Posts by JedRothwell

    I suppose it was in the same state as a gas-loaded metal sample undergoing cold fusion. I would say that is heat-after-death and it is also self-sustaining.

    Granted, this does begin to sound like a distinction without a difference.

    I have in mind that fully self-sustaining electrochemical cell would be one that produces so much heat, a thermoelectric device would convert some of it to electricity, which would sustain the electrolysis. It would be a Rube Goldberg machine. A self-sustaining gas loaded reactor is much easier, because they are inherently self-sustaining as long as you keep them hot. They are also easier to control because to turn them off, you just cool them down. As far as I know, that works. That's what Beiting did. Mizuno clobbered one of his reactions by allowing air into the cell. That's not reversible.

    That's another advantage to using a resistance heater instead of increasing the insulation. For a laboratory experiment, that's easier, it gives better control with a simple mechanism, and it does not interfere with calorimetry or complicate calorimetry the way it would if you removed insulation or injected cold gas to produce a thermal shock. For a practical device, I suppose you would have to keep the reactor insulated and turn it off with a thermal shock. A resistance heater would defeat the purpose.

    I doubt that electrochemical cold fusion can be made into a practical source of energy. That doesn't mean we shouldn't study it. If it reveals the nature of the reaction and contributes to scientific progress, we should study it.

    So are you suggesting that there is no difference? That would be fine by me.

    For gas loading I think they are the same. Not for electrolysis.

    However, I don't think you could describe a slight knee in a cooling curve as 'self sustain'. Or could you?

    Again, for electrolysis or some other method that requires input, that would not be self-sustaining. Especially if the cooling curve slows down but does not reverse direction (getting warmer). However, in the Pons paper, electrolysis has been turned off, and the cell should have cooled before 3 hours elapsed, but it was hot in a fairly steady state. I suppose it was in the same state as a gas-loaded metal sample undergoing cold fusion. I would say that is heat-after-death and it is also self-sustaining.

    I assume the reaction continues because the gas is deloading and gathering at the surface (just below it), and because the sample is hot. Fleischmann said that cold fusion needs an elevated temperature. I think at least 60 to 80 deg C. So, if you cooled off the cathode rapidly with a thermal shock, I expect you would quench the reaction and stop the heat. It will heat somewhat from a chemical reaction (D2 formation at the surface). Perhaps that would trigger cold fusion again?

    There is no particular engineering benefit to HAD or self-sustaining system. They are not a desirable quality. On the contrary, they would be a pain in the butt in a practical heat engine. They would resemble a large pile of burning coal that you cannot easily extinguish. It has to burn out before the power falls. Modern coal fired generators use coal that has been crushed into dust, that burns rapidly and then goes out, so you can extinguish the fire quickly, and you can control the power level.

    There is also nothing particularly convincing about HAD or a self sustaining reaction, despite what some skeptics say. Input power for most systems is stable direct current. It can be measured with enormous precision. To parts per million. Ordinary instruments can measure it with higher precision than just about any other quality. So, it is easily subtracted. It is ridiculous to claim that it interferes with detection or lowers the signal to noise ratio. In a practical reactor, it would be easy to minimize input power. That could be done already, for example by putting the anode and cathode closer together with electrolysis, or increasing the insulation with gas loading. It is not done because it would make the experiment more difficult and it would degrade the measurements and reduce the signal to noise ratio. That is also why people do not use larger samples, even though they would probably produce higher absolute power (all else being equal). It is better to measure 1 W from 10 cm^3 of powder in a small calorimeter (Beiting), than 100 W from a liter of powder in a big calorimeter. The s/n ratio is better, because small-scale calorimeters work better than big ones. People who think that absolute power is important do not understand experimental science.

    Granted, a power level of ~1 W is easier to measure with most conventional calorimeters than, say, 0.1 or 0.2 W. One watt could have been measured by any scientist after 1780. 10 W is even easier. But there is no particular advantage to 100 W. It is not "more convincing" except insofar as it is quite palpable. With a calorimeter of ~1 L, that much heat will burn you! Being palpable does not sway extreme skeptics such as Shanahan, who say the people's sense of touch cannot distinguish between a liter object at 100 deg C and room temperature.

    I think the only difference that might be assumed is one of time. HAD might be visible as a slight 'knee'in a classic Newtonian cooling curve, where as SSM tends to imply evolution of heat over a longer period.

    I do not think that difference applies. HAD is sometimes quite steady for hours, sometimes for days. The duration tends to be longer with a bigger cathode, so it is probably related to the total amount of deuterium absorbed into the metal. The term HAD was originally coined by F&P. Here is a paper by Pons describing it in detail:

    The example he discusses continued for 3 hours in a fairly steady state. See Figs. 8 and 14. It continues long after the cell should have cooled down to room temperature, so it wasn't just a "knee" in the cooling curve, although HAD often does show up as that.

    Pons emphasized that cold fusion tends to stay in a steady state. He referred to this as a "memory." After a perturbation such as shaking the reactor or adding cold heavy water, the reaction rate may change but it wants to return to the power level where it was before. I suppose there is some mechanism similar to what causes burning wood in an open fire to return to the same power level after you disturb it. You blow on a fire, or throw a piece of paper on it, and it flares up. It soon goes back to about the same power level it was before, because conditions are the same. The total exposed area of burning wood, the air that can enter the system, the temperatures, the rate at which the wood is vaporized and water and other fluids are released are roughly the same before and after the perturbation, so the power level resumes. It continues until more wood is burned, or the logs collapse and change the amount of exposed surface.

    (There is a word I cannot recall for a physical system that returns to the same state. Such as a modern plastic toothpaste tube. You twist it or roll it up and it unrolls back to where it was.)

    How even samples from the same batch can be morphologically different, affecting the XH gain. And how the Pd grows in volume (shortens, but widens) with loading, and how that relates to the robustness of the XH.

    It took him about a year to test the Tanaka Precious Metals samples. There were just over 90 samples, as I recall, and he found 3 or 4 that met his requirements. They all produced excess heat. Samples that did not meet the requirements did not produce heat. The requirements and test procedures used to sort the cathodes out are described here:

    It takes a long time to do these procedures manually. About a year, as I said. I believe machines could be devised to speed up the process for laboratory experiments. For commercial production, you would want to manufacture cathodes that fit the requirements in the first place, rather than collecting hundreds of cathodes and winnowing out a few that will work.

    The people at the ENEA also did extensive materials research and characterized cathodes that will work.

    I think most gas loading experiments are in heat after death (HAD) mode, by definition, you might say. You just leave the gas pressure high. You do not add more energy to the system.

    However, in many cases, they require high temperatures, and the reaction does not generate enough heat to keep itself going. So, you have to have a resistance heater. The reaction would keep itself hot if you used a lot of insulation -- a whole lot! -- but that causes other problems. You cannot easily cool the cell down. You cannot regulate the temperature. Also, it takes hours or even days for the temperature to stabilize. Problems such as this led Srinivasan to break the vacuum seal in his Dewar calorimeter. That reduced sensitivity, but it made the instrument easier to work with, and faster. I suppose if you could generate 10 to 100 W in a fairly stable reaction, that would be enough to have a calorimeter without excessive insulation.

    Frankly, there have not been many convincing gas loaded experiments. Beiting is the first really good one, in my opinion. Many of the others look to me like a chemical reaction. Such as:

    (I am not saying I am sure it was chemical, but it wasn't convincing, for the reasons we gave in this paper.)

    Most gas loading experiments are in HAD, but not glow discharge, it seems. It resembles liquid electrolysis. The electrode is constantly deloading so it has to be fed new hydrogen.

    They are not a secret Axil, but precisely described in the post above yours. Here it is again with the appropriate phenomena emboldened. I hope that helps.

    That's it Bob. Since we have calibration curves for matched reactors we can precisely calculate any XSH. . . .

    So, the several different phenomena are excess heat and heat after death. Right? The meaning was a little unclear to me, as it was to Axil.

    Ya know what Jed, you're right---for the claimant. The critic's job is to point out the error.

    You have not pointed out any error yet. You have only said you detected one with mathematics, but you have not told us what this error might be in terms of the physical arrangement of the experiment, or how it might be detected. Until you do this, your statement is not science. It cannot be tested.

    Most of your previous assertions can easily be tested. So I suggest you translate the numbers into a statement about the physical equipment and instruments. Something along the lines of, "the numbers suggest an instability in the temperature measurement" (or whatever it is you have in mind).


    You have not told us what that error might be. I mean what the physical cause of it might be. You have not told us how Beiting et al. can test for the error you have in mind, to confirm they are making it. Until you specify that, your assertion cannot be confirmed or falsified.

    This is a carefully done experiment with numerous calibrations and controls. It is not careless, or unreviewed. So, if this can be explained as a "trivial experimental error" so can millions of other previous experiments using this technique, over the last 150 years. I think it is unlikely that you have discovered a trivial experimental error in such a widely used and reliable experiment.

    The other explanations involve whatever measurement errors could have been present. There is always a long list of possibilities,

    Perhaps there are many possibilities, but you have not listed a single one of them yet. You have to tell us what the error might be, and how Beiting et al. can look for it. An assertion that "there might be many errors" applies equally well to every experiment in history, going back to Newton. No one can look for unspecified errors.

    Neither do I, it doesn't matter.

    If you are saying "neither do I have a physical mechanism in mind" then you could not be more wrong. Not only does it matter -- it is the only thing that matters. This is physics. An assertion that cannot be reduced to a statement about the physical conditions of the experiment, and an assertion that cannot be tested by an experiment, is not physics. By definition. If you cannot say "do this, this and this, and you will see the temperature rise above the calibration curve even though there is no excess heat" then you are not making a scientific statement. That which cannot be tested with objects in the real world, and thereby confirmed or falsified is not science. It is empty sophistry, or playing with numbers that have no connection to reality.

    [Suggests I say:] "When the temperature rises above the calibration curve, one explanation is that there an additional source of heat. There are other explanations. For any deviation, there has to be some physical mechanism, but finding this is often quite difficult. Without reproducibility it becomes impossible to proceed further."

    I would not say that because:

    I do not know of any other explanations. You are the one saying there are other explanations.

    I do not know what physical mechanism you have in mind, so I cannot say whether it would be difficult or easy to find. However, if you do not find it, you have nothing. You cannot make a scientific assertion without at least specifying how it can be physically tested, and you cannot prove it without actually testing and finding it. (Most of your previous assertions were easy to test, as I said.)

    There is reproducibility. This experiment was reproduced in this paper, and in many other labs. It is a close replication of Takahashi et al. The calibration curves were also reproduced several times in this paper. You have to show why your mechanism does not work with these reproducible calibrations, so you have several data sets to work with already, albeit null ones that do not apply (according to you).

    Of course I can. So did Stefan. It's called 'replication'. (followed by doing the math right)

    This experiment has been replicated several times at Aerospace, and thousands of times elsewhere. The same technique has been used millions of times over the last 150 years. When the temperature rises above the calibration curve, the conventional explanation is that there an additional source of heat. You are saying there is another explanation. If so, there has to be some physical mechanism, and you have to be able to tell us what test would reveal this mechanism. If you cannot do this, your theory predicts the same result as conventional theory does, and there is no way to confirm or falsify your claim, so people will say the conventional explanation is correct.

    Note that your previous claims were easy to test, as follows:

    1. Heat up frying pan and see if you tell it is hot by holding it with a potholder, or holding your hand over it.
    2. Remove it from the stove, let it sit for 3 days, and see if it is still hot.
    3. Put a bucket of water in a room and see if it evaporates overnight.

    You have not suggested any similar experiment for your present theory. A theory that cannot be tested by experiment is not science. A theory that predicts exactly the same outcome as conventional theory cannot be falsified and serves no purpose.

    The only slides I've seen are published by Jed on LENR-CANR

    The conference organizers asked for copies of slides which they will upload, but I do not think they have uploaded them yet. I don't see them on the web site.

    Is the fuel the size of a few grains of rice? I recall someone said that earlier in the discussion. Perhaps I misremember? That would put a limit on the maximum power density. Not sure how much.

    I think a grain of rice is basically a cylinder 6 mm x 2 mm, meaning 0.02 cm^3 in volume. Right? I guess 10 grains at 100 W is 500 W/cm^3, which is not that extreme . . . It depends on how quickly the heat is conducted from the fuel.

    Uranium oxide fuel pellets are limited to 180 W/cm^3 but that is because the zirconium rods cannot stand high temperatures. Burning chemical fuel has much higher power density but of course it is vaporized.

    Not 'my' whimsical idea, mainline science's.

    There is no science more mainline than what they do at The Aerospace Corporation. It is among the most mainstream, conventional, reliable and best financed research on earth. It has to be, or airplane engines would explode, and airplanes would fall out of the sky. Airplanes are the safest form of transportation, even though they work under the most extreme environmental conditions, the highest engine temperatures, and the fastest speeds. The corporation has 3,900 employees including 750 PhDs, and revenues of $930 million.


    They spent years on this project, and as you see in the paper, it was extensively reviewed by the staff before publication. Yet you claim they made a mistake that you discovered in an hour. Are you quite certain of that? Has it crossed your mind that you might be wrong, especially since you cannot propose a test that would reveal this error of yours? And all of the calibration tests show nothing.

    No only is The Aerospace Corporation mainline (mainstream) but so are nearly all of the labs that confirmed cold fusion. The tritium detection at BARC and Los Alamos is the best in the world, and they confirmed that cold fusion produces tritium. The three helium detection labs that confirmed Miles in blind tests are the best in the world. The researchers who confirmed cold fusion were almost all distinguished experts. They would never have been funded otherwise. So, you have it exactly backwards. Cold fusion was confirmed by the creme de la creme of scientists at the best labs on earth, because only those scientists had the necessary clout to overcome academic politics. There is nothing more mainstream than cold fusion.

    Or you are incapable of understanding the issues, an interpretation your comments seem to favor.

    This is not about me. You are saying the experts at The Aerospace Corporation are incapable of understanding the issues. You are also saying that even though their calibrations do not show these errors, the errors exist. You should tell us how the researchers might reveal the errors and confirm your hypothesis, if not by calibration. What other tests should they do?

    That is the nature of systematic errors.

    Invisible systematic errors that cannot be detected with a calibration, or by any other physical test. Unfalsifiable errors. Metaphysical errors that you alone, in all the world, believe. Perhaps you are delusional. Surely you are an egomaniac who thinks he knows better than a team of experts who spent years on this experiment.

    Either that or you are trolling us.

    OK then. All of mainline science is fooled. LENR is a raving success.

    It is a success, when you judge it based on mainstream, peer-reviewed journals of physics and chemistry. It is not a success if you get your information from Wikipedia or people who say it is impossible to tell an object is hot by sense of touch. I suggest you stick to conventional, legitimate sources of information.

    BTW, I was not referring to any particular paper. I was writing about your usual response to the "low power" or low Pout/Pin or "short time" critiques.

    You are not referring to any paper at all. Your description is nonsense. But, in any case, this thread is a discussion of the Beiting paper. Shanahan's "statistical methods . . . for evaluation and errors" apply the Beiting papers. So obviously, you were referring to that paper. It seems you have not read it, so you don't know what you are talking about.

    You should not assume that Shanahan's "evaluation and errors" are real, and he actually did find something that experts failed to see over several years. Oh, and that magically does not show up in calibrations. When you believe such things, you are as naive and misguided as a Rossi supporter.

    It is disappointing to read all this quibbling and fussing over claims for small amounts of excess power. If LENR reactions make energy, why hasn't someone, in 30 years since P&F, found a way to make say, ten times the current amounts,

    My stock answer is that if you had any idea how difficult it is, you would be amazed that they can do it at all.

    But then it turns out from the papers that it was for a short time, with questionable methods of measurements, or only one time and not currently reproducible.

    Either you did not read the paper, you are deliberately misrepresenting it, or you have a strange notion of what is a short time. Every statement you made here is false, and contradicted by the paper. I will not bother to point out where because you will probably repeat the same nonsense even if I do. Depending on whether you are ignorant or lying I suggest you should:

    1. Read the paper before commenting on it. You make yourself look foolish saying that 42 days is a short time. What would be a long time?

    2. Stop trying to fool people. Anyone can read the paper and see that it does not say what you claim.

    Well, if it is 'just' an observation with no numerical quality to it at all, then you can't claim it establishes any type of priority to the organization vs. others.

    Yes, you can, using real-world observations and common sense. This is the world's leading aerospace engineering organization. Aerospace engineering is the most difficult, advanced and demanding engineering there is, and it is extraordinarily successful. We know that because airplanes seldom crash. A team of experts there who worked for years on this experiment. It was reviewed and approved by the management. It seems unlikely that such people overlooked a problem that Shanahan found in an hour or so.

    Shanahan's hypothesis is even more unlikely because it is a magic problem that cannot be detected by calibration or any other test, and thus cannot be falsified. It only happens when there is a particular choice of metal, which cannot affect the calorimetry. There can be no physical explanation for such a thing. It resembles his claims that people cannot feel an object is hot by sense of touch, or a 1-liter object will remain hot for three days with no input power, or that a bucket of water left in a room will magically evaporate overnight. In other words, once again he makes claims that anyone should instantly recognize are preposterous. I doubt he believes these claims. I suppose he is trolling us, or hoping to fool people such as seven_of_twenty who apparently cannot tell that Shanahan is spouting impossible nonsense.

    so that statistical methods are not necessary for evaluation and errors of the type Shanahan is calculating simply don't matter?

    The methods and errors that Shanahan is calculating are impossible. They do not show up in calibrations. In other words, there is no test he can propose to show them, or to falsify his claims. If the problems existed he could propose a method of calibration that would reveal them. It is not possible that the choice of metals would change the arithmetic.

    Kirk: I suggest you explain why this 8% shift only occurs in cells with the material produced at Ames in specified conditions, and not during calibrations or with control cells.

    Out of curiosity, how do you measure that?

    It is an observation, not a measurement. People familiar with the Corporation say this, and I think the web site backs it up. If you do not think they are world-class experts, perhaps you should tell us why. Have they made serious errors? Have their other studies been discredited?

    Also note that a 50mW error at 12 W input is a 0.4% error. That's a better calorimeter than McKubre ever made. Do you all really believe Breiting made that good of a calorimeter on his first shot?

    Yes, I am sure he did. I expect McKubre agrees. The state of the art has improved and the people at The Aerospace Corp. are world class. (See: McKubre described his calorimeter as easy to understand but "stupid" (simple minded, rather than ultra-precise). The error in it was larger than several other calorimeters, such as Fleischmann's and Miles'.

    Beiting has made a second, flow calorimeter that confirms the first one. Shanahan cannot explain this, either, except with his impossible hand-waving.

    My position is not strong: I don't consider it proven that Rossi will start mass production at the end of the year.

    Not strong?!? Your position is founded on gossamer fantasies and statements from Rossi, who is demonstrably one of the worst liars I have ever encountered. Again, and again, and again you have been wrong, yet you have have learned nothing. You don't seem to realize that your statements have no real basis at all.

    You can't confuse reports just because they have the same lead author. Every report has its own peculiarity.

    I am not confusing reports. I am saying the dates of the reports, and the order in which they were published, is irrelevant. Based on this report (, it was reasonable to conclude that the authors are competent, professional scientists. I had that impression earlier. I cite this this report as evidence that you or anyone anyone else can read and evaluate. Unfortunately, the next report they published (Lugano) reduced their credibility. Following that, they refused to answer any questions, which hurt their credibility even more. Looking back, I am forced to conclude they were incompetent, despite appearances.

    Come on. You know that the real first report (the one issued in January 2011) is special. Is was the report which triggered the worldwide interest for the Ecat, with all its consequences.

    I doubt that. It was not widely read. It was no more convincing or interesting than many other papers at Rossi was special because he is flamboyant, his demonstrations seemed to be producing dramatically high heat, I.H. gave millions of dollars (when most researchers have gotten no funding at all), and he turned out to be a criminal fraud. That is special. The role of in generating public interest in him is small compared to what he himself did, and what I.H. inadvertently did for him.

    If there were an 8% shift, as Shanahan claims, much of the test shown on p. 20, the calibration runs, and the control runs would be endothermic. They would be swallowing up megajoules of heat. It would be a fantastic coincidence that the calibrations fell exactly on the zero line. This is impossible. Shanahan has a rare talent for inventing impossible physics.