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The head of ihe l>OE published a book on "Cold Fusion. The Fiasco of the Century "
Meanwhile several laboratories did confirm ihe P&F reaction. but they found it required a very good grade of palladium and days to weeks for the excess heat reaction to start
Word of ihe successes leaked ouL despite the refusal of any scientific journals to publish any submitted papers or the Patent Office to even Unik at patent applications. Perpetual motion rubbish.
So ihe work on cold fusion progressed mainly in Japan as new hydrogen energy, and in Russia, India and Italy. Pons and Fleischmann were so angry over their humiliation that, when a branch of Toyota came along and offered to build them the laboratory of their dreams an> where in the world, lhe\ ended up w ith a S25m lab on the French Riviera.
How real is the dream of a non-polluting new energy source that can provide power at less than 10% the cost of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gasoline? And what will something like this do to the world economy?
One inventor, Dr. Patterson of Sarasota (FT) came up with a new approach to cold fusion. He made microspheres of plastic and then flash coated them with palladium in order to provide a maximum of surface area per unit volume» With hundreds of these tiny spheres in a lithium solution in plain water instead of the more expensive deuterium used by PtkF, in April it the 5th International Cold Fusion Conference in Monaco. ¡lis cell uas demonstrated producing up to 600% more heat out than the energy required to trigger the reaction.
By October at a University of Illinois fusion conference
80 73 Amateur Radio Today * Apri I 1 i his demonstration was putting out over 100 watts of heat with only one watt of drive. Scientists from 35 countries checked the instrument at ion.
In December, at the Power Gen conference in Anaheim, a scaled-up version of the ceil was demonstrated, just in case there were any questions about whether a larger version would work. This cell generated 1.300 watts of heat with but 1.4 watts of drive! This created quite a storm and resulted in a illurrv of power company subscripi ions to my ( old Fusion maga/ine.
Indeed, there seem to be no major problems to sealing the system up lor megawatts of power or down to power wrist-watches. But we're still just barely out of year one when ii comes to practical cold fusion pow er.
There is a need for much more research. Experimenters will be testing various metals such as nickel rhodium, rubidium, platinum and combinations of them. They'll be testing various e I eet rc) I y tes, tem peratures, pressures, excitation voltages. frequencies. RF assistance at the hydrogen and Other frequencies. \ jbraiion at various frequencies and so on. We're in a scientific no-man's land here, so most of ihe work is empirical.
In fact Eve been getting more and more papers submitted for publication in Cold Fusion proposing explanations for why the cold fusion reaction is turning out so much anomalous heat. The physics establishment hates the whole business since it's "impossible." At first they said that everyone claiming to have produced excess heat had made stupid experimental errors. "They're all mistaken." Wh\ ? Because the m current standard model for the atom doesn't permit it,
W hen I i irst got involved in all this I didn't know an>-thing more about muons and leptons than you probably do. What I did know was that here was another new technology thai needed some support lo bring it from a laboratory curiosity into a new industry. So two years ago I started reading and ask ing endless dumb questions, just as I had done back in 1975 when the first microcomputer kit was announced. And in 1983 when ihe compact disc was introduced. And when I got interested in ham teletype in 1949, and then repeaters in 1969,
Hey. 1 haven l done anything } ou couldn't have done, if you'd made the effort. It has little to do with brains, and if you are using that excuse I suggest you invite yourself to a local Mensa meeting and find out how little big brains do for most people. No, it's just plain hard work. That's ihe proscription Edison gave when they asked him about genius. 99$ perspiration and 1 *vt inspiration.
So Eve read a pile of books, but coming at the field from a new direction. 1 ha\en*t been so totally tied down by the work of past geniuses, who may or may not have been right. There's something to be said for starting dumb, Since 1 have no ego lied up in needing lo be right in this new field, 1 shrugged and proposed my model for the atom. In formulating my model I drew upon a new model for how the solar system evolved as proposed b> Eric Lerner. This also explains to formation of galaxies, and even, on the next level of abstraction, why we have super-galaxies. I also drew on the 1908 book by
Bcsant and Lead beater on their clairvoyant \isions of atoms.
Can I explain how an atom is made up in simple language^ Of course.
We know from blowing atoms apart in super-colliders that they're made up of quarks. And quarks are made up of sub-quarks. And we know that all of this stuff has spin. Now. please picture a sub-quark made up of a small ball of energy. It probabl) looks something like a hall of varn. with the enertiv that
makes it up spinning around the ball, rising to the top, zipping down the middle in a Light vortex, oui the bottom, and around maybe seven titties again and Iwoop down the vortex again,
These little energy balls are held together by the suction of the energy in the vortex. But this also tends to attract nearb\ balls of energy .
Think of quarks being made up of strings of these little spinning bails, which in turn make a larger spinning quark.
You may not have delved into physics far enough to know thai scientists have had no good explanation for inertia. Nor have they had a reasonable explanation for why we have gravity, Einstein proposed gnw it) as being the result of the deformation ol ihe space-time continuum. Sure.
Now let's suppose we have a box full of spinning gyroscopes. II we try to push the box. the gyroscopes are going to resist, right? And once you start them moving they're going to lend to continue to move in the same direction.
The collective attraction of these energj balls for one another we sense as gravity.
Eve proposed this theory in my Cold f usion editorials, fully expecting to he dumped on for being so dumb. A couple of scientists have called, naming the energy halls "Green Balls." Well, at least they didn't suggest Green's Big Bulb. Bui though the readership of the publication includes some ol the world's top physicists, no one has dumped on me ycf They probably will,
Why cold fusion?
Not satisfied with going way oui on a limb with my proposed solutions for inertia and gravity, I've been reading more books, looking for clues lo what's happening to produce all that heat. The power of the vortices in my little energy balls could explain how the dread Coulomb harrier is overcome. Tliis is a force thai keeps two protons apart, in my January editorial I had a section on alchemy today, recommending ihe book, ^lie Philosopher's Stone." Well, the more I thought about it the more likely it seemed to me that what was happening in the cold fusion cells was hydrogen changing to helium, though lab tests have confirmed thai not enough helium is produced to explain all of the heal generated. Okay, perhaps the lithium in the electrolyte is combining wilh two hydrogens to form beryllium and/or with four hydrogens to form boron. And wh\ not also check and see il
Jr the palladium is combining wilh two hydrogens to form silver? It won't hurt to check for sodium too, which might be the result of lithium combining w ith one oxygen. Or palladium with oxygen to produce anii-n*mv. The universities of llli-
w nois and Missouri are checking some used cell microspheres with mass spectrometers to see if there are signs of element transmutation* I'll be surprised and disappointed if they don'i find Tm right on what's happening.
Each of these proposed transmutations would tend to release heat, easily explaining die excess heat generated by ihe reaction.
The first sign of serious media attention lo the recent cold fusion developments was the airing of a segment on Dr Patterson on "Good Morning America/4 This was followed thai evening on "Nightfine" by a full half hour devoted to (he Patterson cell, The main critic of cold fusion hits been Prof. Huezinga of the University of Rochester, who put his scientific reputation on the line by publishing a book, ''Cold Fusion, the Fiasco of the Century/% The p<x>r professor, faced with Dr. Patterson's success. sat there with his eyes closed or blinking most of ihe Lime, apparently wanting to hide, and stuttering aboui there being no detected radioactive products, so it couldn't be fusion. No. since it was impossible. he hadn't bothered to look into it. Figures.
If you're handy with a camera, show me what you can do—let's see some interesting photos 1 might be able to use on the cover, Sure, antennas can be fascinating, and a hams hack with a zillion dollars worth of equipment can make us envious, so Tin not discouraging the tried and irue. But thai just tends to make 73 like the other ham rags, and we're noU
As old Uncle Don used to say, "Let's put on our thinking caps" You remember Unclc Don, right? Every night for years on the Mutual Network at 6 pm. Of course, he's better known today for something else he said. Anyway, lei's see what you can
Continued on page 88
Debunking Some Myths
9. Impedance mismatches cause pow er re flections on the feedline* Assuming a loss-less fecdline, a) all re-fleeted power will be returned to and radiated by the antenna, and b) all received signal power will be returned to the receiver However. if a mismatch between the receiver and feedlmc exists, the reflected signal power will be returned and re-radiated by the antenna,
10. High SWR in a coaxial transmission line does not create RF currents to flow on the surface of the outer braid. When the currents are of equal amplitude, even open-wire feedtine will not radiate due to high SWR. The currents must remain balanced.
I L Loading coiis (used to shorten antennas) provide the necessary inductive reactance to cancel the capaci-live reactance. It is very easy, and very wrong, to believe that the coil is replacing the missing 'length/'
12, Using a balun transformer to transform (change) impedances to a transmitting antenna is often desirahle. However, the balun must be operated within its power rating, or the ferrite core material may become saturated. A heated bafuti is the result of waste* I, non-radiated RF energy.
13, A big antenna does not radiate more power lhan a small antenna. However, large antennas do confine the radiation into a much more directional pattern than a small antenna. The larger antennas. due lo the concentrated directional capability, also receive or capture more signal than the smaller antennas,
14. When using a frequency meter to find the resonant frequency of an antenna, the meter should be connected at the antenna. Connecting the meter after a length of feedline measures the resonant frequency of ¡the combination-
While it is fun to discuss antenna systems, we all need to make a conscious effort not to propagate falsehood-one operator was overheard telling another radio operator that his transmission line must have a 1:1 SWR because it lay perfectly flat on the ground and didn't have any bumps in it. I think he may have been equaling impedance bumps to speed bumps!
Reprinted from ¡he March 1967 issue of 73 Amateur Radio
Number 82 on your Feedback card
by J,L, Elkhorne
as Edison rca!l> the great genius scboolbooks tell us he was? Or was he simply very diligent and hardworking?
The Greui Man confided that he tried ''everything" while working on inventions. When 10.000 experiments with a storage battery went down to failure, he said: "I have not failed, I ha\e just found 10-000 ways thai won't work/'
He argued with Nikola lesla, the brilliant Serbian engineer and scientist, telling hini thai AC electricity was a "waste of effort and money."
"Looks like a bunch of Chinese laun-dr\ markings," he remarked of his hired mathematicians' worksheets.
He said: "Genius is one pcrcent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration/' Most people think Thomas Alva Edison was perhaps the world's greatest inventor. Bui in comparison to his conic mporaries, he was an inveterate fiddler, w ho scorned abstract work to tinker about with one failure alter another.
Tesla observed of Edison's work methods: "If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search/" Tesla said further: "I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little ihcorv and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor." Edison plodded along, content to impnne on existing ideas, insistent on hand work over brain work and often completely blind to the uses of his ou n great and original work. Of his first phonograph, he said: "Maybe we could use it for some sort of telephone repeater/'
In later years he said of its first successful test: "1 was never so taken aback in all mj life. Everybody was astonished. / vim always afraid of things that worked the first time.'"
Even alter puteni rights were issued lo manufacturers, Edison claimed it uas "just a fad, and would he completely forgotten in five years/' As late as \925 he would not concede that electronic phonographs were superior and maintained ihat T.A. Edison. Inc. would make an improved mechanical phonograph for long playing records.
Also in 1925 he noted that the 'radio craze' would soon pass, " I he present radio...is certainly a lemon, It will in time cure ihc dealer of any desire to handle any kind of radio/' He also insisted I hat die public would not stand siill for having to listen to the programming the broadcasters provided,
In 1926. though very hard of hearing. Edison tested an electronic phonograph perfected by Bcnil Hauffman. a Sw edish engineer, at the Edison Laboratory. Edison found the reproduction 'distorted and terrible* and ordered that Hauffman be fired. Son Theodore, director of the works, arranged for HaulTman to work thereafter in a pari of the laboratory that Edison was not likeK to ^ isit.
Edison once said that ho enjoyed his deafness because it permitted him to concentrate. Though his progressive deafness made him almost stone deaf in elder years, one wonders if the affliction also allowed him lo ignore criticism in earlier times,
Another facet of the Edison myth is ihe famous story of his sleeping only four hours a niLiht, John J O'Neill repons in his biography of Tesla: "It w as a regular praclicc with Edison lo sit down in his laboratory and do/e off into a three-hour mip about twicc a day,"
Edison was strangely averse lo theoretical work himself; as a thinker, he was second rate- -as an administrator* second to none. The 'Wizard of Menlo Park1 hired batteries of mathematicians and physicists, laughed at their theoretical approach, but utilized their results.
When the young genius Nikola Tesla came to this country, he had a letter of introduction to Thomas Edison, four cents in his pockets, and the key lo alternating current electricity—today's housepower—locked in his mind. Edison offered hini a meager eighteen dollars a week, pro\ tding he ne\er spoke of AC.
Tesla proved himself an able engineer and inventor, regularly submitting improvements for Edison equipment. When Tesla suggested research toward improved dynamo manufacture, Edison told hi in: "There's fifty thousand dollars for you in it—if it works/' Inside the week, Tesla presented the design. When he finally had to ask about ihc money. Edison grinned and said: "I guess you just don't understand our Yankee humor. "
Tesla quit. Some months later, he had interested investors in his ideas for AC, constructed working models, and applied for a patent. The U.S. Patent Of fice responded thai the ideas contained in the original patent application were so far-reaching that no less than forty would cover them!
George Westing house, industrialist and inventor himself, offered Tesla one million dollars for the rights and the Westinghouse Electric Company was formed. This was prologue to the higgesi battle of ihe 19th century: a technological war in which fhomas Alva Edison was the prime antagonist,
Edison had recently spent two million dollars with his DC system in New York City, The financial threat posed by Westinghouse and Tesla could not be ignored. Although Edison had said AC was Ma waste of effort and money," he found his system impractical to produce voltages higher than -20, js the dy namo com mutators heated badly. Too. line losses nccessi tatcd either large, expensive conductors or power stations spaced every mile or so
DC power left the generating pkmt at about 120 volts. the users closest to the plant had the brightest lights, sometimes so much so that bulbs burned out frequently. Conversely, those al the end of the line had light hardly better than candle power, because of the voltage drop along the line. With /esla's AC system, alternating current could be transmitted equally to home or factory, with negligible power loss in the lines.
Edison wrote; "Just as certain as death Westinghouse will kill a customer within si\ months after he puts in a system of any size.Ji will never be free from danger/'
Westinghouse argued that of thirt) deaths b\ electricit\ in 'recent' years, sixteen were from 'safe" DC circuits, and none from Westinghouse equipment. During one period Edison lost about a workman a month with 'safe' direct current and almost burned down the fashionable Vanderbilt home on Fifth Ave. A fire started when metallic-threaded draperies shorted out the firing which had been placed behind it. Mrs, Vanderbilt returned home to find a confusion of firemen, assistants and Edison himself. Learning that there was a generating plant in her cellar, she became 'hysterical* and declared she could not live over a boiler. "We had to take the whole thing out," Edison ruefully remarked.
To sway public opinion in the "battle of the currents," Edison and Charles Batchellor—ironically the man who gave Tesla the letter of introduction to Edison—demonstrated the horrible danger of alternating currents by electrocuting cats and dogs, using a one kilo volt generator, hey paid eager schoolbovs twenty-live cents a head for all the animals ihe\ could deliver. It is said I hat the house pet population around West Orange stood in danger of being annihilated. During one of these edifying illustrations for guests, Batchellor lo>t his hold on the dog he was about to electrify and himself received the shock. As he put it later: "The sensation was of an immense rough file thrust through the quivering fibers of the body."
After this, Kdison published an article saying in part: "I have not failed to seek practical demonstration,* i ha\e taken life -not human life in the belief that the end justifies the means." Yet in the final battle of this strange war, Edison seemingly reversed his opinions and requested permission to install AC equipment in upstate New York. Westinghouse hastily agreed.
It might be said that the news of the installation came as a shock to Westinghouse—it was the first electric chair. The New York State Legislature had adopted a statute in 1888 to provide for capital punishment hy electrocution. H. P. Brown, a former research expert for Rdjson, supervised the installation of the 'hot squat' for the Edison General Electric Company.
On August 6f 18*?U, convicted murderer William Kemmler was to be executed. The first attempt at death b> legal electrocution was a failure, as the electric force was too weak. The unfortunate man was led away. After quick modifications to the chair, "The miserable work was perforce done again, re-Sülting in a spectacle much worse than hanging/"
A frantic Westinghouse recouped by obtaining the contract to provide power for the Columbian Exposition of 1X93. Tesla had his own exhibit there, where he m\stilled fairgoers with his scientific man els. The climax of the man> performances was the passing of one million volts of AC through his body to melt a copper piate. It was not high voltage that killed, he maintained, but the destructive heating of high currents, High amperage DC could and did kill as readily as AC. Whi !e working up his demonstrations, he discovered the medical principle of diathermy.
The public was won over to AC1 and in 1895, Tesla harnessed Niagara Falls. His powerhouse was completed, providing AC for Buffalo, New York, twenty-two miles away It was hailed a_s the greatest engineering aehie\emcnt in the world to that date.
In 1896. a mysterious cigar-shaped airship was seen by hundreds of people over San Francisco Bay. and subsequently was reported in successive eastward sightings. A New York Herald reporter obtained this siate-rnetit from Edison, who disclaimed any knowledge of the never-identified craft: "I prefer to demote my time u> objects of commercial \aiue. At best ai^hips would only be toys/* A few years laten he was congratulating Alberto Santos-Durnoni for inventing powered flight, not recognizing the achievement of the Wright brothers*
The Edison Effect—the expulsion of particles from a heated filament—grew from experiments with the light butb. Kdison found that bulb life was shortened b\ the deposit of carbon from the filament. He sketched in his notebook the first two-element vacuum tube as a solution to the problem, having found that current would How into the second element. This forerunner of today s diode was patented but never used, and the patent lapsed.
With the diode, his discovery of Lhe 'ethcric force' and a subsequent patent of wireless transmission based on electrostatic induction, he had in his grasp the elements of a complete radio system several years before Hertz demonstrated the existence of radio waves. Later in life, he said that it was a pity he had not seen any connection between them.
His first major invention, the carbon button microphonc. is virtually the same today; it improved an existing idea, the Bell device, Edison came, as it were, into a technological vacuum, purifying existing and imperfect concepts, and applying much ot the random electrical science accumulated o\er fifty years. He did enough thai he could well say in later years his productivity brought him "awards by the quart/5 He patented over LtOO inventions and gained a vast reputation while his more brilliant and less understood contemporaries are ail hut forgotten.
George Westinghouse himself patented over 400 inventions in his lifetime and founded 60 companies*
Charles Proteus Steinmetz. whom Edison tiked "because he never spoke of mathematics to me/' published the law of hysteresis when he was only 27. went on to produce artificial lightning and delve into higher mysteries- He is little known today.
Nikola Tesla. besides gi\ing the world AC, demonstrated radio control before the turn of the century, developed a working system of broadcast power, lighted his laboratories with wireless fluorescent lights in 1and had over 700 patents to his credit when he died in 1943. Yet he is the forgotten man of electrical science,
Edison, the Great Man, reigns supreme. »
73 Amateur Radio Today* April 1996 83
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