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The Sneering Collective – Part One

March 7, 2012

When Pons and Fleischmann made their announcement, they were instant heroes riding in from nowhere to save the world. Soon, whispers of doubt turned to accusations of fraud and a barrage of insults that must have been hard to take from their freshly painted pedestal. That has always puzzled me. Assuming that most scientists do not believe that the scientists expected to survive such a fraud (and therefore take those accusations with the derision they deserve) why were the two men attacked so relentlessly?

That attitude survives today. Does the profession really attract a disproportionate share of nasty people or are the sneerers simply the loudest or more powerful?

An important pillar of the scientific method lies in disputing the work of others. In a way, a scientist is conditioned to attack. Normally the focus is on the work and not the person and all good practitioners are as tough on their own conclusions as they are on others. Perhaps the habit of questioning everything conditions one to superiority when ego meets stupidity. This tendency can be multiplied when packs of scientists gang up on some subject the collective deems nonsense. Once in that place, a particular idea or subject has a long climb to credibility over the bodies of its sneering detractors. Group-think short circuits real thinking and scientists are saved the time, money and bother of wasted effort on obvious dead-ends. Stereotyping is a useful tool but a dangerous one when it goes wrong.

Rationalising the behaviour of those who pilloried two hard-working intelligent men can only take you so far. In attacking the men along with the science, their ideas were being buried along with them. The sneering, jeering taunts and the derisory headlines were a warning to others. This could happen to you. Cold fusion is toxic. Stay away. In destroying their credibility, their baby – cold fusion – would stay dead for some time.

If every scientist who proposed something new was treated like Pons and Fleischmann, we would have no new ideas. There is no doubt that these two heritics were selected by fate or by men for special treatment and that treatment infected how (and if) their peers viewed the science they tried to birth.

However it happened, here we are. And where that is – the attitude and power of the collective – is something I want to examine in Part Two.

 

Posted by on March 7, 2012. Filed under History,Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

407 Responses to The Sneering Collective – Part One

  1. georgehants

    March 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

    P&F have always said that their university pushed them to publish, is that a fact?
    Even so how the news got out is irrelevant as to how it was handled by science.

    Opinion rightly can change to fit the facts, the facts can never change to fit opinion. (without fraud).

  2. popeye

    March 9, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I’ve been distracted, but wanted to respond to JNewman from a few threads back

    If I read you right, then you are saying that If there is indeed a nuclear phenomenon taking place in some of the CF/LENR experiments, then it essentially must be exploitable in a big way.

    Well, I try to avoid absolutes, so I would say that if there were nuclear phenomenon taking place, it is highly likely that they would be exploitable in a big way.

    I don’t really accept that assertion. We are talking about a phenomenon that is essentially not understood in any meaningful way despite the plethora of imaginative theories said to address it. Given that state of affairs, I don’t see how anything can be extrapolated from the phenomenology alone. Perhaps it is some sort of self-limiting reaction that simply cannot scale.

    You’re right of course, and it’s not a clear extrapolation. But the huge difference in scale between the nuclear and chemical effects, and the even larger enhancement that measurable heat from nuclear phenomena would represent, makes a process that self-limits right in the same ballpark as chemical energy or measurement accuracy or electrical input seem very unlikely to me. Especially in several fundamentally different configurations involving D-Pd or H-Ni in various solid configurations and in both electrolysis and gas loading. There doesn’t seem to be any intrinsic reason the nuclear reactions would be limited just below the obvious level in all those cases, considering that the obvious level should be expected to be different in different cases.

    To restate, if the low temperature, low energy conditions required to enhance the nuclear reaction rates in non-radioactive material by at least 20 orders of magnitude over the expected rates based on density and temperature could be found by accident, it seems pretty likely that once the mechanism for this enhancement is understood, a few more orders of magnitude could be coaxed out of it. In fact, that seems likely to me even just based on an empirical search of parameter space in the absence of an understanding of the mechanism. The energy content is a million times higher than chemical; it seems unlikely that in all the various configurations, the phenomenon should always limit at a million times below its potential and not 10 million (unobserved) or 10,000 (very obvious).

    That being said, I appreciate your comments here. They are consistently aimed at the science and not at the people, which is a breath of fresh air.

    Thanks. It’s mutual.

  3. popeye

    March 9, 2012 at 11:08 am

    On March 7, 2012 at 12:01 am, dam wrote:

    This 1995 paper is worth a read. It starts off addressing the accusations against CF ‘The “pathological” Science of Cold Fusion’
    Then talks of “Curing the “pathologies”: QED coherence in matter”

    My favorite part is the prediction at the end: “I can tell you with a reasonable degree of confidence […] one should be able to reproducibly achieve powers in the order of 100 kW/cm^3 Pd. It is reasonable that all this will be common knowledge by the time of ICCF6.”

    That was published in the proceedings of ICCF5. I wonder if he had known then that in 2012, people would be shouting from the rooftops about 0.3 kW/kg = .0036 kW/cm^3 to the continued disbelief of scientists, if he would have been so sure of himself.

  4. popeye

    March 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

    On March 5, 2012 at 4:33 am, dsm wrote:

    This is for popeye and other folk who have commented on the Miley experiment and its low Joules output.
    In the above paper [FocardiSlargeexces.pdf] from 1998 put out by Prof Piantelli and friends, they claim they produced 600MJ & 900MJ (yup megajoules) excess energy for 300 or so days. The claim is here …
    “Summary. — Evidence of a large heat excess produced in Ni-H systems and details of the calorimetric measurements are reported in this paper. Two cells which ran for long periods (about 300 days) produced an energy excess of 600MJ and 900MJ, respectively.”
    This looks pretty durned impressive to me and I am wondering how you interpret it, as to the best of my knowledge it was this paper that so impressed scientists in the US as to how advanced Italy was in LENR research esp Ni+H. […]
    popeye, in a nutshell, was the paper by Piantelli mistaken ? – it looks pretty impressive to me.

    and a bit later

    An additional paper published in 2004 [CampariEGoverviewof.pdf] that summarizes their 12 years of work and in particular adds details in regard to evidence of ‘cold fusion’ .
    QUOTE:
    This is an overview of our experimental activity during the last twelve years. We have been studying the Ni-H system at temperatures of about 700 K. Our investigations have revealed several interesting effects:
a) energy production for long time
b) neutron emission
c) γ-ray emission
d) charged particles emission
e) appearance of elements other than Ni on the surfaces of Ni samples.


    I’ve looked at the Piantelli work in the past, and I had another look now, and I have to agree with other opinions expressed here: the results are not at all convincing. In fact, while the excess heat measurements went on for the better part of a year (while they holidayed in Tuscany, perhaps), and are still not convincing, the radiation measurements look as if their overlords told them to have the results by sunrise or they’ll be fed to the lions; they seem so preliminary, that it’s surprising they published them. As is typical of cold fusion research, the claims look impressive, but upon closer inspection, the work is sloppy and the results are anecdotal and completely consistent with chemical explanations (heat), or artifacts or experimental error (radiation).

    Others have also distrusted the results. A few years ago Jed Rothwell gave Krivit a spirited argument in vortex that Piantelli had been proved wrong by CERN. Of course after Rothwell latched onto Rossi, he started singing Piantelli’s praises. Also, in the 2004 review, I don’t think the Piantelli results were considered significant enough by the cold fusion principals to present to the DOE panel. If they were, they obviously didn’t convince the DOE panel. And they’ve not been published anywhere except that Italian journal. No knock on the journal, but if they really had something, other journals would be fighting for it.

    That’s the nutshell. I’ll elaborate in 2 separate posts about the excess heat and the radiation in the Piantelli experiments.

  5. popeye

    March 9, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Excess heat measurements in Piantell’s experiements

    1) Power, heat, and COP
    First of all, while the total energy is impressive, it’s over a period of 300 days, so it doesn’t represent that much power. In fact the 2 cells had 40 W and 20 W excess power with inputs of 100 W and 60 W, for COPs of 1.4 and 1.3. So a 20% or 30% error in the excess power measurement accounts for the results.Once you have excess power, all you need is time to arbitrarily increase the output energy.

    2) Calorimetry
    Of course it should be easy to measure 20 or 40 W, even against an input of 100W or so, but this was a very poor experimental design. The measurements in the 1998 paper are meant to be an improvement on their 1994 experiment, which was essentially disproven by a group at CERN (Cerron-Zeballos et al.). Piantelli observed that the Ni rods get hotter after hydrogen loading with the same input, and interpreted that as increased power output. CERN also found that the rods get hotter, but observed that the temperature of the outside of the housing did not increase, and concluded that the power did not increase, presuming that the hydrogen changed the thermal properties of the Ni, and so the rate of heat loss.

    In the 1998 experiment, Piantelli also measured the housing temperature, and this reduced their claimed power by about a factor of 2, but they still claimed excess power. But the factor of 2 indicates a real problem with the design. They didn’t say anything about looking for gradients on the housing, so the method of basically air-cooling remains suspect. After the CERN objections, one would expect them to do everything possible to exclude similar sorts of artifacts, by e.g. using flow calorimetry. They’ve got time to wait a year, but they can’t plumb some cooling water through the cell to get an accurate measure of the heat produced?

    As far as I know, CERN was not motivated to revisit the experiment after the 1998 improvement.

  6. popeye

    March 9, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Radiation measurements in Piantelli’s experiments (sorry, it’s long):

    1) Neutrons
    The measurements reported in the 2004 overview look kind of difficult to dismiss, but a look at the referenced paper from 1999 saps all the confidence from them. It’s full of almost impenetrable descriptions and compromises and excuses that you might hear in a late-breaking, breathless preliminary report at a conference. But in a paper, and especially since the same results appear years later in their summary, it is inexcusable.When you read a sentence like the following, you wonder if the paper was refereed or edited:

    “Because of the oneness of the experiment, the contemporaneity of the measurements in the two methods is only partial.”

    Or how about: ” Both plots refer to the same short time period (12 h of 11 March 1995) because an electric breakdown on the week-end caused a loss of data.” They are interpreting their data around electric breakdowns that affect electronics? And this remains their best evidence after 12 years of research?

    When you look at the data, it turns out that all of the measurements made with 3 detectors, usually over a period of a few days, showed marginal counting rates above background. The absolute counting rates were in the range of 80 counts per 10 minutes or about 0.1 counts per second, about 10% above background, which was measured weeks later. Considering the variation between measurements was more than 5 %, the difference from background of about 10% cannot be taken very seriously, particularly with count rates at such a low level. (When solid angle and efficiency are considered, they estimated a few neutrons per second from the cell.)

    The *only* direct measurement of a count rate significantly above background with a neutron counter was a 12 hour period on March 11, around the time of the electric breakdown that caused loss of data, and that was made with only one detector. And the data look completely unphysical (which they themselves admit), jumping from background to about 2000 counts in 10 minutes in a series of spikes. Most physical, radioactive processes follow Poisson statistics, but these followed statistics typical of electronics damaged by an electric breakdown. These data, they claimed, indicated a neutron flux of about 110 neutrons per second from the cell.

    Overlapping with these measurements, they also exposed a gold foil to the radiation and measured the resulting gammas. Analysis of these results they claim indicate about 6000 neutrons per second from the cell, about 50 times higher.

    Wow! That’s the hodgepodge of completely inconsistent data they draw conclusions from. After 12 years. In the 1999 paper, they claim further quantitative measurements are in progress to identify the nuclear chains, but the 2004 summary gives nothing more than what’s in the 1999 paper.

    They attribute the difference between the gold foil results and the neutron counter results to the fact that the measurement periods only partially overlapped, so there may have been a period of higher neutron emission. Sure, maybe. But when you get a discrepancy like this for a revolutionary result, you don’t guess. You repeat. You run the detectors at the same time, in a week that there are no electric breakdowns, and you do it with several foils, and with a detector that measures energy. Neutrons were discovered in 1932, and there are ways to measure their energy. The problem, presumably, is the “oneness” of the result. It only happened once. Even though they claim to have found a stable configuration that lasts a year, like so many cold fusion results that look good, this one’s is anecdotal too. Every other attempt with the gold foil gave nothing.

    Still and all, one has to ask how that gold foil got exposed to neutrons. Well, they were using a neutron source to calibrate the detectors. Could they have laid it down near the foil, or used the test foil by mistake. It seems unlikely, but maybe there was a playful graduate student around. The main thing is that it happened *once*. If there are any doubts about neutron contamination or foil mixups (which in fact do happen all the time in messy labs), then repeat. Only they couldn’t. The experiment lasted a year. And they never saw 6000 neutrons per second again.

    Even at 6000 neutrons per second, as the authors admit, it’s far too low to account for the claimed heat by any sort of nuclear reaction. It would correspond to a neutron being emitted every 10^11 events, which as they say, is too small to be acceptable within the current nuclear physics knowledge. (This last point of course wouldn’t matter if the data were bullet-proof, but unfortunately, the data is shot full of holes.)

    (2) Cloud chamber, gamma rays, and transmutation

    The rest of the radiation measurements mentioned in their 2004 overview were never even published in refereed journals, and it’s no wonder. The work is so sloppy and incomplete, one expects a high school science fair project could do better, if they had a budget, or the equipment.

    (a) Transmutation
    They’re claiming nearly all the elements below nickel are formed. Really? So the magic of cold fusion involves not one reaction, but literally dozens. And all of them practically radiation-free. No chance they are just contaminants? Shit happens, after all. The rod is compared to a blank, and evidently there are elements not present on the blank that are observed on the treated rod. The problem is they didn’t compare it to a rod that was heated to 700K for a year, in say a helium atmosphere.

    And what about absolute amounts of these elements? Are they consistent with the observed heat? Are they in the same ballpark? Isn’t that a pretty obvious thing to look in to?

    And isn’t it funny that the elements that were not observed (Sc, Ti, V, Co) are exactly the low abundance elements that would not be expected in a laboratory environment, whereas all the observed elements are common laboratory contaminants. Hmmm. And there is no indication they did any analysis of the isotope patterns, to see if they were consistent with the natural patterns.

    (b) Gamma rays
    They have 3 sentences to describe 14 years of gamma ray measurements. One peak at 660 +/- 1 keV was observed with a NaI detector. It lasted a few days, then ended. (Another of their papers quotes 661.5 +/- .8 keV with a Ge detector.)

    They’re claiming a dozen or so elements produced by transmutation, and none of them are formed in an excited state to radiate characteristic gamma rays?

    There is no attempt in the overview to identify the 660 keV peak, which doesn’t appear to be associated with any of those elements. As it happens, one of the calibrants usually used in gamma ray spectroscopy (Cs-137) has a peak at 661.7 keV. Could it have been left near the detector for a while?

    (c) Bubble chamber
    Another 3 sentences describe the bubble chamber results, which amount to “we observed tracks of charged particles coming from the specimen”, with a figure showing one track. An untreated specimen showed no tracks. No information on how long they waited in the two cases.

    “We observed tracks.” That’s it? Cloud chambers have been around a long time, and were used to discover the positron, muon, and the whole particle zoo in the 50s. What’s the charge, the energy, the mass? Compare their 12 years of investigation in the 90s to this abstract from Carl Anderson in (get this) 1932:

    “Out of a group of 1300 photographs of cosmic-ray tracks in a vertical Wilson chamber 15 tracks were of positive particles which could not have a mass as great as that of the proton. From an examination of the energy-loss and ionization produced it is concluded that the charge is less than twice, and is probably exactly equal to, that of the proton. If these particles carry unit positive charge the curvatures and ionizations produced require the mass to be less than twenty times the electron mass. These particles will be called positrons. Because they occur in groups associated with other tracks it is concluded that they must be secondary particles ejected from atomic nuclei.”

    They identified the sign of the charge, put limits on the mass, charge, and energy of it, and identified it as a new particle. Three years later, Anderson used similar methods to discover the muon; its mass and charge. But Piantelli, after 70 years of technological development, in 12 years of research, can only say: “we observed tracks”.

    • Pekka Janhunen

      March 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      popeye: “The problem is they didn’t compare it to a rod that was heated to 700 K for a year, in say a helium atmosphere.” Could you elaborate, do you have some specific contamination mechanism in mind that depends on temperature and helium?

      • Jami

        March 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

        I think contamination could result from almost every part of the setup, especially the gas handling components, the gas itself and the construction of the the device. A better test than comparing the used rod to a blank one would have been running the experiment in parallel – only without “triggering the reaction”. The reported transmutations seem rather unlikely compared to simple (and somewhat expected) contamination. We recently had a lengthy dispute with one of our suppliers because of impurities in raw silicon. Turned out it was our own fault. The guy washing and unpacking the delivery containers did so according to procedure but with a knife he’d brought in from home because “it was sharper”. The police in Germany hunted an unknown, female serial killer and bankrobber for years. When they finally found her, it tuned out that she was working in the factory that produced the supposedly clean swab sticks used by the police to secure DNA samplings from crime scenes. She just didn’t like gloves and occasionally took them off when it itched.

    • AB

      March 9, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Popeye make sure you write Focardi, Piantelli and all other LENR researchers. I’m sure they’ll be grateful for a genius like you helping them to make proper measurements. They’ve been trying for 15+ years to figure out what’s going on and it only took you, what, half an hour? Truly amazing.

      • Jami

        March 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

        “I’m sure they’ll be grateful for a genius like you helping them to make proper measurements.”

        That’s the problem, isn’t it. Believing that people like Focardi or Piantelli are somehow above sloppiness or self delusion – despite many of their papers crying out “I didn’t look closer because it might turn out I was wrong”. These are just humans – get over it.

        • AB

          March 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

          These are just humans

          Right, that’s why they need pops.

      • JNewman

        March 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

        Actually, I think several people here should write Focardi, Piantelli and other LENR researchers and tell them that you are big supporters and they should keep fighting the good fight. I’m sure these distinguished scientists would be thrilled to know that they have an internet fan club.

      • Bob D

        March 11, 2012 at 3:02 am

        Actually it took me 5 minutes to leapfrog over all the Popeye droppings. Who has time to read all the kazzata?

        • Quax

          March 11, 2012 at 3:06 am

          People who care.

    • Quax

      March 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      Thanks for having taken the time to read the papers and write up such an extensive review.

    • Jay2011

      March 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Popeye,

      I’m sure you will get a lot of flack here for your troubles, even though someone requested your opinion, but your analysis is exactly the kind of effort I would expect to see in a careful scientific peer review. I for one find it refreshing to find a forum discussion on real science instead of the same tiresome bumper sticker debates we get enough of in politics already.

      I was also familiar with the Piantelli/Focardi papers before Rossi ever emerged on the scene. I was intrigued, and they were at least published in a peer-reviewed journal. But I found many of the same problems you pointed out. BTW, Cs-137 is the only known isotope that has a single isolated line at ~ 661 keV. Common calibration source in nuclear physics.

      • Jay2011

        March 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

        PS – I’m just speculating here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if part of the lack of rigor displayed in following up on the loose ends and inconsistencies in the Piantelli/Focardi work goes back to the toxic image LENR holds in the mainstream physics community. What good physics grad student would dare risk his/her future career getting involved in LENR? (Actually, I do know a few good ones who have risked their careers, but they are a couple of courageous exceptions.)

        • GreenWin

          March 10, 2012 at 1:21 am

          There are plenty who will follow the funding switch from “climate science” to LANR. Thousands of science majors read this:

          http://www.physorg.com/news157046734.html

          In fact, private energy developers are hiring young PhDs and grad students right now. Question is – who would want to work for old school energy??

          • Quax

            March 10, 2012 at 3:00 am

            The skill set needed for climate science versus LENR research is rather different.

    • CuriousChris

      March 10, 2012 at 2:10 am

      Spectacular commentary – Now I have to sit and consume the thoughts that are arriving.

      My initial thoughts.

      My biggest fear has always been delusion, I have commented on it before. Self delusion is a major obstacle in any ones life. But group delusion is far more destructive because it feeds off and feeds the delusions of others. The snowball effect.

      What I have learned up to and including today. gives me cause to doubt ALL claims about LENR. I have never understood the sloppy methodology used when testing. now I believe know why.

      Sloppy methodology produces uncertain results. Uncertain results produce doubt, doubt is not definitive and therefore research must continue!

      Research dollars continue to flow and researchers continue to get paid (those that are paid).

      To anybody that thinks that is too cynical. ask yourself this…

      If LENR is proven beyond a doubt to be false. What happens to those who are funded by it. What happens to their legacy?

      Human pride is a destructive thing.

    • LCD

      March 10, 2012 at 6:44 am

      Popeye
      … 100 W and 60 W, for COPs of 1.4 and 1.3. So a 20% or 30% error in the excess power measurement accounts for the results…..

      …a playful graduate student blah blah blah.

      I’m sorry I didn’t have time to read the rest nor would I have gained ant valuable insight.

      Your problem Popeye is your distrust of everybody because you didn’t perform the experiments yourself. So you find fault with what amounts to the silliest thingsand explain them with silly reasons like the ones above.

      To be able to criticize like that you have to have performed your own LENR experiments and published counter results. But you have not have you.

      Well I haven’t either but I will be in the near future and until that time I wont be attempting the use of such silly reasons to doubt the work of serious scientists with limited budgets.

      I’m sorry to say that your analysis is unconvincing and you let your personal bias get the best of you.

      Perhaps a little less bravado, some respect, and a little more open mindness.

  7. Bob D

    March 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Did Rossi want to communicate with us something when he selected the University of Bologna to research the ecat technology?

    Can the Patho-supporters admit the ecat research is all baloney?

    • Allen McCloud

      March 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Good try… I’ll give you an F for effort though.

      • Bob D

        March 10, 2012 at 5:59 am

        Gave is the operative word.

  8. Tom Baccei

    March 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Popeye,

    You remind me of L. Ron Hubbard, who, because he only received a penny a word for science fiction, started a new religion, Scientology. You are such a tireless writer of science constriction, that admin ought to give you at least 2 cents a word. You have put the “dog” back into dogmatism!

    • GreenWin

      March 10, 2012 at 12:59 am

      Tom, I would remind you that Hubbard is considered to be “hack” sci-fi writer who started a religious cult. Popeye, on the other hand is a black & white cartoon.

  9. Ivy Matt

    March 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Matthew
    March 9th, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    Dear Mr. Rossi,

    Have the new patents for the domestic reactor been filed with the Italian Patent and Trademark Office?

    Good luck,
    Matthew

    Andrea Rossi
    March 9th, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Dear Matthew:
    Patents pending are like divisions of an army in movement: the less the enemy knows of them, the better.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

    Thoughts? (Background note: although the full patent applications are not made public for 18 months, the Italian Patent and Trademark Office makes basic information about patent applications [title, inventor, assignee, filing date, etc.] public within about a month of filing.)

    • John Milstone

      March 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Typical evasive answer.

      Rossi is feeding the paranoia of his fans, by suggesting that filing public documents is somehow “secret” and he is, somehow, out maneuvering his “enemies”.

      It’s bogus, but the True Believers will latch on to it as though it proves something.

      • Jami

        March 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

        I wonder what an Italian patent is worth and why Rossi doesn’t file via the European and US routes instead. I don’t mean to belittle Italy as a country – but if I had an easily replicable, game changing invention of global importance, it wouldn’t exactly be my first priority to get it protected in Italy – except if it was an automated spaghetti swirler (which probably already exists anyway).

        • John Milstone

          March 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

          Especially since he is supposedly building them in the United States.

          Unless he’s making each robot by himself, he would have to entrust his process to the (presumably) United States contractors who are building his factory for him. He certainly wouldn’t do that without the protection of a United States Patent.

          Assuming he is actually building a factory in the United States.

        • Ivy Matt

          March 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm

          Well, I’d say a granted patent is worth more than a pending patent.

        • Alain

          March 9, 2012 at 11:40 pm

          “I wonder what an Italian patent is worth and why Rossi doesn’t file via the European and US routes instead.”

          normally national patent protect in their respective country.

          as explained at the end of
          http://newenergytimes.com/v2/news/2012/Report5-Rossis-Profitable-Career-in-Science.shtml

          when rossi filled his patent, the european patent system was not implemented yet.

  10. Quax

    March 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Since the thread rolled over to another page. Please indulge me in yet again advertising my latest polling effort. This time I am trying to get a read on how people feel about Defkalion:

    http://hotandcoldfusion.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/new-defkalion-survey

    • Al Potenza

      March 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

      Defkalion has made claims since last summer about working fusion reactors that they tested up to something like 25 kilowatts. They then said that they would be doing tests with outside people. They promised to publish the protocols before the tests started. They said they’d identify the people.

      As far as we know, Defkalion has done none of the above. They silenced critics on their forum by closing it, before which they banned some people and deleted their posts.

      They have never publicly shown a working reactor. Nobody has stepped forward to testify as to any experiment or test they did with Hyperions.

      Why should anyone believe them?

    • Frank

      March 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      What’s your aim of such a poll?
      Do you think that the ones which folllow from time to time this blog are a representative portion of the total population?
      You should presume that most of the people which considers Rossis/Defkalions claims complete nonsense don’t waste their time to read this blog. – So they will not vote.

      If your poll gets around 100 votes again (if I’m not mistaken, that number should be close to the number of votes from your last poll) than you should even consider that quite a portion of the votes may come from Defkalion / Rossi himself and associates, because they are supposed to have the biggest interests that the result of the poll is ‘people feel that the Hyperion / e-cat is real’, in order to keep the story alive.

      If the aim of the poll is to find out how many/less people still bother themself with this saga, then I understand your efforts.

      • Quax

        March 10, 2012 at 3:09 am

        Frank, if the first poll is representative of anything than the total population of visitors to this site, but even that is probably not a good assumption as people who post are obviously more invested.

        Since admin did not advertise the poll nor do I have the total number of visitors (need to calculate confidence interval) the polls are not representative of anything but the actual ~100 sample.

        To me these surveys are simply a sentiment gauge, preferably I would like to repeat them every month or so. Automated to an extend that a previous survey participant can indicate if his (not so much hers) judgment has shifted.

        Fudging can not be ruled out but made harder by preventing the same IP from voting more than once. Also the demographic spread determined by IP will be hard (although not impossible to fake).

        For my next post on the survey numbers I planned to write a bit about this.

  11. ToastySquirrel

    March 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    The expectations of Rossi’s efforts are so high, that, if he fails to deliver, his only alternative will be suicide.

    What choice will he have?
    • Rossi has exhausted all of his personal funds.
    • He has risked all credibility.
    • He has made hundreds of fantastic promises.

    If he winds up being proved a fraud:
    • He will have alienated himself from every human on the planet.
    • Tens of thousands of people are expecting Rossi to come through, and when he doesn’t, expect public shunning and castigation.
    • Either he will wind up in prison, or…

    So, at this point in the game, for Rossi, it has become a life or death situation.

    Is he so delusional that he cannot imagine the ultimate implications of his fraud? Has this beast attained a life of its own and his only choice is to ride it to the bitter end?

    Or is he for real?

    • Pekka Janhunen

      March 9, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      It’s not possible to know from a distance who is prone to committing suicide and who isn’t. The fact that he’s a religious man tends to speak against such outcome anyway.

      • Pachu

        March 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm

        We dont know the fact of the e-cat been real, why you are sure that he is in fact a religious man ??

    • Thicket

      March 9, 2012 at 5:59 pm

      ToastySquirrel

      Why would it be life or death for Rossi? He’s been through all this before. He got some jail time for fraud. He was back on the road with his phony thermoelectric converters, followed by the eCat.

      I’m not convinced he’s exhausted his personal funds. He’s very focussed on getting money. That’s why he dumped Defkalion. That’s why his agreement to fund $50,000 of NASA work turned into a demand for money. That’s why his research work at UofB was a lie. I think that it’s very likely that he has convinced several gullible investors to give him money. He may also be getting money from sale of distribution rights. I doubt he has gotten any money from customer sales, but maybe he’s greedy enough to run that risk.

      A problem many folks have is that they think that Rossi is similar to themselves and other normal people. They have difficulty seeing Rossi as a pathological, compulsive liar and fraud without conscience and regrets.

      When the eCat scheme falls apart, Rossi will move on to the next scheme until he is too old to do so. Maybe he’ll get more jail time as well.

      • Jami

        March 9, 2012 at 6:39 pm

        “He was back on the road with his phony thermoelectric converters…”

        That was in deed a very similar story. If true, these devices would have been a real gamechanger almost on the same scale as the e-cat would be. They weren’t about LENR (although Rossi now seems to claim they were) and so he didn’t manage to gather a world wide fan club – but they were revolutionary enough to have a severe impact on the way we think about energy. And nothing much happened after the scam blew up. The dog ate his homework – a true and tried formula. I’m sure he can repeat that with the e-cat. There’ll be some technical or legal problem and that’ll be that. Next please.
        Seeing how effortlessly even his boldest lies find believers, it’ll probably be even easier this time.

        Maybe Quax could make a survey about that. “Do you think that Rossi really developed a thermoelectric converter orders of magnitude more effective that what’s on the market even today and just lost interest?”

        A) Not in your dreams
        B) Of course, but he had the e-cat idea and decided that was more important and maybe in a year or two he’ll have an idea for the x-cat and will drop the e-cat in favor for that. Whatever he’ll do, I’ll believe him.

        • Pachu

          March 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

          lol, nice choices.

        • Quax

          March 10, 2012 at 3:18 am

          Think we would have to work on the wording.

    • Al Potenza

      March 9, 2012 at 6:52 pm

      @Toasty Squirrel

      If Rossi’s ecat doesn’t work, Rossi may be planning to consume or stash investor money and when it’s exhausted, he will just continue to delay and ask for more. That’s what scammers have done in the past. They make up believable reasons for delaying the product and they always need more investor money for research and last minute problems.

      If the money doesn’t come in, the projects languish until the whole thing fades from memory.

      What do you hear from Black Light Power? Eestor? Mark Goldes companies? Steorn? All the magnetic free energy motors promoted frequently on Sterling Allan’s web site?

      Is Rossi really building a mysterious robotic factory to make millions of ecats? Has he sold more than a dozen megawatt steam generator plants? Is he getting patents as he claims to be?

      Rossi won’t allow tests which are not under his control and he hasn’t produced a customer. We don’t really have a way of knowing if he’s for real or not, do we?

    • CuriousChris

      March 10, 2012 at 2:16 am

      This appears to be classic Rossi.

      He can’t fail. His goal has never been to produce cheap energy it is about extracting funds from investors. He has already done that.

      He has achieved his goal. His only goal now is to continue it as long as possible.

    • Dsm

      March 10, 2012 at 5:14 am

      Sorry but that comes across as fanciful opinion.

      What if Rossi actually believes he can make it all work and just needs time ? – the factory story gives him that.

      Rossi is not suicide material in anyway that I can see.

      If he fails to deliver (as he did with Defkalion) he will just move on. Rossi didn’ t wail and lament when he didn’t deliver to Defkalion he just called them ‘chatters’ and spun new stories.

      He appears to have dropped Defkalion in the s*** and they appear to have tried the Rossi “it will all work at some time in the future” strategy when they either got their hands on an old Piantelli experiment or cloned one base on Piantell papers, and started telling the world it is also easy they did it in 3 months.

      The device Defkalion showed in their pics and to Sterling D Allen, was a replica of the Piantelli experiments.

      Show rolls on – Defkalion do not have a commercial device & neither does Rossi – but the dream is stronger than people ‘s ability to listen to their own logical brains.

      DSM

  12. Shane D.

    March 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    How can so many scientists from across across the globe all be making these basic lab mistakes when they “supposedly” achieve positive results from their LENR cells, as some here speculate? We’re not talking about a few; there are literally hundreds of researchers, lab teams and individuals representing companies, government institutions or themselves that keep screwing it up… or so I read.

    Aren’t these LENR researchers practicing the “trial and error” method of eliminating what doesn’t work and go with what does? If so, wouldn’t they also be getting these artifacts, calorimetry errors and false readings from the other cell set-ups they use? And if that is the case, how can so many researchers (i.e. McCubre) have isolated what works and what doesn’t?

    I’m not a scientist but I can look at the preponderance of evidence and conclude that there is something going on.

    Take just these two examples:

    http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/sensors/PhySen/docs/TM-107167.pdf in 1996 a paper titled “Replication of the apparent excess heat effect in a light water -potassioum carbonate- nickel electrolytic cells” NASA researchers concluded that, while their results “fall short of being compelling”, went on to describe attaining 11.4 watts of excess heat from a cell they borrowed from Hydrocatalysis Power Corp. Although the loaned cell produced 50 watts excess when used by others, NASA attributed their lesser output to: “unfortunate choice of untested nichol”.

    And also, another NASA replication of the PFE in 1989: http://ecatsite.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/nasa_1989.pdf.

    Skeptics, tell me where it’s wrong for me to look at all this information from so many sources, and then conclude as you have, that the science of cold fusion, with it’s volumes of supporting documentation, is all an illusion created by poor lab work or downright fraud?

    • daniel maris

      March 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm

      An excellent comment Shane. I think you make some very telling points that the super-sceptics never address. I want to here what Popeye, Milstone and others have to say to that.

    • Jami

      March 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      “How can so many scientists from across across the globe all be making these basic lab mistakes…”

      How could so many scientists believe in polywater – even after conducting their own experiments? Did they all make the same basic lab mistakes? Yep, they did.

      • daniel maris

        March 10, 2012 at 12:17 am

        A fair point, but the sources of error in the polywater fandango were identified within 3 years of it becoming a live issue in the West.

        What is the source of the alleged error with CF/LENR in all these experiments conducted over the last 25 years – that’s a quarter of a century? No one seems able to say – just some vague stuff about imperfections in the test tubes as far as I can make out.

    • Thicket

      March 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Shane

      I’m not sure, but you seem to be equating LENR work with Rossi. That’s a fallacy. The credibility or lack thereof of LENR adds nothing to the credibility of Rossi. In my opinion, Rossi has used cold fusion/LENR to perpetrate a fraud. Rossi vacillates so much I don’t know whether he currently claims cold fusion or something else.

      • Shane D.

        March 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm

        Thicket,

        I purposely stayed away from Rossi and DGT for good reason; they’re behaviour is getting increasingly difficult to defend. After DGT went silent I, along with many others here, switched more to a general discussion of LENR.

        My repsonse was to the growing list of skeptics on this forum, and their chorus of criticisms directed against their fellow scientists and researchers that have braved the backlash to publicize their positive findings on cold fusion.

        Many of these researchers, by the way, come from pedigree backgrounds; i.e. NASA, MIT, SPAWAR, ARL, Nobel winners. Arata alone is one of the most respected scientists in Japan. Fleischman himself was a world class nuclear chemist.

        I could go on and on, but the point is made that the scientists you guys are throwing under the bus, and alluding to, or outright accusing of, being incompetent, is a very well accomplished, mental heavyweight, bunch. And instead of quibbling on talk forums, they actually get out there and do something constructive that they think will greatly benefit mankind.

        My guess is that the majority, were they participating here on Pauls site, could more than hold their own with all here and most likely put some to shame.

        But they aren’t and so it’s left to the likes of a layperson like me to make their case.

        I still firmly believe that the preonderance of evidence weighs heavily in the favor of LENR being a real, and exploitable, energy source.

        Rossi and DGT… we’ll they’re on the backburner until further, provable, developments arise.

        • Jay2011

          March 9, 2012 at 11:38 pm

          Shane,

          I’m going to take time to respond to your post, which I found well reasoned and polite, if perhaps a bit naive. If I were a layperson I might very well come to a conclusion along the same lines.

          However, as a scientist I’m going to take some exception to some of the things you said. And just so you know, I am not anti-LENR and am supportive of some of the efforts in this area.

          Since much of this page centers around Popeye’s in-depth critique of Piantelli’s papers, perhaps this is a good example of what you characterize as “throwing fellow scientists under the bus”. I don’t agree with that characterization. Popeye was asked to take a look at these papers, he took the time to read them in depth, and he voiced his honest opinion. And he didn’t just make some blanket statements. He addressed very specific points. I had also read the same papers and had similar reservations on many of the same points. Other LENR scientists have voiced similar concerns. That’s not to say that Piantelli doesn’t have something worth further investigation. But it is to say that his experiments and data at the time were not as compelling as they might have been.

          BTW, this type of critique is very common in science, even when directed towards more mainstream research endeavors. And it’s what keeps scientists honests and helps to raise the level of the endeavor. Any scientist who’s gone through university, postdoctoral work, and has published or presented papers to peer-reviewed journals and conferences knows what it’s like to run the guantlet of peer criticism.

          Naturally, since science is still a human undertaking, different people make their points in different ways, some bordering on nasty. I did not find Popeye’s criticism to cross this line. And different people also take criticsm in different ways. Some might walk away saying “just more abuse from pathosceptic entrenched mainstream science.” Others might use the criticism to go back to the drawing board, improve their methodology, collect better data, and make a more compelling case. Frankly, I wish that the LENR community engaged in more healthy self-criticism. I think the end result might be better papers and faster progress. If Piantelli had been fortunate enough to have a reviewer take the time to critique his work back in the 90’s as Popeye did on this forum, perhaps he would have by now some unshakable data that mainstream science could no longer ignore.

          • Shane D.

            March 10, 2012 at 1:00 am

            Jay,

            Very nice post. May I say that I’m all for the spirit of the peer review format as you layed out. May I also add that popeyes posts have always been informative, and as of late, they have also been respectful of his colleagues.

            That said, you are right in that I’m naive of the scientific community and their peer review process that you so well described, but with my wife being a physician I am a very atuned to the peer review process in general.

            Maybe it’s a bit different with a bunch of smart scientists, but with a bunch of smart doctors the process can be, and very often is, corrupted by the most base of human nature.

            Yes, there are many exemplary examples of peer review weeding out a bad physician, but almost as often there are cases where good doctors are destroyed because of avarice, greed, jealousy and the like, that has little or nothing to do with the facts and everything to do with what committee, or not, one is on.

            I have also noted from my experience that many times the weaker doctors gravitate to those positions with the most political power.

            Is the scientific community that way Jay? I’m not a scientist like I said, but people are people as they say, and I suspect that there is little difference between the two communities.

            Has LENR/cold fusion suffered from, or benefited from, the scientific peer review process?… I don’t know.

            I suspect though that it has suffered.

          • Jay2011

            March 10, 2012 at 2:06 am

            Shane,

            I would like to say that the scientific peer review process is not as subject to abuse as the medical peer review process. But I’m not certain I would be telling the truth. I have not personally experienced anything like the abuses you talk about, but I have no doubt they happen.

            In the past, experimental reality has been the final arbiter in science disputes. One can attempt to use one’s position of authority to stamp out an alternative hypothesis. But if somebody else performs an experiment that shows you are wrong, and yet another lab independently confirms the same thing, you are likely to be ultimately defeated by the truth.

            But science gets more and more complex, and many experiments take too long or are too expensive to replicate, and for many others it is often difficult to interpret the results. Experimental “truth” gets murky and politics and economics and other corrupting influences can hold more sway.

            Perhaps this would make a good subject for another thread. Has the scientific method become too corrupted and if so, can anything be done to fix it or at least improve it?

          • Jay2011

            March 10, 2012 at 2:23 am

            Shane,

            Sorry, I just realized I did not address your main question regarding whether the peer review process helped or hurt LENR.

            I think LENR is definitely a special case where in many cases the peer review process was a complete failure, i.e. it didn’t even happen in many cases because the journal in question or referee would automatically reject papers dealing with LENR before they even got a fair review. I believe many LENR researchers eventually gave up completely and confined themselves to publishing in CF/CMNS conferences.

            Unfortunately, the LENR community developed a kind of fortress mentality towards mainstream science. Part of the culture that became accepted was to not criticize one’s fellow LENR scientists. It is this non-self-critical culture that I argue did the community harm in the end. Both because it allowed for an unfiltered mix of work, often of poor quality, that colored the opinion of the outside world of science, and because many of the experiments could have been dramatically improved with honest, constructive critique.

      • daniel maris

        March 10, 2012 at 12:18 am

        Thicket,

        That’s a dodge. Address the question. We all understand the relation between LENR in general and Rossi in particular.

  13. Ransompw

    March 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Popeye:

    I wanted to respond to your detailed evaluation of Piantelli and Focardi’s work. I think it also ties in to other work in “Cold Fusion” since 1989 so these points apply to other papers you could or in fact may have reviewed and commented on in the past.

    There is only one issue that is important and which should be the subject of all of this debate. Are real nuclear reactions taking place in these experiments. That alone is the critical question and after 23 years it seems that there is still no clear certainty on that issue.

    The level of energy and whether a useful commercial product can be engineered from these effects (if Real) is really a red herring argument. We spend billions trying to harness “Hot Fusion” precisely because we know it is real and not withstanding 30-40 years and a goob full of money (effort) we still haven’t engineered a product using a process we absolutely know to be real. If real, “Cold Fusion” should be NO different, in that we should be happily spending billions on trying to engineer a product, anything else would be inconsistent with our need and with the possibilities.

    So I find your analysis worthless for the following reasons. First, hypothesizing why these experiments don’t demonstrate what they profess to demonstrate is of no value unless you want to test your hypothesis. Since you don’t test, your analysis may be right but of course could be wrong and we are thus not learning anything about the critical issue from you. What we are doing is refusing to learn the critical issue by assuming the truth of your hypothesis. Kicking the can down the road and waiting for someone to do a more definitve test which is certainly not being done by the likes of you. This is too important an issue to do that. If you have a chance of being wrong, something more should be done and it should be done by you and by others like you.

    Second, the issue of radiation is just dumb. The lack of by products found in “hot Fusion” for a process (if real) we don’t understand is ridiculous. It may simply demonstrate an unknown process is at work. Likewise, the argument over energy produced and measured is equally ridiculous. One can always question the accuracy of these measures but if those questioning them never test, they really can’t know with certainty.

    But even that is not the issue. Unless the excess energy confirms a nuclear reaction it is of little use.

    Which leads me to my point, the one issue if tested which would end all doubt is transmutation. I assume you agree this can’t happen with the physics we now know and teach. Further, the current hypothesis that the elements are made in stars and that heavy elements come for super nova, strikes me as so feable a hypothesis as to be laughable. It is probably incapable of being tested based on our current knowledge and access to data. If is isn’t true and they form some other way, then nature itself is telling us another nuclear process exists we don’t understand.

    Finally, testing for transmutation should be the easiest experiment if done propely. Imagining that contamination is the cause which is possible is just dumb without tests. Anything less by you or the scientific community is a waste of effort, which is exactly what can be said for your post.

    • Al Potenza

      March 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      The difference between hot and cold fusion experiments, other than the huge amount of money spent on the hot fusion, is that hot fusion is well understood and experiments are progressing as predicted. There is no difficulty in obtaining provable fusion and showing it clearly. The problem is confining the hot plasma in a practical vessel, getting enough power out, running long enough and extracting its energy efficiently.

      Cold fusion, by contrast, has for the most part been an arguable phenomenon in which the proof it even happens is always arguable. So far, the power levels or the total energy production of reliable experiments from known scientists has been very small.

      Of course, Rossi and Defkalion would be striking exceptions and if real, would prove once and for all that cold fusion exists and is a practical source of energy. The problems with those two parties are, however, well known and thus far, they have resisted the sort of testing which would prove their claims.

      Testing for transmutation is a great idea if there is a lot of end product to find. If not, detection, quantization, and the possibility of contamination are always problems.

      • daniel maris

        March 10, 2012 at 12:30 am

        I don’t claim to understand the science, but it does seem to me that cold fusion/LENR if real would produce some of these variable results that we do get.

        Hot fusion basically replicates what the Sun does as far as I understand it, so it should follow pretty standard lines.

        But with LENR we are meddling with the standard interface between the sub-atomic and the macro world using things like chemical lattices and EM frequencies. These conditions don’t (as far as we know for sure) occur normally in nature (although I’ve read some commentators claim there are examples of LENR in nature).

        Seems to me it is entirely to be expected that people will get variant results and have difficulty in controlling the reactions.

        When people first discovered electricity and tried sending telegraph messages across the Atlantic the understanding of what was going on was imperfect. (Getting electrons to concentrate along linear cables is not something that happens in nature either is it?) People got variant results depending on what methods they tried.

    • Quax

      March 10, 2012 at 3:43 am

      Actually I would love to see popey review more LENR papers. IMHO it adds important historical context.

  14. georgehants

    March 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    From Facebook with thanks.
    Harry Veeder
    http://www.infinite-energy.com/iemagazine/issue102/mitdemo.html
    This suggests that high loading and high surface area are not essential for robust LENR.

    • Dsm

      March 10, 2012 at 1:29 am

      George

      An excellent and good read about LENR state-of-the-art status

      It is a refreshing read in comparison to popeye’s one eye.

      Popeye must realise how biased his posts are and no matter how polietly he makes his points, they are singularly intended to squash LENR as serious research.

      DSM

      • CuriousChris

        March 10, 2012 at 2:30 am

        Come on Doug, I hope you don’t really believe that.

        The CF community is a very small self edifying community. With a small group of hanger ons who want them to succeed so fervently they refuse to be critical.

        Popeyes criticality is an essential part of the debate, without such carefully presented thoughts we may as well be following a religion.

        • Dsm

          March 10, 2012 at 4:23 am

          Chris
          We here are not scientists conducting peer revies esp post mortem.

          Popeye is !

          Cheers. Doug

          • CuriousChris

            March 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

            To label popeye’s commentary as designed to quash LENR is an assumption on your behalf. He is stating what he believes to be true.

            Its not his fault the particular claims he quotes are poorly tested with insufficient supporting evidence.

            If his commentary DOES quash LENR then you are shooting the messenger.

            I did not read into his commentary that LENR is fraud. I read that the quality of the tests and reporting is woefully inadequate, therefore probably not to be trusted.

            I agree wholeheartedly. I have always had a sense of reserve over the many unqualified claims made by LENR researchers. but I know they don’t get a hearing outside of their own peers and therefore have been prepared to cut them some slack.

            But do they actually deserve that slack?

          • Dsm

            March 10, 2012 at 9:10 am

            Chris
            Fair comment, thats what keeps us all here & swapping posts.

            DSM

  15. georgehants

    March 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    As cold fusion events demonstrate, modern science is ruled by conformity, not the search for scientific truth
    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/006171_cold_fusion_modern_medicine.html#ixzz1oeKZut1Z
    The systematic discrediting of cold fusion
    Cold fusion is still laughed at by people in the mainstream who are too ignorant to realize that cold fusion experiments are being replicated and conducted in laboratories all around the world this very minute, most notably in Japan. Low-energy nuclear reactions are quite real. These reactions, which use a palladium catalyst and heavy water, are being used to generate excess heat in laboratories as you read this. In other words, cold fusion is quite real.
    If you think back to 1989 and look at the way this issue was suppressed, you realize that the credibility of cold fusion was destroyed by scientists who had career and ego investments in the theories of hot fusion. These were scientists who had published papers or invested their careers in multi-billion dollar experiments trying to generate free electricity from hot fusion. Thus, the idea that two chemists could create cold fusion with a tabletop experiment was viewed as outrageous. Rather than examining the evidence with an open mind and try to understand and replicate what was going on, they sought to destroy it.
    This ego-fueled suppression of cold fusion was quite successful, to the point where, today, if you mention cold fusion to anyone who is steeped in conventional medicine or science, they will laugh at you and say, “Cold fusion is a joke, just like medical quackery.” But of course, the big joke is on them, because cold fusion does indeed exist, and it has been proven time and time again.
    (You can see pictures of a modern cold fusion experiment running at the physics department of Purdue university at http://www.physics.purdue.edu/neutron/LENR.html)
    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/006171_cold_fusion_modern_medicine.html#ixzz1oeKQvxDb

    • Dsm

      March 10, 2012 at 1:33 am

      George

      Again thanks for the very informative links.

      Good finds

      DSM

  16. popeye

    March 9, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    admin wrote:

    When Pons and Fleischmann made their announcement, they were instant heroes riding in from nowhere to save the world. Soon, whispers of doubt turned to accusations of fraud and a barrage of insults that must have been hard to take from their freshly painted pedestal. That has always puzzled me. Assuming that most scientists do not believe that the scientists expected to survive such a fraud (and therefore take those accusations with the derision they deserve) why were the two men attacked so relentlessly?

    Could you be specific about the barrage of insults and the relentless attacks you’re referring to. We’re all familiar with the “delusion and/or incompetence” comment from Koonin, but that’s actually pretty mild when you compare it to the sort of insults flying around at establishment scientists from cold fusion advocates. Snakes and clowns come to mind. Mallove accused the MIT scientists of high level scientific misconduct; that sounds worse to me than Koonin’s comments. Is it possible that Koonin’s comments were more hurtful because they were true?

    Lots of other people (Park, Huizenga, Taubes, the DOE panel, etc) were also pretty critical of the science, but that is because they considered the science bad. That’s what’s supposed to happen. Science is self policed. Bad science deserves to be criticized. Sometimes good science is falsely criticized as when Linus Pauling called Schechtman a quasi-scientist, but Schechtman handled it the right way by proving his critics wrong… and it took him about 2 years. It is the failure of anyone to prove cold fusion is real that is the reason advocates have to spend all their time making excuses and whining about being called names.

    That attitude survives today. Does the profession really attract a disproportionate share of nasty people or are the sneerers simply the loudest or more powerful?

    Oh please. You can’t possibly suggest that the criticism leveled at P&F was in any way worse than what politicians hear every day before breakfast, or what famous people anywhere endure. P&F took their results to the public. They chose to make public figures of themselves. They should have been prepared for the *same* sort of scrutiny that public figures get anywhere. And the same sort of scientific scrutiny that scientists get anywhere. Bad science submitted to journals or bad proposals submitted to granting agencies are described that way all the time. P&F criticsms were made public. That’s the only difference.

    Rationalising the behaviour of those who pilloried two hard-working intelligent men can only take you so far. In attacking the men along with the science, their ideas were being buried along with them. The sneering, jeering taunts and the derisory headlines were a warning to others. This could happen to you. Cold fusion is toxic. Stay away. In destroying their credibility, their baby – cold fusion – would stay dead for some time.

    Again, do have examples of pillorying, sneering, jeering, taunts and derisory headlines, or attacks on the men. The criticism was of the science, at least for the most part. Obviously, if one says the science sucks, that reflects on the scientist, but I don’t recall they were ever called snakes or clowns. Maybe I missed it.

    If every scientist who proposed something new was treated like Pons and Fleischmann, we would have no new ideas.
    There is no doubt that these two heritics were selected by fate or by men for special treatment and that treatment infected how (and if) their peers viewed the science they tried to birth.

    I don’t know what you base that claim on. It’s an exceptional case, but not because they were selected in any way. I’m would expect that any other scientist making a similarly extraordinary claim with a similar level of certainty and similar absence of solid evidence would be criticized in the same way. This was exceptional because of their very public announcement, their unwarranted certainty, and the extraordinary relevance of the topic to everyone on the planet. If they had made their claims in the usual cautionary way that scientists are wont to (witness the FTL neutrinos), in the usual venue that scientists use, the criticisms would not have received the same level of publicity.

    And I really don’t think their treatment affected how their peers viewed the science. The dramatic upside to making such a discovery, the fame and glory that would be sure to follow, would offset any sort of fear of stigma. Scientists are stubborn that way. If they are convinced of an effect, they will pursue it, which of course is why so many scientists did.

    (There are many posts I’d like to reply to in this thread, but it may take time, if it happens at all. Unfortunately, duty calls.)

    • daniel maris

      March 10, 2012 at 12:32 am

      It’s not at all isolated. Scientists who have queried the wisdom of mass multiple vaccination have been subject to persecution as well.

      We should have free speech in science as much as we have it in politics.

      • CuriousChris

        March 10, 2012 at 2:42 am

        you call it persecution. What about the risk those same “scientists” place the rest of humanity at.

        Their claims have been tested and refuted. It is correct for “the establishment” to point out the failing of their claims.

    • Dsm

      March 10, 2012 at 1:16 am

      Popeye
      One other issue I will take up with you is that many people would question why you are attempting a ‘peer review’ ( if that is what it can fairly be called) here on the net 18 years after the work was 1 st done.

      Why would anyone here want to participate in an ips facto attack on scientists outside a peer review publication where other scientists can tear your arguments and points apart just as readily as you are now attempting with Piantelli and Focardi.

      We are not here to conduct post mortem retrospectives even if you are. Wrong place and wrong time.

      I do appreciate your politeness

      Cheers DSM

      • Jay2011

        March 10, 2012 at 3:21 am

        Hey Dsm,

        Wait a minute. Wasn’t it you who challenged Popeye in the first place regarding Piantelli, e.g.

        “popeye, in a nutshell, was the paper by Piantelli mistaken ? – it looks pretty impressive to me”

        It seems to me that Popeye took your question seriously and responded, although perhaps not in a nutshell and certainly not in the manner you had hoped. But we were talking about LENR, and Piantelli’s name comes up often, so I’m not certain why a scientific critique should be off limits.

        And this whole thread is kind of in a retrospective mood. Just saying…

        As far as the purpose of this forum, probably all of us get something slightly different out of it. For me it started out as a compelling story and I was curious how the ending would turn out. Along the way I also found many interesting viewpoints, and found the discussions educational in terms of forum dynamics, psychology, and sometimes even science. But I agree, we’re certainly not going to solve the world’s problems here. I don’t think any forum can do that.

        • Dsm

          March 10, 2012 at 4:20 am

          Yes but only in discussion of the discoveries I *never* invited him or Jami tomstart a post mortem peer review.

          Popeye grabbed the opportunity as did Jami to attack their writings in a totaly inappropriate form by both time and place.

          This is not a scientific journal for post mortem peer review & if you pretend otherwise you are being disingenuious.

          DSM

          • Quax

            March 10, 2012 at 4:53 am

            DSM, why is it not useful to have this perspective? Don’t understand why you have a problem with this nor do I understand why this is not the time and place for this.

            I think that’s admins call.

          • Dsm

            March 10, 2012 at 5:18 am

            Quax
            Yet this place is a democracy 🙂

            DSM

          • Jami

            March 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

            “This is not a scientific journal for post mortem peer review & if you pretend otherwise you are being disingenuious.”

            I’m puzzled. Are you saying you brought these papers up and asked for our (or at least popeyes’s) opinion because you did NOT want to hear them? Or you wanted to hear them but only if they were unscientfic (can’t be – because at least my reply wasn’t anthing like that and you still didn’t want it 😉 ) or you wanted to hear them but only if they were unscientific AND identical to your own?

          • Dsm

            March 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm

            Jami
            What I keep repeating is that general discussion on the claims is fair game. Acting as if a peer review is fair doesn’ t wash because it is post mortem (18 years in 1 case) but primarily because we are not scientists here doing peer reviews so next to noone is qualified to respond. We are though capable of recognising when someone is bamboozling people with disguised criticism of the whole LENR achievement and denigrating those scientists who were or are now involved in the research.

            When you attacked Piantelli for example all you achieved was to insult a respected scientist. Popeye is doing the same but he is doing it politely.

            When Defkalion claimed they had created a miracle ( a commercial ready LENRReactor) built in 3 months, they did it politely and an enormous number of people actually said “these guys are so polite they must be telling the truth” but they never explained …
            – who was the ‘father’ of their reactor ( who did the years of research)
            – how did they achieve in 3 months what no one else in the world has or can
            – why did they need to claim they had a reactor if Rossi was their supplier of reactors

            Point here is if one remains polite one can spin anything & often get away with it.

            DSM

        • Jay2011

          March 11, 2012 at 2:09 am

          OK Dsm,

          I’ve appreciated many of your posts and contributions in the past, but I disagree with just about everything you’ve said to Popeye and Jami.

          Agreed, this forum is not a post mortem review forum. As far as I know there is no such thing, although the idea of an open publication and review process actually is kind of intriguing. But that’s an idea for a different thread. But all manner of LENR topics are discussed in this forum. Perhaps not as technical as vortex, but personally I prefer technical discussions to political shouting matches.

          But Popeye did not give a peer review, even though much of his critique reads like one. You asked him the question. He now essentially has three choices of response. If he liked the paper, he could have said so and all would be OK. If he found it lacking, he could either say a) I don’t find it very compelling, or b) I don’t find it very compelling and here’s precisely why.

          If a), he leaves himself open to the same criticism you applied to Jami, i.e. “who are you, an anonymous internet forum nobody, to criticize a respected professor?” I think b) is a much more useful response, as well as requiring a refutation according to the merits rather than an appeal to authority.

          But now you respond with “this isn’t the time and the place”. Which means Popeye can’t win for losing, it’s heads you win and tail he loses. It is you who is being disingenuous.

          As far as appeals to authority, I find this to be a pretty poor argument, especially if one supports LENR. Appeals to authority (i.e. I’m a professor and you aren’t) have been used in the past to try to suppress new ideas, and were used to try to suppress LENR as well. Surely you don’t want to resort to the same kind of false arguments. Please try to analyze and debate a point based upon the merits of what somebody says. For every LENR professor there will be ten mainstream physics professors who will tell you LENR is junk science. That’s an appeal to authority argument that I’m sure you don’t buy. So don’t use it yourself.

          PS – in science it is not insulting to make specific critiques where a paper falls short. It’s part of the scientific process. It helps raise the bar for everyone. If one can’t make a case based upon the scientific merits, there wouldn’t be much of interest to discuss in this forum IMO.

  17. Dsm

    March 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Popeye

    Any of us around at the time of the P&F fiasco are well aware of the insults and denigration that occured. Admin does not need to go back into history to list them 1 by 1 that is very disingenuous to frame the situation that way.

    Mallove published a detailed paper on who said what. It is hosted on Krivit’s site – Just search ‘Mallove’

    Point 2
    I will agree that P&F brought a lot of the odium on themselves by letting the uni push them into pre-empting Jones and also for not having more accurate nuclear research details. I know that if I was into hot fusion/ fission I would have wanted to wring their necks for raising the spectre of a competing research that could damage my work when they had so little to back up their claims. I can see that they paid a very high price for their preemptive publication.

    But, some of the subsequent attacks on them were over the top and I equally am ready to rip apart those scientists who were dishonest in their attacks on P&F and their work.

    Cheers

    DSM

    • Quax

      March 10, 2012 at 3:51 am

      If you don’t like admin’s editorializing I suggest you either don’t read it or point out exactly why his “framing” is flawed.

      • Dsm

        March 10, 2012 at 4:13 am

        Quax
        You have me at a disadvantage – where did I say I didn’t like Admin’s framing ???

        Perhaps you were meaning your post for popeye ?

        I said Admin had no need to go back and list all the attacks on P&F 1 by 1

        ?

        Cheers DSM

        • Quax

          March 10, 2012 at 4:50 am

          Admin does not need to go back into history to list them 1 by 1 that is very disingenuous to frame the situation that way.

          ?

          • Dsm

            March 10, 2012 at 5:23 am

            Sorry the english was clearly lost on you.

            You read it to mean the opposite of what it says ???

            Perhaps you are just too quick at thinking you understand. The same applies to the very shallow (and thus essentially meaningless questions you are asking about Defkalion. Sooo simplistic !!!)

            Next ! 🙂

            DSM

          • Dsm

            March 10, 2012 at 5:31 am

            Quax

            Because you appear to be genuine I’ll disect the sentence for you.

            The 1st half applies to Admin not having to spell out 1 by 1, to popeye, each criticism of the scientific community re F&P being attacked.

            The framing part of the sentence is to popeye saying that if he wants Admin to frame the detail that way he popeye is being disingenuious.

            So the post was addressed to popeye but you seem to have missed that. It was tagged off his post asking Admin to provide details of the criticisms against the scientific community. Why it didn’t show tagged off that post is a matter for the web site & my iPad to explain BUT that missed tagging doesn’t alter the meaning.

            Cheers

            DSM.

  18. GreenWin

    March 10, 2012 at 12:52 am

    “We do not know for certain who unethically manipulated the data, and that is not important, but it was, indeed, inappropriately manipulated. “Inappropriately manipulated” is actually a very charitable way of describing what was done. We do know, however, that this erroneous study in the spring of 1989 at the MIT Plasma Fusion Center was defended by then Plasma Fusion Center Director Ronald R. Parker. Parker continues to play a leading role in hot fusion. For several years after leaving the MIT PFC, he was stationed at the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in Garching, Germany. Since 1989, the U.S. Government has funneled billions of dollars into magnetically confined thermonuclear fusion development on projects, such as ITER. Though ITER funding was [recently] killed by the U.S. Congress, funding of tokamak hot fusion continues at MIT and elsewhere.”

    http://www.infinite-energy.com/images/pdfs/mitcfreport.pdf

  19. loop

    March 10, 2012 at 1:13 am

    http://www.e-catworld.com/2012/03/rossi-in-pursuit-of-teslas-dream-infinite-energy/

    Rossi in Pursuit of Tesla’s Dream: Infinite Energy
    March 9, 2012

    It seems that since Andrea Rossi has been working with the Siemans turbine that has allowed efficient production of electricity at low steam temperatures, he feels he is in a position to take the E-Cat to the ultimate level — the production of unlimited electrical energy.

    Rossi has said that they are now able to get a stable steam temperature of 260 C from the 1 MW plant, and when asked by a reader whether he will try to raise this temperature he responded that it was “not a priority”. So he seems to be satisfied that he has enough heat to work with.

    Asked what the next milestone for the E-Cat was, Rossi replied “self sustained using self produced electricity = infinite energy: the dream of Tesla (and mine)”.

    While it sounds like this milestone will be technically feasible, it will likely take a lot of time to achieve. To get 15 MW of electrical power (Rossi’s stated goal) he said he will need to build 45 1 MW plants. The reactors for these plants will be different from the 10 kW domestic units that are to be mass produced, so there will be lots of time, engineering and money to get this done. Rossi says a 45 MW plant would weigh 200 tonnes!

    We’ll have to wait and see what plans are in place to build this unit — it will be huge undertaking, but if Rossi can make such a plant it will be a technological marvel — a self sustaining power plant running on small amounts of nickel and hydrogen with the ability to power a small community would certainly be a breakthrough that would garner lots of attention. And if that plant could be built and it worked — what would be next?

    • Peter Roe

      March 10, 2012 at 11:08 am

      In his ‘March Update'(http://ecat.com/news/andrea-rossi-ecat-march-update) Rossi mentions only two sizes: a 25MW (electrical) unit running at 33% efficiency (75MW thermal), and a smaller unit of 3-8MW (e) running at 30% efficiency (10-26MW thermal). He does not mention the previously proposed 15MW (e) unit. If this is not hot air then the smaller unit would be a natural test bed for the principle, and might be intended for use in railway locomotives and marine propulsion.

      At 260C water cooling is obviously out, so the larger units would have to be cooled using oil or glycol feeding to an ‘oil boiler’ to make steam for the (presumably) Siemens turbine. Gas cooling would be possible, but is unlikely for a host of good engineering reasons. The turbine would be coupled to a generator (or be integral with one) and a possible step-up/step down transformer – all incredibly heavy kit.

      So it seems likely that most of the 200-ton weight suggested by Rossi for his 45 MW(e) unit would therefore be ancillary equipment, and the thermal reactor itself might only comprise 5% or less of the total.

      If Rossi really has been ‘bought out’ at least in part by the US Navy then such weights would not be a problem for marine use, where one or two units would be sufficient to propel any existing warship using electrical transmission to pod-mounted propellors.

      Or of course they could just use stirling engines driven by Rossi’s hot air machine. (I’m sure someone must have used that obvious ‘joke’ before!)

      • Peter Roe

        March 10, 2012 at 11:12 am

        I should add that everything bar the reactor units is currently available off the shelf and would be supplied in ‘skid mounted’ form (i.e. already set up and ready to go, on a fabricated chassis) so no development time would be required, other than for the reactor unit itself.

        • georgehants

          March 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

          Morning Peter nice to see you back with informative and interesting points and analysis of the Cold Fusion saga.
          Plenty to discuss on this story both pro and con.

          • Peter Roe

            March 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm

            Morning George. Just passing through really. It doesn’t look to me as if there will be any more significant news from either Rossi or Defkalion, at least in the near future, and for a while it looked as if the pathoskeptics owned this blog.

            Trying to push water uphill is not really something I’m interested in spending time on so now I am just checking several blogs once a day for anything interesting, then getting on with some actual work! Things are looking a bit better here though, which is obviously good.

  20. Shane D.

    March 10, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Jay2011,

    I find your posts very enlightening, honest and refreshing. If I have missed your input before… my apologies. In the future you will hopefully contribute to this forum more often?

    • Quax

      March 10, 2012 at 3:53 am

      2nd that.

  21. GreenWin

    March 10, 2012 at 3:38 am

    A much needed and noteworthy announcement from beleaguered MIT:

    An “over-unity” LED:

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-03/09/230-percent-efficient-leds

    Extra energy arriving from “lattice vibrations.” Sound familiar? A worthy step to inevitable disclosure of Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reactions.

    • Quax

      March 10, 2012 at 3:55 am

      beleaguered MIT

      🙂

      They so far survived having a lecture who claims to have invented email. How much more embarrassing can it get?

      • Quax

        March 10, 2012 at 4:56 am

        Meant “lecturer”. Yikes, can’t even get it right when I have an edit function 🙁

        • Dsm

          March 10, 2012 at 5:37 am

          Apparently 🙂

          Cheers D

    • Quax

      March 10, 2012 at 3:57 am

      BTW the LED is essentially a heat pump, if anything the 2nd law of thermodynamics was infringed but somehow I doubt it.

      • buffalo

        March 10, 2012 at 9:47 am

        mm i wonder if that l.e.d. can do the reverse,i.e.give electrical energy in the dark.dark current

    • LCD

      March 10, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Must be measurement error of its in picowatts cause according to Popeye we can’t measure even kjoules without 30% error.

  22. Pekka Janhunen

    March 10, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Here is some personal background material, not related to cold fusion but related to science.

    I’m a scientist, having published about 120 peer-reviewed papers. Basically I have not much to complain about the peer review system. However, two times I have experienced something that nears scientific corruption.

    One incident was that I was approached during a conference coffee break by the director of an eminent U.S. lab. He told me to stop investigating certain space plasma physical structures because “nothing good would follow from it”. Apparently the reason was that he didn’t like competition and was afraid that we would discover something that they should logically have found years ago. We ignored such requests and published still 15-20 papers out of it over the next 5 years or so.

    The other incident was that I found a fundamental error in a paper by “Mr. X”. As is customary, I wrote a short “Letter to the Editor” to the journal where I pointed out the error. The Editor forwarded it to Mr. X who responded fiercely. The Editor then decided that he won’t send my Letter to a peer review round because he doesn’t want that people “fight” on the pages of his journal.

    I then tried to publish my criticism in another journal. This time it was reviewed and the referee agreed with my analysis. However he also said that the whole subject was not interesting enough to warrant publication(!). The error was never corrected in a peer reviewed paper, although it appears in our ESA contract report. I think that investigations of Mr X’s faulty idea used some millions of U.S. taxpayer money. Nowadays activities around it seem to have declined.

    • georgehants

      March 10, 2012 at 9:13 am

      Pekka, may I offer sincere regrets that my generation has allowed science to remain an organisation where such things are allowed to happen.
      With much knowledge of the suffering that has been endured by scientists past and present, I try to highlight some of the problems.
      I also feel strongly that scientists themselves must do more to inform the World of the True dictatorial situation that they must endure.
      I say again where can a graduate who wishes to follow the pioneers who have proven Cold Fusion, go for advice, funding and the opportunity to research the subject without fear of damaging his career.
      The power of the Internet will and can help, but an orchestrated campaign by the same sort of people who denied you,holds back progress.
      Science must be free, for scientists to research with full open-minded official backing, any subject that is unknown and evidence shows a phenomenon, no matter how much denied and contrary to official DOGMA that subject may be.
      Until then Science fails.

    • spacegoat

      March 10, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Very interesting Pekka.
      I suppose the solution to this human issue is the same as for general publishing: a statutory right of reply, provided a quorum supports the reply. The gate controllers, the editors,have too much power.
      What do you think of Open Knowledge and Science movements? http://okfn.org/ http://wiki.okfn.org/Open_Science
      Could these work in any way?

  23. AB

    March 10, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Regarding transmutation in Piantelli cells:

    http://oi42.tinypic.com/33my05s.jpg

    or page 177 in this document:

    http://old.enea.it/com/ingl/New_ingl/publications/pdf/Cold_Fusion_Italy.pdf

    This shows a series of new elements but only in spots where heat production actually took place on the nickel wafer. So contrary to what popeye is saying, here they did not compare a used wafer with a blank, but corroded regions on the used wafer with intact regions on the same wafer.

    • Jami

      March 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

      “This shows a series of new elements but only in spots where heat production actually took place on the nickel wafer.”

      Yet another example for sloppy work and completely unwarranted conclusions drawn from it:

      “a) spectrum detected on the rod surface in a region where there was not energy production
      b) spectrum detected on the rod surface in a region where there was energy production as measured by means of the temperature on the external cell surface”

      That could mean something (in fact it really couldn’t, but lets go there anyway) if they had used high resolution infrared or a high densitiy tc grid to distinguish between “regions where there was energy production” and the rest of the surface – but they didn’t. They measured temperature “on the external cell surface” and concluded the “regions where there was energy production” from surface deformations. Its a circular argument which would work equally as good (in fact much, much better) if they’d simply replace “nuclear reactions” with “contamination” on page 176 (where, funnily enough, they don’t mention O in the text while it shows up clearly on the SEM-EDAX chart – probably a bit of a stretch to assume they made oxygen, even for them).

      The Rosenthal effect at work.

      • LCD

        March 11, 2012 at 5:23 am

        So are you saying that contamination occurred during the experiment where there was active sites
        Or. That the active sites were not active sites but that they were contaminated beforehand and the process exposed them. Just trying to understand.

        Second are you saying that transmutations to copper are believable but not transmutations to some other element are not?

        • Jami

          March 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

          I don’t/cannot know how and when a probable contamination occured. Usually it happens during construction and preparation. I mean think about it. Look at the pains a chip manufacturer has to go through in order to decontaminate their production to a level where they no longer produce 99.5% junk but only 99% (effectively doubling their output) and still most of the 99% are due to contamination. Just producing nearly pure materials of almost any kind is a bitch. Packing, shipping, unpacking, handling, implementing it into a machine (no matter how simple), loading it, baking it for almost a year, deconstucting the machine, moving the material again – and finally analysing it. Contamination will occur at every single step in the chain. Its simply unavoidable and the challenge is to minimize it AND find a suitable way to account for its effects when analysing the data. As far as minimizing is concerned, it is anybody’s guess how successfull they could be on a shoestring budget – I won’t comment because I just don’t know. But its obvious they didn’t account for its effects properly when all they did was to assume that deformation on the rod surface was due to some unknown nuclear reaction and not due to contamination. A parallel run would have probably shed some light on that – but they chose not to perform one.

          Transmutation to Cu would be, IMO, equally as unbelievable as transmuation to O – simply because I don’t think they triggered a nuclear reaction at all. I just found it funny they didn’t mention O (probably because the chain involved to get there IF it was caused by some unknown LENR process and NOT due to contamination, would in itself require several additional miracles which they’d have to explain on top of the miracle of building the world’s first completely uncontaminated device in a lab in Italy rather than on the moon).

  24. georgehants

    March 10, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Andrea Rossi
    March 9th, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    Dear Dr Joseph Fine:
    1- In a 45 MW plant, if Siemens gives us 30% of efficiency, the COP is not 6, is infinite: the energy to drive the resistances will be made by the E-Cat: if we make 45 thermal MWh/h, 15 electric MWh/h will be made, of which 7.5 will be consumed by the plant, 7.5 will be sold, together with30 thermal MWh/h.
    2- The price of a 45 MW plant will be in the order of 30 millions.
    3- the price of the energy made by our industrial plants will be made by the owners and by the market.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

  25. georgehants

    March 10, 2012 at 9:19 am

    From Facebook with thanks.
    Giuliano Bettini
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-m8tA9_prE
    Harper delegation supports Rossi Cold Fusion.

  26. X-prize

    March 10, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I was browsing the web for any daily news of Andrea Rossi and his e-Cat when I stumbled across this!

    **************************************
    Investigation of Andrea Rossi and his e-Cat by the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control
    Posted on March 10, 2012

    You must click on the March tab under Archives to read all 34 pages of this report. This is the final report of the investigation by the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control, concerning Andrea Rossi and his non-existent e-Cat factory.

    http://ecatdoteudotcom.wordpress.com/

    **************************************
    **************************************

    • buffalo

      March 10, 2012 at 9:55 am

      mm mayb if rossi has gone thru all the trouble to get a stamp of safety frm those guys he has indeed a plan of action

    • spacegoat

      March 10, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Rossi’e cell phone is published on that page. Miami 786 453 2914 and 786 422 2887.
      Maybe our rotweilers Thicket and JNewman could call. If they do please record the snakes, puppeteer, clownerie quotes for posterity.

      • spacegoat

        March 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

        Apparently http://garywright.com/ “Dreaming a New Reality. The future of the Universe is in your hands!”
        is driving the Bureau to investigate Rossi for “non licensed non certified nuclear products”
        ( page 13)

        Weird

    • un passante

      March 10, 2012 at 10:28 am

      assuming the report is real, the only news is Rossi declaring there is not a nuclear reaction and a confirmation to what I already suspected that all the r&d work is still done in bologna, italy.
      all the elements pointed to that. not last the fact that the latest private demo, where petterson and others were shown prototypes of the new version of the home e-cat, was held in bologna.

      if you asked me if I thought there was already an operational factory in the USA I would have told you that it was highly unlikely. plans may be in a advanced stage and maybe the location has already been chosen but nothing more than that.

      BTW it’s obvious that Rossi is not giving correct and precise indications on the where’s, how’s, when’s, why’s etc. etc. being so because it’s a scam or being so because he wants to work free from the curiosity of ppl (for all the possible different motives) it’s a free guess on our part.

      • Jami

        March 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

        “the only news is Rossi declaring there is not a nuclear reaction”

        Probably the very first thing Rossi ever said that I would readily believe at face value 😉

    • Thicket

      March 10, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      Nice find X-Prize.

      ‘Rossi says’ that all production is overseas. Whatever happened to the robotic factory in the United States making a million eCats this year? I guess we can kiss Mr. Smith’s $5,000 prize goodbye.
      No factory, no prize.

      The non-existent factory is just another one of Rossi’s lies to defraud gullible investors.

  27. georgehants

    March 10, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Cold fusion: the reaction piezonucleare could challenge the E-Cat
    Created Friday, March 9, 2012 11:56
    Written by Andrea Pallini
    reaction piezo
    Cold fusion . Emission of neutrons without radiation, alpha, beta or gamma. And for more from the Iron Age. He writes Piezonucleare Reaction, Energy Law is clean and safe. Even the ‘ E-Cat has his competitors. But what is a reaction PiezoNucleare? And how do you originate?
    Basically you “bombard” the iron chloride with ultrasound. Ultrasound exert, by means of the “cavitation” an enormous pressure on the material struck, so that after ninety minutes, the iron chloride starts to emit neutrons in the absence of gamma radiation, and then clean energy, not harmful and controllable.
    In detail, by means of a “sonotrode Cavitatore”, the main part of the nuclear reactor ultrasonic, are emitted ultrasonic waves so as to concentrate the energy of pressure (a true mechanical pressure) until the overcoming of the threshold of energy that allows the iron to exceed the limit beyond which can release nuclear energy. The energy produced by this reactor is more than double that of a more known nuclear reactor fed to uranium. Not only that, but three ounces of iron produces twice the energy that provide thirty kilograms of uranium.
    Treatment of radioactive waste: Given the results of an inert element such as iron (which incidentally inert returns after treatment), scientists have wondered: “And if we use the same procedure on a radioactive element?”. Of course they did, and more accurately using thorium 228. Normally the Thorium 222 and Radon decays into other elements, but this time the behavior has been nothing short of stunning: the Thorium Thorium is left, but with a specific radioactivity is halved.
    A process that requires “only” a couple of years in nature took place in only ninety minutes, or ten thousand times faster. How do you explain that? Scientists have identified a process of the creation of scientifically explainable only one way: around the iron atom of the fabric of space-time is deformed, just like it does around the Sun . It is a delusion, it fiction. It is science, and one with a capital. The phenomenon of the curvature of spacetime around the sun is known and has already been observed during a solar eclipse in 1919 by Albert Einstein.
    Transmutation of elements: the wonders do not end there. Over the last ten years, physicists Fabio Cardone of the National Research Council and Roberto Mignani of ‘University “Roma Tre” have conducted numerous experiments – conducted in collaboration with physicists Walter Perconti, Andrea Cherubini and Giovanni Petrucci and chemical Rosetto Francesca and Guido hopes -, which showed that in water irradiated with ultrasound of appropriate power and frequency occur transmutations of elements, both stable and unstable, and it is possible to produce elements not found in nature as the ‘Europium.
    We will be able to use multiple, important potential of this technique away from speculation and ethical cruel? The hope, but also what Professor HOPE hopes is “to take advantage of this reality” that “it is man, his honesty, his desire to be present in the world with something constructive, helpful and generous toward you another and towards their children. Only in this way we manage to eliminate all that the world leaves us behind in terms of waste, dirt, and famine. We’re using the best. ”
    Andrea Pallini

    http://www.nextme.it/scienza/energia/3329-fusione-fredda-e-cat-reazione

    • buffalo

      March 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

      intresting.i wonder what wil happen if i throw sum ferric sulfate solution in a ultrasound contact lense cleaner thingy

      • Jami

        March 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

        That’s easy: George will report it.

    • AB

      March 10, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Cold fusion: piezonuclear reactions could challenge the e-cat

      Emission of neutrons without alpha, beta or gamma radiation. From iron. It’s called piezonuclear reaction and it means clean and safe energy. Even the e-cat has competitors. What is a piezonuclear reaction though? And how is it initiated?

      Essentially, iron chloride is “bombarded” with ultrasound. The ultrasound creates an enormous pressure on the affected material by means of cavitation, strong enough that after 90 minutes the iron chloride starts to emit neutrons without gamma radiation, and thus clean, safe and controllable energy. [AB: that part makes no sense to me but that’s what it says]

      In more detail, by means of a “sonotrode-cavitator”, the main component of an ultrasound nuclear reactor, ultrasound waves are emitted in a manner that concentrates the pressure energy (a real mechanical pressure) until the energy threshold that allows the iron to release nuclear energy is overcome[AB: terribly complicated phrase in the original, I simplified]. The energy produced in this manner is more than twice that of an uranium-fueled nuclear reactor. Even better, 300g of iron produce twice as much energy as 30kg of uranium.

      Treatment of nuclear waste: given the results obtained with an inert element like iron (which by the way, returns inert after the stimulation), the scientists asked themselves: “What if we used the same technique on a radioactive element?”. Obviously, they have done this, and to be specific, with thorium-228. Normally the thorium decays in radon-222 and other elements, but this time the results were astounding to say the least: the thorium remained thorium but its specific radioactivity was halved.

      A process that in nature requires “only” a couple of years took 90 minutes, which is 10000 times faster. How can this be explained? The scientists have identified the cause of a process that scientifically can only be explained in one way: the fabric of space-time around the iron atom is deformed, the same way it happens around the sun. This is not a delusion nor science-fiction. It is Science with a capital S. The curvature of space-time around the sun is a known phenomenon and had already been observed in 1919 by Albert Einstein.

      Transmutation of elements: the wonders don’t end here. In the last ten years, the physicists Fabio Cardone of the National Research Council and Roberto Mignani from the university “Roma Tre” have conducted numerous experiments, in collaboration with the physicists Walter Perconti, Andrea Petrucci and Giovanni Cherubini and the chemists Francesca Rosetta and Guido Spera, which have shown that in water hit with ultrasound of the right power and frequency transmutation of elements occurs, both stable and unstable, and that it is possible to produce elements not naturally present in nature such as europium.

      [AB: last paragraph omitted as its personal commentary]

      • Alain

        March 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm

        I suppose that it is based on electron absorption by proton, a bit like widom-larsen theory, except that the neutron is not absorbed by a big nucleus nearby but just replacing the proton in the big nucleus.

        widom-larsen have studied the consequence of those high neutron number nucleus.
        they have to decay by beta (in which case it is neutral, except the neutrinos impulsions), or maybe by alpha (dunno the economy), if the fermionincs states are crowded.

        maybe some strange disintégration like neutrons emission…

        anyway to screen the gamma consequence of disintégration, widom larsen have to use the concept of heavy electron screening.

        by first look, the reaction is globally endothermic, thus improbable.

        even widom-larsen with a global exothermic reaction, cause skepticism because it is temporarily endothermic (electron absorption is endothermic).

        I’m not so convinced it can work… but should see the energy balance,and the reaction branches.

      • GreenWin

        March 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        Is there no end to the disclosure of these heretical methods of producing energy?? “Piezonuclear,” Sonoluminescence,” “hydro-cavitation?”

        Only a cartoon would delight in this basket of forbidden fruit!

        How to manage the sell off. Econ PhDs?

        • 123star

          March 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

          Side note, a curiosity:
          Pyroelectric fusion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyroelectric_fusion) is a method of producing hot fusion, but it is not exploitable for power generation. Loosely speaking, you heat a special crystal and it will act as a particle accelerator; this can be used to shoot particles to a suitable target, and you get hot fusion. The only problem is, quoting wikipedia: “Although it makes a useful neutron generator, the apparatus is not intended for power generation since it requires far more energy than it produces”.

  28. georgehants

    March 10, 2012 at 10:44 am

    If science and any other subject important in this World is going to move forward at the fair pace that it is capable of then the Internet is the Tool that will make that happen.
    Website owners have a responsibility way beyond just creating a webpage.
    It must be seen in all subjects that apart from the people who truly wish to discuss and debate a subject for the good it may contain,there is a Strong contingent of people who have an Agenda, that after a year of observing I still do not fully understand, but is clearly Destructive and designed to disrupt fair discussion and analyses.
    All Websites must recognise these people and jointly agree to permanently remove them.
    This in no way restricts free speech but enhances it, in that many more fair people will join the debate who at present are not willing to engage these people.
    If the Internet is to have the position it deserves, to change the World, every Webmaster must determine to clearly see that these people have no place in the future.

    • spacegoat

      March 10, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Slippery slope. The “removers” occupy the same role as those who acted to suppress Pekka (see above post). Allowing idiocy to manifest as idiocy is the best remedy. A feature that might be interesting though is for readers to auto-suppress those posters they consider as idiots.

      • georgehants

        March 10, 2012 at 11:01 am

        spacegoat, agreed, but I can’t give the foolproof solution as with Pekka’s problem above.
        But to bring it into the open and invite solutions to the problem is surly the first step to solving it.

        • Pekka Janhunen

          March 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

          And remember the context, I’ve seen 120 papers pass through the peer review process whereas in one case there was an editorial censorship anomaly (a case where a paper was rejected apparently for some non-scientific reasons without analysing it by peer review). Usually the system works well although not always, that’s my experience. (Which I don’t claim to be universally true of course.)

          • georgehants

            March 10, 2012 at 11:26 am

            Pekka, that is a good record, certainly better than Cold Fusion scientists have had to endure.
            Would it be fair to say the more a subject is controversial the more likely it is to attract denial and abuse.
            I do not mean fair criticism, that is an integral part of scientific or any other subjects debate, but an irratinal and agenda based campaign of debunking.

          • Pekka Janhunen

            March 10, 2012 at 11:48 am

            george: Maybe. I don’t know for sure. I guess my point is that human behaviour in science and elsewhere is very rich, each person in each subdiscipline has a different story.

            Just one more clarification to avoid misunderstanding: of course, in addition to successfully published peer-reviewed papers, I have seen many (tens) that were rejected by the reviewers for various valid reasons. A valid reason includes the referee misunderstanding the paper, because it’s the responsibility of the author to make the paper understandable and readable.

      • Peter Roe

        March 10, 2012 at 11:49 am

        “A feature that might be interesting though is for readers to auto-suppress those posters they consider as idiots.”

        The perfect solution – user controlled ‘censorship’. It would be an absolute joy to use such a facility! Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a suitable ‘plugin’ to suggest to Admin yet. I’ll keep looking – it’s well worth the effort!

        • spacegoat

          March 10, 2012 at 1:03 pm

          Maybe Quax can survey who would get most user censorship? Ouuch!
          Dick Smith?
          🙂
          Be interested to know if you find a plugin.

        • DvH

          March 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm

          would it take some kind of qualification to be a censor ? or is it enough to support the ‘right’ kind of mindset ??

          • Peter Roe

            March 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm

            As the filtering would only apply to what a particular user sees, no ‘qualifications’ would be required. It would simply be down to personal preference and would not affect anyone else’s choices. What’s the problem with that?

  29. georgehants

    March 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Pekka, point above taken and understood.
    The question becomes then what action needs to be taken to ensure that no paper is ever rejected for any reason other than the very fair reasons that you have put.
    All the good points of peer review must be maintained but any negative effects brought into the open and rectified.
    Only by scientists being willing to report on the Internet any instances of unethical rejection can the occasions of abuse be corrected.
    Of course many dissatisfied but correctly rejected authors will complain, but then how to fairly stop abuse, but not let through truly worthless papers, if as with Cold Fusion most reviewers are unable to open their minds to papers outside of the box.

  30. Jami

    March 10, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    “All Websites must recognise these people and jointly agree to permanently remove them.”

    George – don’t you realize how completely backwards the mere idea is? There’s hardly a forum, blog or chat concerning energy that you don’t use to complain about how mainstream science and society suppresses what you happen to believe in and you blame it on narrow mindedness, censorship, idiocy and what not. I don’t agree with you – not even a little bit – but still you are tolerated and listened to – heck I myself read your stuff. Mind you, not all of it, but some. I have and take the chance to look at your point of view occasionally and, who knows, maybe you’ll convince me one day. Have you got an agenda? Surely. Personally I don’t care much whether you have an agenda or wander around aimlessly – but despite not agreeing with you I cherish being able to know what you think.

    BUT: If you, of all people, start crying out for world wide consorship based on nothing but your personal idea of what is right and what is wrong – what is true and false and what is based on having an agenda and what is profound, scientific and impartial thought in your opinion, I can’t help but roll around on the floor laughing. Don’t you get it that this is exactly what you keep criticizing? Don’t you see that you would most probably be the first victim of your own trap if anybody would ever seriously consider implementing it?

    • georgehants

      March 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      Jami, thank you for your points it helps me to try and understand the view of people who only look at the negative side of things.
      Your post does not appear to contain any advice of how to overcome the purely destructive input of these people.
      There have been many posts this morning most trying to discuss and inform in a positive manner yours is only the second that seems to be a purely emotional stance against removing destructive time wasters.
      Please put any positive points that you feel these people contribute to any debate on any subject.

      • Jami

        March 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

        So you DON’T get it. Again: I consider YOU being a “destructive time waster”. What I oppose is the idea to gag people like you because I never fell (hopefully never will) to the fallacy of believing that my points of view are (or can ever be) 100% objective. You, on the other hand, don’t seem to have any such inhibitions when it comes to the georgehants version of absolute “truth”. (I think that was my dose of listening to you for this year – see you again in 2013.)

        • georgehants

          March 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm

          Jami, thank you for your enlightening and intellectual contribution.

  31. georgehants

    March 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Peter, re. your last, that is exactly the point I am making, these negative spoilers effect me as much as you and many other fair contributors only interested in the TRUTH.
    For you or I to retire away from the rubbish they purposely produce is exactly what they want.
    Keep with it, have a rest and then put your fair and constructive views for all open-minded fair readers to enjoy.
    Perhaps you have a view to help me understand their aims.

    • buffalo

      March 10, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      truth is subjective mate.the guy holding a a-k47 is always rite,even if he,s wrong

      • georgehants

        March 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        buffalo, cannot see your point, many of our countrymen have died to maintain freedom for their children.
        Do we not have at least that same responsibility in subjects not immidiatly threatening us, but to many of the Worlds poor and underprivileged.

        • buffalo

          March 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

          nope.i dont wana be taxed any more than i already am for other peoples mess bra

    • Peter Roe

      March 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm

      George, thank you for the kind comments, which I am absolutely certain I can’t live up to! I think your understanding of why certain individuals post as they do is the same as mine, and I’m afraid I have no more idea of their true aims than you do, if the intention is something other than to bring constructive discussion to a halt. Occam’s razor on that one, or maybe ‘looks like a duck’ etc.

  32. georgehants

    March 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Just mention that Facebook at the moment are using more updates from Independent eCAT News than they are finding themselves.
    Very unusual as they normally are ahead of everybody.

  33. Tom Baccei

    March 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Perhaps a good method to lighten up the efforts to convince everyone else of the “scam” being foisted by Rossi and DGT would be to limit the length of posts, but allow attachments for anyone who wants to post a lengthy analysis, or read one. I know that many posters here strongly feel this is all a scam, but the sheer redundancy and bluster in their repeated, lengthy posts, in which very little advances the argument simply makes the site unappealing. You can say “I think it’s all a scam” in a very brief posting, and, having said that, move on. The bottom line of it all is that, at this point in time, no one can declare LENR to be a fact of nature, nor can anyone prove that all this is just a big farce. The endless debate, and efforts to convince those who remain steadfast in their particular belief is pointless, and I for one, would love this site to narrow the focus to NEWS, and a terse breakdown of that news. The rest is propaganda, and that, mostly from the pathoskeps.

    • 123star

      March 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Well, for my part I really liked the “long posts” and I think this was one of the best threads so far. The tone of the conversation was pretty high and informative. I especially appreciated the posts of popeye, Jami, Jay2011 and John Milstone. Keep up the good work (-:

      • Quax

        March 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

        Agreed.

        The quality always takes a dive whenever dogmatists from either side take over the forum.

    • DvH

      March 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      well, if you reduce this site to NEWS – it would get rather slim – wouldnt it?

  34. GreenWin

    March 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    “I know that many posters here strongly feel this is all a scam, but the sheer redundancy and bluster in their repeated, lengthy posts, in which very little advances the argument simply makes the site unappealing.”

    Question: Would a contemporary anthropologist spend time on an “Independent Piltdown Man News” site? Those purporting “scam” need look no further than a mirror for evidence.

  35. Quax

    March 11, 2012 at 3:03 am

    I wish people would approach the entire LENR question with more of a strategic, game theoretical mind set. What are all relevant hypothetical scenarios?

    (a) Both Defkalion and Rossi have what they claim.
    (b) Either Defkalion or Rossi have what they claim.
    (c) LENR is a real but small effect and neither Defkalion nor Rossi have anything worth marketing.
    (d) LENR is not a real effect but a misunderstood mirage or otherwise useless phenomenon.

    In case (a) or (b) we will live in energy nirvana soon. No matter what we do we will be delivered from the fossil fuel evil, as both Rossi and Defkalion seem to have no funding issues.

    In case (d) we won’t gain anything but then there really never was anything to gain. Again no matter what we do we have no means to influence the outcome.

    This leaves (c) as a hypothetical scenario to play through. In this case I expect the fall-out from Rossi’s and Defkalion’s failure to do immense damage to any legitimate LENR research that is ongoing.

    In this scenario you can actually take some action. I.e. try to raise the profile of the very best open research in the field. This includes looking critically over what has been published before and try to create a positive feedback loop that pushes the research to a higher level.

    Since (c) is the only scenario where I can see myself have any – how ever muted – positive impact I base my actions on this. If (a) or (b) pan out great, but better to prepare for the almost worst scenario.

  36. popeye

    March 11, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Ransompw on March 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm:

    There is only one issue that is important and which should be the subject of all of this debate. Are real nuclear reactions taking place in these experiments. That alone is the critical question and after 23 years it seems that there is still no clear certainty on that issue.

    So far, we are in agreement.

    First, hypothesizing why these experiments don’t demonstrate what they profess to demonstrate is of no value unless you want to test your hypothesis. Since you don’t test, your analysis may be right but of course could be wrong and we are thus not learning anything about the critical issue from you.

    You’ve made it clear in previous posts that you think negative opinions about research should not be voiced except by people who have done the experiments, even though you advocate no such restriction on positive opinions. But your opinion on this question is not representative of the people who actually make decisions relevant to scientific progress; namely journal editors, funding agencies, R&D departments, hiring committees, and the scientists themselves who might be considering doing research in the area. As I’ve argued in the past, these people seek out the opinions of others who have not necessarily done the experiments themselves. They find them valuable — not worthless. In fact, science could not function without such opinions.

    The reason is that if a researcher is forthcoming on what was done and what was observed, then other people with the right background are in just as good a position to interpret the results as the researchers themselves. Of course if there are missing measurements, and the results are suggestive, then the critics may be motivated to do experiments themselves. That clearly happened in 1989, when on the strength of P&F reputations, many people went to the lab to try out cold fusion. But critics are not going to run to the lab for every new claim that just represents more of the same marginal results; especially if a critical review shows the evidence has no merit.

    Critical analyses of cold fusion experiments are basically arguments that the observations reported do not require a nuclear explanation. Of course, they could be wrong, but if the probability of the phenomenon is considered a priori to be vanishingly small, then unless compelling evidence that does require a nuclear explanation is presented, most people will remain skeptical, and will not find themselves motivated to test it themselves based soley on someone’s extraordinary claim.

    For example, say someone claims to have invented an anti-gravity vest, and to prove it works, he weighs himself with and without it to show that he is lighter with the vest on. But when a skeptic reads the paper and finds that it is necessary to wear the vest for 18 hours for the full effect, and since the claimant didn’t eat or drink during that time, he will argue that the weight reduction is because of sweat and waste expulsion, and will not find it necessary to spend 18 hours with the vest on to remain skeptical of the claim — even if the claimant argues that he calibrated his weight loss by not eating for 18 hours the day before and his weight loss was smaller.

    What we are doing is refusing to learn the critical issue by assuming the truth of your hypothesis. Kicking the can down the road and waiting for someone to do a more definitve test which is certainly not being done by the likes of you. This is too important an issue to do that. If you have a chance of being wrong, something more should be done and it should be done by you and by others like you.

    I think the reason we differ on this is because of the very different a priori likelihood we assign for cold fusion to be real. Obviously your argument doesn’t apply to just anything. It doesn’t apply to perpetual motion or anti-gravity. And to most scientists, cold fusion is not very far above those two phenomena. If the skeptic has a chance of 1 part in 10^30 of being wrong, then no, nothing more should be done.

    The argument goes that unless compelling evidence for cold fusion is presented, most scientists will not waste any time on it. Same with anti-gravity vests and perpetual motion.

    Second, the issue of radiation is just dumb. The lack of by products found in “hot Fusion” for a process (if real) we don’t understand is ridiculous. It may simply demonstrate an unknown process is at work.

    It’s not just the byproducts found in hot fusion. It’s that byproducts are found in all nuclear reactions, including those that happen in the solid state, and at low temperatures. Transmutations occur in nature all the time, again in the solid state, at ordinary temperatures, and they are all accompanied by easily measured radiation. Suggesting there may be a radiation-free reaction is one thing; suggesting dozens of reactions producing a dozen elements, all without radiation is what is dumb. Just because you don’t understand nuclear physics doesn’t mean the degree of certainty nuclear physicists have about nuclear phenomena is not valid.

    And in Piantelli’s work, he is using radiation to claim cold fusion is real. My criticism was of the evidence for the radiation measurements themselves, to dispute his claim that he is proving cold fusion; not that the lack of radiation proved there was no cold fusion.

    Likewise, the argument over energy produced and measured is equally ridiculous. One can always question the accuracy of these measures but if those questioning them never test, they really can’t know with certainty.

    What do you mean argument of energy produced is ridiculous? Excess energy is the main claim of cold fusion. The measurement of the energy could not be more relevant. And you’re wrong that the accuracy can always be questioned. If an experiment is set up with no input, and the device brings a certain volume of water to a boil, the energy produced cannot be disputed. And there are plenty of claims of excess energy without input, but no clear demonstration of it, and certainly none that exceed chemical energy density. And that’s the extreme case to contradict your claim. There are intermediate levels that could be proven beyond reasonable question. The problem is that the cold fusion experiments never even come close.

    It’s true the skeptics can’t know with certainty that there is no cold fusion; they only argue that the results don’t prove cold fusion. Claimed phenomena do not get an automatic 50/50 probability, just by virtue of the claim. The skeptic is of the view that in the absence of proof, cold fusion is highly unlikely.

    Which leads me to my point, the one issue if tested which would end all doubt is transmutation. I assume you agree this can’t happen with the physics we now know and teach. Further, the current hypothesis that the elements are made in stars and that heavy elements come for super nova, strikes me as so feable a hypothesis as to be laughable.

    This hypothesis is laughable? When scientists suggest that cold fusion is laughable, they are accused of being arrogant and dogmatic. And yet they base their view on strong evidence gathered over 60 years of experiments and consistent with established scientific generalizations already accumulated and verified, and understood in exquisite detail. I can only imagine that your opinion is based on a hunch, and a fervent desire for cold fusion to be real.

    Your opinion that the theory of the origin of the elements is laughable is similar to the view you expressed some time ago when you said:

    “Look I don’t know if Rossi has what he says but I am fairly certain a Rossi will come along in the future who is successful, so I watch for possible candidates. […] And my lawyer intuition tells me to stay tuned.”

    Or when you said on vortex that a mist flowing through a hose is impossible just from common sense.

    It seems to me that you are the dogmatic one, only your dogma comes from your gut instead of evidence. Someone said I reminded them of L Ron Hubbard, but I think all the cold fusion believers are far more religiously dogmatic than any of the skeptics. It doesn’t matter what is said or found, their belief in the reality of cold fusion/LENR is unshakeable.

    I suspect you would have laughed at Galileo too. The earth around the sun? That’s laughable.

    It is probably incapable of being tested based on our current knowledge and access to data.

    Probably? You don’t have the first clue about it, do you? The evidence for element formation of the earth’s parent elements in stars, red giants, and supernovae is overwhelming, and has not been in serious doubt since the 50s, when technetium was discovered in red giants (to take one example).

    This is an element not found on the earth except in trace amounts in uranium ore as a fission product. The reason is that its most stable isotope has a half life of 4 million years, far shorter than the age of the earth. It appears in the periodic table between molybdenum and ruthenium, and just a few atomic numbers before Pd. If these elements are formed to any extent by transmutation of stable elements on earth, why is the only one missing in this whole section of the periodic table also the only one that has a half-life shorter than the age of the earth?

    The relative abundance of the elements on earth is consistent with the observed nuclear decay chains starting with elements formed in a supernova. In the high mass range, the element Np and all its daughters in the decay chain down to the nearly stable Bi-209 are not observed in nature because their half-lives are a million years or less. The other 3 alpha decay chains are observed from Th-232, U-238, and U-235 down to different isotopes of lead, because their half-lives are comparable or longer than the age of the earth.

    There is simply no compelling evidence of transmutations occurring in otherwise non-radioactive material, and there is no need to invoke it to understand the elements as they are.

    If is isn’t true and they form some other way, then nature itself is telling us another nuclear process exists we don’t understand.

    Since the elements can be understood — indeed explained convincingly — without nuclear processes that we don’t understand, nature is not telling us any such thing. She is telling us the opposite.

    Finally, testing for transmutation should be the easiest experiment if done propely.

    My argument was that it wasn’t done properly. The control was not representative; there were no isotope ratios measured; the abundance was not determined. And the observed elements included only the common ones; rare elements like Sc, Ti, and V were absent.

    Imagining that contamination is the cause which is possible is just dumb without tests.

    Contamination is part of basically every experiment performed. Transmutation of otherwise stable elements without radiation is unprecedented. Since I think the likelihood of transmutations of stable elements, especially without radiation, is vanishingly small, I will not run tests on it, nor would I recommend funding for anyone to do it, just because someone thinks it could happen. Piantelli’s made the claim. Most people don’t believe it. Either he provides better evidence, or he continues to be ignored. That’s just how it works.

    If someone tells me that a rock released above the north pole goes into orbit, and shows me a grainy movie of it, I can be skeptical without actually going up there to try it, and I don’t think that’s dumb. Your mileage may vary.

  37. popeye

    March 11, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I’ve combined a few replies:

    Camilo on March 7, 2012 at 11:59 am:

    I think this problem has been with us for a long time…
    “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. ”
― Max Planck

    The irony is that not only is this not true, and that cold fusion is seeing it work the other way, but Planck himself is a counter-example.

    Some pathological beliefs, like N-rays and the planet vulcan, only really disappeared when the believers died. In cold fusion, the strongest and most active proponents are still the ones that were there from the beginning. When they die, cold fusion is likely to fade away, although it clearly has a surprising staying power.

    Planck was slow to accept the idea of photons, but he did not have to die to increase their acceptance: about 10 years after Einstein introduced them, Planck came around.
    ****************

    The Plumber on March 8, 2012 at 2:28:

    It was like a mob of angry villagers with their pitch forks and torches. It has been proven hundreds of times that they were right after all.

    What’s a proof, or hundreds of them, that most people, and most scientists in particular, aren’t convinced by? Why, that’s no proof at all.

    *****************
    Stanny Demesmaker on March 7, 2012 at 12:40 pm:

    Every single time we did these things there were people who said ‘it’s a fad.’ There were people who said ‘you’re trading one very known source of propulsion or energy for something that’s unsure – too expensive or just won’t work.’ And every single time they were wrong. Every single time. And I am absolutely confident those folks are going to be wrong this time too.

    … based on the impeccable logic that any idea, no matter how whacky, must be true if someone is skeptical of it.

    *****************

    CuriousChris on March 7, 2012 at 12:42:

    P&F threatened to destroy the impossibility of fusion at low energies (temperatures) this is the long held belief of the clear majority of physicists.
    To them you may as well say gravity doesn’t exist. Its simply that ridiculous.

    I agree that cold fusion is not considered much more likely than the non-existence of gravity, but calling it a belief and comparing it to religion is not fair. The confidence is based on strong evidence gathered over a half a century, just like the evidence for gravity.

    Try telling a devout religious person their beliefs are all a lie. they will either shake their head in sadness for your poor soul or threaten to kill you as extremists do.

    This description is however far more apt when applied to adherents of the cold fusion religion, than to scientists. Scientists are perfectly well prepared to accept revolutionary ideas when the data warrants it, as the revolutions in modern physics attest. There is nothing that would get most cold fusion believers to question their belief.
    *************
    spacegoat on March 8, 2012 at 4:49 am:

    
Isn’t the anti-dote to delusion an independent critical-thinking and “scientific method”. However both these things are in decline.

    You gave no evidence for a decline in either of them, and I suspect there isn’t any significant decline, at least not within the scientific community. But if critical thinking is in decline, I would attribute it the internet, where fuzzy thinkers can find good company on web sites like this one.

  38. popeye

    March 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Several replies combined:

    psi on March 7, 2012 at 2:26:

    What a bunch of complete nonsense. The history of science is a history of “extraordinary” claims that were rebuffed with no more credibility than you put forth in this post, Jami.

    Not true. At least, not by scientists. The most extraordinary claims — like relativity and quantum mechanics — were accepted quickly and readily. The ones that were famously rebuffed (like Galileo and Darwin) were rebuffed by religion, not science. Others that were controversial (and yes, rebuffed by many) within science (like continental drift and black holes) were simply supported by weak evidence, in which case argument is to be expected.

    But there simply is not an example in the physical sciences of a small-scale phenomenon like cold fusion that was dismissed by mainstream science for decades, but eventually vindicated. At least, I can’t think of one, and neither can Edmund Storms, who has said that if (he probably said “when”) cold fusion is vindicated, this episode will represent an unprecedented case.
    **********

    Roger Bird at March 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    There were no movie rights, interviews, t-shirts, etc. You are lying. You are fantasizing. They lost their jobs. They did not get a couple of million dollars richer. You are a big fat liar. They were lucky to get jobs elsewhere, outside of the USA.

    I’m guessing the movie rights an t-shirts was a joke, but you’re claims are obviously not. Do you have evidence they were fired? Because Fleischmann was already was already retired, and continued to list his affiliation with Southampton until at least 1994. Pons was tenured, and left voluntarily for greener pastures and more money in France. Even so, he also listed his affiliation with Utah for several years after he left. Maybe they fired him then, but you know even tenured professors can be fired for failing to carry out their duties.

    So, they were not lucky to get jobs; they had a choice of jobs. As for their pay, do you know how much Toyota paid them? $200k per year would not be surprising, and that would amount to a couple of million each.
    *********

    GreenWin on March 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm:

    Ah, the Sneering Collective at work! Fabricating divisive lies. Goebbles 101.

    You are referring to Roger Bird claiming P&F got fired, I presume.

    **************
    PL on March 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm:

    Scientific skepticism is slowly being replaced with objective truth seeking.

    What does that mean? And what is the evidence?

    Where so-called scientific skepticism fails is where it attempts to prove something wrong.

    In the case of cold fusion, skeptics do not attempt this. They merely argue it has not been proved right. Given its unlikelihood, that’s enough for them to maintain their skepticism.

    Where objective truth seeking is overtaking so-called scientific skepticism is that one seeks data without making a judgment until after all of the data is analyzed.

    That’s where inefficiency comes in. Science would not make progress if every idea were treated equally, and all data were given equal weight. Progress depends on using the information already learned to filter new results. That’s what Newton meant about standing on the shoulders of giants.

    I’m thankful the U.S. court system does not follow the flawed so-called scientific skepticism because a lot more innocent people would be imprisoned. The truth is, so-called scientific skepticism methodology didn’t last long at all in old court system. What ended up working was a jury who does not judge until *after* all the data is in and meticulously analyzed.

    The so-called scientific skepticism was never used in court systems. They are not the same thing at all. In science, a final verdict is not needed, and we are free to perform more experiments. Not so after a murder. In science, we can’t wait until all the data is in, because it will always be coming in. Science is, and always will be, a work in progress. We make judgements about the data that is in, and use it to guide the next experiments. The judgement of most scientists on cold fusion is that the evidence does not merit more experiments, and certainly not focused, substantial funding. Of course, these decisions are not made universally. Each scientist, or their employer, decides what to work on, and each source of funding decides what to fund. Usually they consult experts, but the decision is theirs.

    ************
    B Fast on March 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm:

    There have been hundreds of peer reviewed positive LENR results. However, LENR is still classed as “pathological science”. The scientific community has no more respect for peer reviewed research than for anything else.

    Acceptance in peer reviewed journals helps credibility, but it is neither necessary nor sufficient for widespread acceptance. Hundreds of peer reviewed papers were written on N-rays and polywater, but that doesn’t make either phenomenon correct.

    Scientists are unbelievably boneheaded when their theory is challenged by phenomenon.

    Boneheaded or not, if the evidence stands up, they relent. Every time. Cold fusion evidence however does not stand up.

    It’ll take an entrepreneur like Rossi or Defkalion to make a product before the scientific community will be convinced. And a week after a product is released, the scientific community will announce that they knew all along.

    That’s not what happened in Paris when the Wrights demonstrated their fliers. Skeptics of the Wrights claims (not of the principle of flight) “issued apologies and effusive praise”.

    But no, it would not take a commercial product to convince the skeptics. Just an isolated device that produces obvious heat with no input energy long enough to exceed its own weight in chemical fuel, and the world will be cold fusion’s oyster.

  39. popeye

    March 11, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Multiple replies:

    Tom Baccei on March 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm:

    Since WWII it has been the world of “big” science.

    What has been? What does that mean? Most scientists are not involved in big science.

    Added to the personal status has come the career destroying effect of being wrong.

    What does that mean. You’re not making sense.

    Since non scientists have largely decided where we look, they alzo cpntrol what we find.

    What do you mean non-scientists have largely decided where we look? What is the evidence for this. Most scientists decide what to study for themselves, and when they ask for money, the proposals are reviewed by scientists.

    The conspiracy comes from a loose coalition of those with a rigid world view, careers to protect, persnal status motivations, control motivations and military -financial hegemony.

    Ah. That explains your incoherence. Conspiracy theories can never be argued rationally.

    That pack blood lust for turning away from research opportunities outside of the box thus defined is well illustrated by the pathoskeps regular to this site. They work tirelessly to defend and preserve their world view, sometime with valid reservations, but all too often with glossed over facts, relentless propaganda and sheer nearly overwhelming energy. Those who desire serious change and the solution to our pressing problems simply must get on with it in spite of their pseudo intellectual attacks!

    It is your post that is free of evidence, content, or any sort of rational argument at all. It is a nothing but a propaganda rant, and yet that’s what you accuse others of.

    **********

    Pekka Janhunen on March 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm:

    I can’t think of a reason why a device like that wouldn’t be arbitrarily scalable. I mean, if it’s just a piece of metal in certain environment. Maybe he doesn’t scale it because it it’s really trivial to anyone who gets to look at it. (Once someone does.)

    If the effect is real, it should scale. But if it’s an artifact, then it won’t scale. The fact that cold fusion demos never scale, suggests they’re probably not real. And that’s why it’s important that demonstrators not simply argue that it’s trivial to scale, but actual do it.

    ************

    spacegoat on March 8, 2012 at 5:06 am:

    According to E. Mallove the claims were fraudulently debunked, described at great length in his writings.

    This was 1989, and one of the many debunkings. The fact that believers are still bringing this up 23 years later, instead of pointing to definitive results that prove cold fusion, emphasizes the absence of such results.

    If Americans understood science, they would know that scientists are fallible and that all science is subject to revision.

    Right. And if cold fusion believers understood science, they would know that scientists claiming cold fusion are fallible too.

    **********
    Ben on March 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    This link below gives a follow up the work on P&F in the lab built by Toyota. In it, Dr. Martin Fleishmann and the ABC News science editor discuss the close-minded mentality of science in the United States. Really quite a good piece from Good Morning America. In an interview with the director of the Toyota lab, he states that company’s belief in the value of cold fusion research.

    The video is from 1994, and it is actually quite funny to hear almost exactly the kind of claims and arguments that were made on 60 minutes 15 years later in 2009. In both cases, they claim progress, and products in a matter of a few years. But *nothing* changed in the interim. Pons claimed 20 W in 1994; Dardik claimed 20 W in 2009. Pons experiment ran for 4 days; Dardik’s ran for several days. It’s just the way you would expect pathological science to develop.

    The video indicates that indeed progress was made from the original experiment,

    It doesn’t indicate that at all. P&F claimed more than 20W in 1989, and they say little else about the results in the video. Of course they *claimed* progress, even if it wasn’t indicated. But what are they gonna say on tv after they spent 5 years and millions of dollars on a new lab?

    although P&F were never able to bring the output to commercial levels. I would imagine that is the reason Toyota ultimately stopped funding the research.

    P&F spent less than 100k over 5 years to get the results they reported in 1989. Then they spent some 50 M over the next 10, and reported essentially the same thing. That’s why Toyota bailed. It’s hard to believe they would have shut it down if they believed the effect was real. Even in the video, the director was not convinced it was real; only that it merited research. By 1998 it no longer did.

    Japanese researchers have done some of the best work in the field. The “state of the art” in the field was established by Japanese researcher Y. Arata, who publicly demonstrated a cell in 2008.

    … which, like all other public demonstrations of cold fusion, has come to nothing.

    • Tom Baccei

      March 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      Tom Baccei on March 7, 2012 at 3:14 pm:

      Since WWII it has been the world of “big” science.

      What has been? What does that mean? Most scientists are not involved in big science.

      Most research efforts require very large funding, from Hot Fusion, to the nefarious efforts of the pharmaceutical industry to Space programs, Supercolliders, Weapons programs etc. And No, the final funding decisions are NOT made by other scientists, but by government agencies, and business executives. So, if you expect to get a grant, you’d better be doing orthodox research.

      Added to the personal status has come the career destroying effect of being wrong.

      What does that mean. You’re not making sense.

      BADLY FORMED SENTENCE DUE TO TYPING ON 7inch PAD.
      Meaning: If you fail to produce positive results regarding the thesis of your research effort, you not only lose PERSONAL STATUS, but quite often your CAREER as a research scientist. Witness the number of fabricated results by scientists desperate to continue receiving funding.

      Since non scientists have largely decided where we look, they alzo cpntrol what we find.

      What do you mean non-scientists have largely decided where we look? What is the evidence for this. Most scientists decide what to study for themselves, and when they ask for money, the proposals are reviewed by scientists.

      The conspiracy comes from a loose coalition of those with a rigid world view, careers to protect, persnal status motivations, control motivations and military -financial hegemony.

      Ah. That explains your incoherence. Conspiracy theories can never be argued rationally.

      I suppose that means that there are never any conspiracies? You are typical of the main stream orthodoxy in that since you disagree with me my perceptions of a culture loosing its grip on properly functioning science, I must be incoherent. I know you disagree with me, but you have no step up on the coherency scale. I see you as a blustering bureaucrat with nothing better to do than to write lengthy self important diatribes which are based on nothing more than your own opinion. Same as you see me. Only thing is that you do not acknowledge the basis of my reservations about the establishment, while I do acknowledge your consistency with the orthodox. So it goes.

      That pack blood lust for turning away from research opportunities outside of the box thus defined is well illustrated by the pathoskeps regular to this site. They work tirelessly to defend and preserve their world view, sometime with valid reservations, but all too often with glossed over facts, relentless propaganda and sheer nearly overwhelming energy. Those who desire serious change and the solution to our pressing problems simply must get on with it in spite of their pseudo intellectual attacks!

      It is your post that is free of evidence, content, or any sort of rational argument at all. It is a nothing but a propaganda rant, and yet that’s what you accuse others of.

      What evidence, content or rational argument have you presented here in your criticism of me? I too see only your point of view stated over and over again. And yes, I intend to respond to your vitriolic propaganda with my own, toward your stifling lack of interest in what may well be the most dramatic new discovery in many years. Have you done any experiments, or is it your only skill to discredit anyone willing to publish results with which you disagree?

  40. popeye

    March 11, 2012 at 10:32 am

    LCD on March 9, 2012 at 4:13 am:

    Schist your point of view is that of a first layer investigation. You need to continue to dig deeper to get to the next layers and the real truth.

    Actually, they want you to dig just deep enough to see lots of people are working on it, and some are publishing, but not so deep to discover that the work is sloppy and does not prove cold fusion is real. If you dig that deep, and explain what you find, the believers will plug their ears. They don’t want to hear about the nasty details that will shatter their comfortable, closed-minded position on the subject.

    A reasonable person will find that there was plenty “not” to sneer about.

    But nothing that proves cold fusion.

    several people here link good articles all the time about this that are fully referenced. You should take the time to read them.

    Actually, most believers don’t take the time to read them. They take the time to see that they exist, and then make up their mind and believe what they really, really want to believe.
    ********

    LCD on March 8, 2012 at 6:38 pm:

    I think somebody wrote this article for POPEYE. lol
    http://www.naturalnews.com/006171_cold_fusion_modern_medicine.html#ixzz1oXtZGXpl

    It was most certainly *not* written for skeptics. When a web site that is anti-vaccine and pro-homeopathy supports cold fusion, that only strengthens a skeptics confidence in their skepticism.

    The article is completely free of evidence or rational argument of any kind. It is written for the feeble-minded, and plays on their fears of the bogey-man, of conspiracies, of the establishment, and their instinct to root for the underdog. There is a large lucrative industry that ironically exploits the very people it is claiming to protect.

    ***********

    Jay2011 on March 9, 2012 at 4:37 am:

    I believe that P&F is a good canonical example of where the scientific method failed, at least in part.
    […]
    And it got worse from there. The “field” became toxic. Even Nobel prize winning theorist Schwinger, who cautioned that the physics for cold fusion involving a collective ensemble of nuclei could be different than the physics of two particles in a vacuum, was bullied and heckled. The entire scientific method was turned upside down. All CF experiments had to be wrong because theory said so. What happened to experimental evidence trumping everything else?
    […]
    And since most universities steered clear once CF/LENR became toxic, the “fringe” characteristic of the endeavor became almost self fulfilling and self sustaining.

    That was a terrific 3-part post, and I agree with nearly everything you said. I just wanted to comment on the 3 extracts above. I don’t think the scientific method failed, so much as P&F failed to use the scientific method.

    I also don’t think that the toxic nature of the field is to blame for anything. The field became toxic for a good reason. The experiments failed to give evidence for an effect that is highly unlikely. The failure of evidence trumped the unlikely claims, just like it always has. If scientists worked on all effects that are that unlikely but really good for the planet, then they would not have time to work on things that have a realistic probability for success.

    Finally, I don’t think the fringe characteristic is or was self-fulfilling. If cold fusion worked, it would be embraced, and would cease to be fringe. It’s that simple.

    ***********

    GreenWin on March 9, 2012 at 5:40 am:

    “The truth about the calorimetry experiment performed at MIT in 1989 under DoE contract funding (DoE Contract DE-ACO2-78ET51013) is stark and unambiguous. Its purported “negative” result was used to influence the U.S. Department of Energy’s rushed 1989 report against cold fusion. In alphabetical sequence, it is the very first report cited in the U.S. DoE’s ERAB (Energy Research Advisory Board) Cold Fusion Panel report of 1989.
    Some would characterize the data manipulation in the sixteen author MIT paper of 1989 as mere “data fudging.” We do not mince words: the use of improperly handled scientific data to draw in the public mind and in the mind of the scientific community a completely false conclusion about an emerging discovery of overarching importance to humankind is high-level scientific misconduct, plain and simple.”


    Sure. Whatever. Right or wrong, it’s no longer relevant. It’s 23 years later, and 200M has been spent on cold fusion, and it’s still not proven. You can’t blame that on the MIT conduct.

    Some people have accused Millikan of fudging his original data, but a year or 2 later, data from new and better experiments replaced the original numbers. It’s still of sociological interest, but the data no longer had any relevance to the calculation of the modern value of the charge of the electron. Likewise, the best and most brutal rebuttal to MIT’s conduct would be proof of cold fusion. It’s only because such proof is absent that believers keep on bringing 1989 up.

    • spacegoat

      March 12, 2012 at 11:46 am

      I can accept your opinion that Cold Fusion papers are weak, because I have not taken the time to read the papers in enough detail. You will find it has been stated that there are hundreds of papers published since 1989 and that excess heat has been demonstrated 23 times or more. That they are all ALL sloppy work by scientific new energy mystics is hard to believe. I admit, that is possible, but not likely.

      However you betray an illogical “anti-fringe science” mentality by the following comment:
      “When a web site that is anti-vaccine and pro-homeopathy supports cold fusion, that only strengthens a skeptics confidence in their skepticism.”

      There are two sides to the vaccine issue. Try looking at the documentary “Vaccines the Hidden Truth” containing exclusively material from peer reviewed medical journals. Vaccines are the only “medicines” not subject to double-blind controls, precisely because the mythology about them is so strong.

      On homeopathy, in France and Germany, about 5% of general practitioner doctors are classically trained doctors and also trained in homeopathy. They are all quacks in your book? I have seen homeopathy work on my own children, too young to understand any concept of classic/fringe medicine. In one case the ailment was cleared 100% up in one month when it normally is a recurrent and persistent ailment. On the second child the medicine failed 100%, but on changing the prescription it worked 100%, also in one month. Normally the ailment in question would never clear up in such a short time and the strong conventional medicine approach would have a palliative effect only. By the way, I have never used homeopathy, because luckily my health is always good and homeopathy is too fringe for my taste.

      I admit, this is “fringe practice”, but rather this than swallowing the profit driven pharma products, that often attack one problem but create three more.

      • spacegoat

        March 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

        “It’s 23 years later, and 200M has been spent on cold fusion, and it’s still not proven. You can’t blame that on the MIT conduct.”

        Sorry, but that’s exactly where blame belongs. MIT wrongly and mischievously rubbished and ridiculed rendering this area of study out of bounds.

        If you can understand French, check out Jean-Paul Biberian and his LENR experiments at the Universite Marseille, and the 90 minute video interview with him. (Links were posted on this site). He will explain the out of bounds issues and that not one centime is available for LENR.

        Where do you get the 200M dollar figure from?

    • spacegoat

      March 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      “P&F spent less than 100k over 5 years to get the “Then they spent some 50 M over the next 10, and reported essentially the same thing. That’s why Toyota bailed. .
      Japanese researchers have done some of the best work in the field. ”

      That Toyota bailed is highly significant but the reasons for the bail may simply be highfaluting new business strategy by new management. CEO’s are whimsical.

  41. Quax

    March 12, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Popeye, I think you are over idealizing the way the science process works. Sometimes certain ideas are somewhat suppressed, and if that happens it can have far reaching consequences.

    But in the end it all comes down to one thing:

    It’s all Niels Bohr fault, really 🙂

    http://tinyurl.com/6wj4obz

    • Jay2011

      March 13, 2012 at 12:02 am

      @ Quax,
      Thanks for this entertaining link. I agree that ideas can be marginalized in science, if not 100% suppressed. In some cases science can go down a wrong path for a fair amount of time before it self-corrects.

      @ Popeye,

      Glad you liked, for the most part, my 3 part post on P&F. I’ve enjoyed your posts as well. I hesitate to put myself in front of your one-man wrecking ball. But regarding LENR, I have some good friends who are actively involved in this area (and who are by no means incompetent or delusional), and I understand their point of view regarding the toxicity of the subject. Regarding your three specific objections to what I wrote:

      1. “I don’t think the scientific method failed, so much as P&F failed to use the scientific method.” I agree that P&F did not follow scientific protocol, and worse, they were unable to sufficiently improve upon their experiments to successfully refute their critics. But the scientific establishment was very happy to not only consider P&F successfully refuted based upon the negative results of the first attempted replications, but also essentially branded LENR as of-limits for reputable scientific inquiry (especially in the US), making subsequent positive replications very hard to publish or get any kind of hearing at all. (I agree with you that these subsequent replications still did not offer proof positive, but a few of them were quite suggestive and were performed by good teams in a professional manner.) I would argue that this branding is a failure of the scientific method.

      2.”I also don’t think that the toxic nature of the field is to blame for anything. The field became toxic for a good reason. The experiments failed to give evidence for an effect that is highly unlikely.”

      I agree with Quax here. I don’t think it’s that black and white. Science occasionally undergoes a laborious stepwise march through a bog before the ground becomes hard and obvious once again. It’s not always clear in the beginning whether there even is a path out of the bog or not. I don’t have a problem with mainstream science deciding “there’s nothing here folks, let’s move on.” But that doesn’t mean it’s OK to brand anyone who thinks differently as a lunatic. The absence of solid proof initially is not sufficient cause to turn a field of inquiry into an off-limits toxic waste site.

      3. “Finally, I don’t think the fringe characteristic is or was self-fulfilling. If cold fusion worked, it would be embraced, and would cease to be fringe. It’s that simple.”

      I can’t argue with this. One definitive and reproducible experiment could indeed break the vicious circle. What I was trying to say was that the “toxic”, “fringe”, “junk science” labels made it impossible for most universities to pursue this line of inquiry. That’s been left to a few private labs and a few professors emeriti. Only a handful of efforts were well funded. Few grad students would risk their careers getting involved. Many experiments were performed by teams that lacked the multidisciplinary expertise (especially regarding low rate nuclear radiation detection) to carry out a definitive experiment, assuming it even possible to do so. So IF there is some new, not yet understood science associated with LENR anomalies, then I argue that the “fringe” labeling is in fact a factor in the slow progress that keeps the effort in the “fringe” category. Of course, if the various observations by different groups are all attributable to the same types of experimental errors and artifacts, then I agree, label or not, the endeavor will not escape the “fringe” category.

      I am personally conflicted regarding LENR. It seems that every time it appears to gain a tiny bit of traction, the wheels slip and it’s back into the bog again. I’ve reached the point where I need to see good evidence for myself before I’m ready to believe anything. I have performed some LENR experiments with my colleagues. We took a lot of care not to have any experimental artifacts. Unfortunately, we could confirm no anomalies either.

      • Quax

        March 13, 2012 at 5:07 am

        Unfortunately if the suspicions with regards to Rossi and Defkalion turn out to be correct it will very much put any legitimate LENR research back into the bog.