About LENRs

Dr. Dennis Cravens,
professor of chemistry and physics at
Eastern New Mexico University at Ruidoso

Dennis Cravens has written both classified and unclassified studies for the U.S. DOD in the area of innovative physical methods for energy and propulsion. He is the co-discoverer of the Letts-Cravens effect, a novel method of low-power laser irradiation of cold fusion electrolytic cells which triggers the excess heat effect within seconds. Dennis, along with other co-authors, has been awarded several U.S. patents in various technologies, some in the field of anomalies in metal deuterides and hydrides. Several other patents are pending.

- Steven B. Krivit

Web site: Copyright 2003 New Energy TimesTM


Interviewed by Steven Krivit, August 25, 2003, Cambridge, Mass.

What is your area of specialty relative to cold fusion research?

I go after "broad-stroke" type devices. Whereas some people try to get very accurate on one or two items, I try to do lots of different things hoping that I will stumble across something that will give very large changes or different directions. I look at different physical methods. As opposed to one method and doing it very, very well, I do lots of different things.

I understand you applied for a patent a few years ago. What's the status of that?

Basically it's in the same league as all the other patents that have been applied for in the area. The patent office just seems to lose things; they don't act on it. I have one that was applied for in 1989 and I'm waiting for my second office action on that. This one included pulsing the current and few things like that. I have several other friends that have applied and they're in the same boat. They basically don't get response from the patent office, or its delayed. I do have two issued patents in the area with Jim Patterson and I have some international filings that are probably in the public domain by now.

Can you describe your work in layman's terms?

Right now I'm doing work with Dennis Letts, who's doing laser induced reactions, trying to stimulate the surface and get surface reactions going. Also, chemical excitation of a palladium cathode. And putting in special chemicals within the mix and then electrolyzing and then kicking off the reaction through a new surface applied to the palladium.

I'm also doing some exploding wires and fluidized systems through small holes...palladium-black-filled glass tubes trying to get some standing waves and acoustical waves. But basically what I'm focusing on right now is the triggering event, rather than just static things. I'm trying to do things that will make the deuterium slosh in and out of the lattice and move around so that there's more reaction between two deuterium atoms.

What kind of results do you typically see?

Basically I'm in the range of half a watt of excess power, but I keep it that low because of where I like to run my project. It's hard to get rid of much more than a couple of hundred watts in a reliable way because then your lab equipment heats up, so I try to keep it small. It's also cheaper on the chemicals and the materials. I have small effects now, but in the half a watt range, it's consistently very easy to see.

What excess power ratio are you typically seeing?

I would say that most of the systems are like 20 or 30 percent excess. The laser effects are about 10 times the laser power but that's on top of several watts that you're putting in chemically as a baseline. The A/C type of systems, I call them "sparkly" systems where you make them glow - those are probably about two or three to one. The exploding wires are probably about 30-40% excess.

How have those results changed from five years ago?

Oh, I'm a lot better as far as reproducibility. I can do it at will if I have several cells running at once, which is more than I could do back then. A few years ago it may have taken a month or two before I got one to work. Now it's fairly easy to do.

What are your greatest challenges in the field?

Other than lack of funding, because I'm funding myself out of my own pocket, I would say just dealing with the patent office and stuff like that. I don't like paperwork and those things are a problem, and where I live, I've got to travel a distance to get the raw materials.

Why is it important to get patents on this?

I think that until there is a patent, you can't attract business or other funding. Basically I'm in the position where I give away most of the rights on the patents. But without a patent, you can't attract other people to support the work. It's not necessarily a money interest for me, it's more of a development interest in attracting people. Businesses will not support the work or help you on the research if they don't have some way of getting money in, unless it's someone very generous.

What do you hear from your peers outside the U.S. with regard to support for their work?

Most of the work is being done on the back bench, as they call it. When you have a large lab, there's a bench somewhere in the back where people can do things, and you borrow the school's mass spectrometer on the weekends when nobody's using it. Most of the work is being done that way. A little bit in Japan is being funded through various places.

What are your hopes for the field?

I wrote a paper on my hopes and dreams; it was published in Infinite Energy magazine. I would like to see a small, decentralized power source so that you're not reliant on distribution networks, and avoid things like the major blackout in the northeast in the summer of 2003. They would be packaged in a small sealed container that could be going to third-world countries. I personally believe that all portable units like that could help purify and pump water, and I think that's one of the biggest needs the world has right now, pure water. I think that would cut out one of the largest percentages of death in the world. That's my hope.