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383) Two older sets of experimental results

Ludwik Kowalski

Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA
October 23, 2009

Unit 368 described a still ongoing CMNS project. The purpose is to validate experimental results that Richard Oriani presented at ICCF14. More recently, Oriani shared older results from experiments in a U-shaped electrolytic cell. These results are also waiting for independent validations. What follows was posted at a private list for CMNS researchers, (on 10/12/2009):

The tabulation below is a summary of my past experiments on the generation of charged nuclear particles in the anode compartment of electrolysis cells of U configuration. CR39 detectors suspended in the vapor above the electrolyte in the anode compartment (the anolyte) are enveloped by the oxygen generated at the anode. The fact that charged particles can be produced in an environment devoid of hydrogen and far from the electrode is something that theorists in the LENR field should be aware
The electrolyses were carried out with H2O/Li2SO4 as the electrolyte, Pt as the anode metal, and Ni as the cathode material, and lasted two to four days. The listed data are from experiments whose CR39 chips are still available for counting the nuclear tracks. The chips from additional experiments can not now be found for counting, and some of these experiments may in fact have produced no larger numbers of tracks than the controls. Moreover, I know that some of the experiments produced only few tracks. The generation of nuclear tracks on CR39 chips held over the anolyte is not reproducible. Nevertheless, the production of many tracks in an oxygen environment in these ten experiments should persuade theorists to attempt to elucidate the underlying mechanism.

exp #       tracks/cm2
Side A Side B
1 253 349
2 306 250
3 272 301
4 258 307
5 612 385
6 238 200
7 326 228
8 300 245
9 160 190
10 193 237
Mean=5.9 (tracks/cm2),
Std. deviation= 2.7tracks/cm2)

These are indeed remarkable data illustrating emission of charged nuclear projectile caused by electrolysis. I hope an attempt to independently validate these results will be made. Equally interesting is Oriani’s report that charged nuclear projectiles are emitted from the cathodes after the electric current, flowing through the electrolyte, is turned off. What follows was also posted at a private list for CMNS researchers, (on 10/13/2009):

I report here results of experiments done in 2005 and 2006 that reveal a residual effect, a sort of "life after death" in the words of Professor Fleischmann. This is the production of nuclear tracks by metal sheets that had previously been used as cathodes in electrolyses. I urge theorists in the LENR effort to attempt to formulate a mechanistic interpretation of these data. Even though the generation of nuclear particles during or after electrolysis can not be the agent for the thermal power that has been often measured calorimetrically, this phenomenon is well worthy of study in its own right as well as for a possible connection with the nuclear reactions responsible for excess power production.

Electrolyses were done in two different cells usually with H2O/Li2SO4 as electrolyte and nickel as the cathode material, although a few were done differently, as indicated in the tabulation below. In all cases the cathode was a metal sheet held between the two o-rings of a glass joint (see Fig.1 of Ref.1) and the cathode served as the bottom of the electrolyte pool. A platinum spiral served as the anode positioned about 2 cm above the cathode sheet. The principal purpose of most of the experiments was to observe nuclear track production on CR39 chips held within the electrolyte or suspended in the vapor above the electrolyte. These measurements have already been reported (Ref.1). In many of these experiments the cathode sheet was dried directly after the electrolysis by placing absorbent filter paper upon it. After this, pre-etched and pre-counted CR39 chips were placed on either side of the cathode sheet and the whole assembly was tightly wrapped in aluminum foil for a few days. Etching in caustic and counting of the nuclear tracks followed the duration of the exposure of the chips.

The track number densities here tabulated represent the differences between the tracks before and after the exposure of the detector chips to the used cathode. For simplicity I report only the track densities developed on the chip positioned upon the side of the cathode sheet that during electrolysis had been in contact with the electrolyte (here called the wet side). In all cases the track densities from the wet side were greater than those from the opposite side (here called the dry side), although the dry sides produced track densities much larger than those on the control chips. The controls were of two kinds: pre-counted CR39 chips suspended over electrolyte solution without ongoing electrolysis, and pre-counted CR39 chips placed on fresh nickel sheet and tightly wrapped in aluminum foil. In a few experiments a second exposure of the used cathode to CR39 detectors was carried out immediately after the first exposure was terminated.

Reference.1: R.A.Oriani and J.C.Fisher, Proc. ICCF10,pp. 579-584, 2006.
   = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Days of Tracks/cm2 Tracks/cm2 Controls Controls
exposure Exposure 1 Exposure 2 type Tracks/cm2
4 369 4 145 111 2 128 S 18, 27 2 149 2 133 3 107* 1 61 145 2 X S 22, 16 63 S 26 118 190 84 115 N 10, 25, 16, 21 96 79 57 N 27, 0, 10, 0 74 N 45 2 71 65 2 43 61 2 81 2 53 N 20, 12 2 47 66 N 18, 15 3 67** 62 N 18, 12 2 94*** 4 91 = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
NOTES: For the controls: Mean=18 tracks/cm2 Std. deviation= 10 tracks/cm2
X means few tracks
* Pd was the cathode material
** Pt-plated copper was the cathode material
*** Pd as cathode and D2/Li2SO4 as electrolyte
S Control chips suspended over electrolyte solution, no electrolysis
N Control chips placed upon virgin Ni sheets, wrapped in Al foil
A) Four experiments in which two exposures were made show that the rate at which particles are emitted after the end of electrolysis remains nearly constant during two or three days.

B) With one exception, labeled as X, track densities on experimental chips are larger than on control chips.

C) Referring to the first set of results (on 10/24/09) John Fisher wrote:
These experiments support polyneutron theory. According to polyneutron theory the nuclear reaction responsible for LENR in electrolysis experiments occurs in the bubbling region near an electrode where a polyneutron chain reaction is maintained. Bubbles that originate in this region rise and drag along electrolyte and the waste products it contains, and maintain an inflow of fresh electrolyte to replace it. Waste products include double nuclei, in which a large polyneutron and an ordinary nucleus (oxygen-16 or helium-4 in Oriani’s experiments) are bound together. Double nuclei are not stable, and undergo alpha decay of the polyneutron component. These energetic alphas are responsible for Oriani’s etch pits. It does not matter whether bubbling is driven by evolution of hydrogen atoms near a cathode or by oxygen atoms near an anode. The LENR action occurs in the electrolyte, which has the same composition at both electrodes, leading to double nuclei and alpha decay at both electrodes. The theory also predicts excess heat at both electrodes.

Referring to the second set of results (on 10/25/09) John Fisher wrote:

Polyneutron theory offers an explanation for the "life after death" nuclear tracks observed by Oriani and described in his communication of 13 October (I have lost that
communication save for a printout, so cannot reproduce it here). In my 24 October communication I suggested that double nuclei, composed of an oxygen-16 nucleus and a large polyneutron bound to each other, are formed in regions of active LENR near electrodes in electrolysis experiments. And I suggested that the polyneutron components are unstable and emit alpha particles as they decay. (Two beta decays are associated with each alpha decay.) Because the oxygen-16 double nuclei are chemically oxygen those that reach a cathode can join an oxide film on the cathode surface, or otherwise chemically attach to the cathode. There from time to time they briefly transmute to fluorine and neon with two beta decays and then back to oxygen when an alpha particle is emitted. These alphas can be recorded on CR39 chips. After each alpha emission the polyneutron is reduced in size and the coulomb barrier for alpha decay (caused by the charge of the oxygen nucleus) grows larger. The alpha decay rate slows. The rate of production of CR39 tracks and of energy declines. These are the late stages of "life after death" for both tracks and heat.

E) Also relevant (?) is a message posted by another CMNS researcher. It listed possible paths for the exothermic p + Li reactiones.

  2H +  6Li ->     n+  7Be  + 3.381 MeV  
  2H +  6Li ->  1H +  7Li  + 5.025 MeV  
  2H +  6Li ->   3H +  5Li  + 0.592 MeV  
  2H +  6Li ->  3He+  5He  + 0.901 MeV  
  2H +  6Li ->  4He+  4He + 22.372 MeV

Note that 7.5% of lithium (in Oriani’s electrolyte) is 6Li and his ordinary water contains a small amount of heavy water, and thus 2H. Naturally, one can think of several other exothermic nuclear reactions able to produce nuclear projectiles, for example, 1H + 6Li --> 4He + 3He (Q=3.7 MeV).

Yes, I am fully aware of Coulomb barriers involved. But this is a problem common to all CMNS reactions. An interesting paper about how to addres the Coulomb barrier issue was presented by E. Storms, at the last international ‘cold fusion’ conference in Rome (ICCF15).

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