jeff: Celani-Type Replication

  • HG Branzell posted this a couple days ago: LINK


    I have some misgivings about the results on that webpage.

    Why is the background so low? Other tests on the same page use 45 to 70 CPM, rather than 10. A background of 70 CPM reduces the surprise from 130 x background to 18.6 times "background". I wonder if it (10 CPM) is the same background as where the dust came from.
    The specific device and method used is not mentioned in the spectacular "demonstration".


    A swipe of dust is not at all like dust floating in the air.


    "The Air Sampler attachment for the GM-45 allows you to install a filter directly in front of the GM-45 detector window. The GM-45 is a geiger counter detector with a large window, able to detect alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, making it ideal for detecting radon. The fan built into the unit pulls air through the filter, depositing radon decay products on the face of the filter. This essentially greatly amplifies the signal seen on the GM-45. As shown in the graph below, a nominal count rate of around 70 CPM is amplified to around 4000 CPM, a gain of around 57 times. The actual increase in readings from radon daughters is even much higher, as will be explained below."
    - Blackcat Systems webpage http://www.blackcatsystems.com/GM/acc4.html


    "In this case, a background value for cosmic rays and other such radiation of 42 CPM was used. The multipler for the air sampler data used was 0.008. The apparent gain of the air sampler is the reciprocal of this, or 1/0.008 which is 125. So the apparent gain in readings from radon and its decay products is 125. This is of course a huge number, which is why using the air sampler makes observing even small variations in radon readings so easy. They are greatly amplified, and the constant reading from cosmic rays is greatly reduced in a relative way. "
    - Blackcat Systems (same webpage).


    So is the background and method used the same for the background of 10 CPM as for the dust wipe at 1300 CPM? Are they comparable?
    Is it more correct to use the gain factor on the background to get a proper comparable, leaving us with a "corrected" BG of 570 to 1250 CPM?
    This would give us a new ratio of 1300/570 = 2.28, or 1300/1250 = 1.04 .
    Is it likely that the wording and method are used in a way that might influence the purchase of the air sampler or other detector?

  • Tarun wrote:

    I can barely see any discussion by the researcher himself or any offers of help by others. All I see is negativity and attempts to discourage further research. Why are mods allowing this ?


    Jeff's experimental results have a number of artifactual explanations:
    heat
    dust


    Pointing this out, and suggesting suitable controls etc to determine whether the results are interesting, or an artifact, needs a negative view. Specifically, you need to be trying to show the result is not real.


    That is what is most helpful to Jeff at this stage.


    If mods do not allow negativity he will perhaps be able to generate fictitious results and may believe them, but will not be doing science.


    So: I say - bring on the negativity! There is too little of it here.

  • @Thomas Clarke: It's not about constructive criticism like pointing out possible experiment errors. I guess everyone here wants a proper experimental protocol like you propose.


    It's about never ending discussions and ride about like who has invested money to whom and why just today and not since the last 27 years blaa blaaa blaa...


    That's absolutely worthless for Jeff and any other replicator.

  • @Paradigmnoia: if it's a commercial website, it's quite possible it's like you're saying.


    Nevertheless, a simple test like the one I previously proposed (sealed paperboard box containing a non-radioactive metallic sample) should at least in theory be able to end criticisms about potential radioactive dust issues and tell more about the reaction without requiring a huge work or large expenses.


    For example, if activation of the sample will still be observed (and no more reasonable objections on potential contamination issues will arise) a further idea could be using different sealed containers made of a thicker material of known properties in order to start narrowing down the nature and energy of the radiation observed, until more complex equipment will be available. Tables and calculators for the stopping range of nuclear particles in materials exist on the internet and in the scientific literature.

  • @Ecco
    I agree with what you say.
    The 130 times background example just runs so contrary to over a decade of experience with NORMs that I have difficulty swallowing it whole.
    If I ran into an area of 130 x background (which I have many times), I would be concerned. If it was in a house, I would be sad for the occupants.


    I once found an abandoned house in a green(ish) gully in a desert area of Argentina, supplied with a fresh spring that unfortunately also bubbled up large amounts of radon. The house was right beside the spring. It was one of two "fresh water" springs found within a large area of almost no other year-round water. The typical regional background there was around 250-300 CPS (NaI scintillometer). Around the spring it was over 10000 CPS. That is "only" 33 to 40 times background. A nearby sheep rancher told me that the gully and the house was considered cursed. The CNEA had possibly evicted the last owners of the small house after a survey of the area in the 1970's, according to a rumor heard by another local land manager. Numerous near-surface uranium deposits and occurrences are found in the area. The green gully was actually part of a large and complicated fault structure that continued for many miles.
    I have since found or visited dozens of springs with huge amounts of radon, or in some cases dissolved/suspended uranium.

  • @Paradigmnoia: if it's a commercial website, it's quite possible it's like you're saying.


    Nevertheless, a simple test like the one I previously proposed (sealed paperboard box containing a non-radioactive metallic sample) should at least in theory be able to end criticisms about potential radioactive dust issues and tell more about the reaction without requiring a huge work or large expenses.


    For example, if activation of the sample will still be observed (and no more reasonable objections on potential contamination issues will arise) a further idea could be using different sealed containers made of a thicker material of known properties in order to start narrowing down the nature and energy of the radiation observed, until more complex equipment will be available. Tables and calculators for the stopping range of nuclear particles in materials exist on the internet and in the scientific literature.



    The magnetic nature of the shield may be the cogent factor.


    Quote

    1) Chemical effects: Urutskoiev has decomposed a sample of ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3 )sealed in a hermetic aluminum vessel at a distance of several meters from the electric discharge, hypothesizing that the monopoles emitted by the discharge would penetrate the aluminum container and catalyze the exothermic decomposition. He further introduced the same material in a vessel made of ferromagnetic steel, and nothing happened. The experiment was repeated many times for statistical accuracy. The nitrate was decomposed in every aluminum container and no change was ever observed inside steel containers.


    Electric discharge is a known generator of EVs as studied by Ken Shoulders. It is my opinion that these EVs are photon based plasmoids or analog monopoles(SPP). They would be highly sensitive to magnetic fields. Any non-magnetic material may not contain the active agent in this study of activation.

  • Apologies if this has already been suggested.


    A slightly more expensive solution but why not have two detectors, one placed close to the reactor and another placed a few meters away along the same axis? Assuming the reactor is a "point source", the closer detector will experience a greater shift in the spectrum than the one further away (assuming there is indeed a source from the reactor). I would think both detectors would report similar "background" counts if the source was ambient. That way, you can eliminate changes in the background count "on the fly".


    Is there any chance that increased levels can be generated by electric discharges in the tube from the coil through the gas to ground?

  • @GlowFish


    There is a school of belief in LENR theoretical thought termed 'Exotic Neutral Particle'(ENP). This particle is some sort of activated dust or heavy quasiparticle that is the active agent in the LENR reaction. There is solid evidence that strange particles produce weird traces on film. I have been waiting for a reproducible LENR reaction to be invented that would allow this theory to be explored. This dust could be dangerous or not, it is time for use to find out.


    Your idea is a good one. Such an idea was implemented with CR-39 by John Fisher who found that the distant detector saw a 7 times increase in activity when a fan pushed air to that far detector from the location of the reactor, meaning that the ENP floats on the air and activates the LENR reaction local to its position.


    We don't want to breath this stuff in if it exists.

  • @GlowFish
    I suggested the multiple detector thing in regards to the MFMP signal, and still think it is a good idea. It may be an expensive idea, though, based on the response I got.


    It is my (and only mine, apparently) idea that this effectively is a thermionic emission device with no "proper" anode. I suspect that the H gas under pressure increases the work function required to get the electrons to boil off the hot wire, while fighting the reduction of work function caused by H gas in the wire itself. This work function battle may resonate? The concentration of free electrons liberated by thermionic emission in the tube, combined with possibly slightly ionized H gas and the constant electrical potential could possibly cause Coulomb expulsion of electrons at higher than expected energies towards the outside of the tube once electron "saturation" is achieved. IMO, this may show up as higher levels of "beta-like" emission near the positive terminal connection (since direct current was supplied). I would also test for a voltage generated across the aluminum end caps, if feasible. The quartz and aluminum should block most accelerated electrons since the applied voltage is relatively low, so I'm still unsure how my idea jives with radiation received at the detector at any significant distance.


    The work function for thermionic emission of electrons from nickel in a vacuum is about 5 eV, which is about (at least) a couple of orders of magnitude lower than what would be required to generate penetrating electron "rays" or cause subsequent x-ray emission.
    Perhaps static build up and subsequent discharge could be enough to bridge the energy gap?
    I haven't really looked at the details of my idea, or several others, since basic tests are in order before wandering down some strange dead end trail of big ideas and what-ifs.

  • Quote

    Nevertheless, a simple test like the one I previously proposed (sealed paperboard box containing a non-radioactive metallic sample) should at least in theory be able to end criticisms about potential radioactive dust issues and tell more about the reaction without requiring a huge work or large expenses.


    I don't like reprtition, but I want to comment on methodology. Ecco's suggestion here would eliminate one possible source of error, given assumptions about its behaviour. That would no doubt be valuable.


    However, much more valuable would be to diagnose whole classes of errors. The shield suggestions from Josh and I would be even simpler to implement than Ecco's suggestion, and would provide much more information about the "Signal". Thus:


    a reactor signal would not change given a plastic shield, and would change given a lead shield.
    a dust on reactor, or in air, signal would not change with either
    a heat signal would change (with a time constant) with both. How much depending on the shield size.


    For this info to be useful you need one more datum. What is the reading change with a lead shield in the same position over the reactor next to a cold reactor. That would deal with change in background or in reactor dust radioactivity.


    From all this stuff you get a lot of info - maybe not definitive but possibly - and after analysis of that you can proceed with further testing.


    I'm not saying don't do Ecco's test, just that it is much more specific and therefore likely less informative.


    Best wishes, Tom

  • @Thomas Clarke: I figured that with a shield there would be complaints that different thermal convection patterns changed the flow of radioactive dust particles in the air to the detector, if radiation counts were to decrease with the detector behind one.


    Anyway, both tests aren't mutually exclusive.

  • Thomas wrote:


    Quote

    a reactor signal would not change given a plastic shield, and would change given a lead shield.a dust on reactor, or in air, signal would not change with eithera heat signal would change (with a time constant) with both. How much depending on the shield size.


    If you consider the possibility the neutrons are activating both the aluminum foil around the detector and parts of the detector itself, you would need to carefully think through the order of procedures performed. Imagine the detector becoming activated when the plastic shield is up, and then continues to show radiation when the lead shield is up. Of course, you would expect the same from radioactive dust. I don't see a similar problem with the heat factor you propose.


    Ecco's suggestion avoids this problem.

  • @Ecco


    Well I agree, the problem with dust is that it potentially can do almost anything (though not I think be activated by aneutronic radiation), so your view one should get a handle on it is reasonable. And the activation meme can be tested.


    On the other hand the shield stuff gives top-down information. If it is contaminated by weird dust effects, then that can be further investigated.

  • Quote

    If you consider the possibility the neutrons are activating both the aluminum foil around the detector and parts of the detector itself


    If there are neutrons then the experiment is dangerous and should probably not be done. There is however no evidence anywhere to support that idea. Whereas radioactive dust is usual.


    If the neutron flux is high enough to activate dust then it is likely very dangerous.

  • @Ecco


    Well I agree, the problem with dust is that it potentially can do almost anything (though not I think be activated by aneutronic radiation)


    When a "Good Scientist" sets up an experiment, he should test for all possibilities without prejudices of what the scientist is expecting. Discovering the unexpected is where new science comes from.


    When the fractional quantum hall effect was discovered, fractional charge was considered impossible and a violation of the conservation of charge principle. But low and behold, fractional charge was discovered and the world of science was turned on its head.


    Please use your vast experimental expertise properly without prejudice to properly inform the amateurs doing experimentation that depend on your purported wisdom.

  • Dust contamination


    Many comments have mentioned dust contamination as something that might yield false positives, so I ran a quick experiment which consisted of turning on the blower fan in the heating unit in the basement. No heat, just the fan pulling air through the filter. After approximately 1 hour I opened the blower cabinet and measured an enormous level of radiation, almost 10 mrem/hr at the filter. Now things get even stranger. About six hours later the radiation level at the air filter had returned to background level of 0.03 - 0.05 mrem/hr. To make sure that this reading was not a fluke I wiped the TV screen (another place where dust collects) with a paper towel and measured a similar rad level on the towel. Just as before, after ~ 6 hours the level had returned to normal.


    Here is what I believe is happening but I will not be able to prove it until gamma spectrometer measurements become available. Radon and its decay products may be entering the basement and sticking to dust particles. Most of the time the dust is fairly dilute, but under certain conditions (fans, filters) the dust can become concentrated. That would account for the monotonically increasing radiation levels observed in the airflow calorimeter. Dust was being pulled into the chamber at a faster rate than the Rn decay products were decaying. Once the fan was turned off no new Rn entered the chamber (or furnace air filter) and the radiation level returned to normal. The tricky part is that the half lives of Rn decay products have half lives measured in minutes, so 6 hours is many half lives. That would explain the apparent "activation" that I reported earlier. It was most likely radioactive dust with short lived isotopes of Po, Bi, Pb that I was observing. Look up the Rn decay diagram; half lives and decay products are listed. It would also explain why testing of dust on the floor and in a vacuum cleaner not used for weeks would return background levels.


    Bottom line: I may not have observed LENR and almost certainly did not observe neutron activation. However, other Celani-type experiments have reported radiation and excess heat, so the experimental approach is still worth pursuing.


    Note on the high radiation level measured on the air filter. The GM detector was enclosed in a polyethylene bag to prevent dust contamination, so some alphas would be stopped. Inserting 3 mil thick Al foil reduced the level by ~50% indicating that some of the radiation was alphas and betas. Inserting a 1.75 cm lead shield in front of the detector stopped almost all radiation. So it is likely that alphas, betas, and gammas were all present.

  • @jeff: haven't you made other Celani wire and Parkhomov tube replications with null results before? What did you change in your setup besides wire preparation with the new method previously described? Was this the first time you attempted measuring radiation emission?

  • Very interesting. Much worse accumulation of radioactive dust than I would have suspected possible in one hour.
    Is it possible to run your experiment without heating the tube, as a total null, just to see how the system loads dust and the response of the meter in the test configuration?

  • I guess what I am wondering is, what is the correct background to use?
    The open air background is not comparable to an active air filter. But if the calorimeter is acting like an air filter, then there should be some sort of steady-state background achieved at some point. Unless the electrified tube actually attracts the decay products...compared to a null.
    Perhaps a filter needs to be installed a fair distance upstream, and the detector box sealed in future work.


    Thanks, Jeff, for investigating this and reporting it quickly.