Posts by JedRothwell

    They acknowledge that, per their own measurements, only one part in 200,000,000 of the energy is nuclear. The rest is from "some competing process".

    The competing process must also be nuclear. There is no chemical fuel, and no chemical changes are observed. They did not know what this other process could be, but later research indicated it is probably some form of D+D => helium-4.

    You may not agree with the authors that this competing process must be nuclear, but I am 100% sure that is what the authors meant. I know this because I spent a lot of time with them and discussed this in detail.

    You have not addressed my argument, which is that determining whether what was repeated is in fact a nuclear anomaly, or something else, is at best not clear cut. At the time those 100s of electrochemists decided there was no nuclear anomaly worth pursuing - except for a few outliers.

    You are mistaken. Every one of them is sure it is a nuclear anomaly. I do not know any scientist who replicated cold fusion who has expressed any doubt that it is a nuclear effect. The reasons are:

    There is no chemical fuel in the cell, and no chemical changes are detected, so it cannot be chemistry.

    The heat is up to 100,000 times more than any equivalent mass of chemical fuel could produce.

    The effect often produces tritium.

    As far as anyone knows, the effect always produces helium, and x-rays.

    These conclusions were succinctly expressed by the people at AMOCO:

    "The calorimetry conclusively shows excess energy was produced within the electrolytic cell over
    the period of the experiment. This amount, 50 kilojoules, is such that any chemical reaction
    would have had to been in near molar amounts to have produced the energy. Chemical analysis
    shows clearly that no such chemical reactions occurred. The tritium results show that some form
    of nuclear reactions occurred during the experiment."

    You may not believe it is a nuclear effects, but you should not project your belief onto the researchers. I do not think you can find a single paper by anyone who replicated who claims it is not a nuclear effect.

    Also, everyone I know who replicated thought it was worth pursuing. Many were not able to pursue it because they were told that if they did, they would be fired and/or deported and their reputations would be destroyed in the Washington Post, the New York Times, Sci. Am. and the rest of the mass media, by Robert Park and others. They would never again get a job in academic science. As Robert Park told a large crowd of cheering people at the APS, "we will root out and destroy anyone who supports cold fusion." This actually happened to many of researchers, so it was no idle threat. Academic politics are a dirty game.

    I posted a significant argument: Rossi vs. Darden aftermath discussions and on other posts in this thread.

    Perhaps I am missing something but I see only one argument: that Shanahan might be right. I agree with his critics. I think there is no experimental evidence he is right. If that is your only argument the debate begins and ends pretty quickly. You see something to it; Marwan et al. don't. If the reader wants to know more he or she should go read Shanahan and Marwan and judge the issue. I don't see much point to debating it here.

    If you made other significant technical arguments, I missed them somehow. You made several arguments based on society and a supposed consensus. That doesn't count. Even if there is a consensus -- even if the day comes when every living scientist thinks cold fusion is bunk -- that will not count. The only thing that counts is an analysis of the experiments grounded in the known laws of physics; i.e., one that takes into account things like Faraday's law and thermodynamics.

    Huizenga said: "my theory says this can't happen, so it can't happen."said: "my theory says this can't happen, so it can't happen."

    Huizenga is correct, fusion cannot happen as explained by current cold fusion theories, especially the fusion that is purportedly occurring in pure protium (aka Ni/H fusion).

    Huizenga was correct about the theory, but incorrect when he concluded that it cannot happen, or that it did not happen. The experiments show that it did happen, so his theories are overruled. That's the scientific method. When theory and replicated experiments conflict, theory always loses, experiments always win. No exceptions granted.

    Huizenga's exact words were:

    "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."

    One cannot conclude that unless one can point to the error. Waving your hands and saying "there must be an error somewhere" is not science. You don't get free pass for claiming there is an invisible error that someone is bound to find eventually.

    It teaches you how to critically appraise other people's work where there is no consensus, and can be none because individual contributions are unique and in some cases have not been followed up by anyone else.

    As I mentioned elsewhere, there is a consensus among people who have performed the experiments and people who have read the literature. The majority of the ones who have published papers or talked to me believe that cold fusion is real. All of the papers reviewing the experimental evidence are positive, except Morrison and Shanahan, AFAIK.

    There is another consensus among physicists and especially plasma physicists that the effect is not real. However, if you discuss this with them, or read what they wrote in books or the 2004 DoE review, you will see that they have not read the literature, and they have not given any technical reasons why the experiments are wrong. So they are not experts. Their views have no scientific grounds. So you should ignore them. Asking them would be like asking electrochemists how to built a Tokomak.

    Regarding this statement: "individual contributions are unique and in some cases have not been followed up by anyone else." You should have said:

    SOME individual contributions are SOMEWHAT unique, and some have not been followed up by anyone else, but most are similar to the original claims of F&P and confirm those claims. That is what the authors say.

    That puts it in a different light.

    Do I trust your views on these papers? No on general principles, I would not trust even an expert who had outlying views from consensus

    You are confused. The consensus of experts is that cold fusion is real. I do not know any leading electrochemist who disagrees, and I know lots of leading electcrochemists. Perhaps you have in mind the consensus of plasma physicists or nuclear physicists. They know nothing about cold fusion so their views do not count, any more than the views of biologists, bankers or country music fans do.

    When you look for a scientific consensus, you must be sure that it includes only experts in the subject who are well versed in the literature. You cannot include scientists who have not read the literature. If you cite their views, you have made a fallacious appeal to authority (false authority) logical fallacy. As you see from the 2004 DoE panel, many of panel members read nothing and knew nothing. Their "objections" were based on theory or pop science platitudes. Essentially they were saying what Huizenga said: "my theory says this can't happen, so it can't happen." That violates the scientific method.

    But if you genuinely want to discuss science rather than the other crap you seemed obsessed with, let's go back to your 20-minute lecture on the well-formed definition of cold fusion. How about cutting those 20 minutes down to a single paragraph of whatever length required.


    See chapter 1, by me and Mallove:

    If there is really something behind LENR, that neither Rossi nor BLP do really help to accept LENR at all.

    Many years ago the people at BLP told me they do not think cold fusion exists. Maybe they have a different opinion now? Anyway, AFAIK, they do not accept it and they are not promoting it.

    Rossi is certainly not helping the field. He is the worst thing that ever happened to it.

    How's the air up on that high horse?

    I suggest you address the issue. Why are you expressing strong opinions about a technical subject you know nothing about? You agree that you know nothing, and you are contributing nothing. You just said that!

    What are you trying to accomplish? Are you hoping to impress people?

    You mention "personal attacks, speculations about conspiracies, musings about legal trials" and so on. These subjects do come up here. They are not technical. You can comment on them with as much authority as anyone else. You may know more about legal trials than I do, because I know practically nothing. So, as long as the discussion is about one these other things, you should feel free to contribute.

    But, when the discussion turns to a technical issue in a specific experiment described in a particular paper, such as the role of the resistance heater in McKubre's calorimeter, if you have not read that paper, and you have no idea what that that resistance heater is for, then you should not express an opinion. You should certainly not make bold, general assertions about the entire field. Anyone who has read the literature can see you have no idea what you are talking about. For example, this statement of yours is completely off the wall:

    "I think the existence of LENR - to extent that there is even a well-formed definition of the phenomenon - is still an open question."

    As I said, I could give a 20-minute lecture off the top of my head describing the well-formed definition of cold fusion. Anyone who has read the literature can do this. This is not an open question at all. Granted, the experts do not all agree on every aspect of their well-formed definitions, but there is a lot of common ground.

    If you were to say: "I do not agree with the well-formed definition" then we would ask: "Why not? What aspects of it do you disagree with? What experimental evidence do you point to?" You are saying there isn't any definition. That's chaotic nonsense. Mind-boggling nonsense. It is like saying there is no theory of special relativity, so Einstein was wrong.

    If even 50% of your posts are about science as opposed to dissing and dismissing anyone who crossed you, I would be amazed.

    Your recent comments dissed & dismissed yourself more effectively than I can. You yourself boldly told us that you know nothing and you contribute nothing. You said that your comments, "are not moving science in any direction, nor are they intended to, nor could they." Yes! Right. We agree. So, naturally, you should shut up. Right?

    Why do you continue to comment about technical issues? Why on earth do you say things about the "well-formed definition of cold fusion" when you have no clue what that definition is, and no interest in learning about it?

    Personally I'm unwilling to substitute deliberate malfeasance for incompetence when we are at such a distance,

    It is often difficult to tell them apart. Sometimes both contribute to a fiasco. Or what starts off as incompetence devolves into a cover-up and malfeasance. This happens in science, and in other disasters such as failed business ventures, programming fiascoes such at the introduction of Obamacare, and military tragedies such as the Battle of the Somme.

    I can assure you that my comments on this forum are not moving science in any direction, nor are they intended to, nor could they.

    Then why do you make these comments? What is the point? This is a science-oriented forum. If you comments contribute nothing to science, and if -- as you say -- you have not read the papers and you know nothing about the subject, why do you muddy the waters with ignorant, baseless assertions?

    Suppose you were to visit a forum devoted to Italian Opera. Imagine you express strong opinions about a performance of La Traviata. Following that, you say: "By the way, I have never seen this performance. Actually, I have never seen any Italian opera; I don't speak a word of Italian; and I have no interest in music." That would be inappropriate, wouldn't it? It would be idiotic. The people at the forum would say: "Then what are you doing here?!? Why do you have an opinion about something you know nothing about?"

    Why do you think it is okay to do that there?

    If the source is reliable, if the effect is large and sustained for substantial time, if the measurement method is straightforward and well calibrated, and if the presentation is clear, why would someone not consider it?

    What source could be more reliable than peer-reviewed papers in major journals reporting research at Toyota? If 140 W is not large, how big does it have to be? If reactions lasting hours or days, following a week of heat that produces hundreds of times more than any chemical source is not substantial, what would be?

    The results meet all of your criteria. They exceed them by orders of magnitude in some ways. Yet you yourself do not believe them. Heck, you don't even understand them, although this is 18th century physics.

    So: You tell us. What is it about your psychological makeup that causes you & others to reject experimental results that in any other field, in any other context, every scientist on earth would instantly accept? This is your problem, not ours. If these experimental results do not convince you, no results will. You will not believe it until you have permission from Nature or the DoE, or until it is commercialized.

    Unfortunately, in the modern era, many people are like you. They reject science and embrace a weird form of religion in which misinterpreted textbook theory overrules facts. Huizenga was the best example. Or they invent crackpot theories to explain away anything they do not want to believe. Such people have always been common, but I think we are at a low ebb in which they dominate science.

    Unlike you, and others here, it takes me significant effort because:

    (a) I need to read it carefully

    Do you think I have not read it carefully? I spend a month doing that, and then I asked the people at EPRI and SRI many many annoying questions. Before writing this:

    It may be wrong, but it took me a couple of months.

    Tom Passell of EPRI said that I may be the only person he knows who read the whole report and asked questions about just about every section.

    You, on the other hand, have not read it at all, as far as I can tell. Yet here you are pontificating about it.

    The percentage error here does matter because of possible anomalies which give percentage of input power errors, like CCS/ATER.

    First, the percentage is not "error." Electrolysis power is not an error, or noise. It does not add much to uncertainty. Neither is joule heating power. 99% of both can be subtracted with confidence.

    Second, Shanahan's CCS effect does not exist. If it did exist, it would be seen in the data when people move the heat source in a cell, and during calibration. It also violates Faraday's law and thermodynamics. It is wrong for many other reasons listed by Marwan et al. In other words, you are invoking a crackpot theory to support your doubts about a paper that you have not read.

    I'm not willing to use results I have not looked at and checked all details of - since these matter.

    You should not reach conclusions about McKubre's work until you have looked at and checked the details. You should, at least, read the official publication from EPRI. You should not be discussing his work here if you have not read that yet.

    I'm assuming that the results McKubre highlights are the most significant ones, but if others are more significant no doubt someone else can highlight them as worth checking.

    What is this assumption based on? Did McKubre tell you that? In what document is this "highlighted"? All of the results are presented in the EPRI document, Table 3.1. Note that in addition to the 340% excess in experiment P19, four other experiments produced ratios much higher than 5%: 52%, 53%, 24% and 30%.

    Worth noting that of these two figures the 24% is relevant, not the 300% which means nothing since a transient power.

    Transient power? It lasted for 62 hours, after the cell produced 120 hours of excess heat. I would not call 62 hours "transient." There is no way the cathode could have stored that much energy.

    The lower number, 24%, is from the joule compensation heater. It is a function of the calorimeter design. The calorimeter cannot operate without it. It does not reduce confidence. On the contrary, it increases it. Joule heating can be measured with extremely high precision, so there is virtually no noise in it. Because it is measured with such high precision, you can subtract nearly all of it from the excess heat. There is also very little noise in electrolysis power, which can be measured with nearly as much precision & confidence as joule heating. Overall uncertainty is low. A low output to input ratio has little impact on uncertainty.

    You have no scientific basis to arbitrarily claim that 5% above electrolysis power is "low," "insignificant" or somehow questionable. That would only be true if electrolysis power was noisy. Furthermore, there are many examples of higher ratios, and they are not transient.

    We can agree, I hope, that conclusions can be varied. For example, one might conclude that the evidence was too uncertain to conclude anything. Do you call that a conclusion, or not? It is semantics and not worth arguing about.

    Of course that is a conclusion! What else would it be? It is not "semantics" at all.

    A person who thinks that the evidence is too uncertain to reach a technical judgement has reached a definite conclusion. That conclusion being: Not enough information. We cannot judge yet. That is as definite as "surely yes" or "definitely no."

    "Not enough information" is a clear-cut conclusion. It must be supported by evidence just as much as any other conclusion, or it should be ignored. If there is, in fact, enough information, then this conclusion is wrong.

    Indeed, it is flat-out wrong. Asserting that we cannot tell whether cold fusion is real or not is like saying no one knew for sure whether nuclear fission was real in 1942, because it was mighty difficult to make sub 1-watt reactor, there was only one reactor in the world, and there were no practical applications such as bombs.

    Of the results he highlights only M12 had much larger ratio - and that was 10% not 5%.

    I do not know what you mean by "highlights." This is what he said:

    "For the thermodynamically closed and intentionally isothermal systems described here, output power was observed to be as much as 300% in excess of the electrochemical input power or 24% above the known total input power."

    McKubre, M.C.H., et al., Development of Advanced Concepts for Nuclear Processes in Deuterated Metals, TR-104195. 1994, Electric Power Research Institute.

    (Note that total input power includes the compensation heater with this calorimeter.)

    What is your point? Are you deliberately ignoring the high ratio results?

    What are you up to? Let me guess --

    The ratio makes no difference because it does not reduce the signal to noise ratio, but you seem to have latched onto this non-issue as an excuse to dismiss the experiments. I suspect that since the 300% results show you are wrong, and you do not even have that as an excuse, you have moved on to saying these results are not "highlighted" so we should pretend they do not exist.

    I make the statement that I can't really form a conclusion about LENR and you insist that I have formed one.

    ***I did not insist. I observe. You sure act like someone who has formed a conclusion. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, acts like a duck, it's probably a duck. If you REALLY are trying to form a position that you can't form a conclusion about LENR then say that, whenever you put forth an argument.

    "I can't form a conclusion" would automatically nullify whatever he next says.

    As I said, that would be like the politician's get-of-jail-card: "I am not a scientist, but . . ." Hey Senator, if you are not a scientist then please shut up. Also, we see you are not a scientist. No one would mistake you for a scientist.

    Interested Observer is saying all kinds of things here which anyone can see are conclusions about LENR, such as:

    "The quality papers that Jed recommends look to me like very small effects that could well be some sort of artifact."

    Then, as soon as he says this, he says oh but I am not reaching a conclusion, so ha, ha, you can't hold me to it! You can't make me provide evidence for what I just said, because it is not a conclusion.

    Those are conclusions! "Small" and "some sort of artifact" are conclusions. What else would they be? Both are wrong, but they are conclusions.

    If those run without input power, I imagine he won't get much argument and instead will receive many offers. Or (hopefully) is that what the paper is about?

    I cannot discuss specifics about unpublished papers. (I normally do not mention them at all, but I think we are close to publication so I guess it is okay. Mind you, publishing takes months or years so "close" is a relative thing.)

    Anyway, note that in recent years he has reported mainly gas loading, which has no input power. That is also what Kitamura and some others in Japan have been doing, as you see in recent publications. Such as:…Pjcondensedn.pdf#page=238

    Perhaps you can somehow comprehend that "I don't know" means "I don't know" and not "No".

    If you do not know, you should not pontificate. You have made many assertions here that only a person who knows a lot would be qualified to make.

    The quality papers that Jed recommends look to me like very small effects that could well be some sort of artifact.

    If they look that way to you, you have not understood them. First, because in many cases the effects are large, not small. Second, you cannot say "they could well be some sort of artifact." That isn't science. You have to say what artifact they might be. Show evidence. Make your case. Your assertion has to be backed up with as much rigor and proof as the assertions made by the authors of these papers. You do not get a free pass.

    A negative opinion does not get a free pass. When you predicate your opinion by saying "I don't know" or "I have not read this carefully" or "it looks to me . . ." then your opinion is nowhere near as credible as the authors', because they are world-class experts who spent years studying these issues. They carefully ruled out every plausible artifact, and they listed the ways they did this. I am 100% confident that you cannot find an artifact they did not already rule out. In fact, I am confident that you have no specific artifact in mind. In experimental science, you must be specific or you have no case.

    You remind me of politicians who denounce a scientific finding by saying, "I am not a scientist but . . ." That cancels out the rest of their statement. If you are not a scientist, or you have not read the literature carefully, you have no business expressing an opinion.

    Many issues were raised about the paper by Levi et. al.

    They were raised, and then answered by the authors. The authors were communicating back then. They revised the paper. I do not know why they stopped communicating later on.

    t was a while back and I don't recall them all. The hot cat was never the "right experiment" -- the three phase power input, the use of a fourth power computation to derive the output and the presence of Rossi at various points in the work.

    The 4th power computation is not an issue because they confirmed the temperature with a thermocouple.

    (Why they did not do that in the next experiment is a mystery to me.)

    all undermine the credibility of ALL hot cat experiments.

    I do not see how a mistake in one experiment, which was not made in a second experiment, can magically undermine the credibility of the second experiment. Would that be quantum mechanical spooky action at a distance?

    So you still believe Rossi's crappola even now? Wow. Metal stores heat, in case you didn't know.

    Ah, but it does not violate Newton's law or the second law of thermodynamics. Also, the specific heat of metal is about 10 times smaller than water, so it doesn't store much.