The smoking gun of LENR?
On January the 14th 2011, Rossi and Focardi gave the first public demonstration of the low temperature E-Cat to a personally invited group. A short time afterwards, Francesco Celani, who was present at the demonstration, sent a review for the event to New Energy Times.
In this article, it is noted that Rossi and Focardi had a twin gamma ray detector set up in order to detect e+e- annihilation that was expected by Focardi based on previous experiments. The results from that set up were not meaningful during the guests time in the room.
Bob Greenyer was keen to understand more about this event, so in the day following ICCF-18, he quizzed Francesco on the matter. Here is a fresh account of that event.
Francesco was sitting down with other scientists and guests waiting to be called in for the demonstration, they were 7 – 8m away from E-Cat which was behind a door in another room.
Francesco had 2 gamma detectors with him, 1 very cheap and 1 very expensive battery operated 1.25” NaI(TI) detection range of 25keV to 2000 keV.
He notes that the background in Frascatti is normally around 120 because of local geology, but in Bologna it is 60, Francesco Celani set the detectors accordingly and the assembled group sat there patiently waiting.
Suddenly and for about 1 second, both detectors topped out 1000+ counts PER SECOND and sounded their alarms (they could not show any more). Several of the invited observers considered literally running from the building as it was speculated that Rossi might be leveraging a radioactive source in his experiment. Why such concern? Well, radiation falls off according to Newtons 1/d^2 law as you can see here.
Plugging the minimum 1000 counts per second and 8 meters into the formula would mean that 50cm from the E-Cat, the counts would be over a quarter million per second - not good!
However, luckily the momentary signal collapsed and about two minutes later, Rossi came into the waiting room to invite people in to see the E-cat saying “the reaction has started”.
Francesco and the rest of the invited guests then went into the room where the E-Cat was. Whilst in that room and using the NaI(TI) near the operating reactor, there was a 50-100% count increase over background which was erratic. Francesco decided to try and get a spectra from the detector, in order to understand what might be going on and so he switched mode on the detector. Rossi however saw what he was doing, got upset and Celani was told to stop the measurements, which he did.
In addition, Celani said that he noted a number of gas cylinders in the room – but that it would only be speculation to say what they were. If E-Cats do indeed produce high gamma busts prepping for 'switch on' or elevated emissions during operation, that might explain challenges in getting domestic certification and the determination to keep below a fixed cop and using staged cascades of small to big E-Cats to create larger effective COPs.
Whatever happened that day, Francesco Celani started investigating surface modified transition metals with hydrogen the following month.
Inverse Square Law
To help understand the inverse square law we made this little video.
Comparing the 1100 counts per minute at 2 cm from source in that video to being 8m away, gives around 0.007 counts per minute - i.e. not meaningful contribution to the 25 or so background. Hopefully this gives a sense of why there was such excitement at the momentary signal in January 14, 2011.
After the end of ICCF-18 conference dinner, Bob found himself in a conversation opposite Francesco Celani and a prominent government funded scientist. Celani was told essentially that the levels of excess reported were basically not significant enough to avoid being dismissed and that what was needed as solid evidence of LENR was either transmutation or particle/ray emission.
Francesco then said, that when he was testing his wire with Deuterium, he got gamma emissions, the scientist asked if it was explored but Celani said no because he was looking for excess heat and actually, that experiment just produced a clear negative result.
Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project (MFMP)
For the MFMP, this year has largely been about differential experiments, first the Steel and Glass, then the US dual cells and more recently, the calibrated dual Celani cells in France. In this latter experiment, the first of the active wires completed loading and moved into apparent excess heat after around six days and stayed firmly positive in favour of the active cell for more than 30 days.
At one point, before the powering of the second wire, the active cell input power was reduced by around 2.5W. The differential dropped to zero, indicating that it took 2.5 more watts to raise the passive cell to the same average external temperature.
Rough calculation assuming that only the actively powered wire is producing apparent excess - which given that the 280L looked like it was still loading, was a fair assumption.
(2.5W / 42.5W) * 100 = 5.9% apparent excess, this is in line with other experiments we have performed.
2.5W *(1 / 0.275g [approximate weight of wire]) = 9.1W/g
Celani says the wires he is supplying us should show excess of between 5W/g and 50W/g. This is in that range.
Putting this in context, in theory 1kg of this wire would yield approximately 910W.
But that is not what got us excited!
The experiment had an annoying leak in the control cell and since the cells were bridged by a small pipe for pressure equalisation, Mathieu found he had to re-fill the cells every 48 hours or so. This leak was a bug he wanted to fix, and indeed, he made the replacement flange, but because the cells were producing good data, he stopped short of actually doing the repair. That might be a very important decision!
Adjacent to the cells he had placed an unshielded geiger counter that normally registered around 22 counts per minute dropping to 12 and rising to around 30. In September 2013, he noticed that each time he refilled the cells, shortly afterwards, the counts leapt up to around 60-90. He waited for the same process to repeat a few times before informing the team. With the above knowledge about previous events – the team started to appeal for a NaI(Tl) and related equipment around the end of September.
To our great delight, Jean-Paul Biberian supplied an old, but rather excellent, LARGE, Thallium doped Sodium Iodide detector/photon multiplier - NaI (Tl). The downside was that the associated electronics for driving it and analysing the spectrum of gamma energies was broken and not practical to replace. What to do? Normally this kind of hardware is expensive and we just did not have the funds... we were starting to feel the pain of many a scientist the world over, great potential experiment, nearly there, but no way of seeing it through.
To be fair, Mathieu had found a detector driver and spectrometry solution that might be affordable, called Gamma Spectacular, they might just have got a solution for us.
Then, as if by magic, Marissa Little from Earthtech, Texas contacted us and introduced that they were starting to re-visit LENR and had become aware of our work and was there any way to help us or work together. Well, we let them know just what was going on and said that the most important thing they could help us with right now was to help us find some way to drive our NaI detector.
Working with the extremely knowledgeable Steven Sesselmann from Gamma Spectacular and Marissa, and a good deal of images over a few weeks, we came up with a solution, which, amazingly Earthtech offered to purchase, which they did 30/10/2013. We are very appreciative of this generosity, we hope that we can make use of everything together in the week starting the 11/11/2013.
First we had to see how many M Ohms the detector was, we needed over 15 and we got 2! - you can see us doing this in these images:-
We also discovered it had a ‘C’ type High Tension connection and a BNC signal out and gain potentiometer.
- in modern detectors, Safe High Voltage (SHV) connectors are used in place of the ‘C’ type connectors,
- we did not need the gain adjustment and
- the resistance was way too low,
it was decided by all parties that it would be best to replace the whole internal electronics so that they would play nice with the GS2000 Pro, so Mathieu prepared the detector for when we would receive the new internals.
In Defkalion’s latest paper with Dr Yeong E. Kim, they have this to say about their observation on gammas.
3.2 Radiation measurements
As shown in Fig. 4, no gamma rays outside the energy range of 50 keV–300 keV have been observed from the experiments with the Hyperion R-5 reactor (data are from iso-parabolic calorimeter experiment carried out on May 6, 2013).
Celani - again
So we wanted to experiment to see if we could re-create what Mathieu had seen. Mathieu had become less committed to the events as the experiment went on as it did not appear that they were occurring at the higher temperatures with both wires functioning.
Regardless, we therefore called Francesco Celani this week (first on Tue 29/10/2013), a good number of times, about his comments at ICCF-18 and he provided additional information. Essentially, the wire had previously been loaded with H2 and he had attempted to deload it by applying power under vacuum. He then filled the cell with Deuterium and started to raise the temperature.
At first there was nothing, but as the mean internal temperature went over around 100ºC, there started to be a near doubling of the background gamma count. They were alarmed, but even though significant, it was not at a level to be of great concern. This continued until the cell internal mean temperature passed through around 160ºC whereafter there was no significant signal. For about 10 minutes, during this raising temperature period, there was the increased gammas and then nothing. Other than Francesco, there were two observers in the room that witnessed the event. As said before, the Deuterium experiment did not seem to produce excess and so was not pursued.
From his paper:
23.) We observed, for the first time in our experimentation with such kind of materials, some X (and/or gamma emission), coming-out from the reactor during the increasing of the temperature from about 100°C to 160°C. We used a NaI(Tl) detector, energy range 25-2000keV used as counter (safety purposes), not spectrometer. Total time of such emission was about 600s and clearly detectable, burst like.
24.) About thermal anomalies, we observed, very surprising, that the response was endothermic, not esothermic. The second day the system crossed the zero line and later become clearly eso-thermic. Similar effects were reported also by A. Takahashi and A. Kitamura.
25.) After about 350000s from the beginning of D2 intake the temperature abruptly increased and the wire was broken. We observed that the pressure decreased, because some problems to the reactor gas tight, but at times of 80000s before. The SEM observations showed fusion of a large piece of wire. The shape was like a ball. Further analyses are in progress.
It occurred to us that this temperature dependence, having been pointed to it, may be very significant. Mathieu had already seen no extra gammas at higher temperature - could this explain that?
Initial experiment to verify gamma emissions
Despite Mathieu fearing that the wires were toasted (the cells had been running at 70W for some days and were not producing as much excess as before), we decided to take the wires down to around 150ºC and try to recreate what was apparently happening previously and capture it on camera.
Not amazingly conclusive, but the background was around 12-28 and the gamma pulse shortly after the recharge pushed the PER MINUTE average to 40+, meaning a much higher per second pulse. We are looking forward to having the ability to have much more sensitive equipment that can give per second readings and a gamma spectra also.
Because the NaI will be SO much more sensitive than the geiger counter - we will need to shield it in 5cm of lead on all sides except the one that will face the reactor. Maybe make it from 2 concentric cylinders filled with lead… however, we need the lead.
Has anyone in France got a load of Lead they could drive over to Mathieu with? If they have, who fancies casting a bit of lead shielding?
Possibilities to explore
Is it really happening?
We need to measure it repeatedly and with a better resolution. We will strive to measure with a Geiger-Muller counter in more controlled conditions, possibly lead shielding, and with more sensitive NaI detectors. We will try to look for total count rates and also the gamma spectrum measurement. Finally, we will try to make a new apparatus that brings a higher density of wire nearer to the detector.
If it is happening, what is it related to?
- Is it being caused by pressure shock? - Test at various pressure levels and step sizes. Pre-heat incoming gas to same temp as gas in cell so as to remove thermal shock.
- Thermal shock from the cool incoming gas? - Test with some other cool gas like Helium. Try chilling the incoming gas more.
- Hydrogen flux into the wire? - Does a slow pressure rise work almost as well as a rapid one?
- Fresh deuterium in new gas? - Add a little supplemental Deuterium and see if the gamma signal gets higher.
The EU team can explore:
- Lower temps and pressures to a few bars.
- Test with Helium to see if it is a cool gas thing
- He has more wires on the way to try it again, if necessary, as the September/October experiment wires are not so active after being run at 70W
- The huge NaI(Tl) detector and electronics en-route will allow for much better
The US team can explore:
- Putting our Geiger counter and NaI gamma detector near our V1.3 cell and try adding gas. We currently have two loaded wires in the active cell to work with.
- Try adding Deuterium in small amounts. We currently have some heavy water and an electrolysis unit to make some gas.
- New cell at HUG to test this - Replicate our heavy duty aluminum cell that we have a camera on, but with a full size glass window on the end so we can put it directly up against the Ortech NaI detector face.
- Inside this cell, we put several pieces of wires wrapped around mica frames, and then we can stack several of those frames all within 5 cm, or so, of the face of the NaI detector.
What is the significance?
So why should we be excited at the prospect of seeing controllable gamma emissions from our experiments? Well, to put it plain and simple - it would mean that we have a incontrovertible demonstration of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR).
Additionally, knowing the energies of any Gamma emissions would help determine the underlying process and help indicate what power can be achieved by singular events and overall potential yield. Lastly, it will help dictate paths for material science, control, stimulation and safe operation that will take the technology forward.
In the video below, which lasts for around 30 mins, Bob and Mathieu discuss what led up to the decision to follow the evidence and the implications.
Thank you for all of those that have been a part of our journey so far, please if you have any suggestions for how we should best be following this evidence, please let us know!
UPDATE #1 - Jean-Paul Biberian independently replicates MFMP finding inside 24 hours
Jean-Paul Biberian, who was forwarded by a follower an advance pdf of the ‘Gamma’ blogpost that was sent out to donors 12 hours earlier, was so interested in the finding, that he put his schedule to one side and decided to independently immediately look for Gammas himself.
The wire was not produced by Celani, it was only simply treated by joule heating cycles by Mathieu. Wire used was 25µm constantan wire. We can later provide the script programmed on an arduino that performed this task.
The hydrogen gas was provided by a different source which may negate questions surrounding some contaminant in the MFMP mini cans.
The Geiger counter which was used was an identical model to the one used by MFMP which makes it is a more direct replication. That being said, this is still not telling us the burst length and decay and the Gamma energies involved.
He mentioned that background radiation was 18 to 20 CPM before the experiment, after hydrogen was introduced he put 125mA into the wire, he observed 40 to 50 CPM slowly decreasing over time, this is more akin to what Mathieu observed in the early weeks of the EU cell test and the pattern of burst and decay is in line with what was observed and video recorded last week.
UPDATE #2 - Stoyan Sarg comments
In my book "Structural Physics of Nuclear Fusion" I did extensive analysis of LENR experiments, Rossi method and Defkalion method. I stated clearly in my latest article in Foreign Policy Journal (with more details in my book) why must use the Ni(62) and Ni(64) isotopes. The fusion reactions with these isotopes will lead mainly to a stable copper and partly to an unstable zinc isotope. The latter will decay to a copper by beta decay. The released beta particle serves as a catalyst for these reactions. Therefore, this is the cleanest nuclear process with a known gamma radiation without alpha particles or neutrons. Low energy (X-ray) olso may exist.
Rossi uses these isotopes and for this reason no neutron radiation is measured. He also does not produce a lot of transmutations like in the case with Defkalion method. At his initial public tests with the hydrogen gas in 2011 he probably used some triggering process by applying a HV discharge. In Hyperion reactor of Defkalion HV discharge is used all the time, but Rossi needed this only at the beginning to start the process. That's why he did this privately and the strong gamma burst that was detected in 2011 might be from this. After the initial start (and at proper temperature) the process becomes self-sustainable, because the needed beta particles are generated by the decay of zinc. I am not sure does Rossi need such start in his E-cat HT in which he uses a metal hydrate instead of a hydrogen gas.
If you not use the above mentioned isotopes you will get different nuclear transmutations with a larger spectrum of radiation and may be also neutrons. But this will not help in revealing the secret of Rossi. Until this secret is not revealed he will be much ahead of others.
This was the reason of my recommendation.
UPDATE #3 - Many scientists report Gammas relating to LENR
Since our last major blogpost, we have been inundated with information and pointers with respect to our initial findings of Gammas. Very interestingly, we have been made aware of other researchers work where Gammas have been found and even correlated to excess heat.
First, Peter Mobberley, an affable British scientist from Advanced Energy Technologies, UK, who we had the pleasure of meeting at both ICCF-17 and ICCF-18 reported that he had seen Gammas in his Ni-H experiments. This is the same Peter Mobberley who was due to present the latest research of Francesco Piantelli (the father of Ni-H systems) at ICCF-17 before the latter decided to withdraw on commercial grounds. Peter reported that his research in a poster session at that same conference.
Another follower of the project, Alan Goldwater from California, US (another nice chap) pointed us in the direction of a paper first published November 2012, in the Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (CMNS) group by Edmund Storms and Brian Scanlan of KivaLabs, LLC, Santa Fe, NM. In it they conclude
"Material treated in a manner to produce voids is found to radiate photons [Gamma] when exposed to H2. This radiation is able to activate a nucleus exposed to this radiation, which decays with an average half-life of about 109 min. This photon radiation can be produced using Cr, which is not magnetic, and Ni, which is magnetic after the metals are subjected to stress. Ni also reacts with Cu to form the same type of structure, after which photon radiation is produced when the alloy is exposed to H2"
This is the first work we are aware of that supports Stoyan Sarg's theory that Cr should be as an active LENR feedstock (see previous update).
In addition, they list work by Focardi, Piantelli, Violante, Takahashi, Matsumoto, Bush and Eagleton have all seen emissions of some type from experiments. The paper also says
"Anecdotal experience has been reported by Rossi and Celani, claiming radiation is detected when heat production is first initiated but is much reduced later while extra energy is being made."
This statement is also in line with Stoyan Sarg's previous post.
It also reproduces on page 2. a series of images produced by Piantelli and shown in 2012 where Piantelli also saw Gamma spectra from his NaI(Tl) detector in his Ni+H experiments. The good thing in this paper is that there are a range of energies revealed, so we have a clue where we might be heading - thanks to all of those that did this work!
Please read through Ed's et al. paper here.
Francesco Piantelli has himself just released (11/11/13) a document to support the seeking of funds for small share equity investment in his company NicHenergy where he issues supporting data for his vehicle that includes the graphs in the the above published document. You see document here.
Bob Greenyer got inspired to see if Nickel and Chromium had been used in any other LENR research and came across this paper
by Tadahiko Mizuno and Shigemi Sawada of the Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Japan.
In it they use a Inconel, an alloy of principally Nickel and Chromium. Importantly, this is an experiment where they saw excess heat, correlated to Gamma and the alloy Inconel did not stop it but played the role of the reactor housing. They reported
"4.2 Coincidence between gamma emission and heat generation
As shown above, with the Inconel cell we were able to confirm anomalous heat production. Furthermore, we confirmed that gamma-rays were produced while anomalous heat was produced."
Lattice Energy explored this work - you can see the discussion from their point of view on pages 26-48 in the link below.
These papers give us a good resource to draw from to make experiments to explore our initial findings more fully. If we can correlate, anti-correlate or show the need for Gammas of a particular energy at a significant level above background to be involved in successful LENR, then we may finally be able to produce our world worldwide independent replication effort.
UPDATE #4 - Gamma spectrometer arrives
Great news - the NaI(Tl) scintillator driver and spectrometer arrived.
And the new divider head, built by Steven Sesselmann fitted the photo multiplier perfectly. With a bit of effort from Mathieu the safe high voltage (SHV) IN/OUT was installed. Lovely.
We must thank again the generosity and assistance that we received from Earthtech, Texas.
Now we need to press ahead with the shielding. We had been offered a custom lead casting (if we could pay for the lead), which would have been a tube with a 5cm lead wall thickness as recommended by Celani. However, even though this would minimise the lead needed, it would be around 100kg! Phew...
So the new thought is to use rolls of lead roof flashing. A prominent US government funded scientist advised that we ideally used copper instead of steel as the barrier between the lead shield and the scintillator, however, that needs to be about 5mm and is looking just a tad pricey. Does any of our followers know someone in France that runs a roofing business and can lend Mathieu some lead and copper flashing rolls?
After that, we need to position and properly calibrate the detector, the two papers in the previous blog update are a good starting point, and we think our source has Radium (Madame Curie would be proud) does anyone out there have the perfect 'cook book' recipe for setting it all up - we need to get this right first time, we can not afford to have people tell us we have done it wrong after we have burnt weeks of experiment time! Please, if you can contribute expertise, we need it now.
UPDATE #5 - Photo multiplier re-re-fit
When Mathieu tried the NaI with the new photomultiplier electronics and the Gamma spectacular... well, it did not fire up, this was a real downer, but after a weekend and some communications with Steven, Mathieu decided to send over a photo of the old electronics and a wiring diagram - fortunately it was pretty clear to identify everything and what was going to what.
It would appear that the resistors in this old type of photo multiplier was wired across rather than around. Steven, to his great credit offered to build another one, but Mathieu, being a dab had with a soldering iron, said he would like to give it a go if Steven could just let him know what parts were needed, which of course he did. To top that off, Steven offered to pay for the re-fit, which he has - what a star! we cannot recommend his operation highly enough.
Here is the finished item ready for Mathieu to start learning the ropes with the software and a source. We still have the shielding issue to resolve, but despite this set-back, progress is being made.
UPDATE #6 - Screening and getting to grips with gamma spectroscopy software
Mathieu thinks he has convince someone to contribute 200 euros to the purchase of the lead screening and copper tube necessary to properly screen the NaI detector. It will take the form of lead flashing rolls (the type used for roofing work) wrapped around a copper tube. What the person doesn't know, is the cost for all that will likely be around 1000 Euros... so we have about 800 to find.
Mathieu has also been getting to grips with the gamma spectroscopy software, he had a little setback when the machine on which he installed it needed a motherboard replacement. Whilst he is now learning that gamma spectroscopy, with the screening, known source calibration and processing is no simple undertaking, he is excited that there will at some point be a mobile solution in France for LENR research to verify any Gamma emissions and energies.
[UPDATE #7] Gamma detection we are go!
Mathieu finally got time to assemble the second NaI scintillator and connect it to the Gamma Spectacular, both of which we had been donated, to the computer based software called Theremino MCA - and wow - finally it worked - and then some... Mathieu said it was as different as night and day - whereas the old scintillator showed basically nothing, the replacement produced such clear peaks of his Th source that it pushed the limits of the software.
This vindicates Mathieu's belief that the previous detector had broken and puts us in a good position to look for Gamma emissions.