Report of Josh Hall Lecture on Cold Fusion

I am very grateful for this report submitted by ECW reader Clifford Kaufmann.

The meeting at Eastern Shore Community College Lecture Hall on Friday, May 2, 2014 in Melfa, Virginia was well attended, with roughly fifty people present. Josh Storrs Hall, PhD, was the speaker, and he accompanied his lecture with an excellent slideshow which was well researched, well designed and well implemented. He was introduced by a moderator, whose name I didn’t catch, but who made the comment that it takes cold fusion to get so many people to a lecture on such a fine day (beautiful spring day in the mid sixties).

Dr. Hall’s areas of interest seems to be Artificial Intelligence and Nanotechnology and he’s written several books including “Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine” and “Nanofuture” which can be seen at his website http://autogeny.org/. His interest in molecular nanotechnology seems particularly well suited to dealing with the intricacies of LENR, as Brian Ahern recently stated in a YouTube video that the “active” regime of 3 to 20 NM is where “magical” things seem to always happen.

Dr. Hall went into the history of cold fusion at a level of detail I wasn’t personally familiar with, for example: he recounted how when Fleischmann and Pons were experimenting with their device they had been using .75 amps for over a month to load the Palladium with Deuterium, and when nothing appeared to be happening they doubled the amperage to 1.5 and left it overnight. When they came in the next morning the device had not only melted through the tabletop, leaving a hole about a foot in diameter, but also melted about four inches into the concrete floor beneath the table. He went on the recount some of the sordid details about the ensuing politics which forced F&P to rush into a press conference before they were actually ready to report anything.

He mentioned Steven E. Jones work with muon-catalyzed fusion at about the same time as being a factor in that haste. The quote he used to sum up that whole scene was particularly apt: “If you’re not taking flak — you’re not over the target”. He then went into the subsequent history of the field, mentioning researchers like Huizenga & Ramsey, SRI, SPAWAR, Mizuno, Energetics Inc in Israel (fractal waveform solution), and many others. He continued with a “State of the Art” section which included a kind of wish-list of characteristics like: reproducibility on demand, a COP of over 100, and controllability of codeposition, temperature, pressure, magnetic fields, etc. The two leading theorists in his opinion are Peter Hagelstein and Widom-Larsen. He then mentioned the half dozen or more companies on the verge of commercialization, like: Clean Planet (Mizuno), Jet Energy, Brillouin, Industrial Heat (Rossi), Mitsubishi, Toyota, Defkalion, etc.

The audience’s questions and participation afterwards was lively and particularly interesting, bringing up points like, as a biochemist mentioned, that since nickel, platinum and palladium are catalysts there could be other catalysts like hemoglobin and chlorophyll that maybe should be looked at as a source of catalysis. All in all a very fruitful hour — well worth the hour and a half drive it took to get there.

Clifford Kaufmann

  • Obvious

    I have my doubts about at least parts of that old hole-in-the-floor story. There have been several versions going around for a long time. It would be nice to get to the bottom of it with the earliest version, or an original Pons or Fleishmann telling of it.

  • Ged

    Biological enzyme catalysts and reactions often times use quantum tunneling. That is, teleporting a hydrogen through space (and through other atoms) to gain the rapid rate kinetics and energetics that they have. These mechanisms have been known and studied for a long time. Quantum mechanics is -not new- to biology, not surprising, and not unusual. No one in biology said QM superposition was impossible at room temp, because we’ve been watching it happen, and we have been exploiting it such as through Raman infrared elastic scattering, to study chemicals and reactions for quite awhile.

    There is just this bizarre disconnect with how science is reported to the general public. It is kinda saddening, but I think most of the confusion stems from the fact there are many competing hypotheses up in the air at all times. When proof for one hypothesis moves forward, that is “news” to the public, but the fact we’ve had these ideas, observations, and basic evidence to build the hypotheses in the first place have been around for a long time for us scientists, so it isn’t news in the slightest. It’s simply the natural progression of science in action (continually building evidence through observation and experiment).

  • GreenWin

    Greg, presentation of a play besmirching P&F at CalTech’s Center for Astrophysics spotlights a petulant reluctance to accept the evidence. See my post in the Always Open Thread re Mitsubishi’s greatly expanded research into LENR-based transmutation: http://www.e-catworld.com/2013/10/26/always-open-e-cat-world-thread/

    Next will be a comedy “Newton’s Closet” about Sir Isaac Newton’s clandestine experiments with alchemy, followed by a staged reading of “Einstein, the Creationist!”

    • greggoble

      Einstein says… What… Newton? Let’s see if anything else hides…You already have me laughing! Thanks for the thread. AlainCo says… bring the tomatoes.

  • georgehants

    Sergio, If you read your theories of the Quantum you will find that thoughts may have a great influence.
    As very little is known about the Quantum realm it seems foolish to put conditions on it that are impossible to confirm at this time.
    You do not know if you statement —-
    “that objects subjectively choose to use QM over something else” is True or not.
    Your comment seems very unscientific.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    “After 1989 Schwinger took a keen interest in the non-mainstream research of cold fusion. He wrote eight theory papers about it. He resigned from the American Physical Society after their refusal to publish his papers. He felt that cold fusion research was being suppressed and academic freedom violated. He wrote: ‘The pressure for conformity is enormous. I have experienced it in editors’ rejection of submitted papers, based on venomous criticism of anonymous referees. The replacement of impartial reviewing by
    censorship will be the death of science.’ “

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Schwinger

  • georgehants

    greggoble, I do like your word, ‘coldfusioneer’, is it your own, it needs to go into the new dictionaries as they become available, I think.

    • greggoble

      Nope, like most of my work it’s plagarized out of the past, which is always a sign of my respect. It was most likely coined by some old cold fusioneer or another.

      When it does go dictionary, as a slang term of course, Ruby should be told. I first heard it used by her.

      • georgehants

        Wonderful Ruby, what a good scientist.
        Think of the many important things still hidden from the past in science.
        As GreenWin says Mr. Newton and many others, ground breaking Research into Alchemy for a start.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Perhaps we wouldn’t be worrying about Fukushima now if Prof. Miley didn’t have his funding cut for the “Scientific Feasibility Study of Low Energy Reactions for Nuclear Waste Amelioration” in 1999. http://www.infinite-energy.com/iemagazine/issue28/criticskill.html

  • Rick Allen

    Thank you for sharing that with us. Can you elaborate a little? Do you mean that lithium 6 and 7 are used? Which one is in the mouse and which one is in the cat? Does one work better than the other?

  • overtheshoulder

    IMHO, if F&P had been accepted, there would now be many more methods of lenr than we are aware of today. So far, new sources of controllable high volume energy have been rare, difficult to work with and extremely valuable.

    If F&P had been accepted, the physics of lenr would have been figured out relatively shortly thereafter, and the engineering on top of the physics would have immediately started pursuing every possible way to generate, harness and productize it.

    Which it will do anyway in the near future, as soon as the products hit the market, and the physics is figured out. Too bad about the time delay, of course.

    • greggoble

      Two lone chemists having a bit of fun with the maximum loading of hydrogen into palladium in an electrolytic cell, rejected and left to fend for themselves. If F&P had been accepted other related arts of science would have joined in the quest to understand what they had observed. LENR is best served as an interdisciplinary art.

      Discovery

      It’s of great use to wonder
      Why our minds wander
      In awe of it all

      Being forever true
      Seeking the new

      We are just now discovering
      That which has always been

      Impatiently awaiting us
      Craving our keen attention
      Hoping for deeper understanding

      Awesome is
      The wonder of discovery

      And the power
      Of awe

      gbgoble2009

    • Barney Holmes

      But it was not accepted. That’s how it went in 89. You’d probably have to change a billion variables to get that press conference accepted. That situation came out of an entire paradigm. Maybe it could not have happened any other way. But paradigms change.

  • Ophelia Rump

    Hemoglobin and chlorophyll, I cannot imagine how that would work. How would you ever implement that so that they did not self destruct?

    • Sanjeev

      Well the question was from a biochemist so we can excuse the ignorance. I guess he didn’t literally mean that hemoglobin and chlorophyll can be used in lenr, may be he meant the mechanism can be similar to that of these substances when they act in living things.

      As we know chlorophyll does something in plant metabolism that is considered *impossible* in traditional science, yet plant life totally depends on that mechanism and our lives depend on it indirectly. So the best irony in science is that its impossible that we are alive.

      • Ged

        Well… no, chlorophyll doesn’t do anything impossible. Think of it similarly to how the retinal (Vitamin A) bound to the opsin proteins in your eyes work. Light hits the double bonded carbon chains and transfers energy to the electrons, leading to electrical mobility and all sorts of structural consequences we exploit for vision. The chlorophyll macromolecule is much more complex than retinal (think of it like a whole bunch of retinals all glued together in a circle), and much better at harvesting energy from light, using magnesium as an electrical focal point. Ultimately, all this complex tomfoolery and charge transfer just leads to pumping hydrogen ions and making ATP very similarly to how all of our cells are doing it right now. It’s simply a different source of energy — light to electrical — instead of chemical combustion as goes on in us.

        The only thing “magical” about it is how efficient it is compared to our synthetic, static solar cells. But one has to realize that the chlorophyll full chloroplasts (stacked in very dense nanosheets) are being actively streamed around plant cells to make sure optimal light capture is occurring in an -active- way at the sub cellular level. That is something our synthetics can’t even remotely compare to, and why we can’t beat photosynthesis for efficiency. Also, the end product is different, so there’s that too.

        Can chlorophyll be used for LENR? Well… as it stands now it could never survive the heat, nor is it set up to harvest energy from anything other than blue and red light wavelengths. A synthetic derivative using it as inspiration may be able to, or be used as hydrogen storage.

        Maybe the biochemist was thinking of using chlorophyll/hemoglobin to help split diatomic hydrogen gas into monoatomic hydrogen ions, which are what are needed for LENR (LENR fuel). In that way, it would be acting like platinum or palladium to split hydrogen for use catalytically — and that does sound like what was being suggested from the second hand account we have here.

        • Sanjeev

          Of course its not doing anything impossible, obviously. The impossible factor comes from the dogma that QM superposition states are impossible at room temperature and photosynthesis has now been shown to use QM phenomena to capture light energy in a unbelieving efficient way…at room temperature.
          As you say, similar processes happen in retina, blood and nose, where giant molecules of a few nm size exploit QM. There is a parallel here with LENR because fusion is considered impossible at room temperature, although there is enough evidence of it. Our biochemist here must have joined some points in the puzzle, hence the question.
          There are also some parallels with neuroscience (QM in neurons and their relation to the consciousness) and with superconduction. It seems to be a very wide field, but barely studied.
          Here is a good link:
          http://www.kurzweilai.net/evidence-that-photosynthesis-efficiency-is-based-on-quantum-mechanics
          Btw, that is the website of Ray Kurzweil, a very good source of future news.

          • Ged

            It’s nothing new to us biologists, we’ve known this for many years :). The problem with how news is reported is people like to exaggerate the novelty of the slight subtlety they’ve discovered, and sometimes reporters take this too far and make it sound like some great shock just happened — as if we believed it impossible and then suddenly there it was omg! But actually, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When I was learning photosynthesis so many years ago, we already were talking about its quantum mechanics to quite a degree. That’s why your post surprised me, but I see what you were trying to say now.

        • georgehants

          Ged I am interested in your view that the Quantum reality that leads to our reality (totally not understood by all of science) and the Wonder of something like photosynthesis, all debunked by most of science for many years, can be described as ——-
          “all this complex tomfoolery”
          I would like to learn how such Wonders can be described as such, by I assume you are a scientist.
          Thank you.

          • Ged

            Because ultimately, as complex as it may be, yet so elegantly simple too, it’s all to make the exact same energy end products as you get every time you eat sugar :).

            It was all part of the point on how photosynthesis is not mystical or strange or somehow “debunked” by science. Truth is? We’ve known for a -long- time. That’s why I was utterly surprised by what Sanjeev said. Sometimes science news comes out many years after we’ve already figured it out; or simply the news sounds like it’s “new” but it’s really just a different method of confirming something we already knew. That latter happens a lot — a heck of a lot actually.

            A lot of what we know we’ve known since the 50s and 70s. It’s just that science communication is still in the stone age.

      • Barney Holmes

        There’s something in Rupert Sheldrakes book The Science Delusion about the heat output of the body not being accounted for by calorific value of food eaten.

        • Sanjeev

          I always wondered about that. Human body seems to be extraordinarily efficient (compared to a robot of the same weight, say). Its a tricky matter to estimate the energy efficiency of a body, as living people strangely do not like to be locked for many days in a sensitive calorimeter after eating their lunch. So I guess the question if it is indeed overunity, remains open.

          Sheldrake must have some real stuff, because he is the only scientist whose TED talk was banned because he openly talked on the shortcomings of science, basically on everything that is wrong with science. I thought TED talk is about free speech and new ideas.

          http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/04/10/banned-ted-talk-rupert-sheldrake-the-science-delusion/

    • Jim Anderson

      From what I’ve read if LENR occurs in biological systems it’s function is not energy production but creating missing trace elements. Even if hemoglobin or chlorophyll could be used for LENR the energy release would need to be very small or they would break down. On Slideshare Widem Larsen have a slide package that addresses LENR in biological systems. Widem and Larsen are associated with Lattice Energies LLC. If I remember correctly the slides mentioned a Russian scientist. Sorry my memory isn’t more specific.

  • Daniel Maris

    Sounds fascinating – thanks for the report.

    • Sanjeev

      Agree. The live, one to one/many meetings are much more influential than the internet or press. These make a deeper impression and people are generally more civilized when meeting in person. I’m very pleased that such meetings are happening now. So I thank the organizers and reporter. Good job.