Failures to Replicate
One of the novel aspects of the approach used by the Taleyarkhan group was using multi-bubble sonoluminescence rather than single-bubble sonoluminescence, which Putterman had been trying. Among other novel ideas, the multi-bubble approach led to the new evidence by the Taleyarkhan group.
On Oct. 22, 2004, just days after Putterman ran his replication attempt, which failed to duplicate Taleyarkhan’s results, and posed gleefully with his students for the BBC camera crew, Bertodano sent an e-mail to Tsoukalas and his group at Purdue about the Tsoukalas group’s experiments. Bertodano wrote to Tsoukalas and told him that some of the members of their group had just met and that they had objections to their own confirmatory data, obtained a year earlier.
Sometime in October or November, Putterman pitched an idea to DARPA to attempt a replication of the Taleyarkhan group’s experiment. It was the same type of experiment he had just performed for the BBC — though he almost certainly did not tell DARPA about his failure to replicate — and the BBC had not broadcast Putterman’s failure to replicate.
Original online content only at New Energy Times
Back at Purdue, on Dec. 6, 2004, Joshua Walter sent a revision of the Tsoukalas group’s draft paper for NURETH-11 to members of the group. The confirmatory data had been removed. Xu began to write his own paper for NURETH-11.
On Dec. 8, 2004, Tony Tether, the head of DARPA, approved Putterman’s idea of an attempted replication, and DARPA asked for formal proposals. An e-mail from someone at DARPA (the name has been redacted) or the Office of Naval Research spoke highly of Putterman.