Interviewed by Steven Krivit, August 25, 2003,
What is your area of specialty relative to cold fusion
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
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
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
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
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.