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.