Back to Widom-Larsen Theory Portal
Excerpted from "The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction" by Edmund Storms
Widom and Larsen (Northeastern University and Lattice Energy, LLC)
attempt to explain neutron induced transmutation by proposing a series
of events, starting with formation of super-heavy electrons on an
electrolyzing surface. These electrons make “cold” neutrons by combining
with protons or deuterons. Next, the very low energy neutrons or
dineutrons are proposed to react with elements (seeds) that are present
and generate a range of transmutation products. The authors
propose that the expected gamma radiation is absorbed while super-heavy
electrons are present, thereby accounting for the absence of radiation
from the expected (n,g_ reactions. They do not explain why gamma
radiation is not detected once the super-heavy electrons stop forming.
At this time, previously made neutrons would continue to react and
produce a decay chain of beta-gamma emitting isotopes. Observed behavior
can only be explained if the half-life for super-heavy electron loss
after production stops exactly matches the half-life for beta-gamma
decay of the resulting radioactive isotopes, a very unlikely
coincidence. They claim a match exists between a calculated
cross-section for low-energy neutron capture and the distribution of
elements reported by Miley (Figure 51). Based on the model, addition of
neutrons to the seed and to all resulting isotopes would have to be
extremely rapid so that only radioactive beta emitters of very short
half-life are present in the sample. Presumably, these isotopes decayed
away to produce the measured element distribution without their
radiation being detected. Absence of detectable radioactivity after such
a process is very unlikely. The NAE for this model would be the
environment required to create the super-heavy electrons.
From ACS Proceedings, Chicago Meeting, 2007
A mechanism has been suggested recently by Widom and Larsen
based on a series of especially extraordinary assumptions, as follows:
1. Energy provided by the voltage gradient on an electrolyzing surface
can add incrementally to an electron causing its mass to increase. This
implies the existence of energy levels within the electron able to hold
added energy long enough for the total to be increased to 0.78 MeV mass
equivalent by incremental addition. This idea, by itself, is
extraordinary and inconsistent with accepted understanding of the electron.
2. Once sufficient energy has accumulated, the massive electron will
combine with a proton to create a neutron having very little thermal
energy. This implies that the massive electron reacts only with a proton
rather than with the more abundant metal atoms making up the sample and
does not shed energy by detectable X-ray emission before it can be absorbed.
3. This “cold” neutron will add to the nucleus of palladium and/or
nickel to change their isotopic composition. This implies that the
combination of half-lives created by beta emission of these created
isotopes will quickly result in the observed stable products without
this beta emission being detected.
4. The atomic number distribution of transmutation products created by
this process matches the one reported by Miley (41) after he
electrolyzed Pd+Ni as the cathode and Li2SO4+H2O as the electrolyte.
This implies that the calculated periodic function calculated by the
authors actually has a relationship to the periodic behavior observed by
Miley in spite of the match being rather poor. In addition, residual
beta decay has not been detected.
5. Gamma radiation produce by the neutron reaction is absorbed by the
super-heavy electrons. This implies that the gamma radiation can add to
the mass and/or to the velocity of the super-heavy electron without
producing additional radiation. In addition, to be consistent with
observation, total absorption of gamma radiation must continue even
after the cell is turned off. If this assumption were correct,
super-heavy electrons would provide the ideal protection from gamma
These assumptions are not consistent with the general behavior of the
LENR phenomenon nor with experience obtained from studies of electron
behavior. Indeed, these assumptions, if correct, would have
extraordinary importance independent of cold fusion.