Mar 24 2009

Cold Fusion After 20 Years

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Comments: 148

This week the American Chemical Society’s national meeting will include presentations on low energy nuclear reactions (LENR). That is the new name for what is known in popular culture as cold fusion – the production of energy from nuclear fusion as room temperature or other low temperatures.

Cold fusion made its first big splash 20 years ago this week when Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons held a press conference in which they claimed that they had created energy from cold fusion in their lab. Their announcement was met with both excitement and skepticism. The skepticism, it turns out, was justified as in the years following no one has been able to replicate the alleged cold fusion of Pons and Fleischmann, including them. They spent years in a French lab trying to replication their effects and failed.

The excitement is easy to understand, as is a resurgence of interest. Energy is the primary limiting factor of civilization and quality of life – energy use tracks very closely with material quality of life. The expense of energy is part of the expense of almost all goods and services. And right now we are facing concerns over the environmental impact of our energy infrastructure. A source of abundant, cheap, clean, renewable energy would solve a great many problems and be a boon to human civilization.

Fusion

Fusion occurs when like-charged atomic particles – like protons, or atoms of protons and neutrons, are forced together under great temperature and pressure so that they fuse together to make a larger atom. The electromagnetic repulsion of the like charges has to be overcome and the particles brought close enough together so that the nuclear forces will take over and fuse them together. For elements lighter than iron fusion results in an excess of energy, and for elements heavier than iron energy has to be put into the system for fusion to occur.

Nuclear fusion is what powers the sun – right now mostly hydrogen being fused into helium. Fusion bombs work by using a fission bomb to force a pellet of nuclear material together with sufficient force to cause fusion.

The basic concept is that some form of confinement is needed to force the protons together. Stars use gravitational confinement – their immense gravity pushes the hydrogen together until it fuses, and hold it together despite the outward explose force of the energy created by fusion. Fusion bombs use inertial confinement created by the fission explosion. But there can also be magnetic confinement where strong magnetic fields force the charged particles together.

The limiting factor in all of these scenarios is that extreme force must be used to force fusion to happen. This is great for creating a bomb, but nof for a sustained controllable reaction where the energy can be harnessed. Engineers are working on creating hot-fusion for energy, but the engineering challenges are extreme and we cannot even predict at this point when such technology will be feasible.

Cold Fusion

Thus the allure of cold fusion. If we could somehow cajole hydrogen atoms, or some other light element, to fuse together without the extreme activation energy needed for known methods of confinement, we could theoretically have a low energy nuclear reaction – LENR or cold fusion. This would be easier to control and harness. Nuclear reactions results in vast amounts of relesed energy, so such a source could be abundant. The process would not generate any greenhouse gases or radioactive waste. Hydrogen as a fuel source could be harvested from water.

The only problem is that so far there is no evidence that anyone has been able to do it. There have been many claims, even beyond Pons and Fleischmann, but they all suffer from the same problem – lack of reproducibility.

Problems

Cold fusion claims tend to take the form of Pons and Fleischmann’s claim – a laboratory setup that seems to produce a bit of excess energy, often in the form of heat. The claim for nuclear fusion is mainly based upon an argument from ignorance – there is a bit of unexplained energy in the experiment, therefore that energy is coming from nuclear fusion. This is the same logic used to argue that an unidentified light in the sky is a flying saucer, or an unexplained blob of light on a photo is a ghost.

There are two problems with this line of evidence. The first is that it is easy to miss a subtle source of energy. Basing a claim on the inability to explain a tiny bit of energy is inherently weak – evern the tiniest error or oversight could explain the results, and tiny errors and oversights are common. Only through rigorous replication designed to eliminate as much as possible any such errors or oversights would a cold fusion claim be compelling, and so far no such claims have survived attempts at replication.

The second problem is the absence of positive evidence for fusion specifically as the source of the unexplained energy. If hydrogen is being fused into helium, then helium should be detected. This process also produces neutrons, tritium, and gamma rays. So far no experiment claiming excess heat from cold fusion has been able to document the simultaneous presence of helium, neutrons, tritium and gamma rays in sufficient quantities to what is predicted should occur if fusion is the cause of the excess heat. Some researchers have claimed finding these things in excess of background levels, but just barely, and still orders of magnitude less than predicted. So again, slight experimental error is a better explanation.

Conspiracy Theories

Of course any controversy such as this, especially with high stakes and government involvement, will attract the conspiracy theorists like a tub of rocky road at fat camp. “Big Oil” needs to protect their profits from the prospect of cheap abundant energy, therefore they and their government stooges are suppressing real evidence for cold fusion. This is the typical argument from final consequences logical fallacy of many conspiracy theorists – someone has a motivation to commit such a conspiracy, therefore they are.

Anyone who disagrees with the claims of cold fusion, regardless of the logical and scientific nature of their objections, is part of the conspiracy or a hopeless dupe. Only the “army of light” can see the conspiracy for what it is.

Conclusion

As far as I can tell, we are no where near achieving cold fusion, which may not even be possible. Justifications for cold fusion at present are purely speculative. I have no problem with companies or individuals dedicating their time and resources to researching cold fusion. I think it is prudent to invest a small amount in research into unlikely claims that are at least possible and would have a huge payoff.

However, large scale government investment does not seem warranted by current evidence and theory. This also brings up the relationship between basic scientific research and translational research. The purpose of the latter is to take basic research and find specific applications in the real world. I am all for fairly open-ended basic research. Let scientists pursue the questions that interest them. That is likely to produce the most bang for our research buck.

A problem arises, however, if translational research is embarked upon prematurely – translational research that is not justified by the basic science.  Translational research usually is framed as addressing a specific problem – curing a disease, or finding an alternate energy source. Justification for such research is often made according to need – this is a bad disease, or we really need clean energy. This is legitimate, but insufficient. Such research needs to also be based upon solid basic science.

If the basic science does not point the way to a plausible solution, then diverting funds from basic science to translational problem-solving research is likely to be counterproductive. It will not solve the problem and will slow the basic research that might eventually illuminate a possible solution.

With regard to cold fusion, it seems to me (as an outside lurker and not a nuclear physicist) that the basic science is not here, and no one knows if it ever will be. We are better off continuing basic science research to uncover and explore possible new physical processes that might be exploited in the future.

But again, hedging our bets with a small amount of cold fusion research is fine.

It is also true that sometime application research comes before basic science research – in that someone discovers an effect which cannot be explained, and this spawns basic science research to explain it. Therefore, if someone could demonstrate cold fusion then basic science researchers would have a new avenue of research to explore. However, in such cases it is necessary to document to a very high degree of scientific confidence that the new and unexplained phenomenon actually exists. So far this has not been done for cold fusion.

Nor has it been done for anomalous cognition or ESP, ghosts, alien spacecraft, spontaneous human combustion, or the typical long list of dubious claims skeptics often confront. This puts cold fusion squarely in the “alternative science” camp. Serious researchers claim that Pons and Fleischmann have “ghettoized” their field of research with their premature claims. This may be true – but the lack of replicable evidence has kept it there.

The answer is simple – show us the cold fusion.

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148 responses so far

148 Responses to “Cold Fusion After 20 Years”

  1. Karl Withakayon 24 Mar 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Nice post on cold fusion woo. Woo is woo, no matter where it comes from.

    I won’t nitpick your simplified portrayal of nuclear fusion too much, as it’s beyond the scope of the post or this site, but I would like to make a couple minor points.

    The easiest and most efficient fusion reactions to achieve, those involving deuterium & tritium, produce a large number of high energy neutrons (much higher energy than fission neutrons).

    Neutron activation of materials exposed to these high energy neutrons will be a significant problem with any form of neutronic fusion. While fusion does not produce the highly radioactive spent fuel fission products and actinides, it does produce radioactive waste in the form of neutron activated materials.

    Also, as a fuel source for fusion outside of a star, we aren’t talking about regular hydrogen (the reaction rate for H-H fusion is astronomically slow). For man made fusion reactions, we are usually talking about deuterium and tritium. Deuterium can be harvested from water (~154PPM), but tritium has to be synthesized by nuclear reaction.

  2. Watcheron 24 Mar 2009 at 4:52 pm

    So basically, we just need to build a gravity generator and ramp it up to the “Sun” setting with some hydrogen involved. :) But that explosion wouldn’t be “cold” anymore then … Oh well.

  3. Karl Withakayon 24 Mar 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Wathcer,

    That wouldn’t work very well. The first branch of the Proton-Proton chain (which is how stars the mass of the sun produce power) is a very slow reaction, which is why our sun hasn’t burned itself out yet like much more massive stars have.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proton-proton_chain_reaction

    The average power output density of the sun’s core is actually quite low (~300 W/m^3 range), it’s large total power output is due to fact that there’s quite a lot of core producing power.

    http://scienceblogs.com/builtonfacts/2009/01/star_light_star_bright.php

  4. straightgodlesson 24 Mar 2009 at 7:08 pm

    “Nor has it been done for anomalous cognition or ESP…”

    Considering that Dean Radin’s presentiment effect has been extremely well replicated, this seems like a false analogy (before the presentiment experiments I would have agreed). What do you make of the presentiment data Dr. Novella?

  5. HHCon 24 Mar 2009 at 10:16 pm

    The 39 billion dollar stimulus package has plans to invest in energy R&D, to begin an Energy Technology Revolution. Predicted earnings on investment in Clean Energy Technology are 40:1. In tandum, Pamela Mosier-Boss released laboratory information about cold fusion as part of research at the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Systems Work Center. Sputnik is to Apollo as Energy Technology Revolution is to Cold Fusion???

  6. taustinon 25 Mar 2009 at 1:30 am

    Money spent on cold fusion would be better spent on inertial electrostatic confinement fusion, which at the least has been proven to produce fusion. Some fuel combinations produce no radioactive byproducts, at least in theory.

  7. sonicon 25 Mar 2009 at 3:55 am

    News from March 25, 2009–
    Who knows? Maybe cold fusion (low energy nuclear reactions) might be a reality after all.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j2QobOQnlULUZ7oalSRUVjnlHjng

    “WASHINGTON (AFP) — Researchers at a US Navy laboratory have unveiled what they say is “significant” evidence of cold fusion, a potential energy source that has many skeptics in the scientific community.”

    Perhaps we are very fortunate that there have been people working on this for years–

    http://lenr-canr.org/index.html

    From Oxford University Press–

    http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Chemistry/NuclearChemistry/?view=usa&ci=9780841269668

    Marwan, J. and S. Krivit, eds. Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook. 2008, Oxford University Press.

    “This book is a summary of selected experimental and theoretical research performed over the last 19 years that gives profound and unambiguous evidence for low energy nuclear reaction (LENR), historically known as cold fusion.”

  8. CKavaon 25 Mar 2009 at 4:55 am

    @Sonic

    The first article seems no different than the kind of announcements Steve discussed in the beginning of the ‘problems’ section.

    The ‘sourcebook’ and the library similarly seem to be just presenting a positive spin on the same research Steve discussed. That doesn’t make the problems go away.

    It is good we have folks exploring this and they should continue but the fact that smart people believe LENR to be just around the corner or already proven doesn’t make it true.

  9. caoimhon 25 Mar 2009 at 7:23 am

    Brian Cox of CERN made a decent documentary for BBC a couple of months ago outlining the current situation with fusion. It’s a good watch if you’ve got an hour. He tours the facilities around the world …

    http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DBDD129C348D80AC

  10. mindmeon 25 Mar 2009 at 8:50 am

    Sonic,

    Maybe, but you’re citing a news article. The reporter may well not understand the research, the specific findings, the specific conclusions, and is cherry picking quotes to make this a “see cold fusion could have been right all along” type article.

    My understanding of cold fusion is you have to demonstrate neutrons. In a small table top apparatus you’re hypothetically generating neutrons not far above background levels. The devil is in trying to determine if your method for measuring neutrons adequately measures neutrons produced by your experiment and not neutrons produced by the sun or whatever.

  11. Steven Novellaon 25 Mar 2009 at 9:02 am

    regarding presentiment – that is another blog entry for another day, but quickly: I have looked at the research. It has not been adequately replicated. And Radin’s results are crap. The effects he is claiming are so small they are below the level of noise, but Radin is very creative in massaging the data to coax an apparent signal out of noise.

  12. JedRothwellon 25 Mar 2009 at 3:49 pm

    You wrote:

    “The claim for nuclear fusion is mainly based upon an argument from ignorance – there is a bit of unexplained energy in the experiment, therefore that energy is coming from nuclear fusion.”

    That is incorrect. First, there is a lot of unexplained energy, as much as 10,000 times more than any chemical reaction could produce, at power levels that are often easy to measure, and there are no chemical changes in the cells. Second there are nuclear products helium found in the same ratio to the heat as plasma fusion produces, and also tritium and neutrons in different ratios.

    “There are two problems with this line of evidence. The first is that it is easy to miss a subtle source of energy.”

    This is not a subtle source of energy. It is a massive source. Devices the size of a coin have produced ~100 W continuously at high temperatures, sometimes with zero input power and sometimes lasting for days or months. Also, tritium has been observed at levels as high as 10E8 above background.

    If I may say, you do not appear to know much about this research. I suggest you review the literature more carefully. You may think of yourself as a skeptic but frankly, your assertions are wildly inaccurate, and it is not “skeptical” to make bold and unsupported assertions about a subject.

    “Basing a claim on the inability to explain a tiny bit of energy is inherently weak – evern the tiniest error or oversight could explain the results, and tiny errors and oversights are common.”

    A tiny error cannot explain a large result. Also, these results have been observed by thousands of scientists worldwide and there is no possibility that so many researchers could be making experimental errors. If that were possible, the scientific method itself would not work.

    Cold fusion has also passed peer review many times, which is generally taken to indicate that a claim is true. I think it is better to look at the actual experimental evidence rather than to count on peer review but in any case, I have a collection of 1,200 cold fusion papers have been published in ~60 leading peer-reviewed journals, which I copied from the libraries at Los Alamos and the Georgia Tech. You can go to libraries and read them as well, or you can visit my website and read hundreds of them:

    http://lenr-canr.org/

    I also think it is a mistake to count positive and negative experiments because we now know why all of the initial experiments failed. But in any case there were only 20 major negative experiments in the United States and Canada in 1989 whereas there have been roughly 17,400 positive replications subsequently, according to an estimate by J. He (Front. Phys. China, 2007). So overall, based on conventional standards of peer-review, signal to noise ratios and so on, the evidence for cold fusion is overwhelming. I do not understand why you consider it “pseudoscience” and as I said, I am skeptical about your skepticism.

    Regarding conspiracy theories, I do not know any researchers who believe in them. You brought up the notion of conspiracy theories; they did not. They have encountered severe opposition and academic politics but that is not the same thing.

    - Jed Rothwell
    Librarian, LENR-CANR.org

  13. Watcheron 25 Mar 2009 at 5:01 pm

    That wouldn’t work very well.

    Well, there goes my chance at an honorary physics degree :(

    :D

  14. Watcheron 25 Mar 2009 at 5:03 pm

    @ caoimh:

    Thanks for the link! The BBC is always good for killing an hour.

  15. Steven Novellaon 25 Mar 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Jed – can you please link me to a published experiment that has all the necessary components to document cold fusion? If such exists, why hasn’t the mainstream scientific community acknowledged it.

    Also – I did not make up the conspiracy claims. Google “cold fusion” and “conspiracy” and enjoy.

  16. JedRothwellon 25 Mar 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Ah, my comment showed up. Let me amend this

    “I also think it is a mistake to count positive and negative experiments because we now know why all of the initial experiments failed.”

    I did not mean that all initial experiments failed! I mean that 20 of them failed in the first year. In that same time period, ~100 succeeded. we now know the reasons why the failed experiments did not work. Of course it was unclear at the time.

    I am only counting results that were reported in the literature.

    Actually, 3 of the 20 were false negatives — the experiments worked but the results were marginal and the researchers analyzed the results incorrectly. It is easier to verify some of the later results, because they produced much higher levels of heat and tritium.

  17. JedRothwellon 25 Mar 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Steven Novella wrote:

    “Jed – can you please link me to a published experiment that has all the necessary components to document cold fusion?”

    Do you mean a single document, or a series of publications? It is a complicated experiment and it cannot be explained in a single, short document. Storms (Los Alamos, ret.) wrote a fairly comprehensive book describing many experimental aspects of the research, but to fully grasp it you have to know a lot about electrochemistry and materials. See: Storms, E., The Science Of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction. 2007: World Scientific Publishing Company, 311 pages. Available at Amazon.com for $58.

    He wrote one of the best short how-to guides which tells a lot but certainly not everything: Storms, E., How to produce the Pons-Fleischmann effect. Fusion Technol., 1996. 29: p. 261.

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEhowtoprodu.pdf

    This paper is short, but the procedures described in it will take an expert 6 months to 1 year to perform. Oriani and many other experts told me this is the most difficult electrochemical experiment they ever did.

    EPRI and Lockheed Missiles published a comprehensive look at their work, but unfortunately it is not available for sale. I have a copy but they only granted permission to upload selected pages: McKubre, M.C.H., et al., Development of Advanced Concepts for Nuclear Processes in Deuterated Metals. 1994, EPRI. See also McKubre, M.C.H., et al., Isothermal Flow Calorimetric Investigations of the D/Pd and H/Pd Systems. J. Electroanal. Chem., 1994. 368: p. 55. (both uploaded . . . I better not put in too many links or your server will choke.)

    Cravens & Letts recently wrote a superb meta-review which covers many aspects of excess heat production, materials preparation, and calorimetry. (But not tritium or mass spectroscopy.) See: Cravens, D. and D. Letts. The Enabling Criteria Of Electrochemical Heat: Beyond Reasonable Doubt. in ICCF-14 International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. 2008. Washington, DC.

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/CravensDtheenablin.pdf

    In my opinion, the ENEA (Italian National Nuclear Laboratories) groups have done the best job of explaining the details about their work, especially materials, which are the key to cold fusion. Unfortunately several hundred pages of that are in Italian but recently they published some good stuff:

    Castagna, E., et al. Metallurgical characterization of Pd electrodes employed in calorimetric experiments under electrochemical deuterium loading. in ICCF-14 International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. 2008. Washington, DC.

    Sarto, F., et al. Electrode Surface Morphology Characterization by Atomic Force Microscopy. in ICCF-14 International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. 2008. Washington, DC.

    (Both uploaded – see recent papers.)

    “If such exists, why hasn’t the mainstream scientific community acknowledged it.”

    It has acknowledged it! That’s why I was able to copy all those hundreds of peer-reviewed papers from the library. (Actually Storms and Britz copied most of them from Los Alamos, Aarhus Univ., and I have copies of their copies. Plus I OCR’ed ~200 of them.) These are mainstream peer-reviewed journals. You wouldn’t find them at Los Alamos or Aarhus U. otherwise. Most of the researchers all mainstream, distinguished professors. They have to be, or they would not be funded for such controversial research. They include, for example, the chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission; a commissioner on the French Atomic Energy Commission, and the editors of three of the leading plasma fusion journals.

    Researchers worldwide have spent roughly 100 million bucks on this subject. That’s pocket change compared plasma fusion, but still a lot of money. Some of these experiments cost a ton and require teams of experts, so there has been a serious commitment. Not in the U.S., but in Italy, Japan and China. You should see the equipment at the ENEA, Mitsubishi, and the Jap. Nat. Synchrotron Lab. See photos here:

    http://lenr-canr.org/Experiments.htm

    “Also – I did not make up the conspiracy claims. Google ‘cold fusion’ and ‘conspiracy’ and enjoy.”

    Sure, I realize there are conspiracy theories, but I know hundreds of cold fusion researchers and I do not believe a single one of them believes in conspiracies. I sure don’t. For one thing a conspiracy is surreptitious and organized. The people who attack cold fusion such as Robert Park and Nate Hoffman are bold as brass — not a bit surreptitious! — and they could not organize their way out of a paper bag. I know most of them personally, and I know they are not capable people.

  18. Watcheron 25 Mar 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Ah, my comment showed up.

    Sure it would, why wouldn’t it? What is science but a discussion between people. More importantly, science is about keeping an open mind while being skeptical. I don’t think Steve would censor any post that is well put together and doesn’t look like the product of a 10 year old child who just got his toy taken away.

  19. Steven Novellaon 25 Mar 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Jed – what you are providing is evidence that cold fusion is being researched. I acknowledge that. Publication of papers just means research is being done.

    You still have provided what I asked for – published research (it can be one or a series of papers) that shows the ability to produce excess energy where other sources are adequately ruled out and the expected byproducts of fusion are documented.

    Here is a review by the department of energy that says “evidence of cold fusion is inconclusive.” http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3436 I don’t think much has changed.

    I have nothing against cold fusion. When the experts say the evidence is there, I have no reason to doubt it. But right now, the expert consensus is that the evidence, while tantalizing, is not sufficient to conclude cold fusion is happening. Where not there.

  20. JedRothwellon 25 Mar 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Watcheron wrote:

    “Ah, my comment showed up.

    Sure it would, why wouldn’t it?”

    The server rejected it for some reason. Steven e-mailed me saying he fixed the problem. I think there were too many hyperlinks in the message.

    It seems to be hung up again. It swallowed a detailed response I wrote. Fortunately I saved a copy and I shall try posting it again tomorrow.

  21. JedRothwellon 25 Mar 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Ah ha. Could it be back to working? I think I screwed it up by requesting a new password several times by accident . . . Let me try to post it again, with hyperlinks removed. You can find the papers easily enough. Use the Google search on the main screen at LENR-CANR.org

    Steven Novellaon wrote:

    “You still have provided what I asked for – published research (it can be one or a series of papers) that shows the ability to produce excess energy where other sources are adequately ruled out and the expected byproducts of fusion are documented.”

    That’s what the research shows! That is the whole point of most of the experimental papers: to rule out other sources of energy and find the byproducts of fusion. There are hundreds of papers about those very subjects, including some of the ones I listed above. The Storms book addresses these issues in detail.

    Other sources of energy are ruled out by a wide variety of means, such as: using different calorimeter types; turning off input electrolysis (or the ion beam) and observing only output; using gas loading or some other method that does involve input power; using IR cameras to observe the source of the heat, and so on, and so forth. Sources outside the calorimeter are ruled out by the Second Law.

    The byproducts of fusion are helium in the same ratio to the heat as plasma fusion produces; tritium in varying ratios; transmutations of the metal; and neutrons in numbers roughly 11 orders of magnitude less than plasma fusion produces. Clearly this is a nuclear reaction of some sort, because the cells produce hundreds of megajoules of heat without a milligram of chemical fuel and no chemical changes. Just as clearly it does not work the same way as plasma fusion. Researchers at Amoco summed it up nicely:

    “The calorimetry conclusively shows excess energy was produced within the electrolytic cell over the period of the experiment. This amount, 50 kilojoules, is such that any chemical reaction would have had to been in near molar amounts to have produced the energy. Chemical analysis shows clearly that no such chemical reactions occurred. The tritium results show that some form of nuclear reactions occurred during the experiment. The tritium produced was not nearly enough to account for the excess energy. . . . The main point of the tritium in this experiment is then that there are some nuclear processes involved.”

    There are lots of other papers about materials, control factors, and other subjects, but the two subjects you mentioned dominate the literature.

    “Here is a review by the department of energy that says “evidence of cold fusion is inconclusive.” http://www.energybulletin.net/node/3436 I don’t think much has changed.”

    I disagree with that review. Melich and I wrote a 43 paper describing the reasons why. It is tedious to read, but you can see the gist of it here, and you can also read the DoE reviewers’ comments. You will find that about half of them also disagree with the DoE’s conclusions: lenr-canr.org/Collections/DoeReview.htm

    “I have nothing against cold fusion. When the experts say the evidence is there, I have no reason to doubt it.”

    I know thousands of experts who say the evidence is there. I can cite hundreds of peer-reviewed papers making this case. On the other hand there are only about a dozen peer-reviewed papers that challenge this data or show errors in it. In my opinion they have no merit. Read them yourself: most of them are uploaded at LENR-CANR.org. See Jones, and Morrison. Of course there are also many papers that say: “we tried the experiment and it did not work” but that does not prove anything. As I said, we now know why they failed.

    “But right now, the expert consensus is that the evidence, while tantalizing, is not sufficient to conclude cold fusion is happening.”

    Which experts? What consensus?

    Let us define “expert.” I would say it is someone with experience in electrochemistry and or material science and calorimetry, who has either performed this experiment or something similar, and has done a careful evaluation of the literature. An expert has read 50 or so papers and knows important details about the leading experiments. People such as Robert Park, who have not read the literature, are not experts. (Park told McKubre and me that he has not read any papers about cold fusion. There are no footnotes in his books referencing a paper, and his assertions about cold fusion are incorrect, so evidently this is true.)

    I have met hundreds of people who are qualified experts by this standard, and corresponded with many others, mainly when they ask me for copies of papers. I am confident that most of them agree with the late Prof. Heinz Gerischer, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Physical Chemistry in Berlin and the leading expert in physical electrochemistry. In 1991 he wrote:

    “In spite of my earlier conclusion, – and that of the majority of scientists, – that the phenomena reported by Fleischmann and Pons in 1989 depended either on measurement errors or were of chemical origin, there is now undoubtedly overwhelming indications
    that nuclear processes take place in the metal alloys.”

    That is an expert opinion. It is unequivocal. To quote Clarke’s first law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. As I said, I probably know a large fraction of world’s distinguished elderly scientists in electrochemistry and related fields, and to my knowledge only one of them disagrees with Gerischer. I guarantee you that every electrochemist on earth knows the leading cold fusion researchers such as Bockris, Oriani, Miles, and above all Fleischmann. The reason they took Fleischmann seriously in the first place is because he wrote the book on the subject (literally), he was president of the Electrochem Soc., Fellow of the Royal Society, holder of the Palladium Medal etc, etc. You don’t get any more distinguished or elderly than these people, since most of them are now dead.

    Look carefully at the opinions expressed by people who say that cold fusion does not exist. They cite no papers. They describe no experimental error but only objections based on theory. When they do attempt to describe experiments, they get the details completely wrong. In short, they know nothing about the research. Frankly, they have no business expressing an opinion. I have read every important book and paper in this field. With all due respect, until you have read a fair number of them, or until you can to point to some specific experts who have published peer-reviewed critiques or books that address the experiments, I think you have no basis to disagree with people like Gerisher, or Fleischmann, Bockris, Srinivasan or Schwinger, or any of the other major authors.

  22. mindmeon 26 Mar 2009 at 9:03 am

    ||I know thousands of experts who say the evidence is there. I can cite hundreds of peer-reviewed papers making this case. ||

    I’ll await one of them getting investors and starting a cold fusion energy plant.

  23. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 9:14 am

    I don’t want to beat this to death, but the first point you raised is critical to the whole subject. You are quite right that the key is to “rule out other sources of energy.” As I said, this is done by calorimetry. Look up “calorimetry” in the Google search box and you will find 270 full text papers on the subject.

    A dizzying array of calorimeter types has been used to confirm cold fusion, ranging from one designed by Lavoisier in 1783 to ultra-precise Seebeck and microcalorimeters.

    Here is one of the top papers on this subject, that I mentioned previously, with the URL this time:

    McKubre, M.C.H., et al., Isothermal Flow Calorimetric Investigations of the D/Pd and H/Pd Systems. J. Electroanal. Chem., 1994. 368: p. 55.

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHisothermala.pdf

    Control factor correlation with heat is another critical method of establishing that the effect is real and not random noise or something outside the cathode. That is another complex subject which calls for a lot of reading. The control factors for tritium are harder still. I recommend Claytor (Los Alamos).

  24. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 9:36 am

    mindmeon wrote:

    “‘I know thousands of experts who say the evidence is there. I can cite hundreds of peer-reviewed papers making this case.

    I’ll await one of them getting investors and starting a cold fusion energy plant.”

    By that standard, you would not believe that Tokamak plasma fusion or high temperature superconducting are real. You would not believe in cloning, or any esoteric scientific discovery such as the Top Quark, which have no practical or commercial applications.

    The electromagnetic effect was observed in 1681, and formally discovered by Oersted in 1805. The solenoid was discovered in 1820. But electromagnetism was not put to any practical use until the development of the telegraph in 1835, and electric motors were not developed until the 1870s. If you had lived in the 19th century, you might have been one of those people who refused to believe the electromagnetic effect was real until it was used in a profit making venture. I think you should apply more objective, conventional scientific criteria such as replication and signal-to-noise ratios.

    Generally speaking, mainstream peer-reviewed papers are the gold standard of truth in science. Most people — especially skeptics — apply this standard to other subjects, but for some reason they often ignore it in the case of cold fusion, and they demand a commercial product instead.

    As I mentioned, roughly $100 million has been spent on this research. Enormous progress has been made. However, experts at the NRL who developed the Aegis radar system and other surface effect devices (similar to cold fusion devices) estimate it will cost roughly $400 million more to make a practical cold fusion device. There is enormous opposition to this research, mainly from people who know nothing about it, and at present there is no possibility that $400 million will be funded for this R&D. Until the academic politics can be pushed aside, it is unreasonable for you to demand commercial development.

  25. mindmeon 26 Mar 2009 at 10:03 am

    Jed

    It has nothing to do with belief or disbelief. I’m simply stating there’s a rather excellent way of deciding the issue: someone brings online a cold fusion power plant that does just what it’s supposed to do.

    There’s lots of peer reviewed science on either side of many, many issues. As skeptics it’s not our role to decide between a legit debate in science. However, when a good and powerful consensus emerges (HIV causes AIDS, vaccines are safe, etc.), it’s the role of the skeptic to point out that consensus.

    There appears to be none in cold fusion.

    As Dr. N. has noted, when two groups of scientists look at the same data and come away with very different conclusions, what scientists do is figure out a way to come up with the gold standard experiment with results that a clear to both sides. And then they live with those results.

    So, let me suggest, a great way to decide is just build a cold fusion power plant.

    And $400 million is chump change in the world of venture capitalists. And who cares about the academic debate. When do investors wait for the egg heads to decide? Why wait?

    ||You would not believe in cloning||

    Here’s a great example. South Korea is trying to turn dog cloning into a money making operation. Cloning is pretty controversial still in the academic debate.

  26. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 11:36 am

    mindmeon wrote:

    “It has nothing to do with belief or disbelief. I’m simply stating there’s a rather excellent way of deciding the issue: someone brings online a cold fusion power plant that does just what it’s supposed to do.”

    As I said, that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, assuming it can be done at all. That is not a sure thing. The reaction cannot be controlled or scaled up at present. The research is expensive because it is difficult. If you saw how difficult, you would be amazed at how much progress has been made for only $100 million.

    “There appears to be none in cold fusion.”

    That is incorrect. As I said there is a consensus among people who have read the literature and have relevant expertise.

    “As Dr. N. has noted, when two groups of scientists look at the same data and come away with very different conclusions . . .”

    Only one group of scientists has looked at the data, and they are all convinced the effect is real. As far as I know, the people who claim the effect is not real have not written any peer-reviewed papers or books addressing the data. They know nothing about the experiments. All of their assertions about the experiments are dead wrong, or ludicrous. For example, Taubes claims that laboratory-grade power supplies produce more electricity on weekends and cold fusion researchers do not measure input power so they do not notice this.

    I am not the one who claims these people have read nothing. That’s what they themselves say. Park, the editors of the Scientific American and several other prominent critics brag about this! The editor told me “reading papers is not my job,” and Park told me he had not bothered to read anything “because anyone can see it is garbage” and reading papers would be a waste of time. He wrote in the Washington Post and elsewhere that cold fusion has never been replicated, no papers have been published, and all researchers are “lunatics, criminals and frauds.” The public relations person at the APS and a Cornell history professor also wrote this in the Washington Post. I spoke with both of them, and they have no scientific training or knowledge of the research. (Park told me that he does not need to read any papers because “everyone knows it is garbage,” and you can read Sci. Am. letters to me at LENR-CANR.org.)

    If you can point to any papers or books published by skeptics that address the technical issues — even incorrectly — I will upload a copy to LENR-CANR.org if I can get permission. I believe I have read every skeptical publication.

    “. . . what scientists do is figure out a way to come up with the gold standard experiment with results that a clear to both sides. And then they live with those results.”

    A gold standard experiment is one that is widely replicated at high signal-to-noise ratios and published in the peer-reviewed literature. This test has been met. That is the only standard: no scientific claim in history has been held to any other standard.

    Science is not a popularity contest. A “consensus” that includes people who have read nothing and know nothing is preposterous. You cannot do science by ESP. You cannot critique or draw conclusions about an experiment you know nothing about. Most of the people criticizing cold fusion literally have no idea what instruments are used! I mean it: they do not know that cold fusion experiments are done with calorimeters, x-ray film (autoradiographs), mass spectroscopy, tritium detectors, gamma detectors, ion beams, STM and so on and so forth. The history prof. had never heard of some of these instruments. And yet there she was, attacking Fleischmann, Pons and 2,000 other distinguished experts in the pages of the Post. That’s academic politics for you.

    “So, let me suggest, a great way to decide is just build a cold fusion power plant.”

    That would be great but it is impossible.

    “And $400 million is chump change in the world of venture capitalists. And who cares about the academic debate. When do investors wait for the egg heads to decide? Why wait?”

    Venture capitalists and corporations have supplied ~$100 million as I mentioned. They are funding the research in Italy, China and Japan, but not in the US. I have met with several US venture capitalists. They do not know much about science and they have not read the literature. I do not think they are capable of understanding it. It is challenging, after all! They tend to assume that the DOE, the Scientific American and the Washington Post have correctly analyzed the situation.

    The capitalists I have met in Japan know more about technology and science than their American counterparts, and they are better able to analyze the research for themselves. This is why a public opinion poll of scientists and engineers in Japan revealed that most of them believe cold fusion is real, although they doubt it can be made practical. (Note that I speak Japanese, so I have access to information there.)

    “Here’s a great example. South Korea is trying to turn dog cloning into a money making operation. Cloning is pretty controversial still in the academic debate.”

    The existence of cloning is not controversial. No one disputes that cloned animals have identical DNA to the single parent.

  27. Watcheron 26 Mar 2009 at 11:55 am

    The server rejected it for some reason. Steven e-mailed me saying he fixed the problem. I think there were too many hyperlinks in the message.

    Ahh sorry. I assumed wrong :D

  28. daedalus2uon 26 Mar 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I looked at the report on Arata’s paper (RothwellJreportonar.pdf) and claims of anomalous heat are not supported.

    The “anomalous heat” (actually an anomalous temperature difference) was not anomalous at all. D2 gas was being added to the vessel while the “anomalous” temperature difference was reported. Throttling a high pressure gas through a valve into a closed vessel causes the temperature in the vessel to increase. This is well known from thermodynamics. Pressure in the vessel is only shown for the first 300 minutes of the test run, where it increases from 0 to 10 atm. Presumably the pressure continues to increase as gas is added to reach the 100 atm of the D2 gas source.

    Normal hydrogen throttled from 100 bar to 10 bar at 300 K releases 42 kJ/kg. D2 would be similar.

    Many of the experiments use electrolysis, where the energy balance is not well done and the “excess heat” only occurs for a short period of time. The energy that goes into electrolyzing the water is not accounted for. Palladium and titanium can form complex, non-stoichiometric and unstable hydrides. These can accumulate (absorbing energy) and then decompose releasing heat. This is essentially what batteries do.

    The Amoco experiment is quite a bit better done and pretty well reported. There are a few omissions that could completely explain their anomalous heat production. They mention temperature fluctuations in their water bath setup but don’t characterize them. A slight difference could integrate over time and explain their measurements. The system is not sealed, but is open to prevent gas buildup. Hydrogen isn’t lost due to the recombination catalyst, but there could be transfer of atmospheric gases back and forth due to fluctuations in ambient atmospheric pressure. When the solution is electrolyzed, hydrogen is trapped in the Pd and O2 is liberated into the cell. That O2 will be purged out of the cell and when the H2 is later released from the Pd, then O2 from the atmosphere is necessary for the H2 to recombine with.

    I think the main source of the excess heat is water vapor from the atmosphere condensing in the LiOD electrolyte. The heat of vaporization of H2O is 2.44 kJ/g. supplying 50 kJ would only take ~20 grams of condensation, which would raise the level in the 5 cm dia x 5 cm tall chamber (~100 mL) by ~1 cm. If you look at the traces, some of them do have fluctuations at the end of the day and at the beginning of the day, when (perhaps) there might be people entering or leaving the laboratory and more pressure fluctuations. There do seem to be inflection points in the curves when currents are changed, perhaps indicating some drift.

    22 grams of Li (the amount they report using to make up their electrolyte but which they didn’t measure accurately) is 3.17 moles. They measured 2.87 M/L following their experiments. 20 grams of condensation would dilute 100 mL of a 3.17 molar solution to 2.64 M/L. CO2 is another gas that is absorbed by LiOH forming Li2CO3 and also liberating considerable heat. 50 kJ is released when about 20 grams of CO2 is absorbed into a LiOH solution going to Li2CO3 (2.48 J/g). O.3 moles of LiOH will absorb 0.15 moles of CO2 (6.6 g) to go to Li2CO3 (liberating 16 kJ). Forming LiHCO3 also releases heat, 1.54 kJ/g CO2. 0.3 moles of LiOH will absorb 0.3 moles CO2 (13.2 g) liberating 20 kJ of heat.

    A combination of H2O and CO2 absorption could completely explain their anomalous heat measurement even assuming all of their measurements were precisely correct with no drift or bias (over 2 months of operation).

    Amoco had gigantic amounts of money to fund R&D into this and they didn’t. This research was done nearly 20 years ago. They must have decided it wasn’t worth funding.

    The major problem with all of these “cold fusion” ideas is that they measure what they perceive to be an anomalous temperature or heat source, and then assume the heat comes from fusion. When two nuclei fuse, they generate a gigantic amount of energy (tens of MeV) in a very small space, in the resulting slightly larger nucleus. That nucleus is very small, and so the only way to transfer a gigantic amount of energy from it is by using short wavelength photons, otherwise known as gamma rays, via high energy neutrons or via high energy charged particles, or via high kinetic recoil energy of nuclei. .

    The wavelength of the photon has to be comparable to the size (or smaller) of the object that is emitting it. Conservation of charge, mass, momentum and spin dictate the numbers and directions that the photons can come out in. To get tens of watts of energy from fusion with no detectable ionizing radiation or neutrons is simply not credible. The energy of fusion is released in discrete and quantized amounts when two nuclei fuse. It can’t happen slower or in smaller amounts than two nuclei fusing. Degrading the energy released via fusion (tens of MeV) to heat (tens of meV) requires increasing the wavelength of photons by ~9 orders of magnitude without generating ion pairs.

    Ionizing radiation is very easy to detect with extremely high sensitivity and reliability. It is many orders of magnitude easier to detect than the anomalous heat said to be generated. A technique that Dr Novella is likely familiar with, PET scanning looks at brain physiology by detecting the pair of photons emitted by electron-positron reactions. These are ~510 keV. An image is built up by looking at coincidence between detection of the two photons. An image can be built up from a few tens of thousands of event detections. If we consider how much energy is being produced it is quite small. A pair of these photons is 1MeV. A million of those photon pairs is 10^6 MeV. This is 0.16 micro Joules.

    At the time of the initial cold fusion fad, there was a joke going around asking the question: how do you tell a chemist from a physicist?

    A physicist is someone who thinks fusion is not happening but shields his apparatus with tons of lead bricks. A chemist is someone who thinks that fusion is happening but shields his apparatus with a plastic bucket.

  29. Watcheron 26 Mar 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I actually have a question Jed. I realize what the benefits of fusion are: Lots of energy for very little input. Cold fusion further builds on this saying that it can be done not at millions of degrees C, but room temperature (or at least lower than what it takes for fusion to occur naturally).

    After watching the above BBC fusion youtube vid, they all say that the laser produced fusion reactors could be online by 2030, and they expect to see positive results in a few years. The tokamaks are about a decade off, but the new korean one expects to be energy neutral. So how far off would you say cold fusion research is from getting a working model? Wouldn’t a LENR model need less of a machine (compared to tokamaks, etc.) since it will be working at lower temps?

  30. tmac57on 26 Mar 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Jed, it sounds by your description that there is a ton of positive research and a great majority of researchers in favor of this, and then you state that “There is enormous opposition to this research”. But then you also state “I know hundreds of cold fusion researchers and I do not believe a single one of them believes in conspiracies. I sure don’t. For one thing a conspiracy is surreptitious and organized. The people who attack cold fusion such as Robert Park and Nate Hoffman are bold as brass — not a bit surreptitious! — and they could not organize their way out of a paper bag. I know most of them personally, and I know they are not capable people.”
    So if most of the research is positive and valid, and if most of the people that are most knowledgeable about cold fusion believe it is real, and the opposition is inept and disorganized , but there is no conspiracy against it, then what of any significance is in the way of this going ahead with great speed considering the need for a clean alternative energy source?
    The parts of your argument do not hold together very well in my opinion.

  31. mindmeon 26 Mar 2009 at 1:09 pm

    ||That is incorrect. As I said there is a consensus among people who have read the literature and have relevant expertise.||

    Of course there’s always a consensus of some people, otherwise there would not be two sides to a scientific debate. When I speak about consensus think of the consensus we have on evolution, HIV causes AIDS, big bang, QM, stellar fusion, etc. The consensus does not exist merely within a small group of those with what you label “relevant expertise” but it’s broadly supported by scientists at large.

    ||Only one group of scientists has looked at the data, and they are all convinced the effect is real. As far as I know, the people who claim the effect is not real have not written any peer-reviewed papers or books addressing the data. They know nothing about the experiments.||

    That government review noted by Dr. N. appears to be scientists looking at the best evidence offered by the cold fusionists and coming away not convinced. Sure seems to me people have looked at the data and come away still skeptical.

    To quote:

    ||In the review, nine scientists chosen by the Energy Department considered a paper submitted by the cold fusion scientists. Another nine listened to oral presentations by cold fusion scientists in August.

    “This was a very, very scientific, very level-headed, review by everybody,” said Dr. Kirby W. Kemper, vice president for research at Florida State University and one of the reviewers of the oral presentations. But Dr. Kemper said, “I don’t think we’ve made much progress since ’89 in really nailing down the parameters that make it reproducible.”||

    What’s your goal post now for “looked at the data”?

    ||The capitalists I have met in Japan know more about technology and science than their American counterparts, and they are better able to analyze the research for themselves. This is why a public opinion poll of scientists and engineers in Japan revealed that most of them believe cold fusion is real, although they doubt it can be made practical. (Note that I speak Japanese, so I have access to information there.)||

    That’s great then. But odd in 20 years Japanese industry can’t make much of a product out of it. In the modern age, it strikes me as actually more than a little odd that something as useful as cold fusion, with some major Japanese firms investing money, haven’t been able to produce anything. The South Koreans are trying to turn cloning into a commercial product. You want to paint cold fusion’s lack of progress and acceptance as a result of academic squabbling and people protecting turfs but that matters very very little to the likes of Honda, Toshiba, Samsung who have huge factories that run on very expensive energy they have to import from unfriendly nations.

    Bottom line, major Japanese firms with large expensive energy needs have looked into cold fusion without having to worry about the taint of academia and have failed to produce anything usable in the real word. Would that be an accurate summation?

    ||The existence of cloning is not controversial. No one disputes that cloned animals have identical DNA to the single parent.||

    Your point was I wouldn’t believe in something until there was a product. There is a product. Your example was poor. My point was here is an area still controversial in at least the ethical realm and some people are still charging ahead to develop a product.

    Look at the biotech companies that are falling over themselves trying to figure out a way to make a product out of stem cells. Have stem cells been used to cure a single thing? And yet there is loads of VC funds.

    My point is, investors don’t wait for university research labs to put their gold seal on things that can potentially be very, very lucrative. Cheap, clean energy is the holy grail. You’re just trying to spin a special pleading argument why cold fusion needs to be treated special, special in academic research and special in the minds of skeptics.

    Again, bottom line, 20 years, interest by some major Japanese power house firms, and nothing powering so much as an iPod.

    Why, exactly?

  32. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Watcheron wrote:

    “I actually have a question Jed.”

    I actually got answers! Maybe not right, but I got ‘em.

    “I realize what the benefits of fusion are: Lots of energy for very little input. Cold fusion further builds on this saying that it can be done not at millions of degrees C, but room temperature (or at least lower than what it takes for fusion to occur naturally).”

    The other advantage of fusion (plasma or cold fusion) are that the fuel is virtually free. Cold fusion has important additional advantages: the devices themselves are very cheap; they are compact; they produce no penetrating radiation and they appear to be very safe, although this has not been established with certainty.

    “After watching the above BBC fusion youtube vid, they all say that the laser produced fusion reactors could be online by 2030 . . .”

    I presume this means inertial confinement fusion, in which lasers whack into a sample of deuterium and tritium.

    “. . . and they expect to see positive results in a few years. The tokamaks are about a decade off, . . .”

    Tokamaks have been a decade away for the last 60 years. The latest one, ITER, has been stalled for some time. It is slated to cost $5 billion last I checked.

    “. . . but the new korean one expects to be energy neutral.”

    Not familiar with that.

    “So how far off would you say cold fusion research is from getting a working model?”

    The limiting factor is money, not time. I think most experts agree it would take five or 10 years to develop commercial products, but you have to have hundreds of millions of bucks as I said.

    “Wouldn’t a LENR model need less of a machine (compared to tokamaks, etc.) since it will be working at lower temps?”

    It needs far less of a machine. A tokamak is the size of a factory and cost billions of dollars. It cannot be made any smaller, for technical reasons. It produces 10 MW for a fraction of a second.

    A cold fusion reactor is the size of your finger. The best one produced ~100 W for three months, which adds up to far more energy than the tokamak, albeit at much lower power.

    Based on the cost of materials, manufacturing tolerances and purity required, a cold fusion device should cost roughly as much as a NiCad battery, which it resembles. A larger one should cost roughly as much as an automobile engine. Except of course it will not need any pollution controls or fuel. If thermoelectric devices can be made cheaper they would make excellent cold fusion electric power generators. Thermoelectric devices are used in deep space spacecraft and they last for decades. They have no moving parts.

    Cold fusion experiments cost gobs of money because they require expensive instruments such as mass spectrometers. Also because to make a single cathode you have to pay Dr. Sarto to do months of painstaking labor at the workbench preparing and testing cathodes, as she described in her papers. An automatic testing machine could accomplish this work in a few days. But it would be a custom designed, highly expensive machine. And not long after you make it you will discover that another, different machine is needed.

    That’s why you need millions of dollars. After she finishes characterizing the material, we will then know how to make an effective cold fusion cathode. You can then design an even more expensive machine that will fabricate a cathode automatically with the right characteristics, in a few hours. This compresses 3 to 6 months of work into a single day. You can then hand out sample cathodes to other laboratories for testing and analysis. You iterate through these processes a few times until eventually you come up with a machine that can be converted into a production line machine, which can crank out hundreds of thousands of cathodes per day, which can be ganged together to make machines of any size you like.

    Sarto and her colleagues think they know what needs to be done. They and others have laid out a methodical step-by-step approach to improving materials to achieve the kind of performance a commercial device would require. Unfortunately, at the rate Sarto is working now, she told me she does not expect to finish this job in the remainder of her professional life. So cold fusion will take another 20 to 50 years, but anyone familiar with research and development can easily see how it could be sped up by a factor of 100 or more. Actually she will probably not finish and the research will likely be forgotten when she and the others retire.

  33. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 1:53 pm

    tmac57 wrote:

    “So if most of the research is positive and valid, and if most of the people that are most knowledgeable about cold fusion believe it is real, and the opposition is inept and disorganized . . .”

    I would say the opposition is scientifically inept. You can read the papers they have published and judge that for yourself. They know great deal about politics and public relations.

    “. . . but there is no conspiracy against it, then what of any significance is in the way of this going ahead with great speed considering the need for a clean alternative energy source?”

    Unfortunately, the people who oppose cold fusion are extremely influential. There are not many of them. Most of them are well known to me. They include, for example, high officials at the Department of Energy, the American Physical Society, the editors of Nature and Scientific American, the science reporter at Time Magazine, congressman Brad Miller, two ex-Vice Presidents of the U.S., and Huizenga, the guy who was put in charge of the 1989 cold fusion evaluation at the DoE. He wrote in his book that he never believed a word of cold fusion and he considered it his job to strangle it as quickly as possible – which he did.

    Another problem is that most of these people are young, vigorous and still in office (or still influential) whereas most cold fusion researchers are retired or dead.

    There are also a large number of innocent people who have mistaken notions about cold fusion and who repeat this misinformation without reading the literature. Our host Steven Novella is among them. As he says, he nothing against cold fusion. I am sure that is true. But he has not done his homework! You must NEVER judge an experiment you have not studied carefully.

    “The parts of your argument do not hold together very well in my opinion.”

    I suggest you read the articles in the Washington Post, Time Magazine and Scientific American attacking cold fusion and judge for yourself. Read Huizenga’s book. You can read the Sci. Am. comments and letters from their editor to me here:

    http://lenr-canr.org/News.htm#SciAmSlam

    Comments by Huizenga and other prominent opponents are here:

    http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/cf/293wikipedia.html

  34. daedalus2uon 26 Mar 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Could you link to the paper discussing the result of 100 watts for 3 months.

  35. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 2:41 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “Could you link to the paper discussing the result of 100 watts for 3 months.”

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RouletteTresultsofi.pdf

    That’s the biggest reaction I know of but actually more recent results are more impressive for input output ratios, uniformity, triggering and control, which are more germane to a practical device. They don’t run them for months but they could. They turn off after a week to run the cathode through analysis, ending in destructive analysis. As an NRL researcher put it, “what we do to those cathodes would make the angels weep.”

  36. mindmeon 26 Mar 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Hmmmm just today

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090325/sc_nm/us_venice_algae_2

    ||Venice’s seaport plans to become self-sufficient in its energy needs by building a power plant fueled by algae, in what would be the first facility of its kind in Italy, the port authority said.

    The plant will be operative in two years and produce 40 megawatts of electricity, Venice’s port authority said, adding that an emissions-free energy source would help preserve the historic lagoon city’s delicate ecological balance.

    The plant — only the third of its kind being planned in Europe — will be built in collaboration with renewable energy services company Enalg at a cost of 200 million euros ($272.6 million), a port authority spokeswoman said.||

    Jed, there’s your 200 million right there. Didn’t you claim Italy was at the forefront of cold fusion research? I just find it odd that a nation at the forefront of cold fusion research is venturing 200 million in an algae fueled power plant and not taking what you view as solid research results and scaling up.

  37. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 3:06 pm

    mindmeon wrote:

    “Of course there’s always a consensus of some people, otherwise there would not be two sides to a scientific debate.”

    As far as I know there is only one side to this debate. The other side has not published any books or papers that spell out any technical doubts. They have not presented a case, except for a few pathetic papers such as this one:

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmanreplytothe.pdf

    People have visited LENR-CANR.org 1.7 million times and they have downloaded 1.2 million papers. They have contacted me from national laboratories, universities and government ministries in many different countries. So I have a fairly large sample of public opinion, albeit a self-selected sample. I expect these are all scientists and engineers, because the papers are excruciatingly boring and no one else would read them.

    Anyway, out of this group of visitors, I only recall 3 people who expressed doubts.

  38. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 3:08 pm

    mindmeon also wrote:

    “When I speak about consensus think of the consensus we have on evolution, HIV causes AIDS, big bang, QM, stellar fusion, etc. The consensus does not exist merely within a small group of those with what you label ‘relevant expertise’ but it’s broadly supported by scientists at large.”

    Well I suppose that if scientists at large would shut up and read the cold fusion literature they would support it.

    “That government review noted by Dr. N. appears to be scientists looking at the best evidence offered by the cold fusionists and coming away not convinced. Sure seems to me people have looked at the data and come away still skeptical.”

    I am quite familiar with Dr. N. and the others on the review panel. As I mentioned, Melich and I wrote a 43-page analysis of their statements, which we have not published yet. I agree wholeheartedly with reviewers #4, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 13; I disagree with 9 others, and I sympathize with the 2 could not make up their minds or make head or tail of the results. One day is not enough. A one-day look at cold fusion is more like a parlor game than a serious evaluation.

    Anyway, see for yourself. Always read original sources! You can read the panel’s statements and various analyses and comments here:

    http://lenr-canr.org/Collections/DoeReview.htm

    Details are beyond the scope of the discussion.

    “The South Koreans are trying to turn cloning into a commercial product. You want to paint cold fusion’s lack of progress and acceptance as a result of academic squabbling and people protecting turfs but that matters very very little to the likes of Honda, Toshiba, Samsung . . .”

    I am not familiar with Korean society but academic squabbling makes a great deal of difference in Japan. At this stage cold fusion is still an academic subject. It is fundamental physics research. Japanese businessmen tend to know more about science and technology that Americans, but they also have inordinate respect for academia and especially people such as Nobel laureates. Unfortunately, several leading Japanese scientists back in 1989 declared cold fusion is impossible. Once they make that sort of declaration they find it difficult to back down and admit they were wrong, and they are not inclined to re-examine the data. Japanese experts also have inordinate respect for the US DOE in my opinion and in the opinion of many Japanese researchers.

    Most respondents to the Japanese poll I mentioned say that cold fusion probably exists but it is a mere laboratory curiosity that can never be developed into a practical source of energy.

  39. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 3:36 pm

    mindmeon wrote:

    “Jed, there’s your 200 million right there. Didn’t you claim Italy was at the forefront of cold fusion research? I just find it odd that a nation at the forefront of cold fusion research is venturing 200 million in an algae fueled power plant and not taking what you view as solid research results and scaling up.”

    Being on the forefront of this research means you allow ~30 middle-aged, tenured researchers to do this research with minimal funding. It is probably costing a million bucks or so. This does not mean there is a concerted national effort, or widespread support. The Italian establishment does not interfere with these people because there are a few Italian Nobel laureates and politically powerful academics who sympathize.

    Traditionally, tenured professors were supposed to have academic freedom to study whatever subject they chose. This is still the case in many fields but cold fusion is off the table in most countries.

    In the US, if a tenured professor put in an application to do a cold fusion experiment, his career would be over the next day. Tenured or not, he would find himself hauled into a Congressional Investigation for fraud by Rep. Brad Miller who would demand copies of his back taxes and personal correspondence for the last 5 years. (See our News section.) He would find his name plastered in the Washington Post with accusations that he is a criminal lunatic fraud blah blah blah. I know lots of people who were run through that ringer. Believe me, being denounced by the Post puts the kibosh on funding. This treatment has destroyed many careers & marriages.

    There is no secret conspiracy directed on high, but these people do play for keeps. I was in the audience at the APS when Robert Park told a cheering crowd of hundreds of people that he and Zimmerman (a Clinton science appointee) would “hunt down and root out anyone in the federal establishment who believes in cold fusion” — or anyone who even talks about it, it turned out. He meant what he said. (Ask him yourself if you have any doubt. He considers it his responsibility to root out corruption and fraud, and he is dead certain that is what cold fusion is.)

    Academic politics are fierce because, as Prof. Woodrow Wilson put it, the stakes are so small. In the case of cold fusion the stakes are high but the politics are the same as ever.

    This sort of thing often happens in academia. I know many examples, such as the invention of the laser. Cold fusion is probably the worst example in history, but there are others. Scientists tend to be cutthroat, anything-goes competitors in my experience.

  40. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 4:02 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “I looked at the report on Arata’s paper (RothwellJreportonar.pdf) and claims of anomalous heat are not supported.

    The ‘anomalous heat’ (actually an anomalous temperature difference) was not anomalous at all. D2 gas was being added to the vessel while the ‘anomalous’ temperature difference was reported. Throttling a high pressure gas through a valve into a closed vessel causes the temperature in the vessel to increase. This is well known from thermodynamics . . .”

    That is not what is happening here. The instrument is not sensitive enough to measure that effect. The blank runs with gas added to an empty cell show no measurable temperature changes. See Fig. 7. (And don’t jump to conclusions!)

    “Pressure in the vessel is only shown for the first 300 minutes of the test run, where it increases from 0 to 10 atm. Presumably the pressure continues to increase as gas is added to reach the 100 atm of the D2 gas source.”

    Incorrect. The heat of formation of Pd-D or Pd-H is observed and accounted for. With Pd-H it stops after a while, and it makes no difference how much more gas you add to the system after that. However, with Pd-D another, anomalous process begins as soon as the Pd absorbs the gas, and it continues for 50 to 100 hours, and probably indefinitely but they have not run it longer than 100 hours. This process overall produces far more heat than the chemical heat of formation, albeit at a lower power level.

    Also, this is not only measured at a temperature difference. It was used to drive a thermoelectric chip, which drove a small motor.

    Unfortunately it is difficult for you to know this because I cannot get permission to upload Arata’s paper in English, which is poorly written in any case. He was pretty upset with me for writing that! I got my info from the Japanese paper and lecture. You might learn more from Chubb’s paper:

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/ChubbTAinhonorofy.pdf

    As you see I am no fan of this experiment, although I think it probably is working. Arata’s earlier work was successfully replicated by SRI and this week at the ACS the Toyota group described a successful replication. They have the same problem he had with the earlier material: it works for a while and then sinters.

  41. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 4:19 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “The major problem with all of these “cold fusion” ideas is that they measure what they perceive to be an anomalous temperature or heat source . . .”

    It is not “perceived” — it is measured with some of the best calorimeters ever constructed. Some of these instruments cost millions of dollars and they measure power levels from 10 to 100 W, which any calorimeter made in the last 200 years could have measured with 100% confidence.

    Stop using innaccurate and loaded terms such as “perceive.” Heat is heat, and calorimeters work, unless you claim that the Second Law of Thermodyamics is inoperative.

    “. . . and then assume the heat comes from fusion.”

    They make no such assumption! They measure helium commensurate with the heat, and tritium. If this is not fusion, what do you think it is? Do you have a better hypothesis?

    (And don’t tell me it is an experimental error. Thousands of scientists working over 20 years and passing peer-review 800 times are not making errors.)

    “When two nuclei fuse, they generate a gigantic amount of energy (tens of MeV) in a very small space, in the resulting slightly larger nucleus. That nucleus is very small, and so the only way to transfer a gigantic amount of energy from it is by using short wavelength photons, otherwise known as gamma rays, via high energy neutrons or via high energy charged particles, or via high kinetic recoil energy of nuclei. . . .”

    That is according to plasma fusion theory. Evidently it does not apply to cold fusion. The experiments show that cold fusion produces only the helium-4 atoms without the gamma rays (except in rare events), and tritium. You cannot disprove replicated experimental results by pointing to theory. When replicated experiments conflict with theory, the experiments always win, and the theory always loses. That is the bedrock basis of the scientific method.

    As it happens, many distinguished theorists disagree with you. They say this reaction does not violate theory. I know nothing about theory so I cannot tell whether you are wrong, or your theory is wrong. But I am sure that experiments ALWAYS trump theory. If you disagree you are engaged in some form of religion, not science.

  42. tmac57on 26 Mar 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Jed,
    I’ll have to tip my hat to your tenacity, but it seems that your response to my last post suggests that the main opponents (if not the only ones) are in the U.S. . If this is true, and cold fusion is as real as you believe, then too bad for the U.S., but how are they stopping all of the other countries from developing what ought to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in energy production in history? Do they need better PR?
    You seem to have all but said that the theory has been proven by the examples that you cite, so that leaves us doubters wondering the equivalent of ” If your so smart, why ain’t you rich?” to the researchers and their backers.

  43. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 8:07 pm

    tmac57 wrote:

    “. . . but it seems that your response to my last post suggests that the main opponents (if not the only ones) are in the U.S.”

    Those are the ones I am personally acquainted with. The opponents in Japan and Italy I have not met. The US opponents are stronger. I don’t know Italian but I read Japanese press coverage of cold fusion, and it is not as derogatory as U.S. coverage.

    In the last few years there has been growing support in Germany, and some good contributions by researchers in their 30s. That’s a ray of hope.

    “If this is true, and cold fusion is as real as you believe, then too bad for the U.S., but how are they stopping all of the other countries from developing what ought to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in energy production in history?”

    Their situation is only marginally better than ours. As I said, the ENEA allows ~30 people to work on this because they are senior scientists and the ENEA honors academic traditions. They do not encourage it. Gov’t officials and newspapers print pretty much the same thing as our newspapers do, but as I said some powerful friends of cold fusion prevent them from stopping the research altogether.

    “Do they need better PR?”

    That they do!

    But the biggest problem with most of them is, as I mentioned, they are deceased. They were in their 60s and 70s when this discovered. Younger scientists will not touch the subject.

    “You seem to have all but said that the theory has been proven by the examples that you cite . . .”

    It is not a theory. It is an observation. It has been confirmed. The exact nature of it is unknown and there is no theory – which is a huge problem.

    “. . . so that leaves us doubters wondering the equivalent of ” If your so smart, why ain’t you rich?” to the researchers and their backers.”

    I think I have made it clear that a practical device would require hundreds of millions of dollars, and no one in this field has that kind of money. The ENEA and a few universities in Japan grudgingly give tenured staff some funding. Some private backers are willing to give a few researchers $10,000 to a few hundred thousand. That is extremely welcome of course. But as I said, at this rate Sarto and her colleagues will probably retire or die before they finish.

    If they had a theory to guide the research it would be faster but it is largely Edisonian trial and error. Many other technologies have been developed by these methods, such as the Aegis solid state radar that I mentioned.

  44. JedRothwellon 26 Mar 2009 at 9:11 pm

    I realized this whole account sounds odd, and you might get the impression that I believe in conspiracies and so on, but that is not true. You can read the books and WaPost columns by people like Robert Park and you will see that they are actively and successfully campaigning to stop this research. This is NOT — rpt NOT — because they represent Big Oil or they want to suppress innovation or any absurd pulp novel scenario. There is no nefarious plot. I know exactly why Park and the others are doing this.

    Ask him! Or read his columns. I think he is mistaken but I am sure he is honest about his motivations. He “rooted out” (fired) government researchers — and ruined their careers and lives — because he is convinced they are trying to defraud the government, or that they are “a cult of fervent half-wits” and that all of the data is either fake or caused by incompetence, loose wires and obvious mistakes.

    We have seen an example of this “loose wire” thinking here, when daedalus2uon glanced at a paper, jumped to the conclusion that “claims of anomalous heat are not supported” and came up with a reason that Fig. 7 shows is wrong. Apparently it did not occur to him that Arata might have thought about that. Arata is, after all, one of Japan’s top scientists, with awards from the Emperor, an international science prize at the High Temp. given in his name, a building named after him at a National University, dozens of patents, and so on. He is not a blundering amateur. The Chinese government is paying lots of dough and sending smart young men to assist him. (They speak excellent Japanese, I am pleased to report.) I do not think much of Arata’s experimental technique, but I would never glance at this or any other professional research, assume that I know better, and dismiss it. That’s hubris. Unfortunately Arata’s admittedly sloppy techniques encourage it.

    Park, Huizenga and other prominent opponents have assured me that it has never crossed their minds they might be wrong. They never bothered to read a paper or consider the evidence. That would be like looking for evidence that the moon is made of green cheese. I asked: “Okay, but why not allow a few researchers some academic freedom to pursue this? Science is supposed to allow mistakes.” They say this would be like allowing creationism of flat-earth research. They say cold fusion is absolutely, positively physically impossible and anyone who disputes that is a liar or a scientific ignoramus, or in the case of Julian Schwinger “obviously senile.” They say it is not a mistake, but “pure and simple” fraud, and the smart cold fusion researchers are cynics who know perfectly well they ripping off the public.

    That’s what they say in their books and weekly columns and so on. You can look it up. Dozens of others echo that. Especially self-styled “skeptics” who are skeptical of others but not, alas, of themselves.

    I asked Park once: “What exactly is the benefit of this fraud? How does it work? Why have hundreds of middle aged and distinguished elderly scientists subjected themselves to this abuse and thrown away their careers? They had generous research grants and salaries for their previous research. They are not getting any more money for cold fusion then they got before. On the contrary, some of them are being fired, or pilloried in the press. So who are they defrauding, and why?” He did not respond.

    Park and others have accused me of inventing all of the papers at LENR-CANR.org. I suggested that he go to the library and check some of the originals. He did not respond. I find that flattering. I am not capable of writing thousands of pages of technical papers. Park apparently thinks it is all technical sounding gibberish, but even if I could write gibberish it would be an impressive accomplishment.

    Frankly, these people have some strange ideas. It is odd that they accuse us of delusions!

  45. daedalus2uon 26 Mar 2009 at 9:34 pm

    No, the experimental effect observed is anomalous heat associated with D2O electrolysis, not fusion. The assumption that the anomalous heat effects observed are due to fusion is a hypothesis that I do not find compelling because there is no ionizing radiation or neutrons observed commensurate with the heat reported.

    The Amoco result quite clearly stated that the increase in tritium they observed could not account for the heat they observed. They calculated that it accounted for 5×10^-9 of the heat observed. How is that strong evidence for fusion? They don’t discuss sources of error, calibration of temperature measurements, and didn’t do some pretty key analytical tests. If their results were that promising, why didn’t Amoco follow up? Maybe they did more work, found the source of the heat they thought they were observing was an error and abandoned the project. The cost to continue a project like this is small, the equipment is already constructed and it is all automatic. They don’t need a technician sitting there recording data.

    I completely agree that experiments trump theory. However, for experiments to trump theory that is extremely well established that experimental evidence needs to be quite compelling. Conservation of mass, energy, momentum, charge, spin, these are rock-bottom conservation theories. Experiments that contradict these conservation theories would be extraordinary. They require extraordinary evidence to be accepted. There is not extraordinary evidence that fusion is occurring. There is not even ordinary evidence.

    A helium nucleus is the same no matter how it originated. According to well established conservation laws, two deuterium nuclei cannot be fused to form a helium nucleus without production of ionizing radiation. No D2O electrolysis experiment has measured any level of ionizing radiation commensurate with a tiny fraction of any excess heat being produced by a known fusion reaction. Until there is such a measurement or an explanation of how there can be fusion of deuterium in the absence of ionizing radiation claims of deuterium fusion are not compelling.

    The Cravens Letts paper seems to me like cherry picking and an inappropriate use of what they call a Bayesian logic network. You have to add all experimental results to the analysis, not just the ones you cherry pick.

    Figure 14 of Apicella et al (ApicellaMsomerecent.pdf) looks to me like there were both positive and negative deviations. Depending on when the experiment was stopped, there would be positive or negative excess heat production.

    I looked at wikipedia and I think the article on cold fusion is pretty good.

  46. Watcheron 26 Mar 2009 at 9:35 pm

    “. . . but the new korean one expects to be energy neutral.”
    Not familiar with that.

    Dunno, it’s in the vid though :)

  47. daedalus2uon 26 Mar 2009 at 10:24 pm

    I don’t know Arata from Adam. I can only judge his work from what I read. With no record of pressure and no accounting for well known effects, what am I to assume? There are no dimensions given and no calibrations mentioned. High pressure is something I am very familiar with and have worked with 3,000 psi hydrogen (it is a bear to work with). High pressure hydrogen changes the calibration of some devices all by itself. It changed the calibration of my precision electronic pressure gage by about half a percent. That change was reversible, but there was a time lag as the H2 diffused through the stainless steel diaphragm. Depending on the temperature measuring device that Arata used H2/D2 might have changed that too. He didn’t tell us which device he used, was it sealed, was it calibrated, were there multiple devices? It said “thermocouple”. What type? For real precision stuff it is better to use platinum RTDs. But they are likely susceptible to H2 diffusion (unless they are sealed).

    There isn’t sufficient information given for me to replicate what he has done. You want to assume he has done everything correctly; I want to know what he has done so I can evaluate it myself.

    I hold him to no different standard than I hold any researcher, or than I hold myself.

  48. daedalus2uon 27 Mar 2009 at 8:18 am

    Just to be clear, giving someone the “benefit of the doubt” is sometimes appropriate in a social situation. It is never appropriate in a scientific situation. You are trying to use social criteria (Arata is an authority) to lend credence to a hypothesis that he has. That is never appropriate.

    Building an apparatus that insufficiently sensitive and precise to measure ordinary and well known and well understood heat effects and expecting others to accept that the apparatus is sensitive and precise enough to measure something extraordinary is disingenuous. If you have not deliberately designed and built your apparatus sensitive and precise enough to specifically address all ordinary known heat effects, then it is unreasonable to expect anyone to accept an extraordinary finding.

  49. daedalus2uon 27 Mar 2009 at 9:03 am

    I looked at Chubb TA, and figure 10 clearly shows the temperature differences measured are due to artifacts due to temperature measurement error.

    In A1 and B1 the temperature of the outer chamber is hotter than the temperature of the inner chamber. This is supposed to show that heat is not being generated in the inner chamber. If the measurement is correct, it is showing that heat is being destroyed in the inner chamber. Where is the heat going? The inner chamber is surrounded by the outer chamber. The inner chamber can only be colder than the outer chamber if heat is being removed from the inner chamber.

    The extraordinary results that needs to be explained are by what mechanisms is heat generated when D2 and Pd are co-located and by what mechanisms is heat destroyed when D2 is present without Pd and when H2 and Pd are co-located.

    The alternative ordinary explanation is that the measurements are in error. There is insufficient detail in how the experiments were done to rule that out.

  50. mindmeon 27 Mar 2009 at 9:08 am

    Jed, I’m still curious about your claim no qualified people have looked at the data and come away still skeptical. But in the government report, cold fusion scientists laid bare what I would assume was their best case experiment for 8 energy dept researchers and their response was underwhelming. It seems to me they were given an entirely fair shake.

    How come major Japanese corporations never were able to develop this into a product? How come after 20 years this “science” is still, like psychic research, trying to show a clear effect? Why are physicists the world over not largely compelled by the evidence? Venture capitalists happily sink 400 million into silly dot.coms, why aren’t they tripping over themselves to fund cold fusion? How come lunatic perpetual motion machine makers like that Irish firm can raise huge sums and something with all this solid science can’t?

    What would it take to convince you you are wrong? I’ve stated my falsification: build a reasonably sized cold fusion plant. Hell, something powering a single home.

  51. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 10:19 am

    daedalus2u wrote:

    “In A1 and B1 the temperature of the outer chamber is hotter than the temperature of the inner chamber. This is supposed to show that heat is not being generated in the inner chamber. If the measurement is correct, it is showing that heat is being destroyed in the inner chamber.”

    You are mistaken. A1 and B1 are null runs with the heat supplied by the joule heater on the outside of the cell. This experiment does not work at room temperature. The reactor is preheated to 141 deg C, as noted below the figure.

    Please stop jumping to conclusions.

    Also, as I pointed out, the anomalous heat in the Zr-Pd experiments (which are at ambient temperature) drive a thermoelectric device, which moves a small motor. That cannot be caused by a temperature measurement artifact.

  52. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 10:51 am

    mindmeon wrote:

    “Jed, I’m still curious about your claim no qualified people have looked at the data and come away still skeptical.”

    My claim was that I have only heard from three such people. I am sure others exist, but they have not contacted me. Hundreds of people have contacted me, so 3 is less then 1 percent of readers. As I said, this is a self-selected sample of people, which is not ideal for public opinion sampling, but on the other hand people in this group have read at least some of the literature so they are minimally qualified to hold an opinion. (They usually contact me because they have read some papers and they want more. I have thousands more that I cannot upload.)

    Of course there are individual papers in the collection which are doubtful by anyone’s standards.

    “But in the government report, cold fusion scientists laid bare what I would assume was their best case experiment for 8 energy dept researchers and their response was underwhelming. It seems to me they were given an entirely fair shake.”

    I do not think so. I suggest you read the reviewers’ comments more carefully. As I said, I agree completely with 6 of them. Those people are well acquainted with the literature. The fact that 2 could not make up their minds shows how difficult it is to absorb this material in one day. The other 9 failed to understand the claims, in my opinion. They argue that the claims are theoretically impossible and therefore experiments are invalid, which is a violation of the scientific method. They made other arguments which I consider invalid. Reviewer number 15, for example, rejects the findings because they were described in a Popular Mechanics article.

    “How come major Japanese corporations never were able to develop this into a product?”

    Because the research is extremely difficult, as I have noted. The literature makes this very clear.

    “How come after 20 years this ‘science’ is still, like psychic research, trying to show a clear effect?”

    This is a complete mischaracterization of the research. The effect was clearly shown hundreds of times by in 1990. Since then, the input to a report ratio has increased by a factor of 100 and reproducibility has gone from ~30% to over 90%, and 100% for some techniques.

    “Why are physicists the world over not largely compelled by the evidence?”

    Because they have not read the evidence. People who know nothing about an experiment cannot be compelled, persuaded, or impressed.

    “Venture capitalists happily sink 400 million into silly dot.coms, why aren’t they tripping over themselves to fund cold fusion?”

    Because they have not read the evidence either, and also because this is fundamental physics research, and you cannot patent a force of nature.

    “How come lunatic perpetual motion machine makers like that Irish firm can raise huge sums and something with all this solid science can’t?”

    You would have to ask a venture capitalist. I believe is a problem of intellectual property. The fact that the Patent Office summarily rejects all applications is also a problem. (I have met with venture capitalists but only to discuss the technical issues since I know little about investing.)

    “What would it take to convince you you are wrong? I’ve stated my falsification: build a reasonably sized cold fusion plant. Hell, something powering a single home.”

    No previous breakthrough in the history of science or technology has been held to that standard. It is a Catch-22. You are demanding that researchers who have no funding do a job that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars before you believe them. If they could power a single house, obviously they could persuade every industrial corporation on earth to manufacture devices.

    In science, the only standard of truth is supposed to be the peer-reviewed replicated experiment, not a practical commercial product. Not a consensus among people who know nothing about the work (science by ESP). The traditional, conventional standard has worked well for 400 years. I do not think you need to set an unprecedented new standard for cold fusion only.

    Several of the DOE 2004 reviewers also demanded that researchers do sophisticated, expensive experiments before they are funded. Do these people expect researchers to pay millions of dollars out of their own pockets? Do you?

  53. daedalus2uon 27 Mar 2009 at 11:18 am

    Jed, exactly my point. If the heat was supplied from outside by the heater, by what mechanism can the inner chamber be colder than the outside? Heat will flow from where it is hotter (the outside) to where it is colder (the inside) and from where it has no place to go. If there is no heat flow, then the two chambers are at the same temperature. If heat is not flowing from the hotter outside to the colder inside, then the temperature measurement must be wrong.

    Or has this set-up somehow violated the second law of thermodynamics?

    A degree or two difference in thermocouple calibration is not unusual, even with brand new thermocouples. Mixing and matching the same type of thermocouple wire from different batches can easily cause a degree or two temperature difference. That is why thermocouples are generally not used for high precision work. The composition of the thermocouple wire affects the voltage output, and that composition can change over time. Drift in thermocouples is well known. For precision work people generally use platinum RTDs. That is how the temperature scale is defined, via platinum RTDs calibrated to specific reference points.

  54. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 11:25 am

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “No, the experimental effect observed is anomalous heat associated with D2O electrolysis, not fusion. The assumption that the anomalous heat effects observed are due to fusion is a hypothesis that I do not find compelling because there is no ionizing radiation or neutrons observed commensurate with the heat reported.”

    As I said, I believe this is tantamount to saying theory trumps experimental observations. Either that or you are denying that the second law of thermodynamics work; or you are saying that helium commensurate with heat has no significance. Calorimetry and thermodynamics predate plasma fusion theory.

    “The Amoco result quite clearly stated that the increase in tritium they observed could not account for the heat they observed. They calculated that it accounted for 5×10^-9 of the heat observed. How is that strong evidence for fusion?”

    As they said, it is strong evidence that a nuclear reaction of some sort is occurring. It is not strong evidence for fusion. The helium is, however.

    “If their results were that promising, why didn’t Amoco follow up?”

    I believe it is because the researchers were old and they soon retired. I first heard from them not long after this experiment was performed, and they were already retired, as I recall.

    “I completely agree that experiments trump theory. However, for experiments to trump theory that is extremely well established that experimental evidence needs to be quite compelling.”

    Thousands of peer-reviewed experiments replicated at high signal-to-noise ratios in hundreds of laboratories is quite compelling by any rational standard. What other standard would you apply? I realize that you believe you have discovered errors in some of these experiments but I do not think you have. If you seriously believe you have found errors, I suggest you write a rigorous paper and get it past peer-review.

    “Conservation of mass, energy, momentum, charge, spin, these are rock-bottom conservation theories. Experiments that contradict these conservation theories would be extraordinary. They require extraordinary evidence to be accepted.

    There is not extraordinary evidence that fusion is occurring. There is not even ordinary evidence.”

    Heat, helium, tritium and x-rays are ordinary evidence.

    I do not believe that extraordinary evidence is ever called for. As Melich and I wrote in our review of the 2004 DoE report:

    “This is not a principle of science. It was coined by Carl Sagan for the 1980 ‘Cosmos’ television series. Conventional scientific standards dictate that extraordinary claims are best supported with ordinary evidence from off-the-shelf instruments and standard techniques. All mainstream cold fusion papers present this kind of evidence.
    Conventional standards also dictate that all claims and arguments must be held to the same standards of rigor. This includes skeptical assertions that attempt to disprove cold fusion, which have been notably lacking in rigor. . . .”

    “A helium nucleus is the same no matter how it originated. According to well established conservation laws, two deuterium nuclei cannot be fused to form a helium nucleus without production of ionizing radiation.”

    Evidently this is incorrect. Either that or the laws of thermodynamics and chemistry are inoperative. Which do you consider more firmly established? Do you think it is more likely that a chemical reaction can produce 150 MJ with no measurable amount of chemical fuel and no ash? What is your hypothesis? Quoting Melich & Rothwell again:

    “We do not assert that cold fusion is unquestionably a nuclear effect and only a nuclear effect. As noted already in this Appendix, we assert that a chemical effect or experimental error is ruled out, and that the heat beyond the limits of chemistry, helium commensurate with a plasma fusion reaction, tritium and heavy metal transmutations all point to an unknown nuclear reaction. In short, the nuclear hypothesis best fits the facts, but until a detailed nuclear theory is worked out and broadly accepted, this will remain only a working hypothesis. . . .

    Reviewers who deny that cold fusion is nuclear but stop there, without offering a credible alternative hypothesis, have not done their jobs as scientists.”

    “Figure 14 of Apicella et al (ApicellaMsomerecent.pdf) looks to me like there were both positive and negative deviations.”

    This is a bit confusing. Output is always below input when there is no excess heat, because heat recovery is not perfect. See Fig. 12. The gap is not usually this large for flow calorimeters, I think.

    “I looked at wikipedia and I think the article on cold fusion is pretty good.”

    I disagree. For an encyclopedia, I prefer my article here:

    http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Cold_Fusion

  55. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 11:59 am

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “Jed, exactly my point. If the heat was supplied from outside by the heater, by what mechanism can the inner chamber be colder than the outside?”

    The outside thermocouple (Tout) is closer to the heater that the inside one (Tin). The joule heater is wound around the cell but it does cover it completely. Some of the heat from the cell is lost out of the top and bottom (which are uncovered) and conducted out by the instrument leads.

    It is a little confusing. I have seen the same situation with several other cells in experiments that require auxiliary heaters. It would be better to put the whole cell into a constant temperature incubator, with the instrument leads staked to the high temperature. Then let the temperature inside and outside stabilize before beginning. But I have not seen never seen an incubator that works at 141 deg C.

    “A degree or two difference in thermocouple calibration is not unusual, even with brand new thermocouples.”

    The thermocouples used in these experiments are rated accurate to 0.001 deg C and precise to 0.00002 K^-1 as I recall. They cost a ton of money. They are similar to the ones described here:

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHisothermala.pdf

    “Mixing and matching the same type of thermocouple wire from different batches can easily cause a degree or two temperature difference.”

    That would show up during calibration!

    “That is why thermocouples are generally not used for high precision work.”

    They are at SRI and Osaka U. and many other labs I have visited. They drift less. Drift is not such a problem in experiments lasting only 100 hours (4 days) but it is an issue in experiments lasting months. In any case, most researchers calibrate before and after short runs, and periodically during long runs, with an aux heater. As I noted Arata does not calibrate adequately in my opinion. He was not pleased to hear this from me, to say the very least. He points out, correctly, that his results can be confirmed with first principles. I prefer a calibration anyway.

    Note that they do carefully test the thermocouples! That’s what all those Chinese researchers were doing when I was there. When I say they don’t calibrate I mean they don’t run a joule heater as I suggested they should.

    “Drift in thermocouples is well known.”

    These thermocouples do not drift significantly during the duration of these experiments, at these temperatures, according to Storms, McKubre, Arata, the people at Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi and the the instrument companies I have heard from. I am no expert, but that’s what their spec sheets say. Over the years I have spent an inordinate amount of time talking about thermocouples, thermistors, mercury thermometers, thermoelectric gadgets used in Seebeck calorimeters, etc. etc. I conclude that there is a lot to be said for mercury thermometers.

    SRI, Arata, and others consult with the instrument manufacturers. I was at at Hokkaido U. for a couple of weeks, and so were the instrument company people, babysitting the power meters and data acquisition gadgets. Sort of a live-in assignment.

    The thermocouples used in these experiments costs $10,000 to $30,000, as do the power supplies by the way. They are carefully rated and tested. The ones you are familiar with that drift are probably not made to these standards.

    Thermistors drift all over the place and I would not recommend them for an experiment that lasts longer than 24 hours.

  56. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I wrote:

    “The thermocouples used in these experiments costs $10,000 to $30,000 . . .”

    Not the actual thermocouples themselves. The instrumentation they come with. The whole kit and caboodle. The thermocouples themselves cost a grand apiece as I recall.

  57. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Note also in the Arata Zr-Pd experiments, if the thermocouples were 1 deg C apart (inaccurate) this would show up before the experiment begins. If one or the other drifted, this would show up during the Pd-H blank runs, which also last ~100 hours. This is not observed. The only perturbations are from ambient temperature changes, which are accounted for.

    Thermocouple problems would also show up during blank runs with gas only and no material in the cell (Fig. 7).

  58. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 1:39 pm

    I wrote:

    “Since then, the input to a report ratio has increased by a factor of 100 . . .”

    That is a voice input error. I meant “input to output ratio.”

    In 1989 excess heat was typically no more than 30% of input, at an absolute power of ~0.1 to ~2 W. For example, 2 W in, 3 W out. More typically it would be 1 W in, 1.1 or 1.2 W out.

    In more recent experiments, input power is less than 1 W and output is 25 W. This is much easier to measure with confidence because the background noise from input power is lower and the absolute power level is higher.

    With gas loading and heat after death, there is no input power. The reaction is “fully ignited” as they say in the plasma fusion biz. That makes it easier still to confirm. A cathode in heat after death mode may produce 50 to 100 W for hours. Imagine you heat a small nail to a temperature that will melt plastic, and then you drop it into a test tube with 100 ml of water. It cools down instantly. There is no input power and the specific heat of metal is much lower than water.

    A cathode in this condition, with no input power, does not cool down instantly. Instead it boils away the water, heats the remaining vapor, melts the plastic holder, and stays hot for hours. This is first-principle evidence of a massive energy release, far beyond the limits of chemistry for such a small object. Note that there is no chemical fuel in this system.

  59. daedalus2uon 27 Mar 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Jed, you are cherry picking. The tritium results of Amoco do not explain the heat they observed. They even say that. The heat (if it actually existed) must come from a different source. That source remains unknown. The tritium results of Amoco are not evidence of heat generation through fusion. Any heat generated via fusion resulting in the tritium observed in the Amoco result would be below their level of detection.

    Which x-ray results are you talking about? The early result reported by Fleischmann was found to be due to miscalibration and has never been repeated.

    In your own review of Arata’s work you say that the helium data presented is insufficient for conclusions to be drawn.

    If the equipment is so sloppily made that heat leaks hither and yon, and temperature depends on proximity to the heater and random conduction through instrument leads, then results that depend on a simple temperature difference are completely unreliable. You can’t sprinkle reliability onto a sloppily made apparatus by using a more expensive thermocouple.

    I am quite capable of evaluating thermochemistry and electrochemistry experiments. So far, I haven’t seen any that provide enough details to be compelling. The Amoco experiments were well done and well written up. There are some missing pieces, but there is no compelling case for fusion. Anomalous heat perhaps, but that could come from many sources. They used aluminum in contact with brass. A combination that is known to be quite susceptible to corrosion. The corrosion of 1 gram of aluminum to oxide releases 30 kJ. Amoco is an oil company. If there were hydrocarbons or other organics in the ambient air of the laboratory (likely if the laboratory was doing hydrocarbon based research or was located at a refinery), those could have entered the cell and be oxidized by the recombination catalyst. Oxidation of 1 gram of ethane liberates 52 kJ. If there was any hydrogen in the ambient air that would do the same thing.

    Do you have a published report where this happened? Where “it boils away the water, heats the remaining vapor, melts the plastic holder, and stays hot for hours.”?

  60. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 2:30 pm

    daedalus2uon

    “Jed, you are cherry picking. The tritium results of Amoco do not explain the heat they observed. They even say that.”

    I am not cherry picking. Amoco did not attempt to measure helium. Other people did, and they found it commensurate with the heat.

    Many others have measured tritium. It is never found in the ratios predicted by plasma fusion theory. It proves only that a nuclear reaction is occurring.

    “The heat (if it actually existed) . . .”

    You don’t believe in calorimetry?

    “The tritium results of Amoco are not evidence of heat generation through fusion. Any heat generated via fusion resulting in the tritium observed in the Amoco result would be below their level of detection.”

    Yes, we know that. That is what they said, and it is obvious. No one disputes that, so please stop repeating it. Clearly some other, unknown form of fusion is occurring. It was not clear that this is fusion until the helium was confirmed. That was after this paper was written.

    “Which x-ray results are you talking about?”

    Gozzi, Srinivasan and many others. There are 308 papers referencing x-ray as LENR-CANR.org, and many more in the papers I have not uploaded.

    “In your own review of Arata’s work you say that the helium data presented is insufficient for conclusions to be drawn.”

    Yes. However, I am satisfied with the helium results from China Lake, the ENEA, SRI, Bush and others.

    “If the equipment is so sloppily made that heat leaks hither and yon, and temperature depends on proximity to the heater and random conduction through instrument leads, then results that depend on a simple temperature difference are completely unreliable.”

    You are talking about two different experiments. There are no significant heat leaks in the Zr-Pd experiment, and the high temp experiment produces much more excess heat so the leaks are insignificant. This is not sloppy. It is not easy to design an experiment.

    “You can’t sprinkle reliability onto a sloppily made apparatus by using a more expensive thermocouple.”

    You have no basis to call this sloppy. Let us see you design an instrument to accomplish all of the goals of the experiment first. It is harder than you seem to think.

    “I am quite capable of evaluating thermochemistry and electrochemistry experiments. So far, I haven’t seen any that provide enough details to be compelling.”

    So far, you have not offered a viable objection. You have jumped to conclusions and failed to notice key aspects of experiments. You cannot critique these experiments in a few hours. You seem to assume that professional scientists who have done these experiments for 20 years have been making gross errors that you can catch in a few minutes. This is hubris. You need to study the work carefully, think, and examine your own ideas more skeptically before reaching a conclusion.

    If you do not think this is fusion or some other nuclear reaction you need to offer a credible alternative hypothesis – as I said. It has to be falsifiable. Many critics have claimed, for example, that there may be an “undetected error” in these experiments. That is not falsifiable, and it is equally true all experiments that have ever been performed. Some have said that the calorimetry is suspect, but there is no reason to believe this. Similar levels of heat have been measured in countless other experiments in the last 200 years. It is highly unlikely that all static, flow and Seebeck calorimeters all have some fundamental undetected flaw in them, or that all the people using these calorimeters are making mistakes.

    No skeptic has ever published the paper pointing out a significant error in the calorimetry of any major lab. (It is easy to poke holes is some of the minor papers.) You may think that you have discovered errors in some of the calorimetry but you have not. In any case I suggest you try to find an error in McKubre’s calorimetry rather than Arata’s, because McKubre’s is the best. If his experiments demonstrate conclusively that excess heat beyond the limits of chemistry exists, then you have no reason to doubt the other experiments with less elaborate calorimetry.

    “Do you have a published report where this happened? Where ‘it boils away the water, heats the remaining vapor, melts the plastic holder, and stays hot for hours.’?”

    See:

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmancalorimetra.pdf

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/PonsSheatafterd.pdf

  61. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 2:56 pm

    daedalus2uon

    “If there were hydrocarbons or other organics in the ambient air of the laboratory (likely if the laboratory was doing hydrocarbon based research or was located at a refinery), those could have entered the cell and be oxidized by the recombination catalyst.”

    If air gets into the cell, the cold fusion effect will not occur. (I believe CO2 poisons it.) Air is rigorously excluded. This cell is closed. That is why there is a recombination catalyst. Open cells use the effluent gas to keep the headspace free of air, or boil-off nitrogen.

    Also, if there were enough floating hydrocarbons to do this, I expect the place would stink and the EPA or OSHA would close it down. Along similar lines, many people have suggested that the tritium results at Los Alamos (Storms & Talcott, Claytor) were caused by tritium from the laboratory infiltrating into the cells. If tritium levels were that high, the alarms would go off and personnel would either be evacuated or killed. That is also the case with the BARC tritium experiments, which were performed by the people responsible for maintaining safety at the power reactors. As one of them said to me, “if we don’t measure tritium right, we die.”

    I suggest you stop handwaving, guessing, iffing, maybeing and jumping to conclusions. I suggest you start taking these papers seriously.

    If, after a few days, you believe you have found a significant problem in one of these papers, write it up in proper academic form and I will forward it to the author. Check with me first to see if the author is still breathing. Don’t bother writing to Arata. Don’t waste the author’s time by raising the kind of half-baked objections you have come up with so far. Believe me, they have heard them all before, as have I.

    I will grant, you are the fourth person I have communicated with who has actually read 5 or more papers and still has doubts. If you have not read them you have at least glanced at them. But you failed to notice critical details such as Fig. 7 in Arata and Pd-H runs with no temperature difference after the heat of formation, so you need to look harder, and start challenging your own assumptions. Skeptics are supposed to do that.

  62. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I wrote:

    “. . . If one or the other [thermocopules] drifted, this would show up during the Pd-H blank runs, which also last ~100 hours. This is not observed.”

    I forgot to mention that thermocouple drift will cause spurious indications of an endothermic reaction as often as an exothermic reaction. In other words, they are as likely to drift with the inside Tc going lower than the outside one, as the other way around. For that matter they might both drift up or down together, but ambient temperature is stable and recorded so this would be obvious.

    Arata did not observe this, as you see in the figures.

    Also, as I mentioned, thermocouple drift cannot power a small electric motor. Only real energy can do that, which is why Arata added the thermoelectrically powered motor. It is elegant, first principle proof. He is no dummy.

  63. Dave S.on 27 Mar 2009 at 3:42 pm

    “Also, if there were enough floating hydrocarbons to do this, I expect the place would stink and the EPA or OSHA would close it down.”

    Depends. The contamination level could be much lower than the allowable limits set by the relevant governing agencies. Also, there is no necessity for any ‘stink’. Many hydrocarbons are odorless or have only a weak odor, even at quite high concentration. That’s why they add smelly agents like thiols to propane tanks and other hydrocarbon sources. Finally, many labs do stink.

  64. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Dave S wrote:

    “‘Also, if there were enough floating hydrocarbons to do this, I expect the place would stink and the EPA or OSHA would close it down.”

    Depends. The contamination level could be much lower than the allowable limits set by the relevant governing agencies. Also, there is no necessity for any ’stink’. Many hydrocarbons are odorless or have only a weak odor, even at quite high concentration. . . .”

    I meant there has to be enough to infiltrate a lot of gas into the closed cell. The headspace of the cell is maybe 20 ml. I can’t imagine that even 1 volume of air penetrates into a closed cell during the course of an experiment. But in the scenario proposed by daedalus2uon it would have to be filled up again and again with this gas in order to corrode 1 g of aluminum. Which they would see, by the way! They did extensive chemical analysis. As they said, the product of a chemical heat reaction would be found in “molar amounts” and nothing like that was discovered.

    That’s what I had in mind about the tritium, too. It would have to be at very high levels in the laboratory air in order to penetrate into the cell to show up at a lower concentration. Obviously, if you opened the cell, then you might see the same concentration of tritium in the cell as in the air, but no one opens up a cold fusion cell during an experiment. That wrecks it.

    Needless to say, Los Alamos, Amoco, BARC and the other labs where tritium has been verified do not have large amounts of tritium floating around in the air! Maybe they did back in the 1940s.

    Also, you cannot do a tritium study with a leaky cell. Enough gas leaking in and out to erode 1 g of Al would swamp any tritium effect.

    Air has to be excluded even more rigorously for helium studies. Helium is difficult to contain and it is ubiquitous. However, researchers are confident that the helium measured in cold fusion experiments does not come from the atmosphere. They have used a variety of methods to ensure this, such as letting the helium build up in the cell above atmospheric concentration, or looking at the ratio of helium to argon. That subject is complicated and beyond the scope of the discussion.

  65. daedalus2uon 27 Mar 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I did notice, but without the details of construction such data is uninterpretable. If the measurements are not sensitive and precise enough to observe the well known heating due to throttling a high pressure gas into a closed vessel, the measurements are uninterpretable. Stainless steel is a poor thermal conductor, and changes to the inside of the vessel (as in being filled with H2, or various configurations of solids) could change the temperature distribution of the outside (or inside for that matter). It is clear that the results are not taken anywhere near steady state, so the transient behavior of the system to heat sources and heat sinks is important.

    The McKubre experimental techniques are a cut above the others. There is a potential problem with the power supplies they used, they can set up an oscillation that is rapid compared to the scanning frequency that they used to measure the voltage. That could deposit energy in the electrochemical system due to an AC component that they didn’t measure. If the current is not always in phase with the voltage, then more special techniques need to be used.

    The Amoco experiment used a large aluminum cylindrical shell. That is on the inside of their calorimeter. If that corroded a little bit all over, it might be difficult to see. Did it? I don’t know. That aluminum is exposed to ambient air. No leakage is necessary for it to corrode and for its heat of corrosion to affect the results.

  66. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 6:29 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote (regarding Arata Zr-Pd):

    “If the measurements are not sensitive and precise enough to observe the well known heating due to throttling a high pressure gas into a closed vessel . . .”

    That effect cannot last 100 hours: the gas would have filled the cell to 100 atm long before that. Therefore, it cannot be the source of this heat.

    At the stated gas flow rate, this effect is also orders of magnitude lower the chemical heat of formation and the anomalous cold fusion heat. A calorimeter can be designed to measure microwatts or watts, but it cannot work in both ranges of power.

  67. daedalus2uon 27 Mar 2009 at 7:21 pm

    They didn’t state the gas flow rate, or the volume of the system. They measured the pressure, why didn’t they present it? The mass of the system was changing during their temperature measurements (from the changing hydrogen pressure).

    They didn’t set their system up as a calorimeter. They didn’t measure power, only temperature differences. The thermal conductivity of H2 (417.39 cal/sec cm2 C/cm x 10^-6) is about 1/3 higher than that of D2 (309.95). It is not surprising that the inside of a vessel filled with D2 and a heat source (Pd adsorbing D2 or H2) would get hotter when filled with D2 because the heat transfer is less. It is not a surprise that there would be less temperature difference between the inside and outside when filled with H2.

    In any case, it appears that the 3 different runs were started at different conditions. The “outside” temperature is different in all cases before the H2 or D2 was added. In the H2 case it was constant, in the D2 + Zr + Pd it was increasing, in the D2 + Zr Ni Pd it was decreasing.

    What is more serious is that the relationship between the inner temperature and the outer temperature is quite different in these three cases before H2 or D2 is introduced. If the functionality between inner temperature and outer temperature is variable between runs (different assembly of insulation following opening of the vessel? Different placement of thermocouples?), differences in temperature can’t be used as a measure of how the runs are different.

  68. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 7:25 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote (regarding McKubre):

    “There is a potential problem with the power supplies they used, they can set up an oscillation that is rapid compared to the scanning frequency that they used to measure the voltage. That could deposit energy in the electrochemical system due to an AC component that they didn’t measure.”

    They would then underestimate input power. This problem is ruled out by the fact that they have observed anomalous heat beyond the limits of chemistry with no input power (in “heat after death”). In other words, the input power has been eliminated from the equation in some cases.

    Also, they have considered this sort of thing very carefully. They consulted with experts at EPRI and elsewhere. (EPRI sponsored the research and co-authored several papers and reports. They know a thing or two about electricity!).

    daedalus2uon is not the first to think of this. McKubre and I have heard similar arguments from many people. The research was peer-reviewed in depth before publication. Several prominent groups of visiting scientists have looked closely at it, such as the Jasons (a DoD advisory group) and many other sent by DARPA. DARPA is a member of the SRI, ENEA and the NRL cold fusion research collaboration.

    Dozens of distinguished scientists have visited the experiment and they have often raised this sort of concern. McKubre told me that so far, none of them has raised an issue that he and his staff have not already considered in detail.

    The written reviews by the Jasons and other high-powered groups are secret or semi-secret, but I am told by multiple reliable sources that they have not found any technical errors. You can be darn sure DARPA would have told McKubre and they would have intervened if the Jasons had found a technical problem measuring input power!

    I am not aware of any peer-reviewed or proceedings paper, book, or technical report, either published or unpublished, that cites any error or troubling concern in this experiment. Or in any of the other leading 100 or so experiments. If I had access to anything like that you can be sure I would upload it (or a summary of it written by me, if could not get permission). If anyone here is a aware of any such paper or book, please let me know.

    Of course I have heard chatter on the Internet, in Sci. Am. and Wikipedia, and comments such as daedalus2uon’s. That doesn’t count. It has to be written in proper academic form, and McKubre has be given an opportunity to review it.

    Obviously I have read the books and papers by Huizenga, Close, Park and so on. I would upload them — or section of them — but the authors have not granted permission. For some reason they do not wish to be associated with LENR-CANR.org. The late D. Morrison did grant permission, as did a few other prominent skeptics. If daedalus2uon will take the trouble to write a real paper, with some reasonable degree of rigor and a review by the authors he critiques, I will upload it if he wants. If he takes the trouble to publish it in a magazine, journal or conference proceedings, I would be happy to upload it even if I think it lacks rigor.

  69. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 7:54 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “They didn’t state the gas flow rate, or the volume of the system.”

    They did, but I did not quote it in my critique. It is in one of the Japanese papers but I can’t find it offhand.

    “They didn’t set their system up as a calorimeter. They didn’t measure power, only temperature differences.”

    Yes. That’s the essence of my critique. However the heat of formation of Pd-D (or Pd-H) is well established so this can taken as a rough calibration, as Arata pointedly pointed out to me in what diplomats would call a frank and open exchange of views. That amount of chemical heat is disputed (by Arata and me) but was we can set an upper limit, and the anomalous output exceeded it by a huge margin.

    “The thermal conductivity of H2 (417.39 cal/sec cm2 C/cm x 10^-6) is about 1/3 higher than that of D2 (309.95). It is not surprising that the inside of a vessel filled with D2 and a heat source (Pd adsorbing D2 or H2) would get hotter when filled with D2 because the heat transfer is less.”

    Yes, it is not surprising. But you have missed the point entirely. The transient difference between D2 and H2 lasted only 15 minutes. The total heat release is about the same for both, as expected. The heat release stopped, obviously, as soon as the palladium saturated. The anomalous heat went on for 6000 minutes (4 days)! It showed no sign of petering out in some cases. It was actually increasing in some runs. That’s 400 times longer than the heat of formation, albeit at a lower power level.

    “It is not a surprise that there would be less temperature difference between the inside and outside when filled with H2.”

    Yes. Arata said that too. It is also irrelevant to the claim.

    “In any case, it appears that the 3 different runs were started at different conditions. The ‘outside’ temperature is different in all cases before the H2 or D2 was added.”

    These are small differences that could not be avoided. The difference in temperature during the initial phase has nothing to do with the claim. It is chemical heat, well understood, and no part of the claim, except that it is being used as a crude method of calibration.

    “What is more serious is that the relationship between the inner temperature and the outer temperature is quite different in these three cases before H2 or D2 is introduced. If the functionality between inner temperature and outer temperature is variable between runs (different assembly of insulation following opening of the vessel? Different placement of thermocouples?), differences in temperature can’t be used as a measure of how the runs are different.”

    Again you are missing the point! Such factors could not possibly explain a 1°C temperature difference persists for four days! No matter what you put in the cell, no matter what chemical reaction in undergoes, 15 minutes later the reaction will be over and the cell will soon cool down to room temperature. You can move the thermocouples around and change the conductivity of the gas until the cows come home, but the next day they will register ambient temperature to within 0.01 deg C. UNLESS there is a source of energy in the cell. A persistent elevated temperature is first-principle, First Law, irrefutable proof that there is a source of energy in the cell. A calorimeter supposed to tell you the power of that heat source. This instrument does a poor job at that, but it does prove beyond question that there is a heat source and even the most crude approximation based on this data proves that it is far beyond the limits of chemistry.

  70. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Voice input begins to fail at this hour . . . I meant to say:

    Such factors could not possibly explain a 1°C temperature difference THAT persists for four days!

    In Arata’s defense, he designs his experiments to prove his point without subtlety, and without depending upon calibrations and close attention to detail. He likes classic, old school experiments that prove the point by first principles without mathematics or analysis. He disdains the kind of concerns I raised — and even more so the kind of nitpicking daedalus2uon is engaged in. He would say something like:

    The effect is as obvious as the nose on your face. Stop whining about the trivial difference between H2 and D2 in the initial phase or gas conductivity. Look what happens over the NEXT FOUR DAYS for crying out loud.

    (Only in Japanese, which is more emphatic and rude than English.)

    To suggest that you can prolong a temperature difference for four days by varying gas conductivity and thermocouple position is obtuse. Yes of course you can, but only for a while. Everything always cools down to the a uniform ambient temperature. With this system, that takes about 100 minutes, as you see from the Pd-H blank (p. 3). Fiddle around with gas conductivity & pressure and you can shorten or prolong it slightly, although I did a lot of work with gas calorimeters years ago, and the differences are negligible. There is no way to extend this cooling period from 100 minutes to four days! There is no way you can make the temperature difference start to creep up on the third day. This is the IMPORTANT point, so stop worrying about the details. (Arata would say. Yell.)

    By the way, the thermocouples were not moved.

  71. JedRothwellon 27 Mar 2009 at 9:39 pm

    There is a critical aspect to Arata’s work that I forgot to mention. I forgot here and in the paper.

    The 4-day duration of Zr-Pd experiments is arbitrary. They get tired of waiting so they turn off after 4 days. Arata ran his older generation of cells (the “DS Cathode”) for months at a time. SRI and Toyota replicated these and also ran them for long durations. I am sure the DS Cathodes work. That is why I am all but convinced the Zr-Pd ones are working too, despite the crappy calorimetry. There is every reason to think that he could run the latest Zr-Pd configuration for months. Or years. But they don’t want to wait because they want to start another run, and probably test the used Zr-Pd in the the mass spec, and I suppose ship it to the PRC for analysis.

    4 days is long enough to prove that the anomalous phase far exceeds the chemical reaction in the first 15 minutes. 4 months or 4 years would not prove it any more. The reaction usually shows no sign of petering out, as I said, and sometimes it even peps up. It does not conform to Newton’s law of cooling.

    As Arata might say: “WHAT DO I HAVE TO PROVE? You don’t believe it? You’re an ignoramus! Every heard of the Laws of Thermodynamics?!? Heat is work, ya’ know. And what it means when something stays hot. STAYS HOT! Look it up! These whippersnappers know nothing. NOTHING!” Picture a Japanese version of Doc Brown from “Back to the Future.” Anyone under 80 is a whippersnapper as far as he is concerned.

    My guess is that that there are bigger and better versions of this experiments back in the PRC where the money trail leads. I kind of doubt they would be sending whiz kids and 30-something post-grads, equipment and whatnot without confirming this independently. Say what you like about the PRC, they are not stupid.

    Zr-Pd is functionally worlds better than the DS-cathode. Both are nanoparticle gas loaded, and similar enough to have confidence that both are working the same way on the same principle. But for practical purposes Zr-Pd is miles ahead. It is a shame Toyota is still messing with the older design, although I can see why. It is easier to make. Some folks I know are trying to leapfrog both with aerogel suspended nanoparticles and various other approaches.

  72. HHCon 27 Mar 2009 at 11:24 pm

    JedRothwell, The stimulus funds are competitive. If you are interested in funding your research, contact your Congressman or Senator for information on the stimulus bill.

  73. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 11:26 am

    HHCon wrote:

    “The stimulus funds are competitive. If you are interested in funding your research, contact your Congressman or Senator for information on the stimulus bill.”

    Given the present widespread animosity toward cold fusion there is no chance any US agency will openly fund cold fusion. Except DARPA, which is more concerned about national security than academic politics. The DoE will shoot down a funding application in 5 minutes, ignoring the recommendations of their 2004 Panel. See:

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/LENRCANRthedoelies.pdf

    (I have met with the DARPA people and the Army and navy Navy people including Pam Boss and the NRL staff. I think the world of them. You have to hand it to the military. They are some of the most intellectually honest, rock solid, apolitical scientists I know. My mother worked with Army researchers decades ago and she said the same thing.)

    It isn’t my research, by the way. I do not have a lab or a PhD. I have been in labs to observe, but mainly I try to avoid breaking things or poisoning myself. My contribution has been to edit and translate dozens of papers.

    As long as the Washington Post, Time magazine, the APS and a few other powerful institutions accuse the researchers of fraud and criminality, and who-knows-what else, there is no chance this research will be funded. Those institutions have more influence than you might realize. You do NOT want to cross them! I know dozens of researchers who did, and they paid a hell of a price.

    Actually, miracle of miracles, the APS attack dog Robert Park yesterday published a statement that at least partly admits cold fusion may have something to it:

    “WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 27 Mar 09 Washington, DC
    COLD FUSION: TWENTY YEARS LATER, IT’S STILL COLD.
    Monday was the 20th anniversary of the infamous press conference called by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to announce the discovery of Cold Fusion. The sun warmed the Earth that day as it had for 5 billion years, by the high temperature fusion of hydrogen nuclei. Incredibly, the American chemical Society was meeting in Salt Lake City this week and there were many papers on cold fusion, or as their authors prefer LENR (low-energy nuclear reactions). These people, at least some of them, look in ever greater detail where others have not bothered to look. They say they find great mysteries, and perhaps they do. Is it important? I doubt it. But I think it’s science.”

    I doubt that he has the guts to publish anything like that in the WaPost, where he so frequently in the past shredded reputations and destroyed the lives of cold fusion researchers. Of course it would help if he did.

  74. daedalus2uon 28 Mar 2009 at 11:39 am

    All I can evaluate is what has been written down and which I can read. If a heat generating sample had been put in a Dewar and the heat from it was measured for months and reported, I could look at the report and evaluate it. I have to understand the details before I can change my conceptualization of reality.

    A problem with Arata’s setup is that ambient temperature is not derived from measurement, but is assumed to be a constant. If it were measured, there would be different measurement traces for each of the different runs. It may be a good assumption that the ambient temperature is constant, but it is an assumption (and (to me) unacceptably sloppy technique). Normal heating and ventilation systems don’t regulate ambient temperature to be constant with less than a tenth of a degree variation.

    In figure 6, ambient is indicated to be 24 C by a dotted line. In figure 7, there is no indication of ambient temperature, but both temperatures are about 22.5 C, which would not be possible with an ambient of 24 C unless the temperature measurement was off by 1.5 degrees.

    In figure 3 ambient looks like 24 degrees, in figure 4 it looks a little higher than 24, in figure 5 it looks like about 22.7 degrees, in figure 6 it is stated to be 24 degrees, in figure 7 it has to be around 22.5 degrees. These differences are greater than the final difference reported between the inner and outer thermocouples. If the ambient temperature is measured, then where is the measurement? If it isn’t measured then it is not correct to state it as if it was.

    In figure 6, in trace C, for times longer than 1,000 minutes, the inner temperature is colder than the outer temperature (but the difference is small). This indicates that either the thermocouples are inaccurate, or that heat is being destroyed in case C, resulting in a lower temperature inside. If the thermocouples are inaccurate, what is the source of the inaccuracy? Is it constant? Is it a problem with the reference junctions? Is it due to electrolytic reactions in the thermocouple insulation? It is just bad calibration? Is it due to shifting of the Seebeck effect due to H2 or D2? Is it due to catalytic oxidation of H2 or D2 on the surface of the thermocouple junction? On the reference junction? Were they thermocouples or RTDs? (a thousand $ price tag for an RTD makes more sense than for a thermocouple). RTDs have their own interferences. Pressure will cause an RTD to read high (due to strain in the metal). Dissolved H2 or D2 increases the resistance of metals (causing high readings also). Is the higher reading in high pressure D2 due to dissolved D2 increasing the resistivity?

    The data presented in what I saw was not readable to 0.1 degree. It certainly wasn’t readable to 0.01 degree. That level of measurement and precision is easy to get routinely with cheap equipment. An instrument that I like to use is the Agilent 34410A Digital Multimeter data logger which can scan and record 6.5 digit readings from up to 120 different sensors. It is cheap too, only a couple grand. I am using one now to log about 40 different type K thermocouples. I record the temperature to 0.001 degree. The thermocouples are not calibrated, so I see differences of up to a few degrees even when they are measuring the same thing. They reference to an internal junction which isn’t stable to even 1 degree, but for rough work it is ok. When ambient temperature changes, that internal reference changes too. If I were doing calorimetry, I would use RTDs and/or precise reference junctions. When someone isn’t doing that, I know they are not serious about getting precise results. It doesn’t cost any more to do things precisely. It does take more time and care in setting things up, but that time is small compared to months of run time.

    All of the data that has been presented is noisy and the results are not many sigma above the noise. In physics they like to have at least 5 sigma before reporting something. These results are no where close to that. They are not even in a form where a sigma can be calculated.

  75. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 12:51 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “All I can evaluate is what has been written down and which I can read.”

    Then I suggest your read a great deal more, and maybe learn to read Japanese and Chinese.

    “If a heat generating sample had been put in a Dewar and the heat from it was measured for months and reported, I could look at the report and evaluate it.”

    Well, not a Dewar. That makes a lousy calorimeter. But yes, that is what Arata’s previous papers report, along with hundreds of other papers. This one went for only 4 days but previous ones went far longer, as I noted and as you will see if you keep reading. I expect they have run the Zr-Pd cells a lot longer than 4 days by now.

    “I have to understand the details before I can change my conceptualization of reality.”

    With all due respect, you have to read the details first, and stop coming up with half-baked excuses to dismiss them.

    “A problem with Arata’s setup is that ambient temperature is not derived from measurement, but is assumed to be a constant.”

    That is incorrect. It is measured, as I stated previously. However, for some reason the person making these graphs drew a line in instead of transferring the data. I think it is because he is Chinese and he did not want to fool around with different data collection gadgets with Japanese documentation. I got that impression talking to him. I sympathize.

    “Normal heating and ventilation systems don’t regulate ambient temperature to be constant with less than a tenth of a degree variation.”

    This is not a normal HVAC. It is stable lab-quality HVAC in a recently built building on the campus of Osaka U., just down the hill from Arata Hall. (The prof’s offices are in Arata Hall — named for him, but he does not do hands on experiments. He is not that kinda guy.) I don’t know the specs but I saw the ambient temp trace and it was very stable.

    “In figure 3 ambient looks like 24 degrees, in figure 4 it looks a little higher than 24, in figure 5 it looks like about 22.7 degrees, in figure 6 it is stated to be 24 degrees, in figure 7 it has to be around 22.5 degrees. These differences are greater than the final difference reported between the inner and outer thermocouples.”

    That makes no difference. As long as ambient changes are slow the external change can be larger than the Tin and Tout difference, and it is still valid, although noisy.

    “In figure 6, in trace C, for times longer than 1,000 minutes, the inner temperature is colder than the outer temperature (but the difference is small). This indicates that either the thermocouples are inaccurate, or that heat is being destroyed in case C, resulting in a lower temperature inside.”

    Obviously it means the thermocouples are slightly inaccurate. They are within 0.1 deg C of one another. That’s not great but it is good enough to measure a persistent 1 deg C temperature difference. He also uses mercury thermometers — and a thermoelectric motor as I mentioned. He makes very sure that the temperature difference is NOT an artifact of the thermocouples.

    Thermocouples are way more precise than accurate, as I noted.

    “If the thermocouples are inaccurate, what is the source of the inaccuracy?”

    Obviously they are not quite set to the same temp when the run begins. So what? The guy is not trying to show an effect that depends upon being within 0.01 deg C of the actual temperature. If his claim rested upon something as delicate as that, it would not be believable. It is far more robust than that, and Arata is the kind of person who does not sweat the details. Call it failing if you like, but he has had hugely successful 60-year career doing things this way. Older scientists who look at this data are instantly convinced, whereas I want calibration data and you want to see them start with the two thermocouples set to within a hundredth degree of the actual temperature and one-another. Arata would say you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    I can see that you are of a different generation here, with different expectations and standards. You are worried about a 0.1 deg C difference in initial settings which Arata and others of his age and era would dismiss. He is used to pre-war analog instruments, pen recorders, mercury thermometers and iron-core transformers. As Mizuno says, “we are analog people living in a digital world.” People like him are used to doing experiments that do not call for high accuracy or precision because they could not achieve it.

    “Is it constant?”

    Yes, you can see it is! That’s a dumb question.

    “Is it a problem with the reference junctions? Is it due to electrolytic reactions in the thermocouple insulation? It is just bad calibration? Is it due to shifting of the Seebeck effect due to H2 or D2?”

    Who cares what caused it? Arata would say that’s the technician’s problem. It is way smaller than the effect he is demonstrating. It can’t affect a mercury thermometer. Stop fretting about trivialities. – that’s how Arata would respond. I can see your point of view but I think you overdo it.

    “The data presented in what I saw was not readable to 0.1 degree. It certainly wasn’t readable to 0.01 degree.”

    Yup. Because 0.1 deg C differences don’t matter, so why show ‘em? And what do you expect from a graph on paper? This is not a pen recorder trace. (Although I’ll bet he uses one, and Mizuno still uses a bimetalic pen recorder, although it is electric, not wind-up.)

    “That level of measurement and precision is easy to get routinely with cheap equipment.”

    Yeah, but Arata and the PRC use only the best. They do not publish the data to 4 decimal places, because that’s irrelevant, but they have it.

    “[My own] thermocouples are not calibrated, so I see differences of up to a few degrees even when they are measuring the same thing.”

    Okay, so you know why Arata’s are 0.1 apart! So why ask? Why make a big deal over a triviality? His are calibrated enough to show a 1 deg C difference with confidence, especially with all the back up methods he uses.

    “All of the data that has been presented is noisy and the results are not many sigma above the noise. In physics they like to have at least 5 sigma before reporting something. These results are no where close to that. They are not even in a form where a sigma can be calculated.”

    On the other hand, I know lots of people over 60 who took one look at this data and were instantly convinced. It depends on whether you look for robust first-principle experimental proof or whether you are wander around lost in the details five decimal places lower than it matters. You remind me a little of a med student I knew 30 years ago, when digital thermometers had just become available. I was living with a biology prof, and this student turned in a paper with dozens of rat body temperatures recorded to 4 decimal places. The prof and I had a good laugh! That’s 3 decimal places of noise. The rat lifts foot or swallows and presto, a 0.0112 deg C change.

  76. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 1:30 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “I have to understand the details before I can change my conceptualization of reality.”

    And by the way, if you could be convinced by this one paper, you are mighty suggestible. Or gullible. I would never change my conceptualization of reality based on one paper from one superannuated genius eccentric prof in Osaka, even one with a building named after him and a team of sharp Chinese assistants. (His team really is on the ball. I doubt they would be doing this experiment with 1930s methodology if it were up to them, and I am pretty sure they aren’t back in Shanghai!)

    This paper is not convincing. This one plus the others Arata have published are not fully convincing. This one, the others, the SRI replication of this experiment, the Toyota replication, the 5 other nanoparticle experiments, the independent analysis of the used materials . . . yeah, that gets pretty convincing. Add to that thousands of other experimental runs, in 200 other labs, showing similar results with similar materials under similar conditions and it becomes as convincing as any result can be. A pattern emerges.

    You have to look at the totality of results. Experimental science in fields such as electrochem. and materials are not a binary Yes or No, True or False proposition. It is not like energy physics where you get a straight yes or no answer. There are always weird results that do not fit, and experiments in which all of the conditions appear to be met but the effect did not appear.

    You should also stop trying to divide and conquer, finding different reasons to ignore one paper after another. Yes, you can imagine that McKubre’s input power is measured wrong. Yes, you can then ignore the fact the McKubre has no input power during heat after death (which is obviously why he and other induce it). You can come up with a reason to wonder about this result, doubt that one, dismiss the other. I can play that game too. It’s my job: I send out dozens of comment to authors pointing out potential weaknesses and points of confusion while I edit papers. But I do not dismiss the papers just because some guy did not bother to calibrate thermocouples within 0.1 deg C when that is not necessary.

    I could sit here correcting your mistakes one after another, but frankly, life is too short. Take my word for it: every assertion you have come up with so far has been invalid hand-waving and irrelevant nitpicking. If you want me or a researcher to take you seriously, you will stop writing down every objection that crosses your mind, and try being more skeptical of yourself. All papers have weaknesses. You can always think of a better way to make an instrument. Anyone can, but it is far more difficult to actually do it. You don’t like the way Arata heated up a cell to 141 deg C, because it made the inside cooler than the outside. Okay, I see your point, but that is not a serious weakness, and he had darn good reasons for doing it that way. That problem does NOT call into question the results, it just confuses the reader a little.

    Stop nitpicking and second guessing and assuming you know better every time you glance at a paper. Stop thinking that you are going to find a problem in work that other people from funding agencies such as DARPA have reviewed time after time. DARPA experts such as the Jasons are not idiots who overlook problems in input power that you might discover in a few minutes.

    Have a little humility. That’s a plus for a scientist. Try assuming in the first approximation that these people know what they are doing, and maybe you do not know what they are doing. Write a serious paper instead of a series of weak and misinformed off the cuff impressions. You sound smart enough to make a real contribution (unlike a lot of nitwits I have heard from) but you have to do your homework and get real.

  77. daedalus2uon 28 Mar 2009 at 2:32 pm

    I do assume to a first approximation that people know what they are doing, and that they believe the results that they produce. I am not accusing anyone of fraud, only of being sloppy.

    The energy from “heat after death” could be due to D2 evolution from the PdD that was formed, with the D2 evolved being oxidized to D2O. Pd is a good H2 oxidation catalyst.

    You say that Arata had good reasons for doing what he did, but I don’t see it, other than being sloppy. If he can’t be bothered to check the details of what the technicians do, then he isn’t a serious researcher in my book, no matter how many buildings he has named after him. If he can’t be bothered to make sure data is transcribed correctly in a paper, what am I supposed to think?

    If they “only use the best”, but don’t bother to calibrate their instruments, for what reason are they using “only the best”, other than to massage their own egos? I am not dismissing his results because he didn’t calibrate to 0.1 degree. I see no evidence that he calibrated at all. If Arata has a whole building built and named after him, and can afford $1000 thermocouples, why can’t he afford the time to do things carefully? You keep saying that Arata and the PRC are doing everything to the highest levels of accuracy and precision, but then hand wave away stuff that doesn’t fit with that.

    It isn’t that I don’t “like” the way that Arata heated up his cell to 141 C such that the outside was hotter than the inside. That he got measurements to that effect shows that the heat flow in his device is significantly and quantitatively different than what he is assuming. It shows that his analysis of the resulting temperatures doesn’t show what he is claiming it shows. From his data (figure 10 A1) you could equally infer that D2 with no sample destroys heat and makes it disappear. Actually it was destroying about 3 times more heat than D2 plus Pd black was creating (figure 10 C1). Maybe that is the problem with some of these experiments, D2 outside of the Pd is destroying the heat that the D2 inside the Pd is creating. That “explanation” fits the data as well as the explanation of intermittent fusion.

    You say he had good reasons for doing it that way, but I can’t think of any and he didn’t give any. If he needed to have a heat leak, it would be better to have that across something of fixed properties that he monitored the temperature of, a copper bar for example. Then he could measure the temperature gradient and measure the heat flux. It seems that when people do that, their experiments always run much longer, weeks or even months before they show excess heat. A Dewar is a damn sight better calorimeter than a metal cell wrapped with aluminum foil that drops in temperature like a stone when the external heater is turned off. If he had used a Dewar and a copper bar, zero heat production would have resulted in the same temperature as the heater.

    You say that these effects are not reproducible. Noise and random experimental error aren’t reproducible either. There isn’t enough data in these papers to determine what sources of heat they didn’t account for. If the data was in the paper they would have accounted for it. The pattern I see is that the more careful the experiments are done (as in Amoco and SRI), the longer the experiments take. A possible interpretation of that is that there is some source of systematic bias that sometimes occurs and that bias is smaller the more carefully the experiments are done, so it takes longer to build up a macroscopic heat imbalance.

  78. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 4:35 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “I am not accusing anyone of fraud, only of being sloppy.”

    There are some sloppy people in this field. I suppose that is true of any field of science. I agree that Arata is sloppy in some ways, by modern standards.

    “The energy from “heat after death” could be due to D2 evolution from the PdD that was formed, with the D2 evolved being oxidized to D2O. Pd is a good H2 oxidation catalyst.”

    No, as Fleischmann pointed out, the effect is 1,700 times too large for that, and D2 does not evolve from the PdD when this happens. It is still in there. Also there is no oxygen in the cell. Please do your homework before making assertions like this. You are being – dare I say it – sloppy.

    “You say that Arata had good reasons for doing what he did, but I don’t see it, other than being sloppy. If he can’t be bothered to check the details of what the technicians do . . .”

    Arata does not do experiments. His coauthor Zhang, his technicians and post-docs do. He designs experiments but he never touches the equipment and he never concerns himself with small detail. His staff sure does, though. They have good reasons for everything they do, but they do not always explain these reasons, and their methods are 60 years out of date.

    “If he can’t be bothered to make sure data is transcribed correctly in a paper, what am I supposed to think?”

    It is transcribed correct by the standards of 1940. I have received manuscripts from Schwinger, Fleischmann, Arata and others of that generation with hand-drawn graphs on graph paper. They consider that the proper way to do things. I am glad that the post-docs persuaded him to use a computer in this case.

    You have to get used to science as it was done long ago. You will find that these people are a lot better experimentalists’ than modern scientists are. Schwinger and two other cold fusion scientists were at Los Alamos during WWII, developing the bomb. That was a major accomplishment.

    “If they ‘only use the best’, but don’t bother to calibrate their instruments . . .

    You can see that they calibrated to within 0.1 deg C, for goodness sake. They do not do things that are not called for, and that would not have been done in 1940.

    “If Arata has a whole building built and named after him, and can afford $1000 thermocouples, why can’t he afford the time to do things carefully? You keep saying that Arata and the PRC are doing everything to the highest levels of accuracy and precision, but then hand wave away stuff that doesn’t fit with that.”

    They are obviously not doing things with accuracy and precision! Anyone could do this more accurately. I wrote a paper describing ways they could. They are doing it as a first-principle, 1930s style experiment that does not depend upon accuracy or calibrations. That’s how Arata works. And Schwinger, Ohmori and lots of other people in this field (the others are all dead . . . but that’s how they used to work). Okay, you don’t get it. I suggest you go read a physics book from 1940. Seriously.

    People like that consider “the highest levels of accuracy” to be a diversion and a waste of time. They would say you are diddling with meaningless extra digits instead of look at Second Law proof. This is a different mindset from yours. Deal with it.

    You, with your obsession with precision and accuracy, failed to notice that the heat from D2 recombination is 1,700 times too small, and physically impossible since there is no oxygen. I suggest you pay more attention to fundamentals and less to detail. Get it right to within a few orders of magnitude before you go looking for fifth-decimal place effects.

    “It isn’t that I don’t “like” the way that Arata heated up his cell to 141 C such that the outside was hotter than the inside. That he got measurements to that effect shows that the heat flow in his device is significantly and quantitatively different than what he is assuming.”

    This is all nonsense.

    “It shows that his analysis of the resulting temperatures doesn’t show what he is claiming it shows. From his data (figure 10 A1) you could equally infer that D2 with no sample destroys heat and makes it disappear.”

    That’s an elementary violation of physics, as you well know. My alternative explanation, that the heat leaks out the top, is more plausible. Arata knows that is happening as well as I do.

    “You say he had good reasons for doing it that way, but I can’t think of any and he didn’t give any.”

    First, you have not read all of his papers because you probably don’t speak Japanese, so you don’t know what he gave and did not give. He did not describe every detail in every paper. Second, the fact that you – after a few hours – “can’t think of any reasons” has no significance. You have not spent the 60 years accumulating reasons. More times than I care to remember, I have seen hotshot young scientists and programmers try to replicate work, and screw up. Why? Because they don’t understand what the older guy did, and they “can’t think of any reason” why it should be done that way, they don’t bother to ask or do their homework, so they spend six months doing it the wrong way instead.

    You couldn’t think of any reason why D2 should not burn in the absence of oxygen either, but that’s because you did not think, you jumped to a conclusion.

    “If he had used a Dewar and a copper bar, zero heat production would have resulted in the same temperature as the heater.”

    And if you were doing the experiment you might choose to use this method. And if you were doing this, you would find about a hundred ways to fail. This might be one of them for all I know. If it is, Arata probably learned it back in 1949.

    “You say that these effects are not reproducible.”

    I said they are not ALWAYS reproducible. I said they SOMETIMES fail. Don’t twist my words. You have conducted this debate such cheap tricks up until now. Don’t start that kind of nonsense. They are 80 to 100% reproducible, depending on the technique. Much more reproducible than transistors were in 1955.

    “Noise and random experimental error aren’t reproducible either.”

    The results are not random. They respond to control parameters. They are largely reproducible.

    “There isn’t enough data in these papers to determine what sources of heat they didn’t account for.”

    Which papers? How many have you read? You realize, I hope, that most of these papers are in Japanese and Chinese.

    “If the data was in the paper they would have accounted for it. The pattern I see is that the more careful the experiments are done (as in Amoco and SRI), the longer the experiments take.”

    Arata’s previous experiments took months. He could easily run this one for months too, but as of last year he saw no reason to. He worked on this Zr-Pd material for 6 years with no results – no heat. He is well acquainted with null results.

    “A possible interpretation of that is that there is some source of systematic bias that sometimes occurs and that bias is smaller the more carefully the experiments are done, so it takes longer to build up a macroscopic heat imbalance.”

    Do you mean an instrument bias? If it is actual macrosocopic heat, that’s Second Law proof and that’s Arata’s entire point. If you mean an instrument bias, explain how that would also affect a mercury thermometer, a thermoelectric device, and why would it only occurs with deuterium and not hydrogen? And why did it take 6 years to show up, and why is it correlated with some Zr-Pd samples but not others? THINK before you say things like that. For the last time, stop jumping to conclusions.

  79. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I meant to say: You have conducted this debate WITHOUT such cheap tricks up until now.

    I have difficulty communicating via computers in both English and Japanese, since I must largely depend upon voice input. Please ignore dropouts of this nature.

  80. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Let me explain something that might confuse a modern scientist. Arata always flies first class. He always buys the top of the line instruments. My guess is that he calls the president of Hitachi Instruments (or whatever) on the guy’s private line and the company sends a team of technicians the next day.

    The thing is, having acquired instruments that can measure 0.00001 K, Arata then uses them with same methods people in Japan used back when bimetalic pen recorders were the best they had, and electricity was off half the day.

    This results in work that seems strange by modern standards. If I had Zr-Pd material, I would put it in a $6000 Seebeck calorimeter (which I happen to own). That is an electronic device that measures with far greater accuracy and precision than Arata’s method. It is no muss, no fuss, highly reliable, rock steady for months at a time, tremendous range, highly recommended. However, they did not have Seebeck electronic calorimeters in 1940 in Osaka, so Arata will not touch one.

    When I suggested to Arata that I could get him a Seebeck, he said (approximately): “Don’t give me any of that electronic computerized crap. You can’t tell how it works. It’s a damn black box.” A lot of older scientist said that back when digital equipment was invented in the 1970s and 80s. They had a good point. To some extent, the instruments give too much confidence. They look too right. They give a definitive answer which may actually be nonsense. They give rise the mentality that demands 5 decimal digits of precision without noticing that their initial assumptions are off by a factor of 1,700 and physically impossible. daedalus2uon is not the first to make that particular mistake, but I have never seen anyone over 60 make it, because those people knew how to do an analog reality check.

    Regarding hand-drawn graphs, a guy at Los Alamos told me that well into the 1970s they had an analog tracing gadget to transfer hand-drawn graph paper graphs to a publishable format. Fleischmann and the others expected me to do that — which I did with my wife’s help and some computer graphics tricks. Hand drawn graphs were the proper, formal way to present data. I was with Flieschmann once when he was making one from a large stack of computer printouts of data, adding dots one at a time with a pencil. I said, “why not have someone generate that directly from the data?” He said, as I recall: “You don’t really get a feel for it unless you graph it yourself. This is how you look closely at the data. And those printers distort the graph. They don’t show it the way I want to show it.”

    This is not only a problem with Arata. Most cold fusion researchers and papers reflect this kind of obsolete thinking, that younger scientists mistake for sloppiness, or that they simply cannot get their heads around. It must seem mind boggling to get a high performance thermocouple and then calibrated it “close enough” to within 0.1 deg C, and use it with a technique that J. P. Joule might have used back in 1848, and could have done just as accurately with mercury thermometers. This is a mentality and a way of doing science that is dying out now. Cold fusion is dying along with it.

    Unfortunately, only the old WWII Greatest Generation scientists will do cold fusion, because they are used to doing really tough, cutting edge stuff that has no textbooks, no guides, and requires originality. As the newly minted Japanese Nobel laureate Shimomura said a few days ago, “young people are lazy. Instead doing the hard stuff, they just give up.” (He went on to say “especially the men” but the National New broadcast cut out that part. Some Japanese women filled me in on that part.)

    The hands-on guys (not Arata!) make their own instruments, cut custom made parts, and blow their own glass. Mizuno uses an 8-inch floppy equipped mass SEM that is 30 years out of date, but that he personally has assembled and maintained, and which he probably now knows better than the guy who designed it. Because they do so much themselves, they don’t have to wait for equipment suppliers, they work on a shoestring, and they can whip up a custom designed gadget just right for the experiment, which is not available in any scientific supply catalog.

  81. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Ah, I think I understand this comment

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “A possible interpretation of that is that there is some source of systematic bias that sometimes occurs and that bias is smaller the more carefully the experiments are done, so it takes longer to build up a macroscopic heat imbalance.”

    He is suggesting that other, long term results are spurious and caused by instrument drift. This is not in evidence. Any experiment lasting more than a week is regularly recalibrated “on the fly” and again after the test run. This is usually done with a heat pulse from an auxiliary joule heater, and/or by changing electrolysis power.

    Please remember that before you were born, these people learned how to deal with instrument drift and other well-known, obvious and easily detected problems. Before you bring up a potential problem, check to see if they addressed it already. (They did, I promise.)

  82. HHCon 28 Mar 2009 at 7:19 pm

    JedRothwell, I would like to propose an international exchange. The researchers for whom you have been translating could benefit from working in U.S. laboratories with U.S. equipment and
    precise standards. Otherwise, I think you are documenting the current state of other countries nuclear programs.

  83. daedalus2uon 28 Mar 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Before you bring up a potential problem, check to see if they addressed it already. (They did, I promise.)

    You should consider the term “cargo cult science”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult_science

    and read the cited example at the bottom on the oil drop experiment. There is a great tendency to stop looking for sources of error once one has reached the “right” answer, what ever one perceives that “right” answer to be.

    To me, the “heat destruction” observed in figure 10 A1 is a problem that someone like Feynman would not have considered acceptable in any apparatus he used. A mercury thermometer wasn’t used in that experiment. If it were I would have more confidence in it. Mercury thermometers were not used in the other experiments either. I just got rid of one of mine that was readable to 0.001 degree, and I had the calibration curve for it too.

    If Arata depends on his technicians to build and run his apparatus, how does he treat them when the apparatus does not produce the results he expects it to? How does his treatment of them affect how they design, build and operate the equipment?

    It isn’t just modern scientists that are lazy and unwilling to subject themselves to criticism. There is a story that Einstein submitted a paper that was rejected during peer review (because it had an error in it) and Einstein was furious and never submitted a paper to that journal again. He corrected the error and submitted the paper elsewhere.

    I do appreciate the difficulty of trying to go against the mainstream when one is correct.

    I am not going to learn Chinese or Japanese to read the literature on cold fusion. I don’t have time to read the English language literature on it. If it is real, it will have to be developed by someone other than me. I have too much else that needs my attention and that (right now at least) I am the only one working on.

  84. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 9:08 pm

    HHCon wrote:

    “I would like to propose an international exchange. The researchers for whom you have been translating could benefit from working in U.S. laboratories with U.S. equipment and precise standards.”

    There is lots of international exchange among the people involved in the field. Researchers often meet and visit other countries.

    U.S. equipment and precise standards are not available for these experiments because of the political opposition to the research. No cold fusion experiment has been allowed in a U.S. DoE national lab since Claytor (1996). No U.S. corporation or university will allow these experiments as far as I know.

  85. JedRothwellon 28 Mar 2009 at 9:27 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “If Arata depends on his technicians to build and run his apparatus, how does he treat them when the apparatus does not produce the results he expects it to? How does his treatment of them affect how they design, build and operate the equipment?”

    They keep working. As I mentioned, they worked for 6 years on the latest approach without success.

    “I am not going to learn Chinese or Japanese to read the literature on cold fusion.”

    I was kidding. I meant only that you are not in a position to know what Arata has published. Actually, knowing Japanese is not much help in his case. I find him incomprehensible in both English and Japanese.

    “If it is real, it will have to be developed by someone other than me.”

    No one expects you to develop it! I do think however, that you should frame your critiques with more good faith, rigor and a little more of the proper academic style. Make it a question rather than an assertion: “Did Fleischmann consider the possibility that D2O formation causes heat after death?” What irks me is when people assume that they have found the problem, it must be D2O formation, and Fleischmann must have overlooked it.

    To give credit where it is due, you said only “the energy from ‘heat after death’ could be due to D2 evolution . . .” “Could be” is good. It beats “must obviously be” which is what I often hear. But you have more knowledge than most, so I think you should have done a quick reality check.

  86. HHCon 28 Mar 2009 at 11:51 pm

    JedRothwell, If no U.S. research has been done since 1996, then the question I must ask is what information is Ms. Pamela Mosier-Boss, Navy Work Center, San Diego, California providing the U.S. press? @:-)

  87. daedalus2uon 29 Mar 2009 at 9:30 am

    In the Fleischmann Pons discussions of “heat after death” (linked to above) the very high heat generation rates are very short term. Those rates certainly can be caused by chemical reactions.

    They calculate (not measure) according to a model and conditions they assume (not measure) an excess rate of 144.5 Watts for 600 seconds for a total of 86.7 kJ.

    They never consider the possible formation and accumulation of H2O2, which is well known to form during electrolysis. The heat of formation of H2O2 is less than that of water, so when H2O2 decomposes it releases heat, enough to vaporize the resulting water and more water besides. 1 gram of H2O2 releases enough heat to vaporize an additional 0.61 grams of water.

    Accumulation of H2O2 decreases the heat required to evaporate the cell to dryness (because there is less water), and provides a heat source (the decomposition of H2O2).

    The accumulation of H2O2 explains the voltage current characteristics of the cells. It also explains why despite the (seemingly gigantic) rate of heat generation the temperature of the cell never exceeds the boiling point of water. The source of the heat is the solution, and when it is gone there is no extra heat to make it hotter than the boiling point.

    Their reports are difficult to evaluate because they don’t clearly separate data from interpretation. They say the cell boiled dry, but how they determined that is unclear. Did they infer dryness because the temperature exceeded 100 C? The boiling point of H2O2 is 158 C. The thermister was well above the liquid level at dryness.

  88. JedRothwellon 29 Mar 2009 at 11:09 am

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “In the Fleischmann Pons discussions of ‘heat after death’ (linked to above) the very high heat generation rates are very short term.”

    No, the high heat effect continues for 3 to 6 hours. Low power heat before the even continues for a week or two. (For as long as they want; they can trigger the high heat event any time after the first week or so.)

    “Those rates certainly can be caused by chemical reactions.”

    At this rate (power) all possible chemical fuel in the cell would be exhausted in a few minutes.

    “They calculate (not measure) according to a model and conditions they assume (not measure) an excess rate of 144.5 Watts for 600 seconds for a total of 86.7 kJ.”

    In my opinion measuring the vaporized volume of water is a measurement, not a calculation. The heat of vaporization of water is well established. Extensive tests were performed to be sure the water was boiled and that it did not leave the cell as droplets. The experiment was replicated by the French AEC which also checked for this.

    86.7 kJ is only for the 600 second boil off event. The cell produced far more excess in the days leading up to this, so no storage or chemical fuel formation could have occurred. That would show up as an endothermic event. It continued to produce heat for 3 hours after the event (Fig. 8).

    By the way, the figure of 1,700 was for another boil off event, cited by Kreysa et al. See:

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmanreplytothe.pdf

    “They never consider the possible formation and accumulation of H2O2, which is well known to form during electrolysis.”

    They did consider this, as did many others. The volume of H2O2 needed to produce this much energy would far exceed the volume of this test tube. H2O2 has not been found in this or any other successful cold fusion cell.

    “The heat of formation of H2O2 is less than that of water . . .”

    As I said, the experiment was exothermic the whole time. The heat of formation of H2O2 would have shown up as a measureable deficit.

    “Did they infer dryness because the temperature exceeded 100 C?”

    No, the cell is transparent. They observed that it was dry, and that the plastic support under the cathode was melted. They used a video camera to record how long it took to boil off the water. (It took 10 minutes in the example show here. The duration and volume of water varied.)

    This boil off experiment was repeated many times, with groups of 4 cells as shown in the photos. They ran 8 groups of 4, 32 in all.

  89. JedRothwellon 29 Mar 2009 at 11:15 am

    HHCon wrote:

    “If no U.S. research has been done since 1996, then the question I must ask is what information is Ms. Pamela Mosier-Boss, Navy Work Center, San Diego, California providing the U.S. press?”

    Please note that I specified research in “U.S. DoE national labs.” The DoE has no jurisdiction over U.S. Navy labs, fortunately. If the DoE could stop the Navy research, I expect it would. As I said I am not aware of any research in U.S. corporations or universities, but there may be programs I have not heard about.

    That is Dr. Mosier-Boss, by the way.

  90. JedRothwellon 29 Mar 2009 at 11:45 am

    I should add that the fact that the cathode does not deload during heat after death was established in other experiments, by other means. Loading was not measured directly in the experiment shown at ICCF3. (It would kind of difficult to measure with an open cell, I suppose.) The fact that the H.A.D. continued long after boil off in this example also indicates that cathode is still loaded.

    Heat after death has been observed with cathodes monitored for loading by various different means in closed cells. It does not occur when loading falls below the threshold for cold fusion, which is around 95% depending on how you measure it.

    H.A.D. is a useful means of determining that input power is not being mismeasured, because it eliminates input power for a while. However it it not particularly promising for technology, contrary to what Pons wrote. Pons’ later work with boiling reflux cells was more practical. It is more or less the same thing, only electrolysis is continues. You can cut off electrolysis for quite a while with this technique, which is the same as H.A.D. except the cell does not boil dry because the vapor is condensed and returned to the cell. The input power of electrolysis has more recently been reduced to about 1/50th of excess power so it is no longer an issue and I do not see much point to making electrolysis cathodes work with no input at all.

    Gas loaded cells have no input power. Gas phase proton conductors (electrolysis with gas) have input power far lower than the output. Input is at microwatt levels and output is 1 – 10 W, when they work at all, which is seldom.

  91. daedalus2uon 29 Mar 2009 at 12:38 pm

    The cell voltage assumed is 1.54, and at 0.5 Amperes, this is 0.72 J/sec. Some runs extend about 1.5 million seconds. That is over 1,100 kJ.

    They assumed that the fluid remaining in the cell just before boil off was water and not a H2O2-water mixture. If it was water, then its evaporation could be used as a measure of heat absorption. If it is a water-H2O2 mixture, the heat required for it to be vaporized depends on its composition. That enthalpy input from the heat of vaporization of water at zero H2O2 to zero enthalpy input for a 60/40 H2O2-H20 mixture to releasing heat for higher H2O2 concentrations. More than enough energy was put into the cell to completely convert the D2O to D2O2. They didn’t do a mass balance on the cell, so the composition of the off gas remains unknown. They didn’t analyze the liquid so the composition remains unknown.

    I thought the comment by Morrison re oxidation of H2 stored by Pd was quite apt, and the response unsatisfactory.

    I saw no mention of the possibility of H2O2 formation, or testing to confirm that it did not occur. All the results I have seen are consistent with it occurring (topping off the solutions rather than replacing them).

  92. JedRothwellon 29 Mar 2009 at 1:02 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “The cell voltage assumed is 1.54, and at 0.5 Amperes, this is 0.72 J/sec. Some runs extend about 1.5 million seconds. That is over 1,100 kJ.”

    The cell voltage is zero during most of the boil-off event, and for 3 to 6 hours afterward while the heat continues. The connection between the anode and cathode has been cut by the falling water. Steam does not conduct electricity. A close up photo of a cell undergoing boil off shows no electrolysis bubbles on the anode, and only steam bubbles on the cathode.

    “They assumed that the fluid remaining in the cell just before boil off was water and not a H2O2-water mixture.”

    They do not merely assume this, they test it. Also they tested it at the AEC and the Jap. Nat. Fusion Lab. (tokamak plasma fusion) where this experiment was replicated.

    “I thought the comment by Morrison re oxidation of H2 stored by Pd was quite apt, and the response unsatisfactory.”

    Then I am sorry to be harsh, but I think you are innumerate. Can you not tell the difference between 600 J and 1.4 MJ? It is very easy to determine the maximum amount of deuterium that can be stored in a cathode, and the heat of recombination. Also, as I noted, there is no oxygen in the cell. (This was also confirmed by the Jap. Nat. Fusion Lab.)

    “I saw no mention of the possibility of H2O2 formation, or testing to confirm that it did not occur. All the results I have seen are consistent with it occurring (topping off the solutions rather than replacing them).”

    As noted in the paper, the fluid loss is very close to the expected amounts lost from electrolysis. There was no material left over and no endothermic process. As I noted previously, not every test and procedure in this project was covered in this one paper. It would have to be hundreds of pages long for that. It is not completely covered in all the papers available at LENR-CANR.org. As I said, I have 3,000 other papers, including several others about boil off events.

    Furthermore, you need to look at this in context of the other experiments such as closed cell continuously boiling test with the reflux calorimeter. These share the same characteristics. They occur under the same conditions with the same control parameters. Obviously they are the same phenomenon, and it is equally obvious that they cannot be caused by H2O2. I trust you do not think H2O2 in a cell of this size can produce 150 MJ in a continuous reaction! My point is that you cannot slice and dice these results in isolation, finding a far-fetched reason to dismiss one and and another reason to ignore another result. You have to look at them as a whole.

  93. daedalus2uon 29 Mar 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Morrison was talking about the energy required to keep the cell hot once the fluid had evaporated. It doesn’t take a lot of heat to do that. It is a vacuum insulated Dewar. If you assume that it takes the same amount of heat to keep the cell hot after the fluid evaporates as while the fluid is evaporating, then yes you will greatly over estimate the quantity of heat required.

    Where do you get 1.4 MJ?

    If they measured the heat instead of assuming it, there wouldn’t be these questions.

    How can there be no O2 in the cell? When D2O is electrolyzed, the resulting D2 and O2 have to go somewhere. Any test that shows reduced O2 over what is expected from electrolysis is confirmation that O2 is accumulating in the cell as D2O2 is being formed.

  94. daedalus2uon 29 Mar 2009 at 4:57 pm

    In looking through the patent literature, there are plenty of electrolytic processes for making H2O2 from water. It would be very surprising if D2O2 were not produced in these cells. Many different metal salts catalyze the decomposition of H2O2. Iron is quite effective, as are all of the Fenton active metals. Perhaps that explains why high levels of purity are required to observe positive results. With higher levels of certain impurities the D2O2 decomposes prematurely. Some impurities have no effect, likely because they don’t catalyze H2O2 decomposition.

    A “poisoning” of a nuclear reaction via impurities seems extremely unlikely because the two deuterons have to get extremely close together (nuclear-type distances). If some third species had to be there to intervene, it too has to be close at nuclear-type distances. Postulating that some fourth species somehow interfered with that by getting between them strains credibility.

    H2O2 is indefinitely stable at 100 C in the absence of ionizing radiation and catalysts. Perhaps the triggering mechanism relates to the gradual corrosion of the borosilicate glass due to the hot alkaline D2O-D2O2 solution until enough iron is liberated to initiate the decomposition of D2O2. It proceeds via a chain reaction with hydroxyl radical extending the chain and forming HO2 which terminates the chain with hydroxyl (forming H2O and O2) or HO2 (forming H2O2 and O2). Fenton active metals release hydroxyl, so the reaction can proceed readily.

    It takes less energy to make H2O2 from water than to make H2 and O2. Energy that is assumed to be going into making H2 and O2 and being lost from the system is instead being stored as H2O2 which is then released when the H2O2 decomposes. There might be some isotope effects on the kinetics of the electrolytic reactions that are going on. In some electrolytic reactions involving hydrogen, the limiting step is hydrogen ion tunneling. A deuteron has twice the mass and so its tunneling kinetics are very much slower.

  95. JedRothwellon 29 Mar 2009 at 5:25 pm

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “Morrison was talking about the energy required to keep the cell hot once the fluid had evaporated.”

    No, he was not. In any case, energy would also be required to boil the water in the first place. As I noted, there in no input power once boiling gets underway and the water level drops to the level of the cathode. Power is monitored carefully in these experiments. Fleischmann shows and oscilloscope trace to demonstrate that vapor does not conduct a significant amount of electricity during a boil-off event. Furthermore, blank boil off tests (with electrolysis power and or joule heaters) show the cell cools down quickly. It does not remain hot for 3 to 6 hours. It does not heat up even more after boil off finishes and all electric power is cut off. That would be a Second Law violation.

    “It doesn’t take a lot of heat to do that. It is a vacuum insulated Dewar.”

    No it is not. A vacuum insulated Dewar makes a terrible calorimeter. It is a half-silvered Dewar with a window at the bottom, giving it a reasonably short time constant and a well defined, constant heat loss. That is why it cools quickly in blank tests, as I noted.

    “If you assume that it takes the same amount of heat to keep the cell hot after the fluid evaporates as while the fluid is evaporating, then yes you will greatly over estimate the quantity of heat required.”

    While the fluid is evaporates the cell temperature cannot go over 100 deg C, obviously. It is a 1 atm. It can and does get hotter after that, as I noted. This is proof that an energy source exists.

    “Where do you get 1.4 MJ?”

    That is for the incident described by Kreysa et al., with more water in the cell.

    “If they measured the heat instead of assuming it, there wouldn’t be these questions.”

    Measuring vaporized water IS measuring heat. It is one of the oldest, most reliable and fundamental methods. It has been used since the 18th century. You are the first person I have encountered who apparently believes that the textbook heat of vaporization of water might be incorrect by a factor of 1,700. These are not questions but handwaving, and pretending that fundamental textbook constants going back to 1820 are meaningless.

    “How can there be no O2 in the cell? When D2O is electrolyzed, the resulting D2 and O2 have to go somewhere.”

    All of the D2 and O2 leave the cell, as I noted. The fluid loss is very close to that predicted for electrolysis without recombination. This has also been in the textbooks for a long time. Do you also question this, along with the heat of vaporization?

    “Any test that shows reduced O2 over what is expected from electrolysis is confirmation that O2 is accumulating in the cell as D2O2 is being formed.”

    As I pointed out, all tests show NO reduced O2 over what is expected from electrolysis. The effluent gas from these experiments has been variously recombined, run through gas flowmeters and run through on-line mass spectrometers in thousands of different tests. No one has ever observed a deficit of O2. No one has observed D2O2 in the cells. There is no trace of any chemical species that could explain even 0.01% of the excess heat. Obviously that was the first thing researchers looked for. You are not the first person to suggest this scenario. I remind you these are electrochemists we are talking about. Hundreds of the world’s top electrochemists, in fact, who are quite familiar with the chemicals formed in these systems. They have addressed this issue in conferences and papers time after time. Fleischmann and Bockris literally wrote the textbooks on electrochemistry. They have not made a simple error that you or anyone else will uncover in a few minutes of thought. EPRI, DARPA, the ENEA and many other sophisticated funding agencies have spent ~$100 million on this research. Do you seriously believe it never occurred to any of these people to check for chemical species that might explain the heat? Do you think they have never heard of D2O2?

    You remind me a great deal of creationists who come up with the notion that the eye could not have been formed by evolution because it is too complicated. Those people imagine they are first to think of this. Of course they have no idea that Darwin himself addressed this issue, and that every biologist can explain how this works in his sleep. You come along and imagine that Fleischmann, Bockris, McKubre, Miles and the creme de la creme of electrochemistry are not familiar with the chemicals formed in electrochemical reactions, and never thought to check for them!

    Do you also suppose that the people at EPRI have no idea how to measure input electricity? And do you think that Schwinger did not know that plasma fusion produces neutrons? If only you had been there to inform him of this fact, he would have slapped his head and said “of course, THAT’S why it can’t be fusion!”

  96. JedRothwellon 29 Mar 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I wrote:

    “EPRI, DARPA, the ENEA and many other sophisticated funding agencies have spent ~$100 million on this research. Do you seriously believe it never occurred to any of these people to check for chemical species that might explain the heat?”

    By “these people” I mean the funding agency experts who evaluate research. Agencies do not hand out millions of dollars year after year for 20 years without commissioning careful examination of the results by experts. The process is much more thorough than journal peer-review, because the stakes are higher.

    And yes, I promise you, the experts they send to evaluate these experiments have heard of D2O2 and they do understand how to measure electricity. You are not the only person to know about these things, and you are sure as hell not the first to suggest they might be an issue in cold fusion. Fleischmann, McKubre, I and others have heard these suggestions HUNDREDS of times. Of course there is nothing wrong with raising such concerns, but it is presumptuous and downright silly for you to imagine that the experts did not think of them already.

  97. JedRothwellon 29 Mar 2009 at 10:30 pm

    More to the point, you are forgetting that even if the cell produces D2O2, all of the gas leaves as soon as it forms. If there is any D2O2 it is outside the cell. There are only a few milliliters of gas left in the headspace at 1 atm. You are suggesting that this gas has enough energy in it to boil away the water and keep the cathode hot for 3 hours. That’s ridiculous.

  98. daedalus2uon 30 Mar 2009 at 7:24 am

    D2O2 is a liquid, with a boiling point 50 C higher than that of water. It is miscible with water and indistinguishable from water by eye.

    Real life is intervening and I will be unable to read and/or post much for a while.

    There is a problem with the calibration of the radiation heat transfer. The systems they use are somewhat transparent so using a single lumped parameter may not be appropriate for the whole temperature range. The heat transfer is non-linear (goes as T^4), so non-uniform temperatures affect the calculation a lot. When pulses of electricity were used to “calibrate”, the resisters got hotter than the cell, and the cell and the thermisters took some time to respond. Those hotter cell components would radiate more heat than the cell average temperature would indicate, resulting in a calibration constant that under estimated the radiation heat transfer. That would show up as “excess” heat, especially at hotter temperatures.

  99. mindmeon 30 Mar 2009 at 9:21 am

    Jed,

    It’s certainly an interesting concept, can you coax, say, hydrogen to fuse without great inputs of energy. Certainly an idea worth funding.

    But we have to come back to reality. 20 years of research. Funding and interest by highly motivated corporations and nations like Japan. And yet, nothing powering so much as a single house.

    Just as that one scientist had to give himself an ulcer and then cure himself with antibiotics, you know, sometimes in science you do have to make some creative attempts at over coming the skeptics. Swallow h.pylori. Power a single home. Bold steps.

    It’s entirely possible venture capitalists don’t fund a test power plant because they actually do look at the research and see nothing concrete. Have you considered that as a possibility? Then again, it’s a testament to the cold fusion researchers that they don’t over hype their results and sucker investors like the perpetual motion retards.

  100. JedRothwellon 30 Mar 2009 at 9:37 am

    daedalus2uon wrote:

    “D2O2 is a liquid, with a boiling point 50 C higher than that of water. It is miscible with water and indistinguishable from water by eye.”

    I am aware of that. My point is that there is no place in the cell to store this liquid, and no accumulation of it. As I pointed out repeatedly, the effluent gas from electrolysis leaves the cell at the predicted rate. Perhaps it forms D2O2 outside the cell, but there are no chemical products left behind. The remaining electrolyte has been carefully, exhaustively analyzed in thousands of tests because the composition of it (especially trace contaminants and tritium) is vitally important. It is not D2O2. It is heavy water and lithium.

    “There is a problem with the calibration of the radiation heat transfer. The systems they use are somewhat transparent so using a single lumped parameter may not be appropriate for the whole temperature range.”

    The cell remains palpably hot for 3 to 6 hours with no input power. This cannot be caused by a problem with calibration. At worst, such a problem will cause an inaccurate estimate of the total energy. The energy exceeds the limits of chemistry by many orders of magnitude, so such inaccuracy makes no difference. Again, you need to look at the big picture and not get caught up in minor details that cannot affect the inescapable facts: these cells produce thousands of times more energy than any chemical system can, and they also produce helium, tritium and other nuclear effects. The only plausible hypothesis is that they are undergoing nuclear fusion. Nothing you have said weakens this hypothesis.

  101. JedRothwellon 30 Mar 2009 at 10:04 am

    mindmeon wrote:

    “Power a single home. Bold steps.”

    OBVIOUSLY if anyone could power a single house, they would do it! Cold fusion researchers are not idiots. They are not unaware of the value of such a demonstration.

    What are you thinking, anyway? Do you suppose they are sitting around with prototypes capable of doing that which they do not bother to show to people?

    The reaction cannot be fully controlled. If anyone were to attempt to build a large-scale device now, the chances of it working are extremely low, and if it did work it might explode violently, as several small-scale devices have done. The small cathodes available now, which weigh a fraction of a gram, produce anywhere from 5 or 10 to 35 watts during a run. They tend to stabilize for several hours and then suddenly shoot up or drop down.

    A large-scale device capable of heating a home might produce 1000 watts for a while and then suddenly and unexpectedly begin producing 20,000 watts, which would destroy the device and kill the people working with it. In 2005, a cell that normally runs at ~100 W in an incubator ramped up to a few thousand watts in a matter of seconds and exploded violently, blowing past the safety glass. It drove a shard of glass several centimeters long into Miuzno’s neck next to his carotid artery. The noise of the explosion made him and his colleague unable to hear for the rest of the afternoon. (The energy from this event exceeded any possible chemical energy release by a factor of 441.) If this had been a larger cell, or a metal cell, both of them would have been killed. You can see photos of the destroyed cell here:

    http://lenr-canr.org/Experiments.htm#PhotosAccidents

    Similar incidents have occurred at least 6 times. Scaling up at this stage in the research would be suicidal, if it worked, which is unlikely.

    “It’s entirely possible venture capitalists don’t fund a test power plant because they actually do look at the research and see nothing concrete. Have you considered that as a possibility?”

    I am well acquainted with the views of venture capitalists. I have met with them many times. First, no one could fund a “test power plant” at this stage in the research. That is ridiculous. That would be like funding a manned rocket to the moon when Goddard was doing his tests in the 1930s. Second, many venture capitalists believe the New York Times and the Washington Post which claim that all cold fusion research is lunacy, criminal fraud and so on, and that the effect has never been replicated. (The Times repeated the latter assertion in the editorial section today.) Third, the Patent Office policy is to summarily reject all cold fusion applications on the basis that they are perpetual motion machines that violate the laws of physics, and Patent Office cites the Washington Post and others saying the claims have not been replicated and they are fraudulent. Because the research cannot be protected with intellectual property no venture capitalist will invest in it.

  102. mindmeon 30 Mar 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Jed,

    ||That would be like funding a manned rocket to the moon when Goddard was doing his tests in the 1930s.||

    If Goddard was, 20 years later, still trying to convince people a rocket could go anywhere beyond a few centers on the test bench, then it would indeed be foolish. But in 20 years it went from model to weapon of war.

    We come back to the simple fact 20 years have gone by in this modern science of cold fusion, backed by some big names in industry, and they can’t get anything off the lab bench.

    ||First, no one could fund a “test power plant” at this stage in the research.||

    This stage is what? Same stage it was 20 years ago? Hmmm.

    What do you envision for the field in another 20 years?

  103. JedRothwellon 30 Mar 2009 at 3:18 pm

    mindmeon wrote:

    “If Goddard was, 20 years later, still trying to convince people a rocket could go anywhere beyond a few centers on the test bench, then it would indeed be foolish.”

    I assume you mean “centimeters from the test bench.” Cold fusion goes to about 100 W with reasonable safety and control. This is palpable, and enough to negate any conceivable calorimetric error. I would say it is analogous to a rocket that goes up several hundred meters without flying out of control. Methods of control were the key to making rockets, and also cold fusion. If you can control a small rocket you can in principle control a larger one. There was no need for Goddard reach suborbital space to make his point.

    (Another key was to keep the rockets from exploding, which I hope is not a problem with cold fusion.)

    “But in 20 years it went from model to weapon of war.”

    That is because the Germans invested huge amounts of money in it. They had hundreds of talented scientists and tens of thousands of workers (slave labor, unfortunately). If cold fusion had been given anything remotely like that back in 1989 we would probably have cold fusion automobiles by now. It is not a sure thing but I think it is probable.

    If the pace of progress has continued the way it was before World War II, we would not have rockets yet. Arthur C. Clarke was an early leading rocket enthusiast in the U.K. He described this situation in his memoirs, and in discussions with me, comparing it to the situation with cold fusion.

    “First, no one could fund a ‘test power plant’ at this stage in the research.”

    This stage is what? Same stage it was 20 years ago? Hmmm.”

    No, it is far beyond that. I think I made that clear in previous messages. It is summarized here at the bottom of this article:

    http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Cold_Fusion

    “What do you envision for the field in another 20 years?”

    The limiting factor is money, not time. The control factor is politics. If the field is not funded it will not be much better in 20 years. On the contrary, it will probably be forgotten, because the last researcher will have retired or died by that time. If the field is properly funded rapid progress is likely to occur.

    The control factor is academic politics, as I said. Unless we can reduce the hysterical anti-science rhetoric and the attacks on academic freedom, little progress will be made in the US. Beaudette describe the situation:

    “There has been virtually no controversy in the science itself, while at the same time there has been great controversy in the public domain. A scientist performs the electrolytic cell experiment after the example of Fleischmann and Pons, and successfully demonstrates the generation of excess heat. He submits a report of his experiment to an established journal of science where it passes peer-review and is published. During subsequent years the publisher receives no assertion of procedural error to invalidate the published paper. The report is established as valid science. However, let that same scientist try to use a government auditorium to discuss his results with a peer group, or let him try to patent his innovative cell configuration, or let the government try to award a research grant to this scientist to extend his experimental work, and it is likely that the sky will fall down. The arousing cry from the skeptics will be “almost all scientists agree there is no such thing as cold fusion.” With that demagoguery and follow up efforts, permission to use the auditorium will be revoked, the patent office will refuse the patent, a select panel will be appointed to revoke the grant award. In this strange fashion, the controversy has been played out for twelve years, violating the most ordinary, well-established scientific methodology. Thus peer-reviewed publication counts for nothing, and demagoguery counts for everything.”

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/BeaudetteCexcessheat.pdf

    Plus, as you have seen, when the topic comes up many people come out of the woodwork making extraordinary claims such as the notion that a 600 J effect might produce 1.2 MJ; or that D2 and O2 might exit the cell, form into D2O2 in the air and then magically turn around, zip back into the cell, hide in the water without increasing the volume and without being detectable by any chemical test, and then this D2O2 produces energy at the cathode that boils itself away and magically (even though it has left the cell) it keeps the cell hot for three hours. I have seen hundreds of similar fairytales. People who make such suggestions are not doing science. It is odd that they often call themselves skeptics, because anyone who would believe such nonsense is a true believer in magic. As I said, the creationists and UFO people have nothing on the anti-cold fusion people, who believe anything other than the inescapable truth.

  104. artfulDon 30 Mar 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Let’s see now, is it “nothing is certain but anything is possible” or “nothing is certain, but everything is possible?”

  105. JedRothwellon 30 Mar 2009 at 5:42 pm

    artfulDon wrote:

    “Let’s see now, is it ‘nothing is certain but anything is possible’ or ‘nothing is certain, but everything is possible?’”

    The answer is: “Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature.” (Faraday’s dictum)

    What it possible or certain can only be determined by experiment. Replicated experiments are the only reliable standard of truth ever devised by the human race. Theory is no guide. Rumors, consensus, opinions, speculation and impressions are useless. Experiments are the alpha and omega. People who ignore them are living 400 years in the past.

  106. artfulDon 30 Mar 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Faraday’s dictum doesn’t really answer the question, as one could still choose that everything is possible due to uncertainty as to nature’s laws. In which case they would have, in effect, chosen that everything is probable. Leaving them the huge problem of prioritizing the probable.

  107. mindmeon 31 Mar 2009 at 10:25 am

    Jed,

    I’m still confused by the disconnect between all the solid brilliant results supposedly coming out of the labs and the inability of investors to read and understand the research. Surely, VC types don’t take their marching orders from the popular papers you’ve cited. I’m still confused why all these highly, highly motivated Japanese firms have not been able to make progress in two decades.

    If 20 years of work by some brilliant minds in some of the best high tech corporations in Japan haven’t been able to get it off the lab bench, it strikes me that the current level of funding and attention is fully justified.

  108. JedRothwellon 31 Mar 2009 at 8:29 pm

    mindmeon wrote:

    “I’m still confused by the disconnect between all the solid brilliant results supposedly coming out of the labs and the inability of investors to read and understand the research.”

    I think I have explained this clearly. The result are far from practicality, and the field is hampered by the inability to get patents.

    “Surely, VC types don’t take their marching orders from the popular papers you’ve cited.”

    I have met many who do. So do many government officials and people at the DoE and the Pentagon.

    “I’m still confused why all these highly, highly motivated Japanese firms have not been able to make progress in two decades.”

    They have made tremendous progress, as I said several times. You are misrepresenting the situation, or not paying attention to the literature, and to what I wrote.

    “If 20 years of work by some brilliant minds in some of the best high tech corporations in Japan haven’t been able to get it off the lab bench, it strikes me that the current level of funding and attention is fully justified.”

    “Some” brilliant minds is the key here. Maybe 50 or so at Japanese corporations. Most of them now retired or dead. They have spent roughly 5% of what it cost to develop the Prius automobile. That is a lot of money, but nowhere near enough to accomplish this goal. Since you would not expect Toyota to design a hybrid car for less than $1 billion, why do you suppose they can develop something as difficult and complex as cold fusion for a mere $25 to $50 million? You can see from the experimental literature that it will cost far more than that.

    I do not understand why you think this can be cheaply. Apparently you are not familiar with fundamental physics research. Actually, it is cheap by some measures. In the U.S. we spend a few hundred million on a highway overpass, or executive bonuses at AIG. We spend that much on plasma fusion every month, and we have for 60 years, yet cold fusion is far closer to practical applications that plasma fusion. Given the enormous stakes, why is it that you are in favor of starving this field? At present, most researchers pay for equipment themselves. There is no more than a few million per year going into cold fusion world wide, but you call this level of “funding and attention is fully justified.” I think this is irrational and I think you are expressing unwarranted hostility toward the research. Attitudes such as yours are holding back the research.

    Incidentally, last week researchers from Kobe U. and Toyota reported a replication of the Arata experiment. If you look at the photos of their equipment, you will see why these experiments are expensive and why they cannot be done by amateurs at home. See:

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/KitamuraAmdemetalde.pdf

  109. JedRothwellon 31 Mar 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I meant to say:

    I do not understand why you think this can be DONE cheaply.

  110. mindmeon 01 Apr 2009 at 9:27 am

    ||“Some” brilliant minds is the key here. Maybe 50 or so at Japanese corporations. Most of them now retired or dead. They have spent roughly 5% of what it cost to develop the Prius automobile. That is a lot of money, but nowhere near enough to accomplish this goal.||

    But the key here is in a for profit lab — where no one in big science is going to laugh at them — a small, legit effect should be grounds for funding for a bigger prototype and then a bigger one. Why would, say, Honda ignore this? It simply does not make sense. But in 20 years, nothing. Very odd. Very, very odd.

    From transistors to lasers to radio, these things all started as small interesting lab projects and in 20 years mushroomed to major, major industries. Why? Because there was meat on the bone. I don’t see that with cold fusion.

    You sing the praises of all the solid primary research but then make a lot of excuses why this has never gotten off the lab bench. I’m not the only here to notice that odd disconnect. To a skeptic, it quacks like ESP research. As a tax payer who might be asked to fund such research, I’ve got a pretty high standard for a scientist wanting tax dollars to investigate a science that has not gotten anything off the lab bench in 20 years: start powering something. A home. A car. A laptop. I don’t care. Deliver a good.

    Like I say, I don’t discount the possibility that one can coax hydrogen to fuse at low energy levels but as far as I can tell, the results deserve the current level of funding. I will agree with you that lots of scientists still have a very very negative impression of cold fusion and that might hamper research. But you know what? That’s science. They don’t call it the crucible of science for nothing. We don’t take many wrong turns in science because collectively scientists want to see the goods and makes it very very difficult for researchers in a field that got its start via science by press release. Every field has a long row to hoe. Oh well.

  111. JedRothwellon 01 Apr 2009 at 10:53 am

    mindmeon wrote:

    “. . . Why would, say, Honda ignore this? It simply does not make sense. But in 20 years, nothing. Very odd. Very, very odd.”

    Read the literature and you will see that it is not odd. Read the history of science and you will see it has happened many times before. Honda has not ignored this research but many others have because they know nothing about it and they assume that the attacks in the New York Times and Scientific American are true.

    “From transistors to lasers to radio, these things all started as small interesting lab projects and in 20 years mushroomed to major, major industries.”

    That is incorrect. Research on semiconductors began in the 1920s and made little progress for 20 years. In 1931, Wolfgang Pauli wrote: “I don’t like this solid state physics . . . though I initiated it . . . One shouldn’t work with semiconductors, that is a filthy mess; who knows whether they really exist.” Research on masers (and lasers) began in the 1940s and was nearly extinguished by academic politics, ridicule and hostile opposition. Quoting Townes’ autobiography:

    “One day after we had been at it for about two years, Rabi and Kusch, the former and current chairmen of the department — both of them Nobel laureates for work with atomic and molecular beams, and both with a lot of weight behind their opinions — came into my office and sat down. They were worried. Their research depended on support from the same source as did mine. ‘Look,’ they said, ‘you should stop the work you are doing. It isn’t going to work. You know it’s not going to work. We know it’s not going to work. You’re wasting money. Just stop!’

    The problem was that I was still an outsider to the field of molecular beams, as they saw it. . . . I simply told them that I thought it had a reasonable chance and that I would continue. I was then indeed thankful that I had come to Columbia with tenure. (p. 65)

    Before — and even after — the maser worked, our description of its performance met with disbelief from highly respected physicists, even though no new physical principles were really involved. Their objections went much deeper than those that had led Rabi and Kusch to try to kill the project in its cradle . . .

    Llewelyn H. Thomas, a noted Columbia theorist, told me that the maser flatly could not, due to basic physics principles, provide a pure frequency with the performance I predicted. So certain was he that he more or less refused to listen to my explanations. After it did work, he just stopped talking to me. . . .”

    “Because there was meat on the bone. I don’t see that with cold fusion.”

    With all due respect, I do not think that you have studied the matter enough to judge, and I doubt very much that your judgment vis a vis electrochemistry is better than Gerischer’s or Fleischmann’s.

    If this were the 1950s I am pretty sure you would have been one of the many people denouncing the maser as “impossible” long after it was demonstrated and replicated. Note that no practical use was found for this device until 20 years after it was developed.

    “You sing the praises of all the solid primary research but then make a lot of excuses why this has never gotten off the lab bench.”

    I am not making excuses. I am pointing to literature that shows why this is the case. Furthermore, plasma fusion and high temperature superconducting have never gotten off the lab bench either. Are you suggesting that these effects do not exist because they have not been made practical yet? What kind of standard is this?!? You apply it to cold fusion only and to no other development in the history of technology.

    “I’m not the only here to notice that odd disconnect. To a skeptic, it quacks like ESP research.”

    How many mainstream peer-reviewed papers are there on ESP? How many major labs have replicated it at astronomically high signal to noise ratios? Has it been measured definitively with many different types of common instruments such as calorimeters, mass spectrometers and x-ray film? I see no similarity whatever. Waving your hands and saying that X resembles Y does not actually make it so.

    “As a tax payer who might be asked to fund such research, I’ve got a pretty high standard for a scientist wanting tax dollars to investigate a science that has not gotten anything off the lab bench in 20 years: start powering something. A home. A car. A laptop. I don’t care. Deliver a good.”

    That is not a pretty high standard. It is an irrational, unprecedented standard that has never been applied to any other breakthrough in the history of science.

    In science, claims are judged by peer-reviewed literature and high s/n replication. If we had applied your standard to previous breakthroughs such as incandescent lighting (which took 28 years to develop, from 1850 to 1878), radioactivity, semiconductors and masers, they would never have been developed into practical technologies.

    “Like I say, I don’t discount the possibility that one can coax hydrogen to fuse at low energy levels but as far as I can tell, the results deserve the current level of funding.”

    The current level of funding in the U.S. is zero. Anyone who applies for a research grant will be denied, harassed and probably fired.

    “I will agree with you that lots of scientists still have a very very negative impression of cold fusion and that might hamper research. But you know what? That’s science.”

    No, it isn’t. The scientists who have a very negative impression of cold fusion no nothing about it and have no legitimate reasons for their opposition, any more than Rabi and Kusch. That is not science: it is the mindless anti-intellectual suppression of academic freedom. It is, as Schwinger put it, the death of science.

    “They don’t call it the crucible of science for nothing. We don’t take many wrong turns in science . . .”

    You are living in a dream world if you think people do not make many wrong turns in science!

    “. . . because collectively scientists want to see the goods . . .”

    You are quite wrong. Scientists opposed to cold fusion do not want to see the goods. In science, “seeing the goods” means reading peer-reviewed literature and looking at experimental results. People opposed cold fusion refuse to do that.

    “. . . and makes it very very difficult for researchers in a field that got its start via science by press release. Every field has a long row to hoe. Oh well.”

    Cold fusion did not begin with a press conference. The first observations of cold fusion were reported in 1927 and published in the peer-reviewed literature.

    Most fields are not hampered by vicious personal attacks and lies published in the newspapers. In most fields, when distinguished professors publish papers they are not harassed, dismissed, threatened with deportation, or demoted to menial tasks in the laboratory. Academic rivals do not normally dump horse manure onto equipment. This is NOT normal science. Not when “peer-reviewed publication counts for nothing, and demagoguery counts for everything.” That is the most serious systemic failure in the history of modern science. It is an outrage. Even if cold fusion researchers had been mistaken they never deserved to be treated this way.

  112. HHCon 01 Apr 2009 at 11:44 am

    JedRothwell, Thank you for the links on cold fusion and your spirited discussion on the blog. Do the current researchers anticipate using robotics to assist them safely with more advanced projects? I note that the BBC program documenting fusion around the world show various laboratories with shielded protection rooms which are used during experimentation. On another legal matter, the basic rights for researchers are being violated. Harrassment, denial of the right to work, attempted destruction of research property are all offenses which can be litigated according to your documentation . There are law firms which work with technology issues and they have excellent trial litigators. Are cold fusion researchers unaware that you can have a hearing other than in the press and behind closed government doors?

  113. JedRothwellon 01 Apr 2009 at 1:32 pm

    HHC wrote:

    “Do the current researchers anticipate using robotics to assist them safely with more advanced projects?”

    Well, they would like automatic test equipment, which is similar to a robot. Most experiments are kept on a very small scale probably for safety but also because oddly enough some diagnostic equipment works better on a small scale than a larger one. For example it is difficult to look at the entire surface of a large cathode with a SIMS.

    The cathode fabrication and testing equipment is very similar to equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing. At the University of Illinois and elsewhere they have modified used semiconductor fab machines for cold fusion. Those machines cost a fortune.

    “I note that the BBC program documenting fusion around the world show various laboratories with shielded protection rooms which are used during experimentation.”

    Probably SRI, where a researcher was killed by a chemical explosion. That had nothing to do with cold fusion per se.

    “On another legal matter, the basic rights for researchers are being violated. Harrassment, denial of the right to work, attempted destruction of research property are all offenses which can be litigated according to your documentation.”

    The people who were harassed retired long ago, and many are dead. The people who harassed them are probably the department chairmen by now.

    “There are law firms which work with technology issues and they have excellent trial litigators. ”

    Nothing can be done about the past. It would be better to turn our attention to the present. We should try to ratchet back the anti-science hysteria and restore some semblance of old-fashioned, conventional objectivity, fairness, and academic freedom.

    “Are cold fusion researchers unaware that you can have a hearing other than in the press and behind closed government doors?”

    They cannot be heard from the grave.

    Look, these people spent 30, 50 even 60 years doing science. They were academic professionals. They published dozens of papers in peer-reviewed journals. They were honored by the Royal Society and other prestigious organizations. Schwinger had physical effects named after him.

    You come along and tell an 80-year-old professor that instead of doing things by the book, and following the rules he followed for decades, he should file a lawsuit? Forget it. I could not even get them to write letters to the editor. “That’s not how science is done” they used to tell me. When their reputations were shredded in the mass media they were appalled, but also baffled and unable to respond. Nothing like that ever happened to them. They were not Hollywood stars, but Distinguished Prof. This and Fellow of the Institute That. They were used to academic decorum, not lurid accusations that they were criminals and lunatics. Naturally, they were used to academic politics, but not like this! Some of them were tough, worldly people, such as Fleischmann. He watched the Gestapo beat his father to death and he barely escaped with his life to England, so he was well aware of the depths of human depravity. He had no illusions. He knew that his career would end the afternoon of the announcement.

    One of the many odd things about cold fusion is that the researchers are, as Fleischmann puts it, painfully conventional people, and the ones attacking them are fruitcakes. They think D2O2 magically appears out of the air and secretly goes into cells. They would trash 400 years of scientific standards and use commercial development as the standard of truth instead. That’s a Catch-22. People such as mindmeon demand that elderly, despised, and mainly deceased researchers conjure up hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment and produce a commercial device before he will believe them. I guess they need to invent a time machine first.

  114. HHCon 01 Apr 2009 at 8:31 pm

    JedRothwell, I discovered that cold fusion researcher McKubre was interrogated by Edward Teller in 1992 for four hours about his research. Teller stated to McKubre that if cold fusion were a reality, he could account for it with a very small change in the law of physics, it would prove to be a nuclear catalysis at an interface.
    Physical Injuries:
    At SRI in Northern California near Stanford University, a researcher named Any Riley died in a hydrogen explosion in SRI’s cold fusion laboratory. Dr. McKubre was injured with glass shards lodged in his side near his liver.
    Defamation of Character:
    Professor Bockris, Texas A & M was subjected to fraud investigations over a period of ten years. He was cleared of
    any so-called wrong doing by his peers.

  115. HHCon 02 Apr 2009 at 12:38 am

    The laboratory explosion killing Riley can be called a wrongful death at SRI.

  116. JedRothwellon 02 Apr 2009 at 9:57 am

    HHC wrote:

    “The laboratory explosion killing Riley can be called a wrongful death at SRI.”

    It was ruled an accident. The people at SRI are very conscientious about safety. This was a horrible freak accident caused by the simultaneous failure of several failsafe devices. It was a chemical explosion having nothing to do with cold fusion per se.

  117. HHCon 02 Apr 2009 at 7:27 pm

    JedRothwell, ” It was ruled an accident.” Where? Which court? Internal investigation of SRI? Wrongfful death lawsuits are filed on behalf of the deceased person’s beneficiaries. Was SRI found to be negligent/ culpable under California’s wrongful death statutes for Riley’s death? Were compensatory damages awarded?

  118. JedRothwellon 02 Apr 2009 at 10:29 pm

    HHC wrote:

    ” It was ruled an accident.” Where? Which court? Internal investigation of SRI?

    SRI is not authorized to investigate accidental deaths! It was handled by the police department and whatever agency investigates workplace accidents in California. I have a copy of their report somewhere. SRI also issued detailed reports, in ICCF-3 and elsewhere.

    I do not know anything about courts. There was a settlement with the widow, naturally.

  119. daedalus2uon 04 Apr 2009 at 11:05 am

    I am back from my real life time sink (but will be posting only sporadically).

    The radiative heat transfer between glass surfaces is very poorly modeled by Fleischmann et al. It is modeled as a black body (all light of all wavelengths is absorbed) when the glass is actually transparent to some (and only some) wavelengths of light and also some light is reflected from the surface. The wavelengths of light responsible for heat transfer change as a function of temperature. Unless the system is kept completely isothermal (it is not), a correct modeling must include the actual radiative properties of the materials as functions of their actual temperatures.

    The calorimeters and their calibration are not well described enough to precisely calculate their actual heat transfer by radiation. The simplifying assumption that the glass is a black body and then describing the radiation heat transfer by calibrating using resistors which heat above the temperature of the water in the calorimeter will under estimate the value of the parameter. This under estimation will then produce low values of heat transfer below the temperature used for calibration and high values above the temperature used for calibration.

    The “excess heat” is observed to increase with the temperature of the electrolyte. This is exactly the behavior expected due to the poor modeling and calibration errors. There is no “excess”, there is an under estimation of the heat transfer because during the calibration parts of the system were hotter than the temperature assumed for the radiative driving force. Because radiation heat transfer goes as T^4, it doesn’t take much inaccuracy in the temperature to induce significant error.

    D2O2 will form in the solution subjected to electrolysis. Nothing that I have seen has indicated that D2O2 was ever looked for, other than measuring the gas formation. Forming D2O2 produces less gas, it also requires less current. Accumulated D2O2 can explode if the concentration gets high enough, or it can decompose at any rate short of an explosion producing heat at any rate.

    I am certainly not saying that D2O2 “magically” appears, but when tests for its presence have not been reported, it is a reasonable assumption that those tests have not been done. If they haven’t been done, the experimenters don’t know that D2O2 is not present. No assurances from any “expert” are sufficient to rule out the presence of D2O2, a few simple tests are enough. I haven’t seen that those tests have been done.

  120. HHCon 04 Apr 2009 at 6:13 pm

    You are right on target, daedalus2U. Cold fusion researchers have stated in print that Fleishman’s original work had flaws but they have gone beyond it. An Italian researcher has made interesting hypotheses about atomic matter.

  121. JedRothwellon 05 Apr 2009 at 11:09 am

    daedalus2 wrote:

    “The radiative heat transfer between glass surfaces is very poorly modeled by Fleischmann et al.”

    If that were true, the calorimeter would not behave as predicted during calibration with null electrolysis (H2O and Pt) or with a joule heater. It does behave as predicted, therefore the model is either correct or this is a fantastic coincidence. Either way the excess is real. You can depend on the model or the actual calibration: your choice.

    “I am certainly not saying that D2O2 ‘magically’ appears, but when tests for its presence have not been reported, it is a reasonable assumption that those tests have not been done. If they haven’t been done, the experimenters don’t know that D2O2 is not present.”

    Okay, if that’s your hypothesis, you have a few things to explain:

    How can this D2O2 form and could store energy during exothermic heat production a week before the heat after death? I would call that magical.

    How can it produce thousands of times more energy than any other chemical reaction?

    How does it continue to produce heat 3 hours after all of the liquid leaves the cell?

    Why does it produce heat at the cathode?

    Why do cells with H2O never form H2O2 to do the same thing?

    I would say your hypothesis is a lot more farfetched than cold fusion.

    - Jed

  122. daedalus2uon 05 Apr 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Jed, the reports are either of low rates of heat production for long periods of time during electrolysis (compatible with calorimeter miscalibration) or high rates of heat production for short periods of time (compatible with chemical energy stored either as D2O2, PdD.

    You are confusing “energy” with “power”. Many of the reports do the same thing. Energy is a fixed quantity, as in kJ. Power is a rate of energy production as in kJ/second or Watts. Chemical reactions can produce power at extremely high rates. When materials detonate, the resulting chemical reaction propagates through the material at the detonation velocity, a few thousand m/sec. TNT has an energy density of ~15 kJ/g. 1 gram of TNT spread out in a layer 500 microns thick and detonated at 5 km/sec releases 15 kJ in 0.1 microsecond or 150,000 megaWatts.

    The reports that the energy came only from the cathode are based on that assumption, not on any measurement that the energy was liberated there. It seems like the assumption was made solely so that the energy could be divided by the volume of the cathode to give the impression of higher energy density.

  123. artfulDon 05 Apr 2009 at 2:43 pm

    If energy were a fixed quantity, there would be no need for the mass–energy equivalence formula (E=mc2).

  124. JedRothwellon 05 Apr 2009 at 4:28 pm

    daedalus2u wrote:

    “Jed, the reports are either of low rates of heat production for long periods of time during electrolysis (compatible with calorimeter miscalibration)”

    No, the calorimeter is calibrated before, during and after the experiment. The excess heat in the week leading up to the heat-after-death event is far above the threshold. The experiment was repeated hundreds of times with different instrument types. There is no chance it is a miscalibration.

    “. . . (compatible with chemical energy stored either as D2O2, PdD.”

    The energy release during heat after death far exceeds the limits of chemistry. Furthermore, as I pointed out several times, high level heat continues for 3 to 6 hours after all of the liquid leaves the cell. You should explain how the D2O2 can do that.

    “You are confusing ‘energy’ with ‘power’. Many of the reports do the same thing.”

    I am not confusing energy and power, and there are no reports in the literature which do that. There are certainly none at LENR-CANR.org. I would not upload a paper that makes that mistake.

    “Power is a rate of energy production as in kJ/second or Watts. Chemical reactions can produce power at extremely high rates.”

    Of course, but they cannot produce megajoules from a few grams of water and metal. I went over this subject in detail in the first chapter here:

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusiona.pdf

    “The reports that the energy came only from the cathode are based on that assumption, not on any measurement that the energy was liberated there.”

    That is completely incorrect. This is direct observation. As I stated previously, the cell is transparent, photos are made. During heat after death, you can see that the water in contact with the cathode is boiling. The anode is producing no boiling and no electrolysis bubbles, so electrolysis has stopped. The rest of the water is not boiling. The only heat source in the cell is the cathode. As I noted it remains palpably hot hours after the water leaves the cell. Also, in many other tests IR sensors have shown that the cathode is the source of the heat.

    X-ray film and other techniques also confirm that it is the source of x-rays. Autoradiographs and other techniques repeated for months following experiments have shown that some cathodes become mildly radioactive during the experiment. No other cell component undergoes any anomalous chemical or nuclear changes.

  125. daedalus2uon 05 Apr 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Energy is a fixed quantity, 10 kJ is equal to 10,000 J.

    How much energy is delivered by a power source depends on the power (J/second or Watts) times the duration.

    1 Watt for 10,000 seconds equals 10 kJ, equals 10 kW for 1 second.

    Energy is conserved, not power.

  126. JedRothwellon 05 Apr 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I wrote:

    “‘The radiative heat transfer between glass surfaces is very poorly modeled by Fleischmann et al.’
    If that were true, the calorimeter would not behave as predicted during calibration with null electrolysis (H2O and Pt) or with a joule heater.”

    For the (probably nonexistent) general reader, let me explain what I mean by that. Fleishmann and Pons are among the world’s top experts in calorimetry, and they model their calorimeters in far more detail and with better precision than anyone else I know of. This means they use 19th century physics to predict that at a given power level, the temperature of the fluid in the cell will rise to a certain level. When the power increases the temperature will rise to another, higher level. They use this to draw a predicted calibration curve, which is not strictly linear, especially not at power levels below 50 mW or above ~30 W for this instrument (as I recall).

    Then, after they predict what temperatures the cell will reach, they perform electrolysis with ordinary water and a platinum electrode. They observe that the fluid actually does go to the predicted temperature, to within 0.001 deg C. This is called calibration. It proves that their modeling is phenomenally accurate, and that their instrument is stable and reliable across a broad range of power levels. Calibration is always performed before and after an experiment, and Fleischmann does it during experiments as well, looking at the extra heat and temperature rise from increased electrolysis and/or a joule heater.

    daedalus2u claims that their model is incorrect, but we know he is wrong because calibration tests and proves the model. They do not merely assume the model is correct; they check it. They also do not merely assume that the cathode is the source of the heat; they can see that. Anyone looking at the photos can confirm it.

    Most researchers I know use a simpler, less accurate model, and then they draw an actual calibration curve from calibration. They compare this to behavior during the experiment. If 10 W of input power cause the temperature to rise 15 deg C during calibration, but during the experiment the temperature gradually rises several degrees above 15 deg C, you know there is excess heat. Of course this is checked with various other methods to be sure it is not an instrument error. Other calorimeter types, such as flow and Seebeck, that do not rely on the fluid (or cell body) temperature are also used to confirm the excess heat. This has been done successfully thousands of times worldwide.

  127. JedRothwellon 05 Apr 2009 at 5:09 pm

    artfulDon wrote:

    “If energy were a fixed quantity, there would be no need for the mass–energy equivalence formula (E=mc2).”

    That means that mass-energy together are a fixed quantity. It the case of cold fusion or plasma fusion, it means that when two deuterons fuse they lose a fixed amount of mass and produce a fixed amount of helium, which is sometimes called “nuclear ash.” The loss of mass converting to energy is far too small to measure. The decrease in the deuterium in a cell is also far too small to detect. However, the helium that is generated by the reaction can be detected, and it has been in several labs, hundreds of times. These experiments show that cold fusion produces the same amount of helium per joule of heat as plasma fusion does. This proves it is deuterium fusion, rather than some other nuclear reaction.

    There is no chemical fuel in the cell, and there are no chemical changes, so a chemical reaction is ruled out.

    Chemical reactions always consume a fixed amount of fuel per joule of heat. Cold fusion has produced 10,000 times more energy than all of the mass in the cell could produce if it was made from the most energy-dense chemical fuel in existence (rocket fuel). Cold fusion can presumably produce millions of times more energy than this, but no one has ever run a cell until it exhausts the nuclear fuel, converting all of the deuterium into helium.

  128. JedRothwellon 05 Apr 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Just to prove I really do know the difference between power and energy, let me quote the ref. I added above (an e-book by me, recommended by Arthur Clarke and many distinguished profs.):

    A wooden kitchen match weighs 0.2 grams. It burns for 25 seconds, producing about 40 watts of power, so it produces about 1,000 joules of energy, or 1 Btu. A small paraffin candle of the same weight would produce 8,400 joules. But you need free oxygen to burn a match or paraffin, and there is little free oxygen in a cold fusion cell. When you have to supply fuel plus oxygen, your best choice is to burn 0.02 grams of hydrogen plus 0.18 grams of oxygen. This forms 0.2 grams of water, yielding 3,133 joules. No fuel in a closed cell, without an air supply, can produce more energy than this.

    Most cold fusion cathodes are about the same size as a match or coin. Suppose a palladium cold fusion cathode weighing 0.2 grams begins to produce one watt of heat. After 50 minutes it has produced 3,000 joules, which is still, theoretically, within the limits of chemistry (3,133 joules) although as a practical matter there is no way palladium can produce this much chemical energy. If the reaction is still going strong after two hours, you can definitely rule out chemistry. Some cold fusion cathodes weighing about this much have produced a watt or two continuously for weeks. They have produced in total millions of joules (megajoules). A few have produced between 50 and 300 megajoules.

    Cold fusion cathodes do have a little chemical fuel in them. A cathode is a hydride: a metal that has absorbed hydrogen or heavy hydrogen (deuterium). As the hydrogen is absorbed into the metal, it leaves behind a little free oxygen in the headspace above the water in the cell. When electrolysis is turned off, the hydrogen in the metal gradually emerges. It is ignited by the recombiner in the headspace, so it does produce a little heat. (See Figure 1.5.) Palladium absorbs and then gives up hydrogen more easily than any other metal. In the 19th century palladium hydrides were used as cigarette lighters. However, a 0.2-gram palladium cathode when fully saturated with hydrogen holds only about 286 joules worth of fuel. . . .

  129. artfulDon 05 Apr 2009 at 5:52 pm

    That was my point, that mass energy together represent a fixed quantity. The statement made by another that you had confused energy with power was not only incorrect, it was meaningless.

  130. JedRothwellon 05 Apr 2009 at 6:53 pm

    artfulD wrote:

    “That was my point, that mass energy together represent a fixed quantity. The statement made by another that you had confused energy with power was not only incorrect, it was meaningless.”

    Yes. Right. I should have said “Yes. And that means mass and energy together are . . .” bla, bla, bla.

    An issue that has confused many people, including a few scientists I know, is that mass is always converted to energy, and always lost, in all energy generating systems. That includes chemical and mechanical systems. Some people have the idea that only nuclear systems lose mass.

    I can barely follow how this works in chemical systems, and not at all in mechanical systems such as springs, but that’s what several physicists have told me.

  131. artfulDon 05 Apr 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Well consider that all springs, for example, weaken with use, even though their function is essentially to gather, store, concentrate, and direct energy from one environment to another. And it seems that the very nature of a spring is its ability to convert some of its own mass to energy in the process. To say that that energy is always lost is perhaps to only say that so far we humans have found no way to reverse any particular mass to energy process. But I’m not sure we have looked carefully at instances where nature, speaking metaphorically, has managed to come full circle with such a process.

  132. HHCon 05 Apr 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Jed Rothwell, I am interested in antiquity, and when I read through some of the research, the 19th century palladium hydride lighters for cigarettes was mentioned and then more elaborate discussions followed. Do you have several pictures of these lighters in use in your library archive? If so, please send me a link.

  133. W.GUGLINSKIon 05 Apr 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Theoretically cold fusion is impossible according to the principles of Quantum Mechanics, the reason why the physicists refuse to accept the occurrence of the phenomenon.
    The nuclear chemist Mitch Andre Garcia showed by very easy calculations that cold fusion occurrence is theoretically impossible, from the laws of Quantum Mechanics, in a Chemistry Blog where he is the administrator.

    However cold fusion is theoretically impossible because Quantum Mechanics does not consider the zitterbewegung (zbw) as a helical trajectory of the electron (the zitterbewegung appears in the Dirac equation of the electron, but the quantum physicists did not interpret the zbw as a helical trajectory).

    By interpreting the zitterbewegung from a new viewpoint, by considering it as a helical trajectory of the electron, cold fusion becomes theoreticall possible, as Guglinski has shown to Mitch Andre Garcia, along a discussion in the topic “THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COLD FUSION AND COLD FUSION”, which can be seen in the link:
    http://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=17140.0

    Look at the Guglinski’s « Reply #8 on: September 24, 2007 ».

    So the chemists are now getting knowledge that cold fusion is theoretically possible thanks to the adoption of the new interpretation for the zitterbewegung, and they are undertaking the performance of cold fusion experiments, because it seems that they dont trust in the viewpoint of the physicists.

    Clearly, there is a dispute “CHEMISTS vs PHYSICISTS”, and it seems that the controversy on cold fusion will be finally resolved, but not by the physicists.

    The new duel chemists vs physicists has ideological origin. The physicits keep their loyalty to Quantum Mechanics, because they dont accept to change their interpretation on the zitterbewegung, since such a changing requires a very deep modification in the foundations of Modern Physics (the zbw cannot be considered as a helical trajetory in Quantum Field Theory, which is the successor of Quantum Mechanics).

    Unlike, the chemists keep their loyalty to the scientific method, according to which any experiment cannot be neglected only because it defies the principles of a theory, as happens now in this duel between Quantum Mechanics and cold fusion.

    Such new participation of chemists is healthy to science’s develolpment. Because as the physicists have some dogmas which they consider unsourmantable (as for instance their interpretation of the zitterbewegung in Quantum Field Theory), the development of cold fusion requires scientists free of dogmas of Physics, as the chemists.

    In few words, we have to consider the following situation:

    1- as cold fusion is impossible by considering the interpretation of zitterbewegung in Quantum Field Theory…

    2- … but as the experiments prove that cold fusion really occurs, as confirmed now by the experiments made in the US Navy…

    3- … then there is need to change the interpretation on the zitterbewegung (a new alternative that chemists probably will take in consideration starting from now)…

    4- … instead of neglecting the cold fusion experiments (as the physicists insist to do).

  134. JedRothwellon 06 Apr 2009 at 9:43 am

    HHC wrote:

    “. . . 19th century palladium hydride lighters for cigarettes was mentioned and then more elaborate discussions followed. Do you have several pictures of these lighters in use in your library archive?”

    Sorry, I don’t. I would like to know how much palladium they used and how much hydrogen they absorbed.

    They are referenced by Mallove, p. 104. The first one was probably made by Johan Dobereiner in 1823, not long after palladium was discovered. That means chemists quickly discovered that palladium absorbs a remarkable amount of hydrogen.

  135. HHCon 06 Apr 2009 at 11:35 am

    W. Guglinski, So the explanation rests on the zbw, helical trajectory of the electron. I see a biochemistry analogy here to genetic material, DNA with the double- stranded helical chain.

  136. Watcheron 06 Apr 2009 at 11:39 am

    Unlike, the chemists keep their loyalty to the scientific method, according to which any experiment cannot be neglected only because it defies the principles of a theory, as happens now in this duel between Quantum Mechanics and cold fusion.

    Wow, that’s a bold statement :)

    I think what physicists are saying is that there’s a pretty good amount of evidence to support quantum mechanics.

    What I want to know is how does changing the zbw change the rest of quantum physics. Does this unravel the rest of the hypothesis? It seems like changing one portion of a theory just to fit a chemists perspective of what they’re looking for is not necessarily something you want to do to make a living in scientific research.

    Could someone help me understand the zbw’s role in the foundation of quantum physics?

  137. artfulDon 06 Apr 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Zbw is how a zebra uses the power of intent thought to fend off predatory forces that would do ill to its remotest herdmates.
    Similar to heat detection force fields in cows: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/AnimalSciences/dairy/dairyrepro/rep026.pdf

  138. W.GUGLINSKIon 06 Apr 2009 at 11:07 pm

    HHC wrote:
    >

    No.
    The explanation to cold fusion doesn’t rest on zbw.
    But the participation of zbw is the unique theoretical way to explain the violation of the most elementary of chemistry and physics that Mitch painstakingly explained in this old post titled “The difference between cold fusion and cold fusion“,
    http://www.chemistry-blog.com/2007/04/23/the-difference-between-cold-fusion-and-cold-fusion/

    The explanation rests on several other mechanisms that work in the new nuclear model proposed in Quantum Ring Theory.
    1- Cold fusion can be due to a resonance phenomenon. But there are some special conditions under which it must occur. These are the conditions tha occur in the cold fusion experiments. In order a nucleon be captured by a nucleus (for instance Pd), such nucleon must resonate with the nucleus
    2- The structure of the nuclei is formed by floors, similar to the belows of an accordion, and a nucleus like Pd is submitted to an expansion-contraction (such phenomenon is named Accordion-Effect). If the oscillation of a nucleon like a deuteron (due to its zero point energy) resonates with the Accordion Effect, the nucleon can be captured by the Pd nucleus.

    Cold fusion occurs under special conditions. For example, in order to increase the resonance, Letts and Cravens used a laser, and by this way they stimulated the resonance.
    Also, they used a magnet, in order to align the magnetic field of the deuterons with the magnetic field of Pd nuclei.

    Letts and Cravens exhibited their experiment in 2003, in the ICCF-10.
    In 2002 the magazine Infinte Energy has published my paper “What is Missing in Les Case’s Catalytic Fusion”, in which I had proposed some suggestions, in order to stimulate the resonance and to align the magnetic fields.
    Lets and Cravens experiment used the suggestions of my paper.

  139. W.GUGLINSKIon 06 Apr 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Wather wrote:
    “Could someone help me understand the zbw’s role in the foundation of quantum physics?”

    The Zitterbewegung Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
    David Hestenes, Foundations of Physics, V. 20, No. 10, (1990), 1213-1232
    http://modelingnts.la.asu.edu/pdf/ZBW_I_QM.pdf

  140. W.GUGLINSKIon 06 Apr 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Wather wrote:
    “Could someone help me understand the zbw’s role in the foundation of quantum physics?”

    The Zitterbewegung Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
    David Hestenes, Foundations of Physics, V. 20, No. 10, (1990), 1213-1232

  141. W.GUGLINSKIon 06 Apr 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Zbw is the explanation for cold fusion experiments where an electron is captured by a proton and they form a neutron at low energy, as happens in the Conte-Pieralice experiment, and Don Borghi experiment:

    C. Borghi, C. Giori, A.A. Dall’Ollio, Experimental Evidence of Emission of Neutrons from Cold Hydrogen Plasma, American Institute of Physics (Phys. At. Nucl.), vol 56, no 7, 1993.

    E. Conte, M. Pieralice, An Experiment Indicates the Nuclear Fusion of the Proton and Electron into a Neutron, Infinite Energy, Vol 4, No. 23, 1999, pg 67.

    Other cold fusion experiments require other sort of explanations:

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/PowerPedia:Cold_fusion%2C_Don_Borghi%27s_Experiment%2C_and_hydrogen_atom

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/PowerPedia:Cold_Fusion_Theories

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/PowerPedia:Foundations_for_Cold_Fusion

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Article:Cold_Fusion_and_Gamow%27s_Paradox

  142. W.GUGLINSKIon 07 Apr 2009 at 12:03 am

    Zbw is the explanation for cold fusion experiments where an electron is captured by a proton and they form a neutron at low energy, as happens in the Conte-Pieralice experiment, and Don Borghi experiment:

    C. Borghi, C. Giori, A.A. Dall’Ollio, Experimental Evidence of Emission of Neutrons from Cold Hydrogen Plasma, American Institute of Physics (Phys. At. Nucl.), vol 56, no 7, 1993.

    E. Conte, M. Pieralice, An Experiment Indicates the Nuclear Fusion of the Proton and Electron into a Neutron, Infinite Energy, Vol 4, No. 23, 1999, pg 67.

    Other cold fusion experiments require other sort of explanations:

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/PowerPedia:Cold_fusion%2C_Don_Borghi%27s_Experiment%2C_and_hydrogen_atom

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/PowerPedia:Foundations_for_Cold_Fusion

    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Article:Cold_Fusion_and_Gamow%27s_Paradox

  143. W.GUGLINSKIon 07 Apr 2009 at 12:28 am

    Watcher wrote:

    “What I want to know is how does changing the zbw change the rest of quantum physics. Does this unravel the rest of the hypothesis? It seems like changing one portion of a theory just to fit a chemists perspective of what they’re looking for is not necessarily something you want to do to make a living in scientific research. ”

    No, Watcher,
    zbw interpreted in the sence of Schrodinger (as a helical trajectory) brings many other solutions for Theoretical Physics.
    According to Schrodinger, zbw would be responsible for the spin and magnetic moment of the electron

    The electron has a spin 1/2.
    But when captured by a proton, the electron loses its zbw, and it loses its spin, becoming a boson.
    So, by this way the model of neutron formed by proton+electron becomes theoretically possible, because such neutron with structure n=p+e has spin 1/2, as required from Fermi-Dirac statistics.

    And from such a model of neutron n=p+e we can explain some theoretical questions concerning cold fusion, which is impossible to explain from the current model of neutron of Standard Model in Particle Physcis.

    Quantum Ring Theory also proposes a new hydrogen atom in which an electron moves with zbw along the proton, and such new hydrogen atom solve paradoxes that cannot be solved by the current hydrogen atom of Quantum Mechanics.

    For instance, it explains the paradox of the successes of Bohr:
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/PowerPedia:Successes_of_the_Bohr_atom

    Such new model of hydrogen atom conciliates the Bohr theory of hydrogen atom with the Schrodinger Equations, and by this way it is eliminated from the Physics the paradoxical and undesirable Bohr’s Principle of Complementarity

  144. W.GUGLINSKIon 09 Apr 2009 at 2:15 am

    Based on the new nuclear model of Quantum Ring Theory, a new theory is proposed to explain the results obtained by Pamela Mosier-Boss cold fusion experiment, published in last March.

    See the article in Peswiki:
    How zitterbewegung contributes for cold fusion in Pamela Mosier-Boss experiment:
    http://peswiki.com/index.php/Article:_How_zitterbewegung_contributes_for_cold_fusion_in_Pamela_Mosier-Boss_experiment

  145. W.GUGLINSKIon 12 Apr 2009 at 7:51 am

    GUGLINSKI’S THEORY ON COLD FUSION CAN BE TESTED

    An email was sent to Pamela Mosier-Boss in 11 April 2009, suggesting to use an oscillator in her experiment.

    The email is ahead.

    From: Wladimir Guglinski (wladimirguglinski@hotmail.com)
    Sent: Saturday, April 11, 2009 3:46:25 PM
    To: pam.boss@navy.mil
    Cc: m_bernstein@acs.org; David Hestenes (hestenes@asu.edu); EDEL PONS (canmarrai@gmail.com)

    Dear Pamela

    My theory can be tested by your experiment.

    My idea is to use an oscillator capable to increase the oscillatory motion of the molecules D-D within the Pd lattice, by stimulating the resonance D-D.

    If you succeed to stimulate the resonance D-D , we have to expect a growth in the rate of fusion D-D and also in the rate of neutrons emission by unity of time.

    The oscillator I suggest is the following:

    1- A glass buble is fulfilled by heavy hydrogen (D-D molecules).

    The buble must be placed close to the Pd lattice deposited in the cathode.

    2- Two electrodes are connected inside the buble.

    3- A high voltage is applied to the electrodes, producing an electric discharge that crosses the gas of molecules D-D.

    4- The molecules D-D into the buble are excited, and they emit photons in a frequency which is a sub-multiple of the frequency oscillation of the molecules D-D that fulfill the Pd lattice.

    5- The molecules D-D within the Pd lattice get resonance with the frequency of emission by the D-D molecules into the buble, and the oscillation of D-D within Pd is stimulated to increase its amplitude.

    6- I suppose such stimulation of resonance may increase the velocity of D-D fusion within the Pd lattice.

    A SECOND ALTERNATIVE:
    You can use a laser that hits the molecules D-D within the glass buble, instead of using an electrical discharge.

    A THIRD ALTERNATIVE:
    The best would be to build a laser which emission is produced by D-D molecules. In such case there is no need to have a glass buble, because the laser would be applied directly to the region of Pd lattice.

    Perhaps you have to try the three alternatives.

    It’s my opinion you should have to try it.

    After all, we are in front to a new Physics, and we have to try any new idea if it makes sense.

    Good luck in your attempt, if you decide to do it.

    Regards

    Wladimir Guglinski

  146. HHCon 12 Apr 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Wladimir Guglinski, Your links have colorful graphic illustrations and clear American English explanations. Thanks, I enjoy learning new concepts.

  147. W.GUGLINSKIon 14 Apr 2009 at 11:09 pm

    GUGLINSKI’S THEORY WILL BE TESTED BY US NAVY

    Subject: RE: absence of gamma-rays in your experiment, and neutron’s background
    Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 10:29:47 -0700
    From: pam.boss@navy.mil
    To: wladimirguglinski@hotmail.com
    CC: m_bernstein@acs.org; hestenes@asu.edu; canmarrai@gmail.com
    Dear Wladimir,
    Like many, we have very few funds and resources. But we will consider your suggestions and see what we can do as time and money permits.
    Regards,
    Pam

    RE: absence of gamma-rays in your experiment, and neutron’s background‏
    From: Wladimir Guglinski (wladimirguglinski@hotmail.com)
    Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 10:35:59 PM
    To: PAMELA MOSIER-BOSS (pam.boss@navy.mil)
    Bcc: JOHNATHAN CHAN (coldfusion111@gmail.com); jnaudin509@aol.com
    Hi, Pamela
    Be careful, and take cary.
    If all the deuteriuns of the Pd lattice alligned in the same direction get resonance and have fusion at the same time, perhaps it can occur a small explosion in your electrolytic cell.
    Also, I recomend you to put a loadstone externally in the cell (like in the Letts-Cravens experiment), in order to help to keep a lot of deuteriuns alligned toward the same direction (that of the external magnetic field applied)
    Good luck
    WLAD

  148. HHCon 19 Apr 2009 at 8:09 pm

    CBS 60 Minutes broadcast a story entitled Cold Fusion is Hot Again produced by Denise Cetta. They interviewed Drs. McKubre, Fleischman, Garwin, and a Missouri scientist from the American Physical Society. A DARPA memo was publicly released stating the anomalous excess heat has been produced by cold fusion. CBS stated researchers have found an excess of 25 times the heat going into the cold fusion process. McKubre talked about his work at SRI laboratories with Navy contracts/defense contracts. He simply explained the process. Enclosing and insulating palladium. deuterium, D2O like sea water, and using an electric current. He explained basic measurements are taken, current, voltage, resistance… What is obtained is fusion like the sun without the radiation. McKubre stated the variation in experimentation is due to palladium preparation. The scientist from the American Physical Society visited an Israeli lab and he is now excited about the research which he thought was dead pseudoscience form years back. Dr.Fleischman stated he regretted the original press conference which was insisted upon by the University of Utah. He also wished he had called it something other than fusion, his competitors term. Of course, Dr. Garwin will doubt cold fusion because he assisted with the hydrogen bomb known for hot fusion. The American Physical Society representative requests that you read the published work on cold fusion, talk to the scientists, and use your own mind! This was an excellent 20 minutes about science on television.

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