January 2018 Nikkei article about cold fusion

  • Here is a translation of a Nikkei Shimbun article by me and Mr. Google. The original Japanese text is below. I have not translated the figure. I may do that on Wednesday.

    Cold fusion: overturning the conclusion that it was “fake”
    After 30 years, a series of confirmations

    Jan. 14, 2018

    Nikkei Shimbun morning edition

    In "cold nuclear fusion," hydrogen atoms generate a nuclear fusion reaction at room temperature to produce energy. When this phenomenon was first observed in 1989, many researchers began studying it, but the experimental results were not replicated and the boom quickly subsided. Roughly 30 years have passed since then. The occurrence of excess heat, which is thought to be caused by a nuclear reaction, has been repeatedly confirmed, mainly in Japanese research groups which have continued this research with quiet dedication, and which have uncovered clues about the nature of the reaction.

    A research group including Toyota Group's technological think tank Technova (Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku), Nissan Motor, Tohoku University, Kobe University, Kyushu University, Nagoya University participate in the results of observation of excess heat which is thought to be caused by hydrogen nuclear reaction. These groups have obtained research funding from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and conducted experiments for two years, ending in October 2017.

    In order to compare the experimental results from different groups with each other, researchers similar installed laboratory equipment Kobe University and Tohoku University, and used experimental specimens with common specifications. This duplicated experiment was carried out 16 times while varying conditions such as sample composition and temperature, and the conditions of heat generation were investigated. In the best-performing case, a 120-gram sample was used, which produce excess heat of 10 to 20 watts, lasting about 1 month.

    In the experiment of the same group, a sample of a metal powder was made with a combination of palladium and nickel, copper and nickel, and deuterium gas (which is hydrogen formed by one proton and one neutron in the nucleus) or ordinary hydrogen gas, was injected and the reaction occurred on the metal surface. This method of injecting hydrogen gas into a metallic material with a microstructure is the prototype that was developed in 2005 by Professor Emeritus Yoshiaki Arata of Osaka University.

    In 2001, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries succeeded in "transmutation" in which cesium and strontium are changed to other elements by permeating deuterium gas through a multilayered film made from palladium, or the like. Dr. Yasuhiro Iwamura who was responsible for this research moved to Tohoku University and participated as a core member in this research project.

    The cold fusion method announced by researchers in the United States about 30 years ago was to electrolyze heavy water with palladium electrodes. Although this method has been attempted extensively abroad, the research group such as Technova has concentrated on the method of permeating deuterium (or hydrogen) gas into the metal rather than the electrolysis method, because they consider it more promising.

    Based on these experiments, the conditions under which an exothermic reaction occurs have been clarified. First of all, it is necessary to combine two kinds of metal such as palladium and nickel, rather than using a single type of metal. Moreover, when the ratio of palladium and copper was decreased to palladium 1: nickel 7 or copper 1: nickel 7, the generation of heat was enhanced.

    "A specimen made at an appropriate ratio has a clearance structure smaller than a nanometer (one-billionth of a meter) on the surface, and hydrogen seems to enter into this space and a reaction occurs." Professor Emeritus of Osaka University explains Prof. Akito Takahashi, who is a senior adviser to the research group and Technova.

    If the proportion of palladium or copper is high, these metals surround the specimen around the specimen tightly, and it is impossible to create "places" where hydrogen react with each other. "Heat is generated in experiments by electrolysis, probably because these nanostructures were made by accident on the metal electrode surface," said Prof. Takahashi. It is also clear that exothermic reaction occurs even when the species of hydrogen gas injected is not deuterium gas but normal hydrogen gas. Also, when injecting gas, when the temperature inside the device was raised to 200 to 400 degrees Celsius, it was found that the exothermic reaction did not stop within a short time, but rather continued for several weeks.

    At Tohoku University's equipment, a temperature so high that it that melts ceramics attached with metal specimen also occurs. "There is no doubt that an unknown reaction that cannot be explained by ordinary chemical reactions is occurring" (Prof. Iwamura). What kind of reaction is actually going on? "Multibody fusion", which is said to occur in an extremely fine space, has been proposed by Prof. Emeritus Takahashi. Four deuterium atoms condense to one point and nuclear fusion occurs once beryllium is formed. This breaks into two helium and heat is generated. In this case there is no radiation emitted, unlike the case of normal fusion.

    The research group sees that it is possible to generate 1 kilowatt of heat which is two orders of magnitude larger than the present by improving the structure of the sample, increasing the amount, devising the temperature condition and so on. Cold fusion, which was once said to be "fake science" because the experiment could not be reproduced, is still distrusted by many researchers. Professor Emeritus Takahashi says: "I would like to demonstrate results that will convince anyone, and to ask the world to once again evaluate the significance of this research."

    (Editorial Member Kazuki Yoshikawa)

    常温核融合「ニセ」覆せ

    30 年越し発熱確認相次ぐ

    2018/1/14 付
    日本経済新聞朝刊

    室温で水素原子が核融合反応を起こしてエネルギーを生み出す「常温核融合」。この現象を初めて観測したという1989年の発表で世界の研究者の参入が相次いだが、実験結果は再現されずにブームは急速にしぼんだ。それから約30年。地道に研究を続けてきた日本の研究グループを中心に核反応によるとみられる過剰熱の発生が恒常的に確認され、未知の反応の正体を探る手がかりも得られつつある。

    水素の核反応によるとみられる発熱の観測の成果を重ねているのはトヨタグループの技術系シンクタンクであるテクノバ(東京・千代田)、日産自動車、東北大学、神戸大学、九州大学、名古屋大学が参加する研究グループ。新エネルギー・産業技術総合開発機構(NEDO)から研究資金を得て、2017年10月まで2年間、実験を行った。

    実験結果を相互比較するため、神戸大と東北大に同規模の実験装置を設置し、共通仕様の実験試料を使った。共通実験は試料の組成や温度など条件を変えながら16回実施、熱発生の条件を探った。もっとも成績が良かったケースで120グラムの試料を使い、10~20ワットの過剰熱が約1カ月持続した。

    同グループの実験は、パラジウムとニッケル、銅とニッケルといった組み合わせで金属粉末の試料を作り、陽子1個と中性子1個の原子核でできた重水素や水素のガスを注入して金属表面で反応を起こすというものだ。微細構造を持つ金属材料に水素ガスを注入するというやり方は、大阪大の荒田吉明名誉教授が05年に考案した方法が原型になっている。

    01年には、三菱重工業がパラジウムなどで作った多層膜に重水素ガスを透過させることによって、セシウムやストロンチウムが別の元素に変わる「核変換」に成功している。この研究を担った岩村康弘氏は東北大に移り、今回の研究プロジェクトにも中核メンバーとして参加している。

    約30年前に米国などの研究者が発表した常温核融合の方法は、パラジウムの電極で重水を電気分解するというものだった。この方法は現在も海外で盛んに試みられているが、テクノバなどの研究グループは電気分解法ではなく、金属に重水素(または水素)ガスを注入する方法が有望とみて研究を進めてきた。

    実験を通じて、発熱反応が起きる条件がはっきりしてきた。まず使う金属は1種類ではだめで「パラジウムとニッケル」のように2種類を組み合わせる必要があることだ。しかも「パラジウム1対ニッケル7」「銅1対ニッケル7」のようにパラジウムや銅の比率を小さくすると熱の発生も大きかった。

    「適切な比率で作った試料には表面にナノ(10億分の1)メートルより小さいすきま構造ができる。この空間に水素が入り込んで反応が起きているようだ」。研究グループ代表でテクノバのシニアアドバイザーを務める高橋亮人・大阪大名誉教授はこう説明する。

    パラジウムや銅の比率が多いと、これらの金属が試料の周りをぎっしりと取り囲んでしまい、水素同士が反応する「場」ができないというわけだ。「電気分解による実験で熱が発生するのは、金属の電極表面に偶然こうしたナノ構造ができていたためだろう」と高橋名誉教授は指摘する。注入する水素ガスが、重水素ガスでなく、通常の水素ガスでも発熱反応がおきることもはっきりしてきた。また、ガスを注入するとき装置内の温度をセ氏200~400度に上げておくと、発熱反応が短時間で止まらず、数週間継続することも分かった。

    東北大の装置では金属試料を取り付けたセラミックスが溶けるような高温も発生しており「通常の化学反応で説明できない未知の反応が起きていることは間違いない」(岩村特任教授)という。実際にどんな反応がおきているのか。極めて微細な空間で起きるとされる「凝集核融合」が高橋名誉教授によって提案されている。重水素原子4つが1点に凝縮して核融合していったんベリリウムができる。これがヘリウム2つに割れて熱が発生する。通常の核融合の場合に出る放射線がこの場合は出ないという。

    研究グループは試料の構造を改良し、量を増やし、温度条件などを工夫することで現在より2桁大きい1キロワットの熱発生は可能とみている。かつて再現実験がうまくいかず「ニセモノの科学」といわれた常温核融合は、今も不信感を持つ研究者がいる。高橋名誉教授は「誰もが納得する結果を示してこの研究の意義を再び世に問いたい」と意気込む。

    (編集委員吉川和輝)

  • It is interesting to see that the work of the eminent Japanese LENR researchers finally reached the financial centre of Nikkei. Hopefully it will attract capital to intensify the LENR reseach in Japan. That will no doubt inspire investers elsewhere and the LENR ball will finally gain momentum.

  • The research group sees that it is possible to generate 1 kilowatt of heat which is two orders of magnitude larger than the present by improving the structure of the sample, increasing the amount, devising the temperature condition and so on. Cold fusion, which was once said to be "fake science" because the experiment could not be reproduced, is still distrusted by many researchers. Professor Emeritus Takahashi says: "I would like to demonstrate results that will convince anyone, and to ask the world to once again evaluate the significance of this research."

    Those who see the Japanese results as indicating LENR should agree with this: if you have replicable LENR, it can be optimised and indisputable output power (if maybe not 1kW) obtained. The failure or success of serious well-funded projects to replicate and optimise LENR can be taken as an indication of whether what was originally seen was LENR or measurment error.

  • The failure or success of serious well-funded projects to replicate and optimise LENR can be taken as an indication of whether what was originally seen was LENR or measurment error.

    Those are not the only two possible indications. A failure to replicate and optimize can also be taken as an indication that:


    The reaction is not well understood, even though it can be replicated to some extent.


    The reaction is understood, but that understanding (or model) does not suggest a path forward to optimization.


    The reaction is inherently impossible to optimize, like muon catalyzed fusion. This is understood but there is no way to optimize it and make it a practical source of energy.


    The reaction is understood, a method of optimizing it has been discovered that will probably work, but funding is insufficient to proceed. Many conventional technologies fit in this category.

  • Okay, I removed a number of Google-translate artifacts from this translation, and I translated the labels in the figure. The new version of the English text is below, followed by the figure in Japanese and translations of the labels. As I noted, I think one of the labels is technically inaccurate; there are no electrons in the 4-body fusion in the lattice.

    The translation artifacts were interesting because most of them were more or less correct, but they did not sound like a human. For example, one phrase was translated "clearance structure" ( すきま構造 ) meaning the structure of the gaps or clearances within the lattice. That made sense, so I ignored it in the first pass. It made sense to me, reading the Japanese text. Maybe not to you. I decided to make it "interstitial structure" instead. That sounds like what you would expect in English.

    Another example of a more-or-less right translation was "Dr. Yasuhiro Iwamura who was the responsible researcher" at Mitsubishi That should be "lead researcher" or "principal researcher" I think. "Responsible" is understandable, and may be correct in some contexts.

    Google translate has been improved with AI techniques. The older versions often came up with nonsense or with a totally different meaning of a word that did not fit. It still translates the Japanese word for "excess heat" into "fever" which is only excess heat in a living body.

    - Jed


    Cold fusion: overturning the conclusion that it was “fake”
    After 30 years, a series of confirmations

    Jan. 14, 2018
    Nikkei Shimbun morning edition


    In “cold nuclear fusion,” hydrogen atoms generate a nuclear fusion reaction at room temperature to produce energy. When this phenomenon was first observed in 1989, many researchers began studying it, but the experimental results were not replicated and the boom quickly subsided. Roughly 30 years have passed since then. The occurrence of excess heat, which is thought to be caused by a nuclear reaction, has been repeatedly confirmed, mainly in Japanese research groups which have continued this research with quiet dedication, and which have uncovered clues about the nature of the reaction.

    Observations of excess heat which is thought to be caused by a hydrogen fusion reaction have made by members of a research group, including Toyota’s technological think tank Technova (Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku), Nissan Motor, Tohoku University, Kobe University, Kyushu University, Nagoya University. They obtained research funding from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and conducted experiments for two years, ending in October 2017.

    In order to compare the experimental results from different groups with each other, researchers installed similar laboratory equipment at Kobe University and Tohoku University, and used experimental specimens with common specifications. This duplicated experiment was carried out 16 times while varying conditions such as sample composition and temperature, and the conditions of heat generation were investigated. In the best-performing case, a 120-gram sample was used, which produce excess heat of 10 to 20 watts, lasting about 1 month.

    In the experiment of the same group, a sample of a metal powder was made with a combination of palladium and nickel, copper and nickel, and deuterium gas (which is hydrogen formed by one proton and one neutron in the nucleus) or ordinary hydrogen gas, was injected and the reaction occurred on the metal surface. This method of injecting hydrogen gas into a metallic material with a microstructure is the prototype that was developed in 2005 by Professor Emeritus Yoshiaki Arata of Osaka University.

    In 2001, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries succeeded in “transmutation” in which cesium and strontium are changed to other elements by permeating deuterium gas through a multilayered film made from palladium or the like. Dr. Yasuhiro Iwamura who was the lead researcher in this project moved to Tohoku University and participated as a core member in this research project.

    The cold fusion method announced by researchers in the United States about 30 years ago was to electrolyze heavy water with palladium electrodes. Although this method has been attempted extensively abroad, research groups such as Technova have concentrated on the method of permeating deuterium (or hydrogen) gas into the metal rather than the electrolysis method, because they consider it more promising.

    Based on these experiments, the conditions under which an exothermic reaction occurs have been clarified. First of all, it is necessary to combine two kinds of metal such as palladium and nickel, rather than using a single type of metal. Moreover, when the ratio of palladium and copper was decreased to palladium 1: nickel 7 or copper 1: nickel 7, the generation of heat was enhanced.

    “A specimen made at an appropriate ratio has an interstitial structure smaller than a nanometer (one-billionth of a meter) on the surface, and hydrogen seems to enter into this space and a reaction occurs.” Professor Emeritus of Osaka University explains Prof. Akito Takahashi, who is a senior adviser to the research group and Technova.

    If the proportion of palladium or copper is high, these metals surround the specimen around the specimen tightly, and it is impossible to create “places” where hydrogen react with each other. “Heat is generated in experiments by electrolysis, probably because these nanostructures were made by accident on the metal electrode surface,” said Prof. Takahashi. It is also clear that exothermic reaction occurs even when the species of hydrogen gas injected is not deuterium gas but normal hydrogen gas. Also, when injecting gas, when the temperature inside the device was raised to 200 to 400 degrees Celsius, it was found that the exothermic reaction did not stop within a short time, but rather continued for several weeks.

    At Tohoku University’s equipment, a temperature so high that in some cases it melts ceramics attached to the metal specimen. “There is no doubt that an unknown reaction that cannot be explained by ordinary chemical reactions is occurring” (Prof. Iwamura). What kind of reaction is actually going on? “Multibody fusion”, which is said to occur in an extremely small space, has been proposed by Prof. Emeritus Takahashi. Four deuterium atoms condense to one point and nuclear fusion occurs once beryllium is formed. This breaks into two helium and heat is generated. In this case there is no radiation emitted, unlike the case of normal fusion.

    The research group expects that it is possible to generate 1 kilowatt of heat, which is two orders of magnitude larger than the present reactions, by improving the structure of the sample, increasing the amount reactant, devising changes to the temperature conditions and so on. Cold fusion, which was once said to be “fake science” because the experiment could not be reproduced, is still distrusted by many researchers. Professor Emeritus Takahashi says: “I would like to demonstrate results that will convince anyone, and to ask the world to once again evaluate the significance of this research.”

    (Editorial Member Kazuki Yoshikawa)

    FIGURE:




    TEXT IN FIGURE:

    The micro-level geometry of the metal material is the key

    Deuterons react when they permeate between the metal atoms

    Palladium atom
    Deuterium molecule
    Nickel atom
    Deuteron


    A deuteron enters a space in the lattice the size of an atom

    A PROPOSED COLD FUSION REACTION

    Deuterium give rise to “tetrahedral condensate” (4-body condensed matter? 正四面体凝縮体)

    Deuteron
    Electron

    COMPRESSED

    A fusion “seed” is produced

    Electron [pointing to outer shell of atom]
    Deuteron [pointing to nucleus]

    Deuterons and electrons assemble [Translator’s note: This seems inaccurate; these are ions.]


    FUSION OCCURS

    Helium is produced

    An unstable condition

    FISSION INTO 2 BODIES

    Heat is generated
    Helium produced

    An experimental device in which heat from the reaction is being observed (Kobe University)

    THE HISTORY OF COLD FUSION

    1989 A British and an American researcher report observation of excess heat from the electrolysis of deuterium.
    1994 ~ 98 A Resources and Energy Agency research group concludes that they were “unable to observe excess heat.”
    2001 Yasuhiro Iwamura of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (now research professor at Tohoku U.) uses deuterium gas to produce “selective transmutation.”
    2005 Prof. Emeritus Yoshiaki Arata of Osaka University confirms heat and helium production from nanoparticle palladium samples.
    2015 ~ 2017 New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) research project


    (Graphic by Hisashi Utsumi)

  • I think if you knew most of the LENR researchers, you would find most did not "support" Rossi. Most of the "closed" forums I know of had very little positive posting the first few years of Rossi. They just kept quite. In fact a sizable number have doubts about any Ni based systems.


    OG,


    I stole your post from the Rossi thread. Your comment about Ni, jogged my memory about this in Jed's translated news article. What do you think?


    "Based on these experiments, the conditions under which an exothermic reaction occurs have been clarified. First of all, it is necessary to combine two kinds of metal such as palladium and nickel, rather than using a single type of metal. Moreover, when the ratio of palladium and copper was decreased to palladium 1: nickel 7 or copper 1: nickel 7, the generation of heat was enhanced."