Kenneth R. Shoulders, the father of vacuum micro-electronics, started a collaboration with Dr. Harold Puthoff (currently a member of To The Stars Academy of Arts and Sciences and an adviser along with his former Chief Scientist Eric Davis to the SAFIRE Project) and Bill Church to investigate the Exotic Vacuum Object (EVO) phenomena around 1980. Ken Shoulders immediately discovered that when he pulsed a small, sharpened cathode with electricity that out of the plasma “soup” of ions, electrons, and vaporized metal nano-particles, a self organizing plasma structure would form. He discovered that they possessed a number of anomalous properties during the period of obsessive compulsive testing that followed.
Seemingly highly negatively charged (with the opposite being true in some rare occasions), the electrons on their surface seemed to stay in extreme close proximity at high density despite their mutual electrostatic repulsion. Dr. Puthoff even wrote paper theorizing that the Casimir force that would show up when the electrons were in very close proximity to each other would provide a force keeping them together that would be stronger than the electrostatic repulsion pushing them apart. Additional strange properties of EVOs (for a while at first just termed EVs) included the ability to be divided and recombined, to travel along grooves in dielectric surfaces, to carve trenches through guide plates, liquify material in a non-thermal manner, produce a wide array of electromagnetic emissions, nullify the majority of their mass/inertia so they could be accelerated to high speeds with very low input energies (a warp drive effect), and to induce transmutations and isotopic shifts on the targets they impacted.
Shoulders continued investigating the phenomena and learned how to control them very precisely – guiding his micron sized plasma balls through obstacle courses and making them perform all sorts of stunts. He was even able to learn how to make them switch from “white” states to “black” states and vice versa which represented their ability to be observed and interact with matter. Although his goal was to produce a viable energy producing technology, his extreme caution in scaling up the phenomena and his love of tinkering on the small scale may have gotten in the way. As far as we know, during the time period in which he was officially collaborating with Dr. Puthoff and Earthtech, a practical energy producing device seemingly was not produced utilizing his designs.
The way to utilize the EVO phenomena to make practical devices was hidden in plain site. The first factor that obscured the path forward was that most LENR or “cold fusion” researchers had never heard of Kenneth Shoulders (or didn’t know what to make of his research). Yet Kenneth Shoulders in direct communication and in his papers attempted to broadcast the fact that tiny scale EVOs were likely being formed via multiple pathways in the crystalline lattice of hydrogen or deuterium loaded metals such as nickel, palladium, platinum, titanium, etc. One such method was fracto-emission. When hydrogen moves through an embrittled material, the lattice can be manipulated or even damaged producing charge separation. The result can be nano-scale electric discharges which can produce self-organizing plasma structures.
A link between fracto-emission and LENR or cold fusion in bulk metal systems could be the fact that excess heat usually shows up either during the gas loading or de-loading process, induced either by changes in applied heat or pressure. Kenneth Shoulders even performed experiments on hydrogen/deuterium loaded materials by striking them with an EVO, resulting in a zone of damage that spread across the surface of the material. He described this as the “wildfire” effect. The idea was that a chain reaction of EVO production was happening which resulted in the visible alterations.
As time went on, LENR experimentalists such as Andrea Rossi attempted to enhance gas loading systems via a number of different methods. These include using powders instead of bulk materials to increase surface area, structuring the surface of nickel particles with spillover catalysts such as palladium to maximize the dissociation and absorption of hydrogen/deuterium, subjecting the environment of the reactor to electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio frequencies (potentially electrical discharges as well) to produce atomic hydrogen with higher kinetic energies, and adding elements such as lithium which could serve various purposes. All of these factors likely increased hydrogen absorption which enhanced the probability of EVO production within the lattice. However, although probably unrecognized to him at the time, the radio frequencies (either produced with a radio frequency generator or via the harmonics of the “dirty” AC he pumped into his heating resistor coils) were feeding the EVOs in a manner similar to what Kenneth Shoulders achieved.
Yet unless you are a brilliant and obsessive compulsive experimentalist like Andrea Rossi with a drive to perform countless experiments, bulk metal and powder based gas loading systems seem to be very tricky. This is likely due to the complexities of maximizing hydrogen absorption (which can require careful surface modification of your fuel in addition to long periods of degassing). In fact, it’s pretty obvious that Andrea Rossi had failures himself from time to time with these types of systems. What’s important to note is that he moved beyond powder based reactors. In the past few years, he has developed pure plasma based systems that utilize a set of electrodes (a cathode and an anode) and a gaseous interior environment. Except for whatever nano-particles are sputtered off the surface off his electrodes (which are thought to be composed of platinum coated, high manganese nickel that’s used for electrical contacts), the fuel is simply a combination of gases. Due to this, much of the frustration of powder based systems can be avoided.
So how do these pure plasma versions of the E-Cat work? At their core, they are utilizing the same phenomena as multiple other exotic energy devices in development today (including The SAFIRE Project’s reactor and Brilliant Light Power’s Suncell) along with SEVERAL others going back a hundred years. Basically, the E-Cat is utilizing the negative resistance regime of an electric discharge (this is a zone between the glow discharge and true arc discharge) in which the voltage and current relationship is flipped upside down. During the period that an electric discharge is in this zone, a plasma ball (also referred to as a fireball, ball of fire, man-made ball lightning, micro-ball lightning, complex space charge configuration, plasma globe, or macro-EVO) self organizes out of the chaos of the out of equilibrium plasma. One universal identifier that such an EVO has formed is the production of ion acoustic waves that can be seen on an oscilloscope. This structure is the prime mover of all these devices that produce anomalous excess energy, transmutations, isotopic shifts, and other anomalies. If the parameters of a plasma based E-Cat are tuned properly (achieving a resonance between the plasma ball and it’s environment which includes the circuit of the device), the plasma ball can move off the electrode, further self-organize, and become what’s called a “free floating fireball” in multiple papers. Once free floating and not touching any component of the reactor, it will no longer hold the potential to do things like damage electrodes or melt down the walls of the reactor. Nevertheless, it can produce massive excess energy in the forms of heat, light, and electricity. High energy photons are also generated which some speculate could be extracted from the vacuum.