Where is the LENR goal line, and how best do we get there?

  • Is that a reasonable comparison, IO?

    You are not refuting me. You are making my point exactly. Yes, HTS has not encountered opposition or stigma. HTS has been well-funded. HTS is easy to demonstrate and validate.


    And despite all that, it has only been commercialized to a very small degree and most potential applications are still far from practical with the final outcome unknown.


    Therefore the comparison is pertinent in that prognosticating a timetable, cost, and characteristics of practical LENR technology is blowing smoke. Nobody can know until and if it happens regardless of how many papers are in Jed’s database.

  • And despite all that, it has only been commercialized to a very small degree and most potential applications are still far from practical with the final outcome unknown.

    Yes. Sometimes R&D fails.


    Therefore the comparison is pertinent in that prognosticating a timetable, cost, and characteristics of practical LENR technology is blowing smoke. Nobody can know until and if it happens regardless of how many papers are in Jed’s database.

    No, it is not blowing smoke. Cold fusion is already closer to being practical than, say, plasma fusion or the Star Wars missile defense. More to the point, history shows that R&D succeeds more often than it fails. That's not "blowing smoke." You are betting on the wrong side of history. You are saying that R&D is a crapshoot and it impossible to predict how it will come out. So let's not even try -- right? Just because research works most of the time, and just because there has been enormous progress in cold fusion, that doesn't mean it can be made to work. No one disagrees with you. But we think the odds are different than what you think.


    You are saying: We can't be sure it will work, and not being sure is the same knowing nothing. So we can make no extrapolations. The data in those papers means nothing because . . . because you say so, even though you have not read them. Experts in technology who read those papers and reached careful conclusions about the potential of cold fusion are wrong, and you are right, because . . . you just are! No reasons given.

    • Official Post

    https://www.marketwatch.com/pr…9-01?mod=mw_share_twitter



    United States : MacB Wins $12M Plasma Physics Contract with the Naval Research Lab



    Published: Sept 1, 2018 10:23 p.m. ET




    Sep 01, 2018 (Euclid Infotech Ltd via COMTEX) -- MacAulay-Brown, Inc. (MacB), an Alion company, has been awarded a $12 million Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Plasma Physics Division. The division is involved in the research, design, development, integration, and testing of pulsed power sources. Most of the work on the five-year SeaPort-e task order will be performed at MacBs Commonwealth Technology Division (known as CTI) in Alexandria, Virginia.

    Under this effort, MacB scientists, engineers, and technicians will perform on-site experimental and theoretical research in pulsed power physics and engineering, plasma physics, intense laser and charged particle-beam physics, advanced radiation production, and transport.


    ""Additional work will include electromagnetic-launcher technology, the physics of low-energy nuclear reactions and advanced energetics, production of high-power microwave sources, and the development of new techniques to diagnose and advance those experiments.""


    CTI has provided scientific expertise, custom engineering, and fabrication services for the Plasma Physics Division since the 1980s, said Greg Yadzinski, Vice President of the CTI organization under MacBs National Security Group (NSG). This new work will build on CTIs long history of service to expand our capabilities into the divisions broad theoretical and experimental pulsed power physics, the interaction of electromagnetic waves with plasma, and other pulsed power architectures for future applications.



  • “You are saying...” “You are betting...” “You are saying...”


    No, no and no. Jed: master of the straw man argument.


    Nowhere do I argue against trying to make LENR work. Nowhere do I say anything about the odds. All I am saying - now try real hard to read my words instead of firing up one of your kneejerk responses to anybody who sees the world differently from you - is that predictions and prognostications about unsolved technical problems are are fraught with peril. Will LENR be the silver bullet that ushers in an era of abundant energy? Beats me. I sure wouldn’t bet the farm on it. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t try to make it work. It means you would have to be a lunatic to stop proliferating solar and wind power and other alternative energy technologies because Captain LENR is coming to save the day. That is what betting the farm means. Maybe your extrapolations are reasonable and maybe they are not. Assuming LENR is real, of course its potential is enormous. But that doesn’t mean it can be made to work in applications. The HTS analogy is pertinent. It is very well known what superconductors can do in various applications. It is very well known what specific problems need to be solved to enable those applications. Thirty years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, those problems are still problems. And it is not because HTS experts aren’t as brilliant as LENR researchers.


    You keep telling us how science works. However, you seem to think that LENR works in a whole new way. You seem to be saying that we already know everything we need to know to commercialize it. Get rid of the politics , throw enough money at the problem and poof! All done. Clearly, you know very little about how science works. Or perhaps you just don’t understand the distinction between necessary and sufficient conditions.


    I know this dialog is ultimately pointless since you are intractable about pretty much anything, but perhaps it will give at least a few people something to think about.

  • This is a technical discussion forum, and Interested Observer is not playing by the rules. Let me summarize the two points of view:


    Me: I have written a book spelling out the technical reasons why cold fusion might be made practical. I can cite many distinguished experts in relevant fields who believe this, and who have published supporting information, such as the chief designer of France's power reactors, the people who designed the Indian atomic bomb, the Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, and most of the world's leading electrochemists who designed countless practical applications in many industries.


    Interested Observer: I have not read these documents, but I am sure they are wrong. All those people are wrong. Even though they designed the world's most cost effective power reactors, and nuclear bombs, the world's leading tritium research lab at Los Alamos, and they ran one of the largest nuclear research facilities on earth (BARC), they are not capable of prognosticating a timetable, cost, and characteristics of practical LENR technology, or any other technology. They are blowing smoke. The fact they personally designed, engineered and implemented a significant fraction of all the nuclear power and nuclear weapons on earth proves nothing. I say they are not capable of prognosticating anything about technology. I understand these issues better than they do. I do not have to give any technical reason for my statements. I am right by default. I know that research sometimes fails; it isn't perfect, and that means it is a complete crapshoot that no one can predict anything at all about. Some doubts = absolute ignorance. Many other people agree with me, such as the editors of Nature magazine. The fact that they know nothing about this research is not relevant. They, I, and others can judge this by ESP, without even knowing what instruments are used.

  • It is that predictions and prognostications about unsolved technical problems are are fraught with peril.

    How would you know? You have not read these predictions and prognostications. You do not know who made them, or what reasons they gave. For all you know, they might be as safe as predicting the likely number of transistors on the next generation of Intel processors. Not all predictions about technology are fraught with peril, and even those that are vary in peril-intensity. This happens to be a fairly safe extrapolation compared to, say, plasma fusion. The number of problems to be solved is far smaller; the methods of solving them are better understood and far cheaper; and more progress has been made.


    You cannot dispute any of that, because as you say, you have read nothing, and you understand nothing.


    Will LENR be the silver bullet that ushers in an era of abundant energy? Beats me.

    It beats you because you know nothing about the subject. It does not beat the people who designed the French nuclear power reactors or the head of BARC, or the people who designed the national tritium lab at Los Alamos. They understand these issues better than you do, and they say cold fusion might well be made practical. They give a long, detailed list of reasons, in hundreds of pages, which I have read and understood, but you have not. So who the hell do you think you are disputing them, and saying they are "blowing smoke"? How would you know? Just because you are ignorant, and it "beats you," why do you assume it also beats people who have Nobel laureates whose discoveries and inventions are worth trillions of dollars, and the people who built the U.S. nuclear weapons?


    Has it occurred to you they might know more than you do? Or that I might know more than you do? You have not responded to a single one of the technical points I raised about power density and temperature, so you have no knowledge whatever about heat engines, generators, combustion versus fission, or any other technical issue. You literally know less than steam engine designers did in 1820. So, why are you second-guessing world class experts in these subjects? Again, who do you think you are, and what are you doing on a technical forum making technically illiterate assertions that fly in the face of engineering principles established 200 years ago?

  • Predictable response: an entire paragraph of straw man argument.

    Where "straw man argument" is defined as disagreeing with your assertions that:


    You know more about nuclear physics than the people who designed nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. They cannot prognosticate about anything. They are blowing smoke.


    You have not actually justified your own arguments here. You say only that I misrepresented them, by quoting you and pointing out who you are talking about.

  • Well, then I must accept the notion that LENR is different from all other areas of technology. A phenomenon that is not well understood, not reproducible and not controllable can nevertheless be commercialized on a timetable, at a cost, and in a form that is reliably predictable. I bow to your superior knowledge and mostly feel sorry for the tens of thousands of researchers working on other technologies who don’t have such a well-defined path to success.

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  • A phenomenon that is not well understood, not reproducible and not controllable can nevertheless be commercialized on a timetable, at a cost, and in a form that is reliably predictable.

    This is a slippery slope logical fallacy. Just because cold fusion is not as highly predictable as next year's Intel processor specs, that does not mean it is a complete crapshoot. It is somewhat predictable. In many ways, more is known about cold fusion than, say, plasma fusion. It is much simpler than plasma fusion, the number of remaining problems are few, and potential solutions and ways to attack the problems are well known. So, predictions can be made with more confidence than for plasma fusion.


    You are ignoring the fact that experts have made predictions and they have given many technical reasons to back up their predictions. Okay, perhaps they are wrong, but if you think so, you need to address these reasons and show they are wrong. Tell us why the power density is not what they claim, or show us why that is not high enough for a compact heat engine. Just telling us "I don't think so" or "those experts are blowing smoke" are not valid technical arguments.


    If you are not capable of addressing these issues, you need to point to other experts who have addressed them. There are no such experts. There are no papers or even magazine articles. The only thing you will find are articles by people who say what you say: "I don't think so." They have no reasons for disagreeing, any more than you do. This is a technical discussion, and the experts I cite point to specific experimental observations grounded in 200-year-old science. So, while they might be wrong, you can't possibly be right, because you are not saying anything. Your assertion cannot be tested or falsified. An empty opinion devoid of technical content is not science.

  • Quote

    Do you mean all of those ideas are pretty desperate? The entire list? Are you suggesting there are valid doubts about lasers, MRI, the Krebs cycle, or the circulation of blood


    You really need to understand an argument before you lash out against it. Obviously you didn't understand mine. It was not that lasers, MRI's etc. are desperate ideas. Give me a little credit please. It was that attitudes did not damage the development of almost all modern scientific concepts in the long run. Meritorious discoveries and ideas are soon exploited. There are few exceptions. There is no valid reason for LENR to remain an exception for thirty f'n years! And for this to continue in this age of internet, Youtube, crowd-funding and world wide forums which are easily accessed. At best, the evidence you extol showing LENR works is overstated. Else it would be more researched and exploited like every other worthwhile idea which has had a chance to mature. Even if there were some malevolent cabal of evil people trying to kill LENR, it wouldn't be possible if a single demonstration, compelling to an averagely trained scientist or technologist, existed.


    What I suggest LENR proponents do is to get together and decide what the one (and only one) most spectacular demonstration is. It should be unequivocal and easy for anyone with a little science background to understand. Producing lots of energy for sustained periods from a small device with little or no energy input would be an obvious way to go. Not dozens of ways-- but one method, one result, a spectacular result, replicable and replicated, measured by credible methods and credible people. You claim that's been done. Skeptics say it has not. I look forward to the possibility that Alan Smith may do something like that. Or maybe not.


    Take for example, the slides by Hideki Yoshino, Eijiro Igari, Tadahiko Mizuno which propose high power, high COP devices. Why not get people together and concentrate on making one of these work? Looks like these folks started building in 2014 and pooped out somehow. ??? Were these powerful devices abandoned after being half built? Why? Didn't they work? Were they simply fanciful? What went wrong? Why were they dropped? Just one of these that worked would end the debate.


    mizuno1.jpg


    mizuno2.jpg


    mizuno3.jpg

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

  • “So, while they might be wrong, you can't possibly be right, because you are not saying anything. Your assertion cannot be tested or falsified. An empty opinion devoid of technical content is not science.”


    Since I was not attempting to express a scientific opinion or assessment of any particular prediction, i also cannot possibly be wrong. The only opinion I expressed is that nobody - self-appointed Internet guru or Nobel laureate - can accurately predict how long it will take and what the end result will be in the commercialization of an entirely new technology. Clearly you disagree.


    Given that you claim that there has been no progress in LENR for at least a decade, I guess we are arguing about a process that you simultaneously claim is well-determined and also completely halted. So I guess we will never find out if “they” were right, whatever that means in this context. An awful lot of vitriol over a moot hypothetical.

  • Since I was not attempting to express a scientific opinion or assessment of any particular prediction, i also cannot possibly be wrong.

    You are wrong because you say no one can estimate this or predict it. Experts who are capable of building national networks of nuclear reactors, and nuclear weapons, say they can predict it. They know better than you do.

    The only opinion I expressed is that nobody - self-appointed Internet guru or Nobel laureate - can accurately predict how long it will take and what the end result will be in the commercialization of an entirely new technology. Clearly you disagree.

    Experts disagree. Not me. This is not about me. This about you telling us that some of world's leading experts in nuclear power, who replicated cold fusion, are wrong about their predictions. You know this, but you are not telling us why they are wrong or how you know it. You will not point to any paper or other expert opinions -- because there are none. No other expert would argue with engineering facts established 200 years ago. You alone think they are invalid.


    Given that you claim that there has been no progress in LENR for at least a decade, I guess we are arguing about a process that you simultaneously claim is well-determined and also completely halted.

    It was completely halted in the mid-1990s, when the funding was cut and researchers who published positive results were summarily fired. It was halted when the reputations and careers of anyone associated with it were accused of being criminals, frauds and lunatics in the New York Times and the Washington Post, and when high officials at the DoE and the APS publicly vowed to "root out and fire" anyone associated with it. As Schwinger said of these events:


    "The pressure for conformity is enormous. I have experienced it in editors’ rejection of
    submitted papers, based on venomous criticism of anonymous referees. The replacement of
    impartial reviewing by censorship will be the death of science."


    He was right. This is what happens when people like you casually accuse experts of "blowing smoke" and not knowing anything about their own field of expertise.

  • You really need to understand an argument before you lash out against it. Obviously you didn't understand mine. It was not that lasers, MRI's etc. are desperate ideas. Give me a little credit please. It was that attitudes did not damage the development of almost all modern scientific concepts in the long run.

    How do you know? Have you measured how long various discoveries were delayed, such as continental drift and the MRI? Can you estimate how much this delayed the development of other technologies and science?


    Meritorious discoveries and ideas are soon exploited. There are few exceptions.

    Give us a list of all the meritorious discoveries and ideas that have been lost to history. Oh, wait. You can't, because they are lost. One of Martin Fleischmann's hobbies was reading old issues of Nature from 19th can early 20th centuries. That is where he first saw evidence for cold fusion, from 1927, and later in the 1930s. He said there are dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of meritorious discoveries and ideas ignored or lost to history. Unless you have done a similar survey you cannot contract that. You wouldn't know. A long list of discoveries were suppressed at first, sometimes for years, sometimes for decades. Surely that caused a lot of damage, and it makes it seem likely others were permanently lost.


    Good ideas in computers and software are lost all the time. I know techniques from the 1970s that worked better than today's techniques. I once heard a lecture by Grace Hopper in which she proposed many superb ideas that would greatly improve software. They have not been implemented as far as I know.


    There is no valid reason for LENR to remain an exception for thirty f'n years!

    That is correct. There is no valid reason or justification for the academic politics. There was no justification for Robert Park and his associates at the DoE to go around "rooting out and firing" people in the government, and destroying reputations and careers. But that is what they did. And they bragged about it. It isn't as if this was a secret cabal, or a conspiracy. It was done openly and cheered by scientific leaders in many institutions. (Literally cheered, at an APS meeting when Park announced he was doing this.) I know for a fact that those leaders know nothing about cold fusion. As I have said, they don't even know what instruments are used in the experiments. Despite their utter and complete ignorance they are certain it is all lunacy and fraud. That is what they say whenever the subject comes up or an investor asks them to evaluate the claims.


    This is how ideas are suppressed. This is how science dies. Not by a clever, hidden, organized conspiracy, but by foul, closed-minded, unscientific ignorance. By people who ignore the facts and who betray academic freedom and science.


    And for this to continue in this age of internet, Youtube, crowd-funding and world wide forums which are easily accessed.

    You cannot do cold fusion except in a fully equipped laboratory, with a expert staff to assist with things like mass spectroscopy. The mass spec machines alone cost millions. It can't be done for small sums of money in your basement. The research is also dangerous, especially with nanoparticles. The people at the Aerospace Corp. can do this. Crowd-funded amateurs cannot. No professional scientist at a major university, government lab would dare suggest a project in cold fusion. He will be attacked in the press and fired in a month. It would be career suicide.