It has been posed that a major criterion for evaluating theory is “comparison with the observations we expect it to ‘explain'”, such as
1) A failure to observe intense penetrating radiations.
2) A failure to observe secondary hot reactions (recoil etc.)
3) Why the reaction takes place mainly outside the bulk.
4) How tritium / neutrons are produced.
5) How energy is transmitted to the lattice as heat.
6) How the above can occur in both light and heavy hydrogen systems.
7) Iwamura’s transmutations.
I have studied LENR now for 26 years. I found the difficulty in creating the effect very frustrating. Most of my attempts failed. When a sample made energy, it seemed no different from the samples that did nothing. Finding an explanation for this difference became my goal. Use of trial and error was not practical because I did not have the resources to run the required large number of experiments.
I turned to the explanations that were being proposed and found that they ignored the unique conditions required to initiate the nuclear reaction and focused on the nuclear process using selected behavior. In other words, they were useless in showing me how to make success more reliable.
Having a chemical background, my first question was, “What was unique about the material that could cause a nuclear reaction”? After all, for over 100 years, scientists failed to detect any indication that a nuclear reaction could be affected by the chemical environment no matter how extreme the conditions and no matter how hard they looked. Clearly, a very rare and unique condition had to be created. In 1996, I identified this condition as the nuclear active environment (NAE).
Once the NAE is accepted, the question has to focus on where in the material this rare and unique condition is located and how can it be created.
Obviously, the condition is not part of the structure normally present in all materials, such as vacancies or dislocations. If these common conditions were the NAE, LENR would be much more common and much easier to replicate.
An answer to this quandary is basic to explaining LENR.
The second problem involves the mechanism. The mechanism must only affect a nuclear reaction. The process must have no effect on the chemical behavior. After all, chemists have been studying Pd/D for over 100 years and have detected nothing unusual about its chemistry. The material acts like any other hydride, except it is more reactive to H than most other elements.
A mechanism involving electron energy levels would affect the chemical conditions. Chemistry has failed to find such a mechanism. Simply put, DDL, neutron formation, and any other mechanism involving the electrons can be eliminated from consideration, at least at first.
Nevertheless, electrons are required to reduce the Coulomb barrier to a level permitting the observed reaction rate. This means electrons are involved, but how?
Finally, LENR creates helium rather than fragments of helium, as does hot fusion. Somehow a mechanism must overcome the barrier while at the same time dissipating the nuclear the energy. In the case of hot fusion, these two events are separated in time. In LENR, the two events must occur at the same time and be part of the same basic process. This requires a very unique mechanism.
In conclusion, LENR requires a unique and rare condition in the material and a very rare and unusual mechanism must operate in this condition. This path immediately eliminates most explanations and forces the discussion to ask different questions. I asked these questions in my book The Explanation of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, and provide detailed answers to each of the questions posed, along with many others.