Andrea Rossi with Sergio Focardi consulting made news in January with a demonstration of the Rossi design of a nickel hydrogen fueled low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) reactor. The past month has been pretty quiet in much of the world where the noose of established science has no temperament for things not already successfully through its own peer review.
But outside of the science establishment lacking curiosity and vision the press has caught on – which leaves most of the news in foreign languages. Most notable is Italy, Rossi’s and Focardi’s native land is proudly reporting as well the Greek and Swedish press as well as across Europe, and there is a factory in Greece due to run a commercial demonstration later this year.
But for those of us where the science chooses to be blind and offers a nasty treatment for those willing to proceed, the progress comes as welcome news. That brings us to America’s most noteworthy scientist on cold fusion – Edmund Storms.
Dr. Edmund Storms was just back from Chennai, India where the International Conference on Cold Fusion 16 (ICCF-16) took place when James Martinez arranged an interview that played for his Cash-Flow listeners on March 1. The ICCF-16 is a conference where researchers in low-energy nuclear reactions share their most recent results. Mr. Martinez taped the interview in conjunction with 137 Films crew filming their documentary on cold fusion. To be released in late summer, it is expected to make the independent film festival rounds.
Now Dr. Storms is a long-time private researcher in cold fusion and author of “The Science of Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions“. Storms obtained a Ph.D. in radiochemistry from Washington University (St. Louis) and is retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory after thirty-four years of service. His work at Los Alamos involved basic research in the field of high temperature chemistry as applied to materials used in nuclear power and propulsion reactors, including studies of the “cold fusion” effect. Seventy reviewed publications and monographs resulted from Storm’s work at Los Alamos as well as several books, all describing an assortment of material properties.
Storms own cold fusion work has resulted in fifteen presentations to various conferences including the American Chemical Society and American Physics Society. In addition, twenty-one papers have been published including four complete scientific reviews of the field, one published in 1991, another in 1996 and 1998, and the latest in 2000. A critical evaluation of the Pons-Fleischmann Effect was published in 2000. In May 1993, he was invited to testify before a congressional committee about the “cold fusion” effect. In 1998, Wired magazine honored him as one of the 25 people who is making a significant contribution to new ideas.
Dr. Storms is no lightweight, and hasn’t risen to the bait of the cold fusion deniers. Retired and happy to be curious, he must drive the establishment a bit nuts.
Martinez’ interview with Storms has been condensed in text at ColdFusionNow. The full audio podcast is this link running a bit under 24 minutes with a couple of minutes up front of music and introduction. For those interested in the highlights they are as follows:
Storms on the situation of the Rossi and Focardi reactor: “They [Rossi and Focardi] found a way of amplifying the effect to a level that makes it attractive as an industrial source of energy and people in the cold fusion field have been working towards that, but they had not achieved that level of heat production, and so this was both a bit of a surprise and a bit shock, but a bit of a kick to get people moving a little more rapidly now. And it looks like the phenomenon will actually have an application.”
His thoughts on the science status: “We’ve arrived. It’s interesting we’ve arrived in a different car than we thought we were. Cold fusion started out using deuterium and palladium, and then Rossi found that it worked quite well in nickel and light hydrogen.”
On Rossi’s path to discovery: “Rossi hit upon this somewhat by accident. He was using a nickel catalyst to explore ways of making a fuel by combining hydrogen and carbon monoxide and apparently, observed quite by accident, that his [apparatus] was making extra energy. So then he explored it from that point of view and, apparently, over a year or two, amplified the effect.”
“He’s exploring the gas loading area of the field. This is also a region, a method used in the heavy water, or the heavy hydrogen, system. But in this case, it was light hydrogen, ordinary hydrogen and nickel and what happens is quite amazing.”
“You create the right conditions in the nickel, and he has a secret method for doing that, and all you do is add hydrogen to it and it makes huge amounts of energy based upon a nuclear reaction.”
Storm’s thoughts on the secrecy: “Well, you really need a patent, you need to protect your intellectual property. You want to be able to gain some economic benefit from the discovery. So far, they have not gotten a patent, and that’s always been difficult in the cold fusion field because the patent examiners simply don’t believe that it’s real.”
“So, until they get a patent, they’re not revealing how they do it. Now, they’ve been upfront about what they can do and what they promise to do, and so far, they’ve fulfilled these promises. Once they get their patent, then they promise to reveal how they go about doing this.”
Storm’s thoughts about the coverage both where its well covered and not: On the covered side, “The Swedish newspapers, the Italian newspapers, the Greek newspapers, they showed an interest. The American newspapers showed none at all. It’s been on a number of blogs and talked about in a number of chat rooms, but no, it hasn’t reached a level of any serious importance to the American press.”
Not covered, “Mainly because, it is institutionally the belief that cold fusion is not real, or if it is real, it’s so trivial, it’d make no difference to anybody. That’s institutional. It’s the myth that’s in, we’ll call it, the intellectual structure of the United States, and a number of other countries.”
And Storm’s knowledge of national support, “There are a few countries where that’s not true, and Italy is one of them. The government there believes that it’s real, and they’re doing everything they can to develop it. The government in China believes it’s real and they’re doing everything they can to develop it.”
And lastly, Dr. Storms offers this bit of news: “Rossi . . . (has) . . . promised a demonstration in Florida that’s coming up in October. And there will be some people from the U.S. government there watching, and hopefully they will be convinced that it’s real and that will change the attitudes.”
Storms confirms what others have suggested, Rossi has business interests in the U.S. and will try to build at the Florida factory he owns a full one megawatt unit made up of one hundred cells similar to the single cell seen at the Italy demonstration.
For now the news has come in a bit distant and subjective form. While little is known about the technology, Rossi has built up a lot of street type credibility – and there is no motive in sight for some sort of financial or business misbehaving.
This writer isn’t doing a lot of thinking or imagining about the Rossi effort. But there is certainly a discernable feeling of satisfaction that the science so long denigrated has a foothold in the real world of business and industry.
When the orders fill and business reduces the grid demand some in established science are going to be much more busy with the “why weren’t we” while others will be looking for what other cold fusion ideas might go commercial. Not putting your pants down on purpose is lesson well worth repeating – again.