OMG! An *actual* conversation based on knowledge!

I saw a great post by Alain Coetmeur on lenr-forum. I looked back a little and found cogent comments from Eric Walker and H.G., but the conversation sprouted like the lotus, in muck from Axil, a Reliable Source of strong opinion using snow-blower scientific word salad.

Alain had started the thread:  Edmund Storms: Q&A ON THE NAE

Ask me to name the top two cold fusion scientists, and Storms would be one of them. He is in his eighties, and going strong, though he is also showing some peevishness. I have been attempting to encourage him to invite and develop a young research partner (and encouraging young people interested in LENR to seriously Get Involved in the Real Research, but, so far, I don’t see success in that. Okay, okay, there is MFMP, which is showing some signs that it might branch out and focus on more fundamental issues. Crucial is to connect with the established knowledge, which is only partially seen in papers and experiments well enough documented to be replicable.

This was the occasion for Alain’s post: Q&A on the NAE on Storms’ blog.

I will start with looking at that source, giving Storms’ answer to Peter Gluck’s questions:

Peter Gluck of Ego-out engages Edmund Storms on the NAE
http://egooutpeters.blogspot.ro/2017/01/jan-23-2017-lenr-info-questions.html

Question If NAE are nanocracks – why is there a limit for their number/density? What is the limiting factor?

Answer The cracks are generated by stress generated by the change in volume when D reacts with Pd. The cracks form at weak regions in the structure. A limit to the number of weak regions exists in a structure. Once crack formation has relieved the stress, no further cracks can form. This is basic material behavior having nothing unusual about the process until the Hydroton forms. For reasons yet unknown, once the critical size crack forms, it can then support the LENR process.

Storms comes to nanocracks because of the experimental behavior. First, it’s a surface effect, and nanocracks are a surface phenomenon. Sometimes people think Storm’s nanocracks will be throughout the lattice. Not likely, interior cracks would likely be larger, too large. At least that is my idea, the known fact is that helium, which would be trapped if generated in the interior, is not found there when the material is examined. It either escapes or is trapped very near the surface, probably within a micron or so, certainly within 25 microns. Examining the helium behavior generates strong evidence for “surface reaction.”

But why not vacancies instead? Vacancy formation is ubiquitous and depends on temperature alone, for the most part. One of the strong, established qualities of the FP Heat Effect is the sensitivity of the effect on material history, it has been seen necessary to have, not only high loading, but repeated cycling, McKubre talks about non-equilibrium conditions being necessary, flow in or out. Vacancies would not require that history.

Question Are those active cracks special in some way or is it only a problem of size?

Answer The gap size is the critical condition. A size too large can not support LENR.

Storms’ nanocracks are probably quite small, probably not a full lattice spacing. They are not merely a row of vacancies. I think of it as the crack size tuning a resonance with some structure. It might not be the hydroton. Takahashi proposes 4D fusion, and has tended to study this, using quantum field theory, in a lattice trap (some kind of reduction of the degrees of freedom of the two deuterium molecules involved in 4D fusion is necessary). The actual NAE might be, for example, a vacancy with a nanocrack on one end, tuning the cavity. This would then explain the correlation between vacancy rate and excess heat found by Letts. Phonons might be involved, and it all gets rapidly complex, with inadequate experimental data, it appears to me.

Question If temperature is a factor, how?

Answer Temperature determines how fast D can get to the NAE by diffusion from its site in the surrounding lattice.

That is his explanation. Letts also found a correlation with temperature in his dual-laser stimulation work. One of the unfortunate qualities of existing PdD work is that the effect of temperature has not been carefully studied with controlled temperatures. Instead, perhaps because the measure of heat was, in isoperibolic calorimetry, the measure of XP, other conditions were controlled and temperature was allowed to vary. Storms’ recent work, as yet unconfirmed, showed that excess heat was maintained when loading was allowed to fall (by shutting off the electrolytic current) if the electrolyte was maintained at elevated temperature. For some years, I had been encouraging work with PdD to approach the boiling point, but I did not like the Pons and Fleischmann boil-off “Heat After Death” experiments because they were messy — or seemed so. Rather, for the future and for increased XP, pressurize the cell so that the boiling point is raised. Control temperature and then show how XP varies with it, under conditions as carefully identical as possible.

Explore the parameter space, variable by variable.

Question Will the processes at 70, 400, 800, 12000 C [sic] be qualitatively the same, or will be some changes in the mechanism?

Answer The mechanism is not changed by temperature. Temperature ONLY changes how fast the fuel (D or H) can get to where it can fuse.

Storms makes an assumption, that there is only one mechanism, and the difference between PdD and NiH would be only the fuel. His Answer follows from his assumption. It is a reasonable assumption, though my preference is to leave the matter more open than that. If one specific phenomenon can be explained and the explanation can generate verifiable predictions, then perhaps it can be extended to other phenomena. Storms wanted to create a general LENR theory, and that is what he did. In my opinion, he makes some leaps, but his theory is more grounded in experimental reality than any other, and major parts of it are, for that reason, probably correct. Not necessarily everything.

Question How and why do the NAE resist and survive the nuclear process?

Answer The gap is filled with a chemical structure consisting of chains of D. These chains (Hydrotons) fuse by an unknown process and are destroyed. The gap remains in which more Hydroton can form. The gap can remain because the energy is released slowly without causing destruction of the local lattice structure. As I have been saying, one unique and required feature of LENR is the slow rate at which energy is released. Of course, this process is only slow when compared to the hot fusion process. Cold fusion is actually better described as slow fusion.

I have often seen claims that NAE must survive melting, because of observed effects probably attributable to local melting. The idea is that heat cannot flow from a lower temperature area to a higher temperature one, but this is a radical misunderstanding of the relevant law of thermodynamics and of “temperature.” Storms often objects to my expressed understanding of temperature, because he thinks like a chemist while I think more like a nuclear physicist (though I never completed my education in either field, even though I sat with Richard P. Feynman for Physics and Linus Pauling for chemistry).

The heat source is at extremely high temperature, but it is probably a single nucleus or small structure, and it radiates energy that is absorbed over a far larger volume. That is, the heating is not particularly local, though it includes the locality. If a particular volume is surrounded by active NAE, it will rise toward the effective temperature of the fused nuclei (or fusing nuclei, in Storms’ explanation). If it melts, it has little effect, necessarily, on the NAE which is around it, not in it. As the entire region melts, if the process continues, this will shut down NAE in the molten areas. To study this, it is going to be absolutely necessary to identify and quantify the radiation or other energy transfer mechanism. There are two basic candidates, it is most likely low-energy photons (i.e., Storms’explanation or Takahashi’s) or, less likely, phonons (Hagelstein’s proposals).

Question Piantelli said he had excess heat for months. The Rossi heat effect seems to be OK for 6 months. Why is the duration of the PdD excess heat a problem?

Answer Many people have seen the process last for a long time. In my case, it stops only when I cause it to stop because want to go on to other studies.

Storms has generally thought of Rossi’s claims as substantiating his explanations. I warned against expressing support for unconfirmed claims, back in 2011. Too dangerous, too easy either for something to be wrong or to go wrong.  Peter, however, appears to strongly believe in the “Rossi Effect.” Storms did not exactly answer the question here. It is a problem because NAE conditions may change. NAE can be filled with contaminants, stress might be relieved by crack growth to a size that is too large, etc.

Storms’ personal research indicates what he is saying. It is unconfirmed, though it is not inconsistent with other data, if that data is carefully examined. High loading was seen to be correlated (strongly) with XP. However, it was not a sufficient condition.

Question What do you think and which factors play a role for the claimed greater density of NAE in NiH then in PdD – metallurgy, morphology? Perhaps we have to consider that Pd D works with deuterium and NiH with protium.

Answer Ni does not take up as much hydrogen isotope as Pd, hence the stress is less compared to Pd. Also, Ni is stronger than Pd, thereby preventing the stress from producing much cracking. Rossi found a way to produce the active cracks in Ni powder where each grain could contain a number of active cracks. Arata was able to activate Pd powder with impressive power production. Clearly, powder allows more NAE to form within the same weight of material. Work in Japan is taking advantage of this conclusion using Pd.

Peter’s question depends on unconfirmed reports from Rossi et al. Storms does assume that once NAE exists, the reaction will naturally happen, so if there is, actually, a greater reaction rate with NiH than with PdD, it would indicate a higher incidence of NAE. It’s complicated, because H and D have differing diffusion rates, and … those allegedly higher values for XP are unconfirmed. Arata’s power was “impressive,” but not in comparison with Rossi claims. Rossi claims were outside the envelope, not incremental progress. Many people have attempted to confirm, say, the Rossi patents. Success is rare, rare enough to be readily explained by the file drawer effect. What has been “weakly confirmed” is low-heat effects, not strong ones.

What is controlling in Storms’ NAE is a confinement space. Cracks are a way of creating that. There could well be other ways. Nanoparticles might do it in some way, either in their interaction or by cracking. Far more detailed study is needed.

Now, after much discussion, AlainCo wrote:

There is a problem about way to consider theories, ideas, to be sure or to discuss.

Alain is referring to epistemology or ontology.

Ed follows a method, and assumptions, concluding not Hydroton, but NAE having some deduced characteristics.

That is correct. Ed developed his theory in a stated way, starting with experimental evidence, instead of staring with some “bright idea” about how fusion might take place at low energies. Then, when somewhat backed into a corner, or at least it seemed that way, he invents an ad hoc explanation as needed. If we are careful about conversation with Storms, he will acknowledge what is strong about his explanation and what is ad hoc. He wants to express a “complete explanation,” in a situation where there probably is not enough experimental evidence to do that in a strong way, but he does it anyway.

Hydroton as metallic hydrogen is more a proposal.

Right. A suggestion. A maybe.

There are many good reason to oppose hydroton as-is, and there are to oppose all other theories as-is.

I often suggest that reality might support various aspects of various theories, that each theory might be incomplete, instead of “completely wrong.” At this point, I continue to claim that Storms’ earlier view is still correct: we don’t need more theories, but more facts, the results of controlled experiments. Storms’ position is that we need theory to suggest what is to be tested. That can be a valuable function of theory, but … we already have a basic theory, well-confirmed (that the FP Heat Effect is the result of the conversion of deuterium to helium, specific mechanism unknown). There is plenty to explore without more theory. Than again, there is a simple theory that there is a Nuclear Active Environment that catalyzes fusion, and specifically that this is nanocracks. Work can be done on that without having any idea of exactly how the energy is dissipated, for example, and more extensive work is likely to reveal more details that will then be useful in vetting deeper theories.

My argument with Storms was that theory, if it appears to contradict standard physics, thought to be well-understood, will tend to alienate physicists and those advised by them, thus possibly harming the necessary funding for research. The original problem with the Pons and Fleischmann claims was that their claim of a nuclear reaction — though, in hindsight, correct — was premature, too strongly asserted with circumstantial evidence. By the time that situation changed, experimentally, the rejection cascade was already in full force, and difficult to overcome. We need to avoid reinforcing the rejection cascade by avoiding theoretical explanations that, in the minds of those who read them, knowledgeable in physics, seem preposterous.

This is not an argument that Storms is wrong; this is, instead about politics and how to communicate beyond preaching to the choir.

First don’t fall into the “strawmanization” of any theories, by taking them as exact, and challenging this single option.

Right. If Storms is incorrect about the hydroton (it is an obvious suggestion for a possible structure that might form in nanocracks), nevertheless, his argument for crack NAE is quite good. The most serious problem with the full Storms explanation is his idea of energy dissipation before fusion; it requires below-ground nuclear energy levels, and creates a host of problems that he is not prepared to solve. He has rejected other possibilities because, I could claim, he doesn’t understand them. He is a chemist, and though he was a radiochemist, he is working, when he comes up with a proposed nuclear mechanism, outside his field. Storms is in his eighties. He has a right to his opinions, and some of them may be right on target. And some not. It’s true for any of us.

Until we actually know what is happening, from successful confirmed predictions, no theory can be completely eliminated as having no useful elements. However, some theories make easy predictions that simply are not seen. A theory that gets far too much mileage for the level of experimental confirmation is Widom-Larsen theory, promoted heavily by Steve Krivit, in spite of major defects. Larsen stonewalls or head-on attacks all critiques, and Krivit does the same. W-L theory is dead in the journals, it is only seen in non-expert contexts. (Some scientists coming into LENR, without full prior exploration, have gone for W-L theory, which may give them cover through the “it’s not fusion” argument. Which is purely semantic and not substantial. W-L’s neutron-induced transmutations are a device for inserting a proton, by accompanying it with an electron (as a formed neutron). It accomplishes fusion, by a mechanism that is not usually called “fusion,” but “neutron activation.” However, neutrons are promiscuous. If there are high levels of neutron formation, and especially ultra-cold neutrons, there will be high levels of many different kinds of transmutation, but the experimental evidence with PdD is that transmutation occurs only at very low levels compared with helium formation.

Today any theory is a work in progress, if not part of the big game.

Right. The Big Game now is carefully controlled experiment, which might be testing some theory (i.e., perhaps Brillouin) or which might simply be exploring the parameter space with increased precision (i.e., my favorite project, the Texas Tech initiative to measure the heat/helium correlation with far better funding than before, and world-class experts involved).

What i like in ed’s theory is the way it is build.

Built. Ed is constantly expressing frustration with theories that are divorced from experimental evidence, as if it didn’t matter.

Hydroton is not part of the part I love, even if it is an interesting speculation.

I agree. The problem is not so much the linear structure as what Storms posits happens with it and other details that don’t seem to match expectations. It is likely that the Real Theory will also not match expectations, but … we will only have that, and see success with it, when the experimental evidence is overwhelming, not only for cold fusion as a reality — that already exists — but for the theory having conclusive evidence behind it, making a setting aside of expectations necessary. Until then, “mystery” is actually an inspiring explanation! “Unknown mechanism” challenges physicists to study mechanism. Shoving a mechanism in their face that contradicts everything they have learned, before this is completely clear from direct evidence, will drive them away. That is not what we need.

There are psychological mechanisms involved in theory formation that can create a strong impression of “OMG! This is The Truth!” These are very dangerous in science. It’s almost like a drug and perhaps it actually is a drug, a neurotransmitter of “certainty.” This is why the Scientific Method is often stated as undertaking a diligent effort to prove oneself wrong, instead of what we see as so common — especially on blogs and fora like LENR-forum, an effort to prove oneself right.

My own training functions by discarding as limiting inventions, the concepts of “right” and “wrong.” They are obviously useful as shorthand, but fail in creating deeper understanding.

Slow Fusion, NAE, coherence, are what convinced me… but it may be wrong, especially if the initial assumptions are refuted (physics and chemistry conservatism, conservation of miracle, exploited pile of replicated experiments).

“NAE” is very strong, and it is fascinating to see resistance to it. “Slow fusion” is probably incorrect. What is more likely is slow release of fusion energy. There are possible mechanisms for it, as a series of nuclear transitions. There are basically three possibilities for the energy dissipation problem: before fusion, with fusion (i.e., immediate release), and after fusion. Each has its problems.

  1. Before fusion requires that energy become available that is caused by a nuclear collapse, in fusion, to a more efficient packing, which collapse heats the nucleus strongly (in the case of deuterium fusion). From where does this energy come? Storms posits some previously-unknown reduced-mass nuclear states, a long series of them, with the nuclei gradually losing their mass in pairs, caused by an oscillatory close approach. There is zero evidence for these new nuclear isomers. It requires a radically new understanding of nuclei and where fusion energy comes from. It is not mass loss, itself, that causes the energy generation, as I understand it. Rather mass represents the energy of the nucleus. If the nucleus is excited, it will have more mass than if it is not excited, by the amount of mass shown in the excitation energy. Then that energy might be released in some way. That release is after the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy within the nucleus. Not before. Sometimes it is possible to “borrow from the future,” it is a consequence of quantum mechanics, but the time scale for this to apply to a process that must occur at relatively high rate to create measurable effects is far too short for this to work. Storms puts the study of this off until later. So we can simply let his explanation stand as a “before fusion” explanation attempt. Nothing should be completely swept off the table until we know much more. However, I wouldn’t put much money into this particular bet, and it’s not necessary to take the next steps, to have any idea at all about how the energy is dissipated. It is not a practical concern at this point, except we need to know that the energy release is not dangerous.
  2. With fusion, i.e., immediate fragmentation, the normal hot fusion mechanism. The problem here is that the fragmentation products are well-known and are not observed with cold fusion. Storms calls this “hot fusion,” based on the products. I have argued that this is misleading, because this applies to muon-catalyzed fusion, which happens at extremely low temperatures, close to absolute zero. The immediate fragmentation probably applies to all catalyzed fusion where it simply involves two nuclei. However, again, Not Off The Table. A rare branch for normal d-d fusion releases the energy as a gamma instead of with nuclear fragmentation. If the energy were immediately released as phonons, operating as with the Mossbauer effect, maybe. Seems very unlikely, though.
  3. After fusion, which requires that the fusion energy be stored in some way, pending release. Takahashi’s basic examination (it is simply an exploration with quantum field theory) is of 4D fusion, but that name creates an impression of four uncorrelated deuterons somehow finding themselves in the same place. In fact, he is considering two deuterium molecules in a particular spatial orientation, with very low relative momentum, allowing a collapse as with a Bose-Einstein Condensate. The fusion expected with 4D is to 8Be. 8Be is an isotope that normally fissions into two helium nuclei, no gamma. The hot helium nuclei that would be expected are not seen, so Takahashi is exploring nuclear halo states that might store the energy and allow dissipation with a series of nuclear transitions, i.e., low-energy photons. These are unknown, but some halo states can be persistent. So I say to this idea, “maybe.” It does not offend basic nuclear physics, to my mind. The reality may well be a larger compound nucleus and more complex process, Takahashi studied 4D because the math is simpler. He *predicts* fusion from the physical configuration he proposes. Storms rejects it because of his chemist’s ideas about temperature. Storms would rather offend nuclear physicists than chemists, i.e., himself. I suggest that “mystery” offends nobody who has ever remotely an open mind.

The fact is that it is not difficult to take physicists to the point where they say “there is something here that might be worth investigating!” That was, in fact, the conclusion of both U.S. Department of Energy panels, not the conclusion of bogosity and error that was promoted about those reviews by … let’s call them enemies of LENR. And we fell for it, railing at those panels for being so stupid.

In fact, we were stupid, politically naive, and scientists are not trained in politics.

Competent people could simply try to fill the hole in his theory, propose alternative, play like kids with Lego, laugh at problems, smile at progress, instead of trying to defend a candidate for Presidential Election.

Right. Fun is a necessary element in genuine life, including scientific inquiry.

What is killing LENR is that instead of trying to improve others works, most people battle for their own pet-theory.

Well, let’s put it this way: it is not helping. Progress is being made by people like McKubre, who calls himself “theory agnostic.” Krivit, of course, attacks McKubre’s work, because Krivit is obviously a Believer in a particular theory, and contradictory experimental evidence, then, must come from Evil. Such as data falsification and selection in favor of the Bad Theory called “Cold Fusion,” which Krivit often presents as “d-d fusion.”

This statement is part of the talk of Michael McKubre in last two ICCF.

Heh! In the last talk, he mentioned my conclusions and credited me. I’ll call that a peak experience, one of a number around cold fusion, for me. Without having completed a university education, with no degrees, and with life experience only related to science as electronic design is related to science, I was, with about four years of conversation, published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2015, and cited by McKubre at an ICCF Keynote address in 2016. I can now die smiling. But I’m not dead yet! I probably have a good ten years, though we never know.

Ed needs help, because there is hole in his theory, and because probably Hydroton need more ideas to work, or to be replaced by a better idea.

What is really needed the most is experimental confirmation of Ed’s more recent results. There are spectacular implications from them. He also needs encouragement, he has a tendency to fall into despair, thinking that nobody is listening. Hazard of old age, it can happen.

He proposes, not only few ideas, few conclusions, but most of all an approach.

Yes. He is constantly asking for engagement on basic principles. We need more genuine students to become involved, rather than what tends to happen, those who somehow come to believe in this or that aspect of LENR, prematurely convinced. We need more who recognize the scientific method and understand the necessary postponement of firm conclusions. And we need more who understand basic physics, to bring in and involve the mainstream. It takes time to learn about cold fusion. Robert Duncan came in fairly rapidly, having been hired to study it by CBS. Like most newcomers, he came up with some preposterous theory that he talked about (muons!). However, he did not get stuck. He understood how little he understood. That is a starting point that can take one far in a field like cold fusion.

Starting from his travel into the challenges of LENR experiments and physics rules, one may find a missed turn, and take it toward another place. William Colis seems to have gone to the concept of Exotic Neutral particle… why not.

It’s his choice to pursue the willow-the-wisp. Perhaps he’ll find it. But it is not what I consider globally necessary. Nothing can be taken off the table until we know what is on the table, and that is going to take action, experimental exploration, studying the parameter space and correlated effects, not so much abstract thinking except where it is grounded in practical experiment. The process of integrating what is known from experiment to create predictive explanations is complex, involving intuition, but intuition is not magic. It works best with a mind that is highly informed, to create what did not exist before: a story that empowers. That mind functions best when detached, not stuck on any story at all, simply observing facts, a mass of them too large, sometimes, to be consciously processed. The processing happens anyway, and then the result appears. Intuition. A basic and oft-neglected human facility.

Axil, Zephir, Holmlid, need helps too, and may help too.

And the 10T gorilla in the kitchen is compatibility with experiments, and choice of what we consider as confirmed results, vs to be confirmed results.

Sometimes a worker will call their results “replicable.” Okay, maybe they are, i.e., they seem to be reliable to the worker, but they are not confirmed as replicable until they are actually replicated, and replicated also has come to have a weak meaning, where, say, Parkhomov’s weak results were considered and claimed to be “replication” of Rossi’s results, though, in fact, they were radically different (not to mention the original results may have been artifact, it remains quite possible).

As long as theorist will oppose the mass of replicated experiments, exploiting few experiments who please them, there will be risk of unrealism.

Let’s just call it stupidity.

Ed is also accused to ignore some results (eg: Erzyon ), but they are less replicated results than the mass of PdD and the Iwamura thin-film line of experiments. It is not easy…

Yes. Look, I can pick Storms’ work apart. He makes mistakes, in my view. However, he has more knowledge of the experimental literature than anyone else, AFAIK. Jed Rothwell is another possibility, but Jed is not a scientist, he is a writer (like me). Still, he has read a great deal of the literature, has translated it and collected it, so Jed’s views should be seen in that light. He’s also highly opinionated and, to me, seems stuck on this or that, at times. But he can often make quite significant contributions to conversations. Cold fusion, like every field, involves communication with human beings, who have these human quirks.

Present company excepted, of course! 🙂

Then Eric Walker wrote:

[someone should nudge Eric, suggesting that he paragraph his writing. It would be more approachable. I am paragraphing it here for comment, but the original was one wall of text, not inviting.}

It seems to me that the present difficulty on the research side of LENR is not that people battle for their own pet-theories; if anything, they do not defend their theories enough and effectively enough, ignoring potent critique.

Right. Or they promote their theory in a walled garden. Lewis Larsen presents everything in slide shows that are not text, if I’m correct, they are images, which somewhat discourages discussion. There are obvious problems with W-L theory that are stonewalled. At one point, Krivit pointed this out, as shown to him by Richard Garwin. Then, later, Krivit reframed the Garwin critique as if it were praise…. W-L theory is properly “at the table” for consideration, but seems quite unlikely, and will remain that way until there is at least a shred of experimental confirmation, as distinct from post-hoc creating of ad hoc theory to match known results. W-L theory is not one specific mechanism, in fact, but a pile of them, all designed to create an appearance of matching this or that result. As long as one ignores little details like rate!

It seems to me that the difficulties are that

(1) there are not enough systematic experiments to fill in gaps in the experimental record needed to narrow down the theoretical possibilities;

Key here: “systematic” experiments. These are experiments designed to explore the “parameter space,” not simply to confirm some specific “effect,” which are early-stage work. In medical studies, some finding may be that a drug had some effect on a disease, but a deeper and more useful experiment will show dose-response. In an example of ignoring this with cold fusion, Oriani reported a “replicable” experiment that looked for CR-39 radiation evidence from electrolysis, with the radiation allegedly appearing in the head space, where CR-39 SSNTDs were suspended. If one studied the data, there was no correlation between the electrolysis current and the effect. So what was the cause of the apparent radiation? Nobody knows. Kowalski attempted to replicate this, and considered his attempt a failure. However, this is clear: put some radiation detectors in places where nobody has looked and you might see something. SSNTDs are extremely sensitive. And there is radiation in the environment. How much? It can vary greatly! Oriani’s work had inadequate controls, the control experiments were not, for example, matched with controls identical in every way except for, say, electrolysis current. Then a more sophisticated experiment would have looked for a correlation with the current by varying it. A great deal of cold fusion was apparently designed to find some “amazing nuclear effect.” Instead of more quietly and patiently looking for correlations.

(2) theory building often proceeds in a vacuum anyway, ignoring existing experiments altogether;

Way too often. This is appropriate for brainstorming, but brainstorming meetings don’t then publicize the half-baked ideas that come up. They use them for stimulation and set them aside quickly if nobody raises the flag and salutes it.

(3) theories that attempt to be cognizant of experiment nonetheless fall back on unwarranted assumptions and strong opinions about what must be concluded from existing experiments, abetted by polemic; and

That is, what is known is cherry-picked for what confirms Favorite Theory, ignoring contrary evidence. As well, conclusory statements are incorporated in arguments, the goal of which is obvious: to support the theory, almost the opposite of genuine scientific process. Because cold fusion developed as a field in the presence of strong opposition, it became reactive in this way …. when then strengthened the opposition.

(4) people are willing in this way to make due with the patchy experimental record when they really should wait for further experiment before disqualifying a number of possibilities that are still in play.

My suggestion is different: simply don’t pay that much attention to theory at this point, because in the absence of more evidence, it is quite unlikely to be of much value. An exception would be where a theory suggests a relatively easy experimental test. Such a theory deserves prompt attention!

Instead of looking carefully for tests, people tend to support theories that “make the most sense to them,” which really is emotional appeal. It’s not necessarily a bad idea, if it empowers. Godes’ theory gets him out of bed in the morning. But the theory itself fails to inspire me, for all the reasons that W-L theory is problematic. I’m much more interested in his experimental results. Which reminds me that it may be time to publish my comment on that Tanzella Report …. I solicited private commentary, I need to check and see the status.

The challenges boil down to a need for further experiment, systematically planned and carried out, to probe the predictable consequences of theories, and to support or chip away at basic, low-level assumptions that go into theory building, such as whether deuterium is even a fuel. Of course, there is a financial difficulty that has hindered such an effort.

Right. However, the evidence that deuterium is the fuel for the FP Heat Effect is reasonably strong. At this point, the work to confirm this is already fully funded and under way. My long-term point has been to encourage the funding of fundamental work like that.

Beyond heat/helium, which is what that work is, what is most crucial is study of NAE and specifically how to make it so that experiments can be more reliable, which then makes coherent exploration of the parameter space more realizable, less expensive, almost certainly. We need a standard “lab rat,” to allow many groups to collectively create data that will be deeper and more solid, being readily independently confirmable. This should have been done twenty years ago, should have been a major priority; instead, nearly everyone was trying to increase heat or to find some nuclear effect, fighting the rejection cascade. Designing and testing some relatively inexpensive standard experiment, where results could be more predictable, at least statistically, could have hastened the day toward acceptance and thus more funding, which could snowball. Or should I say, “will snowball”?

Yeah! Will snowball! Let’s go for it!

AlainCo wrote:

It is true that we should at least agree on questions like, for good old PdD electrolysis with Excess Heat:

Is there He4 produced , which relation to heat (seems so)

Without the heat/helium correlation there is a pile of circumstantial evidence indicating that nuclear reactions are taking place at apparent low energies, but it is difficult to tease this out from a possible file drawer effect. I’m not saying it can’t be done … and systematic investigations, such as some done by SRI, can handle this problem, but individual experiments generally cannot.

The heat/helium correlation has been amply confirmed, and the evidence we have, considering the nature of the experiments, indicates a ratio of helium to heat that matches the fusion expectation if helium is the only product, from deuterium, and (almost) all energy is converted to heat. This not quite proof, as yet, but it is strong evidence, such that I can confidently say that, yes, the main reaction in PdD, in the electrolytic FP Heat Effect, is the conversion of deuterium to helium, which is silent about the mechanism (or possible intermediate products that are quickly converted to helium).

Work is under way, at Texas Tech and ENEA, to confirm the correlation and measure the heat/helium ratio with increased precision. I expect results may appear by the end of this year, though that has not been confirmed by the researchers, I only know that the research is in progress.

Is there DD our HD or HH consumed ? (tritiums have been seen consumed, but for H/D hard to measure)

Tritium is problematic. I’m not aware of “consumption” being shown, and especially there is no work showing correlation of tritium with either helium or heat. Generally, it appears that tritium is produced at levels far below that of helium; I have used a figure of a million times down, but it might vary widely from that. There are many reports of tritium production, enough to consider it an important possible effect, but absent better data, I prefer to set tritium aside for the time being. Experiments with tritium doping could be in order, it would probably require substantial levels of tritium to be useful.

As to HH, i.e., Storms explanation has the product be deuterium. This is a plausible suggestion, but very difficult to test, because of relatively high levels of deuterium in hydrogen sources. It is possible that a long-term test with substantial energy production, using deuterium-depleted water or hydrogen, could generate data on this. That leaves HD, and, in fact, substantial levels of HD reactions should occur if the reaction is isotope independent, as Storms seems to think. HD would produce tritium, in his theory. That should be possible to test, by measuring heat, helium, and tritium, while controlling the hydrogen level, probably in a basic PdD experiment shown to have an active cathode. It is tricky to control the ratio in the presumed NAE, because of fractionation, hydrogen will be preferentially evolved in electrolysis and may preferentially enter palladium. Still, it could be studied.

Is there heavy atom transmutations commensurate with heat production?

That has never been seen with PdD. Transmutations do occur, but at very low levels, something often obscured in discussions of this.

Is there Iwamura (X+2,4,6d )style transmutations in wet cell?

If so, it’s unconfirmed. I’d be happy to look at reports.

is there tritium production, and what is the relation wif H/D ratio, temperature, heat

I’ve often seen excuses for not determining tritium correlation that made no sense to me. Yes, in a predominantly D environment, tritium production is not “commensurate with heat,” this was obvious, following the expectation from hot fusion. However, that’s not the experimental question, which would be whether, other conditions being controlled, the H/D ratio correlates with tritium production, and whether or not that production also correlates with heat, not from being the primary source of heat, but if, perhaps, the same NAE is involved; the NAE concept, particularly of Storms, has the NAE formation level primarily control the reaction rate, in tandem with hydrogen mobility. So I would expect, with controlled H/D and other factors, tritium to correlate with heat (and with helium).

is high loading necessary for heat production, and wht is the law?

This has always been mysterious. High loading was seen to be necessary, because heat was not seen in cathodes that had not experienced high loading, but a nifty example is SRI P13/P14, where the same loading was attained three times, in two cells in electrical series, so they had the same electrolytic current; one cell was heavy water, the other was light water. The first two runs, no excess heat in either cell. The third run, significant excess heat was seen in the deuterium cell, correlated with current. No excess heat in the hydrogen cell.

Third time’s a charm? Maybe. Storms’ recent work, unfortunately unconfirmed as yet, showed that a deloading cathode, losing deuterium because the electrolytic current had been shut down, still continued generating XP at the same level, until the supplemental heating that was maintaining cathode temperature at an elevated level was turned off; then the XP rapidly disappeared as the cell cooled.  Storms also has claimed that active cathode can be removed from a cell, cleaned, and stored and that then, when reloaded, they immediately produce XP. That, as well, has major implications.

This does not contradict prior work, because I’m not aware that anyone had actually tried these things. Pons and Fleischmann’s Heat After Death experiments somewhat showed HAD under conditions where deloading would be occurring. Storms has showed it with a much simpler experiment. I was gratified by this, because I’d been suggesting, for some years, controlling temperature in these experiments. Instead of allowing the temperature to vary, which creates many analytical problems, control the temperature with supplemental heat, and back it off as needed because of XP. It provides a measure of XP, among other things. Varying more than one condition at a time, and with temperature being very likely to affect reaction rate, the experiments, stuck with the basic variable of material condition, were allowing more variables than were necessary.

Letts had shown a formula for XP in his dual laser work, which predicted his complex results with varying the laser beat frequency, with high precision, that indicated higher rate at higher temperature. However, because temperature was his method of calorimetry, he was not controlling it! It was difficult to tease all this out to come to clean and clear conclusions. Storms criticized the Letts work based on the formula being ad hoc, i.e., made up to match the data, which was possibly true. But the data indicated the temperature dependence shown. There were other possible explanations, though. In my 2015 paper, I suggested Letts’ work as being of high interest, and I have been, again, gratified to see IH supporting Letts (I think they are, anyway).

Storms considers loading as a method of stressing the palladium to create the necessary cracks. If that is correct, the reaction rate does not exactly depend on loading, but on something else, the history of the material, in particular. And then temperature and fuel availability. All this leads to the idea of running PdD experiments at elevated temperatures. Under pressure, the temperature can be taken higher without boiling. However, if NAE can be made that works gas-loaded, then temperature can go even higher. At some temperature, NAE may not be stably maintained, the material will become too plastic.

There is a great deal of fairly obvious and quite useful work to be done. It needs funding and it needs support. My general goal is to create process that will support this work, helping to identify what work should take priority where funds are limited. My goal is not to control that, myself, or even the organization or structures set up, but rather to generate advice to be useful to decision-makers.

is temperature an important factor, and what is the law?

An important research goal would be to study the effect of temperature on the reaction rate. The trickiest variable to control is the material. I would study this statistically, by doing many small experiments, all identical, with many iterations at each temperature. It should be possible to pull the temperature signal out of the noise that way, even if material variability is still a major problem. Obviously, the treatment of each cathode should be according to a strict protocol expected to be successful at least a reasonable percentage of the time. In some work it appears that 50% might be attainable. Obviously, better than that would be even more desirable, but this approach could work with a lower success rate. The law, i.e,. the nature of the variation with temperature, is not known, as far as I have seen. Letts’ formula probably understated the relationship, I suspect, only considering vacancy formation rate, which also increases with temperature.

are X-rays/gamma, of which energy produced systematically or occasionally?

We don’t know how the energy is dissipated from deuterium conversion. X-rays have commonly been seen, but realize that X-rays and gammas are the same photons. X-rays have been seen too many times to be considered absent, but they have never been correlated with heat, or if they have, it has not been confirmed. It is likely, I’d suspect, that there is a single energy dissipation mechanism. It is not necessary to know this to proceed with the most important research, which is about control of the reaction, but for investigating theory, this is important. I place this kind of work in the third tier, to be done if all the bases are being covered in the first two tiers.

The first tier confirms reality of the effect. Heat/helium does that, amply, assuming confirmation with increased precision.

The second tier develops control of the reaction. This includes investigating NAE and how to treat materials to create active sites. It includes researching the critical variables that control or influence reaction rate. It includes developing better and cheaper methods of measuring and confirming reaction rates.

The third tier develops data needed for theory formation. This would include research into X-ray or gamma frequencies, or phonon frequencies. However, experiments that develop control might have strong implications for theory formation; it is that how the energy is dissipated is not necessary knowledge as long as we know that it ends up as heat — and that there are no harmful products, which is best studied, not theoretically, but practically, by searching for them.

Again, if, say, some form of radiation is found to be directly correlated to the reaction rate, such that the reaction can be measured with it, this could be highly valuable for reaction control, making recognition of active material faster and easier. It is possible that other emissions, such as sound, could be used for this.

is there relation with heat? are they coherent, oriented, focused, originated?

There are no confirmed results indicating coherent radiation, but there are indications. Storms expects it.

specifically
is there systematic, occasional production of magnetic of RF field? of Current?

Defkalion reported magnetic fields, but more likely the strong RF emissions from their spark stimulation whacked their magnetic field strength meter readings, because the field they measured was highly implausible and would have been blatantly apparent. That level of field can pick up chairs, there is a neat photo of a metal chair slammed up against an MRI machine, with a field of a few Tesla.

is ther relation to heat ? which orientation and structure ?

The basic effect, the most widely confirmed, is anomalous heat. A great deal of early work was, in my view, wasted because it looked only for “nuclear effects.” All experiments should be carefully observed for anomalies or other correlated phenomena. Some of the deepest discoveries are accidental, even mistakes. McKubre thought he might be able to flush helium out of his M4 cathode, by “sloshing” deuterium in and out. Probably not! But he also used some reverse electrolysis, to accelerate deloading and cleaning of the surface. It dissolved some of the palladium and probably, that is why he may have recovered all the helium in M4. Violante likewise, my guess — I need to ask him — used an hour of reverse electrolysis to attempt to stimulate his punk cathode to put out more heat. It didn’t, that was the worst cathode out of three. But … the others showed the roughly 60% of theoretical helium. That one showed 100% (+/- about 20%). Of course, in hindsight, it seems totally obvious! But nobody had done it.

There are many treats awaiting those who enter this field. There is also a lot of work, plodding, repetitive. One of the research goals, though, is developing a “lab rat.” A standard experiment, known to generate results that are, at least, statistically reliable. Alain comes to this….

is there muons production in wet cell ?

I doubt it. There would be visible effects from substantial muon production.

is there neutron production in wet call, which energy, and which relation to heat ?

The SPAWAR work indicates neutron production, highly variable, in their report, depending on the codep cathode substrate, which is mysterious. Bottom line: while they show substantial evidence for neutrons, this has not been confirmed, and the levels are very low. This may simply be from secondary reactions, rare branches. My standard statement, it may be off a bit — but what are a few orders of magnitude among friends — is that helium is commensurate with heat, tritium and other transmutations are a million times down, and neutrons are a million times down from tritium.

Neutrons have never been correlated with heat. The SPAWAR work only looked for radiation, and it was not even time-correlated. They ran for a few weeks, then pulled and developed the radiation detectors. The only clear variable was spatial location of the tracks vs. the cathode.

When we have reliable devices, testing all this other stuff will get much easier.

is there anomalous radiations, particles that can be observed reliably ?

My thoughts on this at this point: Aside from ensuring safety, and unless a “measure” of the reaction is found using radiation, this is low priority until the third tier.

I also see alternative question away from PdD electrolythic cells :

can a working wet-cell electrod work in dry permeation experiments ? (Ed seems to predict yes)

Yes, probably. This is not terribly difficult to investigate, if one can confirm Ed’s claim of storable active cathodes. Gas load them!

what is the minimum size of powder that produce excess heat ?
does NiH, NiD,TiD, TiH, WD,WH work in dry or wet cells ?

I’ve seen many papers proposing some experimental results, and some nice review…

Not all is accepted, and not all can be accepted.

Most work, as yet, is inadequately confirmed. The normal confirmation work in fields like this would be done by grad students. This is why we really need to break through the rejection cascade, to make it safe for students to work on this.

One problem is to have a good “lab rat” of known efficiency, to measure and test new ideas, to compute ration, estimate laws, rule-out claims.

Such a cell could be designed and manufactured, using careful control of materials and techniques. It would quickly become obsolete, but would then be revised, and each issued revision could be remade if necessary to confirm particular results. A system could be set up to facilitate this; it would take support; there are many details to be worked out. Such an activity could be more or less self-supporting, because as work ramps up, demand for such will, as well. That is, devices would be sold at a price adequate to cover the businesses expenses (which should include some profit, it must be adequate to keep alive). Such a business may also work with a fund that subsidizes research. Modest for-profit organizations and nonprofits can work together very well.

LFH (Alan Smith’s company) is making some equipment that might qualify. I’d say that with PdD, this should be done with the support of the experienced researchers … before they are gone!

They won’t agree, that is predictable, but it would be the job of the organizer of such an effort to maximize the use of available funding. Part of this would be creating better documentation of what has already been done. There has been a lot of research that was not published.

For Edmund Storms the PdD cell is a good lab rat that can be easily replicated… easily for him, with a carrer of experiences in the domain.

If dogbones were reliably producing excess heat, sure it would be an alternative, a complement.

Absolutely. The idea that NiH and PdD are somehow opposed is pernicious. There are differences. We know much more about PdD, such as, for starters, the ash.

Dry PdD cells may be interesting (Miley seems to follow that direction).

There are many possibilities. Maybe even too many. We will sort it out.

Holmlid is interesting, but it seems to be in conditions very far from usual LENR, not far from hot fusion. Maybe is he exploring an extreme side of the LENR parameter space…

Holmlid is interesting, all right. However, there is a huge problem. His work has been going on for many years without independent confirmation. It is unclear whether or not what he is doing is related to PdD LENR. Maybe. Maybe not. His claims are extraordinary, and to be accepted, extraordinary evidence is, then, required.

(LENR supporters often wince at this, because of the rejection of LENR by skeptics reciting that like a mantra. However, it is simply good sense, and key in moving forward is noticing that there is, indeed, extraordinary evidence for the reality of LENR, and only weak circumstantial evidence against it, by now.

(i.e,. “they have had 27 years, why isn’t this in Home Depot?” is weak circumstantial evidence. It is not in Home Depot because of idiots like you! Except I’d rather not alienate anyone.

Let me try that again. It is not in Home Depot because the initial appearance was that the FP Heat Effect was experimenal error, and then it became very difficult to fund research into what was much more difficult than “fusion in a jam jar” led people to imagine. In fact, over the years, much of the necessary basic work was done, and now …. and then I would go into the work under way at Texas Tech. Heat/helium communicates with real skeptics, as distinct from the idiots who are dead certain that anyone who supports cold fusion must be, ipso facto, a gullible, deluded, “believer.” Those are, fortunately, becoming more and more rare.

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax

See http://coldfusioncommunity.net/biography-abd-ul-rahman-lomax/

11 thoughts on “OMG! An *actual* conversation based on knowledge!”

  1. “…so it is moving among areas of high pressure.”

    Thanks you both for the interesting thoughts. I would like to ask a question, albeit probably self-evident.

    I see references often in various discussions about “pressure” in the NAE. Even the concept of the “pressure” being relieved or that it increases with temperature or atmospheric pressure.

    What are you really describing with the word pressure? Certainly not atmospheric pressure at the atomic scale, I would think. Yet loading is done with atmospheric pressure or temperature. I have always assumed people were talking about some combination of the electromagnetic and strong force. However, not being very educated in that area, I find it a bit surprising that atmospheric pressure and / or temperature (at the levels normally discussed) would have much if any effect on these atomic levels.

    Can either provide a brief (subject may be more complex to allow a brief) recap on what your perception of “pressure” in these “NAE cracks” is generated by? Are we discussing pressure in the terms that commonly are unitized by PSI or more in EV due to electromagnetic force?

    If in EV, would not then the pulsing of high energy electrical fields have as much or more impact?
    I have not read Dr. Storm’s work, so I am unfamiliar if he included electric fields in his theory.

    Thanks,
    Bob

    1. My mention oif “pressure” is as a popular explanation, readily accessible, and it refers to helium only in this context. There are other uses of “pressure” and, more relevantly, “fugacity,” but I was not referring to that. The pressure is caused by the helium electron shell, which is large compared to that of hydrogen isotopes. Hydrogen isotopes move freely through the lattice. Entering the lattice is actually endothermic for hydrogen isotopes, unless the loading is high. For helium, the lattice is like a solid that bars entry. This is like high pressure, resisting entry. However, if helium is already within the lattice, there is a strong confinement pressure, but the increase in this pressure, passing from one of the “sites,” i.e., positions of minimal electronic density, with greatest distance from the palladium atoms, to a somewhat more confined position moving from site to adjacent site, is small. Ordinary energy from temperature can allow helium to climb the potential barrier. However, helium will escape as soon as it finds a place to escape to, and once out of the lattice, it cannot re-enter. To study this, palladium has been loaded with tritium, which beta-decays to Helium-3. The helium three is trapped, accumulating over time in gaps between the grain boundaries, and the pressure of 3He in those gaps can be quite high, and this has the ordinary meaning of pressure. With enough 3He, channels form and if these channels reach the surface, the 3He can escape. It takes a lot of helium to do that.

      I was describing “gas pressure,” not “atmospheric pressure.” However, pressure is normally a collective phenomenon, whereas here, it refers to the behavior of a single helium atom as it moves through the lattice, and what happens when it finds a point of relief, i.e., a bit of extra space caused by a grain boundary. It stays there, because of “pressure,” i.e,. resistance to escape, and because other helium will join it there, a literal gas pressure builds. This has nothing to do with NAE, as far as I know. The helium is not trapped in the cracks that are NAE, because these are surface cracks. Helium would be trapped in subsurface cracks, if it ends up there, and it is not impossible that there are low levels of helium in such locations, but there is no sign of regular formation of helium, subsurface.

      It would be ev, but many. It’s a barrier to diffusion. This tripped up Krivit. Helium is mobile in palladium, once it is inside, but then it becomes trapped at grain boundaries. I’m not sure of the values. It takes about 100 KeV to get helium to penetrate palladium about a micron, roughly. To give helium that much energy takes ionizing it first, it is then accelerated normally. Helium doesn’t like to give up its electrons, so…. I don’t know what it takes to ionize helium, but, bottom line, this simply is not about NAE, except that NAE is where helium is being created, and the indication from what I’ve written is that it has some energy of birth, kinetic energy, that enables it to enter the lattice. My guess is that something on the order of 100 eV is needed. The Hagelstein limit is 20 KeV. So there is room for this, experimentally.

  2. Thanks for the review.
    I like the idea of a cavity-crack couplig, because of my electronic background.
    I link that to a recent experiment by ENEA when they detected 80GHz signal… I would be curious to know if that signal is replicated in other cells, what make the frequency change …

    About slow fusion, my naive vision is the one of the “leaking safe”.

    First, we have to admit any group of deuterium atoms is potentially a thermonuclear bomb, like C4 block is. Very safe as long as you don’t annoy it, and quite noisy if you allow reactions.

    My idea is not that the deuterium nucleus fall into a below-equilibrium energy level.
    It is simply that the accumulated energy leaks, drop by drop, because the components are reacting slowly.
    Sure it is strange! strong force accross huge distance? wave function overlapping ?
    I involve the magic of coherence like a Papuan involves forest’s divinities. Not my job.

    I just had a stupid idea, an idea of electronician…
    connect two 4D cavities by a (HTSC) hydroton pipe, and let it resonate… up to the point the nucleus overlapp… Probably stupid idea….

    as you say, we need experiments… but having even stupid theories, make you consider apparently stupid instrumentations like hearing for RF signal, exciting with THz/GHz signal, …

    By the way, I’ve seen recently very interesting research on nanosized components for accumulators.
    These teams are brillant and well funded.

    1. You are welcome. Alain. Every theory, as far as I have seen, faces problems. It’s a forest of problems, a jungle. Eventually, a flower will be driven through the green fuse.

      Okay, you are French and might not recognize Dylan Thomas, that line summarizes what I remember from my English class at Cal Tech. What is the force that drives that flower?

      Yeah, I think of a possible tuning of cavity size and shape. From the helium evidence, the lattice itself is not the reaction site, because helium is only found very near the surface. Helium can move through lattice, the “pressure” of helium there is very high, so it is moving among areas of high pressure. However, if it meets a grain boundary, if the boundary blocks passage, it will continue to diffuse about the original grain. However, if there is any gap at all, it will enter the gap, relieving the pressure. It cannot re-enter. The only way it entered the grain in the first place would be from kinetic energy resulting from formation. While this is consistent with the crack theory, it also could happen with certain kinds of surface vacancies or other traps. Because of the issue of loading/deloading history needed for actual reactivity, cracks are very likely involved, but the real NAE might be hybrid. I think of vacancies in the walls of a crack, or a crack passing through a vacancy. This is only a very rough idea, and I’m not about to be nailed to it. These are simply possibilities that occur. Reality may be quite different.

      Key to me is the exploration and celebration of Reality, not elaboration and intensification of what we think about it. Our capacity for rationalization is very high, we might be considered “designed” to create “meaning.” It is useful for us, through it we create models of life. The model, though, is not life, and we have the most power when we use models, but are not used by them.

      Basic to this investigation, necessary for the avoidance of social and personal traps, is a basic trust in Reality itself. That is not a naive trust. We are all going to die. However, the arc of history reveals that our relationship with Reality intensifies with time, at least for some of us. One way of putting this is that Truth will out. The premature rejection of cold fusion is temporary, the rejection cascade is falling apart, because it was never solidly based.

      Most cold fusion theories fall flat on their faces when it comes to predicting rate. Maybe all of them. And the prediction of rate is crucial to applications. So, from this point of view and at this time, theory is almost useless. However, if people want to have fun, that has a value in itself.

      Storms takes an intermediate position. His “explanation” is rooted in experimental evidence, far more than any other, so it is worthy of attention; however, his personal drives and desires lead him beyond the territory of his experience, and he is sensitive to critique, instead of welcoming it, or he readily identifies critique as hostile and arrogant. Sometimes. Then he recovers to some degree. Scientists, even the best, are, still, human beings.

      My most important training is not in science, it is in human transformation, and part of that training is identifying what prevents or stops it. It is an ancient discovery: what stops it is attachment. The detached mind is free and can function at full integrative capacity. To many of those without training, this is meaningless word salad. In the training, it becomes daily experience, reinforced by what others might call “miracles,” but which are simply the ordinary operation of the free mind, which, being free, is also connected with everything, and especially with other people.

      I was once riding in a car with my coach. One of us had said something and the other said, “Great minds think alike.” I then asked him, “Why is that?” I did not ask because I didn’t know an answer, but to hear it in his words. He said, “There is only one mind.” That was what I knew, and he knew. Fascinating guy, he was. He had Tourette Syndrome. He was also active in his town government, holding elective office, he was brilliant, and a great coach.

        1. Hydrogen isotopes have no trouble with diffusion. But helium does. This is experimental: it does not escape. A helium atom may be able to cross some grain boundaries, where an opening presents into the adjacent grain, but eventually it finds one that traps it. Helium will not enter the lattice if it is outside the lattice. Helium from the air does not enter palladium lattice. Very little of the helium generated in palladium by tritium decay finds its way out, until and unless the helium bubbles become tubules and eventually find a path to the surface. It takes a lot of helium to do that.

          1. If you coat a surface of one metal with a dissimilar metal, atoms from the coating will diffuse throughout the substrate. I think the same thing would happen to helium atoms.

            1. Helium is not a metal, it is a noble gas. It does form weak helium-helium bonds. Helium can penetrate metals, but only along grain boundaries, and the depth will be very limited, and what can go in can go out, as to any grain boundaries communicating with the surface. All grain boundaries, technically, communicate with the surface, but…. not with enough space for helium to pass. This is how I see helium generated by the reaction as behaving: it has enough birth energy to overcome the potential barrier against entering the lattice, so, if the initial velocity vector does not take it out of the material entirely, it is very quickly slowed by electronic interactions inside a grain. It will then diffuse through the grain. That is diffusion, all right, and it has a certain rate varying with temperature. Bottom line, it travels. These grains are generally surface grains, the helium being generated in a crack in the grain that is a surface crack. Roughly half of the helium will travel inward, roughly half outward. This helium might be influenced by deuterium movement as to direction, but that has not been measured. It would take more precise measurements, my opinion. (I.e., if helium is collected during deloading, more helium would be seen in the outgas, and if during loading, less.)

              Passing through the lattice, the helium atom will eventually encounter a grain boundary, where the lattice is dislocated. Most of these paths will be blocked, the helium will continue to diffuse through the grain, until it does one of two things: it finds a grain boundary where there is a gap, some kind of vacancy, it enters the vacancy, and there it sits, because it cannot re-enter the lattice. (this exit would be exothermic, being a recovery of the energy it took to enter the lattice.) That which finds the surface of the material will, of course, escape. Overall, it appears that about 40% of the helium is trapped, which seems a reasonable percentage. However, it is trapped very near the surface, probably almost all of it is withing a micron of the surface. The actual experimental evidence we have removed 25 microns of palladium — using anodic erosion, by the way, in the Morrey collaboration, and no significant helium remained below that. This was measuring helium deposited with about 100 KeV helions, which has a penetration depth of maybe one micron. So, on this thinking, only a little anodic erosion is necessary to release all the helium. To put this in stark and colloquial language, Krivit had his head wedged, so fixed was he on the idea that McKubre and Violante were lying in order to promote their “fusion theory.”

            1. Yes. Pure helium gas does not diffuse into the lattice. The bottom line is that it is “effectively trapped.” Diffusion rate does not depend on concentration until concentration is very high, and the partial pressure of helium outside the lattice is small compared to the resistance of entry. Diffusion through the lattice, once inside, is at a respectable rate. To overcome the resistance to entry would take very high pressure, I don’t know the value; bottom line, it doesn’t happen at measurable rate. However, diffusion of helium through palladium has been measured using micrograin palladium, which will provide travel pathways.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Anti Spam by WP-SpamShield