Statement by Dr. Joseph Zawodny on LENR

We recently featured a video on NASA’s Technology web site in which Dr. Joseph Zawodny discusses the possibilities of LENR technology. Following the release of the video Dr. Zawodny made a comment about it which I had not posted here before. Since his video received so much attention around the Web I thought it would be useful to feature his statement in a new post.

While I do work for NASA, I do not speak for them.

As for what people are trying to read into this video, specifically my use of the word “demonstrated”, it is my professional opinion that the production of excess energy has been demonstrated when the results of the last 20+ years of experimentation are evaluated.

I did not say, reliable, useful, commercially viable, or controllable. If any of those other terms were applicable I would have used them instead. If anything, it is the lack of a single clear demonstration of reliable, useful, and controllable production of excess power that has held LENR research back.

There have been many attempts to twist the release of this video into NASA’s support for LENR or as proof that Rossi’s e-cat really works.

In my scientific opinion, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I find a distinct absence of the latter. So let me be very clear here. While I personally find sufficient demonstration that LENR effects warrant further investigation, I remain skeptical. Furthermore, I am unaware of any clear and convincing demonstrations of any viable commercial device producing useful amounts of net energy.

Every attempted demonstration of a LENR device that I am aware of has failed to meet one or more of these criteria.

Joe Zawodny

  • Alexvs

    Very clear, very honest. Mr. Zawodny thinks that LENR or excess heat processes are real. By the way I think the same. But by no means he says that Mr. Rossi’s E-Cat (COP 6) works.

    • Ged

      Exactly, that’s the take home message.

      Also, apparently everything is now in italics!

  • daniel maris

    You don’t make clear that was the statement that appeared a day or two after the video was released.

    The statement is remarkable for its tortured syntax. This is the guy who submitted on his own and NASA’s behalf a patent for an LENR device (which was in due course approved). And yet he’s “sceptical” – sceptical in what sense? Sceptical about his own behaviour in getting a device patented? This is Alice in Wonderland stuff!

    I have not read one comment on here or other major E cat sites that suggested Zawodny’s video was in support of Rossi’s device. People simple realised this was a very significant confirmation of the reality of LENR and that the described process was v. similar to the one described by Rossi.

    • admin

      You are right, Daniel. My mistake — thanks!

    • Daniel M. Basso

      You can develop a method that works but is not commercially viable. If somebody else refines it enough to be viable and you have a patent, you will still be able to charge royalties over your work.
      He is skeptical (sceptical for the UK folks) that somebody reached the point himself couldn’t.

      • daniel maris

        I understand that Daniel. But that is where the writing is so tortured. He (or someone) is trying to give the impression that he is sceptical about LENR per se whereas, clearly, he is not since he has a patented LENR device. But he is trying to do that without disavowing his original words (which he can’t do without calling into question his honour and honesty). If he had not been trying to given this impression of general scepticism why use the word “Furthermore”…because that implies his scepticism goes deeper than just whether the process can be commercialised.

        The statement is one of the worst on the subject I have ever read. He claims the video doesn’t imply NASA supports LENR when he, Zawodny, patented an LENR device on NASA’s behalf! If the video doesn’t show support for LENR then the patent sure does.

        Who is he trying to kid? And – more importantly: why?

        • Scott H

          Thank you for being able to see through the fog of war.

    • Ged

      And indeed, his statement still blatantly supports LENR.

      The torturing of the syntax to try in every grammatical way to downplay this without actually lying or contradicting his video, is interesting.

      But, it could just be him protecting himself, which is reasonable due to the scientific climate we live in.

  • clovis

    It;s hard to get anyone these day with enough backbone to stand up for something, good god either say what you mean or don’t say anything at all.unless you mean to muddy the water even more than it already is.

  • Sparks

    I don’t see any “tortured syntax” at all in JZ’s statement. Look no further than the nearest mirror, to see (in many of today’s posts) tortured attempts at deconstruction and “spinning” of JZ’s statement.

    JZ’s message has been consistent all along:
    1) LENR is worthy of continued research; 2) LENR is not ready for commercialization, as it has a number of critical, unsolved problems (sustainment, anyone?); 3) JZ received a lot of feedback indicating that various Rossi support groups had erroneously seized upon the NASA video as saying “LENR is ready for prime time,” so he had to respond to clear this up.

    From the day that video was released, I expected it to create problems for NASA. It was, based on my decades of experience working on government technology programs, clearly a typical government lab “propaganda piece” intended to secure continued funding of a research program. (“Look at all the promise!”) I mean propaganda in the true sense (not a perjorative), as a PR piece to help maintain an existing research program. I posted this opinion here at the time of the video release. I’ll put my unchanging opinion, as a practicing engineer, out there once again: LENR commercialization is, BEST CASE, 5 years out, and significant market uptake, BEST CASE, 10 years out.

    • daniel maris

      Where does Zawodny say:

      ” LENR is not ready for commercialization, as it has a number of critical, unsolved problems ”

      The statement is carefully worded to give the impression that’s what he’s saying but when you look at it like a lawyer, you see that’s not what he’s saying at all.

      In fact read carefully, you can read it the other way…”it IS ready for commercialisation, and it is only the fact that no one has stumped up the money that has prevented it being commercialised.” [His words: “…it is the lack of a single clear demonstration of reliable, useful, and controllable production of excess power that has held LENR research back” – note: he does NOT say such a demonstration would impossible or even difficult.]

      • Sparks

        That was a straw-man tactic: Please don’t try to turn other posters’ comments into supposed direct quotes from a source, so you can create an artificial refutation. I am more interested in substance than argument for arguement’s sake. I can only conclude we’re obviously watching different videos.

  • gerard2012

    Open warfare began.

    It’s not that Mr. Zawodny wrote. He was asked to disown.

    As it is convinced of the reality of cold fusion and e-cat of Andrea Rossi. He said yes but .. I understand his discomfort.

    This may explain his text cons Andrea Rossi weird but acknowledge that the excess energy of LENR. And he obeyed without denying its hierarchy and make known to all: “I am a fan of Andrea Rossi”, He can not say more.

    It is my hypothesis.

    text in French for quebec

    La guerre ouverte a commencé.
    Ce n’est pas Mr. Zawodny qui écrit. II lui a été demandé de se renier.
    Comme il est convaincu de la réalité de la fusion froide et de l’e-cat de Andréa Rossi. Il dit oui mais.. Je comprend son malaise.
    Cela peut expliquer son texte bizarre contre Andréa Rossi mais qui reconnais l’excès d’énergie du LENR. Ainsi il obéi à sa hiérarchie sans se renier et fais savoir a tous: “je suis un partisan de Andréa Rossi”. Il ne peut pas en dire plus.
    C’est mon hypothèse.

  • The video is a NASA scientist saying he thinks LENR is the next big green energy breakthrough. This is on a NASA video on a NASA website.

    I think there was some “pressure” to denounce its significance, however anyone following this topic can see it is more of an admittance than we have seen from any true authority.

    We know NASA is starting to throw money at this, and puts them in a competitive stance against AR.

    AR (Andrea Rossi) has now admitted he can only control his reactions if he runs in the 130 degree range.

    Will a competitor who can run a reactor at a steady 450 degrees be the true patent holder? I Think Andrea Rossi does not have the kind of dollars most of us know should be thrown at this science.

    I personally would like to see Bill Gates or some other philanthropist throw a few billion dollars at this and get it studied in every university. I’d like to see 600 million gas cars off the road by 2020. I’d like to breath fresh air in the middle of New York City, and forget about the middle east entirely. Oil schmoil!

    We know AR sold his home and is a pioneer, but by refusing investment and attempting to manufacture all e-cats himself he has stretched himself too thin.

    By the time he starts outputting the first e-cat home unit at 130 degrees output I am sure NASA and others will be ready to start producing electrical units.

    I think the video recieved more views and responses than J Zawodny and company was expecting and did not want his words used to endorse AR e-cat which has never been tested by NASA. The “retraction” seemed to read as a legal retraction, as opposed to a friendly “WHAT?”.

    I think LENR is here to stay, but wish more money could be thrown at this to get it working. It could prevent World War III, and could invigorate the economies of the world.

    • Jimr

      As far as finances, Rossi must be receiving funds from someone. It may be people have just given him some money to continue reseach, ( im sure he would not allow a partner) Nat. inst. can’t be doing all this work for free, and I don’t believe any VC would support him at this time, he’s just too unstable.

      • daniel maris

        The ironic thing about the E cat is that it could equally start World War 3 and destabilise our economies. I don’t now exactly how much we have invested in existing energy technologies but it must be 100s of billions of dollars globally. In theory all that investment could be rendered worthless in a couple of years and millions thrown out of work (the reason LENR-cold fusion is potentially so cheap is because it doesn’t involve so many or in many cases any people digging, transporting, monitoring, and supplying). That would be destabilising.

        Then at the same time, places like the Mid East could be left in turmoil as their revenues dried up overnight.

        Who knows? An optimist might say that a Middle East with no energy revenues will be forced to reform. And there can be no doubt that cheap energy will provide an economic stimulus in all sorts of areas e.g. recycling will become much cheaper, and so will transport.

        You may be right that Rossi has broken too early. Certainly electricity generation is the ultimate prize.

        • Wes

          Russia’s economy is powered by oil and gas. A destabilized Russia, with its forrest of nuke launchers and subs could make for insteresting political times.

        • Jimr

          I don’t believe anything would change in a couple of years. It would take a couple of decades, plus oil is used for so many items, plastics, piping, fertilizer, and so many other things it would be impossible to list them all. in the US only half is used in transportation.

        • Roger Bird

          I believe that the Middle East will be much better off. Currently they have a handful of absurdly rich and powerful men (not women) and everyone else is poor or wretchedly poor. The e-cat will bring the poor and the wretchedly poor up and teach a desperately needed lesson in humility to the absurdly rich.

          I think that the Muslim Middle East will the the place were the so-called government will make the strongest attempt to suppress the introduction of the E-cat.

        • A middle east without oil revenue would require an infrastructure where being friendly with the world might be prudent.

          Iran is poised to possess a nuclear arsenal, and the instability in the region makes this seem horrifying.

          I think a move away from Hot nuclear power will make halt nuclear research on some fronts, and make it easier to follow nuclear components.

          We will be able to “waste” energy on so many fronts. Energy grounds communities, but now you and a hundred close friends could happily live at the north pole with food electricity and satellite television. Fuel costs would make this impossible before. Maybe start a houseboat community in the middle of a lake.

          scientists will be freed to research other glorious things. I think green scientists will mostly build black market ecats for friends and famiy.

  • Steve Robb

    Dr. Zawodny said: “If anything, it is the lack of a single clear demonstration of reliable, useful, and controllable production of excess power that has held LENR research back.” I’m surprised to hear such a clever person say such a silly thing. It is the lack of money and support from the scientific community.

    The demonstration of reliable, useful, and controllable production of excess power would be a demonstration that the state of the science is mature and a commercially useful device is at hand.

    I am sorely disappointed by the critical thinking skills of so many people. Even seemingly very smart people.

    • daniel maris

      They’re spinning – not stupid!

  • I think the point he is making is that they have done research and do not deny the existance of LENR/cold fusion.

    The video points to some potential applications
    of cold fusion that is if manufacturers get around to it soon.

    This time frame of course would require some
    commitment to development of products.

    NASA itself would be interested in the using cold fusion as a system to power spacecraft.

  • Joe

    Btw, Joseph Zawodny clarification of the video on his blog is not new news. Most everyone accepts the claims in the video as gospel but when the same guy says people are reading too much into it everyone thinks the govt or opec hitmen are forcing him to back track.

    There must be something seriously wrong with me because i cant understand how people can jump to such, IMHO, completely irrational conclusions.

    The govt and big corp are like movie super villains able to keep secret and suppress so many beneficial technologies the world over. I just cant see the conspiracies that so many people are seeing.

    What is wrong with me?

    • Roger Bird

      Joe, nothing is wrong with you unless clear thinking and not being uncertainty-phobic is some kind of problem. Joseph Z. was merely clarifying; I also don’t see the problem with his clarification.

      Rossi has not yet proven his case. That’s all.

      • Sparks

        Likewise, I’m just not seeing all the hidden meanings folks are reading into both the video, and later the Joe Z clarification. They are ascribing too much significance onto the video (which merely advocates continuing the research) to start with, then they are trying to negate the letdown when Joe Z clarifies.

    • Steve Robb

      Not a thing wrong with you unless there is something wrong with rational thinking. Too many people insist on having closure on everything and cannot stand uncertainty. They insist on there being some big wooley bearded guy in the sky or a cadre of evil politicians or self-centered business people pulling the stings in the big guy’s absence.

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  • Bottom line. Its real. That in itself is big enough news to talk about… after 23 years of saying people who believe in it are fruit cakes. That admission is painful for some to hear especially those who have come out against it. It’s like “Oh my God!… did we just waste 20 years and untold amounts of money and environmental resources?

  • Rends

    United States Patent Application 20110255645
    Kind Code A1
    Zawodny; Joseph M. October 20, 2011
    Method for Producing Heavy Electrons

    A method for producing heavy electrons is based on a material system that includes an electrically-conductive material is selected. The material system has a resonant frequency associated therewith for a given operational environment. A structure is formed that includes a non-electrically-conductive material and the material system. The structure incorporates the electrically-conductive material at least at a surface thereof. The geometry of the structure supports propagation of surface plasmon polaritons at a selected frequency that is approximately equal to the resonant frequency of the material system. As a result, heavy electrons are produced at the electrically-conductive material as the surface plasmon polaritons propagate along the structure

    Inventors: Zawodny; Joseph M.; (Poquoson, VA)
    Assignee: USA as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Washington DC

    [0002] The invention was made by an employee of the United States Government and may be manufactured and used by or for the Government of the United States of America for governmental purposes without the payment of any royalties thereon or therefor.

    [0006] Heavy electrons exhibit properties such as unconventional superconductivity, weak antiferromagnetism, and pseudo metamagnetism. More recently, the energy associated with “low energy nuclear reactions” (LENR) has been linked to the production of heavy electrons. Briefly, this theory put forth by Widom and Larsen states that the initiation of LENR activity is due to the coupling of “surface plasmon polaritons” (SPPs) to a proton or deuteron resonance in the lattice of a metal hydride. The theory goes on to describe the production of heavy electron that undergo electron capture by a proton. This activity produces a neutron that is subsequently captured by a nearby atom transmuting it into a new element and releasing positive net energy in the process. See A. Windom et al. “Ultra Low Momentum Neutron Catalyzed Nuclear Reactions on Metallic Hydride Surface,” European Physical Journal C-Particles and Fields, 46, pp. 107-112, 2006, and U.S. Pat. No. 7,893,414 issued to Larsen et al. Unfortunately, such heavy electron production has only occurred in small random regions or patches of sample materials/devices. In terms of energy generation or gamma ray shielding, this limits the predictability and effectiveness of the device. Further, random-patch heavy electron production limits the amount of positive net energy that is produced to limit the efficiency of the device in an energy generation application.

    [0019] The present invention is a method for making a device that can produce heavy electrons where such heavy electron production can be used in a variety of applications that includes energy generation. In addition, the present invention is the device made from the disclosed method as well as a system that uses the device to produce heavy electrons. The present invention allows an entire device surface or volume to produce heavy electrons as opposed such production in small random regions of materials/devices. Thus, devices/systems constructed in accordance with the present invention will have performance that is predictable and maximize heavy electron production that results in, for example, [b]maximum energy production for a given device/system [b]or predictable efficiency and effectiveness of a gamma ray shield.

    [0032] The advantages of the present invention are numerous. Devices/systems made in accordance with the present invention control the frequency of the SPP resonance and its uniformity over large surface or volume regions. This will allow an entire device to participate in heavy electron production and ensuing energy generation. The present invention is adaptable to a variety of physical states/geometries and is scalable in size thereby making it available for energy production in a wide variety of applications (e.g., hand-held and large scale electronics, automobiles, aircraft, surface ships, electric power generation, rockets, etc.)