SPAWAR Space and Naval Warfare – LENR Proof

Looks like the folks at the Space and Naval Warfare Command have been playing around with Cold Fusion.

This is a long video (about an hour) but well worth it. Hard science and it pretty much answered every “conditional” I’d put on the Cold Fusion field. Repeatability. Neutrons demonstrated. Fast production method. Characterization of operational parameters. Clear excess energy. Just a well done bit of science.

All in all, it looks to me like it’s time to start taking the Cold Fusion / LENR folks seriously.

In following up some videos of the Rossi E-Cat I found one that asserts his nickle powder at temperature method can not be patented due to a prior patent. That prior patent describes substantially the same absorption of hydrogen to inside the atomic radius and eventual fusion as I had described in my musings about how this might work; with two very important distinctions:

1) It has, rather than a direct nuclear fusion, the formation and expulsion of a modestly high energy Proton that then causes fusion when it impacts other parts of the electrode.

2) The physics is much more detailed and much more likely to be accurate.

Of particular note is that it asserts just about any transition metal ought to work. Even Lead.

What caught my eye was that the metal had to be heated to above a critical temperature to work (which explains why Rossi has heaters in the E-Cat) and that temperature varies by metal. The Debye limit.

Inspection of the table shows several metals with quite low limits, so ought to work at room temperature.

Aluminium 	428 K
Beryllium      1440 K
Cadmium 	209 K
Carbon 	       2230 K
Cesium 	         38 K
Chromium 	630 K
Copper 	        343.5 K
Gold 	        170 K
Iron 	        470 K
Lead 	        105 K
Manganese 	410 K
Nickel 	        450 K
Platinum 	240 K
Silicon 	645 K
Silver 	        215 K
Tantalum 	240 K
Tin (white) 	200 K
Titanium 	420 K
Tungsten 	400 K
Zinc 	        327 K

So anything below about 300 K ought to be fairly easy to ‘make go’. This also explains why the ones using, for example, Tungsten electrodes work best once they are glowing and / or steaming at the electrodes.

The need for lots of surface area, crystal defects, et. al. all imply that bulk metal powders, sponges, and irregular chemical depositions ought to be beneficial. I’d pondered using carbon fiber mats with an electroplate over them to get lots of surface area from not much metal. That would likely still work, but the range of metals usable is likely quite large.

In particular, using a chunk of Tin solder ( Debye Temperature point 200 K ) ought to make a readily available electrode material that is easily plated and / or deposited from solution ( i.e. poor / rough tin plate), cheap, and relatively low toxicity and that ought to start working at below room temperature.

IMHO, it looks like a simple electrolysis cell to make hydrogen and then an equally simple electrochemical cell to react it made from common metals ought to be “doable” as a test case.

But Wait, There’s More

The implication of that video and the patent is that there ought to be all sorts of unexpected places where a mix of hydrogen ions and metal atoms in a crystal might produce neutrons, protons, and fusions; including rocks in the Earth and potentially be part of the process of how the sun works. This could explain some of the “odd” occurrences of neutrons from various rock pressurization / electric discharge processes.

If, as some have proposed, the sun is an Iron Sun at some depth but with a hydrogen atmosphere, that hydrogen ought to be getting fused via the metal hydride formation process. That it would then spit out a load of protons and we have a high energy solar wind full of protons is curiously attractive…

The video states that one of the likely reactions (to make the neutrons vs heat work out) is likely a more direct fusion of Deuterium into Helium. That would depend on other processes in the metal crystal lattice. I found the physics a bit deep as it was discussing something discovered long after I learned the physics I know, but it looks like the vibration modes of crystals may be highly important. While I hate saying “crystals and vibrations make it work” as that sounds so “new age” ;-) the fact is that the Phonon theory looks to be well attested and important to making actual devices that do unexpected things. Like sound driven heat engines and heat pumps and gigahertz sound “lasers” called SASERS (which they talk about as important for a variety of benign uses and I immediately thought “Wouldn’t a sonic welding of your innards make a messy kind of weapon?…)

At any rate, it looks to me like defect heavy and small metal particles lets the H or D easily enter the crystal spaces. The application of an external electric field drives the ionized H or D into the metal crystals and into the metal ions and then vibrational modes of the crystal may cause some atoms to be smashed together while others get whacked with decent energy protons and the odd neutron. Part of “the deal” is heating the metal to the point where the metal crystals start to ‘get sloppy’ (above the Debye temperature) but many metals are at / below room temperature Debye Temps so ought to work better / easier in test cells.

Just get over the vision of a crystal as a static lattice and visualize it more as a mini-destruction derby and it all makes sense ;-) Oh, and the smallest lightest cars get crushed together by the big “cement truck” metal ions ;-)

Oh, one other note, several cell types use K2CO3 as a special facilitating salt in the reactor (the tungsten / potassium carbonate cells ) so I’d bet that the “special secret catalyst” used by Rossi is in that family. Either Potassium Carbonate or perhaps, given his “cheap materials” approach of Nickle and Hydrogen instead of Palladium and Deuterium, he might have tried plain old Sodium Carbonate. I’d give Lithium Carbonate a try too.

If the Tungsten is run hot in those reactors to get above the 400 K ( 260 F ) Debye Temperature and the carbonate helps facilitate things, perhaps it helps other metals too and might be useful in colder cells run with lower Debye Temp metals. So maybe just a bit of sintered / co-deposited tin and some carbonate of soda could make a reactor that works without the external heating needed by Rossi. Put an Iron wire cage around a deposited tin electrode, add carbonate solution and perhaps added hydrogen for prolonged runs. Put a small bias voltage on it and stand back… Ought to be all it takes.

Now if only I had a spare shipping container or an empty garage to try this…

One Rossi video stated a 20 or 30 to one ratio of heat out to electricity in and a 1 Cent / kW (thermal) production cost. Might be nice in winter ;-) While it looks like a poor way to make electricity (due to the low temperature steam ) it does look like a nice heater.

So maybe the future is looking better for the folks who think new technologies can give us all a better life with more energy; and maybe the Green Running Out Paranoia has yet another hurdle in front of it.

When guys from a U.S. Navy lab say they got results, and have material evidence and peer reviewed publications to back it up, I think it is time to be mildly optimistic.

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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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77 Responses to SPAWAR Space and Naval Warfare – LENR Proof

  1. hillrj says:

    December 19, 2011
    According to Jed Rothwell, cold fusion researcher and owner of the website the US Navy has closed down cold fusion research at its Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. (SPAWAR)
    Rothwell believes that recent media attention surrounding cold fusion is the likely cause of the closure of the program. He writes, “The people in charge of the Navy and the DoE know nothing about cold fusion, and they do not care about it. When they get letters from scientists or members of the public saying “someone in your organization is committing fraud” they do not ask questions. They close it down, whatever it is.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like MIT has one working too. Claim of 14:1 power gain.

    On January 31, Swartz focused on CF/LANR nanomaterials, including recent developments on how to better handle and activate them. He concluded with several types of new NANOR results, including the results from the group’s previous day experimental CF/LANR run. This cold fusion demonstration had an average energy gain (COP) of 14.12 over the several hours that were observed (and which followed).

    Swartz noted, “The duty cycle was split with half going to a control portion consisting of a carefully controlled electrical DC pulse into an ohmic resistor which was used to thermally calibrate the calorimeter. For the entire month of February, the NANOR continued to produce excess energy, with daily calibrations against an ohmic thermal control; thus, it also confirmed the existence of CF/LANR daily during that time.”

    Compared to the 2003 MIT CF/LANR demonstration, the new calorimeter shown at the lab also had additional monitoring diagnostics “for improved verification, such as the measurement of heat flow, to thereby provide for three independent ways of monitoring excess heat semiquantitatively compared to a thermal ohmic control. The excess heat, which the NANOR demonstrated, was monitored three ways.” Swartz and others at JET Energy created a unique calorimeter and driving system whose unique design was its driving configuration and implementations which were made especially for portability to MIT along with other features. Swartz noted that, compared to the 2003 demonstration at MIT, this second demo had improvements of size, response time, diagnostics and output energy. The current set-up was designed to run at low power input levels to increase the likelihood of longer runs and safety at the educational institution for its month-long stay.

    Swartz expounded on the improvements over the 2003 demo: “First, the 2012 IAP demo has used an entirely new, more reproducible configuration of cold fusion. It showed a significant improvement over the previous demonstration because it was composed of an entirely new line of CF/LANR nanomaterials. At its core is a specially prepared CF nanomaterial developed by JET Energy, and constructed into a NANOR which is a member of the sixth generation of these mini CF/LANR devices which certainly appear to have a place in the future of cold fusion. Second, and most importantly, the NANOR used in the January IAP demonstration had a much higher energy gain compared to the 2003 demonstration unit [energy gain 14.1 in 2012 vs. energy gain ~2.7 in 2003]. The current NANOR series have had higher power gain (to beyond 30) and energy gain (to 16) levels, but the group was quite satisfied with a COP of 14 for hours. Third, another unique quality of the NANOR is precise, safer containment. In this case, the mini-sized NANOR is a sixth generation CF/LANR device, and it is smaller than a few centimeters, with an active site less than a gram. Fourth, in the case of the sixth generation NANORs, unlike the others, the pre-loaded devices can be simply electrically driven. The activation of this cold fusion reaction is, for the first time, separated from its loading. In every other system known—Fleischmann and Pons, Arata, Miles and others—the loading was tied to activation. The next step with the NANOR research is to increase input power, energy production density and temperature.”

    They use a “Palladium Zirconium” electrode. I’d wondered if using mixed materials might make for more crystal defects and / or lower the Debye temp and / or make sites for easier H absorption. Looks like it is a fruitful path.

    Interesting technical video:

    The second video says “over 1000 times chemical energy” available… so pretty much must be non-chemical.

    In the second video he claims a ‘prominent physicist’ at MIT got his funding cancelled… seems to be a lot of that going around.

    Nickle foil works too. Emits gammas though ;-) I’ll bet stainless steel would work nicely.

  3. Thanks for this post! I watched the movie from start to finish.

  4. DirkH says:

    My notes about recent LENR/CANR developments:

    Most LENR researchers favor this theory at the moment. Widom-Larsen Theory
    Radio interview with Lewis Larsen

    It’s not fusion, it’s weak interactions, already described by Fermi in the 40ies
    Are we on the verge of an energy revolution that will solve the current worldwide energy problem while dramatically lowering climate pollution? Lewis Larsen the president of Lattice Energy LLC, seems to think so!
    37:00 It appears that certain ancient types of life forms can
    do transmutation (not to gain energy but to gain rare elements)
    bacteria and some fungi… the ultimate green technology…
    The multi body interactions used by LENR are used by the antennae of
    photosynthetic molecules as well..
    When a ultraslow neutron is absorbed AND the resulting isotope is
    UNSTABLE it always decay via beta decay, just emitting an electron
    and a gamma ray absorbed by a heavy electron converted to IR…
    48:00 in 1922: top physicists in USA have accidentally observed
    Transmutation to Helium beobachtet, news all over the world…
    scathing attack by Rutherford in Nature!
    rediscovered at Cornell in 1950 but couldn’t be explained
    and they dropped it, even Einstein was asked, a pre PhD had discovered it


  5. DirkH says:

    hillrj says:
    26 May 2012 at 7:57 am
    “December 19, 2011
    According to Jed Rothwell, cold fusion researcher and owner of the website the US Navy has closed down cold fusion research at its Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. (SPAWAR)”

    That means they’ve classified it. Things are heating up.

  6. DirkH says:

    Interesting guy: the late Julian Schwinger

    Wrote a lot of theory papers but got rejected by peer reviewed journals after the Revenge Of The Consensus. Sound familiar?

  7. omanuel says:

    Yes, Dirk, “Things are heating up.”

    Our social and economic structures are in almost free-fall collapse. Only a complete fool would believe world leaders can “put the Genie back in the lamp”

    Within a matter of months, I expect that the heads of NASA, DOE, EPA, etc to be testifying before Congress or a military tribunal on their role in supporting deceptive government science that undercut political leaders ability to formulate policies for the safety and advancement of our society.

    E.g., NASA’s role in hiding isotope data from the 1995 probe of Jupiter that
    confirmed evidence from the 1969 Apollo Mission to the Moon that
    the Standard Solar Model that Fred Hoyle proposed in 1946
    is total nonsense!

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  8. omanuel says:

    Sorry, wrong link. The above is Eisenhower in 1961 warning us

    That this type of deception might occur in 1998:

  9. Pascvaks says:

    If the problem with Manmade Global Warming is not the CO2 but the Heat the CO2 traps and causes the poles to melt and oceans to rise, then I can’t see that this type of technology does anything for us; it only adds to the fire, melts more ice so to speak. No, no, no, we have to find something that makes electricity AND makes the ice at the poles grow and grow and grow. I can just hear Al Gore now, “Hay Babe, a little lower.. lower… LOWER!”

    Ooooops! Sorry, right Al Gore, wrong quote. (SarcOff;-)

  10. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. “In particular, using a chunk of Tin solder ( Debye Temperature point 200 K ) ought to make a readily available electrode material that is easily plated and / or deposited from solution ( i.e. poor / rough tin plate), cheap, and relatively low toxicity and that ought to start working at below room temperature.”

    I am reminded of the experiments of French scientist Gustav Le Bon performed in the first years of the Twentieth Century. He claimed that he had artificially induced radioactivity in various light element metals, with tin being one of the best examples. He rubbed a coating of mercury (which soaks into the tin’s metallic lattice) onto the tin plate, then exposed the tin to direct sunlight. For some days afterward he measured (using electroscopes (this was before Geiger counters) and photographic film) residual radiation. I am of the opinion that the UV portion of the spectrum was needed, but I do not remember whether that is what Le Bon wrote or just what I decided about it.

    Oddly enough, FBI agents are reported to have removed Le Bon’s books from US libraries during WWII.

  11. p.g.sharrow says:

    During this last week Rossi claims to be test operating an improved reactor cell that operates at 600C at the outside of the cell. His work with DoD scientists has given him better insight and has lead to this more stable and higher temperature design. the COP is at least 6. pg

  12. omanuel says:

    Deception about cold fusion in 1989 is only one in a long series of government misrepresentations since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed in August of 1945.

    The rest of this sad tale is documented in five (5) videos and ten (10) publications shown with hyper-links on my abbreviated profile.

  13. DocMartyn says:

    Take carbon nanotubes and boil in sulfuric acid; this gives you hydrphobic/hydrophilic carbon clusters (HCC); an oxidized graphene with carboxylates.
    First reduce carboxylates to alcohols using LiAH4, then add PCl5 and then HS-[C-C=C]n-SH. This gives you a thiolated HCC with electron/hydrogen conducting wires.
    Add Cu(I) and have HCC-S-[C-C=C]n-S-Cu.
    Use a carbon/Cu electrode and a liquid D2O electrolyte.
    You can use a toluene/D2O tank to remove your Cu-HCC and add new Cu to the reactor.

  14. DirkH says:

    After some digging into the Schwinger effect, pair production, quantum fluctuations, Quantum electrodynamics, virtual particles, Feynman etc. I found this talk transcript by the late Julian Schwinger himself, about his attempts at publishing his cold fusion theory and hypotheses.
    “My first attempt at publication, for the record, was a total disaster. “Cold Fusion: A Hypothesis” was written to suggest several critical experiments, which is the function of hypothesis. The masked reviewers, to a person, ignored that, and complained that I had not proved the underlying assumptions. Has the knowledge that physics is an experimental science been totally lost?”

  15. j ferguson says:

    My memory of the Fleishman Pons “reactions” was that Feynman was skeptical in a very specific way. His objection (lack of neutron radiation IIRC) seems aligned with those of the hot-fusionists. The assertion of the cold fusionists is that something entirely different is happening here. By any chance, have I grasped it?

  16. DirkH says:

    j ferguson, read the link for the Widom-Larsen theory that I gave above. Basically it says that a electron and a proton form a very low energy neutron which is due to its low energy very large (the extent of its wave function is very large, larger than an ordinary atom), and this neutron “falls” into a nuclear core with which its wave function overlaps.

    Sounds pretty fantastic but Larsen says in the radio interview that Enrico Fermi predicted low energy nuclear reactions like that. Fermi died too early to do work about it though. But he was a nuclear supergenius.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @J. Ferguson:

    The patent application link has a proposed model. It is roughly as DirkH describes but adds an interesting ‘twist’. The ‘bit’ that is soaked into the metal atom at some distance into the atom, below many of the electrons but not in the nucleus yet (as I’d hypothesized before) makes a transistion in its wave function and converts to a plain old proton. That suddenly realizes it is “way out of place” and gets shot out of the region ‘near’ the large nucleus with some vigor. THEN it whack into “other stuff” and the fusion step happens.

    Basically it’s a way cool incredibly small proton accelerator based on conversion of states of the proton / H- / whatever oversized neutron when the e- is crammed close to the p+…

    Don’t know which is the right answer (and it may be “both”). I’d presumed that the “soft of a neutron” with a large wave function would just “overlap” with the nucleus and become part of it (then any residual destabilization reactions could spit out the odd beta, gama, whatever. Along the way, some of the extra energy dumped into the crystal lattice can cause extreme “bumper cars” between D-D sets and cram some of them into He(4) plus energy.

    The latter reaction yields no neutrons. A ‘straight neutron capture’ in many atoms would cause no high energy particles / emissions but still have net energy liberation. The “flying proton” would cause stray particles and things like beta / gama that are detected in the SPAWAR folks experiments.

    IMHO we’re going to find some / all of the above is what actually happens. Some D+D=He and some N+Metal(n)= Metal(n-1) and some H+Metal=> Metal+ Proton + Beta => collision + energy.

    In the ones using Potassium, it’s a ‘magic number’ off of a very stable nuclear island, so I suspect the metal “stuff” makes fast particles that are absorbed by the K in another energy production step.

    The one I find fascinating, though, is the point that it may turn out that this is important to how the sun is powered.

    The same effects OUGHT to happen even at higher temperatures and pressures (and perhaps happen even easier).

    This implies that a ‘metal core’ of the sun would not be a sterile place, but rather a place where H is made into “other stuff”. Some of it going to He ( “Hot metal catalyzed fusion”? I call ‘dibs’ on the term! ;-) and some of it perhaps just flying out at very hot neutrons and / or protons.

  18. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    26 May 2012 at 7:54 pm
    “Basically it’s a way cool incredibly small proton accelerator based on conversion of states of the proton / H- / whatever oversized neutron when the e- is crammed close to the p+… ”

    Interesting idea. The first ideas to explain cold fusion where that the palladium lattice with a voltage gradient becomes the accelerator – so a proton would accelerate through the rows of the lattice… but that would have required a ridiculously high electric field strength which just wasn’t there so it didn’t work out that way.

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    This is cheaper and it happens everywhere. An hydraulic press is not needed, just put a pebble in a microwave oven…

  20. adolfogiurfa says:
  21. Randall says:

    Rossi is a convicted fellon who committed fraud and dserved time for it. In a separate case, he claimed high energy from thermoelectric converters. That work could not be duplicated and the lab in which the work was done burned down under mysterious circumstances.

    Fast forward to E-cat, the isotopic ratios for the purported copper product, match natural isotopic ratios. There has been no demonstration of thermal neutrons. I shall remain skeptical.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like a real engineering product:

    Click to access HyperionSpecsSheetNovember2011.pdf

    Having wandered through several of the “technical sheets” of several of these folks, reading between the lines on the Defkalion process, it looks like a Ni powder that has a bias electric current applied to push H monatomic into the Ni, then a longitudinal current through the metal probably in a fast pulse to cause the “phonon” wobble to smash bits together and make heat.

    The Rossi likely uses the same Ni / H in process but depends on gross heating to reach a level where the crystal vibrational energy is high enough all on it’s own. That would explain some of his “control” issues (that Defkalion solves via electric modulation directly in pulses, so no thermal runaway as there isn’t a large “load” of H in the metal to undergo thermal runaway). Rossi can likely solve it via high heat extraction rates and fast modulation of both hydrogen in and heat out along with modular reaction units so no “bulk runaway”.

    Click to access BrillouinEnergyHypothesis.pdf

    (BTW, if the Brillouin theory is correct you must have a transition metal, so tin would not work.)

    Has a decent alternative theory (forcing electrons into protons to make neutrons, until 4 N turn into one 2 P and 2 N as Helium) along with the same basic mechanism.

    Ni with H and a high frequency pulse of current causing phonon wobble in the “skin” that drives the reaction. Control via modulation of the electric pulse.

    So it looks like the basic physics is fairly constant, but the method of control (or lack of it) varies.

    Patent wars to follow…


    Show it can put out usable levels of heat and I’m interested. A minor neutron burst during an earthquake is interesting, but not usable.


    I put no particular trust in any assertion by Rossi. I put high trust in the guys from SPAWAR and the evidence in their presentation.

    While I’d not invest in Rossi’s company on a dare with my gambling money, he could very easily be using a real process to create a semi-bogus company; or might have started out to cook up a fraud and accidentally had it work ;-)

    At any rate, it’s the multiple paths that all show results including the various “open source” ones being done by various high school and college kids that I find most compelling.

    One or two folks can be a fraud. A half dozen can be a collection of mutually delusional and / or “me too” fraudsters. MIT, SPAWAR, and literally dozens of random science students? Something real is happening.

    Is it / will it ever be useful for actual products and energy production? To be determined…

    High School Students Replicate Cold Fusion

    While the dangers posed by cold fusion experimentation should be taken carefully into consideration, there are some helpful scientific papers available for those interested. One college professor reports that materials for an experiment can cost as little as $500 USD.

    Papers may not be adequate for full replication. Mentoring professor needs to have strong background to guide the project. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is possible, as one team showed.
    The closest we have seen to such a prototype is that of John Dash’s work. His papers can be found at The work that he, and his high school interns brought from Oregon to Massachusetts, for a week-long, live demonstration of a cold fusion cell is showcased here: . He estimates that raw materials run about $500 USD. Another excellent resource for interested students is Ed Storms’ .

    Keep in mind that such a prototype, at this time in history, will ONLY be useful as a scientific demonstration of excess heat. There is not enough excess power yet to overcome the electrical conversion inefficiencies to light even a small light bulb, but this is not the point right now of cold fusion research.

    It is still very much in the pure science stage, which is very exciting for students, but is by no means ready for practical application. For the best understanding of what the worlds most experienced electrochemists, physicists and material scientists have and have not been able to accomplish to date with cold fusion, I highly recommend my book, The Rebirth of Cold Fusion, coming out in late October by Pacific Oaks Press. Pre-ordering will be available on (a.k.a. ) next week. This will help give anyone interested in the subject a good perspective.

    Were it “just the students and dodgy folks” you could make a case for “mass delusion” or “persistent common error”, but with the MIT model running and with the SPAWAR evidence including phtomicrograms, tests for radiation that are positive, etc.: something is happening and it is clearly producing excess heat. Repeatable and reliable.

    Per Rossi: Near as I can tell his “dodge” is that he’s doing a ripoff of the Piantelli patent. So again, I put no store in Rossi the person. IMHO he is doing a patent infringement at the minimum. But it does look like he’s getting significant excess heat, as are other folks who use the same Ni-H electricity system.

    Basically: Don’t let the presence of one potential crook cause tossing out all the good folks with real credentials who did the work and are getting similar net energy gain. He might simply be trying to rip off their (valid) work.

  23. kuhnkat says:

    The temperature issue is quite interesting. Rossi has had problems with controlling the reaction and alledgedly has had reactors melt down or explode when run too hot when self sustaining. He has been shy on running independent of power input and many have claimed it is because he is a scammer.

    Based on your table of temp sensitivity I would offer another explanation. Using material that reacts well at low temps means harder to control. If all you need do is heat or remove heat you have control. If you start the reaction how do you stop it?!?!?!

    I would also point out that the heating is done with RF which is easily controlled.

    Over at Niche Modeling it was suggested that at this point in time there are so many people working in the field that a clean patent is not possible and basically it is a horse race to market with technology that must be kept secret. Only things like unique control systems would still be patentable and even they would be shakey…

  24. NeilM says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    27 May 2012 at 1:09 am

    Very interesting video – iron transmuted to aluminium along fault zones.
    I’m now thinking that these types of LENR processes could be very common and the resulting neutron emissions might well explain the strange atmospheric effects and lights associated with earth quakes. This Japanese earth quake report says that…”the number of electrons in the ionosphere above the epicenter increased dramatically” (
    Could it be that the increased electron flux was caused by neutron beta-decay?

  25. adolfogiurfa says:

    @NeilM says:….or the other way around:
    Well, nothing forbids it may happen both ways.

  26. DirkH says:

    NeilM says:
    27 May 2012 at 7:37 am
    “adolfogiurfa says:
    27 May 2012 at 1:09 am
    Very interesting video – iron transmuted to aluminium along fault zones.”

    Seconded. Prof. Carpinteri showed reactions that produce C, O and H. This could be connected to the abiotic oil theory. The middle east has a lot of earthquakes.

  27. DirkH says:

    Neutron flashes before and during earthquakes – not only observed by Russians but also by geologist Jim Berkland.

  28. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. This implies that a ‘metal core’ of the sun would not be a sterile place, but rather a place where H is made into “other stuff”
    The only apparatuses I know for transmuting lower energies to higher energy levels are called LIVING BEINGS, are you suggesting the existence of such beings in our Sun?

  29. E.M.Smith says:


    The IRON is not moved to higher energy, it is just a catalyst. It is the H that gets turned into He via repetitive e- additions. Eventually one would need to find a way to balance the charges, but perhaps that explains some of the electric currents in space…

    BTW, there are other times / places where lower energy moves to higher; it just requires that there is an offsetting larger flow from higher to lower

  30. Ben says:

    NASA currently researching LENR as well.

    Recent article by NASA chief scientist Dennis Bushnell

    Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions, the Realism and the Outlook

  31. p.g.sharrow says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    27 May 2012 at 2:39 am

    Looks like a real engineering product:
    It appears from your remarks, that, you have a grasp of the present extent of the field. As Public Graft and Extortion are planning to really stick it to us, we may need to get involved for our own needs. pg

  32. EMSmith – if you can leave the global temperatures analysis for a while (it won’t change what happens) it seems you know enough and have the background to make an LENR device yourself and prove that it works. It may require an analogue of “coding frenzy” to absorb the remaining clues in the research that is published, but it would be satisfying to own a nuclear reactor. Apart from the potential for massive profit, it would also kill the AGW argument since no-one would continue to burn expensive oil and coal for longer than it takes to build a bigger version and equip the world with it.

  33. Richard Ilfeld says:

    SO – what one might do is read an history of 18th century exploration, in some detail. Many of the favored sites were favored because of reliable water power …. not only for milling, but to run a rather elegant system of pullys and drive shafts connected by leather belts. Today dipping a small dynamo in the same water provides off-grid power. perhaps the New England mill towns will make a comeback, while the dams of scale allowed to remain will collect heavier industry and homes of the commisars. While I like the stove idea, in many ways our lifestyle is most dependent on the fractional horsepower electric motor. It may turn out that stubborn refusal to use available energy will be the idiocy that finally convinces the less thoughtful among us that the progressives don’t really have our best interests at heart, especiailly when the lights never go out in the commisar’s dachas.

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @P.G. Sharrow & Simon Derricutt:

    I had already collected a tungsten TIG rod and a nickle welding rod and was working on 2KCO3 prior to this posting. Just on a ‘slow boat’ basis. No need to stop the AGW / thermometer work.

    I tend to “run to burn out” on a topic, then “take a break” on an unrelated technology. So having more than one in the queue is a feature. For now theirs a bit of temperature code I need to finish up ( I expect to have v1 vs v2 vs v3 wrapped up by June 1) then I’m likely to put a bit more effort into the LENR thing.

    Frankly, what I figured out in making this posting pretty much puts me in the “can do it” group (assuming it can be done).

    Take a cluster of Ni welding rods. Attach a linear (end to end) high frequency pulse current. Dunk into alkaline water ( 2KCO3 preferred by frankly even KOH ought to be fine; other things ought to work too, but without the potential “kicker” of a K reaction). Apply a “loading” voltage of a couple of volts DC (just above ionization of H) for a week or so to load the Ni with H. Shut that off and apply high freq for a few days. See what happens.

    Ought to have no runaway problems (as the H in the metal will deplete if something DOES happen). Ought to be modulated by the longitudinal current / pulses. Ought to be very easy to detect a gross temperature rise in excess of the power from the oscillator circuit.

    IFF that shows promise, proceed to trying to make it run continuous.

    Alternate 2:

    Start with Ni rods and use them as the source of Ni ions into a solution ( likely NiS04 or NiCl – need to figure out a bit more about Ni chemistry and Ni plating…) to co-deposit Ni and H on the target electrode. (No bulk loading time needed).

    Now warm above Debye temp and apply high freq. pulses.

    Ought to provide rapid and high heat signature for the duration supported by the pre-loaded H so very quick to demonstrate after the target electrode built up.

    Two things I need to do: Make a high frequency narrow pulse width power supply. Learn to do Ni Plating.

    Oh, and find where I can buy chemicals without having folks with badges thinking I’m:

    1) Making Drugs.
    2) A Terrorist.

    ( I can see the warrant now: “Suspect is buying toxic chemicals to produce a nuclear reactor”. It would be entirely misleading and cause folks to go ballistic. It would also be on a picky technical level not exactly a lie. That it was welding rods and drain cleaner along with a tube radio transmitter and diode bridge would be left out… and that the “goal” was to detect heat about equal to a single match spread over a few hours would be buried…)

    If anyone else wants to ‘give it a go’ I’d be happy to have open discussion of it along the way ;-)

    It was the deuterium and palladium that were “bottlenecks” before. That’s gone now. (Though, somewhere, I have about 5 cc of “heavy water” in a sample bottle… gift of a friend years ago. IFF something looks like it is happening, it might be interesting to add that to the soup and see what changes.)

    As I see it, the “magic sauce” is mostly either in how the electrodes are loaded, and/or in how the reaction is controlled ( over / under Debye temperature vs H.F. DC pulses vs. no real control and hope the thing rate limits in a safe zone). So powdered metal for “production” but solid bulk loading (with time or with ‘co-deposition’) for simple demo / testing. Then just make sure you take THAT metal over it’s Debye temp and provide stimulation of phonon formation (DC pulses / acoustic / illumination / lots of ideas… perhaps even including direct RF coupling to the wire bundle… Who needs a DC pulse if you can have 10 cm AC in the wires from a 10 cm transmitter…

    Maybe P.G. can be talked into setting it up in the back corner of his space and coupling a Tesla transmitter into it… Now THAT would be cool! Using a Tesla to drive cold fusion ;-)

    (I can hear brains popping globally if it actually worked ;-) I’ll have to think of ways to replace a DC pulse source with an efficiently coupled Tesla source… )

    @Richard Ilfeld:

    The nice thing about LENR, if it works, is that that “stream” can be any faucet in the world…

    Also, Just realized I’d put a comment on the “education” thread that really was about THIS thread, so duplicating it here:

    p.g.sharrow says:
    28 May 2012 at 3:36 am (Edit)

    As you know about triod tubes for amplification and oscillators you should have a good idea on how a LENR reactor should be designed. pg
    E.M.Smith says:
    28 May 2012 at 7:23 am (Edit)


    Yes. Been pondering a bit. I’m doing everything I can to not start building one ;-)

    Spent a while tonight talking with the E.E. Old College Roomie about it and getting him up to speed a bit.

    I’m pondering a couple of approaches. One with a high frequency high power narrow pulse power supply on the “driver” side (along the electrode length) and a low voltage bias H- loading current normal to the electrode surface. KOH or 2KCO3 electrolyte and variety of anode materials ( nickle first, but maybe things like lead or even silver “just for fun” ) with initial electrode formed by electrodeposition with H codeposited (so as to avoid needing powdered electrodes or sintering).

    Another a bit more along what I think you are pondering per your question… Think “Beam Triode” but with a hydrogen gas fill into a metal plated carbon screen. Ought to drive H- at speed into the metal. Keep it e- rich, but still positive with respect to the cathode. (so, say, -30 vdc while the cathode is at -200 vdc) That keeps the electrons and H forming H- and whacking into metal hot enough to be above the Debye limit. I would expect to see fusion evidence. (though probably hard to get usable power out unless you water jacket the tube and use that… )

    Why use the carbon? As it is formed with a rough surface and / or has crystal non-conformity with the metal, it ought to cause a highly textured finish with lots of crystal boundaries and ‘powder like’ defects for H- to enter.

    Then there is just the idea of using the “Tungsten in 2KCO3 solution but with a non-aqueous solvent so that the Debye temp can be reached without boiling solvent and cavitation. Yeah, probably easier to just use water in a pressure vessel but …. I’d also us very high frequency low pulse width power to drive it.

    There are other ideas kicking around too… basically get the metal above it’s Debye temp, get the H formed into H- ions and headed toward the metal. Have a high e- density in the metal with rapid narrow pulses (lots of phonons). After that mostly just ideas about putting easily fused or fissioned atoms nearby as breeder blankets or power multipliers. Like Li or K on one end or U and Th on the other.

    Also some ideas about what might optimize for “heat and He, no neutrons / gammas” vs “more neutrons and gammas”..

    Liking the idea of an H gas filled beam Triode and metal target, though…

    (Oddly, the spell checker for this browser is happy with Diode but not with Triode… guess it is part of a dying language…)

    Well Damn! i WAS about to put a link to a page about what a gas triode is so folks from the semiconductor generation could have a clue what I’m talking about and ran smack into this:


    Deuterium is used in ultraviolet lamps for ultraviolet spectroscopy, in neutron generator tubes, and in special tubes (e.g. crossatron). It has higher breakdown voltage than hydrogen. In fast switching tubes it is used instead of hydrogen where high voltage operation is required. For a comparison, the hydrogen-filled CX1140 thyratron has anode voltage rating of 25 kV, while the deuterium-filled and otherwise identical CX1159 has 33 kV. Also, at the same voltage the pressure of deuterium can be higher than of hydrogen, allowing higher rise rates of rise of current before it causes excessive anode dissipation. Significantly higher peak powers are achievable. Its recovery time is however about 40% slower than for hydrogen.

    Neutron generator tubes! And nobody thought to ask what those neutrons might do next? Or where the protons end up?

    Oh Dear… I think I’m about to lose a couple of days trying to learn what the failure modes were and gas consumption rates were for H2 and D2 loaded gas triodes… It would be Very Annoying to find out that, oh, they had “problems” with overheating and helium build up…

    I hate it when this happens… in a compulsive OMG that’s interesting historical perspective kind of way… ;-)
    E.M.Smith says:
    28 May 2012 at 7:48 am (Edit)

    Looks like crystals making neutrons is demonstrated and used as well:

    In April 2005 a UCLA team headed by the Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Fellow of the Royal Society James K. Gimzewski and Professor of Physics Seth Putterman utilized a tungsten probe attached to a pyroelectric crystal in order to increase the electric field strength. Brian Naranjo, a graduate student working on his Ph.D. degree under Putterman, conducted the experiment demonstrating the use of a pyroelectric power source for producing fusion on a laboratory bench top device. The device used a lithium tantalate (LiTaO3) pyroelectric crystal to ionize deuterium atoms and to accelerate the deuterons towards a stationary erbium dideuteride (ErD2) target. Around 1000 fusion reactions per second took place, each resulting in the production of an 820 keV helium-3 nucleus and a 2.45 MeV neutron. The team anticipates applications of the device as a neutron generator or possibly in microthrusters for space propulsion.

    A team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, led by Dr. Yaron Danon and his graduate student Jeffrey Geuther, improved upon the UCLA experiments using a device with two pyroelectric crystals and capable of operating at non-cryogenic temperatures.

    Nuclear D-D fusion driven by pyroelectric crystals was proposed by Naranjo and Putterman in 2002. It was also discussed by Brownridge and Shafroth in 2004. The possibility of using pyroelectric crystals in a neutron production device (by D-D fusion) was proposed in a conference paper by Geuther and Danon in 2004 and later in a publication discussing electron and ion acceleration by pyroelectric crystals. None of these later authors had prior knowledge of the earlier 1997 experimental work conducted by Dougar Jabon, Fedorovich, and Samsonenko. The key ingredient of using a tungsten needle to produce sufficient ion beam current for use with a pyroelectric crystal power supply was first demonstrated in the 2005 Nature paper, although in a broader context tungsten emitter tips have been used as ion sources in other applications for many years. In 2010 it was found that tungsten emitter tips are not necessary to increase the acceleration potential of pyroelectric crystals; the acceleration potential can allow positive ions to reach kinetic energies between 300 and 310 keV.

    So looks to me like folks are making free neutrons and seeing fusion happening in all sorts of places.

    Now just why, with all these other places happening without a load of doubt; why are the “Cold Fusion” folks getting the cold shoulder?

    Looks like a lot of existence proofs for the general idea. So it ought to work in water based systems too and likely in deep hot rocks in the ground. Just with different degrees and exact processes.

    If whacking D into deuterated targets makes neutrons in air or partial vacuum, I’d expect the same thing to happen in liquid solutions or solids. Just with a load of differences of parameters. (How much, what context, quantities).

    Perhaps even at much lower initiation temperatures…

    Wonder if one can make a vacuum tube / gas tube analog in the liquid phase…

  35. p.g.sharrow says:

    You do not want free neutrons flying around, they must be contained in the reaction. Free neutrons are hazardous and make things radioactive. Deuterium is not needed and will result in free neutrons flying around. THE object is increased energy output, not freeing neutrons. Getting the Gama/EMF to usable electricity and not converting it to heat would be

  36. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, I’d have 2 purposes.

    1) Make a reaction with heat, but no neutrons.

    2) Make a load of free neutrons so folks might believe that #1 was also possible and would shut up about “Not nuclear due to no neutrons”….

    #2 would be of very limited lifetime of utility… but highly valuable during that moment…

  37. BobN says:

    The mention of 2KCO3 is a bit mystifying to me. In various Rossi blogs this has been brought up as a catalyst, but I’m not seeing the need. What do we gain by adding this to the mix.

  38. jim says:

    This article is a bit dated now, but for the record:

  39. E.M.Smith says:


    There is an oddity to K that it is one proton away from being a “Magic Number” of stability:

    K is 19, Ca is 20.

    So you have a better chance of getting a transmutation into that Magic Number state and staying stable. Other than that, you just need something to make the water conductive for the electroplating process when forming an electrode and for implanting hydrogen ions.

    So if you are going to use an electrolyte anyway, why not use one that might be a bit more prone to moving into a stable isotope of something else when a stray proton or neutron goes by? Might be enough of an ‘energy kicker’ to make it more provably working…

    So given that you need to electrolysis water to deposit H into the electrode, or to make a codeposited metal / hydrogen electrode, might as well have some K hanging around. There is also a SMALL possibility that K gets into the metal electrode surface and directly participates in the crystal mediated fusion via K+H- = Ca …

    (Not clear exactly what paths are active. Same reason I’ve proposed using Lithium Cl / OH as Lithium also fuses well).

  40. BobN says:

    @ E.M. Smith

    Thanks for the link, a good explanation. I was thinking more in terms of a dry environment of Nickel and Hydrogen with 2KCO3 as the secret catalyst per Rossi’s claims. This keeps getting kicked around with no one in the position to validate. The melting point of Potassium is 63 C so it seems like it would be out of the picture quite quickly and if melted could interfere with the Nickel reaction. I checked on 2KCO3 and it has a melting point 891 so that makes it interesting.
    The proton aspect of it is intriguing though!

  41. gallopingcamel says:

    The SPAWAR folks come across as serious scientists who are reporting defects in materials that may (or may not) be caused by energetic neutrons, alpha particles etc.

    That is a far cry from Rossi who is claiming kilo Watts of heat for a modest electrical input. Rossi’s antics scream “SCAM”.

    The SPAWAR folks should feel disrespected whenever they are associated with Rossi.

  42. BobN says:


    The SPAWAR group was doing very good work, much of it on free time from what I have heard. The problem is, they were officially shut down when their work was made public. I guess we all have our theories as to the politics of the situation. I believe their work has been transferred to another government agency, but I would be just speculating if I said a name. Too bad, they were doing great work.

  43. jim says:

    You might check out for chemicals and other supplies.

  44. E.M.Smith says:


    Yeah, remember the cells are aqueous, not dry. They dissolve H2 into a solution that runs over the electrodes and gets very hot. Then you either measure the “added heat” in small lab scale, or hopefully “make steam” in large scale.

    First thing I thought of was a submarine with zero or near zero nuclear signature swimming in an ocean of fuel and where you can make the needed pumps / boilers very quiet Heck, for low speed you could likely do some kind of “creep speed” at zero plant noise with thermionics or similar.

    Add that you don’t need to be a “Nuclear Nation” to make a “LENuclear Sub” and it’s just a leaky bag of worms… Were I in the DOD I’d classify it so fast it would make your head spin, then put the guys working on it under a Sub Commander and start them making silent mini-subs for the Seals…

    Think “German Small Electric Boat” but with a small LENuke to charge things…

    Looks like they have everything. Thanks.

    The problem, though, is that much of it may not be available in California. Or gets me “on lists”.

    As the only chemical I’m needing and not having is NaOH and it looks like I can make it pretty easy, I’ll likely try that route first. It’s just for making poor soap, so quality not real important. (Cheap is…) I still have a few pounds of the last batch of soap I made, so it’s likely next year before I really get the urge again. Frankly, the idea of mixing some Lime and Washing Soda to get Lye Water is intriguing all on it’s own ;-) For an experiment in “Liquid Stone” it would be preferred as you ought to get some standard cement formed along the way to help bind the other silicates as they form.

    For any LENR “play time” it’s easy to get Ni rods at the welding store and I’ve got KCl on the shelf (non-salt salt) so making some2 KCO3 is easy ( I’d likely just use a mix of 2NaCO3 and KCl and let the ions go where they may as a first trial as it’s quick and easy). It’s likely to be 6 months to a year before I’ll get to anything anyway. Easier just to let the folks who claim “orders now, shipping soon” run that long and see what shows. Then it’s either a SHTF moment for the power industry and LOTS of good info in the news, or it’s a lower priority “just see if you get something even if not commercially usable” play time, Have to find where my Geiger Counter is and if 20 vdc batters are still made for it first anyway… don’t want to discover ionizing radiation “the hard way” ;-)


    It’s exactly that “These guys are serious, careful, and reputable and show their work” that put me over the hump ( snicker ;-) into the land of “I think there’s something to this after all…” IMHO, Rossi started out to run a scam via taking the other guys patents and doing a ‘dummy up’ with cheaper materials and found himself with a quasi-working unit (and instabilities in managing it) and thinking “Now what?”… You see some of that in the way things have strung out a bit as he’s had to go back and work out bits that a careful design would have addressed up front (like control of thermal runaways at scale). Speculation on my part, but… It fits ALL the known facts, including the kind of guy he is / was and who was talking about what when he got started.

    Kind of like “Music Man” where the “Flim Flam Man” ends up accidentally trapped into doing something that really is a success… if a bit hacked together…

    At any rate, were I making a movie that’s how I’d pitch the script…

  45. BobN says:


    I was referring to a Rossi or defkalion type system that is not aqueous, but is Hydrogen gas stimulated to react with Nickel. Just a matter of how its done.

    I submorine is truly interesting as you said. With this technology they could generate Oxygen from the water and stay under forever (maybe nukes do that, never thought about it). Another aspect is to have small torpedoes that are LENR driven. You could shoot a torpedo with a sonar lock and it could chase you across the Pacific, a scary thought. You could shoot hundreds of miles away into a harbor by GPS and have smarts to select ships. Pretty hard to stop. Every ship would have to have counter torpedoes to intercept. A lot of new jobs in all this warfare development. Not the way to get full employment!
    What I wory about is the use of LENR in plane usage. It may be possible to fly around the world several times in a plane in the near future. This will put every location on earth within range of a terrorist attack. How does a country defend against such a broad threat.
    One of the key distinctions of the US Military is to project power long distance. The US does it by the Nuclear carriers and the air force by refueling tankers. With this technology, 3rd world countries could reach out and do major damage. The whole military operating tactics would need to be revised.
    Just think of no gas supply lines, the vulnerability is eliminated, the refueling of bases. Tanks, just turn them lose, no worry in outrunning the supply line. Some sobering thoughts.
    I could list a couple of dozen military devices that are game changers and I’m sure the list is just a start of what the big brains could come up with. I think the way LENR has evolved, the cat is out of the bag and they can’t kill it at this point. Maybe the reluctance to grant patents is the way they are trying to slow this down. I believe they are scared and don’t know what to do.

    Quite frankly, I think the government is more worried about the tax base they will lose. I think its at least 200 billion a year and probably more. We live in interesting times.

    [ Reply: It looks like you changed names from BobN to just Bob. That puts the comment into the “Moderation Queue” as a ‘never seen before person’. Then when you connect as “BobN” again, you do not see the comment as it is “in Moderation” and from “a different person”. Pick one name and stick with it, that will not happen. I’ve changed this one to “BobN” to match your prior comments.

    While I’m here: I’ve assumed that Rossi is Aqueous. I suppose it could be dry and with the steam generation on the backside of the electrode. Would be harder to use electric loading of the H- into the electrode, but a pre-loaded at deposition one might work. The torpedo and airplane points are interesting. Hadn’t thought that far… At present there are solar powered ultralight planes that stay up forever, using batteries to get through the night. Suppose one could be used for a very slow weapon delivery… Yes, there are hints of an “organized worry” in the “negative space” – what ought to be, but isn’t. Like patents not granted and papers not published. Even ‘failure to confirm’ papers in some cases, or ‘failure to confirm’ but with somewhat different “rigs” than the original. Interesting times, indeed. -E.M.Smith ]

  46. jim says:

    “Have to find where my Geiger Counter is and if 20 vdc batters are still made for it first anyway… don’t want to discover ionizing radiation “the hard way” ;-) ”
    It’s the neutrons that are hard to detect. Maybe you could find a material that is easily transmuted by them – of course you would have to have some idea of the energy.

  47. jim says:

    I have a schematic for a GC that runs on a 9 volt battery, BTW.

  48. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d be inclined to just take 2 x 9 vdc batteries and put them back to back on an external clip, if it came to that. It ought to be OK with 18 vdc. If not, then 3 x NiCad that run about 7.2 vdc would be 21.6 vdc and again ought to be close enough. (If not, then a ‘2 diode’ voltage drop of 1.4 vdc would be easy to do… )

    I’d rather not get into building Geiger counters…

    If I get serious about trying some kind of Cold Fusion rig, I’ll have to think about ways to detect neutron flux… a quick peek looks like using a Boron target gives some alphas that a Geiger Counter could detect, so I’d likely just put a bunch of Borax around any experimental set up and hope that between the natural absorption and the resulting side products I’d be reducing the counts enough to be OK and producing enough daughter products to get some GM Counts… Silicon also absorbs neutrons well, so just putting any experiment in a Pyrex borosilicate bowl ought to cut down on exposure. (Visions of a couple of electrodes and some ‘soup’ in a Big Pyrex Measuring Cup surrounded by a ring of boxes of “20 Mule Team Borax” come to mind ;-)

    It doesn’t look all that hard to either absorb neutrons or turn them into something detectable. If nothing else, after about 15 minutes you ought to have them turning into protons and electrons with some energy, so causing counts on the Geiger Counter. I’d be willing to turn on a “gizmo” and leave the room, listening for ‘tick tick tick’ from a distance… perhaps with a large stack of Boraxo boxes lining the wall between me and the experiment ;-)

    While I’d not expect many neutrons (given that other folks have found very few) and certainly not enough to be a prompt health risk; it isn’t all that hard to protect against them.

    If nothing else, a stack of glass sheets ought to be decent neutron shielding / absorbing for the low counts likely from any LENR device. (Though some time calculating how much would likely help…) So just putting some old glass doors between you and the gizmo ought to be an easy safety measure that still lets you watch it.

    In summary:

    Put cell ‘guts’ in large thick Pyrex bowl of borosylicate glass. Put a Geiger Counter next to it. Put a ring of boxes of Borax around that (overlap joints between boxes). Put layers of thick glass between you and the experiment while in operation and observing. Don’t observe much while in operation, go get coffee and come back later ;-)

    lists a LOT of providers of borosilicate glass sheets, so it also looks like it would be easy to get a glass sheet to place under the cell (and the borax boxes) and one to lay on the top (if feeling paranoid / getting counts on the GM tube / feeling bad about little birds overhead….

    They may also make nice big thick tube sections or semi-circular sections that could replace the Borax boxes for a neat “All Glass” look….

    BTW, borosilicate rods are used in some nuclear reactors to soak up neutrons. So this is not a new idea. “Pyrex is your friend. -E.M.Smith” ;-)

    Or look at it this way; if you make enough Neutrons to fry yourself, you have an assured place in the history books and your heirs will be famous and wealthy ;-)

    (Wonder where to get a Pyrex Jock Strap ;-)

  49. If you want to either build or buy Geiger counters, or just want to know enough to fix yours, then may be useful. The tube is something that will be difficult to make, but luckily the Russians made a lot of them and they are available surplus at which also includes neutron detector tubes. If you want a permanent spatial record of neutron hits, then use a plastic (CR39) that is softened by the impact such that KOH or NaOH will etch the plastic afterwards. This will also give estimations of energy of the neutrons. You can possibly buy this at but the site is very scrappy which puts me off somewhat. I haven’t bought from these sites, since the import from stateside to here might prove a problem.

    I had also thought that maybe Rossi was intending to do the same as Keely, and just live on the investors’ money, and then found that his device actually worked when it melted down. It’s a plausible scenario, given his background. I’m pretty certain that he has something that works at times, and that he has problems with start-up and control. If and when he gets them on sale, it’s probably not a good idea to be the first in line to buy one, since until he’s had a competent group of engineers work on the design there are probably going to be a lot of reliability issues in the first few production runs. Defkalion’s offering, when it comes out, looks to be a lot more expensive but well-engineered, and should just work rather than need frequent fixing. Like a Mercedes, it’ll cost more than a Lada.

    For home heating, though, it’s probably going to be safer to go the cavitation route (it’s possible that the electrolysis experiments actually run on cavitation). It’s looking like any method that can get enough energy density with Hydrogen (or isotopes) mixed with other elements will give some sort of reaction. If you look at Lewis Larsen’s slide shows at and explore his various essays on the subject, you get more of a sense that it’s happening all over the place and we just haven’t looked for it since our theories don’t allow for it happening.

  50. NeilM says:

    If hydraulic fracturing of rock samples can produce LENR, could an iron oxide enriched concrete core be induced to behave similarly and in a non destructive manner?
    Say by exciting such a core with piezo transducers and perhaps soaking it in deuterated water and maybe adding other doping agents as found in rock samples. I guess the core would likely fly apart before doing anything more interesting, but who knows?

  51. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve been looking for a way to induce phonons in a transition metal using microwaves (why? because creation and coupling of microwaves is very efficient so it ought to help with net energy gain demonstration IF cold fusion happens due to phonon induced atom smashing…)

    Given the thesis from above (that H- inside a metal lattice gets squashed into a metal atom then either fuses with it, or gets ejected from it to fuse elsewhere; from transition metals) a transition metal would be preferred.

    looks like the technology of interest. It uses Zinc Oxide. (which is a semiconductor, believe it or not… yes, your white nose protection is a semiconductor paste…the list of semiconductor materials has grown quite large over the years. Link below.)

    Accession Number : AD0687134


    Descriptive Note : Final rept. 15 Jun 67-14 Oct 68,


    Personal Author(s) : DE Klerk,John

    Report Date : 14 OCT 1968

    Pagination or Media Count : 66

    Abstract : A method of depositing thin single crystal piezoelectric films of ZnO for converting microwave electromagnetic energy to phonon energy, is described. The design and methods of fabrication of broadband multilayer, alternate polarity, stagger-tuned transducers for use from 4 to 8 GHz are given. (Author)


    With that in hand, one ought to be able to make a ZnO crystal surface that could be made “phonon rich” with a modest microwave input. Put a bias voltage on it such that H- ions are pulled into that surface, and that ought to be a system with decent odds of working (IFF any of them work at all and if the theories are correct).

    In materials science, ZnO is a wide-bandgap semiconductor of the II-VI semiconductor group (since oxygen was classed as an element of VIA group (the 6th main group, now referred to as 16th) of the periodic table and zinc, a transition metal, as a member of the IIB (2nd B), now 12th, group). The native doping of the semiconductor (due to oxygen vacancies) is n-type. This semiconductor has several favorable properties, including good transparency, high electron mobility, wide bandgap, and strong room-temperature luminescence. Those properties are used in emerging applications for transparent electrodes in liquid crystal displays, in energy-saving or heat-protecting windows, and in electronics as thin-film transistors and light-emitting diodes.

    So lots of interesting possibilities in making new things with ZnO, I’d say. I have to wonder if some kind of cheap solar cell could be made with it. But that’s for another day / speculation…

    It is the chemistry of it that is of interest here. Is it compatible with hydrogen loading?

    Zinc oxide is an amphoteric oxide. It is nearly insoluble in water, but it is soluble in (degraded by) most acids, such as hydrochloric acid:

    ZnO + 2 HCl → ZnCl2 + H2O

    Bases also degrade the solid to give soluble zincates:

    ZnO + 2 NaOH + H2O → Na2[Zn(OH)4]

    These are both pretty strong reagents. The section on “Electronics” has a statement that leads me to believe a more mild environment would be stable.


    ZnO has wide direct band gap (3.37 eV or 375 nm at room temperature). Therefore, its most common potential applications are in laser diodes and light emitting diodes (LEDs). Some optoelectronic applications of ZnO overlap with that of GaN, which has a similar bandgap (~3.4 eV at room temperature). Compared to GaN, ZnO has a larger exciton binding energy (~60 meV, 2.4 times of the room-temperature thermal energy), which results in bright room-temperature emission from ZnO. ZnO can be combined with GaN for LED-applications. For instance as TCO layer and ZnO nanostructures provide better light outcoupling. Other properties of ZnO favorable for electronic applications include its stability to high-energy radiation and to wet chemical etching. Radiation resistance makes ZnO a suitable candidate for space applications. ZnO is the most promising candidate in the field of random lasers to produce an electronically pumped UV laser source.

    The pointed tips of ZnO nanorods result in a strong enhancement of an electric field. Therefore, they can be used as field emitters.

    Aluminium-doped ZnO layers are used as a transparent electrodes. The constituents Zn and Al are much cheaper and less poisonous compared to the generally used indium tin oxide (ITO). One application which has begun to be commercially available is the use of ZnO as the front contact for solar cells or of liquid crystal displays.

    Transparent thin-film transistors (TTFT) can be produced with ZnO. As field-effect transistors, they even may not need a p–n junction, thus avoiding the p-type doping problem of ZnO. Some of the field-effect transistors even use ZnO nanorods as conducting channels.

    So it looks to me like a modestly sloppy ZnO formation on an electrode (that makes nano scale deposits) could still be subject to microwave excitation of phonons while being stable enough for a mild 2KCO3 solution to make H- ions for diffusion into it. Even a potential for some “enhancment of an electric field”.

    So take some Zn and plate a ZnO layer on an electrode (or perhaps even use a ZnO bulk paste) then soak in a 2KCO3 dilute solution and electrically load with H- ions. Turn on an external microwave source and slowly ramp up the amount bouncing around in the reactor. See if anything happens…

    Looks like a novel and potentially more controllable and perhaps even more efficient approach (if it works at all… but at least the pathway is available to explore without doubting that microwave induction of phonons is possible.) Ought to even allow for a simple “pulse mode” where a batch of H- is loaded then you ‘whack’ with a microwave induced phonon wallop. Repeat. Less electricity wasted in things like bulk heating ( Rossi ) or heating with cavitation ( Tungsten rod ) or electric current induced phonons ( Defkalion ).

    Since phonons are a bulk material process, it ought to be possible to put a thin film of ZnO over a bulk metal (like Ni) and induce phonons in it that wold propagate through the whole bulk).

    In sum, it looks to me like there are a lot of interesting pathways yet to investigate.


    The piezoelectricity in textile fibers coated in ZnO have been shown capable of fabricating “self-powered nanosystems” with everyday mechanical stress from wind or body movements.

    In 2008 the Center for Nanostructure Characterization at the Georgia Institute of Technology reported producing an electricity generating device (called flexible charge pump generator) delivering alternating current by stretching and releasing zinc oxide nanowires. This mini-generator creates an oscillating voltage up to 45 millivolts, converting close to seven percent of the applied mechanical energy into electricity. Researchers used wires with lengths of 0.2–0.3 mm and diameters of three to five micrometers, but the device could be scaled down to smaller size.

    It looks like it is easily deposited on a fibre base as well, so making a very high surface area via a coating on a carbon fabric conductor ought to be doable as well. Dunking that in a sonic driven cell could also make a load of phonons as well as electric surges. Interesting material…

    Looks like it also connects with the “Liquid Stone” theme as you can make various cements with it.

    ZnO reacts slowly with fatty acids in oils to produce the corresponding carboxylates, such as oleate or stearate. ZnO forms cement-like products when mixed with a strong aqueous solution of zinc chloride and these are best described as zinc hydroxy chlorides. This cement was used in dentistry.


    ZnO also forms cement-like products when treated with phosphoric acid; related materials are used in dentistry. A major component of zinc phosphate cement produced by this reaction is hopeite, Zn3(PO4)2·4H2O.

    ZnO decomposes into zinc vapor and oxygen only at around 1975 °C, reflecting its considerable stability. Heating with carbon converts the oxide into the metal, which is more volatile than the oxide.

    ZnO + C → Zn + CO

    Zinc oxide can react violently with aluminium and magnesium powders, with chlorinated rubber and linseed oil on heating causing fire and explosion hazard.

    One hopes any cell keeps the instantaneous energy below 2000 C or there would be decomposition of the ZnO. Then again, that might be usable as an indicator of success. If the cell gradually gets a layer of metallic Zinc and the carbon fabric under it (or Ni) oxidizes, well, something important happened ;-)

    It might also be a bad idea to heat the carbon mesh with a ZnO coating given that linseed oil and ZnO can be explosive. The reaction with Aluminum and Magnesium might imply care needed with other metals, too.

    At any rate, it looks like an interesting possible to investigate.


    Give a startlingly long list of semiconductor materials. It’s expanded quite a bit from the Silicon, Germanium, and Galena of my early years.

    Nickle Oxide is on the list, so perhaps a direct microwave excitation of a nickle oxide layer could be used for phonon induction. C is on the list too, but as “diamond”. Aluminum Nitride was a bit of a surprise and is piezoelectric.

    ZnS is on the list and the comment says it is used in scintillation counters, so add a bit of S to the suface and one might be able to make a Cold Fusion reactor that glows to demonstrate that it’s working ;-)

    Copper Sulphide, Silver Sulphide and Lead Sulphide (galena used in old crystal radios) too. Along with a long list of oxides (including Uranium Oxide) and even Platinum Silicide PtSi “who knew?” ;-)

    I can’t help but wonder if one could somehow make a Diamond / Platinum Silicide junction device. “Worlds most expensive diode”?

    My major takeaway from that list, and from the behaviour of ZnO with microwaves, is that there exits a very large opportunity for investigation of “other modes”. With a sidebar that there are a lot of “things in the rocks” that could be interacting in very unexpected ways with any of { mechanical stress | electron flux | magnetic flux | proton / neutron flux } and more.

    That’s all for now. I’m going to focus on knocking out the final look at GHCN V1 vs V2 vs V3 for the next day or two (until it’s a done deal).

  52. BobN says:

    This is a test to see if my posts get listed. I post, but they disappear!

  53. E.M.Smith says:


    Look back up thread. It’s there now. Just stick with BobN and it ought not to be a problem. You swapped name (to just “Bob”) and that put you into the “New User Moderation Queue” (and means that when you are being “BobN” you can’t see a posting from “Bob” that has not yet been approved by the moderator – me.)

    So I changed that one to “BobN” and hit the approve button…

  54. EM – it sounds like this one has really grabbed your attention.

    The phonons you really want are the highest energy-ones, and these run in the 2-12 THz range. Yes, that’s teraherz. You start to get these above the Debye temperature, and as the temperature rises above this then you get more of them, but no higher frequencies/energies. Since with Zinc this happens around 300K, you’ll get appreciable amounts at maybe 47°C (swiped from Piantelli’s patent, with a bit of back-work). I don’t know the numbers for ZnO. The maximum phonon frequency be calculated from the speed of sound in that crystal with a wavelength of twice the lattice length.

    The frequency itself is in the far infra-red, so you can either use an infra-red heater or some sort of radar generator to get the frequency, which will have to be tuned to hit near enough the right frequency to get resonance. With the infra-red heater, you don’t need to bother with this, but the actual amount of energy that is in the right bandwidth will be small.

    I hadn’t thought of using ZnO to absorb the energy. This is an interesting idea and looks like a good chance of working, and I like the idea of a bit of Sulphur too to scintillate. This would really tell you it’s not working right, though, since you don’t really want too much radiation. Maybe this scintillation is the secret for Iron Man….

    Since diamond is quite easy to make now, your diode is not far-fetched – I’ve seen some research on this but haven’t got a link to show you, sorry. Graphene should also be on the list of semiconductors, and people are finding uses for this when it’s coated with other substances such as ZnO – more efficient solar cells (but currently too expensive to make).

    Since you are dealing with phonons, they are going to be reflected on crystal boundaries, dislocations and the edges of the substance. The actual shape of what you use is going to be important to get the waves interfering constructively at some points to get your reaction. Micro and nano rods are going to have specific modes of vibration and may be quite easy to produce. Otherwise, a random deformation of the surfaces will at least give you chance places where the waves get huge.

    I believe that Rossi’s device is dry apart from residual water-vapour from exposure of the powders to atmosphere. Since he is claiming to run at over 600°C internally, it would in any case be steam. With Rossi, you can blame his misleading statements on a poor command of English or on bad translation. Or maybe not…. Either way, it’s probably not a good idea to try building something the way he says he builds his.

  55. BobN says:


    Thanks E. M. I guess it helps if you know who you are!

  56. Pingback: NASA's Bushnell UNLEASHED for LENR! - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  57. E.M.Smith says:


    From here:

    Debye Temperature 143 °C 289 °F

    So ZnO ought to work in a boiler… room temperature not so much ;-)

    Per Rossi:

    I’d assumed that he was at pressure sufficient to prevent flashing as he’s been below the critical point of about 647 K and had trouble above that. Then again, I doubt anyone really knows what he’s doing other than him and his crew…

    If he’s running dry, then it’s not working the way the others work… with electrical driven infusion of H / D ions.

    BTW, there are THz semiconductors now… but FWIW I’m just expecting the microwaves to do an efficient thermal induction with a bit of a kicker from making electrons run around excited. Then have any phonons come along “as they may” from supermultiples of the frequency… Watch a bit of foil in the microwave and it’s pretty clear it can make high energy densities…

    Frankly, part of what I find amusing about ZnO is that it opens the way for Galvanized Iron to work. I just love the idea of an old chunk of galvanized pipe or bucket as a ‘cold fusion’ reactor ;-)

    “Yes, Dr. Snobbly, this is my reactor. Notice the excess power is quite high? Yes, that does tend to burn out the bucket… but we have ordered a dozen more from Home Depot…” ;-)

    Fantasy, I know… but a FUN fantasy ;-)

  58. jim says:

    Here a nanoelectronic device that works like a vacuum tube. It’ll do 0.5 THz.

  59. BobN says:

    Jim, that’s a great link and could be quite useful. Most plasmon frequencies are listed at 2-6 THz, but this would have an affect. Designing with THz signaling would be a real challenge. I got up to about a GHz and quit. To make anything work would be a huge challenge that would be very though to work with in a garage environment.

  60. EM – I know you’re focussed on getting the global warming data properly massaged, so not much time for other things right now, but your ideas and approach on LENR seem good to me. If you are using microwaves, then the initial kick is going to need to be focussed by the shapes you use. Simulating this is going to be somewhat hard to set up, since we are dealing with lattice-scale and the vibrations of the atoms need to be modelled. It seems that if you can get the point energy density high enough, then you’ll get a reaction if there are particles there that can react. The methods being used at the moment, therefore, are simply various ways of getting the seed-energy for the reaction into the right place, and most seem to use a scatter-gun approach rather than pin-point (and thus efficient) direction of the seed-energy.

    If I’m right on this, there will be many variations available to make a useful amount of heat and/or electricity once the technology is properly understood. Your galvanised bucket seems viable, though it will need to be engineered a bit before using it to make power.

  61. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Simon Derricutt says:

    It appears to me you have a good grasp on this subject. I have been following this since the F&P announcement. All wet experiments that I know of show me that a wet system is a neat way to get a small reaction in a lab but no good for real output. Water is too good a moderator to allow a strong reaction. Dry reactors such as the Rossi device point the way to real power creation. The use of RF to start and control the reaction seems to me to be best design to pursue. Fusion event requires density and attempting to create and control this with pressure and temperature is a sloppy way to do this, way to slow! Rather then converting the energy created into heat and then using that, I would pursue direct creation of electric power, an RF controlled design would be the best for this outcome. As soon as I have my shop/warehouse completed, I will have good place for pursuit of this subject. Maybe this should be a crowd project. ;-) pg

  62. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G. We are waiting for your flying apparatus…

  63. pg – During the intervening years I was much focussed on electronics and computers, and only caught the news of Rossi’s demos and thus got interested at the end of last year. After making a suggestion to Rossi (ignored) on his blog last December, I thought I might as well test it out myself.

    Home heating/cooling does use a fair amount of power, so don’t discount the water-based reactions. You can buy a Griggs pump (now made by Hydrosonics, his company – see ) which does not state that it uses LENR but is nonetheless a COP=2 or so device, and the prototypes have been in use at his local fire-station for quite a few years now as water-heaters. Cavitation seems a very good way to get the energy density needed, and can be done in mechanical ways (as in Griggs pump) or electronically or by other applied energies.

    You’re right that controlling the reaction with heat or pressure is far too slow to be safe. Running in “self-sustain” mode seems to me like walking a tightrope between not working and melting down.

    I think that Blacklight actually use LENR, but don’t see it as such because their theory doesn’t allow for it. Their idea of using a battery setup with two half-reactions and thus making electricity directly is thus a good idea, but at the moment I can’t see how the kinetic energy drives the electricity production (I’m not a chemist). Still, it seems to work. They may even commercialise it before running out of their current $15M in venture capital.

    I’m currently working with Bob, who pointed me at this excellent blog. We’ve been doing some talking about open-source once we’ve got a solid result, but it would also be nice to make a bit of money from it. I like to be certain of my figures, and publishing, even here, before there are repeatable results would not be good for the already terrible reputation of LENR.

  64. jim says:

    For whatever reason, Blacklight sells only licenses to their technology. If I were sitting on any sort of safe, cheap source of heat; I would be making and selling devices and getting rich. They aren’t doing either of those things.

  65. BobN says:

    I see that Brillouin received funding and has the money to Work with Stanford Research in their 3 stage design, I’m hoping this brings a product soon.
    I’m a question and answer session, Godes (Brillouin scientist) stated that defkalion may be violating their patent. From what I know of the two companies, I’m very skeptical of that comment and with the patent situation there will be a lot of rich lawyers before its all over.
    Brillouin’s patent was rejected recently, so the comment is a bit funny.

  66. Jim – Blacklight’s published results show a lot of variability between the cells that were chosen for the tests, and you don’t know how many failed ones didn’t get into the tests. To get to manufacturing status, you need to be able to build something and it will work as specified at least 95% of the time (what you’d expect from cheap consumer goods made in China) and up to 99.97% for quality goods. Thus more research is needed before they can manufacture, and then there’s the regulatory approvals – lots of money and time to be swallowed. They want to be paid for the technology, pay off their debtors and go do something else, maybe.

    If it was me, I’d probably try to find someone willing to manufacture, and failing that make it open-source – I haven’t any investors to pay back. They’ve burnt so much money in the past couple of decades they probably can’t afford to either make it open-source or even tell people enough to be able to copy it. It’s a problem working on borrowed money.

  67. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Adolfo don’t worry, as you have seen on my blog, that project is moving right along. After all, I will need a power supply to go along with the other parts.

    @Simon Derricutt, no big rush as I have timed that effort for the coming winter. If Rossi gets his act together I hope to test his domestic hot water unit in my green house. I really hope he “gets it” and it is not necessary for me invent that wheel as well.

    @jim; In my experience, technology licenses mean they have no practical devices and are hoping to cash in on someone else for development, as well as get a bucket of money up front. Blacklight does have a very neat looking “show and tell” test unit under construction. Deflklion has offered to sell me a tech license for only 40 million Euros. 8-( and they are trying to create by copying Rossis’ effort. I’m not sure anyone has figured this out yet, although many have IDEAS, damn few are willing to create with their own money and effort. Seems everyone wants to be paid up front for their wonderful ideas. A real invention requires a working device. pg

  68. jim says:

    p.g.sharrow says:
    1 June 2012 at 7:34 pm
    Yep, I agree with that WRT BLP. They’ve sold some licenses to small utilities, but I haven’t seen anything indicated any BLP devices have been built.

  69. BobN says:

    @PGSharrow — I would be interested in reading your blog. If you don’t mind I would love to take a look at your blog and see what your up to. Please give the link for it.

    License for technology only really pays off when you have a product in the market that has shown success, otherwise the value is minimal. Blacklight seems like a research company that isn’t interested in manufacturing. That business model has not historically been too successful. I’m sure the investors wood prohibit any open source plans, they need a product to get their investment back.
    I saw defkalion’s licensee numbers they claim and their asking license price and I come up with a Billion in revenue I’m highly skeptical they will meet that number any time soon. then again, if this takes of a Billion will look small.

  70. p.g.sharrow says:

    @BobN; just click on my name. Those names that are highlighted have registered with a blog site.

  71. BobN says:

    @PGSharrow – thanks for the link, didn’t realize it was done that way, never clicked on a name. You have some serious work going on. I believe that there is something to electrogravity, Good luck. I hope to heat a 100 foot green house with LENR devices. If that goes well I want to build a fish farm that runs in the cold climate and is cost affective. I’ floor planning and looking at the electronics to automate the whole process. Be carefull, you have some serious voltages your working with.

  72. E.M.Smith says:

    As a quick aside (as I wait for WP to actually respond to attempts to use the management interface…):

    Folks use licensing when they have intellectual property with a shelf life shorter than the time needed to get the money to grow to the full market potential. So IFF I can grow to $100 Million via bank loans, but the size of market is $899 Billion, it’s better for me to license a bunch of folks who all hit up their banks and do their ‘natural growth’ and give me a franchise fee. If the whole thing is done right, you beat out the other guys growth and buy his I.P. before it can get ahead of yours…

    Fairly common strategy. Think “Franchise”… or licensing folks to make the newest media format that will be gone in a decade for something else…

  73. BobN says:

    EM – You make a good case for licensing. It works well in Burger business that are easily replicated and have a mass population that supports wide choices. The license in the technology sector has not traditionally been done that way. Usually there are economics of scale and after an initial surge in start up, get get fall out and buy out putting the industry in the hands of a few big companies. Dell, HP are survivors of the PC market. Most licensees in high tech have come as a result of patent law suits. They license the technology after the fact, because they had to. I hope what you say turns out true, as it would give the little guy a good path. I guess IP licensing may be a good example of this, ARM has done a good job. I guess I’m struggling with this, as you can tell from by all over the map response. A very interesting subject. It would be interesting to map 10 inventions ans see where the inventor was in relation to the business in 10 years.

  74. Jason Calley says:

    Just ran across this patent issued to NASA:

    Note the following paragraph: “Heavy electrons exhibit properties such as unconventional superconductivity, weak antiferromagnetism, and pseudo metamagnetism. More recently, the energy associated with “low energy nuclear reactions” (LENR) has been linked to the production of heavy electrons. Briefly, this theory put forth by Widom and Larsen states that the initiation of LENR activity is due to the coupling of “surface plasmon polaritons” (SPPs) to a proton or deuteron resonance in the lattice of a metal hydride. The theory goes on to describe the production of heavy electron that undergo electron capture by a proton. This activity produces a neutron that is subsequently captured by a nearby atom transmuting it into a new element and releasing positive net energy in the process. ”

    Not sure if this is related to Ken Shoulder’s work on what he calls “electrum validum.” One of Shoulder’s main areas of work with EVs was in their use to transmute radioactive waste into safe elements. Perhaps some other readers who understand this area better can explain.

  75. E.M.Smith says:


    There’s a lot of licensing… Usually when the creator can’t or doesn’t want to enter the manufacturing business or simply could not displace all the existing players while they could create a ‘good enough’ competitor product during the life span of the tech ( or just ignore it and swamp them with pricing or marketing leverage).

    Dolby Labs: License for their tech in pretty much every audio and video format on the planet.

    Monsanto: Licenses GMO seeds to “manufacturers” who grow out the crops.

    Qualcom: Licenses chips to all the cell phone makers. Why not just keep the tech in house and make cell phones? Shelf life and market penetration.

    Music: Licensed to performers and venues world wide. Some major venues have “bulk licenses” so recently some artists tried to block Romney from using their music via denial of the license (that is otherwise universally granted… so they are being petty) by going to major venues, they can continue to use the music on preexisting licenses.

    GM OnStar – licensed from a small company for whom I worked. Less than 100 people when I joined (and we shipped). Eventually the patent library was bought by Microsoft in a particularly unpleasant manner…

    Adobe: PDF readers are free, but the creation software is licensed. How many browsers get a Flash Player license?

    Look at your typical flat panel display. From the LEDs / LCDs / whatever to the various surface coatings and even the “glass” itself. A web of IP patents from a variety of companies. Nobody can own the whole design, so they cross license.

    How about process patents. Someone invents a new process, then licenses it to the folks who have the factories. Small chip makers with a cool process license it to the larger players. (Yes, rarely does an Intel license to an AMD, but sometimes the small guys license designs and patents).

    Heck, substantially the whole software industry is based on licensing a technology by folks who are going to use it from folks who will never enter the end business. There’s some “in house” software creation ( I did it for many companies) but most folks are papered in licenses.

    In drugs, some minor players will license a drug to makers in other geographies and some geographies will demand a license. Do a web search on “drug compulsory license”…

    Any time a small company has a tech or IP useful to a variety of large entrenched companies, a license is much more likely than a competitive manufacturing operation.

    Heck, even FONTS are licensed. They are not free. Some guy invents a new font, or turns an old one into a computer rendered version, they own it. You pay a license to use it. That’s why there are so many “odd fonts” from folks like Microsoft. To avoid paying license to the folks who created the ones where they are doing a ‘knock off’. ( I’ve negotiated font licenses for typesetting on a vendor product…) So some are old enough to be public domain, others are made as ‘close enough’ by folks wanting free versions to exist. But read the article about the Times New Roman below and notice the reference to licenses:

    Just because we don’t see a lot of the licenses, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

    And I won’t even mention all the IP licensing that goes on with “characters” and other related arts. Somebody makes a new hot character and it is suddenly on T-shirts and Mugs globally. The designer didn’t make all those mugs and T-Shirts… If you want to put a Chevy Logo on your T-Shirt, you pay a license to GM… GM doesn’t want to make T-Shirts, but does want a cut of the action and control of their Logo.

    But it all comes down to how far a company can reach and how fast, vs how far and fast the tech or IP has worth. If the disjoint is wide enough, licensing makes more money than holding it close.

  76. BobN says:

    @EM – great comments, I appreciate your insights. Most of the companies I worked at were big manufacturers and only licensed as a result of law suits over patents or cross patenting for protective positioning. Much of the things we developed we gave free license rights for as a way of maintaining control. I had a quite myoptic view of the whole environment. I have been doing a lot of research on this and now believe that a licensing model can make good sense. Naturally some areas like software are more amenable to this, but I see the light and the possibilities. Your comments triggered some thought and research. Its funny how some things can just pass you by, if they don’t relate to your experience.

  77. omanuel says:

    @EM – I agree with the above comment. You have great insight and communication skills that are needed to restore:

    _ a.) Integrity to science
    _ b.) Science as a useful tool of society
    _ c.) Joy of discovery in the lives of scientists
    _ d.) Strict constitutional limits on political leaders

    Nuclear energy was obscured out of instinctive fear of the “nuclear fires” that destroyed Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945 and Nagasaki on 9 Aug 1945.

    That started the march of world society into a fascist Orwellian state, under Marxist-like banners of world peace, environmentalism, consensus science, post-modern science, politically-correct words and actions, anonymous reviews of proposals and manuscripts, an end to poverty, racism and nationalism.

    . . .

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