Aneutronic Fusion – the QuarkX Explained (Steve H)

The following post has been submitted by Steve H

Compliments to Wikipedia, Engineer48 and Mats Lewan – for the following contents and bringing it to our attention.
Frank – I thought you may like to post this as a separate item as it appears to explain the under-lying theory behind AR’s QuarkX and it’s production of light, heat and electricity.

It can be found in it’s entirety at Wikipedia – under Aneutronic Fusion.

Methods for energy capture

Aneutronic fusion produces energy in the form of charged particles instead of neutrons. This means that energy from aneutronic fusion could be captured using direct conversion instead of the steam cycle which would normally be used for neutrons. Direct conversion techniques can either be inductive, based on changes in magnetic fields, electrostatic, based on making charged particles work against an electric field or, photoelectric, in which light energy is captured. If the fusion reactor worked in a pulsed mode, inductive techniques could be used.[37]

Electrostatic direct conversion uses a charged particles’ motion to make a voltage. This voltage drives electricity in a wire. This becomes the electrical power. It is normally thought of in reverse. Ordinarily, a voltage puts a particle in motion. Direct energy conversion does the opposite. It uses a particle’s motion to produce a voltage. It has been described as a linear accelerator running backwards.[38] An early supporter of this method was Richard F. Post at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He proposed a way to capture the kinetic energy of charged particles as they were exhausted from a fusion reactor and convert this into voltage, which would drive current in a wire.[39] Dr. Post helped developed the theoretical underpinnings of direct conversion, which was later demonstrated by Dr. William Barr and Raulph Moir at LLNL. They demonstrated a 48 percent energy capture efficiency on the Tandem Mirror Experiment in 1981.[40]

In terms of photoelectric: aneutronic fusion also loses much of its energy as light. This energy results from the acceleration and deceleration of charged particles. These changes in speed can be caused by charge-charge interaction (Bremsstrahlung radiation) or magnetic field interactions (Cyclotron radiation or Synchrotron radiation) or electric field interactions. The radiation can be estimated using the Larmor formula and comes in the X-ray, IR, UV and visible spectrum. Some of the energy radiated as X-rays may be converted directly to electricity. Because of the photoelectric effect, X-rays passing through an array of conducting foils would transfer some of their energy to electrons, which can then be captured electrostatically. Since X-rays can go through far greater thickness of material than electrons can, many hundreds or even thousands of layers would be needed to absorb most of the X-rays.[41]

  • Andrew Bartle

    Please forgive me, this is a bit 101 but…According to the Coulomb barrier, the sun should not be burning, but it does. The reason it can is quantum tunnelling which is due to the wave like nature of particles. Quantum mechanics is not in doubt as its effects are calculable, observable and demonstratable in the use of semiconductor devices and electron tunnelling microscopes.

    QM shows us the how certain collective atoms can share their electrons to allow current flow and heat conduction (metals). QM also predicts plasmons at surfaces and crystal boundaries due to collective resonances of electrons. So …

    Can plasmons tunnel to allow the capture of an electron by a proton in the nuecleus ? This would yield a neutron and a neutrino (undetectable). There is less of a coulomb barrier and a higher cross section for the neutron which is then captured by metal atom (eg Ni or Li). So no neutrons escape only neutrinos which are almost impossible to detect unless coming in large amounts such as from the sun.

    Just my tuppence worth of crazy speculation…..

    Discuss and criticise, maybe there’s something to it … or not.

    I’ve got my tin hat on 😉

  • sam
  • Zephir

    ,/* Electrostatic direct conversion uses a charged particles’ motion to make a voltage*/

    From general scheme of things, the electrostatic discharge activation of cold fusion has nothing to do with aneutronic character of it, simply because the normal i.e. thermally activated cold fusion runs without neutrons as well if not more reliably. Actually, in accordance to me356 reports, the electrostatic discharge activation increases the probability of neutron evolution. So that the above article works with reversed causality in fact.

    I already explained, what the cold fusion runs in aneutronic way here and I also explained, why the overheating of reactor or electrostatic discharge actually leads into escape of neutrons The core of this explanation is, the neutrons are actually released, but they get reabsorbed within long lines of colliding atom nuclei, which also enable their fusion.

    • Zephir

      In this respect, the Widom-Larsen theory operates with idea of “low-momentum neutrons”, which has some merit here. The neutrons don’t have actually low momentum, but they’re moving across compact lines multiple atom nuclei in mechanism, which resembles the Newton cradle. During their mutual collisions the deBroglie wave between atom nuclei increase the vacuum density in such a way, the neutrons are travelling in energetic continuum like the balls inside the pipe, which serves as a waveguide and it prohibits them in escaping into outside. Recently confirmed Hungarian bosons can add another support into this scenario, as it would make the space between colliding atom nuclei even more dense.

  • Mike Ivanov

    M.b. I am stupid, but I just do not understand what is the point to speculate about physics of the device which nobody saw? AR claimed what he has another beautiful invention – great, I am first in line to buy it. Oh, it is not for sale or for show yet? Ok, I can wait. M.b somebody will reproduce it… again…

    • Steve Swatman

      Such speculation may lead others to have idea’s and act on those idea’s, it may even lead to valid science and main stream acceptance.

      Without speculation in Physics we would be living in the dark ages.

      • Mike Ivanov

        Well, may be I am too old school, but for me it should be a little more than “I have small magic device, which generates heat and electricity at the same time”. Even first demonstration of e-cat provided more information. I love when people generates ideas, but in this particular case it is too black box for me. You can speculate about possible energy source of UFO in the same manner.

        • Steve Swatman

          Personally I think there is a huge difference between UFO energy sources and the E-cat, Lenr and all the experiments and scientists now getting on board, but hey, if you want to wait until the other scientists make theories, experiments and papers, thats fine, i just wouldnt bother voicing negatives when there is so much been done, you know, kinda like dont use your telephone in the theater and spoil everyone elses pleasure of the play. you wouldn’t do that, would you.

          • Mike Ivanov

            Do not take my words wrong, I am a big fan of Rossi and Focardi work. Just in this particular case, with QuarkX, I do not see any ground for discussion. We have no clue about device fuel composition, reactor design or anything else.

            • Steve Swatman

              ah, but discussion leads to ideas, ideas lead to world changing events, not knowing the “facts” Not been hampered by pre-concieved bias, leads each thinker to stray into new realms, down paths no one saw before, new ideas are formulated, discussed, theorized and rejected.

              Not knowing the actual composition can push forward otherwise impossible avenues of thought. that is the idea of open discussion.

              Mr Rossi and his experiments in LENR have opened many minds in the last 5-6yrs, he has allowed many people a chance to open doors and walk down paths otherwise rejected as impossible by others. 😉

    • Smart Alex

      Clearly, we all live in our parents basement. LENR is something new and different whose development we can experience vicariously from there. Disqus is our primary means of contact with other people. E-cat is the protocol.

  • Stephen

    Thanks Steve H, the ideas here about energy capture from charged particles is very interesting. I’ve seen some of these ideas before but not all and not in one place. It should be very interesting to see how this topic develops.

  • Pekka Janhunen

    The so-called aneutronic fusion reactions still contain side reactions that produce neutrons. The produced neutron flux may be energetically insignificant, but unless shielded it would still be easy to observe, probably also dangerous and maybe even deadly – in any reactor which produces kilowatts level of heat. For this reason, I do not think that the E-cat can be explained in this way.
    Also, if the reaction produces multi-MeV charged particles (e.g. protons), such particles can trigger secondary nuclear reactions when colliding with especially light nuclei.

    The E-cat is said to be kW-scale, small and clean (no ionising radiation beyond background observed in its vicinity). A process that explains it must be extremely clean, much cleaner than the so-called aneutronic fusion reactions.

    • Steve H

      It has been commented by others – that Tungsten is being used in the latest reactors and previous to that, 50mm of lead shielding was used to contain bursts of Neutron emission.

      • Bob Greenyer

        Heavy metals do little to moderate neutrons, they just elastically scatter, it is light nuclei such as hydrogen and Li that is better at absorbing their energy, this is why HDPE, Paraffin Wax and water are used.

        • Steve H

          Thanks Bob.
          I have strayed into a topic that I don’t fully understand.
          I requested Frank to post this so that others in the community could see a simple explanation for the claimed, miraculous properties of AR’s Quark.
          I surmise that if I read enough of the information passing back and forth – it will eventually present a clear picture .

          • Bob Greenyer

            FWIW, I think the title is correct, but not necessarily the MO

        • Pekka Janhunen

          Yes, but in addition to moderation one also needs to absorb them e.g. by boron-10. One needs both steps.

          • Bob Greenyer

            Boron 10 is not what I would call a heavy nuclei, still it is a lot heavier than protium, you well know though that it is a stand out for neutron cross section.

        • Alan DeAngelis
          • Bob Greenyer

            That is the extreme, anti-moderating neutrons!

            • Stephen

              There is a small group of heavy nuclei around Sm that have very high neutron capture cross sections. An order of magnitude above Boron 767 barns. Gadalonium has an astonishingly high Neutron capture cross section some 40,000 barns! That’s 4000,000 fm2 or about 4pm2!


              Particular isotopes with odd numbers of neutrons are even higher Gd157 for example has a thermal neutron capture cross section of about 250,000 barns about 25pm2!

              This link is very detailed about neutron capture cross-sections with crosse ruins given for different isotopes and different neutron energies. It might be interesting to someone.


              I wish I could find something similar for capture of protons, deuterons and alpha particles. Or for nuclei in excited states or isomers.

      • Warthog

        The lead shielding had zero to do with neutron shielding. Lead is pretty much transparent to neutrons. As Bob G. says below, shielding neutrons is pretty much done by providing a layer of material with a high proton content (paraffin wax, polymers containing only C and H (HDPE and similar)). Of course, the protons only slow the neutrons to thermal, there is still needed a mechanism to actually capture the thermal neutrons, and get rid of them. B-10 is a good choice.

    • Zephir

      I already explained here why the cold fusion runs aneutronically The trick is, the neutrons, even if they’re formed get reabsorbed along long chains of colliding atom nuclei, arranged withing metal lattice.

    • Stephen

      I think by aneutronic he means that it’s not a neutron capture process but rather a proton capture process.

      But you are right of course that normal kinetic neutron or proton capture processes have all the complications of neutron and gamma production especially if they interact with other nuclei not just Li.

      If nucleons of any type are being captured by other nuclei without generating these side effects it seems some environment is allowing the absorbtion with out prompt gamma or neutron emissions. Could this be achieved by stimulating beta+ decay or electron capture of the captured proton in some way in some cases? If so would we be able to conserve all required states by the release of the neutrino? Or is that prohibited and still requires another photon release?

      • Pekka Janhunen

        In some cases probably yes, if such environment exists. Producing a neutrino has the problem of involving the weak interaction, which is inherently slow.

        Generally I like the idea that CF might be explainable by the electron fluid somehow providing an alternative pathway for such reaction energy which in vacuum normally goes into gamma emission. I like it, because that kind of process could conceivably (a) promote such nuclear reactions, (b) explain why the corresponding gammas aren’t seen. For a more concrete mechanism how that could happen, I speculate that some of the electrons become effectively massless (Dirac fermions) so that the electron plasma frequency becomes very high so that electron plasmon frequencies and therefore energies may reach typical gamma energies.

        How to avoid neutrons, I do not know. The question is perhaps premature because we don’t also know the net nuclear reactions that occur. The best guard against neutrons might be if their emission is energetically impossible in the given reactions. After all, we are talking about stable isotopes, and a free neutron is energetically rather unfavourable in comparison to bound neutrons.

        • Stephen

          Yes your ideas about the “electron fluid” coupling and high plasma frequency could be a really interesting approach if it works out.

        • Bob Greenyer

          There are p,n knockout reactions and we suspect these may be a/the cause of the Neutrons we observed in GS 5.3

          Of course many p,n reactions have a threshold. Given that UGC has determined that p+7Li can occur at energies below 223eV it could be that in a tuned configuration with good reactor/fuel material choices, neutron flux from p,n reactions at least, would be negligible.

    • Rene

      Adding to this good response, is that the ‘aneutronic’ reactions cited in the wiki article are plasma reactions and they generate at most 1% neutron power flux. A 10KW reaction can yield 100 watts of neutron flux. That kind of flux will activate (make radioactive) just about everything near the reactor in short order. There have been no reports or mentions of that issue.
      Lattice/interstitial reactions seem to follow a different path, and this is one of the critical aspects of LENR, that it does not release neutrons (not above ambient neutron measurements).

  • hunfgerh

    Please say me the materials, the arrangement of the materials and the power (source) to fulfil COP > 1 in this Aneutronic Fusion theory. Theory and Praxis should be compatible and explain the results of [email protected], Rossi and others.

    • Steve H

      Hi hunfgerh,
      Not a theory, more a description of a process which has been and is currently used by government scientists.

      Courtesy of Wikipedia:-
      Aneutronic fusion is any form of fusion power in which neutrons carry no more than 1% of the total released energy.[1] The most-studied fusion reactions release up to 80% of their energy in neutrons. Successful aneutronic fusion would greatly reduce problems associated with neutron radiation such as ionizing damage, neutron activation, and requirements for biological shielding, remote handling, and safety.

      Some proponents also see a potential for dramatic cost reductions by converting energy directly to electricity. However, the conditions required to harness aneutronic fusion are much more extreme than those required for the conventional deuterium–tritium (DT) nuclear fuel cycle.

      • Mats Lewan

        The last phrase explains why no-one would even try. Conditions “much more extreme than those required for the conventional deuterium–tritium (DT) nuclear fuel cycle”, i.e. much more extreme than about a 100 million degrees operating temperature for example, sounds pretty difficult!
        So successful LENR could maybe consist in having found a way to achieve effective aneutronic fusion with much less extreme conditions.

        • Steve H

          Thanks Mats.
          I’m still a newbie on the nuclear stuff.
          I just wanted to let others see a simple explanation for AR’s Quark.
          Every day is a school day!
          That’s a lot of days when your 55, and still so much to learn.

        • Pekka Janhunen

          Todd Rider showed quantitatively in his thesis in the 1990s that aneutronic fuels do not work in hot fusion, in the sense that the plasma cools off by bremsstrahlung more than it gets heated by fusion, if using those fuels. The only potential loophole was to convert the bremsstrahlung into electricity and use it to artificially heat the plasma. But in order to maintain burning, the efficiency of X-ray to electricity conversion must be quite high, and if one also wants to sell some net electricity, the task is even harder.

      • Optimist

        Don’t forget the Scandinavian scientists Holmlid and Olafsson that have demonstrated meson particles radiated from their Rydberg material experiments. They are charged particles that would release extreme kinetic energy through decay that can be captured by magnetic field for direct electricity production. If would be quite a coincidence if the Rossi effect is providing the same result through a different nuclear process?