Cold fusion died 25 years ago, but the research lives on
Scientists continue to study unusual heat-generating effects, some hoping for vindication, others for and an eventual payday
In 1989, the scientific world was turned upside down when two researchers announced they had tamed the power of nuclear fusion in a simple electrolysis cell. The excitement quickly died when the scientific community came to a consensus that the findings weren’t real—“cold fusion” became a synonym for junk science. In the quarter-century since, a surprising number of researchers continue to report unexplainable excess heat effects in similar experiments, and several companies have announced plans to commercialize technologies, hoping to revolutionize the energy industry. Yet, no one has delivered on their promises. In the pages that follow, C&EN explores several possible conclusions: The claims are correct, but need more time to develop; those making the claims are committing an elaborate ruse; or it really is junk science that won’t go away.
Mostly featuring BrLP/Mills, but also McKubre, Rossi, Nagel, Kowalski, Nocera,