Lost History Comments

Lost History: Explorations in Nuclear Research, Vol. 3


"The Earth is Not Flat and is Not the Center of the Universe"

In the late 1800s and early 1900s a significant paradigm shift occurred in science. The long-held certainty of the physical sciences was that atoms were the smallest structures in the universe, and therefore, indivisible. Then along came Rutherford and Soddy to show that it just was not so; high-energy alpha particles could disintegrate atoms, forming atoms of different elements. But even more heretical than that, in the 1910s a few scientists came along and found that, even without high-energy particles, elements could be changed, suggesting yet another paradigm shift. But it didn't take root; these transmutations were just too far beyond what most scientists could conceive and be willing to accept. Instead, most scientists assumed that the newly observed elements were better explained as outside contamination in the experiments. But as Krivit shows, the authors of the new research considered the contamination explanation and isolated their experiments to rule it out.

Krivit has once again proven his ability to dig for facts and produce an easy-to-follow and well-told story. I have long considered myself fairly well-versed in the history of nuclear research. I have studied it and taught classes in it. But Krivit showed me that there was much that I did not know, and as it turns out, hardly anyone knew. He found pieces of history that had been truly lost, wove these pieces together based on the historical chronology, and produced a comprehensive picture of what turned out to be a significant era in nuclear research.

What struck me most is how difficult it has been in science to break through the barrier of accepted facts. It was once accepted fact that the earth was both flat and at the center of the universe — until someone proved it wasn't. Some of this early atomic research was dismissed and ultimately lost because the results did not fit the paradigm of what scientists "knew" to be true. Most scientists did not want to accept the research or try to reproduce the experiments for fear of being labeled alchemists, the ultimate stigma for scientists of the era. Our view of the world was expanded through the research in this lost history, but not everybody was willing to go along for the ride. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this fascinating book. Buy the Book
By Fletcher Whitworth, Maryland

"Future Workers in This Field Will Find Krivit's Work Invaluable"
Lost History completes Steven Krivit's literature review of the LENR field, covering the early years. Krivit has made a significant and successful effort to clarify this troubling area of science. Future workers in this field will find his work invaluable. Workers in this field and those interested in science history will want to have all three of Krivit's fine books for their comprehensive coverage of emerging new science in LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions). Buy the Book
By John A. Gowan, San Luis Obispo

"Rowdy History of Transmutation, it's Disgrace, and Who Got Bits of it Right. Early History of LENR"

Steven Krivit is a very capable science journalist. This is a terrific journey through colorful old science, held in disrepute for the last century or so. In other works, Krivit can be overly harsh in his criticism of scientists, but this work is entirely good-natured.

When it wasn't forbidden to search for elemental transmutations with the tools of chemistry, people found them. But then, as now, people come in many flavors. Serious scientists. People who need funding. People who want to make lead into gold. People who have a commercial product "almost ready." And investors and research bureacrats, then as now, have to try to sort it all out, or in frustration, throw the baby out with the bathwater.

At some point it was decided that physicists do transmutations, and chemists don't. These stories predate that point. A particularly colorful period. It is of special interest today because a few of the outrageous claims of transmutation back then are now commonplace in the laboratories of LENR researchers - which provokes several questions: Who got there first? What else did they find out? What other simple and safe demonstrations of LENR exist to help elucidate its physical mechanism?

As scientists we are obliged to listen to Nature and allow her to overrule our ideology, no matter how well established the current models of physics may seem. Krivit's explorations are terrific evidence-based roadmaps of the physics that is coming when the consensus that LENR can't happen is replaced by the expansion of physics to encompass another chunk of reality. Buy the Book
By John Smith, Los Angeles

"Everything Old is New Again"

The author shows from century-old research papers that what was once called "cold fusion" (now referred to as low-energy nuclear reactions--LENRs) was actually discovered long ago. He then shows how the scientists who made the discoveries misinterpreted and even suppressed their results out of fear of being labelled alchemists. Finally, he describes how the high-energy nuclear reactions, which were much easier to replicate, came along and eclipsed the research into LENRs.

Lost History is a tale of how "political correctness" can trump scientific validity, and how readily reproducible results can draw researchers away from difficult avenues of investigation. It should be read by everyone who is responsible for funding scientific research--those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. Buy the Book
By David M. Drury, Ph.D., Wisconsin

Feedback from Dr. Lowell Morgan, a physicist with 50 years of experience (PDF file)