Harnessing New Energy Sources
Fusion energy, the process that powers the stars, could be a functioning energy source by 2050, according to Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) Director Miklos Porkolab. Fusion, which generates energy when hydrogen is superheated to create a gas called plasma, would draw on an abundant global resource — hydrogen.
"The advantages of fusion plasma-based energy sources are numerous," said Porkolab in an openDOOR interview. "The fuel supply for fusion may be obtained from sea water, and there are no carbon products and no greenhouse emissions and relatively short-lived radioactive wastes."
MIT's Alcator C-Mod Tokamak, one of only three major research fusion experiments in the U.S., focuses on magnetic confinement fusion and related plasma science and technology. PSFC's Plasma Technology Division won a Discover Award for Technological Innovation for the Plasmatron, a fuel converter used on vehicles to transform gasoline into hydrogen-rich gas, which greatly reduces air pollution.
Another new energy source, a form of photosynthesis in a beaker, may come from Chemistry Professor Daniel G. Nocera's study of energy conversion in biology and chemistry. His research group, working to convert photon energy into chemical potential, reported a breakthrough molecular catalyst in 2001. "Our strategy is to use the energy of sunlight to drive reactants uphill to energy-rich products," Nocera said, "thus harnessing the sun's energy to create a renewable energy source in the future."
Another future energy source will be fuel cell systems (PDF document). This process was described by Institute Professor John Deutch in a Chemistry faculty seminar last Fall. A fuel cell is an "electrochemical device that produces direct current electricity as long as fuel and oxidant are supplied," says Deutch.
A 2003 MIT Summer Session, "Fuel Cells and Batteries: Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage," will be led by Ernest G. Cravalho, Director of the Fuel Cell Laboratory.
Solar energy is going to work at MIT. Forty solar energy installations will be built on campus and on faculty and staff homes thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust. Its Solar-to-Market Initiative aims to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and provide feedback to designers and manufacturers. Two UROP students are developing a photovoltaic Rover unit to find the best places on campus to install solar panels.
go on to Part 2: Boosting Energy Systems
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)About New Energy Science and TechnologyCopyright ©2003, New Energy Foundation, Inc.
This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) covers basic queries about New Energy science and developing technologies. The revolutionary New Energy field concerns spectacular new sources of energy that have achieved substantial validation in laboratories around the world, but which are not yet accepted by the scientific establishment. We welcome you to make your own judgment about what constitutes substantial validation and why the scientific establishment does not yet accept New Energy in its various forms, but please do perform your own examination of the important evidence that is gathered at this and other referenced New Energy websites and publications. Despite the great accomplishments of modern official science, we have concluded that its organizations and journals are significantly mired in obsolete science and technology paradigms that are holding back progress; we hope that you will come to appreciate this. (If, in fact, that is not your opinion already!) The existence of New Energy R&D around the world and its under-reporting and mis-characterization by the "mainstream" scientific media is evidence of a profound paradigm paralysis.
If you are new to the New Energy field, you may find the information here particularly helpful. We will continue to review and modify this FAQ to include responses to common questions from our visitors. If you have a question and the answer isn't here, please ask us and we'll try to answer you if the question brings up new thoughts not already addressed in this FAQ. Please understand that we cannot respond to all of our e-mail, due to limited staff time! For the most comprehensive information on current research, published papers, patents, business developments, outside media coverage, and government actions (and inaction), we recommend subscribing to Infinite Energy magazine. By subscribing— or purchasing Infinite Energy magazine at one of many newsstands in the United States and Canada, you will be helping to increase support for this field. You may download a free selection of Infinite Energy articles [Download Selection of Articles (.pdf)] to give you an idea of what we cover and how we report on it. Infinite Energy is published by the non-profit New Energy Foundation, Inc., which is based in Concord, New Hampshire. We hope that this FAQ and the free selection of articles will encourage you to subscribe to Infinite Energy and to contribute charitably (and tax-deductibly) to our efforts.
THE QUESTIONS...General Questions
What is "New Energy" and what are its major categories?
What are the advantages of New Energy over conventional renewable energy?
What will the world be like in the New Energy Age?
Will the present electric power-grid eventually disappear?
How difficult will it be to retrofit a home or business with New Energy technologies?
Won't the advent of New Energy technologies terribly upset the world economy?
Are there now any New Energy devices on the market that generate electricity or produce heat and cooling?
Are there experiments that can be performed by serious, technically inclined amateurs— technicians, engineers, scientsists in other fields, students— to demonstrate New Energy?
When will the "New Energy Age" begin?
How is New Energy R&D being funded?
What is the best way to invest in New Energy technologies?
If I am a student planning to be in science or engineering and would like to work in the New Energy field, what courses should I take and in what fields would it be best to major?
Who is opposing New Energy science and technology?
Who is ignoring New Energy science and technology?
Questions About New Hydrogen Physics Energy("Cold Fusion"; Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions, (LENR); "Hydrino" Energy; etc.)
What is "cold fusion"?
What sources of information can I access that deal with cold fusion?
What is excess heat?
Is cold fusion chemical, nuclear, or something else?
If cold fusion cells are at least in part nuclear, why aren't they extremely hot?
What is the difference between power and energy? What are watts, joules, kilowatt-hours and BTUs?
Why doesn't cold fusion produce dangerous ionizing radiation and neutrons?
What is "hot" fusion (conventional, plasma fusion)?
What is the present status of "hot" fusion?
How does cold fusion differ from hot fusion?
Are there theories that can explain cold fusion?
Is there a future for cold fusion?
Are there technologies other than cold fusion/LENR that could release energy from water?
Questions About Vacuum Energy(Zero Point Energy (ZPE); Aether Energy; Space Energy; Orgone Energy)
What is "vacuum energy"?
What sources of information can I access that deal with vacuum energy?
Who were some of the historical scientists and inventors who have dealt with vacuum energy?
What experimental devices exist today that embody vacuum energy?
Is there a connection between technologically-derived vacuum energy and "Chi," "Qi," "Prana," and other claims of "biophysical energies" or "subtle energies"?
Is there any mainstream research that substantiates "biophysical energy"?
Questions About Environmental EnergyExtensions to and Revisions of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
What is "Environmental Energy"?
What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics?
What is Carnot efficiency?
What sources of information can I access that deal with "environmental energy"?
What evidence is there that there are major flaws in the Second Law?
What is a "Maxwell Demon"?
What is a "Perpetual Motion Machine of the Second Kind"?
THE ANSWERS... Answers to General Questions
What is New Energy and what are its major categories?In this FAQ we capitalize the term New Energy for emphasis, so that it will not be confused with the general expression "new energy," which depends on one's perspective about what is "new." New Energy is the term applied to new sources of energy that are currently not recognized as feasible by the "scientific establishment," but for which compelling evidence— and in some cases overwhelming evidence— exists in at least three categories:
1. New hydrogen physics energy (a.k.a. "cold fusion," more generally Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions or LENR, "hydrino" physics, and other water-based energy sources)— energy release far beyond the normal chemical energy of hydrogen-oxygen combustion (up to millions of times beyond).
2. Vacuum energy (Zero Point Energy or "ZPE," Aether energy, or Space energy)— descriptions of vast energy sources from the vacuum state.
3. Environmental energy, i.e. energy from sensible thermal energy (in particular, the energy of molecular motion), through significant extensions to the Second Law of Thermodynamics— the supposedly "impossible" extraction of energy from a single temperature reservoir.[Back to Top]
New Hydrogen Physics Energy"Cold Fusion," or more generically Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), is the large, worldwide field of scientific investigation devoted to the work launched by Drs. Fleischmann and Pons with their announcement at the University of Utah on March 23, 1989. This area of New Energy is among the most widely explored and verified of the new energy sources. See, for example, the technical paper resources at: www.lenr-canr.org or at http://world.std.com/~mica/cft.html.
Evidence for LENR consists of substantial nuclear-magnitude excess heat (more heat output than other energy input, and far beyond ordinary chemical explanation) in electrochemical cells, gas-phase cells, ultrasonically activated cells, solid state devices in hydrogen gas, etc. There is also evidence of a surprising variety of nuclear products: helium, where no such helium gas levels existed before the experiments; tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen); low levels of neutrons; charged particle emissions; gamma rays; transmutation of heavy metals to become other metals. (Yes, this sounds like "modern alchemy" and it is!) Dr. Randell Mills, now of the BlackLight Power Corporation in New Jersey (www.blacklightpower.com), prior to the Fleischmann-Pons announcement pioneered a theory of "Classical Quantum Mechanics" that allows hydrogen's electron to drop below the conventionally understood ground-state level and thus release energy, leaving what he calls "shrunken" hydrogen or a "hydrino." Triggered by the Pons-Fleischmann announcement, Mills developed a catalytic process-using other elements in contact with the hydrogen-to release this energy. Mills and his associates, who are pioneering a variety of emerging technologies and new forms of matter ("hydrino hydrides"), do not agree that the excess heat in "cold fusion" comes from nuclear reactions. On the other hand, some cold fusion researchers report the accurate correlation of helium product with excess heat in what amount to essentially radiationless nuclear reactions. We are talking about different albeit related experiments. Hydrogen in exotic environments is the common theme, and there is common ground in many of these "cold fusion" and "hydrino" experiments. We believe that the diverse data will ultimately lead to a comprehensive and unified physical understanding, which may even incorporate findings from another form of New Energy research— "vacuum energy."[Back to Top]
Vacuum EnergyThis is a very controversial area of New Energy research, even within the paradigm-breaking New Energy field. The central idea is that what we normally think of as the vacuum of space itself can be tapped for energy! Nonetheless, vacuum energy is very real, based on robust experiments and devices that we have observed and measured. Like new hydrogen physics energy, it also has a variety of carefully conceived theoretical explanations behind it-not all of which can be correct. In many respects, Vacuum Energy is on as solid ground as New Hydrogen Physics Energy-provided that the appropriate information and devices within this field are accessed. There is, indeed, much misinformation floating around. The field of vacuum energy actually predates the Fleischmann-Pons work by many years, but ultimately this area of physics may provide part of a crucial understanding of what is going on in New Hydrogen Physics Energy.
However, the large field of claimed devices that appear to work as "perpetual motion machines," with no apparent fuel, not even hydrogen, is also the area of New Energy that is most fraught with uncertainties about which devices work and which ones do not. There is a range of quality from highly competent and scientifically credible work to incompetence in measurement; and, there are cases of probable outright fraud. The basic conceptual framework of vacuum energy is that the so-called "vacuum" of space is not really a vacuum at all, i.e. there is no such thing as "nothingness" or a true "void." What we normally think of as a vacuum (a space devoid of particles with mass) is actually pulsating with energy that can be exhibited in experiments and tapped in technological devices. The term most often associated with this energy is Zero Point Energy, or "ZPE" for short. This comes from standard quantum mechanics theory, which says that "quantum fluctuations" in a "space-time electromagnetic foam" of an extremely small granular size (far below the size of atoms) form a jiggling field of energy. An excellent research compendium on the Zero Point Energy viewpoint about vacuum energy is the book by Moray B. King , Quest for Zero-Point Energy: Engineering Principles for "Free Energy" (2001) [order from our catalog].
Another radically different perspective on vacuum energy has led, beginning in the mid-1980s, to prototype technological devices that generate electricity and motive power from the vacuum, devices which we have personally examined on-site. The theoretical model is not "ZPE," but rather a pervading massfree form of energy that can exhibit electrical properties, as well as anti-gravitational properties, and which can also convert to massbound (ordinary mass) forms under the proper circumstances. This line of investigation originated with the work of Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), the pioneer of our present electrical power generating grid of alternating current (and the recognized original inventor of radio), and with the controversial biomedical scientist Dr. Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), who experimented in mid-20th Century with what he called "orgone" energy. It turns out that both Tesla and Reich had remarkably accurate things to say about a dynamic ether (or aether), the static "luminiferous ether" form of which was rejected by 20th Century physics as a carrier of light waves, following the ascendancy of Einstein's relativity theories. Unfortunately, because of major theoretical errors that have entered modern physics and pervade it, an energetic, dynamic ether with properties measurable in the laboratory was overlooked. The work of Dr. Paulo and Alexandra Correa of Canada (www.aetherometry.com and www.aethera.org) has built on and apparently has validated the stream of aether physics work that was begun by Tesla and Reich.
Yet another researcher of some prominence in vacuum energy is Tom Bearden, whose book, Energy from the Vacuum, appeared in 2002 (www.cheniere.org). He and his associates have developed and patented a so-called Motionless Electromagnetic Generator (MEG), of whose testing validation we are not yet sure. Still another researcher important to vacuum energy is Kenneth Shoulders, (http://www.svn.net/krscfs) whose well-known, patented "high density charge cluster" science and technology has impressed a host of investigators. Shoulders has found ways to generate microscopic, dense, moving clusters of millions of electrons, which conventional physics understanding says should not be able to exist because of intense electrical repulsion.[Back to Top]
Environmental EnergyThis is the least prominent of the New Energy sources, the one that has the smallest group of pioneering scientists and inventors, but it is potentially one of the most important areas of New Energy technologies. Its experimenters and proponents cast significant doubt on the universal validity of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which for over 150 years has proclaimed that it is impossible to extract useful work from the thermal motion of atoms and molecules using only a single temperature reservoir— with no lower temperature reservoir to which to exhaust waste heat. Some of this research has been reviewed and discussed at length in articles in Infinite Energy (Issues, #29, #37, and #43), but a recent landmark paper by physicists and a mathematician at the University of San Diego ("A Solid-State Maxwell Demon," Foundations of Physics, Vol.32, pp.1557-1595, October 2002, www.kluweronline.com), seems to offer nearly conclusive proof that devices that do create work from a single temperature reservoir can be built. The paper proposes a laboratory-testable, solid-state device that uses the electric field energy of an open-gap p-n junction semiconductor device to drive a solid-state mechanical piston. The authors used numerical results from a commercial semiconductor device simulator to verify their analytical model. They describe the proposed device as a "thermally rechargeable capacitor which, in this incarnation, is used to power a linear electrostatic motor." Thus, all the thermal energy in the environment— in the air, water, and solid earth— can be converted to useful work, if the environmental energy advocates are correct, as we strongly believe they are, based on our own thorough examination of this field, including our own laboratory experiments. (Patents for devices invented by Kenneth Rauen, based upon these 100% repeatable laboratory effects, have been applied for under a for-profit corporation.)[Back to Top]
What are the advantages of New Energy over conventional renewable energy?Like conventional renewable energy technologies—such as solar power and wind power—the cost of the “fuel” for New Energy technologies is zero or effectively zero (e.g., the cost of extracting heavy water from ordinary water to use in LENR processes is minute compared to the value of the energy released). In both conventional renewable energy technologies and in New Energy technologies, there are costs associated with the initial capital expense of the equipment, maintenance items, etc. However, New Energy technologies are not dependent on whether the Sun is up or on weather conditions. (Obviously, some conventional renewables, such as geothermal energy, do not have weather or sunlight-related constraints.) The great advantage of New Energy technologies, however, is that they are inherently compact and concentrated— small units can be made to provide a source of power anywhere— such as in homes and offices and including installation in transportation vehicles (cars, trains, ships, airplanes, and space vehicles). Enough is already known about the various New Energy devices now on the drawing boards to realize that their capital cost per watt will be substantially less than for large arrays of solar cells or farms of wind-powered generators, as examples.
Like conventional renewables, there will be either zero or vanishingly small pollution associated with the use of New Energy devices. In some of the New Hydrogen Physics Energy devices, questions might arise concerning very low levels of radiation emitted, the effects of escaped “hydrinos,” and transmutations of metals within the devices. However, there is every reason to believe that even these New Hydrogen Physics Energy devices, which alter the structure of atoms within them, will be able to be designed to be completely safe. Vacuum Energy devices and Environmental Energy devices would have, by definition, zero pollution. [Back to Top]
What will the world be like in the New Energy Age?The post-Hydrocarbon Fuel Age will be unrecognizable to people alive today. Central station power plants belching smoke and harmful gases will be a thing of the past: there will be no power grid. The grid will gradually wither and die during the transition to distributed New Energy devices, which could be as rapid and dramatic as the transition to the personal computer/Internet era that began in the mid-1970s. Pollution caused by hydrocarbon-fuel combustion will be a thing of the past. In a world of effectively free energy (no significant recurring costs for the energy), all the world’s populations will become richer. People will be able to be much more self-reliant, unchained from central controlling authorities that today rule energy use. (Governments will continue to try to tax and control the use of energy, but they will fail—as they have failed so far in trying to tax the Internet.) It will be possible to build self-contained dwellings and communities anywhere that construction materials can be brought in—in forests, atop mountains, on remote islands, on the surface of bodies of water, and even on ocean or lake floors! There will be no geographic localization of fuel resources (such as in the Middle East today), so the fight over oil will disappear as one underlying cause of conflict and war. Cheap desalination and water pumping will make deserts bloom. It will be extremely cheap to produce clean, potable water anywhere. Agriculture will profoundly change, as New Energy makes available anywhere: fertilizer, light, heat, cooling, and shelter from insect pests. Transportation disasters in which people are burned alive by hydrocarbon fuels will be an unimaginable nightmare of the past; no one will think of carrying such explosive substances on fast-moving vehicles! Through discoveries already made in the LENR field, it will be possible to remediate existing nuclear waste— reduce it to non-radioactive forms. And, shocking but almost certain to happen, it will be possible to produce rare elements cheaply through LENR reactions— yes, an age of “modern alchemy” will emerge.
The inexorable increase in Earth’s population will come to an end as all peoples become richer and smarter. The new physics ratified by the New Energy devices—based on concrete, repeatable experimental results, not on the absurd fictions of present day archaic mainstream physics theories—will dramatically increase the ease of space travel in ways that are foreseeable today. Terrestrial civilization will spread into the Solar System and beyond. We will become a true spacefaring civilization, whose destiny will be the stars. Finally, new knowledge about biology and medicine, gleaned from the new insights on biophysical energies that can be shown experimentally to pervade space (the aether), may radically improve health. A revolution in medicine is already in the making in some of the now proved-as-effective complementary medicine. Complementary medicine, its modalities that do work, will gain a proper grounding in the physics and biology of nature that present physics does not address. These new views of life will alter human perceptions about our true nature and those other living beings with whom we share this planet. A Copernican-magnitude revolution in philosophical outlook is inevitable in the New Energy Age. [Back to Top]
Will the present electric power-grid eventually disappear?Yes. Most certainly, it will wither and die. Gone will be unsightly overhead wires. Gone will be the expense associated with maintaining the grid—a large percentage of what we pay today for electricity. Gone will be power outages during storms. Gone will be accidental electrocutions of workers who maintain the grid. Gone will be the need to have residential or commercial properties sited near an electrical power grid pole or node.
How difficult will it be to retrofit a home or business with New Energy technologies? It will be very easy. The wiring in the house or office that distributes electricity to lighting, outlets, and other devices, can remain in place. The New Energy electric power generator, which is expected to be not much bigger (and it may be even smaller) than a typical home furnace today, will be placed somewhere in the basement, outside, or in the living quarters of the residence or business. It will be attached to the electrical panel where electric power is admitted to the house today. New Energy heating devices will simply replace existing furnaces, if the present ones are oil, gas, wood, or coal-based, but the air, water, or steam lines that distribute heat within the house can remain in place. Cooling devices, such as air conditioners, will, like furnaces, simply be replaced—the cool air distribution will occur with the existing ductwork. Some items within the home may have their own built-in New Energy devices. For example, it may be that personal computers will come equipped with their own power sources that never need replacement during the lifetime of the product. [Back to Top]
Won’t the advent of New Energy technologies terribly upset the world economy? The world economy will change dramatically with the advent of New Energy, as it has every time new technologies are introduced, such as the printing press, the steam engine, photography, distributed electricity, electric lighting, automobiles, airplanes, radio, television, nuclear energy, space travel, communications satellites, personal computers, the laser, and the Internet. However, because of the central role of energy in all areas of human activity—in the provision of heated and cooled shelter, lighting, food, clean water, transportation, and power for manufacturing—the New Energy revolution will have a much more dramatic impact on the world economy. It will be one of the most profound changes in human history— rather akin to the taming of fire. Initially, when the first high-profile, ready-for-production New Energy device is announced, there will likely be a very big shock to stock markets and prices of fuel. But the world will become much the better, after this initial upset has passed. Now that you know about this possibility, you can begin to think about preparing financially for the coming transition. [Back to Top]
Will there still be a market for hydrocarbon fuels in the New Energy Age?In the New Energy Age, there will still be a market for hydrocarbon substances (oil, natural gas, even coal), at least for a time. These will be used in the chemical industries to make plastics and in many other industrial processes in which these substances have value as feedstocks. However, since the cost of generating energy will effectively drop to zero (once the capital costs of equipment are paid), it will be possible to use the carbon from the carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, and the hydrogen from water, as basic ingredients to form hydrocarbon substances—this will become cheaper than transporting hydrocarbon substances across oceans, as an example.
Are there now any New Energy devices on the market that generate electricity or produce heat and cooling? No, not as of January 2003. (We will obviously have to update this reply in the future— we hope in the near future!) All New Energy devices—for generating electricity, heat, and cooling—are currently in the research and prototype development stage. You cannot buy one of these experimental devices—yet— from anyone. That could change at any time. When it does, the worldwide interest in prospective utilitarian New Energy technologies will ramp up considerably, since it will then be very clear to many scientists, technologists, and investors (who are now far too skeptical) that this science and technology is for real. The New Energy Foundation hopes to play a significant role in getting these prototype demonstration devices on market. [Back to Top]
Are there experiments that can be performed by serious, technically inclined amateurs—technicians, engineers, scientists in other fields, and students—to demonstrate new energy? Yes, but these experiments must be done with care, patience, and understanding.
• In the area of New Hydrogen Energy Physics, Dr. Edmund Storms (Los Alamos National Laboratory, retired), a pioneer experimenter in the cold fusion field, has posted on www.lenr-canr.org a complete technical paper, “How to Produce the Fleischmann-Pons Effect.” It describes how to reliably— albeit with difficulty— produce the excess heat “Fleischmann-Pons effect” with an electrochemical cell based on heavy water. He does not in this article describe how to produce the heat-measuring calorimeter that is necessary to observe the excess heat with confidence, nor does he give details of how to make a particular cold fusion cell. Cell construction and calorimeter construction is a far larger topic, which requires its own creativity and understanding, to make sure that the noise level of the excess heat measurement is low enough to observe the excess heat with high confidence.
• Dr. Randell L. Mills and S.P. Kneizys published a comprehensive pioneering paper in 1991, “Excess Heat Production by the Electrolysis of an Aqueous Potassium Carbonate Electrolyte and the Implications for Cold Fusion,“ Fusion Technology, Vol.20, August 1991, pp.65-81. This paper has explicit instructions for producing excess heat in experimental apparatus with a variety of sizes. Fusion Technology can be examined at many university engineering or science libraries. NASA scientists reproduced this work and reported their positive findings in NASA Technical Memorandum 107167, February 1996. This NASA publication was reprinted in Infinite Energy, #7,pp.62-69. These references are probably the best way to begin to explore excess heat phenomenon in ordinary water solutions.
• In the area of Vacuum Energy, a huge body of experiments to measure the characteristics of the aether is provided by Dr. Paulo and Alexandra Correa on www.aetherometry.com. These experiments involve simple sheet metal boxes, called Faraday cages, accurate mercury thermometers, commercially available gold-leaf electroscopes, oscilloscopes, Tesla coils (also commercially available), and other rather simple laboratory equipment. The simplest experiment to carry out involves measuring the astounding thermal difference that can be detected between nearby air and the zone slightly above a Faraday cage surface in a darkened room. This experiment, with extensive controls, was described in detail by the Correas in “The Reproducible Thermal Anomaly of the Reich-Einstein Experiment Under Limit Conditions,” Infinite Energy, #37, pp.12-21. A guide to other aether-measurement experiments is to be found in Eugene Mallove’s review of the Correa work posted on their site, “The Correa Science and Technology: An Appreciation.” It designates which of their downloadable monographs have hands-on experiments that can be performed.
• In the area of Environmental Energy, there are some straightforward laboratory experiments, which Kenneth Rauen of New Energy Research Laboratory plans to describe in published work in 2003 or 2004 (after patenting issues are resolved). Watch this page for further notice about this publication. [Back to Top]
When will the “New Energy Age” begin?In some sense it has begun already, given the quickening pace of a diverse group of technologies that are under development. The New Energy Age will accelerate dramatically as soon as a pre-production prototype New Energy device emerges that is “anointed”—unequivocally declared to be real in the judgment of a major mainstream media outlet, such as Time, Newsweek, Business Week, a major daily newspaper, or a major television network. Sad to say, it will require such media recognition before society begins to move in a big way! In the meantime, the science and technology proceeds without widespread media acclaim— apart from the occasional favorable article, which still does not declare that the particular New Energy source has been established to be real with zero doubt. Wild times will ensue when a major publication does declare a New Energy device to be indisputably real. A media frenzy of almost unparalleled magnitude will then rock the global psyche. If the Fleischmann-Pons effect had been robust and easily reproducible—it was not—the New Energy Age would have gotten into full swing in 1989. If the U.S. Department of Energy report on cold fusion in 1989 had been balanced, not a reckless rush to an unethical, negative judgment—as it most certainly was—a widely recognized scientific revolution would have occurred in the early 1990s. The New Energy Age would by now be well under way. Citizens of the world can “thank” the U.S. Department of Energy’s ERAB (Energy Research Advisory Board) report for this travesty. [Back to Top]
How is New Energy R&D being funded?Given the importance and reality of New Energy, a huge amount of investment money, by right, would now be flowing into the field. It is not. By and large, potential investors and government agencies are not convinced. Therefore, the general media have not been convinced about New Energy —and ignore it or ridicule it. Money talks! And when there is little or no money in something, the media do not talk about it. It is a vicious Catch-22: insufficient R&D funding to bring about the robust new Energy devices necessary to make a breakthrough with the general media, which coverage would, in turn, prompt the funding required to develop the robust devices. Despite this terrible, illogical circumstance, exceptionally good people and groups have, indeed, invested in New Energy already. Here are some of the higher profile cases, but this is not to be taken as a comprehensive list— the funding situation is in flux:
• The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) put at least $6 million into cold fusion work, mostly at SRI International, until the mid-1990s. EPRI published a final report confirming the Fleischmann-Pons discovery. EPRI is the research arm of most of the U.S. electric utility industry. Dr. Michael McKubre’s group at SRI International has continued to work on cold fusion/LENR through selected grants from advanced military research groups and from Japanese and other sources.
• The patented Patterson power cell technology in the LENR area received self-funding from Dr. James Patterson and several private investors, but Clean Energy Technologies, Inc. of Sarasota, Florida fell into hard times for reasons unrelated to the validity of the basic patented technology. (A significant buy-out offer, reportedly $15 million, was tendered by Motorola in the mid-1990s, but the offer was not accepted.)
• The U.S. Navy funded several cold fusion efforts at a handful of federal laboratories since 1989. In 2002, the U.S. Navy published a positive report, encouraging new research to be funded.
• Several investors funded ENECO of Salt Lake City, for its LENR work, which has now been put on hold. That company has now moved into the area of patented advanced thermal energy conversion systems.
• Dr. Mitchell R. Swartz, of Jet Technology in Massachusetts, has primarily self-funded his own cold fusion/LENR work — as well as a monumental effort to overcome patenting obstacles at the USPTO.
• Dr. Les Case, of Fusion Power, Inc. in New Hampshire, has pioneered and self-funded one of the most impressive forms of LENR reactions, gas phase “catalytic fusion,” a process which has been confirmed at SRI International.
• Privately-held BlackLight Power Corporation, of Cranbury, New Jersey, has received by far the largest investment influx from several power companies and many private investors— an estimated $10 to $30 million. There continue to be reports of an impending IPO.
• Since 1987, Dr. Paulo and Alexandra Correa have expended some $1.2 million of their own funding into developing their patented Pulsed Abnormal Glow Discharge (PAGDTM) reactor technologies, which generate electrical power and drive special types of spinner electric motors.
• China, France, India, Italy, Japan, and Russia each have their own way of funding New Energy research in the LENR area. Italy at present seems to have the most actively funded program. Several Italian corporations pursue active R&D programs. Similar corporate funding exists in Japan (e.g. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Advanced Technologies Center), and university professors in Japan continue to pioneer in cold fusion research. A large, mis-managed research effort was launched by Japan’s MITI government agency, the so-called “New Hydrogen Energy” (NHE) program. It was abandoned in the mid-1990s after an estimated $30 million expenditure. Though many scientists in that program continue their research, the ending of the official funding has been used in anti-cold fusion attacks.
• Dr. Daniel Cavicchio and Dr. Eugene Mallove helped launch the New Energy Partners, LLC investment fund for New Energy, which did manage to raise funding for several of the struggling cold fusion companies. This NEP initiative is currently in a holding pattern.
• Various philanthropic individuals, such as former heads of a few U.S. corporations, supported and in some cases continue to support Cold Fusion and other New Energy projects. Other individuals with high technology backgrounds have selectively invested in New Energy technologies, quietly and privately.
• The non-profit (501c3) corporation, New Energy Foundation, Inc., was founded by Dr. Eugene Mallove and colleagues in New Hampshire in late 2002. It is intended to help fund New Energy R&D worldwide through select grants to New Energy scientists and companies. New Energy Foundation, Inc. will also help support publication efforts (such as Infinite Energy magazine) and books, New Energy conferences (such as the 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion, ICCF10— Cambridge, MA, August 24-29, 2003), and other pro-active New Energy efforts. (www.infinite-energy.com).[Back to Top]
What is the best way to invest in New Energy technologies?As with any other investment, first and foremost one must be properly informed. The resources of this website and links to other sites are an important good beginning. A subscription to Infinite Energy, with its careful following of New Energy R&D work, and sudden claims and counter-claims for this and that “device,” would be extremely useful (and could help avoid a mistaken investment!). The New Energy Foundation, Inc. and its New Energy Research Laboratory (NERL) stand ready to assist potential investors in determining whether a particular opportunity brought to the prospective investor’s attention by third parties has validity and other merit— not always an easy matter to determine, as we have found.
If I am a student planning to be in science or engineering and would like to work in the New Energy field, what courses should I take and in what fields would it be best to major? It would be most useful for you to major in any of the basic sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, materials science) or in electrical, mechanical, or aerospace engineering. As you take your courses, be aware that your professors will, for the most part, not take kindly to questions and comments that suggest that there may be major cracks in the foundations of knowledge that they are dispensing. Learn from this! You will be observing a paradigm shift in progress. Watch what happens when you confront your professors with technical papers and news reports about New Energy. You may be amazed at their responses. There is room for all kinds of people in the New Energy field—business people, environmentalists, architects—not only scientists and technologists. If you are not yet in college, why not consider doing a school report about some aspect of New Energy? Writing skills will be needed aplenty. There will be much to write about as a new world of possibilities opens up for humankind. The field especially needs good science journalists— those who do not follow the pack-mentality that is so prevalent. [Back to Top]
Who is opposing New Energy science and technology?Only fools and small-minded people would oppose research on something so wonderful—even if there were only a 10% chance that it was correct (and the true percentage is far higher —100%, in our opinion). Sad to say, there are plenty of fools arrayed against New Energy. Most of them are in academia and in government agencies charged with managing scientific research—though there are outstanding exceptions. To paraphrase and turn the tables on the enemies of New Energy in their attacks against frontier researchers, “This shows that a Ph.D. is no guarantee against foolishness.” There are plenty of science Ph.D.s and even Nobel laureates who have obscenely attacked cold fusion, vacuum energy, hydrino physics, and investigations into loopholes in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Their credentials are worthless. What they have to say on the subject of New Energy usually amounts to no more than uninformed bigotry. These people apparently believe that science has come to an end—that the broad outlines of physics and biology, as described in current texts, are on absolutely secure grounds. One of the greatest buffoons in the sad array of enemies is Robert Park of the American Physical Society and the University of Maryland, whose “What’s New” electronic column gives weekly cues to an army of incompetent “science journalists,” who then misinform other journalists, the establishment’s so-called “scientists,” and cowering government bureaucrats and politicians.
Many people assume that it must be the “oil companies” who are blocking New Energy research. Not so! In our view, these large companies are fundamentally too stupid to understand what is about to hit them. Their executives all have “golden parachutes” anyway, so they do not really fear that a complete collapse of the hydrocarbon economy will hurt them individually. Moreover, a handful of people from existing energy companies have, in fact, already shown that they are prepared to jump ship and get involved in New Energy. [Back to Top]
Who is ignoring New Energy science and technology?For almost 14 years now—the time since the Fleischmann-Pons announcement— we have observed a very strange phenomenon. Those who one might expect would have the greatest interest in and enthusiasm for New Energy, show no interest in it at all — in fact provably (it has been brought to their attention) they deliberately ignore it. These are the establishments of activist environmental groups! In toto, these groups raise hundreds of millions of dollars a year in contributions for their environmental causes, and they do do much good work. However, apparently they are very threatened by the possibility that their leadership in protecting the environment will be upstaged by a radically different solution for environmental ills, which they know little if anything about and which they have not championed. Also holding them back, there is a strong anti-technology sentiment among these groups—quite a Luddite streak. Real technological solutions are not their cup of tea. So they proclaim that the solution to the world’s ills is, amazingly — hydrogen! Only when they talk about hydrogen they insist that solar power and wind power will be required to generate this hydrogen from water— never is there the merest mention of the possibility of cold fusion or other New Hydrogen Physics Energy solutions, which they most certainly have heard about.
It might be argued that these environmentalists have just absorbed the physics establishment’s verdict on New Energy, but we think that is not a credible hypothesis. They are so anti-establishment to begin with, the problem lies somewhere else: their arrogant need be in charge so that they can continue to play to the political and financial parties that support them. It may be that some of these groups will have a change of heart and will some day do what they should have been doing for over a decade— support New Energy, or talk about it at least as one possibility! But we are not holding our breath. When cold fusion was announced on March 23, 1989, within days or weeks— before there was any way to know one way or the other whether the cold fusion claims would hold up— we had these prominent environmental figures say these absurd things about cold fusion (again, this was in 1989): Jeremy Rifkin, “The fusion findings are the worst news that ever happened. Right when we are beginning to develop a global awareness of the problems of global society, here come some scientists saying we don’t have to deal with these problems.” Amory Lovins, “Most of the costs of fusion will be in the stuff you wrap around it to get electricity, from the turbine, to the plant site, to the health physicists and other clean up services you need, all of which will make it at least as expensive as fission. The right place for a fusion reactor is where we have one—in the Sun, 93 million miles away.” Today these propagandists promote the environmentalists “hydrogen economy”— while failing to mention that there may be or are energy sources far more appropriate to solving the world’s environmental ills. In truth, these activists do not really want to solve these problems. They want to be in the public eye talking about them and collecting money for them. They crave — and they get— the adoration of the mainstream press. [Back to Top]
Answers to Questions on New Hydrogen Physics Energy Note: A Summary of Where the Field Stood in Early 2000So as not to unnecessarily repeat ourselves, please realize that many questions about New Hydrogen Physics Energy are answered in Dr. Eugene Mallove’s 8,500-word Memorandum to the White House (“The Strange Birth of the Water Fuel Age.”) Please read it. That memorandum was requested by the Clinton White House in early 2000, thanks to the prompting of our supporter, Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Unfortunately, nothing was done about it by the previous Administration, and nothing has been done about it by the present Bush Administration, to which the identical Memorandum was re-submitted. None of this is surprising to us any longer. The abdication of scientific and environmental responsibility by Federal officials in the matter of cold fusion is appalling and unconscionable. Note well: The Memorandum asked for no Federal funding for research in this area. It simply asked for one thing: “Mr. President, you need do only one thing now: Publicly state that you are going to investigate this matter and then do it.” Even this very simple action has not been taken.
What is “cold fusion”? The collection of phenomena that has come to be called “cold fusion” was discovered by professors Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons in the mid-1980s, who used their own money (about $100,000) to perform the electrochemical experiments that led to their announcement at a press conference on March 23, 1989 at the University of Utah. One of the most intense controversies in the history of science erupted almost immediately. The phenomena reported by chemists Fleischmann and Pons defied then current understandings of how nuclear reactions could occur—they were never thought to be able to happen under such mild, modest temperature conditions (with the exception of radioactive decay). In a small, vacuum-insulated glass cell they had electrically split heavy hydrogen (deuterium) from oxygen in the molecules of a heavy-water solution. The heavy hydrogen was compressed into a palladium metal electrode, after which the cold fusion effects emerged after days and weeks of careful measurement. The reaction products in “cold fusion” were not present in the expected amounts for normal high-temperature plasma fusion (hot fusion at millions of degrees, such as in the cores of stars). Even if such novel reactions were agreed to be occurring at all, that they were not producing intense neutron or gamma radiation (The very fact that Fleischmann and Pons were still alive!) caused great consternation and paradigm paralysis in members of the scientific establishment. This was especially the case for those who were working on the multi-billion dollar program in thermonuclear fusion. The funding for hot fusion— always shaky anyway— was instantly threatened by the potential shifting of funding away from hot fusion, to the then unresolved question of “cold fusion.”
Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions” (LENR) is now more generically applied to the host of reactions that occur within and/or on the surface of certain metals when in contact with forms of hydrogen—such as hydrogen gas, or water, which of course contains hydrogen—and when triggered under special conditions. LENR reactions produce excess heat (much more heat out than can be accounted for by ordinary chemical reactions), helium, sometimes tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen), low levels of neutrons, charged particles, gamma rays, and even transmutations in heavy metals in the LENR devices. In some experiments parts of the host metal has been significantly transmuted into other elements—it is as though “alchemy” has risen from the grave of scientific history! From our perspective in examining the overwhelming evidence for low-energy transmutation of elements in “cold fusion” reactions, it most certainly has! LENR reactions have been seen with palladium, titanium, nickel, platinum, gold, other metals, and with some ceramic materials. [Back to Top]
What sources of information can I access about cold fusion?Infinite Energy Magazine and its website is one good resource for continuing coverage of the field. The magazine has been in publication since March 1995. It is a technical magazine with editorial outreach to the general public as well.
To maintain the highest editorial standards, it is written and edited by scientists, engineers, and expert journalists. It is aimed at pioneering scientists, engineers, industrialists, environmentalists, and investors who are concerned about an exciting R&D area that we believe will change the world dramatically. Infinite Energy is circulated around the world to over 40 countries. And, Infinite Energy is distributed to newsstands in the U.S. and Canada. Download a Complimentary Selection of Past Articles from Infinite Energy Magazine (7MB .pdf file):
Two primary websites that focus specifically on cold fusion/LENR should be consulted:http://www.lenr-canr.org http://world.std.com/~mica/cft.html
The website of BlackLight Power Corporation (www.blacklightpower.com) does not like to advertise that the company’s highly reproducible New Energy generating processes from hydrogen bear a strong connection to cold fusion/LENR phenomena. But any serious investigation of cold fusion/LENR should not overlook this remarkable work.
Some books accessible to the general reader, which give appropriate discussion of the history and science of cold fusion:
Fire from Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor by Dr. Eugene F. Mallove (1991, John Wiley and Sons)
Nuclear Transmutation: The Reality of Cold Fusion by Dr. Tadahiko Mizuno (1999, Infinite Energy Press)
Excess Heat: Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed by Charles Beaudette (2000, Oak Grove Press)
Books giving inappropriate, highly negatively biased views, which ignore almost all of the experimental evidence: Too Hot to Handle (Frank Close, 1991); Cold Fusion: The Scientific Fiasco of the Century (John Huizenga, 1992); Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (Gary Taubes, 1993)
An excellent video documentary made in 1999 (VHS tape, 70 minutes), “Cold Fusion: Fire from Water” [Back to Top]
What is excess heat? Many chemical and nuclear processes are “exothermic,” meaning they produce more energy out than is input. For example, when you strike a match, it burns until the fuel is exhausted, producing energy—small energy in (from the striking motion), large energy out. Some LENR devices produce energy the way a burning match does: no energy is input after an initiation trigger, but a steady stream of heat is produced. Other LENR devices require an external source of electrical energy, or ultrasonic sound energy, to keep the reaction going. The electrical or other energy input into the system produces some heat, and the LENR reaction produces additional or “excess” heat. For example, with electrochemical cold fusion you might input 1 watt of power and get out 3 watts, so 2 watts are excess. Some electrochemical LENR systems get much better performance than this; input is a fraction of a watt and output is up to a kilowatt or more for a time. More commonly, LENR performance has not been nearly that good. The conditions that produce such excellent performance have not been easy to pin down— if they had been, the cold fusion controversy would have been over long ago! [Back to Top]
Is cold fusion chemical, nuclear, or something else? Cold fusion (LENR) cannot be a simple chemical process, because it consumes no ordinary chemical fuel and it produces no chemical ash—nuclear products are observed. Many LENR cells contain mostly water, which is inert material that cannot burn or undergo any other exothermic chemical reaction. Cells also contain metal hydrides, which can produce a small amount of chemical heat, but cold fusion cells have produced thousands to millions of times more energy per unit of mass than any chemical cell could. For example, a cell containing 40 milligrams (0.04 grams) of metal hydride, and no other potential chemical fuel, produced 86 megajoules of energy over a two month period. The best conventional chemical fuel is gasoline; only a few exotic rocket fuels produce more energy per gram than gasoline, and they are not much better. It would take 2,000 grams of gasoline to produce 86 megajoules of energy, so the cold fusion cell was 50,000 times better. Furthermore, no cold fusion cell has ever shown any sign of terminating its output for lack of fuel. The cell that produced 86 megajoules was deliberately turned off after two months. If it has been left on, it might have run for years, or decades. Nobody knows how long it might have run. There is some indication that in some LENR systems the reaction is catalytic— in other words, the metal responsible for the reaction is not necessarily consumed; it just facilitates the nuclear reaction like a chemical or biological catalyst or enzyme.
Cold fusion does produce nuclear ash: helium, a low level of neutrons, and in some cases tritium, other low-level radiations, and transmutations in the host metal. It produces trillions of times fewer neutrons than plasma fusion or conventional nuclear fission, and most scientists believe that nothing resembling hot plasma fusion can take place in or on a metal lattice. So if cold fusion is a nuclear fusion or fission reaction (or perhaps it embodies aspects of both fission and fusion), it must be very different than any previously known nuclear reaction. It is not yet clear whether the helium, tritium, and other nuclear ash from all LENR reactions is sufficient to account for all of the heat generated. But at least in some LENR experiments, excellent correlation has been measured—e.g. just as much helium is produced for the excess heat measured as would be expected in the equivalent hot fusion reaction that yields not heat but deadly gamma rays. If LENR is not strictly a nuclear process, then perhaps this is a new source of energy never before observed, which occasionally produces nuclear reactions as side effects. Some theorists who have examined LENR phenomena have this viewpoint, though the “mainstream cold fusion” view is that LENR reactions are all strictly nuclear-based, just not yet fully understood.
If cold fusion cells are at least in part nuclear, why aren’t they extremely hot? Many people think that because nuclear reactions can produce gigantic amounts of energy— such as in exploding thermonuclear weapons— that means nuclear reactions must be very hot, like the inside of the Sun. This is incorrect. An impure sample of radium that is radioactively decaying, or some uranium compound that is undergoing fission of its uranium atoms might be cold to the touch, or barely warm—depending on the conditions. These samples can produce dangerous ionizing radiation. The individual radioactive decays of atoms or fission reactions that occur atom-by-atom inside these materials produce millions of electron volts (eV) of energy release, whereas the atoms in a chemical reaction releases only a few to 10 electron volts at most. But atoms undergoing conventional nuclear reactions in the impure sample are few and far between, whereas trillions of atoms in the chemical sample simultaneously participate in the chemical reaction. That’s why a simple match can be very hot at its tip when it ignites. Although a nuclear reaction produces millions of times more energy than a chemical reaction, in some cases the chemical reaction produces much more power over a short period of time. This is why a burning match is hotter than the impure sample of radium. The radium remains warm for thousands of years, the match burns out in a minute or two.
What is the difference between power and energy? What are watts, joules, kilowatt-hours, and BTUs?These may not be our most “Frequently Asked Questions,” but they ought to be, because power and energy are Frequently Confused Concepts. Power is the rate of energy release at a given instant in time—how much energy is released per unit time at that instant. Energy is power integrated— added up—over time. Power is measured in watts, kilowatts, and horsepower. Energy is measured in joules (watt-seconds) or kilowatt-hours. A power level of 1 watt that continues for 1 second equals 1 joule— because 1 watt is 1 joule per second. The integrated energy from a 100-watt light that runs for 60 seconds equals 6,000 joules. A good fact to keep on file: 4.18 joules equal 1 calorie, which is enough energy to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius.
In U.S. industry, thermal energy is sometimes measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). A BTU is the energy it takes to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU equals 1,055 joules. One horsepower equals 746 watts. [Back to Top]
Why doesn't cold fusion produce dangerous ionizing radiation and neutrons? Nobody knows for certain why the primary signature of cold fusion is excess heat, not deadly radiation. Nevertheless, many LENR theorists have put forth very intriguing proposals for the mechanism of these reactions. There are, in fact, many dozens of competing theories—a smaller number of which are very well fleshed out. The exact nature of the LENR reactions is one of the many unsolved scientific mysteries surrounding them. Some scientists think that because the effect does not produce intense radiation, it cannot be a nuclear process. Others say the energy is produced, but then somehow absorbed by the metal lattice— as high frequency vibrations. In any case, it is a good thing that LENR does not produce dangerous ionizing radiation because if it did, LENR cells would require elaborate shielding and LENR would be difficult, expensive, and dangerous to commercialize. From a scientific perspective, the lack of radiation and neutrons is puzzling, but from the point of view of business, commercialization, and the environment, this is a priceless advantage. This is not to say that there are not nuclear hazards associated with LENR reactions! There are nuclear reactions occurring where they have previously not been observed; thus it is possible to imagine LENR research leading to new kinds of reactions that could be employed in weapons— perhaps small, “clean” versions of previously implemented conventional nuclear weapons. But so far, there does not appear to be a simple route to this deadly application. No LENR reaction being discussed openly seems to have even a tiny hint of a “runaway” characteristic that could release large quantities of energy in a short time— the requirement to make a bomb. [Back to Top]
What is “hot” fusion (conventional, plasma fusion)? Hot fusion is the kind of nuclear reaction that powers the Sun and the stars—it is also the reaction used in thermonuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs). At temperatures of tens to hundreds of millions of degrees Celsius (or Kelvin), the nuclei of hydrogen atoms can get close enough together, frequently enough, such that the nuclear force between some of the close-approaching nuclei has a chance to overcome the natural tendency of the positively charged nuclei to repel one another. The nuclei then join or fuse to form helium nuclei. This releases enormous energy. Fusion of light elements to form heavier elements (e.g. hydrogen fusing to helium) is the opposite of fission, which is the release of energy by splitting heavy uranium or plutonium nuclei. [Back to Top]
What is the present status of controlled “hot” fusion? Scientists the world over have spent more than five decades and billions of dollars (an estimated $17 billion in the U.S. alone) to investigate the possibility of mimicking with devices here on Earth the fusion reactions of the stars. These are complex and large machines that rely on high magnetic fields or powerful lasers to compress and heat fusion fuel, typically the isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium, and tritium. The output of these hot fusion reactors is deadly neutron radiation, which must first be converted to heat in molten metal flowing around the core of the reactor. This heat must then be used to make steam to generate electricity. The process is fraught with exceedingly difficult engineering problems, and at best it would become another kind of power generation that leaves much radioactive waste in irradiated components. The controlled hot fusion program has made enormous strides since the 1950s when it began, but unlike cold fusion it is far below what is called healthy “breakeven” in its energy balance—much more energy output than input, but all agree that the earliest possible time when “practical” hot fusion devices (still the size of an athletic stadium) might be available is at least three decades away. Moreover, the success of hot fusion always seems to be “just 20 to 30 years away.” This has led to the very appropriate joke, “Hot fusion is the energy of the future— and always will be!” Hot fusion is a very tough engineering problem. Many engineers— even those favorable to hot fusion— suggest that the ”tokamak” reactor approach (magnetic confinement fusion) or the giant laser approach (inertial confinement approach) being followed by the U.S. Department of Energy will never result in commercially viable technology.
The U.S. hot fusion scientists, and their colleagues in other countries, continue to want to build a gigantic, complex test reactor called ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), which might begin to operate in another decade. A commercial hot fusion power plant would not be on-line until at least 2040. The annual budget for hot fusion research in the U.S. regularly exceeds $500 million, and the program now seeks increased funding, which Congress previously killed, for ITER and other large-scale experiments. [Back to Top]
How does cold fusion differ from hot fusion? Cold fusion releases enormous quantities of energy in the form of heat, not ionizing radiation, as in hot fusion. This heat energy is thousands to millions of times what ordinary chemical reactions could possibly yield. If “cold fusion” is a heretofore unknown form of benign nuclear reaction—as most researchers in the cold fusion field believe—there is more potential cold fusion energy in a cubic kilometer of sea water than in all of the known oil reserves on Earth. In one gallon of ordinary water, there is at least the energy equivalent of 300 gallons of gasoline! Cold fusion, in contrast to hot fusion, occurs in relatively simple apparatus. Cold fusion/LENR reactions are not at all like conventional hot fusion reactions. If they were, cold fusion experimenters would be killed by massive flows of radiation —neutrons and gamma rays. [Back to Top]
Are there theories that can explain cold fusion? Cold fusion researchers have attempted to find theoretical models to explain the observed cold fusion effects: large thermal energy releases, low-level nuclear phenomena, and the absence of massive harmful radiation and other conventional nuclear effects. There is yet no single, generally accepted theory that explains all these phenomena. There is no doubt, however, that the phenomena exist and will eventually be explained. It is difficult to come up with a single theory that fits all the data. The explanation might lie in nuclear reactions, in part in exotic “super-chemistry” requiring major modifications to quantum mechanics, or something even more peculiar (such as tapping of the so-called “zero-point energy” at the sub-atomic level, or the involvement of what others call vacuum or aether energy). [Back to Top]
Is there a future for cold fusion? Unfortunately, cold fusion has been widely attacked, belittled, and ignored in the U.S. and most of Europe, except Italy. Funding for research in the U.S. is very scarce. A few privately funded U.S. scientists are working on it, and “underground” research continues at many laboratories. Fortunately, cold fusion research is not Big Science. It does not need massive installations, just relatively small-scale, dedicated work. Cold fusion energy development will dominantly be the territory for private industry. There is no need for massive government investment.
Probably the most difficult hurdle in trying to come to terms with cold fusion is that it seems too fantastic, “too good to be true” economically and socially, and too unexpected scientifically. But the same was said about many other scientific revolutions, like anesthetics, electric lighting, airplanes, antibiotics, space flight, and nuclear fission. Cold fusion and allied discoveries will probably revolutionize the world in ways we can barely begin to imagine. People who think that such revolutionary changes cannot happen have forgotten the lessons of history. We should remember the sentiments of Michael Faraday, to whom we owe our revolutionary electrically powered civilization. He wrote: “Nothing is too wonderful to be true.” [Back to Top]
Are there technologies other than cold fusion/LENR that could release energy from water?Yes. Many of these are covered in back issues of Infinite Energy, but let us categorize the prominent ones here (not an exhaustive list):• Catalyzed hydrogen shrinkage reactions — based on the hydrino physics of Dr. Randell Mills of BlackLight Power Corp.• Water arc discharges— excess energy releases. By Dr. Peter and Neal Graneau• Excess energy from turbulent cavitation excitation of water, e.g. The HydroSonic PumpTM of HydroDynamics, Inc. of Rome, Georgia (USA) • Carbon arc discharges under water, which produce an excess energy phenomenon. Variously called: CarboHydrogenTM Gas or AquaFuel [Back to Top]
Answers to Questions on Vacuum Energy
What is “vacuum energy”?The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) taught that a vacuum could not exist in nature. This led for centuries to the often repeated, incorrect phrase, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” This mis-information persisted for two millennia, until the German physicist Otto von Guericke (1682-1686) showed with a dramatic experiment in 1657 that a vacuum—a space devoid of air—could actually be made by pumping the air out. But the question remained, “What, if anything, ‘fills’ that region of no air once it is formed?” Is it a zone of “nothing”? Physicists dealing with basic questions, such as “What is heat?”; “What is light?”; and “What is combustion?”, invented various invisible, massless “fluids” that could be infiltrating matter and the space between hypothetical atoms—and which could also be present in the presumed airless space among planets and stars. In fact, all physicists toward the end of the 19th century were convinced that an invisible ether (alternate spelling, aether) was some kind of a stiff, static, pervading medium that allowed waves of light and other “electromagnetic” waves to vibrate through it. But this aether, they believed, had to have the property of not offering resistance to the motion of celestial bodies—otherwise these would gradually change their orbits from the medium’s presence as an energy-draining obstruction.
Early in the 20th century, the aether question became sidetracked by the theory of Special Relativity (1905) promoted by Albert Einstein, which came into prominence under peculiar circumstances around 1919. Relativity supposedly dispensed with the need for an aether in which electromagnetic waves would vibrate. (See Infinite Energy, Issues #38 and #39, special “Einstein Reconsidered” issues). Since the ascendancy of Einstein’s relativity theory, the idea of an aether with properties that would allow such “transverse vibrations” has seemed superfluous, so the ether was totally abandoned as an archaic, wrong concept by the physics establishment. The space vacuum is said to be mathematically described as a four-dimensional “space-time” plenum, i.e. there is no space per se and no time per se individually, only “space-time.” As with the premature dismissal of “cold fusion” in 1989, this proved to be a disastrous mistake by the scientific establishment—though it most certainly does not acknowledge that fact— not yet.
At the same time, the scientific establishment — and many of those who oppose its rejection of “free energy” claims for this or that device— has come up with a new host of properties of the vacuum. In the theory of quantum mechanics, the vacuum is said to pulsate with a kind of “electromagnetic foam” at a scale far below the size of atoms — this is called “zero point energy” or “ZPE.” Some of those who suggest that there have been and are today various “free energy” devices that look like they are running on “no fuel,” suggest that the ZPE is being tapped for energy. Encouraging this view are some prominent mainstream physicists’ assertions that the energy density of this ZPE is huge, on the order of 1094 grams per cubic centimeter of vacuum! (Strangely, the mainstream almost never suggests that this energy might be tapped technologically— it’s just fun for the textbooks.)
Simultaneously, modern cosmologists who accept Einstein’s relativity theories (virtually all of them) have invented all manner of concepts to explain puzzling observations about the vacuum of the universe. They say that filling the universe is invisible “dark matter,” “dark energy,” and “quintessence”— and they cite supposed evidence for this from astronomical observations. They have concocted all manner of mathematical vibrating “string theories” to explain all of creation— all of particles, all of everything. In fact, they talk about a “Theory of Everything” being nearly complete—“just around the corner.” However, this appears to be a cosmic joke on modern physicists, much as perfect circle “epicycles” to describe planetary motions were a joke on astronomers who worked before the 17th century. These Theory-of-Everything physicists have apparently not learned the most basic foundation of “Science 101”: Experiments are paramount! Experiments contradicting the most elegant and seemingly correct theory must be taken very, very seriously. Theories must be thrown out and modified if experimental evidence contradicts the accepted theory. This is not happening in modern physics. It turns out, that aside from the ZPE theories, which would seem to allow the extraction of energy from the vacuum— even by the mainstream physicists’ own quantum mechanical theory, there are straightforward measurements that can be performed in laboratories that appear to show incontrovertible evidence of a host of other aether properties that have all along been right under our very noses. The measurements have been ignored, of course, as is the case when paradigm paralysis dominates. Please consult the references cited below, and learn about this astonishing turn of events. [Back to Top]
What sources of information can I access that deal with vacuum energy?We reviewed some of these sources in answers to “General Questions,” but let us repeat the information here in condensed form:
• An excellent research compendium on the Zero Point Energy viewpoint about vacuum energy is the book by Moray B. King, Quest for Zero-Point Energy: Engineering Principles for “Free Energy” (2001) [view the catalog].
• Both Nikola Tesla and Wilhelm Reich had remarkably accurate things to say about a dynamic ether (or aether), the static “luminiferous ether” form of which was rejected by 20th Century physics as a carrier of light waves, following the ascendancy of Einstein’s relativity theories. Unfortunately, because of major theoretical errors that have entered modern physics and pervade it, an energetic, dynamic ether with properties measurable in the laboratory was overlooked. The work of Dr. Paulo and Alexandra Correa of Canada (www.aetherometry.com and www.aethera.org) has built on and apparently has validated the stream of aether physics work that was begun by Tesla and Reich.
• Tom Bearden’s book, Energy from the Vacuum, appeared in 2002 and may be ordered from (www.cheniere.org).
• Robert L. Forward, “Extracting energy from the vacuum by cohesion of charge foliated conductors,” Physical Review B, Vol.30, No.4, pp.1700-2.
• Kenneth R. Shoulders, whose well-known, patented “high density charge cluster” science and technology has impressed a host of investigators, has a key patent (and others) that should be consulted: U.S. #5,018,180, “Energy Conversion Using High Charge Density.” [Back to Top]
Who were some of the historical scientists and inventors who have dealt with vacuum energy?There are dozens of people who have claimed to have produced devices that on first appearance seem to violate conservation of energy (the First Law of Thermodynamics), but which the various theories of vacuum energy suggest are actually being “fueled” by an energetic medium. Some of these devices may have been improperly measured by the inventors and their associates, leading to incorrect conclusions that energy was being tapped from the vacuum. Other figures seemed to have been proceeding on a direct path to vacuum energy devices, from the experiments that they carried out. To name a handful of the more prominent, more frequently discussed inventors and scientists (but not to diminish others not mentioned):
A. Deceased: Paul M. Brown, E. V. Gray, T. Henry Moray, Wilhelm Reich, Floyd Sweet, Nikola Tesla.
B. Present: Robert Adams, Tom Bearden, John Bedini, Paulo and Alexandra Correa, Howard Johnson (magnetic motor), W. W. Hyde, Kenneth Shoulders, Paramahamsa Tewari.[Back to Top]
What experimental devices exist today that embody vacuum energy? The two most prominent claimed technologies in vacuum energy today, and their presently achieved U.S. patents, are:
• Motionless Electromagnetic Generator (MEG) of Tom Bearden and his associates
— 6,362,718 “Motionless Electromagnetic Generator” (3/26/02)
• Pulsed Abnormal Glow Discharge Reactor (PAGDTM) of Dr. Paulo and Alexandra Correa
— 5,416,391 “Electrochemical Transduction of Plasma Pulses” (5/16/95)
— 5,449,989 “Energy Conversion System” (5/12/95)
— 5,502,354 “Direct Current Energized Pulsed Generator Utilizing Autogenous Cyclical Pulsed Abnormal Glow Discharges” (3/26/96) [Back to Top]
Is there a connection between technologically-derived vacuum energy and “Chi,” “Qi,” “Prana,” and other claims of “biophysical energies” or “subtle energies”? Yes, this is one of the most remarkable emerging conclusions that can be taken from the new energy field. In our view, a compelling case is building up that those technological devices that actually do tap vacuum energy, are also tapping a source of energy that is part and parcel of the functioning of all life. For centuries, various types of what are now in the West called “complementary medicine”—therapeutic healers, acupuncturists, Reiki therapists, and the like—have been used in Oriental cultures. This has now spread to the West and there are big battles being fought over these complementary medicine therapies. A large and growing percentage of patients now using Western medicine also employ Eastern practices. These multi-mode medicine users are, by and large from the assessments of some studies, expressing great satisfaction. These therapies (other than acknowledged “placebo effect” aspects) would seem to have no basis for their functioning, if biological systems such as the human body were exclusively biochemical and neurological systems with no interspersed and surrounding biophysically active medium—aether, “orgone,” etc. However, the line of work begun in the 20th Century by Wilhelm Reich and others in the West is converging to provide physics-based explanations of the “aetheric body” model of living organisms that is operating in conjunction with conventionally understood biochemical processes. See, in particular, the scientific monograph, “Fundamental Measurement of Biological Energies-I,” downloadable from www.aetherometry.com, monograph AS2-28. There appears to be much more to the electrical and energy properties of organisms than can be accounted for by the limited models of mainstream physics. [Back to Top]
Is there any mainstream research that substantiates “biophysical energy”?There are significant controlled studies that substantiate the effectiveness of complementary medicine modalities, such as acupuncture. However, we are increasingly seeing Western medicine’s technological imaging and sensing devices being applied to prove that bodily effects without conventional biological explanation are occurring. To cite one of the best examples we have encountered, please read: “Evaluation of Acupuncture Using fMRI and Ultrasonic Imaging,” by Chang Sok So (Dept. of Anatomy and Neurobiology), Joie P, Jones & David D. Kidney (Department of Radiological Sciences), University of California at Irvine; Takuso Saito, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Proc. of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Vol.95, 1998, pp.2670-2673. In this study, it is conclusively shown with scientifically blinded examination using ultrasonic and other stimulation of an acupuncture point in the foot of a subject (many subjects were used): 1. The acupuncture point on the foot, known by acupuncturists to help vision when stimulated, resulted in nearly instantaneous production of activation in the visual cortex of the brain of the subject —a completely reproducible effect that could be toggled off and on; 2. The acupuncture point was found to be highly localized (within a fraction of a millimeter); and 3. The speed of transmission of the information from the foot acupuncture point to the visual cortex of the brain, as measured by fMRI, was at least 1,000 times any known nerve transmission speed! Dr. Joie P. Jones explained, at a public lecture in June 2001 (Society for Scientific exploration Meeting, LaJolla, CA), that because the functional MRI (fMRI) minimum time localization of measurement is about 80-microseconds, the actual transmission speed to the brain might be faster than even this astounding 1,000-fold figure.
A footnote, which illuminates the sad state of mainstream science today: The group’s technical paper, which is obviously of overarching importance, was submitted to Nature magazine, which rejected it without review— according to Dr. Joie Jones. Subsequently, five sympathetic Nobel laureates in the biological sciences, who were impressed with the paper, urged Nature to reconsider its decision. It did not. Therefore, the paper had to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which does not censor the work of its participants. Thus, a fundamental finding about the human body’s functioning, and the medical effectiveness of a disparaged technique— acupuncture— has been submerged, at least for now. [Back to Top]
Answers to Questions on Environmental Energy
What is “Environmental Energy”?The term seems ambiguous on its face, but it is the best one we could come up with to describe this potentially huge (for all practical purposes, infinite) source of New Energy. The atoms and molecules in all matter move, vibrate, and jiggle— each atom and molecule has a kinetic energy (motion energy) and other kinds of motion energy associated with rotation and vibration (within multi-atom molecules, as an example, there is vibration of the bonds between them). In a gas especially, the atoms or molecules may be moving very fast in all directions. Thus there is definitely energy of movement contained within all matter. The question is this: Under what circumstances can this motion energy be extracted and used to produce useful work?
Here is one simple case of the use of environmental energy, but this application is not a form of New Energy, since it operates on already accepted principles: There have been proposals to use the temperature difference between the warmer top parts of the ocean and the colder lower-lying parts to generate useful electric power. This can be done with various electrical devices and specialized engines that operate between temperature reservoirs that do not have a very big difference in temperature between them. But what if it were possible to take the energy out of the top part of the ocean without relying on the colder water far below the ocean surface? The science of thermodynamics, in particular the Second Law of Thermodynamics, says this cannot be done. It is impossible, we are told, to produce useful work by taking heat out of a single warm object (here, that object is the ocean surface) without having a lower temperature reservoir to dump “waste” heat into. That is the supposed restriction that science has lived with for over 150 years. Therefore, “Environmental Energy,” in the context of New Energy, is the attempt to violate this supposedly sacrosanct “law.” [Back to Top]
What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics?There are many ways of stating the Second Law of Thermodynamics—there are many textbook definitions associated with different scientists. But its essential conclusion is that a heat engine (an engine that uses heat and operates in a cycle) cannot convert 100% of the heat produced within it (from, say, fuel combustion) to an equivalent amount of useful work. Nature has supposedly saddled us with an efficiency limitation that cannot be broken.
What is Carnot efficiency?Carnot efficiency is a term that describes the maximum efficiency that can be reached by a heat engine in converting heat to work. The Carnot efficiency has a simple formula that has been around since the early part of the 19th Century, when young French engineer Sadi Carnot proposed it based on his study of steam engines. (Strangely enough, he put forth his formula when the very nature of heat as molecular motion was still being debated!) The formula is: Efficiency = (Temperaturehigh – Temperaturelow)/Temperaturehigh. Here, the temperatures must be given in the absolute temperature scale — Kelvin degrees, which begins at “absolute zero,” which is some -273°C below 0 °C (the freezing point of water). So, at a typical ambient temperature of 20 °C (approximately 293 K), the Carnot efficiency of an engine operating between that temperature and 273 K (0°C) is (293-273)/293 = 6.8%. For a much more elevated temperature process with a high temperature of say 1,000°C, dumping its waste heat to a 20°C environment, the Carnot efficiency is 77%. Note well, that as the temperature of the high and low temperature reservoirs approach each other, the efficiency goes down and becomes 0% when Thigh= Tlow. This is another way of saying that if Carnot efficiency is indeed the upper limit for the efficiency of a heat engine, an engine cannot be made to extract work out of a single temperature reservoir — such an engine would have “zero efficiency.”[Back to Top]
What sources of information can I access that deal with “environmental energy”? You can read any standard thermodynamics textbook, and it will spell out quite clearly why you cannot use environmental energy from a single temperature reservoir. Carnot efficiency will be used to “prove” the Second Law and the Second Law will be used to establish Carnot as the upper limit to efficiency— perfect circular logic! But you can also read the work of those who challenge the Second Law. There is a growing body of such technical literature. Here is a sampling:
• Some of this research has been reviewed and discussed at length in articles in Infinite Energy (Issues #29, #37, and #43).
• A recent landmark paper by physicists and a mathematician at the University of San Diego (“A Solid-State Maxwell Demon,” Foundations of Physics, Vol.32, pp.1557-1595, October 2002, www.kluweronline.com), seems to offer nearly conclusive proof that devices that do create work from a single temperature reservoir can be built. The paper proposes a laboratory-testable, solid-state device that uses the electric field energy of an open-gap p-n junction semiconductor device to drive a solid-state mechanical piston. • Daniel P. Sheehan, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol.12, 1998, pp.303-xxx.• V. Capek and D.P. Sheehan, Challenges to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, in Fundamental Theories of Physics Series(Kluwer Academic, Amsterdam, due to be published in 2003).• The Thermodynamic Theory and Engineering Design of Supercarnot Heat Engines, Wayne Arthur Proell, Cloud Hill Press, Las Vegas, New Mexico, 1984.• The Thermodynamic Exploration for High Efficiency Internal Combustion Engines, Wayne Arthur Proell, Cloud Hill Press, Las Vegas, New Mexico, 1993.• The Thermodynamic Exploration for Solid State Heat Engines, Wayne Arthur Proell, Cloud Hill Press, Las Vegas, New Mexico, 1999. [Back to Top]
What evidence is there that there are major flaws in the Second Law?The evidence against the Second Law comes in three forms:
Experiments that produce separations of hot and cold with, in the limit, zero energy input. In other words, in the limit the spontaneous separation into hot and cold regions.
The growing evidence in the scientific literature that many classes of macroscopic Maxwell demons are possible.
The third class of evidence actually comes from the field of Vacuum Energy: The observation of thermal anomalies associated with Faraday cages (see above reference to the Reich-Einstein experiment)— spontaneous (aether generated) separations of hot and cold.[Back to Top]
What is a “Maxwell Demon”?This was James Clerk Maxwell’s hypothetical microscopic intelligent being, who could reside at a small opening in the partition between two chambers of a gas, each initially at the same temperature. The “demon” would observe molecules in motion as they approached the opening between the chambers, measure their velocities, and sort them into hot and cold ones (fast or slow moving) just by opening and closing a small door covering the opening at the appropriate times. If such a demon could exist, it could create, in effect, a “spontaneous” separation of a uniform temperature reservoir into a hot and a cold zone. With such a separation of the gas into two different temperature regions, an engine could be made to perform useful work. Such a hypothetical demon — or its equivalent (such as a specially designed membrane, and so forth)— has been deemed impossible by the physics establishment. Such demons cannot produce robust macroscopic effects. Critics of the universal applicability of the Second Law of Thermodynamics believe otherwise. [Back to Top]
What is a “Perpetual Motion Machine of the Second Kind”?This supposedly “impossible” kind of machine would take environmental energy from a single temperature reservoir (the environment) and convert it to work with 100% efficiency— without a lower temperature reservoir being used to accomplish this. Critics of the universal applicability of the Second Law believe such machines can be built. They suggest that they have experimental evidence to prove this. The ultimate proof, however, will have to be in robust engines that achieve this objective.
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