The Impact and Importance of the International Society for CMNS
Christy L. Frazier
The International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ISCMNS) has just entered its 18th year of service to the cold fusion field. Formed in 2004, the Society’s main functions include: publishing the electronic Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (JCMNS), hosting the International Workshops on Anomalies in Hydrogen Loaded Metals, awarding prizes, distributing news, maintaining a website with an extensive digitalized library of papers. These services are mainly financed by donations and surpluses from conference fees. One can make a direct donation to the ISCMNS efforts.
The JCMNS is in its 15th year of publication. There are 34 distinct issues (called volumes). Jean-Paul Biberian is Editor-in-Chief, assisted by a six-member Editorial Board that reviews papers; these positions are overseen by the ISCMNS’ Executive Committee. Links to the full free issues are available online. The site also has a complete alphabetical by author index of all papers appearing in JCMNS. (A short interview with Biberian appears after the interview below with ISCMNS Chief Executive William Collis.)
At ICCF24, Edmund Storms will receive the ISCMNS’ Minoru Toyoda Gold Medal. Made of 94 grams of 18 carat gold, the medal has only been awarded one other time: to Martin Fleischmann in 2009. It is awarded to someone who has made “outstanding contribution to the promotion and progress of CMNS.” (See an interview with Storms in Issue 161.) ISCMNS has awarded the Giuliano Preparata Medal to 20 cold fusion researchers.
At ICCF14 in 2008, the ISCMNS provided a complimentary CD to all attendees that included: the entirety of its photo archive of conferences in the field, the holdings of the lenr-canr library archive as of that date, videos, miscellaneous other papers and the publication collection of Hal Fox (Fusion Facts, Journal of New Energy, New Energy News). It is a wealth of information and is available for only $5 from Infinite Energy.
The 15th Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen Loaded Metals will be held from September 25-29, 2022 near Assisi in central Italy and is still accepting registrations. This conference series began in 1993, before the formation of the ISCMNS, and is usually held in Italy. Since 1997, the workshops have been organized by William Collis, founder and Chief Executive of the ISCMNS. He has worked tirelessly to ensure the continuation of the annual workshops, publication of the journal and awarding of prizes. Collis graciously answered a few questions about the Society and the Workshop.
What is the current number of members in the Society, and how many countries are represented?
We are 220 members from 25 different countries.
Should everyone interested in CMNS join the Society?
Membership of ISCMNS is open to any adult. In practice, the majority of members are scientists and engineers. It’s also a way for industry to make contact.
What is the significance of the Latin phrase “Ardet Nec Consumitur” on the ISCMNS website?
Translated, it means “It burns but is not consumed.” It sums up the observation that there are some reactions that are so energetic that not even the fuel can be identified.
Of the many activities that ISCMNS plans or is involved with, what effort do you think has had the most impact on the field?
Well, the workshops require the most effort and possibly have the greatest impact. But the ISCMNS online library is a valuable resource too, with over 1400 complete papers.
If money was no issue, are there certain projects or plans you would like to see the ISCMNS carry out or work on?
I would like to see ISCMNS coordinate collaboration without the excessive secrecy that sometimes exists. One problem is that industry jealously guards its know-how, but maybe coordination by a non-profit entity would be helpful. Many of the current projects are very similar (e.g. demonstration of the anomalous heat effect, AHE). If everybody duplicates the same kind of research, valuable resources are wasted. Coordination is important. In particular, the many calorimetric studies no longer advance the field and may actually be counter-productive as it makes it appear that researchers are unsure of the reality of the effect. On the other hand, calorimetry correlated with other measurements is still useful. Of course, the AHE is going to be of enormous industrial importance. But merely demonstrating it is not. CMNS studies should be more focused on the science and not on the engineering.
It would also be useful to coordinate Intellectual Property collaboration. A specific example might be the creation of patent pools—a sort of industrial club where members would be guaranteed access to Intellectual Property at commercial rates. This could encourage investment by industry.
At ICCF24, the Toyoda Gold Medal will be awarded to Edmund Storms. Can you tell us a bit about why the Executive Committee selected Storms for this prestigious award?
The committee, and the community, regards Storms as one of the foremost experimental researchers in the field who has dedicated much of the last 33 years to determining the fundamental parameters to reliably achieve anomalous effects. In addition, he has developed his own instrumentation and taught others to do so.
You have been organizing the annual Workshops for almost three decades. Are you able to come up with a few highlights of the program that stand out to you over that long period of time?
The most important aspect of scientific meetings is the informal networking. This takes place during question time, at coffee breaks, during meals, etc. I’m not saying that formal presentations are unimportant, but often many of the results described do not go on to be particularly useful in the long term. That’s perfectly normal in science. But in the short term they stimulate new ideas, diagnostics and methodologies. For example, the first demonstration using flow calorimetry, that the nickel hydrogen system produced excess heat, was presented at the 3rd workshop in 1997. People forget that in the early 1990s many thought that cold fusion only involved deuterium and palladium, and ignored the light hydrogen work. Then transmutation of heavy elements was reported in the 1990s. Unfortunately theorists generally have not been able to propose any consistent mechanism to explain these results. Clear theoretical predictions have slowed down experiments.
What do you expect for the 2022 Workshop? Are there any particular results or presentations you are excited about, even though the program is not yet finalized?
It’s too early to tell, as not all abstracts have been received. But my guess is that the European Union funded Clean Metal Hydrogen Energy consortium will present some innovative results. They will be holding their own private meeting at the Workshop.
Would you like to make any general statements about the state or status of the CMNS field?
If we are to make progress in CMNS, we need to understand the underlying processes—presumably nuclear processes. For two decades we have speculated that industrial applications were just round the corner, but this has not materialized. But even if it were to happen, no government authority would license use of an unknown nuclear technology.
First we need to identify nuclear products. This requires making nuclear measurements and isotopic identification. Knowing the products, we may be able to identify the corresponding reactions that create them. Knowing the reactions, we can identify the most appropriate fuels.
The fact that very few researchers report nuclear measurements at all is disturbing. When they are made, often using cheap Geiger counters, there is no follow up to identify the signal! It’s as if the measurements are made purely to satisfy laboratory safety requirements rather than advance the science. No wonder mainstream nuclear scientists are skeptical.
There are also some low energy puzzles to be solved. For example, why is a modest external energy required? Why can’t we just have a self-sustaining device? Why are such diverse external energy sources—such as temperature, pressure, voltage, laser stimulation, etc.—effective? How is it possible that nuclear reactions can continue in hot spots of molten metal where any structure would be destroyed?
Personally I think whoever identifies the nuclear process(es) will deserve another gold medal. Maybe they will get a Nobel Prize too! I am optimistic about the future even if I am frustrated by the slow progress. My guess is that a multi-disciplinary team of chemists and nuclear physicists will find the answers.
A Brief Conversation with J-P. Biberian, Editor of JCMNS
IE: What was the impetus for founding the free digital Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (JCMNS) in 2007?
Biberian: When cold fusion was announced on March 23, 1989, a lot of scientists tried to replicate the initial work of Fleischmann and Pons. Many journals accepted publication of papers, mainly negative ones. But as the field was blacklisted soon after, it became difficult to publish anything positive. A couple of journals with open editors accepted papers, but a few years later it dried out. At the ICCF10 conference, in 2003, it became obvious that we needed our own journal. Actually, there are three types of scientific journals. The first one is very technical and is read mainly by the people of the field; every field has one of this kind. Then there are more general journals that cover a larger field of science, like journals of chemistry, physics, nuclear science, etc. Then there is another level that covers the whole field of science, like Nature and Science. Our goal in starting JCMNS was to be like the first type, technical and mainly for those within the field. No other journal existed, so we started one! We hope that it is accessible to all readers, not just those in the field.
IE: JCMNS is subtitled “Experiments and Methods in Cold Fusion.” Why do you think it is important to publish both experimental and theoretical papers?
Biberian: The journal covers both experimental and theoretical fields because both are important. First of all, we need many experimental data so that the reality of the phenomenon cannot be challenged, but also these data will help develop theories that ultimately could explain the mechanisms of the reactions. So, both are important, but experimental facts are premium, because without that no theory can be established. One day a theory will help improve the yields of the reactions.
IE: You have released 34 issues (volumes) since 2007. That is impressive for an all-volunteer staff, especially since the published material is of such high quality.
Biberian: We publish an average of two volumes per year. There are now two types of volumes—on one side the regular volumes coming from people submitting papers, and on the other hand we now publish the proceedings of the conferences, those of the ICCF series, but also other workshops. We are fortunate to have an esteemed Editorial Board, currently consisting of Prof. Peter Hagelstein, Dr. Michael McKubre, Prof. George Miley, Dr. Edmund Storms, Prof. Akito Takahashi and Prof. Xing-Zhong Li.
IE: Have you found that JCMNS has brought any new people into the field, i.e. authors who submitted to the journal before they were well-known within the field?
Biberian: Most people publishing in the journal are from the cold fusion community, however, we now receive papers from outside of it, mainly theoretical ones.
IE: What do you think is the greatest impact of JCMNS?
Biberian: What makes this journal so important is that it collects almost all the work done in cold fusion. This is very useful for people interested in the subject, both insiders, but also new people wishing to discover it. It is a way to quickly grasp the extent of the work done by hundreds of people all over the world. Visit the journal website for more information.