German Magazine Spektrum Features Cold Fusion

The German science magazine Spektrum has published a feature article on the topic of LENR written by Janosch Deeg titled “Cold fusion – wish or reality?” which looks at the possibilities of cold fusion mainly from a theoretical perspective.

Deeg explains in basic terms the concept of nuclear fusion and then examines some of the claims that have been made regarding the ‘cold’ variety. He states, “Researchers who deal with this phenomenon today, speak mostly of LENR [low energy nuclear reactions]. This concept solves firstly produced no negative connotations, but much more important is that the observed phenomena are very likely not nuclear fusion in the traditional sense. The term “cold fusion” would therefore be misleading.”

Deeg seems respectful of the work done by DARPA, Robert Duncan, and Michael McKubre, and takes seriously the theory proposed by Widom and Larsen regarding energy production by electron capture — but recognizes there are other models out there, none of which has been proven as yet.

When it comes to Andrea Rossi and the E-Cat, Deeg is more circumspect. He writes:

This so-called E-Cat has now been repeatedly subjected to tests by scientists. In fact, recently claimed a team led by theoretical physicists Hanno Essén and the nuclear physicist Bo Höistad , the device produces an unusually high excess energy . Critics, however, complain that attempts were never sufficiently independently or methodically thorough. In addition, Rossi is silent on the exact design of his E-Cats, which makes a serious scientific analysis almost impossible, and so Rossi loses credibility.

Deeg concludes by saying that the future of this field is uncertain, but concedes that further research into anomalous effects that have been observed, while not ‘cold fusion’ in the literal sense of the term, could lead to discoveries about previously unknown phenonomena.

Overall, the article takes a cautious stance, but is not entirely negative. And the fact that this is in a respectable science magazine is another sign to me of a gradual thaw in attitudes of people working in the mainstream of science regarding the LENR field.

  • jousterusa

    I wonder if you haven’t given the writer more attention than he deserves, Frank, in that a careful reading of E-Catworld and the data it offers would have led him to a much less cautious conclusion, no?

    • For a famous german mainstream magazine article like this, this is the best available yet! I’m happy reading this!

    • ecatworld

      I think the author and magazine deserve credit for this, Joe. We who have been studying this for 3+ years have a lot of background that most journalists don’t have, but I am glad to see some efforts to paint a more objective picture than we are used to seeing.

  • Gerrit

    human translation:

    Cold Fusion – Wish or Reality?

    It sounds tempting: clean energy without large effort. Cold fusion was once considered as a hot candidate for that. How does this former hopeful stand today?

    1.What is (cold) nuclear fusion?

    Normally Atom nuclei strongly repel each other due to their positive charge. Under certain conditions the distance between them can be reduced greatly so that they will fuse: a nuclear fusion occurs and a new element is created. The new element is either heavier or lighter as the two original nuclei together. In the latter energy is released and this is called an exothermal reaction. These reactions occur only for nuclei that are lighter than iron. Most energy is released with fusion of hydrogen nuclei. The “missing” mass is converted into kinetic energy of the reaction products and into radiation energy. Until now the know exothermal nuclear fusion reaction can occur only at extreme temperatures – for instance in the sun. At about ten million degrees Celsius temperature and 200 million bar pressure hydrogen nuclei get to close together that they fuse into helium atoms. Such conditions are not feasible on earth. Fusion reactors, that produce energy, can work nevertheless: heavy hydrogen isotopes (Deuterium/Tritium) fuse at lower pressures of a few bars – however only at 100 million degrees celsius. Such extreme temperatures can be reached in a hydrogen plasma; keeping this plasma going for longer periods hasn’t been achieved yet by the current research projects. When a hydrogen bomb explodes these high temperatures are achived by means of a nuclear fission which ignites the fusion process.

    In order to use nuclear fusion as viable source of energy, it would be beneficial, if it could also happen at lower temperatures. Theoretically it is not excluded that such exothermal nuclear fusion might be possible at room temperature – but it hasn’t been observed experimentally so
    far. Nowadays the english term “low energy nuclear reactions (LENR)” is increasingly being used, because possibly a cold fusion doesn’t exist in the classical sense. How cold fusion or at least low energy nuclear reaction work can be read below at point 3) and 4).

    2. How did the term cold fusion come about?

    In the year 1926 the chemists Fritz Paneth and Kurt Peters reported for the first time of a successful transmutation of hydrogen into helium at room temperatures. A year later they retracted their claim. 22 years later russian physicist Andrei Sacharow predicted that with myons, which are related to electrons, a cold fusion could be initiated. They were used a catalyzers, so that a high temperature would no longer be necessary. The term cold fusion was born. This assumption was supported in 1956 by physics nobel laureate Luis Alvarez. Based on his observations in a particle detector he assumed that myons induced nuclear fusion must have taken place.

    In 1989 chemists Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons reported at a University of Utah press conference of a fusion process that had occurred in a test tube at room temperature. The press was enthusiastic and helped to renew the term cold fusion. Both researchers claimed to have observed how heavy hydrogen isotopes fused into helium at the surface of a palladium cathode during electrolysis. Both scientists faced harsh criticism. Colleagues accused them of grave errors in the experimental setup and even intentional scientific fraud. Nowadays the majority of experts is very critical toward cold fusion and doubts the existence of it, there is nevertheless a growing groupd of researchers who find new approaches and reportedly functioning prototypes for cold fusion. More in section 3. and 4.

    — will follow up with the rest after a short break —

    • pelgrim108

      Here is a paragraph from wich you can maybe use some pieces. ( google + human tranlation)

      “This doesn’t prevent the Italian inventor and businessman Andrea Rossi to present a supposedly already functional device: nickel atoms are supposedly converted to copper by absorbing neutrons. This so-called E-Cat has now been repeatedly subjected to tests by scientists. In fact, a team led by theoretical physicists Hanno Essén and the nuclear physicist Bo Höistad claimed that the device produces an unusually high excess energy. Critics, however, complain that tests were never independent or had sufficient methodology. In addition, Rossi is silent on the exact design of his E-Cat, making a serious scientific analysis almost impossible, wich makes Rossi lose credibility.”

      • bachcole

        The harder they resist the harder they will fall. The LENR+ Juggernaut rolls on.

      • Gerrit

        thanks, I used that

        • pelgrim108

          Ik heb even proef gelezen, dit zijn de punten die ik kon vinden. Bedankt voor je goede werk.

          myons -> muons ( 3x)
          They were used a catalyzers, -> They were used as catalyzers,
          groupd of researchers who find -> group of researchers who find
          that produced no, or at least very little gammy radiation. -> that is producing no, or at least very little gamma radiation.
          A proof for successful exothermal nuclear fusion at low temperatures is not available until today. -> As of today a proof for successful exothermal nuclear fusion at low temperatures is not available.
          LENR was by physicist Allan Widom and Lewis Larsen. -> LENR was
          characterized by physicist Allan Widom and Lewis Larsen.

          • Gerrit

            jij ook bedankt

  • BroKeeper

    Actually, I find this as a breakthrough within a very conservative Germany.

  • Frechette

    I have zero respect for the opinions of Michael Shermer.

    • bachcole

      Within one to 3 years, many, many, many, many people will have zero respect for many, many science and academic elitists.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    There have been a few articles in mainstream magazines DER SPIEGEL (with a skeptical undertone) and FOCUS (by the very popular science journalist Michael Odenwald). The Telepolis website – an offspring of the influential Heise network – has published a series of well-founded articles. This one from March 23 (!) 2011 has been the starting point for me to follow the story:

  • Omega Z

    GE unloads appliance division to Sweden’s Electrolux $3.3 Billion

    Diesel is an issue with retail availability & the fact we tax it at a higher rate. Retailers have extremely thin margins & are hesitant to install additional underground storage tanks. Thank Credit card companies for that. They nab at least 2/3rds of the profit margin of the retailer markup. Most survive on the inside convenience sales only. That’s why a bag of chips cost so much at those places.

  • fritz194

    Otherwise, the german scientific community is very conservative and close to pathological scepticism.
    Taken this into account, its a quite positive article ;-))
    A very good example is the “Kalte Fusion” page on German Wikipedia.
    The primary reliable source concerning E-Cat is Krivit stating its systematic fraud and manipulation – adding links to the third party reports was refused….

  • bitplayer

    …which is why I cancelled my Sci Am subscription 20 years ago, after getting it for 20 years.