FP's experiments discussion

  • That is exactly why the mainstream does not think LENR is real. How could it generate all these marginal results (repeatable) and never a large repeatable result? Nuclear reactions, whether detected through excess heat, transmutation, or radioactive intermediates, are awfully easy to detect, and allow the X10 method.

    What is the "mainstream"? Anyone with a PhD and an opinion? I would normally assess the mainstream by seeing what is being published in journals. Since about 2005, a decade, this has almost entirely been positive on the reality of the effect. At one point I counted peer-reviewed reviews of the field, since 2005. There were about sixteen, all positive. (I used the Britz database to determine this, but excluded one journal that specializes in fringe claims.) There are now substantially more. Shanahan is here complaining that he can't get his work published.


    That's a clue. Now, diehard skeptics will say that this is because nobody with any sense will put in the time to refute this nonsense. At some point, however, that excuse gets very old. It's been a decade. All we see of the strong skepticism is commentary on the Internet, and, then, occasionally some reporter asks a scientist who has no idea about cold fusion but what he got from newspapers more than twenty years ago what he thinks. In the journals? It is dead as a doornail.


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    "X10 method"? If one Celani wire gives marginal but interesting results do the same experiment with 10 wires. 10X the output. Etc.

    Don't confuse Celani's work with what has been extensively confirmed. Yes, that would be a method of testing Celani. However, one thing must be kept in mind, particularly when attempting to apply this idea to PdD work. Pons and Fleischmann scaled down, because they realized they had little or no control of the reaction. That centimeter cubed of palladium destroyed the apparatus and burned a hole through the lab table into a concrete floor. What if that was only the low end of what might happen? After all, this was suspected to be a nuclear effect, and the available energy, once nuclear reactions are on the table, could be enormous.


    No, the goal has been to generate effects large enough to measure, above the noise. The difficulty of control, still very real, militates against scaling up.


    Skeptics discussing all this tend to lump it all together, as if NiH and PdD were the same. There is no clear nuclear evidence for NiH, the Lugano test provided, at most, one data point and suffered from a while series of major shortcomings.


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    So, if there were a real effect it is very difficult to understand why by now it has not generated real results. As has been pointed out there are some competent LENR researchers with good equipment. Note that this has nothing to do with theory or not seeing how LENR could work, it is purely a reflection on the experimental results.

    It has generated real results, and has since the beginning. However, precisely because of the variability (which Pons and Fleischmann, unfortunately, didn't make clear), there is little exact replication, and there is the additional problem of controlling the material, which is extremely difficult.


    That is why the strongest results are with heat/helium, where variability in the reaction rate generates self-controls.


    One step at a time. Is the reaction real? If it is, then work to explore how it happens becomes appropriate. We know it is real, but there is, in fact, an aspect of the "mainstream" where it may still be true that cold fusion is rejected. Funding, and, in particular, any funding through the U.S. DoE, which has ignored the recommendations of its own panels. We think there has been some substantial undue influence from the APS lobbyists, but they do not represent "mainstream science," but a particular subset of the scientific community, one with much to lose if cold fusion is real and can be made practical (which are two separate issues).


    Cold fusion doesn't need plasma physicists, nor does it need Big Science, billion-dollar a year boondoggles. On the other hand, you gotta love those enormous machines. If the measurements are accurate, however, cold fusion has already generated higher COP than these things.

  • I would also suggest that one actually read the 58 page F&P paper from 1990, where they discuss and evaluate the F&P calorimetry results and accuracy, tests they did in the Months after the 1989 press conference.


    Since F&P cells is the actual subject of discussion here, that is.


    "......it was necessary to carry out many experiments on a substantial number of electrodes and over long periods of time (the median duration chosen for a measurement cycle was 3 months)."


    "Since March 1989, we have maintained two or three water baths; each bath contained up to five Dewar cells so that we were able to run 8 to 15 cells simultaneously. The results presented herein are based on approximately 54 total experiments and approximately 360 cell calibrations. "


    "The magnitude of the excess enthalpy was so large (typically 1-20 W cm-3 of the electrode volume maintained for periods of 100 h, i.e. giving 0.36 - 7.2 MJ cm-3 over the measurement cycles) that it is not possible to ascribe this enthalpy release to any chemical process "


    "These figures and Table 2 indicate the reasoning which underlies the statements concerning the error limits which we have repeatedly made about the measurements contained in the preliminary publication, namely, that the excess enthalpy can be determined with calorimeters of this type to within 1 mW or 1% of the enthalpy inputs whichever is the greater"


    Now then, of particular interest is their control Runs, with both Pd electrodes, Pt electrodes, light water and heavy water. Common for all 14+ control Runs are a small negative excess heat, as expected from their calorimetry.


    As an example of excess heat we may look at fig 8a in the paper (1), and note that,in this run, after 64 days of electrolysis a sudden burst of heat occured raising the temperature some 20 degC and lasted some 4 days, before it suddenly dropped back 20 degC.


    As evident from fig 9a in the paper the period above the excess power was 20 times input power.


    Ref.


    (1) http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmancalorimetr.pdf


    and the hypothesis of Shanahan in this case is recombination, not CCS, cherrypicking what fits his
    sceptisism. but that is not possible for this length of time and excess power level. Anyhow, F&P Checked recombination and found a max 1% recombination.


  • I am not an overly skeptical person. Give me an alien and I will believe in him. Give me a pink unicorn and I will believe in it too, as long as it gives a good reading on my pink unicorn detector.


    But I refuse to believe that there is a nuclear reaction until there is a good reading on one of my radiation detectors.


    This is only normal, sound skepticism that keeps us alive from day to day.


    I suspect others have pointed out how pseudoskepticism is confused with skepticism. Underneath this claim of skepticism is an unconfirmed and actually unverifiable and therefore pseudoscientific belief that all nuclear reactions must produce radiation that will show up on "one of [his] radiation detectors."


    Nuclear reactions are not defined by radiation. It does happen that most nuclear reactions produce radiation. What was claimed by Pons and Fleischmann, though, was one that produced only a little radiation, which was a puzzle, because the radiation they reported was way too low to be caused by the known deuterium fusion reaction with the heat they were reporting. The neutrons would have been fatal. As came out quickly, their neutron measurements were in error. Many other attempts to measure neutrons were made, and if any neutrons were found, they were at very low levels and difficult to distinguish from background. There were a few results that were puzzling, apparent bursts of neutrons. Nothing confirmed and repeatable.


    This is now a known characteristic of the FP Heat Effect. There are plenty of reports of some kind of radiation produced, but the levels are so low that this could not be caused by the primary reaction, but only by secondary reactions or rare branches. SPAWAR reports evidence for neutron radiation. The evidence is cogent, but also unconfirmed. To put this in perspective, they are using solid state nuclear track detectors (CR-39) which accumulate tracks, and their experiments may last longer than a month. The levels of neutrons inferred to be generated amount to a few per minute, I think. You could not detect this with your ordinary radiation detector, at all. It will have a large detector body, and cosmic ray neutrons would exceed that which is generated by the experiment. How SPAWAR detects neutrons is by having the detectors very close to the cathode (and they see spatial correlation of tracks with the cathode wire position); and they see, on the reverse side of the detector -- away from the cathode, many apparent proton knock-on tracks, plus perhaps ten times background for "triple tracks," produced by the breakup of a carbon nucleus by a fast neutron.


    We know that there is no charged particle radiation from FP Heat Effect experiments, above about 20 keV, which would be difficult to detect, because the penetration is very low. That's from the "Hagelstein limit," and it's a damned nuisance. Nobody knows how the energy is dissipated, Storms and Takahashi predict low energy photons, which your detectors would also not see, and Hagelstein thinks that phonons are doing the trick, which your detector would also miss.


    Bottom line, if what researchers know as PdD LENR is real, your detectors won't see anything.


    We know that the reaction is generating helium, from correlation with heat. While more precise measurements are in order, the data we have strongly suggests that all the energy ends up as heat. If the mechanism for energy transfer is radiation, it must be at low energies, such that it would all be absorbed, converted to heat. Helium, if produced by ordinary deuterium fusion, would always be accompanied by a gamma ray at about the energy that is seen as heat. That very hot gamma is required by conservation of momentum, and the absence of this gamma was seen as a killer argument against helium as the ash. But helium is the ash, no other candidate exists at sufficient levels.


    This is science, and if your science, Mr. Branzell, cannot handle unexplained experimental results, it's not science at all. It is entrenched belief.


    Nobody is asking you to believe in aliens or pink unicorns. And nobody is asking you to believe in LENR. However, your "refusal" is what is also called denial, characteristic of pseudoskepticism, not skepticism. Skepticism is essential to science, but the skepticism that I was taught -- by Feynman, with whom I sat in 1961-1963 -- is skepticism of self, of one's own beliefs, not so much those of others. If one rejects the beliefs or ideas or experimental claims of others based on one's own beliefs, this is pseudoskepticism.


    Nobody says you have to be convinced. If you aren't, fine. But all this commentary about pink unicorns and aliens is insulting, implying that scientists working in the field are not scientists at all, but deluded "believers" in a fantasy. It's rude.


    If you actually want to look at evidence, instead of spouting non-evidence, non-logic, and nonsense, welcome. Otherwise, you are also welcome to look like an idiot, no matter how proud you might be of your snark.

  • Eric - Thank you for responding directly to the argument I made. I've just read this thread since my comment and I find the avoidance of direct replies from Abd and Storms above most unhelpful. Could we please stay directly on the topic which is Kirk's comments (which I note he is ably and directly defending) and my comments?


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    " Eric - Kirk has given an abstract description (Flappenjammers above). All that is needed if for the instrument calibration (taking the simplest case of a linear fit between measured and actual data) to be unstable wrt time or some other uncontrolled experimental condition.Kirk is not saying anything new - except to note that some sets of LENR data fit such a model and the fit is significant.The relevance of his work is both over and under estimated by many here. He is not claiming (how could he) that his meta-hypothesis explains all LENR data. In fact he is not even claiming that it is certainly the explanation for the data he has looked at."


    There is no objection on my part to questioning the suitability of applying a potentially oversimplified mathematical model that has previously been fitted to a calibration run to an active run or runs. This seems like a fertile source of errors. In particular, carrying out calibration runs after active runs seems wise; if there is any kind of hysteresis in the post-active calibration results, it suggests that something changed in the calorimeter, and the data for the live runs should be disqualified.But I think Kirk's CCS is different than this. The suggestion, if I have understood it, is that in the course of a calibration using a resistance heater, the calibration constants do not shift, while in the course of a live run the constants systematically shift in response to a change in conditions (e.g., on-cathode recombination), and then shift back to their original values afterwards. This is worthy of exploration. But it seems to be something quite new. Indeed, a new initialism was coined to refer to it -- CCS, for "calibration constant shift." We might suspect that it is new when ten CF researchers go to the effort to rebut it. I think it's something that needs to be shown to be real, and not something that can just be allowed to impugn carefully collected results. The burden of proof, of course, lies with Kirk and anyone else who finds the CCS conjecture plausible.


    The burden of proof does not lie with Kirk. The context here is that extraordinary results are claimed that cannot be explained by any current theory or hypothesis. LENR is not a theory. If there were no mundane explanation for excess heat proven beyond chemical then I suppose nuclear reactions might be hypothesised as its source. Or Hydrinos. Or purple elephants. And all of these hypotheses would be seriously considered since when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be possible.


    That is not the case. These F&P type measurements have mundane possible explanations. LENR is not on the table as a plausible hypothesis until these have been eliminated.


    Kirk has proposed some real mundane mechanisms that could lead to this FPHE-only shift in calibration. Suppose when anyone claimed new physics from an experiment, those who suggested it was an error rather than new physics had to prove the error.
    (1) They would never be able to do so without cooperation from the original team, access to the original apparatus, etc. Not usually possible.
    (2) Even then they might not be able to do so. If the experiment is flawed and has a potential error it may not be possible to determine the extent of this error, and hence whether results are due to this or purple elephants etc.


    You can I hope see that it must be for those claiming an extraordinary mechanism, let us say purple elephants, to prove that they could only be due to purple elephants or something equally extraordinary (green giraffes perhaps). Only in that case do the purple elephant and green giraffe hypotheses get a siignificant boost.

  • In reply to Abd's reply above


    We are all agreed that there is something called the FP Heat Effect. The issue is whether this is most economically explained by LENR or something else (CCS etc).


    Abd is arguing that because LENR without radiation can be imagined, it is unscientific to dismiss LENR because it does not show radiation. (I think, please correct me if wrong).


    Then he is saying (I'm certain) that this argument is a sign of pseudo-skepticism. (The word is an insult, it means irrational disbelief).


    (1) The FPHE discussion Kirk and I and a few others are valiantly trying to continue does not depend on this radiation issue. Although it is true that were significant radiation observed it would indeed be strong additional evidence for LENR. So - relax, you do not have this strong evidence, deal with excess heat recorded by these experiments as a phenomena and consider hypotheses without prejudice.


    (2) It is unhelpful to introduce this "pseudo-skeptic" argument here. I suspect it belongs on some other thread. It you wish to impugn me or Kirk with this label it is an ad hom and not helpful.


    Notwithstanding the above, and at the risk of being ad homed, I'll give my views on this. For FPHE to be explained by a given nuclear reaction, even if that reaction showed observable radiation commensurate with branching ratios, that would be extraordinary. However the radiation if quantitatively matching known branching ratios would be strong extra evidence and the hypothesis would be more likely than with no radiation. I'm pretty sure all LENR researchers agree this, one reason they spent a long time looking for radiation and indeed still do.


    Therefore absence of radiation certainly counts against LENR. Since it is extraordinary anyway (Coulomb barrier, lack of other evidence throughout science) you might argue that whatever unexplored thing does LENR might well do other expected things, like alter nuclear stability and branching ratios. So the lack of expected radiation should not be counted twice. But, as Hagelstein has correctly pointed out, it is a worse problem for LENR than the Coulomb barrier. Rational skepticism must see the lack as counting against LENR at least a bit.


    The pseudo-skepticism argument is really just an assertion that those who are skeptical are unreasonably skeptical. It does not hold water, but sounds good.

  • Abd said "We know that the reaction is generating helium, from correlation with heat.".


    The evidence for this is interesting but not accepted by most people, because the helium levels are so low (below typical environmental) and there are plausible mundane mechanisms for helium detected to be correlated with heat. Cutting short the scientific argument on whether this evidence is strong therefore is putting the cart before the horse. Obviously, if you accept Abd's assertions here you see strong evidence for LENR. But they are assertions not science. Exactly the same issue with plausible mundane hypotheses being possible exists here.


    Now, if these measurements are real then no doubt they can be tightened up and the argument won (A very common theme in LENR results). That won't happen if those claiming LENR accept the data as Abd does dismissing mundane hypotheses.

  • The topic here is how the published results in electrolytic cells, open and closed, can be explained. Shanahan has argued for a mundane mechanism (CCS) and defended this so far against all arguments here. Perhaps you could address his specific points? Until that happens from my POV the growing understanding is how one class of LENR results can result from known mundane mechanisms.

    That was Storms, and Storms answered Shanahan long ago. Now, I will be reviewing Shanahan's arguments here, on CCS, but the problem is that he is arguing a lost cause. Shanahan's work could possibly explain just what you say, at the extreme, "one class of LENR results." Not the corpus, not even close.


    Nobody is going to fund verification of Shanahan's CCS theory. When I came into the field, I was told, I think by Jed Rothwell, that it would take about $10,000 to see the FP effect, if you knew what you were doing. This is what would be required: duplicate the results so that the naive explanation would be, yes, you have seen the effect (not just something lesser), and then show, by controlled experiment, that the results are artifact, with a mundane cause. That is how, for example, N-rays and polywater were exposed as artifact. You don't just do what happened in 1989, try the "experiment," often with large variations from it, get no results, and then announce you have debunked it. This was covered in the 1989 DoE review. Negative results do not address the problem. Now, if everyone kept getting negative results, that would be another matter. But that is not the history. Rather, people who persisted, often in the face of initial negative results, found results. That includes Miles. Miles initially reported negative results. Then he started seeing the effect. He called up the ERAB panel. It was no use. The ERAB report covered his negative results, and not the later positive ones.


    I don't think there is anyone out there willing to spend $10,000 to confirm CCS. Why? What's the point? CCS is not an obstacle to cold fusion funding. It is fundamentally irrelevant, except in a discussion like this, where it gives hope to a dying breed, the extreme cold fusion skeptics. So people inside the field won't fund it, and people who believe cold fusion is bogus won't fund it, since they generally believe that the whole field is a waste of time.


    There is one possibility, which Kirk is welcome to explore. There is work being set up to measure heat/helium with increased precision. If Kirk is interested, he might suggest some simple add-on tests that would avoid his CCS problem -- or confirm it. With that, he might be making an actual scientific contribution, instead of just complaining for years about the alleged delusions and bias of other scientists and the editors of scientific journals.


    Or, I suppose, he could scrape up the money, learn how to do the experiments, and do his own work. He has already told us he's not going to do this, because "his bosses" won't fund it. Of course they won't. Useless! He was able to get funding to write one paper on the basis of confirming that LENR would not cause explosions in the uranium separation plants they run. That made, at least, some sense, but .... was extraordinarily unlikely anyway.


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    The effect is now too complicated for the skeptical myth to explain, so they just keep repeating the same mantra.


    Storms, by "complicated," does not mean what Clarke makes it mean, and that should have been obvious.


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    Shanahan's critique here may be a repetition of his original published comment, but as he has said that seems to be because his criticism has not been addressed by researchers doing these experiments, which is a pity. I may be wrong, but if it has been addressed a detailed rebuttal here, which could be answered by him, would be possible.

    Not the best venue, actually. There are much better ones. I have invited Kirk, I think more than once, to contribute to Wikiversity, where content can be built. Right now, I mostly am writing on Quora.com, on many topics, but including LENR. That's a real-name site, where civility is enforced. The format is that Questions are asked, and individual users provide Answers, which are distinct. There are many very competent scientists who are users on Quora. Answers may be discussed in Comments.


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    I question whether in this context a "complicated" effect is stronger, and therefore more difficult to refute. Real physics becomes clearer, with simpler demonstrations, as time goes on. Artifacts tend to get more complex as they are checked more carefully so ruling out simple ones.

    "Complicated" refers to the vast array of evidences that there is a nuclear reaction taking place in these experiments. The basic evidence is quite simply. It is not what Clarke thinks, i.e., that as a problem with an experiment is found, explanations multiple and become more complicated. That does happen with LENR theory. I.e., there are many theories proposed for LENR. None of them match the experimental results, so ad-hoc explanations are invented as to why. You want complicated, look at Widom-Larsen theory, which seems to have only gotten a leg up because it is a "not-fusion" theory, even though that's a semantic trick.


    No: this is the basic finding with PdD. With a range of known protocols, and if both heat and helium in the outgas (or accumulating in a closed cell) are measured, anomalous heat will appear in some experiments, and with decent protocols, it can be more than half of the attempts. If the helium is compared with the heat, it is found to be correlated, generally at a value indicating that about 60% of the helium produced, if produced at the deuterium fusion ratio (23.8 MeV/4He), is released in the outgas or accumulates in the cell gas. There are two experiments where reverse electrolysis was used, and the heat/helium ratio moved to be quite close to the theoretical value.


    There is planned work (Texas Tech -- Duncan & McKubre, and ENEA, Violante) to repeat all this with increased precision. But the correlation is already exceedingly strong.


    This is not merely an anomalous heat effect, though that is what it is neutrally called. It is anomalous heat correlated with a product, the production of which, under the experimental conditions, would produce the heat observed. That this much energy is released, if helium is produced from deuterium, is required by the laws of thermodynamics, thought that energy could show up in different forms. However, since radiation is largely missing, and no other products are known at anything like necessary levels, this is almost certainly nuclear-origin heat and helium. At this point, no other possibility is worth funding. It's time to find out what is happening, instead of continuing to fuss around with debates that go nowhere, in internet fora that make practically no difference.


    If people are interested in supporting the real research, contact me. That includes skeptics. There are, after all, genuine skeptics.

  • "The burden of proof does not lie with Kirk. The context here is that extraordinary results are claimed that cannot be explained by any current theory or hypothesis."


    I definitely agree that there are criticisms of experiments that can be made without causing the critic to assume the burden of showing that a particular artifact is at work in a given instance. In those cases a mundane, well-known source of error will have been suggested, and there will be well-known or obvious ways of controlling for the error.


    We have a different situation in this instance, on two counts. First, the CCS has never been observed before and gives indications of being the electrochemical equivalent of a purple elephant. Second, as a source of error it seems, even from the testimony of its originator, to be very difficult to falsify. I surmise that part of the challenge is that calorimeters are bulky things, and it's hard to use several methods of calorimetry simultaneously in order to cross check results using measurement instruments liable to independent sources of error.


    Although the LENR experiments are difficult, and it would be difficult to falsify a suspected case of CCS, thankfully there is a straightforward way to validate or falsify the conjecture that CCS is the electrochemical equivalent of a purple elephant: someone can go to the chemistry department of the nearest research university and ask the professors there, without giving them too much context, how plausible they find the proposal as a source of error (and how they might go about ruling it out).


    It is true that the publication of Kirk's articles can be adduced as evidence that the conjecture is taken seriously, but the evidence is finally ambiguous. For it is also the case that those journals shut down the [lexicon]conversation[/lexicon], for reasons that are unknown to us.


    Until it becomes clear that electrochemists as a group take the conjecture seriously, and as a general phenomenon and not just in the case of LENR, I personally feel that the burden of proving or disproving artifact arising from a controversial and difficult-to-disprove conjecture lies with the person making it. I'm pretty sure that this is always the case in science; the people doing the LIGO experiment do not need to worry about suggestions that other universes in the multiverse might be causing the GW signal (to use a far-fetched example).

  • Eric - Thank you for responding directly to the argument I made. I've just read this thread since my comment and I find the avoidance of direct replies from Abd and Storms above most unhelpful.

    I just came into this [lexicon]conversation[/lexicon] today, and started by reading over this thread from the beginning (not going back to what it was split from). I have been replying directly to the messages of others, so why Clarke would claim avoidance of direct reply by me is mysterious. By Storms, sure. Storms has replied to all this, for the most part, years ago and will only sparingly reply. I, as well, am occupied elsewhere and decided to give today to this, mostly. I am, so far, not going over CCS in detail, because it is mostly irrelevant, for reasons I've been explaining. However, I may look at it before being done here.

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    Could we please stay directly on the topic which is Kirk's comments (which I note he is ably and directly defending) and my comments?

    Who defines the topic here? I've responded directly to you, Thomas, directly. However, my concern is always the overall process and subject and what practical difference we can make.


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    [...]The burden of proof does not lie with Kirk.

    That leaves out something crucial, the context of claims. First of all, what is the claim? Who is making it? What is this concept of "the burden of proof"? Who is the judge? The argument about burden of proof is often a pseudoskeptical one. It is valid, in my view, under certain circumstances, but the question that really matters is who is the judge? Who is deciding and weighing "proof"?


    The very use of the term "proof" takes us outside of science into politics and polemic. The legitimate issue would be evidence and the preponderance of evidence, in civil matters, and surely this is a civil matter. We need to know how to allocate scarce research funds. What level of evidence is required to justify research into a question? Proof? Or merely reasonable suspicion? Surely it depends on the nature of the investment being considered. A billion dollar question is different from a million dollar one, and both are different from a $10,000 one.


    How much proof is there that hot fusion can be made practical, in order to justify a billion dollars a year? How much proof is needed to justify a few million dollars per year for cold fusion research to answer "basic questions," as was unanimously recommended by both U.S.. DoE reviews?


    Kirk Shanahan is not merely being skeptical about cold fusion claims, he is asserting a new theory, not accepted by anyone in print, and which seems, to those involved with the research, with 25 years of experience, to be preposterous. That's an extraordinary claim! How much time of day should I give it? That's what I have to invest, and my time is precious to me.


    That others may consider cold fusion -- whatever that is -- an "extraordinary claim" doesn't change this.


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    The context here is that extraordinary results are claimed that cannot be explained by any current theory or hypothesis.


    That was the situation 26 years ago. However, Pons and Fleischmann were testing predictions about nuclear reaction rates based on the plasma approximation, i.e. ,that the distance between atoms in the solid state were so large compared to the distance scale on which nuclear reactions take place, that the solid state could be neglected, it was enough to do 2-body calculations. They expected that they would fail to find anything. They did expect an effect, but that it would be below what they could measure. They were wrong. They were wrong about quite a number of things. But ... they looked. Actually looking is how science grows.


    Now, they found something unexpected. Is that an extraordinary claim? Yes. Was it contrary to known physics? No. It violated no laws of physics, only certain assumptions, and this was known. Part of the tragedy of cold fusion is that many groups rushed to test this claim while having completely inaequate information about what Pons and Fleischmann had done. There was a rush to judgment probably based on a perceived threat to hot fusion funding. McKubre has documented this well in his February 2015 paper in Current Science. It was a huge mess.


    The actual maintained extraordinary claim, anomalous heat, has been confirmed. There is an anomaly, something unknown. We have not yet, here, looked at the direct evidence that this is a nuclear effect, though there have been a few hints. There is a vast pile of circumstantial evidence, enough, I suspect, to create a preponderance-of-the-evidence conclusion. But we don't need to depend on that. There is direct evidence. Part of what that evidence demonstrates is that the heat is real.


    The evidence is extraordinary, and it was recognized as such by Huizenga in 1993, but Huizenga predicted that it would not be confirmed "because no gammas." It was confirmed. And there are no gammas, at least not the hot gamma expected from the rare deuterium fusion branch resulting in helium. There is an obvious likely conclusion: the reaction is not that fusion reaction, it is merely that the fuel and ash are the same, except for the gamma. The energy is being dissipated differently, the mechanism is different, and we don't know what the mechanism is that allows that energy to end up as heat.


    Cold fusion is a mystery, but it's real. That is, there is real heat, and a real nuclear product.


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    LENR is not a theory.

    That's correct. However, this is a theory, and it is verifiable or falsifiable: The FP Heat Effect is the result of the conversion of deuterium to helium, with no other major products.


    (to be continued)

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    If there were no mundane explanation for excess heat proven beyond chemical then I suppose nuclear reactions might be hypothesised as its source. Or Hydrinos. Or purple elephants. And all of these hypotheses would be seriously considered since when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be possible.

    Helium, Clarke. Have I mentioned helium? If deuterum conversion is taking place, energy production is expected. How much would end up as radiation and how much as heat could vary with the mechanism. The theory I just proposed has there be no other major products.However, if one wishes to assert that the effect is not nuclear at all, there is a boatload of observed effects -- at low levels, but quite adequate to be measured as above noise or background -- to explain. Essentially, given the research that has been done, "non-nuclear" has become the "extraordinary claim."It is only the lack of theory of mechanism that makes it seem otherwise, out of almost a century of habit of thinking that we already know the range of what is possible for nuclear reactions. However, nobody had looked before, where Pons and Fleischmann looked. When McKubre saw that work, he was familiar with the palladium-deuterium system. He knew immediately that Pons and Fleischmann must have found ways to increase loading beyond the 70% that was considered maximum, because he knew the traditional territory, and such an effect didn't exist in it. And he was right. The effect doesn't show up until about 90% loading. The early negative replicators made an assumption that "maximum loading" would be enough, and so they did not go above 70%, and, from what we now know, predictably, found nothing.Higher loading is necessary, though not sufficient. There are other conditions, and Pons and Fleischmann did not know them all, they had been extremely lucky.

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    That is not the case. These F&P type measurements have mundane possible explanations. LENR is not on the table as a plausible hypothesis until these have been eliminated.

    Lost here: who is deciding? Whose table? This is the a well-known problem: there is no end to possible explanations and hypotheses. At some point we move on. If we move on in error, it will come out in the wash. If the effect is CCS, continued and careful experiment would reveal that. I have mentioned that there is work under way to confirm the heat/helium ratio to higher precision. It is known how to do that work. It does not require anything new, just some money and time. If the heat/helium ratio holds, CCS is dead. The heat is necessary to explain the helium! And independent artifacts for heat and helium would be extraordinarily unlikely to correlate across many experiments. And then to correlate at the fusion ratio? No, Huizenga knew, God rest his soul. This was an extraordinary result, adequate to "explain a major mystery of cold fusion," and he didn't know the half of it. This nails and confirms that the excess heat measurements are at least approximately correct, and COP and reliability don't matter. All that matters is measurement of heat, with careful calorimetry, and measurement of helium, with caution about leakage, and error in either of these will cause the results to incorrectly correlate. Leakage would affect controls and no-heat cells the same as heat-producing cells.And, no, it could not be that heat is causing leakage. Besides being extremely unlikely to be a consistent effect, this would not affect experiments run at constant temperature, and some are, and when they are not, when cells with XP get hotter, it is typically only a few degrees C. Not enough to have a major effect on seals, and this phenomenon would vary drastically across different protocols.

    Quote

    Kirk has proposed some real mundane mechanisms that could lead to this FPHE-only shift in calibration. Suppose when anyone claimed new physics from an experiment, those who suggested it was an error rather than new physics had to prove the error.

    New physics is not claimed. That's a very old error. What is claimed is that there is something unknown. Takahashi has, with quantum field theory, come up with a prediction of fusion from a particular physical condition that might exist in the experiments. His finding is remarkable because the idea that existing physics would not allow fusion was based, not on actual study, but on an assumption, that multibody effects would be irrelevant.This does not mean that Takahashi has explained cold fusion. His approach would lead to a prediction of high-energy alphas, no gammas. The high-energy alphas are missing, so his theory is, at best, incomplete. Storms has another approach which would, in fact, require new physics, my assessment. Until we know much more about the details of cold fusion, needing "new physics" is premature. For reasons that you have explained, Thomas, that's not going to be accepted.But the effect is real. How is it explained, and such must consider all the evidence, not just one of the pieces, anomalous heat. Only helium has been correlated with heat, so far, but that was due to an early misunderstanding. Tritium, for example, was being reported but was said to be "not commernsurable with the heat." That would be according to a theory that required tritium as a major product. In fact, tritium measured was enormously lower than such a level. But the data on tritium was not reported together with simultaneous heat. I found one paper that might give one data point. Absolutely not enough. The data might have been there, and I would find it very odd that there would be no correlation between tritium and helium, for example. (Assuming the H/D ratio in the heavy water was held constant). But we don't know, one of many things we don't know about cold fusion, but we do know that tritium is widely reported, and that is strong evidence for "something nuclear happening."To steal a phrase from the rest of Clarke's comment, he is proposing purple elephants with no actual evidence. Evidence is quite adequate now to gain funding from agencies or organizations, enough to do the basic research needed. It will take a few years, perhaps. Not long. What I expect is that the Texas Tech/ENEA collaboration will produce relatively bullet-proof data on heat/helium, and that this will be published in a major journal. And the rejection cascade will completely collapse, it's basically a zombie already.

  • The shanahan conjecture has been made obsolete and ineffectual by recent advances in LENR. The Thomas Clarke objections are also obsolete and not applicable to the state of LENR as has been advanced to its current state of perfection. On Christmas last, Rossi told us that the input power produced by his latest LENR efforts are amplified by a factor of 10 times with regards to the electric current generated on output. Also an equal amount of heat is produced to equal the output current. There is in addition a production of visible light equal to a 500 watt incandescent light source. Even with this primitive prototype designated as E-CAT X which gains capability on a daily basis, this huge energy production gain are beyond the limited scope of these contrarian conjectures. These conjectures are beyond any utility in discussion---so much so that these amazing advances in LENR make the shanahan and Clarke conjectures irrelevant oddities from a past age. They are just a waste of internet baud-rate.


    It's simple; Rossi has the goods or he doesn't; there will be no doubt about it. We will know the efficacy of this LENR product plainly when we see it.

  • In reply to Abd's reply above


    We are all agreed that there is something called the FP Heat Effect. The issue is whether this is most economically explained by LENR or something else (CCS etc).

    Well, close, but not exactly. The FPHE, considered alone, might be most economically explained by "they must be making some mistake." Depends on whose economics are involved, eh? CCS could explain heat, but not the host of additional observed effects, of which the most important is helium, becuase of direct correlation. There are also other widely reported effects in association with the FPHE, such as tritum -- very widely reported, X-radiation, likewise, and transmutations other than tritium. These, however, vastly confused the situation for newcomers. The FP Heat Effect appears to only produce helium, and any other products are a million times down, or more.


    What the situation has come to, for those who study the field, and those who actually invest in experimental work, is that the most economical explanation is an unknown nuclear reaction, and for the FPHE, specifically, one that converts deuterium to helium, which is, after all, a nuclear reaction. You can't make helium with ordinary chemistry, you can just shove it around. However, the FPHe is a chemical effect, that is, one produced by applying the techniques of chemistry. The name, "cold fusion," or "[lexicon]Low energy nuclear reactions[/lexicon]," confuses many, because then they think that the natural experts would be nuclear physicists, but nuclear physicists have no training in the experimental methods involved. And this is, still, an experimental field, not one based on theory, except, now, for the most basic and general of theories, that don't explain mechanism.


    Quote

    Abd is arguing that because LENR without radiation can be imagined, it is unscientific to dismiss LENR because it does not show radiation. (I think, please correct me if wrong).

    Glad you asked. No, that's not what I argue, or, more accurately, remind readers of. I addressed the dismissal of LENR on the basis of it not showing readily measurable radiation. Suspicion of something unusual or unexplained from a "nuclear reaction" with no radiation is normal skepticism (and I could explain why). However, a belief that all nuclear reactions must show radiation is just that, a belief. It is obviously not a "fact," it is, rather, an argument from absence of evidence, not evidence. As soon as there is evidence of a nuclear reaction without radiation, the balance starts to shift. A skeptic would say something like "that's odd, how could that happen?" Only if the skeptic believes that its is impossible (rather than merely thinking it unlikely) does this become "unscientific." It is a belief without evidence, as if one did not believe in black swans simply because one had never seen one, and, perhaps, had seen a lot of swans.


    (I consider it likely that there is radiation from the FPHE, just that it is, for alphas, below 20 keV, the Hagelstein limit, but what would be nice would be 45 keV, which may be possible, because Hagelstein may not have been considering "surface effect." I think he has only recently moved toward accepting that. 45 keV would be the energy of a ground-state 8Be fission, so all that might be needed, then, would be a way to release the nuclear excitation of 8Be, Takahashi thinks in terms of a BOLEP, a burst of low-energy photons. Maybe. Speculation. Mystery, my basic stand.)


    Quote

    Then he is saying (I'm certain) that this argument is a sign of pseudo-skepticism. (The word is an insult, it means irrational disbelief).

    Right in the first sentence, because it is a sign of a belief disguised as skepticism. As to the second, look it up on Wikipedia. Pseudoskepticism (or pseudoscepticism) is a term referring to a philosophical or scientific position which appears to be that of skepticism or scientific skepticism but which in reality fails to be so. There is nothing there about "irrational disbelief." Reason, however, proceeds from premises.


    We are talking about LENR. This is the LENR Forum. We are talking about the reality of an effect without radiation detectable by ordinary radiation meters, known to be such for decades. (Beyond very low-level effects.) In that context, to talk about pink unicorns and and a belief that LENR is impossible because it's LENR, more or less, is just that, a belief, not skepticism. But the imagination is that it is skeptical. That is, then, "pseudoskepticism," that is, it appears to be skepticism, but is not, in reality, Most notably, if fails to be skeptical of self, whereas scientifc skepticism is exactly that, first and foremost. In addition, I notice others here calling cold fusion researchers "believers" and "deluded." That is characteristic of pseudoskeptical cant. Spade a spade, Thomas. I'm finding it odd that you seize on this, and let pass what Kirk has written about how blind others are. Do you really think he is acquiting himself well here?


    Quote

    (1) The FPHE discussion Kirk and I and a few others are valiantly trying to continue does not depend on this radiation issue. Although it is true that were significant radiation observed it would indeed be strong additional evidence for LENR. So - relax, you do not have this strong evidence, deal with excess heat recorded by these experiments as a phenomena and consider hypotheses without prejudice.

    I'm quite relaxed, thank you very much. The LENR that significant radiation would be strong evidence for is not the LENR that we have, but helium is just as strong or even stronger, because there is a direct relationship between the helium and the heat, and trying to consider heat in isolation is ignoring half of the direct evidence for "nuclear reaction," far stronger than heat alone. Basically, if helium is being produced, without heat or radiation, that would be truly astonishing, and it would violate the laws of thermodynamics. Is helium being produced?


    Trying to consider the pieces of evidence in isolation misses the largest point, correlation, and that is exactly where Kirk Shanahan fell flat on his face in 2010.

    Quote

    (2) It is unhelpful to introduce this "pseudo-skeptic" argument here. I suspect it belongs on some other thread. It you wish to impugn me or Kirk with this label it is an ad hom and not helpful.

    "Pseudoskeptic" is not an argument for or against LENR. Pseudoskeptics are often right, maybe even they are right most of the time (because they normally align with "accepted science" which is a decent approximation to reality, just not the same as reality). However, when a pseudoskeptical argument is presented, I may well confront it as such. Kirk is clearly arguing from some sort of fixed belief. He is also trained as a scientist, but I've engaged with him, off and on, for years. He's stuck in his beliefs, so much so that he invents explanation after explanation to avoid the obvious, nuclear reactions. That's pseudoskepticism. That he is not convinced, that is not pseudoskepticism. Pseudoskepticism requires attachment to belief disguised as skepticism.


    The social and psychological realities are of high interest to me. The mechanism of the rejection cascade is of high interest. Some excellent work on another cascade has been done, ironically, by Gary Taubes, who wrote a very skeptical book on cold fusion. Pseudoskepticism should be understood as a hazard facing all skeptics, and skepticism is necessary for science, therefore you will not see me ignoring the arguments of someone merely because I see them as pseudoskeptical. It's a state and does not necessarily described the core of a person. Anyone can do it.
    (continued below)

  • Quote

    Notwithstanding the above, and at the risk of being ad homed, I'll give my views on this. For FPHE to be explained by a given nuclear reaction, even if that reaction showed observable radiation commensurate with branching ratios, that would be extraordinary. However the radiation if quantitatively matching known branching ratios would be strong extra evidence and the hypothesis would be more likely than with no radiation. I'm pretty sure all LENR researchers agree this, one reason they spent a long time looking for radiation and indeed still do.

    Sure. But this is not the reaction known and confirmed. No significant radiation. The reaction does not match known "branching ratios" which refer to d-d fusion and the reaction is probably not d-d fusion, even though the product is the same and the energy balance matches d-d fusion, if somehowwe could convert the gamma energy to heat (which would probably be impossible, but, hey, Widom and Larsen posit a "gamma shield" which would do exactly that, convert gammas to heat. I consider that a huge stretch, much more outrageous than cold fusion itself.)Now, what could it be if it is not d-d fusion, but is producing helium? There is actually an obvious answer, and it is in the running. It's going to be difficult to confirm, unfortunately. This is not a plasma where you can see stuff happening, you can see events that only last a femtosecond. This is the solid state, not transparent, and very dense compared to a plasma. And very complex, I don't blame the physicists for not wanting to touch such a messy environment. They like nice, simple, 2-body interactions.But there is also a Nobel Prize waiting for the person who comes up with the real theory, if it can be confirmed in his or her lifetime.

    Quote

    Therefore absence of radiation certainly counts against LENR.

    It certainly did in 1989-1990! Entire papers were written and published that did nothing but study neutron production, setting an upper limit, and considering that this was definitive evidence that cold fusion wasn't real. In fact, however, this was totally obvious from the first paper. This wasn't ordinary d-d fusion and it was a mistake for Pons and Fleischmann to even talk about it. Helium was suspected as the product from about a month after the FP announcment, in a paper written by "two innocent chemists." They more or less got it right. But for political reasons, Pons and Fleischmann -- even though Pons announced helium about the same time as that Simons and Walling paper -- avoided helium and screwed up the Morrey collaboration that might have advanced us a huge distance, and it's fairly easy to understand why they might have done this .... but it does not make them look good. Everyone, including them, got caught up in the politics of it. So we didn't really know about the heat/helium correlation until 1991 and Miles, and then it took quite a bit of time to confirm, over the next ten to fifteen years.

    Quote

    Since it is extraordinary anyway (Coulomb barrier, lack of other evidence throughout science) you might argue that whatever unexplored thing does LENR might well do other expected things, like alter nuclear stability and branching ratios. So the lack of expected radiation should not be counted twice. But, as Hagelstein has correctly pointed out, it is a worse problem for LENR than the Coulomb barrier. Rational skepticism must see the lack as counting against LENR at least a bit.

    By now, rational skepticism knows there is a collection of effects that are unexplained, and will be very interested in correlations among them. Unfortunately, with only one pair as an exception, studies have not looked much for correlations. Rather, they looked, too often, for "nuclear effects," and when they found one, were excited. But artifacts abound and isolated results are nowhere near as powerful as correlated results. Correlations cut through noise. Only heat and helium have been correlated.If something weird happens and heat/helium disappears with increased precision, we will be returned to the original mess: unexplained heat, widely reported, and a pile of uncorrelated anecdotes. However, remmber, Miles has already been confirmed. What is being undertaken is simply increased precision. There is plenty of evidence for the correlation, it is the exact value that is in doubt. In 1993, Huizenga was impressed that the ratio was within an order of magnitude of the theoretical fusion value. That obviously blew his mind. He was a scientist. He knew the importance of correlation.

    Quote

    The pseudo-skepticism argument is really just an assertion that those who are skeptical are unreasonably skeptical. It does not hold water, but sounds good.

    It is not skepticism, per se, that is pseudoskeptical. It is the dominance of personal belief in skepticism toward others, and a very obvious smugness and avoidance of personal responsibility that characterize pseduoskepticism in these arguments. It is not pseudoskepticism for Shanahan to present the CCS theory. It is pseudoskepticism for him to insist that he is right and all these other scientists are wrong, that he conclusively refuted them long ago and they refuse to consider his arguments, these are all characteristic of pseudoskepticism, of strong belief in personal rightness and in the wrongness of others.

  • Abd said "We know that the reaction is generating helium, from correlation with heat.".


    The evidence for this is interesting but not accepted by most people, because the helium levels are so low (below typical environmental) and there are plausible mundane mechanisms for helium detected to be correlated with heat.

    Clarke asserts "most people," but who is that? Most people on the street? Most plasma physicists? Most members of the American Physical Society? Most members of the larger society, the American Chemical Society? Or, perhaps most editors and peer reviewers of mainstream scientific journals.


    Clarke claims that there are "plausible mundane mechanisms for helium to be detected correlated with heat." Plausible to someone who doesn't know the experimental conditions, and who doesn't think it through. I'd be quite curious what Clarke thinks on this, because it has never appeared in print. In addition, it is not true that helium levels are below typical environmental. In some experiments, they rise above ambient helium. In Apicella et al (2004), ambient helium was not excluded, and what was measured was elevation above ambient. The argument that helium measurements could be leakage from ambient seemed plausible, but did not explain the correlation. Jones, responding to Miles, ignored the correlation. Shanahan claimed to show no correlation from some Storms data re Miles, Bush and Laaowski, but didn't realize that he was comparing, not heat and helium, but helium/heat vs heat, so if there is perfect correlation, there would be no correlation between those variables, because the ratio would not vary with the heat.


    Basically, nobody has ever asserted, in a peer reviewed paper, what Clarke so easily claims here, as if it is what "most people" believe. It was suggested, in late 2014, that I write a paper for a planned special section in Current Science. I did so, and submitted it. Those papers had to go through double peer review, first by the section editors. That was fairly easy. One of them had been my roommate at ICCF-18.... The other was not thrilled at my deprecation of the tritium evidence, but I managed to convince him that I wasn't denying it, only pointing to the main show. Then it went to an anonymous reviewer, who took one look at my paper and pronounced that it was horrible. I think he was a physicist and he had never seen the serious evidence for cold fusion. So I rewrote the paper, to make sure to guide him through it. He turned completely around and approved the paper with a glowing review, suggesting some of the conclusions, which I incorporated.


    Basically, when people are sitting around BSing each other, they can and will say all kinds of things. You do not know the scientific consensus on something until it's been extensively reviewed in the peer-reviewed literature. The position expressed here by Clarke could not make it through peer review. There is no there there. It's fluff.

    Quote

    Cutting short the scientific argument on whether this evidence is strong therefore is putting the cart before the horse. Obviously, if you accept Abd's assertions here you see strong evidence for LENR. But they are assertions not science. Exactly the same issue with plausible mundane hypotheses being possible exists here.

    There is a difference. I wrote a paper and sourced every claim in the paper. I got it through peer review that was not about to believe me just because I said so. Yes, my assertions are assertions, but so are his. Mine are based in extensive study of the field, intensely, since I was banned on Wikipedia for confronting admin abuse related to cold fusion. At that point, I was much more concerned about Wikipedia than cold fusion, but sine I now had time freed up, how about working on something that might lead to some benefit? I had already bought the major books (such as Taubes and Huizenga and Storms), and I was invited to join the private mailing list for LENR researchers, so I started writing a lot about cold fusion, on a list where there were experts who could and would confront me when I was off. I also stuck my toe in the experimental waters, a whole story by itself.


    I suggested to Storms that he write a paper on heat/helium, because it was being neglected. This is important: cold fusion reearchers knew about heat helium, but were often so focused on calorimetry that it seemed like a side-issue to them. Storms wrote the paper, Naturwissenschaften came back and asked him to write a full review of the field, hence Storms (2010), where I was credited. I was happen to be mentioned in a journal where Einstein had published....


    This is full circle for me. I sat with Richard P. Feynman at Cal Tech in 1961-63, but dropped out and never graduated. I'm commonly called "Dr. Lomax" by scientists and I have to correct them. I have no college degree. I ended up working as an electronics engineer (self-taught) and raising kids, I have seven. So all this was coming back to science for me. It has really been fun.


    Quote

    Now, if these measurements are real then no doubt they can be tightened up and the argument won (A very common theme in LENR results). That won't happen if those claiming LENR accept the data as Abd does dismissing mundane hypotheses.

    I have been very active encouraging the work to tighten up heat/helium, and this may have played some role in the creation of that project. It was announced after the publication of my paper, which was designed exactly to encourage that work. There is a big difference here from before. Most LENR work was highly speculative. This new work is only confirmation, of work that has already been confirmed by at least a dozen different labs. There is no reason for it to fail. The only truly open question is the exact value of the correlation.
    When I started proposing this work, LENR researchers were largely negative. Waste of time. We already know that the reaction produces helium. And they did. But that was not the point. This was something with dual purpose, and designed to be presented that way. To those who doubt the reality of LENR, this could resolve the issue once and for all time, if the work is carefully done. To those who already have no doubt about LENR, this work will provide crucial evidence about the exact nature of the reaction. Storms has estimated 25 +/- 5 MeV/4He for the reaction Q. The theoretical value is 23.8 MeV. There are other theories which would suggest a Q that is maybe near the edges of the Storms estimate. Now, we already have evidence that is tighter than Storm's estimate, from SRI M4 and Apicella et al (Violante) Laser-3. When there was anodic stripping, helium was released bringing the ration down to closer to the theoretical value. That's just two data points, we really need more, as many as possible. But this workk is worth doing for the second reason alone.


    As to the first reason, this could break open the funding logjam, the need of bureaucrats to CYA for decisions. I'ts been almost 27 years. It's about time, don't you think?


    (there are those who think that Saint Rossi will save us. Maybe he will, but his work is secret and there are many, many things that could go wrong twixt what he has and a commercial product. I happen to think that LENR is potentially far too valuable to put all our eggs into trust of someone who apparently deliberately tries to make himself look like a complete con artist -- for very good reasons! -- or, of course, he actually is a con artist. We will know within a few years, as Axil has pointed out)


    In any case, if Clarke has some plausible artifacts to point out that should be considered in creating a tightened up confirmation of heat/helium, by all means, I hope he will point them out. I will pay close attention and may be able to communicate them to the people doing the work, if I agree that they are not utterly preposterous. Previously, out of discussions with a skeptic on Wikiversity, I took two questions to experts and the result was some answers that had never before been revealed, and a study was written by Dieter Britz, the skeptical electrochemist who has maintained a database of cold fusion papers. Most of that skeptic's arguments were pure balderdash, but not all. He worked hard, was smart, and so did come up with Better Than Your Average Bear. Even if he did have a Bad Attitude. Which did get him banned. Not on my account!

  • It is true that the publication of Kirk's articles can be adduced as evidence that the conjecture is taken seriously, but the evidence is finally ambiguous. For it is also the case that those journals shut down the [lexicon]conversation[/lexicon], for reasons that are unknown to us

    Well, the last serious articles published were, what, 2004? Over ten years ago. Storms had published an article and substantial space was given to Shanahan to dispute Storms' conclusions. That seems completely normal to me. Shanahan reports two conversations shut down. The first was with JEM, which published his Letter regarding a review of cold fusion written by Krivit and Marwan. This was just a Letter, not a formal paper, and this is what I think likely about it. Shanahan's letter was the best critique they received. They were getting some flack for publishing that old cold fusion nonsense, wasn't that all debunked twenty years ago? So they needed to nail this, and Kirk's Letter gave them a chance. So they published it together with the response by that remarkable phalanx of LENR researchers. Krivit bailed, and did not participate. By this time, Krivit was no longer on speaking terms with almost everyone in the field, he had completely shot himself in the foot as a journalist, getting highly involved in disputes over theory, and regularly pursuing what might be called "yellow journalism." Big Scandal! McKubre ALTERED DATA! CALL THE POLICE!


    Seriously, the JEM editors were quite satisfied, and didn't need more. Their job is not to assuage Shanahan's ruffled feathers. MISTAKE! OMG! THEY USED A WRONG WORD!


    LENR articles are being published by the largest scientific publishers, in journals and other publications by Springer-Verlag, and Elsevier. The only skeptical responses being published have been from within the field, i.e, Kowaksi questioning the SPAWAR conclusions about DR-39 and charged particle radiation (and I think Kowalski was more or less right), and Naturwissenschaften published a response by Krivit to the 2010 Storms review, obsessed about his usual usual. I assume that there are no better responses being written. It's basically over in the journals.


    The other "shutdown" was where Shanahan''s submission to a journal was not accepted. He should get over it. Cold fusion researchers were dealing with that for years. Excellent experimental work was rejected, for example, for "lack of explanatory theory." As if chemists were supposed to come up with a theory explaining LENR. It's probably not going to happen that way.


    Cold fusion researchers then published elsewhere. Shanahan's work might be published in JCMNS, if it's well enough written. Peer review there might be tough for him, though. I'd love to see what happens, the correspondence could be illuminating, even if it isn't published.


    I don't see a sign that Shanahan was taken seriously since more than ten years ago.

  • Before one criticizes W-L (Widom-Larsen) and W-L-S (add Srivastava) theories, one should be willing to conduct simple dispositive experiments that could easily trash such ideas. For example, and I have mentioned this before, the presence of Ultra Low Momentum (UlM) neutrons is essential to the W-L and W-L-S theoretical constructs, as I read it anyway. So why are not researchers putting the W-L key idea to experimental confirmation/disconfirmation? Funding is likely the answer. But it is really quite simple to look at this, at least in my conception:


    ULM neutrons can be classified and detected by use of centrifugation... not for artificial g-forces, but simply to give these "slow particles" enough tangential velocity to make them vectorial (specific direction and added velocity) sufficient to impact suitable targets that can then be examined radiometrically for the isotopes generated. Such a scheme can easily include charged plates to deflect protons or electrons from the output. Mass classification, as a bonus, could identify tetrahedral 4N entities as well or other transient neutronic products.

    This is an analysis that does not understand neutron behavior. ULM neutrons are slow neutrons, merely extremely slow, which increases capture rates. That's a part of W-L theory that makes some sense. However, why the neutrons would be ULM is because they wave their magic wand and say so. Okay. ad hoc proposal for theory development. The problem with W-L theory is that they do this over and over, with one problem after another.


    To complete what I'm saying about neutrons, there isn't any "neutron bottle." You cannot hold free neutrons. You cannot spin them in a centrifuge. They are not repelled or attracted by anything other than nuclear forces (which then may pull them into a nucleus, but most matter is empty space, and the neutrons will just wander through it until they find a nucleus to join, if there are any suitable. If you were to somehow accelerate a piece of matter that a slow neutron was within, the acceleration would not affect the neutron, it would continue on its merry inertia way. Fast neutrons will bounce off of nuclei. Slow neutrons, not generally.


    Nobody who knows the field is working on "refuting" W-L theory experimentally because there is no experimental evidence to establish the theory in the first place, and the theory isn't accepted within the field.


    An obvious problem was brought up by Garwin, in an exchange reported by Krivit before he became a flack for W-L theory. Slow neutrons would generate activation gammas from neturon-induced transmutations. Those gammas are not detected, so, to explain that, Widom and larsen proposed that the "heavy electron patches" that enable conversion of deuterons to dineutrons abosrb also gammas every efficiently. Garwin suggested then, that this could be tested by irradiating the material with gammas and observing the absorption, was there any evidence. At the time, Larsen pleaded "proprietary." And, of course, they got a patent on a gamma shield. Later, however, Larsen and Krivit issued an "explanation." See, the patches are transient and too small to be detected by incident gammas, and they pointed to the twinkling IR of SPAWAR.O really? Would that mean that his is useless as a gamma shield? Never mind, activation gammas are emitted over the half-life of the produced isotope, which is often days. In order to suppress the gammas, the gamma-absorbing patches would have to stick around for days, but the experiment has been shut down, etc. It flat doesn't work as an explanation. Unless, of course, more BS is invented.


    (In fact, since LENR is a surface effect, one could aim gammas along the surface and "see" patches anywhere along that path. If these gamma-absorbing patches actually exist, they should be easy to detect, even if they are transient.)

  • @Abd


    Thanks Abd, for at least addressing this proposal. As you read at least part of my notion, you should also note that I discounted "centrifuging" in the sense of g-force gradients. Instead I am proposing that any ULM neutron would be created (that is an LENR "cell of origin" is IN one or more of the centrifuge buckets) with a tangential velocity, and through inertia receive a trajectory tangential to the circle of the bucket and an effective velocity equal to that of the neutron source and its bucket. Of course such would carry any such neutron away from the bucket.... Such a mechanism would take even the slowest of ULM neutrons out of the W-L hypothetical context and provide sufficient tangential velocity and a defined disc of vectors to allow such (if present) to impact suitable targets on or through the safety wall of the centrifuge.


    So for example there are relatively simple centrifuges that could readily impart 100 to 200 meter per second tangential velocity relative to a stationary target, to neutrons or aggregates thereof. The temperature of such neutrons would still be cryogenic. But, by separating such hypothetical neutrons from the immediate context claimed by W-L, I imagine that experiments such as this might easily dispose of, or refine, hypothetical ULM neutron ideas.


    Reiterating, I am not looking at neutrons as "centrifugeable" per se, but am suggesting that they can receive tangential velocity of their rotating source, whatever that is relative to a fixed target on the stationary periphery of the centrifuge.


    I also propose that the issue of ULM neutron hypotheses is important enough to merit at least some attention. Such hypotheses seem to persist due, at least in part, to their perceived relative untestability.

  • Abd:
    If, as you suggest, there is a slight chance ("at the extreme") that Shanahan's "CCS" can explain the F&P type cells, I would like to know how excactly, considdering the length and strength of their excess heat observations as demonstrated in their 1990 papers:


    "......it was necessary to carry out many experiments on a substantial number of electrodes and over long periods of time (the median duration chosen for a measurement cycle was 3 months)."


    "Since March 1989, we have maintained two or three water baths; each bath contained up to five Dewar cells so that we were able to run 8 to 15 cells simultaneously. The results presented herein are based on approximately 54 total experiments and approximately 360 cell calibrations. "


    "The magnitude of the excess enthalpy was so large (typically 1-20 W cm-3 of the electrode volume maintained for periods of 100 h, i.e. giving 0.36 - 7.2 MJ cm-3 over the measurement cycles) that it is not possible to ascribe this enthalpy release to any chemical process "


    "These figures and Table 2 indicate the reasoning which underlies the statements concerning the error limits which we have repeatedly made about the measurements contained in the preliminary publication, namely, that the excess enthalpy can be determined with calorimeters of this type to within 1 mW or 1% of the enthalpy inputs whichever is the greater"


    Now then, of particular interest is their control Runs, with both Pd electrodes, Pt electrodes, light water and heavy water. Common for all 14+ control Runs are a very small negative excess heat, as expected from their calorimetry.


    As an example of excess heat we may look at fig 8a in the paper (1), and note that after 64 days of electrolysis a sudden burst of heat occured increasing the temperature some 20 degC which lasted some 4 days, before it suddenly dropped back 20 degC.


    As evident from fig 9a in the paper the period above produced and excess power of 20 times input power.


    And this would be explained by "CCS" how excactly?


    And Kirk Sh. would now say, "not CCS, but Stored energy,,recombination, hydrogen release etc.." But these early critical suggestions in 1989 was evaluated and calculated and there is no such possible explanations.


    So the heat bursts remains a mystery, excess heat far beyond "mundane" explanations.


    Ref.


    (1) http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmancalorimetr.pdf

  • Abd, first I can see that you have now more directly answered the matter at hand, and I accept your explanation, so apologies. I have myself, looking at threads in some random order, replied first to more tangential posts till I got around to reading the heart of the matter.


    Nevertheless my exasperated comment was I think justified by the record (including your posts) to that date.


    Abd wrote here a homily on pseudo-skepticism after my and Kirk's substantive comments but before any other substantive answer to them. Abd wrote many other (tangential) posts.


    To the matter at hand.


    Is CCS or LENR more plausible as an explanation for FPHE?
    This is a forked question. CCS is a handy name for an abstract class of calorimetry erors. It is not a new physical theory. Whether it has ever been "proven" does not make sense because logically whenever its conditions are met it will apply. So the real question is this:


    Is it more likely that CCS conditions are met, or LENR is happening, as explanation for FPHE?
    The original F&P open cells have known issues (I'm hoping Kirk or somone can provide a reference since I'm too lazy) that meet CCS conditions
    Kirk has suggested some mechanisms that meet these conditions and apply to closed cells.


    The argument therefore is about the magnitude of the results, and of the (CCS) conditions. This has to be conducted seriously and quantitatively for specific experiments, not using generalisations.


    Further, Kirk is not arguing he knows CCS applies. He is arguing that it could apply and it is for those claiming specific results as extraordinary to show it does not. That, Kirk says, has not happened.


    Further, it would be foolish to assume, as Abd does in his arguments, that either CCS applies to all these experiments or it applies to none. The (false) argumnet here is I think that if CCS does not apply to all experiments, then the remainder prove LENR. After LENR is proven to exist in this setup it becomes more likely than CCS for the remainder. i'll call this the "single-headed hydra" argument.


    The problem with "single-headed hydra" is the implicit assumption that only one systematic error can lead to FP positives. That may be true, or not. But it cannot be argued without careful consideration of all cases. If CCS does apply to some FPHE experiments the fact that this went unrecognised for many years, and is still not accepted by the LENR community, proves Shanahan's point that systematic errors can be an issue here. In which case a careful experimenter would wonder whether there are other systematic errors. The hydra, here, has a number of heads that is in principle unknown. Chop off one and you don't know whether you have finished the job, though you can hope.


    20X power (etc) proves it could not be CCS


    The first point is that CCS issues relate to total energy balance here. Headline power can in principle be arbitrarily large due to uneven recombination.


    The second point is that the arguments needed to prove energy excess beyond chemical from power bursts are therefore less straightforward and easier to get wrong. You have to limit the total amount of chemical stored energy (from H/O, and from H stored in electrodes). There are chemical anomalies here to consider - in a paper alas I've lost (which cites an original F&P paper) one such anomaly for H in transition metal lattices is noted.


    Proofs to an extraordinary benchmark require great clarity and every step cast iron. It is very difficult to get that once you add in extra assumptions, as are needed for power evidnece as distinct from total enthalpy evidence. Of course if FPHE exists total energy evidence should be all that is needed.


    It comes back to Ed Storms's remark that I addressed in the link above.


    Quote

    [the is LENR real question] can only be answered with any confidence by comparing the results of many measurements. Analysis of a single measurement has no meaning because the potential for error is too great. We now have many experiments with common agreement about the basic behavior.


    The existence of systematic errors and selection bias makes this argument unsound. It is however a crowd-pleaser. Both the crucial distinction between systematic and random errors, and the subtlety of selection bias, are more complex than it is easy to argue in a polemic. alas most stuff in science has that level of complexity and therefore will always be vulnerable to a polemic treatise that sounds compelling but misses out subtleties.


    In this case CCS is one example (with strong evidence from Shanahan in at least one case) of a systematic error. To follow Storms above you need to be sure that you know and have cut the head off all systematic (and for isolated less well validated setups individual) errors. You need to note that selection bias will favour experiments with undetected systematic errors, and still find his argument good.


    One hydra or many?


    Be careful, following the arguments here. it is possible to find good reasons why any given hypothesised hydra head can be cut off, in a given FPHE experiment. Does that kill the hydra? No.


    Every experiment faces its own hydra equipped with an unknown (different for different experiments) number of heads. They must all be cut off. You then have one experiment with strong evidence. To go from this to multiple strong evidence experiments you need to cut off all the heads of all the different hydras.


    Much of the polemic argument here assumes a single hydra. Specifically, the assumption is that if a systematic error can be shown not to apply in one experiment, therefore it must not apply in all.

  • Quote

    But these early critical suggestions in 1989 was evaluated and calculated and there is no such possible explanations.


    A claim that power excess (not total enthalpy) proves FPHE. This is much weaker evidence for the reasons I've given above. It is also more susceptibe to additional artifacts from boiling cells etc. The original F&P "heat bursts" are surely not safe.


    Abd: which experiments (as precise as possible please) have this calculated known heat burst greater than all possible chemical affects? I'd like to hear the arguments on both sides here, remembering that each experiment has its own hydra so we cannot safely jump from one to another when cutting off heads.