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321) Scientific Issues in The Galileo Project

Ludwik Kowalski; 4/2/2007
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

Available results from The Galileo Project (TGP), as described in the March issue of this journal, confirmed the presence of copious SPAWAR pits. That is very important; it shows that the effect is reproducible. But is this discovery an example of nuclear activity (emission of nucleons from atomic nuclei) initiated by electrolysis? That question remains unanswered. About 30 researchers, from different laboratories, (two alpha teams, six beta teams and two advisers) continue to address it. I am one of these researchers. Let me outline six pending scientific issues that have emerged from the ongoing investigations..

1) Unconventional use of detectors
CR-39 detectors, used in TGP, are also used in other areas of science and technology. But we used them in the electrolyte, rather than in air. Is it possible that prominent pits, recorded in the electrolyte, are due to chemical corrosion and not to nuclear projectiles? That possibility was raised by the beta 2 team, after examination of their CR-39 detectors.

2) Relative sizes of prominent pits
Absolute sizes of CR-39 pits, due to nuclear particles, are known to depend on the time of etching and on the temperature of the etching solution. But relative sizes of pits, for example, in comparison with those due to alpha particles from an americium source, are likely to be much less dependent on etching parameter. According to two TGP teams (beta 5 and beta 2) diameters of prominent pits are about 2.5 times larger than diameters due to alpha particles (under identical etching conditions). Will this experimental fact be confirmed by other teams? That remains to be seen. My interpretation of this fact was offered at the recent APS meeting. It has also been described at

Will other scientists agree with me that large SPAWAR pits “cannot possibly be due to alpha particles or protons?” That also remains to be seen.

3) Emission of neutrons:
Two researchers, R. Oriani and L. Forsley, independently reported seeing pits on both sides of thick CR-39 chips. This led to a hypothesis, offered by Forsley, that at least some nuclear particles emitted in the SPAWAR effect are neutrons. Fortunately, two neutron detectors were used in one TGP experiment. Will the analysis of results confirm the hypothesis? That also remains to be seen.

4) PACA detectors:
Suspecting that dominant pits on post-electrolysis chips are due to some kind of corrosion, and expecting to detect less prominent pits due to nuclear projectiles, Richard Oriani started experimenting with PACA detectors. The acronym stands for Protected Against Chemical Attack. In his setup the CR-39 detector is separated from the electrolyte by a thin polypropylene film (5 microns). The wet side of the film is in contact with the cathode while the dry side is in contact with the CR-39 chip (located in air). He performed 8 consecutive experiments with that setup and reported positive results (at least ten times more pits on a PACA detector than on the control detector). Similar results were mentioned by Pamela Boss. Our beta 5 team was not able to replicate such results. This, however, does not necessary conflict with positive results because experimental conditions were not identical. A confirmation of positive or negative results is likely to emerge when experimental conditions are normalized.

5) Electric and Magnetic fields:
According to the November issue of NET, tracks of nuclear particles are detected only when electrolytic cells are located in external fields, either electric or magnetic. The magnetic field effect was confirmed by our beta 5 team. But, according to the beta 2 team, magnetic field has no effect on the pit formation process. Results from other teams have not yet been announced. The issue remains unresolved.

6) Other nuclear signatures:
It is important to be aware that the SPAWAR claim, about a nuclear effect resulting from a chemical process, was not based only on CR-39 detectors in the electrolyte. It was also based on production of tritium (and other new elements), on generation of characteristic X rays, and on morphological changes on surfaces of cathodes. Hopefully these observations will also be subjected to scrutiny of independent investigations.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
What follows are some useful references, for those who did not follow the short history of The Galileo Project.

1) November 2006, the project is announce by Steve Krivit. See items 7 and 8 in the November issue of New Energy Times. <>

2) January 2007, publication of the SPAWAR paper in a refereed journal. Stanislaw Szpak · Pamela A Mossier Boss, and Frank E. Gordon; “Further evidence of nuclear reactions in the Pd/D lattice.” Naturwissenschaften (2007) DOI 10.1007/g00114-007-0221-7. Can be downloaded from the library at <>

3) March 2007, Two Cold Fusion sessions at the meeting of American Physical Society, Denver, Colorado. See item 10 in the March issue of New Energy Times <>

3a) March 2007, Pamela A. Mossier-Boss, Stanislaw Szpak, Frank Gordon; “Production of High Energy Particles Using the Pd/D Co-deposition Process,” Paper presented at the American Physical Society meeting, March 5, 2007, Denver Colorado.

3b) Lawrence P.G. Forsley, Garry Philips, J Khim, Pamela Mossier-Boss, Frank Gordon, Stanislaw Szpak; “Time Resolved, High Resolution Gamma Ray and Integrated Charged and Knock-on Particle Measurements of a Pd:D Co-deposition Cell,” Paper presented at the American Physical Society meeting, March 5, 2007, Denver Colorado.

The above note was submitted to New Energy Times today. Unfortunately, the editor of this online journal, Steve Krivit, rejected the note without providing any explanation. SEE CORRECTION BELOW ! ! !

APPENDED ON 12/24/07
Let me clarify what I meant by the term “rejected.” Steve Krivit actually suggested what the note should be improved. I decided not to do this because what is shown above seemed to be sufficiently clear. That is why I decided to post this summary note at my website. But the phrase “without any explanation” was wrong. This will be clear to anyone who reads his message (see below). I apologize for this misleading phrase. I also thank Steve Krivit for sending me copies of two messages shown below; they have been deleted from my mailbox long time ago.

Ludwik to Steve (4/6/07):
Hi Steve,
Many days ago you mentioned that the deadline to submit a piece for the next issue of TNT is April 20. With this in mind I am sending you this piece. I hope you will publish it. Your help in improving my style will be appreciated.

Steve to Ludwik (4/11/07):
Dear Dr. Kowalski,
Please attend to all of these required changes if you wish us to publish your letter.

1. You must explicitly refer to text or data that I wrote in my report regarding calibration curves, not what you think I believe.
2. If you wish to critique what I wrote in my March 16 article, you must do so only with what was known at the time, not what you have learned afterwards, because that would become an extension of the discussion, not a direct rebuttal.
3. If you wish to refer to data or results of experiments in your rebuttal you must include only that which has been presented in a legitimate science conference or journal publication.
4. If you want to discuss pit size, you must provide a scaled image, as well as an image of that area which shows the relative size of such pits that support your distinction of "dominant" pits.
5. In your presentation, you stated your conclusion, "analysis of our single experiment does not support the idea that dominant pits, on our CR-39 chips, are tracks of alpha particles, or less massive nuclear projectiles." In your letter of 6 April you stated it differently, "prominent large pits on post-electrolysis chips cannot possibly be due to alpha particle, to directly emitted protons, or to protons ìkickedî by neutrons." Please explain why, in your presentation, you did not state that the pits could be from more massive nuclear particles. Since your 6 April letter uses the absolute characterization, "cannot possibly be," please provide absolute proof that the tracks cannot be caused by protons kicked by neutrons.

Thank you,

Steve Krivit
Editor, New Energy Times

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