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250) Another confirmation of nuclear anomalies

Ludwik Kowalski (8/16/05)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

I am reading a recently published paper. It is a short note for electrochemists interested in cold transmutations (CT). I am not even a chemist; this disqualifies me from being an intermediary between scientists and laymen. But I will try, nevertheless, to share some observations. The title is: “Evidence of nuclear reactions in the Pd lattice” and the authors are Stanislaw Szpak, Pamela A Mosier Boss, Charles Young and Frank E Gordon. Submitted in May 2005 the note was published (Naturwissenschaften (2005) 00: 1–4) in July 2005.

The instrument used was an electrolytic cell with heavy water solutions of LiCl and PdCl. The anode was a platinum grid while the cathode was a gold plate coated with Pd and D. These two materials were deposited on the cathode electrolytically by using a very small current (1 mA) in 24 hours. Then the current was increased to about 40 mA (for 2-3 hours) to make sure that the distribution of deposited material is uniform. In the main experiment, lasting 48 hours, with the current was about 100 mA. During the main experiment the cell was in the electric field of a parallel plate capacitor (field of ~ 2000 V/cm). The role of the external electric field is not clear to me; the authors say it was imposed to created conditions favoring nuclear reactions. This reminded me of an experiment (D. Letts et al.) in which a laser beam was used to stimulate the cathode.

After the main experiment the electrodes were removed and examined with a scanning electron microscope. Structural changes on the cathode (localized spots which could only be formed at the above the melting point temperatures) were recognized. One of the authors told me, a telephone conversation, that highly localized flashes (indicators of high local temperatures) were observed during the electrolysis when the cathode was observed with an infrared camera. What kind of reactions were responsible for profound structural changes in the cathode and for the infrared bursts during the electrolysis?

To answer this question the authors submitted the cathode to a different kind of examination. Their scanning electron microscope was equipped with a device able to recognize chemical elements at selected spots of the surface. The name of that device is EDX (electron dispersive X-rays analysis). I never saw such device but its principle of operation is clear to me. Any selected spot can be bombarded with a beam of electrons to generate X-rays. Distinct chemical elements can be recognized by characteristic peaks when X-rays are analyzed with a high resolution spectrometer. This kind of elemental analysis was used by other researchers, for example, by Mizuno in Japan, Miley in the USA and Savvatimova in Russia. All of them reported formation of elements that were not originally present (see units #60, #85, #159 and #206, at this website).

The most prominent elements identified by Szpak et al. were: Al, Mg, Ca, Si, and Zn.
What is the origin of these elements? The authors believe that they are products of nuclear transmutations. Before reaching this tentative conclusion they consider a possibility of chemical contamination. Such conclusion, they claim, would not be consistent with known amounts of trace elements in the electrodes, and in the electrolyte. Furthermore, elements discovered in hot spots were not found in other cathode locations. Structural materials of the cell were examined before the experiment (also with the DEX device) and elements discovered later were not found on their surfaces. Such arguments against a possibility of contamination, are compelling, especially when they are presented by recognized and experienced electrochemists.

But what should I think about their tentative claim that the elements like A, Mg, Ca, etc., are products of nuclear transmutations? Similar claims have been made by other highly qualified researchers. On that basis I take a possibility of nuclear transmutation very seriously. I am puzzled, however, by the absence of radioactive CT products. Being a nuclear physicist I know that both radioactive and not radioactive isotopes are produced when transmutations are induced by accelerated particles, or by neutrons. Why are radioactive isotopes absent among the reaction products? I am certainly not the first person to ask this question. As far as I know, that question has not been answered to satisfy all researchers.

Appended on 8/18/05:
The article that I described, and another recent article published by the same team, can be downloaded from the library at <html://>. The second article was published in J. Electroanal. Chem., (2005. 580: p. 284-290) and its title is “The effect of an external electric field on surface morphology of co-deposited Pd/D films.”

In the second article the authors explain that the external electric field was applied to increase the capillary forces at the cathode surface. These forces are said to be responsible for some minor deformations occuring during the electrolysis. More drastic, and highly localized, deformations (hot spots), not observed in light water cells, were also observed. They are said to be indicative of local melting, presumably due to highly localized violent nuclear processes. New elements, as reported in the first paper, were observed mostly at hot spots.

One effect that should be expected, when an electrolyte is placed into a strong electrostatic field, is preferential orientation of water molecules (known to be dipoles). The number of molecules whose hydrogen sides are in contact with the cathode is probably much larger than when the electric field is off. What effect does this have on the “double layer?” The local electric field is likely to increase near the cathode surface. Is it conceivable that local electric breakdowns, in the double layer, are somehow responsible for hot spots, and for other surface abnormalities?

Appended on 8/20/05:
It is regrettable that isotopic analysis could not be performed. I am reading the 1996 paper of Miley and Patterson in which a large number of transmutation products was reported. Two methods were used to perform isotopic analysis: SIMS (secondary ions mass spectroscopy) and NAA (nuclear activation analysis). The NAA is a technique with which I am familiar; that is why I find it more convincing. Abnormal isotopic ratios are very convincing indicators that contamination was not responsible for new elements found in the Ni cathode after the electrolysis. One of the new elements was copper. The natural abundances of its two stable isotopes, 63Cu and 65Cu, are 69% and 31%, respectively, as reported in column 3.

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