The 1952 Argentinian Huemul Fusion plant fiasco and the mad genius behind it, an early LENR scandal?

  • I don’t know for sure if this topic has been discussed here previously, but a couple of days ago I stumbled with a documentary about this and, given that I was absolutely unaware of the existence of this bizarre piece of history in the neighbor country of Argentina, I have been trying to better understand what was the claimed science by the Austrian physicist Ronald Richter who claimed success fusion in 1951 and was completely discredited and forgotten by 1958.


    The documentary is scant in technical details but what captured my attention more is that, allegedly, Richter used an electric arc targeted to some kind of lithium compound, and also heavy water was involved.


    He claimed success with only one experiment but even his own technician doubted that the “spectrographic” lines were not only an artifact of the mechanically unstable equipment being used.


    Richter is depicted as a sort of questionable character full of paranoic behaviors and of allegedly poor knowledge of classic nuclear science, and prone to temper tantrums when people did not follow his whims, but somehow managed to spell President Juan Domingo Perón and get him to personally support all his requests for several years until the amount of enemies Richter amassed due to his character was so big and the results so poor that Perón simply was forced to stop and never ever wanted to even talk to Richter any more. An official investigation was conducted and Richter was accused of fraud. He never acknowledged being wrong to the day of his death in 1991.


    Ronald Richter was brought to Argentina during what could be deemed Argentina’s version of project Paper clip in the USA, and he was brought by Perón through personal recommendation of German jet propulsion pioneer aeronautical engineer Kurt Tank, who worked with Richter in the development of the German early prototype of jet fighter.


    Tank developed a jet fighter prototype for Argentina.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • The English Wikipedia version of Ronald Richter’s entry contains the following paragraph:


    “In preparing his dissertation for a doctorate from the University of Prague, Richter worked at Falkenau Chemiewerke in his home town of Falkenau an der Eger (now known as Sokolov) in the Czech Republic. There he went to with electric arc furnaces looking to develop accurate methods for measurement and control of temperatures. Richter discovered that the injection of heavy Hydrogen (Deuterium) caused a nuclear reaction which he could measure and gauge with Geiger counters.”

    (emphasis mine).


    This paragraph is missing in the Spanish version of the Wikipedia entry. And here is where I find the LENR connection, however, no source is provided so I am at loss of where the quote comes from.

    But anyway, this IMHO is a LENR scandal that precedes more than three decades our known Fleischmann and Pons episode, and was mostly forgotten and shrugged off by the world.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • From

    Dr. Hahn "Dr. Ronald Richter"


    "Even in Dessau they discussed the ball lightning problem in 1939/1940 and Richter showed Ehrenberg a photo from his former private laboratory under the motto: " Experiments on artificial ball lightning production"".

    Richter

  • Thanks Toffoli , I think Richter was onto something but was completely out of the mainstream branch, and he was demolished by mainstream Argentinian experts, one I particular that was former alumni of Einstein, that reviewed his work.


    His eccentric personality did not help him one bit.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • from the same source:

    "In December 1944, Richter injected lithium hydride into his proton-hydrogen-fired discharge, whereby his measuring devices indicated a 17.6 MeV gamma radiation, which Richter attributed to the fusion reactions of lithium-7 with protons induced by the shock waves."

  • from the same source:

    "In December 1944, Richter injected lithium hydride into his proton-hydrogen-fired discharge, whereby his measuring devices indicated a 17.6 MeV gamma radiation, which Richter attributed to the fusion reactions of lithium-7 with protons induced by the shock waves."

    Thanks again Toffoli , can you point me to the source or at least a title to see if I can find it?

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • I think I now understand why I wasn’t able to find it, using a few keywords I found the pdf in German.


    No Problem (German). Richter found the same as Lipinskis did again 60 years later and Lipinski and also the critics of 1952 did not understand the importance of the Alvén resonance. What a pity!

  • No Problem (German). Richter found the same as Lipinskis did again 60 years later and Lipinski and also the critics of 1952 did not understand the importance of the Alvén resonance. What a pity!

    That’s why I think and suggest that this was an Early LENR scandal.


    Richter was described by some as a mad genius and as a paranoid lunatic by others, no middle ground. He had seriously character flaws and probably had not anyone to discuss the scientific aspects of the work with. He was deemed a fraud and discarded by history.


    We in this forum Can at least appreciate that he was not completely wrong, at least.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • A fascinating tale. I found an account in google groups allegedly written by somebody who knew more, but it is so laced with anti-semitic nonsense I will leave the curious to find it themselves

    Thanks for the hint Alan Smith , this whole story was completely off my radar, I found it serendipitously while browsing the documentary selection on Amazon video. The documentary itself it’s poor IMHO, but at least I was able to suspect the possibility of a forgotten LENR precedent.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • The site of Dr. Hahn has plenty of information on Richter, at least much more than can be found elsewhere.


    I have been reading it with the help of Google Translate. It seems that Dr.

    Hahn wants Richter to be acknowledged as a true pioneer. Certainly he manages to paint a much more different picture of him that the one I got from the documentary and other web sources.



    https://translate.googleuserco…qpjIbJizMiundAW0k2RYfyblQ

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • Curbina how reliable all the neutron data? What is a probability of false positives?

    Likewise, I am afraid that proliferation of relatively cheap analyzers like SEM etc lead to many false claims about transmutations.


    Well, this whole episode happened between 1948 and 1952, and the information is scant, but Richter claimed measuring radiation, not neutrons.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.