Bishop, Jerry E. and Wells, Ken. "Taming H-Bombs," Wall Street Journal, 24 March 1989, pp.
Here is a breakthrough statement made by University of Utah scientists: they claim that with
inexpensive and readily available apparatus (batteries and palladium wire), they have achieved
room temperature fusion from which they have derived energy at a significant level. If true, this
is surely an important claim, for it would solve the energy crisis and pollution problems, among
other things. However, many scientists are skeptical for several reasons, not the least of which is
the unusual method of announcing the discovery: Pons and Fleischmann and their university held
a press conference rather than doing science in the usual way. Scientists remember that similar
claims were made in the past and proved to be false. The usual methods of seeking fusion
involve elaborate and expensive technologies, to which many scientists have long been
committed. In any case, the claim is enough to earn the Utah team a spot on the first page.
This is a rather strange piece in that the names of Pons and Fleischmann are not given. This is
really about the reaction of physicists to the chemists' claim.