Published in Physics World, 1 Jun 2009
Cold fusion has been controversial since its inception on 23 March 1989, when chemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons at the University of Utah in the US announced that they had achieved a sustained nuclear fusion reaction at room temperature. Two decades on, a US television documentary about the field has stirred up fresh debate after it linked the American Physical Society (APS) to an evaluation of some cold-fusion results by Robert Duncan, a physicist and vice chancellor of the University of Missouri.
The story began when Duncan was invited by the news show 60 Minutes to investigate whether certain electrochemical experiments can give off more energy in the form of heat than is supplied via an electric current. Those in the cold-fusion community take such excess heat as evidence of nuclear fusion because it cannot be explained by chemical reactions alone. […]
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