Banner
    Cold Fusion Viable Again? Sure, If You Say So
    By News Staff | March 23rd 2009 12:00 AM | 16 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Researchers at the ACS meeting in Salt Lake City say they have new evidence for the existence of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR), the process once called "cold fusion."

    One group describes what it terms the first clear visual evidence that LENR devices can produce neutrons, subatomic particles that scientists view as tell-tale signs that nuclear reactions are occurring. 

    Cold fusion is the darling of science fiction and certainly researchers  because it would be a limitless and environmentally-clean energy source for generating electricity - and will take a century and trillions of dollars before we would know if it works.   Or at least that was the thinking.   Not so, says the group from the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego.


    An experimental "cold fusion" device produced this pattern of "triple tracks" (shown at right), which scientists say is caused by high-energy nuclear particles resulting from a nuclear reaction.  Credit: Pam Boss, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR)

    "Our finding is very significant," says study co-author and analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss, Ph.D. "To our knowledge, this is the first scientific report of the production of highly energetic neutrons from an LENR device." 

    The first report on "cold fusion," presented in 1989 by Martin Fleishmann and Stanley Pons, was a global scientific sensation. Fusion is the energy source of the sun and the stars. Scientists had been striving for years to tap that power on Earth to produce electricity from an abundant fuel called deuterium that can be extracted from seawater. Everyone thought that it would require a sophisticated new genre of nuclear reactors able to withstand temperatures of tens of millions of degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Pons and Fleishmann, however, claimed achieving nuclear fusion at comparatively "cold" room temperatures — in a simple tabletop laboratory device termed an electrolytic cell. 

    But other scientists could not reproduce their results, and the whole field of research declined. A stalwart cadre of scientists persisted, however, seeking solid evidence that nuclear reactions can occur at low temperatures. One of their problems involved extreme difficulty in using conventional electronic instruments to detect the small number of neutrons produced in the process, researchers say.

    In the new study, Mosier-Boss and colleagues inserted an electrode composed of nickel or gold wire into a solution of palladium chloride mixed with deuterium or "heavy water" in a process called co-deposition. A single atom of deuterium contains one neutron and one proton in its nucleus.

    Researchers passed electric current through the solution, causing a reaction within seconds. The scientists then used a special plastic, CR-39, to capture and track any high-energy particles that may have been emitted during reactions, including any neutrons emitted during the fusion of deuterium atoms. 

    At the end of the experiment, they examined the plastic with a microscope and discovered patterns of "triple tracks," tiny-clusters of three adjacent pits that appear to split apart from a single point. The researchers say that the track marks were made by subatomic particles released when neutrons smashed into the plastic. Importantly, Mosier-Boss and colleagues believe that the neutrons originated in nuclear reactions, perhaps from the combining or fusing deuterium nuclei. 

    "People have always asked 'Where's the neutrons?'" Mosier-Boss says. "If you have fusion going on, then you have to have neutrons. We now have evidence that there are neutrons present in these LENR reactions." 

    They cited other evidence for nuclear reactions including X-rays, tritium (another form of hydrogen), and excess heat. Meanwhile, Mosier-Boss and colleagues are continuing to explore the phenomenon to get a better understanding of exactly how LENR works, which is key to being able to control it for practical purposes. 

    Mosier-Boss points out that the field currently gets very little funding and, despite its promise, researchers can't predict when, or if, LENR may emerge from the lab with practical applications. The U.S. Department of the Navy and JWK International Corporation in Annandale, Va., funded the study.

    Other highlights of  the "New Energy Technology" symposium include:

    Overview, update on LENR by editor of New Energy Times – Steve Krivit, editor of New Energy Times and author of "The Rebirth of Cold Fusion," will present an overview of the field of low energy nuclear reactions, formerly known as "cold fusion." A leading authority on the topic, Krivit will discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and implications of this controversial subject, including its brief history. (ENVR 002, Sunday, March 22, 8:55 a.m. Hilton, Alpine Ballroom West, during the symposium, "New Energy Technology)

    Excess heat, gamma radiation production from an unconventional LENR device —Tadahiko Mizuno, Ph.D., of Hokkaido University in Japan, has reported the production of excess heat generation and gamma ray emissions from an unconventional LENR device that uses phenanthrene, a type of hydrocarbon, as a reactant. He is the author of the book "Nuclear Transmutation: The Reality of Cold Fusion." (ENVR 049, Monday, March 23, 3:35 p.m., Hilton, Alpine Ballroom West, during the symposium, "New Energy Technology.")

    New evidence supporting production and control of low energy nuclear reactions — Antonella De Ninno, Ph.D., a scientist with New Technologies Energy and Environment in Italy, will describe evidence supporting the existence of low energy nuclear reactions. She conducted lab experiments demonstrating the simultaneous production of both excess heat and helium gas, tell-tale evidence supporting the nuclear nature of LENR. She also shows that scientists can control the phenomenon. (ENVR 064, Tuesday, March 24, 10:10 a.m., Hilton, Alpine Ballroom West, during the symposium, "New Energy Technology)

    Comments

    You wrote: ". . .other scientists could not reproduce their results."

    That is incorrect. By Sept. 1990 over 100 groups of researchers reproduced cold fusion. By now, thousands of scientists in more than 200 university, corporate and national labs have reported replications of excess heat, tritium, transmutations and other effects. They have published ~3,000 papers describing these replications, including several hundred in leading peer-reviewed journals of electrochemistry and physics. You will find a bibliography of these papers and ~500 full-text papers here:

    http://lenr-canr.org/

    Hank
    You're saying thousands of researchers have made fusion technology room temperature electrolytic cells?
    logicman
    Actually, Hank, Jed is quite correct.
    Power production and new materials have been reported in many studies. The total body of experimental evidence shows that it is indeed possible to produce nuclear reactions at low input energies. However, the field remains controversial and poorly understood. There is no satisfactory theory now for what has been observed.
    Source: Dr. David J. Nagel

    This is such a controversial area that the many studies are not widely reported.  You need to dig. 
    My compliments to you, Jed, for having dug.  :)
    Hank Cambell wrote:

    "You're saying thousands of researchers have made fusion technology room temperature electrolytic cells?"

    I would not call it "technology." It is a test-tube experiment with power levels varying from a fraction of a watt to about 100 W. Tritium varies from ~30 times background to 10E8 times background. The reaction cannot be controlled so it cannot be scaled up. Control factors have been identified and progress is being made. The number of researchers is difficult to establish exactly. There are 4,700 authors in my database. I am guessing at least 2,000 have authored or co-authored experimental papers.

    This is a crude estimate, but the other day I counted major journal peer-reviewed papers reporting excess heat . I tallied 153 papers with 348 authors and co-authors in 50 publications. There are about 150 other papers describing other nuclear effects such as tritium and neutrons. They far outnumber the negative reports. In 1989 there were 20 negative peer-reviewed papers with 135 authors and coauthors. The reasons these early efforts failed are now well understood. There are also, as I said, roughly 2,500 non peer reviewed papers including some excellent papers published by the U.S. Navy, Mitsubishi, Amoco, the Japanese Nat. Synchrotron Lab., Los Alamos, BARC and others that are much better than most peer-reviewed papers, in my opinion.

    I do not understand why anyone claims the effect was not replicated. Peer-reviewed papers from major journals such as J. Electroanal. Chem. are supposed to be the gold standard of scientific information. By that standard, cold fusion has been proven true overwhelmingly.

    You can judge for yourself. As I said, you can read ~500 papers at LENR-CANR.org or at a university or national laboratory library. Most of the papers at LENR-CANR.org are copied from conference proceedings and from the libraries at Los Alamos and Georgia Tech, with permission. Plus I have copies of an additional 1,100 peer-reviewed papers that I cannot get permission to upload, regrettably.

    The experiment has been repeated worldwide roughly 14,000 times successfully according to an estimate by J. He (Front. Phys. China, 2007) and as I mentioned the s/n ratio for heat and tritium are sometimes very high, and many different instrument types have been used to detect the effect, so there is no chance this is an experimental error.

    logicman
    Pons and Flieschman were using a palladium cathode in an open vessel.

    At normal temperature and pressure, palladium can absorb up to 900 times its own volume of hydrogen. Hydrogen readily diffuses through heated palladium - source

    Is it possible that by applying a current, more hydrogen was forced into the palladium than would be absorbed naturally?  It may not be proof of cold fusion, but it may explain some spectacular lab explosions like  this one.
    Patrick Lockerby wrote:

    "Is it possible that by applying a current, more hydrogen was forced into the palladium than would be absorbed naturally? It may not be proof of cold fusion, but it may explain some spectacular lab explosions like [the explosion that killed Andrew Riley at SRI]."

    The SRI explosion was caused by a conventional chemical reaction after several fail-safe devices failed to operate. The explosion did not liberate that much energy, but tragically, the energy release was contained in a section of the steel cell, which acted like a rocket or bullet projectile. The total internal energy of the gas was estimated at 39,700 J (40 kJ). The projectile struck the victim with roughly 300 - 700 J of kinetic energy, which was enough to kill him instantly. (S. I. Smedley et al., ICCF-3, p. 139) Cold fusion cells have produced 50 to 150 MJ, a thousand times more than this. Fortunately, they produce this energy slowly, over days or weeks.

    On the other hand, at least 6 cells have gone out of control and produced large amounts of cold fusion energy. They exploded, producing roughly 30 to 100 times more energy than any conceivable chemical fuel could produce. These have been glass cells, so they energy is not contained or directed. I do not recommend steel cells for this reason. We have some photos of exploded cells at LENR-CANR.org.

    logicman
    Thanks, Jed.

    I recall reading an interview with one researcher.  The topic of the danger cropped up and he recited an incident where he had gone home rather absentmindedly.  He then remembered he hadn't left any safety instructions.  He phoned the lab, only to be told that there had just been an explosion.

    I am racking my brain to try to recall the lab, but my memory fails me.  Do you have a reference on this?

    btw, unless my memory really is failing, it was a glass cell.
    I do not recall anyone going home absentmindedly, although I would not put it past some of these profs. They are old guys in their 60s, 70s and 80s and they tend to be lax about safety regulations. Even a non-functioning control experiment is dangerous. The electrolyte is usually LiOH or LiOD, which is poisonous, and it is hot. Boiling like the dickens in some experiments I have observed (from a safe distance).

    That might refer to the first major explosion at U. Utah, Feb. 1985.

    The people at SRI were emphatically NOT lax about safety standards. It is ironic that an accident occurred at one of the best-run, most capable and safety conscious labs.

    logicman
    Thanks again.
    If ever I experimented with hot palladium in any situation where it could absorb H+ ions, I'd like to do it in Patagonia, by telephone from Turkey.  :)
    I think the cold fusion train is back on track and this is just the first big news to come out!
    i have following a process called SuperWave Fusion which those involved say has produced excess heat.
    2 independent labs have replictated the results and the NRL is invlolved as well. Check out there website
    EnergeticsTechnologies.com I would like to know what othrs think.

    Theoretically cold fusion is impossible according to the principles of Quantum Mechanics, the reason why the physicists refuse to accept the occurrence of the phenomenon.
    The nuclear chemist Mitch Andre Garcia showed by very easy calculations that cold fusion occurrence is theoretically impossible, from the laws of Quantum Mechanics, in a Chemistry Blog where he is the administrator.

    However cold fusion is theoretically impossible because Quantum Mechanics does not consider the zitterbewegung (zbw) as a helical trajectory of the electron (the zitterbewegung appears in the Dirac equation of the electron, but the quantum physicists did not interpret the zbw as a helical trajectory).

    By interpreting the zitterbewegung from a new viewpoint, by considering it as a helical trajectory of the electron, cold fusion becomes theoreticall possible, as Guglinski has shown to Mitch Andre Garcia, along a discussion in the topic “THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COLD FUSION AND COLD FUSION”, which can be seen in the link:
    http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=17140.0

    Look at the Guglinski’s « Reply #8 on: September 24, 2007 ».

    So the chemists are now getting knowledge that cold fusion is theoretically possible thanks to the adoption of the new interpretation for the zitterbewegung, and they are undertaking the performance of cold fusion experiments, because it seems that they dont trust in the viewpoint of the physicists.

    Clearly, there is a dispute “CHEMISTS vs PHYSICISTS”, and it seems that the controversy on cold fusion will be finally resolved, but not by the physicists.

    The new duel chemists vs physicists has ideological origin. The physicits keep their loyalty to Quantum Mechanics, because they dont accept to change their interpretation on the zitterbewegung, since such a changing requires a very deep modification in the foundations of Modern Physics (the zbw cannot be considered as a helical trajetory in Quantum Field Theory, which is the successor of Quantum Mechanics).

    Unlike, the chemists keep their loyalty to the scientific method, according to which any experiment cannot be neglected only because it defies the principles of a theory, as happens now in this duel between Quantum Mechanics and cold fusion.

    Such new participation of chemists is healthy to science’s develolpment. Because as the physicists have some dogmas which they consider unsourmantable (as for instance their interpretation of the zitterbewegung in Quantum Field Theory), the development of cold fusion requires scientists free of dogmas of Physics, as the chemists.

    In few words, we have to consider the following situation:

    1- as cold fusion is impossible by considering the interpretation of zitterbewegung in Quantum Field Theory...

    2- ... but as the experiments prove that cold fusion really occurs, as confirmed now by the experiments made in the US Navy...

    3- ... then there is need to change the interpretation on the zitterbewegung (a new alternative that chemists probably will take in consideration starting from now)...

    4- ... instead of neglecting the cold fusion experiments (as the physicists insist to do).

    Based on the new nuclear model of Quantum Ring Theory, a new theory is proposed to explain the results obtained by Pamela Mosier-Boss cold fusion experiment, published in last March.

    See the article in Peswiki:
    How zitterbewegung contributes for cold fusion in Pamela Mosier-Boss experiment:
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Article:_How_zitterbewegung_contributes_for...

    Dear Sirs
    There is a very good theory of cold nuclear fusion.
    All known experiments on cold
    nuclear fusion, clearly consistent with the new theory.
    This is a revolution in fundamental physics, which will launch
    fantastic fireworks display technologies.
    http://www.stanislav-grinev.narod.ru/gri9.htm

    Here is the link to the automatic translation.
    theory of cold fusion.
    http://translate.google.com.ua/ # ru | en | http://www.stanislav-grinev.narod.ru/gri9.htm

    The theory of crystallization of the plasma.
    http://translate.google.com.ua/ # ru | en | http://www.stanislav-grinev.narod.ru/gri2.htm

    Sincerely Grinyov Vladimir T.. Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

    So, what I'm gathering from this conversation is that because of the dogmatism of physicists regarding their interpretation of zitterbewegung in Quantum Field Theory and their refusal to accept any revision of their current interpretation of zitterbewegung, it is now left up to the chemists to follow through with the research into cold fusion.

    Aren't there any experimental and/or theoretical physicists out there who are willing to entertain the possibility that the chemists might actually have something here? It would seem to me that the research as well as the chemists involved would benefit greatly if they had a few physicists participating in this research. Am I missing something here?
    P&F and McKubre both use an energy budget model in which they reckon the DC electrical power going into the cell, but assume there is no AC noise power arising from fluctuations in the ohmic resistance of the cell when the bubbles are forming on the electrodes.

    The AC noise power goes as the square of the perturbations in the cell's ohmic resistance. For a very small fluctuation (1%) this effect is small (0.0025% additional noise power going in). But if the bubbling causes substantial perturbations in the ohmic resistance (20%), this can increase the input power by 4% over and above what McKubre is reckoning with his DC-only model.

    Dardik intentionally adds an AC component to his drive current, making it even more important to carefully account for the AC power going in.

    Scott Pelley's CBS News film crew missed a golden opportunity to slap a VU meter across the terminals of McKubre's cell, to measure the AC noise power at audio frequencies. My guess is they would have measured about 500 mW of AC noise power, arising from the bubbling action.

    MikeCrow
    So, I think I have the answer to how to make this work, but after the melt down (pun intended), I couldn't find anyone to work with, and I really don't want to just tell the world as it might have some value.

    I thought about doing some experiments myself, but decided if I was right, I didn't think my neighbors would appreciate me building a reactor in my kitchen.
    Never is a long time.