Cold Fusion appears in a U.S. Patent!

Copyright © 1998 Harold Aspden


In my struggle to secure the grant of a U.S. patent relating to cold fusion I decided to adopt unusual tactics. My invention involved a thermoelectric technique for setting up an internal negative electric space charge inside a metal which I believed would involve charge displacement in the aether. This could assist in bringing together two bare positive nucleons, typically deuterons, absorbed into that metal. That, as I saw it, could serve as a catalyst which could assist in the cold fusion process.

A U.S. application of mine relating to this cold fusion technique was in its initial phase in the U.S. Patent Office, following its survival as a PCT application. A PCT application is one filed under the auspices of the international body which administers the international agreement known as the Patent Cooperation Treaty. U.S. Patent Examiner Harvey Behrend had handled that application in its international phase and, in its wounded state, it had somehow survived and arrived at the point where it could be onwardly processed by the National Patent Offices. This is normally a 'rubber-stamp' affair, but not so for the U.S. application, which began to serve a new sentence by being imprisoned for a time in death row of the 'cold fusion section' (Art unit 2204) of the U.S. Patent Office, Harvey Behrend being the officer in charge of the case.

The case history on that is recorded elsewhere in these Web pages. See:

Cold Fusion: My Story: Part II

Independently of the above situation I had success in securing allowance of a U.S. patent application on a thermoelectric energy conversion topic, dealt with by an examining section of the U.S. Patent Office which operates normally.

The tactics I adopted in my efforts to secure a granted patent involved filing a U.S. continuation-in-part application based on the pending cold fusion application that had survived the PCT stage, but before it came under the executioner's axe wielded by Harvey Behrend. My plan was to emphasize the thermoelectric aspects of the invention, but discuss their relevance to 'cold fusion' and incorporate a very substantial Appendix on that subject. I wrote the specification discussing the merits of 'cold fusion' and offered as an invention a special form of apparatus which I regarded as useful for testing the cold fusion process.

There was a 50:50 chance that the new application would be assigned to Harvey Behrend's examining group, but the abstract stressed thermoelectric energy conversion and not cold fusion, so I had my fingers crossed in hoping that Art group 1102 and not Harvey Behrend's Art group 2204 would be put in charge of the case in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

So that you, the reader, may understand what this is all about, and particularly so that my colleagues in the patent profession in Europe who may come to hear about this as well may understand, I feel it appropriate to quote a few words from an article which appeared in the July-November double issue of 'Infinite Energy', Nos. 15 and 16, at page. 86.

I refer to Dr. Hal Fox's article 'New Energy Sources for the Near Future: An Open Letter to Decision Makers'. Hal Fox is Editor of the Journal of New Energy. He is located in Utah, where the saga of cold fusion was born, and he has followed the cold fusion theme as closely as anyone over the years dating from March 1989, when that hope and prospect for a new energy technology was first announced. I quote:

"A university professor who has been supported by a multi-million dollar hot fusion contract and who becomes an advisor to the Department of Energy is unlikely to advise the government to fund a competitive low-energy technology. There would be very strong university pressure to continue in the development of hot fusion! This combination of federal funds, appointments to advisory groups, and the pressures for institutional funds on the advisors, has resulted in scientists becoming lobbyists with the following results:
__ The Office of Patents and Trademarks has been advised not to allow patents on competitive technology to hot fusion.
__ Leaders of some professional societies (such as the American Physical Society) have lobbied to prevent major peer-reviewed journals from publishing articles about competing technologies.
__ Officials in Washington ....."

Yes, indeed, I, as one of many, can vouch for the fact that the U.S. Patent Office, so far as it dares, is conducting its examination of cold fusion patent applications in what clearly amounts to an obstructive manner, but I am not alone!

In the event, I am pleased to say that the patent application did fall into the hands of Art Group 1102 and was accepted for grant, but there were a few problems en route, as I will explain, before presenting the patent in detail.

I had submitted seven claims, the first six being directed to the bare apparatus and its thermoelectric characteristics, but claim 7 introducing a version involving an electrolytic cell. All claims were rejected by the first Office action. It was dated February 24, 1997.

In the preamble to the rejection were numbered paragraphs (8) and (9), which read:

(8) It is noted that the specification contains reference to usage with "cold fusion". It is noted that the scientific community does not accept the operativeness of "cold fusion"
(9) The Examiner does not see where Applicant has supplied any reputable evidence to support his assertions, theories and concepts set forth in the specification, but not limited to, the discussion of quantum field interaction in the device and cosmic background synchronization. The claimed invention is a thermoelectric device which is considered to be operable.

After a few further formalities and objections there came the sentence:
Claims 1-6 would be allowable if rewritten or amended to overcome the rejection(s) under 35 U.S.C. 112 set forth in this Office action.

Evidently, my tactics had been rumbled, but the Examiner in Art Group 1102 was acting fairly and considerately in performing his task. Prior art was made of record as pertinent but not relied upon. The Examiner's commentary included the statement:

It is noted that Aspden '184 discloses a device (Figures 21 and 22) similar to that being claimed in the current application, but the patent was published less than a year before the filing of the current application and the device of Figures 21 and 22 is not claimed in any way as to cause any double patenting problems with current claims 1-6.

This was a reference to my U.S. Patent No. 5,376,184, issued on December 27, 1994 and entitled 'Thermoelectric Heat Transfer Apparatus'. I was dealing with the same Examiner who had processed and allowed that earlier application. Here, then, was the message that, if I could overcome the issue raised by his paragraphs (8) and (9) - the cold fusion references - I should be able secure grant based on those six claims.

I wanted to do that without striking out all that objectionable matter referred to in those paragraphs (8) and (9). What I filed as my response evoked the second Office action dated June 20, 1997, which the examiner made 'Final'. Apart from minor issues of a formal nature, mainly addressed at claim clarification, the action contained the statement:

"Applicant's arguments filed March 24, 1997, have been fully considered. In view of Applicant's amendments and remarks the objections to the specification have been overcome."

I had succeeded in retaining the 'Commentary on the Physics of Cold Fusion' that was part of the text of the patent specification I had filed at the U.S. Patent Office!

Now, these Web pages are intended to 'educate' and 'inform' the reader on issues which bear upon Energy Science and particularly my interpretation of certain phenomena which are seen as anomalous and which are seemingly unorthodox by normal scientific standards. So I think it appropriate to disclose here the 'Remarks' that I had included in my response to the patent examiner's first Office Action:

The Applicant appreciates the Examiner's helpful comments, which greatly facilitate this response.

Points 1 to 7 have been acted upon in accordance with the Examiner's suggestions, subject to clarification of item (2) where, in fact, a ten-fold increase is intended. Such a high eddy-current anomaly factor is only found in very thin electrical steel laminations when magnetized cross-wise to the grain. That condition is one where hysteresis loss is high in relation to eddy-current loss and so the extra heat flow enhances the anomaly. One tries to avoid this in designing transformers by ensuring, so far as one can, that the magnetic flux path is along the grain direction, meaning that in which the steel has been rolled because this orientates the crystal grains longitudinally in that direction and makes for easier magnetization.

Concerning point 8, the Applicant is well aware of the general posture of the scientific community on the 'cold fusion' issue and understands that the question of utility of an invention can be put in doubt if it depends upon the uncertainty surrounding such technology.

This is why the disclaimer was inserted from page 2, line 25 to page 3, line 2 but qualified by the wording of page 3, lines 12 to 16. Again at lines 1 to 3 on p. 22 Applicant has emphasized that the invention, although inspired by an interest in the 'cold fusion' theme, is independent in its patentable merits.

To address this and keep the focus of the subject invention on its thermoelectric merits, Applicant has considered the deletion of the Appendix (pages 25-38). In that eventuality Applicant assumes that it will remain available for public inspection as part of the File Wrapper when this patent application is granted and has noted, with appreciation, the Examiner's remarks (item 3 on page 4) concerning possible claim allowability.

Related to this, claim 7 has been deleted and a corresponding amendment has been made to the consistory clauses (the amendment at lines 8 and 9 on page 14). The invention claimed is as defined in Claims 1 to 6 and if the electrolytic cell application were adopted that would be something separate not within the scope of the invention claimed, except to the extent that infringes upon the territory of the thermoelectric feature covered by Claims 1 to 6. The reference to the electrolytic embodiment is retained in the disclosure as background information, but it no longer features in the invention as claimed.

It is hoped that the deletion of Claim 7 and the related statement of invention will be a sufficient amendment in addressing point (8), without deleting the Appendix added to the text of the specification. Otherwise it would help to have clarification of the Examiner's statement 'appropriate correction is required', so far as it applies specifically to point (8). Incidentally, the statement on p. 38 at lines 20-22 reiterates, albeit rather strongly, the Examiner's statement that the scientific community does not accept the operativeness of 'cold fusion'.

Applicant further notes that the Appendix is informative in giving background to the research interest leading to the invention claimed in this continuation-in-part and of relevance to the parent application, but is willing, reluctantly, to delete the Appendix if required as a condition for acceptance. It is hoped that it will be allowed to remain as it stands as a supplement to the main text.

Concerning Examiner's comment (9) on page 3 of his Office Action, it may be that the Applicant has gone further than necessary in trying to justify the basis of certain scientific anomalies which are interpreted in an unfamiliar way. On the specific point that "The Examiner does not see where Applicant has supplied any reputable evidence to support his assertions, theories and concepts...including, but not limited to, the discussion of quantum field interaction in the device and cosmic background synchronization", Applicant can but say that herein lies the motivation for the research project which has led to the subject invention and he would rather not eliminate the description supporting Fig. 5.

Note that, although there is unsupported reference to 'vacuum field spin' at line 19 on page 10, the later description supporting Fig. 5 (page 20, lines 1 to 15) explains the physics involved and directs reference to a scientific paper in Physics Letters. (See further comment below and copy of the paper now appended).

The thermoelectric principles of the invention are well-founded on 'reputable evidence'. The Applicant's IEE papers and monographs, backed by the university research of others on the eddy-current anomaly can be listed and supplied if necessary. However, the Examiner is not objecting to the thermoelectric aspects of the disclosure.

Concerning the theme that the induction of a radial electric field in a metal conductor can involve something of a quantum field nature having a cosmic synchronization aspect, this can be supported but the scientific community at large has been slow in reacting to the research of public record. In using the words 'reputable evidence' the Examiner casts doubt upon the authority of a researcher, rather than the merit of the research. If by 'reputable' one means 'wholly accepted', then treading new ground in really fundamental science-based technology, where there is heavy reliance on theory, is not going to be helped by the patent system. 'Acceptance' in a 'reputable' sense means that the world already knows about the invention and that means it is too late to be patented. If the word 'reputable' means 'sourced in a major corporation, governmental or academic institution' then the terms can tend to exclude patenting by deserving individuals who, like myself, no longer belong actively to such a corporation (IBM in my case) or a university (I have a 15 year university background in the field of electrical engineering, 12 years of that being exclusively in research).

My object in writing these latter remarks is to ask the Examiner to consider that his point (9) is met by the submission herewith of copies of two scientific papers:

1. Physics Letters, 110A, pp. 113-115, 1985.
This describes in the opening paragraph the system shown pictorially in Fig. 5 of the specification.
2. Physics Letters, 41A, pp. 423-424, 1972.
This is the paper referenced on p. 20 of the specification. It describes the synchronous jitter motion in a cosmological (aether) context. The fine-structure constant is the fundamental dimensionless physical constant that incorporates Planck's quantum of action, the speed of light and the fundamental electric charge quantum e (electron charge value).

It is pointed out that the laboratory source of the latter paper is the Australian equivalent of the U.S. Bureau of Standards, a laboratory where that fine-structure constant is measured. Dr. D. M. Eagles is a reputable British physicist who has published numerous, much-cited, scientific papers on quantum physics and, more recently, on superconductivity. He worked for NASA in USA before joining the National Measurement Laboratory in Australia.

There is no recorded criticism in the scientific literature concerning these two papers. Indeed, when there is such reference, as in a review work, it tends to leave the question of merit open. There is a curious phrase on page 163 in a review book by Petley of the National Physical Laboratory in U.K. ('The Fundamental Physical Constants and the Frontier of Measurement') published by the U.K. Institute of Physics which reads:

"No doubt the theoretical attempts to calculate the values of 'alpha' (fine-structure constant) and 'beta' (proton-electron mass ratio) will continue - possibly with Nobel prizewinning success. Aspden and Eagles (1972) obtained (alpha)-1 = 108(pi)(8/1843)1/6."

The cited art has been reviewed and the Examiner's comments are noted. This will provide interesting background reference data for onward research in the subject field.

There is little more the Applicant can add to meet the Examiner's objections and it is hoped that the above amendment will be deemed fully responsive and result in acceptance.

Respectfully submitted

Harold Aspden
March 19, 1997

So, I now invite you to look at the U.S. Patent No. 5,734,122 issued to me as Applicant on March 31, 1998.

Before presenting the more formal part of the patent specification I have decided first to introduce you to the 'Appendix' which now features in the published specification of U.S. Patent No. 5,734.122 following the formal description of the invention and placed before the claims. The text of this Appendix had been written three years before the subject patent application was filed. It was intended for use in connection with a petition to revive a U.S. patent application that had suffered a curious fate, but that is part of the story told elsewhere in these Web pages (See Cold Fusion: My Story: Part II)



A Commentary on the Physics of 'Cold Fusion'


This commentary describes the circumstances of the Applicant's background interest in the subject of nuclear structure, particularly with regard to deuterons and proton creation, and a connected research background on anomalous electrodynamic properties associated with current flow in metal at room temperature.

It further explains why there is reason to expect the statistical incidence of physical processes associated with nuclear fusion to be different for action in metal and action in very hot plasma.

Furthermore, since any landmark invention in this field must probe unexplored territory which is not adequately mapped in the accepted and general state of the art, one must be prepared to give credence to physics which is new and unfamiliar. It is a recognized 'state of the art' fact that there are unsolved mysteries in physics, and physicists have at this time no way of denying this Applicant's contention that the mystery which particularly concerns what has come to known as 'cold fusion' is the role of the muon, the enigmatic mu-meson, in creating the proton and in promoting its decay.

The Fusion Criteria

In a very hot proton gas protons can combine to create heavier atomic nuclei. This is facilitated if there is something effectively neutralizing the charge repulsion between the protons. A proton or antiproton charge can become neutral if a beta particle of opposite polarity combines with it in some way to be seen as a neutron. Alternatively it is conceivable that in the very energetic field conditions that one can foresee, particularly in the presence of strong gravity fields, the field medium itself can be such as to overcome the mutual repulsion or the medium itself may become electrically polarized to provide a background that can serve as the neutralizing influence. In any event, the high energy physics of the scenario by which protons synthesize heavier forms of matter has to explain why hot fusion occurs and the picture just presented has to be very close to what has just been outlined.

Now, there is one important aspect here that tends to be overlooked. How do those protons get created in the first place? The scientific challenge here is not concerned with fusion but rather initial creation and the answer lies in finding the true explanation for what governs the mass of the proton. This is a theoretical exercise in which this Applicant has played an important and recognized part, because, although the world has not rushed into accepting the Applicant's explanation, it is a fact that the precise value of the proton-electron mass ratio of 1836.152 was deduced in terms of the mu-meson field. This derivation involved collaboration with Dr. D. M. Eagles of the then National Standards Laboratory in Australia. It was reported in the U.S.A. Institute of Physics journal Physics Today in 1984 (November issue, p. 15) and was mentioned in their 1985 update by the leading U.S. researchers who measure this quantity. See R.S. Van Dyck et al: International Journal of Mass Spectroscopy and Ion Processes, 66, (1985) pp. 327-337. They noted how remarkably close the theoretical value was to the one they measured and added 'This is even more curious when one notes that they [meaning this Applicant and Dr. Eagles] published this result several years before direct precision measurements of this ratio had begun.'

Given that the Applicant knows how protons are created from a mu-meson field and taking into account that physicists familiar with quantum electrodynamics know that the vacuum field is the seat of activity of electron and positron creation and that mu-mesons are otherwise known as 'heavy electrons', it needs little imagination then to suspect that Nature is trying to create protons continuously everywhere in space. Since we do not see such protons materializing before our eyes we must infer that they exist only very transiently after creation unless the field medium has surplus energy to be shed over and above its local equilibrium requirements.

This scenario of proton creation and annihilation is no less credible than the accepted scenario of electron-positron creation and annihilation or the equivalent mu-meson activity. We think the electron and the proton have an infinite lifetime because none has been measured, but the true reason for this is that it is impossible to measure the lifetime of something when it gets itself recreated virtually in the same place and immediately. Yet, we know that electrons can decay in association with positrons and we further know that electrons can tunnel through potential barriers with a 10-13 second lifetime, so physicists do need to get their picture of these events into proper context.

The proton and the electron are the only types of particle that exist in stable form, simply because they are recurrently regenerating as the primordial forms of matter, as such, in their respective charge polarity states.

Now, given this background knowledge of proton creation, it becomes easier to understand how an atomic nucleus might increment in its nucleon value and without needing an immensely hot background. If a proton were to be created in the very space already occupied by an atomic nucleus one can begin to understand how it might fuse with that nucleus and promote the emission of a beta particle. Almost all the transmutations that are listed in atomic tables, excluding what occurs in the heavy nuclei ranging from bismuth onwards, require emissions of beta particles. Beta particles are those electrons and positrons already mentioned. They are emitted by atomic nuclei. Yet atomic physicists have chosen to ignore their existence in atomic nuclei and have instead assumed that there are neutrons present to keep the mass balance. Here lies the very heart of the problem surrounding cold fusion. Neutrons are unstable. They are artifacts created when atoms break up. They are composites of beta particles and protons, but they do not exist as 'neutrons' in that atomic nucleus.

Accordingly, one must see the evidence of 'cold fusion' as evidence confirming this rather obvious proposition, namely that there are no neutrons in atomic nuclei. This is a case where discovery in the context of a technological advance, meaning 'invention', has given a new insight into basic physics and yet has led to the incredible contest by which the absence of the neutron hot fusion product has been regarded as disproving what is observed.

However, summarizing the position, Nature is constantly attempting to create protons everywhere, but generally does not succeed, because there is no energy to sustain the field equilibrium and so the pseudo-creations promptly decay. However, given the right conditions the statistical action can, even with the field equilibrium requirement, result in nuclear fusion because if the trigger threshold is reached it becomes energetically favorable for a proton elsewhere, but nearby, to decay to keep the vacuum field energy balance.

No doubt the reader will understand that, if a proton were to be created within an atomic nucleus, the event, if also accompanied with the expulsion of a positive beta particle, would leave that nucleus one nucleon heavier but with its charge unchanged. If, accompanying this event, a proton nearby, or a proton in a nearby deuteron, were to decay with its beta particle action, then some heat energy would be shed nearby. This becomes a very likely event, given that Nature most certainly does have a way of creating matter in proton form, provided (a) the overall mass energy of particles involved allows the reaction and (b) the close proximity of the particles is assured.

What, then, are the right conditions and how can this action be enhanced?

The answer is found by analogy with the hot fusion situation. We need to bring into very close relationship the two nuclei that are to fuse together. We can do this either by moving them at high speed, as by thermal excitation, or somehow assuring that, since they are positively charged, the field background has a negative electrical condition. The nuclei must further be stripped away from the satellite atomic electrons of the normal atomic form.

Now, before explaining how physics can assure this in the cold fusion work, it is appropriate to digress a little, in two ways.

Firstly, reference will be made to some reported evidence of cold fusion that antedates the Fleischmann-Pons activity. Secondly, the author will refer to his own experimental diversion at the time he made the invention which is the subject of the parent patent application based on the GB priority date of April 15, 1989.

Cold Fusion in 1960

At pages 2-3 of the Journal of the British-American Scientific Research Association, Vol. XIII, No. 4, December 1990, there is an article by Edward Rietman entitled 'MOLECULAR CYCLOTRONS'. The article makes no reference to the 'cold fusion' theme but is concerned with transmutations at normal laboratory temperatures.

The following are quotations from that article:

'Digging through some old notes I found results for experiments on molecular cyclotrons. C. L. Kervran in 1960 published a book entitled 'TRANSMUTATIONS BIOLOGIQUES'. His results were 'verified' by H. Komaki of Japan. In 1965 Kervran was nominated for the Nobel Prize.

These two workers observed an increase in metallic elements in seedlings germinating in pure water. Specifically they observed transmutations of the type:

Na - Mg, K - Ca, Mn - Fe

In each of these cases a proton was reported to be absorbed by the nuclide of lower atomic number to form the next higher element.

S. Goldfine wrote a report in 1978 discussing how such reactions might take place in biological organisms.

It is well known that ATP in the mitochondria is a key molecular component in biochemical energy production. The mitochondria also contains Na, Mg, K, Ca, Mn and Fe ions. Goldfine suggested that the periodic field of an Mg-ATP crystal lattice will cause periodic fluctuations on the wave function of the trapped electron...there is a flow of electrons in the Mg-ATP caused by the many reactions occurring in the mitochondria...Goldfine continued to suggest that the small crystallites of Mg-ATP in the mitochondria act as molecular cyclotrons to accelerate protons and produce reactions of the type:

Na + H = Mg, K + H = Ca, Mn + H = Fe

To cast some light on this subject I spent months attempting to grow crystals of Mg-ATP complex for study in X-ray diffraction. I never succeeded in even obtaining a powdered sample. I concluded that the Mg-ATP complex exists only in an aqueous environment...'

From the above quotation one can see that here was a version of cold fusion presented from a background that is in the field of biological organisms.

One may further infer that living organisms are subject to nuclear transmutations that are accentuated where crystallites involve metallic elements in an aqueous environment, and this suggests that, in denying the realities of cold fusion, one is turning away from something that may have relevance to cancer research, inasmuch as those transmutations might well have consequences to health.

Bearing in mind that there is evidence to show that magnetic fields also have an effect on biological activity that is problematic from the physics viewpoint, it is appropriate to investigate the electrodynamics of heavy ions, whether moving in water, in metal or in a plasma. The point of vital importance that warrants attention is that all the teaching concerning electrodynamic actions is based on empirical studies involving electron currents. Electrons are classified as leptons and there are some very sound reasons for distinguishing their electrodynamic properties from those of hadronic matter.

The Applicant's Electrodynamic Research

There are long-accepted but unresolved anomalies concerning the anomalously very high forces exerted on heavy ions in a cold cathode discharge. In researching this subject the Applicant has established that the forces exerted on a heavy ion owing to its electrodynamic interaction with an electron are, in theory, enhanced by a factor equal to the ion-electron mass ratio.

This theory leads to a breach of the law that specifies balance of action and reaction, which means that energy is being exchanged with the field medium in which the electromagnetic reference frame is seated. The effective electromagnetic reference frame has a structure, as if it is formed by a fluid crystal lattice which, on a local scale, can adapt or maybe govern the shell structure of an atomic nucleus. Thus, normally, the motion of atoms and even ions in a gas or a solution will not evidence the anomalous electrodynamic effects, simply because they do not move relative to the local electromagnetic reference frame, meaning that, as far as concerns translational motion, the electrons present are the only active participant electrodynamically.

It is, however, quite a different situation when we consider a proton or a deuteron as a free ion inside the crystal host lattice of a metallic form, because there can only be one electromagnetic reference frame effective at any location in that metal. Therefore, a proton that is within a host crystal, and is free to move through it, will be seen as moving relative to the electromagnetic reference frame and then it can contribute to anomalous electrodynamic effects.

These conditions were the subject of the Applicant's research as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of Southampton in England 1983 onwards. The Applicant had written on the subject of the proton, the deuteron and the neutron, pursuing the theme that no neutrons exist inside the deuteron and stressing that atomic nuclei are composites of beta particles and protons or antiprotons. This work was all published before 1989.

The anomalous electrodynamic forces that exist in the heavy ion/electron interaction imply a hidden source of energy and so of heat but the Applicant's research was aimed essentially at proving the modified law of electrodynamics dictated by that research. Certainly, whilst the ability to accelerate heavy ions by drawing on a hidden source of field energy was one of the Applicant's pursuits, at no time had the Applicant contemplated the prospect of a fusion reaction of the kind implied by Fleischmann and Pons.

Nevertheless, as soon as that latter work was reported, the research knowledge arising from the author's investigations was seen as relevant in the onward exploration of the excess heat phenomenon.

The Applicant was not only interested because of the excess energy aspect. There was the no-neutron feature and the fact that the process involved ion migration through water. There was the fact that the deuteron was the primary agent and this Applicant had shown, from the theory of the deuteron mass and its magnetic moment, that deuterons undergo cyclic changes of state and the state which prevails for one seventh of the time, the deuteron has a neutral core, having transiently shed a beta particle. More than this, however, the author had become involved at the time with two inventions, one of which later became the subject of a U.S. Patent (Serial No. 5,065,085) and these involved anomalous energy activity in a thermoelectric context which bears upon the cold fusion issue.

The other, lesser important, of these inventions was concerned with 'warm' superconductivity. The Applicant's research had suggested that substances having certain molecular mass forms are adapted to absorb impact by conduction electrons in such a way that the change of inductive energy accompanying the collision is conserved until the resulting EMF changes can impart the energy to another electron. This meant that the thermal energy of a heavy ion in the substance could be reduced to feed the normal resistance loss associated with the current. This was, therefore, a process by which anomalous heat energy activity was involved in electrodynamic interactions between heavy ions and electrons.

The more important invention of the two just mentioned was concerned with the anomalous behaviour of a thermoelectric interface between two metals when subjected to a strong magnetic field in a rather special conductor configuration. The Nernst Effect operates to cause heat carried by electrons in a metal to be converted into an electric potential energy by the ordering action of a transversely directed magnetic field.

The essential requirement for the action of the Nernst Effect is that there is a temperature gradient in the metal and, given such a temperature gradient, and the magnetic field, there will then be an electric potential gradient set up within the metal. Now, a potential gradient inside a metal conductor implies that there is inside the body of the metal a distribution of electric charge not neutralized by normal metallic conduction. The polarity of that charge is determined by the direction of the thermal gradient and the orientation of the magnetic field. It can be negative or positive by choice in the design of the apparatus used.

Besides this, the Applicant knew that the flow of a strong current through a metal conductor will promote what is known as the pinch effect in which electrodynamic forces act on the negative electron charge carriers to pinch them inwards and so set up an excess negative charge distribution inside the metal conductor.

This, plus the additional feature that a strong current flow through a metal conductor that is populated by free deuterons will promote a migration of deuterons that will bring them more frequently into near collision, all militated in favour of an invention proposing the provision of a supplementary high current closed circuit through the cathode of a cold fusion cell. That, indeed, became the subject of the patent application which the Applicant filed in U.K. on April 15, 1989, this being the priority application relied upon in the U.S. Patent Application under petition.

The Applicant, therefore, had reason to believe that the work on cold fusion would progress if the auxiliary current activation circuit were to be used.

However, in the event, the pioneer work of Fleischmann and Pons became the subject of such criticism that there was no prospect of getting R & D funding to take the subject invention forward and one is confronted with a chicken and egg scenario where disbelief of cold fusion as a scientific possibility stands in the way of securing patent grant and the doubts about securing a patent stands in the way of finding sponsorship for the development.

The Fusion Criteria Reexamined

There are three criteria that need to be satisfied simultaneously to promote and enhance the cold fusion reaction of deuterons.

Firstly, there is the background incidence of the virtual mu-meson field which is trying everywhere to create protons. This is a natural activity that cannot be controlled. It is a statistical effect, but one can calculate the probability governing proton creation fluctuations in a given volume of cathode material. See comments below.

Secondly, there is the need to bring the deuteron partner in the fusion process into close proximity with the target deuteron. In hot fusion reactions this is achieved by the motion associated with thermal activity. In cold fusion it is achieved by adsorbing deuterons into a host metal in which they become separate from their satellite electrons and by concentrating the loading by the deuteron population.

Thirdly, as with the creation of stars and by hydrogen fusion, there is the need to provide the field which pulls the deuterons together in spite of their mutual repulsion. In cold fusion this means the provision of a neutralizing negative charge distribution within the metal body of host metal. This requires strong electron current surges resulting in heat concentrations which set up temperature gradients in company with transverse magnetic fields. However, the structural form of the host metal in relation to the current channel, the magnetic field effect and the heat conduction path require a mutually orthogonal geometry to provide an optimum action.

Note that the surplus negative charge may result in a charge density that is quite small in relation to the positive charge of the deuteron population but every unit of charge is seated in a discrete electron and a single electron which can upset the normal charge balance of deuterons and free conduction electrons can nucleate a pair of deuterons.

Then, the creation of a proton in one deuteron accompanied by the demise of a proton in the other will convert the two deuterons into a tritium nucleus and free a proton with a beta particle transferring between the two. Alternatively one deuteron will convert into helium 3 and the proton released will be in company with a beta minus particle.

The onward reactions involving neutrons that are observed with hot fusion processes need not occur if the events involved are triggered naturally by the mu-meson activity in trying to create protons rather than by neutron bombardment.

The Proton Creation Probability

This probability of proton creation is a calculable quantity in terms of the vacuum lattice theory which the author developed in the 1960s and published in 1972/1975. It is, however, also evident empirically from the action of proton creation in promoting the decay of tritium. The triton nucleus comprises what is effectively a two part structure linked together by a nuclear bond with one part of the structure seated at a charge site in the vacuum lattice. It is this site that is the target for the mu-meson attack by which the proton form is created. When the proton does form at such a site and that tritium nucleus is present, the two-nucleon part converts to helium 3 and the single nucleon part decays to return the proton energy to the vacuum and sheds a beta minus particle. This reaction occurs with a release of a quite small amount of heat energy, namely 17.9 kev and with a 12.2 year lifetime. Accordingly, since the deuteron presumably has an affinity for the lattice sites in the vacuum, it is reasonable to expect the deuteron cold fusion reaction to occur with a similar incidence rate. The two deuterons will release 4 Mev in creating a proton and a triton and this will be the main source of heat followed by the triton converting to helium 3 and the onward heat evolution as helium 4 develops. The 12.2 year reaction probability, given a sufficient concentration of deuterons, could well accounts for any excess heat that can truly be said to involve a 'cold fusion' process.

It follows, therefore, that the primary technological problem of assuring that heat is generated in a cold fusion cell is that of bringing about the right concentration of deuterons in the host metal. This is not to be measured in number of deuterons per unit volume but in the number of deuterons that have a separation distance less than a certain critical threshold. That threshold distance can best be determined empirically but, whilst it can be penetrated by deuterons in a spurious activity where temperature gradients and field effects combine to be effective coincidentally, it is better if the Nernst Effect is harnessed more directly so as to create the negative charge background in a controlled way.

This, indeed, is the route by which the invention, the subject of the Patent Application Serial No. 07/480,816 can develop, but one feels that the orthodox scientific establishment bias, which denies that 'cold fusion' can be a reality, is so determined to obstruct progress that the outcome will be to the detriment of interests in the United States.

This Appendix commentary applies essentially to the substantive disclosure in the parent Patent Application Serial No. 07/480,816 and is intended to be one of historical and public record besides eventually proving of relevance to the subject invention depending upon the outcome of events in the development of 'cold fusion'.

To progress now to the remainder of the U.S. Patent No. 5,734,122 as issued on March 31, 1998 press the link:


Harold Aspden