Dec. 3, 2012 – By Steven B. Krivit –
(Updated 7:53 pm) –
Last summer, National Instruments invited Robert Duncan, vice chancellor for research at the University of Missouri, to speak at its annual trade show. Duncan spoke about following the scientific method without prejudice to see where the data lead, in order to solve the mysteries of low-energy nuclear reactions. (A partial transcript follows below.)
In 2009, Duncan’s hypothesis for LENRs was based on the idea, proposed by former Brigham Young University professor Steven E. Jones, of muon-catalyzed deuterium-deuterium fusion. Now, Duncan says that nobody has any understanding of the mechanism behind LENRs. At the National Instruments trade show, he presented a list of theories, taken from the New Energy Times Web site, although he failed to credit us as the source. He said that the LENR field has no viable theory supported by current physics.
Duncan omitted from his slide the Widom-Larsen theory, which is based on current physics. The Widom-Larsen theory does not propose any form of fusion but is based on weak interactions and neutron-capture processes. It is the only LENR theory to be recognized by CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, or by NASA or by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The theory has been published in the mainstream peer-reviewed journals Pramana and the European Physical Journal C – Particles and Fields and several other mainstream publications. It is the only theory to have obtained such broad recognition.
In January 2012, the University of Missouri accepted a $5.5 million gift from Sidney Kimmel, based on Duncan’s assertion that LENRs lack a viable explanation and that Kimmel’s funds would be applied to “try to figure this puzzle out,” according to Duncan. The gift establishes the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance at the University of Missouri and funds it for five years.
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