Twenty five years ago, University of Utah scientists announced a discovery that touched off a worldwide sensation.
"Basically, we’ve established a sustained nuclear fusion reaction by means which are considerably simpler than conventional techniques," said Professor Stanley Pons on 23 March 1989. He was describing an experiment on the Utah campus that sent waves of optimism around the globe.
Some thought so-called "cold fusion" would solve the world’s energy problems and lead to widespread peace and prosperity. But it wasn’t long before those hopes crumbled. At least one prominent scientist later denounced it as "the scientific fiasco of the century."
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