52) Another Summary

Ludwik Kowalski, <kowalskiL@mail.montclair.edu>
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, N.J. 07043, (4/12/03)

Return to the clickable list of items

After rereading the 1997 paper of T. Muzino et al., entitled “Changes in Isotopic Distribution of the Elements on Palladium Cathode Electrlolyzed in D2O Solution,” I decided to summarize it, and add some comments. The paper describes a standard cold fusion experiment (palladium cathode, platinum anode and the heavy water electrolyte) lasting seven days. Chemical and isotopic composition of the cathode surface revealed dramatic changes in chemical and isotopic composition. The authors, affiliated with prestigious universities and research centers, took extraordinary precautions to prevent contamination. Four analytical methods were used to analyze samples: 1) energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS) and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA).

Figure 1 shows distributions of peaks detected via the X-ray spectroscopy. Except for palladium, all peaks belong to elements which were originally absent. Note that the vertical axis scale is logarithmic; the numbers represent counting rates from a high resolution (GeLi) detector of X-rays. The labels "before" and "after" refer to results obtained before and after the electrolysis. The strongest argument against contamination, as far as I am concerned, are isotopic compositions of reaction products. Like Karabut (see item # 13 at < http://blake.montclair.edu/~kowalskil/cf/ >, the authors found that isotopic distributions are significantly different from those found in our environment.

An alchemist would say that palladium, on the surface of the electrode, was transmuted into Pb, Hg, Pt, Sn, Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Fe, Mn, Cr, Ti, Ca, S and C. But unlike medeval alchemists the authors know that transmutation of elements involes changes in atomic nuclei. They are aware that nuclear processes responsible for the above products are highly unusual; their existence conflicts with everything we know about nuclear reactions. Why are all newly produced isotopes stable? How can nuclear processes take place despite repulsive electric forces acting between the atomic nuclei? Nobody can answer these questions today. Fully aware of this S.Szpak and P. Mosier-Boss wrote: “ We should like to suggest that ‘theory guides -- experiment decides’ is a preferable approach in this area of research. . . .

Immediately after the Fleischmann and Pons announcement in 1989, the scientific community became divided into believers and skeptics. The first group reported the results of their research with enthusiasm. At times their enthusiasm overstated the significance of their results. The skeptics, on the other hand, rejected these results as a matter of conviction. One often heard argument ‘this is contrary to our understanding of nuclear physics,’ thus stating that what we know is all that has to be known.

Irrespective of the position taken by the skeptics, one cannot dismiss experimental facts. As long as data are outside the experimental errors, they must be accepted regardless of our understanding and whether or not they can be easily reproduced. The facts stated in this communication were checked and rechecked for accuracy with details given in their respective references.”

Note 1: The above quote was found in a 1997 paper, entitled "Thermal and Nuclear Events Associated with Pd + D codeposition."

Note 2:
Both papers were fetched from the IEEE XPLORE data base. They were downloaded as reports from the “32nd Intersociety, vol 2.” The report was also referred to as “Energy Conversions Engineering Conference, 1997.”

Note 3: Tadahico Mizuno is the author of a book “Nuclear Transmutations, the Reality of Cold Fusion.” It can be ordered at www.amazon.com ($30 new or $16 used).

Note 4:
Suppose that four probes were deposited on our planet by creatures living somewhere else in the universe. Conditions in their place are totally different from ours. The probes landed in the same place but several days apart. The first showed a wind of 50 mi/hr blowing north, the second and the third showed no significant wind while the fourth showed a wind of 30 mi/hr blowing to the west. Should the investigators conclude that the idea of wind, formulated after the first reading, is erroneous? Certainly not. They should continue to investigate till the variable nature of winds is understood. Likewise, the irreproducibility of cold fusion experiments should be studied till the phenomenon is understood. Declaring it to be pathological science makes no sense to me.

Note 5:
I have no idea why the scientific contributions of Mizuno et al. (and many others) are usually rejected as pseudo-science. Something is not right.

Return to the clickable list of items