Really do not understand how this patent was granted given the decades of prior art.
I came across the video and reports appearing later in this post which are interest not only because of the subject matter, but that they originate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was MIT which issued the report which irrevocably damaged the reputation and claims of discovery by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons within the United States and the greater community of scientists and general public.
Literature surrounding table-top nuclear pheomenae fusion suggests that investigation into the phenomenon first began with Dr. Tandberg (Sweden, 1927) whose electrochemical cell construction was (unknowingly) used by Fleischmann and Pons sixty-two years later.
In 1887 Heinrich Hertz observed that sparks were emitted from a piece of metal struck by ultraviolet light. In 1927 Albert Einstein came up with an explanation of what became known as the photoelectric effect. A hundred and twenty-seven years after Hertz’s discovery, Bell Laboratories built the direct ancestors of today’s solar cells to power spacecraft.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
— Arthur Schopenhauer
The more that I read the more it is revealed that the laws of physics, reason, and common sense can be altered when money enters the picture (not unlike how money can cause water to run uphill in the American west). The financial assault on reason is especially penurious as we are living within the unfolding of history. People living during the years between discovery of the acceptance of research by Galileo, Leeuwenhoek, or the Wright Brothers, may have felt the same way.
Billions spent on Big Science fusion research a relative pittance spent on examining something which may possibly be on a par with the Peltier-Seebeck, Photoelectric, or other now better understood nuclear-level effects.
Separating the wheat from the chaff on-line isn’t easy. I have found myself looking at posts referencing UFOs, the fourth Reich (don’t ask), Yeti vs. Bear videos, and more. I believe that this will change with time. The petroleum industry is the largest and wealthiest industry in the history of mankind. It is unlikely that they will allow their hegemony over the world’s energy economy to be eroded by any technology that they do not control.
The videos on this page are interesting and worth watching.
ITP • Tisch School of the Arts
1839 – Nineteen-year-old Edmund Becquerel, a French experimental physicist, discovered the photovoltaic effect with two electrodes in an electrochemical cell.
1887 The photoelectric effect was first observed by Heinrich Hertz.
In 1905 Einstein created the mathematical and theoretical framework to explain the photoelectric effect.
In 1921 Einstein received a Nobel Prize, “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect“.
1954 Bell Labs (New Jersey) developed the direct ancestor the silicon solar cell.
1955 – Western Electric licensed commercial solar cell technologies. Hoffman Electronics-Semiconductor Division created a 2% efficient commercial solar cell for $25/cell or $1,785/Watt.
[flowplayer src=”http://www.terezakis.me/video/cosmic-man-1959-pv.mp4″ width=”636 x 366″]
“12 Volts from one reflector? Do you know what this could mean?”
“It means that if we knew enough about that electrical field, we could operate every appliance in Oak Ridge by sunlight.”
“[Do] you mean it converts light into electric current just like that?”
“Just like that.” – Cosmic Man, 1959
2013 – Fossil fuel businesses introduce legislation in nineteen states to curb the use of photovoltaic/renewable technology.
It has taken over one hundred and seventy-five years for the observations of a nineteen year-old electrochemical experimenter-scientist-tinkerer to develop into a technology which has begun to threaten the hegemony of petroleum-based public utilities.
We can only wonder about other discoveries which languish at the periphery of physics waiting to be developed for the betterment of humankind. I’m not quite certain why the discussion of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) causes a problem in so many areas: many common day events of our physical world exist due to sub-atomic actions occurring at room temperatures.
Since the photoelectric effect took nearly 200 years to become a useful technology, it doesn’t seem far-fetched that something positive will come from the observed, poorly understood phenomena known as Cold Fusion. If the investor in the Fortune article below is correct, we may see something truly marvelous in a very near future:
The National Ignition Project(NIF) began construction in 1997 under the Clinton Administration. It was (and still is) an attempt to duplicate the fusion process by which our sun produces energy. The accepted, current, traditional approach requires the creation, containment, and manipulation of plasma (fourth state of matter) at temperatures between 100 million (NIF) and 150 million (TOKAMAK) degrees Centigrade (90,000,032 F and 270,000,032 F) and pressures 100 billion times that of earth’s atmosphere.
Creating and controlling these conditions has required a substantial amount of new technology to be invented, developed and implemented. Constructing the project also required a substantial, long-term investment in growing and maintaining the physical and intellectual infrastructure. Constructed at a cost of $3.5 billion dollars, the NIF currently employs a thousand people and has an annual budget of $140,000,000. With its hardware occupying a building ten-stories high and three football fields long, this is one of the larger science experiments ever undertaken by man. While the United States has been working on it’s approach to fusion, other nations have invested a combined $20 billion dollars on a different approach to fusion the called the TOKAMAK:
What started as a civilian project with military undertones will be transferred to military control for weapons development.
Where the TOKAMAK uses a dynamic toroidal suspension of plasma for fusion experiments the National Ignition Facility’s plan is to use successive one shot technique to generate power, not dissimilar from the model of a one-cylinder piston engine (just a lot faster).
As of April 20, 2013 the National Ignition Facility has failed to yield any ash (Helium), hasn’t been turned on past one third power, and has some significant operational problems:
The managers of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a giant laser fusion lab in California, have admitted to Congress that they don’t understand why the $3.5 billion machine is not working. And they cannot guarantee that it will ever work.
“At present, it is too early to assess whether or not ignition can be achieved at the National Ignition Facility,” wrote Thomas P. D’Agostino, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in a report requested by Congress that was submitted last week.
$24 billion dollars invested in hot fusion research — without any demonstrable nuclear by-products or yield of energy in excess of system input. That’s a lot of money invested no matter what the spin-off technologies produced.
Enter/re-enter a different conversation. In 1985 two electrochemists experienced an event which burnt a hole in their concrete floor and made a general mess of their lab. Intrigued, they invested $100k of their own money to continue their research into this phenomenon. What they didn’t know at the time was that this anomaly had been seen before.
In 1927 Swedish scientist J. Tandberg applied for a patent, “to produce helium and useful reaction energy.” His claim was that he had discovered a method to fuse of Hydrogen into Helium within an electrolytic cell using Palladium electrodes. His patent was denied as he could not adequately explain the process. Sixty-two years later (1989) at the University of Utah, Fleischmann and Pons also used Palladium as an electrode in their experiments.
Fleischmann and Pons held a press conference announcing that they had created a process which resulted in heat in excess with respect to the amount of energy that was applied to a closed system at room-temperature and pressure. They went on to state that the experiment had produced signatures of a nuclear event including the presence of Helium, neutrons, and Tritium. The press termed their work “cold fusion.”
At the time, Martin Fleischmann was one of the world’s most respected elecrochemists who at one time held the Farady Chair of Chemistry at the University of Southampton where he had been a professor. Stanly Pons earned is Ph.D. in Chemistry under Fleischmann.
What happened afterwards isn’t so dissimilar to what happened to van Leeuwenhoek when he announced the presence of single-celled organisms, or the refusal of the press to publish news of the Wright Brothers heavier than air flight.
What was different was the campaign to discredit their research at the highest levels of government and academia. Eugene Mallove was originally a science writer at MIT, which published results which seriously damaged the credibility of Fleischmann and Pons research. After seeing the original data from MIT and that which was published, Mallove resigned from his position at MIT in protest.
Eugene Mallove, controversial and outspoken critic of mainstream opinion, was murdered in 2004.
That which started out being termed cold-fusion is now referenced as a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, Lattice Enhanced Nuclear Reaction, Muon-catalyzed fusion (μCF), Sono-fusion (fusion through cavitation), and a few other terms, all once considered fringe or junk science have been heavily published and continue to be researched.