[SPLIT]Older LENR Experiments were bad, good... in general

  • My motives are very clear. I want to stop a silly and useless discussion between believers and deniers.


    That is a damaging motive. "useless" has a lost performative. "One man's junk is another man's treasure."


    To put that goal into practice requires identifying "believers" and "deniers" and "silly" and "useless." So what does Wyttenbach do to try to "stop" this discussion? Jump in to attack someone he thinks is a "denier." He's a "believer," it occurs to me.


    And, yes, he attacks. He does not merely discuss. There have been some very interesting points brought up by THH and in discussion with him. If something remains after discussion, I have, in the past, taken issues to the CMNS list and have had personal discussions with the scientists.


    The kind of critique that THH is engaging in is essential to cold fusion coming out of the cold. The kind of response he is getting from Wyttenbach is poisonous.


    Jed is just being Jed, THH, I think you understand that. He doesn't have a lot of patience, dealing with skeptics. His attitude is the product of dealing with pseudoskeptics for two decades. Jed does not seem to hold grudges except maybe after long abuse. He will answer questions. I've disagreed strongly with him on many issues and still he is maximally helpful. He has enormous experience.


    He has made some comments here that are based on impressions, not necessarily published literature. I have followed and participated in the invitation-only CMNS list since late 2009, I think it was. He's been on it forever. He is at every ICCF, for a long time, I think. (He can correct me). So he has heard Stringham discussed many times, and has met Stringham. And he has heard the opinion of other researchers about Stringham's work.


    There is a serious problem in the CMNS community, and it's mentioned, as I recall, by the sociologist Bart Simon, in Undead Science. There is a reluctance to critique the work of others. This is a product of the rejection cascade. Those who have been rejected without cause, whose careful work is rejected without review by journals, based on "this is about that cold fusion nonsense," or there is similar from a reviewer (see my Current Science paper for a recent example), do not want to appear to be like the pseudoskeptics, do not want to appear to reject studies just because they see some problem in them.


    I noticed that Kim and Takahashi, both of whom propose BECs in a "room temperature environment," never cite each other. I asked Kim about this at ICCF-18. He immediately rejected the question, "I never talk about the work of others."


    This is not scientifically normal. It's a product of a social pathology, a social defensive reaction. Call it "circling the wagons."


    Wyttenbach is naive about all this. The results look good to him and if you critique them, he attacks. In fact, THH, you know much more than he about this work, you have personal experience which he doesn't have. Wyttenbach is a Planet Rossi troll, though he is unusual in that Wyttenbach is his real name and he has a PhD. So he deserves a little respect on that basis. But cold fusion, he doesn't know, he is not in communication with the real researchers, and, yes, he is attempting to disrupt the discussion, as he admits above.


    It's ironic. That would be attempted FUD, what he accuses you and others of. He will find any error or possible error in what you write and jump on it as if it proves you are an idiot.

  • THH wrote:

    Jed is just being Jed, THH, I think you understand that. He doesn't have a lot of patience, dealing with skeptics. His attitude is the product of dealing with pseudoskeptics for two decades. Jed does not seem to hold grudges except maybe after long abuse.


    Yes, I do understand that

  • It is not obscure: see my apology to Alan above, I mistook a Wyttenbach post from one from Alan.

    This is one reason, I have seen for many years, why trolls can be so damaging to discussions. This kind of error is common. Trolls introduce poison and it spreads. The motive of a troll is not about the subject being discussed, it is to poke and provoke. It is "make-wrong," whereas in the best discussion the goal is "make-right," i.e,. how can I understand what you are saying so as to see the underlying experience and can agree with it, as experience if not as to conclusion. How can we find common ground? Trolls and response to them creates substantial noise, making it far more difficult to follow a discussion.


    It is not necessarily easy to identify trolling when it first appears. It can look like simple disagreement, but a characteristic of it is gross incivility, a manner of speech that is hostile and provocative, accusatory.


    Trolls often create uncivil response, and then there is critical response to the target of the trolling, which the troll loves. The classic advice is "do not feed the trolls," but that ignores the impact of trolling on discussions and communities. Trolls may fill discussions with what are "believable lies," and so we see the unaddressed claims of trolls being repeated by others as if fact. Trolling requires administrative attention, and if that is not prompt, damage accumulates.


    How that attention is applied is another issue. Knee-jerk banning, for example, does its own damage.


    It's been fascinating to watch how Quora handles offensive comments. They are draconian, but also, sometimes, easily manipulated by trolls, who poke and provoke users while staying short of clear violations themselves. However, the swift response to clear violation of civility policy has made Quora a very safe place for excellent writers, and writers develop skill at handling trolling. Basically, on Quora, authors of Answers may delete comments on their Answers, without any question or consequences, and they may block individual users from commenting.


    It's fascinating to watch the response of classic trolls. They are outraged! "You deleted my comment/question without answering! Are you afraid of the truth?" And then they have done something reportable. That behavior doesn't last long, if they keep trying, they are blocked or banned.

  • (2) I have no objection to Stringham making theoretical speculations based on his experimental work. That is what anyone would do. But it is important to separate the two. The later "theory + a section on experiment" papers are not relevant to the matter of validating the experimental results. Wyttenbach would do well to make this distinction and instead of quoting 23 papers, quote the number of real initial write-ups of experiments that exist. The theory stuff is a separate matter and not relevant to replication.


    Fleischmann later wrote that mentioning "fusion" was a mistake. My own analysis is that what Pons and Fleischmann should have published, and might have published if there wasn't such a rush, if there had been time to consult with nuclear physicists, a paper strictly on a heat anomaly. The consultation would have led them to dump their mention of the (weak) radiation artifact, it created much confusion. They would have emphasized from the start, "no significant radiation." And then the extensive work showing no neutrons above barely detectable levels would have been a detail. Actually confirmation, whereas it was considered "negative."


    Just fact in the paper, and practically no speculation about theory, maybe one sentence mentioning "unknown nuclear reaction," given the apparent energy density. Then response would have focused almost entirely on calorimetry, where they were true experts. There may not have been the (funded!) rush to replicate (and reject, this was clearly a political motive, probably around protecting the billion dollar a year hot fusion projects, which would have many entrenched interests). It would have all been obviously premature.


    So there is a heat anomaly? What is causing it? Is it error, artifact? As Jed notes, recombination is a common, knee-jerk objection, but recombination was addressed by Pons and Fleischmann. Unexpected recombination is a theme of the only standing (or sitting and almost prone, though still kicking) published skeptic, Kirk Shanahan, and he is essentially agreeing that there is an anomaly, just disputing the nuclear nature of it. Recombination is easy to address and test, and has been addressed, so Shanahan has other Rube Goldberg objections. I love his "shock waves that blow plastic off of the back of CR-39 chips in triple-track patterns." Creative. Never say die.


    So, as to Stringham, the papers I read were mostly noise. He has invented theory, which we do as humans, but the focus on theory -- where the theoretical problem is enormously difficult -- vastly distracts from his results, and overwhelms them. When someone is focused so much on theory, we then do not trust their balance in evaluating the theoretical work, and confirmation bias can easily be suspected, and the file drawer effect.


    Heat/helium, if confirmed with a reproducible ratio, is direct evidence of a nuclear reaction. Stringham found, in a set of three samples (which might have been from a single experiment), helium a hundred times higher than ambient. If that result had been repeated by him, with more careful attention to possible artifacts in energy and helium, and if a consistent ratio had been shown, not just a single experiment where some ratio appeared, this would have been a stunning result. This would be publishable in a mainstream journal, and would be far more likely to see replication attempts and sober response.


    Now, apparently, from what THH has written, there were attempts to replicate. They failed. Again, I point to a pathology of the field. Negative replications are often not published. Storms has attempted to replicate the SPAWAR codeposition claims. He reports failure, but he never published that. It could then have been critiqued, more experimental work might have been done, and we might actually know something instead of the pile of unconfirmed reports getting larger.


    If we need to, I can ask the CMNS community about Stringham (as could Jed or any other reader here who is on the CMNS list, there is at least one other).

  • Quote

    Now, apparently, from what THH has written, there were attempts to replicate. They failed.


    I'm speculating, based on the fact that in the experimental paper I read Stringham said that he intended to do this. :)

  • On a short visit during my lunchbreak, I noticed that there was a debate going on between Jed and THHuxley in which Jed does his usual thing, namely ignoring everything he might have learned from reading my papers. To whit:


    - Open and closed cells can both have recombination inside them, either in the gas space or at the electrodes. (My first paper was on the impact of recombination in a closed cell...)
    - An apparant excess heat signal greater than that seemingly allowed by the normal electrochemistry is entirely possible, although I would guess not infinitely so. There is a 'magnification factor' involved that inversely depends on heat collection efficiency. Excessively large signals usually have other errors incorporated. I haven't checked recently to see if there's new papers out, but the high AP reports that Storms' includes in his book typically have insufficient information in them to decide how they did their calorimetry, so one can't say for sure if there is any particular effect or error ongoing.
    - Measuring the amount of water formed is a possible way to check for recombination, except that in my second paper in this field, I was addressing denigrating comments made by Szpack, Mosier-Boss, Miles and Fleischmann, and I noted that they had done that but found more water out than they should have. So, does cold fusion create water out of nothing then? I pointed out that they were not including entrainment in their thinking, a problem with F&P's original calorimetric method as well (pointed out in my whitepaper on their methodology). (And I expect the amount of entrainment to be quite variable, especially when considering the difference between when there is and is not in the electrolyte recombination.)


    As noted, I did bring this to the attention of the 'authorities' (via my peer-reviewed, published reply in 2005), but they just ignored it, demonstrating the great advange one gains when labeling someone a 'psuedoskeptic'. So it's not hard to see why Jed keeps passing out bad information, he's using the same excuse as Fleischmann, et al., to not do his homework.

  • Jed does his usual thing, namely ignoring everything he might have learned from reading my papers.


    All of your claims have been answered in detail. See:


    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MarwanJanewlookat.pdf
    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEcommentonp.pdf


    You should feel honored; you do not deserve this much attention.


    - Open and closed cells can both have recombination inside them, either in the gas space or at the electrodes.


    When this happens, it is always apparent.


    Measuring the amount of water formed is a possible way to check for recombination, except that in my second paper in this field, I was addressing denigrating comments made by Szpack, Mosier-Boss, Miles and Fleischmann, and I noted that they had done that but found more water out than they should have. So, does cold fusion create water out of nothing then?


    All of the lost water is accounted for. Some is from evaporation. Researchers can distinguish between evaporated water and D2+O2.

  • When this happens, it is always apparent.


    Apparently not....


    All of your claims have been answered in detail. See:


    lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MarwanJanewlookat.pdf
    lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEcommentonp.pdf


    You should feel honored; you do not deserve this much attention.


    Case in point folks...how may times have I outlined the errors in the two reference papers?? Shall I do it again? (I thought not...)

  • Just some comments on how this relates to the previous stuff:

    Quote

    - Open and closed cells can both have recombination inside them, either in the gas space or at the electrodes. (My first paper was on the impact of recombination in a closed cell...)- An apparant excess heat signal greater than that seemingly allowed by the normal electrochemistry is entirely possible, although I would guess not ininitely so. There is a 'magnification factor' involved that inversely depends on heat collection efficiency. Excessively large signals usually have other errors incorporated. I haven't checked recently to see if there's new papers out, but the high AP reports that Storms' includes in his book typically have insufficient information in them to decide how they did their calorimetry, so one can't say for sure if there is any particular effect or error ongoing.


    Well I was responding specifically to Jed's quote about 10-100X excess energy, pointing out (which is true) that a 1% calibration error could generate this - or indeed arbitrarily large energy excess. Obvious, but my point was that Jed was quoting this in the context of the large factor showing that a small calibration error was not significant, which was logically wrong.


    Quote


    - Measuring the amount of water formed is a possible way to check for recombination, except that in my second paper in this field, I was addressing denigrating comments made by Szpack, Mosier-Boss, Miles and Fleischmann, and I noted that they had done that but found more water out than they should have. So, does cold fusion create water out of nothing then? I pointed out that they were not including entrainment in their thinking, a problem with F&P's original calorimetric method as well (pointed out in my whitepaper on their methodology). (And I expect the amount of entrainment to be quite variable, especially when considering the difference between when there is and is not in the electrolyte recombination.)


    I kept out of Jed's comments on this. My comment would have been that although you can attempt to limit recombination by summing water in and out it is an intrinsically difficult thing to do accurately, with many possible errors. How large these are it is difficult to know but checking error estimates is something that must always be done when crucial (and extraordinary) results depend on them. The possibility of entrainment (great word) is a classic example of the general point - that assumptions may be made that are not necessarily true.


    The point made here would be that such things are not necessarily false, but that merely leaves the matter open. It is no substitute for a careful and substantive reply to such critiques, with room (if those doing it have the will) for cross-checking of points made on both sides.


    I suspect sometimes skeptics get bored having made a critique that is incorrectly rubbished and go away. LENR advocates perhaps find such careful checking tiresome. They should not - it is always valuable.

  • Case in point folks...how may times have I outlined the errors in the two reference papers?? Shall I do it again?


    There is no point. You were wrong in the first place, and now you misunderstand the reasons you were wrong. Anyone else reading these papers can see that. You are blind to your own failings. You do not even understand simple assertions such as this one: "Since the CCSH has no reason for bias in sign it may equally increase or decrease the measured output and thus excess power."

  • There is no point. You were wrong in the first place, and now you misunderstand the reasons you were wrong. Anyone else reading these papers can see that. You are blind to your own failings. You do not even understand simple assertions such as this one: "Since the CCSH has no reason for bias in sign it may equally increase or decrease the measured output and thus excess power."


    If it's not random, why would one insist that it show randomness?

  • Well I was responding specifically to Jed's quote about 10-100X excess energy, pointing out (which is true) that a 1% calibration error could generate this - or indeed arbitrarily large energy excess.


    I hope you noted what I said about this. No one would consider 1% excess significant excess heat. That is in the noise. The researchers are aware of the potential problem you describe. They avoid it.


    Quoting the critique of Shanahan I just cited: "The excess power effect was typically 5 to 10% larger than the input power. The largest excess power effect was 30%." In some cases it is much higher. In other cases there is no input power; it is heat after death.


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


    Also, a calibration error is just a likely to produce a negative 1%; a false endothermic reaction that swallows up heat indefinitely. No one would believe this, either.

  • Jed wrote:

    All of your claims have been answered in detail. See:
    lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MarwanJanewlookat.pdf
    lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEcommentonp.pdf


    Kirk wrote:


    Case in point folks...how may times have I outlined the errors in the two reference papers?? Shall I do it again? (I thought not...)


    So what should happen here is that each point is carefully considered with its answer and the "things not addressed" either filled in or admitted as holes in the argument. It is a process that works fine, normally, and how scientific disagreements can be resolved. Sometimes you reach some acknowledged difference in assumptions. That is also valuable.


    I don't see either Kirk or Jed as being people incapable of doing this: though whether they have the patience is another matter.

  • Also, a calibration error is just a likely to produce a negative 1%; a false endothermic reaction that swallows up heat indefinitely. No one would believe this, either.



    Correction: "Also, a random calibration error..."


    'Course, that's not what I described...read the papers Jed, it's excruciatingly clear.


    P.S. to TH...I follow what you write...

  • Quote

    "Since the CCSH has no reason for bias in sign it may equally increase or decrease the measured output and thus excess power."


    Jed - even I can answer that one.


    (1)While in principle a general "systematic error from calibration issues" problem could go either way, for a given class of experiments it is very likely the errors will just be one way.


    (2) If you broaden this to include different classes of experiments you must consider also experiment selection bias - LENR experiment types will naturally get selected to be those with positive (not negative - that would be seen as an error) results.

  • My comment would have been that although you can attempt to limit recombination by summing water in and out it is an intrinsically difficult thing to do accurately, with many possible errors.


    How would you know that? Have you done it? Electrochemists have been doing this for a long time. They have not yet spotted these "many possible errors" you imagine might exist. This aspect of electrochemstry is well established. In any case, the accuracy is measured, and no one claims excess heat close to the margin of error. See, for example:



    You can see the estimated error margins, and you can see that above 0.4 A/cm2 the signal is well above the random variations in H2O (blue line).

  • Quote

    Also, a calibration error is just a likely to produce a negative 1%; a false endothermic reaction that swallows up heat indefinitely. No one would believe this, either.


    Indeed. And mostly such "unbelievable" results get checked by experimenters before they bother even to document results. Just as the much higher than expected He results (from some people) were correctly seen as leakage and the equipment replaced.

  • Correction: "Also, a random calibration error..."


    'Course, that's not what I described...read the papers Jed, it's excruciatingly clear.


    I was addressing Mr. Huxley's comments, not yours. He may be under the impression that researchers claim excess heat with only 1% apparent excess heat. I do not know of any examples of that in the literature.


    The only thing excruciatingly clear from your papers is that your claims are wrong, and imaginary. If you wish to address the assertions made by Marwan et al. I would be willing to upload your response, but I will not bother to address your comments myself. I have wasted too much time doing this in the past.