Wednesday, January 15, 2014



Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been. (Theodore von Kármán)

Cold Fusion was discovered in a form, place, and time generating severe inborn problems to it. To solve these problems, it has to be re-invented. (Peter Gluck)

This is not a Motto; however I think that the optimal mode to learn from good and smart people is when and by disagreeing with them. Really, many errors are made by mixing differing things as friendship and admiration for somebody with not using critical, independent thinking – mercilessly, for his ideas. Obviously to be fair, you have to accept the same brutal treatment for your own, dearest ideas. If ideas are valuable and true, they will eventually win. Perhaps, sometimes after a painful process of evolution.

Recently ( I have tried to find out what has concluded a Japanese paper about the most evil problem tormenting our field from its early childhood up to now- bad reproducibility. From the lacunar
information I got, it seems that the Igari-Mizuno paper has no conclusions of the good sort, neither positive (telling what you have to do) nor negative (justifying deep desperation)
However my friends are trying to help me. Their ideas and suggestions are diverse- but have in common the very stimulating
feature that I disagree actually with all. I have a simple explanation
for this situation- I consider they judge the situation from the side of the Problem, while I am already on the side of the Solution as promised for 2014. The name of solution is Engineering.  It would be naivety thinking they see it in the same way, but time will judge.

Hideo Kozima whom I consider as a brother after his visit at us in
1994 and whom I remember inter alia singing Mozart and this beautiful Japanese song with a splendid, cultured voice: wrote:

I would like to give you my opinion on the problem of reproducibility in the cold fusion phenomenon (CFP).
In my opinion, the CFP is a phenomenon of complexity and has no quantitative reproducibility but a qualitative reproducibility like the earthquake, typhoon, and so forth. It is enough to have a qualitative reproducibility to investigate a phenomenon. Your have to remember that almost all nuclear reactions in nuclear physics have only qualitative reproducibility. The simplest example of them is the alpha decay; we do not know which Ra nucleus decays at what time but we know the statistical law of alpha decay.
It is my pleasure if this letter is useful for your consideration of the problem of the reproducibility in the CFP. Complexity is the key word in the CFP.

Hideo is a scientist; if I translate his message in the language of technology- it says CFP cannot give anything of practical use. Qualitative reproducibility is, IMHO, a partial oxymoron. It is reproduced but when, how, if something occult, unknowable wishes.
I wouldn’t enjoy explaining this paradoxical concept to students.
Cold Fusion is and isn’t a natural phenomenon. In its potentially useful form it is man-made and has to be controlled, developed and used by humans. Earthquakes are studied not because they are interesting per se, but because they do a lot of harm to people and their assets. I dislike this association for CFP. In Romania we have a major catastrophic earthquake approximately each 40 years – the most recent ones being in 1977 and 1940. Time to be worried.
Hideo says complexity is the keyword in CFP. Very true but it has to be a complexity of the bad sort, a very chaotic one. Why should CFP be of so much higher complexity than many similar phenomena in Materials Science? I have concluded long time ago that cold fusion’s complexity is a toxic one, the presence of any gases that compete with deuterium/hydrogen is the cause of bad quality reproducibility. This simplistic, dirty idea was not accepted by my scientist friends because it is not scientific enough.

Then Ed Storms who was so helpful and generous during my visit at LANL in 1995 and who is trying so hard to explain the very basics of LENR up to now- Ed has also joined the discussion.

Cold fusion will be completely reproducible once it is understood. This is a phenomenon of nature that we presently do not understand. In addition, this understanding requires knowledge about both chemistry and physics, which is an unusual combination of skills.  People with a chemical background ignore basic rules of nuclear physics and the physicists ignore the basic rules of chemistry.  A time will come when properly trained people have the incentive to read the extensive literature and put the pieces together in a proper way. Only then will the effect be reproducible. Hopefully once Rossi puts a generator on the market, the system will wake up and give people the incentive to properly study the effect.

Now even if I well know Ed’s great merits and achievement and wisdom in the field, I also have almost formed a habit to –as respectfully as possible- to disagree with his ideas aimed to be part of solution.
As regarding his first sentence here, the reverse is also true, cold fusion must be made reproducible before it is completely understood. If cold fusion takes place in cracks as Ed tries to convince us then CF depends on a destructive process by definition, it is possible it can be understood quite well but not really controlled.
CF is too complex a matter for both physicists and chemists because the Solution is based on many engineering disciplines.
Ed calls cold fusion a “phenomenon of nature” however for us it is a human creation; take in consideration that Nature has only Solutions while we, humans have Problems too and these have to be solved,
I agree with Ed that only a commercial energy generator on the market can give back the lost reputation to CF and lead to the renaissance of the field. However I have strong doubts that Pd based wet systems will be ever more than a lab curiosity. 

(Hideo and Ed have then started a discussion about reproducibility and statistics, a bit apart from the main line of this discussion.)

Now a third friend, Mitchell Swartz enters the discussion. I have met Mitch in 1998 at Cambridge, Mass at a cold fusion meeting and I am reading with pleasure his excellent Cold Fusion Times. However, what he does say here happens to be for me like the  red color for the bull:
Alleged 'non-reproducibility' is not applicable to cold fusion for several reasons.  
First, the heart of the issue is that "reproducibility" is nothing but a euphemism for failure, used by those who are against the 25 year successful science and engineering of cold fusion.

   Second, for cold fusion, reproducibility obviously exists. As but one example, there were three (3) demonstrations of cold fusion at ICCF10 by John Dash, Dennis Cravens and Letts, 
and myself.  Three groups independently elected to begin experiments at a specified time (Tuesday) at MIT in 2003, and all got successful results.  That is reproducibility. Q.E.D.
   Third, another problem is that this is more complicated because reproducibility depends upon who does it and how.
Consider the art of glass making, or making cat-whiskers, or souffles, or bearnase or baked
Not everyone can do it. Are they reproducible?
   It depends who does it, and how much experience they have.
How about a kidney transplant?  or curing even an early Stage Hodgkin's disease by ionizing penetrating radiation.  Does anyone really believe that any and all readers of CMNS would get the same success for their attempting a kidney transplant into the pelvis of a 12 year old?  or that they would achieve the same 20 year disease-free survival if they had access to the machines (6 MeV linacs and the like) to treat the tumor cited above (which requires licensing and certification, of course, therefore).

  Fourth, analysis of 'reproducibility' is even more interesting showing how illogical it is, as a 'straw man' argument.
Consider that as regards 'reproducibility' there is even a possibly spatially varying activity for some systems.
  As an example, penicillin VK (an antibiotic used since WW1 against gram + bacteraciae when it replaced proflavine)
works successfully outside of the hospitals today in about 96 of every 100 infections.
It is very curative, whereas the untreated infections might have killed many of the patients as they did when they were the major cause of death in the early 1900's.
  There is much clinical significance because each of these cures are very significant to the people involved.
  But it is not completely reproducible at ~96%.     [ So is there utility?   I say yes. ]

  But consider, inside hospitals where nosocomial infections today are "winning" all too often, penicillin VK may only be effective against a very small fraction (maybe 1 in 3 or less), 
and at those locations infected patients die if not given superlative therapy(ies) to PVK.
  In one location, the antibiotic's effect is almost reproducible (although 'not completely' is it?), and elsewhere, in the hospitals festooned with nosocomial drug insensitive strains, it is a failure and not reproducible.
  So the drug's effectiveness is ---> spatially varying with respect to 'reproduciblility'.

  In summary, allegations of non-reproducibility in cold fusion (lattice assisted nuclear reactions) are today not logical, and are disingenuous because reproducibility has already long existed
 in several types of cold fusion systems (using probably similar types of CFP) for years.

I am completely unable to accept Mitch’s arguments or to synchronize with his mode of thinking; my impression is that he tries to kill the problem before and instead of solving it.

First he says (very correctly) that non-reproducibility is just an other name for failed experiments – and adds that this is just a hostile action of those (bad and stupid people) who are able to ignore the great and valuable achievements of cold fusion from its 25 years glorious history. How should call a correct, faithful CF researcher the same situation, say a series of experiments with 5 to 20% reproducibility? What is the connection between blaming the others and genuine failure?

Second argument very strange- episodes of reproducibility obviously existed once, then they exist today. Listen to this aria:
It happened that Don Giovanni was faithful to a woman for three days, but if cold fusion can be called reproducible due to some short episodes of reproducibility, than Don Giovanni is really faithful, I think. As “winning” in the well known quotation by Vince Lombardi, reproducibility is not a sometimes thing, it is an all-time thing.
Third, reproducibility seems to be very subjective, needs special skills- OK, the truth is that even very most skilled people cannot achieve real reproducibility. The many examples from the medical domain are interesting but of no use, as long as experimental geniuses have not achieved high reproducibility
And fourth, an argument far over my head, variable reproducibility is not true reproducibility and the numerous examples from medicine have not much to do with the cases of cold fusion. Why should the demand for reproducibility be illogical today?  We want good heaters working reproducibly.

It is not polite and not productive to just negate others’ ideas.
It is not the first time and hopefully not the last time when I state
that engineering is the key to usable/useful cold fusion. Take in consideration that during this process of development it will be transformed in such an extent and deepness that the name of the field will change.

Hideo will be right then: complexity- just smartly organized will be
the keyword.
Ed will be right then, the phenomena will be well understood and controlled in a perfectly reproducible way.
Mitch will be also right then it will be illogical and unjust to call the phenomena irreproducible.
I bet with you that after the triumph of engineering in our field the ab ovo erronated name of cold fusion will evanesce surprisingly fast.


PS This paper was published on my Blog with the explicit approval
of two of my co/counter-authors and lack of protest of the third. My gratitude- the dialogs come from a closed Forum.


  1. Peter,
    It is getting increasingly hard for me to understand exactly what you think the people working in cold fusion should actually be doing.

    Everyone knows you must be able to do the same thing over and over again getting your expected results.

    What is not clear to me is what you think the "engineers" must do that the scientists have failed at.

    I am speaking literally here.

    How are you going to get everyone working together to share information, knowledge and resources, when all are out to be the one to win the Nobel and make the $billions?

    Keep the faith,
    Gary Wright

    1. To win the Nobel, one needs to share information and knowledge in peer-reviewed publications. To make the billions, one has to share information and knowledge with whoever provides the startup funding. Getting everyone working together is only required on a crash program like Manhattan Project. Hertz, Marconi, Tesla and Edison were not working together, and yet we do have electricity and wireless communications everywhere.

  2. Let’s talk details about how better engineering can make for a better cold fusion system.

    Brillouin has both good and bad design items in their system. Starting off with the bad part, Brillouin uses wire as a substrate for their reaction. The limited surface area that contains the cavities and bumps on the wire surface where the LENR reaction takes place is limited. Because of this fundamental limitation, Brillouin will likely never achieve a high coefficient of performance (COP) that marks superior operation of a dominant cold fusion system.

    In contrast, the systems from Rossi and DGT due to the use of very small particles have orders of magnitude more surface area and therefore very many more cavities owing to the topology of nano-particle piles.

    Furthermore, a critical added performance booster in these Ni/H reactors is the use of low boiling point metals to catalyze copious nanoparticle production. This helps a great deal.

    But the method of stimulation in these Ni/H reactors is very poor in the Rossi system and just a little better in the DGT system… but not as good as it could be… owing to the nature of their low voltage drawn out 24 kv pulse.

    On the other hand, Brillouin partially makes up for their poor numbers of nuclear active sites by using a sharp excitation pulse to excite the NAEs into energy production.

    By sharp excitation, I mean very high voltage and short duration nanosecond electrical pulse that is fast enough in duration to avoid destroying the NAE. Unlike both Rossi and DGT, Brilloiun has demonstrated that pure electrical stimulation can produce cold fusion.

    When the Brilloium system is taken as a whole taking into account the good things in the system with the bad things, the system is a below average performer forever constrained by its use of a wire substrate.

    It may be possible to combine the use of billions of small particles together with a sharp nondestructive low amperage and high voltage electrical stimulation producing a large instantaneous power pulse. This may result in a totally controllable high performance reaction with a very high COP potential. As far as I can tell, nobody has yet tried such a Brilloium/Rossi hybrid system yet, but it just might work.

    1. Dear Axil,
      I'm often cautious about you theoretical position, but on engineering it is brilliant.

      What you resume give us much home for very nice future.

      even the weird theory of Blacklight, if interpreted as a pet-theory inspiring a practitioneer, coul joind what Brillouin and DGT do with electricity.
      Mills, like Brillouin should however join Lenuco, DGT,Rossi, Piantelli about nano-structured micro-powders.

      One lesson I learned for following science and engineering since 30 years is that the new frontier of engineering is not forbiding randomness, but harnessing it, accepting it, using it.
      The second point is that chaos is not random, and can be controlled toward a useful state, not stable, but usable.
      A last point is that feedback is all.

      what make me happy on LENR engineering, is that ther are many solutions already, and that it will allow many innovations, and allow no monopoly.

    2. My theoretical position is a simple and a logical one.

      Beside neutrons, there is another less traveled road to the initiation of nuclear reactions that has been under the radar in the nuclear community.

      Many years ago, it was shown that high energy lasers could induce fission and fusion if the power of the laser pulse was strong enough

      Photo induced nuclear reactions begin to occur when the power density of the infrared light reached just under 10^^20 W/cm2.

      Since the time of unaided photo nuclear reactions were demonstrated at the turn of this century, it has been shown that gold nano-particles used as nano-lenses can amplify and concentrate infrared light by 9 orders of magnitudes. This is experimentally verified performance that comes out of the science of Nanoplasmonics.

      Now with gold Nano-particles, it is logical to expect nuclear reactions will occur when laser light with an intensity of 10^^10 W/cm2 to 10^^12 W/cm2 will occur. If you are interested, experimental results have been published as verification. That is 9 orders of magnitude less than unaided photo irradiation. Experiments using gold nano-particles in water suspension irradiated by laser light of this reduced level of intensity do in fact occur.

      Since then, experimentally verified light amplification by nano-structures has been observed to reach a top end of 10 to the 15 power.

      The idea is that if more and more nano-particle infrared photo concentration is applied to a system, then less and less infrared photon input energy will produce a nuclear reaction.

      In current photo reactors under development, with additional tweaking of more effective methods and materials, together with improved nano-structure shapes and topology, it is not unreasonable to expect that 10 to the 20th power concentration or more of photo application might be reached.

      In current photo based nuclear reactors, that means that it is reasonable to assume that nuclear reactions will occur if UNAPMLIFIED infrared light were to interact with properly engineered nanostructures.

      Increased infrared photo amplification is what has been done in the design of the current crop of Nickel/Hydrogen reactors.

      By the way, both the Mills reactor and the Santilli process are other examples of photo reactors but these inventors just don’t know it yet.

      The Open Physical Chemistry Journal, 2013, 5, 17-27

      Confirmations of Santilli’s Intermediate Controlled Nuclear Fusion of Deuterium and Carbon Into Nitrogen Without Harmful Radiations

      J. V. Kadeisvili, C. Lynch and Y. Yang

      Abstract: We present five independent confirmations of the intermediate controlled nuclear fusion of Nitrogen from Deuterium and Carbon without the emission of harmful radiations or the release of radioactive waste, first achieved by R. M. Santilli [12] following extended mathematical, theoretical and experimental research, and preliminarily confirmed by
      R.Brenna, T. Kuliczkowski, and L.Ying [13]. ... 7TOPCJ.pdf

      This is just another spark driven nanoplasmonic LENR system.

      The photo driven anapole magnetic field produced by nanoparticles is recognized by the inventor but it is called a Santilli magnecules.

      A pattern is forming involving spark driven nanoparticle based LENR systems: Santilli, Mills, Rossi and DGT.

      The inventors of these systems all have a differing theoretical explanation of their reaction, but they are all basically the same nanoplasmonic driven photo reactors.

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  4. Zombie Science and Junk Journalism

    In a curious case of journalistic missing in action, LENR (LENR+, Cold Fusion, etc.) never shows up in the so called scientific journals of our time. Even very clean, simple to replicate, well-documented, well planned experiments, such as those of Dr. Iwamura’s deuterium permeation tests, fail to find wide spread publication. It is curious indeed. Even when companies form up on all sides, and secure millions of dollars of private equity money, very little is said in confirmation of an obvious reality. Curiouser and curiouser.

    Journalists, however, tend to be technically incompetent, swayed by Scientists with big money, and who are, therefore, correct by ordination. That tends to make journalists simply the parrots of the scientists living off the immense public dole that is hot fusion. Journalists also like to do historical “research” that consists of a few web searches and a quote or two from a once notable scientist like Huizenga. They are quick to point out that some of those in the LENR field have had legal and possibly ethical difficulties. For example, it is a matter of record that Rossi had some legal disputes (fair or unfair) in his homeland of Italy. But here, it is clear; the collective journalistic memory is a bit selective. You don’t see objections to Galileo and Kepler the astrologers, or Newton the alchemist, or Einstein whose test results excluded him from his chosen school. And have they ever once asked someone like Huizenga to put down his ego and invest a few hours reading the published technical papers on, visiting the University of Missouri’s research department, attending ICCF, or discussing face-to-face his objections with companies like Defkalion, Brillouin, Leonardo Corporation, Blacklight Power, and Thunder Fusion Corporation, etc.? Would Huizenga then believe in miracles?

    Science, Discovery, and Nature seem to have become junk journalism. Peer review has become incestuous, editing has become censorship. When it comes to hot fusion, the emperor has no clothes. Hot fusion has progressed from a science, to a religion, to a zombie science. Hot fusion is dead. Unfortunately, like a zombie, it still walks the earth wreaking havoc, sucking down billions of misspend dollars and wasting the best talent of the scientist welfare society. A promise of “clean” energy (someday) still entrances political leaders into thinking hot fusion is viable (just don’t talk about tritium containment or neutron activation when you talk about “clean” hot fusion).

    So what should we do? We should ask congress persons and energy department officials to de-fund hot fusion now (it’s easy -they have websites and email addresses). If you own stock in a major industrial company (outright or through a mutual fund) you should contact the company and suggest they back LENR now (or risk becoming a zombie company). If you know a technically competent young person, talk sense to them before they seek for employment in hot fusion.

    Money is the Achilles heel of hot fusion. Money is like the streetlight where the drunk looks for his lost keys -he knows he lost them elsewhere, but he searches for them under the streetlight because the light is better there. Billions of dollars vaporized into plasma, decades of data desiccated to nothing. We should move the streetlight. Stop hot fusion now.

  5. I wonder if anyone here can elaborate on the claim that ECAT produces 1MW of heat. According to the specs (, ECAT heats 1,500 kg/hr of water, from just above freezing (4C) to, presumably, below boiling (99C). With specific heat capacity of water, 4.2kJ/(kg*C), you only need 167kW to do the job - which is exactly the average electric power ECAT is supposed to get from the grid. Electric water heaters have their elements immersed in the tank, so that the conversion efficiency is close to 100%. Where does that 1MW go, if it is indeed generated?

    Another thing - why should it cost $1.5M? A 4.5kW tankless water heater costs $250; 40 of these cost $10K, easily fit in the dimensions of ECAT container (together with all necessary plumbing), and deliver 180kW of heat to the water. Is there a reason one would pay $1.5M for a $10K job?

    1. Any car can take you from A to B, but cars don't all come with the same price tag. The 1 MW unit is expensive because: 1. it's new & complex technology, 2. Andrea Rossi only makes 1 unit every few years, & 3. Andrea Rossi needs to make some money too.

    2. The question was not why Rossi wants the $1.5M, but why anyone would agree to pay that much. Heating water does not require a new and complex technology, and while more expensive cars do provide more style and comfort as you get from A to B, I don't see how that applies to electric water heaters.

    3. Besides, I see no need for a 1MW unit to do a 167-kW job...