Sent: Sunday, March 21, 2004 3:16 PM
Subject: RE: U.S. DoE Will Review 15-Years of "Cold Fusion" Excess Heat and Nuclear Evidence
That is indeed excellent news! Let us hope they do an honest review (which seems likely this time). If they do, then I believe cold fusion will indeed be recognized and finally "put on the accepted scientific mat".
If so, then much of that success will be due to the sustained efforts and perseverance of one Gene Mallove!
Also, I know you are much into thermodynamics forefront areas, and with very good reason. As you probably are aware, there are already known and recognized areas in forefront thermodynamics that violate the second law of thermodynamics. Violations occur, e.g., in sharp gradients, and not much is known about that, either experimentally or theoretically [Kondepudi and Prigogine, Modern Thermodynamics, Wiley, 1999, p. 459 lists several such recognized second-law violating conditions and areas].
In other thermodynamics forefront research, violations of the second law can and do occur, e.g., from statistical transient fluctuations alone. Modern thermodynamics is largely based on statistical mechanics, and there are no statistics as such without statistical fluctuations also. Accordingly, there are very rigorous thermodynamic transient fluctuation theorems available these days for calculating some of the effects of such fluctuations. One of the best such theorems is given by Evans and Searles; see D. J. Evans and D. J. Searles, "Equilibrium microstates which generate second law violating steady states," Phys. Rev. E, Vol. 50, 1994, p. 1645-1648. That paper advances the transient fluctuation theorem which predicts appreciable and measurable violations of the second law of thermodynamics for small systems over short time scales. The theorem relates the relative probability of delivering negative versus positive work to an experimental vessel. The theorem applies to systems in a constant-temperature environment and initially at equilibrium. This theorem has also been fairly widely applied to other areas and found to hold and be very useful.
A generalized form of the transient fluctuation theorem applies when one manipulates a system so as to change its free energy. See Blau, Phys. Today, Sep. 2002, p. 20 for a cogent lay summary. For the full technical exposition, see Gavin E. Crooks, "Entropy production fluctuation theorem and the nonequilibrium work relation for free energy differences," Phys. Rev. E, Vol. 60, 1999, p. 2721-2726.
In a fluctuation-induced violation of the second law, the reactions involved in the statistics can and do run backwards in a certain size region and for a certain length of time due to the delivery of negative work in the region rather than positive work. Or, more succinctly, this occurs in a temporary condition where the production of negative entropy (due to the production of negative work rather than positive work) occurs rather than the usual production of positive entropy.
Chemically, this negative entropy region and its duration can be a surprisingly large effect and it can last for a surprising length of time. E.g., in a remarkable set of experiments, it has been experimentally proven that such "reactions running backwards" negative entropy fluctuations occur at up to cubic micron level and for up to two seconds or so. See G. M. Wang, E. M. Sevick, Emil Mittag, Debra J. Searles, and Denis J. Evans, "Experimental Demonstration of Violations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics for Small Systems and Short Time Scales," Phys. Rev. Lett., 89(5), 29 July 2002, 050601. The researchers experimentally demonstrated the integrated transient fluctuation theorem, which predicts appreciable and measurable violations of the second law of thermodynamics for small systems over short time scales. Entropy consumption is experimentally shown to occur over colloidal length and time scales, for up to two seconds and at micron size scales.
Note that a cubic micron of water contains something on the order of 30 billion ions and molecules. "Backwards-running reactions consuming entropy and producing negative entropy for up to two seconds can and do occur at such size scale.
The great "objection" to cold fusion by the orthodox community has primarily been based on normal nuclear chemistry with positive entropy production. In that case, so long as the reactions do not themselves "run backward", the normal Coulomb barrier (mutual repulsion) effectively prevents two H+ ions (two free protons) moving toward each other from approaching so closely kinetically that they would collide, so that each would penetrate to the strong force region of the other. Instead, the Coulomb barrier either stops the momenta and reverses them (for exact heads-on approach), or deviates the particles aside from each other for oblique approach. If the two ions cannot penetrate each within the strong force region of the other, there can be no formation of a quasi-nucleus of the expected fusion product, and thus no resulting excitation decay to that fusion product.
The only conventional way to overcome this ordinary "Coulomb barrier" blockage of fusion at low temperature is to go ahead and use high temperature and the resulting very high ion momentum necessary for some ions to penetrate and overcome the normal Coulomb barrier between themselves and their approaching ions, headed at each other and thus colliding. In short, some collision and formation of the necessary "quasi-nuclei" is achieved by brute force temperature and momenta, for some of the ions on mutual collision courses.
Now consider a "reaction reversal zone" up to a cubic micron in size, where indeed the reactions do run backwards negentropically (due to the production of negative work) for up to two seconds. When reactions are reversed, then the law of attraction of charges can also be reversed. In this special zone, momentarily, now the "reversed Coulomb law" is that like charges attract and unlike charges repel -- for up to two seconds and in zones up to a cubic micron in volume. So up to a few dozen billion ions and molecules can be involved in reversals of the coulomb barrier into a coulomb attractor.
Interestingly, the difference between a proton and a neutron is merely the orientation of a single quark. Consequently, theorists need to look into the implications at the quark level when two protons are in such a "negative entropy region" with reactions reversed. In that case, the Coulomb barrier is now reversed between the two protons! It is now the "Coulomb attractor" rather than the "Coulomb barrier". It seems the two protons could now certainly attract each other so closely that each does indeed penetrate to the strong force "deep" region of the other (if things were normal). Further, instead of the "deviation aside" of nominal close misses, the reversed Coulomb barrier can convert a near miss into a collision "hit".
It may also be that the strong force of each particle is also momentarily reduced, depending on the extent of reversal action on the gluon forces and on the orientation of the quarks. At any rate, it appears that a "quasi-nucleus" of two H+ ions can form, with the probably "flipping" of one quark in one proton to turn that proton into a neutron, lowering the excitation. That would be the formation of a quasi-nucleus of deuterium. Then as the transient thermodynamic fluctuation reverses in sign and things move back toward equilibrium, the strong force would again resume its strength (much stronger than the now emerging Coulomb repulsion between the two protons). The notion is that the quasi-nucleus of deuterium would just "tighten" into a normal deuterium nucleus, or just a D+ ion.
At least this notion of a reversal of the Coulomb barrier and a reversal of the law of attraction and repulsion of charges, precisely fits the known fact that negative entropy, reversed reaction zones do occur and have been experimentally demonstrated by thermodynamicists completely independently of cold fusion experiments. This then lends yet one more powerful argument that cold fusion can and does occur under the proper circumstances, and those circumstances may necessarily include the proven "reversal of reactions" that occur in such thermodynamic reversal zones that experimentally violate the second law of thermodynamics by producing negative work, negentropy, and reversal of the Coulomb barrier into a Coulomb attractor.
In our book, Energy from the Vacuum, Cheniere Press, 2002 we also listed candidate "reversed reactions" that would well occur in such fluctuation zones, and that would yield the experimentally observed alpha particles, tritium, etc. in the experiments. These suggested "reversed reactions" are based on the temporary "reversal" of the law of attraction and repulsion of charges, occurring in one of the thermodynamic reversal zones that have been experimentally demonstrated by thermodynamicists. As is well known, the occurrence of such excess deuterium, tritium, and alpha particles is icommon to a great many of the successful cold fusion experiments conducted in multiple laboratories by many researchers, in multiple nations of the world.
Anyway, let us fervently hope that the DoE gives a very rigorous and very fair review and appraisal of the cold fusion situation. And let us hope they also take into account the very important and pertinent transient fluctuation thermodynamics work and its production of significant "reversal zones", as shown by researchers such as Evans, Searles, Rondoni, Wang, et al.
To: Eugene Mallove
Subject: U.S. DoE Will Review 15-Years of "Cold Fusion" Excess Heat and Nuclear Evidence
From: New Energy Foundation, Inc.
March 20, 2004
(A Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) Corporation) www.infinite-energy.com
U.S. Department of Energy Will Review 15-Years of "Cold Fusion" Excess Heat and Nuclear Evidence
Exciting news that has circulated for about a month in the low-energy nuclear reactions field (LENR, a.k.a. "cold fusion") has now been confirmed. The DoE has agreed to perform a review of the entire "cold fusion" (LENR) question. The U.S. Department of Energy has made a startling reversal of its past refusal to evaluate with a fresh look the large body of experimental evidence that now supports highly anomalous non-chemical magnitude excess heat phenomena in some hydrogen systems, plus associated nuclear anomalies. The details of how the review will be conducted and when it is to begin have not yet been released formally, but it is expected to be completed by the end of 2004.
News of this major DoE reversal comes at a time of growing concern about present and future energy resources, as well as debate over funding for controlled thermonuclear fusion research, that is, "hot" fusion. It also comes at a time when much discussion of the "hydrogen economy" and fuel cells fills the media. LENR research suggests, by contrast, that orders-of-magnitude more powerful energy reserves are associated with hydrogen than conventionally understood chemical energy models would allow. This ought to please open-minded environmentalists and others concerned about the future of the energy-environment problem and potential impacts on global climate.
Just as after the the original announcements by chemists Drs. Martin Fleischmann and B. Stanley Pons at the University of Utah on March 23, 1989 and by physicist Steven E. Jones at Brigham Young University subsequently, this disclosure by the U.S. DoE is certain to prompt intense controversy and expectation. The great difference this time, however, is that a much larger body of excellent published experimental work now exists from researchers around the globe, which the DoE should be compelled to examine in its review. By right, this review should have happened a decade ago < but better late than never. In our view, the body of supporting evidence for large magnitude excess heat and nuclear products in "cold fusion" is so solid at this time that it would essentially be intellectually impossible for an objective DoE panel to come to other than a very positive conclusion about the evidence and the prospect of technological applications. Of course, it is quite possible that bureaucratic, unethical machinations will again occur that will preclude such a reasonable outcome. We hope that does not happen.
Another difference between now and 1989: there are now operational experimental electrolytic and other excess energy cells in various laboratories in the US and abroad; these are producing repeatable, verifiable excess energy that cannot possibly be explained by ordinary chemical reactions. In some cases, for example, one watt of electrical input power goes into a closed cell and an output power of 3 to 4 watts of heat occurs for a prolonged time. Much more powerful cells have also been operated. There is evidence of helium-4 and helium-3 production, tritium production, low-level neutron emissions, charged particles, light emission spectral anomalies, the formation of unusual chemical compounds, and even the transmutation of heavy elements in what seems to be a mix of fusion- and fission-like reactions. Laser radiation, ultrasonic activation, and magnetic fields, among a variety of other stimuli, have been found to enhance LENR reactions. It appears that an entirely new realm of physics and chemistry is suggested by the expanding body of experimental evidence. There are almost certainly implications for biology and medicine too. Many of the scientific papers from the LENR field and other historical materials can now be freely downloaded from the websites: www.lenr-canr.org and from www.infinite-energy.com.
The confirmation of the DoE review came first in a draft article by Physics Today science journalist Toni Feder. This draft was circulated to several LENR scientists, critics, and others who gave input to Ms. Feder. New Energy Foundation provided input to Ms. Feder and welcomed receipt of the draft article from her. The article is to appear in Physics Today's April 2004 issue, which should be out by the first week of April. Physics Today is published by the American Physical Society, an organization which by-and-large has not been open to the study of LENR phenomena, though it has allowed small sessions on the subject to be organized at its national meetings. In fact, the late LENR theorist, Nobel laureate Julian Schwinger, resigned from the APS in the early 1990s because the APS journals refused to publish his theories about the possible mechanisms of cold fusion.
The first popular journal to publish the news of the impending DoE review is, however, the UK-based New Scientist. In its March 20, 2004 issue, which was received in the mail today (3/20) at New Energy Foundation here in Concord, New Hampshire, freelance journalist Ben Daviss reports in a short article in the "Upfront: News in perspective" section (p.6), that James Decker, deputy director of the DoE's Office of Science, "has pledged to review evidence from the past 15 years of research in the controversial field." Daviss also writes, "The study could be completed by January 2005 and might open up the possibility of funding for cold fusion research projects."
There is additional high-level scientific support for the DoE review: Former DoE Office of Science Director, Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus (an MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) is quoted in the Physics Today article: "I think scientists should be open-minded. Historically, many things get overturned with time." Prof. Dresselhaus was on the original ERAB (Energy Research Advisory Board) Cold Fusion Panel in 1989, which rendered a highly negative and very premature report on November 1, 1989. Though over the years she has not been one of the highly antagonistic critics of LENR with which that panel was packed, she did not assist approaches to the DoE for LENR reconsideration, during her brief position at DoE in the Clinton Administration years. This is a welcome turn-around for MIT Prof. Dresselhaus, for which we commend her.
The initiative that helped launch the impending review was a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham from MIT Professor Peter Hagelstein, a cold fusion theorist since 1989. Prof. Hagelstein chaired ICCF10, The Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion, which was held in Cambridge, MA and in part at MIT, August 24-29, 2003. Solid demonstrations of excess power in electrolytic cells were exhibited on the MIT campus by two scientific groups. It was shortly after ICCF10 that Prof. Hagelstein wrote to Spencer Abraham. New Energy Foundation's journal, Infinite Energy Magazine, decided to published Hagelstein's letter in its November/December 2003 issue (Vol.9, No.52, p.46).
Prof. Hagelstein told the U.S. Secretary of Energy that Wall Street Journal reporter Sharon Begley, who had attended ICCF10 for a few days, concluded in her "Science Journal" column of September 5, 2005, "that perhaps most problematic about the conference was not what was presented and discussed at the conference, but the lack of interest on the part of the scientific community." The Begley column was titled: "Cold Fusion Isn't Dead, It's Just Withering from Scientific Neglect." The door to DoE was evidently further opened by Randall Hekman, who is an MIT graduate (1969), a former judge, and an energy entrepreneur (Hekman Industries). Hekman knows Spencer Abraham and Republican Congressman Vern Ehlers from Michigan, who is a physicist. Ehlers is quoted in the Physics Today article that it is time for a new review "because there is enough work going on and some of the scientists in the area are from respected institutions."
One potential minefield for an honest review of the LENR evidence, apart from the bias and well known hostility of the pathological skeptics, is the raising of the straw man of the alleged "requirement" for comprehensive microphysical explanation of LENR phenomena before the experimental data can be accepted. That is a well-known anti-scientific tactic that the pathological skeptics have employed for years. There have been many proposed theories to explain the evidence < both the excess heat and the nuclear products - but no single theory appears yet to encompass ALL the evidence. That is not an unusual condition on the frontiers of physics and science in general, which the critics pretend to forget. So, our strongest advice for a fundamental ground rule for the DoE review is that the review should focus primarily on determining this key finding: the validity of the evidence for non-chemical magnitude excess heat and nuclear anomalies < as well as any other physical anomalies associated with the systems, such as anomalies in light emission. Involved judgments about how the verified phenomena operate should be reserved for the future.
In May 1991, this author (Eugene Mallove) wrote in Fire from Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor (John Wiley & Sons):
³After reviewing mounting evidence from cold fusion experiments, I am
persuaded that it provides a compelling indication that a new kind of
nuclear process is at work. I would say that the evidence is
compelling* that cold fusion is a real, new nuclear process capable of
significant excess power generation...There is yet no proved nuclear
explanation for the excess heat. That excess heat exists is amply
This conclusion of 1991, in the first book in the world which presented a positive evaluation of the discovery, was based on already very, very solid evidence. Now the DoE review panel has much more evidence to back up that same conclusion. It remains valid in 2004 as it was in 1991. Another excellent book, which reviews the entire cold fusion saga, is by MIT-trained engineer Charles Beaudette (MIT '52), Excess Heat: Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed (2002 edition, available at www.infinite-energy.com)
Furthermore, it is the view of this author (perhaps not shared by many in the LENR field) that the DoE review as part of its task should examine other significant New Energy-related research that has been published, beyond what is ordinarily confined within the LENR field (www.lenr-canr.org). This research is almost certain to shed significant light on what has been found within LENR proper. In particular, there are three primary websites where such closely-related technical information and can be obtained:
www.infinite-energy.com (New Energy Foundation, Inc.)
www.blacklightpower.com (BlackLight Power Corporation)
www.aetherometry.com (Labofex and Aurora Biophysics Research Inst.)
As an additional assist to the prospective DoE review, a Memorandum to the White House from this author (requested by President Clinton's staff in February 2000, following the urging of our supporter Sir Arthur C. Clarke) has been posted at www.infinite-energy.com. Review panelists and concerned citizens should examine this document. It provides a concise historical and technical overview of the scientific problem of energy from water, titled "The Strange Birth of the Water Fuel Age." Unfortunately, neither the Clinton Administration nor the present Bush Administration acted on the suggestions of this Memorandum, until the present impending review, which was separately prompted by Professor Hagelstein's letter. We sincerely praise U.S. Secretary of Energy Spenser Abraham for facilitating this landmark decision to launch a review.
Concerned citizens (and especially MIT graduates) should also examine the 55-page report about the events at MIT in the early days of the cold fusion controversy < a free downloadable pdf-file at www.infinite-energy.com
As a final note: Though we very much appreciate that DoE will be carrying out a review of the LENR evidence, we do not need DoE's imprint and approval to realize that we are dealing with a critical frontier of scientific and technological research that has been validated long ago. Funding for New Energy research is needed NOW, not in 9 or 10 months! The DoE review is in some sense at best a corrective to a severe "political problem" that has occurred within the house of official science and in mainstream scientific publication. Therefore, we urge readers of this message to consider charitable contributions to the New Energy Foundation (a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation). These contributions already have made possible scientific research grants to New Energy investigators < especially within LENR, as well as on-going scientific publication efforts: books, magazines, video tapes, DVD's, etc. For example, New Energy Foundation helped fund the ICCF10 conference in Cambridge, MA last August, which helped lead to the DoE review breakthrough. ICCF11, which will be in Marseilles, France October 31-November 5, 2004 (www.iccf11.org) is also in need of financial support from New Energy Foundation.
Dr. Eugene F. Mallove
(MIT SB'69, SM'70; Harvard Sc.D. 1975)
President, New Energy Foundation, Inc. (A Non-profit, 501(c)(3) Corporation)
Editor-in-Chief, Infinite Energy Magazine
PO Box 2816 Concord, NH 03302-2816