414) Another Sample of Messages

March 21, 2013

Ludwik Kowalski
,  Professor Emeritus

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Montclair State University Montclair, NJ 07043


An interesting sequence of posts appeared on the CMNS list during the last three days. On March 18, 2013, I wrote: "I suggest that X1 et al. send [to the journal Naturwissenschaften] an article describing a reliable protocol for a demonstration of biological transmutation. Confirmation of their results, in another biological laboratory, would be a highly desirable step toward recognition of the main CMNS claim--a nuclear effect due to a chemical effect."

1) Responding to this X1 informed us that his article has been "accepted for publication in the very famous physical (nuclear) Elsiver journal and will be published this summer." 

2) Quoting my suggestion Abd ul-Rahman Lomax (ARL) wrote: " Yes. It's an obvious possibility, an article on biological transmutation. The problem is that there has been no replication or confirmation. However, if someone does replicate, that might make for a fantastic joint paper for Naturwissenschaften. I'm not ruling out X1's   submission, and, of course, it would be up to the editors of NW whather or not to accept it. But I do have concerns."

3) Then ARL added: "Dr. X1 gave me permission to share this email with the list; he wrote: "This process is possible in: 

(a) any rapidly growing microbiological system (pure culture or microbiological association)  

(b) at absence in a nutrient medium of required synthesized chemical element (e.g. iron) and its biochemical analogues (atoms with similar valency and

close ionic radius) and at presence of 

(c) others micro- and macro-elements (that are necessary for growth) and

(d) chemical elements that are necessary for required synthesis (e.g. Mn55

and D). ... " 

4) This was followed by my post. Addressing X1, I wrote:

*) First congratulations for publishing an important article in Elsiver. I hope it contains the description of a detailed reproduction protocol. If not then such a protocol is worth publishing, either by you or by a senior microbiologist working with you, in a journal read mostly by biologists. This would increase the probability that someone will actually try to replicate your results.

*) Responding to ARL you wrote: "I have one remark to the term 'biological transmutation. It is not a  correct term! In our opinion, there are no reasons to consider the process of transformation of isotopes and elements during grows of biological system to be separate and different from the general physical forms of nuclear transmutation that can occur from comparable forms of transformation of isotopes through transmutation that can occur through alternatived processes, controlled by the laws of physics."

I also used the term "biological transmutation," first because other people used it, and second, because it is correct, in my opinion. It does not imply that physics is different. As we all know, physics is at the base of chemistry and chemistry is at the base of biology. The "induced by neutrons," or "induced by alpha particle," does not mean it is not physics. The same is true for the term "induced by bacteria." or "biologically induced."  Good luck,

5) Responding to another ARL's post, X1 wrote: "You wrote that 'For 'rapidly growing biological system' substitute 'any palladium metal.' For 'at absence' substitute 'loaded with deuterium.' Perhaps my concept is clear. Let's not make that mistake again.

This is incorrect and does not lead to positive results. One of the key words in the condition of biological transmutation is 'GROWING microbiological system'. Such transmutation process is possible only in  'GROWING' (dynamical, nonstationary) systems. In such systems the process of coherent suppression of Coulomb barrier action is possible (e.g. by formation of coherent correlated state). At use of dead microbiological cultures (stationary system from the physics point of view) our experiments always were unsuccessful! This is the general rule (for both biological and pure physical systems) - in stationary system LENR experiments always are unsuccessful."


Then a different thread of messages appeared. It was triggered by an article posted by Peter Gluck, at his own website:


1) Responding to this Ed Storms, the author of a well known book on Cold Fusion, wrote: " Peter has raised an important subject, ....  I see no solution to the general rejection until a device having a demonstrated level of commercial power has been achieved. Only then will the claim be accepted even by people who insist the phenomenon violates accepted theory. ..."

2) Responding to this I wrote: "Yes, durable commercial success would convince skeptics that something new has been discovered and became useful. But I would not use the word "only." A reproducible-on-demand device, demonstrating transmutation (of any kind), would also convince honest skeptics."

3) Responding to this Storms wrote: "The problem with reproduction on demand is that the person doing the reproduction has to invest in a special calorimeter, learn how to use it, and spend time and money while not believing the effect is real.  In addition, the level of power must exceed any imagined error. This is a lot to ask of a skeptic.

If transmutation is sought, investment must be made in the equipment required to make such studies. This cost is not trivial.  People have already shown demonstrations without much effect.  I believe that the ONLY proof would be a device that could be bought ready made and would be easily to setup anywhere.  This device would have to make energy without stopping.  Of course we can dream that science is fair and objective, but I think we have evidence that this is not true."

4) Referring to my suggestion to X1, not to mix theoretical considerations with experimental results, ARL wrote: " It's possible to present theoretical speculation in an original research report, but it must be done in such a way as to not overshadow the experimental results. For example, made up for an original paper from Pons and Fleischmann:

--- Conclusions ---

We have found anomalous energy in palladium deuteride at a density of X joules per cm^3, far in excess of what is known to be possible for chemistry, and we have exercised great care to rule out artifact. Given that heavy water results are far stronger than otherwise identifical experiments with light water, this leads to an obvious speculation of a nuclear source, but no nuclear products have been found that are commensurate with the anomalous energy, and a nuclear reaction under these conditions radically defies expectations. More research is needed to understand the source of this mysterious energy, and to confirm that there is no unidentified artifact.

5) Yes indeed, CMNR history would be different if the original CF paper ended with a similar conclusion. Thinking about this I wrote: "I would email this to Martin Fleischmann, if he were still alive, and ask him what prevented them from ending the 1989 publication in this way. Perhaps someone in contact with Stanley Pons will ask address this question to him. The reply would be an important contribution to history of science. And, if I recall correctly, Abd has nothing against being quoted outside of this list, provided it is attributed ho him." 

6) ARL responded: " Sure. No problem. Perhaps I could answer. It just did not occur to them that they would be so viciously attacked. They made some mistakes, that's all.

The biggest mistake was probably a failure to fully disclose their experimental situation. The initial presentation of their results led to an assumption that one could just pour some heavy water in a jar, stick a palladium cathode in it, and load the cathode with deuterium, a well-known process, and, presto! a nuclear reacion, with neutrons, no less.

That led to a frenzy of attempted replications, it's said that something on the order of a million dollars a month was being spent -- or equivalent resources diverted from other pursuits -- in almost entirely failed replication attempts. And, then, finding no confirmation, physicists, especially, were *angry*.

I don't know that it could have been anticipated. Maybe. But maybe not. I bring this up now, not to criticize Pons and Fleischmann, whose major discovery far outshines whatever errors they may have made, but so that we can avoid repeating the errors."

7) To which X2 responded: "The original F,P & H paper was thoroughly bad all round, from a man (MF) who never wrote bad papers.  This I attribute to haste, an excess of lawyers and administrators, and severe distraction on the part of Martin and Stan.  The conclusions could have been better, errors could have been eliminated and more technical details could (should) clearly have been provided.  This last might have bounded some of the more inept attempts at "replication".

But I submit that no amount of semantic or sociological tweaking would have changed the basic outcome.  If F&P were correct in their basic claim of nuclear level heat in the electrochemical D/Pd system (as now seems clear), then a large number of the sultans of science (the high energy and particle physicists) would be seen to be wrong in their basic thinking and approach to energy.  Their access to a steady stream of unquestioned funding would be threatened.  This could not be allowed.  A nasty, threatening, passive aggressive over-response was the natural way for this group to respond (in much the same way some individuals do)."

8) Then Storms added: " I agree with Mike. In fact, the experience at LANL was typical.  Initial interest was high and money was devoted to replication. We even talked with Martin and Stan directly. Nevertheless, even though the claims were demonstrated at LANL, the right people did not have success.  The claims could not be replicated to the satisfaction of the physics community. Based on many discussions with physicists, such people simply cannot understand the need for a special chemical environment to initiate the process. They, like many people, reject the idea that chemistry has any effect on a nuclear reaction. Consequently, if the nuclear effect cannot occur only by applying energy, it is impossible.  When this attitude is added to the need to protect self-interest, the future rejection of CF was inevitable regardless of what F-P said.  

9) There might be other messages; but I will stop reporting by showing what was just posted by Paul Biberian, who has been in contact with Stanley Pons. Paul wrote: " Dear all, I believe the answer to the lack of acceptance of CF is in the first paragraph that Stan Pons wrote for my book: 

'My name is Stanley Pons. In March of 1989, I was one of the co-authors of a public announcement made on behalf of the University of Utah (USA) of the results of a set of scientific experiments conducted there regarding a phenomenon that was soon to be labeled “Cold Fusion”. I will not dwell here on the overwhelming maelstrom of life-changing, personally catastrophic events immediately following that announcement, other than to say that within a short period of time I found the subject had already been declared American dead, American embalmed, and American buried, and myself unofficially exiled forever by the then “president’s men”. 

The last two words indicate the source of the problem. Regards."