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123 This is real alchemy

Ludwik Kowalski (1/24/2004)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

Attempts to change one chemical element into another are usually referred to as alchemy. Such transformations are said to be impossible unless nuclear reactions are involved. A nuclear fusion of two deuterons (2H + 2H), for example, nearly always results in production of either 3He or 3H. Very rarely, once in a million fusion events, the reaction results in the production of common helium, 4He. Turning atoms of one element into atoms of another element, such as 2H-->3He, by means of nuclear reactions, is usually called transmutation. Atomic nuclei repel each other and for that reason they do not fuse spontaneously at temperatures below tens of millions of degrees.

Accumulation of 4He, and other atoms, in the electrodes of cold fusion cells, were first reported in 1991 by J. Bockris (1). Here is an interesting quote from this fascinating reference. At first, “ the proposition that one could carry out nuclear reactions with metals in solids in the cold (‘Alchemy’) would have received unhesitating rejection and ridicule. Now, eight years later, not only are scientific papers describing such phenomena available from many groups; but scientific meetings in Russia, formerly entitled Cold Fusion, have been changed to meetings on ‘Transmutation’. The American Nuclear Society has hosted sessions on Low Temperature Nuclear Reactions for three years in succession.”

Progressive accumulation of 4He was soon confirmed by other investigators (2,3) but confirmation of production of heavier elements had to wait a little longer. Facing the irreproducibility of results Bockris wrote (4): “And indeed, in very small quantities, around 100 parts per million, we got four consecutive experiments which did give -- seemed to give, to all intents and purposes -- the transmutation of small amounts of lead and mercury into gold, ruthenium, osmium, etcetera. However, when we went on with this, later, we couldn't reproduce it, so we had to withdraw. But I'm fully convinced that in the four experiments that we made we were producing these small amounts. Since then, numerous people have done similar things, but usually with other metals.”

Results from extensive quantitative studies of heavy products, summarized in (5), are consistent with what has been reported by other investigators (6,7,8). The most recent report in this area was presented by Iwamura, from Advanced Technology Research Center, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., in Japan. Addressing the 10th international CF conference (August 2003) Iwamura described a fascinating setup (9) in which cesium is turned into praseodymium and strontium is turned into molybdenum. The paper describing these experiments (10) has already been published in the prestigious Japanese Journal of Applied Physics (JJAP). Was I the only one whose first reaction, during Iwamura’s conference presentation, was to think about pseudo-scientists?

Imagine a 0.1 mm membrane, mostly Pd, separating a container filled with deuterium gas from a vacuum chamber. The gas diffuses slowly through the membrane into the vacuum; there is nothing unusual in this. The surface at which the gas enters the membrane is covered with a material to be transmuted (deposited either electrolytically or by the ion injection method). Using highly sophisticated analytical tools the researchers were able to show that the amount of targeted material, such as purified Cs or Sr, decreases, while the amount of new material, such as Pr and Mo, increases at the same rate. Comparing this situation with a typical nuclear reaction setup (a target and a beam from an accelerator) the authors write: “Analysis of the depth profile of Pr indicated that a very thin surface region up to 100 angstroms was the active transmutation zone. Many experimental results showed that the quantity of Pr was proportional to the deuterium flux through the Pd complex. The cross section of transmutation of Cs into Pr can be roughly estimated at 1 barn if we consider the deuterium flux as an ultra-low-energy deuteron beam.”

The view of the membrane in Figure 1 (of their paper), shows that it is essentially a 0.1 mm Pd foil coated with several alternating thin layers of CaO and Pd. The first layer seen by the D atoms, as they enter the membrane, consists of Pd; it is 400 A thin. Cs or Sr were deposited on that layer. As indicated in another figure, it took nearly 100 hours to turn all atoms of Cs (about 1.3*1015) into atoms of Pr; transformation of an equal amount of Sr into Mo took about 300 hours. The Cs --> Pr experiment was repeated two times while the Sr --> Mo experiment was performed three times; the results were reasonably reproducible. I find it highly significant that the isotopic composition of Mo, produced from Sr, is drastically different from that found in nature. This seems to rule out the possibility of contamination (redistribution of impurities).

Low energy transmutations in condensed matter, reported by Iwamura, have recently been confirmed by scientists from Osaka University (11). Here is a quote from their brief description: “As a result, we confirmed that the nuclear transmutation reaction, from 133Cs to 141Pr, occurred. This transmutation suggests that the mass number and the atomic number increase by 8 and 4, respectively. . . The model of multi-body resonance fusion of deuterons, proposed by A. Takahashi, can explain this mass-8-and-charge-4-increased transmutation, as follows:

(Primary reaction) : 8D --> 16O* --> 8Be* + 8Be* + 95.2 (MeV)

(Secondary reaction) : 133Cs + 8Be (47.6 MeV) --> 141Pr* (50.47 MeV)

or 8Be* --> 4He + 4He

If the phenomena occur according to this model then 4He should also be produced. So we are trying to detect 4He.”

It is interesting that radioactive byproducts of presumed nuclear reactions are not mentioned in (5) or in (9). Most radioactive byproducts would be much easier to identify, in small quantities, than their stable counterparts. Their absence seems to indicate that nuclear reactions in condensed matter (presumably responsible for the reported alchemy events), are totally different from common nuclear reactions. This has already been recognized by those who investigated generation of helium. They reported that helium generated via cold fusion is mainly 4He; the 3H and 3He atoms are produced much less frequently. The situation is dramatically different from what happens in thermonuclear reactions taking place in gasses. In these reactions the probability of the 2D+2D--> 4He (releasing about 24 MeV of energy) is 10-6 while the probabilities of reactions producing 3H and 3He (releasing about 3 MeV of energy) are roughly 0.5 each. How can this difference be explained? That is one of the many theoretical questions still to be answered. At present the main issue is experimental rather than theoretical. Do occasional nuclear reactions happen spontaneously in condensed matter at ordinary temperatures or not? That question, formulated thirteen years ago, must be re-addressed in the context of new information.

After posting the above I wanted to see if comments about the work of Japanese scientists can be found on the Internet. And I discovered, with pleasure, that the upcoming meeting of American Physical Society (APS March, 2004) has a session devoted to “dd-Fusion-Iwamura Connection.” Fortunately, the free speech policy is in effect, as far as APS conferences are concerned. I wish the policy would apply to publications in leading scientific journals; publications should not be rejected on the basis of their associations with a particular field. (Is it true that editors of APS journals tend to select reviewers of cold fusion papers from pools of scientists who are known to be prejudiced against the field?)

What follows are three abstracts of papers to be presented at the meeting. I do not understand them fully because I am not a theoretical physicist. The abstracts show that some theoretical physicists are trying to understand cold fusion. Several additional CF-related abstracts can be seen at:

1) Talbot Chubb (Research Systems, Inc. , 5023 N. 38th St., Arlington, VA 22207)

My conjecture: LENR dd fusion occurs in PdD_x when a subset of the interstitial deuterons occupy tetrahedral sites in a PdD_x crystallite. The tetrahedral deuterons(d's), which occupy shallow potential wells, behave as a superfluid, similar to ultracold Na atoms in shallow-well optical traps, as modeled by Jaksch et al.(D. Jaksch, et al, Phys. Rev. Lett., 81, 3108 (1998).) The tetrahedral d's form a deuteron (d) subsystem, which is neutralized by an electron subsystem containing an equal number of electrons. In the superfluid all the properties of each quasiparticle d are partitioned among Nsite equivalent sites. The partitioning of the d point charge reduces the Coulomb self-repulsion within each quasiparticle pair, which causes wave function overlap at large Nsite , allowing d-d fusion. Similarly, partitioning of the point charge of each single quasiparticle d reduces the Coulomb repulsion between it and an obstructing impurity atom, which causes wave function overlap between quasiparticle and atom at large Nsite, allowing transmutation of the impurity atom. The Iwamura reaction (Y. Iwamura, et al, Japan J. of Appl. Physics, 41A, 4642 (2002).) is 42D+bloch + 4e-bloch + 131Cs --> 141Pr, with the reaction energy incoherently transferred to the lattice.

The entire paper (the “ChubbTAtheddcolf.pdf” file) can be downloaded from the Internet (see reference 1 above).<BR>

2) Scott Chubb (Research Systems, Inc. , 9822 Pebble Weigh Ct., Burke, VA 22015-3378)

Three, Key, Unanswered Questions posed by LENR's are: 1. How do we explain the lack of high energy particles (HEP's)? 2. Can we understand and prioritize the way coupling can occur between nuclear- and atomic- lengthscales, and 3. What are the roles of Surface-Like (SL), as opposed to Bulk-Like (BL), processes in triggering nuclear phenomena. One important source of confusion associated with each of these questions is the common perception that the quantum mechanical phases of different particles are not correlated with each other. When the momenta p of interacting particles is large, and reactions occur rapidly (between HEP's, for example), this is a valid assumption. But when the relative difference in p becomes vanishingly small, between one charge, and many others, as a result of implicit electromagnetic coupling, each charge can share a common phase, relative to the others, modulo 2n\pi, where n is an integer, even when outside forces are introduced. The associated forms of broken gauge symmetry, distinguish BL from SL phenomena, at room temperature, also explain super- and normal- conductivity in solids, and can be used to address the Three, Key, Unanswered Questions posed by LENR's.

3) Peter L. Hagelstein (Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139)

We have proposed that phonon exchange can occur in the presence of a highly excited optical phonon mode during a dd-fusion reaction. We have also suggested (P. L. Hagelstein, Bull. APS 45, 235 (2000)) at new second-order site-other-site reactions can occur when the energy of a fusion reaction is transferred elsewhere. Fast particle ejecta from the experiments of Chambers( G. P. Chambers, et al, J. Fusion Energy, Vol. 9, p. 281 (1990).) and of Cecil (F. E. Cecil, et al, AIP Conf. Proc. Vol. 228, p. 383 (1990).) appear to be consistent with such a mechanism, in which a dd-fusion reaction at one site is coupled to a disintegration at another site. The dominant process of this type is the null reaction in which dd-fusion is coupled to He-4 dissociation. This process can lead to compact dd-states(P. L. Hagelstein, Bull. APS 2001), and is consistent with the Kasagi experiment(J. Kasagi et al, J. Phys. Soc. Japan 64, 777 (1995). ). We find that compact states near resonance with the molecular D2 states changes the radial wavefunction at small r.


In browsing the Internet I also found an earlier paper of Iwamura at all. Presented at the 7th International Cold Fusion Conference (Canada, 1998), it shows the history of the project. The authors wrote:

A new type of experimental apparatus is developed to induce nuclear reactions by continuous diffusion of deuterium. Ti atoms, which cannot be explained by contamination, were detected on the surface where deuterium atoms passed through on Pd cathodes after electrolysis. A multi-layer cathode (Pd/CaO/Pd) is introduced based on an EINR (Electron Induced Nuclear Reaction) model. Excess heat generations and x-ray emissions were observed for all the cases we tried by the multi-layer cathodes. 57Fe/56Fe ratio of Fe atoms detected on the multi-layer cathodes is anomalously larger than natural

1. Introduction
Beginning in 1993, we have researched "cold fusion" phenomena to investigate it as a potential new energy source. At first, we performed gas-loading experiments and suggested that the high diffusion velocity of deuterium, in addition to a high D/Pd ratio, is an important factor for causing nuclear reactions in solids (1)-(3) The authors analyzed electrolyzed Pd samples by a variety of methods (4), and we conjectured that impurities in Pd play essential roles to induce nuclear reactions. The foregoing ideas result in the assumption that necessary conditions to induce nuclear reactions in solids are as follows:

(i) high D/Pd
(ii) enough diffusion flux of deuterium
(iii) the existence of a third element except Pd and deuterium.

A new type of experimental apparatus was developed to induce continuous diffusion under high D/Pd conditions, in which the conditions (i) and (ii) were satisfied. (5) A multi-layer cathode composed of a Pd sheet, Pd and CaO complex layer, and Pd thin layer is developed to meet the condition (iii). Ca is introduced into Pd cathode based on an Electron-Induced Nuclear Reaction (EINR) mode (6). In this paper, experimental results using the continuous diffusion apparatus with both a normal Pd sample and the multi-layer cathodes is described.”

1) J. Bockris “Early Contributions From Workers at Texas A&M University to
(So-Called) Low Energy Nuclear Reactions.” Journal of New Energy,
Vol 4, no 2, 1999, p. 40
2) M. Miles, and B.F. Bush, 1994. "Heat and Helium Measurements in
Deuterated Palladium." Trans. Fusion Technol., Vol. 26(4T), p. 156.
3). Y. Arata, and Y. Zhang, "Helium (He-4, He-3) within deuterated
Pd-black." Proc. Japan Acad. B, Vol. 73, p. 1, 1997.
4) J. Bockris, G. Lin, and N. Packham " A Review of the Investigations of
the Fleischmann-Pons Phenomena," in Fusion Technology , 18, 11-31,
August (1990)
5) G. Miley, et al., 2000. "Advances in Thin-Film Electrode Experiments;"
Eighth International Conference on Cold Fusion. Lerici, Italy. This paper
is downloadable from the library at
6) T. Mizuno, "Nuclear Transmutations: The Reality of Cold Fusion,"
Oak Grow Press, Concord, NH, 1998.
7) A. B. Karabut et al.; “ “Nuclear product ratio for glow discharge in
deuterium;” Phys. Let. A, 170, p 265, 1992.
8) T. Ohmori et al. (1996), “Iron Formation in Gold and Palladium Cathodes,”
J. New Energy, vol 1, no 1, pp 15-22.
9) Y. Iwamura et al. “Energy Nuclear Transmutation In Condensed Matter Induced
By D2 Gas Permeation Through Pd Complexes: Correlation Between
Deuterium Flux And Nuclear Products” This paper is available over the Internet
(see ref 1 above).
10) Y. Iwamura et al. “Elemental Analysis of Pd Complexes: Effects of D2 gas
permeation. Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 41 (2002), pp. 4642-4648.
11) T. Higashiyama et al. “Low Energy Nuclear Transmutation In Condensed
Matter Induced By D2 Gas Permeation Through Pd Complexes: Correlation
Between Deuterium Flux And Nuclear Products.” This paper is available
over the Internet (see ref 1 above).

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