Scientists Call for More Research in Cold Fusion by Marsha Freeman WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (EI

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Scientists Call for More Research in Cold Fusion by Marsha Freeman WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (EIRNS)--At a press conference today closing a three-day meeting on developments in cold fusion, the participants unanimously called for more research in this exciting and controversial field. For 40 years it was thought that the production of energy by the fusion of hydrogen nuclei could be done most easily at extremely high temperatures and magnetic fields. Last spring, scientists announced they had produced excess heat from fusion using an electrochemical process with palladium electrodes, water, and a chemical catalyst, at room temperature! The meeting here was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Its organizers reported that ``The goal was to try to assess the general state of the field ... to address these phenomena, understand what is happening, and provide some suggestions for directions for future work.'' Considering the emotional outbursts, accusations, and dissension in the press and scientific community since Drs. Fleischmann and Pons released their first experimental results on cold fusion last March 23, participants here produced a remarkably positive set of recommendations. Dr. Paul Chu read their statement: ``The anomalous effects reported in the metal-deuterium system are interesting. NSF and EPRI decided to hold this workshop ... to invite scientists who have direct and related experience in the research to assess the experimental status, to identify the experimental issues, and to determine possible future research needed to clarify these issues. In this respect, the meeting has been very successful. ``New, positive results in excess heat production and nuclear product generation have been presented and reviewed.... Based on the information that we have, these effects cannot be explained as a result of artifacts, equipment, or human errors. However, the predictability and reproducibility of the occurrence of these effects and possible correlations among the various effects, which are common for the accepted established scientific facts, are still lacking. Given the potential significance of the problem, further research is definitively desirable to improve the reproducibility of the effects and to unravel the mystery of the observations.'' Co-chairman Dr. John Appleby of Texas A&M told the press: ``We are getting to the point where the results are widely accepted, which was not the case earlier this year.... Carefully performed new experiments show that anomalous heating at palladium cathodes in deuterium oxide with lithium ions present appears to be real in many cases.... Future work requires more understanding to make knowledge of the process systematic.'' World-renowned nuclear physicist Edward Teller, who attended the workshop, released a provocative statement: ``Numerous interesting and partially contradictory results on cold fusion are in disagreement with the solidly established nuclear theory of fusion.'' Teller proposed that ``there is a possibility to reconcile the results with the theory,'' if, perhaps, ``a catalytic transfer of neutrons might be possible. It is conceivable that the catalyst could be an as-yet-undiscovered neutral particle.'' Teller proposed experiments be done with Uranium-235 as a neutron acceptor, and that scientists might also try to replace deuteron in its role as neutron donor by Beryllium nuclei, in future research. ``It is recommended in recognition of the high-class work that yielded surprising results, that the effort be supported in order to obtain clarification, whether the results are due to sophisticated difficulties in the experiments, or whether a new phenomenon is involved.''


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