# The perpetual “is LENR even real” argument thread.

• Ok - if no gaps - what is the amount of D2O lost to evaporation, please?

I do not understand what you mean by "no gaps." But anyway, evaporation is a function of temperature, and the vapor pressure of air and water. See Dalton's law. It is the term labeled "L" in the calorimetry equation shown here:

See "enthalpy content of the gas stream." Dalton's law includes P partial pressure, and P* atmospheric pressure.

Other people use less elaborate versions of that equation, but all the ones I have seen include a term for evaporation.

Evaporation is measured in calibrations with resistance heating and electrolysis. With electrolysis you also lose water from electrochemistry. The amounts can be separated by the equation. Fleischmann discussed that in detail. In the above paper, F&P explain:

" . . . at a cell current of 0.5A and atmospheric pressure of 1 bar, the cooling due to evaporation of D2O reaches 10% of that due to radiation at typically 95-98°C for Dewar cells of the design shown in Fig 1 . . ."

• I have been trying to think of how to form my reply in order to produce the response; "Yes, I understand and I agree with your explanation". And also; "I think you might consider the following additional ideas." At this point in the discussion, we could move on to explore new and exciting ideas. But, this response never happens. Instead, the discussion is stuck in a logical rut; a repeating cycle that goes nowhere. If I were the professor in a classroom, I could easily break the cycle, but not here. Here, everyone has equal authority and each idea has equal value, with THH being the spokesman for the skeptical community.

Even when a correct understanding might result from these discussions, it would have no effect on the future of LENR unless it was shared with the people who control the funding and how the experimental studies are designed. Indeed, I have watched as significant money has been wasted on ineffective experimental design and on chasing false explanations. From my perspective, this is like watching a train wreck while trying to avoid being injured but without the ability to stop the events. I'm sure other people have the same belief. The DOE had the ability to correct this flaw by how the 10M\$ was allocated, but they chose not to. Perhaps efforts to correct this flaw will be successful in other countries, but not in the USA. We all can only wait and hope. Does anyone have a suggestion about how this flaw might be removed?

• It would be difficult to fill these gaps with H2. The stuff tends to gradually escape from most containers. Looking at the construction of the calorimeter chamber, with the cells sticking out to give access to them and put in make-up water, I cannot imagine how you could contain hydrogen gas between the cells and the layered walls.

The heat capacity of hydrogen is very high. Since the air-gaps are there to minimise heat loss it would not make sense for them to be filled with hydrogen.

FWIW the heat capacity of hydrogen is so high that in a lot of modern turbo-generators they use a twin wall casing filled with circulating cold hydrogen to prevent overheating- also hydrogen gas cooling of the ceramic bearings.

• I have been trying to think of how to form my reply in order to produce the response; "Yes, I understand and I agree with your explanation". And also; "I think you might consider the following additional ideas." At this point in the discussion, we could move on to explore new and exciting ideas. But, this response never happens. Instead, the discussion is stuck in a logical rut; a repeating cycle that goes nowhere. If I were the professor in a classroom, I could easily break the cycle, but not here. Here, everyone has equal authority and each idea has equal value, with THH being the spokesman for the skeptical community.

Even when a correct understanding might result from these discussions, it would have no effect on the future of LENR unless it was shared with the people who control the funding and how the experimental studies are designed. Indeed, I have watched as significant money has been wasted on ineffective experimental design and on chasing false explanations. From my perspective, this is like watching a train wreck while trying to avoid being injured but without the ability to stop the events. I'm sure other people have the same belief. The DOE had the ability to correct this flaw by how the 10M\$ was allocated, but they chose not to. Perhaps efforts to correct this flaw will be successful in other countries, but not in the USA. We all can only wait and hope. Does anyone have a suggestion about how this flaw might be removed?

Storms , by all means, feel free to share your proposal to break the cycle, we are indeed a bunch of rascals, I give you that, but we can be disciplined.

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

• Give us a chance Ed. We are only here to avoid watching the slo-mo car crash as our planetary environment hits the fire hydrant.

• I do not see any problem in the sections you quoted. They agree with what I said, and with the methods used by F&P, Miles and others.

The cells were constructed by nesting four slightly different size Pyrex test tubes, each separated by two O-rings and a thin air space.

Okay, so that is in the older paper: https://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StakerMRpreprintco.pdf. So are Figs. 11 -14 you quote.

A Teﬂon top, sealed with O-ring, excluded ambient atmosphere by allowing the positive pressure of O2 and D2 gas to exit through a capillary tube into a reservoir of vacuum pump oil.

That is shown in Fig. 11. It is what I described earlier: "In the experiments I have seen, the D2, H2 and O2 leave the cell a good distance away from the cell, through a tube that is usually in a bubbler to prevent any air from getting into the cell. The cell configuration itself, with a narrow, long top, also prevents air from coming into the cell. You can put an inverted test tube full of water into the bubbler chamber, and then redirect the flow of gas into the test tube."

Except in this case, the bubbler is filled with vacuum pump oil. It would be messy to put an inverted test tube into that!

The capillary tube comes out of the top of the cell, through the bubbler and then the D2, H2 and O2 escape into the room air.

There is no mention of putting D2 or H2 into the air gaps between the cell and the 4 different size Pyrex test tubes. That says "thin air space." The capillary tube goes from cell to bubbler, as I said. Not to the air gaps.

Fleischmann and Miles [44] showed recombination is either zero or too small to be a source of heat.There was visual monitoring of cell electrolyte level and exit gasses.

That is what I said before. "Visual monitoring of electrolyte level" means measuring the amount in the cell. In the second paper he describes this in detail. He does it with the electronic syringe gadget. "Visual monitoring of exit gasses" means you look for bubbles. No bubbles means full recombination. You can do a rough comparison of the bubbles in the D2O cell and the H2O control.

Where it says "Fleischmann and Miles showed recombination is either zero or too small . . ." that means they showed it. By experiment. They did not just declare that. They measured it. So did Staker, as described in elaborate detail in these papers. So I do not understand why you keep saying they only assumed this and did not measure it.

A Teflon top, with an O-ring seal, excluded ambient atmosphere and carbon dioxide contamination by positive pressure of O2 and D2 which exited a capillary tube into a reservoir of vacuum pump oil.

Yes, the Teflon top, the O-ring, and the positive pressure from the vacuum pump oil bubbler all work to keep air from getting into the headspace of the cell. This is important because CO2 in the air will poison the reaction. It will prevent cold fusion. F&P, Miles, Bockris and others took similar precautions to keep air out of the cell. Ikegami told me they monitored for air in the headspace and found none. The effluent gas drives it out. (I do not know how they monitored it.)

Miles used water instead of vacuum pump oil, and he measured the flow rate with an inverted test tube, as I mentioned. I do not know if Staker did this.

If there was full recombination, you would see no bubbles coming out of bubbler, in addition to seeing no bubbles rise to the surface of the electrolyte. You could not as easily see partial recombination, but the left over water is a very reliable way to measure that, because it piles up for 24 hours. (They usually add make-up water once a day.) A flow meter or an inverted test tube shows you the flow rate at the moment, not the cumulative amount for 24 hours.

• This is important because CO2 in the air will poison the reaction. It will prevent cold fusion

Nothing so dramatic as 'poisoning'' - if you are using Lithium Hydroxide/Deuteroxide as an electrolyte it will readily combine with CO2 to form Lithium Carbonate.

For example

2 LiOD + CO2 = Li2CO3 + D2O

This carbonate is insoluble and pH neutral, so it precipitates and that way you lose your electrolyte - enough CO2 and you lose it all. And over a long period - days etc, that would be quite possible unless the evolved gas from the system kept it away.

• Here, everyone has equal authority and each idea has equal value, with THH being the spokesman for the skeptical community.

That's the internet for you! I would not call THH a member of the "skeptical" community. I call that the community of naïve people who will believe any damn thing, no matter how far fetched, as long as it supports their preconceived notion that cold fusion cannot exist, and that all experiments are mistakes. That is the opposite of "skeptical."

Even when a correct understanding might result from these discussions, it would have no effect on the future of LENR unless it was shared with the people who control the funding and how the experimental studies are designed.

Actually, I find these discussions somewhat helpful. They are a way to sharpen my arguments. In this instance, they push me to carefully re-read the papers by Staker. As it happens I may soon be given an opportunity to talk to some of the people who control the funding, so I need to refresh my memory about some of these issues.

Indeed, I have watched as significant money has been wasted on ineffective experimental design and on chasing false explanations.

Yup. That is how I would describe most of the recent DoE funded projects.

• Nothing so dramatic as 'poisoning'

Bockris called the effect of CO2 "poisoning." In a conversation. Not in a paper, as far as I recall.

The other reason to keep air out of the headspace is because heavy water attracts ordinary water. It is hydrophilic. If you let air into the headspace, the heavy water concentration gradually falls. Some studies show it must be highly pure or cold fusion does not occur.

• Right. And I worked all that out in my writeup (no more links).

But for that:

• I assume it is in equilibrium (good assumption - but not I think guaranteed)
• | assume that vapour at points where condensation stays in the cell is at same temperature as cell (again likely - but not guaranteed)
• I then need to work out temperature of cell (which varies)

The paper says that fill rate is adjusted to keep liquid level the same from a table of values based on iT only (not iT and temperature). This is strictly inconsistent given that temperature varies.

The whole thing is unclear. And on the face of it inconsistent. Now it is probably ok when you know all the details? But you cannot have these gaps and trust the paper results.

The question was whether the paper/author considers evaporation. Not whether, making a whole load of assumptions, we can work out what evaporation ought to be...

• Storms , by all means, feel free to share your proposal to break the cycle, we are indeed a bunch of rascals, I give you that, but we can be disciplined.

The flaw is easy to correct. As an example, in my past life when I was an expert on high-temperature chemistry and materials, various universities would ask me to come as a visiting professor. I would give lectures for a few weeks about the details of how such materials behave and how they had to be studied.

Now, I'm only asked to give short lectures at several ICCF conferences about how calorimetry is done. These lectures had no influence as far as I can tell. Instead, a university needs to create a course of study focused on LENR and invite people to lecture about various aspects of the subject. Now, such a lecture could be done using Zoom and recorded for future generations. Instead, all of the institutional knowledge is being lost as the pioneers get old and die. Now, we can only hope that a young mind sometime in the future will discover the information in an obscure journal and have success. Now, the only information of value to the future is contained in the published papers. It is not contained in the discussions that are happening here.

• Jed. I am not sure I understand you? I quoted in detail the sections of the papers that mentioned the test-tube air gaps, and how the tops were blocked, because you said you did not know how the tops were blocked but you though anything would leak. So I thought you had not read that part of the paper.

I agree with you. Given it is H or D I think it might leak. The calorimeter enclosure would fill with the positive pressure H/D leakage (or maybe juts the part of that below the Teflon - I am not exactly sure). Then it might leak into the air gaps. That is why I mentioned leaks - which you ridiculed as "magical leakage from the atmosphere".

The leakage question is completely separate from the recombination/evaporation question - see my writeup which makes this clear. (refer back to many past links).

• The flaw is easy to correct. As an example, in my past life when I was an expert on high-temperature chemistry and materials, various universities would ask me to come as a visiting professor. I would give lectures for a few weeks about the details of how such materials behave and how they had to be studied.

Now, I'm only asked to give short lectures at several ICCF conferences about how calorimetry is done. These lectures had no influence as far as I can tell. Instead, a university needs to create a course of study focused on LENR and invite people to lecture about various aspects of the subject. Now, such a lecture could be done using Zoom and recorded for future generations. Instead, all of the institutional knowledge is being lost as the pioneers get old and die. Now, we can only hope that a young mind sometime in the future will discover the information in an obscure journal and have success. Now, the only information of value to the future is contained in the published papers. It is not contained in the discussions that are happening here.

Re lost knowledge, Ed, the google team (and I), and probably many others here all think there is an urgent need to find a reference experiment, replicable and showing LENR effects. The google team, for reasons that remain unclear to me (if LENR is real) did not manage to do this. I don't know if they tried electrolysis excess heat because they have material on how to accurately measure H or D occupancy in Pd. They then say that they can't easily get high loading but if LENR papers were over-measuring loading, then maybe the needed loading is lower, or, as I believe you say, perhaps not needed at all.

Anyway - assuming they did not for whatever reason try to make an electrolysis reference experiment something like your excellent calorimeter could be that.

It would be helpful, for replication purposes, to know:

• Where does the cathode from which those results are obtained lie on your histogram of cathodes? e.g. do you need to try 150 different ones before obtaining that level of excess heat, or is that "typical".
• Given your excess heat / temperature dependence, could the cell be run at a higher temperature with active temperature control via a resistor? That might provide higher excess heat / noise ratio etc.
• What are the specific TEGs you used?
• And probably a few other things about specific details of methodology (though you give most of that)

I am actually quite enthusiastic about the prospects of replication, in which case the little things that I deem important, but no-one else here believes are important, could be done, and explictly checked so that the design would end up very well characterised. That is valuable regardless of excess heat. And maybe it could be the long-sought-after LENR reference experiment.

I think 1% above input power is a bit low for a convincing result, even if all errors can be proven lower than this (which is quite possible). But maybe given the variability of LENR excess heat that 1% can be increased.

Indeed, I am only not enthusiastic when I consider Huxley's law and the possibility that LENR excess heat from electrolysis is not in fact a real nuclear effect.

Perhaps you have considered this already and decided it is not suitable as a reference experiment? i'd be interested in what you think.

THH

• Actually, I find these discussions somewhat helpful. They are a way to sharpen my arguments. In this instance, they push me to carefully re-read the papers by Staker. As it happens I may soon be given an opportunity to talk to some of the people who control the funding, so I need to refresh my memory about some of these issues.

I would not call THH a member of the "skeptical" community. I call that the community of naïve people who will believe any damn thing, no matter how far fetched, as long as it supports their preconceived notion that cold fusion cannot exist, and that all experiments are mistakes.

Yes indeed. It is strange, Jed, that you see the merit of objective critique from somone outside the field, making no assumptions, but at the same time view those who do that valuable job as necessarily being biassed against LENR.

Weird.

• The paper says that fill rate is adjusted to keep liquid level the same from a table of values based on iT only (not iT and temperature).

No, it says the fill rate is adjusted to keep the water level the same. The cell filled with 18 ml of water. There is a mark on the test tube showing how high to fill it. See p. 8 and 9:

"These periods are not part of the calibration or normal operation. At times when electrolysis is stopped, there is no excess power, and the clustered data set at the left and below the line near power-in of 2.850 W is the result of deliberately overfilling the cell by about 1.5 mm from the equilibrium calibration mark, then allowing the electrolysis to run again without syringe pump filling. . . ."

It is not based on a table of iT values. It is measured by eye.

• No, it says the fill rate is adjusted to keep the water level the same. The cell filled with 18 ml of water. There is a mark on the test tube showing how high to fill it. See p. 8 and 9:

"These periods are not part of the calibration or normal operation. At times when electrolysis is stopped, there is no excess power, and the clustered data set at the left and below the line near power-in of 2.850 W is the result of deliberately overfilling the cell by about 1.5 mm from the equilibrium calibration mark, then allowing the electrolysis to run again without syringe pump filling. . . ."

It is not based on a table of iT values. It is measured by eye.

Jed - not sure what the context of "these periods" is. But it is not normal operation. And also not long enough to know much about evaporation.

During the long continuous electrolysis (when the measurements of excess heat are made) the syringes are run for 45 days at a constant rate, or at least that is what the paper says. I am unwilling to speculate contrary to that.

StakerMRpreprintco.pdf (lenr-canr.org)

Maintaining electrolyte level in cells used a Harvard Apparatus Model 22 Digital Syringe Pump outfitted with two
syringes, one with heavy water from Cambridge Isotope with 99.8% D and one with double distilled light water. The
selectable rate of delivery (between 0.002 µl/h and 55 ml/min) was established by developing a table of instrument
input settings for each electrolysis current
. Make-up heavy and light water in the form of small droplets dangled
in the cell head space (lasting about 10 min) before dropping into the electrolyte (Fig. 12) and allowed for thermal
equilibration. Use of the syringe pump (slow but constant rate of delivery) eliminated thermal shock when replenishing
D2O and H2O. Thermal shocks (negative temperature spikes) had been a shortcoming in this field. Sudden large
additions had additional surface area for heat transfer and cooler electrolyte mass for a given power level and upset
excess heat reactions. The effect of over or under filling of electrolyte (eliminated with correct syringe pump settings)
is shown in Section 4.

Edit. These periods in your quote I think refer to testing done without fill-up to detect how the calibration constant changes with meniscus level.

• It is strange, Jed, that you see the merit of objective critique from somone outside the field, making no assumptions, but at the same time view those who do that valuable job as necessarily being biassed against LENR.

Who has published an objective critique from someone outside the field? List the author and title. Who has done this valuable job?

I know of only two critiques of the experimental methods. One by Morrison and the other by Shanahan. I do not think they have merit. See for yourself:

There are many critiques of theory, or based on theory. I don't know much about them, but they are all wrong, because you can never disprove an experiment by pointing to a theory. The best known theory based critique was the book by Huizenga. I do not think it has any merit. His six-point conclusion ends with this a priori assertion that all positive cold fusion excess heat results must be wrong:

"Furthermore, if the claimed excess heat exceeds that possible by other conventional processes (chemical, mechanical, etc.), one must conclude that an error has been made in measuring the excess heat."

He does not describe any reason why any of the calorimetric results was a mistake. To prove this point, he would have to show that every single calorimetric result was a mistake. So would you, of course.

• I did not say published a critique. I have no intention of publishing a critique of the two experiments we have been discussing here. But, as you pointed out, being asked questions from somone (me) who makes no assumptions is helpful. Or, if you believe it unhelpful, you nevertheless said that you found it helpful.

I also want to say that although on the last 10 or so pages here:

(1) I have spent much more time than you reading the two Staker papers and working them out. They interest me and I enjoy it, just as I enjoy thinking about Ed's paper.

(2) I have explicitly answered. With details. Every point you have made. I have admitted error when that exists (the heat burst). Perhaps there will be other things, it is a complex experiment with a write-up that is not as explicit as one would like. But you have not yet substantiated any other errors.

(3) My comment here about these experiments has no dependence on my belief in, or lack of belief in, LENR. Nor should it.

(4) Throughout our dialog you have made assumptions and sweeping generalisations "calorimetrists always measure recombination", "Staker measured evaporation", "changes in heat distribution have no effect on normal calorimeters" (ok - that one is technically correct if you define "normal" to mean calorimeters for which it holds).

(5) I have on the contrary tried hard not to make any assumptions, nor to generalise (a way of making an assumption).

(6) I have also tried not to insult you - but I am only human and being constantly insulted - as you have done - 90% of the time simply because you did not bother to read fully the post you were arguing with - is somewhat wearing.

(7) Nevertheless I am, as always, glad to have someone challenge what I say and test it.

THH

• THH, replication is easy. But, the effort requires knowledge and a willingness to explore. Google did not have this knowledge, would not accept this knowledge, and did not know how to explore. They were strongly influenced by the skeptical attitude, i.e."what is the point of exploring when the phenomenon is the result of error? So, we will do what is easy so as not to waste time and money. If the effect is real, it should be easy to cause."

Your willingness to look for every possible error as an explanation is typical of why failure keeps happening. When a person is only motivated to focus on every possible error, very little time is spent trying to understand the process that causes LENR. For example, you and Jed use up a lot of time debating about the method Staker used while ignoring the scientific implications of the observed behavior. You say you are willing to explore new ideas but when they are suggested, you work hard to show why they have no meaning because they could result from error. If you implicated all of the controls you say are required, very little time and money would be available for the actual research.

As for reproducibility, I can suggest two methods that when used properly will produce LENR. I can also suggest a calorimeter design that avoids ALL of the sources of error. I can suggest experimental procedures that avoid wasting money and time. All of this information has been published. Getting anyone to listen is the problem. When I have been asked for information, it is in the context of an already well-established procedure and theory. I'm not asked how I would design the study and what needs to be learned. These questions have already been answered by other people.

• Jed - not sure what the context of "these periods" is.

It says right in the paper. In the sentence before that on p. 8. The next sentence, about using the "equilibrium calibration mark" to ensure the water level is the same, applies to all periods in the experiment. Staker checks every day to see if the water level has fallen, and then replenishes it by tweaking the electronic syringe gadget to add a little more. The gadget gives a very precise reading of how much water was added.

It is simple. You look at the cell, see that the water is below the mark, and add a little until it is right back at the mark. With a test tube of this size, you can see the water level to within a fraction of a milliliter.

You are overthinking this. It is just common sense chemistry. What people have been doing since the medieval times. Stop worrying about "the context of these periods." He is telling you how he adds make-up water. That's all there is to it.

The
selectable rate of delivery (between 0.002 µl/h and 55 ml/min) was established by developing a table of instrument
input settings for each electrolysis current.

That means they set up the syringe gadget by projecting the likely replacement rate based on electrolysis current. They used Faraday's law. Obviously, if the cell overfilled or underfilled, they would change the delivery rate. Equally obvious, if there was recombination, and they had set up the rate based on electrolysis current, it would soon overfill. They would see the water level is gradually rising above the calibration mark.