Q&A with Dr. Edmund Storms

Edmund Storms is a long-time researcher in nuclear physics and cold fusion science, formerly of Los Alamos National Laboratory.  His most recent book is The Science of Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions: A Comprehensive Compilation of Evidence and Explanations about Cold Fusion published by World Scientific Publishing Company 2007.

This is a Q&A Dr. Storms.

Q: How much money has gone into cold fusion research in the US? worldwide?

A:  Hard to tell because the money comes from different sources that don’t publish their accounting. l guess the total might be near five million dollars in the US. World wide expenditure is harder to guess but might be well over 10 times the US investment.

How do research labs in other countries go about getting their funding?

This depends on where the research is done. Universities generally have funds that can be spent on whatever the professor wants to study within reason. Government laboratories generally need to budget for the work. Private investors give money based on their personal interests.  Cold fusion is funded just like all other research efforts. However, in this case, the money available for research is very small compared to most other efforts of similar importance.

How is the majority of funding procured in the US?

Most work in the US is either funded by private individuals or is part of larger programs funded by the government. Because of the negative history, direct funding of cold fusion by the US government was not possible until very recently.

What kind of cost to set up a cold fusion lab?
This depends on how serious the effort is intended to be. A person can study cold fusion as a hobby for maybe $10,000.  However, serious work requires access to very expensive equipment.
How much palladium is used annually in this research?

A study requires very little palladium.  I have probably used no more than a few ounces in 21 years of work.

How much platinum is used annually in this research?

The platinum is not lost and is continuously reused.

Why is the Dept. of Energy not on board with this while the Naval Research facility actually gets results?  Why doesn’t the science agencies of the federal gov have a coherent policy on this important issue?

The different agencies of the government are run by people having different skills and attitudes.  The Navy has always been more creative than the DOE. The attitude of the DOE is gradually changing thanks to creative people being put in charge by the present administration.

How much money has gone into hot fusion research?

In the US, this investment has now exceeded 20 billion dollars and counting.

How long has hot fusion research gone on?

Serious work was started about 60 years ago.

What are some of the advancements made from hot fusion?

The method has achieved production of megawatts of power for brief times.  Containment of the plasma has been mastered. However, many problems remain, not the least of which is whether the huge machine will be sufficient reliable and can actually pay for itself in the market place.

What is the probability of achieving energy production from hot fusion?

Energy can be made but the whether it will be practical, i.e. cost less than energy from other sources, is very unlikely.

Are there any results from hot fusion research that could in any way help the cold fusion research?

Money spent to achieve a goal such as hot fusion always generates basic understanding that can be put to other uses.

Is there a growing number of scientists doing research in cold fusion?

Yes, but growth is slow.

What is the number of scientists researching this technology?

This is hard to tell.  The annual conferences attract about 175 people from all over the world.  Perhaps the actual number working on the subject is twice this number.

Who is the furthest along in their research?

Japan followed by Italy, Russia, and China.

List the different avenues of research going on right now.
To understand this answer, you need to do some reading.  However, the brief answer is that the work is focusing mainly on electrolysis, gas discharge, and gas loading.
Which among them seems most promising?  least promising?

Gas loading and gas discharge are most promising with electrolysis being the least promising.

How many years are we away from actual implementation of cold fusion as a source of energy for the public?

More than 10 years are required unless more money is applied and someone gets lucky in finding the necessary conditions.

How many dollars of research are we away from actual implementation of cold fusion as a source of energy for the public?

This is impossible to guess. Even hot fusion is not able to guess how much money would be required to make it work even though the process is basically understood.  The cold fusion process is not yet understood.

Have petroleum or traditional fossil energy corporations been involved in cold fusion research in any way?

Occasionally these companies have looked at the process but lost interest when they could not make the process work at practical levels.

In what way do you think cold fusion will  change the world?

Cold fusion would produce profound and basic changes  in the world that are hard to even imagine.  People had better change their ways before this source of energy is available because the effects will be huge.  The discoveries being made over time have each had an increasingly large effect on how mankind lives and fights. First, there was fire, then creation of explosives, cheap steel, heavier than air flight, atomic fission, computers , mastery of the genome (life), and now the potential availability of cheap and unlimited energy.   Each of these discoveries led to applications and uses that changed everyone’s lives. Cold fusion will be the most important in this series of discoveries and will have the greatest effect, both good and bad.

List some services of cold fusion.
Cheap goods would be produced.
Large amounts of pure water from the oceans would be available.
Generation of CO2 would be reduced resulting in a reduction in global warming.
The world would no longer be dependent on oil.

Space travel within the solar system would be much easier.

List some disservices of cold fusion.

Initial destabilization of the world’s economies would occur.

War would become more deadly even without the use of atom bombs.
Increased food would result in a growing world population.

Fight for resources could lead to another world war.

McLuhan’s Tetrad questions:
What’s cold fusion enhance?

It makes energy.

What does cold fusion make obsolete?

All other sources of energy.

What does cold fusion retrieve that was previously obsolesced?

Impossible to answer.

What does cold fusion flip into when pressed to an extreme?

The process that makes cold fusion work would also make possible the conversion of common elements into other more valuable elements.   In other words, the claim of the Alchemists would be realized.

Cold fusion scientist speaks this Saturday – in public!

If you are in southern California this Saturday June 26, get down to  the Long Beach Conference Center to hear a public lecture on cold fusion.  From the press release:

(PRWEB) June 3, 2010 — The 17th Annual Natural Philosophy Alliance (NPA) announces its first free Public Science Day on Saturday June 26, 2010 at the UC Long Beach Pyramid Pointe Conference Center from 9 am to 6 pm during its 4-day conference starting June 23 at Cal State Long Beach. Independent scientists from around the world will be on hand for a day of experiments, demonstrations, thought provoking lectures, and comradery.

“…In the early afternoon Dr. Michael McKubre will answer the question “How Hot is Cold Fusion?” as he did when he appeared on 60 Minutes in April 2009…”

“The NPA’s full scientific conference takes place at UC Long Beach from Wednesday, June 23 through Saturday, June 26. Independent scientists from around the world have submitted over 100 technical papers, to be collected in a conference proceedings book, available to the public for $25. From 8:30 to 6:00, Wednesday through Friday, many of these scientists will present the ideas from their papers to an attentive audience of peers. Interested students may also register for the conference and hang out to discuss physics with the many presenters in the campus dorms.”

“Admission is free on Public Day. For more information, call 562-508-4504, email contact(at)worldnpa(dot)org, or visit the website http://conf17.worldnpa.org.”

The press release is posted here or go to the NPA website http://www.worldnpa.org/main/


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Also recent article by posted on  The Examiner by Fred Burks touts cold fusion documentaries.  Read this other voice for a changing paradigm:
Energy crisis: Top scientists show how to make oil obsolete in two powerful documentaries
by Fred Burks

BP attacks the Gulf, US surrenders

June 14, 2010 — The Gulf is a graveyard. Fishing is likely finished for the next several years, if not decades. Wildlife has been devastated, and some species may never return. Tourism to some of the most beautiful beaches in the US has plummeted. Shipping lanes are set to be sludge tracks. And hurricane season is just beginning.

BP attacks the Gulf, but the virtual surrender from the Feds hasn’t shamed the oily politicians enough to keep them from whining about more drill permits. An Exxon Valdez gushes into the Gulf every 3-4 days as a whole ocean clogs with crude. Listening to the army of those who want to expand drilling further into the last remaining wildlands is a surreal and sorry sound.

Even those who accept the Peak Oil scenario fret over “environmentalists going bonkers” with their “outrageous demands” to curb this sociopathic need to consume oil.

It shouldn’t be surprising. Petroleum revenues fuel our entire society. We are all complicit. Few of us have the skills to escape the ubiquity of the slick. Worse, our elected representatives, in training for industry jobs, deflect scrutiny of their oily paycheck by shouting: 50,000 jobs on the line if drilling doesn’t continue; the “growth” of our economy will halt; poor ole grandma won’t be able to heat her house in December.

Where was the whining as jobs were vacuumed up across the border over the last several decades? And define economic growth. Growth for who?

Sadly, when it comes to Grandma’s house, there is an element of truth. For Grandma won’t be able to heat her house in winter much longer, whether drilling continues or not. Indeed, the most compelling argument against further drilling is not about jobs or the environment. It’s about Grandma, and it’s strategic.

The world’s finite petroleum resource is about half gone; the easy discoveries have been made, and the easy oil has been extracted and burned. Global oil discoveries peaked in the early 1960s and as demand has grown, we’ve been nursing the same oil fields for decades without replacement. Only the difficult, dangerous, and more expensive to get at oil remains. Whether it’s tar sands or deep ocean, the price of oil is set to rise, going well beyond Grandma’s ability to pay.

It’s called rationing, price rationing to be specific. And the biggest victims will be oil’s biggest users – US.  With only the expensive oil left to extract, higher prices are inevitable. Eventually, Grandma and everybody else in the US will be priced out. Meanwhile, $10 a gallon won’t stop the guy on his tiny motorbike in Vietnam who only uses a quarter-gallon a week.

In a recent interview, Dr. Michael McKubre stated the most compelling argument.

“These days with what’s going on in the Gulf of Mexico, people are sensitized to the fact that oil is bad; it’s environmentally bad; burning it is bad; it is worse than bad – it’s crazy. It’s a one-time resource, it’s a chemical feedstock; it should be used to make our fertilizers and plastics and the things that make our society comfortable. We shouldn’t be burning it. Someone said burning oil to heat your home is like burning Rembrandts. It’s crazy.”

The range of materials that can be created from oil is extensive, from life-saving plastic medical devices to writing utensils. Notwithstanding polyester, petroleum products are a one-time gift to humanity. Continuing to run an entire transportation network on petroleum is a “huge mis-allocation of resources” and in no way sustainable.

Future generations will look back at this past century and shake their heads, mystified at our Medieval ways. How could a people so effectively misuse their resources? Shouldn’t we be preparing for this inevitable decline in the avaialablity of oil? Shouldn’t we make contingency plans to mitigate the inevitable higher prices? Shouldn’t we invest in a clean and safe energy source? Shouldn’t we have cold fusion now?

3 Funding Opportunities: NSF, DOE, Sloan Foundation

Program: Energy for Sustainability

Agency: National Science Foundation

Next Deadline: Sep 15, 2010

Supports fundamental research and education in energy production, conversion, and storage. Focus on energy sources that are environmentally friendly and renewable. Sources of sustainable energy include sunlight, wind, and biomass, as well as hydrogen and alcohols derived from renewable sources. Research that generates enabling science qne technologies for more efficient hydrogen generation and storage also supported.

Proposal windows are 2/1-3/3 and 8/15-9/15. See

http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=501026 for details.

E-mail: grorrer@nsf.gov

CFDA Number:

Contact: Gregory Rorrer, Program Director

Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems

4201 Wilson Boulevard

Arllington, VA 22230

703/292-8320

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Program: Office of Science Financial Assistance

Program Agency: U.S. Department of Energy

Next Deadline: Sep 30, 2010

DOE’s annual solicitation supports basic and applied research in the following areas: Basic Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Advanced Scientific Computing, Fusion Energy Sciences, Biological & Environmental Research, & Energy Research Analyses. Contacts vary according to research area, & should be notified prior to proposal preparation & submission.

Applications must be submitted electronically, as early in the fiscal year as possible but no later than 9/30/10. Approximately $400 million will be available for grant & cooperative agreement awards in FY 10.

See http://www.science.doe.gov/grants/ for details. CFDA Number:N/A Contact: See Notice for Contacts, Office of Science 1000 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20585

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Program: Sloan Research Fellowships

Agency: Sloan (Alfred P.) Foundation

Next Deadline: Sep 15, 2010

Supports fundamental research by early career scientists in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, economics, neuroscience, physics, and computational and evolutionary molecular biology.

Awards provide $50,000 over two years. Candidates must be faculty members within six years of earning the PhD. Deadline refers to nominations, which must be made by department heads or other senior scholars. Limited submission: three candidates per department. See http://www.sloan.org/fellowships for details. E-mail: teitelbaum@sloan.org

CFDA Number:N/A

Contact: Michael Teitelbaum, Program Director

630 Fifth Avenue

Suite 2550

New York, NY 10111-0242

212/649-1649