March 23, 1989

On This Date in in 1989 two Utah scientists, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, reported that they had produced fusion at room temperature, which is the Holy Grail of energy production. Nuclear fusion normally happens inside the cores of stars at millions of degrees of heat and incredible pressure. Other scientists rushed to replicate the experiment and hope faded due to the large number of negative replications, the withdrawal of many of the reported positive replications, and the discovery of flaws and sources of experimental error in the original experiment and finally the discovery that Fleischmann and Pons had not actually detected nuclear reaction byproducts. Several of the supporters of Fleischmann and Pons protested that the other scientists’ experiments were doomed to fail as they wouldn’t pay the $19.99 plus $6.25 for shipping and handling for the slivers of the Philosopher’s Stone that Fleischman and Pons had used as the reactionary agent in their initial experiment.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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