Professor Prelas and his group began work on LENR a few days after the Pons and Fleishman announcement on the possibility of room temperature fusion reactions. The focus of the work was based on gas loading while varying pressures and temperatures as well as ion loading. Several finds resulted. The first was the emission of 8.1 MeV gamma rays in 1989 from an ion loading experiment. The second was the observation of very high neutron emission rates (at a rate greater than 1,000,000 neutron per second over an extended period of time) using a thermal shock method on saturated metal deuterides.
LENR Research Archive St. Louis Post Dispatch Article On Activities Being Pursued (Temperature and Pressure Variation Experiments and Ion Loading Experiments)
Event Counter Timer Card Development and Related LENR Experiments (MS Project, Mr. Scott Taylor, April 1990)
Energy Conversion In LENR Artilce (9/1989)
Ion Loading Experiment and Emission of 8.1 MeV Gamma Ray
H. Hora, J. Kelly, J. U. Patel, M. A. Prelas, G. Miley, and J. W. Tompkins, "Screening in Cold Fusion Derived From D-D Reactions," Phys. Letters A, 175, 138-143 (1993).
High Neutron Emission From Thermal Shocking Presented at ICCF-17
Thermal Shocking and High Neutron Emission Experments from ICCF-17
Energetic Particle Spectra from a Diamond Particle Detector Presented at ICCF-17
Diamond Based Radiation Sensor for LENR
Diamond Based Radiation Detector Description
The goal in the diamond detector system are twofold. The first is to develop ultrasensitive detectors. Depending on the theory, the products of the reaction are very important. For example tritium would be a byproduct of fusion (D+D->p + T) or a neutron would be a byproduct as well (D+D->n + He). It is very difficult to measure trace chemicals and the instrument sensitivity for such measurements is limited to densities on the order of 1x10^14 atoms. In nuclear reactions, this would be a total number of reactions equal to 1x10^14. If it is a DD fusion this means that the total energy released is about 60 Watts-sec. So the reaction would have to release at least, give or take, 60 Watts-sec to even see tritium output.
To understand the sensitivity of various diagnostics, try to think in terms of the total number of reactions that a specific diagnostic can detect. Starting with the basic diagnostic used in the field, a calorimeter, very sensitive calorimeters that are in use with experiments today can resolve about 20 milli watts. Using the energy given off by a fusion reaction as the model, that translates to about 3x10^10 reactions/sec. So the resolution of a calorimeter to total number of reactions that occur is very poor.
Radiation detectors are very sensitive. Neutron detectors can see as few as 10,000 reactions/sec (taking into account detector efficiency, optimum geometry, noise, etc.) or in terms of output power 6 nanowatts. Gamma detectors can resolve about 10,000 reactions/sec also so that would represent a similar power output. CR39 has a lot of problems in sorting out the statistics. One would need about total 10^8 reactions to have a statistically relevant result.
The diamond particle detector can resolve as few as 100 total reactions that produce charged particles (taking into account detector efficiency, optimum geometry, noise, etc.) or in terms of output power of about 60 pico watts-sec. This diamond sensor is a very sensitive indicator of nuclear reactions occurring. It is sensitive to ions. The goal is to look for possible ion emission from the DD reaction, the DT reaction, possible transmutation reactions or other possible radiation signatures. That is why the experiment looked at both low energy and high energy. Trying to sort out what is occurring is much like the three blind men trying to identify an elephant by feeling parts, the thought was to look at as much of the picture as possible. It was understood that beta particle reactions in diamond are not well characterized, but there was a possibility they could be seen and that at least part of the predicted products from may theories could be detected. Thus the sensor was designed to be fairly broad. In summary the experiment could possibly test a number of theories (DD and DT fusion, transmutation and cold neutron production) as well as perhaps identifying something entirely new.
One goal was to establish an onset of the effect using the ultra sensitive diamond detector. Using calorimeters, the amount of loading that is required to see an effect is 0.9 D atoms to Pd atoms. The 0.9 figure is based on calorimeters which can only resolve 10^10 reactions. A diagnostic such as a calorimeter probably can’t see the onset of LENR which may occur at lower loading levels. The point is that an ultra sensitive diagnostic may be able to resolve the onset of LENR which is currently beyond the capability of many diagnostics. As can be seen in ICCF-17 presentation, there are very distinct energy releases and as can be seen from the SEMs of the Pd, it has the pitting that are typically seen in excess heat producing experiments. From the data there were about 10^8 total reactions (about 25 micro watts-sec of energy).
A shift that was seen between the hydrogen and helium data is very interesting (Slide 14). The experimental set up and noise conditions vary for each experiment so it is important to do extensive counting. This was done with helium at 100 psi and hydrogen at 100 psi. The pectra seen from H to D in run 2 is worth noting (Slides18-24) . In slides 18-20, There may be noise in the low channels that could be due to pressure or there may be something going on at low energy that needs to be resolved. Further study of the spectrum needs to be done. The set up was not focused on lower energies because the goal was to cover as large of an energy space as possible. There are interesting bursts in the hydrogen spectrum in slide 20. The highest count rate is about 4,000 reactions per second—this is not a very large reaction rate.
On Slide 24, there are 3 clear energy peaks at 0.882 MeV, 0.658 MeV and 0.312 MeV. Speculation is that the spectra looks very much like what one would expect of beta particles. But again, diamond is not well characterized for beta radiation. As the presentation states, there are candidate reactions that might have created them, but at this point there is not enough information to identify the cause of the peaks.
One thing to keep in mind is that due to the diamond sensor being so sensitive, it is possible to differentiate many new effects. One possible effect to consider is the small percentage of deuterium in natural hydrogen. Deuterium is 0.0156 percent of hydrogen gas. This is still a substantial amount of deuterium atoms. For example at 100 psi, there are about 1.7 x 10^20 hydrogen atoms per cc. Of this there are 2.6x10^16 deuterium atoms per cc. Perhaps these deuterium atoms have an impact and only a highly sensitive detector can hope to see the response.