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Lost History: Explorations in Nuclear Research, Vol. 3 Paperback – December 2, 2016
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About the Author
Steven B. Krivit is an author, investigative science journalist and international speaker who specializes in low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research. He is the leading author of review articles and encyclopedia chapters about LENRs, including invited papers for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Elsevier and John Wiley & Sons. He was an editor for the American Chemical Society 2008 and 2009 technical reference books on LENRs and editor-in-chief for the 2011 Wiley Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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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.
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 in to gold. People who have a commercial product "almost ready" to do so.
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 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.
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.