Over the course of 5 years, ReResearch conducted more than 300 experiments testing radical claims by several research groups around the world, that nuclear effects could be observed in highly deuterated palladium in very specific circumstances. This research, purported to show that new evidence led credence to the previously discredited claim of electrochemists Pons & Fleischmann in 1989 that highly deuterated palladium could catalyze a hitherto unknown nuclear pathway.
The new experiments claimed that very specific, but replicable conditions had been discovered that were required to trigger the effect. A lack of understanding of such conditions, they asserted, led to the incorrect conclusions that the original Pons & Fleischman work could not be replicated and was therefore invalid. These new claims attracted significant media publicity in the Economist and on CBS’ 60 Minutes at the turn of the decade.
Having met with all of the major researchers involved, ReResearch set about replicating these claims, in conjunction with other laboratories. Two substantial pieces of research were undertaken, one of which is published in the research literature. That scientific publication can be found here.
The properties of materials on the nanoscale are known to differ widely from their bulk counterparts. Exploration of the characteristics of these materials is a major ongoing area of research. We intend to characterise properties of a range of materials as efficiently as possible, with a mandate to ultimately develop new products for the commercial market.
The conclusion of the research, was that anomalies very similar to those claimed were observable by our research scientists. However, we were able to trace the source of the anomalies back to subtle issues in the experimental design. For example, examination of the data in one set of experiment showed that the apparatus was prone to apparent thermal excursions even when the experiment itself was not running. Collaborating labs, also attempting replication of these effects, showed similar results. In total, across ReResearch and collaborating labs, about 1,000 experiments were performed, all of which either showed no unusual behavior or had prosaic explanations of the observations.
Consequently, after an extensive research program, we believe that the claims of new evidence supporting this controversial idea are undermined by poor experimental design and poor calibration of the apparatus.