Posts by JedRothwell

    It is a logical consequence. If you have occasional intermittent active run spikes you need enough calibration time to be sure that whatever caused them has had time to appear in cal too - if it is the same for active and cal.

    By that standard, we should reject the top quark and other rare events from high energy particle physics. They don't do blanks. If they spend 6 months colliding particles, after they find a few collisions producing what they are looking for, they do not spend another 6 months finding nothing before declaring success. The entire run is considered active. We should also reject all observations of super-novas, because after astronomers find one, they do not spend years not finding one, as a blank. (Astronomers don't actually look for them at all; the moment one appears is the active run, and there is nothing like a blank run. But the fact that they seldom appear is not taken as evidence they do not exist, or that they are are instrument errors, which is what your standard would lead us to conclude.)

    A calibration should cover all likely events, and all variations in power levels or ambient changes. It should be statistically valid proof that the instrument is working. If you demand that a calibration last as long as the active run, that would lead you to reject nearly all cold fusion results, and most results in other experiments as well. People seldom do as many blank tests as active ones. They seldom devote as much time to blanks as to active experiments. Although, I would point out, Will et al. actually did more blanks, over a longer time, than their active tritium experiments, if you count their tests of unused samples. They got 4 out of 4 of the active cells, 0 out 4 of the control, and 0 out of 150 unused samples:

    Since you reject Will et al. along with all others cold fusion results, you don't actually believe your own standard here. You made it up on the spur of the moment as an excuse to reject Zhang. You would make up some other arbitrary standard to reject Will.

    As for the R20 replication it seems to me to be an ideal candidate.

    Maybe not ideal in every way, but pretty good. It has some practical advantages:

    The researcher who did it is still alive, unlike Fleischmann.

    The researcher is cooperative, unlike Takahashi et al. and many others.

    The Ni-Pd reactant materials are available, unlike Fleischmann's Type A palladium, or the materials used by Takahashi et al. Not only is the material available, but we would send them a prepared mesh if they ask. (I would like it if they would pay the $400 it cost me, because they have billions.) Or we will send them a chunk of the super-productive mesh that produced 250 W, if they agree to give us an analysis of it that we can publish.

    Perhaps they want to be cautious. In that case they should wait for several others to replicate it first. As I said before, if they want intellectual property that would be a mistake. They should move quickly because the low-hanging intellectual property fruit is everywhere you look in this experiment.

    Suppose there is some intermittent (like, happens only on Mondays) change in the environmental conditions. Thus: lower water pressure means the cooling tubes develop air bubbles. Or, some metallic join connects or not. Or something. In the real world you can never be sure there are no such environment-determined unexpected errors.

    More bullshit, invented just now to cover up your previous bullshit. Yes, of course a calibration should continue long enough to detect problems. Yes, as I said, it should be conducted at different power levels, and it should be repeated before and after the test. But that is not what you said. You said the duration must be comparable to the duration of the test:

    "We'd need to know that the sequencing and length of the calibrations was comparable with the active runs."

    You made that up. It is an excuse to ignore the data. If you applied that standard, it would be an excuse to ignore every experiment on record, because no one ever calibrates for as long as an active experiment continues.

    [The comparative time scale of the two events has nothing to do with it.]

    Well, I only partly agree. The longer the calibration runs the more the influence of ambient conditions (like the weather) becomes visible and can be taken into account.

    Yes. As I said: "You need to continue the calibration long enough to reach a stable temperature and stay there for a while." Ambient condition changes are the sort thing I had in mind. But I said the "comparative" time scales, meaning the duration of the calibration versus the active run. The recommended duration of the calibration depends on various factors, but the duration of the active test is not among them.

    Max Nozin wrote:


    page 21 is like relevant to Mizuno reactor

    Let me quote more of that paper, for convenience:

    Mastromatteo: LENR evidence with hydrogen and deuterium loading in thin palladium films

    U. Mastromatteo
    Via S. Stefano, 27 – 20010 Bareggio – Milan – Italy
    [email protected]

    We have seen interesting evidence of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) experimenting with hydrogen and deuterium loading in thin palladium films deposited on inert supports or on other metals such as Nickel or Titanium.

    Nuclear signature

    Several types of experiments were performed at the ARGAL laboratory in Bareggio, in particular using thin films of palladium in an H2 or D2 atmosphere at various pressures. The laboratory is equipped with instrumentation suitable for the detection of neutron and gamma emissions with a He3 detector and a multi-channel detector with a 3-inch NaI crystal.

    All the experiments carried out have been monitored with these instruments and in many cases it has been possible to detect neutron emissions attributable to nuclear events inside the reactor. Some of these anomalous events were short-lived, others were prolonged for several minutes. Apart from one particular case, the events were modest. In any case, this evidence shows yet again the nuclear nature of LENR phenomena, in the past highlighted by clear episodes of nuclear transmutations in similar conditions where it had been possible to analyze the material with the appropriate techniques at the end of the experiment. . . .

    I am also confused.

    Confused why Ascoli and Huxley cannot understand that to do boil off, you would have to know FIRST If the Palladium Cathode is LENR active or not.

    And to find which Palladium cathodes are LENR active, you would NOT just jump to boil off, but OF COURSE do more controlled calorimetry experiments.

    So, boil off is NOT used to prove LENR, but an EXTENSION of LENR at higher temperatures in wet Pd/D cells.

    Exactly right. Well said.

    None of those [McKubre etc.] found reproducible excess heat (or anything else).

    Yes, they did. They all did, to some extent, but especially McKubre, Miles, Storms and Fleischmann did. That is the basis of McKubre's equation showing the control factors for heat. It is the basis of Storms' "How To" paper.

    Here's the thing: You cannot just make stuff up. You can't just say, "they did not find reproducible excess heat (or anything else)" when in fact their reports and papers clearly show they did. Well, okay, you can say it, but anyone who reads the literature will see that you are either ignorant or you are lying. Anyway, it is not scientific or rational or proper debating technique to say things which are directly contradicted by dozens of scientific papers.

    Perhaps you are trying to fool the audience here. I can't tell what you are up to, or whether you actually believe this nonsense. But it seems pointless to say things which anyone can fact check, and anyone can see are wrong. I wouldn't say "you aren't fooling anyone" because you probably are fooling the ignorant, lazy people who do not read the literature. That's your audience. Why do you care what they think? Why do you alienate smart people?

    We'd need to know that the sequencing and length of the calibrations was comparable with the active runs.

    No, we wouldn't. All we have to know is that the output heat in calibrations is always equal to 99% of input. Output never exceeds input. Which you can see in the report. Whereas in the active runs, output does exceed input. The time scale is irrelevant. Whether it takes 10 seconds or a week for the excess heat to appear, and whether the heat burst lasts for 1 minute or 3 hours, the calorimeter always shows output exceeding input. It might be from a chemical reaction, or it might be from cold fusion, but output is definitely above input.

    I do not understand why you think the time scale might play a role. I suppose if you started a calibration and ended it a minute later, before the cell reached terminal temperature, it would show less than 99% recovered. However, it would never show more than 99% recovered. You can leave it for a day, a month, or a year, and that never happens. Whereas an exothermic reaction of any sort shows up within minutes in this calorimeter.

    Redoing calibrations, so you spend as much time doing them as active runs, would rule that out.

    No, that is completely wrong, and by saying it you reveal that you do not understand calorimetry. You need to repeat calibrations before and after tests. You need to test at various power levels. You need to continue the calibration long enough to reach a stable temperature and stay there for a while. But there is no need to make the calibration as long as the active run. You cannot point to any physical law or anything in the calorimetry textbooks saying that. You just made it up out of whole cloth.

    The calibrations might take a day and the excess heat from the active run might last 111 days, or 3 months (as some have), but there is no need to go back and do a calibration 111 days long to confirm that. For that matter, if the heat burst only lasts 10 minutes, there is no need to do another calibration lasting only 10 minutes. The comparative time scale of the two events has nothing to do with it.

    Well, I will accept their findings, if well written.

    No, you will not. You do not accept the findings of Fleischmann, McKubre, Miles, Storms, Will or anyone else. They are not just well written. They are superbly executed, well written, peer-reviewed, and done by the world's leading experts in calorimetry, electrochemistry, tritium detection and the other disciplines they required. You reject them all, even though you have never found an error in any of these studies. So, I am sure you will reject whatever the Google people come up with. Unless, of course, they report a negative result. Then you will instantly believe it, even if their methods are sloppy and clearly wrong.

    I'd reckon that both exothermic and endothermic behaviour is unlikely.

    What does that mean? If it is a chemical reaction, both behaviors might occur. With cold fusion, an exothermic reaction is likely, but an endothermic one is not, based on all other experiments on record.

    Could be some change from equilibrium conditions in the calorimeter or reactor that affects output.

    The calibrations rule that out, I think. If there are is no chemical or cold fusion reactions, then a test is nothing more than resistance heating, and it should work exactly the same way as a calibration. A control test and an active test would not be "close" or "similar" the way they are with electrolysis. They would be exactly the same in all respects. Indistinguishable. Calibrations with resistance heating never show any heat bursts or endothermic events. I don't see how the presence of a nickel mesh or deuterium gas can change amount of heat produced, unless they are reacting (either chemically or with a nuclear reaction). The deuterium cannot affect the sealed resistor. The resistor cannot "know" there is nickel and deuterium in the cell.

    No idea what, but something that changed effective thermal resistance could drive both positive and negative excursions due to stored heat being released.

    "No idea what" means you are waving your hands. Why would thermal resistance change in a sealed resistance heater? Why would deuterium change it, and why would argon change it back to what it does in a calibration? Neither gas reaches the heater. The choice of gas in the cell can have no effect on the heat once it emerges from the cell and is detected with the Seebeck devices.

    If you cannot think of a way your hypotheses might work, you cannot expect anyone else to think of one. I do not think it is valid. It is hand-waving, as I said.

    Zhang tells me the cell is again producing excess heat. It recovered from argon quench. It has been running for about 14 hours, 6 W maximum, with a lot more fluctuation up and down to zero and back up than last time.

    However, there may be a problem. As shown in this graph, two of the fluctuations appear to be significantly below the zero line. They are endothermic. I do not think cold fusion ever produces an endothermic reaction, so I think this may be a chemical effect.

    In other words, the heater is needed to reach a certain temperature, and it would reach that temperature with much lower power. Instead of 100 W and 110 W, you might see 30 W in and 40 W out. Or 5 W in and 15 W out. That is, if 5 W was enough to raise the temperature to the operating point, with something like a large Dewar.

    HOWEVER, having said all that, there is one possibility I did not cover. It may be that the heater is somehow triggering the reaction with something like IR radiation. In that case, if you were to reduce power to only 5 W in a well insulated container, the temperature might go up but the reaction might not turn on.

    In that case, you would use a lamp or something that produces more IR than the present heater does.

    I do not know if IR plays a role, but some people have speculated that it might.

    I still don't understand why google should not spend their time doing the classic D/Pd electrolysis experiments.

    Sure. Why not? I think Mizuno's present approach may be easier and more fruitful, but it would interesting to do the Pd-D experiment.

    According to people here they were replicable many times, and we now know much more about the exact conditions needed to make them work than was the case originally. If the google guys have done these with negative results, but people in the community feel they have not done them the right way, surely the priority is to explain what is the right way and ask for a bit more effort in that area?

    I do not know if they did it the right way. The paper does not say how they did it.

    We don't need to explain to them what is the right way. Just point them to Storms, Cravens and Fleischmann. Plus Miles and some others. Maybe they read this and they are already doing it the right way. Maybe, but I doubt it, because they did not list Storms or Cravens in the references. I suppose they did not read them.

    I cannot "explain" anything to them unless they contact me and ask, or unless they read these messages. I have no way of knowing whether the messages are getting through. Frankly, it is not my problem. Many people have done the wrong thing in cold fusion, for the reasons Ed described. There is nothing he or I can do about it.

    Jed (and others?) are now saying that only skeptics don't agree that the boil-off experiment demonstrated very large amounts of excess energy. It was exceptionally well documented, and is relatively easy to do.

    So: why not do it?

    It is difficult. I think ordinary bulk Pd-D would be better to start with. I think the Google people tried to do bulk Pd-D but they did not achieve high enough loading. In that case they could not do the boil off experiment. The Pd has to produce heat during electrolysis first, or it will not go into high heat mode and boil off.

    The fact that ascoli believes it will not work is surely irrelevant if other people here think it will.

    Yes, that is irrelevant.

    I have never heard of one that was planned ahead of time, or one in which people had any clue what to do before they did it.

    I did not mean that people make discoveries by blindly floundering around, without a hypothesis. I meant that the talented young people you hire must form their own hypotheses. If they can't do that, they are not scientists. They are skilled laboratory technicians. A project may need lab technicians, just as it might need a tech writer (me!), but we don't make breakthroughs. A scientist is someone with an innate ability to see the answer and then figure out a way to do an experiment to reveal it.

    Ed Storms has a hypothesis about nanocracks and the NAE. Is it correct? The only way to find out is to do experiments. You will never discover the answer by thinking about it, or debating it. Ed is a skilled experimentalist, so he can describe the experiments that are needed. Your hotshot young scientists must have that ability, or you need to find a different group of young people.

    In my opinion, the NHE project failed because it was top down. Because the project leaders told the researchers what they should do, what they should look for, and what the goals were. They published those goals in detail before the project began. This is like trying to draw a map of country no one has explored yet. It just happens that I own map like that. It was made in 1760 in France, and it shows parts of North America that no European had seen. You can see the limitations of trying to do that.

    When you describe a potential application to a programmer, the programmer does not ask, "how can we make a computer do that?" She knows the answer. As she looks at the problem, the answer reveals itself in her mind, because she understands computers and she has practice designing programs. If she needed to ask, "how do we do this?" she is not a programmer. She may need to ask many specific questions about the application and what the customer needs, but crafting the answers into something the computer can execute, and something the user will find easy to operate, is her job. That's her role.

    They have the talent,

    I hope you are right. I do not know enough about them to judge. The paper did not tell me anything about their work.

    No one has provided an answer to it yet.

    Well, some of us did give answers, but there is no consensus of opinion. There cannot be, because no one can know the answer.

    But let me repeat my best answer, which sounds facetious, but is not:

    Q: "What is the highest priority experiment the LENR community wants to see conducted?"

    The answer is in the process, not in any specifics about the actual experiment. It is not possible to know what experiment is best, so instead of trying to determine this, you should structure the project with the best likelihood of finding the answer. I recommend Harry Truman's method:

    Find some young people who are very good at experimental science and very anxious to do cold fusion.

    Ask them what they want to do, and tell them they should do that.

    Stay out of their way. Give them whatever equipment they need. Do not attempt to direct them, second guess them, or even understand them. Most scientific progress is made by young people who do not know where the limits are or what is supposedly impossible.

    That's it. That's all there is to it. That is how every fundamental breakthrough in history was made, as far as I know. I have never heard of one that was planned ahead of time, or one in which people had any clue what to do before they did it. Of course if you are designing a new computer or an airplane, you have tons of textbook information to go by. That's entirely different. Someday there will be thousands of pages of textbooks telling people how to do cold fusion, but at present there are only a dozen pages or so. The "how to" papers by Storms and Cravens, and the recipe by Mizuno and me. That's about it. Several thousand pages more will be needed before cold fusion can be made practical. That is something Seven_of_twenty and others fail to realize.

    The experimental literature has many hints, but for the most part you need to read between the lines and synthesize your own understanding. There is nothing explicit because the authors themselves do not know.

    TG feels they are up to the task, and committed to "solving this case". They have the talent, funding, and equipment to do so.

    They have the funding and equipment. Whether they have the talent remains to be seen. Many brilliant scientists and research organizations have done bad research, in cold fusion and other areas. The NHE is generally good, and it has high standards, but it spent millions on cold fusion in 1990s and got nowhere.

    As we discovered with this thread though, the devil is in the details when deciding on which one. Same for them, as it was with us. While at first glance it looks good, upon closer examination...maybe not so.

    Let me repeat: No one can possibly know which experiment is promising, or how to solve this puzzle. As Francis Bacon established in 1620, the only way to discover nature's secrets is to do experiments, and you can never know -- even in principle -- whether the experiments will work or what they will reveal. If there was any way to know, you wouldn't have to do the experiment. To know the answer before you do the experiments, you would have to have God-like omniscience. There has never been an instance in human history that people discovered something as complicated as the nature of cold fusion except by experiment.

    There are facts of nature that can be established without experiment, but only in established areas. You can apply standard physics to draw a graph based on conventional textbook laws, and it will be right. An aspect of new, unexplored science can only be understood by doing experiments, and you cannot tell which experiment is the right one. An expert can make an educated guess, but he might be wrong. If it turns out he is wrong, that means he isn't an expert after all. He just thought he was. In this case, there probably are no experts, since no one knows how to make an effective cell every time. Calling yourself an expert and pontificating about what experiment is best would be like claiming you know what the dark side of the moon looks like, prior to 1959, when the first photos of it were taken.