Science: Fusion Illusion?

Two obscure chemists stir up a fascinating controversy in the lab, but new tests challenge their hopes of creating limitless energy

Little more than a month ago, they were just two chemists, toiling in virtual anonymity. But B. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann came last week to Washington as heroes, visionaries and scientific superstars. With a mob of reporters following along, the thermodynamic duo marched onto Capitol Hill to tell Congress how their simple tabletop experiment had generated fusion, the nuclear reaction that powers the sun. Displaying slides filled with complex equations, wielding electronic pointers and pulling a mockup of their apparatus from a plastic shopping bag, the bespectacled researchers mesmerized the members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology...

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