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Thank you for publishing the July 22 article about the MIT patent of a cold-fusion-like process. Professor Keith H. Johnson is a brilliant MIT teacher and scientist. The patent application for his invention did not mention the words "cold fusion," which is possibly the reason that the application was approved and the patent issued.

However, there is another side to the story: If the energy coming from his type of electrolytic cell (a major part of both the MIT and the Pons-Fleischmann cold fusion devices) comes from the latent heat of water, only open cells and not closed cells will produce this type of heat. An open cell allows the escape of the hydrogen and oxygen generated during the electrolysis process. A closed call includes a catalyst that recombines the hydrogen and oxygen and allows the resulting water to drip back into the closed cell. Only the replenishing of the water in an open cell could provide the heat that Johnson and friends claim is the source of the energy released. Professor Johnson and I agree on this experimental fact.The rest of the story is that many of the successful cold fusion cells that successfully produce excess heat are closed cells.

All of us who are working in the cold fusion field are cheered by the news that this patent has been issued. Perhaps the Office of Patents and Trademarks will begin to process the other patent applications for cold fusion devices, including about nine that have been filed by the University of Utah on behalf of Pons and Fleischmann's enormously important discovery.

Hal Fox

President, Fusion Information Center Inc.

Salt Lake City