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March 23-28, 1989. A press release from the University of Utah announced that "A Simple Experiment Results in Sustained Nuclear Fusion..." Statements in the release included that "the discovery will be relatively easy to make into a usable technology for generating heat and power," that "this generation of heat continues over long periods and is so large that it can only be attributed to a nuclear process."

Follow-up news stories quoted Fleischmann and Pons that they had "achieved nuclear fusion in a test cell simple enough to be built in a small chemistry laboratory," and that "the experiment generated a great deal of heat as well as neutron radiation." (New York Times, 3-24). It was also reported that "they have run the device for periods as long as 100 hours, and continue to produce more energy than it took to run the experiment." (Dallas Times-Herald, 3-24) and that "a palladium wire only a quarter-inch in diameter and an inch long reached the boiling point of water within a few minutes."

"He (Pons) said the wire produced about 26 watts of energy per cubic centimeter of wire, 'about 4 and one half times what we put into it'." "He (Pons) said that in an early stage of the experiments the apparatus suddenly heated up to an estimated 5000 degrees, destroying a laboratory hood and burning a four-inch-deep hole in the concrete floor." (Wall Street Journal, 3-27). "Evidence that fusion was taking place was the fact that in addition to heat they detected the production of neutrons, tritium, and helium - the expected by-products of fusion reactions." (Wall Street Journal 3-24).

James Brophy, Vice President for research at the University of Utah, said that "the experiment is easy to carry out once you know how. They [F & P] have reproduced it a dozen times." (Austin American-Statesman, 3-28). "The process, he [Pons] said, is extremely slow, especially if a large cathode is used. Using a cathode consisting of palladium wire, the process required 10 hours before fusion was observed." (New York Times, 3-28).

April 10, 1989. A paper by M. Fleischmann, S. Pons, and M. Hawkins appears (J. Electroanal. Chem., 261, 301 (1989)). Some details of the calorimetric measurements are given (e.g., open cell, isothermal calorimeter). Excess heat production of 5 to 111% reported for current densities of 8, 64, and 512 mA/cm2. "Enthalpy generation can exceed 10 W/cm3 of the palladium electrode; this is maintained for experiment times in excess of 120 h, during which typically heat in excess of 4 MJ/cm3 of electrode volume was liberated."

April 11. 1989. A group at Texas A & M University (C. R. Martin, B. E. Gammon, and K. N. Marsh) announce confirmation of the excess heat results from isothermal heat leak calorimeter measurements with an open cell. Excess energies of 20 to 80% are reported (New York Times, 4-11; Austin American Statesman, 4-11). (These results were retracted by the group during a visit of panel members to Texas A & M University on 6-19-89).

April 12-30, 1989. Several other calorimetric experiments announcing excess heat appear (Appleby, Srinivasan, Texas A&M, Austin American Statesman, 4-22; Huggins et al, Stanford, Nature, 4-27) while other groups report no excess heat.


May 1, 1989. A paper presented at the American Physical Society meeting in Baltimore report no excess heat in calorimetric measurements with an open cell at current densities of 72 to 140 mA/cm2 (e.g., N. Lewis et al, Caltech).

May 9, 1989. Several papers at the Electrochemical Society Meeting in Los Angeles report calorimetry confirming excess heat (Srinivasan, Huggins, Landau) and the first announcement of an energy "burst" that generated 4.2 MJ over a 2-day run (50 times the electrical energy put into the cell). (Science, 5-12).

May 23-25, 1989. A number of papers on calorimetry are presented at a Workshop on Cold Fusion in Santa Fe under the sponsorship of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Both positive excess heat results (Texas A&M, Stanford) and negative results (Caltech, MIT, Argonne National Laboratory, Naval Weapons Center, EG&G Idaho, University of British Columbia, Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories) are described. (These results, as well as some which have appeared later, are summarized in Table 2.1). No lectures discuss energy "bursts". The first meeting of the Cold Fusion Panel takes place.


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