Can a Definition Shuffle Steal Cold Fusion?

OK, we were talking about something completely unrelated (Cobalt) and a Nuclear Cold Fusion discussion broke out. (h/t Jason Calley: ) This lead to the squabble over exactly what was causing the excess heat that seemed to be coming from a Cold Fusion / LENR device (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction). The one by Andrea Rossi called an “E-Cat”

So I’m off on the BING! Trail trying to figure out phrases like “heavy surface plasmon polariton” and wondering just what is a “low momentum neutron” and didn’t we already have those in low temperature thermal neutrons (that can be sent down a regular old pipe like water…)?…

All found in this link that was talking about the squabble:

Where we have a “NASA Chief” saying maybe something there, but it absolutely positively isn’t Cold Fusion, it’s this other thing by Larsen and Widom… But, as the article makes clear, it sure looks like they are saying almost the same thing with different labels…

Many of the theories have similar themes. Quite a few involve a proton from a hydrogen atom being made “invisible”, being shielded, or made electrostatically neutral by an electron. In other theories, hydrogen atoms are shrunken and turned into mini-atoms or “virtual neutrons.” Basically, in these theories the protons and their electrons (in some kind of altered form) do not experience the full repulsion of the Coulomb barrier, or are able to quantum tunnel through it. After they penetrate the barrier, a transmutation occurs in the metal (the atom gains a proton) and a large amount of energy is released. The end result is nuclear fusion at low temperatures.

The “Widom Larsen” theory is just another variation of the above. In the theory, an exotic type electron called a “heavy surface plasmon polariton” combines with a proton to form an, “ultra low momentum neutron.”
This neutron can then penetrate the Coulomb barrier of an atom of nickel (or other metal) to produce transmutations and release energy. Its proponents claim that this theory does not violate any “laws” of physics, and is not nuclear fusion.

talks about the electron getting so close to the proton it’s like a “mini-atom”:

it is conceivable that, for a very short time period (e.g. 10ˆ-18 sec), a series of neutral mini atoms of hydrogen could be formed, in an unstable state, of various size and energy level, distributed within the Fermi band, which is enlarged due to the very short time (Heisenberg).

The neutral mini-atoms of high energy and very short wave length – which is in phase with the “cyclic” orbit (de Broglie) – are statistically captured be the nickel nuclei of the crystal structure with the speed of nuclear reactions (10ˆ-20 sec).

For these mini-atoms to fuse with the nickel nuclei, apart from their neutral character for surpassing the Coulomb barrier, they must have dimensions smaller than 10ˆ-14 m, where nuclear cohesion forces, of high intensity but very short range, are predominant. It is assumed that only a percentage of such atoms satisfy this condition (de Broglie).

So a very small unstable particle called a mini-atom that is composed of a proton and electron so close together as to be a neutral particle as seen from outside. Gee, rather like a neutron. Though a slow and unstable one.

Why all the fuss?

It just nagged at me that there were what looked like “word games” being played. Why? Just “spite” or “failure to accept being wrong”?

When I ran into a possible answer on “why the squabble”?

Does the Rossi device work? If so, it’s his to patent, yes?

Well, maybe not. Maybe, just maybe, if you are in charge of the definitions and he claims “cold fusion” while you redefine that to “heavy surface plasmon polariton” (even though the proposed difference in mechanism looks far more “angels and pins” than “real difference” to me…) one has a “mini-atom” where the electron gets sooo close to the proton that it’s small enough to be seen as effectively a neutral particle and slip past the Coulomb barrier. The other has the electron condense onto the surface of (something… the proton?) into a “heavy surface plasmon polariton” and make a sort of a neutron that isn’t and can slip past the Coulomb barrier.

Yeah, just what I was thinking… Sounds like the same mechanism named differently…

Patent application title: Apparatus and Method for Generation of Ultra Low Momentum Neutrons
Inventors: Lewis G. Larsen (Chicago, IL, US) Alan Widom (Brighton, MA, US)
IPC8 Class: AH05H306FI
USPC Class: 376108000
Class name:
Publication date: 09/25/2008
Patent application number: 20080232532

Sounds innocuous enough… at least if you don’t know that Ultra Low Momentum Neutrons are just their way of describing what others have called “mini-atoms”…

So just WHY would a name scientist go to all the trouble to try to poach the patent on a “bogus cold fusion device” via such a redefinition game? Hmmm?….

Perhaps there is more to this gizmo than meets the eye. The actions of Mr Larson and Widom certainly raise a lot of “Dig Here!” and “Red Flags” for me…

Method and apparatus for generating ultra low momentum neutrons (ULMNs) using surface plasmon polariton electrons, hydrogen isotopes, surfaces of metallic substrates, collective many-body effects, and weak interactions in a controlled manner. The ULMNs can be used to trigger nuclear transmutation reactions and produce heat. One aspect of the present invention effectively provides a “transducer” mechanism that permits controllable two-way transfers of energy back-and-forth between chemical and nuclear realms in a small-scale, low-energy, scalable condensed matter system at comparatively modest temperatures and pressures.
1. A neutron production method in a condensed matter system at moderate temperatures and pressures comprising: providing collectively oscillating protons; providing collectively oscillating heavy electrons; and providing a local electric field greater than approximately 10.sup.11 volts/meter.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said providing collectively oscillating protons comprises providing a metallic substrate and fully loading at least the upper portion thereof with hydrogen or deuterium.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein the Born-Oppenheimer approximation breaks down on a working surface of a substrate.

4. A method of producing neutrons comprising the steps of: providing a hydride or deuteride on a metallic surface; developing a surface layer of protons or deuterons on said hydride or deuteride; developing patches of collectively oscillating protons or deuterons near or at said surface layer; and exciting surface plasmons on said metallic surface.

and a whole lot more “claims”.

Yes, the device looks to use lasers to do the pumping instead of electrons, but the way patents are written they usually include claims to any other detail ways of doing the same thing, so a patent expert would need to sort out how broad this might be.

So if they get to claim all the basic patents, then can redefine “cold fusion” as “ULMNs”, and they have the patent on making ULMNs… well, that could be worth something…

In Conclusion

I don’t have the needed patent skills to read that thing and know if it does, or does not, infringe on the Cold Fusion guys claims. But it sure looks to me like they are trying to claim the turf of such things. At a minimum I’d expect a big patent fight… eventually…

But what interests me most is the definitional game being played and the simple question “Why?”.

Why try to herd that Rossi device into their turf? If it’s just “junk science”, why choose to be tainted by association?… Unless it isn’t quite so much junk as threat…

or Hi-Def if folks want the higher bit rate (though less complete) version:

For me, two things:

1) I’m now much more interested in that whole Rossi device and its claimed activity.

2) Something stinks in Academia. Really really badly…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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42 Responses to Can a Definition Shuffle Steal Cold Fusion?

  1. R. Shearer says:

    There is something to this phenomena but it’s not exactly clear is it?

    I’m skeptical that anything of use will come out of it, but if something does, then there will be a lot of money to be made…for lawyers especially.

  2. R. de Haan says:

    Clever research E.M.

    These are real world realities.
    Patent infringement is as old as Patent Law and it happens on any level for as many different reasons.

    Patent War comes to mind.

    Some great inventions have been stalled for decades or worst, never came to market at all while their applicants were engaged in legal battles and bankrupted.

    A good idea is first, ignored and ridiculed, then rejected, and finally stolen.

    Believe me when I say it’s a jungle out there.
    Academia stink but not only academia.

  3. Jim2 says:

    Just as the dims don’t want to be known as socialists, anyone with a LENR device don’t want it called ‘cold fusion.’

  4. Jim2 says:

    If you want to see something even more … err … ahh … amazing, go to

  5. R. de Haan says:
  6. Jason Calley says:

    @ R. de Haan “A good idea is first, ignored and ridiculed, then rejected, and finally stolen.”

    Hmmmm… I wonder if that quote is from Elisha Grey?


  7. gallopingcamel says:

    Thanks Chiefio for finding things that I had missed. I have degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering. Even so I am not a nuclear physicist and my electrical training is what used to be called the “Light Current” option. That means that I am more comfortable with milli-Watts than Mega-Watts.

    Rossi asserts that his process generates gamma radiation and traces of copper 63 that were not present in the purified nickel source material.

    That says that a nuclear process is taking place or Rossi is a liar and scam artist.

    If Rossi’s process really works it will not matter whether he gets a patent or not. People will throw money at him until he is overwhelmed. More likely he is a scam artist who will scoop up as much as he can before leaving town.

  8. gallopingcamel says:

    Jason Calley,

    I think you just refuted my contention that the patent would not matter.

    Elisha Gray filed his patent on the same day as Alexander Graham Bell. Bell’s application was date stamped less than 2 hours before Gray’s. You are one of the very few that know that Elisha Gray invented the telephone.

    In 1978, I was party to a patent lawsuit between the ITT Corporation and Corning. The issue was the invention of the CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) process for manufacturing optical fiber. My company spent $4 million on the lawsuit but lost.

    Thus Wikipedia says that Maurer, Keck and Schultz at Corning invented optical fiber. This may be true but Charles Kao and George Hockham did it first even though they may have been a little slow filing their US patent papers.

    While I have nothing against those Corning researchers I get great satisfaction from the fact that my colleague, Charles Kao was awarded a Nobel prize:

  9. Jim2 says:

    Hi EM – it looks like my comments got stuck in moderation.

    [ Happens if you change name or IP address (such as rebooting your router may cause). I find it eventually… -E.M.Smith ]

  10. Pascvaks says:

    Isn’t there a provision for the government to delcare an “invention” or “process” non-patentable? You know, something that falls under some National Security mumbo-jumbo law for the common defense, etc.?

  11. Jason Calley says:

    @ Pascavks
    I think you are right; in fact I think ther are several variations on that. Any patent lawyers feel free to correct me.

    If the invention is merely vital to national interests, the government can, at their discretion, issue a patent and then control who may use the invention. For example, case #1, I invent a new type of mouse trap, and because I immediately afterward join PETA and decide that killing mice is evil, I choose not to license any manufacturers of the new trap. The Feds decide that because of the ongoing mouse infestation, manufacture and sale of the new trap is vital. The Feds can then issue permission for my invention to be built, but I will be paid a “reasonable” royalty. (Sometimes I hate that word “reasonable.”)

    Case #2, I invent a device which not only kills mice, but will work on any mammal and can be directed at specific creatures within a 20 mile radius. The Feds issue a patent, but a patent which is immediately made secret as an issue of national security. The patent is never described in public documents. I am instructed to never speak of or acknowledge the existence of said patent, or to publically disseminate information about it, under threat of imprisonment or worse. Do I still get royalties? I do not know, but I suspect not…

    I wonder who decides what inventions go into the secret file?

  12. Sparks says:

    This article blew me away!

    If there’s nothing to the science of so-called “Cold fusion” Why has there been several related scientific branches and spin-offs?

    The similarities seem to be there but not the term “Cold fusion”.

    Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine…

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    The military is exempt from all patents. They can just ignore them and assign anyone they want to make something if it is needed for national defense.

    Part of why I tend not to bother doing much thinking about military goods ideas. No way to patent it and have it matter…

    (Speaking of unintended consequences)…

    In their forthcoming Berkeley Technology Law Journal article (alternative link), visiting University of Maryland Associate Professor of Law Davida Isaacs and University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of National Security Robert Farley discuss the Military and State Secret Privilege and its negative impact on innovation, the discovery process, and government procurement.
    e of the privilege could have a significant negative effect on military innovation and procurement. On the former point, where the information involved constitutes “trade secrets”, the authors point out that effective quashing of litigation through invocation of the privilege arguably amounts to an unconstitutional taking. On the latter, the authors note that loose use of privilege endangers the intellectual property rights of companies interested in doing business with the military, and in particular of small companies that cannot depend either on their connections with the Pentagon or on an expectation of repeat business for protection. (This is particularly problematic given the stated interest of the Pentagon in pursuing non-traditional defense contractors for innovative technologies.)

    The Military and State Secrets Privilege has been receiving an enormous amount of attention lately, write Isaacs and Farley. As the article also notes, just a few months ago Congress proposed legislation that is meant to rein in the Government’s use of the privilege, or at least encourage independent judicial consideration of the privilege’s application. But, the authors argue, particularly with regard to the use of intellectual property, this legislation still does not go far enough in ameliorating the negative effects described above.

    Basically, if the government or military need or want your “itellectual propery” you are toast…

    And no, the government does not need to give you any royalties for your device. IIRC an inflatable splint manufacturer discovered this “the hard way”…

    Also you can look up the history of the Jeep. Invented by a little company, the “IP” of the design was handed over to very large companies to manufacture. The “little guy” was awarded a contract to make a few trailers to tow behind “their” jeep…

    So, even if you design your “gizmo” in China or Europe and get a patent there, the USA can have a US manufacturer make it and tell you to go pound sand…. as it is a “military need’…

    Wonder if Cold Fusion has any military uses ;-)

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley:

    I’d assume someone at the patent office with a uniform…

    FWIW, when in High School I remember reading an article in Popular Mechanics or Popular Science. It was about a Dentist who invented a new kind of airplane. It used plastics and was cheaper to make while being more sturdy. It mentioned a “problem” that the only metal being the engine it did not show up well on radar.

    Never heard from again…. Time passes…

    Some time after the Stealth Technology was made known, I found a reference that it was based on early work by a Dentist with polymer and plastic composite airplanes….

    I’d place the date of that article at about 1968-69 as I graduated ’71.

    Almost makes the MIB reading the National Enquirer seem reasonable ;-)

  15. gallopingcamel says:

    If nuclear reactions are taking place on the scale Rossi claims, precise measurement of the gamma and chemical signatures will be a trivial matter. Actually, no need to do that as the dead bodies will tell you that something unusual is going on.

    I would want a minimum of two feet of concrete between me and any process that produces 10 kW of gamma rays in the 0.25 – 9.8 MeV energy range. A personal dosimeter would be mandatory. Did anyone spot any dosimeters or shielding in those Bologna videos?

    The human LD50 dose (50% of recipients will die) for gammas is ~5 Gray. As 1 Gray is equivalent to 1J/kg it would take 500 Joules of gamma radiation to have a 50% chance of killing you. (Q factor for gammas = 1).

    Imagine you are Focardi, standing two meters away from a gamma source that is producing 10,000 Joules per second. I estimate Focardi’s cross section at 0.5 square meters so he would be intercepting 1% of 10,000 Joules/second. If all the gamma radiation is absorbed it would take only 5 seconds for him to collect the LD50 dose. In practice some of the radiation will pass through so I estimate a total of 5-7 seconds.

    One can convert the gamma rays into heat and thereby preserve Dr. Focardi’s life but that would require large amounts of shielding.

    The fact that so many months have gone by with only vague statements about thousands of prototypes and mysterious factories convinces me that Rossi is emulating P.T. Barnum (“There’s a sucker born every minute”).

    Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

    Thank you Chiefio! I would not have heard of this highly entertaining affair but for you. It probably will run for months or even years owing to human gullibility.

  16. Jason Calley says:

    @ gallopingcamel “Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.”

    True enough, and you may very well be right that this is a scam — as so many before! Still… what an exciting prospect if it turns out to be real. I think of this as similar to buying a lottery ticket, great entertainment, as long as I have not mortgaged the farm to get the ticket. In this case, it really is an interesting subject and I stand a good chance of knowing more physics after looking in to it than I did before, even if Rossi turns out to be a fraud.

    And of course, if he is right, I will finally get that atomic helicopter I saw in Popular Science so many years ago. ‘Bout time.

    More particulary — and in support of the bare possibility of Rossi being real — until we know more about the process we are in an odd state when it comes to deciding whether gamma rays should kill him off. Remember, his claim is that he has found a hitherto unknown form of fusion. Maybe he is right, maybe he is lying, maybe he is just mistaken; but invoking characteristics of known forms of fusion to debunk what is purportedly an unknown form of fusion is not convincing. Imagine the Montgolfier brothers making the following (unsubstantiated) claim: “We have discovered a new way of lifting objects into the air, a method that will allow lifting up to 10,000 feet high.” A reply that “They must be lying because it is impossible to build a crane 10,000 feet high” would be well informed, but not proof. After all, the claim was for a new form of lifting, not a new way of using the old form of lifting. Of course, Rossi’s claim is not convincing either until it has an outside replication, and not just a controled demonstration, but an actual replication. For right now, we have guesses and suppositions.

    Gentlemen, place your bets, (but don’t mortgage the farm)!

  17. E.M.Smith says:


    I don’t doubt any of what you calculated. I’d only point out that the assertion is that MOST of the energy ends up in the high mass nucleus as heat, only a tiny bit ends up as gamma rays. So you may need a few orders of magnitude shaved off of the numbers if you attribute all the energy to direct gammas.

    (No, I’m not advocating. Just reporting… There are a load of assumptions being made by both “sides” and it’s just not possible to do rational “caculation based proofs” either way when the numbers are fuzzy by a few orders of magnitude…)

    At any rate, as I read the description of what they claim in that link that talks about “mini-atoms”, they assert that the vast bulk of the energy ends up as thermal in the nucleus and only sporadially is there a gamma (and supposedly a not very energetic one, though that seems a bit of an oxymoron to me…) Conveniently, just enough to “prove” it’s a nuclear fusion but not enough to fry anyone using only a few inches of simple “shielding”…

    Yeah, I’m in the “curiously skeptical” camp too… though that “mine mine mine” patent gimic makes me think somebody is pretty sure something of use is happening…

    At any rate, it IS going to be an interesting show…

  18. dearieme says:

    I was pretty appalled a couple of years ago when I happened to look at the Wikipedia page on Shockley, the inventor of the transistor. It would appear that he wasn’t.

  19. Doug Jones says:

    One interesting detail of the isotopes of Ni and Cu is that a given Ni nucleus could go through several proton fusion events.

    58Ni + p > 59Cu
    The 59Cu is unstable, half life 81.5 s
    59Cu > 59Ni + β+ (81.5s)
    59Ni is also a positron emitter, HL 76000 years
    59Ni > 59Co + β+
    but would get hit with a proton long before it could decay:
    59Ni + p > 60Cu
    60Cu > 60Ni + β+ (1422s)

    and so on. 58Ni through 62Ni would eventually make stable 63Cu, the small amount of 64Ni would make 65Cu.

    It seems apparent that the intermediate Cu isotopes would make the reactor a strong positron emitter with a lot of .511 MeV gammas resulting, and the 59Ni would keep the reactor substantially radioactive with a half life of 74000 years. Not an entirely clean process, and not a panacea- I don’t see one in every garage!

  20. Doug Jones says:

    BTW, from my spreadsheet I calculate about 4.25 proton fusions per nickel nucleus, averaged across the five stable nickel isotopes, assuming all the 59Ni gets burned up before it can decay to 59Co. The total energy release is thus somewhere around 40 TJ/kg. Zounds.

  21. gallopingcamel says:

    Jason Calley,

    The whole thing is great theater/circus so I will cheerfully chip in five bucks to watch the show from a safe distance. However, if Rossi wants my life savings the answer is “NO”. Thanks to P.T. Barnum we know that some suckers will donate buckets of money just as they did to Fleishman & Pons.

    If by some chance this “breakthrough” is real we will all benefit in the same way that Bill Gates benefits us all while amassing billions of dollars. I say “thank you” to such people as they leave the world better than they found it.

    The links you provided included hints that most of the energy is converted directly into heat rather than energetic photons (X-rays or gamma rays). As you suggest it would have to be a near perfect process or there would still be plenty of gamma rays left to do you harm.

    The Dufour paper is a serious attempt to quantify the ways that Nickel could be converted to Copper by nuclear absorption of a neutron or a proton. Given the claim that there are no radioactive wastes one would need to convert a stable isotope into another stable isotope. Here are the two prime candidates identified by Dufour:

    Ni62 + a proton or a neutron converts to Cu63 (stable).
    Ni64 + a proton or a neutron converts to Cu65 (stable).

    It would not take a scientist armed with a mass spectrometer very long to determine what isotopes of Copper are produced and their relative quantities.

    Rossi has brought the “Philosopher’s Stone” scam up to date.

  22. gallopingcamel says:

    As a trained “Radiation Worker”, my maximum permitted dose can be found here:

    The annual dose is limited to 5 REM which is 0.05 Sieverts using the modern units. When we are talking about gamma rays, the Q factor = 1, so 0.05 Sieverts equates to 0.05 Grays.

    Thus assuming Focardi weighs 100 kg his allowed annual dose would be equivalent to 5 Joules of gamma radiation. At a distance of two meters, an unshielded 10 kW gamma source would deliver 20 times this dose each second.

  23. gallopingcamel says:

    The SNS (Spallation Neutron Source) at Oak Ridge generates an energetic neutron beam with an average power of ~1 MW. It seems likely that some researcher has exposed a nickel target in this machine and measured the result. No need for sensitive calorimetry here; all you have to do is measure the quantities of isotopes present before and after irradiation.

    It seems that Nickel has been used to create Cu64 in this way:

    Now I am going to have to chase down all the ORNL experiments with Nickel targets!

  24. E.M.Smith says:



    Physicist Julius Edgar Lilienfeld filed the first patent for a transistor in Canada in 1925, describing a device similar to a field-effect transistor or “FET”. However, Lilienfeld did not publish any research articles about his devices,[citation needed] nor did his patent cite any examples of devices actually constructed. In 1934, German inventor Oskar Heil patented a similar device.

    From 1942 Herbert Mataré experimented with so-called duodiodes while working on a detector for a Doppler RADAR system. The duodiodes he built had two separate but very close metal contacts on the semiconductor substrate. He discovered effects that could not be explained by two independently operating diodes and thus formed the basic idea for the later point contact transistor.

    In 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at AT&T’s Bell Labs in the United States observed that when electrical contacts were applied to a crystal of germanium, the output power was larger than the input. Solid State Physics Group leader William Shockley saw the potential in this, and over the next few months worked to greatly expand the knowledge of semiconductors. The term transistor was coined by John R. Pierce as a portmanteau of the term “transfer resistor”.[3][4] According to physicist/historian Robert Arns, legal papers from the Bell Labs patent show that William Shockley and Gerald Pearson had built operational versions from Lilienfeld’s patents, yet they never referenced this work in any of their later research papers or historical articles.

    And another of my “heros” bites the dust…

    So much for “inventing”… easier just to find a poorly researched foreign patent and “redefine” it…

    I feel so empty…

    @Doug Jones:

    Zounds indeed! Maybe they have this puppy must barely ticking over right now… hate to think what might happen if the smouldering “fuse” took light Really Well one day ….

    “Hey Joe, what was that flash?”

    “YOU saw a flash too? But I was in the other room…”

    “Aw Shii…..”

    (One of those “annoying bits” about working with nuclear reactions… if you get the ‘reaction rate’ wrong it can be a real bummer… Remember the Demon Core… )

    “Hey Bob, heard the bad news about Joe… What say we try this new catalyst and see if it speeds things up… [STEP Step step step step… Slam!] … Bob? Bob?…” ;-)

  25. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The Rossi device seems to work quite well. In fact too well and must be operated in a semi quenched condition to prevent runaway. The “fuel nickle” is the two heavy isotopes #62 and #64 that convert to copper #63 and #65.

    Mr Rossi has been using his own money and doesn’t want investors.

    It appears to me that he is having problems with safe control of the output in the 340 units of a 1MW energy battery. Building a few working units in your shop is a great deal different then a large scale commercial setup that has to be IDIOT proof!

    IMHO The energy involved, is the result of the EMF and thermal effects of hydrogen changing into neutron ( or hydrino) and back to proton – electron in the nickle – copper atom.

    I think we are looking at a very crude first step to a real technology break through. pg

  26. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Doug Jones
    nice work up Doug. Rossi claims only the conversion of the heavy isotopes and no residual radioactivity in the unit after cool down. The nickle has been enriched and has “other” additives to catalize the operation. Assay of the exhausted material is low in heavy nickle isotopes and is 30% copper and 11% iron, no radioactive materials found. Rossi claims that the iron is not added to the starting “fuel” and must be drift from the stainless steel jacket. pg

  27. Pascvaks says:

    “Nothing is constant, everything is radioactive.” or “Everything is constant, nothing is radioactive.” I think is has a little to do with time and exactly where you might be standing in the universe at a particular point in time and the size of your watch.

  28. gallopingcamel says:

    P.G. Sharrow,
    I hope you are right as it would turn the physics establishment upside down and revolutionize pretty well everything that currently runs on fossil fuels.

    If nothing comes of it, the conspiracy buffs will claim that “Big Oil” or “Big Carbon” suppressed the technology.

  29. E.M.Smith says:


    Or, perhaps, Big Research ;-)

  30. gallopingcamel says:

    Doug Jones,
    Your spreadsheet produced an energy yield of 40 TJ per kilogram.

    My blunt pencil came up with this.

    Ni62 + H1 = Cu63 – mass 0.006573/62.9296 = 99.7 ppm
    Ni64 + H1 = Cu65 – mass 0.008002/65.9278 = 121.4 ppm

    Given that Ni62 constitutes 3.6% of mined nickel compared to 0.9 % of Ni64 it is a reasonable approximation to say that for each kg of copper produced an energy equivalent to 0.0001 kg will be released:

    E = 0.0001 x (300,000,000) x (300,000,000) Joules

    Thus for each Kilogram of copper 9 TJ of energy should be produced.

    To get a feel for what this means, imagine the best coal available (Welsh anthracite). Burn one kg of this wonderful fuel and you get 35,300 kJ of heat. The Ni + H reaction should produce 255,000 times more energy per kg!

    Your “Zounds” comment is still appropriate; way beyond “Egad”!

  31. Stefan says:

    >Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

    It’s irrelevant in this case; you just do not buy e-cat if you think it is a scam, no need to look for “extraordinary evidence” just pay money only if it works as claimed, I see nothing extraordinary here, just a trivial market practice.

  32. Doug Jones says:

    gallopingcamel, yes, if only the 62Ni and 64Ni undergo fusion, no positrons should be emitted, but only those two rather minor fractions of natural Ni would undergo fusion. about 4.5% of the total. Thus one would expect about 4.5% Cu in the fully burned fuel, no multiple fusion-decay-fusion steps, and yes, 9TJ/kg of Cu formed, a “mere” 0.4 TJ/kg of nickel.

    That would actually be much more useful than burning the lighter isotopes too, by avoiding the gamma radiation issues. I hope it really does pan out!

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @Doug Jones and P.G. Sharrow:

    You might want to look at this idea:

    If I’m right, you ought to be able to “roll your own” out of some plastic tube, some commercial nickel plated carbon cloth, an electrical connection or two, and some electrolite…

    And it ought to work about as well as the Patterson Cell…

    (There is the small chance that the commercial plating process leaves too much of a contaminant in the film, such as phosphorus from ‘electroless’ plating; and so one would need to make their own fabric. But even that ought to take not much more than a tub, a chunk of nickel, and some acid to make the salt electrolite… then hook up a battery and wait.)

  34. Jason Calley says:

    Here is a short video just released of an interview with Nobel Prize in Physics winner Dr. Brian Josephson as he discusses the Rossi ECat device.

    Dr. Josephson is a bit of an odd bird, but he does know his physics.

  35. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jason Calley:

    That “pyroelectric” nuclear reaction that was demonstated (per the discussion at 12 minutes) with neutrons produced is rather a surprise…

    Overall, a very interesting video… and now I’m going to be doing a bit of reading on “pyroelectric neutrons”…

    Really like the music in the lead in / lead out too ;-)

  36. Jason Calley,

    I had no idea that anyone of Josephson’s eminence had put his reputation on the line for LENR.

    Many Cambridge alumni are “odd birds”. While Brian may be odder than most, very few of us get Nobel prizes. Only 11 of the 88 Cambridge alumni with Nobel prizes are still alive. I could not find Sulston on the list (he is from my college) so maybe there are a few more who fell through the cracks.

    In the video, Josephson addressed my main objection to the Rossi process. It should produce gamma radiation at levels that will be lethal in a matter of seconds.

    Josephson suggests that the presence of dense matter (liquids and solids) could convert the gammas into heat within the reaction cell. While he does not speculate on the nature of the process, he predicted that electric current could “tunnel” through insulators (1973 Nobel Prize). That was a pretty weird idea but it did lead to SQUIDs.

    Like this camel, Brian was born in Wales. He is 70 years old. I have been there so I know he has lost most of his marbles but he still makes more sense than many younger people.

  37. E.M.Smith says:


    He’s THAT Josepheson? The one of the Josepheson Junction and SQUID?


    He knows more about what can really be done with little tiny strange particles than anyone else alive…

  38. Chiefio,

    Yes he is! He is the one who predicted electrons “tunneling” through insulators. Maybe he can come up with a theory for even wierder things happening inside conductors.

  39. ecuamantis says:

    There was a symposium held at MIT where several scientists got together to discuss and share ideas on their experimentally cold fusion results. Very well know prestigious scientists who claim they have produced from 10% – 100% more energy output than was put in. The link below explains more.

    I think the cats out of the bag on this one. The momentum will probably start growing from here. There are too many scientist who are on board with this one, so I can’t see this getting shut down by the establishment as easy as they did when Fleishmann and Pond announced their results 22 years ago.

  40. gallopingcamel says:

    “….It startled him even more when just after he was awarded the Galactic Institute’s Prize for Extreme Cleverness he got lynched by a rampaging mob of respectable physicists who had finally realized that the one thing they really couldn’t stand was a smart-ass.”
    Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)

    Many a true word spoken in jest. Without doubt, Fleishmann and Pons suffered because they were not “respectable physicists”. Twenty two years later we are finding some eminent physicists supporting the idea that nuclear reactions are taking place even though the lethal radiation predicted by the accepted theories is lacking.

    One of the excellent points made by Brian Josephson is that while we may have to spend billions and wait 20 years to find out if ITER points the way to practical fusion power, the Rossi claims will undergo a practical test in 2011, maybe as early as October, without spending a dollar of taxpayer money.

    My assessment of Rossi is that he is acting like P.T. Barnum but I will watch his progress with greater interest now that better physicists than this camel give him the benefit of the doubt.

  41. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks for the link. I’m fairly sure SOMETHING is happening that’s of interest. I’d run an experiment or two myself, but I’m not going to be done before the “put up or shut up” date for Rossi hits. (Though I do have a nickel rod in hand and I’m getting a tungsten one… thinking for trying that tungsten / platinum with KCO3 cell using nickel instead…)


    Well, that got me chuckling ;-)

  42. ferdzee says:

    Something is happening all rght. You are all being played for fools.

    Just use hydrogen peroxide as input, like you have in your bathroom. It’s colorless and oderless. Household hydrogen peroxide has a 3% concentration.That means it contains 97% water and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Hair bleaches usually have a concentration of greater than 6%. Some industrial strength solutions contain more than 10% hydrogen peroxide. Caution, These solutions can cause steam and violent effects, inclucing explosions!

    Put 3% it in an nickle cell just like the E-cat, and you get the same 40KW result in heat output per second. It breaks down to water, a lot of heat, and oxygen which no one notices. It also explains the published reports of ‘water in’ = ‘water out’ with trace amounts of H2O2 in it.

    Lets see him put the hose output in a bucket of water. See any bubbles?

    Lets seem him drink the input without problems. Drinking hydrogen peroxide has resulted in deaths and serious injuries:

    Abdominal pain and cramping
    Breathing difficulty (if large concentrations were swallowed)
    Body aches
    Burns in the mouth and throat
    Eye burns
    Seizures (rare)
    Stomach swelling
    Temporary white color to the skin

    Then I will believe….

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