Nature: Google funded research fails to find excess heat/nuclear signature. Reaches out to LENR community for advice!

  • Electrolyzer used in tests. The study is very sparse of experimental details. It's not for example clear from article presented, which experimental arrangement they did use. Fleischman and Pons never used thin wires as a cathode, because their fusion did run as a bulk effect. On the right it's one of their cells with cathode bent and partially molted due to fusion effect - it has nearly 10 millimeters in diameter.

    2u39JUk.gif ppBDu28.jpg

  • I wonder if Nature will publish the detail of GoogleX glow discharge expts

    especially this statement


    But an electron screening potential of ~1000 eV is

    not consistent with established theories of electron screening,

    which reproduce measured values

    from gas phase experiments of ~27 eV [1, 5-11]. "

    They are repeating what others have found since decades.

    I hope they acknowledge this.

    Perhaps the purported "electron screening "

    is not the reason for the fusion enhancement

  • Phill Ball is notorious cold fusion pathoskeptic - you cannot teach old dog new manners. In this way or another, the above study was crippled: it did use thin wires instead of palladium rods and it even didn't manage to achieve sufficient load of deuterium: way too many apparent mistakes for being taken seriously.

    Maybe even someone is intentionally wagging the dog here: I don't trust Google in these matters at all.

  • Quote

    Perhaps the purported "electron screening " is not the reason for the fusion enhancement

    It still can be one of enhancing factors - it also depends on model considered. Frank Znidarsic promoted particularly good one involving resonance.

  • It would have been understandable had the Nature articles authors published, and then gone into hiding until the smoke cleared. They did just the opposite though, and tackled the PR stigama issue head on, with interviews, and comments given by the MIT, Berkeley Lab, and UBC authors. Burlinguette (UBC), even tweeted photos of his team, and the 4 leaders. All young, which is good to see. It seems to have been a good move on their part, as so far there have been only a few criticisms, and those have not been all that bad by CF standards.

    It will take some time for the dust to settle, but I believe in the long run this will be good for LENR. Looks like Google is committed to more research, and I also think we may have gained a few advocates among the 30 involved.

  • What I find curious is the background and context and motivation to this.

    Why did Google start this research?

    They went to the trouble of assembling a team and spending probably millions over, was it 4 years?

    Something kicked this off, I wonder what it was?

    It would be ironic if it was Rossi but 4 years ago he was making a big noise.

    What are their motives?

    Cleary if they were against LENR then they would not waste the time and effort. So I put them in the camp of at least curious about LENR if not “friendly”.

    Does Carl Page have any link or input to any of this? Given his interest it would be odd if that was not the case.

    Why publish in Nature?

    They could have played this low key, perhaps turning up at ICCF or publishing in a low key journal, but no they went to Nature. Is it merely naïve of them or do they in fact understand perfectly well what the landscape is like in terms of politics and mainstream resistance and are they playing a more subtle game?

    What is their research strategy?

    From what I understand of the scientists and technical people on this site the Google experiments seem to have gone all the way back to F&P.

    Really, have they ignored 30 years of research and not bothered to seek any advice from seasoned researchers? If so that would be a poor strategy resulting in a huge waste of time and resources.

    Taking 4 years to decide to "reach out" is a long time.

    Scientists wasting years working in secret seems to be a basic aspect of LENR.

    So what now? Is that it, or is there more to come out?

    What effect will this Google paper have on others in the field who are working towards commercialization?

    Interesting times!

  • Neutrons from 1kev D+ bombardment is not unusual: it is expected. As you know the "fusion in stars" guys have been looking at fusion rates under a whole load of conditions for a long time - both experimentally and theoretically. They propose shielding effects and there is lots of evidence that these exist at > 500eV in some cases. With a 10^21 D+/cm^2 flux you don't need a high reaction rate to get measurable D+.

    None of which directly helps LENR, especially because the branching ratios from these reactions seem no different from normal - see paper linked on page 4 (I think) of this thread.

    One of the things that gets lost on evaluating these results is the difference between measurable excess heat and measurable neutrons. For heat you'd need a very large number of reactions and hence lots of neutrons even given skewed branching ratios (and the low energy tail thus far does not seem to skew branching ratio, though some effect may well exist at lower energies).

    Still, it is fascinating that Pd does indeed shield in a way that encourages D+ fusion. I'd say it is quite a coincidence except I'm not sure it is. Maybe F&P originally went for possibility of CF in D/Pd exactly because they hoped for some lattice shielding effect? In which case it is no coincidence, and therefore no additional support: rather these experiments show that the shielding effect, though real, is not large enough to give useful fusion rates.

    I'm all for continued work to investigate and hope that some conditions can give much higher shielding as would e needed for useful fusion levels. I can't say I'm hopeful this is real:

    (1) At useful rates n production would be high, and detected. No sign of magical cancellation of He3 + n branch.

    (2) Levels of shielding needed are much higher than found here.

    But strange things happen, and it is always worth investigating.

  • AFAIK - we don't know they have not previously taken good advice. This paper does not give such details, but does show they have read the CF literature. Reaching out now, with negative results, is obviously the thing to do if they hope for something (as anyone doing this research would do).

    Publishing in nature: is understandable, because it is high profile and their topic is interesting enough - with well conducted research - to get in. Speculation that their paper would not have been published with positive results is only partly true. They would need to document data and processes much more carefully in that case to get published, and also not do a typical LENR paper thing of claiming LENR exists before giving results - since those claims are not generally believed.

    Secrecy: I suspect they really hoped for commercially relevant real results - the Rossi PR effect.

    Patents: as peeps here don't always understand, existence of patents means nothing except that those patenting hope something might be real, and want to benefit if it is. (In fact it can mean less than that, and be purely a PR vehicle with no relation to technical hopes).

    Mainly - I'd love to see details of all this work, and hope they will share. Also hope they are in a position to continue testing the stuff where LENR researchers say "Oh - you should do X then it will work". There will be a lot of that, with a lot of Xs.


  • I do. Many prominent figures in the field are complaining that no advice was sought. They regard it as an attempted stitch-up.

    Alan - forgive me but it needs just one expert figure to give good advice - so I do not feel such complaints are any way conclusive.

    Also: they and many on this thread view this as a stitch-up. But there is no evidence for that, and lots to the contrary.

  • For a simple reason, because there is a report about Lithium fission as main source of LENR heat excess in Rossi' type experiments. This heat excess is much higher than in any replication of classical FP experiment. Why this was ignored by Google team, and they one more time performed the FP experiment, which was unsuccessfully replicated many times? I would like to hear the logic behind this design of Google experiments ignoring the Rossi' type experiments

    By saying "I hardly believe", I meant, I do not believe YOU. Empiric science is surely, what the google team was doing.
    And how can You say, that the number of experiments does not count ? If so, tell me how Sigma 5 shall ELSE be calculated ?

    Why Rossi's Lithium fission nonsense was not taken into account ? Well, maybe, there are a lot of REAL "DOTTORE's" involved, who directly checked, that this sopckpupett is talking nonsense, since he left italy.

  • Call to action

    Fusion stands out as a mechanism with enormous potential to affect

    how we generate energy. This opportunity has already mobilized

    a 25 billion dollar international investment to construct ITER 72,73.

    Simultaneous research into alternative forms of fusion, including cold

    fusion, might present solutions that require shorter timelines or less

    extensive infrastructure.

    A reasonable criticism of our effort may be ‘Why pursue cold fusion

    when it has not been proven to exist?. One response is that evaluating

    cold fusion led our programme to study materials and phenomena

    that we otherwise might not have considered. We set out looking for

    cold fusion, and instead benefited contemporary research topics in

    unexpected ways 52,53,57,58,62–64,68,74–76.

    A more direct response to this question, and the underlying motiva-

    tion of our effort, is that our society is in urgent need of a clean energy

    breakthrough 77. Finding breakthroughs requires risk taking, and we

    contend that revisiting cold fusion is a risk worth taking.

    We hope our journey will inspire others to produce and contribute

    data in this intriguing parameter space. This is not an all-or-nothing

    endeavour. Even if we do not find a transformative energy source, this

    exploration of matter far from equilibrium is likely to have a substantial

    impact on future energy technologies 78,79. It is our perspective that the

    search for a reference experiment for cold fusion remains a worthy

    pursuit because the quest to understand and control unusual states of

    matter is both interesting and important 78,79.

    Frankly - people claiming these guys are dishonest "a stitch-up" is just creepy and horrible - I despair. LENR researchers have been saying they want more research, want mainstream interest. When a serious attempt to do this happens you claim they are professionally dishonest?

  • JedRothwell I put two tweet of Berlinguette (he tweets very few) link that get piled,

    another by carl page,

    I made a link error for a tweet by M Trevithick

    the team is proud, and hopeful.

    I hope their strategy is

    1- weaken the Cold Fusion peer-review ban by some hypocrisy, a kind of Hormesis

    2- call experts for help

    Some reinterpretation of buzz seems to say that in fact there is already a raging war between teams like Industrial Heat, Nissan, Toyota,MHI, Clean Planet, Seashore Research... I'm not fully convinced, but if it is, maybe Google is trying to enter the market by another door.

    New articles…ing-case-cold-fusion.html (probably the same as MIT)…sit-cold-case-fusion.html (a copy of a one I've read it seems) (In French, quite friendly)

  • Alan - forgive me but it needs just one expert figure to give good advice

    And no experts in the CMNS appear to have been asked or even knew this was coming.

    ETA - and there are even suggestions that Google is using this paper as an attempt to discourage independent investment into LENR research in order to establish control. Not sure I can believe it but.....

  • Re Lithium.

    From the paper these people have extensively tested LiAlH4/Ni systems (Rossi motivation). They have a good calorimeter that temperature equalises the reactor, as Brian Ahern and others have proposed.

    Fig. 3 | Detecting excess heat at high temperatures. a, Rendering

    of a calorimeter capable of testing for excess heat production at high

    temperatures and high hydrogen pressures. The calorimeter features a

    cylindrical alumina sample chamber and 14 independent thermocouple

    sensors (not visible)within a constant-temperature outer jacket. The ends

    of thesample chamber areconnected togas manifolds,one of which is

    equipped with a pressure sensor. b, Plot of coefficient of performance

    (COP) as a function of theindependent variable (shown in coloured

    text) to evaluate claims of excess heat production by the Ni–H materials

    system. Each unique experimental condition wastypically sampled

    in quadruplicate. The 3σ limit of detection is presented as a solid grey

    horizontal line at COP=1.0825. Dots, 420 individual sample runs;

    vertical lines, 95% confidence intervals about the average.


    Over the course of 16months, we evaluated contemporary claims

    of more than 10% excess heat production involving samples of nickel

    powder and lithium aluminium hydride (LiAlH4). We tested the

    independent variables of temperature, pressure, sample composition,

    particle size, surface treatment, and others. To verify the stability of our

    calorimeters, control experiments were conducted before and after each

    sample run. We also developed a system identification framework 64

    to facilitate modelling the time-dependent heat flows and energy stor-

    age processes particular to each calorimetry experiment. However, none

    of the 420 samples we evaluated provided evidence of excess heat; the

    COPs measured in our experiments were consistently unity (±0.0825

    at 3σ; P. A. Schauer etal., manuscript in preparation). We concede that

    we might not have tested all of the experimental conditions required

    to initiate excess heat as claimed, and sowe have made our calorimeter

    design and analytical tools publicly available for those seeking to

    evaluate this parameter space further 63–65.

    Our studies confirm that conducting calorimetry under extreme

    conditions is challenging, but not intractable. While we have detected

    no convincing evidence of excess heat so far, our experience with a

    number of calorimetry systems gives us confidence that we will know

    it if we see it.