Dr. Miley Re-emerges

Dr. George Miley, affiliate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is set to re-emerge from what seems like winter hibernation.  After announcing in late October (see video, 5:15 mark) that development of his  LENR cell was reaching the stage of commercialization, very little was heard from him.  He did give a report  to cold fusion librarian and advocate Jed Rothwell on the progress of his work, and Dr. Brian Ahern did mention that Dr. Miley’s cell had achieved self-sustain capability in slides from a planned December 7 presentation that he abruptly canceled.  Dr. Ahern has worked for several years in association with the Ames National Laboratory to produce the nano-materials used by Dr. Miley, and reportedly Dr. Ahern himself, in their LENR research.

Dr. Brian Ahern, December 2011, Slide 15

Unfortunately, the last news about Dr. Miley’s research group was that it was disbanding due to both financial constraints and graduate students getting on with their lives.  This seemed a curious and disappointing turn of events given Dr. Miley’s stated optimism about his work and how far along it apparently was.  In multiple posts over the last several months Tom Baccei and myself have wondered aloud as to the fate of the work of the Miley group.

Thankfully, to many of us who continue to watch the unfolding cold fusion saga, Dr. Miley is still actively pursuing  commercialization of his LENR cell.  He is set to give a presentation on March 23 at the Emerging Technologies for Space conference in The Woodlands, Texas, a suburb of Houston.   An abstract of his presentation has been released and can be found here.  It is entitled “A Game-Changing Power Source Based on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENRs).”

Right now, development of Dr. Miley’s cell is centered on providing a replacement power source for NASA space probes.  These probes are powered by what is known as a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), which currently use plutonium-238 (Pu238) as an energy source.  Pu238 is being phased out as a power source for these probes and NASA is in need of a new one.  Dr. Miley feels his cell can provide that.  In October of 2011, Dr. Miley stated:

We are talking to the NASA people about simply putting our own cell right here (pointing to red part of the below diagram) producing heat, the same way as plutonium-239(8), and so this lends itself to a fairly quick adaptation of the unit. 

In October, Dr. Miley felt his cell did need some more development but not a significant amount.  He stated:

At the moment we can run continuously at levels of a few hundred watts.  We would like to go to a level of about 300 watts.” 

Accordingly to the above referenced abstract, the Miley cell can now reliably run at 350 watts/kg.  Admittedly, 350 watts/kg is not a significant amount of power but Dr. Miley feels that this decisively provides proof-of-principle  and…

While our present test units are at lab bench power levels (multi 100s watts), scaling up to RTG power levels seems quite feasible using larger amounts of nano-particles and an improved heat management design.”

While to this point the development of the Miley cell has been with the view as a replacement RTG power source, Dr. Miley felt even in October that there were other potential commercial applications.

“You know each application would have to have a different structure to it to deliver the power.  You know, it can range from hot water heaters, where you don’t convert to electricity, to something that uses electricity where you have something like this.”

As simple and mundane as a water heater sounds, the ability to produce one based on cold fusion/LENR would be a significant milestone in the emergence of this technology.  This idea was recently reiterated by NASA senior scientist Dr. Joseph Zawodny in the NASA video released in January.  Certainly, exotic uses such in space probes, space planes, rocket ships and the like draw interest and can be awe-inspiring, but when the technology can be used in something as ubiquitous (yet important) as a water heater, it will have truly arrived.  Although many people don’t think of this way, current commercial nuclear  reactors are just large water heaters, which produce steam to drive turbines to produce electricity.

Water heaters aside, once again NASA finds itself in the midst of the developing LENR story.  In addition to discussions with Dr. Miley, NASA has also shown in interest in the devices of Andrea Rossi, Francesco Piantelli and, according to this investor’s blog, the NanoSpire LENR device of a one-time senior engineer at Lockheed, Mark LeClair. The co-author of the now “in vogue” Widom-Larsen Theory, Lewis Larsen, reportedly tutored NASA senior scientist Dr. Joseph Zawodny on his theory over the course of 6  months.  Since the upcoming presentation in Texas is focused on emerging space technologies, I cannot imagine NASA representatives will not be present.  The site of the conference is a 1 hour drive from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.

If NASA passes on the Miley device for implantation in its RTGs, hopefully Dr. Miley will be able to find the funding to upscale his device for commercial applications.  He is a scientist, not a businessman and although he has laid out a road map to building a prototype, the road to commercialization is somewhat different and I would surmise he could use the help of a corporate or investment partner to bring his cell to market.  The current power density reported by Dr. Miley for his cell are in line with those claimed by Andrea Rossi for the e-Cat.

As an important note, aside from the use of cold fusion/LENR as a power source, some cell designs have been reported the added benefit of the ability to neutralize radioactive waste from traditional fission reactors.  While Dr. Miley does make this claim regarding his current cell, he did receive peer-reviewed funding from the DOE to study this capability in 1999.  Unfortunately, before his group received even a dime of funding, the grant was revoked after protest by a group of vehement cold fusion critics including Robert Park and John Huizenga. After the grant was approved, the DOE subsequently held a “secret review” of the proposal and funding was subsequently withdrawn (read more).  Robert Park will appear in the upcoming cold fusion film “The Believers.”  I would recommend going to see that film when it is released, and booing loudly whenever he appears.

As a final note, in addition to the planned presentation by Dr. Miley in Texas on March 23, Dr. Y.E. Kim of Purdue University is also scheduled to give a presentation.  Dr. Kim is the author of the Theory of Bose–Einstein condensation mechanism for deuteron-induced nuclear reactions in micro/nano-scale metal grains and particles, another credible LENR explanation (yes, it has been peer-reviewed).  It would appear, according to the slides from Dr. Miley’s presentation at the World Green Symposium in  2011, that this is his preferred theory for the reaction.

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For the latest news and updates see Headlines/Chatterings.

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26 Responses to Dr. Miley Re-emerges

  1. I told Miley to use nano particles. Check out the video.

    http://www.angelfire.com/scifi2/zpt/chaptere.html

  2. Dave Under says:

    I really liked your article.Really thank you! Want more.

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  4. Sandy says:

    Ben: LeClair’s device poses a challenge to the Big Bang hypothesis. Since his device can produce dozens of elements and isotopes at relatively low energies, it is not too difficult to entertain the proposition that the extremely energetic polar jets ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_jet ) of galaxies and quasars can smash atomic particles together with enough force to cause nucleosynthesis. If that is happening, we do not need the Big Bang hypothesis to explain the existence of the universe.

    • alaincoe says:

      the condition of LENR (see Widom Larsen slides on slide share) or of cavitation hot fusion like leClair claims, are very different from star nucleosynthésis.

      about big bang , the biggest argument are geometric, linked to red-shift.
      the microwave background is also a big proof.

      proposed nucleosynthesis is just a fact that stay compatible with that theory.

      bigbang in itself is not much challenged. what is more challenged is proposed inflation, and dark energy.
      dark matter start to be quite coherent, except about what it is.

  5. Sandy says:

    Ben:

    Mark LeClair has described his cavitation-bubble generating device as being 12 inches long and having an inside diameter of 1.25 inches. If the “coiled perforated aluminium plate” that constitutes the device’s core has a shape similar to an auger ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Drill_auger.jpg ) then after a cavitation bubble is formed it might remain in contact with the surface of the (rapidly spinning?) core and be accelerated to higher and higher speeds until it becomes an oblate spheroid ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblate_spheroid and http://www.nanospireinc.com/images/albums/NewAlbum_0ac2f/crumcloseupjpg.jpg ). A rapidly spinning cavitation bubble of that shape would be likely to begin imploding at one or the other of its poles and, because it is spinning, the point of implosion would become a vortex that sucks water into the vortex and then accelerates the water toward an impact with water on the opposite side of the bubble. That impact might be what triggers nucleosynthesis.

    It would be interesting to operate the device for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, et cetera and see if the device generates progressively heavier and heavier atoms. If this does occur then it would indicate that atoms are being accelerated through cavitation bubble collapses again and again and becoming heavier and heavier each time.

    What would happen to the value of the gold held by central banks if LeClair began producing 10 tons of gold each day via artificial nucleosynthesis? LeClair has abandoned his plans to commercialize his technology and I would not be surprised to learn that he had been bought-out by those banks.

    • Sandy says:

      LeClair’s device will produce every element from lithium (3) to californium (98), including plutonium (94). That frightening fact may have provided a “national security” justification for the U.S. Government to suppress LeClair’s technology.

      • Ben says:

        Accordingly to what I have read, which admittedly has been very little, about LeClair’s device the problem with it was that it produced too much radiation. Which on the one hand would mean it worked really, really well but, on the other hand, was too dangerous. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall of ever hearing of any LENR device that was as potentially dangerous as NanoSpire. But, like I said, I have not read that much about it. Even Krivit, who apparently saw a demonstration, came away with the impression that it worked. Of course, he later attacked LeClair for calling the reaction fusion but that is about par for the course with SBK.

        Do you have an additional links about NanoSpire that myself and other readers might be able to reference?

        • alaincoe says:

          yes those cavitation devices look more like Hot Fusion, with the expected neutrons and gamma that are deadly dangerous without usual protection.
          For me it is not LENR. No lattice , too much radiation, very hot and dense in fact .
          It is inertial confinement Hot Fusion.

          I would draw a line to separate LENR to Hot fusion, and LENR definition from the results today, is that is solidstate surface effect, without strong radiations (gamma, neutrons), at local high but reasonable temperature (few thousands degree locally).
          It is probably not fusion but transmutations

          note also that I’m afraid that many of those cavitation experiments might be… doubtful.
          I would expect hot fusionist to jump in that badwagon. anyway not so sure, we have seen so much stupidity in that domain that maybe the cavitation hot fusion is another scandal of scientific consensus.

        • Sandy says:

          Ben: The ShockWave Power Reactors manufactured by Hydro Dynamics, Inc., have spinning cylindrical rotors. “The spinning action generates hydrodynamic cavitation in the rotor cavities away from the metal surfaces” ( http://www.hydrodynamics.com/technology ). These reactors can rapidly heat water to the boiling point but do not cause nucleosynthesis. In contrast, the coiled geometry of the rotor in a LeClair reactor may keep cavitation bubbles in contact with the rotor’s metal surfaces, thereby spinning the bubbles up to much higher speeds. The collapse of these high-speed bubbles may be what causes nucleosynthesis.

          “It Runs on Water” includes a segment about Hydro Dynamics, Inc. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6fxWMA7STo&feature=related ). The devices shown in that segment (beginning at 3 minutes, 9 seconds) are described as pumps; i.e., water flows through them and is heated in the process. In contrast, the water in a LeClair device stays in the device, where the water can be subjected to cavitation again and again. I wonder what would happen if a few drops of mercury were added to the water in a LeClair device. Would the device immediately start producing elements that are heavier than mercury?

  6. Anony Mole says:

    Ben, you say Miley’s team is disbanding, it would be nice to know the source of this information, or at least some tid bit to prove its veracity. Regardless of Miley’s forthcoming 20 minute talk, if his team is coming apart it can only be for one of two reasons; the work is progressing so well that team members are splitting off with the technology, joining commercial enterprises that will strive to produce salable LENR reactors. Or, that the work is failing to progress in spite of the early success accomplished by June of last year and so the team has given up. The team can’t break through the 1kW sustained threshold of a compact containerized unit and so funding has dried up and the team is abandoning the work.

    And speaking of this team, as well as others at other schools, these are college kids, fully enmeshed in the digital age, where are their comments, pontifications and projections? Why don’t we hear of these folks on these forums? It feels like we’re a band of Merry Men ignorantly fighting the good fight here in our tiny Sherwood Forest while World War III is waging just beyond our borders – and we are blissfully unaware of it.

    If you were a grad student, if any of us were grad students, working on the Miley team, and KNEW that this was going to change the world, why would you leave? What is wrong with that picture? The implications are insidiously foreboding.

    • Ben says:

      Read the linked message below and the entire thread below that message from Vortex, where there is a discussion about this. I also e-mailed Jed personally and asked him for some updates on the Miley group in early December and he relayed what I have reported here and what is contained in the link below.

      http://www.mail-archive.com/vortex-l@eskimo.com/msg59264.html

    • kwhilborn says:

      You read this wrong. It stated that was what we had heard, but Gerge Miley is still active on the project. Hope that clears things up for you. Maybe re-read it.

  7. Tom Baccei says:

    What is the Manelas device? Anybody know?

    • Ben says:

      The Manelas device is a purported over-unity device based on Dr. Brian Ahern’s theories of nano-magnetism and energy localization. More information is available here.

  8. kwhilborn says:

    LENR has been confirmed in 100s of laboratories worldwide. The Nickel/Hydrogen version of LENR has been confirmed by at least 16 separate entities, however Dr. George Miley was already on my list of those who confirmed this version. Glad to see he seems ready to prove it to the world. Hopefully he is willing to prove everything a little bit more straightforward.

    Go George! I want my kids to go to a school named after you. George Miley Collegiate Institute has a nice ring to it.

    LENR has been confirmed worldwide, but only 2 entities Andrea Rossi, and Defkalion have ever claimed they can control the reaction. I guess we can now claim George Miley can also control the reaction. That makes 3 entities now.

    Steven Krivit will indeed probably start attacking George Miley now. Steven Krivit has co-authored a $175 book on LENR wich will probably be updated with something more timely and relevant, Steven Krivits website is also about alternative energy. “NewEnergyTimes” may not be a very popular website once this new energy takes hold. I think Mr Krivits agenda is better served by denying LENR despite its benefit for mankind.

    Woot! excellent news. LENR can be controlled…..

  9. Brad Arnold says:

    “The current power density reported by Dr. Miley for his cell are in line with those claimed by Andrea Rossi for the e-Cat.” I suppose this means that Krivit is going to start slandering Dr Miley now.

  10. Ben says:

    Attacks paid for by big business are ‘driving science into a dark era’

    Researchers attending one of the world’s major academic conferences ‘are scared to death of the anti-science lobby’

    Guardian UK – http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/feb/19/science-scepticism-usdomesticpolicy

    Thanks to blogger “Methusala” who posted the link to this article on another forum.

    • psi says:

      Sheer ideology. On the other hand, it does make sense to me that those who oppose the idea of Cold Fusion because its not “science” would embrace AGW because it “is” science. What a lot of baloney. Do a little reading outside the box, friend. Such links don’t help your cause, they only reveal a sheepish ideology.

      • Ben says:

        I am not sure I follow you. I think an academic, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, stating they think science is under attack by “big business” is an interesting story. There are often political pressures in science and people need to get over the notion that science is immune from such. I think Dr. Miley’s experience with the DOE and the withdrawal of his funding in 1999 highlights this. In that same vein, I would also recommend this story, which discusses SOPA-like legislation now being considered for scientific publications. In short, there seems to be a growing undercurrent of dissatisfaction in some quarters of the scientific community about the role of money and political influence in determining “scientific truth.”

  11. psi says:

    Great post, thanks.

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  13. Roger Bird says:

    This should be a lesson to those who get discouraged just because the source of LENR hope goes dark, like Defkalion did recently. LENR is going to happen.

      • Brad Arnold says:

        LENR Ni-H is just too simple and profitable to stifle. If it doesn’t emerge in the US or Europe because the powers of ossification and the status quo stifle it, then it will emerge in either India or China. What I find fascinating is the problem older people have with the changing paradigm – this goes for global warming/GHG emissions, and acceptance of homosexuality too. It is weird the anger directed at me because I am a LENR activist and spreading a message of optomism. The Republicans are rapidly becoming the minority party of the rich old Anglos.

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