Future Energy eNewsIntegrityResearchInstitute.org May 7, 2005
1)Black Holes Do Not Exist - They might be more like energy sources says Nature magazine
2)Acetone Increases Gas Mileage - Only 1 oz. per 10 gallons seems to add 10% to 20% efficiency
3)Cold Fusion Symposium at MIT - Includes a talk on the Patent Office impropriety on cold fusion
4)Nature's Nuclear Reactor - Worked for 220,000 years with a uranium-rich bedrock in Africa
5) Energy Bill is a 'Farce' -Republican Chairman of the House Science Committee critical
6)Scientists Create Nuclear Fusion in Lab - Heating a pyroelectric crystal in a deuterium gas chamber
7)Physicists Look to Crystal Device for Future of Fusion - Nature describes the experimental details
8)Zapping Away the Blues - Pulsed EMF device alleviates depression for psychiatric patients
IRI Publication Catalog 2005/2006 is now online (20-page) for your inspection http://users.erols.com/iri/catalog.html
Philip Ball, Nature, March 31, 2005,http://www.nature.com/news/bysubject/spaceandastronomy/0503.html
Black holes may in fact be pockets of 'dark energy'
Black holes are staples of science fiction and many think astronomers have observed them indirectly. But according to a physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, these awesome breaches in space-time do not and indeed cannot exist.
Over the past few years, observations of the motions of galaxies have shown that some 70% the Universe seems to be composed of a strange 'dark energy' that is driving the Universe's accelerating expansion.
George Chapline thinks that the collapse of the massive stars, which was long believed to generate black holes, actually leads to the formation of stars that contain dark energy. "It's a near certainty that black holes don't exist," he claims.
Black holes are one of the most celebrated predictions of Einstein's general theory of relativity, which explains gravity as the warping of space-time caused by massive objects. The theory suggests that a sufficiently massive star, when it dies, will collapse under its own gravity to a single point.
But Einstein didn't believe in black holes, Chapline argues. "Unfortunately", he adds, "he couldn't articulate why." At the root of the problem is the other revolutionary theory of twentieth-century physics, which Einstein also helped to formulate: quantum mechanics.
In general relativity, there is no such thing as a 'universal time' that makes clocks tick at the same rate everywhere. Instead, gravity makes clocks run at different rates in different places. But quantum mechanics, which describes physical phenomena at infinitesimally small scales, is meaningful only if time is universal; if not, its equations make no sense.
This problem is particularly pressing at the boundary, or event horizon, of a black hole. To a far-off observer, time seems to stand still here. A spacecraft falling into a black hole would seem, to someone watching it from afar, to be stuck forever at the event horizon, although the astronauts in the spacecraft would feel as if they were continuing to fall. "General relativity predicts that nothing happens at the event horizon," says Chapline.
However, as long ago as 1975 quantum physicists argued that strange things do happen at an event horizon: matter governed by quantum laws becomes hypersensitive to slight disturbances. "The result was quickly forgotten," says Chapline, "because it didn't agree with the prediction of general relativity. But actually, it was absolutely correct."
This strange behaviour, he says, is the signature of a 'quantum phase transition' of space-time. Chapline argues that a star doesn't simply collapse to form a black hole; instead, the space-time inside it becomes filled with dark energy and this has some intriguing gravitational effects.
Outside the 'surface' of a dark-energy star, it behaves much like a black hole, producing a strong gravitational tug. But inside, the 'negative' gravity of dark energy may cause matter to bounce back out again.
If the dark-energy star is big enough, Chapline predicts, any electrons bounced out will have been converted to positrons, which then annihilate other electrons in a burst of high-energy radiation. Chapline says that this could explain the radiation observed from the centre of our galaxy, previously interpreted as the signature of a huge black hole.
He also thinks that the Universe could be filled with 'primordial' dark-energy stars. These are formed not by stellar collapse but by fluctuations of space-time itself, like blobs of liquid condensing spontaneously out of a cooling gas. These, he suggests, could be stuff that has the same gravitational effect as normal matter, but cannot be seen: the elusive substance known as dark matter.
2)Acetone as an Additive
Sterling Allan, Pure Energy Systems News, April 13, 2005
This project page was created as an adjunct to the following article by Louis LaPointe, which we recommend as an introduction to the subject.
A growing number of people are reporting their results, as tabulated here. Most have noted increased mileage, more power, more stable idle, faster start-up, cleaner emmissions. A few have not seen an increase in mileage at the concentration of acetone they tried. Too much acetone decreases mileage. Alcohol in the fuel tends to negate the positive effects of acetone.
Table of contents[showhide]
3.1 Increases Mileage in Toyota Prius
Keep acetone away from painted surfaces. It is the key ingredient in paint remover.
Acetone is a poisonous substance with dangerous vapors, similar to gasoline.
Acetone is known to deteriorate cheap plastics and other substances. While the components in a car's fuel system should be of high quality, and thus immune to any deleterious effects from exposure to acetone, be aware that "ideal" is not always the case in practice. Be advised that not all systems have been tested against acetone. Until such thorough testing has been accomplished and certified by a accredited authority, you assume your own liability for experimentally testing acetone in your particular system.
Pulling an engine from a car, attaching a calibrated fuel tank and dyno, is outside the budgetary and resource availability of most people. However, the following simple procedure can be used to give an objective measure of increased/decreased power from the addition of acetone.
Compare "without" to increasing concentrations of "with."
3) Cold Fusion Goes Back to School at MIT
4) Nature’s Nuclear Reactor
Jessa Forte Netting, Discover, February 04, 2005
Courtesy of François Gautheir-Lafaye/Centre de Gèochimie de la Surface
Nuclear reactions in zone 9 of the Oklo natural fossil fission reactor lasted an estimated 220,000 years.
It took humans until the 20th century to build a nuclear reactor. Mother Nature, on the other hand, built one that turned itself off and on, stored its waste, never threatened a meltdown—and did it 2 billion years ago.
Physicists analyzing a tiny sample of this ancient georeactor—discovered in the African country of Gabon in 1972—have now determined how it worked. Alexander Meshik at Washington University in Saint Louis and his colleagues conclude that river water trickling into uranium-rich bedrock acted like the control rods in a modern reactor, increasing the efficiency of fission and causing the uranium to produce a chain reaction. The reaction released heat that boiled the water. Once all the water was gone, the fission fizzled out, preventing a meltdown. Gradually, more water trickled in and the process started anew.
By analyzing how xenon (a radioactive by-product of the reaction) was trapped in the rock as it periodically cooled, Meshik’s team could measure the timing of this ancient nuclear cycle. For 150 million years the reactor switched on for 30 minutes every couple of hours or so. "What’s amazing is that it was exactly 30 minutes—not 25, not 35," Meshik says. Grains of a natural compound called alumophosphate had sequestered the xenon waste for eons without leaks. Eventually so much of the original uranium decayed that the reactor shut down for good. The whole process confirms that the laws of nuclear physics worked just the same 2 billion years ago as they do today. Now we just need to match nature’s finesse.
5) Rep. Boehlert calls energy bill 'a farce'
Apr 21, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, the chairman of the House Science Committee, broke with Republican leadership Wednesday in opposing an energy bill headed for a vote.
Boehlert's public opposition came as prospects dwindled for his amendment requiring better gas mileage in cars, a favorite issue of the 12-term Republican congressman. The House later defeated the measure 254-177.
The energy bill, the congressman said on the House floor, "will increase the deficit, weaken our economy, compromise our national security and endanger our environment."
He said the bill would do very little to decrease the nation's dependence on foreign oil, which some view as a key factor in the United States' relations with oil-producing countries in the Middle East.
"We're on a collision course with disaster if you listen to national security experts across the board," Boehlert said.
Boehlert called the bill "both a tragedy and a farce" for not doing more to reduce oil consumption at a time of rising gas prices.
The energy bill includes $8.1 billion in tax breaks and would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil development. The House voted late Wednesday to allow the drilling.
"The president is committed to giving this nation an energy policy. I want to help him get it, but the problem is the minuses outweigh the pluses," Boehlert said.
A final vote on the energy legislation was expected by the House on Thursday.
Last year, a more expensive version of the bill died after Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., led opposition in the Senate. Schumer's chief complaint with that version was that it protected companies from lawsuits arising out of leaks of a gasoline additive known as MTBE.
MTBE leakage has contaminated drinking water in localities around the state.
6) Scientists Claim Nuclear Fusion in Tabletop Test
Energy Created Was Too Little to Harness for Inexpensive Power, They Say
LOS ANGELES -- In the latest attempt to create nuclear fusion under laboratory conditions, scientists reported they achieved it in a tabletop experiment that uses a strong electric field generated by a small crystal.
While the energy created was too small to harness cheap fusion power, this new way of making nuclear fusion could have potential uses in the oil-drilling industry and homeland security, said Seth J. Putterman, a physicist at the University of California at Los Angeles, who conducted the study.
The experiment is reported Thursday in the journal Nature.*
For decades, scientists have sought to produce controllable nuclear fusion, the power that lights the sun. Fusion power has been promoted as the ultimate solution to the world's energy needs and a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but even investigating potential ways of generating it requires enormous reactors that cost millions of dollars.
Claims of tabletop fusion have been met with skepticism.
In one of the most notable cases, B. Stanley Pons of the University of Utah and Martin Fleischmann of Southampton University in England shocked the world in 1989 when they announced they had achieved so-called cold fusion at room temperature. Their work was discredited after repeated unsuccessful attempts to reproduce it.
Fusion experts said the UCLA experiment was credible because, unlike the 1989 work, it did not violate basic principles of physics.
"This doesn't have any controversy in it because they're using a tried-and-true method," said David Ruzic, professor of nuclear and plasma engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "There's no mystery in terms of the physics."
In fusion, light atoms are joined in a high-temperature process that frees large amounts of energy. Fusion produces virtually no air pollution and does not pose the safety and long-term radioactive waste concerns raised by modern nuclear power plants, where heavy uranium atoms are split to create energy in a process known as nuclear fission.
In the UCLA experiment, scientists placed a tiny crystal that can generate a strong electric field into a vacuum chamber filled with deuterium gas, a form of hydrogen. Then the researchers activated the crystal by heating it.
The reaction gave off an isotope of helium along with neutrons, subatomic particles that are released in fusion reactions. The experiment did not, however, produce more energy than was put in, an achievement that would be a breakthrough.
Putterman said future experiments will focus on refining the technique for potential commercial uses, including designing portable neutron generators that could be used for oil-well drilling or scanning luggage and cargo at airports.
*"Observation of nuclear fusion driven by a pyroelectric crystal"
B. Naranjo, J.K. Gimzewski, S. PuttermanNature 434, 1115-1117 (28 Apr 2005) Letters to Editor
7) Physicists look to crystal device for future of fusion
Mark Peplow, London, Nature 434, 1057 (28 April 2005) |http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v434/n7037/full/4341057a.html
AbstractDesktop apparatus yields stream of neutrons.
Seth Putterman is usually on the side of the sceptics when it comes to tabletop fusion. But now he has created a device that may convince researchers to change their minds about the 'f-word'.
Tabletop fusion has been a touchy subject since Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann said in 1989 that they had achieved 'cold fusion' at room temperature. Putterman helped to discredit this claim, as well as more recent reports of 'bubble fusion'.
Now Putterman, a physicist at the University of California, Los Angeles, has turned a tiny crystal into a particle accelerator. When its electric field is focused by a tungsten needle, it fires deuterium ions into a target so fast that the colliding nuclei fuse to create a stream of neutrons.
Putterman is not claiming to have created a source of virtually unlimited energy, because the reaction isn't self-sustaining. But until now, achieving any kind of fusion in the lab has required bulky accelerators with large electricity supplies. Replacing that with a small crystal is revolutionary. "The amazing thing is that the crystal can be used as an accelerator without plugging it in to a power station," says Putterman.
Putterman got the idea when he delivered a lecture on sonoluminescence and energy focusing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Physicist Ahmet Erbil suggested that Putterman should instead consider ferroelectricity.
"Here's someone telling me in front of 100 people that I'm working on the wrong thing," recalls Putterman. But the comment got him started on his fusion reactor. The result is published in this week's Nature (see page 1115).
Will he be able to avoid the controversy that has dogged other fusion claims? "My first reaction when I saw the paper was 'oh no, not another tabletop fusion paper'," says Mike Saltmarsh, an acclaimed neutron hunter who was called in to resolve the dispute over bubble fusion. "But they've built a neat little accelerator. I'm pretty sure no one has been able to generate neutrons in this way before."
Putterman himself isn't worried. "If people think this is a crackpot paper that's just fine," he says. "We're right. Any scientist who says this is too wonderful to believe is welcome to reproduce the experiments."
Related linksRELATED STORIES
8) Zapping Away The Blues
SAMUEL K. MOORE,IEEE Spectrum, http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/WEBONLY/resource/may05/0505ncyber.html
A pacemakerlike device to treat depression takes a giant step forward
This month Cyberonics Inc., in Houston, plans to introduce the first implanted device that can treat a psychiatric illness. The implant, when used in combination with standard therapies, can alleviate the symptoms of chronic or recurrent depression in the 20 percent of patients who do not benefit from Prozac, Paxil, and other drugs.
Some 11 million such treatment-resistant patients live in the developed world, more than 4 million of them in the United States. At press time, Cyberonics was working to meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's conditions for the implant's approval. A nerve stimulator, the implant is already used to treat depression in Canada and the European Union.
About the size of a pocket watch, the nerve stimulator looks and acts much like a cardiac pacemaker, and it is implanted in the same place: under the skin of the chest. However, it sends electric pulses not to the heart but to the left vagus nerve in the neck [see illustration, "Psychiatric System"]. (Typically, it delivers 1- to 2-milliampere, 250-microsecond pulses at 20 to 30 hertz, for 30 seconds every 5 minutes.) The nerve regulates such diverse functions as heart rate and muscle tone in the gut. Two decades ago, scientists discovered that if they stimulated the nerve electrically, it prevented epileptic seizures. In 1997, Cyberonics' device was approved for that purpose. Now 30 000 epileptic patients around the world rely on it. It can be implanted in an outpatient setting.
Early on, some epilepsy patients reported that the device had also improved their mood, adding one more piece of evidence to the longstanding hypothesis of a neurological link between epilepsy and depression. A quarter of the people with epilepsy also have severe depression, according to a recent study. That rate far exceeds the prevalence of depression in people with other chronic conditions.
Phillip C. Jobe at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago proposes that the brain's natural defenses against both seizures and depression are weakened by chemical and structural flaws in neurons that project out from brain structures called the dorsal raphe nucleus and the locus coeruleus and into other areas of the brain. Electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve alters activity in both those areas, although the nerve does not connect directly to either of them.
Six years ago, Cyberonics began depression trials in the United States using the stimulator in the same way as in its epilepsy therapy. Karmen McGuffee, now 34 years old, was among the first patients to receive the implant, in February 1999. She says she had been diagnosed with depression at age 19, hospitalized five times, and given more medications than she could count, to little effect. She often could not concentrate well enough to read or even decide what clothes to wear. One month after McGuffee got the implant, her family began to see an improvement; a few months later, she noticed it, too.
After one year, one of six was free of depression, and 56 percent got some meaningful benefit. Of those who did respond, about 70 percent continued to benefit after two years
"I had no idea that life didn't have to have a dark veil over it all the time," she says. "And that you could actually look forward to next week or next month or next year." The only side effect she notices is a slight waver in her voice when the stimulator is on.
More than 400 people with depression participated in the trials. After one year, one of six was free of depression, and 56 percent got some meaningful benefit. Of those who did respond, about 70 percent continued to benefit after two years. But the FDA was initially skeptical of Cyberonics' results, and last year, in a rare move, it overrode its own advisory panel and rejected the device. But after high-level negotiations and the submission of supplemental data in the fall, the FDA reversed itself.
The agency's nod is, however, hedged with conditions on a number of matters, including labeling, the maintenance of a patient registry, quality of manufacturing, and protocols for a study to determine the optimal dose—that is, the right amount of current. Robert P. ("Skip") Cummins, Cyberonics' CEO, told investors he expects to get final approval in time to introduce the device at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in Atlanta, 21-26 May.
The population of potential users of the device for depression is 10 times as big as the one it already serves for epilepsy, and Cummins predicts that Cyberonics will be the first US $1 billion neuromodulation company. He bases his billion-dollar figure on the assumption that Cyberonics will capture just a small fraction of the new market and that its sales will grow as fast as its epilepsy treatment did in the late 1990s. The company's epilepsy business brings in revenues of $110 million per year and is growing at about 6 percent annually. So far, though, the company has not turned a profit, in part because it has plowed so much money into the depression trials.
Cash from the depression business should help Cyberonics explore other uses for its vagus-nerve stimulator, such as treatment of Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, chronic headache, and bulimia. The company also plans to investigate therapies involving the electrostimulation of other nerves. Its patents for such therapies are good until 2011, and Cummins says he expects that they can be extended to 2015.
Besides "talk therapies" and drugs, the only other treatment for depression that is approved in the United States is electroconvulsive therapy, in which seizures are induced by shocking the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. But the two electric therapies are used differently. Electroconvulsion treats acute, or short, episodes of depression; vagus nerve stimulation seems to work best as a long-term therapy.
Other electrically mediated treatments for depression are under investigation. Neuronetics Inc., in Malvern, Pa., is running trials for a method of inducing current in particular parts of the brain by applying strong, focused magnetic fields through the skull. Others are planting electrodes directly in patients' brains.
Such treatments present a curious twist on getting a prescription refilled. After six years of service, the battery in Karmen McGuffee's implant is nearing the end of its life. "I will definitely get it replaced," she says.
Sent as a public service. Visitwww.integrityresearchinstitute.org for more emerging energy technologies, reports, DVDs, videos, and books to keep you up to date.