When is settled settled?

  • 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.


    Yes, I am not a fan of applying adjectives to groups.


    My point was:

    (1) LENR as a field has received over the years more money than might be expected for any other non-successful attempt to create a commercially useful product, exactly because of its very large upside.

    (2) As science, LENR has successfully published many papers, some of which are high quality and published in high impact journals. There are then other papers that do not get published. Whether that relates to quality or bias is a matter of judgement, and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.


    There is no prohibition against publishing unexpected and surprising experimental results. Far from it. However, many LENR papers do both more and less than this. The "unexpected result" part does not have the level of great care and cross-checking and reflection on what artifacts could give the result that other scientists would give to any unexpected, surprising result. The paper does include speculations as to why the result might derive from LENR, and (often) some speculative LENR theory and reference to other not obviously coherent LENR results.


    I'm not generalising here, and claiming all LENR papers have this format. However, those who feel discriminated against because such papers do not get published are I think wrong, and could uncharitably be called whingers if they complain about it.


    The key thing is this. For those in the LENR field LENR is already pretty well proven, or at least enough evidence is believed that it is expected. Thus any result that appears to have extraordinary excess heat can be properly interpreted as yet more LENR. However for those outside the field LENR is unproven and highly surprising. An excess heat result that cannot be explained without some (not clear) LENR mechanism is extraordinary and would need very great care and cross-checking, together with exact description of (good) methodology.


    The google paper shows how you would describe LENR results if you wanted to get them published. You start from the position of your audience, with a conventional historical summary of LENR. You present the result as something interesting and in line with historic LENR claims. You do not jump on a nuclear mechanism, but point out how other mechanisms don't fit the result. In doing that you do a lot of cross-checks.


    The problem with claimed LENR results - and the reason why they are difficult for anyone outside the field to accept, is that there is no predictive LENR theory. Therefore anything unexpected that can be interpreted as a nuclear reaction: lots of excess heat, transmutation, high energy products, is seen as proof of LENR. All of those things can be identified by mistake, which by definition leads to unexpected results, in many ways, as LENR researchers have found out. In fact many of the experiments that show reliable LENR effects seem tuned to make artifacts likely. Thus: Rossi-type high temperature calorimetry, electrolysis with boiling, Q pulses that have high power RF components, nanowires with dubious calorimetry. At the same time, LENR is characterised by (almost) no observation of the expected high energy products. As a hypothesis we have both "X found unexpected high energy products - it is LENR". And "almost everyone who has tried to find LENR, and many who have claimed it, do not observe high energy products".


    That is an essential incoherence in the theory behind LENR.


    I'm not saying that lack of coherent theory makes it impossible to present compelling results. Far from it. But in that case the results come first, and stay extraordinary until there is a body of results that is replicable and understood experimentally. That is I believe the external view. Don't call it LENR (because no such theory is coherent yet). Present as pure experimental evidence, standalone, evidence of something unexpected. That requires much checking.


    The google guys are a great opportunity. They have resources, are asking for some experimental evidence that can with effort be replicated. If LENR does not exist, any experiment they replicate (like what they have already tried) will prove negative. If LENR does exist there will be an experiment that when replicated leads to unexpected and surprising results.


    The difference between me and others here is in expectation. I see D/Pd experiments as having the greatest weight of carefully done positive results. I see Mizuno results, although obviously incredibly important if correct, as being very likely non-replicable. If they were replicable all Mizuno would need to do is show them to independent well resourced replicators (e.g. IH or google) and LENR becomes a major scientific topic.


    If you look at the google replication of Rossi-style Ni-H reactors, and compare it with others, you can see one difference. The google group discovered a whole load of false positive artifacts from measuring those reactors as the community have done. As a result they built a very accurate calorimeter - when they did this the results vanished.


    That is good science. It should be of use to all the people now thinking excess heat measurements from Rossi-style reactors have merit. Those people could using the google calorimeter - or try hard to get tips from google on all the false positives. You will however remember how many positive indications there were initially, and in fact how many of those early claims are still quoted here as proof positive that there is some real effect that Rossi (however duplicitous) might have seen at some point.


    So: good LENR science is characterised as follows:

    (1) concentrate of experimental results - don't try and fit them to theory

    (2) because results are then unexpected and surprising, check and cross-check very carefully.

    (3) put major effort into discovering artifacts as soon as positive results are found. Two things can then happen: stronger results, or discovered artifacts.


    I see the google team as doing this. I see LENR researchers with positive results who do not then put all their efforts into trying to find artifacts as not doing it.


    There are LENR researchers who have followed the "good science" approach. They are quite quiet here. Discovering that your apparent results were in fact artifact is boring.


    [ I'm not familiar enough to be sure, I'd suggest Brian Aherne as one of the "good science" LENR guys. MFMP were enthusiastic amateurs with good instincts originally, but have since done some rather weird things ].


    The "good science" approach to Mizuno is as follows. Contact him, explain the issue about needing to rule out artifacts, do this using his stuff with great rigor in collaboration with him. If he has a replicable positive results as he shows (even if it is just one reactor that continues to deliver positives) confirming artifact or not is possible, but can only be done by someone who is skeptical and willing to check every single thing.


    Or: if that is not possible, replicate and do the same. The problem is this. In replicating you will never be exact. And then negative results, from many replicators, still do not remove the suspicion that maybe Mizuno had something. In addition there will be many (badly conducted, artifactual) postive results. From people who just like the google guys replicating Ross-style systems find positives. But who unlike google have not the resources or the inclination to find the artifacts.


    Most of the LENR community has a viable strategy for research if LENR exists in a given system. In that case replications will generally be positive, and a more reliable better instrumented positive will be found.


    That is a wasteful and unviable strategy towards systems in which LENR does not exist. In that case, as with Rossi reactors, false positives abound and there is no clear scientific attempt to discover the artifacts that can lead to false positives. As a result enormous effort is wasted.


    If you believe that some systems do exhibit LENR, but it is difficult to find, then the best long-term strategy is artifact detection, to eliminate future work on systems that when well tested do not show surprising results. Short-term: skeptics are a pain, and stifle opportunity. Long-term - they are the best way to make progress. I'd say LENR is now in the long-term regime.


    PS - I'm also all for those (Hagelstein etc) who are trying to find LENR theories. That is a worthy endeavor too, and good science. Thus far there has been little coherence between theory and experiment so the two types of science do not support each other. When there is coherence - when a theory makes predictions that can be tested and would contradict the theory if not true - we are in the area of normal science and everything gets easier. Personally, I'd go on being interested in theory that has mileage. For me the most interesting past of this is the metal lattice stuff that predicts quantitative results. Like the low energy bombardment stuff. I agree that plasmoids etc might result in strange effects on a metal surface but that is not a theory until some prediction is made that can be tested.

  • (1) LENR as a field has received over the years more money than might be expected for any other non-successful attempt to create a commercially useful product, exactly because of its very large upside.


    HOT Fusion as a field has received over the years more (an outraging amount) money than might be expected for any other non-successful attempt to create a commercially useful product, exactly because of its very large upside.

  • HOT Fusion as a field has received over the years more (an outraging amount) money than might be expected for any other non-successful attempt to create a commercially useful product, exactly because of its very large upside.

    And at the end of the day this is my main contention: hot fusion is expected and predicted by SM, but the only “successful” use so far has been to create huge explosions. Meanwhile billions have been and continue to be spent. I don’t know what is the biggest COP of a classic hot fusion experimental approach as Tokamak reactors or even the laser kind has been. I think 1.1 has yet to be reached. The only greatly, but also completely unexpected and baffling experiment of hot fusion I know is of the Inertial confinement type, achieved in 2006 in the Sandia Labs z machine, which was for a good while the highest man made temperature ever reached, and had an energetic budget of 4x the thermal energy output vs the kinetic energy imparted to the collapsing “canary bird” by electric means. Yet very few people noticed these results and remain largely ignored to This date.

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

  • We can think of other great problems that are created when a expected result is kept being sought after in spite of simpler explanations that discard the expectation to begin with. Astrophysics has plenty of those.

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

  • PS - I'm also all for those (Hagelstein etc) who are trying to find LENR theories. That is a worthy endeavor too, and good science.


    I guess THHnew is not settled on whether Hagelstein's endeavor is good science or fringe science..

    judging by this cursory critique of Hagelstein's(and Siyuan Lu's latest 2018 Co-57 work)....

    (funded partially by Industrial Heat.. also patentappliedfor:)


    The second one( Hagelstein and Lu)

    is a failure to discover data that would validate a novel theoretical mechanism,

    together with some slightly (low level) anomalous data that was not previously predicted,

    and for which a few candidate explanations are given.

    However the data is weak, the explanations are speculative,

    and other (also speculative) explanations for this type of small departure from an exact exponential might exist
    So I don't see the second as LENR: unless you count the primary negative LENR result.

    And its relatively weak publication is explained by the fact that it is a negative result on a fringe theory.

    THH. News about Woodford and Industrial Heat

    https://iscmns.org/2018/11/jcmnsv27/

    Observation of Non-exponential Decay in X-ray and γ Emission Lines from Co-57

    Florian Metzler, Peter Hagelstein and Siyuan Lu ,2018


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


    From what parallel universe did you emerge? Here on Planet Earth, in the scientific establishment, anyone who so much as talks about cold fusion is likely to be fired. There is not one dollar of conventional research money available in the EU or Europe. All of the money used by Takahashi et al. in Japan ran out in 2017.


    This is the most bizzare assertion you have made in . . . well . . . A week I guess. Like asking whether a 60 mm traverse was done over a 58-mm wide opening.

  • And at the end of the day this is my main contention: hot fusion is expected and predicted by SM, but the only “successful” use so far has been to create huge explosions. Meanwhile billions have been and continue to be spent. I don’t know what is the biggest COP of a classic hot fusion experimental approach as Tokamak reactors or even the laser kind has been. I think 1.1 has yet to be reached. The only greatly, but also completely unexpected and baffling experiment of hot fusion I know is of the Inertial confinement type, achieved in 2006 in the Sandia Labs z machine, which was for a good while the highest man made temperature ever reached, and had an energetic budget of 4x the thermal energy output vs the kinetic energy imparted to the collapsing “canary bird” by electric means. Yet very few people noticed these results and remain largely ignored to This date.


    I think this can be separated into two different issues:


    (1) ITER money is bad value, because ITER HF is clearly a very long way away and does not look practical


    I agree. But ITER HF research can be justified on grounds of scientific & technological content, rather like the space race. In both those cases it is very arguable whether the money should be spent of course. Would I spend that money if the alternate was non-science? Yes. Would I prioritise it over many other things? Probably not but to be fair I would need to look at all the issues. One reason national governments are Ok spending that money is 80% of it goes straight back to national high tech industry - and it is state of art stuff that increases capability.


    I'm sorry, for a science site, that people here are so negative about advancing science and technology, although I agree the whole ITER thing (free nuclear power) has become a political peg to extract money rather than anything realistic. Initially of course it was a reasonable expectation.


    Now all that ITER research informs other modern small-scale attempts to do hot fusion, like Tokomak Energy. If they work, they will be commercial, and could be the future.


    (2) The Z machine is a better bet


    The Z machine is a different matter. That 4X benchmark is not comparable because the electrical kinetic energy imparted to the target is some 100s of times less than the total input energy. ITER break-even will be when total output > total inputs - they are more or less there. this is much below that. In addition the liner-based pulse fusion methods have formidable problems.


    I'm a fan of for example Lerner's attempts to do MTF: I hope they work - but it is not true that they are obviously more deserving of funding than ITER when you look at the matter objectively. Also Laser-based ICF seems to me a good possible bet because laser technology is advancing at such a fast rate. But, all these alt fusion methods are long shots, whereas ITER sort of has proof of concept., The scaling is well understood with no deal breakers. It is just that no-one really thinks it is likely to be commercial.


    Scientists do ITER because of all the plasma research that it provides: that is useful for a wide variety of fusion techniques - not just ITER - as well as other things.

  • But ITER HF research can be justified on grounds of scientific & technological content



    What specific grounds and evidence justify the exorbitant hundred billion dollar ITER gravy train expenditure ???

    compared to LENR investment such as Industrial Heat's thousand $ expenditure on Hagelstein and Lu's latest research?


  • What specific grounds and evidence justify the exorbitant hundred billion dollar ITER gravy train expenditure ???

    compared to LENR investment such as Industrial Heat's thousand $ expenditure on Hagelstein and Lu's latest research?



    See above #31.


    The comparison with LENR is:

    (1) While ITER seems unlikely to generate commercial energy at least this is technically possible: proof of principle exist

    (2) ITER money goes to technological research in teh funding countries so they get back 80% of it. this is a political argument but it affects funders.


    I'm not saying, personally, that I think this money is best spent on ITER. But better that than a whole load of non-science spending one could compare it with.

  • (1) While ITER seems unlikely to generate commercial energy at least this is technically possible: proof of principle exist


    It is known since more than 40 years that D,T fusion is nonsensical because of the highly kinetic neutrons that cannot be contained.


    But ITER is a huge table, full of food available for the so called most brilliant & fully devoted followers of a nonsensical branch of physics.


    On the other side we need better batteries, solar panels, wind turbine cases, fuel cells just to name a few of the green technologies.


    It is obvious that only the petrol & military industry support ITER. The first because it delays alternatives fuels, the second to get an extra profit due to new, better engineered technology.

  • But better that than a whole load of non-science spending one could compare it with.


    ITER money goes to technological research in teh funding countries so they get back 80% of it. this is a political argument but it affects funders


    So the justification for ITER is that it is not nonscience.. and that it is technology that countries get back 80%.

    How do they get back 80%.. by employing physics Phd's?


    So how is this a specific justification for ITER? as compared with other science/ technology

    Why not put the money into LENR,, and still get back 80%


    Btw , THHnew Is Hagelstein and Lu's work nonscience? or science?

  • Btw , THHnew Is Hagelstein and Lu's work nonscience? or science?


    Most people would say that it is highly speculative science and represents an outlying probably not true position.


    Frankly, I think the anger here about ITER is just silly. I'm not supporting it, but no funder would compare fringe science like LENR with conventional science like ITER.


    LENR, at best, should be in the same ball park as Polywell, DPF, GE, etc.


    Worth some money: which BTW it is getting, in spite of past disappointments.


  • Hagelstein's work to find a theoretical mechanism for fractioning high energies into thousands of lower energy components, is insightful, honest (because it addresses head on the key problem in all LENR theories), but (so far) unsuccessful. It is fringe science.


    The work you quote there is quite different: it is about how delocalisarion of the nuclear magneton affects nuclear decay. Fascinating. But of no relevance to LENR. The energies fractioned by the delocalisation are of electromagnetic range, not nuclear. And we know that at that level delocalisation can easily happen because electromagnetic forces do couple nicely at intra-atomic distances.


    The reason such low energies can affect nuclear decay in this case is because we are talking about long decay times that therefore represent very narrow spectral lines (deltaE * deltaT HUP). those narrow lines cannot normally couple with broad enough resonances. But the delocalisation of the magneton energy allows the decay to couple from a very narrow line photon to a much broader product.


    It is fascinating, and of course not fringe science (sorry - I did not look carefully and thought you were talking about H's LENR work).