Posts by joshua cude

    Wyttenbach wrote:


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    me:


    Here a citation of a follow up paper contained in ICCF15 [...]


    Well, first, it's not Iwamura's work, and second the authors admit the results are not definite.


    Anyway, by "followup", I did not mean simple repetition. If I remember correctly, Iwamura has reported some results after the 2002 paper, but they are essentially the same experiment trying to increase the rates. By "followup" I meant some sort of orthogonal experiment to improve the evidence. For example, he could try to transmute some radioactive isotopes. This would a million times more sensitive and specific than trying to identify stable isotopes by mass spec. Or, since he claimed energetic alphas were involved in producing the reactions, he could try to bombard the same foil with alphas in a wide range of energies to see if that induced similar effects.


    His first report of these experiments goes back to 1998, reported I think in the most detail in 2002. Since then he has reported the same results repeatedly, with essentially no progress, and (as I recall) only one subsequent experimental effort with more or less the same claims. This is highly uncharacteristic of discoveries of real phenomena, but fits very well to incorrectly interpreted artifacts, which is almost certainly what this is.

    IH Fanboy wrote:


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    Mary Yugo frequently poses a similar question. And the answer is no. But it doesn't stop you, Mary, Gary Wright, and others from trying, despite considerable evidence of LENR, and growing evidence of LENR+.


    It means that the intention could not possibly to stop discovery or evidence of a real effect, because everyone knows that is not possible. Other reasons are not so implausible. Opposition to pseudoscience is a perfectly honorable exercise, and has a well-respected legacy from the likes of Feynman, Bob Park, James Randi, and Ben Goldacre (author of Bad Science).

    IH Fanboy wrote:


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    Which is why they (and others) double down with every LENR advancement.


    Still doesn't make sense. No scientist would imagine that cold fusion could be kept down if it were real. In fact, I submit scientists would expect vindication far sooner than you might, if it were real.


    Therefore, if they thought it was real, they would know that doubling down makes their fate worse. The only plausible explanation for their opposition is near certainty that cold fusion claims lack merit. And if that's their view, they should be free to express it.


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    Why else would you be here?


    Duty calls. https://xkcd.com/386/


    What? Do you think comments in internet forums prevented P&F from developing something with generous Toyota funding. Or prevented Rossi (or anyone else) from coming out with a product? Or is preventing the MFMP from identifying an experiment anyone (qualified) can perform with expected positive results.


    Do you also think that if the internet had existed in 1908, comments could have kept the Wrights from proving they could fly? Or if we had had internet forums in the 40s, we could have prevented nuclear weapons from being developed.


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    Still destined to become the greatest scandal in scientific history, as predicted by Arthur C. Clarke.


    Well, cold fusion does provide fertile soil for scams. If it continues to attract the likes of Rossi and Dardik, who have histories connected to fraud instead of physics, he may well be right.


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    If you benefit from big government, then yes, you are more likely to be pro big government and taxes.


    Again, the beneficiaries of this money (the hot fusion scientists) are not the ones who disburse the funding. Politicians have to be elected, and they hire the bureaucrats, and using tax money for a billion dollar project with promise of results decades in the future is not nearly as popular as reducing energy costs and spending less taxpayer money, while cleaning up the environment to boot. The only plausible bias among politicians and the DOE in the matter of cold fusion is strongly in its favor, and that was reflected by the initial reaction of the world to the P&F press conference.

    Oystla wrote:


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    If experimental results does not fit present accepted theory, it should be exlained, either by identifying the error in measurements or by identifying a new theory that explains the phenomenon.


    Therefore, when mainstream science allow Publishing anomalous results from experimental research, like the Japanese, the rest of the Scientific environment should pick up the ball and investigate the phenomenon. Not, as you state, just ignore the results.


    Science is driven by curiosity, selfishness and ambition. There is no set of rules scientists must follow.


    But curiosity, selfishness, and ambition are most satisfied by making discoveries that are revolutionary and produce benefits to the planet and our species. These are the sort of criteria that are used to determine awards, hiring, and funding, and also influence the ability to commercialize and make money. So, they don't need you to tell them what to investigate.


    And there is no board of directors that decides which scientists should investigate what. When claims are made, whether anomalous or otherwise, it is up to the scientists in academia, or their employers in industry, to decide whether it is worthy of pursuit. They use their background, experience, and wit to help guide their research. They can't pursue everything, after all. Sometimes claims are simply too far out, or so obviously the result of bad science, that it does not merit their attention, beyond a brief glance. Iwamura's work falls into this category. And it is not helped by the fact that Iwamura himself has scarcely followed up on some very obvious checks in more than 15 years.


    Cold fusion, if it were real, would be the most revolutionary and beneficial phenomenon of the last century, and the reaction of mainstream science (and the rest of the world) in 1989 reflects that. As Storms said of the time, "many of us were lured into believing that the Pons-Fleischmann effect would solve the world's energy problems and make us all rich. ... If real, such an important discovery hardly ever happens during a scientist’s career, … To be sustained, this huge bubble of enthusiasm needed some very significant confirming results..."


    I doubt that there was a physics department on the planet that did not in some way kick the tires of cold fusion. And then, when they applied their background, experience, and wit to the subject, the judgement of most scientists was that the claims were the result of artifacts, bad science, wishful thinking, and confirmation bias.


    Those who thought there was or might be something to it -- and there were dozens -- were free to pursue it, and many did. But to recapture the attention of the mainstream would require better evidence, which has not been forthcoming -- at least in their judgement.


    You are free to pursue Iwamura's experiment if you think it has merit. Or if you do not consider yourself qualified, then I wonder why you think the judgement of those who are qualified is inferior to yours.

    Dewey Weaver wrote:


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    Cam - until recently, Iwamura was the lead LENR investigator for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. He moved over to assist the Tohoku University LENR transmutation project. His work at MHI was replicated by a Toyota-funded research company.


    I wonder why anyone looks to car companies for nuclear physics breakthroughs, especially after Toyota's big bust in the 90s with P&F. Toyota may be selling new cars, but they're peddling used science.


    1. Toyota did not replicated Iwamura's work. Just read the abstract to see that Toyota claims transmutation at a rate 100 times lower than Iwamura claimed, which kind of undermines one's confidence. Only in cold fusion (and perhaps astronomy) would a measurement that differs by a factor of 100 be considered a replication. In any other branch of science, the reasonable conclusion is that one or both are likely wrong.


    2. According to the ICCF-17 report, Toyota only tested the Cs->Pr results, and that involves only naturally occurring isotopes of both. They only used mass spec for the measurements, and so a mis-assignment of the peak at 141 can account for results. They do not show any mass spectra, so it's impossible to get any confidence on the assignment. In the Iwamura results, the mass spectra show an unassigned peak at 142 with the same mass defect as the peak at 141, giving some doubt as to the correctness of the assignment. (One possible assignment for the 141 peak that would correlate with the Cs, and with permeation could be Cs2O++.)


    3. All of Iwamura's transmutation claims start and stop on stable isotopes, leaving zero trace of any intermediate radioactive isotopes. Considering the tiny fraction of isotopes that are stable, that seems like a convenient coincidence. If they could transmute a stable isotope into a radioactive one (or vice-versa), it could be detected with orders of magnitude better sensitivity and specificity. Never happens though. (It's much like the only product of electrolysis cold fusion commensurate with heat is -- you guessed it -- a stable isotope (He-4), which just happens to exist in the atmosphere at a high enough level to produce artifacts.) The absence of any conversion of radioactive isotopes, though, doesn't stop them from talking about using their method to remediate nuclear waste. What a joke!


    4. Iwamura's results were published more than 15 years ago, and he himself has scarcely followed up on these revolutionary results with simple checks. Some of the claims have such obvious checks, that failure to perform them saps any benefit of the doubt one might be otherwise inclined to give them. For example, they claim they are producing high energy alphas for some of the reactions, but that should be trivial to detect. Rutherford could have done it for them a century ago, but they don't even try. Or they could take the same layered sample and bombard it with alphas of a wide range of energies and see if it produces what they claim to observe. It's like so many of the cold fusion claims. It's not that an explanation for the observations is necessarily obvious. It's that if the claims were true, they could be demonstrated in less ambiguous, nay completely unequivocal ways.


    5. The results are so implausible that even McKubre and Hagelstein ignored them in their presentation to the DOE panel in 2004.


    There are many other gaping holes in these claims which I have elaborated in some detail before. These claims are far less plausible than ordinary cold fusion, should be far easier to detect, and still in the more than 15 years since the claims, Iwamura still can't identify a single reaction pathway with any confidence. These claims, to a nuclear physicist, rob the field of credibility; they do not add it.

    Rothwell wrote:


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    You are wrong about that. I was working for one of the minicomputer companies in the late 1970s. They fired many people who were in favor of shifting over to microcomputers, including people high in management. Within the mini- and mainframe companies those people were pariahs. Fortunately, they soon got jobs with the growing microcomputer industry.


    That doesn't show I'm wrong. If a minicomputer company that is not interested in making microcomputers fires someone who wants to make a microcomputer, then it's hardly surprising that other minicomputer companies (who also aren't interested in making microcomputers) would not be interested in hiring him.


    What I would find implausible is if the minicomputer community would carefully construct a reputation trap in concert with non-minicomputer engineers or scientists, so that anyone interested in microcomputers would become scientific or engineering pariahs in all of mainstream electronics or engineering. That clearly didn't happen, which is why the microcomputer industry was such a dramatic success.


    Likewise, it is certainly plausible that the hot fusion community would be uninterested in hiring people interested in doing cold fusion research. But mainstream science, and even nuclear physics, is much bigger than the hot fusion community. What I claim is implausible is that the hot fusion community could carefully construct a reputation trap in concert with members outside the hot fusion community, so that anyone interested in cold fusion would become scientific pariahs in all of mainstream science.

    Ascoli wrote:


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    So what? Do you assume that once somebody says something you don't believe, all he said or will say is also unbelievable?


    Of course not. It does mean that what he says should not be taken as automatically true. Especially when it appears inconsistent with my own observations of reports of substantial funding from the likes of Toyota, Utah, Kimmel, EPRI, the governments of Japan, India, Italy, China, and Russia, and the complaints of demotion and shoestring budgets and shut downs from people working with DOD funding.


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    It's a nonsense, and not applicable to JR. He admires Machiavelli, not Pinocchio!


    Apart from the fact that this was not my point, what he said was not just something I don't believe. It is something he himself no longer believes. To his credit, he admitted he was wrong, but it doesn't change the fact that his absolute certainty, let alone run of the mill speculation, should not be regarded as infallible. Whether his stated support of Rossi represented some Machiavellian purpose or poor judgement doesn't change this.


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    And in any case if you analyze carefully the phrase you have reported, you should admit that it is also believable, in some way.


    You do like to split hairs. The quotation was just an example (shortened for brevity) to illustrate that Rothwell expressed certainty that Rossi had the goods, in spite of what you agree are obvious reasons that this certainty was not warranted, and he now admits Rossi probably does not have the goods.


    Sure, for skeptics of LENR, one could make the argument that Rossi's evidence was better than P&F's or McKubre's. But Rothwell is not a skeptic of LENR, so contradictions exist anyway.


    But, Rothwell's following sentences removes this hair-splitting objection: "There are videos and data from the Oct. 6 test. That test is irrefutable by first principles."


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    I was talking about the different attitude toward the CF of DoE vs. DoD, two US Departments.


    Yes, I know. But saying the "DoD has been [cold fusion's] major funder throughout a quarter of century" without restricting it to the US supports this difference more effectively than if you said it was the major *US* funder. After all, P&F left the US for greener cold fusion pastures.


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    He is the CF/LENR librarian, and, as he explained himself, he has analyzed the acknowledgements of thousands of documents he has catalogued.


    "Analyzed" is a bit of an exaggeration. He says himself " ... I do not keep track carefully. I am sure there is a lot I do not know about this."


    Basically, you're relying on Rothwell's impression from his exposure to the literature. But his impression from the same exposure is that LENR is undoubtedly real. You reject the second. I'm surprised you accept the first without question.


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    You are a US citizen,


    You seem a little like the believers making assumptions not in evidence...


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    me:


    Also in this case, you should ask JR for more convincing details. I can only report you a couple of phrases I found on internet. [...]"


    The two quotes you provided indicated previous associations not connected to cold fusion. The self-funding I referred to was for their cold fusion research. This is a matter of record. And after the 1989 press conference, they worked briefly at the Utah funded cold fusion center and then went to France with Toyota funding.


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    me:


    For what I read in his Brief History of ICCF Conferences (4), the (partial?) support of EPRI ceased with the ICCF4 in 1993,


    Well, the final report to EPRI was published in 1998.


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    but McKubre did work on CF/LENR until recently. Who funded him?


    After around 1994, however, he mostly collaborated with other projects, and published very little in the refereed literature. And not knowing who funded him is hardly a basis to assume it was the DOD.


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    "Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised to see the DoD at the top of the hit-parade of all the CF/LENR funders, on a world scale."


    I have no objection to your speculations or guesses, if framed that way. My objection was to your apparently certain assertion that the "DoD has been [cold fusion's] major funder throughout a quarter of century", in which, moreover, the singular (its major funder) sounds to me like a more significant role than being the largest funder.


    As for speculation, I'd be surprised if the DOD spent as much as Toyota.

    Rothwell wrote:


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    I call it sloppy because it was. It was grotesque unscientific cargo-cult thinking.


    Sure, but not long ago you said "Rossi has given out *far* more proof than any previous cold fusion researcher", and now you say Rossi's evidence is weak. So your simple assertion is not good enough.


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    You are deluded! You have no clue what you are talking about, and evidently you have read nothing about cold fusion, or you understood nothing. Heck, just read Miles or McKubre.


    I've read them. They do not represent improved evidence. McKubre kind of admitted weakening evidence in his 1998 EPRI report when he said "with hindsight, we may now conclude that the presumption of repeatable excess heat production was premature, and that this has limited the progress achieved…”. And as Hagelstein said recently, "aside from the existence of an excess heat effect, there is very little that our community agrees on". That suggests there has been essentially no improvement in the quality of evidence. If there were, there would be some parameters everyone would agree on, or some emissions, or some reaction products...

    IH:

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    Lewis and Koonin hailed from Caltech, with a team whose claim to fame was a sloppy replication attempt.


    jc:

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    Not the point.


    IH:

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    This is the point—their skepticism might have been effective with some, but it was never sound.


    No, you're still missing the point. You are arguing that scientists opposed cold fusion for selfish reasons like preserving hot fusion funding. Lewis and Koonin were not involved in hot fusion research, and whether or not you think their objections were sound doesn't matter. They were effective, and they were not recipients of hot fusion largesse.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    This is an appeal to authority. Nature must occasionally retract papers. They are not the end-all be-all. They can make mistakes. The reviewers can have biases.


    You called the work sloppy and cited (appealed to) the authority of Krivit and his co-author.


    Nature is a premier journal, and while they are not infallible, they are certainly more qualified to recognized sloppiness than is Krivit.


    Anyway, time has vindicated Lewis's criticism. That experiment has been all but abandoned with essentially no progress and no improvement in the quality of the evidence since 1989.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    Sure there is. Lewis was incensed by the secrecy of P&F, and stated as much to news reporters. Watch Nathan Lewis confront Dr. Fleischmann and listen to his voice. (You can find this clip pretty much everywhere.) He has the air of youth and arrogance, standing up to one of the most renowned electrochemists in the world at that time. He used this whole affair as a pedestal to advance his career. He had every reason to attack Dr. Fleischmann, and with such gall after carrying out such a sloppy experiment.


    Well, you are right that the fiasco was good for his career. But that is only because in the view of the mainstream, he prevailed, and his experiment convinced a lot of people, whether you think it was sloppy or not.


    As you have said, in science, the truth will out, and scientists know that. Especially for an experiment as easily accessible as cold fusion, scientists who thought there was anything to it would have expected it to be vindicated in short order.


    Therefore, what you call his motivation could only be a plausible motivation if he were all but certain that cold fusion would not prevail. Because if it did prevail, his career would have suffered.


    And the only way he could be all but certain that cold fusion would not prevail, was if he was all but certain cold fusion was bogus. And in that case, he acted honestly and honorably in an effort to reveal the truth. And he has been rewarded for his efforts.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    But that’s the thing: they didn’t view it that way. What with hot fusion reactors that require billions of dollars of research, development, and construction costs. Big science. If you can achieve better results with a simple table-top device, sort of takes the fun out of it, and would have resulted in the loss of the direct tap to big taxpayer dollars.


    Look, the millions goes to research, not so the scientists can by Ferraris. Their salaries are typical of scientists everywhere.


    But sure, if scientists have invested a lot of time and attracted big money for a project, they are reluctant to admit there is a much easier way. I'm just saying that it wouldn't be a crushing blow to their career income, or even career progress. In fact hanging on and attempting to suppress new science would be far worse for their career if the new science were ever vindicated. Again, their adamant opposition is only consistent with their being all but sure that cold fusion is bogus.


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    Hot fusion scientists are literally being paid pensions now. And for what? What have they achieved for the world?


    On average the triple product of density, temperature, and confinement time has doubled every 18 months or so, and if ITER is built, it is likely it will exceed the Lawson criterion for ignition. In a century, today's hot fusion scientists might be given their credit, just as Otto Lilienthal and Samuel Langley are for powered flight, even though they did not themselves accomplish it.


    You know, until a bridge is completed, not one vehicle has been transported across it. But that doesn't mean progress in its construction is useless.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    They made progress in France, but unfortunately, all of the parameters to make a reaction take palace reliably were not known at the time. The clock and the funding ran out. Better and more reliable replication techniques were later developed, particularly by SPAWAR and others.


    Toyota did not go broke. They *stopped* the funding for lack of progress. It took 100k to claim the definitive discovery of the phenomenon. Fifty million more over 6 years was not enough to improve matters, or even to convince the world it was real. It is characteristic of real phenomena that they become more manifest and more reproducible with protracted investigation, even if an understanding is not achieved, just by simple searches of parameter space. See for example, HTSC. It is characteristic of pathological science that as the experiments improve, the effect becomes more modest. Cold fusion fits the latter far better, that is also consistent with a century of robust and reproducible nuclear science.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    Agreed, not in a world connected by the Internet. But they and others can certainly slow it down.


    I find it inconceivable that they could cause a 27 year delay in an experiment accessible as accessible as cold fusion and so widely publicized in 1989, and so widely attempted. The entire modern physics revolution took about 27 years, and that involved dozens of new phenomena on a similar scale, and many new and revolutionary ideas. But in cold fusion, as Hagelstein says, after 27 years, "aside from the existence of an excess heat effect, there is very little that our community agrees on". No progress!


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    joshua cude wrote:


    Large government beuroacracies are less benevolent than you think.


    Saving money does not require benevolence. It represents greed.


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    Their primary thrust is to keep the beuroacracy (and therefore their livelihoods) in place.


    Their livelihoods are benefitted when they benefit their political bosses. And that means getting results that are popular with the public without costing the public money. Hot fusion does none of that. The public (like you) does not have the patience to wait 50 years, and they hate taxes. Getting the same result now, for less money benefits the public, makes the politicians happy, and that ensures the livelihoods of the bureaucrats who made it happen. The DOE would have loved nothing better than a real cold fusion phenomenon. Unfortunately, it appears it is not to be.


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    The more they can spend the better.


    Yea, because taxes are everyone's favorite thing...

    Rothwell wrote:


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    The vast majority of computer scientists, programmers, and computer users benefited from the introduction of microcomputers and personal computers in the 1980s. It allowed an enormous expansion of the field, increased profit and opportunities. Yet despite that, every major minicomputer manufacturer and most of the mainframe computer companies, such as DEC, Data General and NEC, either opposed the introduction of microcomputers or ignored them.


    Right. And it would also be totally implausible for someone to suggest that these companies "carefully constructed a reputation trap in concert with scientists from [other universities or companies who were not similarly threatened], so that anyone claiming positive results (and there were hundreds) or even being associated with [microcomputers] became scientific pariahs."


    And clearly they *didn't* slow Steve Jobs or Bill Gates down appreciably.


    I'm not saying it's implausible that the hot fusion people would oppose or ignore cold fusion. I'm saying it's implausible they could effectively suppress it by constructing a reputation trap with the complicity of scientists not threatened in any way by cold fusion -- indeed, who stood to benefit from it like everyone else.


    So, your example, in which there was no reputation trap supports my point.


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    If that were the only example in history, you might have a point. However, if you read the history of commerce, science, military science and war, banking, transportation, or any other human endeavor, you will find that people in the leading institutions who dominate a field often oppose progress. They often oppose things which would benefit themselves. This is such a common occurrence it is more the rule than the exception.


    Oppose, yes. Successfully construct a bogus reputation trap with complicity of others not threatened by the progress? Totally implausible.

    IH Fanboy wrote:


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    Joshua Cude wrote:


    Lewis and Koonin hailed from Caltech, with a team whose claim to fame was a sloppy replication attempt.


    Not the point. They were effective skeptics, and they did not benefit from hot fusion largesse was the point.


    As for sloppiness, Lewis's experiment was published in Nature, unlike P&F's paper, which was rejected by the same journal. (Nature doesn't benefit from hot fusion funding either.) And Lewis's paper did not need a list of errata a quarter the length of the paper itself


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    Are you absolutely certain about that? No reputation trap at all?


    I'm not absolutely certain about anything, but there is no plausible motivation for the Caltech scientists to conspire together with the MIT hot fusion people to destroy reputations.


    The prevailing sentiment in mainstream science was made clear after the P&F press conference. Cold fusion was welcomed with unprecedented enthusiasm. P&F were treated like rock stars at the subsequent ACS meeting. Nearly everyone wanted it to be true -- no one wanted to be left behind. As Storms put it:



    This "huge bubble of enthusiasm" could not have been plausibly deflated by the greed of hot fusion scientists. Scientists in other fields had no motivation to support such a scheme.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    Agreed. But those working on the tokamaks would be decimated financially.


    Their projects would be decimated. But they are trained scientists -- many of the leaders are academics. They could simply refocus their efforts in other related areas -- like cold fusion.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    Nearly all hot fusion scientists had a visceral negative reaction, and did have considerable influence on the political decision makers. A vocal minority can wield significant influence.


    As I recall, they were pretty careful not to voice visceral negative reactions in that first month. Of course, they might be expected to be the most skeptical because they understand the reason it is so extraordinary better than anyone else.


    But a lot of nuclear physicists were not involved in hot fusion research, and many were strongly sympathetic early on. These include Douglas Morrison (a CERN physicist) who wrote gushingly about cold fusion in his first of many newsletters on the topic. His emails gradually became more skeptical over the following month until he became one of the more effective critics and skeptics of the field, attending all the ICCF meetings until his death around 2001. Others include Carlo Rubbia and Teller, both of whom indicated their subsequent sympathy by pursuing competing fields.


    Yes, a vocal minority can wield a lot of influence, but they can't persuade all of mainstream science (especially not other physicists) to reject clean and abundant energy to nearly everyone's detriment just to benefit the hot fusioneers. What would motivate Morrison and Koonin and Lewis and the entire ERAB panel to be complicit in such a diabolically evil plan. Just. Not. Plausible.


    So, yes, there is a reputation trap in the same way there is a reputation trap for scientists to work on perpetual motion machines or dowsing or astrology or creationism. Most of mainstream science regards cold fusion as almost certainly not real and the efforts in the field to be of low quality. The cure for this trap is good science. The problem is that when good science is done the effect disappears.


    Anyway, regardless of any reputation trap, many scientists worked on cold fusion anyway. And nothing the hot fusion scientists could had done to prevent P&F from developing unequivocal evidence for the phenomenon in their well-funded lab in France. But with vastly more funding and time than they used to make the original claim, they made no tangible progress in France, and Toyota shut them down. You can't blame the hot fusion people for that.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    Oil was never threatened by fission as oil is primarily used for transportation, while fission is primary used for fixed power distribution.


    Good grief. I meant fossil fuel. Coal and gas did not shut fission down either. And while fission turned out not to be as big a threat, the promise of power to cheap to meter was the buzz word of the times.


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    Fission is not threatened by solar, even with government subsidies for solar.


    Well, in Germany fission is being phased out to be replaced by renewables.


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    Tubes were threatened by transistors, but there were no "tubes lobbies" in those days, and much less secrecy surrounding how to build effective and reliable transistors, so the information spread rapidly.


    There were no tube lobbies because it would be futile, just as trying to suppress cold fusion would be futile if it were real. And secrecy in cold fusion in the early days was no greater than in transistors. Certainly by now, all the P&F procedures are disclosed.


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    On the other hand, LENR+ threatens all energy interests.


    Not with what's been demonstrated publicly so far, which is just heat with a COP no better than a heat pump.


    Anyway, with the advent of electric cars, just about any energy source competes with all other.


    But it doesn't matter. Clean, abundant, and inexpensive energy benefits everyone else. The standard of living of everyone would improve, as would the environment. Energy interests can't stop that. And the enthusiasm of 1989 shows how hungry the planet is for something like what cold fusion promised.


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    joshua cude wrote:


    The reference to greed was not aimed at the DOE. But rather, the reference to greed was to those receiving millions in funding per year (hundreds of millions over the years) for their hot fusion research.


    I know that's what you meant. But the people who make the decisions about funding are at the DOE, and they consult scientific experts who do not benefit from the funding. The DOE people are human too, and they would be motivated to save the billions they have to spend on hot fusion if they could get the same results in a much cheaper way.


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    Soon after the announcement, congress was seriously considering diverting significant portions of this funding to cold fusion research efforts. This is what caused great consternation in the hot fusion scientific circles, and the reason for their vociferous opposition. It might not be plain to you, but it is to me.


    Again, hot fusion does not create wealth. It consumes it. Even if the hot fusion people were motivated by greed to lobby against cold fusion, the DOE would be motivated by greed to support cold fusion, as would the experts they consulted. And all the power is with the DOE.

    Ascoli wrote:


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    me:


    I rely on what JR wrote on Vortex.


    You rely on the person who said in 2011 that "Rossi has given out *far* more proof than any previous cold fusion researcher," even though you have argued that the 2011 demonstrations were fatally and obviously flawed.


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    (1) "http://www.mail-archive.com/vortex-[email protected]/msg64637.html"


    "The US military is in favor of cold fusion and it has a great deal of political and economic power. Most cold fusion research in the US for the last 20 years has been funded by the military"


    The qualification "in the US" is not part of your claim. As I said, much funding has come from the Japanese, Indian, and Italian governments, and Toyota. Even in the US, I would need better evidence than an assertion from Rothwell. The EPRI, the state of Utah, possibly SRI, Sidney Kimmel, the angel for Lattice Energy, NASA and lately Cherokee have supported some research into cold fusion. If by most he means more than half, it's possible, but I'd be surprised. Anyway, it is a long way from funding most of the cold fusion research on the planet.


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    (2) "http://www.mail-archive.com/vortex-[email protected]/msg103252.html"


    "Government has also been nearly the only source of funding for cold fusion since 1989. Fleischmann, Pons, Miles, McKubre and nearly all others were funded by the British and U.S. governments, mainly from DARPA and other military sources."


    This makes no sense. Fleischmann and Pons were self-funded until 1989, and then presumably they worked with the Utah center for cold fusion (state funded), and then they moved to France and were supported generously by Toyota. After that, Pons quit the field, and Fleischmann mainly collaborated with other groups. McKubre had substantial funding from EPRI, and wrote a detailed report for them. EPRI is neither government nor military. Miles was in the military, but he (the story goes) was demoted for his cold fusion efforts.


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    (3) "http://www.mail-archive.com/vortex-[email protected]/msg103986.html"


    "Fortunately (I guess it is fortunate), cold fusion has numerous weapons-related potential applications, so it has been kept on life-support by organizations such as DARPA. You must understand that DARPA's fundamental purpose is to find better ways to blow people up. That is the purpose of most of the R&D money spent by the U.S. government."


    You are using idle musings to support your case.


    Quote

    (4) "http://www.mail-archive.com/vortex-[email protected]/msg106173.html"


    "Government is still the only source of money in the field, mainly from DARPA, the ENEA and the Japanese government." ... "No research in cold fusion could have been done without institutional support." ... "There is not a single important technology in which the U.S. and British governments did not play a key role."


    First of all "government" is not a synonym for DOD, since the statement explicitly includes Italian and Japanese governments, and not all government support is military.


    Second, unless he is including Toyota, then he is calling the work of P&F in France "no research".


    Third, whether it's true or not that the US or British governments have played a key role in every single important technology, (a) the US or British governments are not the DOD, and (b) much cold fusion research in India, Japan, France, Italy, and Russia did not involve the US or British governments.


    So, you have failed to support the claim that the "DoD has been [cold fusion's] major funder throughout a quarter of century."

    IH Fanboy wrote:


    Quote

    But I must say, it is a characteristic of pathological skeptics to dismiss evidence out of hand and yet have absolute certainty in the absence of evidence.


    I have not expressed absolute certainty. I have often said that with the right evidence, I would accept cold fusion as real in a heartbeat. And I have often described the kind of evidence that would do it.


    I'm just that open minded.


    It is the believers who have closed their minds to the possibility that they might be wrong.

    IH Fanboy wrote:


    Quote

    To the contrary, cold fusion lost its acclaim when certain hot fusion scientists from MIT altered experimental evidence,


    Again, they were only one, and not the most effective groups of skeptics. The turning point, according to some, was the slam dunk duo of Lewis and Koonin, neither of whom were hot fusion beneficiaries.


    Quote

    and then carefully constructed a reputation trap in concert with scientists from Caltech, so that anyone claiming positive results (and there were hundreds) or even being associated with cold fusion became scientific pariahs.


    Totally implausible. The vast majority of scientists would benefit from cold fusion as humans and from the increased availability of funding when the tokamaks were shut down. The initial reaction in 1989 showed where the sentiments of most scientists lay -- strongly in favor of cold fusion. A tiny group of hot fusion researchers could not change that sentiment in all of mainstream science for their own benefit and to the detriment of science in general. If that were possible, oil researchers would have shut down fission, and fission and oil would have shut down wind and solar, and tubes transistors, x-ray researchers MRI, and so on...


    Quote

    This, in a stomach churning bid to save their flow of hot fusion funding.


    Again, hot fusion funding *costs* the DOE money. Greed would dictate that they would favor cold fusion to save that money.

    Wyttenbach wrote:


    Quote

    me quoting Neil deGrasse Tyson:


    So all the successful replicators were lying, according Your logic...


    First, I was quoting NDT. I wouldn't put it that way (it took 40 days to become clear), and the misattribution is discourteous.


    Second, your logic is faulty. They could simply have been mistaken, as they almost certainly were.


    And Third, your side has no difficulty in attributing lies to an entire team at MIT, and essentially all of mainstream science.

    IH Fanboy wrote:


    Quote

    me:


    Neutron detection has never been a consistent hallmark of cold fusion, despite the anomalous heat. So attacking P&F on this point won't get you far with LENR enthusiasts.


    I actually don't expect to get far with LENR enthusiasts not matter what I do.


    But the point of the neutron comment was in reference to the credibility of P&F. They were initially believed by a great many scientists because of their credibility. But to make such a mistake with neutrons, when claiming fusion, demonstrated surprising sloppiness. After that, their credibility was not enough. And when the evidence was examined, it was not enough either.

    IH fanboy wrote:


    Quote

    me:


    Don't you think such actions and statements were capricious and premature? Especially since P&F made clear that it took weeks for the hydrogen loading to complete as a prerequisite to a successful experiment? And further explorations made clear that the palladium also required unique characteristics? And yet, the whole field was summarily dismissed within days of the announcement.


    Well, NDT exaggerates a little. I put the quote in to show that he is a skeptic of cold fusion in spite of the quote Rothwell provided.


    It took some 40 days for the tide to turn. And those 40 days seemed to be enough for some to claim replication. But it was not only the failure of most to replicate, but also the examination of the evidence that P&F presented that led to widespread skepticism. They had been given the benefit of the doubt, but when the sloppiness of their paper became apparent, particularly their amateur mistake with respect to neutron detection, their credibility was lost.

    Rothwell wrote:


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    me:


    Not exactly. The second panel was given two questions:


    1. ‘Is cold fusion a nuclear effect’: 10 said No, 6 said Yes, and 2 answers were unclear or undecided.


    This is not true.


    Only one said the evidence for nuclear reactions was conclusive. One or two found the evidence compelling but were explicit in stating it was not conclusive.


    The summary document states: " The preponderance of the reviewers’ evaluations indicated that Charge Element 2, the occurrence of low energy nuclear reactions, is not conclusively demonstrated by the evidence presented. One reviewer believed that the occurrence was demonstrated, and several reviewers did not address the question. "


    Quote

    2. ‘Should this research be funded’: 3 said No, 13 said Yes, and 2 did not respond to the question.


    This is not true either. None of the members recommended funding outright. They recommended that "funding agencies should entertain individual well-designed proposals... [that] should meet accepted scientific standards and undergo the rigors of peer review".


    That is the job of funding agencies, so it was a sop to the applicants, after a critical review.


    The implication is that the proposal in front of them did *not* meet the necessary standards for the allocation of funds, which was unanimously rejected.

    Rothwell wrote:


    Quote

    me:


    Just as globes are meaningless to members of the Flat Earth Society, and evolution does not exist as far as Creationists are concerned.


    Exactly, and if were to offer an example of a scientific truth to a creationist for some purpose, you would not choose evolution.


    "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."― Neil deGrasse Tyson


    Quite true, but beside the point.


    "Look what happened when [P&F] claimed in a press conference to have created "cold" nuclear fusion on their laboratory table. Scientists acted swiftly and skeptically. Within days of the announcement it was clear that no one could replicate the cold fusion results that P&F claimed. Their work was summarily dismissed." -- Neil degrasse Tyson

    IH Fanboy wrote:


    Quote

    What actually happened, is that they (at least some at MIT) got a chance to examine the evidence, and then alter the evidence, to protect the millions of dollars of annual funding of their hot fusion research efforts, as carefully documented here.


    Even if this claim were true (and I don't believe it), many others examined the evidence -- in particular, two panels of experts enlisted by the DOE -- and found the evidence for nuclear reactions unpersuasive. It is inconceivable that the MIT scientists would risk scientific misconduct by suppressing positive results, because as you've argued, they would expect that the truth would come out, and their careers would be destroyed.


    As for the MIT results, the raw data indicates some 35 mW of power, easily consistent with calorimetry artifacts, which they carefully outlined in an appendix. So, even without the data "adjustment" there was no smoking gun in those results. They're as marginal and noisy as the rest of the evidence for cold fusion.


    BTW, the evidence of data manipulation in favor of LENR by McKubre, as documented by Krivit, is at least as compelling.

    Rothwell wrote:


    Quote

    MY:


    Not necessarily. Low powered LENR is real, and it may well lead to a high powered version, if it can be controlled. But it is not widely acclaimed or universally sought after.


    For those of us who reject (or are highly skeptical of) your premise that LENR is real, this is meaningless.


    When the world thought briefly that it was real in 1989, it was widely acclaimed and universally sought after. It lost its acclaim when the evidence failed to support it, and scientists became skeptical of its veracity.


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    History is full of example of useful technologies that were ignored for a long time, or even reviled.


    None that are even close to cold fusion. As Storms has said, were cold fusion to be vindicated, it would be unprecedented.


    I don't know of an example of a legitimate small-scale (bench top) physical phenomenon that was rejected with near unanimity for decades after the experimental evidence for the claim was fully disclosed and widely tested around the world. The closest I have seen is Semmelweis's hand-washing more than 150 years ago, at a time when science moved rather more slowly, before the days of internet publicity, and even in that case, Semmelweis was vindicated in about 20 years.


    When you add the condition that the phenomenon was at first widely accepted with uncommon enthusiasm, indicating the inclination was *towards* acceptance, then rejected with near unanimity, and finally vindicated, I am not aware of *any* precedent

    Wyttenbach wrote:


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    What about the sixty years of hard commitment to hot fusion??


    This is the usual rejoinder. But it doesn't stand up. You have forgotten to take account of (1) the difference in *scale* and (2) the difference in what is claimed.


    (1) The reason the world was so excited about cold fusion in 1989 is because it is orders of magnitude smaller in scale (temperature, size, cost, time, etc) than hot fusion, and so, if the phenomenon were real, exploitation would be realized quickly. Experimental iterations in cold fusion cost in the tens of thousands and take weeks, or months at most. In hot fusion, the cost is billions, and iterations are measured in decades. So, if you divide hot fusion's 60 years by the scale difference (at least 1000), it amounts to a matter of weeks of cold fusion research.


    (2) Since the beginning, the claims in cold fusion have suggested useful products were imminent. The claimed COP has been high enough to support self-sustained operation, and there have been many claims of self-sustained operation. From that to a commercial product is a small step. Pons expected a product within a year back in 1989. In the mid 90s, Rothwell and Mallove predicted we'd be driving cold fusion cars before the end of the decade. Patterson's kW claims of the 90s suggested a viable product. There have been at least a dozen companies formed with the intention of commercializing cold fusion. Rossi claimed he heated a factory for 2 years almost a decade ago, and in 2011 he claimed he had a product ready for market.


    In contrast, hot fusion has never claimed ignition (self-sustained reaction), or that hot fusion products were imminent or ready for market, or that factories have already been heated by hot fusion. The large-scale efforts (tokamak and ICF) have never claimed commercial viability in less than 2 decades, let alone in the present or past. Of course the early speculations have proven to optimistic by a factor of 5 or more, but not meeting a long-term optimistic speculation is different from not delivering something claimed to already exist.


    Moreover, hot fusion has produced unequivocal evidence of nuclear reactions, consistent with well-established theory, and it is not questioned, even by its opponents. And quantifiable progress in increasing the triple product has been steady, if slower than hoped. Under these conditions, and considering the scale of the effort, some patience is not too much to expect. In the case of cold fusion, evidence for the claims is largely rejected, and is contrary to expectations based on consistent, reproducible, and robust experimental results.


    Quote

    LENR delivers COP's in the range of 1..600 by now, but yet nothing to buy, except 1MW......


    These are claims with marginal, erratic, noisy evidence that has been examined and rejected by mainstream science. But the claims of high COP is really the point. If the COP were 600, self-sustained operation (infinite COP) would be easy, and that would lead quickly to a viable commercial product. And no, I don't think you or I could buy a working 1 MW cold fusion reactor at any price.


    Quote

    Hot Fusion delivers COP's of -100000 to - 100'000'000'000.... [...]


    - (negativ) COP means: You deliberately spoil energy....


    This appears to be a new definition of COP. Using the definition used in cold fusion, the COP in hot fusion is larger than 1. All the input energy eventually ends up as heat, and the evidence for fusion is unequivocal and uncontested, so that means more *total* energy out than energy in.


    Of course, it's not a useful figure of merit for hot fusion. The useful figure is Q, which is the fusion energy out divided by the energy absorbed by the fuel. When the fusion energy that remains in the fuel as heat (about 20% in DT fusion) exceeds the external energy absorbed, the fuel ignites, and the external energy can be turned off. Just like chemical combustion. So, for DT fusion, Q>5 is needed, and they are aiming for Q=10 with ITER. So far, Q=1 has been reached in ICF. They call it break-even, but it's just a psychological milestone, because it does not facilitate ignition.


    Quote

    and you will never buy anything.


    I prefer to keep an open mind and not dismiss hot fusion dogmatically. People also claimed heavier than air flight was impossible, even while birds flew overhead. People like Kelvin thought they could refute its feasibility, but fortunately, there were brave scientists who ignored such naysayers, and forged ahead anyway. And now we should all be thankful for the brave hot fusion scientists who reject dogmatic statements of impossibility, even as the sun shines overhead, and forge ahead with their research. One thing the naysayers of flight didn't take into account was human ingenuity and perseverance.


    But then, I'm an incurable optimist. Still, I don't actually expect hot fusion in my lifetime, but I hope future generations will benefit.

    frankwtu wrote:


    Quote

    'First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.' - Mohandas Gandhi


    "To be a persecuted genius, it is not enough to be persecuted." - Isaac Asimov


    Or do you think that any idea, no matter how whacky, must be right if someone ridicules it?


    Do you think that hot fusion will eventually win because of the frequent ridicule it receives from cold fusion advocates?

    Ascoli wrote:


    Quote

    This is a quite surreal situation, similar to the one in USA, where the DoE deemed the CF/LENR not suitable to be funded, while the DoD has been its major funder throughout a quarter of century.


    Do you have some evidence to support this? You do like to cite things.


    I think most of the funding for cold fusion has come from outside the US, which is why P&F left the country, but in any case, from other than the DOD.


    Toyota spent somewhere between 50 and 100 million on the IMRA labs in France and Japan. The Japanese government put about 25M into a New Hydrogen Energy (?) program. The EPRI funded McKubre to the tune of millions. Utah spent 5M on a cold fusion institute. Kimmel has given 5M to Mizzou, and unknown amounts (probably more) to Energetics before that. And presumably all the startups like Lattice Energy and Jet Energy and Brillouin and others had their angels as well. The ENEA has supported LENR as has the Indian government. And the closely related BLP has got 80M in investment.


    There has been isolated activity sponsored by the DOD as well, but Miles complained he was demoted for his cold fusion work, SPAWAR complained that they had to do their work on their own time and on a shoestring budget. And the budget items for cold fusion I've seen on-line (that someone linked to) were rather small compared to the $500M that Storms estimates has been spent in cold fusion.


    So, it would be hard to justify the DOD as "a major funder" of LENR, let alone "the major funder".

    IH Fanboy wrote:


    Quote

    Commercially viable LENR systems is a relatively new possibility.


    In 1989, when much of the world took P&F seriously, commercially viable cold fusion was on everyone's mind. As Storms said, ""many of us were lured into believing that the Pons-Fleischmann effect would solve the world's energy problems and make us all rich." That's why it was such a huge story, on the cover of every major journal, and cheered by thousands of scientists at the ACS meeting.


    Quote

    I'm pretty sure that you know that prior to the LENR+ development of the last few years, LENR was basically a lab curiosity with low reproducibility


    The world does not go crazy about a lab curiosity with low reproducibility. Cold fusion was a huge event in 1989 *because* it appeared to offer commercially viable fusion energy. It subsequently became a lab curiosity when the evidence failed to stand up to scrutiny, and nothing in the last few years has changed that.


    And by the way, if by LENR+ you mean nickel-hydrogen, that dates back to the 90s as well with Patterson's kW claims and Piantelli's experiments.


    Quote

    (which, by the way, left it in a nice safe comfy place for the trillion dollar energy interests of the world, including the hot fusion academia folks). Now that evidence is emerging from multiple quarters in support of the viability of LENR+ systems, the sleeping dogs are beginning to awake, and foam at the mouth.


    Cold fusion received far more attention in the 90s and even 00's than it is receiving now. In the 90s, the publication rate in refereed journals was 10 times higher than now, and attracted enough attention to warrant a DOE expert panel to examine the evidence in 2004. In 2009, 60 minutes did a story on it. Both ACS and APS ran LENR seminars at their annual meetings for several years around 2010, but have now abandoned them. SPAWAR LENR research was in full swing in the 00s, but has since been shut down.


    What we have now is Rossi making claims that he has not proved, and mostly unqualified people getting excited about it.


    What are you referring to with your sleeping dogs metaphor? I have not seen anything that fits. Surely you don't mean comments in internet forums!


    Quote

    The present situation is not acceptable to these folks, because it threatens their financial interests. This is not conspiratorial. It is simply humans protecting turf, which happens all the time.


    The vast majority of people, including scientists would benefit immeasurably from successful commercialization of cold fusion. That's why the initial response to P&F in 1989 was overwhelmingly positive. Most people did not expect that scientists like P&F could get something like fusion wrong, and so they assumed a solution to our energy problems was at hand. The accounts in any journal of the time show this, and the best summary of the excitement of the time can be found in Storms' 2004 book, in chapter 2.


    This completely contradicts this popular narrative of self-interest and greed among scientists and others.


    Quote

    Because financial interests are at stake, people are greedy, and academia don't want to come out of this affair with egg on their face.


    What happened in the weeks after the P&F press conference was not that scientists suddenly remembered their financial interests, or that they suddenly remembered that they were supposed to hate clean and abundant and cheap energy. What happened was that they got a chance to examine the evidence, and it simply did not stand up.


    And your example of hot fusion suggests you are not clear on the concept of greed. Hot fusion *costs* money. And the people who make the funding decisions (the DOE in the US) are the ones who have to *spend* the money. Cold fusion is in the interest of the DOE because it would save them billions of dollars, not to mention the environmental, strategic, and therefore political benefits for the government it represents.


    Moreover, the most effective critics of cold fusion have not been beneficiaries of hot fusion (or fossil fuel) largesse.


    Quote

    But in the end, nature does not lie, and truth always has a way of eventually being set free.


    Yes, and scientists understand that as well as you, which destroys your argument that they are trying to avoid egg on their face. By opposing cold fusion, they would be *increasing* the amount of egg on their face if it were ever vindicated. That means they must be all but certain that it is not a real phenomenon, and if that is the case, they are well-justified in voicing their view.

    Ascoli wrote:


    Quote

    As for the "oil prices" issue, mentioned in a your own quote, you know that it is not a conjecture of mine, but I always referred to these two mails of JR on Vortex:[...]


    So, I let the author of these 2 mail, who already liked your comment, to explain you their real meaning.


    You have missed the point. Maybe it is your poor command of English.


    If I remember, Rothwell simply said that widespread belief in cold fusion would affect oil prices. That is self-evident. My point was that was that you cited that idea as a possible motivation for some entity like the American military (which burns a lot of oil) to hire Rossi to be an "actor" and lie to the public about the functioning of the ecat.


    Quote

    The same for the aphorism of Stan Szpak that I found on this comment of him:


    Again, you miss the point. It was the context of your citation of these comments that hinted at the conspiracy theory that I claim is extremely implausible.



    I'm afraid your subsequent ramblings about Churchill do not improve the clarity of your ideas. Maybe it is your English.


    Churchill's speculative prediction about fusion from 1931 was wrong. Hmmm. How does that inform the debate?


    And if Leonardo da Vinci had predicted in 1500 that man would succeed at flight in 50 years, would the failure have made a difference one way or the other?