Another short course in cold fusion will be offered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in late January. The course: Cold Fusion 101: Introduction to Excess Power in Fleischmann-Pons Experiments will be conducted by long low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) enthusiast and Electrical Engineering Professor Peter Hagelstein and inventor Mitchell Swartz of Jet Energy. Swartz is the man who built the Jet Energy NANOR that was displayed and tested in Hagelstein’s laboratory at MIT last year.
This is the second year in which the course will be held. Last year’s course was attended by Canadian patent attorney David J. French. French was so impressed with the course that he wrote a report called Conclusively Demonstrating the Energy Effect of Cold Fusion.
Hagelstein and Swartz have invited both members of the public and students to attend the course. The course will be held from Tuesday January 22-Wednesday, January 30 in Rooms 4-153 and 66-144 on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
There is no enrollment and no advance sign up so all participants have to do to attend is show up. The class is sponsored by the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department not the physics department.
As the course title suggests Hagelstein and Swartz will focus on the Pons-Fleischmann experiments. They’ll also takea look at the physical chemistry and electrochemistry of LENR, theoretical problems, Huizenga’s three miracles, the failure of early experiments and much more. They will also take a look at the Piantelli experiment and prospects for a new small clean nuclear technology.
If you live in the Northeastern US or Quebec and have the time this would be an interesting course to drop into. It isn’t a formal college class but it is a fascinating symposium conducted by two of the best minds in the field. It would be really great if Hagelstein and Swartz could get Stanley Pons, Sergio Focardi, Andrea Rossi, Robert Godes, George Miley or Francessco Piantelli to attend the course.
Rossi Makes Interesting Claim
There is some other interesting news in LENR going on right now. Andrea Rossi is reporting that his researchers have detected some sort of electromagnetic field in his ecat LENR device. It is early to determine if this phenomenon can be harnessed for purposes such as producing electricity or not. It sounds interesting but it needs independent verification. Maybe that’ll be forthcoming in the report Rossi claims will be published this year.
Cynicism on Fusion in Slate
The well respected American online publication Slate has published an interesting if critical editorial by Charles Seife on both hot and cold fusion. The piece is highly critical but it makes some good points about hot fusion efforts. The writer mentions Andrea Rossi but ignores some recent LENR developments such as the Celani reactor, the Jet Energy NANOR, the Martin Fleischman Memorial Project, recent NASA announcements and Brillouin’s claims.
Seife is right to assume that big bureaucratic institutions such as the ITER probably won’t lead to hot fusion. The purpose of bureaucrats is to amass more power and money not to create working technology. He is wrong to assume that smaller efforts by backyard inventors won’t work. Such efforts might be the only hope the humanity has to harness both hot and cold fusion.
It is easy to see why Mr. Seife is so cynical and why he assumes that fusion will always be twenty years away. He’s focusing too much attention on the scientific establishment which is bogged down in bureaucracy, politics and red tape. Bureaucrats whose goal is a comfortable pension after thirty years of playing it safe will never advance science or technology. Recent history in the Soviet Union and NASA proves that.
Seife’s claims about fusion sound a lot like the claims established scientists made about the airplane in the 1890s and early 1900s. Many of them were claiming that heavier than air flight was possible even after the Wright Brothers had built a working airplane.
The problem is that Seife’s brand of cynicism is now the party line for a lot of the media. The mantra is fusion is impossible or improbable so forget about it and try to power our civilization with wind mills. Such thinking will lead to a dead end and disaster. We need real visionary thinking if we don’t want to all end up huddled and freezing in the dark.
The future belongs to courageous visionaries such as Francesco Celani, the backroom tinkerers at the Martin Fleischman Memorial Project, Peter Hagelstein and Mitchell Swartz not professional grumps like Mr. Seife. The problem is that all many people know about fusion is Mr. Seife’s attacks. Even though his points about the ITER are valid, Seife’s position of writing off all fusion as impossible is a short sighted and potentially dangerous one.