A few days ago, readers will recall I blogged about the formal granting of a US Patent to Italian cold fusion researcher, Dr. Andrea Rossi. It was, I suggested, another one of those small but significant steps that we are watching, as science and technology are chipping away at the current foundations of our energy, and hence, our financial culture. Indeed, readers here will recall that a little under a year ago the Rockefeller foundation complex began divesting itself of petroleum stocks, an indicator for some - this author included - that they know "something is in the works" and that everything is about to change. In that context, consider the following.
Mr. J.C. spotted this article, and I simply have to share it with the readership here, because it's one of those articles that also virtually insists on some high octane speculation-and-dot-connecting. THe basic story? The US Navy is examining cold fusion claims very closely, and has compiled an intriguing list of prerequisite conditions in the apparatus for it to occur.
Now the first thing that leaps out here are the statements toward the end of the article, outlining how, in the earliest stages of cold fusion research, in the absence of a theory or model on which to explain what was happening, scientists were left to the old Thomas Edison "trial and error" method. In that context, there is an indication - at least from this source - that what is known of Rossi's alloying process does seem to support the model being proposed:
Almost none of this material was obvious back in 1989. Without knowing what one is doing and why it works, the probability of achieving successful results via the so-called Edisonian method of trial and error is disappointingly low. Reasonable scientists and engineers can be forgiven for their difficulty in believing that there might exist ANY circumstances under which such things could be possible. And to be blunt, it was only in the last few months that the causal chain finally became clear.
An old saying holds that it is easy to appear tall when standing on the shoulders of giants. My colleagues and I are most humbly grateful to have been given the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of such giants, however briefly.
I would also suggest that some praise might be due to people like Andrea Rossi, who (by and large) had little alternative but to employ the Edisonian method and nevertheless appear to have obtained positive results. We have run materials simulations (also known as Density Functional Theory simulations) on our best guess of Rossi’s alloy material. It satisfies all the conditions given above, while pure Nickel does not.
But what interests me most here - at least for my high-octane speculation and dot-connecting purposes - are the enumerated points of the "model" outlined in the article itself, and most notably, its twin emphasis on (1) electrical oscillation of hydrogen atoms within (2) vacant spaces of an alloyed latteice structure. All along, my favorite term for Cold Fusion has not been LENR, or Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, a descriptive title only, without any reference to any underlying explanatory model, but rather, LANR, or Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reactions. IN this respect, the first three enumerated points of the model leaped out at me:
1. It is necessary to set up conditions favoring the formation of molecular hydrogen (H2 or D2) inside the solid lattice for a certain range of possible values of lattice constant and for some fraction of the allowed values for electron momentum. This condition alone rules out almost ALL the elemental , because the electron density is just too large to permit molecules to form, except near vacancies in the lattice where a metal atom is absent.
2. The overall hydrogen loading fraction (ratio of hydrogen to palladium atoms, for example) must exceed the minimum threshold of about 0.88, otherwise the “party” never even gets started. Achieving this level of loading in Pd is not trivial.
3. Conditions must be set up (by appropriate choice of materials parameters and achieved by the right kind of alloying) so that these hydrogen molecules can be caused to break up and then re-assemble very rapidly in a periodic time sequence when an appropriate physical quantity such as background electric charge, magnetic field, etc. is made to oscillate periodically over a small range.(Emphasis added)
What leaped out at me, in other words, is that one essential component, on this model, of lattice assisted nuclear reactions, are vacancies in the lattice structure itself, or to put it in terms more appropriate to crystallography, cold fusion appears to be a process reliant at least in part on lattice defects, the types of Frenkel and Shotsky and screw displacements of crystal lattice structures that one ordinarily encounters in dramatic and visible fashion in crystals such as quartz, but which are not so readily visible in more metallic lattices. It's the vacancy in the lattice structure in other words that allows the hydrogen atoms to embed themselves within the vacancy, and then to oscillate under electrical stress, at least, that's the thinking as outlined in the three initial points.
It makes one wonder - to indulge in our trademark high octane speculation - exactly what might be possible to apply typical cold fusion types of processes, not on layered metallic alloys and lattices, but rather on layers piezoelectric materials such as limestone and granite, under not just electrical, but other types of stress, including acoustical stress. Years ago this very idea intrigued me, after reading Mr. Christopher Dunn's examination of the Great Pyramid from an engineer's point of view. His conclusion of course was evident from the title of his book: The Giza Power Plant, in which he outlined a process of the formation of hydrogen gasses under particular types of stress(some acoustical in nature), all taking place within a structure composed of crystal bearing rock, and which in itself was a gigantic "artificial crystal", with its own lattice displacement defects in the form of the interior chambers. If any of this high octane speculation be true, then one might be looking at a reactor of some sort.
But in the meantime, the interest of the US Navy, and the compilation of necessary lists of requisite factors to be in place in order for the phenomenon to occur at all, is an interesting indicator of the future: ships (and spacecraft), whose energy supply might be from such a process on a large scale. A model - a detailed model - is now being proposed and tested, and pursued.
And this will change everything...
See you on the flip side.