Patenting Cold Fusion Inventions before the US Patent & Trademark Office – Part 1

The following is a paper prepared by David J French in support of a Poster Presentation at ICCF-18, the 18th International Conference on Cold Fusion held in Columbia, Missouri over July 21 – 27, 2013. The paper as reproduced on ColdFusionNow is divided into two parts. Part 2 is available here. Part 1 now follows.

Patenting Cold Fusion Inventions before the US Patent and Trademark Office – USPTO

Part 1

This paper is about the challenge of obtaining a patent before the United States Patent and Trademark Office – USPTO. The USPTO has developed a reputation for refusing applications directed to “Cold Fusion” technology. There is a general belief amongst the Cold Fusion community that some staff members at the USPTO have been hostile to granting patents in this field. In fact, the experience of almost every applicant in this field is that Examiners have a strong prejudice against granting patents for Cold Fusion inventions.

However I had some personal exchanges with the USPTO in the fall of 2012 that ended with a declaration that the USPTO will issue properly drafted patents which are directed to new technology in the field of Cold Fusion/generation-of-unexplained-excess-energy if accompanied by a proper disclosure and a demonstration that the asserted procedures will work as represented. The communication from the USPTO stated:

“As you noted in the email, Cold Fusion or Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) is the subject of intense study and interest of many. Clearly, further investigation into this area could be useful and will hopefully one day will provide a major source of energy.

“You note that the USPTO can require patent applicants to provide evidence that the invention works and that the disclosure is sufficient to enable others to make and or use the invention. The United States Code requires as much, and defines the requirements for patentability in 35 U.S.C sections 101, 102, 103 and 112. Particularly, the enablement requirement, which refers to the requirement of 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph that states the specification, must describe how to make and how to use the invention. The invention that is defined by the claim(s) of the particular application is the invention that one skilled in the art must be enabled to make and or use. (See MPEP 2164) This is the requirement of law in order to obtain a valid patent. These requirements are applied to all inventions whether they are ground breaking technology or incremental improvements.

“We also thank you for your suggestion to have a message that “The USPTO is open for business in the field of Cold Fusion for properly prepared patent filings” before the Cold Fusion revolution arrives. This is already the case. Any non-provisional application, including those in the area of Cold Fusion, is eligible for patenting also long as it meets the requirements of 35 U.S.C. Sections 101, 102, 103 and 112.” [end quote]

The basic requirements for the granting of a patent as referenced are that an application must address:

1. Proper subject matter for patenting,
2. A technology that works in the sense of being useful for humanity in some way,
3. A disclosure that will enable knowledgeable but uninventive workers to reproduce the invention, and
4. A stipulation (in the form of one or more Claims) as to what will be controlled by the exclusive rights to be granted, rights that must apply only to things that are new.

Many patent attorneys add a further requirement namely that the patent must be directed to something which is inventive, or in the terms of the statute, a feature that is “not obvious”. Non-obviousness is judged in view of what has been known previously. I like to include that requirement as really being a sub-characteristic of being “new”.

New US Law from March 16, 2013

As from March 16, 2013 the requirement for being “new” under US patent law is that the thing being patented must not have been “previously available to the public”. This means previously available anywhere in the World, at any time, in any manner whatsoever. The United States has finally joined Europe and the rest of the world in defining patent entitlement in this manner. If you think about these words, you will probably agree that this means that your invention must be “pristine on the planet Earth”! Never having been made available to the public anywhere not only requires that your applied technology be new, but it also must not be obvious in view of what was previously known. That is how inventive character or non-obviousness can be included under this new definition and requirement for patent novelty.

Patent novelty item 4 above, is a big issue. It cannot be addressed in this paper. But the remaining numbered items are relevant to “cold fusion” inventions and will now be addressed.

Subject matter for patenting – Science vs Technology

Patents are about technology rather than scientific discovery. In Europe under the European Patent Convention (EPC Article 52) and under the international Patent Cooperation Treaty – PCT inventions must be “susceptible of industrial application” in order to be patentable. This expression is further defined in EPC Article 57 which provides: “An invention shall be considered as susceptible of industrial application if it can be made or used in any kind of industry, including agriculture.” This emphasizes that patents are not about theories. Patents are about technology. The difference between science and technology is that science delivers understanding – from the Latin scienter, “to know”, and technology delivers something that is useful for human beings. Often, technology is the application of science.

In the past, it has been thought in the United States that there must be something tangible or mechanical about an invention. However, the US definition for something which is patentable, called “patentable subject matter” is: “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement”(35USC101). In the last 20 years we have seen an explosion of patents in the world of business activities and relating to human behavior in general. These patents have issued on the premise that inventions in these fields can be characterized as “processes”, now often called “methods”. The argument is still ongoing as to whether this opening-up of patenting to non-tangible arrangements that focus on human behavior, eg “business methods”, fits within the patentability requirements of the US statute. But for purposes of the Cold Fusion community, patenting has to focus on a technical, that is a mechanical or chemical, arrangement or procedure that is useful and reproducible.

The next two issues address why Cold Fusion patents have been encountering serious difficulties at the USPTO.

Utility and Disclosure Requirements

For an invention to be useful, it must “work”. This means that it has to deliver a useful result.

Not only does the invention have to work but the application has to describe how others can build something useful that works. The written document accompanying a patent filing must include a description that will “enable” competent workmen, after the patent expires, to carry out the instructions and obtain the promised useful result. The disclosure must “enable” others to obtain the benefits of the invention. The disclosure must provide a “recipe” that is complete.

If the instructions are inadequate, then a patent application will be refused. If the patent slips through it can still be canceled before a Court on the grounds that it should not have been issued in the first place.

You must write the Specification so that your invention may be practiced by a Person Having Ordinary Skill in the Art (POSITA) without undue experimentation. This individual is assumed to be knowledgeable, but he/she is not inventive. If the invention either intrinsically does not work, or the instructions to create it are inadequate, then a patent application will be refused.

What are the lessons to be learned from these points? One lesson is that it is a false triumph to slip something past the Patent Office. Any oversights of an Examiner can be addressed by a Court. The test of litigation is a very hot furnace. Only the sturdiest steel can take the heat. So you want to obtain your patent on a legitimate basis and do it right at the very beginning. Consequently, if you assert that you have a method for delivering unexplained excess heat based on what you believe to be a “Cold Fusion effect”, you must be absolutely certain that you are achieving this result. Furthermore, you have to provide a description that will reliably allow others to achieve the same result.

Warning: there is a deadline to get the “story” right in the Disclosure. Once a final patent application has been filed, the “story” contained in the disclosure cannot be changed. You can change your claims as long as they are restricted to things already described in the original filing. But you cannot make changes to the text in order to upgrade your description, your “recipe”, for making the invention work.


The history of ColdFusion is shot through with examples of intermittent replication right from the very beginning, starting with Fleischmann & Pons. I am not focusing on the failure of various illustrious institutions to duplicate the Fleischmann and Pons test results. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons had trouble duplicating their experimental demonstrations themselves. James Patterson in the 1990’s until his death in 2008 represented that he produced remarkable results from plastic, glass or ceramic micro-spheres coated with various layers of hydrogen-saturated metal, including both nickel and palladium. That was with his first batch of spheres. But when he subsequently prepared further batches he did not get the results he got before. Patterson obtained patents anyway, several in the US including No US 5,607,563 entitled “System for Electrolysis” issued on March 4, 1997, now expired. Other Patterson patents can be located through the hyperlinks in this reference. But these were never tested in Court. Shaky results have arisen in laboratory results around the world over the last 23 years. They are still happening today. This is part of the part of the mystery of this science. How does this affect patenting?

It is pretty clear that the USPTO should not be issuing patents for things that do not work. A little thought is required as to whether they should issue patents for things that work only some of the time. There are many technologies that might fall into this latter category. When you strike a flint on a bar of iron to create a spark and start a fire, it does not work with every blow. But the invention is profoundly useful. Similarly, in the field of pharmaceuticals medicines may exist that only work some of the time, but are well worth administering when there are no other alternatives and there is a real prospect that they may work in an individual case. Vaccines fall into this category.

On the other hand, I would not consider a heart valve to be useful if it has any substantial incidence of failure once installed in a patient. I am referring to failure due to a design fault such as accumulating scar tissue. Still, patents have issued for mechanical hearts that have kept Patients alive for only a limited period of time. In truth, the utility of an invention covered by a patent is highly dependent upon the representations made in the patent disclosure document as to what the invention will achieve.

This is leads to a big message. The utility requirement under patent law does not require that an invention be better or superior. It does not require that it deliver high-value. Anything that is “useful” to some degree will pass the utility requirement. But if an inventor extols the benefits of their invention, they are creating potentially serious problems for the validity of their patent. If you represent that your invention delivers a certain result claiming exclusive rights in such an outcome, and it does not indeed deliver that result, then such claims might possibly be invalidated for failing to meet the utility standard. At a minimum such defaults will be emphasized before a jury. You set the standard yourself in claiming rights over something that you say you can deliver. The conclusion is: Do not try to claim rights in more than your invention will deliver! In fact, as a general policy it is preferable to avoid making any more representations than the minimum needed to obtain a patent grant.

The utility requirement for an invention is met if you simply state an instance where it can be used to produce a useful result of even modest value. Do that, but go no further.

Example of Success

It is time for an example. Assume you have an experimental setup that produces unexplained excess heat. Rather than representing the technology as a solution to mankind’s energy requirements, it is sufficient to describe your invention as an assembly of hardware which demonstrates how excess heat can be produced from an artful combination of Palladium and deuterium. Just because you have described your invention as a demonstration apparatus does not mean that your patent claims cannot cover the use of the same apparatus to supply heat for your house indefinitely in the winter or heat for your air-conditioning system indefinitely in the summer, so long as the same principles are being used in the scaled-up system. But do not promise house heating and air-conditioning unless you also disclose how to build what is needed to do the job.

Here is an example of a successful patent granted on an invention for which Melvin Miles was a co-inventor:

United States Patent 7,381,368 issued June 3, 2008

Title: Palladium-boron alloys and methods for making and using such alloys

Inventors: Miles; Melvin H. (Ridgecrest, CA), Imam; M. Ashraf (Great Falls, VA)

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy (Washington, DC)

And here are the key claims:


1. An alloy comprising palladium and boron;

wherein at room temperature the alloy has a two-phase structure, comprising crystallites of a first phase and crystallites of a second phase;

wherein both the first phase and the second phase are solid solutions of palladium and boron;

wherein the crystallites of the first phase and the crystallites of the second phase are free of hydrogen;

wherein the first phase and the second phase have the same crystal structure;

wherein the first phase and the second phase have different lattice parameters;

wherein the alloy is free of palladium-boron intermetallic compounds; and

wherein the alloy is free of hydride compounds.

11. The alloy of claim 1, wherein said alloy is in the form of a membrane.

12. A method of hydrogen purification comprising the steps of: providing the membrane of claim 11, providing a gaseous sample comprising hydrogen on one side of the membrane, providing a vacuum on the other side of the membrane, and allowing the hydrogen to pass through the membrane.

13. The alloy of claim 1, wherein said alloy is in the form of an electrode.

14. A method of generating energy comprising the steps of: providing the electrode of claim 13, connecting the electrode to a cathode, immersing the electrode and the cathode in water containing deuterium, and applying a current to the electrode and the cathode.

Based on the above claims, anybody who has possession of the alloy described by claim 1 and uses it for any industrial purpose will violate the claim. There are multiple uses for this alloy. Claim 12 addresses using the alloy as a hydrogen-pass filter to permit hydrogen to enter a vacuum. Claim 14 addresses a clear example of generating energy by carrying out a Fleischmann & Pons type of procedure.

Note that there is no theory of operation included in the claims. If fact there is no theory of operation included in the patent. Why would you want to include theory that might not be right? And including the theory in the claims creates a terrible problem: to enforce the claim you would have to prove that the process being carried-out by an infringer complies with the theory. These are good crisp claims, directed to what they should be: a description of assembled hardware or processes for manipulating tangible substances. If you have described something that works, you do not have to explain why.

How did this application get through?

In the course of the prosecution of this application the Examiner never challenged the application on the basis that it is addresses a Cold Fusion invention. This may be for several reasons. One reason may be that the Examiner was working in an art where he was not accustomed to receiving Cold Fusion inventions. A further possibility is that the application focused on other uses for the alloy, mentioning the generation of energy as a collateral utility. In the case of a new compound, if it has an acceptable utility, the fact that the inventor believes it might also be the useful for other purposes, e.g. cold fusion, is not a bar to patentability. Once you patent an article or compound for one purpose, an article or compound that is new, then you are entitled to control its circulation in commerce no matter how it is used. A further possible reason for the easy treatment of this application is that it was filed on behalf of the Department of the Navy. And the last possible reason is that the application was generally well drafted, without making any extravagant claims or assertions of extraordinary benefits. This last possibility is to be contrasted with how many other applications directed to Cold Fusion innovations are drafted by attorneys, with the cooperation of or under pressure from the inventors.

This ends Part 1 of a paper prepared in support of a Poster Presentation at ICCF-18, the 18th International Conference on Cold Fusion held in Columbia, Missouri over July 21 – 27, 2013. Part 2 follow as a subsequent posting on here.

ICCF-18 Presentation Videos for Wednesday, July 24

Here are links to video presentations from Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at the 18th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF-18) held at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.

All currently available ICCF-18 papers and presentation .pdfs can be found on the University of Missouri conference archive.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Presentation videos
Monday, July 22, 2013 Presentations videos

On Youtube, switch quality to “720P” for HD quality.

Wednesday, July 24th Presentation Videos Playlist

And here are links to the individual videos from Wednesday, with links to the presenter’s slides as well:

Robert Duncan ENEA Workshop [slides]
Graham Hubler ENEA Workshop [slides]
Michael McKubre ENEA Workshop [slides]

David Nagel Production and Destruction of Elements by Low Energy Nuclear Reactions [All Nagel slides]

Thomas Barnard High Energy D2 Bond from Feynman’s Integral Wave Equation [slides]

Peter Hagelstein Lattice-induced Nuclear Excitation and Coherent Energy Exchange in the Karabut Experiment [All Hagelstein slides]

Graham Hubler Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance (SKINR) Overview [slides]

Roger Stringham Conservation of Energy and Momentum, a Cavitation Heat Event [slides]

ICCF-18 Presentation Videos for Tuesday, July 23

Available videos of Tuesday’s lecture presentations from the 18th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF-18) are posted on the ColdFusionNow Youtube channel.

Switch quality to “720P” for HD quality.

ALL slides from ICCF-18 presentations are on the University of Missouri archive here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 Presentation videos
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Presentation videos
Monday, July 22, 2013 Presentations videos

Here’s the individual video links below, along with a link to the associated slides for each presentation:

Michael McKubre and Edmund Storms Tritium Panel Part 1
Edmund Storms “Success in Making Tritium” [slides]

Mahadeva Srinivasan Tritium Panel Part 2
Mahadeva Srinivasan “Revisiting Early BARC Tritium Results” [slides]

Tom Claytor and Q&A Tritium Panel Part 3

Francesco CelaniFurther progress/developments, on surface/bulk treated Constantan wires, for anomalous heat generation by H2/D2 interaction” [slides]

Mitchell SwartzAmplification and Restoration of Energy Gain Using Fractionated Magnetic Fields on ZrO2-PdD Nanostructured CF/LANR Quantum Electronic Component” [slides]

Mathieu ValatCelani’s Wire Excess Heat Effect Replication” [slides]

George MileyDistributed Power Source Using Low Energy Nuclear Reactions” [slides]

Olga DmitriyevaNumerical Modeling of Hydrogen/Deuterium Absorption in Transition-Metal Alloys” [slides]

Unfortunately, we were unable to video the “Emerging Career Opportunities in CMNS Panel“.

We believe passionately that a new energy solution is waiting to be found. If you would like to support our work in reporting on the new energy field, make a donation to Cold Fusion Now!

Donate to Cold Fusion NOW!

Communiques from Columbia

Cold Fusion Now! coverage from ICCF-18

Message from ICCF-18: Sunday Basic Course
Day 1 Opening Reception: Top Researchers and New Faces
Day 2 Monday: Strong Claims and Rebuttals
Day 3 Tuesday: PHOTOS!
Day 4 Wednesday: Presentations and Behind the Scenes
Day 5 Thursday: Presentation and Awards
Day 6: The Way Forward
Banquet Snapshots: Celebrating Science
ICCF-18 Post Thoughts: Long Hours, High Spirits, and The Young Guns
Concluding Observations on ICCF-18 by David French

Presentations slides and papers from the proceedings will be available, as authors give their permission, at:

ICCF-18 Presentation Videos for Monday, July 22

The 18th International Conference on Cold Fusion was held at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, U.S over July 21-27, 2013

Here’s the ColdFusionNow YouTube channel with Monday’s videos, or see below for the individual links to each video.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 Presentation videos
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 Presentation videos
Monday, July 22, 2013 Presentations videos

Links to ICCF-18 Monday video presentations from these presenters are available:
(Note: Switch player quality to 720pHD for HD video)

Dr. Edmund Storms “Explaining Cold Fusion” [.pdf slides]

Distinguished Scientist Award: Dr. Edmund Storms
with Tom Claytor

Dr. Jean-Paul Biberian “High Temperature and High Pressure Plasma Electrolysis Experiments” [.pdf slides]

Jed Rothwell “Lessons from Cold Fusion Archives and From History” [.pdf script]

Dr. Vladimir Vysotskii “Subbarrier Processes in LENR for Particles in Correlated States at Action of Damping and Fluctuations” [.pdf slides]

Dr. Mark Prelas “Sporadic Neutron Production by Pressure-Loaded D/Ti Systems Under High Rates of Temperature Change” [.pdf slides]

Keith Fredericks “Possibility of Tachyon Monopoles Detected in Photographic Emulsions” [.pdf slides]

Dr. Yasuhiro Iwamura “Recent Advances in Deuterium Permeation Induced Transmutation Experiments Using Nano-Structured Pd/CaO/Pd Multilayer Thin Film” [.pdf slides]

Matt McConnell (Coolescence) Entrepreneurial Efforts [.pdf slides]

Dr. Mitchell Swartz (JET Energy) Entrepreneurial Efforts [.pdf slides]

Tyler van Houwelingen and Bob Greenyer (Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project)
Entrepreneurial Efforts [.pdf slides]

Nicholas Chauvin (LENR Cars) Entrepreneurial Efforts [.pdf slides]

Dr. Max Fomitchev-Zamilov (Quantum Potential Corp) Entrepreneurial Efforts [.pdf slides]

Robert Godes (Brillouin Energy) Entrepreneurial Efforts

Link to the Playlist here.

All ICCF-18 lecture slides, poster papers, and materials can be found on the University of Missouri site here:

We believe passionately that a new energy solution is waiting to be found. If you would like to support our work in reporting on the new energy field, make a donation to Cold Fusion Now!

Donate to Cold Fusion NOW!

Communiques from Columbia

Cold Fusion Now! coverage from ICCF-18

Message from ICCF-18: Sunday Basic Course
Day 1 Opening Reception: Top Researchers and New Faces
Day 2 Monday: Strong Claims and Rebuttals
Day 3 Tuesday: PHOTOS!
Day 4 Wednesday: Presentations and Behind the Scenes
Day 5 Thursday: Presentation and Awards
Day 6: The Way Forward
Banquet Snapshots: Celebrating Science
ICCF-18 Post Thoughts: Long Hours, High Spirits, and The Young Guns
Concluding Observations on ICCF-18 by David French

Presentations slides and papers from the proceedings will be available, as authors give their permission, at:

Concluding Observations on ICCF-18 by David French

ICCF-18 Way ahead Panel 26Jul13By David J French

I am now back from the above event after a long and circuitous drive home. Here are some of the thoughts I explored during the trip.

Without doubt the conference was wonderful in many respects, including both the opportunity to learn from the presented results of a variety of experimenters, and from seeing and talking with important, knowledgeable persons in the field, face to face. Nevertheless, I developed over the week a frustration that I finally voiced on the last day to the general assembly.

The last event of the conference was a panel discussion on what we can expect in the future: “The Way Forward” panel. Including the panel leader, there were seven persons sitting on the stage. The panel “discussion” proceeded by each of these seven individuals giving a 10 to 15 minute slideshow-supported presentation. The only exception was Mike McKubre who spoke for five minutes without a slideshow celebrating that the next ICCF will be held in Italy. He included in his remarks a criticism that too many people were revisiting past research and simply refining data to one more decimal point: “To move in ever diminishing circles doing the same thing others have done before won’t get us where we want to be.” His observations captured exactly the anxiety that I had been developing during the week.

I made as part of the question period after the panelists were done the following observations:

For this field to become commercially relevant, someone has to develop a system that will deliver:

1. Realistic amounts of power, e.g. 500-5000 W
2. At temperatures which are practical, e.g. 85°C; 150-200°C and, as a dream, 600-700°C, and
3. With coefficient of performance – COP values of at least 6, preferably 10 and possibly as high as 20 or more

In support, I observed that demonstrating milli-watts or even 2-digit watt outputs left this field in the category of a scientific curiosity. And producing even a megawatt of heat at a pathetic temperature level, such as 25°C, was virtually useless. (Perhaps it could be useful, for melting ice!) And finally, on the COP issue, I observed that it takes three barrels of oil to produce one barrel of electricity. Therefore a COP of 3 just breaks even on the electricity consumed. That’s why I set my floor value COP at 6.

There were two participants at the conference that showed commercial relevance. Robert Godes from Brillouin Corporation in California is working on a commercial boiler having nickel and palladium core operating at up to 2000 psi and 200°C. Also Brillouin Corp reports that they have a new Hot Tube model being tested at SRI that is expected to deliver steam at temperatures from 400ºC to 500ºC (750-932ºF). And Defkalion provided on July 23rd a live 9 hour Internet demonstration from Milan, Italy of their LENR technology.

This Defkalion webcast had an audience of around 1000 viewers online at its peak, including some 200 participants at ICCF-18. The Defkalion reactor was reported as providing water at 165.43ºC based on an input of 1858.8 Watts, and the heat output was 5721.6 Watts, giving a coefficient of performance (COP) of 3.1.
If these reports lead to commercial units, then these are the real champions of this year’s annual meeting.

There is still no theory about the effect. But those in the scientific community who whine about the lack of funding should realize that as long as they are producing only a teaspoon or toothpaste dab of unexplained excess energy, they will have to compete with all the vast numbers of other researchers who are lined-up to receive “blue sky” funds for their academic research. The “believers” who are chasing COP levels of 1.2 and 1.6 are hooked on the dream that someday, someone else will take their foundational research and turn it into a commercial reality. But after 24 years it’s time to get on with Part 2. If the three criteria that I have listed above are solidly met by anybody, there will be an avalanche of financial support from the commercial community. Who should receive this money? Why those who have demonstrated success, at a relevant level!

Yes, there is a Nobel Prize waiting out there for somebody who comes up with a theory that explains the effect. This is, indeed, a fascinating puzzle. And the sociology of the hunt for the answer to this puzzle will also be the basis of a number of PhD theses sometime in the future. Meanwhile, the researchers who are duplicating old experiments and ever higher levels of precision are not doing the field a good service, not unless they suddenly achieve a breakthrough in understanding. Such work is simply a demonstration of their competence in using laboratory equipment.

Before the conference I posted on ColdFusionNow a reference to the “Streetlight Effect“. I think this may have hit home with a few people; one of the presenters made an aside as he commenced to describe his 20 years of work in electrochemistry to the effect: “… notwithstanding that it might qualify as being limited to the vicinity of the streetlights”. When I made the original observation on the “Streetlight Effect” I had in mind the search for an explanation to the CF phenomenon. But having attended ICCF-18 I think there are enough favorable indications that practical applications can now be created even without having a rock-solid theory. So I suggest that henceforth the search beyond the range of the streetlights should be directed towards ratcheting-up performance in terms of the above the three criteria into the zone of commercial practicality.

If I were a rich venture capitalist looking to invest in this field, I would mine all the work that’s been done to date by undertaking a massive literature survey. There are people like Jed Rothwell, Jean-Paul Biberian and Ed Storms that know the existing literature pretty well. But they see it from their point of view. To make a breakthrough their knowledge has to be combined with the eager enthusiasm of newcomers who want to venture where others have not gone before.

What a combination if a highly energized core team of new, young and educated Cold Fusion enthusiasts can be combined with the resources and wisdom that have already been developed over the last 24 years! We may have such individuals available in the participants in the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project. Now all that has to happen is for these enthusiasts to receive the support that will finally produce fruit from this long-struggling vine.

ICCF-18 Post Thoughts: Long Hours, High Spirits, and The Young Guns

DSC_2520Having just wrapped up the week long 18th International Conference on Cold Fusion, some post thoughts and take-aways are beginning to form, and likely will continue in the days to come, as the decompression from the conference and related travel begin to take shape.

The Hours, Long.

The conference itself was excellent, though in actual execution it was rather brutal. Peter Hagelstein told me it reminded him of a conference in the early 2000’s where after all was said and done he settled in for a full 24 hour sleep. This conference had many of the attendees feeling the same way.

For myself and Ruby, after the 8am to 6 or 7pm lectures and presentations would conclude, it was a quick stop into town for some food and then back to the university dorm room (where most of the attendees stayed) for a complete write up on the days events while downloading photos and video, and transferring over numerous 32gig chips to hard drives. We’d usually wrap up a little before 1 am, then set the alarm for 6 to fix typos and finish up any transfers, before the presentations began at 8am.

Seeing as no one else was doing this, covering the event that is, it became a must do moral imperative that fueled us forward. The television program 60 minutes was apparently there for part of one day and I think there was an AP reporter sitting in front of me during some of the lectures, but most of the time I noticed he was on his laptop looking at Facebook.

There was also a filmmaker named Ken Fox who had attended a previous conference and was working diligently on his own Cold Fusion documentary. We hung out and shared ideas, technical and otherwise. Great guy.

But as far as the day to day coverage went with nightly publishing, was pretty much it.
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The Power of Gathering.

“Human relationships always help us to carry on because they always presuppose further developments, a future — and also because we live as if our only task was precisely to have relationships with other people.” — Albert Camus

What was evident at this conference was the power of gathering. The enthusiasm among the scientists, researchers and attendees was strong. One night we simply selected numerous photos from the day and made them the majority of the post in an attempt to convey the excitement present in the air. While one criticism came in on the lack of coverage for that day, someone else did get what we were visually trying to reveal. I posted it to our Facebook page and this was one of the responses that summed it up nicely:

I was just looking through some ICCF-18 “day three” pics from If you have any confidence in reading body language and facial expressions as an indicator, you would probably agree that the conference and more importantly, it’s content are being received with “warm regards”…

A leading scientist in the field told me during one of the breaks that the most exciting part of the conference was not actually so much the lectures, but rather the “behind the scenes” activity going on. Many exchanges on experiments and other aspects took place, and some of the information exchanged by presenters was not included in their lectures.

On top of it all was the simple act of friends from across the globe coming together, seeing one another, hanging out, laughing, smiling, socializing, philosophizing and reminiscing. While the same elements of any annual conference on any subject would take place, this being the subject of Cold Fusion and the history this particular endeavor carries, there seems an extra importance in having these conferences and sharing comradery with one another.






If there was one theme I noticed throughout, one element that according to others separated this conference from those in the past, it was clearly the talk about, The Young Guns.


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Heavyweights Mike McKubre and Peter Hagelstein both personally commented how the presence of young people at this conference was astonishing and inspiring.

At Thursday night’s banquet, Peter had young men and women going up to him and requesting photographs. Peter said that his heart got yanked hard when he was being told by some of the young people how his work had really inspired them.


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Others as well were surprised by the presence of youth. Many were encouraged by it, seeing as the leaders in the field are getting up there in years (McKubre is nearing 65, and considered the Young Gun of the remaining original ICCF group).

The Young Guns ranged from a high school student attending the conference with her dad (and was now re-considering variations on her experiments after listening to the lectures) to the extremely knowledgeable young men and women from the Sidney Kimmel Institute of Nuclear Renaissance (SKINR). I also met a 20 something guy named Nikita involved with analytical chemistry (pictured in the above top photo with Peter) who was part of the poster session presentations. He had incredible enthusiasm. At one point he stood beaming while carefully looking around the room. He then turned to me and said, “Yeah, these are my people…”


The Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project really made their presence known at this conference and they are definitely creating a pathway for young people to hop on board and get directly involved with Cold Fusion applications and experimentation. They provide a certain “cool” to this field while combining all the important elements from utilizing technology and the internet in relevant ways to taking direct, immediate actions to make things happen, all while backing it with strong and addicting enthusiasm. They made a HUGE mark at ICCF-18.



Overall, it was a long conference, and we agreed with many attendees who said they felt it was weeks and not days that had gone by. However the agreement was also that it was a very positive outcome and an excellent and very uplifting gathering.

The University of Missouri and Rob Duncan organized and put on a tight event that, while overwhelming in nature, was outstanding in outcome, with some very strong take-aways to push this field in the young and enthusiastic direction it needs to go.