This is a version of cold fusion that should please Asterix. Neutrons aplenty.
Thanks to Alan Smith at LFH for noticing this one and bringing it to our attention. The patent is at https://www.google.com/patents/US20150221405 and seems pretty conclusive, though the equipment needed won’t be available to a normal garage experimenter. Given the radiation levels, though, this is maybe one you wouldn’t want to do at home anyway. There is a large range of materials that could be used in this configuration, though I suspect they have largely stuck to trying the “traditional” metals used in CF of Palladium, Titanium and Nickel since they absorb a lot of the Hydrogen isotopes, thus making the experiment somewhat more successful.
Unlike the other experiments for Cold Fusion or LENR, this is not specified to produce a lot of heat. It will produce some, of course, but the main product is neutrons. The mechanism may be what produces the nuclear effects (transmutation, a few neutrons, some other gamma radiation, Piantelli’s activation of the Nickel seen in a cloud chamber, etc.) in the LENR experiments where heat is the desired outcome, and maybe therefore implies that in those experiments this may be the minor reaction path.
To me, this patent also implies that putting heat-energy in at a sufficient rate may not be the only way of generating neutrons from a Hydrogen-loaded crystal lattice. There may also be a pathway using physical shocks (reference fractofusion) such as cavitation or hitting with a hammer, laser activation, ultrasonic – basically any way of getting the energy density high-enough to exceed the trigger energy. It’s also pretty obvious that this is actually standard hot fusion in its nature, and that the geometry is what provides the concentration of such energy to produce the reaction.
Despite this not being a demonstration of LENR, therefore, it’s still a good hint that the LENR method of fusion without producing the nuclear products may not be so far-fetched. Though the invention may not have much use except as a neutron source, and may be somewhat harder to use than the standard methods anyway, it does tell us that sufficient forces may be exerted within a crystal lattice to overcome the Coulomb barrier that keeps nuclei from fusing in more normal situations. It’s another piece of the puzzle that may be very important because of where it leads us.