"The first paper by Widom and Larsen provided a multistep theory for the occurrence of many different nuclear reactions (not fusion!) on the surfaces of hydrides. It postulated the creation of very high electric fields and, because of the fields, very heavy electrons. The mass renormalized electrons could then react via the weak interaction with available protons to form very slow neutrons, which could next participate in further nuclear reactions. Neither of the two nuclear reaction steps requires surmounting (tunneling through) the Coulomb barrier. The paper did not take the next steps of computing rates for each of the involved steps and thence excess power or energies. However, it did offer a few candidate nuclear reactions that has plausible energetics. This paper has been accepted for publication in a respected physics journal.
The second paper by the same authors addressed the lack of energetic gamma rays from condensed matter nuclear reaction experiments. They computed that gamma rays in the range from 0.5 to 10 MeV would be absorbed in amazingly short distances by the heavy electrons that are present where the gamma rays are born. Again, there is a need for much further work to quantify the rates of both the generation and the absorption of the gamma rays, with due attention to the geometry of these processes. This mechanism might have interesting possibilities for totally new and efficient forms of gamma ray shielding.
The third paper from Widom and Larsen addressed the transmutation part of the field of condensed matter nuclear science. Thus, it is comparable to the first paper, which laid the foundation for understanding the excess heat part of the field.
The new paper has two components. The first presents a simple model for the production of new elements in CMNS experiments. It involves the absorption of the ultra-low-momentum neutrons postulated in the first paper by nuclei of widely varying masses. A basic optical model is used to compute the absorption as a function of atomic mass. Peaks are found when small integral numbers of wavelengths of the very slow neutrons inside the nucleus match the size of the nucleus. The spacings between the five peaks found from the new theory are dictated by the wavelengths of the neutrons added to nuclei (about 2 femtometers).
The model is a "wave in a well" picture, which should be familiar to students of basic quantum mechanics. The second part of the paper compares the predictions of the new model with the nuclear production rates vs. atomic mass that were found in electrochemical experiments. The measurements were performed with light water and nickel cathodes by Miley and his collaborators.
It was found that the atomic masses, at which the theoretical nuclear production rates are highest, are well matched to the mass dependence of the generation rates that was found experimentally, even though the experimental data have considerable scatter. Computation of absolute rates of nuclear production as a function of mass using the new theory are needed."