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404) Cold Fusion Is Not Like Hot Fusion
April 4, 2012
This website contains other cold fusion items.
As most of visitors to this Cold Fusion web site know, I occasionally report voices from a private discussion list for CF researchers. Let me
do this again. Instead of revealing names To begin with I will refer to authors as M1, M2, M3, etc., where M stands for Message.
Later I will ask authors for names or initial, to be used, if they prefer. My contributions will be identified by LK.
M1 (in another thread) :
... I would instead suggest the following procedure:
1. Imagine a mechanism.
2. Is that mechanism internally consistent?
3. Is that mechanism compatible with what is generally known in physics and chemistry?
4. Does some kind of special structure (Nuclear Active Environment--NAE) exist, where this mechanism can produce detectable amount of heat and helium? (As a first
approximation ignore transmutation, energetic particles and other less prominent features.)
If the answer to any of the questions 2-4 is negative, return to step 1) and start again; otherwise proceed further.
That sequence makes sense. Fleischmann and Pons ( F&P) had experimental data and the mechanism they imagined was the D-D fusion. They
even reported emission of neutrons, probably thinking about the He3+n decays of compound nuclei. But presence of neutrons was not confirmed
by later investigators. Premature interpretations of experimental data backfired. Referring to this episode, in the article I am preparing,
Fleischmann and Pons made a devastating mistake in 1989. They announced experimental facts and they speculated about interpretation.
They had no evidence that the claimed excess heat was due to a nuclear reaction. The only thing they knew was that it could not be attributed
to a known chemical reaction.
Suppose that the experimental facts had been described without any interpretation, and the phenomenon had been named anomalous
electrolysis. Such a report would not have led to a press conference; it would have been made in the form of an ordinary peer
review publication. Only electrochemists would have been aware of the claim; they would have tried to either confirm or refute it.
The issue of how to explain excess heat would have been addressed later, after the reported phenomenon were confirmed. But that
is not what happened. Instead of focusing on experimental data most critics focused on the disagreements with the theory. Interpretational
mistakes were quickly recognized and this contributed to the premature skepticism toward their experimental data.
I agree Ludwik, this would have been the better approach, except for one fact - the involvement of Steven Jones. Jones was actually studying
hot fusion but both he and F-P imagined they both were seeing the same process. In fact, F-P were not seeing hot fusion but an entirely new
process. But, they both wanted credit. This confusion between hot fusion and LENR, which continues even today, is the source of all
Ludwik, I would rephrase this statement a little to be consistent with my experience (and recollection). In 1989 there was probably nobody
better qualified in the world by intellect and experience than Martin Fleischmann to know that what he and Stan had seen was not "cold hot
fusion". He knew this more certainly than any man. The idea that deuterium involved itself in some form of fusion process to
produce what we now call the Fleischmann Pons Heat Effect (FPHE) was certainly worthy of speculation and the original paper used the word fusion
with a question mark (Fusion?) which was later stripped off. Neutrons were confirmed multiply by later investigators (Menlove,
Wolf, Gozzi, Scaramuzzi, many others) but at levels between 8 and 10 orders of magnitude down on expected hot fusion rates. So it is
not "cold hot fusion" - but nobody serious ever believed that it was. This is a straw man argument used maliciously to discredit
F&P and the field.
The only "faults" I lay at Martin's door are:
1) His implication that repeating the effect would be "easy".
2) His exaggerated faith in the talent of the average electrochemist and belief that a well trained physicist could somehow pick up this skill.
3) His belief that his mode of calorimetry would/should be easily understandable by all.
I am not sure what you mean by "Premature interpretations of experimental data". Without theory all our discussion is premature,
but we have that right and so did Martin - particularly since he had done a number of experiments. I agree with Ed that the prematurity had
a lot to do with the U of U vs. BYU rivalry. I do not agree, however, that anything Martin and Stan did or did not do could
possibly have changed the reaction of the more vocal and hostile parts of the physics community. If we were to wipe away everything in the
last 23 years except the specialized knowledge of those few of us who have done actual experiments or calculation, and then hire the
"best" PR firm to help us release this discovery to the public, the outcome would be essentially the same today. It is simply
1) I have no doubt that Fleischmann was one of the best electochemists in the world. This is confirmed by several formal recognitions he
2) Mike wrote "the original paper used the word fusion with a question mark (Fusion?) which was later stripped off. That does not convince
me that M@F were originally not thinking in terms of the compound nuclei resulting from fusion of individual D ions. On the other hand,
Fleischmann's paper at ICCF10 (last paragraph on page 1) does refer to "many-body effects." Hot fusion, on the other hand, is known
to be a two-body reaction. In 2003 he disassociates himself with the incorrect interpretation, used by Huizenga, and other opponents.
3) What other old evidence do we have (beside the later-removed question mark) that F&P were already thinking about the "many-body
effects" in 1989? I have no reason to think that what he said in 2003, about their thinking in 1989, was a lie. I am asking about an
old document in which the term "many-body effects," or something similar, was used.
4) In their 1989 position I would be loudly emphasizing that the CMNS heat has nothing in common with simple two-body collisions of individual
ions, if that were my way of thinking.
Not necessary. This was obvious - to everyone - even to me after I spent a few minutes thinking about it and considering the conservation
laws. A hideous misconception/misdirection lingers to this day because "fusion" means something very specific to one (tiny)
group of people (but the very group whose territory was/is threatened) and something quite general to others. This misconception has been
used cynically by some - and carelessly by others. I only speak up because it is time to stop feeding the trolls.
1) Rejections of experimental data on the basis of a disagreements with models developed to explain something else makes no sense. But it became
very common since 1989. Unfortunately, Fleischmann did not ridicule this in 1989, as far as I know.
2) It would probably be useful to have a documented description of the "cold-fision-is-not hot fusion" idea, between 1989 and 2003,
when Fleischmann used the term "many body effects." Was this term, or something equivalent used before 2003, either by F&P or
anybody else. Please share what you know. I would be happy to write a web page (at my CF web site) on this important topic. Feel free
to contribute anonymously, if you prefer. But be specific (proving references, dates and quotations).
4) Rejections of experimental data on the basis of a disagreements with models developed to explain something else makes no sense. But it
became very common since 1989. Unfortunately, Fleischmann did not ridicule this in 1989, as far as I know.
5) It would probably be useful to have a documented description of the "cold-fision-is-not hot fusion" idea, between 1989 and 2003,
when Fleischmann used the term "many body effects." Was this term, or something equivalent used before 2003, either by F&P or
anyone else. Please share what you know. I would be happy to write a web page (at my CF web site) on this important topic. Feel free to
contribute anonymously, if you prefer. But be specific, providing references, dates and quotations. Even old e-mail messages are worth sharing.
I am addressing all of you, not only M4. Future generations will appreciate our desire to record the CF events correctly.
I have been reading all the papers describing the field over the years and have reached a basic conclusion. Hot fusion and LENR are two
entirely different processes having different mechanisms and NAE. A basic problem present early in the field's history, and even now, is
that the detected radiation is not properly assigned to these two different processes, which can occur at the same time under some conditions.
Jones used the conditions expected to produce hot fusion by fractofusion and detected neutrons having an energy typical of hot fusion.
F-P tried and failed to detect neutrons as did dozens of efforts that followed. Neutrons are not produced by LENR and when they are,
tritium appears to be produced as well. I will make a paper available soon that explains these conclusions very clearly. Meanwhile, you
need to consider the possibility that people have been seeing two entirely different kinds of nuclear reactions, one related to hot fusion
and the other related to LENR. To be clear, LENR involves fusion, but that is caused by a different mechanism.
Well stated M5! Trying to fit into your adversary's pidgeon hole was counterproductive.
On Apr 5, 2012, at 11:02 AM, M5 wrote: I have been reading all the papers describing the field over the years and have
reached a basic conclusion.
Hot fusion and LENR are two entirely different processes having different mechanisms and NAE.
THAT IS UNDENIABLE, CONSIDERING WHAT HAS BEEN REPORTED
A basic problem present early in the field's history, and even now, is that the detected radiation is not properly
assigned to these two different processes, which can occur at the same time under some conditions.
I AGREE; THE EARLY HISTORY IS NOT CLEAR TO MANY. THAT IS WHY IT SHOULD BE BETTER DOCUMENTED.
1) M4 WROTE: THAT THE CF=HF "MISCONCEPTION HAS BEEN USED CYNICALLY BY SOME --AND CARELESSLY BY OTHERS." WHO WERE CYNICS AND WHAT EVIDENCE
DO WE HAVE THAT THEY DELIBERATELY SPREAD THE CONFUSION? A REASONABLE SUSPICION BASED ON THE CONFLICT OF INTERESTS IS NOT SUFFICIENT.
2) ANOTHER PART OF OUR HISTORY, WORTH DOCUMENTING--I AM THINKING ABOUT ED'S NEXT ARTICLE--HAS TO DO WITH THE MULTI-BODY MECHANISM. WHAT
ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE DO WE HAVE THAT FLEISCHMANN'S PATH TOWARD THE 1989 EXPERIMENTS WAS VIA THEORETICAL QED CONSIDERATIONS, AS HE CLAIMED
IN 2003? WHEN DID HE FIRST SAY THAT CF IS A MULTI-BODY PROCESS AND NOT THE TWO-BODY PROCESS, SIMILAR TO HF?
3) MY EXAMINATION OF THE TWO DOE INVESTIGATIONS OF THE CMNS FIELD, IN:
(L. Kowalski, " Cold Fusion: Reality or Fiction," Progress in Physics, April 2012, L17-L19.
SEE ONLINE: http://www.ptep-online.com/index_files/2012/PP-29-L2.PDF)
CAN ALSO BE ENRICHED BY THOSE WHO WERE PERSONALLY INVOLVED. MY EMPHASIS WAS ON DISAGREEMENTS WITH THE SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY OF DEALING WITH
CLAIMS. BUT I SUSPECT CYNICISM AS WELL, ESPECIALLY DURING THE SECOND INVESTIGATION, WHEN MORE EVIDENCE WAS AVAILABLE.
Jones used the conditions expected to produce hot fusion by fractofusion and detected neutrons having an energy typical of
hot fusion. F-P tried and failed to detect neutrons as did dozens of efforts that followed. Neutrons are not produced by LENR and when they
are, tritium appears to be produced as well. I will make a paper available soon that explains these conclusions very clearly. Meanwhile,
you need to consider the possibility that people have been seeing two entirely different kinds of nuclear reactions, one related to
hot fusion and the other related to LENR. To be clear, LENR involves fusion, but that is caused by a different mechanism.
THAT IS NOW CLEAR TO MOST OF US. BUT IT WAS NOT CLEAR TO ME IN 1989. F&P EMPHASIZED VERY HIGH PRESSURE OF IONS INSIDE PALLADIUM. THAT IS WHY
I WAS THINKING ABOUT HIGH PRESSURE PLASMA (INSTEAD CONDENSED MATTER). [I DID NOT REALISE THAT THE TERM "PRESSURE" WAS USED METAPHORICALLY.
THEY HAD IN MIND THE "EQUIVALENT PRESSURE," NEEDED TO REDUCE THE AVERAGE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE IONS TO ABOUT 1.5*10-8 CM. WERE I THE
ONLY ONE TO BE CONFUSED BY THE TERM PRESSURE? IN ANY CASE, OUR EVOLUTION TOWARD THE IDEA OF MORE THAN TWO DIFFERENT MECHANISMS
(VIA PUBLISHED PAPERS) IS ALSO WORTH DOCUMENTING.
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax:
From 1994, Take a look at
Chechin, V.A., et al., Critical review of theoretical models for anomalous effects in deuterated metals. Int. J. Theo. Phys., 1994.
33: p. 617. Coauthors: Tsarev, V. A., Rabinowitz, M., Kim, Y. E.
This quote from Fleischmann and Pons 1989 paper still seems insightful. I have added the bold.
"It is known that at potentials negative to + 50 mV on the reversible hydrogen scale, the lattice is in the beta-phase,
hydrogen is in the form of protons (as shown by the migration in an electric field) and is highly mobile (D = 10-7
cm2 s-1 for the ?-phase at 300 K).
The overall reaction path of D2 evolution consists of steps (i) and (ii)  so that the chemical potential of
dissolved D+ is normally determined by the relative rates of these two steps. The establishment of negative
overpotentials on the outgoing interface of palladium membrane electrodes for hydrogen discharge at the ingoing
interface  [determined by the balance of all the steps (i) to (iv)] demonstrates that the chemical potential can be
raised to high values. Our own experiments with palladium diffusion tubes indicate that values as high as 0.8 eV can
be achieved readily  (values as high as 2 eV may be achievable). The astronomical magnitude of this value can be
appreciated readily: attempts to attain this level via the compression of D2 [step (iv)] would require pressures in
excess of 10E26 atm. In spite of this high compression, D2 is not formed; i.e. the s-character of the electron density
around the nuclei is very low and the electrons form part of the band structure of the overall system. A feature which
is of special interest and which prompted the present investigation, is the very high H/D separation factor for
absorbed hydrogen and deuterium (see Figs. 4 and 6 of ref. 2). This can be explained only if the H+ and D+ in the
lattice behave as classical oscillators (possibly as delocalised species) i.e. they must be in very shallow potential
wells. In view of the very high compression and mobility of the dissolved species there must therefore be a
significant number of close collisions and one can pose the question: would nuclear fusion of D+ such as"
Fleischmann, M., S. Pons, and M. Hawkins, Electrochemically induced nuclear fusion of deuterium. J. Electroanal.
Chem., 1989. 261: p. 301 and errata in Vol. 263.
Thank you, M8; the link to the entire paper is:
Note that reactions V and VI describe traditional thermonuclear collisions resulting in D+D fusion. Were F&P aware that inclusion of
these two reactions (on the opening page of their first publication) was an open invitation for a very confusing situation--thinking
that CF is like HF? I do not think that they were aware of this. The main source of confusion was their paper, in my opinion.
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax:
At 10:02 AM 4/5/2012, Edmund Storms wrote:
I have been reading all the papers describing the field over
the years and have reached a basic conclusion. Hot fusion and LENR are two entirely
different processes having different mechanisms and NAE.
This is highly likely, as far as it goes. I'll point out that there is no particular reason to believe that there is only one LENR,
and some good reasons to suspect that there is more than one. Trying to stuff PdD and NiH and biological transmutation results into
the same small box may be a fool's errand.
We don't know yet how any of these work, and we have only hints, proto-theories, ideas. Few serious confirmations. Helium was predicted
by Preparata. So that's one for Preparata. Helium is confirmed as the primary ash, there isn't any serious competitor. That was major
progress, as Huizenga noted in 1993 or so. What do we have since then? Not a whole lot!
A basic problem present early in the field's history, and even now,
is that the detected radiation is not properly assigned to these two different processes,
which can occur at the same time under some conditions.
I think this might not be clear. If we have cold fusion, releasing, say, 23.8 MeV/He-4 in some way, and even if the main reaction
produces no detectable radiation, it might "leak" a bit. As a speculative example, suppose BECs in which Be-8 are created by fusion
are the normal mechanism, and suppose that these ordinarily release their energy, relatively slowly, through a series of phonon
emissions (I think that's more or less Hagelstein's idea, or similar to it, but I haven't studied it). What if something disturbs
that BEC while it's doing its business? We might get some hot alphas, which can then cause secondary reactions, including hot fusion.
Suppose the BEC bumps into a nucleus before decaying? We might see some transmutations, Z+2. (The BEC is presumably neutral, so
there is no Coulomb barrier.)
My point here is not the specific idea of a possible theory, but only that if fusion is happening, there could be some consequences
resulting in hot fusion. Cold fusion can cause hot fusion, to some degree.
Jones used the conditions expected to produce hot fusion
by fractofusion and detected neutrons having an energy typical of hot
fusion. F-P tried and failed to detect neutrons as did dozens of
efforts that followed. Neutrons are not produced by LENR and when they
are, tritium appears to be produced as well.
I think this is correct, if we add the word "normally" before "not produced." If neutrons are produced, they are produced at levels
below even that of tritium, which is produced at levels way, way below helium. Helium has been well-correlated with excess heat.
Neutrons and tritium, largely not.
F-P did report low levels of neutrons, a famous error. Because of that error, they mentioned the hot fusion reactions in their
initial paper. That confused the hell out of everyone. They did not help matters by posing their work as an answer to the question
of whether or not classical fusion reactions could occur in the dense environment of PdD. So their comments, "It is evident that
reactions (v) and (vi) are only a small part of the overall reaction scheme and that other nuclear processes must be involved,"
and "that reactions (v) and (vi) are only a small part of the overall reaction scheme and that the bulk of the energy release is
due to an hitherto unknown nuclear process or processes (presumably again due to deuterons)," were largely ignored.
That was the error of Pons and Fleischmann. The error of the general physics community was in rejecting standing experimental
evidence based on only theoretical arguments. It does appear that Pons and Fleischmann did their work as an attempt to confirm
standing theory, based on approximations, that fusion could not occur even in an environment like PdD, so what was being
rejected was experimental evidence from work designed to test the very theory that was used to reject it.
That was, indeed, a "scientific fiasco," transcending the mere errors of a few individuals.
I will make a paper available soon that explains these conclusions very clearly.
Meanwhile, you need to consider the possibility that people have been
seeing two entirely different kinds of nuclear reactions, one related
to hot fusion and the other related to LENR. To be clear, LENR
involves fusion, but that is caused by a different mechanism.
This is, by far, the most likely state of affairs. There is still some remote possibility that classical hot fusion is taking place in
PdD, and that an entirely unanticipated mechanism is producing a different set of results. This requires the famous "triple miracle,"
though. I don't think so. While it's possible we have two miracles here, more likely there is just one. I.e., something that was not
anticipated. It's extremely difficult to investigate the FPHE, in terms of trying to understand what's going on. It's hidden from our
view, at least some of it. With plasma physics, it's all naked. I fully understand why physicists might not want to get their hands
dirty with this!
An electrochemical cell is a true mess, the cathode attracts all kinds of gorp. The FPHE was erratic and would appear and disappear
mysteriously, in the very same cell, under apparently the same conditions. However, physicists, from this, assumed that the effect
must be near the noise. That was a failure to pay attention. It was not near the noise, it was far above it. Once you saw this
fabulous beast, you became a believer. It wasn't a vague ghost spotted at night under poor conditions. But few exercised themselves
to be able to see it. As soon as a few replication failures were reported, most gave up.
And we don't like to think that we failed at something. I'm learning to recognize that admission of failure is the key to progress,
in fact.... Those who never fail aren't trying hard enough....
Thank you for the link, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
I did not know that Huizenga commented on CF in the second edition of his book. Let me preserve what you reported and commented about.
“Huizenga, John R., [in his book] “Cold fusion, scientific fiasco of the century,” 2003, 2nd edition, [wrote]:
The invited paper by Miles, Bush, et al, made the most spectacular claim at the  conference. It was reported that,
The amount of helium (4He) detected correlated approximately with the amount of excess heat and was within an order of magnitude of the
theoretical estimate of helium production based upon fusion of deuterium to for 4He.
This claim has been published elsewhere [cited, J. Electroanal. Chem] and I have commented on it previously (see p.136 and 212). If it
were true that 4He was produced from room-temperature fusion in amounts nearly commensurate with excess heat, one of the
great puzzles of cold fusion would be solved! However, as is the case with so many cold fusion claims, this one is unsubstantiated
and conflicts with other well-established experimental findings. [p. 243-244]
Old comment by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax: Huizenga's "well-established experimental findings" conflict, not with a finding of helium, but with the assumption
that a heat/helium correlation must result from deuterium-deuterium fusion. Another, previously unknown, process that produces
helium from deuterium would not conflict with those findings. Huizenga notes the "failure" of Miles to detect 3He: --Abd 23:20, 26
September 2010 (UTC)
"hence, it is highly likely that the 4He is a contaminant from the atmosphere. In addition, if 4He is produced in
the amount claimed, it must be accompanied by large intensities (in fact lethal doses) of the associated 23.8 MeV gamma ray. Only
when the 23.8 MeV gamma rays are observed on-line, can one be sure that the 4He is produced by fusion and is not an experimental
artifact. Finally, the 23.8 MeV gamma ray transfers essentially all the d+d -> 4He + gamma reaction energy outside the cell and
destroys the relationship between the helium production and the excess heat based on the assumption that all the reaction energy
stays inside the cell. More recently, Miles, Bush et al reported that they can produce neither excess power nor 4He from their
... The editor of the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry thought the new claim was so exciting and so important that he accepted
the author's manuscript without peer review. It is inconceivable that such an editorial decision could be made at this late date in
the cold fusion saga. Due to the many ways that one can get spurious results on 4He in the gas phase, one would have expected the
authors to have at least obtained confirmatory evidence that they had observed the 23.8 MeV gamma ray from the reaction D+D ->
4He + gamma ray. This they did not do! Instead, the authors chose to repeat the mistake of most cold fusion proponents.
After obtaining fragmentary evidence, the authors went to the press before performing the necessary checks and obtaining
confirmatory experimental evidence. The validity of the Bush et al. claim requires three miracles: namely the fusion-rate,
branching-ratio and concealed nuclear products miracles!
Present Comment by LK: This is a very good 1993 argument that the CMNS fusion, associated with production of helium, cannot possibly be
the same reaction as the corresponding thermonuclear collision of two ions. If it were then the 23.8 MeV energy would not appear as heat
released in the electrolytic cell. Huizenga used the argument to conclude that CF does not exist, rather than “cold fusion is not like
hot fusion.” Why was this argument not used by F&P, in their first paper? When was it used for the first time and by whom?
This is a good observation and question, Ludwik. Although many people may have realized that LENR was not the same as hot fusion, the
question of the difference is a matter of degree. Many the theories focused on how much energy is required to cause hot fusion and on
getting the deuterons closer together. No one acknowledged the need for a NAE, an idea that was rejected with great enthusiasm initially
and to a lesser extent even now. People looked for neutrons and tritium, as would be expected to result from hot fusion. Failure to
detected neutrons was explained by failure to initiate LENR in the device being studied, not by realizing that no neutrons were
produced by LENR. Even now, when a few neutrons are found, they are used to "explain" LENR. My opinion is that the realization that
LENR is not related to hot fusion came gradually and is still not complete in some minds.
Julian Schwinger was a far better physicist than Huizenga. Julian was good. This, what I would call superficial debate (since, after
all, only the experimental results are or were relevant at that time) was quite common at least for a few days, weeks or months after
March 23. At that time I did not know what "must" or "must not" be true about nuclear processes. But I was completely comforted (to
the point that I did not worry about it any more) by Schwinger's statement that concluded "the circumstances of cold fusion are not
those of hot fusion". Huizenga's "must" [as quoted by LK] is a huge red flag. This is a political statement, not scientific.
Huizenga claims omniscience?? He knows every possible way that 4He can be produced? It is the conservation of angular momentum
that requires the energetic gamma ray from to isolated D's (which, by the way is not 23.8 MeV so even in detail he was wrong).
What if 3, 4 or n bodies are involved? Huizenga's statement is worse than silly .... it is PR.
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax:
The confusion [cold fusion is like hot fusion] was easy, and might have happened anyway. That F&P paper was written quickly, and I doubt
that the authors anticipated what ensued.
And no matter what mistakes they made, we don't depend on the character or flaws or mistakes of individuals in determining what is
established in science.
Basically, they were brilliant, testing this wild idea, doing basic research. Then they enountered social forces beyond what they
imagined. The University required them to announce, they clearly were not ready. We can look back and say that they did it wrong,
they should have done this or that, but hindsight is always clearer than foresight.
What they found, if not for their diligent search, undertaken with their own energies, largely without support (for the first five
years), might have escaped notice for a long time.
This was extremely difficult work -- that was one of the errors, making it look or sound easy. "Fusion in a jar." Right. It took
the world's foremost electrochemist five years to pull this up to a rate of about 15% of cells showing excess heat, it took other
electrochemists months of effort to start to see results, and a few scientists, with utterly inadequate information, tried for a
few weeks, saw nothing, and started to claim that Pons and Fleischmann were frauds or idiots. And so it went.
It's really a shame that scientific politics inhibited research in this field for so long. It still has not recovered.
This "scientific fiasco of the twentieth century" (Huizenga's book title) carries some deep lessons about the hubris of scientists,
where inadequately established conclusions become an orthodoxy, challenged only at personal risk. I met a skeptic who was afraid
to let anyone know that he would even discuss cold fusion, he considered that he would suffer professionally.
I have a friend who is a mathematician, and when he found out that I was involved in CF research, he assumed I was being duped
by con artists, and he proceeded to act to exclude me from an organization I'd helped to found -- since I was obviously
dangerously crazy. The guy is actually brilliant. But absolutely certain that he's right, and unwilling to check out contrary
All he could see was Rossi (and worse, in his imagination).
Schwinger proposed H+D fusion would make He3. Unfortunately, this was not found. Instead, He4 was found with a little tritium.
This kept focus on the products from hot fusion. As for Huizenga, I agree with Mike, he was tying to eliminate CF for various
reasons, as his book made clear. We once again have witnessed the ability of several leaders to create a myth in lesser minds
for the purpose of promoting their self-interest. We see this happen all the time in politics, especially in the Republican
debates. These leaders are not stupid. They knew that if CF were real, hot fusion and every other energy source would be at risk.
They were able to stop the discovery process for awhile, which I'm sure they hoped would have been much longer. Now they
have another problem not so easy to solve.
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
... Look, my opinion is that cold fusion has been clumsily presented, even up to the present day. Look at the reviews of the
field on that Wikiversitiy page you cited, and how they treat heat/helium. It's almost as if it is a footnote. And, in fact,
much of the heat/helium evidence presented in the report by Hagelstein et al in 2004 to the DoE was in an appendix. It took
me many readings of that appendix to understand what they were getting at. And I had to scour through other work to make
heads or tails of it. I recognized very quickly that not all the necessary information was explicitly stated. The negative
reviewer and the summarizing bureaucrat made an obvious -- and wrong -- assumption.
That was a result of ineffective communication. I'm suspecting that this comes from a habit of writing for scientific
publication where the tone is very abstract and avoids bald assertion. Rather, the reader is supposed to figure it out.
This requires very active, sympathetic readers. It's not a way to reach those who might be on the fence, not to mention
hostile. Hagelstein et al are scientists, not writers of polemic. Nor would I want them to be anything other than what
If there is another DoE review, the documents should be rigorously reviewed and read from a skeptical point of view, to
discover what skeptical objections are possible, to anticipate them and answer them. Doing this without turning a document
into a tome is not simple, it takes rare skill, and may take the work of more than one person. ...
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax:
Well, I suspect that Huizenga was, by that time, not thinking very clearly. He was making an obvious assumption, and appears
not to have realized it.
I actually find the whole passage remarkable, because Huizenga does realize the import of Miles' work, to his credit. He
didn't flap on about leakage, etc. He knew that correlation would cut through that noise.
A whole series of assumptions were made, each one being more or less reasonable or at least understandable. For example,
multibody fusion is mentioned. At the time, it was not known that multibody fusion (hot fusion!) is greatly enhanced in
PdD targets. I don't recall when Takahashi published that work, it might not have been available to Huizenga. The normal
skeptical response to the idea of multibody fusion is that it would be rare upon rare, which follows from thinking in
terms of collisions in a plasma.
People drew conclusions from what they were familiar with. Not surprising.
My recollection is that Pd targets, loaded with deuterium, were often bombarded with monoenergetic deuterons (in 1960s)
to produce monoenergetic neutrons at varius angles via hot fusion. I was not aware of the “greatly enhanced” observations.
That would indeed mean that cold fusion was discovered long before 1989. It is tempting to speculate about an accidental
discovery of excess heat in a ready-to-use target. This would be like production of unexplained heat in radium, discovered
by Pierre Curie.
Great enhancement only occurs when the bombarding D+ have low energy, where the neutron production rate is already very
small. As a result, the term "great enhancement" has to be applied to a very small initial production rate. No LENR
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax:
At 11:32 AM 4/7/2012, Ludwik Kowalski wrote:
My recollection is that Pd targets, loaded with deuterium, were often bombarded with monoenergetic deuterons (in 1960s)
to produce monoenergetic neutrons at varius angles via hot fusion. I was not aware of the greatly enhanced observations.
That would indeed mean that cold fusion was discovered long before 1989.
I am not aware of such "greatly enhanced" results, and Ludwik may have misinterpreted what I wrote. I did not claim any observation
reported before 1989, and, in fact, I was speculating that the multibody results were not available until after Huizenga wrote his statement.
I had a recollection that Takahashi's work on multibody fusion rates was fairly early, but what I could find at this point was this:
http://newenergytimes.com/v2/archives/fic/N/N199811.PDF page 5, a review of Takahahsi's 1998 publication
in Fusion Technology.
In http://iccf9.global.tsinghua.edu.cn/LENR%20home%20page/acrobat/TakahashiAstudiesond.pdf, the earliest
reference is to
A. Takahashi, et al: Fusion Technology, Vol.27 (1995) pp.71-85.
Since 1991, we have studied possible occurrence of highly enhanced multi-body deuteron fusion in metal-deuteride samples
under low energy deuteron beam irradiation, based on our speculation that the order of atoms and electrons under transient motion around lattice
focal points should greatly enhance the three-body fusion process, compared with random nuclear reactions.1-3
Our experimental results suggest that there exists strong screening effect on the Coulomb repulsive force of d-d interaction by transient
electronic quasi-particles5, 6 and this greatly enhances 2D and 3D fusion reactions, and even 4D fusion reactions.
However, "multibody fusion" is mentioned in the title of a 1992 Paper by Takahashi, "Excess heat and nuclear products by
D2O/Pd electrolysis and multibody fusion." From the Dieter Britz abstract of this paper:
The authors present their theory to explain the dearth of neutrons. At high
loadings, 3-body and 4-body fusions might take place, some producing no
neutrons or tritons, but alpha particles instead.}
Any review of the history of cold fusion theory should look at a paper I cited a few days ago:
Critical Review of Theoretical Models for Anomalous Effects (Cold Fusion) in Deuterated Metals
V.A. Chechin1, V.A.Tsarev1, M. Rabinowitz2, and Y.E. Kim3. Int. J. Theo. Phys., 1994. 33: p. 617.
4.5 Multibody Fusion
Four independent conjectures (Becker, 1989; Rabinowitz, 1990a; Kim, 1990c; and Takahashi, 1991) have been made suggesting the possibility of
multibody fusion. Rabinowitz pointed out that although the probability for a three-body collision in free space is extremely smaller than a
two-body collision -- in a solid, "Channeling increases the probability of a nearly one-dimensional collision, with essentially the
absence of angular momentum in the final state. This may permit low energy resonances which greatly increase the fusion cross-section --
particularly for energy and momentum conserving three-body collisions."
The references are:
Becker, E.W. (1989). Naturwissenschaften 76, 214.
Rabinowitz, M. (1990a). Mod.Phys. Lett. B4, 233.
Kim, Y.E. (1990c). AIP Conf. Proc. (Provo, Utah) 228, 807.
Takahashi, A. (1991). Fusion Technology 19, 380.
This "critical review" states, in the abstract,
we critically examine more than 25 theoretical models for CF, including unusual nuclear and exotic chemical hypotheses.
We conclude that they do not explain the data.
and the last words of the paper's conclusion are:
It is an understatement to say that the theoretical situation is turbid. We conclude that the mechanism for anomalous effects
in deuterated metals is still unknown. At present there is no single consistent theory that predicts or even explains CF and its specific features
from first principles.
This situation appears to remain true. What theories we have that are plausible (the Chenin paper considers some of the theories they present as
implausible), may explain this or that aspect of cold fusion, but no theory is complete, as published so far. However, given this, the Chechin paper
is remarkably sanguine on multibody fusion:
There are two main consequences of this hypothesis. 1) In multibody fusion reactions, the released energy is carried by some
particles that cannot escape the solid. So this energy heats up the lattice without the emission of visible nuclear products. 2). In reaction (46),
energetic protons are released. In reactions (42,43,44, 46, and 48), energetic alphas (4He) are released which in turn can produce energetic n's
and p's via the process 4He + d Ø 4He + p + n. This might explain the high energy components that have been seen (Chambers et al, 1990; Cecil
et al, 1990; Takahashi et al,1990, 1992). Takahashi (1991) has suggested a number of multibody fusion scenarios in a solid to answer all the CF
(Hindsight comment: it appears that energetic products at significant levels, with energies above 20 KeV, can be ruled out in the primary mechanism
behind the FPHE, if Hagelstein's limit is valid. This, together with a *specific* predicted rate of fusion, remains the greatest difficulty remaining
with multibody fusion theory, as far as I can tell.)
Critique: If one proceeds from habitual thinking drawn from conventional nuclear and plasma physics, the idea of multibody
fusion appears wild to say the least. However, one has to take into account that the situation with CF is drastically different due to the presence
in the solid of both periodically ordered positions for embedded d's and preferred directions for the motion of nuclei. This makes multibody
collisions in principle more likely than in free space. However, no firm calculations have yet been presented which are testable. Quite independent
of CF, interesting and unusual results have been obtained in channeling experiments of energetic particles in solids (Sorenson and Uggerhoj, 1987).
So "channeling effects" were known before 1989. Takahashi's experimental work as reported later shows, if his analysis is correct, an
enhancement of 3D multibody fusion of 10^26 over naive expectation, if I've understood it correctly.
The reference: Sorenson, A.H. , and Uggerhoj, E. (1987). Nature 324, 311.
This does not mean that the deuteron bombardment that Takahashi used is relevant, in itself, to the mechanism behind cold fusion. Rather, the
take-home point here is that condensed matter is experimentally known to be a different environment -- enormously different -- from a plasma, and
that some reactions become possible or enhanced in condensed matter that are impossible, or ridiculously rare, in a plasma.
Huizenga would have been putting together the second edition of his book in 1993, and he reports 1993 publication by Miles. There was a flood of
published work on cold fusion in 1989-1991; but Huizenga was writing a book on the topic that goes into great detail, when he wants to. In fact,
certain details he repeats over and over. My own conclusion is that Huizenga wasn't really familiar with the work, he wasn't in "learning
mode." He was just regurgitating his prior opinions. I notice that the only mention of Miles in this book was regarding the "most
spectacular claim" presented at the Second Annual Conference. I.e., heat/helium.
Yet by the time Huizenga was writing his book -- even the first edition -- one might think he'd have known that Miles, whose preliminary negative
results were shown in the 1899 ERAB report, later reported positive results, and even later, of course, reported the helium correlation that
definitely got Huizenga's attention.
It is a common human practice to selectively observe evidence that confirms what we believe. We all need to recognize this, and guard against
it. Huizenga interpreted the information coming to him, it's quite obvious, through his filters.
So, for example, Huizenga reports (2nd edition, page 243) in the same section on the Second Annual Conference,
[At the Conference] the substance of these claims was neither new nor different from that repeatedly proclaimed by believers
over the past two years.... The McKubre group of SRI reported excess heat of a few percent when integrated over the entire run. This was achieved
in a closed isothermal flow calorimeter with high cathodic charging of deuterium (D/Pd > 0.9). The authors concluded that they cannot account
for their excess heat by any chemical or mechanical process, and the inference is that the excess heat is due to a nuclear reaction. Although the
McKubre experiment is considered by many advocates to be the premier evidence for excess heat, no nuclear reaction products were reported!
Right. There are no nuclear reaction products from the FPHE, at significant levels, except helium. At that point, McKubre et al had not, I think,
investigated helium, but Huizenga, if he'd been thinking synthetically, would have known that helium was a possibility. But he wasn't. He was
looking for reasons to confirm his own beliefs. *He was a believer.* (One of the characteristics of pseudoskepticism is to attribute comment and
evidence from others, that might appear to contradict the pseudoskeptic's own beliefs, to "believers," and "proponents.") What
Huizenga fails to do here is to credit the experimental competence of McKubre et al, who were, after all, consultants hired by the Electric Power
Research Institute to investigate cold fusion. He doesn't really look at what they were reporting, he simply extracts from it sufficient
"fact" to allow him to quickly dismiss it. Only a "few percent"? Why, piffle! That could easily be experimental error, some
Not when you look at how the work was conducted. The FPHE suffers from a procedural problem. The input energy is necessary to build and maintain
high deuterium loading in palladium. Most of it has nothing to do with the reaction itself. What is significant about, say, SRI P13/P14, is the
difference between (1) the deuterium cell vs the hydrogen cell, in series with it, and (2) three different runs, with the same current excursion,
yet the third run shows drastically different results, very significant excess heat, with *the same cathode* -- as it would appear. Obviously,
something is different. And that difference represents the story of cold fusion, a story that Huizenga didn't tell. Instead, he gives us this:
As of March 29, 1993, the Droege experiments with high deuterium loading (D/Pd>0.9) continue to report null results. Tom
Droege has reported that "the cleaner I get, the better I control the experiment, the more accurate I make the apparatus; the fewer bumps and
anomalies I see."
Of course! Droege, very obviously, was not seeing the FPHE. The same as with the first two runs of P14 at SRI. Huizenga, note, by this time clearly
gets that loading ratio might be important. If he was paying attention, he'd have known that FPHE work on a short time scale was very unlikeliy to
see excess heat, so he'd have known that almost all the "negative replications" reported in his ERAB report were doomed to failure. So
why wasn't Droege seeing results? It's quite apparent that loading is not a sufficient condition to see the effect, because P14 at SRI was also
highly loaded, in all three excursions, but only showed the effect in one of them.
Remarkably -- and we should remember this -- Huizenga actually points out the problem. "No nuclear product." He knows that helium is a
nuclear product, and his only problem there is that he expects the helium to be accompanied by a gamma. Did Droege ever look for helium? With no
excess heat, we can be pretty sure that, if he had, he wouldn't have seen helium. On the other hand, McKubre did, later, look for helium, and found
it, correlated with the heat, confirming Miles.
Huizenga, following Droege, here created a common pseudoskeptical trope: that when experimental technique was refined, excess heat results
disappeared. Yet Droege had not ever reported XP, apparently. He simply found that noise that might have been interpreted as "maybe"
excess heat disappeared. It was a unsubstantiated assumption that the negative replications were using more careful calorimetry than that of, say,
McKubre et al.
But they may have been! It's actually irrelevant. More careful calorimetry is useless if you don't actually set up the effect!
No, this would have been a true negative report: a would-be replicator shows results the *same* as in the original report (or varying in the same
range), and then improves the calorimetry and shows that the apparent results were from error -- or other artifact. Basically, to do replication,
one should attempt to reproduce the *errors* of the original experiment. Basically, do it the same way, or don't claim that it's a replication,
especially not a negative one. Don't "improve" your experiment first!
Back to Ludwik:
It is tempting to speculate about an accidental discovery of excess heat in a ready-to-use target. This would be like
production of unexplained heat in radium, discovered by Pierre Curie.
It happened. Mizuno. He reports it in Nuclear Transmutation: The Reality of Cold Fusion (trans. Jed Rothwell, 1998), page 34. It's unfortunate
that Mizuno did not report his observations at the time. My guess is that others saw cold fusion effects, as well.
August, 1978: Mysterious evaporation of heavy water electrolyte from an electrochemical cell using a three-cm palladium disk as a cathode,
saturated with deuterium, used as a neutron target. "The 200 cc should have lasted a month [but evaporated in a day]... only two possibilities:
the electric current might have increased, rapidly electrolyzing all of the liquid, or a large amount of heat might have caused the fluid to boil
away. But at the time we could not imagine either of those scenarios, so we finally wrote off the incident as a mystery with no solution. We did not
understand it until many years later."
May 1981: Loading titanium with deuterium, "... we activated an X-ray detector adjacent to the cell. It suddenly began to register continuous
bursts of X-rays. In a panic, we checked our clothese and belongings for radioactive contamination. We moved the detector around to find the source
of the X-rays. We finally concluded that the cell must be the source. But at the time we never imagined electrolysis could produce X-rays, so after
careful consideration we decided it must be some kind of electrical interference. It turned out the cell really was generating X-rays, but I did not
realize that until later."
(He goes on to note that the idea of fusion in electrolysis cells did occur to him as a possibility, later, "this kind of hypothesis would occur
to any researcher studying metal and hydrogen systems." But .... "I never thought to pursue the matter and research the phenomenon
I decided to look to see if Droege ever found any excess heat. He seems to disappear from the cold fusion scene by about 1991. But he's mentioned
by Richard Garwin in a review of Mallove's book on CF. There is this remarkable passage:
`Tom Droege, a superb engineer who has built state-of-the-art instrumentation for the particle physicists at Fermilab, now ...
perfects an extraordinary calorimeter," Mallove reports. Indeed, and in the process Droege has identified and overcome many problems that must
have afflicted less cautious workers. At present, with electrolytic power input of some 1000 milliwatts his sensitivity is about 1 milliwatt, with
no dear indication of net excess heat. Those who claim to know how to treat their cathodes to obtain excess heat would do well to adopt Droege's
He's really doing quite the same as Huizenga, assuming that negative work is more accurate than positive. As to cold fusion results that are close to
the noise, sure. Some CF reports may be flawed and a result of errors in calorimetry. However, Garwin goes on:
if anyone can show me a history and demonstration of strong, reproducible, emission of neutrons, tritium, or heat in a cold
(or dry) fusion cell, I will not only urge support but repeat the experiment.
Liar, liar, pants on fire. Of course, he adds a qualifying word, "strong." From the point of view of science, though, "strong" means
that a signal is clearly above noise. This was written in 1999. Garwin surely knows by this time that FPHE cold fusion doesn't produce significant neutrons
or tritium, just helium. Surely Garwin would have recognized the significance of helium, as did Huizenga, and by this time, Miles' helium results had been
As to any sensible intepretation of Garwin's promise, heat that is produced in a specific ratio to helium detected is "reproducible." You could
run this blind: detect helium and continue running the cell until helium generated reaches a certain value. How much excess heat has been generated? That
is the reproducible demonstration of heat. Some cells don't work, and .... so what? No heat, no helium, that actually confirms the calorimetry and helium
measurement techniques, if the cells are otherwise identical.
What was "reproducible" was the heat/helium ratio. Heat, by itself, remained not reproducible under most conditions. Indeed, I'm interested in
the work with dual laser stimulation because it appears that those results are reliable. That would be, I speculate, because the cell is being run below
normal CF loading levels, and the reaction only takes place under the influence of the stimulation. It's controlled.
(We can also make a weaker argument for reproducibility with certain designs; for example, Miles' cells seem to have roughly a two-thirds rate of showing
excess power. Reproducibility can be statistical.)
And I'll add: the effects and results of dual laser stimulation have not been confirmed. My impression of reliability is only based on what Letts is reporting.
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