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105) New alchemy from Japan
Ludwik Kowalski (September 1, 2003)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043
Another conference participant, Dr. Talbot Chubb, was also impressed by Iwamuras findings (see my unit #104). I did not know that the research started several years ago and that the results were confirmed by a team from Osaka University. What follows is Chubbs description, as posted at the www.lenr-canr.org site.
Nuclear reactions replicated at Osaka University
The ICCF10 international gathering of low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) scientists has just been completed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The results presented at this meeting seem destined to affect the course of solid state and nuclear science. Probably the most important of the results were those concerned with a unique form of nuclear transmutation reported a year ago by Iwamura et al. of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. (Click here for their papers from ICCF-7, ICCF-9 and a link to their paper in the Japanese Journal of Applied Physics.) The Mitsubishi transmutations occur on a deuterided metal substrate. The transmutations convert carefully deposited surface cesium atoms into the rare earth praseodymium. These transmutation reactions have now been duplicated by Osaka University scientists. They have repeated the transmutations several times. The Osaka praseodymium product has been verified by neutron activation analysis (NAA) at the Japan Atomic Energy Institute.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has continued to make progress. The Mitsubishi scientists have further confirmed the identification of the praseodymium product, using a number of independent diagnostic techniques. They have shown that the transmutation occurs both with chemically deposited and ion-implanted cesium atoms. Surface profiling studies have been carried out and have located where the reaction occurs by measured the depth distribution of cesium loss and praseodymium creation. The results show that the nuclear reaction is a surface or near surface reaction on the substrate metal. Precise chemical analyses of the bulk metal substrate have shown that the praseodymium nuclear product is much too plentiful to be due to impurity migration from the bulk.
In the Mitsubishi process a nuclearly active form of deuterium is created from a flowing stream of deuterium atoms inside a metal. The flowing stream is forced to encounter and overcome specially designed internal diffusion barriers. A new form of active deuterium is created during this inhibited diffusion process. The active deuterium is able to spread out and interact with the nuclei of target atoms despite the deuteron charge. The nuclear reactions are of a specific type. They are deuteron addition reactions in which 8 deuterons (or 2 alpha particles) are absorbed by a target nucleus. The cesium conversion reactions can be viewed as the inverse of alpha-particle radioactive decays, which were discovered and characterized by Becqueral, Curie, and Rutherford near the end of the 19th century. The cesium reaction has been called a 2-alpha addition reaction. The full range of addition reactions that can occur using nuclear active deuterium has yet to be determined. The Mitsubishi work identified both: (1) a reproducible method for creating the active deuterium, and (2) a clear diagnostic method that quantifies its presence.
The Osaka and Mitsubishi studies provide solid evidence that deuteron or alpha-addition nuclear reactions can be made to reproducibly occur on solid metal at a temperature below that of boiling water. The new results were reported by Iwamura of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Higashiyama of the Nuclear Engineering Department of Osaka University. The Osaka low energy nuclear work is lead by Akito Takahashi. The original Mitsubishi discoveries have been published in English in the internationally respected Japan Journal of Applied Physics (Iwamura et al., 2002), and are available on the web.
The new discoveries remind one of the beginnings of neutron-capture physics. In 1932 Chadwick discovered the neutron. His neutrons were produced by the impact of alpha particles on beryllium. Within a few years a large number of previously non-existing types of nuclei were synthesized by exposure of various target elements to neutron irradiation. During these neutron-absorption studies uranium fission was discovered and the new element plutonium was synthesized. By the end of 1942 the first controlled nuclear reactor was already in operation. A nuclear power plant was generating electricity in 1955.
It seems likely that the larger international community will build on the Japanese work. Further attempts to replicate the Mitsubishi protocol are in progress. Hubler at the U.S. Naval Research Lab announced plans for replication testing in consultation with the Mitsubishi scientists. It is to be hoped that the world community will quickly join in an effort to better understand the new active deuterium matter form, its reaction physics, and its usefulness in generating safe nuclear energy heat.
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