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Pons and Fleischmann
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Scientist
    Stanley Pons (1943- ), born in Valdese, North Carolina
    Martin Fleischmann (March 29, 1927-August 3, 2012), born in Karolvy Vary, Czech Republic
    Researchers at the University of Utah
    Held a press conference to announce the discovery of 'cold fusion' (March 23, 1989)
    They had originally agreed to simultaneously submit papers to the journal 'Nature' with Steven E. Jones, who had been studying the field independently, but broke their promise in order to scoop Jones at their press conference.
    Their results were not reproducible by other scientists.
    When they published their paper, it was widely derided as sloppy, incomplete and uninformative.
    According to Gary Taubes' 'Bad Science,' during the three years before the cold fusion debacle, they had produced a series of papers ranging 'from dead wrong to recklessly interpreted.'
    They later spent $20 million under a grant from Toyota without getting any closer to actual fusion.
    A bitter Pons reportedly refuses to speak with anyone outside a small circle of friends and cold fusion true believers.
    If they had discovered cold fusion, it would have meant cheap, unlimited energy.
    Fleischmann received medals for electrochemistry and thermodynamics from the Royal Society (1979).
    In an interview with 60 Minutes (2009), Fleischmann said the press conference had been the idea of the University of Utah and he regretted participating.
    Fleischmann admitted cold fusion could be a 'horrible chain of misinterpretations and accidents.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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