Charles Seife confuses reality and myth with attack on discoverers of cold fusion

If you want to study journalism, don’t go to New York University where you might get Professor Charles Seife.

NYU Journalism professor Charles Seife shows poor practice of fact-checking.
NYU Journalism professor Charles Seife fails on fact-checking.
His last book Sun in a Bottle: the Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking published in October 2008 appears to be the fodder for his recently published article Fusion Energy’s Dreamers, Hucksters, and Loons posted on, and he hasn’t researched the field since.

Primarily about the inability of plasma scientists to generate commercial power from hot fusion, the recent piece of typing contains gross inaccuracies about cold fusion stemming from the same falsities that pushed it out of the mainstream science community two decades ago.

For over half-a-century, hot fusion labs have received about a hundred billion dollars research funding under the auspice of producing clean abundant energy “in the future”. The joke is that the future always seems to be ‘thirty years away’. To date, hot fusion projects have not generated any useful energy.

However in the article, the author repeats the same myths about cold fusion that have long ago been dispatched by condensed matter nuclear scientists around the world. Scientists working out of U.S. Navy labs, national labs, nuclear agencies, and universities have confirmed the very reproducible reaction’s effects of excess heat and transmutations repeatedly.

Unfortunately, the Professor gets a D for not taking the time to review the facts, confusing the enormous energy gains in cold fusion with the lack of hot fusion success. He fails further by insulting two of the discoverers of cold fusion Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, implying a criminal intent by equating them with the actions of Richard Richter.

Seife writes in his article:

For one thing, the history of fusion energy is filled with crazies, hucksters, and starry-eyed naifs chasing after dreams of solving the world’s energy problems. One of the most famous of all, Martin Fleischmann, died earlier this year. Along with a colleague, Stanley Pons, Fleischmann thought that he had converted hydrogen into helium in a beaker in his laboratory, never mind that if he had been correct he would have released so much energy that he and his labmates would have been fricasseed by the radiation coming out of the device. Fleischmann wasn’t the first—Ronald Richter, a German expat who managed to entangle himself in the palace intrigues of Juan Peron, beat Fleischmann by nearly four decades—and the latest schemer, Andrea Rossi, won’t be the last.

Seife is confusing the 100-year-old conventional theory of nuclear reactions with today’s low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR), lattice-assisted nuclear reaction (LANR), and quantum fusion, names used to describe the variants of cold fusion research taking place today.

As Nobel laureate Julian Schwinger said many years ago, “The circumstances of hot fusion are not those of cold fusion.”

Cold fusion reactions take place inside small spaces of solid material, like the metals nickel and palladium. Cold fusion also can be generated in the crystalline porous structures of zeolites, as well as other alloys and materials, including biological systems.

Reactions use a fuel of both plain hydrogen called protium (the H in H2O) as well as hydrogen isotope deuterium, a hydrogen atom with an extra neutron at the center, and found in seawater.

Cold fusion does not take place in a plasma and does not make the kind of radiation that hot fusion does.

In the conventional nuclear theory from one-hundred years ago, fusion can only occur in high-temperature plasmas, when the nucleons gain high-speeds to impact with enough force to stick together, overcoming the very powerful Coulomb barrier, the force that keeps the positively-charged nucleons apart. The collision, and subsequent fusion of nucleons, produces a burst of heat energy and deadly radiation, all at once.

While cold fusion has no definitive theory at this time, the experimental results point to a slower type of reaction that radiates heat over time with little to no dangerous radiation. Scientists in the field are healthy, and clearly not dead from radiation poisoning, though they have measured heat on nuclear levels.

Consistently documented are thermal energy returns of 3, 6 and 25, depending on the cell design and material. Unofficial energy returns of 400 were witnessed by credible European scientists at demonstrations of Andrea Rossi‘s Ecat, who Seife calls a “schemer”. As the technology develops, cold fusion may show energy returns of 3000 and more.

In some cells the only by-product is helium, while other cells produce products like tritium and neutrons on the order of thousands and millions of times less than hot fusion.

Read Edmund StormsA Student’s Guide to Cold Fusion for more on what’s known about the basic science of this reaction.

The article Seife has written is once again drawing on the twenty-year-old myths created by unimaginative drones who felt threatened their funding would be cut were cold fusion to be heralded.

And it probably would have, for the ultra-clean energy from cold fusion, packaged in a safe, portable unit, with no need for an electrical grid will wholly change the face of our society.

The now confirmed experimental science has transferred to the commercial sector as numerous independent labs and small companies race to develop a new energy technology for the public. The challenges are two-fold, and vary between companies.

Some cells have a high-enough excess heat needed to produce useful power, but lack the control and sustained operation needed to make a commercially-viable product.

Other companies have the control, but need to increase the excess heat return.

Despite public unawareness and MSM myth, the development continues. At this point, only a commercial product will bring the much-needed funding that these new energy labs require to engineer the next-generation nuclear power, and inaugurate a renaissance of human creativity and freedom based on green living.

The inability of conventional scientific minds to venture beyond the comfort and familiarity of the old theories they know so well is a recurring historical fact. But in this age, when innovative energy solutions are so desperately needed, the continuing suppression of new energy options endangers our species and our planet.

Let’s respond to Charles Seife and invite him to the open enrollment in Cold Fusion 101 to be held on the MIT campus January 22-30 where he can get an update from two of the top researchers in the field.

Contact the Professor at his website

A Physicist’s Formula

tsyganov alghero 2012Update 01/2013 —Registration of Energy Discharge in D+D→4He* Reaction in Conducting Crystals (Simulation of Experiment) [.pdf] by Edward Tsyganov from Proceedings of Channeling 2012 Conference in Alghero, Sardinia, Italy.

Cube3x3x3In my point of view, series of the experiments in Gran Sasso Laboratory under leadership of Dr. Claus Rolfs and similar experiments in Berlin by Dr. K. Czerski and colleagues during 2002-2009 show unusually high electron screening potential in metallic crystals. These experimental facts give a good mechanism how the Coulomb barrier overcame with low energy (thermal) deuterons.

“The circumstances of hot fusion are not the circumstances of cold fusion”, wrote Julian Schwinger, co-Nobel-prize winner with Richard Feynmann and Shinichiro Tomonaga in 1965 for their work on quantum electro-dynamics (QED).

But there is no shortage of hot fusion analysis of cold fusion. Might some ideas be applicable?

Edward Tsyganov believes so.

Dr. Tsyganov is a professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center who specializes in nuclear detectors, but in 1975, Tsyganov was part of an international group working on the Tevatron proton accelerator at Fermilab, just after successfully completing the first Russian-American scientific collaboration on the Serpukhov 70 GeV proton accelerator in Russia.

Muon catalysis had been discovered by Professor Luis Alvarez, whom he met at Lawrence Berkeley Lab in 1976. Although exciting, muon catalytic fusion did not look very promising to Tsyganov due to the short life time span of the muon.

Later, in December 1989, he was sitting in the audience of a seminar with Martin Fleischmann at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, having participated in the DELPHI experiment at the Large Electron Positron collider. [visit] He was very excited with Fleischmann’s presentation but, at the time, he had just introduced bent crystals for beam deflection, now used in high-energy physics. The study of crystalline structures drew him away from cold fusion research, which he had heard was “a false observation” anyway.

Gran Sasso
Inspired by experimental work performed with the Gran Sasso Laboratory Underground Nuclear Physics (LUNA) facility in Italy, Tsyganov recently returned to the topic of cold fusion. [visit]

Scientists there have shown that when a deuterium atom is embedded in a metallic crystal, the cross section, which gives a measure of the probability that a fusion reaction will occur, increases in comparison with that of free atoms.

In the 2002-2008 series of international low-energy accelerator experiments, low-energy deuterium beams directed at embedded deuterium atoms showed that, in this environment, the screening potential for the orbital electrons of the embedded atoms is substantially increased. This means that in such conditions, any supplemental embedded nuclei in a single host crystal cell could sit much closer than they normally would due to the Coulomb repulsion.

Can this idea be applied to the low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) in a solid?

The problem of overcoming the Coulomb barrier, the powerful force that keeps positively-charged protons away from each other, is the central issue for developing clean cold fusion energy. The force that holds nuclei together is called the strong nuclear force. Though it is an extremely powerful force, it only extends for a small distance. Unless nuclei can get close enough for the strong force to take effect, positively-charged nuclei remain too far away from each other to fuse. Elements other than hydrogen have an even bigger Coulomb barrier, since they have many more protons, and a stronger positive-charge. This is true for both free particles, and those housed in a solid metal.

JET Energy model of palladium metallic lattice infused with deuterium.
But inside a metallic lattice, the negatively-charged conducting electrons are free to move about, creating a negatively-charged screen. As a result, a positively-charged proton (or deuteron) inside the lattice sees mostly negative charges. But at some point, the bare nucleus could find itself suddenly close to another of its kind, the other’s positive-charge being “hidden”, or screened, by all the surrounding negative charges.

In this environment, deuterons or other nuclei may sit closer together in one host crystalline cell than they normally would. In a paper Cold Nuclear Fusion [1], Tsyganov cites data obtained by Francesco Raiola et al, for the screening Assenbaum potential for deuterium embedded in platinum as 675 +/- 50 eV, which is around 25 times larger than for free atoms of deuterium.

“The so-called screening Assenbaum potential is usually considered as an additional energy of interaction in a fusion process, and this effective energy should be used for calculations,” writes Tsyganov.

“This means that atoms of deuterium embedded in a metallic crystal do not feel the Coulomb repulsion down to distances of 25 times smaller than the size of the free deuterium atoms, increasing the probability of barrier penetration.”

“It was evident that in such conditions two deuteron atoms could approach each other to the distance of 1/10 – 1/20 of the size of an undistorted atom, without feeling the Coulomb repulsion.”

“Normally at very low energies for the deuterium molecule, the Coulomb barrier permeability for deuterium atoms is of the order of $10^{-84}$, including the Assenbaum screening potential (27 eV). However, in an environment of a single metallic crystalline cell this value jumps by $10^{50}$ – $10^{60}$ times! At the same time the real kinetic energy of the interacting deuterium atoms is still very low, some tiny fraction of an eV. All the enhancement of Coulomb barrier permeability is due to much shorter distance between the interacting deuterium nuclei.”

At low energies, the Coulomb barrier permeability is lowered and nuclei can position closer together.
“As one can see from the graph, in the region of low effective kinetic energies, as in the case of cold fusion, the dependence of the quantum mechanical probability of Coulomb barrier penetration vs energy is very sharp.”

For Tsyganov, this illustrates the difference between hot fusion and cold fusion.

“Hot fusion produces compound nuclei through multiple single encounters of the particles. In cold fusion, particles interact with the same partner through the quantum oscillations in a ‘closed box…'”, he writes. “This oscillation frequency is directly proportional to the screening potential, or box “size”, giving an additional boost to the process.”

Suppose that two deuterium atoms are trapped inside a single crystalline cell of palladium. The electrons associated with the deuterium will have an elongated shape in response to the cloud of conduction electrons, their orbits distorted by the catalytic effect. This is what allows the deuterium nuclei to situate themselves only a fraction of the distance they would normally tolerate.

Together, these two atoms make a “quasi-molecule” that oscillates at a particular frequency. While Tsyganov admits that calculating the particular oscillation frequency of a deuterium quasi-molecule in the midst of so many potential fields inside the crystal is difficult, he uses Planck’s relation as an approximation to give a frequency $\nu = E/h$, where $E$ is the experimentally measured screening potential and $h$ is Planck’s constant.

For deuterium embedded in a platinum metallic crystal, the screening potential was measured by Raiola as about 675 eV. This gives a vibrational frequency for the quasi-molecule as $1.67 \hspace{1 mm}\text{x}\hspace{1 mm} 10^{17}$ per second, and offers an estimate of the number of times the nuclei get close enough to fuse.

Multiplying this value for the oscillation frequency by the barrier permeability, a measure of the ability to overcome the Coulomb repulsion, of $2.52 \hspace{1 mm}\text{x}\hspace{1 mm} 10^{-17}$ yields a rate of 4.21 Deuterium-Dueterium fusion events per second.

Based on the calculation above, this table estimates DD fusion rates for crystals of palladium and platinum.

“I took this observation and applied these enlarged screening potential to the condition of McKubre experiments with deuterated palladium”, says Tsyganov.[1] “Heat release of Michael McKubre and the SRI team is well explained. In fact, this is the first confirmation of the cold fusion process using independent data from accelerators.”

Tsyganov believes experiments of Yoshiaki Arata and similar experiments of Mitchell Swartz could be also explained with this mechanism, if “quantitative data on deuterium contamination in palladium nano-crystals would be available.” He is convinced that the mechanism in McKubre’s experiments and that of Arata and Swartz’ are the same.

“Experiments of Francesco Piantelli and Andrea Rossi are well fitted in the above model. Higher heat release in the Rossi case is probably explainable by the use of platinum catalyst”, writes Tsyganov.
Professor S.B. Dabagov, Professor M.D. Bavizhev and I have tried to analyze the nuclear processes occurring in the Ecat installation and provide a possible explanation for the observed results, says Tsyganov. “In addition to the slowing of the nuclear decay processes of the intermediate compound nucleus formed during the cold fusion of elements [2], some modification of the decay process of the intermediate nucleus of the compound (H+Ni)* must be assumed to provide a plausible explanation of the Rossi results. We discuss such possibilities in this paper.”

Tsyganov’s idea pertains to how nuclei might become situated close enough inside a metal to overcome the Coulomb barrier and fuse, an idea derived from hot-fusion experiments. Still, he believes this model can be applied to the cold fusion environment too, claiming predictions agree well with heat energy measured by SRI and extend to the nickel-hydrogen systems as well.

I asked Dr. Tsyganov how his model might explain some other experimental data in cold fusion.

Dr. Tsyganov attended the 2011 LANR/CF Colloquia at MIT.

Q&A with Edward Tsyganov

CFN Supposing two deuterium can fuse in this way, how would the heat be dissipated through the lattice?

Tsyganov There is the traditional belief among nuclear scientists that nothing in a nucleus could depend on the outside world. It is very true for the fast processes in a nucleus (and these processes usually are very fast due to the very small size of a nucleus) because it is necessary that some time pass to reach the outside world. This time is about $10^{-19}$ seconds and is defined by the size of atom and speed of light.

However, according to the only hypothesis of mine, the intermediate compound nucleus 4He* created in cold DD fusion, as also in other cold fusion cases, presents an absolutely unique situation. After the penetration of main Coulomb barrier (about 200 keV high), deuterons save their identities for some time, due to the residual Coulomb mini-barrier, already inside the strong potential well. This mini-barrier very much reduced and smothered by the strong interaction forces (quark-gluon mechanism) and the finite sizes of the deuterons, but still prevents immediate nucleonic exchange between the two deuterons.

This figure represents the bottom of the potential well of strong interactions of two deuterons.
In my estimations, this mini-barrier is less than 2 keV high (~1% of the main Coulomb barrier), because at this kinetic energy usual nuclear decays of 4He* are still taking place. In fact, the Gran Sasso experiments, where this enhanced screening potential was discovered, used nuclear products to detect fusion processes. However, excitation (thermal) energy at cold fusion is still more than $10^{4}$ times less than 2 keV, or about 0.040 eV. Obviously, one can expect decreasing of nuclear decay rate of 4He* with decreasing of excitation energy.

I would highlight again that the decrease of nuclear decay rate at the very low excitation energy is the only hypothesis in all my consideration.

This situation could be treated as the experimental evidence. High electron screening potentials makes the cold fusion process the must. At the same time there are no neutrons and other nuclear products detected experimentally. An explanation must be provided. The only explanation (and the very reasonable one) that I could think of is the decrease of nuclear decay rate with decreasing of the energy of excitation.

If one adopts this hypothesis, further explanation does not presents real difficulties. Quantum electrodynamics provides the framework, through exchange by the virtual photons. Julian Swinger was very close to this solution but did not make the final step. Energy of discharge 4He* to the ground state 4He is released mostly by several hundreds of low energy electrons, with very short range in the crystal. About 400 60 keV electrons produce the heat.

CFN How might the production of tritium be explained with this process?

Tsyganov Production of tritium in McKubre’s experiments could be explained, if the nuclear decay rate of 4He* in cold fusion is reduced, but still non-negligible. This rate is at least two orders of magnitude less than expected for hot fusion. Perhaps, cracks and defects of the palladium sample could also contribute. I hope this question could soon be answered in future studies.

CFN Thank you Dr. Tsyganov.

Tsyganov My pleasure.

[1] Cold Nuclear Fusion by E.N. Tsyganov published Physics of Atomic Nuclei 2012, Vol. 75, No. 2, pp. 153–159 [.pdf]

[2] Cold Fusion Continues by E.N. Tsyganov, S.B. Dabagov, and M.D. Bavizhev, from the Proceedings of “Solid State Chemistry: Nano-materials and Nanotechnology” Conference, 22-27 April, 2012, Stavropol, Russia Report in Stavropol 4-24-2012 [.pdf]

[3] Cold Nuclear Fusion by E.N. Tsyganov on Journal of Nuclear Physics [visit]

The Alternate Path to a Cleaner, Brighter Future

by: Kelley Trezise a.k.a Zedshort

Editor’s note: This update focuses on a new development in hot fusion, which uses plasma and high-energy in an attempt to generate electricity directly. While this does not describe cold fusion, we provide this as a service to our readers.

Dense Plasma Focus Fusion (DPF) is an aneutronic fusion scheme that may soon be capable of net power production. The beauty of the method is that it produces no neutrons and may offer a very clean, inexpensive and safe path to abundant energy. DPF offers a direct conversion to electricity method that would bypass the conventional steam turbine cycle creating great capital savings and offering a very compact power production unit. The proposed method would work by the fusion of one proton with one boron-11 nucleus. The resulting highly energetic carbon-12 product then fissions into three alpha particles, yielding net energy out. No gamma rays are produced by this process.

P + 11B → 12C → 3(4He) + 8.9 MeV

The writeup that follows mostly derives from information posted by Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Laboratory (LPP) located in Middlesex, New Jersey, as they have been very open about their progress and generously post a great deal of information about their work. Their web site may be found here:  In addition, more information about aneutronic fusion can be found at:  The process is described by Dr. Eric Lerner the president and chief scientist of LPP at a 2007 Google TechTalk found here.

In the next video you will discover that Dr. Lerner is associated with Dr. Miley who was the Chairman of the Nuclear Engineering Department of University of Illinois, Champagne-Urban, with whom he worked on an early version of the DPF machine and theory in 1994. You will hear that at 6:38 in this video. In an e-mail communication with Dr. Lerner I asked the following: “I understand you are associated with Dr Miley of University of Illinois Champagne-Urban who is conducting experiments in the field of ‘Cold Fusion.’ Do you have any insights into those experiments, their results, and advice to those who would investigate the phenomena?”

He responded:

“I wish I had time to look more into this, but I have not. Dr. Miley is a first-rate scientist and if he thinks this phenomenon is worth looking at it, it probably is. It is certainly far from making useful amounts of energy and we are far from understanding it.”

The term dense plasma focus originates from the resolution of a controversy concerning the origin of the fusion products that had been observed in early experiments. Researchers were aware that in the discharge of very large currents, neutrons were produced suggesting fusion was occurring somewhere in the plasma created by the arc of current. Initially they were uncertain as to whether the fusion occurred within small, dense areas or in the more diffuse volume of the current arc. Recent experiments, backed up by photos of the process, led to the conclusion, that the fusion occurs within small knots of current which suggested that the process might be optimized and scaled up. At present, at LPP in their Focus Fusion-One, FoFu-1 or FF-1 machine, a pulse of 2.0 mega amps at 40,000 volts is discharged from a bank of capacitors and into a cylindrical array of eighteen cathode rods. From there, by arching into the single anode placed centrally to the cathodes it creates a plasma within the reaction chamber. The diluted deuterium gas contained within the reaction chamber is pressurized, at present to 40 Torr (0.053 atmosphere). A video illustrating the rundown and plasmoid formation may be found here.

The process is described by Dr. Lerner:

“The filamentary current sheath, driven by the interaction of its own currents and magnetic field, travels down to the end of the inner hollow electrode, where the filaments converge into a single central pinch region, further concentrating both plasma and magnetic fields. A third instability then kinks the single central filament like an over-twisted phone cord, forming a plasmoid, an extremely dense, magnetically self-confined ball of plasma only tens or hundreds of microns across. By this time, the density and magnetic fields of the plasma in this small region are much larger than those present at the start of the process, and a substantial fraction of the energy fed into the device is contained in the plasmoid. A fourth instability causes the magnetic fields at the center of the plasmoid to decrease, and these changing magnetic fields induce an electric field, which generates a beam of electrons in one direction and a beam of ions in the other. The electron beam heats the plasmoid electrons which in turn heat the ions, thus igniting fusion reactions. The energy is released in the ion and electron beams and in a burst of X-ray energy from the heated electrons in the plasmoid.”

Proton-boron fusion begins at 1.5 billion celsius (123 keV). LPP has reported temperatures of 1.8 billion-degree celsius (150 keV, as of March 2012). These toroidal shaped plasmoids have a radius of 300-500 micron with magnetic fields in the range of 400 mega-gauss. The goal is 8 to 12 giga-gauss fields. The density of the entrapped gases increases to almost that of a solid and as a result, a very large fraction of the cyclotron radiation is captured by the fusible material. The arc formation and plasmoid collapse take place in 2 microseconds. Celsius temperatures are often quoted, rather than kelvin, but the difference is only 273 degrees and compared to the billion-degrees quoted, relatively speaking the difference is nil. While LPP has officially claimed 1.8 billion-degree celsius, they have evidence of temperature up to 4 billion-degrees, which claim can be found here.

The experimental apparatus operated by LPP is a single pulse machine that may be cycled several times per hour. At present they are fusing deuterium gas in order to measure the energy evolved within the ball of plasma by measuring the speed and number of the emitted neutrons. Later this year, LPP hopes to make the first shots with proton-boron fusion using a 2.3 mega-amp pulse at 45 keV. A video of a single shot of the apparatus may be viewed here. High speed video of the plasma formation within the reactor chamber can be seen a 1:10 here.

One of the beauties of aneutronic fusion is that it produces almost none of the very damaging neutron radiation common to most fission and fusion schemes, although there are side reactions with DPF that would produce short lived radioactive species and very rare and weak neutrons. The absorption of neutrons by nuclei may render them radioactive, and the passage of such radiation through the matrix of materials may alter it structurally. One unfortunate byproduct of neutron radiation is embrittlement of metals. Neutrons, of course, also damage living tissue. The very scheme of tokamak fusion might be rendered economically unviable unless the damage to the reactor can be mitigated. In addition, if a large part of the fusion energy is in the form of neutrons, those must be captured and the resulting heat conducted away in order to convert their energy to electricity. Worse still, almost all neutron production methods threaten to become a path to atomic weapon proliferation as the neutrons can be used to breed tritium, a fusible material used to boost fission weapons into fusion weapon status. Hence neutronic fission and fusion schemes of power generation are destabilizing. Aneutronic fusion suffers from none of those weaknesses.

In the final production form, a DPF reactor using proton-boron fusion might be cycled 200 times per second to produce a power output of 5 mega-watt electric to the grid. The electrodes would be made of beryllium as that material is transparent to the copious X-rays produced, and less erodible at the reactor operating temperatures and pressures. The X-rays produced (about 40% of the energy evolved in the reactor during a cycle) would be absorbed by the photo-electric effect in many layers of aluminum foil that would surround the reaction chamber in an onion shell configuration. The diameter of the onion shell with the enclosed reactor might be one meter, attesting to its diminutive size. One of the unique and very useful features of the device is that when the cage of plasma collapses, a flux of electrons stream into the central anode, while a beam of alpha nuclei stream out in the opposite direction; this equal and opposite flow of opposite charges constitutes a current. The energy associated with the stream of positive ions can be easily captured in a transformer coil. The electrons streaming out of the plasmoid in the opposite direction would be captured by the anode. An animation of a concept of a power production unit showing the “onion shell,” transformer coil, and capacitor banks may be found here.

The energy of the alpha particles can be easily captured by a transformer coil and the electrons captured by the anode, while the onion shell captures the X-rays. The three outputs provide the gross energy out, a part of which is considered net output that is sent to the grid. The efficiency of this beam and X-ray capture scheme would be 80% or more (this does not constitute the overall efficiency of the system). As there is no need for a steam cycle, the great cost of that capital equipment (which is about half the cost of a nuclear fission power plant) is saved.

A Sankey diagram for a proposed 5 MW electric output DPF machine can be found here. It illustrates the energy flow in the system for a single pulse from the capacitor bank charged to 100 kJ to produce an assumed fusion energy pulse of an assumed 66 kJ (equal to the amount from the capacitors), the delivery to the grid of 24.7 kJ and total losses to be dissipated (or used otherwise for space heating) of 42 kJ. The efficiency of the process would be calculated to be 24.7/(24.7+42) X 100% = 37 %. One hundred kilo-joules is enough energy to light a 100 watt bulb for 16 minutes and 40 seconds. The fusion energy gain factor, Q, of the system is the ratio of the energy created within the system to the energy required to maintain the operation of the system. In the example given the energy created is 66 kJ and the losses are 42 kJ. Hence the Q = 66/42 = 1.57.

The X-rays produced by this method are both a problem and a promise. Initially it was believed that as the cage of current crushed and heated the plasma, the loss of too much energy via X-rays, would limit the heating of the contained plasma. A phenomena named the Magnetic Field Effect appears to limit those losses. Dr. Lerner talks about the effect at starting at 29:30 here.

Ideally, it is the ions whose energy must be increased, not the electrons. That increase comes about when a faster electron collides with a ion and boosts its speed by a small amount. The reverse can occur, causing energy to be lost from the ions but it is more rare as the ions tend to move more slowly than the electrons. There is however some overlap in the speed distributions of the two species. As the electrons move along the lines of the magnetic field, they must take a helical path (caused by the Lorentz force) and so orbit the magnetic field lines. There is a limit to the energy that an ion can impart to an electron due to the fact that in very intense magnetic fields (Giga-gauss range) the electrons are limited to only certain orbits about the magnetic field lines due to the fact that energy is quantized. In a sense an electron with the wrong energy (incorrect wavelength), cannot physically fit the orbital path it must take as it spirals along the magnetic field line, and so it cannot exist in that state. Hence if the electron is to increase in speed, the colliding ion must impart the precise amount of energy or else the impartation of energy does not happen, the electron is not accelerated and the ion is not slowed. The reverse is not true as the ions are much more massive and slow and are able to take up virtually all the energy from impacting electrons in any quanta they can offer. In effect, in this situation quantum effect shows up for the electrons but not the ions. You might imagine there is a one-way valve that allows only a net flow of energy from the swarm of electrons into the swarm of nuclei.

As a result, the less massive electrons would be cooler (of lower energy) than the more massive ions and energy losses by radiation from the electrons would be reduced to frequencies that can be trapped in the very dense plasmoid. This has been verified by experimental evidence. When boron-11 is used with magnetic fields of 2.6 Giga-gauss, the ions would have to be at 600 keV in order for them to lose substantial energy to the electrons, while the electrons would be at higher speeds but with energies 20 times lower, (due to their very much lower mass than the ions). Thus the X-radiation from the plasmoid is reduced by a factor of four. It should be pointed out that the radiation is emitted by electrons only during the heating process.  Bremsstrahlung radiation that results from the deceleration of electrons by collisions would produce much of the X-rays that would be captured by the onion shell. The Magnetic Field Effect is discussed here.

Very subtle effects can have magnified consequences as is attested to by the recent application of an axial magnetic field within the reaction chamber. It was previously noted by one of the LPP researchers that the plasmoids had some amount of angular momentum and in fact that momentum is essential to their formation. It was concluded that the momentum originated with the component of earth’s own magnetic field along the reaction chamber’s axis. The thought naturally occurred to enhance the effect by the intentional induction of an axial magnetic field and so further increase the plasmoid’s angular momentum. The end result was to boost the fusion product by a factor of two and the X-rays by a factor of 15. LPP likens the result to the “butterfly effect,” as a small current was used to control a much larger current, that in turn induced an increase in output. LPP now has a patent on the application of such a field. There is unfortunately an upper limit to the effect as too much momentum would result in losses. The axial magnetic field application and its results are described here.

While the loss of energy from a power production device in the form of X-rays is a curse, the copious X-rays produced suggest an alternate path to economic success for the company in the form of X-ray inspection or lithography. This alternate commercial path for LPP is discussed here.

LPP goals in 2012 can be found here:

As LPP has posted, “Looking forward, we expect in the coming year to achieve the following major goals:

1) Demonstrating the theoretically predicted fusion yield with pure deuterium.
2) Showing higher fusion yield with heavier gas mixtures.
3) Achieving reliable performance at still higher fill pressures.
4) Boosting yield even further with shorter electrodes, which allow higher gas densities.
5) Achieving giga-gauss magnetic fields in the plasmoids.
6) Demonstrating the quantum magnetic field effect’s reduction in X-ray cooling
7) Demonstrating scientific feasibility with pB11 fuel.”

What is not apparent in the above list is the long struggle LPP has had with unreliable equipment, misalignment of their reactor components, mechanical damage, and last but not least a lack of funding. Despite that, they have made progress and I personally believe they will be the first to achieve breakeven. The goal, however, is not breakeven but to produce power out at a level high enough to make the venture an economic success. LPP’s method of hot fusion requires higher temperatures but the economic goal actually lies closer for them than that for tokamak power schemes due to DPF greater simplicity and the efficiency afforded by direct conversion of the power to electrical power.

This scheme of electrical production is conducive to producing a very compact and transportable energy source. A five megawatt electrical generation device might be enclosed and moved about in a semi-trailer and located virtually anywhere as the fuel could be contained within very small pressure tanks of decaborane and ordinary hydrogen and could run for years before the reactor electrodes would be replaced. Such a generator would however require the dissipation of 8.5 MW of waste heat. While there is a need to dissipate the energy not delivered to the grid, that cost would be relatively small compared to the cost of the steam cycle capital equipment that is not needed with this method of power generation. The cost of mass produced devices is estimated to be $300,000 and able to produce electricity at a cost of 0.2 cents/kWh for an installed cost of $60/kW verses the present average of 12 cents/kWh and $1000/kW installed cost for conventional power generation. In other words the initial installation cost of a DPF would be only 6% and the long term cost a bit more than 1.6% (0.2/12) of conventional reactors. Estimates for fission plants are running up to around 25 cents/kWh and $4000/kW installed making the choice between the two fusion paths very obvious. The installation cost of a futuristic tokamak power fusion reactor, expected to be online sometime near the end of the 21st century, is estimated to require the full faith and credit of the United States to fund and without a major breakthrough in materials durability, its lifetime as brief as a mayfly compared to any other forms of power production.

DPF reactors might be located closer to their point of use, and so the cost of the massive transmission lines and transformers would be eliminated. Looking into the future, such devices might power aircraft and by doing so eliminate the fuel which is as much as 40% of take-off weight. Spaceflight would be a bit more problematic as there would be no atmosphere to which the waste heat might be dissipated. Its dissipation would require a system of radiators, however, the specific impulse of such a propulsion plant would be astronomical.

What has LPP achieved and how far do they have to go and how does this compare with tokamak confined hot fusion, their progress and their goalpost positions? The three technical goals that must be achieved with any hot fusion scheme are sufficient energies (temperature), confinement time, and density. With respect to DPF, the first two of those three have been achieved. The experimental results suggests that the process scales as the fifth power of the current ( I^5 ) or more precisely…neutron yield = 123 x I^ 4.674. Again it should be explained that at the present time LPP is using deuterium (D-D) as a fuel to allow measurements of process within the plasmoids. The yield of 150 billion neutrons (October 10, 2011) with recent shots, suggests the scaling law is accurate. The output scales as the square of the density of the reactants. At present the gas densities have been kept low but will be increased. The use of proton-boron fuel will also boost the plasmoid density. Shots with higher gas densities will be made with the use of additional capacitors and higher voltages in an effort to get the plasma density up. The confinement time has long been sufficient.

The Lawson criteria, in the form of the triple product of the three parameters, temperature, confinement time and density, provides a rough measure of progress and affords a comparison with other hot fusion schemes. For the DPF the required product is for break-even with proton-boron fusion is 2.5 x 10^21 keV-s/cm3 while they have achieved 4.8 x 10^18 keV-s/cm3 (October 2009) using a He, N, diluted D-D fuel. The results would rise with the higher density proton-boron fuel and higher amperage. For a tokamak a machine that fuses deuterium and tritium (D-T) in a 50-50 mixture, the Lawson triple product is 6 x 10^15 keV-s/cm3 for break-even. The goal, however, is not just to break-even but to produce a power generator that is economically viable. Hence, the goal for DPF is only ten times above breakeven whereas it might be higher for the tokamak by a factor of 20 or more as the tokamak requires a very expensive steam cycle power plant, its capital expense would be large and its service life might be very short. DPF uses a direct conversion to electricity method and does not use the steam cycle to generate electricity hence it would be cheaper. Even in terms of the product of temperature, confinement time and density the DPF is ahead of the Princeton tokamak TFTR by an order of magnitude.

Lack of funding, from government sources, is mostly due to the decision to fund only two methods of fusion research: tokamak and inertial confinement. Initially the research on DPF was funded by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with $300,000, under the guise of a space propulsion method but there was made an administrative decision that all fusion research of all sorts including that related to plasma research must be applied as directly as possible to enhance the the two preferred methods of tokamak and inertial confinement fusion. As a result, the program supporting Dense Plasma Focus was cut. Since that time LPP has raised over $2 million by private placements of company stock in an effort to raise capital. The Abell Foundation has also, generously, donated money to the cause. In the 2007 Google TechTalk, Lerner suggested that the construction of a 3 mega amp DPF able to surpass breakeven would take three years to construct and might cost $2 million. Beyond that another three years would be needed to create a prototype design. It is going on five years since that presentation. It is a puzzle as to why this promising method of producing power has been overlooked by the venture capitalists. The unfortunate fact seems to be, that we have a horizon of at most three years, which in the larger scheme of things is nothing. Given the potentially gigantic payback that DPF offers, such a perspective seems less than foolish.

In spite of the very low level of funding, progress produced by LPP’s machine, has yielded vastly greater results than has the tokamak. Tokamak funding over the past 25 years has been $300 million per year; whereas, the funding of LPP’s project over seven years was a comparatively miniscule $3 million but when results are placed on the basis of funding that produced those results, the return seems vastly better from DPF. There are about a dozen other DPF endeavors around the world.

The foolish insistence that governments have, of putting all their eggs in one basket too often results in the squandering of opportunities. The error originates with the mistaken belief that a few decision makers (bureaucrats) can see into the future is wrongheaded. The United States alone, has spent almost 40 billion dollars since the late ’60s on tokamaks, inertial confinement and plasma physics. While it might be said that the research into plasmas has not been entirely lost, much of the balance seems at this late date to be little more than an attempt to avoid the embarrassment of admitting to a loss and walking away from a bad investment. Unfortunately, when a single idea is supported at the expense of all others it may develop a strangle hold not only on the funding of scientific research to the degree that other productive ideas are stillborn, but may also capture a great many people into a bureaucracy that is unwilling or incapable of changing tact. The new path to power fusion might lie with Dense Plasma Focus.

Too many scientists today are hardly different from the Cardinals to whom Galileo sent an invitation to peer through his telescope at the Moons of Jupiter. If closed and blinkered minds can strangle a very promising scheme such as Dense Plasma Focus Fusion that cleaves to the path of hot fusion, then what chance would we who support alternate forms of energy production have of ever convincing such people to dare to touch the third-rail of scientific research we know as Cold Fusion?

If the impasse in energy production is not broken this year or early the next (2013) with a LENR product, then it suggests that something of a more revolutionary and disruptive sort must be initiated at a grass-roots level. While we may loath the idea of disrupting what many still believe to be the last repository of rational and non-political thinking in our society, the idea that the advance of science is a product purely of rational thought and behavior is misguided. Our perception of scientists and the scientific establishment as rational, gentlemanly, altruistic, honest, free and clear of the baser instincts that we groundlings possess is totally wrongheaded.

The unfortunate truth is that scientists too often display an irrational refusal to look at the very foundation of science, i.e. scientific data. Instead, what many resort to is the trumpeting of well tested truths in a manner that smacks of genuflection. In a sense they are correct to ignore LENR evidence. Their refusal to entertain a discussion of the subject or to allow funding of LENR investigations is as well founded as was the behavior of the Cardinals that refused to look through Galileo’s telescope; to look would have result in their being cast out of the church hierarchy; I apologize, I meant science hierarchy. What could be worse than to be ostracized?

It has been said many times in the past, “Fusion is the energy source of the future, ” often with the caveat, “and it always will be.” There many come a day, hopefully soon, when the underfunded upstart known as Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Laboratory achieves breakeven with their Dense Plasma Focus machine and usurps the future. If I could somehow, pit the Goliath of Tokamak against the David of DPF, I would put my money on the latter. But, the meantime and until the breakthrough comes, you and I and everyone else will have to continue to suffer the indignity of having a small cadre of well entrenched scientists, whom have come to believe that their long, hard and painful suckling at the public teat is their patrimony.

Hot and Cold Fusion at MIT

This is an action initiated by Contributor Gregory Goble, poet and clean energy advocate. He felt pity for the hot fusioneers who have lost their largesse due to budget cuts, and who might now consider taking help from their poor ole cousins in the cold fusion community who have the ability to save their programs by providing clean, affordable power to probe plasma science. Ironic, huh?

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We are biting our fingernails waiting for commercialization of cold fusion and the hot fusion folks are sweating out their own issues. It’s going to be a long summer.

While a lattice-assisted nuclear reactive (LANR/cold fusion) device is operating at MIT with zero funding, the MIT hot fusion budget has been eliminated (shut down) and hot fusion energy generation research may soon end worldwide. Ironically, Tokamak reactors may be much less costly to operate if powered by low-energy nuclear reaction LENR generated power. Presently the power to create a Tokamak nuclear reaction is magnitudes greater in costs with today’s energy technologies than if supplied by cold fusion generated electricity.

Primary utility power for the MIT Alcator C-Mod is provided by a 24-MVA peak power, 13.8-kV line. In total, storage and conversion systems have been designed to supply up to 500 MJ at up to 400 MVA to the experiment. Electrical costs are $5,002,000, which is approximately 5% of the run budget. [source]

Alcator C-Mod MIT Budgets and Schedule (2009 – 2013)
Incremental costs for 1 run week (at 14 ± 3 weeks) Cost: $2,008,000

Costs per run (in thousands):
Electricity $11
Specialty gases primarily B2D6 $2
Liquid Helium cryopump, DNB $9
Overtime technicians $13
Liquid Nitrogen coil & machine cooling $47
Maintenance inspections, power systems, klystrons, ICRF tubes, diagnostics, data, vacuum, instrumentation $124
Total per run $208


As you can see the hot fusion folks still believe fusion only takes place at extremely high temperatures in a plasma and seem to be unaware of fusion taking place in low temperature vibrational environments. Science is discovering nuclear active environments NAE can occur in a condensed matter.

Here is where we “turn substance into accident“.

This is a medieval term which means “to give new quality to substance; a loose and ironic use of the terms of scholastic philosophy.” –from the glossary of Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer translated by A. Kent Hieatt and Constance Hieatt Bantam Books.

Hot and cold fusion folks can work together to advance science by using cold fusion/LANR/LENR to power hot fusion experiments.

If you live in a district where your Representative in on the House Energy and Water Subcommittee FY2013 Appropriations bill, then message the following note to your representative. (You need to put in a zip code matching the Representatives district to use the email form).

If you do not live in a district where your Representative is on the House Energy and Water Subcommittee FY2013 Appropriations bill, then message the following note to: U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers – Attention Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Members here

Energy and Water Subcommittee Members

Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey email
Jerry Lewis, California email
Michael K. Simpson, Idaho email
Denny Rehberg, Montana email
Rodney Alexander, Louisiana email
Steve Womack, Arkansas email
Alan Nunnelee, Mississippi email

Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana email
Ed Pastor, Arizona email
Chaka Fattah, Pennsylvania email
John W. Olver, Massachusetts email

ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT, AND RELATED AGENCIES Concerning the FY2013 Appropriations bill pg. 105

“The Department is instead directed to continue operations at the Alcator C-Mod facility and to fund continued research… ” –by funding LENR to help hot fusion.

Honorable Subcommittee Members,
The MIT Tokamak reactor is a project that advances engineering and science. Both construction and operational energy costs can be reduced by utilizing cold fusion/LENR energy devices just now emerging into the marketplace. Blacklight Power has a technology, recently validated by academic and industry experts that could provide cost-reductive electricity for research with high-energy requirements.

NASA plans utilization of condensed matter nuclear reaction science engineered into its next generation of spacecraft. Here are two announcements by NASA to utilize Cold Fusion/LANR/LENR energy devices to replace plutonium for spacecraft power and a NASA presentation of the science and theory behind this science.

Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, the Realism and the Outlook by Dennis Bushnell NASA
Abundant Clean/Green Energy by Joseph Zawodny NASA
LENR at GRC from NASA Glenn Research Center .pdf

The following is a list of four companies developing new commercial products based on LENR:

Include these advanced energy solutions as relief to your budget, energy, and environmental concerns. Funding LENR research brings benefits far beyond science exploration; we will be developing the ultra-clean energy that can power our future for millenia.

Thank you for this consideration,

The following is publicly posted fund raising material from MIT and ITER – Help Save Hot Fusion. It describes conventional models of fusion based on high-energy collisions in a hot plasma.

This does not describe cold fusion/LANR/LENR which hot fusioneers do not believe possible.

Intro Fusion
Nuclear fusion is the process by which light nuclei fuse together to create a single, heavier nucleus and release energy. Given the correct conditions (such as those found in plasma), nuclei of light elements can smash into each other with enough energy to undergo fusion. When this occurs, the products of the fusion reaction have a smaller total mass than the total mass of the reactants. The mass difference is converted to energy as determined by Einstein’s famous formula, E=mc2. Here, m is the mass difference and c is the speed of light. Even though the mass difference is very small, the speed of light is extremely large (about 670,000,000 miles per hour), so the amount of energy released is also very large. [source]

What is a Tokamak?
Since we have now established what nuclear fusion is, and its potential as an attractive source of energy, the next obvious question is: How do we create fusion in a laboratory? This is where tokamaks come in. In order for nuclear fusion to occur, the nuclei inside of the plasma must first be extremely hot, like in a star. For example, in the Alcator C-Mod tokamak we routinely create plasmas which reach temperatures of 90,000,000 degrees Celsius, about 5 times hotter than the center of the Sun. [source]

The President’s 2013 Budget Proposal shuts down Alcator C-Mod, an essential laboratory for clean energy research at MIT.

Does the proposed budget only cut Alcator C-Mod?
No. Almost all domestic programs under the Department of Energy’s Office of (Hot) Fusion Energy Sciences (OFES) received cuts under the president’s FY13 proposed budget, although the shutting down of Alcator C-Mod is by far the most severe and irreversible. Proposed cuts also target the DIII-D tokamak in California (-11.9%), plasma physics theory (-14.4%), the Advanced Design program (-62.9%), and general plasma science (-21.6%), among many others. [source]

What has happened?
The Presidential budget request for 2013 was announced on Monday, February 13, 
2012. In that request, C-Mod, an essential laboratory in the U.S. and World
Fusion Energy Program, is threatened with termination. C-Mod is a world-class
laboratory housed at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and dedicated to educating students. As the only high field, compact high performance divertor tokamak, it is unique in the world. In the coming decade, vitally important research, including many critical ITER physics, research and development tasks, can only be accomplished on C-Mod. Although the budget for the fusion science part of the Department of Energy remained nearly constant at 400 million dollars, most US fusion labs face significant cuts because funding for the construction of ITER was increased by 45 million dollars. This money was taken out of C-Mod and other existing experiments. View the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) director’s presentation about the budget here. [source]

ITER Faces Massive Budget Cuts
Due to the many challenges of fusion energy—just look at the size of the investment in ITER—this is a project that could only be attempted at an international level. However, let’s always remember that (hot) fusion technology remains in competition with other technological approaches for energy generation. We therefore need to implement and stop losing time. We must bear in mind that we have been entrusted with public funds, which gives us an enormous responsibility towards the citizens within the ITER Members.

Since the European Union has agreed to earmark funds for ITER through 2020 at the level of EUR 6.6 billion (of which EUR 2.3 billion is for 2012-2013), we have concerns regarding the schedule slippages that have occurred over the past several months. Slippages do not contribute to the positive image of the project; they also risk undermining the political support for ITER if they are not corrected soon. The next six months will therefore be crucial. [source]

C-Mod Funding Restored in Proposal from House Appropriations Subcommittee
The House Energy and Water Subcommittee released their FY2013 Appropriations bill. This appropriations recommendation includes specific language restoring funding to the Alcator C-Mod project:
The [President’s budget] request proposes to shut down the Alcator C-Mod facility and provides only enough funding for decommissioning and existing graduate students. The Department is instead directed to continue operations at the Alcator C-Mod facility and to fund continued research, operations, and upgrades across the Office of Science’s domestic fusion enterprise. 
House of Representatives Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2013, pg. 105

The domestic fusion budget (inclusive of C-Mod) is almost completely restored to FY2012 levels (the President’s Budget Request cuts ~$48.3 million, the House Appropriations recommendation only cuts of $0.5 million). ITER, the international fusion reactor which the US is collaborating on, also receives increased funding, $73 million above the President’s Budget Request. These increases overcome the issues of trying to fund both the domestic US fusion program and ITER on a flat budget. [source]

Hot fusion scientist describing characteristics of laser fusion actually describes future of cold fusion

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to a talk by Ed Moses from the National Ignition Facility (NIF about laser fusion technology entitled “Clean Fusion Power This Decade”. You can download and listen to an mp3 posted on the Long Now site here:

In the talk, he describes ignition occurring in the 02010-02012 range, with a prototype reactor ready by the 02020 range and I want to thank Dr. Moses for his work and effort to communicate that research.

I had been a fan of hot fusion technology for years before I knew that cold fusion was real. In 02002 I went to the San Diego fusion facility ( for a teacher training and professional development workshop. I toured the tokamak and met lots of smart and extremely generous people, enthusiastic about a fusion energy future. I wish them, and the NIF, the best of luck in reproducing star-power. It would be a major achievement.

But listening to Ed Moses, and now knowing (since 2003) that cold fusion has the promise to bring a decentralized carbon-free energy source with a simpler technology than large hot fusion reactors, I had to respond more critically. He envisions 9+ billion people populating this planet, concentrated in mega-cities, those cities above a population of 10 million, “because that’s where the jobs are, that’s where culture is, that’s where centers of power are, and by the way, they are more energy efficient.” There are many points to make in response to that scenario, let me make just a few.

Feeding and finding the resources for an additional 4 billion people, the majority of which are concentrated in cities, is quite a challenge even in a future with fusion technology. The carrying capacity of this planet is debatable. But where are we now with planetary resources for six and one-half billion people?

The oceans have been over fished with many species on the brink of collapse. Water resources have been privatized planet-wide and are being rationed. In the last several decades, food production has expanded only because of fossil fuels and the cheap oil available to produce and transport these foods worldwide. The heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers derived from petroleum has reduced topsoil around the globe to “merely a sponge”, a dead layer that has the capacity only to soak up more chemicals.

When Dr. Moses claims that cities are “more efficient”, what does he mean? More efficient than what? It’s not clear how he measures this efficiency. As I understand it, large centralized populations need huge influxes of food shipped in from very long distances. The majority of these shipments come on trucks using petroleum diesel as most mega-cities, that I know of, have no local food production. Many who live in mega-cities have a poor standard of living, with little access to nature.

Many of these large mega-cities of the world have their water transported hundreds of miles, from places that are becoming resentful about sending their water out of their local area. Some mega-cities situated in desert climates have expanded their population by mining water, i.e. tapping into underground water pools left by the recent ice age. These communities will experience a drastic and sudden need for more water when these one-time resources disappear.

I also wonder what kind of jobs are available in the mega-cities of the future? Will there be a second renaissance in advertising and marketing? Are the centers of technological revolution going to be located in these mega-cities? Is that a trend we can identify now? Are technology companies with huge job openings choosing to locate in cities now?

To say “we are in a non-local society” is to miss the dynamic changes occurring right now. We are fast flipping to a local society, where food, water, and energy resources are all farmed, pumped, and created locally. Geo-political forces are emerging that challenge the hegemony of superpowers’ reach abroad.

I just don’t see large cities as apart of our positive future, mostly because of a world population argument. The population explosion is directly related to the oil age. Controlling populations who need food, water, and jobs seems like it would require a police state, a total loss of personal freedom, and plenty of chemical inundation.

Dr. Moses contends that “2030-2050 is where things start happening”. I submit that things are starting to happen now. Perhaps the NIF would be willing to consider the plethora of displaced auto workers, the newly released mid-level office managers from marketing departments, or the shrimpers and fishermen, as new hires for their multi-billion dollar facility. If not, then Houston, we have a problem. The lights are going out all around the world right now as electrical grids are beyond capacity, and we need food, water, and jobs, for an increasing number of people.

Fusion technology will create its own environment, a vastly different one, not merely extend this present system. The Long Now seeks to find paradigms that last on the order of thousands of years, and perhaps large metropolis’ will emerge in that time frame, but the next hundred years are going to be a major transition, and I can only see a positive future if Earth’s population is reduced, not increased.

Every new technology creates an environment of services and disservices. Cold fusion technology, with its simple structure, small, compact and portable would surely allow the freedom to live in a decentralized world, closer to nature, if one so chooses.

Hot fusion technology is great. I hope that the NIF finds the answer to ignition soon. I am excited about basic research in science and have always been particularly interested in the science of stars, energy, rocket propulsion and space exploration. But hot fusion has had its share of the funding pie, with good results. Isn’t it time to take a look at cold fusion, low-energy nuclear reactions, which has had just as astounding results without the “infusion” of funding? One could argue the results that low-energy nuclear reaction scientists have obtained is even more remarkable given the paltry funding on the order of millions of dollars, as opposed to the tens of billions that hot fusion has received.

When Dr. Moses describes a “sustainable, carbon-free, not geo-political, safe, modular, compact, relatively rapid development path”, that “uses our existing infrastructure” and “accepts evolutionary improvements”, he is describing the technology of cold fusion. Yes, “it is too good to be true”.

ACTION Let’s contact the Long Now and ask them to present a cold fusion scientist to discuss the future of energy in a de-centralized and local world. You can find their contact information here: