415) Another CF Conference is Approaching

July 1, 2013

Ludwik Kowalski


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1) The next International Cold Fusion conference, ICCF18 will begin in four weeks. 


This probably explains why so many messages, both theoretical and experimental, have been posted on our private list for CMNS researchers. Responding to a post from X1, I wrote:

2) I am sorry to repeat trivia--not every heat-generating process, especially when thermal energy is generated at the rate of 1 W or less, is nuclear. 

The NS part, in the name of our field, refers to unexplained nuclear processes, such as transmutation (for example, generation of helium or copper), emission of nucleons (such as energetic neutrons, protons and alpha particles), emission of gamma rays, changes in isotopic compositions, etc. 

Demonstrations of nuclear signatures are extremely valuable, even when there is no evidence of excess heat. The same is true for demonstrations of unexplained excess heat, not correlated with a nuclear process. Such demonstrations are also important, both scientifically and technologically. But they do not belong to our CMNS field. Do you agree?  

3) Responding to this, X2 asked: "Would you consider Deep Dirac Levels to be atomic or nuclear?" My reply was also short: "Deep Dirac Levels cannot be characterized as either only atomic or only nuclear. I was thinking about experimental signatures of CMNS."

4) Responding to X2, X3 wrote: "I get very confused by such discussions. First of all, a clear separation exists between chemical and nuclear behavior based on the huge difference in energy and the centuries of experience that show a clear difference between chemical and nuclear behavior. Outside of CF, these conflicts in understanding do not exist. In fact, the clear understand in conventional science is that CF simply cannot occur in a chemical environment, hence is a false claim. 

The Deep Dirac Level is pure imagination that X2 is trying to relate to a behavior. Only the behavior of CF allows this DDL structure to be suggested because X2 can claim the normal rules of chemistry and/or nuclear physics do not apply to CF. Once the accepted rules are applied, the DDL must be rejected.

I suggest the Deep Dirac Level is neither only chemical nor only nuclear. It falls in the twilight zone occupied by the hydrino.  It might apply to CF but if it does, it would also apply to many chemical processes where its action would be easy to detect.  Unfortunately, X2 [in earlier messages] has not shown this connection so the relationship to chemistry is unknown and apparently unknowable. 

The experimental signatures of CMNS are clearly nuclear, as Ludwik says. Therefore, we must find a way to explain how this happens in a chemical structure without violating the basic rules accepted by conventional science. Any other approach will fail, as has been the case so far. 

5) Responding to my message, X4 wrote: "Ludwik, what an odd and unexpected statement.

If one-watt heat signals without a corresponding nuclear signal are outside the scope of CMNS, then so is the seminal work of Fleischmann and Pons. Their nuclear

claim rested on the observation that the energy produced in their cells exceeded known chemistry, so the “hitherto unknown process” must be nuclear. So, I strongly disagree with your statement.

6) Instead of asking about "odd an unexpected," I wrote: Let me say the same thing in a slightly different way. Presence of unexplained excess heat may or may not be due to a nuclear process; it can be due, for example, to a totally unknown process, as just stated by X4, or to a combination of two or three known processes (perhaps optical and magnetic). What is wrong with such observations? 

7) Quoting my first post, X5 wrote: "I strongly disagree with Ludwik's statement. He has missed the point entirely. The energy output is undefined. To attribute it to cold fusion is self-limiting. Limiting LENR to fusion is the basic error of the field. ... [The last sentence, about being "trapped in a metaphor," is omitted; I do not understand it.]

8) Quoting X5, X3 wrote: "I think you have missed the point instead of Ludwik.  We have proof that a nuclear process occurs in what appears to be ordinary material that produces energy and detected nuclear products. When this happens, it is called CMNS. Of course, other sources of novel energy might exist in Nature without a nuclear reaction being produced. However, these processes are not called cold fusion. We need to be clear about this.  The energy source is defined. We only are uncertain about the process. 

If you want to discuss a different source, you are free to do this, but do not confuse it with LENR." 


9) Responding to X3, X2 wrote (in part): "It is legitimate for you to say you disagree with my view [an explanation based on Dirak levels] and then decline to say why or to decline to defend your position. But, your repeated statements and innuendos are simply an indication of your frustration at your models not being listened to in the way you insist. ... "

10) X6 wrote: Pons and Fleischmann turned out to be correct, the process was indeed nuclear. However, the energy density was circumstantial evidence of "nuclear," not direct evidence, and some other unknown but non-nuclear reaction could have been causing the apparent high-energy-density anomaly.

A fundamental error was made in asserting a paradigm shift without direct evidence.

I do understand why it happened, but we must understand this point, because we keep focusing on weak evidence, circumstantial evidence, before we have clearly conveyed the *direct evidence. *

Weak evidence of "nuclear":

1. Excess Heat. Suppose the source of the heat is hydrinos, or some other unknown non-nuclear phenomenon. If the reaction is "unknown," what is the basis for asserting that it is *nuclear.* It is a *reasonable surmise,* but against this reasonable surmise would be a huge weight of assumption about what is possible.

2. Transmutations other than to helium, including tritium, radiation, etc. These are all at levels *far* below those needed for association with the observed excess heat. These *are* nuclear evidence, but could indicate some reaction other than what is producing the XP. Perhaps nobody ever looked so carefully before. This evidence was plagued by irreproducibility and vulnerability to various artifacts, and this is exactly what was the case with the original PF claim of neutrons. Some experiments rise to the level of strong evidence that "something nuclear is taking place,* but *what*?  *It may have nothing to do with the heat-producing effect.*

Direct evidence became available with heat/helium, and that remains practically the *only* direct nuclear evidence as to the main show in the FPHE. 

11) Commenting on the last sentence above I wrote: " Instruments needed to replicate the heat/helium experiments certainly exist in several US national laboratories, and elsewhere. They are probably used, by highly qualified scientists, to conduct different kinds of investigations. The DOE knows this. The cost of organizing several independent heat/helium experiments, similar to those already performed, would be a small fraction (probably much less than one percent) of the approved DOE or NSF budgets. What can be done to force the DOE or NSF to organize several independent replications?  

12) X6 responded, in part: 

... While I do have personal ideas about what should be done, my real proposal is to develop community process, so that what we do is a community effort, with broad consensus behind it. ... If the DoE or other interested agency is *not* convinced of the reality of cold fusion, and regarding helium as the major ash of the FP Heat Effect, after a full review of the literature on heat/helium, then it would be urgent to confirm or falsify the claim of a heat/helium correlation. That is a *central issue,* for anyone not convinced. I advise rigorous refusal to speculate on the specific mechanism, I would use the word "mystery," over and over. "Mystery" does not attack existing physics, but, of course, it allows room for something new to be found. ...

13) Two other researchers also commented. I hope the topic will be discussed at the upcoming ICCF18 conference, and that either DOE or NSF will subsequently organize attempts to replicate helium/heat experiments. 

14) On Jul 2, 2013, X3, replying to another post, wrote:

Past experience shows that most of the He is NOT trapped in the cathode. The He is produced so near the surface that at least 1/2 leaves the material. The remaining He can be released by melting the metal, as you say. In the case of the sample covered with gold, even less helium might remain in the metal. However, in this case, only the gold would have to be melted if the NAE is in the gold.

Replying to this, I wrote:

If this is true then the following method can be used to determine the number of He-4 atoms per square centimeters accurately.

Suppose a Pd foil (with a layer of He-4 atoms below its surface) is exposed to a beam of alpha particles, or protons, of known energy, for example, 10 MeV, from an accelerator. Differential cross sections of Rutherford scattering, at various angles (for example 150 degrees), are easy to calculate from the well known (and experimentally confirmed) textbook formula.

Knowing the cross section one can easily calculate the "target" mean thickness (the number of He-4 atoms/cm^2) from the measured beam intensity (counts per second per steroradian), at a known angle. The method is very reliable; I have used it many times in working with various thin targets. But this was about 30-50 years ago. Our thin solid targets were always in the center of a vacuum chamber. The accuracies, typically 1 to 3 percents, were usually sufficient for our purposes.

A gas target below a metallic surface is likely to present some specific technical problems. But distinguishing ions scattered on He from ions scattered on Pd or Au (at a given angle) would not be difficult (on the basis of their kinetic energies). The kind of scattered ions, their energy, and scattering angles (better several than one), should be chosen carefully. Instruments (and experts) to perform such measurements are likely to be available in many nuclear labs, for example, in Berkeley, Brookhaven, Los Alamos, etc.

P.S. I forgot to emphasize the obvious--what is measured is the amount of He remaining, not the amont of helium created during electrolysis. Some He-4 atoms might escape from the cathode during electrolysis, others might escape during subsequent manipulations, for example, into air or into the vacuum of a scattering chamber.

Suppose that 90% of He-4 escapes. Suppose that this fact is not known, when the amount of thermal energy per atom (created during electrolysis) is calculated. In that case the calculated MeV/atom would be ten times higher than in reality.


14) X7 wrote:

Having read all the proposed theories in an attempt to find one that can guide useful research, I'm at a loss to answer a basic question. The current belief is that no theory successfully explains cold fusion. While I agree, I ask how can this situation be changed?

For a theory to be accepted, it must pass agreed upon tests. To do this, the tests must be clearly identified and given enough importance to encourage their undertaking. No time and money will be used to test a theory that contains obvious flaws, is ignored by scientific peers, or does not identify the required unambiguous tests. Reading the various papers describing theory and listening to the discussion on CMNS and Vortex, I see no effort to satisfy these requirements. I see no effort being made to actually find and test an explanation for cold fusion. Instead, everyone has a theory based on his own limited knowledge of the phenomenon using his own limited understanding of Nature. None of these proposed explanations contain testable behavior or even plausible insight. A few explanations have been given wide circulation in the literature, but no general acknowledgement of their being correct is given by other theoreticians. I see no results from successful tests being published, even by the originator of the theory. In other words, I see no serious effort being made to actually agree on an explanation - the myth of no explanation being sufficient.

The idea behind a predictive test is also not clear because this requirement is generally applied to mathematical theories. Such theories spring from the imagination, after which a prediction needs to be compared to how Nature behaves. But, theories can also be based on how Nature actually behaves using a large collection of behavior that is combined in the theory, such as the Laws of thermodynamics. Such laws can be said to be tested even before they are fully formulated. They are accepted because they are consistent with a wide range of behavior, most of which was obtained before the theory was even created.

I suggest the latter kind of theory must be created to explain cold fusion. Thousands of behaviors have been observed related to the phenomenon. We are no longer ignorant about how cold fusion behaves. In addition, modern science understands what behavior is possible and what is not within a chemical structure. Only lacking is knowledge of these facts by people attempting to provide an explanation. Is it asking too much for this knowledge to be focused on trying to determine which explanation to test and apply? Is it asking too much to stop playing mental games and get down to work trying to actually find a useful explanation? Can we agree on the reality of basic behavior when CF occurs and on basic conflict with known laws and expected behavior when a theory is examined?

15) Responding to the above, I wrote:

The following three steps toward the first accepted CMNS theory are widely known:

a) Someone describes a protocol for a reproducible-on-demand demonstration of a nuclear effect (such as transmutation, emission of gamma rays, etc) due to a chemical process (such as electrolysis).

b) The demonstration is independently confirmed by others.

c) The reliable protocol and experimental results are then formally published in a refereed journal, for example, in our own JCMNS.

Many theoretical physicists are probably waiting for such publications. The first tentative theory will start guiding experimental research. It will become less tentative when theoretical predictions of unknown facts are confirmed.