Infinite Energy Magazine
2009 Colloquium on Lattice-Assisted Nuclear Reactions (LANR) at MIT
by Mitchell Swartz
The 2009 Colloquium on the Science and Engineering of Lattice-Assisted Nuclear Reactions (LANR) in Deuterated Metals at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts) was held on the weekend of June 20-21, 2009. The meeting was jam-packed for a full day of lectures, seminars and two workshops. Coffee, continental breakfast and refreshments were available all day, and a light lunch was provided. A teaching demonstration continued on Sunday.
The colloquium was a real success, so said the 45 attendees who gathered in to fill the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) conference room to full capacity. The participants enjoyed the format, field trips, workshops, and material.
These colloquia, hosted almost yearly, were initiated by Dr. Mitchell Swartz and the late Dr. Eugene Mallove. They mainly have been for colleagues involved in the science and business of LANR, but they have also all been open to the community. The goals have been increasing cooperation among colleagues and public awareness of the development of the science and engineering of LANR/CF (lattice assisted nuclear reaction, that is, cold fusion) systems.
On Saturday, June 20 the meeting began at 7:30 a.m. in the Hermann Haus Room at MIT. This was fitting since the late Dr. Haus had supported cold (and other forms of) fusion. Eager participants arrived early, catching up with old friends, fellow researchers, new co-presenters, scientists, business execs, venture capitalists, enthusiastic students, and colleagues from the DC-Virginia area.
Not only did well known speakers from all over the country share their continuing research, but those whose voices were previously unheard but worked quietly in the field for years, presented their first public reports as well.
At 8:00 a.m., the formal session began with Dr. Mitchell Swartz’s welcome and introduction. Following an overview of the field, and survey of the positive results, Dr. Swartz explained why the term “low energy nuclear reactions” (LENR) is a misnomer, since they are not “low energy,” based on emissions of high-energy MeV states. He reviewed timely environmental matters, showing exactly why cold fusion can be the cleanest, most efficient energy source of the future. America now has these resources and LANR is an energy multiplier. But do America and the world have the resourcefulness?
Dr. Pamela Mosier-Boss discussed two decades of experimental work on LENR at SPAWAR (Adv. Systems and Applied Sciences Div. SSC-Pacific). Stan Szpak began the codeposition work, and she noted that codeposition decreases the expected time required before excess heat begins. Dr. Boss noted that the first experiments demonstrated the simple fact that the temperature of the active cathodes were greater than the temperature of the solution, indicating that the source of the heat was the cathode, and not the solution (from Joule heating). She then demonstrated the infrared films of the cathode which showed localized, but changing, areas of heat generation. Microscopic closeup has revealed that these spots are mini explosions and melting. Experiments using codeposition on piezoelectric crystals detected pressure evidence of the explosions. Corroborating that, codeposition experiments performed upon piezoelectric crystal have also demonstrated pressure linked with the heat. Dr. Boss then showed the impact of additional electric and magnetic fields which generated unusual patterns and structures on the surface of the Pd. Examinations of the craters revealed elements near the localized melting other than Pd.
With Lawrence Forsley, Dr. Boss has used plastic (CR-39) films which are time-integrated radiation detectors because “tracks” are left. These tracks develop over time by etching like developing film, and specific patterns herald ionizing radiation or neutrons. These CR-39 films have revealed characteristic patterns ranging from electrode self-absorption, to observable differences in cathodic materials, to evidence particle emissions consistent with nuclear reactions. Control experiments indicate that the pits are not contamination or heavy hydrogen reacting with the CR-39, or with O2 or Cl2. The tracks look like those from D-D and D-T reactions. Etching suggests the emissions are in the 2-8 MeV range. Triple tracks on the CR-39 were found (a few per experiment) heralding energetic neutrons because they show evidence of neutron-shattering of carbon atoms.
Lawrence Forsley, of JWK International Corp., then continued the discussions focusing the group to consider the mechanisms which lead to the particle track observations on plastic CR-39 films. He reviewed all D-D and D-T reaction pathways for their proton, neutron, and gamma emissions. In hot fusion, D + D reactions produce He-4 and 24 MeV gammas, but such emission is usually observed, instead of suppressed for nuclear spin reasons. He then reviewed the volcanic type pits in the SPAWAR results, showing how they demonstrate elements which could be fission products, and its importance. Like the other findings around the world, these show a record of nuclear reactions in LANR systems.
Dr. Mitchell Swartz, of JET Energy Inc., summarized two decades of LANR R&D. JET Energy high electrical impedance and some codepositional LANR devices have been used for electricity production, and paired with LANR-coupled Stirling motors. Several types have shown excess power gain from 200% to 800%, and one has yielded 8,000% power gain for a short time. Dr. Swartz showed data from several runs of LANR devices used to power paired (one for the joule control) Stirling motors at the 1-19+ watt level. These demonstrate that removal of the energy to a motor leads to under-unity performance at the core (consistent with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics).
Dr. Swartz next discussed the development of the quasi-one-dimensional (Q1D) model of deuteron flow and loading, which has successfully led to his discoveries of optimal operating points (OOPs), the key role of solution electrical conductivity, the impact of cathodic irradiation by lasers on solution vicinal to the cathode (increment power gain goes down as the excess heat goes up), and the need for deuteron flux within the palladium in an already highly loaded (D/Pd) LANR system. The latter led to his discoveries of the differences in bubble evolution in successful LANR systems and the evolution of the preferred shape to the PHUSOR-type cathodes.
The Q1D shows that there are three types of LANR. There is the conventional Fleischmann-Pons-type, and two types of codeposition, pioneered by SPAWAR and by JET Energy (Dr. Swartz). There are physical differences in the deep diffusion, where Pd is deposited either on palladium (like Dr. Swartz) or upon non-loading materials such as copper, gold, silver, or platinum (like SPAWAR).
OOPs operation is a general property of most, if not all, LANR systems. OOP operation is seen on plots of output power, or de novo helium-4 or tritium production, as a function of electrical input power. During situations in which excess power is generated from an active LANR sample or device, it can be seen, in these graphs in V*I space, that large increases in output excess power are observed as the input power is varied over a relatively small range. JET Energy systems use that peak LANR performance which occurs for production of heat, He-4, and tritium. Dr. Swartz explained that OOP operation has engineering use, including distinguishing between situations in which excess heat is produced from situations where this does not occur, and in finding ways to maximize LANR output.
Dr. Swartz briefly discussed some of the JET Energy results presented at ICCF14 in August 2008. First, non-thermal near-infrared (NT-NIR) light emission has been detected from several loaded, active LANR devices by in situ monitoring. The NT-NIR is linked, and specific, to the presence of excess heat production and not their physical temperature. Dr. Swartz pointed out that this may confirm his hypothesis that Bremsstrahlung emission, under increasingly lower temperatures, shifts from penetrating ionizing radiation toward skin-depth-locked infra-red radiation.
Second, he demonstrated that successful PHUSOR type LANR devices are metamaterials, where the shape augments normal material properties. In this case, shape and orientation play a decisive role, creating an intrapalladium deuteron flow in the steady state which is requisite for excess power gain. He showed how the results of numerical computation worked in a highly electrically resistive loading fluid (ultrapure D2O), where the flux calculations from electrostatic principles indicate that, unlike other types of LANR devices, in this case there continues a deuteron flux through the metal. The loading flux goes through the solution, the double layer, and then either into the gas, or enters the metal, where if the shape and electrical characteristics are planned correctly, there is continued deuteron flux through the metal—quite different from more conventional wire-wire and plate-plate systems.
Dr. Swartz then described JET Energy’s recent report at the American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City. He has observed rapid changes in resistivity ratio which occur faster than can be expected solely by diffusion processes within the metal. His Type “B” (anode plate) dives (excess heat ~175%, 1.99 watts) have demonstrated two time constants of Pd(t). The first is <5 seconds. He has also found an instability oscillation which may trigger, or maintain, LANR.
Dr. Mitchell Swartz concluded with the concept of Hyperdrive of LANR devices and described two already fruitful avenues based upon OOP. One was with Larry Forsley demonstrating that the Israeli “superwave” is simply “a transitory optimal operating point condition.” The other is with Dr. Robert Bass and involves empirical system identification (ESID) for the optimal control of LANR services.
Peter Hagelstein of MIT gave a presentation on “Modeling Energy Transfer to Excess Heat.” As he pointed out, present CF/LANR systems get megajoules over days, but even if the cathode was replaced with TNT, one would only get 1.2 KJ. Peter then discussed the development of his model which addresses exchange energy between oscillators leading to coherent energy exchange. Dr. Hagelstein discovered that the energy exchange effect is normally too weak to account for converting the large 24 MeV quantum of energy associated with the He-4 excited state to phonons of much smaller energy (~40 milli eV). Peter discovered that loss plays a key role, and tied it to his recent paper with Dennis Letts involving laser irradiation with “beat” frequencies (8, 15 and 20 THz).
The first workshop was “Ongoing DTRA/ARPA-E BAAs Submissions” during the lunch hour. The mid-afternoon focused on “Transmutation, Pressure Driven, ZrO2-‘Arata Materials’ and Other LANR Systems” beginning with the second workshop, entitled “Nanostructure Size Issues,” which spanned more than half the afternoon.
Dr. Scott Chubb discussed “Coherent Scattering and D-Flow in PdDx.” By focusing on resonance, involving time dependent changes in the electromagnetic fields, he has found that small changes in the loading of deuterium can induce and create forms of resonance in which the momentum of each oscillates, so that at specific times (defined by the size of PdD lattice) there is coherent momentum transfer to the lattice. Expanding beyond the model taught by Giuliano Preparata, Chubb includes wave-like features and coherent momentum transfer. Dr. Chubb’s predictions, using semi-classical band theory and Bloch symmetry, involve the need for sufficiently small crystals.
Dr. Brian Ahern followed, both temporally and logically, with “Investigations of ZrO2/Pd LANR and Nanosize Materials.” Perhaps this was the best received lecture of the meeting; participants sat in seemingly rapt attention as Dr. Ahern discussed decades of size related material studies dating back to his Air Force and MIT work. He ended with his examination of Arata’s system involving nano-palladium. Since 2002, Arata has claimed powders >20 nm did not work with deuterium gas. Two groups in Japan have replicated the Arata experiments (Takahashi and Kitamura, ~1-2 degrees over days).
Jeff Driscoll gave a report on “Investigations of the Eccles and Arata Systems” and Dennis Cravens sent a few slides on “Self-Heating of Samples” to be shared with the attendees.
John “Alf” Thompson presented his work on “Investigation of Radioactive Material Inactivation.” This was the first time that his important experimental effort has been publicly discussed. And Clint Seward presented, “Colliding Latticed Spheromaks to Produce Fusion.” Steve Nagy presented “Harnessing Energy from LANR.”
At the end of the day came a spontaneous outpouring of views concerning the fate of cold fusion and where we would all go from here. Everyone found that particularly helpful.
On Sunday, June 21, some attendees went to the local electronic Buying Mart (Hamfest @MIT) for the morning, and followed that up with an early afternoon field trip to an ongoing Arata experiment located 30 miles away, followed by an optional late afternoon visit to an airport museum.
Although in 1989 the physics community did not believe the initial Fleischmann-Pons experiments, since fusion was known to occur at low temperatures or in solids, now time has shown that facts rule. The initial failures involved bad paradigms, questionable materials and loadings, but that is resolved. Today, particle emission, excess energy, power gain, commensurate linked helium-4 production, increasing power gains and total energies achieved since 1989, all herald an important new clean form of energy production: LANR.
The event was organized by Dr. Mitchell Swartz and Gayle Verner of JET Energy, Inc., but well deserved thanks also go to the diligence and help of Alan Weinberg, Jeff Tolleson, Jeff Driscoll and others, who showed up at 7:00 a.m. and contributed their assistance and guidance throughout the day, and to MIT RLE and Prof. Jeffrey Shapiro, who arranged the space, and the MIT RLE staff who helped facilitate the arrangements, and to MIT Prof. Peter Hagelstein of the Electrical Engineering Energy Production and Conversion Group for his added assistance. The event was free both days, courtesy of JET Energy, and hosted by Vibronic Energy Technologies Corp. (and Dr. Brian Ahern) in Bedford on Sunday.
See photos of the event at http://world.std.com/~mica/colloq09.html.