When is settled settled?

  • This thread was prompted by a post from curbina in the Mizuno results thread.


    I am an engineer, we are formed to use scientific knowledge to resolve practical problems in each particular discipline. We have to use tools and instruments for this so measuring things as accurately as posible is always a need, but we also deal with practical and budget limitations so we have to know how to measure things with practical enough accuracy. I deal with water mostly, not air, but the use of power consumption of a pump to estimate and also control flow rate is not the norm but often done, specially when the pump is going to be working in a steady regimen, the value can be perfectly accurate.


    Of course you can do this kind of stuff when you know very well what you are doing.


    I’m going to veer way off topic but I think is worth to give a recent real life example of how settled things can be completely wrong.


    A few months ago in the country I live there was a huge public controversy, which has occurred in every other country when a similar roll out of so called smart grid meters begins. The classical argument is that smart meters over estimate power consumption. Government authorities and public electric utility companies quickly began a PR campaign to insure that the inaccuracy of smart meters was a myth and that the meters to be installed were fully compliant of international standards so there was nothing to fear in that regard.


    But many of us consumers were already aware of a publication from a Dutch university team that found that smart meters were very capable of being more than significantly over or underestimating (depending on the type of sensor used in the meter, but the more common type consistently overestimates) power consumption of certain and very abundant types of light bulbs and other home appliances. This led to the establishment and funding of a 3 year multipartite international project to review and correct the current standards (started in 2018) by the European authority on these matters. So, our government officials are completely right that the meters comply with the international standards but is the standards that are wrong. This is an ongoing situation but our government already had to backpedal about the mandatory nature of the meter change (now you can refuse it) due to being completely unaware of this situation. If interested you can read about this European project here: https://www.euramet.org/resear…_project%5Baction%5D=show


    The topic is a slightly more general version of what curbina discusses. There are many different things reported as "scientists say" or "known fact" and one thing I believe passionately is that public understanding of the uncertainty in such statements could and should be a lot better than it is.


    Curbina shows an example where something that could reasonably be inferred from government commissioned research and technical development turns out to be surprisingly and badly wrong. Actually this is a particularly complex example of the problem.


    We can also consider both sides: information confidently stated that turns out wrong, and information that is settled and clear, yet due to social media misinformation is popularly doubted.


    Examples of confident and not actually correct: almost any dietary advice, a lot (not all) of news stories about medical efficacy of given drugs, EU advice to choose diesel cars on environmental grounds. In each case the reasons for the false statements are different, and worth understanding.


    Examples of true but doubted: MMR vaccine is safe and very important for children's health, AGW exists and is mostly related to total fossil fuel CO2 emissions, Neo-darwinian evolutionary theories accurately and concisely explain all known evidence of species evolution (viewed as wrong by 50% of US population and an alarmingly high number of US legislators).


    In looking at these different things we need to distinguish between direct consequences of simple fundamental physical laws: (e.g. momentum conservation makes inertia-less drives really unlikely) and empirical laws (anything in medicine without specific gene mapping an known biochemical pathways). High temperature superconductivity is an interesting grey area where going up to room temperature for real (bulk) superconductivity looks really difficult on fundamental grounds but can't be ruled out.


    Where on this spectrum you put specific things can be a matter of judgement. The existence of these different levels of certainty is not. Thus that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow, assuming I'm at a non-polar latitude on Earth, 100%. That a given drug will work on a given person with specific symptoms, < 100%.

  • So my Synthesit vitamin, LENR transmutated, "fresh" element pills, won't make me live to 140?



    It is a bit more subtle than that. They might be the breakthrough that will allow a decrepit and senile Shane so to endure. Let us not however go there.


    But scientific trials that claim to show that are likely useless, with little weight.

  • This is a huge topic in itself.


    I used the smart meter controversy as a practical example that resulted in a revision of a standard that was being used as settled. The background is a little more complex as the concerns had existed for some time and the Dutch team had a bit of its own struggle to be heard.


    I know of this because I co authored a news report about the Dutch smart meter innacuracy findings and we reached out to the team leader who answered us very kindly and told his experience. He said the matter was being handled on a per case basis by the public utility companies and was mostly disregarded by government authorities.


    But in the end the substantial proof provided about the innacuracy resulted in the decision that was made to review the matter thoroughly, which is an ongoing endeavor as we speak.


    Of course this is a particular example that can’t be used as any kind of benchmark and is a technical rather than scientific issue. But it provides an insight.


    There are several controversies in the scientific field, included the one we get busy around here of LENR. Many of them are given as settled by mainstream and orthodox academia, LENR included.


    This means that, from the point of view of the biggest chunk of academic and researchers, and pardon me the language, anyone looking at LENR is an uneducated moron that dares to challenge settled in stone science.


    Historically we know that “ settled science “ has been proven wrong cyclically, and new, radical discoveries have always met with fierce opposition even at the risk of the livelihood of the offender.


    So. Excuse us for watching through the telescope. If the web would have been available back in Galileo’s times people in forums like these (imagine a http://www.planets-forum.org) would possibly have been arguing that Galileo painted the planets on the Lenses, or that his lenses had bubbles that looked like planets to the untrained eye, who knows. Because planets were impossible.


    You will probably be offended by the comparison, but this is what being on the “challenger to settled science” side (and not because of a whim but because an ever increasing amount of observations and experiments have consistently suggested there's something previously overlooked here) feels like.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • THH,

    First, I appreciate your posts here tremendously.


    I find it difficult to see why some respond so personally aggressive to your posts. You do an excellent job of remaining impersonal and attempting to provide math, logic or example. Even if the subject response is in question or perhaps not settled (or even wrong) you do not personally lash out like a few here do.


    There should never be angst at honest questions. If one provides the logic, math or data in support of the argument, critics of that response should not respond with personal attack. If they do, then they should re-examine their motives and logic. I surely recognize that I have myself, responded with personal prodding at times. When I see someone who is either very hypocritical in responses or show a continued pattern of personally attacking others with juvenile taunting, then I admit, I have given in to the temptation to return the same. I applaud you in that your have much more patience and temperament than I!


    This subject is indeed interesting. I believe it is because people attach themselves personally to a subject. So if one "questions" the subject, that person decodes that to be a personal question or attack on themselves! We see examples of this here. Often if a post is questioning or is deciphered to be "against LENR" then the response is personal and attacking. Sometimes by the very ones who accuse main stream of the exact same offense! (We all should remember when we point at someone, we have four fingers pointing back at ourselves!)


    It is evident to me, that your have a great attention to detail. That you want to cover as many questions as possible. The more questions that have been nailed down, the more strong and reliable the overall test results are. Some see this as nitpicking or unrealistic skepticism and for some reason take it personally.

    If results are ripe with sloppiness or error, even if individually not a deal breaker, the overall test results are much less strong and more likely to be invalid due to some, as yet undiscovered, error or artifact.


    One clear example.... When Rossi suddenly presented that a "heat exchanger" was used, several Rossi believers accepted it at face value. You applied the very same approach with that as you have the Mizuno tests. You considered the variables, the presentation and did math to check it. The result????? Almost the same! The Rossi believers attacked you as being patho-skeptic, prejudice and motivated by nefarious intent! They could not dispel your math, so they attacked you personally. You now have applied math and logic to some Mizuno findings. You also stated that these questions were NOT deal breakers, but simply areas that needed "cleaning up" to provide the strongest and clearest case possible. Yet, a very few attack you as being patho-skeptic, prejudice and motivated by nefarious intent! That even when you stated the issues where not major, they took it as you trying to undermine the entire project.


    Note that the major difference between your findings of the imaginary Rossi heat exchanger and the presented Mizuno test, it that you clearly stated the exchanger could NOT work if it was as presented, where as you CLEARLY stated that the Mizuno questions were NOT significant but simply a matter of clarification so the report could be made more excellent. Yet the response from a few was the same! This shows an attachment to a subject matter to one's own self in my opinion.


    Some seem to not like the attention to detail if it casts some shadow, no matter how small. The test results should withstand scrutiny on their own merit.

    So far, it seems that the Mizuno results are very strong. Not perfect, but impressive. However, the "European Circle" evidently thinks Rossi's given results are very strong as well.... that does not make the eCat real. These things should be questioned in detail.


    I am not comparing Rossi to Mizuno, but simply the approach. It is interesting that several similar issues arose in both cases... the flow meter at Doral, the heat exchanger, heating elements, etc. The BIG difference is that one lied, covered up and misdirected while Mizuno is providing much more data and that data is clearly more dependable. Yet questions were appropriate at Doral and they are appropriate for Mizunos test. We all hope that Mizuno's test data will pass muster. It is good that Rossi was exposed due to questions and hopefully Mizuno's test will be strengthened by questions.


    Keep up the good work.


    I have two favorite sayings... (although they can be taken differently, depending on the situation) :


    "I thought I made a mistake once, but then I found I was in error" :/


    "It is those who think they know everything that make it hard for us who really do!" ^^


    :thumbup:

  • So. Excuse us for watching through the telescope. If the web would have been available back in Galileo’s times people in forums like these (imagine a http://www.planets-forum.org) would possibly have been arguing that Galileo painted the planets on the Lenses, or that his lenses had bubbles that looked like planets to the untrained eye, who knows. Because planets were impossible.


    You will probably be offended by the comparison, but this is what being on the “challenger to settled science” side (and not because of a whim but because an ever increasing amount of observations and experiments have consistently suggested there's something previously overlooked here) feels like.


    This does not offend me. My point on this thread is that generalising from one "settled science" issue to another cannot safely be done. You need to consider all of the evidence.


    In Galileo's times Astronomy did NOT have a high integrity theory, Rather like most of medicine now the theory was a set of empirical observations dressed up and had to be continually changed to meet better observations.


    So while skepticism as to what the weird blobs in Galileo's telescope really were would be appropriate at the time, until enough observations and for example notes that the "moving objects" in the skies corresponded exactly to things resoluble under telescope as disks rather than points. Even then the whole matter stays pretty muddy till we had Kepler's laws of motion, and the ability to solve all planetary orbits.


    It would be right to view Galileo's initial observations as important, they were after all very easily replicable and coherent! Wrong to think that they quickly provided a correct alternate theory. Also, necessary to remember that the theory they were disrupting (planets move in epicyclic orbits about the earth) was a rubbish theory with little predictability.


    One of the issues with it, and the reason everyone could see something better was needed, is that the more accurate the observations the more complex the set of epicycles needed to explain motion.


    However Galieo's alternate theory, circular obits around the Sun, was also unsatisfactory, not precisely explaining elliptical orbits.


    In summary, this analogy will work well when the following applies:

    • The theory to be disrupted is not highly predictive (in fact so bad that by modern standards it would not be considered a theory)
    • The new observations are coherent and highly replicable
    • The initial hypotheses associated with the new observations (from the disruptors) are wrong and provably so


    I'd say that the situation with LENR is different with respect to the first two points.


    Another difference is that you can argue LENR is NOT a new physical theory - but some complex application of existing nuclear science + quantum mechanics can solve the two LENR mysteries - Coulomb barrier (the easy one) and almost no high energy products (the difficult one).


    If you argue that then Galieo - questioning fundamental scientific theory - is a bad analogy. A better one would be superconductivity - since this does not require new fundamental science but the creative application of existing science in complex systems.


    The anomalous observations for HTS were accepted as real very soon after being found, and theories happened soon after that, although the details of mechanism remained opaque for a long time.

  • With the proviso above that LENR hypotheses do not necessarily break standard model physics, note how successful standard model physics is.


    (1) many many predictions, with results discovered experimentally after they were made

    (2) enormous amount of high quality quantitative data accurately modelled by a simple model

    (3) Efforts to increase (a lot) the data available just serve to confirm SM. That is highly annoying to scientists, who unlike opinion here positively want to find new physics, but it does show the strength of SM.


    Having said that, no-one thinks that SM is the end of physics, but it is pretty good at predicting an enormous qty of behaviour.

  • We agree on many things, the Galileo example was more a stylistic choice than an accurate or technically appropiate one.


    I think we can agree that SM does not predict LENR. Many things that are predicted by SM have not been found, but if someone finds something remotely alike what is spected, you get a Nobel (as Higgs did), even if there's no consensus what was predicted was actually found.


    And that's my main contention and the end of the day, that if a generally accepted theory predicts something as possible, then even if its not found or achieved, criticism of the attempts to find it is not wellcome. But if something unexpected is found, the denial of being allowed even to keep looking is instantaneous, no matter the quality of the proof offered matches or exceeds the quality asked for the proof of the predicted and expected, yet elusive, results.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.

  • I think we can agree that SM does not predict LENR. Many things that are predicted by SM have not been found, but if someone finds something remotely alike what is spected, you get a Nobel (as Higgs did), even if there's no consensus what was predicted was actually found.


    So this is quite a subtle point. SM does not predict LENR but does not rule it out either. There might be some theory as yet not developed that shows how NAEs work, and how QM coherence allows Coulomb barrier to be tunnelled and reaction product energy to be split into thousands of IR energy photons.


    Now: how does that affect what people think? I maintain that given clear experimental evidence, replicable, as Galileo had, that would get everyone thinking of what such theories could be. Until then unclear evidence, without a supporting theory, is thought not likely real.


    If LENR results were clearer,more coherent, even without a supporting theory they would be more accepted. that is because more specific results are more predictive and if observed, even if only observed some times, the different observations would reinforce each other.


    Thus if abominable snowmen observations were very specific in details, and those details had a strong recurring pattern, even if occasional, they would be taken more seriously. "Large scary humanoid" is not specific. "Large humanoid with purple skin and 7 fingers on each hand" is more predictive and would make scattered coherent observations much more compelling.


    What do I mean by clear evidence? Quite easy - something that a motivated and well funded independent team, like the google guys, could reasonably replicate and find positive results on within 6 months or so.


    THH

  • SM does not predict LENR but does not rule it out either.


    This is your rhetoric! Almost all SM physicists believe LENR is impossible. But the sub-models of SM are Kindergarten in respect of prediction of nuclear facts. Something many agree about to be amodel is e.g Gamov factors, that as local model for one nucleus with given measurement data can be made fitting. But as general model Gamov factors are nonsense (deviations of +-10e20 possible ) as most other SM models for dense matter.


    SM is about a catalog of particles and not about particle properties (quantitative prediction of mass, radius, magnetic moment, charge, radiation). Or does anybody that understands simple mechanics really believe that all particle have the "same spin" +- 1, 1/2, 0 ?? Here the problem is the terminology as the SM catalog item spin has nothing to do with the real spinning mass of particles. It only tells how a magnet field affects particle.


    For somebody that only understands simple physics (mechanics) it is easy to predict that LENR reactions show no radiation. Only people adhering a screwed up model are blind for the reality.

  • The Standard Model origin (in letter to the DOE stalwarts)


    courtesy of John Wallace


    "This then became the beginning of the calculus which was to

    grow into the Standard Model (Weinberg, 1995).

    After the war, quantum electrodynamics was developed to explain

    two experiments one by Lamb and one by Kusch

    which found small deviations from non-relativistic quantum predictions.


    To do this they invented the single virtual photon,

    so they did not have to deal with potentials,
    which they did not understand

    This was a problem that went back to the 18th century that had to be resolved.

    The Standard Model followed a similarly damaged path

    using a linear relationship with a Lagrangian instead....."


    https://castinganalysis.com/files/DoE_comment_rev1.pdf

  • also courtesy of John Wallace

    "

    Currently cold fusion replication

    now number in the thousands but the original discovery

    in 1989 (Fleischmann and Pons, 1989) was only one of a

    number different process which include fission from fracture

    (Carpinteri et al., 2015) and dust enhanced fission

    and fusion in microwave cavities (Egely, 2016), with recent

    work (Mizuno and Rothwell, 2019) removing some of

    the material road blocks to engineering application "



    https://castinganalysis.com/files/DoE_comment_rev1.pdf

  • The one area I do agree with THHuxleynew you must have overwhelming undeniable scientifically provable..... before a claim can be consider TRUE


    funny thing about slats... it will let the water out, like silt fence~


    As you will not from the discussion here: that can be true, but not necessarily so since it depends on the claim.


    For example: a PV cell with 32% efficiency - sure - if it is more than mono-frequency conversion. Like Oxford Energy. Their tandem cells might be vapourware but they have a decent chnace, even though this is a significant technological advance.

  • recent

    work (Mizuno and Rothwell, 2019) removing some of

    the material road blocks to engineering application "


    Let us then agree this: if the Mizuno results are replicable:

    (1) They will be replicated (there is enough interest)

    (2) LENR will become a commercial reality, $bns will pour in, as well as massive scientific interest.


    We would all welcome that. Let us wait and see?


    Will you admit my case has merit if this hoped for event does not happen?


    I will certainly be glad to change my view of LENR if it does happen.


  • I've never liked whingers. We all do it occasionally, but best not to make a habit of it. CF advocates wanting special treatment, and claiming they are discriminated against, can be easily seen as the complaints of a pseudo-science.


    However, luckily, scientific interest in LENR remains pretty good, with papers publishable and money for research available and used.

  • "This then became the beginning of the calculus which was to

    grow into the Standard Model (Weinberg, 1995).

    After the war, quantum electrodynamics was developed to explain

    two experiments one by Lamb and one by Kusch

    which found small deviations from non-relativistic quantum predictions.


    To do this they invented the single virtual photon,

    so they did not have to deal with potentials,
    which they did not understand

    This was a problem that went back to the 18th century that had to be resolved.

    The Standard Model followed a similarly damaged path

    using a linear relationship with a Lagrangian instead....."

    I've never liked whingers.

    Seems to be a personal comment unrelated to QED

    typical THH critique

  • I would not say LENR researchers as a group are "whingers". I think there's a very valid complaint that orthodoxia sanctioned, expected but never found results keep syphoning tax payer money at alarming rates, and interesting and unexpected, but experimentally supported results, which orthodoxia claims impossible, get very few to nothing, and also turns into career killers, as some very known examples we all know.

    I certainly Hope to see LENR helping humans to blossom, and I'm here to help it happen.