34) A way to demonstrate reality of CANR

Ludwik Kowalski (January 11, 2003)
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ

Return to the clickable list of items

After reading the “Cold fusion: an objective assessment” again I would like to focus on some aspects of this four-times-rejected paper of Edmund Storms. It was a reasonable summary of progress, about three years ago.

Storms has a table listing various experimental approaches to chemically assisted nuclear reactions (CANR). These approaches are:

1. Electrolysis of D2O (H2O)-based electrolyte using a Pd, Pt, Ti, or Ni cathode; (This is the original P-F method, which has been duplicated hundreds of times to produce claimed AE and NP in every country where the method has been studied.)

2. Electrolysis of KCl-LiCl-LiD (fused salt) electrolyte using a Pd anode; (This method has been difficult to duplicate.)

3. Electrolysis of various solid compounds in D2 (Proton conduction); (This method has been duplicated in the US, Japan and France to produce AE.)

4. Gas discharge (low energy ions) using Pd electrodes in D2 (H2); (Variations on this method have reported AE and NP in the US, Russia and Japan.)

5. Ion bombardment (high energy ions) of various metals by D+; (Variations on this method have reported NP in Russia and Japan.)

6. Gas reaction (H2) with Ni under special conditions; (Replicated independently several times in Italy to produce NP and AE.)

7. Cavitation reaction involving D2O and various metals using an acoustic field. (This method has been replicated in the US to produce NP and AE.)

8. Cavitation reaction in H2O using micro bubble formation; (Several attempts to duplicate variations on the method have failed.)

9. Reaction of finely divided palladium with pressurized deuterium gas; (Variations on this method have produced NP and AE in the US and Japan.)

10. Plasma discharge under D2O or H2O; (Variations on this method have produced AP and NP in the US, Italy and Japan.)

11. Phase change or a chemical reaction, both involving compounds of deuterium; (NP production has been reported in the US and in Russia)

12. Biological Systems based on living cultures; (NP has been reported in Japan, Russia and France.)

After producing this list the author describes some of the methods and the results obtained. Addressing the issue of the nuclear origin of excess heat he points out that neutrons and tritium, the main reaction product of the so-called “hot fusion”, are relatively rare in CANR. Their rates of emission would have to increased by many orders of magnitude in order to be commensurable with the rate of generation of “excess heat.” The same seems to be true for the 14 MeV alpha particles and 3 MeV protons. But 4He is accumulated at much higher rate and it may be the main reaction product. The same seems to be true for some heavy nuclides (according to Karabut).

The difficulty with the main products, as emphasized by Storms, is their very low level of concentration, typically several hundreds of ppm, after hundreds of hours of accumulation. If it were up to me I would focus on one product, alpha particles of 14 MeV. I know of two papers in which such particles (and 3 MeV protons) were observed. The authors of these papers (Lipson ... and Karabut...) used very different CANR setups but they observed essentially the same kind of energetic light particles. What can be more convincing, of the reality of CANR, than alpha particles of 14 MeV? That energy can not be attributed concentration of naturally occurring emitters, such Rn, Tn and their daughters. I also read a paper of J. Dash, from Portland State University, in which a chamber similar that of Karabut was used. A uranium foil, attached to the cathode, was found to be four times more alpha-radioactive after 550 hours of bombardment by D2 ions (500 V and 5 mA) than before the bombardment. The energies of alpha particles, however, were not reported.

Unfortunately, the most direct method of particle identifications (a setup of two Si detectors) could not be used in the reacting environment (electrolytic cell of Lipson or a gas discharge chamber of Karabut). Therefore the authors used less direct methods of measuring energies of alpha particles. They did the best they could under the limitations of methods #1 and #4 listed by Storm. The method # 9, however, is likely to be amenable to the use of a single solid state detector. A silicon detector, placed one or two millimeters away from a layer of powder, could be used, even when the gas pressure is increased to several atmospheres. If it were up to me I would mobilize several teams to conduct such experiments. Observation of 14 MeV alpha particles would be a highly convincing argument that nuclear reactions can be induced by chemical means. This would be an important scientific contribution, the first step toward a normal process of exploring a phenomenon by going from known to unknown. The unfortunate period in which “cold fusion” investigators were treated as pseudo scientists, or as dishonest manipulators, would end by recognizing the reality CANR.

Return to the clickable list of items