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The leader in news and information on low energy nuclear reactions
November 10, 2006 -- Issue #19

Copyright 2006 New Energy Times (tm)
Published by the New Energy Institute Inc. six times per year

Staff 
Editor and Publisher: Steven B. Krivit
Copy Editor: Cindy Goldstein
Web Editor: Sally Robertson

Science Advisers:
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Support Team
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H.P.
Nick Palmer
V.F.
Mark Iverson
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Akito Takahashi
William Collis
Akira Kitamura
Nicolas Armanet
Xing Zhong Li
Christopher Hume

 
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EDITORIALS AND OPINION
1.   Guest Editorial
2.   To the Editor
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
3.   The 13th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ICCF-13)
4.   American Physical Society March Meeting
5.   Symposium on New Energy Technology at the American Chemical Society
6.   The 13th International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Sciences (ICENES-2007)
ANALYSIS AND PERSPECTIVES
7.   Extraordinary Evidence
8.   The Galileo Project
9.   Brief Report on ASTI’06 Workshop
10. PUBLICATIONS
11. SCIENCE AND ENERGY NEWS
12. BITS AND PIECES

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“… even a single short but valid cold fusion period would be revolutionary.”

— Norman F. Ramsey, Nobel laureate, Harvard physics professor, and Department of Energy 1989 Cold Fusion Review Panel member.


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EDITORIALS AND OPINION

1. Guest Editorial


Scott Chubb
Photo: David Nagel

Hidden Brooks of Knowledge and Strength
(Excerpt from a longer article originally published by Infinite Energy issue #69)

My dad, Charles F. Chubb Jr., grew up in a place called Hidden Brook Farm. Although my dad told me there was an actual hidden brook on Hidden Brook Farm, nobody, including my grandfather who named the farm, had any idea where to find it.

The fact that the place was so beautiful and filled with life but at the same time was named after a mysterious brook that no one could find is very similar to the way that I think scientists should view science.

Like the way my father’s family loved Hidden Brook Farm, despite the fact that they couldn’t find the hidden brook that gave it its name, true scientists love science but really don’t know how to identify it, completely, when it takes place. Like the hidden brook, great, new science can be elusive. It can remain hidden for many years. In doing science, we are supposed to acquire knowledge. But we can never be sure of what we know. We intuitively sense we are on the right track, just as at my dad’s home we sensed that there was this magical brook but it always remained hidden.

A remarkable coincidence is that, if it weren’t for Hidden Brook Farm and my father, it is entirely possible that neither Talbot Chubb (my uncle) nor I would have become involved with cold fusion research. The reason is that Hidden Brook Farm is where my dad first started to play with electronics and radio. If he had lived somewhere else, this might have never happened. The point is that my dad has loved science, and the best aspects of science, since he first started to play with science as a child. And his love and enthusiasm for science has been contagious. Talbot saw his older brother, Charles, playing with science. And he fell in love with the process. My dad continued to play with science all through his working life, both at home and at work. And seeing my dad’s love for science, I fell in love with it, also.

My dad’s love for science and knowledge inspired him to go to Princeton University to study physics. My dad’s love for Princeton and physics inspired both Talbot and me to go to Princeton University also and to study physics. And both of us ended up at the Naval Research Laboratory as a result of my dad’s guidance. In particular, Dad initially suggested to me when I finished graduate school that the Naval Research Laboratory might be a good place to work. Dad made this suggestion based on the fact that the research at the Naval Research Laboratory is extremely broad in scope and that, as a consequence, if I decided to work there, potentially I would be able not only to work on different projects but also to become involved with new and different areas of science.

Initially, because I had been so focused in my research as a graduate student, I thought it would be more appropriate to work in a temporary position at Northwestern University. While I was there, I came to appreciate the excellence of a comparable research effort at the Naval Research Laboratory in my area of research, and after three years, I decided to take a second temporary position -- this time, at the Naval Research Laboratory -- doing very similar research. At the end of three years, when it was necessary to find a new position, I decided it was time to become employed permanently. At this point, Talbot (who had been involved with the Naval Research Laboratory for almost 40 years) helped me to find a position at the Naval Research Laboratory, and (as my father had suspected might take place), I did change my course of research. What is somewhat remarkable is that, in my new position, I started to collaborate with Talbot. Six months later, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons made their announcement about cold fusion at the University of Utah. The rest is history.

An important point is that, in order to be truly creative in science, scientists must feel free to do the right thing at the right time. Research cannot be forced. For true research to take place, scientists must have enough freedom to be confident about doing new, creative things in an environment of respect and trust. For many years, in many of the national laboratories, this was allowed to happen. Each of these bastions of intellectual integrity and science, in the truest sense, should have been viewed as the kind of place, like Hidden Brook Farm, where true nurturing of creativity is allowed to take place.

Sadly, lack of funding and interest has been destroying these kinds of environments. However, in these institutions and at universities, to a limited extent, Hidden Brook Farm environments still exist. Individuals who have experienced and appreciated the form of nurturing that can go on in these environments, in the truest sense, are fortunate. These individuals, because of the experience, also can be viewed as true sources of knowledge, wisdom, and strength. These individuals, because of their dogged insistence on excellence, searching and finding the truth, and integrity are the truest hidden brooks in the quest to do great science.

The condensed matter nuclear science field has seen a number of such hidden brooks. I am going to single out one particular individual, Stanislaw Szpak, who I especially feel should be viewed in this way. But in very general terms, anyone who has been involved with condensed matter nuclear science, after a sufficient period of time, has become a kind of hidden brook of truth for someone else who has not been aware of what has been going on. As hidden brooks of truth about the subject, all of us have a duty to speak forthrightly and truthfully, each in our own way, to people who we believe will listen to us talk about the subject.

When real science takes place, sometimes the unexpected can be so unexpected that it really can be startling. The good news is that what was presented by Frank Gordon and Pamela Mosier-Boss of the Space Naval Air Warfare Systems Center, San Diego, at the National Defense Industrial Association conference, which was held July 31 to Aug. 3 in Washington, D.C., is so startling that not only will what they presented be remembered, but what they presented will have an impact.

In particular, some of the more prominent members of the Department of Defense and its industrial partners were present at this particular conference. (Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of the Department of Defense, was scheduled to give the keynote address of the conference, during a banquet held on Aug. 2; however, he was unable to attend because of a last-minute change in his schedule.

Unfortunately, Szpak, an important individual who played a pivotal role in much of the work associated with what Frank and Pamela presented, was unable to attend because of health issues that prevent him from traveling long distances.

Szpak is a truly outstanding scientist. Like all great scientists, he is a hidden brook of knowledge and creativity. He stands along with Fleischmann, Pons, Melvin Miles, and Yoshiaki Arata as one of the true giants associated with cold fusion and the emerging field of condensed matter nuclear science.

Besides being truly innovative in guiding the effort and with directing and suggesting innovative courses of study associated with the work at the Space Naval Air Warfare Systems Center, Szpak has, in the best tradition of science, followed through with forthright scientific conviction. He has persistently made sure that bona-fide scientific results, involving an extremely controversial field, have been promulgated through presentations at meetings, publications in conference proceedings, and brought to the forefront through more widely recognized established channels of communication: mainstream, refereed, scientific journals and technical reports.

As a participant in the 10-year effort sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, I can attest to the fact that without Szpak’s determination and persistence, many of the most important results associated with this effort (which involved work at the Naval Air Warfare Center, the Space Naval Air Warfare Systems Center, and the Naval Research Laboratory) would not have been made available to the public. I commend him for doing a tremendous service not only to our country but also to science in general.

Gordon and Mosier-Boss also should be commended for their persistence. Gordon has created the kind of bastion of intellectual integrity where truly great science can take place. Because of the limited financial support since 1997, there have been many periods when both of them have been forced to perform research with Szpak, without pay, during evenings and other times when they normally would have been with their families, while being paid during normal hours for doing work on other projects. In the face of extremely difficult circumstances, these three people have continued to work and publish their results in established journals, in circumstances in which the area of research is considered a pariah form of science. These efforts, to say the least, have been potentially damaging not only to their careers and families but also, in more general terms, to their well being.

What is truly astonishing is that, because of their persistence, not only have they developed and perfected a procedure for initiating low energy nuclear reactions on demand, they also now have found evidence that they can create a new condensed matter nuclear effect use of external fields to trigger low level radioactivity on demand. Evidence of this new effect was presented at the National Defense Industrial Association conference. It involves the apparent emission of high-energy particles from low energy nuclear reactions that are initiated when palladium and deuterium are electrolytically deposited on the surface of a metal, in the presence of a magnetic field. The particular procedure that is the basis of their experiments has been developed during the last 17 years and documented in more than 15 separate refereed publications and in an important 2002 report that was prepared for the Office of Naval Research [1] which is available online at: http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MosierBossthermaland.pdf).

1. SPAWAR Technical Report 1862, Thermal and Nuclear Aspects of the Pd/D 2O System, Vol. 1: A Decade of Research at Navy Laboratories, S. Szpak and P. A. Mosier-Boss, eds., Space Warfare Systems Center, San Diego, CA, 92152-5001

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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:
 
I believe we are in a race that we must win, or life will be miserable for the grandchildren and maybe even ourselves. So I am interested in watching what is happening in new energy.

Hot fusion has languished for many decades. It does not seem to have moved much from the early 1980s, when I was doing my MBA with a Lawrence Livermore national laboratory program manager.

I am a firm believer that, once we can envision a possible solution, one eventually will appear. I am glad that your organization exists to help overcome rigidity in the scientific establishment toward new ideas. I think we must continue to learn and grow for, when we think we know it all, we are dead or dying. The great thing is we can open our minds to new things and be "born again" anytime we choose.

Chris Frandsen
Teachers Alley
Austin, TX

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NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
 
3. The 13th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ICCF-13)
 
Conference chairman Yuri Bazhutov reports that the 13th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science will take place June 25 - July 1, 2007, in Sochi, Russia, at the Dagomys Hotel. Please note this is a revised date from the previous tentative date.

The Web address for the conference will be http://www.iscmns.org/iccf13. No further information is available at this time. Please check this site soon for more details.

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4. American Physical Society March Meeting
For the ninth consecutive year, Scott Chubb is organizing a contributed session on low energy nuclear reactions for the March meeting of the American Physical Society. The meeting will take place in Denver, Colo. on March 5-9, 2007. All CMNS researchers are invited to submit abstracts to Chubb at chubbscott@aol.com. Abstracts must include a title as well as name, affiliation, home address, and e-mail address for each author. Text for each abstract should not exceed 210 words, including the title and all contact information. Chubb must receive abstracts by Nov.19.

Last year marked a turning point for the subject of low energy nuclear reactions at the American Physical Society March meeting, Chubb noted, with a record attendance for the low energy nuclear reactions session at an APS meeting.

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5. Symposium on New Energy Technology at the American Chemical Society
233rd National American Chemical Society Meeting
Chicago, IL, USA
March 25-29, 2007
by Jan Marwan, symposium chair

This symposium covers a wide range of new energy technology with the capacity to reduce dependency on environmentally unfriendly chemical fuels. This symposium includes ideas on how to improve the efficiency of energy sources as alternatives to fossil fuels and focuses mainly on the subject of cold fusion. The aim is to collect experimental evidences for cold fusion and present reasonable explanations summarizing the facts for a conclusive theoretical and practical working model.

It is obvious that cold fusion is not similar to thermonuclear hot fusion processes. An appreciable number of available documents report on different methods by which nuclear reactions are produced and controlled at low temperature. Those methods range from the use of gun-powder technique to the attempt to electrochemically induce nuclear fusion and fission with large excess heat in a deuterium-containing metal lattice.

The emphasis is directed toward the fabrication of cold fusion devices with unique commercial potentials, demonstrating the power of low-temperature nuclear reactions as the alternative to any fossil fuels. The idea of cold nuclear fusion has led to endless discussions about the kinetic impossibility of intense nuclear reactions with high coulomb barrier potentials. During the memorable Fleischmann-Pons experiments in 1989, which involved electrochemical cells using heavy water and palladium as the electrode, tremendous excess heat was discovered, challenging all current atomic models.

Subsequent attention has been focused on the development of new ideas ranging from nucleon-cluster to the electron charge-cluster model. Reproducibility of cold fusion reactions has been very poor, and no group has fully resolved the problems associated with the special preparation of the metal electrode, the loading of deuterium and the turning on of excess heat.

Understanding this process is one of the most challenging issues in the scientific world. Since I am very much involved and an expert in cold fusion, I propose to organize this symposium at the American Chemical Society National meeting. If it turns out, as I strongly suspect, that cold fusion will be the alternative to fossil fuels and the most efficient energy source, the American Chemical Society would demonstrate leadership by being on the cutting edge of science into a new era.

Extended Abstract form

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6. The 13th International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Sciences (ICENES-2007)

The 2007 International Conference on Emerging Nuclear Energy Sciences will take place on June 3-8, 2007 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The objective of ICENES2007 is to provide an international scientific and technical forum for scientists, engineers, industry leaders, policy-makers, decision makers and young professionals who will shape future energy supply and technology.

The conference will feature a broad review and discussion of various advanced, innovative and nonconventional nuclear energy production systems. The new dimension of this year's conference is to extend the forum, which also will comprise innovative nonnuclear technologies, such as hydrogen energy, solar energy and deep space exploration with an emphasis on unthinkable ideas based on sound scientific and technical bases.

"Nuclear energy is in a true process of rebirth," conference chairman Sümer Sahin wrote, " and our success in this process will clearly depend on the emerging ideas we can offer for a sustainable future for nuclear energy. In this context, our conference can be and will be a suitable forum to make a fruitful contribution to this rebirth."

The conference will feature at least one special session on condensed matter nuclear science.

Michael McKubre (SRI International), Antonella De Ninno (Italian Agency for Alternative Energy) and Steven Krivit (New Energy Times) presented papers at the last ICENES conference, in the summer of 2005 in Brussels, Belgium.

The list of this year's topics include:

Advanced Fission Systems
Fusion Energy Systems
Accelerator-Driven Systems
Exotic Nuclear Reactor Concepts
Transmutation and Fuel Cycle
Co-Generation and Nonelectricity Production Applications
Generation IV Reactors
Space Power and Propulsion
Deep Space Exploration
Nuclear Hydrogen Production
Radiation Protection and Shielding
Hydrogen Energy (including non-nuclear applications)
Solar Energy, Solar Sailing
Societal Issues
Energy policy, conversion and management
Alternative and hybrid energy systems.

ICENES2007 is sponsored by Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK), International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO-ICHET), American Nuclear Society (ANS), Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council (TÜBİTAK), European Nuclear Research Center (CERN), and Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The host organizations for the conference are Gazi University and Bahcesehir University.

The extended abstract deadline is Nov. 24, 2007
Early registration deadline is March 1, 2007

The conference Web site is http://www.icenes2007.org

A comprehensive Call for Papers can be downloaded at any of these locations:

http://newenergytimes.com/conferences/2007/ICENES-2007/CallForPapers.pdf
http://www.icenes2007.org/Call_for_Papers.pdf
http://www.icenes2007.org/Call_for_Papers.doc

The proceedings will be produced in the form of an interactive CD-ROM with an ISBN registration number.

Elsevier will publish a special edition of the journal Energy Conversion & Management, which will include selected papers from ICENES2007.  

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ANALYSIS AND PERSPECTIVES

Also see: Reasonable Doubt
By Bennett Daviss
Original published in New Scientist, 29 March 2003

Extraordinary Evidence

Printer-friendly PDF version


Also see: Extraordinary Courage: Report on Some LENR Presentations at the 2007 American Physical Society Meeting

Also see: Charged Particles for Dummies: A Conversation With Lawrence P.G. Forsley

Scientists at the U.S. Navy's San Diego SPAWAR Systems Center have produced something unique in the 17-year history of the scientific drama historically known as cold fusion: simple, portable, highly repeatable, unambiguous and permanent physical evidence of nuclear events using detectors that have a long track record of reliability and acceptance among nuclear physicists.

by Steven Krivit and Bennett Daviss

When Frank Gordon walked to the podium in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 2, it was a small step for a man but a large one for the few hundred determined researchers around the world still probing the mysteries of low energy nuclear reactions, or LENR, historically known as cold fusion.

At the 2006 Naval Science & Technology Partnership conference hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association and the Office of Naval Research, Gordon sat among a panel of 11 experts who had come to talk to the crowd about energy possibilities for the American military. (See related story in New Energy Times Issue #18)

Because the Department of Defense is the largest domestic buyer of petroleum-based fuel, the subject is especially urgent; if the price of oil rises $10 in a year, the Navy's deputy assistant secretary for research and development, Michael McGrath, had told the group, the hike adds $1.3 billion to the Department of Defense's budget.

So between speakers on photovoltaic cells and generators powered by ocean waves, Gordon told an assembled crowd of 500 military personnel, government officials, and government contractors about his lab's powerful new evidence that tabletop nuclear reactions can occur at room temperature without producing damaging, let alone fatal, radiation - in other words, evidence that low energy nuclear reactions inhabit the realm of science, not science fiction.

Frank Gordon
Photo: Christopher Hume

Pamela Mosier-Boss
Photo: Christopher Hume

 

"We tell students to do experiments and to put data above dogma," Gordon told the group. "I don't know what preconceptions you brought with you today about the idea of low energy nuclear reactions, but I can tell you that we've done the experiments, and we have the data."

The step was large for three reasons. First, the brass at the Office of Naval Research and SPAWAR - the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego, where Gordon heads the navigation and applied sciences department - hadn't tried to dissuade him when he told them that he and analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss from his lab were coming to the conference.

At SPAWAR, "we're old news," Mosier-Boss said. "People are used to us working on this, and they accept that we do what we do."

Still, the research that Mosier-Boss and colleague Stanislaw Szpak pursue (as time, funds, and other duties permit) remains so controversial within some naval quarters that those who refuse to abandon it are forbidden - officially in some cases, implicitly in others - from speaking publicly about it.

Second, Gordon's team had achieved its results with a budget of a few thousand dollars a year of discretionary funds that he controls as a department head.

"We've borrowed instrumentation and accepted help from anyone who offered it and purchased some supplies out of our own pocket, but mostly, we've worked on our own time," he said. "Given those constraints, we've made excellent progress."

Third, LENR research has found an unexpected advocate in the National Defense Industrial Association president, Lawrence Farrell, a retired Air Force general. He'd known Gordon and other Navy scientists from Farrell's days on active duty and came to respect their professional judgment and integrity.

Farrell's group recently set up an energy security task force in response to the threat that rising oil prices pose to national economic security.

The idea of cold fusion "still has an unfavorable reputation due to publicity arising from the Fleischmann-Pons episode," Farrell said.

"But something is going on [inside these cells] even if we don't know yet what it is," he said, "and even if we don't know what causes it, we can't ignore it. This is something we have to take a look at."

But perhaps even more compelling than these facts is a larger reason for the importance of Gordon's presence. In his comments, and at SPAWAR Systems Center's modest display booth, tucked into a back corner of the conference's exhibit hall, Gordon and Mosier-Boss were making the first public presentation of what may be the most dramatic evidence of low energy nuclear reactions yet: thin chips of plastic costing a few dollars each, resembling microscope slides but smaller, with pits scattered across portions of them as dense as stars across the center of the Milky Way that, nuclear researchers say, can have been caused only by the impact of high-energy particles, which, in turn, can have been produced only by nuclear events.

The Long Journey

In a press conference on March 23, 1989, at the University of Utah, chemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons shook the overlapping foundations of science, technology, and commerce with the claim that they had produced a radiation-free nuclear fusion reaction in an electrolysis cell on a lab bench - a discovery that implied a new source of cheap, boundless, commercial energy.

Just as startling to scientists, the two researchers appeared to be claiming to have produced a nuclear reaction by chemical means.

Whether these "cold fusion" cells yield surplus energy is still being debated, but not by most of those who have continued the research that Fleischmann and Pons began. They have fashioned research into LENR into a new field of inquiry and have refined technologies and techniques that consistently produce anomalous results that point to nuclear processes at work.

But the field has never had simple physical evidence of those nuclear processes to physically place in the hands of doubters.

Until now. Using a unique experimental method called co-deposition, combined with the application of external electric and magnetic fields, and recording the results with standard nuclear-industry detectors, scientists at the U.S. Navy's San Diego SPAWAR Systems Center have produced what may be the most convincing evidence yet in the pursuit of proof of low energy nuclear reactions.

The Missing Link

The chips that the SPAWAR Systems Center scientists had brought to Washington were slices of CR-39 plastic, a common, transparent polymer that resists fogging and abrasions and is used to make eyeglass lenses, among other things.

The researchers had placed the small pieces of plastic inside several of their electrochemical LENR test cells to capture and preserve any fleeting evidence of nuclear events.

"We heard about the use of CR-39 detectors from other LENR researchers at the 11th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science in Marseilles, France, in 2004," Mosier-Boss said.

She and her colleagues later learned that these same simple detectors have long been used by researchers in inertial confinement fusion (a form of hot fusion) and other areas of nuclear science to record the passage of neutrons, protons, and alpha particles (the two-proton nuclei of helium atoms stripped of their electrons). The traveling particles' charges shatter the bonds linking the plastic's polymers, leaving pits or "tracks" in the plastic.

After a CR-39 detector is exposed to a source of nuclear emissions, the detector is bathed in a sodium hydroxide solution, typically for six or seven hours, at a temperature between 65 and 73 degrees C.

"If the solution is too hot, that damages the chips; if you [wash the detectors] too long, you etch away the pits," Mosier-Boss noted.

The bath scours away the collision's debris, and the resulting tracks are visible with a microscope or, if they're present in sufficient densities, with the unaided eye.

 

CR-39 detector
Photo: Steven Krivit


Pamela Mosier-Boss displaying microscope-computer viewing station for the CR-39 detectors
Photo: Steven Krivit


 

 


Tracks on CR-39 Detector from Radioactive Uranium Source (500x)
Photo: Pamela Mosier-Boss

 


Tracks from LENR Experiment (Au/Pd/D, 6000V E-Field, 500X)
Photo: Pamela Mosier-Boss

 

"CR-39 detectors are ideal for detecting particles in LENR experiments because we can put them right inside the cell where the placement of electronics would otherwise be highly impractical," Gordon said.

"You don't need complicated instrumentation like you do with calorimetry or tritium analysis," he said. "It's an easy detection tool that's very straightforward."

That makes it nicely compatible with conventional LENR cells. Typically, researchers working with these tabletop electrolytic experiments lower a palladium rod into a beaker of deuterated, or "heavy water," so named because it has a high concentration of deuterium, a hydrogen isotope that holds in its nucleus both a neutron and a proton instead of the usual single proton that defines ordinary hydrogen.

When an electric current runs through the solution, the deuterium atoms pack into spaces in the palladium's latticelike atomic framework.

Over a period of days or weeks, the deuterium becomes packed, or "loaded," in densities of approximately one deuterium atom for each palladium atom, and then a reaction occurs - no consensus exists about what it is or why it happens - that reportedly releases energy as heat. Typically, this long loading, or "incubation," is a necessary prelude to evidence of any LENR reaction.

A Unique Experimental Method

SPAWAR's researchers, however, have evolved a far speedier technique than the conventional Fleischmann-Pons electrolysis method. They use a unique co-deposition process that Mosier-Boss's colleague, Stanislaw Szpak, developed to abolish the incubation period. Szpak didn't like waiting.

"I thought we should try something else," he said.

Szpak and Mosier-Boss's alternative (see diagram "Another Way to Conduct LENR Experiments: Pd/D Co-deposition") passes an electric current through a solution of palladium chloride and lithium chloride. Electrolysis simultaneously co-deposits deuterium and palladium, in particles 60 nm in diameter, in equal amounts onto the cathode's neutral substrate, typically a thin wire made of either nickel or gold.

 

Stan Szpak
Photo: Steven Krivit


Diagram: Pamela Mosier-Boss


Photo: Pamela Mosier-Boss

"The required 1-1 ratio of deuterium to palladium is achieved almost instantly," Szpak said.

He credited the speed to the large surface area one achieves with the co-deposition method. Instead of waiting for the palladium to charge, or load large amounts of deuterium, it's charged in seconds.

The reaction is just as quick: Minutes, or even moments, after co-deposition starts, the cells show such signature evidence of nuclear reactions as anomalous amounts of tritium, low-intensity x-ray radiation, and increased heat. [1-9]

"The temperature of the palladium electrode turns out to be about three degrees higher than the surrounding solution," Szpak said.

The electrode itself, with its new coating of palladium and deuterium, was a heat source, he said.

Some researchers who have tried the co-deposition process have found it to be tricky, requiring just the right proportions of heat, materials, and deposition rates.

Part of the difficulty may be that a number of those who have attempted to replicate SPAWAR's method have tried to confirm their success by measuring excess heat, which, Mosier-Boss reports, is far more difficult than detecting the presence of other nuclear products, such as tritium.

But the SPAWAR team has honed its technique and now reports that the cells deliver evidence of nuclear processes, such as transmuted elements, every time they run an experiment.

Enhancing the Reaction: External Fields

Coming up with the idea of co-deposition didn't deplete Szpak's store of inspiration. Experimental data indicates that LENR cells initiate their reactions, including anomalous heat, by packing deuterium atoms into defects on the surface of their palladium electrodes. To increase the activity of the surface, Szpak thought it would be helpful to try to force the surface to take some other forms, which might, in turn, multiply the defects.

He had been intrigued by the few known LENR experiments that had subjected cells to small electric or magnetic fields in attempts to boost their activity. One of those tests had been conducted in the 1990s by Mosier-Boss and Szpak themselves: They had placed one of their co-deposition cells inside a magnetic field and found that, after co-deposition, the cathode's temperature burned hotter than usual.

Pursuing the idea was simple. Starting in 2002, Szpak and Mosier-Boss affixed copper foils to the outside of their tabletop LENR cells along the bottom of two opposite walls of a square beaker and applied a 6,000-volt potential generated by the power module from an old television set (see photo).

SPAWAR cell using external electric field
Photo: Steven Krivit

 

"In effect, we created a capacitor," Szpak said, "and inside that capacitor, we put the LENR cell."

The first result the pair noticed was that, even to the unaided eye, the co-deposited palladium appeared thicker on the cathode after the field was applied than before.

"When you watch the experiment, you can see the cathode expand and contract as the electric field works on it," Mosier-Boss said. "It was a bit of a surprise to us."

When they inspected the cathode's surface using a scanning electron microscope, more changes were apparent.

"Co-deposited palladium and deuterium on the surface of a substrate form spherical globules," Szpak explained. "Under the electric field, they formed plates, ruts, and all sorts of other forms."

This wasn't the first time that external fields had been used in a LENR experiment. John O'Mara Bockris et al. performed related work with an external magnetic field in 1993 [10], and an Italian group led by Giuliano Preparata experimented with an electric field to see whether that would enhance the effects.

However, Szpak considers that "completely different."

Preparata generated an electric field by flowing current through a palladium wire that was exposed to deuterium gas. In the SPAWAR experiment, they surrounded the cathode with an electric field by placing the LENR cell between two pieces of copper foil.

"Ours is the first time that anyone has done exactly what we have done," Szpak said.

In addition to testing the effects of an electric field, Szpak and Mosier-Boss subjected the cell to magnetic fields at a moderate strength of 12,200 Gauss.


SPAWAR cell using external magnetic field
Photo: Steven Krivit

 


Detail of cell after all palladium is plated onto cathode wire
Photo: Pamela Mosier-Boss

"The electric field only affects the surface," Szpak noted. "The magnetic field will affect the surface and also deeper into the material. The question is whether there was any substantial difference [between the effects of the two kinds of fields]."

One difference was obvious: Under a microscope, Szpak and Mosier-Boss could see that the magnetic field flattened the tops of the spherical globules of palladium and deuterium, making the blobs look more like layer cakes.

Szpak and Mosier-Boss are mum on the results for now but detail them, as well as the differences between the effects of electric and magnetic fields, in a paper submitted to a peer-reviewed journal in September.

An overall effect of the two kinds of fields is clear. However, under both the external electric and magnetic fields, the test cells produced astonishing quantities of charged particles - far more than any LENR researchers have reported to date. The results, which indicate energies that could only result from nuclear events, have even startled experts in conventional nuclear fusion, who use CR-39 detectors for their own nuclear experiments.

Like most LENR cells, SPAWAR's co-deposition experiments use two or three volts to electrolyze their cells. The group's electric field applies a modest 6,000 volts, across the cell.

Independent nuclear experts who have examined the CR-39 detectors recognize the signature tracks of protons and alpha particles, which, to be ejected from the atoms where they reside, require millions of volts - at least 1,000,000 times more energy than can be produced by any known chemical reaction.

The Power of Plastic

To gather evidence, the team plated a film of palladium particles and deuterium atoms onto a copper mesh or wires of platinum, gold, or silver about .25 mm in diameter. During the plating process, the cathode is in contact with a CR-39 detector in the cell to which the scientists had applied an external electric or magnetic field. After the experiments had completed their runs of eight to 11 days, Mosier-Boss and Szpak saw dense, cloudy areas on the portions of the detector near the cathode.

"The fact that the cloudy areas are observed where the detector was in close proximity to the cathode suggests that the cathode caused the cloudiness," Mosier-Boss said.

As a control, Mosier-Boss also exposed CR-39 detectors to electrolysis in a lithium solution without palladium in it. The result: only a sprinkling of tracks, randomly distributed and so few in number that they could be accounted for by background radiation.

She also immersed the detectors in the usual solution of palladium chloride and lithium chloride in deuterium but without applying the external electric current. The outcome was the same: no unusual shower of tracks from high-energy particles.

In contrast, a side-by-side comparison at identical magnification levels (see photo) of tracks left in CR-39 detectors by depleted uranium and a detector from one of SPAWAR's LENR experiments using an electric field show tracks that appear identical.

"Since the features look the same and since depleted uranium is giving off alpha particles," Mosier-Boss said, "it strongly suggests that the features observed for [our] experiment are also the result of high-energy particles."

Other researchers have used external fields; some have included CR-39 detectors in their cells. But the use of those two design elements in a co-deposition experiment is unique in the reported history of LENR research.

"This combination of co-deposition, external fields, and CR-39 detectors is new in the field," said David Nagel, a physicist and research professor at George Washington University and a former manager in the Office of Naval Research.

Nagel has monitored LENR research from the day that Fleischmann and Pons presented their news at a press conference.

Previous Use of CR-39 Detectors in LENR Experiments

The use of CR-39 detectors in LENR research isn't new. Andrei Lipson, a condensed matter physicist and vice director of a research group at the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry within the Russian Academy of Sciences, led a team that has performed LENR experiments using CR-39 detectors. [10]

He conducted this research with Alexei Roussetski from the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and, later, with Eugenii Saunin, also of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, and George Miley, director of the Fusion Studies Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

But their experimental protocol was different, Mosier-Boss noted.

"Rather than searching for high track densities, their focus was more to determine the energies of the particles coming off of the experiments," she said. "While they did not register as many tracks as we see in our experiments, their etched detectors showed tracks that were morphologically similar to ours."

Lipson's group calculated that protons coming from the cathode had energies of 1.7 mega-electron volts, or MeV, and the alpha particles at 11 to 16 MeV - nuclear-scale energies in both cases.

In one notable test, University of Minnesota physicist Richard Oriani and his partner, John Fisher, suspended CR-39 detectors 1.5 cm above and below nickel and palladium cathodes. [11] Although their cell design and experimental method differed sharply from those of the SPAWAR group's, the detectors caught particles that Oriani and Fisher calculated to be traveling at energies of two mega-electron volts, a force liberated only through nuclear reactions.

A five-MeV particle will travel less than half a millimeter in the liquid environment of a LENR cell. The 1.5-cm distance "was the closest that Oriani and Fisher could place the detectors [to the palladium cathode] without impeding the uniform loading" of deuterons, Mosier-Boss explained.

She said that was not close enough to record most of the nuclear particles flying from the cathode.

"In our experiments, the co-deposition reaction was performed with the cathode wire wrapped around the CR-39 detector," she added.

"Oriani and Fisher reported charged particle track densities between 1.5 and 38 tracks per square millimeter; their controls yielded densities of 0.5 to 5.4 tracks per square millimeter," Mosier-Boss said. [12]

She was quick to emphasize that the results of the SPAWAR team's co-deposition experiments can't be compared directly with Oriani's and Fisher's because of the sharp differences in cell design.

"We conservatively estimate that our recent external field co-deposition experiments yielded track densities greater than 10,000 tracks per square millimeter in the cloudy areas," she noted.

The SPAWAR team used a Track Analysis Systems CR-39 scanner to automate the counting of the tracks. However, the team did run into a small glitch: Many of the track densities exceeded the capacity of the machine. The experiment ran for seven days, yielding an average count of one reaction per minute per square millimeter.


Track Analysis Systems' computerized image analysis system


Scanning an array of CR-39 detectors

The photos below show a control sample of particle emissions from uranium-238 on the top and the SPAWAR chips used in the LENR experiments on the bottom. The raw images are shown on the left and the counted tracks are on the right. The image from the LENR experiment shows one of the chips that exceeded the scanner's capacity, clearly indicating where the scanner stopped counting. (Click image for full-size photos.)


Photos: Lawrence Forsley and Gary Phillips

"Because of the close proximity between the cathode and the detector," Mosier-Boss added, "we have the optimum geometry to detect any particles that could potentially be emitted from the cathode. Put simply, these newer results are nearly three orders of magnitude greater than the Oriani-Fisher results."

To help them identify specific kinds of particles and their energies, the SPAWAR researchers can rely on extensive studies that have calibrated such phenomena.

Scientists in the old Soviet Union, chronically short of money, used CR-39 detectors widely in their nuclear research and made a science of "reading" and classifying the distinctive pits that particular kinds of nuclear particles etched into the plastic chips.

In 2003, Lipson, Roussetski, Saunin, and Miley developed a calibration scale that mapped characteristics of CR-39 tracks to the types of charged particles producing the pits and their respective energies. [13] That work was funded by Lattice Energy LLC, a Chicago firm hoping to commercialize LENR technology.

The SPAWAR group is working on a series of experiments that holds the detectors at different distances from the cathode. Because physicists know how far nuclear particles can travel in a given environment, the distances that particles travel will help the SPAWAR team determine just what kinds of particles their cathodes are emitting.

The SPAWAR team is optimistic about what those results will show. With the CR-39 detectors matching results from standard nuclear tests, "it's hard to argue that this is not some kind of nuclear process," Gordon said.

Extraordinary Evidence

SPAWAR scientists contend that their CR-39 detectors that captured the particles are physical evidence of not just low-temperature nuclear reactions but also reactions that are unusually intense.

Thousands of tracks from the LENR experiment are visible on this CR-39 detector
Photo: Pamela Mosier-Boss

 

Conventional nuclear scientists well-versed in reading CR-39 detectors agree. A researcher (who asked not to be named) at a major research university was one of the first to analyze SPAWAR's CR-39 detectors. He said that the detectors held far more tracks than he'd seen in his own inertial confinement fusion experiments.

Gary W. Phillips, a nuclear physicist and expert in CR-39 detectors is similarly surprised by what he saw in SPAWAR's detectors. Phillips has used the detectors to record nuclear events for two decades.

He said that the tracks recorded in SPAWAR's CR-39 experiments are "at least one order of magnitude greater" in number than those in any other conventional nuclear experiments he's seen.

The evidence recorded in SPAWAR Systems Center's CR-39 detectors are "at least one order of magnitude greater" in number than those in any other conventional nuclear experiments he's seen in his 20 years of related experience.

"I've never seen such a high density of tracks before," Phillips noted. "It would have to be from a very intense source - a nuclear source. You cannot get this from any kind of chemical reaction."


Photos: Pamela Mosier-Boss

Mosier-Boss calls the detectors "the most compelling evidence to date that nuclear reactions are occurring inside LENR cells."

As a bonus, CR-39, like photographic film, is a form of detector known as constantly integrating. Mosier-Boss explained the benefit.

"Our experience so far has shown that particle emissions occur in bursts in LENR cells," she said. "In our experiments, we have a few moments of activity and then, usually, even longer periods of inactivity. When this happens, if we were using electronic counters, the bursts would be averaged out over time."

As a result, the density of the resulting emissions wouldn't show up.

"But when we use a detector like CR-39 or photographic film," Gordon said, "the event is permanently stamped on the medium. When other events happen, they, too, are stamped; the record is cumulative."

"The detectors are like a permanent cloud chamber," he said.

"Because CR-39 detectors aren't electronic," he added, "no one can argue that the observed effects are the result of electronic noise."

"As hard as it might seem to refute the evidence engraved into these deceptively simple detectors, skeptics still try, leveling the usual charges that the scientists are setting up their equipment incompetently, making math errors in their calculations, or reading their data incorrectly.


Lawrence Forsley
Photo: Steven Krivit

The critics' objections just don’t wash, according to Lawrence Forsley, president of JWK Technologies Corp., which is carrying out research and development with SPAWAR on condensed matter nuclear science. Forsley has been involved with inertial confinement, mirror and tokamak fusion for 15 years.

"For example," he said, "a five-MeV proton will travel 0.4 millimeters in the liquid environment of a LENR cell and a 32-MeV proton can travel 10 millimeters. To claim that the particle came from somewhere outside the cell means that either it was an energetic neutron which hit a proton causing a knock-on reaction, or the source was a proton with over 32 MeV of energy when it hit the cell, traveled 10 millimeters through the liquid within the cell, and had enough energy left over to damage the CR-39 chip. And the source of a 32 MeV charged particle would be new science and be even more difficult to explain than LENR. So, by Occam’s Razor, what you see is what you’ve got.”

There are other possible sources, he acknowledged.

"The Earth is radioactive, after all: thorium and uranium isotopes, radon," Forsley said. "However, it takes a lot of time to get many tracks from these."

He said that would take vastly more time than the few days or sometimes hours that Mosier-Boss and Szpak run their cells. Also, he noted, external sources likely would leave tracks scattered randomly across the detectors, not concentrated in the region of the electrode, as the SPAWAR detectors show.

While not quantitative, you can see the evidence of the tracks on the CR-39 detectors with the naked eye.

"Unless it was a very broad piece of material emitting the particles," Forsley said, "a foreign source inside the cell would be detectable by the radial distribution of elliptical tracks. The tracks would be threadlike trails traveling diagonally through the material, which SPAWAR's detectors don't show. A point source would be obvious."

 

CR-39 detector after exposure to LENR experiment. Detector shows—to the naked eye—the clearly marked pattern of the three cathode wires used in the experiment. Photograph is actual size, zero magnification.
Photo: Steven Krivit



Magnification of one region of the CR-39 detector above
Photos: Pamela Mosier-Boss


The impact on the CR-39 detector displays symmetrical concentric rings suggesting that the source of the particle is a specific point source perpendicular to the detector.
Photo: Pamela Mosier-Boss

 

Periodically, doubters suggest cosmic rays as the source of nuclear signatures, but Forsley dismisses the notion.

"If the rain of cosmic rays was enough to account for the intensity of the tracks visible on these detectors," he said, "we'd all be cooked."

Fleischmann and Pons could only speculate that, because their cells were putting out more heat than could be accounted for by chemical means, the effect they recorded was nuclear.

"We now have hard, permanent data in CR-39 detectors," Gordon said. "There is a lot more experimental data in the field that suggests nuclear reactions are occurring."

He said that most data, which is gathered by various complex laboratory analyses, instrumentation, and measuring devices, "suffer from being easy targets for unsubstantiated claims that the experiments were flawed or that the data isn't convincing for one reason or another."

SPAWAR's new evidence may even be enough to remove the taboo from serious discussions of low-temperature nuclear events. In early September, Mosier-Boss made a presentation on the work to a SPAWAR panel of scientists charged with allotting internal research funds.

"The panel included one individual who has been very skeptical," Gordon noted. "He came to us afterward and said, 'It's clear that there's some kind of nuclear process going on.'"

Seventeen years earlier, the same scientist bet a colleague of Mosier-Boss $20 that Fleischmann and Pons had made a colossal blunder. Although he isn't willing to pay up, he did vote with the panel's majority to support Szpak and Mosier-Boss's research proposal.

"It looks like we'll have internal funding for the first time in more than 15 years," Gordon said.

However, conventional physics continues to patrol one particular intellectual fence separating itself from LENR's implications. Since 1989's Fleischmann-Pons episode, physicists have been able to dismiss any ideas that LENR cells initiate nuclear events by pointing out that there were no deep-fried scientists, no extra-crispy graduate students, littering the labs where the experiments were conducted.

If these events were nuclear, traditionalists argue, the experiments would spew neutrons in such profusion that no living thing in a normal-size lab would escape damage.

At the American Physical Society's special conference on cold fusion in May 1989, many researchers showed that they had looked assiduously for high-energy neutrons in their experiments and could find none.

The absence of this expected byproduct of nuclear fusion was traditionalists' chief excuse to dismiss claims of "cold fusion" as absurd.

But by now, after tens of thousands of experiments and a steady search for high-energy neutrons, it is clear to LENR scientists that their cells don't produce high-energy neutrons as the dominant, or even a prominent, product. Some researchers do register a few neutrons coming from their cells, but their quantity, as well as their energies, are negligible.

A New Buzz

Results such as those from SPAWAR's experiments, as well as LENR researchers' sheer persistence, are inching the field closer to respectability.

"There's a lot more buzz in government and commercial circles about LENR," Nagel said. "People are saying that maybe we're not all crazy."

Gordon noted that several people approached him during the conference.

"They appreciated my presentation," he said, "and they had no idea that these things were happening in the field."

Although the U.S. Department of Energy has yet to fund studies in the area, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, long known for boldness in funding research, has been funding small LENR projects quietly for many years and recently has taken a renewed interest in the subject.

"That's significant because agencies are more comfortable funding what someone else already is funding," Nagel pointed out. "At some point, this research will take off when the agencies can benefit from the mutual due diligence that each has performed on the subject and feel more confident about not only its reality but its importance."

Gordon has learned to be philosophical.

"I dragged some nuclear scientists to our National Defense Industrial Association conference booth and engaged some of them in discussions," he said. "I don't think they want to talk about this because it challenges their beliefs and they don't have answers."

New Energy Times spoke with some of them, but few offered comments.

One said the evidence captured by the detectors was "inexplicable." He also said the SPAWAR researchers should have searched for high-energy neutrons, which are characteristic of conventional nuclear reactions and are consequently easily detectable.

"Any nuclear physicist would have done that," he said.

That would have been a reasonable comment in March 1989 but not now, after numerous LENR experiments have done just that. The fact that Fleischmann, Pons and the hundreds of other experimenters have not died is proof that these experiments do not yield high-energy neutrons or strong gamma radiation.

Indeed, it has become increasingly hard for scientists bound by convention to dispute the mounting data from SPAWAR and other LENR labs.

"We've been publicly quiet but scientifically rigorous," Gordon said. "At SPAWAR Systems Center, we haven't called press conferences, but we have followed the scientific process of carefully performing experiments and reporting the results in peer-reviewed journals - 15 papers so far.

"We've conducted very few experiments looking for excess heat because it's very difficult to perform good calorimetry."

Critics can, too easily if erroneously, dismiss claims of anomalous heat. "'Did the researcher get the settings right? Or they didn't do this right, they didn't account for that,'" Gordon said. "Besides, heat evidence doesn't tell you much about what's actually happening."

By using CR-39 detectors, he said, "we're using instrumentation that the nuclear industry has accepted and used for decades. Even if some skeptics might claim that our experiment is flawed, it's still producing charged particles. Our experimental results provide compelling evidence that nuclear events are occurring."

Skeptical physicists asking whether the SPAWAR group performed a quantitative energy analysis were unable to find any such results. However, skeptics are left to confront the fact that only two sources of energy affecting the test cells. The first is a few volts from the current applied through electrolysis; the second is the external electric field of about 6,000 volts. The particle tracks look identical to tracks made by nuclear particles that have at least 2 million electron-volts.

Because particles carrying millions of electron-volts of energy aren't created by reactions powered by a few thousand volts at most, a larger question lingers: What is the source of the anomalous energy that seems to be arising from within the LENR cells?

"We don't make claims that we've developed a new energy source," Gordon emphasized. "Our hope is that, by developing an understanding of the processes and how to stimulate them, we'll be able to use this knowledge for whatever benefit it may offer."

In the same spirit, he offered no theories to explain the nuclear process he suspects is taking place along those thin layers of palladium in his group's cells.

"There's a saying, 'Theory guides but experiments decide.' Consider our data," he exhorts challengers. "If it is what it appears to be, and the scientific community confirms it through replications, then new theories will need to be considered, and this may be challenging for some people to accept."

Still, not everyone is ready to make room for LENR research in mainstream science. One afternoon at the National Defense Industrial Association conference, Gordon and Mosier-Boss were chatting at their booth with Farrell and a small group of colleagues when Shawn Carlson, a nuclear physicist, stopped by.

Carlson, who served as master of ceremonies at many of the conference's panel discussions, is a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" winner who first gained fame by debunking pseudoscience and once made a statue of the Virgin Mary cry on television.

As he began to spar with others in the group about those pesky neutrons, branching ratios, and other points of contention sparked by those simple, cloudy plastic detectors lying on a display table nearby, a grin spread across Gordon's face.

"This is great," he beamed. "In the old days, we couldn't even start conversations like this."


* Bennett Daviss is a science writer based in New Hampshire. Steven Krivit writes for and publishes New Energy Times, a Webzine specializing in low energy nuclear reaction research.

* For researchers interested in performing a replication of the experiment, please see related story in this issue, The Galileo Project, or its Web site for more information.

* Related Web links:
     Frank Gordon's NDIA Slide Presentation
     Pamela Mosier-Boss's NDIA Slide Presentation
     New Energy Institute Short (non-technical) Video Documentary


References: (most papers are available at http://www.lenr.org/)

1. Szpak, S., et al., "Thermal Behavior of Polarized Pd/D Electrodes Prepared by Co-Deposition," Thermochimica Acta, Vol. 410, p. 101, (2004)

2. Mosier-Boss, P.A. and S. Szpak, "The Pd/(N)H System: Transport Processes and Development of Thermal Instabilities," Nuovo Cimento, Soc. Ital. Fis. A, Vol.112, p. 577, (1999)

3. Szpak, S., et al., "Evidence of Nuclear Reactions in the Pd Lattice," Naturwissenschaften, Vol. 92(8), p. 394-397, (2005)

4. Szpak, S., et al., "The Effect of an External Electric Field on Surface Morphology of Co-deposited Pd/D Films," Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 580, p. 284-290, (2005)

5. Szpak, S., Mosier-Boss, P.A. and Smith, J.J., "On the Behavior of the Cathodically Polarized Pd/D System: Search for Emanating Radiation," Physics Letters A, Vol. 210, p. 382, (1996)

6. Szpak, S., et al., "On the Behavior of the Pd/D System: Evidence for Tritium Production," Fusion Technology, Vol. 33, p. 38, (1998)

7. Szpak, S., P.A. Mosier-Boss, and S.R. Scharber, "Charging of the Pd/(n)H System: Role of the Interphase," Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 337, p. 147, (1992)

8. Szpak, S., P.A. Mosier-Boss, and J.J. Smith, "Deuterium Uptake During Pd-D Codeposition, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 379, p. 121, (1994)

9. Szpak, S., et al., Cyclic Voltammetry of Pd + D codeposition," Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Vol. 380, p. 1, (1995)

10. Lipson, A.G., et al., "Evidence for Low-Intensity D-D Reaction as a Result of Exothermic Deuterium Desorption From Au/Pd/PdO:D Heterostructure," Fusion Technology, Vol. 38, p. 238, (2000)

11. Oriani, R.A. and J.C. Fisher, "Energetic Charged Particles Produced in the Gas Phase by Electrolysis," Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion, Cambridge, Mass., (2003)

12. Oriani, R.A. and J.C. Fisher, "Generation of Nuclear Tracks During Electrolysis," Japanese Journal of Applied Physics A, Vol. 41, p. 6180-6183, (2002)

13. Lipson, A.G., et al., "Phenomenon of an Energetic Charged Particle Emission From Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals," Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion, Cambridge, Mass., (2003)

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8. The Galileo Project

The Galileo Project was initiated by New Energy Institute to facilitate replication of the experiment performed by the San Diego SPAWAR Systems Center group, as reported in New Energy Times, Nov. 10, 2006.

The project was named for the pioneering spirit of all the condensed matter nuclear science researchers who have had the courage to "look through the telescope" at unconventional science.

The project will consist of a step-by-step text and graphical laboratory protocol originally written by Pamela Mosier-Boss at SPAWAR. A link to the SPAWAR group’s journal paper (currently undergoing peer-review) will also be provided when it is available.

Specialized expertise in condensed matter nuclear science will not be required for this experiment. The experiment should be suitable for science students from the undergraduate level up.

The project will encourage participation from the science community , with moderated contributions of tips and enhancements as experimenters around the world continue to learn and share more with each other.

As of Nov. 10, 2006, this protocol is being evaluated by two alpha groups that initiated replication attempts several days ago.

New Energy Institute is facilitating communication between the alpha groups and the SPAWAR researchers to improve the protocol and ensure its completeness and safety.

The institute plans to make the protocol available to a beta group in advance of its public release. Interested researchers wishing to be part of the beta group should contact the institute.

The public release of the protocol will occur once safety issues of the experiment have been evaluated and the protocol has been fully tested. People interested in the public release of the lab protocol should subscribe to New Energy Times here, and an announcement will be sent out to the subscriber list when the protocol becomes available.

Subscribers to New Energy Times will also be notified when the SPAWAR group paper is published.

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9. Brief Report on ASTI’06 Workshop
by Akira Kitamura
Department of Environmental Energy Science, Kobe University

The 7th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals took place Sept. 23-25 in Asti, Italy. Most of the attendees were Italian physicists; other attendees included researchers from Russia (3), United Kingdom (2), U.S. (2), France (4), Japan (3), China (1) and Israel (1).

Asti is located in the middle of Piemonte Province. The cobbled streets are lined with rows of old houses reminiscent of a bygone age. What makes Asti world-famous, however, is its muscat grape (moscato - from which Spumante is made), which is produced in the Asti countryside.

The excellent food and wines in this region are a delightful enticement. For the excellent location of this workshop, we owe our thanks, in a large part, to meeting chairman Bill Collis, a wine-tasting expert who is also a sommelier.

This is by no means a complete report on the sessions. Consequently, for more detail, please refer to the slide presentations of the meeting which will be posted on http://iscmns.org/asti06/program.htm.

The meeting started with an excursion to the wine festival in the town of Canelli in the afternoon of the first day.

Oral presentations began on the morning of the second day.

Impressive presentations were given by Vittorio Violante, a chemical engineer with the Italian Agency for Alternative Energy whose career has involved research in both hot fusion and LENR, and Alexander Karabut, a specialist in heat physics, nuclear rocket engines, and nuclear material science at the LUCH Association, Russia.

Violante reported results of a series of systematic electrolysis experiments: In two of nine experiments that attained the required loading of D/Pd > 0.9, he measured excess heat of up to 35 MJ/mole of palladium.

Violante discussed the role of surface plasmons, which has a key relationship to the Widom-Larsen theory, and he reported that frequency of excess heat observation was greatly increased by applying laser triggering. The measured number of He-4 atoms was roughly proportional to the excess heat by the deuterium-deuterium reaction, yielding helium-4 and energy of 24 MeV. Neutron activation analysis showed shifts in isotopic composition of Ag.

Karabut summarized experimental research performed in Russia. He claimed his team has developed a 100 percent repeatable excess heat experiment with modest power output/input ratio of 1.1-1.2. In addition, he reported developing two experiments that offer hope of practical excess heat production.

One is the glow discharge, producing 5 W/cm 2 with 160 percent excess power, and the other is high-voltage electrolysis, producing 300 W with 800 percent excess power.

Akito Takahashi, emeritus professor of Osaka University, introduced the latest experimental results from Yoshiaki Arata, also emeritus professor of Osaka University, using the double structure cathode, which showed excess heat and He-4 production.

The method is attracting worldwide attention with replications under way by Franceso Celani with the National Institute of Nuclear Physics at Frascati, Italy, Jean Paul Biberian, with the département de physique faculté des sciences de Luminy, Université d’Aix-Marseille, France, and Xing Zhong Li, with the department of physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

Kitamura, on behalf of the research group at Kobe University, reported results of Iwamura-type transmutation experiments using an extended diagnostic system with MeV-ion beams from a tandem electrostatic accelerator. They observed changes in atomic composition, from Sr to Mo, in a sample whose structure is modified somewhat from that used by Iwamura et al; vacuum/CaO/Sr/Pd/D 2 with a reversed flow of deuterium from the Pd side to the CaO side.

Among several theoretical works, the continually evolving theory by Akito Takahashi was of special interest again. He said that the extraordinary large attracting force in his tetrahedral symmetric condensation theory could be explained by adopting the idea of Platonic symmetry first introduced into the fusion theory by N. Yabuuchi.

Tetsuo Sawada of Nihon University developed a comprehensive theory of magnetic monopoles, which explains the drastically increased probability of the occurrence of nuclear fusion by the huge attractive force of a magnetic monopole. It is also noteworthy because the sporadicity of the condensed matter nuclear events accords well with the very low density of the magnetic monopoles in our universe. Sawada said that the theory should be improved to include the multibody nature of the phenomena.

At the gala dinner in the evening of the second day, the Preparata medal for 2006 was awarded to Kitamura, one of the two winners. The other, George H. Miley, was attending another meeting, and his award ceremony was postponed for a future conference. A bronze medal for the best poster paper was awarded to Andrei Lipson, with the Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences.


Left to Right: Xing Zhong Li, William Collis, Francesco Celani, Akira Kitamura, Akito Takahashi.
Photo Credit: Nicolas Armanet

After the scientific program, a round-table discussion was chaired by Fausto Lanfranco, an adviser with Fiat Auto SpA. He guided discussion about prospects for research and development aimed at industrializing the technology. The consensus was that a series of good experimental results exists and that therefore it is a good time to invite investment for research aiming at practical use.

A new research and development company, Coolescence Inc., based in Boulder, Colo. made its introduction at this conference. It appears to be off to a good start and learned about many of the best experiments to pursue.


Round-table discussion moderated by Fausto Lanfranco, standing
Photo Credit: Xing Zhong Li

As mentioned earlier, this is only an introductory report of the meeting. Please refer to the slide presentations which will appear at on the ISCMNS Web site at http://iscmns.org/asti06/program.htm.  

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10. PUBLICATIONS
 
"Quantization of Differences Between Atomic and Nuclear Rest Masses and Self-Organization of Atoms and Nuclei"
by F.A. Gareev and I.E. Zhidkova, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia
http://arxiv.org/pdf/nucl-th/0610002

"Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Cold Fusion"
Edited by Akito Takahashi (Osaka University, Japan), Kenichiro Ota (Yokohama National University, Japan) and Yasuhiro Iwamura (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan)
http://www.worldscibooks.com/physics/6190.html  


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11. SCIENCE AND ENERGY NEWS
Click on any headline to read the entire article.

Department Of Homeland Spin Detection

Without a doubt, thermonuclear fusion energy promises great commercial expectations -- as it has for the last 55 years.

The lead sentence of the first article listed below (Chinese scientists say they have successfully tested an experimental fusion reactor) is deceptive. The public knows what is expected of fusion: the generation of net energy.

Did the Chinese reactor generate net energy? Absolutely not. No hot fusion reactor is expected to do so for at least another decade.

Did it demonstrate a significant step in the progress of building the infrastructure that would be required for the eventual production of net energy? Certainly.

The sentence, which reads, "it generated 200,000 amps" is deceptive and is not far different from a claim of perpetual motion.

This 200,000 amps was part of the input energy that was introduced to the reactor to make the reaction occur. It had nothing to do with any energy that was released by the experiment through a nuclear reaction.

ABC News would be well-advised to be more scrupulous in reporting news of fusion research.


China Says Fusion Reactor Passes First Test
By China correspondent John Taylor
ABC News Online
Friday, Sept. 29, 2006

Chinese scientists say they have successfully tested an experimental fusion reactor.

The scientists say the experimental thermonuclear reactor is the first of its kind in the world and holds out the promise of an endless supply of cheap and clean energy.

Chinese research scientists are calling it "a step for humankind in the study of nuclear reaction."

It works by trying to replicate the way the sun produces energy. It generates a hot cloud of supercharged particles.

The Tokamak Fusion device was built at a research institute in eastern China, and scientists say it has passed its first test. In three seconds, it generated 200,000 amps. That is enough to illuminate 800,000 60-watt light bulbs.

Despite the fusion reactor's apparent success, this is the first test of many to come.

Scientists involved say there is at least a decade of work ahead.


Thermonuclear Fusion Reactor Tested in China
From Times Wire Reports
Los Angeles Times
Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006

Chinese scientists successfully tested a thermonuclear fusion reactor Thursday, raising their energy-hungry country's profile in the new but uncertain technology that promises clean power, state media reported.

According to the government's New China News Agency, scientists said deuterium and tritium atoms had been fused at 180 million degrees for nearly three seconds. The report did not specify whether the device, in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei, had succeeded at producing more energy than it consumed, the main obstacle to making fusion commercially viable.


Thermonuclear Fusion Reactor Test Succeeds
China View
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006

HEFEI, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists on Thursday successfully conducted their first test of an experimental thermonuclear fusion reactor, which replicates the energy-generating process of the sun.

(article continues)

 

China to Train More Talents for Nuclear Fusion Research
China View
Friday, October 27, 2006

[Editor's note: This article is helpful in that it explains why nuclear fusion is of such importance and interest, however, it contains misleading statements.

The first misleading statement reads "Controlled nuclear fusion ... is considered to be an efficient source of unlimited, clean energy."

Because controlled nuclear fusion, a research endeavor that started in 1951, has never been a source of energy, the text should have said that controlled nuclear fusion is expected to be an efficient source of unlimited, clean energy.

One other statement is problematic: "Nuclear fission has been dogged by as many problems as benefits, whereas nuclear fusion will be a more viable solution for the world's energy supply, said Werner Burkart, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency."

The two flavors of nuclear research cannot be compared. It is far beyond the metaphorical comparison of apples to oranges.

Nuclear fission has provided useful energy for many decades, in some countries, such as France, supplying 80 percent of the electrical energy. Thermonuclear fusion, on the other hand, has never made a single watt of useable energy; nor is it expected to provide commercial power for another 50 years at best.

Practical thermonuclear fusion energy is a wonderful dream. Its capacity to be a viable solution is unknown, and after its 55-year history, further promises are difficult to take seriously.

(Go to article)

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12. BITS AND PIECES
 
Yoshiaki Arata Receives Japan's Highest Award
by Akito Takahashi

On Oct. 27, the Japanese government released news of five winners of the Order of Culture for 2006. The Order of Culture (Bunka-Kunsho) is the highest ranked award in Japan.

Yoshiaki Arata, professor emeritus of Osaka University, was one of the five winners. The award ceremony took place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Nov. 3, the Culture Day in Japan.

Arata received the award for his great academic achievements in high temperature industrial engineering and new welding science. He was also the first person in Japan to observe a fusion reaction.

Yoshiaki Arata is a member of ISCMNS and Japan CF-Research Society and is well-known for his pioneering work with double-structure cathodes which release large amounts of excess heat and helium-4. Congratulations to professor Yoshiaki Arata!

Department Of Hoax-Busting Security

Amazon is selling a CD-ROM called "21st Century Guide to Cold Fusion and Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Technologies and Experiments."

The listing creates the appearance that the CD-ROM is published by the U.S. government. Read the fine print, and you'll learn that it's published by a private company called Progressive Management.

The CDROM contains 25 PDF files. Nearly all of the files are readily available on the Internet.

Half of the files have nothing or almost nothing to do with "cold fusion." Others are 10-to-17 years old. With the exception of the Navy reports and the 2004 Department of Energy documents, most of the files seem to have been selected somewhat randomly and do not contribute greatly to an understanding of low energy nuclear reactions.

A detailed investigation is here

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