ACS c&en : Cold fusion died 25 years ago, but the research lives on

  • Doing my due diligence, I found that quote


    https://blog.richmond.edu/phys…en-confirmed-by-a-theory/

    Quote


    Never believe an experiment until it has been confirmed by a theory


    Supposedly Sir Arthur Eddington said this, and supposedly he was at least partially joking. I like to think he was only half joking, though, because there’s a pretty big nugget of truth in this supposedly backwards statement.
    ...


    In fact this sentence is popular, and there is good reason...


    http://schrivers.blogspot.fr/2…ld-be-believed-until.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03…ced-einsteins-theory.html



    My perception is that not only this position is a consensus, is intimately supported, but have some (exaggerated) validity.


    However the key, and the reason this statement make me furious is deeper.


    I agree completely that until you can integrate anomalies (LENR and EmDrive are anomalies) you cannot be 100% confident on the experimental result.


    HOWEVER, and this is the key problem, when you are not sure of an experimental result you should investigate more, not less.


    Problem with degenerated academic culture of 20-21th century, is that academic are more afraid to be wrong alone than desiring to find truth alone. The most funny is that today it seems that it is entrepreneurs and engineers who today have the good scientific risk taking mentality...
    They just compute the huge price of missing a revolution.

  • Worth pointing out perhaps that Eddington died 72 years ago. As a mathemetician, astronomer, physicist and philospopher he said a lot of things. Some of the things he said contradict the 'without theory' quote, but the world probably seemed simpler then, the theories that propelled science at the time were in many cases' low-hanging fruit' and it probably seemed that in another 20 years or so all would be revealed. Things are much more complex now, give it another few hundred years and we will know more. If mankind survives that long of course.

  • the theories that propelled science at the time were in many cases' low-hanging fruit' and it probably seemed that in another 20 years or so all would be revealed.


    Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
    God said, Let Newton be! — and all was light.


    It did not last: the devil, shouting "Ho.
    Let Einstein be," restored the status quo.


    - Alexander Pope and J.C. Squire

  • LENR seems simply to be in the collective and condensed matter domain, which is the real frontier of science today (not LHC).
    I remember of Pierre Gilles de Genes and his "matière molle", the strange state between rock and water... sand, mud, pastes, creams...
    HTSC , LENR, nanotech, this is the new frontier... Not a surprise that latest Nobel involve topology of condensed matter and it's fields.
    Entanglement and information theory are probably keys with non linear effects (see Dubinko LAV)


    EmDrive in my MiHsC influenced opinion join cosmology, which have evolved to be a quantitative science (like many other science have evolved, economics, medicines, zoology/ecology...), and exploring new frontier like low acceleration, low density, late past...
    It also question information theory, entanglement...


    My feeling is that Big science is not at the real frontier of science, but in a comfort zone with only engineering challenge and armchair mathematical clues.
    Frontier of science is in near-industry labs (HTSC, nanotech, matière molle ), in fringe labs (LENR, Nasa EW)...


    Accepting the wisdom behind Eddington is not condemning LENR or EmDrive research.
    It is just reminding that if there is no theory, simple enough, to correlated many experiments as a common effect (conservation of miracle), then experimental results are hard to interpret.


    In fact LENR is much further that state as we have since long coherent observation, not precise mechanism, that show that a hidden mechanism is shared by most observation, and not experimental artifacts. the structure of the results allows a weak phenomenological theory that it is LENR, a nuclear phenomenon in hydrides, and not just a thousand of unicorn mysteries.


    Anyway when you have even thousands of unicorn mysteries, with a minimal possible coherence, and no alternate theory that is coherent, there is huge interest in investigating more.
    This is where the people who say "LENR is not solidly proved", "extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidences", "there is tiny room for error", "you have no theory, and without theory your phenomenon may be an artifact" are in fact both right in surface, and wrong in their untold intention.
    They say that not to demand : "be cautious, WORK HARD to make extraordinary evidence it is real, and then to build a theory that match reality!"...
    What they shout in silence is : "It may be wrong, STOP SEARCHING! "


    When you hear a scientist cry us a river to stop searching, you know there is a problem.

  • When you hear a scientist cry us a river to stop searching, you know there is a problem.


    It would take more than one to "know there is a problem." I would not mistake a few immature grad students or close for the mainstream, which mostly is ignorant of cold fusion developments, and then someone shoves Rossi claims in their face, and they might react, eh? The Eddington quote is very interesting and I took the opportunity to get to know him a little better.


    On Observation, Experiment, Theory, Trust and Belief.

  • The Eddington quote is very interesting and I took the opportunity to get to know him a little better.


    Deeper than I imagined. I connect that to Edmund Storms explanation that theory and experiment are tied, as theory lead the design of experiments, and decide how to interpret results, and how to decide if an experiment is a replication or an independent test.


    I also interpret the demand of "replication protocol" as the smallest level of theory : a cooking recipe that works most of the time as predicted.


    One reason I am convinced LENR is real, despite lack of theory, is because the data have a structure, a structure based on loading, metallurgy, temperature, contamination... and not only on instrumentation choices.
    For Emdrive what was convincing was that the thrust was correlated with resonance. It is much less convincing, but I estimate it is enough to require more research.


    In fact you should not consider experiments alone, but in group. However to consider them in group they need to be considered as "single miracle", which is only possible if you have either a theory to interpret them as the same phenomenon, or a very well described recipe.


    Finally if all those criteria are not satisfied, we need not to be "too much confident", but this does not mean dumping all to the bin.
    If doing so, there will never be any way to start collecting anomalies to form a coherent sketch and propose a theory or at least a recipe.

  • One reason I am convinced LENR is real, despite lack of theory, is because the data have a structure, a structure based on loading, metallurgy, temperature, contamination... and not only on instrumentation choices.


    Yes. So accustomed are we to having what might be called "deep theory" that we overlook the beginnings of theory. We have a theory. Cold fusion, at least the initial discovery as confirmed, is the conversion of deuterium to helium, mechanism unknown. This theory leads to quantitative predictions, it's falsifiable, etc.


    We have other theories: the reaction is surface, it happens in cracks, we could go into more details of Storms theory. My sense of his theory is that his "nuclear mechanism" is defective, and I argued that he should not push it, because it is likely to turn physicists off, and what we need is to create avenues of approach for physicist, not roadblocks. That argument is only really about political practicality, not "truth." Otherwise his "explanation" is quite good, and parts of it are testable. The evidence for "surface reaction" is quite good (it's based on helium). Cracks are plausible. Vacancies are not, my opinion, out of the running, even though Storms presents some decent arguments against vacancies, as such.


    Storms theory is intimately observation-based. Most cold fusion theory is an attempt to explain "how could this happen?" in superficial terms, i.e., how could the Coulomb barrier be overcome (which assumes that it applies)? This was natural, and represented a willingness to look at what might be possible. So there are many theories that come up with some *possible way that fusion could happen at low temperatures." That does not show that the way imagined is the actual way, and it irritates Storms no end that many of the theories neglect experimental fact. However, in each case, it could simply be that the theory is incomplete.


    As Storms theory is incomplete. When one looks closely at the "core physics" of his theory, it's not there. It's simply a rough idea, and it requires nuclear states, below-ground, that have never been observed, and that should be observable. Storms applies the argument that runs like, "If everything possible has been ruled out, then the impossible must be happening." Or something like that. However, we never know "everything possible," and, yes, it's quite possible that if someone proposes the True Theory, it will look impossible. And Storms rules out many theories based on what he thinks is their impossibilitiy, such as BECs at room temperature.


    Of course BECs at "room temperature" are impossible, but the "local temperature" of two deuterium molecules in conifinement could be far lower than the bulk temperature. Consider the recent announcement of ice at 100 C., with water confined in carbon nanotubes. A BEC is like an ultra-frozen state. I have not studied that ice report, but I find it utterly unsurprising. A cold fusion BEC could be undetectable, because the rate of formation and the lifetime would be very low and short. But it only takes a femtosecond, per Takahashi's calculations.


    To create and vet cold fusion theories, we probably need much more data. Sometimes that data will fall out of purely observational and exploratory studies, and sometimes out of specific tests of specific theories. Key, though, is More Observation of More Experiments. Key for that is, mostly, money. Key for money is establishing plausible reality of an effect to be explored, plus long-term possible practical use.

  • In fact Eddington motto, is very deep and show that serious skeptics raise good ideas, except on one point :
    that uncertainty, risk, possibility of error, imply stopping to research and being sure of the negative.


    in fact it is just modern cowardliness of academics, afraid to lose their job and reputation (it is a job, no more a spiritual or political commitment like for Kepler, Newton or Galileo, a hobby like Lavoisier, or a business like Da Vinci), who decide only to pursue what is without any risk.
    Either you pursue the sure impossible to solve in your lifetime, with no fear to succeed & close (eg ITER/NIF), or the sure success, or the impossible to refute (dark matter), or the emotionally unimportant with no fear to be attacked for any outcome (Higgs hunting).
    this explains why the most respected scientists are the one with the less experimental trouble, and the biggest budgets, theoretical physicist, particle physicist, material physicist, chemist, electrochemist, biochemist, biologist, zoologist (this scale is the one JP Biberian reported in RNBE2016)...

  • Steven Krivit reports the author ignoring his remarks
    http://news.newenergytimes.net…ters-cold-fusion-article/


    I notice two ideas he promote :

    • LENR is not fusion,
    • Rossi's is not a credible player (I'm polite here)


    and there is a shocking fact, that we, LENR-Forum, are cited...
    Is it deserved? We should be serious guys (and ladies).


    Now personally what are my positions ? not far =OX/ .

    • With more softness, I am still convinced by the critics of Industrial Heat , until reverted. If Rossi win I'll call him Donald. :blackeye:
    • About LENR I share the similar opinion that LENR is not cold Coulomb nucleus rape as hot fusion strawmanized cold fusion, but something between romantic seduction and Saturday night disco effect. I am convinced by the critics on Widom-Larsen-Srivastava-Swain weak interaction LENR theory, and much less by those on Hydroton. What I feel is that as said Julian Swinger, Peter Hagelstein, Luca Gamberale, ... it is something collective.
  • Steven Krivit reports the author ignoring his remarks


    Krivit's column includes one of his typical disingenuous remarks.


    Quote

    1. Ritter wrote that electrochemical LENR systems can produce more than 25 times as much power as they draw. In fact, typical results of those systems produce excess heat at an average peak of only 1.38 times the electrical input power.


    "Can produce 25 times as much power" does not preclude "an average peak of only 1.38." Both statements could be true. In fact, both are nonsense. LENR systems can produce power with no input. Not 25 times, infinite times. There is no meaningful "average peak" in the data. Some cells have produced a fraction over 1 times input, others have produced 3 more times. In most cases it would not be difficult to improve the ratio by lowering input power, but researchers do not do that, because it would not improve the s/n ratio much.


    Either Krivit is confused, or he is deliberately confusing the issue. This is tiresome.

  • Steven Krivit reports the author ignoring his remarks
    news.newenergytimes.net/2016/1…ters-cold-fusion-article/


    I notice two ideas he promote :
    LENR is not fusion,
    Rossi's is not a credible player (I'm polite here)


    I won't be. Krivit, initially successful in connecting with the CMNS community, became a yellow journalist, focusing on real or imagined scandal.


    Yes, he claims that "LENR is not fusion," but his understanding of the science and the experimental record is weak and colored yellow. At the same time as he started attacking almost the entire field as being deluded or worse by the fusion idea, accusing McKubre and Violante of fabricating data inconvenient for his own conspiracy theory, he started promoting Widom-Larsen theory, which has zero experimental evidence produced, only post-hoc analysis with Rube Goldberg explanations that cover why effects that WL theory would naturally predict are missing. Any possible flaw, real or imagined, in any paper critical of W-L theory is jumped on as proof that it's not "scientific."


    His major theme, though, is almost always STEVE KRIVIT. So, here the "story" is that "THEY DIDN'T LISTEN TO ME!"


    The man has become a complete embarrassment. He had a nonprofit at one point (recently dissolved, apparently). He had reputable board members. They resigned, in at least one case, we know that one was asked to resign because he had questioned Krivit's behavior, in a context where the board member was trying to explain a totally embarrassing comment Krivit had made in a radio or other broadcast interview.


    Quote

    and there is a shocking fact, that we, LENR-Forum, are cited...
    Is it deserved? We should be serious guys (and ladies).


    What happens here might make a difference.


    Quote

    Now personally what are my positions ? not far .
    With more softness, I am still convinced by the critics of Industrial Heat , until reverted. If Rossi win I'll call him Donald.


    Convinced by the criticisms of Rossi by IH? I.e., in the lawsuit?


    Quote

    About LENR I share the similar opinion that LENR is not cold Coulomb nucleus rape as hot fusion strawmanized cold fusion, but something between romantic seduction and Saturday night disco effect. I am convinced by the critics on Widom-Larsen-Srivastava-Swain weak interaction LENR theory, and much less by those on Hydroton. What I feel is that as said Julian Swinger, Peter Hagelstein, Luca Gamberale, ... it is something collective.


    For me, the bottom line is that the reaction is not understood. However ... we know, based on the preponderance of the evidence, that in the Fleischmann-Pons experiment, heat and helium are being produced in the ratio that would be predicted if the reaction were a kind of deuterium fusion that does not lose energy as radiation or other products, but all the released energy ends up as heat. This is prima facie evidence for a kind of fusion, that might proceed through unidentified intermediary products, mechanism still unknown.


    (An example, probably not the reality in itself, would be double-deuterium molecular fusion through tunneling within a Bose-Einsitein Condensate, to generate 8Be, which would promptly fission to form two helium nuclei, releasing 23.8 MeV/4He, which is within experimental error of the experimental finding. Why not the reality in itself? Because those nuclei would probably be pretty hot, the mechanism Takahashi proposes for energy dissipation, a burst of low-energy photons as nuclear emissions down a series of excited nuclear states, is speculative and possibly weak, much more study is needed, and that would still leave each helium nucleus with about 45 KeV, too much, considering the Hagelstein limit of 20 KeV for charged-particle emissions.)


    This would be fusion by result, and not necessarily "d-d fusion," which Krivit seems to believe everyone has in mind, which he is then rejecting, yet, linguistically, fusion could refer to any process whereby lower-Z elements are converted to higher-Z and energy. Krivit is phenomenally naive and few in the field, any more, take him seriously. It's very likely that the author of that article was informed of this.

  • Note to self: If Krivits ever calls (not that he ever would), do not answer. Guess we can put him in the book "LENR, and it's colorful cast of characters". :) I think Ritter directed here to LF, because he knows Krivits yellow journalism has been noted and discussed here before. Even our ever so nice a person Nobelist Dr. Josephson has been a target.


    I don't know if anyone noticed that Brian Ahern wrote a "Letter to the Editor" today, in response? Nothing said about Krivit's style, but he did say he will try and replicate the Thermacore 1996 "run-away", with the help of some Thermacore employees who were there. Good to see him back in the fray.

  • I don't know if anyone noticed that Brian Ahern wrote a "Letter to the Editor" today, in response? Nothing said about Krivit's style, but he did say he will try and replicate the Thermacore 1996 "run-away", with the help of some Thermacore employees who were there. Good to see him back in the fray.


    It's worth reproducing the Ahern Letter. Quoted not for profit, for purposes of critique.

  • How long ago was that improbable story, Abd? And why has it not been repeated? If I could do that, I would repeat it the next day and the one after that. Then, I'd invite Bill Gates' people to see it and I'd make billions. It is a hallmark of scams and deceptions, including honest self-deceptions, that the authors seem not to understand the extreme consequences (good in this case) of their claims. So basically, I don't believe a word of it. BTW, wouldn't the military love a small nuclear reaction which is controllable and yields lot of thermal energy. Wow. They'd salivate a chance to fund it. If it worked, provably, of course. If not for a bomb, how about for powering a huge laser? And that was 1993 and nothing since. Wow.


    If that's your big breakthrough, Abd, fuggit about it.

  • Please explain to me how something so simple to do and so hugely important and apparently known to quite a few people-- explain how that could go undeveloped and unrecognized by the mainstream from 1996 until now, 20 f'n years later? How is that possible?

  • Please explain to me how something so simple to do and so hugely important and apparently known to quite a few people-- explain how that could go undeveloped and unrecognized by the mainstream from 1996 until now, 20 f'n years later? How is that possible?


    The experiment is not simple. It was difficult to do, and dangerous, which is why they stopped doing it. It was indeed known to quite a few people, including me. It was never a secret. There are many other important experiments in cold fusion that were done only a few times and then abandoned for various reasons, usually because researcher retired or died, or the money was cut off by people who oppose cold fusion.


    Other experiments were stopped because they were dangerous. After Mizuno's explosion, the university ordered him to stop all cold fusion research, which he did. Normally, when something is shown to be dangerous but potentially useful, the university or industry will invest in safety equipment. For example, when a hydrogen automobile refueling station at Osaka Nat. U. exploded, they redesigned it and built a safer one. But in the case of cold fusion opponents use any setback or danger as an excuse to quash the research.


    The mainstream never heard about this because it was not published, because no mainstream journal or magazine will report on cold fusion.


    To summarize, this test was not repeated and it is not well known because of rabid, ignorant opposition to academic freedom and science by people like you, with your attitude, who find excuses to ignore or reject facts and experimental evidence.


    Does that answer your questions?

  • I imagine we are missing a fair amount on how this was done

    Quote

    They introduced hydrogen gas at 30 psi instead of generating hydrogen with electrolysis This allowed them to increase the temperature of the reaction vessel.

    .


    So it is more complex than when my wife makes me do laundry by tossing clothes in and adding phosphates. The "This allowed them to increase the temperature of the vessel".
    There is room for questions like how was it done? and how much H pressue was added overtime, so this could be just a exothermic chemical reaction. It will be great to see it repeated.
    What was the original reason for the experiment?