We agree that validated high energy particles from an experiment would prove nuclear reactions, and therefore reaction rates higher than expected (if from stable constituents and with low energies).
In fact I'll go further, this is an expected first sign of any unusually high reaction rates: e.g. some enhanced shielding effect. Far more sensitive than excess heat.
Yup. I agree. Plus I would add that after all this time, and after cold fusion experiments have produced ~100 W continuously for months, I think there is no chance that previous experiments produced high energy particles. Someone would have seen them.
If this experiment is producing them, it must be fundamentally different from previous cold fusion experiments. I have no idea how or why.
Previous experiments produced tritium (often) and neutrons (occasionally), which seem to be anti-correlated with heat. But as Uncle Martin said, heat is the principle signature of the reaction. Not particles. It sure would be nice if they were, because they are so easy to detect in small amounts, but they ain't.
I find the discussions of "shielding effects" droll. Mind you, I don't know a thing about it, but it sounds like people are expecting Mother Nature to act like a hockey goalie, fending off one particle after another. "Gotta stop 'em! Can't let even one through!" Surely, whatever the mechanism is, it doesn't produce them in the first place. It wouldn't produce trillions of particles and then somehow stop them all.
I presume that after we figure out how cold fusion works, people will say that most nuclear fusion does not produce particles. No particles will be considered normal; plasma fusion the exception.
By coincidence people discovered high energy plasma fusion first, which does make particles, so they got the idea that fusion must always do this. If they had discovered cold fusion first, and plasma fusion later, they would have accidentally killed some grad students. Then they would spin their wheels trying and failing to explain where all those particles are coming from. The APS would be screeching that the experiments violate theory, and they are fraudulent and the researchers are lunatics because everyone knows fusion does not produce gamma rays!!! It is a law of nature!!
But it needs to be validated, which Alan et al will have been able to do, or not do.
Well, have they had enough time? The right equipment? (I wouldn't know.)
If after this time they have not validated these "lovely gammas" they are most likely an artifact or extraneous to the experiment. The characteristics reported here seemed most likely artifactual or extraneous.
Izzatso? I don't know a thing about gamma rays, so I can't judge.