Dr. Melvin Miles on Helium-4, Excess Heat, & Peer Review — New Interview

Dr. Mel Miles is an electrochemist and college professor who spent much of his career at the China Lake Naval Research Laboratory, and is probably best known for systematically detecting the presence of helium ash in Palladium-Deuterium cold fusion cells between the years 1989 and 1995. Many experts in the field believe that Dr. Miles’ findings constitute some of the best evidence in favor of the “cold fusion” hypothesis.

For the first part of the interview Mel and I discuss some of the finer points of his pioneering experiments as well as the link between excess heat & helium-4 production. Dr. Miles then retells some of his first-hand experiences during the tumultuous year of 1989. We also discuss Mel’s peer reviewed critiques of the allegedly “negative” results produced by both MIT & Cal Tech. Not only were their lab procedures and reports fraught with basic/fundamental errors, but in parallel they seemed to abandon the scientific method by engaging in ridicule & grandstanding only months after the discovery. In closing we touch on Dr. Miles’ new book that will compile years of personal correspondences from Martin Fleischman himself.

An overview/summary of Dr. Miles’ experiments, written by Jed Rothwell, can be read here. Other LENR/Cold Fusion related interviews/essays can be found at my blog Q-Niverse.

15 Replies to “Dr. Melvin Miles on Helium-4, Excess Heat, & Peer Review — New Interview”

  1. The Mitsubishi transmutation process makes me think that there may be a fusion-fission process taking place in F&P cells that could explain the mechanism for getting helium and 24 MeV heat without a gamma ray.

    Pd + 2d > Cd*

    Cd* > Pd + He

    Over all:
    2d > He 24 MeV (with no gamma ray)

    1. Akito Takahashi probably has the most detailed/developed cluster fusion/fission model (aka TSC model). It is a “tetrahedral symmetric condensate” (similar to a Kim’s hypothetical BEC) that fuses into a Be8 “halo state” where it then releases the excess kinetic energy/momentum in the form of “BOLEPS” (Bursts Of Low Energy Photons). It then fissions into He-4 “ash”. The question is can a BEC, even for a femtosecond, form in certain systems whose temperature is quite high. And of course BOLEP, similar to Storms’ “resonant photon emission” mechanism, is highly hypothetical (but at least is backed up by relatively straightforward math/QFT, unlike most speculative models). We know that certain BEC can be formed under very tightly controlled conditions, closer to room temperature than in the past, but in my opinion still kind of a stretch to just assume, without much evidence, that we should expect them in LENR. Would be cool if the theory turns out correct however. Regardless I’m partial to some sort of “cluster fusion” hypothesis at this point, perhaps assisted through “quasi-particles” (like “Axil’s”/Peter’s plasmons, Hagelstein/Schwinger/Meulenberg phonons, etc.). But I’ll be just as happy if it’s something interesting/dark horse like DDL/Hydrino or ZPE EVO Clusters. Cheers!

      1. I was also thinking that although palladium is more expensive than nickel perhaps the Mitsubishi process could be used to transmute the more abundant element molybdenum into palladium (making it competitive with nickel systems).

        Mo + 4d > Pd

        Or from strontium

        Sr + 4d > Mo

        Mo + 4d > Pd

      2. What’s been bugging me (perhaps because I’m a chemist) since 1989 is that the physicists tend to ignore the chemistry and only think of the deuterons. The deuterons covalently bond with the transition metals in the lattice to form metal hydrides. The deuterons are farther away from each other in the lattice than they are in deuterium gas. This is what makes me think that the transition metals are involved in the nuclear reactions [in reactions initially similar to the Oppenheimer-Phillips process that take place below the coulomb barrier but then go onto absorb the whole deuteron ( or nickel hydride absorbing its protons). Frankly, I just don’t like the way physicists think.

        1. My issue with that kind of hypothesis is this: Why isn’t there evidence of an overwhelming chemical reaction taking place in the lattice if lattice atoms (and/or nano-particle core) are involved? We know that LENR is some sort of solid-state assisted process…the lattice is the “house” the reaction takes place in (or at the surface of)…if we needed to burn the entire house to keep the reaction going A) We’d notice the chemical byproducts, and B) The house would be far more disfigured/quickly destroyed in the process. You might be right however, I’m no technical expert, but I know how to add up known pieces of evidence (from actual LENR experiments, not a hodge podge of random evidence from disparate fields) to create a “model” that is always open to adjustment.

          1. I’m not suggesting that the massive amount of heat is due to a chemical reaction. I’m sure that there is some initial chemical heat of adsorption when the deuterium is loaded into the palladium (because chemists do heterogeneous hydrogenations all the time) before the nuclear reaction takes place. The palladium must be saturated with deuterium to see the effect. This suggests that the stoichiometry is constant with palladium hydride formation.
            There must be an initial chemical reaction that takes place to sets things up for a nuclear reaction (you always get a chemical reaction when you add deuterium gas to palladium metal).
            When I heard that F&P weren’t seeing a lot of neutrons, the first nuclear reaction I thought of in April of 1989 was an Oppenheimer-Phillips reaction (a kind of “stripping reaction”). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppenheimer%E2%80%93Phillips_process
            I fired off a one sentence snail-mail to Chemical & Engineering News (May 15, 1989, page 3). I predicted that silver-109 would be found (not the two natural isotopes of silver) and that’s precisely what John Dash later found.

            Pd(108) + d > Pd(109) + p 3.9 MeV

            Pd(109) > (beta decay) Ag(109) + e-

            You would also see the other isotopes of palladium undergoing stripping reactions (i.e. isotopic shifts of palladium) and that’s exactly what Tadahiko Mizuno found in the little volcano like hot spots in his palladium cathodes.

            1. PS
              I don’t think these O-P reactions received much attention because they rained on the parade. The precious metal palladium (unlike abundant nickel) is being consumed as nuclear fuel (not just the deuterium that the oceans can provide). In 1990 Ragheb and Miley also thought of this and it still didn’t gain any traction. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01588274

  2. Has someone ever had the idea that a liquid solution may be replaced by a mass of molten salt producing hydrogen anions so important in the Piantelli inventions of cold fusion. Put a palladium electrode (anode) into molten potassium deuteride producing deuterium anions and see what happens. The cathode may be made of platinum. Palladium may be replaced by titanium. Hydrogen anions can be formed by heating the melt of potassium hydride above 400°C see the article :Cold Fusion Catalyst” in the former blogsite e-Cat Site now removed from inspection?

    1. Have you looked much into the work of Mitchell Schwartz @ MIT and his NANOR electrolytic generator? While I think it functions based on a different theory, a PdD “liquid solution” as you put it might have potential if properly developed, though the focus is on NiH now for obvious and good reasons.

  3. Did you know that palladium is not penetratable by helium? It is penetratable by tritium or triton. See Belgian Patent BE1002780 in the article “Belgian LANR Patents” of the e-Cat Site (in English). In Dutch (Flemish) through ESPACENET (European patent data base.

  4. The idea of using molten salt containing a substance like potassiumdeuteride has been disclosed already in the patent application WO9202019 (A1) – 1992-02-06 having the title: “Electrochemically Assisted Excess Heat Production” Univ Hawaii . Liebert Bruce et al. Use of anionic hydrogen resp. anionic deuterium going to the anode being e.g. a palladium anode.

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