Original reporting on
research and technologies May 10, 2008 -- Issue #28
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This letter is in response to the letter "Solar panels will not prevent energy crisis," in Natuurwetenschappen en Techniek, Page 68, January 2008, from professor Mischa Bonn about the inadequacy of alternative energy sources and the inconvenience of nuclear fission.
Fusion of deuterium into helium-4 gives a yield of 17 MeV. That is more than enough for a global economy based on clean hydrogen for electricity and transport. Heavy water content in plain water is 150 ppm; the stock of deuterium is immeasurable. Nuclear deuterium-deuterium fusion should be developed. Tthe question is how.
The research on so-called hot fusion dates back 60 years. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in Cadarache, France - tendered for 15 billion Euro - is expected to yield 500 megawatts for 15 seconds in 2016, without prospect of a continuous process.
As far as I know, all the high-energy physics research - for example at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research - no matter how beautiful and fundamentally important, has not contributed to the energy problem.
Few people know that fusion is taking place in what I call solid-state confinement. (deuterium and/or tritium, absorbed in a metal such as titanium, palladium, zirconium or erbium). This was invented in 1955 by David Goodman for Schlumberger Oil in so-called neutron generators, on the basis of deuterium fusion to helium-3 and a neutron.
This technology was developed to a commercial level at Philips Research, The Netherlands, in the 1960s under the supervision of Dr. Otto Reifenschweiler, now 88.
After the development of the desktop-ion beam, these neutron generators were miniaturized with pyro-electric crystals (James D. Brownridge at State University of New York, Binghamton, in collaboration with Stephen S. Shafroth at University of North Carolina) and by others as early as 1955 and most recently by Seth Putterman (UCLA, Nature, 2005) and Ka Ngo Leung (Berkeley). That is one side of the story.
In 1989, the result of the infamous electrolysis experiment with heavy water and palladium by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons was exiled to the realm of fantasy after the results appeared not-repeatable in other laboratories.
Western science on this topic has since been shrouded in what Julian Schwinger (Quantum Electrodynamics, 1967, Nobel Prize with Feynman-Tomonaga) described as "a deafening silence."
Nevertheless, cold fusion research, now recognized as low-energy nuclear reactions, has continued for 19 years by a thousand researchers in America, the former USSR, India, France, Italy, Japan and China. The resonant-tunneling model of professor Xing Zhong Li (Phys Rev. C, 2000) has been accepted into the mainstream.
An electronic environment can affect nuclear processes (Reifenschweiler, Physical Letters A, Vol. 184, pp. 149-153, 184). This was observed again by Reifenschweiler at Philips under the supervision of professor Hendrik Casimir. This is the second aspect of the story.
The scientific questions are, Where do you draw the line between hot and cold fusion? How fast can a resonant-tunneling process expire? and/or May a pyroelectric effect in a solid state metal deuteride act with sufficient voltage for deuterium-deuterium fusion?
Now that the $120-per-barrel price of oil is approaching, the Western World is ever more deeply involved in military conflicts in the Middle East and one-third of the food of the Third World is being used as a biofuel, further research on hot or cold fusion as outlined above is highly appropriate.
A study that costs no more than one industrial windmill or a B2-stealth bomber can ask and answer crucial questions within a year.
Over the years, many New Energy Times readers have asked the following question:
Question: "What is the difference between the Fleischmann-Pons and the Jones experiment?"
Answer: The Fleischmann-Pons experiment (University of Utah) used D2O in LIOD. Fleischmann and Pons had a very clear and distinct intention for their use of Pd and deuterium, derived from many years of study in that domain, as Fleischmann explained in his paper "Background to Cold Fusion: the Genesis of a Concept."
Steven E. Jones' (Brigham Young University) intention was to replicate what he believed was a fusion reaction occurring in the earth. Jones’ electrochemistry was based on a mixture of elements he thought were present and/or related to the volcanic sites.
Excess heat and helium are the dominant signatures of the Fleischmann-Pons experiment. Jones did not expect to see excess heat and did not seek to measure it.
In a congressional hearing in 1989, Jones compared the trivial amount of energy claimed in his experiment to that claimed in the Fleischmann-Pons experiment as analogous to the comparison of a dollar bill to the national debt.
Jones' reported an experiment in 2003  which produced 57 neutrons per hour; however, he has been inconsistent with his neutron claims. He initially claimed to see neutrons in 1989, but according to Beaudette , he retracted them in 1993.
The power from the Fleischmann-Pons experiment, if neutrons were produced in the experiment from a thermonuclear fusion reaction, would have produced 10E12 neutrons per second . Instead, the rate of neutron emissions from the Fleischmann-Pons experiment was negligible.
Early in the history of cold fusion, these differences were not well-understood, and many people attempted to draw direct comparisons between the Fleischmann-Pons experiment and the Jones experiment. This is akin to comparing apples and oranges.
Jones' congressional testimony about the trivial amount of energy that was produced by his experiment was widely reported; however, the significant differences between the two experimental configurations, as described here, were not as well-reported in the media. As a result, the public, assuming both groups were working on the same idea, developed a perception that Jones' more modest claims were more believable and credible than that of Fleischmann-Pons.
1. Fleischmann, M., "Background to Cold Fusion: the Genesis of a Concept," American Chemical Society low-energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook, Marwan, J. and Krivit, S. Eds., Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-8412-6966-8, (Fall 2008).
2. Jones, S. E., Keeney, F. W., Johnson, A. C., Buehler, D. B., Cecil, F. E., Hubler, G. Hagelstein, P. L., Ellsworth, J. E., Scott, M. R., "Charged-particle Emissions from Metal Deuterides," Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion, Cambridge, MA, (2003).
3. Beaudette, C., Excess Heat & Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed (2nd
ed.), South Bristol, ME: Oak Grove Press, p. 41, (2002).
4. Storms, E., The Science Of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction: A
Comprehensive Compilation Of Evidence And Explanations About Cold Fusion,
ISBN-13: 9789812706201, World Scientific, London, (2007), page 51.
(Letters may be sent to "letters" at the New Energy Times domain name. Please include your name, city, and state or province.)
K. S. Jayaraman reports, in the January 17 issue of Nature India, that the Indian government, "which abandoned cold fusion research 16 years ago, is now being advised by its top scientists to revive it." This is big news. Click here for the full story.
4. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Takes LENR Seriously
New Energy Times has received more information about DARPA's interest in LENR research. Michael McKubre, director of the Energy Research Center at SRI International, Menlo Park, California, stated in a recent conference that DARPA was sufficiently satisfied with the results of experiments designed to show evidence of excess heat to approve a second phase of funding. New Energy Times asked McKubre for further details but he declined, stating that DARPA and SRI were "very sensitive about the relationship and information." The only printed confirmation we have on record is the DARPA acknowledgment in the SRI paper in the American Chemical Society's forthcoming Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook.
Several years ago a researcher at the Naval Research Laboratory told New Energy Times that his group is involved with two LENR experiments and they have received funding from DARPA. He declined to discuss details of these experiments on the record.
However, New Energy Times has been able to obtain a copy of part of a DARPA contract with a third LENR researcher, Robert Bass of Innoventek Inc.
5. International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science-14, August 10-15, Washington, D.C.
The official conference Web site has moved from http://iscmns.org/iccf14 to http://www.iccf-14.org/. This week-long conference, to be held in Washington, D.C. this summer, is focused entirely on low-energy nuclear reactions, part of the field of condensed matter nuclear science, historically known as "cold fusion."
The new Web site has a full suite of information about the conference, scope, timetable, and registration information. The deadline for early registration is July 11, the earlybird fee is $700, thereafter it is $800.
6. American Chemical Society Symposium on New Energy Technology,
August 20, Philadelphia, PA
This symposium covers a wide range of new energy technology with respect to clean environmental technologies with the capacity to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels. This symposium includes ideas on how to improve the efficiency of energy sources as alternatives to fossil fuels and will mainly focus on the subject of low-energy nuclear reactions (cold fusion.)
New Energy Times is pleased to announce a new feature, the Cold Fusion, LENR, CMNS Book Index, the most complete listing of books on or relating to "cold fusion," CMNS and LENR. Thanks to Dieter Britz (Aarhus University) and Jed Rothwell (LENR-CANR) for their assistance. The index is accessible by the previous link, or from the General Information section on the New Energy Times home page.
New Energy Times is pleased to announce a major update to our LENR, CMNS Online Site Index, a one-stop shop for nearly every online resource for the field of CMNS and LENR research. The index is accessible by the previous link, or from the LINKS item on the top menu on all New Energy Times Web pages.
The Fusion Information Center, founded by Hal Fox of Salt Lake City, Utah, was the first dedicated source of timely information on the cold fusion subject. Much valuable technical and historical material was published in print, and later on CD-ROM.
This data contains a fully searchable bibliography of more than 170 issues of Fusion Information Center's three publications, starting in July 1989 and continuing to 1999. This comprehensive bibliography is provided and includes references to papers dating back to 1923. This release also contains full text, printable documents for selected issues of Fusion Facts, New Energy News and all issues of the Journal of New Energy up to and including the Spring 1999 publication of Volume 3, Number 4. The full-text documents also include a copy of the Cold Fusion Source Book published in 1994.
This archive represents Fusion Information Center's first digital compilation of their archive and was identified as Release 1.1. New Energy Times is pleased to present FIC's publications in an accessible, indexed, fully searchable digital format.
New Energy Times is grateful to Hal Fox for permission to make these historic archives available publicly, and to William Collis, founder of the The International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, for conversion of this archive to HTML.
New Energy Times has prepared a Web page dedicated to the memory of Giuliano Preparata, thanks to George H. Miley of the department of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.
Miley presented his tribute at the 8th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals in Asti, Italy on Oct. 14, 2007, which was organzied by Bill Collis, in association with the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ISCMNS).
12. Purdue University Professor Rusi Taleyarkhan Files Legal Complaint
After being the target of untold investigations and inquries himself, Purdue university professor Rusi Taleyarkhan finally filed a legal complaint of his own on March 7, against two of his Purdue colleauges, Lefteri Tsoukalas and Tatjana Jevremovic.
The complaint states, among other things, that false statements were made and reported by Eugenie Samuel Reich of Nature; Kenneth Chang of The New York Times is also mentioned, though neither the reporters nor their outlets are named as defendants. However, the inclusion of the phrase "and DOES 1-50" after Tsoukalas' and Jevremovic's names indicates that other defendants may be named at a later time.
The "Nature of This Action" section states:
"This is a conspiracy involving certain individuals who made public statements to a worldwide magazine, Nature Magazine, through means that have falsely and maliciously defamed Taleyarkhan and have sought to harass, discriminate and intimidate Taleyarkhan on numerous occasions for the purpose of trying to defame him and his important scientific research, all with claims that have no merit."
On July 10, 2007, New Energy Times published a journalistic investigation of the matter, our Special Report on Bubble Fusion/Sonofusion can be downloaded here. New Energy Times has received only one letter/correction in response to the report, from Taleyarkhan.
13. European Research Center for New Clean Energy Technologies
By Steven B. Krivit
A new nonprofit organization formed last year in France called Centre Européen pour la Recherche et le Développement des Nouvelles Technologies Energétiques Alternatives (CERNTEA).
It's probably not a coincidence that the acronym resembles the "old technology" research center, CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), which is dedicated to high-energy physics research, more or less the antithesis of CERNTEA.
Pascal Fichant is the founder and president, Gerard Martinez the treasurer and Gilles Fichant the secretary of CERNTEA.
The mission of CERNTEA is the scientific promotion of research and development of alternative energy sources.
Their vision is to foster the emergence of new, more equitable technologies that are beneficial to the three fundamental pillars of society: environment, economic development and human development.
A short article about the work of CMNS researcher Jean Paul Biberian is available on their Web site.
On Wednesday, April 9, 2008, CERNTEA also organized a meeting and drama presentation, written by Biberian, on the theme "What is cold fusion?" Four of his colleagues played the roles of "elementary particles."
An audio excerpt is available here. A (28MB!) slide presentation is available here.
Chubb is a physicist consultant in new energy technologies, retired from the Naval Research Laboratory after 30 years of service. He is a member of numerous prestigious science organizations and also worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II at the Tennessee Eastman Co. facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
From his Cold Fusion Energy Science Web site:
"This website is designed to provide the reader with current evidence for the reality of cold fusion heat, and theory that explains how it can occur.
"The early problem of poor reproducibility has been overcome in studies carried out by Drs. Arata and Zhang at Osaka University in Japan. These pioneering studies used palladium catalyst coated with adsorbed water. Further progress has been made using fine powders of palladium embedded in zirconium oxide crystal.
"A technique developed by Arata and Zhang for selecting candidate catalytic powder suggests that nickel can likely be substituted for palladium. If this substitution works, cold fusion heaters should become commercially available in time to relieve rising energy costs."
15. Carbon Arc Meets Quantum Rabbit By Steven B. Krivit
Before we talk about carbon, arcs or quantum rabbits, we need background.
This article discusses possible nuclear transmutations - that is, the addition or subtraction of protons, by definition the change of one element into another. Such transmutations are performed routinely in million-dollar high-energy physics laboratories - by physicists. Go into any physics laboratory, and they will explain that the only way to achieve transmutations is through such means as extreme pressures, high temperatures and high energy. They cannot be done any other way, the researchers will say.
Nuclear transmutations - from chemistry experiments, for example, - in relatively simple desktop experiments are "impossible," according to physics authorities. "Everyone knows" that nuclear transmutations by chemistry is alchemy, and "everyone knows" that alchemy was a ruse, right?
Not so fast.
Transmutation experiments have been part of condensed matter nuclear science for many years. The Fleischmann-Pons effect, the release of excess heat and helium from an electrochemical experiment with palladium and deuterium, is just one of many low-energy nuclear reactions observed in the field of condensed matter nuclear science.
Most of the LENR transmutation experiments have been performed in Russia, France, Ukraine, Japan and India. And the body of knowledge and evidence continues to grow and become harder to dismiss. LENR transmutation made the cover of Science et Vie in May 2004.
John O'Mara Bockris, at Texas A&M University, was one of the first people to bring this research to the fore. Bockris is a courageous man, insensitive to the fears that others may have had about the presumed guilt-by-association of low-energy nuclear transmutation to alchemy.
Some people may have written off Bockris' claims as the ravings of an egotist. He bore the brunt of more than his share of cynicism and scorn from his peers at Texas A&M, but, after two investigations, they found he did no wrong, though his reputation took a major hit.
People had a harder time writing off the transmutation claims of George Miley,
director of the Fusion Studies Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Urbana, 1995 recipient of the Edward Teller Medal from the American Nuclear Society,
recipient of many federal research grants and editor of several peer-reviewed journals.
Harder still was ignoring the 1998 work of Yasuhiro Iwamura, of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, who presented the results of his low-energy nuclear transmutation research. Some people have called his experiments "bullet-proof."
From this background, we present this report of carbon, arcs and quantum rabbits. Let's first get to the carbon and the arcs; the quantum rabbits will come next.
The first time that the CMNS community heard about carbon arc experiments was probably in 1994 when Fusion Technology published two related papers. One was by Raghavan Sundaresan, of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mubai, India, working with John O'Mara Bockris at Texas A&M University. The other was by Mahavir Singh and colleagues of the BARC spectroscopy division.
The experiments are distinct from the Fleischmann-Pons Effect, which comprises LENR experiments that produce energy and helium. (This is not to be confused with the "Utah Effect," which has a variety of other meanings.) However, these LENR transmutation experiments provide strong nuclear evidence, and they may reveal pieces of the larger puzzle of condensed matter nuclear science.
The carbon-arc experiments are remarkably simple. Disarmingly simple. Embarrassingly simple.
In the experiments reported in Fusion Technology, two ultrapure graphite electrodes were connected to an electrical source. The rods were submerged in ultrapure water, and an arc was permitted to travel between the two rods. After a few hours, a residue collected at the bottom of the container. On spectrographic analysis, researchers found that the residue contained significant amounts of iron.
Pre-experiment analysis showed minimal iron content in the rods: 2 parts per million. Post-experiment analysis showed iron content in the rods at 200-2000 parts per million. That's, at a minimum, a 100:1 signal-to-background ratio.
Where did the iron come from? And how did it transmute from other elements in the experimental environment? This article will not attempt to answer those questions, but we will stick as closely as possible to what has been observed and make that our anchor point.
In 1996, two years after the Fusion Technology papers published, Kenjin Sasaki, an agricultural consultant from Tokyo attending the 6th International Conference on Cold Fusion, distributed a protocol similar to the carbon-in-water experiments. A major variation of his experiment was that it was performed not in water, but in air. Apparently, the air experiment was more effective and simpler to perform. Eugene Mallove reported these in Infinite-Energy #10, Sept.-Oct. 1996 (IE page 55, IE page 56).
Another researcher, engineer Toby Grotz, also presented a report of carbon arc transmutation at the Second International Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Conference in Sept. 1996 held at College Station. Grotz's paper was published in Hal Fox's Journal of New Energy.
Now let's move to the present. Meet Edward Esko, Woody and Florence Johnson and Alex Jack of the Massachusetts company Quantum Rabbit.
They make no claims to be scientists. You could call them experimentalists. In an interview with New Energy Times, Esko was not familiar with the term "signal-to-noise" or "sigma"; nevertheless, he understood the underlying concept.
Esko sometimes uses the word "fusion" to describe the unknown process that causes the magnetic graphite, but he is learning to be more circumspect about throwing around specific physics terms. He also uses the word "charging" when referring to the arcing process, though he doesn't have a clear explanation for why he calls it "charging."
Quantum Rabbit team members Woody and Florence Johnson, Alex Jack and Edward Esko
The Rabbit company has strong interests in conventional renewable energies, though a mutual interest in holistic health and macrobiotics brought the three of them together.
Esko explains the company name: "Quantum" comes from the anomalous physics they seem to be observing. "Rabbit" comes from the Alice in Wonderland metaphor of going down a rabbit hole that leads to strange, new, unexplored and inexplicable worlds. And it's catchy, too.
Esko's related history goes back to his involvement with a key pioneer of the macrobiotic movement, Michio Kushi. Through Esko's work with Kushi, he learned of the ideas of George Ohsawa, Kushi's teacher and founder of the macrobiotic diet and philosophy. In 1994, Esko wrote a book with Kushi, "The Philosopher's Stone: Michio Kushi's Guide to Alchemy, Transmutation and the New Science."
Esko's interests in transmutation began to take form in 2005 when he started some experiments with gas; his carbon arc experiments began in 2006.
And they've been getting apparently positive results - that is, the appearance of the element iron where there was none, or only trace amounts, before. They have had samples analyzed by inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP), which vaporizes and gives a profile of the entire sample. They also have sent samples for energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) analysis, which gives a relative percentage of an element in a specific area of the sample.
It's too early in the research to know whether the claims are valid, let alone whether the process can be used for practical purposes. But if the process, which was developed many decades ago by others, is confirmed, it is yet another inexplicable anomaly which does not fit within the current frame of scientific knowledge.
If the claims are correct and if they are taken seriously, this and other CMNS effects could incite a revolution in physics, if not science. If not, well, back to the drawing board.
The experiment seems easy, simple, repeatable, reproducible, and, to top it off, you can get immediate general feedback on the success of the experiment with a rare-earth magnet. The experiment produces permanent evidence that researchers can display or send out for third-party analysis.
Pure graphite, a form of the element carbon, is not magnetic. The experimenters test this by placing graphite powder near a magnet before the experiment, separated by a thin sheet of paper. There's no movement of the graphite powder in response to the magnet. After the experiment, the graphite powder clearly moves when the magnet is brought near.
See for yourself. Here is a video of the nonmagnetic graphite before the arc experiment:
And here is a video of the magnetic graphite after the arc experiment:
The magnet test, performed after the process, could indicate that the graphite itself is "merely" becoming magnetic. On the other hand, it could mean that nuclear transmutations, resulting in the growth of iron, are occurring. Esko says that the EDS and ICP tests suggest that the latter is occurring.
The Quantum Rabbit crew uses two methods to make the magnetic graphite. In one, the researchers place graphite powder in a graphite crucible and hold the carbon rod for about 30 seconds at a time. They can't hold it for longer because the rod gets too hot to the touch and needs to cool down.
Woody Johnson at the bench, arcing the graphite powder with a graphite rod and crucible.
Photo: E. Esko
In the other method, they place graphite powder on a copper plate and strike an arc and quickly withdraw it, in succession. They don't let it arc as long as they do with the crucible method because it tends to create a messy sputter if they arc for longer shots. In this method, they do about 100-200 arcs within about 30 minutes. Again, the time constraint is waiting for the carbon rod to cool enough to hold.
Woody Johnson arcing the graphite powder with graphite rod and copper plate.
Photo: E. Esko
A surreal scene as the carbon-arc produces a brilliant lightning-like flash.
Photo: E. Esko
Esko thinks that they get better transmutation results with the copper plate method than the crucible method. He says they have sent about 10 samples for laboratory analysis. Hopefully Quantum Rabbit will present the data at a science conference or in a journal.
They hope to refine the process to learn how to increase the apparent yields of anomalous elements. They also hope to narrow the parameter space, to learn the optimal number of arcs to strike and the best amount of power to apply.
Esko writes on a related Web site, www.magneticgraphite.com, "Quantum Magnetic Graphite offers a unique product with multifaceted purposes that is both versatile commercially in usages (e.g., magnetic storage systems, water purification systems, refrigeration, etc.)" There does not appear to be any such product at this time.
Even if the arcing method is merely making the graphite magnetic, rather than transmuting elements into iron, this crude method is not something to laugh at.
Reports in the published literature suggest that no change in iron content is occurring but that the properties of the graphite are being modified to make them magnetic.
A group at the University of Leipzig in Germany reported such phenomena in 2003. Rather than using an electric arc, the Leipzig group used a proton beam and irradiated the sample with nuclear energy. A comparison between the
Leipzig work and the Quantum Rabbit work is not directly appropriate; one method uses energy inputs in the chemical realm, and the other method uses energy inputs in the nuclear realm.
The Leipzig paper provides detailed explanations of the structural changes to the graphite through proton irradiation and provides an apparently convincing argument that the graphite has changed structure but not composition, which provides the magnetic effect.
The paper indicates that the metallic content of the ultrapure graphite sample was less than 1 ppm, which is another significant difference. But the most important question is not answered in the paper. The authors do not state the concentration of metallic content after the experiment.
Another research group, with the Universidad de la República in Uruguay, reported a chemical route to creating room-temperature magnetic graphite by baking the sample in a furnace and reacting the graphite with oxygen. This experiment is a much closer match to the Quantum Rabbit experiment than the Leipzig experiment; both the Universidad de la República and the Quantum Rabbit experiment are performed with energies in the chemical realm and both groups believe that an oxygen reaction is a key aspect.
The Universidad de la República experiment states that the starting iron content of the samples was in the 40-60 ppm range, and unlike the Quantum Rabbit experiment, the authors write in their pre-print that the iron content after the experiment "did not indicate any increase of metallic impurities with respect to the original pristine graphite."
New Energy Times spoke with Álvaro Mombrú, one of the members of the Universidad de la República team and learned that this work was published in Physical Review B and Carbon.[6, 7] In the Carbon paper, Mombrú says that they did, in fact, see an increase in the iron content.
"Although there was some increase in iron content," Mombrú said, "it was still not enough to explain the magnetic behavior of the sample."
The Carbon paper shows very small increases of iron content as determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS,) X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) and
about a 50 percent increase in the iron content as shown by energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) analysis.
Mombrú confirmed the major difference between his group's work and that of the Leipzig work: his using oxidation of graphite, and theirs using a proton bombardment process. Mombrú was open-minded about the possible importance of the ferromagnetic impurities in the original sample.
"Perhaps we need this content of iron to have a signal there," Mombrú said, "but we are sure, at least, that graphite acts as an amplifier of the signal, which is something very new because carbon is not supposed to have any magnetic behavior."
To wrap up, word has reached New Energy Times that three government groups in India have resumed LENR experiments, the first in 14 years. Three groups have started experiments, including carbon arc experiments.
1. Raghavan Sundaresan and John O'Mara Bockris, "Anomalous Reactions During Arcing Between Carbon Rods In Water," Fusion Technology, (Vol. 26), p. 261-265, (1994)
2. Mahavir Singh, M. D. Saksena, V. S. Dixit, and V. B. Kartha, "Verification of the G. Ohsawa Experiment for Anomalous Production of Iron From Carbon Arc in Water," Fusion Technology, Vol. 26, p. 266, (1994)
Grotz, T., Investigation of reports of the synthesis of iron via arc discharge through carbon compounds.
3. Grotz, Toby, "Investigation of Reports of the Synthesis of Iron via Arc Discgarge through Carbon Compounds," J. New Energy, Vol. 1(3), p. 106, (1996)
4. Pablo Esquinazi, D. Spemann, R. Höhne, A. Setzer, K.-H. Han, and T. Butz,
"Induced Magnetic Ordering by Proton Irradiation in Graphite," Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 91, p. 75-78, (2003)
5. H. Pardo, F. M. Araujo-Moreira, R. Faccio, O. F. de Lima, A. J. C. Lanfredi, C. A. Cardoso, E. R. Leite, G. Zanelatto, and A. W. Mombru, "Stable Room Temperature Magnetic Graphite," http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat?papernum=0407303 (2004)
6. Mombrú, A. W., Pardo, H., Faccio, R., de Lima, O. F., Leite, E. R., Zanelatto, G., Lanfredi, A. J. C., Cardoso, C. A., and Araújo-Moreira, F. M., "Multilevel Ferromagnetic Behavior of Room-Temperature Bulk Magnetic Graphite,"
Phys. Rev. B, Vol. 71, p. 100404(R), (2005)
7. Pardoa, H., Faccioa, R., Araújo-Moreirab, F.M., de Limac, O.F., and Mombrú, A.W., "Synthesis and Characterization of Stable Room Temperature Bulk Ferromagnetic Graphite," Carbon, Vol. 44 (3), p. 565-569, (2006)
16. A Model to Quantify the Independence of Scientific Replications
By Steven B. Krivit
In my discussions with people about controversial science, I have found that the matter of independence - as it applies to replications - can make or break the acceptance of a controversial science claim. Independence is not a black-and-white issue; a spectrum exists. However, I am aware of no reference that characterizes this spectrum.
I often find myself discussing the philosophy of scientific replication with others. I distinguish among the terms “repeatable,” “reproducible,” and “replication” as follows:
Repeatable: Researcher A can obtain the expected result from his or her experiment every time he or she makes an attempt.
Reproducible: Researcher B can obtain the expected result from his or her attempt to perform researcher A's experiment.
Replication: Getting the expected result from subsequent experimental attempts.
I do not state that the result should be the "identical result" because an experiment that is similar but not exactly the same, which provides similar but not exactly the same result, provides even greater confirmatory power of an effect than an identically matched experiment.
I propose the following criteria for evaluating the independence of scientific replications to provide a quantifiable scale.
I feel encouraged by a mainstream article that tackles the complex and occasionally contradictory problems associated with the growing biofuel industry. We hear increasing talk these days about the bright future of biofuels in quenching our planet's growing thirst for alternative fuels. I found Grunwald's article informative - devastatingly so.
It begins with an impressive full-page aerial photo of soybean crops stretching to the horizon across the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. In the middle of this cultivated greenery, a tiny preserved isolated square patch of original rain forest barely stands out. Something seems amiss.
The irony here is not that farmers are ignoring a requirement to keep at least 80 percent of their land in its original rain-forest state. The irony is that the growing thirst for alternative fuels in one part of the planet has created economic conditions in other locations causing farmers to perceive how much of a fortune can be made if they destroy their rain forests and replace them with food and biofuel crops.
One of the consequences is that massive amounts of CO2 are being released into the atmosphere as a result of burning down forests all over the world, particularly in Brazil and Malaysia. So much additional CO2 is being released that, in some cases, it will take centuries (400 years in one study) of growing the new biofuel crops before they begin to recapture the same amount of carbon that had been released into the atmosphere as a result of burning down the original forests.
John Carter, a Texas Cowboy, whose personality strikes some people as having the subtlety of a chainsaw, founded a nonprofit organization to promote
sustainable ranching on the Amazon frontier.
"It's like witnessing a rape," Carter lamented.
The Amazon basin is being turned into the planet's next savanna quicker than one might think. Some scientists in fact think that the local Brazilian microclimates affected by constant deforestation and burning will transform the Amazon basin into the next desert.
Part of what's driving this imbalance comes from the United States' own biofuel programs, which exacerbate Brazil's ecological problems through a complex interconnection of economic circumstances. The United States grows more corn because it wants to produce ethanol to fuel sport utility vehicles. The price of corn is driven up by increased demand to produce ethanol, in addition to feeding people.
American soybean farmers, in turn, start seeing bigger dollar signs if they switch to growing corn. This results in fewer soybean crops being grown in the United States. This forces soybean farmers in Brazil to compensate by growing more soybeans to pick up the slack.
However, the only way to grow more soybeans is to expand into fields that had been used for Brazilian cattle pasturelands. This, in turn, displaces the cattle industry, forcing it to clear new grazing lands in the Amazon rain forest and the Cerrado savanna.
Patches of land totaling the size of Rhode Island were deforested in the Amazon Basin, all in the second half of 2007, because of these cascading economic events. An even larger portion was destroyed through burning. Twenty percent of global carbon emissions result from deforestation activity alone.
The amount of grain needed to fill an SUV's gas tank, just once, with corn-grown ethanol is the equivalent of feeding a person for a year. It's a perfect example of how the complex economies involved in growing food crops are being turned upside down as higher priorities are beginning to be placed on feeding cars rather than people. The poorest countries will feel the consequences of these skewed priorities in devastating ways as food shortages send prices beyond their means to pay for them.
Blairo Maggi, a regional governor, is also considered to be the soybean king of the world, with a half-million acres growing in the province of Mato Grosso, Brazil. He's been a pioneer on the Brazilian frontier, clearing land to produce more soybeans. He's not too pleased with all the criticism he occasionally receives, especially from the United States. Maggi's response has been that the United States did it a hundred years ago, clearing virgin forestlands to make way for crops, so why can't Brazil?
Ecologically responsible laws have been passed to protect the Brazilian rain forests, such as a rule that only 20 percent of uncultivated land can be deforested to make way for crops. Unfortunately, the legislation appears to be contradictory, and there is scant incentive to enforce the letter of the law.
"It's like your Wild West right now," Maggi said. "There's no money for enforcement, so people do what they want."
Blaming Maggi entirely would be wrong because even Maggi has stated he wants to be able to "feed a child and save a tree."
However, trying to fulfill both goals is becoming increasingly difficult. Recent land reforms enacted by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appear to attract increasing numbers of slash-and-burn squatters to the Amazon forests.
This has created a "use-it-or-lose-it" incentive among land owners, forcing many to make difficult choices, such as a decision to deforest their own lands rather than watch them being taken away, to be redistributed to others.
At one point, Carter tried confronting ranchers who were disobeying the disforestation laws. He nearly got killed for his efforts. Carter understands the economic situation all too well: It's unfair to ask developing countries to halt the exploitation of their own natural resources without viable economic alternatives in place.
It's the primary reason why law enforcement, by itself, will fail to protect the forests. The government has to introduce viable economic incentives as Carter later started doing with his nonprofit certification programs, which financially reward ranchers who set aside portions of their forests.
"People see the forest as junk," Carter stated. "If you want to save it, you better open your pocketbook. Plus, you might not get shot."
The bottom line is that the wealth of the Amazon has been calculated to be worth more deforested, converted by entrepreneurs who dream of transforming the land into an economic powerhouse for growing renewable energy and food stocks.
It's not just Brazil that has been captured by this dream. Similar incentives are transforming the economic landscapes of other countries, like Malaysia, where forests are being destroyed along with the remaining uncultivated land, all in order to grow another popular biofuel: palm oil.
As pessimistic as this review might seem, biofuels may transform the planet in positive ways. For example, research is targeting the harvesting of highly prolific strains of algae for the tremendous amount of oil (lipids) that some are capable of producing.
Certain algae species, when allowed to grow under optimal conditions, can easily double their mass in less than 24 hours. Certain strains are also known to produce up to 50 percent of their body weight in oil. Compare these facts to the speed of growing traditional land crops along with the percentage of energy product produced.
However, more research and development will be needed. If global economic factors are not addressed soon on the matter of how much profit there is in growing crops where rain forests are, the remaining biodiversity stored in these priceless natural environments will be doomed, lost forever.
The intention of growing biofuels purportedly to help save our planet, to supposedly sequester CO2 in order to reduce the growing threat of a run-away greenhouse effect (and incidentally make a tidy profit) actually magnifies the very specter these activities were intended to prevent.
Steven Vincent Johnson worked at the Space Astronomy Lab at the University of Wisconsin in the 1980s as a ground support computer programmer for a project called Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment, a package that flew in the Space Shuttle several times. See: http://www.sal.wisc.edu/WUPPE/. Steve is employed full-time at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as one of the project leaders managing statewide electronic document databases. He is also a graphic illustrator and writer, when he has the time. See: www.orionworks.com. Steve can be reached at: email@example.com.
18. Significant Progress on the Wikipedia Cold Fusion Page
By Pierre Carbonnelle
This is a follow-up article to the New Energy Timesreport from two months ago regarding the drama of the edit wars at the Wikipedia cold fusion page.
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that allows anybody to add, delete or modify content on any page. Such openness may seem like pure anarchy, but usually the community spirit and the published guidelines keep things friendly and in a reasonable state of order.
According to the American Journalism Review, Wikipedia is used increasingly for background research by journalists, although the potential for misinformation is well-recognized. For the general public, Wikipedia has become one of the most, if not the most, prominent sources for information. Wikipedia references are often the top results on a Google search.
The fighting over the content in the Wikipedia cold fusion page, by people with widely differing viewpoints, got so bad that the Wikipedia administrators had to call a cease-fire and lock the page down from further editing in December. Their term for this is "protected," and while a page is protected, only administrators are allowed to perform edits. The page had been protected for about four months, and on April 13, the revised Wikipedia article on cold fusion was finally released.
During this time, several people, including me, volunteered to participate in a mediation process - between people who are friendly and people who are unfriendly toward cold fusion. In January, someone by the username of Seicer accepted the difficult role of mediator. This lengthy mediation process had been continuing during the entire time.
I'm pleased to report that the revised page, resulting from the mediation process, presents the topic as a continuing controversy, not as an example of pathological science. This is a major step forward in the recognition of the new field of condensed matter nuclear science and low-energy nuclear reaction research.
Several recent events have helped in the mediation; the SPAWAR results published in European Physical Journal - Applied Physics, a well-respected peer-reviewed journal (this was SPAWAR's 18th LENR paper published in a refereed journal); Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s funding of a second phase of LENR research; and Robert Park, former arch-enemy of cold fusion, conceding the possibility of LENR.
Since its first version on Dec 13, 2001, the Wikipedia cold fusion article has been the battlefield of highly opinionated editors: Some see cold fusion as an example of pathological science, some see it as a continuing controversy, and some see it as an established, proven phenomenon.
The 2004 version of the article was featured on the front page of Wikipedia, recognition of the page's quality. Since then, content requirements in Wikipedia got more restricted, and controversial topics must now be supported by sources that are more authoritative and trusted as reliable. For this reason, some editors, including me, brought in references such as those from the 1989 and 2004 Department of Energy Cold Fusion review.
Contrary to what most scientists think, these two Department of Energy reviews provide plenty of evidence that supports the view that the cold fusion controversy is far from over. They confirmed that cold fusion is a continuing controversy, not a closed case of pathological science.
Thus, editors defending the pathological science opinion fiercely resisted the improvements to include references from the 2004 Department of Energy review, in effect conducting censorship. Mediator Seicer was courageous enough to defend the Wikipedia policy of reliable sources, and this insured that the references to the Department of Energy reviews remained in the article, thus presenting a balanced view of the field.
As a direct participant in those debates and in the mediation, I have been stunned by the strong resistance by the "pathological science" camp: it is far beyond what I could have imagined. Its members have been defending their case without any evidence other than "Everybody knows cold fusion is [insert any deprecatory name]." One editor, who calls himself ScienceApologist, fiercely defended the view that cold fusion is "contrary to current theory, so it's impossible." He may be an apologist, but not of science.
Now, don't get me wrong. Most of the skeptical editors play an important role in Wikipedia by correctly defending the scientific view in pseudoscience fields. I can understand that they might apply the "everybody knows" argument in fields that scientists choose to ignore.
But their treatment of the cold fusion controversy, despite all the evidence to the contrary, baffled me. I thus had firsthand experience of the blind, absurd, pathological defense of the prevailing paradigm, and I now have a lot of respect for all paradigm-shifting scientists, like Copernicus, Galileo, Fleischmann and Pons, and the other courageous cold fusion pioneers.
I hope that the revised Wikipedia article will help put a stop to the epidemic of pathological disbelief and that it will help raise the interest of scientists so that prominent scientific journals won't be able to reject articles on the topic "because it does not interest our readers."
Controlled Nucleosynthesis: Breakthroughs in Experiment and Theory edited by Stanislav V. Adamenko, Franco Selleri and Alwyn Van Der Merwe $209 , Springer-Verlag, New York, ISBN-13: 9781402058738, ( 2008) "Proton-21" Laboratory's research on experimental and theoretical investigations into collective processes, structure formation, and self-organization of nuclear matter. (Description)
Peer review is supposed to combat fraud, but it can just as easily hold back radical discoveries.
Sometimes, trusting what scientists tell us can be a bit difficult. One day we are told that artificial sweeteners help prevent obesity; the next, that they actually cause it.
One day coffee is bad for us, then it's good, then it's bad again. The generous explanation for these see-saws is that science is always developing our understanding. But there is a more sinister concern: fraud.
The world's food situation is bleak, and shortsighted policies in the United States and other wealthy countries - which are diverting crops to environmentally dubious biofuels - bear much of the blame.
In "Gusher of Lies," Mr. Bryce, a freelance journalist specializing in energy issues, mounts a savage attack on the concept of energy independence and the most popular technologies currently being promoted to achieve it. Ethanol? A scam. Wind power? Sheer fantasy. Solar power? Think again. For the foreseeable future, which is to say the next 30 to 50 years, fossil fuels will reign supreme, as they have for the last century. Deal with it.
With all the gusto of a hunter clubbing baby seals, Mr. Bryce goes after one cherished green belief after another, but he is an equal-opportunity smiter. Having kicked the props from under every green technology in sight, he goes after the political right.
The problem with corn and other alternative fuel sources boils down to cost and output. Fuel made from switch grass, another potential solution to the energy problem, costs a lot to produce, delivers a lot less energy than petroleum and would require, like corn, vast areas of farmland to meet a meaningful percentage of current energy needs.
Wind power and solar power have the added drawback of being intermittent and unpredictable. A town that relied entirely on solar or wind power would suffer constant service interruptions and wild fluctuations in output, which is why both technologies must be used in conjunction with traditional fossil-fuel generators.
The major environmental groups may even, eventually, see the point of nuclear power, "the only sector that has enough momentum and enough capital behind it to make a significant dent in the overall use of fossil fuels."
The spills, at the Alabama Biodiesel Corporation plant outside this city about 17 miles from Tuscaloosa, are similar to others that have come from biofuel plants in the Midwest. The discharges, which can be hazardous to birds and fish, have many people scratching their heads over the seeming incongruity of pollution from an industry that sells products with the promise of blue skies and clear streams.
"Ironic, isn't it?" said Barbara Lynch, who supervises environmental compliance inspectors for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. "This is big business. There's a lot of money involved."
Arthur C. Clarke, a writer whose seamless blend of scientific expertise and poetic imagination helped usher in the space age, died early Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since 1956. He was 90.
... as a science fiction writer, he couldn't resist drawing up timelines for what he called "possible futures." Far from displaying uncanny prescience, these conjectures mainly demonstrated his lifelong, and often disappointed, optimism about the peaceful uses of technology - from his calculation in 1945 that atomic-fueled rockets could be no more than 20 years away to his conviction in 1999 that "clean, safe power" from "cold fusion" would be commercially available in the first years of the new millennium.
The world's physicists have spent 14 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider, in which ... colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers will sift the debris from these primordial recreations for clues to the nature of mass and new forces and symmetries of nature.
But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a "strangelet" that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called "strange matter." Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Although it sounds bizarre, the case touches on a serious issue that has bothered scholars and scientists in recent years - namely how to estimate the risk of new groundbreaking experiments and who gets to decide whether or not to go ahead.
According to M R Srinivasan, the nuclear reactor engineer and former chairman of Department of Atomic Energy, India has only about 1,00,000 tonnes of uranium on the ground and that will be sufficient to support 10,000 MW heavy water-natural uranium reactors for their lifetime. While, as he argues, some complacency on the part of the Department of Atomic Energy in the early 90s may have led to the immediate serious uranium crunch our reactors face, he has rightly highlighted that there is a long-term uranium shortage if our nuclear power programme has to go beyond 10,000 MW. He has also pointed out that without at least 50,000 MW reactors producing plutonium the country cannot have a viable thorium-bred uranium-233 programme.
Of course, this massive amount of energy created cannot be sustained over a longer period of time. In fact, the Texas Petawatt laser unloads is energy within 100 femtoseconds, which is 1/10th of a trillionth of a second (0.0000000000001 seconds). In that time frame the target gets exposed to 200 joules of energy, which is enough to split atoms and simulate supernovas, tabletop stars and very high-density plasmas that mimic exotic stellar objects known as brown dwarfs. In practical life and applied to a larger surface, this energy isn't huge and just enough to run a light bulb for about two seconds.
Wind turbines, once used primarily for farms and rural houses far from electrical service, are becoming more common in heavily populated residential areas as homeowners are attracted to ease of use, financial incentives and low environmental effects.
No one tracks the number of small-scale residential wind turbines — windmills that run turbines to produce electricity — in the United States. Experts on renewable energy say a convergence of factors, political, technical and ecological, has caused a surge in the use of residential wind turbines, especially in the Northeast and California.
Purdue University researcher Rusi Taleyarkhan, accused by various parties of research misconduct over his bubble fusion claims, has gone on the offensive.
Taleyarkhan has filed a civil lawsuit against two of his detractors, Purdue professors Lefteri Tsoukalas and Tatjana Jevremovic, for defamation, civil harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
At a time when the world's top climate experts agree that carbon emissions must be rapidly reduced to hold down global warming, Italy's major electricity producer, Enel, is converting its massive power plant here from oil to coal, generally the dirtiest fuel on earth.
Over the next five years, Italy will increase its reliance on coal to 33 percent from 14 percent. Power generated by Enel from coal will rise to 50 percent.
And Italy is not alone in its return to coal. Driven by rising demand, record high oil and natural gas prices, concerns over energy security and an aversion to nuclear energy, European countries are expected to put into operation about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years, plants that will be in use for the next five decades.
A Purdue University panel that investigated research misconduct allegations against a nuclear scientist who claims he produced nuclear fusion in a simple lab experiment has turned over its findings to federal authorities.
Purdue spokeswoman Jeanne Norberg said Friday that Purdue's report on Rusi Taleyarkhan was sent April 18 to the inspector-general of the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Va.
She said the school "will have no comment until ONR responds" to the school's findings.
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