The experiment on 'spontaneous heat generation' that W. Reich set up with A. Einstein on a winter day in the midst of WWII, at a time when Nazi Germany had the upper hand, is likely the
most bungled experiment in the history of science. And it would forever leave hanging over Reich a
specter of failure, if not crankiness. The man who was later dubbed the greatest genius of the XXth
century by the universal media entente, had rejected Reich's discovery of a thermal anomaly as a trivial artifact resulting from the blockage of normal indoor convection currents - the 'explanation' having been provided courtesy of L. Infeld, then Einstein's assistant.
The experiment centered on whether there was - as Reich claimed - or not, an anomalous positive temperature difference above the top plate of an insulated Faraday cage (named by Reich - the
Orgone Accumulator). If reproducible, Einstein stated the thermal anomaly would be "like a bombshell in Physics".
The present communication describes performance of what we consider to be the critical control to the Reich-Einstein experiment. We found that in a dark, unheated basement room the positive temperature difference above the
top of a naked suspended metal box, as compared to the suspended air thermometer is, in general,
sustained around the clock and is highly significant even by statistical analysis. No such thermal
anomaly is observed with only the wooden box. Furthermore, we demonstrate how the thermal
anomaly can be separated from the cooling effect of any convection currents arising from the ground
(or the floor), and persists when the underside of the metal enclosure is directly exposed to these currents. It is therefore independent of any convection currents in a closed room, and specific to the
unknown energy functions of a metal box. This simple control would have by itself proven correct
the hypothesis that Reich had proposed regarding the existence of anomalous radiative fluxes capable of generating heat in seeming defiance of the Second Law, such as are responsible for the production
of an excess thermal energy above the top of the metal box.
For nearly sixty years, the Reich-Einstein experiment has remained forbidden territory: not
one stringent repetition was ever performed. This alone could stand as a tribute to the slowness of
change which a socially promoted armor imposes upon human understanding and grasp of natural
processes. Yet, the thermal phenomenon is verifiable, and observed even under disadvantageous or
limit conditions. Thereby, Infeld's objection is shown to be facile, and Einstein's oscillation between
his enthusiasm for Reich's explanation and his hasty acceptance of this facile objection, leaves us with
the sensation that Great Men are only the idols of Little Men. The authors in fact contend that, for
a brief moment, Einstein had in his hands the chance he had so much sought (with the gravity papers,
the ZPE proposal, and the search for a unified field theory) to grasp an experimental basis for a non-electromagnetic continuous field action.