Sunday, March 23, 2008, is more than this year's observance of Easter. It's the nineteenth anniversary of the epochal announcement by Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann of their discovery of cold fusion. At least, it would have been epochal had room-temperature thermonuclear activity turned out to be more than the folie à deux of a pair of formerly respectable electrochemists. If Pons and Fleischmann had been correct, no doubt we'd already be preparing the worldwide celebrations that would mark next year's twentieth anniversary of the breakthrough that forever ended our fears of energy crises and dependence on foreign oil.
Instead, however, Pons and Fleischmann live on in obscurity. the former in apparent retirement in France and the latter still keeping the faith, having joined D2Fusion in San Francisco as a senior research advisor:
On Thursday (March 23rd), the seventeenth anniversary of the original announcement of cold fusion, the company announced that they will tap Dr. Fleischmann's experience and expertise to produce prototypes of solid-state fusion-heating modules for homes and industry.You can do the math. On the seventeenth anniversary, D2Fusion said a solid-state home-heating module would be ready in prototype in a little over a year. Here comes the nineteenth anniversary and we're still waiting.
David Kubiak, Communications Director for D2Fusion, expects that in a little more than a year the company will have a production prototype ready.
It is ever thus with cold fusion. Expect a further breakthrough, milestone, prototype, major announcement, or commercial product any day now.
March 23: the birthday of a pseudoscience.