Infinite Energy Magazine
REPORT ON THE COLD FUSION SESSION AT APS MARCH MEETING
March 10, 2008 / Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
“These should be halcyon days for fusion energy research. Never before have the ill effects of fossil fuel burning. . .and long-lasting radioactive waste been so apparent. . . Scientists once envisioned safe ‘back-yard’ fusion reactors burning cheap, abundant fuel. It now appears generators require exotic, expensive fuels and would produce significant amounts of radioactivity.”
—John Horgan’s lead sentences in “Overview” of “Fusion’s Future,”
Scientific American, February 1989
Quoting America’s premier science writer John Horgan may seem unrelated to the recent American Physical Society (APS) March 2008 cold fusion session, particularly since one month later in March 1989 Pons and Fleischmann first claimed fusion (in a mason jar). Now, flash forward two decades to December 2007 and read the APS press release by Press Secretary Towanda Johnson.
APS pleads for government return to science earmarking at the 2007 level. Johnson, writing for APS, cites in dismay: extraordinary damage to the nation’s science and technology; national layoffs of scientists and engineers; discouragement of American youth from participation in economic growth and security; dependence on foreign oil; lack of incentives for American industry to innovate; escalating energy costs; the challenge to American leadership in physics; and the U.S. is pulling the plug on ITER, NIF, etc.
In the twenty years since Horgan wrote “Fusion’s Future,” physics has not developed a viable alternative energy resource. Even now APS proposes no new technology or profound upgrade of known energy resources. Bewailing American dependence on fossil fuels and fission, global warming, and energy pollution does not address this crisis. Endorsement of cold fusion as a promising energy resource would help APS plausibility.
It has been over a decade since Dr. Scott Chubb (a technical editor of Infinite Energy) first arranged to include a cold fusion session at the APS March Meeting. Over the years, cold fusion researchers have enthusiastically responded with submission of abstracts (in fact, I understand that a record number of abstracts were submitted in 2008). However, travel costs are high and many researchers are unable to attend to present their own work (the attendance of researchers has lessened over the years). In addition, audience attendance is sparse, which is unfortunate since cold fusion is rich in progress.
For example, Dr. Melvin Miles opened the 2008 session with a report on replication of heat results obtained initially by Energetics in Israel. This work by Dr. Michael McKubre, Dr. Francis Tanzella, and Dr. Vittorio Violante was based on independent experiments performed at SRI and ENEA. Initial studies at ENEA and the University of Rome guided experiments evaluating a novel cathode current stimulus developed by Energetics in Israel. McKubre, Miles, Violante, and Tanzella are world class scientists. This paper, “The Significance of Replication,” is landmark science.
Session Chairman Dr. Edmund Storms (who did a tremendous job filling in for Dr. Scott Chubb, who could not attend) then introduced Dr. Thomas Grinshaw, who spoke on “Public-Interest and Level-of-Evidence Considerations in Cold Fusion Public Policy.” Grinshaw addressed two policies—the potential benefits and the reality of cold fusion. Finding clear and evident probability for cold fusion beyond reasonable doubt, he argued for change in public policy toward cold fusion. This paper argues, based on reality and public benefits, a unique and refreshing insight to public policy. It is well worth reading.
Dr. Storms then spoke on his research of “Anomalous Radiation Produced by Glow Discharge in Deuterium Containing Oxygen.” (Storms is the author of The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction. His research in the field is renowned, particularly his thoroughness of research and extensive bibliography.) His and Dr. Brian Scanlan’s research of glow discharge exemplifies thoroughness. These glow discharge experiments do not seek to initiate nuclear reaction but to discover if above a critical voltage glow discharge evidences radiation. The intensity of such radiation might then permit a power function to be applied to voltage. The clarity of Storms writing, extensive attention to bibliography, and experimental thoroughness exemplify the progress of cold fusion (LENR) research.
Professor David Nagel (George Washington University) was unable to attend the session so Dr. Storms presented an oral review of Dr. Nagel’s paper, “Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Products at Surfaces.” This paper deals with methods of relating surface factors in estimating instantaneous power production in LENR (cold fusion) reactions. A graphical representation of four surface factors and their results over a wide range of conditions has been developed.
Professor George Miley (University of Illinois) presented a review of “Evidence and Theory for Cluster Reactions in LENRs” (by Miley, Hora, Lipson, and Shrestha). Dr. Miley is known for his contributions to LENR research, particularly in the field of thin film reactions and elemental transmutations. He is the former editor of Fusion Technology, the journal of the American Nuclear Society, and his research dates from the early days of Patterson packed-bead electrolysis. He was intimately involved with the research of Fleischmann, Patterson, McKubre, Storms, Miles, and other cold fusion pioneers. He is leader of the University of Illinois LENR research, known for careful reporting, and founded early observation of transmutation and thin film research. The cluster model reported in this paper is founded on his early experimental and theoretical work. Similarly, the research reported by Drs. Heinrich Hora, George Miley, and Karl Philberth, “Compound Nuclear Reactions in LENR, Analogy to Uranium Fission” is founded on thin film research of transmutations accompanying low energy nuclear science. The analogy to uranium fission is interesting.
The next two speakers, Fangil Gareev of Japan and Professor Xing Zhong Li of the University of Beijing , were unable to attend the New Orleans meeting. This posed an opportunity for Dr. Storms to abridge their time and recover time in the schedule for attending researchers. It is here noted that APS rules schedule twelve minutes for each paper, including questions and answers. This creates a frantic management problem for the chairperson.
Gareev’s abstract (“New Mechanism for Explaining LENR and Certain Forms of Technological and Natural Catastrophes”) is based on a proposal made at ICCF12 in Yokohama in 2005. The abstract expresses dissatisfaction with mainstream support for LENR (cold fusion) research and faults that for catastrophes.
Professor Xing Zhong Li (University of Beijing) is another pioneer of cold fusion research. His abstract, “Predictability of Theory, and Collaboration with Experimentalists in CMNS,” presents a thoughtful analysis of condensed matter nuclear science. He confirms two outstanding experiments and makes the important point that predicted neutron emission based on collider high vacuum plasma were wrong. Apparently he now looks to resonant tunneling and neutrino detection as the next predictions to confirm. This is an interesting paper. It is unfortunate Dr. Li could not present it in person.
Dr. Storms introduced Lawrence Forsley to speak on “Comparison of SPAWAR Co-Deposition Experimental Data and Competing Condensed Matter Nuclear Science Theories.” Co-author Dr. Pamela Mosier-Boss was not present. The paper is based on the SPAWAR co-deposition technique developed by Drs. Stan Szpak and Mosier-Boss and competing theories postulated to explain condensed matter nuclear science. Forsley’s presentation was eloquent and although conflict resolution is connoted, specific solutions are not suggested. This is understandable, as recent experimental research involves CR-39 detection requiring experienced care and judgment skills. Co-deposition has been successfully replicated by others experimentally. The ground is moving under this technology.
Forsley also presented a talk on “Multiple Etching of CR-39 Nuclear Track Detectors Used in SPAWAR Co-Dep Experiment.” This paper too was prepared in conjunction with Mosier-Boss. CR-39 tracking of radiation, while inexpensive, requires extensive experience and judgment. This is investigative research. Forsley spoke to methods, computer assistance, and other interpretive techniques. CR-39 research interpretation progress significantly has spread to other experimental laboratories.
Mitchell Swartz’s paper, “Spatial and Temporal Resolution of Three Sites Characterizing Lattice-Assisted Nuclear Reactions (LANR),” was not presented orally, as Swartz was unable to attend the session. Nevertheless, this paper is expected to provide further confirmation of earlier research reported by Swartz and Verner. Of particular interest is further confirmation of continuance of excess heat generation (LAD) after input power is removed from the reaction.
John Dash presented on “Effects of Applied Magnetic Fields on Aqueous Electrolysis” (Dash et al.). This report builds on USN Technical Report 1862 by Dr. Frank Gordon and edited by Drs. S. Szpak and P.A. Mosier-Boss. John Dash gave an impressive oral and video presentation. In the video presentation an electrolysis cell was placed between the magnetic poles of an electromagnet so the magnetic field was normal to the electric field of electrolysis. A spiral turbulence was obvious and was demonstrated to increase both with increases in magnetic field and electrolysis. This method of investigative research can provide vital visual evidence of surface topography and reaction effects.
Neither Dr. Talbot Chubb (“D2 Fusion in Ionic Solid and Nanometal Composites”) or Dr. Scott Chubb (“Resonant Electromagnetic Interaction in Low Energy Nuclear Reactions”) were able to attend the session and with time running short Dr. Storms opted to postpone oral discussion of these papers.
He then introduced me to present on “The Alternate Atomic Model.” I introduced an alternative to the standard model of the nucleus in 1992 at ICCF3 and have since written several papers supporting that model. The concept of the model is concentric fields which result in an electron and proton constituency of the neutron complementary to the hydrogen atom. The essence of this model is the neutron internal field is the nuclear strong force. Discussion was cut short by difficulties with the Powerpoint presentation.
Dr. George Miley then discussed his paper (with Linchon Wu), “Connection of Preparata QED Theory and D-Pd-D Cluster Theory for Cold Fusion Reactions.” Connection between the Preparata proposal and Miley’s cluster model has a long history of discussion in APS meetings. There was a question in this regard but further discussion was cut short by lack of time.
While all of the presentations were phenomenal, the overall format of these spring sessions is not ideal. Presentation of 15 papers in 180 minutes is impractical. This allows only 12 minutes for oral presentation and question and answer discussion, per APS policy. To maintain this schedule places undue stress on the chairperson and on oral presenters and does not encourage audience questions or allow for extensive discussion. There is a polemical relationship to be overcome between APS and cold fusion or LENR research. Only one paper was openly critical of mainstream science, although any mention of cold fusion might be viewed as negative criticism of the mainstream. Poor attendance may result from this conflict. Both mainstream science and cold fusion research could address this problem. Progress in cold nuclear physics technology, along with an increasing number of involved scientists, suggest cooperation might be mutually beneficial.