Listen to episode #23 of the Cold Fusion Now! podcast with Ruby Carat and Special Guest Dr. Dimiter Alexandrov, a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Head of the Semiconductor Research Center at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay , Canada.
He talks with Ruby about his transition to LENR research.
“It was exactly 30 years ago when I read about the first cold fusion experiments. My current involvement in the LENR research is based on experimental research outcomes got accidentally two years ago,” says Dr. Alexandrov.
His materials and electronics research led him to investigate deuterium and hydrogen plasma for the purpose of manufacturing semiconductors.
“The palladium specimen was placed on the sample holder and deuterium nitrogen gas mixture was directed to the specimen in the environment of inflated hydrogen.”
“During the experiments, I found the release of helium, especially the lighter stable isotope helium-3, and another stable isotope helium-4. I also found there is a correlation between the heat release and the release of helium.”
“For me, it was apparent that I was observing low energy nuclear reaction. I would like to determine if it was cold nuclear fusion because, in fact, the initial products were deuterium, and hydrogen – hydrogen was actually coming from the environment – and their interactions with the metals. Generally speaking the end products were helium. There is no other way other than to conclude that cold fusion has occurred.”
Two different methods to determine helium production at the sample were used.
“One way was mass spectroscopy. It was clear we had a release of helium-3. However, mass spectroscopy cannot distinguish helium-4 from molecular deuterium.”
“That’s why additional experiments were done, and I was lucky I found there was a release of helium-hydride, that is helium-4-hydride, and, the mass spectroscopy showed clearly that helium-hydride had been released”, explains Dr. Alexandrov.
Helium-hydride is a positively-charged ion, a helium atom bonded to a hydrogen atom, with one electron removed. He reasons that the helium-hydride could not occur unless helium was produced in the main chamber.
“I did additional experiments in order to confirm we are talking exactly about helium gas, and these experiments were connected with optical spectroscopy of the excited gasses immediately above the sample holder. This optical spectroscopy shows very clear peaks about helium, which means we have optical radiation from the excited helium, and actually, it shows a typical peak for helium-4 and one peak pertaining to helium-3.”
He also finds a temperature change that cycles up and down, correlating with the cycles of helium-4 concentration. The temperature of the sample holder, begins at room temperature, but after interacting with the deuterium gasses in the hydrogen environment, the temperature increases about 3 degrees Centrigrade for approximately 15 minutes or so, and then drops back down to initial temperature, and then increasing again, etc.
“I observed several cycles, and several times this happened, and the cycles of the temperature change correlate with the cycles of concentration of helium-3 in the main chamber. The heat release happens because of the creation of helium-3, and helium-4 as well”, he says.
Dr. Alexandrov recently presented at the 2019 LANR/CF Colloquium at MIT with Synthesis of Helium Isotopes in Interaction of Deuterium Nuclei with Metals [.pdf]
What’s next for this repeatable experimental effect?
Thirty years ago on April 26, 1989, Drs. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons were in the midst of a barrage of inquiries about their discovery. Visitors to their basement lab on the UU campus were treated to a tour, and came away satisfied. Others elsewhere were setting up cells, and failing to reproduce the excess heat effect the pair had claimed was nuclear in origin.
Excitement and confusion carried the news to the U.S Congress where a hearing would be held. A group representing the University of Utah, including Drs. Fleischmann and Pons, the University President Dr. Chase Peterson, and the Vice-President for Research Dr. James J. Brophy would update the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and ask for research funding to explore this new effect.
This was documented in the Pulitzer-prize nominated book Fire From Ice Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor by Eugene F. Mallove which chronicles the early days of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science.
At 9:45 A.A., Room 2318 in the Rayburn House Office Building was packed. Chairman Roe in his prefacing remarks held up the promise of a golden age: ” Today, we may be poised on the threshold of a new era. It is possible that we may be witnessing the cold fusion revolution, so to speak. If so, Man will be unshackled from his dependence on finite energy resources.” The ranking Republican member of the Committee Robert Walker of Pennsylvania, sang the tune of small science, which Pons and Fleischmann had come to personify: “If this discover is fully proven, it will show once again the importance of supporting a vigorous small science enterprise in this period of large engineering and science projects… If the initial results are verified, it is essential that we do everything we can do to develop the promise of cold fusion.” He chilled the hot fusion scientist who were present: “I was pleased that the committee’s Energy Research and Development Subcommittee accepted my amendment during its April 6 markup authorizing that $5 million be redirected from the Magnetic Fusion Program in to the basic Energy Science activity, specifically for room temperature fusion.” He said he would move in the direction of upping that to $25 million. These high states were really making the hot fusion people sweat, but despite their skepticism, they could not be absolutely sure that old fusion was a mistake or an artifact – a misinterpretation of something much more prosaic.
Congressman Owens introduced Fleischmann and Pons with soaring words: “The event, the possible achievement of solid state fusion, or the so-called cold fusion, is nothing less than a miracle with all the elements of a miracle – surprise, exaltation, disbelief, and skepticism.” Pons led the cold fusion charge and recounted the tale of their amazing discovery. He had brought a mock-up of their experiment to show the congressmen and held forth with technical slides to buttress his case, explaining the science and technology of the special electrochemistry in some detail. He explained the “competition” of two paths for the deuterium – either release as D2 gas bubbles at the palladium rod surface or deep penetration into the palladium. Pons drew a mental picture to prompt association with hot fusion, “… we end up having a low-temperature plasma inside the metal instead of atoms or molecules of deuterium” Palladium can dissolve within its structure a staggering amount of deuterium (or hydrogen) without forming gas bubbles within the lattice. With the palladium lattice, nature supposedly performs a wonder that our most sophisticated technology is incapable of doing otherwise. Pons said, “If you were to try to obtain that same voltage by the compression the hydrogen gas to get that same chemical potential of 0.8 Volts you would have to exert a hydrostatic pressure of a billion, billion, billion atmospheres…” Pons estimated the effective confinement time for the deuterium atoms to be 600 years! Ergo, he and Fleischmann had tamed fusion.
Mallove continued describing Stanley Pons’ experimental conclusions:
….The bottom line: “… the excess heat liberated is of such a magnitude that it cannot be explained by any chemical reaction.” But even more wondrous: “The heat generation continues indefinitely until the cell is turned off….” This time he fully owned up to the mystery of cold fusion: The amount of energy coming out was about a billion times more than could be explained with conventional d-d fusion giving those same measured levels of neutrons and tritium. “So apparently there is another nuclear reaction or another branch of the deuterium-deuterium fusion reaction that heretofore has not been considered, and it is that that we propose is, indeed, the mechanism of the excess heat generation.”
Responding to question about others who reported that they could not reproduce the effect, Eugene Mallove recounts Dr. Fleischmann’s response.
To questions about reproducibility, Fleischmann claimed that many people were setting up cells with dimensions and parameters that—not surprising to him—did not yield excess heat. Just to be sure no one could question their veracity, Pons announced that researchers from Los Alamos would soon be coming to the University of Utah to measure a working cell and would take it back with them for testing (after it was charged up with deuterium). He also said that other groups in the past week had come to the university and had been satisfied with what they saw.
They were supremely confident of their results. Pons told the committee: “For five and a half years I think we were our most severe critics, and we are still as sure as sure can be. We produce our data and we believe what we are seeing.” Fleischmann was only a shade more circumspect: “I do not know how to interpret our results in any other way than that we have observed a fusion phenomenon. So I’m still totally convinced about our work. But naturally, we shall have to look at everybody else’s work as well, including all unsuccessful experiments, and only time will show whether we are correct or not.” Fleischmann based this claim, he said, on adding up the total energy coming out of a typical cell over a period of 100 hours or more. The bottom line: The excess energy per cubic centimeter of material in the palladium electrode (5 megajoules per cubic centimeter; alternatively, 1.4 kilowatt-hours per cc) was over a 100 times “any conceivable chemical reaction in the system.” Fleischmann did not doubt that if the experiment were run 10 times longer, the total excess would be 1,000 times higher than a chemical process.”
Also testifying in support of the claims was Dr. Robert Huggins, a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Mallove writes that at the hearing, Dr. Huggins claimed 14% excess heat with a deuterium cell, while a light-hydrogen cell used as a control produces zero excess heat.
He put the magic conclusion directly up front, “The results that we have obtained lend credence to the Fleischmann and Pons contention that a significant amount of thermal energy is evolved when deuterium is inserted into palladium, and that this phenomenon is quite different from the behavior of the otherwise analogous hydrogen-palladium system.” Not being experienced in nuclear measurements, however, he had no neutron or other radiation data to give further support to this remarkable result.
Huggins’ group was claiming about 14 percent excess heat in one of the experiments. The excess power generated in the deuterium-containing cell increased continuously, while the power curve of the light water cell remained essentially flat. Huggins concluded that there must be “an appreciable internal heat generation effect in the case of the deuterium-palladium system, regardless of the presence of any chemical or thermal effects in both systems.” The group had observed the phenomenon, he said, in more than one sample, on several occasions, and with different types of calorimeters. Moreover, Huggins asserted, “The magnitudes of the observed effects are comparable to those reported earlier by Fleischmann and Pons and lend strong support to the validity of their results.” Huggins told the panel that the now very puzzling reproducibility problem in his view had to do with the preparation of electrode materials, a theme he would consistently echo in weeks to come. He cautiously avoided a firm conclusion that the phenomenon was a nuclear effect, though he did cite the Walling-Simons theory (the helium-4 production branch of d-d fusion) as a possible explanation.
Another supporter came in the form of hot fusion scientist and editor of the journal Fusion Technology, Dr. George H. Miley, whose written statement to the Committee included, “I am personally convinced that solid-state catalyzed cold fusion occurs and this is an unexpected
and very important new regime of physics.” In fact, Professor Miley was a “proponent of fusion in any form”
Mallove writes in Fire from Ice:
Miley’s overall message advocated diversity in fusion research—the antithesis of the present direction of the financially strapped hot fusion program. “It’s very important to the research activities of this nation that we have seed money to allow smaller groups to do the exploratory research,” he said. “I’m a lifelong proponent of fusion. It has so many possibilities, that one of the difficulties of the moment is there is no roo for funding for innovative research. Something has to be done.” He was absolutely right.
Of course detractors were at the hearing as well. Dr. Ronald Ballinger, Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology “blasted Drs. Fleischmann and Pons’ “communication”.
Eugene Mallove tells the story of how Dr. Ballinger told the Committee
…that the round-the-clock MIT experimenters had so far been unable to verify any cold fusion claims. “To my knowledge,” he said, “with the possible exception of the people at Stanford [University], and the results from Europe and the USSR, of which I have no personal knowledge, we have not had a single confirmation, scientific confirmation of the reported neutron emissions from the experiment, nor the excess heat. I want to be careful when I say scientifically verified.” He maintained that the MIT radiation detection measurements were at least 10 times more sensitive than the University of Utah measurements yet had found no neutrons. He also claimed that MIT’s calorimetry was also “probably about ten times more sensitive.”* Blasting Fleischmann and Pons’s style of scientific communication, he said, “… the scientific community has been left to attempt to reproduce and verify a major scientific breakthrough while getting its experimental details from The Wall Street Journal and other news publications.” He urged the committee to support verification experiments but not to commit major funds before that process had worked its way through.
As it turned out, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s attempts to reproduce the effect were woefully inadequate.
The MIT Plasma Fusion Center held a Wake for Cold Fusion before their experiments were even finished. Shockingly, they also edited their data, moving temperature readings downward to eliminate any possible signature of excess heat.
A later analysis of both MIT and Caltech’s epic fails was performed by Drs. Melvin Miles and Peter Hagelstein who determined that in both cases, crippling designs and/or procedure damned their results. For details read New analysis of MIT Calorimetric Errors [[.pdf]
30-years after Drs. Martin Fleischmann and B. Stanley Pons declared the existence of an unknown type of nuclear reaction occuring between electrolyzed palladium and heavy water, research into understanding the Anomalous Heat Effect has grown into the discipline of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science with experimental results beyond what anyone could have imagined.
Difficulty in reproducing the experiment caused the topic to be banned from federal funding opportunities and peer-reviewed science journals for the duration of their existence, nevertheless CMNS scientists have documented effects such as fusion-sized excess heat from tiny table-top cells generating no deadly radiation. They have achieved the alchemist’s dream of nuclear transmutation of elements, even finding biological systems that transmute elements. Experiments based on the work of Drs. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons have generated coherent photons, maser-like emissions, and a host of other nuclear phenomenon occurring in solid materials at relatively low-temperatures.
Now, the field that offers so much towards solving humanity’s energy and material woes is starting to get the attention it deserves, and resources are turning towards solving the biggest scientific question of our time and using that knowledge to create a new energy technology that will transform the world.
Read Celebrating30 Years of Cold Fusion Science: The 2019 CF/LANR Colloquium at MIT [.pdf] by Christy L. Frazier Infinite Energy #145 May/June2019
Robust support and resources boost range of results
The US Department of Energy DoE and the US Patent and Trademark Office USTPO initiated decades of drought for basic CMNS research with a no tolerance policy for anything “cold fusion”, and up until recently, neither agency officially accepted the reality of this reaction. But the USPTO is accepting and approving more small, innovative nuclear reactor designs within the designation called Low temperature nuclear fusion reactors, e.g. alleged cold fusion reactors than ever, despite still battling specific cases.
This was reported on by former-USPTO Examiner Richard Chan at the 2019 LANR/CF Colloquium at MIT, a two-day meeting held on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over the 30th anniversary of the news briefing by Drs. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons on their discovery.
The event was organized and co-sponsored by Dr. Mitchell Swartz and Gayle Verner of JET Energy, and Dr. Peter Hagelstein of the Research Laboratory for Electronics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Participants were treated to a program that included top CMNS experimentalists and theorists from around the world.
International scientists and longtime original researchers presented a tour-de-force of frontier work in condensed matter nuclear science. Some results had been presented at the 21st International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science ICCF-21 last June, but at the 2019 Colloquium, new developments in theory were heard, and experimental work was more tightly summarized with new positive data from the last year added.
Colloquium Co-host Dr. Mitchell Swartz began the event with Why CF/LANR is Important and then gave several talks throughout the two-days focused on the engineering aspects of the NANOR, a tiny, reliable, low-wattage unit that is being designed and tested for its commercial potential.
There were short, quick presentations where lessons learned were inventoried at various stages of development.
Two States Characterize and Control Active CF/LANR Systems, D-Line Emission from Active CF/LANR Preloaded NANOR-type Components, Importance of D Flux (Q1D to Motors) and Preloaded NANOR-type components (from teaching components to masers). [See also ICCF-21 videoAqueous and Nanostructured CF/LANR Systems Each Have Two Electrically Driven Modes and ICCF-21 videoPersonal Experiences During Many Years of LENR Experiments]
Co-host Dr. Peter Hagelstein commemorated the 30-year anniversary by sharing an overview of the problems the announcement cold fusion posed to conventional science with the lecture Physics Issues, Key Experiments and Mechanism, describing some of the key experiments that inform today’s theoretical thinking.
He also talked about PdD and PdH Phase Diagrams. [See also ICCF-21 videoStatistical Mechanics Models for the PdHx and PdDx Phase Diagram with both O-site and T-site Occupation]
There was excitement over recent modeling breakthroughs in the excitation transfer ideas, outlined in his lecture Phonon-nuclear coupling, excitation transfer, and applications which have conformed with experimental evidence and
offer a path to modeling the unique release of energy from this newly-discovered nuclear reaction. [See also ICCF-21 videoPhonon-Mediated Excitation Transfer Involving Nuclear Excitation]
Florian Metzler, who’s working with Dr. Peter Hagelstein at MIT, presented Update on MIT phonon-nuclear coupling experiments describing the process that will confirm the claims. [See also ICCF-21 videoObservation of Non-Exponential Decay of X-ray and γ lines from Co-57 on Steel Plates]
But while CMNS experimentalists and theorists were reporting on the state of the field, their very success is riding a wave of attention and funds flowing into research. Concurrent with the increased number of a patent filings in the Low Temperature Nuclear Fusion category, private capital is moving to do what federal funds wouldn’t, securing sections of basic scientific research that are incrementally advancing towards usable technologies in the near- and long-term.
At least four active investors were at the Colloquium getting updates on their projects. Michael Halem of LENRInvest, Dewey Weaver representing Industrial Heat, Hideki Yoshino of Clean Planet, Inc. and Carl Page of Anthropocene Institute all attended the full two-days of lectures by scientists who are looking to engage in more collaborative work.
Dr. Robert Duncan, Professor of Physics at Texas Tech, where a heat-helium correlation, among other experiments, had been announced in 2014 was also in attendance, though there was still no outcomes published from that project.
Industrial Heat continues diverse support in experiments and theory
Industrial Heat has been funding several LENR research projects for about seven years. A group photo with some of the scientists IH works with was taken at ICCF-21 and published in the 2019 LENRIA Calendar.
The mix of basic research and commercial aspirations shows the variety of work they fund. Dennis Cravens, Dennis Letts, Tom Claytor, and George Miley (who weren’t at the Colloquium at MIT) are primarily experimentalists who presented new, hotter results at ICCF21 [video]. Student researchers working in the lab with Professor George Miley at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are supported, too.
Clean Planet, Inc starts new round of collaborations
At the Colloquium, Dr. Yasuhiro Iwamura presented Recent Advances in Heat Generation Experiments using Nano-sized Metal Composite and Hydrogen Gas with newer, positive excess heat data from the repeatable and replicated experiments with the twin Metal Hydrogen Energy reactors. [See also ICCF-21 videoAnomalous Heat Effects Induced by Metal Nanocomposites and Hydrogen Gas]
Famous for his nuclear transmutation research, which he still continues in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Dr. Iwamura is lending his engineering expertise to the design of excess heat generators in the Condensed Matter Nuclear Reaction Division of the Electron Photon Research Center at Tohoku University.
Establishing that CMNS division at Tohoku was due in part to the work of Clean Planet, Inc. and Dr. Iwamura was accompanied to the Colloquium at MIT by Hideki Yoshino, the CEO of Clean Planet. Over the last several years, Clean Planet has put together the largest collaborative LENR project on the globe, involving several university and industry labs in Japan who partnered together for a series of successful replications over a two-year program, showing what can happen when multiple laboratories work together.
Now with new funding, they are beginning another set of coordinated excess heat and nuclear transmutation experiments, and it appears that Anthropocene Institute will be assisting them.
“Dr. Iwamura has a terrific approach, and I’m looking forward to working with them – and anybody else who is making good progress”, says Carl Page, President of the Anthropocene Institute.
Anthropocene Institute co-sponsored the 2019 Colloquium at MIT and President Carl Page gave a talk Athropocene Institute, Clean Energy and Cold Fusion [.pdf] about his perspective and plan for nothing less than an overhaul of the global energy landscape.
Anthropocene Institute sees new nuclear as solution to climate change
“Anthropocene Institute exists to try to accelerate the adoption of clean energy technology of any sort that can get us well ahead of climate change so we can fix climate energy for sure, with enough energy for a safety margin,” he says, “in case something unexpected happens.”
President Carl Page made clear the priorities of the Institute, which echoed many of the researchers at the Colloquium: to provide clean, dense energy that addresses climate change and initiates an economic renaissance to lift global populations out of poverty, all by deploying new small nuclear technology, as soon as possible. While he includes designs such as molten salt reactors, according to Page, LENR is the “best and most desirable solution”.
“I’m a climate hawk,” he said in his presentation. “I’m one of those people that believes that IPCC is a conspiracy of scientists lying to us about climate change – but they’re understating the problem. We actually have to get completely off of fossil fuels in 10-12 years if we can, and that means that we have to deploy atomic energy way faster than most people believe is feasible.”
“One of the problems I look at for my schedule is ocean acidification. People worry about temperature increase, and it’s complicated. It takes a big computer to tell you how climate changes.”
“A one line equation tells you when ocean water changes to sparkly water, and it turns out the ocean plankton doesn’t like sparkly water at all.”
“The schedule we have to worry about is somewhere between 2035 and 2050, the plankton will change its way of life.
“It may not decide to kill us – but it could; it might make hydrogen sulfide instead of oxygen. That would be bad if you’re a warm-blooded creature.”
“It probably won’t, but nobody knows. The plankton gets to decide and it hasn’t made up its mind yet. I vote for not giving the plankton the option to choose our fate.”
Rate of decarbonization isn’t fast enough
“We are in a race. Every nation has to decarbonize – I say in twelve years. Some nations already have; I don’t have Sweden on this, but it would probably be at top of the chart. “
“We are all in a race towards zero percent carbon.”
“The only one to use technology to get there is France, because they’re 80% nuclear and 20% hydro. And then you have Germany, which is completely going backwards: they’ve invested a whole lot in wind and solar – you can see that tiny little corner. (These are years going by to the right in each bar). And here’s Japan, which was pretty good, about middle of the pack, and then they got to be as bad as Australia because of Fukushima.”
“We have spent enough money in California and Germany to completely zero out carbon from our sectors, so we can do it, we just didn’t choose the right technologies.”
“We can’t let this kind of thing slide anymore. That’s why we’re relying on LENR and other forms of innovation in energy.”
That passion is driving Anthropocene to support multiple LENR-based projects, and seek collaborations in both basic research and technology development. Brillouin Energy Corporation was the first lab to get his attention, and with Anthropocene support, Brillouin has achieved multiple benchmarks of success, continually upping their prototype heat generator Hot Tube power output and efficiency.
But Carl Page wasn’t always so optimistic.
“I was very resistant to even looking at LENR because I was pretty sure that physicists knew it was impossible. But I had to look back through the contexts and figure out why people were saying that. I had to figure out who was acting like a scientist, and who was acting like an ideologue, or defending academic turf and funding.”
“I was introduced to Robert Godes and I didn’t even talk to him for a year until I studied the back story, and until I figured out that there was room in physics for this to exist, I refused to talk to him!”
“But I’m obviously pretty convinced now.”
Robert Godes is the President and Chief Technical Officer of Brillouin Energy, as well as the inventor of the Hot Tube, a LENR heat generator.
“It became clear to me that it was possible; that there was a hole big enough in physics to accommodate this observation. And it was also apparent to me that we had passed over most of the relevant important technologies.”
LENR is the #1 choice of all other innovative nuclear technologies
Dr. Francis Tanzella, now retired from SRI International and consulting privately with Energy Research Center reported on the Hot Tube last June, announcing 5 Watts excess thermal power with a 1-2 COP. It was not a commercially-viable output, but controllable, and on-demand, something unique in the LENR research community. [See ICCF-21 videoNanosecond Pulse Stimulation in the Ni-H2 System]
By December, the Hot Tube had realized an increase to 50 Watts excess thermal power with a 2+ COP.
At the Colloquium on March 23 of this year, Dr. Tanzella reported in Update from Brillouin Energy [.pdf] another hike in Hot Tube thermal excess power to 80 Watts.
Carl Page said, “Robert Godes has a different perspective in that, he’s not trying to get a science win like I kind of would do, but he’s trying to build a practical reactor that doesn’t have material degradation. He’s trying to make sure he can carry the heat away really well, and that there’s no electro-migration of materials in the catalyst, so he’s using an AC impulse function instead of a DC one, to make sure the electro-migration gets healed.”
“He doesn’t want to make any reactions that are sustained by adding temperature, because if the reaction is creating heat, it’s obviously hard to control, expecting heat to control it. So the electrical stimulation function is the option here.”
“He’s got a computer model of the reactor that predicts within 0.1% what the temperature is supposed to be at any given time. So in the old days, they would have to set up the reactor and wait for it to stabilize, and then use the calculator to figure out how much power they were getting. Now, they just have a readout that says how much power they are getting at all times. They can play with the input parameters and the readout is compared with the model and anything unexpected that happens shows up immediately. ”
“That’s a tool available for others to use, too. It’s called System ID or System Identification. And basically you don’t have to tell the computer what you think is going on in the reactor. You let it learn, and then, see if the model predicts that. And then if a thermometer starts to break, you know it right away. It’s a really great system.”
To avert the worst of climate disaster and re-kindle a new economic paradigm, Carl Page sees LENR as superior to all other innovative nuclear technologies, “because that’s the cleanest I’ve ever seen”. Plan B is the small type nuclear reactors like those that use hot molten salt.
All carbon-free options are being pursued
TerraPower is a company developing next-generation nuclear power systems like the Molten Salt Reactor within its own lab, as well as assisting other labs, and was founded by the very resourceful Bill Gates, who resides as Chairman of the Board. [visit] Searching the number of patent apps in the G21B3/00 designation and showing 1,380 results reflects these numerous technologies that have been developing outside the orbit of CMNS science, and the consequence of such able and venturesome support.
While Anthropocene Institute favors LENR technologies, all the alternatives to decarbonize are being explored. President Carl Page outlines the back-up plan. “Now if the LENR community fails, there’s still a good option, the Fission Molten Salt Reactor fueled by Uranium or Thorium. This is the thing that President JFK was trying to build, and that 73% of the American people would support if anybody were building them, as polling data shows.”
In an MSR, uranium or thorium is dissolved in a hot salt liquid. Heat is captured while it fissions within the mix. This type of technology would allow the clean-up of existing stockpiles of uranium nuclear waste to be processed as fuel for an MSR.
This is good news to environmentalists, because Molten Salt Reactors are nothing like the pressurized water, conventional nuclear power plants of yesteryear.
“The fission industry with the light-water reactor is pretty much dead – except in South Korea and China – because it’s hard to make an unsafe system safe, by adding parts and complexity,” reports Carl Page.
“If somebody pokes a hole in a Molten Salt Reactor, the fuel might spill out on the ground, but it sits there – there’s no fallout cloud, there’s no steam explosion, there’s no hydrogen-zirconium disassociation problem. There’s no blowing the roof off with hydrogen, so it’s quite safe.”
“The MSR can be deployed really fast because it doesn’t require heavy construction – there are no pressurized reactor vessels. You can build many of them per month in a modern shipyard quite easily. China is getting started on MSRs for water-saving power plants, and for warships.”
“That will happen if LENR doesn’t.”
Carl Page says that “A sub-goal I like to focus on is 1 cent clean energy. Because right now, coal might be 5 cents, and wind is 3.5 cents in new purchases, solar is about 3.7 cents in desert purchases, so if we were trying to sell you a light-water nuclear reactor and they say 10 cents a kilowatt hour, they’re not going to get anywhere, right?”
“If we’re envisioning LENR solutions and anything else, we have to aim at the price that renewables will get to. Even though nuclear energy has advantages that renewables don’t, selling it is still hard against the market.”
The people are ready for change, but are physicists?
“It’s important to be reminded why there are so many people opposed to nuclear power, and I admit as a college activist I was opposed to nuclear anything, but that was because I was really scared about the arms race. Today’s situations are really different, and we need to get over it.”
A survey done by the Anthropocene Institute shows that most Americans in the U.S. would welcome a new type of nuclear technology.
“It turns out that Americans are afraid of fallout clouds and meltdowns, but they’re not actually afraid of the word nuclear“, reports Page. “The reasons that people who don’t like nuclear don’t like it are varied, but LENR is a winner in all these.”
“Most Americans are looking for good innovation. In fact, if you promise the kind of nuclear that JFK was trying to build before Nixon shut it down – the molten salt reactor – 73% of Americans say they would love that. The word didn’t turn them off.”
“We need to have a lot more people speaking out correctly on what energy systems are safest, as well as cheapest. We shouldn’t be relying on climatologists to tell us what energy technologies are safest, but we’re not out there tootin’ our own horn, so we have to get a lot better at that.”
“MIT has been talking a lot about innovative nuclear. They haven’t gotten as innovative as LENR yet, as this reports, and this is a concern, but this is quite a good report”, he says referring to The Future of Nuclear Energy in A Carbon Constrained World issued late 2018. [visit]
“The fact that classical mechanics with a few corrections from quantum mechanics explains everything that plasma physicists understand and it predicts experiments to nine decimal places, it’s an amazing accomplishment. But it doesn’t work in solid materials at all.”
“Physicists are right to object that if LENR was real, you’d see it in nature. And when you’re looking through astronomy, it’s sometimes hard to see a LENR signature.”
Showing a diagram of the interior of the Earth, he asked the audience of CMNS scientists, “Why is the solid part hotter than the liquid part? It’s not fission, and it’s not fusion. Do you guys know any reactions that might look better in a solid than in a liquid? Because the physicists don’t.”
Then he cited data recently observed in Japan that shows “there are neutrinos coming from the direction from the core of the Earth that shouldn’t be coming from the core of the Earth, because the core of the Earth would shield it. In fact, physicists say they have changed the standard model of physics to explain this crazy observation!”
“However, suppose there was a reaction that makes neutrinos located atthe core of the Earth. Then we don’t have to change the standard model of physics. So I’m guessing that we’ll be able to see a lot of new stuff in nature once when we really get our heads around when the LENR reaction happens. ”
There happened to be another meeting of physicists at the same time as the LANR/CF Colloquium, and physicist John Wallace, co-author of Yes Virginia, Quantum Mechanics Can Be Understood: How Nature Treats Information [visit] who spoke at the Colloquium on Baryon Charge Density[.pdf], was hopping back and forth between the two meetings. He indicated there “was some curiosity there” at the physics meeting, and that several physicists stopped by the Colloquium, too, though there was no word on their thoughts about the talks.
Carl Page likes to remind people that “with LENR, we’re in a place where experimentalists are in the drivers seat, and physicists are really uncomfortable with that. But that’s how we got through thermodynamics: scientists didn’t tell the steam engineers anything useful, rather, thermodynamics was curve-fitting into what the engineers had already figured out.”
Technology and applications that can’t wait are developing together
Larry Forsley gave a wide-ranging talk titled A Reliable Protocol for Inducing Nuclear Reactions in Condensed Matter which included an update on his work with the fusion-fission hybrid reactor being developed in partnership with NASA for space power, the benefit being that the most dangerous and expensive material is replaced with a clean LENR cell. Slides from the presentation show the reactor core features and comparisons.
USPatent 8,419,919 was issued in 2013 for the System and Method for Generating Particles detailing the original design for the GeNiE.
Larry Forsley says that, “This hybrid technology embraces the NASA Kilopower and previous Prometheus nuclear reactor programs but requires neither low nor high enriched uranium (LEU or HEU) fissile material. Previous NASA power conversion, shielding and heat dissipation research and development is applicable to this new reactor core.” [See also ICCF-21 video Hybrid Fusion-Fission Reactor Using Pd/D Co-Deposition and ICCF-21 videoSpace Application of a Hybrid Fusion-Fission Reactor]
Another project he announced was a A STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Trackers Kit initiative intended to help train students to use the technique of co-deposition. The project is being developed with Dr. Pamela Mosier-Boss and assistance from Anthropocene Institute.
Student participation to rise with new STEM Trackers Co-deposition Kit
From taking sound and video from an active cathode that allowed them to hear and see the “mini-explosions” of power, to generating neutrons detected with CR-39, Dr. Stanislaw Szpak and Dr. Pamela Mosier-Boss, who initiated and developed the co-deposition method, derived two decades of successful research at the Navy SPAWAR electrochemistry lab from the approach . There is “independent reproducibility and replication across multiple laboratories in five countries”, according to Forsley.
“Consequently, we’re developing an undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) enrichment program using the Pd/D co-deposition protocol in conjunction with Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) in San Diego, CA. A student presented some of their data in a poster session at the march meeting of the American Physical Society,” said Larry Forsley.
The STEM Trackers Kit originated with undergraduate chemical engineering seniors at University of California, San Diego over a three-year period. Students successfully used the protocol to produce energetic particles as detected by CR-39. The paper Energetic Particle Emission in Pd-D Co-deposition An Undergraduate Research Project to Replicate a New Scientific Phenomenon [.pdf available] reports on that project.
Sadly, there are few women involved in this science. In fact, there may have been only two women officially registered for the event. Gayle Verner of JET Energy, Inc co-organized the event was there of course, and one other woman registered. Initiatives to engage students is an important task for CMNS scientists, not only to educate more young people about this exciting science, but girls, too.
Lectures on Experiments and Theory
There were two lectures on Helium production in Pd-D systems.
Dr. Dimiter Alexandrov presented Cold Fusion Synthesis of Helium Isotopes in Interaction of Deuterium and of Hydrogen Nuclei with Metals [.pdf]. In the course of his materials research, he had been performing experiments using palladium and deuterium, and discovered – by accident – that helium was being produced! Since then, he’s been studying the parameters of the repeatable experiment. At the Colloquium he also described the methods used to determine it was helium production, including mass spectroscopy. [See also ICCF-21 videoNuclear Fusion in Solids–Experiments and Theory]
Dr. Melvin Miles was scheduled to talk on Production of Helium in Cold Fusion Experiments [.pdf] At the last minute, Dr. Miles was unable to attend, so I was recruited to give his talk. It was about a simple equation he developed to compute the theoretical amount of helium that should be generated in Pd-D systems, given the excess power generated in Watts and the current in Amps. This equation assumes all the excess power is derived from the helium generation, neglecting other reactions that may be taking place. With that input, you can compute the amount of Helium-4 generated in parts per billion.
Dr. Miles then re-analyzed his early heat-helium data and compared the theoretical amount to the actual amount of helium measured. Not surprisingly, the computed values followed the measured values. [See also ICCF-21 videoExcess Power Measurements for Palladium-Boron Cathodes]
Steve Katinsky and David J. Nagel presented Status of LENRIA Experiment and Analysis Program (LEAP). The Industrial Association for LENR [visit] organized and sponsored the 21st International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science ICCF-21
in Colorado, US last summer, and, they publish the LENRIA Calendar. The growth of LENRIA’s participation in the CMNS community from advocacy into scientific research continues with LEAP, a testing project using the Naval Research Laboratory’s palladium-boron cathodes, which Dr. Melvin Miles had used previously with success.
Working together on a theoretical model, Thomas Dolan presented Heavy electron catalysis model [.pdf] right before his colleague Anthony Zuppero presented Applications of the model to experimental data. [See also ICCF-21 videoElectron Quasiparticle Catalysis of Nuclear Reactions]
Konrad Czerski talked about Crystal Lattice Defects and Threshold Resonance of D-D Reactions at Room Temperature. [See also ICCF-21 videoInfluence of Crystal Lattice Defects and the Threshold Resonance on the Deuteron-Deuteron]
I missed the talks by Vladimir Plekhanov with Experimental study of the strong nuclear interaction via re-normalization, Jozsef Garai on a Physical Model for Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reaction, and Jeff Dricscoll, who talked about Mills’ Theories, though I was able to get a one-on-one with Jeff Driscoll for the documentary.
Interesting new science was presented by Keith Fredericks in his lecture Elliptical tracks: Possible Evidence for superliminal electrons [.pdf] which looked at strange tracks detected on photographic emulsions. [See JCMNS 15 Possibility of Tachyon Monopoles Detected in Photographic Emulsions]
Brian Ahern talked about Anharmonic Motion and Magnetism in LANR, which contained a section about his analysis of an unusually powered car. [See .pdfEnergy Localization The key to Understanding Energy in Nanotechnology & Nature]
Dr. Hysen Blloshmi spoke epically on the History of one Significant Invention [.pdf] which included details on his cold fusion generator which he reports was able to power the desalination of seawater for 400 days. Thomas Ciarlariello spoke on Muon Catalyzed fusion from Prior Art to Future Space Planes and had this hand-out [.pdf].
Robert Smith, Jr. talked about the Impacts on the Rate of Knowledge in LANR.
On a related topic, Dr. Thomas Grimshaw gave an overview of the LENR Research Documentation Initiative [20Mb .pdf] which is currently servicing and/or finished a total of 11 different projects.
Imagine 30-years of data on varied file formats, including 5″ floppies and software from 1990, and you can understand the importance of capturing the early record of research in this field, especially as original scientists get older.
Cold Fusion Now! was on the scene to get video interviews for a documentary movie to begin production in 2020. I was able to talk one-on-one with scientists such as Sveinn Ólafsson who spoke on Experimental techniques for studying Rydberg matter of Hydrogen. [.pdf][See also ICCF-21 videoWhat is Rydberg Matter and Ultra-Dense Hydrogen?]
I taped video statements from longtime researchers Francis Tanzella, Francesco Celani, Larry Forsley, and Brian Ahern. Also, Yasuhiro Iwamura, Robert Duncan, Dimiter Alexandrov, Mathieu Valat, and Thomas Grimshaw spoke with me about their thoughts on this thirty-years of research.
Lectures were captured by videographers Richard Chan and Frank Ling, who also recorded some interviews. Videos of the presentations are expected to be available at http://www.lanr2019.com/.
Turning agony to ecstasy accompanied by cocktails
Saturday night was a party at Legal Seafood in Cambridge, a block from the MIT campus, to celebrate the decades of historic revolutionary science performed by a community of outcasts turned heroes. Delicious appetizers, drinks and dinner were served, and it was good to know it was Legal.
Former-USPTO Examiner Richard Chan, who gave a patent update at the Colloquium – and performs more functions than a Cray – was ready with equipment to DJ that night! Would the set of music put together for the party be realized? Alas, the room was not appropriate for that.
It turned out that there was so much to talk about, the conversations reached high decibel levels, so nobody missed the music. It was probably good that there was no dance floor. What might occur when nuclear scientists electrolyze Chardonnay with the Ohio Players?
It wasn’t just Cambridge that partied. Festivity migrated around the world that night. Electrochemist and veteran LENR researcher Dr. Michael McKubre shared a photo of he and Dr. Huw Price celebrating a toast in New Zealand. [See H. Price Icebergs in the Room Cold Fusion at 30]
Cold Fusion Now! had special I’m Hot! t-shirts made for the occasion, and gave the Colloquium organizers a prize for their hard work. Then, a lucky player volunteered for our game: Name Three Effects of the Cold Fusion Phenomenon and Win a Shirt! I am not actually sure who it was that played, but he was a real sport and lots of fun, and readily met the challenge, as
determined by the scientists in the room, who judged the answers with three boisterous Yeas and zero Nays.
Happening at the same time around the world, CMNS colleagues at the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences were celebrating “Cold fusion – 30 years: results and prospects” in Moscow. A report was first published in Regnum, but here’s a google-translate of the article to read.
From left to right: A.S. Sverchkov, L.V. Ivanitskaya, A.V. Nikolaev, A.A. Kornilov, A.I. Klimov, I.B. Savvatimova, A.G. Parkhomov, A.A. Prosvirnov, V.I. Grachev, S.N. Gaydamak, S.A. Flowers
The program reviewed the 30-years of Russian Cold Nuclear Transmutation research, referring to what we call LENR, and contained a wish for continued success to their friends around the world. We wish for the same, and CMNS scientists look forward to meeting together at the 22nd Interntational Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science ICCF-22 happening Sept. 8-13, 2019 in Assisi, Italy. [visit]
Of course the goup was missing patent lawyer David French, who freely served the community for the last decade and passed away this year. His unique skills, and amenable disposition made him a valuable asset to the field where scientists are brilliant in chemistry and physics, but not so informed on business and law. THANK YOU David.
Over 100 people registered for the Colloquium, and there were more than a few walk-ins throughout the two days. The lecture room in the Strata Building was filled on Day 1, with almost all the seats taken. There was less attendance on Day 2, as many had to leave early to return home for Monday morning.
By 5:30PM Sunday, the Colloquium was officially over, and participants were still hopped up – and numb – from the 48-hour science storm.
Walking around the campus for a last look in the early evening, I came upon Dr. Francesco Celani waiting for his ride. He spoke at the Colloquium on the Advanced version of the “Capuchin knot” geometry [.pdf] and the bump in power he got by putting knots in the straight wire. He was planning to stay another day and roam the MIT campus and bookstores. [See also ICCF-21 videoSteps to Identification of Main Parameters for AHE Generation in Sub-Microscopic Materials]
Green LENR future to benefit oceans, wildlife, and global populations
After thirty years, the CMNS field is now receiving essential attention and support for basic scientific research as well as engineering prototypes from several investor groups. The Anthropocene Institute, the newest to bring help and supplies, has come full-circle in their search for carbon-free, energy-dense, ultra-clean power.
“If you don’t envision where you want to go, you’ll never get anywhere. This is what I envision we should have,” says Carl Page.
“We should have great transportation, we should have great food, a lot of it grown indoors because its way cheaper and a higher quality. We should be able to make a lot more wildlands than we have today, because we don’t need all that farmland, especially those growing bio-fuels. We don’t need palm oil for European Diesel, we don’t need corn ethanol.”
“We’ll need to provide carbon-neutral fuels for vehicles we don’t get rid of. We should have room for 12 billion affluent city dwellers, and, we’ll need to provide industrial heat for our industrial way of life. We’ll need to desalinate large-scale; and this is all quite doable. We should fully recycle everything we use, and we should guarantee success for fifty years.”
“In the 80s, people were taught that if too many people were wealthy, the planet would be overpopulated. It turns out that when people get to be middle class, the population explosion disappears. Population explosions happen because of subsistence farmers needing child labor. The moment child labor is not in the money, people stop overpopulating.”
“So we’ve got to get to work on it.”
Teamwork and communication essential to success
The conversion of Carl Page is complete, and it’s unlikely he’ll be backing down from putting LENR front and center in his nuclear energy mix. In fact, he’s advocating a kind of truce, even collaboration, between the differing nuclear approaches. CMNS success will be reached by broadening participation into a wider, mainstream association. The resources that Anthropocene brings to do that are unmatched to anything this field has seen, and Carl Page has a plan to do it.
“The fact that LENR physics is not well-explained – I consider that a software problem, which is the best kind of problem to have. Because once you figure out your software problem, manufacturing is free. So we only have to figure out the physics once, and then, it’s free.”
“That’s not true of hot fusion, because there we have engineering problems. The physics is well-understood, but the engineering is not. Enginnering problems mean costly changes.”
“The hot fusion and the cold fusion people are sometimes a bit competitive”, he says. “But these innovative nuclear groups are start-ups, and most of them are clever, smart, interested people, and they have a business problem to solve. When they get new physics from people who understand condensed matter, it really helps them. Some, like AGNI are actually half-way between cold fusion and hot fusion, where they have a solid target fusion system.”
“…and the thing is, the government is providing hardly any money into any kind of innovative growth in technology. So if we can stop shooting arrows at each others back, and start trying to get the government to be less disruptive towards research in the relevant technologies, it will help us all. Because if they start funding innovative nuclear, and it includes even a shred for LENR, LENR will take the lead, because we just don’t need as much money. They’ll think they’re hurting us by not giving us enough money, but actually, we’ll get ahead.”
“There are other people in Las Vegas that put the penny in the million dollar slot machine that almost never rings, and there are investors similarly willing to take long odds bets, if it’s more than fair.”
Watch video interviews and selected lectures from the 2019 LANR/CF Colloquium at MIT on Youtube.
In 1989, Dr. Glenn Seaborg was asked to brief President George H. W. Bush on the “cold fusion” phenomenon. On April 14 of that year he did so.
Eugene F. Mallove wrote in Intimations of Disaster: Glenn Seaborg, the Scientific Process, and the Origin of the “Cold Fusion War” [.pdf]:
Even though the jury was certainly still out on the evidence for or against “cold fusion,” Seaborg, through some as-yet-to-be-revealed process (though he certainly had conducted no experiments), had determined that cold fusion was not what it was claimed to be. On April 14, 1989 Seaborg told President Bush that “it is not due to nuclear fusion.”
We discovered this extremely revealing account of Glenn Seaborg’s actions in the spring of 1989, which appeared in an issue of Skeptical Inquirer, November/December 1997, as part of “The Elemental Man: An Interview with Glenn T. Seaborg”.
SI: During the early stages of the cold fusion furor, President Bush asked you to come to the White House and give him your views on the matter. What happened? What did you tell him?
Seaborg: In April 1989, I was called back to Washington to brief George Bush on “cold fusion,” the totally unexpected phenomenon that University of Utah scientists announced they had discovered by the simple process of electrolysis of heavy water. A couple of days earlier, the purported co-discoverer of “cold fusion,” University of Utah electrochemist Stanley Pons, spoke to an enthusiastic standingroom-only audience of chemists at the semi-annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Dallas. His talk had attracted so much attention that, apparently, the news had reached the White House. After briefing White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, I went into the Oval Office to brief President Bush on April 14, 1989. I told him about my role in the discovery of the radioactive iodine that had been used a couple of days earlier to treat his wife, Barbara, and said that a similar treatment with radioactive iodine had effected a miraculous cure for my mother, who was suffering from the same condition as Barbara. The president facetiously said that Barbara is now radioactive and she is not allowed to kiss their dog as long as this condition prevails, but he implied that it didn’t seem that this prohibition included himself—the president. I then went on and described briefly the situation with respect to cold fusion. I indicated that this is not a valid observation—that is, that it is not due to nuclear fusion—but, on the other hand, it must be investigated. The president seemed very interested and convinced by my assessment, and encouraged us very much to go ahead with an investigation. [Infinite Energy’s emphasis]
I might add that the panel I recommended to study the purported “cold fusion” process was created and about six months later came out with a report disputing the validity of the observation, pretty much in line with the view I adopted in my briefing of the president. Also it is interesting to note that President Bush himself, two years later, in May 1991, benefitted from treatment with the same radioactive iodine (iodine-131). —(End of the Skeptical Inquirer interview section)—
–From Eugene Mallove’s Intimations of Disaster: Glenn Seaborg, the Scientific Process, and the Origin of the “Cold Fusion War” [.pdf]:
Dr. Seaborg received the Presidential National Medal of Science from President Bush in 1991.
On April 12, 1989, American Chemical Society (ACS) President Clayton Callis hosted a special Presidents Event “Nuclear Fusion in a Test Tube” at the 197th Annual Meeting of the ACS in Dallas, Texas. Valerie Kuck of AT&T Bell Laboratories organized the Symposium and introduced the speakers.
Special guest Dr. Stanley Pons spoke on the then recently announced discovery of the Fleischmann-Pons Anomalous Heat Effect. Watch the entire set of talks courtesy of the New Energy Foundation.
The initial panel included Harold Furth, Director of Princeton University’s Plasma Physics Lab, Allen Bard from University of Texas, Ernest Yeager of Case Western Reserve University, Stanley Pons from University of Utah, and K. Birgitta Whaley of University of California – Berkley.
The Preliminary note Electrochemically induced nuclear fusion of deuterium by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, with Marvin Hawkins, was published thirty years ago today on April 10, 1989, in Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry and Interfacial Electrochemistry Volume 261, Issue 2, Part 1 Pages 301-308
Download Electrochemically induced nuclear fusion of deuterium – Preliminary note from Lenr.org here.