DESPITE what you might have heard, cold fusion never really went away. Over a 10-year period from 1989, US navy labs ran more than 200 experiments to investigate whether nuclear reactions generating more energy than they consume - supposedly only possible inside stars - can occur at room temperature. Numerous researchers have since pronounced themselves believers.
With controllable cold fusion, many of the world's energy problems would melt away: no wonder the US Department of Energy is interested. In December 2003, after a lengthy review of the evidence, it said it was open to receiving proposals for new cold fusion experiments. In this chapter I explore some of the scientific results, attend a talk to the US Navy Research Conference where some of the researchers present their ongoing work, and go to the house of Martin Fleischmann, one of the original cold fusion pioneers. Fleischmann was disgraced in 1989, but he still stands by the work he was doing.