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The Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project is a group dedicated to researching Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (often referred to as LENR) while sharing all procedures, data, and results openly online. We rely on comments from online contributors to aid us in developing our experiments and contemplating the results. We invite everyone to participate in our discussions, which take place in the comments of our experiment posts. These links can be seen along the right-hand side of this page. Please browse around and give us your feedback. We look forward to seeing you around Quantum Heat.

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This is one of those moments when you rock back in your chair with a contemplative pained look on your face.  A time for a stiff shot of scotch instead of popping the cork on a bottle of champagne.  Let me tell you a little story.

About 10 minutes after we completed the analysis and write up of the all the data, we made the decision to try to get a couple calibration runs done in Helium so we would have some way to prove the active wire was installed in an equivalent manner.  The first thing we decided to do was to purge the cell of hydrogen by heating it in a vacuum.  The problem was, I didn't compensate the power setting for being in a vacuum instead of a gas with good thermal conductivity.  

The wires got bright red and threw off enough atoms to coat the glass in nice spirals of copper on the inside.  The white Macor in cell 1.1 (on the right) turned black like it was spray painted. 


The glass will be easy to replace.  The real worrying part for me is whether the wire supports will clean up easily, or will need to be replaced.  If we need to replace the supports, it will take longer.  Any which way, when we get it put back together we will have to run a few test cycles and see if still performs the same way.  If it doesn't fit the nice baselines we just developed, then the team will be set back over a week because we'll have to redo the test runs and all the analysis after refurbishing the cells.

The real kicker is that this same thing happened to Mathieu several weeks ago and I still made the mistake of specifying too high a power at the end of a long day of mental exertion and in the midst of enthusiasm to get the experiment rolling.

To help us all get through this, I need a little help from this highly international audience.  In the comments below, please put some appropriate curses in whatever language you like to curse in.  Thanks.


0 #25 charlie tapp 2013-01-02 15:58
@ chuck why not use pure nickel for a run? why the constantan is there a reason?
0 #24 russ 2012-12-31 19:24
Ammoniated solvents work pretty good on copper fouling...
0 #23 Chuck 2012-12-31 19:22
@charlie_tapp, we're using a constantan alloy here, which is mostly (approx 55%) copper. As copper has a substantially lower boiling point than nickel, it's what comes off first.

Why a pure nickel wire or even a nichrome wire won't exhibit the same characteristics is unknown to me.
0 #22 charlie tapp 2012-12-31 16:50
why did the wires throw off copper i thought they were nickel? were did the copper come from? looks pretty cool though. mabee someone will buy it.
0 #21 Chuck 2012-12-30 19:36
This subject of cleaning the glass brought up another question that I hope someone can answer.

While keeping the glass clear makes for nice pictures, is there any particular reason that the glass must be transparent? Namely, what would be the effect if the glass were cleaned using hydrofluoric acid to simply etch the top contaminated surface off? Would the opacity of the frosted glass disturb or enhance measurement accuracy?
+1 #20 Ecco 2012-12-30 19:02
If thermal/IR transparency is an issue, the glass tubes can probably be reused by carefully wrapping them with thick metallic foil (= the tubes alone. Not also the flange supports as temporarily performed on the EU cell). With a guaranteed 100% IR-opaque tube, input energy will inevitably come out in the form of heat. You could leave a small clear "window" to check for wire conditions if needed. This would be a nice advantage compared to using a completely metallic tube.

Of course, new calibrations would be needed. Also I'm not sure if the remaining oxide coating on the inside would affect the reaction. It's worth trying in my opinion, though.

On the vertically mounted rig this could be done on the second cell while keeping the first one properly/cleanl y built. I'm assuming that the quartz tube was still being used just for testing and not really serious analysis (since it's been proven to not faithfully replicate Celani's testing conditions).
0 #19 Dieter Seeliger 2012-12-30 18:55
thnx for the link Alan, very interresting will study this in detail.
I think Hydrogen catalysis is a key to LENR reactions, so this catalysis on glass surface could be a step in the right direction.
0 #18 Alain Coetmeur 2012-12-30 17:05
Quoting Dieter Seeliger:
I think, there is no way of cleaning the glass.
Even if you managed a good visible cleaning, there still remains a invisible trace of copper on the glass which throws all of you calibration curves off, because the IR transparency is affected.

seems right, and even if cleaned it might be cleaner than before...

however if you recalibrate from scratch, the metalization may increase opacity of the glass to IR...
0 #17 AlanG 2012-12-30 16:24
@Dieter "I think, there is no way of cleaning the glass."

Bichromic acid is often used to clean glass for biological and chemical assays and to prepare mercury barometers. Here's an interesting paper on the effect of the cleaning process on the hydrogen catalysis of both quartz and pyrex glass:

0 #16 Dieter Seeliger 2012-12-30 10:53
I think, there is no way of cleaning the glass.
Even if you managed a good visible cleaning, there still remains a invisible trace of copper on the glass which throws all of you calibration curves off, because the IR transparency is affected.

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