Validity of LENR Science...[split]

  • Well I wouldn't worry too much about the knee-jerk reactions from some people in venues like this one! Polite skeptics are welcome here indefinitely, with the understanding that their starting premises may be challenged from time to time from certain quarters. But we're trying to keep this a friendly place for people of all understandings and hopefully keep the discussions free of ad hom and other distractions.

  • I do not believe NIST tests theoretical matters at all. They test calibrations, accuracy of equipment, etc.

    That is correct. My father worked at NIST during the 1960s and 70s and I often visited there. They do lots of wonderful engineering but no theoretical physics.


    Many other institutions do experimental physics. A large fraction of them (about 120) replicated cold fusion by 1985. What more does anyone want? In normal circumstances, an experimental claim that was replicated by 3 or 4 of these institutions would be accepted as real by every scientist on earth. Cold fusion is not accepted because of academic politics.


    If you want to replicate it now, read Storms, then contact the people at the ENEA to get cathodes. Set up a program at a major laboratory funded with several million dollars, and go for it. The ENEA will not deal with amateurs or "volunteers."


    If you want to re-invent the wheel and do what the ENEA did to develop those cathodes, add another $10 million and 10 years. You can read all about what they did at LENR-CANR.org.

  • Eric, ad hom is the go-to tool on the internet. I don't see the remaining Rossi supporters here actually offering arguments against the criticisms made against Rossi. All I see are attacks on people like Jed and Dewey and major animosity toward Industrial Heat, which is a shell company that is nothing more than a bank account and a bunch of (probably) well-intentioned capitalists who made one of most moronic investments in history. I have yet to hear a good reason to believe a single thing emanating from Camp Rossi.



    @ Jed: I have quite a few friends who have worked at NIST (in both Gaithersburg and Boulder) and do lots of experimental physics work including developing and testing new devices using microfabrication, thin film deposition, cryogenics, and many other technologies. I don't know what you mean by "theoretical matters", but the work at NIST in many areas is quite similar to that in other government labs, industrial labs, and private companies. Yes, they have their "standards" charter that is a big part of their work, but they most assuredly don't have a narrow charter that precludes them from working on various topics.


    And Jed, I understand perfectly well that a reasonably sophisticated laboratory is required to do meaningful experiments that could validate LENR. My notion of a "volunteer" was not a Russian tinkerer with a teapot in his apartment, which apparently is seen as quite convincing in many circles. This is why I suggested major laboratories like NIST and NREL (among others) for the task. Such places and others are quite capable of doing the work needed. Or are these hundreds of replications you keep referencing all at places with unique and wildly-expensive apparatus that cannot be duplicated even at national laboratories?



    Somehow the flow of logic in these debates is never very good. On the one hand, LENR is terribly arcane and requires very time-consuming and expensive efforts to pull off. Yet, hundreds of people everywhere manage to do it all the time. And still, none of them can show someone else how to do it. Yet, people say it has been definitely proven to work at major institutions. And yet, none of those institutions will stand up and vouch for the existence of the phenomenon; only individual researchers claim the results and follow-on funding doesn't happen. And that part is supposed to make sense? Why should successful research on an entirely new physical phenomenon that could potentially change the world not attract more funding? And so we are back to silly conspiracy theories.


    I suppose being part of "a community" has its rewards, but sharing the illusion that LENR has been proven to exist and is only held back by nefarious (or stupid) forces is exceedingly counterproductive. And focusing on the path to commercialization of a phenomenon that had not even been convincingly shown to exist is silly at best and has led in the mess created by Andrea Rossi. I know some people here inexplicably still think there is something good to come out of his scam, but I think the absolute best outcome of the Rossi fiasco is for him to quietly fade into obscurity where he belongs. Anything else will only diminish the chances of truly talented scientists from taking up your "cause".


    Sadly, I can imagine 10 years from now having the same round-and-round discussions with Jed Rothwell pointing out the now 358 "replications" that are only visible on his website because apparently all the scientists in the world are "against LENR" and don't care that it could dramatically improve the world. What do people here imagine might change this state of affairs?

  • I don't know what you mean by "theoretical matters", but the work at NIST in many areas is quite similar to that in other government labs, industrial labs, and private companies.

    As I said, my father worked at Gaithersburg. I know what they do -- or what they did 40 years ago. It is great stuff, but not groundbreaking physics. That is not in their charter. There are hundreds of other labs that do that sort of thing, so if you have several million dollars burning a hole in your pocket, I suggest you go to the kind of lab that does fundamental research rather than NIST.

    This is why I suggested major laboratories like NIST and NREL (among others) for the task.

    NREL might be a good choice. But really, what you are looking for are world-class electrochemists who want to do this experiment. Also, they have be politically powerful because if Robert Park or someone in the DoE finds out they are doing this, they will be fired.

    . Or are these hundreds of replications you keep referencing all at places with unique and wildly-expensive apparatus that cannot be duplicated even at national laboratories?

    Since the experiments were done in national laboratories and places like China Lake, obviously they have the equipment. But you are being obtuse. Or block headed. Or a troll. You can read about the experiments and see what sort of equipment is needed. You don't need to ask me any this.


    For that matter, you can read Storms' first book and see the list of labs and what they did.

    On the one hand, LENR is terribly arcane and requires very time-consuming and expensive efforts to pull off. Yet, hundreds of people everywhere manage to do it all the time.

    Not hundreds of people everywhere. The creme de la creme of electrochemists did it. Look at the names of the major researchers: Fleischmann, Bockris, Yeager, Arata. These are people who have institutes and International Prizes named after them. Such as:


    http://chemistry.case.edu/research/yces/


    As to whether it is arcane or not, you can read the literature and judge that for yourself. You might start here:


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

    And still, none of them can show someone else how to do it. Yet, people say it has been definitely proven to work at major institutions.

    They are retired, and most are dead, so they cannot show you. And you personally probably would not understand, unless you have a PhD in electrochmistry. But an electrochemist could read the literature and learn how to do it. The people at ENEA or the Texas Tech. could help.

    And yet, none of those institutions will stand up and vouch for the existence of the phenomenon; only individual researchers claim the results and follow-on funding doesn't happen.

    The individual researchers are dead, as I said. "Institutions" never stand up and talk. All you will find are scientific papers and books. I suggest you read them, or shut the hell up. You apparently know nothing about this subject. It never looks good when someone blathers on ignorantly about scientific research he knows nothing about.


    Spend a few weeks reading and learning. Read some books. Then, perhaps, you will be in a position to judge this field.

  • JedRothwell

    Thanks for the bunch of ad hominem comments. After all, I don't see things the way you do, so I must either be an idiot or evil. I've been reading and learning for many years, Jed, and I'm in a perfectly good position to judge this field. And it is filled with people like you who are incapable of supporting their position without personal attacks, which is not helping it one bit.

  • Thanks for the bunch of ad hominem comments.

    Thank you for blathering on about a subject you know nothing about, and wasting my time.

    After all, I don't see things the way you do, so I must either be an idiot or evil.

    No, you are ignorant, as I said. You have not read the literature. If you had read it, you would not be asking me what sort of instruments are used, or which institutions the scientists worked in. You would not wonder who the researchers were, what they did, or why it was difficult to replicate. You would know that sort of thing as well as I do.

    I've been reading and learning for many years, Jed, and I'm in a perfectly good position to judge this field.

    In that case you are a troll. That is to say, someone who asks questions he knows the answers to, in order to rile people up or waste their time.


    Why the hell would you be asking what sort of instruments are used, or why they cost so much, if you have read the experimental literature?!? That makes no sense. The instruments and techniques are listed right there. You can see photos of things like the mass spectrometer at LENR-CANR.org. Here:


    EneaMassSpec1.jpg


    Does that look like something a "volunteer" would have?


    Another know-it-all like you once suggested to me that a person visiting a cold fusion experiment should bring a helium detector in his pocket, take a sample of the gas, and find out if the experiment really is producing helium, as claimed. I pointed him to this photo and suggested this is not the sort of thing you can carry in your pocket. Also, it takes weeks or months to integrate this into an experiment. That was the last I heard from him. Based on your vapid assertions and your complete lack of knowledge -- you don't even know who did the experiments ! -- you seem to have a similar grasp of what we are talking about.


    I suggest you ponder that photo for a while and ask yourself why you feel moved to pontificate about research that calls for this kind of equipment and people who know how to make it work. (The people who constructed the device, in this case.) Do you really think they are "volunteers" that you could find, oh, just anywhere? Do you think you can Fed-Ex something like this machine anywhere and have it work. The point is, THAT PHOTO, right there, is a cold fusion experiment.

  • Well, you are sure upset with me for asking you what sort of instruments are used, or which institutions the scientists worked in, or wondering who the researchers were, what they did, or why it was difficult to replicate. The only problem is that I have done none of those things. But if you think that I have, please quote me. I'd be interested to hear what I said. Your last points about helium detectors and volunteers fall into the same category. Boy are you pissed at me for the things you imagined I said.


    I guess the ad hominem fallacy got tiring for you pretty quickly, so you have moved on to the straw man fallacy.

    • Official Post

    Interested Observer,


    I have read quite a bit of the LENR literature for the past 6 years, and one thing that always struck me are the similar accounts from LENR researchers across the globe, of discrimination by their colleagues, and scientific institutions merely because they took an interest in CF then, LENR now . It was pervasive and filtered down into every nook and cranny of the academic world. A career killer, which pretty much made it an old mans pursuit, and choked off the fresh blood any new field needs to advance rapidly, or at all.


    Now, today, IMHO, with a seemingly healthy influx of new researchers, academic departments opening, new venture capital starting to flow, a rush to market, Gates interested, etc., the LENR field may no longer have the "excuse" they have legitimately had until recently for lack of progress.


    In a couple of more years, if LENR has not gone anywhere, then it is on them this time...if you ask me.

  • Shane,


    My view is that if it works, then there can be no stopping it. If the phenomenon is real, then there is huge potential for it. Even if it turns out that for some reason it ultimately can't be scaled up or commercialized, that potential alone would create enormous incentive to make progress. Regardless of any stigma or discrimination, there have surely been enough people working at this for the past couple of decades to make real progress. Where is the progress? If you ignore Rossi and other players who have raised money based on unsubstantiated claims, all I see are endless breakthroughs that never seem to get any better than their initial results. How many years ago did Celani announce his wires that would change everything? Is everybody using them now because they work? Nope. You can say the same for every other breakthrough in the field. Most of the time, even the one who announced the breakthrough has moved on to a different methodology. Even with breakthroughs, science generally proceeds with incremental improvements. Do something that kind of works and then make it work a little better; and then make it work a little better still. And so on. I just don't see this happening in this field.


    Of course, Rossi operates by leaping from one breakthrough to another. It takes some combination of a wild imagination and complete blindness to believe that each successive incarnation of the e-cat could possibly have the remotest relationship to its predecessors. I mean, look at the 2011 gizmo with the hydrogen tubes, power supplies and acres of aluminum foil and compare it with the QuarkX. Fortunately, Rossi believers have far more imagination than their hero and actually construct theories on how the two are in any way based on the same physics.


    People seem to think that the validity of LENR can be decided by popular vote. If enough people would vote "yes" on LENR, then all would be well. However, it doesn't matter if everybody and his uncle believes. Yes, more money will be thrown at it, but even in that case it still has to work. Declaring that it already does really has no bearing on anything.


    In a couple of more years, if LENR has not gone anywhere, then you, Shane, will lose faith, apparently. Well, perhaps so. I sure others will not so the community will soldier on. But it really doesn't matter what any of us in the peanut gallery think. It has to work.

  • Shane,


    My view is that if it works, then there can be no stopping it.

    This summer, when Holmlid puts his ultra dense hydrogen miniaturized experiment inside the CERN particle detector, and science sees all those muons streaming out of his experiment, then it would not take the more open minded of that CERN crew very long to take those muons and create a muon fusion or fission reactor. Then the will be no stopping it.

    Edited once, last by axil ().

  • Where is the progress?


    LENRaries report co-author and Anthropocene Institute clean energy
    analyst, Dr. Frank Ling, said “When we set out to identify and profile
    those actively engaged in LENR discovery, we thought there would be
    three to four dozen organizations, but the numbers far surpassed any of
    our expectations. In the US, Japan and EU alone, there are over 90 known
    entities engaged. That aside, there is active engagement in the field
    of LENR discovery by Russia, China and India.”

    https://medium.com/@CapstreamX…e-5583e18ccac3#.tp4wtci39

  • IH Fanboy: "In the US, Japan and EU alone, there are over 90 known entities engaged. That aside, there is active engagement in the field of LENR discovery by Russia, China and India.”


    Shane: "the LENR field may no longer have the "excuse" they have legitimately had until recently for lack of progress."


    You two are on the same page. Now we just need to wait for the results, even if some of you don't think any are needed to establish the validity of the phenomenon. I look forward to hearing about what happens. As an interested observer, I think it would be fantastic if LENR was real. But convincing me is irrelevant. The proof must be in the data. In science there are no alternative facts (well, in a sane world, there aren't alternative facts in any arena, but I digress).

  • And what kind of armchair would you be sitting in while you did that?

    A lab stool. It never ceases to amaze me that non scientists, who have never published a LENR paper in their lives, think they know what the scientific method is, and that trying out random changes counts as exploration. One professor used the analogy of a drunkard trying to turn on the light switch by hitting his head on the wall. Rarely he finds the approximate spot but the light just flickers on briefly.


    Obsessive monitoring so called excess heat is an example of this pathological attitude to science. If you seriously want to investigate what you believe to be a nuclear phenomenon then you need nuclear measurements. A lot of garage researchers can't afford that or they don't have the expertise. Fine. But I was commenting on what to do with millions in research funding.


    Alan you seem to confuse theories galore, with scientific experiment. Yes of course there are far too many crack pot theories. It will be experiment that will root them out. Experimental measurements will identify the mass, charge, energy, intensities, decay rates of LENR products. Ask yourself why so few have done this? How is it possible that the principle fuels have NEVER been identified experimentally? My answer is that researchers have been far too busy chasing the red herring of personal glory and excess heat. This is why after 28 years

    we are stuck with an unknown and unexplored continent, LENR Land

    More of the same failed policies are not going to work. Leave obsession with excess heat to the LENR advocates and other non scientists. Real scientific exploration is not the result of interminable and inconclusive replications, but by implementing novel experiments to answer novel scientific questions.

    Edited once, last by Hermes: grammar ().

    • Official Post

    By the way EPRI did some replication.
    I've found this conference proceedings but I remember there are experimental reports

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


    There is many positive result, and even if Interested observer was right saying there is no clear replication, it should raise huge interest.


    It does not, and this simply mean it is more psychiatry than strategy.

    One error I share with many skeptics is to try to apply logic to irrational reactions.


    In fact there is discrete, not so discrete but journalist-dont-dare-to-talk-of , efforts launched by many labs and investors.

    What is really surprising is not that there are so many labs, but that journalists don't insults more copiously US navy, Toyota, Mitsubishi, NASA (some critics on NasaWatch, but not even Trumpist reacted), Indian Academy of Science, CERN, Tom Darden (notice how mainsteam don't react on IH story), Woodford (some did, but the controversy extinguished at 2nd copy), Elforsk (on reaction by state radio, then nothing), Carl page, APS/C&EN/Sciam.


    Did you notice that officially Cold Fusion is debunked, it is a physicist joke, but

    1- hundreds of labs , dozens of big organization, work on it with noticeable money invested

    2- out of our closed circle never relayed on media, the few reports on LENR ventures and discoveries, were seldom commented, and the comment were never followed by a media chain reaction...


    Officially Cold Fusion is an inflammable subject with which you could toast any actor for "pseudo-science", but in fact it seems more to be wet wood... controversy extinguish very quickly.


    my impression is that the probability for a LENR article to be cited is below 1/10th... no chain reaction.

    Pleasen compare with UFO claims, or even EmDrive...


    Using classical psychology heuristics is not a good idea in such a psychiatric context.

    • Official Post

    More of the same failed policies are not going to work. Leave obsession with excess heat to the LENR advocates and other non scientists. Real scientific exploration is not the result of interminable and inconclusive replications, but by implementing novel experiments to answer novel scientific questions.

    I could not agree more, though Rossi replications, which I assume is what you are referring to, hardly qualify as 'interminable' yet. Pd/D experiments might be described that way, and no harm in that.


    Personally I am not obsessed with XSH, there are other signs of something strange in the woodshed, of course there are. Implementing novel experiments in order to answer questions (scientific or engineering) is very much what my own research at looking for heat is about. That is what exploration is about, and it has involved me in a great deal of personal research and also a continual upgrading of the lab's capacity and capability.


    But in the meantime, which particular scientific questions do you think we should be answering- there is a huge choice?

  • Obsessive monitoring so called excess heat is an example of this pathological attitude to science. If you seriously want to investigate what you believe to be a nuclear phenomenon then you need nuclear measurements.

    Perhaps you misunderstand. As Fleischmann said, heat is the principal signature of the reaction. If there is no heat, then the cold fusion reaction did not occur, so there is no point to doing any nuclear measurements. As Ikegami put it, looking for products when there was no heat is like fishing in a dry hole. If you do not measure heat, you have no way of knowing whether the experiment is working or not, or to what extent it is working. You are throwing darts in the dark.


    It is not known why there is so much heat without penetrating radiation, but that is a fact. Most of the nuclear effects that have been confirmed, such as transmutation of deuterium into helium, are much more difficult to detect than the heat. Tritium is much easier to detect, but as I said, unless there is heat you won't see any tritium.


    The only recorded exception to this I know of were the neutrons detected by Takahashi, which might be inversely proportional to heat. Storms and others think these were caused by fracto-fusion, not cold fusion. In that case, they are irrelevant.

    • Official Post

    The only recorded exception to this I know of were the neutrons detected by Takahashi, which might be inversely proportional to heat. Storms and others think these were caused by fracto-fusion, not cold fusion. In that case, they are irrelevant.


    There is no such thing as an irrelevant neutron, they are depressed enough without being belittled.

  • JedRothwell

    Russ George has reported in a blog post that Martin Fleischmann once told him that the density of the hydrogen loaded into the 1cm palladium cube that famously made a hole in his laboratory exceeded that of metallic hydrogen.


    Quote
    [...] Martin noted that the measure of the density (fugacity) of the heavy hydrogen isotope deuterium electrochemically loaded into palladium surely exceeded that of metallic hydrogen. Indeed he mused to me the calculations based on his measurements put the density of that heavy hydrogen as being well beyond metallic and similar to the density of hydrogen inside the center of a star!


    I don't know whether this exchange actually happened, but if so much hydrogen could be loaded inside a Pd sample, simply weighting it could at the very least be able to demonstrate that something very unusual is going on, without excess heat or nuclear products.

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