If you want to know what Andrea Rossi believes is the core of his effect, he has provided a short statement today about it on the Journal of Nuclear Physics in response to a question regarding his theory:
July 26, 2020 at 2:46 AM
in your paper
you cite: “In paragraph ‘Nuclear Reactions in Distant Collisions’, E.P. Wigner hilights their importance in nuclear transfer reactions: ‘The fact that nuclear reactionsof the type 197Au+14N -> 198Au+113N take place at energies at which colliding nuclei do not come in contact is an interesting though little -advertised discovery”: can you explain where is the link of this discovery with the theoretical bases of the Ecat SK operation ?
July 26, 2020 at 3:55 AM
The core of my paper is that at a distance intermediate between the atomic and the nuclear scale, in the order of magnitude of the electron Compton wavelength, the effects of magnetic force, Casimir force and quantum vacuum/virtual particles play a fundamental role.
It’s not very detailed, and of course it needs to be verified experimentally, but maybe this statement can be useful for those trying to figure out what Rossi believes makes the E-Cat work.
Regarding the difference between the atomic and nuclear scale, I found this explanation on the PhysLink website useful:
What is the difference between atomic and nuclear physics? Really short and non-informative answer would be that one deals with atoms, while the other deals with nuclei.
Of course, nucleus is a part of the atom. So what is it that separates these two branches of physics? Atomic physics deals with the properties of atoms, which are mainly due to their electron configuration. The nucleus is also involved, but only with its overall properties. As far as atomic physics is concerned, the nucleus is a single massive particle, with spin, mass, and charge. The internal workings of the nucleus are irrelevant.
Nuclear physics, on the other hand, deals only with nuclei. It studies the structure of nuclei, and their reactions and interactions.
The distance scales involved are inherently different – atomic physics deals with distances of the order of nanometers – (10-9 m) while nuclear physics deals with distances of the order of femtometers (10-15 m).