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Widom-Larsen theory

The Widom-Larsen theory is an proposed explanation for supposed Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) developed in 2005 by Allan Widom and Lewis Larsen. In the paper describing the idea, they claim that ultra low momentum neutrons are produced in the cold fusion apparatuses[1] during weak interactions when protons capture "heavy" electrons from metallic hydride surfaces.[2] The theory has been criticized as being "based on a number of fallacies and an obscuring way of handling the equations."[3]

The idea was expanded by Yogendra Srivastava together with Widom and Larsen in 2014, who went on to propose that it could be an explanation for neutrons observed in exploding wire experiments, solar corona and flares, and neutron production in thunderstorms.[4] However, unrealistic concentrations of free electrons are needed for the neutron yield to be a significant component of thunderstorm neutrons, discounting the explanation.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ Anderson, Mark (23 October 2012). "Big Idea: Bring Back the "Cold Fusion" Dream. A new theory may explain the notorious cold fusion experiment from two decades ago, reigniting hopes of a clean-energy breakthrough". Discover Magazine. 
  2. ^ Widom, A; Larsen, L (April 2006). "Ultra Low Momentum Neutron Catalyzed Nuclear Reactions on Metallic Hydride Surfaces" (PDF). The European Physical Journal C. arXiv:cond-mat/0505026 . Bibcode:2006EPJC...46..107W. doi:10.1140/epjc/s2006-02479-8. Archived from the original on 2 May 2005. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Tennfors, Einor (15 February 2015). "On the idea of low energy nuclear reactions in metallic lattices by producing neutrons from protons capturing "heavy" electrons". European Journal of Physics. Bibcode:2013EPJP..128...15T. doi:10.1140/epjp/i2013-13015-3. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  4. ^ Srivastava, Y; Widom, A; Larsen, L (October 2014). "A primer for electroweak induced low-energy nuclear reactions". Pramana – Journal of Physics. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  5. ^ Babich, L P; Bochkov, E I; Kutsyk, I M; Rassoul, H K (13 May 2014). "Analysis of fundamental interactions capable of producing neutrons in thunderstorms" (PDF). Physics Review D. Bibcode:2014PhRvD..89i3010B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.89.093010. Archived from the original on 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Babich, L P. "Fundamental processes capable of accounting for the neutron flux enhancements in a thunderstorm atmosphere" (PDF). Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics. Bibcode:2014JETP..118..375B. doi:10.1134/S1063776114030017. Archived from the original on 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  7. ^ Babich, L P (8 October 2015). "Analysis of a laboratory experiment on neutron generation by discharges in the open atmosphere" (PDF). Physics Review C. Bibcode:2015PhRvC..92d4602B. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.92.044602. Archived from the original on 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2017.