cover image Cold Fusion: The Making of a Scientific Controversy

Cold Fusion: The Making of a Scientific Controversy

F. David Peat. McGraw-Hill/Contemporary, $16.95 (188pp) ISBN 978-0-8092-4243-6

Peat ( Superstrings and the Theory of Everything ) here probes the background of the cold fusion furor that broke out early this year when chemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann of the University of Utah announced that they had sustained a fusion reaction of hydrogen isotopes in a test tube. If verified, their discovery promises the world a limitless supply of cheap energy. Previously, fusion was thought possible only at temperatures found in the heart of the sun. However, other scientists have been unable to confirm Pons and Fleischmann's results, casting considerable doubt on cold fusion. Peat, who remains an agnostic on whether cold fusion is real, does, however, limn what an energy-rich world might look like in this competent, readable account of a highly controversial issue in contemporary science. (Dec.)