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Customer Review

on 13 September 2016
Steve Krivit has been a Cold Fusion "private investigator" for around 16 years. Right from the first few pages we see how the probable misconception that "Cold Fusion" was fusion of deuterium nuclei taking place in test tubes acted as a red herring which brought the field of low energy nuclear reactions (L.E.N.R.) into disrepute or stat of just being ignored. Was Cold Fusion as it was reported in the media in 1989 a mistake? It looks very much now as if it was, however we shouldn't have thrown the baby out with the bath water! Were strange nuclear effects observed that should have led to an entire new field of nuclear science? Yes, it seems they were and there is plenty of evidence of this. The book provides the requisite scientific foundation to be credible, but most readers, with or without training in science should enjoy the engaging "whodunnit" journey this book offers.

The book also provides a massively comprehensive archive (It's got over 50 pages of references, appendices, definitions etc!) of the personalities and incidents involved, as the field continued to develop under the radar over the last 27 years. These include legitimate scientists, who perhaps didn't realise they were in denial that the data did not look like fusion, those who were attracted to the prospect of selling limitless energy, and the inevitable scammers, eager to make a quick profit.

Krivit documents in great detail how some physicists experimenting with LENR reactions, schooled in the conventional paradigm, tried to shoehorn the odd experimental results into existing theory; this was probably a wild goose chase and caused the perceived lack of credibility of the field that ensued. The anomalous experimental results just got forgotten about or ignored by most nuclear physicists. The misconception that pairs of deuterons were fusing, like in conventional fusion, but in a test tube which was fanned by the media storm at the time, has seriously handicapped widespread acceptance of anomalous, and voluminous, experimental results - this has all misled a generation of scientists to shy away from extremely exciting new reseach opportunities.

The book also lays bare the infighting, egotism and political expediency shown by some researchers in the field. As a whole, the book provides a fascinating account of how an established field of knowledge tends to act to suppress new results that don't fit into it well. Thomas Kuhn, the philosopher of science has written about how old paradigms suffer crises as unexpected results pile up, then new paradigms are born in the collapse of the old. This book shows how such a shift is happening right now. History in the making.
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