Archives for May 2009

CBS 60 Minutes alters cold fusion report in response to pressure from the APS

Steve Krivit reported that the on-line version of the video has been altered. The video as broadcast said: “‘We asked the American Physical Society, the top physics organization in America, to recommend an independent scientist. They gave us Rob Duncan.” The sentence referring to the American Physical Society has been removed from the on-line video and replaced with the following: “We asked another distinguished physicist to have a look at the research.” There were no other apparent changes to the video.

Prof. Robert Duncan gives presentation on cold fusion

Prof. Robert Duncan, vice chancellor for research and a professor of physics, University of Missouri-Columbia, appeared on 60 Minutes segment, “Cold Fusion is Hot Again.” On April 23, 2009, he spoke at The Missouri Energy Summit, a conference sponsored by the University of Missouri System. The title of his presentation was Prospects for Discovery of New Energy Science. The abstract was: “Dr. Robert Duncan spoke on the importance of objective scientific method in the exploration of new ideas, using cold fusion as an example.” The audience was reportedly large, around 2,000 people. The title, abstract, video and PowerPoint slides from the presentation are available here:

Duncan discussed the research, he suggested a model that might explain the cold fusion effect, and he described the angry response of some scientists to his presentation:

“. . . This negative reaction resulted in what I consider to be a loss . . . a lack of objectivity. When I went on the 60 Minutes piece, I was contacted by a highly prominent professor from an Ivy League university, who was just really [laughs], really was angry with me. For having done the piece. And the point was, I laid out the scientific case [to the prof on the phone] but he flatly wouldn’t consider it. And when I said, ‘come on, why don’t you just work with me here, through the data,’ he said essentially, ‘well, you know, us high caliber physicists have done that before, and there has never been anything there. So you charlatans just can go on and do whatever you like.’ Okay. Well. It is interesting: my scientific reputation — I guess, at least to him — had been stronger before I did the piece.

But now, the point is, real science, possibly with outstanding engineering consequences, suddenly becomes a pariah science. A science where no one can go . . .”

His PowerPoint slides conclude:

“Research funding needs to become less dependent on the common assumptions within the culture of scientific communities, and much more courageous and objective.

The Scientific Method is a wonderful thing, use it always, no exceptions!”

On May 10, 2009 all  information about this lecture was erased and replaced with this message: “Dr. Duncan’s speech and presentation slides are not available.” On May 20 the information reappeared. In case it disappears again, the video is available here:

And in three segments here:

A copy of the PowerPoint slides is here:

Seminar at U. Missouri, “Excess Heat and Particle Tracks from Deuterium-loaded Palladium”

Announcement: Many research groups have reported excess heat from deuterated palladium using many different experimental techniques. Recently, the Navy’s SPAWAR laboratory published experimental results that document the production of nuclear particles, thereby suggesting that nuclear reactions are occurring.  However, these observed particle tracks are at levels that are much smaller than would be expected if this excess heat resulted from conventional nuclear fusion. These excess heat reports often vastly exceed that which would likely be produced by chemical reactions or by structural phase transitions in the palladium.

The program, videos and PowerPoint slides from the speakers are available from the university:

The video files at the university have to be downloaded completely before they can be played. More convenient versions are available on YouTube:

Robert Duncan
Frank Gordon
Pamela Mosier-Boss
Larry Forsley
Edmund Storms
Michael McKubre
Peter Hagelstein
Yeong Kim
Mark Prelas
David Nagel
Peter Handel
Robert Duncan — Closing Comments