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Is LENR back on the table?

  1. Mar 24, 2009 #1
    Hi guys, gals and guru's. My question is about Cold Fusion.

    1)Where and from who did the Idea of Cold Fusion come about.

    2) After being disproved experimentally years ago, what caught the NAVY'S Scientist's eye on why this was premature.

    3) Has any lab outside of the US Navy been able to reproduce these new experiments.


    New Energy Times,

    Steven Krivit, editor of the New Energy Times, said the study was "big" and could open a new scientific field.

    The neutrons produced in the experiments "may not be caused by fusion but perhaps some new, unknown nuclear process," added Krivit, who has monitored cold fusion studies for the past 20 years.

    "We're talking about a new field of science that's a hybrid between chemistry and physics."Thanks again.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2009 #2
    Are you talking about this paper: http://www.springerlink.com/content/022501181p3h764l/ ?

    My understanding is that even if we assume that the 3-alpha breakup is due to fast neutrons (I don't think anyone is debating this) that DT fusion is not the only possible explanation. From what I have read, the fast neutron can be attributed to surface plasmon effects and is not necessarily a smoking gun for low temperature nuclear effects.
  4. Mar 25, 2009 #3
    Thank you
  5. Mar 25, 2009 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    "New Energy Times" is hardly a reliable source. They are an advocacy site.

    For the last twenty years, there have been people who have been conducting their own cold fusion experiments, going to their own conferences, and presenting their results in their own journals. Nobody outside this community has ever been able to replicate any of these results.

    Twenty years ago (last Monday, I think) Pons and Fleishman announced to the world that they had built - not were going to build, but actually had built - a water heater that worked on these principles. Twenty years later, one has to ask where is it?
  6. Mar 25, 2009 #5
    Cold fusion is a very difficult topic to discuss. The historical background has tainted it to a degree that makes it almost impossible to really figure out a scientific concensus of the current details, since you can't get good funding to try to verify/disprove current findings and most are willing to just avoid it all and complacently toss it all.

    That being said, there IS a type of cold fusion that has very good scientific concensus since the 1950's. It is an interesting topic that is worth reading a bit about if you haven't heard about it before:
    It has been understood since the beginning though that this could not be used to generate energy from the fusion (the muon doesn't survive long enough).

    What is controversial is the "Pons-Fleishman effect" which is an apparrent excess heat in certain electrochemical cells. I decided once that I'd try to read up and figure out exactly what the current scientific consensus is. It is a mess. Many groups seem to be able to get excess heat (including a study by NASA), but except for small groups, scientists don't believe this is a fusion reaction. Others counter that the energy is too much for just a chemical reaction. The majority complain about lack of a reasonable mechanism to even cause fusion. The people studying complain that critics don't give a reasonable mechanism for the excess heat. And round it seems to go.

    I find the whole thing very frustrating. I wish we could erase the history of this, so we could have a bunch of reputable people trying to carefully study and explain the cause (or mismeasurement) of the excess heat.

    Consider for instance the situation of "super solids" in condensed matter. There is something interesting there, even though many opennly admit there may be no such thing. But it is still worth studying, and we learn more as we try to figure out the causes of the measurements ... even if it is not what we hoped it to be. If there was a similar scandal with "super solids", no one would touch it. It is a shame that a publicity scandal ruined it for "excess heat".

    The study that really made me scratch my head was an experiment that used a Pd tube and measured heat when pressurizing hydrogen or deuterium in it while doing some reaction, and also doing a similar test with another metal. The effect was only seen with Pd and deuterium. I'm trying to find the paper again, and I'll post a link if I can.

    In the end, I came to the (unfortunate) conclusion that the history behind this prevents easy separation of the "good" from the "bad" science ... and I'll just take the complacent, skeptic, and mainstream view and ignore all of this until someone comes up with dramatic irrefutable proof. Until then, it is just too "noisy" to really try to follow for my taste. (Although, if someone has a really good review article on the current state from a reputable source, I wouldn't mind reading that.)
  7. Mar 25, 2009 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    "[URL [Broken]
    Physics World has one from ten years ago.[/URL] That's roughly the half-way point between the first paper and now. It's interesting to see the claims then, the claims now, and how the claims then have - or have not - panned out.

    One new development since then was that Steve Jones, who initially claimed to replicate the Fleischman-Pons result, has now been pushing 9/11 conspiracy theories.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Mar 29, 2009 #7
    Wouldn't it be great if this would finally work out!? I still remember quite vividly when the Fleischman/ Pons results came in the news. I was driving on the Autobahn and almost crashed, because I became so excited. And later it was such a letdown when their results proved to be bogus.

    This time I became excited again and got hold of the article in "Naturwissenschaften" right when I read about it. But what can I say? The work is so bad and amateur like that I don't even know how it became published in the first place. Of course Naturwissenschaften is not Science or Nature in the first place but still...

    If you read the paper you will miss the most basic facts concerning the experiments they did. No comparisons of neutron track densities in different set-ups, no statisitical analysis what density of fake "triple tracks" you may expect just from overlapping single tracks. Etc. etc. Instead they go on and on how they focus their microscope to learn more about the tracks they etched into their plastic sheets.

    I would not have accepted this kind of work from a graduate student. This is so sad...

    I still hope that there may be something in it. After all, strange things happen in solids. Just take superconductivity. Electrons are attracted to each other through lattice interaction. High temperatrure superconductuvivty is still not fully understood and just recently new experimental results were found that make the filed even more mysterious. So why shouldn't a metal lattice lead D+ nuclei to get really close to each other somehow?

    So PLEASE can't a bunch of professionals visit the guys and gals in Salt Lake and get them up to speed!?
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