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   PastimesE-Cat Device: Low Energy Nuclear Reaction(LENR) Devices

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To: FUBHO who wrote (193)4/27/2015 6:01:26 AM
   of 227
Transcript of Tom Darden’s Speech on LENR at ICCF19: ‘We’ve Reached a Tipping point’ [Updated transcription with New Material]

Posted on April 14, 2015 by Frank Acland105 Comments

UPDATE: Many thanks to the Martin Fleischmann Memorial project for releasing this new video recording of Tom Darden’s talk yesterday. It has been very helpful in cleaning up the transcript I made yesterday. Plus there was a whole section that I missed from the videos I was using — see the second to the last paragraph below which adds some siginificant new information. I would encourage people to re-read this, to get a more precise understanding of what Tom Darden’s message. One important clarification, I think, is when he talks about large companies. This was not so clear to me yesterday.

What he said was: “We engage with the large companies and we all need them to achieve ubiquity for your ideas. We want to work in a collaborative way with many more large companies, and we want to help others do that.” To me that indicates that there are deals and agreements being made between IH and large companies.

Very many thanks to Cold Fusion Dog Bob, for so quickly uploading videos of Tom Darden’s speech today at ICCF19 in Padua Italy. (See the videos on the ICCF live thread).This is the first time that we have seen and heard the founder of Industrial Heat, who acquired rights to Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat technology. In this talk he spoke about his motivation, history and his hopes and goals for LENR technology in general. I have done a quick transcription of the videos and decided to put the transcript in a separate post here. The room he was speaking in had a lot of echo, so some things were somewhat indistinct, but I think I got most of what he said.

Tom Darden Speaking at ICCF19 — Courtesy MFMPWhat an honor it is to be here today to address those of you who have done so much to change the way we address our energy needs and our environmental needs, and to change science. I’m the founder of Cherokee, and I’ve been asked to tell you who we are and why we created Industrial Heat as a funding source for LENR inventors. Unike many of you, I’m not a scientist, I’m an entrepreneur, but we share the common bond of innovation. As Peter Drucker wrote,. Entrepreneurship sees the major task in society as doing something different, rather than doing something better than what is already being done. Doing better than what is already being done is like making a coal power plant a little bit more efficient — you are working to make them unneccessary. Thank God there are some, like many of you, who have the courage to disrupt. In 1921, experts determined that the limits of flight had been reached already. In 1932 it was determined that nuclear fission was unlikely ever to be feasible. And in the 1950’s, when I was born, it was widely believed that pollution was a necessary part of economic development. Paradigm shifts do not come easily, especially in science. As Thomas Kuhn wrote in The Nature of Scientific Revolutions, usually they are born out of the crises of our time. If you are on the leading edge of a paradigm shift, you will be attacked by your peers, and you will be attacked by the institutions of the status quo. We feel called to upset two core business paradigms. First, the traditional ethos of environmentalism is that we should strive to be ‘less bad.’ But as America’s leading environmental philosopher William McDonough points out in his book Cradle to Cradle, being ‘less bad’ is not being good, it’s still being bad, just a little bit less so. If you are driving a car towards a cliff, it doesn’t help you to slow down — you need to turn around and go in a different direction.

We need solutions that don’t create pollution in the first place, not marginal solutions that only reduce pollution. Second, let’s challenge the assumption of scarcity. We actually live in a world of abundance, at least with respect to energy. Sadly, due to society’s ineffectiveness to date, the world struggles with energy scarcity, at least in some regions. Why do we burn from petroleum or coal, which unlocks only a tiny fraction of the true energy inside? when we do this we release almost all the mass of coal into the air as stack emissions. We scatter this mass around the planet. Carbon and heavy metals can be highly beneficial — they’re not necessarily pollutants — but they are if they’re in the wrong place. C02 in the air is a pollutant; carbon in a tree is not. Heavy metals can be highly beneficial unless they’re in the wrong place like farmlands in China, or in our oceans.

We need an entirely new paradigm. This hopeful vision was the genesis of our work at Industrial Heat. When I entered school, the United States was in the midst of an environmental crisis. Most people have forgotten about this, or perhaps never even new of it, but when I was young, periodically industrial rivers in our cities would burst into flame due to the pollution in them, and sometimes in our worst polluted cities, people drove with their headlights on during the day. Our air pollution was as bad as air pollution in China in some cities. This was America when I began to think of my place in the world. I was worried when I saw that photo, the first photo of our living planet from space. Many of you will remember that — we had never seen the earth, which is ironic because we live on it. We could see that it was a living planet. I felt compelled to do something about it. Later at university I wrote my master’s thesis on acid rain, air pollution from coal plants. My first job was at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul, where I worked on pollution, converting coal which was used for home heating and for cooking. I saw pollution throughout East Asia. I returned, and went to Yale, to become an environmental lawyer, but in the US, practicing law, some people think it’s somewhat worrying, and I fell in that category, and thankfully I got a job at Bain and Co. working in steel plants, on energy efficiency. In 1984 I converted brick plants from burning fossil fuels into burning biogas which was being dumped into landfills where it turned into methane gas . . .

We became mostly carbon neutral, except for our electricity use, and I obsessed on finding ways that we could make carbon free electricity. I was never successful. In 1985, I discovered soil pollution at on of our brick plant sites, from decades of petroleum use. I found some professors at Virginia Tech University, which is not far away, professors who dealt with soil bacteria, so we began to grow bacteria which would consume pollution in the ground. I funded their business via systems technology and we created Cherokee Environmental to clean up contaminated soil all over the east coast and over the years we’ve cleaned up 15 million tons of dirt. That would be enough, that if you stacked it all up under a golf course, it would raise the level of that golf course about 400 feet or 130 meters. We bagan to buy contaminated property to clean up. We raised over $2 billion for this, buying and remediating land. We’ve owned 550 properties in the US, Canada and Europe, including a refinery site not too far from here (Trieste).

Some people think Cherokee is a real estate company because it owns a lot of property, it does own a lot of property, but our property work is driven by our pollution focus. I saw that we could affect pollution by working with smart scientists at Virginia Tech. We don’t internally have the capacity for scientific innovation — we’re business people, not scientists — but we realized we could find scientists who had ideas. So we branched out. We kept doing this with other professors at other universities. Between 1985 and the present we’ve started or invested in over 100 venture or startup companies. These addressed water or air pollution, or energy grid management; almost none of these were our own ideas, these were others’ ideas. My primary goal is to reduce pollution so for years we’ve been going abroad to transfer technology because that’s where most of the pollution is. I go to China regularly to advise officials and business leaders on methods and processes for addressing pollution. They’ve declared 19 percent of their land too contaminated for agricultural use. This is mostly due to air pollution — air pollution dropping contaminants on the land. Obviously this is a huge social issue. I began to do this in the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, and we’ve also explored similar paths in the Middle East, India, and Indonesia, focusing on areas of most population. In order to address the worlds’s environmental problems, the solutions must be ubiquitious — they cannot exist only in Europe or the United States.

In the early part of this decade Cherokee had entered a relatively stable part of its history. The next generation of leaders was being prepared to carry our values and processes forward, and existing projects were operating smoothly. My children were in their 20s and 30s and I was spending time with them and with my wife for the first time in nearly 35 years. I had rebuilt my experimental airplane, and I was installing a parachute in it, looking forward to using it more (the airplane).

One day I received a random call about cold fusion. I didn’t give it much credence because I remembered in detail the disclosure about Fleischmann and Pons years before, and I believed the subject was dead. Then thirty days later I received another unrelated inquiry from a different group, so we began to do some research, and then thirty days later, I received a call from another group. We had invested in 100 startup companies and I had never gotten an inquiry about fusion or about LENR: three within 30 day intervals. We funded two of these groups, and then later, as many of you know, we licensed Andrea Rossi’s technology. Since then we’ve made grants to university groups exploring research in this space, and we continue to fund additional teams. We envision an ecosystem of collaboration with great scientists who work together to develop the many systems and technologies society will need to shift away from polluting fossil fuels. Our goal is to bring non-polluting energy to those who need it most, especially in the developing world. We also don’t believe that there is one solution, we believe there are many solutions to these problems. To implement this vision, we determined that a business-based approach would be the most effective strategy; we looked at many others.

I know that some of you have felt that business are, and have been adversarial to your work. I understand that. But recall that commerce has long proven to be primary agent of change in every technical endeavor. We engage with the large companies and we all need them to achieve ubiquity for your ideas. We want to work in a collaborative way with many more large companies, and we want to help others do that. We started Industrial Heat because we believed that LENR technology was worth pursuing, even if we were unsuccessful. We were willing to be wrong, we were willing to invest time and resources to see if this might be an area of useful research in our quest to eliminate pollution. At the time we were not especially optimistic, but the global benefits were compelling.

We’ve had some success, and we’re expanding our work. We’re collaborating with and investing alongside fellow researchers and developers. Scientists compete to be the first, and they count on open sharing of what has been discovered to advance the process. They want to be able to be able to safely share their work in an environment where why they do what they do, truly matters, and where it aligns with what they value. They want to know that their work will be funded and their ideas will be merit tested, and advanced as merited, and they will be rewarded fairly. We’re privileged to be creating that kind of environment at Industrial Heat. We believe we may be at last on the verge of a new paradigm shift — one that will create new opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship to advance the cause of abundance in the face of scarcity, and the continuing calls to simply be less bad.

When I look around this room, I’m filled with two strong sentiments: one of them warm and positive, the other is cold and sad. You’ve given your lives to your research; notwithstanding great challenges you’ve made a great difference to the world. Thank you for your years of hard work and progress. Every day I think of you and I am inspired. At the same time, I would like to say how truly sorry I am that society has attacked you for the last three decades. The treatment of Fleischmann and Pons, and the treatment of any of you by mainstream institutions and the media will go down in history as one more example of scientific infanticide, where entrenched interests kill off their divergent progeny. . . . this seems to be a dark component of human nature, and I note the irony of it — we are in Padova, Galileo’s city. But notwithstanding this longsuffering, you remain faithful to your work. Thank you for your intense focus and contributions in the face of challenges. In the face of challenges we must carry on with good faith, good will, good intentions and honesty, driven by the better angels of our nature, not impaired or constrained by the behavior of others. We also need not be constrained by our own minds; ironically the expert who proclaimed that flight had achieved its limits in 1921 was Orville Wright, the inventor of the airpline and the expert who declared that fission was not likely, that of course was Einstein. We must be ever vigilant to keep our own minds open always. Your time is come: the frenzy of fear gripping China and India reporting air pollution and water pollution creating an enormous demand for new ideas, less constrained by the past. Second, the increasing reports of success by many of you continue to offset the presumptions of skeptics. But it does not benefit any of us nor does it benefit society, if we achieve success but lose our battles. Let’s encourage one another to put the needs of society and the needs of other first as we contemplate how to achieve victory.

You have the ability to give the world a healing gift. Many also will have the opportunity to benefit from that. I’m a businessman and I believe business is usually the most effective means of achieving social or environment reform. As well as for implementing technologies — business is usually the most effective means of achieving social or environmental reform — I believe that. But we must always think first about the needs of others, about the needs of society, the needs of our planet. I do not want success if it comes at someone else’s detriment. My goal is to give your science away, to get out broadly and equitably to the world, to see you receive honor and rewards for your efforts.

Indeed provocative as it may sound, we’ve reached a tipping point. The potential of your work is so great. The signs of progress are now so significant. This is our simple manifesto: to pass on a world that is better than the one we received. Abundant non-polluting energy, widely available can make the greatest contribution to this goal. That’s a manifesto pledge for us to keep. It’s a promise to you, to those who went before you, to our children, and their children’s children. Thank you.

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To: FUBHO who wrote (194)5/6/2015 10:09:15 AM
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The physics behind Fleischmann-Pons experiment

May 5, 2015 by vessynik

Here follows my translation into English of the very clear explanation of the physics behind the Fleischmann-Pons experiment, given in 2010 to a wide audience by the Italian theoretical physicist Emilio Del Giudice, in one of his popular conferences:

“The famous article by Fleischmann and Pons published in the ‘ Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry‘ was very well written, so Giuliano Preparata and I thought we had figured out what was the phenomenon, and we felt that such explanation fit very well with our ideas about ‘coherence‘, which at the time Giuliano was developing.

The original paper by Fleischmann and Pons published on the J. Electroanal. Chem.

So, within a month and a half, we wrote a paper in which we proposed a possible explanation of the phenomenon. It should be said that the deuterium nuclei are formed by a proton and a neutron, so two deuterium nuclei consists of two protons and two neutrons, which would correspond to a helium nucleus if they were held together.

Given that, because of the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity the energy of an helium nucleus is a bit lower than the sum of the energies of the two deuterium nuclei, the fusion process leads not to a stable helium nucleus, but to a helium nucleus that I would say ‘hot’, i.e. that must get rid of energy. How can it get rid of this excess energy?

One option is usually studied by nuclear physicists, namely that the two nuclei come together on their own, without connections with others, in the empty space. There are no third bodies to which immediately transfer the excess energy. Due to momentum conservation, the only way that the core has to dissipate this energy is to break.

An example of outcome from a D-D fusion in the empty space.

In practice, from the core is ejected a proton or a neutron, or, with a probability of 1/1,000,000, a gamma photon, namely a ‘packet’ of electromagnetic energy. And this is the conventional nuclear fusion, or ‘hot fusion‘, so called because the nuclei are electrically charged, so they repel and a big effort is required to bring them closer to one another.

Simple calculations show that, to achieve the kinetic energies necessary to keep off nuclei enough to produce a nuclear fusion, it takes temperatures of millions of degrees, which we find only in the stars or in a nuclear bomb. For example, the hydrogen bomb, or H-bomb, is composed of a nuclear fission bomb which acts as a detonator, developing the temperatures required to ignite the nuclear fusion of deuterium.

To realize a hot fusion reactor, on the other hand, is a real challenge, because there are no materia ls that can withstand temperatures of millions of degrees, and to prevent the nuclei from touching the walls with the aid of powerful magnetic fields is an extremely difficult enterprise. Therefore, the hot fusion is certainly the energy of the future, in the sense that it will never have a present!

Using a metaphor, we can say that the problem of merging the two nuclei is in a way similar to the meeting of two candidate lovers that, if they can to overcome the hurdle of their bad character, would lead to an overwhelming passion. The just described road of the hot fusion, in this metaphor, corresponds to a ‘rape’.

There may be, however, another way to nuclear fusion, and it is the ‘cold fusion’, i.e. a fusion that does not require the high temperatures necessary for the hot fusion. In practice, instead of increasing the kinetic energy of the nuclei,we decrease the potential energy. In my metaphor, it is the path of ‘seduction’. But since the two nuclei repel, they cannot follow this route by themselves: a third body is required.

So if, instead of being in the empty space, we are in the matter – where there are not only positive charges but also negative charges, the electrons – there may find clouds of electrons that facilitate the fusion of two deuterium nuclei favoring their approach, a bit like the ‘old aunt’ who, once allowed two young people meet and fall in love, then disappear from the scene.

So, we could understand why, if the deuterium nuclei were placed not in the empty space but inside a metal – where there is an abundance of electronsthat can perform the function of the old aunt – there is a density thresholdsuch that when it is exceeded deuterium nuclei spontaneously begin to merger, as found by Fleischmann and Pons”.

EMILIO DEL GIUDICE (1940-2014) was an Italian physicist who has worked in the field of condensed matter. Theoretical physicist and professor at the University of Naples and pioneer of string theory in the early Seventies, later became known for his work with Giuliano Preparata at the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). It is also known for its excellent qualities of popularizer, in particular on quantum mechanics.

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To: FUBHO who wrote (195)5/6/2015 10:50:39 AM
From: DMaA
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Do you know what he means by "empty space"?

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To: DMaA who wrote (196)5/6/2015 12:06:29 PM
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I would read the paper, but I probably would not understand it...

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From: FUBHO8/18/2015 3:14:24 AM
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This is an interesting comment written by Jean-Francois Geneste, Vice-President Chief Scientist of Airbus Group Innovations on his LinkedIn page yesterday.

13. Aug. 2015
I made a major theoretical breakthrough in the field of “energy creation”. This will be presented at the 11th workshop on anomalies in hydrogen loaded metals which will be held next October in Airbus, Toulouse. What it basically consists in is a global theorization of energy creation which includes all known means up today, that they be chemical, nuclear fission or nuclear fusion. Against all expectations, it is proved that there is potential room for cold fusion or so in a breakthrough approach of building a “burner” and making a (new) fuel. As a consequence, even if the burden of proof remains to cold fusionists to experimentally prove, at least, they are right, on a theoretical point of view, I completely revert the burden of proof to orthodox physicists who now will have to prove the non-existence of cold fusion, if they can, since they have been claiming it for years if not decades. The only way my theory leaves them, is to find a counter example to our theory. I sincerely think this will be very hard, the physical foundations being quite obvious and demanding less than orthodox physics itself. I hope this theoretical work will allow a more objective approach concerning cold fusion in particular and will encourage young physicists to invest in the field.

This should make the upcoming conference at Airbus in Toulouse, France, all the more interesting. We should note that this is a ‘theoretical breakthrough’, not an announcement about a product or experiment, but still, to have a scientist from a major industrial organization like Airbus Group publicly go on the record in favor of cold fusion is a very unusual occurrence, and it indicates that there could be considerable R&D already going on at the aerospace company.

Something else to look forward to in the world of LENR!

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From: FUBHO8/31/2015 10:45:25 AM
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Japanese Government Will Fund LENR Research Again

Aug. 24, 2015 – By Steven B. Krivit –

For the first time in two decades, the Japanese government has issued a request for proposals for low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research, according to information recently obtained by New Energy Times.

The request for proposals was published by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a national research and development agency.

The request for proposals, "Energy and the Environment New Leading Technology Program," was released in July. The line item for the LENR research is on PDF Page 16, item D4. The item translates to "Metal which becomes new energy source and analysis and control of the technology of heat reactions between metals and hydrogen."

New Energy Times spoke with Aya Iwasuji, at the Silicon Valley office of NEDO, and exchanged several e-mails with her about the program, which is also funding 10 other areas of new-energy research.

"The budget for this program this year is ¥3,410,000,000 [$27 million]," Iwasuji wrote.

In response to a request for more details about item D4, Iwasuji referred New Energy Times to NEDO’s Japan headquarters. A NEDO representative responded on Aug. 13.

"Unfortunately," the representative wrote, "we can’t give you any information about item D4 other than the title that you see at the Web site. We decided the title based on information from another organization which has agreed to non-disclosure. We appreciate your understanding."

The request for proposals had been at the Japanese NEDO site at this location. Between the time we made our inquiry and the time we published this article, the file was removed. New Energy Timespreserved a copy here.

In a response to an e-mail from New Energy Times, long-time LENR researcher Tadahiko Mizuno confirmed that item D4 is for LENRs. Some Japanese LENR researchers, according to Mizuno, are filing a joint application to NEDO, with the assistance of Akito Takahashi, a former professor at Osaka University.

Takahashi has also been affiliated with Technova, a member of the Toyota Motor Corp. family of businesses. Takahashi did not respond to an e-mail from New Energy Times.

In June 2014, according to the application guidelines, the Japanese government announced the program objectives in "Japan Revitalization Strategy — Japan’s Challenge for the Future." Since the tsunami that caused the failures at the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in 2011, the Japanese government has been under pressure to provide its citizens with alternative energy sources.

NEDO is part of the Japanese National Research and Development Agency. NEDO’s objectives are to "solve energy problems through integrated management of technology development from the discovery of technology seeds to the promotion of mid- to long-term projects and support for practical application."

Major Japanese corporations, including Toyota Central Research Labs and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, have been active in LENR research for more than a decade. In 1994, the Japanese government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, sponsored an earlier research program called the New Hydrogen Energy Agency. It ran for several years at a cost of several million dollars. It terminated after researchers reported lackluster results.

In 2013, Toyota published a confirmation of Mitsubishi’s LENR transmutation results in the peer-reviewed Japanese Journal of Applied Physics.

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From: FUBHO10/15/2015 11:36:58 AM
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Swedish scientists claim LENR explanation break-through

Rickard Lundin, photo: Torbjörn Lövgren, IRF.

Essentially no new physics but a little-known physical effect describing matter’s interaction with electromagnetic fields — ponderomotive Miller forces — would explain energy release and isotopic changes in LENR. This is what Rickard Lundin and Hans Lidgren, two top level Swedish scientists, claim, describing their theory in a paper called Nuclear Spallation and Neutron Capture Induced by Ponderomotive Wave Forcing ( full length paper here) that will be presented on Friday, October 16, at the 11th International Workshop on Anomalies in ?Hydrogen Loaded Metals, hosted by Airbus in Toulouse, France.

The basic idea is that ponderomotive forces at resonance frequencies shake out neutrons from elements such as deuterium and lithium, and that these neutrons are then captured by e.g. nickel, resulting in energy release by well-known physical laws.

Hans Lidgren

Lundin and Lidgren have made a brief successful experiment and they have verified the model through calculations against results from well-known LENR experiments such as the Lugano report with Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat. Earlier 2015 they also filed a patent application describing the process.

“We did an experiment on our own but we stopped it. We realised that we were sitting on a neutron source and that’s not something you should do in your basement,” Rickard Lundin, Professor of Space Physics at Swedish Institute of Space Physics and member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA)*, told me.

The scientists are now preparing for a well-planned experiment with all necessary safety measures, ideally with a transparent reactor body since the effect according to the scientists releases a lot of light.

Ponderomotive forces derive from the electrical part of oscillating electromagnetic fields, and act on all particles, bodies or plasmas. They are all characterized by a transfer of electromagnetic energy and momentum to charged or non-charged particles. One of them, the gradient force, works independently of the sign of charges.

Initially the phenomenon was thought to describe the “heaviness” of light — the ability of light to have a “pushing” force on matter. What Lundin and Lidgren have investigated and published in 2010 is that the phenomenon has a resonance frequency, specific for each particle or cluster of particles, and that the force increases close to the resonance frequency, being repulsive on the low-frequency side but attractive on the other.

“The forces are not intuitively predictable, and a bit strange, for example making hot bodies attract matter,” Lundin says.

Lidgren, M Sc in Physics Engineering, and co-founder of the oil exploration company Rex International Holding, started to investigate the phenomenon when he discovered strange characteristics of satellite orbits while analysing satellite altimeter surveys to detect potential hydrocarbon reservoirs.

The light from the sun was expected to have a pushing force on satellites, but Lidgren discovered the contrary. After a pendulum experiment in vacuum, showing the same effect, Lidgren and Lundin published their paper “ On the Attraction of Matter by the Ponderomotive Miller Force“.

Lundin was a colleague in the Academy of Sciences (KVA)* with late Prof. Sven Kullander, previous head of the KVA Energy Committee. Prof. Kullander became closely involved in investigations performed by Swedish researchers’ on Andrea Rossi’s devices. Lundin’s interest started with the publication of the Lugano report.

“When I saw the Lugano report and the isotopic shifts it all became so obvious,” Lundin told me.

He explained that extracting neutrons from the nuclei of deuterium and/or lithium requires energy, and that the trick is to do this in the most efficient way.

“Our method is more precise, using the lowest possible amount of energy [through resonance] to shake loose the neutrons. Others like Rossi are creating turbulence through square waves [in the electrical current feeding the heat resistors controlling the reaction — square waves containing a large number of harmonics and thus many different frequencies], and they get a turbulent wave spectrum risking that some frequencies become a little too high,” Lundin explained to me.

After getting this insight, Lundin still kept a low profile since the topic is so infected and also because of a conflictual situation in the Academy of Sciences ever since Kullander openly declared his interest in LENR and Rossi’s technology.

“I think the critic is based on fear since this research has been so stigmatised before. If there is something scientists fear it is to become like pariahs. It takes a lot of courage to go against established views but I think I belong to those who have learned to take criticism,” Lundin told me.

Lundin and Lidgren submitted their paper to the open preprint website and to the peer-reviewed journal Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, PPCF, but both declined to even let reviewers have a look at it, the latter arguing “that the content of the article is not within the scope of the journal”. even blocked Lundin from submitting further papers during July and August.

“I have quite a good track record with many publications and this is the first time something like this happens to me. It’s rude not to offer ordinary review. To me it’s important to get comments and criticism from research colleagues who can say ‘that cannot be correct’ in order to improve the paper,” Lundin said.

As for the excuse from PPCF, Lundin commented:

“The word plasma is used at least 50 times in the text, and is central to the spallation process as we describe it. However it is not ‘controlled fusion’ in the classical sense — fusion of two elements/isotopes transmuted into a new element (e.g. deuterium + tritium => helium + one neutron). But surely it can still be described as a fusion. Neutron capture means that a free neutron is merged with a nucleus/element which is thereby transmuted to a heavier isotope of the same element (for example 58Ni + 2n -> 60Ni + energy). The problem is probably the terror that has developed over the years for touching the term cold fusion (and LENR)

It was Elisabeth Rachlew, Emeritus Professor and hot fusion and plasma researcher at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, and also a member of KVA* and the successor of Prof. Kullander as head of the KVA Energy Committee, who advised Lundin and Lidgren to submit the paper to PPCF. Rachlew also did a review of the paper.

“I thought the paper was very interesting, and I was amazed when it wasn’t even sent to reviewers. The answer from PPCF should have been sent immediately, but instead it took months. I guess they were anguished,” Rachlew told me.

The advantage with the theory by Lundin and Lidgren, apart from that it fits with experimental data and observations, is that you don’t need to overcome the Coulomb Barrier — the repulsive force between the positive charged nuclei in the traditional concept of fusion, which is one reason why many scientists think that cold fusion is impossible.

“I also thought so — you can’t overcome the Coulomb Barrier [at low temperatures]. So fusing nuclei with protons won’t work. You may perhaps initiate a very weak process but not reach a level with significant energy release,” Lundin told me.

Neutrons, which have no charge, can easily be captured by an atomic nucleus without this problem. A few other LENR theories are also based on neutrons but what this model adds is a solid explanation of where the neutrons come from, which is often lacking in other models.

“Our model describes quite a natural process. It’s probably one of the main sources for maintaining a high temperature inside Earth, since there’s high pressure, high temperature and good availability of neutron producing elements [through this process] with basically unlimited resources of deuterium,” Lundin said.

In the conclusions of the report, the authors write:

“This report demonstrates, theoretically and experimentally, that nuclear energy production may be accommodated in rather small units, operating at modest temperatures (˜900-2000°C), and produce sustainable power output in the range 1 – 10 kW – at minute fuel consumption (few grams per year). (…) The magnitude of the power output, delivered from a miniscule amount of fuel, demonstrates that it is a nuclear process with great potentials. Properly utilized the process has potentials of becoming an unlimited and sustainable energy source, producing essentially no long-lived radioactive waste.”

And in the acknowledgements:

” (…) We are particularly thankful to Prof. Sven Kullander, who promoted a nuclear process for the ‘Rossi experiment’ up to the bitter end (deceased 2014). The diligent work by Prof. Kullander in the Energy Committee at the Royal Academy of Sciences, and his follow-ups of the Rossi-experiment, was critical for this work.”

– – – – – –

P.S. The person who first told me about this research was another member of the Academy of Sciences*, member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Science (IVA) and former VP of R&D at the multinational Swedish-Swiss power, robotics and automation corporation ABB, Prof. Harry Frank — just to give you an idea of at what level the interest for LENR has reached in Sweden, while the science editors of the national Swedish Radio, SR, and a few outspoken scientists insist that it’s all fraud, or at least that nothing has ever happened in the field, and that nothing probably ever will. SR was even rewarded for this.

– – – – – –

* Committees of the Academy of Sciences, KVA, act as selection boards for the Nobel Prizes in Physics and Chemistry.

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From: FUBHO11/17/2015 2:16:14 AM
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From: FUBHO12/4/2015 8:03:40 AM
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Independent Technical Validation Report Completed On Brillouin Energy’s LENR HHT™ Reactor Core Systems (Press Release)

Posted on December 1, 2015 by Frank Acland39 Comments
Thanks to David Nygren for posting about this on Facebook. The following press release has been published on Brillouin Energy’s website here:

BERKELEY, CA, December 1, 2015 – Brillouin Energy Corp., developer of renewable energy technologies capable of producing commercially useful amounts of thermal energy (heat) based on controlled low energy nuclear reactions (“LENR”), announced today that its Hydrogen Hot Tube™ (HHT™) Boiler System reactor core modules, were the subject of a recently completed independent Technical Validation Report.

The 35-page Report was prepared as technical due diligence by Michael Halem, a third party technical investigator. The Technical Validation Report summarizes the investigation into Brillouin Energy’s HHT™ single tube core prototypes at Brillouin’s Berkeley laboratory and at its research partner SRI International. The results are drawn from a series of calibrated tests of both systems. Mr. Halem personally designed tests on the HHT™ systems and then directed the technical staff of Brillouin Energy and SRI to execute the test plans. The tests, in which 95 channels of data were recorded and then investigated, included multiple technical changes to validate the thermodynamic results.

In all cases, the results were consistent: the data demonstrate with very high confidence that the Brillouin Energy HHT™ prototype repeatedly produced lab-scale excess heat from LENR.

“I was given full access to the experiments,” said Mr. Halem. “I was able to confirm, with a high degree of confidence, excess energy output above chemical and likely due to a nuclear reaction.” The Technical Validation Report affirms that Brillouin Energy’s HHT™ technology “is scalable by assembling multiple HHT™ tubes” in a reactor system. The Report was peer reviewed by Mr. Halem’s technical colleague, Dr. Antoine Guillemin who holds his Masters in Nuclear Physics and Ph.D. in Building Physics. Brillouin Energy’s Technical Validation Report is available upon request to qualified interested parties under a customary non-disclosure agreement.

For further information, please contact:

Grant Draper +1-415-745-0254

Michael Halem +1-914-407-4520

About Brillouin Energy

Brillouin Energy is a clean-technology company based in Berkeley, California, which is developing, in collaboration with Stanford Research International (SRI), an ultra-clean, low-cost, renewable energy technology that is capable of producing commercially useful amounts of thermal energy from LENR. Brillouin Energy’s technology includes a proprietary method of electrical stimulation of nickel metal conductors using its unique Q-Pulse™ control system. The process stimulates the system to generate LENR reactions, which generates excess heat. The excess heat produced is a product of hydrogen and a nickel metal lattice. Other than the heat output, there are no (zero) toxic or CO2 emissions of any kind.

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From: FUBHO12/22/2015 4:18:49 PM
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The cold fusion horizon

Is cold fusion truly impossible, or is it just that no respectable scientist can risk their reputation working on it?

by Huw Price

Demonstration being carried out of the E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) cold fusion system, designed by Italian inventor Andrea Rossi. Photo by Massimo Brega/SPL

A few years ago, a physicist friend of mine made a joke on Facebook about the laws of physics being broken in Italy. He had two pieces of news in mind. One was a claim by a team at the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus (OPERA) in Gran Sasso, who said they’d discovered superluminal neutrinos. The other concerned Andrea Rossi, an engineer from Bologna, who claimed to have a cold fusion reactor producing commercially useful amounts of heat.

Why were these claims so improbable? The neutrinos challenged a fundamental principle of Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which says that nothing can travel faster than light. Meanwhile cold fusion (or LENR, for ‘low-energy nuclear reaction’) is the controversial idea that nuclear reactions similar to those in the Sun could, under certain conditions, also occur close to room temperature.

The latter was popularised in 1989 by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, who claimed to have found evidence that such processes could take place in palladium loaded with deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen). A few other physicists, including the late Sergio Focardi at Bologna, claimed similar effects with nickel and ordinary hydrogen. But most were highly skeptical, and the field subsequently gained, as Wikipedia puts it, ‘a reputation as pathological science’.

It turned out that my physicist friend and I disagreed about which of these unlikely claims was most credible. He thought it was the neutrinos, because the work had been done by respectable scientists rather than a lone engineer with a somewhat chequered past. I favoured Rossi, on grounds of the physics. Superluminal neutrinos would overturn a fundamental tenet of relativity, but all Rossi needed was a previously unnoticed channel to a reservoir of energy whose existence is not in doubt. We know that huge amounts of energy are locked up in metastable nuclear configurations, trapped like water behind a dam. There’s no known way to get useful access to it at low temperatures. But – so far as I knew – there was no ‘watertight’ argument that such methods were impossible.

My friend agreed with me about the physics. (So has every other physicist I’ve asked about it since.) But he still put more weight on the sociological factors – reputation, as it were. So we agreed to bet a dinner on the issue. My friend would pay if Rossi turned out to have something genuine, and I would pay if the neutrinos came up trumps. We’d split the bill if, as then seemed highly likely, both claims turned out to be false.

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t soon became clear that I wasn’t going to lose. The neutrinos were scratched from the race, when it became apparent that someone on OPERA’s team of respectable scientists had failed to tighten an optical lead correctly.

Rossi, however, has been going from strength to strength. While it is fair to say that the jury is still out, there has been a lot of good news for my hopes of a free dinner in the past couple of years. There were two reports (in 2013 and 2014) on tests of Rossi’s device by teams of Swedish and Italian physicists whose scientific credentials are not in doubt, and who had access to one of his devices for extended periods (a month for the second test). Both reports claimed levels of excess heat far beyond anything explicable in chemical terms, in the testers’ view. (The second report also claimed isotopic shifts in the composition of the fuel.) Since then, there have been several reports of duplications by experimenters in Russia and China, guided by details in the 2014 report.

More recently, Rossi was granted a US patent for one of his devices, previously refused on the grounds that insufficient evidence had been provided that the technique worked as claimed. There are credible reports that a 1MW version of his device, producing many times the energy that it consumes, has been on trial in an industrial plant in North Carolina for months, with good results so far. And Rossi’s US backer and licensee, Tom Darden – who has a long track record of investment in pollution-reducing industries – has been increasingly willing to speak out in support of the LENR technology field. (Another investor, the UK-based Woodford Funds, reports that it conducted ‘a rigorous due-diligence process that has taken two and half years’.)

Finally, very recently, there’s a paper by two senior Swedish physicists, Rickard Lundin and Hans Lidgren, proposing a mechanism for Rossi’s results, inspired in part by the second of two test reports mentioned above. Lundin and Lidgren say that the ‘experimental results by Rossi and co-workers and their E-Cat reactor provide the best experimental verification’ of the process they propose.

As I say, I don’t claim that this evidence is conclusive, even collectively. It’s still conceivable that there is fraud involved, as many skeptics have claimed; or some large and persistent measurement error. Yet these alternatives are becoming increasingly unlikely. Rossi is not even the only person claiming commercially relevant results from LENR. Another prominent example is Robert Godes, of the California-based Brillouin Energy.

As several people have noticed, a new clean source of energy would be really, really useful right about now

You can see why I’ve been salivating at the thought of my dinner. And it is not only my stomach that has been increasingly preoccupied with this fascinating story. I’m a philosopher of science, and my brain has been finding it engrossing, too.

Imagine that someone had a working hot-fusion reactor in Florida – assembled, as Rossi’s 1MW device is reported to be, in a couple of shipping containers, and producing several hundred kilowatts of excess power, month after month, in apparent safety. That would be huge news. As several people have noticed, a new clean source of energy would be really, really useful right about now.

But if the potential news is this big, why haven’t most of you heard about Rossi, or Godes, or any of the other people who have been working in the area (for many years, in some cases)? This is where, from a philosopher of science’s point of view, things get interesting.

s a question about sociology, the answer is obvious. Cold fusion is dismissed as pseudoscience, the kind of thing that respectable scientists and science journalists simply don’t talk about (unless to remind us of its disgrace). As a recent Fortune piece puts it, the Fleischmann and Pons experiment ‘was eventually debunked and since then the term cold fusion has become almost synonymous with scientific chicanery’. In this case, the author of the article is blithely reproducing the orthodox view, even in the lead-in to his interview with Darden – who tells him a completely different story, and has certainly put his money where his mouth is.

Ever since 1989, in fact, the whole subject has been largely off-limits in mainstream scientific circles. Authors who do put their head above the parapet are ignored or rebuked. Most recently, Lundin and Lidgren reported that they had submitted their paper to the journal Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, but that the editors declined to have it reviewed; and that even the non-reviewed preprint archive,, refused to accept it.

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So, as a matter of sociology, it is easy to see why Rossi gets little serious attention; why an interview with Darden associates him with scientific chicanery; and why, I hope, some of you are having doubts about me for writing on the subject in a way that indicates that I am prepared to consider it seriously. (If so, hold that attitude. I want to explain why I take it to reflect a pathology in our present version of the scientific method. My task will be easier if you are still suffering from the symptoms.)

Sociology is one thing, but rational explanation another. It is very hard to extract from this history any satisfactory justification for ignoring recent work on LENR. After all, the standard line is that the rejection of cold fusion in 1989 turned on the failure to replicate the claims of Fleischmann and Pons. Yet if that were the real reason, then the rejection would have to be provisional. Failure to replicate couldn’t possibly be more than provisional – empirical science is a fallible business, as any good scientist would acknowledge. In that case, well-performed experiments claiming to overturn the failure to replicate would certainly be of great interest.

What if the failure to replicate wasn’t crucial after all? What if we already knew, on theoretical grounds alone, that cold fusion was impossible? But this would make a nonsense of the fuss over the failure to reproduce Fleischmann and Pons’ findings. And in any case, it is simply not true. As I said at the beginning, what physicists actually say (in my experience) is that although LENR is highly unlikely, we cannot say that it is impossible. We know that the energy is in there, after all.

‘If there is something scientists fear, it is to become like pariahs’

No doubt one could find some physicists who would claim it was impossible. But they might like to recall the case of the great nuclear physicist Lord Rutherford, who claimed in 1933 that ‘anyone who expects a source of power from transformation of… atoms is talking moonshine’ – only days before Leo Szilard, prompted by newspaper reports of Rutherford’s remarks, figured out the principles of the chain reaction that makes nuclear fission useable as an energy source, peaceful or otherwise.

This is not to deny that there is truth in the principle popularised by Carl Sagan, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. We should certainly be very cautious about such surprising claims, unless and until we amass a great deal of evidence. But this is not a good reason for ignoring such evidence in the first place, or refusing to contemplate the possibility that it might exist. (As Godes said recently: ‘It is sad that such people say that science should be driven by data and results, but at the same time refuse to look at the actual results.’)

Again, there’s a sociological explanation why few people are willing to look at the evidence. They put their reputations at risk by doing so. Cold fusion is tainted, and the taint is contagious – anyone seen to take it seriously risks contamination. So the subject is stuck in a place that is largely inaccessible to reason – a reputation trap, we might call it. People outside the trap won’t go near it, for fear of falling in. ‘If there is something scientists fear, it is to become like pariahs,’ as Lundin puts it. People inside the trap are already regarded as disreputable, an attitude that trumps any efforts that they might make to argue their way out, by reason and evidence.

utsiders might be surprised to learn how well-populated the trap actually is, in the case of cold fusion and LENR. The field never entirely went away, nor vanished from the laboratories of respected institutions. (Rossi’s own background is not in these laboratories, but he acknowledges that his methods owe much to those who are, or were – especially to the late Sergio Focardi, one of the pioneers of the field.) To anyone willing to listen, the community will say that they have amassed a great deal of evidence of excess heat, not explicable in chemical terms, and of various markers of nuclear processes. Some, including a team at one of Italy’s leading research centres, say that they have many replications of the Fleischmann and Pons results.

Again, the explanation for ignoring these claims cannot be that other attempts failed 25 years ago. That makes no sense at all. Rather, it’s the reputation trap. The results are ignored because they concern cold fusion, which we ‘know’ to be pseudoscience – we know it because attempts to replicate these experiments failed 25 years ago! The reasoning is still entirely circular, but the reputation trap gives its conclusion a convincing mask of respectability. That’s how the trap works.

In a case like this, there is very little cost to a false positive. But there may be a huge cost to a false negative

Fifty years ago, Thomas Kuhn taught us that this is the usual way for science to deal with paradigm-threatening anomalies. The borders of dominant paradigms are often protected by reputation traps, which deter all but the most reckless or brilliant critics. If LENR were an ordinary piece of science (or proposed science), the challenge posed by Rossi and others would promise fascinating spectator sport for philosophers and historians of science – a Kuhnian revolution waiting to happen, perhaps, with threats to the stability of the reputation trap now clearly in view. We could take our seats on the sidelines and wait to see whether walls fall – whether distinguished skeptics end up with egg on their faces. ‘Pleasant is it to behold great encounters of warfare arrayed over the plains, with no part of yours in the peril,’ as Lucretius put it.

This alone would be enough to explain why I’ve been finding Rossi’s apparent progress so stimulating. But there’s more, much more. None of us, not even philosophers, are mere spectators in this case. We all have skin in the game, and parts, indeed a planet, quite seriously in peril. We are like a thirsty town, desperate for a new water supply. What we drink now is slowly killing us. We know that there’s an abundant supply of clean, cheap water, trapped behind the dam. The problem is to find a way to tap it. A couple of engineers thought that they had found a way 25 years ago, but they couldn’t make it work reliably, and the profession turned against them. Since then, there’s been a big reputation cost to any engineer who takes up the issue.

Put this way, it is easy to see an argument that we’ve been shooting ourselves in the foot. In a case like this, there is very little cost to a false positive – to investing some time and money in an avenue that in the end turns out to go nowhere. But there may be a huge cost to a false negative. If Rossi, Godes, Lundin, Lidgren and others do turn out to have something useful – something that can make some useful contribution to meeting our desperate need for clean, cheap energy – we will have wasted a generation of progress. What we should have done instead is to have engineered the exact opposite of a reputation trap – perhaps an X Prize-like reward for the first reliable replication of the Fleischmann and Pons results, above some commercial bar.

t last I can explain what I meant earlier, when I asked you to hold on to the thought that I must be a bit flaky myself, if that was your reaction to my willingness to take cold fusion seriously. If you do think that – at least, if you think it without having studied the evidence for yourself – then your reaction is a symptom of the reputation trap. But now I’ve suggested that the trap itself might be an irrational pathology, in a special case such as this, in which the cost of a false negative is very high. If I’m right, then in a more rational world, we would fix our scientific norms to escape it. In a more rational world, you wouldn’t think I’m flaky.

I don’t need to deny that your reaction is an appropriate one, by the standards of science as we currently practice it, or that those standards work pretty well in general. Reputation traps have a useful purpose in the Kuhnian picture. They help to maintain the stability important to what Kuhn called normal science – the ordinary, useful kind of science when paradigms are not under threat. But this is compatible with the claim that they can be harmful in special cases (of which cold fusion might be one) – and that we could do better if we were better at identifying those cases in advance.

I suspect it’s too late to dismantle the trap for LENR – the horse might already be in the process of bolting. If Rossi and Godes et al are actually on to something, then the field is going to be mainstream soon anyway. But we could try to learn from our mistakes. There might be other potential cases with a similar payoff structure (a high cost for false negatives, with a low cost for false positives). I suspect there are some in the area of emerging extreme risks, another field in which I have some interest.

I’ve met scientists employed as technology forecasters for a very large enterprise, who were frustrated at their inability to persuade their organisation to list LENR as a technology of possible strategic interest, even with low probability. Once again, it was the reputation trap at work. This attitude could be disastrous in other cases, if the ideas stuck in the trap happened to be the key to addressing some potentially catastrophic risk. (Indeed, as my physicist friend rightly points out, it might be disastrous in the case of LENR itself, if it turns out to generate its own extreme risks.)

Dardens attitude displays the cautious open-mindedness that has been lacking in reactions to the field for most of its history

There are big issues here. Would it be possible to avoid these counterproductive cases of the reputation trap without erring too far in the other direction – without opening the floodgates, so to speak? I’m not sure, but I think it is important to put the question on the table. If LENR does develop in the direction I now think likely, we might be able to salvage something useful from mistakes in this case.

I’ll close with some words from Darden, from a speech at ICCF-19, the international meeting of the LENR community held in Padua, Italy this April. (A full transcript is accessible here.) If the field is indeed in the process of digging itself out of the reputation trap, then Darden deserves much of the credit. Either way, his attitude displays the kind of cautious open-mindedness that has been so lacking in reactions to the field for most of its history.

Darden describes how he came to invest in LENR. Until quite recently, he says, he shared the conventional view that ‘the subject was dead’. But several independent enquiries about LENR within a matter of weeks convinced him that there was something worth investigating:

We believed LENR technology was worth pursuing, even if we turn out to be unsuccessful ultimately. We were willing to invest time and resources to see if this might be an area of useful research in our quest to eliminate pollution. At the time, we were not especially optimistic, but the global benefits were compelling.

He reports that things have been going very well. ‘We’ve had some success, and we’re expanding our work… and believe that we may be, at last, on the verge of a new paradigm shift.’ Finally, he expresses his appreciation to his audience, the LENR community themselves, and recalls another controversial piece of Italian science:

I would like to say how truly sorry I am that society has attacked you for the last three decades. The treatment of Fleischmann and Pons, and the treatment of many of you, by mainstream institutions and the media will go down in history as one more example of scientific infanticide, where entrenched interests kill off their divergent progeny. This seems to be a dark component of human nature, and I note the irony of it – we are in Padova, Galileo’s home.

It would be easy to overstate the analogy between mainstream institutions and the Inquisition, but it isn’t entirely empty. If we refuse to acknowledge the possibility that existing scientific institutions are not working as well as they might, we do something to reinforce it. If the reputation trap makes it impossible to question the role of the reputation trap, then the Cardinals are winning.

I am grateful for comments from Martin Rees, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Adrian Kent, Tim Lewens, Shahar Avin, Ken Wharton and Andrew Briggs. This piece was made possible in part through the support of a grant on Managing Extreme Technological Risk, from the Templeton World Charity Foundation. The opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of TWCF.

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Topics: Energy, Resources, & Sustainability Philosophy of Science Physics

21 December, 2015
Should scientists risk their reputations by working on controversial questions such as cold fusion?

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