What is the current state of LENR?

  • I am an aspiring science-fiction writer. Most good sci-fi concepts begin with the sentence "You can't do that… But what if you could?" I remember when the Fleischmann-Pons experiment was in the news in 1989. And then shortly thereafter all the news articles debunking it as a mistake and/or fraud. I didn't follow the topic after that but recently decided I might try to write a story about an inventor who really did perfect D+D room-temperature fusion. I know about the movies and TV shows that reference cold fusion, but I wanted to try creating a story of my own. In researching the story, I came across the YouTube video of the original F-P press conference. That led me to the books by Steven Krivit "Fusion Fiasco" and "Hacking the Atom". I just finished reading both of them and I'm working on reading volume 3 "Lost History" which covers the early transmutation experiments from the 1920s. I had no idea that anyone was still pursuing these topics after the original experiment was so publicly rejected.

    It got me curious what has happened since 2016 when Krivit published his books? Is there somewhere in this forum or some other website that would give me a good overview of the current state of the art?

    Is there still a feud between those that insist that D+D workbench fusion is possible versus those who think it's electroweak interactions creating neutrons based on the Widom-Larsen theory?

    Krivit was kind enough to reply to an inquiry and as I suspected from his website he is no longer interested in LENR and is focusing all of his attention on debunking the misrepresentations about the ITER hot fusion reactor.

    This next question will probably open a can of worms :) What is the prevailing thought about Krivit and his books? His narrative seems self-consistent and he has copious footnotes and reference material on his website but on the other hand, it doesn't take much of a detective to figure out that he is in all likelihood self-publishing everything. If you do a Google search for "Pacific Oaks Press" they don't have a website. That doesn't mean he's wrong. But his story would be a tiny bit more credible if he was published by a "real" publisher. If I don't get much more success writing sci-fi, I may be self-publishing myself so I can't fault him for that. Hey, it worked for Andy Weir author of "The Martian". Maybe I'll get lucky. Anyway, is Krivit's narrative generally accepted in the community?

    I am neither a physicist nor a chemist. I had a year of basic college physics while pursuing my computer science degree a long time ago (I'm currently 66) so I'm not an expert on any of this but I sure am fascinated by it.

    Anywhere you can direct me to more information dumbed down to a layman's point of view would be much appreciated.

  • Anywhere you can direct me to more information dumbed down to a layman's point of view would be much appreciated.

    In ascending order of difficulty:

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    https://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusiona.pdf Chapters 1 & 2



    Everything else:



    • Official Post

    Welcome to the forum. Along with what has been, and will be said, you might want to go through our last ICCF23 (LENR Conference) to see some of the latest....https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/thread/6612-iccf23-open-discussion/?pageNo=1

    Just browsing through the many threads will also give you a good idea what has been going on. After taking a beating after FP's, and ridiculed ever since, it is understandable to think the field withered into oblivion. But as a testimony to it's resilience, it is alive and kicking, and isn't going anywhere until this mystery is solved and marketed. Hopefully I am still around when that happens. :)

    Anyway, you are in the right place.

  • Welcome sir,

    Check out r/PicochemicalLight there are links there, plus The BLP, SAM and pico-chemistry pages on this site. Before you are done check LENR-CANR site and info on solar corona. The question is answered imo, it is real. If you would like someone to proof read or have a second or third opinion from a radically different age bracket I'm open! I've been following this intensely since I was 14ish.

  • If you create an electric arc from carbon electrodes in water, you will get a gas (Google AquaFuel). I have shown by mass balance that in that gas there is nitrogen which was created by nuclear transformation. For complete details see US020180322974A120181108 (storage.googleapis.com) When you read about AquaFuel, you will find it was tested to power an engine by a third party. The torque/power yield was compared to gasoline. Further, NASA provided an chemical analysis of AquaFuel. Chemical analysis allows anyone skilled in thermodynamics to predict based on chemical composition the torque/power one should see in an engine test. The actual engine test produced about 4x the expected thermodynamic yield. Santilli wrote a report on AquaFuel. He then when on to publish a patent application showing an electric are from carbon electrodes in a mixture of deuterium contaminated with some air from the atmosphere will transmute elements. Again I refer to my patent application above where I analyzed Santilli's patent application data. Deuterium and oxygen disappear in the exact stoichiometry ratios to the appearance of hydrogen and nitrogen. I challenge anyone skilled in the art to review the analysis and tell me why anyone can doubt that cold fusion occurred. Based on the dimension of Santilli's reactor, the pressure and temperature, I calculated the mass loss in a 2 minute reaction was enough to have produced a bomb about 1/10 the size of the one dropped on Hiroshima. So, the result is not the in the noise stuff which is typical for reports on this forum. It is unreasonable to deny it happened. Strange fact: the actual heat produced is only about 4/10000 of the thermodynamic value.

    Again I refer to analysis in my patent application for theory. It quite a strange theory.

  • Many thanks to everyone who replied. One of my main questions was "Is there still a feud between those that insist that D+D workbench fusion is possible versus those who think it's electroweak interactions creating neutrons based on the Widom-Larsen theory?"

    Apparently the answer to that is "No. The feud doesn't exist because everyone has discounted the Widom-Larsen theory."

    A quick search of some of the documents you are recommended only had one mention of Widom-Larsen and that was to dismiss it. I'm not smart enough to know if it's right or not but I thought Krivit made a pretty good case for it in "Hacking the Atom."

    Does anyone around here buy into their theory?

  • D+D workbench fusion is possible

    Possible..It happens on workbenches apparently without neutrons

    as here


    but the workbenches require the investment of considerable time and money

    There are other several theories apart from Widom Larsen..such as

    Takahashi .. TSC


    Wyttenbach SO(4)


    LENR experiments require considerable patience like watching the paint dry

    Nothing approaching the teasing the dragon fission occurrences

    Over a thirty year period there has been drama .and one death?

    . but to make an SF story might be difficult..since it is not fiction.

    this book is a good background resource


  • cyoung

    Coldfusion was not discovered in 1989 but since long before, phenomena of excess heat were noted in metals loaded with hydrogen.

    Also, the history of cold fusion is as a sinusoid .. the current period started at P&F will soon end with the main protagonists age who is the same as you.

    Then, a relatively long period will follow or there will be nothing, investors will again become cautious because current results even if some very convincing will have been still too far from real application and therefore return on investment.

    • Official Post

    This is my view on where we are right now.

    Cold Fusion AKA LENR is a natural process that occurs at some level all around us, deep within the earth and everywhere else in the galaxy. It may explain why (for example) the 'giant red spot' on the surface of Jupiter is hundreds of degrees hotter than it should be, why the solar corona is hundreds of times hotter than the surface of the sun and why some volcanoes produce tritium. Which they really should not.

    Is it useful or merely interesting? Useful in the modern context means 'can we make money from it' and 'is it a good career path for a young scientist.' The answer, sadly, to both these questions is 'no'. The death or glory approach to nuclear physics has resulted in 99.9% of the research cash going into giant colliders like ITER and more. Consequently most LENR research labs run on inadequate funding and usually with an ageing workforce.

    Can it be made useful? I think it can which is why I am an insignificant foot soldier in a maverick army of perhaps 2,000 people worldwide trying to make it so. When is a matter of budgets and public perceptions of it's usefulness - two things which are closely entangled. I give it another 10 years all being well.

    Is there a theory about the mechanism? Quite a few in fact, but gradually the better aspects of these competing hypotheses are self-assembling into something approaching a coherent (no pun intended) explanation that does not involve magic of any kind.

    Writing good stories about it might help.

  • The Coral Thief is a great example of a work of fiction grounded firmly in science.

    What is an interesting story is what happens to conventional theories/scientists

    if LENR is shown to be an essential process

    for star formation... solar fusion..

    and a major contributor to geothermal heating on the Earth and other planets

    besides being a useful heat/electricity source for human civilisation..

    I doubt whether the adjustment process will be seamless and without resistance.

  • And my view, as not very resident interested skeptic.

    LENR suffers from two problems. On the one hand theory is not coherent (with other LENR theory), and not predictive. You can find LENR theoretical explanations for almost any extraordinary result, or lack of it. you will not find any null hypothesis in a form that can be proved. LENR rests at its heart on the problematic idea that somehow nuclear reactions can proceed without unstable products or high energy particles (both of which can be very easily detected). Attempts to detect either of these have proven difficult and always in the margin of possible error or non-replicable.

    On the other hand the experimental evidence seems always to be either marginal or difficult to replicate. What I mean by that is that claimed large effects (Mizuno) seem unreplicable. Claimed small effects - difficult to distinguish from subtle calorimetry errors - somehow never can be scaled up to make them large definitely not error effects. Finally the type of quantitative correlations one might expect that point somewhere - e.g. reaction product versus heat output for a given hypothesised LENR reaction are not found - or at least not replicable. One very good example of this is the He4 - excess heat correlation from classic electrolysis experiments. https://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MilesMcorrelatioa.pdf.

    In absence of predictive theory, I look for experimental oddities that are unexpectedly consistent. any form of excess heat should be scalable so it can be unambiguously measured. Plenty of promising experiments have been scaled without the expected excess heat scaling, which pretty well makes that diagnosed as calorimetry or other error not LENR. And interesting scaling between e.g. excess heat and He4 product has not been established. (there was a few years ago an attempt to do this - I thought - I have not heard anything and assume from file drawer effect that LENR replications without clear results are the ones you do not hear about. I hope I'm wrong, and I expect others here will be able to say if there has in fact been a report).

    If you look at published efforts, you find an experiment set up by the same team to replicate LENR, with different methodology, with a negative primary outcome. However, additional measurements show some extraordinary secondary outcome that seems inexplicable without LENR. And so it never ends.

    This is bad science. Rather as with drug trials if you do not declare your outcomes before the experiment you can often get false positive results by chance - or in the case of LENR by some overlooked artifact in the experiment.

    If any of these "serendipitous" results are real, they can of course be replicated and investigation. You do not necessarily dismiss serendipity.

    For me though, the bottom line is that after 40 years of effort and a lot of experiments of many different kinds, nothing sticks experimentally.

    The corpus of evidence, with things that cannot obviously be explained, seems to me like the corpus of psychic phenomena reports many of which cannot obviously be explained. As humans we try to find explanations, LENR or ghosts. as scientists we need to look again at these things, if they are replicable and then show patterns we codify those and announce a new phenomena.

    Of course, a predictive theory would be great - we could test its predictions. Unambiguous experimental results would equally be great.

    Are there not understood phenomena underlying results in some of the LENR experiments? Undoubtedly. Are they LENR? I will not myself go down that road until there is more coherence, eitehr in experiment with experiment, or experiment with theory.

    Widom-Larsen theory was attractive because it promised this coherence between theory and experiment, as well as ways to test theory or prove the null hypothesis.

    Unfortunately it failed those tests.


  • LENR is a great anti-Popperian enterprize. I wish it were not, and we could for sure have experiments that would disprove it. that would mean "LENR" was a real scientiific thing. That stage has not reached that stage - or if it has I've not seen it.

  • And, juts so i am not totally a part-popper (sic)


    The various post-google-experiment "try to put it together" enterprizes, which look again at the whole LENR corpus without historic baggage, are worth following.

    i'd look at the Pd vacancy stuff, since it ticks a lot of boxes and has not impossible though not worked through mechanisms:


  • It got me curious what has happened since 2016 when Krivit published his books? Is there somewhere in this forum or some other website that would give me a good overview of the current state of the art?

    Hi cyoung,

    did you already find a definitive answer to the crucial question upstream: is there anything real in the extraordinary results claimed in 30+ years of research on Cold Fusion?

    If not, I invite you to carefully watch the "1992 – Pons-Fleischmann Four-Cell Boil Off" video (1). Your basic college physics is more than enough to understand what happened there. It's just a matter of Joule heating, water boiling, bubbles and foam. No nuclear or exotic knowledge is required.

    This video, extracted from a lab video shot in 1992 and published by Krivit in 2009, documents the most important experiment in the history of CF. An experiment that is still considered, by one of the leading expert in the field, the only one to have been exactly replicated (2).

    Cold Fusion is a good subject for a novel. It is SF in itself and contains an intriguing mystery. IMO, the key to solving this mystery is provided by the video above. The solution is as much evident as it looks incredible, just like in the Mc Luhan's motto “Only puny secrets need keeping. The biggest secrets are kept by public incredulity.” (credit AlainCo).

    Let me suggest you to develop your story starting from the video above. Ask Krivit how he got it and who made it, when and for what purpose it was done, and who had the opportunity to watch it prior to its publication. It might came up an interesting story. Good luck.

    (1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBAIIZU6Oj8

    (2) RE: What should we do next ? - A relevant question from Matt Trevithick