LENREW 2000 – An Informal Report
by IRI Research Fellow, Marc Plotkin
In 1989, two chemists from the University of Utah reported achieving what was thought to be impossible: nuclear fusion from simple electrolysis. The announcement touched off a storm of controversy that left the reputations of the two chemists in tatters and the budding field of low energy nuclear reactions dead. Nonetheless, official ostracism by the mainstream science establishment in the United States, has not extinguished interest in the phenomenon of low energy nuclear reactions, which we will refer to as LENRs.
To the contrary, there have been eight annual conferences on cold fusion and other types of LENRs. In April 1999, the Integrity Research Institute sponsored the first conference on future energy, a large part of which was devoted to developments in the LENR field. IRI followed up this successful conference on November 17, 2000, with the Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Educational Workshop (Hence the name LENREW 2000). Fifty distinguished scientists from around the world gathered in College Park, Maryland to present their latest findings. France, Italy, India, Japan, and China, were among the countries represented at the workshop.
THE REALITY OF LOW ENERGY NUCLEAR REACTIONS
The wall of silence maintained by the nuclear physics community has not been able to stop the avalanche of experimental evidence from coming down upon its official denials. Since the fateful announcement in 1989 and the controversy that followed it, laboratory evidence has been accumulating, to the point at which cold fusion has been experimentally verified, and is now for all intents and purposes a scientific fact. Not only cold fusion, but several other types of LENRs have been observed and documented, including fission (transmutation) and nuclear collapse. Here is a brief history of the LENR field.
In 1989, electrochemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann set up an experiment consisting of a heavy water electrolyte solution in an insulated flask. Attached to the flask were a palladium cathode and a platinum anode. An electric current was passed through the heavy water solution, triggering an electrolysis reaction. What the experimenters expected was an ordinary attainment of equilibrium in which the heat loss in the solution would equal the input from the power source. There was no equilibrium. The temperature of the electrolyte heavy water solution continued to rise, while the electrical power input was reduced. In other words, the experiment generated heat that could not be accounted for under conventional electrochemical theory. Something hidden within the cell itself was responsible for the additional heat. Fleishmann and Pons posited that it was an unknown nuclear reaction that was generating the heat, a reaction that did not emit neutrons, gamma rays, or other dangerous radiation. Despite the absence of these lethal occurrences, the experiment left a nuclear signature: the presence of helium in significant quantities.
The two chemists claimed to have discovered what has since been referred to as the deuterium-deuterium (d-d) cold fusion reaction. Deuterium (D2) is an isotope of hydrogen. Deuterium Oxide (D2O) is "heavy water" During this reaction, there is a nuclear exchange between atoms in the heavy water electrolyte solution and the atoms in the palladium cathode. The protons in two deuterium atoms apparently fused together, which resulted in Helium 4 (4He), the most common form of helium gas. This is what is referred to as the d-d cold fusion reaction. The two protons in the deuterium atoms fuse with two neutrons to form one atom of helium 4. The essence of their claim was that: a d-d reaction took place at room temperature; that the 20 watts of heat per cubic centimeter of palladium produced in the experiment could not be accounted for by chemical reactions; and the relative lack of neutrons ruled out conventional "hot" fusion as the energy source.
Conventional "hot" fusion physicists, skeptical from the start, were outright hostile to the very notion of fusion taking place at room temperature. According to conventional nuclear physics, the electromagetic force that causes like particles to repel each other could only be overcome with tremendous force, such as hot fusion. This force, called the coulomb barrier prevents protons from joining together, and likewise keeps electrons apart. This is why, according to hot fusion physicists, fusion can take place only at extremely high temperatures, and cannot occur without the release of neutrons and gamma rays, exposure to which is invariably fatal. Thus, in order for cold fusion to have taken place, the protons in the deuterium atoms would had to have "jumped the fence" or gotten around, through or under the coulomb barrier without crashing through it, as they do in hot fusion.
Despite the campaign of ostracism led by the nuclear physics community in the United States, the LENR phenomena has been experimentally validated. Experiments performed since 1989 have provided ample confirmation of the reality of low energy nuclear reactions. For example, Professor W. Hansen, also of Utah State University, confirmed the Fleischmann-Pons results in late 1989 and early 1990. He reported excess heat in several cells of about 6000 electron volts per atom of palladium, an enormous source of heat. (Beaudette, 184-86). Michael McKubre, working at SRI international devised a series of experiments that have steadily replicated the Fleischmann-Pons results for eight years (Beaudette 191). By the end of 1996, the anomalous power experiments of Fleischmann and Pons have attained a reproducibility level of 50% or higher for several experimenters. (Beaudette 208).
THE PRESENTATIONS AT LENREW 2000
The presentations at LENROW 2000 fell into several groups: experimental verification of the LENR phenomenon; experimental technique; and theoretical developments.
Dr. Melvin Miles, a specialist in the field of electrochemistry, was one of the first scientists to independently corroborate the results of Fleischmann and Pons. The Department of Energy first asked Dr. Miles to look into cold fusion just after the Utah announcement in 1989. At the time, he was not able to confirm the results, and so noted in his report. Subsequently, however, he refined his experimental techniques, and used different materials, notably a palladium-boron cathode instead of pure palladium. Dr. Miles reported the results of two sets of experiments. The first series were carried out in China Lake, California, between 1994 and 1995. The second were done in Japan between October 1997 and March 1998. Overall, Dr. Miles observed excess heat and helium associated with excess heat in 28 out of 94 experiments. In China Lake, 21 out of 33 experiments produced excess heat, and in Japan, excess heat was observed in 8 out of 10 experiments.
To quantify heat measurements, Dr. Miles used an experimental technique whereby heat flow was measured by conduction, rather than by radiation, as was the case in the Fleischmann-Pons experiments. During his experiments, deuterium and oxygen gasses bubbled out of the cell, but did not recombine. In China Lake, he observed excess power production that ranged between 5 and 10 percent of input power, with the largest being 30 percent, which translates roughly into between 1 and 5 watts per cubic centimeter of palladium.
Dr. Miles emphasized the importance of selecting the right source material as the cathode. Experiments using Johnson-Matthews palladium cathodes produced excess heat in 17 out of 28 experiments. Palladium-Boron on the other hand, yielded a much higher success rate: excess heat in 8 out of 9 experiments done in Japan. Possible theories about the effectiveness of palladium boron is that the boron absorbs oxygen, and reduces the rate of deuterium escaping from the metal lattice comprising the cathode. taking it out of the system, and that the palladium-boron alloy is less susceptible to cracking than pure palladium.
Dr Miles also noted the heat after death effect, in which excess heat continues to be generated for several hours after the input power source is turned off. In addition, he noted that at higher temperatures, there was a greater uptake of hydrogen into the lattice of the cathode, i.e., greater loading, which yielded larger amounts of excess heat.
Dr. Dufour’s hypothesis centered on a possible nuclear fission reaction between uranium and hydrogen. He used uranium samples containing small amounts of hydrogen as his test material. To activate the sample, the experimenter would place it between two electrodes and two magnets, so that the samples would be activated by a combination of an electric current and a magnetic field. A pulsed current would then be passed through the sample. To calibrate the system, a DC current would be passed through another sample that was used as a control. The purpose of the experiment was to measure the resistance (impedance) of the uranium, under the working assumption that if there was excess heat, it would most likely result from that resistance. The experimenter compared the heat effects observed using the pulsed current with the heat effects observed using the DC current. The procedure was performed on various metals, including uranium, copper, and nickel.
The experiments ran for twelve days. In the case of uranium, differences in heat output between the pulsed current sample and the DC current sample were observed. The total excess energy output was about 1,150,000 joules . Trace elements were also observed in the aftermath of the reaction. According to Dr. Dufour, this energy comes from a fission reaction between the uranium and the hydrogen present in the uranium sample. Products observed included helium 4 (85%), the trace elements (14%) and helium 3 (tritium) (1%). The excess heat generated during the experiments may be a function of current density, the pulsed current, the magnetic field, the temperature, and the optimum hydrogen content in the sample
Dr. Chubb reported on the steady accumulation of laboratory evidence confirming the production of excess heat provided by radiationless d-d nuclear fusion in a deuterium-palladium electrolysis system. Mass spectrometer observations of helium 4 in the deuterium-palladium system have been recorded. Observed helium was measured and shown to have been produced on the order of 24 megavolts (per?), in quantities sufficient to account for the mass difference between deuterium and helium 4. Arata developed a double-structured cathode which provided excess heat in watts, ten times in a row. In 1999, this technique was successfully replicated in another laboratory. The generation of heat and helium 4 in a deuterium-palladium system using a carbon catalyst was observed by Leslie Case and verified by Michael McKubre between 1998 and 1999. Other, even more recent work includes observations by Arata and Zhang, and with great clarity by Clark and McKubre during studies of materials from previously run double-structured cathodes. Tritium or helium 3 was repeatedly observed at a 3 He/4 He ratio that was more than 10,000 times the known concentration of helium 3 in the atmosphere. According to Dr. Chubb, helium 3 cannot be produced on this scale without a nuclear reaction taking place. In other words, tritium is a signature of a nuclear process.
The basic Fleischmann-Pons experiment can now be readily replicated in an undergraduate physics class, which is what John Kenney, Professor of Physics at Bradley University in Illinois, reported on. Dr. Kenney’s experiments with undergraduates provided additional confirmation of the presence of anomalous heat in the deuterium-palladium system. In a series of experimental runs, Dr. Kenney and his students observed excess heat of about 287, with 200 as the base, with a loading cycle of 30 minutes or more. They determined that the probability of these results occurring by chance alone was miniscule.
Dr. Dash reported on work in the field of low energy nuclear reactions that is going on in Russia. The Russians are working on glow discharge experiments, in which deuterium interacted with a target cathode, providing excess heat as well as evidence for nuclear transmutation. The way that these experiments worked is that films would be wrapped around the body of a glow discharge chamber and the tracks would be observed. The reported results were consistent in repetitions. Over 300 plates with negatively charged particles were observed.
Dr, Matsumoto reported on his observations of naturally occurring low energy nuclear reactions, and presented a theory of LENRs as a phenomenon of an electric-nuclear reaction (ENR). He reported that during the eruption of a volcano in Northern Japan, various LENRs took place, including fusion, transmutation and nuclear reactions. More than 150 tracings of showed evidence of these nuclear reactions. He conducted an experiment to verify the existence of nuclear collapse. In this experiment, carbon was produced through nuclear transmutation. Microball lightning, a signature of nuclear collapse, was observed during the process. Thin carbon tubes appeared as a product. In other words, carbon was produced in a system where there was no carbon. According to Dr. Matsumoto, nuclear collapse is a common natural occurrence.
EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUE (REPRODUCIBILITY)
George Miley performed extensive experiments using thin film cathodes of nickel, palladium, and titanium. According to Professor Miley, thin films offer an advantage of fast loading, minimum cracking, and the potential for a more complete analysis. Using techniques pioneered by James Patterson, Miley experimented with thin films of nickel, palladium, and titanium, all of which were available for post-experimental analysis, unlike ordinary cathode rods. In early experiments, Professor Miley used a single thin film coating consisting of either nickel, palladium or titanium. In later experiments, he used multilayered coatings such as nickel-palladium. The experiments consisted of 14 runs with a duration of about 3-4 weeks each. In each run, the experimenters used various combinations of cathodes in the form of thin films in an electrolyte solution. The calorimeters used were very sensitive, within an accuracy of 10 milliwatts.
Professor Miley reported that during the electrolysis, transmutation occurred, with copper and silver as the products. He found that in one run, up to 40 percent of the total amount of nickel in the thin-film cathode had been transmuted to elements. During that run, chromium, iron, copper, and selenium appeared. The power density of the thin films was about 10 watts per cubic centimeter, which was hot enough to burn holes in the cell housing. Overall, his date showed high yields. Silver was a significant product. Several key signatures of nuclear reactions were observed, including excess heat of 2-10 watts per cubic centimeter, non-natural isotopic ratios, low energy radiation, and the presence of stable elements. Dr. Miley reported that others using the thin film techniques have observed d-d reactions producing helium 4 in the traditional Fleischmann-Pons heavy water experiment. In terms of excess heat production, a typical run showed excess heat up to 70 percent.
Professor Miley put forward a working, but unproven hypothesis, that the fission reactions that led to transmutation of chemical elements take place in the interior of the lattice as well as on its surface.
Dr. Swartz discussed various experimental techniques and methods for optimizing heat output in a low energy nuclear reaction system. He identified three factors that he considered crucial to obtaining optimum heat output: loading, control of noise, and the optimal operating point (OOP). By controlling for noise, one can eliminate false positives, or false indications of excess heat. The key to finding the optimal operating point for a particular material is to find the point at which output peaks.
Dr. Swartz described various experiments that he performed, not only with the palladium-deuterium system, but with other systems as well. He used different configurations for a nickel cathode, including wires, rods, spirals, plates, and mesh screens. Materials used for the anodes included platinum, gold, graphite, iron, and nickel. Light water solutions consisted of distilled water. To calibrate his systems as accurately as possible, he utilized several calorimetry techniques that were linear and time-invariant.
Dr. Swartz observed a higher power output from a nickel-light water system with a nickel cathode and gold anode than with a platinum anode. He reported excess heat from the nickel-light water system on the order of 7 watts per cubic centimeter.
He concluded that the palladium-deuterium system is not the only system in which excess heat can be produced. He stated that excess heat has been observed in a nickel-light water system. He described other systems capable of serving as a generator for low energy nuclear reactions, including codepositional systems devised by Arata and Mizuno. As to the OOP, he ascribed the following characteristics. First, the optimal operating point is relatively reproducible. Second, it exists along a narrow range for excess heat production. Third, it is located at moderate input power levels. Fourth, the location of the origin of excess heat origin along the graph is connected with the peak of the optimal operating point. With loading, the OOP manifold grows wider as it grows in height, yielding increased activity. The keys to reproducibility of excess heat generation in low energy nuclear reaction experiments are: loading; noise control; and control of the optimal operating point. Control of the OOP means knowing where the peak output is and controlling the system at that point.
The LENR phenomena appears to straddle the fields of solid state and nuclear physics. LENRs might aptly be renamed, "LENRICM" or "low energy nuclear reactions in condensed matter. The heart of the controversy surrounding cold fusion, and LENRs in general, is that the coulomb barrier has to prevent this sort of fusion reaction from ever occurring. At this point, a brief explanation of the coulomb barrier is in order. At the subatomic level, the strong force binds protons and neutrons together to form the nucleus of an atom. The strong force operates only at extremely small distances, and is ineffective beyond the nuclear range. At the same time, the electromagnetic (coulomb) force operates as well. The Coulomb force causes like-charged particles to repeal each other, and oppositely charged particles to attract each other. This means that, because of the Coulomb force, protons repel protons, electrons repel electrons, and electrons attract protons.
In order for nuclear fusion to take place, as, for example, when hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium, protons have to get close enough for the strong force to pull them together to form a new nucleus. But that can only happen if those protons can overcome the electromagnetic repulsive force that keeps them apart. This electromagnetic repulsive force is also called the coulomb barrier. The coulomb barrier is not a constant. It is a wave function, which means that it describes the oscillation (vibrating) of subatomic particles across a range of values. The rate of oscillation in a wave function is its frequency. The length of a full wave cycle is its wavelength. Higher energy levels correspond to higher frequencies and shorter wavelengths. Lower energy levels correspond to lower frequencies and longer wavelengths. The higher the frequency, the higher the energy in the particle.
One way of overcoming the coulomb barrier is to "knock it down," that is to fire atoms at other atoms at a very high velocity. In this scenario, the kinetic energy of the protons in the bullet atom causes those protons to overcome the coulomb repulsive force generated by the interaction between the protons in the bullet atom and the protons in the target atom. This is what happens in hot fusion, which is characterized by release of excess heat and nuclear ash, in the form of neutrons and gamma radiation. Another way of overcoming the coulomb barrier is to "tunnel under it," that is to saturate a target atom with a stream of atoms whose electrons are vibrating at a frequency such that the electromagnetic coulomb attractive force between the electron stream and the target proton is stronger than the repulsive force between the electrons and protons in the bullet atom and the target atom. This is what is hypothetically occurs in cold fusion, which is characterized by the release of excess heat and nuclear ash, in the form of helium 4. (Applies only to deuterium-palladium heavy water system).
Resonance occurs when the frequency of the electrons in the bullet atom matches the frequency of the electrons in the target atom. When the two frequencies match, the oscillation patterns of the electrons are in harmony, and the coulomb barrier is transparent. Resonance can be achieved by the process of damping, a mechanism by which the frequency of the vibrations of the electrons in the bullet atom adjusts to the frequency of the vibrations of the electrons in the target atom, thereby achieving harmonious oscillation and rendering the coulomb barrier transparent. All of this happens at normal temperatures, without the extremely high kinetic energy which causes neutrons to be emitted in a hot fusion reaction. Several presenters have put forth theories purporting to explain how the coulomb barrier can be penetrated during a low energy nuclear reaction.
Xing Z. Li
According to Dr. Li, resonant tunneling is a mechanism by which nature allows subatomic particles that would normally be repulsed in the absence of high kinetic energy levels to attract one another and combine to form new atoms. Resonant tunneling, according to Dr. Li, is what explains why the fusion reaction can take place without the emission of neutrons or gamma radiation, which are the products of hot nuclear fusion. By contrast, the "ash" of a cold fusion reaction is helium 4.
To illustrate the resonant tunneling phenomenon, consider the d-d reaction. The nucleus of a common hydrogen atom, consists of a single proton. The nucleus of a deuterium atom consists of one proton and one neutron. In the d-d reaction, two deuterium atoms join together to produce a helium 4 atom, the nucleus of which consists of two protons and two neutrons. The strong force keeps the protons and neutrons bound together in the nucleus, but the strong force can only act over extremely short distances. In the absence of an intervening mechanism, the coulomb barrier prevents the protons in separate deuterium atoms from getting close enough together for the strong force to bring them together to form helium atoms.
In conventional, or "hot" nuclear fusion, that mechanism takes the form of kinetic energy, which is generated by a particle accelerator or by the detonation of a hydrogen bomb. The kinetic energy generated by a nuclear explosion is high enough for the incoming protons and neutrons (bullets) to overcome the repulsive force generated by the protons and neutrons in the "target" atom. When subatomic particles crash through the coulomb barrier, as they must do in order for the strong nuclear force to facilitate the actual "fusion" process, the force generated by the collision between the bullet and target particles results not only in enormous levels of heat, but also the emission of neutrons and gamma radiation, in lethal amounts. In other words, powerful kinetic energy allows the coulomb barrier to be overcome by sheer force.
Yet since 1989, evidence has been accumulating which establishes the reality of a d-d fusion reaction taking place at room temperature, without emission of neutrons or gamma radiation. That this phenomena can occur at all implies that kinetic energy is not the only way that nature allows the coulomb barrier to be overcome.
All subatomic particles vibrate, or oscillate. The number of times that a particle vibrates during a specified time period is called its frequency. The length of the vibration is called the wavelength. The height of the vibration is called its amplitude. The coulomb barrier is not a constant. It is a function. More precisely, it is a wave function, meaning that the intensity of the coulomb force will vary directly according to frequency and amplitude, and inversely according to wavelength. The greater the frequency per unit of time, the shorter the wavelength, and the more powerful the coulomb force. The higher the amplitude at a given frequency, the more powerful the coulomb force.
By way of illustration, two waves are approaching the shore. Both waves are 50 feet long, and there are ten waves per 500 feet. However, one wave is three feet high, but the other is ten feet high. The 10-foot wave will have a more intense impact when its hits the shore than the three foot wave. Similarly, the amplitude of a wave corresponds to the mass of the subatomic particle. Protons have a much greater mass than electrons. Therefore, if an electron and a proton are vibrating at the same frequency, the amplitude corresponding to the mass of a proton will be much greater than the amplitude corresponding to the mass of the electron. In terms of the coulomb force, the proton would have a much greater impact than the electron. This means that, if two protons and an electron are vibrating at the same frequency, the repulsive force, i.e., the resistance, between the two protons would be much stronger than the attractive force between the proton and the electron. Why? Because the proton has a greater mass than the electron. Consequently, the wave function describing the proton’s vibration will have a higher amplitude than the wave function describing the electron’s vibration, even though the frequencies and wavelengths of the vibrations of the two particles are identical. This implies that the amplitude of the wave is an indicator of resistance.
In a d-d reaction, as noted above, two deuterium atoms, each consisting of a single electron orbiting a proton and a neutron, join together to form one atom of helium 4. The fact that it occurred at room temperature, and without neutrons or gamma rays indicates that the coulomb barrier has somehow been overcome. Yet it could not have been overcome by conventional hot fusion, in which the protons crash through the coulomb barrier. Another way for fusion to take place is if the coulomb barrier could somehow become transparent. This is what Dr. Li refers to as "resonant tunneling." In other words, given that subatomic particles are vibrating at certain frequencies, the coulomb barrier becomes transparent if the wave functions of the particles are such that the attractive force between particles with opposite charges exceeds the resistance between particles with like charges. The wave functions are said to be in a state of resonance.
Resonance means vibrating in synchronization. Two particles are in a state of resonance when their wave functions, i.e., their wavelengths, frequencies, and amplitudes are identical. The process by which wave functions of subatomic particles adjust to achieve a state of harmonious vibration, i.e., resonance, is what Dr. Li refers to as "selectivity in damping." To illustrate this concept, Dr. Li gave the example of five radios, all tuned to the same frequency, but having different levels of damping. Damping varies directly with resistance. If damping is near zero, the resistance is near zero, and everything would get through. The result is that one would hear nothing but background noise coming from the radio. At the other end of the scale, if damping is too large, then resistance is too large, and one would hear nothing coming from the radio at all. The ideal resistance level would lie somewhere between the two extreme ends of the scale, and would correspond to the point at which the electromagnetic waves coming from the radio station are in a state of resonance relative to the receiving radio. The process of finding the ideal damping level such that the frequency of the radio waves matches the frequency that the radio is tuned to is called, "selectivity in damping."
According to Dr. Li, nature utilizes a damping mechanism to achieve a penetration of the coulomb barrier over a range of values corresponding to lower levels of resistance, i.e., lower amplitudes. Amplitude is a function of the relative mass of the particles, as we previously indicated. Therefore, in order to achieve resonance, the amplitude of the wave function corresponding to the electron must rise to match the amplitude of the wave function corresponding to the proton. Remember, we are assuming that the protons and electrons are vibrating at the same frequency, and that their wavelengths are identical. The damping, i.e., adjustment mechanism that nature utilizes somehow harmonizes the resistance between the electrons in the deuterium electrolyte solution and the protons in the metal lattice in such a way that the protons in the deuterium electrolyte solution can be brought close enough together so that the strong force can take over. Perhaps that this occurs during loading, when there may be an increase in the number of electrons in the system relative to the number of protons. This might have the effect of "increasing the amplitude" of the wave function corresponding to the electrons to the point of resonance, i.e., where it matches the wave function corresponding to the protons. When resonance is achieved, the protons in the deuterium solution are able to "tunnel" through the coulomb barrier and join together with the protons in the metal lattice to produce helium. In other words, at the point of resonance, the coulomb barrier becomes transparent.
According to Dr. Li, the experimental evidence for low energy resonance in the d-d heavy-water palladium includes excess heat without significant quantities of neutrons or gamma radiation, and a three-hour time frame in which excess heat continues to be produced after the power input is shut off. Low energy nuclear resonance has been posited to have a three-hour life. This has been supported by experiments in Japan, France, and Italy confirming that excess heat continues for about three hours after the power input is shut off.
Dr. Li made the following conclusions: First, resonant tunneling occurs in both hot and cold fusion need resonant tunneling. With hot fusion, the coulomb barrier is high, and the ash is neutrons and gamma radiation. With cold fusion, the coulomb barrier is low, and the ash is charged particles and heat. Second, this implies that fusion energy without strong nuclear radiation is feasible. Third, the long-life resonant state is quintessential for coupling to the lattice and multiple scattering facilitates a long-lived resonant state. – the language of solid state physics (low energy nuclear reactions in solids -- Scott Chubb). Fourth, coherent resonant tunneling describes the ideal situation in which there is a balance between reflection and absorption. It is in the metal lattice of the cathode where the conditions necessary for resonance to occur are set up.
Krityunjai P. Sinha
Dr. Sinha developed a theory similar to that of Dr. Li. According to Dr. Sinha, electron screening in metal deuterides is crucial to facilitating to d-d to helium 4 reaction in the deuterium-palladium heavy water system. The critical inquiry is the screening energy that allows this to happen, i.e., the energy level at which the wave functions representing the vibrating protons and electrons reach resonance and render the coulomb barrier transparent. According to Dr. Sinha, many-body processes take place in solids simultaneously, and those processes take place locally, not globally. Those processes involve atoms, free electrons, collective phonons, collective electrons, all of which are oscillating simultaneously. What causes the two deuterium atoms to come close enough together amid such a cacophany of activity and fuse is the presence of a screening mechanism that is dependent on the probability of d-d overlap, which depends on the potential for deuterons to form within the metal lattice of the palladium cathode.
According to Dr. Sinha, the d-d overlap probability increases in high-loading, where there are many metal atom vacancies, reflecting defects in the metal lattice. At high levels of loading, enormous numbers of electrons fill in the vacancies in the metal lattice, localizing around those atoms. The net reduction of the coulomb potential for repelling deuterium atoms away from each other in the metal lattice is caused by collective interactions of electrons. This may be another way of saying that the wave functions of the vibrating protons and neutrons achieve resonance, rendering the coulomb barrier transparent.
From his experiments with uranium and hydrogen, Dr. Dufour hypothesized that within the lattice of the uranium sample, strong bonding takes place between spinning protons and electrons over short distances. Resonance between protons and electrons yields very low energy, resonances which have a lifetime of about one second. A number of these particle pairs in resonance, i.e., hydrogen atoms, which consist of one proton, one electron and no neutrons, can gather around a big nucleus like uranium because of electrostatic effects. That nucleus becomes excited, breaking apart, emitting particles and generating heat. Dr. Dufour conceded that this phenomenon was difficult to quantify. He did emphasize, however, that the end product of this fission reaction in condensed matter may well be helium 4 and other trace elements, reflecting possible nuclear transmutation.
Like Dr. Dufour, Dr. Takahashi hypothesized that nuclear fission without radiation could take place at low energy levels. He referred to this radiation-less fission as transmutation by electrolysis. His working assumption is that fission takes place due to the excitation of many photons simultaneously within the metal lattice during the reaction. He also reported the presence of stable fission products and what called selective channel fission. According to Dr, Takahashi, the fission reaction may take the form of a partial split into two atoms, a more complete split with a tenuous connection between the two atoms, and a complete separation into two separate atoms. Dr. Takahashi hypothesized that barriers to nuclear fission, like barriers to nuclear fusion, could be found at different points in different experiments. What can be drawn from Dr. Takahashi’s presentation is that multi-photon induced fission can be an idea for clean fission energy, and could quite possibly provide way to convert radioactive material into harmless, stable metals.
Dr, Violante reported on the results of several cooperative experiments performed jointly by ENOQ and SRI International. He stressed the effect of the chemical potential of deuterium or hydrogen in a metal lattice, indicating that it was strongly influenced by the surrounding stress field, which has the effect of modifying the free energy in the system. According to Dr. Violante, when deuterium or hydrogen dissolves into a metal such as palladium, it has the effect of expanding the lattice. This process, in turn, generates a corresponding stress field that can modify the chemical potential of the deuterium. High concentration gradients in the palladium produce high stress gradients that may inhibit the diffusion of the deuterium throughout the lattice. Consequently, reduction of the concentration gradients in the palladium, in turn, produces a reduction of the stress field, improving the process of diffusion. Dr. Violante analyzed five samples, and obtained excess heat in all five runs, with deuterium concentrations larger than .96. As the current increased, the amount of excess heat increased as well. The excess heat disappeared once the current was switched off.
According to Dr. Bass, a solution of Schroedinger’s wave equations is not relevant unless the gradient of its logarithm is periodic with the same period as the lattice. This could possibly mean that the frequencies, wavelengths, and amplitudes of the waves describing the electrons must match the frequency of the protons in the metal lattice in order for the coulomb barrier to be rendered transparent. In other words, periodicy is necessary to identifying those solutions to Schroedinger’s wave equations that have the characteristics of resonance, at which the coulomb barrier is transparent. Dr. Bass theorizes that the coulomb potential is a closed-form solution, and the energy levels of the resonant transparence of the coulomb barrier are functions of only the fundamental constants of physics and what he calls the "Schwinger ratio."
Dr. Bass next described the "five frozen needles" experiments, in which a fully loaded palladium wire is immersed in liquid nitrogen and pulsed with a short duration electric current after it is frozen. He hypothesizes that there will be found inside of the palladium wire an amount of helium 4 that is proportional to the duration of the current. He described this phenomenon as being at the intersection of solid state and particle physics.
It has often been repeated that, "necessity is the mother of invention." The need for a cheap, clean, reliable, and renewable energy source has never been more acute than it is now. The California power crisis dominating the headlines in recent months is proof enough. It is now time to put the science of LENRs to a practical use, and to develop engineering applications of cold fusion that can be scaled up to commercial size. When this happens, the cost of producing a unit of energy form LENRs will fall below the cost of energy from a barrel of oil.