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infinite energy

Issue 75
September/October 2007
Infinite Energy Magazine

August 2007 Colloquium on Lattice-Assisted Nuclear Reactions in Deuterated Metals

Scott Chubb and Christy Frazier

The 2007 Colloquium on Lattice-Assisted Nuclear Reactions in Deuterated Metals was held on August 18, 2007 in Room 34-101 at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The event was organized by MIT Prof. Peter Hagelstein, Dr. Mitchell Swartz, Gayle Verner, and others from JET Energy Advanced Systems and Concepts, and conducted with the MIT Electrical Engineering Energy Production and Conversion Group, and jointly sponsored by JET, Cold Fusion Times, and the New Energy Foundation. Helping throughout the day were Jeff Driscoll and representatives from aljan Multimedia (Alan Weinberg, Al Signore, Sarah Lavallee, and Joe Lavallee).

The jam-packed day began with an hour-long meet and greet coffee and continental breakfast session at 8:00 a.m., giving attendees a great chance to catch up with old friends, researchers, and presenters before the intensive program began.

At 9:00 a.m., the formal session began with an introduction and welcome from conference organizer Dr. Mitchell Swartz to the 50 or so attendees. This included a basic overview of the field, a brief survey of the range of positive results, and the role of the palladium metal lattice in producing the desired reactions, for those in the audience who were less-informed on the subject. He reviewed timely environmental matters, including exactly why cold fusion may be the clean energy source of the future.

swartz and forsley
Mitchell Swartz and Larry Forsley

The day-long colloquium was then broken up into approximately two-thirds experimental reports and one-thirds state-of-the-art theoretical understandings of the observations of cold fusion. In particular, the focus was on the role of the lattice in the nuclear reactions. Why, and how, was the lattice changing the output, and the rate, of the reactions over what was normally expected? How could material science and engineering lead to a better description of what has been seen? What have been the experimental findings which demonstrate these cold fusion reactions to indeed be nuclear? And how have the output powers, efficiencies, and findings changed over the last several years?

Dr. Scott Chubb gave a brief overview of the events at the recent (June 2007) ICCF13 conference, held in Russia. (See the report on this conference in this issue, p. 16.)

Prof. Peter Hagelstein presented a “Review of Experimental Findings Involving Deuterated Metals.” He summarized key results from the white paper that he, Michael McKubre, David Nagel, Talbot Chubb, and Randall Heckman prepared for the “re-review of cold fusion” that took place at the end of 2003. A very important fact associated with this is that a consensus has evolved that a particular d+d reaction can explain the “cold fusion” effect that has been ignored in conventional nuclear physics approaches associated with understanding the relevant physics. The key reaction does occur, but infrequently, not because of exotic effects involving alternative forms of reaction. It occurs rarely in conventional fusion, but because at lower energy, effects involving “the lattice” can be important. In this talk, Prof. Hagelstein summarized work he has done in addressing this question.

miti editors
Infinite Energy Editors Peter Graneau, Bill Zebuhr and Scott Chubb

Dr. Mitchell Swartz discussed “Excess Heat Measurements in Deuterated Palladium,” specifically related to his own work in cold fusion going back to 1989, and involving several types of materials, configurations, and developments leading up to the Phusor devices. Over two decades, Dr. Swartz’s research has led to this new kind of engineered cold fusion structure that has impressive energy gain and fairly good reproducibility. These contain either low paramagnetic heavy water, select solutions, or codepositional solutions (D2O,PdCl2) which load the lattice, as a cathode appearing as a tightly wound Pd or other metal coil. (See more on Dr. Swartz’s experiments in the sidebar on pp. 23-24 of Infinite Energy; this material is not included here.) As an electrical engineer and physician, Dr. Swartz has brought an important, different background in addressing potential flaws relevant to investigations and by improving several types of calibrations used during the measuring process. An important theme is that initially it was difficult to understand what was going on with cold fusion, but this situation is changing. Dr. Swartz showed videos of his latest cold fusion driven Stirling engines. They appear to have undergone changes, with an increase in excess power by about a factor of ten since he first showed them at the MIT Colloquium in 2005. Dr. Swartz must be commended for his persistence and genius in identifying key parameters and results associated with performing new and forefront forms of measurements that will be invaluable for advancing our understanding of the associated phenomena.

At 12:30, the session broke for a buffet lunch of delicious Indian cuisine. Kudos to Mitch and his team for feeding everyone so well.

After the lunch break, Dr. Peter Graneau spoke on “Hydrogen Binding Energies and Their Role in Hurricanes.” He has identified novel effects associated with how water can be transformed through electromagnetism. It clearly is true that within conventional thinking about this subject, limited knowledge exists. Water is formed from a potentially extremely complicated structure, in which it is entirely possible that forms of bonding can take place that we simply do not understand.

Dr. Michael Melich discussed “Some Thoughts on the Creation of Useful Models of CMNS Systems,” including experiences he has had associated with convincing other people that something “real” is involved in cold fusion. He identified a potentially important way to convince people that the effects might be real by appealing to “conditional probability” ideas that, in fact, form the basis of speculative arguments that can mimic human activity. Specifically, E.T. Jaynes has pointed out that within the context of probability theory, biases can and do occur. Dr. Melich and his colleague, Dr. Rodney Johnson, have used what Jaynes has suggested, quantitatively, to illustrate how biases can become dominant.

Dr. Larry Forsley presented on “Gamma Emissions from CR39 Films Near Codeposited Deuterated Palladium.” Dr. Ludwik Kowalski and Rick Cantwell also presented on the topic. Dr. Forsley’s and Dr. Kowalski’s presentations related to work they presented during the March 2007 meeting of the American Physical Society—replicating effects that have been observed by Stan Szpak, Pamela Mosier-Boss, and Frank Gordon.

Dr. Mitchell Swartz then spoke on “Optimal Operating Point Operation and Tardive Thermal Power in Deuterated Palladium” and taught some of his methods of improved calibration, including how dual-ohmic control (DOC) systems [which he first introduced at ICCF10 in the open demonstration] can identify excess energy given off after driving electrical input power is shut off, but calibrating for the calorimeter, too. This other energy (compared to conventional excess energy) is what Dr. Swartz calls “tardive thermal power” or “heterodyne energy.” The time integral of tardive thermal power is “heat after death.” He showed how knowledge of the active populations in the lattice can be revealed during this time. He also demonstrated how he is controlling “heat after death” by manipulating the amplitude of the tardive thermal power several ways. He and Gayle Verner, who assisted him, have developed Optimal Operating Point (OOP) technology, which utilizes the very narrow regions of successful cold fusion product-output, including power generation, all viewed along the input power axis—the OOP manifolds. Dr. Swartz taught the importance of “driving” cold fusion systems at their peak maximum points in the OOP manifold. He indicated that OOPs describe the general behavior of not only his own cold fusion systems, but also the work of Miles, Szpak, Arata, Mizuno, Storms, and others. Where other people see irreproducibility, Dr. Swartz sees a potentially active cold fusion system which might not be “driven” properly, but which—under the “lens” of the OOP manifold—then develops a way to control how cold fusion reactions appear. The OOP work has led to better control of the devices, better understanding of the reactions, and has enabled other research into cold fusion cathode laser irradiation.

Dr. Brian Ahern presented his ball lightning-related work with Jeff Driscoll, “Search for Magnetic Monopoles by High Energy Arc Explosion in Liquid Water.” Ahern described a number of experiments that he performed involving extraordinary effects that were related to experiments with highly non-linear forms of electromagnetic interaction. Whether or not these effects are related to cold fusion or other effects (for example, those observed by Ken Shoulders) is an open question. Historically, novel effects are grouped with each other. An interesting point is that Dr. Ahern has been involved with managing programs involving nano-scale structures. It might be true that in this very different (nano-scale) kind of environment, some of the “ball lightning” kinds of effects or ideas associated with them can be important.

Prof. Peter Hagelstein’s second presentation was deeper theory, on “Phonon Theory Involving Deuterated Metals.” He gave an overview of his idea that because of potential coherent forms of coupling, involving vibrations (phonons) in an approximately ordered lattice locally at a particular lattice site, deuterons can potentially collide. Because the underlying formulation involves an infinitely-extending lattice, his model requires imperfect conditions, associated with defects. Prof. Hagelstein has also suggested that high energy particles, in the Oriani work where neutrons are observed in plastic (CR-39) films that are observed outside potentially reactive cells in entirely unexpected ways, could be related to multiple-neutron clusters (as in the model that John Fisher has suggested).

Dr. Scott Chubb ended the session in the early evening with his presentation, “Symmetry and Finite Size in the Quantum Electrodynamics of Lattice-Assisted (d)-d Fusion.” As mentioned in the editorial in this issue, it is possible through forms of resonance, involving time dependent changes in the electromagnetic fields, that small changes in the loading of deuterium (D) into palladium-deuteride (PdD) can induce small variations in the way deuterons (d’s) move over time and create forms of resonance in which the momentum of each d oscillates for a while, and at specific times (defined by the size and structure of PdD lattice), the collection of d’s and their electrons impart momentum to the lattice rigidly, in such a way that the lattice moves as a whole. This kind of effect can lead to a kind of situation that leads to a picture that is very similar to the kind of picture that Giuliano Preparata  based his theory on. An important difference is that Chubb includes in his model wave-like features, involving the d’s and electrons that allow for the lattice to accelerate coherently. The associated physics provides a way to explain how the gamma ray that occurs in conventional d+d arrow helium-4+gamma, can be converted into X-rays and lower frequency forms of electromagnetic radiation and/or phonons. Dr. Chubb also made some predictions, using semi-classical band theory, and a generalization of it (in which photons obey the same kind of rules, based on Bloch symmetry that electrons obey) that is required in sufficiently small crystals.

While most cold fusion/LENR sessions are ignored by the mainstream press, Wired Magazine sent reporter Mark Anderson to the session; he has published an online story, “Cold-Fusion Graybeards Keep the Research Coming”.

Mitch Swartz and Peter Hagelstein are to be commended for another successful, exciting session at MIT. Infinite Energy’s founding editor, Dr. Eugene Mallove, was again recognized; his legacy and memory truly lives on in these sessions. Gene loved attending and presenting at these sessions and would have enjoyed spending another day at his old stomping grounds, MIT!

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