PESN Interview with Michael McKubre at SRI International

I’d like to thank Sterling Allan of PESN for letting me know about this video interview he just conducted with Mike McKubre, LENR researcher at the SRI International institute in Stanford, California. McKubre has some very intersting information and ideas to share, and the whole interview (about 25 minutes long) is well worth listening to.

Some key areas covered are:

  • His involvement with Brillouin energy’s development of their LENR systems
  • His thoughts on the size of COP required to make commercial LENR worthwhile (minimum of 10x)
  • The types of work he does at SRI
  • His ideas about the term fusion — “it is fusion”
  • His thoughts on the four main players in the LENR field: Brillouin, Defkalion, Rossi, Blacklight Power. He says there is no need for competition, they should cooperate to move the field forward.

As always, McKubre comes across as experienced, articulate, knowledgeable and very credible. He’s a great spokesman for the field, and should be a media point person for LENR, in my opinion.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    I’m not quite sure if McKubre has referred to Widom-Larsen theory at all. If yes, it looks to me like an attempt to prevent the critics from insisting on the sentence “Cold fusion does not exist”. Its mainly a social issue, I think.

  • Omega Z

    Collaboration Years earlier could have been beneficial, But each have reached a point where that time is past.

    Now-Separately, Each Entity competes with “TIME” being a Critical factor.
    Working together would just reduce the urgency.

    There are also benefits of different Variations of LENR. Some being better suited to different tasks. Some even combining the technologies.
    And rather then 1 Product licensed at a Jointly agreed upon fee, There will be competing Technologies to contend with. An Arbitrary fee becomes unsustainable due to competition.

    Many tend to put requirements of Rossi not applied to all the others in this field. Soo- Before laying this working together at Rossi’s feet- Note that the others are also Not Working Together.

    Another View. All working together is putting all your eggs in 1 basket.
    With All using a different approach increases the Odds that at least 1 may come thru. It Only Takes One To Succeed….

  • Andreas Moraitis

    This part of the interview appears somewhat strange. He seems to overstretch the term “fusion” a little bit. One could say that speaking of “fusion” makes only sense if the Coulomb barrier is overcome. Neutron capture is not considered to be fusion. But language – even in science – is everything else but perfect. Think of a tunneling process when the waveforms, in the ideal case, add up to null: would you still call it fusion?

    • Andreas Moraitis

      To be more precise: I thought of the concepts of “virtual neutrons” or “masked protons” that have been proposed by some LENR theorists during the last years. Admittedly, I cannot judge if these models are correct. But don’t you think the capture of a virtual neutron/masked proton could be called fusion?

  • Sanjeev

    I say not difficult because the markets are huge and all 4 can swim in a pool of gold coins. There can be some problems in coming together, given the attitudes and fear in the minds of inventors. But when the motive is profits something can be arranged which benefits all players. For example they can jointly form a lobby to hasten the safety clearance of lenr products and to set up standards.

  • Bernie Koppenhofer

    I generally agree with Rossi, you can tell he has been burned by “those other gulls” who stole his IP.

  • NT

    Here is Rossi’s latest comment, from his JONP website on joing forces with other “Cold Fusion” inventors/developers as proposed by Dr. McKubre in his interview with Sterling Allan:

    January 15th, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Dear Andrea,

    Today I watched an interesting interview with Mike Mckubre (sri internationale) and Stirling Allen. In his opinion is lenr much too big and important and there for all players in the field Should work together. What is your opinion about this vision.

    Best regards,


    Andrea Rossi

    January 15th, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    It easy to share something that is worth nothing. It is impossible to share IP which has substantial worth with competitors. The rest is just hypocrisy disguised by fake humanitarism, aiming to get IP ( Intellectual Property) without making all the work, fatigue and investments made by others. Medicine would have made no progress at all should not the Intellectual Property of the medicines be granted to the industries that paid all the necessary R&D and validation for the drugs they invented. In the energy field the situation is the same, as well as in all the important fields of R&D. In the recent history we had a paradigmatic evidence of what I said: the communism; along the communist phylosophy ( the so called Marxism) everything had to be put in common and everybody had to produce sharing his capacities and skills with all the others, while the results of the global work had to be shared between all the men along their necessities: everybody had to work along his skills, everybody had to consume along his necessities…we all have seen what this phylosophy has produced after Lenin has given substance to it. Let’s not make confusion between humanitarism and greed. Last Sunday I was walking along the shore of Miami Beach and I observed an interesting scene: a gull was continuing to fly low on the surface of the sea, looking for food, while other gulls were seat on the beach looking at him; after a while he grasped a fish with his beak, but immediately all the other gulls got flying around him, attacking him to steal the fish, and, after a while, they succeeded, leaving him without the prey he had worked for.
    Warm Regards,

    • GreenWin

      Frankly, I agree with Rossi and have for some time. Do we expect a CEO who brings his company strong profits to work for peanuts? Should a great athlete who contributes to a winning team, get a minimum wage? An artist who sells millions of downloads, a doctor who clinically assists patients?? Dr. Rossi has a good technology. Dr. Mills, the DGT team and Brillouin seem to also. Empowering the Earth is a huge undertaking bigger than any one entity or technology. To that end, even the old and destined to be decommissioned techs like fossil and fission will play a role in the transition to clean, abundant energy.

      The key concept is there is PLENTY for everyone. Just look up at the stars, consider the universe… where do you see the limits??

    • Sanjeev

      Probably Rossi misunderstood Mike’s message. Mike didn’t say they should give away the tech for free. As I understand, he said to join forces to commercialize the tech as soon as possible and reap the benefit, while benefiting the whole world simultaneously.
      I don’t see any difficulty if a consortium of LENR industries is formed to share knowledge and trade technology. They can keep their IP and sign agreements for its use by their members. Its like in the field of health care, the doctors share their findings and new methods of treatments and everyone benefits.
      If they do not do this, there is much greater chance that it will be stolen (actually I’m sure that you will see clones in less than one year after the launch of first product). DGTs business model is best in this matter since not only they are giving away the tech under legal agreements, they will be reaping the money as well. Share and survive.

  • bfast

    I fully agree with Dr. McKubre that some sort of fusion event is happening here — unless we’re talking hydrinos (which I highly doubt.) The term “cold fusion” is out of favor simply because Pons & Fleischmann were tarred and feathered by nefarious forces. I believe that “cold fusion” is totally appropriate.

    I am surprised that Jet Energy is not on the list of primary players. That said, with how long these guys are taking to get heard above the noise, it won’t totally surprise me if a dark horse rips right through the middle of them. I bet my bottom dollar that there are at lease a handful of labs that are staying fully under the radar.

    So, we’ll see. I am painfully frustrated that I was expecting that we would see back in 2011. Here its 2014 and the world is still content that LENR/cold fusion is “pathological science”.

  • GreenWin

    Mike says, “It’s fusion. If it goes from small to large – it’s fusion.” He goes on to blow the cover off the hot fusionists for attempting to co-opt the term FUSION. It will not be done. And with all the action going on, Cold Fusion remains an accurate description of LENR and all its variations. Johnnie Huizenga is grimacing. 🙁

    • Bertuswonkel

      John Huizenga…. anytime I read that name in the context of Cold Fusion I feel ashamed.
      The name is common in the place I was born.

      To bad someone with a Dutch name was one of the most important skeptics in possibly the greatest discoveries ever. Our country has a great scientific tradition. It hurts to think that people all over the world will in the future be lectured about the CF episode, its implications on how science works, and the teacher will talk about John Huizenga, the skeptic.

      Maybe I am overreacting, most people won’t notice and don’t know/care about the Netherlands.
      Still, for some reason, I just cant stand it. Of all the names in the world, why did it have to be this one…

      • GreenWin

        Bertus, don’t read too much into it. If the UK were to be embarrassed about the conduct and exclamations of its famed scientists e.g. Lord Kelvin – they would shrink into the North Sea. But Huizenga is worthy of study as he represents a certain kind of ultra-orthodox pathology that has retarded human evolution. The study of his pathology will not center around his cultural heritage, but rather the hubris with which certain people claim to “know it all.” If it makes you feel any better, see the movie “Twelve Years a Slave” – one of the most shameful eras in American history.

        • Bertuswonkel

          I have seen that movie and your right, guess we all have things to be ashamed about. Let’s hope we have learned from our mistakes.

          My background is in the social sciences. Naturally i wonder how such an important discovery can be ignored for so long, especially when you consider all our environmental troubles. The science is there and available for all to read but you have to willing and open minded enough to look for it. It is important to investigate the social forces at play in the saga of CF. I always had a romantic image of science being value free and only interested in the truth. CF shows that science is a deeply human enterprise and thus also subject to shortcomings of our species. It poses important questions about how science works. Reading the old papers provides an insight into the minds of skeptics which i think is very interesting. I am afraid the name Huizenga will keep popping up on my screen every once in a while.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    If I understand McKubre
    correctly, he states that the competition between the four (up to now known)
    major players won’t be a problem. However, I have my doubts in that respect. If
    BLP were able to generate electricity directly, this would be an enormous advantage.
    Electricity can be converted to heat or mechanical energy almost without
    losses. I wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of the others, at the moment.

    • deleo77

      I thought the same thing. He talked about Rossi, BLP, DGT, and Brillouin all cooperating and how that will be beneficial for all of four of them. But history doesn’t exactly show things going that way. Invention seems to have a winner take all story to it. Perhaps a couple of these companies will come out winners but doubtful all four will. If one of them can get to market first they will have a huge advantage over the others.

    • Fortyniner

      Competition is not only not a problem – it is essential in a capitalist world to provide the ‘selective pressure’ that drives technological evolution. Different research groups will follow different leads, try different things and make different serendipitous discoveries – all good.

      Speaking personally I’d like to see them fighting like ferrets in a sack to be the first to fill the world with their products. May the best man (or woman) win!

      • Andreas Moraitis

        Yes, competition is
        essential for any kind of progress. That’s one of the reasons why socialism was not successful. But it’s a pity if people who’ve been working hard for decades of
        their life are left empty-handed at the end.

  • Bertuswonkel

    It’s hard to watch. The weather looks too good there!
    This reminds me, i really need to move to California a.s.a.p.
    Interesting interview, thanks Sterling!

    • Sanjeev

      Its interesting that he puts BLP in the same category as LENR players. But BLP’s claim is that no fusion is involved in their reactor, so why did he do that?
      By mistake or may be he is speaking generally about the new energy scene.

      • artefact

        Both could have the same roots or are even more related. NI, H, Catalyst ..

      • Bertuswonkel

        Seems to me that nobody knows how and why it works. The methods BL uses seem very similar to LENR experiments. Maybe he is right and the LENR community is looking in the wrong direction for an explanation. However, if he is right why did it take so long to build something useful?

        • Sanjeev

          Well, validations of BLP have found Hydrinos using spectroscopy and two more methods. Also, transmutations were found in Lenr (Eg by Toyota etc). So if the process is same then BLP missed transmutations and Lenr researchers missed the hydrino.
          If both fusion and hydrinos are found in such processes then it may happen that some energy is generated by H2 collapsing to a hydrino and some more energy is contributed by a few trapped hydrinos fusing with Ni nuclei. A hydrino will look like a neutron to an Ni atom and so the Coulomb’s barrier could be overcome with a little help from quantum tunneling. This is just a wild guess.

          • Herb Gillis

            Why don’t hydrinos form within the sun and other stars, instead of helium? Or do they? If these things are real, could they account for some of the “dark matter” in the universe?

            • Pekka Janhunen

              If dark matter would be hydrinos, one should see their spectral lines in X-ray sky at some characteristic few hundred eV energy.
              Mills agrees that his hydrinos are not compatible with quantum mechanics. He claims that quantum mechanics is wrong and the world is classical. But that is not so: Bell’s inequalities proved mathematically in 1950’s that nature obeys certain inequalities that are incompatible with all classical local theories. Take out quantum theory and everything in physics becomes a mystery except steam engine and plasma physics, almost. Free Mills-type hydrinos cannot exist. Whether some kind of compact hydrogen can exist in metal lattice is another question.

              • Sanjeev

                Pekka, how do you explain the spectra seen in the validation reports ?
                Hydrinos are imaginary entities that’s right, but are those spectra also an imaginary work of art?
                Frankly, I do not know, but they found the theory correct to 4 decimal places, more independent work is needed before anything can be said.
                My guess is that we do not see them in nature because extraordinary conditions and precisely synthesized materials are needed to produce them. We all know the story how difficult it is to replicate a lenr experiment. Its like, some exotic form of elements seen in particle colliders, which exists for nanoseconds before decaying into something ordinary.
                They are not dark matter. Dark matter is another imaginary beast invented to guard the incomplete theories of physics. Instead they should have said we don’t know, and should have gone back to the drawing board. For some reason they keep stretching the theoretical stuff to fit reality.
                QM is not wrong, in fact its the most successful theory ever written, however, it is incomplete, which makes a big room for more discoveries are progress. It does not cover gravity, creation of universe and consciousness for example. There can be things we are not aware of which it does not cover. Even with QM the world is still a mystery.

                • Pekka Janhunen

                  Good questions. Atoms heavier than hydrogen and helium, say, have a rich set of spectral lines, also in the few hundred eV energy range. Also, if the atom is ionised singly or multiply, one gets a new set of spectral lines which increases the number of possiblities. As a special case, if an atom is stripped of all its electrons except one, it becomes a so-called hydrogen-like atom (actually ion). In this case the energies are exact multiples of Z^2 times the hydrogen ones.
                  (By the way: perhaps you meant dark energy when you wrote dark matter?)

                • Sanjeev

                  Ok so if I understand you correctly, the spectra can be of some other atoms which can be mistaken for a hydrino. I guess the probability of that is less, someone would have proven it by now.
                  I meant dark matter. Dark energy is another can of worms. Belief is these things make science look like mysticism. Science must stand on empirical evidence.

            • Sanjeev

              No one knows but a simple guess would be that Sun is a hot fusion system. Hydrinos need a catalyst, specially treated Nickle or other metal, right temperature, pulse power and what not. Obviously these ultra finely tuned conditions are not there inside the Sun, so they are not there.
              Of course, this holds only if there is such a thing as hydrino. Its a open question for now.

  • artefact

    Good interview. Thanks to all!