Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cold fusion.

Tonight 60 Minutes is airing a report on cold fusion research. I haven't seen the report, but this whole business is what I was referring to obliquely back when I wrote this. I'll write more about this soon, since it provides a nice vehicle for talking about good experiments and what we mean when we say that something is "reproducible" and "controlled". The short version: (1) Don't go out and buy palladium futures just yet. (2) There is something weird going on in the experiments, but it's not at all clear that it has anything to do with nuclear processes, since that would require at least two "miracles" (= totally unexpected deviations from established physics). (3) A careful look at this by careful people is probably worthwhile, but massive hype is a bad idea.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Regarding your point (1) The price of palladium futures depends not on whether there is any scientific validity to the claims of cold fusion, but rather on whether some investors can be bamboozled into thinking there might be scientific validity. If you watch startups and venture capiltal companies, you will quickly come to the conclusion that hype is as good as science for investors. You cold still make a killing on palladium if you play your cards right --- independent of the science.