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...but the results of ICCF10 were so solid, in his view, that it prompted him to write on September 12 to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham...

 

 

infinite energy
Issue 52


Review of the Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF10)
Eugene F. Mallove

Here We Go Again. . .
It has become a familiar pattern for those of us in the beleaguered "cold fusion" field, which should be termed by now, much more appropriately, the Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) field. (But the cold fusion nomenclature, with which the field began, is probably unavoidable and will be used interchangeably with LENR.) The time of the new conference approaches. We anticipate another International Conference on Cold Fusion (an "ICCF"), which have come at intervals as short as about a year, and as long as two years since the heyday of cold fusion, when the first one was held about a year after the Fleischmann-Pons announcement of March 23, 1989. It was in Salt Lake City under the auspices of the now defunct National Cold Fusion Institute— gone, but most surely not because of faulty science.

The months shrink, papers are written, experiments completed, travel plans made, and conference registration applications filed. We are ready for a new adventure; we look forward to meeting old friends on the frontiers of science, at a nexus where fundamental errors of physics and chemistry— and, many believe, even within biology— have now become glaringly apparent.

We know what is about to happen: Astonishing results in excess heat will be revealed by scientific teams from around the world. The better papers that will be presented at the ICCF, which are the vast majority of them now, find irrefutable evidence of excess heat that cannot be explained by ordinary chemical reactions— its magnitude is far beyond explanation by ordinary chemistry. Other papers— equally good, if not generally better— find overwhelming evidence for nuclear emanations and transmuted heavy elements. These findings come from the same or similar presumptively chemical systems; they were obtained using standard laboratory nuclear radiation detectors, as well as element and isotope detection devices. We have entered the age of modern alchemy and we know it. But for the most part, the world will not be listening. Important as these results are to the future of science and technology, we who will be attending the new ICCF, and who will be attempting to transmit this precious knowledge to the world, will be ignored and/or attacked and mocked, as though we had some kind of embarrassing disease.

In fact, the enemies of this startling new scientific knowledge have a name for the alleged sickness: "pathological science." It transpires that these name-calling Scientific Establishment bigots (there is no better term for them) are the ones who have the real malady— pathological skepticism. This is proper scientific skepticism that has run amok; it is an uniformed skepticism that refuses to be moved by any and all evidence from its initial and proper doubt concerning a novel phenomenon. The pathology is so deep that no new evidence is even glanced at by these pathological critics (Martin Fleischmann's term). The evidence is just ignored. And— the heavens cry out against this injustice: this patently anti-scientific behavior receives the cover and support of almost the entire science journalism establishment. We end each conference with hope for the next one, that there will be vindication in one form or another. Scientific progress has been made, but we have not changed many closed minds. One rightly asks whether there can be much hope for this field? Perhaps, because where there is life and struggle there is hope. But overcoming the vicious opposition will not be easy. After all, it has been for almost fifteen years very much like this. Only the death or disinterest of this or that pathological skeptic, e.g. respectively Douglas Morrison of CERN and Robert Park of the APS, has changed.

ICCF10: Cold Fusion Returns to MIT
The latest international LENR conference, ICCF10, took place from Sunday, August 24 through Friday, August 29, 2003 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, less than one mile from MIT; there were also demonstrations of excess heat-producing LENR experiments conducted at MIT. From the early days of cold fusion, my wayward alma matter MIT became known as a "bastion of skepticism," though several MIT professors adopted a positive, open-minded stance and two have been involved in research and theory since the beginning. (See my editorial "Cold Fusion Returns to MIT," Infinite Energy, #47, pp. 7-10, and also my 55-page report "MIT and Cold Fusion" available in PDF format at www.infinite-energy.com, and in IE #24, pp. 64-119.)  According to professor Peter L. Hagelstein, a long-time LENR theorist from the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), who was Chair of ICCF10, some 150 attendees gathered for all or part of the intense week-long program: scientific talks, poster sessions, demonstrations of excess heat experiments at Hagelstein's EECS office, and one other demonstration conducted remotely in Texas and viewed live via Internet connection during a plenary session. The very strong demonstration component was perhaps the most striking departure of ICCF10 from most previous ICCFs, though Clean Energy Technologies, Inc. (CETI) of Sarasota, Florida presented a strong electrolytic excess heat demonstration at ICCF5 in Monte Carlo, Monaco (1995) and Dr. R. Notoya conducted a less strong demonstration of excess heat at ICCF3 in Nagoya, Japan (1992).

Most ironic was the active participation, at least at a purely administrative level, of "MIT Conference Services," the official group within MIT that handles registration and other conference mechanics-related matters for MIT professors and other campus groups that hold conferences. It must have been these fine people who naively put signs on the entrance to the main conference hall that read: MIT 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion.

We are in the Internet Age, to be sure. Unlike all earlier conferences, soon after ICCF10 a great information outburst erupted. Delivered technical papers, poster presentations, and even Power Point slide shows used by ICCF10 participants began appearing for free downloading at the exclusively "cold fusion"-focused website, www.lenr-canr.org. As this brief ICCF10 review was in preparation in late October 2003, there were already posted some 55 technical presentations, with many more to follow. Within one year of its birth this site registered downloads of some 250,000 PDF-format and other format technical papers. This is bound to have a salutary effect on the growth of interest in LENR studies.

At ICCF10, I personally video taped all of the talks and discussion sessions (minus the pre-conference "cold fusion short course" held on August 24) with a portable Sony digital camera. Initially I had not intended that this tape would be used for any purpose other than reviewing scientific aspects of the conference in the future, and for helping to prepare this report. But when it became clear to me that ICCF10's presentations were unusually strong, we decided to put all of these "mini-DV" digital tapes on a set of DVDs and distribute them to anyone willing to pay the nominal cost for producing them and shipping them. Eventually some of the ICCF10 presentations will be available on our YouTube channel.

In the last issue of Infinite Energy, I editorialized about some highlights of ICCF10— these were quickly assembled as we went to press with our last issue; they are worth re-examining. But there is much more, now that I have had the time to reflect on ICCF10 and review some of the full papers already posted on www.lenr-canr.org. But a detailed review of all the available papers is not warranted, since so many of them are now readily web-accessible.

In my view, there were three absolutely fundamental scientific high points, though this is not to detract at all from the many other thoroughly revolutionary works reported:

1. Laser-Driven Excess Heat "Weapons": What is now being called the Letts-Cravens Effect— excess heat stimulated by laser light irradiation of cold fusion electrolytic cell cathodes (see IE #50, pp. 10-15)— has now been independently observed by three outside groups: Dr. Michael McKubre of SRI International, Dr. Edmund Storms in New Mexico, and Dr. Mitchell Swartz in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Low-level laser light power is input and a huge power excess emerges, for example: 30 milliwatts input, 1 watt output (a 30-fold multiplication of input power), though this now rides on top of a much higher electrical input power that is initially in thermal balance (i.e. no excess). This is evidently a highly repeatable effect— one that has the potential of breaking through into numerous other labs around the world.

2. Mitsubishi's Modern Alchemy: The astonishing nuclear transmutation experiment carried out by the Iwamura group at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Advanced Technology Division, which was reported in Infinite Energy (#47, pp. 14-18) and later published in the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics has now been reproduced by the A. Takahashi group at Osaka University, and reconfirmed by MHI's lab in other ways. In this experiment, deuterium (heavy hydrogen) gas is made to flow through a palladium membrane onto which another element, such as cesium or strontium, has been deposited. With no energy input (other than the pressure of the gas) the deposited element transmutes to another element. For example, cesium declines and the rare earth element praesodymium appears and grows. Or, strontium declines and molybdenum grows. The term "grow" is appropriate, since to make the new elements it is necessary for the starting nuclei to "absorb" four deuterium nuclei! Obviously, this flies completely in the face of every cannon of basic chemistry, but the evidence for the result is now overwhelming. It is nothing short of modern alchemy.

3. The Oriani-Fisher Bombshell: One of the most paradigm-busting sets of papers that were presented at ICCF10 is by Drs. Richard Oriani and John C. Fisher. Using CR-39 particle track detectors immersed in Li2SO4 dissolved in heavy or light water, and using Ni and Pd cathodes, they conclude: "There is a causal relationship between electrolysis and energetic charged particles and that neither Pd nor D2O is essential for the generation of a nuclear reaction." In John Fisher's separate theoretical paper concerning this experiment he reports, "A theoretical basis is offered for the remarkable observation by Oriani and Fisher of a shower of about 250,000 energetic charged particles that occurred in the vapor of oxygen and hydrogen evolved from electrolysis. The shower was localized in space and time, originating a few millimeters above the surface of a plastic detector chip and lasting for a few seconds. The responsible nuclear reactions must have been sustained by the vapor." Fisher's polyneutron theory, which suggests that polyneutrons are omnipresent in the environment, has this implication, Fisher says: "The theory suggests that a single polyneutron can ignite a chain reaction that is sustained by 18O as fuel." The paper has been submitted to a prominent mainstream journal; it will surely be rejected outright, for no good cause. To me, this experiment looks bullet-proof, though the theory may not be correct. In this experiment we are far removed from the notion of lattice-based nuclear reactions— are we not? Why not then consider even more radical theoretical medicine than the metal lattice dynamics that have been the staple of so many "mainstream" LENR theories?

The foregoing constitute merely my view of the three highest scientific peaks, among many other towering mountains. Now to proceed a bit deeper to discuss other remarkable happenings at ICCF10.

The Short Course Kick-Off
A useful introduction for newcomers to LENR, and a productive review session for old-timers, was the "Short Course on LENR" that was held in a jam-packed smaller conference room all day Sunday, August 24. Most appreciated were the compendious paper hand-outs that were provided by the "Cold Fusion Professors": John Dash, Peter Hagelstein, Mike McKubre, George Miley, Ed Storms, and Akito Takahashi. The concisely stated course objective: "To provide an introduction to the field for persons interested in gaining a basic background in the science and technology aspects. Both theoretical and experimental topics will be covered for deuterium and proton based reactions."

Participants later segued into the traditional Sunday evening welcoming reception, which was made complete with a pleasing view of the famous Charles River that separates Boston from Cambridge. The very fuel of the future— water— which was the subject of this and past ICCFs, was thus again an immanent backdrop to the deliberations. One could imagine the yachtsmen and women cruising by, their world view deeply vested in conventional energy, but few of whom could suspect what was being contemplated a mere tens of meters from their water-sprayed windshields.

The Return of Steve Jones
Those who recall the history of cold fusion understand the major role played by physics Professor Steven E. Jones of Brigham Young University. It was he and his colleagues at BYU who had long had an interest in the generic possibility of "cold fusion" occurring within the body of Earth, and in so-called muon-catalyzed "cold fusion," which had even been the title of a Scientific American article by Jones in July 1987. Jones et al., in parallel with Drs. Fleischmann and Pons at the University of Utah (only some 45 miles away), had performed electrochemical experiments that led in the spring of 1989 to public reports of scientific anomalies from electrochemical cells, after the somewhat pre-emptive announcement by the two University of Utah professors of excess thermal energy production. Whereas Fleischmann and Pons had focussed their attention on precise calorimetric measurements of excess heat from pristine heavy water-LiOD cells with Pd/Pt electrodes (though they had also announced neutron and tritium measurements), Jones at that time was using a "Mother Earth Soup" of materials in a Pd/Pt electrolytic cell in an effort to mimic conditions within the Earth. He dealt exclusively then with nuclear measurements, specifically the signatures of neutrons emanating from his cells. Neither Jones nor Fleischmann and Pons were believed by most mainstream physicists— then or now, but Jones' claim being the "more believable," fared better in the press in the early days. Bitter rivalries emerged and Jones, in particular, became an outspoken opponent of excess heat findings, but he never went back on his belief that his cells were giving off low-level neutrons. It turns out that both Utah groups were basically initially on the right track.

It was thus an honorable form of "closure" that Steve Jones attended ICCF10, after a long absence (since roughly 1993) from such gatherings. He was given the great privilege of giving the first plenary session talk at ICCF10, and he did not disappoint us. He produced what appear to be nearly unassailable scientific evidence of nuclear emanations from presumptively chemical systems. Even these very low-level nuclear radiations— charged particles as well as neutrons— are still regarded as impossible by establishment physicists. Later during ICCF10, as others presented their astonishing work to complement that of Jones and also of Fleischmann and Pons, it was evident from Jones' generous statements about the entire conference that his horizons had been expanded. He remarked, "I am learning that there can be many miracles. . ." Perhaps his full public acceptance of excess heat results, in the context of his own results, will eventually occur.

Helium Results
Examining several abstracts presented to ICCF10, and listening to some of the pertinent talks, suggests that uncertainty remains about whether the helium production rate in heavy hydrogen experiments is strictly commensurate with excess energy. One of the very best investigators, Dr. Melvin Miles, writes in his abstract1: "Furthermore, the rate of helium-4 production was always in the appropriate range of 1010 - 1012 atoms per second per watt of excess power." The "yes or no" helium correspondence with excess heat production cannot be denied; he puts the chance that it is in error at 1/750,000-a fantastic experimental accomplishment. But the failure to pin down commensurate 4He with excess heat within less than two orders of magnitude is troubling. We also have the ICCF10 abstract of the Italian group of A. DeNinno et al., "4He Detection in a Cold Fusion Experiment."2 The researchers indeed appear to have found anomalous 4He (by "a factor of about 20 out of baseline"), but they appear not to have an accurate assessment of its correlation with excess heat for they can only "estimate, at the present time, a lower bound for the produced energy." Dr. Emilio DelGuidice, who presented the wonderful results for an absent Dr. DeNinno, nonetheless had to make some hand-waving arguments about why the 4He measured was low by a factor of about 20.

The Letts-Cravens Effect and Demonstration
At ICCF10, Dennis Letts gave an historic, live conference demonstration of laser-triggered excess heat in a palladium-heavywater cell. But the active Letts-Cravens cell actually resided in the Austin, Texas laboratory of EarthTech International (ETI), and was witnessed by the conferees via an Internet web camera link projected onto a large screen. It was a moment of high drama.

We were told by Dennis Letts that this may be the first over-unity experiment that the famously skeptical Scott Little of ETI may eventually "bless," after Little performs the test with his very own apparatus. He is said to be quite satisfied already with the Letts equipment. We shall see whether any kind of formal support for this important result will be given by this facility, whose director Dr. Hal Puthoff (a "zero point energy" theorist) claims an association with potential supporters of such over-unity technologies (believed to be in Europe), who have, in Puthoff's words, "very deep pockets."

Ed Storms has not only reproduced the Letts-Cravens effect in his own lab, measuring it with a sensitive Seebeck calorimeter. He has also discovered that reversing the Pd cathode and Pt anode in Fleischmann-Pons cells enormously enhances the reproducibility of the phenomenon! He acknowledged that stating this was as "heretical as saying 'cold fusion is real' at an APS meeting." He commented, "Since I reversed the electrodes, it is almost impossible not to get excess heat. . .The irony here is overwhelming." He presented graphs which showed that the Letts-Cravens excess heat effect and the Fleischmann-Pons excess heat effect seemed to be independent of one another. He also found that the effect was insensitive to variation of the laser light over the wavelength range 680 to 686 nanometers.

Dr. Mitchell Swartz, independent of Letts-Cravens, has been performing his own laser-triggered excess heat experiments for years, so there is every reason to accept the viability of this new direction in LENR studies.

Excess Heat Demonstrations at MIT
Dr. Mitchell Swartz's Fleischmann/Pons-type electrolytic palladium Phusor/low-electrolyte conductance heavy water/palladium cell performed flawlessly in Prof. Hagelstein's lab at MIT. Its excess power ranged from 167% to 267% as Dr. Swartz altered the experimental conditions. This excess heat, as measured by his precision calorimeter, persisted from August 24 to August 30, longer than ICCF10 itself. The excess heat was interrupted on the last day only to bring the equipment back to Wellesley, Massachusetts— otherwise it would have continued much longer. In my view, Mitch Swartz's unique work with highly purified heavy water and no added salt is among the most commercially promising approaches in the field. Relatively high power ratios— now circa 1 watt in, 3 watts out or higher— come easily to him.

Prof. John Dash of the physics department at Portland State University in Oregon and his summer high school student interns also put on historic demonstrations of excess heat at Prof. Hagelstein's lab. They used simple but effective calorimetric apparatus, which allowed observers to check the level of excess heat for themselves. Large numbers of ICCF10 conferees drove or walked to MIT to participate in these demonstrations. It was a really boisterous "happening"— as one might have said in the late 1960s. Unfortunately, urgent calls to the local press to view and report this remarkable and historic event had no effect. The press was not interested. A tragedy, an obscenity.

The New Patterson-Thompson Cell
Dr. James Patterson of Clean Energy Technologies, Inc. has been one of the most prominent and creative of LENR scientists. At ICCF10, he and his colleagues who work in Sarasota, Florida revealed a stunningly simple, robust, and ingenious gas-phase cold fusion reactor, which has produced apparent excess heat for months on end. First Dr. Patterson described the history and evolution of his metal film-coated bead excess heat cells, which were electrolytic water flow-through cells. These have been put aside in favor of a new design that will not be subject to the metal film damage problems of the bead cells. John Thompson then discussed their new deuterium gas cell, which was initially based on a ceramic and palladium matrix, but which then evolved to a diatomacious earth/palladium structure. The silicon dioxide skeletal structures from ancient microscopic life being used for twenty-first century power! These direct current-activated cells appear to produce about 50% or higher excess power, which is inferred from temperature measurements on the cell casing, when a fixed charge of D2 gas is infused into the cell. This is compared to the temperature when air infusion of the same cell is employed as a control. The team agrees that actual calorimetry, not merely comparative temperature measurements, should be performed, and it will do this.

Israeli Company Launches Intense LENR Program
A very big surprise at ICCF10 was the unexpected presentation by Dr. Arik El-Boher of Energetics Technologies Ltd., which is based in Omer, Israel. El-Boher was one of about a half-dozen individuals who were representing the company at ICCF10. It was obvious from the lavish equipment displayed and the multi-system parallel-cell testing approach being taken that a very intense program of research aimed at power generation is underway. El-Boher revealed that the company was pursuing four basic approaches: glow discharge heavy hydrogen gas systems; electrolytic cells; gas loaded catalytic cells, and high-pressure cells with ultrasonic wave excitation. The research has already led to substantial excess power generation in gas discharge cells, encountering the heat-after-death phenomenon, and the production of tritium. One of the company's cells had been producing significant excess heat continuously from June 2003 to the time of ICCF10 and beyond! All this was especially surprising, since the Israeli group, several of whom had attended ICCF9 in Beijing, seemed at that time to be only at the exploratory stage. The work is funded by a group of U.S.-based investors. One of the group's driving members is an American physician, Dr. Irving Dardik of Califon, New Jersey, who has made a name for himself in the treatment of various illnesses using special "SuperWaveTM" or "wave within a wave," multi-spectral stimulations. According to El-Boher, this type of input power waveform was being used to good effect in the LENR experiments being carried out in Israel. The company has already cooperated technically with the government-funded ENEA group in Italy, and there is evidence that cold fusion researchers in the U.S. are also beginning collaborations with Energetics Technologies. This appears to be a multi-million dollar private new energy effort, matched in organization and financing, only perhaps by New Jersey-based BlackLight Power Corporation.

Transmutations in Biological Systems
We must take note of the increasing appearance of reported and reproduced transmutations of elements in biological systems. At least one such paper was in fact given at ICCF10 by an experienced team.3 This work must be taken very seriously now— the researchers at ICCF10 presented a technique that looks very promising for reducing the radioactivity of nuclear waste. The biological transmutation phenomenon has profound implications for LENR theorists, most all of whom have preferred to ignore it. Dr. Ed Storms, to his credit, embraces it objectively. He wrote in December 2001 in his "Cold Fusion: An Objective Assessment": "Transmutation is claimed to occur in living systems where the process becomes especially difficult to believe or understand. Indeed, people have advised me not to discuss this subject, as if the potential reader would be too immature to handle the intellectual conflict this discussion might cause." The research in biotransmutation suggests that biological systems have discovered something in nature which they make use of to carry out nuclear changes; and using that "something" most definitely does not require the loading of or presence of Pd or Ni cathodes or any metallic lattice within a living system, which— apart from prosthetic devices in people— do not exist. Could it be that our basic atomic and nuclear physics models are flawed at their foundations? Could it be, perhaps, that those many researchers— in medicine and in biology, far removed from the LENR field— who have found other kinds of anomalous behavior in biological systems, are in truth observing the signal of a pervasive medium that is ignored not only in medical and biology texts, but in physics as well? Indeed, that seems to me to be the essence of what is befuddling us all— we are ignoring most of the physical universe in attempting to explain LENR with incomplete and obsolete physics. And, friends, that will just not work. It may "work" for academic speculators about "dark matter" and "dark energy," who endlessly bend their theories to conform to the latest fashion and who have no ability or intention to discover world-changing technologies. But for researchers in LENR, ignoring what constitutes most of the universe may be nothing less than suicidal.

This has been but the tip of the iceberg of the "anomalous within the anomalous." In other words, this is clear evidence from the LENR field itself that what I have begun to call the "Mainstream Cold Fusion Hypothesis," the MCFH paradigm (see below), must be reconsidered. Not that that paradigm is completely unworkable in all systems examined to date. Folks like Peter Hagelstein, Scott and Talbot Chubb, and Akito Takahashi have made valiant efforts to refine it. I personally do not believe, however, that the current metal lattice-based theories cannot constitute a generalized explanation for all the phenomena even within LENR proper.

Ludwik Kowalski Shakes Up the Physics World!
Unknown to LENR researchers, a thoughtful physics professor at Montclaire State University in New Jersey, who attended ICCF10, had a significant change of mind on the matter of "cold fusion" about a year ago. He had set out then to learn the truth about the subject. He knows now that it is not "voodoo science." Now he is making waves with his provocative website devoted to cold fusion/LENR, in particular as it relates to what teachers of physics should say about the subject. Marvelous! Check out http://blake.montclair.edu/~kowalskil/cf/index.html.

Previously, Kowalski had bought onto the views of Dr. John Huizenga, after having read his anti-cold fusion book, Cold Fusion: The Scientific Fiasco of the Century. There is great irony here. Dr. Kowalski had been a respected colleague and co-worker of Dr. John Huizenga years ago. Huizenga later had become a prominent anti-cold fusion critic, who as Co-chair would drive the 1989 DOE ERAB Cold Fusion Panel in a negative direction, and Kowalski had been influenced by Huizenga's deadly book. Kowalski still does not fully accept the claims within the LENR field, he says— it is too new and astonishing to him. He wonders whether Huizenga knowingly set up what Kowalski now knows to be the "straw man" of the hot fusion physics model, in order to attack cold fusion. But after attending ICCF10 and being a vocal participant, Kowalski is impressed with what he has seen, and he has tried, so far unsuccessfully, to politic for a reconsideration of the field. In his ICCF10 presentation, he advocated various strategies to deal with neutrals and the negativists. He wondered why "hundreds of sophisticated research scientists have not developed (yet) a 100% reliable demonstration in thirteen years." Good question. He remarked, "Even a 70% repeatable demo would be useful." Though I did not agree with all the remarks of this newcomer, it is refreshing to encounter the voice of an outspoken, energetic, and well-placed "convert."

Wake Up Call to the U.S. Department of Energy
Conference Chair Professor Peter Hagelstein of MIT is not one to engage in any direct attempts to rock-the-boat at official levels on the matter of cold fusion, but the results of ICCF10 were so solid, in his view, that it prompted him to write on September 12 to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham (see text of letter in this issue, p. 45). The Hagelstein letter has already caused a stir at the highest levels of DOE, and though I remain pessimistic about its prospects for turning around the mostly hostile DOE bureaucracy, it is a matter of record that the letter has been received by DOE (via Federal Express delivery) and is under consideration there. The letter asks for something that is thoroughly reasonable, but this is also anathema to an immobile and opposed bureaucracy. In Hagelstein's words to Abraham: "I propose that you consider the possibility of convening a new review panel to provide an updated recommendation based on the initial tasking provided by Admiral Watkins [in 1989]." And why now rather than at any time in the past decade-and-a-half of struggle? From Hagelstein, "The conference was technically very strong, and has been considered by many to be the best of the ICCF series to date. The evidence for nuclear emissions from metal deuterides in a variety of experiments presented at this conference, and at previous conferences, is very strong. The experimental evidence in support of an excess heat effect that has accumulated over the years is very compelling, certainly strong enough that it should be of interest to DOE and the scientific community in general. . ."

Almost No Press Coverage!
Though there was an open invitation to press people prior to ICCF10, and I made an attempt to encourage specific members of the press core who might have had their eyes opened if they had come, only one outside journalist attended the meeting sessions and actually did some reporting. That honor goes to Sharon Begley of The Wall Street Journal. (A few others did arrive, but flitted in and then out as fast as fireflies.) Ms. Begley came at my urging and wrote a fine commentary in her September 5 "Science Journal" column, which I have described elsewhere in this issue (p. 45). Her piece was bannered appropriately: "Cold Fusion Isn't Dead, It's Just Withering from Scientific Neglect." In summary, she wrote: "What these claims need is critical scrutiny by skeptics. That is how science normally functions. But in Cold Fusion, it isn't. And that's the worst pathology of all." At another point she wrote, "But the real pathology is the breakdown of the normal channels of scientific communication, with no scientists outside the tight-knit cold fusion tribe bothering to scrutinize its claims."

The Military Research Presence at ICCF10
Though the press, by and large, has not been very good at covering LENR developments, some circles within the U.S. military have continued to focus some of their wide-ranging attention on LENR developments. The U.S. Navy has funded research in LENR and has published an official report on its work in the field, which advocates more research funding (see IE #44, pp. 54-55). And the U.S. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has in the past quietly funded work at both SRI International and at MIT (via Peter Hagelstein).

Here, very briefly, is a capsule of the military research presence at ICCF10:

  • Physicist Dr. Lowell Wood of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory and the Stanford, California conservative think tank, the Hoover Institution, attended not only ICCF10, but also ICCF7 (in Vancouver, B.C. in 1998) and ICCF8 (in Lerici, Italy in 2000). He missed ICCF9, in Beijing, 2002, presumably for reasons, in part, having to do with his high-level security clearance and travel to China. In my mind, and having spoken to Dr. Wood on an earlier occasion (at ICCF8), there is not the slightest doubt that Dr. Wood— who is better known for his association with the late Dr. Edward Teller (see obituary, p. 67) and his advocacy of anti-ballistic missile defense— understands very well that the bulk of the important results being reported at the ICCFs are real and incontrovertible. He accepts that a new class of nuclear-reactions has been discovered, with implications that could be rather profound. And, I would think, the possibility or probability of military implications cannot be far from his consideration. It is his style to orchestrate initiatives for the furtherance of LENR "behind the scenes," but so far there is no evidence that any of his advocacy has led to tangible policy changes. We shall see what the future may bring.

  • Mechanical engineer Dr. Frank Gordon of the U.S. Navy attended ICCF10. He has been an advocate for the research within the U.S. Navy. From his ringing statement of endorsement in the U.S. Navy report on LENR, he would like to see official funding for the field.

  • A research scientist with the U.S. Army attended ICCF10 on "his own ticket," but he would prefer to remain anonymous.

  • Dr. David Nagel is now a Professor at George Washington University, but he formerly managed LENR efforts at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). He has attended all of the ICCFs, as far as I can recall. He continues to be an advocate for the field and provided a bold overview and endorsement of the field at an evening session of ICCF10 (August 25), that was open to the public. Nagel has advocated at least a $10 million official research budget for the LENR field.

If there is anything more ludicrous about the Establishment reaction to LENR, it is the obvious military implications of LENR discoveries that quite clearly are being discussed behind closed doors (and definitely still being attacked both openly and privately by members of the "Jasons" military advisory group, which includes negativists Steven Koonin and Richard Garwin), while in open sessions for over fifteen years the proofs from a huge new body of technical evidence is discussed, as though there were no possible military consequences of understanding:

A. How fissionable isotopes of uranium have apparently been created on electrochemical cell cathodes. The work of John Dash and Dan Chicea on the apparent production (enhancement) of 235U from natural uranium foils via either glow discharge in hydrogen atmospheres or in electrolytic production is truly remarkable.4 This high-Z transmutation, if it is validated, will show how "easy" and omnipresent the transmutation phenomenon is.

B. How tritium, a key ingredient in thermonuclear weapons, has been produced in many different types of cold fusion cells.

C. How mild laser light can apparently stimulate nuclear phenomena at the surfaces of active electrolytic cathodes.

D. How from the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries transmutation work and other results, the possibility emerges that virtually any element or isotope might eventually be produced by very benign conditions, with virtually no energy input.

History will, I am sure, eventually record this preposterous upside-down world of reactions to these overarching discoveries in LENR. The now somnolent science journalists will then indulge in a feeding frenzy over "Who knew what when?" and "How could they (the culpable scientists) have been so stupid as not to recognize the reality of a vast new source of nuclear activity, which was potentially very dangerous?" Just a look in the mirror will tell them how this happened, though they surely will not acknowledge their own reflections.

A New Electronic Journal for LENR
As ICCF10 concluded on Friday morning, Peter Hagelstein announced the founding of a peer-reviewed electronic journal for the LENR field, Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. This is a title that had been approved by the ICCF organizing Committee at ICCF9 in Beijing (May 2002). The journal already has a website, http://cmns.mit.edu, on an MIT-run server. The editors of the new journal are, For North America: Peter Hagelstein, Michael McKubre, George Miley, and Ed Storms; For Europe: Jean-Paul Biberian and Francesco Scaramuzzi; For Asia: X.Z. Li and Akito Takahashi. Editorial correspondence may be sent to the editors at CMNSEditor@aol.com. Hagelstein remarked that he anticipated that the strict standards of unbiased, fair review would lead to an acceptance rate of 50% for submitted papers. He welcomes especially "focussed theory papers on new phenomena."

The Mainstream Cold Fusion/LENR Paradigm: Its Limitations
The astonishing results presented at ICCF10 have sharpened a fundamental issue that has been lurking in the background in the "cold fusion" field since its early days. We all know that our tortuous path began with the assertion by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons (F&P) that evidence for previously unknown kinds of nuclear reactions and excess heat of large magnitude could be observed in certain electrochemical cells with heavywater-based electrolyte.5 They wrote, ". . .the data on enthalpy generation would require rates for reactions (v) and (vi) in the range 1011 - 1014 atoms s-1. It is evident that reactions (v) and (vi) are only a small part of the overall reaction scheme and that other nuclear processes must be involved." (Reaction (v) was D + D --> T + H and reaction (vi) was D + D --> 3He + n.) They reiterated this in the discussion section of their controversial paper, "The most surprising feature of our results however, is that the reactions (v) and (vi) are only a small part of the overall reaction scheme and that the bulk of the energy release is due to an hitherto unknown nuclear process or processes (presumably due to clusters of deuterons)." Indeed, it was very reasonable for them to presume that a class of nuclear reactions might ultimately explain cold fusion— since some nuclear products had already been detected (tritium generation and low-level neutron emission, which were later confirmed in more exacting ways) and the magnitude of the excess energy was far too large to be explained by conventionally understood chemical reactions.

This set the stage for the battle that has now waged for fourteen-plus years, with the critics denying the existence of any evidence in support of the F&P nuclear reaction hypothesis— either from excess heat measurements or from measurements of nuclear products. From the results presented at ICCF10 and all previous ICCFs, the evidence for large magnitude excess heat production in the LENR field is overwhelming, as is the evidence for a variety of nuclear products and emissions. The critics are profoundly wrong. That leaves the hypothesis posed by F&P initially that the "bulk of the energy release is due to an hitherto unknown nuclear process or processes." Can that hypothesis be adequately defended, as so many in the LENR field maintain?

The first experimental indication that F&P's hypothesis might be correct came in early-1991, when Miles et al. found a correlation between the excess heat from F&P-type cells (or the lack of excess heat thereof in cases that were null) and the presence or absence of 4He signature in the gas evolved from the F&P cells in their lab.6 They reported this formally in the scientific literature in 1994.7 But while these remarkable results were being readied for publication, several new directions or offshoots had emerged from and within the CF/LENR field. In the spring of 1991, Dr. Randell Mills et al. reported significant excess heat from ordinary water cells with nickel electrodes, an energy which they deemed to be coming not from nuclear reactions, but from a new form of catalyzed shrinkage reaction via a drastically remodeled form of the hydrogen atom and a re-write of quantum mechanics, which is now called by Mills "Classical Quantum Mechanics" (CQM).8,9 These explanations (and even the claim of excess heat in ordinary water-based electrochemical cells) did not go over well either with the CF/LENR community or the hard-line Establishment critics of table-top anomalous physics. CF/LENR scientists, themselves outcasts from the Establishment, strangely enough have not paid much attention to Mills' experimental work. This is most unfortunate, because it is compendious and strongly supportive of excess heat but also of non-standard, highly anomalous, spectral anomalies from hydrogen systems. This stance can be explained because of the very strong resistance by CF/LENR theorists to exploring foundational flaws in Standard Quantum Mechanics (SQM). Mills' CQM work could shed considerable light on the problem of LENR— these are results that cannot and should not be logically separated from efforts to understand LENR results proper.

Randell Mills, for his part, wants nothing to do with the "cold fusion" field, in part because of the bad "PR" that cold fusion has acquired. But Mills, while accepting that his "shrunken" (sub-ground state) hydrogen atoms ("hydrinos") may well cause nuclear reactions due to their more charge- neutral presentation to other nuclei, does not believe that the excess heat being reported in LENR experiments is of nuclear origin— i.e. the direct result of nuclear reactions with a mass-deficit of m, with an energy equivalent output found by E= mc2. This latter hypothesis within mainstream cold fusion we should designate for brevity the MCFH— the Mainstream Cold Fusion Hypothesis.

Though Mills' CQM theory may itself have significant flaws, it does have two characteristics that recommend it: A) It seems to have very significant predictive power to suggest what hydrogen systems are likely to evolve excess heat, and which ones may not (more such predictive ability than most CF/LENR concepts), and B) CQM is not beholden to the "mainstream cold fusion hypothesis" (MCFH)— i.e. at least it allows the possibility that many instances of excess heat are not of nuclear origin per se. In this latter "Point B" Mills is likely closer to the truth (but possibly for the wrong reasons!) than are champions of MCFH theories. One only has to examine the 100% repeatable excess energy work of Peter and Neal Graneau in water arc explosions and air arc phenomena (see References 21-26) to realize this. Neither the MCFH nor Mills is likely to be able to explain these phenomena.

In the early 1990s there also began to be increasing reports of heavy element transmutation phenomena in low-energy experiments; some of the most remarkable initial results came from John O'M. Bockris et al. at Texas A&M (see the Bockris story in Reference 10). I well recall the extreme resistance to accepting these heavy-element transmutation claims in the period 1992-1994, expressed to me by some prominent cold fusion theorists, such as the late Julian Schwinger and Talbot and Scott Chubb. Today, heavy element transmutations are in general very well accepted in the CF/LENR field. Some of the most remarkable and definitive results that support such transmutation phenomena have been published by a group at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Advanced Technology Research Center.11,12 Talbot Chubb, for his part, believes he can explain such transmutations via an extension of his earlier theoretical framework that predicts 4He formation in or on metal lattices.13 I believe that this proposal is grasping at straws and represents an ad hoc proposal to preserve loyalty to conventional SQM. Talbot admits that his theory in which a "many-body wavelike deuteron system overlaps with a localized cesium-133 atom" to produce praesodymium may be a stretch. He writes, "I know the above sounds fanciful. It requires that quantum mechanics obey previously unexplored rules when applied to a many-body ion system bound within a multiplicity of shallow wells. These rules are not tested when a many body system is bound within a single potential well." Better that he should consider that SQM just cannot handle this powerful form of blatant "modern alchemy" in which no special electrical energy input or loading is evidently required. To me, the Mitsubishi work strongly suggests that there is something deeply wrong with our understanding of atomic and nuclear structure-i.e. SQM has a Big Problem.

Of the many CF/LENR papers that report excess heat as well as nuclear products, one stands out for showing a quantitative relationship between excess heat and nuclear products, i.e. rough obedience to the MCFH. This is work that was reported first in 2000 at ICCF8 by McKubre et al. at SRI International.14 The group performed multiple tests of Dr. Les Case's "catalytic fusion" process, which employs heated palladium-coated carbon catalysts in deuterium gas atmosphere. The replication team cross-checked its results with two types of calorimetry and it published data which shows the increasing evolution of 4He on multiple runs. Moreover, the group was able to correlate the quantity of helium produced at different times during each run with the excess energy produced. The regression lines for each form of calorimetry gave: Q=31±13 MeV/4He atom (for the gradient calorimetry method) and Q=32±13 MeV/4He atom (for the differential calorimetry method). The authors were careful to state: "Although these Q values include that of reaction [1] within their assigned uncertainties, the mean values for the 4He presented directly to the gas phase for analysis is only ~75% of that predicted by Equation [1]." Equation [1] referred to is, of course, D + D --> 4He + 23.8 MeV (lattice), which corresponds to the hot plasma fusion D + D fusion reaction yielding a 23.8 MeV y ray. Error bars aside, it is very tempting to suggest that this data is highly suggestive of a kind of net D + D fusion reaction that produces 4He, but we must be cautious because: A) There isn't highly accurate measurement of the energy-per-atom release and B) Because of the possibility that other nuclear change phenomena connected with alterative fundamental physics theories might eventually be found to yield the same net reaction results.

It is most disappointing that there has not developed more firm evidence to support the MCFH. There is a dearth of other results like the SRI data. There are also prominent experiments within CF/LENR that cast doubt on the rigor of the MCFH— but not, I repeat, against the basic validity of the large-magnitude excess heat and nuclear changes and emissions.

My colleague Dr. Scott Chubb (the technical chairman of ICCF10) with whom I have an "agreement to agree to disagree" on matters of the acceptable breadth of the CF/LENR field, was properly frank and up-front in one of his ICCF10 abstracts15 when he wrote: ". . .it is not at all clear that key features associated with many LENR processes have been identified. For this reason, it is plausible that most ideas associated with LENR's must be viewed as speculative." Indeed, the central problem exhibited by CF/LENR theorists— as heroic as they have been— is that they have failed to comprehend or admit two glaring facts: A) The breadth of the CF/LENR evidence proper is so stupendous and Alice-in-Wonderland that there appears little hope for SQM/relativity to deal with it and B) LENR theorists are ignoring— deliberately so— excess energy and other phenomena that are right at their doorstep.

A New Path for LENR?
My view is that we should adopt this position: More progress will occur in LENR if it is understood by researchers that the field can't remain contained within its usually defined borders. The discovery of fission in the late 1930s offers a useful analogy: Nuclear fission was serendipitously discovered during an attempt to make transuranic elements via neutron bombardment of natural uranium. The investigators did not realize initially that it was fission fragments, not transuranic elements, that were being observed. When they realized that nuclear fission was occurring with neutron production as well, the path to a new chain-reaction energy source opened. The discovery of fission contains a stark warning to the LENR field today, which I had no way of realizing when I wrote the following passages in Fire from Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor (Wiley & Sons, 1991):

Physicist Emilio Segre, who died at age 84 less than one month after the March 1989 announcement in Utah, the previous December had recounted the discovery of nuclear fission-on its 50th anniversary-before a meeting of the American Physical Society.* (*Emilio Segre, "The Discovery of Nuclear Fission," Physics Today, July 1989: 38-43.) Segre had worked with Enrico Fermi in Rome in 1934 on experiments that bombarded uranium with neutrons to attempt to produce what they thought would be the first artificial element beyond uranium, element 93-one that by prediction would be similar chemically to rhenium. But this strong expectation of a result prevented the discovery of fission for five years before Hahn and Strassman in Germany ultimately recognized it. They too would make the same mistake by expecting what the Fermi group had likewise anticipated. Segre also recalled other lost opportunities: how another scientist had suggested the possibility of fission happening in their work, but whose writing was ignored; and Swiss researchers who may have seen the fission fragment evidence but who instead thought something was wrong with their detector. But the biggest problem was the expectation of seeing an element heavier than uranium, and not paying attention to the possibility of lower mass atoms that turned out to be the telltale fission fragments.

Segre said of writings by Hahn and Meitner on the road to the discovery of fission, "Their early papers are a mixture of error and truth as complicated as the mixture of fission products resulting from the bombardments. Such confusion was to remain for a long time a characteristic of much of the work on uranium." Segre recalled, "My own feeling at the time was that there was a mystery in uranium." In a remarkable statement printed in the historic December 22, 1938, paper in Naturwissenschaften announcing the fission discovery, Hahn and Strassman wrote, "As 'nuclear chemists' working very close to the field of physics, we cannot yet bring ourselves to such a drastic step, which goes against all previous experiences in nuclear physics." When the great physicist Niels Bohr heard of the new insights on fission, he was reported to have exclaimed, "Oh what idiots we have all been! Oh but this is wonderful! This is just as it must be!" As Segre concluded in his talk, "Above all, it seems to me that the human mind sees only what it expects." Scientists who go far afield to explore puzzles and anomalies often bump into obstacles, but every once in a while they run into a remarkable phenomenon waiting to be discovered. It was just so with fission; might it be true also with cold fusion?

Concluding Summary, and a Concern
During the past almost fifteen years since the announcements in Utah by Drs. Fleischmann and Pons, and separately Jones, indisputable experimental evidence has built up for substantial excess heat (far beyond ordinary chemical energy) and also for low-energy nuclear reaction phenomena in specialized heavy hydrogen and ordinary hydrogen-containing systems. The primary theorists in the field that, indeed, should properly be designated LENR have generally assumed that their group of excess heat phenomena is fundamentally commensurate with nuclear ash (such as helium), whether already identified or presumed to be present but not yet found. That was an excellent initial hypothesis. However, the strictly commensurate nuclear ash hypothesis has not been proved, and appears to be approximately correct in only a few experiments. During this same period, compelling evidence-although not as broadly verified as data from cold fusion/LENR-has also emerged for other microphysical sources of energy that were previously unexpected by accepted physics. The exemplar of this has been the "hydrino" physics work of Dr. Randell Mills and his colleagues at BlackLight Power Corporation, which was a radical outgrowth from the cold fusion field that emerged publicly in May 1991.16 Even more far-reaching is the work in vacuum energy extraction pioneered by Dr. Paulo and Alexandra Correa, which first became public in 1996.17 This vacuum energy experimentation began in the early 1980s and has been reduced to prototype technological devices, such as the patented PAGDTM (pulsed abnormal glow discharge) electric power generator, as well as many published experiments that can be performed in table-top fashion to verify the Correa "Aetherometry" (non-luminiferous or non-electromagnetic aether measurement science).18 Furthermore, there also appear to be other experimentally verified excess energy processes, some more substantially confirmed than others, which have not generally been categorized into one of these three research areas.

In an era when mainstream science and its media is all agog about "dark matter" and "dark energy" composing the vast bulk of the universe, there is a great need to reconcile, if possible, the significant bodies of evidence from these three major experimental and theoretical streams: "cold fusion"/LENR, hydrino physics, and Aetherometry. I predict that if scientific knowledge continues to be constrained artificially by blinders to experimental results and theoretical formulations in these inseparable fields, the road to success in any one of these fields standing by itself, i.e. acceptance by means of coherent scientific persuasion, as well as commercially available technologies, will be very much longer than it needs to be. In particular, the LENR field, which has moved forward experimentally in a mostly empirical fashion, may continue to be held back from the more rapid progress for which its advocates hope.

Onward to ICCF11. . .
We come full circle to prospects for the next ICCF. Since the first ICCF in 1990, there has been a rotation of the conferences from North America to Europe to Asia. Because ICCF9 was held in Beijing and ICCF10 in the U.S., the informal organizing committee has selected Dr. Jean-Paul Biberian of France to organize ICCF11. It will be held in Marseilles, France in late September 2004 or sometime in October 2004. We'll let readers know the exact date when it has been set. ICCF10 had attendees from: Australia, Bahamas, Canada, China, England, France, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, and the U.S. I expect that the diversity of international participation will be even greater for ICCF11 than for ICCF10. Be there!


References
1. Miles, M.H. 2003. Correlation of Excess Enthalpy and Helium-4 Production: A Review, ICCF10 paper.
2. DeNinno, A., Frattolillo, A., Rizzo, A., and DelGuidice, E. 2003. 4He Detection in a Cold Fusion Experiment, ICCF10 paper.
3. Vysotskii, V.I., Shevel, V.N., Tashirev, A.B., and Kornilova, A.A. 2003. Successful Experiments of Utilization of High Activity Waste in the process of Transmutation in Growing Associations of Microbiological Cultures, ICCF10 paper.
4. Dash, J. and Chicea, D. 2003. Effects of Hydrogen Loading By Aqueous Electrolysis On Radioactivity of Uranium, ICCF10 paper.
5. Fleischmann, M. and Pons, S. 1989. Electrochemically Induced Nuclear Fusion of Deuterium, J. Electroanalytical Chemistry and Interfacial Electrochemistry, Vol. 261, April 10, 301-308; Errata: Vol. 263 (May 10, 1990), 187-188.
6. Pennisi, E. 1991. "Helium Find Thaws the Cold Fusion Trail," Science News, Vol. 139, March 23, 180.
7. Miles, M.H., Bush, B.F., and Lagowski, J.J. 1994. "Anomalous Effects Involving Excess Power, Radiation, and Helium Production During D2O Electrolysis Using Palladium Cathodes," Fusion Technology, Vol. 25, July, 478-486.
8. Mills, R.L. and Kneizys, S.P. 1991. "Excess Heat Production by the Electrolysis of an Aqueous Potassium Carbonate Electrolyte and the Implications for Cold Fusion," Fusion Technology, Vol. 20, August, 65-81.
9. Mills, R.L. 1999. The Grand Unified Theory of Classical Quantum Mechanics. The current edition can be ordered in hard copy or downloaded in full from www.blacklightpower.com (1999 edition, 1,022 pages).
10. Mallove, E.F. 2000. The Triumph of Alchemy: Professor John Bockris and the Transmutation Crisis at Texas A&M,Infinite Energy, 6, 32, 9-24.
11. Iwamura, Y., Itoh, T., Sakano, M., and Sakai, S. 2003. Observations of Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Induced by D2 Gas Permeation Through Pd Complexes, Infinite Energy, 8, 47, 14-18. (Also in Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Cold Fusion, Beijing, China, May 19-24, 2002, Edited by X.Z. Li.); also, see their ICCF10 paper.
12. Iwamura, Y., Sakano, M., and Itoh, T. Elemental Analysis of Pd Complexes: Effects of D2 Gas Permeation, Japanese Journal of Applied Physics A, Vol. 41, p. 4642.
13. Chubb, T. 2003. "Transmutations and Fusion-Based on Ion Band State Physics," Infinite Energy, 8, 47, 19-21.
14. McKubre, M., Tanzella, F., Tripodi, P., and Hagelstein, P. 2000. "The Emergence of a Coherent Explanation for Anomalies Observed in D/Pd and H/Pd Systems: Evidence for 4He and 3H Production," Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Cold Fusion, Lerici, Italy, May 21-26, Italian Physical Society, pp. 3-10.
15. Chubb, S.R. 2003. "Concerning the Roles of Theory, Computation, and Experiment in LENR's," ICCF10 paper.
16. www.blacklightpower.com.
17. Infinite Energy, 2, 7, March/April 1996.
18. www.aetherometry.com and www.aethera.org.
19. Azevedo, R., Graneau, P., Millett, C., and Graneau, N. 1986. "Powerful Water Plasma Explosions," Physics Letters A, Vol. 117, p. 101.
20. Ruscal, L.J., Swallom, D.W., Pappas, P.Y., and Graneau, P. 1988. "Electrodynamic Water Arc Gun," Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Electromagnetic Launch Technology, University of Texas at Austin.
21. Graneau, P. 1996. "Gaining Solar Energy from Ordinary Water," Infinite Energy, 2, 10, 59-60.
22. Graneau, P. 1997. Extracting Intermolecular Bond Energy from Water, Infinite Energy, 3, 13/14, 92-94.
23. Graneau, P. 1999. Why Does Lightning Explode and Generate MHD Power? Infinite Energy, 5, 25, 9-11.
24. Graneau, P., Graneau, N., Hathaway, G., and Hull, R. 2002. "Arc-Liberated Chemical Energy Exceeds Electrical Input Energy," Infinite Energy, 8, 44, 39-45.
25. Graneau, P., Graneau, N., and Hathaway, G. 2003. "Evidence of Thunder Being a Chemical Explosion in Air," J. Plasma Physics




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