UPDATED July 2023
A fresh edit of A New Understanding of Cold Fusion is available to download for review. Thank you for your comments.
In this excerpt, the assumptions for a new model are stated:
4.0 PROPOSED MECHANISM
The pieces of the puzzle have been identified in the previous sections, so now is the time to see how they fit together. But first, a few assumptions have to be made. An assumption is a belief that cannot be proven but must be accepted on faith for a theory to move forward. The assumptions can be demonstrated to be plausible only after the proposed theory is found to be correct. If an assumption were wrong, all conclusions based on the assumption would also be wrong. Success depends on an assumption being applied only when necessary and the reasons why an assumption is used need to be clearly stated.
The assumptions used here are tabulated below.
1. The Laws of Thermodynamics, phase theory, the rules governing crystal formation, as well as all chemical understanding, apply to LENR. Reason: LENR takes place in a chemical environment to which these rules apply.
2. The conservation of momentum, the rules governing Quantum Mechanics, and the conventional understanding of nuclear physics apply to LENR. Reason: LENR is a variation of conventional nuclear behavior.
3. The same universal mechanism and required conditions apply to all isotopes of hydrogen. The different isotopes of hydrogen produce different nuclear products by the same mechanism. Reason: All hydrogen isotopes have very similar chemical properties that control the assembly process.
4. The same universal mechanisms operate during LENR regardless of the material being used as the host or its treatment. Reason: Nature typically has a single mechanism for causing the various phenomena.
As noted previously, four separate events take place in sequence, consisting of chemical reactions followed by nuclear reactions. Each needs to be understood as an isolated mechanism as well as to their relationship with each other.
The presence of H or a mixture of D+H will cause different nuclear products that result from the same mechanism as operates during D+D fusion(Assumption #3). This process also can result in secondary nuclear reactions that might produce radiation and various decay products that can be mistaken to result directly from the fusion reaction itself. These secondary nuclear reactions are not discussed here.
4.2.1 Nuclear-active-environment (NAE)
LENR is proposed to involve a new kind of electron structure in which a nuclear process can take place without applied energy. The environment in which this assembly can form is rare. Nevertheless, the nuclear process will not happen unless this environment is available.
The unique location in which the nuclear reaction takes place is called the nuclear active environment (NAE). The number of such locations in a material determines the maximum amount of nuclear power that can be produced because the amount of NAE determines the maximum number of fusion sites. Because most Pd does not contain any NAE, most Pd will not support LENR, as has been frequently demonstrated. The challenge is to identify the NAE and then find ways to create more of it in order to increase the amount nuclear energy.
Every location in PdD has been suggested by someone as the NAE, including the crystal structure itself, the D or Pd atom vacancies, various kinds of defects in the atom arrangement, and grain boundaries. The surface of small particles and small physical gaps are also proposed as possible sites. The correct identification of the NAE is critical to being able to create the required (H) environment on purpose, to understand how LENR works, and to eventually create a practical energy source. Therefore, a critical evaluation of the suggested sites is required.
This leaves cracks or gaps that are formed as the accidental result of stress relief that would contain a wide range of chemical conditions unlike those in the crystal structure. Section 4.2.1 continues:
Because gaps are always present in material while LENR rarely occurs, the required conditions must rarely form in the gaps. This behavior suggests the gap must have a critical width and/or a critical chemical property that is seldom present. Only when this rare condition is present in a gap would a chemically stable assembly of hydrogen nuclei and electrons form at these locations.
Experience reveals that the conditions required to form NAE can be present in Pd at the time it is manufactured. This condition is even maintained throughout the material regardless of its subsequent treatment.[22, 56] As a result, when a piece of Pd is found to support LENR, all parts of the batch from which it came are also found to be active. The opposite is also true. Dead samples are found to result from batches in which all samples are dead. Also, very pure Pd is found not to support LENR. Certain impurities appear to be important. This overall behavior greatly limits the nature of the NAE when Pd is used.
Other active materials, of which many are known, would be expected to have different characteristics. The challenge is to find the universal characteristic that can be created in all materials. I have addressed this problem in a paper soon to be published.
4.2.2 Nuclear-active-structure (NAS)
The actual arrangement of atoms and electrons that experience fusion is called the NAS. The NAS forms at special locations in the NAE. Each NAS assembles in the NAE, fuses, explodes, and then reforms, as shown by the video provided by Szpak et al. .
This video shows heat being produced as isolated small hot spots that wink off and on. The measured power results from the sum of the energy being made by this chaotic and random process operating at a relatively small number of isolated locations in an active material. The greater the number of NAS in the NAE, the more power could be produced.
For fusion to occur, the hydrogen nuclei in the NAS must achieve a separation small enough to allow their nuclear energy states to interact. People have focused on the behavior of hot fusion as a path to explain cold fusion. This is a false path for the following reasons.
In the case of hot fusion, the Coulomb barrier is overcome by the kinetic energy of the nuclei, usually in plasma. When the hot fusion reaction is instead caused to take place in a material by bombarding the material with ions having kinetic energy, the electrons present in the material can add to the very small rate of the hot fusion reaction, especially at low kinetic energy, as shown in Fig. 18.[58, 59] In this case, the electrons near the site of the random encounter can slightly reduce the magnitude of the barrier. Consequently, their effect is large but not enough to fully compensate for the loss of reaction rate caused by the reduction in kinetic energy. At best, this behavior shows that electron screening of the hot fusion mechanism is possible in a chemical structure.
This kind of screening does not apply to the cold fusion process during which the applied kinetic energy is essentially zero and the resulting helium nucleus does not fragment. If it did, all materials should be able to cause cold fusion.
In the case of cold fusion, the electrons must first concentrate near the hydrogen nuclei in sufficient numbers and in a structure that can reduce the Coulomb field enough for the nuclei to share their nuclear energy states. Now we have a problem because electrons are not known to concentrate this way. When electrons concentrate to form chemical compounds or crystals, the electron structure keeps the nuclei far apart. For LENR to occur, the electrons need to force the nuclei closer together. This requires a new kind of electron interaction. This realization is one of the important consequences resulting from this discovery.
See charts, diagrams and continue reading the full paper here.