Lost History

The Forgotten Story of Chemical Transmutations

  • "The Earth is not Flat and is Not the Center of the Universe"
    Krivit has once again proven his ability to dig for facts and produce an easy-to-follow and well-told story. I have long considered myself fairly well-versed in the history of nuclear research. I have studied it and taught classes in it. But Krivit showed me that there was much that I did not know, and as it turns out, hardly anyone knew. He found pieces of history that had been truly lost, wove these pieces together based on the historical chronology, and produced a comprehensive picture of what turned out to be a significant era in nuclear research. Our view of the world was expanded through the research in this lost history, but not everybody was willing to go along for the ride. Buy the Book
    By Fletcher Whitworth, Maryland
  • "Future Workers in This Field Will Find Krivit's Work Invaluable"
    Lost History completes Steven Krivit's literature review of the LENR field, covering the early years. Krivit has made a significant and successful effort to clarify this troubling area of science. Future workers in this field will find his work invaluable. Workers in this field and those interested in science history will want to have all three of Krivit's fine books for their comprehensive coverage of emerging new science in LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions). Buy the Book
    John A. Gowan, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • "Everything Old is New Again"
    The author shows from century-old research papers that [LENRs were] actually discovered long ago. He then shows how the scientists who made the discoveries misinterpreted and even suppressed their results out of fear of being labelled alchemists. Finally, he describes how the high-energy nuclear reactions, which were much easier to replicate, came along and eclipsed the research into LENRs. Lost History is a tale of how "political correctness" can trump scientific validity, and how readily reproducible results can draw researchers away from difficult avenues of investigation. It should be read by everyone who is responsible for funding scientific research--those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat them. Buy the Book
    David M. Drury, Ph.D., Wisconsin
  • "Rowdy History of Transmutation"
    When it wasn't forbidden to search for elemental transmutations with the tools of chemistry, people found them. At some point it was decided that physicists do transmutations, and chemists don't. These stories predate that point. A particularly colorful period. As scientists we are obliged to listen to Nature and allow her to overrule our ideology, no matter how well established the current models of physics may seem. Krivit's explorations are terrific evidence-based roadmaps of the physics that is coming when the consensus that LENR can't happen is replaced by the expansion of physics to encompass another chunk of reality. Read More
    John Smith, Los Angeles, CA

Lost History: Explorations in Nuclear Research, Vol. 3 by Steven B. Krivit

Steven B. Krivit's Explorations in Nuclear Research three-book series describes the emergence of a new field of science, one that bridges chemistry and physics. The books give readers an understanding of low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR) research and its history and provide a rare behind-the-scenes look at the players and personalities involved.

Lost History, written for scientists and science historians, covers the period from 1912 to 1927, and explores the story of forgotten chemical transmutation research, a precursor to modern low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) research. The book tells the story of century-old research that has been absent from the scientific dialogue for a hundred years — research that is surprisingly similar to events in the modern era.

In the formative years of atomic science in the early 20th century, at the same time that Niels Bohr introduced his model of the atom, and when nuclear science belonged to chemists and physicists alike, some scientists reported inexplicable experimental evidence of elemental transmutations. Papers were published in the top scientific journals of the day, including Physical Review, Science and Nature. Prominent scientists around the world participated in the research. The research was reported in popular newspapers and magazines, such as the New York Times and Scientific American. The book relies heavily on published journal papers.

The experiments, using relatively simple, low-energy benchtop apparatus, did not use radioactive sources, so the results defied prevailing theory. This, coupled with the fact that the experiments were not easily repeated, caused most scientists by 1930 to dismiss the entire body of research as a mistake.

This history of research was omitted from historical references — until now. With the benefit of hindsight, and in light of modern low-energy nuclear research (LENR) and theory, this lost history, after a 60-year hiatus, is told here for the first time. Lost History is the first book that provides critical analyses of the original published scientific papers of the transmutation experiments performed between 1912 and 1927. This book reveals the fascinating story of these experiments and provides significant insights about our understanding of the history of physics, chemistry and nuclear science.

Lost History chronicles the following events that have been either forgotten or misreported:
  • From 1912 to 1914, several independent researchers detected the production of noble gases: helium-4, neon, argon, and an as-yet-unidentified element of mass-3, which we now identify as tritium. Two of these researchers were Nobel laureates.
  • In 1922, two chemists at the University of Chicago created helium using the exploding electrical conductor method.
  • In 1924, a German scientist accidentally found gold and possibly platinum in the residue of mercury vapor lamps that he had been using for photography.
  • In 1925, scientists in Amsterdam carried out a similar experiment, but starting with lead, and observed the production of mercury and the rare element thallium.
  • In 1925, a prominent Japanese scientist, in a related experiment, reported the production of gold and another metal that was later identified as platinum.
  • In 1926, two German chemists pumped hydrogen gas into a chamber with finely divided palladium powder and reported the transmutation of hydrogen into helium. One of them later tried to dismiss the results, but he was never able to completely explain the data as a mistake.
  • Contrary to nearly all accounts that credit physicist Ernest Rutherford with the first nuclear transmutation — of nitrogen to oxygen — the credit belongs in fact to a research fellow who was working under Rutherford.
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