The Promise of Controlled Nuclear Fusion – Part X

This article is a milestone, both as the tenth in our series and in it being published just as the number of subscribers to Think Tank Report has exceeded 4000. Thank you all for your ongoing support!

In the short time since my last report and less than 3 weeks after the release of the Lugano Report, there has already been a huge increase in the awareness of LENR, further supporting my prediction that 2014 will prove to be the pivotal year for LENR.

But, before I review the latest developments, here is my list of sites that you can monitor in parallel with this one:

To begin, I must again commend Frank Acland and his E-Cat World (ECW) site. This link continues to be my first “go-to” place for updates.

Second on my list, until recently at least, has been Stirling Allan with his PESWiki site. Some of the most readable articles on this are those written by Hank Mills, perhaps the keenest of all the “Rossi watchers”. Allan appears to share Mill’s rosy view of the E-Cat but, in my opinion, the wider credibility of PESWiki is weakened by the fact that many of the other projects that Stirling Allan gives space to extend too far into the realm of science fiction.

So, taking over second place on my own “LENR List” is the New Energy Foundation‘s rigorous, professional but easy-to-follow Infinite Energy site, founded by the late Dr. Eugene Mallove. Its contributors include Michael McKubre.

Then would follow Ruby Carat and Edmund Storm’s Cold Fusion Now, together with Paul Story’s comment-rich eCat News and Steven Krivit’s New Energy Times, while the slightly mysterious ‘jennifer’ has authored many readable articles on LENR and Cold Fusion News. There are many more but these sites are a very good start. Now, let us look at some of the latest developments:

Shortly after the Lugano Report was published, Michael McKubre contributed a detailed and constructive analysis of it. He was broadly encouraged but listed questions and reservations about the infra-red based output heat measurements, the forensic rigor around the chemicals handling and the reported isotope ash composition. He concluded as follows:

On the whole I am encouraged. Considerably more work is obviously needed to validate the adopted mode of calorimetry and support better sampling and testing. But we are given something we can sink our teeth into both experimentally and theoretically: testable fuel to products nuclear burn at temperatures that have practical, economic and social potential.

Another welcome provider of constructive feedback was Brillouin’s Robert Godes. I sense that Rossi and Godes each holds nearly half the key pieces in the LENR puzzle which, if put together, would surely result in a working, if not yet optimal, commercial device. An amalgamation of Industrial Heat and Brillouin would therefore seem wise (and note that McKubre is already on Brillouin’s advisory board).

As if to answer my Part 9 challenge to the main stream media, at least two MSM sources, The Huffington Post and TV3 (New Zealand) gave reasonably balanced coverage of the Lugano Report and their respective articles certainly attracted full and frank feedback.

In a parallel announcement with, arguably, suspicious timing but which certainly attracted huge MSM interest, Lockheed Martin revealed plans to achieve a commercially viable hot fusion device in as little as 10 years! The original article is here. It immediately spawned many comments on ECW together with a rather-too-dismissive article on PESWiki by Hank Mills, who seemingly failed to appreciate the different markets that the E-Cat and Lockheed would be targeting. It fell to ‘jennifer’ to provide that perspective in a reasoned and balanced article. As she also pointed out:

What is exciting though is the capability of the compact fusion device and the fact that a large corporation like Lockheed-Martin which has a TTM revenue of $44.6 billion and an enterprise value of $60.7 billion is working on it. Lockheed-Martin certainly has the resources to commercialize this technology and the capability to market it to the military and others.

I agree. Given the “can-do” reputation of Lockheed, this is highly unlikely to be a mere “vaporware” announcement. On the contrary, Lockheed have already been working on their device for four years. But the phrase “Deja Vu” also comes to mind because, to me, this “new” Lockheed design sounds very much like the Polywell device that I was impressed with, way back in Part One of our series, almost exactly three years ago!

But back to LENR: at the end of part 9, I called for more theoretical support for LENR – that which the Lugano authors considered to be entirely missing but which, as I put it, would provide the many young physicists, engineers and technicians out there with the necessary “permission to believe”. On reflection, I must admit that theories on LENR – good and bad – have abounded for many years. The three described below are among the latest, with the last two being, IMHO, possible game-changers!

In the first, Carl-Oscar Gullström, a doctoral student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University, Sweden submitted a paper to E-Cat World for publication there, entitled “Low radiation fusion through bound neutron tunneling.”  While that paper has yet to be peer-reviewed, it is encouraging that such a top class young student is, for one, unafraid to “believe”!

The second contribution was a very insightful article by Gordon Docherty (“Reflections on Recent Fusion News — Hot and Cold”). It provides an historical perspective on both hot and cold fusion, together with fresh theoretical insights, notably into the complicated role of the Coulomb Barrier and Quantum Theory. A respected contributor to many LENR forums described it thus:

A scholarly work, and more, needed information.

Well written, well said, Gordon Docherty you have done a good thing.
I expect you to be quoted for decades if not centuries to come.

I agree – but wait, there’s more! Dr. Edmund Storms has just published what is also likely to be a seminal work in the whole LENR adventure. It is entitled The Explanation of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction: An Examination of the Relationship Between Observation and Explanation and is detailed in this link.

Briefly, Storms makes several basic assumptions and then proceeds to examine all the evidence for and against them in painstaking depth. These are:

. The LENR process does not take place in a chemical lattice.
. The LENR process takes place only in cracks of a critically small gap size.
. All isotopes of hydrogen can fuse by the same basic process, with only the nuclear products being different.
. The basic process removes energy over a period of time as photon emission. Most of this emission does not leave the apparatus.
. The fusion process causes the transmutation reactions.
. The overall process is consistent with all natural law and requires introduction of only one new process.
. Cold fusion and hot fusion are not related in any way.

I have already read most of (the Kindle version of) this book and, while parts of it are rather heavy going for my chemistry side, my physics side senses that Storms has solved a puzzle worthy of Sherlock Holmes and, as a result, deduced a very non-intuitive set of paradigm shifts that, for the moment at least, seem to explain all the key features cited in published, peer-reviewed papers in and around the LENR phenomenon!

See you next time and keep following all those links!

P W Power

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