Saturday, July 26, 2014


For LENR, lots of theories, few principles.

Semantics is not quite an exact science; words have different and somewhat fluid meanings. A congress of philosophers  could not tell us what are the differences between a theory and a principle however when we are moving in a familiar territory of knowledge where theories abound and principles are not considered relevant & important- we can tell the ones from the others quite easily- just by looking to them; remember the pragmatic definition of pornography. “I know it when I see it”- principle.
In the VUCA world of LENR, there can be intermediary states
or hybrids of theories and principles. Theories are knowledge-oriented, more precise and detailed than principles, while principles are action-oriented, implying change.
Theories are interesting and passive, principles active and useful- as a somewhat general rule.

To the faithful readers of this blog is obvious that I have a passion to discover basic principles- see the “Twin Peaks’ and the “Sue-Ellen principle” (combined with the Kaltwasser doctrine) the Principle of the Chief Engineer and, especially the realistic and very practical technical principles of Defkalion Green Energies. My personal techno- moral principles-slogans as:
“I think, I exist; I decide, I live; I solve problems, I live with a purpose” and
“My favorite sport is swimming. My favorite metasport is swimming counter-stream”
are – at least for me, proofs that principles are important. In the present case we need to find those principles that could contribute to the solutions of the wickedly wicked problems of LENR.

But let’s discuss about LENR theories at first:
May I tell here what everybody knows- theories have not achieved much, have not explained even basic facts, are not guiding experiment, do not have problem solving power.
Despite these non-successes, many theories are beautiful impressive logical constructs and their authors plus some fans like them, promote them and oppose them to the competition.

It happens that just now, a new theory, created by the most knowledgeable and reputed author of the LENR field is fighting
for general acceptance and supremacy, having an excellent press and a lot of supporters. It is discussed on the forums, in many threads and it is the core idea of a book written just for the sake and for extended/deep presentation- of the theory- w
by dr. Ed Storms. You can buy the book, “Explanation of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions” from here:
and I advise you to do it- the qualities of the book are more important than any and all possible weaknesses of the new theory. The book is surely a treasure both for old cold fusionists like me happy to remember the great events of the past and to
young LENR researchers trying to build a great future for a most interesting, however very special domain of Science.

It happens that I have followed the creation of Ed’s theory from its embryonic stadium when it was just a sketch of a paper; and I disagreed with parts of it- all the time... 
However both the book and the theory will be inspiring; the book after a pleasant study, the theory after its evaluation and dissection (to which I contribute here; at least I think so). 
The book has to be taken seriously because it will surely be taken very seriously (not a tautology!) by the young people entering the field due to the reputation and authority of its creator and the high quality of his writing.

My history with the new theory:  I have learned long ago that Ed Storms is a leading personality of Cold Fusion/LENR and therefore I have taken in consideration the theory as soon as it was formulated. These writings are more than 2 years old:


Ed Storms' answers to 5 questions. Questions No. 6 and 7

Ed has answered patiently to all my questions- as you can see. However, I was not convinced by his arguments, as we will see later. I was quite stubborn, Ed had the impression that “we are looking at Nature in very different ways”- and I had to agree.
For those unable to understand his theory, the answers cannot be supplied in few words, so he has decided to write this book.


Personal note: in 1970, when I became the Head of the research laboratory for PVC and chlorine compounds at OLTC HIM  Ramnicu Valcea I delivered a short discourse  about strategy and future.  Toward the end I have tried to say something quotable:
“I know well differences in opinion are attracting intelligent people and are repelling only those who are not so!”
My coworkers liked it. Then I have added:
“Take care, friends! You can do many things with me, but for your own sake, beware contradicting me!!!”

Now, more than 40 years later I am increasingly convinced that the first part was one of the greatest idiocies I have ever said.
People are unbelievable conflictual and take their opinions
very personal- “Ma theorie, c’est moi!”
However I dare to claim that I am an exception to this, being really tolerant to different and even opposing views re any issues with no ethical implications.

For the present case my disagreement with Ed Storms theory described in his book, is just the tip of an iceberg and the body of this iceberg is the major contradictions from this “frame”: 

The hybrid scientific-technological approach

The basic contradiction is regarding the Solution of the LENR commercialization problem.

Theories belong to the Scientific Method- and Ed’s theory
has obviously the same natural purpose: to explain how LENR works and how this could be used for creating a commercial energy source based on LENR. Absolutely correct, this is the essence of the scientific method, a creative dogma, a must. You are not allowed to develop a technology if you don't know well how it works, isn’t it? It is unscientific and it can be very risky!

However what to do if you are not able to understand, you cannot create a theory fulfilling this elementary request? Perhaps you cannot have a theory because the phenomenon/process was discovered too early and science is not prepared to explain it.  And surely, the phenomena are so complex, so multilayered and poly-sequential that they need more theories not one single one? Add to this that the experimental situation is simply dreadful- only, say, one experiment from 5-6, gives a measurable result. The phenomenon clearly exists but cannot be controlled. I don’t know why nobody believes me and Ed Storms rejects my air poisoning hypothesis)
What TO DO THEN? You have to abandon the issue and continue to strive heroically for the perfect theory and deep complete understanding? I have to take this personally; I will be 77 years old in October, how many years I can wait for a good theory to save LENR and to make it flourish? I know that the distance from a perfect theory to a working device is great, technology is much more than applied science.

Yes, I take it personally and I say it is an alternative to the seemingly fatal obstacles and to a blocked way is to build a new way, the way of technology.
What does this mean? If you have no theories to help, and you are lost theoretically as in our case there still is a possibility- use guiding principles and smart engineering, hard work to develop a well functioning device and technology i.e. to solve the problem per se. The problem has to be reframed, the task becomes to create, by radical changes a functional process.
The scientific method says “how the process works” but if it works badly the alternative is “how can we make it to work
well?” by very smart engineering. The scientific method is combined- actually hybridized with the technological method.
This is based on principles not on complete theories.
For those who believe in the universality of the Scientific Method, this is a sacrilege however it is possible pragmatically
It was done by Andrea Rossi and by DGT (see their "make hydrogen more reactive and metal more receptive” principle) I have written much about this on my blog. If the scientific method does not work, use the hybrid technological scientific method - engineering is the key. I have promoted this idea starting from the very first issue of Infinite Energy.
How this principles-based hybrid scientific-technological works in practice can be seen here:

We have to determine more guiding principles for solving the LENR problem. Ed’s technology is stating the following:
-        PdD and NiH LENR are similar and the experience from the first can be used for the second- I think this is not true;
-        The active sites for the reaction are cracks of critical dimensions say 1 to 10 nm width. More good cracks lead to more reactions, more heat. but actually more cracks is destruction of the working material;
-        Only the cracks are important, many materials will work;
this seems to be implausible- only transition metals work;
-        The existence of the hydroton has to be demonstrated

Ed’s theory is incompatible with the hybrid approach.

Active vs. passive approach.

Ed’s theory takes a passive approach to the problem.
He resumes the essence of his theory as:

We are faced with three facts.  Many other facts are known but let's discuss these three
1. The LENR process is rarely produced.
2. The LENR process takes place somewhere in a physical structure.
3. The LENR process does not emit neutrons or energetic radiation consistent with the amount of detected power.

These facts have several consequences:

1. A difficult to create NAE is required
2. The process must be consistent with the Laws of Thermodynamics
3. The process must release the mass energy in small units of energy rather than all at once. 
These facts and consequences limit the nature of the mechanism that can cause LENR.

The active, approach guided by technological principles would be:
1. The best methods to create the maximum density of NAE have to be found, the process has to be intensified, controlled and optimized.
2. The process has to use the laws of Nature, including some newly discovered ones in order to obtain the best possible results by a comprehensive multi-disciplinar R&D program.
3. Nuclear signals have to be reduced as much as possible, they are useless in the case of a heat source.

Further contradiction regarding LENR vs. LENR+

Ed’s theory does not show the difference between classic LENR and enhanced excess heat as obtained by Rossi and DGT. It is about going from tens of Watts to kWatts, can this be hundred times more good cracks or is it something more fundamental and more smart?

My answer was, from the start that it is the mechanism of genesis of active sites ( Ed calls them NAE, but I disagree- see: )  Classic LENR works mainly with pre-formed active sites, limited in number/density while LENR+ is based on a continuous generation of new active sites- it is a dynamic equilibrium between the active sites that are destroyed by the high temperature and the new ones that appear; the trick is to have many of these doing their task - a sequence of processes and reactions. The constructive side of the high temperature must be added to its destructive effect and this is the clue of the LENR+’s exceptionality and progress. This is something more sophisticated than crack management.
The critical Debye temperature is one at which the dynamics of the atoms at the surface of the metal, changes and the generation of active sites can begin. In my opinion the active sites are at the very surface of a specific metal or alloy.

I have predicted this decisive role of surface dynamics long ago see please my Surfdyn paper:

I hope that the coming LENR+ crucial events will reveal a lot, including the role of the dynamic equilibrium of the active sites- with details that can help us to go from principles to practice and, simultaneously to theories.
The denial part of Ed’s papers and book is remarkable anyway. He assassinates a lot of theories that are not valid and promotes his theory created in the following basic assumptions:

 The LENR process does not take place in a chemical lattice.
. The LENR process takes place only in cracks of a critically small gap size. 
. All isotopes of hydrogen can fuse by the same basic process, with only the nuclear products being different.
. The basic process removes energy over a period of time as photon emission. Most of this emission does not leave the apparatus.
. The fusion process causes the transmutation reactions.
. The overall process is consistent with all natural law and requires introduction of only one new process.
. Cold fusion and hot fusion are not related in any way.
(from his interview:

As already shown till now:
The LENR process, indeed does not take place in the lattice but on the lattice;
The LENR process does not take place in the “void” part
of the cracks but on some special dynamic nanostructures on the surfaces, including the surfaces of cracks;
Deuterium and hydrogen are participating in different nuclear reactions and interactions and different things happen in the
PdD and NiH systems. No simple, logically symmetric vision can be created
The remaining statements are probably valid in great part but this has to be proved by experiment.

What to do with the bad theories

Theories are actually a form of truth and I believe that many are Pareto truths. Even if a theory is not usable for guiding experiments, they may contain fragments of good ideas. smaller or greater sometimes hidden due to a harmful principle (as Pd D is like NiH in Storms’ new theory.)
Therefore, I think we can learn from history what to do and the
Mayan Meteorology Management will be fine as guide, in principle. See please
The victims were beheaded and their hearts were extracted and offered to bloodthirsty (however de facto inexistant) Gods- in exchange of enough rain and other blessings.
Similarly, the smartest and most valuable parts of the bad theories have to be offered to Science serving for the creation of
healthy and potent principles for LENR.
I well know this parallel with human sacrifices, prohibited now, in the manner described, is a very weird idea.
I have only one excuse: Ed Storms’ new theory is based on cracks, formed by the cracking of Pd- that is, on the irreversible destruction, sacrificing of a precious material.
Were human sacrifices, “efficient”?



  1. Peter,

    Let's assume for the sake of my argument that the NAE is found to be a nano-crack or nano-void that facilitates a cluster of some kind. I know you are a materials person and I respect your expertise, but I also imagine the field has advanced rather far since your time working in it. Do you really not think nano-machining could engineer these spaces, if they are indeed the NAE? There's nothing even remotely crazy sounding about that to me. You paint too stark a picture for the fate of a stress-induced nano-cavity near the surface, if that is what the NAE turns out to be. All the best to you Peter and keep writing & sharing. While I think we disagree on a number of things surrounding CF-LENR, you do think you are a wise and often clear-thinking person.


    1. Dear John,

      Thank you very much, I thought this writing will be ignored, being very counterstream.
      Now about cracks as NAE- it is a good exrecise to believe it is 100% true, analyze the consequences and predict the future of LENR.
      Suppose Rossi is true and DGT is also true and explain how do they
      use the Storm's theory.

      Let's discuss a bit more about how to "engineer those spaces if they are indeed the NAE"?
      I think NAE are not "spaces" but :"surfaces"- nanostructures on a metal surface and nanoplasmonics (see what axil says on Vortex) is
      one of the stages of the LENR process. Very materrials specific
      Cracks as NAE is not crazy sounding indeed is just tragic for the
      technology- and it is combined with the idea of the hydroton floating
      between the walls of the crack than does not sound good.

      I will send you a paper from 1995 to illustrate how slow was the progress in the field as measure by the problems solved.
      We have not obtained unity in diversity but more diversity in diversity.

      As regarding my expertise- as much as i dare to claim in this case-
      it is chemical engineering, management of research projects, management of technology, reviewing (thinking, writing a synthesis).

      Let's discuss more about cracks or not cracks etc.

      I wanted to congratulate you for the idea to interview Brain Ahern
      who is a great contributor to the New Wave in LENR, I had corresponded a lot with him.
      Just to mention that Piantelli has an excellent opinion about Brian.


  2. * I do think you are a wise and often clear-thinking person.

  3. Let's get right down to the study of antennas and Antenna Basics. Suppose one day you're walking down the street and a kind but impatient person runs up and asks you to design an antenna for them. "Sure", you quickly reply, adding "what is the desired frequency, gain, bandwidth, impedance, and polarization?"

    Or perhaps you have never heard of (or are a little rusty) on the above parameters. Before we can design an antenna or discuss antenna types, we must understand the basics of antennas, which are the fundamental parameters that characterize an antenna.

    Ed Storms uses the design methodology of random chance. Ed says that if we can produce enough plasmon antennas, some of them will work just on the weight of the numbers of antennae produced.

    Rossi on the other hand spent six months of intensive experimental effort working day and night to design his antennae by blind trial and error. At the end of that experimental sequence, Rossi came up with the design of his plasmonic antenna that was the best that he could find and did the job for him.

    Both design methods are equally valid if that method works. There is a flaw in Ed storms method that takes his method out of the LENR design toolbox. From time to time, the numbers of his randomized antennas are not numerous enough to get to the takeoff point where the LENR reaction can be sustained on randomized antenna production.

    Rossi’s fixed design can get his system to the point where his plasmonic antennae can be produced in sufficient numbers to increase the LENR reactivity of the NiH reaction. In analogy, the first stage of Ed Storms antenna rocket in not powerful enough to get him into space on a regular basis. Sometimes it gets into orbit but sometimes this system falls into the ocean. In other words it fails to take off from time to time.

    Rossi’s first stage is strong enough to get him into orbit every time because he kept at the antenna design process until his fixed antenna structure worked every time for him.

    But to Rossi’s dismay, sometimes randomized antenna production goes too far and his reactor melts down.

    There will be a time that the analytical and scientific design of plasmonic antennae will be routinely applied to LENR reactor design, but until awareness of that method grows, lesser design methods will have to do.

    In closing, I find it ironic that Ed Storms does not accept the principle of dynamic NAE generation as applicable to what LENR experimentation shows, but then he advocates this randomized antenna production process as the keystone of his method.

  4. "Ed’s theory does not show the difference between classic LENR and enhanced excess heat as obtained by Rossi and DGT."

    The problem with that, Peter, is that Defkalion is now widely believed to be a fraud and Rossi's excess heat is contested as well. It's very funny to have a theory about a phenomenon when that phenomenon has never been convincingly shown to exist!