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Cold fusion - or something.

Cold fusion -- or something

Despite widespread skepticism about earlier claims, some research teams continue to conduct cold fusion experiments. Several of these described mysterious results last week at the San Francisco meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

"Anomalous effects have been seen often enough that the phenomena can't be explained away as artifacts," says Charles D. Scott of Oak Ridge (Tenn.) National Laboratory. For instance, Gordon E. Michaels of Oak Ridge reports evidence of anomalously large amounts of heat emerging from his group's Pons-Fleischmann-type electrolysis experiments, which involve palladium electrodes immersed in heavy water (SN: 4/1/89, p.196). In addition, Scott told SCIENCE NEWS, the group intermittently detected neutrons and tritium, two predicted products of fusion reactions involving heavy water. He notes that the sporadic effects, which defy conventional wisdom, disappear in experiments using regular water.

Peter L. Hagelstein of MIT proposes a "coherent fusion theory" to explain these and other anomalous observations. Such results, he suggests, could stem from unconventional nuclear reactions that produce low-energy photons and thus yield an unconventional profile of fusion products.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 23, 1989
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