LOW-ENERGY BULK-PROCESS ALCHEMY
Dr. Robert W. Bass, M.A. Oxon, Ph.D.
Monday, June 16, 1997
LOW-ENERGY BULK-PROCESS ALCHEMY
One-Tenth Gram of Thorium Becomes Titanium & Copper
Most Sacrosanct Principles of Physics Overturned
By Dr. Robert W. Bass, M.A. Oxon, Ph.D.
CINCINNATI, OHIO: In a stunning upset of the fundamental dogmas of high-energy nuclear physics, a small group of inspired inventors acting in the tradition of the Wright Brothers of nearby Dayton OH, has achieved reliable, multiply-confirmed, replicable-upon-demand, low-energy, bulk-process, high-speed, modern alchemy. For example, in less than an hour, one-tenth gram of radioactive thorium has been transmuted into nine-hundredths gram of titanium plus one-hundredth gram of copper.
After two years of partial public disclosures, these latter-day Prometheans have finally achieved multiple third-party confirmations by numerous established measurement techniques. Cross-checking procedures rule out all possibility of contamination or other experimental error. We are now calling for the public to encourage the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Department of Energy (DOE), to pay attention to this unprecedented technological breakthrough, which seems to have arrived at the height of national concern over the expensive and dangerous problem posed by disposal of massive stockpiles of radioactive wastes produced both by the Department of Defense (DOD) atomic-weapons program and by the nation's many civilian nuclear power-generating plants.
Conventional-minded physical scientists have long-proclaimed that low-energy bulk-process transmutation of one chemical element into another to be an impossible "ancient and medieval dream" whose absurdity has been exposed by modern discoveries concerning the structure of the atom and its nucleus. Supposedly only multi-million-dollar high energy particle accelerators, operating at energies in excess of tens of thousands of electron volts, can perform nuclear alchemy.
In contrast, the new process announced by the Cincinnati Group, could be reproduced in any high-school laboratory. The total power required to transmute one tenth gram of thorium is less than 300 watts, and the processing time is under an hour, so less than three-tenths of a kilowatt-hour (or less than three pennies' worth of electricity) is the energy requirement. The patent-pending, proprietary reaction vessel, whose technical secrets will be made available for independent replication by others under a Non-Disclosure Agreement [NDA], fits inside of a four-inch cube. Initially, five identical processing cells were fabricated, after the process was discovered by trial-and-error in one corner of a welding shop. Other elements, such as ultra-dangerous cesium-137, and uranium, also have been processed with similar results, auguring hope that mankind's nightmare of long-lived high-level radioactive waste can at last be eliminated. Different sizes of cells have been constructed and operated successfully, indicating that the process can be scaled up from grams to tons.
The objective is to convert a radioactive element into non-radioactive elements. In nature, uranium and thorium decay, by emission of alpha-&-beta-particles, in a complicated chain of reactions which stops when the final decay products are isotopes of lead. It takes thorium ten half-lives, or 45 billion years, for 99.9 percent of any sample to decay naturally into lead. The new process causes random multiple fragmentation of the thorium nucleus into elements which are non-radioactive when first created, thereby speeding up the process by eliminating the need for further radioactive decay.
In one particular run, thorium was transmuted entirely into titanium and copper. In this case the transmutation result consisted of ninety-percent titanium and ten-percent copper. In other runs, the result was almost entirely copper, with a small amount of titanium and iron. In one particular test, the result was about one-tenth of a gram of flakes of copper, which could be seen with the naked eye and picked up with tweezers! A color photo of this man-made copper is available. The fact that the copper could not have been due to contamination was subsequently confirmed by processing cell blanks along with the thorium test samples, in which the only difference in the solutions placed into the reaction vessel was the presence or absence of dissolved thorium nitrate. Moreover, the clinching evidence that the copper could not have been the result of error or hoax was that its isotopic abundance ratio was different from that of natural copper by about a thousand percent!
In naturally-occurring copper, the abundance of the isotope of atomic weight 65 (meaning that there is a total of 65 protons and neutrons in its nucleus) constitutes about 45 percent of the amount of the copper isotope of atomic weight 63. But in the test-run which produced macroscopically visible copper flakes, the abundance ratio was increased 973 percent! Likewise, two of the four isotopes of titanium in another run differed from natural isotopic abundance ratios. To produce one-tenth of a gram of copper and titanium isotopes so dramatically different than what occurs in nature, emphasizes the impossibility of a hoax or error.
The Cincinnati Group, remembering the violent skepticism which greeted the claims of Fleischmann & Pons in 1989 to have demonstrated "cold" nuclear fusion, have subjected their process to the scrutiny of sophisticated measurement process, at both a nationally prominent testing laboratory and two nationally reputable universities, with confirmatory results. The before-and-after testing of the process-sample has employed both quadrupole mass spectrometry (utilizing an inductively coupled plasma excitation source) and atomic-emission spectrometry (based upon scanning electron microscopy). Also used were Geiger counters (to note decrease in external counts during processing) and computer-monitored scintillation counters for more accurate quantitative measurements of initial and final radiation emission by the unprocessed and processed samples.
The basic experimental protocol involves dissolving one gram of thorium nitrate in 100 milliliters (ml) of double-distilled water and other reagents. Then 75 ml is retained for testing as a "before" or unprocessed sample, while 25 ml is inserted into the reaction vessel. Electric current is run through the cell for less than one hour. The contents of the cell are then collected for testing as an "after" or processed sample. To ascertain that no radioactive elements remain in the cell, it is disassembled and each part monitored for radioactivity. Additionally, one unused cell was ground up, dissolved in acid, and the digested mixture tested [by ICP/MS & TEM-EDXA] to ensure that no contaminants sufficient to produce the observed amounts of copper, titanium, etc. were present. Even though such amounts of contaminants were already not to be present, a blank test was also prepared and subjected to the reaction process, in which the sole difference between the blank run and the actual run was the absence or presence of thorium nitrate in the solution introduced into the reaction chamber. Most of the mass-spectroscopy analyses were done on four separate but related samples: (1) a reagent blank [whose results were subtracted from the following results]; (2) a cell blank [as already described]; (3) a processed sample; and (4) an unprocessed sample [from the same initial batch]. The conclusion about what percentage of the thorium had been transmuted was based upon comparison of items (3) and (4).
One of the many runs based upon the protocol just described led to a "Third Party Verification" Certificate which reads in part: "The quantitative analysis of the data indicated that the amount of thorium which had undergone transmutation was equivalent to the amount of titanium plus copper which had been formed, within experimental error."
Traditionally, science has been based upon openness and peer-reviewed publications, with no details omitted, and widespread acceptance contingent upon independent replication and confirmation. Unfortunately, basic science as practiced today is almost entirely dependent upon public funding, such as from the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, or, as already mentioned, the DOD and DOE. But in the case of cold fusion (CF), which is a special case of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), the Energy Research Advisory Board (ERAB) Report submitted to the DOE and essentially claiming that CF/LENR and the like are "physically IMPOSSIBLE" has precluded normally funded research in this emergent field. Therefore, most LENR experiments have been bootlegged at government or corporate laboritories or privately funded.
The Cincinnati Group, with a small budget, has obtained results which the august National Academy of Science has branded as "inherently physically impossible," has no choice but to seek Patent Protection for its intellectual property in order to attract the necessary venture capital by means of which this almost-miraculous process can be scaled up from grams to pounds and, eventually, to tons.
Concerned citizens, who would like to see "a twenty-first century science solution" to national problem of Radwaste Remediation (RR), should urge their Senators to ensure that the Patent System functions in the manner which the founding fathers of this country intended, as authorized by the U.S. Constitution.
The Cincinnati Group wishes to express its appreciation to those who have helped them the most, including those elements of the national press who do not cater to "pack mentality." They would not have started their project if it had not been for the courageous decision of the Editors and Publishers of Popular Science magazine to feature as a cover story "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over!," an unbiased account of the CF scandal by Wall Street Journal reporter Jerry Bishop. From this article, the Cincinnati Group learned to contact Hal Fox, founder of the Fusion Information Center [P.O. Box 58639, Salt Lake City, UT 84158-0639], who advised them that the nation perhaps needed RR more desperately than cheap, clean energy at the present time. Fox, who publishes the archival, internationally abstracted, peer-reviewed Journal of New Energy, also publishes a CF Source Book which he has dedicated to "The Children of Chernobyl." The Cincinnati Group further publicly acknowledges great help from Dr. Eugene Mallove, publisher and editor of Infinite Energy magazine [available for an annual subscription of $29.50 from P.O. Box 2816, Concord, NH 03302-2816], whose next issue will contain much more detail pertaining to the presently announced seemingly-miraculous achievement.
Persons with a scientific interest who would like to peruse unedited copies of the Test Reports summarized above (or contemplate signing an NDA in order to receive full disclosure) may contact Celine at P.O. Box 1262, Covington, KY 41012-1262 or, M-F, at (513) 244-1144. After June 19, the merely curious may consult the Cincinnati Group's forthcoming web page.
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August 7, 1997.