For the last 2 1/2 decades, cold fusion has been considered a fringe science. Placed alongside UFOs and the Loch Ness monster, it has been easy to attack this controversial subject. A common tactic is to denigrate those involved as idiots, incompetent, fraudulent, or merely misguided. There is a logic trap here. When a scientist dares to take a serious look and concludes that there is something worth investigating he or she is then labelled an insider and therefore suspect. Such was the fate of Prof Robert Duncan, now Vice Chancellor of research at the University of Missouri after he investigated cold fusion at the request of CBS’s 60 minutes. Thus we are reassured that the status quo is reinforced and that newcomers looking through the window can be certain that only freaks live there.
Slowly, slowly things are changing. Although the science is hardly settled at least there are signs that low-energy nuclear reactions are beginning to be taken seriously as a field to be studied. Since Duncan’s conversion, Missouri University has received a $5.5 million grant from philanthropist Sidney Kimmel to open a cold fusion research centre. Today, if you visit the University homepage you will be greeted with a large image advertising ICCF 18, this years annual cold fusion conference to be held there next week. The accompanying article does not hold back by using weak language. It is written by someone unafraid of the brick bats and stones lesser men would pelt him with.
Duncan says of LENR, “It has been undervalued and treated as a pariah science in the past, but now the world is beginning to realise how important it is.”
This is a welcome development. The University is to be congratulated and I agree with everything Duncan says. I also fully understand why a company such as Defkalion GT with their extraordinarily claims might be invited. However, that comes with a caveat. I sincerely hope that my scepticism is misplaced but the announcement of a demonstration by DGT would have been welcome long-ago. Now I cannot help but recall the previous promises that came to naught. Their presentation at National instruments last year was a complete disappointment and the audience were too easy on them IMHO. Confident talk about theory on the far reaches of credibility was a poor substitute for a believable demonstration. Perhaps next week’s announced demo will tick that box and my fears will prove unfounded. Those who have worked so hard to bring the science in from the cold should be wary of giving it all away too easily. Defkalion has much to gain by associating themselves with the likes of NI and ICCF but the benefit will only go the other way if the company steps up to the plate and delivers more than words or views of mock hardware.
Are we about to see something remarkable from Defkalion? I’ve given up expecting anything worthwhile from them but this is their chance to prove me wrong. I truly hope they do.
<< Previous Post -- -- Next post >>