Asking the organizer to write about his own workshop is like asking a mother to describe the virtues of an unmarried daughter. The answers are likely to be personal and incomplete. With that proviso, let me attempt to give my impressions on the meeting. Apart from ICCF-2 held in Como in 1991 there have been about a dozen or so Cold Fusion meetings held in Italy since 1989. Most of these have not been advertised. Invitation has been by word of mouth and bud- gets have been very limited. As a result these meetings have generally been attended by Italian academics only.
Asti Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen / Deuterium Loaded Metals November 27-30, 1997 in Asti, Asti Province, Italy The Asti Workshop and the other to Francesco Piantelli for start? I think there were several key fac- from the Organizer's the development of the high tempera- tors. Firstly the good reputation of the ture gas loading device. It should be Asti workshops was created by Fiat. Point of View mentioned that Fiat was, and still is sup- Previous attendees of the workshop were porting Piantelli and his group at the amongst the first to accept their invita- by William J.M.F. Collis University of Siena. tions. Secondly many of the attendees email@example.com Come 1997, Fiat was not ready to and sponsors know each other personal- make public announcements on its own ly. Finally, the speed of e-mail and a A sking the organizer to write about development of Cold Fusion and so did web-site make up for deficiencies of the his own workshop is like asking a not plan to sponsor the Asti meeting. postal service. mother to describe the virtues of With Fiat's consent and the support of The Cold Fusion community has an unmarried daughter. The answers are the other sponsors, the author of this shown the world that the subject still likely to be personal and incomplete. article decided rather late to take the ini- excites extraordinary interest. But one With that proviso, let me attempt to tiative. As an Englishman resident near of the most extraordinary things is that give my impressions on the meeting. Asti I am ideally placed to make the local “Cold Fusion”—in the sense of fusion of Apart from ICCF-2 held in Como in arrangements. hydrogen isotopes— was hardly men- 1991 there have I had originally counted on the finan- tioned at the entire workshop! A con- been about a cial and organizational support of La ceptual revolution has been taking place dozen or so Cold Sapienza (University of Rome III) and where alternative explanations are now Fusion meetings INFN (Istituto Nazionale per la Fisica accepted as the most reasonable basis for held in Italy Nucleare) who in the past had spon- discussion. In my own presentation, I since 1989. sored other Italian meetings. After hav- mentioned, in passing, some data of Most of these ing been promised this in writing, it several years ago regarding Piantelli's gas have not been transpired that sponsorship would not loading cell. There was so little natural advertised. be forthcoming because the proceedings hydrogen in this device that the tiny Invitation has of a 1995 Italian meeting had still not quantity of deuterium present was insuf- been by word of been published. News of this setback ficient to explain the abundant heat mouth and bud- only arrived after initial invitations had production. This unpublished and pre- gets have been been sent. The organizer's nightmare liminary result of course was a bomb- very limited. As Conference had been realized—I was committed to shell! At a stroke, it demolished the a result these organizer organizing an international workshop Cold Fusion explanation for excess heat. Bill Collis meetings have without support. Little did I know at It also rendered irrelevant the critique of generally been that time, that most of invitations sent that explanation. “Cold Fusion” is attended by Italian academics only. out by air-mail would actually reach dead. Long live New Hydrogen Energy Four years ago Fiat, the automobile their intercontinental destinations by (NHE)! group, (and other sponsors) invited a surface mail more than a month later. I I would hope that some of the moder- group of nearly 20 international experts was risking greater failure by giving ate skeptics will now return to study in Cold Fusion to a private meeting at insufficient notice to attendees. NHE, comforted by the fact that their Villa Riccardi, near Asti. The meeting I do apologize to all those who would doubts on Cold Fusion were in fact jus- was followed by a press conference and have liked to come but were unable to tified. Sterile hydrogen fusion theories the first “truffle prize” was given to Yan do so. Perhaps too, I should also have have never correctly made any signifi- Kucherov for his pioneering work on known better than to fix a date close to cant prediction. Indeed they have made transmutations induced by glow dis- Thanksgiving Day in the United States. many false predictions (such as the charge. A common interest of Martin However, in the event I was over- unverified production of 3He from p-d). Fleischmann and Stanley Pons was gas- whelmed by acceptances and by all I think it is fair to say that major respon- tronomy. The main reason for choosing accounts the workshop was a success! In sibility for the lack of progress in the Asti as the site for the meeting was the fact, more than 60 people attended at field has been due to clinging to these chance to eat truffles and drink the local least one of the three days, making the unrealistic models. One attendee Barbaresco red wine! There was no Cold meeting the most popular Cold Fusion described it as a hardening of the arter- Fusion going on in Asti! workshop on record. Although I had ies. It is time to cut away the dead This format was followed again in booked all 32 rooms at the hotel Villa wood, reexamine the evidence, and October 1995. This time some forty sci- Riccardi, this was not enough and two reconstruct predictive theories which entists attended and two truffle prizes other hotels were filled to capacity! can be tested experimentally. Perhaps were awarded. One was given to Akito How was it possible, to transform the the Asti workshop has accelerated this Takahashi for his electrochemical work situation after such an unpromising process. December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 1 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y The Group Photo at Hotel Villa Conte Riccardi Back Row: Don Holloman, Stan Gleeson, Stefano Sanvito, Giorgio Iacuzzo, Danielle Garbelli, Francesco Premuda, Mike McKubre, Jean de Lagarde, Jean Pierre Vigier, Pierre Clauzon, Bill Collis, Jacques Dufour, Bart Simon, Giuliano Mengoli. Front Row: Linda Holloman, Celine Estille, Christos Stremmenos, Robert Huggins, Giovanna Selvaggi, Jean Paul Biberian, Peter Glueck, Lino Daddi, Tomio Uehara, Hiroshi Kamimura, Naoto Asami, Misa Nakamura Below: Fulvio Frisone, Sergio Focardi, Francesco Celani Alas others were in a different hotel or had simply had too much Dolcetto to drink the night before! (WC) (Photo: Courtesy, Bill Collis) The Asti Cold Fusion scientific discussions, for networking “APPALLING MANAGEMENT”—in Workshop: A Pilot for ICCF-7? and collaboration. Please do not forget Martin Fleisch-mann’s words. Excellent the fine hotel, tasty food, and world science (as demonstrated in the Asami et by Dr. Peter Glück leader quality wines, both red and al. and the Kamimura et al. papers) com- Institute of Isotopic and Molecular Technology white. Sponsors, besides ENECO: bined with such management is a per- (names in Italian, difficult to translate fect recipe for a disaster. The “Asti Workshop on Anomalies in exactly) “Metrologomania” (focusing on mea- Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals,” surement and not on the effect), invest- actually the third Italian Workshop on --Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Asti ing many times more little grey cells in Cold Fusion, was organized by ENECO --21 mo Secolo Scienza e Tecnologia the means as in the aims: a cult for Ltd., chief organizer William Collis, one --L'ACN- L'Accessorio Nucleare srl calorimetry displacing and replacing the of most enthusiastic promoters of new --Associazione per lo Sviluppo efforts aiming at a really strong and reli- energy research in Italy. Bill has done a Scientifico e Tecnologico di Asti able excess heat effect. We are at a point great job, everybody has agreed. Place: --Orim srl where the lack of a theory hurts. A great Hotel Conte Riccardi at Rocca d'Arazzo, --The Cincinnati Group from USA gap between experimental practice and some 7 kilometers from Asti, the capital --Infinite Energy Magazine the most bright theories. One of the of Asti province—a very beautiful area of [Editor’s Note: Some 60 pounds of mag- world's greatest theorists, Jean-Pierre a wonderful country. Timing: Nov 27, azines and brochures sent to the confer- Vigier, asks for a perfect, self-sustained Thursday-Nov 30, Sunday 1997. ence by INFINITE ENERGY were unfor- demo, for a public acceptance of the Participants: some 60 cold fusioneers, tunately lost by the US or Italian postal reality of cold fusion. With the existing experimentalists, and theorists from authorities!] theories: “We all are walking in the fog,” Italy, the US, Japan, France, England, as somebody remarked. More or less Germany, Canada, and Romania. Many General impression and problems. The true. Existing theories which try to rec- of the international leaders of the field “cold fusion” war continues, on many onciliate the experimental facts with were present. Organization: perfect, in battlefields. In Japan, CF was defeated classical physics cannot help, we need my opinion, excellent conditions for the [Officially, but the best work continues new thinking for the new reality. A lectures (16) and the posters (5), and nonetheless.—Editor], the official “New brand new paradigm, back to the very what is even more important, the best Hydrogen Energy” program will be basics. Not consulting with the success- opportunities created for professional stopped in April 1998. The reason? ful workers (as Prof. Yoshiaki Arata in December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 2 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y Japan). Not accepting reality: the classi- sented and the metallurgy, structure, cal bulk Pd/D2O system is not able to texture, phase composition of the scale-up. Some ways are good, some hydride are thoroughly studied. A great not; we had enough time to make the part of these data can be found in two difference. “Errare humanum est, perse- papers published in the Journal of Alloys verare diabolicum” has to be applied. and Compounds, 253-254, 1997, p.185 CF is progressing through some leading, and p. 657. Unfortunately, even the creative groups. The Cincinnati Group highest D/Pd ratios couldn't generate is one of these and it was at Asti. It has strong, repeatable, reliable excess heat. shown us some very valuable and inter- esting things. We regretted the absence George Miley: “Transmutation Studies of the president of Trenergy, Inc. (Hal Using Thin Film Electrolysis.” The lec- Fox) who intended to speak about plas- ture started with the announcement ma-injected transmutation. A strongly that the American Nuclear Society Dr. Francesco Celani accepts the Meeting planned for 1998 will have a Truffle Prize from Bill Collis polarized field----good perspectives for LENR/LENT as concluded from the special (official!) session dedicated to paper of George Miley and the results of the low energy nuclear reactions. In my was a front-line report, and we wait the Cincinnati Group near Mike opinion, this lecture was the highlight eagerly for a continuation. McKubre's unforgettable lecture con- of the workshop. We learned about the cerning the tremendous difficulties decisive advantages of the thin-film sys- Felice Iazzi: “Techniques for Loading inherent to the classical Pd/D2O cell tems, about the open problems, the and Controlling the Deuterium complex analytical problems starting Palladium Atomic Ratio.” A study aim- and near the NHE papers. Somewhere with adequate sampling, about all the ing to find neutrons, with clever combi- in the middle, we learned that the possible impurities, isotopic shifts, theo- nation of gas loading and electrochemi- Italian Piantelli et al, system is not dead ry based on the swimming electron cal loading methods. They use gold plat- at all; it is claimed to be nuclear; layer concept. The task of making mate- ing and electro-migration to achieve Piantelli is working separately from his rial and energy balances are immensely high loading ratios and to avoid deload- colleagues; scale-up is more difficult difficult for the moment. A must-read ing. than I thought. Good, but not excellent paper. The audience did not learn about results are coming from France but this the recent technological progress made Hiroshi Kamimura: “Excess Heat is only a new start. Perhaps I was right by CETI, the company which created Measurement by Fuel Cell Type stating the truism that the greatest peril the first technologically viable thin film Electrolysis.” Another study performed and obstacle for CF is irreproducibility systems; however it seems that the in the frame of the NHE program, with and that a solution for the future needs prospects are really good. bulk cathodes. The results are entangled clever management and strategy. ICCF- in the very subtleties of the high art of 7 is coming soon, and if the organizers Francesco Celani: “The Effect of calorimetry, 7-18% excess found with will learn from the Asti experience, the Gamma/Beta Phase Interface on (H/D) one kind of measurement, not con- number of errors and blunders in the Overloading.” Francesco Celani and his firmed with an other kind (isothermal field will decrease. team won the Truffle Prize of the work- vs flow calorimeters). Anyway, marginal shop for their global achievements and results are not useful in long range; we First Day: Thursday, November 27. creative contribution to the CF field. He need more than some 300% anyway, for pioneered the use of high-frequency a self-sustaining demo and for practical William Collis: Introduction. Our host pulsed current and very long Pd wires applications. described the history, leading principles for Pd loading. Great expertise in elec- and ideas, the “raison d'etre” of these tromigration. Despite his innovative Stefano Veronesi: “Study of the Ni-H workshops, a general image of cold methods and very advanced calorime- system at 600-800 deg K.” This is about fusion, some open scientific and some try, the system still “offers” surprises. It the Piantelli-Focardi-Habel system, work settled (and well settled) organizational problems. He is promoting the founda- tion of a European CF community/ (L-R) Jean Paul Biberian, Don and organization; he suggested the nice Linda Holloman of the Cincinnati Group, Dr. Peter Glück name of HEIDI ( we all like very much Johanna Spyri's novel about the Swiss girl called Heidi), that is HYDROGEN ENERGY INNOVATION AND DEVEL- OPMENT INSTITUTE. This is conceived as a multi-national, industry sponsored organization. Good idea; I hope it will become a reality. Naoto Asami: “On the Material Behaviour of Highly Deuterated Palladium.” A comprehensive study, performed in the frame of the now moribund NHE national Japanese plan. The optimum methods for obtaining a high D/Pd ratio in cathodes are pre- December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 3 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y H o w e v e r, that H and D are not the fuel in CF reac- (L-R) Dr. Sergio and Mrs. Focardi with Photo: Courtesy, Bill Collis Dr. Francesco Piantelli everything tions. Collis went on to discuss the [See IE Issue #4 for their pioneering patent] went well, kinds of nuclear reactions researchers Francesco should be looking for and the possibili- Celani got the ty of basing new experiments on theo- prize, a great retical predictions. genuine truffle and a Peter Glück: “The Reproducibility Cincinnati Problem in Cold Fusion Systems.” Cell. Other Using a standard managerial technique speeches were (SWOT analysis--Strengths-Weaknesses- made by the Opportunities-Threats) and an original b e a u t i f u l classification of the experimental CF Celine Estille systems, Glück opposed the classical representing bulk Pd cathode/D2O setup with the so the Cincinnati called “evolutive energy” systems based is continuing. This study has demon- Group, photographs were taken of the on catalysis and/or cavitation. In his strated that the source of excess heat is prize-winner— no questions came from opinion, only the later can lead to viable nuclear reactions (gamma radiation is the press. Next point in the program, a and reproducible commercial energy found). I asked if the nuclear signals are splendid luncheon banquet at the ele- generating (CETI, BLACKLIGHT in concordance with the heat measured gant Hotel Reale. Exquisite, very high POWER, E-QUEST, ARATA, HYDRODY- and got what I thought was an affirma- level. Then a visit to the Contratto Wine NAMICS, YUSMAR) and/or LENT tive answer, but Bill Collis states that Cellars in a small town called Canelli. I (CINCINNATI GROUP, CETI) devices. they do NOT have nuclear products got a lot of information about how that He predicted that classical theories will commensurate with heat! highest quality wine is manufactured— continue to fail in explaining the new Their calorimetry was questioned by to be included in my course in phenomena, a radical paradigm shift Jacques Dufour. Sergio Focardi, the co- Management of Technology. Back to the will be necessary. Management is the author of the first paper on this system hotel Villa Riccardi; the guest of honor, key to the future development of the explained to me that there are problems Martin Fleischmann has just arrived. field. with the scale-up of the heat excess effect. On other hand, Piantelli is work- The third day: Saturday, November 29. Giuliano Mengoli: “The Nickel-K2CO3 ing now independently; we learned that System: an Electrochemical and the FIAT company will continue to fund Jacques Dufour: “Effect of Hydrex on a Calorimetric Investigation.” Obviously, his studies. I did not understand exactly Photoelectric Cell.” Dufour's excess heat Fleischmann's choice; an excellent elec- what had happen in this area. I was studies (rather complex and not directly trochemical study with innovative happy enough to see the system alive. scalable) have concluded that there are calorimetry. It's value and beauty is in After the dinner, a round table discus- no nuclear ashes and the hydrogen col- the details and these can be understood sion was organized aiming to prepare lapse mechanism is at work leading to only by reading the paper in extenso. the press conference of the following Hydrex (Deutex) atoms. In the Asti lec- day. The discussions were dominated by ture, a very sophisticated but convincing Jean-Paul Biberian: “Cold Fusion the temperamental theorist, Giuliano study was presented: the hydrex state is Preparata, who pleaded energetically for formed due to strong magnetic fields, Celine Estille of the Cincinnati Group reads straight attacks against the scientific and excess heat effects were demonstrat- Press Release in Italian! establishment. The more moderate and ed by using a photoelectric cell. Dufour diplomatic approaches (e.g by Collis, plans to present a transmutation effect Vigier, Biberian and myself) the last of hydrex at ICCF-7. His experimental based on a presentation of the techno- data are in concordance with Vigier's logical prospects of the field, as those of theory. CETI, CINCY, E-QUEST, ARATA, BLACK- LIGHTPOWER etc. couldn't convince Bill Collis: “Cold Fusion or Cold the “radicals.” The possibility to per- Fission?” Collis has developed advanced suade the Establishment by using a per- computer programs for identifying and fect theoretical demonstration was ques- selecting the nuclear reactions which tioned by many, including Vigier him- can take place in cold fusion systems. He self. suggested that any theory/explanation needs to account for the following The second day: Friday, November 28. observations: very few gammas, few X- rays, He, transmutations of heavy ele- A press conference was organized at ments, similar levels of excess heat in H the Cassa di Risparmio di Asti, actually a and D based systems, tritium and neu- great bank which is cleverly sponsoring trons in H systems, no 14.1 MeV neu- innovative research. We listened to trons. Deuterium does not fuel the reac- speeches of the organizers and the local tion, technical grade materials work bet- authorities, Professors Preparata and ter than pure ones (Mike McKubre espe- Stremmenos told about their opinion cially makes this point). Perhaps the Photo: Courtesy, Bill Collis regarding the Scientific Establishment. major contentious point here is the idea December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 4 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y (L-R) Naoto Asami, Kamimura Hiroshi, of excess heat it is wise to with the plasmons of the metal. The Tomio Uehara Photo: Courtesy, Bill Collis design a protocol which can numeric calculation, conducted on dif- maintain high loading at high ferent metals considering the degree of voltage. One of the main rea- impurities present in the reticulum, sons for irreproducibility of shows that the probability of fusion is excess heat is the problem of amplified by the impurities. This result is sudden, uncontrollable confirmed qualitatively by the trend of deloading in the course of an the potential gap that describes the experiment. interaction inside the metal (and by many experimental data). Francesco Premuda: “A Unified Theory of Cold Fusion Lino Daddi: “On the detection of cold and Superconductivity.” fusion neutrons by radioactivation.” An Premuda has presented his experimental study and tutorial, describ- theory based on the possible ing the principle and practical applica- formation of special zones in tion of the radioactivation method, spe- Results Obtained in Grenoble, France.” plasma localized in the defect places of cific for the detection of neutrons. A Biberian announced the major good the lattice. The ideas have been present- very important example of application news of the conference. The French gov- ed in a very highly mathematized man- of the method to the Siena experiment is ernment is now officially supporting CF ner. This paper has to be studied in presented, where gold activation was research at Grenoble (talk about a rever- extenso. An important aspect is that of used (to be published in Il Nuovo sal of fortune). The Grenoble group the dimensional, structural, and func- Cimento). The method can be used for looks to be in good shape for at least the tional characteristics of peculiar places both the cases of continuous or burst- next three years. The program includes in the lattice; an adequate descrip- like neutron emissions. replication of the Fleischmann-Pons sys- tion/model has to be found. Premuda’s tem, experiments with the CETI cell theory is stimulating this endeavor. C. Cammarota, W. Collis, A. Rizzo, C. and work with solid electrolyte devices. Stremmenos: “Calorimetric measure- Definitely positive results had been Michael McKubre: “Materials Issues of ments on nickel samples charged with obtained, however Biberian is not con- Loading Deuterium into Palladium and hydrogen” (in Italian). An experimental tent with the level of the excess heat the Association with Excess Heat study, demonstrating exothermal reac- effects and is not absolutely convinced Production.” A most impressive work, tions in the system (81 Mcal/mol Ni in about the reality of the LENR results. A with really tragic elements in it due to 35 days), local melting (!), and forma- very good team and program, anyway, the terrifying complexity and difficulty tion of craters on the surface of the sam- just starting large scale research. of the subject, perfectly shown by ple. New elements appear in these McKubre. Irreproducibility seems to be craters (study continuing). The most Jean-Pierre Vigier: “Possible Theoretical inherent to this system and ultrafine important point of the Bologna work is Consequences of ‘Cold Fusion’ details can transform a working cathode that the group verified Piantelli's excess Experiments.” Vigier's theory of new into a dead one. There are no two cath- heat measurements using mass-flow Bohr orbits is a great achievement per odes with the same loading-deloading calorimetry. Conse-quently, the excess se, irrespective of its correlation to cold behavior. McKubre reported about heat results are so much more reliable. fusion. According to it, the source of almost 8 years of research at SRI with excess heat is the collapse of the hydro- pretty disappointing results, but scientif- First draft of a Report on the Asti gen atom in tight orbits, a concept in ically clearly positive. My (PG) reaction Conference: the front-line of the theory (Vigier is was radical; “Crush your cathodes, “Fusione Fredda e Tartufo” developing quantum mechanics while Mike!!” Mills is radical and heretical, the future by Bart Simon (Dec. 12, 97) will show who was right). The results of Dept. of Sociology, Queen's University Vittorio Violante: “Lattice ion trap— Dufour and that of Szpak are proving classical and quantum description.” A Vigier's theory, and in Belgrade a team This is just my first quick draft of events theoretical study demonstrating that of scientists is working in the same based on my rough notes. I'm going to go nuclear reactions in the lattice are possi- direction. New details on Vigier's theory back over things this weekend but some of ble due to the combined effects of trap will be known from a publication in the tapes of the talks turned out poorly force, electrostatic interaction, and non- Physics Letters A. because of loud conversations in Italian linearity. Both the classical representa- behind me! tion and the quantum mechanical one Antonio Spallone: “A preliminary D/Pd show an interaction effect between loading study: anomalous General Observations deuterons in the lattice. A theoretical phase transition effect” Spallone, who Forgive me, but some of you know I “new wave” work, with many Italian works with Celani, reported on some of have an intellectual obsession with the supporters. Posters. the Frascati experiments, more studies scientific undead. The scene at Asti was of Pd loading, more studies of excess positively gothic. I note the large, Fulvio Frisone: “Study on the probabili- heat production using flow calorimetry. empty, aging Villa on top of a hill in an ty of interaction between the plasmons Again the importance of dealing with old medieval town, the ceaselessly dark of metal and deuterons.” A theoretical electromigration in achieving high load- and gloomy sky, the endless drizzle and work; the author has studied the influ- ing was discussed and a warning not to fog. How could one not expect great ence of impurity concentration on the try and load the cathodes too quickly. things from a place like this? phenomenon of fusing of deuterons, cat- This is the common theme—in pursuit Bill Collis, the workshop organizer, did alyzed by the “efficacious” interaction a fantastic job. Despite some late adver- December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 5 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y tising, some 60 or so participants Mengoli (from Padua I think), Biberian, Naoto Asami: “On the Material attended the 3rd Asti workshop on cold Vigier, Antonio Spallone (works with Behavior of Highly Deuterated fusion - “Fusione Fredda e Tartufo.” Celani), Francesco Premuda (Bologna), Palladium” Slightly more than half the attendees McKubre and Vittorio Violante. Asami reported an extensive series of were Italian CF researchers (Celani, Overall there were no real bombshells, experiments looking at the various Bressani, Premuda, Piantelli, Preparata, but the workshop was productive, if material properties of the cathodes Veronesi, Scaramuzzi etc..). only in terms of communicative aspects. (grain size, surface treatments, prepara- Fleischmann was there, as was Vigier, I witnessed lots of worthy technical tion techniques, etc..) and their effects Biberian, and Dufour. Asami and exchanges and agreements to collabo- on loading. A major point seemed to be Kamimura came from the NHE lab, and rate. I gather that the various Italian the problem of lattice deformation dur- McKubre and Miley rounded out the groups don't maintain such tight links, ing electrolysis (a point McKubre U.S. contingent. A fairly complete list so the workshop was no doubt helpful focused on) and there is a need to reduce of attendee's can be found on the work- for them. All the Italian groups, by the the effects of lattice deformation in shop web page way (except Piantelli), are suffering from order to achieve higher loading ratios. I (http://www.netcity.it/coldfusion/) the bad press and cutting of research gather there is not too much that is new The conference was organized over support and the mood was not encour- about this (I remember these discussions three intensive days. Thursday morn- aging on this score (this was balanced by in Maui at ICCF-4) except that I get the ing (Nov 27) started early with papers good news from the French however— sense that the NHE crowd has accumu- from Asami, Miley, and Celani. (L-R) Dr. Peter Glück, Linda Holloman, lated a lot of useful data on this After lunch there were papers by Dr. Martin Fleischmann Photo: Courtesy, Bill Collis loading question. I just wonder, Veronesi (works with Focardi and like many others, about the extent Piantelli on the Bologna-Sienna to which high loading is necessar- collaboration), Iazzi (works with ily tied to the production of excess Bressani in Turin) and Kamimura. heat. Asami did not report the Somewhere in there we had a cof- measurement of excess heat using fee break, and just before dinner their new flow calorimetry set-up. there was a round-table session meant for discussing what kind of George Miley (University of presentation to make to the Italian Illinois): media. In between all these papers Miley started with a background were a series a three-course meals, on investigations in the phenom- copious amounts of wine, and all ena of LENR (low energy nuclear the cold fusion conversation you reactions). I didn't notice a whole could handle. lot of new data, but Miley is taking Friday (our day off?) began in the the problem of impurities very town of Asti with a press confer- seriously and I am pretty much ence. The events were in Italian, so convinced that LENR observations all I can say is that Bill Collis gave a see below). In general I think people are moving into the mainstream of cold short speech followed by longer contro- were impressed with the level of techni- fusion thinking, forcing the convention- versial talks by Giuliano Preparata and cal/experimental competence and the al Pd-D electrolysis types to take notice. Christos Stremmenos (Bologna). increase in practical knowledge of mate- Miley listed a number of observations Francesco Celani was presented with the rials, calorimetry, and other elements of that need to be accounted for: Relatively coveted “truffle prize,” which was a experimental protocol, but the mood large rates of reaction, the appearance of giant white truffle that we could smell was sour about the lack of some kind of four distinct atomic mass zones (for the 10 rows back from the podium. The result that could bring CF work back products observed), the lack of energetic Cincy Group (Cincinnati Group) was into the mainstream. My read on this radiation, the lack of isotope trends, and also on hand, and made a short public is something of a sense of impatience the uniqueness of the thin film coatings announcement. I'm not quite sure and frustration (except for the French for producing a significant result. Miley, what the fallout from the press confer- researchers who seemed pretty happy as many of you know, proposes his ence was, but since there was not a sin- really). RIFEX model for what is going on. This gle question from the floor, I don't There was an attempt to talk about the is beyond me, but one important feature expect much. No matter, selling cold possibility of some more integrated syn- of the model is the implication of a high fusion to the press was not the purpose thetic research effort perhaps orchestrat- degree of predictability for the kinds of of this workshop. We adjourned to the ed through the formation of an interna- fission reactions taking place. On this Ristorante Reale and proceeded to scarf tional society of some kind, but this dis- score, Bill Collis offered to “run the down a 15-course lunch (I finally tasted cussion didn't get very far—I imagine it numbers” to see if he could specify white truffles!). The day proceeded in a will come up again in Vancouver (ICCF- exactly what kinds of stuff Miley should similar spirit, a trip to the Contratto 7, April 1998). I have plenty of socio- be observing at the end of the day. Some winery, where we witnessed some great logical observations to make, but I will predictability would be nice I gather, baiting of the tour-guide from Jean-Paul do my best to avoid this, so I can try to because at the moment it seems as if lots Biberian over the wine's status as cham- produce a better sense of what was dis- of surprises are turning up in these LENR pagne-like. Following this... more food cussed. I will do my best to summarize reactions. and then...more food. the basic points of the papers in brief Saturday picked up where we left off synopses below. Francesco Celani (Frascati) on Thursday, with papers from Dufour, Ok, I had a hard time following the Bill Collis, Peter Glueck, Giuliano main point of this paper. Celani uses December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 6 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y thin wire Pd in a high power pulsed Hiroshi Kamimura (NHE) observations; very few gammas, few x- electrolysis rig. The main claim to fame Kamimura ran though the history of rays, He, transmutations of heavy ele- here is huge XS-heat using high voltage some of the NHE electrolysis experi- ments, similar levels of XS-heat in H and and the big focus here is reproducibility ments. As everyone now knows, they D systems, tritium and neutrons in H and the issue of electromigration. I haven't been too successful on the XS- systems, no 14.1 MeV neutrons, learned some more about how the Pd heat front. The crucial point of this talk, Deuterium does not fuel the reaction, H wire loads unevenly and it seems that however, was to present the weirdness isotopes are a common factor, technical the uneven loading sets up a fine associated with the fact that XS-heat grade materials work better than pure dynamic balance which allows for the that appeared reproducibly (in 1996 materials (McKubre especially makes production of XS-heat at high voltages 40% of cells had XS around 15%) in this point). Perhaps the major con- without too much loss of Deuterium their old isothermal calorimeters disap- tentious point here is the idea that H (which would kill the reaction). A cen- peared in their newer flow calorimeters. and D are not the fuel in CF reactions. tral feature of this discussion is the rela- I would have guessed that this would Collis went on to discuss the kinds of tionship between the beta phase and suggest that the NHE XS was an artifact nuclear reactions researchers should be gamma phase of the metal—how to get of the early calorimetry, but people took looking for and the possibility of basing high loading without diffusion (and I this as real weirdness which might ques- new experiments on theoretical predic- must remember that there is no consen- tion the suitability of flow calorimetry tions. sus on the existence of a gamma phase). in certain cell designs (McKubre espe- cially seemed to take this seriously). Peter Glück, The Reproducibility Stefano Veronesi (Sienna) Problem in Cold Fusion An Ni-H gas loading set-up. Calculates Jacques Dufour (Shell) Glück presented a chart schematizing XS-power in the range of 20-60 watts. I am a Dufour fan but this latest set of the various experimental approaches to One graph shows a temperature increase experiments were extremely hard for me the production of CF phenomena and during input power decrease (this proceeded to point out that in is always a good sign). But the big relation to a number of the more news is neutrons from gammas commercialized ventures (CETI using gold activation—looks like a cell, Griggs device, sonofusion, few thousand neutrons/sec and a Cincy cell etc), the conventional very clear peak. The emission is Pd-D electrolysis route amounts to not constant, but occurs in bursts barking up the wrong tree (or beat- and some sustained low activity. I ing a dead horse, whatever). For gather the gamma peak appears me Glück highlighted a kind of during the early stages of the entrenchment of the experiment—ostensibly in the Fleischmann-Pons exemplar with- loading phase. In any case there is in the CF community, but there is no evidence of XS-power when the mounting pressure to change the peak appears. As I understand it approach especially given the though, the same experiment pro- demise of the NHE program. I duced the peak and then the XS- think people in the audience were power. Apparently there is also basically agreeing with this, but Dr. Francesco Celani holds a Cincinnati Group Cell as Don some evidence of transmutations Holloman explains. Photo: Courtesy, Bill Collis that the kinds of experiments but I missed the specifics on this. Glück is in favor of are hard to I gather reproducibility is an issue here integrate into the existing research pro- for people. Dufour, for one, was not too to grasp. Dufour, unlike most, has grams of many of these university-based happy with the calorimetry. People increased funding from Shell (an oil folks. A key exception perhaps is Jean- were impressed with the gamma peak, company!!!) to expand his research pro- Paul Biberian's project which involves and a few people were agreeing that this gram. Dufour is clearly trying to design testing these other promising approach- kind of clear nuclear signal is what cold new experiments in accordance with a es where he can. fusion research needs right now. theoretical model following the Vigier- Mills route (i.e. the shrunken H atom). Giuliano Mengoli (Padua) Felice Iazzi (Turin) Dufour's own speculation concerns the I found this talk very hard to follow I thought this was nifty experiment (if existence of a hydrex/deutrex state and understand for some reason, but if it helps, I think McKubre thought so under the influence of a strong magnet- its any help, Fleischmann was extreme- too). Again the electromigration issue ic field. The new experiments make use ly im-pressed. Mengoli is working with comes up to stave off diffusion, the of photovoltaic cells as XS energy detec- Ni-H systems and is also interested in Turin group gold-plates the ends of the tors and this is the limit of my ability to the relationship of materials properties Pd cathodes and report 1996 loadings of understand what's going on. and H loading. 0.8 or so along with He-4 (in one exper- iment). They were apparently already Bill Collis (Bologna) Jean-Paul Biberian (Grenoble) to start a new spiffy set of experiments Collis talk started by pushing the the- Biberian announced the major good when their funding from Fiat got axed. oretical possibility of fission reactions in news of the conference. The French An important protocol item is that elec- cold fusion systems sparked by the LENR government is now officially supporting trolysis at high currents is a good thing results. Collis’ thinking draws on the CF research at Grenoble (talk about a but the current must be increased slow- ideas of Kucherov and Hagelstein. He reversal of fortune!). The Grenoble ly to avoid the deloading problem. suggests that any theory/explanation groups looks to be in good shape for at needs to account for the following least the next three years. Biberian dis- December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 7 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y cussed results of the FP-cell replications as well as their current work on the Patterson cell. As people The all-important cold know, Grenoble was getting XS-heat from their fusion luncheon menu! reproduced FP-cells although not great wads of XS- heat. Biberian’s group is obviously very attentive to controls and issues related to testing and this work should be strong evidence to force on the pedantic CF critics. There was less discussion of the CETI replication—Grenoble has a RIFEX kit but they real- ly are after XS- heat. From what I can gather in their own CETI copy they have observed around 12-13% XS-heat and some evidence of transmutations. Jean-Pierre Vigier (Paris) I think I am a bigger fan of French CF than Italian. I know I prefer Vigier's enigmatic theorizing to Preparata's charismatic style. Vigier is still on the idea of new Bohr orbits and he is still pushing the need to do experiments which would try to test one theory or another—check out his latest paper in Physics Letters A (perhaps its not quite out yet). Vigier cites Dufour's work in support of his view and also the work of Stan Szpak (in collaboration with a few of us at UCSD, by the way). The big news for me here is Vigier's prediction of the observation of a new Balmer series for Hydrogen with the extra line(s) for the new energy states. Spzak's work, Vigier says, confirms this. The mantra here is the same as before -- look for soft X-rays. Um, is this not a pretty important discovery irrespective of CF? Anyway, Vigier's friends in Belgrade (I'm not sure who) are at work on a confirmation of this. Antonio Spallone (Frascati) Spallone (works with Celani) reported on some of the Frascati experiments—more studies of Pd-load- ing, more studies of XS-heat production using flow calorimetry. Again the importance of dealing with electromigration in achieving high loading was dis- cussed and a warning not to try and load the cath- odes too quickly. This is common theme—in the pursuit of XS-heat it is wise to design a protocol which can maintain high loading at high voltage. I gather that the major explanation for the irrepro- ducibility of XS-heat is the problem of sudden and unpredictable deloading in the course of an experi- ment. conclusions, but again this all revolves around the loading/deloading Francesco Premuda (Bologna) issue. McKubre suggests that pure Pd is too weak a material and is probe I really wanted to follow this talk, but I couldn't to deformations which lead to sudden deloading - their best batch of Pd (must have been the wine at lunch). was technical grade stuff. This suggests that Pd alloys might be better, possibly Pd with boron. The other suggestion is that impurities may Michael McKubre (SRI) have a positive effect on producing XS heat by blunting the formation of The issues always seem clearer to me after I hear dislocation chains. It would be great to see Ed Storms and McKubre have McKubre talk about them. The good news is that in a discussion about this stuff, but Bob Huggins was there at least and he the wake of the NHE decline, the SRI group will be suggested that thin films which aren't really “big” enough to deform may back on track with some DARPA funding be the best way to go. (Hagelstein is involved as well) to work specifically on a demonstration experiment. The bad news was Vittorio Violante (Frascati) that McKubre reported on his more than 8 years of This paper looked at particle dynamics within the Pd lattice and my research on CF with the production of pretty disap- notes on this are fundamentally incomprehensible so again I must apol- pointing results. The good news is that McKubre ogize. turned the past into an exercise in materials research an attempt to explain why some cathodes “work”, and some which should work do not. I'll skip to the December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 8 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y December 1997-January 1998 (#17) 9 I n f i n i t e E n e r g y
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