Scientists have been frustrated trying to duplicate published results ever since Fleishman and Ponds. If fusion really did occur there would be neutrons but none were ever detected. The excess energy that is intermittently detected and in unpredictable quantities cannot be explained by known chemical reactions.

There was a company in NJ I believe by the name of BlackLight energy that theorized the results could be explained by hydrogen energy levels lower than the ground state of 13.6 eV but I think they have been debunked.

There was also extensive cold fusion research in Japan in the 1990s where they were in the process of hypothesizing that the excess energy was due to Transmutation of certain elements in the electrodes due to the intermittent detection of elements that should not have been there but could have been the result of transmutation of original elements.

The Japanese researchers did not understand the exact Transmutation process and had difficulty obtaining samples pure enough to perform the experiments. They attributed the intermittent excess energy to the random surface structure of the electrodes and the purity of the catalytic spread on the surface.

Years have gone by and I was wondering if any progress was made here.

  • $\begingroup$ news.newenergytimes.net $\endgroup$ – Keith McClary Jul 12 '17 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ @KeithMcClary This site does not endorse fringe science in any way. Please replace your link with one from a reputable peer-reviewed journal. $\endgroup$ – probably_someone Jul 12 '17 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ @probably_someone : I don't think there are any peer-reviewed sources. New Energy Times is the best source on what Rossi Ecat, Brillouin Energy, Defkaelion, Blacklight, etc. are up to. Nobody even bothers to debunk this stuff lately. $\endgroup$ – Keith McClary Jul 12 '17 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ @KeithMcClary Yes, but simply leaving a link here without any explanation implies (at least to me, and I think to a number of other readers) that you endorse what's in that link as true, when there are several blatantly false claims on the site (see "Are LENR responsible for the Samsung battery fires?"). $\endgroup$ – probably_someone Jul 12 '17 at 5:41

BlackLight Power, which changed its name to Brilliant Light Power at some point, has to this day never released a commercial product, despite the fact that its founder, Robert Mills, has made several claims that such products were in the works.

This is probably because Mills's claims, namely that there exist energy levels of the hydrogen atom that are lower than the ground state, are both theoretically and experimentally bunk. Experimentally, such a state should produce a hydrogen atom with a smaller radius; we have never observed such an atom. Theoretically, the new electron configurations, which Mills calls "hydrinos," are incompatible with the Schrodinger, Klein-Gordon, and Dirac equations, which have been proven to hold thousands of times, in some cases to one part in $10^{15}$ (source: https://arxiv.org/pdf/0704.0631.pdf, published in Physics Letters A).

As for the Japanese effort, you must be referring to the work of Yoshiaki Arata, who claimed to demonstrate anomalous heat production with a cell made of palladium and zirconium oxides. There has been no sign of any progress on this front since 2008, when the procedure was apparently last demonstrated (https://phys.org/news/2008-05-physicist-real-cold-fusion.html). Problematically, this demonstration was a live, public demonstration, for which the data either was not recorded or does not exist on the Internet. Arata's colleague Akito Takahashi claimed that the live data matched other data published in the J. High Temp. Soc. Japan in Feb/March 2008, but I haven't been able to find the name of the paper, nor does the journal seem to have any sort of publication record on the Internet. So I wouldn't count on that, either.

There's a neat Forbes article written by astrophysicist Ethan Siegel that provides additional detail, including the reasons for the general skepticism surrounding cold fusion (or LENR, which is what they've decided to rebrand their field in an effort to conceal their intention): https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2016/09/23/is-cold-fusion-feasible-or-is-it-a-fraud/#a89ce07a050e.

Interestingly, the Forbes article also mentions a potential source of low-energy fusion that is consistent with the laws of physics: muon-catalyzed fusion. The idea centers around forming atoms where the electrons have been replaced by much heavier muons. These atoms have much smaller radii, which catalyzes nuclear fusion by decreasing the width of the Coulomb barrier. Unfortunately, due to muons' microsecond-scale lifetime (along with a host of other problems, cf. "alpha-sticking problem"), muon-catalyzed fusion is not thought to be a viable energy source.

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