A Visit to MIT

Many thanks to Barry Simon for submitting this report of his visit to MIT to meet Dr. Peter Hagelstein and view Dr. Mitchell Swartz’s NANOR LENR device.

Hi all,

I went to MIT yesterday. My wife and I were scheduled to play music at a spring fair at the college. I sent Peter Hagelstein an email asking if I could see him and the Cold Fusion device, and to my surprise I got a welcome reply. To top it off he graciously said he could give me 30 minutes. For two days prior I tried to think of pertinent questions. I was hoping to videotape the whole thing, but he asked that we just talk without the camera running. However he did allow me to video the CF device. Like the “EverReady Bunny” it has been running continuously since January. It is sealed so it has not been refueled. It is putting out between ten to fourteen times more energy than its input. I was surprised that it does not produce steam. Apparently it is quite different than A Rossi’s Ecat since it uses palladium and is small. It is in a plastic bin (making the inner works hard to see) with all sorts of measuring devices hooked up to it. PH said he couldn’t open the bin because the temperature measurements were dependent on it being contained. I asked if he would mind if I put the 30 second video on YouTube, and he thought it would be the right thing to ask Michael Swartz of Jet Energy. I sent an email off to him when I got home. (see earlier post) Mitchell Swartz mentioned this in his reply: “… the setup at MIT has been measuring “heat after death” these last two weeks, with no additional electrical input power.” I’m not exactly sure what that means.

PH said his son is about to videotape an interview with him. Not sure when this will be out.

We talked for about forty five minutes. He is by no means an egotistical person, and for me personally it was great to have all my questions answered. My first question was: Is LENR now repeatable science? If you emailed detailed directions to someone in Japan, could they build a replica and get the same results (10 – 14 times the output)? To my discouragement he answered “Yes and no.” (I was hoping for a resounding “Yes!”) He explained (and I can only paraphrase) how different samples of palladium react differently, and right now the sample they are using is quite effective. There are other factors as well.

I asked whatever happened to the “Patterson cell,” and he mentioned the same phenomenon as above. It seemed when Patterson made his minuscule beads, one batch worked great but he didn’t seem to be able to produce more and get the same results. I wonder if this same phenomenon is what happened to F&P. perhaps they were fortunate enough to find an effective metal, for reasons not yet understood, where others tried to repeat and the palladium was not as conductive. (James Patterson died in 2008. George Miley claims he has reproduced a version of the Patterson cell.)

I asked about the politics at MIT thinking there would be a great divide between the Hot Fusion and the Cold Fusion people (on the web they seem as polarized as Republicans and Democrats). He implied there isn’t that much tension between the two. I assumed tension between the two was why the donated research money got returned by a higher- up at MIT, and he told me the physicist who returned the money just does not believe in Cold Fusion because it is against everything he was taught.

And all you skeptics out there will be glad to know he said skepticism is a good thing.

I asked (I wanted to hear it from someone like him) if it is true that LENR has the potential to reduce nuclear waste into a harmless waste product and he said “Yes.” I asked if it will be able to desalinate salt water so it can be used for irrigation in arid countries and he said “Yes.”

I asked about people visiting MIT to see the “Nanor,” and he said for people to email him first. I feel lucky I got in to talk to him and see the CF device. It all seemed quite sychronistic. But I would discourage curiosity seekers. He is a busy man and seems to thoroughly enjoy research, though I think some of you rocket scientist type people would not have a hard time getting an interview.

I tried to take notes and carry on a conversation at the same time. Not my strong point. An experienced interviewer would find a treasure trove with Peter Hagelstein.

I feel a little uncomfortable paraphrasing all of this. I don’t have the technical background that many of you have. My only Physics teacher in High School was narcoleptic (I’m not joking). We used to sit in class wondering if we should wake him up or not. I didn’t learn much that year.

At the end I told him how I hang my hopes and dreams on LENR and he said “All technologies are like a double-edged sword. They can be used for good or evil.”

I wrote in once to Frank that he might not want to quote a source who just gives an Internet name. My name is Barry Simon from Massachusetts, USA. (I am not Barry Simon the famous mathematician, but Barry Simon the not so famous musician) Peace and Light.

  • Blanco69

    Thanks for sharing this with us Barry. Did PH give you a look at any of the input/output measurements he was getting from the device?

  • Pimp

    Well done, Barry. I will be waiting for this new interview with his son. it is discouraging to see him say that skepticism is good, though. Getting funding cut because you don’t believe in something is not good at all. If that is what skepticism is, then it is very bad.

    • Daniel M. Basso

      The meaning of the word skepticism is diluted by its overuse, sometimes by people who doesn’t really understand it. But the fundamental aspect is to not assume something is true without concrete evidence.

      It is unfortunate that F&P couldn’t replicate their results. Instead of giving evidence in favor of a new technology they ended up creating this stigma for the whole field of research. Bad timing.

      It’s not unlike what happened when in 1969 Marvin Minsky proved on limitation of a neuron model, and the consequence was research on artificial neural networks was practically halted for a little more than a decade, until somebody came with the idea to use an ensemble of those same neurons.

      That doesn’t mean there was no scientists working on the problem, it just meant it was not mainstream. Obviously the consequence is less funding, and it was justified.

      Critics of “science” as a whole have little clue how it works. It is not dogma, as user “georgehants” spills here all the time. It is just that the mainstream scientists will not go out of their way to research something that has no/little evidence of being, when there is lots of sure things to research, even if not paradigm shifters. The burden of proof is on the the innovators, and rightly so.

      Evidence speaks for itself. A scientist will accept a new theory when confronted with the evidence, like that physicist that went to see the LENR research being done in Israel, in that 60 minutes show.

      The world is in urgent need of more skeptics.

      • georgehants

        If you read any of the fair comments against irrational skeptics you would not come on repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
        Nobody is against fair skepticism but against brain-dead denial of Evidence.
        Much of science lives by the law of Dogma and religious decree from their high priests who abuse and debunk anything not fitting their distorted view of Reality.
        Unfortunate many people just unthinkingly follow and even defend this travesty against any scientific principle.
        The Evidence for irrational skepticism in science is clear and proven and will not change by a few establishment huggers giving out the same old “we are good chaps” propaganda.
        People now want the TRUTH from research and not crazy baseless “expert opinion”

      • Skepticism is of use in that it prevents us from wasting resources chasing every mote of an idea. Witness all the magical-magnet-motor-generators that have been proffered as a solution to our energy needs. But when a scientist turns his back on evidence that suggests a phenomena is real and that phenomena may turn established theory on its head that is not skepticism but blind adherence to a body of theory that he spouts as dogma.

        • Barry

          Well put!

        • Daniel M. Basso

          “[…] when a scientist turns his back on evidence […]”
          Then he is not a scientist.

      • Shane D.

        Skepticism is as abused on this subject as is “believer”. There probably is a comfortable middle ground, but like most talk forums I’ve visited, we tend to polarize the debate by forcing each other into clearly identifiable black/white positions… makes it more interesting I guess.

        Barry, thank you! Wish we had more inside info like this. I was struck by Hagelsteins comment about the fickleness of replicating due mainly, he thinks, with the quality, or some unknown physical property variations within the metals involved. One batch may be good while the next is a dud.

        I’ve read this before from some of the LENR pioneers; i.e Fleischman, Miley. Iwamura had a different take and attributed the problem to “enviroment”… he would get 100% success in his lab, then go to another lab, do the same thing, yet succeed only 50%.

        Metal properties, enviroment, whatever… something still tantalizingly beyond the grasp of these researchers is preventing that final breakthrough. Certainly puts into question the issue of funding.

        With some real funding the field could employ some first rate metalurgists and scientists from other disciplines to get down on a molecular level and see what makes one sample of metal work and not the other.

        • Re. the last, I think there may be clues in the various metal-hydrogen interactions being reported in Science Daily (linked to by georgehants at 7:35am).

          As for the believer/skeptic thing this is largely an artifact introduced by those who call themselves skeptics, but are in fact shills – people who know the reality of LENR as well as any ‘believer’ (their term) but are paid or otherwise induced to try to muddy the water. There is no logical reason for their continued and tedious presence on LENR blogs, other than this one purpose.

      • GreenWin

        Daniel is spinning the latest tale to explain the corrupt behavior of science toward CF. Won’t fly. Unlike the Wrights.

        Two years after the Wright Bros flew at Kitty Hawk – Scientific American published a cynical article essentially accusing the Wrights of fraud. The reason Scientific American gave was, had the Wrights built a working “aeroplane” surely some American reporter would have covered it. This pillar of science journalism had not bothered to see for themselves.

        It is called denial by refusal to observe evidence. Same tactic attempted by skeptopaths and propagandists against LENR. Refusal of a free press to cover Dr. Hagelstein’s experiment is little different than their refusal to cover Nobel laureate, Director General of CERN, and President of ENEA Italy’s Energy and Environment Agency Carlo Rubia’s experiment observing hard evidence of CF nuclear reactions in 2002. The paper “Report 41” in part written by Rubia was submitted to and rejected by 41 scientific “journals.”

        The spin will not work. People are guilty of suppressing scientific evidence and they will be made to answer for their actions. Expect to see some people and or institutions falling very hard because of past behavior.

        The History of MIT’s Blatant Suppression of Cold Fusion

        Corrupt scientists at MIT draw anger from US Military Veterans.

        American “scientists” are in SERIOUS trouble when they start pissing off the rank and file military.


        What ethical scientist wants to be affiliated with the PFSC (hot fusion lab) at MIT after this ignominious scandal??

  • Filip

    You are not anonymous, thats new 🙂
    I wonder why they don’t make a second device next to it, to compare, strange. I am not skeptic, but that’s the first thing I would do, but hey, who am I?

  • georgehants

    Well done Barry, Politics in academia always means he must be careful what he says or he would end up being abused and destroyed like P&F, as with many subjects attacked by scientific DOGMA.
    Did you meet anybody from the journals Nature or Science etc. while you where there.
    You are not now just Barry Simon, Musician, but Barry Simon the reporter who interviewed one of the Cold Fusion pioneers before the professionals.
    Peace to you.

    • Seconded – a very worthwhile initiative. Many thanks for bringing us this information Barry.

    • Barry

      Thanks all, to be honest, when I heard of funds being sent away at MIT it was quite upsetting. I think for all of us it hits a “Fleishman and Pons nerve”. Like Yogi Berra said “This is like deja vu all over again.”

      • Barry

        George, No one else was there though he did say after getting back from the Atom Unexplored he had 350 emails waiting for him. I don’t know why he answered mine, although I emailed him before plus I tried to call him. Maybe it was a squeaking wheel thing.
        They opened it up to the public but had a disappointing turn out.
        There seems to be a deep vacuum surrounding CF of awareness and funding. Like Littlekangaroo said above “its weird and embarrassing” I would add surreal. (It’s also a little weird addressing somebody as Littlekangaroo, sorry LK) But in all fairness Cold Fusion is like the “boy who cried wolf”. We’ve been promised that breakthroughs are right around the corner so many times. Even the 60 Minutes episode is three years old.
        My goal is to make two low budget, YouTube awareness videos about Cold Fusion. One for people like myself who don’t have a deep tech background but have a deep interest in CF/LENR. Let’s face it, the short history of Cold Fusion is fascinating. And I want to make another one that is funny and yet educates people about CF at the same time that a wider group might like. I’m hoping to get my step sons to help even if I have to bribe them. I also want to get in touch with P Hagelstein’s son and see if I can hold a microphone or go for coffee or something.
        Take care, Barry

  • georgehants

    Science News
    … from universities, journals, and other research organizations
    Low-Cost Nanosheet Catalyst Discovered to Split Hydrogen from Water
    (May 11, 2012) — Hydrogen gas offers one of the most promising sustainable energy alternatives to limited fossil fuels. But traditional methods of producing pure hydrogen face significant challenges in unlocking its full potential, either by releasing harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere or requiring rare and expensive chemical elements such as platinum.

    • From the ‘related stories’ column it seems that this discovery has been made more or less simultaneously by a number of teams working with nickel, molybdenum or both. Unfortunately no-one seems to mention efficiency in terms of electrical input vs. thermal potential of the hydrogen produced.

      • georgehants

        Peter I saw the reference to nickel etc. just coincidence I suppose.

    • Another linked story even involves the use of nickel nano-particles for hydrogen production using sunlight as the power input. I wonder if this is in some way the ‘reverse’ of LENR, or at least closely connected at the electrochemical level?


      It seems that the interaction of hydrogen and certain metals may represent a whole new avenue of science waiting to be explored in depth.

      • Hey George, you’ve found a ‘right little gold mine’! Another story describes hydrogen storage directly in nickel nanoparticles, and in a compound called sodium alanate, which sounds like a much better alternative for storing H2 in LENR reactors than the oft-toted metal hydrides.


        • georgehants

          Peter, great but out of my league re. the chemistry/physics etc, I just absorb the bigger picture, but I am sure many knowledgeable scientists on this page will find the details of the subject of great interest.

          • Mine too (I was just a microbiologist, for the very good reason that maths makes my brain hurt!)

            As you say, it would be good if someone who actually knows his photon from his phonon to comment on any possible connections between LENR and these new electrochemical discoveries.

    • morse

      It seems the H-economy is starting to get shape and not a minute too soon.
      Now that we are able to produce H on a mass scale, we only need a way to store it safely in our houses, cars,…
      A lot will change in the coming years (better fuel cells, storing facilities,…)
      Maybe e-cats, LENR devices can help to develop H

    • In principle scientifically interesting (although not too detail-rich report), but from my point of view why go for hydrogen economy when ammonia NH3 as hydrogen carrier is easy to store and decades old proven technology as transportation fuel.

    • alex

      You know, they speak only of Hydrogen, but you still need oxygen to ignite in a conventional engine. You could add oxygen with an injection system, but why go through all that. Why not just put water in a jar, and vibrate it with something between 0.5 – 5A (from car battery) electrical pulse to break into 2(H20) => 2H2 + o2. HHO gas would probably run an engine if you could get it to 60psi. You would have to max the throttle to get it to start, but I’ll bet you could run on just HHO. You would need a reservoir of water to replace any that got used up though. Forget pure Hydrogen, it’s volatile, and expensive to produce.

      • alex

        Sorry, I’m off topic again. Good article, though. Maybe we could use the new structured Nickel-Moly-Nitrogen sheets in place of platinum in catalytic converters.

  • LittleKangaroo

    Let’s hope that you get the ok to put the video on YouTube. Great job Barry. You the man! 😉

    It’s embarrassing though that a “civilian” is the first to visit him and not any of the countrys newspapers or private news agents. It’s actually more weird then embarrassing…

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  • edog

    Thanks Barry!!
    Big respect to you.

  • Antonella

    Thank you, Barry!

  • andreiko

    De overgang naar LENR zal een in alle opzichten evolutionair proces worden, het is hoogtijd dat de politiek zich hier van bewust wordt, zodat de economische gevolgen stuurbaar blijven.

    Hoe het kan dat de media nog steeds met mondjesmaat opereren is mij een raadsel kan iemand hier iets zinnigs over vertellen?

    • steven

      Waarschijnlijk bang dat de maatschappij omver gaat vallen en de gevestigde waarden (olieconcerns, regeringen die taxen heffen en controle willen behouden) als een kaartenhuisje in elkaar storten.

    • Filip

      Tja, gebrek aan interesse, denk ik. Als het betrouwbaar werkt en iemand ziet er centen in, komt het gewoon op de markt.
      Iedereen zal er onmiddellijk opspringen en als dat ding bijna onuitputtelijk electriciteit maakt, gaan de meeste zich nieteens afvragen hoe dat kan. Als hun ‘reactor’ dan in pan staat, beginnen ze te roepen en te tieren en staan ze met hun garantie te zwaaien. Technologie gaat met rasse schreden vooruit, niemand zou er nog van opkijken. Neem nu de ‘self driving car’ van Google: hoeveel mensen kennen daar het bestaan van, het is een ongeloofelijke doorbraak(voorpagina nieuws). Ik neem elke dag een krant -zogezegd een goeie- DS, oftewel heb ik erover gezien, maar er heeft nog niets van ingestaan. In de wetenschapsbijlagen gaat het meestal over voeding of ziekten: vitamines, vet, zout, kanker, dementie, depressies en over statistieken(het enige wat universiteiten nog kunnen maken, en dan nog)Er is geen samenzwering, alles hangt met haken en ogen aan elkaar en dat is het meest verontrustende. Een vergissing of een accidentje en we zijn er allemaal aan. Niemand gaat ons komen redden, geen god en geen aliens. De meeste mensen zijn met hun eigen hashje bezig. Zie naar DSK, Berlusconi of Van Gheluwe : vetzakken die zo een hoge functie bekleden. Die zijn door niemand geplaatst, die hebben gewoon zonder scrupules hun weg naar boven gewerkt. En het zit daarboven vol met van die gekken: Chavez, Kim jun Il, Achmadinedjad, Asad, Poetin om van Afrika te zwijgen. Er zijn er gelukkig ook nog enkele goeie die voor tegengewicht kunnen zorgen. Mijn punt is dat de meeste mensen gevoelloos zijn geworden, ze willen enkel brood en spelen, als ze een beetje minder gaan verdienen geraken ze volledig in paniek, een kleinere tv, een keer minder in verlof gaan, met een kleinere portemonee naar de solden: daar kan je ze raken. De kranten schrijven wat mensen willen lezen of wat hen bang maakt, want dat verkoopt. En koude fusie? …dat laat ze koud.

      • Andre Blum

        Guys, what’s the meaning of this? This is a forum in the english language. It doesn’t show great respect for Frank’s hospitality and to the many other readers from many countries to go about murmuring in Dutch.

        Moreover, your comments are (consistently — at least this goes for andreiko) off topic, they have nothing to do with Barry’s visit to Hagelstein.

        Even for people who *do* master the dutch language, like me, your comments are hardly worth the read. World politics, corruption, Chavez, Poetin… we don’t really care on this forum.

        Stop it.

        Also, don’t ask *us* why your newspaper doesn’t write about cold fusion. ask your newspaper.

        • Filip

          Sorry, I just replied in Dutch, to be polite.
          There’s nothing shocking being said. The same old stuff, no conspiracies, just bad guys destabilizing the world for their own benefit. Also the question why the media is so not interested in CF. Do you have any idea, why LENR isn’t frontpage news right now? Strange.
          Sorry again and thanks.

          • GreenWin

            Yeah. You are in a closed system. Why else would the “press” be monolithically dead?

  • clovis

    Thanks Barry.
    YOU DE MAN, Nice job of reporting and don’t worry, that interview stuff kinda grows on you if you do enough of it, -smile- we get all the good stuff, here on e-cat world. and frank, also great work, you guys are doing a wonderful bit of reporting..

    • edog


  • daniel maris

    Excellent report Barry.

    BTW, did you enquire what the output of the device was and also maybe what “continuous” means. Is that continuous without any outage time.

    Hagelstein sounds like a decent guy. HOwever, I don’t agree that all technologies are neutral and can be used for good or bad. Some technologies are inherently risky and necessarily have bad effects on society. Nuclear fission is an example.Even non-military use, requires a huge amount of security and surveillance – which isn’t required by an alternative like wind turbines. Similarly there is no way to get oil out of the ground in huge quantities without environmental degradation.

    • Barry

      Good point Daniel. I’m afraid I’m over my head about the details of the “continuous part”. I was disappointed he didn’t let me video the whole conversation that way you could all hear it from the source. The web cam is a great idea too yet, I didn’t think of it at the time. I feel we all are hungry for any new info about CF. The way it is going right now, what happened two weeks ago is old news. He implied I might get to interview him in the future. I’m hoping his son puts something out soon. I’m going to email him and be a squeaking wheel. I also asked Dr Michael Swartz if he would grant me an interview but haven’t heard back. Take care.

  • SH

    Great work, Barry! Your excellent initiative is much appreciated.

  • Robert Mockan

    I do not see any one else explaining “heat after death”, so here it is. Means the same as when we talk about “self sustaining”. No input power, electrical or otherwise, to make the thermal power generation “go”.
    There still may be extra power in to keep a small cell at the reaction temperature, but when you have it “self sustaining” the volume of reactive material generating the heat could be increased until it provides enough thermal power to not only keep the reactor temperature high with conduction losses through the insulation to the environment, but also enough left over to convert to electrical power.

    • alex

      I wonder if they moved to load experiments if Heat after death would persist, or gradually extinguish.

      • alex

        By load I mean something that receives work, like a heat sink or copper pipes with running water to remove a portion of the trapped heat within the device. The amount of work(heat) that can be drawn from the device, while the device maintains a self-sustaining condition would be different than just measuring while it basks in it’s waste heat trapped in the box with it.

        • Robert Mockan

          Yes, that is why thermal power measurements should be available before designing a reactor. If a reactor is tested with an electric heater inside, and it maintains 450 c, the power needed to do that is the thermal power required from the LENR catalyst to maintain the same temperature. Any thermal power more than that could be extracted (with your heat sink or copper pipes) for use someplace else, or to convert into electricity. The LENR fuels need to be tested to find out how much thermal power per unit mass of fuel is generated at some high temperature. Once you have that information, you can calculate how much fuel you need, and the volume. That tells you the size of the reactor for that volume of fuel. Then measure how much power is needed to keep a reactor at some internal temperature and that tells you the minimum size of reactor, volume of fuel, and thermal power to generate to maintain th temperature. Anything larger than that provides extra thermal power. My rough calculations indicate a 55 gallon drum size reactor would be useful for a few megawatts of extra thermal power, depending of course on the exact ratio of thermal power per unit mass (and volume) of fuel. Once people know how to make the catalyst/fuel compositions that work well, there will be no stopping development of LENR applications.

          • Barry

            Robert, “heat after death” Does this mean they are unplugging and measuring the results as it cools down?

          • Barry, I think the idea is that it *doesn’t* cool down when input is removed! However, for a small unit very heavily insulated, this comprises ‘proof of principle’ but doesn’t necessarily indicate that it is a potentially useful heat source. That would require the ‘bleeding off’ of some heat in order to do work, as discussed by Robert above.

          • Robert Mockan

            > Barry

            Yes and no.

            Unplugging and measuring the cool down rate is typically a calorimetry technique for determining any difference in heat over a temperature range, going up and going down. It is derived from a scanning calorimetry procedure used when measuring thermo-physical phase changes or reaction changes of materials under test, of endothermic or exothermic nature. If the cool down without external power (unplugged) is slower than the heat up with external power (plugged in), all other variables being equal, rate differences can be attributed to internal energy changes in the material under test. That may or may not actually correspond to net thermal power generation. That would be determined by integrating the internal energy changes over time. If the integrand result is equal then there is no net thermal power generation, and one could also say that there is no evidence for the existence of any “heat after death”.

            On the other hand, “heat after death” as originally used in the context of cold fusion by Pons and Fleischmann in their work with palladium and heavy hydrogen was the phrase used to describe what was happening when they loaded palladium rods with deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen called “heavy” hydrogen)and the rods began to generate thermal power that persisted when they stopped loading it (they used an electrolysis cell). They could put the rod showing “heat after death” into a laboratory flask or beaker full of water, and the small palladium rod by itself would continue generating enough thermal power to keep the water boiling for days and weeks.
            Everybody who saw the phenomena said it was the most amazing thing they had ever seen. That is what “heat after death” in the context of cold fusion, or LENR, typically meant. Later it came to mean any LENR reaction that kept generating thermal power after it was “unplugged”, so to speak, from the electric power source specifically used to start it. Also, the materials later might be loaded with hydrogen or heavy hydrogen from gas, plasma, chemical reactions, and so on, not just using electrolysis.

            What you asked with your question and description I would interpret as applying a scanning calorimetry procedure as I explained above, but the accurate use of the phrase “heat after death” in the context of cold fusion I would explain as I just did.

          • Robert Mockan

            > Peter Roe

            That is right. Without insulation an active LENR catalyst and fuel composition
            might not generate enough thermal power to maintain a required reaction temperature for the composition, and it would cool off and shut down. The nuances of terminology used by different researchers in the LENR field come about because they often have different education and experience backgrounds. Put physics, chemistry, engineering, scientists, businessmen, entrepreneurs, and other professionals,into the same room and try to talk about thermodynamics, physical chemistry, nuclear physics, and an outside observer might wonder if any of them came from the same planet.

  • Fibber McGourlick

    Nice report. You are a musician and you’re good with words, as well.

  • Thanks Barry. Wish I lived close enough to drop in on the lab.

  • JC

    This is OT for the post. It looks like George Miley is moving ahead with Lenuco.