that the term "cold fusion" has also been used to describe generally unrelated research. The term was first coined by Dr Paul Palmer of Brigham Young University in 1986 in an investigation of what is today referred to as muon-catalyzed fusion. "Cold fusion" was also used by Steven Jones, also of BYU at the same time, to describe potential high-pressure events now referred to as piezonuclear fusion."

seems to contradict several established references:

1. The first paper to list the term "cold nuclear fusion" is credited to "Rafelski, Johann and Steven E. Jones," Palmer is not listed.

2. Several historical texts on this subject say nothing about Palmer. Even if Palmer did have a role in the BYU cold nuclear fusion work, to fail to primarily attribute the term to Jones appears to be contradictory to the established texts. As well, such failure to note Jones's role diminishes a very key aspect of the historical controversy; that of the conflict between Jones and Fleischamann/Pons.

Huizenga's "Fiasco" pp. 8 "Fifty miles from the University of Utah, a group of physicists, headed by Professor Steven E. Jones, at Brigham Young University (BYU), also claimed cold nuclear fusion."

Beaudette's "Excess Heat" pp.41 "Jones and a physicist at the University of Arizon had co-authored an article just the year before in "Scientific American" (July 1987) entitled, 'Cold Nuclear Fusion.' Jones's work offered two sources for the use of the term cold fusion."

Can anybody show qualified references for Palmer's role in this? If not, I suggest the following may be more accurate:

"The term "cold nuclear fusion" was first used in the scientific literature by Johann Rafelski and Steven E. Jones of Brigham Young University in 1986 in an investigation of what is today referred to as muon-catalyzed fusion.. This research was generally unrelated, however, the distinction was not immediately understood by the press in 1989. Consequently, the term "cold fusion" became associated with the Fleischmann-Pons experiment."

STemplar 19:33, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Done. —James S. 07:27, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
FIX THIS .I added the original form of the comments because they appear in that form in Jones' own history of the topic: [26]. Look for section II.A1 - " Dr. Paul Palmer used the term "cold fusion" beginning in early 1986.". Note that the next few sections always have him using the term "cold", and Jones using different terms. We have to revert this, although rewording might be in order. In fact it appears that many of the links to geothermal processes were his idea. Maury 13:11, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd say that "first used in the scientific literature" is more encyclopedic than relating recollections of private communication. James S. 14:17, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Surely, you jest. The "recollections of private communication" are by the very person in question! The article states Jones invented the term, but Jones himself specifically credits Palmer. Are you seriously suggesting we should not consider this to be authoritative?? Maury 18:55, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Interesting thing is, there have been two dominant historical perspectives of cold fusion; those accepting it and those rejecting it. Funny thing is, none of the authors I've read seem to attribute this to Palmer, but to Jones.

Huizenga's "Fiasco" pp. 8 , Beaudette's "Excess Heat" pp.41, Krivit/Winocur's "Rebirth" pp. 206, Taubes' "Bad Science" pp. 31, Mallove, "Fire from Ice" pp. 50, Peat's "Cold Fusion" pp. 67

Authors and publishers go to great lengths to get their facts right. The costs and legal risks in publishing are significant. It would seem unlikely to me that all these authors -- on both sides of the controversy -- in the span of 16 years, have made an error. I would propose that a Web reference, published on somebody's blog, that is autobiographical in nature, does not carry the same authority as the above-mentioned references.

STemplar 21:09, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make whatever changes you feel are needed. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. New contributors are always welcome. --James S. 21:32, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Aha. A newbie page. Thanks for sharing the wikilove James!

STemplar 09:56, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, what do you expect when you complain about the way things should be on a wiki without changing them? That {{sofixit}} template is designed to be especially civil and polite. Why would you waste energy complaining about the way you think things should be when you could more easily be changing them that way? Be bold. --James S. 21:45, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Continuing efforts

several hundred researchers:

ICCF12 abstracts: http://newenergytimes.com/Conf/ICCF12/ICCF12-Abstracts.pdf

JCF6 abstracts: http://newenergytimes.com/Conf/JCF6/JCF6Abstracts.pdf

ICCF11 abstracts: http://newenergytimes.com/ICCF11/ICCF11Abstracts.pdf

ICCF10 abstracts: http://newenergytimes.com/ICCF10/ICCF10Abstracts.pdf

STemplar 06:31, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Jabs at Nature

I will encourage this recent addition to be removed or justified: "(Nature has published papers regarding other types of "non-traditional" fusion, such as pyroelectric fusion)"

1. I don't see how it helps explain cold fusion 2. Attacking Nature may be counterproductive.

STemplar 19:38, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

I'll do that one if you incorporate your Palmer concerns per above. --James S. 21:34, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi James. Looks like someone beat me to it. STemplar 09:56, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I added that to point out that they aren't trying to suppress anything - they have published some things, and they reject a lot of papers (including most of the ones they get from mainstream scientists). I believe there may be something behind cold fusion (it seems implausible that all the researchers in the field are making up data). What that something is of course needs more research (and for various reasons I have doubts the world will ever run on cold fusion, even if it is a real effect - for example, if they're getting 3 units of extra heat out for one unit of electricity in, they'll need a pretty good heat engine to even break even). I wasn't trying to diss Nature. I was trying to imply that they aren't unthinkingly rejecting everything. As my user page indicates, I'm a computer science grad student. I don't know enough about physics to say what's possible or impossible; I know enough to realize that cold fusion isn't explained by current theory, which is an argument against it. Just a few talking points, sorry this was so long. -- Pakaran 00:22, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi Pakaran. Oh. I get your point. No worries. I had the chance to meet some of the APS editors last year and understand the challenges they go through with "too many papers to review and not enough volunteers to review them." It seems quite clear to me that if there's an easy excuse to drop a paper from the proces, it's gonna happen, considering the capacity of at least some of the scientific publications. STemplar 09:56, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Pakaran writes: ". . . if they're getting 3 units of extra heat out for one unit of electricity in, they'll need a pretty good heat engine to even break even." That is not the situation, for several reasons:

Techniques such as gas loading and proton conductors have virtually no input energy. Input is in microwatts and output (if there is any) is sometimes in watts or hundreds of watts.

With electrolysis, the energy input has no direct correlation with output energy. Sometimes output continues after input is cut off; at other times input continues for weeks with no output. It seems unlikely that this will become a practical method of producing energy.

The electrolysis itself is extremely inefficient. It is not intended to be efficient, but to make the experiment easy. Anyone can think of ways to improve it, but they will interfere with, for example, loading measurements or particle detection.

Cells are suboptimal for various good reasons. They are run below boiling so that they do not have to be pressurized, for safety and convenience. They are not insulated. Reference electrodes, x-ray and neutron detectors and other gadgets are crammed into and around the cells. An aux heater is sometimes used to hold the cell temperature at the starting point (usually 30 deg C), to keep the calorimetry simple and accurate.

CF researchers are trying to understand the reaction. If they succeed, it will be easy to make cells with gigantic input to output ratios. Such cells have been made from time to time already, usually by accident, and sometimes with disastrous results: melted cathodes, explosions and so on.

--JedRothwell 22:41, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Commercial viability and faint effect

I'd like to discuss these two deleted edits:

Palladium is quite expensive as the world's supply is limited and the demand for the catalyst is great, so this transmutation process poses additional problems. If cathodes of inexpensive metal cannot be made to produce considerably greater power densities than have yet been replicated, the commercial viability of cold fusion will remain very poor. (deleted because "talking about commercial viability is premature; in any case Pd is not the only suitable material;" reverted back in.)


Those who have claimed to reproduce cold fusion uniformly report that doing so was exceedingly difficult, often taking years to accomplish, and that the observed signal is so faint as to be difficult to separate from background noise. lenr-canr.org/acrobat/BeaudetteCresponseto.pdf] (I read the Beaudette letter but could not find any such statement; removed.)

I replaced the first because there is already a "Commercial developments" section in the article. The idea that pragmatic concerns aren't important should be troublesome to any reader or editor. Perhaps the text should be moved to that section?

Are there any materals which are claimed to have a better price/performance ratio than Szpak/Boss-style Pd/Pt electrolysis?

For the other passage, I really want to cite [27] from what I believe is the leading commercial firm, showing a maximum power gain of less than 2.0. I recall that the essential facts are in the Beaudette analysis, too. The time to reach that level is hours, if I remember correctly, and note that it will decay after surface properties in the Pd change. (in a matter of days to weeks) Update: the electrolysis method begins without delay. --James S. 02:35, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I think both of those points are crucial to the importance of the topic, which I have considered rather low since early 2002. Does anyone have some better sources on these topics? --James S. 22:36, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

If cold fusion only works with palladium, this probably will limit its usefulness. I think Martin Fleischmann was the first person to point this out. As I recall he did a back of the envelope estimate that about half of the world energy could be generated with present supplies of palladium, and these supplies are not likely to increase. I discussed this issue in my book, pages 36 and 37. See: lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusiona.pdf] Fortunately, it seems likely that titanium also produces the cold fusion effect.

This statement is incorrect: "Those who have claimed to reproduce cold fusion uniformly report that . . . the observed signal is so faint as to be difficult to separate from background noise." This may be true for some experiments performed by some researchers, but it is not what is generally reported. On the contrary, McKubre and others have said the effect is "neither small nor fleeting." See: McKubre, M. C. H., et al., Development of Advanced Concepts for Nuclear Processes in Deuterated Metals, EPRI TR-104195, Research Project 3170-01, August 1994

--JedRothwell 20:47, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I got the idea from (and should probably cite) your book. One particular issue I noticed is that you assume that cells will be recycled and the unused heavy water reclaimed. This is fine, and could be encouraged with deposits on cells, etc (much as some inkjet manufacturers give a discount to large customers who return their old cartridge) but when the world initially moves to cold fusion, there will be a need for enough heavy water to fill up all the cells at once (not that needing more than 8 factories would be so much worse than entire regions of the world focusing their economy on oil production!). Just thought I'd comment, and I have to say that I love your ebook overall. -- Pakaran 01:35, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I have spoken with the people at Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (formerly Ontario Hydro). They produce most of the heavy water in the world for their CANDU reactors. They say it would be easy to ramp up production enough to supply all of the energy in the world with fusion (hot fusion or cold fusion). The only reason to recycle heavy water would be to reduce the cost. Actually, I expect virgin heavy water would soon become so cheap it would not be worth recycling the stuff.
They have an interesting problem at Atomic Energy of Canada, which was discovered by F. Celani and described in some of his papers. Bacteria grows in their heavy water supplies. It contaminates even the laboratory grade heavy water they sell. This bacteria must have evolved after 1940 because pure heavy water did not exist on earth before then, and it kills all other types of bacteria. See: www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/CelaniFelectroche.pdf]
Thanks about the book! It is a manifesto, so please encourage others to read it.
--JedRothwell 15:29, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Commerce vs Science

James S wrote: "I really want to cite [28] from what I believe is the leading commercial firm,"

James, take care with your assumptions. The Web is a Wild Wild World. STemplar 02:42, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

What exactly are you trying to say? It's been years since I've looked at the companies involved. --James S. 04:45, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

"Turn-on" Time vs. duration of over-unity gain

James, does this help?

Over the last 5 years, turn-on time, the onset of excess heat, has decreased dramatically. Dennis Letts, along with Dennis Cravens pioneered a laser-triggering method which brought turn-on down to seconds.

Stan Szpak et al at SPAWAR San Diego use a co-deposition method. This electrolytic process facilitates the proper D/Pd ratio immediately, consequently excess heat is reported to start instantly. STemplar 02:42, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm familiar with Szpak's method but the problem with it is, as I mentioned above, the duration of the effect after surface imperfections start to appear. --James S. 04:49, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi James, I've had a little trouble following the thread; Maybe I shouldn't drink and type at the same time. But I think you've got a point. From what I've heard, the reactions do stop after the cathodes either get crudded up or damaged.

STemplar 06:19, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Commerce vs Science, The Sequel

<opinion> I fail to see the relevance of any commercial references to this subject, at this time. To my knowledge, none of these companies are shipping cold fusion products at this time. That being the case, to include references to them in Wiki seems tantamount to promoting vapourware and providing free advertising to select companies in the midst of their pre-commercial R&D.

Even if some were shipping products, to feature any seems to cross, and blur the line between reference and promotion.

Do any Wikis feel that there are substantial advantages to listing, or using as "references," so-called commercial entitites, that outweigh the aforementioned concerns? </opinion>

STemplar 05:12, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Maybe just say that various startups have claimed to be working on CF devices? -- Pakaran 07:02, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree for the most part with STemplar's comments. There are some companies working on commercial applications, but they are not very forthcoming with information. Any talk about commercial applications, or about factors which may affect commerical applications, just strikes me as extremely premature, especially considering that we really have no idea what the observed phenomenon is or what affects its parameters (I happen to believe that the observed phenomenon is real and that it is some form of nuclear reaction, by the way). We should just mention that such companies exist (as Pakaran suggests) and leave it at that. That is also why I removed the reference to the scarcity of palladium: it's just too early to be considering such issues, given that we don't know (a) what other materials might work or (b) whether some palladium-boron-niobium alloy (for example) might produce a 1MW/cm^3 power output... it's sort of like worrying about the scarcity of radium back in the days of Curie. ObsidianOrder 08:19, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Per Pakaran, per Obsidian Order -- so edited.
STemplar 05:57, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I moved the commercial discussion to the commercial section, and restored the links to the companies which claim to be working on commercialization. Saying discussion of commercialization of a new technology is premature may be appropriate for a short article, but it's not encyclopedic. --James S. 16:08, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi James/Nrcprm2026: Why did you add back the list of companies? I realized you commented "this list is very informative" but this fails to take into account a good part of the above discussion. STemplar 21:31, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Emphasis added in answer above. --22:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
STemplar - I am in favor of keeping the list, for what it's worth. Yes, it is informative, and anyone interested can go and look these guys up. I was mostly talking about calculating (and speculating about) power density, electrode life, materials, etc etc. Just too early for that. ObsidianOrder 22:39, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi ObsidianOrder and James; Thanks for the responses. Okay then, I'm not in favor of the list but I shall defer and accept for now. (Feel free to change your minds at any time ;)
STemplar 00:57, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Attacking the Attackers

Come on Jed, this invective is not neccesary. IMO, It doesn't accomplish anything except to further animosity between the two sides of the debate. Would you kindly look back at the "Jabs at Nature" discussion and consider what was said just recently on this matter? I think you should provide justification for what you just re-inserted. STemplar 01:06, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

What invective? Seriously, I do not think I added any invective of my own. I am reporting other people's renewed invective, which is a recent and important event in the field. Cold fusion has not received this much press coverage in years. There have been about a dozen articles in major newspapers -- all negative, unfortunately. Every major newspaper and magazine and most journals say that cold fusion was debunked, and it was fraud. A few years ago, Time magazine published a photo of Fleischmann next to Joseph Mengele, in a page showing some of the most notorious people of the 20th century. Fleischmann was listed as a "crank." See: [29] (I remember this because Gene Mallove went ballistic when it happened.) This is an important aspect of the human-interest side of the story. If you do not know about this overt hostility, you will not understand why journals reject papers without peer review.
On the other hand, this has nothing to do with the technical story, so if you think it is taking up too much space, go ahead and delete it. To me, it seems more important than, say, the dispute over who invented the term "cold fusion" or the bun-fight with Jones about priority. That stuff is trivial. --JedRothwell 15:07, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I think the Time incident is far more deserving of space than the discretionary editorial decisions. I would feel differently if Fusion Technology was still refusing articles. For now, I think it's best to concentrate of the popular press like Time and Scientific American. Because, Nature is very exclusive to begin with; complaining about their discretion hurts more than helps. The popular press is fair game, and the fact about newspaper articles should certainly be mentioned in contrast to the publication rate in the peer-reviewed literature. --James S. 20:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
As far as I know, the new editor of Fusion Technology does not accept papers on cold fusion. On the other hand, the new co-editor of J. Fusion Energy is a good friend of mine who does CF research and runs a mirror copy of LENR-CANR, and he does publish CF articles. This is ironic because J. Fusion Energy is edited and published by the hot fusion lobby in Washington DC. The September 2004 issue featured an attack on cold fusion on page 161 and paper in favor of it on p. 217.
I am not complaining about the discretion exercised by Nature. I am complaining about their bald-faced lies and ad hominem attacks. They do not publish similar attacks against other fields of scientific research as far as I know, so this is noteworthy. --JedRothwell 21:01, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Jed, well, let's suppose you could back up your assertion that "Nature" lied. I'm not sure there's any purpose in it, at least here. First of all, it's sheer Machiavellian. They control the presses, and they have the political influence and effective authority. Let's say I agree with you that "Nature" lied. Certainly its valid and important for you to vent your feelings about it. But do you honestly think they'll acknowledge the matter and respond to it? If you honestly do, and if you think you have clear and hard evidence of such, and you think it's worth your time, then I encourage you to post a "Nature Lies" page on LENR-CANR and take the issue up there.
Otherwise, I encourage you to drop your attack on them and keep showing the reality of cold fusion as you do so magnificently, and so selflessly.
In general, I think making the assertion that journals have a formal policy to reject cold fusion papers would be hard to prove.
<venting> OTOH, TIME magazine, with their "Cranks of the Century," has placed thier a**es out in the wind and deserves whatever reality check and wake up call is appropriate. That was just plain lazy and ignorant of them to not bother to check for new updates on the field. I can't think of a more prominent and more negatively influential media representation of F&P in the last 10 years. I feel sorry for Lemonick. He probably knows more than he says about CF. He's got to learn -something- while hanging out at JSE conferences. But his managment's going to think he's a crank too if he suggests that maybe there's a shred of reality to cold fusion.I hope F&P live long enough to see Corey's prediction realized:
"An overdue revolution in science will arrive, and the reputations of cold fusion scientists and those who revile them may be reversed." James Corey, Senior Member of the Technical Staff,Sandia National Laboratories, Energetic Materials Intelligence Symposium, September 10, 2003 </venting>
STemplar 01:21, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

STemplar writes:

Jed, well, let's suppose you could back up your assertion that Nature lied.

I do not need to back up anything. The things I accuse them of doing, they brag about! They trumpet their lies to the world. They said cold fusion is "notorious" and "largely discredited" and in the past they have claimed it was never replicated. Who discredited it? When? What about all those published replications?

Not only have they lied, they have made outrageous statements contrary to academic ethics. In 1989 Nature demanded "more ridicule" to kill cold fusion quickly. In 1991, Maddox declared "broadly speaking its dead, and it will remain dead for a long, long time."

But do you honestly think they'll acknowledge the matter and respond to it?

I am sure they will repeat these lies every time the subject comes up.

I encourage you to post a "Nature Lies" page on LENR-CANR and take the issue up there.

I did. See: lenr-canr.org/News.htm]

In general, I think making the assertion that journals have a formal policy to reject cold fusion papers would be hard to prove.

That is not a bit difficult to prove. It is their overt, publicly-stated editorial policy. Ask any one of them, and they will tell you they reject cold fusion papers without peer review. They do not consider this unreasonable any more than they think it unreasonable to reject a paper about creationism or flat Earth theory. Every cold fusion researcher I know has a pile of rejection letters saying they will not review or consider any paper on this subject. Kowalski published some examples here: lenr-canr.org/acrobat/KowalskiLhistoryofa.pdf]

It is also the official policy of the DoE to reject any and all funding for cold fusion, despite the 2004 panel recommendation. Again, they make no bones about this. See: lenr-canr.org/acrobat/LENRCANRthedoelies.pdf]

Regarding Time magazine, the print edition was much worse. It showed Fleischmann on the same page as Mengele. Yesterday, an editor from Time wrote to me: " . . . The correct year is 1989. We apologize for the error and appreciate your writing to us about it. . . . As for the ongoing controversy about cold fusion, we feel that our article correctly described the situation." Here is part of my response:

". . . in his correspondence with me, [Time reporter] Mr. Lemonick retracted many of the statements he made in your magazine. For example, he conceded that the other researchers have made similar claims, although he said: "It may be that others have produced cold fusion since, but that's not the same thing."
Since your own author has backed down and refuted what he wrote, I think it is odd that you still claim you "correctly described" the situation. . . .
. . . While we are on the subject, I think Time magazine should also apologize for comparing Martin Fleischmann to Josef Mengele. Perhaps even you will agree that was exaggerated, and they do not belong in the same class of people. Fleischmann is a Fellow of the Royal Society, after all. This was also somewhat insensitive. Fleischmann's father died a few days after he was tortured and then (inexplicably) released by the Gestapo, and Fleischmann barely managed to escape to England, so he did not appreciate your comparison. . ."

Some of Lemonick's comments to me are at lenr-canr.org/News.htm]. I can send you the whole exchange if you would like a good laugh. It is apparent that he does not know anything about cold fusion, or electrochemistry, or experiments. In fact, taken all in all, his letters give me the distinct impression that he is several tacos short of a platter.

--JedRothwell 15:47, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I'll let this go. Thanks for writing. Hopefully somebody will someday have a "Kitty Hawk" demonstration (and have it reported on the front page of The Times) and this whole chapter will finally close.
STemplar 20:08, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
As I said, if you feel strongly about it go right ahead and delete those comments. I have no strong feelings one way or the other. I noticed that a skeptic wrote statements about how the press disagrees with cold fusion. The skeptic was quite right, for once. It is something both sides fully agree about. So I thought I would substantiate that claim with some recent data: the press attacks published in January 2006. I suppose this matters, because some people take the viewpoint of the press quite seriously, and they rely upon it when judging cold fusion. --JedRothwell 22:02, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


I removed this because it was in "continuing efforts":

On May 14, 2004, a foremost cold fusion champion, Dr. Eugene Mallove, was brutally murdered in a yet unresolved case. His death has both saddened and inspired the cold fusion and free energy community in general and has drawn international attention to the status of cold fusion today.[30]

I'm ambivalent about whether it should be in a different section. I don't think it adds much if anything to the subject matter. Mallove has his own article. The case is unresolved, but there are two suspects in custody. The motive was apparently drug-related robbery. Finally, I don't think free energy is the right link for the use of the term. --James S. 09:56, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Good move. Even though Gene was a close friend, I was going to delete that myself, or move it somewhere else. I could not find an appropriate spot. It has nothing to do with continuing efforts in research. If we are going to talk about anyone's death, I suppose it should be Andrew Riley's. (He was killed doing a cold fusion experiment in a horrible accident, caused by a billion-to-one event, when a whole set of fail-safe devices all failed.)
There are several other paragraphs in this article which have nothing to do with cold fusion per se, such as the disputes about priority with Jones. They are part of the "human interest" story. I am not sure where they should go, or whether they should be in an encyclopedia in the first place. They seem unimportant or irrelevant. --JedRothwell 21:56, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
"They are part of the "human interest" story." I wouldn't move so fast to remove aspects of the human interest story. Can one truly say that the subject and story of cold fusion is not inextricably tied to the human interest aspect as well as the science aspect?
STemplar 22:05, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Many other technical & scientific subjects have equally compelling human interest stories behind them, but these stories are not included in the Wikipedia articles. For example, there is nothing in evolution about Darwin's adventures, or his conflicts with FitzRoy, or his atheism. These are covered in biographical articles. So I would say the human interest stories should be removed from this article and placed in other articles about the people involved. --JedRothwell 00:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)