I've suggested (& published in 21 journal papers) a new theory called quantised inertia (or MiHsC) that assumes that inertia is caused by horizons damping quantum fields. It predicts galaxy rotation & lab thrusts without any dark stuff or adjustment. My University webpage is here, I've written a book called Physics from the Edge and I'm on twitter as @memcculloch. Most of my content is at patreon now: here

Monday 5 March 2018

A paper on QI & cold fusion

I've just published a paper on cold fusion, in Progress in Physics which is a nice open access journal that has the laudable goal of encouraging research that challenges the standard paradigm.

As I described in more detail in a previous blog, the phenomena known as cold fusion or LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions) is a process that appears to produce fusion by packing deuterium atoms (hydrogen atoms whose nucleii have an extra neutron) into palladium metal, which acts a bit like a sponge when it comes to deuterium. When this is done, in certain circumstances, unexpected heat is given off, more than can be explained by normal chemistry, so the argument goes (and as arguments go, this one has lasted decades!) it must be fusion, but how is this possible when these deuterons are both positively charged and so they repel very strongly? Normally you need temperatures of over 100 million Kelvin to get them to collide and fuse, and hence the 25 billions dollars spent so far on reproducing the centre of the Sun on Earth (eg: with huge fusion reactors like ITER). Cold fusion appears to do it in a test tube, at room temperature and without emitting harmful radiation and the phenomena has been repeated often (see Storms, 2006). It offers the possibility of cheap energy for all, but as so often, it doesn't agree with the standard model so very few dare to investigate it (see an interesting article by Huw Price, link).

Well, as many of those who read my blog know, nature doesn't agree very well with the standard model either, but quantised inertia (or MiHsC) does rather better and one prediction of it, is that in tiny, closed informational spaces the temperature should increase. So what about tiny cracks or defects in the palladium? They do exist as both Ed Storms (who prefers cracks, see his report below) and Russ George have told me (the latter told me about very effective Japanese 'Samurai' palladium, full of defects). If the defects are of a size 28 nm then quantised inertia predicts a temperature of 27,000K. 

This is not enough to initiate fusion, but now imagine two ships in a choppy sea. Waves hit them from all around, but there will be a sheltered region between them and therefore fewer waves will push them outwards from between them, than are pushing them inwards. The result is that the ships will move together in a way not dependent on the usual physics (at sea this phenomenon is called the Maritime Casimir effect, you can guess what it is called in dry physics).

If you now think similarly about two deuterons in a palladium defect or crack then they will be pushed together in the same way by the thermal waves in the crack, as I described here. I showed in the paper (see here, or the link below) that if the crack/defect is less than 28 nm in width then this new force is strong enough to push the deuterons together through their Coulomb repulsion and they will fuse.

So, does this explain cold fusion? It is maybe a start but there are some problems. First of all, when predicting things it is best to have a observed number to test the theory on. For testing quantised inertia on galaxy rotation the test data is the observed speed of the stars. For the emdrive it is the measured thrust. With cold fusion all I have done so far is predict that defects of 28 nm width are needed. What size are the cracks in palladium where the fusion occurs? I don't know!

The other problem is that, whereas this process might possibly explain the lack of neutron emissions in cold fusion experiments (they may also be subject to the mutual sheltering effect) it does not obviously explain the lack of gamma emission observed. This radiation may be absorbed by the lattice as suggested by others, but there is certainly a lot of work to do yet.

All the same, this explanation is a simple and visualisable process, it needs no adjustment, and links cold fusion with lab scale (emdrive) and astrophysical (galactic) anomalies, so it is at least a good addition to the debate, and should help to broaden it and embed it in wider new physics.


McCulloch, M.E., 2018. Can cold fusion be explained by quantised inertia? Progress in Physics, 14, 2, 63-65. Open access pdf.

Storms, E., 2012. A students' guide to cold fusion. http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEastudentsg.pdf

If you wish to support my work a little, you can do so here:


Unknown said...

You've made a prediction, now it needs to be tested - I look forward to the result.

Czeko said...

LENR has been spotted numerous time before F&P experiment in the 90s.

Wendt & Ruthenford in the 20s for example or more recently Stephanakis in the 70s.

See https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.29.568 for Stephanakis work.

See also https://arxiv.org/pdf/0709.1222.pdf.

Wire explosion looks like a fun hobby... :)

Another mean for producing LENR is plasmoids.
An interesting paper is this one where authors say that they detected various elements after generating some plasmoid on silicon without seeking further where those elements would come from and why...


Unknown said...

very interesting. the boats in an ocean metaphor i remeber from a poetic description of the casimir expierment (about ZPE) as for the mechanism in cold fusion i belive it is a forced overlapping of the particles (as waves) in which some superpositional collapse mechanism makes them fuse. the advantage to this is the quantum tunneling would bypass the coulumb barrier enabling very low temps for fusion. i do like your work though. the samurai palladium is a neat idea!

Zephir said...

The cold fusion is probably the result of rare synergy of multiple effects (electron screening, hydridation of protons, etc..). Of these the effect of Cassimir forces/energy in nanocracks would be probably rather low. In addition, many cold fusion reactions runs without apparent cracks, for example at the surface of molten lithium. In my opinion the main contribution of nanocracks to cold fusion is, it forces to collide atoms along single line, which attenuates their collisions by Astroblaster effect. Their atoms are bound to axis of dislocation by mutual stress, so that they behave like cooler ones in radial direction and hotter ones in axial direction. Which would explain, why the long narrow dislocations within nickel nanowhiskers (Piantelli) have so strong catalyzing effects to cold fusion. The better collinearity and formation of boson condensate could also explain the observation of neutrons within palladium hydrides at low temperatures (Ed Storm at all). Fleischmann already observed that quenched (spontaneously heated) samples of palladium lose their catalytic activity fast. The mechanical deform (elongation) of samples is also used for increase of yield in ENEA Labs experiment.

But the effects of quantum vacuum within metal cavities shouldn't be neglected. In dense aether model their volume gets shielded from virtual photons, so that scalar wave component of vacuum gets enhanced there (analogy of enforcement of tsunamies between islands). These fields would manifest like magnetic fluctuations, which would heat up and accelerate charged particles. I just don't think, that this heating effect would be as high as predicted by MiHSc/QI theory above. Another effect could be, these fields weaken the strength of physical interactions, in particular Randell Mills relies on this effect, when he predicts, that narrow cavities at the surface of Raney nickel would enforce subquantum states within hydrogen by weakening the Coulomb barrier. Again, it seems that collinear arrangement of atoms would enforce the effect, so that the strings of dense Rydberg hydrogen atoms can be formed (Leif Holmlid at all).

So that the above study may become an important piece of cold fusion puzzle, although I wouldn't expect, it will be so dominant as its author expects. But the heating effects of quantum vacuum should be measurable and testable independently of cold fusion. But we shouldn't forget that adsorption of atoms to physical surface (i.e. decreasing their momentum in one direction) would automatically enhance their momentum in remaining direction due to uncertainty principle. On this mechanism many example of surface catalysis are based and it's merely classical effect, which should be subtracted from experimental results.

Zephir said...

Brownian Motion of
Graphene: Potential Source of Limitless Energy at Room Temperature
couldn't we also intepret it also like effect of heating graphene layers by  Cassimir vacuum?

The resulting vibrations would be strong enough to generate electricity. Again, the uncertainty principle by itself (constraining the object within wiggling vacuum in one direction forces it to wiggle more in remaining directions) is able to explain this effect. McCulloch should atempt to substract the classical quantum mechanics effect from nonclassical part of prediction in his theory. Because QI is supposed to be QM compliant, the predictions of MiHSc/QI theory shouldn't differ from naive prediction based on uncertainty principle, in accordance to which the object constrained in motion by surface would also heat itself - but only in direction perpendicular to surface of cavity. Whereas the MiHSc/QI claims the multidirectional effect..

Julien said...

Here is a very interesting article showing that Albert Einstein thought in 1947-1950 (!) of low-energy nuclear reactions (with low-energy neutrons acting collectively). A shocking innovative idea ahead of its time, forgotten in the limbo of history.

Einstein’s Lost Hypothesis: http://nautil.us/issue/7/waste/einsteins-lost-hypothesis

Zephir said...

/* “Perhaps reactions occur in which multiple electrons simultaneously transfer energy to one proton,” Einstein wrote (his emphasis). “According to quantum theory, this is somewhat conceivable, although not probable.” */

This is also why I wrote about Astroblaster effect. Einstein was clever: he did see it immediately. He also understood well quantum mechanics, which anticipates this effect well, despite its true nature is merely classical.

Alain_Co said...

Mayme I misrepresent astrolaster effect, but if it can explains how energy of coulomb barrer can be overcome, I feel harder to explain how energy of fusion is spread in small quanta.
Reverse Astroblaster effect,mossbauer effect, maybe ? I canno judge.

I can only work in the context of Storms vision (not a theory, but a direction, a coridor of ideas).

My proposal is that :
1- something coherent appears, an hydroton or something more funny, like a helmotz resonator collecting a vacancy with a linear H polymer, or a zigzag chain of H, pushin on it's side, with funny equations describing it's QM coherent state... One key question that is important for Storms is how the Gibbs energy promote the appearance of this object. It have not to be improbable, but desired in an exceptional place (he propose crack, I suspect vacancies may participate too)

2- this object, insulated like a Schrödinger cat family in a box, have a very complex level structure, as complex as an atom. I propose the electrons wavefunction get spread in a comb structures, over the whole NAE, so wide, it slightly covers the nuclei sometimes. Sure pauli exclusion will cause problems, but let us assume it means comb structure.

3- note that this wavefunction cannot concentrate as one electron, to force two nuclei to fuse, as it would cause 24Mev gamma... what happen is maybe that a superposition of slightly fused 1000* ( ded/1000-> he4/1000+24kev) combs, slowly radiating X-rays... superposed states that can only exist because the NAE is insulated from the time of the interaction. There is chance that the x-rays will be LASER coherent.
4- at one moment the quantity and phase of partially fused nuclei is big and coherent enough to resolve in a classical way as a he4 result, dome randomly somewhere like in a slit experiment. I would call that an interference fusion.

Sure there is sure tons of impossibility in what I say in details but this is how I imagine the trick to non only low energy fusion, but alse low energy outcome of fusion

Zephir said...

/* Maybe I misrepresent astroblaster effect, but if it can explains how energy of coulomb barrier can be overcome, I feel harder to explain how energy of fusion is spread in small quanta. Reverse Astroblaster effect, mossbauer effect, maybe ? I canno judge. */

Yep - exactly: the same physical mechanism, which is able to concentrate an input energy of multiple atoms into single place must be also able to spread the energy after its release. Think about it like about extremely low-dimensional 1D catalyst of nuclear reactions - whereas these chemical ones are mediated by 2D surface catalysts. Every catalysts decreases the activation barrier of reaction in both forward, both backward direction. The spreading of energy into a large volume is also the thing, which MiSHc theory wouldn't explain so easily.

Simon Derricutt said...

The main problem with the idea of a <29nm gap being needed is that if it were true then we'd see this reaction far more easily (with reliable/repeatable results), and also it wouldn't matter what material was used provided the gaps/cracks were the right size. If it's a matter of imposing a 1D structure, then Carbon nanotubes would seem to be ideal (and there are other materials that will produce tubular structures, too). Instead, the material itself seems to be critical and an alloy of principally Pd with Ag that has undergone specific processes in the course of making it seems to be the most reliable material to use. This used to be made by Johnson-Matthey but by now they've changed their process, and it's likely that the craftsmen who knew how to make it are retired or have died, and in any case it's proprietary as regards composition and processing. The interesting thing about the alloy is that it was specifically developed in order to resist cracking (which was the problem with pure Palladium used to filter Hydrogen) and so it may be useful to speculate on how the addition of Silver and a few other minor elements/impurities would stop the propagation of cracks and what the shape of such cracks would be.

A standard way of stopping propagation of cracks in, say, a sheet of plastic, is to drill a hole at the end of the crack. Instead of the stress being concentrated at the end of the crack and thus encouraging propagation, it is instead distributed around the circumference of the hole and thus does not exceed the stress-limit of the material. For that reason, adding a non-miscible softer material in tiny spheres to a body of a material subject to cracking can produce a composite that is far more resistant to cracking overall. A crack may start, but as soon as it hits a boundary with a sphere the stress is relieved by spreading over a much greater area. At the microscopic scale, looking at a polished section, we'd see a crack tapering into a circular hole. You can also use a harder material as the spheres, with the proviso that the bond between the sphere and the bulk material needs to be weaker than the bonds in either.

A feature of the cracks in such a material is that they will be tapered. That may be a critical point. We know from the "heat after death" experiments that simple movement of the Deuterium atoms through the base material (Palladium alloy) can produce a reaction. Some F-P experiments also showed an increase in heat produced when the electrolysing current was changed - this would change the D distribution from a stable population to one that will be moving towards a new equilibrium. It thus seems likely that it's the movement of the atoms that may be important.

If we speculate that we have tapered cracks leading to an inclusion in the alloy that acts as a stress-relief and stops the cracks, and that the inclusion has a different solubility (for want of a better word) for the Deuterium, then movement down these cracks will force the D atoms closer together relatively slowly. At that point, maybe the 29nm dimension will become important and the energy-level can exceed that needed to force the D atoms to a point where the attraction exceeds the Coulomb repulsion.

It's maybe possible to produce such a material in a similar way to Samurai swords, with the addition of fine Diamond dust (100 nm particles?) to the exterior of the block of Pd alloy at each folding of the metal and re-forging into a single block. That may also work (at somewhat lower material cost) using Nickel or Titanium. The cracks would then be produced by loading with D or H respectively, and possibly by repeated load/unload cycles. Movement of the D/H atoms through the material may be done simply by a pressure-gradient, thus replicating the conditions for the Heat After Death experiments.

Zephir said...

You can collide multiple atoms at the same moment. The analogy with piston fusion comes on mind here.

Robert said...

Have you taken a look at Mills' hydrino work? I'm not suggesting that explains all CF results since both could be true but if Mills is correct, and the data suggests he is, the hydrino reaction is very powerful and technologically potentially very useful.

tammor said...

Hi Mike,

I think you will find this interesting.

Cosmic clocks: a tight radius–velocity relationship for H I-selected galaxies


tammor said...

Hi Mike,

I think you will find this interesting.

Cosmic clocks: a tight radius–velocity relationship for H I-selected galaxies


Zephir said...

Astronomers discover galaxies spin like clockwork versus
Mike McCulloch's quantised inertia theory (see explanation)

"6. If an object in deep space, far from other objects (in the low acceleration MiHsC regime) spins or moves, then objects nearby (cosmically speaking) should tend to spin or
move in the same sense. This is similar to the Tajmar effect in the lab, also predicted by MiHsC.

joesixpack said...

This seems fairly bitter and does science by proclamation, without any sources...why I could accuse them of plagiarism...

The claim that hydrinos have never been observed is refuted by a commenter posting to published work by Mills.


AdamW said...

Have you seen this? Sounds like something I read here about trading information for energy...


Small stuff is weird. I once worked at a place where we had a big jar of 20nm alumina powder. Can't remember what for. Open the jar and the stuff would kind of climb out like smoke...

Laurence Cox said...


It is difficult to know what caused your alumina powder to climb out of the jar. The most obvious answer is air currents, but it could be Brownian motion.

Thanks for the link to the Quanta magazine article. Incidentally, an example that Oppenheim missed when he spoke of no angular momentum baths is the Earth-Moon system. The gravitational attraction of the Moon raises tides on the Earth which lead to a transfer of angular momentum from the rotational angular momentum of the Earth to the orbital angular momentum of the Moon. We can extract energy from the tides (which by reducing their amplitude would reduce the rate of angular momentum transfer).

RichD said...

Not on topic, but I found this today:

"Dark matter 'missing' in a galaxy far, far away"

It's an ultra-diffuse galaxy that is lacking all signatures of dark matter. Since this galaxy doesn't require any dark matter explanation to hold it together, it might make an interesting data point for MiHsC.

I'd bet MiHsC could give a better explanation of what's going on. A diffuse galaxy wouldn't have the same acceleration profile as a standard spiral galaxy, and MiHsC is greatly concerned with acceleration. An outlier galaxy like this would be an excellent opportunity for MiHsC to shine.

RichD said...

Not on topic, but I found this today:

"Dark matter 'missing' in a galaxy far, far away"

It's an ultra-diffuse galaxy that is lacking all signatures of dark matter. Since this galaxy doesn't require any dark matter explanation to hold it together, it might make an interesting data point for MiHsC.

I'd bet MiHsC could give a better explanation of what's going on. A diffuse galaxy wouldn't have the same acceleration profile as a standard spiral galaxy, and MiHsC is greatly concerned with acceleration. An outlier galaxy like this would be an excellent opportunity for MiHsC to shine.

Laurence Cox said...


This is an odd discovery: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature25767 "A galaxy lacking dark matter"

I haven't got access to the article in Nature, but if you have it is worth checking it out.

Zephir said...

The observations of galaxies without dark matter pose a problem for all theories relying on presence of normal matter like MOND and MiHSc.

Laurence Cox said...

Not strictly 'dark matter', but weakly interacting matter instead.


Hot (i.e. highly relativistic) neutrinos could account for some of the 'missing mass' but these should be uniformly distributed throughout space.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, these last comments deserve an entry in your blog.
My opinion is that this cluster of about 10 galaxies with ZERO dark matter content… is due to
1. Dark matter doesn’t exist
2. These galaxies are orbiting around another big one, the NGC1052, so their stars never feel a low acceleration like a0 and no need to dark matter to explain anomalities in orbital velocities.

This is another evident and simple proof of MiHsC

Article in https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.10237

But the best is McGaugh comments https://tritonstation.wordpress.com/2018/04/04/the-dwarf-galaxy-ngc1052-df2/

Please Mike, tell us, we are waiting your impressions…

joesixpack said...

The recent observations of many (10,000 or so) smaller black holes in the Milky Way around the central black hole, does this account for "missing" mass too if something similar is common to most galaxies?


"Tens of thousands of black holes may exist in Milky Way's center"

More evidence against CDM as an explanatory model?