Spectacular news – IH support for basic research

Ahlfors typically provides teasers on LENR Forum. Here’s one, four images. I have not yet found the originals for other than the first, but, looking for the fourth led me to this:

Development of a System to Measure Trace Amounts of Helium in Air, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, or Deuterium

Malcolm Fowler. McFarland Instrumentation Services, Inc.
Thomas Claytor. High Mesa Technology
12th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen
Loaded Metals, 5-9 June 2017

Why is this such good news? That’s twofold. First, the only truly conclusive and very direct evidence that the FP Heat Effect is nuclear in nature is the heat/helium correlation. That work was first done and reported in 1991 by Miles, using order-of-magnitude helium measurements. The work was later confirmed with increased precision, but not the precision that is reported here, if I’m correct. They were working with 50 cc. samples, and if a decent sampling protocol can be developed and an analytical service is provided, this could drastically accelerate PdD cold fusion research.

The other news from the document:

We would like to acknowledge the continued support and encouragement for this work by:
Industrial Heat, LLC [address]
Mr. Thomas Francis Darden II, J.D., Manager, President, and Director
Mr. J.T. Vaughn, Vice President
Mr. Dewey Weaver

This is the support Industrial Heat has provided from the $50 million Woodford investment, obviously. This work is not being published for commercial purpose, this is for scientific progress, and the possible commercial value is very long-term.

Dewey Weaver is famous here as the inspiration for the Cold Fusion Community Official Watch-Weasel.

Now, I need to go out, but I intend to look for the other documents.

The source source of the first image: Claytor (1998).

As to the remainder, my guess it is from “Summary of Tritium Evolution from Various Deuterided Metals,” Thomas N. Claytor, Malcolm M. Fowler, Edmund K. Storms, Rick Cantwell, which is listed in Egely’s review of the June 2017 Asti Conference.

That is a very interesting list of authors! But I have not been able to find the paper yet. From Ahlfors’ quotation of the acknowledgements, this was also work supported by Industrial Heat, and from what little I’ve seen of it (from the Egely report and Ahlfors’ hint) this could also be of high interest. Congratulations to Industrial Heat for supporting productive research.

Ahlfors came back with his sources.

Tritium with IH:

Tritium without IH:

He4 with IH:

None of these are the paper I found mentioned in Infinite Energy. It is apparently the slide presentation for the talk (because I find it not easy to understand.) It’s hosted on the ISCMNS site. I had looked to see if I could find files in that directory, but the directory contents would not display without a filename. Those slides for it are shown by Ahlfors as hosted on lenr-canr.org, but it is not yet shown in the index. It is shown in the full listing of hosted files on lenr-canr.org.

In that directory I found a pdf with Claytor, Fowler, Cantwell and others as co-authors, also not yet in the lenr-canr.org library index. It does not have a date, but was given at a 2012 conference.

Storms 2017 video transcript

video on YouTube

Questions regarding this video are welcome as comments on this page.


( from YouTube CC, edited by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax)

I have not created capitalization, generally, as not sufficiently useful to be worth the effort. I have generally followed Dr. Storms’ exact words, which differ from the captions. Correction of errors is requested.

Ruby Carat:

0:01 ● cold fusion. atomic power from water. no radioactive materials. no radioactive waste and no CO2. ColdFusion is power for the people. where no communities can be denied access to fuel with 10 million times the energy density of fossil fuels.
0:30 ● it could provide energy for the whole planet for billions of years researchers are trying to make a technology while still [not] understanding the science and almost three decades of experimental research produced a variety of startling effects.
0:48 ● in 1989 Drs. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons announced the discovery of an anomalous fusion-sized excess heat energy generated by palladium and deuterium cells. from these types of cells tritium was found but always in amounts millions of times less than hot fusion and without the commensurate neutrons .

1:11 ● the production of helium was correlated with the excess heat using palladium and deuterium while nickel and light hydrogen produced weak
gamma photons.
1:30 ● today, low energy nuclear reactions or LENRs experiments have produced softened x-rays, coherent laser-like photons and exhibited superconductivity, and two types of transmutations of elements have been achieved in multiple LENR environments, including biological systems.
1:53 ● how can such a wide variety of effects result when hydrogen interacts with solid materials? theorists struggled to find an answer.
2:07 ● Nobel laureate Julian Schwinger remarked, “The circumstances of cold fusion are not those of hot fusion,” for conventional nuclear theory does not explain these laboratory observations.
2:23 ● no recipe to both initiate and scale the effect exists. laboratory successes are won by trial and error, but a new idea is transforming understanding.
2:40 ● Dr. Edmund Storms is a nuclear chemist who has conducted many surveys of the field and [has] written two books from the signs and theories of LENR.
2:49 ● his experiments have shown that temperature is the single most important factor [in] regulating LENR excess heat and that high loading is not necessary to maintain a reaction in palladium deuterium systems.
3:00 ● he has put together the first physical science-based description of LENR utilizing the tiny nano spaces in materials as the nuclear active environment where hydrogen assembles to form a unique structure able to initiate nuclear fusion through resonance by a new and yet unknown atomic mechanism.

Dr. Storms:

3:22 ● we’ve spent 24 years proving to the ourselves first and then to the world that this is real. it’s a physically real phenomenon. now the problem is we have to convince ourselves and the world how and why it works. nothing about this violates conventional theory, it adds to it. this is a new undiscovered phenomenon.
4:02 ● It occurs in hot fusion very rapidly, the energy comes out in one big burst that is, let’s say, they’re deuterium, they come together momentarily and then they blow apart immediately in different combinations of neutrons and protons, carrying the energy with them, and the energy comes off instantaneously as energetic particles.
4:28 ● in cold fusion they come together very very slowly and the energy goes off as photons, gradually, as they get closer and closer together.
4:40 ● that’s the distinguishing characteristic and that’s what makes cold fusion truly unique as a nuclear reaction. that slow interaction is not the kind of interaction people have experienced in the past nor have much understanding of,  theoretically
4:57 ● the more ways in which Nature has to do something the easier it is to occur and the more often in nature. this occurs in nature very very seldom, and it’s very very difficult to duplicate and so therefore it must be something fairly rare and therefore very unique and therefore I’ve said that it really only has one way of doing this and unless you have precisely that arrangement, that Nuclear Active Environment, it’s not going to happen.
5:29 ● LENR requires the significant change in the material to occur, and getting that change in the material has been the real big problem to make this effect reproducible.
5:40 ● right now we’re creating that environment by accident, we threw a bunch of stuff together, a few places at random happen to have the right combination of materials and relationships to work.
5:52 ● so most of the samples … maybe less than 1% are active.
5:57 ● the effect has not occurred throughout the sample. It only occurs in special very rare,  randomly created regions in the sample. I call this a nuclear active environment.
6:07 ● presumably the more of the sites are present the more energy we will be able to make.

Figure 8. Histogram of power production vs. the number of reported values. A probability function, shown as the dashed line, is used to fit the data to bins at 10 W intervals. (Storms, 2016)

6:14 ● [pointing to Figure 8] these samples [on the left] would have had only a few of these active sites and these samples [on the right] would have had a large number of that. this assembles as a  probability distribution showing that the probability of having a large number of sites were very low and the probability of having a few sites were very high and, of course, zero having a very high probability that’s why it’s been very difficult to reproduce.
6:42 ● I assume that something changes within the material and I call that change the creation of the nuclear active environment. it has to be something that is universally present in all the experiments that work, no matter what method is used, no matter what material is used,  or whether it’s light hydrogen or heavy hydrogen.
7:02 ● now, what are the characteristics of the nuclear active environment? we know a few of them. we know that you have to have deuterium or hydrogen in that environment. we know that the higher the concentration in that environment, the faster the reaction goes. we know that something in that environment is capable of hiding the Coulomb barrier of hydrogen or deuterium. we know that something in that environment also is able to communicate the energy to the lattice rather than have it go off as energetic particles, so we know, just from the way at which it behaves, certain overall characteristics, but we don’t know the details yet, but when I say, okay, let’s talk about the nuclear active environment, I’m saying, let’s talk about where those details are located in the material.
7:54 ● we want to look where we expect that material to be located. I expect it to be located on the surface. the challenge is to figure out what about the surface is universally related to a sample that makes excess energy.
8:10 ● all except for the last few microns of the surface is totally dead. so all you need is a few microns of palladium on something else and I put a few microns on platinum, it works just well as a solid piece.
8:29 ● but after examining hundreds of these photomicrographs by other people or by myself, the only thing I would see was common to all experimental methods and experimental conditions were cracks.
8:42 ●  in hot fusion, you overcome the Coulomb barrier by brute force, using high-energy, and in cold fusion you overcome it by lowering the Coulomb barrier using electric charge.
8:58 ●  you have to have a condition in which the electric charge is suitably large, and cracks have the potential to produce that kind of condition.
9:07 ● that seems crazy because for a long time people felt that cracks were bad. they allow the deuterium to leak out of the palladium.
9:17 ● we see that happen because if you put some of this material that has the cracks in it in a liquid, you can see the bubbles of hydrogen coming out of those cracks. so they were ignored or people were trying to avoid them.
9:34 ● what I propose is that the crack has to have a particular size, and when it has that size, it allows the nuclei of deuterons or protons to come into that and set up a series of, say,  proton-electron-proton-electron, with the electrons between each of the nuclei, thus hiding or reducing the Coulomb barrier
10:02 ● the size of the crack is something that ought to be determined. it has to be small enough that they would not allow the hydrogen molecule to penetrate because we know the hydrogen molecule does not produce a nuclear reaction. they have to be big enough that a single nucleus of hydrogen can go in there and be retained and not interact with it chemically.
10:28 ● so I’m guessing something less than 10 nanometers. cracks always start small. cracks always start at the size that would be nuclear active, but only for a short time.
10:48 ● holes themselves are not active. they only give you the indication that that stress reorganized the surface.
11:02 ● what I’m saying is that stress also produced the nanocracks in the walls these holes, and that’s where you have the look to find the genie of cold fusion.

Ruby Carat:

11:14 ● the nuclear active environment is proposed to be a nano-sized gap that hosts a unique form of hydrogen. while large spaces in cracks allow hydrogen to escape the material, tiny nano sized gaps are small enough to retain [a] single nuclei of hydrogen in a covalent chain called a hydroton. subjected to the high concentration of negative charge in the walls, the electrons shared by the hydrogen nuclei are forced into a more compact state with an average smaller distance between nuclei. but what happens to create a nuclear reaction?

Dr. Storms

11:55 ●  whatever it is has the ability to initiate a number of different kinds of reactions. one makes helium, heat, and makes tritium, another transmutation, so there’s a variety of things that can happen in that environment.
12:12 ● all LENR behavior using istotopes of hydrogen can be explained by a single basic mechanism  operating in a single nuclear active environment. That would be a lot to expect.

12:21 ● for something so unusual for this to have a variety of ways in which it can happen… by sheer probability — chance — there’s a crack formed and it has to have the right size, and then because of diffusion they [hydrogen nuclei] start building up a concentration in the crack.
12:39 ● hydrogen once it gets into this gap forms a covalent chain, which I call a hydroton, which releases Gibbs energy and that stabilizes the gap.
12:50 ● the hydrogen can form a chemical compound that has lower energy than any hydrogen anywhere else in the material so the hydrogen migrates there, forms this compound, and because that compound is more stable than any other it cannot decompose without that
energy being reapplied to the hydrogen, in order to get it out of there. because that is occurring in the chemical lattice it follows all the rules of a chemical reaction.
13:22 ● that narrow crack would have a very high concentration of negative charge on both walls which would force the hydrogen into a structure that I believe would help hide the Coulomb barrier and would help the resonance process take place.
13:44 ● once that builds up to a sufficient number something triggers it. that can just be the normal temperature vibrations because everything at the atomic level is vibrating, but because it has a linear structure it can start to vibrate such that these two come together, these apart,  these come together and so forth. so these things start to vibrate in line.
14:09 ● and when they do, because you have charges moving, you have the prospect of photons being generated.
14:19 ● these two come together they find themselves too close, they have too much energy, too much mass for the distance because they’re all the way to having formed a fusion product. now the system knows that if it collapses, if it comes  closer together it will gain energy because the end product is a nuclear product that has less mass than the sum total so it knows that that’s the direction to go
14:51 ● so it just keeps giving off photons. finally enough are given off and it’s time to get a little closer, and they give off a little bigger photon. each time it gives up a photon it collapses a little more, a little more, a little more, meanwhile vibrating, photons are streaming out, finally the last photon, goes off and it becomes a deuteron, because the electron that was between them gets sucked into a final product.
15:18 ● there’s hardly any mass-energy left over at that point so this becomes stable, or if not, gives off a very weak gamma.
15:28 ● now the deuteron, if there happens to be another proton or another deuteron in there, it can start the process all over again. if another deuteron happens to be there, then it can make helium, or if a proton happens to be there it will make tritium. The deuterium has a choice, it can diffuse out, in which case it will be replaced by a proton, more likely, because that’s what’s in the general environment, or it can stay there and another proton comes in and that, starts to fuse, and it makes tritium instead.
16:03 ● it is symmetrical, it isn’t just when they’re bounced in this direction they give off a photon, when they bounce in [the other] direction they give off a photon also.  these things are bouncing in a symmetrical way.
16:12 ● each time they go this direction, they lose mass and then they come back together and lose mass. at some point they’ve lost enough that these two guys don’t bounce and stick together and then these two guys over here stick together and so the question is, where during that process do they recognize that they have too much mass and have to get rid of [it]? when you do it by hot fusion that’s done very very quickly and overwhelms this process
16:37 ● I’m proposing that this is the unique feature of cold fusion. this is where cold  fusion differs from hot fusion.
16:46 ●  cold fusion is slow, it’s methodical. because it occurs over a period of time, the energy has time to get out in small quanta.
16:59 ● that electron has to have very special properties and that’s the only thing that is novel. this is total consistent normal physics except for that electron and its characteristics.
17:11 ● something new has happened, has been discovered and is required to make cold fusion work. the crack is not destroyed. the crack is a manufacturing tool it’s just simply there and atoms go in, fuse, end products diffuse  out, maybe, or they stay there, more stuff fuses. It’s an assembly line of the fusion process. that crack becomes attractive. and it’s also attractive because it’s very difficult to produce and it’s outside of the thermodynamic characteristics of a material. in other words, cracks can occur in any material regardless of its thermodynamic properties.

Ruby Carat

18:00 ● nano spaces allow a different form of atomic interaction to occur where hydrogen nuclei and electrons can form a chain called a hydroton.
18:12 ● pulsing in resonance periodically smaller distances coax nuclei into a slow fusion process where smaller bits of mass convert to energy through coherent photon emission. an electron is absorbed to make the final product. all the isotopes of hydrogen are proposed to behave the same way. any other element in the gap resonates to transmutation.

Dr. Storms

18:40 ● that’s why cold fusion was essentially rejected by people who were educated and had experience with hot fusion, which plays by entirely different rules. cold fusion plays by rules that we don’t presently understand and those rules involve slow interaction and a slow release of energy. I also say that cold fusion has to follow all the laws of nature as we presently know and love them.
19:09 ● they cannot violate any law of nature, chemical or physical. the only problem is if there’s something missing in those laws, so it isn’t that they’re conflicting with anything. it’s just that we don’t have all the pieces yet. that’s the the big, what I call the big discovery, that a chemical compound of hydrogen created under very special circumstances can then fuse.

Ruby Carat

19:37 ● nanogaps and hydrotons are able to explain the broad variety of evidence in LENR experiments by reasoning that follows the data and begins with tritium production.

Dr. Storms

20:00 ● tritium provides the key to understanding this process and tritium also provides the way which the process can be verified. tritium is made in cold fusion cells. but the tritium cannot be made by the hot fusion reaction because we’re not seeing any neutrons, so it has to be made by some other process.
20:22 ● well, there are a limited number of ways in which you can make tritium. when you examine all those, you discover that the only thing that really makes any sense is this reaction here: the deuteron fuses with a proton, captures the electron, makes tritium, which then decays by its normal behavior, with a half-life of 12.3 years, to helium-3 and an electron.
20:43 ● all of the hydrogen isotopes happen to behave the same way because that’s the only way you can get tritium. then it’s also the only way you can get helium. the electron also has to be sucked in. the deuteron does this with the electron, that makes hydrogen-4 which decays very very rapidly so we don’t see that accumulate, to make helium-4 and, of course, the electron as part of the decay.
21:12 ● hydrogen-4 does not decay normally into helium-4 and, but it has to, for the cold fusion thing to work, because if this is an exception, if the electron doesn’t get sucked in, then my whole model starts to fall apart because where the heck does that electron go? it has to be there in order to hide the Coulomb barrier. it sits there in the other two reactions, so why isn’t it there in the helium? so right there, normal nuclear expectations break down,
21:46 ● hydroton is a whole new world that now cold fusion and Pons and Fleischmann have revealed exists. it was totally invisible until they came along and said, hey wait a minute, here’s something that can only work if the rules change, and so better start looking at new rules, and the hydroton is, in fact, the structure that makes those rules operate.
22:13 ● I’m taking these various ideas — many of them are not original to me, what is original is the putting together so that they have a logical relationship, and then, on the basis of that relationship, they can predict precisely what’s going to happen…. there’s no wiggle room in this theory. I mean I’m not like most theoreticians, “okay if that doesn’t work I can adjust some of the parameters here and make it work.” no, it is either right or wrong. it’s easy, simple as that, I even go down in flames or I’m right, and the result is that suddenly I can make sense of cold fusion, and suddenly now I know how to make it reproducible, and once it works I know how to engineer it.  so you know what? problem is I haven’t yet proven that.

Ruby Carat

23:07 ● beginning with experimental facts and following a logical process of reasoning has produced both questions that challenge the standard model of nuclear physics and provided testable predictions that will confirm or deny the nanogap hydroton hypothesis.

Dr. Storms

23:26 ● I predict that the hydroton is metallic hydrogen. this is that mythical material that people have been looking for by squeezing higher than at very high pressure. that is precisely what is formed in this gap. the gap makes that possible.
23:41 ● the reason why metallic hydrogen is been very difficult to detect is because once it forms, it fuses. that allows us to harvest the mathematical understanding of metallic hydrogen, which is already in the literature, to explain this material, and also will lead to another kind of measurement.
24:02 ● cold fusion represents a whole new way of looking at nuclear interaction, the rules of which will have other implications, that will have other applications and will allow us to do things that we can’t even suspect to be done now, including the deactivation of radioactive material we have generated by virtue of the other energy sources.

Ruby Carat

Figure 13. Relative rates of formation for deuterium, helium, and tritium as a function of d/(p+d) in the NAE. The figure approximates ideal behavior when the concentration of NAE and temperature are constant. Unknown influences are expected to slightly modify the relationship. The concentration of p is 100% in the metal on the left side of the figure and d has a concentration of 100% on the right side. (Storms, 2016.)

24:33 ● only experimental results will validate the hypotheses of the nanogap hydroton model. new data supports the hydroton prediction that the amount of tritium is related to the deuterium to protium ratio  in the fuel, to confirm the nuclear active environment as the nanogap, creating the right size nanospace that hosts the reaction, with 100% reliability, is crucial. determining if light hydrogen systems are producing tritium is an important next step.
25:08 ● laboratory evidence that identifies emitted photons as coming from a particular reaction would be defining for the hydrogen model.
25:23 ● cold fusion technology will be a radically different type of power creating a paradigm shift in global operations. a mere one cubic kilometer of ocean water contains fusion energy equal to all the world’s oil reserves and the nano-sized source of power holds the promise of a defining next step in our human evolution.
25:48 ● what we have to do is find a way of encouraging a material to create that structure in the presence of hydrogen. doesn’t do any good to try to create it in the absence of hydrogen because in the absence of hydrogen the crack will just simply continue to grow and if you put hydrogen in later its to big, it’s no longer nuclear active, so you have to have the hydrogen present simultaneously with the formation of the crack structure, and that’s the secret of the process
26:22 ● you have to have these two things happen simultaneously well it’s like opening a window and you open a little bit and you see a little bit of what’s outside, and it looks really interesting, you open a little bit more and then all of a sudden you realize wow there’s a whole new world out there. and so this theory has opened that world into a way of looking at cold fusion that hasn’t really been explored in completion. my guess is that once we understand how it works we will find some other metal or some alloy or maybe an alloy of palladium and nickel and some combination of deuterium and hydrogen that will be even better than what we presently have. we are nowhere near the ideal at this point.


Edmund Storms video from
2011 Kiva Labs, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2012 Natural Philosophy Alliance Talk.
2012 Albuquerque, New Mexico interview
2013 University of Missouri ICCF-18 Talk
2013, University of Missouri, ICCF-18 Interview
2017 Cold Fusion Now! HQ Eureka, CA

ICCF18 Camera and Video, Eli Elliott
Title Animation, Augustus Clark, Mike Harris
Hydroton Animation, Jasen Chambers
Music, Esa Ruoho a.k.a. Lackluster
Special Thanks, Edmund Storms, John Francisco, LENRIA, Christy Frazier, and Lee Roland Carter
Filmed, Edited, and Narrated, Ruby Carat

Dr. Storms

27:38 ● my theory tries to address the big reactions, the ones that are producing heat. those are the ones that are going like gangbusters. now, at lower levels there’s all kinds of little things that are going on, really weird
things. there are the things that, you know, a hundred graduate students will work on for twenty years to really master and understand, and they’ll give the details of this mechanism going on, and they’ll generate the Nobel Prizes that everybody will be really happy about, understanding this physics better.
28:12 ● my theory tries to address what’s happening at the highest rating level, and at that level it’s fairly straightforward.

What is scientific consensus?

Cold fusion debates often assert that there is this or that scientific consensus. What would this mean?


1 a : general agreement : unanimity • the consensus of their opinion, based on reports … from the border — John Hersey
b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned the consensus was to go ahead
2 : group solidarity in sentiment and belief

So what, then, is scientific consensus? Because consensus is about opinion or judgment, there must be someone with opinions or judgments. Who?

Well, “scientists,” of course! Just any scientist? Continue reading “What is scientific consensus?”

Ruby Carat releases Storms video on HYDROTON A Model of Cold Fusion

Edmund Storms HYDROTON A Model of Cold Fusion

Transcript at Storms 2017 video transcript.

Comments welcome. My commentary will be added.

This is an excellent video explaining Storms’ theory. Ruby, at the beginning, treats cold fusion as a known thing (i.e., will provide energy for a very long time, etc.) — but that’s her job, political. Cold Fusion Now is an advocacy organization.

Our purpose here, to empower the community of interest in cold fusion, can dovetail with that, but we include — and invite — skeptical points of view.

As to cold fusion theory, there is little agreement in the field. Criticism of theory by other theoreticians and those capable of understanding the theories is rare, for historical reasons. We intend to move beyond that limitation, self-imposed as a defensive reaction to the rejection cascade. It’s time.

For cold fusion to move forward we must include and respect skepticism, just as most of us want to see the mainstream include and respect cold fusion as a legitimate research area.

At this point, I intend to put together a review of the video, which first requires a transcript. Anyone could make such a thing. If a reader would like to contribute, I’d ask that references be included to the video elapsed time (where a section begins) … though this could also be added later. Every contribution matters and takes us into the future.

I have done things like this myself, in the past, and I always learned a great deal by paying attention to detail like that, detail without judgment, just what was actually said. So I’m inviting someone else to benefit in this way. Let me know!

(I did make a transcript, then checked my email a day late and found Ruby Carat had sent me one….)

(There is a “partial” transcript here. I’ll be looking at that. If someone wants to check or complete it, that would be useful.)

Transcript ( from YouTube CC, edited by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax)

Transcript moved to Storms 2017 video transcript.

Questions on that video may be asked as comments on that page.

Fleischmann and Pons reply

Draft, this document has not been fully formatted and hyperlinked.

This is a subpage of Morrison Fleischmann debate

This copy is taken from a document showing the Morrison comment and the Fleischmann reply. That itself may have been taken from sci.physics.fusion, posted August 17, 1993 by Mitchell Swartz. The reply was published eventually as “Reply to the critique by Morrison entitled: “Comments on claims of excess enthalpy by Fleischmann and Pons using simple cells made to boil,” M. Fleischmann, S. Pons, Physics Letters A 187, 18 April 1994 276-280. [Britz Flei1994b]

Received 28 June 1993, revised manuscript received 18 February 1994, accepted for publication 21 February 1994. Communicated by J P Vigier.


We reply here to the critique by Douglas Morrison [1] of our paper [2] which was recently
published in this Journal. Apart from his general classification of our experiments into stages 1-
5, we find that the comments made [1] are either irrelevant or inaccurate or both.

In the article “Comments on Claims of Excess Enthalpy by Fleishmann and Pons using simple
cells made to Boil” Douglas Morrison presents a critique [1] of the paper “Calorimetry of the Pd-
D2O system: from simplicity via complications to simplicity” which has recently been published
in this Journal [2]. In the introduction to his critique, Douglas Morrison has divided the timescale
of the experiments we reported into 5 stages. In this reply, we will divide our comments
into the same 5 parts. However, we note at the outset that Douglas Morrison has restricted his
critique to those aspects of our own paper which are relevant to the generation of high levels of
the specific excess enthalpy in Pd-cathodes polarized in D2O solutions i.e. to stages 3-5. By
omitting stages 1 and 2, Douglas Morrison has ignored one of the most important aspects of our
paper and this, in turn, leads him to make several erroneous statements. We therefore start our
reply by drawing attention to these omissions in Douglas Morrison’s critique.

Stages 1 and 2

In the initial stage of these experiments the electrodes (0.2mm diameter x
12.5mm length Pd-cathodes) were first polarised at 0.2A, the current being raised to 0.5A in
stage 2 of the experiments.

We note at the outset that Douglas Morrison has not drawn attention to the all important “blank
experiments” illustrated in Figs 4 and 6 or our paper by the example of a Pt cathode polarised in
the identical 0.1M LiOD electrolyte. By ignoring this part of the paper he has failed to
understand that one can obtain a precise calibration of the cells (relative standard deviation
0.17%) in a simple way using what we have termed the “lower bound heat transfer coefficient,
(kR’)11”, based on the assumption that there is zero excess enthalpy generation in such “blank
cells”. We have shown that the accuracy of this value is within 1 sigma of the precision of the
true value of the heat transfer coefficient, (kR’)2, obtained by a simple independent calibration
using a resistive Joule heater. Further methods of analysis [3] (beyond the scope of the particular
paper [2]) show that the precision of (kR’)11 is also close to the accuracy of this heat transfer
coefficient (see our discussion of stage 3).

We draw attention to the fact that the time-dependence of (kR’)11, (the simplest possible way of
characterising the cells) when applied to measurements for Pd-cathodes polarised in D2O
solutions, gives direct evidence for the generation of excess enthalpy in these systems. It is quite
unnecessary to use complicated methods of data analysis to demonstrate this fact in a semiquantitative

Stage 3 Calculations

Douglas Morrison starts by asserting: “Firstly, a complicated non-linear
regression analysis is employed to allow a claim of excess enthalpy to be made”. He has failed
to observe that we manifestly have not used this technique in this paper [2], the aim of which has
been to show that the simplest methods of data analysis are quite sufficient to demonstrate the
excess enthalpy generation. The only point at which we made reference to the use of non-linear
regression fitting (a technique which we used in our early work [4]) was in the section dealing
with the accuracy of the lower bound heat transfer coefficient, (kR’)11, determined for “blank
experiments” using Pt-cathodes polarised in D2O solutions. At that point we stated that the
accuracy of the determination of the coefficient (kR’)2 (relative standard deviation ~1.4% for the
example illustrated [2]), can be improved so as to be better than the precision of (kR’)11 by using
non-linear regression fitting; we have designated the values of (kR’) determined by non-linear
regression fitting by (kR’)5. The values of (kR’)5 obtained show that the precision of the lower
bound heat transfer coefficient (kR’)11 for “blank experiments” can indeed be taken as a measure
of the accuracy of (kR’). For the particular example illustrated the relative standard deviation was
~ 0.17% of the mean. It follows that the calibration of the cells using such simple means can be
expected to give calorimetric data having an accuracy set by this relative standard deviation in
the subsequent application of these cells.

We note here that we introduced the particular method of non-linear regression fitting (of the
numerical integral of the differential equation representing the model of the calorimeter to the
experimental data) for three reasons: firstly, because we believe that it is the most accurate single
method (experience in the field of chemical kinetics teaches us that this is the case); secondly,
because it avoids introducing any personal bias in the data treatment; thirdly, because it leads to
direct estimates of the standard deviations of all the derived values from the diagonal elements of
the error matrix. However, our experience in the intervening years has shown us that the use of
this method is a case of “overkill”: it is perfectly sufficient to use simpler methods such as multilinear
regression fitting if one aims for high accuracy. This is a topic which we will discuss
elsewhere [3]. For the present, we point out again that the purpose of our recent paper [2] was to
illustrate that the simplest possible techniques can be used to illustrate the generation of excess
enthalpy. It was for this reason that we chose the title: “Calorimetry of the Pd-D2O system: from
simplicity via complications to simplicity”.
Douglas Morrison ignores such considerations because his purpose evidently is to introduce a
critique of our work which has been published by the group at General Electric [5]. We will
show below that this critique is totally irrelevant to the recent paper published in this Journal [2].
However, as Douglas Morrison has raised the question of the critique published by General
Electric, we would like to point out once again that we have no dispute regarding the particular
method of data analysis favoured by that group [5]: their analysis is in fact based on the heat
transfer coefficient (kR’)2. If there was an area of dispute, then this was due solely to the fact that
Wilson et al introduced a subtraction of an energy term which had already been allowed for in
our own data analysis, i.e. they made a “double subtraction error”. By doing this they derived
heat transfer coefficients which showed that the cells were operating endothermically, i.e. as
refrigerators! Needless to say, such a situation contravenes the Second Law of Thermodynamics
as the entropy changes have already been taken into account by using the thermoneutral potential
of the cells.
We will leave others to judge whether our reply [6] to the critique by the group at General
Electric [5] did or did not “address the main questions posed by Wilson et al.” (in the words of
Douglas Morrison). However, as we have noted above the critique produced byWilson et al [5]
is in any event irrelevant to the evaluations presented in our paper in this journal [2]: we have
used the self-same method advocated by that group to derive the values of the excess enthalpy
given in our paper. We therefore come to a most important question: “given that Douglas
Morrison accepts the methods advocated by the group at General Electric and, given that we
have used the same methods in the recent publication [2] should he not have accepted the
validity of the derived values?”

Stage 4 Calculation

Douglas Morrison first of all raises the question whether parts of the cell contents may have been expelled as droplets during the later stages of intense heating. This is readily answered by titrating the residual cell contents: based on our earlier work about 95% of the residual lithium deuteroxide is recovered; some is undoubtedly lost in the reaction of this “aggressive” species with the glass components to form residues which cannot be titrated.

Furthermore, we have found that the total amounts of D2O added to the cells (in some cases over
periods of several months) correspond precisely to the amounts predicted to be evolved by (a)
evaporation of D2O at the instantaneous atmospheric pressures and (b) by electrolysis of D2O to
form D2 and O2 at the appropriate currents; this balance can be maintained even at temperatures
in excess of 90 degrees C [7]

We note here that other research groups (eg [5]) have reported that some Li can be detected
outside the cell using atomic absorption spectroscopy. This analytic technique is so sensitive
that it will undoubtedly detect the expulsion of small quantities of electrolyte in the vapour
stream. We also draw attention to the fact that D2O bought from many suppliers contains
surfactants. These are added to facilitate the filling of NMR sample tubes and are difficult
(probably impossible) to remove by normal methods of purification. There will undoubtedly be
excessive foaming (and expulsion of foam from the cells) if D2O from such sources is used. We
recommend the routine screening of the sources of D2O and of the cell contents using NMR
techniques. The primary reason for such routine screening is to check on the H2O content of the

Secondly, Douglas Morrison raises the question of the influence of A.C. components of the
current, an issue which has been referred to before and which we have previously answered [4].
It appears that Douglas Morrison does not appreciate the primary physics of power dissipation
from a constant current source controlled by negative feedback. Our methodology is exactly the
same as that which we have described previously [4]; it should be noted in addition that we have
always taken special steps to prevent oscillations in the galvanostats. As the cell voltages are
measured using fast sample-and-hold systems, the product (Ecell – Ethermoneutral, bath)I will give the mean enthalpy input to the cells: the A.C. component is therefore determined by the ripple
content of the current which is 0.04%.

In his third point on this section, Douglas Morrison appears to be re-establishing the transition
from nucleate to film boiling based on his experience of the use of bubble chambers. This
transition is a well-understood phenomenon in the field of heat transfer engineering. A careful
reading of our paper [2] will show that we have addressed this question and that we have pointed
out that the transition from nucleate to film boiling can be extended to 1-10kW cm-2 in the
presence of electrolytic gas evolution.

Fourthly and for good measure, Douglas Morrison once again introduces the question of the
effect of a putative catalytic recombination of oxygen and deuterium (notwithstanding the fact
that this has repeatedly been shown to be absent). We refer to this question in the next section;
here we note that the maximum conceivable total rate of heat generation (~ 5mW for the
electrode dimensions used) will be reduced because intense D2 evolution and D2O evaporation
degasses the oxygen from the solution in the vicinity of the cathode; furthermore, D2 cannot be
oxidised at the oxide coated Pt-anode. We note furthermore that the maximum localised effect
will be observed when the density of the putative “hot spots” will be 1/delta2 where delta is the
thickness of the boundary layer. This gives us a maximum localised rate of heating of ~ 6nW.
The effects of such localised hot spots will be negligible because the flow of heat in the metal
(and the solution) is governed by Laplace’s Equation (here Fourier’s Law). The spherical
symmetry of the field ensures that the temperature perturbations are eliminated (compare the
elimination of the electrical contact resistance of two plates touching at a small number of

We believe that the onus is on Douglas Morrison to devise models which would have to be
taken seriously and which are capable of being subjected to quantitative analysis. Statements of
the kind which he has made belong to the category of “arm waving”.

Stage 5 Effects

In this section we are given a good illustration of Douglas Morrison’s selective
and biased reporting. His description of this stage of the experiments starts with an incomplete
quotation of a single sentence in our paper. The full sentence reads:

“We also draw attention to some further important features: provided satisfactory electrode
materials are used, the reproducibility of the experiments is high; following the boiling to
dryness and the open-circuiting of the cells, the cells nevertheless remain at a high temperature
for prolonged periods of time (fig 11); furthermore the Kel-F supports of the electrodes at the
base of the cells melt so that the local temperature must exceed 300 degrees C”.

Douglas Morrison translates this to: “Following boiling to dryness and the open-circuiting of
the cells, the cells nevertheless remain at high temperature for prolonged periods of time;
furthermore the Kel-F supports of the electrodes at the base of the cells melt so that the local
temperature must exceed 300 degrees C”.

Readers will observe that the most important part of the sentence, which we have underlined, is
omitted; we have italicised the words “satisfactory electrode materials” because that is the nub of
the problem. In common with the experience of other research groups, we have had numerous
experiments in which we have observed zero excess enthalpy generation. The major cause
appears to be the cracking of the electrodes, a phenomenon which we will discuss elsewhere.
With respect to his own quotation Douglas Morrison goes on to say: “No explanation is given
and fig 10 is marked ‘cell remains hot, excess heat unknown'”. The reason why we refrained
from speculation about the phenomena at this stage of the work is precisely because explanations
are just that: speculations. Much further work is required before the effects referred to can be
explained in a quantitative fashion. Douglas Morrison has no such inhibitions, we believe
mainly because in the lengthy section Stage 5 Effects he wishes to disinter “the cigarette lighter
effect”. This phenomenon (the combustion of hydrogen stored in palladium when this is exposed
to the atmosphere) was first proposed by Kreysa et al [8] to explain one of our early
observations: the vapourisation of a large quantity of D2O (~ 500ml) by a 1cm cube palladium
cathode followed by the melting of the cathode and parts of the cell components and destruction
of a section of the fume cupboard housing the experiment [9]. Douglas Morrison (in common
with other critics of “Cold Fusion”) is much attached to such “Chemical Explanations” of the
“Cold Fusion” phenomena. As this particular explanation has been raised by Douglas Morrison,
we examine it here.

In the first place we note that the explanation of Kreysa et al [8] could not possibly have
applied to the experiment in question: the vapourisation of the D2O alone would have required
~1.1MJ of energy whereas the combustion of all the D in the palladium would at most have
produced ~ 650J (assuming that the D/Pd ratio had reached ~1 in the cathode), a discrepancy of a
factor of ~ 1700. In the second place, the timescale of the explanation is impossible: the
diffusional relaxation time is ~ 29 days whereas the phenomenon took at most ~ 6 hours (we
have based this diffusional relaxation time on the value of the diffusion coefficient in the alphaphase;
the processes of phase transformation coupled to diffusion are much slower in the fully
formed Pd-D system with a corresponding increase of the diffusional relaxation time for the
removal of D from the lattice). Thirdly, Kreysa et al [8] confused the notion of power (Watts)
with that of energy (Joules) which is again an error which has been promulgated by critics
seeking “Chemical Explanations” of “Cold Fusion”. Thus Douglas Morrison reiterates the notion
of heat flow, no doubt in order to seek an explanation of the high levels of excess enthalpy
during Stage 4 of the experiments. We observe that at a heat flow of 144.5W (corresponding to
the rate of excess enthalpy generation in the experiment discussed in our paper [2] the total
combustion of all the D in the cathode would be completed in ~ 4.5s, not the 600s of the duration
of this stage. Needless to say, the D in the lattice could not reach the surface in that time (the
diffusional relaxation time is ~ 105s) while the rate of diffusion of oxygen through the boundary
layer could lead at most to a rate of generation of excess enthalpy of ~ 5mW.

Douglas Morrison next asserts that no evidence has been presented in the paper about stages
three or four using H2O in place of D2O. As has already been pointed out above he has failed to
comment on the extensive discussion in our paper of a “blank experiment”. Admittedly, the
evidence was restricted to stages 1 and 2 of his own classification but a reference to an
independent review of our own work [10] will show him and interested readers that such cells
stay in thermal balance to at least 90 degrees C (we note that Douglas Morrison was present at
the Second Annual Conference on Cold Fusion). We find statements of the kind made by
Douglas Morrison distasteful. Have scientists now abandoned the notion of verifying their facts
before rushing into print?

In the last paragraph of this section Douglas Morrison finally “boxes himself into a corner”:
having set up an unlikely and unworkable scenario he finds that this cannot explain Stage 5 of
the experiment. In the normal course of events this should have led him to: (i) enquire of us
whether the particular experiment is typical of such cells; (ii) to revise his own scenario. Instead,
he implies that our experiment is incorrect, a view which he apparently shares with Tom Droege
[11]. However, an experimental observation is just that: an experimental observation. The fact
that cells containing palladium and palladium alloy cathodes polarised in D2O solutions stay at
high temperatures after they have been driven to such extremes of excess enthalpy generation
does not present us with any difficulties. It is certainly possible to choose conditions which also
lead to “boiling to dryness” in “blank cells” but such cells cool down immediately after such
“boiling to dryness”. If there are any difficulties in our observations, then these are surely in the
province of those seeking explanations in terms of “Chemical Effects” for “Cold Fusion”. It is
certainly true that the heat transfer coefficient for cells filled with gas (N2) stay close to those for
cells filled with 0.1M Li0D (this is not surprising because the main thermal impedance is across
the vacuum gap of the Dewar-type cells). The “dry cell” must therefore have generated ~120kJ
during the period at which it remained at high temperature (or ~ 3MJcm-3 or 26MJ(mol Pd)-1).
We refrained from discussing this stage of the experiments because the cells and procedures we
have used are not well suited for making quantitative measurements in this region. Inevitably,
therefore, interpretations are speculative. There is no doubt, however, that Stage 5 is probably
the most interesting part of the experiments in that it points towards new systems which merit
investigation. Suffice it to say that energies in the range observed are not within the realm of any
chemical explanations.
We do, however, feel that it is justified to conclude with a further comment at this point in
time. Afficionados of the field of “Hot Fusion” will realise that there is a large release of excess
energy during Stage 5 at zero energy input. The system is therefore operating under conditions
which are described as “Ignition” in “Hot Fusion”. It appears to us therefore that these types of
systems not only “merit investigation” (as we have stated in the last paragraph) but, more
correctly, “merit frantic investigation”.

Douglas Morrison’s Section “Conclusions” and some General Comments

In his section entitled “Conclusions”, Douglas Morrison shows yet again that he does not
understand the nature of our experimental techniques, procedures and methods of data evaluation
(or, perhaps, that he chooses to misunderstand these?). Furthermore, he fails to appreciate that
some of his own recommendations regarding the experiment design would effectively preclude
the observation of high levels of excess enthalpy. We illustrate these shortcomings with a
number of examples:

(i) Douglas Morrison asserts that accurate calorimetry requires the use of three thermal
impedances in series and that we do not follow this practice. In point of fact we do have three
impedances in series: from the room housing the experiments to a heat sink (with two
independent controllers to thermostat the room itself); from the thermostat tanks to the room
(and, for good measure, from the thermostat tanks to further thermostatically controlled sinks);
finally, from the cells to the thermostat tanks. In this way, we are able to maintain 64
experiments at reasonable cost at any one time (typically two separate five-factor experiments).

(ii) It is naturally essential to measure the heat flow at one of these thermal impedances and we
follow the normal convention of doing this at the innermost surface (we could hardly do
otherwise with our particular experiment design!). In our calorimeters, this thermal impedance is
the vacuum gap of the Dewar vessels which ensures high stability of the heat transfer
coefficients. The silvering of the top section of the Dewars (see Fig 2 of our paper [2] further
ensures that the heat transfer coefficients are virtually independent of the level of electrolyte in
the cells.

(iii) Douglas Morrison suggests that we should use isothermal calorimetry and that, in some
magical fashion, isothermal calorimeters do not require calibration. We do not understand: how
he can entertain such a notion? All calorimeters require calibration and this is normally done by
using an electrical resistive heater (following the practice introduced by Joule himself). Needless
to say, we use the same method. We observe that in many types of calorimeter, the nature of the
correction terms are “hidden” by the method of calibration. Of course, we could follow the selfsame
practice but we choose to allow for some of these terms explicitly. For example, we allow
for the enthalpy of evaporation of the D2O. We do this because we are interested in the operation
of the systems under extreme conditions (including “boiling”) where solvent evaporation
becomes the dominant form of heat transfer (it would not be sensible to include the dominant
term into a correction).

(iv) There is, however, one important aspect which is related to (iii) i.e. the need to calibrate the
calorimeters. If one chooses to measure the lower bound of the heat transfer coefficient (as we
have done in part of the paper published recently in this journal [2]) then there is no need to carry
out any calibrations nor to make corrections. It is then quite sufficient to investigate the time
dependence of this lower bound heat transfer coefficient in order to show that there is a
generation of excess enthalpy for the Pd-D2O system whereas there is no such generation for
appropriate blanks (e.g. Pt-D2O or Pd-H2O). Alternatively, one can use the maximum value of
the lower bound heat transfer coefficient to give lower bound values of the rates of excess
enthalpy generation.

It appears to us that Douglas Morrison has failed to understand this point as he continuously
asserts that our demonstrations of excess enthalpy generation are dependent on calibrations and

(v) Further with regard to (iii) it appears to us that Douglas Morrison believes that a “null
method” (as used in isothermal calorimeters) is inherently more accurate than say the
isoperibolic calorimetry which we favour. While it is certainly believed that “null” methods in
the Physical Sciences can be made to be more accurate than direct measurements (e.g. when a
voltage difference is detected as in bridge circuits: however, note that even here the advent of
“ramp” methods makes this assumption questionable) this advantage disappears when it is
necessary to transduce the primary signal. In that case the accuracy of all the methods is
determined by the measurement accuracy (here of the temperature) quite irrespective of which
particular technique is used.

In point of fact and with particular reference to the supposed advantages of isothermal versus
isoperibolic calorimetry, we note that in the former the large thermal mass of the calorimeter
appears across the input of the feedback regulator. The broadband noise performance of the
system is therefore poor; attempts to improve the performance by integrating over long times
drive the electronics into 1/f noise and, needless to say, the frequency response of the system is
degraded. (see also (vii) below)

(vi) with regard to implementing measurements with isothermal calorimeters, Douglas
Morrrison recommends the use of internal catalytic recombiners (so that the enthalpy input to the
system is just Ecell.I rather than (Ecell – Ethermoneutral, bath).I as in our “open” calorimeters. We find it interesting that Douglas Morrison will now countenance the introduction of intense local “hot
spots” on the recombiners (what is more in the gas phase!) whereas in the earlier parts of his
critique he objects to the possible creation of microscopic “hot spots” on the electrode surfaces
in contact with the solution.

We consider this criticism from Douglas Morrison to be invalid and inapplicable. In the first
place it is inapplicable because the term Ethermoneutral,bath.I (which we require in our analysis) is
known with high precision (it is determined by the enthalpy of formation of D2O from D2 and
1/2 O2). In the second place it is inapplicable because the term itself is ~ 0.77 Watt whereas we
are measuring a total enthalpy output of ~ 170 Watts in the last stages of the experiment.
(vii) We observe here that if we had followed the advice to use isothermal calorimetry for the
main part of our work, then we would have been unable to take advantage of the “positive
feedback” to drive the system into regions of high excess enthalpy generation (perhaps, stated
more exactly, we would not have found that there is such positive feedback). The fact that there
is such feedback was pointed out by Michael McKubre at the Third Annual Conference of Cold
Fusion and strongly endorsed by one of us (M.F.). As this issue had then been raised in public,
we have felt free to comment on this point in our papers (although we have previously drawn
attention to this fact in private discussions). We note that Douglas Morrison was present at the
Third Annual Conference on Cold Fusion.

(viii) While it is certainly true that the calorimetric methods need to be evolved, we do not
believe that an emphasis on isothermal calorimetry will be useful. For example, we can identify
three major requirements at the present time:

a) the design of calorimeters which allow charging of the electrodes at low thermal inputs and
temperatures below 50 degrees C followed by operation at high thermal outputs and
temperatures above 100 degrees C
b) the design of calorimeters which allow the exploration of Stage 5 of the experiments
c) the design of calorimeters having a wide frequency response in order to explore the transfer
functions of the systems.

We note that c) will in itself lead to calorimeters having an accuracy which could hardly be
rivalled by other methods.

(ix) Douglas Morrison’s critique implies that we have never used calorimetric techniques other
than that described in our recent paper [2]. Needless to say, this assertion is incorrect. It is true,
however, that we have never found a technique which is more satisfactory than the isoperibolic
method which we have described. It is also true that this is the only method which we have found
so far which can be implemented within our resources for the number of experiments which we
consider to be necessary. In our approach we have chosen to achieve accuracy by using
software; others may prefer to use hardware. The question as to which is the wiser choice is
difficult to answer: it is a dilemma which has to be faced frequently in modern experimental
science. We observe also that Douglas Morrison regards complicated instrumentation (three
feedback regulators working in series) as being “simple” whereas he regards data analysis as
being complicated.

Douglas Morrrison also asserts that we have never used more than one thermistor in our
experimentation and he raises this issue in connection with measurements on cells driven to
boiling. Needless to say, this assertion is also incorrect. However, further to this remark is it
necessary for us to point out that one does not need any temperature measurement in order to
determine the rate of boiling of a liquid?

(x) Douglas Morrison evidently has difficulties with our application of non-linear regression
methods to fit the integrals of the differential equations to the experimental data. Indeed he has
such an idee fixe regarding this point that he maintains that we used this method in our recent
paper [2]; we did not do so (see also ‘stage 3 calculations’ above). However, we note that we find
his attitude to the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm hard to understand. It is one of the most
powerful, easily implemented “canned software” methods for problems of this kind. A classic
text for applications of this algorithm [12] has been praised by most prominent physics journals
and magazines.

(xi) Douglas Morrison’s account contains numerous misleading comments and descriptions. For
example, he refers to our calorimeters as “small transparent test tubes”. It is hard for us to
understand why he chooses to make such misleading statements. In this particular case he could
equally well have said “glass Dewar vessels silvered in their top portion” (which is accurate)
rather than “small transparent test tubes” (which is not). Alternatively, if he did not wish to
provide an accurate description, he could simply have referred readers to Fig 2 of our paper [2].
This type of misrepresentation is a non-trivial matter. We have never used calorimeters made of
test-tubes since we do not believe that such devices can be made to function satisfactorily.

(xii) As a further example of Douglas Morrison’s inaccurate reporting, we quote his last
paragraph in full:

“It is interesting to note that the Fleischmann and Pons paper compares their claimed power
production with that from nuclear reactions in a nuclear reactor and this is in line with their
ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR THE FIRST TIME: breakthrough process has potential to provide
inexhaustible source of energy”.

It may be noted that the present paper does not mention “Cold Fusion” nor indeed consider a possible nuclear source for the excess heat claimed.

Douglas Morrison’s reference (9) reads: “Press release, University of Utah, 23 March 1989.” With regard to this paragraph we note that:

a) our claim that the phenomena cannot be explained by chemical or conventional physical
processes is based on the energy produced in the various stages and not the power output
b) the dramatic claim he refers to was made by the Press Office of the University of Utah and
not by us
c) we did not coin the term “Cold Fusion” and have avoided using this term except in those
instances where we refer to other research workers who have described the system in this way.
Indeed, if readers refer to our paper presented to the Third International Conference on Cold
Fusion [13] (which contains further information about some of the experiments described in [2]),
they will find that we have not used the term there. Indeed, we remain as convinced as ever that
the excess energy produced cannot be explained in terms of the conventional reaction paths of
“Hot Fusion”
d) it has been widely stated that the editor of this journal “did not allow us to use the term Cold
Fusion”. This is not true: he did not forbid us from using this term as we never did use it (see
also [13]).

(xiii) in his section “Conclusions”, Douglas Morrison makes the following summary of his
opinion of our paper:

The experiment and some of the calculations have been described as “simple”. This is incorrect
– the process involving chaotic motion, is complex and may appear simple by incorrectly
ignoring important factors. It would have been better to describe the experiments as “poor”
rather than “simple”.

We urge the readers of this journal to consult the original text [2] and to read Douglas
Morrison’s critique [1] in the context of the present reply. They may well then come to the
conclusion that our approach did after all merit the description “simple” but that the epithet
“poor” should be attached to Douglas Morrision’s critique.

Our own conclusions

We welcome the fact that Douglas Morrison has decided to publish his criticisms of our work
in the conventional scientific literature rather than relying on the electronic mail, comments to
the press and popular talks; we urge his many correspondees to follow his example. Following
this traditional pattern of publication will ensure that their comments are properly recorded for
future use and that the rights of scientific referees will not be abrogated. Furthermore, it is our
view that a return to this traditional pattern of communication will in due course eliminate the
illogical and hysterical remarks which have been so evident in the messages on the electronic
bulletins and in the scientific tabloid press. If this proves to be the case, we may yet be able to
return to a reasoned discussion of new research. Indeed, critics may decide that the proper
course of inquiry is to address a personal letter to authors of papers in the first place to seek
clarification of inadequately explained sections of publications.

Apart from the general description of stages 1-5, we find that the comments made by Douglas
Morrison are either irrelevant or inaccurate or both.


[1] Douglas Morrison, Phys. Lett. A.
[2] M.Fleischmann andd S. Pons, Phys. Lett. A 176 (1993) 1
[3] to be published
[4] M.Fleischmann, S.Pons, M.W.Anderson, L.J. Li, and M.Hawkins, J. Electroanal. Chem.
287 (1990) 293.
[5] R.H. Wilson, J.W. Bray, P.G. Kosky, H.B. Vakil, and F.G Will, J. Electroanal. Chem.
332 (1992) 1
[6] M.Fleischmann and S.Pons, J.Electroanal. Chem. 332 (1992) 33
[7] S. Pons and M.Fleischmann in: Final Report to the Utah State Energy Advisory Council,
June 1991.
[8] G. Kreysa, G. Marx, and W.Plieth, J. Electroanal. Chem. 268 (1989)659
[9] M. Fleischmann and S. Pons, J. Electroanal. Chem. 261 (1989)301
[10] W.Hansen, Report to the Utah State Fusion Energy Council on the Analysis of Selected
Pons-Fleischmann Calorimetric Data, in: “The Science of Cold Fusion”: Proc. Second
Annual Conf. on Cold Fusion, Como, Italy, 29 June-4 July 1991, eds T. Bressani, E. del
Guidice and G. Preparata, Vol 33 of the Conference Proceedings of the Italian Physical
Society (Bologna, 1992) p491; ISBN-887794–045-X
[11] T. Droege: private communication to Douglas Morrison.
[12] W.H. Press, B.P. Flannery, S.A. Teukolsky, and W.T. Vetterling, “Numerical Recipes”,
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989.
[13] M.Fleischmann and S. Pons “Frontiers of Cold Fusion” ed. H. Ikegami, Universal
Academy Press Inc., Tokyo, 1993, p47; ISBN 4-946-443-12-6


Subpage of  Calorimetry of the PD-D2O System: from Simplicity via Complications to Simplicity.

The purpose of this subpage is to study the section named below. Comments here should be aimed toward study and learning as to what is in the Original paper. This is not a place to argue “right” and “wrong,” but to seek agreement, where possible, or to delineate unresolved issues. General comments may be made on the Open discussion subpage.

General Features of our Calorimetry

Our approach to the measurement of excess enthalpy generation in Pd and Pd-alloy
cathodes polarised in D2O solutions has been described in detail elsewhere (see especially (1-5); see also (6)). The form of the calorimeter which we currently use is illustrated in Fig 1. The following features are of particular importance:

(i) at low to intermediate temperatures (say 20-50°C) heat transfer from the cell is dominated by
radiation across the vacuum gap of the lower, unsilvered, portion of the Dewar vessel to the
surrounding water bath (at a cell current of 0.5A and atmospheric pressure of 1 bar, the cooling due to evaporation of D2O reaches 10% of that due to radiation at typically 95-98°C for Dewar cells of the design shown in Fig 1).

(ii) the values of the heat transfer coefficients determined in a variety of ways (see below) both with and without the calibrating resistance heater (see Fig 2 for an example of the temperature-time and cell potential-time transients) are close to those given by the product of the Stefan-Boltzmann coefficient and the radiant surface areas of the cells.

(iii) the variations of the heat transfer coefficients with time (due to the progressive fall of the level of the electrolyte) may be neglected at the first level of approximation (heat balances to within 99%) as long as the liquid level remains in the upper, silvered portions of the calorimeters.

(iv) the room temperature is controlled and set equal to that of the water baths which contain
secondary cooling circuits; this allows precise operation of the calorimeters at low to intermediate
temperatures (thermal balances can be made to within 99.9% if this is required).

(v) heat transfer from the cells becomes dominated by evaporation of D2O as the cells are driven to the boiling point.

(vi) the current efficiencies for the electrolysis of D2O (or H2O) are close to 100%.


Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the single compartment open vacuum Dewar calorimeter cells used in this work.

Figure 2. Segment of a temperature-time/cell potential-time response (with 0.250 W heat calibration pulses) for a cell containing a 12.5 × 1.5mm platinum electrode polarised in 0.IM LiOD at 0.250A.

References (for this section)

1. Martin Fleischmann, Stanley Pons, Mark W. Anderson, Liang Jun Li and Marvin
Hawkins, J. Electroanal. Chem., 287 (1990) 293. [copy]

2. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, Fusion Technology, 17 (1990) 669. [Britz Pons1990]

3. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, Proceedings of the First Annual Conference on Cold Fusion, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. (28-31 March, 1990). [unavailable]

4. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann in T . Bressani, E. Del Guidice and G.
Preparata (Eds), The Science of Cold Fusion: Proceedings of the II Annual Conference on Cold Fusion, Como, Italy, (29 June-4 July 1991), Vol. 33 of the Conference Proceedings, The Italian Physical Society, Bologna, (1992) 349, ISBN 887794-045-X. [unavailable]

5. M. Fleischmann and S. Pons, J. Electroanal. Chem., 332 (1992) 33. [Britz Flei1992]

6. W. Hansen, Report to the Utah State Fusion Energy Council on the Analysis of Selected Pons-Fleischmann Calorimetric Data, in T. Bressani, E. Del Guidice and G. Preparata (Eds), The Science of Cold Fusion: Proceedings of the II Annual Conference on Cold Fusion, Como, Italy, (29 June-4 July 1991), Vol. 33 of the Conference Proceedings, The Italian Physical Society, Bologna, (1992) 491, ISBN 887794-045-X. [link]


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We present here one aspect of our recent research on the calorimetry of the Pd/D2O system
which has been concerned with high rates of specific excess enthalpy generation (> 1 kWcm-3) at
temperatures close to (or at) the boiling point of the electrolyte solution. This has led to a
particularly simple method of deriving the rate of excess enthalpy production based on measuring
the times required to boil the cells to dryness, this process being followed by using time-lapse video recordings.

Our use of this simple method as well as our investigations of the results of other research
groups prompts us to present also other simple methods of data analysis which we have used in the preliminary evaluations of these systems.


These analyses are subject to revision. The goal is consensus. Comment on the analysis below.


The purpose of the paper is laid out here, to present “one aspect” of “recent research,” a “particularly simple method” of measuring excess power (“rate of excess enthalpy production”), measuring the time necessary to boil to dryness. Not stated in the abstract: while methods are proposed to estimate the enthalpy itself, this would be a comparative method, which would then assess how boil-off times differ between platinum or light water controls, and functioning or non-functioning palladium heavy-water experiments.

The paper also covers “other simple methods,” used in “preliminary evaluations.”

While the abstract mentions a high power density figure (> 1 kWcm-3), that claim is not the stated purpose of the paper, which is about methods.


This is a subpage of Morrison Fleischmann debate to allow detailed study of the paper copied here, from http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmancalorimetra.pdf

page anchors added per lenr-canr copy. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Section anchors:
ABSTRACT [analysis]
General Features of our Calorimetry [analysis]
Modelling of the Calorimeters [analysis]
Methods of Data Evaluation: the Precision and Accuracy of the Heat Transfer Coefficients [analysis]
Applications of Measurements of the Lower Bound Heat Transfer Coefficients to the Investigation of the Pd – D2Ο System [analysis]
A Further Simple Method of Investigating the Thermal Balances for the Cells Operating in the Region of the Boiling Point

(after each section, as well as above, there is a link to an analysis subpage — once they have been created)


The Third International Conference on Cold Fusion. 1992. Nagoya, Japan: Universal Academy
Press, Inc., Tokyo: p. 47.

Calorimetry of the PD-D2O System: from Simplicity via Complications to Simplicity.

Martin FLEISCHMANN, Dept. of Chemistry, Univ. of Southampton, Southampton, U.K.
Stanley PONS, IMRA Europe, Sophia Antipolis, 06560 Valbonne, FRANCE


We present here one aspect of our recent research on the calorimetry of the Pd/D2O system
which has been concerned with high rates of specific excess enthalpy generation (> 1kWcm-3) at
temperatures close to (or at) the boiling point of the electrolyte solution. This has led to a
particularly simple method of deriving the rate of excess enthalpy production based on measuring
the times required to boil the cells to dryness, this process being followed by using time-lapse video recordings.

Our use of this simple method as well as our investigations of the results of other research
groups prompts us to present also other simple methods of data analysis which we have used in the preliminary evaluations of these systems.


General Features of our Calorimetry

Our approach to the measurement of excess enthalpy generation in Pd and Pd-alloy
cathodes polarised in D2O solutions has been described in detail elsewhere (see especially (1-5); see also (6)). The form of the calorimeter which we currently use is illustrated in Fig 1. The following features are of particular importance:

(i) at low to intermediate temperatures (say 20-50°C) heat transfer from the cell is dominated by
radiation across the vacuum gap of the lower, unsilvered, portion of the Dewar vessel to the
surrounding water bath (at a cell current of 0.5A and atmospheric pressure of 1 bar, the cooling due to evaporation of D2O reaches 10% of that due to radiation at typically 95-98°C for Dewar cells of the design shown in Fig 1).

(ii) the values of the heat transfer coefficients determined in a variety of ways (see below) both with and without the calibrating resistance heater (see Fig 2 for an example of the temperature-time and cell potential-time transients) are close to those given by the product of the Stefan-Boltzmann coefficient and the radiant surface areas of the cells.

(iii) the variations of the heat transfer coefficients with time (due to the progressive fall of the level of the electrolyte) may be neglected at the first level of approximation (heat balances to within 99%) as long as the liquid level remains in the upper, silvered portions of the calorimeters.

(iv) the room temperature is controlled and set equal to that of the water baths which contain
secondary cooling circuits; this allows precise operation of the calorimeters at low to intermediate
temperatures (thermal balances can be made to within 99.9% if this is required).

(v) heat transfer from the cells becomes dominated by evaporation of D2O as the cells are driven to the boiling point.

(vi) the current efficiencies for the electrolysis of D2O (or H2O) are close to 100%.


Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the single compartment open vacuum Dewar calorimeter cells used in this work.

Figure 2. Segment of a temperature-time/cell potential-time response (with 0.250 W heat calibration pulses) for a cell containing a 12.5 × 1.5mm platinum electrode polarised in 0.IM LiOD at 0.250A.



Modelling of the Calorimeters

The temperature-time variations of the calorimeters have been shown to be determined by the differential equation [1]

In equation [1] the term allows for the change of the water equivalent with time;
the term β was introduced to allow for a more rapid decrease than would be given by electrolysis
alone (exposure of the solid components of the cell contents, D2O vapour carried off in the gas
stream). As expected, the effects of β on Qf and K0R can be neglected if the cells are operated below 60°C. Furthermore, significant changes in the enthalpy contents of the calorimeters are normally only observed following the refilling of the cells with D2O (to make up for losses due to electrolysis and evaporation) so that it is usually sufficient to use the approximation [2]

The term allows for the decrease of the radiant surface area with time but, as we have already noted, this term may be neglected for calorimeters silvered in the top portion
(however, this term is significant for measurements made in unsilvered Dewars (1); see also (7)). Similarly, the effects of conductive heat transfer are small. We have therefore set Φ = 0 and have made a small increase in the radiative heat transfer coefficient k0R to k’R to allow for this
assumption. We have shown (see Appendix 2 of (1)) that this leads to a small underestimate of Qf (t); at the same time the random errors of the estimations are decreased because the number of parameters to be determined is reduced by one.

We have also throughout used the temperature of the water bath as the reference value and
arrive at the simpler equation which we have used extensively in our work:



Methods of Data Evaluation: the Precision and Accuracy of the
Heat Transfer Coefficients

A very useful first guide to the behaviour of the systems can be obtained by deriving a
lower bound of the heat transfer coefficients (designated by (k’R)6 and/or (k’R)11 in our working manuals and reports) which is based on the assumption that there is zero excess enthalpy generation within the calorimeters:


The reason why (k’R)11 is a lower bound is because the inclusion of any process leading to the generation of heat within the cells (specifically the heat of absorption of D (or H) within the lattice or the generation of excess enthalpy within the electrodes) would increase the derived value of this heat transfer coefficient: (k’R)11 will be equal to the true value of the coefficient only if there is no such source of excess enthalpy in the cells as would be expected to hold, for example, for the polarisation of Pt in D2O solutions, Fig 2. The simplest procedure is to evaluate these coefficients at a set of fixed times following the addition of D2O to make up for losses due to electrolysis and/or evaporation. Convenient positions are just before the times, t1, at which the calibrating heating pulses are applied to the resistive heaters, Fig 3. For the particular experiment illustrated in Fig 2, the mean value of (k’R)11 for 19 such measurements is 0.7280 × 10-9WK-4 with a standard deviation σ(k’R)11 = 0.0013WK-4 or 0.17% of the mean.


Figure 3. Schematic diagram of the methodology used for the calculations.

It is evident therefore that even such simple procedures can give precise values of the heat transfer coefficients but, needless to say, it is also necessary to investigate their accuracy. We have always done this at the next level of complication by applying heater pulses lying in the time range t1 < t < t2 and by making a thermal balance just before the termination of this pulse at t = t2. This time is chosen so that

t2 -t1 ≥ 6τ   [5]

where τ is the thermal relaxation time


The scheme of the calculation is illustrated in Fig 3: we determine the temperatures and cell potentials at t2 as well as the interpolated values (Δθ1, t2) and [Ecell(Δθ1, t2) ] which would apply
at these times in the absence of the heater calibration pulse. We derive the heat transfer coefficient which we have designated as (k’R)2 using
The mean value of (k’R)2 for the set of 19 measurements is 0.7264WK-4 with a standard deviation  σ(k’R)2 = 0.0099WK-4  or 1.4% of the mean.


The comparison of the means and standard deviations of (k’R)2 and (k’R)11 leads to several important conclusions:

(i) in the first place, we note that the mean of (k’R)11 is accurate as well as precise for such blank
experiments: the mean of (k’R)11 is within 0.2σ of the independently calibrated mean values of (k’R)2 ; indeed, the mean of (k’R)11 is also within ~ 1σ of the mean of (k’R)2 so that the differences between (k’R)and (k’R)11 are probably not significant.

(ii) as expected, the precision of (k’R)2 is lower than that of (k’R)11. This is due mainly to the fact
that (k’R)2 (and other similar values) are derived by dividing by the differences between two
comparably large quantities (θbath + Δθ2)4 – (θbath + Δθ1), equation (7). The difference (θbath + Δθ)4 – (θbath)4 used in deriving (k’R)11, equation [4], is known at a higher level of precision.

(iii) the lowering of the precision of (k’R)2 as compared to that of (k’R)11 can be avoided by fitting the integrals of equation [1] (for successive cycles following the refilling of the cells) directly to the experimental data (in view of the inhomogeneity and non-linearity of this differential equation, this integration has to be carried out numerically (1) although it is also possible to apply approximate algebraic solutions at high levels of precision (8)). Since the fitting procedures use all the information contained in each single measurement cycle, the precision of the estimates of the heat transfer coefficients, designated as (k’R)5 , can exceed that of the coefficients (k’R)11. We have carried out these fitting procedures by using non-linear regression techniques (1-5) which have the advantage that they give direct estimates of σ(k’R)5 (as well as of the standard deviations of the other parameters to be fitted) for each measurement cycle rather than requiring the use of repeated cycles as in the estimates of σ(k’R)11 or σ(k’R)2. While this is not of particular importance for the estimation of k’R for the cell types illustrated in Fig 1 (since the effects of the irreproducibility of refilling the cells is small in view of the silvering of the upper portions of the Dewars) it is of much greater importance for the measurements carried out with the earlier designs (1) which were not silvered in this part; needless to say, it is important for estimating the variability of Qf for measurements with all cell designs.

Estimates of k’have also been made by applying low pass filtering techniques (such as the Kalman filter (6) and (8)); these methods have some special advantages as compared to the application of non-linear regression analysis and these advantages will be discussed elsewhere.(8) The values of the heat transfer coefficients derived are closely similar to those of (k’R)5.

Low pass filtering and non-linear regression are two of the most detailed (and complicated) methods which we have applied in our investigation. Such methods have the special advantage that they avoid the well-known pitfalls of making point-by-point evaluations based on the direct application of the differential equation modelling the system. These methods can be applied equally to make estimates of the lower bound heat transfer coefficient, (k’R)11. However, in this case the complexity of such calculations is not justified because the precision and accuracy of (k’R)11 evaluated point-by-point is already very high for blank experiments, see (i) and (ii) above. Instead, the objective of our preliminary investigations has been to determine what information can be derived for the Pd – H2O and Pd – D2O systems using (k’R)11 evaluated point-by-point and bearing in mind the precision and accuracy for blank experiments using Pt cathodes. As we seek to illustrate this pattern of investigation, we will not discuss the methods outlined in this subsection (iii) further in this paper.

(iv) we do, however, draw attention once again to the fact that in applying the heat transfer


coefficients calibrated with the heater pulse ΔQH(t – t1) – ΔQH(t – t2) we have frequently used the coefficient defined by and determined at t = t2 to make thermal balances at the point just before the application of the
calibrating heater pulse, Fig 3. The differences between the application of (k’R)2 and (k’R)4 are
negligible for blank experiments which has not been understood by some authors e.g.,(9). However, for the Pd – D2O and Pd alloy – D2O systems, the corresponding rate of excess enthalpy generation, (Qf)2, is significantly larger than is (Qf)4 for fully charged electrodes. As we have always chosen to underestimate Qf, we have preferred to use (Qf)4 rather than (Qf)2.

The fact that (Qf)2 > (Qf)4 as well as other features of the experiments, shows that there is an element of “positive feedback” between the increase of temperature and the rate of generation of excess enthalpy. This topic will be discussed elsewhere (8); we note here that the existence of this feedback has been a major factor in the choice of our calorimetric method and especially in the choice of our experimental protocols. As will be shown below, these provide systems which can generate excess enthalpy at rates above 1kWcm-3.

Applications of Measurements of the Lower Bound Heat Transfer Coefficients to the Investigation of the Pd – D2Ο System

In our investigations of the Pd – D2O and Pd alloy – D2O systems we have found that a
great deal of highly diagnostic qualitative and semi-quantitative information can be rapidly obtained by examining the time-dependence of the lower bound heat transfer coefficient, (k’R)11. The qualitative information is especially useful in this regard as it provides the answer to the key question: “is there generation of excess enthalpy within (or at the surface) of Pd cathodes polarised in D2O solutions?”

We examine first of all the time-dependence of (k’R)11 in the initial time region for the
blank experiment of a Pt cathode polarised in D2O solution which has been illustrated by Fig 2. Fig 4 shows that (k’R)11 rapidly approaches the true steady state value 0.728 × 10-9WK-4 which applies to this particular cell. We conclude that there is no source of excess enthalpy for this system and note that this measurement in itself excludes the possibility of significant re-oxidation of D2 at the anode or re-reduction of O2 at the cathode.

Figure 4. Plot of the heat transfer coefficient for the first day of electrolysis of the experiment described in Fig 2.


We examine next the behaviour of a Pd cathode in H2O, Fig 5. The lower bound heat transfer coefficient again approaches the true value 0.747WK-4 for the particular cell used with
increasing time but there is now a marked decrease of (k’R)11 from this value at short times. As we
have noted above, such decreases show the presence of a source of excess enthalpy in the system which evidently decreases in accord with the diffusional relaxation time of Η+ in the Pd cathode: this source can be attributed to the heat of absorption of H+ within the lattice. We also note that the measurement of (k’R)11 in the initial stages is especially sensitive to the presence of such sources of excess enthalpy because (θbath + Δθ)4 – θbath  0 as t → 0, equation [4]. Furthermore, in the absence of any such source of excess enthalpy the terms [Ecell – Ethermoneutral,bath]I and CP,D2O,lM0(dΔθ/dt) will balance. The exclusion of the unknown enthalpy source must therefore give a decrease of (k’R)11 from the true value of the heat transfer coefficient. We see that this decrease is so marked for the Pd – H2O that (k’R)11 is initially negative! The measurements of (k’R)11 are highly sensitive to the exact conditions in the cell in this region of time, so that minor deviations from the true value (as for the Pt – D2O system, Fig 4) are not significant.

We observe also that measurements of (k’R)11 in the initial stages of the experiments provide an immediate answer to the vexed question: “do the electrodes charge with D+ (or H+)?” It is a common experience of research groups working in this field that some samples of Pd do not give cathodes which charge with D+ (or, at least, which do not charge satisfactorily). A library of
plots of (k’R)11 versus time is a useful tool in predicting the outcome of any given experiment!

We examine next the results for one Pd cathode polarised in D2O solution out of a set of four whose behaviour we will discuss further in the next section. Fig 6B gives the overall temperature-time and cell potential-time data for the second electrode of the set. The overall objective of this part of our investigations has been to determine the conditions required to produce high rates of excess enthalpy generation at the boiling point of the D2O solutions. Our protocol for
the experiment is based on the hypothesis that the further addition of D+ to cathodes already highly loaded with deuterium will be endothermic. We therefore charge the electrodes at low to intermediate current densities and at temperatures below 50°C for prolonged periods of time; following this, the current densities are increased and the temperature is allowed to rise. The D+ is then retained in the cathodes and we take advantage of the “positive feedback” between the temperature and the rate of excess enthalpy generation to drive the cells to the boiling point, Fig 6.

Figure 5. Plot of the heat transfer coefficient for the first day of electrolysis in a “blank” cellcontaining a 12.5 × 2mm palladium electrode polarised in O.1M LiOH at 0.250mA.


(Figure 6A)



(Figure 6D)

Figure 6. Temperature-time and potential-time profiles for four 12.5 × 2mm palladium electrodes polarised in heavy water (0.1M LiOD). Electrolysis was started at the same time for all cells. The input enthalpies and the excess enthalpy outputs at selected times are indicated on the diagrams. The current in the first cell was 0.500A. The initial current in each of the other 3 cells was 0.200A, which was increased to 0.500A at the beginning of days 3, 6, and 9, respectively.


We examine next the behaviour of the lower bound heat transfer coefficient as a function
of time in three regions, Figs 7A-C. For the first day of operation, Fig 7A, (k’R)11 is initially
markedly negative in view of the heat of dissolution of D+ in the lattice. As for the case of dissolution of H+ in Pd, this phenomenon decays with the diffusional relaxation time so that
(k’R)11 increases towards the true value for this cell, 0.892 × 10-9WK-4. However, (k’R)11 never
reaches this final value because a second exothermic process develops namely, the generation of
excess enthalpy in the lattice. In view of this, (k’R)11 again decreases and we observe a maximum:
these maxima may be strongly or weakly developed depending on the experimental conditions such as the diameter of the electrodes, the current density, the true heat transfer coefficients, the level of excess enthalpy generation etc.

We take note of an extremely important observation: although (k’R)11 never reaches the true value of the heat transfer coefficient, the maximum values of this lower bound coefficient are the minimum values of k’R which must be used in evaluating the thermal balances for the cells. This maximum value is quite independent of other methods of calibration and, clearly, the use of


this value will show that there is excess enthalpy generation both at short and at long times. These estimates in Qf (which we denote by (Qf)11 are the lower bounds of the excess enthalpy. The conclusion that there is excess enthalpy generation for Pd cathodes polarised in D2O is inescapable and is independent of any method of calibration which may be adopted so as to put the study on a quantitative basis. It is worth noting that a similar observation about the significance of our data was made in the independent review which was presented at the 2nd Annual Conference on Cold Fusion. (6)

(Figure 7A, 7B)



(Figure 7C)

Figure 7. Plots of the lower bound heat transfer coefficient as a function of time for three different periods of the experiment described in Fig. 6B: (A) the first day of electrolysis, (B) during a period including the last part of the calibration cycle, and (C) the last day of electrolysis.

We comment next on the results for part of the second day of operation, Fig 7B. In the
region of the first heater calibration pulse (see Fig 6), (k’R)11 has decreased from the value shown
in Fig 7A. This is due to the operation of the term ΔQ which is not taken into account in
calculating (k’R)11, see equation [4]. As we traverse the region of the termination of the pulse ΔQ,
t=t2, (k’R)11 shows the expected increase. Fig 7B also illustrates that the use of the maximum value of (k’R)11, Fig 7A, gives a clear indication of the excess enthalpy term ΔQ, here imposed by the resistive heater. We will comment elsewhere on the time dependencies of (k’R)11 and of Q in the regions close to t = t1 and t = t2. (8)

The last day of operation is characterised by a rapid rise of temperature up to the boiling point of the electrolyte leading to a short period of intense evaporation/boiling Fig 8. The evidence for the time dependence of the cell contents during the last stages of operation is discussed in the next section. Fig 7C shows the values of (k’R)11 calculated using two assumed atmospheric pressures, 0.953 and 0.97 bars. The first value has been chosen to give a smooth evaporation of the cell contents (M0 = 5.0 D2O) i.e., no boiling during the period up to the point when the cell becomes dry, 50,735 s. However, this particular mode of operation would have required the cell to have been half-full at a time 2.3 hrs before dryness. Furthermore, the ambient pressure at that time was 0.966 bars. We believe therefore that such a mode of operation must be excluded. For the second value of the pressure, 0.97 bars, the cell would have become half empty 11 minutes before dryness, as observed from the video recordings (see the next section) and this in turn requires a period of intense boiling during the last 11 minutes. It can be seen that the heat transfer coefficient (k’R)11 decreases gradually for the assumed condition P = 0.953 bars whereas it stays more nearly constant for P = 0.97 up to the time at which the cell is half-full, followed by a very rapid fall to marked negative values. These marked negative values naturally are an expression of the high rates of enthalpy generation required to explain the rapid boiling during the last 11 minutes of operation. The true behaviour must be close to that calculated for this value of the ambient pressure.


Figure 8. Expansion of the temperature-time portion of Fig 6B during the final period of rapid boiling and evaporation.

Figs 9A and B give the rates of the specific excess enthalpy generation for the first and last day corresponding to the heat transfer coefficients, Figs 7A and C. On the first day the specific rate due to the heat of dissolution of D+ in the lattice falls rapidly in line with the decreasing rate of diffusion into the lattice coupled with the progressive saturation of the electrode. This is followed by a progressive build up of the long-time rate of excess enthalpy generation. The rates of the specific excess enthalpy generation for the last day of operation are given for the two assumed atmospheric pressures P*=0.953 and 0.97 bars in Fig 9B. These rates are initially insensitive to the choice of the value of P*. However, with increasing time, (Qf) for the first condition increases reaching ~300 watts cm-3 in the final stages. As we have noted above, this particular pattern of operation is not consistent with the ambient atmospheric pressure. The true behaviour must be close to that for P*=0.97 bars for which (Qf) remains relatively constant at ~ 20W cm-3 for the bulk of the experiment followed by a rapid rise to ~ 4kW cm-3 as the cell boils dry.

A Further Simple Method of Investigating the Thermal Balances for the Cells Operating in the Region of the Boiling Point

It will be apparent that for cells operating close to the boiling point, the derived values of
Qf and of (k’R)11 become sensitive to the values of the atmospheric pressure (broadly for θcell >
97.5°C e.g., see Fig 9B.) It is therefore necessary to develop independent means of monitoring the progressive evaporation/boiling of the D2O. The simplest procedure is to make time-lapse video recordings of the operation of the cells which can be synchronised with the temperature-time and cell potential-time data. Figs 6A-D give the records of the operation of four such cells which are illustrated by four stills taken from the video recordings, Fig 10A-D. Of these, Fig 10A illustrates the initial stages of operation as the electrodes are being charged; Fig 10B shows the first cell being driven to boiling, the remaining cells being still at low to intermediate temperatures; Fig 10C shows the last cell being driven to boiling, the first three having boiled dry; finally, 10D shows all cells boiled dry.

As it is possible to repeatedly reverse and run forward the video recordings at any stage of operation, it also becomes possible to make reasonably accurate estimates of the cell contents. We have chosen to time the evaporation/boiling of the last half of the D2O in cells of this type and this allows us to make particularly simple thermal balances for the operation in the region of the
boiling point. The enthalpy input is estimated from the cell potential-time record, the radiative
output is accurately known (temperature measurements become unnecessary!) and the major enthalpy output is due to evaporation of the D2O. We illustrate this with the behaviour of the cell, Fig 6D, Fig 10D.


Figure 9. Plots of the specific excess enthalpy generation for (A) the first and (B) the last day of
the experiment described in Fig 6B and using the heat transfer coefficients given in Figs 7A and


Enthalpy Input
By electrolysis = (Ecell – 1.54) × Cell Current ~ 22,500J

Enthalpy Output
To Ambient ≈ k´R [(374.5°)4 – (293.15°)4] × 600s = 6,700J
In Vapour ≈ (2.5 Moles × 41KJ/Mole) = 102,500J

Enthalpy Balance
Excess Enthalpy ≈ 86,700J

Rate of Enthalpy Input
By Electrolysis, 22,500J/600s = 37.5W

Rate of Enthalpy Output
To Ambient, 6,600J/600s = 11W
In Vapour, 102,500J/600s ≈ 171W

Balance of Enthalpy Rates
Excess Rate ≈ 144.5W
Excess Specific Rate ≈ 144.5W/0.0392cm3 ≈ 3,700Wcm-3



Figure 10. Stills of video recordings of the cells described in Fig 6 taken at increasing times. (A) Initial charging of the electrodes. (B) The first cell during the final period of boiling dry with the other cells at lower temperatures. (C) The last cell during the final boiling period, the other cells having boiled dry. (D) All the cells having boiled dry.

Part of a similar boil-off video can bee seen here:
[editor’s note: August 12, 2017, this video is not available. The Phys Lett A publication had one image only, unintelligible, no video ref. However, these videos exist, courtesy of Steve Krivit:
Pons-Fleischmann Four-Cell Boil-Off (Pons Presentation) (Japanese overdub?)
Pons-Fleischmann Four-Cell Boil-Off (Pons Presentation) (no sound)


We note that excess rate of energy production is about four times that of the enthalpy input even for this highly inefficient system; the specific excess rates are broadly speaking in line with those achieved in fast breeder reactors. We also draw attention to some further important features: provided satisfactory electrode materials are used, the reproducibility of the experiments is high; following the boiling to dryness and the open-circuiting of the cells, the cells nevertheless remain at high temperature for prolonged periods of time, Fig 8; furthermore the Kel-F supports of the electrodes at the base of the cells melt so that the local temperature must exceed 300ºC.

We conclude once again with some words of warning. A major cause of the rise in cell voltage is undoubtedly the gas volume between the cathode and anode as the temperature approaches the boiling point (i.e., heavy steam). The further development of this work therefore calls for the use of pressurised systems to reduce this gas volume as well as to further raise the operating temperature. Apart from the intrinsic difficulties of operating such systems it is also not at all clear whether the high levels of enthalpy generation achieved in the cells in Figs 10 are in any sense a limit or whether they would not continue to increase with more prolonged operation. At a specific excess rate of enthalpy production of 2kW cm-3, the electrodes in the cells of Fig 10
are already at the limit at which there would be a switch from nucleate to film boiling if the current flow were interrupted (we have shown in separate experiments that heat transfer rates in the range 1-10kW cm-2 can be achieved provided current flow is maintained i.e., this current flow extends the nucleate boiling regime). The possible consequences of a switch to film boiling are not clear at this stage. We have therefore chosen to work with “open” systems and to allow the cells to boil to dryness before interrupting the current.



CP,O2,g Heat capacity of O2, JK-1mol-1.
CP,D2,g Heat capacity of D2, JK-1 mol-1.
CP,D2O,l Heat capacity of liquid D2O, JK-1mol-1.
CP,D2O,g Heat capacity of D2O vapour, JK-1mol-1.
Ecell Measured cell potential, V
Ecell,t=0 Measured cell potential at the time when the initial values of the parameters are evaluated, V
Ethermoneutral bath Potential equivalent of the enthalpy of reaction for the dissociation of heavy water at the bath temperature, V
F Faraday constant, 96484.56 C mol-1.
H Heaviside unity function.
I Cell current, A.
k0R Heat transfer coefficient due to radiation at a chosen time origin, WK-4
(k’REffective heat transfer coefficient due to radiation, WK-4 Symbol for liquid phase.
L Enthalpy of evaporation, JK1mol-1.
M0 Heavy water equivalent of the calorimeter at a chosen time origin, mols.
P Partial pressure, Pa; product species. P* Atmospheric pressure
P* Rate of generation of excess enthalpy, W.
Qf(t) Time dependent rate of generation of excess enthalpy, W.
T Time, s.
Ν Symbol for vapour phase.
Q Rate of heat dissipation of calibration heater, W.
Δθ Difference in cell and bath temperature, K.
Θ Absolute temperature, K.
θbath Bath temperature, K.
Λ Slope of the change in the heat transfer coefficient with time.
Φ Proportionality constant relating conductive heat transfer to the radiative heat transfer term.



1. Martin Fleischmann, Stanley Pons, Mark W. Anderson, Liang Jun Li and Marvin
Hawkins, J. Electroanal. Chem., 287 (1990) 293. [copy]

2. Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, Fusion Technology, 17 (1990) 669. [Britz Pons1990]

3. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, Proceedings of the First Annual Conference on Cold Fusion, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. (28-31 March, 1990). [unavailable]

4. Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann in T . Bressani, E. Del Guidice and G.
Preparata (Eds), The Science of Cold Fusion: Proceedings of the II Annual Conference on Cold Fusion, Como, Italy, (29 June-4 July 1991), Vol. 33 of the Conference Proceedings, The Italian Physical Society, Bologna, (1992) 349, ISBN 887794-045-X. [unavailable]

5. M. Fleischmann and S. Pons, J. Electroanal. Chem., 332 (1992) 33. [Britz Flei1992]

6. W. Hansen, Report to the Utah State Fusion Energy Council on the Analysis of Selected Pons-Fleischmann Calorimetric Data, in T. Bressani, E. Del Guidice and G. Preparata (Eds), The Science of Cold Fusion: Proceedings of the II Annual Conference on Cold Fusion, Como, Italy, (29 June-4 July 1991), Vol. 33 of the Conference Proceedings, The Italian Physical Society, Bologna, (1992) 491, ISBN 887794-045-X. [link]

7. D. E. Williams, D. J. S. Findlay, D. W. Craston, M. R. Sene, M. Bailey, S. Croft, B.W. Hooten, C.P. Jones, A.R.J. Kucernak, J.A. Mason and R.I. Taylor, Nature, 342 (1989) 375. [Britz Will1989]

8. To be published.

9. R.H. Wilson, J.W. Bray, P.G. Kosky, H.B. Vakil and F.G. Will, J. Electroanal. Chem., 332 (1992) 1. [Britz Wils1992]

We dedicate this paper to the memory of our friend, Mr. Minoru Toyoda.

Review tools

Links to anchors in this document:

Page numbers, referring to lenr-canr source: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Equations  e1 e2 e3 e4 e5 e6 e7 e8

Figures f1 f2 f3 f4 f5 f6 f7 f8 f9 f10

Notes n1 n2 n3 n4 n5 n6 n7 n8 n9

Section anchors (capitalization matters), anchor word in bold:
ABSTRACT [analysis]
General Features of our Calorimetry
Modelling of the Calorimeters
Methods of Data Evaluation: the Precision and Accuracy of the Heat Transfer Coefficients
Applications of Measurements of the Lower Bound Heat Transfer Coefficients to the Investigation of the Pd – D2Ο System
A Further Simple Method of Investigating the Thermal Balances for the Cells Operating in the Region of the Boiling Point

Sections also become subpages using the same anchor word. As these are created, they will be noted in the Contents metasection above, and after the section with a smalltext link.

Morrison Fleischmann debate

This is a study of the debate between Douglas Morrison and Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann. This debate first took place on the internet, but was then published. It was also covered with copies of drafts from both sides, shown on lenr-canr.org.

Phase 1 of the study
Participation is strongly invited.
Britz summaries of the papers

Phase 1 of the study

In this phase, the goal is to thoroughly understand, as far as possible, the expression and intentions of the authors. In the first phase, whether an author is “right” or “wrong” is irrelevant, and if something appears incorrect, a default operating assumption is that the expression was defective or incomplete or has not been understood. In later analysis, this restriction may be removed, and possible error considered.

The original paper being critiqued was M. Fleischmann, S. Pons, “Calorimetry of the Pd-D2O system: from simplicity via complications to simplicity,” Physics Letters A, 176 (1993) 118-129. I have a scan of the original published paper (and Steve Krivit hosts a copy), but I have used here use the more-available version, first presented as a conference paper at ICCF-3 in 1992. There is a later version, presented at ICCF-4 in 1993.

Morrison, D. R. O. (1994). “Comments on claims of excess enthalpy by Fleischmann and Pons using simple cells made to boil.” Phys. Lett. A, 185:498–502. I have a scan, but, again, will use the lenr-canr.org copy.

The original authors then replied with Fleischmann, M.; Pons, S. (1994). “Reply to the critique by Morrison entitled ‘Comments on claims of excess enthalpy by FLeischmann and Pons using simple cells made to boil'”. Phys. Lett. A, 187:276–280. Again, I have a scan of the as-published reply, but will use what is included in the lenr-canr.org copy for convenience.

If there are any significant differences in the versions, I assume they will be found and noted. Meanwhile, this is an opportunity to see what critiques were levelled by Morrison in 1994, and how Pons and Flesichmann replied. Many of the same issues continue to be raised.

Subpages here.

Original paper.

Morrison critique.

Original authors respond.

Review Committee (new members welcome. This is consensus process and, even after the Committee issues reports, additional good-faith review will remain open here, hopefully, or elsewhere.)


To participate in this study, comment on the Review Committee page, using a real email address (which will remain confidential) and then begin reviewing the Original paper. (The email address will be used in negotiating consensus, later. Participants will be consulted about process.) Again, the goal at his point is to become familiar with the original paper, what is actually in it (and what is not in it).

Comment here constitutes permission for CFC administration to email you directly (your email address remains private information, not used except for administrative purposes.)

Fleischmann papers are famous for being difficult to understand. Having now edited the complete paper, I’m not ready to claim I understand it all, but it is not as difficult as I’d have expected. The math takes becoming familiar with the symbols, but it is not particularly complex.

Subpages are being created for each section in the article.

If anyone has difficulty understanding something, comment on the relevant subpage and we can look at it. Specify the page number. (I have placed page anchors as well as section anchors in the Original, and equation and figure anchors as well, so you can link directly. There are surely errors in this editing, so corrections are highly welcome.)

Take notes, and you may share them as a comment on that subpage. Please keep a focus in each comment, if possible, on a single section in the paper. I may then reorganize these in subpages that study each section. Comments on the paper itself, at this point, are not for debate or argument, but only for seeking understanding.

(If a subpage has not yet been created for a section, show the subsection title in questions or comment, and these will be moved to the relevant subpage. At this point, please do not “debate.” The goal is understanding, and understanding arises from the comprehension of multiple points of view.)

Overall comment on this process is appropriate on this page.

As Phase 1 completes on the Original, we will move to the Morrison critique, and then, in turn, to the Pons and Fleischmann reply, again with the goal being understanding of the positions and ideas expressed.

In Phase 2 we will begin to evaluate all this, to see if we can find consensus on significance, for example.

Source for Morrison, and related discussions in sci.physics.fusion

Comments on Fleischmann and Pons paper.

— (should be the same as the copy on lenr-canr.org), or maybe the later copy (see below) is what we have.

Response to comments on my cold fusion status report.

— Morrison comment in 2000 on another Morrison paper, status of cold fusion, correcting errors and replying. This contains many historical references. Much discussion ensued. Morrison appears to be convinced that excess heat measurements are all error, from unexpected recombination, and he also clearly considers failure to find neutrons to be negative against fusion, i.e., he is assuming that if there is fusion, it is standard d-d fusion (which few are claiming any more, and which was effectively ruled out by Fleischmann from the beginning — far too few neutrons, and the neutron report they made was error. Basically, no neutrons is a characteristic of FP cold fusion. This was long after Miles and after Miles was recognized by Huizenga as such a remarkable finding. The discussion shows the general toxicity and hostility. (Not so Morrison himself, who is polite.)

You asked where is the “Overwhelming evidence” against cold fusion? For 
this see the paper “Review of Cold Fusion” which I presented at the ICCF-3 
conference in Nagoya – strangely enough it seems not to have been published 
in the proceedings despite being an invited paper – will send a copy if   

“Strangely enough,” indeed.

The 2000 paper is on New Energy Times. 

Krivit has collected many issues of the Morrison newsletters on cold fusion.

This is a Morrison review of the Nagoya conference (ICCF-3). Back to sci.physics.fusion:

Fleischmann’s original response to Morrison’s lies

— Post in 2000 by Jed Rothwell and discussion.

Morrison’s Comments Criticized

— Post by Swartz in 1993 (cosigned by Mallove) with Fleischmann reply to Morrison’s critique. Attacks the intentions of Morrison, but this was the original posting of the Fleischmann reply.

I am sure there is more there of interest. We can see how toxic, largely ad-hominem, polarized debate led to little useful conclusions, merely the hardened positions that continue to be expressed.

Hagelstein on the inclusion of skeptics at ICCF 10.

9. Absence of skeptics

Researchers in cold fusion have not had very good luck interacting with skeptics over the years. This has been true of the ICCF conference series. Douglas Morrison attended many of the ICCF conferences before he passed away. While he did provide some input as a skeptic, many found his questions and comments to be uninteresting (the answers usually had been discussed previously, or else concerned points that seemed more political than scientific). It is not clear how many in the field saw the reviews of the conferences that he distributed widely. For example, at ICCF3 the SRI team discussed observations of excess heat from electrochemical cells in a flow calorimeter, where the associated experimental errors were quite small and well-studied. The results were very impressive, and answered basic questions about the magnitude of the effect, signal to noise, dynamics, reproducibility, and dependence on loading and current density. Morrison’s discussion in his review left out nearly all technical details of the presentation, but did broadcast his nearly universal view that the results were not convincing. What the physics community learned of research in the cold fusion field in general came through Morrison’s filter.

Skeptics have often said that negative papers are not allowed at the conference. At ICCF10, some effort was made to encourage skeptics to attend. Gene Mallove posted more than 100 conference posters around MIT several months prior to the conference (some of which remain posted two years later), in the hope that people from MIT would come to the conference and see what was happening. No MIT students or faculty attended, outside of those presenting at the conference. The cold fusion demonstrations presented at MIT were likewise ignored by the MIT community.

To encourage skeptics to attend, invitations were issued to Robert Park, Peter Zimmermann, Frank Close, Steve Koonin, John Holzrichter, and others. All declined, or else did not respond. In the case of Peter Zimmermann, financial issues initially prevented his acceptance, following which full support (travel, lodging, and registration) was offered. Unfortunately his schedule then did not permit his participation. Henceforth, let it be known that it was the policy at ICCF10 to actively encourage the participation of skeptics, and that many such skeptics chose not to participate.

My analysis: the damage had been done. The efforts to include skeptics were too little, too late. The comment that Hagelstein makes about Morrison’s participation is diagnostic: instead of harnessing Morrison’s critique, it is essentially dismissed. Whatever issues Morrison kept bringing up, ordinary skeptics would have the same issues. Peter’s comment is “in-universe,” not seeing the overall context. Skeptics with strongly-developed rejection views would, in general, not consider attending the conference a worthwhile investment of time. That could be remedied, easily. My super-sekrit plan: if conditions are ripe, to invite Gary Taubes to ICCF-21. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!

(The time is not quite yet ripe, but might be before ICCF-21.)

Short of that, how about an ICCF panel to address skeptical issues and to suggest possible experimental testing of anything not already adequately tested? (And who decides what is adequate? Skeptics, of course! Who else? And for this we need some skeptics! This kind of process takes facilitation, it doesn’t happen by itself, when polarization has set in.)

(This is not a suggestion that experimentalists must anticipate or address every possible criticism. When they can do so, it’s valuable, and the scientific method suggests seeking to prove one’s own conclusions wrong, but that is about interpretation, and  science is also exploration, and in exploration, one reports what one sees and does not necessarily nail down every possible detail.)

Britz on the papers:

author = {M. Fleischmann and S. Pons},
title = {Calorimetry of the Pd-D2O system: from simplicity via complications to simplicity},
journal = {Phys. Lett. A},
volume = {176},
year = {1993},
pages = {118–129},
keywords = {Experimental, electrolysis, Pd, calorimetry, res+},
submitted = {12/1992},
published = {05/1993},
annote = {Without providing much experimental detail, this paper focusses on a series of cells that were brought to the boil and in fact boiled to dryness at the end, in a short time (600 s). The analysis of the calorimetric data is once again described briefly, and the determination of radiative heat transfer coefficient demonstrated to be reliable by its evolution with time. This complicated model yields a fairly steady excess heat, at a Pd cathode of 0.4 cm diameter and 1.25 cm length, of about 20 W/cm$^3$ or around 60\% input power (not stated), in an electrolyte of 0.6 M LiSO4 at pH 10. When the cells boil, the boiling off rate yields a simply calculated excess heat of up to 3.7 kW/cm$^3$. The current flow was allowed to continue after the cell boiled dry, and the electrode continued to give off heat for hours afterwards.}

author = {D.~R.~O. Morrison},
title = {Comments on claims of excess enthalpy by Fleischmann and Pons
using simple cells made to boil},
journal = {Phys. Lett. A},
volume = {185},
year = {1994},
pages = {498–502},
keywords = {Polemic},
submitted = {06/1993},
published = {02/1994},
annote = {This polemic, communicated by Vigier (an editor of the journal), as was the original paper under discussion (Fleischmann et al, ibid 176 (1993) 118), takes that paper experimental stage for stage and points out its weaknesses. Some of the salient points are that above 60C, the heat transfer
calibration is uncertain, that at boiling some electrolyte salt as well as unvapourised liquid must escape the cell and (upon D2O topping up) cell conductivity will decrease; current fluctuations are neglected and so is the Leydenfrost effect; recombination; and the cigarette lighter effect, i.e. rapid recombination of Pd-absorbed deuterium with oxygen.}

author = {M. Fleischmann and S. Pons},
title = {Reply to the critique by Morrison entitled
‘Comments on claims of excess enthalpy by FLeischmann
and Pons using simple cells made to boil’},
journal = {Phys. Lett. A},
volume = {187},
year = {1994},
pages = {276–280},
keywords = {Polemic},
submitted = {06/1993},
published = {04/1994},
annote = {Point-by-point rebuttal. F\&P did not use the complicated differential equation method as claimed by Morrison; the critique by Wilson et al does not apply to F\&P’s work; very little electrolyte leaves the cell in liquid form; current- and cell voltage fluctuations are absent or unimportant; the problem of the transition from nucleate to film boiling was addressed; recombination (cigarette lighter effect) is negligible.}

Cold fusion: Manual for the Compleat Idiot

There is a decent video by Jed Rothwell

Unfortunately it repeats some common tropes that can make an approach to understanding cold fusion more difficult (as they did from the beginning). Rather than take this apart, what would be a better introduction? I’m using a recent post by Jed Rothwell as a seed that may create one.

On LENR Forum, Jed Rothwell wrote:

kevmolenr@gmail.com wrote:

So how do we establish that LENR has been replicated? We are surrounded by hyperskeptics, whom I have no real interest in appeasing because their standard, if it were applied to any other branch of science, would send us back to some kind of stone age.

I recommend you ignore the hyperskeptics. I engage with them here only to keep in practices, as an exercise in rhetorical target practice.

Great excuse! Someone is wrong on the internet! There goes countless hours. This is useful if one actually hones literary and rhetorical skills, but, too often, there is no genuine feedback, no objective standard or measure of success. What, indeed, is success? What I’ve gained from the engagement is familiarity with the issues. It enables me to speak cogently, off-the-cuff. We’ll see how effective that is!

We are not, however, “surrounded by hyperskeptics.” Where does Kev live that he thinks this way? Planet Rossi? If someone new is not skeptical about cold fusion, they don’t understand the problem.

I recommend you concentrate instead on trying to persuade open minded people who are sincerely interested in the subject. There are apparently a large number of such people. Although the numbers seem to be dropping off. See:

lenr-canr.org statistics

I’ve been writing for years about this. A goal of “persuading” people can be disempowering. How about “inspiring” them? Short of that, “informing” them. Of what? Our opinions? Continue reading “Cold fusion: Manual for the Compleat Idiot”

Briefing on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Research

Working draft, for comment, not approved.

This is to be an Infusion Institute consensus document, a study of the briefing prepared in 2016 by the NRL for Congress. Comments are fully welcome and invited and facts and all arguments will be incorporated, directly or by reference. Correction of errors is especially welcome. Discussion here may be refactored for organizational purposes.

Comments by the editor, within the copied body of the report, are in indented italics. Some of these may not be appropriate in a final report. I have not copied all material, some that I considered heavily irrelevant I have left out. The original document pages may be read with the page links given.

The ultimate purpose is to write a cogent and focused briefing that could be used.

16-F-1333_ DOC_02_LENR_Briefing was our source document, we have removed the Black Vault inserted page 1, so that our page numbers correspond to those in the document. This is what we are working with:

DOD report to Congress


I have categorized these pages based on relevance to the charge. Red is very low relevance, if any. Magenta is peripheral relevance, possibly worth a sentence in a cogent review, not a whole slide as was used.

1. Briefing on Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) Research
2. House Committee on Armed Services Briefing Request
3. Preparation of this Briefing
4. Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) executive summary
5. U.S. is Well Represented in LENR
6. Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment for Energy production
7. LENR proponents claim many potential military applications
8. Nuclear Physics and LENR
9. Physics of Nuclear Reactions
10. Types of Nuclear Reactions
11. Energy Production: Fission vs. Fusion
12. Challenge for Nuclear Fusion
13. Energy Required for Fusion
14. Quantum Mechanical Tunneling is Essential for Fusion
15. Muon-Catalyzed Fusion (MCF): Uncontroversial and Well Understood
16. MCF: Impractical for Energy Production
17. MCF: current research directions
18. Publications on MCF
19. Nations for MCF research
20. Electrolytic Cell: Early Experiments
21. Early Electrolysis Experiments Using Heavy Water Were Discredited
22. Lack Theoretical Foundation
23. SPAWAR Experiments Looked for Nuclear Products
24. Attempts to Address Reproducibility Yielded Erratic Results
25. Summary
26. Back up
27. Transmutation Involves the Electroweak Force and Is a Nuclear Reaction, But Not Fusion
28. In 2002 lwamura et al. Observed Transmutation and Excess Heat in a D2-Pd System
29. Ultra-Dense Deuterium: Origin in Rydberg Matter (RM)
30. Ultra-Dense Deuterium is Claimed to Have Remarkable Properties
31. Reanalysis of TOF Data Leads to Contradictory Results
32. Major caveat: Research on Ultra-dense Deuterium is Limited to One Small Group
33. Acoustic Cavitation Fusion
34. Acoustic Cavitation Fusion – Discredited Observations
35. Acoustic Cavitation Fusion Plausible

p. 1

Briefing on Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) Research

A scientific survey of the international literature in response to the FY16 NOAA (report on HR4909, 4 May 2016)

Office of the ASD(R&E) I Research

p. 2

House Committee on Armed Services Briefing Request

The committee is aware of recent positive developments in developing low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR), which produce ultra-clean, low-cost renewable energy that have strong national security implications. For example, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), if LENR works it will be a “disruptive technology that could revolutionize energy production and storage.” The committee is also aware of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) findings that other countries including China and India are moving forward with LENR programs of their own and that Japan has actually created its own investment fund to promote such technology. DIA has also assessed that Japan and Italy are leaders in the field and that Russia, China, Israel, and India are now devoting significant resources to LENR development. To better understand the national security implications of these
developments, the committee directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing on the military utility of recent U.S. industrial base LENR advancements to the House Committee on Armed Services by September 22, 2016. This briefing should examine the current state of research in the United States, how that compares to work being done internationally, and an assessment of the type of military applications where this technology could potentially be useful.

The authors do not appear to have knowledgeably addressed the charge. What are the “recent developments” that the Committee mentioned? There is no clue in the briefing. Almost certainly, this would refer to the work of Industrial Heat, LLC, with Andrea Rossi’s technology.

Industrial Heat, in 2015, raised $50 million for LENR research (not for Rossi, for whom they invested about $20 million from a close group of investors, starting in 2012).

In 2014, a basic LENR research initiative at Texas Tech was funded with a $6 million private donation plus another $6 million in Texas state matching funds.

What is the current state of research in the U.S. and around the world?

This report is confused about what LENR is, and only looks at a few shards in the pile, with many irrelevancies and shallow, unbalanced assessments.

My opinion is that LENR is not close to ready for military or commercial applications; the authors here are correct on that, but … the point is to become ready or to be ready. That will require clear vision based on knowledge. The field is complex and the request deserved expert attention, which it did not receive.

p. 3

Preparation of this Briefing

• The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) was tasked by OSD to conduct a comprehensive survey on the current state of research  on low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) in the US, and an assessment
of the type of military appliications for this technology.

• A comprehensive collection and analysis of international literature on LENR since 2004 (the last Department of Energy review) was conducted.

p. 4

Low-Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) executive summary

• The United States is active in LENR research in universities, government labs, industry and private research
• The status of knowledge, evidence, and technology indicates that it is premature to increase investments in LENR research
• LENR research has been challenged by a lack of reproducibility of results, and many of the studies have not provided the necessary scientific and theoretical foundations
• Beyond the lack of reproducible positive results to date, scaling to meaningful energy production levels must still be addressed.
• If LENR research can successfully provide a reliable energy source, and the underlying science can be established, it could lead to a broad variety of military as well as commercial applications such as
a compact, efficient, room temperature, energy source.

p. 5

U.S. is Well Represented in LENR

[chart showing First Authors by Function and National Affiliation. Given below is the number of papers by nation]

USA [47]
Japan [18]
China [9]
France [9]
Russia [9]
Italy [8]
India [4]
South Korea [2]
UK [2]
Ukraine [2]
Australia [1]
Finland [1]
Germany [1]
Malaysia [1]
New Zealand [1]
Switzerland [1]

That is 115 papers total. Standard for inclusion and period covered, not stated. This is far less useful than a proper study, which would state those things. It is possible that the period is since the 2004 DoE review. The conclusion (U.S. “well represented”) could be valid, but could also be invalid. One person or one small group might create that impression.


p. 6

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment for Energy production

TRL 9 Production
TRL 8 Full scale development
TRL 6 Exploratory development
TRL2 Technology development
LENR research: [placed below TRL 1]

Most results have not been reproduced independently;
Lack scientific and theoretical foundations.

Waste of an entire page to make a short and confusing statement. “Most results.” Okay, there are lots of unconfirmed results, that is not controversial. However, some are confirmed to various degrees. There is no examination of the confirmed results in this study. This is all meaningless without a clear definition of “LENR.” Confirmed experimental results are a “scientific foundation” for a new and unexpected effect. Both U.S. DoE reviews recommended further research, which would not have been recommended if there were “no foundation” as claimed here. LENR is a mystery, and without basic research, is likely to remain so.

It seems clear that LENR would be in TRL Level 1. The collection of effects called “LENR” are controversial, and expert opinion has been divided, see the 2004 U.S. DoE review — and that was a flawed review, wherein blatant errors were made, leading to literal misreadings of the claims in the review document. Fundamental research has been poorly funded, generally, but is continuing. This review shows little or no awareness of that.


p. 7

LENR proponents claim many potential military applications

This betrays that the authors are considering this a political issue, with “proponents” and … what? “opponents”? In the following paragraph the authors claim what could be potential military applications. Are they “proponents”?

If LENR research can successfully provide a reliable energy source, and
the science can be established, the following could result:
• Abundant, clean energy
• Compact, portable power source
• Inert and nonhazardous
• Processing of radioactive waste

The key word here is “could.” Claims of the characteristics of LENR applications are premature. It seems likely from what we know about LENR that it might be nonhazardous, but as the mechanism is not understood, it might actually be hazardous, it is not yet possible to test the effect adequately to rule that out. This review ignores what is actually known about the effects.

“Processing of nuclear waste” possibilities have been reported but are generally unconfirmed. This report makes no distinction between what is confirmed and unconfirmed. Unconfirmed results, if plausible (i.e., based on properly-done measurements, on the face, etc., deserve confirmation effort, but probably not governmental-level efforts yet, unless the reported techniques appear easy and inexpensive to confirm

Mosier-Boss et al. Final Report 2016

[link added. That is a 131 page pdf. What, exactly, is being cited? This is probably considered representative of what “LENR Proponents” write, but this is circular: if a researcher works on LENR, and reports positive results (i.e., indicating a nuclear effect) they will be considered, ipso facto, a proponent.] 

Energy Density of Fuels

[chart showing mass of fuel for a city of one million people, as 250,000 tons of oil, 400,000 tons of coal, and 60 kg. of “fusion fuel.” That fuel is stated as deuterium and lithium. The fusion reaction considered is deuterium-tritium fusion, and the neutrons that generates (dangerous radiation) converts lithium to tritium. However, D-T fusion is not LENR, this is high-energy fusion. There may be various LENRs; the most-confirmed reaction converts deuterium to helium (totally harmless) with a higher energy yield, experimentally found and confirmed. This clumsiness shows that the report is more or less a quick cut-and-paste.]

[chart from] http://fusionforenergy.europa.eu/understandingfusion/merits.aspx ]

p. 8

Nuclear Physics and LENR

• Physics of Nuclear Reactions
• Physical challenges for Nuclear Fusion
• Two LENR research areas:

– Muon-Catalyzed Fusion: Broadly accepted, based on well-understood physics

Yes, Muon-Catalyzed Fusion is well understood and accepted. But this is not what is referred to as LENR, even though it technically is “low-energy.” MCF is the same reaction as is found in high-energy fusion, but catalyzed by muons, so it happens at very low energies. It generates harmful radiation, but is not practical for reasons they cover. Adding all this MCF material, as they do below, simply confuses the report. Did they include MCF papers in their tally of “LENR” papers?

In the field, a more specific term is the Anomalous Heat Effect. MCF is not anomalous, it’s understood. The AHE is also called the “Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect.” (FPHE). However, AHE is a little more general, because gas-loaded palladium is not the FPHE, though the reaction appears to be similar in some ways. The FPHE is an electrolytic effect.

– Electrolytic Cell : Has not been reproduced independently and has
not provided the necessary technical information to provide a
scientific foundation for scalable research.

This (has not been reproduced independently) is utter nonsense, basically repeating a widespread rumor that became established in 1989-1990. The various reported experiments and confirmations have provided a level of scientific foundation, as to the nature of the effect, but not yet as to detailed mechanism. The material conditions are difficult to control, particularly in the electrochemical experiments that are most widely confirmed (in spite of this difficulty), and until the reaction is well under control, scaling up is dangerous and is generally not done.

These authors clearly are not familiar with the literature. It is not that they disagree with it, but that they flat-out don’t know it, so they make statements unlike what someone knowledgeable would make. How is it that this report, for which $50,000 was budgeted, does not involve at least one author with serious knowledge of the field, or at least some review process, with discussion and critique and then a report of the status (including varieties of opinion.) Instead, the Briefing is unattributed opinion, hardly better than rumor.


p. 9

Physics of Nuclear Reactions

• Definition: a process in which two nuclei, or a nucleus of an atom and a subatomic particle (such ,as a proton, neutron, or high energy electron) from outside the atom, collide to produce one or more nuclides.

This is an example of a common kind of nuclear reaction, not the definition. Nuclear reactions may involve more than one nucleus, as a theoretical possibility. In plasma reactions, that would be very rare, but there is experimental evidence that, in the solid state, multibody reactions (more than two nuclei) actually occur. As well, this description does not include nuclear decay processes. This is a plasma physics approach, betraying the thinking of the authors. As well, there are nuclear reactions that don’t involve two nuclei.

If LENR, they think, therefore two-body reactions. This is very old thinking that denies a world of possibilities. Most “impossibility” arguments regarding LENR involve that assumption.

• A nuclear reaction must cause a transformation of at least one
nuclide to another.

That is better as one characteristic of “nuclear reactions.” It works if nuclear isomers are considered different nuclides. Better than saying “cause” would be “be.” However, nuclear isomers are normally considered the same nuclide at differing excitation levels. The delayed gamma decay of a neutron-activated nucleus is generally considered a nuclear reaction.

• In 1917, Ernest Rutherford demonstrated transmutation of
nitrogen into oxygen at the University of Manchester. This was
the first observation of an induced nuclear reaction, that is, a
reaction in which particles from one decay are used to transform
another atomic nucleus.
• The modern nuclear fission reaction was discovered in 1938 by
the German scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann.

This is irrelevant to the topic.


p. 10

Types of Nuclear Reactions

Nuclear decay
Alpha Decay of a Uranlum-233 nucleus

This is an example. Some examples do not involve a second nucleus as does the U-233 example.

Nuclear fission

Shown is a very complex neutron-induced fission reaction (actually unreadable in the pdf I have). What is the value of this exposition wrt LENR?

Nuclear fusion

Shown is D-T fusion, collision energy not shown, products 4He + 3.5 MeV and a neutron at 14.1 MeV. While there is a SPAWAR report of 14 MeV neutrons, the levels are so low that this could be a very rare branch or secondary reaction of a different main reaction. And this is unconfirmed.

This has very little or nothing to do with the main topic here, LENR. If LENR is real, it is, as Pons and Fleischmann claimed in 1989, an “unknown nuclear reaction.”


p. 11

Energy Production: Fission vs. Fusion

This page is a completely irrelevant collection of materials copied about hot fusion reactors and reactions, and fission reactors. I am not cleaning it up from the very messy OCR, it is more work than it’s worth.


p. 12

Challenge for Nuclear Fusion:

Squeeze two positive charges together (against the Coulomb repulsion)

This is the standard skeptical description, that LENR must accomplish this “squeezing.” LENR is a mystery, we don’t know how it works. The best evidence, most widely confirmed, strongly indicates that the reaction is converting deuterium to helium, but how this is done is unknown. “Squeezing two positive charges together” indeed seems unlikely, for the obvious reasons that they cover, but we don’t know that this is what is happening. They cover cluster fusion later, but don’t seem to realize that this possibility (shown mathematically to occur — that is, predicted to occur from standard physics — from an initial starting condition that might be possible, vide Takahashi) is contrary to what they are assuming here as foundational for “fusion.”

Range of Strong Nuclear Force

Again, not cleaned up. This is all assuming that LENR is a two-body reaction the same as with plasma fusion. The physics of the solid state is far more complex. The core issue with LENR at this point is that there is very strong evidence for the reality of a nuclear effect, but it is not understood. There are conditions where it will relatively reliably occur (say, measurably, 50% of the time) but no theory (other than ad-hoc, operational theories that do not address mechanism) has been successfully tested to distinguish it from other theories, and all theories have defects, unexplained aspects, which will be covered below to some degree.


p. 13

Energy Required for Fusion

Again, this all is about standard hot fusion. It could be considered to rule out some LENR theories, but LENR is basically an experimental field, not a theoretical one. This exposition is all theory, reasons to consider that LENR violates existing theory, except that an unknown reaction cannot be considered to violate theory, because theory cannot analyze an unknown reaction to determine expected rate. A deep report on the state of LENR research would look at what is known and confirmed from experimental work. This report wanders and considers much that is irrelevant — and obvious. Yes. LENR wasn’t expected! Nobody argues that! Pons and Fleischmann expected to find nothing. But then found something. What did they find? Science advances through curiosity over discovered anomalies.

LENR is an incredibly complex field, overall. What I see here would be embarrassing in an undergraduate-level student paper on LENR. They obviously did not consult experts in the field, at all, or if they did, they ignored them. (But there is no sign of consulting experts in the emails released in the FOIA request).


p. 14

Quantum Mechanical Tunneling is Essential for Fusion

Yes, probably. But this is all theoretical, and the reaction they show is p-p -> d fusion, with a probability of 0.001 at a collision energy of 10 Kev, and 10-1921 at room temperature. Yes, that is the claim, based on what calculation? I have seen a nuclear physicist claim that the rate predictions from hot plasma break down at lower temperatures, the actual rate is substantially higher. That ridiculously low rate is naive and not experimentally-based, obviously. There would be no way to measure a rate that low, so this is a pseudoscientific claim.

How is this remotely relevant? They give the probability of winning the Powerball lottery as 3 x 10^-10. True, but because this is irrelevant, this is deceptive polemic. Why is NRL creating deceptive polemic? How were these authors chosen?

There is a calculation in a cluster fusion model of tunnelling rate, showing, from a very low energy initial condition, tunneling at 100% within a femtosecond. They dismiss this basically because the theory is incomplete, not realizing that a counterexample to what they think necessary has been shown. This is a product of radical unfamiliarity with the field. My point is not that cluster fusion theory is necessarily a reflection of the reality, but that fusion is far less impossible than they think. This is a scientific mystery, and solving scientific mysteries does not begin with believing them impossible. They are, obviously, unexpected!


p. 15

Muon-Catalyzed Fusion (MCF): Uncontroversial and Well Understood

Again, not relevant to the topic they were asked to research. This is something someone totally naive would do, not realizing that words (“LENR”) have meaning in context. This is interesting, though, because some naive analyses claim that nuclear fusion at low temperatures is “impossible”. In fact, they just gave it a rate of 10-1921 at room temperature! MCF is a counterexample. Bring that up and the pseudoskeptic will say, “but MCF isn’t practical.” Right. But wasn’t it just said that low temperature fusion was “impossible”?

They don’t realize the possible relevance. MCF is catalyzed by muons. Is some other form of catalysis possible? Theory might address specific ideas, but cannot address the general concept. It is impossible to prove a negative. Stated more positively, something that we haven’t thought of might be operating. How would we know? Well, we would see experimental results that we don’t understand. If we depend heavily on theory, as these authors are doing, we may reject those results as Probably Wrong, with no evidence other than our prior expectations.


p. 16

MCF: Impractical for Energy Production

Indeed. (Unless a way is found to handle the sticking problem, or another way to generate muons.) And this is not what is called LENR.


p. 17

MCF: current research directions

So they are spending much of the report covering what they were not asked to cover. MCF is not reported as LENR in the literature. Did they include MCF papers in that total above?


p. 18

Publications on MCF

All a complete waste.


p. 19

Nations for MCF research

Again, irrelevant.


p. 20

Electrolytic Cell: Early Experiments

• In 1989, Pons and Fleischmann claimed to have observed excess heat
from an experiment involving the electrolysis of heavy water using a
palladium electrode

This is correct. It’s the original finding. It was prematurely reported — they were not ready — and they used the word “nuclear” based on artifact in neutron measurements, and their methods and actual findings were incompletely reported, leading to:

• Numerous attempts failed to replicate these results

This is highly misleading, appalling in this report. First of all, “replicate” can be used imprecisely. Few even attempted to “replicate” the FP experiment, for various reasons. The more general word is “confirm.” There was early work that failed to confirm. These were not generally exact replications, they were approximate and were based, often, on inadequate information. (They actually are part of the data set that establishes the conditions of the FP Heat Effect.) Later, there were many confirmations. I’ve seen analyses that, overall, there are more “positive” reports than negative, but I’m not sure that I’ve seen a thoroughly neutral analysis of this. It’s difficult to define the terms. But “failed to replicate” implies an isolated, unconfirmed result, which is preposterous, given the history of the field.

• No nuclear products were observed along with the excess heat

Again, simply not true. Pons and Fleischmann reported neutrons (which was error, later acknowledged), tritium, and helium. Those are nuclear products. (Technically, so is energy.) Helium was confirmed by Miles in 1991 and over the years, not merely as present (which would be a relatively weak report because it could be leakage) but as quantitatively correlated with anomalous heat, at levels consistent with the deuterium fusion value of 24 MeV/4He. That is, some of the helium is trapped and not released in the outgas, where it is measured, so less helium is found than would be expected from that ratio. Some later work took steps to release that helium and found values fully consistent with 24 MeV/4He. Helium is a nuclear product.

The briefing was requested to be about recent research. Did they review, say, the Current Science special section on LENR, published in February, 2015? I see no sign that they are aware of what is going on. Did they look at the collaboration, announced at ICCF-19 (2015), between Texas Tech and ENEA, to confirm the heat/helium ratio (and, as well, to study exploding wires, a technique thought to possibly aid in assessing materials for LENR activity). This work was funded by a charitable donation of $6 million plus Texas state matching funds, another $6 million, and is under way.

It is quite likely that the Congressional request had the work of Andrea Rossi in mind. Rossi was funded by U.S. companies, first Ampenergo, then Industrial Heat, at least $20 million total. By the time of the briefing request, the lawsuit Rossi v. Darden had been filed, so they could have covered it. Instead, they show no awareness that it exists.

Below, the authors will refer to SPAWAR work. SPAWAR has found substantial evidence for 14 MeV neutrons from a co-deposition cell. This has not been correlated with heat, however, and is not confirmed. A careful study will distinguish what is poorly reported, well-reported but not confirmed, and confirmed. This wasn’t a careful study at all.

As well, there are many reports of tritium, in particular, but the levels are such that tritium is probably a secondary reaction or otherwise rare product. The main product appears to be helium. This is extensively confirmed. Controversy still remains. However, there is a current effort in a joint project between Texas Tech and ENEA, the Italian alternative energy agency, to redo this work with increased precision and more extensive effort to recover all the helium. 

• Measurement errors in calorimetry may have contributed to observation of excess heat.

Sure. In fact, that happens on occasion. However, Pons and Fleischmann were among the world’s top electrochemists, and measuring heat was a specialty. If their report was isolated, this might be passed off as something that might never be confirmed. But it was confirmed. There are skeptics, presented with extremely careful work by experts, who simply say, “they must be making some mistake.” There is one published skeptic remaining who claims that behind all the massive findings showing excess heat there is a different anomaly, something also not expected, but chemical in nature. This is an isolated opinion and has had difficulty finding publication lately. A thorough study would look at this, at serious reasons to think there might be “some mistake.” However, it gets very difficult to explain the heat/helium correlation with that hypothesis. This report is depending on a vague and unspecified error, in the face of massive contradiction by experts and strong evidence, confirmed by many labs.

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/ article/ O_O_O/cold_fusion_03

is a shallow pop science piece that misreports what Pons and Fleischmann actually did and how they thought. Using this for a serious report is appalling.

They did not expect to see substantial heat. They had decided to test a reasonable hypothesis, that the approximations used to estimate fusion probability were causing error in the rate estimate. That is, in fact, practically certain, the issue would be *how much* error. They expected that the fusion rate would still be below anything they could detect. Then their experiment melted down, releasing energy that they could not explain by chemistry. So they scaled down, for safety, and continued exploring the effect. Five years later, they were still not ready to announce, but legal considerations led to it. It was a mess. They were actually wrong about some aspects of what they had found. They made this or that mistake. But their basic finding, anomalous heat, has not been impeached (by other than that isolated skeptic mentioned above, who, though previously published, has been reduced to ranting on the internet. I even think that’s unfair. But that’s what is happening.)

• Also in 1989, S. Jones of Brigham Young University using similar electrolytic cells observed neutrons, but no excess heat.

It was his work that caused the premature announcement. However, the Jones was not an electrochemist and his cells did not approach the high loading conditions that Pons and Fleischmann attained. He would not be expected to find heat, from what is now known about the reaction. As to neutrons, his levels were very low; in general, neutron findings have never been correlated with heat, so if those findings are real, they are not related to the primary reaction. Again, this is actually irrelevant to the major charge of the Committee.


p. 21

Early Electrolysis Experiments Using Heavy Water Were Discredited

The page doesn’t support the headline.

• 2004 Review of LENR research by Hagelstein et al. claimed Helium production correlated with excess heat measurements

They did. However, the Panel, from the report, did not understand the data in a supplement provided for the Case gas-loading work (actually a different experiment from the FP Heat Effect) and read a clear correlation as an anti-correlation. This is easy to see in the 2004 Review report. So then they easily dismissed this as possibly leakage (a generic objection to helium results, even though in that work the helium levels rose above ambient. So then it’s claimed that maybe there was a helium source in the lab. However, the value of the ratio, then, becomes mysterious. Almost all work in this area shows a ratio that is within an order of magnitude, usually substantially closer, to the theoretical deuterium fusion value. 

• Review evaluated by Department of Energy in 2004, which recommended experiments to search for fusion events in thin deuterated foils , but not focused federally funded program for LENR.

The Report

… isn’t being fairly presented here. The actual recommendation:

The nearly unanimous opinion of the reviewers was that funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues relevant to the question of whether or not there is anomalous energy production in Pd/D systems, or whether or not D-D fusion reactions occur at energies on the order of a few eV. These proposals should meet accepted scientific standards, and undergo the rigors of peer review. No reviewer recommended a focused federally funded program for low energy nuclear reactions.

I agree. Notice “nearly unanimous opinion.” What is a “focused federally funded program?” There were hopes in 1989 and again in 2004 that some kind of major program might be funded. My opinion is that this would be premature. What is needed is, indeed, focused proposals designed to address basic issues. The DoE has never funded this, beyond massively unfocused work in 1989 and maybe 1990. Throwing money at LENR is a Bad Idea. A lot can be wasted.

However, the idea that the question is “D-D fusion reactions” or not is misleading. The real issue is what the cause is of the FP Heat Effect and other reported phenomena. My opinion is that straight-out “D-D fusion” is unlikely. Something else is happening. The confirmed effect shows a helium ratio to heat that is the same as “D-D fusion,” but that is simply a reflection of the laws of thermodynamics. Whatever converts deuterium to helium must show that energy. What is known is that the energy shows up entirely as heat, without high-energy radiation, which is very unexpected. Something mysterious is happening.

In general, the DoE reviewers did not understand what they were seeing, so their specific recommendations might be off. It reflects what those not familiar with the field might think, after a quite brief one-day review, with little interaction. Actual funding decisions would be worked out between researchers and funding agencies. 

But the DoE review was better than this NRL report. Both have a similar shortcoming: they don’t actually establish or recommend any specific actions to improve the situation, to actually answer those basis scientific questions.

• Sufficient deuterium loading required for excessive heat, suggested as reason for early negative results [McKubre Proceedings of ICCF 2009]

This is weakly presented. It’s more than “suggested.” They do show a chart from the 2004 DoE review paper showing a substantial series of experiments, with many results at high loading, and few, declining to zero at loading of 80%. None of those early “negative results” had 80% loading. At the time, they did not know it was necessary — this had not been announced — and there is more: the Fleischmann-Pons work took many weeks of loading to begin showing the effect, and none of those early experiments waited long enough.

Is loading the issue? There are now some reasons to think that high loading is merely one of a number of conditions necessary to see the Heat Effect. High loading by itself isn’t enough. The critical factor, besides high loading at onset, is specific material conditions, and this is all well-known, and was even understood by the 2004 DoE review. The material shifts with time and repeated loading and deloading. Pons and Fleischmann believed that the effect was a bulk effect, happening inside the bulk. The helium evidence indicates otherwise. It’s a surface effect, from where the helium is found (released in the gas or in near-surface trapping). Instead of considering “conditions where the Heat Effect is found, this is often presented by some skeptics as some kind of an excuse, often with exaggeration of the unreliability.

• Even with large deuterium loading, negative results still observed [McKubre Proceedings of ICCF 2009]

That’s right. However, with some materials and high loading and other conditions that have been correlated with heat, a majority of experiments do show excess heat; the amount varies greatly. The heat/helium ratio cuts through this noise, and the variation in heat then becomes a control. If helium were leakage, it would be unlikely to vary with the heat (the “heat” in these experiments is small, it is not a large difference in temperature, and in some experiments the temperature is constant. It can be complicated.)

Reported Excess Heat vs Deuterium Loading Ratio
Hageistein et al. 2004 DOE Report

This was the chart I mentioned above. There are charts published elsewhere that show SRI and ENEA experiments with heat vs. loading ratio and some major early “negative replications” plotted on the same chart. Low loading equals no heat results, it’s that simple.


p. 22

Lack Theoretical Foundation

They show, again, a pop science presentation from a pop or high school level web site that misrepresents what Pons and Fleischmann thought they were doing.” As they have told the story (and who else would one get it from?), they were looking for possible deviations from the rate predictions of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. This is actually expected, some deviation, however what they found was not expected. They expected that they would not be able to measure anything, that the error introduced by the approximation would be too small.

What they were looking for was actually irrelevant, in the end. However, this idea that they were scientifically clueless is common. As has happened many times in science, they found something unexpected by looking where nobody had looked before (in palladium deuteride, at very high loading ratio).  Who predicted lots of neutrons? This was a prediction, not of Pons and Fleischmann, but of skeptics, who imagined that if they found something, it must be d-d fusion. They actually did not claim d-d fusion, if one reads their first paper, it was reported as an “unknown nuclear reaction,” precisely because levels of neutrons were very low (and, in fact, what they found was error, artifact, as to neutrons). This was truly a fiasco and one of the signs of “fiasco” is that what they did is still commonly misunderstood, because rumor, widely repeated, took the place of fact. This Briefing continues that.

They were also wrong about many things. They were not aware of how critical the material was, so, after announcing, they ran out of their first batch of palladium and ordered more. It didn’t work. This was totally embarrassing, but they then made a series of reactive errors. I won’t go into them all here, but this was a fiasco all around, assumptions made and actions taken on assumptions that led to more mess. The original meltdown in 1984: they didn’t photograph the damage and didn’t keep the material. They were afraid that the University Fire Department would shut them down. Fear leads to poor decisions. I would not expect a Briefing on cold fusion to cover all these historical details, but I would expect it to avoid those shallow “explanations.” 

Shown from the the page is :

Hypothesis/theory -> expected results -> actual results

Pons’ work

Lots of cold fusion is taking place in the palladium -> expect to see many neutrons released -> not many neutrons are released

This is not what happened. They did not start with that hypothesis. They started with an idea to explore. Exploratory research often does not proceed with the hypothesis/prediction/test process. They were looking where nobody had looked.

The mechanism of “cold fusion” is unknown: the prediction about neutrons would be valid for ordinary known hot fusion taking place, or even muon-catalyzed fusion, but not the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect. The known product is helium, neutrons are absent or almost entirely absent. This is a common error: to take the word for a thing and then assume that this, then, creates predictability. With cold fusion, observation comes first. There are basic theories in place, verified and confirmed, but not a theory of mechanism. For example, the report here looks at an idea from some theories that deuterium is being converted to helium. That results in a prediction of 23.8 MeV (energy) produced for each helium atom. That is a confirmed observation, but was unknown until 1991, though predicted before then.

What they actually found was a lot of heat, that they could not explain with chemistry, and they were prominent chemists. From the context, they asked the question if it was fusion. They then pointed out (in tgheir 1989 paper) that there were not nearly enough neutrons for the known fusion reaction — and there actually were none or very few. The pop sci story is told as if they did not realize this.

As far as I know, the first anomaly was a meltdown with a lot of heat. Not just a little. Not some calorimetry error. It’s been claimed that this was deuterium/oxygen recombination. That chemistry would not have been adequate to explain what they saw, at least probably not. Remember, they didn’t keep their materials, the experiment had been destroyed. Obviously, this was not going to get the world excited about “cold fusion.” But they kept working and they found effects, and when they eventually announced, it took time — these experiments took time! — but others found a heat effect as well, and other related effects.

It is all still controversial, but a proper briefing would explore the controversy and explain why people still are working in the field, what results have they seen that keep them going?

• Spin-Boson Oscillator Theory1

the energy released in deuterium- deuterium fusion goes into large numbers of low energy phonons that heats the system

• Hydroton Theory2

formation of nuclear active environments in nano cracks resulting from electrolysis or gas loading

As above with what was falsely alleged to be “Pons theory,” these two is placed in apposition to a supposedly opposite result. A minor point: not enough is presented of Hydroton Theory to make the prediction, what is shown is only the theory of Nuclear Active Environment, the site of the reaction. The helium prediction, then, does not address what is presented of the theory.

Predicts excess heat should be 23.8 MeV/ He atom, which is not observed in experiments.

They are baldly and ignorantly denying the most widely-confirmed result in cold fusion research. The prediction must be understood in this way, if the main reaction taking place in PdD experiments is the conversion of deuterium to helium, and if the heat and the helium are measured, and there is no significant energy leakage through radiation, and as the precision of the measurements increases, the ratio will approach that value, it must, by the laws of thermodynamics. In most experiments, helium in electroytic outgas has been measured, and it is thought that about 40% of the helium is retained in the palladium, which is consistent with most experimental observations. In two experiments (as to what has been reported, there is more work under way), steps were taken to release all the helium, and results moved to within experimental precision of the theoretical value.

1 Hagelstein and Chaudhary Proceedings ICCF-14 (2008)
2 Storms J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci. (2012)

• Cluster Fusion Theory – seeks to investigate multibody fusion for enhanced fusion rates.
Four deuterons arranged in a tetrahedral symmetric configuration yielding 4 He atoms.

is placed in apposition with:

No mechanism given to produce tetrahedral symmetric configuration

Takahashi J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci. (2011)

While mechanisms have been proposed, Takahashi is not concerned with that level of analysis, his work is the application of quantum field theory or quantum electrodynamics to the possibility of multibody fusion, and he has mathematically predicted fusion if the TSC conditions arise. He previously did experimental work that showed elevated rates of multibody fusion with ordinary hot fusion from deuteron bombardment of PdD targets, but Takahashi has not predicted TSC formation rate, so this is, again, off, merely a sign of an incomplete theory.

There is no accepted cold fusion theory of mechanism, though some have a level of support. Theoretical analysis of cold fusion is likely to require far more experimental data than exists. A basic report on cold fusion, at this time, will summarize the mechanism as a mystery and not belabor the theories, which are largely irrelevant to the foundation of cold fusion research, which is experimental observation, with only the most basic theories being involved. (One of these would be the “deuterium/helium conversion theory”, which is readily testable and which has been extensively confirmed.)


p. 23

SPAWAR Experiments Looked for Nuclear Products

• Research effort at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific began shortly after Pons and Fleischmann announcement and ended in 2012
• Used a palladium-deuterium co­-deposition process to prepare the electrodes, seeking more reproducible results
• Experiments focused on finding the nuclear products from nuclear reactions occurring in electrolytic cells
• Used CR-39 solid state track detectors to look for tracks left by energetic particles

Mosier-Boss Final Report 2016

Triple tracks caused by breakup of 12C into 3 He due to collision with a fast neutron.

SPAWAR analysis ends at visual inspection, similarity to deuterium-tritium fusion
• Experiments were able to replicate CR-39 tracks, but noticed striking differences when compared to CR39 exposed to fast neutron sources

What “striking differences”? Experiments don’t notice something, people do. Who? The image compares tracks from LENR experiments with DT neutron tracks, i.e., fast neutrons. They certainly look similar to me. Triple tracks, in particular, are quite distinctive.

SPAWAR CR-39 neutron measurements leave many unanswered questions.

Indeed they do. This work is generally unconfirmed (though it ultimately deserves confirmation, and low-level neutrons from CF conditions have long been reported) and what is not mentioned is that the apparent fast neutrons are at very low levels. They probably have little or nothing to do with the main reaction. There is no balance in this briefing, no distinction made between isolated work and theories and the overall state of the field. For a briefing on this topic, isolated and unconfirmed reports would properly be given very little attention. To be sure, SPAWAR was a quasi-governmental effort. SRI was often funded by government agencies. There are experts on LENR working for various national labs. They were apparently not consulted in preparing this report. It’s appalling.

p. 24

Attempts to Address Reproducibility Yielded Erratic Results

McKubre Proceedings of ICCF (2009)

Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and Italian National agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA) experiments try to address reproducibility using identically prepared samples from the same lot.
• 50% of trials showed no excess heat, while others showed variability of 500%

The reviewers show no sign of understanding the issues. 50% success was positive. From very early on, it was realized that excess heat depended on material conditions, and that even the same sample could give different results at different times, depending on its history. The dependence on material lot, where clearly shown (statistically) is powerful evidence for the reality of the effect.

But any LENR research program must accept the reality of the effect as-it-is, not as someone might want it to be. To develop control over the reaction, to improve reliability so that the level of the effect becomes predictable, are obvious goals for research, not claimed to already exist.

• Observations of excessive heat were still erratic.

They just repeated themselves.

Summary of Electrolytic Cell reports from 1998-2004
Storms, Naturwissenschaften (2010)

Plot above was used by [Storms 201 O] to demonstrate successes of LENR experiments
Most striking feature is the large number of null results

That is “most striking” to someone who is looking at failure instead of at success. Storms was interested there in the long tail. By the way, some skeptics claim the “file drawer effect,” that only positive reports are published. Obviously, the “believer” Storms forget to exclude the negative reports.

There are researchers who claim increased reliability, sometimes 100%, but so far such work has not been confirmed. However, there is a replicable experiment, extensively confirmed, which defines reliability in a different way. Set up the FP Heat Effect and measure helium. Some of the work on this has seen over 50% of cells with excess heat, and the no-heat cells serve as controls (good ones, because they are generally identical to heat-producing cells — except for the heat. And except for the measured helium, which is well-correlated with heat.

Predictability and reproducibility are still outstanding issues with LENR

In some ways, yes. The helium results are predictable. The specific heat release in specific cells is not so predictable; however, statistically, correlations are known. That is, while heat may vary, it does correlate with, as an example, deuterium loading ratio. 

What this briefing fails to do is to notice the progress that has been made.


p. 25


• After almost 30 years, the same issues are still present with cold fusion or LENR claims

This is misleading. Issues have strongly shifted. Controversy remains, and some who claim that cold fusion is an illusion repeat the same claims. They are no longer publishable, the mainstream scientific literature, recently published, almost entirely assumes the reality of the effect. A “briefing,” I would think, would be an executive summary of a far deeper report that would establish the factual basis for what is in the briefing. There is no sign that these authors even did that deeper research.

• Interesting anomalous effects exist that are difficult to reproduce and control.

This is correct, but “difficult” is vague. The difficulty of reproduction and control has commonly been overstated, as if “easy” and “difficult” are clear and objective labels to apply. Plenty of science is “difficult to reproduce,” but can nevertheless by reproduced by those who follow basic replication protocols, and who have the same materials to work with. Substantial progress has been made with control.

• Lack of theoretical understanding for the underlying processes

In other words, it is an “anomaly.” But this is also misleading. There is theoretical understanding that is partial. The underlying mechanism, the actual “fusion” process — even the name is uncertain — has no widely-accepted theory, but various aspects are understood; for example, I can state with reasonable confidence that the FP Heat Effect is a surface reaction, not taking place deep within the palladium lattice. That can be tested, and has been tested and confirmed, from the helium evidence. (That is, by the way, quite good news if one is interested in eventual practical applications, because palladium is very expensive and usage for power generation would create high demand; if thin films can work as well as bulk, palladium LENR might be practical at far lower cost.)

• Lack of independent testing and substantiation

That’s a half-truth. There is a vast body of experimental work to “substantiate” the basic Pons and Fleischmann claim of anomalous heat. To distinguish this from the “file drawer effect,” substantial and fully-reported specific replications are needed. Those are rare, but are not “lacking.” Much SRI work was designed to replicate and confirm other reports.

•  U.S. is involved in LENR research at universities, government
labs, industry, and the private sector.

It is. This is not documented to present a coherent picture to Congress.

• It is premature to invest heavily in LENA research due to the status of knowledge, reproducible evidence, and technology currently available.

I agree, with a major caveat that shows what is completely missing from this report. Both U.S. DoE reviews generated a similar recommendation, but both also recommended modest support through existing programs. What is “modest support”? It was not stated, and the huge failure of those reviews was in not generating specific recommendations and a specific process for monitoring progress. Instead, in fact, the research recommendation was widely ignored in favor of opinion that these reports “rejected” cold fusion.

So, how much funding should be allocated, and through what programs? What process would make these decisions? There has never been, to my knowledge, a coherent plan.

I developed one, which was to encourage specific confirmations of specific results, already confirmed, to increase precision and confidence. That is the work under way in Texas to confirm the heat/helium ratio. This is guaranteed to produce useful information; and if it turns out that a widely-confirmed result is nevertheless some kind of artifact, they would find out. It has been, as they say, almost thirty years. Isn’t it time to find out, instead of relying on lack of “proof” — a moving target, apparently — as if that were evidence for something?


p. 26

Back up

• This slide is intentionally left blank.

The biggest problem with LENR: minds intentionally left blank.


p. 27

Transmutation Involves the Electroweak Force and Is a Nuclear Reaction, But Not Fusion

Ah, Steve Krivit must love this! This is Widom-Larsen Theory propaganda, repeated, depending on, first, an untested and apparently preposterous theory — widely rejected within the field — and, then, a constricted definition of “fusion.” The conversion of deuterium to helium is widely confirmed, and W-L theory then comes up with an ad hoc “explanation” of this through a series of neutron captures and beta or alpha (helium) decays that then roughly explain the heat/helium ratio. Very roughly, outside the error bars, but … not far outside. In other words, there is a fusion fuel (deuterium converted to dineutrons) and a fusion product (helium). But, hey, it’s not fusion!!!

This is a semantic trick to allow W-L theory to be accepted as a “not fusion” theory. Do they take notice of the substantial published criticism of W-L theory? Of the lack of any experimental confirmation?

• Transmutation changes an atom from one element to another, which is accomplished by altering the number of protons

What distinguishes elements is the number of positive charges in the nucleus, which is equivalent to the “number of protons,” though this is a simplistic model. This entire discussion is off the legitimate point of the review.

Free Neutron Decay
n → p+ + e + v(electron neutrino)

Not shown: the energy release, 782 KeV. Wikipedia.

Beta Decay

14C6 → 14N7 + e + ve

It’s not explained here, but the beta decay shown is equivalent to a neutron in the nucleus decaying to a proton and an electron plus a neutrino, thus bumping the atomic number up while keeping the mass almost the same (the mass must decline a little to release the energy of the two forms of radiation). The energy: 156 KeV, for this particular decay, if I’m correct. Wikipedia on 14C. Wikipedia on beta decay.

Inverse Beta Decay/ Electron Capture

26Al13 + e → 26Mg12 + ve

This is not “inverse beta decay” [Wikipedia article] but electron capture [Wikipedia article]. Wikipedia on 26Al. The reaction energy is carried off by the electron neutrino, but the transmuted nucleus recoils, it is not low momentum.


• For isotopes unstable to these reactions, they spontaneously occur and release energy

Right. The rate may be low, however. This is more or less the definition of “unstable.”

• Widom and Larsen posit that localized condensed matter electric fields in metallic hydride surfaces can create “heavy” electrons (- 20 × e rest mass)

How large are such electric fields? How much energy is required to create these “heavy electrons,” and what does “heavy” mean here? What is the experimental evidence for such electrons? Setting that aside, a negatively charged heavy particle could catalyze fusion, an example is muon-catalyzed fusion.

• The “heavy” electrons are captured by the metal and the resulting neutron is ejected.

This is not what W-L theory claims. If it were so, however, the neutron created would have substantial momentum. What is claimed (for PdD experiments) is an interaction between deuterons and heavy electrons, not an interaction with the host metal.

This entire excursion into an unconfirmed and largely rejected theory does not belong in the kind of field overview requested. 

• These low momentum neutrons catalyze chains of nuclear reactions, e.g.
6Li3 + n → 7Li3
7Li3 + n → 8Li3
8Li3 → 8Be4 + e + ve [obvious error in description, corrected]
8Be4 → 4He2 + 4He2

Why one would start with 6LI is beyond me. 7LI is the more common isotope. W-L claim “ultra low momentum neutrons,” because these will have very high capture cross-sections, necessary to explain the general absence of slow neutrons, which are otherwise penetrating. ULM neutrons would be voracious fusors, likely fusing with the first nucleus that they encounter. 8Li has a half-life of under one second, beta-decaying to 8Be, which will then immediately (half life about 6 × 10-17 seconds) decay into the two helium nuclei as shown. However, the excitation energy of the 8Be would be about 48 MeV, which would normally be expected to show up in the kinetic energy of the alpha particles (24 MeV each). This massively energetic radiation does not occur in LENR experiments. (The “Hagelstein limit” is about 20 KeV, above that secondary effects would have been readily observed.)

Looking at the case of 6Li neutron capture, however, fast neutrons generate an immediate decay of the 7Li to helium and tritium. What about slow neutrons? I don’t know. 6Li has a nuclear mass of 6.0151223(5). A neutron has a mass of 1.008664 u, and 7Li has a nuclear mass of 7.0160040(5) u. The mass defect leads me to expect a nuclear excitation of 1.75 MeV. If this does not result in the normal fission to helium and tritium, it would lead to gamma emission; this is essentially neutron activation. (see the Wikipedia article).

The copious slow neutrons required by W-L theory would produce a host of effects that are generally not observed. (W-L proponents commonly assert transmutations that may have been reported, but omit that the reported levels are miniscule, and other expected transmutations are absent. Intermediate products would be expected to exist at higher levels than final products, normally, and that is not seen.) The absence of activation gamma radiation is explained away by another hand-wave: the heavy electron patches allegedly make a fantastically efficient gamma ray shield. Would they? Is there experimental evidence for this? Richard Garwin asked that question (because it would be easy to test the “gamma shield”) and Larsen’s answer was, ultimately, “proprietary.”

(… and what about edge effects? Wouldn’t some gammas escape? What about delayed gammas? How long do the “patches” last?)

This is not science, it is commercial promotion disguised as science. This is just as crazy as would be promoting Andrea Rossi’s results — secret, never independently confirmed — in this briefing. It would be worthy of a sentence, perhaps, simply noting the claim and what is known, which is mostly nothing. Unconfirmed.

Electric fields to create “heavy” electrons would require E ≈ 1011 V/m
(ICF lasers produce electric fields up to ≈ 1013 V/m).

Hey, only a hundredth of the ICF laser power is needed! For whom is this presentation intended? If you want to snow people, inundate them with irrelevant facts, and for bonus points, make each fact, by itself, verifiable. Then slip in a few “unfacts”  — or unwarranted conclusions. Few will notice unless they already understand the topic.


p. 28

In 2002 lwamura et al. Observed Transmutation and Excess Heat in a D2-Pd System.

• Deuterium gas is permeated through a multilayer substrate of palladium and
calcium oxide at 343 K for a week
• A thin film of cesium was added to the substrate, and lwamura et al. report that the cesium layer decreased commensurate with an increase in praseodymium, along with x-rays from 10 to 100 keV, and excess heat

I’m looking at the 2002 paper, and there is no claim of heat — there was no provision for measuring it — nor any claim of X-rays.

• lwamura et al. propose an electron capture theory to create a di-neutron D + e- → 2n0 + ve

The 2002 paper refers to an earlier paper (1998) for an “EINR model” as a “working hypothesis.” Sure enough, the 1998 paper is for different work, and that is where the heat and X-ray claims come from. This is common in sloppy cold fusion review: results from different experiments are amalgamated as if there is one very specific effect being studied. There is an available copy of the 1998 conference paper with the same title.

• The di-neutron can then create an element unstable to beta decay via neutron capture

AXZ  + 2n0 → A+2XZ → A+2XZ+1 + e

• Via a chain of four of these reactions cesium could be converted to praseodymium
• No reported observations of the other elements in the chain

Chained reactions involving two relatively rare events with no intermediate products are radically implausible (this is also a basic problem with the similar W-L theory).

• No rigorous development of this theory to check if these reactions are energetically favorable

It is common for shallow reviews to focus on theories, and often the theories are misrepresented. There is no “developed theory” here, and the 2002 transmutation results show, with various target elements, +8 amu, not +2 (hence the idea of a chain). This could indicate a possible involvement of a cluster-fusion intermediate, perhaps formed by the Bose-Einstein collapse of four deuterons (per Takahashi theory). A BEC, which includes the electrons, would be very small and charge-neutral, and might be able to easily fuse with nuclei. That would produce the observed transmutations in a single step, explaining why there are no intermediate products. Di-neutron fusion is way unlikely, di-neutrons are very weakly bound. My opinion. And my basic point here is that cold fusion theory is way premature, so why inflict it on Congress?

• NRL was unable to independently reproduce these results (2009)
• [Hioki et al. 2013] was able to reproduce these results of transmuted praseodymium after 250 hours of permeation treatments.

What is important, if anything, about the Iwamura work, is experimental evidence, not theory that they may have had in mind, and this work differs from the rest of the field enough that, absent clear confirmation (it is presently murky, NRL put serious effort into replication and failed, but then there is Hioki, so … maybe), the importance is not high; what is relatively urgent is the confirmation of basic results already supported, or basic results relatively easy to confirm. The field needs a solid foundation, and I’d assume Congress would want to know what is solid — or at least partially confirmed.

Hioki et al. measured 10-10 g/cm  of transmuted praseodymium after 250 hours of permeation treatments.

Is that a little or a lot? Were I a high school physics teacher reading a student’s paper, and this were included, I’d critique it for collecting random facts without explaining how and why they are significant. Absent much more information, that quantity is meaningless.


p. 29

Ultra-Dense Deuterium: Origin in Rydberg Matter (RM)

I have not undertaken the effort to gain a deeper understanding of Rydberg matter because almost all experimental work and theoretical analysis on it is from one person, Holmlid, and his work has not been confirmed. His claims and results don’t seem to match LENR results. There is some low level of theoretical consideration of Rydberg matter by some researchers, but much theoretical analysis without confirmed experimental foundation is a prescription for wasted time.

This flat-out doesn’t belong in the report, it is pure confusion here. (That is not a claim of error on the part of Holmlid, not at all. There is, however, no integration of his work with classic LENR work, so this is all highly speculative.)

• Rydberg atom – valence shell electrons are in highly excited state
• Cluster of Rydberg atoms can condense to form Rydberg matter
• In Rydberg matter, highly excited electrons become delocalized and act as a collective neutralizing
• Rydberg matter is sparse, largest observed cluster had 91 atoms
• Bond distance d is given by: d = 2.9 n2 awhere n is principal quantum number and a0 = 5.2 × 10-11 m is the Bohr radius

They expect a Congressperson to understand this? If this were important, it would be thoroughly explained, and if that made the report too long, it would be sourced so that a reader could readily find explanations. This briefing is incompetent.

Winterberg J. Fusion ENergy (2010)

The J Fusion Energy paper. There is an arXiv paper, late 2009. It is a purely theoretical paper, suggesting Bose-Einstein condensation of deuterium in “vortices,” and speculating that this might facilitate the “ignition” of “thermonuclear fusion.” Hot fusion, in other words. This is useless here. Physicists have been ruminating on cold fusion for almost thirty years, with no clear theory of mechanism having been successfully tested.

There is an image showing:

Rydberg Matter schematic electron distribution

The point is? That illustration is found in the Wikipedia article on Rydberg matter. As well, the following sentence is from that article:

• Rydberg matter has been formed from H, N, K, and Cs

The Wikipedia article is currently tagged for problems. It was apparently heavily edited by Holmlid, who did not understand Wikipedia editorial process (which is common for academics). This is all beside the point here. Why was this included? There was no charge to explore the state of research on Rydberg matter. It is not impossible that a connection will ultimately be shown, but this is one among thousands of possibilities. Why is it pointed out here?


p. 30

Ultra-Dense Deuterium is Claimed to Have Remarkable Properties

• Exotic form of Rydberg matter where nuclei act as the delocalized electrons
• Bond distance d = 2.3 × 10-12 m
• Density – 130,000 g/cm3 (compare to density of lead – 11.34 g/cm3)
• Room temperature super conductor*
• Superfluid*

•Predicted by theory [Berezhiani et al. 2010], not experimentally verified

• Nuclei of comets covered in RM
• Stable exospheres on Moon and Mercury explained by heavy RM
• RM is part of dark matter
• RM could explain Faraday rotation in intergalactic space

Remarkable claims, indeed. The world is full of remarkable claims. Which ones would belong in a report to Congress? 

[Badiei et al. Physica Scripta (2010)]

Is given as a source for a TOF experiment illustration. This is the paper.

Presented evidence for existence of ultra-dense deuterium is time-of­-flight mass spectrometry, claims do not match available evidence

That is a judgment, by whom? Based on what? However, this is clear: UDD is a claim being made by a very small group of people, as can easily be seen in the sources for that Wikipedia article, or by a Google Scholar search for those authors. Few papers have been written outside this very small group. To the extent I have looked at this, the papers, with time, go deeper and deeper, assuming that prior work is completely correct. Nothing has been, from my point of view, nailed.

Unless the charge were quite different, I’d not mention UDD at all in a briefing on LENR. At this point, with no UDD experimental evidence linking it to LENR evidence (heat and helium, no radiation), it’s confusing.


p. 31

Reanalysis of TOF Data Leads to Contradictory Results

[Hansen Int. J. Mass Spectroscopy 2016]

This is the Hansen paper. Received 18 November 2015, Accepted 20 January 2016, Available online 2 February 2016. This is an author preprint. This is the original paper critiqued. Received 10 June 2013, Revised 30 July 2013, Accepted 6 August 2013, Available online 16 August 2013.

*Holmlid’s comment on Hansen’s comment was rejected by the journal

Which means what? Hansen’s comment was quite brief and focused on a narrow aspect of the Holmlid paper. His response was longer.

Critique of Holmlid is rare, and as a result, he has built a huge collection of published papers over the years. That lack of critique does indicate a lack of interest, but it is not evidence for or against his work. That can happen for many reasons. Holmlid does not seem to be interested in engaging with critics, nor in building a community working on his line of research. His response indicates that there was no communication with him prior to the publication of the Hansen comment. That indicates a lack of professional courtesy.

None of this means that Hansen is right and his criticism of Holmlid seems thin to me. That is, Holmlid does answer the objection as to why the believed he was looking at deuterium, not protium. Could Holmlid be wrong? Of course. Anyone can make mistakes. But how likely is it?

None of this is particularly relevant to LENR, other than being fringe and possibly nuclear.

• Hansen reanalyzed TOF data using Holmlid data

Uh, the copy editor here says “Hansen reanalyzed Holmlid TOF data.”

• Laser ionizes RM, leading to Coulomb explosion
• Conservation of energy gives mv2 /2q = Ub + Ek/q

This is supposed to mean something? I’m sure it does, in context, but I’m not reading the paper to find the context, because this is all off point. If there is a relationship to LENR in the Holmlid work, they are not showing it and presenting a clear and cogent story, just snow.

• Holmlid assumes energy goes into rotational excitation, such that Ek = 630 eV
• Hansen analysis indicates data is more consistent with Hydrogen molecules being involved in Coulomb explosions, not Deuterium

Has that been definitively shown? According to whom? This work is not yet at the level where there would be serious overall review and balanced analysis. I’m not going to attempt it. It would be a major task, and it’s not important to my mission, supporting and encouraging LENR research, along the lines of what the DoE reviews actually recommended, but never implemented.

Hansen analysis casts doubts on validity of Holmlid interpretation

So could any criticism of any interpretation. I would expect a serious review to provide balance, and the basic problem here is the inclusion of the relatively unconfirmed work, with three pages, no less. They cover the objections in the third page, next. So why did they include this?


p. 32

Major caveat: Research on Ultra-dense Deuterium is Limited to One Small Group

• Work is published in mainstream, reputable journals
• ∼ 94% of the 84 articles were written by 4 authors in the same group headed by Leif Holmlid
• ∼ 88% of citations are self-citations
• No other group has reproduced the results
• No other experimental group has published a paper on ultra­ dense deuterium

Measurements has not be independently reproduced.

Apparently they ran out of funding and could not afford a copy editor.


p. 33

Acoustic Cavitation Fusion

This is another complete red herring. Often called bubble fusion, or sonofusion, this, if confirmed, would be hot fusion, not cold fusion.

• Cavitation is the process of boiling a liquid as a result of pressure reduction
• When the bubbles that form collapse, a shock wave can form capable of causing damage, e.g.
pitting on a propeller

Damaged Boat Propeller


No DoD report on LENR would be complete without an image of a damaged boat propellor. They even thoughtfully provide a Wikipedia link, just in case a reader doesn’t know what a propellor is. To be sure, that damaged propellor image is still on that page, but that’s not reliable for sourcing, they should have sourced the Creative Commons page for the image, which would give licensing information.


• Sonoluminescence is the generation of light from cavitation due to sound waves
• Acoustic cavitation fusion seeks to use these shock waves to locally heat the liquid to produce a plasma and stimulate fusion reactions

In other words, fusion through creating a very hot plasma. Not cold fusion at all. However, the description isn’t accurate. The shock waves don’t heat “the liquid,” but the contents of the bubble as it collapses. The sonoluminescence article is more informative.  


p. 34

Acoustic Cavitation Fusion – Discredited Observations

[Taleyarkhan et al. 2002]

I am not cleaning up the OCR on this, it’s not worth it. But this:

• Taleyarkhan et al. claim to have observed neutrons coincident with sonoluminescence indicative of fusion
• Internal attempts at reproduction failed to produce detectable neutrons
• External efforts by Putterman at UCLA also failed to reproduce Taleyarkhan’s results
• [Naranjo 2006] demonstrates that neutron spectra reported by Taleyarkhan not consistent with D-D
fusion, but with 252Cf source.
• An “independent confirmation” [Xu and Butt 2005], which was later determined that Taleyarkhan was deeply involved and led to findings of falsification and research misconduct

Discredited observations notwithstanding, extreme conditions do exist in collapsing bubbles

The temperature in the collapsing bubbles is controversial and not easy to measure. Some studies claim 100,000° K or more. And they keep covering this:

p. 35

Acoustic Cavitation Fusion Plausible

So? There are many approaches to classical hot fusion. Why is this relevant? (I have not cleaned up the OCR text).

See also:

Popular Science, May 13, 2016 Congress Is Suddenly Interested in Cold Fusion


Reviewing Shanahan reviewing Storms

A New Source of Energy using Low-Energy Fusion of Hydrogen

On LENR Forum, Alainco posted an abstract and link to a new Storms article on LENR. Kirk Shanahan promptly reviewed it. This post will study the Shanahan review. It is possible that we will review the article itself more intensely. But first, a little on the journal itself. Continue reading “Reviewing Shanahan reviewing Storms”

A New Source of Energy using Low-Energy Fusion of Hydrogen


A New Source of Energy using Low-Energy Fusion of Hydrogen

Author(s): Edmund Storms

This paper describes the claim for energy production based on the so-called cold fusion effect. Reasons are given to explore this energy source based on the need for such clean energy and the observed behavior. Chemical energy alone has powered civilization until relatively recently when nuclear fission power based on uranium became available. Efforts are now underway to go the next step on this path using nuclear sources by harnessing the fusion of hydrogen. The first attempt using the so-called hot fusion method has not been successful in producing practical power. Furthermore, the required generator is expected to be impractical as results of its complexity and size even after the many engineering problems are solved. Perhaps a different approach is needed. Fortunately, a new method to cause fusion using a simpler method was recently discovered; only to be widely rejected because it conflicts with what is known about nuclear interaction. This paper addresses this issue by summarizing some of the evidence supporting such a novel fusion reaction.

Shanahan’s Folly, in Color

Well, a little color. As covered in It was an itsy-bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot error, Kirk Shanahan digitised a chart from page 87 of Storms, The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, even though the data was on the next page in Table 7. Ah, well, you do what you need to do.

So, today, I loaded the data in to a spreadsheet, and here it is, ODS, and if you need another format, ask. The first plot shows all the data, and looks like the Storms plot, but with a little extra and without the 23.8 MeV/He line; that is equivalent to about 2.6 x 10^11 He atoms/watt-sec.

Continue reading “Shanahan’s Folly, in Color”

Conversations: Simon Derricutt

This comment by Simon Derricutt is worth review in detail. So, below, my comments are in indented italics.

In reply to Abd ulRahman Lomax.

Abd – I suspect the Journal of Scientific Consensus exists as Wikipedia. Generally, Wikipedia is pretty good at stating what is generally-agreed, and where there’s disagreement there will be a lot of editing going on as the factions try to get their view to be the one that’s visible.

Ah, favorite topic! We then cover many issues. Continue reading “Conversations: Simon Derricutt”