First, a limerick from the newsletter of our local skeptics group – the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT):
Cold Fusion by Peter Scheil:
Cold fusion's the new holy grail: Cheap energy, always on sale, From an atom's odd quirk — But to get it to work, For the moment, seems destined to fail.
The hope may never die, which is why skeptics groups will never run out of material to talk about. Saturday’s PhACT lecture will bring us up to date on cold fusion, an energy scheme that burst onto the scene in 1989. All kinds of scientists tried to replicate the findings of two chemists who claimed to create nuclear fusion in a table-top apparatus:
Saturday, March 17, 2012 - The New Alchemy
If we could release it on a small scale, energy from hydrogen fusion would supply mankind's needs for millions of years. Despite an expenditure of billions of dollars, controlled fusion remains a dream --- except in the minds of a few isolated experimenters and their ardent fans. Tom will explain why physicists are skeptical of Cold Fusion and ask whether two old guys in Bologna can really put the oil companies out of business by the end of next year.
Tom Napier trained as a physicist in Scotland. He has worked for an English university and two European research organizations. He moved to the USA in 1981 where he developed equipment for scientific research and spacecraft communications. He has been a free-lance writer since 1996 and a member of the Council of PhACT since its foundation in 1994. He has written extensively on free energy schemes.
Where: Community College of Philadelphia In Lecture Room C2-28 in the Center for Business and Industry at the corner of 18th and Callowhill Streets. At 2:00 PM.