Is There A Black Swan Taking Flight
For many years in my younger days I spent much time as a ‘bird watcher,’ my favorites were waterfowl. I loved to rise before dawn so that I could wade out to the middle of large marshlands where I could witness the dawn breaking flights of the birds. In those marshes along the shores of the Great Salt Lake in Utah there were times when the sky would go from empty to being filled with more than a million birds within minutes. The cacophony of bird sound both in the flapping of wings and joyous squawking was a whole body and spiritual experience.
A skilled listener could, through it all, pick out the different species, the swans were especially distinctive and rare. Rarest of all of course was the black swan. They are legendary harbingers of dramatic change as told in this book review by Bill Gates.
The world of cold fusion has long been a squawking cacophony with very few swans. Wild swans are shy creatures who after the first onslaughts of vociferous attacks like those cold fusion is subjected to, to this day, typically remain very quiet. For decades the squawking of the scavengers and coots amongst men have been the overwhelming chorus. The malevolent squawkers have been so rowdy that they have scared the experimentalists and first hand observers from public view. But just maybe things have changed.
Once in a while I hear of something new in the cold fusion cacophony. A chance sighting or perhaps a distinctive call of a swan. This just happened in the form of an obscure photo of a very few people, less than a dozen, sitting in a room I have had the pleasure of sitting in.
There in Frascati Italy among the clutter of a small ENEA laboratory sits the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, front row center listening to a dear colleague Vittorio Violante who is flying him through what Vittorio knows best…Cold Fusion. I can say with confidence Professor Violante is doing a great job telling the story of cold fusion, he has been steadfast and with us in this work for nearly as long as I, surely more than 20 years.
Why is it Bill Gates has just this month chosen to make a visit to Frascati? The labs at Frascati are Italy’s national labs and the equal to the famed Los Alamos here in the USA. Cold fusion has been studied there for nearly 25 years. That and the fact that Italy has long been known for its pioneers in science, think DaVinci and Galileo.
The Fascati labs, just like national labs in the USA, are very proper ‘shirt and tie’ environments and difficult to be productive in, especially for such out of the box heretical energy physics as cold fusion. They are stalwart and respectable beyond reproach. It’s no wonder Mr. Gates would make a pilgrimage to the world’s Vatican of cold fusion. A collection of photos from Mr. Gates visit is available on the Frascati Facebook page here.
Cold fusion, or as some averse to the original name for this phenomenal research and discovery have renamed LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction) is finally breaking into flight. The breakthrough has been creating the reactive environment in-situ most effectively made possible by many means via the condensation of nano-particles of hydrogen loving metals in the presence of hydrogen isotopes. There are a number of means to attain this nano-scopic cold fusion reactive environment.
What Mr. Gates Might Have Learned On How To Produce Cold Fusion
One can start with the appropriate sized nano particles of metal and simply tip a scoop of the material into a tiny vessel which contains hydrogen isotopes. Or one can place a parent material into a vessel with the same hydrogen isotopes (primarily deuterium – heavy hydrogen) and heat the materials in some fashion so that the metal sublimates and re-deposits forming nano-particles via this in-situ deposition. Keep in mind these experiments involve just a few dollars worth of materials to produce a working cold fusion reactor. And they are inherently modular, meaning to see more effect or make more heat simply build many small cold fusion reactors and run them together.
Once sufficient nano-material has reformed the heat in the system is sufficient to produce the cold nuclear effect, cold meaning some hundreds not millions of degrees. When done by the best experimentalists in the field large amounts of heat, helium, and other nuclear products are seen in irrefutable amounts.
Some like Andrea Rossi and his US corporate sponsors/license holders, Industrial Heat, seem to be able to produce megawatts of heat with output heat many times the input heat required to initiate and sustain the reactions for months at a time. They have just applied for a patent on the technology. Rossi’s work also enjoys the support of ELFORSK a major European energy research organization that has been testing his technology.
Footprints on the trail of cold fusion
Today the most popular means to produce cold fusion is virtually identical to experiments I performed more than a decade ago. There I used palladium that was first pre-loaded with deuterium by exposure to high pressure in a small glow discharge tube. In fact I used a simple ‘neon tube’ the same as are used by neon sign makers. How this came to happen, beginning in the spring and summer of 1995, was with the help of my friend Jeff Golin who was a plasma physicist by vocation and a neon light artist by avocation. In his neon artists studio, a few blocks away from my Palo Alto area ‘garage lab’ and with the help of his deft and practiced touch in the glass working and vacuum tube lab techniques we made my experimental ideas shine.
In 10 cm long 1 cm diameter glass tubes a short, 2 cm, piece of palladium foil or sometimes the nano-particle palladium powder of Arata was subjected to a glow discharge environment (sub-atmospheric pressure). The palladium would sputter and build up nano particles in the tube. Then the anomalous but hoped for results would appear. After a few hours one end of short metal foil would begin to regularly cycle from being cool silver in color to bright cherry red orange, at a temperature of at least 600-800 C estimated by its color temperature.
The Arata nano-powder version of this did not glow with apparent heat but did yield dramatic radiation. Read more about how this led to an interesting offer to work with the master of fusion in my narrative of working with Edward Teller on this.
The experiment would hold in its hot condition for a few minutes then abruptly drop back to its normal cool silver color. After “resting” for a short time, tens of minutes, the metal strip would once again promptly rise to its bright cherry red orange hot condition. Over the course of many hours the experiment repeatedly heated and cooled until finally as it heated one last time the temperature became too much for the simple glass tube which cracked and broke allowing air to leak into and quench the low pressure glow discharge environment within.
Alas had I made that first experiment iteration with thicker quartz glass it would likely be running hot to this day.
Clearly there are improvements in this simple demonstrable cold fusion work in hand today. Many hydrogen loving metals and mixtures have been vetted and some are vastly superior to others. While my work was mostly with heavy hydrogen, deuterium, many now work with ordinary hydrogen that has only a trace of deuterium 1 part in 6000 in it. Some are supporting theories that have the simple proton bearing hydrogen being a primary reactant as opposed to the more traditional fusionable deuterium.
Surely in the deuterium systems prodigious heat along with commensurate 4He helium, which is the expected fusion product of D+D is observed. But over the years many high Z isoptope anomalies have suggested some nuclear process that inserts tiny nuclei into larger nuclei exists.
What if the richest man in the world just came to believe in cold fusion?
With even the tiniest fraction of his wealth Bill Gates can become the Black Swan that heralds a new age of energy saving the world from the ravages of the fossil fuel age just in the nick of time. Here’s some inspiration Mr. Gates…. hope
An Italian tide lifts all boats.
I for one am hopeful the times they are a changing and cold fusion and ocean pastures will be the swan song of the fossil fuel age and flowers of plankton to be placed into the gun barrels of the fossils of this age that I have worked to help deliver to the world for 25 years.
University of Verona published note on Bill Gates visit to Frascati:Translation from Italian:
“Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, Monday, November 17th was on a visit to the laboratories of the Centre ENEA Frascati, recognized for excellence in nuclear fusion research. To welcome Frederico Testa, ENEA commissioner and director of the Department of Business Administration of the University.
Gates, accompanied by Head and scientists of the center, wanted to find out the research activities of the institute in the field of low energy nuclear reaction, LENR, better known as “cold fusion, (fusione fredda)”. The center ENEA Frascati is, in fact, considered to excellence in the world in this area. Thanks also to the presence of scientists among the most qualified in the field of cold fusion such as Vittorio Violante. This is why the United States has involved ENEA, the only non-US agency, a research program of great scientific importance in the field of LENR.”
Mr. Gates has a recent history of making things happen in clean energy development. Take for example Sapphire Energy of San Diego. Monsanto, Bill Gates, the Rockefellers, the pharmaceutical giant Wellcome Trust fund and others invested $144 million in the Sapphire Energy algae oil biotech company that is based in San Diego. The US government, funded by taxpayers, gave over $100 million in corporate welfare grants and loan guarantees to Sapphire Energy.
Update March 2015: Saudi Oil Minister says the Kingdom is concerned about a “Black Swan” event where oil becomes of little value due to new energy discoveries. The Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi was said to have asked the rhetorical question, “Is there a black swan that we don’t know about which will come by 2050 and we will have no demand for oil?” This sentiment that is clearly in the minds of Saudi Arabia’s oil managers makes it clear that their policy has been and is tuned to respond to the black swans appearence. The only option they have is to sell whatever amount of their oil that they can before it becomes a worthless stranded asset deep underground. Read more here…
Here’s a link to a web news site Cold Fusion Times that has been reporting on cold fusion the longest.