The leader in cold fusion news and information.
March 10, 2006 -- Issue #15

Copyright 2006 New Energy Times (tm)
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1.   From the Editor
2.   To the Editor
3.   U.S. Cold Fusion Session at APS Conference
4.   International Cold Fusion Conferences
5.   ICCF-13 The 13th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science
6.   ICCF-14 The 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science
7.   Glenn Seaborg: Nuclear Alchemist, Political Scientist

8.   Report on Innovative Energy Solutions Inc.
9.   Widom-Larsen Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Theory, Part 3
10.  On Science, Journalism, and Nature
11.  Pre-Print Available from F.A. Gareev and I.E. Zhidkova
12.  Cold Fusion: A 2005 Outlook
13.  United States Cold Fusion Patent Application 20050276366
14.  In the News
15.  Speakers Available - Experts on the Subject of Cold Fusion
16.  Support New Energy Times (tm)
17.  Administrative



“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

— Tolstoy




1. From the Editor 

Welcome to the end of the cold fusion controversy.

Don't expect, however, fanfare or admissions of oversight or neglect on the front pages of the world's media.

Historians and scholars of science, on the other hand, will have a rich and fresh set of insights into the politics of science. In particular, they will recount and re-assess both the scientific and unscientific behavior of certain individuals involved in the cold fusion controversy, individuals whom the public had assumed to be objective stewards of the sacred foundation of modern civilization: science.

An acceleration toward German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer's third stage is clearly approaching. (“When a new truth enters the world, the first stage of reaction to it is ridicule, the second stage is violent opposition, and in the third stage, that truth comes to be regarded as self-evident.")

Groundbreaking acceptance of cold fusion, also known as condensed matter nuclear science and low energy nuclear reactions, into mainstream scientific circles is occurring. For example, papers were accepted for presentation last year at the International Meeting on Frontiers of Physics in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and at the International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Systems in Brussels, Belgium.

New ground also has broken in publishing, as evidenced by cold fusion papers published in Naturwissenschaften, the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, and the Journal of Fusion Energy in the last two years. Later in this issue of New Energy Times, David J. Nagel reports that a LENR theory paper has been accepted for publication in a respected peer-review physics journal.

And Xing Zhong Li, an esteemed member of the cold fusion community from China, is now an associate editor for the Journal of Fusion Energy.

In fact, the body of experimental observations, including heat, helium, tritium, charged particles, and heavy element transmutation now demonstrates a level of consistent, universal patterns of behavior. The dwindling band of true disbelievers who try to assail the whole field is starting to look rather foolish.

Unarguably, critics can dismiss easily or find faults with single papers or experiments. But asserting that each and every one of the thousands of positive experiments by several hundred men and women over the last 17 years is the result of incompetence and delusion? This lie is no longer passable.

One of the few remaining skeptics recently went out of his way to rebut a pro-cold fusion paper asserting the anomalous excess heat claim. The critic's objective, stated clearly in the preamble to the paper, was to prevent "unwarranted support to the acceptance of cold fusion."

He went so far as to imply that the excess heat measured in all cold fusion cells had been an artifact, caused by, among other misinterpretations, recombination of the effluent gases. His arguments stand on shaky grounds for open-cell calorimetry. His point is completely moot with regard to the numerous closed-cell calorimetry experiments where a total energy balance has been precisely accounted for.

If you put a cold fusion cell in a closed, insulated container, and yet by some as-yet-unknown mechanism, it generates a source of energy in the form of excess heat, the exact cause of that energy is of secondary importance. The fact that it exhibits a novel source of energy is historic.

This pseudoskeptic refused to "look through the telescope." This behavior is known as "pathological skepticism" and "pathological disbelief."

How did this same pathological skeptic succeed in getting a recent error-riddled paper published in a peer-review journal? Possible answer: collusion with the journal editor. How does a paper that is received on Nov. 14, 2005, and gets accepted for publication on Nov. 15, 2005, get peer-reviewed? Answer: It doesn't! Why does an editor choose to cause harm to the dignity of science as well as potentially embarrass his publication by neglecting to send a paper out for peer review? Answer: pathological disbelief.

What is the evidence for such pathological disbelief? The answer is on page 134 of "The Rebirth of Cold Fusion:"

"The fact of the matter," the journal editor said, "is the Pons & Fleischmann experiment never did demonstrate any excess heat. ... It was nothing more than experimental error."

Will that editor ever change his mind? It's more likely that Max Planck's sad but wise maxim holds the answer: "Science advances one funeral at a time."

Last year, another prominent cold fusion critic struggled to deny and deflect his own previously secret positive cold fusion report to the Pentagon, uncovered by New Energy Times, that showed evidence of cold fusion in 1993:

"We held [a cold fusion cell] in our hands," he said, "and are now quite familiar with its construction. We also had extensive discussions of data from one of these cells, which according to a summary chart has provided about 3 percent excess heat."

Furthermore, later in his report, he stated that the measured energy in the cell was 1,000 times greater than expected, "so such an excess could not possibly be of chemical origin."

When asked about his 1993 report to the Pentagon by National Public Radio reporter Bruce Gellerman in 2005, this prominent U.S. physicist said of the SRI International cold fusion research he audited, "they've been very careful [at SRI], but there are mistakes."

This esteemed U.S. physicist has had increasing difficulty avoiding appearing culpable both for failing to recognize this new science and for his aggressive role in thwarting its acceptance. His 2005 comment to Gellerman directly contradicts his 1993 report in which he concluded there were "no specific errors."

Another skeptic, the ever-entertaining, witty and pugnacious Robert Park, self-appointed spokesman of the American Physical Society, however, has toned down his rhetoric against cold fusion in recent years:

"Although the quality of research has improved, no one should buy into cold fusion just yet." (Dec. 2, 2004, Nature)

"I've never seen anything quite like cold fusion. It's an interesting phenomenon. ... I guess I'm still skeptical." (Sept. 30, 2005, NPR)

A New Energy Times reader recalled Eugene Mallove, who died in 2004, commenting on the pathological behavior of some of the outspoken scientists who were hostile to cold fusion.

"The saddest part about these people," Mallove said, "is that they will have missed the opportunity to get involved in one of the greatest scientific explorations."

On Sept. 10, 2003, James Corey, now retired from Sandia National Laboratories, predicted, "an overdue revolution in science will arrive, and the reputations of cold fusion scientists and those who revile them may be reversed."

New Energy Times would like to be the first to congratulate cold fusion and condensed matter nuclear scientists worldwide for a job well begun.

Much work, however, remains. The time and resources required to gain a thorough understanding of the nuclear active environment and the materials science issues are paramount to the development and inevitable application of cold fusion technology.

Cold fusion / condensed matter nuclear science researchers have struggled to attain mainstream acceptance for 17 years. It now appears that their wish is slowly being granted. Researchers should be prepared; the increasing attention to this field will also bring increased scrutiny. Although the field has seen good work, this is not the time to condone sloppiness. This is the time for strong leadership.

It is also an ideal time for partnerships with research and development groups to get involved. Quality research does not come cheaply; sophisticated tools and materials are essential to achieve excellence and rapid progress. For companies who have such resources, this is a golden opportunity.

Broadly speaking, cold fusion is alive. And it will remain alive for a long, long time.

Steven B. Krivit
Editor, New Energy Times
Executive Director, New Energy Institute Inc.


2. To the Editor
(Letters may be sent to "letters" at the New Energy Times domain name. Please include your name, city, and state or province.)
To the editor:

In the Jan. 10 issue of New Energy Times, I read the following from the "Dolan ICCF-12 report":

"Jean-Francois Fauvarque (Laboratoire d’Electrochemis Industrielle, France) reported reproducible heat generation during electrolysis with a tungsten cathode. At 350 volts, the output energy was 1.3 to 1.4 times the input energy."

I found a description of this experiment on the Web site of Fauvarque. After reading the details, I am sorry to tell you that at least he and his group are reporting results without considering facts which are very well-known in general chemistry.

Thinking and calculating based on Fauvarques' results, I concluded he and his group made a fault in calculating "excess energy."

My question to you is, Is there anyone working at New Energy Times looking at the publications and checking them before reporting? Or are you reporting without any check, even on substantial errors?

Thank you,

Karlheinz Kohl

The editor replies:

New Energy Times, to a large extent, relies on the experts in the condensed matter nuclear science field who informally review and challenge papers presented at the international condensed matter nuclear science conference and other venues. We also rely on several advisers who are experts in the field. This does not mean a major error won't slip through. However, readers of this publication, as with all science publications, are an important part of this review process. New Energy Times will investigate any reasonable challenge or assertion of error brought to its attention.

In response to Kohl's letter, New Energy Times initiated a discussion between Fauvarque and Kohl. Fauvarque considered and reviewed the allegation of Kohl and responded that he does not agree with Kohl's assertion of error.

Consequently, the only verifiable fact of this matter is that a difference of opinion exists, though Kohl does not consider himself to be an expert in the field of cold fusion.

An experiment, by definition, is an experiment of a hypothesis; it is not alleged to be "proof." Perhaps mistakes and errors are made in this or other experiments. Scientists are no more perfect than the rest of us, and people with integrity will acknowledge an obvious mistake when it is shown to them.

However, time and experience will always be the final judge of an experiment or evaluative protocol within any new realm of scientific exploration. Until an experiment has withstood such a test, we encourage readers to consider any experimental report as tentative.

New Energy Times also encourages constructive dialogue between those who share adverse opinions on protoscience. Only through polite, courteous dialogue will scientists achieve collective understanding, which will serve humanity and expand the body of scientific knowledge.

The breakdown of effective scientific dialogue may be the greatest of all lessons learned from the early history of cold fusion. Let us learn from the past.

To the editor:

I've been following the cold fusion saga since it started and have always had a gut feeling that there was something new going on. I spent a few days with one of the guys attempting an early reproduction, and although he got occasional "events," he eventually gave up. The realities of living resulted in my having to take a back seat and hope that enough "die-hards" would continue long enough to build up a body of evidence that couldn't be ignored or explained away.  Seems we've reached that point.
How do you persuade the pathological disbelievers?  Simple. Convince them that their careers will suffer if they continue to keep their heads in the sand when one of the most important scientific discoveries is taking place.

The frying pan is cooling down for cold fusion proponents and is heating up for the pathological disbelievers.

Mark N. Iverson
Reno, Nevada


3. U.S. Cold Fusion Session at APS Conference
Baltimore, MD, March 16, 2006

Cold fusion returns to Baltimore, MD, on Thursday, March 16, 2006, at the American Physical Society March meeting.
More information: http://newenergytimes.com/conferences/2006/APS2006/2006.shtml


4. International Cold Fusion Conferences

JCF7 – 7th
Annual Meeting of Japan CF Research Society
Kagoshima, Japan, April 27–28, 2006

JCF7 takes place next month at Inamori Memorial Hall on the Korimoto campus of Kagoshima University. The conference is chaired by Akito Takahashi, emeritus professor at Osaka University and is organized by Yasuto Takeuchi of Kagosima University.

Detailed information on JCF7 is available at the following sites:
http://wwwcf.elc.iwate-u.ac.jp/jcf/NEW.HTML (Japanese).
http://wwwcf.elc.iwate-u.ac.jp/jcf/newe.html (English).

The deadline for abstracts is April 10.

RCCNT&BL-14 - 14th Russian Conference on Cold Nuclear Transmutation of Chemical Elements and Ball Lightning
Dagomys (Sochi), June 11-18, 2006

The conference program includes the following subjects:

  • Experimental research in cold nuclear transmutation (fusion) and ball lightning.
  • Theoretical models with respect to сold nuclear transmutation (fusion) and ball-lightning effects.
  • Applications to these problems, technologies and devices.

The chairman of the conference organizing committee is Yuri Bazhutov; vice-chairmen are Vladimir Bychkov and Nikolai Samsonenko, and the scientific secretary is Igor Goryachev.

Early registration deadline is April 30.

More information: http://www.newenergytimes.com/conferences/RCCNTBL14/RCCNTBL-14.shtml

7th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen / Deuterium Loaded Metals
Asti, Italy, 23-25 Sept., 2006

William Collis, honorable secretary of the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, will be organizing this Italian-based cold fusion conference. Details are forthcoming.


5. ICCF-13 The 13th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science

ICCF-13 The 13th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science
Sochi, (Dagomys) , Russia, 10-15 June, 2007

The International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, formerly the International Conference on Cold Fusion, will be organized by Dr. Yuri Bazhutov. Details are forthcoming.

6. ICCF-14 The 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science

ICCF-14 The 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science
Washington, D.C., USA, 2008 (Tentative)

The International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, formerly the International Conference on Cold Fusion, is tentatively scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. sometime in 2008. Dr. David J. Nagel has volunteered to organize the conference.


7. Glenn Seaborg: Nuclear Alchemist, Political Scientist
By Steven B. Krivit

For better or for worse, the label of alchemy has been assigned to the field of cold fusion from its early beginnings. What is "alchemy," and what does it have to do with high-energy physics and low-energy nuclear reactions?

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, defines alchemy as "an early protoscientific and philosophical discipline combining elements of chemistry, metallurgy, physics, medicine, astrology, semiotics, mysticism, spiritualism, and art. Alchemy has been practiced in ancient Egypt, India, and China, in classical Greece and Rome, in the Islamic empire, and then in Europe up to the 19th century — in a complex network of schools and philosophical systems spanning at least 2,500 years."

Readers familiar with the history of cold fusion will note familiar unflattering characterizations of alchemists to the early attempts to discredit cold fusion researchers. Again, from the Wikipedia article, "The common perception of alchemists is that they were pseudo-scientists, crackpots and charlatans, who attempted to turn lead into gold ... and spent most of their time concocting miraculous remedies, poisons, and magic potions."

Perhaps one of the earliest associations with this stigmatized depiction of cold fusion researchers was created by John Huizenga, who directed the 1989 Department of Energy cold fusion review. Huizenga was convinced, a priori, that such a review was a waste of time, and in his subsequent book on cold fusion he cynically dismissed the revolutionary empirical findings of Fleischmann and Pons as the "three miracles of cold fusion."

The Wikipedia article is helpful, though, in recognizing that a blanket judgment and dismissal of the alchemists is inappropriate.

"This picture is rather unfair. Although many alchemists were indeed crackpots and charlatans, many were well-meaning and intelligent scholars, who were simply struggling to make sense of a subject which, as we now know, was far beyond the reach of their tools. These people were basically 'proto-scientists,' who attempted to explore and investigate the nature of chemical substances and processes. They had to rely on unsystematic experimentation, traditional know-how, rules of thumb — and plenty of speculative thought to fill in the wide gaps in existing knowledge."

Cold fusion research has traveled far in these past 17 years, and although theoretical models are still highly speculative, experimentation has become highly systematic. It would be fair to say, however, that researchers in this brand new field in 1989, to a certain extent, did fly by the seat of their pants.

John O’M. Bockris, distinguished professor of electrochemistry, retired from Texas A&M University, ventured into the murky waters of alchemy in the early 1990s.

An alchemical idea was proposed to him by an outside experimenter named Joe Champion, who brought with him funds from a man named William Telander.

Bockris was thrilled about the possibility of attempting "the impossible," and he accepted Champion into his laboratory. They had mixed success. It was clear to Bockris that this was neither a practical way to make gold nor a sensible way to gain wealth.

"We never got more than the tiniest bits of gold," Bockris said. "On perhaps two or three occasions, we saw tiny specks."

Bockris subsequently explained to Telander that, even if Telander "was able to sell it very cheaply, the price of gold would fall, and he wouldn’t be able to make much money anyway." Although Bockris was intrigued by the scientific exploration, he would learn later what others had suspected, that Champion and Telander had unscientific motives. Bockris later realized that he had made an error in judgment to get involved with these two unscrupulous characters.

The story was quickly turned into a scandal by an aggressive reporter who was intent on depicting cold fusion as "bad science." This reporter, like many people in the early 1990s, made the mistake of prejudging cold fusion.

Regardless, the damage was done, and the incident was of no help to the challenged public image of cold fusion.

Bockris wasn't the first "modern alchemist" to attempt to turn lead into gold. Glenn T. Seaborg, Nobel prize winner in chemistry, had reported a successful transmutation in 1980 using a high-energy particle accelerator.

In a New York Times obituary, Seaborg was remembered for "his first love, 'nuclear alchemy,' the transmutation of chemical lements into other elements. His laboratory even achieved the dream of medieval alchemists: transmuting lead into gold, although such a tiny amount that the method could never be used to create riches."

Seaborg apparently was politically more well-established than Bockris. Among his achievements, Seaborg was the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission for a decade, before it was eventually incorporated into what is now the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In the course of his career, Seaborg advised numerous U.S. presidents and had a key role in the initial response by the United States government to cold fusion. Seaborg reveals his role in cold fusion's rocky beginnings in a 1995 lecture at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on Oct. 28, 1995:

"I was called to Washington on April 14, 1989, to brief George [H.W.] Bush on cold fusion. I don't know whether you know what cold fusion is, but it was the idea that you could fuse nuclei very easily and get a lot of energy just by passing electric current through heavy water, whereas, of course, physicists had built huge machines and worked for decades trying to do this, spending billions of dollars. The chemists thought they'd really stolen a march on them.

The idea swept the country, and I was called to Washington to brief President Bush on it. It was a real dilemma. What should I do? I decided to take my background as a nuclear scientist and really come to the sensible conclusion that this work was not right, that it was really cold. You couldn't do it. So that's what I told him at that time. I said, "You can't just go out and say this is not valid. You're going to have to create a high-level panel that will study it for six months, and then they'll come out and tell you it's not valid," and that's what he did.

Audio Recording


8. Report on Innovative Energy Solutions Inc.
By Steven B. Krivit

The beginning of this story, like so many, made its first appearance in my e-mail inbox.

I received a cryptic message on Feb. 27, 2005, from a well-known researcher in the cold fusion community:

"The Department of Energy cold fusion review has stimulated all manner of interest and money from the commercial sector (and governmental if not Department of Energy). You will be able to discern the evidence within the next few months. The first significant development will happen outside the U.S. Have no doubt. We are going to win this war (after losing every battle)."

This was a mysterious message. It had been sent from a researcher who was generally reserved, levelheaded and sensible. What on earth was he talking about? My first thought, I admit, was that he had started to create positive images in his mind to compensate for the dismal lack of vision (or courage) by the Department of Energy.

So I waited a few months, patiently.

On June 1, the next rumor arrived by my electronic grapevine to the world. It was from Robert Bass, a longtime cold and hot fusion researcher and physicist. The message was even more dramatic than the Feb. 27 message. It became apparent that the two were related.

To make a long story short (for now), several days later I was on a plane to Edmonton, Canada, to investigate dramatic claims made by Innovative Energy Solutions Inc.

On Monday, June 5, I attended a meeting led by senior IESI scientists Hyunik Yang, Norman Arrison and Bill Harrington, who briefed cold fusion veterans Michael McKubre, Martin Fleischmann and Peter Hagelstein on their technology.

Left to right: Michael McKubre, Bill Harrington, Martin Fleischmann, Peter Hagelstein, Hyunik Yang

A feeling of excitement certainly was in the air, but the main problem then, as it is today, was the lack of hard scientific data.

On Dec. 1, 2005, at the 12th International Conference on Condensed Matter, in Yokohama, Japan, I reported all the technical facts that known to me. I have been unable to acquire further technical details since that time.

The related links for that presentation are here:
Paper: http://newenergytimes.com/v2/library/2005/2005KrivitS-ICCF12-Paper.pdf
Presentation: http://newenergytimes.com/v2/library/2005/2005KrivitS-ICCF12-Presentation.pdf
A related paper by Vladimir Vysotskii et al. is here:

Later that Monday in Edmonton, we moved from the conference room to the laboratory to inspect and observe several of the devices in action.

Fleischmann takes a close look at the cell.

Perhaps the most interesting test we observed was the use of a gamma detector that showed very low levels of gamma radiation but enough to possibly indicate the presence of a nuclear source. (Picture below)

Left to right: Bill Harrington, Hyunik Yang, Peter Hagelstein, Norm Arrison, Hywell Rees, Mark Boocock, Martin Fleischmann.

The results of the gamma detector were enough to give Fleischmann a rare, big smile.

On Feb. 1, 2006, I filed the following report on IESI :

New Energy Times Editorial Commentary (Feb. 1, 2006)

I've been investigating IESI since June 4, 2005. Most of the references on the "DIY" blog ( http://diyduediligence.blogspot.com/) appear to agree with my findings, though I have not yet looked at every reference in detail.

Since the start of my investigation, I have been, at various times, in direct communication with many IESI personnel, including Patrick Cochrane (chief executive officer), Tom Bugg (president), Norman Arrison (staff scientist), Mark Boocock (U.K. managing director), Hywell Rees (U.K. sales and partnerships director), Terry Dingwall (ex-president), Hyunik Yang (ex-senior scientist), Nahm Cho (ex-senior scientist), Bill Harrington (ex-staff scientist), Alaine Liberty (technician), and Ken Pierce (technician).

I have seen several court documents pertaining to pending actions by the company against ex-employees, and actions by the ex-employees, who are shareholders and who also are acting on behalf of many of the other shareholders.

The "company," in this regard, is the board of directors, namely Patrick Cochrane, Ronald Foster, Fred Dornan and Tom Bugg. They, not the shareholders at large, appear to be fully responsible for the state of the company and the alleged misdeeds.

The former senior scientist, Hyunik Yang, told me last fall that he had been appointed hastily to the board sometime around August. According to Yang, he resigned from the board a month or two later after starting to see the management problems. On Dec. 1, he informed me that he was no longer working with IESI.

The story behind IESI is certainly a fascinating one. It may not please many people. Certainly, the several hundred private investors who cumulatively contributed a few million dollars to the company may not be pleased to start learning about the troubles with the company. Some of the good-hearted employees of the company, like Norm Arrison, may be shocked and disappointed to hear about the mess the company is really in and some of the alleged wrongdoings on the part of the remaining directors.

What will become of IESI is uncertain, as is its licensing claim to any intellectual property potentially conveyed by Hyunik Yang. I am told by several sources that there are 20 separate agreements between Yang and Cochrane and between Yang and IESI that govern the licensing of the intellectual property. I also am told that several of these agreements contradict one another. These matters are now in the hands of half a dozen attorneys on behalf of Yang and probably as many on behalf of the IESI board.

Will the true owners of IESI, the hundreds of shareholders, ever see the development of the intellectual property and see a return on their investment? It's hard to say at the moment.

The IESI story is about wildcatters: bold businessmen willing to take high risks, and like sharks smelling blood in the water, swarming to what they think is a vein of gold in an apparent cold fusion gold rush.

Is it fool's gold? I'm undecided. The underlying science reported by Yang and Vysotskii at ICCF12 has multiple inexplicable characteristics. But they've been highly secretive and have refused to reveal any hard data.

Has the IESI leadership contributed to the progress and the development of this technology? For a while, at least, they most certainly did. Can they be credited for their willingness to take a risk on a new source of clean energy? Absolutely. Did they bring research funds into the field and promote progress? Yes, they can be given that credit, as well.

However, does the current board of directors have what it takes to salvage this company? That is a question every shareholder should be asking right now. Unfortunately, it's too late for them to get their money back. That offer, made by the IESI board in the Dec. 8, 2005, shareholder's update, expired two hours ago, on Jan. 31, 2006, which coincidentally was the same time my embargo agreement expired with IESI.

Is the leadership at IESI typical of businesspeople who are investing in cold fusion? Fortunately, no, but this is not the first, nor will it be the last time that companies are willing to make possible errors in judgments hoping for cold fusion profits.

I am pleased to say several companies in the United States and some in Europe are making careful, conscientious efforts to develop cold fusion. However, they are remaining private and staying under the radar for now. They are not putting themselves in the predicament of taking money from public investors. This seems wise to me. Eventually, cold fusion will be commercially viable, but which company or companies will figure out the answers? That's anybody's guess.

As much as I'm a proponent of cold fusion, I would say that this is not a time to invest your life savings or your IRA in cold fusion. This is a time for angel investors who can afford to take risks and who want to contribute to a great alternative to fossil fuels.

9. Widom-Larsen Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Theory, Part 3

Widom-Larsen Theory Portal

New Energy Times first reported theoretical developments from Allan Widom, a condensed matter physicist with Northeastern University, and Lewis Larsen, chief executive officer of Lattice Energy LLC in issue #13 on Nov. 10, 2005.

That story reported two papers which had been submitted to prominent peer-review physics journals.

On Feb. 20, Widom and Larsen introduced a third paper, "Nuclear Abundances in Metallic Hydride Electrodes of Electrolytic Chemical Cells," available on the arXiv pre-print server at http://www.arxiv.org/pdf/cond-mat/0602472 and at New Energy Times at http://newenergytimes.com/library/2006WidomA-NuclearAbundancesInMetallicHydride.pdf.

Despite some dissenting opinions on these theories from some researchers within the low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) field, professor David J. Nagel, of the George Washington University, a longtime cold fusion observer, considers this paper "worthy of serious attention."

The paper references a significant set of experiments performed by George H. Miley et al. at the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering of the University of Illinois.

New Energy Times contacted Miley for his perspective on the paper.

"I've taken a brief look at it so far," Miley said, "and from a first look, this theory agrees with the distinctive multipeak reaction product data from my experiments amazingly well. Testing against experimental data is an essential step that any serious theory in this field must face up to, but very few have to date."

Miley commented on how effectively the Widom-Larsen supports his experimental data as compared to other LENR theories. "Only four others have seriously tried, to my memory," he said.

"Compared to these other models," Miley said, "the Widom-Larsen model has much more in-depth development and a more detailed comparison with the rather complex features of the data. To address the full data set, one must consider a complicated spectrum of products for several different electrode materials. Several of the prior attempts are somewhat incomplete developments using arbitrary fitting parameters and assumptions."

Miley noted that a few other well-known LENR theories were developed explicitly for deuterium-deuterium alpha-type fusion reactions and, therefore, are not applicable to the broader set of reactions such as those involved with his experiments.


Larsen and Widom have provided a summary of the paper for New Energy Times:

This paper contains a new explanation for anomalous patterns of nuclear abundances experimentally observed in metallic hydride cathodes of electrolytic chemical cells. These experimental transmuted nuclear abundances have been something of a scientific enigma since they were first published by G. H. Miley et al. starting in 1996.

Earlier attempts by other researchers to explain the experimental distinctive multipeak patterns of nuclear abundances employed a two-body fission spectrum. However, no sensible physical mechanism has been proposed that plausibly could create the required large quantities of very massive fissionable nuclei capable of producing such a spectrum.

Highlights of the Attached Paper
When we apply the theory cited previously, a new explanation is provided for the experimental nuclear transmutation data that we regard as both plausible and consistent with known science. There are no new physical laws assumed. We do not see any evidence in the experimental data for fusion processes with their implied low energy Coulomb barrier penetration.

In contrast to earlier explanations, the data is described as primarily the result of a neutron absorption spectrum. Ultra-low momentum neutrons are produced (along with virtually inert neutrinos) by the weak interaction annihilation of electrons and protons when the chemical cell is driven strongly out of equilibrium. Large quantities of these neutrons are produced on the surface of a metal hydride cathode in an electrolytic cell. The ultra-low momentum of these nuclei implies extremely large cross-sections for absorption by various "seed" nuclei present on or near the surface of a cathode in a chemical cell, increasing their nuclear masses. The increasing masses eventually lead to instabilities relieved by beta decay processes, thereby increasing the nuclear charge. As stated in the paper, in this manner, "most of the periodic table of chemical elements may be produced, at least to some extent." 

The experimentally observed pattern of distinctive peaks and valleys in the transmuted nuclear mass-spectrum reflects the neutron absorption resonance peaks as theoretically computed employing a simple and conventional neutron optical model potential well.

An intriguing possibility is briefly noted in the paper. The varieties of different elements and isotopes that we find in the world around us were thought to arise exclusively from nuclear reactions in stars and supernova explosions. Recent astrophysical calculations have indicated some weaknesses in the above picture regarding the strengths of the neutron flux created in a supernova. Our paper asserts, "It appears entirely possible that ultra-low momentum neutron absorption may have an important role to play in the nuclear abundances not only in chemical cells but also in our local solar system and galaxy."


Nagel also provided New Energy Times with a review of the latest as well as the two earlier Widom-Larsen papers:

"The first paper by Widom and Larsen provided a multistep theory for the occurrence of many different nuclear reactions (not fusion!) on the surfaces of hydrides. It postulated the creation of very high electric fields and, because of the fields, very heavy electrons. The mass renormalized electrons could then react via the weak interaction with available protons to form very slow neutrons, which could next participate in further nuclear reactions. Neither of the two nuclear reaction steps requires surmounting (tunneling through) the Coulomb barrier. The paper did not take the next steps of computing rates for each of the involved steps and thence excess power or energies. However, it did offer a few candidate nuclear reactions that has plausible energetics. This paper has been accepted for publication in a respected physics journal.

The second paper by the same authors addressed the lack of energetic gamma rays from condensed matter nuclear reaction experiments. They computed that gamma rays in the range from 0.5 to 10 MeV would be absorbed in amazingly short distances by the heavy electrons that are present where the gamma rays are born. Again, there is a need for much further work to quantify the rates of both the generation and the absorption of the gamma rays, with due attention to the geometry of these processes. This mechanism might have interesting possibilities for totally new and efficient forms of gamma ray shielding.

The third paper from Widom and Larsen addressed the transmutation part of the field of condensed matter nuclear science. Thus, it is comparable to the first paper, which laid the foundation for understanding the excess heat part of the field.

The new paper has two components. The first presents a simple model for the production of new elements in CMNS experiments. It involves the absorption of the ultra-low-momentum neutrons postulated in the first paper by nuclei of widely varying masses. A basic optical model is used to compute the absorption as a function of atomic mass. Peaks are found when small integral numbers of wavelengths of the very slow neutrons inside the nucleus match the size of the nucleus. The spacings between the five peaks found from the new theory are dictated by the wavelengths of the neutrons added to nuclei (about 2 femtometers).

The model is a "wave in a well" picture, which should be familiar to students of basic quantum mechanics. The second part of the paper compares the predictions of the new model with the nuclear production rates vs. atomic mass that were found in electrochemical experiments. The measurements were performed with light water and nickel cathodes by Miley and his collaborators.

It was found that the atomic masses, at which the theoretical nuclear production rates are highest, are well matched to the mass dependence of the generation rates that was found experimentally, even though the experimental data have considerable scatter. Computation of absolute rates of nuclear production as a function of mass using the new theory are needed."


10. On Science, Journalism, and Nature
by Steven B. Krivit

[Editor's note: Admittedly, New Energy Times has a bias. We're not wild about bubble fusion. It's not supported by a broad base of experimental or theoretical work. The results so far have shown very little promise of a scalable energy source, particularly compared with cold fusion. And, in contrast to what was reported by CNN and REUTERS, cold fusion and bubble fusion are not the same.

On the morning of March 8, 2006, Nature published an investigation by freelance writer Eugenie Samuel Reich of the unique fusion research pioneered by Rusi Taleyarkhan, professor of nuclear engineering at Purdue University. Within 24 hours, the story was picked up by 50 news outlets around the world.]


The First Round in the Bubble Battle

In the spring of 2002, Rusi Taleyarkhan, then with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, published a paper in Science that claimed a novel desktop hot fusion reaction. His successful publication beat out others, including Seth Putterman of the University of California, Los Angeles, who had been working on acoustic cavitation experiments for many years.

When Science published Taleyarkhan's first paper, it drew a flurry of resistance from a few outspoken, prominent physicists, including his peers at Oak Ridge. Michael Saltmarsh, at the time with Oak Ridge, was quoted by Science as saying, “There’s no evidence for any neutron excess due to fusion." Saltmarsh, by the way, had a hand in the cold fusion battle years earlier, testifying before Congress in 1989 against the claim of excess heat.

The March 2, 2002, issue of Science quotes Donald Kennedy, editor-in-chief of the journal, who explains what happened at Oak Ridge when Taleyarkhan's peers learned that his controversial paper was being reviewed and getting ready for publication:

"Oak Ridge officials tried to withdraw their permission [for Taleyarkhan] to publish the paper. 'There was certainly pressure from Oak Ridge to delay, if not to kill, the paper,' Kennedy says. 'I’m annoyed at the intervention, and I’m annoyed at the assumptions that nonauthors had the authority to tell us we couldn’t publish the paper.'”

The most peculiar interpretation of the 2002 Taleyarkhan paper this week was published by the Los Angeles Times, which reported that Taleyarkhan "submitted a paper to the journal Science, where it was published over the vehement objections of three separate reviewers: [Ken] Suslick [of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign], Putterman and physicist Lawrence A. Crum of the University of Washington."

The Los Angeles Times story makes absolutely no sense. What journal publishes a paper overriding the general recommendations of its peer reviewers?

New Energy Times found related text in one of the Nature stories:

"When Science published Taleyarkhan's initial paper, the three researchers who peer-reviewed the work took the unusual step of shedding their anonymity to criticize the journal's decision to publish. The three - Putterman, Suslick and Crum - argued that Taleyarkhan had not ruled out several potential sources of error in his paper.

When Kennedy was questioned about the 2002 Taleyarkhan paper by the Washington Post this week, he was very clear that he had anticipated controversy about the paper.

"There was some disagreement among peer reviewers," Kennedy said, "but the majority opinion of some very smart people was that it was an interesting result and should be published."

Unofficial sources report that up to 13 reviewers reviewed the paper. Kennedy could not be reached by New Energy Times to confirm this.

What in the world is going on at Nature? How would Nature know how many peers reviewed the Science paper? Did Nature think nobody would notice this distortion? Or did Nature make an innocent error to place the word "the" in the sentence, thereby implying a 100 percent consensus not to publish the Science paper?

Taleyarkhan, too, was aware of the controversy and skepticism of his work but assumed, perhaps naively, that honest, open-minded scientists would come to his aid. “I’m looking forward to helping people reproduce the experiment,” he said in 2002 in Science.

Background on Bubble Fusion

In a Jan. 7, 2005, interview with New Energy Times, Ross Tessien, president of Impulse Devices Inc., a company working to take acoustic fusion to market, explained some of the technical background of this field of work, formally known as acoustic inertial confinement fusion.

"The amazing news is not how much energy is being produced," Tessien said. "It is that any fusion reactions have been driven in a hot plasma from a simple device at all."

"Acoustic fusion reactors are like a kid on a swing. Give them a lot of tiny pushes over a period of time, and they end up swinging really high.

"These reactors have an operational acoustic Q of about 300 to 1000. This means the intensity of the acoustic standing wave is maintained by supplying 1/300th or 1/1000th of the total stored energy of the standing wave."

Tessien compared the politics of cold fusion to acoustic inertial confinement fusion.

"Notice how even a novel hot fusion technology was attacked by the hot fusion community when it first appeared," he said. "This demonstrates how afraid fusion scientists are to even consider the possibility that huge tokamak-class fusion reactors may not be the best path to producing fusion energy."

"It doesn't matter which fusion technology is perfected," Tessien said. "Fusion energy will end the world's energy problems. The fuel is heavy hydrogen available from all of the water in the world.

Fusion is a difficult science problem, he commented on March 9, 2006, in response to the current fracas over the Taleyarkhan work.

"I can say conclusively that I have tried many variants on nearly 100 different cells in my own work over a four-year period, and none of them have produced a convincing repeatable signal, Tessien said. "This means that one must seriously question whether deuterated acetone systems can work at all, but it doesn't prove that they don't."

In the 2005 New Energy Times interview with Tessien, he discussed some of the historical developments of acoustic cavitation hot fusion research:

"The original concept for a cavitation hot fusion reactor was patented by Hugh Flynn, now deceased, of Rochester University, New York, in 1982," Tessien said. "Felipe Gaitan then discovered single-bubble sonoluminescence in 1989, which allowed scientists for the first time to study how hot the imploding bubbles were getting.

"The results were staggering, and Putterman reported results last year demonstrating that the plasma temperature he was able to measure was around 1 million degrees Celsius. Putterman's device wasn't able to drive fusion reactions because it wasn't hot enough."

In Tessien's view, mainstream scientists initially attacked and turned their back on this new path to fusion after Taleyarkhan's first paper.

But after the second paper, "Additional Evidence of Nuclear Emissions During Acoustic Cavitation," published in Physical Review E in 2004, they raised their eyebrows and decided that they should take a closer look. Hence, the million dollars in Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funding to replicate the Taleyarkhan work. $750,000 was for UCLA, and $250,000 for Taleyarkhan to support the UCLA replication.

But Putterman failed to replicate the work of Taleyarkhan. Was the money well-spent? Was the Taleyarkhan work the result of an artifact? Or did the Putterman attempted replication fail for some unknown reason?

Before coming back to the current discussion of fusion research at Purdue, it may be helpful to review a few interesting plays between these fusion bedfellows over the last year.

Television Studios: The Next Frontier of Scientific Research

In February 2005, the BBC Horizon program ran a television documentary dramatically titled "An Experiment to Save the World." The show was promoted as an investigation into the bubble fusion claims of Taleyarkhan.

The stage was set with the following introduction from the narrator: "We have assembled a team of experts to conduct a unique experiment to test out these claims. If the result is positive, then this man will be on the way to a Nobel Prize, and a dream of a shortcut to a world with unlimited cheap energy could finally be within reach. But if it fails, one of the great dreams of science will surely die."

At the end of the show, the narrator announced the conclusions of the made-for-TV replication: "We found nothing. It is possible that other scientists may succeed in reproducing Rusi Taleyarkhan's results, but for now, all we can say is that the dream of a shortcut to unlimited clean energy forever must remain just that, a dream."

These assembled experts were Putterman and Saltmarsh.

As the production of the show progressed, Taleyarkhan became wary.

"We invited Rusi Taleyarkhan to come to the [BBC] laboratory and check Seth Putterman's equipment," the narrator said, "But he declined our invitation on the basis that in the small and competitive world of fusion science he did not feel comfortable with Seth Putterman's group."

"I would help out anybody who I felt comfortable with." the BBC quoted Taleyarkhan as saying. "I would, but I have to be comfortable with that particular group."

"Why is that?" the narrator asked. "Because it is not just science?"

"I will not answer that question right now," Taleyarkhan replied.

New Energy Times asked Taleyarkhan on March 9, 2006, why he agreed to participate with the BBC Horizon show and if there was anything that surprised him after seeing it.

"This started off innocently," Taleyarkhan said. "I recall asking [Purdue spokeswoman Jeanne] Norberg for guidance along with Bill Baitinger, [special assistant to the vice president for research of Purdue.] He was skeptical but didn't prevent it from going forward.

"Norberg, per my recollection, had offered that we ought not give any data to them or videotapes of experiments that can be twisted out of proportion. The BBC producer, Colin Murray, mentioned he was only interested in coming to do a serious documentary on acoustic fusion for the benefit of the Horizon audience and to help the lay person appreciate it's potential.

"In good-faith, I agreed to go ahead. I found out their true intentions later when it was revealed that BBC intended to fund quick-turnaround work at UCLA. No funding was offered for Purdue even on telling the producer that we can't use university resources for technical work for free, but I did not pursue that further.

"After they completed their piece with UCLA, and with their own referee board, I got a demand to provide, within a few days notice, time and energy to look over the UCLA results.

"I sent them a one-page response and explanation. This was ignored in their show. It was a setup, but a very valuable lesson on dealing with the media.

"Numerous U.K. residents who saw the show sent their regrets to me, and in many cases, directly to the BBC. Ken Chang [a reporter with The New York Times] wrote a noteworthy article on that attempt by Putterman."

[Excerpt from the March 15, 2005 New York Times Article: The only known attempt to reproduce the [Taleyarkhan] experiment was by Dr. Seth Putterman of UCLA, whose work was financed by an unusual source, the BBC. For an episode of its "Horizon" science series that focused on the [Taleyarkhan] experiment, the BBC gave Dr. Putterman $70,000 to try to replicate it.

"I'm desperate for money, and here's a chance to infuse my laboratory with overhead-free money," Dr. Putterman said. "We had fun."]

Introducing Pyrofusion, a.k.a. Crystal Fusion

Now let's roll the clock forward to April 27, 2005. A new form of tabletop fusion is announced. It is called both "Pyrofusion" and "crystal fusion."

It's from Putterman and his colleagues Brian Naranjo and Jim Gimzewski at UCLA.

The story was first reported in Nature, with a glowing endorsement reported by the New York Times from William Happer, a physics professor at Princeton University who had attempted to prevent the publication of the 2002 Science paper by Taleyarkhan.

Saltmarsh gave his own enthusiastic endorsement to Science.

"I thought that it was really neat; it’s such a cute way of making an accelerator," he said.

Despite erroneous story lines in The Christian Science Monitor and other news outlets, the Putterman work and the Taleyarkhan work have little, if anything, to do with cold fusion.

"The ions have incident energies (of about 1KeV) that are consistent with what is required in conventional fusion," Scott Chubb, a physicist with the Naval Research Laboratory, said. "The byproducts are the conventional fusion byproducts."

But the Putterman group expressed no optimism that this type of fusion device had any relevance as an energy source, which is spot on. It's not. Its uses are primarily in industrial and security applications, though a majority of the media reporting this story in the first 48 hours of the frenzy failed to grasp this significant aspect.

RPI's Double Crystal Fusion beats UCLA's Single Crystal Fusion

The next volley in this fusion fracas came from upstate New York, at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Feb. 13, 2006.

The press release from RPI stated that it, too, like UCLA's Putterman, had "developed a tabletop accelerator that produces nuclear fusion at room temperature."

In an example of scientific one-upsmanship, RPI researchers explained how their innovation was better than Putterman's.

“Our device uses two crystals instead of one, which doubles the acceleration potential,” says Jeffrey Geuther, a graduate student in nuclear engineering at Rensselaer and lead author of the paper. “And our setup does not require cooling the crystals to cryogenic temperatures — an important step that reduces both the complexity and the cost of the equipment.”

The Nature Attack on Taleyarkhan

And finally, we have the Purdue fusion fistfight between Taleyarkhan and everyone else: his colleagues at Purdue and UCLA's Putterman and Naranjo.

In a series of four articles released simultaneously by Nature on Wednesday, the journal attempted to silence and discredit Taleyarkhan and obliterate bubble fusion.

Did the journal explicitly state that this was its objective? No. But the headline does the job: " Bubble Fusion: Silencing the Hype." Is there really any difference between "silencing" and "suppression"? And the word "hype" more or less explains what Nature thinks about this line of research.

Despite the fact that Nature wrote four separate articles, they use nothing but innuendo, opinion and circumstantial evidence to refute Taleyarkhan's claim.

Nature 's other headlines, mixed in among the stories, include "Try, try again." This is based on the saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." This, in itself, is insulting to the scientific process. What would Nature have researchers do? Give up without a concerted effort?

Another headline is "Now you see it ... " This is a thinly veiled reference to a magic trick, "Now you see it, now you don't."

Just for argument's sake, suppose Taleyarkhan's work was an artifact. People will give up on it and move on to other experiments.

What was Nature trying to accomplish? What is gained and who benefits from taking down Taleyarkhan and his line of bubble fusion research?

Perhaps the answer is in one of the four Nature articles: "Problems over Taleyarkhan's work do not change the fact that bubble fusion is a promising idea, nor do they undermine the intrinsic scientific interest in studying the behavior of collapsing bubbles, Putterman says. But if Taleyarkhan's work is wrong, it would open the field up to a range of different approaches."

Like pyrofusion, perhaps?

Putterman and graduate student Brian Naranjo, who was also an author of their pyrofusion paper, led the charge against Taleyarkhan.

UCLA Claims Their Simulated Data Refutes Purdue Experimental Data

The UCLA team asserted, by performing a computer simulation of Taleyarkhan's work, that Taleyarkhan's data was wrong. This is the best evidence Nature presented to justify its assault on Taleyarkhan.

Let's examine this circumstantial evidence further.

The key claim, as reported by Nature, is that an analysis by the UCLA lab suggests that the Purdue data are actually a much better match for the radioactive decay of a standard lab source [californium] - by a factor of more than 100 million."

Nature reported that Naranjo and Putterman say that the data presented by Taleyarkhan do not look right. "The fusion of deuterium nuclei produces neutrons that have a particular energy of 2.45 mega-electronvolts (MeV). 'The published spectrum is totally inconsistent with that of 2.45 MeV neutrons, raising doubt over the fusion claim,' says Naranjo."

However, Taleyarkhan reported to New Energy Times on Thursday that the emission pattern is not a match for match californium, thereby casting a cloud of uncertainty over the UCLA assertions.

"Naranjo's assessment is based on a computer model calculation where several assumptions are made." Taleyarkhan said. "We're preparing a technical rebuttal and also taking data with our detector and with an actual Californium-252 source present to put this issue to rest."

Naranjo's assertion, however, fails to take into account a replication by other researchers at Purdue where a nearly identical control was used in the study. The control, using nondeuterated material, in the same lab, with the same californium present, would have affected the control as well as the device under test. But the control showed no evidence of fusion.

The Nature article suggests that "serious doubts are prevalent in the physics community" with regard to the Taleyarkhan work.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Putterman said Taleyarkhan has been "negligent or jumped the gun or concocted data -- one of those -- and has distracted us from a serious problem at the frontiers of research" and "It is hard to imagine how, through pure negligence, he could generate this type of data six times."

The Los Angeles Times also reported that Suslick accused Taleyarkhan of committing "fraud."

Reuters titled their story "University checks 'bubble fusion' fraud claim."

However, neither Purdue Provost Sally Mason or spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg consider this a matter of fraud or even worthy of an investigation; instead, Mason said, it is "a review of the research and the allegations related to it."

Ugly Journalism

New Energy Times noticed the lack of comments from Taleyarkhan in the four March 8, 2006, Nature articles and asked him if they had attempted to get his side of the story before publication.

"No one from Nature ever contacted me or make any attempts whatsoever," Taleyarkhan said. "Only the freelance writer Eugenie Reich made contact with me starting around February 20, 2006.

"The questioning started with relatively innocent queries but then quickly (within days) escalated to questioning technical details, with an accusatory and hostile tone, at which point, I started having questions about her integrity.

"On discussion with my co-authors it was getting clear that the writer was striving for a sensational story stoked with input from detractors and competitors."

New Energy Times asked Taleyarkhan about the apparent contradiction about his first contact with Reich.

"She introduced herself as a freelance writer," Taleyarkhan said. "She said she might submit the story to Nature or some other publication."

Taleyarkhan first got wind of the Nature story just one day before it appeared when "another journalist from the IEEE called to ask questions."

The Nameless and Faceless Accusers

Nature 's assembled representatives of the physics community included Purdue scientists Lefteri Tsoukalas and Tatjana Jevremovic, and they, "along with several others who do not wish to be named, say that they now seriously doubt the reality of the bubble-fusion effect," Nature reported.

Who are these others? And what of the silence of Drs. Tsoukalas and Jevremovic since the Nature article?

Tsoukalas and Jevremovic have declined all requests for comments since the publication of the Nature article. A source inside Purdue told New Energy Times that "Jevremovic is now stating that she was misrepresented" by Nature.

Nature reported that Taleyarkhan "has declined to share the raw data he claims to have obtained in successful experiments on shared equipment." The journal said, "The faculty members add that he has opposed publication of their own negative results and has removed the equipment on which they were trying to replicate his work."


"We have people's careers and reputations on the line here," Norberg stated to the Associated Press, "and certainly this is very serious research and some very serious allegations."

Purdue administrators report that Taleyarkhan has expressed a willingness to cooperate fully with the university administration to sort out the matter.

"I cannot defend the nontechnical human issues like competition and jealousy," he told The Washington Post.





11. Pre-Print Available from F.A. Gareev and I.E. Zhidkova

Cooperative Enhancement Mechanisms of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Using Superlow Energy External Fields
Authors: F.A. Gareev, I.E. Zhidkova

"We propose a new mechanism of LENR: cooperative processes in whole system - nuclei+atoms+condensed matter can occur at smaller threshold energies than corresponding ones on free constituents. The cooperative processes can be induced and enhanced by low energy external fields. The excess heat is the emission of internal energy, and transmutations at LENR are the result of redistribution inner energy of whole system."

Web link to pre-print: http://arxiv.org/abs/nucl-th/0601015

12. Cold Fusion: A 2005 Outlook
By Steven B. Krivit

This is a short retrospective article written in 2005 providing a broad perspective of the cold fusion field and a comparison to the perspective from 1994 by Eugene Mallove and Jed Rothwell.

Web link: http://newenergytimes.com/news/ColdFusion-A2005Outlook.shtml

13. United States Cold Fusion Patent Application 20050276366
Dec. 15, 2005

Professor John Dash of Portland State University continues his battle, now in its second decade, to win a U.S. cold fusion patent.

Summary of the Invention
(Text is from the patent application)

"The present invention can be used to reproducibly produce heat energy. The invention is based on the observation that significant amounts of energy in the form of heat and the production of a radioactive material, i.e., tritium, is obtained in a reliable manner through electrolysis using an electrolyte comprising D2O and an ionizable acid, such as sulfuric acid. With a current passed through the electrolyte employing an inert anode, such as a platinum anode, and a cathode made from a metal selected from the group consisting of nonhydride forming metals, such as palladium, platinum and titanium, deuterium and hydrogen atoms are formed at the cathode. It is postulated that these react in an unknown nuclear reaction in the cathode to yield tritium and energy.

The invention further contemplates performing the process of the invention in an environment wherein gases produced by the electrolysis recombine under the action of a catalyst in a region disposed above the region where the electrolyte is contained. With hydrogen and deuterium formed at the cathode and oxygen formed at the anode, these recombine in the presence of a catalyst, such as platinum-black, to form water and heavy water. The recombining of these gases in this fashion constitutes an important safety feature. The gases may also be collected for industrial uses, in which case, the catalyst is not needed."

Full text: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2005/DashPatentApp.shtml

14. In the News

Water Sparks New Power Source
BBC News
Sunday, Oct. 19, 2003

[Editor's note: This article is several years old; however, it came to our attention because of certain similarities with the hydraulic-electrostatic cold fusion method reported in New Energy Times issue #14 (http://www.newenergytimes.com/news/NET14.shtml#hydro).]

"A new way to generate electricity from water which could be used to power small electronic devices in the future has been developed by Canadian scientists.

The researchers have harnessed what happens to water when it is pumped through tiny channels.

'What we have achieved so far is to show that electrical power can be directly generated from flowing liquids in microchannels,' said Professor Larry Kostiuk from University of Alberta.

The research by Kostiuk and colleague Daniel Kwok is published by an Institute of Physics journal.

It is said to be the first new method of generating electricity in over 150 years."

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2003/WaterSparksNewPowerSource.shtml
Related story: http://www.newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2003/LetWaterPower.shtml

Do We Need Nuclear Power?
Physics World
June, 2001

[Editor's note: This is an older story, but it still provides an outstanding, in-depth discussion which looks at both sides of this question.]

"With rising fuel costs, concerns about global warming and the growing demand from the developing world, the burning question is whether the world needs nuclear power. Peter Hodgson, a nuclear physicist, says yes. Dennis Anderson, an economist, says that we should first explore the possibilities of renewables and other forms of energy."

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2005/DoWeNeedNuclearPower.shtml 

On Oil Supply, Opinions Aren't Scarce
By Joseph Nocera
The New York Times
Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005

One of the first stories about "peak oil" to run in the mainstream media. Nocera explores both sides of the debate with remarkable neutrality.

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2005/OnOilSupplyOpinionsArentScarce.shtml

Global Warming 'Past the Point of No Return'
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
The Independent (UK)
Friday, Sept. 16, 2005

In case you missed this news, the polar icecap is melting.
Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2005/GlobalWarmingPastThePoint.shtml

Cold Fusion: A Heated History
By Bruce Gellerman
Living on Earth broadcast on National Public Radio
Friday, Sep. 30, 2005 (Original broadcast)
Friday, Feb. 24, 2006 (Rebroadcast)

"Bruce Gellerman continues his investigation into the future of fusion with a look at the latest research in the field of cold fusion, the science of creating a nuclear reaction at room temperature. Most scientists call sustained cold fusion reactions impossible, but others say their experiments are producing energy."

Full transcript: http://newenergytimes.com/v2/inthenews/2005/ColdFusionAHeatedHistory.shtml

Patent Office to Reinstate Fired Cold-Fusion-Believing Examiner
Science and Government Report: The Independent Bulletin of Science Policy
Volume XXXV, No. 15/Oct. 1, 2005

[Editor's note: This fascinating article was brought to our attention by a New Energy Times reader. It covers the troubled story of patent examiner Tom Valone, fired for his interest and support of cold fusion. After a six-year appeal and legal battle, his job has been returned to him.

This has to be one of the best articles so far to convey the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's questionable behavior toward cold fusion and its possible repercussions to stifle commercial development in the field.

The article reveals that two other patent examiners who were advocates of cold fusion were fired, and it notes some of the aggressive behavior of Robert Park and Peter Zimmerman to thwart cold fusion progress.]

"Bob Park, the American Physical Society curmudgeon who authors the weekly What's New column, and Peter Zimmerman, a former science adviser in the State Department's arms control agency. The pair played a critical role in thwarting Valone's Conference on Free Energy, which ultimately led to the firing. The contempt with which the two physicists treated cold fusion was no mystery to [the cases'] arbitrator:

'The federal government's budget research and development pie in the areas of theoretical physics and chemistry is limited, and, by and large, only traditional physicists represented by organizations like the APS and its counterpart for conventional chemists have been invited to sup on that pie. The last thing they want is any new guests invited to the table.'

Park, he noted, was still crowing in What's New about his part in removing a 'heretic' from the patent office eight months after Valone's firing. And the March 2000 edition of APS News carried a front-page story congratulating Park for his years of accomplishments in keeping 'non-conventional physicists' away from the federal funding trough."

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2006/PatentOfficeToReinstate.shtml

Kuwait's Biggest Field Starts to Run Out of Oil
AME Info / Editorial
Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005

"It was an incredible revelation last week that the second-largest oil field in the world is exhausted and past its peak output. Yet that is what the Kuwait Oil Co. revealed about its Burgan field.

The peak output of the Burgan oil field will now be around 1.7 million barrels per day, and not the 2 million barrels per day forecast for the rest of the field's 30 to 40 years of life, Chairman Farouk Al Zanki told Bloomberg.

He said that engineers had tried to maintain 1.9 million barrels per day but that 1.7 million is the optimum rate. Kuwait now will spend some $3 billion a year for the next year to boost output and exports from other fields.

However, it is surely a landmark moment when the world's second-largest oil field begins to run dry. For Burgan has been pumping oil for almost 60 years and accounts for more than half of Kuwait's proven oil reserves. This is also not what forecasters are currently assuming."

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2005/KuwaitsBiggestField.shtml

Bill Authorizes Private Purchase of Federal Land
By Kirk Johnson and Felicity Barringer
The New York Times
Sunday, Nov. 20, 2005

"DENVER, Nov. 19 - Private companies and individuals would be able to buy large tracts of federal land, from sagebrush basins to high-peak hiking trails around the West, under the terms of the spending bill passed Friday by a two-vote margin in the House of Representatives ...

And some experts on public land use say it is possible that energy companies could use the provision to buy land in the energy-rich fields of Wyoming and Montana on the pretext of mining, but then drill for oil and gas.

'They are called mining claims, but you can locate them where there are no minerals,' said John D. Leshy, who was the Interior Department's senior lawyer during the Clinton administration. Mr. Leshy said the legislation 'doesn't have much to do with mining at all.'"

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2005/BillAuthorizes.shtml

Double Crystal Fusion Could Pave the Way for Portable Device
Feb. 13, 2006
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

[Editor's note: There is considerable confusion about the exact mechanism behind this new type of tabletop nuclear reaction. It does not appear to be a conventional cold fusion reaction, and it certainly does not represent the conditions of classical hot fusion. Regardless, it represents solid evidence in support of new, alternative fusion reactions.]

"Troy, N.Y. — Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a tabletop accelerator that produces nuclear fusion at room temperature, providing confirmation of an earlier experiment conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, while offering substantial improvements over the original design.

'Nuclear fusion has been explored as a potential source of power, but we are not looking at this as an energy source right now,' [Yaron Danon, associate professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer] says. Rather, the most immediate application may come in the form of a battery-operated, portable neutron generator. Such a device could be used to detect explosives or to scan luggage at airports, and it could also be an important tool for a wide range of laboratory experiments."

Full article: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2006/RPI-DoubleCrystalFusion.shtml

Bush: U.S. on Verge of Energy Breakthrough:
Bush Declares America Is on Verge of Energy Technology Breakthroughs
ABC News / AP
by Deb Riechmann
Feb. 20, 2006

[Editor's note: The nation's top oilman startled energy observers across the political spectrum today. Even without attempting to read the White House tea leaves, this speech, given by Bush at Johnson Controls Inc. in Milwaukee, Wis., displays profound and curious novelty in this administration's rhetoric toward energy.

New Energy Times had to look twice to see whether Bush really used the phrase, "new energy technology." We checked the transcript of the talk; indeed, it is not an artifact. And "amazing breakthroughs"? This is most mysterious. What could Bush possibly be talking about? It's difficult to imagine that such superlatives are references to so-called "clean coal" or ethanol. And since when did the Bush administration start to envision a system of decentralized power?

New Energy Times proposes two hypothesis: Either Bush is being highly imaginative, praying for a miracle to quell the peak oil panic, or he's recently read "The Rebirth of Cold Fusion" by Krivit and Winocur or "Cold Fusion and the Future" by Rothwell.]

"'Our nation is on the threshold of new energy technology that I think will startle the American people,' Bush said. 'We're on the edge of some amazing breakthroughs all aimed at enhancing our national security and our economic security and the quality of life of the folks who live here in the United States.'

Later Monday, Bush was visiting the United Solar Ovonics Plant, which makes solar panels, in Auburn Hills, Mich., outside Detroit. The company also works on hydrogen fuel cells to power autos.

'Roof makers will one day be able to make a solar roof that protects you from the elements and, at the same time, powers your house,' Bush said. 'The vision is this that technology will become so efficient that you'll become a little power generator in your home, and if you don't use the energy you generate, you'll be able to feed it back into the electricity grid.'"

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2006/BushUSOnVergeOfEnergyBreakthrough.shtml
Full transcript: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2006/RemarksByPresidentBushOnEnergy.shtml

Students Compete to Create Future Cities
Competition Part of Engineering Week
7:04 pm EST Feb. 21, 2006

Despite the lack of vision and courage by certain distinguished physics elders, today's youth are not faltering in their creativity or in their optimism for a better future.

"WASHINGTON -- As part of a national competition during Engineering Week, a lot of young minds are working on cities of the future. The cities aren't real, but the ideas may someday change how we live ...

Kids from St. Mary's School in Buffalo, NY, worked on new building materials and less reliance on fossil fuels. They used cold fusion and microbial fuel cells for power."

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2006/StudentsCompete.shtml

Whatever Happened to Cold Fusion?
By Susan Kruglinski
DISCOVER Vol. 27 No. 03 | March 2006 | Astronomy & Physics

Discover Magazine's Susan Kruglinski discovers that cold fusion is still alive at MIT, despite the premature wake held there for cold fusion in 1989.

Full story: http://newenergytimes.com/inthenews/2006/Discover-WhateverHappenedToColdFusion.shtml



15. Speakers Available - Experts on the Subject of Cold Fusion
Steven B. Krivit - General audiences (author of The Rebirth of Cold Fusion)
David J. Nagel - Government and military audiences (participant in the 2004 DOE Cold Fusion Review)


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