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Widom-Larsen theory

The Widom-Larsen theory is a theory developed in 2005 by Dr. Allan Widom and Lewis Larsen which describes the production of ultra low momentum neutrons and subsequent catalysis of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR).[1] Neutrons are hypothesized to be produced during weak interactions when protons capture "heavy" electrons in certain special conditions, such as 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 theory was expanded by Dr. Yogendra Srivastava in 2014, and additionally theorized as a possible explanation for neutrons observed in exploding wire experiments, solar corona and flares, as well as to explain neutron production in thunderstorms.[4] However, unreal concentrations of free electrons would be needed for the theory's prediction of neutron yield to be a significant component of thunderstorm neutrons, discounting the theory as an explanation.[5][6][7] The theory has also been suggested as describing the source of neutrons produced in the fracture of piezoelectric and iron containing rocks.[8][9]


  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. Bibcode:2006EPJC...46..107W. arXiv:cond-mat/0505026 . 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. 
  8. ^ Widom, A; Swain, J; Srivastava, Y (14 December 2012). "Neutron production from the fracture of piezoelectric rocks". Journal of Physics G. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Widom, A; Swain, J; Srivastava, Y (May 2015). "Photo-disintegration of the iron nucleus in fractured magnetite rocks with magnetostriction". Mechanicca. doi:10.1007/s11012-014-0007-x. Retrieved 24 March 2017.