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PowerPedia:Don Borghi's experiment

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The first experimental verification of the synteshis of neutrons from protons and electrons was achieved by C. Borghi, C. Giori and A. Dall’Olio in the 1980’s via a test conducted at the CEN laboratories in Recife, Brasil, and published(1) later in 1993.

The experiment is today known as Don Borghi’s experiment from the leader of the team, the late Italian priest-physicist C. Borghi, formerly of the Deparment of Physics of the University of Milan, Italy, who dedicated his research activity to the test.

Don Borghi’s experiment constitutes the first historical verification of Rutherford’s conception of the neutron, and is rather remarkable because of its simplicity.


Contents

The experiment

In essence, the experimenters created in the interior of a cylindrical metal chamber (called klystron) a gas of ionized hydrogen (free protons and electrons) originating from the electrolytical separation of water, and kept the gas ionized via an electric discharge. Since protons and electrons carry a charge, they could not escape from the metal chamber.

Close to the outside of the chamber, the experimenters put a variety of fissionable and non-fissionable material and, after periods of time ranging from days to weeks, they detected transmutations in that material, thought to be caused by a flux of neutrons. In the absence of any other source, said neutron flux appears to originate from the synthesis of neutrons from protons and electrons in the interior of the klystron. Since the neutrons are neutral, once created inside the klystron, they can escape confinement and cause the detected nuclear transmutations.


Additional independent experiment

An separate and independent experimental test(2) of the synthesis of neutrons from protons and electrons, although using a different procedure, was announced by E. Conte and M. Pieralice in 1999, with results that confirm those by Don Borghi et al.

An interesting result was reported in their paper:

We should add that the aim of the experiment was to measure the possible synthesis of a proton and an electron into a neutron. It was not our purpose to effect calorimetric measurements. It was an unexpected result that we discovered that the aluminium cathode melted in the water during the experiment.
All previous calculations that we performed, accounting for the radioactive source at such low activity, excluded the possibility of the melting of the cathode. The aluminium cathode melted only when we used the radioactive source and not in the course of the same experiment but without the beta source.
We were not equiped to follow and measure the temperature rise in the cell. In a repetition of the experiment we are considering measuring parameters to investigate the melting of the cathode.


The cathode melting cannot be explained from Quantum Mechanics.


Taleyarkhan’s experiment

Other experiments(3), with results suggesting that a neutron must be formed by a proton and an electron, was made by Taleyarkhan, by using sonoluminescence. His experiment was a subject of controversy since its publication in 2002.

The controversy continues to this day. Brian Naranjo of the University of California, Los Angeles, has recently completed an analysis of the Taleyarkhan results claiming that Taleyarkhan had most likely misinterpreted the radioactive decay of standard lab materials for the byproducts of nuclear fusion.[1]

Taleyarkhan has been cleared of deliberately fabricating his results(4). He maintains there is emission of neutrons above the neutron background in his experiment, which means that there are nuclear reactions.

Most theorists claim that it is considered theoretically possible to generate hot fusion temperatures in imploding bubbles using sound.

However the occurrence of nuclear reactions in Taleyarkhan’s experiment cannot be credited to hot fusion reactions, because in 2002 Suslick and Didenko made another version(5) of Taleyarkhan’s experiment in which they showed that the greatest portion of energy in his experiment is wasted in chemical reactions, and so the remaining energy is not enough to produce hot fusion.

As a consequence, some researchers believe Taleyarkhan’s experiment requires an explanation by considering cold fusion reactions.


New clean energy

The neutron is one of the largest reservoirs of clean energy available to mankind. The possibility of practical utilization of neutronic energy depends in a crucial way on the nature of the neutron's constituents. If the neutron has a quark structure n= (d,u,d) as supposed by current theories, no possibility exists to utilize the energy contained in the neutron.

On the contrary, if Rutherford’s conception of the neutron should be correct, and the electron is indeed one of the physical constituents of the neutron, the possibility of utilizing the clean energy contained in the neutron's structure becomes real, and within our technological reach.

The definitive experimental verification that the electron is a physical constituent of the neutron would have additional theoretical and industrial implications of fundamental importance. On theoretical grounds, such a verification would require a profound revision of the current theory of strong interactions, from its current version possessing no practical applications, to a form that has direct and important practical applications(6).


Theoretical implications

The stronger theoretical argument used by a skeptical against cold fusion occurrence is supported by mathematical calculations, as shows the nuclear chemist Andre Mitch in the Chemistry Forum under title The difference between cold fusion and cold fusion , http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=17140.0


1- Even if anomalous heat is indeed created in the cold fusion experiments, however the skeptical alleges that some unbeknown phenomena is creating thermal neutrons, and it is those thermal neutrons that are leading to observed heat increases, as shown by the skeptical Andre Mitch (in the link already quoted above).


2- But skepticals as Andre Mitch doubt this is happening, and reply as he did: “I can knock out the claim that this is from electron capture on deuterium(2H) or that this is from, protons(1H), as follows :


Reactions:

Electron Capture on Hydrogen

1H + 1e- ---> 1n

Q = -0.78153017800003 MeV

Electron Capture on Deuterium

2H + 1e- ---> 1n + 1n

Q = -3.0059569539999 MeV "


And the skeptical Andre Mitch concludes:

A negative Q-value means that this will not happen spontaneously. This makes sense, since neutrons are heavier (contain more mass) than protons. In conclusion, giving coverage to this fringe science only helps perpetuate the false belief that there exists any viability in cold fusion, because the question then is, where will this additional mass come from? From the theories proposed by cold fusion theorists , I see no explanation accounting for the excess mass of the neutron. In the end, the mass-energy or the products need to equal the mass-energy of the reactants; No one can escape the conservation of mass-energy."

This sentence is fatal to cold fusion theorists, says Andre Mitch:

No one can escape the conservation of mass-energy"

Therefore, it’s impossible to find theoretical answers for this question from the current foundations of current theories, as proven mathematically by Andre Mitch.


Besides, there are several reasons why cold fusion is considered theoretically impossible to occur, and that's why the Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann said in a lecture in the Portland State University in 1998: “It's a bunch of baloney. Cold Fusion is theoretically impossible, and there are no experimental findings that indicate it exists?(7) .

Gell-Mann's belief can be understood by looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion#Theory , where it is written:

Cold fusion's most significant problem in the eyes of many scientists is that current theories describing conventional "hot" nuclear fusion cannot explain how a cold fusion reaction could occur at relatively low temperatures, and that there is currently no accepted theory to explain cold fusion.[27][28] The 1989 DoE panel said: "Nuclear fusion at room temperature, of the type discussed in this report, would be contrary to all understanding gained of nuclear reactions in the last half century; it would require the invention of an entirely new nuclear process". Current understanding of conventional "hot" nuclear fusion shows that the following explanations are not adequate: (a long list, which supports Gell-Mann's belief, follows this sentence)


Then now it is easier to understand why the Nobel Laureate Dr. Gerard t’Hooft said about the Borghi’s experiment: “There is much more wrong with n=p+e, but most of all the fact that the ‘experimental evidence’ is phony?(8).


Nevertheless, Dr. t’Hooft said it in 2001. Along the years there was a growth of additional experimental confirmations, as seen in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion:

In the early 90's, Pamela Mosier-Boss and Stanislaw Szpak, researchers in the U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego, developed an alternative experimental technique called codeposition, involving electroplating cathodes with a particular ratio of palladium and deuterium[2]. In 2006, they reported evidence of what they said was high-energy nuclear reactions concentrated near the probe surface.[3] Based on this work, two other teams have reported similar findings at the American Physical Society meeting of March 2007 (sessions A31 and B31) although interpretations vary.[4]


Besides Taleyarkhan was finally exhonorated from suspicion, and other experiments are confirming that the reality of cold fusion occurrence is today unquestionable, as related above.


Along the years it is also growing the quantity of proposed theories, as seen in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_fusion#Theory in the following items:

• Bose-Einstein Condensate-like

• Mossbauer effect-like

• Multi-body interactions

• Enhanced cross section

• Mitchell Swartz and others have theorized

• John C. Fisher has proposed a theory based on hypothetical polyneutrons.

• In 2005, Alan Widom and Lewis Larsen proposed a theory

• An informal proposal in 2000


However no theory is successful, and therefore 5 questions arise, as consequence of the LOGIC:

1- From the proposed theories, is there anyone with chance to explain cold fusion?

2- If yes, how?

3- If no, why?

4- Is there a fundamental requirement to be satisfied by any cold fusion theory?

5- Is there a criterion to be applied to a candidate theory, in order to discover if it is able to be successful, or not?


The dispute between skeptics and cold fusion theorists

The skeptics claim that cold fusion occurrence is theoretically impossible. Unlike, the cold fusion researchers who state that it is possible, since they believe the experimental results show that cold fusion is a reality.

Where is the origin of such a theoretical controversy?

The controversy exists because of the situation that occur because of the long list that supports the Gell-Mann's belief.


In resume, the controversy is the following:

1- The skeptics claim that cold fusion is impossible because there are some fundamental requirements that must be satisfied, but it is impossible they can be satisfied.

2- The cold fusion theorists have no answers for explaining those fundamental requirements arisen by the sceptics. So, the theorists continue trying to find new theories, but the fundamental requirements are never answered.

3- Whereas the cold fusion theorists do not listen to the skeptics claim, because the theorists are sure that cold fusion is possible, since they believe their experiments prove its existence. Though the skeptics believe such experiments are flawed, as Andre Micth and the Nobel winner Murray Gell-Mann.


Criterion of acceptance for a cold fusion theory

The theoretical explanation for Borghi’s experiment requires a cold fusion theory, since the electron and proton have fusion at low energy when they form the neutron in his experiment.

Many theories have been proposed for explaining cold fusion along the years.(Kenneth Shoulders, Edmund Storms, Paulo Correa, Dimitryii Afonichev, Peter Hagelstein, Mitchell Swartz , John C. Fisher , Alan Widom and Lewis Larsen). And obviously all they are essays, since till today no theory was successful to explain cold fusion occurrence, as we infer from the long list that supports Gell-Mann's belief that cold fusion is impossible.


However theres is a fundamental requirement that any canditate to be a cold fusion theory must be able to satisfy, which is that point arisen by Andre Mitch. Because if a theory does not satisfy that point arisen by him, obviously he will not accept the theory. That's why he said that no theory is able to satisfy that point (because he was ignorant of the exitence of the zitterbewegung, as he confessed in the end of the debate: “I have not heard of Zitterbewegung energy before, and have been studying up on it before giving a formal response. Sorry for the delay? ).

The fundamental requirement has been inferred from experiments, because the fact that the neutron has a greatest mass than the sum of the masses of proton and electron is infered from experiments. So to be acceptable, a cold fusion theory must be able to satisfy such fundamental requirement, otherwise the theory cannot be acceptable.

This is obvious, since if a cold fusion theory fails in explaining a fundamental requirement, sure that it cannot be successful in explaining cold fusion, because the cold fusion reactions occur according to that fundamental requirement, as pointed out by Andre Mitch. If a theory does not satisfies the point arisen by Mitch, obviously he would not accept the theory, because it failled in explaining his question.


Anyone can propose a cold fusion theory. But:

• obviously the theory becomes publishable only if it satisfies some fundamental criteria that any scientific theory must satisfy...

• ...and besides, even if it is published, it can be successful in predicting and explaining cold fusion experiment if it satisfies the fundamental theoretical requirements that any cold fusion theory must satisfy to be successful, and one of them is that fundamental point arisen by Andre Mitch.


After published, such theory constitutes an essay, as are essays all the proposed cold fusion theories, because no one of them was successful till now, as we infer from the long list that supports the Gell-Mann's belief.


But if one proposes a cold fusion theory, and his theory is unable to surpass the fundamental requirement, then obviously such new essay has not chance to be successful in explaining cold fusion experiments, and therefore it cannot be taken seriously.


The fundamental requirement

The repose mass of the proton and electron are:

proton: mP = 938.3 MeV/c2

electron: me = 0.511MeV/c2

Total mass: mT= 938.811MeV/c2

A structure of the neutron n = p+e would have to have a mass mN < 938.811 MeV/c2, since there is a loss of mass. However, it is known from experiments1 that neutron’s mass is mN = 939.6MeV/c2.

Therefore, any canditate to be as an acceptable cold fusion theory must be able to give answer to the following fundamental question: where this additional mass of neutron comes from?

which was the Mitch conclusion in the begginning of the item "Theoretical implications", and which we emphasize here with the Andre Mitch's conclusion:

A negative Q-value means that this will not happen spontaneously. This makes sense, since neutrons are heavier (contain more mass) than protons. In conclusion, giving coverage to this fringe science only helps perpetuate the false belief that there exists any viability in cold fusion, because the question then is, where will this additional mass come from? From the theories proposed by cold fusion theorists , I see no explanation accounting for the excess mass of the neutron. In the end, the mass-energy or the products need to equal the mass-energy of the reactants; No one can escape the conservation of mass-energy."


And the fatal sentence to cold fusion theorists:

No one can escape the conservation of mass-energy

Attention must be paid to the fact that the fundamental requirement is only the first step that any cold fusion theory must satisfy. Even if the requirement is satisfied, it no means that the theory will be successful in explaining cold fusion. To be successful it must satisfy other additional requirements, as for instance why a neutron formed by proton+electron has spin 1/2, because a model n=p+e seemingly violates the Fermi-Dirac statistics. But the main among the additional requirements obviously it’s to explain the cold fusion results, which is an obvious thing: because if a theory does not explain the results of the experiments, it is not a successful theory, and therefore it is not acceptable. Because a theory that is unable to predict and to explain the results of the experiments has only one destiny: the garbage. However, if a candidate cold fusion theory does not satisfy the first fundamental criterion, it cannot continue as a candidate, because it has failed to surpass the first step in the criterion of evaluation, established from the point arisen by Andre Mitch. There is something of logic in here: suppose there is a stairs that somebody must go up. If the person is not able to surpass the first degree, he cannot continue going up the stairs.


References

1. C. Borghi, C. Giori, A.A. Dall’Ollio, “Experimental Evidence of Emission of Neutrons from Cold Hydrogen Plasma?, American Institute of Physics (Phys. At. Nucl.), vol 56, no 7, 1993.

2. E. Conte, M. Pieralice, “An Experiment Indicates the Nuclear Fusion of the Proton and Electron into a Neutron?, Infinite Energy, vol 4, no 23-1999, p 67.

3. R.P. Taleyarkhan, C.D. West, J.S. Cho, R.T. Lahey, Jr., R.I. Nigmatulin, and R.C. Block, “"Evidence for Nuclear Emissions During Acoustic Cavitation"?, Science, vol 295, pp 1868-1873 (March 8, 2002) (in Research Articles).

4. Second Inquiry Exonerates Taleyarkhan: http://blogs.physicstoday.org/newspicks/2007/02/second_inquiry_exonerates_tale.html

5. Y.T. Didenko, K. S. Suslick, “"The energy efficiency of formation of photons, radicals and ions during single-bubble cavitation"?, Nature, vol 418, 394 - 397 (25 Jul 2002) Letters to Nature.

6. R. M. Santilli, “The Physics of New Clean Energies and Fuels According to Hadronic Mechanics?, Journal of New Energy, V. 4 , No. 1, pg. 125, 1999

7. E. Mallove, CSICOP: "Science Cops" at War with Cold Fusion, Infinite Energy, V. 4, No. 23, 1999)

8. W. Guglinski, Quantum Ring Theory- Foundations for Cold Fusion, pg. 3, Bäuu Press, 2006

Contact

  • User:WGUGLINSKI posted the original version of this page on 20 Nov 2007.
  • User:Luca54321 - J. V. Kadeisvili is another PESWiki expert on this subject. He has graciously volunteered to help maintain this page, as of Feb. 11, 2008.

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