Unconventional electrolysis

  • I noticed that radiation instrumentation readings are frozen. Water temperature has also remained to 108.1 °C for a while.

    The labjack USB connection shut down, so the data stopped updating. Another detail to fix, but the audio and power monitoring worked OK.

    Regarding the resonant noise, it was clearly related to a series of short (100 usec) discharge events as shown on the scope. There was also some fireworks visible on the camera image of the cell, though dimmed by the nearly-opaque electrolyte.

  • magicsound

    It seems as if the noise could be electrolyte temperature-dependent. It could be due to cavitation bubbles forming and collapsing back before reaching the surface. Water is known to produce more noise when it's close to boiling rather than completely boiling, so it could be related with this effect. How this relates to the discharge events is not clear, but it could indicate that temperature control is desirable.


    EDIT: here a screenshot of discharge events at 15:15:14 as displayed in the now ended live stream video.

  • The video is available for playback at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO7R_Kk2hFg

    The cell starts singing at 15:13 on the red in-display time. I agree the onset seems to be somewhat temperature-related. As to the cause, it is related to a train of short (~100 usec) pulses seen on the scope display as shown above, so it isn't just boiling-related. See the region starting at 15:15. The audio frequency is correlated with the pulse interval of about 1 msec. This is very good data to have.

    For reference, the scope horizontal axis is 1 msec/division and the vertical is 5 volts/division.

  • magicsound

    It looks like something strange with electrolyte temperature happened just before the noise subsided for the most part (at 15:19:34). The full data could clarify this (I sampled the points manually from the video). The 108.1 °C temperature from 15:27:13 seems to be a glitch.

  • Yeah, I saw that. Here's the error log from the software that runs the labjack. I think its USB interface froze or maybe there was a glitch from one of the input lines or from RF noise. The control program's Python error log shows a failed read attempt:

    AIN1_EF_READ_A Labjack read_variable Error, 19 23:27:21

    File "C:\Users\DELL\Dropbox\MFMP_Python\MFMP Oct 2018 v7\mfmp_labjack.py", line 225, in read_variable

    variable = ljm.eReadName(self.handle, port)

    File "C:\Python34\lib\site-packages\labjack\ljm\ljm.py", line 567, in eReadName

    error = _staticLib.LJM_eReadName(handle, name.encode("ascii"), ctypes.byref(cVal))

  • The temperature bump in the middle seems to have occurred during a current spike. It appears that to some extent the higher the resonant noise, the higher the current. When the noise stopped, current decreased.

    The neutron counters seem to be correlated with each other, but as for whether there is also a correlation with experimental conditions, I'm not sure.

  • magicsound

    The audio could easily be split in Audacity after opening the video (which I downloaded with Youtube-dl), but in .WAV format it will be enormous and other compressed formats will further degrade the already compressed quality. But here are the links anyway (after conversion to mp3):

    Shared folder with the extracted audio files:


    Screenshot of the entire waveform:

    Detail of where it started:

    The spectrum on the right channel shows a fairly stable carrier frequency of about 840 Hz. At times the noise seems to have a kind of fractal quality:

    EDIT: by the way, from the previously posted data to me it looks as if the neutron counter activity was higher during the earlier part where the resonating noise was the highest (before it got substantially reduced), but the run was short and there is always the possibility of RF interference during this type of test. The Geiger counter and gamma spectrometer didn't seem to show a similar rise during that part.

    EDIT2: here is a different perspective on the data:

    EDIT3: if the neutron count measurements are to be taken seriously, they could be viewed like this (rates are approximate, based on Brian's Neutron Counter):

  • magicsound

    What's your verdict on the rise observed with the neutron counters? Is it just an RFI-induced artifact?

    On a loosely related note, do you think the oscilloscope would be expected to pick up any significant signal with an arrangement similar to the diagram below?

  • I think the neutron data is potentially RF-induced, since these detectors were found to be somewhat sensitive to a nearby fluorescent light in past tests. In the absence of a null for comparison, I wouldn't attach any significance to the data.

    Regarding the scope attached to a plate external to the cell, there would definitely be some RF pickup. During my search for grounding problems, I used a loop detector simply made by clipping the probe ground lead to the tip. I could easily find and display EMI resulting from the clapper mechanism arcing in air, including the 224 MHz peak I previously reported. That high frequency stuff seems absent from emissions of sparking under water. The self-capacitance of the wet cell should be an effective low-pass filter for such high frequency RF.

  • magicsound

    I agree that it would be difficult to fully trust neutron measurements at this stage.

    This is where other types of measurements could come into play; they might also be important for the detection of "strange radiation" (SR) in similar experiments involving abrupt electrical pulses and potential issues with RFI.

    If SR is or can manifest itself as some exotic sort of penetrating neutral particle associated with ordinary RF emission, it might be detected by the charge given to a material as it passes through it, ionizing it to some extent. If this is the case, a larger volume of material in the flight path of the particle(s) should give rise to a larger charge. A possible test could be therefore using plates (or thick foils) of increasing thickness while keeping area, distance and orientation the same, and checking out if there is any large difference in the measured signal.

    If anomalies show on this regard, it might also turn out that the energy of the SR emitted on a full sphere around the reactor is anomalously large. Knowing area and distance of the 'scope-attached plate precisely could therefore be useful to attempt calculating it (assuming isotropic emission).

  • I don't think a scope will show up any SR-induced voltage signal at its input impedance of 1 Megohm. Just 1 micro ampere is ~6 x 1012 electrons/sec, and that would require a lot of captured SR. What's needed is a metal-leaf electroscope, which I have proposed before and have thought of building. The design linked above is very simple to build but not as sensitive as a traditional one using gold leaf. I do have some silver leaf that will work, and will put one together with that when time permits.

  • magicsound

    I was probably unclear but the idea was that a dedicated impedance-matched cable would be used to directly connect the plates/foils to the low-impedance oscilloscope input rather than using the passive probe. This is not an original idea of mine, but it's inspired by what Leif Holmlid did in some of his experiments using an oscilloscope to measure the particle flux at various distances, although he does this with the plates/foil in a vacuum (at higher pressures the particles - the charged ones at least - are reportedly quenched. Source).

    As he might be observing what other researchers consider strange radiation, the method used could be of interest.



  • OK, I see the connection (pun intended).

    Holmlid's chamber is at vacuum, and and his laser pulse power density (4 x 1013 W/cm2) is many orders higher than that of the arc events we are seeing.

    It would be easy enough to surround the cell with a metal cylinder connected to the scope at 50 ohms. But the large RF signal we know to be present would make it hard or impossible to detect a simultaneous pulse of charged particles.

  • magicsound

    Radio waves should propagate at the speed of light. If the collector plate/foil is located at some distance from the cell (for example a few tens of cm) it should be possible to discern the RF signal directly caused by a strong impulse (a spark/arc event) from the signal caused by particles with mass moving at lower speeds, if any - the latter should arrive with a delay of several nanoseconds.

    The above analysis requires that the oscilloscope can be triggered by a clear signal that is expected/hoped to induce a reaction and won't work for general broadband noise. For this, simply checking out whether such continuous RF noise as measured by the oscilloscope can be enhanced by increasing the thickness of the collector plate (i.e. its volume, keeping the rest the same), which could at least indicate some unusual interaction with the material, and/or if it looks anomalously large under "active" conditions, might already be of interest, and that's what I was proposing for the most part.

    For the sake of completeness it's worth mentioning that for measuring a continuous ("spontaneous", not laser-caused, although the laser can start it) signal, Holmlid uses a different method involving a modified/custom gamma spectrometer with the scintillator replaced with layers of metal like Al or Cu and longer measuring distances. Below are a couple slides from a researcher who replicated his findings with his collaboration and presented his progress at ICCF-21.



    Alternatively, perhaps instead of dealing with complex oscilloscope setups and custom gamma spectrometers one could take note from Parkhomov and use writable DVDs/CD-Rs as detectors for strange radiation, but there are not many details on how the measurements should be performed, and earlier on I personally found that keeping the disks clean and free of handling-caused scratches is a real challenge. Here are translated slides of a report from his group using this method:


    https://e-catworld.com/2018/10…with-alexander-parkhomov/ (associated Q&A on ECW)

    As a side note, depending on local conditions, a discharge could be traveling within very small areas and reach unusually large power densities. Brian Ahern suggested this in his lapsed patent application, which has some elements applicable to Woodpecker-like experiments (but he used there high voltages and a deliberately pulsed signal).



    Typically, the electric current pulses flow on the outer surface of a conductor. Discharges through a dielectric embedded with metallic particles behave very differently. The nanoparticles act as a series of short circuit elements that confine the breakdown currents to very, very small internal discharge pathways. This inverse skin effect can have great implications for energy densification in composite materials. Energetic reactions described fully herein are amplified by an inverse skin effect. These very small discharge pathways are so narrow that the magnetic fields close to them are amplified to magnitudes unachievable by other methods.

  • In the past few days I've been doing low-expectations, low-effort testing on a concept similar to that which started the thread - still electrolysis, but differently from usual LENR experiments, or "unconventional". Sometimes it looks as if the changes I'm doing are affecting Geiger readings, but as they can go either way or not act at all, and that they're of small magnitude compared to the background noise it could all be wishful thinking. Yesterday evening's "bump" (2019-02-24) seems unusual compared to the average for the past few days, however.

    In short, I've set up a few bimetallic corrosion junctions using some of the metal pieces I used in past tests (washers, coins), two of which optionally heated at low temperature (about 40-45 °C). Occasionally I add 10% HCl electrolyte, which diffuses through the narrow gap. The one showing the highest voltage (measuring it precisely is difficult due to them short-circuiting when moved around, but I have observed a 300 mV peak with a multimeter) is an aluminium-mild steel one as shown in the photo below.

    The aluminium heat sink here is at a positive potential (anode) relatively to the mild steel piece (cathode). Hydrogen gas is evolved in the process and I expect that on a small scale, large pressures within the materials (due to hydrogen ambrittlement) and the likely porous structures formed at the metal-metal junction may be formed. So, in principle this should not be too different than standard electrolytic experiments, only moving at a slower (possibly much slower) pace.

    Interestingly, according to https://doi.org/10.1016/j.corsci.2012.10.032 the galvanic series ordering can be significantly affected by the electrolyte, so typical ones found on the internet for example for seawater might not be perfectly applicable to different conditions.


    Abstract: Galvanic series of AISI 304, 316, 316L, and 316Ti austenitic stainless steels, AISI 410 and 420 martensitic stainless steels, 63Cu37Zn brass, Cu, Al, and AlMg1 were established for 10% (wt.) hydrochloric, phosphoric, sulphamic, sulphuric, nitric, citric, acetic, and methanesulphonic (MSA) acids used as cleaners in order to predict galvanic corrosion when coupling these materials. It was found that each acid has a distinctive order of metallic materials in a galvanic series. The largest corrosion potential difference in all acids exists between Al-based materials and stainless steels, as well as Cu-based materials indicating the use of Al-based materials as sacrificial electrodes.

    * * *

    Final update 2019-04-05: in the end, the results reported above and earlier on could not be reproduced and/or had a too low noise-to-signal ratio to be confirmed, so a few days after I posted the comment I eventually stopped experimenting, packed all the equipment away, and took a long pause from the subject. No other experiment has been performed in the interim or is planned to be performed for the time being. Thanks to all who followed along and also magicsound for attempting to replicate part of the work and observations made.