Interview with Professor YEONG E. KIM
It is a self-assumed task of this blog(ger) to provide young LENR researchers with the best information available regarding the field. Till now they have received mainly technological principles and managerial best practice due to my own limitations, but now I am appealing to a good friend- who is a world class specialist and authority in those branches of physics that are bound the very core of LENR, nuclear physics and solid state physics... Professor Yeong E. Kim from the
has generously accepted to
help, first with the following interview. Purdue University
Yeong Kim got his diploma in physics in 1959, the same year when I became a chemical engineer. 30 years later when he was already an internationally known theoretical physicist and I was a very locally known technologist, we have reacted very similarly to the advent of Cold Fusion. The risks were much greater for him but he remained faithful to this cause till today
Q1: Dear Yeong, can you please tell us about your moments of awakening, illumination, scientific revelations to the truth of cold fusion?
As you know, John Huizenga dismissed the Fleischmann-Pons effect (F-P effect) as the scientific fiasco of the century [John R. Huizenga, Cold Fusion: the Scientific Fiasco of the Century, U. Rochester Press (1992)]. He claimed that three miracles were needed to explain the F-P effect:
(1) suppression of the DD Coulomb repulsion (Gamow factor) (Miracle #1),
(2) no production of nuclear products (D+D → n+ 3He, etc.) (Miracle #2), and
(3) the violation of the momentum conservation in free space (Miracle #3).
The above three violations are known as “three miracles of cold fusion”.
My first moment of awakening happened when Fleischmann and Pons announced their experimental results in news media. Initially, my feeling of disbelief dominated about this discovery as a practicing theoretical nuclear physicist, as most of my professional colleagues did. As I was searching a possible theoretical explanation for the claimed discovery, I realized that the conventional nuclear theory could not be applied to deuteron fusion in metal. However, at the same time, I did not know how to formulate a theory for deuteron fusion in metal, even though I clearly recognized that the conventional nuclear scattering theory at positive energies cannot directly be applied to nuclear reactions involving deuterons bound in a metal, which is a negative-energy bound-state problem. Quantum scattering theory describing the Coulomb barrier problem is applicable to scattering experiments with nuclear beams.
When they were being criticized at the APS meeting, I was frustrated that I could not rebuke public criticisms by my nuclear theory colleagues, since I did not have an appropriate alternative theory, even though I realized that their theoretical arguments are premature. Furthermore, I did not have slightest ideas for explaining the miracles #2 and #3. However my theoretical curiosity on the miracle #1 did kept my intellectual interests on the subject.
My second awakening happened in 1996-1997 when our theory group at Purdue developed the optical theorem approach for low-energy nuclear reactions. Purdue nuclear theory group at that time consists of four members (Y. E. Kim, group leader; A. L. Zubarev, senior scientist; Y. J. Kim, visiting professor; and J. - H. Yoon, graduate student). Our results were published in a publication entitled “Optical Theorem Formulation of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions” (OTF-LENRs) [Physical Review C 55, 801 (1997)].
http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim.shtml Our optical theorem formulation is rigorous. My second awakening came in 1997 with realization that our theoretical result for the OTF-LENRs can be used to develop a generalized theory which is appropriate for describing deuteron fusion in a metal.
My third awakening and illumination happened when I and Zubarev developed a theory of Bose-Einstein condensation nuclear fusion (BECNF) for deuteron fusion in a metal. The results were published in 2000 [“Nuclear fusion for Bose nuclei confined in ion traps,” Fusion Technology 37, 151 (2000); “Ultra low-energy nuclear fusion of Bose nuclei in nano-scale ion traps,” Italian Physical Society Conference Proceedings 70, 375 (2000)].
http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim.shtml My third awakening came in 2000 with realization that the BECNF theory is capable of explaining the F- P effect and all of Huizenga’s three miracles.
My fourth awakening is currently evolving ever since I met John Hadjichristos of Defkalion at the NI Week in August 2012. I was very pleasantly surprised when he told me at the NI Week that he quoted our OTF-LENRs paper in his paper submitted to ICCF-17. This was the first time someone in the LENR community was quoting this paper! My second surprise was to hear from him about the even-isotope effect which he observed in his experiments and which was reported in his ICCF-17 paper. The observed even isotope effect is consistent with the theory of BECNF! More detailed theoretical analysis of reaction mechanisms for his experimental results is currently in progress
Q2: 24 years have elapsed; hundreds of successful experiments were made proofs of the reality of the phenomena. Unfortunately the experiments were not sufficiently successful to provide the necessary understanding of what happens and the conditions to enhance the heat release to useful levels?
What were your thoughts re the evolution of the experimental situation in the field?
Experiments with electrolysis and gas loading involve very complex measurements with many parameters. Unfortunately, even when useful positive results were observed, it had been very difficult to reproduce the results. The absence of reproducibility of positive experimental results has been a major road block in the field.
We needed desperately a break-through in experimental procedures and techniques to achieve the reproducibility. Unfortunately lack of research funding prevented intense and concentrated experimental works based on fresh new ideas, especially from younger generation.
Q3: You have published over 200 papers re Physics http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim.shtml and over 50 regarding LENR. (An opportunity to thank you for the many fine papers of you have sent me by classic mail and later electronic mail). As a theorist it is said you do not belong to any school, you “are” a school. I could understand this for LENR from your very first note re Cluster Fusion in 1989 till http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim/PhysRevC.55.801.pdf the Kim paper I know; may I ask how your theoretical ideas have evolved?
Peter, this was actually answered – for your first question.
I will ask the nice readers to study these two relevant documents: “Critical Review of Theoretical Models (1994)” and “Message to the Colleagues 2012” http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim.shtml
Many of my papers are also posted in the above web site. I hope to publish very important new ones soon.
Q4: Why the way to truth and to value was so long, why LENR still has so many problems? On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your degree of discontent with the global situation of LENR?
This is more a philosophical question and I am a physicist. Perhaps CF was not discovered in the best place; perhaps it is a historical bad chance that two electrochemist geniuses have discovered it.
And surely I am highly discontented with the experimental situation - weak signals and poor reproducibility – if and when they come, lack of conceptual unity, vision. The theory part was not much better, however I am happy that now becomes obvious - our theory is a part of a greater vision, and it is a critical part.
Q5: Recently some non-conformist newcomers, as for example Defkalion Green Technologies Global (DGTG) came with the idea that actually what we call LENR is something much more complex than we have thought and the solution is to radically re-design the components – hydrogen, metal, reaction vessel and environment to make it productive and controllable. What do you think about this New Wave idea? New paradigm?
Recently, I had an opportunity to observe experimental runs of DGTG’s R-5 reactor carried out by their group of scientists in
. The results were
positive. More importantly the results are reproducible, since there had been
many positive runs with other observers so far in addition to my observation.
This is very significant historically since we have now a device which yields
reproducible results for the first time.
It is a break-through which we have been waiting for. Vancouver
The break-through is accomplished by new comers, new breed of scientists and engineers lead by a mathematician who became an excellent scientist. This is a new wave and new paradigm change.
Q6: Prediction is an intellectual activity superior even to wisdom. Please tell my readers what are your predictions for the future of the field! Are you looking to the present and then great chances are you are pessimist, or do you have the vision of a bright future?
Recently I became very optimist. At
I witnessed a
protocoled successful test with results leaving no doubt about plenty of
heat in excess and good control of the device. I am an optimist regarding the
principles, but also for discovering and or creating the details which I plan
to work on very hard in collaboration with my DGTG friends. Vancouver