Physicist at Georgia Tech Research Institute. He, and others at GTRI made efforts to replicate results reported by two scientists, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, in which they asserted they'd discovered a way to achieve nuclear fusion at room temperature (so-called "cold fusion.") Despite their high hopes at the beginning of the project, Mahaffey and his team soon concluded that they were unable to achieve cold fusion.
The collection contains archival materials relating to the subject of cold fusion, and experiments conducted to corroborate the supposed discovery of the phenomenon. The collection includes Mahaffey's heavily illustrated laboratory notebook, dating from the beginning of the experiment on April 8, 1989 through April 20, 1989, documenting the experiment's research plan, budget, ingredients and instruments used, the time line and Mahaffey's and his fellow scientists' observations; and a report, April 30, 1989, on the results of Georgia Tech Research Institute's experiments. These two items were donated by GTRI. Additional items, donated by Mahaffey include: letters and emails to Mahaffey, photographs and slides used in a lecture, copies of papers given and bibliographies on the subject, abstracts of accounts of cold fusion research presented at a Santa Fe workshop, audio recordings of the same conference, a patent, articles, and video recordings of press coverage.
James Mahaffey Cold Fusion Collection, 1989-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History