“Cold Fusion – Real, But is it Ready?” (Peter Hagelstein talk in Silicon Valley)

Thanks to a reader for sending me a link to an announcement from the MIT Club of Northern California about an address to be given by Dr. Peter Hagelstein, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT at the office of DLA Piper (a law firm) in Palo Alto, California on November 14th.

Link to the annoucement is here: http://northerncalifornia.alumclub.mit.edu/s/1314/2015/club-class-main.aspx?sid=1314&gid=25&pgid=40742&cid=62473&ecid=62473&crid=0&calpgid=19964&calcid=33394

The announcement gives a brief history of cold fusion and explains the purpose of Dr. Hagelstein’s address:

“Professor Hagelstein will trace the early history of cold fusion, highlighting important results and implications along the way. He will then review the theoretical issues and present his own model of what is going on, followed by a discussion of an experimental effort to test the model, with some preliminary results. Finally, he will discuss what he considers to be the necessary future directions in order to achieve commercialization.”

Palo Alto is in the heart of Silicon Valley, so a talk here on cold fusion/LENR might catch the attention of some of the business leaders there.

  • Ophelia Rump

    What a wonderful time in history for Dottore Rossi to do a “Public” demonstration of market ready technology.

    It is such a pity that he is unable to confirm that his demonstration will be public.

    Perhaps someone else will get the credit.

  • guessed
  • J. Furnell

    Perhaps this is an opportunity for Dr. Rossi to publicly invite Dr. Hagelstein to attend the planned demonstration in November. A public invitation to a “mainstream” expert in the field could prove beneficial to both parties and irresistible an outside expert. If the offer is made on reasonable terms a positive response to the demonstration would be very encouraging to further the science and Dr. Rossi’s approach. The public invitation may also be attractive to Dr. Rossi’s partner(s)/sponsor(s) for their purposes.

    • Dr. Mike

      Truly a great idea!

    • Axil Axil

      What is the link to Hagelstein’s review of the last theory paper that Rossi has released?

  • Zephir

    Dr. Hagelstein is one of few researchers, who keeps whole his research fully undisclosed and public. He was also subject of attacks of his peers, mainstream physicists, Ernest Moniz in particular.

  • Michael W Wolf

    And when is MIT going to publicly apologize to ponns and fleicshmann? And to the world for preventing the mass study of this new energy source. They ruined those men for political purposes, and it angers me beyond belief.

    • Astrodicted

      As if they are the only deserving an apology…what about their plasmatron(paul pantone) and the kromrey converters they bougth from bedini,just to be shelved and never be seen again

    • Frechette

      Dr. Hagelstein is the good guy at MIT. He has been doing his research in spite of the FLAK he received from MIT Administrators.

  • sam
  • georgehants

    PhysOrg
    Quantum physics paves the way for new chemical products
    Research by an OU molecular physicist has discovered that electrons can control chemical
    reactions in experiments leading to purer, cheaper chemical products.
    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-10-quantum-physics-paves-chemical-products.html#jCp

  • georgehants

    It is Wonderful that our Chinese brothers and sisters are about to take the lead in science and technology, lets hope they make a better job of using there knowledge to help all of mankind and the environment than the West has, doing nothing but building bigger bombs etc. and hiding anything worthwhile such as life saving drugs etc. just to gain more profit for the few.
    It is still to me very disturbing that we have had no reports from them regarding a breakthrough in Cold Fusion, this must continue to put some doubt into it’s practicality.
    ———–
    Bruegel
    China is the world’s new science and technology powerhouse
    Chinese R&D investment has grown remarkably over the past two decades. It is now the
    second-largest performer in terms of R&D spending, on a country
    basis, and accounts for 20 percent of total world R&D expenditure,
    with the rate of R&D investment growth greatly exceeding that of the
    U.S. and the EU.
    17/08/china-is-the-worlds-new-science-and-technology-powerhouse/

  • Fibber McGourlic

    Has Dr. Rossi set a date for the E-Kitten planned demonstration in November? If so, what is it?

    • artefact

      Not yet publicly.

    • Rene

      Somewhere between October 1st (well, now) and November 1st with a 100% probability. And the demo is not public, attendees under strict NDA – so says Rossi.

      • Frank Acland

        According to my best information, the presentation will not be just a private affair.

        • Rene

          I’ve not found anything stated publically. Maybe I missed it. Do you have any clue links?

  • second guessed

    Off topic, sort of: “One of the elements doesn’t obey the laws of quantum dynamics”.

    https://bigthink.com/robby-berman/one-of-the-elements-doesnt-obey-the-laws-of-quantum-mechanics

  • Dr. Mike

    I have often commented that the best way to move LERN technology forward was for research to be done in the universities. Dr. Hagelstein is doing exactly the right kind of research: propose a theory, then do experimental work to determine if the experimental results support the theory. I hope that Dr. Hagelstein’s talk is available on the web as it will be very interesting to review his theory and to see what experimental work he is doing to investigate that theory.

    • Axil Axil

      I would suggest that Dr. Hagelstein look at the 20 micrographs of the LENR fuel that ME356 has be revealed and formulate a theory about what behavior of that fuel shows.

      • Dr. Mike

        I agree. Every scientist working in the LENR field should be looking at the data from all other researchers in an effort to see if their theory is also in agreement with that data. The major problem with looking at data from other scientists is that often the details of the experimental procedures are not know. I think that Dr. Hadelstein might be able to see if his theory would predict the observations in ME356’s SEM micrographs if he also had the details of the experiments run to produce those SEM micrographs.

        • Axil Axil

          One unexpected data that comes from the ME356 SEMs that might change Dr. Hadelstein’s theories is that the LENR reaction was in full swing in an air environment without hydrogen present.

          The same data was seen in the Lugano test when Rossi loaded the tube with fuel in air. Such an insight shoud tell Dr. Hadelstein a lot about the nature of the LENR reaction. Don’t you think?

          • Andreas Moraitis

            I think both AR and me356 used a solid hydrogen source (LiAlH4 or LiH). The only ‘LENR’ experiment I am aware of that went without hydrogen is Egely’s NOVA reactor. But in this case, there is still the possibility that the apparent transmutations are either artifacts due to nanoparticle formation, or signs of some ‘neochemical’ process. (Santilli’s hypothesized magnetic bonds could probably generate ‘fake’ elements, for example).

          • Dr. Mike

            The main point of my comment was that Dr. Hagelstein (or any other researcher) would need to know all of the conditions of the experiment to review the data (the SEM micrographs). So you are correct that all of these details of the experiments would be needed by anyone trying to see if their theory is consistent with the data of another researcher. Perhaps peer reviewed published papers are the best way to achieve a goal of having both the details of the experiment and the resulting data available to other researchers. Do note that the Lugano report was peer reviewed extensively here on Frank’s website. What didn’t happen that would normally happen for a paper to get published in a prestigious scientific journal was that the authors would have to make all of the corrections to their original submitted document as requested by the peers (corrected data, more details on the experimental process, etc.). With Rossi withholding information about the reactor from the Lugano authors, its no wonder that all of the Lugano work did very little for the advancement of LENR research. My guess is that Dr. Hagelstein would have a hard time interpreting either Rossi’s Lugano results or ME 356’s results without having also the information that would have been required in a peer reviewed paper. However, once Dr. Hagelstein presents his theory, Rossi should be able to determine if this theory fits his results and ME356 should be able to determine if the new theory fits his data. My guess is that neither Rossi nor ME 356 will comment on how or why this new theory or any other theory does or does not fit their data.

      • Ori

        No actual scientist is going to spend time reviewing anonymous results from a random poster on the Internet. That’s Bob Greenyers job – how’s it working out for him?

  • Peter Lang
  • sam

    On Nov 14th, 2017, Professor Peter Hagelstein gave a talk to the MIT Club of Northern California’s Energy and Environment subgroup on Cold Fusion entitled “Cold Fusion—Real, but is it Ready?

    I, for Bay Area Cold Fusion Meetup, set up the talk in coordination with MITCNC. The event was sold out at about 100 attendees.

    The following is my own “take away” from the talk [and is not an all-inclusive summary of the entire talk].

    Cold Fusion reactions are real, and repeatable. It is becoming more empirically understood, but some true theoretical understanding is still necessary. Cold Fusion will eventually be a viable energy source, and may provide some other applications (transmutations, remediation of nuclear waste, generation of neutrons, etc.).
    Current lack of investment in the basic physics of cold fusion is limiting progress. That lack of investment is due to past errors in replication and experimenter bias that has influenced government and private investment.

    The talk was well received and, I believe, changed the minds of cold fusion skeptics and agnostics in the audience.

    Discussion

    The actual talk will be made available on YouTube. When it is, the link will be posted.
    There are two aspects of the talk that struck me:

    • The factual issues and knowledge surrounding Cold Fusion, aka LENR, CANR, etc.
    • The social interaction issues that are limiting the rate of research into this topic

    Facts

    • The presentation made it clear that, from the beginning Cold Fusion has gotten a bad rap because initial attempts to replicate it were done poorly, by people who weren’t that interested in making the experiments they were “replicating” work. So, for instance, the MIT research team scheduled the “wake” for cold fusion less than 1 month after F&P announced their results. Since F&P’s loading experiments took more than a month in the best case, MIT couldn’t possibly have found confirming results in the interim. Meanwhile, the teams from MIT, Cal Tech, and UCLA didn’t even approximate the other conditions F&P thought necessary to replicate. These teams then made categorical statements as to the [in-] validity of F&P’s research, and the [in-] competence of the researchers.

    • Subsequent research has shown that early replication experiments didn’t reproduce necessary conditions, including

    o Adequate D loading in the Pd lattice (>95% necessary, but typically experiments were done under 90%
    o Adequate time (>1 month required; but typical experiments were shorter)
    o Adequate vacancies in the PD (completely uncontrolled in most experiments)

    • Later experiments (thousands) with adequate loading, time, and vacancies produced excess heat with very high (>>90%) confidence. These reactions produce output 100’s to 1000’s times what could be produced by any chemical reaction.

    • At least in Pd:D systems loaded electrochemically, there were no “energetic particles or photons”; the reaction appeared to be D+D fusion with only heat and He4 as products—defying hot fusion branching ratios, but reproduced experimentally by several experimenters. D. Gozzi et al, J. Electroanalyt. Chem. 452 254 (1998), showed that the He emission was correlated in time with excess power production. Thus it is clear that a “fusion-like” reaction is occurring, even though it lacks some of the characteristics of hot fusion.

    Things that are similar to hot fusion:

    o High energy output (24 MeV)
    o Transmutation of D to, in this case, He4

    Things that are different

    o Low initiation energies (far less than the 30 keV in traditional D+D reactions)
    o Very different branching ratios (normal hot reaction products are He3 and neutrons, or Tritium and protons; even the rare He output produces a gamma ray)
    o Energy output from 24 Mev reaction energy appears solely in heat, and probably with no intermediate process (such as turning an x-ray or gamma to heat)

    • Much as “hot fusion” people think this can’t/shouldn’t occur, IT IS OCCURRING with very convincing, unambiguous supporting data. Therefore, one should accept the fact, and look for new mechanisms.

    • Some insights as to phonons/plasmons: Exciting Pd loaded with beating lasers produce significantly enhanced excess heat when the beat frequencies are at high density-of-state energies for optical phonons. Similarly, in Raman spectroscopy of Nanor devices, there is a correlation between the ratio of the antistokes to stokes lines with excess power—indicating that excess power is at least correlated with (if not caused) by phonons.

    • Remaining theoretical question: what are the mechanisms for a normally “isolated” nucleus to interact with phonons. Hagelstein proposes a relativistic coupling of the center of mass of the nucleus to the internal [quark] degrees of motion. [Personally, I find this possible, but not proved]. Some recent Hagelstein experiments seem to show that phonons do directly excite/de-excite nuclei (but that doesn’t prove the mechanism proposed), in contradiction to conventional wisdom.

    • Excess power in experiments range to well over 15x (for example, Nanor)
    • H based systems MAY be really contaminated with D [note: I’ve seen lots of data that suggests that this isn’t true; a real H-H reaction is occurring of some type]
    • Some Cu, Ni: H based systems have very high reaction energies—1000 to 10,000 average eV per reaction per A Kitamura et al, JCF-17 p. 1 (2017)

    • The following researchers are credible and produce high excess energies consistently:

    o Swartz nanor
    o Japanese nano-Pd, nano-Ni work
    o Piantelli NiH experiment
    o Mizuno W experiment and others
    o Brillouin exp’ts
    o Letts co-deposition, possible vacancy phase approach
    o superwaves are interesting for getting high flux

    Social Issues

    As most researchers in the field know, a major impediment is the lack of resources for basic research on the mechanisms of CF. Some start-ups are trying to engineer products with limited knowledge of the fundamentals. So far, they haven’t shown much success—and whatever they discover isn’t being disseminated. [I’m going to add, parenthetically, the impossibility of getting patents doesn’t help. Patents force dissemination of the critical facts.

    Lack of patents encourages keeping all knowledge a trade secret. Although some would like to eliminate patents, and make all knowledge “free”, that discourages funding. So, unless the government subsidizes funding, a lot will dry up.]

    This phenomenon is at least partly the result of the lack of credibility of CF. That credibility has also impacted the field; important researchers are either retiring or leaving the field under duress—and new researchers aren’t replacing them. The social issue is perhaps the most limiting factor since it limits research dollars.

    A big part of my motivation for having Professor Hagelstein talk is to educate the uninitiated in the viability of CF, and have the audience agitate for more research with MIT and the government.

    Other

    Following the talk a number of people have asked “how can I contribute” to Hagelstein’s cold fusion research program. I’ve asked the MIT Gifts people to identify a simple way to give directly to the program (as opposed to a department or “unrestricted giving”). When I get an answer to that, I’ll post it.

    Conclusion

    Hagelstein presented a convincing review of the real story of cold fusion, its considerable successes in generating substantial “excess energy” that in some cases exceeds the energy density of fission reactors. The field still lacks a comprehensive theory; but the empirical results are undeniable. Some recent experiments are beginning to explain some of the mysteries.

    Though progress in practical energy generation is being made without a comprehensive theory, the rate of progress would be enhanced dramatically with a better understanding. That progress is limited by the existing stigma of working on cold fusion, which keeps researchers and funding out of the field. A few positive words by key government officials or influential scientists could change the picture and invigorate the field.