Kirk Shanahan's critique of LENR experiments

  • Interesting point...Kev quoted Jed Rothwell's disappeared Wikipedia article on the cold fusion controversy, i.e.

    E. Storms rebutted Shanahan [38] by pointing out that the data does not fit his model.

    If you look at the paragraph Jed wrote, he cites my first 3 papers in the refs. (4th not having been published at the time) But in the text he never cites ref. 36, which is interesting because in ref 36 I rebut Storms' arguments of ref 38. This just follows Ed's lead in that he did the same thing in his book (fail to cite my rebuttal of his paper [38]).


    BTW, ref 38 does not show that the data does not fit my model. Ref 38 suggests what I propose (ATER) cannot occur and thus my reanalysis conclusions must be wrong. Of course I rebut Storms' points, so Storms' conclusion is invalid. If anyone wants details o this let me know.

  • You wrote that text, not me. I added what you sent me verbatim.


    I guarantee you that I never wrote anything that a) suggested Storms' 2006 paper rebutted my 2002 paper and b) would not have pointed out that my 2006 rebuttal addressed all of Storms' points.


    I suspect you pulled a 'Krivit' (referring to his recent Web page antics with my email). You took things I wrote out of context, added your own thoughts/beliefs, and left out parts of what I wrote you didn't like.


    FYI to all...the Storms' 2006 paper was nothing but a direct repeat of his negative comments on my 2000 manuscript made during the peer review process. Likewise my 2006 paper was the basic replies I wrote to those comments during the peer review process. What that means of course is that Storms never acknowledged any worth to my comments, which was reflected in his failure to mention them in his book and his claim (also in his book) to have dealt with all the issues I raised.

  • I guarantee you that I never wrote anything that a) suggested Storms' 2006 paper rebutted my 2002 paper and b) would not have pointed out that my 2006 rebuttal addressed all of Storms' points.

    Well, then perhaps Storms wrote the latter part. Anyway, that's not my style.


    Several chunks of that document were written by other people, as I noted above.

  • Well, then perhaps Storms wrote the latter part. Anyway, that's not my style.


    I had thought that might be true. It is consistent with his behavior on this issue.


    People here will read and write 1000's of posts on Rossi's behavior and discuss the relevance of it, etc. Why is it that no one asks the same kind of question about Storms (and Miles, and Hagelstein, and....)? Their behavior is as bad as a scientist as Rossi's is as an inventor....

  • Why is it that no one asks the same kind of question about Storms (and Miles, and Hagelstein, and....)? Their behavior is as bad as a scientist as Rossi's is as an inventor....

    Ignoring you is not unethical. It cannot be compared to criminal fraud. If the cold fusion researchers had to respond to every crackpot theory such as yours, they would have no time to do research.


    You should be grateful Marwan and the others took time to point out your mistakes. They don't do that for the other crackpots, and they will not do it again. You blame them because you don't understand what they wrote.


    In any case, Storms and I have uploaded your papers to LENR-CANR.org. We would upload more of them if you would send copies and grant permission. You refused to do that. You are the one limiting our readers' access to your work. You -- not us. We would only be unfair if we attempted to censor you, or if we refused to let you respond. You are free to respond as much as you like. You can send me a hundred pages and I will upload them, immediately, verbatim.

  • Ignoring you is not unethical.


    If in fact the comments someone makes regarding someone else's work are valid, ignoring them is unethical in the scientific community. That's why you would get your rear end handed to you if you do that at a conference of experts. But that (which may include subsequent scientific commentary or even a 'bad rep' with funding orgs) is as far as 'enforcement' typically goes. There is no authority to punish academic fraud. Typically the offender is dismissed from their post by their employer's choice and then often finds it difficult to get a similar job, since no one wants to deliberately hire an unethical scientist.


    You should be grateful Marwan and the others took time to point out your mistakes.


    If they had actually pointed out an error, I would be. That has happened on sci.physics.fusion a couple of times, and I thanked the critics.


    Bur Marwan et al DID NOT POINT OUT ANY ERROR ON MY PART. Instead they invented a bogus idea, called it the "random Shanahan CCSH", even though I had nothing to do with it, then 'proved' it was bogus, and CLAIMED they had addressed the issues I raised. THEY DIDN'T. Ergo, I owe Marwan and Storms and Miles and McKubre and Hagelstein and Swartz and ... nada.

  • If in fact the comments someone makes regarding someone else's work are valid, ignoring them is unethical in the scientific community.

    Your comments are not valid. They violate fundamental laws of science and there is not a shred of experimental evidence for them. Scientists are not obligated to respond to such things.

    Bur Marwan et al DID NOT POINT OUT ANY ERROR ON MY PART.

    They pointed out many errors. You disagree. I do not think you will find any scientists who agree with you.


    That's all there is to it.

  • Your comments are not valid. They violate fundamental laws of science and there is not a shred of experimental evidence for them. Scientists are not obligated to respond to such things.


    They DO NOT violate any laws of science. There is lots of experimental evidence for them. It consists of Ed Storms' data spreadsheets as posted to the Internet in January and February of 2000. (The data set of Jan. 2000 was influenced by a noticeable negative feedback of input power in the excess power curve. Both Scott Little and myself pointed this out to Ed, who redid his grounding connections, reran the experiment (which contained 10 separate current sweeps), and then posted the data in Feb.



    They pointed out many errors. You disagree. I do not think you will find any scientists who agree with you.


    That's all there is to it.


    No, they pointed out errors in their own strawman construct. They did not address one issue from my 2002, 2005, or 2006 publications involving the ATER/CCS construct. That means THEY DIDN'T ADDRESS MY ISSUES.


    I agree that I won't find any mainstream scientist who'll agree with me because I get lumped in with the CFers and they won't bother to consider my work because it involves CF. Funny, ain't it. (True story. In 2007 I had a poster at the Hydrogen Gordon Conference (name isn't quite right...I can look it up if needed) entitled "What's New in Cold Fusion". It has to have been the most attended poster I ever had. But...all but 1 guy wanted to immediately know if I believed in CF. When I said no, and I think I found a mundane explanation, they all walked away. Later, a coworker who also attended the conference told me he had been approached by several people asking if I was "OK"...)


    I certainly won't get a fair shake from a CFer. They all circle the wagons and protect their warped status quo with the fervor of any religious zealot. The 2010 J. Environmental Monitoring paper is a case in point (including the inexplicable refusal by the journal editor to allow a rebuttal or to request an Erratum).

  • I certainly won't get a fair shake from a CFer.

    You will from me. As I said, I will upload whatever you send. You have refused to send some of your own papers. So you are not getting a fair shake from . . . yourself.


    There are two other people in this field who refuse to send me papers and then complain that I am unfair to them. Since I have uploaded many papers by skeptics opposed to cold fusion, I think the readers can see who is at fault here.

  • You will from me. As I said, I will upload whatever you send. You have refused to send some of your own papers. So you are not getting a fair shake from . . . yourself.


    There are two other people in this field who refuse to send me papers and then complain that I am unfair to them. Since I have uploaded many papers by skeptics opposed to cold fusion, I think the readers can see who is at fault here.



    HAW! HAW! If you were giving me 'a fair shake' you would stop citing the flawed 2010 J. Environ. Monit. paper. If I were to say the F&P reported that their electrolysis cell consumed way more energy than it should have, you'd be down my throat immediately on 20-30 forums. When your heros say that I said "the effect is random", and that "multiplying a value by an incorrect calibration constant will give you a wrong answer" is a hypothesis, hey, that's AOK...


    If you were 'giving me a fair shake', none of the last few posts from you on this subject would exist, since they grossly mis-state all the points you attempt to make about my work. But hey that's AOK too....


    If you want my whitepaper, suck it off the net like everyone else. The other papers are copyrighted. I won't violate copyright laws unless I check with my legal department to ensure I'm not. Ask Mel Miles for them. Maybe he will send them. If he hasn't already deleted them. I sent them to him under fair use policy since he wanted me to write a rebuttal to his 2017 IE132 paper. You guys (CFers) are a lot less concerned about copyright laws than I am. The one paper you do have I gave you simply to prove I wrote it in 2000, so all could see how long it took me to get it published.

  • HAW! HAW! If you were giving me 'a fair shake' you would stop citing the flawed 2010 J. Environ. Monit. paper.

    My responsibility for a fair shake is to upload papers. Even papers I disagree with. LENR-CANR.org is a library, not a journal. I do not endorse papers by uploading them. It would be unfair for me to refuse to upload your work, or the work of any other professional scientist. It would be unfair to you, and to the readers.


    I am under no obligation to agree with you or to stop citing papers that you consider flawed. I can take sides in a technical debate, and I side with Marwan et al. That's not unfair. Everyone I know sides with Marwan, and no one is with you.

  • My responsibility for a fair shake is to upload papers. Even papers I disagree with. LENR-CANR.org is a library, not a journal. I do not endorse papers by uploading them. It would be unfair for me to refuse to upload your work, or the work of any other professional scientist. It would be unfair to you, and to the readers.


    I am under no obligation to agree with you or to stop citing papers that you consider flawed. I can take sides in a technical debate, and I side with Marwan et al. That's not unfair. Everyone I know sides with Marwan, and no one is with you.


    I see. You're only required to give people a 'fair shake' when it comes to what's in your library. The misrepresentations you put in your multitudinous posts spread across the Internet (and I suppose in your book) don't count though...I see. In the scientific community that would be considered unethical, but of course, you're not a scientist, so I guess anything goes with you.

  • . The misrepresentations you put in your multitudinous posts spread across the Internet (and I suppose in your book) don't count though...

    You consider them misrepresentations, but Marwan et al. consider them accurate. You are assuming that you are right, which is reasonable. So far so good. What is not reasonable is that you assume I secretly agree with you, and that I am deliberately misrepresenting things. You should assume instead that I am mistaken. Making a mistake is not a violation of academic ethics. Supporting the wrong side of a technical debate is not a violation, as long as it is done honestly without an ulterior motive.


    In other words, you fail to understand the difference between a mistake and an ethical violation.


    Also, let me add, that you should criticize a book you have not read. That's bad form.

  • What is not reasonable is that you assume I secretly agree with you, and that I am deliberately misrepresenting things. You should assume instead that I am mistaken. Making a mistake is not a violation of academic ethics. Supporting the wrong side of a technical debate is not a violation, as long as it is done honestly without an ulterior motive.


    No. Actually I assumed you were rational, which admittedly might be a stretch.


    For example... When an author presents an idea and calls it 'systematic', and then critics say he called it 'random', I assumed you would be able to realize the critics made a mistake.


    Or... If an author says (paraphrased) 'the equation applied is an incorrect one, and will therefore produce an erroneous computed value', I assumed you could recognize the mathematical fact being stated. So that when a critic calls that a 'hypothesis', you would immediately recognize that he/she is incorrect.


    Or if a critic claims that bubbles only rise vertically, but other (famous) authors say the radial mixing is 7X faster than the vertical, and when another critic points out a CFD calculation of why bubbles in a glass of Guiness can be observed to travel downwards, I assumed you would realize the original critic was oversimplifying.


    ...and so on.


    So given that you presumably would be able to grasp that and other similar examples, I would assume you, being ethical and giving people a fair shake, would NOT cite those errors as true facts.


    Instead, you do the reverse of what *I* assume....I wonder why? Seems pretty straightforward to me... I suspect an ulterior motive...


    You consider them misrepresentations, but Marwan et al. consider them accurate.


    Unfortunately, because of personal preference, the JEM editor refused to allow me to point out in print why Marwan, et al, are not accurate. I *did* do that in my whitepaper, which you have said you have. You did read it didn't you? You should be able to judge for yourself as per the above examples.


    Also, let me add, that you should criticize a book you have not read. That's bad form.


    Consider it a prognostication. (That's why it was in parentheses...) (Was I right or not?)

  • For example... When an author presents an idea and calls it 'systematic', and then critics say he called it 'random', I assumed you would be able to realize the critics made a mistake.

    No, in this case I think the author made a mistake. He assumes the idea would be systematic but in fact it would be random.


    I may be wrong about that, but I am sincere.


    Again, you seem to assume that I agree with you, I accept your claims at face value, and that I am deliberately misrepresenting my views.


    To put it another way, just because you "present" an idea, that does not mean other people will agree with it. Marwan et al. "presented" another idea. Their's is right and your's is wrong.


    Unlike you, I do not assume that you would be able to realize Marwan et al. are right. You seem oblivious to your own mistakes.


    Unfortunately, because of personal preference, the JEM editor refused to allow me to point out in print why Marwan, et al, are not accurate. I *did* do that in my whitepaper, which you have said you have. You did read it didn't you? You should be able to judge for yourself as per the above examples.

    Yes, I can judge for myself. In my judgement, you are wrong, and Marwan et al. are right. Perhaps that judgement is flawed, but you should not assume that I did not judge this myself.


  • Jed, that is fair enough. However, in this matter, I am quite clear KS is right and you are wrong. CCS/ATER clearly would be systematic, since it has a definite (for most cell geometries positive on apparent excess heat) affect which can easily be understood. That cuts downb the "random" argument used by Marwan et al. Working out whether it can be large enough is complex, but no-one to my knowledge has considered the matter in a way that could yet rule it out, certainly not M et al whose paper I have read.

  • Jed, that is fair enough. However, in this matter, I am quite clear KS is right and you are wrong. CCS/ATER clearly would be systematic, since it has a definite (for most cell geometries positive on apparent excess heat) affect which can easily be understood.

    I do not see how that could be, because in some cases it would move the heat source farther away from the sensors, and in other cases it would move it closer. That depends on where the sensors are located, how big they are, the circulation of the electrolyte, and various other factors.


    If the sensors are in the electrolyte and recombination occurs above the electrolyte, in the head space, perhaps less of the heat may reach the sensors. The effect would be too small to be measured with any instrument I know of, but I suppose it might happen. But that's the way the cell is supposed to work. That's what always happens. That is where all measurable recombination always occurs. You cannot make it move anywhere else in the cell. For there to be an error, the recombination would have to move somewhere underwater in the electrolyte. This never happens. I suppose it might if you dump metal shavings into the cell, or move the anode directly above the cathode, or use a cell of the wrong shape and size (fat and wide instead of tall and thin). Even if that did happen there is no telling what effect it would have, or what the magnitude of the effect would be. Steve Jones managed to produce recombination underwater, in the electrolyte, by using a fat cell, and by reducing the power by a factor of 1000. I do not think he saw a change in the calibration constant (the Shanahan effect). His goal was to show that recombination can occur. No one argued that it cannot occur, but his cell geometry and experimental conditions were radically different from any other experiment, so they have no bearing on the other experiments.


    This discussion is hypothetical, and none of this happens in the real world, for three reasons:


    1. The heat source does not move because of recombination the way Shanahan thinks it might. Recombination does not do that, unless you go to extreme measures the way Steve Jones did.


    2. Tests with actual cells in which the heat source is moved, when calibrating with a joule heater, show that this has no measurable effect on the calibration constant.


    3. With many cells, the heat is measured outside the cell, or with a copper sheath, which would negate any movement in the heat source even if points 1 and 2 were invalid.

  • I do not see how that could be, because in some cases it would move the heat source farther away from the sensors, and in other cases it would move it closer.

    It isn't the proximity of the heat source to the sensor, it is the proximity of the heat source to the primary lost heat pathway(s). Possibly sensor placement could be an issue, but I would expect that to be less important, *and* I have never claimed that that is an important factor. Once again, you are discussing things I never brought up. In order to discuss my contribution to this field, you need to have read what I wrote, and stop trying to create strawmen arguments to 'disprove' me.


    That depends on where the sensors are located, how big they are, the circulation of the electrolyte, and various other factors.

    Sensor location; possibly of minor importance. How big they are; seems even less important than location. Circulation in the electrolyte, i.e., mixing; very important to good calorimetry, but not to the ATER/CCS mechanism per se. However, one of Storms' claims in his 2006 rebuttal attempt was that the bubbles always go straight up, yet F&P conducted a dye drop test where they showed 7X faster radial mixing vs. vertical. Clearly the bubble path wouldn't be straight up in that case. Maybe a spiral. Given how close the electrodes are, it is entirely reasonable that bubbles from one would at least partially reach the other. Of course that extent is relevant to the ATER extent.


    If the sensors are in the electrolyte and recombination occurs above the electrolyte, in the head space, perhaps less of the heat may reach the sensors.


    Or perhaps more of the heat will be exposed to the primary heat loss pathways, which are the penetration of the thermal boundary of the cell/calorimeter, which are the sensor and power leads, plus the gas vent line in open cells.


    The effect would be too small to be measured with any instrument I know of, but I suppose it might happen.


    If you're talking about your sensor location proposal you're probably right. Good thing that's not what I'm talking about.


    But that's the way the cell is supposed to work. That's what always happens. That is where all measurable recombination always occurs. You cannot make it move anywhere else in the cell. For there to be an error, the recombination would have to move somewhere underwater in the electrolyte. This never happens.


    You're kidding right? You finally bring up what I have been talking about for 17 years, and then claim it never happens?? That's the whole point of my work dude! You might want to give some technical basis for thinking it never happens. Just waving your hands is LTA (less than adequate).


    II suppose it might if you dump metal shavings into the cell, or move the anode directly above the cathode, or use a cell of the wrong shape and size (fat and wide instead of tall and thin). Even if that did happen there is no telling what effect it would have, or what the magnitude of the effect would be. Steve Jones managed to produce recombination underwater, in the electrolyte, by using a fat cell, and by reducing the power by a factor of 1000. I do not think he saw a change in the calibration constant (the Shanahan effect). His goal was to show that recombination can occur. No one argued that it cannot occur, but his cell geometry and experimental conditions were radically different from any other experiment, so they have no bearing on the other experiments.


    A.) This is just a bunch of hand waving and wishful thinking. B.) If you truly think ATER can't do what I claim and *never* happens (except in irrelevant cases), then what causes the systematic trends in the backcalculated calibration constants that I published in 2002? I.e. explain the base observation that a 2-3% change wipes out a 780mW signal. And BTW, Storms argued vociferously in the peer-review process and in his 2006 paper that ATER can't occur. So where do you actually stand on this? ATER Yea or nay?


    This discussion is hypothetical, and none of this happens in the real world, for three reasons:


    1. The heat source does not move because of recombination the way Shanahan thinks it might. Recombination does not do that, unless you go to extreme measures the way Steve Jones did.


    2. Tests with actual cells in which the heat source is moved, when calibrating with a joule heater, show that this has no measurable effect on the calibration constant.


    3. With many cells, the heat is measured outside the cell, or with a copper sheath, which would negate any movement in the heat source even if points 1 and 2 were invalid.


    1.) It actually seems that it might Jed. That's the point. It explains the observed systematic trend in calibration constants, and correlated many, if not all, of the other observations typically associated with claims of observing excess heat in F&P-type cells.


    2.) Reference?


    3.) You are still stuck on sensor location. In all F&P-type studies known to me, the cell design places the primary heat loss pathways out the top of cell. Nowhere else. That's why you can see a CCS when ATER starts up (and when it stops, which is when the cal. constants return to the original value).


    THH had it right Jed, you are just wrong on this.


    Technical detail JIC someone wants to nit pick. All heat put into the cell/calorimeter will eventually be lost to the surroundings. The true primary heat loss pathway is likely: From the origination point, through the electrolyte, to the cell walls, through the cell walls (or silvered coating). into the calorimeter (or calorimetric fluid). What I call 'heat loss pathways' above technically is the uncaptured heat losses. In Storms' flow calorimeter and McKubre's setup that tends to be ~2% of the total heat. It can be larger. Storms sent me data that showed that before he put the calorimetric fluid carrying tube in close contact with the top of the cell, he was only capturing about 75% of the total heat, i.e. the loss out the top was ~25%. I've seen at least one other example of this in recent years.


    Also BTW, it's very hard to do better than what Storms and McKubre have done, yet I claim their excess heat signals are 'noise' (systematic), which is why I wrote in my 2010 paper that people are near the limits of accuracy and precision of calorimetry. I haven't seen anything to change that opinion yet. (This is what Hagelstein tried to ridicule in his 2015 "MIT" course on CF.)

  • They refused to answer questions, discuss the critiques or -- alternatively -- retract the report. In my opinion this violates academic ethics. It is unprofessional, as THH says.


    Kinda like Marwan, McKubre, Tanzella, Hagelstein, Miles, Swartz, Storms, Iwamura, Mosier-Boss, and Forsley right?

    Nope, it is not even a little like them. They answered you. You do not like their answer. You don't agree. But they are not obligated to agree with you. As far as I know, no one agrees with you.


    They are not obligated to answer your answer, in an endless loop. One response is enough.

  • This forum gets flooded with pathoskeptics, they get too much space on this forum, whereas the supporters of LENR get censored and their posts moved into playground and clearance threads. When I don't like cats, I don't waste my time at forums for cat pet owners.


    If you don't believe in cold fusion, why to visit its forum?

  • Nope, it is not even a little like them. They answered you. You do not like their answer. You don't agree. But they are not obligated to agree with you. As far as I know, no one agrees with you.


    They are not obligated to answer your answer, in an endless loop. One response is enough.


    @Jed


    I agree with Kirk. That is, I think his points have not been answered. I also think his points have not been proven (he'd probably agree) the issue is that between his unproven and speculative ideas and LENR as an unproven and speculative idea there is little to choose except that LENR is more surprising. If you like surprise you go for it.


    In that situation, were I using these experiments as the main reason to look at LENR, I'd want to spend a lot of time looking at Shanahan's ideas, not dismissing them.


    Pathoskeptics dismiss LENR, well some people here are dismissing CCS/ATER in exactly the same way.

  • I agree with Kirk. That is, I think his points have not been answered. I also think his points have not been proven (he'd probably agree) the issue is that between his unproven and speculative ideas and LENR as an unproven and speculative idea there is little to choose except that LENR is more surprising. If you like surprise you go for it.


    In that situation, were I using these experiments as the main reason to look at LENR, I'd want to spend a lot of time looking at Shanahan's ideas, not dismissing them.


    Pathoskeptics dismiss LENR, well some people here are dismissing CCS/ATER in exactly the same way.


    Thanks for agreeing. And I agree with you. My ATER proposal is a suggestion at this point. Or a hypothesis if you like. It needs to be confirmed. The fact that a minor (~2%) CCS zeros out a 780 mW CF signal is a fact though.


    I also agree that if the signals reported to date as 'excess heat' can be confirmed as real, then their integrated value implies nuclear reactions.


    'Pathoskeptic' is a cutesy contraction of 'pathological skeptic'. There can also be pathological believers. In the CF field they are often referred to as 'true believers', which is another term primarily designed to insult and denigrate as does pathoskeptic. It is possible to be a rational believer and a rational skeptic. The word pathological gets applied when people start ignoring information that contradicts their favored viewpoint. Examples of this are Jed and Zephir_AWT, among others.


    If someone wishes to label me a 'pathoskeptic', they should substantiate their action. Typically they don't though, which is a dead giveaway they are a pathological believer in a position that my efforts have ended up challenging.

  • They are not obligated to answer your answer, in an endless loop. One response is enough.


    This is an anti-scientific position. Every scientist *supposedly* should hold all beliefs and ideas as modifiable. as needed whenever new and/or better information is discovered. That process often involves multiple 'go-rounds' between proponents and critics.


    Of course, scientists are just people, so they often don't conform fully to the above ideal. When the nonconformance becomes egregious, the adjective 'pathological' can be applied.