Tom Bearden remembers Gene Mallove

With the murder of Gene Mallove, we've lost one of the most dedicated and sincere ­ and competent ­ researchers in the alternate energy field. He was a champion­even the champion­of rigorous scientific work on cold fusion. Due in large part to his stalwart efforts, cold fusion is one area that just would not be squelched, even though some of the most powerful (and even some of the most immoral) aspects of the big and powerful nuclear and hot fusion community vehemently opposed and still oppose cold fusion.

It is doubly sad because of the energy crisis hurtling upon us and threatening eventual economic collapse of the U.S. and of our society. Gene well-understood that coming massive problem, and he also understood that the conventional energy things being worked on and funded by the established scientific community were largely “business as usual”, and not anywhere near equal to solving the problem.

It is triply sad because, starting from statistical fluctuations in systems originally at constant temperature and in equilibrium, it is already well-known and experimentally proven ­ e.g., in forefront thermodynamics; see Wang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett., 89(5), 29 July 2002 ­ that the statistical fluctuations alone are sufficient to “make the chemical reactions run backwards” for up to two seconds in a region of the size of a cubic micron. In an aqueous solution, that is some 30 billion ions and molecules involved in that region where the reactions can be and are being reversed.

As Gene often pointed out, the only thing chemically preventing nuclear reactions at low temperature is the “Coulomb barrier” between like charges, such as two hydrogen ions (simply two free protons). Yet the statistical fluctuations alone can temporarily result in the “Coulomb barrier” becoming a “Coulomb attractor” between like charges. If this reversal lasts sufficiently long, then statistically some of the H+ ions will be drawn together closely enough to involve the strong force region, forming a quasi-nucleus.

In that case, decay of the fluctuation can indeed lead to a new nuclear reaction where a single quark flips in one proton and converts it to a neutron, producing a deuterium nucleus. Obviously there are many more previously uninvestigated “backwards nuclear reactions” available from this generatrix of statistical fluctuations. Just as obviously, without additional stimulation, the backwards reaction occurs but with extremely low expectation.

This “statistical reversal of reactions” momentarily, is especially pertinent if very sharp perturbations are also made to the solution; in nonequilibrium thermodynamics, it is already well-known and proven that strong gradients are one of the areas that experimentally violate the Second Law of thermodynamics. It is also well-known that re-ordering and shifts to new states not otherwise achievable are accomplished. And to quote Kondepudi and Prigogine, not much is known about it, either experimentally or theoretically. It simply has not been sufficiently investigated scientifically.

So one day, it is almost certain that cold fusion efforts will prevail, because ­ if the scientific community would simply fund research in the area, particularly for the pioneers, some doctoral theses programs, and some sharp young post doctoral programs ­ then in a very short time cold fusion would be proven and established, including controllably. These were the kinds of things that Gene was deeply dedicated to try to help bring about.

It is also sad that now Gene will not live to see the eventual fruition of his hard work and tremendous dedication over these years. When it does happen, he will have played a major role in getting that great achievement established.

Gene was always an inspiration and uplifting, and I very much valued his friendship and our occasional contacts. He was also that rarity of rarities: A real gentleman in this old modern cut-throat world, and a person with a truly noble soul. He will be sorely missed.

With the untimely passing of Gene Mallove, we have truly lost one of the real pioneers and one of the great alternative energy researchers of all time. We shall not see his likes again for many a year.

With deepest regret,

Tom Bearden


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Mai 2004

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