Thursday, October 24, 2013

The TGD variant of the model of Widom and Larsen for cold fusion

Widom and Larsen (for articles see the Widom Larsen LENR Theory Portal) ) have proposed a theory of cold fusion (LENR), which claims to predict correctly the various isotope ratios observed in cold fusion and accompanying nuclear transmutations. The ability to predict correctly the isotope ratios suggests that the model is on the right track. A further finding is that the predicted isotope ratios correspond to those appearing in Nature which suggests that LENR is perhaps more important than hot fusion in solar interior as far as nuclear abundances are considered. TGD leads to the same proposal and Lithium anomaly could be understood as one implication of LENR (see this). The basic step of the reaction would rely on weak interactions: the proton of hydrogen atom would transform to neutron by capturing the electron and therefore would overcome the Coulomb barrier.

Challenges of the model

The model has to meet several challenges.

  1. The electron capture reaction p+e→ n+ν is not possible for ordinary atom since the mass difference of neutron is 1.3 MeV and larger than electron mass .5 MeV (electron has too small kinetic energy). The proposal is that strong electric fields at the catalyst surface imply renormalization effects for the plasmon phase at the surface of the catalyst increasing electron mass so that it has width of few MeVs (see this. Physically this would mean that strong em radiation helps to overcome the kinematical threshold for the reaction. This assumption can be criticized: the claim is that the mass renormalization is much smaller than claimed by Widom and Larsen.

  2. Second problem is that weak interactions are indeed very weak. The rate is proportional to 1/mW4, mW∼ 100 GeV whereas for the exchange of photon with energy E it would be proportional to 1/E4. For E∼ 1 keV the ratio of the rates would be of the order of 10-48!

    This problem could be circumvented if the transition from proton to neutron occurs coherently for large enough surface patch. This would give rate proportional to N2, where N is the number electrons involved. Another mechanism hoped to help to get high enough reaction rate is based on the assumption that the neutron created by the capture process has ultra-low momentum. This is the case if the mass renormalization of electron is such that the energies of the neutrons produced in the reaction are just above the kinematical threshold. Note however that this reduces the electon capture cross section. The argument is that the absorption rate for neutron by target nucleus is by very general arguments proportional to 1/vn, vn the velocity of neutron. Together these two mechanisms are hoped to give high enough rate for cold fusion.

  3. The model must also explain why gamma radiation is not observed and why neutrons are produced much less than expected. Concerning gamma rays one must assume that the heavy electrons of the plasmon phase assigned to the surface of the catalyst absorb the gamma rays and re-emit them as infrared light emitted to environment as heat. Ordinary electrons cannot absorb gamma rays but heavy electrons can (see this), and the claim is that they do transform gamma rays to infrared photons. If the neutrons created in LENR have ultra-low energies their capture cross sections are enormous and the claim is that they do not get out of the system.

The assumption that electron mass is renormalized so that the capture reaction can occur but occurs only very near threshold so that the resulting neutrons are ultraslow has been criticized (see this).

TGD variant of the model

TGD allows to consider two basic approaches to the LENR.

  1. Option I involves only dark nucleons and dark quarks. In this case, one can imagine that the large Compton length of dark proton - at least of order atomic scale - implies that it overlaps target nucleus, which can see the negatively charged d quark of the proton so that instead of Coulomb wall one has Coulomb well.

  2. Option II involves involves both dark weak bosons and possibly also dark nucleons and dark electrons. The TGD inspired model for living matter - in particular, the model for cell membrane involving also Z0 membrane potential in the case of sensory receptor neurons (see this) - favors the model involving both dark weak bosons, nucleons, and even electrons. Chiral selection for biomolecules is extremely difficult to understand in standard model but could be understood in terms of weak length scale of order atomic length scale at least: below this scale dark weak bosons would be effectively massless and weak interactions would be as strong as em interactions. The model for electrolysis based on plasmoids identified as primitive life forms supports also this option. The presence of dark electrons is suggested by Tesla's cold currents and by the model of cell membrane.

    This option is fixed quantitatively by the condition that the Compton length of dark weak bosons is of the order of atomic size scale at least. The ratio of the corresponding p-adic size scales is of order 107 and therefore one has heff∼ 1014. The condition that heff/h=2k guarantees that the phase transion reducing heff to h and increasing p-adic prime p by about 2k and p-adic length scale by 2k/2 does not change the size scale of the space-time sheet and liberates cyclotron magnetic energy En(1-2-k) ≈ En.

Consider next Option II by requiring that the Coulomb wall is overcome via the transformation of proton to neutron. This would guarantee correct isotope ratios for nuclear transmutations. There are two options to consider depending on whether a) the W boson is exchanged between proton nucleus (this option is not possible in standard model) or b) between electron and proton (the model of Widom and Larsen relying on the critical massivation of electron).
  1. Option II.1. Proton transforms to neutron by exchanging W boson with the target nucleus.

    1. In this case kinematics poses no obvious constraints on the process. There are two options depending on whether the neutron of the target nucleus or quark in the neutral color bond receives the W boson.

    2. If electron and proton are dark with heff/h=n=2k in the range [1012,1014] the situation can change since W boson has its usual mass from the point of view of electron and proton. hbar4/mW4 factor in differential cross section for 2-to-2 scattering by W exchange is scaled up by n4 (see the appendix of kenocitebthe/Iztykson so that effectively mW would be of order 10 keV for ordinary hbar.

    3. One can argue that in the volume defined by proton Compton length λp≈ 2-11 λe ∈ [1.2, 12] nm one has a superposition of amplitudes for the absorption of dark proton by nucleus. If there are N nuclei in this volume, the rate is proportional to N2. One can expect at most N∈ [103,106] target nuclei in this volume. This would give a factor in the range 109-1012.
  2. Option II.2: Electron capture by proton is the Widom-Larsen candidate for the reaction in question. As noticed, this process cannot occur unless one assumes that the mass of electron is renormalized to have a value in a range of few MeV. If dark electrons are heavier than ordinary, the process could be mediated by W boson exchange and if the electron and proton have their normal sizes the process occurs with same rate as em processes.

    If electron and proton are dark with heff/h=n ∈ [1012,1014] the situation can change since W boson has its usual mass from the point of view of electron and proton. 2-to-2 cross section is proportional to hbar4 and is scaled up by n4. One the other hand, the naive expectation is that |Ψ (0)|2∝ me3/heff3 ∝ 1/n-3 for electron is scaled by n-3 so that the rate is increased by a factor of order n∈ [1012,1014] (electron Compton length is of order cell size scale! instead of Angstrom) from its ordinary value. This is not enough.

    On the other hand, one can argue in the volume defined by proton Compton size one has a superposition of amplitudes for the absorption of electron. If there are N dark electrons in this volume, the rate is proportional to N2. One can expect at most 106 dark electrons in the volume of scale 10 nm so that this could give a factor 1012. This would give amplification factor 1026 to the weak rate so that it would be only by two orders of magnitude smaller than the rate for massless weak bosons.

There are also other strange features to be understood.
  1. The absence of gamma radiation could be due to the fact that the produced gamma rays are dark. For heff/h ∈ [1012,1014] the energy frequency of 1 MeV dark gamma ray would correspond to that of photon with energy of [1,.1] μeV and thus to radiowave photon with wavelength of order 1 m and frequency of orer 3× 108 Hz. In Widom-Larsen model the photons would be infrared photons. The decay of the dark gamma ray to a bunch of ordinary radiowave photons should be observed as radio noise. Note that Gariaev has observed transformation of laser light scattered from DNA to radio wave photons with frequencies down to 1 kHz at least.

  2. The absence of the neutrons could be understood if they are dark. The absorption cross section is proportional to hbar3 giving a huge amplification factor in the range [109,1012]. This implies that they are absorbed by nuclei coherently in a a volume of order 1.2-12 nm so that an additional amplification factor N2∈ [109,1012] would be obtained. And the capture rate is amplified by a factor in the range [1018,1026]. Effectively this corresponds to the assumption of Widom and Larsen stating that neutrons have ultra-low momentum.
The natural question is why heff us such that the resulting scale as photon wavelength corresponds to energy in scale 10-100 keV. The explanation could relate to the predicted exotic nuclei obtained by replacing some neutral color bonds connecting nucleons with charged ones and exchange of weak boson would affect this replacement. Could the weak physics associated with heff∈ [1012,1014] be associated with dark color bonds? The reported annual variations of the nuclear reaction rates correlating with the distance of Earth from Sun suggest that these variations are induced by solar X rays (see this).

For background see the chapter Nuclear Physics and Condensed Matter of "p-Adic Length Scale Hypothesis and Dark Matter Hierarchy".


L. Edgar Otto said...

I find it interesting that an explanation of this phenomenon can be stated within existing physics but not simply quantum theory although it does suggest lattice nano scale effects... but we certainly need to have such stability and atomic products put into a form for which it is... now, can TGD find ways to maximize the energy sources and effects on the nano scale new physics which seems to be doing fine without a theory.

Matti Pitkanen said...

W-L model is a good proposal for explanation capturing some important aspects of the puzzle, not a real explanation.

To my opinion, the assumptions made are however inconsistent with what we know.

*Electron capture is not kinematically possible without the highly questionable assumption that electrons mass increase by several MeVs!

* Weak interactions are indeed extremely weak and whether the proposed mechanism can increase the total rate for cold fusion to the required is highly questionable even if one accepts the notion of ultra-slow neutron!

*That gamma rays and neutrons are absent from final states is also a challenging puzzle.

For these reasons I think that one cannot do without new physics. The extremely nice feature of W-L model is however that it explains the selection rules for nuclear transmutations.

New physics would involve both large h_eff making weak bosons effectively massless below atomic scale and making proton and neutron and probably electron dark as well as exotic states of nuclei with keV excitation scale predicted by TGD.

The conceptual leap needed is to reconsider the definition of darkness. Usually darkness means that there are just gravitational or possibly weak interactions between ordinary and dark matter candidate. The conceptual formula of particle physicist is that some exotic particle called X explains dark matter. This is extremely narrow minded approach and has led also experimentalists to wrong track.

To my view much less is needed to explain experimental facts: the simultaneous absence of dark and ordinary particles from vertices of Feynman diagrams might be quite enough. If this is accepted, the next questions have the same general format "What about phenomenon X and dark matter?". X could denote cold fusion, water memory, homeopathy, free energy, living matter, consciousness, etc... This approach is much more fruitful in the long run.

Ulla said...
He and Tsung-dao Lee received the 1957 Nobel prize in physics for their work on parity nonconservation of weak interaction.

Is this linked to the heat anomaly in cold fusion?

Matti Pitkanen said...

Not directly. Big parity breaking in biology reflecting itself as chiral selection of biomolecules is problem: standard model does not explain it since the parity breaking of weak interactions is extremely small.

TGD proposal is based on hierarchy of Planck constants. Weak bosons with large enough h_eff have Compton size of order atomic length scale and appear as massless below this scale. This makes possible large parity breaking effects in atomic scales and they might explain chiral selection.

The proposal is that practically all anomalous phenomena including life, cold fusion, anomalous energy yield in electrolysis, etc involve the same basic mechanisms, in particular the generation of large h_eff phases. Therefore there would be also indirect connection between cold fusion and weak parity breaking induced by large value of h_eff.

Anonymous said...

This is something out there, and this discussion is mostly beyond my knowledge... but, does it change anything if the neutron isn't formed until it gets through the Ni electron cloud, if even possible? Somehow by the collective weak effects of the other electrons playing tug of war with the strong force between the lucky electron and the proton?

The idea of the electron and proton getting oh-so-close to combining w/o ever actually combining seems kind of cool. Totally amateur barely self-taught, so please forgive me if it's just absurd.

Matti Pitkanen said...

The idea that proton transforms to neutron and then overcomes the Coulomb wall is cute.

The problem with e-p combination to neutron is that it is kinematically impossible. The sum of e and p masses is smaller than neutron mass. Energy - say that of virtual photon- is needed. The technical term is renormalisation of electron mass by order 1 MeV and the basic objection against WL is that this is impossible.

This could serve as the motivation for postulating large hbar hierarchy making among other things possible weak interactions with weak scale scaled up to atomic length scale.