The rise and fall of cold fusion after Pons and Fleischmann introduced it to the world in 1989 has been discussed at length over the years and the details don’t need to be rehearsed here. It was a dramatic process that played out on the world stage which resulted in the lasting impact of driving LENR research underground for decades.
There was great hope and excitement when the news was first broadcast around the world by the at-first enthusiastic media — but within months the excitement turned to dismay and then largely to disgust as influential figures repeatedly trashed Pons and Fleischmann’s work and the two formerly respected scientists were effectively excommunicated from the scientific community.
Anticipation was high after the conclusion of the the 1MW E-Cat plant test — many watchers were hoping for a conclusive report being published and the beginning of a new age of acceptance of cold fusion as a miraculous new energy source. However for many people the news of Andrea Rossi’s lawsuit against Industrial Heat had the effect of throwing a cold wet blanket in their faces, and being left to wonder about what is happening.
Are we experiencing a repeat of 1989? The LENR field had showed signs of emerging from its years in the wilderness, with more people taking it seriously — but with the E-Cat now being called into question, is LENR about be be driven into the deep underground again?
Personally, I don’t think this has to happen. But to avoid this fate some things need to happen. Here are some things that I think could keep the field from drifting again into obscurity (in no particular order)
1. A recipe and instructions for achieving an obvious LENR reaction is released publicly, and people are able to replicate it consistently.
2. A company releasing a LENR product to the market that can be bought and used, demonstrating that LENR is an obviously real effect.
3. Government or university labs publishing reports in prestigious peer-reviewed publications that LENR is a real phenomenon that has the potential to be a practical source of energy.
4. The Fabio Penon report being released, showing clearly that the E-Cat plant was able to run at a very high COP for year.
5. Andrea Rossi demonstrating an E-Cat reactor clearly running in a controlled self-sustain mode at a high COP in a public and convincing way.
6. An E-Cat customer coming forward publicly and confirming that the plant saved them a lot of money in energy costs.
7. A large and well-funded company announcing they are developing LENR products.
There are probably many more things that could happen that would kindle more interest in the field. The point is that in order to get the attention that field needs in order to grow and flourish, public credibility needs to be built.
There will always be interest among some of us in LENR. I believe that there are thousands of people already around the world who are convinced it is a superior energy technology. However, at the moment we are a tiny minority of thinkers, seen by the mainstream as fringe players who are probably out of touch with reality, and therefore easy to be dismissed. In order for LENR to emerge from the fringes something will have to change.