At the request of a handful of physicists, the Department of Energy (DOE) has carried out an assessment of the most recent research on cold fusion in recent months. Hearings were organized and a publication analyzed by a panel of 18 experts. But the results presented did not convince the government body for which little progress has been made in fifteen years, especially in terms of the reproducibility of the experiments.
Cold fusion had its greatest glory days in 1989, when Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann of the University of Utah announced that they had recreated the energy-liberating process that occurs in stars. in a simple jar of water containing deuterium. However, the difficulty encountered by other teams in repeating this success very quickly discredited cold fusion and since then only a small group of scientists have continued to work on the subject. By approaching the DOE to examine their results, these diehards hoped to obtain research credits, but their wish will undoubtedly only be partially granted. While two-thirds of the experts were not convinced of the reality of nuclear reactions in the experiments carried out, almost all said that certain very specific aspects of cold fusion (such as the question of the behavior of hydrogen in the presence of metals) deserved to be considered for further work. NYT 02/11/04 (Evidence on cold fusion remains inconclusive, new review finds)