It’s The Isotopes, Jim…

OK, so against my better judgement I went looking for some more stuff on that LENR topic. When “Cold Fusion” was first announced, I let my self get a bit excited about it, then got the “let down”. Now I’m much more careful to “be distant”… but then I ran into this article.

How much to value it? It cites folks by name at major places and OUGHT to be verifiable… It OUGHT to be valid, or there would be far more “stuff” trashing the topic flying about… Yet those prior burned fingers give me a touch of pause…

At any rate, the basic point is that these folks cite workers who analysed “Cold Fusion” electrodes and find a load of isotopic changes. That’s “big stuff”, IMHO. Yet, where’s the “hoopla” in the general press? Perhaps they, too, are jaded…

6. Isotopic Anomalies Reveal LENR Insights

By Steven B. Krivit

Few people in the LENR field seem to have recognized the three key insights revealed by the anomalous isotopic shifts observed in LENR experiments.

The first insight is that, short of radioactive isotopes, anomalous isotopic shifts provide the most convincing evidence of nuclear reactions in the LENR field.

The second insight is that they suggest the possible levels of energy involved in the reactions.

The third insight is that they suggest the likely or, alternatively, unlikely mechanisms that may be responsible for these reactions.
Evidence of LENR Nuclear Transmutation

For example, the first image below graphically represents the changes to the palladium isotopic ratios that took place as the result of a heavy-water LENR electrolysis experiment performed by researcher Tadahiko Mizuno in 1991. A variety of significant changes is evident. The second image below, from the same experiment, also shows a significant anomalous shift in the isotopes of chromium.
“Many elements were found and detected on the palladium surface and confirmed using several different analytical methods,” Mizuno wrote. “These are apparently reaction products: several elements ranging from hydrogen to lead with mass numbers up to 208.

“The isotopic abundance of selected elements detected after long-term electrolysis was found to be drastically different from the natural isotopic abundance. This phenomenon was confirmed eight times with good reproducibility. All sources of contamination have been carefully eliminated by repeated pretreatments of the sample and the electrolysis system.”
Like the Mizuno experiment, the University of Texas analysis shows a wide variety of transmutations. The researchers reported 4 times the amount of cobalt (Co), 5.4 times the amount of chromium (Cr), 2 times the amount of cesium (Cs), 1.3 times the amount of europium (Eu), 56 times the amount of iron (Fe) and 11 times the amount of zinc (Zn) that is found in the virgin material.
However, the nearly indisputable smoking gun is the anomalous isotopic ratio of palladium-108 to palladium-110. The EPRI report said, “Pd-108 was depleted in the active sample relative to the virgin material by an apparent 28% with the one sigma error limits extending from 7% to 49%.” New Energy Times knows of no conventional explanation for this shift.

There is a whole bunch more, including a cell using gaseous DOH so that electrolytic deposition could be eliminated and a lot more detail. Then this entry:

The table above, from Passell and Russ George’s 2000 paper, shows the following anomalies, in addition to the increase of zinc-64 over virgin palladium:7-15 times the zinc-64 by weight
6.6-14.4 times the zinc-64 isotope over the virgin palladium
8 times the iridium content by weight from sample A
0.4 times (decrease) the iridium content by weight from sample B
6 times the iridium content by weight from sample C
5.5 times the gold content by weight from sample A
0.1 times the gold content by weight from sample B
0.7 times the gold content by weight from sample C
24% increase in Pd-110/Pd-102 ratio over virgin palladium from sample A
6% increase in Pd-110/Pd-102 ratio over virgin palladium from sample B
21% increase in Pd-110/Pd-102 ratio over virgin palladium from sample C

So unless these folks screwed up horridly, something is going on that’s “odd” with hydrogen and deuterium when metals are exposed to it under electric fields.

Can it really be as simple as that hydrogen atoms sometimes (per quantum effects) can become “very small” and then do “unexpected things”…. Shades of “Everybody must get small…”…

At any rate, I’m trying very hard not to get sucked down that path again, yet I’m now wondering if my “skepticism” is now out of date… So if anyone knows of a way to validate that folks are finding a lot of abnormal isotopes in used electrodes, that would be very useful to see…

Somehow I have this odd feeling that my world is getting just a bit stranger than I’d expected…

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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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15 Responses to It’s The Isotopes, Jim…

  1. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. Actually, there is a surprising amount of evidence for low energy transmutation, but pretty much all of it is outside the mainstream literature. For just one example:

    Please note that I am NOT saying there is definitive proof of LENR, or that the pdf link above is to proof. Until we have unbiased outside replication, or unbiased failure to replicate, the subject is firmly in the “unknown” category.

    Maybe LENR is real, maybe it is not. Let’s find out!

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, I’ve pondered a bit… (I decided to take a page from Archimedes and have been soaking in a hot Epsom Salt bath ;-)

    So, my “Eureka!” moment (even if a bit more tepid and offered as a theoretical instead…) as I sit here in my bath robe, warm and snuggly…

    “It’s all about the electrons. -E.M.Smith”

    The reactions only happen when there is electricity present. Only when there is an excess of electrons forced into a substance.

    So what do the electrons “do”?

    I think they get pushed into atoms as “excess shell filling” leaving fewer places for an electron to go. So the “K” shell electron ends up trapped near the Proton. (Not a particularly bad place to be for an electron) but as the Proton gets shoved toward another nucleus, the electron would like to get out of the way. But where can it “go”? As it’s wave function hunts about for somewhere to be, it sees electrons already surrounding the Proton on all sides and filling the ‘available’ shells.

    So here is this electron, nestled between positivly charged nuclear particles (and shielding them from seeing the electric charge of each other) and it’s getting a bit “squashed” in the process… but if it wants to hop to the other side of the proton / nucleus, it’s got an electron cloud to deal with… Potentially it could be looking at a few keV of “uphill” to deal with.

    What to do, what to do… (all the while those thermal nuclei are having some momentum pushing them at each other)

    Off to “Electron Capture” or “K-Capture”…

    Yes, all the references say “It happens, but not in hydrogen”… bear with me…

    Chemical bonds can also affect the rate of electron capture to a small degree (in general, less than 1%) depending on the proximity of electrons to the nucleus. For example in 7Be, a difference of 0.9% has been observed between half-lives in metallic and insulating environments. This relatively large effect is due to the fact that beryllium is a small atom whose valence electrons are close to the nucleus.

    Around the elements in the middle of the periodic table, isotopes that are lighter than stable isotopes of the same element tend to decay through electron capture, while isotopes heavier than the stable ones decay by electron emission.

    So “light stuff” tends to electron capture… And H is pretty light…

    Chemical bonding can change the rate, and “the lighter, the more it can change”… H is a LOT lighter than Be, if Be can have a 1% change, might not H have even higher? Perhaps even a 10% change? Or more?

    Especially if the electron is looking at a LOT of electrons “out there” and if it’s “stuck” between two nuclei?

    Electron capture is a process in which a proton-rich nuclide absorbs an inner atomic electron (changing a nuclear proton to a neutron) and simultaneously emits a neutrino. Various photon emissions follow, in order to allow the energy of the atom to fall to the ground state of the new nuclide.

    I can think of few things more “proton-rich” than a single proton…

    Electron capture is the primary decay mode for isotopes that have a relative superabundance of protons in the nucleus, but where there is insufficient energy difference between the isotope and its prospective daughter with one less positive charge, for the nuclide to decay by simply emitting a positron. Electron capture also exists as a viable decay mode for radioactive isotopes that do have enough energy to decay by positron emission, and, in that case, it competes with positron emission. It is sometimes called inverse beta decay, though this term can also refer to the capture of a neutrino through a similar process.

    If the energy difference between the parent atom and the daughter atom is less than 1.022 MeV, positron emission is forbidden because not enough decay energy is available to allow it, and thus electron capture is the sole decay mode.
    For example, rubidium-83 (37 protons, 46 neutrons) will decay to krypton-83 (36 protons, 47 neutrons) solely by electron capture (the energy difference, or decay energy, is about 0.9 MeV).

    Note that a free proton cannot normally be changed to a free neutron by this process: The proton and neutron must be part of a larger nucleus.
    In the process of electron capture, one of the orbital electrons, usually from the K or L electron shell (K-electron capture, also K-capture, or L-electron capture, L-capture), is captured by a proton in the nucleus, forming a neutron and a neutrino.

    OK, two things here. First off, the last one. “normally”…. How about if things are Abby Normal? If the Proton is being squashed by a strong E-field and / or captured inside the crystal latice of a metal? Hmmm???? What about if the proton is being surrounded by other nuclei? Does it then, perhaps, act just a bit more like one “bound in a nucleus?” Do we even know?

    Now look at the energy. About 1 MeV. What’s the decay energy of a neutron back to a proton and electron?

    b) The decay of free neutrons, 1n –> 1H+ + e- + nanti + 0.78 MeV

    Oh, less than that….

    So in theory, all it takes is about 0.78 MeV or perhaps less as the proton is chemically bound and physically constrained in a crystalline lattice while being surrounded by excess electrons and then, just maybe, that “K-Capture” can happen ….

    Now you have a free neutron that can wander into a nearby nucleus, snuggle in, and then have a beta- decay to spit back out that electron… that would then be snuggled into an orbital keeping an electrically neutral atom.

    And freeing any excess binding energy in the formation of that new element in the process…

    780,000 volts is just not all that much. Especially as it only has to happen momentarily near that proton as the various particle movements interact and you get “beats” between them pumping up the local energy in one spot or another…

    Emitted beta particles have a continuous kinetic energy spectrum, ranging from 0 to the maximal available energy (Q), which depends on the parent and daughter nuclear states that participate in the decay. A typical Q is around 1 MeV, but it can range from a few keV to a few tens of MeV. Since the equivalence of energy of the rest mass of electron is 511 keV, the most energetic beta particles are ultrarelativistic, with speeds very close to the speed of light.

    If things are “reversable” then the emitted beta range of energies ought to also relate to the amount of energy needed to force a beta to be absorbed. “from 0” is a pretty low level… This implies that in some cases the electron might find it easier to enter the larger nucleus. Or perhaps there could even be times when electrons are being pumped into both at once… What happens to the particles during those “mutually excited states” could well be “abnormal”…

    So, my working thesis would be that you need lots of electrons, and a proton that is feeling pretty “bound” in a chemical cage. Then just add some transitory energy flows (like crystalline vibrational energy or large pulses of electrons or ?…) and “things could get interesting”…

    As one heck of a lot of H2 can be absorbed into metals, I think it’s pretty clear that the protons like to snuggle up into the metal lattice in a bound state. My thesis would be that, at that point, it’s just a matter of “Jiggle and Zap”! to get the electron K-Capture and thermal neutron absorption…

    I’ll leave accounting for all the neutrino comings and goings for others to do as, frankly, I have no intuitive grasp of what one would be or how they would work… Just looks like fudging the particle books to me…

    So, what d’ya think?

    Brilliant or bogus?…. Too long soaking in the hot water? ;-)

  3. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Well fudging the books is what a neutrino was “created” to do, ae balance the books in partical physics. Get rid of the Boer model. Einstien and Plank would join you as they didn’t like it either. The event of electron shell change of size is the bases of nuclear power. AR (atomic radius) times 10 to the 6th at C (speed of light). Quite a jolt to the “fabric” of space.

    In my opinion the concept that there are electrons in orbit around the nucleus and that they bind atom to atom is not logical. Electron shells are negative force fields that repel one another and attract their neighbors protons. Those force fields are harmonic charge created by the energies in their centered proton. A neutron is a proton with its negative force field near its surface where it nearly cancels or masks the protons charge. Protons repel protons but cozy up to neutrons. Neutrons appear nearly neutral to the electron shells and can slip through to bind to nucleus protons. pg

  4. Richard Hill says:

    EM, among yr readers, is there anyone with contacts in electroplating? There are some shops that have plating cells decades old. It would be an interesting shot in the dark to do an isotope distribution analysis of the elements found in the sludge at the bottom of a cell that has operated for 20 or 40 years.
    Google gives this…
    by P Venkateswaran – 2007 – Cited by 7 – Related articles
    The distribution and speciation of toxic heavy metals in plating wastewater residues and sludge was … shells in some zones has lead to the dilution of most of the metals, it appears that Pb and …. analysed in the present study as it is used in ETP for …. about 40 % in the sludge samples and less than 20 % in …

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    Interesting idea….

    @Richard HIll:

    California long ago drove out all the elctroplating operations… There may be some left somewhere, but I’ve no idea where. Heck, you can’t even dispose of the depleted plating solutions after nutralizing them….

    I think it will take someone in another state / country…

  6. Interesting Connections says:

    The old guard usually strongly resists a paradigm shift because they have a vested interest in the current paradigm.

  7. Jim says:

    Trace impurities in metals can be concentrated by physical processes. I’m not saying this is the case with all LENR experiments, but this must be explicitly ruled out.

  8. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Richard HIll:

    I was involved in plating and chemical milling pollution control a number of years ago, in the Bay Area.
    waste water and sludge is neutralized and filtered. The semi dry sludge is sent to reclaim and the clean water is reused in process. No unclean water is dumped into the city drains. Most modern plants waste water is cleaner then the city water supply so city water used for make up supply is cleaned before use in the plant. pg

  9. Sparks says:

    I like the idea of using a small amount of energy to produce a large amount of energy, Not by breaking the known laws of physics but by using those same laws in a cleaver way.

    I’m not as advanced in physics as most people here seem to be so I’ll explain my self without being very technical if thats okay! I hope my comment will still be interesting all the same.

    Sometime ago when I was an Electrical Engineering student we were taught the basic theoretical makeup and structure of atoms.

    Basically like this;

    “A unit of matter, the smallest unit of an element, consisting of a dense, central, positively charged nucleus surrounded by a system of electrons…”

    But what appealed to me was the idea that if you imagine an atom as having an egg shape (for example) and not a perfect solid sphere as it is depicted in all the illustrations, then a whole new world opens up where the theoretical mathematical environment of an atom meets the complex physical world, mathematically dependent on a geometrical environment.

    Basically if the atom is theoretically supposed to be uniform and spherical in nature then it should have only one value geometrically equal to the energy needed to smash an atom to study the nucleus.

    Where as if the atom was theoretically supposed to have an egg shape (for example) then it would make sense that it would have more than one value geometrically equal to the energy needed to smash it to study the nucleus.
    It would be like if you tried to break an egg by applying pressure to the top and bottom of the egg you will notice that it takes a lot more energy to break the egg than if you were to apply the pressure to the sides of the egg, this is why I think if the theoretical models for the atom do not incorporate the correct geometrical factor then they could be missing a whole set of mathematical variables.

    Possibly we could swap the Six “flavors” of quarks: up, down, bottom, top, strange, and charm; to just one geometrical variable as a factor.

    Its just a thought! should I be expecting some harsh criticism from this excellent blog?? lol

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    An interesting idea… I’d thought of the impact of the electron cloud on the hydrogen electrode as intrucing just just an asymetry of “location” (and thus properties) but via the surrounding charge pressures.

    If you look at a P orbital, it already ahs a “bowtie” shape with lobs very non-spherically shaped. So there is already an accepted class of non-sphericality to atoms…

  11. Gene Nemetz says:

    A 56 minute video that shows the history of LENR

    “Fire from Water, hosted by Scotty from Star Trek”

  12. Gene Nemetz says:

    A 21 minute report from ABC (America) news on the Patterson Fuel Cell that uses LENR

  13. Sparks says:


    hypothetically speaking… If a layer of X atomic orbitals (or what-ever configuration of s, p, d and f atomic orbitals) were to interact with another layer of X atomic orbitals could they interact more energetically with a near by layer of particles and so-forth? Two things come to mind; a “breaking frequency” which is a release of force and the other is an “atomic lasing effect”.
    It doesn’t sound too far-fetched to me that exciting atoms with a small amount of force that we can mine a larger release of energy locked up in atoms, this sounds like turn of the century science to me, I have noticed that there is a lot of missing science where there shouldn’t be.

  14. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d expect that with the atoms all vibrating near each other and the elctrons all wandering around, there would be a variety of “odd pressures” on any given electron. What I think is interesting with metals is that the outer electrons basically “wander off to join the party” and become part of a sea of moblile electrons just hanging around “nearby”… (that’s why metals conduct electricity). So there is a “metal radius” for atoms that describes their apparent size when in metalic form (as some of the electrons have “wandered off somewhere”…)

    For hydrogen, the radius can change quite a bit depending on if it is ionized, or not, but the size is about .30 Angstroms or about 30 pico meters:

    gives the smallest observed at 25 pm.

    This is interesting because if you look at nickel, the Van der Waals radius is 163 pm while the covalent radius is 124 +/- 4 pm. At the low end, that makes the difference 163-120 = 43 pm….

    For hydrogen:

    The covalent radius is 31 pm.

    When covalently bonded, it ought to be inside the Van de Waals radius of Nickel …

    43 pm – 31 pm = 12 pm

    So here you have this proton that is 12 pm inside the Van der Waals radius of Nickel, and have a changing sea of electrons around it, so sometimes it’s covalent, and sometimes it’s not, and maybe, just maybe, sometimes it has an electron “very very close” and looks a bit more ‘neutral’ and that “close” electron is seeing a flood of electrons “out there” and gives the whole package a bit of a shove toward that nucleus where it’s “feeling the love” of that positive charge… Then finds itself all trapped inside those metalic electrons out there in that cloud and way too close to the nucleus and “something has to give” so we get that “heat event” as the nucleus rebalances with an added neutron, followed by beta decay as the electron gets spit out.

    As it’s all “wave functions” really (at least, “part of the time”) there is always a non-zero chance of such things happening. If the non-zero rate is made high enough, we would detect “significiant excess heat”. Basically, this kind of thing ought to happen “sometimes” and our goal is really just to find when “sometimes” is very high compared to the typical “once per million years”…

    Having that proton inside the Van der Waals radius of the nickel atom already sure looks to me like a big first step in that direction. Having a chunk of the electrons already outside that point in a “metalic cloud” looks like a second big step. You’ve already got that proton part way to home plate and inside some of the electrons… So how is it intereacting with the OTHER electrons? Who knows…

    At this point, at a minimum, you have protons being absorbed into the surface of other atoms and slighly under their outer electrons. I was never taught what happens then (or even THAT it could happen) in chemistry class…

  15. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Analisis of by-products of LENR seem to show an increase of protons and a decrease in radioactive isotopes. pg

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