Session 462 Advanced Concepts: LENR, Anti-Matter, and New Physics

On Friday, March 23 I attended Session 462 Advanced Concepts: LENR, Anti-Matter, and New Physics of the Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space conference, one day after speaking with George H. Miley who would be presenting A Game-Changing Power Source for Spacecraft at the session.

Part 1 of the event was an account of my talk with Professor Miley.
Part 2 continues with this paraphrase of the four talks included in Session 462. Unable to obtain video of the event, an audio recording formed the basis of this summary.

The Session Chair was Harry “Sonny” White, a member of the Johnson Space Center Advance Propulsion Team, and he put together an ambitious group of speakers. Spacecraft power and propulsion systems based on LENR, anti-matter, and quantum vacuum flucuations are clearly being eyed by NASA. A new laboratory Eagleworks to research “speculative” technologies like the quantum vacuum thruster is currently being set-up at the Johnson Space Center with the participation of Dr. White.

Moving from chemical energy to clean and abundant cold fusion for domestic energy needs has its parallels in space technology: humans will flip into another arrangement for living on Earth and in space, as propulsion systems based on new energy drop travel times to the outermost planets to six months, and humans become able to travel to the nearest star within a lifetime.

Following the talks, each speaker got a Cold Fusion Now sticker, and I left a few on the table for others to pick up. Note that this piece has Graphic Scientific Content!


Y. E. Kim
Cryogenic Ignition of Deuteron Fusion in Micro/Nano-Scale Metal Particles 3006.pdf

Y. E. Kim gave his talk on Cryogenic Ignition of Deuteron Fusion in Micro/Nano-Scale Metal Particles which described a Bose-Einstein Condensate Nuclear Fusion theory for cold fusion and suggested experiments to test his hypothesis.

Professor Kim originally rejected the claims of cold fusion, but his interest was re-kindled by the depth of experimental research over the years, as well as a Defense Analysis Report that supported the claims of low-energy nuclear reaction LENR scientists.

Professor Kim at his NETS talk.
His work was motivated by the 1929 discovery of A. Coehn showing that protons move through metal as an ion. This fact leads to many scenarios, one of which is high-density deuterons forming as a Bose-Einstein Condensate BEC. He acknowledges that BECs are known to only form at very low temperatures saying, “We will see if that can happen in a metal as well.”

If a Bose-Einstein Condensate BEC can form inside the metallic lattice at room temperature, then Professor Kim describes how LENR could be modeled using standard physics thereafter, with no new physics is required. He starts with Schrodinger’s Equation and uses traditional quantum theory to get his solutions. The only unknowns are $\mathbf \omega$, the rate of forming condensate, and the strength of the nuclear force S, two parameters that can be determined if they perform a proposed experiment.

Professor Kim made a distinction between physics that occurs in free space and physics that occurs in a bound environment like a metallic lattice, citing the experimental fact that high-density deuterons can form clusters in materials. Supposing that the condensate can form, then all of the deuterons will go into ground state.

“If that state happens, it’s a coherent one-state, and the deuterons behave like one object. That’s a big difference from free space, in that within a lattice, you can form this sort of condensate.”

His theory can explain many of the experimental observations as well as the three miracles of cold fusion, referring to the failure of experimental results to meet the expectations of conventional hot fusion theories cited by John Huizenga in his derisive and obsolete work Cold Fusion: Scientific Fiasco of the Century. The three miracles are listed as i) the lack of strong neutron emissions; ii) the mystery of how the Coulomb barrier is penetrated; iii) and the lack of strong emission of gamma rays or X-rays.

SPAWAR electrode damage
Electrode damage occurs at special places from Twenty Year History in LENR Research by SPAWAR
For instance, the lack of gamma radiation violates conservation of momentum in free space. But LENR does not occur in free space, and Professor Kim says “If the entire condensate takes up the energy and shares the momentum, and you no longer have to satisfy conservation of momentum, it has to explode like a star.” He notes the micro craters that have been observed from many experiments indicating possible tiny explosions.

He calls for three experiments to be conducted to test his hypothesis.

The first experiment would determine whether or not a BEC can indeed form inside a metal at room-temperature. If a BEC forms, you can then measure the velocity distribution of the deuterons with low-energy neutron scattering or high-energy x-ray scattering off the deuterium in the metal, as was done in the atomic case.

As a second experiment, Professor Kim would like to know if the rate of deuterium diffusion occurs faster than protons when a condensate forms. He expects that to occur.

Experiments number 1 and number 2, if confirmed, would be a new discovery. The third experiment Professor Kim calls for is a little more ‘practical’.

A deuterium-tritium filled capsule from Lawrence Livermore National Lab
He is proposing an experiment for the National Ignition Facility NIF at Livermore where they have been cooling deuterium-tritium spheres. The spheres are targets for lasers in their attempts to induce nuclear fusion. By cooling the spheres, they can get a perfect sphere, which helps the implosion needed to induce fusion for this type of system. Says Professor Kim, “We can take advantage of that cooling system and reaction chamber already built, and produce deuterium nano-particles in a 1-cm sphere, and by applying an appropriate oscillating electromagnetic field at a low-temperature, make them explode.”

His formula tells him that taking a 1-cm sphere filled with deuterium nano-particles will provide $10^{19}$ reactions per second. Designing the system to be slow-burning can provide power as rocket thrust.

In order to succeed with these experiments, Professor Kim says, “It could take 5-10 years to come up with a mature system. But if you wanted to do it right away, you could do a Manhattan-type Project and do it in a few years.”

“If we succeed, this is a potentially revolutionary, disruptive technology for the world.”

His excitement about LENR as both a science and a technology was palpable. He had a sense of humor too. When I asked to take his picture at the end of his talk, he laughed and said “Sure, but I don’t want to be a news media!”

G. H. Miley
A Game-Changing Power Source Based on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions LENR 3051.pdf

Professor Miley spoke to rocket scientists about LENR.
George H. Miley spoke next on A Game-Changing Power Source Based on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions LENR. After acknowledging his co-authors Xiaoling Yang and Heinz Hora, he began with a brief history of the previous experiments that motivated his current research on gas-loaded nano-particle research for which he envisions many applications, one of which is a heat-producing reactor to replace plutonium 238 in RTGs.

His cells today are quite a deviation from the original Pons and Fleischmann cold fusion. It was the announcements coming out of Italy and Greece about commercial megawatt units using hydrogen and nickel nano-particles that inspired him to work on his current designs.

“Since I’d been working on this since the days of Pons and Fleischmann doing low-level physics research, I decided well, I would jump into that too.” But instead of megawatt plants, Professor Miley likes to do things small scale, “so we’ve been doing about 100 Watt studies because we can get at them and do a quick turn around.”

From Nuclear Battery using Clusters in Nanomaterials Miley Yang Hora
He related his research to Y. E Kim‘s Bose-Einstein Condensate hypothesis. He believes that deuterium clusters are somewhat similar to BECs, in that they interact through multi-body reactions.

“But in the early days, Heinz Hora and I were led by a different theory; we talked about Swimming Electrons Layers which were being made by putting together multi-layers of thin-films with different Fermi levels in the thin films. You get a very large electron density at the interface, and that was to help overcome the Coulombic repulsive force between the charged particles coming together, and allow reaction rates to occur.”

Dr. Miley then devised his unusual thin-films electrode design. He arranged the anode and cathode so that the electric field would go parallel to the layers and this would cause electro-migration of the protons through the length of the thin-films.

“It was general wisdom at that time that you need a high loading of the reacting species in the metal, and you also need a flow of them; it’s a dynamic process”, he said. “So this was to accomplish both of those, and it worked.”

Early data on excess heat from Overview of Light Water/Hydrogen Based Low Energy Nuclear Reactions G. H. Miley, P. J. Shrestha
Changing the voltage applied to the system changes the electric field over time and caused protons to flow through the metal, resulting in 20-30% excess heat for his experiments, excess heat being the measured amount of heat out minus the equivalent amount of heat by electrolysis put into the cells.

But excess heat was not the only effect Professor Miley witnessed.

“I spent something like two years noting that there are a number of reactions taking place which led to transmutation of metals in the thin films themselves, so this wasn’t a normal fusion experiment. In fact it’s very complicated. You form these compound nuclei, some of them actually fission. You end up with a variety of metals including copper and iron and various things inside these plates.”

By using CR39 and plastic tracking, his team looked for energetic charged particles generated by the cell. “We had something like a couple MeV protons and 12 MeV alpha particles coming out of this but at a very low rate. Those reactions seem to be side reactions not accounting for heat which is mainly accounted for by transmutation reactions in the metals. So this is quite a bit different from the original cold fusion.”

After a long time looking at the craters and pits left in the films, “It suddenly began to sink in that this reaction is occurring in local spots – it isn’t uniform everywhere.”

“So I began thinking we have to make more of these local spots whatever they are. It’s been called ‘nuclear reactive spots’, but no one knew how to make them. Our way to make them was we purposefully make thin-films with voids and dislocations by working them.”

J. Cluster formation in void from Transmutation Products and Excess Heat in Light Water/H2 LENR G. H. Miley, P. Shrestha
“What happens is in that region where you get a very high density of hydrogen or deuterium, you get a condensation of the type that Dr. Kim was talking about in the previous talk. There may be as many as a thousand atoms there. That is quite remarkable.”

Superconducting Quantum Interference Device SQUID measurements show that this region is superconducting at temperatures below 70 degrees.

Says Professor Miley, “Forget about the superconducting, that means it’s darn dense.”

“When we heat the samples under vacuum, driving the deuterium and hydrogen out, we find that normally if we don’t treat it this way, and make the defects, you get a broad temperature range. With the defects, you get this coming out right here. You have to heat it up to a temperature corresponding to 0.6 eV or higher. Our present ones are higher.”

“That indicates the binding energy for the cluster; we call this grouping of metallic density atoms a cluster. The name of the game is to get lots of those clusters.”

Nano particle cell is gas-loaded
From Nuclear Battery Using D-Clusters in Nano-materials Miley Yang Hora
“We decided about this time to change gears and try to do somewhat the same thing with nano-particles. The logic is if you have plates, most of these clusters were forming in damaged spots near or around the surface. If we have nano-particles you can get them [the deuterons] all around the surface of the nano-particles. You pack the nano-particles in, and you just get a lot more sites per unit volume than the planar configuration.”

“It was during that time that the Rossi announcements were coming out, and they were getting great results with this. Prior to that though, people in Japan had very interesting results also. I think they instigated this approach, Arata, Takahashi and others. Actually we were following the Japanese work more than the Italian work.”

“Now our experiments are simple, even undergraduate students can do it, which are all I have!” he laughed. A 25-cm long tube gets filled with 23 grams of nano-particles. That goes into another vacuum chamber mainly for temperature control to limit the amount of heat transfer slipping out. “We have the cylinder of deuterium or hydrogen here. After pumping it down to a vacuum, you load it with gas. Hopefully if you do all that right, it heats up, and you’re off and running.”

“We’re studying various types of nano-particles. That’s probably the most difficult of all of this. We have four different alloys; nickel-rich alloys for hydrogen gas reactions and palladium-rich alloys for deuterium ones, and we make those ourselves.”

“What happens is really intriguing here with this palladium-rich nano-particle run. It’s a little confusing to see three different sets of thermocouples, but you can just ignore that, we have thermocouples in different places. When you first start loading, the temperature jumps up, (we’re going up to four atmospheres), and the first part of that we attribute to the deuterium is going into the palladium which is an exothermic, so it’s a chemical heating but you get more out than that.”

Graph showing heat increases on loading and de-loading from Nuclear Battery Using D-Clusters in Nano-materials G. Miley, X. Yang, H. Hora
“The real intriguing part is when we desorb by reducing pressure suddenly, after a couple hundred seconds. Normally that’s endothermic, the temperature should drop rapidly, but instead it goes up.”

“And I attribute that to, as I said, all of our systems have a flow. We have to keep creating a flow that has a diffusion of deuterium or hydrogen into the cluster so we can transfer momentum to create the reaction.”

“I think we’ve accounted for all the chemical reaction energy maybe 700 Joules. We measured 1400-1500 Joules, and so calculating over that short period of time, that’s 350 Watts per kilogram at 4 atmospheres.”

“Now that was a very short time period. If you time integrate all that your getting a considerable number of joules out of what we’re calling LENR reactions compared to chemical reactions, and you might say well that’s very interesting but we certainly want it to last longer.”

“What’s happening is, if you don’t change the pressure, if you don’t control it so to speak with pressure changes, then you don’t have the flow. Once you just pressurize and stop, you stop that flow as time goes on. So this is expected.”

“Incidentally, reactions are continuous. You might think that maybe the reaction stopped here and it’s cooling down. It’s not cooling as fast as if the reactions weren’t continuing. But they’re continuing at a low pace and aren’t able to keep up. So the dashed line is what would happen if there are no reactions over that same time period.”

“This depends in another way on loading. There is a lot to do with the thermal characteristics the temperature across the bed. You want to control the temperature profile, and you want to control the pressure pulses.”

“If this works, it certainly would be game-changing not only for space but for other uses.”

The General Purpose Heat Source that currently uses plutonium could be replaced by a LENR heater.
One of the targets Professor Miley thought would be “really neat” as an application was the General Purpose Heat Source GPHS for a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator RTG. There’s a lot of concern from spacecraft engineers about the future sources of Plutonium 238.

“This would fit right in there”, says Professor Miley, “and it’s really neat that the energy conversion part is already there.”

“If you take the numbers from our experiments, this GPHS is the standard power source with 3 kilowatts. We get about 3 kilowatts from 3 kilograms, although, the volume must be larger with the way we pack the nano-particles in.

“But there are many issues. One of the big ones is control over a steady-state period over long periods of time like months, years and so on. Deep space probes are supposed to run for decades, and I’ve showed you the nano-particles after a run, so I’m not sure if I’ve bit off more than I could chew when I thought of this. But it doesn’t take much imagination to think of other applications that would run for a year or two years and you’d be happy, so I think that’s more of what might develop.”

“And the second one is you don’t want the nano-particles to disintegrate over that time period and become unproductive or you have to figure out a way of exchanging them periodically.”

“In summary, this gas-loading appears to be exceedingly energetic. We’ve put virtually no energy in. If we’re right about ruling the chemical energy contributions out, then we’re getting extremely high gains of excess heat. This is very significant power source; a new type of nuclear power source.”

“We’ve become very enthusiastic about this so we’ve formed a company LENUCO to try and commercialize this. So we’re really serious about this.”

At the conclusion of his talk, Professor Kim asked a question: “Since you are forming a company, you are not going to disclose how you make the nano-particles?”

“I can tell you roughly how we make them. That is we first dream up an alloy we think is good, and have someone make that alloy, and then we do a special heat treatment of these nano-particles and then we do some stressing of them to try to form these voids. But you’re right, the company now has a patent on this, so the details I can’t disclose yet!”

After the Friday late-afternoon sessions at NETS.

Session Chair Harry “Sonny” White
Advanced Propulsion Physics: Harnessing the Quantum Vacuum 3082.pdf with P. March

As a member of the Advanced Propulsion Team at Johnson Space Center, Harry “Sonny” White has been researching multiple forms of advanced electric propulsion systems with the goal of integrating them into the architecture for human space travel.

The team has experimented with some of the new and emerging solar panel technology, high-power electric propulsion and power systems for the International Space Station as an experimental test bed, and to provide re-boost. He’s also looked at modular free-flyer space systems to provide a platform that they could potentially “evaluate some of the emerging forms of propulsion technology”.

The long list of prior projects has given Dr. White a good feel for some of the metrics and performance characteristics that these systems need to have in order to support human spaceflight. He made a point to say how impressed he was by Professor Miley’s specific force numbers for his thruster outlined in a previous talk.

Specific Impulse (ISP) mathematically said, is how many seconds 1lb of fuel can provide 1lb of force. In conceptual terms, ISP is the efficiency with which a rocket can convert chemical (or nuclear) energy to kinetic energy. In terrestrial terms, ISP can be thought of as a form of “miles per gallon” for a rocket motor according to Dr. White in his Revolutionary Propulsion & Power for the Next Century of Space Flight Von Braun Symposium from October 2009. [.pdf]

Dr. White is part of an effort at Johnson Space Center to implement an advanced physics propulsion laboratory named Eagleworks to “pursue advanced physics concepts emerging in the literature”.

“When you pursue things that fit into the category of speculative physics, you have to be very careful about what you’re doing, you have to be rigorous and due diligent, take your time and try to be your own worst critic. So we are setting up some facilities at Johnson Space Center that are very high fidelity systems that try and work in the realm where physics and engineering overlap”, he says.

“We have a low-thrust torsion pendulum that we’re putting together and is going to be the backbone of some of the activities that I’m going to be talking about to you today. We also have an interferometer that I’ll be using to measure some relativistic effects, not the subject of my discussion today, but fits in the realm of speculative physics.”

“We’ve refurbished an older test article to try and exercise it in this higher-fidelity laboratory setting. This is a low-thrust torsion pendulum. We’re working to try to get the detection threshold down to the single micro-newton levels. Now the thrust is much higher than that, but we want a good signal-noise ratio. This is a vibration isolation facility and you really need that type of setup so you don’t see trucks driving down the street that can actually introduce signals that you can see if you don’t have the proper vibration isolation.”

The team is developing an even larger thruster. “We’ve had some experience in the 4000 micro-newton range with around 10 Watts of input power”, said Dr. White. “But we’re trying to get more experience across a broader number of input parameters to help us understand if we have a good handle on the physics and engineering.”

Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster test article from Revolutionary Propulsion and Power for the Next Century of Spaceflight H. White

“We’re always keeping an eye on potentially using this for propulsion systems for human spaceflight. Some of the specific force numbers are very competitive when you’re looking at Hall thrusters, so we’re looking to see if there’re places these can be used for human spaceflight and what type of missions that they would enable if this technology is successful.”

“Can the properties of the quantum vacuum be used to propel a spacecraft?”, he asked, noting that it is not a new question. Arthur C. Clarke had earlier coined the term quantum ramjet drive.

Clarke’s perspective was that “If vacuum fluctuations could be harnessed for propulsion, then certainly our lives would be a lot easier for human space exploration.”

“When we view this question through the ‘classical muscle memory’ in engineering, the answer to that question is no, because there is no reaction mass that can be used to conserve momentum. You have to conserve momentum, you have to leave a wake.”

“However when you look at things from a quantum perspective through QED, a very successful model, it also predicts that the quantum vacuum in the lowest energy state is not empty, but rather is a sea of virtual particles and photons that pop in and out of existence stemming from the Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle.”

One of the earliest vacuum models from Paul Dirac actually predicted the electron’s anti-particle the positron in 1928, it was later confirmed by Carl Anderson in 1932. In 1948, Willis Lamb was measuring energy levels associated with the hydrogen atom, and when he realized they were slightly different from prediction, it turned out there were some contributions from the vacuum field that reconciled that issue. Another indication that the quantum vacuum can have classical measurements in a lab comes from Casimir‘s derivation of the Casimir Force in 1948.

“Dr. Miley’s earlier talk mentioned Eric Allin Cornell who is the first gentleman to actually produce a Bose-Einstein Condensate is now researching at Rice University on the Casimir-Polder Force. He started off a recent talk by saying that ‘If the zero point field is not real, he wouldn’t be here talking about the results he was presenting'”.

The Casimir force from Revolutionary Propulsion & Power for the Next Century of Space Flight H. White
“What’s the Casimir Force? Thinking from a classical perspective, if you could put two conducting plates in a vacuum chamber with some distance between the two, and you were able to produce a perfect vacuum, as these plates get closer and closer, there’s going to be a point where the distance between the two, and it actually happens the whole time but the force doesn’t get measurable until you get extremely close, but as the two plates get closer and closer together, it precludes certain wave modes of photons and particles that cannot appear between the plates.”

“So even though you may have a perfect vacuum on the outside, from a classical perspective, we think there’s no difference in the vacuum level between the two plates, but when you look at the quantum perspective, it is different, there is a negative pressure between the two plates.”

“And this has been measured a number of times over the years”, continued Dr. White. “As we start to make more products that fit into this category, we’re starting to see more issues where the classical and quantum tend to overlap and we actually have to factor that into that design process. So there’re some scenarios where the size of these things can also incur some things like friction between surfaces that have to move relative to one another.”

“So the quantum vacuum is not empty per se. Now we ask, how much energy is available in the quantum vacuum field to do something with?”

The predicted energy density in quantum vacuum is given by an integral equation. But says Dr. White, “Although QED is one of the most successful theories, it’s also responsible for one of the worst predictions in physics.

Energy Density from the Quantum Vacuum From Advanced Propulsion Physics: Harnessing the Quantum Vacuum H. White, P. March
“When you compute this integral from zero to the Planck frequency, it calculates an extremely high energy density. But when we compare that predicted energy to the observed critical density in the cosmos $9.9 \hspace{0.2 mm} \text{x} \hspace{0.2 mm} 10^{-27}$ kilograms per cubic meter, there’s a vast difference between these two, many many orders of magnitude.”

“However, the difference between the predicted and observed values is not understood, so there’s some interesting things we can learn in that area,” he added.

So is there a way to utilized this sea of virtual particles and photons to transfer momentum from a spacecraft to the vacuum?

There’s been many ideas over the years: the vacuum sail, a type of ‘solar sail’ for the quantum vacuum; inertia control by altering the vacuum energy density and reducing total spacecraft mass, and then the focus of Dr. White’s interest, dynamic systems that make use of the Casimir Force to generate a net force.

He described the dynamic Casimir force as “resulting from Unger radiation whereby an accelerated observer sees the effective temperature of the surrounding vacuum increase, there’s an equation that calculates how they perceive that, so that the vacuum actually takes on a higher temperature, and appears to be a warm photon bath.”

“You may have heard of Hawking radiation”, he said. “If you have a black hole, and a pair of virtual particles is created right on the horizon, where one particle goes inside the horizon, and one particle goes away from the horizon, then the black hole’s total mass is actually reduced by one particle, because one of the particles went in and annihilated with something inside the black hole.”

“The simplest mechanism to think about this from a practical application perspective would be through generating thrust by the use of vibrating mirrors, where the mirror would accelerate more in one direction than it would in the other.”

The dynamic Casimir force was potentially observed in the lab in 2011 and the magnitude of thrust from a dynamic Casimir force has been derived quite a number of times in the literature, but it’s been found to be very small. “So while it’s theoretically possible”, says Dr. White, “it’s very small.”

“Another way to think of this, is you have to leave wakes, a submarine doesn’t carry water with it, it uses a propeller to couple with a mechanism. Maybe overly simplistic but I think people can understand. I think that’s why Arthur C. Clarke talked about a quantum ramjet, just to help people draw analogies.”

Are there ways we can increase the net force from this dynamic Casimir force? Dr. White summarized a few claims resulting from the work that he’s been doing at the Johnson Space Center:

Claim 1 The observed vacuum fluctuation density based on cosmology is $10 ^{-26}$ kilograms per cubic meter. This relationship here predicts, in the presence of conventional matter, we can increase the local vacuum fluctuation density as a result of that.

“What this suggests is that with in the presence of a barium Type A capacitor, the vacuum field energy density is going to be in a slightly different state than what it would be otherwise. So this equation right here [see Figure 1 Equation 1], this is the free vacuum state, this is the local density of matter. And that’s what the altered vacuum state is.”

From Advanced Propulsion Physics: Harnessing the Quantum Vacuum by H. White, P. March

This takes the vacuum fluctuation density up from $10^{-27}$ kilograms per cubic meter to $10^{-15}$ kilograms per cubic meter. “So you might be able to do something with that, but it’s still pretty hard.”

With such tiny amounts vacuum fluctuation, how does Dr. White convince himself that this might have some validity as a power source?

“Simply put”, he answered, “the reason this equation has some interest to me is that this can derive the Bohr radius from first principles. So I can go through and show that $5.29 \hspace{1 mm} \text{x} \hspace{1 mm} 10^{-11}$ meters is a consequence of dark energy. So it’s an interesting finding. It’s either a pretty significant numerical coincidence, which does happen from time to time in physics, or it has some potential interest from a physical medium.”

Claim 2 The energy density of the quantum vacuum can be amplified not only by acceleration but by changing acceleration and in turn, its subsequent derivative. This is an extension on the approach of the dynamic Casimir force.

“This is the wave equation [see Figure 1 Equation 2] this comes from the Friedmann equation and then use the Unruh equation, you can get this wave equation, and what this wave equation says is that when you convert this from acceleration into potential, that a varying energy density will also have an impact on the local vacuum fluctuation energy density.”

“Why do I have confidence that this might have some validity?”

“We’ve got some test data with several different test articles that we have run within several different operating conditions, and the predicted thrust was reasonably close within a factor of 2.”

Claim 3 “The altered state of the vacuum can be modeled quasi-classically as an electron-positron virtual plasma. From my plasma physics background we just use the tools of Magnetohydrodynamics MHD to predict the macroscopic behavior depending on how we implement things. And so this is a pictorial representation of that.”

“Now, you can go look at cosmological data, you can also look at things down at the microscopic level and see if your claims can be proven or disproven without actually having to go into the lab.”

“This interests me in that, we have shown the magnetic pressure from the electron rotating round the hydrogen nucleus exactly equals the thermal kinetic pressure if we claim that the altered state based on the equation that we just talked about, can be modeled as an electron -positron plasma.”

“In a test article that we ran at 2 MHz and 4 MHz, the predicted force was very close to the observed force. We’ll be building a much larger test article, we’re trying to get to the 0.1 milli newton level of thrust, and we’ll be working on that over the next year.”

How does all this apply to human spaceflight?

“This quantum vacuum energy is centric to nuclear systems, whether its nuclear reactors or nuclear thermal rockets. With the specific force that we have with this type of system, since effectively you’re pushing off the vacuum, you don’t have to have large tanks; you get to push off the vacuum, and the vacuum needs to carry the momentum information for you, so we can have much heavier specific power systems, and still accomplish pretty significant missions because the specific force is so much higher.”

“With this type of a thruster, if we could couple a 2MW reactor to the equivalent of 2MW of thruster capability we could do a Jovian mission, and this is a capture time, in 138 days, and 196 days for Saturn.”

From Eagleworks Laboratories: Advanced Propulsion Physics Research H. White, P. March, N. Williams, W. O'Neill

R. K. Obousy
Project Icarus: Anti-Matter Catalyzed Fusion Propulsion for Interstellar Missions 3104.pdf with K. F. Long and T. Smith

R. K. Obousy
Dr. Obousy is investigating matter-anti-matter propulsion for human interstellar travel.
The last speaker was R. K. Obousy of Project Icarus, a non-profit group dedicated to designing an interstellar mission to the nearest star Alpha Centauri.

Dr. Obousy’s talk was outlined in three sections: the physics of interstellar travel, Project Icarus a fusion based interstellar starship design study, and a new project of anti-matter catalyzed fusion.

He began by articulating the main problem with interstellar travel: the distances involved. Voyager I, a spacecraft launched in 1977 designed to travel to the outer planets, is now traveling at about 38,000 mph at a distance of 116 AUs from Earth. With that speed, if Voyager was traveling to the nearest star Alpha Centauri, it would take on the order of 70,000 years to get there.

“If you imagine Earth on the East coast of the US in NYC and Alpha Centauri on the West coast in San Francisco, then Voyager launched in 1977 has traveled only a single mile on that journey.” [Voyager from NASA]

“What we want to accomplish is interstellar flight not in 70,000 year, but something closer to the timescale of a human lifetime about 70 years. So we need to increase our top speed by at least a factor of one thousand.”

“The problem becomes apparent when we consider one of the simplest equations in rocket physics, the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation.” The Tsiolkovsky rocket equation gives the maximum change in rocket velocity as directly proportional to the exhaust velocity $\mathbf v_e$ and the natural log of the ratio of initial total mass $\mathbf m_0$ to the final total mass $\mathbf m_f$.

$\mathbf \Delta \text{v} = \mathbf v_e \hspace{1 mm} \text{ln} \hspace{1 mm}(\frac{m_0}{m_f}) \hspace{10 mm}\text{Tsiolkovsky Rocket Equation}$

“When you plug in the numbers for chemical propulsion fuel, a $\mathbf \Delta v$ of ten percent the speed of light $3 \hspace{0.5 mm}\text{x}\hspace{0.5 mm} 10^{7}$ meters per second (which is roughly what it would take to get to the nearest star in the timescales of a human lifetime), the specific impulse of chemical rocket fuel is on the order of about 450 seconds. When you plug in the numbers, you discover that you need more chemical rocket fuel than there is mass in the known universe. Needless to say, it’s impossible to engage in interstellar missions on timescales of a human lifetime using chemical propellants.”

“However, there are other ways to liberate energy from matter. Once you go down into the sub-structure of the atom, and you liberate energy from the nucleus, then you can liberate much larger amounts of energy.”

“Specific energy is the theoretical maximum amount of energy per unit mass that you can extract. For chemical energy, that’s on the order of 15 million Joules per kilogram. When you jump up to fission, you jump up by a factor of almost ten million, so pound for pound, you can liberate about a million more times energy than from chemical sources. About ten times more energy when you go to fusion, and about 100 times more energy than that when you go to matter-anti-matter reactions.”

“So within the known laws of physics, there are ways that you can liberate far greater amounts of energy that you can then utilize for impulse purposes.”

Project Icarus is one component of Icarus Interstellar [visit] which has a number of research avenues. Project Icarus was inspired by a famous interstellar study called Project Daedalus [visit] which ran between 1973 and 1978.

Project Icarus has a four-fold purpose.

1. To motivate a new generation of scientists and inspire the next generation to get into this field.
2. To generate a lot of interest in the real-term prospects of an interstellar mission.
3. To design a credible probe for a mission that we could potentially do this century.
4. Provide an assessment of the maturity of fusion-based space propulsion.

With a volunteer, international team, they want to design an unmanned probe capable of delivering useful information about another star system and any associated planetary bodies. It must use current or near-future technology, must reach stellar destination in as fast a time as possible – not exceeding a century and must be designed for a variety of target stars. They want to allow for deceleration in the target system as well.

“We’ve got twenty research modules really encompassing the whole amalgam of what we believe you’d need to conduct an interstellar mission”, says Dr. Obousy. “Astronomical target, mission analysis, primary and secondary propulsion, fuel, navigation…the list goes on. We’ve demarcated the project into all the salient research regions. We apply academic rigor and are in a number peer-reviewed publications.”

For the primary propulsion, they are looking at fusion to provide continuity with Project Daedalus.

Within fusion, there are a number of different ways to accomplish propulsion, inertial confinement fusion, Polywell, magnetic target fusion, aneutronic fusion. PB11 which is valuable because of the fusion by-products are charged particles which can be channeled by nozzles.

“So let’s say a little bit about anti-matter, first predicted by Paul Dirac in 1928. It’s a very mercurial form of matter. When it touches its matter component, it annihilates with perfect efficiency according to Einstein’s equation $E= m c^2$.”

“We believe that for all known particles of matter, there corresponds an existing anti-particle. So for an electron, there’s an anti-electron or positron, for a proton, there’s an anti-proton. More fundamentally, it’s at the quark level, so protons consist of up and down quarks, so there’s anti-up and anti-down particles.”

“It’s not just science fiction. The positron was found in 1932, the anti-proton was discovered in 1955, and really the main issues with anti-matter are creation and storage.”

“We create incredibly small amounts of anti-matter each year, mostly in the CERN particle accelerator in Europe, about 1-10 nano-grams per year, at an estimated cost of 100 billion dollars per milligram. So it’s not cheap.”

“However I will say that the facilities where we create anti-matter, are not specifically designed to create anti-matter, they’re particle accelerators of which a nice by-product is you get anti-particles out. So I’d have to do an in depth research study but I would say you could probably push down that number by a significant factor if you constructed dedicated anti-matter factories.”

“There are a number of ways to store anti-matter. Penn State University has created a trap that can store 10 billion anti-protons for about a week. Certainly we haven’t mastered this technology, but we’re at a stage where our understanding of the technology is maturing and we’re beginning to create anti-particles, and we’re beginning to store anti-particles.”

“It seems that because anti-matter liberates such a huge amount of energy when it collides with its matter component, would it not be pertinent to study the possibilities for propulsion?”

Electrons and positrons meet and annihilate emitting a gamma ray.
“One of the first models was the Sanger rocket. In the Sanger rocket you collide electrons and positrons. The by-product of this is 511 keV gamma photons. The problem is most gamma rays radiate isotropically, and what you want to do is figure out some way to collimate that thrust. Sanger had this idea for an ultra-dense electron momentum transfer device, something along those lines.”

“The other possibility is to annihilate anti-protons. When protons and anti-protons collide, you get neutral pions, which are quite short-lived, they propagate for about a micrometer before decaying into gamma rays. You also get charged pions, again quite short-lived, they decay into muons and anti-muons, and they further decay into electrons and anti-electrons and electron neutrinos and muon neutrinos, and ultimately gamma rays.”

“But during that time when they exist for that short period as charged pions, you actually get 1.88 GeV of energy out, and about 64% of that is in the form of kinetic energy of the charged pions. If you’ve got these rapidly moving charged particles, you can utilize that for thrust via magnetic nozzles.”

From Interstellar Propulsion Research: Realistic Possibilities and Idealistic Dreams L. Johnson
Anti-matter energy has a lot of advantages over conventional fusion.

“The entire mass of National Ignition Facility NIF which uses lasers to ignite deuterium-tritium pellets is on the order of one hundred kilotons. It wouldn’t be feasible to transport 100 kilotons of hardware into space just to accomplish a fusion reaction. What’s great about anti-matter is that it’s an immensely efficient energy delivery packet. So an anti-proton beam offers 90 Megajoules per micro-gram.”

“Now you wouldn’t exactly power a rocket directly from matter-anti-matter annihilation because for an interstellar mission, you’d need quite a vast quantity. But what you could do is use very small quantities, on the order of about a micro-gram of anti-protons to actually deliver energy to, for example, a deuterium tritium pellet which would then fuse, and then you’d be able to utilize that for propulsive purposes.”

Dr. Obousy put up a slide containing a list of non-conventional technologies that the Project will look at to power their spacecraft to the nearest star. Cold fusion or LENR was not among them.

At the end of the talk, Professor Kim asked Dr. Obousy, “Why wasn’t cold fusion included in his list of breakthrough technologies that could contribute to the propulsion system?”

Dr. Obousy’s reply was “We haven’t decided as of yet, but that’s not something we’re actively looking at. But by all means, we certainly don’t have a complete list of all the different ways of accomplishing fusion, but perhaps we can begin a dialogue.”

Well, after he finished, and the Session was over, I moved to go up to him and tell him the good news on where he could find a possible source of electron-positrons creating gamma rays. But Professor Kim got to him first. After a while, they didn’t look like they were going to stop talking, so I walked up and handed the both of them a Cold Fusion Now sticker.

“Did you know that the E-Cat, the first commercial cold fusion energy generator on the market may make some 511 keV gammas? You might have a source there!”

Professor Kim added “And I know why he has 511 keV gammas!”

Dr. Obousy looked surprised, albeit happily, and somewhat bemused by his sticker.

Imagine. Hot-water boilers for a new Steam Age – on Pluto!


Cold Fusion Now!

George H. Miley at NETS: “Let’s find out what’s there”

Cold Fusion Now attended the Nuclear and Emerging Technology for Space NETS conference held in conjunction with the Lunar and Planetary Institute‘s meeting the week of March 19 in The Woodlands, Texas. It was a fortuitous stop to catch Session 462: Advanced Concepts: LENR, Anti-Matter, and New Physics [.pdf here].

Talks entitled Advanced Propulsion Physics: Harnessing the Quantum Vacuum by Harry “Sonny” White and Project Icarus: Antimatter Catalyzed Fusion Propulsion for Interstellar Missions by R. K. Obousy, not to mention Y. E. Kim‘s Cryogenic Ignition of Deuteron Fusion in Micro/nano Scale Metal Particles, promised a worthwhile trip.

George H. Miley, Professor Emeritus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne UIUC was also scheduled to speak on A Game-Changing Power Source for Spacecraft [.pdf here], a talk outlining a LENR-based General Purpose Heating Source to replace the plutonium currently used in today’s Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators RTGs that provide heat and electricity to power science instruments on spacecraft.

Dr. Miley has explored nuclear science and plasma research for more than three decades winning numerous prestigious awards for his pioneering work and for which he holds more than a dozen patents. He is also a teacher who founded The Fusion Studies Laboratory at UIUC. He attended the NETS conference with two students presenting a poster session on a plasma propulsion system. [.pdf here]

Innovative Research Produces Excess Heat and Transmutation Products

Since 1989 Professor Miley has been experimenting with unique forms of cold fusion cells, designing electrolytic systems that use multi-layered thin-films of metal as electrodes. More recently, his team has been manufacturing specialty nano-particles coated with thin-films to host to low-energy nuclear reactions LENR.

As editor of the American Nuclear Society‘s journal Fusion Science and Technology, he was one of the few to publish results from early cold fusion experiments. He also worked with Clean Energy Technologies on the Patterson Power Cell, a product developed for commercial power generation which failed to reach market after the death of the inventor James Patterson.

Dr. Miley’s LENR research has shown both excess heat and a wide variety of transmutation products such as iron, copper, calcium, zinc, even gold and rare earth elements have been detected. His cells are composed of super-thin layers of palladium and nickel atop a metal substrate to form an electrode submerged in a heavy water solution. After cycles of loading and de-loading, he hypothesizes that hydrogen (or deuterium) collects in the small cracks and voids between the film layers forming clusters. Superconducting quantum interference devices SQUID have confirmed ultra-dense states of deuterons within palladium crystal defects.

A cluster of hydrogen squeezed between the metallic lattice from Condensed Matter Cluster Reactions in LENR Miley Hora Yang
The clusters are collections of hydrogen nuclei called protons, or deuterium nuclei called deuterons (which are protons with an added neutron). Clusters are thought to be composed of 1000 hydrogen nuclei or more, all bunched up together.

Dr. Miley uses the language nuclear active environment NAE to describe these localized clusters that lead to a reaction, cratering the surface.

When the hydrogen is so close together, an NAE will ultimately produce fusion products, creating both excess heat energy and heavier elements. It is these heavier elements which then may break apart, fissioning, creating the plethora of new transmutation elements directly measured in his cells.

From Nuclear Battery using Clusters in Nanomaterials Miley Yang Hora
Protons and deuterons are positively-charged, repelling each other strongly with a force called the Coulomb force. It is this powerful force which must be overcome for fusion to occur. Dr. Miley visualizes negatively-charged electrons shielding the positively-charged hydrogen nuclei from each other just enough for the protons and deuterons to get within range for the strong nuclear force to fuse them together. In his case, he believes that multiple pairs of deuterons are doing the majority of the fusing.

Reversing the polarity of the cell’s electrodes multiple times ‘shakes out’ the loose hydrogen in the electrode. Alternately pushing and pulling the positively-charged nuclei through the metal leaves only the most tightly-bound clusters. After repeating the cycle half-a-dozen times, the available cracks are almost all filled with clusters, increasing the probability of creating a nuclear active environment, and initiating the energy effect. As the loose protons and free electrons shoot back and forth through the material during this loading and de-loading process, they transfer momentum to the clusters, which also may help to initiate the reaction.

Dr. Miley’s current research explores a gas-loaded cell that uses multi-layered thin-film nano-particles in order to increase the number of spaces where clusters can form. The gas-loaded cell type allows for higher temperatures to heat the cell which has been shown to increase the magnitude of excess heat generated.

From Nuclear Battery Using D-Clusters in Nano-materials Miley Yang Hora

Finding that the deuterium clusters are also superconducting, Dr. Miley has conceived of additional applications that could be developed from this technology. He was at the NETS conference to talk about an idea for a new power source for spacecraft. Right now, many spacecraft power cells use plutonium, a highly radioactive and rare material difficult and expensive to process.

The General Purpose Heat Source could be replaced by a LENR heater.
Dr. Miley conceives replacing the General Purpose Heat Source currently in Radioactive Thermoelectric Generators RTGs with a LENR-based heat source. Recent experiments with the prototype cells reveal that is takes about 9 kilograms of the palladium-nickel material to generate 3 kilowatts of thermal energy. This is comparable to the 5.6 kilograms of radioactive plutonium it takes to generate the same power. But there was a caveat.

Current RTGs run for 40+ years out into interstellar space. But LENR generators are only now emerging, so how could we test a unit to be sure that it would run that long? Says Dr. Miley, “I could be brilliant or I could’ve made a mistake!”

Scientific Curiosity and Student Interest Led to Cold Fusion Research

I was able to meet Dr. Miley on March 22 one day before his NETS talk. After more than two decades of research into cold fusion, I asked him what his response to skeptics who still doubt the veracity of the findings of Drs. Fleischmann and Pons.

“I wholeheartedly disagree that anything was fraudulent. Certainly, Drs. Pons and Fleischmann – I’ve known them both personally – they are great scientists. A whole web of events caused what I think they would agree was a premature announcement to the public caused all this storm of emotions which was unfortunate.”

“Any personal ramifications of individuals is so unfortunate. But you know that’s happened to many people in the field. The field has had a series of tragic events occur where workers in it have been maligned. Emotions grew so high. It should have been done in a scientific fashion, it would’ve been so much better. But I have nothing but the highest respect for Pons and Fleischmann, such great scientists, anyone would be privileged to follow their lead in science.”

Twenty-three years ago, Dr. Miley was preparing for a plane flight to Japan when he got a call from Steve Jones of Brigham Young University asking if he would consider publishing his paper on ‘cold fusion’ in the journal of Fusion Science and Technology.

Dr Miley recalled saying “I don’t know what cold fusion is, but Steve I know you, and if you think it fits in, please send it to me and I’ll have it reviewed. I said I had to leave immediately for the airport, but ‘I’ll be back in a week and when I get back, I’ll have this paper handled by reviewers.'”

“When I got off the plane, I was surprised by my hosts who were from University of Tokyo. They came waiving the equivalent of the Wall Street Journal saying ‘what is this cold fusion, you’re an American – you must know all about it!’ And I thought ‘my gosh, if I had only taken the time to ask Steve what it was, I could answer your question’. So that was my introduction.”

“When I got back home to my office, suddenly there were five students all waiting for me who a week later wanted to do experiments. At first I was so excited thinking well all these students want to work with me, but then I realized, I happened to have more heavy water than anyone else at the university, so they wanted to use my heavy water. But they did want to work with me too!”

I have never seen so much excitement. I just said OK, if this excites my students like that, I’m all for it, let’s find out what it is.

“So then, I tried to pore over the fax I got, the famous fax that someone released of their paper prematurely around the world. But the time it got to me, it was so mutilated, I had trouble reading it. I tried to understand it as much as possible.”

“The type of work I do, I usually don’t like to repeat someone’s work. My thinking was not to try to repeat what they’d done, but try to think of some other alternate way of doing it. Being a plasma type person, thoughts raced through my mind, what we have to do is load palladium some way, why not load it with a deuterium plasma rather than an electrolytic, since I didn’t know anything about electrolytic chemistry. I learned that later.”

“So my thinking was entirely different than thinking if what they’ve done was correct or not. My thinking was ‘this is real exciting, let’s find out what’s there’.”

“Later, I had the privilege – although I don’t know if it turned out to be a exactly a privilege – I did testify at the first congressional hearing on the subject. I was the only one who hadn’t done any work in it and the congressional aid who asked me to testify said I was an unbiased, innovative researcher, and they wanted one of those stuck in between some of the people who were arguing.”

“So I ended up between Harold Furth who was head of Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, I had known him well since I worked on fusion plasmas. He testified that this whole thing was all a big mistake, that cold fusion never worked and couldn’t replace hot fusion.”

“I spoke next, and then, Martin Fleischmann chided Furth saying ‘we’ve already accomplished break-even’. He was claiming excess heat – that means more energy out than energy put in – by fusion reactions. The two of them then, with me sort of standing by not saying much of anything, got into a huge argument about that. Both were extremely articulate British debaters. Furth has unfortunately since passed away. If you go back to that testimony, I was just fascinated listening to them argue this case, it was like at the debating society again.”

Dr. Miley’s first experiments didn’t work out so well. With Heinz Hora, a theoretical physicist from University of New South Wales, he came up with a concept of Swimming Electron Layer theory, and he decided to make multi-layer thin-films on a plate and hit that with a plasma generated by a plasma focus.

“I thought it was really going to be a great experiment. What happened was as soon as I hit it, all the films fell off! They couldn’t take the plasma heat. So we ended up with nothing.”

“I discussed that with Martin Fleischmann, and he said ‘Well that was a very clever experiment you just have to think about it harder.’ I really like him. Martin really gets to the issue.”

The Patterson Cell

“That was just a technological setback. Anyone whose in science hits those, but that doesn’t stop you, you just have to find out how to go around it. A little bit later, I ran into Jim Patterson. People may not remember all this, he had the so-called Patterson Cell. He was interviewed on Good Morning America. [read transcript] He was going to have a great fusion system.”

Diagram of a Patterson Cell from Nuclear Battery Using D-Clusters in Nano-materials Miley Yang Hora
“His was quite different from the original Pons and Fleischmann type cell. His system was a packed bed flowing electrolytic system that had plastic beads that he electrolytically coated them with nickel, or maybe nickel-palladium. These beads were very small, maybe a millimeter in diameter or so, and he’d put a few thousand of those in a vessel and run the electrolytic fluid through and they formed the metal of one of the electrodes in the container.”

“Measure the temperature that came in, measure the temperature that came out, and knowing the flow rate of the fluid, you can figure how much heat went to heat up the fluid. If you knew how much electricity you were putting in for electrolysis, you know how much you were putting in for external power, subtract that to find the amount of excess heat. He was very successful in those early experiments.”

“When I saw him the first time in a meeting, I saw a picture of these beads, I said you know those look like inertial confinement fusion targets, that’s a hot fusion device. I said I know how to make those beads. It turned out I thought I did, but I didn’t”, he laughed.

From Nuclear Battery using D-Clusters in Nano-Materials Miley Yang Hora
“But I convinced Jim that what I should do is plasma deposit thin films on these, cause I realized suddenly that he had solved my problem. These beads were plastic, so when the films either expanded by heating or loading – when you load palladium it expands by a factor of well not quite two or something – a tremendous change, so if you have a thin layer of palladium or something, when you load it with deuterium, the expansion is going to cause it to change volume relative to whatever it’s sitting on, and it’ll tear it off.”

“But when bonded to these beads and expanded, the plastic gave. That allowed it to work. Jim didn’t realize it. I don’t know if I realized it first, but it dawned on me that I could coat these beads with thin layers like I had been doing on the other metal surfaces, and this would work.”

“I continued working with him and also his grandson Jim Reding who had gone to business school and founded a company Clean Energy Technology Incorporated CETI where the granddad was the Chief Technologist and the grandson was running the company. They had a contract with a hot-water heating company. I took some of his beads, and the ones I finally made – incidentally it took me a year to figure out how to do this – that’s why I say I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was, and when I looked at the beads I made under a Scanning Electron Microscope SEM to see how the structure of mine compared to the ones he made, mine really looked great. I had put on a perfectly uniform film with virtually no scratches or defects or anything. His looked horrible. The electroplating had what looked like the mountains on Mars on the surface. Terrible.”

“I used some of mine in one of his devices, and they scarcely worked at all. So that was another setback for me personally, thinking, here I’d done all this work to make perfect films, and they don’t work at all, and Jim’s do. Explain that.”

Well finally, some years later, it began to dawn on me, you don’t want perfect films, that’s a big mistake, you want lousy ones with all these defects in them because that’s where the reactions take place.

“Jim had sort of stumbled on that. He hadn’t realized what it was then either although he had observed hot spots on his beads too.”

“Unfortunately Jim had made a bucket of these beads and later, when he discovered that he’d used them all, he tried to make another batch and the second batch didn’t work right. So non-reproducibility plagued him as well. Then his grandson died prematurely of a heart attack and Jim sort of went out of business after all that. Really sad, cause he was a brilliant person.”

Teaching a New Generation of Scientists

It was the excitement of students that urged Dr. Miley to get that first cold fusion experiment going, and he has remained a dedicated mentor to young people throughout his scientific career. The George H. Miley LENR Undergraduate Scholarship [visit] is a financial award presented to a highly motivated continuing undergraduate student in the department.

Accompanying him at the conference was Paul Keutelian and Akshata Krishnamurthy, two masters degree students who work at the university’s Hyperspace Propulsion Lab. They were presenting a poster session on Helicon Injected Inertial Plasma Electrostatic Rocket, HIIPER [.pdf here].

Mr. Keutelian was interested in science all throughout his childhood and received an undergraduate degree in aerospace. “You have an open mind from your starting point, you really don’t know where you’re going to end up, you just keep going after what interests you. It’s already there, it’s just waiting to be discovered. You just have to keep an eye out. That brought me here.”

Miss Krishnamurthy always wanted to be an astronaut, and studied mechanical engineering before she decided to make rockets. “Dreams do come true, even if they don’t completely, they take you to some place, and you learn a lot in the process.”

As a young woman in this science, Miss Krishnamurthy thinks more women need to come forward and get involved. “Science isn’t just for men. Anybody can do it. It’s just the inquisitive nature that’s required, and the passion to learn.”

“It’s not hard at all”, she says. “It’s not like you have to lift heavy things all day – it’s just having fun in the lab!”

To other young people interested in studying this topic, Dr. Miley said “Not to worry about details of what you’re going to study, it’s what interests you. You want to do something that’s really interesting. You’ve got to find a field like that and keep an open mind. Tackle the problems as they come.”

“If you do that, regardless of what you start with …. , Now a degree in math, that’s such a universal starting point, that’s wonderful, but if you take physics, take science, any of these things, that’s going to help tremendously. It’s an interdisciplinary field, there’s materials science, there’s physics, there’s chemistry, I like to get plasmas in some way. If you have an inquisitive mind, you can put them all together.”

He continued, “I’ve been privileged teaching at an advanced research university, so all the students that I get are highly motivated by the time they get to me – and talented. I know that some other schools, particularly in some of our grade high schools, there’s discouragement, but I think that people just have to be determined.”

To students who are frustrated with their schools, “What they want to do is not let the system stop you, keep pushing it. I think they need to stick it out, better things will come. They’ll find inspired teachers, they may not have one right at the moment, but there’s another one some place they’ll come in contact with.”

“I feel that we can change the system.”

“That’s certainly a motivation if you get caught in that, work towards changing it as time goes on.”

Global Effort for Revolutionary Energy Technology

Dr. Miley has also collaborated with scientists around the world in the unique global effort aimed at understanding the elusive cold fusion reaction. LENR scientists have in part been brought together internationally by the rejection of their research in their home countries.

“When cold fusion was first announced and caused such a commotion, and then many people criticized Pons and Fleischmann, it became quite a negative thing”, says Dr. Miley. “The community decided that they would hold many of their meetings outside of the US because that would free them from the mounting criticism unjustly put against them here in the US.”

“If you look at the international meetings of cold fusion, the ICCF, that have been going on maybe every year or so, they rotate between Italy in Europe – Russia, the upcoming one is in Korea. These meetings brought together international scientists for this very reason. That happened independent of the Internet. The Internet has helped communications. This is either good or bad depending on what your goals are!”

He believes that “International collaboration is great because of the abilities and the new insights you get from others elsewhere. On the other hand, this is competitive world in a global economy and many of us, myself included, would like to see the US the first to develop this. But because of this situation, it may be that its first developed commercially elsewhere. In fact, Andrea Rossi as well as a Greek company Defkalion say they have commercial units already. And if that turns out to be true, this may be commercialized someplace else. Much of this gas-loaded nano-particle work originated in Japan, so you have to assume they may be ahead too.”

“So it’s competitive as well as collaborative.
It’s just the new world we have.”

Dr. Miley doesn’t know if it’s realistic to expect an internationally-funded formal global program working on this. “This is a very commercial field. Most people now are getting into it now because they feel that when the technology becomes commercial it will create money and at the same time, change the whole energy scene, so it’s very competitive.”

“Normally international collaborations like CERN or the international Tokamak are working on something that’s not as game-changing and not as threatening as this could be if somebody else beats you to it, which makes an international group awkward. I’m not sure how well they would collaborate because of each country’s worries about losing this technology. But in principle, it would be great!”

However faraway the benefits of this technology are, Dr. Miley says, “We’ve talked about different issues and challenges, but I’ve become very convinced that this is really a potential game-changing power source, maybe not for RTGs, but in general.

“There’s so many different applications. We can put them in homes, we can put them into space, you can do all sorts of things, it’s quite revolutionary – if it works as my imagination might think it would, or your imagination. So I don’t think I have to convince anyone of that. Anyway, I have gone ahead now and we’re forming a small company called LENUCO which will be based in the research park at University of Illinois to try and commercialize this. But I don’t want to fool anyone, this is a tremendous challenge. I mean, this thing may go belly up, or it may be a great success, I don’t know. It’s going to be one or the other.”

Cold Fusion Now!

Advances In Proposed D-Cluster Inertial Confinement Fusion Target George H. Miley, Xiaoling Yang, Hora Heinrich, Kirk Flippo Sandrine gaillard, Dunstin Offermann, and D. Cort Gautier.

Nuclear Battery Using D-Clusters in Nano-materials by George H. Miley, Xiaoling Yang, Heinz Hora

Condensed Matter “Cluster” Reactions in LENRs George H. Miley, Heinz Hora, Xiaoling Yang

Direct Conversion of Nuclear Radiation Energy by George H. Miley

Transcript of ABC-TV Good Morning America segment on James Patterson from Infinite Energy.

Watch this video through to the end and see Michael McKubre face-off with John Huizenga!