U.S. Navy scientists claim cold fusion breakthrough

Eds: A terrific comment back-and-forth has developed on this post since we published it March 24. If your interests trend toward particle physics and cold fusion, treat yourself with a read.

Researchers are reporting compelling new scientific evidence for the existence of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR), the process once called “cold fusion” that may promise a new source of energy.

One group of scientists, for instance, describes what it terms the first clear visual evidence that LENR devices can produce neutrons, subatomic particles that scientists view as tell-tale signs that nuclear reactions are occurring.

Low-energy nuclear reactions could potentially provide 21st Century society a limitless and environmentally-clean energy source for generating electricity, researchers say. The report, which injects new life into this controversial field, will be presented here today at the American Chemical Society’s 237th National Meeting. It is among 30 papers on the topic that will be presented during a four-day symposium, “New Energy Technology,” March 22-25, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the first description of cold fusion.

“Our finding is very significant,” says study co-author and analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss, Ph.D., of the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego, Calif. “To our knowledge, this is the first scientific report of the production of highly energetic neutrons from an LENR device.”

The first report on “cold fusion,” presented in 1989 by Martin Fleishmann and Stanley Pons, was a global scientific sensation. Fusion is the energy source of the sun and the stars. Scientists had been striving for years to tap that power on Earth to produce electricity from an abundant fuel called deuterium that can be extracted from seawater. Everyone thought that it would require a sophisticated new genre of nuclear reactors able to withstand temperatures of tens of millions of degrees Fahrenheit.

Pons and Fleishmann, however, claimed achieving nuclear fusion at comparatively “cold” room temperatures — in a simple tabletop laboratory device termed an electrolytic cell.

But other scientists could not reproduce their results, and the whole field of research declined. A stalwart cadre of scientists persisted, however, seeking solid evidence that nuclear reactions can occur at low temperatures. One of their problems involved extreme difficulty in using conventional electronic instruments to detect the small number of neutrons produced in the process, researchers say.

In the new study, Mosier-Boss and colleagues inserted an electrode composed of nickel or gold wire into a solution of palladium chloride mixed with deuterium or “heavy water” in a process called co-deposition. A single atom of deuterium contains one neutron and one proton in its nucleus.

Researchers passed electric current through the solution, causing a reaction within seconds. The scientists then used a special plastic, CR-39, to capture and track any high-energy particles that may have been emitted during reactions, including any neutrons emitted during the fusion of deuterium atoms.

At the end of the experiment, they examined the plastic with a microscope and discovered patterns of “triple tracks,” tiny-clusters of three adjacent pits that appear to split apart from a single point. The researchers say that the track marks were made by subatomic particles released when neutrons smashed into the plastic. Importantly, Mosier-Boss and colleagues believe that the neutrons originated in nuclear reactions, perhaps from the combining or fusing deuterium nuclei.

“People have always asked ‘Where’s the neutrons?’” Mosier-Boss says. “If you have fusion going on, then you have to have neutrons. We now have evidence that there are neutrons present in these LENR reactions.”

They cited other evidence for nuclear reactions including X-rays, tritium (another form of hydrogen), and excess heat. Meanwhile, Mosier-Boss and colleagues are continuing to explore the phenomenon to get a better understanding of exactly how LENR works, which is key to being able to control it for practical purposes.

Mosier-Boss points out that the field currently gets very little funding and, despite its promise, researchers can’t predict when, or if, LENR may emerge from the lab with practical applications. The U.S. Department of the Navy and JWK International Corporation in Annandale, Va., funded the study. Other highlights in the symposium include:

Overview, update on LENR by editor of New Energy Times – Steve Krivit, editor of New Energy Times and author of “The Rebirth of Cold Fusion,” will present an overview of the field of low energy nuclear reactions, formerly known as “cold fusion.” A leading authority on the topic, Krivit will discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and implications of this controversial subject, including its brief history. (ENVR 002, Sunday, March 22, 8:55 a.m. Hilton, Alpine Ballroom West, during the symposium, “New Energy Technology)

Excess heat, gamma radiation production from an unconventional LENR device —Tadahiko Mizuno, Ph.D., of Hokkaido University in Japan, has reported the production of excess heat generation and gamma ray emissions from an unconventional LENR device that uses phenanthrene, a type of hydrocarbon, as a reactant. He is the author of the book “Nuclear Transmutation: The Reality of Cold Fusion.” (ENVR 049, Monday, March 23, 3:35 p.m., Hilton, Alpine Ballroom West, during the symposium, “New Energy Technology.”)

New evidence supporting production and control of low energy nuclear reactions — Antonella De Ninno, Ph.D., a scientist with New Technologies Energy and Environment in Italy, will describe evidence supporting the existence of low energy nuclear reactions. She conducted lab experiments demonstrating the simultaneous production of both excess heat and helium gas, tell-tale evidence supporting the nuclear nature of LENR. She also shows that scientists can control the phenomenon. (ENVR 064, Tuesday, March 24, 10:10 a.m., Hilton, Alpine Ballroom West, during the symposium, “New Energy Technology)



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89 thoughts on “U.S. Navy scientists claim cold fusion breakthrough”

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  2. In their report, the Navy indicates they have no idea what type of fusion reaction must have occurred in their experimental set-up to cause the release of a very energy neutron in the 9-15 MeV range. They cite a few examples, one the well know D-D (deuterium-deuterium) type of reaction from ‘hot fusion and a modified type D-D fusion within Pd by Takahashi.

    I am now reading a very interesting book on the topic–‘The Science of Cold Fusion Phenomenon”, Hideo Kozima, 2006, Elsevier. In this book, Kozima offers an alternative explanation to the typical D-D fusion process which I think has merit. He calls his model of the process–Trapped Neutron Catalysed Fusion [TNCF Model]. I cannot present what it takes a whole book to present, but the TNCF Model could very well explain what the Navy found.

    In a nutshell, the TNCF model suggests the fusion process occurs within spaces of metals such as Pd that have an affinity for hydrogen, both H (the proton) and D (deuterium). Next the TNCF uses the fact that neutrons constantly hit the earth, and that some of these background neutrons must be within any cold fusion set-up–that is, some must be within the Pd lattice along with the added D and other metals that may be present such as Lithium 3Li6. So, with the background neutron [N] in close packing to a D [NP], the TNCF model suggests that low energy input in the keV range can result in the background N to become a thermal neutron (Nt) and fuse with D to form tritium [NPN]. So the reaction is: (Nt) + D = tritium-energized(6.98 KeV) + gamma (6.25 MeV). Now, once this tritium is formed, it then can undergo a second reaction at the Pd electrode as such:T-energized + D = Helium-4(3.5 MeV) + high energy neutron (14.1 MeV). So, this high energy neutron with 14.1 MeV on average is right within the range of what was predicted by the Navy experiment. Of course then Navy evidence on the CR-39 film is that the high energy N hit carbon-12 to form the 3-pit pattern.

    In summary, my point is, it is possible that what Navy observed may have nothing at all to do with D-D type fusion reaction that is well studied in hot fusion process. It is possible a new model is needed and the model must allow for enough energy to form a 3-pit pattern. The TNCF Model of Kozima meets this goal. Anyone interested in this topic must read the book by Kozima.

    Now, one problem I see with Kozima TNCF is that background N is not a parameter that can be experimentally increased (?-or maybe it can), so some other factors must be responsible for the large range of heat energy observed in cold fusion type experiments. A nice test of the Kozima TNCF model would be to isolate the experimental setup from background radiation for different times. Since N is unstable and decays to proton, less heat energy should be generated in an experiment where new neutrons were blocked for say 24 weeks or 52 weeks compared to one where neutrons blocked for 1 week, all other experimental parameters being the same.

    Finally, it would be nice to have a summary list of any other models, outside the typical D-D reaction known from hot fusion, that could in theory explain the Navy experimental results–so here is the first I add to the list–along with predicted energy of a thermal neutron released–please anyone add to the list, also please give citation:

    MODELS OF COLD FUSION NOT OF THE D-D TYPE THAT MAY EXPLAIN NAVY EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS
    ==============================================================

    1. TNCF Model (H. Kozima)…….thermal N with (14.1 MeV)
    N + D reaction first, then Tritium + D reaction second to form thermal N (14.1 MeV)
    The Science of Cold Fusion Phenomenon, 2006, Elsevier

    Anon-Robert

  3. “He touts an e-mail from someone who likes his theory, but that person doesn’t have a single mention on Google Scholar and barely appears on Google at all. Yet WG treats that e-mail as if it has come from a reputable scientist doing important work.”

    Well, at least Edel Pons is making experiments in his laboratory.

    While you try to impose your opinion to everybody, without any experimental support.
    This is a betrayal to the scientific method

    wladimir guglinski

  4. Now I’m actually starting to feel concern for Wladimir Guglinski.

    He touts an e-mail from someone who likes his theory, but that person doesn’t have a single mention on Google Scholar and barely appears on Google at all. Yet WG treats that e-mail as if it has come from a reputable scientist doing important work.

    It’s one thing to be enamored of an idea, but quite another to interpret such a wisp of support as validation. He must really be hungry for acceptance, which explains why he misread that e-mail from the Navy researchers.

    At this point, I fear that WG is in a precarious psychological state and that my challenge to his ideas may have pushed him closer to a breaking point.

    This is sad!

  5. From: Edel Pons ([email protected])
    Sent: Friday, December 05, 2008 12:20:10 PM
    To: Wladimir Guglinski ([email protected])

    Thank you Wlad

    I am working in similar experiments to those of Prof. Kanarev. When a variable and complex sinusoidal signal is applied to an electrolyte composed of water and KOH, the hydrogen and oxygen production is higher than predicted by Faraday laws. I have been reading Kanarev theory about this process but I must say that I like your theory more than Kanarev´s one.

    I have found a curious article from Popular Science June 1944. It is actually related with one of the experiments I will carry out. It seems that when electrolysis takes place under the effect of a magnetic field, the production of hydrogen and oxygen increases without an increase in the used power. Prof. Felix Ehrenhaft, former director of the Physical Institute at the University of Vienna, suggested the existence of magnetic particles already in 1944 following his experiments with electrolysis under the effects of a magnetic field. His and my experiments confirm your theory. You can read the article at http://www.electricitybook.com/magnetism/.

    Regards

    Edel Pons

  6. I previously wrote: “there is indeed a way for the model to work, and it involves the particle known as the “antineutrino”. The reaction is actually n->p+e+antineutrino.”

    I was referring to the Standard Model in Modern Particle Physics, of which WG appears to be ignorant. His reply to what I wrote also appears to contain the assumption that I was talking about his own model —but I actually wasn’t. I admit to stupidly making the assumption that WG was not ignorant of the Standard Model, such that he could be able to recognize what I was writing about.

    Final note to WG: It is essential to learn a great deal about any Standard Thing, before you try to point out flaws in it. It is the only way to have a chance of convincing others that the claimed flaws are actually there. Even Pablo Picasso first became an expert at realistic painting, before he led the art into new directions.

    “Handel”

  7. This is for Handel and the other readers of this thread, not for WG, who has gone off the deep end.

    WG’s comment called “Handel:” is precisely the kind of rant I predicted when I took my leave from discussions with WG. Note that WG has started calling his detractors stupid because they don’t understand him. Okay, I’m stupid, too. Everyone who disputes WG is clearly stupid.

    And his message stating that the Navy will test his results is simply wrong. What he was given is a gentle put-down:

    Like many, we have very few funds and resources. But we will consider your suggestions and see what we can do as time and money permits.

    In other words, it is really saying, “We have no plans to test your ideas, but this looks like a good way to end the discussion without telling you what we really think of your suggestions.”

    As a writer, I know all about such gentle and noncommittal rejections, as in, “Your work does not fit our present needs. Good luck.”

    Do we need any more than this to conclude that WG is not worth further engagement?

    Fred Bortz
    Science Books for Young Readers
    and
    Science Book Reviews

  8. I will not waste my time with you anymore, since you dont have knowledge of theoretical physics.
    I will only put a last comment here, only in order to show how stupid things you say.

    Handel wrote:
    “You wrote: “the electron loses its spin into the neutron, otherwise there is no way to conciliate the model n=p+e with Fermi-Dirac statistics.”
    –This is also false; there is indeed a way for the model to work, and it involves the particle known as the “antineutrino”. The reaction is actually n->p+e+antineutrino. All the particles are fermions, and…”

    WHY WHAT YOU SAID IS STUPID:

    1- the model n=p+e is proposed by my Quantum Ring Theory. Such model does not exist in current Modern Physics.

    2- The model n=p+e is not accepted in current theories (they consider a quark model).
    So it is stupid to say: “This is also false; there is indeed a way for the model to work, and it involves the particle known as the “antineutrino”, because you try to justify a model n=p+e that does not exist in current theories.

    3- But as you say that: “there is indeed a way for the model to work”, this means that you believe that the neutron model of Quantum Mechanics is wrong, since a model n=p+e is considered impossible in QM.

    4- It is stupid to say: “there is indeed a way for the model to work, and it involves the particle known as the antineutrino”
    because the antineutrino does not exist into the neutron.. The antineutrino is created in the instant of the neutron’s decay.

    You have a confuse mind, Handel.
    And I dont have time to waste with confuse people.

    wladimir guglinski

  9. RE: absence of gamma-rays in your experiment, and neutron’s background?
    From: Boss, Pamela A CIV SPAWAR SSC PAC, 71730 ([email protected])
    Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 2:29:49 PM
    To: Wladimir Guglinski ([email protected])
    Cc: [email protected]; David Hestenes ([email protected]); EDEL PONS ([email protected])
    Dear Wladimir,
    Like many, we have very few funds and resources. But we will consider your suggestions and see what we can do as time and money permits.
    Regards,
    Pam

    RE: absence of gamma-rays in your experiment, and neutron’s background?
    From: Wladimir Guglinski ([email protected])
    Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 10:35:59 PM
    To: PAMELA MOSIER-BOSS ([email protected])
    Bcc: JOHNATHAN CHAN ([email protected]); [email protected]
    Hi, Pamela
    Be careful, and take cary.
    If all the deuteriuns of the Pd lattice alligned in the same direction get resonance and have fusion at the same time, perhaps it can occur a small explosion in your electrolytic cell.
    Also, I recomend you to put a loadstone externally in the cell (like in the Letts-Cravens experiment), in order to help to keep a lot of deuteriuns alligned toward the same direction (that of the external magnetic field applied)
    Good luck
    WLAD

  10. This is off topic to Navy experiment, but…there was a comment below concerning the deuterium molecule, which is a stable system of two D atoms, it is called D2. It is possible a pathway that forms a stable D2 molecule also results in a rare possibility of fusion.

    It has been experimentally shown that, the distance between the two D atoms is in the D2 stable state ~ 0.74 Angstrom, and the reason the two protons in D2 stable molecule do not repel via Coulomb repulsion of the two positive charged protons is from electron screening, which has two probability waves of e- ever present between the two protons at different levels of screening.

    However, as predicted by statistical quantum mechanics, there exist very, very rare system states that would arrive when the two electrons show 100% maximum magnitude of Coulomb screening effect, which then results in spontaneous fusion of the two D, to form the unstable 2He4, which is also observed in the common D+D “fusion” reaction (for both low energy and hot energy pathways). As known, the reaction of the unstable 2He4 path is: tritium with ~1.01 MeV and proton with ~ 3.12 MeV. The “fusion” of the D2 molecule is predicted to occur 10 -74 times/second.

    Now, this has nothing really to do with the Navy experiment, but it does show that quantum theory does predict that two D atoms will fuse naturally, and rarely, under normal low energy conditions. It also provides one mechanism to explain possible background concentrations of tritium and proton in cold fusion type experiments. Not sure, but it seems one would expect 10-74 times/second that within a pure gas of D2 there should arrive free D when both electrons are 180 degrees opposite the Coulomb potential when the Coulomb force would be greatest and perhaps force the two protons apart.

    Now, perhaps the addition of low energy across two electrodes as in the cold fusion experiments increases the rate at which the above D2 molecular fusion would occur ? — and thus perhaps be one way to explain small increases in heat (from the positive charged particles) with no high energy neutrons and/or gamma rays seen in some cold fusion experiments ?

    But again, this has nothing to do with the Navy experiment which is predicting high energy neutrons have been observed (indirectly, via splitting carbon-12) to be released. As I see it, there is only one other possible explanation of the Navy 3-pit pattern, and it is that a very high energy helium-3 was released, at an energy not predicted by any widely accepted model of how cold fusion experiments work. Then for reasons associated with the unstable energy dynamics of such a high helium-3 being released, that the Navy 3-pit pattern results from the impact of the individual nucleons present. I see no other even possible explanation of the Navy 3-pit pattern, and even this helium-3 hypothesis impossible from energy considerations unless it can be linked to a model of the atomic nucleus that predicts it to occur.

    Anon-Robert

  11. Among various conversations about Cold Fusion on the Internet is an occasional note regarding hydrogen molecules and the probability that their nuclei might fuse. It seems that the probability is not quite zero, but is rather close to zero (something like the 50th digit after the decimal point is not zero). In a few of those conversations it was indicated that if the distance between nuclei could be reduced to about a tenth of the initial distance, the probability that fusion could occur would actually become reasonable (rare, but reasonable).

    So let’s take another quick look at muon-catalyzed fusion, in which the muon, 206 times as massive as an electron, orbits at 1/206 the distance from the nucleus. If we had two muonic deuterium atoms and bounced them off of each other, the distance between nuclei would drop to 1/206 the initial value represented by ordinary deuterium atoms. Given the data at the end of the previous paragraph, is it any wonder that the nuclei fuse, even when only one muon is involved?

    In the electron-catalyzed fusion scenario, it is not necessary for electrons to screen the deuterons until it is guaranteed they are close enough to fuse. Only enough screening is needed to make the probability of fusion reasonable. And, of course, the more that deuterium is packed into the metal, the greater will be the quantity of nuclei that might be screened such that some fusions, among all of those nuclei, actually happen in accordance with that “reasonable probability”.

    Given that the experimental observations indicate a relatively low rate of fusions, considering the total quantity of deuterium loaded into the metal, we might forever be disappointed in being able to use CF on a large scale. However, the point of this message is simply that a hypothesis has been proposed that might explain how, if CF happens at all via electron catalysis, the deuterons might not need the same magnitude of screening that is observed in muon-catalyzed fusion.

    “Handel”

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