Nature: Google-funded Team Fails to Generate ‘Cold Fusion’ in 400 Experiments

Thanks to the readers who have posted about a new article in Nature by a team of researchers, funded with $10 million from Google, who were trying to see if there could have been anything to the claims of ‘cold fusion’ initially reported by Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. The verdict from the team is that they were unable to see any sign of the CF effect after 400 experiments. However, they do keep the door open that there may be a chance forfutu, however, stating that they were not able to create optimum conditions for possibly showing an effect in their tests to date.

Mats Lewan has posted links to four articles from the current issue of Nature on this research project, to which I have added some quotes:

“Lessons from cold fusion, 30 years on” by Philip Ball
‘Why revisit long-discredited claims for a source of abundant energy, asks Philip Ball? Because we are still learning how to treat pathological science.’

“Google revives controversial cold-fusion experiments”
‘Researchers tested mechanisms linked to nuclear fusion at room temperature — but found no evidence for the phenomenon.’

“A Google programme failed to detect cold fusion — but is still a success”
‘Major project to reproduce controversial claims of bench-top nuclear fusion kindles debate about when high-risk research is worthwhile . . . Is that the final nail in the cold-fusion coffin? Not quite. The group was unable to attain the material conditions speculated to be most conducive to cold fusion. Indeed, it seems extremely difficult to do so using current experimental set-ups — although the team hasn’t excluded such a possibility. So the fusion trail, although cooling, is not yet cold, leaving a few straws for optimists to clutch on to.’

“Revisiting the cold case of cold fusion” [The Google paper – paid access]:
‘The 1989 claim of ‘cold fusion’ was publicly heralded as the future of clean energy generation. However, subsequent failures to reproduce the effect heightened scepticism of this claim in the academic community, and effectively led to the disqualification of the subject from further study. Motivated by the possibility that such judgement might have been premature, we embarked on a multi-institution programme to re-evaluate cold fusion to a high standard of scientific rigour. Here we describe our efforts, which have yet to yield any evidence of such an effect. Nonetheless, a by-product of our investigations has been to provide new insights into highly hydrided metals and low-energy nuclear reactions, and we contend that there remains much interesting science to be done in this underexplored parameter space.’

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