Experiment "Captured electrons excite nuclei to higher energy states" and Hydroton theory

  • This recent experiment caught my interest, in the context of Edmund Storms theory


    It shows how electrons, via electron capture, can push nuclei into an excited state (Correct me!).

    I'd like to ask people competent in orthodox QM like Eric Walker (please NO fringe QM). to explain me this experiment and whether it may open a possibility in Hydroton (or similar) theory.

    My perception (biased toward Ed vision, I agree. please take it as an axiom in this discussion) of that theory is that the only "no new physics/chemistry/thermodynamics" solution for observed LENR is that at some moment a coherent insulated collection of hydrogen atoms emit keV-scale x-rays photons, because the collections moves from collective excited states of D to end in a classical state where a nucleus is he4.

    What I understood from exchanges is that the nuclei cannot interfere from so far away (only of few fm away can they interact).

    This experiment using a much more heavy and very specific nucleus, show there is a hope of electrons mediating nucleus transition.

    Maybe it is false hope, and thus I'd like to have and educated debunking of my hope.

    Please, no other theory, else usual QM and Ed approach.:saint:

    Fork your own thread if you want to discuss another super cool theory exploiting this article ;)

  • Interesting paper Alain,

    you have to know that each electron are radially bounded with a proton.

    When you add or remove an electron , nuclei structure move then relative proton's position to neutrons is moving.

    This creates metastable states that relax with time.

    Have a look on nuclei's cluster theories to better understand.

    This relaxation well explains "heat after death" behavior.

    Also, unfortunally, a lot of false isotope analyzes, about Lenr.

  • This recent experiment caught my interest, in the context of Edmund Storms theory


    It shows how electrons, via electron capture, can push nuclei into an excited state (Correct me!).

    Mo93 is an instable nucleus, that has an interesting long living (6.85 hours) gamma level at 2424.95 keV . Thus the experiment is no surprise. The good news is that external promotion of gamma levels is in fact possible. But for LENR we have to look at other nuclei, which are far more promising.

  • AlainCo , there are people here who are much more qualified to speak about quantum mechanics than I. I just obtained a textbook or three which I read and can make sense of at a basic level.

    But my general impression of Ed Storms's theory is that it is unphysical. And not in just one way, but in many ways, unfortunately. There is no way that I know of to reconcile it with mainstream physics. It is what you would get if you took a phenomenological understanding of some experimental evidence, made some simplifying assumptions about what is going on in the experiments, allowing them to congeal into hard and fast conclusions, and then made that understanding your fixed point and bent physics around it. I have always appreciated Ed Storms's experimental work.

  • Possibly. But in Ed Storms's case, we have the following challenges, which I don't see how to reconcile with mainstream physics:

    • How do you confine the deuterons in the hydroton chain in a linear structure against the disruption of the thermal vibrations in the surrounding lattice?
    • How do you confine the electrons to interstitial positions between the deuterons, in apparent violation of the Heisenberg uncertainty principal and their desire to be all over the place?
    • How do you accelerate the weak interaction, which in other contexts is a very slow process, as needed by Ed's theory? (Here my memory of the specifics is vague, and I'd need to go back and take a closer look as to why this is an issue.)
    • Since Ed is assuming fusion, how do you prevent a strong "snapping" together of the deuterons as they approach, as would be expected under the strong nuclear interaction, which operates at a distance of fm and is very strong?
    • How do you avoid the normal branching ratios seen in deuteron fusion? (Tritium and a proton 50 percent of the time, 3He and a neutron 50 percent of the time, and very occasionally an alpha particle and a gamma photon.)
    • Prior to fusing, how do you bring the deuterons close enough together to tunnel, against their strong coulomb repulsion? Ed's assumption about electron screening will only be of so much help here and does not do away with the problem.

    Each one of these issues goes against intuition. All of them taken together feel pretty damning. (And there are yet more issues.) I'm not in a position to rule Ed's theory out altogether, but I would not place any money on it. I think it's a simple case of him misdiagnosing what's going on in his experiments, although I don't have strong doubts about his calorimetry.

  • My key question is about why the branching ratio is not the direct 24Mev usual one.

    I feel that hydroton is only one (too) simple possibility for a collective state in a NAE... I'm agnostic about what it is geometrically... It is collective, that is all which is desperately required.

    now, among the impossibility it is the distance. in my model, atoms are not compressed enough to allow strongforce to work as usual... this is why something collective have to happen.

    Weak interaction as usual is even worse than strong, and without something collective or combined, it is hopeless.

    My hope was that in a collective state, the electrons could mediate some energy between nuclei, further away than the femtometer domain, probably even delocalized over microns.

    In a way it makes me thing about superfluidity, allowing atoms of nm size to pass over barrier of cm height.

    Of course, as you notice, it cannot be simply breaking the coulomb barrier as it would end with a 24Mev quanta that never happens.

    It must be a thousands of transitions, but how ? sure nuclei cannot be near as few fm without fusing, and if they are still usual classical nuclei they need to be few fm away before they become He4...

    I would propose a crazy image.

    consider the wavefuntion of two protons from a H2 molecule. forget the quarks for the story. it is mostly two dirac functions one angström away.

    now imagine a thousand of H... many dirac peaks every angström... no better.

    now that because they are interacting, interfering (maybe dancing electrons are tickling their cheeks, and this is my hope with above experiment), the wave function of each proton is interfering with others, with electrons, so the Dirac peak, widen to become a comb... a comb that widen with thousands of teethes up to crossing the teethes of it's neighbors...

    imagine that the teeth appear and moves according to the average energy of the system, freeing few keV once they get nearer to the teeth of the neighbour, step by step, not by a big 24Mev jump...

    EDIT: By the way for the average energy of string force fusion to be freed, this mean the electrostatic energy is not growing, thus that the comb represent a neutral particle, thus a pseudo particle involving the electron...

    at one moment one of the wavefunction will look like the comb not of two proton (EDIT: and one electron and), but of a deuterium nucleus, and if the magic of coherence disappear the system will collapse into a fused deuterium (Edit: some neutrino not to forget)...

    there is many problems in the details, as my story probably involve strong, weak and EM forces... I imagine that like for BCS supeconduction, some virtual particle will make the three forces be seen as few pseudo particles which represent the different transitions of the comb I imagine...

    EDIT: It seems the comb is a neutral pseudo particle excitation... I imagine a complementary pseudo particle will represent the charge dipole, and why not combined with another about weak force...

    Everything involving a few-body interaction involving strong force or weak force, cannot explains LENR.

    It is not a rape, but a snail love story .

  • They use a short-lived isomer of Mo (7.5hours) that has a much less stable (3.5ns) nuclear energy state very close to it - only 4.85keV above. This can be reached when the nucleus captures an electron. this has been long predicted by theory, but difficult to observe.

    It does not usually happen because stable nuclear states do not normally have excited states so close to that stable state.

  • In this case, the words "electron capture" are misleading: they are not used to their proper and habitual sense. It is not a capture by the nucleus, but by the atom. The term "chemical reduction" is more accurate, to my opinion.

    Irene and Frédéric Joliot-Curie were the first, in June 1933, to propose the possibility for a nucleus to decrease after absorption of an electron. I did not find the article were he states: "We can still assume that the unknown isotope Na22 is not stable and spontaneously transforms into Ne22 by capture of an extranuclear electron. ".

    Does anyone know the reference of this paper?

    It has subsequently been shown that sodium 22 actually decreases by electronic capture by approximately 10%

    The next step with the effect discovered by Chiara et Al. will be a nuclear excitation during the reduction of a molecule. (And in my mind, I think "biological macromolecule" or "molecule of a quasicrystal", of course)

    It is the reverse effect of the well-known "internal conversion" (Energy transfer from nucleus to the electronic cloud)

    The reverse process, this so-called "Nuclear Excitation by Electron Capture" (NEEC) -an electron fall into a lower shell ("classical shell", not "deep orbit" for the time, but who know the future?) Can excite the nucleus to a higher-energy state.

    It is not totally a surprise, because there is a strong field of research on the triggers of X-rays, and the target of these X-rays is the electrons of the atom, before transmission to the nucleus.

    (A lot of work in this field during the last twenty years, but only few papers ...)

    But this article of NATURE is very interesting, because it is another proof that the atomic domain and the nuclear domain are linked to each other.

    Thanks for the link,

    Best Regards,


  • AlainCo , the fixed points that one chooses are all-important. It is worth putting some time into pondering which fixed points one will choose. Whatever those are, everything else will have to pivot around them. So choose them wisely.

    I suggest that collective interactions are a poor fixed point to choose among the various possibilities for attempting to make sense of LENR. Consider these constraints:

    1. Influences between things travel no faster than the speed of light (except for whatever goes on between entangled pairs).
    2. Experimentally, nuclear phenomena involving the strong interaction (e.g., fusion) are observed to occur on extremely short timescales.
    3. The strong interaction occurs over very short distances (fm).
    4. The weak interaction occurs over very, very short distances (perhaps 1/1000th of the diameter of a proton).

    If you go with (1), (2) and (3), collective phenomena look implausible when it comes to fusion reactions. How do you have coordination among thousands of interacting things that might as well be lightyears apart from one another as far as the timespans involved are concerned? Collective interactions involving the weak interaction also seem implausible. If you choose collective interactions as your fixed point, everything will seem magical and hand-wavy but unsatisfying.

  • With regard to LENR experiments, I defer to some of the decent PdD experimentalists and go along with their claims that there is a positive energy balance for the system as a whole. To make sense of this, I make these fixed points as part of a thought experiment:

    • There is helium being generated (and not merely released).
    • Deuterium has a somewhat different effect on the system than hydrogen.
    • There are few to no neutrons.
    • Little to no evidence of charged particle radiation is observed.

    I do not make the following into fixed points:

    • There is fusion happening, e.g., deuterium is being fused.
    • There are collective phenomena that are triggering the whole thing.
    • Deuterium does something and hydrogen does nothing.
    • Palladium is more than catalytic.
    • There is nothing else in the system that is participating that experimenters might have overlooked.
    • There are no energetic charged particles. (I.e., what charged particles there are are obscured by the method of measurement.)

    With these assumptions, I gravitate towards the following possibilities:

    • Platinum plays a role (e.g., the platinum anode in electrolytic systems).
    • Both hydrogen and deuterium are catalytic (and not more than catalytic), with differential effects.

    All of these taken together lead me to induced/accelerated alpha decay of platinum in the case of the PdD electrolytic system.

  • H-G, I've been painting myself into this corner for two or three years, now. :) I would love someone to show me the errors of my thinking. So far Peter Eckstrom has come closest with a point about expecting coulomb excitation. This objection is mitigated by a counterpoint that I have gleaned to the effect that alpha emitters in the wild (e.g., in a fire detector) don't necessarily show evidence of coulomb excitation (← vague impression only).

    I find this possibility a very interesting one, but I still just consider it one possibility among several. I also don't think it's an explanation for all putative LENR results.

  • With these assumptions, I gravitate towards the following possibilities:

    Platinum plays a role (e.g., the platinum anode in electrolytic systems).

    There is a neglected point regarding elements with large Z (like Pt): Many of the isotopes have low energy gamma levels that are below the K-electron potential. This directly points to possible resonances with the coulomb cloud! I wouldn't be surprised, if the lowest electrons (Pt) are bound to the nuclear flux function.

    Your thought experiment is correct!

  • Wyttenbach , the difficulty with going with low-lying states is that such states are still generally keV above the ground state. Where are you going to find keV of energy in a metal with average kinetic energy on the sub-eV level? (I haven't been able to find an energy level diagram for platinum-190, the alpha emitter, but it would not be surprising if there were such states in this case.)

  • AlainCo , I'm not so sure we've ruled out the possibilities. There's another way in that I've found that feels much more probable to me than collective influences. You've heard of the coulomb barrier, which puts up a barrier to charged particles approaching one another. It is like a hill they must climb in order to fuse, and if they're not moving fast enough, they will fly apart in opposite directions.

    The coulomb barrier does another thing as well, which is less intuitive but just as real. It keeps heavy nuclei together in one piece. If the coulomb barrier were somehow weakened, a heavy nucleus would become unstable and gain an alpha-decay or fission half-life. How might you weaken the coulomb barrier? With electron screening. Since electrons have negative charge, they will potentially reduce the coulomb barrier surrounding a heavy nucleus.

    What about the case of a heavy nucleus that is already a weak alpha emitter, such as platinum-190? If the coulomb barrier were lowered, the decay rate would increase. Where before the platinum-190 nucleus decayed very slowly, it would now decay more quickly, and you might start seeing fission. How much more quickly would it decay? The interesting thing here is that the decay rate is a nonlinear function of the coulomb barrier width. Very small changes to the thickness of the coulomb barrier lead to predicted alpha decay rates that are different by orders of magnitude. So it doesn't take much electron screening to potentially see a spike in the alpha decay rate.

    The main difficulty here is that up to now there's been no experimentally verified change in the alpha decay rate. And physicists think it would be very hard or impossible to screen the coulomb barrier in the manner I have described enough to see a measurable change. But I am always on the lookout for assumptions that extend too far, and I wonder whether this is one.

  • alpha decay in an uncommon situation could match facts...

    by the way, as I understand, any kind of huge barrier have a second problem after "how to break it", it is "how to dissipate the initial energy without making huge radiations"...

    LENR radiations looks more like desexcitation than reaction...

    more like cooling than explosion.

    what is it...

  • by the way, as I understand, any kind of huge barrier have a second problem after "how to break it", it is "how to dissipate the initial energy without making huge radiations"...

    This is an important detail to bring out, but I think the challenges with alpha decay, in particular, have been overhyped. I get the sense that you would get little to no discernible trace of the energetic alpha particles (with energies in the range of 1-5 MeV range, presumably) through the glass of an electrochemical cell filled with water. There are two proposals that contrast with this possibility that have been made: (1) there is Peter Hagelstein's proposed limit of 20 keV on all particles, above which you'll get secondary radiations of various kinds, and (2) there is Peter Eckstrom's comment about coulomb excitation (the adding of energy to a nearby nucleus as an alpha particle passes by, which is then relaxed via the emission of a gamma photon).

    Peter Hagelstein's proposed limit of 20 keV seems far too low, and it can be empirically tested. The testing would be straightforward: place americium from a smoke detector in an electrochemical cell filled with heavy water and LiOH and see if you see any of the things Hagelstein predicts outside of the cell. My guess: you wouldn't see anything above background.

    Peter Eckstrom's idea is also interesting and can similarly be tested, either by looking for evidence of coulomb excitation in the same americium sample, or by embedding it/mixing it into a palladium sample and looking at the amalgam.

  • (I haven't been able to find an energy level diagram for platinum-190, the alpha emitter, but it would not be surprising if there were such states in this case.)

    Eric Walker : Some months ago I noticed that for most of the precious metals there are almost no known higher > 5 ionization levels. After some deeper research I came to the conclusion, that there might me none as in fact they stay bound to the nucleus. This binding is not of coulomb nature!