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15th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science

Header with ENEA, and ICCF15 logos

ICCF history and information

In 1989 two electro-chemists, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced that they had produced nuclear fusion reactions between deuterium nuclei in a tabletop experiment, under ordinary conditions of temperature and pressure, by using electrochemistry. The experimental evidence consisted of the production of large amounts of heat, which could not be attributed to chemical reactions. The heat excess was revealed by means of calorimetric measurements during electrochemical loading of palladium cathodes with deuterium.

The reactions were termed “cold fusion”, by comparison with the high temperature of thermonuclear fusion. One of the most intriguing features of the experiment was the substantial lack of the typical nuclear emissions associated with the excess of power, produced in thermonuclear fusion experiments.

The experimental results thus were in contrast with hot fusion data and were not supported by accepted theories. Many scientists concluded that there were no nuclear reactions and that the reported experiments were in error. Cold fusion was considered as an example of wrong science. This produced a partition between the traditional scientific world and the community which continued its research in the field.

In the 20 years elapsed since then, increasing evidence was found of the reality of the phenomenon, and an extended search for nuclear products connected with cold fusion was performed. Reproducibility was improved, and recently the first examples of cross-check experiments were implemented. Fourteen International Conferences have been held in those almost 20 years, and the present is the 15th of the series.

In 2002, also in order to take into account the variety of phenomena investigated, a new name was introduced, namely "Condensed Matter Nuclear Science" (CMNS). “Condensed matter” is a term employed by the American Physical Society for the last few decades to embrace the characteristics and mechanisms of both solids and liquids. CMNS was meant to focus on the science of nuclear effects in systems involving solids and liquids. It is an appropriate description for the current and continuing science of the field.

The International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science was founded in 2003. It remains the primary scientific society of the field.

At present, the name that many people are using to identify the field is the "Fleischmann-Pons Effect" (FPE). That effect is the production of heat and other products in a deuterium-in-metal system under unusual circumstances of very high densities of deuterium. The amount of heat produced per reaction can be 1000 times the energy released per known chemical reaction. The power densities (measured in watts per cubic centimeter of the metal) occasionally exceed those from fission nuclear power systems.

Helium-4 at levels that is consistent with the measured energy gain, as if the effect could be ascribed to a deuterium+deuterium fusion, giving helium plus heat as products in the palladium lattice, was revealed in some Laboratories in the world.

Even though it is difficult to make forecasts on practical applications of these phenomena, there is no doubt that the observed effects are indicative of a process related with the field of clean energy.

Many Institutes and Companies in the world are involved in this study either on experimental activities or on theoretical studies. However the phenomenon is not yet well understood.

The ICCF conferences, which began in 1990, have been held with a three continent rotation: America, Europe and Asia. It is the primary venue for the international community of involved and interested scientists to show and discuss results concerning the Fleischmann&Pons effect. The papers are then published in the proceedings of the conference. The numbers, years and locations of the ICCF are:

No. Year Location
1 1990 Salt Lake City, Utah USA
2 1991 Lake Como, Italy
3 1992 Nagoya, Japan
4 1993 Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, USA
5 1995 Monte Carlo, Monaco
6 1996 Lake Toya, Hokaido, Japan
7 1998 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
8 2000 Lerici, La Spezia, Italy
9 2002 Beijing, China
10 2003 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
11 2004 Marseilles, France
12 2005 Yokohama, Japan
13 2007 Sochi, Russia
14 2008 Washington DC, USA
15 2009 Rome, Italy

In addition to the ICCFs, there have been many other conferences on the Fleischmann & Pons effect in Russia, Japan, Italy, USA, including dedicated sessions at various scientific society symposia, such as those of the American Physical Society (APS), American Chemical Society (ACS) and American Nuclear Society (ANS).