Infinite Energy Magazine
Concerning Truth and Justice in Science and What We Know About Science
May 14, 2006 was the second anniversary of Gene Mallove’s death. June 13, 2006 also marked an important day. It was the 175th anniversary of the birth of James Clerk Maxwell. Although disagreements about subtleties in James Clerk Maxwell’s work have been published in this magazine, no one disagrees about the importance and impact of his theory. The disagreements about subtleties in his work seem to reflect an unfortunate set of circumstances, involving the press and misrepresentations about cold fusion that have aggravated communication between mainstream scientists about the field and have also hindered meaningful debate between individuals involved with the field and individuals who are not aware of what has transpired. These circumstances—compounded by the press and by Time Magazine in particular—appear to be at the heart of the lack of meaningful discourse and confusion.
Similar confusion seems to be evolving, now, about new areas of work in cold fusion, where a new form of electronic press appears to be taking root. Whether or not this new form of press actually will help to uncover the truth, in the immediate future, is an open question. However, as in anything involving science, eventually I do think that the truth will come out. What will be remembered about what we do know about the relevant science hopefully will follow. It is my guess, as with past situations, that this will take time. But the process, as it relates to getting out all of the facts in cold fusion, probably will be painful; more about this later. . .
Maxwell’s role in cold fusion is incidental. His work comes to the forefront because implicitly it is the basis of Einstein’s theory of special relativity. Confusion about Einstein’s theory and its relevance in the cold fusion debate appears to have been initiated when Time not only named him as man of the twentieth century, but in the same issue suggested that Pons and Fleischmann would be remembered as potentially two of the worst scientists of the same time period. Shortly after this declaration, Gene Mallove began a crusade to undermine the work of Einstein and others who had been involved with his work. This was truly unfortunate because these efforts, at least in my mind, not only were misguided but have served little purpose. An important point to remember is that Einstein’s theory has provided a conduit for understanding part of the science associated with time, nuclear energy, and the propagation of light. His theory, by no means, is “the absolute truth” about these phenomena or, for that manner, in any aspect of science. But his theory does provide a language for interpreting many new things.
Maxwell began this process. In his interpretation of Maxwell’s work, Einstein suggested an entirely new, revolutionary way to explain new phenomena involving light that all at once appeared to be both elegant and useful. In fact, with time, we now know that what Einstein suggested is in fact approximate. However, because of the acrimony associated with the manner in which Time portrayed the relevant science, subtleties associated with the relevant science were forgotten. In response to this, and as a reaction to the lack of involvement by mainstream physicists in the cold fusion debate, Gene Mallove began to more forthrightly question whether or not the tenets of conventional science were wrong. In fact, because nothing in science is ever complete, he certainly was not wrong, but his motivation, I suggest, involved more a response to the lack of communication about meaningful science than in the fact that what Einstein suggested was either right or wrong. In fact, what Einstein suggested is the basis of modern physics. It is approximate and certainly not complete, but it does work. And its roots are in what Maxwell suggested. In fact, what Maxwell suggested is, in a very real sense, the basis of the modern physics of electromagnetism, as we understand it. He, not Einstein, began the process. What he did changed our way of understanding the universe because what he was able to do was to relate the laws governing electricity and magnetism to the propagation of light. Beyond anything that has transpired during the last 200 years, this accomplishment is truly outstanding. It is the basis of computers, radio, television, electrical power, and most of the modern inventions involving electricity that are fundamental to how we live our lives.
The lack of candor and serious debate about cold fusion, I believe, clearly would have been at odds with Maxwell’s wishes. It is truly tragic that a breakdown in communication, at such a level, involving mainstream scientists has occurred associated with cold fusion. The associated lack of communication has so seriously undermined meaningful discussions about Maxwell, Einstein, and others (Becquerel, Roentgen, Crookes, Pierre and Marie Curie, Max Planck, for example) who played such a prominent role in altering human perception about science at the beginning of the last century, that there has been a lack of meaningful discussion about the contributions of these kinds of individuals in Infinite Energy. In my opinion, it is tragic that fundamental ideas involving Maxwell’s work have been questioned in Infinite Energy; given the completely wrong way that cold fusion has been treated by mainstream scientists, this seems to be a reflection of the lack of involvement by mainstream scientists with the cold fusion debate.
Maxwell changed the world. Reprehensible behavior by mainstream physicists has undermined comparable accomplishments by Pons and Fleischmann, and others who have been involved with cold fusion. It would be nice, in the future, if mainstream scientists would be suitably reverent and attentive to work in cold fusion, in a way that attempts to mimic the reverence that they have for Maxwell’s work. Great scientists have always believed in good science. I sincerely believe that like Julian Schwinger, James Clerk Maxwell would have supported efforts to disseminate information, affirming the truth about cold fusion.
Although Eugene Mallove was very perceptive about problems concerning communication about ideas related to cold fusion and the physics establishment, in my opinion he was very wrong about how to address this problem in the context of individuals like Maxwell and Einstein. Confusion about this reflects a fundamental and important issue concerning “Truth and Justice in Science and What We Know About Science.” At a very basic level, science and what we know about science is based on a language associated with what works. Maxwell’s work, and his equations, constitute part of this language. Einstein’s work is also part of this. It certainly is true that these languages have deficiencies. But, for the most part, they do work. And deficiencies in how they work are in fact part of mainstream physics. Unfortunately, confusion has resulted about these deficiencies. In particular, these deficiencies have been treated in modern physics, but only through a more sophisticated treatment involving relativistic quantum mechanics, which is a subject that is not widely understood.
Gene Mallove and I disagreed about the significance of these facts. Gene felt that physicists would never accept the deficiencies in their language, to such an extent that he suggested that most physicists would never accept the idea that their failure to accept the reality of cold fusion effects, at some level, might be related to some kind of “truth,” or pre-conceived vision of “truth.” My view is that the lack of acceptance reflects a form of bias, and a lack of understanding about the role of language. In particular, I do believe once physicists are aware of the facts about cold fusion, they will change their opinions. There are no reasons to tear down modern physics as a consequence. Maxwell’s theory is at the heart of this.
In his theory, Maxwell introduced a new, idealized way to relate light and matter that changed the world. In the context of somewhat obscure limits, involving ideas related to relative motion, it did appear to have deficiencies that were resolved by the picture suggested by Einstein. An important point is that regardless of these “deficiencies,” Gene Mallove and I would agree that Maxwell truly did change the world, forever. And whether or not his equations should be viewed as “controversial,” they are (and have been) extremely useful. It is both a pleasure and an honor to acknowledge the mystery and genius of James Clerk Maxwell. It is tragic that he did not live long enough to see what he accomplished. But despite this fact, his genius lives on. We are all thankful for what he did. James Clerk Maxwell changed the world. At 175, his vision continues.
A second genius, possibly even greater in his accomplishments, was Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856—this year will mark the 150th anniversary of his birth. Nikola Tesla also changed the world. He invented modern electric power. Although Marconi won a Nobel Prize for “inventing” a form of radio that would be the basis of wireless telegraphy, in fact, he stole the ideas that were the basis of his inventions from Tesla. Subsequently, all of the patents claimed by Marconi, related to radio, were found to have been based on Tesla’s work and, as a consequence, were found to be invalid. At a more basic level, Nikola Tesla should be revered for having idealistically created new inventions that have truly affected the lifestyles of all of us, without profiting from what he did. Nikola Tesla actually wanted to do much more. His vision included creating free, unbounded forms of communication and energy, involving electrical discharges associated with the naturally-occurring vibrational motion of the earth, relative to the atmosphere. Although he was mistaken about the acceptable levels of power (relative to alternative forms of power) that might be used from the effects that he tried to harness, his vision and genuine idealism in trying to harness them truly represents the greatest form of idealism that anyone can aspire to achieve. As a close second to Maxwell, Tesla probably stands out as one of the truly astonishing, idealistic people of the last 200 years.
As a working scientist, it is truly a pleasure for me to acknowledge such wonderful giants of modern science as James Clerk Maxwell and Nikola Tesla. I am also especially humbled to suggest that Gene Mallove should also be remembered in a similar way, because of what he did both directly and indirectly. Directly, he confronted the scientific establishment, as did Tesla and (to a degree) Maxwell, about what really is true about science. Indirectly, he also created a venue for continuing this confrontation by creating Infinite Energy. This publication is entirely different from most publications related to science. It is a publication that can be used to question what might be viewed as impossible by most scientists. Although in Maxwell’s and Tesla’s time such a publication probably would not have been viewed as being necessary, today this certainly is not true. In the truest sense, by doing this, Gene Mallove created an essential form of communication that is necessary for testing what really counts in science: our own inability to question what we believe to be true.
When he used as the title for his book, Fire from Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor, Gene was questioning something more basic: What is truth and justice in science and what do we know about science? We had our disagreements. But at heart, both of us were searching for an answer to this basic question. I sincerely wish that I could still debate these facts with him. I am troubled, as I think Gene would have been, about new developments involving details about a potentially disruptive form of communication (or lack of communication) associated with the internet that seems to have taken root, in areas associated with cold fusion.
As long ago as 2000, I suggested that as a consequence of a lack of communication about cold fusion, individuals involved directly or indirectly with the field might be corrupted by the internet. In particular, as a guest editor of a special collection of articles of the Taylor and Francis ethics in science journal Accountability in Research (S.R. Chubb, M. Fleischmann, S.E. Jones, D.L. Goodstein, F. Scaramuzzi, G.H. Miley, J.O. Bockris, D.J. Nagel, Accountability in Research, 8, 1-162 (2000)), I identified a very real, potential problem associated with the internet: That because this venue does not require a sufficient amount of respect between individuals associated with its use, serious harm and a lack of communication might result that could be potentially damaging, in spite of the fact that this form of communication is supposed to be helpful in fostering communication.
Recently, not only has it become apparent that serious harm might take place, in this context, but that the field as a whole may suffer as a consequence. Whether or not this has happened or will happen is an open question. In Tesla’s time, it is worthwhile noting that because of the extraordinary nature of the claims (and counter-claims) that were involved, abuses occurred associated with patents, claims, and disclosures. During the last year, it appears that possible problems, associated with similar behavior, involving effects (and/or purported effects) associated with cold fusion (and how these claims have been investigated) have begun to take place. How serious the ramifications associated with these potential problems are is an open question. However, it is also obvious that the internet and “formal” as well as “informal” forms of communication through the internet have tended to aggravate (as opposed to improve) the dynamic associated with the underlying debate (or lack of debate).
Claims and counter-claims that have been promulgated through the internet include purported exaggerations about involvement in work (or lack of involvement in work) that may have bearing on research that may be important involving a publicly traded company that superficially appears to be important in the development of new technology. Compounding disagreements about these claims (which probably have marginal significance) are possible forms of character assassination, potentially libelous actions, and related actions that, it is sad to say, could result in litigation. Although superficially the associated dialogue (or lack of dialogue) might appear to be of value, because of the limited amount of funding that is available, at best this “dialogue” should be viewed either as a lack of dialogue or as a form of gossip. At worst, it could seriously undermine really genuine and meaningful discourse and also could be harmful to all who are involved. In the future, one might hope that respectful, well-constructed dialogue might take place, in which the kinds of discourse that I have alluded to involve an open exchange of meaningful ideas, based upon fact, as opposed to partial truth. Individuals involved with real science and the way that real science is reported can and should do this. In the context of greater questions, associated with science and what we know about science, can we really expect to not pursue such a higher endeavor? Gene Mallove would not have expected less. Neither would have Maxwell, Einstein, or Tesla; we can and must do better.
It is entirely fitting and appropriate that in this issue, articles associated with some of the more subtle aspects of Maxwell’s work, and the ideas of Einstein that resulted from his work, are presented. The first two articles, “Secure Quantum Communication and Superluminal Signaling on the Bell Channel,” by R.O. Cornwall and “Is Superluminal Communication Possible?” by Gao Shan, in particular, deal with questions that not only bothered Einstein, but many individuals associated with the modern theory (Quantum Mechanics) associated with causal relationships. Although I personally believe that what is stated in these articles, which is tied to the notion of “wave function collapse,” involves a particular concept that is neither measurable or meaningful, this concept and related ideas have bothered many people (including Einstein) since quantum mechanics was invented. The two articles “Theoretical Basis and Proofs of the Existence of Atom Background Radiation” by G.P. Shpenkov and “Excess Energy from Chemical Reactions of Water (H2O and/or D2O)” by Fu Liu deal with more concrete issues that may have bearing on new forms of energy. Shpenkov’s paper is more general than Liu’s. It deals with fundamental issues associated with the underlying theory of electrodynamics as it relates to charged particles (quantum electrodyamics, or QED). In particular, Shpenkov suggests that fundamental issues associated with the zero of energy can be used to significantly simplify how QED is applied in dealing with some of the more fundamental questions (for example, the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron) where it has been applied. Liu, on the other hand, attempts to explain cold fusion phenomena using a novel, new idea associated with an alternative picture, involving a form of water possessing a “combustible substance [with] shown organic properties” (CSSOP) that potentially might be at work. In the final paper, “Structure Formation in the Early Big Bang Universe? The Hubble Deep Fields and Ultra Deep Fields Say No!” Billie Westergard discusses a more esoteric topic, associated with the evolution of the early universe.
It is entirely appropriate to thank all of the authors who have contributed to this issue of Infinite Energy and to acknowledge their creativity. In the end, it is only through truly creative thinking that ideas, like the ones presented here, can come to the forefront. Although it is not obvious at all if any of these ideas come close to the truly great ideas formulated by James Clerk Maxwell, Nikola Tesla, and Albert Einstein, only by attempting to be creative can anyone aspire to accomplish the kinds of things that these great thinkers did accomplish. Any attempt to follow in the footsteps of such great people should be commended.