Probing Neutrons and Purported Fission Daughter Products from Gas-Loaded, Laser-Irradiated Metal-Hydrogen Targets

13 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2023

See all articles by Florian Metzler

Florian Metzler

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Camden Hunt

University of British Columbia (UBC)

Jonah Messinger

University of Cambridge; The Breakthrough Institute

Nicola Galvanetto

University of Zurich

Date Written: April 5, 2023


This article reviews a series of experimental reports that claim the observation of energetic neutrons and the formation of new low-atomic number (Z ≤ 30) elements in solid-state metal-hydrogen samples in out-of-equilibrium conditions (created, e.g., via pressure/temperature cycling or laser irradiation). Reported new element formation is concomitant with morphological feature changes and, in some cases, new elements correspond to known fission daughter pairs of the involved metal lattice nuclei. Related experimental reports suggest that the elements found in the newly formed morphological features may have unnatural isotopic ratios, indicating a nuclear origin. The presented body of experimental reports suggests a hypothesized novel class of nuclear reactions, which has recently motivated the creation of a new research program by the US Department of Energy’s innovation agency ARPA-E. Because of the absence of high-energy stimuli in such systems, ARPA-E refers to this hypothesized class of nuclear reactions as low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR). To help interested parties quickly gain insights into this research domain, we present a curated collection of experimental evidence reported to date, provide a theoretical explanation that is both consistent with these reports and rooted in established physics, and lay out a research roadmap.

Keywords: Quantum engineering, excitation transfer, neutron emission, metal-hydrides

Suggested Citation

Metzler, Florian and Hunt, Camden and Messinger, Jonah and Galvanetto, Nicola, Probing Neutrons and Purported Fission Daughter Products from Gas-Loaded, Laser-Irradiated Metal-Hydrogen Targets (April 5, 2023). Available at SSRN: or

Florian Metzler (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

Camden Hunt

University of British Columbia (UBC)

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4

Jonah Messinger

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

The Breakthrough Institute ( email )

Berkeley, CA
United States

Nicola Galvanetto

University of Zurich

Zurich, 8091

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