Nickel Coin LENR Experiment

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at the vortex-l mailing list about an experimental setup that may be able to demonstrate an LENR effect using nickel coins. The discussion is based on work done by Chuck Sites, who describes an experiment he conducted many years ago in which he uses a nickel coin in an electrolysis cell:

Here is a story about CF, from 1984 with Pons and Flieshman announced their discovery, I was a young excited physics student, and immediately want to test the concept of CF. I didn’t have palladium, nor deuterium. So I was looking for an alternative. I was thinking, Boron has a very large cross section (Q factor) and B11 could easily cold fuse given the right circumstances. So looking at what I had, what would be a good source of Ni? Not knowing it’s metal makeup I choose an American nickel 5-cent piece. (75 percent copper, 25 percent Ni) This was the Anode. A source of Boron, would be Borax (Na2B4.10H2O). The cathode, I used graphite. This was hooked up to a 65 Watt 5 Volt supply from an IBM PC. To my surprise, the Nickel got extraordinarily hot. Too hot to touch, and I melted several plastic p tree dish before changing to jars. I was always able to bring pint of water to 80C after running for about 8 hours.

Other metals used for the Anode, showed no indications of even being warm. (Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Zinc). So a US 5 cent piece gave great results. I even had a Geiger counter go off once, but it may have been a cosmic ray. Given that, I could never really understand how this Nickel got hot without radiation. I could never get a theory as to how it worked either, in spite of the fact that the experiment is very repeatable.

There have been many replies to this original message, including some follow-up by Chuck Sites, which provide clarification on some of the terminology. For curious people who don’t have access to labs and lots of expensive materials and equipment, this looks to be something that could be attempted. As always, all necessary safety precautions should be observed here. Hydrogen (very combustible) is produced in electrolysis, and depending on what you use as an electrolyte, you could also have toxic fumes to deal with. Of course you will have to be careful dealing with your electrical source.

A couple of people in the discussion thread are experimenting with this setup, and one has promised a video. A note about Vortex-l: it is a mailing list, not a web-based forum. You can see the archives here, and you will find the discussion on this experiment in two different places.

  • Kimball


    I’ll send you a roll of nickels 🙂

  • It’s really a penny-dreadfull result!

    • H. R. Gillis

      It seems like the copper in the nickel may be acting as a “catalyst”? If you can get that kind of energy output from one nickel (on demand) then why wait for Rossi?

      • Hank Mills

        It does look like copper may be a catalyst after all.

        • Adam Lepczak

          Why would you say that Hank?

          • Hank Mills

            Well, Celani and others have used copper alloyed with nickel and produced good results. Also, I don’t see how grams of copper could be in the charge of the original ECAT if only picograms of copper are supposed to be produced via transmutation. That seems like a lot of copper to just be an impurity. Some have argued that electro migration is a possibility, but I don’t think that is possible because the stainless steel used for the reactor core did not contain copper and was totally sealed. It makes me wonder if the nickel could have been intentionally alloyed with copper and perhaps other unknown metals.

          • My understanding is that when Rossi says “picogram” he doesn’t mean 1e-12 gram, but simply some amount which is too small to be measured accurately (for him). In Zurich he said something like: “picogram i.e. millionth of a gram” which shows that the “pico” is not to be taken with its scientific meaning. (Millionth part would be micro not pico.) But he doesn’t mean exactly microgram either, but simply some unspecified small amount.

          • H. R. Gillis

            In a US nickel (circa 1980’s*) the nickel metal is coated, not alloyed, onto the surface. Could that be a significant point? Could Rossi be using nickel coated onto the surface of some other metal (such as copper)?
            *Note that the newer US nickels (to my understanding) contain a zinc core.

          • Blah43

            This would be another good experiment: Do Nickel/Zinc coins produce a different result than Nickel/Copper.

  • Voodoo

    folks beware, in U.S. hoarding a nickel coins is criminal acts, bedause value of nickel in nickel coins is higher then value of itself coin

    • Andrew Macleod

      i don’t believe saving/hoarding money iligeal, however defacing or destroying it is.

      • daniel maris

        But the US Government states officially that cold fusion doesn’t exist so there can be no harm to the coin intended in undertaking this experiment.

        • Then try to deform the coin with a hammer or so, till the coin is no longer recognizable 😉

    • lukedc

      ‘Casually removes the tin foil hat.’

      All Aussie “silver” coins are 75/25 Cu/Zn
      So anyone wanting to do this in Australia will have no problems replicating the experiment.
      Pity I don’t have access to any decent lab gear anymore. I would have got the RS catalogue out and gone nuts in my previous role.

  • Andrew Macleod

    Came across this article and found it interesting as it might have implications with the ecat…..

    • freethinker

      I am not surprised that they find Planck and Boltzmann falling short on nano-scale (qm scale). They are afterall laws that pertains to macro scale like extreme blue giant stars of 100 or more solar masses and at that based solely on statistical behaviour of billions and yet billions of particles. On nano scale different processes may come into play and it is more event related with quantized levels of energy. The two realities are like universes apart.

    • LCD

      Al though i don’t quite agree with the veracity of the title as o think most comments have keyed on the fact that this is not a violation of planks law, i think it could be applicable to understanding LENR. As out has a lot to do with the general issue of geometry.

  • Ivan_cev

    Now action is better than words.
    For the people living in the USA:
    Go to the pharmacy and get 3 grams of borax, 120 ml distilled water, and a glass bowl, get the central rod of two C batteries, (get two sets of all this components). now you have the set-up for an active and passive device.
    connect the nickel to the negative terminal of the battery and the carbon rod to the positive.
    for the passive device get just some copper and do the same.
    check for differences in temperature, connect both devices in series to a 12 volt car battery, each should get about 6v and the current will be forced to be the same, use thermometers to check the difference of temperatures. reverse the polarity and measure again.
    Please report your results.

    • PersonFromPorlock

      Good, but use a VOM to measure the resistance of both cells individually. It doesn’t do to just assume the null result is that they’ll both dissipate the same amount of energy.

      • Ivan_cev

        As we using the same electrolite, “and same volume”, resistance should be similar, but is better if you could comfirm voltage is the same in both devices.

        • Ged

          Better to use a 9 V or simple 1.5 V than a 12 V car battery. Those have a bit too much energy to make this a simple home experiment, I think (you can get badly shocked from one).

          But otherwise, this is a very interesting idea.

          • Richard Hill

            note in the original the voltage source was a 5V PC power supply. PC power may be “chopped” direct current providing a 50 Hz ripple to the electrolytic cell. A dry battery would be constant current.

          • Peter_Roe

            Excellent point – this may be v. important.

          • Ged

            Indeed. It’d be interesting to compare a battery versus a 50 Hz power supply and see if the current ripples are actually important, and how.

          • Ivan_cev

            Shocked? from a 12v car battery.?
            you may get burn if there is a short circuit and the wires get hot. but you can not get socked by 12 volts car battery.

          • Andrew Macleod

            It’s not the voltage of the car battery that hurts you it the high DC amps.

          • Ged

            Trust me, when you try to jumpstart a car one day, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about ;).

        • georgehants

          Looking around other Cold Fusion pages, must once again thank Admin for keeping this site free from the unpleasant people.
          Here anybody can put there view safely and it is a pleasure to see the technical issues dissected with fair speculation and opinion as to there meaning, for us non-techies to adsorb if we wish.
          If all of science was as fair and mature, then a new age of research and investigation, without the fear experienced by scientists today, would be born.
          No more “premier Journals”, no more “official” peer review, but open peer review on the Internet etc. by ones colleagues who are willing to put in the time and effort to try and replicate or check the research you have reported.
          A couple of people have put up theory’s re. Cold Fusion on these pages, even me, Ha.
          They were not nastily attacked as they would be on science pages but just allowed to pass quietly.

          Science needs a new tolerance and admiration for its members where all are welcome and encouraged to put their views and report observed phenomenon freely with no interference from abuse, Irrational denial, Dogma or “expert opinion” (given as or disguised as fact).
          Any scientist can then pick from the reports any area that he feels worthy of further investigation and follow freely any Evidence on any subject.

  • Except one thing Pons and Flieshman announced their discovery years
    after 1984.

    There is no measurement of over unity but assuming there is who needs
    to wait for a commercial offer.

    For those of you at home please do not try to put on your tounge both positive and negative of a 9 volt battery.

    • Babble

      Funny about the last statement, that is the way we tested 9V batteries in the day. I still do if I don’t have a meter handy. No danger.

      • dsm

        LOL – me too. I still claim & can make a call to within 3v of the current state of those small 9v batteries we used to use in ‘trannies’ – today they seem confined to smoke detectors & my voltmeters.

  • Jacob

    Was the Nickel coin converted into copper coin after 6 month ?

    • Andrew Macleod

      Borrow some money and your nickel will quickly turn into a penny no hydrogen needed.

      • Ged

        As Einstein once said, there is no greater force in the universe than the power of compound interest.

  • Jacob

    I am looking for more exciting experiment:
    Convert a copper coin into Nickel coin via absorbing the heat from my room in a hot summer day and cool it !

    • Jacob

      Ofcourse a mysterious gas (instead of the hydrogen) must hit the copper material to make it absorb heat!

    • Ged

      Nickel is element 28, copper is 29. So to get nickel from copper, you’d have to split off a single proton. Not something we can do yet.

  • Paolo

    When I rub my hands togheter, they went hot. That must be cold fusion too.

    • Peter_Roe

      You could try wiring yourself up to an AC source such as your home mains supply – it might enhance the effect.

      • georgehants


        • Barry

          Heh heh

  • georgehants

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  • Sanjeev

    Did he mention energy calculations ?

    I can easily calculate the max possible input, thats 65W x 8 hours. But we don’t know the resistance or the current. A plot of V/I would be nice.

    The output energy is to heat a pint of water to 80C. We can assume the room temp to be 25C. Can someone who knows what a pint is calculate the energy ? I don’t think the jar was insulated, so a lot of heat must have gone into the room.

    Almost no info to say anything about the experiment.

    • tomucchi

      65W x 8 hours is about 1/2 kW-h, or 1.8 MJ. That’s the input.

      The upper bound to the temperature rise would assume no losses (conduction, convection, radiation), and we can calculate this: it takes about 4.2 J to raise a gram of water 1 degree C. Since we have about 500 grams of water, and rise of about 60 C, this would take about 0.125 MJ, or less than a tenth of the total electrical power expended. Since glass is actually a fairly decent insulator, and heat conduction to air is pretty limited, it isn’t too hard to imagine that the 80C is purely the result of electrical resistance heating.

      As for why the other materials did NOT produce a significant temperature rise, I’d say THAT is the mystery here.

  • georgehants

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  • piosk

    Amazing : ” I was always able to bring pint of water to 80C after running for about 8 hours.”
    lets count
    65Wat , pint of water (mining about 0.5kg) in 8 hours, water heat capacity 4200J/kg/C

    Energy needed to warm water = 4200*80*0,5 = 16800J
    Energy given during 8h = 65W*8*3600=1872000J
    … hmm “Cold Fusion must had been here ” 😀

    • Chris

      Yes this guy fails to tell us just how adiabatic the container was!

      But, likely, it was hardly insulated at all, so 65W alone, without extra power, could hardly have brought it to that temperature, no matter how long a time elapsed.

      We would need a proper report with better details.

  • Bernard PIRE

    I suppose there is a mistake in the explanation. In the Athanor/hydrobetatron, the nickel would be at the cathode ( minus pole ) and the graphite/tungsten at the anode ( positive pole ). In a electrolysis cell, hydrogen ( = protons ) commes to the cathode.

  • edog

    oh dear…
    put that much energy in… its going to get hot??? come on…….. !

  • I found easyly a graphite rod ( without lacquer/enamel) in a drawing items shop ( 2,66 € ) and Borax by a pharmacist friend. I have only to beg now to get a coin…..

  • i_spark

    A 15 Watt soldering iron melts solder at 374’F. 65 watts over time gets extemely hot.

    Probably not lent.

    Someone try it and do the math…. then post it.

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