Scientific equipment maker National Instruments (NI) has gotten really serious about low energy nuclear reaction (LENR). At its NIWweek 2012 conference which is taking place this week even the company’s President and CEO Dr. James Truchard spoke at some length on LENR. In his conclusion to the opening speech Truchard noted his company’s long involvement with LENR and mentioned its work in the area.

Dr. James Truchard

“We’ve been there all along in this very controversial area,” Truchard said.

He also said that NI has been involved with cold fusion since 1989. Truchard said he had offered a free copy of National Instruments popular program LabView to anybody who could demonstrate LENR back then but none could prove it was taking place. More recently, Truchard said National Instruments is working with backyard inventors that he compared to Edison.

Truchard said that the experimental process in LENR was stuck in the first stage of experiments. He said National Instruments was providing inventors graphical system design and other tools to help them move forward. Truchard didn’t say whether he believes in LENR or not but it sure sounds like he does.

“We don’t judge we measure,” Truchard said. To provide those measurements NI is providing virtual instrumentation” in the form of its Lab View computer program.

During his speech a slide with a picture of the Defkalion Hyperion and another device I couldn’t identify was shown. The slide also stated that Grimshaw at the LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson) School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin had found that 184 LENR experiments had produced excess heat before 1987.

Truchard seemed sympathetic to LENR. He even suggested that cold fusion be replaced with the term “quantum reactor.” This sounds even worse than cold fusion.

Truchard said there was a demonstration model of Celani’s reactor on the floor at NIWeek. He said the device was from the Italian Nuclear Institute. He didn’t mention Celani’s work with Kressen Limited or say it was the device Celani is building for that company. He also noted that Professor Hagelstein was speaking at the conference.

Dr. Robert Duncan the Vice Chancellor for Research of the University of Missouri gave a speech discussing the history of LENR and cold fusion. Duncan noted that in 1927 two scientists Paneth and Peters in Berlin had announced that when they mixed hydrogen and palladium they achieved a reaction that produced hydrogen. In the mid 1950s it was discovered that a subatomic particle called a muon that could achieve a nuclear reaction on a subatomic level.

Duncan said three national labs and hundreds of professors had verified that the excess heat discovered by Pons and Fleischmann was real. He said that he didn’t like the term cold fusion. Instead he preferred anomalous heat effect.

Duncan said the anomalous heat effect is real but not understood within current physics. He said that his job was to understand what was going on and come up with the physics to explain it. This work will be done at the Sidney Kimmel Institute for Nuclear Renaissance the University of Missouri.

“We just want to follow the scientific method and go where the data leads us,” Duncan said.

Dr. Greg Morrow of National Instruments Computing Science division said he and his high performance computing team were excited about LENR. National Instrument uses complex mathematics to enhance instruments. The systems can perform physics based simulations and control experiments in the real world.

Morrow said that Truchard was talking to his scientists about the anomalous heat effect.  Morrow wants to use high performance computing technology to create a theory to explain LENR. Morrow noted that NI is working with Professor Yeong Kim from Purdue to develop simulations that will explain theories.

NI is working to use Lab View in LENR experiments. The purpose of this to see what is generating the greatest heat. The company is using infrared imaging to measure heat transfer and temperature on the cathodes used in LENR experiments. That way accurate measurement of the heat generated by LENR is possible.

This could verify the claims of inventors like Andrea Rossi and Robert Godes who claim that their devices can generate large amounts of heat. Godes is supposed to be at NI Week. If they can practical uses for the heat such as steam engines or hot air turbines could be developed.

The attitude displayed by Dr. Truchard and his team at NI is refreshing instead of dismissing these claims they admit that something is taking place and are trying to understand it. The technology and software that they can provide could be the key to solving the mystery of LENR and harnessing it. The capabilities they provide could enable inventors the tools they need to demonstrate the practicality of their devices and get the money they need to perfect and commercialize them.