travel & location
by Michael McKubre
Searching for information about ICCF-10 to supplement and trigger my fading memory, I came across a Danish site http://www.difoet.dk/dn_art/d-nyt_73.pdf with words that translated as “ICCF-10:Turning point for cold fusion.”I had not thought of it before but one might reasonably argue this. Ten conferences and a decade and a half in there was a different flavor in Cambridge and after. New powerful players openly entered the field and the scientific standard imposed (literally in some cases) by our Chairman Professor Peter Hagelstein of MIT was greater than any before. Peter can be seen below with (his now wife, then fiancée) Debbie Darago and Vittorio Violante at the banquet. ICCF-10 took place under the theme of “Bravery Misplaced” (see conference poster below) from Sunday, August 24 through Friday, August 29, 2003 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, less than one mile from MIT. Organized at the administrative level by MIT Conference Services, the official group that handles registration and other conference mechanics for MIT professors and other campus groups, we were welcomed by a sign that read: “MIT 10th International Conference on Cold Fusion.” I hope Peter kept that sign. One day perhaps he will use it to help burnish MIT’s reputation in this matter (see GeneMallove’s 55 page report at http://www.infinite-energy.com/images/pdfs/mitcfreport.pdf).
Photo: Debbie Darago, Peter Hagelstein and Vittorio Violanteat the Conference Banquet (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
ICCF-10 Conference Poster.
A useful tradition was established with initial impetus from Hagelstein (later resumed by Dave Nagel) of a “Short Course” intended as an introduction for newcomers to LENR. This was held in a jam-packed smaller conference room all day Sunday, August 24. Most appreciated were the compendious paper hand-outs that were provided by what Gene Mallove called the “Cold Fusion Professors”: John Dash, Peter Hagelstein, Mike McKubre, George Miley, Ed Storms, and Akito Takahashi. The concisely stated course objective was: “to provide an introduction to the field for persons interested in gaining a basic background in the science and technology aspects. Both theoretical and experimental topics will be covered for deuterium and proton based reactions.” The course was well subscribed and attended and was continued at ICCF11 by Jean-Paul Biberian, and later under Nagel’s guidance in slightly evolving form at subsequent conferences.
At the conference proper the hoped-for opportunity to engage in substantive exchange with MIT faculty induced by proximity did not occur. Some individual physicistsor academics may have attended selected talks but did not precipitate dialogue or input (or monologues in either direction). The Press were invited and a number came with one constructive report in the Wall Street Journal, the only mainstream outlet that had consistently maintained, from our perspective, a rational attitude to cold fusion or now CMNS (see below). But given the proximity to major cities and universities, this was well below the hopes and the expectations of the local organizing committee. However, in addition to some very interesting science, several highly auspicious happenings occurred at ICCF10: the creation of our own Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (JCMNS); the attention of the U.S. Department of Energy that ultimately translated into the second review of our field by the agency officially charged with securing the energy future of the U.S.; the open and forceful entry of a new well-funded, well-motivated and highly-competent research and development organization, Energetics Technologies, Inc. The company was good and the weather pleasant as one can see from the bucolic group photo below, taken on the banks of Charles River just downstream from MIT.
The DOE review came about as a result of a two-part thrust from Peter Hagelstein at the technical level, and Randy Hekman at the political. Peter believing (with good reason) that the results of ICCF10 were solid enough to withstand what we knew would be an aggressive DOE review, wrote on September 12, 2003 to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham (1) . In Hagelstein’s words to Abraham: “I propose that you consider the possibility of convening a new review panel to provide an updated recommendation based on the initial tasking provided by Admiral Watkins [in 1989].” It is clear that this letter caused something of a stir at the highest levels of DOE but it is not clear that activity would have moved forward without the serendipitous involvement of Randy Hekman. As with many things in life it is not what you know but who you know. Randy Hekman knew Spencer Abraham and Spencer respected (and had political connection to) Randy. The review was authorized with impetus from the top (Abraham) and “below” (the scientists). Randy Hekman can be seen seated to the very left of the photo below, behind one of our senior statesmen Richard Oriani asking a question of the speaker.
Photo: Richard Oriani at the microphone with Randy Hekman seated behind (photo courtesy:Gene Mallove).
A very big surprise at ICCF10 was the unexpected presentation by Dr. Arik El-Boher of Energetics Technologies Inc., based in New Jersey but with research facilities in Omer, Israel. El-Boher, seen below in a pose I have not seen him in again, was one of about a half-dozen individuals representing the company at ICCF10. It was obvious from his presentation that an intense program of research aimed at power generation was underway in Israel. El-Boher revealed that the company was pursuing four basic approaches: glow discharge deuterium gas systems; heavy water electrolytic cells; gas loaded catalytic cells, and high-pressure cells with ultrasonic wave excitation. Stunning in the presentation was the report of substantial excess power generation and energy gain at useful working temperatures in gas discharge cells, encountering the heat-after-death phenomenon, and the production of tritium. I was sitting next to Martin Fleischmann, who had to leave for the bulk of this talk for medical reasons. When he returned Martin asked me: “What did I miss?” I replied: “The best paper of the conference.” The results, while casually reported, were spectacular! Martin can be seen below in good form and uncustomary hat.
Photo: Arik El-Boher (photo courtesy: Martin Fleischmann).
Photo: Martin Fleischmann with hat (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
The Energetics group was led by two individuals: Dr. Irving Dardik of New Jersey, who had made a name for himself in the treatment of various illnesses using special “SuperWave” or “wave within a wave,” multi-resonant stimulations. According to El-Boher, this type of input power waveform was being used to good effect in the LENR experiments being carried out in Israel. The other was Professor Hermann Branover (now deceased), a world expert in Magneto Hydrodynamics (MHD) who had been tasked to establish the research activity and had selected his former students Shaul Lesin and Arik El-Boher to lead the activity in Branover’s adopted home, Israel. Tasked by whom? The surprising answer was Sidney Kimmel, who had made and lost and made again his fortune in the garment industry and who had benefited significantly (perhaps critically) from Irv Dardik’s “SuperWave” health treatment. Impressed and grateful for the medical result Sidney asked Dardik “what else can SuperWaves do?” Dardik answered “cold fusion.” After due diligence and scrutiny from Branover and Ehud Greenspan (consultant and Professor at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, LBL), Energetics was established. The essence of novelty in the four focus topics reported by El-Boher at ICCF10 was the use of “SuperWave” stimulation in physical systems.
The nature and expected effect of these waves were undefined, at least to the audience at the timeof presentation and many of us were extremely dubious. Using his chairman’s prerogative Peter Hagelstein demanded that Irv Dardik remove the name “SuperWave” from the title of his talk as it sounded “unscientific,” which he believed would harm the credibility of the conference. This Irv refused to do and he withdrew his talk that was intended to precede (and provide context for) Arik El-Boher’s. Even aware of this concern,the credibility of the results presented by El-Boher seriously piqued my interest and my answer to Martin was earnest. The glow discharge method and results reported by El-Boher was clearly a preferred way to go. If high gain could be achieved at high temperature (especially avoiding the finicky-ness of electrochemistry) then this was a clear path to technology. Implications and indications were that Dardik’s “SuperWave” method, whatever it was, had the potential to allow simultaneously high loading and high flux in the electrochemical situation — something we had been struggling at SRI to achieve since reporting the important effect of the flux variable at ICCF5 in 1995.
As a result of this interest I spent considerable time in discussion with Branover (who was an extremely impressive individual), Dardik (equally and differently impressive (2) with whom I became and remain a good friend), Lesin and El-Boher (who became active colleagues although ShaulLesin is no longer in the field). A very important member of the Energetics “hands-on” team was their electrochemist, Tanya Zilov, seen below with Irina Savvatimova. I proceeded directly from Cambridge to New Jersey to confer with members of the team and thence to Manhattan to meet their patron, Sidney Kimmel. Shortly afterwards at Sidney’s behest I left for Israel to meet the full team. In the meeting in Manhattan Sidney asked me what I thought of the Energetics team, their results and the relevance of Irv Dardik’s “SuperWave” ideas to this field. I explained that the team had come so far, so fast, from obscurity to being clear leaders in the field that: “either they were the luckiest group in the world, or had divine guidance, or there was something important to what Irv was saying.” Or perhaps all three? At that point I was not sure but I was extremely interested. This began a decade long engagement and collaboration that ended only when the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance (SKINR) was established under Rob Duncan’s umbrella at “Mizzou” in Columbia, Missouri in April 2012.Since March 2013 SKINR has been led by Graham Hubler, seen below at ICCF10 in his (then) role as head of the Materials and Sensors branch at NRL.
Photo: Irina Savvatimova and Tanya Zilov (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
Photo: Graham Hubler (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
Another new face and force if not burst but perhaps popped onto the scene at ICCF10. Steven B. Krivit, seen below, author with his (then) wife Nadine Winocour of a passable cold fusion book with broad public appeal, presented himself at ICCF10 with a strong desire to “do good.” Peter Hagelstein had commissioned from his personal funds a film crew to document what he anticipated to be an historic occasion. So overwhelmed was Peter with his Chairmanship duties that my colleague Fran Tanzella and I, and Matt Trevithick (entrepreneur on sabbatical and later Energy Partner at Venrock) volunteered to take charge of the film crew and organize suitable interviews. Young Steve (as he seemed), looking for some way to help, tendered his services as interviewer, to which we cheerfully agreed. We muddled through several interviews of minor significance but when it came to Martin Fleischmann the questions Steve directed were so embarrassingly uninformed (perhaps some record remains?) that I took over the interview much to Martin’s obvious relief. But nevertheless, a star was born in the person of Steve Krivit, that would shine for a time and contribute substantially to the field of CMNS, until crashing with the force of ego on the Scylla and Charybdis of Widom & Larsen and Andrea Rossi.
Photo: Steven Krivit (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
The SRI and MIT team had changed course somewhat by ICCF10. Our hope and plan was to decouple the initiating conditions of excess heat production from the trigger. Bolstered by a patent application (now long lapsed thanks, in part, to SAWS(3) ) that identified the conditions necessary for excess heat production in metal lattices, we sought to define and prepare compositions of matter that were quiescent until stimulated. From this basis technology might develop. Focus obviously turned to triggering, specifically the laser triggering of Dennis Letts, seen below, now called the Letts-Cravens Effect— excess heat stimulated by laser light irradiation of cold fusion electrolytic cell cathodes. This effect was independently reported by three outside groups at ICCF10: the SRI group with Peter Hagelstein, Matt Trevithick and Project Cobalt; Ed Storms in New Mexico; and Mitch Swartz in Wellesley, Massachusetts. This conference and this session basically “kicked off” the pursuit of triggers that continues today with increasing urgency although the emphasis on lasers has oddly lapsed but may be in the process of recovering.
Photo: Dennis Letts (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
Peter Hagelstein was ably assisted at ICCF10 by his daughter Jessica, seen below with Francesco Celani. Jessica interned with us for a time at SRI and went on the complete a degree in Chemistry at MIT.Several other new faces appeared at ICCF10. I believe this was Ludwik Kowalski’s first major conference in the field. Ludwik, seen below at lunch, attended several further ICCFs. He went on to self-publish over 400 short articles on the topic of cold fusion, many of which derived from correspondence engaging Ludwik with many of the top people in the field.
Photo: Jessica Hagelstein and Francesco Celani (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
Photo: Ludwik Kowalski (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
ICCF10 was not all “new faces” and several of the “old hands” were well in evidence. Ed Storms can be seen below with Mike Melich, and Scott Chubb in cheerful pose with Martin Fleischmann. Below that we see Vittorio Violante with his wife Giovanna and daughter Tanya. Finally Les Case can be seen below at the podium with his up-scaled “boiler” that he hoped to develop to the point of thermal self-sustainment, a goal he had been vigorously encouraged to pursue by Gene Mallove. Extremely sadly, especially considering the circumstances of both their deaths, Case called up some of us in the field a few weeks before his death claiming to have succeeded in this goal and that “we would all be vindicated.” This was not to be. Worse, speculation exists that Les’ work with nano-nickel to achieve this goal may have contributed to the heart condition that caused his death. We will never know but this is a cautionary tale.
Photo: Ed Storms and Mike Melich (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
Photo: Scott Chubb and Martin Fleischmann (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
Photo: Vittorio, Giovanna and Tanya Violante (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
Photo: Les Case with “hardware” (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
One of the most confounding papers presented at ICCF10 was from the collaboration between two of our oldest, most able and most respected community members, Richard Oriani and John C. Fisher (seen below at the podium). Using Ni and Pd cathodes in LiSO4 dissolved in heavy or light water, and CR-39 particle track detectors, they concluded: “There is a causal relationship between electrolysis and energetic charged particles and that neither Pd nor D2O is essential for the generation of a nuclear reaction.” In light of today’s discussion of Piantelli, Rossi, Parkhomov and the other nickel natural hydrogen claims for excess heat, this statement does not sound as strange today as it did then. But what was their evidence? Fisher has a model for nuclear processes initiated by poly-neutrons that awaits experimental verification. But Oriani, one of the most venerated “classical” materials scientist with huge experimental skill and expertize in the field of hydrogen in metals, had results. One of the most intriguing results, and a reason possibly to invoke Fisher’s poly-neutrons or some other large scale “exotic” cluster, is that detectors outside the electrolytic environment and the cells showed signs of high energy track etching that made it appear as if something nuclear had exploded into multiple fragments only a few mm from the detector! The detector, CR-39, went on to be important in a number of subsequent experiments, particularly at SPAWAR but also at SRI and elsewhere. We came to learn quite a lot about this detection method under the patient tutelage of Andrei Lipson and Alexander Roussetski, but I think it is fair to say that we still have no explanation for the Oriani-Fisher observations.
Photo: Photo: John Fisher (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
A strong feature of ICCF10 was the occurrence of fully functional demonstrations. Conducted “down the street” at MIT proper Mitch Swartz hosted scores of people at a demonstration of a cold fusion cell under active operation and control.This demonstration lasted most of the week and attracted a good deal of interest and discussion. Although something similar was attempted and performed by Dennis Cravens of the Patterson Power cell at ICCF5 in Monaco, this was a bold thing to do and, with Peter’s help, Mitch pulled this off ably. Mitch can be seen below demonstrating his cell to an obviously interested group.
Photo: Mitch Swartz conducting a live demonstration to a group at MIT (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
I commented above on the open, but largely unaccepted, invitation to the press. As noted by Gene Mallove, prior to ICCF10 invitations were sent to: Wall Street Journal; Boston Herald; American Scientist; New Hampshire Magazine; Infinite Energy; New Energy Times. Only one outside journalist attended the meeting sessions and actually did some reporting. That honor goes to Sharon Begley of The Wall Street Journal. (A few other reporters did arrive, but flitted in and then out). Ms. Begley came at Mallove’s urging and wrote a fine commentary in her September 5 “Science Journal” column. Her piece was bannered appropriately: “Cold Fusion Isn't Dead, It's Just Withering from Scientific Neglect.” In summary, she wrote: “What these claims need is critical scrutiny by skeptics. That is how science normally functions. But in Cold Fusion, it isn't. And that's the worst pathology of all.” At another point she wrote, “But the real pathology is the breakdown of the normal channels of scientific communication, with no scientists outside the tight-knit cold fusion tribe bothering to scrutinize its claims.”A surprisingly lucid, informed and accurate report in an influential outlet that was unfortunately largely ignored.
Continuing the tradition established by Prof. Li for the IAC at ICCF9, Prof. Hagelstein made us work. Peter had a clear agenda for a path forward for the field now denominated CMNS. Peter had a vision of a Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, JCMNS, and an International Society, ISCMNS. The primary business of the IAC was readily concluded in designating the Chairman, and thus site, of the next conference. The continental rotation would bring ICCF11 back to Europe. Italy had now hosted two, so a bid by Jean-Paul Biberian was warmly and welcomingly received. With little discussion or opposition Jean-Paul was appointed as future Chair and “god” of the ICCFs with Marseille as the proposed venue. Discussion turned to the establishment of a Society to provide added coherence and coordination.
The need and benefit was generally agreed and Scott Chubb and Vittorio Violante were appointed to look into the establishment of a Society on behalf of the IAC, and to report back to us at ICCF11. The need for a Journal was considered to be of much greater urgency and a robust, healthy and productive discussion occurred as to the type of Journal and Editorial Policy needed. We were fortunate in this discussion in having with us George Miley, cold fusioneer and until 2000 editor-in-chief of the American Nuclear Society's journal Fusion Science and Technology (George can be seen below with Gayle Verner and Mitch Swartz at the banquet). As ICCF10 concluded on Friday morning, Peter Hagelstein,in his last act as ICCF Chair, announced the founding of a peer-reviewed electronic journal for the LENR field, Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. This is a title that had been approved by the IAC at ICCF9 in Beijing (May 2002). An interim website was quickly established at http://cmns.mit.edu, on an MIT-run server (4). The appointed editors of the new journal were:Americas — Peter Hagelstein, Michael McKubre, George Miley, Ed Storms; Europe — Jean-Paul Biberian, Francesco Scaramuzzi; Asia: X.Z. Li, Akito Takahashi. Perhaps unsurprisingly Hagelstein remarked that the new Journal would welcome especially "focused theory papers on new phenomena."
Photo: Gayle Verner, Mitch Swartz and George Miley at the ICCF10 banquet (photo courtesy: Gene Mallove).
In addition to his work in organizing for the next conference, Jean-Paul Biberian with considerable effort, largely single-handed, created the structure that is now JCMNS, one of the greatest assets we have in advancing the field. He took over the role as “Editor in Chief” with the rest of us as members of his Editorial Board (5). For his creative work in arranging and pulling off the technically most robust conference to that date right in the lion’s den with “Bravery Misplaced”, in organizing the IAC to begin the constructive evolution of the field, and going “above and beyond” in personal responsibility and cost, I designate my friend Peter Hagelstein as the hero of ICCF10. Now onwards to Marseilles.
ICCF11 occurred in 2004 between two auspicious days: October 31 (Día de Muertos) and November 5 (Guy Fawkes Day). It was attended by 163 scientists, inventors, engineers, investors, journalists, and reporters from 21 countries in a very pleasant, modern hotel in the heart of downtown Marseilles, within easy walk to the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. This was very much a Biberian family affair which Jean-Paul pulled off with his usual aplomb and contagious good humor. Jean-Paul can be seen below with his young daughter Margot. He provided the entertainment at the Thursday night banquet that was held in the floating club-house restaurant of la Natique (Société Nautique de Marseille) moored at Quai Rive-Neuve in the Vieux-Port of Marseilles since 1889. There Jean-Paul performed interpretive modern dance, a feat of which very few of us would be capable — even fewer the courage to do so. For all these things and more I designate Jean-Paul Biberian as hero of ICCF11.
Photo: Jean-Paul Biberianwith daughter Margot (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
This conference was not quite “business as usual” and included a considerable element of outreach to science students and the local community. Following the tradition established by Peter Hagelstein at ICCF10, the conference commenced with a “cold fusion class” aimed at bringing science students “up to speed” and engaging them in this emerging field. Tuesday’s sessions were held in a lecture room at the University of Marseille-Luminy, attended by numerous students from the University. Both Brian Josephson (1973 Nobel Prize for Physics) and Martin Fleischmann lectured that day. On Thursday evening, we were invited to a reception in the office of the Mayor of Marseilles recognizing ICCF11 and kicking off the International Year of Physics (2005). Both Brian Josephson and Martin Fleischmann were made honorary citizens and given keys to the city of Marseilles. It was nice to get some recognition, a shame that we had to go so far to get it, but where better?
Apart from the students there were not a lot of new faces. One of the premier cold fusion scientists was unable to attend. Yoshiaki Arata from Osaka University was receiving a medal from the Emperor of Japan at the time of the conference. Aratahas been mentioned as possibly Japan’s greatest living physicist, and has received at least one other medal from the Emperor. One “older statesman” Peter Gluck was able to make a rare but very welcome attendance (see photo below) and a group of “old timers” [Frank Gordon, Mike McKubre, Martin Fleischmann and BobSmith] can be seen reinforcing the message of Frank’s T-shirt below. We also have a great shot of “old timer” Mike Melich with relative newcomer Matt Trevithick jointly honoring Nave Nagel’s poster.
Photo: Peter Guck (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
Photo: Frank Gordon, Mike McKubre, Martin Fleischmann and Bob Smith (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
Photo: Mike Melich and Matt Trevithick (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
I attended ICCF11 in the company of Energetics Technologies Inc., headquartered in New Jersey but with research facilities in Omer, Israel. Below can be seen Alison Godfrey, CEO of Energetics Technologies, New Jersey with her husband Irving Dardik, Chief Scientist. After ICCF11 we drove in two cars down to ENEA Frascati for further meetings. A relative newcomer to CMNS, by ICCF11 Energetics had become a world leader. Energetics Technologies was clearly well-funded, with an international staff of Americans, Israelis, scientists from Russia, and others. Very wisely they chose to procure their palladium from Vittorio Violante and they retained topic experts as consultants from around the world. (One of these, Ehud Greenspan, can be seen at the Energetics lecture presented by Arik El-Boher at the University of Marseille-Luminy, immediately preceding that given by Brian Josephson.)
Photo: Alison Godfrey and Irving Dardik (photo courtesy: Mike McKubre).
Photo: Ehud Greenspan at the University of Marseille-Luminy (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
For loading deuterium into palladium, Energetics uses a technique based on the “SuperWave” concept proposed by Irving Dardik. As explained by Dardik in his presentation, SuperWaves exist as waves within waves within waves, fractally nested in a specific non-linear manner designed to stimulate intrinsic oscillatory processes across a wide range of scales. The advantage of these waves in CMNS is that they facilitate loading and interfacial flux simultaneously — both features are needed for the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect. These waves have application in many other areas than CMNS. In the previous year or so, Energetics Technologies reported some of the best energy gains anywhere. Arik El-Boher began to give what would have been an extremely important talk on their latest results (including the “famous ETI-64) but was overtaken by a “super-abundance” of slides (75) and the imminence of Professor Brian Josephson’s much anticipated presentation precisely scheduled for the press.
Josephson made several comments that were considered newsworthy: “Clearly, the scientific community made a big error when it determined back in 1989 that there was nothing to the cold fusion claims”; and “This potentially very important area must now move forward rapidly in order to make up for lost time.” What was true in 2004 is all the more true in 2015. The difference is that it looks likely that the means and serious purpose will soon be made available. On the evening of the “Luminy Lectures” a few of us were treated by our Chairman Jean-Paul Biberian to a uniquely European dining experience. Unlabeled and hidden at the back of a working bookstore a tiny restaurant with perhaps a half dozen tables. We can see below Jean-Paul with Steve Krivit and Peter Hagelstein. Peter and Brian’s wife Carolare seen in the next shot and Brian and I in the last of this set. All in all a delightful meal and a splendid evening. Thank you Jean-Paul, and all.
Photo: Jean-Paul Biberian, Steven Krivit, Peter Hagelstein (photo courtesy: Mike McKubre).
Photo: Peter Hagelstein and Carol Olivier (photo courtesy: Mike McKubre).
Photo: Michael McKubre and Brian Josephson (photo courtesy: Mike McKubre).
Because of Jean-Paul’s more eclectic interests the topics diverged to more esoteric areas than were permitted under the strict rule of Peter Hagelstein’s conference immediately proceeding. This “Chairman’s prerogative” is, I believe, one of the strengths of the autonomy that each Chairman wields at his (or in the future I hope her) conference. This would seem particularly important in an emerging field for which the boundaries are not defined. At ICCF11 we were treated to a session on “strange radiation” and a very good lecture on old-fashioned alchemy titled “Evidences of LENR type processes in alchemical transmutation” by Joaquin Perez-Pariente, a well-known and well-respected scientist in Spain. The case was argued that some of what we were seeing may have been seen before, and that we might learn from the past. I doubt that any were sufficiently convinced to overcome their native lethargy and fear of ridicule but it was an interesting perspective to hear.
In a similar vein, had it not been for Jean-Paul I would not have known that considerable work is being done in the area of “strange radiation.” The Russians, especially at RECOM, a Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” spinoff company, have been doing a lot of work investigating the phenomenon produced by exploding a wire or foil in water or in an aqueous liquid. The Russians seem to feel that this “strange” radiation consists of magnetic monopoles that have been postulated to exist but have never been observed. There were eight presentations at ICCF11 on “strange” radiation and/or magnetic monopoles. Several groups in France are involved in this research: Georges Lochak and Henri Lehn at the Louis de Broglie Foundation in Paris; Michel Rambaut, retired from the French Atomic Energy Commission is doing some work. In addition, Tetsuo Sawada from the Nihon University Institute of Quantum Science in Japan presented on this topic. As Jim Corey noted in his ICCF11 trip report (6): “ I don’t know what all this has to do with cold fusion, but it certainly was interesting.”
Following on from the initiative started by Peter Hagelstein’s IAC at ICCF10, on Monday evening Scott Chubb, Akito Takahashi, Vittorio Violante, and William Collis provided an overview of the history and evolution of a new political/scientific development: the formation of a new scientific society, the International Society of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science ( www.iscmns.org ). Scott and Vittorio had been charged in Cambridge to look into the establishment of a Society. Akito had been elected first President of the ISCMNS at the 5th Asti Workshop in March 2004 and was interested in coordinating the International Society with the Japanese regional one that already was operational. Bill Collis was influential, perhaps instrumental in overcoming the logistical issues and the associated society (the ISCMNS) held its first formal meeting in Marseilles, immediately following the presentations on November 1, 2004.
This represented a big step forward for which the four leaders [Collis, Chubb, Takahashi and Violante] deserve much credit. As reported by Scott Chubb (7): “It is worthwhile to note that as in the case of a number of other societies, the ISCMNS has been created to foster both: 1) The dissemination of scientific information about a particular field; and 2) Increased funding for scientific research in this field. In order to minimize potential problems in enlisting support for the new society, the organizers deliberately decided to select a new name for the Society that seems to appropriately match the relevant scientific disciplines that appear to be involved, as opposed to using an alternative name (such as cold fusion) that not only has failed to represent the relevant science but has (as a consequence of having been used previously) impaired relevant scientific discourse.” I am not sure if Scott or his quoted “organizers” were aware that the title CMNS was coined by the ICCF9 IAC in Beijing but this was the intended and welcome use of the term. We don’t have a photo of Scott Chubb at the conference but have a very nice photo of his Uncle Talbot seen below.
Photo: Talbot Chubb (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
The IAC met in Marseilles to appoint a Chairman and location for the next conference ICCF12. The continental rotation would bring us back to Asia/West-Pacific. Having hosted the last rotation, China was “off the hook” and all eyes turned back to Japan. As senior statesman, member of the IAC and new President of the ISCMNS Professor Takahashi agreed to form an exploration committee and we retired, with no new tasks, confident that the next conference was in very capable hands. Despite the entrance into the field of new ideas, energy and money (specifically from Energetics), and the entrance of a new player for coordination support and funding (ISCMS) 2004 and 2005 were “doldrum years” for CMNS where overall funding and interest were low. Organizing ICCF12 in this climate was not going to be easy, but we left the task in good hands and our Japanese colleagues achieved masterfully.
ICCF12 took place between November 27 and December 2, 2005, in the Shin Yokohama Prince Hotel, Yokohama, Japan under the Chairmanship of Akito Takahashi (Osaka University) with co-Chairmen Ken-ichiro Ota (Yokohama National University) and Yasuhiro Iwamura (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries). As indicated at ICCF11 by the then new Chairman of ISCMNS, and now Chairman of ICCF12, this was the first conference operated under the ISCMNS banner. Takahashi opened the conference with a keynote review titled: “Progress in Condensed Matter Nuclear Science.” ICCF12 was sponsored by the International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ISCMNS), the Thermal and Electric Energy Technology Foundation (TEET), and the Japan Coherent Fusion Research Society (JCF). Consistent with ICCF10 and ICCF11, the organizers of ICCF12 published their conference Proceedings, through World Scientific.(8) Antonio Spallone can be seen below at the ISCMNS registration desk with a very welcome re-visitor Kazuaki Matsui (formerly Director of the R&D Center for New Hydrogen Energy in Sapporo, now representing one of the other sponsors, TEET). We have a nice shot of the two ISCMNS organizers Akito Takahashi and Bill Collis below.
Photo: Antonio Spallone and Kazuaki Matsui at the ISCMNS registration desk (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
Photo: Akito Takahashi and Bill Collis (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
As might be expected from the location, our Japanese colleagues contributed a number of highly interesting talks. In the opinion of Scott Chubb writing for Infinite Energy (9): “ Yoshiaki Arata presented the most important talk of ICCF12. In it, he described an important breakthrough, involving a variant of the conventional "double-structure" (DS) cell that he and Y-C. Zhang used previously to produce excess heat, helium-4, and helium-3 (Proc. Jap. Acad. B, 73, 62-7 (1997), Proc. Jap. Acad. B, 73, 1-6 (1997)), involving gas- (as opposed to electrolytic-) loading. An important observation, which helped them make this breakthrough, is that the key heat-producing reaction takes place in regions that contain smaller (Pd-black) particles that were separated from the portions of their cells that involved electrolysis. They also made a second important observation, involving the identification of a protocol, from their initial DS cell work: That it is possible to create extremely high pressures of D2 gas (> 10,000 atmospheres) electrolytically, in regions that are not directly related to the production of heat.” We have a nice picture of Prof. Arata and his wife at the banquet where we were treated to a wonderful display of Taiko Drums. Tom Passell and Ed Storms can be see below in less relaxed mode enjoying the drumming.
Photo: Professor Arata and his wife at the ICCF12 banquet (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
Photo: Tom Passell and Ed Storms enjoying the Taiko drums (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
Jiro Kasagi continued his important work studying unexpectedly large fusion rates and cross-sections in experiments involving collisions that result when lower energy deuterons strike deuterated targets. During ICCF12, he discussed new results associated with d+d reactions in different materials and evidence for multi-body d+d+d reactions. This has several important implications. First it tells us that the DD interaction process does change as the energy is reduced. Second, the three-body result suggests that two D’s in a host matrix may spend a significant fraction of their time within easy tunneling distance of each other where they can be struck simultaneously by an incoming deuteron. Third, when parameterized as an electron screening effect, the screening levels needed to explain Kasagi’s observed reaction rates exceed an astonishing 300 eV. (10) All very interesting information, and clearly CMNS, but nobody was quite sure how this related to the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect. Kasagi can be seen below between Peter Hagelstein and Jim Gimlett (infrequent ICCF visitor and now DARPA Program Manager).
Photo: Peter Hagelstein, Jiro Kasagi and Jim Gimlett(photo courtesy: David Nagel).
Tadahiko Mizuno (Hokkaido University — seen below with an Hiroshi Yamada Japanese scientist) described the history and effects involved with a particular glow discharge experiment that apparently led to a form of positive-feedback, run-away event, in which the cathode overheated and exploded. From details associated with the explosion Mizuno was able to calculate that from an initial input energy of 300 J, the discharge-induced energy (in the form of output heat plus explosive energy) was approximately 0.24 MJ. It was difficult to isolate potential artifacts involving possible migration of material from regions external to the experiment from materials that could be relevant to transmutation reactions associated with the experiment, as a result of the explosion. Nevertheless Mizuno suggested that anomalous deposits of Ca, S, and other elements appeared on his tungsten cathode. As in most situations involving LENR, he observed no appreciable radioactivity or high-energy particles.
Photo: Tadahiko Mizuno and Prof. Hiroshi Yamada (now retired from Iwate University) scientist (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
Also impressing Scott Chubb and reinforcing the impression created at ICCF10 and revealed further at ICCF 11: “The next most important results were presented in two related presentations, a ssociated with work at the Israeli company Energetics, Ltd. and the Italian IFN Laboratory, ENEA, Frascati. In the first of these talks, Arik El-Boher from Energetics provided a detailed discussion of new results associated with a loading technique, described initially at ICCF10 and subsequently at ICCF11, that apparently also can be used to create excess heat in a nearly reproducible fashion. The innovative step in their work that appears to make this possible involves a form of non-linear pulsing of the applied voltages that are used to load the electrode (either in electrolytic loading or in glow discharge experiments).”
By this time I was working closely with the Energetics-ENEA team of Dardik and Violante and it was clear empirically that the multi-frequency stimulation described by Dardik as “SuperWaves” exhibited extraordinary facility to create loading, flux, and excess heat. Both during ICCF11 and ICCF12 the Israeli group reported large amounts of excess power in which output power is as much as 25 times larger than input power in the now famous experiment ETI-64. They had also observed the phenomenon of "heat after death" (in which excess power continues following cessation of electrical stimulation). During ICCF11, El-Boher reported that they had found tritium in one of their electrolytic “SuperWave” experiments, a result later confirmed independently at SRI and ENEA. As noted by Scott Chubb: “During ICCF12, El-Boher reported significant improvements in their ability to reproduce excess heat. In particular, he reported that they could reproduce excess heat, effectively, with an efficiency of approximately 80% (eight out of ten times). Beginning during ICCF11, and continuing to the present time, Energetics has been involved with collaborations involving the Italian IFN Laboratory, ENEA Frascati, and SRI. In particular, Energetics has been using electrodes that were provided by Vittorio Violante from ENEA Frascati, Italy).”
Russian scientists were well represented at ICCF12 (Andrei Lipson alone was author or co-author of six papers in the proceedings). One Russian work that particularly caught my eye and the imaginations of Peter Hagelstein and Scott Chubb was the claim of an “X-ray laser” reported by Alexander Karabut (FSUE – “LUCH”). In his ICCF12 report Chubb noted: “Karabut described similar experiments, in which H2, D2, or Kr was discharged in the presence of a number of different cathode samples (made from Al, Sc, Ti, Ni, Nb, Zr, Mo, Pd, Ta, W, Pt), again with pulsed currents (again up to 500 mA) and discharge voltages in the same (500-2,500 V) range. In an invited talk (alluded to above), he observed X-rays that apparently were being created through processes that were initiated during the discharge process but persisted for periods as long as 0.1 s after the discharge current had been turned off. The associated process appears to result in the generation of coherent "beams" of X-rays (104 beams per second and 109 photons per beam) that he suggests involve a form of X-ray lasing phenomenon. (He explicitly referred to the beams as being the output of an X-ray laser.)” Karabut can be seen below with the Russian facilitator Natalya Famina, who attended several ICCFs and was very helpful in translation.
Photo: Alexander Karabut and Natalya Famina(photo courtesy: David Nagel).
Many of the experimental reports at ICCF12 were predicated on the important role of deuterium mass flux in initiating or driving CMNS processes. Yasuhiro Iwamura (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) presented more data on transmutations of Cs to Pr, Ba to Sm, and Sr to Mo, partially confirmed using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry, at the SPring-8 synchrotron facility. Variants of this approach were presented by Narita, Kitamura, and Yamada but with somewhat varying results. Andrei Lipson reported additional results involving repetitive loading and deloading of H into Pd/PdOstructures that suggested the onset of a potential 70°K (and possibly higher temperature) form of superconductivity. Lipson repetitively introduced and removed residual H from samples electrolytically. His conjecture (somewhat supported by thermal desorption analysis) is that H remains behind at the essentially 1-dimensional defects of dislocations cores, in a structure that may have some properties of metallic hydrogen. Measurements of resistance and magnetic susceptibility were performed that confirmed that diamagnetic response and conductivity were present consistent with the onset of a form of type-II superconductivity at 70°K, through a highly anisotropic form of conduction (and electron-phonon coupling). Lipson used this concept to develop a novel Pd/carbon nano-tube composite that was later explored successfully for excess heat production at Energetics and SRI. Andrei Lipson can be seen below at the conference. Of all of the heroes that have fallen on the pathway to CMNS I probably miss Andrei the most, as a friend, a supporter, and as a deeply insightful and thoroughly capable scientist.
Photo: Andrei Lipson (photo courtesy: David Nagel).
The situation of the IAC was slightly strained at ICCF12 for several reasons. First the newly created ISCMNS asserted as one of its reasons for its existence to take charge of assuring the continuity of the ICCF conference series and to provide the funds and organizational structure for this purpose. This had hitherto been essentially the sole role of the IAC and the logic was in any event slightly backwards since the ISCMNS came into existence in both name and function on the recommendation and tasking of the IAC. Not that any of us minded as by now the job for some of us was getting old. The question was: “How effective would the ISCMNS be?” The ISCMNS had contributed a small amount of funding for ICCF11 and, under Professor Takahashi’s able leadership had successfully pulled off ICCF12. So far so good but none of us were willing to risk the one coherent factor in all of cold fusion and CMNS, the ICCF conference series and its attendant record of proceedings, to an untried body with untested leadership.
The second issue was location. The established continental rotation would take the conference back to the Americas but no particular group or individual from the United States had expressed interest in sponsoring ICCF13 and we were short of options. One problem that had been discussed at previous IAC meetings was the issue of Russia. Where is it? When the rotation turned to Asia it was not considered Asian (although it is probably the largest Asian country) and when the rotation turns to Europe it is not considered European (ditto). Russian scientists have contributed a great deal to our community and Yuri Bazhutov had been organizing a modestly sized but successful conference annually on the Black Sea since 1991, several of which I had attended and greatly enjoyed. Obviously Russia had the demonstrated capacity to organize a conference and deserved the opportunity. Clearly Russia is not in the “Americas” but could we consider it as a special case?
The primary organizer of the Russian effort, Yuri Bazhutov, was unable to attend ICCF12 and it was not possible to finalize the schedule for ICCF13. However, the IAC did consider an alternative proposal by Professor David Nagel (of George Washington University) that was consistent with the guideline of requiring that the conference occur before the late spring or early summer of 2007 and that the subsequent ICCF conference (ICCF14) take place in the American hemisphere 12 to 18 months after ICCF13. In particular, Professor Nagel proposed that if it does not appear to be feasible for the Russian group to host ICCF13 before October 2007, the Russian group might consider hosting ICCF14 a year later (October 2008), while he would organize ICCF13 for late spring or early summer 2007, in Washington, D.C. This slightly ambiguous but redundant solution was accepted by the IAC.
It was decided that Professor Takahashi, still Chairman of the IAC as a new Chair had not been appointed, formally communicate with Yuri Bazhutov and the local organizing committee from Russia by the end of February 2006 about the discussions that had taken place. In particular, the IAC requested that Professor Takahashi indicate the consensus of the IAC was to schedule ICCF13 for the spring or early Summer of 2007. If, as a result of cost, weather, and/or related or additional factors the timing would be considerably delayed then the committee would consider an alternative proposal that the Russians delay hosting until ICCF14, at a time between 12 and 18 months after an ICCF13 meeting in Washington, D.C. to be organized by Dave Nagel.
So, from a condition of dearth we came to plenty. For the first time ever two Chairmen had been identified with the second standing ready to relieve the first should the need arise. But the need did not occur and Yuri Bazhutov was able to arrange a beautiful and memorable conference on the shores of the Black Sea in late June, 2007. This was nearly 20 months after ICCF12 — a timing only slightly longer than the IAC would have preferred — and it steered us well clear of the Russian winter. I nominate Prof.Akito Takahashi as hero of ICCF12, for his skilled organization of the conference, his leadership in bridging the gap to ICCF13, and his cardinal leadership of ISCMNS. It is still too early to see where this last experiment will end. Perhaps we will need to wait on this conclusion until we have a Society of 3000 or 30,000 as modern major scientific societies are, rather than 300. But now it was onwards to Sochi.
See full text of letter in Infinite Energy, Issue 52, Page 45.
Irv Dardik was awarded the Preparata Medal at ICCF14.
MIT no longer hosts the Journal which can be found at http://www.iscmns.org/CMNS/publications.htm
This board now comprises: Hagelstein, Li, McKubre, Miley, Storms.
http://newenergytimes.com/v2/conferences/2004/ICCF11/ICCF11-2005-CoreyJim-TripReport.pdf Thanks to Jim for his report and to NET for this quote and much of the material in this paragraph and some in others.
The “tradition” of publishing ICCF proceedings in consistent form using World Scientific was established by Peter Hagelstein at ICCF10 and continued by Jean-Paul Biberian at ICCF11. The ICCF12 proceedings were the last in this format. This is slightly sad as the World Scientific format was extremely professional looking and having all volumes the same looks good on the bookshelf.
Electron “screening” levels up to 800 eV were later reported by this same group and others.