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You are here:
PureEnergySystems.com > News > May 31, 2011

Cold Fusion #1 Claims NASA Chief

A Chief NASA scientist, Dennis Bushnell has came out in support of Andrea Rossi's E-Cat technology, but denies any type of nuclear fusion is taking place, saying it is probably beta decay per the Widom Larson Theory. Repackaging the terminology to avoid embarrassment will not erase over twenty years of suppression and the reality of cold fusion! 

Dennis Bushnell; Source: NASA


by Hank Mills

Dennis Bushnell is a Chief scientist at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. He is also an inventor, author, and has been a consultant to countless government and military agencies. A few of these include the DOD, Air Force, DARPA, and the NRC. To read a more complete summary of his background, a good review can be found here. Recently, he was interviewed during an EV World podcast

During the show, he addressed what he called "Low Energy Nuclear Reactions" as being the most interesting and promising alternative energy technology being developed. In fact, it was first on his list, ahead of salt water agriculture, cyanobacteria, energy conservation, geothermal power, nano-plastic solar panels, solar thermal concentrators, and high altitude wind power. 

"The most interesting and promising [technology sector] at this point ... [is] low energy nuclear reactions."

Bushnell went on to say that LENR technology could potentially solve all of our energy and climate problems. He stated the technology could be used for any application, including to power rockets for space travel. It is quite refreshing to hear such positive statements, in support of cold fusion, from a mainstream, credible, and respected scientist! 

Actually, I cannot think of any other scientist off the top of my head, that I would have rather made a statement in support of LENR (cold fusion). His extensive scientific background, career history, and status as a Chief NASA scientist make his supportive statements very significant. Hopefully, they will inspire other scientists to take LENR research seriously! I would like to hear a naysayer like Bob Park (who has attacked cold fusion researchers for 20 years) try to criticize him for his comments.

During the interview, Bushnell specifically mentioned Andrea Rossi's E-Cat (Energy Catalyzer) technology, and seemed very supportive of it. He reviewed the tests that have been performed and the large amount of excess heat produced. At one point he made a remark scientists across the world should notice... 

"I think we are almost over the "we do not understand it" problem. I think we are almost over the "this does not produce anything useful" problem. I think this will go forward fairly rapidly now. If it does, this is capable of, by itself, completely changing geo-economics, geo-politics, and solving climate issues."

Despite his positive statements about LENR, he also made a few statements that indicate his lack of ability to admit that nuclear fusion at low temperatures could be a reality. He stated that all of the so called, "cold fusion" experiments performed over the last twenty years did not produce fusion reactions. His position is that they produced energy via a process called "Widom Larsen" theory, that does not involve fusion at all, but only "beta decay."

They Dare Not Call It Fusion

Fusion is the process in which two atoms collide, merge or "fuse" together, and form another element. During the process, a large amount of energy is released. The problem is that achieving fusion can be difficult, due to electrostatic repulsion. This electrostatic wall that prevents fusion reactions is called the, "Coulomb Barrier." The star in the center of our solar system produces fusion reactions by using millions of degrees of heat. With enough heat, the atoms are smashing into each other with so much force the Coulomb Barrier can be broken. This is what mainstream scientists call "hot fusion."

Cold Fusion, is a phenomenon in which atoms can fuse together and release energy at much lower temperatures. Instead of millions of degrees, the reactions can take place at temperatures as low as a few hundred of degrees. Somehow, in cold fusion setups such as those of Andrea Rossi's, the Coulomb Barrier is apparently somehow being penetrated. There are many ideas and theories about the possible mechanisms that allows this barrier to be broken, allowing fusion reactions happen at such low energy levels. 

Many of the theories have similar themes. Quite a few involve a proton from a hydrogen atom being made "invisible", being shielded, or made electrostatically neutral by an electron. In other theories, hydrogen atoms are shrunken and turned into mini-atoms or "virtual neutrons." Basically, in these theories the protons and their electrons (in some kind of altered form) do not experience the full repulsion of the Coulomb barrier, or are able to quantum tunnel through it. After they penetrate the barrier, a transmutation occurs in the metal (the atom gains a proton) and a large amount of energy is released. The end result is nuclear fusion at low temperatures. 

The "Widom Larsen" theory is just another variation of the above. In the theory, an exotic type electron called a "heavy surface plasmon polariton" combines with a proton to form an, "ultra low momentum neutron." This neutron can then penetrate the Coulomb barrier of an atom of nickel (or other metal) to produce transmutations and release energy. Its proponents claim that this theory does not violate any "laws" of physics, and is not nuclear fusion. 

However, I propose that "Widom Larsen" is a form of nuclear fusion, just like the other theories. The only difference is that it uses a few more fancy names for exotic sub atomic particles. Just like many of the other theories, the following set of events take place according to "Widom Larsen" theory.

- A shrunken or mini-hydrogen atom, virtual neutron, or a proton shielded by an electron sneak past the Coulomb barrier of another atom.

- A transmutation into a heavier element can take place.

- A large release of energy takes place.

This is indeed a fusion reaction, but the "Widom Larsen" proponents still try to argue otherwise. They claim that true "nuclear fusion" can only occur if a proton is pushed through the Coulomb barrier when the full repulsion is felt. Anything else, they claim, is a "neutron capture" event. 

The first thing untenable about that is they claim an "ultra low momentum neutron" is composed of a proton and electron. If it is composed of a proton and electron (just pretending to be a neutron) how can it be a neutron capture event? For example, if I catch a dog dressed up like a cat, I really caught a dog. I did not really catch a cat! However, they want you to believe a dog dressed up like a cat, is really a cat! 

The second thing untenable about their assertion is they claim that fusion cannot be taking place unless the full repulsion of the Coulomb barrier is felt. They go to the dictionary, and produce the following definitions.

- Neutron Capture involves a single particle, such as a neutron, with no electric charge entering a nucleus.

- Nuclear Fusion involves two nuclei having like-charges that overcome electromagnetic forces (the Coulomb barrier).

Basically, they try to claim that if you find a way to make a nuclei or proton sneak into another atom (without using lots of energy to bypass the Coulomb barrier) you have cheated, and you have not produced nuclear fusion. 

For example, did you "climb" a wall if you used a ladder? The "Widom Larsen" supporters say you did not "climb" the wall unless you scaled it by hand! Using a ladder was cheating! According to them you did not climb the wall, but only "went over it." 

They want to call your success something less than what it was, because you found a smarter/faster way to do it! 

However, regardless how you got over the wall, the end result is the same. You are on the other side! The same is true with Cold Fusion and LENR (which they claim is only neutron capture and not fusion). The fact is, fusion happened regardless of the method by which you got the proton/electron/neutron into the atom's nucleus!

In reality, there may be some sort of Widom-Larsen "like" phenomenon taking place in Andrea Rossi's cold fusion technology, and others. However, I doubt that the entire theory is correct. To be blunt, I doubt any of the current cold fusion theories are 100% correct, but the seeming fact is fusion is occurring! 

Any theory that claims that taking an atom, putting all or part of it into the nucleus of another atom, transmuting the second atom into another element, and releasing energy in the process is anything other than *some* kind of fusion, is total nonsense. It defies logic and rationality!

Hiding the Legacy of Suppression

The main reasons I think many mainstream scientists like Bushnell and the "Widom Larsen" supporters want to abolish the term Cold Fusion, deny the obvious truth fusion is taking place, and claim only LENR neutron capture is taking place is as follows.

First, they have to do "something" to make themselves "stand out." By shouting their "Widom Larsen" theory they can avoid the "stigma" of the term cold fusion, they can make it seem they have a special theory better than all the others, and they can claim they are not producing fusion at low temperatures (which is still heresy in their opinion). 

Secondly, by naming the emerging technology "LENR" or "neutron capture", they can possibly avoid the history of cold fusion being brought up. If the history of cold fusion is brought up, it makes the mainstream scientific community look like a bunch of evil, greedy monsters and ignorant fools. Cold fusion has been suppressed for over 20 years, and they do not want the history of that suppression being a focus of the media's attention. They would rather give it a new name and a non-fusion explanation. That way, their dirty little secret can be kept hidden. The population of the world is going to be angry when they realize that we could have had practical cold fusion many years ago, if not for those who put their own interests ahead of the good of mankind! 

Finally, if something as "impossible" as Cold Fusion becomes a reality, then it raises the question anew about what other technologies the scientific community deemed "impossible" might actually be possible after all. Anti-gravity, free energy, and faster than light space travel are all considered by the mainstream to be science fiction, but in the post cold fusion world that paradigm would be shattered (for political reasons more than scientific). By not using the term "Cold Fusion", it may be easier for the scientific community to down play the significance of this technology actually existing when they previously said it was impossible, claim that they never were involved in suppressing it, and convince the masses it does not represent damning proof of the failure of mainstream science on something so fundamental.

Andrea Rossi's Take On "Widom Larsen" Theory

Andrea Rossi's Energy Catalyzer technology apparently involves a nuclear reaction between nickel powder and hydrogen gas. Due to the fact that he has used both the terms "cold fusion" and LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions) to describe the technology, some "Widom Larsen" theory supporters have claimed it explains what is taking place in the E-Cat. However, Rossi has stated he now has an understanding of what exactly is taking place in his device, and that "Widom Larsen" theory does not explain it! 

Yesterday, a contributor, Herald Patterson asked a series of questions relating to this issue on Andrea Rossi's Journal of Nuclear Physics blog; and Rossi answered them.  The following is a composite of those two, with Rossi's responses indented in red.

Dear Mr. Rossi,

Thank you for refuting those two metropolitan legends. Unfortunately, there are other legends and unfounded rumors circulating around the internet as well. I will list a few of them here in case you would like to comment on them, and put an end to some ridiculous speculation that is taking place on the internet.

Thank you for your questions, here are the answers:

1) Other than the catalysts, hydrogen pressure, the special processing of the nickel powder, and the heat added to the system by the resistors there is some “other” factor that is critical to making the system work. For example, a source of radio frequency radiation to stimulate the processes inside the reactor vessel.

Yes: like Flash Gordon! Seriously: what happens inside the reactor is influenced only by what is inside; outside there is only cooling and thermalization.

2) No gamma radiation is actually produced inside of the reactor vessel. They claim you will not let independent scientists measure the gamma radiation inside the reactor *not* because the signatures detected could reveal the patent pending catalysts, but because no gamma radiation would be found.

Gamma have been regularly measured by us

3) No nickel is actually transmuted into copper. They try to connect this to the lack of gamma radiation, to support their idea that some extraordinary but totally *non-fusion* process is taking place.

Analysis of powders are the evidence of the transmutation

4) That you no longer think any form of fusion is taking place. They claim because you use the term Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, you non longer think a fusion reaction is taking place between the nickel and hydrogen.


5) Others claim there is no radiation being produced, except from beta-decay. Some push this idea to support a pet theory they religiously proclaim all over the net called, “Widom Larsen” theory.

Beta decay has nothing to do with my process, Widom Larsen theory has nothing to do with my process

I wish people would just take you at your word, instead of trying to twist the truth to support their own pet theories and ideas.

If you wish to comment on any of the above, I will do my best to spread your answers on the net to counter act the rumor-mongering taking place.

Thank you for all your work and willingness to interact with us.

I’m looking forward to October!

I am looking for October too, my friend.


His answers make it clear that Widom Larsen theory does not have anything to do with his process, beta decay (a hallmark of Widom Larsen theory) does not have anything to do with his process, and gamma radiation has been measured routinely inside of his reactor. In fact, it is gamma radiation that is converted to heat! 

In fairness, it is likely that a mechanism somewhat similar to "Widom Larsen" theory might be working inside of his reactor. One of his early papers hypothesized that a proton might be shielded by an electron, and be able to penetrate the Coulomb Barrier of a nickel atom. However, there are multiple theories that propose about the same thing, and any of them could be the "correct" one (or none of them might be 100% correct). Mini-atoms, virtual neutrons, protons shielded by electrons, and ultra low momentum neutrons (composed of exotic protons and electrons) are all similar concepts. There is absolutely nothing "special" about Widom Larsen theory, and no reason to think it is the "real" theory that explains what is taking place in his reactor. Of course the proponents of the theory will latch onto that idea with all their might, and try to ride on the coat tails of the E-Cat's success.

What the Widom Larsen supporters don't want you to realize, is that the terms LENR and Cold Fusion are the same concepts. They are nuclear fusion reactions that take place at low temperatures. Just because Rossi uses the term LENR, does not mean he does not think fusion reactions are taking place. In fact, he does! The possibility "weak" forces may exist between the hydrogen nucleus and the nickel nucleus (instead of the full force of the Coulomb barrier) does not mean anything. LENR still equals COLD FUSION!

Accepting Reality

The fact is that cold fusion technology is about to be commercialized. Andrea Rossi is planning on launching the first one megawatt plant in October, powering a E-Cat manufacturing facility. The first plant will be in Xanthi, Greece and soon afterwards a plant will open in the USA. This technology that has been mocked, attacked, slandered, ignored, and suppressed for over 20 years is about to be validated by the marketplace.

In my opinion, the sooner the scientific community confirms and acknowledges that this emerging technology is indeed *fusion* based, the better off we will be. Despite what you want to call the process, regardless your name for the particle that enters the nucleus of the nickel atom, and whatever your pet theory may be - a fusion reaction is taking place! 

Proponents of Widom Larsen theory may cling to definitions in dictionaries and technicalities to dismiss the true fusion based nature of Andrea Rossi's technology and cold fusion in general, but the truth will not be hidden! The world is about to wake up, and the powers that be and the scientific community are about to reap what they sowed.

Twenty years of suppression for the protection of ego, greed, wealth, and tyrannical control of humanity will not be forgotten! Too many lives have been lost, too much environmental destruction has occurred, and technological progress has been hindered for too long. 

The PEOPLE are going to take back their POWER!  

# # #

This story is also published at BeforeItsNews.

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Related Coverage:


On June 1, 2011, Edmund Storms wrote:

Congratulations. This is one of the rare, well-written, and accurate articles about cold fusion. You are right. The same phenomenon is operating in Ni-H as was extensively investigated using Pd-D. Consequently, the Rossi experience will not only open people's eyes to the reality but it severely limits the explanation. I will be most interest to see how the responsible people in government, who have a duty to keep the US informed about new discoveries, will explain their massive failure about this important subject.

* * * *

On May 25, 2011, Sterling Allan wrote:

I met Bushnell a few years ago, and he struck me as a disinfo guy (someone who knows about the black-budget projects and whose job is to maintain the illusion of "we're making limited progress" while "discrediting" ideas of flying saucers, etc.)

* * * *

Other PES Coverage

PESN Coverage of E-Cat

For a more exhaustive listing, see News:Rossi_Cold_Fusion | Mainstream | News:Cold_Fusion  


See also

Resources at PESWiki.com

Page posted by Sterling D. Allan May 2, 2011
Last updated August 05, 2011 


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