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223) Karabut’s papers

Ludwik Kowalski (18/5/05)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

Alexander Karabut, whose earlier publication (see item #13) triggered my interest in cold fusion, sent me two posters for the incoming MIT colloquium. He also sent me two corresponding papers in Russian.

Click to see his Paper 1 in English (awkward in some places)
or in Russian.
Click to see his Paper 2 in English (awkward in some places)
or in Russian.

A quick comparison shows that some sentences found in the English paper, do not appear in the corresponding Russian paper, and vice versa. The impression is that English papers are more recent.

In the first paper I read that the excess heats was generated at the rates of up to 10-15 W, and that the efficiency was 150%. That is much more that 10% efficiency reported by Karabut in unit #13. My understanding of 150% is that for every 100 J of electric energy supplied to the glow discharge tube the amount of heat generated is 250 J. (150 J of ecxcess heat). But I am not sure of that this is a correct interpretation; perhaps the amount of heat generated is 150J rather than 250J. According to my definition, this would be 50% efficiency, not 150%. But even 50% is impressive.

The highest excess power on Figure 3 is about 8 W; most data points indicate excess powers from 1 to 4 watts. Presumabaly efficiencies in the range from 10 to15 W were recorded at input powers higher than 20 W. Reading the paper carefully I was not able to find a protocol for the high efficiency. The only indication was high voltages (1000-1400 V) applied in the form of short pulses (much shorter than intervals between pulses). Can one say that this is a supervave of some unspecified fundamental frequency?

Another interesting result, also reported in init #13, is nuclear alchemy; many new chemical elements wereŠ accumulated in the cathode when excess heat was generated. The estimated rate of transmutation is reported as 1013 atoms per seconds. Is this enough to explain the excess heat? Suppose that, on the average, production of one atom is associated with the release of 5 MeV of heat. This would generate heat at the rate of 5*1013 MeV/s, or 8 W. The order of magnitude seems to be consistent with the actually measured excess heat power.

The second paper focuses on generation of X rays; the subject that is also mentioned in the first paper. The rays were studied, using many different cathodes, when the current was 500 mA and the voltages were in the range of 500 to 2500 V. That translates into a lot of input power; more that 1000 W, at the extreme. At the efficiency of the excess heat generation of 150% that would generate 1500 Joules of abnormal heat each second -- enough to bring one liter of water to the boiling point in about three minutes (starting at room temperature). But such expŃectation is incorrect because the applied voltage was not constant. The 1000 W is the momentary power during each pulse; it is not a constant power. Durations of current pulses were between 0.27 and 10 microseconds. and periods of repetition were between 1 and 100 microseconds. Two kinds of X rays were identified:

a) multidirectional (diffused, up to 5*105 bursts per second with up to 106 photons per burst.)

b) laser-like beams of short duration (up to 104 beams per second and up to 1010 photons per beam.) Emission of laser-like beams takes place not only when the current is flowing but also up to 100 microseconds after the current is turned off. Lasing implies presence of reversed populations of metastable energy levels presumably created by deuterium ions bombarding the cathode.

Soft X-rays (photons whose energies are in the range of 1.2 to 3 keV) are referred as primary penetrating radition. Secondary radiation, presumably resulting from interactions of primary photons with cathodes, were also identified. One of these components is said to be able to penetrate 5 mm of steel. In the second paper the new technology of creating laser beams is characterized as 100% reproducible. Nothing, however, was said (in the first paper) about the reproducibility of generation of excess heat and transmutation products. I suppose that Karabut believes that the 150% efficiency is 100% reproducible. Otherwise his conclusion, at the end of the first paper, would be questionable. The conclusion is that building a new nuclear device is now possible. That device, a cube of 20 cm, powered be electric energy at the rate of 10kW, will generate excess heat at the rate of 15 KW. The main conclusion of the second paper is a possibility of building a solid-state X-ray laser. It will produce powerful pulses of radiation (10 MW) lasting 10-11 to 10-13 seconds.

Appended 5/19/05:
I am now aware of three independent cold fusion groups working with glow discharge chambers: that of Karabut (also see unit #13), that of Arik (see unit #213), and that of Tom Passell (the paper can be downloaded from the library at All three are interested in excess heat. A device generating 10+15=25 kW of heat (10 kW from the electric energy supplied and 15 kW from cold fusion) is not yet a large power plant. But its 100% reliable operation would promote research on a much larger scale.

What would I do if I were a researcher able to build a device generating nuclear energy via excess heat at the efficiency of 150%? I would also try to publicize my work, as Karabut does. But instead of writing about many things (different cathodes, different gasses, different waveforms, different instruments, etc.) I would focus on what has been the most reliable and the most promising. I would describe my protocol as clearly as possible; I would provide other researchers with details needed to replicate my results. Yes, I know that this would be in conflict with desires to benefit financially from being the first in new technology. At my age I would not worry about this but I can understand those for whom commercial success is important. I do not know how to resolve conflicts between personal and general benefits. But the issue is certainly not new; Karabut is not the first scientist claiming to invent something useful. The e-mail message he sent me ends with this sentence. “I take an interest about an grant of a research work.” Will he find a grant in Russia? Will he find it in another country? It depends not only on him; it depends on success of others. The progress he made at the research laboratory Lutch, during the last three years, -- a jump from the 10% efficiency to the 150% efficiency -- is spectacular.

P.S. (5/20/05): 1) The term efficiency, (k.p.d. in Russian), in the context of an excess heat paper, can mean two different things:

a) (Thermal energy generated) / (Electric energy supplied)
b) (Excess heat generated) / (Electric energy supplied)

In my mind efficiency is (desirable output)/(input). That is why I assumed that the 150% refers to (b). But that assumption might be wrong. The excess heat would be much smaller if 150% referred to (a) rather than to (b).

2) If efficiency is defined as (a) then 100% would mean no excess heat at all. And 10% efficiency would mean that 90% of electric energy is converted into a form of energy other than heat, for example light or mechanical energy or chemical energy.

If efficiency is defined as (b) then 100% would mean that the amount of excess heat is equal to the amount of electric energy supplied. In my opinion (b) is more appropriate than (a). The k.p.d., by the way, translates as "coefficient of useful action." The useful thing, in cold fusion devices, is excess heat.

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