Future Energy eNewsMarch 4, 2002
Acoustic Cavitation Bubbles Produce Cold Fusion
DARPA funds an ORNL experiment that causes a "premature
dismissal" by APS Spokesperson, Bob Park but a determined
publication effort by AAAS Science magazine perhaps because
of the attempted suppression.
Read the amazing collection of articles, editorial, and review
on this discovery and the reaction below.
As was the case in 1989, physicists once againcannot
reproduce what chemists (or in this case, nuclear engineers)
It is time for courageous scientists, free of the American
Physical Society's expressed disease of "fear" and "doubt," to
publish their experiments on new, clean energy sources as these
great Oak Ridge National Lab researchers have done.
See Bitmap Attachment:Tabletop fusion diagram (credit: C. Slayden)
SIX SECTIONS fromScience, APS, London's Sunday Times, IRI:
1) "Evidence of Nuclear Emissionfrom Acoustic Cavitation" -Science
2) Science Editorial rebuffsattempt from American Physical Society to
stop publication with "fear" and "doubt" tactics
3) American Physical Society"What's New" preliminary dismissal
of the experiment before publication (entry reprinted below)
4) "Cold fusion 'breakthrough'heralds clean nuclear power" - Sunday Times UK
5) Reviewof "Nuclear Emissions with Cavitating Bubbles" by Dr. Scott Chubb
6) Reference materialfor further information by IRI
1)Evidence for Nuclear Emissions During Acoustic Cavitation
R. P. Taleyarkhan, C. D. West, J. S. Cho, R. T. Lahey Jr.,
R. I. Nigmatulin, R. C. Block
In cavitation experiments with deuterated acetone, tritium decay
activity above background levels was detected. In addition, evidence
for neutron emission near 2.5 million electron volts was also observed,
as would be expected for deuterium-deuterium fusion. Control
experiments with normal acetone did not result in tritium activity or
neutron emissions. Hydrodynamic shock code simulations
supported the observed data and indicated highly compressed, hot
(106 to 107kelvin) bubble implosion conditions, as required for nuclear
Sponsorship of this research by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency is gratefully acknowledged.
See full ORNLScience article for free (in pdf format) released today:
Scienceadvance announcement, (including all of the other links):
"Evidence for Nuclear Reactions in Imploding Bubbles"- Commentary
by Science magazine's F. D. Becchetti
" 'Bubble Fusion' Paper Generates A Tempest in a Beaker"
by Science magazine's Charles Seife
"Bubble Fusion Furor" (may require subscription or password)
2)To Publish or Not to Publish: Publication is the right option. by Donald Kennedy, Editor
Every once in a while, we at Science receive a paper that causes us to exercise particular care in handling, because it may be controversial or because it is important—or both. The paper by Taleyarkhan et al. on p. 1868 of this issue is a case in point. It qualified for careful, responsible treatment on both counts. And its history with us has exposed some of the more unusual challenges that can arise in the publication process.
The paper reports experiments in which sonoluminescence is induced in solutions of deuterated acetone subjected to sound waves and neutron irradiation. These conditions cause bubbles to grow and then implode, locally generating high pressures and temperatures and the emission of sonoluminescent light. The authors present evidence for the production of tritium in the solution, and for neutron emission coincident with the light emission. They cautiously interpret these observations as evidence that deuterium-deuterium fusion occurred in the imploding bubbles. That prospect naturally encouraged us to treat the paper with care.
After the external review process had been completed, we scheduled the paper for publication. Then we were contacted by senior science managers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), who said that certain reservations had developed
about the findings and their interpretation. In a series of telephone and e-mail contacts, they urged that we delay the scheduled publication of the paper. The authors participated in a series of meetings to discuss objections raised by the ORNL managers, including some findings made by a second group of scientists who had been asked to perform additional tests, using the same apparatus but a different detector.
After some negotiation, a compromise was reached in which the authors responded to criticisms and subsequently made some modifications in the text to accommodate them. They also agreed to cite a short non–peer-reviewed communication in which the second group present measurements that disagree in some respects with theirs, along with their own response to it. While these agreements were being reached, Science received communications from two distinguished scientists in this field, raising objections to the paper and urging that we reconsider our plans to publish it. And the matter became even more public on 1 March when Robert Park issued an airy, premature dismissal from the American Physical Society. By this time, it had become clear that a number of people didn’t want us to publish this paper.
I have been asked, "Why are you going forward with a paper attached to so much controversy?" Well, that’s what we do; our mission is to put interesting, potentially important science into public view after ensuring its quality as best as we possibly can. After that, efforts at repetition and reinterpretation can take place out in the open. That’s where it belongs, not in an alternative universe in which anonymity prevails, rumor leaks out, and facts stay inside. It goes without saying that we cannot publish papers with a guarantee that every result is right. We’re not that smart. That is why we are prepared for occasional disappointment when our internal judgments and our processes of external review turn out to be wrong, and a provocative
result is not fully confirmed. What we ARE very sure of is that publication is the right option, even—and perhaps especially—
when there is some controversy.
A reporter also asked me whether this was the only time pressure has been put on Science not to publish a paper. Although this case is exceptional, it is not unique; we have been there before. The motivations for urging us not to publish have varied from one case to another. Often they rest on serious legitimate scientific differences of opinion, although sometimes that is not so clear. In this instance, we see no good reason for abandoning our plans to publish the paper, and we can see no merit whatsoever in the efforts to discredit it in advance. Both the premature critics and those who believe in the result would do well to wait for the scientific process to do its work.
3) What's New - Robert L. Park, Friday, March 1, 02Washington, DC http://www.aps.org/WN/
1. BUBBLE FUSION: A COLLECTIVE GROAN CAN BE HEARD.
A report out of Oak Ridge of d-d fusion events in collapsing bubbles formed by cavitation in deuterated acetone, is scheduled for publication in the March 8 issue of Science magazine. Taleyarkan et al. observe 2.5 MeV neutron peaks, evidence of d-d fusion, correlated with sonoluminescence from collapsing bubbles. Pretty exciting stuff huh? It might be, if the experiment had not been repeated by two experienced nuclear physicists, D. Shapira and M.J. Saltmarsh, using the same apparatus, except for superior neutron detection equipment. They found no evidence for 2.5 MeV neutron emission correlated with sonoluminescence. Any neutron emission was many orders of magnitude too small to account for the tritium production reported by the first group. Although distinguished physicists, fearing a repeat of the cold fusion fiasco 13 years ago, advised against publication, the editor has apparently chosen not only to publish the work, but to do so with unusual fanfare, involving even the cover of Science. Perhaps Science magazine covets the vast readership of Infinite Energy magazine.
Bob Park can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY and THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the American Physical Society or the University, but they should be.
4) Cold fusion 'breakthrough' heralds clean nuclear power
The Sunday Times, UK http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/
Sunday, March 3, 2002
Nuclear scientists will this week announce they may have
achieved a controlled form of cold fusion, a technology
that potentially offers humanity a limitless source of
The researchers are to publish evidence suggesting they
have successfully fused the nuclei of hydrogen atoms, so
recreating the processes that take place within the sun.
Until now the only way to achieve fusion has been through
nuclear weapons or in vast experimental machines that
cost billions of pounds. Both depend on generating
extremely high temperatures.
However, the latest research, by scientists at the
American government's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and
the University of Michigan, was done on a laboratory
bench using relatively simple and cheap equipment at room
The study echoes the work of Professor Martin Fleischmann
and Stanley Pons who, in 1989, announced they had
achieved cold fusion at Southampton University but were
ridiculed when no one could repeat their work.
Fleischmann and Pons made what many now see as a fatal
mistake when they released their results at a press
conference rather than having them scrutinised by other
scientists before publication in an academic journal.
It is understood that Rusi Taleyarkhan from Oak Ridge,
Fred Becchetti from the University of Michigan and their
collaborator, Robert Nigmatulin, of the Russian Academy
of Sciences, have repeated their work and subjected it to
extensive peer review.
If confirmed, the discovery could rank among the most
important since the dawn of the nuclear age. The
scientists are, however, extremely cautious at this
stage, saying only that they have detected all the signs
of fusion rather than categorically confirming it.
Their technique uses pressure waves to generate tiny
bubbles in a solution of acetone that has been infused
with deuterium, a ''heavy'' form of hydrogen extracted
from sea water.
At the heart of most hydrogen atoms is a nucleus
comprising a single proton. Deuterium atoms, however,
have an additional particle, a neutron. This makes them
roughly twice as heavy and slightly unstable.
Physicists have long known that smashing two deuterium
atoms together can fuse them into tritium, a third form
of hydrogen with a proton and two neutrons. This fusion
releases vast amounts of energy. This was the principle
used to create the hydrogen bomb in 1945, but ever since
then scientists have been struggling to find a way to
control the process.
In the latest technique, the sound waves create bubbles
that expand with explosive force. As the wave passes, the
bubbles implode, generating extremely high temperatures.
This process is known as sono-luminescence after the
flashes of light emitted.
Until recently scientists could generate only
temperatures of tens of thousands of degrees, far short
of the sun's 10m Celsius. This appears to have been
solved by ''hitting'' the bubbles with another sound wave
that compresses them so rapidly that temperatures soar
and the deuterium fuses.
An insider said the researchers had detected ''promising
signs of fusion'' including the creation of tritium and,
crucially, the emission of neutrons. The researchers
believe the neutrons have energy levels consistent with
those that would be emitted by deuterium fusion.
This would enable them to escape the fate of Fleischmann
and Pons, whose readings of neutrons enabled them to
claim they had achieved fusion. It later emerged that
these neutrons could have been the results of
Neil Turok, professor of theoretical physics at Cambridge
University, said the results, if confirmed, were
extremely exciting: ''Cold fusion has a bad history but
these laboratories are among the best in the world and
they will have taken every precaution to get it right.''
The research has major implications for other fusion
projects. Britain already hosts the Jet project at Culham
in Oxford, where a machine has been built to research
sustainable nuclear fusion reactions.
This weekend it emerged that Culham had scrapped its own
research into sono-luminescence and other low-tech forms
of fusion after a report from Thornton Greenland, a
former senior scientist, suggesting it was unlikely ever
Greenland said: ''I thought there was too little evidence
to show it would work, but this suggests I was wrong.''
Recently, Lord Sainsbury, the science minister, committed
Britain to joining an international project to build a £2
billion fusion machine called Iter, Latin for ''the
Even this, however, will be able to sustain fusion
reactions for only 16 minutes. A proper fusion reactor
capable of producing power is thought to be 30-50 years
Fleischmann, who now lives near Salisbury, still believes
his results were correct although he regrets allowing
colleagues to press him into publicising them before he
He said: ''I hope they have achieved it. If they have, I
hope people are ready for it this time.''
Dr. Rusi Taleyarkhan (423)576-4735
5) Review of "Nuclear Emissions During Acoustic Cavitation"
IRI Exclusive by Dr. Scott Chubb (cold fusion scientist & IRI Advisor )
Because In any conventional D+D reaction, one of the two proton-neutron pairs is broken, with a proton or neutron coming off with equal probability (essentially), the expected reactions which are,
D+D->proton+tritium, and D+D->neutron+3He,
and these are expected to occur with equal probability.
The hang-up has been that because considerably more tritium has been seen than neutrons, the reaction can not be conventional D+D fusion in most physicists minds. Since the neutrons essentially are free to escape, it should be easy to detect them. Thus, when they are not seen at the expected levels everyone concludes what is seen is not conventional D+D fusion.
In fact, I actually refereed a proposal by one of the people involved with this experiment. It turns out that they know that many of the reactions were not D+D fusion. They were better! In particular, this group observed multiple bubble reactions, in which besides D+D->proton + tritium, they saw a subsequent reaction in which an additional D collided with the tritium, effectively leading to
D+D+D->p+tritium+D->p+4He+neutron (with the neutron being expelled with 14.1 MeV).
It is also possible that these authors saw the additional reaction:
The point is the simple-minded expectation that the D+D fusion reactions, with equal amounts of tritium and neutrons, are involved does not include many more exotic and interesting effects that can occur.
In Cold Fusion, it also is clear that the situation becomes even more exotic in ways that completely invalidate the strict two-body interactions, associated with conventional fusion, where the electromagnetic interaction is not involved, except in the process of overcoming the Coulomb barrier (and the dependence here is assumed to be essentially electrostatic in nature).
I actually spoke to Bob Park about his comments. It turns that in the second "counter experiment" where it was claimed that the 2.5 MeV neutron result was not observed, it is plausible that the experimenters did not see anything at all since they also did not see the 14.1 MeV neutron. What is worse is that their analysis is flawed since they only measured neutrons and did not look for tritium.
This points to the major flaw in the analysis that physicists are making:
Over Simplification. In these experiments, many things can be happening. Everything should be measured.
6) For Further Information, IRI Suggests the Following:
1. Collected Information on Chemical-Nuclear Interactions
by Dr. Edmund Storms 150 page anthology #809
2. Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Educational Workshop
6-hour video with 14 presentations on cold fusion #815
3. Cold Fusion: Fire from Water
1-hour video with graphics, famous actors, & interviews #807
4. Dr. Martin Fleischmann "Cold Fusion: Past, Present, & Future"
90-minute video, lecture by co-discoverer of CF #811
Cold Fusion Timeshttp://world.std.com/~mica/cft.html
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