delgHere follows my translation into English of the very clear explanation of the physics behind the Fleischmann-Pons experiment, given in 2010 to a wide audience by the Italian theoretical physicist Emilio Del Giudice, in one of his popular conferences:

“The famous article by Fleischmann and Pons published in the ‘Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry‘ was very well written, so Giuliano Preparata and I thought we had figured out what was the phenomenon, and we felt that such explanation fit very well with our ideas about ‘coherence‘, which at the time Giuliano was developing.

art2

The original paper by Fleischmann and Pons published on the J. Electroanal. Chem.

So, within a month and a half, we wrote a paper in which we proposed a possible explanation of the phenomenon. It should be said that the deuterium nuclei are formed by a proton and a neutron, so two deuterium nuclei consists of two protons and two neutrons, which would correspond to a helium nucleus if they were held together.

Given that, because of the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity the energy of an helium nucleus is a bit lower than the sum of the energies of the two deuterium nuclei, the fusion process leads not to a stable helium nucleus, but to a helium nucleus that I would say ‘hot’, i.e. that must get rid of energy. How can it get rid of this excess energy?

One option is usually studied by nuclear physicists, namely that the two nuclei come together on their own, without connections with others, in the empty space. There are no third bodies to which immediately transfer the excess energy. Due to momentum conservation, the only way that the core has to dissipate this energy is to break.

d-dAn example of outcome from a D-D fusion in the empty space.

In practice, from the core is ejected a proton or a neutron, or, with a probability of 1/1,000,000, a gamma photon, namely a ‘packet’ of electromagnetic energy. And this is the conventional nuclear fusion, or ‘hot fusion‘, so called because the nuclei are electrically charged, so they repel and a big effort is required to bring them closer to one another.

Simple calculations show that, to achieve the kinetic energies necessary to keep off nuclei enough to produce a nuclear fusion, it takes temperatures of millions of degrees, which we find only in the stars or in a nuclear bomb. For example, the hydrogen bomb, or H-bomb, is composed of a nuclear fission bomb which acts as a detonator, developing the temperatures required to ignite the nuclear fusion of deuterium.

To realize a hot fusion reactor, on the other hand, is a real challenge, because there are no materiaiter2ls that can withstand temperatures of millions of degrees, and to prevent the nuclei from touching the walls with the aid of powerful magnetic fields is an extremely difficult enterprise. Therefore, the hot fusion is certainly the energy of the future, in the sense that it will never have a present!

Using a metaphor, we can say that the problem of merging the two nuclei is in a way similar to the meeting of two candidate lovers that, if they can to overcome the hurdle of their bad character, would lead to an overwhelming passion. The just described road of the hot fusion, in this metaphor, corresponds to a ‘rape’.

There may be, however, another way to nuclear fusion, and it is the ‘cold fusion’, i.e. a fusion that does not require the high temperatures necessary for the hot fusion. In practice, instead of increasing the kinetic energy of the nuclei, we decrease the potential energy. In my metaphor, it is the path of ‘seduction’. But since the two nuclei repel, they cannot follow this route by themselves: a third body is required.

So if, instead of being in the empty space, we are in the matter – where there are not only positive charges but also negative charges, the electrons – there may find clouds of electrons that facilitate the fusion of two deuterium nuclei favoring their approach, a bit like the ‘old aunt’ who, once allowed two young people meet and fall in love, then disappear from the scene.

So, we could understand why, if the deuterium nuclei were placed not in the empty space but inside a metal – where there is an abundance of electrons that can perform the function of the old aunt – there is a density threshold such that when it is exceeded deuterium nuclei spontaneously begin to merger, as found by Fleischmann and Pons”.

EMILIO DEL GIUDICE (1940-2014) was an Italian physicist who has worked in the field of condensed matter. Theoretical physicist and professor at the University of Naples and pioneer of string theory in the early Seventies, later became known for his work with Giuliano Preparata at the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). It is also known for its excellent qualities of popularizer, in particular on quantum mechanics.


Emilio Del Giudice_2I decided to translate into English the story of Fleischmann and Pons experiment as told by the Italian theoretical physicist Emilio Del Giudice in his popular conferences, not only because I have had the pleasure to appreciate him in one of them, held in Florence a few years ago, but also because the topic is treated in an enlightening way for a general audience:

“In 1989, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, two eminent electrochemists – especially Fleischmann, who was so far considered one of the greatest electrochemists in the world and, for a his particular contribution, was also nominated for the Nobel Prize – in a press conference announces to the world that, with appropriate electrochemical methods, you can create the famous nuclear fusion that had been so vainly sought by physicists.

The fusion was obtained by Fleischmann and Pons through a chemical approach, within matter. And it was a search very cheap: a million times less expensive than hot fusion research. But what the two electrochemists did in their experiment?

Fleischmann and Pons took a metal, which in their case was palladium, because among the metals palladium seemed to absorb more deuterium inside its lattice. Indeed, at room temperature deuterium easily enters the palladium, but loading stops at an equilibrium value which is 2/3: that is, two deuterium nuclei for every three nuclei of palladium.

Then, when the concentration of deuterium loaded into the palladium exceeded a certain critical threshold quite high and difficult to reach – discovered by Fleischmann and Pons be equal to 1, that is, a deuterium nucleus for each nucleus of palladium – a process of so-called ‘cold fusion’ spontaneously starts, i.e. helium nuclei originate from deuterium.

The difficult part of the experiment was to reach this threshold of ‘1’, because it meant going far beyond chemical equilibrium. Fleischmann was a good electrochemist, so he could find an electrochemical method by which, within four weeks of continuous loading, he could bring his palladium cathodes to reach the critical threshold.

When such threshold was reached, into the cell of Fleischmann and Pons there was a production of excess energy, in amounts disproportionate to that producible by any known chemical process. Just to give an idea, the amount of energy released was of the order of 500 eV per atom, that no chemical phenomenon – binding energies are a few eV – can justify.

Moreover, the effect just described manifests only if was used deuterium – i.e. the isotope of hydrogen whose nucleus is composed of a neutron and a proton – while using normal hydrogen, whose nucleus consists of only one proton, nothing happened. Already these two factors alone – the great excess heat and dependence by isotope of the effect – made us suspect the presence of a nuclear process behind the results of the experiment.

On the other hand, Fleischmann and Pons were accurate enough to verify the process also emits protons, neutrons, etc., and found that the amount of protons and neutrons emitted was ridiculously low: about one-millionth of what could be expected based on the traditional nuclear fusion.

Lab_FP_2Dr. Stanley Pons and Dr. Martin Fleischmann in their laboratory at the University of Utah.

In their article published in the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, the two electrochemists had clearly written that this was a new kind of fusion, not something attributable to the classical hot fusion. Paradoxically, for years some critics observed that these results were not consistent with expectations for a fusion of the traditional type. But Fleischmann and Pons had not used the results of such measurements to say that this was an old-style fusion: it was the contrary!

The second main criticism was that the Fleischmann and Pons’ experiment was not reproducible because a number of laboratories announced that they failed to reproduce the phenomenon in their attempts. But the corresponding articles of denial did not report the level of loading of deuterium in palladium: they had not bothered to measure it!

It can be concluded that, in physics, ‘no experiment can ever be reproduced provided it is reproduced with enough incompetence’. In this case, it was not incompetence but a deliberate misdirection, as we realized from many clues. But that’s another story, which is told in my book ‘The secret of the three bullets’, co-authored by Maurizio Torrealta”.

EMILIO DEL GIUDICE (1940-2014) was an Italian physicist who has worked in the field of condensed matter. Theoretical physicist and professor at the University of Naples and pioneer of string theory in the early Seventies, later became known for his work with Giuliano Preparata at the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). It is also known for its excellent qualities of popularizer, in particular on quantum mechanics.


Pat_IH_coverIt has just been published, in the database of the US Patent Office (USPTO), a patent application (doc here) filed on April 26, 2014 by Industrial Heat, regarding some types of high-temperature E-Cats, or “Hot-Cats”.

Title: Devices and Methods for Heat Generation.

I immediately asked for an opinion about this doc to some my friends engineers and here’s the interesting information and material that I’ve collected so far:

“It seems a very important document. The most relevant part probably regards the COP reached by a Hot-Cat.

Already in the ‘summary’ of the patent application (page 1) we read that the best Hot-Cat has a minimum COP of 5.0: “In at least one example, a ratio defined by dividing the output amount of thermal energy by the input amount of energy exceeds 5.0”. And it is precisely the definition of Coefficient of Performance (COP).

In the ‘experimental results’ of the patent application, describing instead a test on a multiple reactor device, we read that a COP of 11.07 was measured using water calorimetry.

In particular, we read (page 15): “A total number of 18 reactors devices including a reaction chamber in which nickel powder and hydrogen react in the presence of a catalyst were used. Each of the reactors may absorb a power of about 1.1 kW”.

In such test, according to the patent application presented by Industrial Heat:

1) A 300 kW power generation provided the input electrical energy to trigger reaction initiation.

2) In order to be conservative, ALL the energy produced by the generator was assumed to be absorbed by the 18 reactors. In reality, a part of this energy fed the pumps which convey the water in the calorimeter and so would not have gone to feed the reactors.

3) The temperature of the outlet steam was always significantly higher than 100 degree Celsius.

4) In order to be conservative, was not taken into account the heating energy of steam. Moreover, for the same reason the temperature of the inlet water was always considered equal to the maximum value of the same measured during the whole test.

5) The COP was considered only during the period in which the reactor devices were operating: it was not considered during the phases of activation and de-activation.

Minimum_COP3

Figure 9 of the IH’s Patent Application (the colored text was added for sake of clarity).

In other words, now we know for the first time that the COP of many Hot-Cats were measured using not only the infrared thermographic calorimetry, but also with a different and more accurate method, the water calorimetry. The results appear to be consistent and surprising”.

Well, this should put the word “end” to the majority of speculations and doubts on the COP!


ubaI suppose that many of you are interested in reading posts a little more technical. Here’s an interesting comment by Ubaldo Mastromatteo, engineer and former Senior Researcher at STMicroelectronics (where he worked on LENR), regarding some results of the 2nd Third Party Report on a high-temperature E-Cat, or Hot-Cat.

This was posted in Italian as a comment on the blog 22 Passi in these days. I found it interesting because it contains a possible explanation for the results from the analysis of the fuel before and after running a Hot-Cat.

What follows is my English translation of the original text:

“With pleasure I have to give credit to Rossi for having contributed to the confirmation of the LENR phenomena (for me it was not necessary), opening new paths with admirable perseverance, given the rain of criticism that could put you off. [..]

Let me say that Rossi has not found anything particularly new; and it must not be forgotten that the first results on nickel and hydrogen surely belong to [Francesco] Piantelli and [Sergio] Focardi, who saw excess energy and transmutations.

Also, I myself have been able to verify (there are publications on the subject) excess energy with hydrogen and palladium, palladium and deuterium, hydrogen and constantan, working with [Francesco] Celani and [Vincenzo] Nassisi (Lecce).

About transmutations observed in the [second Independent Third Party] report under discussion, it may be that the nickel-62 isotope is more abundant because it does not react, while the other isotopes decreasITPR2ce because transmuted into light elements such as Al, Si, Ca, O, Fe, Cl, which seem to be appeared in the analysis of spent fuel, as seen in the past by other researchers, including myself. Indeed, those elements often appear in the transmutations observed on nickel, constantan and palladium”.

Obviously, many other explanations are possible, but it is interesting to note in Mastromatteo’s comment that the results of the 2nd Third Party Report are not entirely dissimilar to those obtained in the past by other researchers in their LENR experiments.

P.S. I would like to express my condolences to the “22 Passi’s father”, the friend Daniele Passerini, whose father passed away on October 22. A big hug!