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Back in 1989 Fleischmann and Pons astonished the world with a variety of claims involving low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) in electrochemical experiments with palladium and deuterium. The most significant of the claims was for the generation of large amounts of energy, presumed to be of nuclear origin, but without a commensurate amount of energetic nuclear radiation. The existence of such an effect goes against textbook nuclear and solid state physics, and no acceptable explanation was put forth at the time. Most early efforts to replicate the anomalies claimed were unsuccessful. The Fleischmann-Pons Experiment was not accepted by mainstream scientists then and is not accepted today.
Over the years a substantial amount of effort has been put in by groups that were able to replicate the excess heat effect, to make sure that the effect was real, and to gain some understanding. Fleischmann and Pons had argued that the D/Pd loading ratio needed to be high in order to see excess heat; this was found to be the case in experiments that followed. A correlation was found between the excess power produced and the deuterium flux at the cathode surface. In some experiments increased excess heat was seen at elevated temperature. He-4 was observed in the gas phase, correlated with the energy produced, and in amounts consistent with the mass difference (24 MeV) between D2 and He-4.
There is no agreement at present among those in the field as to what physics is involved in these experiments, even though there have been a large number of proposals. We give a brief outline of some of the theoretical ideas currently being contemplated. Progress continues at present, but there are changes in the focus of the research and in the researchers involved. There is at present some interest on the part of investors and industry, stimulated by the possibility of commercial products and the prospect of a new technology. LENR Phenomena and Potential Applications will review some of the approaches which have been discussed in public in recent years and will summarize the progress reported by the entrepreneur community, including Andrea Rossi (Industrial Heat, Inc.), Dr. Mitchell Swartz (Nanortech, Inc.), and Robert Godes (Brillouin Energy Technologies, Inc.). Finally, we will touch upon the recent status changes at USPTO regarding LENR inventions.
Professor Peter Hagelstein – Peter Hagelstein did his undergraduate studies at MIT starting in 1972, and graduate studies starting in 1974. As a graduate student he was support with a Hertz Foundation Fellowship starting in 1975. His doctoral thesis research was done primarily at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, focusing on x-ray lasers. He received his PhD in 1981, and won the Hertz Foundation doctoral thesis award. In 1984 he won the DoE E O Lawrence Award for National Defense for theoretical work on x-ray lasers, and co-invention of the first x-ray lasers driven by a nuclear source, and for contributions to the development of the first laboratory x-ray lasers.
Dr. Louis F. DeChiaro – Louis F. DeChiaro was awarded the Ph.D. Degree in Physics in 1979 from Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey. From 1979 to 2002, he served as an Electronics Engineer / researcher in the telecommunications industry at Bell Laboratories and Telcordia Technologies, retiring in 2002 as a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff. From 2002 to 2006, he served as an Associate Professor of Computational Science and a founding member of the new Computational Science Program at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. He joined the US Navy as a civilian Physicist in September, 2006 and since 2009 been performing investigations in LENR physics and supporting the EMC efforts of Branch Q51 at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, VA. During the period 2010-2012 he was on special assignment at the Naval Research Labs, Washington, D.C. in their experimental LENR group. Dr. DeChiaro is a member of Tau Beta Pi.
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