Palladium and nuclear fusion

  • #26
The previous article I cited had a similar critical response in the literature... silence. Perhaps because this thread is seen as a backwater by the respectable fellows.

So I am going to ponder a little... why does palladium have such a unique affinity to hydrogen? I am drawn to its electron configuration... 2-8-18-18-0 lifted from...

http://www.chemicalelements.com/show/electronconfig.html

Palladium seems quite unusual amongst the metals in its abscence of outer s shell electrons... which I believe the above site recognises by stating the 5s orbital is empty (0) whereas empty orbital in other entries are simply omitted.

My understanding of the adsorption of hydrogen into palladium is that surface defects on the lattice are critical and that palladium has an abundance of these. (3 defects need to coalesce as I believe latest research suggests) Repetative cycling of hydrogen loading/unloading leads to large cracks being formed in the lattice... so this notion doesn't seem to far fetched to me. Furthermore the abundance of surface defects seems a reasonable corollary of the empty 5s orbits... in a hand waving way.

Am I mistaken? Is this the reason why Palladium adsorbs hydrogen so readily?
 
  • #27
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
Certainly, the abstract is as follows...

Abstract: The use of CR-39, a solid state nuclear track detector, to detect the emission of energetic charged particles during Pd/D co-deposition is demonstrated. The pits observed in the CR-39 are attributed to the Pd/D cathode and are not due to radionuclide contamination in the cell components; nor to the impingement of D2 bubbles on the surface of the CR-39; nor to chemical attack by D2, O2, or Cl2. The
features (i.e., optical contrast, shape, and bright spot in the center of the pit) of the pits generated during Pd/D co-deposition are consistent with those observed for pits that are of a nuclear origin.
Not sure I follow what they're claiming here as the abstract is bit opaque. That Pd/D produces nuclear charged particles? Thats not new at this point. What does nuclear origin mean? Surely not just a deuteron ion, it must mean alphas? Something > than MeV? Or are they just describing a nuclear measurement technique, which has no direct connection to LENR? Also the big gotcha on Pd/D has been reliable repeatability, so its well known that one can not just read this paper and then jot over to the lab and check it for yourself. That has slowed down progress.
 
  • #28
Not sure I follow what they're claiming here as the abstract is bit opaque. That Pd/D produces nuclear charged particles? Thats not new at this point. What does nuclear origin mean? Surely not just a deuteron ion, it must mean alphas? Something > than MeV? Or are they just describing a nuclear measurement technique, which has no direct connection to LENR? Also the big gotcha on Pd/D has been reliable repeatability, so its well known that one can not just read this paper and then jot over to the lab and check it for yourself. That has slowed down progress.
That Pd/D might catalyse nuclear reactions may not be new, but a large number of career physicists still consider it pseudo science, and utterly unproven. The 'newness' is the attempt to construct such a compelling experimental demonstration that unbelievers are laughed at rather than the believers. Unfortunately the non-believers have tenure and they have stopped reading journal article with the word palladium in them... so they are winning the debate by 'stonewalling'.

The energetic particles most clearly demonstrated in the paper are alpha particles. I cited the 'technical' paper as It seemed to me the critical point of the debate... "is it nuclear?".

A more translucent paper on objectives and the experiments reliability is their other paper S. Szpak, P.A. Mosier-Boss, F.E. Gordon,
Naturwissenschaften 94, 511 (2007) which states in the abstract...

Abstract: Almost two decades ago, Fleischmann and Pons
reported excess enthalpy generation in the negatively
polarized Pd/D-D2O system, which they attributed to
nuclear reactions. In the months and years that followed,
other manifestations of nuclear activities in this system
were observed, viz. tritium and helium production and
transmutation of elements. In this report, we present
additional evidence, namely, the emission of highly
energetic charged particles emitted from the Pd/D electrode
when this system is placed in either an external electrostatic
or magnetostatic field. The density of tracks registered by a
CR-39 detector was found to be of a magnitude that
provides undisputable evidence of their nuclear origin. The
experiments were reproducible. A model based upon
electron capture is proposed to explain the reaction
products observed in the Pd/D-D2O system.

So... they are discussiong a LENR technique, but crossing t's and dotting i's to try and break the 'pathological disbelief'. Its not 'new'... but it appears to have all the vestiges of a reputable publication and I am curious to hear how a non-believer will dismiss the work.

Ben.
 
  • #29
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
The previous article I cited had a similar critical response in the literature... silence. Perhaps because this thread is seen as a backwater by the respectable fellows.

So I am going to ponder a little... why does palladium have such a unique affinity to hydrogen? I am drawn to its electron configuration... 2-8-18-18-0 lifted from...

http://www.chemicalelements.com/show/electronconfig.html

Palladium seems quite unusual amongst the metals in its abscence of outer s shell electrons... which I believe the above site recognises by stating the 5s orbital is empty (0) whereas empty orbital in other entries are simply omitted.

My understanding of the adsorption of hydrogen into palladium is that surface defects on the lattice are critical and that palladium has an abundance of these. (3 defects need to coalesce as I believe latest research suggests) Repetative cycling of hydrogen loading/unloading leads to large cracks being formed in the lattice... so this notion doesn't seem to far fetched to me. Furthermore the abundance of surface defects seems a reasonable corollary of the empty 5s orbits... in a hand waving way.

Am I mistaken? Is this the reason why Palladium adsorbs hydrogen so readily?
I know from above this is related to the paper but your post taken alone would have a much better chance of an answer in the https://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=64", as there's nothing nuclear per se about it.
 
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  • #30
I know from above this is related to the paper but your post taken alone would have a much better chance of an answer in the https://www.physicsforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=64", as there's nothing nuclear per se about it.
Granted... but the known physical processes involved in the interaction of hydrogen with palladium atoms should be a crucial foundation for a systematic theoretical discussion of palladium and potential nuclear fusion reactions therein. I had hoped that followers of this thread were aware of the non controversial status quo before considering disputed ground be your stance pro or anti Palladium supported low energy nuclear reactions (LENR).

Before leaving this thread I will assert my own opinions on LENR and the role of palladium.

Palladiums unique proven ability is that of initiated the adsorption of hydrogen isotopes. I believe the relevance of this to nuclear fusion is simply fuel concentration. The action of electrolysis initiates a highly unstable and localised surface process on the palladium. I propose that a dielectric barrier discharge type phenomena is responsible for the instability/irreprodability observed. By analogy a similar electrolysis initiated surface barrier discharge process similar to the palladium case is more reliably initiated in aluminium/borax rectifiers (see http://home.earthlink.net/~lenyr/borax.htm and build one yourself... I personally found that some electrodes work well and others do not. When I say 'well' I am referring to a high density of flickering blue green spots as the barrier forms.)

So, how can the formation of a dielectric barrier have any relevance to nuclear fusion? Well a presumption of conventional nuclear fusion reaction dynamics involves binary reactions between ions. A stand out exception is that of muon catalysed reactions that have been shown to easily occur at room temperature. Electrons are generally not considered relevant in nuclear fusion reactions as the orbit of an electron bound to a nucleus is too diffuse to enhance nuclear reaction rates and the electron is stripped well before nuclear reactions occur. Quantum mechanics prevents a single electron providing better nuclear screening than offered in the bound ground state.

In an electrical 'arc' the physical system is a lot more complex. Experiments involving dusty plasmas suggest that in a charged flow dust particles order in space to form 'threads' aligned with the charged plasma flow. If dust particles are considered to be analogous to ions in a electron flow a similar ordering could act to narrow the electron flow in a high density discharge. In this region the passage of electrons through a column of space may create a region of charge screening dense enough to lower the required ion temperature for nuclear fusion reactions to occur with observable rate. I was once assured by a Magnetic Confinement Fusion boffin that arcs have insufficient temperature to initiate nuclear fusion reactions. This concept is the thread of interest that I hope to initiate once I muster the courage, however I will offer some observations to pique everyone interst. Satellite observations note more neutrons over the equator, attributed to greater atmospheric lightning, and neutrons have been observed to be released in lightning discharges by researchers in India. So, I propose that rather than a binary reaction, a many body reaction involving a stream of electrons in the region of a dielectric barrier breakdown is the mechanism of the observed LENR in palladium/deuterium electrolysis experiments. Palladiums principle role is that of providing a dense source of fuel ions. Particle accelerators by design primarily explore binary nuclear fusion reactions and explains why they fail to predict LENR in their data.
 
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  • #31
russ_watters
Mentor
20,140
6,668
Abstract: Almost two decades ago, Fleischmann and Pons
reported excess enthalpy generation in the negatively
polarized Pd/D-D2O system, which they attributed to
nuclear reactions. In the months and years that followed,
other manifestations of nuclear activities in this system
were observed, viz. tritium and helium production and
transmutation of elements.
Their factually incorrect statements about the history of the subject raise a red flag re their credibility. As we don't have access to the actual papers you have cited here, there is little that we can say about them - which is why you have been met with so much silence. But be advised that due to the history of fraud surrounding this topic, we are highly skeptical of the subject matter and keep a very short leash on such discussions. This leash includes a constraint against speculation and posing of unverified, unpublished theories as stated in our TOS (as in your last post).
 

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