Brian Josephson safeguards historic contribution of Martin Fleischmann

U.K. University of Cambridge Professor Dr. Brian Josephson, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1973 for the Josephson Effect, wrote the fine obituary published in The Guardian honoring Dr. Martin Fleischmann, co-discoverer of cold fusion who passed away earlier this year.

Focusing on Fleischmann’s life’s work, the essay was not a defense of cold fusion, though Josephson wrote, “However, progress seems to be occurring towards the application of cold fusion as a practical energy source. It may well transpire that, in the words of one cold fusion entrepreneur: “The market will decide.” (Including Josephson’s links).

Josephson then went to work dismantling some of the blundering misconceptions that reared up in the print landscape through the many unresearched and cliche obituaries scrawled by witless writers “walking backwards into the future”.

He responded to one of the more egregious pieces (and there were many) printed in Nature, the scientific journal with a long-standing policy of refusing to publish cold fusion research.

John Maddox, editor of Nature back in 1989, had decided within months that cold fusion was through.

“I think it will turn out, after two, three years more investigation, that this is just spurious and just unconnected with anything that you would call nuclear fusion. I think that broadly speaking it is dead and it will remain dead for a very long time” Maddox said in the 1994 BBC Horizon documentary Too Close To The Sun. [watch]

Fortunately, only subscribers of Nature were subjected to the current dreadful fiction by Fleischmann-obit author Philip Ball, and we are not privy to Professor Josephson‘s Letter to the Editor in reply due to copyright (unless you’ve got $16), but he has posted a narrative containing the major points of his response on his website which we reproduce below.

Ball’s obituary of Martin Fleischmann in Nature found wanting
by Brian Josephson [original here]

A letter published in Nature addressed itself to an obituary of Martin Fleischmann written by Philip Ball, the flavour of which can be judged from the following extracts:
“the blot that cold fusion left on Martin Fleischmann’s reputation is hard to expunge”

“cold fusion is now regarded as one of the most notorious cases of what chemist Irving Langmuir called pathological science; it was a lack of reproducibility that finally put paid to the cold fusion idea”

“once you have been proved right against the odds, it becomes harder to accept the possibility of error. To make a mistake or a premature claim, even to fall prey to self-deception, is a risk any scientist runs”

When I challenged Ball on this he replied naively that “those few that claimed success have never been able to demonstrate this sufficiently reliably and convincingly to persuade the majority. That is simply the situation as it stands”. Factually that may indeed be the case but the fact that the majority are not convinced hardly suffices to justify the dogmatic presumptions implicit in the extracts cited above.

In any event, a response was clearly called for and I was glad that Nature accepted the letter that I submitted to their Correspondence section. In that letter I noted first of all that

Ball’s obituary, in common with many others, ignored the large amount of experimental evidence contradicting the view that cold fusion is ‘pathological science’,

citing the library at as providing a comprehensive listing of this research, including many downloadable papers. I also referred readers to my Guardian obituary.

I also noted that the situation at the time of the original announcement of cold fusion was confused because of errors in the nuclear measurements (this was not Pons and Fleischmann’s area of expertise), plus the difficulty others had with replication; however, problems with replication are not unusual in the context of materials science so this is not a strong objection and, further, in time

others were able to get the experiment to work and confirm both excess heat and nuclear products.

Ball included reference to ‘a Utah physicist who reported in Nature (see M.H. Salamon et al. Nature 344, 401–405; 1990) that he was unable to replicate the work’. Those who took the trouble to read this reference will note that the authors of that paper were much taken by the fact that there was a mismatch between the amount of excess heat claimed (which they did not measure) and the amount of radiation they measured. In case any readers were to draw the erroneous conclusion (which perhaps Ball hoped they would draw) that this refuted the possibility of nuclear reaction, I noted in my letter:

“experiment never excluded the possibility that the energy liberated might be taken up directly by the lattice”

I concluded by saying:

Had [this scenario] not happened, Fleischmann would have gained the credit due to him, rather than becoming a tragic figure in the manner of your correspondent’s account.

The above is provided as a service to those unable to access the complete obituary and comment in the journal itself.

Cold Fusion Now posted a series remembering Martin Fleischmann and turned one sorry obituary into art within ten minutes.

Martin Fleischmann 1927 to 2012 and beyond

PHOTO Martin Fleischmann courtesy University of Utah Archives

Telegraph Announcements
Professor Martin Fleischmann died peacefully at home on 3rd August 2012, after a long illness aged 85. Funeral Service at St John’s Tisbury, Wiltshire, Tuesday 21st August at 12.30 p.m.

Flowers or donations to Marie Curie Cancer Care and Parkinson’s UK.
Enquiries to Chris White Funeral Directors 01722 744691.”
–Placed by Nick Fleischmann




Imagine as you will…

Everyone is      an instrument       in a symphony

Each playing notes
Some melodious
                        others discordant
Each ringing true


At first and then less often…

The harmonies
                       are elusive

Yet strongly sustained!

Leaving us curious…

When it is heard the composition is magnificent!

Through keen observation over time
are seen

In the instrumentalists and their orchestration…

This certainly heartens

Good participation
and virtuosity


As it has in our friend
                                Martin Fleischmann
Thanks for everything






–gbgoble2012 In Honor of Martin Fleischmann

Martin Fleischmann in 10 minutes

I’m so lucky to be staying within a short 20-minute pedal to Venice Beach, California, where all the world mingles on the sands of the not-yet-too-radioactive Pacific coast.

Musicians, crafts people, campers, the homeless, sight-seers and tourists, families, soon-to-be-Hollywood stars, and artists galore line the Walk which, for me, begins at Muscle Beach and ends at the Santa Monica Pier Amusement Park.

I happened to still have the horrendous LATimes Obituary written by the lazy Thomas H. Maugh II for Martin Fleischmann in my backpack from the other day, when I showed a friend the thanks one gets for discovering the energy that could power Earth’s green technological future for tens of millions of years.

And then I met Winston.

Winston is a street artist who, for a donation of anywhere between $15 – $30 (you decide), will provide you with a portrait in 10 minutes.

What better way to turn this sad embarrassment (for the author) – into a positive tribute, adding to the ongoing special salutations Cold Fusion Now has featured all week, and ongoing through Tuesday August 21.

As I sat with Winston for that 10 minutes (OK, to be honest it was 16…!), I told him the story of Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons and their amazing discovery and about what it could mean for all the planet.

He worked on the drawing all the while.

When he was finished, I couldn’t have been more pleased.

Thank you Winston.

Winston has no contact information.

If you want to see him for a portrait, you have to go to Venice Beach.
You’ll see him on the Walk, just north of Windward Avenue.


Honoring Martin Fleischmann

The Telegraph
New York Times

Los Angeles Times
Salt Lake Tribune
Washington Post
Philadelphia Inquirer reprint Peter Svensson Associated Press

Too many obituaries like these continue the myth:
that cold fusion is a phenomenon imagined in the minds of lesser scientists.

(A shriekingly loud wailing erupts) Aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgghgghhhhh!

O my peoples! Let us correct this – We got your back Martin!

Please take a moment to write to your local newspaper, your national newspaper or news magazine, and tell them that cold fusion is real, and has been replicated hundreds of times in labs around the world.

Tell them Navy researchers have confirmed the effect twenty years ago, NASA is testing technology, and commercial products from independent companies are in development.

Tell them to look at the interviews with scientists on

You could engage in no greater honor for Martin Fleischmann, as well as the collection of scientists who continued to work on the Fleischmann-Pons Effect despite the hostility of the conventionally-thinking minds and myths like this headline above.

Of course, the greatest tribute to Martin Fleischmann remains the body of work these scientists produced in spite of the offensive conditions.

The “fax” that started it all:
M. Fleischmann, S. Pons, M. Hawkins, Electrochemically Induced Nuclear Fusion of Deuterium J. Electroanalytical Chem., vol. 261, pp 301-308, and erratum, vol. 263, p 187 (1989). [.pdf].

A discovery that wrote the names of Martin Fleischmann, Stanley Pons, and Marvin Hawkins in the pages of history forever, with the glory, and the sacrifice.

Hal Fox‘s
Fusion Facts
Volume 1 Number 7
January 1990 [.pdf]

Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons named
Fusion Scientists of the Year 1989

New Energy Times Fusion Facts Archive is here.

Additional archives sorted by author from New Energy Times here.


Our tribute, from the community of new energy supporters, continues to create expressions of love and peace for better world, which we firmly believe, is possible.

Love 2 Martin Fleischmann by Ra Superstar

Patty and Barry Simon performed a beautiful set of music, embellished in the video with Dr. Fleischmann’s fellow scientists words.

Martin Fleischmann leaves brilliant legacy of courage in pursuit of truth by Ruby Carat
The Deep Reach of Martin Fleischmann by Ruby Carat
A Story of Cold Fusion Power: Barack Obama and the New Green Energy New Fiction by Joe Shea

And ….?

The Deep Reach of Martin Fleischmann

So, the puzzle looks approaching the resolution now. The long lasting excess heat phenomena, currently being observed by several groups in Japan, Italy, USA, etc., will be understood in the extension of their research.

When we will trace inversely in time, we will find the original point of perspective in the Fleischmann-Pons work at 1989.” –Dr. Akito Takahashi

The passing of Martin Fleischmann has sounded throughout the noosphere, where lightspeed assisted in the collective and simultaneous mourning for a Lion of Science who dared follow truth, turning away from the insults of lesser minds without regret, and without reward.

The loss is felt strongly by his family, his friends, and fellow scientists who worked with him on over two-decades of cold fusion research where his intellect and integrity left an indelible mark on multiple programs around the world.

Indeed, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons created the field of condensed matter nuclear science. Without the public announcement of their discovery in 1989, we might not have the new generation of experimentalists and inventors working to bring this technology to fruition.

Andrea RossiAfter the recent news, Andrea Rossi, inventor of the Energy Catalyzer, a commercial steam generator now in development based on nickel-hydrogen exothermic reactions, an extension of the original electrolytic palladium-deuterium systems, noted that “Fleischmann and Pons were not the first to witness” these mercurial energy-producing reactions, but they “have been the pioneers to speak about the so called ‘Cold Fusion’.”

He said in a previous interview with James Martinez that ‘it was the announcement of their discovery in 1989 that was the “spark that ignited the fire”’ in his own research. [read]

All their attempts failed to produce the real big energy, but the idea to pursue low-energy nuclear reactions has been further followed by many others, myself included“. –Andrea Rossi

Martin Fleischmann was born in Czechoslovakia in 1927, but fled the looming approach of war to Great Britain as a child. As an adult, he traveled the world creating several laboratories, consulting and collaborating with scientists on every continent.

Fleischmann’s influence was particularly felt in scientific circles in Japan where cold fusion science received unprecedented support from academia, business and government. The 1994 BBC documentary Too Close To The Sun features an historical perspective on that support which included that of Technova Corporation, a subsidiary of Toyota, which funded Drs. Fleischmann and Pons’ continued research at a laboratory in France, after U.S. scientists successfully pilloried the pair, forcing a re-location from the “freedom-loving” American continent to Europe.

Dr. Akito Takahashi has been involved in the early Japanese cold fusion research as part of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Osaka University. Now, also associated with Technova, Inc, he is speaking at the NIWeek 2012 conference beginning this week as well as the 17th International Conference on Cold Fusion ICCF-17.

Before his trip, Dr. Takahashi took a moment to share what Martin Fleischmann meant to the Japanese program of research:

You know the NHE (New Hydrogen Energy) project 1994-1998 was funded by Japanese Government. To confirm the excess heat effect (EHE) by F-P’s D2O/Pd electrolysis was the target of NHE.

Fleischmann visited the NHE lab in Sapporo several times to lead and assist the Japanese team. Unfortunately, the NHE team could not firmly reproduce the F-P claim and the NHE project was terminated in 1998. However, a Japanese company, IMURA-Europe, Niece France, under the Toyota Motors, invited Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons to continue the ‘cold fusion’ research with Japanese researchers. The effort by the company was also terminated soon.

However Professor Fleischmann, as regarded by Japanese as the initiator of cold fusion research, gave a favorable impression to several tens of remaining JPN cold fusion researchers, especially in universities, and a small number of companies, who have found some positive, albeit irreproducible, data during the NHE and IMURA projects. The remained people have continued research works, both experiments extending to gas-loading method with nano-catalysts and theories on underlying physics, and have accumulated more and more concrete data. So, JPN researchers have sincere respect for Professor Martin Fleischmann to this day.

In regards to being an influence in research, Dr. Takahashi wrote:

Of course, Japanese researchers were inspired by the speculation that the dynamic behavior of deuterons fully/over-fully absorbed in metal lattice might cause ‘hither-to-unknown’ and ‘clean-radiation-less’ nuclear energy release. However, the NHE effort was still using the original F-P method (ICARUS device) and metallurgical performances of D(H)-absorption.

After the NHE project, a change of mind pursued ‘dynamic/transient’ adsorption/absorption conditions with nano-fabricated metal composite samples, after the original work by Arata-Zhang based on the idea of Emeritus Prof. Hiroshi Fujita expert of atom-clusters, Osaka University.

The gas-loading method with nano-fabricated samples of pure-Pd, Pd-Ni binary and then Cu-Ni binary nano-particles dispersed in ceramics supporters (ZrO2, SiO2, etc.) have finally provided the present on-going experiments with very reproducible excess heat release and interesting D(H)-isotopic effects probably indicating the nuclear origin of heat evolution. As the electrolysis method, done by the Energetics-SRI-ENEA collaboration, is getting to the similar condition of nano-fractal surface of Pd-metal for meeting ‘large excess heat’, the original F-P cell might have had nano-fractal conditions, albeit accidentally conditioned in uncontrolled way.

So, the puzzle looks to be approaching the resolution now. The long lasting excess heat phenomena, currently being observed by several groups in JPN, Italy, USA, etc., will be understood in the extension of such research line.

When we will trace inversely in time, we will find the original point of perspective in the Fleischmann-Pons work at 1989.” –Dr. Akito Takahashi

After the U.S. had kicked the discoverers of our future energy source out of the country, money from the Toyota empire built them a new laboratory in France. Ironically, Drs. Fleischmann and Pons were interviewed on Good Morning America – from France – in 1994.

Dr. Jean-Paul Biberian, a cold fusion scientist based in Marseilles, France and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, wrote of the influence of Martin Fleischmann on French research:

Martin Fleischmann played a major role at the beginning of Cold Fusion in France. Georges Lonchampt, who was then working at the French Atomic Energy Commission in Grenoble met him and Stanley Pons several times when they were working at IMRA in Sophia Antipolis. Fleischmann gave him full details of the experimental procedure, and even gave him two of their ICARUS 2 cells. Thanks to his help, Longchampt and his colleagues managed to duplicate, at least partly, the original work. Lonchampt was one of the very few who duplicated exactly the Fleischmann and Pons experiment.

Without his help there is no doubt that the initial program started in France in 1989 would have ended quickly after.

Martin Fleischmann’s influence has not yet been assessed. But as the world turns towards this viable alternative, there will be alot of looking back, and human eyes will see what they want to see.

Martin Fleischmann still lives. I can see him lecture, hear him speak, read his words, and see his face, just as much as I could before Friday August 3, 2012 when he reportedly left the physical world for a freer, larger existence. 0s and 1s dart about the network, framing his presence in the digital space that exists as an external double of our consciousness.

While a virtual visit to Mars is not the same as physically being there, robotic cameras give millions the opportunity to experience a form of space travel to another world. Millions more will meet Martin Fleischmann through his legacy of work, too, as documented by his true peers in the cold fusion community, and available for as long as human civilization exists.

Related Links

NIWeek 2012 Homepage

ICCF-17 Homepage

Watch: Too Close to the Sun 1994 BBC Doc profiles early history of cold fusion underground by Ruby Carat June 7, 2012

Watch: 1994 Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons interviewed on Good Morning America – from France! by Ruby Carat June 19, 2012

Media Dopplers by Chad Scoville