Well, we're through our first week here at Hunt Utilities Group, and as one can see by the totally not staged pictures above, we're yet to get sick of reading papers. Since we are such newbies to MFMP and to CF/LENR in general, when reading through these papers, quite a few questions have arisen, and we are hoping that you, the community of experts, can help answer some of these questions. (These questions come from one of us separately, or both of us together at different points, so please excuse the slight disagreement with pronouns). Here it goes...
Edmund Storms' A Student's Guide to Cold Fusion
The paper that both of us started out on was Edmund Storms' Student's Guide to Cold Fusion. The paper gives an excellent introduction into the field that seemed to us to be relatively unbiased, and it really got our heads thinking the right way. Our first question is with regards to the section on electrolytic reactions. In the section, Storms says error can occur when the current is not maintained. Is it possible for errors to result from letting the reaction run for too long? If so, what kind of errors? Will the reaction simply slow down because of buildup on the cathode?
Another question arises in the section where Storms describes his theory of what he believes to be the nuclear active environment (NAE) for LENR to occur. When Storms is outlining his proposed theory of a NAE in which hydrogen or deuterium atoms gather in a crack or nanotube on the surface of the material, he frequently states that in these localized regions, hydrogen or deuterium atoms accumulate and “resonate” to gain a ton of energy and essentially force themselves into the nuclei gathered at the mouths of these cracks. My question is how do these atoms just spontaneously resonate in a crack? While I admit that my knowledge of physics is that of a student, it seems to me that atoms won’t resonate and generate energy unless some external agent forces them to do so. Am I totally wrong in that understanding? Or is it just assumed that whatever external force is being applied in the experiment is exactly the right force to initiate resonance?
Our final question concerning the Student's Guide comes as a result of a critique that we found. http://lenr-canr.org/ShanahanKacritiqueo.pdf. In this critique, a Dr. Shanahan mentions something called a "calibration constant shift" that is not accounted for in any cold fusion experiments. He states that at different temperatures, the calibration constant used in the calorimeter will change, and thus, if not accounted for, results will be skewed. He claims that this shift accounts for a lot of the excess heat claims out there. As students of the field, we are desperately trying to remain objective and not jump on either the skeptics' or the believers' emotional bandwagon, so we just want to know if Shanahan's argument holds any validity.
Alpha Particle Production as a Result of Electrolytic Loading of D onto a Pd Cathode (Oriani)
In Oriani's research, a cathodic charging of deuterium onto a Pd cathode generates alpha particles that are detected with a CR-39. In response to this research, Mastromatteo and Aina made a change to look at a possible error in the research. (http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/AinaRinvestigat.pdf) After placing a thin layer of mylar between the cathode and the CR39 plastic no variation in distribution of depth was found contradicting the thought that the closer to the rod the deeper the etches from the radiation would be. Could someone further explain the choice to use mylar, and does this research discredit Oriani’s observations?
Underwater Arcing Between Carbon Rods (Sunerasan and Backris)
I just read the paper by Sunderasan and Backris (Anamolous Reactions During Arcing Between Carbon Rods in Water) [Also Singh et. al. (Verification of the George Ohsawa experiment for anomalous production of iron from carbon arc in water)] on arcing electricity between two carbon electrodes in water where they saw an anomalous amount of iron formation and predicted a large generation in heat of ~135W based on the proposed reaction mechanism. To me, this seems like a very positive result achieved with what the paper seems to show as relative reproducibility. Yet, this paper was published in 1994 and there doesn’t seem to much buzz around it, why has this method not been attempted more often? Was it disproven somewhere? Am I missing something? It doesn’t seem like a horrifically expensive test to perform... Maybe just because the of the fact that it’s rather ambiguous as to where the iron is really coming from? Although it seems that with improved effort further isolation of the system is not impossible. I also found another more recent paper (2008) on the same phenomenon by Edward Esko (Production of Metals from Non-Metallic Graphite), again with positive results. This seems to be a fairly reproducible experiment, but maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree here...
Cavitation and Sonofusion (Stringham)
I recently dove deeply into Stringham’s “When Bubble Cavitation Becomes Sonofusion,” and I was wondering what the community’s opinion is of this paper. His theory seems a little far-fetched in the formation of a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) in the lattice of the target foil, seemingly just as a mechanism to absorb the high-energy wave created in the fusion event. Again, I am a mere student of physics, but every time a BEC has appeared in my studies, it has done so at extremely low temperatures (I believe He becomes a BEC around 2K), but Stringham proposes that this condensate occurs in sonofusion at 4000K. Now I realize that if the atoms are closer enough together, a BEC can be achieved at higher temps (as long as the de Broglie wavelength is longer than the separation between particles), but I believe I am understandably skeptical. I just want to know if there’s any validity to this theory, because it seems quite novel. Also, what role the BEC actually plays in the sonofusion itself is a bit of a mystery to me, apparently the event occurs at the surface of the deuteron cluster that is the BEC as a result of an implosive electromagnetic spherical shock wave, allowing DD fusion because of how intensely close the particles are to each other, but again, I am quite skeptical as to the validity of this theory.
Also in Stringham’s paper, he states that the density inside of these cavitation bubbles at the moment of plasma ejection is that of a neutron star... This seems absolutely absurd to me. I don’t want to be a mindless skeptic, and am certainly open to this possibility, but it seems a bit out-there to me. Does anybody have some kind of experimental reference to the actual determination of this density? I’m having a tough time blindly believing such an outrageously impressive figure.
Transmutation as a Result of D2 Permeation Through a Pd-CaO complex (Iwamura)
I am just curious about the community’s thoughts on Iwamura’s few papers on transmutations as a result of D2 gas being diffused through a Pd-CaO complex. I believe he and his team are extremely thorough in their measurement and spectroscopy, and seem to show beyond reasonable doubt that there are transmutations occurring in the deposited materials on the Pd film. They seem to be very careful in their spectroscopy, even performing the measurement in the same vacuum chamber as the experiment, downplaying the role of contamination. I find this study really interesting, especially because it seems so reproducible, Iwamura claims it has been reproduced more than 60 times... Which is a ton in this field. I’m just wondering what everyone else thinks of the experiment, is it too impractical to perform? Is it a useless experiment? Or is it something to pursue?
I am working on putting together a collection of vocab words relating to LENR (deuterium, LENR, calorimetry etc.) to help get myself accustomed to the new terminology and help future students of LENR. If you guys have any suggestions for additions to the list, it would be valuable as we move forward!
Any help you all can offer is immensely appreciated, and we thank you in advance for dealing with us rookies!