Kirk Shanahan's critique of LENR experiments

  • I agree with Kirk. That is, I think his points have not been answered.

    I agree with that too, and I expect Marwan et al. also agree. The problem is that Shanahan's arguments have no merit. They are not worth addressing, and there is no end to them. You answer A and he comes back with B, you answer that and he brings up C, in an infinite series.


    I said earlier that academic scientists such as Levi et al. have an ethical obligation to address criticism from other scientists. I meant substantive criticism that several scientists consider legitimate and worth addressing. I mean criticism based on conventional laws that appears to have experimental support. I do not mean that McKubre and others are obligated to address a crackpot theory offered by one scientist, where the theory violates textbook laws and has no experimental support.


    There has to be a balance between addressing legitimate concerns and getting lost in the hall of mirrors where the sound of hooves is never horses but always unicorns.


    There is way too much crackpot theory in cold fusion.

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


    Answered many times Zeph. But to do so once more...


    A.) 'Belief' is irrelevant. There are enough partial replications of the FPHE to suspect something real is going on, especially when my reanalysis of Storms' CF data uncovered a systematic trend.

    1.) You will recall I have rarely said anything about Rossi as I claim one can't do science on anecdotal information.

    B.) If the proposed hypothesis of LENR is correct, there is a derived safety issue for any use of metal hydrides. which threatens my safety and the safety of my coworkers directly. I am ethically bound to investigate that. Can you understand the ramifications of not doing so? "Well, Shanahan knew it might 'go nuclear' but he didn't like that idea and never told anyone. If he had though we might have prevented that explosion and radioactive material release..."

    C.) I currently find no compelling evidence for LENRs, but pursuant to my desire to be a 'good' scientist (as per the post above answering Jed), I keep an eye on things.

    D.) I also try to help when I can as I also believe in the concept expressed in the Feynman quote, extended to cover other things in addition to just your own ideas when relevant:


    "I'm talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong, [an integrity] that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen."

  • I do not mean that McKubre and others are obligated to address a crackpot theory offered by one scientist


    Interesting case...In his monster 450+ page 1998 EPRI report, McK describes a whole series of calorimeters he built and examined. One of them was a kind of Seebeck calorimeter. He surrounded a CF cell with Al plates and placed one thermocouple (maybe thermistor or such, details are fading...) in each plate (i.e. for a total of 6 T sensors). He stated that the best calibration equation multiplied the bottom (or maybe it was the top...) plate's value by 3 and then added that to the other 5 signals (whereas 'normal' Seebeck calorimetry just adds the signals with equal weighting). This directly implies an inhomogeneous temperature distribution that had to be taken into account for the 'best' results. That's just another version of what I am proposing. I offered up a reason why this had to be done. As I recall McK did too, but he offered no data to support his reasoning. Is McK's 'theory' a crackpot one? Does it 'defy' natural laws? No? Neither does mine.

  • Anyone who? Name three people who agree with you. Has anyone published a paper or letter in a journal supporting your work?


    Well, to start with here, THH and Eric seems to have grasped it. Might be others. Back on sci.physics.fusion there were a couple, but I don't recall their names off the top of my head. Could probably track them down if it was worth it, but I doubt it is because you will find reasons to reject them (bias #2 and #4). Several Wikipedia editors 'seemed' to have grasped the ideas, but there wasn't enough back-and-forth to strongly support that assertion.


    Do you recall the 2004 DOE re-review of CF? One of the 9 professors responding via the written review specifically called out my work as something to be considered. I know who it was but I don't recall today if that review was anonymous or not, so I'll withhold the name. But you can still read the comment (if you dare...).


    Published a paper...no. No one else in the 'mainstream' thinks CF is legitimate, so why would you expect there to be one? Of course you don't, which is why you phrased your challenge that way. But you challenge is empty because of the well-known viewpoint of the mainstream on CF. This is just a subtle way to present another strawman argument ("If he really had anything, there would be scads of papers on it."). But like all strawman arguments, the premise is false. You bias is showing again...

  • The common thread that unites nearly everyone here is the heartfelt conviction that everyone who holds an opposing view is either an ignoramus, a paid shill, or a crackpot.

    I do not think so. I seldom feel that way about people who disagree with me. Only Shanahan and a few others.


    Many people who disagree with me, such as Axil and Mary Yugo, say they have not read the papers they disagree with. For example, Axil says he has not read the Penon report yet he is confident that Rossi's claims are valid. It is clear to me they are telling the truth and they have not read these papers. They are being honest, so I do not hold it against them. But, in my opinion, a person cannot judge a paper they have not read. I would not call that a crackpot attitude because it is so widespread. Many mainstream scientists assume they can judge a claim based on their knowledge without knowing the particulars. I consider that hubris, but I would not call one of them an ignoramus, paid shill, or a crackpot.

  • The common thread that unites nearly everyone here is the heartfelt conviction that everyone who holds an opposing view is either an ignoramus, a paid shill, or a crackpot. It's a hoot!


    Glad we are so entertaining??


    You are basically correct. It also points out the non-scientific viewpoints most people you refer to hold. As I said before, a scientist is supposed to be ready at any time to change his/her views on a subject when new/better info is presented. In my case, I tried to do that via my 2002 publication. If you've followed my posts here you will see that didn't work too well. Instead of technical discussion I got fallacious strawman arguments and deliberate obfuscation. I've given up on the primaries (such as Storms, Miles, McKubre, Fleischmann when he was alive, etc.) ever coming to grips with my work. What I am primarily doing these days is trying to stifle the unethical behavior of pundits like Krivit and Rothwell, who amazingly enough to me (although I guess not so amazing if you consider Munger's 18 biases) seem to have people who think they are presenting good information. They basically are 'doing a Rossi' on you folks...

  • Published a paper...no. No one else in the 'mainstream' thinks CF is legitimate, so why would you expect there to be one?

    That is a good question (seriously). It gets to the heart of the matter. The answer is --


    Your theory is not about cold fusion per se. Indeed, your theory would only apply if cold fusion does not exist. The theory is about calorimetry during electrolysis. If you are correct, your findings will void many aspects of electrolysis going back to Faraday. You will revolutionize the field. If some number of electrochemists believed you are right, they would be very interested in your work and they would comment on it even if they had no interest in cold fusion.


    However, any electrochemist knows that you are wrong. The reasons are obvious. They were explained by Marwan et al., as noted here:


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

  • Quote

    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.


    Typically defective reasoning. To pursue the analogy, this isn't like a forum for cat lovers. it's a forum to discuss whether or not cats are good pets. Those who love cats contribute about companionship, rodent control, affection and the like. Those who dislike cats note that cats decimate bird populations, can injure humans with claws and infections, and can ring up huge vet bills. Both cat lovers and cat disparagers can contribute.


    In addition, LENR supporter posts are never moved to other threads because they are in support of LENR. They are moved because they are vicious, insulting or meaningless. If that fits you, wear it.

  • Quote

    Many people who disagree with me, such as Axil and Mary Yugo, say they have not read the papers they disagree with.

    Jed, you have a disturbing tendency to misquote. Not sure about Axil but I don't disagree specifically with anything I have not read. I may disagree with a conclusion and not read every paper which supports said conclusion (ie. "conclusion: LENR works") but that is not at all the same thing. If I specifically disagree with what is said in a document, you can bet I have read it, probably more than once -- for example, the Kullander, Essen, Levi and Lewan reports of Rossi's early tests and demos.


    I might add that some time ago, I read several of the LENR research papers you recommended and browsed several others. I even found one I was impressed enough with to ask if it had been replicated. (unfortunately, try as I might, I can't remember which one but it involved large power and energy outputs with little or no input). But I found low level results which did not exclude "noise", lack of consistency, lack of replication despite passage of considerable time, and many papers put together without materials and methods, without clear graphics and tables, and with arbitrary normalized units used in graphs which I could not understand -- anyway without extensive study. I have no time or stomach for continuing to subject my brain to that stuff.


    So no, I don't disagree with what I have not read and yes, I did read many of the papers you suggested and was not impressed with one exception I can't find again.

  • If you are correct, your findings will void many aspects of electrolysis going back to Faraday.


    This is another of your ridiculous strawman arguments. My ATER/CCS proposal is based on the fact that the CF cell designs have a particular design flaw. It would *only* impact past work where that design flaw was also present. As well it *requires* a shift in the steady state to occur, and past work is unlikely to have an issue like that. That would be difficult to find in past work since normally the possibility of a secondary chemical reaction occurring in the cell is minimal. The F&P-type cells have, as I said, a design flaw that capitalizes on another oddity of CF electrolysis, namely that the electrolysis gases are not kept separate. When electrolysis is done, normally the gases from the electrodes are routed to separate destinations, such as into glass jars placed over the electrodes as I did in my high school chemistry lab.


    That does not exclude that a small number of past studies not in the CF field might have the capability to show similar effects. I wouldn't know as I'm not an electrochemical specialist. However. the fraction of prior electrochemical/calorimetric experimentation that meets these criteria is likely less than one-millionth.


    Your citing of the flawed 'group of 10' paper again demonstrates you are emotionally committed to the idea that your heroes are right and anyone who disagrees is a villian, just as interested_observer noted. And no, to repeat, that paper does not address the issues I raise about F&P-type electrolysis/calorimetry.

  • Quote

    Interesting case...In his monster 450+ page 1998 EPRI report, McK describes a whole series of calorimeters he built and examined. One of them was a kind of Seebeck calorimeter. He surrounded a CF cell with Al plates and placed one thermocouple (maybe thermistor or such, details are fading...) in each plate (i.e. for a total of 6 T sensors). He stated that the best calibration equation multiplied the bottom (or maybe it was the top...) plate's value by 3 and then added that to the other 5 signals (whereas 'normal' Seebeck calorimetry just adds the signals with equal weighting). This directly implies an inhomogeneous temperature distribution that had to be taken into account for the 'best' results. That's just another version of what I am proposing. I offered up a reason why this had to be done. As I recall McK did too, but he offered no data to support his reasoning. Is McK's 'theory' a crackpot one? Does it 'defy' natural laws? No? Neither does mine.


    An aluminum plate with ONE thermistor per plate? ABSURD! Properly made Seebeck effect calorimeters incorporate hundreds or thousands of differential temperature sensors with the junctions located on each side of the plate. The plate is the "gradient layer" hence these have also been called gradient layer calorimeters. The usual plate material is a resin-based plastic or a ceramic depending on the temperature range wanted. This is to produce appreciable thermal resistance over which to measure the temperature difference. Finally, a thin metal sheet, copper if possible, is used to cover the "gradient layer" heat flow sensor which further averages the output.


    In Storms' version, the thermocouples were tediously soldered or welded by hand. In commercial versions including those by Thermonetics or others, the junctions were electroplated in place and in some cases, plated through holes were used in the constructions of what amounts to heat flow transducers. These can be made very stable dimensionally and considerably stable thermally. The calibration constant does vary predictably with temperature which of course is handled by calibration. Storms owned several of these, both commercial and home made but I do not know exactly how he used them. I vaguely recall Jed supplying references to results. Anyway, what you describe is a bit of a strawman. Going only on the above description, It seems to be the lamest excuse for a Seebeck effect calorimeter I have ever encountered.


    ETA: In many Seebeck calorimeter applications (biology, chemistry, cement manufacture, etc.) any non-uniformity of temperature within the device is mitigated with circulation of the coolant. Fans for air, pumps for liquids and energy input from these is accounted for. But the main mitigation of temperature non-uniformity is the distribution of the differential temperature sensors. One is never far from the heat source and the distribution of sensors in the device is as even as can be made.

  • Jed, you have a disturbing tendency to misquote. Not sure about Axil but I don't disagree specifically with anything I have not read.

    You said you have not read McKubre. You said you have no interest in "low power" cold fusion, which you arbitrarily define as a power level that has been achieved. More recently you said you have read some of McKubre's papers but you do not understand them. Let me amend my statement to be: if a person does not understand a paper, she should not try to critique it. Except, perhaps, to say it is unnecessarily difficult to understand.


    I myself do not find McKubre's papers difficult. Here is my review of them, which you might find helpful if you do not understand his work:


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

  • This is another of your ridiculous strawman arguments. My ATER/CCS proposal is based on the fact that the CF cell designs have a particular design flaw.

    Cells with this design have been used since the 1840s. So, if there is an error, it has distorted the literature for 170 years. You are the first to discover this fundamental error. You will be one of the most famous people in electrochemistry if you are right.

  • An aluminum plate with ONE thermistor per plate? ABSURD!


    What you described is a typical Seebeck calorimeter. McK was trying something out. His 98 EPRI report listed results from many calorimeter designs, most just minor tweaks n established designs. (The infamous M4 run that Krivit trashed (as I've been told) was from this same study. One letter = one calorimeter.) The Al plate one was attempting to use the idea that the heat transfer within the Al plates was fast in relation to losses, so the plate would show an even temperature distribution instead of hot and cold spots. As I recall he wasn't as successful as he wanted, and did very little more with it. I'll try to look it up and post some details next week.


    any non-uniformity of temperature within the device is mitigated with circulation of the coolant.


    At least that's the idea. Placing a CF cell in a Seebeck calorimeter still has the heat loss pathways concentrated in the gas phase part of the cell, and I assume leads are also nonuniformly distributed inside the calorimeter which can lead to the need I noted with Storms's flow calorimeter, namely that you need to model it with at least two zones instead of it being one homogeneous lump (represented by one equation for the whole cell/calorimeter).


    McK did not detect any significant excess heat with the Al plate Seebeck calorimeter as I recall. I'll check that too,

  • Cells with this design have been used since the 1840s. So, if there is an error, it has distorted the literature for 170 years.


    Only if there was a secondary reaction occurring only once in awhile, which is the unique chemical feature of a standard F&P experiment. Otherwise there wold be nothing to give the issue away. Hint: This is why systematic errors are so important. They can often go unnoticed for a long time.


    You are the first to discover this fundamental error. You will be one of the most famous people in electrochemistry if you are right.


    Yes, the point of my paper was that this error mode is novel and previously unrecognized for the reasons described above. Will I be famous? Unlikely.

  • Here's from a bookmark I had, a fairly typical brief paper on the use of an SEC for LENR work. It's from Jed's collection.


    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/ZhangWSconstructi.pdf


    Note that the power gain of the output over the input is small. Question for Shanahan: I only follow your argument generally-- math was never my strong suit (vector analysis did me in in college) and I've forgotten what I learned. But surely there must be a level of output power/input power for a given setup which eliminates the contributions of non-uniformity for practical purposes. Have you (or anyone) calculated this for existing setups like the one in the link I provided? Has anyone tried to increase the power output of their setup to meet this requirement? Does that question make sense? To reductio ad absurdum, if the input is milliwatts and the output is dozens of watts, are you still in business with this error source?


    ETA: one of things that tipped me off early about Rossi and Defkalion was total lack of response to suggestions for simple and doable measurement improvements. Are most LENR proponents and experimenters similarly resistant?

  • Quote

    There is way too much crackpot theory in cold fusion.


    Actually not too much more than in cosmology, climatology, string theory or let say high temperature superconductivity research, which are still favored with mainstream science. It's not about money thrown into research.

  • Are most LENR proponents and experimenters similarly resistant?


    Specifically in ref to calorimetry, no. F&P were criticized early on because they used a single point measurement to do calorimetry and that is always potentially susceptible to accidentally being located in a hot (or cold) spot. Many CFers then improved their methods by switching to spatially integrating calorimeters like Seebeck or mass flow types. As well, Storms and Miles made extensive favorable comparative studies of their isoperibolic methods (a single point method) and integrating methods. So, in general the calorimetry done is done well by usual standards. That's why I conclude in my 2010 paper that they are probably at the limits of error (a conclusion specifically ridiculed by Hagelstein in his 2015 "MIT" CF course).


    But...they all categorically reject my specific systematic error. However, their reasons fall into 3 classes and all are wrong or irrelevant. First, Szpak and Fleischmann used the idea that they already knew all about at the electrode recombination, but they were not thinking about what I was describing, but about at the electrode *electrochemical* recombination caused by dissolved oxygen, which was limited to <2% in most cases. But my idea was about gas bubbles combining at the electrode and burning which is different and not limited to any particular fraction of available gases. Second, Storms' 2006 Comment on my 2002 paper listed several supposed reasons why my ATER mechanism couldn't work, but I replied to his paper and showed why he was wrong on those points. He chose to ignore my reply and claim he had addressed all my issues in the 2007 book. Further, that didn't address at all the simple mathematical fact that I could zero out a 780 mW excess heat signal with a 3% change in calibration constant. My mechanism might be wrong, but the math isn't, and it needs an explanation of some sort, but the CFers won't even acknowledge I lined out a problem with their method. Third you have the 10 author critique that Jed keeps citing, that misrepresents what I said and then proves the misrepresentation wrong, and then claims to have dealt with my objections. Another extreme form of denial on their part.


    Their biggest problem is that they believe the only significant source of variation (error) is the baseline noise, which runs on the order of 25-75 mW (some people claim even better these days). My 2002 paper strongly suggests that is not true, and there is a source of variation that is 10X (maybe larger, depends on the experiment) the full baseline noise.


    Have you (or anyone) calculated this for existing setups


    No. I have piddled around attempting to do so but in all other cases I have looked at (which is many) there is insufficient information presented to be able to assess this. In principle, this information exists in their lab notebooks and computer records, but no CFer has been willing to try to evaluate the possibility in their setups. That is however potentially one of the best ways to prove my CCS error is not important to their study. Their unwillingness to do so is another sign of pathological science.


    I only follow your argument generally-- math was never my strong suit (vector analysis did me in in college) and I've forgotten what I learned.


    But all I use is algebra and arithmetic (with a little statistics thrown in). Arithmetic to recalculate the excess heat curves. Algebra to explain why the lumped parameter approach all the CFers use is LTA. Stats to calculate the new calibration constants under the assumption of zero excess heat. All pretty basic, no rocket science involved.


    I will look at the paper you ref next week...

  • @MY, I promised a review of the paper you referenced

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

    This is a very short paper describing a homemade Seebeck calorimeter’s performance. It actually has a lot of useful information in it, so thanks for pointing this out, as it will serve me well as an example of how ignoring the CCS/AETR concept gives researchers false confidence in their methods.

    To begin, let’s look at my primary focal point, their calibration equation and maximum calibration range values. They compute Pout in Watts from their SEC’s measured EMF (E) in Volts as Pout = -.0743 + 5.899 * E + .0017 * E^2

    Their calibration data is shown in Figure 1. For simplicity, I will use 4V in the following calculations. For a 4V signal, the Pout is computes to be 23.54 W. In Table II they give error values for the Pex (excess power) as .02-.04 W, which are roughly 10% of the excess power values (or less). However, what if there is a CCS during the runs? Let’s assume a 1% change in the linear term coefficient, and let’s make it an increase, which would give a positive excess, which is what happens when you calibrate with inert electrodes and then get ATER per my proposals. That means we calculate a Pout for that condition of 23.83 W. That is a 0.27W (or 270 mW) excess power. So a 3% change would be 3X that, or 810 mW. Right in line with what Storms observed. And that translates to ~100% of the reported excess powers instead of the 10% error they claim. So, do you think they should be worried about a CCS, just from that fact? I do.

    Let’s look a bit further. They also claim to see excess heat in an isoperibolic mode, but to get that they went to significant efforts to ‘tune’ a ‘control’ cell to the same response as the experimental cell. But is that a correct thing to do? I don’t think so. Their control cell is made up with light water and a Pt cathode. They use a different H2SO4 concentration in it, and the position the electrodes at different spacings. Then, to calculate excess power, they use a calibration constant determined from the _control_ cell applied to the experimental cell. That assumes they have made the cells indistinguishable. Unfortunately, I am not convinced this is true. Chemically speaking H is not a good ‘control’ for D. H and D always show significant isotope effects.

    As an example, consider the thermal conductivity of H2O vs. D2O (see ref [1]). In ref 1 what is notable is the following: The thermal conductivity is roughly parabolic shaped, falls at different values for H2O vs. D2O, and the maximal values are at different temperature points for H2O vs D2O. That means there is a significant difference at all temps., with D2O being slightly less conductive (~7% at maximum values, which are at different temperatures (slight pressure dependence noted as well). So, does H make a good _thermal_ control for D? I don’t think so. Is the control cell _identical_ to the experimental cell? Not in a chemical sense. So did the isoperibolic calorimetry show true excess heat? Probably not.

    So the upshot is that both their methods report excess powers on the order of the noise, *if* one realizes that a slight CCS (1-3%) encompasses the reported signals, and if one realizes that the physical construction of the cells is NOT different from other F&P type cells, meaning that a CCS should be quite possible if the internal heat distribution of their closed cells changes due to the onset of at the electrode (*non-electrochemical*) recombination. Note that there are still power lead and sensor lead penetrations through the thermal boundary of the calorimeter, meaning uncounted heat losses. With an SEC though, it is very difficult to calculate how much of the input heat is actually measured, unlike the mass flow calorimeter case. That’s important to know though since the greater the amount of uncounted heat lost, the bigger the CCS-type error potential.

    There are a few more things I could say, but it probably isn’t worth much to do so at this time. The biggest problem is that their SEC gives excess power signals on the order of a 1% CCS, but they do nothing to consider this problem. The date on this pub is 2008, 6 years after my original paper was published, 3 after I responded (in 2005) to the 2004 Szpak, Miles, Mosier-Boss and Fleischmann comments, and 2 after I responded to Storms' 2006 comments. Does it seem like they are 'addressing my concerns' to you??

    [1] Thermal Conductivity Coefficients of Water and Heavy Water in the Liquid State up to 370 oC

    B. Le Nelndre,' P. Bury, R. Tufeu, and 8. Vodar

    Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data, Vol. 21, No. 3, 1976, 265

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/je60070a018

  • He surrounded a CF cell with Al plates and placed one thermocouple (maybe thermistor or such, details are fading...) in each plate (i.e. for a total of 6 T sensors)

    I'll try to look it up and post some details next week.

    OK, I need to correct myself on this point. In fact the Al plates are a latter part of the experiment that is used to show the Seebeck calorimeter is working as expected. They are not part of the Seebeck calorimeter. The experiments where this is all going on are called the “HH” series.

    The 6 plates are in fact what McK calls ‘thermoelectric devices’ and abbreviates as TE’s or TED’s. There is no description given of what they are. He does say a few things about them and his calibration methods…


    From the Calorimetry introductory material:


    “The Seebeck heat flow calorimeters were based on the measurement of some or all of the output power as a voltage proportional to the heat conducted across a set of thermoelectric devices (TE’s).” (pg. 3-3)


    “The temperatures of both the hot and cold faces of the TE’s were measured and used in the function that converts the TE’s voltages to output power.” (pg. 3-3) (This may be because he notes a slight temperature effect.)


    From the description of the HH series experiments:


    Specifically from the “Calorimeter Calibration” subsection: “The entire Seebeck calorimeter is comprised of the electrolytic cell within six thermoelectric elements, which completely enclose the cell by contiguously forming the six surfaces of an elongated cubic cell. The sum of the voltages generated by the thermoelectric devices reflects the power passing through the TEDs.” (pg 3-32)


    From the subsection “The Second Experiment”: "In Figure 3-14, the TED voltages for the top and bottom elements are multiplied by a geometric factor of 3, to account for the smaller area of these surfaces." (pg 3-34)


    I *assume* his TEDs are comprised of many thermocouples as one would expect, but there is no actual description to confirm that.


    McK calculates excess power (Pxs) via a 3 term equation.

    Pxs = Pout – Pin – Pcp where

    Pout = K1 (Sum of TED voltages) (no comment on if the 3 multipliers are used or not) (K1 is the cal constant)

    Pin = Icell * ( V cell – 1.54) (this assumes no recombination, the cell is open, i.e. gases escape)

    Pcp = K2 * the partial derivative of the temperature difference between the cell and bath with respect to time.

    “K2 accounts for the heat capacity of the cell and its contents”

    K1 and K2 are not given. (Pg. 3-36)

    Bottom line: I’m not exactly sure how he does his computations since the coefficients aren’t given.. He notes the baseline noise is supposedly ~5mW, and seems to take this as the error bars on his results. This ignores the basis of a CCS problem. He reports several runs with excess powers as computed above in the 25-75 mW range, i.e. within the usual standard noise levels, but of course he is claiming much better noise levels.


    Note: This was work done in 1993-1994, reported on in 1998. I hadn’t published anything on the systematic error found yet. A few months after following my looking at this work is when Ed Storms posted his experimental results that led to my 2002 publication.

  • It seems to me that KS has a THEORY which explains how a specific type of experiment produces false reports of excess heat.

    The usual way to verify a theory is to design an experiment which demonstrates it. So, I suggest that he builds a no-excess-heat electrolysis/calorimetric system and reports the results.

  • It seems to me that KS has a THEORY which explains how a specific type of experiment produces false reports of excess heat.

    The usual way to verify a theory is to design an experiment which demonstrates it. So, I suggest that he builds a no-excess-heat electrolysis/calorimetric system and reports the results.


    Alan, his theory is a competitor to LENR (except a bit more detailed in terms of mechanism). He is not claiming he thinks LENR likely, but anyone claiming these experiments are evidence for LENR would need first to dismiss his theory.


    Were there not an anomaly explained by his theory you'd be right - but as it is, his idea (or LENR) is the best we have for those experiments. Maybe they have some other error mechanism not yet understood?


    Just for the record, LENR researchers have built very many no-excess heat electrolysis systems. What does that prove?

  • Just for the record, LENR researchers have built very many no-excess heat electrolysis systems. What does that prove?

    More to the point, LENR researchers have built many calorimeters which cannot have the problem described by Shanahan, yet they do show excess heat. Which proves that Shanahan is wrong. He sometimes admits this and sometimes claims that Seebeck, ice calorimeters and other types can have the problem after all.


    The two phenomena are indistinguishable based only on reported excess heat.

    The Shanahan theory has to make them indistinguishable, since it targeted to explain exactly the same data sets. If it actually applied to all data sets, that would make it impossible to falsify the theory. Fortunately, as I said, it does not apply to many calorimeters that showed excess heat, so obviously it is wrong. Also, it cannot explain why Pd-D works and Pd-H or Pt-D does not work; it cannot explain the tritium; and it cannot explain the helium is commensurate with the heat. All in all, it cannot explain anything. It is a classic crackpot theory, as I said. With a crackpot theory, the fact that you cannot falsify it or even test it is considered a feature, not a bug.

  • Fortunately, as I said, it does not apply to many calorimeters that showed excess heat, so obviously it is wrong. it cannot explain the tritium; and it cannot explain the helium is commensurate with the heat.


    So, the argument here is that because CCS/ATER explains only some of the LENR corpus of results, it is obviously wrong.


    But that corpus is problematic: were it indisputable and replicable mainstream science would have a very different view of LENR. A more accurate approach would be to see which results CCS/ATER could apply to, look at the rest, and see whether they remain compellingly anomalous. If he believe there is a lot of individually compelling anomalous stuff (as I guess you do) this is not needed. Many people (including I note Abd) are less ready to be certain here. I note the irony: here I'm arguing for uncertainty in interpretation being important to recognise whereas when LDM does this on the Rossi thread I point out that tolerance of falsehood or deceit is not good.


    Also, it cannot explain why Pd-D works and Pd-H or Pt-D does not work;


    Your other point about the difference between different systems working or not working is not valid. D and H have very significantly different physical properties which could easily alter the rates of ATER, as could the exact composition of the electrode.


    With a crackpot theory, the fact that you cannot falsify it or even test it is considered a feature, not a bug.


    As a general point that applies much more to LENR than it does to CCS/ATER. For example, additional instrumentation could easily confirm or deny CCS/ATER in any specific case. Whereas LENR cannot be so denied, because the exact conditions for it to exist are not sufficiently well understood that its absence in any particular case proves anything.

  • Kirk has written very extensively about his detailed hypothesis in many places without AFAIK doing any experimental work to demonstrate that it is more than a theory, I find it of diminishing interest, despite the fact that he is polite and well-argued (for certain values of 'well argued') it remains just a hypothesis. His central theme is that there is no LENR, but only Kirk-energy. Well, perhaps he could devise an experiment to prove it.