January 30, 2011

Widom Larsen Theory and Zawodny at NASA Aviation Unleashed

Joseph Zawodny, NASA Langley Research Center - Energetics, had a presentation at NASA Aviation Unleashed where he looked at low energy nuclear reactions and other possible game changing technologies.

Lewis G. Larsen developed a theory of LENRs (WLT) that explains ALL the evidenceand along with Dr. Alan Widom published their theory in Eur. Phys. J. C (2006)
• WLT is the 1st theory to not require “New Physics”.
• It relies on the Weak Nuclear force which:
* Produces a neutron via electron capture
* Does not have a Coulomb barrier to overcome
• The theory combines QED, Condensed Matter, Nuclear, and Plasma Physics

LENR (low energy nuclear reactions) IS NOT “COLD FUSION”

Widom Larsen Theory Overview

p + e* ⇒n +⎯υe Inhibited by 0.78MeV
• e* is a “heavy electron” allowed by QED -requires high electric fields (~10^11V/m or 10V/Å)
• High fields result from a breakdown of the Born-Oppenheimer Approximation via a coupling of Surface Plasmon Polaritons to a collective proton resonance in the metal hydride.
• The result is an Ultra Low Momentum Neutron which is rapidly absorbed by nearby nuclei.
• Subsequent decays release significant energy.
• Select impurities/catalysts determine the overall energetics

New Aviation Design Metrics with Successful LENR

• Fuel mass and volume are negligible:
* Mass is essentially constant from take-off to landing
* Increase in payload as percentage of TOW
* Optimizations for increased landing weight
• Increase in performance
* Energetics favorable for supersonic cruise
* Greatly extended range/capacity for rotorcraft
• Overall reduction in mass opens up the micro and nano vehicle design space

New Aviation Missions with Successful LENR

• Increase in capability results in new applications

Mini -Micro -Nano air vehicles
• Sensor swarms/meshes
• Package delivery
• Huge implications for ATC

Personal Air Vehicles
• Performance equates to increased safety
• Performance fully enables true point-to-point
• Greatly extended range (Local -> Global!)
• Huge implications for ATC

• Unlimited loiter
• Enhanced mobility with a reduction of supply logistics
• Horizontal take-off access to orbit

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