Measurement Error and LENR: Why scaling up small Cold Fusion claims never works

  • Each time someone claims a small LENR/CF effect, observers ask: why not simply chain many of the small effects together to make a larger effect with a similar COP? This is similar to chaining batteries together to increase voltage or current. The reason is because, in my opinion the claimed over-unity is due to a small measurement error which will not scale up as more devices are added. For example, assume someone measures that they put 50J of energy into a device and claim they measure 99J out by a more difficult, indirect manner. However, the actual output was 49J with measurement error of 50J. Now, they attempt to scale it up, as the observers ask. They put 500J into 10 reactors or a reaction mass that is 10 times larger. Instead of seeing 990J as expected, they see 540J. In other words, they are seeing the same COP<1 + measurement error they saw before but with a false COP of ~ 1.1 instead of ~2.


    This might be one of the reasons why, after all these decades, the output of claimed LENR/CF successes never increases above certain levels: As they attempt to scale it up, the relatively fixed measurement error which caused the effect does not scale linearly with the output causing the COP to decrease towards 1 and eventually below 1.

  • Consider two separate cases:

    1. Careful LENR researchers who report relatively small results of the kind you allude to (not all of the reported results are small, though).
    2. Entrepreneurs, some of whom are controversial (to put it mildly), who claim very large and consistent results.

    You are safe to ignore claims made by those in category (2) entirely until they put up some real evidence to back up their claims. With regard to those in category (1), most report having very little control over the process, and the results are sporadic and hard reproduce. This is a situation that bedevils the field. You cannot chain together several devices and expect to amplify an effect if you have little control over when it actually happens.


    Are the researchers in category (1) correct in their conclusions about LENR, as they believe, or are they the victim of measurement error and inadequate methods? That is something that each person must decide for themselves after looking into the details on a case by case basis.

  • Somehow I recently went over old Stanley Mayers documents. What was sticking is that it was one man show. Inventor, financier, PR, you name it , in one person operating from the garage.

    The chances of that thing, even being real, are zero.

    Yes people made mistakes but that is want peer review is for. The problem is to find peer being a sole wolf.

  • This might be one of the reasons why, after all these decades, the output of claimed LENR/CF successes never increases above certain levels:

    That statement is incorrect. Cold fusion has been scaled up, from a fraction of a watt in many cases to 50 to 100 W. This is done mainly by increasing the size of the cathode and by raising the temperature.


    See "Peak heat from 124 tests:"


    http://lenr-canr.org/wordpress/?page_id=1618

  • The true reason why we have slow progress is that nearly nobody does a real experiments oriented to practical production - and even if he does, nobody bothers with attempts for their replication. If we would have as many experiments with ECat system, as we already have with let say graphene, nobody would analyze the effects of measurement errors.

  • That statement is incorrect. Cold fusion has been scaled up, from a fraction of a watt in many cases to 50 to 100 W. This is done mainly by increasing the size of the cathode and by raising the temperature.


    See "Peak heat from 124 tests:"


    http://lenr-canr.org/wordpress/?page_id=1618

    Have each of these experiments been replicated multiple times by authorities completely independent of the original claimants? I would think that if 100W was easy to obtain with a high COP, major universities would have published many papers about it. I just don't see it. If it only works in the claimants laboratory, the claims are inconclusive at best.

  • Have each of these experiments been replicated multiple times by authorities completely independent of the original claimants?

    Some have, some have not.

    I would think that if 100W was easy to obtain with a high COP, major universities would have published many papers about it.

    Who said it was easy? It is hard to make cold fusion work at any power level.

    I just don't see it.

    You don't see it because you have not looked. Clearly, you have not read the literature or the Storms books, so you know nothing about this subject.

    If it only works in the claimants laboratory, the claims are inconclusive at best.

    I suppose that if that were the case, and if the s/n ratio were low, and if the people reporting these results were not world class experts, you might be right. But it isn't; it's high; and they are, so you aren't.


    I realize we are living an era of anything goes, do-it-yourself reality, but this is about science. You can't just make stuff up.

  • Just take the Parkhomov mixture inside alumina pipe, place it between two electrodes attached to a Tesla coil and put the current into it. A. Rossi uses high voltage for initiation the discharge, so that use it too.

    As far as I can tell, Parkhomov's claims are mistaken. I am sure Rossi's recent claims are fraud. Some of his earlier claims might be valid -- although I doubt that -- but he never revealed enough information to replicate. He did not even reveal enough information to allow others to use his own devices to produce heat (assuming that is possible). So, you are suggesting people should replicate tests that did not work, fraudulent tests, and tests with devices that no one knows how to make or use. These are not useful suggestions.

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    It's easy to say. You could do it, I'm sure.


    Of course. It's way simpler, than most of pet projects presented by amateurs for fun at YouTube (both in volume of time consumed, both in volume of resources required), not to say about average scientific research project. I can't warrant the success, but without experiments I can only warrant the stall of progress.


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    As far as I can tell, Parkhomov's claims are mistaken. I am sure Rossi's recent claims are fraud.


    This is maryyugo-like logic. You haven't enough of information for being sure about it. What I can say, the people are fascinated by cold fusion research like with cobra - they're gazing at it fixedly, but they don't move. There is no sign of usual apish tendency to imitate it,

  • Thanks, but I've all materials needed. I collected them during Parkhomov's epizode - but I hesitated to replicate it, because I couldn't imagine, how such a reactive material could survive high temperature inside the alumina pipe. I've welding argon only as an inert atmosphere, and what I can say, such a mixture serves as a reliable getter for all traces of atmospheric oxygen, nitrogen and humidity. The success with such a mixture would be matter of pure accident due to surface oxidation which would block the fusion.


    But the plasma initiation could work, as I believe in both Lipinski and Me356 arrangement, both fusion mechanism. Of course, the problem with reactivity of lithium persist, but the experiment could be arranged in a way, its surface will get continuously cleaned by discharge.

  • This is maryyugo-like logic. You haven't enough of information for being sure about it.

    I do not have much information on Parkhomov. That's why I said, "as far as I can tell." I have tons of information on Rossi, such as the Penon report. Anyone can see from Penon that the test was blatant fraud. Even Rossi tacitly admitted that when he piled fraud on top of fraud with his invisible mezzanine heat exchanger.


    If the Penon report and the lawsuit docket do not convince you this was fraud, nothing will. I cannot imagine a more clear-cut case of fakery.

  • We know the composition of mixture, which Parkhomov did use, we also know, that he wasn't able to replicate his research. Maybe Rossi was more lucky. We also know about Lipinski cold fusion and its common points with Me356 and Quark-X experiments. If this fusion works as presented, then even Me356/Quark-X could work, because their common principle is apparent. The problem is, the LENR community is disfunctional, it's not even able to attempt to replicate the trivial experiments like this one.

  • We know the composition of mixture, which Parkhomov did use, we also know, that he wasn't able to replicate his research. Maybe Rossi was more lucky. We also know about Lipinski cold fusion and its common points with Me356 and Quark-X experiments.

    Rossi was not "lucky." His test was fraud. There is no chance it produced excess heat. I know nothing about Lipinski. Me356 was not able to produce excess heat then the MFMP people visited him, and he never published any data showing excess heat after that, so he has nothing. The Quark-X is fraud. The input power was not measured.


    You are building castles in the air, based on nothing. These people have never demonstrated a real result. None have been replicated. Rossi's results are the clearest example of fraud I have ever seen anywhere, in any field. He is "phoning it in." He is not even trying to fool people. The only people who are fooled are those who fool themselves. Some desperately want to believe. Others such as Axil are determined not to learn anything so they refuse to even look at the Penon report.

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    Rossi was not "lucky." His test was fraud. There is no chance it produced excess heat.


    In science only replication is what matters. Without experiments we can be sure of anything. It's symptomatic you know nothing about Lipinski, who actually published most details about his experiments. This is cognitive bias typical for pathoskeptics: they don't care about reliable reports, they do care about Pennon reports instead.


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    These people have never demonstrated a real result. None have been replicated


    Nope, these people are actually the only ones, who demonstrated at least something. When I say something, then I mean something - the doubts and whining at forums don't count. The fact they weren't replicated isn't quite their mistake - if nothing else, than at least Parkhomov and Lipinski could be replicated because they provided all details of their setup. Everyone had - and still has - a chance to replicate them.

  • In science only replication is what matters.

    Yes, and Rossi was not replicated. He could not even show people how to use his own devices to produce the effect he claimed!

    It's symptomatic you know nothing about Lipinski, who actually published about his experiments most details.

    I cannot know about everyone. Eventually I will study Lipiniski. I have studied these others and I know for sure that Rossi is fake and Me356 was unable to show heat from his own device. If he cannot even make his own machine work, obviously he cannot be replicated! How can you "replicate" a result that the author himself cannot produce?


    Heck, if you got heat from an Me356 device, it would not be a replication. It would be a different result. He got nothing; you would be getting something. A replication would be no heat.


    than at least Parkhomov and Lipinski could be replicated because they provided all details of their setup.

    Parkhomov has not provided enough details. That I am sure of. I saw his presentation. Very few people could even hear or understand him. His calorimetry was plainly wrong.

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    Eventually I will study Lipiniski. I have studied these others and I know for sure that Rossi is fake


    Once Lipinski works, then also Me356 and Quark-X can work. Their replication may be as simple as heating the mixture of Ni and LiH or LiAlH4 in closed test tube with microwave owen. Parkhomov did provide composition of mixture and temperature - no additional information is actually necessary for his replication, as his experiment consisted of simple heating this mixture without access of air. I dunno what the hearing Parkhomov in person may be useful for, once we have this information written explicitly in his report. Your arguments are nonsensical and as such overskeptical.

  • I've read dozens upon dozens of CF/LENR papers. I've come to the same verdict that probably 97%+ of scientists have come to that these claims are inconclusive at best. Just because each time someone claims a positive result and it goes unchallenged doesn't mean that those who don't challenge it believe it is correct. To the contrary, they likely feel it is not worth the resources to disprove since they know nothing will come of it.


    The lack of replications by those outside of the CF/LENR field can't be explained away by saying only those who obtain positive results are competently running the experiments.

  • The lack of replications by those outside of the CF/LENR field can't be explained away by saying only those who obtain positive results are competently running the experiments.


    But once somebody OUT of the CF/LENR field replicates an experiment, they are IN the field. Since you cannot know the antecedents of all those working and publishing results of LENR experiments (who were presumable educated in the same way as everyone else) your statement is meaningless.

  • There is no reputation trap. When company's decide to try to replicate these experiments with the goal of taking them to market what happens? They spend millions if not tens of millions to acquire the best talent and the best equipment to perform detailed experiments. And then what happens? These companies either announce failure or they silently go under. One of the best cases I've seen so far is SRI's announcement that they have seen a few watts but, if what I recall is correct, they say they need to improve the measurement process. Conclusion: as the measurement techniques improve and the accuracy of the equipment increases the actual excess energy disappears or becomes very small.