LENR Gaining Wider Coverage – Part II – Discover Magazine
|October 28, 2012||Posted by Jack Cole under Dennis Bushnell, NASA, NASA - Zawodny, Widom-Larsen|
In the November 2012 issue of Discover Magazine, there is an article entitled Big Idea Bring Back the “Cold Fusion” Dream. The article very briefly reviews the history of cold fusion research, and notes that NASA and CERN have taken an interest. In the main, the article discusses Lewis Larsen’s ideas, and largely credits the Widom-Larsen theory as driving the new interest in LENR. NASA’s Zawodny and Bushnell are quoted in the article and noted for approaching LENR from the Larsen perspective.
Zawodny has designed a stamp-size array of metal tiles to test the theory. According to Larsen’s paper, the properties of some of the tiles should make it easier for electrons and protons to merge and form neutrons. If Zawodny observes evidence of neutron production, then he plans to do a follow-up experiment to see if those neutrons are fueling radioactive decay. Even if he gets the expected results, though, it would take several years and many corroborating experiments before LENRs could be considered confirmed.
Larsen, who formed the company Lattice Energy in 2001 as he was formulating his theory, has his eyes on the big prize: converting nuclear-generated heat into electricity, the unfulfilled original promise of cold fusion. He hopes to raise $25 million over the next few years to build prototype LENR generators.
So far, Larsen still has only a theory and some circumstantial evidence. But if LENRs could be proved and tamed—a very big if—the effect could be transformative. Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA Langley, wrote in an online article that LENRs could potentially satisfy the world’s energy needs at a quarter the cost of coal. Zawodny adds to that enthusiasm in an accompanying video. “If we were to have such a thing,” he says, “it would be the sort of technology that would fuel our future growth and expansion and have the ability to raise the standard of living of the entire world.”
For what it was meant to be, the article did a pretty good job of giving readers a “heads up” that CF research is continuing and making progress. This article was to the point and did not throw in a lot of personal opinions like the Popular Science article did. Unfortunately, the focus on WLT and NASA gives somewhat of a limited, and perhaps even distorted, view of the state of LENR research. That said, it’s nice to see more popular coverage and even-handed article that will help spur interest in LENR.