CERN Colloquium to Report on ‘Negative’ LENR Experiment

A colloquium will be held at CERN in Zurich, Switzerland on Thursday January 16 in which physicists A.D. Polosa and R. Faccini of the University of Rome will report on the result of an experiment they carried out to search for neutrons in an LENR experiment. Here’s a description of the presentation from the announcement of the event.

After an introduction to the controversial problem of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) catalyzed by neutrons on metallic hydride surfaces we present the results of an experiment, made in collaboration with ENEA Labs in Frascati, to search neutrons from plasma discharges in electrolytic cells.

The negative outcome of our experiment goes in the direction of ruling out those theoretical models expecting LENR to occur in condensed matter systems under specific conditions.

Our criticism on the theoretical foundations of such models will also be presented.

It will be interesting to find out the details of the experiment — I hope there will be a transcript, or at least a summary of the presentation. Critics of LENR have long pointed to the lack of neutron detection as a reason not to accept the nuclear aspect of this phenomonon, so it sounds like it won’t be something that will inspire CERN physicists to dive into LENR research.

  • Tredeben Liebvit

    Is there a person reporting on this later on today?

  • Alan DeAngelis

    They may appear to be overwrought with jealousy but they’re just “being responsible”.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Apparently, the term “LENR” is about to get a similar, negative aftertaste as “cold fusion” has since 1989. That’s an unfortunate development, but I doubt anybody can stop it. Many people are dependent on linguistic issues, even if they are relatively irrelevant.
    What about creating a term that describes just the phenomenon, instead of implying a certain theoretical context? “Anomalous heat effects in metals” (AHEM), for instance (ahem…).
    Best would be an acronym that sounds intuitively nice. Any ideas?

    • georgehants

      Andreas, it must be Cold Fusion if that is what upsets the incompetent and corrupt people who have debunked and delayed Cold Fusion and many other science subjects for 24 years.

    • Karl

      The problem to cone a good abbreviation set of letters to specify CF/LENR is of course we still don’t know what courses anomalous heat to occur from cracks in (prepared) Nickel metal powers.under pressurized ionized hydrogen. Some have started to call it Nickel Energy. I guess we have to live with all kind of names until we know more exactly and have a clear theoretical understanding. I imagine that the problem to exactly cone this process is more an indication that humans at this state in time do not have a full grasp of all phenomena on a macro as well micro quantum level of the universe.

      • Fortyniner

        That can only be a very temporary state of affairs. What is essential to genuine research (as opposed to the Polosa and Faccini variety) is fully construction information for just one, simple apparatus that will reliably produce even small quantities of anomolous heat on demand.

        Several scientists outside of the boiler development companies, such as Dennis Cravens and Peter Hagelstein, seem to have built such devices but insufficient information seems to be available to replicate their devices. In the absence of such a ‘cookbook’ the field remains open to the debunkers.

  • Fortyniner

    Agreed – if they have a working CF reactor then they would (assuming no agenda) publish the measurements that proved this to be the case. As they apparently don’t – then why are they publishing what would be a completely meaningless result?

  • atanguy

    Neutrons are not that easy to detect but assuming that CERN has the equipment to detect them ;=), the lack of detection doesn’t conduct to the conclusion that LENR effect doesn’t exist. A contrario it should be noted that CERN has used probably (and hopefully) a LENR reactor:discharges in electrolytic cells (but not Ni+H2) to arrive at this conclusion.

    • Bob Mihajlovski

      They used a Mizuno Style Cell – They are like 20 years old now and can be built very cheaply
      1 Year ago I gave away the money I had put away for building these devices
      The reason – “I would not be able to add any value what so ever with this experiment”

      I am thankful towards CERN and ENEA for proving my point :)

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Would my time be better spent reading the announcement from CERN or watching Beavis and Butthead reruns?

    • Fortyniner

      Depends on your sense of humour I guess.

    • US_Citizen71

      I would vote for Beavis and Butthead at least that way you will learn something, even if it is just learning about American pop culture in the 1980′s and 1990′s.

  • Bertuswonkel

    Agreed, one would expect them to first show some anomalous effect and then search for neutrons.
    LENR is reproducible so this could be possible. We will have to wait and see if they include this in the presentation.

  • Chris the 2nd

    Main thing I see here is regardless of the negative on the neutrons, they aren’t saying LENR is not real as a result. They say the particular theory that predicts Neutrons is wrong. This is neither positive nor negative. Just an addition to the sum total knowledge regarding LENR. Or rather, an addition to what we know it’s not.

    • Daniel Maris

      Well if that’s the case, they could easily have said that. But they chose instead to make propaganda.

    • AlainCo

      as you say it would be good science.
      You can ruleout theory with experimental results.

      If heat without neutron is produced they can exclude widom-larsen and many others based on weak-interaction and neutrons…

      history says that it is not the usual way of mind of physicist. and it is not the wording.

      Usually the physicist show there is no neutrons, and ruleout, not their theory, but the evidences.

  • AB

    The experiment appears to be a test of the WL theory, which says
    that ultra-slow neutrons are involved. If the experiment has been
    performed properly, it could refute the WL theory. While not as
    exciting, it would still be a step forward in several ways. It would
    also enrage the snake.

    There are no details, so it is a bit early to judge, but:

    Did the researchers study a dead cell that produces no anomalous heat? If so, no conclusions about LENR can be made.

    Did they produce anomalous heat but fail to find neutrons? That would be a typical successful LENR experiment, standing out for the fact that it was performed by CERN researchers.

    Unfortunately the wording of the announcement makes me somewhat pessimistic. They focus on neutrons, and calorimetry isn’t even mentioned. That’s the same old tactic used to discredit cold fusion.

    In any case, I’m curious what CERN has to say about LENR in 2014.

    • Eyedoc

      Exactly….we shall see…and it will tell us what Rossi is up against (competition or witchhunt !)

    • Paul

      Yes, this paper is a very bad news for the Widom-Larsen theory, not for LENR!

      • AlainCo

        I disagree, as AB says, it is the usual pathological reasoning :
        - no neutrons->no reality (and chemist/calorimetrist are incompetent, and physicist are semi-gods)

        note thate this paper give no news, since it is know in the community that 1million less than expected neutrons are produced, and even with ultra slow neutrons, you cannot assume 99.9999% crosssection.

        no news.

  • BroKeeper

    As I see it this could only benefit LENR in confirming it is not radioactive verses fission reactors. All proponents of LENR have always said there were no neutron radiation. Their assertion will only validate the E-Cats safety. Who can
    complain about that? No one will really care what theory is finally determined as long as enough excessive heat is generated to run 10-1000MW turbines in its initial phase.
    Go CERN Colloquium!!

  • Marc Ellenbroek

    The only way neutrons can be detected is by analyzing the material before and after LENR has taken place. I do believe that transmutation is the main cause of the LENR heat production. If the Widom-Larson theory is (partly?) right, very slow neutrons fuse with atoms around the LENR location. It will always be difficult to detect these slow neutrons within a lattice.

  • Daniel Maris

    Sounds like the usual scientific stitch-up.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Reporting a negative outcome would make sense if they had copied an experimental setup that has led to positive results in the past. I wonder if they did that. And even if that was the case, they could have overlooked some “hidden” condition. Cracks of appropriate size in the metal surface, for instance. If this were a completely new experiment, a negative result wouldn’t say much, except if there was excess heat that could be explained by a chemical reaction. Excess heat above that level but without neutron emissions could possibly rule out some existing theoretical approaches (see below), but not the phenomenon itself. We shall see.

  • Sanjeev

    Well of course, neutron are not involved in lenr (as far as we know), so they could not find them.
    As they conclude, it rules out those theories which use lenr mechanism involving neutrons, and I’m glad that they are now ruled out. There is no successful theory of lenr till date, period. We are all waiting for Rossi’s theory, which hopefully can be tested.
    It looks like they considered the wet systems and so they may not have measured or obtained excess heat. Excess heat is the signature of lenr, not neutrons or any other radiation.
    I do not know the intention behind this research, but to a layman, any thing sounding negative about lenr would mean non-existence of lenr and psuedoskeps will throw oil in the fire of doubt. So it should be made very clear that this research does not prove that lenr does not exist.

    • Fortyniner

      “We mixed some lumps of damp saltpetre and sulphur with barbeque charcoal and it failed to explode. We therefore conclude that gunpowder cannot exist.”

      • AlainCo

        It is even worse.

        Not only as you say they take their failures as an evidence that can face others’s success…

        but worst of all they assume their theory to negate others evidence. as if :

        we mixed sulfur, saltpeter and charcoal, it made a big noise, but no flame did last more than an instant.

        there is thus evidence no evidence it is fore. it does not exist, makes no noise, is useless.

  • Gordon Docherty

    Depending on their detecting methods, if they are looking for “free” neutrons, then they are highly unlikely to find them, as the neutrons are being formed within the lattice structure and held there, which is why transmutation can occur – if the neutrons were flying out of the lattice, then they would fail to merge with the hydrogen nucleii held within the lattice. Using techniques used for measuring particles in free space to measure particles confined in a lattice doesn’t make much sense – it would be like trying to fill a spoon with water held above a water bowl rather than sunk into it – it just ain’t gonna happen. The lack of detection here, in other words, may well be rather one of a failure to measure the right things in the right place. Just a thought.

    • Gordon Docherty

      What I was trying to say is what others here have said much more eloquently, namely that either:

      A) they have a working LENR reactor, in which case the title is misleading or
      B) it is what we have all heard before – no neutrons, therefore no LENR

      Now, in the case of B), previous “experiments” have all shared one characteristic – measuring the wrong thing at the wrong place in an “LENR” system that is not even producing excess heat – I’m reminded of Rowan Atkinson’s comedy sketch where he talks about “the blind man looking in the dark room for the black cat … that wasn’t there…” If the system being examined is not even producing high quantities of excess heat (“the” hallmark and most obvious characteristic of a working LENR system – lots of IR radiation – the “black cat”), any other “conclusions” are entirely fatuous.

  • ecatworld

    Ed Storms just commented on this on vortex-l “This is apparently a test of the Widom-Larsen theory. This theory seems to be the vampire of LENR theories – it can not be killed. Neutrons have been known not be be involved in LENR since 1990 after hundreds of attempts were made to detect the required number of neutrons with no success. The very few neutrons that are detected can be explained to result from fractofusion, a hot fusion process.”

    • Fortyniner

      In other words, it was an experiment designed to fail. Planned disinformation.

      • artefact

        Storms says: “Neutrons have been known not be be involved in LENR”
        The presenters show that a theory involving neutrons is now a little less likely.

        If the audience listen to the grapevine that LENR is underway to be proven (again) they maybe realise what a mistake it was to ridicule Cold Fusion after March 23 1989 for the lack of neutrons.

    • AlainCo

      In “Excess Heat” the book of charles Beaudette (Read it if you did not already, )

      Beaudette clearly explain how the pretended physicist decided that because there was no neutrons in expected hot fusion ration, they could ignore calorimetry…

      a typical anti-scientific behavior.

      they learned nothing!