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How can 30% of nickel in Rossi’s reactor be transmuted into copper?

• Journal of Nuclear Physics
In the present article I would like to answer a question posed by L. Kowalsky in a recent paper: how can 30% of nickel in Rossi’s reactor be transmuted into copper? “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”, says a guy. I apologizes if I am too simplistic here.

The interest on Andrea Rossi’s Nickel-Hydrogen Cold Fusion technology is accelerating [1]. However, Rossi says that about 30% of nickel was turned into copper, after 6 months of uninterrupted operation. Kowalski [2]. says that “this seems to be impossible because the produced copper isotopes rapidly decay into Ni”. But how it works?

How it works
Following Focardi Rossi [3]. a Ni58 nucleus produces a Copper nucleus according to the reaction

Ni58 + p → Cu59

Copper nucleus Cu59 decays with positron (e+) and neutrino (ν) emission in Ni59 nucleus according to

Cu59 → Ni59 + ν + e+

Then (e+) annichilates with (e-) in two gamma-rays

e- + e+ → γ + γ

Starting [3] from Ni58 which is the more abundant isotope, we can obtain as described in the two above processes Copper formation and its successive decay in Nickel, producing Ni59, Ni60, Ni61 and Ni62. Because Cu63, which can be formed starting by Ni62, is stable and does not decay in Ni63, the chain stops at Ni62 (i.e. Cu63). Each process means some MeV.

Of course how can a proton p gets captured by the Ni58 nucleus? (and subsequent Ni59, Ni60, Ni61 and Ni62). Following Stremmenos [4]. a neutron-like particle, an electron proton pair, a mini-atom, a proton masked as a neutron, gets captured by the Ni58.

If the masked proton becomes a neutron the result is Ni59.
In order to have Cu59 (increase of atomic number from 28 to 29) the electron (of the masked proton) gets ejected from the nucleus. The masked proton becomes a proton.

The same process holds for all the subsequent transformations, until Cu63.
It remains to be understood the issue of the gamma radiation in the MeV range.


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