Dr. Sveinn Ólafsson is the guest on the Cold Fusion Now! podcast with Ruby Carat. Dr. Ólafsson works with a form of Rydberg matter called ultra-dense hydrogen which could be related to the cold fusion/LENR reaction.
Dr. Ólafsson received his Ph.D. from Uppsala University and is currently a research professor at the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences at University of Iceland. He had a career in hydrogen storage before Andrea Rossi sparked his interest in cold fusion.
“In the evenings, I just started to read”, says Dr. Ólafsson, “and I googled, by chance, ‘dense hydrogen‘, and up came Leif Holmlid. ”
He describes how Dr. Leif Holmlid was researching Rydberg matter and discovered a new state of “ultra-dense hydrogen”.
“What was so intriguing was the short distance between two protons that he claimed. I started contact with him shortly after that, and that is the start of any experimental work I have done in this field.”
“He’s been the only guy doing this, except with a few graduate students initially, but he retired a few years ago. Since then, he has been alone, and after I contacted him, there was two of us then in the beginning, and then Sindre came later.”
“He uses a very common techniques which is time of flight spectroscopy, or sometimes time of flight mass spectroscopy. This is widely used in all kinds of chemistry experiments. “
“What is different here, is that Leif has a different production unit of ions – or sample – which he is studying. So he was initially just interested in the Rydberg states of atoms, and this whole time, he has been improving techniques to study that.”
“And by chance he noticed that the time of flight was too short, actually, so that started the ultra-dense hydrogen.”
In time of flight, he is referring to is the time it takes a particle from the sample region to be ejected and travel down a tube to a detector some distance away after being stimulated by a laser. Dr. Ólafsson explains the process.
“What the laser is doing, since it has wavelength of say 1 micron, it’s actually letting zillions of electrons and protons to oscillate. So it’s joggling something there, and these millions of particles somehow react and something flies out.”
“The time-of flight is measured initially in the normal state of hydrogen Rydberg matter. When the laser breaks up these clusters, the individual atoms travel apart because of the positive charges. Some times of flight are so short, that the energy, or the closeness of these two entities, is so close, they would have to be 2.3 picometers apart initially – that is the ultra-dense state.”
“But also at the same time, you can see they were close at normal chemical distances also. So you can see both the normal state and the dense state using the same instrument. What is different is that in one case you’re having time of flight in microseconds, and the next you have time of flight in nanoseconds, or that range.”
“Time of flight is a technique used in normal chemistry all the time. You hit it with a laser and these chemical entities fly apart, usually just 5 eV, and that’s it. ”
“Leif is using the energy of 630 eV, which is quite high, and no chemist or physicist will accept that you have such bonding distance, or bonding energy, in any molecule, or any states, because quantum physics says that state is unbound and not stable.”
Leif Holmlid was using higher laser energy stimulation to perform a common experiment, and it turns out that his choice of sample catalyst may have led to the surprising outcome of an ultra-dense state for hydrogen.
Dr. Ólafsson says, “Before that, he had been studying different easy metals like potassium which is easy to study and easy to produce Rydberg states, and I think by chance, he used catalysts that could do similar things to hydrogen as to potassium.”
“Hydrogen has a very high ionization energy compared to potassium and all these alkali metals, so it is very strange that you could make a a Rydberg state of hydrogen just by catalysts.”
“Leif started first with a common catalyst, the one making all this plastic waste that you find in nature now. This catalyst is one the steps of making polyethylene plastics.”
“So there are tens of millions of tons of this catalyst made every years, just to make plastics. But if you put some styrene in, then you’re changing some atoms on that molecule. That catalyst is usually a very hollow material, or nano-porous, so you basically have a huge surface area in the catalyst, which just makes the production better.”
“Basically this is a nano-porous surface, and what is probably going on is that hydrogen is adsorbed on that surface, and we’ve been discussing that this is just a special surface where you can prime the hydrogen to have a Rydgberg state as the lowest energy due to the potassium ions which are on the surface also.”
“This is a mixture of ironoxide – rust – and potassium, and it’s well known that when you put oxide surfaces with potassium, the three electrons from potassium forms a kind of electro-gas on top of the surface. “
“So this has never been studied or calculated because it’s very complicated to do it since the orbit of the Rydberg state is huge. It would make the Rydberg atom in a Rydberg state, which has a circular orbit with high quantum numbers – if it is an atom.”
“You can not do that easily to hydrogen, but on the surface, you could make a joint cooperation between the surface and the hydrogen. These may join up on the surface and give us the first states of this process, which is just the normal hydrogen Rydberg matter which is the feeding matter for the ultra-dense state.”
“You have this feedstock which is the normal hydrogen Rydberg matter, and through some excitation, it’s actually more thermodynamically stable to go into the other phase, but not so greatly, so that can obviously form some thin layers on top of metals, and that has been seen in experiments of ultra-dense state, which has so many forms creeping on the surface, and can even live for days if you leave it in the chamber there.”
“It’s actually fairly easy to prove this is true between two protons in a course of quantum physics, and I totally agree on that viewpoint.”
“But nobody knows what you can say if you are trying to do this with, say 15 or 19 particles, because that theory is not so easily solved. It’s not so easy either to say that it is not possible.”
“Most people use the simple way out and say it’s impossible and nonsense, because they are using so simple a model; they are not using multi-particle physics.”
For the ultra-dense state of hydrogen, Dr. Ólafsson says that “it’s always in that range of 2.3 pm. Leif reports that sometimes it’s a little bit less, and sometimes higher. He has given indication that this material has different spin states.”
“The only problem with is that the theory describing it is an empirical model, so it has no support from quantum calculations. It is describing his results, so we can say there are excited states which are a little bit longer distances and so on.”
“Since Leif Holmlid is the only man who has been doing this, we are replicating some parts of his work, but so far, we have not been studying the 2.3 picometer much. We’ve only been studying the ultra-fast breakup, when we have a higher time of flight. It’s not actually a bound state, but it’s actually flying out with much higher energy.”
“At the moment we are just trying to catch up with Leif. We have put the labs together, and we are trying to replicate some of his work, because according to him, we are the first experimentalists who have contacted him and tried to replicate things.”
“It’s actually a nice story to tell that I had applied for some money from the Icelandic Research Council here, and the main argument from all the reviewers was that “nothing has been published except him, and, if this were to be true it would possibly be quoted in the highest scientific journals’. So actually it was a catch-22; they believe all these claims are so wonderful, that somebody must have already studied it, but nobody has! It’s not good to be #2 in applying.”
“I managed to get funding, it was from a Technological Development fund. They are less bound to what science is and is not.”
Asked if he thought that ultra-dense hydrogen could be behind the cold fusion reaction, Dr. Ólafsson said that was his original thought when he saw Leif’s research.
“I thought, this is so close, this must be cold fusion. But it is so complicated a behavior, and of course, getting experiments in cold fusion and experiments in Leif’s research, to join up is of course difficult because they’re in different surroundings.”
“When I contacted Leif and asked him if he thought this was possibly behind cold fusion, he was skeptical, and didn’t want to be linked to the cold fusion thing.”
“But I managed to make a simple calculation with this distance of 2.3 picometer and some simple assumption, and it gave me that the rate of this distance could be enough. But it has one problem, because if you have this tunneling mechanism at this distance, like muon-catalyzed fusion, then you should still see the same result. In other words, you should get radioactive neutrons and protons. So these particles trying to tunnel in close to each other, that is not the right physics [for cold fusion].”
“But Rydberg matter and ultra-dense physics gives us the opportunity to study multi-particle interactions. In a sense, it tells us, if there is a link (between LENR and ultra-dense hydrogen), then it’s a multi-particle tunneling or interaction which could be making cold fusion signals.”
“I don’t know any samples without a crack or opening. Foil has cracks and so on, so you don’t know. I think there is nothing denying that ultra-dense hydrogen is in all cold fusion experiments.”
After being schooled in ultra-dense hydrogen production, Ruby asked Dr. Ólafsson how it was working with graduate student Sindre Zeiner-Gundersen in Norway, who received the test reactor from Tadahiko Mizuno last year.
“Well Sindre is not quite so young a student, he’s in his 30s, so that makes the game easier, you could say! Sometimes, he’s the student, and sometimes, I’m the student.”
“Since we are building one lab in Norway, and one lab in Iceland, which is a little bit different lab, he’ll makes something in his lab, and I catch up with that, and I do the same here, vice versa. ”
“And then we are traveling to each other’s lab, and I’ve been here three years already, and a PhD should be over in three years, but we have the problem of wanting to see more, and do more. So we are always joking ‘when will he finish his PhD?’!”
“It’s a nice thing when you have started in a different field, and one day you kind of get bored, when you start doing the same thing over and over again.”
“So the main reason for me to join this field was out of curiosity, and to see what could be done differently from these nickel and palladium-type experiments.”
“And I think along this way, from 2011 to 2019, you read so many different fields, that you are suddenly becoming not an expert, you know something of everything in the end, and that has been the most enjoyable part of this project.”
“But I’ve still been doing a bit of what I’ve always done. Like I have projects at CERN with a large international group, where we meet up once a year and do a well known technique. It’s not cold fusion, but it’s nice.”
“And there’s another project here which I take part in where we try to find catalysts for ammonia production, so it’s a little bit of everything.”
Dr. Ólafsson’s colleagues have followed the journey. He says, “At the moment they’re so used to it – seven years later! They just smile, yeah, yeah, yeah…”
“I gave a talk last week at the Icelandic Physical Society about what is going on in this field here. And my closing words were, ‘If you’re confused, you’re not alone, I’m also confused as you’.”
“I was just presenting experimental facts, and strange ones. ”
“I think scientists are much more open – until they have read the applications – and then they get scared!”
Dr. Irina Savvatimova is one of the giants of Russian LENR research who was able to attend the 30-year celebration organized by the Coordination Council on the Cold Nuclear Transmutation Problem of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS).
Dr. Savvatimova is a pioneer of the glow discharge method to generate LENR and her group was one of the first to report transmutation elements from this type of experiment.
Participants in the conference of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences “Cold fusion – 30 years: results and prospects” on March 23, 2019 in Moscow. From left to right: A.S. Sverchkov, L.V. Ivanitskaya, A.V. Nikolaev, A.A. Kornilov, A.I. Klimov, I.B. Savvatimova, A.G. Parkhomov, A.A. Prosvirnov, V.I. Grachev, S.N. Gaydamak, S.A. Flower.
She is also a research scientist at the Scientific Industrial Association LUCH working to generate isotopes for nuclear medicine.
She had already been working with glow discharge experiments and had defended a thesis on changing the structure and physico-mechanical properties of materials irradiated with hydrogen and helium ions when she heard about the announcement of Drs. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons.
She quickly switched gears and began researching cold fusion, along with two new collaborative partners.
In this exclusive interview, Ruby asks Dr. Irina Savvatimova about her first experiments and the early history of CMNS research she experienced.
IS At this time, I was investigating the behavior of materials under irradiation with hydrogen and helium ions with an energy of less than 1 Kev as applied to the first wall of a fusion reactor.
The anomalous effects of changing of the density of various types of defects by optical, electron transmission and auto-ion microscopy were detected. The formation of irregular clusters of vacancies and interstitial atoms, an increase in the dislocation density by orders of magnitude, the formation of pores in the volume and blisters on the surface were founded. An increase in the diffusion rate by a factor 4–5 diffusion coefficients was discovered.
Studies of changes in
the creep rate of metals and alloys under irradiation with hydrogen and helium
ions were also of interest, since these changes in ion irradiation conditions
correlated with available creep data under the conditions of reactor
irradiation of these materials.
I talk about this in such detail, because I immediately thought that an interesting result, what Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons performed as Cold Fusion, could be obtained in a gas discharge – but not in electrolysis. I was ready to conduct experiments, because there was the real gas discharge installation in working condition, the palladium and other materials, as well as the hydrogen and deuterium gases. The parameters of the gas discharge to give the maximum anomalous effects of changes in the structure and properties were also determined.
Then I got a telephone call from Jan Kucherov on March 24, at the same time of discussion with my colleague V. Romodanov, about the possibility of working on Cold Fusion at our institute. He believed that no one would be interested.
Jan Kucherov asked permission to see the installation of the gas discharge, which I used at the time.
I asked him: “Will we do Cold Fusion?”. After a pause, he replied:
The next day, Jan Kucherov and Alexander Karabut came to see the
By this time, all three of us had already defended dissertations and had some experimental experience.
Yan Kucherov and Alexander Karabut worked with high-power plasma installations, but their wish to conduct experiments on that equipment was not supported by the head of the laboratory, who feared an accident. So I was lucky to start working with such team of like-minded people.
We agreed that we would begin work with the existing gas discharge installation which I had already worked with. Devices for measuring radiation were found in other laboratories of the institute. A week later, we had measurement systems with gas-discharge – helium-3 sensors for neutrons detecting, radiometers with ZnS scintillators calibrated using a Pu-Be neutron source, and recording devices and oscilloscopes that made it possible to distinguish neutron signals from other pulses.
The first series of experiments on palladium was successful. We registered neutrons. It was very exciting. We could not sleep at night. Experiments on other materials (Mo, stainless steel ..) gave the smaller quantitative effect. It was understandable, because a smaller amount of deuterium could be absorbed under the same conditions. The qualitative picture was repeated when we changed the material of sample – the object of irradiation by deuterium.
The head of my laboratory, Babad-Zakhryapin, reported on the first positive results of the experiments at the scientific council of the Institute a couple of weeks after the start of the experiments. A couple of months later, we tried to publish an article in the journal Successes of Physical Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Further experiments have deepened research on the measurement of radiation by all methods available to us.
Later we learned that many groups in Russia began trying to conduct experiments on Cold Fusion, using their own techniques and/or improving electrolysis, for example, and subsequently applying plasma electrolysis.
For example, a group led by Academician B.B. Deryagin recorded neutrons during the splitting of heavy water ice back in 1986. Andrey Lipson worked with B.B. Deryagin, and later, he continued this research in CF field.
Another very vivid example is Academician A.N. Baraboshkin. Official science took a very wary direction of Cold Fusion, but A.N. Baraboshkin ventured to fund a Cold Fusion project from the funds of the Electrochemistry Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences and tried to unite several groups of researchers from different institutions, among them was our group. Funding was very modest, but the fact that the Academy of Sciences supported our research helped us.
Baraboshkin organized a section on cold fusion at the all-Union seminar “Chemistry and Hydrogen Technology” (Hydrogen-91, Zarechny) in 1991, which was attended by representatives of the Ural Polytechnic Institute, Institute of High-Temperature Electrochemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), Ekaterinburg, Institute of Physics- Tsarev V.A. Lugansk Machine-Building Institute – PI Golubnichy and B.I. Guzhovsky from VNIIEF Sarov, and A. Lipson of the Institute of Physics and Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
V.F. Zelensky, Director of Kharkov Physico-Technical Ukrain, Ukrain, also actively supported this area and he himself participated in experiments.
Yuri Bazhytov founded the firm “Erzion”. He experimented with plasma electrolysis in confirmation of his Erzion theory. Yuri Bazhutov was the main organizer of the 24 Russian conferences and this is his great merit.
Since 1990, seminars have begun to be held in academic and industry institutes. And since 1991, a seminar has already operated at the Peoples’ Friendship University under the guidance of N.V. Samsonenko (now passed the 90th seminar). Activity in this area has increased.
The All-Union seminar “Hydrogen-91”, where there were more than half of the works devoted to studies on cold fusion, most of the participants had worked in this direction a long time.
The first All-Russian Conference was held in 1993. The proceedings of this conference were held under the name Cold Nuclear Fusion, and later the conference was called Cold Fusion and Nuclear Transmutation. Before the first Russian conference, a conference was held in Belarus, where we had an opportunity to report the results of work.
I want to tell about many groups which conducted own successful investigation in this area. I am not sure that it is possible at this time.
Now a lot of research groups work in LENR direction.
RUBY What have been some of the transmutation products you’ve discovered?
IS Ihad experience with a glow discharge for more than 10 years before the CF, work has already been done on studying changes in structure and properties, so for me the study of transmutation was just a more in-depth comprehensive study of the process. The study of the elemental and isotopic composition showed the appearance of elements – that were absent before the experiments – in the sample material and the structural parts of the discharge chamber.
Changes in the elemental and isotopic composition were also tested in different laboratories and institutes by all possible methods. Analysis of the elemental composition on an electron microscope (EDS) revealed the preferential location along the boundaries and sub-boundaries of the grains, where additional impurity elements that were not present in the sample – and elements in the discharge chamber that weren’t there before the experiment. This effect was discovered by our colleague Alexei Senchukov when analyzing samples using a Hitachi electron microscope. He significantly increased the duration of the recording of the spectra, which had not been done before by anyone. Tuning the device to identify specific elements, it was found that various impurity elements can be localized in different places (Transaction of Fusion Technology –ICCF-4,1993// ANS, December 1994// Savvatimova et al, Cathode change after Glow Discharge, 389-394).
The such elements as Sc, V, Cd, In, P, Cl, Br, Ge, As, Kr, Sr, Y, Ru are never present in the discharge chamber, butthese elements were found in the Pd foils after experiments with different ions (H, D, Ar) almost always.
Changes in the isotopic composition of samples irradiated with hydrogen and deuterium were studied by mass spectrometry, Secondary Ions Mass-spectrometry, Spark Mass-spectrometry, Thermoionisation Mass-spectrometry. Several elements were observed using SMS with an isotope ratio deviating from the natural isotope abundance by a factor of two or three, such as 6Li/7Li;10B/11B; 12C/13C; 60Ni/61Ni/62Ni; 40Ca/44Ca; and 90Zr/91Zr. Deviation from the natural ratio of Ag isotopes 109/107 as 3/1 to 9/1, natural composition is 1/1) in palladium cathode. The significant change of the Pd isotopic composition was observed using SIMS also.
So, the elemental and isotopic structure of the cathode materials before and after Glow Discharge (GD) experiments were analyzed by EDS, SNMS and SMS. The isotope shift tendency in Pd and Pd alloys and Ag was observed. The comparison of the quantity of impurity elements change and generation was made.
The four same groups of
certain impurities were repeatedly formed after Deuteron irradiation in similar
conditions: light – with masses of 6, 7 10, 11 19, 20, 22; of middle masses
near 0,5 matrix element; (± 10) of matrix element – Cd, Sn, Ag and of heavy masses
(120 -140) Sn, Te, Ba).
The quantity of additional impurities, which was found after ion irradiation in Pd and Pd alloys, can to show in the following row with decreasing: Pd, alloys PdPTW, PdNi, PdRu, PdCu.
The qualitative correlation of the maximum increase of impurities in the cathodes with the minimum heat output during GD experiment was noticed for temperature interval less 200oC (ICCF-7).
Later, similar studies on
changes in the elemental and isotopic composition were carried out on titanium
However, all the effects of
transmutation with an increase in the content of individual elements up to 100
times or more, with a change in the isotopic composition, could not convince
critics that such changes were a reality.
Only an experiment with radioactive material could convince these people, so it was another happy occasion when John Dash invited me to Portland State University to conduct research with uranium.
As a result of this work, we were able to show the presence of alpha, beta and gammas. The alpha activity of Uranium increased after irradiation with hydrogen and deuterium ions about 2-4 times, and beta and gamma emission increased from 10 to 60%.
Emission registration on films during glow discharge experiments ICCF-9 [.pdf]
Along with the fascinating increase of alpha activity, an increase in the amount of thorium (EDS) and a decrease in uranium is observed by chemical analysis (MIT) and by observing the intensity of peaks in the spectra of characteristic radiation of uranium (x-ray data) decrease.
The first publications of these results were reported to ICCF-3 (1992), ICCF-4(1993) and Russian Conferences and Seminars, Russian “Letters in Journal of Technical physics” 1990
Possible Nuclear Reactions Mechanisms at Glow Discharge in Deuterium ICCF-3 [.pdf]
Cathode Material Change after Deuterium Glow Discharge Experiments ICCF-4 [.pdf]
The presence of low-energy nuclear reactions was confirmed by the GD low-energy influence. Some observations were:
– Significant increase in additional elements
ranging 10 -1000 times was found.
– Isotopic deviation in materials (Pd, Ti, W, and
U) and the increase in the additional impurity elements from 2 up to 100 times
– The majority of the newly formed elements, found
after the GD switch off were found in certain local zones (“hot” spots, micro
melting points) on the cathode material surface.
– Post-experimental isotopes with masses of 169,
170, 171, 178, and 181 (less than W and Ta isotopes) were found with the help
– The isotopic changes continue to occur for at
least 3–5 months after the GD exposure. Separate isotopes with masses less than
W and Ta isotopes have grown by factors ranging 5–1000 times.
– The change in alpha, beta, gamma radioactivity
caused by the GD was observed in Uranium.
.The correlation between X-ray emission data and the thermal ionization mass-spectrometry. Data for the same isotopes is shown in the W foils. The comparison of the mass spectra and the gamma spectra shown to the existence of Yb and Hf, isotopes in W after experiments in Deuterium.
The collection of effects confirms availability of nuclear transmutations under exposure to GD (Glow Discharge) low-energy ions bombardment in materials and in other processes.
The GD low-energy influence can be used in new power engineering and new technologies (e.g., isotope production). The described effects should be paid more attention to.
I studied structural changes and the physico-mechanical properties of materials under irradiation with hydrogen, deuterium and helium ions in a plasma discharge with hydrogen ion energies of less than 1 keV deuterium as applied to the first wall of a thermonuclear reactor. These studies were carried out at a gas discharge installation.
I studied these changes because presumably 95% of the ions bombarding the first wall of a thermonuclear reactor should have had H and D ions with energies of less than 1 keV.
Anomalous effects have been observed. Including, there was a blackening of the X-ray film located outside the discharge chamber. However, everyone said that this was not possible with ion energies of less than 1 KeV.
RUBY Could you describe the design of the experiments you performed, what metals you’ve used for cathodes, and how you’ve measured?
The greatest number of experiments was carried out on palladium. After the first experiments the studies were conducted on an EDS electron microscope.
The presence of low-energy nuclear reactions in Glow discharge was confirmed by formation in W (tungsten) of isotopes with mass less than matrix mass (ytterbium and hafnium with 169 -178 masses)
– Significant increase in additional elements ranging 10 -1000 times was found (– Isotopic deviation in materials (Pd, Ti, W, and U) and the increase in the additional impurity elements from 2 up to 100 times was discovered.
– The majority of the newly formed elements, found after the GD switch off were found in certain local zones (“hot” spots, micro melting points, microexplosions) on the cathode material surface.
– Post-experimental isotopes with masses of 169, 170, 171, 178, and 181 (less than W and Ta isotopes) were found with the help of TIMS.
– The isotopic changes continue to occur for at least 3–5 months after the GD exposure.
Separate isotopes with masses less than W and Ta isotopes have grown by factors ranging 5–1000 times.
– The same energy peaks in gamma-spectra occur during and after the GD current switch-off.
– The Significant change in alpha, beta, gamma radioactivity in uranium after GD in Deuterium and Hydrogen was observed.The increase of alpha, beta, gamma-emission are kept without change during of the duration of measurement – 1 year (after 2, 4, 5, 12 months)
– Post experiments weak gamma, X-ray and beta- emissions were detected.
(2) The correlation between the gamma and X-ray emission data and the thermal ionization mass-spectrometry data for the same isotopes is shown in the W foils.
The comparison of the mass spectra and the gamma spectra points to the existence of the following isotopes Ytterbium and Hafnium: 169, 170, 171m, 172, 178
(3) The collection of effects confirms availability of nuclear transformations under exposure to GD low-energy ions bombardment in materials and in other processes.
(4) The GD low-energy influence can be used in new power engineering and new technologies (e.g., isotope production). The described effects should be paid more attention to.
RUBY It’s been speculated that some of the transmutation elements found are from a fusion – and then fission – reaction. Is that probable in your mind?
IS Yes, of course. Some variants of possible reactions are in our articles.
RUBY You have found transmutations of elements in localized spots, and also at grain boundaries. What does this experimental evidence tell you in regards to a theory of this reaction?
ISYes, it is true. The majority of the newly formed elements, found after the GD switch off were found in certain local zones (“hot” spots, micro melting points, micro-explosions) on the cathode material surface.
It is clear that low-energy plasma initiates the processes of nuclear transmutations.
There are many theories and hypotheses, with the help of some of which, one can explain a part of the observed anomalies. But in the real material there are a lot of processes being performed, and it is very difficult to take into account all of them. Therefore, a single theory or hypothesis cannot explain the whole set of processes.
So in places where defects and inhomogeneities accumulate, there can be a change in the density of the of bombarding ions and a change in the electric field strength to high voltages leading to a microexplosion. In the resulting pores in the process of ion bombardment, the pressure can increase to hundreds of atmospheres. Grain boundaries can trigger an acceleration effect. This is if you approach the explanation from the standpoint of interactions at the macro level.
RUBYWhy is this research so important for the world?
IS These studies in the field of “subliminal (as my colleague Rodionov Boris says) energies” could help to understand many natural phenomena and solve the problems of contamination of the planet with radioactive waste, as well as help in the intensification of many technological processes. It is also possible to use this knowledge to expressly predict the behavior of materials under irradiation conditions.
Apparently, the society is not yet ready to use LENR processes for solving energy problems. The society, or those who rule it, does not need a success in solving the energy problem on the planet.
For a while I did not have the opportunity to work in the direction of Cold Fusion. I was engaged in a project to develop targets for the generation of isotopes for nuclear medicine.
If the situation allows, then I would like to apply the Cold Fusion tricks to solve real-world projects that could be useful now.
RUBY Could you say a bit what it was like to work with Drs. Karabut and Kucharov? Describe their contribution to condensed matter nuclear science.
ISI thank fate that it developed so that we began to work together and everyone was able to do something that was not able or did not know another. Result – the general inventions and patents, good publications. Jean-Pierre Vejie after our reports at a conference in Donetsk visited our laboratory. He was present at an experiment. After the visit to laboratory He suggested to publish our article in Physics Letters. At that time He was some of their editors of this magazine. We well supplemented each other at the initial stage of work.
If collaboration was continued slightly longer, perhaps progress would be more considerable.
Yan Kucherov knew better than others nuclear physics and was an arbitrator in these questions. Its first hypotheses of simultaneous course of processes of synthesis and disintegration are reflected in the publication at a conference in Nagoya. A.Karabut modernized the glow discharge installation for estimation of thermal effect. They competently gathered a measuring chain for registration of neutrons and gamma. Later Karabut could decipher possible decay chains in gamma spectra. This results was confirmed also by mass spectrometry.
RUBY Dr. Savvatimova, can you tell us what you are working on now?
ISFor a while I did not have the opportunity to work in the direction of Cold Fusion. I was engaged in a project to develop targets for the generation of isotopes for nuclear medicine.
If the situation allows, then I would like to apply the Cold Fusion tricks to solve real-world projects that could be useful now.
RUBYWhy is this research so important for the world?
-The collection of effects (alpha, beta, gamma-emission on the uranium) confirms availability of nuclear transformations under exposure to GD low-energy ions bombardment in materials.
– The low energy nuclear reactions (subthreshold nuclear reaction) are exist. These process can be used in the different fields of science and technology. Glow discharge low-energy impact can be used in new power engineering and new technologies (e.g., isotopes production, creating special alloys with improved properties, which cannot be create by other method).
The described effects should be paid more attention to. Unfortunately, the society doesn’t think it needs these achievements now (or part of society).
Understandably, for improvement success and great achievements, the good group of researchers and modern equipment and financial support are necessary.
The great Russian poet written ” It is pity to live in this beautiful time there will be neither you nor me”.
1. Karabut A. B., Kucherov Ya. R., Savvatimova I.B. Physics Letters A, 170, 265-272 (1992).
2. Karabut A.B., Kucherov Ya.R., Savvatimova I.B. Proc. ICCF-3, 1992, Nagoya, p.165. Possible Nuclear Reactions Mechanisms at Glow Discharge in Deuterium [.pdf]
Karabut A. B., Kucherov Ya. R., Savvatimova I.B. Fus.Tech., Dec. 1991, v. 20(4.), part 2, p.294.
Savvatimova I., Kucherov Ya. and Karabut A., Trans. of Fus. Tech.: v.26, 4T (1994), pp. 389-394
5. Savvatimova I.B, Karabut A. B. Proc., ICCF5, Monte-Carlo, 1995, p.209-212; p.213-222 Radioactivity of the Cathode Samples after Glow Discharge [.pdf]
6. Karabut A.B, Kucherov Ya. R., Savvatimova I.B ICCF5, Monte-Carlo, 1995, p.223-226; p.241 Nuclear Reaction Products Registration on the Cathode after Glow Discharge [.pdf]
Savvatimova I.B, Karabut A. B. Poverhnost (Surface), V. 1, Moscow: RAN, 1996, p.63-75;.76-81
The 22nd International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science ICCF22 convenes September 8-13, 2019 in Assisi, Italy. To Regsiter, go to the International Society of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science website at iscmns.org.
Listen to episode #23 of the Cold Fusion Now! podcast with Ruby Carat and Special Guest Dr. Dimiter Alexandrov, a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Head of the Semiconductor Research Center at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay , Canada.
He talks with Ruby about his transition to LENR research.
“It was exactly 30 years ago when I read about the first cold fusion experiments. My current involvement in the LENR research is based on experimental research outcomes got accidentally two years ago,” says Dr. Alexandrov.
His materials and electronics research led him to investigate deuterium and hydrogen plasma for the purpose of manufacturing semiconductors.
“The palladium specimen was placed on the sample holder and deuterium nitrogen gas mixture was directed to the specimen in the environment of inflated hydrogen.”
“During the experiments, I found the release of helium, especially the lighter stable isotope helium-3, and another stable isotope helium-4. I also found there is a correlation between the heat release and the release of helium.”
“For me, it was apparent that I was observing low energy nuclear reaction. I would like to determine if it was cold nuclear fusion because, in fact, the initial products were deuterium, and hydrogen – hydrogen was actually coming from the environment – and their interactions with the metals. Generally speaking the end products were helium. There is no other way other than to conclude that cold fusion has occurred.”
Two different methods to determine helium production at the sample were used.
“One way was mass spectroscopy. It was clear we had a release of helium-3. However, mass spectroscopy cannot distinguish helium-4 from molecular deuterium.”
“That’s why additional experiments were done, and I was lucky I found there was a release of helium-hydride, that is helium-4-hydride, and, the mass spectroscopy showed clearly that helium-hydride had been released”, explains Dr. Alexandrov.
Helium-hydride is a positively-charged ion, a helium atom bonded to a hydrogen atom, with one electron removed. He reasons that the helium-hydride could not occur unless helium was produced in the main chamber.
“I did additional experiments in order to confirm we are talking exactly about helium gas, and these experiments were connected with optical spectroscopy of the excited gasses immediately above the sample holder. This optical spectroscopy shows very clear peaks about helium, which means we have optical radiation from the excited helium, and actually, it shows a typical peak for helium-4 and one peak pertaining to helium-3.”
He also finds a temperature change that cycles up and down, correlating with the cycles of helium-4 concentration. The temperature of the sample holder, begins at room temperature, but after interacting with the deuterium gasses in the hydrogen environment, the temperature increases about 3 degrees Centrigrade for approximately 15 minutes or so, and then drops back down to initial temperature, and then increasing again, etc.
“I observed several cycles, and several times this happened, and the cycles of the temperature change correlate with the cycles of concentration of helium-3 in the main chamber. The heat release happens because of the creation of helium-3, and helium-4 as well”, he says.
Dr. Alexandrov recently presented at the 2019 LANR/CF Colloquium at MIT with Synthesis of Helium Isotopes in Interaction of Deuterium Nuclei with Metals [.pdf]
What’s next for this repeatable experimental effect?
This is a re-post of Icebergs in the Room? Cold Fusion at Thirty by Huw Price and first published here.
From aviation to zoo-keeping, there’s a simple rule for safety in potentially hazardous pursuits. Always keep an eye on the ways that things could go badly wrong, even if they seem unlikely. The more disastrous a potential failure, the more improbable it needs to be before we can safely ignore it. Think icebergs and frozen O-rings. History is full of examples of the costs of getting this wrong.
Sometimes the disaster is missing something good, not meeting
something bad. For hungry sailors, missing a passing island can be just
as deadly as hitting an iceberg. So the same principle of prudence
applies. The more we need something, the more important it is to explore
places we might find it, even if they seem improbable.
We desperately need some new alternatives to fossil fuels. To meet
growing demands for energy, with some chance of avoiding catastrophic
climate change, the world needs what Bill Gates
called an energy miracle – a new carbon-free source of energy, from
some unexpected direction. In this case it’s obvious what the principle
of prudence tells us. We should keep a sharp eye out, even in unlikely
Yet there’s one possibility that has been in plain sight for thirty
years, but remains resolutely ignored by mainstream science. It is
so-called cold fusion, or LENR (for Low Energy Nuclear
Reactions). Cold fusion was made famous, or some would say infamous, by
the work of Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons. At a press conference
on March 23, 1989, Fleischmann and Pons claimed that they had detect
excess heat at levels far above anything attributable to chemical
processes, in experiments involving the metal palladium, loaded with
hydrogen. They concluded that it must be caused by a nuclear process –
‘cold fusion’, as they termed it.
Many laboratories failed to replicate Fleischmann and Pons’ results,
and the mainstream view since then has been that cold fusion was
‘debunked’. It is often treated as a classic example of disreputable
pseudoscience. But it never went away completely. It has always had
defenders, including some scientists at very respectable laboratories.
They acknowledged that replication and reproducibility were difficult in
this field, but claimed that most attempts on which the initial
dismissal had been based were simply too hasty.
Such work continues today, as cold fusion approaches its thirtieth birthday. A recent peer-reviewed Japanese paper
lists seventeen scientific authors, from several major universities and
the research division of Nissan Motors. These authors report ‘excess
heat energy’ which ‘is impossible to attribute … to any chemical
reaction’ (with good reproducibility between different laboratories).
The field has also been attracting new investors recently (including, some claim, Bill Gates himself).
These seventeen Japanese scientists might be mistaken, of course.
Scientists – not to mention investors! – often get things wrong. But
their work is only the tip of a very substantial iceberg. If there was
even a small probability that they and the rest of the iceberg were on
to something, wouldn’t the field deserve some serious attention, by the
prudence principle with which we began?
When I wrote about these issues in Aeon
three years ago, I argued that the problem is that cold fusion is stuck
in a reputation trap. Its image is so bad that many scientists feel
that they risk their own reputations if they are seen to be open-minded
about it, let alone to support it. That’s why the work of those Japanese
scientists and others like them is ignored by mainstream science – and
why it doesn’t get the attention that simple prudence recommends.
The reputation trap is nicely illustrated by the tone of a New Scientisteditorial from 2016. It accompanied a fairly even-handed article describing recent increases in interest in LENR, from investors as well as some scientists. The editorial concludes:
There’s still no compelling reason to think cold fusion
will work. Let those with money to burn take the risk and, if proven
right, the rewards for their chutzpah too. For the rest of us, cold
fusion is better off left out in the cold.
There’s no mistaking the tone, but if we translate it to the safety
case the logic has a chilling familiarity: ‘There’s no compelling reason
to think that there will be icebergs at this latitude. Let those with
money to burn take the slower route to the south, and the rewards if
they turn out to be right.’
The fallacy here is obvious. It puts the burden of proof on the wrong
side. What matters is not whether there is a compelling reason to think
that there are icebergs, but whether there is compelling reason to be confident that there are not.
That’s what’s distinctive about these safety cases, and it stems from
the high cost of getting things wrong – hitting the icebergs, or missing
In the safety case, we know what happens when reputation and similar
cultural and psychological factors get in the way of prudence. Icebergs
are unlikely, and our reputation is at stake, so full speed ahead! NASA
fell for precisely this trap in the case of the Challenger disaster, ignoring warnings about the O-rings. Something similar underlies the tone of the New Scientist editorial, in my view – a kind of misplaced rigidity, engendered in this case by the norms of scientific reputation.
Reputation plays an indispensable role in science, as an aid to
quality control. But sometimes it gets thing wrong. There are famous
cases in the history of science in which new ideas were ignored or
ridiculed, sometimes for decades, before going on to win Nobel prizes.
(Classic examples include the work of Barbara McClintock on mobile elements in genetic material, and the discovery by Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren that stomach ulcers are caused by a bacterium. )
Usually this doesn’t matter very much – science got there in the end,
in these famous cases. But it is easy to see how it might be a problem,
where prudence requires that we take unlikely possibilities very
seriously. If what’s at stake is a serious risk, the normal rate of
progress in science – one funeral at a time, as Max Planck put it, commenting on science’s conservatism – might simply be too slow.
So the normal sociology of scientific reputation may be pathological
in special cases – cases in which the cost of wrongly dismissing a
maverick idea is especially high. In my Aeon piece I suggested
that LENR is such a case. I proposed that to offset this pathology we
need some carefully targeted incentives – an X-Prize for new energy
technologies, say. To mainstream scientists this idea sounds absurd,
even disreputable, at least in the case of cold fusion. But that’s just
the pathology talking, in my view – and the rational response to the
pathology is to hack it and work around it, not to give way to it.
Not surprisingly, my article was controversial – some commentators
wondered what it would do to my own reputation! Critics didn’t disagree
with the principle that we need to take low probability risks (or
potential missed opportunities) seriously, when the cost of overlooking
them would be high. But many denied that cold fusion falls into this
category. They felt that is so unlikely, so discreditable, that we can
safely leave it in the reputation trap. (Sometimes this response came
with considerable vehemence, even from friends.)
How likely would cold fusion have to be, to be worth serious
attention? This is debatable, but a generous 5% should be
uncontroversial. (Who would argue that we should ignore a 1 in 20 chance
of some interesting new physics, let alone carbon-free energy?) My
critics thought that the probability that cold fusion is real is much
lower than that.
I felt that many of these critics were simply not paying attention.
If one took the trouble to look, there was a lot of serious work,
including recent work, suggesting real physical anomalies. If we ask not
whether this evidence is entirely compelling, but simply whether it
lifts the field above a very low attention threshold (say 5%), the
answer seemed to me to be obvious. We shouldn’t be ignoring this work.
(Instead, we should be trying to hack the pathology that makes it so
easy to dismiss it.)
In addition to scientists at respectable institutions who work on
LENR, there are also some inventors and entrepreneurs who claim to be
developing practical LENR-based devices. I mentioned two in my 2015
article. One was a controversial Italian engineer, Andrea Rossi. His
claims in 2011 had attracted me to the topic in the first place, and in
2015 he seemed to be doing well. The other was a less colourful
inventor, Robert Godes, whose Berkeley-based company Brillouin Energy also claimed to be on a path to a commercial LENR reactor.
My critics were confident that both Mr Rossi and Mr Godes must be
frauds, or else deeply confused. What other possibilities are there,
after all, if – as my critics were convinced – there’s no genuine LENR? I
thought that this dismissal was far too hasty. I wasn’t certain by any
means that Rossi or Godes did have what they claimed, but I thought that
the probability was well above a reasonable attention threshold (given
what success might mean).
With several critics, these differences of opinion led to bets,
at long odds. I would win the bets if, after three years, at least one
of Rossi or Godes had ‘produced fairly convincing evidence (> 50%
credence) that their new technology that generates substantial excess
heat relative to electrical and chemical inputs.’ If my opponents and I
couldn’t agree whether this is the case, the question would go to a
panel of three judges for arbitration. (Either way, the proceeds will
support research on existential risk.)
The three years is now up, so how am I faring? About Rossi, I am
happy to concede that he hasn’t made it to the finishing line, even at a
modest 50% credence. I think there is still some reason to think that
that he may have something, based in part on claimed
replications by far less colourful figures. But there is also evidence
of dishonesty, especially in his dealings with his US backer, Industrial
Luckily for me, I backed the ants as well as the grasshopper. About
Godes’ Brillouin Energy (BEC) the news is much better. There are now three positive reports (from 2016, 2017, and 2018) by an independent tester, Dr Francis Tanzella, at the Menlo Park lab of SRI International. The first report already confirmed low levels of excess heat, and important progress in reproducibility:
This transportable and reproducible reactor system is
extremely important and extremely rare. These two characteristics,
coupled with the ability to start and stop the reaction at will are, to
my knowledge, unique in the LENR field to date.
The more recent reports describe steady progress in two directions.
First, a modest improvement in excess heat as measured by the the
so-called Coefficient of Performance (COP) – the ratio of output power
to input power. Second, a large increase in the absolute level of excess heat, from a few milliwatts in 2016 to several watts in early 2018.
The last of Dr Tanzella’s three reports covers the period to July 2018. Since then, BEC themselves have claimed even better results – consistent output power around twice the level of input power, with excess heat of around 50 watts.
What are the options, if we are not to take these reports at face
value? Essentially, one needs to dismiss as incompetent or fraudulent
not only Mr Godes and his BEC team, but also Dr Tanzella and his SRI
colleagues. However, as the 2018 report notes, SRI ‘brought over 75
person-years of calorimeter design, operation, and analysis experience
to this process’, much of it in the field of LENR. SRI, and Dr Tanzella
himself, are among the most experienced experts in the field.
Accordingly, it seems to me greatly more likely than not that BEC do
have what they claim – in the words of my bet, a device that ‘generates
substantial excess heat relative to electrical and chemical inputs’.
Readers wishing to make up their own minds should study Dr Tanzella’s
reports, and listen to a recent podcast
in which he speaks about his work. (The same site also offers a recent
interview with Robert Godes, in which he discusses BEC’s latest
Some critics will say that Dr Tanzella must be wrong, because the
claims are simply so unlikely. That would be an understandable view if
BEC’s claims were a complete outlier, unrelated to any previous work.
But as I said, there’s an iceberg’s worth of work beneath it, much of it
from eminently serious sources (people and institutions). Only someone
who hadn’t taken the trouble to look at this work could think of BEC as
As a very small sample from this iceberg, see this and this for overviews of long programmes of work by two US laboratories, SRI International themselves and the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) lab, San Diego, over the 1990s and 2000s; this for a short summary of the recent Japanese work mentioned above; and this and this for two additional recent technical papers. All these pieces report results not explicable by known chemical processes. This site offers hundreds of other papers.
Finally, for our Norwegian readers, there’s this recent 45 page report
by the Norwegian Defence Research Institute. The author, an
electrochemist, concludes that in his view ‘LENR is a real phenomenon,
the development of which ought to be closely watched.’ He says that the
alternative ‘is to believe in a conspiracy of independent researchers at
a number of different institutions’, and adds that for the original
Fleischmann and Pons reactions in particular, ‘the documentation is
The question I want you to ask yourself – after examining
this material – is not whether you agree with me that BEC has made it
over the finishing line specified in my bets. That’s an interesting
question, but not the important one. The crucial issue is whether LENR
in general makes it over a much lower bar, the one that recommends it
for serious attention, given how desperate we are for Bill Gates’ energy
miracle. If you don’t agree with me even about the low bar, I’m
wondering what you take yourself to know, that all these authors do not,
that could possibly justify such certainty?
If you do agree with me about the low bar, I encourage you to join me
in trying to hack the reputation trap. It may be too much to expect
mainstream science to scan the horizon very far to port and starboard.
That’s how science works, and rightly so, in normal circumstances. But
if that’s where the energy-rich islands might be, that’s the direction
someone needs to be looking. So we need some unconventional thinkers –
especially young, brilliant, sharp-eyed thinkers – and we need to cheer
not sneer at their efforts.
In my view, it’s as much a mistake to let reputation blind us to
prudence in this case as it is was for the icebergs and O-rings. True,
it isn’t necessarily so catastrophic. But unlike the Titanic and the Challenger, the planet has all of us on board. So let’s loosen our collars a little, remind ourselves of the virtues of epistemic humility, and try to encourage our energy mavericks.
For the moment, as cold fusion turns thirty, it remains a black sheep of the scientific family. But as the history of science shows us, it’s often black sheep who bring home black swans. We don’t know whether cold fusion will follow the same path. We do know that it’s in the whole family’s interests to show it some warmth. For safety’s sake, cold fusion needs to be cool.
Read the original article Icebergs in the Room? Cold Fusion at Thirty by Huw Price here.
* * *
Price is Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy and a Fellow of
Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He is Academic Director
of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, and a
co-founder with Martin Rees and Jaan Tallinn of the Centre for the Study
of Existential Risk. Before moving to Cambridge he was ARC Federation
Fellow and Challis Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney,
where from 2002—2012 he was founding Director of the Centre for Time.
Nuclear chemist and former Los Alamos National Laboratory rocket scientist Dr. Edmund Storms has been researching cold fusion/LENR since 1989 and talks with Ruby Carat on the Cold Fusion Now! podcast about this new area of science founded by Drs. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons.
Edmund Storms is widely considered one of the foremost researchers in the cold fusion field. In 1989, he and Carol Talcott detected tritium from Fleischmann-Pons cells at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In May 1993, he was invited to testify before a congressional committee about the cold fusion effect. In 1998, Wired magazine honored him, along with Michael McKubre, as one of the 25 people in the U.S. who is making a significant contribution to new ideas.
Edmund Storms has written over a hundred papers and several surveys of the condensed matter nuclear science field, including books The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, a survey of the experiments and theories of the field through 2007, and, The Explanation of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, A Comprehensive Compilation of Evidence and Explanations about Cold Fusion, describing the top contenders for a LENR theory, as well as providing a new model of the reaction derived solely from the physical evidence.
Edmund Storms discusses some of the episodes of history, like the Les Case experiment, as well as the progress in LENR theory and the difference between Super Abundant Vacancies SAVs and Nano-spaces as a nuclear active environment.
Cold Fusion Now! brings the voices of breakthrough energy scientists to the public. We need your financial support in order to continue. Go to our website at coldfusionnow.org/sponsors/ to be a Cold Fusion Now! SuSteamer or sign-up on Patreon.
Patreon is a platform for financially supporting the creative . You can pledge as little as a dollar per episode and cap your monthly spending. When we deliver, you reward the work!
The sixteenth episode of the Cold Fusion Now! podcast features Dr. Pamela Mosier-Boss, an analytical chemist who spent a career working at the Navy’s SPAWAR laboratory developing environmental sensors and working on LENR.
As an experimentalist, Dr. Mosier-Boss used the co-deposition method, pioneered with her partner in the lab Dr. Stanislaw Szpak to reveal nuclear effects and an at- or near-surface reaction.
Tiny craters indicating mini-explosions on the surface of the cathode, video of real-time heat-producing flashes, neutrons and alpha particles detected by CR-39 are just some of the published work generated since 1989.
Dr. Boss and her colleagues presented at ICCF-21 proposing LENR-generated neutrons to fission uranium, eliminating the need for radioactive neutron source.
Pamela Mosier-Boss speaks on these topics as well as her career as one of the few woman in the CMNS field, and what needs to happen next to solve the LENR reaction mystery.
Big atomic THANKS to our new and continuing supporters. We are making it happen for a breakthrough energy future because of you. Go to our website at coldfusionnow.org/sponsors/ to be a Cold Fusion Now! SuSteamer or sign-up on Patreon.
Patreon is a platform for supporting creators. You can pledge as little as a dollar per episode and cap your monthly spending. When we deliver, you reward the work!