I've suggested (& published in 21 journal papers) a new theory called quantised inertia (or MiHsC) that assumes that inertia is caused by relativistic horizons damping quantum fields. It predicts galaxy rotation, cosmic acceleration & the emdrive without any dark stuff or adjustment. My Plymouth University webpage is here, I've written a book called Physics from the Edge and I'm on twitter as @memcculloch

Monday, 5 March 2018

A paper on QI & cold fusion

I've just published a paper on cold fusion, in Progress in Physics which is a nice open access journal that has the laudable goal of encouraging research that challenges the standard paradigm.

As I described in more detail in a previous blog, the phenomena known as cold fusion or LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions) is a process that appears to produce fusion by packing deuterium atoms (hydrogen atoms whose nucleii have an extra neutron) into palladium metal, which acts a bit like a sponge when it comes to deuterium. When this is done, in certain circumstances, unexpected heat is given off, more than can be explained by normal chemistry, so the argument goes (and as arguments go, this one has lasted decades!) it must be fusion, but how is this possible when these deuterons are both positively charged and so they repel very strongly? Normally you need temperatures of over 100 million Kelvin to get them to collide and fuse, and hence the 25 billions dollars spent so far on reproducing the centre of the Sun on Earth (eg: with huge fusion reactors like ITER). Cold fusion appears to do it in a test tube, at room temperature and without emitting harmful radiation and the phenomena has been repeated often (see Storms, 2006). It offers the possibility of cheap energy for all, but as so often, it doesn't agree with the standard model so very few dare to investigate it (see an interesting article by Huw Price, link).

Well, as many of those who read my blog know, nature doesn't agree very well with the standard model either, but quantised inertia (or MiHsC) does rather better and one prediction of it, is that in tiny, closed informational spaces the temperature should increase. So what about tiny cracks or defects in the palladium? They do exist as both Ed Storms (who prefers cracks, see his report below) and Russ George have told me (the latter told me about very effective Japanese 'Samurai' palladium, full of defects). If the defects are of a size 28 nm then quantised inertia predicts a temperature of 27,000K. 

This is not enough to initiate fusion, but now imagine two ships in a choppy sea. Waves hit them from all around, but there will be a sheltered region between them and therefore fewer waves will push them outwards from between them, than are pushing them inwards. The result is that the ships will move together in a way not dependent on the usual physics (at sea this phenomenon is called the Maritime Casimir effect, you can guess what it is called in dry physics).

If you now think similarly about two deuterons in a palladium defect or crack then they will be pushed together in the same way by the thermal waves in the crack, as I described here. I showed in the paper (see here, or the link below) that if the crack/defect is less than 28 nm in width then this new force is strong enough to push the deuterons together through their Coulomb repulsion and they will fuse.

So, does this explain cold fusion? It is maybe a start but there are some problems. First of all, when predicting things it is best to have a observed number to test the theory on. For testing quantised inertia on galaxy rotation the test data is the observed speed of the stars. For the emdrive it is the measured thrust. With cold fusion all I have done so far is predict that defects of 28 nm width are needed. What size are the cracks in palladium where the fusion occurs? I don't know!

The other problem is that, whereas this process might possibly explain the lack of neutron emissions in cold fusion experiments (they may also be subject to the mutual sheltering effect) it does not obviously explain the lack of gamma emission observed. This radiation may be absorbed by the lattice as suggested by others, but there is certainly a lot of work to do yet.

All the same, this explanation is a simple and visualisable process, it needs no adjustment, and links cold fusion with lab scale (emdrive) and astrophysical (galactic) anomalies, so it is at least a good addition to the debate, and should help to broaden it and embed it in wider new physics.


McCulloch, M.E., 2018. Can cold fusion be explained by quantised inertia? Progress in Physics, 14, 2, 63-65. Open access pdf.

Storms, E., 2012. A students' guide to cold fusion. http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEastudentsg.pdf

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