Review of Temperature Issue
and My Calculations 12/8/15
Daniel S. Szumski1
1Independent Scholar, 513 F Street, Davis, CA 95616, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Email | Author's
Response | Calculations
Mel Miles has sent Infinite Energy a letter regarding your essay "Cold Fusion and the First
Law of Thermodynamics." The editors have accepted it for publication in Issue 125 (the next
The letter is posted below for your reference. Would you like to respond in print? We have
space to run a response immediately after the letter. If you are interested, I would need the
response by December 11 so I have time to run it by the editors.
Thermodynamics and Cold Fusion
There were several statements that I found to be incorrect in the recent article "Cold Fusion
and the First Law of Thermodynamics: An Essay" by Daniel S. Szumski (see Infinite Energy,
September/October 2015, pp. 31-33). First, the statement relating cold fusion to "the only nuclear
process that allows an end run around the First Law of Thermodynamics" is simply not correct. As
clearly stated in my recent publication1, the D+D fusion reaction is thermodynamically
possible at room temperature as are many other fusion reactions. The best criteria for possible
reactions based on thermodynamics are that the change in the Gibbs energy
(G) must be negative for the condition of constant
temperature (T) and pressure (P). This is often expressed as (dG)T,P >0 for any
spontaneous process and actually involves a combination of the First and Second Laws of
Thermodynamics2. For D+D fusion to form He-4 at standard temperature (298.15 K) and
pressure (105 Pa), G is -2.30084x1012
J mol-1. This is certainly a very large and negative value for G and shows that this D+D fusion reaction is thermodynamically possible at room
The many critics of cold fusion would have certainly used thermodynamic arguments against cold
fusion if such arguments were valid. The critics instead used arguments regarding the very slow
reaction rates involving the large coulombic barrier for fusion reactions at room temperature.
Thermodynamics provides only information about the initial and final states and is silent on the rates
of any reactions or on the magnitude of any activation energy barriers. If these reaction barriers did
not exist, however, then all light elements would continue to undergo fusion reactions even at room
temperature until they were all converted into iron and nickel. Similarly, fission reaction of heavy
elements would also continue until iron and nickel were the final products. Szumski could have instead
correctly stated that cold fusion allows an end run around the coulombic activation energy barrier.
Chemistry does this frequently by the use of catalysts that provide lower activation energy barriers
and greatly increased reaction rates, but catalysts only apply to slow reactions that are
thermodynamically possible. It should not be totally unexpected that catalytic pathways may increase
the reaction rates for cold fusion. In my opinion, the Pd/D system provides fusion reaction pathways
that somehow minimize the coulombic barrier.
Another incorrect statement by Szumski regarding thermodynamics is that "The First Law of
Thermodynamics requires that we either 1) see gamma bursts or 2) account for the gamma energy in some
other way." The First Law can only tell us the total amount of energy that can be expected for a fusion
reaction. This Law cannot tell us whether this energy will be in the form of gamma bursts or gamma
energy or in other forms of energy.
Finally, the thermodynamic temperature can only be expressed in Kelvin (K). Temperature cannot be
expressed as "joules/s or joules/m2·s". Furthermore, temperature is an intensive property (independent
of the amount of a substance) while the energy unit of Joule (J) implies an extensive property (depends
on the amount of a substance.)3 Therefore, the Joule cannot be involved as a unit for temperature. In my
years of teaching physical chemistry at the university level, I have never seen a text book that used
anything other than Kelvin for the thermodynamic temperature. The only expression that I could find where
temperature is a derivative is T=(U/S)V where U is the internal energy (J) and S is the entropy (J/K).
This is a purely thermodynamic definition of temperature as the ratio of the changes in the internal
energy and entropy of a constant volume (V), closed, constant-composition system4. Note that T still has
the units of Kelvin and nothing more.
- Miles, M.H. 2015, "Thermodynamics and Kinetic Observation Concerning the D+D Fusion Reaction for the
Pd/D System," Journal of Condensed Matters Nuclear Science, Vol. 16, 17-22.
- Atkins, P. and dePaula, J. 2002. Physical Chemistry, 7th Edition, W.H. Freeman and Company, New York,
- Ibib., p. xx-xxi.
- Ibid., p. 122.
Melvin H. Miles
B. Author's Response [w/Changes from 12/26/15 in red]
I hope that I have not misstated my position regarding the thermodynamics of cold fusion. I said:
"The idea that small quantities of energy can facilitate these
reactions flies in the face of reason. How can you possibly operate a low temperature machine to produce
And yet, as certain as we are that this cannot happen, we have memorialized this concept in the names
we have chosen for our very special process: Low Enery Nuclear Reaction, Chemically Assisted Nuclear
Reaction. Why not simply advertise it as the only nuclear process that allows an end run around the First
Law of Thermodynamics."
This last sentence is my attempt at sarcasm. I'm sorry that it has been misunderstood. You are correct
Professor Miles... an end run around the First Law is not possible; and given sufficient free energy
[2.3x1012 J mol-1 or more], reported transmutations (G. Miley, J. Patterson,
New Energy, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 5-38, 1996.) are thermodynamically possible in a room temperature device.
And, therein lies the one cold fusion fact that we must be absolutely clear about. Nuclear transmutations
require thermonuclear energies and temperatures. It is our task, to find out how these conditions occur in
that room temperature device.
Professor Miles' discussion then touches on the related scientific subject, my statement that temperature
is a derivative. I first encountered Max Plank's words "...and this differential coefficient is the temperature,
T." (Eight Lectures in Theoretical Physics, 1915, Pg 105) more than 30 years ago. However, it was not until
about 4 or 5 years ago that I saw the nuance in what he was saying, but I misinterpreted it. Let me explain.
Consider the equilibrium blackbody (BB) spectra in Figure 1. For each of the six temperatures shown, the
area beneath the spectral curve is the BB's total spectral emittance. The total emittance described in this way
(joules/m2-s, or with the conversion factor ,
joules/s) is a unique description of that BB's temperature. I have then gone on to show that the same units occur
when I take a free body around either of two nucleii in Mossbauer resonance. I called both of these "temperature",
an intensive property of matter, while as Professor Miles has pointed out, what I am really looking at is an
extensive property, the power, J, existing between two Mossbauer resonant nucleii. In
my notation, that power is: . The energy is:
. And the temperature is given by Wein's displacement
law: . I have computed these and related quantities
for the E = 0.01MeV thermonuclear ignition event: ; with the
following results: Power required, J = 1939 Joules/s = 1.202x1016MeV/s; TR
= 4.11x107 °K (solar core); vy = 2.418x1018/s;
1.2X1018 fusion events/sec; Yield = 4.60x106Joules/sec.
My calculations are available at my web site: LeastActionNuclearProcess.com.
These calculations show that thermonuclear temperatures and energies are possible in this reversible
thermodynamic process. And because it is reversible, this process leaves absolutely no change in nature as a
result of its operation. Therefore, its presence is hidden from our observation, and it will be difficult to
measure. Our task should be: How do we accomplish these measurements? Professor Miles has identified an important
issue with the LANP model.
Additional commentary 12/26/15 - Temperature is an intrinsic property
of matter. By this measure it is a property that is inherent to the material itself, and its measurement is
independent of the amount of the material present. Density and hardness are other examples. But I want you to
understand that these and other intrinsic properties are not absolute. All of them are affected by the samples
temperature. However, temperature itself differs from all other intrinsic properties in that it is also independent
of the type of material under consideration. And if we look carefully at temperature's intrinsic character, we find
that it is actually the power density within the material, and more specifically, the blackbody spectrum
in the interior of the material body. We must be clear that this is not the heat content or the energy
contained in the sample, These are extrinsic properties that exist just as easily outside the material,
and furthermore, they are depend upon the amount of matter present.
So let us look more carefully at temperature, and the intrinsic property that it brings to a material
sample. The blackbody spectrum has units Joules/m2-s, or applying the conversion factor
this becomes Joules/s.
These are both units of power. In other words, when we specify the temperature of a material object, we are
actually specifying an entirely different intrinsic property: the power density within the sample. And the reason
that the temperature is the apparent intrinsic property is because Wein's Displacement Law,
vmax = 5.89x1010TR, uniquely specifies the temperature
represented by any blackbody spectral distribution, regardless of its material composition.
There is one point where Professor Miles and I are in disagreement. I believe that there is no requirement that
"the Pd/D system provides fusion reaction pathways that somehow minimizes the coulombic barrier." The LANP model
finds that both the required thermonuclear temperature and energy are possible in the electrode, and there is no
need for some undiscovered pathway. Professor Miles thermodynamic conditions appear to be sufficient.
Finally, I don't see any problem in the way that I have addressed the gamma issue. In both cases: "1) see gamma
bursts, or 2) account for the gamma energy in some other way" only the total amount of energy is referenced. This
is precisely what Professor Miles' argument requires.
I find reviews like that which Professor Miles prepared to be extremely usefull. I work by myself. I greet all
reviews and critiques with enthusiasm.
Daniel S Szumski, independent scholar