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Two appendicies for my CF essay
Ludwik Kowalski, <kowalskiL@mail.montclair.edu>
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, N.J.
I am writing a long essay on cold fusion; hopefully it will also be posted on my
web site. What follows are two appendces to the essay.
Appendix 1: Three kinds of Cold Fusion</B>
As previously indicated, three kinds of similar phenomena were known in 1989:
cold fusion (CF), Muon-Catalyzed Fusion (MCF) and Cluster Impact Fusion
(CIF). In my mind the first is associated with a chemist Fleischmann, the second
with a physicist S.E. Jones and the third with a nuclear scientist G. Friedlander.
It is well known that palladium reacts to hydrogen as a "sponge." One cubic
centimeter of that metal can be loaded with up to 900 cubic centimeters (at NTP)
of hydrogen gas. In 1960's Fleischmann used palladium to separate isotopes of
hydrogen. The cold fusion idea, and the discovery of excess heat, together
with Pons, are probably connected with this work. My purpose here is to
briefly describe MCF and CIF. A comment about CF is added at the end.
Jones observed muon-induced fusion long before the discovery of excess heat
was announced; his work was rooted in ideas expressed in 1948 by F.C. Frank,
from England and further developed by A. Sakharov, from the Soviet Union.
According to (2) these two scientists were the first to speculate about spontaneous
fusion of protons inside muonic molecules. What is a muon? It is a particle whose
charge is the same as that of an electron but whose mass is 207 times larger.
Discovered though cosmic ray studies, muons disintegrate rapidly after their
formation; their half-life is only 2.2 microseconds.
A muon orbiting around a proton constitutes a muonic hydrogen atom. According
to Bohr's model, muonic atoms are much smaller than ordinary hydrogen atoms.
And molecules made from muonic atoms, either HD or DD, are much smaller
than ordinary HH molecules. That is why the probability of fusion in muonic
molecules should be much higher than in ordinarily molecules. Eight years later
fusion inside muonic molecules was actually discovered by L.W. Alvarez, an
American scientist. Sending a man-made beam of muons into containers filled
with liquid hydrogen and liquid deuterium he and his collaborators discovered
a pattern of tracks which was later identified as long sequences of fusion events
in muonic molecules. The researchers were not guided by the speculations of
Frank and Sakharov; their data, however, validated the speculations. It turned
out that a single muon, during its short life-time, could become a component of
many muonic molecules and thus is able to generate many fusion events. The
process was named muon-catalyzed fusion, MCF.
Jones found that this process can not be used for practical purposes because the
number of fusion events a single muon can generate, in its short life, is too small.
The energy cost of producing one muon in an accelerator is much higher than
what could possibly be catalyzed by it. One of Jones' coworkers was promoting
the idea that MCF can possibly play a significant role in geological processes.
Influenced by that idea Jones wanted to investigate a possibility of what he called
piezofusion; nuclear fusion under very high pressures. Can hydrogen nuclei be
forced to fusion inside solid materials? This was the same question that Fleischmann
and Pons, only fifty miles away, wanted to answer after observing excess heat. Jones'
team was able to identify fusion events with a neutron detector (7). But the
rate of neutron emission was about ten billion times smaller than necessary to
justify the presumably-observed excess heat.
The third kind of cold fusion was studied at Brookhaven National Laboratory (8).
Intrigued by the CF controversy, Friedlander and his co-workers accelerated
microscopic droplets of heavy water (containing about 1300 D2O molecules each)
to a modest kinetic energy, about 220 eV per molecule, and observed what happens
when droplets collide with a solid target. The idea was to test whether or not fusion
occurs in a suddenly compressed droplet. The name of the phenomenon, cluster
impact fusion (CIF) was given to the process after hot-fusion-like events were
identified on the basis of protons and tritons with appropriate energies. Neutrons
were also most likely present but the experiment was not set up to detect them.
The only unusual thing about the CIF was the number of fusion events. There were
1010 times more such events than one would expect by using the accepted hot
fusion theory. The temperature that a tiny droplet could possibly reach, after being stopped
at the target, was certainly below 105 K. This number is 10,000 times smaller
than the 109 K needed inside a hot fusion reactor setuo. In other words, CIF
fusion rates are also much too high to be consistent with the existing theory of
2) F.D. Peat, "Cold Fusion", Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1989.
7) S.E. Jones et al, "Observation of of Cold Nuclear Fusion in
Condensed Matter." Nature, 27 (April, 1989): 737-740.
8) R.J. Beuhler et al., "Cluster Impact Fusion." Physical Review
Letters, vol. 63, no 12 (18 September 1989): 1292-1295
9) Edmund Storms, 2001, "Cold fusion: an objective
assessment," downloaded from the Internet site
http://lenr-canr.org/Features.htm (References used by
the author have been removed to prevent confusion). Many
interesting Internet links can be found at that web site.
10) Charles Beaudette, "Excess Heat: Why Cold Fusion Research
Prevailed," Oak Grow Press, LLC, South Bristol, USA, 2000.
Appendix 2: Why is it so difficult?
The issue of irreproducibility is very serious. It refers to situations in which
a phenomenon is observed by some but not by others. Here is how the issue
was addressed in (17): "Most scientists hold the view that anomalous effects
in deutrated metals can be explained by experimental errors. Some scientists
go so far as attributing positive results to self-deception and even fraud and
consign this phenomenon to the realms of Langmuir's 'Pathological Science.'
Do to the lack of experimental reproducibility, this field remains practically
defenseless against such attacks.
To our knowledge, no laboratory can provide detailed experimental instructions
to another laboratory and guarantee the reproducibility of the excess heat effect.
Nevertheless, considerable knowledge has been gained concerning experimental
conditions that favor the excess heat effect. . . Our experiments indicate that the
lack of reproducibility is due largely to unknown and uncontrolled variables
contained within the palladium stock. ... [Our results] have been used to support
both sides of the scientific controversy regarding anomalous effect in deuterated
metals. Our first set of experiments conducted over a 6-month period (25 March
- 7 September 1989) produced no significant evidence for any excess enthalpy
produced. . . [Other groups] also reported no evidence for excess heat, thus
greatly impacting the general scientific opinion regarding this field. All three
[other] groups discontinued their experiments after only a few months of investigation.
We continued to investigate other palladium samples and eventually observed
significant evidence for excess enthalpy from the use of Johnson-Matthey
palladium rods. In retrospect, it would be impossible for any research group
to adequately investigate the multitude of variables involved with this field in
only a few months. These variables range from the palladium metallurgy to
the D2O purity, the type of electrolyte and concentrations, the electrochemical
cell, the electrode arrangement, the type of calorimeter, proper scaling of the
experiments, the handling of metals, the current densities used, the duration of
the experiments, the loading of deuterium into the palladium, the use of additives,
and so on." Ironically, this was written in 1996, seven years after the field of
cold fusion was declared to be unscientific (1).
A simplified analogy would be a situation in which stars on the dark sky are
seen on some nights only. I am thinking about a planet, somewhere in the
universe, whose one side is always in the darkness and whose other side is not
accessible. People live in darkness and are not aware of the existence of clouds. But they
do see stars occasionally and argue about their reality. Does it mean that stars are not real?
1) J.R. Huizenga, "Cold Fusion: The Scientific Fiasco of the Century,"
Oxford University Press, 2nd edittion, Oxford, 1993. (The November
1989 ERAB report to the DOE, called "Cold Fusion Research. A
Report of the Energy Research Advisory Board to the United States
Department of Energy," is available at http://www.ncas.org/erab)
17) M.H. Miles et al., 1996, "Anomalous effects in deuterated
systems," downloaded from the Internet site
Another paper worth downloading from this good source is "Cold
fusion: an objective assessment," by Edmund Storms, 2001.
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