organizer Asti Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen by hmongclassic


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									                             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
                       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

       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
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.
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
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
(           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-
                                                          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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