Letters – Volume 43.3

Cold Fusion Thirty Years Later

Reading the article “Cold Fusion: Thirty Years Later” (January/February 2019) reminded me of some interesting discussions that occurred at the time.

In 1989, when Pons and Fleischmann made their announcement concerning “cold fusion,” the internet was still fairly new, but it did exist, and there were some early versions of what would evolve into “social media,” in the form of online fora distributed by services such as “USENET news.” There were hundreds of groups with common interests of all sorts, but the important ones in this instance were “sci.chemistry” and “sci.physics.” Being a technical sort, I was subscribed to both.

In the chemistry forum, the participants were discussing possible chemical reactions and their proposed efficiency, which ones were most likely in the experimental environment described in the announcement, what the reaction products would be, how much temperature rise would be expected, and so forth.

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