Telegraph reports that Martin Fleischmann has died at the age of 85 years. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he was once regarded as one of Britain’s brightest electrochemists. However, he is most well known for the curious incidence of cold fusion back in 1989, which caused no little stir in the scientific community just as I was starting my science writing career.
Along with colleague, Stanley Pons, Fleischmann’s reputation was seriously compromised when they stunned the scientific world by announcing they had achieved nuclear fusion in a glass jar at room temperature. They hadn’t. Cold fusion does not occur.
Fleischmann read chemistry at Imperial College London where he developed his interest in palladium and hydrogen and then went on to do a PhD (or should that be pHD). He subsequently lectured at King’s College Durham (now more familiar as my alma mater, the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne).
Fleischmann is also known in science for his 1974 important role in the discovery of Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) and in the 1980s he developed the ultramicroelectrode.