From Tom Bearden Bennett Daviss' article on cold fusion, "Reasonable Doubt" [ ], is timely and a balanced coverage of a controversial area. There is, however, a mechanism for cold fusion, published in 2000 [ ], and the basis for it has been experimentally proven in independent thermodynamics experiments published in July 2002 [ ]. We give the background below.
As is well known, much of modern thermodynamics is based on statistical mechanics. Statistical phenomena are subject to fluctuations, and thermodynamic fluctuation theory was initiated by Einstein's application of it to blackbody radiation [ ]. Full formalism was completed by Green and Callen [ ] and further extended by Callen [ ]. A useful transient fluctuation theorem was advanced by Evans and Searles [ ] and generalized by Crooks [ ].
In a transient fluctuation zone, reactions can and do run backwards. In 1999 the present author [ ] noted that, in such a zone, the law of attraction and repulsion of charged particles could potentially be reversed, at least momentarily. This meant that, in a transient fluctuation zone, like charges could momentarily attract, because of the Coulomb barrier changing to a Coulomb attractor. In an electrolyte, this meant that two H+ ions, for example, could be attracted so closely together that each entered the strong force region of the other, forming a quasi-nucleus. As the fluctuation excursion reversed and returned, decaying the transient fluctuation, reversed reactions would again reverse and the reactions would again run forward normally. But an already-formed quasi-nucleus could decay by various means (such as mere tightening or flipping a quark to change a proton to a neutron) into a proper transmuted and fused nucleus, at low temperature because of the change of the prohibiting Coulomb barrier into an attractor. The usual requirement of high temperature is because, for most transmutations, like charges have to be driven together at very high energy, to penetrate each other's Coulomb barrier to the strong force region, forming a quasi-nucleus which then can often decay into a normal fused and transmuted nucleus.
It remained to be experimentally proven that such reversal zones really do occur, at sufficient size level and duration for formation of the required quasi-nuclei to occur with a significant probability.
In July 2002 Wang et al. [ ] experimentally proved that such reversal zones can occur for cubic micron level and for up to two seconds. A cubic micron of water contains some 30 billion molecules and ions, and two seconds can be quite sufficient time for Brownian motion to carry together two approaching and temporarily attracting like-charged ions, forming the required quasi-nucleus. Given such a quasi-nucleus formed, then the rest of it (decay of the reversal zone and decay of the quasi-nucleus into its indicated transmuted nucleus at low temperature) is very similar to what happens in conventional nuclear transmutation reactions using high temperature and high energy. The high temperature and high energy were only necessary to defeat the Coulomb barrier. If it is defeated by a fluctuation and reaction reversal of the Coulomb barrier, there is no need for the conventional use of high temperature and high energy.
So there exists a well-developed theory of transient fluctuations and experimental proof of reactions running backwards for up to two seconds in conglomerates of up to 30 billion ions. Together with the 600 or so cold fusion experiments by a variety of scientists in a variety of labs worldwide, this is provides a high probability that the cold fusion mechanism is explained by the momentary reversal of the Coulomb barrier between like-charged ions into a Coulomb attractor.
Several reactions that immediately suggest themselves do fit the reported phenomena detected in cold fusion experiments. The transmutation reaction itself represents a difference in total binding energy between the involved particles, which results in release of energy and therefore the anomalous extra heat produced in successful experiments. Further, the formation of two H+ ions in a quasi-nucleus, with a subsequent flip of one quark as the quasi-nucleus decays back to time-forward reactions, will yield deuterium. The same process for three H+ ions, or for one H+ and one D+ ion, with proper quark flipping will yield the anomalous appearance of tritium. The same process for two deuterons without quark flip, (or for four H+ ions with proper quark flips), will yield the anomalous appearance of alpha particles (helium 4 nuclei). All these anomalous transmutation products have been frequently reported in cold fusion experiments in multiple labs by multiple scientists worldwide.
The new process should also enable many other nuclear fusion reactions at low temperatures, and serious and significant scientific investigation in many laboratories is fully warranted. The only difference between the cold fusion mechanism and hot fusion is the use of Coulomb barrier reversal rather than using high energy and high temperature.
In cold fusion, successful experimental results have been obtained many times, and the only thing lacking has been a suitable theoretical mechanism that explains how the Coulomb barrier is overcome without high temperature and high energy. With the proof that fluctuations do provide reactions that run backwards in significant chemical zones for up to two seconds, the reaction for converting the Coulomb barrier into a Coulomb attractor—by reversal of the usual law for attraction and repulsion of charged particles—has a very solid basis, both theoretically and experimentally.
In applying scientific method, when there is a conflict between prevailing theory and replicable experiments, the experiment is supposed to be upheld and the theory changed. The experimental results are already known, and with an understandable mechanism now available, cold fusion is a process that must be considered established beyond any reasonable scientific doubt. It is time to develop this new and promising area to provide a much easier means of nuclear fusion at low temperatures. If so, the decades-old dream of cheap nuclear fusion energy and an expanded nuclear chemistry will be the result.