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infinite energy

APS Meeting Hosts Second Cold Fusion Session
(Originally Published May-June, 2000 In Infinite Energy Magazine Issue #31)
by Eugene Mallove
For the second year in a row, cold fusion researchers have been granted a session to present scientific results at the primary annual meeting of the American Physical Society, an organization generally known for its hostility toward cold fusion. The latest session, dubbed "Palladium/ Deuteron," was held Monday, March 20, from 2:30-5:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center. This was a modest step up from 1999, when the cold fusion session, with an even more obscure name, was held on late Friday afternoon as the APS meeting in Atlanta wound down.

Session "C32" was organized and chaired by Dr. Scott Chubb of the Naval Research Laboratory. Going back five years, three years before these specially designated sessions, Drs. Scott and Talbot Chubb have given individual papers within other APS meetings. (Infinite Energy covered last year's APS cold fusion sessions and related activities in IE No. 25, p. 23 and IE No. 26, p. 27.) A few dozen people, other than the speakers, attended the session this March, which was one of many parallel technical meetings running at the APS convention that afternoon. Only twelve minutes were allowed for each presentation, not very much time to get complex material across to the uninitiated. Still, anyone attending the session, such as some eager-looking younger physicists who stayed the full two hours, could grasp that some very big experimental claims were being made and that sophisticated theories were being presented to attempt to explain the data.

Two high-profile people who are not part of the cold fusion community attended the session. One was Institute Professor Mildred Dresselhaus of the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She is a past president of the APS, but more important, she had been one of the twenty-two participants on the infamous 1989 DOE ERAB Cold Fusion Panel, which rendered a hasty negative opinion in November 1989. Though Prof. Dresselhaus has apparently kept an open mind about cold fusion since then, thanks to continued coaching by her MIT colleagues who have continued to be involved in cold fusion, she has, to our knowledge, taken no steps to straighten things out at DOE. This day she was at least able to hear MIT Professor Hagelstein's cold fusion theory talk, as well as some of the meaty data provided by Drs. Storms and McKubre, and by Storms for Dr. Claytor of Los Alamos National Laboratory (who was unable to attend and present his paper). Prof. Dresselhaus certainly has it within her power to "do the right thing," perhaps with a letter or remark to the right people in Washington. We shall see.

The other notable in the audience was APS PR agent Dr. Robert L. Park, who sneaked in and sneaked out, staying only for twelve minutes. Unless it was mere coincidence, he had to time his arrival perfectly: he entered at the beginning of my eclectic talk, which reviewed some of the high points of cold fusion investigation, and he left just as I finished. Apparently Park was not interested in learning about anyone else's results or theories--not even to add bogus fuel to his ill-informed claims that cold fusion is "fraud." One might have thought that Park would have at least tried to give the appearance of a serious evaluation by staying for more of the talks. He is shameless.

To review briefly the ten papers, in the order in which they were presented:

[C32.001] Theoretical Basis for Anomalous Heat and 4He in Deuterium-Metal Systems--Scott Chubb, Talbot Chubb (Research Systems Inc., 5023 N. 38 St., Arlington, VA 22207)

Scott Chubb made the fundamental point that cold fusion is not like hot fusion. "When D+ and 4He++ occupy ion band states with low concentration, however, different forms of electromagnetic coupling become possible, leading to the production of helium-4, in which EMC is violated locally but conserved globally."

[C32.002] Cavitation Micro Accelerator and Anomalous Heat --R.S. Stringham (First Gate Energies, 2166 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, CA 94043)

Since Roger Stringham could not be present, it was left to Dr. Scott Chubb to present his work. Stringham uses ultrasonic activation to produce cavitation bubbles on the surfaces of metal foils suspended in heavy water. "The steady-state calorimetry of the acoustic reactor and the acoustic power supply show the production of anomalous heat, Q(x), above that of the input power. The sources of Q(x) are unique nuclear events which result from jet acceleration of the deuteron high density plasma into a metal lattice." Evidence was presented for both helium-4 and helium-3 production.

[C32.003] Low Energy Nuclear Reactions: A Millennium Status Report--Eugene F. Mallove (New Energy Research Laboratory, PO Box 2816, Concord, NH 03302-2816)

In this eclectic talk, I denominated some of the more convincing experiments that show that helium-4, nuclear scale excess energy, tritium, and the transmutation of heavy elements can be produced near room temperature in relatively simple systems. I also gave an overview of NERL's recent activities to develop instrumentation for cold fusion demonstration cells. Mainly for Dr. Park's benefit, I flashed on the screen the cover page of my memorandum on cold fusion, which was sent to the White House (following its request) in February. He did not seem to take much notice of this. We have yet to hear it decried in his weekly "What's New" column.

[C32.004] Calorimetric Studies at the New Hydrogen Energy Laboratory in Japan--Melvin H. Miles (New Hydrogen Energy Laboratory, 3-5 Techno-Park 2-Chome Shimonopporo, Atsubetsu-Ku, Sapporo-004, Japan)

Dr. Miles presented highlights of positive cold fusion excess heat results that he obtained in Japan. (These-and their scandalous cover-up by NHE-were described in the last issue of Infinite Energy, No. 30, p. 18.) "Experiments in Fleischmann-Pons type calorimetric cells produced excess power in six out of eight experiments. These studies involved palladium alloy cathodes, co-deposition of palladium and deuterium from the solution, and electromigration using thin palladium wires."

[C32.005] "Lochon" Catalyzed Fusion Reaction in a Solid Matrix--K.P. Sinha (9805 Juniper Hill Road, Rockville, MD 20850)

Dr. Sinha presented the theoretical model for cold fusion which he published in IE No. 29, p. 54, in which lochons (local charged bosons) located around protons or deuterons and interacting with high frequency modes of the system can acquire heavy effective mass.

[C32.006] A Requirement for Radiationless Deuteron Fusion--Talbot Chubb, Scott Chubb (Research Systems Inc., 5023 N. 38 St., Arlington, VA 22207)

Dr. Talbot Chubb expanded on his and his nephew's theories. Referring to the Fleischmann-Pons effect in the deuterium-palladium system, he noted that Dr. McKubre says: "The evidence in my view for the appearance of an anomalous unaccounted excess heat in the deuterium-palladium system is essentially overwhelming. There is something there. It's larger by more than 1 order of magnitude, in some cases by more than 2 orders of magnitude, than the sum total of all possible chemical reactions."

[C32.007] A Model for Fast Ion Emission from Metal Deuterides--Peter Hagelstein (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Cambridge, MA 02139)

This was MIT Professor Peter Hagelstein's first cold fusion paper at an APS annual meeting. His theories of cold fusion have been much in the news over the years, and they have evolved through many iterations. Because of his steadfastness within the "bastion of skepticism" (MIT), we honor him by printing his entire abstract: "There have been numerous claims during the past ten years of the observation of a variety of anomalies in metal deuterides. One such anomaly involves the emission of fast (MeV) alpha from PdD as reported by G. Chambers and colleagues at NRL in the early 1990s. A related effect is the emission of a variety of low mass fast ions from TiD reported by groups led by G. Chambers and by F. E. Cecil (Colorado School of Mines) et al. (F.E. Cecil, H. Liu, D. Beddingfield and C.S. Galovich, in Anomalous Nuclear Effects in Deuterium/Solid Systems, AIP Conf. Proc., 228, p. 383, 1990). We have recently examined a theoretical model for this effect. We propose a second order off-resonant reaction in which fusion reactions are coupled to optical phonons, and then the optical phonon excitation is dipole-coupled to nuclear ionization. Such a model gives reaction products and energies which appear to be in agreement with experiment."

[C32.008] In Situ Measurement of Tritium Concentration Variations During Plasma Loading of Palladium and Palladium Alloys--T.N. Claytor, D.G. Tuggle, J. Thompson (Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mail Stop C914, Los Alamos, NM 87545)

In the absence of Dr. Claytor, Dr. Storms presented the work of this group, which continues to confirm the production of tritium in low energy nuclear reactions. (See Infinite Energy, No. 7, p. 39.)

[C32.009] The Emergence of a Coherent Explanation for Anomalies Observed in D/Pd and H/Pd Systems--Michael C.H. McKubre, Francis L. Tanzella, Paolo Tripodi (SRI International, Menlo Park, CA), Peter Hagelstein (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Cambridge, MA 02139)

Among the many results discussed by Dr. McKubre were absolutely stunning multiple curves which show the time-evolution of helium production in cells based on the catalytic fusion methods of Dr. Les Case with deuterium atmospheres. The correlation with excess heat production and the D + D reaction leading to helium-4 was remarkable.

[C32.010] Excess Power Using Thin Layers of Palladium on Inert Substrates--E.K. Storms (Energy K. Systems, 2140 Paseo Ponderosa, Santa Fe, NM 87501)

Excess power produced by thin layers of palladium deposited on various substrates was measured using a double calorimeter consisting of a flow-type and an isoperibolic-type combined. The effects of palladium thickness and impurity deposition were explored. The behavior was correlated with the open-circuit-voltage and the over-voltage of the cathode with respect to a reference electrode external to the D2O-based electrolytic cell. Several potential errors associated with such calorimetry will be described. The study is directed toward producing reproducible excess energy production using the Pons-Fleischmann effect.

After the session, the full group of speakers retired to a local restaurant for respite and discussions. Later we all enjoyed the gracious hospitality of cold fusion researcher Professor Richard Oriani at his Minneapolis home. Then I caught a late night flight to Seattle, enroute to a cold fusion presentation the next day at the Climates of Change Conference in Victoria, BC (see Briefs, p. 39, in IE No. 31). A good thing for my digestion, because back in Minneapolis on the next morning Dr. Park entertained a ballroom full of physicists with his session (G8) "Voodoo Science." This was a bit of physics circus and promotion "on company time" for his forthcoming book of the same name; Park is really making a name for himself, so to speak.

We were able to learn what went on at this meeting, thanks to Dr. Melvin Miles and his wife Linda attending the session and videotaping it. There were the expected barbs flung at "What's New This Week That I Hate," plus a bit of extra firepower aimed at BlackLight Power Corporation and Dr. Randell Mills. Self-righteous statements were made about how the freedom of expression of poor physicists was allegedly being threatened by lawyers for Dr. Mills (see Briefs, p. 38, in IE No. 31). Park introduced a handful of speakers, including Washington Post journalist Joel Achenbach, author of Captured by Aliens (1999, Simon and Schuster), who professed to be in awe of all these bright physicists. In his book, Achenbach's ability to characterize cold fusion amounts to this alone (p. 129): ". . .the notorious 1989 announcement of 'cold fusion,' in which two scientists thought they could get more energy out of a test tube than they'd put in." He admitted that he regularly gets story ideas from Park's APS columns. Of course, we knew that already. The blind leading the blind in mutual sycophantic admiration.

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