Copyright 2005 New Energy Times
This story first aired on German National Radio on March 23, 2005, the 16th anniversary of the announcement of cold fusion. The German article and on-demand audio are here: http://www.dradio.de/dlf/sendungen/forschak/359485/
By Haiko Lietz
When Yasuhiro Iwamura presented his lecture (http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/IwamuraYobservatiob.pdf)
on the last International
Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science
in Marseille, France, you could have heard a pin drop. The
Japanese researcher presented research results from Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries. The corporation does much more than
building cars. If their results are right, the Japanese have
also developed a technology within the last ten years, that,
under certain conditions, will physically transmute chemical
elements into new elements. According to established theory this
should be impossible. Iwamura explains the method which involves
a special heavy metal sandwich:
"It is composed of pure palladium and a calcium oxide complex layer. On
one side of the palladium complex we have D2 gas at
about 1 atmospheric pressure. On the other side we keep a vacuum
condition. If we put an element on the palladium complex that is
specifically targeted to be transmuted, and we make D2
gas permeate through the palladium complex, after about one week
or ten days we observe the transmutation of this element."
If there are, for example, caesium atoms on the palladium sandwich, those
gradually disappear and atoms of the element praseodymium appear
during the experiment. After about four days there are more
praseodymium atoms than caesium atoms. The praseodymium nucleus
is heavier than the caesium nucleus by each four protons and
neutrons. It seems as if caesium nuclei somehow reacted with
ions of the gas and formed praseodymium nuclei. Iwamura and his
colleagues have published their results in the renowned Japanese Journal of Applied Physics in 2002 (http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/IwamuraYelementalaa.pdf).
Since then they have successfully repeated the experiment over
50 times. In the same way they were able to transmute strontium
into molybdenum. Also in recent new experiments, one element
disappears and another appears.
"Currently we involve a barium transmutation experiment. We observe the
transmutation of barium into samarium. And this samarium has a
non-natural isotopic ratio. At first we performed a natural
barium experiment, and after that we used enriched barium-137.
If we use barium-138, we get samarium-150. And if we use
barium-137, then we will have samarium-149. In other words, we
observe different mass distributions by controlling the initial
mass distribution", says Iwamura
Depending on which initial element is used, the yielded element is
determined. In the barium experiment, a non-natural samarium
isotope is formed. In the caesium experiment it is not just the
isotope, but even the element that is rare in nature. That is
why the researchers are sure that the new-found elements are not
the result of contamination of the system. It is noticeable that
caesium and strontium are products of nuclear fission, which are
radioactive depending on the isotope. Is Mitsubishi conducting
these experiments to try to remediate nuclear waste?
"At this day it is very difficult to say, but it might be possible.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industry has a very wide range of products
including nuclear power plants. Our research into this field may
yield commercial applications," Iwamura says.
The Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei-Shinbun
has recently rated the Mitsubishi research as the third most
important technology trend. The effect has been confirmed by the
universities of Osaka and Shizuoka, the Japanese "SPring-8"
synchrotron radiation facility, and the Italian National
Institute of Nuclear Physics. The head of the Italian
transmutation study group, Francesco Celani, gives high grades
to the Japanese experiment:
"This is a very, very clean experiment. Iwamura makes several cross
checks about his results. Not only one, but four different kinds
of analysis. Contaminations, that are the weak point in any kind
of transmutation experiment, are almost ruled out. I think this
is the way that all of us have to follow."
Celani now wants to start a joint Italian/Japanese basic research program
into transmutations, as a second step of which they also plan to
transmute radioactive caesium and strontium. The project is set
at 25 Million Euro over a five year period. According to Celani,
high-ranking political circles in Italy are "very positive"
about it. At the Marseille conference, a total of eight
additional transmutation experiments involving researchers from
Canada, Italy, Romania, Russia and the US Navy were presented.
Scott Chubb from the Naval
Research Laboratory said, "the materials control and
measurements in the Mitsubishi work are so well done that it is hard to believe that it
could be wrong."