“Explaining LENR”

A new idea of what creates the cold fusion reaction has been articulated by Edmund Storms of Kiva Labs. Storms describes his hypothesis with the simplest terms in the updated Student’s Guide to Cold Fusion [.pdf] and in a recent paper submitted to the Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science called Explaining LENR. [.pdf]

There are three distinct parts to his model.

1. The Nuclear Active Environment NAE of a crack or hollow is formed.
2. Hydrogen enters the NAE.
3. Applied power at the resonant frequency of the NAE/hydrogen combo turns mass into energy.

Storms does not say what nuclear mechanism is at work, only that it is instigated by resonance.

Peter Gluck, one of the earliest scientists to look into cold fusion/LANR/LENR, and what he has termed LENR+ for the new commercial products now being engineered, asked how this proposal answers seven crucial questions, and got Storms to answer. Re-published here from his blog EgoOut is their exchange.

Question #1: What are the consequences if the New Theory is successful?

Storms: The consequences of my theory being correct are twofold. First, the ability to replicate LENR at robust levels will improve. Once the required cracks can be manufactured on demand, the energy could be made on any scale, from that required to power a computer to a space craft.

Second, the phenomenon can be applied to solving the solar defect of neutrinos. This will cause a new understanding of the Standard model. But right now, we can only hope.

Question #2: What about the completeness of the New Theory? Is it a “transtheory”?

Storms: The model will be a “trans-theory” only to the extent that it is acknowledged as plausible and worth exploring. This acceptance is not assured at this time. As for whether one or many theories are required depends on how many ways Nature has to cause LENR. I assume only one basic method is possible. Therefore, only one theory is needed, i.e. the correct one. We will have to wait until the proper tests are made to determine which theory is correct. My model shows exactly which tests need to be done.

Question #3: Is the theory valid for all the existing LENR systems?

Storms: I base my model on hundreds of observations that show several very robust patterns of behavior. These behaviors include both the presence and absence of expected behavior. I rely on using a large number of combinations of behaviors, all of which are consistent with the logic of the model.

In addition, the model can be applied to both deuterium and hydrogen systems using any method for causing LENR. Of course, less support for the idea exists in the hydrogen system, which makes it the ideal system to use as a test of the predictions.

Question #4: Does the New Theory explain the serious problems of control, characteristic to all the LENR systems?

Storms: Control is a problem that the model addresses. I assume the rules controlling chemical behavior apply to the process that precedes the nuclear reaction, regardless how the nuclear reaction operates. Once the preconditions are understood, the controlling variables can be identified and used in the same manner they would be used to control a chemical processes. In other words, chemistry determines the rate of the nuclear reaction.

Once the required conditions are formed, the nuclear process occurs very rapidly and without any additional effort. This is similar to how energy is made in a gas furnace. The rate of energy production is determined by how fast the fuel is applied, in this case D+, and the subsequent flame does its thing without any additional effort or control.

Question #5: Does the New Theory explain the huge enhancement of energy achieved in the LENR+ systems of Rossi and Defkalion?

Storms: Rossi has succeeded in increasing energy production by finding a way to create many active cracks in the fine nickel powder. Presumably the powder has just the right size to support exactly the correct size crack. As a result, the concentration of NAE is higher than Piantelli was able to achieve in solid nickel. The secret of the process involves the method and/or the material that needs to be added to Ni to cause the cracks to form.

Question #6: Piantelli had a self-sustaining cell working for some 4 months and Rossi speaks about an active life time of the material of 6 months. It seems Ni is not destroyed but transmuted. My guess from the very start (1993 paper) was that the active sites are formed in some way by “surface dynamics”- the movements of the atoms at the very surface of the metal – many degrees of freedom.

If the NAE are active cracks in the metal and many/more active cracks mean more energy, then isn’t LENR an inherently destructive process? Is there is a concurrent process by which the structure of the metal is rebuilt, the “wounds” are healed or is the metal, in a certain sense, ‘sacrificed’, structurally speaking?

Storms: I propose that a limited and relatively constant number of active cracks can form because these result from stress relief. Once all the stress is relieved, no more cracks can form. Of course, most of the cracks made this way will be too large to be active, so that only a small number of NAE sites are making the detected energy.

The life time will be determined by variables independent of the number of active sites. For example as deuterium accumulates in the E-cat, the reaction rate will drop because the less active tritium formation reaction will start. When deuterium is used to make helium, the helium will accumulate and block access to the active sites for the deuterium.

I do not believe that any significant transmutation takes place. All measurements of this process show that this reaction is rare, except for the claim by Rossi.

Question #7: Based on the New Theory, what would you recommend as a strategy for the LENR field? On what should research and development focus as much as they can; palladium-deuterium Pd-D systems or nickel-hydrogen Ni-H systems?

Storms: This question involves politics, which makes it difficult to answer. On the one hand, the Pd system has a great deal of experimental support while the Ni system can apparently produce significant power, but based on very little understanding of the process.

If the crack model is correct, the metal is not important except that it be able to form active cracks and dissolve D or H as the required reactants. In fact, Ni might be a better host for the D reaction than Pd because it is cheaper and the D is more active than H because each D makes more energy than each H.

So, my advice is not to focus on the metal but on understanding the process. Once the process is mastered, the claims will be accepted regardless of the metal used. In fact, I think neither Ni nor Pd is the best host for the reaction.

Related Links

A Crack in the Code by Ruby Carat May 24, 2012