Becoming an experimentalist

My foray into cold fusion experiments

Part of the Cold fusion (LENR) series
Mon, Nov 27, 2017

A month ago, I committed myself to making some local cold fusion connections by placing somewhat cryptic posters in London university physics departments. I was delighted to receive some emails and had some great follow up conversations with curious, open-minded physicists.

One of the physicists was also an entrepreneurial character. He politely critiqued my proposition of needing £10M to make cold fusion a reality. To paraphrase, “No one is going to give you £10M. What can you demonstrate for £1000?” 😱 .

Now, I’m not an experimentalist by trade (my academic fusion research was largely theoretical) but £1000 seemed ludicrously small to me. I took his advice seriously though - he is an experimentalist after all (built his own Fusor like the one I was interested in back in 2014).

After digging around in the literature I came across work of Les Case 1,2,3. He made cold fusion happen in a pressurised container of deuterium gas at 3.4 atmospheres at 200C with palladium on coconut shell carbon. The set-up seemed “simple”:

Les Case’s cold fusion experiment
Dr. Les Case’s Catalytic Fusion cell, a steel gas-tight oval container used as an oxygen bottle in WW-II, sits in resistance coil heating basket

surely even a theorist like me could pull this off!

So, this is the task I’ve charged myself with - to replicate the work of Les Case. It’s going to be an exciting journey which I hope you will be part of by following my experimental log.