Making GOLD - Were alchemists right all along?
In the emerging field of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), also called the “New Fire”, there are often observations of element isotopes becoming other element isotopes, a process known as transmutation. Often detractors of this technology wheel out derisive commentary saying that it is impossible and akin to alchemy, because everyone ‘knows’ that alchemy is nonsense and by drawing the comparison, the challenger is inferring that LENR is also nonsense.
The reality is that transmutation occurs all the time in nature, radioactive decay causes transmutations, it is what happens in a banana when some of its potassium decays, mostly to calcium. The decay of a specific type of carbon to nitrogen is how ‘carbon dating’ is done.
But it does not stop there, in man-made apparatus such as normal fission reactors transmutation of a kind is a common observation, with uranium splitting to commonly form other elements such as radioactive Iodine, Caesium and Strontium. Even in so called ‘hot fusion’ reactions, isotopes of hydrogen become isotopes of helium for example. Indeed the production of two helium atoms from the interaction of a hydrogen and lithium nucleus in 1932 by Cockroft and Walton constituted the first recorded ‘splitting’ of an atom.
So why, if new elements can form naturally and via man made processes is it so hard to accept that there may be other technological ways to achieve similar effects? Well, there is the matter of electrostatic charge repulsion, the Coulomb Barrier and secondly, the reactions above typically produce some form of ionising radiation as part of the reaction - LENR has often be said not to produce the latter, especially in its early days and so it was readily dismissed - however, that is not always the case.
In actuality, all forms of standard, accepted, radiation types have been observed by LENR experimentalists, moreover - they are increasingly observing a type of emissions that is given a range of names, but that is commonly referred to as 'strange radiation' - tying down cause and effect has been more difficult though. So it is more difficult for detractors to say that the technology is invalid for this reason, however, there is still the fact that nuclei really are not that keen to fuse in normal particle physics experiments, except at high energies, due to Coulombic repulsion. High energy particle collisions typically result in a proportion of radioactive products.
Despite this, many LENR researchers find they do see transmutations without the need for particle accelerators. In addition, for the most part, they do not observe long term radioactive isotopes in the ash. Given this, should we turn things on their head and say that LENR should NOT tend to produce radioactive isotopes. This is what several researchers such as Adamenko, Shoulders and most recently, Dr. Alexander Parkhomov have said. In the case of Dr. Parkhomov, he produced a set of tables that look at interactions between stable isotopes (and a few common unstable ones) that lead to stable isotopes and this has been converted to a database by Phillip Power that you can query using standard SQL commands.
The alchemical elements
So, using what we learned here and based on the assumption that alchemists wanted to make gold, let’s see what we can learn from Phillip Powers searchable version of Alexander Parkhomov’s table.
How many reactions produce gold?
E4 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC <- Enter this SQL query here
What are the top 3 energetically favourable reactions that use the heaviest alchemical elements
E2 = 'Bi' and E4 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC <- Enter this SQL query here
127 results, top 3 energy releases where E2 = ‘Bi’ are with E2 = Ca or K
E2 = 'Pb' and E4 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC <- Enter this SQL query here
215 results, top 3 energy releases where E2 = 'Pb' are with E2 = K or Ca
E2 = 'Hg' and E4 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC <- Enter this SQL query here
349 results, top 3 energy releases where E2 = ‘Hg’ are with E2 = K or Kr
There are an additional 31 reactions that produce Au with “ E3 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC “ however these mostly require very rare elements (Pt, Ir, Os) and are far less energetically favourable (0.08 - 2.60 MeV). The total energetically favourable Au producing 2 to 2 nuclide nucleon exchange reactions is 1220.
722 reactions that produce Au out of 1220 (over 59%) are derived from the alchemical metals Bi, Pb and Hg and in each case K (which was a main alchemical additive in the form of potassium carbonate) is either the most energetically favourable or in the top 3. Potassium can form an amalgam with mercury.
The other metal missing from the alchemical heavy set is Thallium, which represents a further 244 ways to produce gold - adding this into the mix gets you to over 79% of the available gold producing reactions. The top two energetically favourable reactions for Tl are with Ca. See E2 = 'Tl' and E4 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC
How can this occur?
Well, by paraphrasing various researchers we can get an idea, professor Francesco Piantelli might say “and then nucleon reorganisation occurs”, which is essentially what Dr. Alexander Parkhomov’s table on which the above data is based is saying. Stanislav V. Adamenko would say something like “an electron-nucleon macro cluster forms, in which periodically stable nuclei form that survive long enough to be ejected as long as it is energetically favourable” a similar view was held by Kenneth R. Shoulders.
This author has the current view that in at least one part of the process, it is driven by an implosive nature that requires energetically favourable re-packing of nucleons to yield a balance of nuclides of lower overall atomic volume at a certain point.
Several LENR researchers such as George Miley and Stanislav Adamenko have observed the production of Au, indeed the MFMP has observed it on Suhas Ralkar’s foil in both EDS and MALDI TOF-MS analysis. The examples here all used electrical discharges, this results in extreme ‘compression’ according to Adamenko, as has been said before by this author, when the process is at the extreme, it has little choice but to produce lead in order to store the energy - something observed by Mark LeClaire, Adamenko and MFMP (analysis of Suhas Ralkar’s foil and fuel).
Kenneth R Shoulders said that elements can be transmuted and then transmuted back
"some are highly altered and transmutations and some you can say, well, were not altered at all - but you don’t know whether it was altered into something else and then re-transmuted back - it’s real hard to tell - cause the efficiency of the transmutation is very high" - Kenneth Shoulder, 2010
So this author is hypothesising that in extreme situations, Pb is produced and then this mixes with lighter elements as things get less intense and the mix gets re-transmuted to something that is more favourable on an energetic and atomic volume basis.
NOTE: There are 3 energetically favourable fusion reactions that yield gold identified by Dr. Parkhomov, though they require Pt and Os with largest yield of 11.5226 MeV
NOTE 2: Ca, which is the most energetically favourable partner nuclide is a hydrogen nuclei away from K (from Dr. Alexander Parkhomov’s Fusion table)
Ca could also be produced from 2 x (16O + 4He) or (2 x 12C) + 16O, both Carbon and Oxygen are in Potassium Carbonate
John Bockris of Texas A&M
One of the worlds most pre-eminent electro-chemists conducted a series of controversial (of course, they would be) alchemical attempts to produce gold between April and June 1992. He was a courageous maverick pioneer in this area and his summary of the work conducted and the various public and institutional responses is a good, honest and highly recommended read.
They focussed on lead and mercury for the heavy element feedstock and varied the input chemical mixes. Interestingly, the addition of CaO between the first and second test resulted in a large increase in gold observed and this is the experiment John Bockris drew attention to when he stated:
"It seems fair to claim that in the summer of 1992 at Texas A&M University and in particular on May the 22nd of 1992, the obtaining of noble metals from mixtures of cheap materials was observed." - John Bockris, 2003
The May the 22nd of 1992 experiment tested as between 250-550g/t equivalent depending on the assay method used, to put that in context
“With 44.1 g/t of gold in reserves, Fire Creek mine, owned by Klondex Mines and located in Nevada, United States, is believed to be the highest grade underground gold mine in the world” SOURCE
making this tests output ash 566 - 1247% more gold rich than pay-dirt from the highest grade underground mine in the world, presumably, it would also be easier to process making it far more valuable still.
There is a suggestion that for the process to work, after the main reaction, the reactants had to be left for 3 days due to the decay of an isotope, suggested to be platinum, likely 197Pt which has a half life of around 19.9hours which decays to 197Au. If this really was 197Pt > 197Au, it becomes nigh on impossible to make the case that the gold found was due to fraud, one cannot simply buy 197Pt and mix it in the ash, the idea is preposterous. Stable reactions with Ca and Pb that result in Pt are much more energetically favourable than those that result in Au, so perhaps, in light of the data this is valid observation. It is unknown if the energy of the beta emissions was established.
Perhaps there was no intermediary ‘element’, rather the active agent needed the ‘3 day pause’ to allow for it to collapse in such a way as to promote gold realisation - premature treatment of the ash in later tests may have resulted in failure for the desired nucleon exchange reactions to express themselves. It should be noted that Kenneth Shoulders observed 2keV and higher beta emissions.
It is interesting that John Bockris decided to rename the process from ‘Explosion Method’ to ‘Impact Method’, the latter term suggests trying to rapidly put something into a smaller volume.
This author suggests the use of potassium and calcium carbonates along with elemental or compounds of Bi, Pb and Hg with DC biased high frequency (say 10kHz+) high voltage pulses might be a good starting point - such as the discharge through solid electrolytes including PbO and HgO as discussed in this patent.. The patent details power supplies and also appears to suggest that they too had observed production or Zr as this author had previously blogged on.
Since we have the 1950s ‘dirty water’ work of Bolotov and more recently Miley and Ralkar producing Au in electrolytic discharges (the latter two using Nickel Sulphate in water), this is also an option, though it might be beneficial to take guidance as to elements to employ using the findings coming from Dr. Parkhomov’s work presented here.
Another potential avenue is a Kenneth Shoulders style, Hg wetted EVO generating fine W tip in a Kr atmosphere, again with DC biased high frequency (say 10kHz+) high voltage pulses. In this authors view, both Mercury and Krypton are desirable elements to form the active agents for a number of reasons, one of which is that they both have an electron affinity of 0. Being able to create the active agents from these specific elements with limited possibilities for contamination may help skew the reaction favourably with a positive outcome going a long way to establishing mechanism.
E1 = 'Kr' and E2 = 'Hg' and E4 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC <- Enter this SQL query here
NOTE 3: E1 = 'Kr' and E2 = 'Hg' order by MeV DESC shows 1401 potential outcomes, the majority of which are more favourable than those that yield gold. Similarly there are many reactions between K/Ca and Bi/Pb/Hg that are more energetically favourable than those that produce gold.
Regardless of whether the alchemists ever did, or did not achieve synthesis of gold, it is very interesting to note that in a system that is based on implosion nucleon re-organisation, at least on the basis of Dr. Alexander Parkhomov’s 2 to 2 nuclide nucleon exchange reactions, 3 out of 4 of the technically stable metals best suited to the production of gold (most energetically favourable) are Bi, Pb and Hg in combination with K - which all happen to be alchemical metals and Ca which is a very common element. It is clear also that Carbon plays an important and in alchemy and the potassium used came in the form of a carbonate. The other metal missing here is Thallium which represents a further 244 ways to produce gold (E2 = 'Tl' and E4 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC and E2 = 'Tl' and E3 = 'Au' order by MeV DESC).
Of course, this is not to suggest that the ancient or more recent alchemists knew that the elements they had chosen were the optimal ones from an energetic or atomic volume point of view. One must wonder though, if they did in fact produce gold, given that it was their aim and their chosen inputs are the most likely under this analysis to do so. If they did produce gold, perhaps it came as the fruits of heuristic and metric (like density) driven trial and error based experiments.
In the end, hypothesis is ok, however, experiments and data are what establishes answers and it is the experimentalists that work hard and smart in the Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) field that make the most progress - starting is the hardest thing and overcoming the question ‘is it possible’ is the highest hurdle - perhaps the alchemists already did that and we were not equipped to listen.
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