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low energy nuclear reactions October 14, 2008 -- Issue #30
Copyright 2008 New Energy Times (tm) Published by the New Energy Institute Inc. six times per year
Editor and Publisher: Steven B. Krivit
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Antonella De Ninno
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“In my opinion our field of science has been crippled by wide acceptance of the belief that deuterium fusion of some sort is responsible for energy generation, and by rejection of alternative mechanisms. Progress is stunted when we reject a mechanism, because we then fail to undertake the experiments it suggests.”
1. Editorial—Cold Fusion: Winds of Change Approach
By Steven B. Krivit
Photo: Daniel Bosler
This message was originally published on July 21 on the New Energy Times blog.
In a comment to one of my recent blog postings, CMNS/LENR/”Cold Fusion” Journalist Silenced, Albert Alberts of The Netherlands, a LENR enthusiast, offered some kind comments about me. He also called my efforts “examples of unmitigated audacity.”
Alberts’ description of my scientific journalism is largely accurate.
I spoke before some members of India’s Atomic Energy Commission earlier this year. I told them that I’ve learned enough about LENR research to know its strengths—and its weaknesses.
By “audaciously” discussing weaknesses as well as the strengths of LENR research, I demonstrated that I was not afraid to tell the truth and report all the facts that I discover. Unless someone takes drastic action to interfere with New Energy Institute’s funding—or silence me—my truth telling will not change. Gene Mallove, editor of Infinite Energy, was murdered. Cause of death: crushed trachea. I do not take the right to freedom of speech lightly.
Alberts refers to unseen dark forces—massive research cartels and knowledge monopolies—working in the background to block progress in and acceptance of LENR research. However, the field itself may have room for improvement to make it stronger, more resilient to scientific criticism and attractive to industries, government agencies, or other groups that may have an incentive to profit from the field.
I suggested such improvements in September 2007 in an e-mail to David Nagel and Michael Melich, organizers of the 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. I urged them to demand a higher level of scientific integrity in work presented by some LENR researchers at conferences. Several months earlier, I had attended, as did they, the 13th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science in Sochi, Russia. Among generally good work, I observed two cases of what I can most charitably call “significant sloppiness.”
“Folks in the CMNS community better get their act together,” I wrote. “I don’t know how to get this across. But there is rampant sloppiness that will not go over well for the gaining of public respect for the subject.”
By rampant, I did not mean widespread; I meant unchecked, condoned and, most important, uncorrected by presenters themselves, other participants, or conference organizers. I pointed out an example of this to Nagel and Melich that involved a relatively dramatic claim made at the Russian conference of an experiment that one group claimed had produced 5 Watts of excess heat.
The group’s presentation concerned an experiment that appeared to be credible; it was detailed, thorough and clear. The audience was enthusiastic and supportive. But in my follow-up with the researchers involved in the work, and after some obvious reluctance on their part to discuss it with me, I learned that the data indicated only 2.5 Watts of excess heat, which is still not trivial. The researchers told me that they had made an interpretation error, and I simply reported that fact in the following issue of New Energy Times without criticizing them.
I told Nagel and Melich about another researcher at the Russian conference who represented that he had produced 300 Watts of excess heat. When I interviewed this researcher, it became clear to me that he was making, at a minimum, a gross misrepresentation of the experimental results. In this particular case, I did not report on the results because his claims were so weak that most people in the audience completely disregarded them. I strongly encouraged Nagel and Melich to set higher standards, and I cautioned them that continued incidents of sloppiness like this would hamper the progress of the field, particularly if mainstream reporters began to develop an interest in it.
“If any other reporters cover ICCMNS-14,” I wrote, “you can bet they won’t be as forgiving as me. And if I end up looking the other way at these sorts of things, then I will blow my credibility, so I’m not going to be able to cut people as much slack. If CMNS researchers do crap like this, the Washington, D.C., conference will make us all look like fools.”
In my presentations to India’s science leaders, I contradicted Mike McKubre (SRI International), who was in the audience, on one or two points. Quite audacious of me, I suppose. McKubre, of course, is a well-known LENR scientist, I am not. McKubre has advanced science degrees, I do not.
I recently heard from some people involved with the LENR field that it would be best served by a unified representation of work in the field. Their idea was that hiding or ignoring any weakness in the field is the best strategy to achieve respect and credibility for the field in the media and mainstream science.
I disagree with that approach; I believe that full, forthright, fact-based reporting and exposure of the truth about LENR research will only enhance the overall credibility of the results. Honest reporting and “audacious” journalism will build outsiders’ trust and confidence that solid scientific research does in fact form the foundation of the field. LENR research which does not meet basic standards of science, lacks rigor, or is based simply on wishful thinking should not be condoned.
For example, LENR researcher Ed Storms, retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, recently discouraged me from reporting all of the key facts of LENR research. He wrote this to me in an e-mail recently: “You need to be more careful in how you reveal the truth about the field. Eventually, the field will be big enough and so well-accepted that a little plainly spoken truth would not cause you any problem.”
Some notable researchers in the LENR field may have their own pet theories and may prefer to maintain the status quo. But after 19 years, perhaps it’s time to try something new; perhaps its time to have a more open mind, as I wrote in my recent editorial.
Maintaining the status quo inside the field is not likely to change the status quo outside the field—that is, the still-common perception of LENR research as pariah science. Perhaps the way to growth, acceptance and progress is to consider pursuing other paths.
A schism within the field, which Alberts would hope to avoid, seems inevitable, but it may well bring the benefits the researchers and their supporters seek.
Despite the fact that I choose to report all the facts, good and bad, I remain convinced that the results seen in this field may represent one of the most important science discoveries for future generations: a new source of clean nuclear energy.
I congratulate you on what you have done with the ACS Sourcebook.
I just want to point out a couple of things to you at this time. The most important thing at the moment energy-wise is a difficult and threatening thing. I'm speaking about the tundra in the north and the methane it contains. What will happen when the tundra melts? It will release 300 billion tons of methane into the atmosphere.
Methane is 23 times more effective as a warming gas than CO2, so we are going to have a totally different future than had been planned.
My own opinion in respect to your part in all this is that, although you played a very strong part in getting us on track again and going forward, we are not going to have many years to go unless we do something fast indeed.
My rough calculation is that, if the methane stays in the atmosphere and doesn't evaporate upward as I hope it might because it is a light gas, then the change in temperature would double that from the CO2 we are producing.
With regard to LENR, whenever anyone comes up with a theory for it, I just ask them whether it will withstand investigation to explain the long delay before the onset of the effects and then ask them whether their theory is consistent with biological transmutations.
Most of the theories at the moment are connected with metal lattices. That is an obvious trend but not one that fits the facts because of the evidence now found in a book published in Russia that energetic nuclear reactions do take place in biological solids.
I see you have a note on the use of the research in a practical sense, in engineering. I would like not to answer the question directly but to suggest departing from the great trend of seeking heat from the LENR effects.
For example, the 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science was entirely concentrated on seeking heat, and there was trouble getting anything about transmutation into it. I think that the major usefulness of the effect is in transmutation—that is, being able to make rare metals from cheap ones.
As far as using LENR as a heat source, there are so many other sources for heat and the Fleischmann-Pons effect is so irregular and unable to reproduce effectively that going to something more efficient and productive is much better.
I have been watching the development of "cold fusion" since the early 1990s with anticipation and it is apparent that the energy sector is becoming more and more concerned about losing their cash cow, namely fossil fuels.
Today, every entity that relies on fossil fuels to conduct their operations has been looking at ways to break free of oil, coal and natural gas and adapt to a clean, renewable energy source.
Perhaps it is a pipe dream, but I believe that science is about to unlock the secrets to low-energy nuclear reactions. For those who are the first to succeed, they will be honored with one of the most important innovations in the last 100+ years.
Think about it, we are still using Rudolph Diesel's concept for the internal combustion engine that was introduced in 1897 to power our cars, trucks and ships. The main challenge would be to adapt LENR technology to every type of prime mover.
David Kline wrote an article in the MIT Sloan Management Review (Spring, 2003) about how companies are moving away from the "exclusivity value" of their patents and other intellectual property to allow innovation to flourish. Kline writes ".competitive advantage used to be defined as 'I've got it and you don't.' But now it can mean 'I've got it and you've got it, but I've got it at less cost' or 'I've got it and you've got it, and if either of us didn't have it, the market wouldn't grow as rapidly and we'd both suffer.'"
From what I have been reading, many scientists are on the verge of a major breakthrough, and the future of LENR is dependent upon external contributors to the development of this emerging technology and not limited to the holders of the patent.
I look forward to the day when I press the start button of my truly "green" automobile and not have to be concerned that my car is contributing to global warming, acid rain and many other by-products of combustion.
 David Kline is a specialist in intellectual property strategy and coauthor of Rembrandts in the Attic: Unlocking the Hidden Value of Patents (Harvard Business School Press, 2000). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."
With regard to your article The BlackLight Power Patent Mystery, there is no "mystery" about the BlackLight Power patent position when the Patent Cooperation Treaty is properly understood.
The treaty aids international commerce by simplifying patent applications to member nations. An applicant submits the patent in a standard form, designating the countries to which the application is to be sent. These are listed by abbreviation in a box in the upper right corner of the treaty sheet. The Internet database has a tab to track the progress of the application, whose trail ends with submission to the designated countries. If the patent is granted in the U.S., other countries usually follow course. Payment of fees between the applicant and individual countries is not tracked by the treaty, to my knowledge. Four documents are of interest:
1) U.S. 6,024,935: "Lower energy methods and structures."
2) WO 96/42805: "Energy/matter conversion methods and structures," Patent Cooperation Treaty with listing of 45 designated countries for filing.
3): U.S. 7,188,033, issued June 3, 2007: "Method and system of computing and rendering the nature of the chemical bond of hydrogen-type molecules and molecular ions." This is apparently the foundation of the Millsian molecular modeling program.
4) WO 99/05735: "Inorganic Hydrogen Compounds, Separation Methods, and Fuel Applications," 353 pages, more than 100 designated countries. This appears to cover hydrino compounds and chemistry, potentially very lucrative.
In this application, Item 1 applies to the BlackLight Power energy technology. It was issued Feb. 21, 1997, with 499 claims and an extensive essay on BlackLight Power technology. It effectively protects the investors from infringement. Item 2 is the treaty cousin of Item 1, with 55 claims and presumptive issuance in the designated countries.
These details support BlackLight Power claims regarding domestic and foreign patents. Others are under negotiation.
[Editor’s note: Mike Carrell is a member of the Board of Directors of New Energy Institute, the parent company of New Energy Times. His views expressed in this letter do not represent those of New Energy Institute; they are his own.]
I am writing in response to your comment "Cold Fusion: Winds of Change Approach." You identify a very important point of this field. Since the very beginning of the cold fusion story, the necessity to defend the field from outside attack has led to an exaggerated attitude to be too gentle inside the community.
In the past, I was a member of the International Advisory Committee that has been responsible for the International Conference on Condensed Matter series.
When I was a member of this group, stating simple rules to avoid poor performance of experiments or sloppiness in presentations was very difficult. As far as I remember, the first attempt to have a screening process was at the Italian conference in 2000 at Lerici. We organized a referees’ panel in order to improve the conference level. Nevertheless, this was not enough to improve the acceptance of the field by the mainstream scientific community.
However, my experience has told me that, whenever you speak in very clear and rigorous scientific language, even the most convinced “unbelievers” change their attitudes and are forced to listen. That does not mean that they will admit being perplexed and intrigued. But it means that they will not despise publicly low-energy nuclear reaction research as a whole. They will be compelled to do a “distinguo”; that is, they will be compelled to distinguish between facts and falsehoods.
When this happens, it's just one hole in the wall. But many holes will lay down the wall.
In spite of my decision to change my field of interest, I remain involved in LENR research, and I often have the opportunity to speak about LENR with “respected” physicists. Invariably, at the end of the conversation, I see a spark of perplexity and genuine interest in their eyes—with each and every one of them.
Thank you for enthusiasm.
Antonella De Ninno
(Letters may be sent to "letters" at the New Energy Times domain name. Please include your name, city, and state or province.)
4. American Chemical Society Symposium Series: Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook Vol. 1 Published, Jan Marwan and Steven B. Krivit, editors
This book is a summary of selected experimental and theoretical research performed over the last 19 years that gives profound and unambiguous evidence for low energy nuclear reactions, historically known as cold fusion.
"I just received a copy of the Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook. This collection of articles is very impressive," Scott Chubb, one of the contributing authors wrote. "This book is the most important cold fusion publication to date. It is an honor and a privilege to be one of the authors. Krivit and Jan Marwan are doing a great job. I hope they keep up the good work!"
The peer-reviewed book, published by Oxford University Press, represents a milestone for the field and marks the acceptance and recognition of the field into mainstream science. The sponsors of the book, the American Chemical Society and the Division of Environmental Chemistry, are to be commended for their insight. Financial support also was provided by the visionary contributors to New Energy Institute.
Editors Jan Marwan and Steven B. Krivit would like to thank all of the contributing authors (listed below) as well as reviewers Xing Zhong Li, Mahadeva Srinivasan, George Miley, Scott Chubb, Brian Josephson, Thomas Dolan, Edmund Storms, Peter Hagelstein, and Michael McKubre; and Sally Robertson for her assistance with editing.
Contributing Authors and Papers:
Chubb, Scott R., "Resonant Electromagnetic Interaction in Low Energy Nuclear Reactions," Research Systems Inc., 9822 Pebble Weigh Ct., Burke, VA
De Ninno, Antonella, Del Giudice, Emilio, Frattolillo, Antonio, "Excess Heat and Calorimetric Calculation Evidence of Coherent Nuclear Reactions in Condensed Matter at Room Temperature," ENEA, Centro Ricerche Frascati, C.P. 65 – 00044 Frascati, Roma, Italy INFN Milano – Via Celoria 16, 20133 Milano, Italy
Fleischmann, Martin, "Background to Cold Fusion: The Genesis of a Concept," Bury Lodge, Duck Street, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wilts., SP3 6LJ, U.K.
Hagelstein, Peter L. and Chaudhary, Irfan U., "Models Relevant to Excess Heat Production in Fleischmann-Pons Experiments," Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
Krivit, Steven B., "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions—The Emergence of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science," Editor, New Energy Times, 369-B Third Street #556, San Rafael, CA, 94901
Letts, Dennis, Cravens, Dennis and Hagelstein, Peter L. , "Thermal Changes in Palladium Deuteride Induced by Laser Beat Frequencies," 12015 Ladrido Lane, Austin, TX 78727 USA ,  P.O. Box 1317, Cloudcroft, NM 88317 USA ,  MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
Li, X. Z., Wei, Q.M. and Liu, B., "An Approach to Nuclear Energy Without Strong Nuclear Radiation," Department of Physics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Marwan, Jan, "Study of the Nanostructured Palladium Hydride System," Dr Marwan Chemie, Rudower Chaussee 29, 12489 Berlin, Germany
McKubre, M. C. H. , Tanzella, F. L. , Dardik, I. , El Boher, A. , Zilov, T. , Greenspan, E. , Sibilia, C.  and Violante, V. , "Replication of Condensed Matter Heat Production,"  SRI International, Menlo Park, CA, USA,  Energetics LLC, Califon, NJ, USA,  Energetics Technologies, Omer, Israel,  Energetics Technologies and U.C. Berkeley, CA, USA,  University di Roma “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy,  ENEA Centro Ricerche Frascati, Frascati, Italy
Miles, Melvin H.  and Fleischmann, Martin , "Accuracy of Isoperibolic Calorimetry Used in a Cold Fusion Control Experiment," Department of Chemistry, University of LaVerne, LaVerne, CA 91750,  Bury Lodge, Duck Street, Tisbury, Salisbury, Wilts SP3 6LJ, U.K
Miley, George H. and Shrestha, Prajakti J., "Transmutation Reactions and Associated LENR Effects in Solids," Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801
Mizuno, Tadahiko, "Transmutation Reactions in Condensed Matter Laboratory of Nuclear and Environmental Materials," Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University
Mosier-Boss, Pamela A. , Szpak, Stanislaw , Gordon, Frank E.  and Forsley, Lawrence P.G. , "Detection of Energetic Particles and Neutrons Emitted During Pd/D Co-Deposition," SPAWAR Systems Center San Diego, Code 230, San Diego, CA 92152, JWK International Corp., Annandale, VA 22003
Storms, Edmund, "How to Explain Cold Fusion?", Energy K. Systems, Santa Fe, NM, 87501
Takahashi, Akito and Yabuuchi, Norio, "Study on 4D/TSC Condensation Motion by Non-Linear Langevin Equation," High Scientific Research Laboratory, Marunouchi 24-16, Tsu, Mie, 514-0033, Japan
Vysotskii, Vladimir I. , Tashyrev, Alexandr B.  and Kornilova, Alla A. , "Experimental Observation and Modeling of Cs-137 Isotope Deactivation and Stable Isotopes Transmutation in Biological Cells," Kiev Shevchenko University, Kiev, Ukraine,  Kiev Institute of Microbiology, Kiev, Ukraine,  Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
This symposium is a summary of selected experimental and theoretical research performed over the last 20 years that gives profound and unambiguous evidence for low energy nuclear reactions, historically known as cold fusion.
The goal of the field is fabrication of LENR devices with unique commercial potential demonstrating an alternative and renewable energy source to confront climate change and energy scarcity. The research shows promise for a new source of clean nuclear energy that does not produce greenhouse gases, strong prompt radiation or long-lived radioactive waste. A significant part of the research includes low-energy nuclear transmutation that could result in profound applications.
The research collects experimental findings for LENR in order to present reasonable explanations and conclusive theoretical and practical working models.
Unlocking the mysteries of LENR research is one of the most challenging and perhaps important issues in the scientific world. This symposium includes previously unpublished studies, new and controversial theories for approaching LENR and insights that will help audience members evaluate their interest in LENR as a possible alternative energy source.
The historic renewal of interest by the American Chemical Society was welcomed with overwhelmingly positive press coverage in 2007.
History will be made again, in 2009, when the ACS conference takes place not only in the birthplace of "cold fusion," Salt Lake City, but also on the 20th anniversary of its discovery, perhaps to the day.
The ACS, which considers itself the largest science organization in the world, has published the first ACS LENR Sourcebook with the help of New Energy Times.
This book, available now, is a celebrated breakthrough for the field and has been published by the prestigious Oxford University Press. The second volume is in process, and selected papers from the 2009 Salt Lake City meeting will be considered for a third volume.
Speakers for the Salt Lake City ACS conference will receive 25 minutes for their presentations and will be notified of the speaking schedule three months in advance.
Several weeks ago, New Energy Institute, the parent organization of New Energy Times, initiated a fund-raising campaign to help bring researchers to this conference who would otherwise not be able to afford the travel expense. New Energy Institute is pleased to report that thanks to the generosity of the Macaulay Lantz Pavilion Foundation and an anonymous donor, all researchers who requested financial support in response to the first distribution of the call for papers will be offered financial support.
Symposium Organizer: Jan Marwan
Rudower Chaussee 29, 12489 Berlin, Deutschland
Tel: 030 6392 2566, FAX: 030 6392 2566 (same)
The 9th annual meeting of Japan CF-Research Society takes place March 28-29, 2009, in Shizuoka, Japan. Akira Kitamura of Kobe University is the chairman and Hideo Kozima of Cold Fusion Research Laboratory is the local organizer.
7. 15th Russian Conference on Cold Nuclear Transmutation and Ball-Lightning
The 15th Russian Conference on Cold Nuclear Transmutation and Ball-Lightning (RCCNT&BL-15) took place October 1-8, 2008, at the Dagomys Hotel in Sochi, Russia.
The conference program included the following subjects:
* Experimental research in cold nuclear transmutation and ball lightning
* Theoretical models with respect to cold nuclear transmutation
* Application of ball-lightning effects to devices
8. 12th Thermal And Electric Energy Technology Symposium
On Sept. 26, the Thermal and Electric Energy Technology Foundation of Japan hosted the 12th Thermal and Electric Energy Technology Symposium at the Tokyo International Forum international convention center. Seven technical presentations were given as well as a panel session on clean nuclear energy.
The theme of the symposium was “Progress in Nuclear Fusion at Normal Temperatures and Nuclear Cohesion Science.”
An excerpt from the announcement letter follows:
"The topic of progress in nuclear fusion at normal temperatures and nuclear cohesion science was discussed at our Tenth Symposium held in 2004, but there have been some noteworthy developments since then, so we will be taking up this subject again this year.
"Recent research results in nuclear fusion at normal temperatures and nuclear cohesion science have attracted considerable attention. These include progress in nuclear transformation experiments and experiments in long-duration excess heat and He-4 generation involving the occlusion of deuterium gas in palladium nanoparticles. This symposium will feature lectures on new trends throughout the world, and presentations on the principal research results in Japan. Panel discussions will cover the latest developments in nuclear fusion at normal temperatures and nuclear cohesion science, as well as the potential for developing dispersed small-scale energy sources."
The following presentations were given:
Haruo Mori (Director General, TEET), Opening Address
Akito Takahashi (Osaka Univ.), Progress in CF/CMNS Research
Akira Kitamura (Kobe Univ.), Current Status of Transmutation and Nuclear Detection Experiments
Yasuhiro Iwamura (Mitsubishi), Status of Transmutation Experiments at MHI
Hiroshi Yamada (Iwate Univ.), CMNS Low Energy Transmutation Experiments at Iwate University
Akito Takahashi (Osaka Univ., Technova), Review of Latest Excess Heat Data
Ken-ichi Tsuchiya (Tokyo National College of Technology), CMNS Effect by Raman Spectroscopy
Shinya Narita (Iwate Univ.), Nuclear Detection Experiments at Iwate University
Panel Discussion: Toward Distributed Clean Energy Source, Chaired by Akito Takahashi, comments by all speakers and from floor
Ritsuko Yasuhara (CEO, TEET), Closing remarks
Melvin H. Miles, of Ridgecrest, Calif. (formerly with the Navy's China Lake laboratory), and Ashraf M. Imam, of Great Falls, Va. (with the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.), have been granted two U.S. patents for a palladium-boron alloy and its application to generate heat energy. The patents have been assigned to the United States government, Department of the Navy.
Key excerpts from the most recent patent follow:
"A method of generating energy comprising the steps of: providing the electrode of claim 13, connecting the electrode to a cathode, immersing the electrode and the cathode in water containing deuterium, and applying a current to the electrode and the cathode."
"Nine samples in electrode form were tested. This testing centered around the generation of heat with the electrode. Each palladium-boron electrode was connected to a platinum anode, and the palladium-boron cathode was then immersed in water containing deuterium. After immersion, the electrodes were then electrochemically "loaded" with hydrogen. It is believed extra loading was possible due to the two-phase structure brought about by the solution of boron within the palladium. Of nine samples tested, eight yielded positive results of heat. The results of these experiments are more repeatable than any experiment of this type completed thus far. Not surprisingly, amount of heat varied with, and had a positive relationship to, boron content."
The SPAWAR San Diego group of Stanislaw J. Szpak and Pamela A. Mosier-Boss also has a U.S. patent. Theirs is for a beryllium coating which stabilizes the electrode surface. United States Patent 5,928,483 Issued July 27, 1999
The Navy was successful in obtaining a patent that claims a key phenomenon of LENR research: generation of heat. Some private researchers, such as John Dash, who have used the term "cold fusion" in their applications, have been unsuccessful.
10. Proceedings Released for 8th Italian "Anomalies" Workshop
In collaboration with the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, the New Energy Foundation will distribute the proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals.
The conference took place Oct. 13-18, 2007, in Catania, Italy. The hardcover volume is 362 pages and sells for $39.95 plus shipping. Authors who presented papers at the conference are entitled to a reduced-fee price for the book, which includes shipping: $25.00 North America, $45.00 Foreign.
For ordering information, contact Christy L. Frazier at (phone) 603-485-4700, (fax) 603-485-4710 or Web www.infinite-energy.com.
New Energy Times spoke on Jan. 30 with President and CEO Harold "Lew" Brown, who explained that funding challenges were a significant factor in the filing. At the time, he said the firm was still in operation; however, he said, it planned to reorganize and move on after presenting a new plan to the court.
Numerous people in the LENR field had invested in ENECO. Several people in the field had been directly involved, including NRL researcher Yan Kucherov (former senior scientist with the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy), MIT researcher Peter Hagelstein and former NRL employees Michael Melich and David Nagel.
ENECO has disappeared without a trace. The Web site is gone, the phone number is disconnected, and Brown's e-mail is unroutable.
12. ICCF-14: Events and Issues in a Field in Transition
By Steven B. Krivit
ICCF-14 was co-named the 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science as well as the 14th International Conference on Cold Fusion. This report will mention briefly some technical highlights of the conference and focus mainly on events and issues related to the conference. A perspective by one researcher, Akira Kitamura, will follow this report.
New Energy Times congratulates conference organizers David Nagel and Michael Melich for their efforts toward another successful ICCF conference. Nagel made a significant personal and financial commitment that ensured that this conference took place, and he deserves appreciation and gratitude from the field. The conference hosted many excellent talks and presentations of results. In general, the conference logistics were flawless, the presentation room support was excellent and even the weather was unusually pleasant for Washington, D.C., in August.
Through Nagel's support, New Energy Times was able to record a good portion of the conference. Readers who were unable to attend the conference are invited to view images of the presentations and some video recordings of excerpts of many of the presentations. We hope to have a complete set of audio recordings online by the next issue of New Energy Times. ICCF-14 —Conference Recordings
This year's conference naming was a partial regression; the term "cold fusion" was abandoned by previous conference organizers in 2004. The tagline for this year's ICCF conference was "Exciting New Science— Potential Clean Energy." It took place at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Aug. 10-15.
This year's conference organizers also decided that the term chosen by conference organizers at ICCF-9 in Beijing, China, to describe the field, "condensed matter nuclear science," and the term that has been used to describe the experiments in recent books as well as by the Department of Energy, "low-energy nuclear reactions," had "problems." The organizers discouraged presenters from using these terms and encouraged them to adopt the term "Fleischmann-Pons Effect," or FPE. Considering the negative connotations of the closely related "Utah Effect," this idea seems unwise.
Conference organizers David Nagel and Michael Melich
Photo: E. Wall
As of July 3, conference organizers had received 82 abstracts from authors in 13 countries. There were 66 oral presentations in varied lengths (30 minutes, 20 minutes and 15 minutes, including question-and-answer time). Thirty-eight poster presentations were listed on the schedule. The short advance notice was problematic. Participants were given 10 days’ notice about which type of presentation they were selected for. As a result, people who had been designated for posters had a very short time in which to prepare their posters. People who were given 20 minutes or 15 minutes for their presentation had to re-engineer their talks at the last minute, as well.
The role of the ICCF-14 Technical Program Committee was mysterious. Mahadeva Srinivasan, one of the members of the committee, told New Energy Times that he was never contacted or asked to provide input on the technical program. Another dissapointment this year was the lack of an opportunity for poster presenters to provide brief introductions of their work to the group as a whole, as has occurred at past conferences.
The panel on measuring heat was outstanding and provided a top-notch review of the variety, depth and detail of the foundation of the evidence for excess heat. Bravo to panel members Jacques Dufour, Melvin Eisner, Michael McKubre, Melvin Miles and Edmund Storms.
Michael McKubre, director of energy research at SRI International, presented a very strong set of excess-heat replications performed by his group at SRI and a consortium representing researchers from Energetics Technologies LLC, Califon, N.J.; Energetics Technologies Inc., Omer, Israel; U.C. Berkeley, Calif.; University of Rome, Rome, Italy; and ENEA, Frascati, Italy.
Source: "Replication of Condensed Matter Heat Production," American Chemical Society Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook, Marwan, Jan and Krivit, Steven B., editors, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-8412-6966-8, August 2008
The SPAWAR/JWK team, as usual, did a bang-up job of explaining nearly every detail you might want to know about LENR co-deposition and solid-state nuclear track detection. John Fisher's presentation of Richard Oriani's paper showing solid-state nuclear track detector images of burst patterns engaged the audience and inspired a lengthy question-and-answer session.
Image of cluster of particle tracks from Oriani
The conference included many, many other excellent and interesting presentations, and we cannot possibly note them all here. We encourage readers to read through all of the presentations. We invite any authors whose presentations we were not able to photograph to provide such, and we will gladly include them in our online ICCF-14 collection.
On the down side, the distribution of speaking slots seemed unfair. Some researchers were given multiple oral presentations; others who had requested oral presentations were given none. Some of the Japanese researchers, including Tadahiko Mizuno, author of Nuclear Transmutation: The Reality of Cold Fusion, were particularly displeased with the way the sessions were managed.
Mizuno took the bold step of briefly expressing his disappointment at the end of his talk, but because of his accent—and perhaps because he was a bit nervous—most people did not understand what he said. He said he was going to retire from Hokkaido University next year (which is not unusual; many active researchers in the field are retired), but that was not the point of his message. Nagel later made a brief comment at the podium as if he thought Mizuno had only announced his retirement. Mizuno gave his speaker's notes to New Energy Times.
Here is the last paragraph, lightly edited for grammar: "Finally, this conference may be the last one for me because I have to stop my studies. I am going to retire from Hokkaido University next year. Another reason, I have to say, is that I was disappointed in this conference. I think the ICCF is no more than an academic society."
In an interview with New Energy Times after his oral presentation, Mizuno explained that he meant that the field needs more critical discussions about the research.
Mizuno added, "In this conference, nobody is asking good critical questions. They are just showing the review of very old data and country history. Country history is not very important. It is more important to show current experimental results than to take the time in oral sessions for history. Hideo Kozima's papers were rejected for oral presentation. He only obtained a poster session."
Mizuno also said that conference organizers demonstrated bias against hydrogen (as opposed to deuterium) and transmutation research in the oral sessions.
"Another thing," he said, "I only knew the agenda one week before the conference. This was very troublesome for us because the hotel is very expensive and I had to make my reservations for the entire week because I did not know in advance which day my presentation was scheduled. I was also upset because I had to pay out of my own pocket to be here, and I know other people were funded. It is very unfair."
Mizuno has studied LENR for 20 years and has attended 10 of the 14 ICCF conferences.
Many of the previous ICCF conferences had their biases, reflective of local interest. The Russians have a strong interest in transmutations and ball lightning. The French seem to have an interest in magnetic monopoles. This conference was no different. The organizers thought that excess heat was the most important aspect of the field, and this does appear to reflect the bias of the most well-known American LENR researchers, such as McKubre, a collaborator of the technical program chair.
The presentations of excess-heat results from numerous researchers, as in the past, were thorough, clear and convincing.
On the other hand, transmutation research was not included in the conference’s initial scope. After this writer brought the omission to the attention of the field, and after John Dash and George Miley publicly lodged protests, the organizers added a session on transmutation.
When Miley, who is a leader and pioneer in LENR transmutation, got wind of the anti-transmutation, pro-heat research bias, he began preparations to organize an independent workshop. The workshop occurred on the Friday afternoon of the conference, after the official close of ICCF-14. The room was filled, and people were sitting in the aisles. Twenty of the participants gave brief presentations.
An American CMNS theorist who wrote about the workshop afterward suggested that it was pushed outside of ICCF-14 "because many of the topics still must be viewed as being speculative."
The prevalence of transmutation work in Russia and Japan - and even an invited LENR talk with transmutation references in a Department of Energy workshop in February 2004 - indicates that the view of this skeptic is not universally shared. Clearly, ICCF-14 participants were not dissuaded from paying attention to this part of condensed matter nuclear science which is far more than just the Fleischmann-Pons excess heat effect.
Miley has since set up a mailing list "to allow participants to continue discussions, including the development of the next workshop or Gordon-type conference."
Miley wrote that "participants will be able to correspond through the Transmutation Workshop Web page and/or direct e-mail to the Transmutation Workshop site."
In response to earlier communications with Dieter Britz, a longtime "cold fusion" agnostic, observer, and occasional journal reviewer, he commented on the winds of change beginning to appear in the field.
"Henry Bauer [former editor of the Journal of Scientific Exploration] has written several papers and a book on the resistance of scientists to new ideas,” Britz said. “This seems to have entered the ‘cold fusion’ community. How interesting."
Approximately seven of the ICCF-14 presentations were commissioned topical reviews, and six presentations were commissioned "country histories." It was difficult to know which was which because they were not clearly identified as such. Contributing authors whom New Energy Times spoke with who collected the information on behalf of ICCF-14 conference organizers for their respective reviews or country histories were compensated with waivers of their conference and hotel fees. Some also received direct compensation. One contributing author told New Energy Times that he received a check from Melich for several thousand dollars, which "more than covered the costs for [his] airfare."
"Our current plans envision the preparation and publication of a series of Cold Fusion Country Histories that will document, country by country, the progress of the research over the past twenty years," Melich wrote. "These histories will be in the language of each country and should be completed prior to ICCF-14. These will form the basis of sessions at ICCF-14 showing the scientific foundation of the field.
"The sessions at ICCF14 on the scientific work in the various countries, when added to the translated histories, will be edited into a series of books in English to be published in 2009. These books will provide the scientific community the organized material to let the field grow."
Dennis Cravens, a contributor to one of the topical reviews, explained the plan to New Energy Times.
"Melich asked Dennis Letts and I to write a review article on electrochemical heat for the ICCF-14 conference," Cravens said. "What they usually do is, the day before the official program starts, they have a newbie workshop for graduate students and other interested newcomers to the field."
Unfortunately, no such workshop or tutorial session occurred this year.
Commissioned Country Histories and Their Authors
China: Xing Zhong Li
France: Jean Paul Biberian and Jacques Dufour
India: Mahadeva Srinivasan
Italy: Francesco Scaramuzzi:
Japan: Jirohta Kasagi and Yasuhiro Iwamura
Russia (Reviewed Journals): Andrei Lipson and Ivan Chernov
Russia (Conferences) Yuri Bazhutov
No country histories were presented for the U.S., the U.K. or Germany.
Commissioned Topical Reviews*
Dennis Cravens: The Enabling Criteria of Electrochemical Heat: Beyond Reasonable Doubt
Jean Paul Biberian: Cold Fusion by Gas Loading: A Review
Peter Hagelstein: Physical Mechanisms in Theories of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science
Melvin Miles: Isoperibolic Calorimetry
Jacques Dufour: Ice Calorimetry
Michael McKubre: Mass Flow Calorimetry
Edmund Storms: Seebeck Calorimetry
[* They were not clearly identified; these are our best guesses based on the Aug. 5 agenda.]
Yoshiaki Arata During Group Photo
Photo: E. Wall
The ICCF-14 program included two tributes to living cold fusion researchers. The first was to Yoshiaki Arata, presented by Arata, with an introduction by Talbot Chubb. The "Arata Fest" as it was called in an earlier draft of the conference plan, included a review of Arata's pioneering achievements as well as video footage of his latest experiment.
Arata made few friends with his bold claims of intellectual primacy, and predictably, discussions about Arata in the CMNS e-mail list after the conference turned ugly. It's not as if conference organizers didn't know what to expect from Arata; months earlier, they were warned explicitly by Jed Rothwell, who had seen a related presentation by Arata in Japan.
The second tribute was to Stanislaw Szpak. In this session, SPAWAR (San Diego) researchers Pamela Mosier-Boss and Frank Gordon and their associate Lawrence Forsley of JWK Technologies reviewed the broad array of research that Szpak's innovative co-deposition method inspired since 1989. Szpak's ideas have led to 19 published LENR papers in peer-reviewed journals. As conference organizers knew from a Defense Threat Reduction Agency meeting they attended on co-deposition in San Diego last year, Spzak no longer travels, and he did not attend ICCF-14.
Two unusual things occurred during this conference.
The first was the presentation by David A. Kidwell, a researcher with the Washington, D.C.-based Naval Research Laboratory. Kidwell spoke in dramatic tones about all the possible things that could go wrong with trace analysis in investigating possible elemental and isotopic LENR transmutations. He told New Energy Times that he was invited to give his talk by Melich.
Kidwell is an expert on inductively coupled mass spectrometry though he appears to have limited experience with LENR research. The premise for his talk was to be educational—that is, to help other researchers know how to take proper precautions when performing analysis for possible transmutation results. McKubre, however, told New Energy Times that most researchers already knew the points that Kidwell discussed. The delivered message from Kidwell, intentional or not, was not of a tutorial nature. He made no apparent effort to hide his disdain and cynicism about transmutation claims. His message clearly seemed intended to cast fear, uncertainty and doubt over the transmutation claims.
"If you have what you think you're making all over your room, do you really have it?" Kidwell asked.
His sentence may seem obscure in print. What he meant was, "If you think you have found anomalous elements produced by your experiment but they also happen to exist all over the room, did your experiment really produce it?"
"Or are you just fooling yourself from some random event?" Kidwell continued. "Without all these precautions, I wouldn't go talk to my colleagues. You're not going to rewrite 100 years of chemistry, you're not going to pass go and you're not going to win a Nobel Prize! With these cautions, you might go talk to your colleagues and say, 'Something unusual occurred.' But without them, I would just kind of be embarrassed."
The only problem is that, although Kidwell spoke about a million and one things that could possibly go wrong, he cited (poorly) only two references of actual LENR research when he discussed research. One was something obscure published in Infinite Energy magazine. The other was his analysis of materials from an Arata replication performed at SRI International. He also displayed a slide mentioning praseodymium, a key element that has been part of the Iwamura transmutation research.
But McKubre told New Energy Times that SRI had never published data or made any claims relating to elemental transmutation (Pd+D>Ag) or isotopic distributions - the focus of Kidwell's analysis and public critique. In a follow-up e-mail to New Energy Times from Kidwell, he concurred: "I know of no transmutation work at SRI, published or otherwise."
Furthermore, Kidwell said that he obtained the materials not directly from SRI but through a third party, Tom Passell. And to make matters worse, on Kidwell's slide #21, he represented a) that he did a bulk analysis from one of Arata's experiments, instead of an SRI replication of an Arata experiment and b) that the postulated reaction Pd105 + D > Ag107 was Arata's. It was neither Arata's nor SRI's but Passell's. In a follow-up e-mail to New Energy Times, Kidwell confirmed that he never had contact with Arata.
Researchers in this field learned long ago that theoretical speculations on what could go wrong have no bearing on any particular experiment unless that experiment is analyzed precisely. Kidwell's talk was reminiscent of one by Nathan Lewis of Caltech, when Lewis, a skilled electrochemist but ignorant of key facts about the Fleischmann-Pons experiment, embarassed himself in front of the Baltimore American Physical Society.
In a follow-up e-mail to New Energy Times, Kidwell wrote, "The final material had conglomerated as if it was heated. Nano palladium will fuse at about 1/3 of the melting temperature, or about 500C."
The second oddity that occurred at the conference is that this reporter received a threat (with stated consequences) to back off from his LENR investigations. Needless to say, he has not and will not, and the incident has been reported to the FBI.
Russian Visa Problems
Paolo Tripodi's message of sadness for Russian researchers not attending ICCF014
Only one Russian presenter attended the conference. The other Russians were unable to attend because of government and conference organization delays that prevented them from getting their visas.
Irina Savvatimova and Alla Kornilova, recognized for their work in transmutation research, sent their requests for letters of invitation to conference organizers and to Robert Smith, a conference volunteer who was responsible for the visa invitation letters, in April; unfortunately, that did not allow enough time for Savvatimova and Kornilova to obtain visas.
They and other Russians were worried in the early months of 2008 about the conference logistics; they had heard none of the logistical details, despite a visit by Melich to Moscow from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3. During his visit, he discussed his plans for collecting information about Russian CMNS research, which he called "Country History."
Based on communications New Energy Times received from several of the Russians, they were outraged at Melich's "Country History" project and his selection of his collaborators Andrei Lipson and Ivan Chernov to produce the history. (Melich presented the group's work in a paper at ICCF-14.) In response to adverse reaction to Melich's initial Russian history plan, Melich invited Yuri Bazhutov to write an alternate version of Russia's "cold fusion" history.
Melich wrote in an e-mail to one of the Russians that one reason for his trip was to help improve the process for Russians to get visas to come to ICCF-14. However, he made it clear that that was not his primary objective.
"The focus of my trip is to assist my Russian colleagues in the preparation of a Russian language history of cold fusion in the Friendship State University," Melich wrote. "A secondary objective is to let everyone meet Faqir Chand Khanna, who is the head of the International Editorial Board for the cold fusion country history project in English."
No information about the makeup of an International Editorial Board is publicly known.
"We are puzzled by the lack of information on the forthcoming ICCF-14," one of the Russians told New Energy Times in mid-March. "We haven't yet received any invitations for getting our visas. There isn't very much time left."
The information on the ICCF-14 conference schedule, registration and instructions for invitations letters appeared for the first time only on the ICCF-14 Web site and not until April 18. By then, the start of the conference was only four months away.
To their dismay, when the information became available on the ICCF-14 Web site, the Russians saw that conference organizers had given them only 12 days before the "Cutoff for Requesting Invitation Letters." This was particularly hard for them because the visa process for Russian visitors to the U.S. is extremely complex and time-consuming.
Later in the conference, Nagel responded to Tripodi's lament about the visa problem.
"Mike [Melich] went to Moscow, talked to the U.S. people there, we put up the Web site, gave them the procedures and deadlines, Bob Smith received the requests." Nagel said. "I ... e-mailed the letters, there's an expediter in Moscow involved, ... but despite all those efforts, ... we essentially failed to get visas for our colleagues except for the Karabuts and Natasha. So I'm very sorry for that shortfall, but we made due effort."
Forsley, who has connections with people associated with the former Soviet desk of the U.S. State Department, tried to help.
"In the month leading up to ICCF-14, I offered a couple of times to Nagel to provide assistance," Forsley said. "Nagel did not accept my offer of assistance until the week prior to the conference.
"They gave me the list of researchers for whom they were trying - unsuccessfully at that point - to obtain visas. Nagel asked for my help to get visas for Alla Kornilova, Irina Savvatimova, Alexander Karabut, Andrei Lipson and Yuri Bazhutov.
"I asked Nagel for the necessary data (such as name, data of birth, passport number) to search the State Department database and expedite the visas. Nagel wrote that the conference organizers had none of this information. I asked Nagel for e-mail addresses for these researchers; he only provided me with Karabut's and Lipson's. I ended up having to get the other e-mail addresses from Bill Collis.
"Once I obtained the biodata for Lipson and Karbut (directly from them), I asked the State Department to apply expedited processing. The next day, I learned from the State Department that Karabut's visa, which had already been in the pipeline, had just been approved. Then I worked on getting Lipson's visa through.
"On the Wednesday of the conference (Moscow time), I learned that Lipson's visa had been granted and was in Moscow. For reasons which are inexplicable to me, the Moscow office didn't print Lipson's visa until Friday morning. And this is despite the fact that Melich (as he told me) had talked to Embassy staff in Moscow.”
"Lipson's visa could have been printed Thursday morning," Forsley said, "as there was sufficient time for him to pick it up on his way to the airport and get to the conference by the last day of the conference, Friday. In anticipation of Lipson's hoped-for arrival on Friday, I had already spoken with Nagel, who requested me to move my talk from its scheduled position on Friday to Lipson's scheduled position on Tuesday so there would be a time slot for Lipson on Friday.
"Instead, his visa was printed on Friday, and he arrived in Washington on Monday, too late to participate in the conference, but he was able to spend two days with Melich and others at the Naval Research Laboratory.
"I spent several hours and missed some of the morning sessions during the conference because I was writing e-mails and making phone calls to expedite Lipson's visa. I am livid that, for several related reasons, Lipson did not arrive in D.C. until after the conference."
New Energy Times learned that other researchers besides the five for whom Nagel requested Forsley's assistance wanted to come to the conference.
One was Igor Goryachev. On July 21, he told New Energy Times that, "regretfully and unexplainably, they rejected issuing visas for me and my wife to attend the conference."
"According to Nagel and Melich," Forsley said, " the reasons why the Russians didn't get visas is because the Russian researchers turned their paperwork in too late."
In addition to his dismay at the delay of Lipson's visa processing, Forsley could not understand how the conference organizers could possibly have been helping to expedite the visas without the biodata and without their e-mail addresses.
New Energy Times provided Nagel with a copy of Forsley's statement and asked for comment.
"A great deal of my time went into writing, printing, scanning and mailing two dozen letters of invitation," Nagel said. "There were many problems with e-mails not getting through to some of the Russians. I believe that the core problem was systematic, independent of the conference and those organizing it."
New Energy Times asked Savvatimova why Nagel didn't have her required biodata which Forsley needed so he could assist with the State Department.
"But I sent my biodata and full report about my life and career early," Savvatimova wrote, "addressed to Robert Smith, David Nagel and Michael Melich."
Conference organizers wrote the letters of invitation. Savvatimova's was dated April 29; Kornilova's was dated April 25.
New Energy Times provided Melich with a copy of Forsley's statement and asked for comment.
Melich replied that the Moscow consul told him in February 2008 that the Russian researchers were not to apply for their visas or complete their interviews earlier than May 1 and that their interviews had to be completed by the end of May. This late processing window, for an August conference, may explain the failed logistics, but it does not explain why Forsley was not provided with the information he needed to help expedite the visas or why Nagel turned down his offer of assistance in the weeks before to the conference.
The Web site for the U.S. consul in Moscow states that applications should be made a minimum of 70 days before travel. This matches Melich's statement about a May 30 deadline. The Web site says nothing about a requirement that processing cannot start earlier than 100 days before travel.
Russian researcher Yuri Bazhutov (who was unable to get his visa in time and may have submitted his paperwork late) received his invitation letter from Nagel, dated June 20, on June 22. This was 22 days later than the May 30 deadline, and his letter did not mention the May 30 deadline.
"I am sorry it took so long to get this to you," Nagel wrote. "The phase for letters of invitation was supposed to end long ago and precede making the technical program. Now, we are very busy with the program and still seeking sponsors and recruiting more attendees. You know how all that goes."
Ukraine researcher Vladimir Vysotskii, who was able to get his visa in time and attend, received his invitation letter from Nagel two months earlier; it was dated April 25 - and suggested that he was going to receive financial assistance to enable him to attend the conference. Bazhutov's letter did not suggest any possibility of financial support.
Vysotskii's invitation letter explicitly stated that he would need to complete his interview at the U.S. consul before May 30.
Alexander Karabut's invitation letter was dated May 9, and Andrei Lipson's was dated May 26.
"I would say that Melich dropped the ball," Forsley wrote. "He should have long ago had the biodata information in order to track how things are moving. The fact that the committee doesn't have the information means they had no intention of tracking the status of their invitations or were clueless as to how to check on their invited speakers. This is very poor.
"There is a responsibility, when you invite someone to a conference, to see that they make it there, if possible. This is especially true of those with possible visa issues. I have done this myself in years past. It isn't rocket science. It requires a caring attitude, persistence and follow-through, all of which seem absent in this conference's organization."
In another departure from previous conferences, organizers announced in a follow-up note to ICCF-14 registrants their decision not to publish the proceedings with a professional publishing company but to self-publish. Organizers apparently also will include in the proceedings manuscripts that were not presented at the conference.
"This means that we can control the copyright to the papers and post them on the Web," the conference organizers wrote. "Then, more people will have access to the work presented at the conference. This is especially important, since we seek to broaden involvement in the field, especially by students. If you submitted an abstract or had a late poster paper, we will happily consider your manuscript for inclusion in the proceedings."
The alleged copyright constraint seems somewhat odd because Jed Rothwell has posted numerous papers from conference proceedings in the past without problems after they were published by World Scientific Corp.
Organizers also announced their intentions to implement an anonymous peer review of the papers for the proceedings.
"The papers will be thoroughly reviewed by a few of our colleagues," organizers wrote. "We will request that authors make changes suggested by the reviewers. It is in everyone's interest to have high publication quality to match the quality of the work being reported."
A few celebrities attended the conference. They included the president of the University of Utah during the cold fusion period, Chase Peterson, and former Edward Teller protégé Lowell Wood from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Chase Peterson Photo: S. B. Krivit
New Energy Times asked Peterson what drew him to the conference.
"I wanted to see what was going on,” Peterson said. "I'm excited by the progress."
Dr. Irving Dardik, discoverer of SuperWaves, a nested-wave phenomenon that enhances the LENR excess-heat effect, was awarded the Preparata Medal by McKubre, his consortium associate and the temporary chairman of the awards committee.
Irving Dardik with family and friends after receiving Preparata award Photo: S. B. Krivit
Of historical importance was the attendance and presentation of Melvin Eisner, retired from the University of Houston, who, along with Theodore V. Lautzenhiser and Daniel W. Phelps of Amoco Production Co., reported excess heat that he and his colleagues observed 18 years ago.
Melvin Eisner Photo: S. B. Krivit
Two aggressive uninvited water rights advocates, apparently confused about the scope of the conference, attempted to enter the conference room on Aug. 14. Melich intercepted them, and hotel security escorted them out of the building.
Convict Appears at Conference
A personable and friendly man by the name of Dave Cappelletti came over to the table where the New Energy Times recording equipment was set up and running. Cappelletti represented himself as an affiliate of Notre Dame University's College of Science. Cappelletti said he had connections with well-funded people who might donate (audio recording) to New Energy Times in exchange for "back channel" access to New Energy Times, whatever that meant. We said no thanks.
New Energy Times later contacted Gregory P. Crawford, dean of the College of Science at Notre Dame. Crawford wrote to New Energy Times that Cappelletti was not affiliated with the College of Science. A professor at Notre Dame whom Cappelletti had contacted told New Energy Times that Cappelletti's business card was a misrepresentation.
New Energy Times learned later that Cappelletti had been convicted of fraud and theft with regard to a purported energy device by an Italian researcher, Renzo Boscoli, which Cappelletti convinced Eugene Mallove was real. According to court documents, Cappelletti enticed Mallove with discussions of plans to manufacture and exhibit heat-producing devices based on the Boscoli device. Cappelletti obtained U.S. patent 6,654,433 on Nov. 25, 2003, for the Boscoli invention.
A major financial backer of Mallove’s was turned off by Cappelletti's high-pressure sales tactics and declined to take part in the project. Cappelletti eventually convinced the Mallove family to write Cappelletti a check for $150,000. Afterward, Mallove performed his due diligence, and to his shock and dismay, according to court documents, "he found absolutely no evidence of the heat-producing process described by Cappelletti. ... Mallove concluded that he had been seriously misled by Cappelletti."
He asked Cappelletti to return the money to him. Cappelletti agreed, but the money was gone. Mallove sued Cappelletti and won. A court in Florida, where Cappelletti had set up Paradigm Energy Corp., issued a final default judgment in the amount of $450,000 on Dec. 10,2001, against Cappelletti for fraud, deceit and theft. According to Christy Frazier of Mallove's New Energy Foundation, Cappelletti has yet to pay.
On Sept. 11, New Energy Times sent a request to Cappelletti to explain his side of the story. On Sept. 24, New Energy Times spoke with Cappelletti. He asked to speak with us off the record; we declined. He asked New Energy Times to provide him with specific questions in advance. We told him we had only one question: Please tell us your side of the story with Boscoli and Mallove. In the Sept. 24 phone call, Cappelletti declined to provide his side of the story.
"Other than saying 'no comment,'" Cappelletti said, "all I can say is, despite what you sometimes want, sometimes things go well, and sometimes they don't, but you put one foot in front of the other and try to go forward and make progress. That's what this field is all about."
Point of Clarification
In Sochi in June 2007, and in Washington, D.C., in August 2008, Alexander Karabut, the only Russian to give a presentation at ICCF-14, presented results which led people to believe that he had performed an experiment that showed, among other things, 300 Watts of excess heat.
When New Energy Times interviewed Karabut after his Sochi presentation, with the assistance of interpreter Nataliya Famina, we learned that a) this experiment was not performed by him, b) it was never replicated by him, c) it was the work of a team of six other researchers from a decade ago, d) they were never able to repeat it, and e) five of those six researchers are now dead—at relatively young ages.
What is disturbing about this is that Nagel and Melich (who were sitting in the audience at Sochi) later learned about this misrepresentation and apparently did nothing to see that it did not recur in Washington. On Sept. 11, 2007, New Energy Times sent Melich and Nagel the explicit information that we learned from the interview with Karabut and implored them to demand increased rigor with regard to presentations at the forthcoming ICCF-14. Nagel and Melich did not reply, and Karabut, inexplicably, was the only Russian researcher who succeeded in getting to ICCF-14.
New Energy Times wrote to Karabut and Famina of our intent to provide these points of clarifications (a through e above) so that no further misunderstandings occur; we asked them to confirm the accuracy of these points.
Famina, writing for Karabut, responded: "Indeed, in his present research, Karabut used data of the Kazionov group, which had used high-voltage electrolysis and collected a considerable amount of data. They had kept their results in secret, and it was only by chance that Karabut obtained access to them; they asked him to consult with them on their work. Indeed, they got very high results and didn't reproduce them because they died one by one by various causes, presumably caused by a failure of their immune system.
“Karabut remembers talking to one of the researchers, Dr. Yeremeev, a couple of years ago here in Sochi. Yeremeev was a young man of 41, seemingly in good health. He also died a year ago. In short, Karabut wanted to use their experience, so he took their results, processed them and made a theoretical model of Kazionov's high-voltage electrolysis cell. His goal in Russia is to try it out in all regimes with light water using the pulse-periodic power supply of more than 1000V.
“It is possible to check out this technology in Russia, but further research is only possible in the West with the proper financial backing and equipment (including heavy water). Karabut needs a decent lab in the United States or some other interested country to obtain his final goal: a dependable source of excess heat power with 800 percent efficiency."
Fifth Annual General Meeting of the ISCMNS The Fifth Annual General Meeting of the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science took place at 6 p.m. Aug. 12 in Washington, D.C., during ICCF-14.
ISCMNS Executive Committee: Bill Collis, Xing Zhong Li, Francesco Celani, Jean Paul Biberian, Lawrence Forsley
(not pictured: Scott Chubb, Jacques Dufour, Edmund Storms)
Photo: S.B. Krivit
A quorum was present, and the members approved a proposal to recommend that the ISCMNS organization incorporate the International Advisory Committee within ISCMNS as a standing subcommittee.
The International Advisory Committee is a nonelected body that, since 1989, has operated without written rules and made important decisions on behalf of the CMNS field, primarily regarding the management of ICCF conferences.
Membership in the International Advisory Committee has been under the complete control and discretion of each year's ICCF chairman and co-chairman. The chairmen can decide who is or is not a member of the committee based on rules that they alone determine. This year, the chairmen changed the rules several times, according to members whom they removed. They changed the rules several times within a short time, adding some members and removing other members, each time based on the new rules established by the chairmen. On at least one occasion, the rule change was the complete inverse of a rule communicated to members of the field several weeks earlier.
During the Annual General Meeting, one of the members of the ISCMNS Executive Committee stated (as announced the prior night by Nagel at the ISCMNS Executive Committee meeting) that the conference budget was $200,000. About $100,000 of that came from the U.S. government, $50,000 came from private sponsors and $50,000 came from registration fees.
When asked by New Energy Times, Nagel declined to provide further details. He said that financial details would be given only to conference sponsors, but Department of Defense sources told New Energy Times that Melich, an employee of the Naval Postgraduate School, had obtained $250,000 from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for a LENR calorimetry project.
Marjorie Burdetsky, of Capital Meeting Planning Inc., told New Energy Times that 186 participants registered. Burdetsky, whose company managed the conference, confirmed that 147 of those registered for the entire week. Burdetsky failed to respond to a follow-up question about the number of registrants whose fees were waived. If half of the 147 participants paid the $700 registration fee, this would account for the $50,000 in registration fees.
For the first time in the history of this field, two groups competed to host the next ICCF (ICCF-15) conference.
ICCF-15 will be in Rome, Italy, in September or October 2009. Vittorio Violante of ENEA will be the conference chairman and organizer. On the last day of the ICCF14 conference, Violante announced that his institution, ENEA, was sponsoring the next conference. However, the sponsorship is—so far—in name only; ENEA has committed no cash. Violante proposed that the conference be held not at ENEA (in Frascati) but in Rome, at the University of Rome. The budget for Violante's ICCF-15 proposal was 2,000 Euros per person, including conference fees, hotel and meals.
A year ago, at the ICCF-13 meeting, Bill Collis, and only Bill Collis, volunteered to organize ICCF-15. Larry Forsley was to be his co-chairman. In September 2007, Collis flew down to Rome to scout suitable locations for the meeting.
Some time after that, a man with no previous involvement in the CMNS field, Sergio Martellucci, with the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research at ENEA, told a member of the International Advisory Committee that he had been charged by Melich to make a proposal to host ICCF-15.
According to Francesco Scaramuzzi, Martellucci also took a leadership role in Melich's Country History project for Italy. The Italian Editorial Committee comprised Scaramuzzi, Martellucci and Violante.
The fate of the ICCF-15 conference was decided on the evening of Aug. 14 by a secret vote in a closed meeting by the International Advisory Committee, the nonelected group which has managed the ICCF conferences since they began 20 years ago. The ICCF-14 conference chairmen presided over this decision-making body. Collis and Forsley's bid to host ICCF-15 proposed a site in Sicily because of lower costs there. Collis also had secured a confirmed cash contribution from a local sponsor that would have brought the conference fee down to 1,000 Euros per person. Collis told New Energy Times that the vote was 7-6, in favor of Violante.
Violante subsequently asked Collis to be his running mate—that is, conference co-chairman—and Collis accepted the appointment.
Mitchell Swartz, of Jet Energy Inc., expressed his views on conference costs afterward, during his closing comments.
"I think we have to figure out how to have lower-cost meetings, rather than going in the other direction, so that we can invite students in for free," Swartz said. "We've been having meetings almost every year at MIT—these colloquia—and we try to make them open for anybody with a student ID. I wish we could have done that here."
Swartz's closing comments were perhaps the most informative and potentially instructive for the field.
As we go to press, not a single mainstream media outlet has reported on the ICCF-14 conference. This lack of response, which contrasts sharply with the widespread and positive press coverage that resulted from the historic renewal of interest by the American Chemical Society in 2007, is disappointing.
The lack of media attention is partially understandable because ICCF is not what you would call a mainstream science conference. Still, it didn't help that Nagel sent a press release to a chat list for the National Association of Science Writers - where press releases are forbidden - and he failed to submit a press release to any of the well-known services, such as BusinessWire or PrWeb.
The only mainstream media presence at ICCF-14 was from CBS News and its show “60 Minutes.” “60 Minutes” was represented by Sam Hornblower, a producer and young Harvard graduate, and an older man, Paul Grant, a former IBM scientist. Grant is a colleague of Richard Garwin, a longtime cold fusion adversary. “60 Minutes” had been invited there by Energetics Technologies, according to Hornblower.
Energetics Technologies also had invited Rick Kramer, of Rick Kramer Productions, who specializes in media management, as he told New Energy Times. Both “60 Minutes” and Kramer had video crews filming on Monday and on a few other days. Kramer's film crew was present during the gala dinner at which Energetics Technologies' Irving Dardik received his Preparata award.
Although the world didn't come to ICCF-14, New Energy Times is bringing ICCF-14 to the world, through images of the presentations, video clips and audio recordings. The quality of the audio recordings (due by next issue of New Energy Times) is not perfect, but it is good enough to effectively share this important research with the entire world. Again, the link to the recordings is here: ICCF-14 —Conference Recordings.
By Akira Kitamura
Graduate School of Maritime Sciences, Kobe University
Overview of the Conference
The 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ICCF14) was held between August 11 and August 15, 2008 in Washington D.C. There were about 60 oral presentations and about 40 poster displays. It was a lively conference, with about 180 registered participants (including 15 Japanese participants). This is about double the number of participants in the previous three conferences (ICCF11 in Marseilles; ICCF12 in Yokohama, and ICCF13 in Sochi). It appears that there were many people in the United States who were interested in the field.
The conference venue was a hotel located between Union Station and the US Capitol/National Mall. Although the location was superb, the hotel was unfortunately under renovation, so participants were inconvenienced not only by the unsightly appearance of the construction, but also by the limited operation of the elevators. This made the regular Wednesday afternoon excursion all the more pleasurable. At the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center, recently built in the vicinity of Dulles National Airport, we were able to study the history of flight, from the initial experimental stages to the Concorde and the space shuttle Enterprise.
Synopsis of the Current State of CMNS Research by Conference Chairman David Nagel
(The numbers given in square brackets correspond to the abstract numbers appearing in the abstract file.)
After the welcoming remarks, Nagel presented his understanding of the current state of CMNS research . The Fleischmann-Pons excess heat effect is a reality, and although reproducibility has gradually improved, there are still challenges in controllability and inadequate funding, and there is a need for a more active exchange of information. Nagel discussed the issues involved in the development of reliable materials, and he stated that nanotechnology is a key technology. Nagel suggested that application issues include not only the existing power generation technologies, which are difficult to implement at low temperatures, but also the need to study the development of thermoelectric materials.
Conference co-chairman Michael Melich categorized the papers presented at ICCF14 and summarized the issues , as he said, from his own point of view. [Editor's note: Seven very similar questions were presented by Melich's associate McKubre in January in presentations in India.]
Q1. Is there excess enthalpy? Co-deposition (Phusor; Swartz ), SuperWave (Dardik-Lesin ), high-pressure gas storage (Arata cell; Arata-Zhang ); Arata session and Szpak session
Q2. What is the correlation between thermal output and input? Chief parameters; D/Pd, D flux/current, increasing attention toward nanostructures
Q3. Is heat a consequence of a nuclear phenomenon? High-energy protons and alpha particles from electron beam-irradiated PdDx/TiDx (CR-39; Lipson ), X-rays and charged particles emitted from deuterium glow discharge (surface barrier detector; Storms-Scanlan ), high-energy particle detection in electrolytic systems (CR-39; Oriani ), high-energy particle detection in co-deposition systems (CR-39; Forsley, Mosier-Boss [20, 61]), emission of charged particles from Iwamura-type deuterium permeation thin-films (Toriyabe )
Q4. What is the correlation between nuclear reaction products and heat? What is the quantitative relationship between helium byproduct and heat generation/excess heat? Nonthermal near-infrared emission (Swartz )
Q5. What about other nuclear phenomena? Nuclear transmutation, as in Iwamura , Yamaguchi , Hioki , Dash , Savvatimova , etc.
Q6. What is the basic nuclear process? Does the many-electron effect on nuclear reactions in condensed matter bear a relationship to excess heat?
Q7. What does the future hold? Revision of theories, control of material properties, the importance of gas charging methods, measurement methodology, the search for applications
Exothermic Experiments: Electrolytic Approaches
Swartz (JET Energy Inc.)  provided a comprehensive overview of research results to
date, including the use of electrolysis devices known as Phusor. He reported on
measurements of excess power not only in Pd/D2O/Pt systems but also in Ni/H2O/Pt
systems taken over 5 days, with 230% gain at low power (1 W level). He also reported
a gain of 800% for short times with a co-deposition type Phusor (Pd/Pd(OH)2/Pt), as
well as excess power at the 100 W level, at low gain for short times.
Lesin et al. (Energetics Technologies)  reported on SuperWave electrolysis using an
ultrasonically (US)-excited cathode at 30 kHz – 60 W. They reported achieving a high
D/Pd storage rate of about 0.95 with low current density electrolysis on the order of 10
mA/cm2, and described their best data as being 32 W (COP = 3,000%), 40 days, excess
heat of 3.5 MJ, and 25 keV/atom-Pd(D). In addition, they reported the formation of sub-
micron pits on the electrode surface by US excitation.
Violante et al. (ENEA Frascati)  investigated the relationship between crystal planes
and excess heat, finding greatest efficiency in the (100) orientation, requiring low
current activity during the D charging stage at the start of electrolysis, so as not to
cause disintegration of the crystal structure.
In a session with Stanislaw Szpak, renowned as the inventor of co-deposition, Mosier-
Boss (SPAWAR Sys.)  provided a review of research results using co-deposition.
They reported that hot spots were observed that could not be explained by Joule
heating, with reproducible heat on a level of 0.3 W × 1.5 E5s = 45 kJ, using infrared
imaging of the cathode. In addition, X-ray emissions of 10 keV-MeV and production of
tritium were reported, as well as changes in microscopic surface morphology (dendritic
formations, fractals, …). They also reported the presence of Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Cr, Fe, Ni,
Zn, etc. in the cathode material after being used.
As described above, the nano-level surface structure is an issue, whether in the case of
co-deposition or US excitation. Marwan (Dr. Marwan Chemie)  proposed and
employed the use of a surfactant as a means for creating a surface nano-structure, and
introduced their electrochemical properties along with the results of SEM observation.
Such systems should be considered indicators of future trends.
Exothermic Research: High-Pressure Gas Loading
Biberian (U. d’Aix Marseille)  provided a review of gas loading, an approach for
which it is easy to set and control the temperature and pressure but which also readily
provides a clean surface and offers a variety of measuring means and applicability.
Celani (INFN-LNF)  reported producing excess power (EP) of 400 W/g-Pd by ultra-
fast loading (ca 10 s), using an original system in which 50 μm Pd thin wires coated with
14 mg of Pd nanoparticles are heated in 5 atm D2 at a current density of 50 kA/cm2.
Arata et al. (Osaka U.) has long claimed to have produced excess heat and 4He by
performing heavy-water electrolysis with a double-structure (DS) cathode with Pd
powder in a Pd chamber, and introducing a gas at high pressure. At the end of last year,
he published a simplified version of his experimental apparatus and results [Y. Arata et
al., J. High Temp. Soc., No. 1 (08)]. He separated the Pd nano-powder (Pd/ZrO2) from
the Pd chamber operating as a deuterium filter. Looking only at the portions of the Pd
powder where heat is emitted, the input is zero, making it possible to perform very pure
measurements. In this system, the presence of excess heat (the difference in heat
emitted when D2 is absorbed and when H2 is absorbed) and 4He remaining in the Pd
powder is clearly shown, and it was concluded that this had its origin in a nuclear
reaction. Attention was focused on this experiment when it was publicly demonstrated
in May, and it was reported at ICCF14 in a special session featuring Arata .
Results were also announced for PdZrNi+D2 and PdZrNi+H2 systems.
Because this is an extremely important phenomenon, many organizations are thought to be pursuing it. A group that includes the author (Kobe U.) started studying this and
announced experimental results that were preliminary but not negative . They
discussed whether a high D/Pd with PdDx (x ca 0,.85) was obtained at room
temperature and whether there was a difference in the amount of heat generated when
D was absorbed and the amount of heat generated when H was absorbed.
Tsuchiya (Tokyo National College of Technology) reported on attempts to detect the
occurrence of nuclear reactions in D/H stored Pd from changes in Raman spectra.
Positive results have yet to be achieved, but future experiments are promising because
they have the advantage of being able to render diagnoses without contact from the
Radiation Detection and Measurement of Transmutation Products in Electrolysis Research
Hagelstein  has summarized typical examples of radiation detection/nuclear reaction
product measurement in electrolysis research to date.
“T detection”: T.N. Claytor et al., ICCF7 (1998), M. McKubre, ICCF11 (2004)
“No Correlation between T and n Detection”: K. Wolf et al., J. Fusion E., 9 (90) 105
4He Detection: M. McKubre, ICCF11 (2004)
Correlation between 4He detection and excess heat observation: M. Apicella et al., ICCF12 (2005)
High-Energy (8-14 MeV) α particle measurement: A. Lipson et al., ICCF10 (2003)
Hagelstein said there is a correlation between the level of current density and output (heat/radiation). The operating regions of electrolysis can be divided into three regions, as shown below.
This is the result of measurements made with electrolysis devices, including the co-deposition type Phusor , and is referred to the “3-Region Hypothesis (3RH)” . However, there also exists a multiplicity of experimental results that do not typically fit into the above regions. In addition to thin-film permeation nuclear transmutation experiments, reports were presented on nuclear transmutation/nuclear reactions as below.
Stringham (First Gate Energies)  reported on ultrasonic bubble-driven fusion. Lipson (A.N. Frumkin Inst. of Phys. Chem.)  reported that 10-19 MeV alpha particles were observed at a fluence rate of 1E-2/s·cm2. Storms-Scanlan (Kiva Labs)  reported X-ray emission from deuterium glow discharge using a cathode of Pd + mixed oxides (CeO2, CaO, ZrO2, Al2O3). Oriani (U. Minnesota)  reported detecting high-energy particles (with CR-39) having 100 times the background during electrolysis. Mosier-Boss and Forsley (SPAWAR Inc., JWK Tech. Corp.) [20, 61] reported observing “triple tracks” using CR-39 in a co-deposition system. Mizuno (Hokkaido U.)  reported observing 1 W/cm2 order excess power and γ-ray emission.
Kornilova et al. (Moscow State U.)  had observed X-ray emissions in cavitation chambers several years ago. In this connection, this time, they identified the relevant physical mechanisms: X-ray emissions accompanying shock-wave excitation and de-excitation of atoms on the chamber wall surface. Although the conclusions were negative from the standpoint of CF/CMNS, the results are worth evaluating from the point of view that quantitative investigation has elucidated "abnormal" phenomena.
Thin-Film Permeation Nuclear Transmutation Experiments
Attention was given to a phenomenon discovered by Iwamura et al. (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – MHI) in which nuclear transmutation of
occurs after depositing Cs, Sr, Ba, or some other element on the top surface of a multilayer thin-film of CaO/Pd and then exposing the front of the thin-film to D2 gas, while performing vacuum pumping of the gas at the back surface. There was particular interest because of the regularity of this phenomenon. Follow-up experiments are being conducted all over the world. In the “Transmutations” sessions at ICCF14, there were presentations by representatives of MHI, Kobe University, and Toyota Central Research and Development Laboratories. In the “Challenges” sessions, speakers from Tohoku University presented their latest research findings.
Iwamura (MHI)  identified an unidentified peak appearing in XRF measurements as Ti, by using an energy scan XRF method. He conjectured that this results from the transmutation Ca > Ti. He also reported attempting to raise deuterium density by using a thermal gradient, with the aim of increasing the number of transmuted atoms.
Yamaguchi (Kobe U.)  constructed a sample system in which the flow of deuterium was reversed, so as to perform in situ non-destructive elemental analysis (PIXE) under gas permeation. At first glance, “positive” results were obtained for 2 out of 8 samples tested, but it is not necessarily the case that it was possible to reconfirm the occurrence of the transmutation Sr > Mo which was observed previously using XPS [Proc. ICCF12, p. 272]. Spectral peak identification was not sufficiently reliable, and more follow-up work is needed. Future challenges include increasing the purity of sample surfaces, raising the D permeation flow, and increasing the number of transmuted atoms.
Hioki (Toyota Central R&D Lab)  attempted the transmutation of Sr > Mo using a sample with Sr introduced by 65 keV Sr+ ion implantation into a CaO/Pd multilayer thin-film identical to the MHI sample. Flow rate decreases during D permeation because of the segregation of sulfur impurities to the surface. As a result of first removing oxides of sulfur from the surface by annealing in air, it became possible to observe transmutation to Mo. It should be noted that an oxide layer can be formed on the Pd surface by annealing in air, but it can undergo reduction because of the deuterium permeation. Using TOF-SIMS, 96X was observed at depths corresponding to the implantation distribution. Aside from Mo, X can also be Ca2O or GaAl. Further study is necessary, he said.
Toriyabe (Tohoku U.)  attempted to detect charged particles emitted from similar samples. He used a YAP(Ce) scintillator instead of a Si surface barrier detector so as to be employed in a high-pressure gas, and background signals were removed by waveform discrimination. Using samples provided by MHI and Yamada of Iwate University, differences with the background were observed in the 7.0-9.5 MeV region when D2 gas permeation was performed at a maximum flow rate of 0.5 sccm. When the count rate was converted to a reaction rate, the result was 6.8 E-3 f/s/cc.
Low-Energy Beam Target Nuclear Reaction Research
If the greatest interest from the standpoint of physics in the field condensed matter nuclear science is that excess heat or heat generation originates in nuclear reactions, then the question is, What physical mechanisms are operating to overcome a Coulomb barrier on the MeV scale? In solids, nuclear electric fields are shielded to some extent by the electrons. This effect has been studied for some time by the Kasagi group at Tohoku University, the Rolfs group (U. Bochum), as well as by the Czerski (University of Szczecin) - Huke (Technische Universitaet Berlin) group.
Considering that shielding of nuclear electric fields because of the presence of the surrounding electrons results in a drop by an amount of a potential US in the entire region on a Debye length scale, it is customary to substitute the energy (E ) of the incident particles on the reaction cross sections with the effective energy (E + US). Previously, the above-mentioned groups performed ion-implantation of deuterium using a metal target. Measuring the charged particles produced in the reaction d(d,p)t/d(d,n)3He emitted from the target after a deuterium (super) saturated state has been reached, the energy dependence of the reaction cross section was derived in an energy range of several-10 keV. The US is determined by comparing this energy dependence with the conventional cross section measured using an independent D2 gas target. Measurement data for UShave been collected for d(d,p)t/d(d,n)3He reactions in several 10 types of metals, but in over half of the metals, “anomalous” US as high as 300-800 eV was observed, and this is difficult to explain by conventional electronic shielding alone. There is reported to be a 40-fold “enhancement” at the cross sections.
Kasagi  expanded the object of research to 6Li(d,2α), 7Li(p,2α) at temperatures near the melting point. In the solid phase, US= 350 eV, but when a phase change occurred to the liquid phase, it was found that US = 850 eV. This was due to classical Debye shielding by ions, and it has been inferred that this ion effect is great even in the case of solids, and that the cause for the above “anomaly” is this ion effect.
Huke  showed indications that the d(d,p)t/d(d,n)3He branching ratios and angular distributions change below 10 keV, and he demonstrated the necessity of a clean vacuum.
In addition, Czerski  of the same group made a noteworthy presentation. When a differential pressure of 4 atm of D2 gas was applied to a Pd film with a thickness of 0.1 mm, a peak was obtained in the vicinity of 5 MeV, using a charged particle detector placed on the vacuum side, producing a spectrum with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 0.5 MeV. Although the possibility of contamination by radioactive substances cannot be denied, the resulting charged particle spectrum is statistically significant.
Czerski  also presents a “D-D threshold resonance” theory to explain the mechanism for the preference of d(d,4He) branching over d(d,n)3He and d(d,p)t branching. When a third D approaches two Ds forming D2 molecules at site in a Pd lattice filled with deuterium at a high density, a D + D2> 4He + D reaction occurs, and the resulting particles 4He and D are emitted at 8 MeV and 16 MeV, respectively. Czerski maintains that a resonance transition is possible, because of the approach of the D2 molecule orbitals and the 4He excitation level of 0+.
The theory sessions were on Thursday, featuring 11 oral presentations, including presentations by conference regulars Hagelstein (MIT) , Li (Tsinghua U.) , Kim (Purdue U.) , Chubb, S.R. (Infinite Energy Magazine) , Takahashi (Technova Inc.) . Several theoretical studies were also presented in the poster sessions. However, I think that in these sessions, there was insufficient quantitative discussion, the presentations went no further than hypothetical discussions, and many presentations did not exhibit much progress beyond the presentations made at the previous conference. Among the above-mentioned presentations, Takahashi  was about the only one to develop quantitative studies of time behavior of electron clouds in 4D/TSC.
Aside from the above presentation, the only other theory presentations from Japan were two papers presented by Kozima (Cold Fus. Res. Lab.)  . In the latter paper, Kozima explained the presence of unexpected elements in cable insulation as reported in recent years [Kumazawa, T., et al.; Electrical Engineering in Japan, 153, (05), 1], as well as the experimental results obtained by Mizuno , by using his original “neutron drop” absorption model.
As described above, although this field is still in a state of confusion, depending on what experimental methods are used, in the case of some experimental methods, the systematic accumulation of experimental facts is providing evidence for “anomalous” nuclear reactions, and we are beginning to gain a deeper understanding of condensed matter phenomena.
The attendance of only 3 Japanese students (as far as I know) is symbolic of the looming problem of the aging of our society. Solving this problem will serve to reliably develop this field as a science in a holistic manner.
14. Purdue Research Integrity Committee Fabricates Allegations
By Steven B. Krivit
[SERIES INTRODUCTION: This article is part of a series about the scientific work of five researchers* on a team led by Rusi Taleyarkhan, a professor in the Purdue School of Nuclear Engineering, and the politics surrounding their research. The team is one of several groups that, for several decades, has been investigating and attempting to achieve acoustic inertial confinement fusion. The team is the first to claim success. It calls its version of this research bubble fusion.
First place is not always an enviable place to be, and in this case, one member of the group, Taleyarkhan, (but not his collaborators) has been singled out for political attack by competitors from outside institutions as well as adversaries in his own university—in particular, the former head of the school, Lefteri Tsoukalas. According to sources in the School of Nuclear Engineering, Tsoukalas was asked to resign as head of the school, and he is in Greece on sabbatical. Taleyarkhan has since filed a civil complaint against Tsoukalas and others for a variety of claims, including damaging remarks by Tsoukalas and another Purdue professor that were published in Nature.
Besides removing Tsoukalas as the head of the school, the Purdue administration has, according to the group, deprived Taleyarkhan of his right to due process and punished him with charges the group calls "trumped up."
The Purdue administration and even Congress conducted several investigations of Taleyarkhan (no investigations have targeted the other members of his group). The first few probes came up empty-handed. But when pushed by Congress to reinvestigate, Purdue eventually came up with two charges that have - thus far - stuck. The charges, as reported in another article in this series, appear to have been fabricated.
Public court documents reveal a dysfunctional school of engineering at Purdue and suggest that Purdue administrators have attempted to make Taleyarkhan a scapegoat in order to avoid further public scrutiny. It looks like a cover-up. This is Bubblegate.
New Energy Times is publishing key aspects of our investigation into this matter as we learn them. The Bubblegate Portal provides easy access for the collection of our evolving investigation on Bubblegate.
* JaeSeon Cho (formerly with Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Robert C. Block (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Richard T. Lahey Jr. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Robert I. Nigmatulin (Russian Academy of Sciences) and Colin West (formerly with Oak Ridge National Laboratory)]
This report presents a brief overview of the most recent of the Purdue investigations, the one which found Taleyarkhan guilty of research misconduct on two counts.
Investigations into research misconduct at Purdue University are guided by "Purdue University, Office Of The President, Executive Memorandum No. C-22, September 6, 1991." C-22 Memorandum
An investigation, as described by C-22, has two major phases:
1. Inquiry is a process of information gathering and initial fact-finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of research misconduct warrants an investigation.
2. Investigation is the formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine whether research misconduct has occurred.
C-22 describes a specific process for handling allegations. It begins with the written presentation of allegations to the school dean. This precedes, and triggers, the official inquiry.
The processing of Taleyarkhan's C-22 allegations included four steps:
2. (Aug. 27, 2007) Of these 34 allegations, the Inquiry Committee dismissed 22. On Aug. 27, the Inquiry Committee recommended that an Investigation Committee form to consider whether any of the 12 remaining allegations constituted misconduct. Tabulation of Forwarded Allegations
3. (Nov. 1, 2007) The Investigation Committee was formed and charged with the task of evaluating the 12 allegations put forward by the Inquiry Committee. Investigation Committee Charge Letter
4. (April 18, 2008) The Investigation Committee reorganized, aggregated and renumbered the 12 allegations forwarded from the Inquiry Committee into nine allegations. The Investigation Committee concluded that Taleyarkhan was guilty of two of these nine allegations.
The 12 allegations of research misconduct forwarded from the Inquiry Committee (C2, C3, C5, C6, D2, D3, F2, G2, K1, L1, E1, E3) were dismissed. However, in the "reorganizing" process, the two allegations of which they found Taleyarkhan guilty (A.2 and B.2) were new. They first appear on Pages 4 and 5 in the Investigation Committee Report. Investigation Committee Report
Let's examine the first allegation Taleyarkhan was charged with, listed in the Investigation Committee Report as A.2.
This allegation says that Taleyarkhan caused Adam Butt's name to be added to Yiban Xu's paper in an effort to show independent replication. Allegation A.2 also states that Butt did not contribute significantly to the paper.
Here is how Purdue explained the origin of A.2. On Page 4 of the Investigation Committee Report, the committee stated, "For the sake of clarity, the Investigation Committee has aggregated and restated some of the allegations, while cross-referencing the underlying Inquiry Committee numeration of those allegations." Cross Reference of Allegations
If you go to Page 7 in the Investigation Committee Report, you will see how the Investigation Committee cross-referenced their new allegations A.1 and A.2 to the Inquiry Committee allegations C2 and D2.
If you look at Page 2 of Appendix B of the Inquiry Committee Report, you will see C2 and D2 as follows:
Allegation C2: "Taleyarkhan intentionally left his name off the publication in order to create a misleading impression of independent confirmation of sonofusion. Source: Suslick"
Allegation D2: "Taleyarkhan intentionally left his name off the publication in order to create a misleading impression of independent confirmation of sonofusion. Source: Suslick"
Kenneth Suslick is a chemist at the University of Illinois who has been working on a different method of acoustic inertial confinement fusion research. Suslick has been very public about his accusations (including fraud) against Taleyarkhan.
Then go to Page 12 in the Investigation Committee Report to see how the committee "aggregated and restated" Allegations C2 and D2 into A.2.
Allegation A.2: "Dr. Taleyarkhan with falsifying intent caused Mr. Adam Butt's name to be added to the author bylines of the papers even though Mr. Butt was not a significant contributor to the experiments, the data analyses, or the writing of the manuscripts."
Not only does A.2 not match C2 and D2, if you go back to Appendix B of the Inquiry Committee Report, there is no reference, in any form, to either part of allegation A.2. Allegation A.2 did not exist; it was fabricated.
Here is how A.2 was manufactured. The committee first took Suslick's allegation and amplified it to include the legal language "falsifying intent." Second, it changed Suslick's statement from "left his name off the publication" to "caused Mr. Adam Butt's name to be added," and third, it introduced an opinion, "not a significant contributor," about Butt's involvement with regard to the paper.
Now let's take a close look at the second new allegation against Taleyarkhan by the Investigation Committee, listed on Page 5 of the Investigation Committee Report and identified as B.2. This allegation says that Taleyarkhan, "with falsifying intent," stated in his 2006 Physical Review Letters paper that his 2002 Science paper had been "independently confirmed."
If you go to Page 15 in the Investigation Committee Report, you will see how the committee cross-referenced itsnew allegation B.2 to the Inquiry Committee allegations C3, C5, D3 and L1.
If you look at Page 2 of Appendix B of the Inquiry Committee Report, you will see C3, C5 and D3 as follows:
Allegation C3: "Taleyarkhan managed the generation of the research reported in the Nuclear Engineering and Design paper. Source: Tsoukalas"
Allegation C5: "(Nuclear Engineering and Design paper) Taleyarkhan manipulated the press characterization of the Xu research to create a misleading appearance of independent supervision by Tsoukalas. Source: Tsoukalas"
Allegation D3: "(International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics paper) Taleyarkhan manipulated the press characterization of the Xu research to create a misleading appearance of independent supervision by Tsoukalas. Source: Tsoukalas"
If you look at Page 3 of Appendix B of the Inquiry Committee Report, you will see L1 as follows:
Allegation L1: "Taleyarkhan falsely cited the Xu publications as an independent confirmation of sonofusion. Source: Suslick."
Then go to Page 12 in the Investigation Committee Report to see how the committee "aggregated and restated" Allegations C3, C5, D3 and L1 into B.2.
Allegation B.2: "Dr. Taleyarkhan with falsifying intent stated in the opening paragraph of his paper in Physical Review Letters96:034301 (2006) that "these observations [referring to Science295:1868 (2002)] have now been independently confirmed."
Again we have a case of manipulation. As with allegation A.2, new language is introduced - incriminating legal language - "falsifying intent." Also, Inquiry Committee allegations C5 and D3 have been reworded significantly from referring to "press characterization" to "opening paragraph of his paper in Physical Review Letters."
Investigation Committee allegation B.2 doesn't look anything like Inquiry Committee allegation C3, C5, D3 and L1. That's because it didn't come from them. It came from Inquiry Committee allegation F3.
Allegation F3: "Publication: R. P. Taleyarkhan et al., Nuclear Emissions During Self-Nucleated Acoustic Cavitation, Physical Review Letters 96, 034301 (2006). In January 2006, after spectrum analysis was conducted allegedly proving his use of 252Cf, Taleyarkhan published fabricated and/or false scientific statements in his PRL introduction. "Previously, we have provided evidence [1(a), 2-4] for 2.45 MeV neutron emission and tritium production during external neutron-seeded cavitation experiments with chilled deuterated acetone, and these observations have now been independently confirmed .” Taleyarkhan intentionally left his name off of the Xu publications in order to create a misleading impression of independent confirmation of sonofusion. Source: Suslick; ONR; Tsoukalas"
Note that the specific source of the Office of Naval Research allegations is not identified. ONR permits allegations from anonymous sources, not necessarily from within ONR, though ONR's process does not provide the accused the right to know the identity of such sources.
Allegation F3 was dismissed by the Inquiry Committee and thus not submitted to the Investigation Committee, but somehow it reappeared in the Investigation Committee Report. Not only did it reappear, but it also was erroneously attributed to C3, C5, D3 and L1 instead of to F3.
The Investigation Committee, which has charged Taleyarkhan with "falsifying intent," couldn't attribute B.2 to its real source, F3; otherwise, it would have been obvious that the Inquiry Committee had dismissed it.
The focus of this article has been only the manipulation of the allegations from the Inquiry Committee to the Investigation Committee. Although the allegations seem invalid from a procedural point of view, a future article will investigate directly the facts that relate to allegations A.2 and B.2.
Based on the information obtained from the inquiry and investigation committee documents, the two counts of research misconduct in the "April 18, 2008 Purdue University Final Report of C-22 Investigation Committee" have been fabricated by the Investigation Committee or a person or people working with the committee. Because this violates Taleyarkhan's right to due process, this fact alone invalidates them.
New Energy Times left phone messages for Purdue professor Mark A. Hermodson, chairman of the C-22 Investigation Committee, and sent e-mails to Hermodson and France A. Córdova, Purdue president.
Mark A. Hermodson
France A. Córdova
New Energy Times also sent copies to the Purdue Board of Trustees, Holly Adams of the Office of Naval Research, Daniel Kulp of the American Physical Society and other journalists who have been following the Purdue story.
The e-mail informed Hermodson and Córdova that, according to our investigation, Purdue, under their direction and authority, respectively, fabricated two allegations, A.2 and B.2, against Rusi Taleyarkhan.
New Energy Times requested comments from Hermodson and Córdova and offered to provide them with a draft of this article and the underlying data we obtained in this investigation.
New Energy Times also spoke with Jenny Jones in Córdova's office this morning to alert her of the e-mail. We also faxed the request for comment immediately after the phone call with Jones.
As we go to press, Hermodson and Córdova have failed to respond.
Other members of the C-22 investigation committee are Mary Ellen Bock of Purdue, Charles Kennel of the University of California, San Diego, James Kolata of the University of Notre Dame, Don Miller of Ohio State University and John Schiffer of Argonne National Laboratory.
The committee received administrative support from Peter E. Dunn, Purdue's research integrity officer, and counsel from William Kealey, of the law firm Stuart and Branigin LLP.
15. Judge Asks Taleyarkhan for Evidence, Taleyarkhan Delivers
By Steven B. Krivit
On May 10, New Energy Times reported that, on March 7, Taleyarkhan filed a legal complaint against two Purdue colleagues, Lefteri Tsoukalas and Tatjana Jevremovic. The two had made accusations to the press against Taleyarkhan.
The legal complaint states, among other things, that false statements were made by the defendants and reported by Eugenie Samuel Reich of Nature; Kenneth Chang of The New York Times is also mentioned, though neither the reporters nor their outlets are named as defendants. However, the inclusion of the phrase "and DOES 1-50" after Tsoukalas' and Jevremovic's names indicates that other defendants may be named later.
The "Nature of This Action" section states, "This is a conspiracy involving certain individuals who made public statements to a worldwide magazine, Nature Magazine, through means that have falsely and maliciously defamed Taleyarkhan and have sought to harass, discriminate and intimidate Taleyarkhan on numerous occasions for the purpose of trying him and important scientific research, all with claims that have no merit."
According to John Lewis, attorney for Taleyarkhan, Judge Don Johnson, in Tippecanoe County (Indiana) Superior Court, heard motions on Sept. 25 to dismiss the case by attorneys for Tsoukalas and Jevremovic. The judge did not rule on the motions but wanted supporting documentation. He thought that there was enough to move forward. Johnson asked Taleyarkhan to produce evidence that would support his claims in the complaint.
Among other information, it contains affidavits from Jere Jenkins, director of radiation laboratories at Purdue, Darla Mize, administrative assistant to the head of the school of nuclear engineering, and Erica Timmerman, administrative assistant for student services in the school of nuclear engineering. Included in the Oct. 9 filing is the tabulation of forwarded allegations from the Aug. 27, 2007, Purdue C-22 Inquiry Committee report. (Original scan) (Cleaner version)
"At the request of Dr. Tsoukalas and Dr. Jevremovic," Lewis wrote," the court requested supporting information for the accusations from Dr. Taleyarkhan. He has complied with the court's request, though he was initially reluctant to do so for fear of retribution against the individuals who have come forward to speak in his defense. Taleyarkhan is considering an action against Purdue University (or the decision makers responsible for Taleyarkhan's treatment by the university); however, he must first pursue the matter with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission."
16. Discussing the 24 MeV Belief with Peter Hagelstein
(an e-mail exchange)
Steven B. Krivit: In your ICCF-14 talk, you said, "Is there a correlation of heat and helium with a Q value of 24 MeV? The significance of the 24 MeV is the mass difference between two deuterons and helium-4. At this point, I would like to believe it, I'm inclined to believe it."
My question is, Why would you like to believe this? Or stated another way, why is it important, from your perspective, that the Q=24?
Peter Hagelstein: If the Q value is 24 MeV per He-4 atom, then it strongly implicates reaction mechanisms that start with two deuterons and end up with He-4.
If the Q value is some other number, then it would eliminate reaction mechanisms that start out with two deuterons and end up with He-4.
Experiment, in this case, gives guidance for theory.
SK: OK, I think I understand. This is important because, if it's not 24 MeV, then it would eliminate, among others, your proposed mechanism. That's why you hope it is 24 MeV, right?
PH: Back up a bit.
When the experimentalists first presented the results, the interpretation first presented was in terms of the mass difference between 2 deuterons and He-4.
The best measurements that have been reported to date look like those which match the 24 MeV mass difference.
Experiments determine what theorists should focus on. Years ago, I began to focus on mechanisms involving two deuterons going to He-4 in response to these experiments (I had worked on other mechanisms earlier). If the Q-value is not 24 MeV, then I and everyone else who has been working on reaction mechanisms involving deuterium going to He-4 will have to go to other mechanisms.
However, when I said in my talk that "I would like to believe," what that meant in particular was that the experimentalists had made a pretty good case for Q=24 MeV (specifically, some of the SRI and ENEA experiments) but that the case was not very strong. More measurements are needed to be sure or to disprove.
SK: You say the best measurements look like a match to the 24 MeV mass difference.
Are these the measurements to which you are referring?
(SRI International) 31, 38.34, 34.45, 22.85
(U.S. Navy - China Lake) 39, 25, 44, 88, 83, 52, 62
(ENEA Frascati) 103, 88, 124, 103, 103
Also, the "best measurements"—McKubre's, as you note—are 13 years old. Miles’ is 14 years old. De Ninno's took place in the late 1990s and completed six years ago. I've not seen anybody, including McKubre, attempting to do further correlation studies. Am I unaware of more current heat-helium correlation work?
PH: Experiments seem to show that He-4 appears in the gas when excess heat is made. However, there is an issue. If the helium is produced in the metal deuteride, then it has to make its way to the surface in order to go into the gas phase. But He-4 diffuses very slowly in the metal deuteride. So there is the possibility that some of the He-4 makes it into the gas and that some of it stays inside the metal deuteride.
We first saw this effect at one of the early ICCF conferences when Daniele Gozzi (University of Rome) presented some astonishing data which showed time-resolved He-4 signals in the gas that could be correlated with excess power signals. However, the amount of He-4 in the bursts did not always correlate with the energy in the bursts with a Q value of 24 MeV. In one case, the amount of He-4 was what you would expect for Q = 24 MeV, but in other bursts, there was less He-4. The amount of He-4 observed in some cases was about half what would be expected with Q=24 MeV, and in one case it was about 10 percent.
Gozzi proposed that only a part of the He-4 was making it to the gas stream. The idea was that the excess heat was produced near the surface but at different distances from the surface in different bursts, so that more or less of the He-4 would make it to the surface.
In the SRI International experiments where He-4 was observed from case cells, [Michael McKubre of SRI] thought that once again not all of the He-4 makes it to the surface. McKubre used to assume that about 60 percent to 70 percent would make it into the gas in a given experiment. If so, then the Q value from the Case experiments would need to be reduced by that much. So 23.85 MeV would look like 39.75 MeV if only 60 percent of the He-4 made it into the gas, and 34.07 MeV if 70 percent made it into the gas. Hence, if this is taken into account, then the SRI case experiments should be considered consistent with a 24 MeV Q value.
In one experiment at SRI, a serious effort was made to flush out all of the He-4 after an excess heat event. We discussed this in "New Physical Effects In Metal Deuterides," which we presented to the Department of Energy. The initial release of He-4 into the gas was consistent with 62 percent. After cycling the cathode (running D2 out, then in, then out a number of times), the total amount was 104 percent of what we would expect for a 24 MeV Q value. This is the only time that such an effort was made to recover all of the He-4.
The recent ENEA experiments that I referred to at ICCF14 were those reported at ICCF12 by Vittorio Violante's team at ENEA (see page 131 of the ICCF-14 proceedings). There are three results reported in which the He-4 measured was between about 75 percent and 100 percent of that expected with a Q-value of 24 MeV. This strongly supports the SRI result and helium retention hypothesis.
SK: I checked the Violante reference, and according to my calculations, the values he obtained were 18, 14 and 21 MeV per 4He atom. Please advise if these are not correct.
PH: Your numbers cannot be correct.
If there were exactly the right amount of He-4, then Violante would see 24 MeV per He-4. But if there were half as much He-4 (since the other half is still in the cathode), and if one did not know about the retention, then one might conclude that there was 48 MeV per He-4. If the Q value was exactly 24 MeV, and if there was any retention at all, then the inferred Q value would have to be higher than 24 MeV.
SK: Please tell me, What are the Q values represented by the three data points?
PH: Vittorio and his team took the data, so it would be appropriate for Vittorio to interpret his data for you and for everyone else.
SK: You are basing the key foundation of your theoretical explorations on, among other work, that of Violante's experiment. I understand that, at times in science, assumptions are required. But what does the available data say about the Q value, as best as science has been able, so far, to measure it? I would expect you to know this Q value as well as you know your own name. As the graph and the captions to which you directed me show, there are three data points that come close to the "expected value." I double-checked my read of this graph. In terms of percentages, I calculate the three values at 72 percent, 62 percent and 87 percent of 24MeV.
Many people in this field have been under the impression that the Q from the Fleischmann-Pons Pd/D experiment is 24 MeV, unconditionally. But this is not fact; as you said, it is belief. The fact is that half a dozen experiments have shown a Q within a factor of two of 24 MeV. Many people within the field, even the leaders of the most recent conference, have stated publicly that the Q is 24 MeV, unconditionally.
Considering the remaining and largely undeserved disrespect that mainstream science has for this field and the jokes about it being a bunch of "true believers," wouldn't it be in everyone's best interest to be more rigorous about the representation of these facts?
For example: The Q in Pd/D experiments is consistent with the 24 MeV that occurs in a D+D > 4He fusion process, assuming a) the precision of the reported error bars, b) the assumption of retained helium and c) the assumption that no other energetic reactions are occurring in the system.
PH: I suggest that you contact Violante and his group to obtain an interpretation of data which they have taken and which they have published.
I will note that, on page 131 of the ICCF12 proceedings, the expected values assuming Q=24 MeV are plotted as gray circles, which are different for the three experiments. For the laser-3 experiment, the error bar for the experiment that appears on the graph looks like it sits pretty much on top of the gray circle for the expected value.
As a result, I do not understand the values that you have given.
SK: Peter, you wrote to me that, "at one of the early ICCF conferences, ... Gozzi proposed that only a part of the He-4 was making it to the gas stream.”
You said, “The idea was that the excess heat was produced near the surface but at different distances from the surface in different bursts, so that more or less of the He-4 would make it to the surface."
I have been aware that McKubre has been proposing ("New Physical Effects In Metal Deuterides") that only a part of the He-4 is making it to the gas stream and that the remaining He-4 is being retained in the bulk, but I had not been aware that Gozzi was proposing this, also.
I responded to your comment by contacting Danielle Gozzi. He said your "statement is wrong."
"Since He-4 was found only in the gas phase," Gozzi wrote, "we are obliged to state that it was generated on the surface or, maybe, in the layers just below the surface."
Gozzi also provided his Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry paper and said that your comment "at different distances from the surface" must be interpreted in the context of the highlighted portions of his paper.
In his paper, Gozzi also states that he melted the cathode and found no He-4 in the material at the detection limit.
PH: I have attached a pdf file of the conference proceedings paper from Gozzi's group, which has some figures and some discussion. ... I did not find an explicit discussion of helium retention in the conference proceeding or in the journal article. Either Gozzi noted the possibility of helium retention in his talk, or else he didn't. I thought that he did.
This letter is in response to your July 10 editorial "Cold Fusion—The Value of Keeping an Open Mind."
In our experiments at ENEA Frascati, we measured a rate, that is, a number of helium atoms per second (0.6 x 10^11.) We assumed an energy of 23.8 MeV per reaction and thus we calculated power of 230 mW.
In nuclear physics, it is normal practice to estimate the energy produced in this way; researchers count the number of reactions by counting the produced particles and then multiply that number by the known Q (energy) released by each reaction, and in our case, 23.8 MeV.
Independently, by way of calorimetry, we measured much lower excess power: 20-30 mW. The reason for the difference is because most of the energy escapes from the water of the cell as infrared radiation and goes to heat the metal of the cell walls. (We were only able to measure the temperature of the water.)
How much energy is dissipated in this way depends on the temperature reached by the cathode during the reaction, but we did not know this value. This is why the calorimetry response depends on the way the heat is released. The equilibrium state is or is not reached depending on the speed of the process because every calorimeter has a proper time constant. The time constant is necessary to get to equilibrium, which further depends on the thermal conditions.
In case the heat is emitted in a very short time, like a burst, it is possible that the calorimeter has a latency and it is not able to get all the heat which, in this case, escapes from the calorimeter and goes to heat something else.
It is well known that the heat is transmitted not only by conduction (and this is the only part of heat that conventional calorimetry is able to get,) but also by convection (in case of gases) and by irradiation. This last term depends on the 4th power of the temperature; that means that the higher the temperature, the larger is the amount of heat transmitted in this channel.
Since we are dealing with nuclear reactions it is very natural to suspect that the heat is produced in “hot spots” (such as those we observed in our melted cathode.) In such spots, the temperature can reach more than 1700 °C and most of the heat escapes in the form of infrared radiation. This is the reason why we wrote in our paper that our calorimetry is underestimated. By the way, this may be true also for data from other authors.
The solution is to run the “isoperibolic” calorimetry which measures the time constant: if the time constant changes it means that an extra power has been added to the system. This is the only known calorimetric method to face non equilibrium phenomena.
Some time ago, [someone in this field] said that we had withdrawn our results because we admitted that we were not able to do calorimetry. This is false; we have never withdrawn the results. We just added some obvious, from the perspective of a physicist, considerations. If we had had the opportunity to continue our research, we would have improved the calorimetry adding both the infrared measurement of the temperature and a more reliable calorimetric technique.
Unfortunately we were not allowed to continue our LENR research, thus the results we presented in Beijing in 2002 and then in our ENEA internal report RT41, and now published in the American Chemical Society book, represent our best, to date, contribution to a difficult field of physics which deserves much more effort.
This letter is in response to the New Energy Times editorial “Cold Fusion — The Value of Keeping an Open Mind” in Issue #29.
Your comments regarding helium-4 ash were properly labeled an editorial (opinion); thus, I did not see any urgent need to respond. However, I agree with what Mike McKubre and Ed Storms have stated on this issue in the CMNS list.
Our initial goal at the Navy China Lake laboratory was not to determine the MeV per He-4 produced, because the experimental errors in measuring the excess power and in measuring the amount of helium produced would combine to produce large errors in the numerical value for MeV per He-4, as reported by New Energy Times. Also, the unmeasured retention of He-4 in the palladium would further compromise this number and skew it to high values, as found.
Our basic goal at China Lake was to determine whether the excess power and helium-4 were correlated. The result was that all 12 experiments that gave no excess power produced no excess helium-4 (100 percent).
Of the 21 experiments that produced excess power, 18 produced measurable excess helium-4 (86 percent). Two results from a Pd-Ce cathode gave excess power but no excess helium. Apparently, the helium remains in the cathode for Pd-Ce. Similar results for Pd-Ce were found at SRI International by Benjamin Bush.
Nevertheless, obtaining the correct excess power per helium-4 correlation in 30 of 33 experiments corresponds to a very small probability (one in 750,000) that these China Lake results were due to random errors. Furthermore, the amount of helium-4 produced was always in the appropriate range that we expect for deuterium-deuterium fusion.
We also monitored tritium and radiation, including neutrons, at China Lake, but we never measured amounts that could come close to explaining the excess power or excess heat. My conclusion remains that the basic Fleischmann-Pons experiment using Pd/D2O + LiOD produces helium-4 as the major product (ash).
This letter is in response to the New Energy Times editorial “Cold Fusion — The Value of Keeping an Open Mind” in Issue #29. Although I have a technical nugget not so much of disagreement but of clarification, I wholeheartedly agree with the appropriateness and timeliness of your title.
All of us in all fields should remain open to new possibilities, particularly in the condensed matter nuclear science field that sprang up as a new idea. Your invocation of Gene Mallove’s probably final paper in the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion proceedings was also apt and timely. I enjoyed going back and looking at Gene’s words again and wondering what he might have to say today.
My problem is mostly with the word “myth,” meaning misconception or false notion, to describe the heat to helium-4 quantitative correlation.
As you referenced in the editorial, the Melvin Miles (Navy, China Lake) and Benjamin Bush (University of Texas) statistical analysis is unassailable. In their experiments, when excess heat was present in the Pd/D2O system, so was 4He. The amount measured is less, by a factor of 2, than the value I would expect for 24 MeV per 4He, as shown in your table.
My proposed explanation is that not all of the 4He is presented immediately in the gas phase for analysis. When we tested this idea by deliberately exercising the palladium lattice to release loosely bound surface or near-surface 4He, we obtained a mass balance for 24 MeV per 4He, well within the experimental error, thus affirming this hypothesis.
So I don’t think that the heat to 4He correlation is a “myth.” The quantitative correlation has been demonstrated in a number of laboratories around the world - in the U.S., Italy and Japan—with quantification entirely reconciled to the hypothesis of retarded or lost 4He.
A value of 4He measured too large would be much more of a problem because it could suggest the presence of a helium leak. The quality of the experimental methods used so far is sound and entirely adequate to support the claims made. But the quantity of results is insufficient for the heat to 4He correlation to rise even to the level of a paradigm, which Gene would rightly caution us about accepting on faith.
I read your latest issue of New Energy Times. Good job. You have put together much interesting information. I have a few comments on your article about helium production.
When evaluating the energy per He, you need to take into account that all the He produced at the cathode is not released into the gas where the He is detected. As a result, the calculated value will always be greater than the theoretical 24 MeV per He value. You should read the chapter on this subject in my book where I explain this problem and show how the data need to be interpreted. Although the process is not "normal" fusion, the energy resulting from the reaction is very close to that resulting from a fusion reaction. No other known reaction produces helium with that much energy.
Los Alamos, New Mexico
[Editor's Note: Don't forget this process: , which produces two helium-4 atoms as its principal products. Taking into account the error bars with the experimental observations of helium-4, as well as the uncertainty as to whether additional nuclear processes are taking place, this could easily explain the production of helium-4 and the substantial energy seen in low-energy nuclear reaction experiments.]
This letter is in response to the New Energy Times editorial “Cold Fusion — The Value of Keeping an Open Mind” in Issue #29.
The evidence shows that, in Pd-D systems, helium is produced when energy is produced and that, under some experimental conditions, the ratio of energy to helium is consistent with DD fusion. It does not rule out other interpretations. Yuri Bazhutov’s erzion theory predicts co-generation of energy and helium. Polyneutron theory predicts that heavily loaded palladium produces energy and helium in the observed ratio. (The polyneutron analysis can be found at http://www.iscmns.org/catania07/program.htm, the 10:30 Sunday 14 October paper, page 17.)
In my opinion, our field of science has been crippled by wide acceptance of the belief that deuterium fusion of some sort is responsible for energy generation and by rejection of alternative mechanisms. Progress is stunted when we reject a mechanism, because we then fail to undertake the experiments it suggests.
22. Discussing the 24 MeV Belief with Melvin Miles
Steven B. Krivit: You mentioned that you disagreed with something in my editorial, but you didn't state it.
Melvin Miles: I thought that your conclusion was that helium-4 was not the main product of the Fleischmann-Pons heavy-water experiment.
SK: I don't think that was my conclusion.
MM: That was the impression I had. Now after re-reading it, my impression is that you don't think anybody has conclusively shown that it's the D+D reaction going to 4He + 24 MeV. Within experimental error, you might be correct on that. I think McKubre's data was pretty close. I wouldn't expect it to be any closer than that.
SK: After re-reading it, is there now anything in my editorial that gives you the impression that I don't think that the helium-4 is the dominant byproduct?
MM: On reading it again, no. I think you are questioning what the reaction mechanism is.
SK: Yes, exactly. I'm asking the question, Is it 23.8 or 22 or 25 or 16 MeV?
MM: I think nature tries to keep things as simple as possible. The simplest reaction that I can think of to get helium-4 is D+D fusion. If it's anything other than that, you're asking more of nature, getting into a more complicated process. Maybe it goes through beryllium-8, but those are a lot higher-energy reactions.
SK: Before we start speculating on other mechanisms, is there anything else you disagree with in my editorial?
MM: Not that I can think of right now. I don't know if you're going to require experiments to show exactly 24 MeV. Because of the experimental error that will always be present, I don't know if that will ever happen. Also, you never know if you get all the helium out of the palladium, for example.
SK: The reason I am asking people, asking you, to have an open mind is other proposed mechanisms have been published that do seem to offer an explanation for the helium-4, not as a fusion process but as mathematical explanations for the evolution of heat and helium-4. The point is that at least one of these alternative models suggests that the energy release per helium-4 is not 24 but 16 MeV.
MM: Well, even if it were 16 MeV, it would still have to be a nuclear process.
SK: Exactly. It would still have to be a nuclear process. It would still confirm that it is a powerful chemically initiated reaction. It would still confirm that there is a new source of energy, that it's producing helium-4, and that it's "green." The only thing it would disconfirm is if it was a fusion process. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons did consider such an alternate hypothesis, as you know. They also proposed in their first paper a "hitherto unknown nuclear process."
MM: Well, I knew Fleischmann quite well, I talked with him a lot and he was convinced that it was helium-4.
SK: That's not what I'm saying. I'm not questioning if the dominant product might not be helium-4. I'm questioning if it is being created by a fusion process. There are other types of processes that produce helium-4 besides fusion.
MM: You mean a fission process?
SK: No, not a fission process and not a fusion process.
MM: Well, I don't know what to think because I don't know what else there is to produce that amount of energy. In a nuclear reaction, you need either fusion or fission to get that kind of energy. At least I'm not aware of anything else.
SK: Have you ever heard of neutron-catalyzed reactions?
MM: I have not studied it. I might have heard about it, but I don't know a whole lot about it.
SK: There's a whole group of researchers in the LENR field that you don't hear too much about.
MM: Is this Allan Widom and Lewis Larsen?
SK: They are one of the groups, and there are a number of other people who are talking or who have talked about neutron-catalyzed reactions—for example, Hideo Kozima, John Fisher, Stan Szpak, Yasuhiro Iwamura, Tadahiko Mizuno, perhaps others.
MM: Stan Szpak?
SK: Yes, at least six groups that I know of have been talking about neutron-catalyzed reactions.
MM: But nobody has been able to measure neutrons.
SK: Have you talked to Pamela Mosier-Boss lately?
MM: Not since the conference. Neutrons have been very difficult to detect in these experiments.
SK: Yes, exactly. They have been. As I understand it, from talking with some of the researchers, they are not neutrons with high flux. They are not the same type of neutrons you'd expect to see from a D-D thermonuclear fusion reaction. The underlying processes may be undetectable outside a very close range to the cell. That's why the SPAWAR work is unique; they have put detectors very close to the reaction environment. As far as I can tell, their evidence of proton recoil from neutron emission [front and back side spatial correlation] has not been explained by any conventional process.
MM: You're talking about the CR-39?
SK: Yes. I know that some people who have been saying "there's no neutrons" for many years might have trouble considering this, but you've got the SRI replication of the SPAWAR experiment to consider. They had three of 10 experiments that showed signs of neutrons. One of these showed a 14-hour burst that was 14 times over background from a detector that had worked reliably for SRI for many years. On top of that, they showed, at the onset of this burst, a precise temporal correlation with a drop in resistance, which suggested a heating effect.
When I first became interested in this field, in my ignorance, I thought that it seemed simple enough: Two plus two equals four, so two deuterons can make a helium-4. Yes, of course, it's simple and obvious. Except for those pesky miracles that Huizenga was talking about. I don't know a single person outside of the CMNS field who gives any serious consideration to the fusion theories that the people in this field have been talking about. Maybe it's not only because some of the skeptics are being unscientific in their critique. Maybe it would be useful for people in this field to have an open mind about alternative models.
MM: When we first came out with helium-4, Preparata made a trip from Italy to our lab in China Lake. He was so excited about it because his theory previously predicted the helium-4 based on quantum electrodynamics (QED), and that's the theory that Fleischmann liked. He and Fleischmann became very close because they both agreed that was the correct foundation for a model that would explain the helium-4 production. In Chapter 8 of his book, Preparata presents his case for cold fusion and production of helium-4.
The second person that I didn't know beforehand, who contacted me and was quite excited, was Scott Chubb because he also had published a theory that predicted helium-4 in the outgas. Both he and Preparata predicted correctly that we would find helium-4 in the outgas. They were both excited that I verified that. I don't know who's right and who's wrong on theories, but I give them both credit for having a theory that predicted what we found experimentally.
SK: Wow, that's awesome. So they predicted the helium-4 before it was observed?
MM: Yes, before anybody measured that effect. They're the only two that I knew of who predicted, before anybody made any measurements, that helium-4 would be the dominant product.
SK: That's impressive. I didn't know that piece of history.
MM: Schwinger was also interested in QED. The reason I started looking for helium is that Schwinger came out very early. He had this theory, and he thought it was a reaction of a deuteron plus a proton going to helium-3. So we went looking for helium-3. We didn't find it, but we found helium-4. I was trying to prove that Schwinger was right.
SK: To go a step further, they were able to predict it. Were they also able to explain the mechanism satisfactorily with complete mathematics?
MM: Maybe not mainstream scientists, but there were a lot of other people in Preparata's group that worked on it and supported it. I know that Fleischmann was quite a fan of Preparata because of his theory.
SK: Well, I can't judge theories directly.
MM: I've had quantum mechanics, and I sort of understand what they're doing with the wave functions and so on, but I can't decide who's right and who's wrong.
SK: Me neither. All I'm trying to do is to encourage people to keep an open mind. If you have empirical data that shows energy from helium-4 in a range of energy from 12 to 44 MeV, doesn't that mean any theory that predicts values within that range could be right?
MM: Yeah, the values are not measured accurately enough to limit it to one reaction. For another reason, there can also be other reactions going on. We don't know if that's the only reaction going on. Other reactions that might be taking place can also affect that value—for example, the production of tritium. And there are other possible reactions that could be going on simultaneously, so I don't know if you could ever measure exactly the 23.8 MeV.
SK: Yes, and if you take into account the other reactions, tritium, transmutation, if there are other processes going on in addition to the helium-4 reaction, then that's going to throw off—let's just say for an example you happen to nail the energy precisely at 23.77 MeV in one experiment—but if there are other processes and other ash, then the final energy balance is not going to turn out to be 23.77 MeV per helium-4. It will turn out to be less because the denominator will be larger.
MM: This goes back to physical chemistry and ordinary chemical reaction kinetics. There's a saying that you can never prove that a mechanism is correct, even a simple chemical reaction. You can propose a mechanism, but you can never absolutely prove that's correct.
SK: That's pretty intense.
MM: Right. You can come up with some experiments which can show that a mechanism is wrong, but you can never propose a mechanism and prove that it is the correct mechanism. That pertains to chemical reactions.
SK: What about nuclear reactions?
MM: I'm less familiar with that, but I suspect that's also the case. If you're trying to come up with a mechanism that fits the experimental data, you can't prove that mechanism is the correct and only mechanism.
SK: That gets to the heart of my last editorial. You can't prove the mechanism, that it's fusion, fission, apples, oranges or bananas. We don't know what the mechanism is. We do know what the reaction inputs and the products are and what the energies are in general, but the actual mechanism, no, we don't know that.
MM: Because we haven't found neutrons and tritium equal to the heat, I think we can safely say that they are not the dominant reactions. Normal fusion processes produce tritium and a proton, and there's another fusion pathway that produces helium-3 and a neutron. We can say those are obviously not the main reactions in cold fusion. But if we say the D+D > helium4 + 24 MeV is the only possible reaction, we can't say that, either. It's never going to be possible to prove only one mechanism.
Julian Brown, who you quote in your presentation, should have considered a much broader spectrum of experimental data than the heat to 4He ratio if his goal was to conclude that LENR is real.
Clearly, you make a good point, Steven, and emphasize a perspective that most researchers do not seem to consider often enough (because they are focused on their own work).
However, if you assume that people believe that what is happening is exclusively D+D > 4He + 23.8 MeV (lattice), you should reconsider. Theoretical and experimental physicists expect to see the branching ratio that is illustrated in your slides.
Julian Schwinger, early on, suggested that the thermonuclear branching ratio may be determined by the chemical environment in which the nuclear event occurs, that the very rare third branch may be the dominant branch with a D+D nuclear reaction occurring in a palladium lattice, and that tritium and neutrons may be found only rarely, as the data support. The heat to 4He ratio measurements may differ to some extent because the experiments are different, even if they are all palladium cathode with heavy water.
You are postulating a distinction between fusion and LENR that gets a little muddy. Perhaps you need to generate a new term to describe reactions whose reality you doubt.
I'm not sure about terminology, but isn't a neutron combining with another atomic particle a nuclear fusion? I think this point must be clarified in the community.
The branching ratio may be determined by environment, and the environments (as well as potential reactants) for different experiments under the broad moniker of “cold fusion” may be responsible for the variety of nuclear products detected. There are big problems with making credible measurements of 4He because of atmospheric concentrations of this isotope. Heat and 4He measurements will not soon convince arch-skeptics because glibly saying that an error is possible is so easy.
Eugene Mallove told me that he was initially convinced by the detection of tritium, because it is so extremely rare in the atmosphere. It was replicated in a large number of well-executed experiments in highly prestigious laboratories using different methods. Tritium detection is not a matter of any conjecture or doubt when performed and reviewed by many scientists at national laboratories, as has been the case.
Charles Beaudette argues most persuasively that the heat measurements cannot be disregarded, either; especially for excess amounts that are large and performed by so many diverse procedures and groups, excess heat is credible.
Even Tom Stolper, who declares the evidence for nuclear reactions to support the claims of LENR to be completely bogus, recognizes that the tritium evidence is irrefutable. The fact that he can recognize tritium yet reject a nuclear explanation for LENR data is rather bizarre and something that he glosses over in his book “Genius Inventor” (at least the part I've read).
I contend that the gamma rays and the neutrons and protons are not "missing." They are, in fact, detected, albeit at very low levels and intermittently. The CR-39 data strongly support the idea that particle emission is occurring under conditions of electrolysis experiments. The emphasis should not be on declaring the heat to 4He ratio to be overstated or wrong but on pointing out, as Schwinger did, that the branching ratio changes.
The big problem has always been, How can 23.8 MeV be absorbed by the lattice? The Mossbauer effect was proposed as an analog by Schwinger, although he realized that the Mossbauer effect was seen only for much lower energy transfer. Schwinger realized that he was not proposing an explanation, only proposing an avenue for exploration, which has been followed by Hagelstein and Chubb, among others.
Didn't Yasuhiro Iwamura's unnatural isotopic abundance result from a seeding of unnatural isotopic abundance in the reactant (target) elements? In other words, the unnatural isotopic ratio was preserved through the transmutation, right? It is certainly the best evidence to date for high-Z transmutation, but confirmations have not been so supportive, which should not be so surprising for such an elaborate experiment. There are always more ways to do something wrong than to get it right, particularly when it’s complicated.
Although we cannot conclude absolutely that nuclear fusion is occurring, we also cannot conclude that it is not. I cannot conceive of an alternate explanation for the transmutations. On what basis do you accept Bob Park's admonition that protium + protium fusion showing similar results means that D + D cannot be happening? Admittedly, neither of them appears to be likely and H + H even less likely, but ... we're not in Kansas, anymore! We don't know what is happening, and neither does Bob Park. He has totally lost all hope of objectivity because he has tied his credibility to condemning cold fusion (although we may be having low-energy nuclear reactions. Yeah, right).
Something appears to be happening that is stimulated by resonance or coherence in the lattice that defies explanation attempted with popular theories, but the evidence supports fusion (perhaps involving slow neutrons). Even if it is not fusion, the work must proceed with some (at least) ad-hoc explanation. I agree with John Fisher's comments, that we shouldn't blindly assume fusion to be the whole explanation. But not everyone is assuming that, Ed Storms being a notable example.
24. Response to "Anon" on the 24 MeV Belief and the Krivit ACS Presentation
By Steven B. Krivit
Your Aug. 24 e-mail is thorough and detailed, and I appreciate that. It also seems largely to miss the point of my ACS presentation.
You write a good summary of why LENR are rightly considered legitimate nuclear phenomena, citing tritium and anomalous isotopic abundances. I am not sure why you have gone to such great lengths to defend this. You and I have no disagreements on the question of LENR being nuclear phenomena.
Where we have a difference of opinion is whether it is fusion or some hitherto-unknown nuclear process.
1. The Distinction Between "Fusion" and "Hitherto Unknown Nuclear Process or Processes" If it helps, do you remember that Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons speculated that they might have discovered a fusion process as well as a "hitherto unknown nuclear process”?
We are all quite familiar with fusion and fission processes. They are based on the strong interaction. But then, off to the side, noticed only by a half dozen researchers around the world, are weak interactions. This is slide 22 in my ACS presentation. Perhaps you missed it? Or perhaps you did consider it, but you knew that weak interactions generally don't produce high reaction rates because they typically involve nuclear decays?
If so, you probably jumped to the conclusion that I was suggesting or implying that LENR did not represent highly energetic nuclear reactions. It would follow then that you might conclude that I was suggesting that LENR might (theoretically) be of trivial value to society. This is not the case.
For one, experiment trumps theory always, every day. LENR experiments show energy 1,000 times greater than chemical energy.
Second, some of the theoreticians proposing weak-interactions have performed first-principles rates calculations and, I am told, mathematically show that, in some circumstances—some very unusual circumstances—LENR for example— reaction rates can produce MeV level energy.
2. Distinction Between Fusion and LENR You have stated that I am "postulating a distinction between fusion and LENR that gets a little muddy." Let me be even more direct than that: I am postulating a distinction that LENR looks nothing like fusion as we know it.
The distinction is "muddy" (to use your word) because the two are, in fact, distinct; they are apples and oranges. Consider what is rather than what perhaps you, and certainly what some "cold fusion" theorists, "would like to believe." As I have shown at ACS, LENR is/has:
1. Missing or suppressed gamma
2. Wrong neutron to tritium ratios
3. Wrong 4He to neutron ratios
4. Missing 1st branch of thermonuclear fusion
5. Missing 2nd branch of thermonuclear fusion
6. Weak data for 24 MeV energy (wide range of data, incomplete assay)
7. Heavy Z transmutations
8. Normal water and hydrogen experiments
You wrote on Aug. 24, "Perhaps you need to generate a new term to describe reactions whose reality you doubt."
Precisely. That is one of the main reasons that I call it LENR, not cold fusion.
3. A New Definition of Fusion? You wrote on Aug. 24, 'I'm not sure about terminology, but isn't a neutron combining with another atomic particle a nuclear fusion, as shown on Wikipedia? I think this point must be clarified in the community."
Neither you nor I is a nuclear physicist, but this is my process: In my normal course of activity, I speak with plasma physicists, skeptics and people in the nuclear industry. Sometimes, I stand before them in conferences and subject myself to their direct criticism.
Always, I put my presentations on the NET site and subject myself publicly to anybody's criticisms. So I am pretty exposed, and I like that. If someone can find something wrong with anything I say or write, it's all right there, out in the open. And from this, I benefit: I learn where I'm wrong or ignorant, as do our readers. It's a system based on the Internet that provides a built-in check and balance.
The nuclear experts that I sometimes speak in front of, and those I communicate with as sources, use the term fusion to identify the process in which like-charged atomic nuclei overcome the Coulomb barrier (electromagnetic force) and get close enough so that the strong force pulls them together. None of these people, or anyone I know who is recognized publicly, disagrees with this.
As I think you know, Wikipedia is not the most reliable and authoritative source in the world. But I looked at the lead sentence on the Wikipedia "nuclear fusion" description, and I can see how you might have been under the misunderstanding that a neutron capture process could be interpreted as a fusion process. Wikipedia was wrong.
Before I corrected the Wikipedia entry for "nuclear fusion," I checked with a plasma physicist who works for the French Atomic Energy Commission and is now on the ITER project. I checked with a nuclear physicist who works at General Atomics and with a nuclear physicist who works at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. They all agreed with me. I have since corrected the Wikipedia entry for "nuclear fusion." That was a month ago. Nobody has reverted my correction. Nobody has even commented or argued with me in the discussion page.
4. Why Am I Defending One of Bob Park's Statements? Has Hell Frozen Over? You ask, "On what basis do you accept Bob Park's admonition that protium + protium fusion showing similar results means that D + D cannot be happening?"
It's because of the cross-section. No researchers I know in mainstream science —or even LENR—are willing even to consider that a possibility. I specifically asked the LENR researchers this question a few years ago.
Please don't forget when citing Bob Park's concession of the reality of LENR that he said "they may be seeing some unexpected low-energy nuclear reactions." Yes, of course, I'm sure he never expected to see the field validated in his lifetime!
5. So If It's Not Fusion, What Could It Be? You wrote, "Even if it is not fusion, the work must proceed with some (at least) ad-hoc explanation."
Yes, yes, of course. I have not suggested otherwise. And we don't even have to be limited to ad-hoc explanations, either. Again, I think you missed the point, but by now you probably get the point that you missed the point. Go back to slide 22. My point—and I hope it is coming clearly now—is that there is a "hitherto unknown nuclear process" that can be considered. It not only may provide a theoretical explanation of the observed LENR phenomena but also may, in fact, make much more sense than a fusion hypothesis—if you are willing to keep an open mind. Hence, the title of my July 10 editorial.
25. Letter from Lewis Larsen "LENRs are Better Than Fusion":
In our recent preprint, "A Primer for Electro-Weak Induced Low Energy Nuclear Reactions," we summarized our theoretical work at a less mathematically detailed and more conceptually oriented level. Sometimes, important physics concepts can be obscured by the formalism of complex mathematics that is required to describe rigorously the physical phenomena. This new paper provides a basic conceptual overview of our theory of Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions for a broader range of readers. We hope to entice some of them to take the time necessary to delve into the mathematical details of the collective electroweak physics that are contained in our six underlying papers.
As we have stated many times before, none of our theoretical work on LENRs includes new microscopic physics. What is new about our work is that, for the first time, we extend many-body collective effects to existing electroweak theory within the overall framework of the Standard Model. In seven technical publications, we have developed a foundational theory of LENRs that weaves together all the previously disparate threads of varied experimental evidence into a coherent whole. We have done that using rigorous, established, well-accepted physics.
The Widom-Larsen theory of LENRs provides a foundational understanding of a certain body of anomalous experimental data that has been inexplicable for a hundred years.
We like to think of weak-interaction LENRs as extending the legacy of Enrico Fermi's seminal mid-1930s work on beta decay, as well as making good on the failed promise of strong interaction nuclear fission—that is, providing a clean, safe, inexpensive source of nuclear energy. In the aftermath of World War II, Fermi's beloved weak interactions were somewhat neglected by science. They became lost in the turmoil about nuclear weapons and the horrors of nuclear war.
In contrast to the "hot” research areas of fission and fusion, weak interactions became a scientific curiosity: holding theoretical interest with no apparent practical applications. After all, every physicist and chemist simply "knows" that radioactive beta decay rates are mainly low-energy reactions and, being random, cannot be controlled. Such weak interaction processes were universally regarded as useless for power generation applications. In addition, no one had seriously considered the possibility of creating neutrons directly from protons or deuterons through the weak interaction. Researchers just didn't see any reasonable way to get weak interaction rates high enough to be useful. Well, our theory of LENRs and hundreds of credible experiments now suggest otherwise.
According to our theory, LENRs do not involve any kind of Coulomb barrier-penetrating fusion, deuterium-deuterium or otherwise. In our opinion, they never did. We will not mince words on this: The "cold fusion" community was dead wrong on that theoretical point. However, "cold fusion" experimentalists were dead right about many of their experimental observations. They were correct about LENRs potentially being an important nuclear process that eventually might be harnessed to provide a new type of primary energy source: clean, truly "green" nuclear power.
Scattered around the world, these mostly unsung researchers labored experimentally for 19 years (most of them with little funding), exploring the many complex avenues and treacherous backwaters of the vast LENR parameter space. During that time, they kept the flame alive by doggedly collecting experimental data until a large enough body of knowledge had accumulated for someone to be able to develop a comprehensive theory of the phenomena. The accumulation of all that varied experimental data on LENRs, while little-published in peer-reviewed journals, was crucial to the development of our theory.
The "cold fusion" community can be proud of many of its reported experimental results. When people work on the cutting edge of science, sometimes knowing what doesn't work experimentally is just as important as understanding what does work; failures can be every bit as instructive as successes. Most of all, good experimental data are crucial for the development of any successful theory; theory and experiment are inextricably and indissolubly linked.
A revolutionary scientific paradigm shift has been brewing slowly over the past 19 years. The world of mainstream science is finally waking up to the possibility that previously neglected weak interactions might provide another new source of nuclear energy. In fact, given their unique characteristics, weak-interaction LENRs could prove to be a vastly cleaner, "greener," less expensive power generation technology than strong-interaction fission or fusion. In our 2006 European Physical Journal C paper, we showed an example of a LENR-based lithium reaction that generated roughly as much energy as fusion reactions, but without the release of any dangerous energetic neutrons or "hard" gamma radiation. LENRs are better than fusion. That is revolutionary. LENRs gore many long-standing sacred cows and threaten myriad vested scientific and commercial interests.
The "cold fusion" community was not uniquely persecuted by mainstream science. That community was the first major wave of shock troops in the forefront of a scientific revolution involving the weak interaction. As in many military engagements in real-world revolutions, the first troops to hit the beach usually take the biggest casualties because they have the least information about the battlefield and are the easiest targets. This has happened time after time in the history of science, especially in the case of major paradigm shifts. Thomas Kuhn chronicled this in his famous book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Revolutions, scientific or otherwise, are rarely bloodless. LENRs are no exception to that rule.
We believe that our collective many-body theory finally has put LENRs on a firm theoretical footing by carefully anchoring them in the solid bedrock of electroweak theory and the Standard Model. The field now needs to attract many more entrants from mainstream science for LENRs to flower fully and reach their scientific and commercial potential.
President and CEO
Lattice Energy LLC
Earlier this year, I began to discuss with my board of directors my evolving opinion that "cold fusion" was not fusion but was still real—that is, a real, novel energetic nuclear phenomenon.
Mike Carrell, a member of the New Energy Institute board of directors, was surprised. He, like many other people in the field, argued that helium-4 found in low-energy nuclear reaction experiments was the proof of cold fusion.
"The existence of helium-4 is not the point," I replied to Carrell. "We have no disagreement on this. I am striving to make the distinction between rigorous evidence for a nuclear effect versus rigorous evidence for a fusion effect."
After I gave him a preview of what would later become the core of my 2008 American Chemical Society presentation, he wrote, "Steve, you have made an excellent point, in effect, that the emperor has no clothes. I recommend that you pick words carefully and use them gently but precisely, for the issue is emotionally charged by the sincere efforts of good people. You can quote Fleischmann and Pons' words 'hitherto unknown nuclear process.'"
In January, New Energy Times discussed a proposed theoretical model that is mathematically rigorous and that appears to explain the production of excess heat, helium-4, helium-3, tritium, and transmutations, among other reported LENR-related phenomena. This model, unlike many others, does not use speculative "new physics"; it uses well-established physics put together in a novel way.
The theoretical model, initially conceptualized by Lewis Larsen, who trained as a biophysicist and who later rigorously developed the model with Allan Widom and Yogendra Srivastava, validates the work of many experimentalists in the condensed matter nuclear science field. This model casts cold water on the hypothesis of deuterium-deuterium fusion as an explanation for "cold fusion."
Peter Hagelstein questioned the reality of light-water excess heat, then made a mockery of it during one of his talks at ICCF-14. Many people in the audience laughed. (audio recording) When this writer expressed his objection to Hagelstein's mockery during the question-and-answer session, Hagelstein said that the point he was trying to make was that he did not understand what was going into the experiments and what was coming out of them. He said that very few researchers were doing light-water experiments. Hagelstein also said that the work of these experimentalists were not as convincing to him as the heavy-water experiments, such as those performed by his consortium associate Michael McKubre of SRI International. (audio recording.)
Most of the existing theorists in the field vigorously opposed this new theoretical model that did not involve fusion. For example, K.P. Sinha and Andrew Meulenberg, frequent collaborators of Hagelstein, issued dire predictions about the theoretical model.
"We see a disaster if this [model] were to be published and acclaimed by [the condensed matter nuclear science field]," Sinha and Meulenberg wrote. "It would certainly confirm most physicists’ view of the field. Mostly, those looking for flaws would read it. They would easily find and advertise them. ... It looks like a snow job. And that makes us wonder why/how it was done."
In contrast, Hideo Kozima, who has developed a neutron-based LENR theory, is one of the few people willing to endorse the proposed model. Is it coincidence that Kozima was denied an oral session by organizers at ICCF-14 who were so focused on emphasizing "cold fusion"?
In July, New Energy Times discussed the work of Randall Mills, who uses nickel and a hydrogen-radio frequency-excited plasma to obtain excess heat. New Energy Times is not as enthusiastic as Mills is about his work. Nevertheless, our investigation presented convincing evidence that his experimental work was the result of a real phenomenon, although Mills' hydrino theory has gained little acceptance among mainstream physicists.
In the same July issue, we ran two in-depth investigations on the work of Francesco Piantelli and Sergio Focardi. They observed excess heat—lots of it—with a hydrogen gas and nickel system. One of our stories was titled "Deuterium and Palladium Not Required." We even reported on a failed attempt by researchers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to debunk that work. The Piantelli-Focardi work also casts cold water on the hypothesis of deuterium-deuterium fusion as an explanation for "cold fusion."
On April 12, 1989, in the Dallas, Texas, American Chemical Society meeting, Stanley Pons somewhat reluctantly told reporters that he was seeing a small signal of excess heat from a hydrogen-palladium experiment. This disclosure took great scientific courage and integrity because Pons did this knowing full well that his hostile critics would use it as an argument against the Fleischmann-Pons hypothesis of deuterium-deuterium fusion.
Over the past year, I have dug deeply into the experimental evidence that members of the field have employed to claim that "cold fusion" is a fusion-based process. At each step in my investigation, the evidence for fusion as the correct explanation for LENR phenomena became weaker.
I am not a professional scientist, but I am a very persistent investigative science journalist who has been covering this field for the last eight years. Although the prospects of LENR appear to be more promising than ever, I no longer think that LENR is fundamentally a fusion process. I suspect that the underlying process or processes responsible for the observed low-energy nuclear reaction phenomena are the result of weak interactions.
I believe that eventually, once the dust has settled and the real race begins, this field will blossom beyond the imagination of many who are part of its historic beginning.
In a recent conversation with New Energy Times, Melvin Miles (formerly of U.S. Navy China Lake) talked about the discovery of helium-4 as the dominant byproduct of low-energy nuclear reactions. He informed us of a significant part of this history.
Miles said that several theorists—Scott Chubb, his uncle Talbot Chubb, and Giuliano Preparata—correctly predicted the finding of helium-4 in LENR experiments.
New Energy Times contacted Scott Chubb about this to learn more.
"I appreciate your asking me about our prediction that helium-4 should be the primary product in the heat-producing reactions," Chubb wrote. "Preparata and Talbot and I not only made this prediction (and Talbot and I made this prediction independently from Preparata) but the three of us made the prediction that the helium-4 would be created without any high-energy particle emission—in particular, without gamma rays. We predicted that the helium-4 would be created either in surface regions or outside heat-producing cathodes, which is precisely where Melvin Miles and Benjamin Bush subsequently found it.
"The first place we disclosed this was in our very first publication (NRL memorandum report: 6600), which was based on work that we reported at the National Science Foundation-Electric Power Research Institute workshop in October 1989.
"Our prediction that the helium-4 would be produced with low energy, outside and in the surface regions of heat-producing electrodes was announced in October 1990 during the Anomalies in Deuterated Metals Workshop held at Brigham Young University. This prediction also appeared in a second report, NRL memorandum 6617.
"We also presented our idea that helium-4 should be created as the primary product in heat-producing reactions in the Proceedings of the First International Conference on Cold Fusion (which actually had a different name, "The First Annual Conference on Cold Fusion," ACCF1), in March 1990. The references to this material appear in the SPAWAR report that documented the Navy's 10-year effort to reproduce and understand nuclear effects in the D2O/Pd system."
Building on their paper last year in European Physical Journal, Applied Physics, the Navy group at SPAWAR San Diego and colleagues at JWK International Inc. have published another paper, expanding the breath of their LENR co-deposition work with solid-state nuclear track detectors (CR-39). The key data that are reported in the prestigious German journal Naturwissenschaften are the triple tracks resulting from energetic neutron emissions.
The SPAWAR/JWK researchers microscopically examined the bottom of the triple-track pits and observed the appearance of three lobes, splitting from the center point of a single track. The researchers state that the presence of three alpha-particle tracks from a single point is diagnostic of the 12C(n,n′)3alpha carbon breakup reaction and suggest that deuterium-tritium reactions that produce ≥9.6 MeV neutrons are occurring inside the palladium lattice.
Low levels of neutron fluxes have been reported for years in low-energy nuclear reaction research. For example, in a 1994 paper in Il Nuovo Cimento, the journal of the Italian Physical Society, Martin Fleischmann, Stanley Pons and Giuliano Preparata reported 24 citations of neutron reports.
Despite the ubiquitous evidence for low-level neutrons, when this writer was on a speaking tour in January in India at several Department of Atomic Energy laboratories, one very well-respected scientist stated to an audience that "there are no neutrons" in LENR research. After this writer gave his own presentation, which showed evidence and analyses from not one but three laboratories, using not one but three unique detection methods, this same scientist made a skeptical comment about the SRI International evidence for neutron emissions.
"It's bullshit. I don't believe it," he said.
The host for the tour, Mahadeva Srinivasan, who is retired from the Bhabha Atomic Energy Centre, witnessed this brief exchange. Srinivasan is one of the early researchers who observed neutron emissions, as well.
Michael McKubre, director of energy research at SRI International, later told New Energy Times that the BF3 detector that his group used had a very reliable history and that they were well-aware of all the required precautions and potential complications of electronic neutron detectors.
Along with triple tracks from experiments performed at SPAWAR San Diego, triple tracks have been observed independently at two other laboratories. SPAWAR's Pamela Mosier-Boss and her colleagues were not present in the other laboratories while the replication experiments were running. She and her colleagues did not build the experimental apparatus for the replication experiments. Boss used a special camera-microscope system to make all the photographs below after the detectors were exposed and etched in their respective laboratories.
In the image below, the two columns on the left (a) are experiments conducted with the cathode in direct contact with the CR-39 detector. The two columns on the right (b) are experiments conducted with a 60-micron thick polyethylene film between the cathode and the CR-39 detector. For both pairs of columns, (a) and (b), the images on the left in each column were obtained with the focus on the surface of the CR-39 detector, and the images on the right are an overlay of two images taken at two different focal lengths (surface and bottom of the pits).
Triple Tracks Observed by Etch Method From SPAWAR San Diego (magnification ×1,000)
Triple Track Observed by Etch Method From SRI International Experiment #BE010-5
Triple Track Observed by Etch Method From Researchers at University of California, San Diego
The image below shows a neutron signal from the replication at SRI International. The burst runs for 14 hours, is 14 times over background, and is temporally correlated with a drop in cell potential, suggesting a heating effect.
Neutron Signal Measured With BF3 Dosimeter From SRI International Experiment #BE010-5 (8th Anomalies Conf. - Catania)
The image below shows a third-party analysis by Andrei Lipson and Alexei Roussetski of the Russian Academy of Sciences of a second SRI International CR-39 detector. The spectrum shows a near-identical signal to that of a known neutron source.
Proton Recoil Spectrum for SRI International Experiment #BE010-7
Lipson and Roussetski were unambiguous about their interpretation. They wrote in their report that “both sides of detector [front and back] showed that it contains real nuclear (proton recoil) tracks."
They also concluded that the detector was “not irradiated by airport security” because the detector was carried along with a control detector which showed no noticeable signal.
“In summary," Lipson and Roussetski wrote, "the presented experimental evidence can be considered as strong, unambiguous proof of #7 detector’s fast neutron (2.5 MeV) exposure.”
Unlike excess heat, the evidence of particle emission from these experiments is permanent, portable and open to third-party examination. New Energy Times encourages skeptics to consider this empirical body of work. Yes, more work needs to be done to characterize the energies and to explain their underlying processes. However, New Energy Times challenges any skeptic to derive an alternative explanation for the empirical observations derived from these experiments.
This is also an unparalleled opportunity for researchers McKubre, Tanzella, Lipson, Roussetski and the student researchers at University of California, San Diego, to advance the field and demonstrate to the public that LENR effects are reproducible, extraordinary and worthy of publication in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. New Energy Times encourages these researchers to submit their manuscripts without delay.
1. Shyam, A, Srinivasan, M., Kaushik, T. C. and Kulkarni, L. V., "Multiplicity Distribution of Neutron Emission in Cold Fusion Experiments," BARC Studies in Cold Fusion, P.K. Iyengar and M. Srinivasan, editors, Atomic Energy Commission, Bombay, p. A 4-1 (1989)
In August, New Energy Times interviewed Mike Staker, a materials scientist and research engineer who has a remarkable story.
Staker retired in December from the Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. He didn't need to retire. He wasn't asked to retire. He did not particularly want to retire. Here's the story.
Staker had been approved and was funded to perform LENR research from 1989 through 1990. His group was based in Watertown, Mass., at the time. It later moved to Aberdeen.
Staker continued to work on LENR even after his funding ran out. He worked on weekends and evenings, primarily on a Fleischmann-Pons type cell using electromigration, a process by which deuterons go opposite the flow of electrons. At one time, he observed large excess heat, 15 KeV per Pd atom. But his unpaid moonlighting took a toll.
"It gets old working on weekends," Staker said, "particularly when I want to spend time with my son."
Staker, 61, had worked for the U.S. government for 30 years. He could have retired earlier if he wanted to. The main reason he retired was to work on LENR research, which he believed was by far the most important area that he could devote his time to.
He could have continued moonlighting, difficult as it was, but the greater issue was the fear of being fired. Worrying about protecting himself and the welfare of his family just got to be too much. He was tired of hiding the fact that he was working on LENR. Finally, at the end of last year, he was forthright with his boss.
When he provided his yearly list of accomplishments to his boss, he disclosed the fact that he had been performing LENR research. Staker correctly anticipated the negative reaction from his boss.
"You did what kind of research?" his boss asked angrily.
"Don't get upset," Staker said. "I retire."
Staker told New Energy Times that he was relieved to worry no longer about being fired for working on LENR.
"It was a tremendous relief to retire," Staker said. "Now I can work on this research without fear."
Michael Brooks is a former editor and now a consultant for New Scientist. I met him in August 2006 in Washington, D.C., at the 2006 Naval Science and Technology Partnership conference hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association and the Office of Naval Research. His colleague Bennett Daviss, who also writes for New Scientist, attended the conference and was there working with me on a story for New Energy Times.
At the conference, Brooks took the time to meet and talk with low-energy nuclear reaction researchers Pamela Mosier-Boss and Frank Gordon, both of the U.S. Navy's SPAWAR San Diego laboratory. Apparently, through his experience there and through what he read of Daviss' fine articles on "cold fusion" in New Scientist, Brooks was able to transcend the mental block that so many people who know so much about science seem to have difficulty overcoming.
Part of what helped Brooks gain confidence in the reality of LENR was the solid-state nuclear track detectors, also known as CR-39 detectors, that SPAWAR researchers used to capture traces of nuclear particle emissions from their experiments. Brooks saw Mosier-Boss and Gordon stand in front of generals, admirals and top scientists in the Navy discussing their unexpected low-energy nuclear reaction results. You don't do that if you are not darn sure about your work.
The status of this field does not require uninvolved people to consider something "that doesn't make sense," and that is a shame for LENR research and certainly many other areas of new science. But perhaps Brooks' experience with a magazine so titled has empowered him to respect new science, even if it does not yet make sense. Such an attitude—open-minded, respectful, curious—may very well position him to witness the evolving nature of new science long before it is seen in other journals of nature.
Brooks gets an "A" for his writing on low-energy nuclear reaction research. For an "A+," he would have had to devote an inordinate amount of additional research to a mere chapter in a book.
How many writers in the last decade have bothered to meet and talk directly to Martin Fleischmann, co-discoverer of "cold fusion" with Stanley Pons? Brooks did.
Brook's concise writing style is generally quite helpful. However, at least on one occasion, the simplification compromises the scientific precision of the text. He writes that, because of the inexplicable amount of heat coming out of the Fleischmann-Pons electrochemical cell, "the only possibility was the fusion of deuterium atoms." Most likely, Brooks intended to imply that this was Fleischmann and Pons' assumption, rather than to make an absolute statement of the underlying process.
However, this wouldn't be entirely precise, either. What Fleischmann and Pons wrote in their first paper was a hypothesis of fusion or, alternatively, a "hitherto unknown nuclear process or processes." Twenty years later, the jury is still out.
Brooks' recounting of Melvin Miles' termination of his career as a Navy LENR researcher has an interesting twist: Miles is back to work now, and offers for his expertise have come out of the woodwork. Aside from his yearly retreat to a cabin in Oregon, he's as busy as can be.
Brooks does an excellent job of reporting the sad story of Nobel laureate Julian Schwinger, who took a serious interest in "cold fusion" and was shamefully treated by his peers in the American Physical Society for doing so.
Brooks mentions the "Navy's" two-volume report covering a decade of its research. The U.S. Navy has not been unified in its approach toward LENR. The reports Brooks refers to were published not by "the Navy" but by SPAWAR, the Navy group in San Diego, Calif., not by the Washington, D.C.-based Naval Research Laboratory. The former has been entirely open, persistent and quite successful with its LENR research in the last 20 years. The latter has had limited success and has operated under a cloud of secrecy bordering on suppression. NRL LENR researchers did not participate in the 2006 Naval Science and Technology Partnership conference.
One minor nit to pick is the statement that Eugene Mallove, at the time the chief science writer for MIT's news office, "resigned in protest" because MIT's hot fusion researchers fudged the data which showed a slightly positive signal. As it has been told to me by people who were close to him, Mallove resigned not after he lodged an official complaint but after MIT failed to act on the complaint responsibly.
Brooks references an article in the Economist which chided the researchers who failed in their attempts to replicate the Fleischmann-Pons experiment but then went on complaining about "wasting time and money." Brooks' comment that such reactions were "cowardly" is spot on. "This [trying new things] is what science should be about," he quotes the Economist.
Readers of 13 Things may find themselves among the first to recognize future developments in science and technology.
"Triple Tracks in CR-39 as the Result of Pd–D Co-deposition: Evidence of Energetic Neutrons"
by Pamela A. Mosier-Boss, Stanislaw Szpak, Frank E. Gordon and Lawrence P. G. Forsley
(Text provided by authors)
In this communication, the results of Pd–D co-deposition experiments conducted with the cathode in close contact with CR-39, a solid-state nuclear etch detector, are reported. Among the solitary tracks due to individual energetic particles, triple tracks are observed. Microscopic examination of the bottom of the triple track pit shows that the three lobes of the track are splitting apart from a center point. The presence of three α-particle tracks outgoing from a single point is diagnostic of the 12C(n,n′)3α carbon breakup reaction and suggests that DT reactions that produce ≥9.6 MeV neutrons are occurring inside the Pd lattice. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the production of energetic (≥9.6 MeV) neutrons in the Pd–D system.
Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking
by Charles Seife
Viking, $25.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-670-02033-1
Publisher's description on Amazon:
"When weapons builders detonated the first hydrogen bomb in 1952, they tapped into the vastest source of energy in our solar system--the very same phenomenon that makes the sun shine. Nuclear fusion was a virtually unlimited source of power that became the center of a tragic and comic quest that has left scores of scientists battered and disgraced. For the past half-century, governments and research teams have tried to bottle the sun with lasers, magnets, sound waves, particle beams, and chunks of meta. (The latest venture, a giant, multi-billion-dollar, international fusion project called ITER, is just now getting underway.) Again and again, they have failed, disgracing generations of scientists. Throughout this fascinating journey Charles Seife introduces us to the daring geniuses, villains, and victims of fusion science: the brilliant and tortured Andrei Sakharov; the monomaniacal and Strangelovean Edward Teller; Ronald Richter, the secretive physicist whose lies embarrassed an entire country; and Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, the two chemists behind the greatest scientific fiasco of the past hundred years. Sun in a Bottle is the first major book to trace the story of fusion from its beginnings into the 21st century, of how scientists have gotten burned by trying to harness the power of the sun."
[Note: Make that the second major book to trace the story of fusion, following Fusion—The Search for Endless Energy, by Robin Herman (Cambridge University Press, 1990, 0-521-38373-0).]
From the dust cover of Herman's book:
"[This book] is the story of the international race to build an atomic fusion reactor, and of the fraternity of scientists whose mission to create safe, clean, inexhaustible energy from the elements of seawater, transcended political boundaries. These scientists included such greats as Andrei Sakharov and Edward Teller. The book abounds with fascinating anecdotes about fusion's rocky path...[including] the skepticism that met an assertion by two University of Utah chemists in 1989 that they had created 'cold fusion' in a bottle."
"Fifty years ago scientists and futurists glowingly predicted a future in which cars would run on little fusion cells and the world would extract deuterium from the oceans for an inexhaustible supply of energy. Like all too many shining visions, fusion turned out to be a mirage. Award-winning science journalist Seife (Zero) takes a long, hard look at nuclear fusion and the failure of one scheme after another to turn it into a sustainable energy source. Many readers will remember the 1989 'cold fusion' debacle, but Seife explains why tabletop fusion isn't all that difficult to achieve. The problem, as with all fusion devices except the hydrogen bomb, is to produce more energy than the fusion process consumes. The two most promising approaches today use plasma and lasers, but again, Seife reports, scientists have been repeatedly frustrated. The United States and several other industrial nations recently agreed optimistically to sink billions of dollars into a 30-year fusion power project. Seife's approachable book should interest everyone concerned about finding alternative energy sources." (Nov. 3)
India's prime minister went to the Group of 8 summit meeting in Japan on Monday with his government intact and enough political strength to complete a landmark nuclear agreement with the United States, ending months of speculation that either his government or the agreement, on which he has staked his reputation, would collapse.
The prime minister, Manmohan Singh, told reporters traveling with him to the summit meeting that his administration would "soon" complete an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, though he did not offer a date, his spokesman, Sanjaya Baru, said here. Mr. Baru added that the text of an agreement was near completion, and that India could swiftly finish it and go on to secure approval from the 45 member nations of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Only after those two steps have been completed can the United States Congress vote on the final agreement.
Questions have been raised over the position of Lord Razzall as Liberal Democrat spokesman on business and regulatory reform, following his intervention in a case in which he has strong business interests.
Using House of Lords headed notepaper, the peer wrote to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy case of technology firm Eneco in the US. In the letter he tells PWC: "I write in my capacity as the UK Liberal Democrat spokesman for Trade and Industry".
Yet Lord Razzall is also currently employed as a non-executive director of the financial services company Catalyst Investment Group, which is involved in a bitter row with some of Eneco's former directors, creditors and shareholders over a potentially lucrative piece of new technology.
In a season of roller-coaster energy costs, the drop in oil and natural gas prices in recent days was greeted as good news. But they remain so high that experts are predicting that heating bills this winter will far exceed those of last year.
Even after a precipitous decline from its peak in early July, the price of natural gas is still 11 percent above where it was last winter.
Heating oil is 36 percent higher, with the government projecting that the costs of both fuels will stay high. Electricity prices are also up moderately.
A toxic combination of $4 gasoline, voter anxiety and presidential ambition is making it impossible for this country to have the grown-up conversation it needs about energy.
The latest evidence comes from Senator Barack Obama, who in less than a week has reversed his stance on tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, softened his opposition to offshore drilling and unveiled an out-of-nowhere proposal to impose a windfall profits tax on the oil companies and funnel the money to consumers in the form of a $1,000 tax rebate.
Compared with his slightly hysterical opponent, Mr. Obama had been making good sense on energy questions, and his recent speeches had included a menu of proposals for energy efficiency, conservation, alternative fuels and new technologies.
When the main pipeline that carries oil through Georgia was completed in 2005, it was hailed as a major success in the United States policy to diversify its energy supply. Not only did the pipeline transport oil produced in Central Asia, helping move the West away from its dependence on the Middle East, but it also accomplished another American goal: it bypassed Russia.
American policy makers hoped that diverting oil around Russia would keep the country from reasserting control over Central Asia and its enormous oil and gas wealth and would provide a safer alternative to Moscow's control over export routes that it had inherited from Soviet days. The tug-of-war with Moscow was the latest version of the Great Game, the 19th-century contest for dominance in the region.
Now energy experts say that the hostilities between Russia and Georgia could threaten American plans to gain access to more of Central Asia's energy resources at a time when booming demand in Asia and tight supplies helped push the price of oil to record highs.
When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing.
That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore's hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands.
The worldwide body that regulates the sale of nuclear fuel and technology approved a landmark deal on Saturday to allow India to engage in nuclear trade for the first time in three decades, after a pressure campaign by the Bush administration and despite concerns about setting off an arms race in Asia.
Only one hurdle now remains for the deal: final approval by the United States Congress. But passage is likely to be difficult, considering both political opposition and dwindling time in the Congressional calendar before November’s elections.
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - Solar power, with its promise of emissions-free renewable energy, boasts a growing number of fans. Some of them, it turns out, are thieves.
Just ask Glenda Hoffman, whose fury has not abated since 16 solar panels vanished from her roof in this sun-baked town in three separate burglaries in May, sometimes as she slept. She is ready if the criminals turn up again.
A mix-up at the State Police forensic lab may jeopardize the state's case against two men charged with murder in the 2004 beating death of Eugene Mallove, according to an attorney for one of the suspects.
Defense attorney William Koch, who represents Gary McAvoy, said Thursday that the state crime lab mixed up two hairs seized as evidence in the case. The mistake could lead the state to end prosecution against McAvoy and co-defendant Joseph Reilly.
A mix-up with evidence at the state forensic laboratory jeopardizes the state's case against two men charged with murder in the 2004 beating death of New Hampshire scientist Eugene Mallove, according to an attorney for one of the suspects.
Special Public Defender William T. Koch Jr. said Thursday that prosecutors recently had used a DNA test to match a single hair found in Mallove's stolen van to his client, Gary McAvoy. The match would be a key piece of evidence to link McAvoy and co-defendant Joseph Reilly to Mallove's death.
Little more than two weeks after the test, Koch said, the state admitted to a mistake. The hair did not come from Mallove's stolen van, but rather the car McAvoy was found in when he was first arrested.
Koch said he expects state prosecutors to drop prosecution against both men and will ask for the case to be dismissed.
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