Coldfusion blog

Navy Labs to reopen once taboo cold nuclear fusion case


Researchers from the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division have reopened the case on low-energy nuclear reactions, or LENR, largely unexplained phenomena that lie at the heart of “cold fusion” theories. Five different government-funded laboratories under the control of the US Navy, the US Army and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology will conduct experiments with the aim of settling once and for all the debate on this little understood and very controversial. Despite the controversy and stigma associated with LENR, many experts in the U.S. military believe that the science behind them is solid and that if working technologies can one day be developed, they could transform military operations to an extent. never seen for over a century.

LENR is a theory that attempts to explain the results that some scientists have observed over the past few decades that seem to indicate a unique type of abnormal energy production from a certain class of non-fusion nuclear reactions that have occurred. in or near the room. Temperature. Interest in LENRs and the so-called “cold fusion” dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, when scientists encountered abnormal heat effects produced by known chemical processes. These have gone unexplained for decades. One of the biggest controversies in the field then arose in 1989 when chemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced that they had successfully achieved a “sustained nuclear fusion reaction” at room temperature.

Scientists around the world have started looking at their data and of course not all agree with the conclusions of Fleischmann and Pons. Some believed that low-temperature fusion reactions were indeed occurring, others believed that a misunderstood type of chemical reaction was occurring, while others still believed that the two chemists had observed a new type of phenomenon. A scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) even went so far as to accuse the duo of fraud in the Boston Herald. No other lab was able to replicate their results, and Fleischmann and Pons ultimately withdrew their findings.

Yet enough researchers believe that there is at least something to LENRs and that the subject deserves a serious second examination. The 2016 American scientist guest blog “It’s not cold fusion … but it’s somethingStates that “Hidden in the confusion are numerous scientific reports, some of them published in respectable peer-reviewed journals, showing a wide variety of experimental evidence” for LENRs, “including transmutations of elements. “. The same article states that studies have also shown that LENRs “can produce local surface temperatures of 4000-5000 K and boil metals (palladium, nickel, and tungsten) in a small number of microscopic sites scattered throughout the soil. surfaces of laboratory apparatus ”. A more recent theory suggests that LENR reactions have nothing to do with fusion, and are instead produced by weak interaction and are perfectly consistent with known physics.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division seeks to get to the bottom of the LENR phenomenon with an honest look at the available data and by conducting new experiments. NSWC Indian Head specializes in energetics, a branch of research involving the development and testing of explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics, fuels and other reactive materials with respect to propulsion and weapons.

Oliver Barham, project manager at NSWC Indian Head, says that despite past controversies over LENRs, the lab believes the science behind these little understood reactions is deserves a second look. “I’m not as worried about looking at something that is considered controversial as long as there is good science out there,” Barham said. IEEE.org. “The purpose of our efforts is that we want to do good science. We’re not here to prove or disprove anything, we’re here to put together a team of scientists who want to take it seriously. Barham says the lab will serve as an “honest broker” who will reexamine decades of data collected by the US Naval Academy, the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Indian Head Chief Scientist Carl Gotzmer says even mentioning “cold fusion” was once considered “career end,” but since Indian Head is a government-funded lab, they have a little more freedom for pursue such a controversial subject whether there is a possibility of rewarding scientific results.

The Department of Defense (DOD) as a whole has been interested in LENR research for some time. Previously, Navy LENR research was conducted at the Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake and Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) – Pacific Systems Center. According to expert and LENR author Steven Krivit, SPAWAR “has produced some of the most interesting experiences and field observations and published more LENR articles in mainstream journals than any US LENR group. SPAWAR’s LENR research was completed in 2011.

Two years earlier, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) published a report on research from LENR which stated that based on scientific data available worldwide, “nuclear reactions can occur under conditions not previously thought possible.” The report states that Italy and Japan are conducting international research on the subject and that the stigma associated with the subject in the United States means that most of the information surrounding LENR is presented at international conferences, with American data in the hands of foreign scientists.

The DIA finally concluded in 2009 that “if the nuclear reactions in LENR experiments are real and controllable, whoever produces the first commercialized LENR energy source could revolutionize the production and storage of energy for the future” and that “The potential applications of this phenomenon, if commercialized, are limitless.” The report goes on to indicate that LENR could lead to batteries that last for decades, revolutionizing the power supply of sensors and military operations in remote areas and / or in space, and that “the military potential of these energy-dense energy sources is enormous,” potentially leading to “the greatest transformation of the battlefield for US forces since the transition from power to gasoline”.

New forms of energy production and storage are of major interest to DOD. Energy and fuel requirements are one of the most important logistical challenges for military operations in remote locations or conflict zones where establishing supply chain infrastructure can be a major challenge. DOD is studying a variety of new forms of power generation, ranging from modular solar power units, to the development of miniaturized nuclear reactors, and even the delivery of solar power to the battlefield from satellites in the world. ‘space. In addition, entrepreneurs associated with DOD have touted advances in nuclear fusion technologies in recent years, as have American rivals. Clearly, energy has become one of the most pressing topics in defense research and development, and an impending energy revolution has the potential to upset the global balance of power in terms of the capabilities of nations. to project their power into conflict zones and remote and contested areas.