Posted by Jim Wilkins on October 18, 2014, 1:44 pm
The difference is that going to the moon was an extensively complex
project that required a wide range of expertise and a huge and hugely
expensive rocket. It didn't require any basic discoveries, just
engineering refinements. LENR is an intensively complex small-team one
that fits on a lab bench, more analogous to the Curies' work on
radioactivity or Whittle's inadequately funded first jet engine.
"The Curies did not have a dedicated laboratory; most of their
research was carried out in a converted shed next to the School of
Physics and Chemistry. The shed, formerly a medical school dissecting
room, was poorly ventilated and not even waterproof."
"He is credited with single handedly inventing the turbojet engine."
"Still at Cambridge, Whittle could ill afford the ?5 renewal fee for
his jet engine patent when it became due in January 1935, and because
the Air Ministry refused to pay it the patent was allowed to lapse."
I've been criticizing the experimental procedures but not denying that
it might work. I had to be alert to the scientific rigor of inventors
before accepting a job with them. Even projects by credible people
with a decent record such as the Centronics printer designers failed
and left me unemployed with only a worthless stock option.
Another once-promising former employer:
You can get yourself the essential machine tools for making lab
equipment for less than the cost of having one high-pressure
superalloy reaction chamber fabricated, and not be limited by
3rd-party liability. They will quickly teach you what you can and
cannot make. A 10" South Bend collet lathe like the one I paid $200
for was good enough for the National Bureau of Standards lab.
You may find you need a bandsaw, acetylene torch and maybe TIG welder
too. CNC or even digital readouts on the lathe and milling machine
aren't necessary for one-off prototypes. My 1950s-vintage machinery
was good enough to make proof-of-concept demonstrations for spacecraft
If the device is sensitive to hostile thoughts I'll give you a million
for it and license it to the FBI.
Posted by Jim Wilkins on October 18, 2014, 5:22 pm
I haven't found a good formal analysis of the build-or-buy decision as
it applies to garage inventors. I learned it on the job in the custom
test equipment business, where delivery time was a more important
factor than it is for an individual. What I did find on line assumes a
smart inventor can't possibly learn manual tradecraft skills. Perhaps
that's the bias of those who write about creativity as opposed to
those who practice it, or just snobbery.
When I directed you to rec.crafts.metalworking I was hoping you would
benefit from the group's advice on how to liberate yourself from
dependence on expensive outside sources for your custom hardware, as
many of us have done. Currently I'm machining a carbon brush holder to
repair a Variac, this part:
The raw materials cost less than $ and I'd rather cause something
I've imagined to appear in front of me than watch TV.
Old American machine tools may be a better investment than new imports
if you can't depreciate them, since good examples hold their resale
value well. Machines becomes cheap once they are no longer economical
for production. You should have someone with experience evaluate their
Posted by Morris Dovey on October 18, 2014, 9:39 pm
On 10/18/14 8:44 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
<snip science history>
The experimental procedures have been adequate only to verify that if
pressure and temperature requirements are met, something happens that
produces thermal output in excess of the input - and that this
“something” appears to be the fusion of a hydrogen atom and a nickel
atom to produce a copper atom.
Immediately after Rossi’s disclosure, a number of experimenters claimed
to have verified the H/Ni reaction, each using a different experimental
apparatus and procedure.
[ Related sidenote: My interest is in whatever elements of truth there
may be in experimenters’ reports, rather than any credibility that might
or might not attach to the experimenters themselves.
Truth is truth, even if no one believes it – and everything else is
‘untruth’, even if everyone believes it. ]
My own cost / risk / benefit analysis led me to conclude that
exploration of a H/Ni heat production device might contribute
significantly to an already-underway solar energy project (link below).
All true – I’ve been using my CNC router as a mill, but it’s not rigid
enough for what I want to make. I’ve been thinking about buying a small
mill and modifying it for CNC use, but I’d rather pay someone who
already has superior metalworking expertise to make the parts I want.
Everything else you named (except the TIG welder) is already in my shop.
I really don’t want to buy (or build) any more single-project tools.
It galls me that I might need to have the work done in China or Taiwan
because I can’t get it done here, but it won’t be a new experience.
If one takes the long view, then it becomes clear that, no matter how
well they might be made to work, LENRs can serve only as a bridge
between current fueled energy production and non-fueled production.
Posted by Jim Wilkins on October 19, 2014, 1:04 am
Do you realize that blowing hot hydrogen through a brazed copper
reactor will spray atomized metallic copper everywhere inside it?
Brazing oxidizes the copper and then hot hydrogen reduces the copper
oxide to metal dust.
The missed clue is that the copper found mixed with the nickel powder
has the natural isotopic distribution.
You can see the reversible transition to and from oxide for yourself
by heating copper with a propane torch. The outer flame turns the
copper into dark oxide, the inner part reduces it back to metal.
Posted by Morris Dovey on October 19, 2014, 4:35 am
On 10/18/14 8:04 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
Quoting the April 6, 2011 NyTeknik article:
The reactor itself, which is loaded with the nickel powder and secret
catalysts pressurized with hydrogen, has an estimated volume of 50 cubic
centimeters (3.2 cubic inches). The reactor is made of stainless steel.
A copper tube surrounds the steel reactor. The water to be heated flows
between the steel and the copper. In operation, the construction is also
surrounded by insulation and a lead shielding with a thickness of
approximately two centimeters (0.8 inches).
Their analyses showed that the pure powder consists of essentially pure
nickel, while the used powder contains several other substances, mainly
10 percent copper and 11 percent iron.
“Provided that copper is not one of the additives used as catalyst, the
copper isotopes 63 and 65 can only have been formed during the process.
Their presence is therefore a proof that nuclear reactions took place in
the process,” Kullander said.
--- End of article quote ---
Where did you find a reference to blowing hot hydrogen through a brazed
copper reactor? Link, please!
There’s a link to the NyTeknik article in my project web page.