LENR consultant and former Director of Energy Research at SRI International Michael McKubre presented at the 21st International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Colorado. The five-day conference ran June 3-8, 2018 and featured multiple groups reporting solid results in the generation of excess heat and transmutations.
Several labs are regularly able to produce between 6-20 Watts excess thermal power and are now experimenting with the various parameters in order to determine how to scale that output up. There were several theory sessions and more theories presented, but no consensus on modeling features of the reaction was determined.
In episode 13 of the Cold Fusion Now! podcast, we join Michael McKubre just starting his talk on Monday morning June 4 with The Fleischmann Pons Heat and Ancillary Effects: What Do We Know, and Why? How Might We Proceed?
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Find more notes, audio, and photos of ICCF-21 courtesy the Cold Fusion Now! Collective here.
The second in our series surveying the cold fusion landscape features Dr. Michael McKubre, former Director of Energy Research at SRI International, previously Stanford Research Institute, where there continues an-almost-thirty-years program of experimental research in LENR/cold fusion. Dr. McKubre semi-retired to New Zealand in March 2016, and is currently consulting informally with several international research groups.
He speaks with Ruby Carat on the general state of experimental research, and what needs to be done to fully-map the many LENR reactions.
“There were many high points,” said Michael McKubre, who spoke at the conference on Cold Fusion for CMNS Present and Projected Future Status.
Steve Katinsky, one of the leaders in the formation of the new LENR Industry Association said, “I would describe an undercurrent of anticipation.”
“Though this is only my third ICCF conference, something intangible was different in Padua,” Katinsky said. “While it is hard to know for sure, perhaps it is the precursor to a tipping point, and a subsequent acceleration of resources and activities in the field.”
Michael McKubre wrote a history of the ICCF conferences for the event, now archived on ICCF19 website. “I wrote the conference histories in groups of three for practical reasons, but these blocks do cycle progressively in tone. ICCF19 was the start of a new cycle and definitely felt that way.”
“I keep fairly abreast of technical progress, so for me the positive results of all conferences, except the first few, have mostly been the aspects of interpersonal bonding and team building. For this conference, with many newcomers, a major benefit was the possibility to get to know members of the next generation,” he said.
Technical talks paired with policy-making
“Scientists are generally interested in the practical aspects of LENR, and entrepreneurs want to understand the science,” said David Nagel, formerly of the Naval Research Lab and currently a professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. who spoke on High Power Density Events in Lattice-Enabled LENR Experiments and Generators.
He found the talks on “materials from Coolescence, SKINR and ENEA to be very good. Much progress has been made on understanding experimental procedures to achieve high loading of deuterons into Pd,” he said.
Katinsky agreed, “The talks and posters overall were very good.”
“Mitchell Swartz’s work that Peter Hagelstein presented in Padua always captures my imagination. David Kidwell in his Q&A talked about having too much He4, and I would like to hear more about that, and I was intrigued by Mark Davidson’s presentation.”
“For me, in addition to a great range of scientific reports, were the talks of Tom Darden and Mike McKubre.”
Katinsky said, “There was both formal presentations and posters, and informal conversations and socializing; that together made for a very rewarding conference experience.”
LENR Industry Association is forming
Conversations with Steve Katinsky about the new LENR Industrial Association (LENRIA) were both very productive and pleasant,” Nagel said. “We get a lot done when we can talk.”
Katinsky added, “We had many requests for slides and information on membership, for when it opens. While commercial activity is nascent, this is the right time to get started.”
Asked how they will move forward from here, Katinsky replied, “We are close to having our initial web site up, where people and companies can register to be notified when membership opens. Also, many of the materials we have developed in support of forming the association shall be available there. Next, our efforts shall turn to seeking contributions to help with costs, and to developing our membership and some initial services.”
“Our formation of LENRIA might be somewhat early,” said Nagel, “but that, if so, is wrong in the right direction.”
Biggest crowd yet
A relatively large number of people attended, although the final count is now available yet.
Nagel said, “I also had a good conversation with Lowell Wood, an old friend from Livermore, who has followed this field for many years.”
Lowell Wood attended ENEA Labs with Bill Gates and entourage when they were educated on the latest science by Vittorio Violante.
Katinsky liked “having the opportunity to get to know better the journalist Mats Lewan, Mike Nelson from NASA, Robert Godes of Brillouin Energy Corporation, David Kidwell of NRL and Mel Miles.
“The Great Hall was exquisite and the Orchestral start was sublime,” said McKubre.
However, the large room lacked intimacy.
“There was large attendance in an even larger hall that diminished speaker – audience connection. Overall there was a conspicuous absence of in-depth discussion and the configuration and acoustics were not particular;y conducive.”
“A lot of original attendees were prevented from attending by age or worse, and a lot of new faces were present. Obviously the presence of many new faces is only good but it meant that many old questions needed to be asked and answered again.”
Open Power collaborated with MFMP in Parkhomov Padua
One group had wanted to present their work to the community, but were not able to be scheduled in the program.
Luciano Saporito of the Open Power Association said, “We are ready to talk about our work everywhere we will have invitation: but our patent speaks for itself…”
“We are engaged in experiments,” said Ugo Abundo, a lead researcher at Open Power.
“In perfect style of Open collaboration, we contributed along with MFMP during a Parkomov replication at Padua during the Conference.”
“As Bob Greenyer said: ‘We would very much like to work together with you again. I was VERY impressed with the willingness to help in Italy in general.'”
The results of the conference remain to be seen, but participants are going home with a big to-do list.
“From here it is a short step to victory,” says McKubre. “Resources are entering the field. If we can find some commonality of action to ensure that the sum is greater than the parts then we will all win. I am highly encouraged.”
“One of the highlights of ICCF19 definitely was ICCF20. With the next continental rotation returning to Asia (and Oceania) it was surprising and unprecedented that four countries were seriously interested in hosting the next conference: China, Japan, India, Russia.”
“The IAC was faced with the happy need to make the diplomatic decision to hold the primary conference at Tohoku University in Sendai, on the East Coast of Japan, with a satellite meeting follow on meeting at Xiamen University on the East Coast of China.”
Patent lawyer David French said “It was a great first day. Started at 9:30AM with a one hour concert by a 25 piece orchestra.”
Cold Fusion Dog Dr. Bob estimates approx 300-400 in attendance and, “I would definitely not go so far to say that there was a lot of [media] coverage of this event.”
Klee Irwin, lead investigator at Quantum Gravity Research sent this photo of the musicians and the beautiful setting for the presentation of research and reports of progress in the field of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, both scientific and commercial.
Cold Fusion Now! is not in attendance, but our associates Cold Fusion Dog Dr. Bob, and Alain Coetmeur of LENR-Forum are reporting in through Twitter. E-Cat World has a live thread here with video of Tom Darden of Industrial Heat from Cold Fusion Dog Bob.
What an honor it is to be here today to address those of you who have done so much to change the way we address our energy needs and our environmental needs, to change science. I’m the founder of Cherokee, and I’ve been asked to tell you we are the body that created Industrial Heat as a funding source for LENR inventors. Unike many of you, I’m not a scientist, I’m an entrepreneur. We share the common bond of innovation . . . Entrepreneurship sees the major task in society as doing something different, rather than doing something better than is already being done. Doing better something that is already being done is like making coal power plants more efficient — you are working to make them unneccessary. Thank God there are some, like many of you, who have the courage to disrupt. In 1921, experts determined that the limits of flight had been reached already. In 1932 it was determined that nuclear fission was unlikely ever to be feasible. And in the 1950’s, when I was born, it was widely believed that pollution was a necessary part of economic development. Paradigm shifts do not come easily, especially in science — it is not a smooth road in the nature of scientific revolutions. Usually they are born out of the crises of our time. If you are on the leading edge of a paradigm shift, you will be attacked by your peers, and you will be attacked by the institutions of the status quo. We feel called to upset two core business paradigms. First, the traditional ethos of environmentalism is that we should strive to be ‘less bad.’ But as America’s leading environmental philosopher puts it in his book Cradle to Cradle, being ‘less bad’ is not being good, it’s still being bad, just a little bit less so. If you are driving a car towards a cliff, it doesn’t help you to slow down — you need to turn around and go in a different direction.
We need solutions that don’t create pollution in the first place, not solutions that only reduce pollution. Second, let’s challenge the assumption of scarcity, at least with respect to energy. Sadly, due to society’s ineffectiveness to date, the world struggles with energy scarcity. What we burn from petroleum or coal, which unlocks only a tiny fraction of the true energy inside, when we do this we release almost all the mass of coal into the air as stack emissions. We scatter this mass around the planet. Carbon and heavy metals can be highly beneficial — they’re not necessarily pollutants — but they are if they’re in the wrong place. C02 in the air is a pollutant; carbon in a tree is not. Heavy metals can be highly beneficial unless they’re in the wrong place like farmlands in China, or in our oceans.
We need an entirely new paradigm. This hopeful vision was the genesis of our work at Industrial Heat. When I entered school, the United States was in the midst of an environmental crisis. Most people have forgotten about this, or perhaps never even new of it, but when I was young periodically industrial rivers in our cities would burst into flame due to pollution, and sometimes in our worst polluted cities, people drove with their headlights on during the day. Our air pollution was as bad as in China in some cities. This was America when I began to think of my place in the world. I was worried when I saw that photo, the first photo of our living planet from space. Many of you will remember that — we had never seen the earth, which is ironic because we live on it. We could see that it was a living planet. I felt compelled to do something about it. Later at university I wrote my master’s thesis on acid rain, air pollution and coal plants. My first job was at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul, where I worked on pollution, converting coal which was used for cooking. I saw pollution throughout East Asia. I returned, and went to Yale, to become an environmental lawyer, but in the US, practicing law, some people think it’s somewhat [draining?]. I fell in that category and thankfully I got a job at Bain and Co. working in steel plants, on energy efficiency. In 1984 I converted brick plants from burning fossil fuels into burning biogas which was being dumped into landfills where it turned into methane gas . . .
. . . We were mostly carbon neutral, except for our electricity use, and I obsessed on finding ways that we could make carbon free electricity. I was never successful. In 1985, I discovered soil pollution at on of our brick plant sites, from decades of petroleum use. I found some professors at Virginia Tech University, which is not far away, professors who dealt with soil bacteria, so we began to grow bacteria which would consume pollution in the ground. I funded their business via systems technology and we created Cherokee Environmental to clean up contaminated soil all over the east coast and over the years we’ve cleaned up over 15 million tons of dirt. That would be enough, that if you stacked it all up under a golf course, it would raise the level of that golf course about 400 feet or 130 meters. We bagan to buy contaminated property to clean up. We raised over $2 billion for this, buying and remediating land. We’ve owned 550 properties in the US, Canada and Europe, including a refinery site not too far from here (Trieste).
Some people think Cherokee is a real estate company because it owns a lot of property, but our property work is driven by our pollution focus. I saw that we could affect pollution by working with smart scientists at Virginia Tech. We don’t internally have the capacity for scientific innovation — we’re business people, not scientists — but we realized we could find scientists who had ideas. So we branched out. We kept doing this with other professors at other universities. Between 1985 and the present we’ve invested in over 100 venture or startup companies. These addressed water or air pollution, or grid management; almost none of these were our own ideas, these were others’ ideas. My primary goal is to reduce pollution so for years we’ve been going abroad to transfer technology because that’s where most of the pollution is. I go to China regularly to advise officials and business leaders on methods and processes addressing pollution. They’ve declared 19 percent of their land too contaminated for agricultural use. This is mostly due to air pollution — air pollution dropping contaminants on the land. Obviously this is a huge social issue. I began to do this in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, and we’ve also explored similar paths in the Middle East, India, and Indonesia, focusing on areas of most population. In order to address the globe’s environmental problems, the solutions must be ubiquitious — they cannot exist only in Europe or the United States.
In the early part of this decade Cherokee had entered a relatively stable part of its history. The next generation of leaders was being prepared to carry our guides and processes forward, and existing projects were operating smoothly. My children were in their 20s and 30s and I was spending time with them and with my wife for the first time in nearly 35 years. I had rebuilt my experimental airplane, and I was installing a parachute in it, looking forward to using it more . . .
One day I received a random call about cold fusion. I didn’t give it much credence because I remembered in detail the disclosure about Fleischmann and Pons years before, and I believed the subject was dead. Then thirty days later I received another related inquiry from a different group, so we began to do some research, and then thirty days later, I received a call from another group. We had invested in 100 startup companies and I had never gotten an inquiry about fusion or about LENR: three in 30 day intervals. We funded two of these groups, and then later, as many of you know, we licensed Andrea Rossi’s technology. Since then we’ve made grants to university groups doing research in this space, and we continue to fund additional teams. We envision an ecosystem of collaboration with great scientists who work together to develop the many systems and technologies society will need to shift away from polluting fossil fuels. Our goal is to bring non-polluting energy to those who need it most, especially in the developing world. We also don’t believe there is one solution, we believe there are many solutions to these problems. To implement this vision, we determined that a business-based approach would be the most effective strategy; we looked at many others.
I know that some of you have felt that business are, and have been adversarial to [??] I understand that. But recall that commerce has long proven to be primary agent of change in every technical endeavor. We engage with large companies and we all need them to achieve ubiquity for your ideas. We want to work in a collaborative way with many more [challenges, charities?], and we want to help others do that. We started Industrial Heat because we thought that LENR technology was worth pursuing, even if we were unsuccessful. We were willing to be wrong, we were willing to invest time and resources to see if this might be an area of useful research in our quest to eliminate pollution. At the time we were not especially optimistic, but the global benefits were compelling.
We’ve had some success, and we’re expanding our work. We’re collaborating with and investing alongside fellow researchers and developers. Scientists compete to be the first, and they count on potent sharing of what has been discovered to advance the process. They want to be able to be able to share their work in an environment where why they do what they do, truly matters . . . they want to know that their work will be funded and their ideas will be merit tested, and advances merited, and they will be rewarded fairly. We’re privileged to be creating that kind of environment at Industrial Heat. We believe we may be at last on the verge of a new paradigm shift — one that will create new opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship to advance the cause of abundance in the face of scarcity, and the continuing calls to be less bad. When I look around this room, I’m filled with two strong sentiments . . .
You’ve given your lives to your research . . . you’ve made a great difference to the world. Thank you for your years of hard work and progress. Every day I think of you and I am inspired.
At the same time, I would like to say how truly sorry I am that society has attacked you for the last three decades. The treatment of Fleischmann and Pons, and the treatment of any of you by mainstream institutions and the media will go down in history as one of the great examples of scientific infanticide . . . this seems to be a dark component of human nature . . . but notwithstanding this longsuffering, you remain faithful to your work. Thank you for your intense focus and contributions in the face of challenges. We [notice] all of your good faith, good will, good intentions and honesty, driven by the better angels of our nature, not appearing to be constrained by the behavior of others. We also need not be constrained by our own minds; ironically the expert who proclaimed that flight had achieved its limits in 1921 was Orville Wright, and the expert who declared that fission was not likely was Einstein . . . your time is come; for instance fear gripping China and India reporting air pollution and water pollution creating an enormous demand for new ideas, less constrained by the past. Second, the increasing reports of success by many of you continue to offset the presumptions of skeptics. But it does not benefit any of us nor does it benefit society, if we achieve success but lose our battles. Let’s encourage each other to put the needs of society and the needs of other first as we contemplate how to achieve victory.
As provocative as it may sound, we’ve reached a tipping point. The potential of your work is so great. The signs of progress are now so significant. This is our simple manifesto: to pass on a world that is better than the one we received. Abundant non-polluting energy, widely available can make the greatest contribution to this goal. That’s a manifesto pledge for us to keep. It’s a promise to you, to those who went before you, to our children, and their children’s children. Thank you(Applause)
Questions for Tom Darden:
What is your timeframe?
TD: What is our timeline? I have found throughout our work that patience is a virtue, patience is important. And any people in business, and especially in the venture capital world, I hate to think we might be in the venture capital world, but I guess that’s what we do) want to move very quickly — we would like to move very quickly as well — but they tend to stop before success is achieve, and I think they tend to stop too quickly, and many instances we’ve stayed with technologies for fifteen or twenty years, and continued when we’ve seen promising results. For the most part we use our own money, so we’re not worried about investor returns as would be with some of the venture funds, but we don’t really have a distinct time frame. Sooner is better than later, but we are willing to stay for a long time, and I don’t want to move so quickly that we miss something. So I guess I would have to say we don’t really have a timeframe, and we don’t intend to give up. (Applause)
Follow this link for further updates at this historic conference.
In his post ICCF-19 Day 1, Dr. Bob reports that “McKubre spoke in his opening statements about the past, the now, and the future. He mentioned that for Cold Fusion the situation has always been a lack of funding, but now, we will see an abundance of funding, but lack of talent.”
A problem indeed, but one that can be fixed – with adequate funding.
During the afternoon, Bob tweeted this photo of Nicholas Chauvin’s core reactor! Slimline!
Of the sleek design, Bob remarked, “I did not speak to him yet, but Nicolas Chauvin from LENR Cars / MFMP showed me one of Parkhomov`s Dog Bone Cores.”
“Think about it – he is holding the most powerful and valuable technology, in the palm of his hand. It might now have lots of flashing lights or lasers, but the simplicity is in itself beautiful.”
“People actually walk around carrying these things in their pockets.”
“I imagine that If Apple created a (new) Cold Fusion Device – it would look just like that.”
The MFMP is going to announce something very special, something everyone has wanted to know for years but that no one could expect to ever know.
Related to this announcement, we have been graciously donated, not 1, but 2 extremely rare 1989 minted “Cold Fusion” one ounce coins. These will soon be auctioned with the aim of part funding the path to new clarity that this special thing or things will deliver.
The last time one of these coins was sold – it went for around $5000. The anonymous donor once offered these very same coins to Martin Fleischmann, after holding them in his hands for a while pondering, he handed them back to their owner saying “no, you better keep them, one day you may be able to do something useful with them”
The MFMP and the coins current owners believe that time is upon us. Keep a look out for the link to the E-bay auction and other related vindication posts.
The Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences (NTVA) and The Norwegian Society of Graduate Technical and Scientific Professionals (Tekna) sponsored the event as part of a one-day seminar Can LENR provide cheap and clean energy? drawing a capacity-crowd of around 60 people.
Former-head of Norway Defense Research Establishment and Nuclear Engineer Nils Holme chaired the committee, inviting speakers Sten Bergman of Stone Power AB in Sweden, and Hanno Essén of the Department of Mechanics, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, and Øystein Noreng, an economist from Norway.
Photo: Hanno Essen speaking in Oslo. Courtesy Infinite Energy Magazine
Hanno Essen, the past Chair of the Swedish Skeptics Society, recently released a report describing tests made of the E-Cat reactor, and spoke about “the various Rossi replications”.
Sten Bergman represented the energy industry perspective on LENR and Øystein Noreng spoke on “economic and other challenges of bringing any kind of LENR technology to the marketplace.”
McKubre also gave “the up-to-date status of Brillouin Energy’s latest technical progress”. SRI has been working with Brillouin Energy Corp. on the testing and design of an evolving energy cell. The design’s on-demand control of the reaction needs only a higher thermal output to be commercially viable.
McKubre lists Blacklight Power, Francesco Piantelli, Andrea Rossi, Defkalion, and Brillouin Energy Corporation all as working towards a commercial product using “small dimension nickel” and light-hydrogen. As small start-ups try to piece together a product, smart communities are preparing for a world without fossil fuels. McKubre writes that the seminar was called for to help Scandinavians educate themselves and plan for a future after the rich, local oil and gas resources run out.
“The object was to inform the possibility that Martin Fleischmann was right (and, by implication, Randy Mills, Mel Miles, Francesco Piantelli, Les Case, Yoshio Arata, Andrea Rossi, Tadahiko Mizuno, Defkalion, Brillouin and a host of others afterwards),” writes McKubre.
McKubre writes, “I believe what my hosts would like to see is at least one active, productive research project established in a Nordic country (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark) that would allow this community to “pay to play” in the LENR/CMNS world and thus be prepared for any sudden advances. A secondary purpose would be to train young people to be the next leaders of any ensuing technology.”
“This is a reasonable and rational approach that I certainly support. Let me say that more strongly. Any major country or company that does not engage now, or soon, runs a serious risk of missing the start of the revolution and being trampled.”
“That is not to say that I know that LENR will contribute significantly to primary power generation in any form in the near future, or that I know how.
But having studied the field closely now for more than 25 years (more than 35 years if you count our earlier studies of the Pd-D system for other reasons), nothing I know stands as significant impediment to this achievement…
… and the hoped-for goal of the “good guys” appears to be rapidly approaching. For a long time now corporations have been “lining up to be second” — afraid of the stigma, afraid to be left behind, but with insufficient courage to go first.”
“With this in mind the Norwegian strategy of “hedging” seems to be entirely appropriate with no risk attached and very little cost associated. In the worst case young people can be trained in relevant disciplines of physical sciences and physics that will have high value in a wide range of applications and implementations. In the best case Norway, Sweden and whichever Nordic country chooses to be involved can position themselves to be at or near the front of the coming wave.”