The recent appearance of the report by Mosier-Boss, Forsley and McDaniel, released for public access by US Defense Threat Reduction Agency report on LENR, claims that it is possible to replicate the original Pons and Fleischmann effect with a certain Palladium co-deposition technique.
The paper reports detailed experimental protocols and results which suggest that Pons and Fleischmann were not mistaken or fraudulent in their claims (as they were widely accused of being in the late ’80s and early ’90s). However that was 25 years ago, and most of the scientific world has moved on.
The authors write:
The physics community noted that Fleischmann and Pons had not published their results in any journal prior to their announcement, there had been no reports of any replications of the effect, there was no mention of the generation of any nuclear ash, and that the reported results did not match theory. Despite these perceived irregularities scientists, worldwide, went into their laboratories to replicate the Fleischmann–Pons results. A few scientists succeeded but a great many more failed. It is now known that those failures were due to the fact that the experimental conditions necessary to achieve the effect, i.e., high D loading and high D flux inside the Pd lattice, had not been achieved. Ultimately, the lack of replication by others and the fact that Fleischmann and Pons were not able to defend their original claims caused most scientists to lose interest. (emphasis added)
This report has been released without any kind of announcement or fanfare from the US DTRA.
They have not confirmed or denied that it is authentic, but from what I have heard and read, I am sure it is. (Update: The Daily Caller article on the report has been updated and now states: “DTRA has confirmed the documents are authentic.”)
The questions that arises for me are, what if this document really does contain key information that would confirm the Pons and Fleischmann effect? And what if the many replicators who rushed to test the claims of P&F had had this information back in the early days — and had been able to see similar results?
And also, does anyone care enough now to try and replicate with this additional information? Or is this all to remain a footnote in history — forever a cautionary tale about pseudo or pathological science? I wonder if a US Military Agency report like this from the DTRA would be enough to stimulate new interest, given that it provides some specifics regarding how to achieve replication. Let’s also not forget that last year research notes of Louis F. DeChiaro, Ph.D, a physicist with the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Dahlgren Warfare Center were published in which he wrote:
As for duplicating the Pons and Fleischmann results, we now have a much better understanding of the phenomenon, and the list of prerequisite conditions is rather lengthy. Failure to meet even one of those conditions results in zero excess energy output. The data suggest that there may be more than one initiation mechanism, so I’m most qualified to comment upon what is known as the atomic vibrational LENR initiation mechanism (because my formal background is in Condensed Matter Physics).
He then goes on to list a summary of what he has found to be necessary conditions to see the P&F effect.
Over the years there have been multiple reports published showing successful replications of the P&F effect (see here for a summary of some of them), yet still we find that LENR/Cold Fusion is considered by most people who have head about it as an impossibility. I wonder if with new information from US Military sources, and an overall uptick in interest in LENR any new blood will be interested in getting into cold fusion research at this point.
There’s a lot of interest in Andrea Rossi and the E-Cat nowadays, and there have been serious efforts to replicate the Rossi Effect. I hope these efforts continue and are increasingly successful. However setting aside Rossi for the moment — if it would be possible to consistently replicate Pons and Fleischmann and rehabilitate these courageous scientists in the public’s eyes, we might be able to see a scientific reset and pick up the cold fusion trail back from the wilderness where it has been wandering over the last quarter century.