By Jon Cartwright
Several of you have asked when I’m going to give you an update on Yoshiaki Arata’s cold-fusion demonstration that took place at Osaka University, Japan, three weeks ago. I have not yet come across any other first-hand accounts, and the videos, which I believe were taken by people at the university, have still not surfaced.
However, you may have noticed that Jed Rothwell of the LENR library website has put some figures with explanations relating to Arata’s recent work online. I’ve decided to go over them and some others here briefly to give you an idea of how Arata’s cold-fusion experiments work. It’s a bit more technical than usual, so get your thinking hats on.
Above is a diagram of his apparatus. It comprises a stainless-steel cell (2) containing a sample, which for the case of the demonstration was palladium dispersed in zirconium oxide (ZrO2–Pd). Arata measures the temperature of the sample (Tin) using a thermocouple mounted through its centre, and the temperature of the cell wall (Ts) using a thermocouple attached on the outside.
Let’s have a look at how these two temperatures, Tin and Ts, change over the course of Arata’s experiments. The first graph below is one of the control experiments (performed in July last year) in which hydrogen, rather than deuterium, is injected into the cell via the controller- (8) operated valve (5):
At 50 minutes — after the cell has been baked and cooled to remove gas contamination — Arata begins injecting hydrogen into the cell. This generates heat, which Arata says is due to a chemical reaction, and the temperature of the sample, Tin (green line), rises to 61 °C. After 15 minutes the sample can apparently take no more hydrogen, and the sample temperature begins to drop.
Now let’s look at the next graph below, which is essentially the same experiment but with deuterium gas (performed in October last year):
As before, Arata injects the gas after 50 minutes, although it takes a little longer for the sample to become saturated, around 18 minutes. This time the sample temperature Tin (red line) rises to 71 °C.
At a quick glance the temperatures in both graphs, after saturation, appear to peter out as one would expect if heat escapes to the environment. However, in the case of deuterium there is always a significant temperature difference between Tin and Ts, indicating that the sample and cell are not reaching equilibrium. Moreover, after 300 minutes the Tin of the deuterium experiment is about 28 °C (4 °C warmer than ambient), while Tin/Ts of the hydrogen experiment is at about 25 °C (1 °C warmer than ambient).
These results imply there must be a source of heat from inside the cell. Arata claims that, given the large amount of power involved, this must be some form of fusion — what he prefers to call “solid fusion”. This can be described, he says, by the following equation:
D + D = 4He + heat
(According to this equation, there should be no neutrons produced as by-products — thanks to those of you who pointed this out on the last post.)
If any of you are still reading, this graph below is also worth a look:
Here, Arata also displays data from deuterium and hydrogen experiments, but starts recording temperatures after the previous graphs finished, at 300 minutes. There are four plots: (A) is a deuterium and ZrO2–Pd experiment, like the one just described; (B) is another deuterium experiment, this time with a different sample; (C) is a control experiment with hydrogen, again similar to the one just described; and (D) is ambient temperature.
You can see here that the hydrogen experiment (C) reaches ambient temperature quite soon, after around 500 minutes. However, both the deuterium experiments remain 1 °C or more than ambient for at least 3000 minutes while still exhibiting the temperature difference between the sample and the cell, Tin and Ts.
Could this apparently lasting power output be used as a energy source? Arata believes it is potentially more important to us than hot or “thermonuclear” fusion and notes that, unlike the latter, it does not emit any pollution at all.