I am happy to announce that I have accepted an opportunity to join Ruby Carat to become an author and editor at Cold Fusion Now. In addition, I will be helping her with moderation and other duties on the site. The cold fusion story is expanding so rapidly and in so many different directions that it has become increasingly difficult for either one of us to keep track of the many facets of the story. Perhaps this is true more so for myself than for Ruby, as Cold Fusion Now has many intelligent and talented people contributing on a regular basis. These individuals include patent attorney David French. Cold Fusion Radio’s James Martinez, the ubiquitous and knowledgeable Brad Arnold, filmmaker Eli Elliot, and occasionally even Dr. Edmund Storms. And that’s just for starters. Click here to see more of the Cold Fusion Now Crew. With this group of talent to work with, I would have been foolish to pass up the opportunity to come on-board.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank those who have contributed to e-Cat Site over the past year, most notably Tom Baccei and Mr. Johannes Van den Bogaert. Also a shout out to Ms. Sojourner Soo, the free-energy free spirit who pops in from time to time on various sites to fight the good fight. She was kind enough to provide the first article at e-Cat Site.
Of course, e-Cat Site would have been nothing without the regular readers and commenters. I hope you all will come on over to Cold Fusion Now and check out the articles and resources available. You will not be disappointed. I know many who have been following the story make the rounds and have your favorite sites for cold fusion news and updates, so there is some overlap amongst readership for both Cold Fusion Now and e-Cat Site. But let’s be honest, we all have our favorite sites for one reason or another. I hope the readers of Cold Fusion Now will welcome my input, and I hope the faithful of e-Cat Site will now become regular readers and commenters on Cold Fusion Now.
Ruby Carat and I are committed to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date coverage that we are capable of. As I write this, Cold Fusion Now is undergoing a number of upgrades to ensure that the site is accessible, readable and informative. There are new features and upgrades in the works as well. We both believe that cold fusion is ready to soar to new heights, both in terms of the state of the art of the technology and the coverage that will ensue. We want to make sure that we are ready for the added traffic that this will undoubtedly bring.
As for e-Cat Site, for right now it will remain open as an archive of the happenings of the last year, as well as a resource regarding cold fusion history. It is no lenr-canr.org, but I have made a conscious effort to provide enough background history for people to understand what cold fusion is and how it has progressed, especially over the last 20 years. I initially started the site as an information resource for friends and acquaintances regarding cold fusion. Many of them were as stunned as I, and I’m sure many of you, that cold fusion had never been truly debunked and in fact was being taken seriously by a growing number of people. Much of this interest was spurred by Andrea Rossi’s e-Cat, for which the site is named. I subsequently started writing articles and opened the site for comments so I could narrate the story from my own perspective, devoid of the constant sneering of the closed-minded and committed opponents. However, now I think the story has outgrown the intent and scope of the site, and it is now time to move on. It will probably be accessible for another year, or until such time we can move content over to Cold Fusion Now. However, there will be no new articles or news updates posted.
As mentioned above, I will also be helping moderate CFN. Just like at e-Cat Site, I welcome healthy debate. Disagreements are to be expected, especially when discussing something as complex as cold fusion. However, comments need to remain respectful of the subject matter, the site, and, most importantly, the person to which the comment is directed. Comments consisting solely, mostly or repeatedly of insults, taunts and inflammatory language are not acceptable and will be deleted, likely without warning. Repeated attempts to post such comments will be result in being banned. This is not the site to be contentious for sport. There are other sites that allow such behavior to go on unabated but this is not one of them.
Once again, I welcome the opportunity to join Cold Fusion Now, and I look forward to working with Ruby and the crew. I think we are in for some very exciting times ahead.
In past articles e-Cat Site has explored the LANR patents of Belgium industrial chemist and patent attorney Mr. Joannes Van den Bogaert. He has been kind enough to do a write up for this site regarding the catalyst reported to be used in some cold fusion devices, including the e-Cat of Andrea Rossi. In this piece, he also touches on some principles of chemistry, as well as the work of Prof. Piantelli, Dr. Randell Mills of BlackLight Power and some well-respected German chemists that you may or may not be aware of. Once again, I cannot vouch for this material in terms of its industrial utility, but the information has been well-researched, and I do feel it informative and thought-provoking at the very least. I would also add that past articles regarding Mr. Van den Bogaert’s LANR patents, found here and here, continue to be a popular feature of this site. If you have not viewed his previous material, I would certainly recommend it.
Lastly, some of this material has been translated from German, so the translations may not be exact, but I think they are accurate enough to convey the message intended. Some of the material has also been processed using an OCR program, so an odd character or word may pop up from time to time. I have tried to correct such errors to the best of my ability but my presbyoptic eyes may have missed a thing or two. If you notice something glaring, please alert me with an e-mail.
Catalyzed Nickel-Hydrogen Reaction
As you know, Andrea Rossi explains the working of the E-Cat reactor operating with an exothermic reaction, relying strongly on the transmutation of nickel into copper by hydrogen in particular circumstances of pressure and temperature, using nickel powder in the presence of an undisclosed catalyst (USPO application #2011/10005506 Al). Francesco Piantelli, in his method for producing energy (USPO application #2011/0249783 A1), uses micro/nanometric clusters of a transition metal, preferably nickel, capturing negatively charged hydrogen atoms, i.e. H- ions (a proton surrounded by a pair of electrons), having opposite spin following Pauli’s Exclusion Principle of differing quantum status of some Fermi particles (here electrons). According to Piantelli, said H- ions can be obtained by treating, under particular operative conditions, hydrogen H2 molecules that have been previously adsorbed on said transition metal surface, with heating needed to cause lattice vibrations, causing an interaction with valence electrons of the metal and formation of H- ions.
According to Piantelli, the conditions are created for replacing electrons of metal atoms with the H- ions having a mass 1838 times larger than the electron mass. Such H- ions tend to go towards deeper layers (towards the positive nucleus), and on their way through the electron shells cause the emission of Auger electrons and of x-rays while being captured by the metal core, causing a structural reorganization and freeing of energy by mass defect. Piantelli puts forward that the H- ions can now be expelled as protons, and can generate nuclear reactions with the neighboring cores. Piantelli makes it clear that the actual process cannot be considered as a fusion process of hydrogen atoms, in particular of hydrogen isotope atoms. Instead, the process has to be understood as an interaction of a transition metal and hydrogen in general in its particular form of an H- ion.
In that connection I draw attention to the resemblance of an H- ion to a muon, which is a negative particle being 207 times more massive than the electron, and are used in muon-catalyzed fusion. From the muon, it is said, when it replaces one electron in a hydrogen molecule, the nuclei are consequently drawn 207 times closer than in a normal molecule. When the nuclei are this close together, the probability of nuclear fusion is greatly increased, to the point where a significant number of fusion events can happen at room temperature. Unfortunately, current techniques for creating large numbers of muons require large amounts of energy, larger than the amounts produced by catalyzed fusion reactions. So, I propose to try to produce in an economic way much more massive D- ions to obtain deuterium (tritium) fusion.
For the Piantelli invention, it is my hypothesis that negatively charged hydrogen ion particles (H- ions) are not hindered from contacting the positively charged transition metal nuclei, as no repulsive Coulomb barrier exists between oppositely charged particles. Consequently, the negatively charged hydrogen ions have only to tunnel at relatively modest energy through the relatively largely spaced electron shells of the positively charged transition metal ions of the metal lattice to combine with a nickel nucleus, leaving 1 more proton and thereby transforming that nickel nucleus into a copper nucleus and expelling the surplus electron to be captured again in the electron sea of the electro-conductive metal and therefrom to the positive potassium ion left, that way regaining the catalyst. One electron of the H- ion becomes a valence electron of the copper nucleus, restoring in that manner charge neutrality in the metal lattice.
Now is there still the question: Where does the energy come from?
The energy set free comes in my opinion from the difference in mass between a free hydrogen ion (H+) and a proton (p+) locked up into the nickel nucleus now becoming a copper nucleus associated with 1 electron more than nickel. In that case no neutrons have to be set free and cannot be detected.
Turning now to the production of H- ions it is not so exotic as one may think. About six years ago dealing with the “hydrino” theory of Dr. Randall Mills I came across a method for producing said ions from metallic hydrides, more particularly alkali metal hydrides and earth alkali metal hydrides.
In the German chemical textbook “Fundamentals of General and Inorganic Chemistry” by Dr. Hans Rudolf Christen, I found under the heading “Hydrogen Compounds” a passage that reads as follows:
“One of the simplest hydrocarbon compounds includes substances which are formed at moderately high temperatures of alkali or alkaline earth metals and hydrogen … they contain, in addition to the positively charged metal cations, hydride (H-) ions, and yield as molten salt on electrolysis hydrogen at the anode. Formation of a salt-like solid is made possible by the not too high, but measurable, electron affinity of hydrogen, particularly by the large lattice energy of the hydrides.“
It is further mentioned that the H- ion is practically of the same size as the F- ion, such being 1.36 Angström. On page 560 of said German chemical textbook , I found : “Alkaline earth metals calcium, strontium, and barium form salt-like hydrides with H- ions as lattice elements,” which means that H- ions are linked to said earth alkaline metals in their crystal structure.
Under the heading “Hydride” in the German textbook “Chemical Lexicon,” Prof. Dr. Hermann Römpp is mentioned as stating “lithium hydride is the most durable; the other hydrides of the alkali metals are decomposing above 400°C.” From this it may be concluded that free H- ions may be obtained by heating the hydrides of alkali metals above 400°C, such as sodium and potassium, and likewise the hydrides of calcium, strontium and barium.
Turning now to a possible relationship of the production of “Black Light” according to Dr. Randall Mills, and the use of a catalyst(s) in the e-Cat fusion technique of Eng. Andrea Rossi,
I wrote a letter to the Dutch journal “Natuurwetenschap & Techniek” (July/Aug. 2005), in which I expressed the idea that H- ions were produced in the Black Light reactor of Dr. Mills. As described in the article of Ernst van Eijk in said Dutch journal, referring to an experiment of Prof. Dr. Kroesen of the University of Eindhoven, potassium (vapor) was used in a hydrogen atmosphere with the intention of producing energy and “Black Light”.
According to said experiment, a plasma had been produced using potassium carbonate in a hydrogen atmosphere, precipitated on a metal screen surrounding an electrically heated tungsten spiral, with said plasma emitting a bluish light. Following the opinion of Dr. Randall Mills, “hydrinos” are formed from the hydrogen atoms present in the plasma.
In my reply to said experiment, I referred to the common knowledge that potassium carbonate ( K2CO3) is decomposed by heating into K20 and CO2. In the reducing atmosphere of hydrogen gas in the reactor, it is very probable that potassium oxide (K20) undergoes reduction to free potassium and water vapor according to the following equation:
(K20 + 2H → 2K + HOH)
Immediately followed by the exothermic reaction of potassium with water vapor, a positively charged potassium ion, a negatively charged hydroxyl ion, and a neutral hydrogen atom are formed according to the following equation:
(K + HOH → K+ HO- + H)
When we have in the reactor free potassium (K) atoms, atomic hydrogen (H) can react therewith, forming a not very stable hydride (K-H), wherein potassium is positively charged (K+) and hydrogen negatively charged (H- ) (see the above mentioned German chemical textbook). When the reactor contains nickel clusters, atom transmutation may take place with a said negatively charged hydrogen ion (H- ), which may enter a nickel nucleus to transform it into a copper nucleus representing an example of atom transmutation through a catalyst, in this case potassium atoms.
Please note that Dr. Kroesen has repeated the experiment with strontium grains, obtaining likewise a plasma and bluish light. By combining strontium with atomic hydrogen, 2 H- ions are formed, and according to my expectation, in the presence of nickel nuclei zinc nuclei are obtained.
It is a bit strange that Eng. Andrea Rossi, although not mentioning his “catalysts” in his US patent application, writes the following:
“Moreover, it has been found that, after having generated energy, the used powders contained both copper and lighter than nickel atoms (such as sulphur, chlorine, potassium, calcium). He mentions “This demonstrates that, in addition to fusion, also a nickel nucleus fission phenomenon generating lighter stable atoms occurs“.
At last I would like to say something about the “hydrino theory” of Dr. Randell Mills, combined with “E-Cat fusion” as illustrated in the article of Prof. Dr. Stremmenos “Hydrogen/Nickel Cold Fusion Probable mechanism.” Herein it is said that the hydrino atom is a mini hydrogen atom of reduced volume and
“The neutral mini-atoms of high energy and very short wave length, which is in phase with the “cyclic” orbit (de Broglie) are statistically captured by the nickel nuclei of the crystal structure with the speed of nuclear reactions (10-20 sec)“.
Further he states
“The mechanism proposed by Focardi-Rossi, verified by mass spectroscopy data which predicts transmutation of a nickel nucleus to an unstable copper nucleus (isotope), remains in principle valid. The difference is that inside the unstable copper nucleus, produced from the fusion of the hydrogen mini-atom with the nickel nucleus, is trapped the mini-atom electron (β-), which in my opinion undergoes in-situ annihilation, with the predicted (Focardi-Rossi) decay (beta+) of the new copper nucleus.“
If such would happen, gamma-rays of the annihilation should be detectable. Further I like to point out that if hydrino atoms would be formed in a “Black Light” reactor, they can in my opinion be rather easily be detected with a mass spectrometer coupled to that reactor.
If neutral hydrino atoms (having a reduced radius with respect to normal hydrogen atoms and lower mass) are found, then the Randell Mills theory is on sound basis. I think that certainly H- ions having a radius, as present in F- ions, will be found, confirming my theory that potassium and alkaline earth metals such as calcium and strontium are the real catalysts in forming H- ions, penetrating the Coulomb barrier and yielding atom transmutation.
Licensees of Andrea Rossi’s e-Cat technology will begin a two day conference in Zürich on September 8. This is the first large scale meeting of worldwide licensees to be convened. Over the last several months reports, and even one video, have trickled out of licensees meeting privately in small groups with Rossi, but this is the first conference of its type, and certainly the largest e-Cat related event to be held since the test of the 1MW e-Cat module last year.
It provides an opportunity for Andrea Rossi to silence at least some of his critics, although most will likely remain skeptical of his claims until third-party verification of claims regarding the e-Cat are forthcoming. The schedule of the proceedings (see below) indicates that a report of independent testing will be presented the first night of the conference by e-Cat inventor Rossi at 8:00 pm.*
The proceedings of the conference are slated to be streamed live on the Internet at this link. By looking at the schedule, the agenda appears to be quite robust and, if the streaming goes forward as planned, should provide the public with a good amount of information regarding the e-Cat and continued plans for commercialization.
It should be noted that the version of the e-Cat currently being marketed is based on the state of technology as it stood last year, and only the 1MW modules are currently being sold. Reports from Rossi over the last several months indicate significant improvement has been made in the design of the e-Cat. The newest version has been deemed the “Hot Cat”, as significantly higher operating temperatures have been achieved, doubling from 600 C to 1200 C. There has also been substantial streamlining of the design. The version that debuted last year consisted of dozens of smaller modules in a shipping container. The new version apparently is multiple smaller modules that in aggregate are the size of a wine barrel. Believe It or Not!
1MW E-Cat Plant 2011
1MW E-Cat Plant 2013
Energy Turnaround with E-Cat Technology
Revolutionary environmentally friendly energy systems
Congress on Saturday 8 September
and Sunday 9 September 2012
Technopark Zürich, Technoparkstr. 1, CH 8005 Zürich, Auditorium
Organization: TransAltec, Inc., E-Cat Germany and E-Cat Switzerland
Saturday, September 8, 2012
2:00 pm Opening and Overview Adolf and Inge Schneider, TransAltec Inc., Zunch/CH
2:15 pm E-Cat Technology for Industrial and Home Applications
The alternative way to a sustainable and pollution-free energy Adolf Schneider. Dipl.-Ing., CEO/POB TransAltec Inc, Zurich/CH
3:15 pm History, Theory and Practice of Cold Fusion Energy conversion via Weak Interaction processes Dr. sc.nat. Hans Weber, Dipl.-Physicist, London/GB and Zug/CH
4:30 pm Coffee Break
5:00 pm Profitability of 1 MW E-Cat Plants for Heat Generation
Central heating for small residental estates, hotels, industry and shopping centers etc. Hartmut Dobler, CEO Dobler Hetztechnik Weinstadt/GE
5:45 pm Advantages of 1 MW E-Cat-Plants for Process Heat Generation
Application Possibilities of E-Cat plants for indusinal processes Uta Stechl, Dipl-Ing. (FH). Stechl GmbH. Tuessling/GE
6:30 pm Dinner
8:00 pm Development and Future Aspects of E-Cat Technology
1. Overview about the environmentally friendly Nickel-Hydrogen technology Magnus Holm, CEO Hydrofusion, Great Britain and Sweden
2. Test results of the 600 degree E-Cat report from an impartial testing company Andrea Rossi, CEO of Leonardo Corporation, Inc., Miami/USA and Bologna/IT
3. Parameters of the automated E-CAT control system Fulvio Fabiani, Engineer, Leonardo Corporation, Miami/USA
Sunday, September 9, 2012
10:00 am Strategies and Concepts of Licensees in Europe Web appearance and introduction of E-Cat in the markets of Scandinavia Magnus Holm, CEO Hydrofusion. Great Britain and Sweden
10:30 am Potential markets of the E-Cat-Technology in Switzerland and Liechtenstein Adolf Schneider. Dipi-Ing.. CEO/POB TransAltecAG. Zürich/CH
11:15 am Potential markets of the E-Cat-Technology in Germany Gerd Neumann, New Man Consult. Kaufungen/GE
12:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Application of the Nickel-Hydrogen Technology for Desalination Plants Development of a conversion of heat into electrical energy for desalination plants William Donavan, Chief Technical Advisor, E-Cat-Australia, Roger Green, Managing Director, E-Cat-Australia
2:30 pm Novel Concept for the Conversion of Heat into Electric Energy, with Demo Highly efficient method for generating electricity from low temperature heat Dr. sc.nat. Hans Weber, London/GB and Zug/CH
3:15 pm Alternative Primary Energy Resources for Heat and ElectricityForecasts of the development of the energy markets with cold fusion technologies Dr.rer.oec. Daniel Kellenberger OM systems. Nurendorf/CH and Berlin/GE
4:00 pm Coffee Break
4:30 pm Panel Discussion with Andrea Rossi and other Speakers Moderation: Dr. rer.cec Daniel Kellenberger
SRI International, a research lab in Menlo Park, CA, one of the largest contract research institutes in the world, will soon sign a contract with Brillouin Energy Corporation of Berkeley, CA, to further evaluate and “scale up” that company’s cold fusion device, the Brillouin Boiler. SRI scientist and long-time cold fusion researcher Michael McKubre announced this in an interview with PESN’s Sterling Allen. Per McKubre:
“As early this week, or next week, we will sign a contract with Brillouin with two purposes. One being to better understand what they have; and two, scale it up for almost exactly the same purposes that you just described…to have something that can be shown to engineers. Engineers will understand the significance of it and take if from that point forward.”
Dr. McKubre recently independently evaluated the Brillouin Boiler and subsequently became a member of their science advisory board. McKubre has been a cold fusion researcher since the early 1990s and has served as an unofficial spokesperson for cold fusion for many years. He appeared on ABCs Nightline in 1995 in a segment about the Patterson Power Cell, and at that time debated long-time cold fusion critic John Huizenga about the efficacy of the technology. He was also prominently featured in the 2009 60 Minutes segment “Cold Fusion is Hot Again.” In addition, McKubre will appear in the soon to be released film about cold fusion, “The Believers.”
Dr. McKubre gave a lecture entitled “What Happened to Cold Fusion?” in late 2011. I would highly recommend this video series, as it gives a good background of the technology from 1989 to the present. Many of you may have already seen it, but many others may have missed it because it was released between the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays last year. I have taken the liberty of re-posting this series as a courtesy to those of you who have not seen it, and of course to those of you who would like to view it again.
Lastly, it is important to note that in the interview with Sterling Allen linked to above, McKubre sounded quite optimistic about the future of cold fusion. He describes the atmosphere at NI Week 2012 as “like being at a rock concert” due to the level of enthusiasm, and states that he feels that cold fusion is now rising above the 20 year suppression it has been saddled with by academia and the scientific community as a whole.
For many of us, our interest in cold fusion began last January, or thereabouts, when we heard about Andrea Rossi and his e-Cat. For nearly a year we followed the story waiting for Rossi’s big reveal in October of 2011. Unfortunately, that event was anti-climatic, and while something certainly did happen that day, we are still unsure exactly what. Yet along the way, we began to learn about new players in the game, and some old names re-emerged. Regardless, it seemed that everybody involved in this field was setting us up for that “big moment,” only for it never to come. Ahern disappeared in early December. NASA threw us a bone in early January, and then quickly snatched it away just as we were sinking our teeth into it. Defkalion promised to put all doubt to rest via independent testing, only to say “maybe later” as deadlines came and went. Arrgggg! Sometimes following this story has been truly maddening. How you people who have been following this story for more than 18 months (some for two decades) have kept your sanity is beyond me. Although, admittedly, some old-timers have shown signs of the strain and one long-time “LENR expert” has apparently gone stark raving mad.
Yet, in the midst of our angst, something remarkable has taken place. While many have been hoping for that one piece of evidence that they could hold up and say to the world “Hey, look at this!” many more than we had realized are not only paying attention, but have become active participants in the unfolding cold fusion/LENR saga.
Duck-rabbit optical illusion used to demonstrate a paradigm shift
Nowhere is this more evident in the case of National Instruments. It seems that Rossi had to petition (or beg) them for 6 months in order for them to agree work with him. Of all the things that did happen on or around October 28, 2011, one was that NI finally relented and agreed to work with AR. However, even then, Ni representative Stefano Concezzi stopped short of offering a ringing endorsement of Rossi or cold fusion, simply stating “I would love for him to be right. “ Whatever transpired between Rossi and National instruments between late October of 2011 and later word that the two parties were no longer working together will have to remain an answered question. However, what is clear is that neither party has had anything negative to say about the relationship. Rossi has said on several occasions that their input was very helpful to him. NI has had several opportunities to distance themselves from Rossi and cold fusion and to date have not done so. In the case of cold fusion research in general, NI has in fact significantly increased its involvement and activity in the field. In a recent presentation given by Mr. Concezzi to Italian government officials in Rome, it came to light that NI is currently working with the following individuals and institutions on cold fusion/LENR projects:
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Naval Research Laboratories (NRL)
University of Missouri
University of Texas at Austin
MIT (Peter Hagelstein)
Purdue University (Dr. Y.E. Kim)
ENEA (an Italian national research laboratory)
INFN (Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics)
CEA (French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission)
SRI (Stanford Research Institute)
In addition, National Instruments is also sponsoring a lab at the physics department at the University of Bologna, under the guidance of Rossi associate and confident Prof. Giseppi Levi. NI also recently sent a large contingent of its staff to the University of Missouri for a cold fusion lecture by Mizzou’s Vice-Chancellor of Research, Dr. Robert Duncan (watch here), and will soon host a cold fusion presentation at its headquarters in Austin, TX.
According to Stefano Concezzi, the same presentation he gave to the officials of the Italian government, was also delivered to some entity of the EU. He was not specific about said group, but it may have been the European Commission, which serves as the executive body of the European Union. I say this because the European Commission itself has recently released a document advocating further research into cold fusion, and Mr. Concezzi’s recently released slides have the file name eu_brussels_june_20_2012_concezzi. You do the math. The document released by the EC was entitled Forward Looking Workshop on Materials for Emerging Energy Technologies , and contained an unequivocal statement regarding this technology, stating:
“ENEA, SRI and NRL have been involved within review programs in the US and in Italy. The main task was to demonstrate, on the basis of signals well above the measurement uncertainties and with a cross check, the existence of the excess of heat production during electrochemical loading of deuterium in palladium cathodes. The target was achieved and the existence of the effect is no longer in doubt.“
The document went on to make the following recommendations:
Include LENR in FP7 calls as research on materials as it has unlimited and sustainable future energy technology potential.
Support the study in material science as a strategic approach to achieve the control of the technology.
Support workshops, meetings, visiting exchanges in Europe and between European and US research institutions.
Focus on the fundamental research aspects because of the synergy with other disciplines.
The significance of the executive branch of the EU giving their stamp of approval to this technology cannot be understated. However, whether they follow through on the above recommendations remains an open question. But given the number of people and institutions that are now waking up to the reality of cold fusion, those who continue to drag their feet or dogmatically deny its existence are at increasing risk of being left behind, and ultimately putting themselves at a disadvantage, not only technologically but socially and economically as well.
I think many in the US government, especially in the military, are acutely aware of this. The US Navy has a two decade history of continuous cold fusion research and, as has been reported frequently here and elsewhere, NASA is taking a very active role in this technology’s development. But it is not only those entities. They are many others as well, including the Naval Research Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory. There is also active research being done by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). As was recently reported by the web site Next Big Future, DARPA is currently involved in a $34 study of nanotechnology and cold fusion is among the technologies being included in this study. DARPA is not new to the study of cold fusion. Agency documents from several year ago came to the conclusion “There is no doubt that anomalous heat is being produced in these experiments.” Yet the inclusion of cold fusion in a study of a wider range of nano-technologies, with a budget of $34 million, indicates not only a continued interest in the technology, but also an expanded one. Recent reports also suggest they are collaborating with Italian research lab ENEA on cold fusion research.
Boeing can also be added to the list of names associated with cold fusion in some capacity. According to a NASA document from May of this year, Boeing has been collaborating with the space agency regarding the feasibility of LENR-powered aircraft and space planes. The document also lists the names of quite a few employees of General Electric that were involved in the same study. It has also come to my attention via a very reliable source that another prominent American company is going beyond studies and is soon to begin its own LENR research program. Unfortunately, this is one company I am not at liberty to identify. The only thing I can say is that they are in the same league as Boeing and General Electric.
The expansion of interest of cold fusion goes still farther than than the names and institutions mentioned above. This interest has in fact reached all the way to Goliath himself, the oil industry. An article appeared covering cold fusion recently in the oil-industry publication Journal of Petroleum Technology, and was entitled “On the Precipice of a New Energy Source?” This article appeared in such an unexpected place that it may have gone unnoticed to most not involved in that industry, save for the fact that one of the co-authors contacted Frank Acland at E-Cat World and informed him of it, stating:
“I am from the petroleum industry and LENR is now being watched closely. An article was just published in the July Journal of Petroleum Technology. I authored it. LENR is definitely on the radar.”
What is also interesting about the article, besides sounding the call to the rest of the oil-industry that they had better pay attention to this, is the fact that the article was authored by David J. Nagel, one-time cold fusion researcher, CEO of the cold fusion company NUCAT Energy, and retired from the US Naval Research Laboratory. There is strong evidence that he was a party to independent testing of Defkalion’s Hyperion, as DGT publicly posted photos of the testing with his name attached to them. The mind wonders at what exactly he knows and what he told individuals involved in the petroleum industry. Whatever it was, it certainly grabbed their attention.
Regarding mainstream news coverage, reports have also come out of the recent ILENR in conference in Virgnia that a writer for the magazine Popular Science was in attendance and is currently writing a 8-page article on cold fusion/LENR for that publication. In addition, America’s premier business network, CNBC, just re-aired the 60 Minutes segment from 2009 “Cold Fusion is Hot Again.” The interesting thing about this is that the program aired in what is considered “Prime Time” for television viewing, 9:00 p.m. Also, the segment aired alongside, and actually preceded, a story about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which right now is the darling of the scientific community due to recent discoveries regarding the elusive Higgs boson.
As a final illustration as to how the nature of the conversation has changed in the last 7 months, let us go back to Dr. Brian Ahern, who was mentioned at outset of this article. He announced in the late fall of 2011 that he would give an LENR presentation that would convince even the most skeptical LENR critic of the reality of the technology. This created quite a bit of excitement and buzz, and many eagerly awaited his planned December 7 presentation. He subsequently canceled his presentation at the last minute and created disappointment among many, and a perverse joy amongst critics and Pathoskeps. Well, Dr. Ahern is giving a similar presentation this very day, perhaps even as this is being written. The venue has changed from a fringe conference on the outskirts of New York City, to a more prominent forum, the New Energy Symposium, in the heart of NYC at 7 World Trade Center. While in late 2011 this may have been a focal, even crucial, presentation, right now it is just another in a long line of ongoing disclosures. Don’t get me wrong, it may in hindsight turn out to be important and I certainly wish him luck and hope things go well. However, whether the presentation is a great success, or even occurs at all, it will not have nearly to the impact it would have had just 7 months ago. The fact is cold fusion/LENR research and interest is now expanding rapidly beyond the ability of one person or one event to have a significant impact on the overall narrative, whether it be Andrea Rossi or Brian Ahern. Things have changed indeed.
Most of the excitement surrounding the advent of cold fusion has centered almost exclusively on the technology as a way to solve the energy needs of mankind in the future, both near and far. But the technology brings other benefits to the table. One of course is the reported ability of cold fusion cells to transmutate elements on the periodic table one in to another. Besides being a fulfillment of the alchemist’s dream, this potential would provide many practical benefits, making important but rare elements on the periodic table more abundant, thus decreasing their cost and making them more readily available for any variety of applications. However, many cold fusion cells offer another option that may rival energy production in terms of importance, at least in the near term, with that being the ability to neutralize radioactive nuclear waste. Even if one day cold fusion takes precedence on the energy landscape, there will still be the problem of cleaning up the mess created by traditional nuclear power.
There is radioactive waste created by approximately 450 nuclear power plants currently in operation around the world today, as well as waste created by smaller reactors on military ships and submarines, experimental reactors on university campuses around the world, and nuclear waste created by a variety of other sources such as nuclear weapons manufacturing sites, etc. In fact, the use of radioactive substances in any variety of applications is more ubiquitous than many of us realize, with each producing an accompanying amount of waste that is hazardous. dangerous and extremely problematic to dispose of. And let us also not forget about nuclear disaster sites like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima (and those are the ones that we know of), which have created problems in terms of management that mankind really has no idea how to handle, bedsides attempting stop-gap measures like entombing these sites in copious amounts of concrete and hoping that someday a solution for those ticking time bombs will be fortuitously stumbled upon. Well, mankind may already have a viable option to this problem and its name is cold fusion (or LENR if you’re a stickler for semantics).
To my knowledge, the ability of cold fusion cells to neutralize radioactive nuclear byproducts and waste was first reported with James Patterson’s Power Cell of the mid 1990s. On the American television Good Morning America in 1997, ABC science editor Michael Guillen had James Patterson prove it. A cup of uranium in water was measured for radioactivity and the Geiger counter measured over 300. In this demonstration, the radioactive water was cycled through Patterson’s cell and the radiation was reduced by 50% in a matter of a few hours. A point of reference, uranium normally has a half-life billions of years. The fact that the Patterson cell was able to neutralize the sample by 50% in such a short period of time is indeed remarkable. This demonstration was recording using time-lapse video but, unfortunately, and somewhat inexplicably, that video is nowhere to be found anywhere on the Internet. However, a transcript of that program is available here. It is mentioned that trials of this technology were to be carried out at the Hanford Site, a nuclear facility dating back to the days of the Manhattan Project, which at one time housed 9 nuclear reactors and 5 plutonium processing complexes. Needless to say, the site is one of the most contaminated nuclear facilities in the world. It is unclear if testing of the Patterson Power Cell every occurred at Hanford and, if so, what the results were.
However, it is known that only 2 years later, in 1999, Dr. George Miley was granted a peer-reviewed U.S. Department of Energy contract for a study to “verify previously tested electrolytic techniques to remediate radioactive nuclides.” As many know, Dr. Miley had at that point been working with James Patterson and his company, CETI for many years, having been hired as a consultant to independently verify Patterson’s work in 1995, the same year he was awarded the prestigious Edward Teller Metal in physics. Dr. Miley’s contract with the DOE was to verify worked previously done, not to merely test a hypothesis for the first time. Unfortunately, this study was never performed because the DOE canceled the funding before the study was even begun. After the funding was originally granted, the DOE convened a review panel of 6 to anonymous reviewers to look over the proposal again! This panel voted against moving ahead with the study. While members of this panel remained officially anonymous, it is reported that one of the reviewers was none other than Dr. John Huizenga, an anti-cold fusion crusader and a member of the DOE review panel that initially rejected cold fusion in 1989. For more details about yet another blatant example of cold fusion repression, see the article about this episode written by the late Dr. Eugene Mallove here.
Besides James Patterson and Dr. Miley, other researchers who have explored the ability of cold fusion cells to neutralize radiation include Widom-Larsen co-author Lewis Larsen. He explores the possibilities in an article written in November of 2008 entitled LENRs for Nuclear Waste Disposal. Unfortunately, one has to be a paying member of the Institute for Science in Society (ISIS) to read the full article, but the link above does give a solid overview including technical details.
Since NASA believes that WLT is the key to explaining to anomalous heat production in cold fusion/LENR cells, one has to wonder if they are also exploring the radiation neutralizing effects of the technology as well, or are they only concerned about their space planes and what not. While it may not be in the scope of NASA’s mission to explore technologies that neutralize radioactive materials, it would be highly irresponsible to all but ignore this aspect of the technology. But, then again, NASA ignored the anomalous heat production in their replication of a Pons-Fleishmann cell in 1989 because they were mostly looking for neutrons, so I wouldn’t not want to assume anything.
Of all the interesting claims regarding cold fusion and nuclear waste remediation, perhaps the most interesting is that of the GeNIE cell of Global Energy Corporation. One of the leading scientists for this company is Dr. Frank Gordon, formerly employed by the US Navy’s SPAWAR. Many probably remember Dr. Gordon from the 2009 presentation at the University of Missouri Twenty-Year History of Lattice-Enabled Nuclear Reactions (LENR) – Hiding in Plain Sight, in which he detailed the Navy’s 20 year history of LENR research, including 23 year peer-reviewed papers. Between the time of that presentation and the shutdown of SPAWAR cold fusion research in late 2011, Dr. Gordon joined the staff of GEC. The GeNIE reactor being developed there is deemed a “hybrid fusion, fast-fission reactor.” This reactor neutralizes radioactive waste by using it as a fuel, without producing hazardous waste itself. The reactor also is able to use natural, unprocessed uranium. The technology behind the reactor is that pioneered by Dr. Gordon and his associates at SPAWAR, as detailed in the presentation referenced above. According to the company’s website, their experiments are repeatable and have been replicated by others. Additionally, the company claims their experiments “provide direct evidence that nuclear reactions are involved, including the production of high-energy neutrons.” No further details are currently available and the above information was posted 6 or 7 months ago, in late 2011. GEC seems to be taking the Piantelli approach and remaining low-key until the i’s have been dotted and the t’s have been crossed. Hopefully, the wait will not be too much longer because the world needs this technology now.
In a video taken in the spring by one Barry Simon of the NANOR cold fusion device at MIT, Dr. Peter Hagelstein was asked if it was true that cold fusion devices could indeed neutralize radiation (see the 9:00 minute mark of the above video). Haglestein applied affirmatively, although he did not specifically qualify if the NANOR possessed this capability. Neither have Rossi or Piantelli discussed whether their cells are able to do this. However, given that this capability is seen in the different types of cells mentioned above it may certainly be the case. Whatever the mechanism that allows cold fusion cells to produce heat by means of a nuclear reaction without producing harmful radiation, is most likely the same mechanism that enables these cells to neutralize radiation produced by nuclear fission in traditional nuclear reactors.
As been pointed out before, the obstacles that face cold fusion currently are now as much about politics, public perception and the ability to get people to “buy in” to it (both literally and figuratively), as they are about the viability of the technology itself. Given that, any additional benefits that it can bring the table, besides virtually inexhaustible, cheap, green energy, will certainly be of benefit. The fact is, cold fusion does face competition in the energy market from both traditional sources and others currently being developed, but it has virtually no competition in terms of its ability to neutralize radiation and radioactive waste. That fact alone makes it worthy of serious consideration and funding, both public and private.
At The Atom Unexplored conference on May 4, Valerio Ciampoli, speaking for Prof. Francesco Piantelli, made the statement that Piantelli’s Nichenergy company would be in a position to talk about commercialization in a couple months, more specifically it was stated: “In this presentation, we present the current state of the research, which at present is only research, and it can be translated in a few months into industrial products.”
Industrial products in “a few months” (see 2:30 to 2:42)
Just a little over a month after the statement at the conference, it has come to light that Prof. Piantelli and his associates have indeed begun to move in that direction. This information was released through Piantelli friend and confident Roy Virgilio on his blog energeticambiente.it. This information comes from two comments from Virgilio made on his blog on June 14 and on June 15. In the first comment, found here, Roy states that Piantelli is now moving forward with a plan to sell shares in his company to the general public, something he stated he would do last year. However, these shares will not be for the company Piantelli incorporated last year, Nichenergy, but for a new subsidiary of this company, Metalenergy. Apparently, Nichenergy is the research and development arm for Piantelli’s work, while Metalenergy will serve as the entity for commercial ventures related to his research. Funds raised through Metalenergy will be used to fund research at Nichenergy, with any future dividends to be paid back to investors through Metalenergy. The shares will be sold in values ranging from €100 to €1000 Euros, or $126 to $1260 US dollars. The initial goal of selling these shares is to raise between €50,000 and €100,000 to fund production of a commercial prototype. Per Roy:
The money will be used directly to fund the laboratory for the development of such generators (already under construction) and will then be rewarded with royalties from the sale of generators themselves or license granted over the whole European territory.
As one can see, the facility to develop these “generators” is apparently already under construction. Current plans call for the development of units in the 100 watt to 7 kW range. While it is not entirely clear where the output of the planned prototype will fit in this range, as part of a answer to a question asked by user @Maxwell61, Roy stated:
Just a few parameters will be defined (and many have already!) Maybe any day you can make anything from that prototype that we will pull out of 5 kW. And not a miracle or strange sequences of reactors in parallel (?) but because it has the mastery of the phenomenon and its laws. But for this there is to wait a little bit (in my opinion not too much).
I believe the assertion here is that since Piantelli clearly understands the mechanism of the reaction, scaling up from the relatively low power levels previously reported to 5 kW will not be problematic. This is similar to the assertions of Dr. George Miley, who, like Piantelli, has been concentrating more on low-level experiments designed to understand the intricacies of the reaction, rather than larger energy outputs that often prove difficult to control as in the case of Andrea Rossi’s earlier manifestations of the e-Cat. Since Roy claims that Piantelli now has “mastery of the phenomenon,” it would appear that Piantelli is able to control the reaction inside his devices. If indeed this is the case, scaling up to commercially viable outputs does seem the next logical step, and one that does not seem that far away. Roy V. states that more details will be forthcoming soon.
I will talk about cold fusion, and this particular project, Saturday, June 16 at Viterbo in the event “Energiainmovimento” from 15.30 to 16.30. You can download the program from Energy in Motion Event in Viterbo.
Professor Piantelli and his associates have taken great pains up until now to avoid making bold claims and have been careful to use language that might be misconstrued by either eager critics or overenthusiastic proponents of cold fusion/LENR technology. He has been particularly tight-lipped about his research and, in fact, practically no details were released for close to a year. In the presentation given at The Atom Unexplored conference in early May, Piantelli’s presentation, as given by Mr. Ciampoli, was particularly harsh against those who have been more forthcoming and even bold in their pronouncements. While the remarks did not name names or point the finger at any particular individual, it is widely believed that these remarks were directed at Andrea Rossi. Apparently Rossi took these remarks to be directed towards him, as he responded to these criticisms in a post on JONPin early June. Given the level of criticism level against Rossi by Piantelli, it would be more than a little disingenuous to now start making similar claims and then provide nothing to back them up. Hopefully, in the coming days the Piantelli group will be able to provide something substantial to validate the assertions made by Roy Virgilio. In all fairness, Francesco Piantelli to this point has done nothing in the past to indicate anything other than that he is an honest, dutiful scientist. Whether his sterling reputation will translate into people willing to spend their money on his shares in his company remains to be seen.
NASA Watch is not officially associated with NASA or any government agency. The site merely reports NASA-related news. However, Mr. Cowing has appeared in the American national media, including television and radio, hundreds of times by his own estimation, and his writings have been referenced by a variety of congressional committees regarding NASA activities. So Mr. Cowing, through his site and other writings, seems to be a defacto NASA watch dog, and one who is taken quite seriously in some quarters. He apparently has received formal training in astrobiology and rocket science.
In any event, given his growing consternation over cold fusion research being done at NASA, Mr. Cowing sent NASA officials a number of questions regarding the ongoing cold fusion/LENR research being done at the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC). After a period of time with his questions going unanswered, Dennis Bushnell and Dr. Joe Zawodny did in fact answer the questions, numbering 10 in total. To read the questions and answers, go here. For the convenience of the readers of this site, I have also taken the liberty of posting them below. However, I would strongly recommend readers view this material at their original source AND provide a comment in the section below the article on that site. As is usually case when the subject of cold fusion comes up, opinions and comments are divided. Unfortunately, Mr. Cowing continues to perpetuate the fairy tales and prejudices that have long been associated with cold fusion. For example, Mr. Cowing continues to make ridiculous and unfounded assertions, such as the results of cold fusion experiments are not reproducible, researchers have not done due diligence to exclude other explanations for their findings, and that cold fusion researchers in aggregate have not been following the rules that govern science.
While I actually find it reassuring that someone like Mr. Cowing is keeping an eye on how tax payer’s dollars are being spent, and find it refreshing that Mr. Cowing is calling for more public disclosure regarding NASA’s ongoing cold fusion/LENR research, I find it absolutely appalling that he is attacking an entire field of research for lack of due diligence when he himself has not done the same. More disturbing still, is that in recent comments Mr. Cowing has resulted to name calling and personal attacks towards a couple of posters who have tried to lead him to the evidence and documentation that he claims does not exist. Unfortunately, this is the same level of hypocrisy and “scientific inquiry” that has been displayed all too often when it comes to opposing this technology.
LENR RESPONSES TO NASA WATCH -provided by Dennis Bushnell, Langley senior scientist and Joseph Zawodny, LENR principal investigator
1. Who is funding this Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) research at LaRC?
Langley is funding LENR research as an initial, exploratory study of a low technology readiness level, high-risk, high-payoff technology through its Creativity & Innovation (C&I) fund and the Center Innovation Fund (CIF).
2. How much has been spent to date on this LENR research and how much will be spent?
The average yearly cost for the approximately 3.5 years of the research thus far is about $222,000 for a total of about $778,000. The research is ongoing, and another $212,000 is budgeted for the remainder of FY 2012.
3. Who is the PI listed on this research?
Dr. Joseph Zawodny
4. What individual(s) made the decision to fund this research?
Langley’s Center Leadership Council (CLC) made the original decision to support the LENR research. The annual C&I continuations of this funding were approved by the Langley Science Council, which is comprised of Langley senior scientists. With regard to CIF, the LaRC Chief Technologist approved funding of LENR research using the CIF peer review process.
5. Was a formal proposal submitted?
A proposal was presented by the PI for consideration to the Center Leadership Council and another proposal was submitted to the Center Innovation Fund.
If so can you provide that proposal?
This documentation reflects the internal deliberative process for Agency decisions. In order to protect the Agency’s decision-making process by ensuring open and frank advice and recommendations are provided to Center leadership, this documentation is not being provided. This documentation may also contain information that would not be released on the basis of other considerations (e.g. intellectual property).
Was this an unsolicited proposal or did LaRC ask the submitter to provide a proposal?
The proposal to the CLC was made as part of an ongoing process of presenting technologies of potential interest to the CLC for decisions on funding and resource allocation. The proposal to the Center Innovation Fund was in response to a broad call for technologies relevant to NASA’s priorities.
6. Was this LENR research peer reviewed prior to being given funding?
It was reviewed initially by the CLC. C&I funding continuations are contingent on an annual peer review by the Langley Science Council. Both the CIF proposal and the C&I continuation proposals were peer reviewed.
If so, please provide a copy of internal reviews and a link to the LaRC process whereby this review was conducted. If no peer review was provided, can you explain what process LaRC used to determine that this research was worth funding?
Internal reviews are not being provided because they reflect the internal deliberative process for Agency decisions. This documentation may also contain information that would not be released on the basis of other considerations (e.g. intellectual property).
7. Did anyone at NASA headquarters had a role in deciding whether this research was to be funded?
If so, who was involved?
8. Does LaRC provide NASA HQ with status reports on this research?
Yes, updates and information in general about CIF projects are provided to NASA HQ. Last fall, Langley briefed the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT), with representatives from the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and the NASA Office of the Chief Engineer present. As part of the general CIF review process, there was also a briefing at Langley, with copies provided to OCT, in June 2011.
9. What publications have resulted from this NASA-funded research? (references/links
A patent application has been published. Reference U.S. Patent Publication Number 2011/0255645.
10. Are contractors, subcontractors, consultants, or advisors employed to conduct this research? If so, please identify these individuals/companies/institutions
An activity was issued under NASA Langley’s cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, VA, to scope an LENR access-to-space rocket. To date, this is the only contract action taken by NASA Langley in support of LENR research.
While these answers do not provide any significant new information, there are a couple of interesting notes. First, we finally are provided a number with regards the amount of money that is being expended by NASA for this research, just over $220,000/year (for the last 3.5 years). This amount is a pittance. At the going rate, it would merely pay the annual salary of 2 theoretical physicists. Secondly, it is claimed that no one at NASA HQ had to approve this funding. Even at MIT apparently funding has to be approved by everyone in the physics department, so I wonder why no one in the top brass at NASA had to give the go ahead. Perhaps the people at NASA are more enlightened and less in need of inserting their egos into scientific decisions. Lastly, we have the name of the company that NASA has contracted to do preliminary studies on their space rocket. Again, it is curious that NASA has taken this step if the research is still in the very preliminary stages. Despite the novelty of the NASA device to test WLT, and regardless of its actual utility, I have the feeling that the information that was recently released (in late May) is old news. If one is subcontracting studies for a space plane, more than likely you are beyond making little tiles glow in the dark.
Last weekend in the United States we celebrated Memorial Day, a national holiday to honor those who have served and lost their lives in the military service to this country. Reading through the various articles to mark and commemorate the occasion, I ran across an article on one of America’s greatest military men, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. “Ike,” as he was affectionately known to many, was a five-star general and Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. He is widely credited with turning the tide in the war in favor of the allies with a bold and sometimes unconventional military strategy. He was elected the 34th President of the United States in 1952 and presided for 8 years over perhaps the most wide-spread period of prosperity in US History, often known as the Fabulous 50’s. Besides being a well-respected military man and two-term president, he also possessed a common-sense, practical wisdom that, along his role of a great general and president, endeared him to many as a sort of a wise grandfather type figure.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
In his presidential farewell address to the American people on January 17, 1961, Ike imparted some very important pieces of wisdom and advice to the American people, and to the world, that seems to have gone largely unheeded, which, unfortunately, is often the case with the wisdom of our elders. Even if we respectfully listen to what we are being told, we do not always fully comprehend. And, If we do comprehend, often we soon forget as more pressing issues of the day take precedent. It was reading articles last weekend that I myself was reminded of the words of this wise and preeminent figure of the 20th Century. .
In Ike’s farewell address, he warned about the rise of the military-industrial complex. While he is widely credited with first popularizing the term, many of its tenets were first laid out in the 1936 book Fascism and Big Business. In short, Eisenhower, the general who presided over the demise of fascism in Europe, was warning about its rise in the United States due to a too cozy relationship between the arms industry and the mechanisms of government and finance. Perhaps because the term was new and unfamiliar, most people did not fully grasp what he was talking about. Yet, in hindsight, he appears to have been a prophet of sorts, as indeed such an arrangement has taken hold and garnered great power and influence.
Much of the root of this problematic and dangerous arrangement can be traced to the protracted cold war with the former Soviet Union. Whether the cold war enabled the military-industrial complex or whether the latter enabled the former is a matter of debate, but there really can be not debate about the fact that the United States has remained on a military footing, in one form or another, for much of the last 75 years. Given this circumstance, it was almost inevitable that a close relationship would develop between industry, government, the military and those entities that finance the whole arrangement.
As Eisenhower saw it, the danger of the military-industrial complex was that resources would be increasingly funneled from the private sector into the production of weapons and arms at the expense of the greater economy and economic development. Wars, unfortunately, are part of the human condition but, in the normal cycle of things wars are fought and then the resources used to conduct war are eventually funneled back into the whole of society as the wars draw to a close. Swords into plowshares. A continuing cycle of war, or a long war, ultimately impoverishes society as a whole because if prevents resources from being spent on few things outside of supporting the mechanisms of war. Of course this arrangement is perfectly acceptable if you are (or employed by) a manufacturer of war implements, a financier lending money to such companies or a politician being paid by either of these entities to help perpetuate the cycle. In the long-run this stunts wider economic development and ultimately has untoward effects on the rest of the society. This was Eisenhower’s concern and, looking around me today, his concern seems to have been perfectly justified. In Eisenhower’s own words:
“A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. Our military organization today bears little relation to that known of any of my predecessors in peacetime, or, indeed, by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Pertinent to the discussions commonly undertaken here on this site, and the pretty much the point of this entire article, Eisenhower went on to describe how the military-industrial complex would impact scientific research and scientific discovery.
“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
I believe Ike was not only wise but a veritable prophet it terms of predicting the untoward effects of the military-industrial complex on the society as a whole, including the scientific establishment. Ironically, the Cold War technically ended (1991) around the same time that cold fusion came into the public consciousness (1989), yet the institutions and practices that it gave rise to still remain firmly entrenched some 2 decades later, with US-led wars over the last decade perhaps giving it new life when perhaps its power and influence should have otherwise greatly diminished. The Soviet Union is said to have collapsed due to its own version the military-industrial complex, and many believe the US is close to suffering the same fate.
Of course, given the influence that both the US and Russia, the remnant of the former Soviet Uniion, have had on shaping the world in years since World War II, it can be reasonably argued that the MIC/MFC has shaped the whole world in the last 7 decades. Not only do we have famous physicists at MIT scuttling research dollars for promising cold fusion research, we have academics in Italy scolding the high school teachers at Pirelli Industrial High School for “corruption of knowledge of young people” in terms of the school’s Athanor experimental cold fusion device.
And while LENR/cold fusion is the matter at hand on this site, and I am attempting to explain some of the reasons why research has been opposed and stifled, one can only imagine the number of other revolutionary technologies that have not been fully developed or pursued because of the influence of the MIC. When looking at the world around me, I am at times struck by how primitive the landscape looks, with power poles sticking out of the ground, wires hanging everywhere, dirty cars spewing poison into the atmosphere, roads and bridges in disrepair, etc. If it sometimes hard to believe we are living in the 21st Century. We may not have listened to Ike, or forgot what he told us, but now it is time we be reminded that we were warned.
Eisenhower Presidential Campaign button circa 1952