388) Energy Amplifier?

Ludwik Kowalski

Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA
March 2, 2010


(A) On February 26, 2010 Bill Collis posted the following message on the private list for CMNS researchers:

Dear Colleagues, A recently published patent

[LINK #1] www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2009125444&IA=IT2008000532&DISPLAY=DESC

describes the use of Piantelli's Ni / H setup.  Reading through the patent I was unable to find any disclosure of any innovatiion other than the obvious safety precautions of shielding the apparatus!  The patent mentions "catalytic action of optional elements", but these are not specified.

The patent applicant is engineer Andrea Rossi, owner of a small company, Eon srl, employing 2-5 people.  In the patent he claims that "A practical embodiment of the inventive apparatus, installed on October 16, 2007, is at present perfectly operating 24 hours per day, and provides an amount of heat sufficient to heat the factory of the Company EON of via Carlo Ragazzi 18, at Bondeno (Province of Ferrara)." (Italy).  This suggests that power output at least tens of kilowatts!

Two other links for information about this invention, posted by others are:

[LINK #2] http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com/files/Rossi-Focardi_paper.pdf

and

[LINK #3] http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com

After downloading the Journal of Nuclear Physics paper of Focardi and Rossi (LINK 2) I was very excited to see a reprint of an article published in a journal. But clicking on the LINK 3 resulted in a disappointment. I became aware that the Journal of Nuclear Physics is the name of a blog. Seeing something in a blog is not the same as seeing it in a refereed paper. Let me summarize the content of what I find by following the links above:

(B) LINK #1

a) I see a list of references, including the ICCF8 report; it is the last reference.

b) They place Ni powder into a tube (temp 150-500C) and introduce hydrogen (pressure 2 -20 bars).

c) They use some unspecified catalyst to produce an isothermic nuclear reaction which “transforms” a Ni nucleus into a Cu nucleus. They produce more energy than used to run the apparatus. But how much more? This is not stated here. They ask: “Why do we believe that Ni turns into copper?” And they answer: Because atomic masses of Cu are smaller than atomic masses of Ni. Coulomb barrier is not even mentioned.

The “boron layers” were probably introduced to absorb slow neutrons. Why are they concerned with slow neutrons?

d) Lead plates are said to transform radiation energy from copper into heat. They say, “The above mentioned coatings are so designed as to restrain all radiation emitted by the exothermal reaction and transform said radiation into thermal energy.”

e) This prompted me to post a message about the coulomb barrier, at the CMNS list. Responding to mit, Bill wrote that three miracles must occur to make the reported results theoretically acceptable; absence of the coulomb barrier is only one of them. The other two are absence of prompt gammas from proton capture and absence of delayed radioactivity from beta decay. He also reminded us that gamma radiation and neutrons were reported by Pintelli, who performed similar experiment s (on much smaller scale) long time ago.

f) Responding to someone, I wrote: “Yes, they did say that samples of fluid, removed from the pipe after experiments, were no more radioactive than their tap water. On the other hand, they said that layers of lead were used to convert radiation (except neutrinos) into heat. That implies a lot of radiation during experiments. I am puzzled.”

g) Another researcher is puzzled by the fact that so little is stated about the patented setup. This is not consistent with what is required; “a patent MUST disclose all what is necessary to build the apparatus for a person skilled in the art.”

h) And here is what Bill wrote about radiation:

“Piantelli & Focardi's previous publications record that low levels of charged particles, neutrons and gamma radiation are emitted from certain Ni / H devices.  Given that the Rossi has scaled up the power by 3 orders of magnitude he probably took the precaution of shielding the neutrons with boron and the gammas with lead.  This precaution implies nothing regarding actual radiation.  If he were to report measuring radiation, he might get caught up in health and safety regulations and his chances of demonstrating his device would be limited. :)

So my guess would be that Rossi and Focardi, like Piantelli before them, have in fact measured penetrating radiations but they are still at a low and safe level.  As I stated earlier, lack of radiation implies that copper may not be the product of major heat producing reactions.  Apart from the 2 stable natural isotopes of copper (63 & 65), all the others are very beta radioactive with short half lives.

No doubt this latest result will stimulate some thought and debate as to the nature of the primary reaction(s) and we can expect new papers will be published on the subject.  I'll guess that whatever explanation becomes accepted, it will not require any new physics, it will substantially confirm most of the experimental observations of the last 20 years, and we'll all be asking ourselves, "Why were we all so blind when the evidence was staring us in the face?".

I'm expecting to present a paper myself on the Ni / H gamma spectrum next September.  It's certainly a very exciting time to be working in the field!”

(C) LINK #2

a) Here I see another indicator that the authors are a rather limited knowledge of nuclear physics. It is their sentence “There exist no natural Fission processes.” They are not aware of spontaneous fission of natural uranium. It was discovered in 1940.

b) The importance of the Coulomb barrier is recognized in this paper. This prompted me to post another short message at the CMNS list. I wrote:

“I see that the Coulomb barrier problem is recognized. Two arguments are presented. The first is the experimental fact; they do see a big difference between the input energy, for example 5.1 kWh, and the output energy, for example, 1006.5 kWh (line 4 in Table 1).  This is a very powerful argument. Experimental results, if reproducible, should prevail, no matter what is expected. The second argument is theoretical and it has to do with screening by electrons, in one way or another. Let us hope that the commercial success, which is equivalent to reproducibility tests, will convince mainstream scientists that CMNS processes are worth studying.

I was surprised to learn that their 2009 experiments were performed "with the assistance of " both the DOE (Department of Energy) and the DOD (department of defense). That is what they say on page 4. Am I the only one surprised of the DOE and DOD involvement? How can this be explained?”

c) So how does their Energy Amplifier work? After clicking the LINK2 read some details.

*) They say : “A practical embodiment of the inventive apparatus, installed on October 16, 2007, is at present perfectly operating 24 hours per day, and provides an amount of heat sufficient to heat the factory of the Company . . . . The electric resistance temperature controlling thermostat has been designed to switch off said electric resistance after 3-4 hours of operation, thereby providing self-supplied system, continuously emitting thermal energy in an amount larger than that initially generated by said electric resistance, which mode of operation is actually achieved by an exothermal reaction.”

*) They say: “The heat generated by the particle decay and nuclear transformations will heat the primary fluid, comprising borated water, thereby said primary fluid, in turn, will exchange heat with the secondary circuit, in turn heated by said primary fluid and conveying the produced thermal energy to desired applications, such as electric power, heating, mechanical energy, and so on.”

*) They also say that “In fact, few grams of nickel and hydrogen would produce an energy amount equivalent to that of thousand oil tons.” And this is “without pollutions, greenhouse effects, or carbon dioxide increases, nuclear and other waste materials.”
They mention catalysts but details are not provided.”


d) Another researcher reminded us about related articles, already published in New Energy Times:

http://www.newenergytimes.com/v2/news/2008/NET29-8dd54geg.shtml#dpnr
http://www.newenergytimes.com/v2/news/2008/NET29-8dd54geg.shtml#pf

(D) LINK #3

a) Most of what one can see here is the paper already shown under the LINK2, except the format is different. Only the very beginning is very different. It shows the pattent number and other formal details. The abstract (description of the apparatus) states that the “niclel tube is filled with nickel powder.” This seems to conflict with the what was in LINK2. There they said that the powered is on nickel surfaces (some kind of coating. The diagram of the apparatus is shown, but the image resolution is so bad that labels are not readable.

(E) APPENDED ON MARCH 3, 2010

a) Responding to X, Bill Collis wrote: “I don't think Sergio Focardi is named as an applicant nor inventor on the Rossi patent.

The evidence for any Nickel to Copper transmutation is skimpy.  Basicly they assume that a nuclear reaction is taking place simply because a chemical reaction cannot explain the power production.  On the other hand a nuclear reaction is not a reasonable explanation either because expected nuclear products are not detected.

The major natural nickel isotope is 58Ni so we would expect radioactive 59Cu as the major product of proton capture.  However no SIMS measurement of any mass 59 product appears to have been made.  No radioactivity was detected.  There were no gammas from positron anihilation or beta decay.

Rossi and Focardi have done a brilliant job at demonstrating an industrial prototype.  They deserve our congratulations.  However the procedures documented in their patent and paper are not original.  They rely on the previous work of Francesco Piantelli.  Piantelli is the real inventor and his achievements were recognised with the award of the famous Truffle Prize at the second Asti Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen / Deuterium Loaded Metals in 1995.

Now that Rossi and Focardi have demonstrated that a compact device can provide tens of kW of practical high temperature heat, it is likely that there will be a flurry of new research and industrial investment.  As scientists, some of us are probably more interested in the underlying science rather than solving engineering problems.  But both are necessary.

As I said during the summing up at ICCF13, Sochi, no government will licence new nuclear technologies unless the science is understood.  (The public has a pathological fear of all things nuclear).  A glittering prize awaits whoever provides that understanding.

My guess is that there will be a scramble of claims and counter-claims as scientists and industrialists attempt to stake out their respective territories and intellectual property - as in 1989.”

b) I hope that Bill’s expectation--a rush of activities in this field--will materialize. If I had a device producing so much excess heat for many days, as described in the paper, I would make regular public demonstrations, for example, each month. Competent scientists, engineers, and government officials would receive personal invitations to attend and to examine the device.

c) Another CMNS researchers, Peter Gluck, referring to an article in Italian press, wrote: “An Italian patent is threatening the energy monopolies? Are the results reported really real and controllable and upscalable? Mamma mia, if YES, that's an breakthrough! “ But then he adds that this can be another hot potato in our controversial field. In other words, I am not the only one who is waiting to be convinced that the claim is valid.

d) Responding to X, Bill Collis posted a table with energies released (Q) after different stable isotopes of nickel fuse with protons.

 1H + 58Ni --> 59Cu(beta+) . . . . . . . . . . .Q=+3.419 MeV
 1H + 60Ni --> 61Cu(beta+) . . . . . . . . . . .Q=+4.801 MeV
 1H + 61Ni --> 62Cu(beta+) . . . . . . . . . . .Q=+5.866 MeV
 1H + 61Ni --> 58Co(beta-) . + 4He . . . . .Q=+0.489 MeV
 1H + 62Ni --> 63Cu(stable) . . . . . . . . . . .Q=+6.122 MeV
 1H + 62Ni --> 59Co(stable) + 4He . . . . . Q=+0.346 MeV
 1H + 64Ni --> 65Cu(stable) . . . . . . . . . . .Q=+7.453 MeV
 1H + 64Ni --> 61Co(beta-) + 4He . . . . . .Q=+0.663 MeV

Energies of protons (1H) are extremely low, even at 500 C specified in the patent. Coulomb barriers for fusion, on the other hand, are very much higher. That is why I remain sceptical. If I had nothing else to do I would calculate the rates at which these nuclear processes take place when excess heat is produced at the rate of 10kW, for example. The rate of gamma emission, associated with the beta decay, could also be estimated; it would probably be very high, confirming that the environment would be lethal, without layers of lead.

The above table is actually a simplified version of what was posted by Bill. He managed to squeeze more information into a short table, as shown below. Note that PV stands for "Parity violation," while numbers between square brackets are spin differences. The g refers to ther ground state.

 1H (100.%)+ 58Ni(68.1%)->  g + 59Cu(beta+)  +3.419 MeV[0]
 1H (100.%)+ 60Ni(26.2%)->  g + 61Cu(beta+)  +4.801 MeV[0]
 1H (100.%)+ 61Ni(1.14%)->  g + 62Cu(beta+)  +5.866 MeV[0]
 1H (100.%)+ 61Ni(1.14%)-> 4He(100.%)+ 58Co(beta-)  +0.489 MeV[0]PV
 1H (100.%)+ 62Ni(3.64%)->  g + 63Cu(69.2%)  +6.122 MeV[0]
 1H (100.%)+ 62Ni(3.64%)-> 4He(100.%)+ 59Co(100.%)  +0.346 MeV[3]PV
 1H (100.%)+ 64Ni(0.93%)->  g + 65Cu(30.8%)  +7.453 MeV[0]
 1H (100.%)+ 64Ni(0.93%)-> 4He(100.%)+ 61Co(beta-)  +0.663 MeV[3]PV


(F) APPENDED ON MARCH 6, 2010

a) A suggestions was made, two days ago, that someone should visit the place where spectacular results are available on demand. The visitor would either confirm or refute what has been reported. I do not think that an outsider would be able to evaluate the setup. What is needed is a blueprint and a detailed protocol. Following the protocol a team a team of competent researchers would try to build the device from scratch and to measure excess heat with their own instruments. Only team members should be allowed to enter the room in which the device is being constructed.

Yes, I am thinking about possibilities of fraud. Fraudulent people, like those who solicit profitable partnership by email, do exist. Precautions of that type would not be necessary if data confirming commercial success (many satisfied homeowners) were available.

b) The Italian newspaper article, that was online yesterday, is no longer there, according to one person. “Strange enough !” he added. Peter Gluck responded: “As editor of a websearch newsletter I am familiar with such unpleasant events. The trouble is with the Stampa Libera site, not with this very paper. You can find it in other places searching for:

"un brevetto intaliano minaccia i monopoli energetici? di Marco Pizzuti

The paper is sensationalist but press is press everywhere. News is information with hypertension, strange hybrid of truth and lies.”


Another researcher added: ”If the thing really works according to the claim it should find its way to a larger audience all by itself.” I agree with this.

c) A German science reporter, Haiko Lietz, wrote: “From my email exchange with Dr. Andrea Rossi I can tell you the following:

- The kW module is operating in the Leonardo facility in the New Hampshire, US, since 2008
- There is no apparatus in Italy
- The group is working on a MW module
- The group is not interested in anything that distracts them from making the MW module operational and safe
- When the MW module is operational there will be a presentation of the plant and a press conference
- They have only published a scientific paper because the patent application required it

Good luck to them and all of us”

In another message Haiko Lietz added “From what he [Dr Rossi] has told me they will not allow anybody into their facility at the moment.” That is just the opposite from what I would do at this stage.

d) Responding to the above, I wrote,

“They say ‘The group is not interested in anything that distracts them from making the MW module operational and safe.’ This is a big mistake. Even a 10 kW unit, which they already have, would be a giant step forward. Waiting for a much more powerful device (perhaps several more years) is probably not motivated by scientific or technological considerations.

Why do I say that they already have a 10 KW device? 

*) Because that is what one would need, at least, to keep a very small factory workable during a winter in New Hampshire.

*) In one of their experiments the total amount of excess heat was reported as 1006.5 kWh. Assuming that amount of thermal energy is produced in 24 hours, one gets the the average power of 1006.5 / 24 = 42 kW. 

*) If the device operated for 4 days, then the average power would be about 10 kW, as estimated by Bill, several days ago. 

*) If the device operated for 40 days, then the average power would be about 1 kW

e) Even 1 kW, if reproducible on demand, would be spectacular. So why do they want to wait for a one thousand times more powerful device?

Can the DOE and the DOD--said to be already aware of spectacular results--speed up the process, in the name of all inhabitants of our planet? ”


f) If all researchers were Americans then the DOE would probably be able to initiate a process by which researchers would be “drafted” to lead a Manhattan-like project. Should I use the term “subpoenaed” instead of “drafted?” But they are Italians, with a laboratory in the US. Why did Rossi decide to set up the shop in the US and not in Italy? Does the Italian government, or the UN, have the power of forcing him to do what seems to be desirable?


(F) APPENDED ON MARCH 6, 2010

a) A suggestions was made, two days ago, that someone should visit the place where spectacular results are available on demand. The visitor would either confirm or refute what has been reported. I do not think that an outsider would be able to evaluate the setup. What is needed is a blueprint and a detailed protocol. Following the protocol a team a team of competent researchers would try to build the device from scratch and to measure excess heat with their own instruments. Only team members should be allowed to enter the room in which the device is being constructed.

Yes, I am thinking about possibilities of fraud. Fraudulent people, like those who solicit profitable partnership by email, do exist. Precautions of that type would not be necessary if data confirming commercial success (many satisfied homeowners) were available.

b) The Italian newspaper article, that was online yesterday, is no longer there, according to one person. “Strange enough !” he added. Peter Gluck responded: “As editor of a websearch newsletter I am familiar with such unpleasant events. The trouble is with the Stampa Libera site, not with this very paper. You can find it in other places searching for:

"un brevetto intaliano minaccia i monopoli energetici? di Marco Pizzuti

The paper is sensationalist but press is press everywhere. News is information with hypertension, strange hybrid of truth and lies.”


Another researcher added: ”If the thing really works according to the claim it should find its way to a larger audience all by itself.” I agree with this.

c)

A German science reporter, Haiko Lietz, responded: “From my email exchange with Dr. Andrea Rossi I can tell you the following:

- The kW module is operating in the Leonardo facility in the New Hampshire, US, since 2008
- There is no apparatus in Italy
- The group is working on a MW module
- The group is not interested in anything that distracts them from making the MW module operational and safe
- When the MW module is operational there will be a presentation of the plant and a press conference
- They have only published a scientific paper because the patent application required it

Good luck to them and all of us”

In another message Haiko Lietz added “From what he [Dr Ross] has told me they will not allow anybody into their facility at the moment.” That is just the opposite from what I would do at this stage.

d) Responding to the above, I wrote,

“They say ‘The group is not interested in anything that distracts them from making the MW module operational and safe.’ This is a big mistake. Even a 10 kW unit, which they already have, would be a giant step forward. Waiting for a much more powerful device (perhaps several more years) is probably not motivated by scientific or technological considerations.

Why do I say that they already have a 10 KW device? 

*) Because that is what one would need, at least, to keep a small factory workable during a winter in New Hampshire.

*) In one of their experiments the total amount of excess heat was reported as 1006.5 kWh. Assuming that amount of thermal energy is produced in 24 hours, one gets the the average power of 1006.5 / 24 = 42 kW. 

*) If the device operated for 4 days, then the average power would be about 10 kW, as estimated by Bill, several days ago. 

*) If the device operated for 40 days, then the average power would be about 1 kW

e) Even 1 kW, if reproducible on demand, would be spectacular. So why do they want to wait for a one thousand times more powerful device?

Can the DOE and the DOD--said to be already aware of spectacular results--speed up the process, in the name of all inhabitants of our planet? ”

f) If all researchers were Americans then the DOE would probably be able to initiate a process by which researchers would be “drafted” to lead a Manhattan-like project. Should I use the term “subpoenaed” instead of “drafted?” But they are Italians, with a laboratory in the US. Why did Rossi decide to set up the shop in the US and not in Italy? Does the Italian government, or the UN, have the power of forcing him to do what seems to be desirable?


G) TO BE ADDED to HTML (3/13/2010)

a) Reflecting on the safety aspect of a MW device, X wrote: “Yes I can understand the safety concerns.  They apparently already have a nuclear device which produces GJ [giga-joules of energy] in a confined space and they have no certainty as to what the underlying reactions are.  Without any guiding theory, control may be somewhat haphazard.  If they have a device which amplifies energy by a factor of 100 or more, what will they do when the multi-MW "reactor" goes critical and requires no external power?  The temperature keeps rising, and melts its way through any container....

I just hope there's a negative temperature coefficient of reaction rate. This is likely as at high temperatures where NiH is unstable.  Even so, as these phenomena are capable of melting nickel, Rossi is taking a very risky step.”


This made me think about what Peter Gluck calls omnipresent “poisons” of NAE (Nuclear Active Environment). In fact, X just reminded us that hydrogen, in Piantelli’s experiments had to be at least 99% pure. A very small amount of deuterium stops the generation of excess heat. Deuterium might be used to play the same role as control rods play in our existing nuclear reactors.

b) Ludwik (posted at CMNS list on 3/11/2010):
. . . My second guess is that several people on this list are able and willing to verify the validity of the claim. I am not one of them. But I would very much like them to form a team.

*) The first task of the team would be to agree on the goal, for example, a device reproducibly generating excess heat of the average rate higher than 200 W, for at least two days. This is three orders of magnitude less than what has been claimed (heating a small factory) by Rossi et al.

*) Once the "confirming result", has been operationally defined, the team would develop a protocol. That is a difficult, but not impossible, task. The protocol, based on what is known,  should be as simple as possible. The estimated costs should be listed. .

*) The protocol should then be posted on our list. That would be the end of the preliminary work.

*) Ideally at least three or four "able and willing" people would then start using the protocol "online." By this I mean performing experiments and sharing all results with us. Feedback from non-participants would probably be useful to those who perform experiments. Working in unison people can be more productive than working separately.

*) Final conclusions would eventually be published somewhere, for example, in JCMNS, at one of our conferences, or at the www.lenr-canr.org website.

c) Y1 responded:
I strongly support your suggestion to organize a group to replicate the Rossi patent and I offer myself to assist. I have a modest laboratory and am well equipped to undertake gas absorption experiments.
 
A private message from Y2 has me concerned about the veracity of this patent and I suggest we closely monitor this situation which may be fraudulent ( in the USA ). Perhaps you should contact Y2 directly. I sincerely hope the patent can lead to success......

d) Y3 wrote:
If I remember correctly one of the experimenters commented that surface preparation was the key to establishing a repeatable result in their experiment. That included preparation of the materials in particular gas environment. I don't remember if it was O or H free. He talked about years of experimenting to get that part understood.

If you are not privy to these details then it would seem to me that the odds of successful replication are quite low. Rather like the initial replication attempts of the F&P experiment where experimenters did something that was similar and considered close enough but as we know know destined to fail.

Perhaps I am being overly critical here, but assuming that all of the relevant information is in the patent is assuming quite a lot.

Ludwik responded:
*) No, you are not being over critical. Your kind of observations could convince the team of tentative researchers to give up, after preliminary discussion. I was thinking about those who participated in earlier discussions of Piantelli's work (mentioned by Bill ). I was also thinking about a possibility that Rossi might be willing to help. A person who wants to be secretive would not publish a paper.

*) I am not competent for this kind of research. The only thing I can do, after reliable 0.2 kW excess heat is produced, is to send some CR-39 and to look for tracks of nuclear particles. But this would be at the ending phase of the project--just a shot in the dark.

Y4 wrote (providing a link to R. M. Santilli’s paper--see below):
The experiment should be easier to reproduce than many - but there are strong warnings about radiation levels. [ See

http://www.i-b-r.org/NeutronSynthesisNCA-I.pdf

The author of this paper, Rugerro Maria Santili, informs us that “this his paper was rejected by Physics Letters, Il Nuovo Cimento and Physical Review Letters with ”reviews” solely based on theoretical theologies that can only be qualified as being scientifically pathetic.” ]

Ludwik responded:
The abstract of the Santelli's article 

http://www.i-b-r.org/NeutronSynthesisNCA-I.pdf


is worth thinking about. (The above link was posted by Andrew, this morning.)


Abstract

We report measurements, necessarily preliminary due to their novelty, toward the laboratory synthesis of the neutron from protons and electrons, in the hope that they are not judged via theoretical conjectures, but subjected instead to independent re-runs for their verification or denial, said process being requested by possible new clean energies so much needed by our increasing environmental problems.


NOTE:

This paper was rejected by Physics Letters, Il Nuovo Cimento and Physical Review Letters with ”reviews” solely based on theoretical theologies that can only be qualified as being scientifically pathetic.

Information about very impressive Santelli's scientific background is at:


http://www.i-b-r.org/Ruggero-Maria-Santilli.htm


Most of us probably agree with the author that experimental results should be verified in laboratories; they should not be rejected on the basis of conflicts with accepted theories. He claims that his papers were rejected on that basis. This probably becomes obvious after reading the letters of rejections.

Here is a private message I just sent to Dr. Santilli:

Dear Dr. Santilli,

This message is prompted by your three-times-rejected 2008 article. In the abstract you wrote: “. . . “ Rejecting experimental results conflicting with accepted theories is a disease that might kill science. I anticipate writing a short note on that subject; your case can be used as illustration. That is why I would very much like to know how the editors of the three mainstream journals explain rejections of your manuscript.

Ideally, I would like to quote their rejections. But that is a delicate matter; I would probably need permissions to quote etc. Equally useful would be your descriptions of the contents of these letters, provided I can quote your "personal e-mail information."

Ludwik Kowalski
Professor Emeritus, Ph.D.