Comments on Jeff Morriss LENR Experiment and Paper (Alan Smith)

The following post has been submitted by Alan Smith

Title :- ‘Parkhomov-Type Apparatus and Replication Attempt’
Author:- Jeff Morriss
Contact:- [email protected]
Published:- 12/12/2015 1


A neatly presented description of 3 experiments using ‘air calorimetry’ to look for unusual exothermy in a heated ceramic tube using various mixtures of Ni/H/Li/Al. No unexpected results were obtained. While the paper describes some similarities to the published work of A. Parkhomov –most notably in the use of an electrically heated Alumina reaction vessel – this review shows sufficient variations from Parhomov’s methodology to suggest that it should not be considered a true replication.


Early in 2015, Alexander Parkhomov attracted considerable attention with a paper — initially published in Russian — in which he described an anomalous heat effect produced when replicating earlier work by Andrea Rossi et al. Rossi’s work showed heating caused apparently by Low Energy Nuclear Reactions inside a sealed vessel containing (at least) Nickel and Hydrogen. This work was in turn based on the efforts and discoveries of many researchers over decades, including most notably those of the late Professor Sergio Focardi at Bologna University in Italy. In 1994, Professor Focardi, Roberto Habel and Francesco Piantelli published a widely read and cited peer-reviewed paper on exothermy in Ni/H systems in the Italian particle physics journal, Nuovo Cimento A. (Focardi S., Habel R., and Piantelli F., “Anomalous Heat Production in Ni-H Systems,” Nuovo Cimento, Vol. 107A, p. 163-167, (1994)

Replicating Replications.

Parkhomov’s successful (in terms of exothermy and apparent partial transformation/transmutation of fuel elements) Rossi replication led to similar attempts by other experimenters, which — as in the case of the work reviewed here — seem generally to have met with limited or no success. One of the root causes of this difficulty is that commercial imperatives created by the discovery of an important new energy source have led to information critical to replication being kept out of the public domain. This secrecy in itself makes Parkhomov’s success both interesting and curious – one of the factors supporting increased interest in LENR research.

Experimenters now face a situation where in the absence of a generally accepted experimental procedure, theory, or definitive recipe for fuel ingredients, they are adding their own embellishments to the pursuit of ‘anomalous heat’ in what are potentially complex systems. The end result of ‘partly copying the copies’ is reminiscent of the old tale, ‘Chinese Whispers’. Here a verbal instruction transferred from soldier to soldier and back to HQ became hopelessly transformed. ‘Send reinforcements, the enemy are advancing’ became ‘send three and fourpence, the army’s going dancing.’

While experimenting in a new field with different materials and methods is commendable, doubly so when the work is being financed and performed by the experimenter himself, it is wrong to describe these as ‘replications’, since they are more truly ‘variations on a theme.’

Similarities and Differences.

Significant differences between this experiment and Parkhomov’s paper and methods are:-

1. In none of the three test runs reported did the fuel contain any Lithium Aluminium Hydride (LiAlH4). Hydrogen donation to the fuel mix was in every case done by a combination of vacuum degassing at 350C (in one case more) followed by adding gaseous Hydrogen at ambient temperature..

2. In two cases the fuel contained either Aluminium Oxide or Aluminium metal powder.

3. While we are given accounts of the incremental nature of the heating procedure (e.g. 100C steps) there is no indication of the dwell time at each step, or an overall time-line for the tests. In fact experiment duration is mentioned only in a passing reference to ‘20 hours’ toward the end of the paper.

4. The experiments use what might be described as ‘total-immersion air calorimetry’ to check for any exothermy. This differs from both the Parkhomov water bath system, and from Rossi’s thermal camera method. This author does not claim to be an expert on Calorimetry, a topic so large that it is a field of its own the calibration curves look ok – air is a far from ideal medium for tests requiring sensitive calorimetry. More importantly, the KISS principle suggests that it would have been much easier to check for differences in the electrical energy input required to maintain a given thermostat setting when comparing runs with a control mix of known ‘inert fuel’ (say plain Nickel powder and Argon) in the system with runs using an experimental ‘active fuel’.

5. Like the systems of Rossi and Parkhomov, this experiment used a Kanthal wire resistance heater coiled around the fuel chamber. A major divergence is the use of a DC power source to energise the coil. While DC offers greater ease and surety of correct measurement than AC current, both Parkhomov and Rossi used AC to drive their heating coils. The current was mediated in Parkhomov’s case by a Triac – a source of ‘noisy’ chopped AC. Rossi used a 3-phase current controller of his own devising produces what he has described as ‘frequencies’. Using AC in a coil wrapped around the fuel container creates rapidly changing magnetic fields inside it. DC also creates a magnetic field, but it is static and unchanging while the current is flowing. This is a key difference.

Summary and Conclusion.

While Jeff Morris has built, described and laid out his equipment with great skill and care, it is not correct –or fair- to describe his experiment as a Parkhomov replication. It is a worthy piece of work with original ideas and features, but key elements –like a time line – in the results have been overlooked, as well as the more obvious variations in fuel content, most notably the complete absence of LiAlH4.

Jeff is obviously keen on the theories of Vladimir Dubinko –extensively quoted in the last part of his paper- but the use of DC heating in these tests seems to indicate a lack of understanding of the role that ‘noisy’ AC currents and the magnetic fields they create might play in stimulating breathers.

In conclusion, this work is in many ways a sound addition to the pile of ‘don’t try this’ experiments that we LENR researchers have grown used to, but contains too many divergent features to be a true replication.

Alan Smith 18/12/2015.

  • Zephir

    The typical attitude of contemporary researchers (not just cold fusion proponents) is, they’re overly creative: they just cannot replicate things and to collect robust empirical basis for further research. The first cold fusion experiments of Panneth and Peters from 1926 were never attempted to replicate, the first transmutation experiments from 1922 were never attempted to replicate and so on. Notoya/Niedra experiments with electrolysis were never attempted to replicate, despite their simplicity, even the first experiments of Piantelli and Foccardi from 1992 with hot nickel inside the hydrogen weren’t attempted to replicate (with honest exception of Cellani, who still did use a different arrangement).

    • right, this is a very common critik made by Jed Rothwell and Edmund Storms…
      Scientist are more creative than obedient.
      One exception is Longchampt who is… an engineer.

      • Pekka Janhunen

        A good rule is that there should be time for everything and one should learn to switch modes. When replicating, one should replicate only. When planning, one should be creative. When shooting down one’s own ideas, one should be critical, etc. It’s not possible to do successful science if one is, for example, only creative or only critical.

      • Alan DeAngelis

        I think the lithium aluminum hydride is crucial. Notice thecovalent aluminum-hydride bond.
        The reaction might be initiated by heating to 60 degrees C.
        Heating would cause the soft (by HSAB) covalent aluminum hydride bonds to oscillate at their infrared stretching frequency that could bring the proton, H(1) close enough to the aluminum nucleus, Al(27) to initiate the following reaction.

        Al(27) + H(1) > Mg(24) + He(4) 1.6 MeV

        This 1.6 MeV alpha, He(4) could (like the cue-ball in billiards) initiate the following chain reactions:

        He(4) + Al(27) > Si(30) + H(1) 2.37 MeV

        The 2.37 MeV proton, H(1) from the above reaction could go
        on to react with Li(7).

        H(1) + Li(7) > 2He(4) 17.3 MeV

        The two 8.7 MeV alphas from the above reaction could go on to react with Al(27)

        (A chain reaction).
        I mentioned this before.

        • Pekka Janhunen

          Could you specify, how does one arrive at prediction that something happens especially at temperature 60 C? Is this number a table value or a result of some calculation?

          • Alan DeAngelis

            It’s just that I remember (but don’t trust my memory) that Rossi may have said that the reaction initiated when the E-Cat is heated to 60 degrees C. And I’m assuming that the heating would generate infrared photons.

            See figure 2. “The peaks at 1693 and 1652 cm-1, which correspond to the Al-H stretching modes”…

          • Pekka Janhunen

            I remember that Focardi said it in some video interview.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Yes, thank you Pekka. It was Focardi. Now I remember. I’ll try to track down that subtitled video.

            So, we can use this converter to see what wavelength IR laser(s) we would need to initiate the Al-H stretching.

          • Eyedoc

            so maybe Aluminum IS an important reaction component also (the LiAlH4 again 😉

          • Mats002

            Yes – the mouse is producing coherent IR thanks to Al in the mix. That laser IR is the stimuli to Cat which is the same mix again but now in an inner vessel that give the higher COP and from time to time SSM.
            But again: try, try, try, try…

          • Omega Z

            “the mouse is producing coherent IR thanks to Al in the mix.”

            I think you may be wrong. Al was present in the Lugano fuel, but the mouse was not activated or producing coherent IR during any of the Lugano test. In fact, I believe Rossi only activates the Mouse when heat energy is no longer applied (the OFF state) to the reactor.

            Also from what Rossi answered on JONP, he may be able to reverse the stimulation effect in order to prevent a runaway if done in time.

          • Mats002

            It depends what you define as ‘mouse’. I have in many threads argued for what is the mouse and Cat and why I arrived at those definitions.

            Lugano was mouse only, so was also Parkhomov and MFMP glowstick.

            Of course I might be wrong but please be more specific exactly where my conclusions fail.

          • Omega Z

            The Lugano test was the Cat only. Rossi posted that the Mouse is only used when the off/on function is enabled. In continious ON state is only the Cat.

            I will take a look and see if I can find that on JONP.

          • Mats002

            Rossi said that without Cat being stimulated by mouse you can not distinguish Cat from mouse, they are the same. Which name do you want to give in this situation: mouse or Cat or None or single-mode or…? I choose mouse in this situation.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Although heat would give IR photons, a tuned laser would give us a more quantitative analysis. Point the laser at the LiAlH4 in the
            presence of an alpha detector (making sure first that the laser alone doesn’t set off the detector).

          • Mats002

            Alan, which frequency do you intend to use in that laser experiment? IR is a range not a specific freq.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Hi Eyedoc. The only experiments I’m equipped to do are thought experiments but the frequencies are 1693 and 1652 cm-1.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            And most of my thoughts are delirious as you can see from the off topic comments here (where I misspelled infrared).

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Found it: “On various occasions I noticed that the process is triggered at around 60 degrees.” (at 16:40 min).

        • gdaigle

          Once a reaction is initiated I think it would be interesting to hold fuel and temperature and use the current as the independent variable, testing first with “the ‘noisy’ AC currents and the magnetic fields they create” and then with DC.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Yeah gdaigle, we could learn a lot from a systematic study (and it wouldn’t require billions of dollars to do).

        • Zephir

          Parkhomov didn’t use metallic lithium but a lithium aluminum hydride. This is such a big deviation from Parkhomov protocol, it even cannot be called a replication, “close adherence” the less. The molten lithium will soak the nickel surface, thus rendering it inacessible for hydrogen. The aluminium oxide here is important, as it binds the lithium oxides formed with decomposition of reaction mixture – otherwise the caustic mixture will attack the nickel under formation of lithium nickelates. Also, Parkhomov did use a nickel pretreated (dried) at 200 °C. It’s evident, molten lithium eroded the pipe so it cracked before the pressure could be reached. Frankly, I don’t understand, why replicators continue to use ceramic pipes, when the simple & cheap nickel pipe (welded by autogen flame) would be enough (and it provides better transport of heat). It can be also heated inductively, which would help the nuclear reaction based on resonance of surface plasmons.

          • Alan DeAngelis

            Yeah Zephir, and as someone said (if I remember correctly), the fact that we haven’t heard from Parkhomov lately may be our confirmation.

  • Oystein Lande

    The big question is:

    What is the common factor of the varying stimulation efforts that have shown success?

    Here is another paper: laser stimulation, and the Hagelstein optical phonon theory. Successful THz optical phonon stimulation in deuterated Pd.

    • Mats002

      Yes! Why don’t we see replicators going this way? They should.

      • Bob Greenyer

        There is one that I know of – and we will likely put out a call in the new year with the aim of getting him sorted with a laser system.

        • Mats002

          What is the plan for Alan and the glowstick? That is a good platform to test:
          a) baking and other pre treatment of fuel as in material science and
          b) explore EM stimulations broadly and
          c) look for high energy radiation as a finer test than excess heat

          • Bob Greenyer

            The best thing to do is as Alan on the current GS5 series experiment thread


          • magicsnd1

            The first GS5 run was meant mainly to test several improvements in the Glowstick design. Some of these were successful (vacuum system, new power controller and measurement instrument) but the “removable” SS fuel capsule was found to be stuck in the cell tube.

            I’ve redesigned the fuel capsule and I’m building the new components now. I have more mullite tubes and plan to run GS 5.2 in about two weeks. Fuel will be as described the Rossi patent, and longer test duration.

          • magicsnd1

            I also have plans for adding external stimulus to the Glowstick design. Here’s a sketch of what I have in mind:

          • Mats002

            Hi Alan, thanks for your efforts I see you will go there.

  • Dr. Mike

    I agree with your conclusion that Jeff’s experiment was not a good replication of the Parkhomov experiment for just the reasons that you stated. If Jeff’s experiment had followed Parkhomov’s with only one major exception, a null result would have provided useful information. However, with several major differences between the two experiments, a null result does little to advance the progress of LENR research. Hopefully, once someone gets a positive result on a replication attempt, they will continue their experiments to see what doesn’t work, especially with regard to fuel mixture and the power source used to heat the reactor. I would like to see an experiment run with a dc heated reactor having a secondary reactor winding to supply a variable high frequency excitation to the reactor.
    Dr. Mike. I