Berlinguette cited wrong paper, and apparently tried to do Rossi experiment

  • There is some confusion in the new paper from the Google researchers, Berlinguette, C.P., et al., Revisiting the cold case of cold fusion. Nature, 2019

    On p. 4 it says: "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)." They refer to these as Ni-H samples and they say they tested 420 samples, but they saw no excess heat.

    Earlier in the paper, on p. 2 it says:

    "Without the guidance of a generally accepted theory, our survey of the field led us to focus on the empirical investigation of three of its most prominent claims: (1) the claim that metal electrodes loaded with extraordinary amounts of hydrogen are a necessary precursor to cold fusion [39]; (2) the claim that metallic powders heated in a hydrogen environment produce excess heat [40]; and (3) the claim that pulsed plasma discharges produce tritium and other anomalous nuclear signatures [41]."

    Reference 39 is McKubre, M. C. H. Cold fusion: comments on the state of scientific proof. Curr. Sci. 108, 495–498 (2015).
    https://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/108/04/0495.pdf

    Reference 40 is Focardi, S., Habel, R. & Piantelli, F. Anomalous heat production in Ni-H systems. Nuovo Cim. A 107, 163–167 (1994). This is not about nickel metallic powders. It is about “a hydrogen-loaded nickel rod.” Solid nickel, not powder. Apparently Berlinguette et al. cited the wrong paper.

    Reference 41 is Claytor, T. N., Jackson, D. D. & Tuggle, D. G. Tritium Production from a Low Voltage Deuterium Discharge on Palladium and Other Metals. https://doi.
    org/10.2172/102234 (LANL, 1995). I think this is the same as:

    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/ClaytorTNtritiumpro.pdf

    So, who used nickel powder and lithium aluminium hydride (LiAlH4)? Some people claimed that Focardi and Rossi used this. However, Focardi and Rossi's paper does not say that. It says only “additives.” It does not say which ones. Quote: "The system on which we operate consists of Ni, in H atmosphere and in the presence of additives placed in a sealed container and heated by a current passing through a resistor."

    Focardi, S. and A. Rossi, A new energy source from nuclear fusion. http://www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com, 2010
    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/FocardiSanewenergy.pdf

    Biberian mentions LiAlH4. Budko says he tried this, but it produced no heat. See:

    Budko, K. and A. Korshunov, Calorimetric Investigation of Anomalous Heat Production in Ni–H Systems. J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci., 2017. 23: p. 85-9
    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acro…JPjcondensedv.pdf#page=90

    I do not find any other experiment using nickel powder and lithium aluminium hydride. In fact, I cannot find any papers that claims excess heat from nickel powder, except Focardi and Rossi, and later Levi et al. with Rossi’s cell:

    Levi, G., et al., Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder 2013: Bologna University
    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/LeviGindication.pdf

    Apparently, Berlinguette et al. were trying to replicate Rossi without knowing what the powder in his cell was made of. That seems like a bad idea to me. I think you should only try to replicate experiments for which you have full details and the cooperation of the person who did the experiment, or someone else who replicated. Berlinguette et al. never mention Rossi in their paper, and there are no references to his work, so perhaps I am wrong. But I cannot find anyone else who supposedly used this material, and I cannot find anyone who reported that it worked.

    Ed Storms believes Rossi did not use nickel plus aluminum hydride.

  • The problem is that without a description of the process '420 times' is meaningless waffle. For all one can tell they might have used the same old fuel tube and just switched the heaters on and off a couple of times a day and plotted the results.

  • Apparently, Berlinguette et al. were trying to replicate Rossi without knowing what the powder in his cell was made of. That seems like a bad idea to me. I think you should only try to replicate experiments for which you have full details and the cooperation of the person who did the experiment, or someone else who replicated.


    You are absolutely right. The Google team should have replicated a well known, documented and easy-to-reproduce experiment like the "1992 boil-off experiment" of Fleischmann and Pons (1). It's impossible to fail to reproduce its behavior. Even Lonchampt et al., in less time and with much less resources, were able to reproduce the same trend obtained by F&P, as shown by the diagrams of the paper they submitted in 1996 at ICCF6 (2).


    Lonchampt made the right choice, as he explained in the "introduction" of his paper:

    "Since the announcement of the cold fusion phenomenon by Fleischmann and Pons in 1989, various techniques have been utilized to produce excess heat. Numerous results have been obtained seem random, and even sometimes contradictory with each other.

    Being aware of that, we have decided to “simply” reproduce the exact experiments of M. Fleischmann and S. Pons as described in their 1993 article 2. The purpose of our work is to ascertain the various phenomena involved and the conditions of their appearance in order to master the experiments."


    Berlinguette and Co. should have done the same. They could have followed the instructions contained in the F&P or Lonchampt documents and ask for the cooperation of LENR people such as Biberian or Miley, who know very well all the details of the setup and procedure of the boil-off experiment.


    Let's hope that Google people involved in this LENR project read this forum and decide to follow the right path.


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

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

  • Okay, the second time they talk about the Ni-H experiments, they reference Levi et al.:


    61. Levi, G., et al., Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder 2013: Bologna University


    https://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/LeviGindication.pdf


    So, no big deal. Ref. 40 was a little off. This one is okay. I still wonder if anyone actually knows what the nickel had in it.

  • Where does it say they varied conditions systematically?

    Ah, it does say that, on p. 4:


    "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 to facilitate modelling the time-dependent heat flows and energy storage processes particular to each calorimetry experiment. However, none of the 420 samples we evaluated provided evidence of excess heat . . ."



    The problem is that without a description of the process '420 times' is meaningless waffle. For all one can tell they might have used the same old fuel tube and just switched the heaters on and off a couple of times a day and plotted the results.

    From this quote it sounds like they did a good job.

  • Please stick to the theme of the thread


    OK, sorry. I knew the theme was Rossi, but I believed that JR was urging Berlinguette not to replicate any Rossi experiment - for which they can't have full details, nor the cooperation of any experimenter - but to choose a more traditional F&P experiment.


    Anyway, as you announced last Friday (1), will you still start a new thread directed at Team Google team where L-F members can post the response to their request for advice on how they could do better?


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