Brief Summary of Important Scientific Results Presented at the 8th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals
The 8th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals was held at the Sheraton Catania Hotel in Catania, Sicily, Italy, from October 13 through October 18, 2007. The workshop, which was sponsored by the Japan Cold Fusion Society, the Fulvio Frisone Foundation, Infinite Energy Magazine, the Sheraton Catania Hotel, and the International Society of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, is the eighth in a series (since 1997), that has evolved out of an earlier conference series (referred to as the Asti conferences) that have been officially held in Italy since 1993. Fausto Lanfranco of Fiat organized the initial series of conferences. In 1997, Bill Collis took over this responsibility when the emphasis of the work presented shifted from general cold fusion phenomena to anomalies in hydrogen- and deuterium-loaded metals. A potentially important development in the organizational structure or sponsorship of these workshops is the fact that political support has recently been extended by the local (Regione Siciliana) government, through its support of the conference via a key sponsor, an evolving, non-profit organization, the Fulvio Frisone Foundation.
Fulvio Frisone is widely recognized as overcoming extraordinary adversity in his life by becoming an outstanding, renowned nuclear physicist, in spite of the physical hardship that he has experienced (being born without being able to speak or move his arms or legs) throughout his life. And, as reported by William Collis (IE #75), on February 22, 2007, the Italian television network RAI-1 broadcast a dramatization of Frisone’s life as a cold fusion physicist. The title of the film is “Il Figlio della Luna” (“The Son of the Moon”). The film premiere was shown at the Teatro Sangiorgi in Catania, Sicily after a press conference on February 19. At that time, the Honorable Salvo Fleres, vice-president of the Sicilian Regional Assembly (parliament) announced that William Collis would be organizing the 8th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals and that this conference would be sponsored by the Fulvio Frisone Foundation. The film was later shown at the workshop on October 14.
It is worthwhile noting that Fulvio Frisone’s accomplishments have become so well-known in Sicily that his life has been inspirational. Not only is he a professor of nuclear physics, but he is also a painter. In the truest sense, he is an advocate of scientific truth and idealism. It truly was a pleasure to learn about his many accomplishments. His genuine authenticity, sincerity, forthrightness, and intensity are rare qualities, even in individuals who have not faced the severe difficulties that he has faced.
During the opening session of the conference on the evening of Saturday, October 13, welcoming speeches were given by Truglio Sebastiano, executive director of the Fulvio Frisone Foundation, Rosario D’Agata, member of the Fulvio Frisone Foundation Science Committee, Lombardo Raffaele, president of the Province of Catania, and Salvo Fleres, president of the Fulvio Frisone Foundation and vice-president of the Sicilian Regional Assembly.
Overview of the Conference
During his opening remarks, Bill Collis announced that 94 people had registered for the conference. The list of attendees included 29 people from Italy, 5 from France, 2 from the UK, 1 from Romania, 1 from Belarus, 9 from Russia, 1 from Kazakstan, 4 from Israel, 1 from Norway, 4 from Finland, 29 from the U.S., 3 from Japan, and 4 from China. Collis received 58 abstracts for the conference. Each presentation had an abstract associated with it, which provided useful background material. The abstracts and program are available online, www.iscmns.org/catania07/program.htm. PDFs of the original Powerpoint versions of many of the presentations are also available at the same site (/Abstracts.pdf). In total, the workshop included 42 plenary session presentations (each lasting about 25 minutes, followed by a five minute question and answer period), and an additional 16 poster presentations. As opposed to earlier workshops in the series, in this workshop many topics associated with Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) but not directly related to anomalies in loading were included. For this reason, a number of participants expressed the concern that the focus of the workshop had strayed from topics related to the relevant science (as defined by earlier workshops) and that the workshop had been broadened into a form that more closely resembles the International Conferences on Cold Fusion, rather than the kind of less formal, more focused meetings that had taken place in previous workshops. One possible reason for this might be the fact that there were many more attendees from the U.S. and countries associated with the former Soviet Union.
In the poster sessions, a wide range of topics were covered, including, for example, presentations related to “Accelerated Deactivation of Reactor Cs-137 Isotope in Growing Biological Cells” and “Investigation of Light Magnetic Monopoles and Observation of Monopole Nuclear Catalysis,” which really are not directly related to anomalies in deuterium/hydrogen loading in metals. In fact, in the plenary sessions, much of the focus of the material did relate to topics associated with these kinds of anomalies. In what follows, I will summarize the most important results associated with these presentations. As I said, much of the material from the conference, including presentations associated with some of the more bizarre studies of LENR, are available at the ISCMNS website.
Highlights of the Scientific Program
The first four talks of the initial session (morning of October 14) implicitly and explicitly dealt with anomalies associated with loading. The opening remarks provided by Bill Collis, although not directly related to this topic, implicitly dealt with the subject by providing an overview of the conference and the sources of information about the topic (which include a DVD, Proceedings from the 1997 Asti Conference, and from ICCF11 and ICCF12) that are available through the International Society of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science.
Professor George Miley (from the University of Illinois) gave the second talk. Before the talk, Dr. Francesco Celani (from ENEA, Frascati) honored Miley by giving him the Giuliano Preparata Award, in recognition of his forefront research in experiments related to LENR. In his talk, Professor Miley recounted his experiences interacting with Giuliano Preparata. As Steven Krivit reports:
Miley called [Giuliano Preparata] “a true pioneer in cold fusion theory” [and he also said], “Anyone who attended an ICCF meeting before 2000 remembers the brilliant and fiery theoretical physicist, Giuliano Preparata. He provided new insight into the deep mysteries of cold fusion and greatly enlivened the meetings with his lively debates.”
In fact, Giuliano Preparata, Talbot Chubb, and I suggested at an early stage in the cold fusion debate that the limit of near unity loading (defined by the limit in which x→1 in the compound PdDx) could be important for triggering excess heat phenomena.
In my talk, I further elaborated on particular aspects of Giuliano Preparata’s theory. Although during the early stages of the debate Giuliano and I disagreed about the language and context of our theories, with time I have come to believe that the underlying picture that Giuliano suggested, involving long wavelength, cooperative oscillations of deuterons in PdD, is physically sound. However, his picture was not widely accepted because the language that he used (involving a “plasma-like” state) is extremely foreign to most condensed matter physicists. Also, his theory, which involved a semi-classical picture, appeared to many of us to be overly-simplified since it failed to include effects (involving coherence, through particle exchange symmetry) that are known to be important in solids. I pointed out that in a more realistic semi-classical limit in which the effects of particle exchange are included by allowing many deuterons to occupy a single ion energy band state, the kind of long wavelength oscillation that he envisioned could occur through an effect, initially suggested by Felix Bloch, in which charged particles are allowed to oscillate in an elastic coherent fashion. The associated effect, which occurs in the limit in which quasi-particle collisions are stifled, has been difficult to observe in conventional situations involving electrons in solids. However, this is not true when neutral, ultra-cold atoms interact with optical lattices. I suggested it also applies in the peculiar, anomalous loading limit associated with PdD1±δ, in which δ is sufficiently small, that can occur during the prolonged electrolysis of D2O by Pd.
Dr. John Fisher’s talk involved an argument (associated with a postulated new form of matter, involving many neutrons that are cooperatively coupled to each other) that is also is related to a “novel” form of loading anomaly, in which no loading whatsoever takes place. In particular, Richard Oriani (Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota) has performed experiments, involving a form of electrolysis, in which far away from the electrodes, and well outside the apparatus, showers of neutrons are observed, in plastic (CR-39) films. Dr. Fisher has used his poly-neutron theory as a starting point for analyzing Professor Oriani’s results.
Five of the more important experimental talks, associated with loading anomalies and LENR effects, were presented during the second session on the afternoon of Sunday, October 14, and during the fourth session in the late morning/early afternoon of Monday, October 15. The Sunday talks were: 1) “High Temperature Experiments, by Differential Reactor, on Deuterium Absorbed by HSA Pd-black or Al2O3-Pd-Sr(NO3) 2 Nanopowder” by Dr. Francesco Celani (ENEA, Frascati, Italy) and 2) “Excitation of Hydrogen Sub-system in Metals by External Influence” by Professor Ivan Chernov (Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, Russia).
Dr. Celani explained details about experiments he has performed in which he has obtained excess heat, reproducibly, using the kind of gas-loading techniques involving subjecting nano-scale High Surface Area (HSA) Pd black crystals to higher temperature D2 gas, that Yoshiaki Arata presented during ICCF12, and using a new HAS nano-scale material, involving a new nano-porous γAl2O3 compound that is filled with soluble salts of Pd and Sr (called nAlPdSr). Two important discoveries that Celani and his collaborators have made are: 1) In order to use the Pd-black compounds to obtain excess heat, the loading process has to be conducted in a sufficiently gentle manner that the Pd-black crystals are not “destroyed” and 2) The loading process in the new nano-porous γAl2O3 compound containing the Pd and Sr double salts is considered more robust and, as opposed to a situation in which the substrate can be used only once (which is the situation with Pd-black), this alternative compound can be used multiple times before it is destroyed by the loading process.
Professor Ivan Chernov’s talk described experiments in which hydrogen that is present in a sample is cooperatively excited (in which many hydrogen atoms leave the sample) either by irradiation by radiation or electron beams. (These results provide strong evidence for a hydrogen/deuterium cooperative effect during excitation that could be important in LENR involving cold fusion-like experiments.)
The important talks that were presented on Monday were: 1) “Report on Electrolysis Experiments at Energetics Technologies” by Shaul Lesin (Energetics, Ltd., Israel); 2) “From Cold Fusion to Condensed Matter Nuclear Science” by Michael C.H. McKubre (SRI, USA); and 3) “Excess Heat Production During D2 Diffusion Through Palladium” by Professor Jean-Paul Biberian (Universite Mediterranee). The third talk, by professor Biberian, summarized experiments that he has carried out with Nicholas Armanet, which are similar to Francesco Celani’s attempts to reproduce Yoshiaki Arata’s nanoparticle Pd-black, gas loading findings. The new results, in the context of the Catania meeting, involved a more detailed analysis of results that Armanet presented during ICCF13 (as reported in issue 75).
Lesin and McKubre focused on applications of the superwave technique (invented by Dr. Irv Dardik) in excess heat experiments, developed by the Israeli company Energetics, Ltd. Through a multi-national team effort, the associated technology has been transferred to the U.S. company SRI and to the Italian laboratory ENEA Frascati. Lesin reported results associated with further development of the technology at Energetics. In particular, the associated procedure involves non-linearly pulsing an electrolyte electrolytic or bath in a glow discharge experiment with a continuously varying wave-form (a superwave). Lesin reported being able to produce excess power (at the level of ~7-8 W) from an input power (~0.1 W) that is 70 times less (which corresponds to increase in power of approximately 7,000%). Michael McKubre reported that they had been able to apply the superwave technique, based on the Energetics, Ltd. method, to produce excess heat, reliably, in experiments carried out at SRI. On Wednesday, Dr. Vittorio Violante presented an equally important talk (“Joint Scientific Advances in Condensed Matter Nuclear Science”), in which he reported that the Energetics, Ltd. superwave technique had also been successfully implemented in his laboratory at ENEA Frascati. In his talk, Dr. Violante also discussed procedures for developing electrodes that reliably produce excess heat.
The final series of important talks, involving anomalous loading effects, are associated with the Galileo Project that Steven Krivit has managed. In this project, experiments initially developed using the SPAWAR co-deposition procedure (described in my issue 69 article, titled “Hidden Brooks of Knowledge and Strength, High Energy Particles in LENR Experiments, and Nature’s Inaccurate Reporting of the Bubble Fusion Controversy”), in which Pd and D are simultaneously deposited onto a substrate. In the presence of external electric and magnetic fields, in the initial (SPAWAR) experiments, it was possible to identify evidence of X-rays and high energy alpha particles, using (CR-39) plastic films. On October 16, Francis Tanzella and Larry Forsley presented results, based on this method, that are directly associated with detecting not only alpha particles but other high energy particles. Francis Tanzella (SRI) reported using a neutron detector, located outside the co-deposition apparatus, in order to monitor the environment for potential neutron discharge from the apparatus. In fact, somewhat remarkably, he reported seeing a significant neutron burst during a significant period of time. Larry Forsley reported seeing gamma rays and more indirect evidence of neutrons.
Also, as part of the Galileo Project effort, Steve Krivit funded efforts by Andrei Lipson and Alexei Roussetski to analyze tracks observed in earlier CR-39 films. Although a consensus has not been reached about the validity of some of the results from the Galileo Project, the work by Forsley and Tanzella was favorably reviewed. On Tuesday, Steve Krivit provided an overview of what had taken place in the Galileo Project.