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Discussion page for Directory:Resonant Nuclear Reactor
Directory:Resonant Nuclear Reactor - Not "free" energy since it uses U-238 as the power source. It radiates, but simple lead shielding stops it just fine.
(Just click on the "
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The following was posted March 11, 2006 by User:Erewhon.
Ok, I hate to lead one of my first
comments off on Peswiki quite like this, but
this is what we call "bravo sierra" in the engineering
Are there ways to convert radiation to electric power,
yes. He's even hit on one of the terms: betavoltaics.
Betavoltaic converters (real ones) typically use doped semiconductor
PN junctions similar to photocells. If an incoming beta particle
produces an electron-hole pair near the junction, and the
electron thus produced crosses the diode junction, it cannot
return. This creates a voltage difference which produces power.
Basic semiconductor and nuclear physics. However, the device
in the picture is not a betavoltaic converter.
You can also make power with energetic alphas through
a fairly nifty trick involving decelerating the alpha through
an electric field so that they just kiss the collecting plate,
you'll be hearing more about that one in conjunction with another
system within the next couple of years. But it's a "well-known"
approach. The device in the picture doesn't do that either.
Following the links to the description of the Nucell reveals
some other problems, quite a few. Starting with Burke's cell,
which seems fairly implausible too. Note that any conductor
is replete with electrons which are very loosely bound to the atoms
of the metal, to the point that they freely interchange places and
migrate. You can almost treat it as a gas (aka Drude gas). Ionization
states added to a metallic conductor would be fleeting, because
the Drude electron gas is free to recombine with the produced 'hole',
if you could even call it that in a conductor, and would do so
Since you are creating a "hole" for every electron you free by ionization,
you will "eat" a free electron from the Drude gas for every one
you liberate, for a net gain of zero. The ions created by the passage of a beta particle
will be shot in every direction in the wire as well, statistically,
you will have as many going the wrong way as you do the right way.
Thus, the net power production of a nuclear particle striking
a conductor is zero, except, of course, that any energy thus absorbed
will be available as heat. Further inspection of Burke's patent
reveals that he also believes that heating the radioactive source material
will increase the energy in the emitted particles bogus. So, I suspect
Burke never actually built or validated the cell.
Next. The classic test: the claim is that the energy in the system
comes from the radioactive decay of the U238 rod claimed to be in
the picture. I say claimed, because I can't see where either Paul
Brown or Peripheral Systems has a license for nuclear materials.
This doesn't mean that they don't, but it's
sure not in any listing that I have access to.
But let's be kind and say that the item in the photo really is
12.5g of pure U238. I hate to say it, but fully depleted uranium (U238)
is not very radioactive at all. That's why it has a looooong half-life.
U238 emits alphas only, it decays into Thorium 234 and Protactinium 234
which are beta emitters, and that cascades down into a bunch of lesser
daughter products, each step emitting gamma radiation in
addition to alphas and/or betas. The entire decay
chain is too long to go into in this post, but if you take the
first three decay steps of the chain into account, because
they dominate the quantity of daughter products present,
the decay energy produced is about 6.7MeV per mole per second. Well, U238
is obviously 238 grams per mole. He's got 12.5 grams of it. So
there's about 0.053 moles of U238 in his setup, for an emitted
power of about 0.352MeV per second. That sounds like a lot,
doesn't it? But it's only about 0.16 MICROWATTS/sec. Now, that's
if all the emitted particles make it out of the material. And
they don't. Alphas in particular won't penetrate much of anything,
and if they're emitted in the center of that rod, they won't make
it to the surface. Their energy will be converted to heat in the rod,
not that you'd be able to easily measure that small of an amount.
But to be kind, again, let's say it all somehow emerges to strike
the conductors. Given the small cross-section of the conductors surrounding
it, that's not too likely, but even if magic happens and they DO, you're
still talking 0.16 MICROWATTS/sec here. That's all the power that will be
coming out of the rod. If an emitted particle striking a conductor
DID cause a net current flow, and it doesn't, that's still all the power
There's some other hooha about extracting energy from a moving
charged particle using a magnetic field. If you put a moving charged
particle in a magnetic field, it does not decelerate or exchange energy
with that field, it goes in circles. That's how mass spectrometers,
your CRT's deflection yoke and cyclotrons work. You can extract energy
from a moving charged particle with an ELECTRIC field
that's how the alpha particle trick I mentioned
You should note that electric and magnetic fields are not going to have
any effect on the decay rate of U238, nor on the types or energies of
particles emitted from it. So no magic Tesla resonators or what-have-you
are going to improve on that terrifically tiny power emission.
If you think I'm wrong, feel free to point out what you feel are the incorrect bits.
Further pickings: the header says the cell produces energy from nuclear decay, then says it does not rely on a nuclear reaction. Nuclear decay IS a nuclear reaction. The equations for the ones in U238 are easy to find, just google for "u238 decay chain".
Also, there's some comment made about deliberate mis-tuning to avoid "a runaway reaction". In order to have one, you'd have to have some sort of reaction that has positive feedback. A betavoltaic, as you say, DOES extract energy from nuclear decay. But it doesn't CAUSE nuclear decay. In order to have a "runaway reaction", the external circuit would have to have some sort of positive feedback mechanism with the nuclear decay rate. However, there isn't one. No amount of diddling around externally with electric or magnetic fields is going to change the decay rate. You can do what you want to with that circuit, and there's not going to be any "runaway reaction".
Summary: the story's pretty hole-y. There's nothing here to see.
The following was posted January 21, 2007 by
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There are two issues here. One, does the above photographed system work? Two, does Paul's technology work. Regarding item one, as far as I am aware the above is not Paul's. If that is U238 and nothing else I doubt it works. If it is Paul's, or even if it isn't, it was probably prepared as a conceptual demonstration and has been mislabled as a functioning device. I propose that the above images be removed and replaced with diagrams from Paul's patent or at least re-labled as these images are distracting from the issue at hand.
Regarding issue two. Paul's work was done as part of his PhD thesis. I think it was in electrical engineering. He built a device and borrowed materials from the university physics department. He may not have even handled the materials but had someone else insert them for testing purposes. His device used U238, U235, radium and some other materials. The U238 was present because some of the other materials were neutron releasing materials and would induce fission in the U238. My understanding is that he basicly dumped all of the universities non-standardized non-lab grade source material into the core. His device was HOT!!! even with the half inch of silicon steel in its casing. You can see photos of the device and source material in his book if his wife is still publishing it. Anyone that has ever tried to defend a PhD thesis will tell you that it is exceedingly unlikely his device was anything less than functional.
Again I propose removing or labling the above photos and editing any comments that are directed to the above device as opposed to Paul's technology in general. I would do it myself but I'm new here and I don't want to step on any toes.
Also, I propose removing "Stimulates U-238 by the use of a resonant electrical circuit." As Paul never claimed this. Also removing "The secondary circuit has a very hight "Q" factor and is used only for sitmulating the nuclear reaction." For same reasons. Also "The primary circuit is used to tap useful power from the system." Because the primary was in the tank circuit in pauls design and the secondary was used to bleed off a little of the power circulating in the tank. I propose removing "In this case (far from optimal), there is 12.5g of fuel present, and the output power is about 11.2 watts." Because I think we are all in agreement that this is not true. Also "The scondary circuit is somewhat mis-tuned to prevent a runaway reaction." is incorrect and shoule be worded as is the last sentence of the following paragraph.
A better description would be:
"A high Q resonant tank circuit was used to entrain and direct current produced by radiation striking the metal atoms in the wire which produced ions which in turn seperated electrons and holes that were then entrained by a high voltage circulating in the circuit. The effectiveness of the device is proportional to the radiation it absorbes and the voltage in the circuit with high voltage being more effective at entraining the produced charges. The device is intended to be powered by natural decay only and not actively moderated to produce a near criticle reaction as in conventional nuclear power plants. Paul was able to achieve 30% efficiency relative to theoretical power released by the fuel. He predicted up to 50% efficiency with better designs in contrast to 20% efficiency for nuclear driven steam powerplants. The secondary circuit was mistuned or loosly coupled to the primary as a form of passive load control just as would be needed with wind or solar power. Problems encountered included finding an effective insulation that is not degraded by the radiation, keeping the circuit resonant, and not overloading the circuit. It is unlikely this device will be used commercially for the following reasons. Building a large commercial plant in this manner would require building a large number of these devices as the design does not scale up. Gamma rays only penetrate so far and additional cooling would be needed which would in essence mean building a standard nuclear powerplant. The added efficiency does not warrant the added complexity. The device could be valuable as an ultra long life power source in remote areas such as artic weather stations, however risk of radioactive materials falling into terrorist hands precludes this. Lastly it could be used on deep space vehicles which may come to pass if the added wieght is warranted." I reserve the right to use the above in other publications.
Comment received by phone March 12, 2006
David Farnsworth worked with the late Paul Brown at NuCell, which became Isogen, which became Nuclear Solutions, which is presently operating in D.C. toward nuclear remediation and reclamation. He owned Peripheral Systems, Inc, which is the umbrella organization. He phone and provide the following comments:
"This is a complete fake. I can promise you that this won't work." An air gap greater than 1/2 inch isn't going to work. "It probably has some AA batteries hidden underneat it."
The part labeled "secondary" should be "primary," and vise versa.
The glass will cut down on beta emissions.
12.5 grams of U238 would burn you at 2.5 feet.
He gave other reasons for this set-up being bogus and unworkable, but they were over my head.
From: "Stefan Hartmann"
To: "Sterling D. Allan"
Sent: Monday, March 13, 2006 10:24 PM
Where did you get this picture from? Who is the inventor and is there still more info about it ?
I don´t really think that it is a fake as RF magnetic waves can stimulate the radiocative
This is a lie RF fields can not stimulate radioactive decay. Heat, Sound, light nothing can induce an increase in rediaoctive decay.
Gruss / Best regards, Stefan Hartmann
- - - -
Dipl. Ing. Stefan Hartmann
Moderator of the international free energy research forum http://www.overunity.com
Posted March 14, 2006
12.5 grams of U238 wouldn't have much of an effect. A DU cannon
shell has a lot more than that, and the ammo handlers move the
stuff around all day. There's also many many kilograms
of U238 in tank armor, and people sit in them all day.
It's really not that stout. I've seen guys use it for paperweights,
sealed in plastic to keep it corraled chemically.
On the battery thing, if it were me building it, I'd put a wire through
the base underneath that knife switch.
Another picky point: Look at the apparatus. The rod/coil setup is
more or less symmetric. Here is another issue with such apparatus -
if the particles emitted from the rod COULD cause some sort of
magnetic induction (they don't...it's tough for me to explain
that part without drawing stuff which I'm too lazy to do, but
think about "right hand rule" and you'll see that the field lines
are not right to cause induction here) then any particle which, say,
leaves the coil traveling "up" will, statistically, be matched by
the number of particles going "down". Same with "left" and "right",
"forwards" and "backwards". The non-spherical shape causes more
to be emitted normal to the coil surface instead of out the
ends but still you will get just as much in all directions. And
they would cancel each others' contributions out, if there
were any, which there isn't, with the exception of Johnson noise
caused by statistical variations in the particle flux symmetry.
So there could be no net current induction. Remember, REAL betavoltaics
use P-N junctions which induce an asymmetry...if you just had a
conductor there they wouldn't work.
Stefan: EM of any band a "civilian experimenter" is likely to
get his hands on will NOT cause any change in nuclear characteristics.
Most especially not of the caliber this setup would produce, I could
probably make a guess at the inductances and resonant frequencies here
if I weren't so lazy (I have about 20 projects running me ragged), but
I'd say this thing probably has quirky resonances all over the 200kHz to 10MHz
ranges. You've got a big capacitance (relatively) but low inductance, and
you'll be getting all sorts of oddball self-inductances inside the caps,
interaction of the coils with the environment and so on.
That frequency range wouldn't even be able to cause a transition, the bumping of an
electron from one shell to another. As you run up the frequencies, somewhere
in the microwave region you'll start to hit molecular resonances associated
with IR spectroscopy, such as spin couplings and torsional couplings, but
still you won't have enough energy in your EM photons (though at that low
energy level it's dominated by wave-like behavior) to bump an electron up.
At some point, I don't know what the first transition is for U238 off
the top of my head without looking in a table,
but I'd bet at least in the UV range, you'll start
getting quantum state transitions in the electron shells, still not nuclear.
Waaaaay waaaay up in the short end of the gamma range, the EM photons you're hitting it
with will finally, FINALLY start to cause nuclear effects, but you have
to have a photon that exceeds the binding energy of the nucleus, and believe
me, you won't be doing it with that apparatus. Note that you're still not
really changing the decay rate, you're knocking nucleons out of the atoms
with extremely high energy photons. But by that time, you'll have ionized
the air for several meters, stuff will be glowing red hot and melting on
the table, etc. I know some systems that use that effect for various purposes
but if this thing were doing it you'd be able to spot it by the dead people
in the area.
From: "Stefan Hartmann"
March 21, 2006
Stimulated radioactive decay from magnetic RF bursts
This is an experiment Mike Watson did some time ago. It proves stimulated radioactive decay from magnetic RF bursts:
Date: Fri Jun 27, 2003 1:05 am
Subject: Tesla desc, rf stimulated radioactivity ethonuk
It is interesting that according to Shad's email, Tesla obtained energy from a mineral by using microwave excitation. A closely similar effect is in the Harold Colman UK patent 763,062 Sept 22 1954 where 30 grams of a mixture of Cadmium Phosphorus and Cobalt in a small quartz tube pressed between powdered copper and zinc plugs either end and exposed to 300 MHz RF for 15-30 seconds every hour would give 100-110 volts at 10 Amps for 1 hour. Colman specially states that the current given off is direct current. He says the mixture becomes radio active for this time and the patent shows a lead shield around the quartz tube.
After Moreland patent application US 2003/007605 repeating Thomas Moray's well known effect, which is essentially rf stimulated radioactivity of a similar type to the UK patent, also the suggestion that the testatika might use similar high voltage stimulation applied to "certain crystals" yielding high output power, I have done one or two preliminary experiments.
I made some artificial galena doped with thorium oxide made from radioactive gas mantles. Firstly it seems that the effect of the thorium doping is as far as I can tell is to reduce the turn on voltage from about 0.25 V to practically zero. The crystal receiver consisted of an aerial and earth with a coil tuned by a ferrite rod between. A pair of 2000 ohm headphones and artificial galena and catswhisker where connected in parallel across the coil. The tuning was fairly flat due to the loading. The output from medium wave broadcast stations was a considerably louder with the artificial galena than with natural galena, probably due to the smaller stand-off voltage in the doped version. However reducing the phone resistance to a 120 ohm pair did not change either the signal volume or tuning selectivity. Finally I reduced the headphone resistance by replacing them with an 8 ohm min speaker 5 cms diameter. The signal volume was slightly reduced but the selectivity remained much the same. This is strange because if the impedance of the crystal detector is considerably more than 8 ohms the signal would be much reduced in the 8 ohm speaker. If the impedance of the crystal detector is low, so that a respectable signal can appear in the 8 ohm speaker as was the case, then why was not the selectivity of the tuned circuit killed more or less completely. One explanation might be that the thorium doped galena was injecting energy into the tuned circuit i.e negative resistance, as occurs with tunnel diodes for example. In this case the radioactivity providing the power. Putting two thorium doped diodes in series increased the gain more.
Next experiment, I have a neon ionisation counter which consists of a neon tube (85A2) connected in reverse with a parallel connected 0.047 microfarad capacitor connected across and fed by a high value resistor, variable but about 100 K ohm. A 200 V power supply with one end grounded, has a 1 Megohm potentiometer connected across it . The other end of 100 K ohm resistor in series with the neon is connected to the potentiometer wiper. the remaining terminal of the neon is grounded through a 100 ohm resistor. The potentiometer is adjusted so that the neon fires due to cosmic ray ionisation. Due to the thick glass the neon tube it is not sensitive to alpha particles but responds well to higher energy particles and wavelengths. Unlike the Geiger tube it is a proportional counter, having little or no plateau.
Putting a radioactive gas mantle around the neon causes a moderate increase in the count. Putting a coil around the neon and gas mantle but with a gap of about 1.5 cms between the neon and the coil had a strong effect if the coil was energised with 500 v pk-pk damped oscillations around 100 KHz osc. frequency and a repetition rate of 100/sec. If the gas mantle is removed the count rate drops down to the background.
On the face of it, the damped rf impulses are stimulating the radioactive decay much as Moray and Moreland have claimed.
The following was posted April 19, 2006 by User:Erewhon.
The fact that something is patented doesn't confer any sort of truth or substantiation. I don't believe that Colman's design does anything, and I'm not too sure about Moray either, although I know that will make me an outcast on this wiki with some. I understand that you feel it is "well known", mostly by repeated postings on the subject on the Internet and general "legend" status amongst the group, but certainly not by peer review or by any effect traceable to a known physical phenomenon. Until it can be independently replicated by several disinterested parties, you just can't wave your hands and say "this is known to work". It's not. That's the way science works. It's not perfect, but it has proven to be a fairly good tool for slicing the false from the true. That doesn't make me a MIB, either, it's my feeling that the alternative energy group as a whole would be better off for applying some rigorous scientific principles and tough peer review instead of just snapping up anything someone says often enough.
All these "well, Dr X had the secret formula but died before he could pass it on" stories are interesting but prove nothing. I might say the same for the "dog ate my homework" stories wherein mysterious folk show up and steal all the notes, models etc just before the big show.
As for the experiment by Mr. Watson, that certainly doesn't establish some sort of new reference datum either. Let's look at the overall physics of the situation. Watson is claiming that oscillations of approximately 100kHz are affecting nuclear stability. I have to assume that your giving this credence means that you do not have a background in RF or EM fields. Suffice it to say that one has to normally have the wavelength of the RF be somewhere in the vicinity of the same length as the size of the thing to be affected. The wavelength of 100kHz EM is about 3000 METERS. The likelihood that a 3000 meter wavelength can have a measureable effect on a Thorium nucleus which is only a few FEMTOMETERS in diameter is extremely unlikely by sanity test.
If the RF isn't magically causing radioactive decay, then what could he be seeing? Well, it's old as the hills, I'm afraid. Look at his setup as he describes it. He has a neon tube with one side grounded, a variable power supply across it, and he's trying to use it as a Geiger-Muller detector. I used to do that as a kid. Like any spark gap tube, the ionization of the gases that leads to a pulse is caused by the total E field across the gas. Once this exceeds a critical value, the gas will become conductive. He has carefully adjusted the voltage across the tube to be just less than this value, so that the cascade ionization caused by the passage of a radioactive particle causes the triggering of the neon tube. Note that this is one case in which radiation DOES trigger a current flow, although it is not the prime mover of the current and does not itself contribute to the net current flow, a distinction lost on Burke, who erroneously thought this would work on metallic conductors.
Now, he applies a spike of RF to a coil wrapped around the tube, which, if he is to be believed, has an amplitude of several hundred volts for the first few cycles. Though he does not describe it, I can put on my Swami hat and tell you that one end of his coil is most likely also connected to his circuit ground, although it's not strictly necessary. Now, magically, the tube fires! That means that the RF made the Thorium more radioactive! Or does it? I can't resist the temptation to say here, "Incorrect, my Dear Watson!"
What it means is that the ringing of the tank coil created an increase in the E field across the tube. When that E field is added to the one already caused by his adjustable power supply, the tube will fire. Look at it this way. He has a field across the gas from his adjustable power supply. External to his tube, he has wrapped a coil. One end of that coil is most likely at ground. The other end, when fired, is at 500V peak by his measurements. This differential of voltage from one end of the coil to the other causes an E field to form, which is added to the one already present. Bang! the tube fires, and Watson jumps to an incorrect conclusion.
A Xenon flash tube works in exactly the same way, although not so dramatically arranged as Watson's.
In the image, a voltage supply across the ends (marked "to capacitor") sets up a sub-critical E field within the gas. An additional external E field is then applied by connecting a trigger coil between the bottom terminal and the band around the glass tube marked "high voltage trigger". The trigger coil is intentionally 'rung' by pulsing it, much like Watson's setup. Note that the trigger band is not inside the tube, but outside, wrapped around the tube end much like Watson's coil. The trigger's E field is thus imposed on the sub-critical E field produced inside the tube by the capacitor, and the tube fires.
Watson's setup is identical. It is an unintentional reproduction of a standard external gas tube trigger. The Thorium is just there for fun. The RF field he is applying has nothing whatsoever to do with the decay constant of the Thorium.
Now, had Watson had any sort of training in the proper method of setting up experiments, he would have moved his source away from the tube and screened it from the tube with an electrostatic shield. The gamma, and possibly the beta radiation would still pass through the screen. Then he could have wrapped the coil around the source (NOT the tube!) and made sure that his excitation generator for the coil was NOT sharing a common ground with the gas tube circuit. The shield should BE connected to the gas tube ground. Finally, the coil should be arranged so that its E field is as much at right angles to the tube as possible in order to minimize any contribution passing the shield.
In this case, he would not have seen any changes. Seriously, Stefan, other than photo-nuclear dissociation with very short wave gamma, there is no mechanism for EM to destabilize a nucleus.
In his missive, Watson is frantically trying to associate his little circuit with every 'legendary apparatus' from Tesla to Testatica. This should be a warning sign that his objectivity is compromised, and his failure to recognize that he was simply replicating a well-known gas tube trigger circuit tells you that he isn't an engineer, either. Also not a physicist, because he would have known that EM wouldn't affect the decay rate, and when he saw a result that looked like it DID, he would have examined his setup first for experimental error.
If you could influence decay rates this way, there's a lot of really neat things you could do with it. The fact that you don't see it being done might tell you something. In this case, what it tells you is that it doesn't have any effect.
//late breaking thought
It's also quite possible that his 100kHz pulses were coupling into the feed lines for his variable power supply. In that case, the field from the coil could induce an additional voltage across the tube by magnetic induction into the wires. Quite difficult to avoid with the setup he has described, actually.
//final thoughts before I go back to the salt mines
An easier way to show that the Thorium was a spurious part of the experiment would be to set up his apparatus and re-verify the behavior that he feels "proves" an influence on decay rates.
Now, remove all radioactive material from the vicinity. Turn up the voltage on the tube until you have set it just below the point that it fires. You'll get an occasional trigger from natural background radiation, and you'll also notice that light falling on the neon tube's electrodes can cause the tube to trigger, this is standard photoelectric behavior. This should be minimized as much as possible.
Now, set off the RF stimulus. You'll see that it will cause the tube to fire just as it did with the radioactive material present. You will have to adjust the external voltage setting upwards with the source removed, because the beta and gamma radiation from the Thorium will be providing an external ionization source that previously allowed the tube to fire at a lower voltage. In both test cases, with and without the Thorium, the tube's external voltage should be set just below the firing point it will be a different voltage for both.
Trivia: neon bulbs used to have a small amount of radon added to reduce the firing voltage and make them less sensitive to the photoelectric effect which causes them to go out when the room lights go off.
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TYPES OF REACTORS
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