As it turns out, the researchers who focused on deuterium-palladium systems (heavy-water) gave life to the latter philosophy – two different sets of phenomena – though the distinction was artificial. They obtained extensive though not complete compliance from the researchers who focused on either hydrogen-palladium systems (light water) or nickel-hydrogen systems.
A few years ago, I asked Miley whether he was planning to report any new light-water results. He said "no," and he quickly walked away.
One light-water researcher who no longer attends the ICCF conferences told New Energy Times recently, "The heavy-water researchers were livid with us because they were using light-water as their control."
In the last decade and a half, the heavy-water researchers got their way: In many cases, they sufficiently ostracized the light-water researchers from participating in the ICCF conferences. In other cases, they intimidated those who stayed in the game, discouraging them from making any direct claims that might conflict with the party line.
The cold fusion faction's platform was that heavy-water experiments produce heat and helium-4 but not transmutations and light-water experiments produce transmutations but not excess heat and helium-4.
The logical separation between the light-water work and heavy-water work as being two distinct mechanisms, particularly in light of the heavy-element transmutations in heavy water, appears to be incorrect.
Why the Resistance?
What is the reason for the resistance to accepting transmutation at room temperature by the people who easily accept the hypothesis of "fusion" at room temperature? Perhaps it is based on the fear of being associated with medieval alchemy, which was marked as pathological science by modern chemistry. Is this fear based on reality or substance?
Why did the American "cold-fusion" faction omit LENR transmutations when its members were invited to give a comprehensive view of the broad subject of worldwide LENR research to the Department of Energy in 2004? Were they justified in omitting this topic because the Department of Energy looked at LENR transmutation with greater skepticism than it did D+D "cold fusion"?
Based on the fact that DoE had invited Lewis Larsen to speak on LENR as well as on LENR transmutations half a year earlier than the "cold fusion" faction’s presentation to the DoE, the faction's fear, if such was the case, was unjustified. Larsen's DoE presentation reflected his confidence about LENR transmutations.
"You can argue about excess-heat measurements and ponder near-absence of 'normal' nuclear products, but transmutation experiments involving LENRs are irrefutable," Larsen said.
Perhaps the resistance to accepting LENR transmutation by the "cold-fusion" faction is based on their members’ fear that transmutation disproves the hypothesis of "cold fusion."
Look at what the faction tried to do at ICCF-14, under the direction of organizers Nagel, Melich and McKubre. Despite the fact that LENR transmutation was Talbot Chubb's "big news" at ICCF-10 in 2003, accepted as part of the field by the "cold fusion grandfather" at ICCF-11 in 2004, and represented well in ICCF-12 and ICCF-13, it was initially omitted from the conference agenda in 2008 at ICCF-14, thanks to the "cold fusion" faction.
Instead of setting the agenda to include the full breadth of LENR research, the faction promoted the idea that excess heat and helium-4 from heavy-water electrolysis experiments, denoted as the Fleischmann-Pons experiment (FPE), was the primary focus of the field.
When I noticed this omission of transmutation from the ICCF-14 conference agenda, I asked the conference organizers, through the CMNS e-mail list, for an explanation. I received vague and incomplete responses. After seeing the less-than-satisfactory response and interest by organizers, Miley, a LENR researcher who has been a pioneer in LENR transmutation research, addressed Nagel, also through the CMNS e-mail list:
"I feel it is unfortunate that the focus of the meeting on the FPE seems to ignore transmutations which were not envisioned by these great pioneers and are not explained by the traditional D+D fusion theories," Miley wrote. "Is the transmutation effect relevant to the FPE? Or vice-versa? This area was separated earlier from the presentations at the last DoE review, and that, in my opinion, weakened the case there. I hate to see the field break up into separate areas, but events seem to be moving in that direction."
Bob Smith, an assistant to the ICCF-14 organizers, commented next.
"As far as why they want to keep it to the FPE, ... my opinion is that they want to minimize the competing effects of getting excess heat and turning it into power," Smith wrote.
Smith must have meant "effects that compete with the FPE," because, when the final agenda was published, FPE was given center stage on Monday and Tuesday of the conference. This was significant because the organizers promoted the FPE as the most important aspect of the conference on their Web site and they gave free conference access to the media on Monday and Tuesday.
Had any members of the mainstream media chosen to attend and report on the conference (none did) and had they chosen to attend past Tuesday, they would have had to pay to attend those days on which transmutation was mentioned.
Actions by Melich also helped to keep some Russian transmutation researchers away from the conference. Melich and Nagel blamed the U.S. Department of State for the failure of many of the Russians to obtain American visas. Melich told New Energy Times that the U.S. consulate in Moscow gave Melich one set of instructions that caused the logistical failure, but the information provided to New Energy Times by Christofer Van Bebber, vice consul for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, contradicted the information provided by Melich.
Coming back to Smith's e-mail to the CMNS list, he then quoted McKubre.
"Mike McKubre," Smith wrote, "has said, 'Studies of the FPE keeps the community together and working toward a useful goal of producing a substantial heat source.' I think that Talbot Chubb, Yoshiaki Arata, and others would agree that studying the FPE is very worthwhile, as the baseline technology of interest."
I thought the idea of "keeping the community together" was profound and fodder for another possible essay on groupthink.
People who have never attended an ICCF conference should realize how McKubre is regarded within the field. He is the one asked to emcee ceremonies and speak at the conclusions of conferences. He's good at it; he is eloquent, witty, and knowledgeable and has a delightful English accent. He exudes confidence and authority and commanded the respect of LENR audiences at ICCF-14.
For example, when McKubre said to the audience, "I'd like you all to rise to your feet and give Dave [Nagel] and Mike [Melich] a round of applause," you can bet they stood up.
In this context, if Martin Fleischmann is the "grandfather" of "cold fusion," perhaps McKubre could be called its "king."
When I saw the strong political efforts to keep transmutation from the ICCF-14 conference, I called to chat with George Miley. He spoke about organizing a separate mini-conference either before or after the ICCF-14 conference.
Once word got around of that possibility, Nagel announced to the CMNS list that the "ICCF-14 Web site ... has been modified to make more explicit that transmutations are a subject of interest for the coming conference, as they have been at past conferences."
So was there a transmutation session at ICCF-14? Yes, an hour and a half was dedicated to the transmutation session, the same amount of time dedicated to presenting compilations of country-by-country "cold fusion" history.
However, after the official close of the conference on Friday, about 70 people packed into a separate room for a LENR transmutation workshop that was not officially included or recorded for the scientific record as part of ICCF-14.
The Importance of Transmutations
Readers of this Special Report by now realize the significance of LENR transmutations, how they may help all LENR researchers learn about every type of experiment and effect, be it the Fleischmann-Pons effect, the Iwamura effect, the Letts-Cravens effect, and so on.
Mizuno also provided additional insight into the ability to turn expensive or cheap elements into other elements at the American Chemical Society meeting in Salt Lake City on March 22, 2009.
"If the transmutation mechanism can be understood," Mizuno said, "it may then be possible to control the reaction and perhaps produce macroscopic quantities of rare elements by this method. In the distant future, industrial-scale production of rare elements might become possible, and this would help alleviate material shortages worldwide."
On June 25, 2009, Larsen released an edgy but precise analysis of his perspective.
- Measurements of transmutation products, so-called “nuclear ash,” if reliably observed at the conclusion of an LENR experiment, are important because they indicate that new chemical elements have somehow been produced and/or isotopic ratios of some elements previously present have been significantly altered.
- Accurate detection and analysis of whatever types of products may be produced during an LENR experiment can potentially allow one to determine exactly which type(s) of nuclear process(es) occurred and the reaction(s) that created the products.
- Since 1989, most “cold fusion” researchers have focused primarily on the Holy Grail of creating macroscopic LENR devices that can produce substantial fluxes of calorimetrically measured excess heat.
- Absent a usable theory of LENRs and a detailed understanding of nanoscale device physics, achieving success with such an approach is at best a random proposition. It is a bit like trying to fabricate modern microprocessor chips with submicron feature sizes on silicon dies using machinists’ T-squares, rulers and scribes rather than using advanced lithography and CMOS process technologies.
- Even when substantial macroscopic excess heat is achieved in a 1 cm2 device, heat as the sole metric of success provides little or no insight into underlying mechanisms of heat production or what one might do to improve the quantity and duration of heat output in future devices.
- For example, exhaustive detection/identification of all nuclear reaction products to whatever extent possible is crucial technical information.
- Unguided, random Edisonian exploration of LENRs’ vast physics and materials parameter space is very likely responsible for the lack of readily reproducible experimental results and limited R&D progress that have characterized the field of LENRs for the past 20 years.
1. Mizuno, T., "Isotopic changes of elements caused by various conditions of electrolysis," presented at American Chemical Society, Salt Lake City, March 22, 2009
2. Larsen, L., June 25, 2009, Technical Overview
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