The Dennis Cravens Golden Ball reaction


    I have finally gotten a handle on the Dennis Cravens Golden Ball reaction. The Cravens system is unlike any other LENR system. It is a real conundrum. I have struggled to connect this outlier LENR reactor to other LENR processes for a long time. I think that I have solved this puzzle.

    The material inside the ball is cold. Heat does not figure in the production of electron motion so the LENR reaction is inherent to the nature of the material itself and not produced by electron or photon motion.

    Regarding the material, from the reference:


    “So a large sample and a magnetic field is good. To assure a strong magnetic field in the active material the spheres contain a ground samarium cobalt (Sm2Co7) magnet, which stays magnetized at higher temperatures. This was powdered and the powder is mostly random but it should provide a strong magnetic field within the sample”

    The key to the reaction is the SmCo magnet dust.

    IMHO, it is the crystal structure of the material that makes a molecule LENR active. That structure and placement of the rare earth atoms in the crystal formats the spin of the cobalt atoms to project in an anisotropic direction to concentrate and organize the spin of the cobalt atoms in a concentrated direction...forward axially normal to the radius. Spin does not leak out radially from the sides of this type of magnet and the North Pole is more intense than the South Pole.

    SmCo is an anisotropic magnetic material. The magnetic beam energy is concentrated in a preferred direction.

    Calculation of magnetic anisotropy energy in SmCo5

    The shape of the magnetic field seems to be the critical determinate to LENR activity. The straightness of the magnetic field lines seem to be determinate for LENR activity.

    There are other types of micro and nano particles with the same magnetic anisotropic properties and once the atomic spins and/or surface charge is magnetically energized, become LENR active. They share the hexagonal or trigonal crystal structure and through that structure project magnetism in a straight beam.

    Other references where SmCo magnets play a part.

    Dana Rotegard, Mark Hugo (Irish Holdings, Ltd., S. St.
    Paul), "Excess Heat from Deuterated Rare Earth Magnet
    SmCo5 Used in Low Budget Home Experiment," presented
    in poster session at ICCF-5, Monaco, 9-13 April 1995.


    K. B. Chukanov

    About this demo from Russ George who witnessed it:

  • Yeah! This experiment still linger in my mind, it is so very different from other LENR claims. It wasn't even a claim, just sitting there and people had to think for themselfes how it could be possible that the two balls differ a few degrees during the whole weekend.

    The magnetic monopole theory as the root cause for LENR is interesting!

  • Since only half the balls are immersed in the aluminum pebble bath the top of the balls should be colder than the bottom. This temperature difference can be utilized by a thermoelectric generator inside the LENR ball. The electric power generated is used to heat a small, thermally insulated cavity into which the temperature sensor is inserted.

  • A few thoughts about Cravens demo:

    1) He emphasizes that there is no power input, but it takes power to keep the bead bath at 80C -- probably tens of watts. He claims the brass ball produced a watt or so, so the COP is less than 1.1.

    2) Now, I realize that if the ball is hotter than the bath, you don't need to know the power required to maintain the bath temperature to conclude the ball is generating its own power. In fact, I've often suggested that Rossi should measured the temperature of his cylinder core and show it to be higher than that of his heater. But if it really is generating its own heat, why the need for the bath? Presumably it limits heat loss, and so maintains the temperature above 80C, but there are other ways to do that without thermal input. SImply insulate it well, and then use controlled water cooling. Why does LENR always need an external power source?

    3) He said one person asked to measure the TC resistance directly, but I would have liked to put observer supplied mercury thermometers through holes in the balls, and then swap them. Not that I think he simply rigged one thermocouple, but still it would be nice to rule it out.

    4) Such a stable output seems inconsistent with the usual claims of unreliability and instability as excuses for the failure to develop practical applications. Cravens said the setup was not intended to be a "science experiment" with "exacting measurements". But If nuclear reactions are that easy to initiate and control, why *not* perform a "science experiment", with "exacting measurements" to prove cold fusion, rather than "make people think just perhaps cold fusion might be possible"? Why did he abandon the experiment, instead of develop a product? Could it be because when he makes exacting measurements, it doesn't look so nuclear anymore? Could it be because when he tries to develop a practical application, it doesn't work?

    5) One watt for 4 days represents the energy content of about 8 grams of gasoline (plus the necessary oxygen needed to burn it). Not that he used gasoline (it would smell), but it indicates the energy density is well within the chemical range. That level of heat can hardly be considered evidence of nuclear reactions. He cut it in half to exclude a battery as the energy source, but the electrical energy density of the best battery is a fraction of the thermal energy density of chemical fuel. Cutting it in half in no way excludes the possibility of a chemical source for the heat.

    6) The discussion of theory is laughably simplistic. The fire alarm metaphor misses the point of a strong repulsive force. And I suspect the wave nature of sub-atomic particles has occurred to the theorists who are nevertheless skeptical of cold fusion. After all, even in a plasma, at 100 million degrees, fusion requires tunneling, a strictly non-classical phenomenon, based on the wave nature of particles.

    So, the Cravens demo doesn't need a nuclear explanation.

  • Of course Cravens demo don't need a nuclear explanation by itself. But in the overall picture of LENR research he added an interesting experiment. The balls were taken out from the bed and cut in half in front of an audience at the end of the weekend.

  • The LENR evidence should in the total energy, and the lack of credible chemistry possible.
    I don't see a calorimetry claim in the article, but Dennis Cravens may have some calorimetry. We shoudl investigate more.

    This method is not so surprising as it is typical Heat After Death in nanostructured material.
    There is an indian similar job done with zeolithes, I forgot the author.

    Role of magnetic field is intriguing but not so surprising, as Dennis Letts, then ENEA observed that magnetic pulse triggers the reaction.

  • Since only half the balls are immersed in the aluminum pebble bath the top of the balls should be colder than the bottom. This temperature difference can be utilized by a thermoelectric generator inside the LENR ball. The electric power generated is used to heat a small, thermally insulated cavity into which the temperature sensor is inserted.

    There was no thermoelectric generator inside the LENR ball.

    When Cravens cut the active ball open, dust and deutrium came out.

    From the reference:


    So what is in that warm golden ball? It contains an activated carbon that holds metal alloy within its pores, some magnetic powder, some hydrogen storage material and some deuterium gas

  • Since only half the balls are immersed in the aluminum pebble bath the top of the balls should be colder than the bottom. This temperature difference can be utilized by a thermoelectric generator inside the LENR ball. The electric power generated is used to heat a small, thermally insulated cavity into which the temperature sensor is inserted.

    notice the active sphere was opened after the event and no such device was inside.

  • joshua cude -

    they were thermistors not thermocouple.

    also notice that the spheres were sealed to gas as seen by the deuterium pressure released at the end. Oxygen from the environment could not be causing a chemical reaction.

  • joshua cude Why does LENR always need an external power source?

    It would appear that the reaction has a positive temperature coefficient. It needs to be "warm" to have a significant reaction. It also seems that the power density levels are very low and thus most experiment have a large heat loss (significant loss due to surface are). Perhaps that is why the device here had to be spherical and plated with Au (low emissivity) and the inside had to be coated with some insulation. (I seem to recall a black vinyl with aerogel but I don't remember where I heard that).

    Although I wonder about the direct thermal contact between the outside of the sphere and the Al beads.

  • I had the good fortune to meet Dr Cravens and Dennis Letts at this event. I was a witness to this days long demo and was served a cup of tea by D2 after inquiring about his "warmer" he had as part of the demo - hot and delicious! I was also there to witness the opening of the balls at the end of the event along with James Truchard of NI. The control was sand filled and I can testify that the active ball was coated with Cravens magic mix - the experiment worked. Its one of the purest and most elegant demonstrations in the history of the field. He / we have tried to recreate it numerous times since and have positive results but nothing that can match that most memorable week in Austin Aug 2013. Cravens and Letts have become good friends and colleagues of mine since NI'13. Count them in on the future.

  • found it in the Eneco archives listing. Both Cravens and Letts were working with ENECO in 94

    so they go back at least that far.

    Notice that there was evidently a patent appl from Cravens via ENECO ( see listing in archives: Cravens, Dennis; Application of magnetic fields to thermal systems) 89-93

    Boy it would be fun to go through all those boxes and information.

    I bet there is a gold mine there.

  • wow, looking at those ENECO archive listing is VERY interesting. It might be worth a trip to Utah. Sounds like even some of F&P's early patent apps are there.

    Some of you patent guys, if there is info in the old pat. apps in a public archive, aren't those now "free game".

    The paten office denied them and I assume they are now "abandoned".

    "There may be gold in them there hills"

  • The cause of LENR is magnetic chirality. This experiment produces this type of magnetism using graphite and the SmCo7 magnet powder. The particles inside the proton must be balanced with regards to right and left handedness of the particles that the proton contains. The chiral magnetic field upsets this balance and then this imbalance produces proton decay.

    see this post for more info…heory/#comment-3726235274…heory/#comment-3726304550