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What exactly is cold fusion? Is it just a theoretical thing that could never happen?

No, it is the theories that say it Cannot happen. Well, all the reputable theories anyway. There is a technique for room temperature fusion, called muon-catalyzed fusion, that is perfectly reputable (using a muon, or heavy electron, two hydrogen nuclei can be made to fuse much faster than they ordinarily would). The ruccus concerns a poorly done electro-chemistry/calorimetry experiment in which the perpetrators claimed to have seen a lot of excess heat that they attributed to room temperature fusion going on inside a palladium electrode. This was back in 1989 or so, and they still have not been convincingly disproven, probably because science does not have good mechanisms for disproving determined people...

Arthur Smith

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