Cold fusion or low-energy-nuclear-reaction (LENR) has now been demonstrated to initiate various nuclear reactions in solid materials without application of high energy. This creates a significant challenge for science to explain and for industry to use in a rational way. Therefore, understanding what has been discovered is very important. This paper proposes to provide this understanding.
Energy from present sources has proven to have serious limitations. Fortunately for the future of mankind, several new but controversial sources of energy have been discovered. This talk will describe a method to initiate nuclear reactions within solid materials, so-called Chemically Assisted Nuclear Reactions (CANR). Propsed is a new field of study which combines the electron environment (chemistry) with the nuclear environment (nuclear physics), two environments which are thought not to interact. The method generates energy without producing serious amounts of radiation or radioactive waste. In addition, the method is suggested as a means to reduce the radioactivity associated with previously generated nuclear waste. A wide range of experience obtained world-wide over the last ten years is described as well as the controversial nature of the method.
Six years have passed since the modern era of cold fusion was started by Professors Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, both then at the University of Utah. During this time, criticisms made by skeptics have been taken seriously, errors have been reduced or eliminated, and a wide variety of studies have been done using very modern equipment in many countries. The early problem of reproducing the effect has been largely eliminated, the nuclear ash has been found, and theoretical explanations abound. The problem now is more psychological than scientific. In spite of all this new and improved information, general skepticism about the effect continues within the scientific community, and general rejection by the U.S. and many other governments remains unchanged.
I will not try to change this skepticism. To do so would take too much time and give many readers a bad case of boredom. Instead I will show those of you who have an active curiosity where the field now stands. If I succeed in arousing your interest, many sources of good information are now available to deepen your knowledge.