Tom and Doug interview Andrea Rossi on E-Cat’s Future

Tom and Doug, the pair that brought you “I Believe in the E-Cat“, has followed up with another fabulous audio selection, this time an hour-long interview with Andrea A. Rossi, the inventor of the Energy Catalyzer conducted on 11/11/11.

The E-Cat is the first commercial product based on condensed matter nuclear science, the science that describes the many types of cold fusion reactions, and is now on the market for industrial and agency use.

Tom and Doug have devoted a page on their website to the E-Cat where you can download the .mp3.

In the interview Andrea Rossi talks about the E-Cat product and the inspirations for it, the plethora of websites that have sprung up in support of it, and the backlash this simple, clean energy technology has inspired.

No big news will emerge over the next few months, as the day-to-day work on the 1MW E-Cat units will consume the bulk of attention, says Mr. Rossi, though he does make a jam date to play the drums with the two songwriters as he likes to relax with a little jazz skins.

Jam on for Cold Fusion Now!

Related Links

Tom and Doug “I Believe in the E-Cat” by Ruby Carat October 7, 2011

First Commercial Cold Fusion Steam Generator For Sale by Ruby Carat November 4, 2011

Review of NASA/ Zawodny US patent application published October 20, 2011

David French 2010The following is a further posting in a series of articles by David French, a patent attorney with 35 years experience, which will review patents of interest touching on the field of Cold Fusion.

November 21, 2011 –The National Aeronautics and Space Administration – NASA has taken the initiative to file a patent application at the US Patent Office relating to Cold Fusion.  This application was filed in Washington on March 24, 2011 claiming priority from an earlier U.S. Provisional Patent Application filed March 25, 2010.  Publication of this application occurred in pursuance of the standard rule that applications are laid open for public examination as of 18 months from their earliest priority/filing date.  This rule does not always apply.  The Patent Office can, if an invention relates to defense or matters of national interest, withhold applications from publication in the normal course.

Viewing the patent application

The US publication number is 20110255645 and the application can be viewed at the following link (here).  A TIFF reader is required to view the images.  TIFF software can be downloaded from the US PTO Images webpage.  Alternately, the publication number can be transferred to  www.patent2PDF.com  where a PDF image with the drawings can be downloaded.

The sole named inventor on this application is Joseph (Joe) M Zawodny.  Googling this name leads to this link, (here).

and this link, a review of a book on Amazon.com (here)

and this link, on PeakYou (here).

I will let the readers chase-down other biographic information on this inventor.

The title of the patent application is: “Method for Producing Heavy Electrons” and the Abstract reads as follows:

“A method for producing heavy electrons is based on a material system that includes an electrically-conductive material is selected. The material system has a resonant frequency associated therewith for a given operational environment. A structure is formed that includes a non-electrically-conductive material and the material system. The structure incorporates the electrically-conductive material at least at a surface thereof. The geometry of the structure supports propagation of surface plasmon polaritons at a selected frequency that is approximately equal to the resonant frequency of the material system. As a result, heavy electrons are produced at the electrically-conductive material as the surface plasmon polaritons propagate along the structure. ”

More significant is claim 1 which is the 1st of 3 independent claims (the others being claims 12 and 19).  Claim 1 is analyzed in detail further below.

One Key Requirement for validity

For this claim to be valid, it must not describe or “read-on” anything that was available in a printed publication anywhere in the world prior to March 25, 2009.  Further, it must not describe any public use or offer for sale occurring in the United States prior to that date.

In this respect, this application explicitly acknowledges in paragraph [0006] that the theory of Widom and Larsen that “heavy electrons” have been linked to LENR activity.  This is described in the application as follows:

“Briefly, this theory put forth by Widom and Larsen states that the initiation of LENR activity is due to the coupling of “surface plasmon polaritons” (SPPs) to a proton or deuteron resonance in the lattice of a metal hydride. The theory goes on to describe the production of heavy electrons that undergo electron capture by a proton. This activity produces a neutron that is subsequently captured by a nearby atom transmuting it into a new element and releasing positive net energy in the process.”

Readers should appreciate that statements made in patent applications and issued patents are not necessarily true.

The patent application acknowledges the article by A. Widom et al. “Ultra Low Momentum Neutron Catalyzed Nuclear Reactions on Metallic Hydride Surface,”  European Physical Journal C-Particles and Fields, 46, pp. 107-112, 2006, and U.S. Pat. No. 7,893,414 issued to Larsen et al, published September 15, 2007, as being prior art which cannot be covered by a claim in the present application.  The application goes on to premise that, as of the priority date, heavy electron production has only occurred in small random regions or patches of sample materials/devices, limiting the capacity of this phenomenon to support a device in an efficient energy generation application.

This inventor himself premises the legitimacy of LENR as a potential source of energy generation.  The fact that NASA has supported this application by paying for the patent filing provides further modest endorsement of this premise, at least as a prospective possibility.  But this filing does not commit the US government to acknowledge that LENR is a significant phenomenon of great potential importance.  This initiative may merely be the whim of a NASA supervisor.

Classification of invention

This application has been assigned to US patent class 376/108.  A link to this class including further links to other applications and patents in the same class and subclass may be found (here).

Highlighting and clicking on the description of the sub-class on this page will lead to a class definition.  That class definition includes systems which aspire to achieve nuclear fusion in the most general sense of yielding, after a reaction, a nucleus of greater mass, whether successful or not.  It includes cases where neutrons are used to cause a fission reaction.

Classification in this subclass does not necessarily define what is really happening.  It is really just a 1st guess and it is further subject to the possibility/likelihood that the subclasses in this classification system are not fully up to date with latest developments.

From the link to US patent class 376/108 further hyperlinks to pending patent applications and issued US patents in the same subclass may be effected by activating the links “A” and “P“.  

Claim 1

A better understanding of claim 1 can be achieved by parsing it as follows:

1. A method of producing heavy electrons, comprising the steps of:

selecting a material system that includes an electrically-conductive material, said material system having a resonant frequency associated therewith for a given operational environment; and

forming a structure having a surface, said structure comprising a non-electrically-conductive material and said material system, said structure incorporating said electrically-conductive material at least at said surface of said structure,

wherein a geometry of said structure supports propagation of surface plasmon polaritons at a selected frequency that is approximately equal to said resonant frequency of said material system, and producing heavy electrons at said electrically-conductive material as said surface plasmon polaritons propagate along said structure.

This claim is very broad and may have to be narrowed to achieve the approval of the US examiner.  The applicant must not only establish that the claim qualifies as covering only to novel, nonobvious, methods in view of what was before March 25, 2009, but also the examiner must be satisfied that the disclosure is free of uncertainties and contains sufficient information to enable the replication of the invention once the patent expires.  This application may be vulnerable on both counts.

This could turn out to be a remarkably broad claim if it is upheld.  Readers may be able to supply examples of prior art that fall within its scope.  Regarding uncertainty, the meaning of this claim will depend upon understanding what is meant by the word “propagation”, as in the phrase “supports propagation”.  This could mean increasing in quantity, or advancing in space.  Contrast: a propagation of new species (after a massive extinction) versus propagating in space (radio waves). The 2nd use of propagation at the end of the claim is in the latter sense.  In the circumstances, we may look to the general “story” of the disclosure to clarify the meaning of words used in a claim. We must also examine the disclosure to determine if it is “enabling”.

Disclosure of the invention

The Summary of the Invention portion of the disclosure is clearly written by a patent attorney.  The rich use of “may” rather than “is” is a clear indication of this conclusion.  Attorneys never wish to commit themselves if they can avoid it.  The 1st paragraph in this section also contains some strange passages:

“The structure may include a solid matrix material with the electrically-conductive material mixed therein. The structure may exist in a state selected from the group consisting of a gas, a liquid, and a plasma. The electrically-conductive material may be mixed in the structure.”

To suggest that the structure can exist in the state of being a gas, liquid or a plasma seems to stretch the word “structure” too far.  But patents are to be read with a mind willing to understand.

Detailed description

The Detailed Description of the Invention portion of the disclosure is more often associated with the words of the inventor. In this section we nevertheless find text which is entirely predictive with no examples.  This portion of the disclosure is supposed to enable others to build and operate the invention.  In this case, the instructions are tied-to or expressed in terms of achieving the object of the exercise.  This is generally not considered to be sufficient to meet disclosure and enablement requirements.  Sample paragraphs that are somewhat indefinite are as follows:

“[0021] ….In general, device 10 includes a selected material system 12 that is incorporated onto/into a tuned structure 14 that supports propagation of SPPs and resulting heavy electron production that is sustained by device 10 across and/or through the entirety thereof.

[0022]….device 10 is made in such a way that it will establish a resonance in a SPP (e.g., via its inherent thermal energy for a given working environment, or via the application of energy to initiate SPP resonance) at a small region or portion of device 10.

[0023]….Regardless of the application, material system 12 will have a resonant frequency associated therewith for the working or operating environment of the application. Determination of this resonant frequency can be achieved by experimentation as would be understood in the art.  For example, the resonant frequency for metal hydride systems can be measured using neutron scattering. The resonant frequency for molecules (e.g., molecular films such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs, hydrogenated/deuterated molecular structures such as graphane and its nanotube variants) can be determined for specific vibrational or rotational modes using spectroscopy. [Comment: earlier, it was suggested that resonance was to be formed in particles.  Why is resonance within molecules relevant?  Is there a distinction between the resonant response of a material system and the resonant response of “heavy electrons?]

[0025] With material system 12 being so-selected and its resonant frequency for a working environment being determined/known, tuned structure 14 incorporating material system 12 is formed. In accordance with the present invention, this is achieved by making the geometry of structure 14/material system 12 such that the SPP resonance thereof is established (i.e., either by inherent thermal energy of device 10 or application of energy thereto that initiates SPP resonance) at a frequency (i.e., the SPP resonant frequency) that is approximately equal to the above-described resonant frequency of material system 12.

Apparently, this text assumes that the geometry of structure 14/material system 12 can be chosen so that the displacement of surface plasmon polaritons – SPPs (also described as “heavy electrons”, but not otherwise defined) along the surfaces of the particles of structure can be pumped in their translational motion by applying energy intermittently from an external source, necessarily in synchronization with the presumed reversing travel of SPPs within the particles.  Since the disclosure premises that an external source can be: “a form of energy selected from the group consisting of electric energy, thermal energy, photonic energy, energy associated with an ion beam, and energy associated with a flow of gas” para [0007], there is a presumption that each of these energy sources can be modulated appropriately and will couple with the heavy electrons increasing their energy content or, presumably, their effective mass.

The objective of “propagating” the existence of “heavy electrons” is said to have utility because of their prospective role in:  

“coupling…… to a proton or deuteron resonance in the lattice of a metal hydride (and) … undergo electron capture by a proton. This activity produces a neutron that is subsequently captured by a nearby atom transmuting it into a new element and releasing positive net energy in the process” (para [0006]). 

Accordingly, this patent does not represent that it is establishing a process for producing energy based on an LENR or Cold Fusion process that arises from the formation and absorption of neutrons.  Rather, it accepts such process as a given and presumes to provide a method for enhancing the efficiency of neutron production.

Overall, the specification is speculative and suspect for lacking any data on actual procedures that have been carried out to successfully produce the results promised.

Results promised

And the disclosure runs the dangerous risk of making excessive promises:

“The present invention allows an entire device surface or volume to produce heavy electrons as opposed such production in small random regions of materials/devices. Thus, devices/systems constructed in accordance with the present invention will have performance that is predictable and maximize heavy electron production that results in, for example, maximum energy production for a given device/system or predictable efficiency and effectiveness of a gamma ray shield.” [0007]

It’s better not to make promises as to the degree of performance that can be achieved from the invention since, if such promises do not deliver, this is a grounds for questioning the validity of a patent.

Conclusion

In conclusion, this application seems to be as much the creation of a patent attorney who has received the advice that the resonant excitation of “heavy electrons” will improve their “propagation”.  It will be interesting to see how the examiner reacts when this filing is reviewed in 2 or 3 years.

Postscript: Apparently, no corresponding application was filed either under the Patent Cooperation Treaty or before the Canadian Patent Office.  This indicates that the relative importance thought to be associated with the patent filing by those paying the bill is modest.

Persons wishing to make comments on this posting are invited to visit the Cold Fusion Now website where this article is posted.

SRI International: “What happened to cold fusion?”

Dr. Michael McKubre, long-time researcher in cold fusion from the SRI lab in Menlo Park, California speaks to the public on the subject at Cafe Scientifique.

This is the first of eight separate Youtubes, all entitled “What happened to cold fusion?”

Dr. McKubre describes two main branches of the science, electro-chemical palladium-dueterium PD-D and nickel-hydrogen gas-loading Ni-H systems in plain easy language that any interested person can understand.

“I’m going to teach you enough electro-chemistry to go home and do these experiments yourselves.”

He says “Most of the work in the field has been in PD-D systems.” Francesco Piantelli began exploring Ni-H cells in the early nineties. It is this type of reaction on which inventor Andrea A Rossi based his Energy Catalyzer steam generator. Dr. McKubre will discuss that development at the end of the talk because as a news topic, its “hot and interesting.” He also says “Some recent results at SRI seem to support the idea that nickel and light hydrogen also can support nuclear level excess heat.”

In video 2 following, he says of the excess heat generated by a cold fusion energy cell, “This amount of heat is 100 or 1000 times the sum of all possible chemical energies combined.”

PD-D systems are sensitive to impurities. The cell itself is not glass.Fusilica, Teflon, platinum, palladium, quartz and alumina are the only materials that can be used in the cell.

To measure the heat generated accurately, Dr. McKubre says “we need a very well-defined temperature environment.”

The temperature difference between the water coming in and the water going out is measured by two sensors at the inlet of water moving past the heating unit and two-to-four sensors on the outlet water.

The three things we need to know is “what is the temperature difference, what is the mass, the flow rate, how many grams-per-second of water is going through that calorimeter, and what is the heat capacity of that water which is 4.186 Joules per gram of air-saturated water.”

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Related Links

Michael McKubre interviewed by James Martinez on Ca$h Flow June 1, 2010 download mp3

Starting 2012 with Cold Fusion 101

A new short course on cold fusion science and technology sponsored by the Engineering and Computer Science departments at Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be held in January 2012 during institute’s Independent Activities Period.

Designed for MIT students, Cold Fusion 101: Introduction to Excess Power in Fleischmann-Pons Experiments addresses the early history of cold fusion science beginning with the analysis of the original palladium-deuterium type systems that Drs. Fleischmann and Pons used in their research during the late 1980s.

Peter Hagelstein of MIT Electrical Engineering is leading the class with Mitchell Swartz of Jet Energy in a technical overview of theory and experimental electro-chemistry over seven days January 23-27, 30, 31 from 11AM-12:30PM.

Peter Hagelstien
Peter Hagelstein will co-teach Cold Fusion 101 at MIT

Nickel-hydrogen systems will also be addressed with a look at Francesco Piantelli‘s experiments. Professor Piantelli collaborated with Sergio Focardi generating energy by combining hydrogen and the metal nickel in the mid-nineties, research which inspired Andrea A. Rossi‘s E-Cattechnology.

Dr. Hagelstein has been exploring the theoretical aspects of cold fusion looking to find a model of the reaction. He is also involved experimentally through the design of thermal diodes, a technology which promises a more efficient thermoelectric conversion, the process whereby heat energy is converted into usable electricity. He was quoted in this article of 2009Turning Heat into Electricity” about this research.

Most recently, Dr. Hagelstein spoke as part of Cold Fusion Energy Inc at the World Green Energy Symposium held in Philadelphia, PA this past October.

Mitchell Swartz
JET Energy, Inc's Mitchell Swartz with students at MIT
Dr. Swartz will discuss experimental results from the Jet Energy lab where he developed the Phusor generator. Preferring the terminology Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reactions LANR to describe his research, he hosts Colloquium on LANR/CFat MIT annually.

Reviews of the Colloquium can be downloaded from Infinite Energy here for Part 1 and Part 2.

You can read the scientific papers of both Dr. Hagelstein and Dr. Swartz on the International Society of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science‘s Library page, and it’s pretty heady stuff.

While the course is designed for the students at MIT, special candidates may be able to attend with prior instructor approval.

Cold Fusion Now!

Related Links

Cold Fusion Energy, Inc debuts at World Green Energy Symposium by Ruby Carat October 14, 2011

Citizen’s Petition calls for open support of cold fusion technology

Kelley T of Sierra Vista, AZ is the creator of the Whitehouse.gov petition asking President Obama to “investigate the usefulness of the Energy Catalyzer, a creation of the Italian inventor Andrea Rossi and he needs your help in gathering signatures to move the request forward to the President.

white-house-logo

Can you take a moment and sign the petition to publicly put this issue in front of President Obama? You must register with Whitehouse.gov using an email address to sign the petition, and the effort needs over 24,000 signatures to make it through.

Having just sent a batch of letters to the Congressional House and Senate Sub-committees on Energy, this effort towards the Whitehouse completes the triptych.

Sign the petition to the Whitehouse here.

Thanks Kelley, and thanks to all who took the time to lend their name to this Action for a clean energy future.

*******Kelley T has subsequently joined with Cold Fusion Now as zed short.

The Believer by zed short

Waiting for the E-Cat: A Comedy in Two Acts by zed short

Cold Fusion Now!

Letters to Congressional Energy Sub-committees repeat hearings request

Why does the Department of Energy refuse to acknowledge LENR science and technology as part of its energy portfolio?

Why does the US Patent Office siphon cold fusion patent applications outside of the review channel?

A recent mailing sent two dozen letters to the Senate Sub-Committee on Energy and other Senators requesting hearings into these questions.

This past few days Cold Fusion Now put together letters addressed to US Congressional Representatives on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce‘s Sub-committee on Energy and Power, as well as the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology’s Sub-committee on Energy and the Environment asking these very same questions.

This massive stack of snail mail is the whole 39 letters to Congressional energy policy makers requesting hearings to find the answers.

Stack of 39 letters
Snail mail retrieves the classic art of letters for sleepy TV-body Legislative Branch.

Hand-signed and flying with the wind to the attention of US Representatives such as Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland who since at least 2004 (when I started paying attention) spent more than his share of time educating his peers on Peak Oil, to no avail.

Also included on the Sub-committee on Energy and Environment is California Representative Dana Rohrabacher, who way back in 1989 spoke out in support of Drs. Fleischmann and Pons as they endured a torrent of vitriol from a physics arena that couldn’t reproduce the results.

In an editorial for the Los Angeles Times on June 18, 1989, Representative Dana Rohrabacher chastised physicists for their vehemence, beginning with a quote:

Every great idea has three stages of reaction:
1) It won’t work.
2) Even if it works, it’s not useful.
3) I said it was a great idea all along.
Arthur C. Clarke

It has been almost three months since two obscure chemists at the University of Utah held a press conference to announce that they had found something truly incredible in their test tube. Their reported discovery of cold fusion, if accurate, would usher not only science but all aspects of modern life into an era of growth and improvement that mankind has not experienced since the Industrial Revolution.

Not everybody was happy with this news.

The vehemence with which B. Stanley Pons and Martoin Fleischmann were denounced in the scientific community, the ferocity of attack on their work, as well as on their personal styles and motivations, surprised everyone. Well, that is, everyone who hasn’t taken a look at the history of science.

Representative Rohrabacher goes on to review the experience of great scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, Antony van Leeuwenhoek and Joseph Lister. Continuing, he wrote:

And in Europe, the powers of the day heaped scorn on the idea that a steam engine could have a practical use in transportation, which sent Robert Fulton to America with his plans for a steam-powered boat.

As recently as 1956, the Astronomer Royal of England scoffed at space travel as “utter bilge.” The very next year, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik.

So, some of us were not surprised at the recriminations, both petty and sweeping, that deluged the two poor chemists in Utah upon their claims of discovering cold fusion.

The high priests of physics were annoyed with the scientists’ method of public announcement; several universities touted their inability to reproduce in a matter of weeks results arrived at over a period of years, and physicists the world over continue to express pique at the presumption of two chemists entering their realm.

Rep. Rohrabacher was not a believer, giving Drs. Fleischmann and Pons “around a 50% chance of being vindicated someday.”

He was a voice of tolerance, of integrity, of decency.
He wanted to give this discovery “a chance.”

Our world needs such people who are willing to look where others refuse, to reject commonly held premises in the quest for new truths and to step before us with brave new ideas knowing that vilification will follow, even if history ultimately vindicates them. If cold fusion does fly, Pons and Fleischmann will be remembered as men who changed the course of human history; if cold fusion turns out to be a worktable mistake, well, let’s remember Pons and Fleischmann as two men who excited our imaginations for a while and who reminded us that we should not discourage pursuit of scientific knowledge, even if it flouts conventional wisdom–even if it is done without the benefit of a federal grant.

And for these words of reason, disdain poured upon him too.

Perhaps our message will prompt him to think back to those moments when he had the courage and fire to speak for what was right, and this time, feel the strong and worthy support behind him to do it again.

In politics, we don’t have to agree on everything.

We just need folks to do their jobs.

Join us in asking Congress to do theirs.

Why doesn’t the DOE consider LENR science and technology, and why isn’t the Patent Office prioritizing LENR patents?

Patent Office Memo

Cold Fusion Now!

Related Links

Turkey Today, Genius Tomorrow: Cold Fusion Attempt Has a Noble Lineage in Science by Representative Dana Rohrabacher for the Los Angeles Times June 17, 1989

Representative Dana Rohrabacher Congressional webpage.

Representative Roscoe Bartlett Congressional webpage.

House Sub-committee on Energy and Power from Contacting the Congress

House Sub-committee on Energy and Environment from Contacting the Congress

Patent Office Memo scanned by Jed Rothwell from LENR Library.