-Caveat Lector-

Johannesburg, South Africa. March 29, 1999

Cold fusion's for real, says scientist

Ten years after its disputed 'discovery', cold fusion is a topic shrouded in
embarrassed silence. But one physicist continues to insist that it's for real --
and that he can prove it.

 By CONNIE HARGRAVE, San Francisco
 Daily Mail & Guardian

 USS George has worked steadily as an independent scientist to unveil the
mystery of the cold fusion reaction announced ten years ago by chemistry
professors Fleischmann and Pons.

Last year George presented the first paper ever to be accepted on the
subject of cold fusion by the prestigious American Physical Society. His
photographic evidence, along with experiments at Stanford Research
Institute in California, proved to the scientific community that cold fusion
exists as a controlled nuclear reaction. He is very close to developing
simple and practical applications using this reaction as a source of low-
cost energy. Here, Connie Hargrave interviews him for Share International.

Share International: If cold nuclear fusion can produce infinite amounts of
heat using easily accessible materials under normal conditions, why is
there not more interest in this potential new source of energy? Why do we
not, for instance, read about it more often?

Russ George: The concept of cold fusion does not fit into the existing
framework of modern science and threatens its most basic foundations.

The number of people working in this field around the world has in fact
declined from about 1,000 to around 100, because the reaction is very
elusive. Cold nuclear fusion is not an invention, but a phenomenon of nature
which is very energetic. Nature, however, does not seem to use it on a very
large scale, and the reaction is not normally seen as very robust or easily
reproducible. For this reason, producing scientific evidence has been

Most scientists are narrow specialists and are trained in 'cook-book'
methods to alter the ingredients of known 'recipes'. The work with cold
fusion is, by contrast, classic frontier activity, where you are dealing wit h
new, mostly unknown territory. Perhaps it takes a generalist like myself,
who has no academic tenure, salary or reputation to protect, to make
headway in this field.

Before cold fusion, mankind had harnessed nuclear fusion only in nuclear
weapons. In order to cause a fusion reaction, as in the hydrogen bomb, it is
necessary to have temperatures equal to those of the centre of the sun.
Understandably, fusion scientists laugh at the possibility of a nuclear
reaction occurring at room temperature.

SI: If that is so, how did Fleischmann and Pons know that their discovery
was in fact nuclear energy, and not just a chemical reaction?

RG: The people observing these reactions for the first time were good
chemists who understood that the principles of chemistry did not apply.
They were seeing excess heat: they put in 10 watts of electrical power and
things would heat up as if they were putting in 11 watts. With normal
chemical reactions the production of heat ceases when the fuel is used up,
but Pons and Fleischmann knew that theirs was not a chemical reaction,
because the energy produced far exceeded anything known in chemistry,
and therefore they reasoned that the reaction was nuclear.

SI: Why do so many other scientists disagree? Why are these findings
being treated as an aberration?

RG: A nuclear reaction is considered synonymous with the presence of
radiation, and the scientific mind set does not allow for a nuclear reaction
which emits no measurable radiation.

Scientists have said: "Where there is nuclear fire there have to be nuclear
ashes," and everyone knows that the "ashes" of a nuclear reaction is
radiation. Cold fusion produces intense alpha radiation, which is totally
different: it takes only a few atoms to shield you from it, whereas it takes
three feet of lead to shield you from the nuclear radiation produced by an
atom bomb explosion. In sum, because cold fusion does not produce
energetic, penetrating nuclear radiation, scientists have disclaimed it — as
not being nuclear.

This view is now totally entrenched, a bit like the flat-earth concept was at
the time of Copernicus.

When science acknowledges cold fusion, nuclear and atomic physics will
have to be reconsidered. Scientists will have to ask themselves: "Have we
made other assumptions that are wrong? What else have we missed?" The
discovery of cold fusion pulls three legs out from every chair of
contemporary physics, so to speak.

SI: I thought scientists were in essence curious people and would be
delighted with such a possibility.

RG: Some are, but not the last few generations of scientists who are now
the leading authorities in physics. Consider the position of the individuals
who are at the top of their field, who have written the definitive text books,
who are in their 50s and 60s and have tenure at prestigious universities.

What these early cold fusion results are telling them is: "The text book you
completed 10 years ago, which is the 'bible' of nuclear physics, is mostly
wrong. In fact, you left out the most important nuclear data yet to be
discovered by mankind, which is that there is a whole other family of
nuclear reactions that proceeds without penetrating radiation."

SI: You have photographic evidence that cold fusion does exist?

RG: Yes. I presented a scientific paper to the American Physical Society in
the spring of 1998, which demonstrates at a microscopic level that a
nuclear reaction took place. The photos show that the metal palladium,
when used in cold fusion reactions, is covered with eruptions like micro
volcanoes in it. This indicated that something had gotten very hot and
melted or vaporized the metal, but only in tiny pinpoints. Since we know the
melting point of palladium, we calculated the amount of energy required to
melt such a pinpoint without melting the surroundings. The number we
arrived at was so astronomically high that it demanded a nuclear source of

SI: How was your evidence received?

RG: Politely. Scientists said: "Yes, you have evidence of nuclear heat, but
there is no radiation, so the reaction cannot be nuclear." This is circular
logic, because these scientists are not open to the possibility of the
existence of any other type of nuclear reaction.

SI: What have you had to prove to demonstrate conclusively that a nuclear
reaction is indeed occurring?

RG: That helium is produced, as you would expect when you fuse two
atoms of hydrogen — or deuterium * in this instance. There was always
evidence of the presence of helium, but skeptics have dismissed this by
saying that it must have "leaked in" from the atmosphere.

SI: Have you been able to prove that this is not so?

RG: At the Stanford Research Institute in July 1998, I was able to use a
high-quality mass spectrometer for my experiments. This instrument can
measure atoms exactly, and it established that the concentration of helium
is above 10 parts per million as a result of the cold fusion reaction. I also
used hydrogen gas for the reaction instead of heavy water**. (Water is the
bane of spectrometers because it is 'dirty', making the results inaccurate.)

My experiments using gaseous substances have been successful. As a
result, all scientists can now examine the procedure, which concludes that
this amount of extra helium could not have 'leaked in' from the surrounding
atmosphere, because it cannot 'leak' from a lower to a higher

The next step would be to have my findings corroborated by an
independent source such as the Pacific Northwest Laboratory of the US
Department of Energy, which is the world's top facility in detecting helium in
nuclear reactions. The cost of such testing is prohibitive to an individual like
myself, however, and needs financial backing.

SI: You have worked mostly on your own?

RG: Yes, I have no formal resources, but through my association with top
scientists and Nobel Prize winners I have been able to carry out my work
independently. For instance, I have been able to use the best available
spectrometers at Stanford Research International although I have no official
clearance to use the facility. They turned a blind eye, and I came in through
the back door every day to do the work. Similarly, I have done experiments
at the US Government Nuclear Research laboratory at Los Alamos, New

SI: How close are we to having practical applications from this discovery?

RG: In my current experiments, I am using a regular gas cylinder filled with
hydrogen gas and some active materials, and it just heats up. The more
volume you use, the hotter it gets. This reaction will keep going indefinitely.
The cylinder is typical of any used for compressed gas, such as a tank
used at an amusement park for filling balloons with helium. The only
difference is that this cylinder will maintain a temperature of about 250C or
400F almost for ever.

SI: The materials will not be used up, nor are they too expensive?

RG: No. A fusion reaction can produce heat for centuries without "using up"
the materials. The reaction uses 'heavy hydrogen' which, like hydrogen, is
an abundant element in the universe. This reaction also works with other
materials — some just work better than others — so no-one will be able to
monopolize the materials to make exclusive profits.

SI: I presume that electric companies are not interested in cold nuclear

RG: No, because with cold nuclear fusion you have only the one-time-cost
of the mechanism and the materials. In fact, cold fusion is technology that
can in the future be used on a small scale by anyone who is inventive. It is
so simple that it will be impossible to build technological barriers around it.

SI: I understand large corporations are funding cold fusion research.

RG: Yes, Fiat, Mitsubishi and Toyota continue to fund research, but they are
very secretive. Their success has also been limited because of how the
reaction works. In addition the energy produced is "slow and steady", so
that it can for instance heat a home or a greenhouse, but it is not yet of the
intensity to power a fast-moving vehicle.

SI: What practical applications do you foresee for cold fusion?

RG: We should be able to develop applications which will benefit everyone.
Poor countries like Sri Lanka or Ghana, who do not have the wealth or
access to the technology to build nuclear power weapons, could certainly
use this new technology. Since the cylinder will just sit there and produce
heat indefinitely, you can, for instance, wrap coils of pipe around it to
circulate water and so create hot water. This will cause a huge
breakthrough in areas where the cost of energy has been prohibitive to
date. Things like the desalination of water and the large-scale heating of
greenhouses will become economical. With engineering, it could eventually
be used on a large scale to produce electricity.

Business interests who have the resources to pay teams of experts will
soon be able to make products for commercial uses. Applications for use
in homes will take longer because of more stringent safety regulations
which require lengthy testing.

* Heavy hydrogen, or deuterium, has an extra neutron in its nucleus.

** Heavy water contains heavy hydrogen. This form of heavy water is found
in abundance in seawater.

For further information, contact Russ George at: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

-- Share International or E-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Share International is
a free information exchange service., March  29, 1999.
Steve Wingate

California Director


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