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
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: