In Memory of Yuri Bazhutov
Photos courtesy of David Nagel
A leading Russian cold fusion/transmutation researcher and advocate has died. Dr. Yuri Bazhutov, who passed away on March 9, 2018 at the age of 70, was an active member of and leader in the LENR community until the end.
Bazhutov received a Ph.D. from Lomonosov Moscow State University in 1984, after working at the University’s Scientific Research Institute of Nuclear Physics on cosmic rays since 1974. It was here that he began to develop the theory of a new hadron (which he later called an Erzion).
After leaving the Scientific Research Institute of Nuclear Physics in 1986, Bazhutov moved on to the Central Research Institute of Machine Building. Here he fully developed the Erzion model of cold nuclear transmutation and began experimentation. During this time he founded and chaired the Tsniimash & Korolev Physical Society.
In 1992, Bazhutov formed and directed the Erzion Research Center, after receiving investment to further research the Erzion model and experiments. (For more details on the Erzion model, see the memorial tributes below from colleagues.)
Bazhutov was also a professor at the Moscow Technical University from 1997 to 2002, and worked for the Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowave Propagation at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He contracted with the Kurchatov Institute to conduct cold nuclear transmutation experiments.
Bazhutov began organizing an annual Russian Conference on Cold Nuclear Transmutation in 1993. He organized or chaired this conference every year for 24 years, with the last held in September 2017. He and Russian colleagues also organized the 13th International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF13) in 2007.
There is a good interview from October 2017 with Bazhutov, from a Russian technology company he was an advisor for, Synthestech. Read Marianne Macy’s 2011 interview with Bazhutov about the development of the Erzion model.
Dr. Bazhutov will be missed by the cold fusion community. We hope that his colleagues carry on his legacy, not just with the Erzion model but also with the annual Russian conference. A few of Dr. Bazhutov’s colleagues have provided the following wonderful tributes about the man and his work.
Irina Savvatimova, Albina Gerasimova, Alla Kornilova, Nikolai Samsonenko, Natalia Famina, Alexey Russetsky, Sergei Tcvetkov, Alexander Parkhomenko, Anatoly Klimov, Vladimir Bichkov, Anatoly Nikitin, Inessa Stakhanova, Sergei Godin and many others:
Yuri Nikolaevich Bazhutov has gone, very suddenly and untimely.
As a nuclear physicist Yuri dedicated all his life to science and, in particular, to the field of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (cold fusion). It seemed that he would be forever with us, full of untiring enthusiasm and optimism, always seeking quick solutions to difficult problems (as in organizing his last 24th Russian LENR/Cold Fusion and Ball Lightning Conference).
He managed to find substitutes to a succession of chairmen for the Russian LENR Coordinating Board, and was always trying to popularize his field; he made hundreds of experiments to prove his theoretical assumptions and eventually succeeded in recruiting his own team of dedicated fellow researchers and friends.
Yuri had been living in his theories and assumptions, trying to work out a clear and articulate explanation for his experimental data and observations. He was always trying to convince his friends and colleagues that he was right.
He organized and chaired 24 Russian cold fusion and ball lightning conferences and successfully published all the proceedings. He took part in the majority of ICCFs and ISCMNS Workshops, working on Organizing Committees and presiding over numerous sessions. He had already started preparations for the 25th Russian LENR conference, scheduled for September 2018. His contribution to LENR in Russia and worldwide is enormous.
Our science has suffered a great and irreparable loss. Yuri Bazhutov will remain in our hearts forever. At this hard and mournful moment our thoughts are with his wife, his family, his friends and colleagues.
For over 25 years I have been championing the Exotic Neutral Particle (ENP) theories of Yuri Bazhutov and John Fisher, respectively their Erzion and Polyneutron proposals, which were developed completely independently and yet have so much in common. The beauty of these theories is multiple. Firstly, by invoking neutral catalytic particles to transfer neutrons from one nucleus to another, they bypass any Coulomb barrier. And with no Coulomb barrier, even heavy isotopes can be transmuted. Secondly, because these catalyzed neutron transfers also require the breaking of nuclear neutron bonds, the overall energy released is modest, just a few MeV. And this explains a fundamental observation, that CMNS does not create residual radioactivity. Few theorists address the problem, but Yuri did. But somehow outside Russia, his contributions to CMNS did not get the attention they deserved.
Yuri was well known for his series of Russian Conference on Cold Nuclear Transmutation and Ball Lightning held in Sochi on the Black Sea. The latest, the 24th, was organized last September. His leadership will be missed.
Yuri Nikolaevich Bazhutov was an independent thinker and a very strong force in the organization particularly of Russian cold fusion science. I spent many splendid days on the Black Sea at Abrau-Durso and Dagomys attending conferences coordinated by Yuri, for the first few traveling 36 hours by train each way from Moscow to Sochi. These were in many ways other-worldly experiences that I will treasure forever, forming many new friendships and learning new things from Russian (and Eastern Bloc) science. These experiences were life-changing. Yuri’s concept of the Erzion was something entirely novel to me and opened an altogether new way of thinking. I had previously heard the concept of massive particles to catalyze nuclear or neutron interaction only from the lips of Edward Teller (his “Meshuganon”—as he described the meaning “crazy but not necessarily repulsive”). Yuri introduced us to a pantheon of particles, Erzions. First formulated in 1981 to explain cosmic anomalies, Yuri argued that these massive hadrons, in complex interaction, could solve the riddle of not just cold fusion but also other important condensed matter nuclear reactions.
As well as an active theorist and experimentalist, Yuri Bazhutov was an influential and important member of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the ICCF conference series. Yuri argued that Russia does not fit naturally into the regular continental rotation of the ICCF conferences: Americas-Europe-Asia (or fits too well), that the Eastern Bloc contributed an important fraction of the science and innovation of ICCF content, and that travel to the west was difficult from these countries. He pushed hard for an ICCF in Russia and with the Americans bowing out of rotation Yuri Bazhutov (Russian Academy of Sciences), Igor Goryachev (Kurchatov Institute), Nikolai Samsonenko (People’s Friendship University) and Irina Savvatimova (Federal State Unitary Enterprise), with help from many others, were able to pull off what was in many ways one of the most interesting and memorable ICCF conferences. In June 2007 Yuri Bazhutov chaired ICCF13 held in Dagomys on the shores of the Black Sea near Sochi.
Both as a community and individually we will miss Yuri’s strong presence. Active free thinkers are very few indeed and are increasingly desperately needed. His ever-present smile and booming voice filled whichever room he was in. We will miss Yuri’s contributions to the International Advisory Committee (IAC) and his tireless energy in steering what I believe is the most sustained series of cold fusion conferences, now designated as the Russian Conference on Cold Nuclear Transmutation and Ball Lightning, RCCNT&BL. I do hope that this conference series survives him, and that collectively we can resolve the mystery of the Erzion without his leadership. Wherever you are Yuri, we miss you.
I knew Yuri for several decades. He was very enthusiastic and a “hot” supporter of “cold” fusion. He was both an effective scientist and a very effective scientific manager. He was very active in his own research and especially in the organization of his own conferences. He organized and conducted more than 20 conferences, which were a place of active discussion of the most hot and expressive problems of LENR.
Yuri was devoted to his idea of the Erzions all his life and always pursued it in his research. Some in the field argued with Yuri, but it was a controversy to find the truth.
Unfortunately, I am not sure if anyone can replace Yuri in his missionary activity. I do not yet see such an active and penetrating person in Russia today as Yuri has been all these years. We will always remember him.