Eugene Mallove, editor of Infinite Energy magazine and the leading advocate of cold fusion research, was murdered Friday.
Dr. Mallove, born in 1947, was a science publicist for MIT in 1989, when chemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann at the University of Utah reported experiments producing excess heat through what they believed to be a new nuclear process. Cold fusion refers to a tabletop reaction in which two atomic nuclei are forced together without the extreme pressures and temperatures of the interior of a star, where this phenomenon usually occurs.
Such a discovery would be revolutionary because energy released by the reaction could replace fossil fuels and nuclear fission reactors in the world economy. But mainstream scientists argued that the results weren't reproducable, and that Pons and Fleischmann had undermined the seriousness of their claim by announcing their results prematurely to the media.
Mallove, however, became convinced that proponents of larger "hot fusion" experiments were covering up results that confirmed the existence of cold fusion. Mallove clashed with researchers and administrators at MIT over the issue and soon left the university. He helped pull together a community of like-minded scientists and engineers, including science fiction writer and futurist Sir Arthur C. Clarke, to maintain momentum in examining the possibility of low energy nuclear reactions. The US Department of Energy recently announced it would re-examine the cold fusion question in light of data produced over the past 15 years by researchers who believe in the phenomenon.
More broadly, Mallove became suspicious of career skeptics and debunkers like Robert Park of the American Physical Society. He embraced many controversial claims, among them evidence for artifacts on Mars, UFOs, new energy sources, cosmic ether, and refutations of the Big Bang theory. Infinite Energy magazine is one the rare publications to explore such "fringe" topics.
People associated with Infinite Energy magazine announced Mallove's murder in an email Saturday, describing the homicide investigation as on-going. He resided in New Hampshire but was murdered in Connecticut while cleaning out a house belonging to his parents. He had recently evicted tenants renting that home, according to magazine staff. Mallove is survived by his wife Joanne, son Ethan, and daughter Kim.