Thanks to Adrian Ashfield for sharing this information with me who tells me this information comes from the research notes of Louis F. DeChiaro, Ph.D, a physicist with the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Dahlgren Warfare Center. I am told this text has been cleared for public dissemination.
As for duplicating the Pons and Fleischmann results, we now have a much better understanding of the phenomenon, and the list of prerequisite conditions is rather lengthy. Failure to meet even one of those conditions results in zero excess energy output. The data suggest that there may be more than one initiation mechanism, so I’m most qualified to comment upon what is known as the atomic vibrational LENR initiation mechanism (because my formal background is in Condensed Matter Physics). If one had to summarize the list in a fairly brief manner, I would write it as follows:
1. It is necessary to set up conditions favoring the formation of molecular hydrogen (H2 or D2) inside the solid lattice for a certain range of possible values of lattice constant and for some fraction of the allowed values for electron momentum. This condition alone rules out almost ALL the elemental , because the electron density is just too large to permit molecules to form, except near vacancies in the lattice where a metal atom is absent.
2. The overall hydrogen loading fraction (ratio of hydrogen to palladium atoms, for example) must exceed the minimum threshold of about 0.88, otherwise the “party” never even gets started. Achieving this level of loading in Pd is not trivial.
3. Conditions must be set up (by appropriate choice of materials parameters and achieved by the right kind of alloying) so that these hydrogen molecules can be caused to break up and then re-assemble very rapidly in a periodic time sequence when an appropriate physical quantity such as background electric charge, magnetic field, etc. is made to oscillate periodically over a small range.
4. The critical value of lattice constant at which this break up and reassembly occurs must lie very close to the nominal value of lattice constant for which the ground state energy of the lattice is minimal. This requirement alone rules out essentially all of the elemental lattices and about 99% of the binary and ternary alloys.
5. A departure from equilibrium must be established that will permit an external energy source (eg. the DC power supply in an electrolysis experiment and/or a pair of low power lasers as in the Letts/Hagelstein two laser experiment) to feed energy into the H-H or D-D stretching mode vibrations. The difference in chemical potential that is established in gas loading experiments can also serve very nicely; in this case the flux feeds energy into the stretching mode vibrations.
6. The nature of the lattice must permit these stretching mode vibrations to grow so large (over a period of perhaps many nanoseconds) that their amplitude becomes comparable to the lattice constant. When this occurs, the H atoms oscillate so violently that at the instants of closest approach, the curvature of the parabolic energy wells in which the atomic nuclei vibrate will become perturbed. Thus the curvature of the well oscillates as a periodic function of time. These very large amplitude vibrations are known as superoscillations in the Western literature and as “discrete breathers” in the Ukrainian literature. Under the right conditions, these oscillations can grow without impacting the atoms, which are much more massive than the hydrogens. We explored this computationally via Density Functional Molecular Dynamics runs.
7. When the curvatures of the parabolic energy wells of the nuclei are modulated at a frequency very near the natural resonant frequency, the quantum expectation value of the nuclear wave function spatial spread will oscillate with time in such a way that the positive-going peaks grow exponentially with time. Originally, I found this idea in the Ukrainian literature and was skeptical. So, we verified it by doing a direct numerical solution of the time-dependent Schrodinger Equation for a single nuclear particle in a parabolic energy well. These oscillations in spatial spread will periodically delocalize the nucleus and facilitate the tunneling of adjacent nuclei into the Strong Force attractive nuclear potential well, giving rise to nuclear fusion at rates that are several tens of orders of magnitude larger than what one calculates via the usual Gamow Factor integral relationship.
Almost none of this material was obvious back in 1989. Without knowing what one is doing and why it works, the probability of achieving successful results via the so-called Edisonian method of trial and error is disappointingly low. Reasonable scientists and engineers can be forgiven for their difficulty in believing that there might exist ANY circumstances under which such things could be possible. And to be blunt, it was only in the last few months that the causal chain finally became clear.
An old saying holds that it is easy to appear tall when standing on the shoulders of giants. My colleagues and I are most humbly grateful to have been given the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of such giants, however briefly.
I would also suggest that some praise might be due to people like Andrea Rossi, who (by and large) had little alternative but to employ the Edisonian method and nevertheless appear to have obtained positive results. We have run materials simulations (also known as Density Functional Theory simulations) on our best guess of Rossi’s alloy material. It satisfies all the conditions given above, while pure Nickel does not.
In like manner, the Naval Research Labs (NRL) ran over 300 experiments using pure Pd cathodes, all of them yielding negative results. Then somebody suggested that NRL should try an alloy of 90% Pd and 10% Rh. The very first such alloy cathode they tried yielded over 10,000 Joules of excess thermal energy – all from less than 1 gram of cathode material. I ran Density Functional Theory simulations on that alloy, and it, too, satisfies all the conditions given above, while pure Pd and pure Rh do not.
NRL christened this cathode with the name Eve, after the obvious Biblical analogy. I’m pleased to share the news that Eve had a number of “sisters” who produced equal and even greater excess thermal energy, among a number of other more interesting effects. Finally, I can observe that the materials simulations now make it fairly easy to evaluate any given solid lattice material and estimate its level of LENR activity. We have good correlations between the simulation results and the known levels of experimentally-determined LENR activity in a number of different alloys whose dominant elements come from the Transition Metal Group of the Periodic Table. Hopefully, we will be able to get all the details of this material released for publication to the general public over the next few weeks.