Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cold Fusion a Result of Beer Goggles?

In his obituary of Martin Fleishmann, co-claimant to the phenomena of cold fusion, Douglas Martin of the New York Times writes:
B. Stanley Pons, a North Carolina native, arrived at Southampton to complete his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1975, and came under Dr. Fleischmann’s wing. The two went on to publish dozens of papers together. Dr. Fleischmann fell into the habit of visiting Dr. Pons once or twice a year after Dr. Pons became chairman of the chemistry department at the University of Utah.

In the early 1980s, the two were hiking in Mill Creek Canyon in Utah when their conversation turned to experimental results from the late 1960s that still puzzled them. They began to conceive a follow-up experiment and fleshed out details at Dr. Pons’s kitchen table while sipping whiskey.
(Emphasis mine.)
Perhaps Pons and Fleishmann's biggest fault was simply not taking a good, clear-headed look the next morning after the beer goggles had worn off.

1 comment:

Jay Alt said...

Estimating the number of good papers aided and lubricated by beer conversations would be very challenging.