What if the first practical use in the realm of time travel is already afoot, albeit on a circuitous trail.
The greatest argument against cold fusion has always been that the expected nuclear radiation has not been observed.
Dilatant (not dilated) pundits even coined poetic slurs against cold fusion claiming that deadly fusion radiation would be evidenced by an abundance of dead cold fusion scientists littering the floors of cold fusion labs.
No dead grad students on the floor = no cold fusion!
Of recent the world of physics seems to be getting turned inside out or upside down by a few uncommonly compelling observations. One interpretation of this new data is that it can explain via time dilation some mysteries. The data from experiments seems to be talking to us, even screaming to us, about how our inane and egotistic human point of view is hardly the point of view of all matter in the universe. Just because some humans cannot get beyond seeing everything in the context of their sports teams memes does not mean that the team that howls the loudest is in the right.
In the increasingly complicated ecosystem that the real world of atoms and everything is sometimes a crack lets the light shine through (RIP Leonard Cohen). Perhaps the greatest mystery of cold fusion has been the apparent energy, aka heat, that is observed in the absence of nuclear ash/smoke, aka energetic radiations. While an abundance of alphas, aka 4He, have been observed almost never has so much as the smallest fraction of expected accompanying gamma radiation has been observed. Good thing for me as I have produced and measured more 4He than anyone in the field and by more methods than anyone and most assuredly if the expected gammas had been accompanying my cold fusion helium I would have been cooked decades ago.
Once while running an experiment I happened upon a distinct highly reproducible radiation measurement. My Geiger Counter signaled the first hint of it and upon fiddling about with my “hey that’s strange” reaction to the enhance rate of Geiger clicks I managed to make the Geiger record vastly more counts, even saturating the detector. I did that by placing various different elementary foils between the source and the detector. Normally when one puts something in between a radiation source and a Geiger Counter the count rate inevitably goes down, not up. In my work a thin Silver foil sent the Geiger over the moon.
My friend and collaborator in studying and understanding my mystery was Edward Teller, father of the Hydrogen/Fusion bomb, and all around man of some brilliance, even though he was in his nineties at the time. While frail of body his mind was immeasurable brilliance. He and I mused over what the heck I was making and why I was not dead. I had clearly violated the ‘dead scientist rule’ for tickling the legendary nuclear dragon. Edward was a man who lived a life as one of the original pioneers in the environment and ecology of atoms and was unafraid of the unknown.
When I was modestly describing my experiment and methods to him he listened patiently then immediately admonished me for my modesty in explaining to him how my detection equipment was not up to expected snuff in being able to measure the energy of the ‘neutrons’ we first assumed must be what I was producing.
He said to me, “do not be ashamed at your scientific method you have used methods real men used to observe neutrons when we discovered them.”
Soon he simply declared that what I was making were clearly not neutrons but rather something utterly new, “Mischugenons” or crazy particles in his chosen Yiddish terminology.
Now some nearly two decades later it seems that my Mischugenons might well be ‘time dilated muons’ born and travelling at near light speed or at least that is what strikes my fancy based on a collection of evidence pointing toward the virtues of time travel as a means to cover enough territory to explain the mysteries of cold fusion (as well as some other mysteries.) It’s not time travel by me I speak of but time travel by them, you know those pesky expected emanations that should have irradiated and killed me many times over. Proof I am not dead is of course the fact that here I sit typing this post into the blogosphere.
Travelling in their time dilated universe Muons have more than ample time to be anywhere but where and when we expect them.
Muons are strange sub-atomic particles. They are effective very heavy very fast electrons that result from nuclear reactions. Our planet and ourselves are bombarded with a nearly infinite number of muons born in the nuclear furnaces of all of the stars of our universe. Hint that is a very large number of nuclear furnaces, Carl Sagan’s billions and billions and billions line comes to mind.
What muons do is they travel fast and far. When they encounter normal matter such as the Earth or your pinky finger they interact with your atoms mostly at the electron level, they being effectively strange electrons. When cosmic muons encounter the Earth they pass through miles of it before coming to a stop. The lead shielding of a nuclear reactor means nothing to muons.
Cold fusion takes place with regard to hydrogen atoms, you know the most abundant atom in all of the universe and the only atom with just one lonely electron associated with it’s nuclear heart. As it happens hydrogen is a very very complicated species in the atom-ecology and it has many strange and wonderful behaviours. One such behaviour is that it seems to like to condense into a super-dense state when it is sharing real estate with other forms of matter, especially hydrogen loving metals. When it condenses it readily achieves densities that are greater than metallic density, that much I learned long ago from my friend Martin Fleischmann. He’d spent a lifetime studying the chemistry and physics of hydrogen in metals and of course is the father of cold fusion.
We are down the rabbit hole now!
A few months ago along came a team of physicists from Iceland and Scandinavia who found that they could produce muons on demand. Without going into the devilish details they shone a laser beam onto some already condensed hydrogen making it condense even more and voila out came an abundance of muons. Their result are confounding plenty of those in science who are made intensely uncomfortable by the complexity of atom-ecology. In fact an abundance of those muons, at least to those who study muons, seem to be very crazy muons. Since these Nordic muons behaved in a crazy manner, could they be the Mischugenons that mystified Teller and I? That is a good question, just maybe it is so.
The Holmlid muons seem to be travelling at very nearly the speed of light. That’s an interesting behaviour as it leads one into a very strange rabbit hole where you have to take both pills, you know the blue and the white ones, the quantum pills that make you larger and smaller simultaneously. Oh good God Alice whatever is one to do, if you think you have entered Wonderland you are in fact far beyond that understandable universe. No White Rabbits or Cheshire cats in the ecosystem of atoms to guide you, you’ll have to stumble around as best you can.
One aspect of a near luminal speed muon might be that it behaves at birth rather differently than one might expect, it is for all intents and quantum purposes ‘time dilated’ meaning it lives outside yours and my time landscape. As such it simply doesn’t obey the rules of our pedestrian particle physics. It might be here or it might be there or it might be everywhere at any given moment. Without resorting to calling Richard Feynman from the Ouija Board it’s perishingly challenging to keeps one’s wits.
What I like about muons as mischugnenons is that from their point of view they don’t live inside our box and as such don’t interact with us very much at all. How convenient is that. What we cold fusion physicists must find is a way to explain how our clearly nuclear reactions, remember the helium and the inexplicable heat, shows up without the energetic penetrating deadly emanations. Something has to be bouncing around inside our cold fusion materials laced with our ultra-dense hydrogen and giving up all of its energy in the process. OK some very very very few muons might make their escape into our box, and voila we have them!
The really interesting question is now that we know how to catch some Mischugenons how do we catch more or perhaps the corollary how do we make more, aka useful cold fusion energy. There are some clues as it seems Mischugenons might just like the element Silver above all others. This is not so curious as it seems as Silver does indeed possess some particularly alluring Muonic characteristics. You are invited to post your musings about the wonders of Silver as a comment. Who knows maybe your ideas are the key?
OK that’s it for this episode on the trail of crazy physics. Thanks Edward for all those stimulating conversations and the time dilated paradoxical ideas you planted in my head back in the early 1990’s, curse you for dying and leaving me to puzzle over this for the rest of my life. See you on the other side, you owe me a beer or I might owe you one.
Stay tuned for the next episode.