Article 4711 of sci.physics:
From: jhh@pupthy.PRINCETON.EDU (Jim Horne)
Subject: Cold Fusion preprint from Fleischmann and Pons
Summary: "Electrochemically Induced Fusion of Deuterium"
Date: 31 Mar 89 19:25:18 GMT
Reply-To: jhh@pupthy.PRINCETON.EDU (Jim Horne)
Organization: Physics Dept, Princeton Univ
Posted: Fri Mar 31 14:25:18 1989
The preprint of the Fleischmann and Pons paper is now being distributed.
The paper is called
"Electrochemically Induced Nuclear Fusion of Deuterium"
Martin Fleischmann, Department of Chemistry
The University, Southampton, Hants. SO9 5NH, England
Stanley Pons*, Department of Chemistry
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 USA
*to whom correspondence should be addressed.
It was submitted to the Journal of Electroanalytic Chemistry on March 11,
1989; in final form March 20, 1989.
I'm not going to type in the whole thing, but a brief summary follows.
The basic experimental setup is described as "D+ was compressed
galvanostatically into sheet, rod and cubic samples of Pd from 0.1 M
LiOD in 99.5% D2O + 0.5% H2O solutions." They don't really describe
things in much more detail.
They ran four types of experiments.
1) "Calorimetric measurements of heat balances at low current densities"
2) "Calorimetric measurements at higher current densities"
3) "The spectrum of gamma-rays ... due to the (n,gamma) reaction"
4) "The rate of generation/accumulation of tritum"
The results from 1) and 2) [in my opinion the most questionable ones]
are "enthalpy generation can exceed 10 watts/cm^3 of the palladium
electrode; this is maintained for experiment times in excess of 120 hours
during which typically heat in excess of 4 MJ/cm^3 of electrode volume
was liberated. It is inconceivable that this could be due to anything
but nuclear processes."
It is not very clear to me how they made sure they had subtracted all
possible energy produced in chemical reactions. An obvious test would
be to run the experiment with pure H2O and compare the heating rates.
The result of 3) is the most impressive. They put a water bath nearby
to soak up the neutrons produced, and convert them into gamma-rays.
Figure 1A shows a graph of the gamma-ray spectrum, which has a peak of
about 21000 counts per channel at an energy of about 2.21 MeV. The
background level is 400 counts per channel. They is no way these
photons can be produced in a chemical reaction. From the intensity of
the photon flux, they estimate the D+D -> He3+n to be 4*10^4/sec for a
For experiment 4) they measure the tritium production rate, and
get a rate of 1-2*10^4 atoms/sec.
The reaction rates given by 3) and 4) are much too small to account
for the energy production in 1) and 2), by a factor of about 10^9.
They conclude that the He3 and T reactions "are only a small part
of the overall reaction scheme and that other nuclear processes must
Thus there still seems to be a problem with the total heat production.
Their evidence for fusion seems clear, but the total rate seems rather
uncertain. I would be much more skeptical if I hadn't also read the BYU
preprint from yesterday. There are at least three groups at Princeton
trying to reproduce the results, none of which have seen anything yet.
In a week or two, we should know more. Remember, kids, don't try this
at home unless you want your baby brother to have three arms.
Jim Horne A quote? I'm supposed to have a quote?
Article 4777 of sci.physics:
From: arnief@tekgvs.LABS.TEK.COM (Arnie Frisch)
Subject: Re: Cold Fusion preprint from Fleischmann and Pons
Summary: This, of course, is the key question .......
Date: 3 Apr 89 15:56:20 GMT
Organization: Tektronix Inc., Beaverton, Or.
Posted: Mon Apr 3 10:56:20 1989
In article <7514@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>, jhh@pupthy.PRINCETON.EDU (Jim Horne) writes:
> The preprint of the Fleischmann and Pons paper is now being distributed.
> It was submitted to the Journal of Electroanalytic Chemistry on March 11,
> It is not very clear to me how they made sure they had subtracted all
> possible energy produced in chemical reactions. An obvious test would
> be to run the experiment with pure H2O and compare the heating rates.
This, of course, is the key question. The very simplest confirmation
of the fusion power output would be based upon comparisons of identical
systems without the fusion capability. It is the lack of such a simple
comparison that has me worried. In four years of research, this surely
must have occurred to them!