ARPA-E LENR funded projects news and updates

  • My concern is about the approach, none of these projects seem to acknowledge LENR is not Hot Fusion at lowet temperatures.

    Exactly! They may be setting up experiments that are bound to fail, like the 1989 experiments that only looked for neutrons, without first finding heat. As Fleischmann said, heat is the principal signature of the reaction. No heat means there is no cold fusion, and there is no point to looking for anything else.

    Perhaps I'm just being obtuse, but is this really the case? For the sake of argument, if we take my guesswork from post #190 as a starting point, then perhaps it could be argued that these sorts of criticisms are premature.


    Granted, the UofM projects both explicitly stress neutrons, gammas, etc but this is because this is their speciality. In the second project, which deals with funding for measurements of a specific, unidentified experiment, they also explicitly mention calorimetry. Moreover, the second project seeks to correlate excess heat to nuclear and chemical reaction products. That sounds quite reasonable and comprehensive.


    To my mind, it could be a mistake to over interpret the emphasis of the first project. The second project sounds like exactly what most here would want from a serious test / replication attempt.


    If the Texas Tech project is Rob Duncan's, then, if my memory serves correctly, this is bulk Pd electrolysis work. The ARPA-E announcement discloses that the focus of this project is on accurate fabrication, characterisation and analysis of materials.


    If I recall correctly, one of the early criticisms of the Google effort was that they were inadequately focused on materials science issues. Again, this seems like a perfectly reasonable avenue of inquiry to pursue. It goes without saying that Duncan understands the centrality of calorimetry in these experiments.


    Presumably, the LBNL work is a continuation of Schenkel et al.'s previously published work, which was an attempt to replicate Claytor. The ARPA-E announcement states that a focus of the new work will be on systematically varying materials and conditions, and again, this seems like a perfectly reasonable approach. Recall that in the prior work, there was an explicit search for tritium as well as neutrons.


    If the MIT project is Peter Hagelstein's, then again, I don't understand how there could be antipathy towards this. Granted, the language used to describe the project seems to eschew calorimetry, but I still don't really understand the problem. Two million dollars for Peter Hagelstein is a good outcome.


    If the Stanford project is Dodaro, then this project looks very promising. His presentation at ICCF24 was very interesting, and again, the focus of the work is on characterising and controlling materials science challenges. Per ICCF24, they do calorimetry as well as looking for charged particles and helium.


    If the ETI work is an outgrowth of the SPAWAR / HIVER co-dep work, then again, these are experienced teams building on a substantial base of published work. I think it makes sense that these experiments would be explicitly focused on nuclear products, rather than calorimetry, given the prior extensive attempts to characterise x-rays, charged particles and neutrons from co-dep. To unambiguously demonstrate nuclear reaction products would go a long way to validating prior work with CR-39. No calorimetry mentioned, but, arguably, perfectly justifiable.


    The ARPA-E release is vague, and I would submit that there is risk in over interpreting its contents absent a more substantive attempt to characterise the work and teams it refers to.

  • As Fleischmann said, heat is the principal signature of the reaction. No heat means there is no cold fusion, and there is no point to looking for anything else. Response:

    Perhaps I'm just being obtuse, but is this really the case?

    As far as I know, that is the case. Tritium is the easiest conventional nuclear product to detect. I recall some some experiments where researchers measured tritium but they did not try to measure excess heat. Those tests might have produced heat too small to detect. We don't know. I do not recall any tests where they measured both tritium and heat and found only tritium.

    Granted, the UofM projects both explicitly stress neutrons, gammas, etc but this is because this is their speciality.

    This brings to mind the parable of the drunk searching for his keys under the streetlight, even though he lost them in the bushes, because it is too dark to see anything in the bushes.

    If the Texas Tech project is Rob Duncan's, then, if my memory serves correctly, this is bulk Pd electrolysis work.

    I have no idea what he is up to. Bulk Pd is not a very fruitful method, but perhaps he knows how to do it. It all depends on the material.

  • I would add elemental transmutation that can be or not associated to excess heat, as another tell tale signature.

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

  • I would add elemental transmutation that can be or not associated to excess heat, as another tell tale signature.

    I was considering posting that sentiment too - but was wary of the response from JR ;)


    One of the problems with the phrase LENR is that some people forget the 'LE' part, and are lulled into thinking that the 'NR' part means that any and all reactions must be exothermic.


    Conceivably, not only could some anomalous transmutations have zero, or near zero, heat production - but there might be some that are actually endothermic. There might even be evidence for that already - unless researchers have simply ignored anything that isn't exothermic as a 'failure'.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • I would add elemental transmutation that can be or not associated to excess heat, as another tell tale signature.

    Are there experiments in which both heat and transmutations were measured, but only transmutations were found? I don't recall any like that.


    If that happened, I would assume there was heat but it was too low to detect with the calorimeter they used. Of course you cannot prove that.


    Assuming the LEC is cold fusion and it actually works, it might be an example of a reaction without heat. But no one knows, because they have not put a LEC into a calorimeter yet, as far as I know. The reaction is very small. It can be detected because electricity is the easiest force that ordinary instruments can detect, and because electricity can build up in a capacitor.

  • Conceivably, not only could some anomalous transmutations have zero, or near zero, heat production - but there might be some that are actually endothermic.

    An endothermic reaction would be one where you input some level of electric power (or heat) and less power comes out. Any null experiment or calibration does that. You never get back as much as you put in. So in that sense they are all endothermic, but you cannot tell the difference between an endothermic reaction and losses from the calorimeter. With a chemical endothermic reaction, the reactants undergo some chemical change. Baking bread is a classic endothermic reaction. The bread comes out in physically and chemically different, with more energy in it than the raw dough, which you can measure by burning it in a calorimeter. With a nuclear endothermic reaction, the changes would be too small to detect, I think.


    All electrochemical cold fusion experiments have an endothermic chemical phase during the formation of the hydride. This is easily detected with most calorimeters. It is prosaic. There is an equal and opposite exothermic phase after electrolysis stops. The magnitude of the energy that is stored and then released is far smaller than excess heat from most cold fusion reactions.

    There might even be evidence for that already - unless researchers have simply ignored anything that isn't exothermic as a 'failure'.

    I do not know of any experiments that lost more heat than you would expect from calorimeter losses. That is, losses exceeding those in calibration. (There might be such experiments, but I don't recall them.)


    I do not think anyone would ignore that.

  • Are there experiments in which both heat and transmutations were measured, but only transmutations were found? I don't recall any like that.

    I think none specifically designed for that, but potential transmutations are widespread, anyone that has looked for them seems to easily find possible transmutations after the experiment, so my hypothesis is that they can be associated with or be found independently from excess heat. The idea suggested by Frogfall about some being endothermic is also implicit, but this also requires to accept that multiple reactions are taking place simultaneously so the excess heat is being used up in the same process of transmutation.

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

  • I think none specifically designed for that,

    There have been many experiments in which both heat and transmutations were looked for, and both were found. I do not know of an example in which they found transmutations but no heat.


    Iwamura first looked for both heat and transmutations, and he found both. Later he stopped looking for heat, concentrating on transmutations alone. There is no telling whether his later cells also produced heat.


    It makes sense to look for transmutations only. Doing the experiment in a calorimeter can degrade the ability to protect against contamination, or detect transmutations.

  • my hypothesis is that they can be associated with or be found independently from excess heat.

    That is an interesting hypothesis. Is there any experimental evidence for it?

    The idea suggested by Frogfall about some being endothermic is also implicit, but this also requires to accept that multiple reactions are taking place simultaneously so the excess heat is being used up in the same process of transmutation.

    I thought he meant that electrolysis or some other method was used to stimulate the reaction, and the energy input by stimulation exceeds output plus calorimeter losses. That definitely does happen, but it is caused by the formation of the hydride. It is chemical, prosaic, and well understood. You are suggesting that an exothermic cold fusion nuclear reaction might cause a secondary endothermic nuclear reaction. It might be difficult to detect that. You would have to look at the reaction products carefully.


    The overall combined nuclear reactions would be exothermic. Otherwise the temperature of the material would gradually fall close to absolute zero, I suppose.


    There are other methods of stimulating reactions by inputting energy, such as using lasers. I have never heard of one that produces a net loss of energy (an endothermic reaction).

  • As you say, measuring a net energy gain or loss in a series if simultaneous exothermic and endothermic reactions is almost impossible. The Parkhomov tables provide an attempt to assess the probability of reactions based on energetic likelyhood. You can analyze the initial elements and the final elements found and see if the changes observed are likely or not. This is what Bob Greenyer has been doing for a while. It is not precise at all, but serves as a boundary map.

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

  • Assuming the LEC is cold fusion and it actually works, it might be an example of a reaction without heat. But no one knows, because they have not put a LEC into a calorimeter yet, as far as I know. The reaction is very small. It can be detected because electricity is the easiest force that ordinary instruments can detect, and because electricity can build up in a capacitor.

    Good news is that Frank Gordon tells me the latest iterations of the LEC are showing 'orders of magnitude' improvement. There will be more info on this soon, they are just submitting further patents.

  • A better hypothesis: a non-thermal nuclear reaction for which the amount of transmutation is measurable to a high degree of accuracy and precision, and for which mass balance and stoichiometry produce a reaction equation and which reaction equation then allows the application of E=mc2 so that the predicted energy production is known and for which reaction the heat produced is measured with reasonable precision.

    That is an interesting hypothesis. Is there any experimental evidence for it?

    Yes!!!!!!!

    Heat balance from [0074-0078] of US2012/0033775. Heat from rise in temperature of steel of reactor: 7404 BTU = (449 J/kg x 137 kg x 127 C) / 1055 J/BTU = approximate output. Heat from electrical arc: 4533 BTU = ((40 kWh x 2)/60) x 3400 BTU/ kWh = input. The net heat: output - input: 2871 BTU = 7404 BTU - 4533 BTU.


    For all the details of mass balance, stoichiometry, reaction equation, predicted energy production see WO 2018/204533 A1. Summary in ppm volume: 4604 Oxygen + 40655 Deuterium = 10312 Hydrogen + 10333 Nitrogen. In addition, some deuterium is fused to oxygen which is also used in the main reaction sequence. The step-by-step reaction sequence differs from the alpha process (which is typical of heavy stars) in that the silicon 28 fissions to nitrogen 14.


    Wow! The nuclear process is the same as in a heavy star except that the extreme gravity prevents thermal equilibrium with the reaction's immediate environment and extreme gravity changes the output. The output is unique to cold fusion and was characterized by film emulsions by Takaki Matsumoto. The output is same dark energy recently predicted to be produced by blackholes in the greater universe. The same dark energy output that will drive a LEC.


    From [0117] the predicted heat "Since the mass balance shows the volume percentage of nitrogen produced, one can calculate the number of atoms transformed from the total moles of gas in the container before the reaction started. Therefore, one can predict the expected total energy production by the reaction. That value is about 95.6 million BTU..."


    Plenty of transmutation and very little heat. Percent of expected heat = 2871/95600000 x 100 = 0.003 %


    Imagine what the world looks like when we can routinely tap the dark energy of universe for our power needs.

  • As Fleischmann said, heat is the principal signature of the reaction. No heat means there is no cold fusion, and there is no point to looking for anything else. Response:

    As far as I know, that is the case.

    With apologies, I meant that it’s not clear to me that your characterisation of the funded work as being unduly focused on neutrons is correct. I didn’t mean to suggest that heat is not the primary signature of LENR. On that you get no disagreement from me.


    I was just trying to make the general point that any substantive discussion of the ARPA-E announcement needs to match the announced experiments back to their likely teams and then consider the substance of what those teams are engaged in.


    I’ve tried to tease out who those teams might be, and to the best of my limited ability, speculate about the experiments that they will be doing, but it seems that nobody is interested in that.


    This brings to mind the parable of the drunk searching for his keys under the streetlight, even though he lost them in the bushes, because it is too dark to see anything in the bushes.


    That’s very pithy, but I’m not sure I agree. It makes plenty of sense to make high quality nuclear diagnostics available to all of the funded groups. For one, this frees them of a substantial burden, and simultaneously ensures that any measurements made are rigorous and unimpeachable.


    I don’t really understand your criticism. If your objection is to the inclusion of such diagnostics, and their being made available to the other teams, then that strikes me as inexplicable.


    If your objection is, as I understand, that you believe that there is a focus on neutrons to the exclusion of heat, then I don’t know that that characterisation comports with what might reasonably be inferred at this point.


    That was all I meant to say.

    Edited 3 times, last by orsova ().

  • With apologies, I meant that it’s not clear to me that your characterisation of the funded work as being unduly focused on neutrons is correct. I didn’t mean to suggest that heat is not the primary signature of LENR. On that you get no disagreement from me.


    If your objection is, as I understand, that you believe that there is a focus on neutrons to the exclusion of heat, then I don’t know that that characterisation comports with what might reasonably be inferred at this point.


    That was all I meant to say.

    Ed Storms would show his data that glow discharge experiments emit protons with energies in the MeV range. Implied is that energies are in the range that coulomb barrier can be breached. Rather than neutrons he suggests that hydrogen 4 is produced. However, both are likely mostly wrong. That is to say that neither neutrons nor helium from hydrogen 4 is the primary radiation.


    When one multiplies the effect of gravity with the electromagnetic force, the resulting electro-gravity constant is Gre = kqe2/me2. Hence, the electro gravity constant is 42 orders of magnitude stronger than so called Universal gravity. I am not saying very event in what's called LENR is a supernova rather just that some are. Supernova produce neutron stars and neutron stars produce blackholes. Matsumoto's electrogravity based blackholes produce non-ionizing radiation that develop complex images by a pixel-by-pixel development process.


    It is famously said when one has eliminated other possibilities what is left however seemingly impossible is likely true. This is likely the case for the complex images of Matsumoto.

  • With apologies, I meant that it’s not clear to me that your characterisation of the funded work as being unduly focused on neutrons is correct.

    When a cold fusion experiment produces neutrons, that means it is not working. Neutrons are probably caused by fractofusion, meaning the cathode is disintegrating. To confirm that the experiment is not working and the cathode disintegrating, rather than look for neutrons, you can measure loading and look for excess heat. That is easier and cheaper than looking for neutrons.

    I was just trying to make the general point that any substantive discussion of the ARPA-E announcement needs to match the announced experiments back to their likely teams and then consider the substance of what those teams are engaged in.


    I’ve tried to tease out who those teams might be,

    The 7 institutions are described in the Teeming document:


    Teaming Partners


    For example, here is the Lawrence Berkeley group:

    We have expertise in plasma science, ion beam technology, nuclear diagnostics and materials characterization. Experimental capabilities are supported by modeling and simulation capabilities. Examples of recent work related to LENR include:
    T. Schenkel, A. Persaud, H. Wang, P. A. Seidl, R. MacFadyen, C. Nelson, W. L. Waldron, J.-L. Vay, G. Deblonde, B. Wen, Y.-M. Chiang, B. P. MacLeod, and Q. Ji, “Investigation of light ion fusion reactions with plasma discharges”, J. Appl. Phys. 126, 203302 (2019), https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5109445
    C. P. Berlinguette, Y.-M. Chiang, J. N. Munday, T. Schenkel, D. K. Fork, R. Koningstein, M. D. Trevithick, “Revisiting the cold case of cold fusion“, Nature 570, 45 (2019), https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5109445

    We are interested in applying our capabilities to advance the science of LENR.


    The paper listed above has nothing to with cold fusion. It is about plasma fusion. There is no mention of calorimetry.

    https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.5109445


    They say "we are interested in applying our capabilities to advance the science of LENR." That is incorrect. They are applying their capabilities to serve the fantasy that cold fusion is actually plasma fusion in disguise.

    That’s very pithy, but I’m not sure I agree. It makes plenty of sense to make high quality nuclear diagnostics available to all of the funded groups.

    The wrong nuclear diagnostics serve no purpose. There is no point to looking for things that we know are not there.

    I don’t really understand your criticism. If your objection is to the inclusion of such diagnostics, and their being made available to the other teams, then that strikes me as inexplicable.

    I object to the inclusion of useless diagnostics that we know will reveal nothing, instead of calorimetry and other methods that are essential to cold fusion. This is like setting up equipment and computer simulations to explore the aerodynamics of blimps and Zeppelins when your goal is to build an airplane. Or like conducting R&D to improve vacuum tubes instead of transistors. They are studying an obsolete technology. Plasma fusion will never succeed in producing useful energy. It is far too expensive and dangerous.


    I object to these people siphoning off money intended for cold fusion to use in plasma fusion instead.

  • I object to these people siphoning off money intended for cold fusion to use in plasma fusion instead.

    As I say back in post #28 of this thread, the ARPA effort was bias from the beginning. I didn't expect it to do any good.


    It was designed to create thought conformity to educational norms. It selects for people who can give the answers that would keep funding going where the university scholars want it, to justify the continued failure to advance physics by funding modifications of failed theories.

  • When a cold fusion experiment produces neutrons, that means it is not working. Neutrons are probably caused by fractofusion, meaning the cathode is disintegrating. To confirm that the experiment is not working and the cathode disintegrating, rather than look for neutrons, you can measure loading and look for excess heat. That is easier and cheaper than looking for neutrons.

    Even if that were entirely true, it doesn't really substantiate your later arguments. There is no exclusive focus on neutrons. There is a suite of nuclear diagnostics (and calorimetry) being made available by UofM; supplementing each teams own internal choices and efforts re: measurement. 'Neutron' appears 4 times across 8 descriptions in the PDF announcement.


    The paper listed above has nothing to with cold fusion. It is about plasma fusion. There is no mention of calorimetry.


    https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.5109445

    The paper is about electron screening at low energies. My read is that Schenkel has been animated by Czerski and Claytor.


    With the implementation of both neutron and proton detectors, both dominant branches (i.e., the 3He + n and T + p) of D-D fusion can be tracked. Measurements of the branching ratio of light ion fusion reactions at low energies can shed light on hypothetical threshold resonances and reaction channels that have to date not been quantified at very low reaction energies, below Ecm = 3 keV.16,41,42. Future studies can also include gamma ray detectors to probe any potential changes in the relative contribution of the usually very weak 4 He + gamma ray branch of the D-D reaction. The plasma discharge approach can also be extended to other nuclear reactions such as the p-D reaction.


    [...]


    Branching ratios can be determined with future implementation of a proton detector. Plasma discharges offer ways to study and potentially control conditions that can affect electron screening, such as ion dose rates and defect density in the target. With increased understanding of electron screening effects, proposed (sub)threshold resonances and changes in yields and branching ratios can become accessible using plasma discharges at low reaction energies for a series of nuclear reactions that are relevant for nuclear astrophysics and stellar environments.


    Read in the context of the recent preprint by Metzler et al., this work seems eminently relevant and justifiable.

    They are applying their capabilities to serve the fantasy that cold fusion is actually plasma fusion in disguise.

    No, they aren't.


    The wrong nuclear diagnostics serve no purpose. There is no point to looking for things that we know are not there.

    Put neutrons aside. Are you seriously suggesting that LENR experiments don't emit charged particles, x-rays, etc?


    Because if that's what you mean to say, then I don't believe that that's grounded in the experimental record. If you're referring only to neutrons, then it's a moot point. They're looking for more than neutrons.


    I object to the inclusion of useless diagnostics that we know will reveal nothing.

    We don't know that. And given the history with Srinivasan's autoradiographs, SPAWAR's work with CR-39, the LEC (and so many others), I don't understand how you can maintain this position.


    I object to these people siphoning off money intended for cold fusion to use in plasma fusion instead.

    They're doing nothing of the sort. You're more or less accusing them of being cynical and disingenuous.

    Edited 2 times, last by orsova ().

  • Put neutrons aside. Are you seriously suggesting that LENR experiments don't emit charged particles, x-rays, etc?

    It does not emit these things with enough energy to detect outside the cell, as Ed Storms often points out. As far as I know, these researchers intend to look for them externally. These methods will not work. Take x-rays, for example. The only way to detect them in an electrochemical cell is with x-ray film placed right next to the electrodes, in the electrolyte.

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