Too Hot to Handle: The Race for Cold Fusion

Princeton University Press
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Frank Close, a leading physicist and talented popular science writer, reveals the true story of the cold fusion controversy--a story ignored until now in spite of the glare of publicity surrounding Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons. On March 23, 1989, these two Utah scientists held an astonishing press conference, maintaining that they had succeeded, working in secret, in harnessing atomic fusion. What was the basis for their claims to have achieved cold fusion in a test tube in a basement laboratory, while other scientists--using magnets as big as houses and temperatures hotter than those in the center of the sun--were failing to produce as much power as they were using? Why did Fleischmann and Pons proclaim their "discovery" at a news conference, when first announcements of scientific results are almost always made within the scientific community? Why did the full-blown media event inspired by their initial report cause governments to reorient their research programs in hopes of cornering the "new technology"? And why did some scientists recklessly abandon their traditional painstaking methods in haste to be first to prove or discredit the experiment? Acquainted at first hand with investigations of cold fusion on two continents, Close is uniquely qualified to probe the motivations behind Fleischmann's and Pons's startling assertions and to explore the intellectual and political turmoil that surrounded the cold fusion debate.

Originally published in 1991.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 14, 2014
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Pages
388
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ISBN
9781400861606
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / History
Science / Physics / Atomic & Molecular
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos. Frank Close tells the story of how scientists have explored the elusive void, and the rich discoveries that they have made there. He takes the reader on a lively and accessible history through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research. He describes how scientists discovered that the vacuum is filled with fields; how Newton, Mach, and Einstein grappled with the nature of space and time; and how the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the void may now be making a comeback with the latest research into the 'Higgs field'. We now know that the vacuum is far from being empty - it seethes with virtual particles and antiparticles that erupt spontaneously into being, and it also may contain hidden dimensions that we were previously unaware of. These new discoveries may provide answers to some of cosmology's most fundamental questions: what lies outside the universe, and, if there was once nothing, then how did the universe begin? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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