LENR: A bright future? Part 1

Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) is the current label used for the troubled concept of cold fusion. Cold fusion was brought into the public conciousness by two scientists, Pons and Fleischmann, who announced directly to the public that they had a breakthrough new energy source in cold fusion. Initial excitement quickly faded as issues were found in their work, their methods of publication, and, ultimately, in that their work could not be replicated; a fatal problem in science. LENR, however, is enjoying a bit of a renaissance in science, with NASA researchers weighing in. Let’s take a look at what they are saying after the break.

It’s not really possible to have an effective conversation about LENR without addressing Andrea Rossi and the e-cat device. [1] I don’t know if Rossi has developed a legitimate LENR device or not. In fact, my biggest complaint with Rossi is that it isn’t possible to know. He’s playing his cards so close to the vest that we cannot tell if he has something legitimate or if it’s a scam. I’m not saying that Rossi’s device is a legitimate device or a scam. I am saying that Rossi makes it difficult to distinguish him from a scam artist. I look forward to seeing more information from him and his team in the future so we can settle the debate. I won’t speak more of him and his work here, at least not yet.

What is LENR, really? Well, depending on who you talk to, it’s a nuclear process (like fission or fusion) which produces an excess of energy at relatively low energy states (table-top conditions). A popular theory of function is the Widom-Larsen Theory[2][3] which explains the energy output through a sequence of nuclear reactions mostly centered around the weak nuclear force (fision and classical hot fusion produce energy primarily out of the strong nuclear force). This theory allows for nuclear energy production (and element transmutation) without ionizing radiation or exotic conditions.

I keep my ear to the ground for LENR news. I must confess that it isn’t for “debunking” reasons, however. You see, I’m a “wannabe” believer. I want this stuff to be true. I want my sci-fi future with faster than light travel, teleportation, artificial intelligence (more Data, less Skynet, thanks), and plentiful, “green” energy. LENR seems like a good candidate, I want it to be true and legitimate, but, alas, I also require evidence to accept it. A solid scientific theory which supports LENR and provides a framework in which it can exist without violating existing, well-understood physics is a serious plus as well.

Some new items drifted across my vision recently, invoking the name of NASA. News article, you have my attention. Here are some of the news articles and the NASA paper which sparked them:

The paper by Bushnell (the last link above) is especially interesting. I draw your attention to his thoughts.

Therefore, the LENR situation and outlook is the following:

  • Something real is happening
  • The weak interaction theories suggest what the physics might be.
  • There are efforts ongoing to explore the validity of the theories.
  • There are continuing Edisonian efforts to produce “devices” mainly for heat or in some cases transmutations.
  • There are efforts to “certify” such devices.
  • NASA LaRC has begun LENR design studies guided by the Weak Interaction Theory.

I would love to see some of Mr. Bushnell’s citations, to be honest. In the context of “Edisonian” efforts (inventors trying to refine devices on their own, like Edison did with his inventions), he mentions laboratories exploding and windows melting seemingly due to the energy output of their prototype LENR devices. The best Google can give me is Mr. Bushnell’s own article on this topic. Please share any references y’all have in the comments, please.

Another work from NASA, which serves as a source for these myriad articles is by a Mr. Joseph Zawodny. He has a video on LENR hosted by NASA in which he speculates about home energy production via LENR reactors. You can view the video here.

Interestingly, however, Mr. Zawodny speaks about LENR and how people are interpreting his work on his blog, saying:

There have been many attempts to twist the release of this video into NASA’s support for LENR or as proof that Rossi’s e-cat really works. Many extraordinary claims have been made in 2010. In my scientific opinion, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I find a distinct absence of the latter. So let me be very clear here. While I personally find sufficient demonstration that LENR effects warrant further investigation, I remain skeptical. Furthermore, I am unaware of any clear and convincing demonstrations of any viable commercial device producing useful amounts of net energy.

In essence, he thinks that there may be an effect here which can be exploited for energy production and it is worth exploring. He is not saying, however, that LENR is proven and ready for prime time. Works for me, and agrees with my own feelings on the matter.

I’m going to explore LENR more fully in future articles. I find the Weak Interaction theory fascinating and will dig much more deeply into it. Please comment with any issues or concerns and I’ll address them in the future articles. While I am not yet convinced of the legitimacy of LENR, I’m optimistic that, maybe, just maybe there is something here we can use. Stay tuned as I see just how deep the rabbit hole goes.

[1] Some reading: Official ECAT web site; Steven Novella’s take on it.

[2] http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/WL/WLTheory.shtml

[3] http://discovermagazine.com/2012/nov/27-big-idea-bring-back-the-cold-fusion-dream

 

About Mike Weaver

Husband, father, skeptic, technologist, motorcyclist, hunter, outdoors-man, and evil genius. I am formally trained in computer science, physics, mathematics, and emergency medicine (paramedic, former).
This entry was posted in Energy, Pseudoscience, Science, Technology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

87 Responses to LENR: A bright future? Part 1

  1. Jed Rothwell says:

    Cold fusion has been replicated thousands of times in over 200 major laboratories worldwide. I have a collection of 1,300 peer-reviewed journal papers on cold fusion, copied from the libraries at Los Alamos and Georgia Tech, and 2,000 other papers from conference proceedings, national laboratories and other sources. I suggest you review this literature. See:

    http://lenr-canr.org

    • Joshua Cude says:

      That sounds impressive, until you realize that in the last decade or more, the publication rate has slowed to a trickle of only a few peer-reviewed papers per year, and that they are all bad.

      So bad that none of the CF claims survive peer review in main-stream *nuclear* physics journals — the most relevant field. (If a single result had any credibility, you couldn’t keep it out of Phys Rev or PRL or Science or Nature.)

      So bad that even a strong CF advocate (Nagel) complains about low quality in his report on ICCF2009, and takes to lecturing the incompetent researchers on the basics they should have learned as undergraduates.

      So bad that an expert panel hired by the DOE in 2004 concluded (for a second time) that CF is a bust after reviewing the best of the results.

      And instead of reporting ever more progress, the papers report the size of the effect (which bears no systematic relation to the amount of the “fuel”) becomes ever smaller. Two analyses of the publication pattern have pointed to the similarities between the CF pattern and other pathological sciences.

    • Skeptonomicon says:

      Jed, don’t take this the wrong way, but I followed your link, went to the library, and sorted by date. There were some papers in there, but the majority of the links are power point slide shows, articles on uses of LENR, and other non-scientific, non-journal articles. It would be far more useful (although less useful for propaganda) to break the real journal articles into a separate list.

      • Jed Rothwell says:

        Go to the Britz site for that:

        http://www.dieterbritz.dk/fusweb/index.php

        My database has records combined from Britz, Storms and me. Unfortunately I did not tag them by source coming in so I cannot sort them out.

        I have copies of all of the papers listed in the database, either scanned or on paper. However, the publishers will not give me permission to upload most of them. So the full text papers at LENR-CANR are mainly from conference proceedings, or informal sources such as PowerPoint slides.

        Lately I have uploaded entire books of proceedings, instead of individual papers. Bandwidth has increased and readers can download entire books.

      • Warthog says:

        The best starting point for understanding the science basis for cold fusion is Charles Beaudette’s book, “Excess Heat”. Use that to get specific references to the science. Those can be followed up in Jed’s LENR/CANR bibliographic listing, or via a visit to a good university library.

        Trying to dive directly into the LENR/CANR without some sort of guide to what is most relevant can be frustrating.

  2. aljfalfsd says:

    Dr. Lewis Lawson one of physicists of the paper Bushnell is quoting and using as the basis for their research has some info on the exploding labs if you interested. Its in the comments section of this forbes article on page 3.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2013/02/22/nasa-a-nuclear-reactor-to-replace-your-water-heater/

  3. Jussi says:

    “Replicated” and “peer-reviewed”.
    They put up their own “peer-reviewed” journal,
    because any other journals didn’t accept their papers due low quality.
    Also independent replications are missing, except few errors among vast majority of negative results.

    And what would be the use of cold fusion?
    Fusion gives out it’s energy by heat. If you can start is from cold, then fine, but it must heat up!

  4. Argent47 says:

    Jed, how many of the researchers’ homes and/or labs are being run “off the grid” via LENR devices? (In other words, if it’s real, is it practical? Can it be practical? When? How much? Good, solid numbers here would be invaluable…thanx.)

  5. Jed Rothwell says:

    You wrote: ““Replicated” and “peer-reviewed”.
    They put up their own “peer-reviewed” journal . . .”

    There is a journal put out by cold fusion researchers, but that is not the one I copied at Los Alamos and Georgia Tech. I got these papers from mainstream journals, as you see in the indexes of papers at LENR-CANR.org.

    Regarding Argent47’s question: Please read the literature. You will see that cold fusion devices only exist on the laboratory bench scale, unless it turns out Rossi’s claims are correct.

    • Joshua Cude says:

      You have said Rossi has given “*far* more proof than any previous cold fusion researcher. […] That test is irrefutable by first principles.” Now, you’re hedging. If Rossi’s claims are incorrect, it follows from your statement that all previous claims are incorrect too.

      • Jed Rothwell says:

        That is my opinion, but formal, peer-reviewed scientific proof is still lacking so we can’t be sure.

        Anyway, cold fusion is far bigger than Rossi. It is predicated on studies by experts at places like Los Alamos, the PPPL, Mitsubishi, the NRL, BARC and so on. You think that you know better than the experts at all of these places, even though you have never published a paper or shown an error in an experiment. Frankly, that makes you an Internet nutcase, along with people who think they can disprove Einstein or Darwin.

        • Joshua Cude says:

          February 28, 2013 at 7:01 am, Rothwell wrote:
          “That is my opinion, but formal, peer-reviewed scientific proof is still lacking so we can’t be sure.”

          So your opinion is that Rossi has given *far* more proof than any previous researcher, and we still can’t be sure, means that in your opinion, we can’t be sure about any of the previous results either, peer-reviewed or not. What it basically means is that your opinion is not to be taken seriously. but we already knew that’

          Rothwell:
          “Anyway, cold fusion is far bigger than Rossi. It is predicated on studies by experts at places like Los Alamos, the PPPL, Mitsubishi, the NRL, BARC and so on.”

          But in spite of that, in your opinion Rossi’s got the best evidence. Doesn’t say much for your opinion about those experts at Los Alamos etc.

          Rothwell:
          “You think that you know better than the experts at all of these places, ”

          Well, it’s axiomatic that I think my opinion is better than theirs, because if I thought theirs was better, I’d change mine, wouldn’t I?

          But I claim no authority in this field, so I make arguments that don’t depend on my own credibility. What I argue is that the experts on the 2 DOE panels, the expert reviewers for prominent journals like Science and Nature (where cold fusion would automatically appear, if it were credible), the expert reviewers for most funding agencies, and the most distinguished living physicists (already listed), and just about every other nuclear physicist, and scientists like Huizenga and Morrison, all know better than the loser scientists still doing research in cold fusion.

          When I say the quality of the reports is bad, I cite the DOE panel, but also Nagel in 2009, who is an advocate.

          Or I make arguments based on observations that are a matter of record, and can be easily checked, and do not depend on my authority. The reader is then free to agree or disagree with my interpretation of those observations.

          For example, I argue that the pattern of publication is consistent with other pathological sciences, and dramatically different from legitimate fields. This is a matter of record (see Bettencourt (Journal of Informetrics 3 (2009) 210–221) Figs 3 & 7 or Ackermann (Scientometrics 66 (2006) 451) for dramatic evidence), and does not depend on my own standing in the field.

          Or I might point out that P&F claimed to observe nuclear reactions with less than 100k in funding, but that with tens of millions from Toyota, they were unable to convince the mainstream, and Toyota shut the lab down, and Pons disappeared from the scientific scene. Many people agree that that sort of thing is more consistent with pathological science than with a real result.

          Or I might suggest that some prominent cold fusion researchers like Storms and McKubre are gullible based on the fact that they were so easily sucked in by Rossi’s claims. Of course, this argument is only effective for those who agree that Rossi is almost certainly bogus, but if they don’t, no argument will affect them anyway.

          And so on. I’ve got dozens of ’em that don’t rely on my authority. And that includes most of the arguments I’ve presented here.

          Rothwell:
          “Frankly, that makes you an Internet nutcase, along with people who think they can disprove Einstein or Darwin.”

          There are indeed similarities in these debates, but you have it back-to-front. In each case you have a small group of fringe scientists who cling to an idea in which they have an important stake, and try desperately to prove its existence. And in both cases the idea is completely contrary to the virtually unanimous opinion of mainstream science. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which is which.

  6. Rich Murray says:

    I’ve been a pragmatic skeptic about cold fusion since December 1996 — hopeful that a real anomaly will show up that inspires new physics — but so far not a single replicable anomaly — search Yahoo.com for this new group, which maintains a high level of courteous, open-minded discussion — Abd is giving extremely detailed reviews, carefully claiming that so many experiments with D and Pd electrolysis have shown that for the small percentage of runs in which excess heat erratically showed up, there was a reasonable amount of He4 found — he doesn’t find any theory attractive — I’m hopeful for Widom-Larsen theory, which is wonderful and vague — google for their long complex slide shows —

    Abd ul-Rahman Lomax via yahoogroups.com
    reply-to: newvortex@yahoogroups.com

  7. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    There are papers with negative results, and papers not dealing with cold fusion from peer-reviewed journals.
    But rest of the papers seems to be from International Conference on Cold Fusion and
    Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (which is their own made up journal).
    Also they list sources like ‘ABC, “Good Morning America”. 1994’.

    Where should I find those peer reviewed cold fusion papers?
    Direct link please.

  8. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    OK, so they claim to have 153 positive result papers mostly from 1989.
    Recent papers are probably missing because research methods have improved.
    It’s bit like reading papers about Geocentric model from 1500.
    Science goes forward.

    Did you check you own links? Materials submitted to DoE Review?
    That review conclusion was negative, among many others.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      The 2004 DoE review was more like a parlor game than a serious scientific review. Most of the panel spent a half-day looking at the materials, and their conclusions were technically incorrect. You can read their comments here:

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/DOEusdepartme.pdf

      Despite the cursory nature of the review, overall it was positive. The panel recommended the research be funded but the DoE turned down the recommendation. The panel was charged with answering two questions:

      “To determine whether the evidence is sufficiently conclusive to demonstrate that such nuclear reactions occur.”

      6 Y, 10 N, 2 no answer

      Reviewer 12 characterizes the evidence for cold fusion being a nuclear effect as “intriguing, but not fully convincing.” I count that as ‘N.’

      “To determine whether there is a scientific case for continued efforts in these studies and, if so, to identify the most promising areas to be pursued.”

      13 Y, 3 N

      Many distinguished scientists have examined the evidence for cold fusion. Nearly all of them are convinced it is real. See, for example:

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/GerischerHiscoldfusi.pdf

      If you have not carefully examined the evidence, let us say by reading 10 or 20 papers over several weeks, then I recommend you refrain from judging these claims. Cold fusion is not easy to understand. You are jumping to conclusions and making irrelevant and mistaken assertions. If you are serious you will stop, examine the evidence, and think carefully. If all you wish to do is take potshots as research you know nothing about, I shall ignore you.

      • Joshua Cude says:

        Rothwell wrote: “Despite the cursory nature of the review, overall it was positive.”

        The recommendations were identical to the recommendations of the 1989 review. If the cold fusion community considered the status quo to be positive overall, why did they ask for a review?

        Rothwell: “The panel recommended the research be funded but the DoE turned down the recommendation. ”

        That’s false. The panel specifically and unanimously recommended against allocating funds for cold fusion research.

        What they recommended was that “funding agencies should entertain individual, well-designed proposals for experiments that address specific scientific issues…. These proposals should meet accepted scientific standards, and undergo the rigors of peer review.”

        Considering that it is the mandate of funding agencies to entertain proposals for experiments that address scientific issues, this was nothing than a sop to the applicants, after a searingly critical review.

        Rothwell: ” The panel was charged with answering two questions:
        “To determine whether the evidence is sufficiently conclusive to demonstrate that such nuclear reactions occur.”
        6 Y, 10 N, 2 no answer”

        Also false. (There were 3 questions.) On the above question, 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.”

        That is consistent with the individual 18 reports, and maybe a little flattering to the field. Only one panel member said the evidence for nuclear reactions was conclusive. A few said it was compelling, but stopped short of saying it was conclusive, conclusive, and most were explicit that the evidence was not conclusive, some adamantly negative.

        Rothwell:
        ““To determine whether there is a scientific case for continued efforts in these studies and, if so, to identify the most promising areas to be pursued.”
        13 Y, 3 N”

        Again, false. According to the summary statement, “No reviewer recommended a focused federally funded program for low energy nuclear reactions.” Such a recommendation would be unconscienable if they felt there was a scientific case for continued efforts. What they recommended, was that proposals should be entertained, as quoted above. In other words, the documents presented to them were not adequate to recommend funding. They told the applicants to apply again. Evidently, none of them were capable of submitting a competitive proposal.

        Rothwell:
        “Many distinguished scientists have examined the evidence for cold fusion. Nearly all of them are convinced it is real. See, for example: lenr-canr.org/acrobat/GerischerHiscoldfusi.pdf.”

        The two expert panels specifically enlisted to examine the evidence were almost unanimous that it is *not* proved real. Huizenga studied the results in detail, and wrote a skeptical book about it. Garwin examined the field and remained skeptical. Morrison followed the field in excruciating detail until his death in ~2001, and remained firmly skeptical (and that’s after expressing some remarkable optimism in the very early days of cold fusion.) The vast majority of experts in nuclear physics think cold fusion is pathological science.

        Even Gerischer, the one example you cite said in his most optimistic comment in 1991: “there is now undoubtedly overwhelming indications that nuclear processes take place in the metal alloys.” That sounds really positive at first glance, but I could make the same statement about the Loch Ness Monster or alien visitations, even while remaining skeptical of both. He was optimistic, to be sure, but he also said in the same document: “It demands confirmation and further experimental evaluation.” and “The overwhelming problem is the lack of reproducibility in the results.” He died shortly after this document, so we’ll never know how he would have regarded the field after 20 more years without improvement in the reproducibility.

        With the self-exile of Pons, and the death of Fleischmann, there is very little intelligence left in the field. Just a bunch of washed up researchers (Storms, McKubre, Celani, Hagelstein…), a bunch of opportunistic con-men with no background in physics (Rossi, Dardik, Mills, Godes…), and a bunch of unqualified on-line cheer-leaders (Rothwell, Lomax, Krivit, …).

        Rothwell: “If you have not carefully examined the evidence, let us say by reading 10 or 20 papers over several weeks, then I recommend you refrain from judging these claims. Cold fusion is not easy to understand. ”

        This is the problem. If some of the claims were valid, unambiguous proof would be very easy to understand. And would not require reading 20 papers. The science of aviation is not easy to understand either, but the Wright brothers blew all (serious) skepticism out of the water in 110 seconds in Paris in 1908. Likewise, high temperature superconductivity is a devil to understand, but there were no skeptics after the first report in 1987. Energy densities a million times higher than chemical fuel would be similarly obvious, if the many reported claims had any merit.

        • Jed Rothwell says:

          Give it up. You are a fanatic. I know several thousand professional scientists who disagree with you, and only a handful such as Huizenga on your side. You are arguing against replicated, high sigma experimentally proven facts. Bluster and blather all you like, it will not change a single temperature reading. It will not make the tritium go away.

          Experiments are the only standard of truth in science.

          • Joshua Cude says:

            Rothwell:
            “I know several thousand professional scientists who disagree with you, and only a handful such as Huizenga on your side.”

            Only if by “handful” you mean “essentially all”. Here are some of the most prominent physicists who have made explicit statements: nobelists Murray Gell-Mann (who called it baloney), Weinberg, Glashow, Lederman, Seaborg, and other distinguished scientists Close, Lewis, Koonin, Garwin, and Park. And by omission, you can add Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox, who both opined recently (Guardian 2010) that extraction of energy from nuclear fusion was the problem they most hoped science would solve by the end of the century. They made no mention of cold fusion, and Cox has recently made a documentary on fusion, again without reference to cold fusion.

            You can argue that you and the other true believers are oh so much more savvy than those nobel laureates, but I’m not buying. Part of what made them great scientists is their ability to stay on top of developments relevant to their field. They would not give up an opportunity to win another Nobel prize by contributing to another revolution in physics.

            Rothwell:
            “You are arguing against replicated, high sigma experimentally proven facts.”

            I think you’re unclear on the concept of facts. When the majority of experts don’t believe them, they ain’t facts.

            In 1994, McKubre claimed to have all the criteria to get a positive result every time the criteria were met, but a few years later the Toyota IMRA lab in Japan reported negative results in 27 of 27 electrolysis cells. Evidently, they could not follow McKubre’s recipe. That’s not surprising since in 1998, McKubre wrote: “With hindsight, we may now conclude that the presumption of repeatable excess heat production was premature…”

            Not so factual after all.

            In 2008, McKubre wrote: “… we do not yet have quantitative reproducibility in any case of which I am aware.”, and ” in essentially every instance, written instructions alone have been insufficient to allow us to reproduce the experiments of others.” To most scientists, this means there is no reproducibility in the field.

            That’s consistent with this quotation of an executive director at the Office of Naval Research, who had funded experiments by Miles and others (from a NewScientist article in 2003): ” “For close to two years, we tried to create one definitive experiment that produced a result in one lab that you could reproduce in another,” Saalfeld says. “We never could. What China Lake did, NRL couldn’t reproduce. What NRL did, San Diego couldn’t reproduce. We took very great care to do everything right. We tried and tried, but it never worked.” ”

            Lately, you have been touting a 2012 conference report from NRL as irrefutable, even though it claims only the energy of a drop of gasoline, and admits a dismal 5% reproducibility. Only in cold fusion are steadily worsening (unrefereed) results cited as the latest irrefutable evidence.

            And it’s not just a lack of reproducibility, but completely contradictory observations. First, they needed heavy water, and light water was used as a control; now light water is just fine thank-you. First, the loading had to be > 90%; now gas loading barely above 50% works. From the same article in NewScientist: “When Imam examined the [failed] sample he found that unlike the others, which all had a flawless surface, this one had minute cracks that had appeared when it formed. A correlation between cracks and null results has been noted by many researchers, before and since.” Nowadays, if you’re keeping up, cold fusion *success* is all about minute cracks and imperfections.

            Reproducibility does not have to mean the experiment works every time. Examples of (early) transistors or cloning are often cited as experiments that only have a statistical reproducibility. But cold fusion does not even have this. If the transistor or cloning recipes are followed, the success rates are the same within experimental error. But with cold fusion, they aren’t in the same ballpark. If you made a transistor that worked, anyone could make it work, but if you get a LENR cathode that works, it only works in one lab, with one experimenter.

            The reality is that there is not a single experiment in the field that a qualified scientist can perform with expected results (other than null results), even on a statistical basis. There is not a single nuclear reaction that people in the field can agree is occurring. There is not a single example of unequivocal energy density that exceeds chemical. There is not a single credible example where the energy from cold fusion can power the experiment itself, let alone the world.

          • Jed Rothwell says:

            Your assertions are not even slightly true. You are making up this stuff out of whole cloth. Anyone who reads the literature will see that you know nothing about this subject. Or, if you do know something, you are lying through your teeth.

            You are a tiresome fanatic with dreams of glory. You dream that you know more than thousands of expert scientists. You dream that you have found faults in their work. This is all in your imagination only. You have found nothing. Your messages are devoid of technical content. You cannot dispute a single temperature reading in any major cold fusion paper. You probably would not know a calorimeter if it bit you on the butt.

          • Joshua Cude says:

            On February 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm, Rothwell wrote:
            “Your assertions are not even slightly true.”

            I can’t really defend myself, or amend my ways, if you’re not a whole lot more specific than that. At least when I accused you of gross misrepresentation, I gave chapter and verse, to help you mature in your understanding of the field.

            Rothwell:
            “You are a tiresome fanatic with dreams of glory.”

            Right. Who doesn’t crave the sort of glory that discussions on internet forums brings?

            But I do think that dreams of glory motivate a lot of the advocates for cold fusion. In what other scientific field could computer programmers (Rothwell), college dropouts (Lomax), business admin majors (Krivit), school teachers (Carat), and a host of engineers (Tyler and the MFMP crew, Alain, and many other scientist wannabes at vortex), become prominent advocates?

            These people get their egos stroked when they find that their optimistic ideas attract attention from actual scientists in the field, and they get invited to present at actual science conferences, or to contribute to actual science literature. It’s as if they’ve landed on a planet of dwarfs, and they are thrilled to be asked to play on the countries’ best basketball teams, even though they’ve never held a basketball in their life.

            They don’t have the wits to realize that it’s not their brilliance, but the absence of any significant intelligence in the field that makes them such big fish in a small pond, to mix the metaphor…

            Rothwell:
            “Your messages are devoid of technical content. You cannot dispute a single temperature reading in any major cold fusion paper.”

            I have criticized some specifics over on Ecatnews, when it was alive, writing as popeye, but I dropped in here to point out your many misrepresentations re the DOE panel and so on. Even so, I have to say that my arguments have been far more specific than yours.

  9. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your open minded skepticism about my favorite topic. Contact me offline if you are interested in seeing my published reviews of the field in mainstream science journals and printed encyclopedias.

    And as far as Rossi, that story is over.

    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/Andrea-Rossi-Energy-Catalyzer-Investigation-Index.shtml

    Steven B. Krivit
    Publisher and Senior Editor, New Energy Times
    Editor-in-Chief, 2011 Wiley Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia

  10. Jussi says:

    Vast majority of scientists are convinced that it’s not real, that’s why the recent papers are not found in peer-reviewed journals.
    And that’s why they made up their own journal.

    See it like you want, but over 20 years of work should be enough to provide convincing evidence if it is true.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      Unless you have taken a public opinion poll you cannot say what the “vast majority” of scientists think. The only poll I know of was taken in Japan many years ago. It showed that about half of professional scientists and engineers thought that cold fusion is real.

      Even if it is true that a majority of scientists are convinced cold fusion is not real, you have to limit respondents to the set of scientists who have read 5 or more papers. Scientists who have not read the literature have no right to any opinion, positive or negative. They don’t count. You cannot do science by ESP, especially experimental science. You cannot magically know what these experiments have revealed. You have to read the papers carefully and think about them.

      Science is not a popularity contest. The only views that count are those backed by detailed technical knowledge.

      I am in touch with many scientists worldwide. People have downloaded 2.6 million papers from my web site. We have readers in hundreds of universities and corporations. I have heard from many of these readers, typically when they want papers not on file. I know from the selection of titles that most readers are professionals. Most of the papers they download would be meaningless to the general reader. Out of the thousands of scientists and engineers I have heard from, only a few expressed doubts about the reality of cold fusion. You might say that the people who did not believe it had no reason to contact me, but for that matter they had no reason to download dozens of papers.

      I am certain there is serious, widespread interest in this research. I am sure that most experts who have looked at it carefully are convinced.

      • Joshua Cude says:

        Rothwell:
        “Unless you have taken a public opinion poll you cannot say what the “vast majority” of scientists think.”

        Everyone followed the field pretty closely back in 1989, and scientists all over the world stopped what they were doing, and started doing electrolysis with heavy water and Pd. The vast majority of them voted with their interest, when the claims did not stand up to scrutiny.

        The absence of cold fusion papers in journals like Science and Nature indicates it is dismissed in the mainstream.

        Surely, advocates agree that the consensus is that cold fusion is bogus, because so much time is spent by advocates complaining that mainstream science ignores, suppresses, rejects, doesn’t fund, doesn’t publish, doesn’t patent, doesn’t replicate, doesn’t test anything related to cold fusion. Given the monumental importance of the phenomenon, if it were real, this indicates that they simply don’t believe it.

        Rothwell:
        “The only poll I know of was taken in Japan many years ago. It showed that about half of professional scientists and engineers thought that cold fusion is real.”

        Yes, well, Japan funded the research too, and published papers in Japanese journals. And look where it got them. Funding was cut, and projects cancelled. And still no credible experiment that proves cold fusion is real.

        Rothwell:
”Even if it is true that a majority of scientists are convinced cold fusion is not real, you have to limit respondents to the set of scientists who have read 5 or more papers.”

        Skeptics don’t have to do anything. True believers have to come up with the goods if they want people to believe. And you yourself have said “I do not think any scientist will dispute this[:] …An object that remains palpably warmer than the surroundings is as convincing as anything can be.” Such a demo should be easy given all the claims of nuclear heat without input, and as you argue, it would not require reading 5 papers to observe.Scientists did not have to read 5 papers to believe superconductivity, Bose-Einstein condensates, or the evidence that burning gasoline produces heat.

        Probably half the working scientists today were working or studying in 1989, and they learned enough about cold fusion then to know that if there were any merit to the claims, the evidence would be unequivocal and obvious.

        We saw what happens when cold fusion was taken seriously (briefly) by the mainstream in 1989. There was a stampede of top scientists examining Pd deuteride, and standing ovations at the ACS meeting. It was on the cover of all the papers, and government agencies (DOE) took a careful, 6 month look at it. There was money from some people, and hundreds of papers published. Nature and Science published papers and news articles on it, although not the really whacky claims, and so on. When that happens again, we’ll know that experts are convinced by it.

        Rothwell:
        “You cannot magically know what these experiments have revealed. You have to read the papers carefully and think about them.”

        That may be true if you want to contribute to the field, but it would not necessary to be convinced by the evidence, if it existed, just as you don’t need to know anything about aviation to believe birds can fly.

        Rothwell:
        “Science is not a popularity contest.”

        But you are the one arguing that cold fusion must be real because it’s popular among scientists who have read 5 papers or more. The problem is that the claim is a bit of a tautology; only scientists who are sufficiently gullible to believe cold fusion at this stage have the patience to willingly read 5 papers reporting vague and marginal evidence for an extraordinary phenomenon that almost certainly is not occurring. If it were real, the evidence would not be so elusive.

  11. Jussi says:

    ‘Unless you have taken a public opinion poll you cannot say what the “vast majority” of scientists think. …’

    Of course I haven’t ask from all, but you do know what peer-review actually means..!!?

  12. robiD says:

    Why are you saying Rossi’s history is over when there is an independent verify still in course on his device?
    Even if he sometimes postponed the results, now is matter of a few weeks to see independent data (positive or negative) and not years, so I would wait a bit before conclusive sentences.
    If something real will come out (and here I don’t mean a revolution, but just a little bit of truth in Rossi’s claims), many people are going to lose credibility.
    I would like also to point out that according to Michael A. Nelson, the Greek company (now Canada based) Defkalion Green Technology, born after a breakup with Rossi, has a LENR reactor (independently tested) that works in the kW range with a COP of 3 (at least), likely not ready for commercial use yet.

    • Joshua Cude says:

      Because this is the umpteenth pending verification that is only weeks away. Weeks become months, and months become years, and here we are more than 2 years after the first public “verification” of the device in January 2011. When skeptics poked holes in that demo, we were promised the Essen and Kullander demo, the Lewan demo, the Krivit demo, the heat exchanger demo, and the big one: the 1 MB commercial reactor. All the true believers assured skeptics that that one would be definitive, but it was lamest of them all.

      Since then, we’ve had mostly talk and broken promises, and one hot cat private demo with Rossi himself writing the report. When this next promised round proves nothing, Rossi will assure his flock that the *next* one will be *it* … for sure … real soon now … and you will believe him, because that’s your nature.

  13. Stephen Propatier says:

    @ Jussi “Unless you have taken a public opinion poll you cannot say what the “vast majority” of scientists think. The only poll I know of was taken in Japan many years ago. It showed that about half of professional scientists and engineers thought that cold fusion is real.”

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    Basic theoretical model for this device is Ni + H+ catalyst= copper + energy by fusion.
    There are five known stable isotopes of Nickel, and here on Earth they are found in the percentages shown in the chart above. These isotope ratios are the same on Earth as they are in meteorites and in the Sun, and are pretty universal to any sample of nickel naturally found here on Earth.

    If you want to create copper from any of these elements by adding a proton (hydrogen nucleus) to them, here are the reactions you’re looking for:

    58Ni + 1H → 59Cu*,
    60Ni + 1H → 61Cu*,
    61Ni + 1H → 62Cu*,
    62Ni + 1H → 63Cu*,
    64Ni + 1H → 65Cu*.

    That doesn’t look so prohibitive, does it? Of course, there is the fact that you’ve got to overcome the tremendous Coulomb barrier (the electrical repulsion between nickel and hydrogen nuclei), which — according to our knowledge of nuclear physics — requires temperatures and pressures not found naturally anywhere in the Universe. Not in the Sun, not in the cores of the most massive stars, and (to the best of our knowledge) not even in supernova explosions!

    From both an astrophysics and a nuclear physics standpoint, we can conclude that these reactions are not happening, and that they’re certainly not happening at the incredibly low energies claimed by the e-Cat team. Let’s look at the astrophysics first.

    Except. This is the Sun, known to contain a significant abundance of nickel, and to primarily be composed of hydrogen. Given the pressures and temperatures present in the Sun, you might expect any or all of the fusion reactions mentioned above to happen. But when we look at the Sun, we see that there is a much larger amount of nickel than copper, with no evidence that any of the Sun’s nickel has, over the 4.5 billion years of the Sun’s life, been fused into copper; there’s something like more than 100 times as many nickel atoms as copper atoms.

    But who knows; maybe there is some “magic secret catalyst” that could make this reaction happen? It couldn’t be anything like an atom, an atomic nucleus, an electron, a neutrino, or anything else present in the Sun, because then it would happen there, too. (However, it’s worth noting — at this point — that Focardi’s original experiment claimed to have no catalyst, which means Ni + p → Cu should have definitely happened in the Sun for at least one of the isotopes, changing the isotopic abundance from what is observed. 😉

    So what Physicists are saying this will happen? Beyond the ones selling it I mean?

  14. Jed/Joshua,

    “Lately, you have been touting a 2012 conference report from NRL as irrefutable, even though it claims only the energy of a drop of gasoline, and admits a dismal 5% reproducibility. Only in cold fusion are steadily worsening (unrefereed) results cited as the latest irrefutable evidence.”

    What is the so-called irrefutable reference from NRL? I am not familiar with it.

    Thanks

    • Joshua Cude says:

      On Sat, 27 Oct 2012 07:45:23 -0700, Rothwell posted in Vortex:

      “Here is the latest irrefutable result, from the Naval
      Research Laboratory:

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/D

      Anomalous Results in Fleischmann-Pons Type Electrochemical Experiments…”

      The link is not complete, but from the title, it seems to be this one in his database:

      Dominguez, D.D., et al. Anomalous Results in Fleischmann-Pons Type Electrochemical Experiments (PowerPoint slides). in 17th International Conference on Cold Fusion. 2012. Daejeon, Korea.

      So, it is a set of powerpoint slides, which are intended to be accompanied by commentary, and therefore, cannot be regarded as irrefutable evidence. As is Rothwell’s habit, he boasts about peer-reviewed papers, but when he actually cites results, they are not peer-reviewed.

      In any case, this presentation seems to claim excess heat in the range of 50 kJ, or about the amount in a drop of gasoline, and it claims reproducibility of 5%. Claims from P&F and others in the early 90s were substantially more impressive.

      It is characteristic of pathological science that claims converge toward zero as time moves on and experiments (supposedly) improve. (Notwithstanding Rossi, but that experiment is demonstrably inferior.)

      Since Rothwell considers this set of slides and Rossi’s demos as examples of irrefutable evidence of cold fusion, it is difficult to take anything he says seriously. (There are other reasons as well.)

        • Joshua Cude says:

          I said the link was incomplete, and gave the complete reference I think *he* meant. And yes, the file I think Rothwell was linking to is clearly the same one you link to.

          • Thank you Joshua. So if you’re not a fan of LENR, why do you read so much at my site and read what Jed says? Why bother?

          • To your xkcd link below…I appreciate your sense of humor.

            Well, there is plenty of entertainment here and goats to be gotten.

            Meanwhile, I’ve got to get back to work, so enjoy the pleasant exchanges with each other here, carry on with your battles!

          • Joshua Cude says:

            Thanks for the well wishes. I also hope you find your work fulfilling, but don’t say I didn’t warn you, when in 20 years, you begin to realize you’ve been on a wild goose chase. Still, I’m sure your work is lucrative enough, and gives you a chance to rub shoulders with the likes of which no other field could facilitate.

        • Jed Rothwell says:

          Yes. That is the same document. It has not been refuted as far as I know. That makes it irrefutable. So far, anyway.

          I agree with Steve Krivit. Joshua Cude does not like cold fusion and he does not agree with the conclusions reached by the researchers. So why does he spend so much time and effort arguing about it? It seems fanatical to me.

          Cude has not presented any facts. He has not pointed to errors in the methods or instruments in these experiments. His arguments are sophistry and blather. That is not a fruitful way to debate experimental science.

          • Joshua Cude says:

            On February 28, 2013 at 6:34 am, Jed Rothwell says:
            “It has not been refuted as far as I know. That makes it irrefutable.”

            Does that also mean that any being that has not died is immortal. Because that’s not the language I speak.

            Maybe, when you join the fraternity of True Believers, you are issued a dictionary that redefines common words like “irrefutable”, “proof”, “overwhelming evidence”, and the “scientific method”.

            Rothwell:
            “I agree with Steve Krivit. Joshua Cude does not like cold fusion”

            I hate the idea of cheap, abundant, and clean energy, don’t ya know. I despise the concept of leaving a habitable planet for our descendants. And I loathe the possibility of gaining independence from unfriendly countries. I am just that evil.

            Your main problem is that you think it’s about liking cold fusion. Advocates seem to think that cold fusion is political like the debate about capital punishment. The only thing standing between them and cold fusion nirvana is convincing more people that it’s real. But the physical reality (or its absence) is independent of debate. What cold fusion needs is better experiments, not better arguments. Unfortunately, better experiments invariably give less impressive (or negative) results, and that encourages the advocates to do worse experiments, to use smaller cores so that artifacts and errors have a better chance to look like nuclear effects. Or it encourages them to stop experiments entirely, and spend all their time writing about the old results and arguing about them on the internet. When reviews of a field outnumber new experimental reports in the refereed literature, you can be sure the field is dead.

            Rothwell:
            “So why does he spend so much time and effort arguing about it?”

            I happen to find it interesting. Why do you care what motivates me? It doesn’t change the substance of my arguments.

  15. robiD says:

    You well know that Kullander’s, Lewan’s and the “exchanger heat’s” weren’t independent verifications and in particular krivit’s was nothing more than a show probably made by Rossi with public relations intent in mind and with attendee without technical preparation (though the thing exploded in his hands). I don’t know how you can consider that one an independent verification because the only thing Krivit did was recording the event. He didn’t do any kind of measurement, verification or checks on instruments or experimental setup, he didn’t check the thermocouples, water flux, the weight of the water. Yes, he showed the steam but wasn’t able to understand that a such steam wasn’t compatible with claims, only post-production analysis made by other people. Krivit is a journalist not a technician and that test was completely under Rossi’s control. Scientifically a useless test, but good enough for a lot of gossip and a lot of web traffic towards Krivit’s site.

    The tests in course might be the first verification really independent. On the other hand, afterwards the Swedish Technical Institute affair, Rossi had nothing else to do than starting a true independent verification if he wants to proceed with business. Even if he want to proceed with a scam, by now, he needs to start an independent verification.
    We’ll see soon if the tests are for real and if they are truly independent, he can’t postpone the results forever. By now the “reasonable” time is starting to finish and beyond a “reasonable” time there isn’t any room neither for business nor for scams.

    • Joshua Cude says:

      Of course they weren’t independent verifications. That’s why skeptics complained. But they were promised as independent verifications, or at least verifications. Independent scientists were to be given the freedom to make measurements etc. The 1 MW reactor was supposed to be a commercial device available for anyone to test. The problem was that the observations the scientists reported were consistent with no nuclear effects present, and of course, no one could actually buy the commercially available device.

      The Wright brothers’ 1908 demo did not require independent scientists spending months writing reports etc. It just took a few seconds of flight to prove they could fly.

      Likewise, it’s pretty easy to conceive of a simple demo that would prove an energy density a million times higher than chemical fuel. His device uses heat to trigger the reaction, and the reaction allegedly produces many times more heat, and therefore, like combustion, it should sustain itself, and he has claimed it can. So, a small, obviously isolated device that heats a few thousand liters of water in a hot tub, say, to boiling would have the world beating a path to his door.

      He can’t postpone the results forever, as you say, but, based on precedent from Mills at Black Light Power, he can do it for 20 years, without losing the confidence of his flock.

  16. robiD says:

    Previous comment was an answer to Joshua Cude comment February 27, 2013 at 6:53 pm
    Sorry for erroneous positioning.

  17. John Milstone says:

    Even if he want to proceed with a scam, by now, he needs to start an independent verification.

    Since Rossi has allegedly sold “franchises” for every country in the world to resell his so far nonexistent E-Cat, his scam appears to be progressing quite nicely.

  18. Jussi says:

    You are replying to wrong person…

  19. Jussi says:

    @ Stephen Propatier
    You are replying to wrong person, I think your message is meant to Jed Rothwell.

    PS. For some reason my messages doesn’t go to right branch of the thread.

  20. John Milstone says:

    @Jed Rothwell: You claim to know of “several thousand professional scientists who disagree” with Joshua Cude’s statement, but you fail to provide a shred of evidence.

    In your next message, you criticize Cude for claiming that the “vast majority” of scientists do no believe in LENR.

    Please make up your mind.

    And, as for calling Cude a “fantatic”, I’ve never seen a clearer case of psychological projection. Regardless of whether LENR is real or not, it is obvious to everyone except fanatics that it is not accepted in the scientific community. After a quarter of a century and hundreds of millions invested, the proponents still can’t provide compelling evidence that LENR really exists.

    The only fanatics are the ones who keep trying to convince people, based on how loud they can scream, that LENR is real in spite of the complete lack of support in the scientific community, regardless of the “several thousand” anonymous scientists you claim are secretly supporting LENR while publicly ignoring it.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      You wrote: “You claim to know of ‘several thousand professional scientists who disagree’ with Joshua Cude’s statement, but you fail to provide a shred of evidence.”

      I have uploaded their papers! What more do you want? You people will not take “yes” for an answer.

      I have provided you with peer-reviewed scientific proof published in mainstream journals. I have proved that this effect was replicated at high s/n ratios in hundreds of major labs. In the history of experimental science there has never been an effect replicated more than a handful of times that turned out to be a mistake. Polywater, for example, was only claimed by one lab, and briefly by another before they retracted.

      Replication is the only standard of truth in experimental science. When you reject it, you reject the scientific method itself. You have no way of knowing anything. Instead of believing thermocouples, tritium detectors and mass spectrometers you put your faith in the unsupported opinions of Joshua Cude. You reject rigorously reviewed experimental data published by world-class experts in favor of blather, sophistry and misdirection.

  21. John Milstone says:

    @Steven B. Krivit:

    Your choice of words is interesting.

    You state that Cude is “not a fan of LENR”. Is that the standard you use?

    Perhaps he a fan of the truth. Perhaps he is a fan of the facts.

    To judge someone on the basis of whether they are a fan of LENR is a perfect example of how a fanatic would think.

    Meanwhile, the far more interesting aspect of the LENR “fan” community is the psychological aspects. That’s the main reason I follow it. It’s interesting to see just how irrational these “fans” are when it comes to the object of their passion.

  22. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    “I have provided you with peer-reviewed scientific proof published in mainstream journals.”

    No you haven’t, you just provided links that didn’t support your claims.

    “I have proved that this effect was replicated at high s/n ratios in hundreds of major labs.”

    No you haven’t.
    Show me peer-reviewed papers (from this millenium) of single cold fusion setup/device that is widely and independently replicated with positive results.

    1. By peer-reviewed I mean real journal, not their made up journal.
    2. By independently I mean people who are not behind “cold fusion journal”.
    3. By positive results, I mean clear undisputed signs of fusion. Excess heat, radiation and helium, not explainable by random change or problems with experimental setup.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      J. Electroanal. Chem., Jap. J. Applied Phys. and the others in the bibliography are peer reviewed mainstream journals. You may not think so, but they are.

      Look this is real simple. I have uploaded a bibliography and many full text papers. You can go to a university library to read the papers I cannot upload because of copyright restrictions. So, take it or leave it. Read the literature if you would like to know about cold fusion. If you do not want to know about it, then DON’T read. Don’t complain to me.

      Your statements are ignorant. You know nothing about this research. You are making yourself look foolish. Anyone who takes the trouble to learn about this will see that you are making a fool of yourself.

      Since you are not interested enough to read some papers, why do you care about any of this? There are probably thousands of fields of research that you know nothing about. Do you go around denigrating them, and posting nasty comments about professional scientists who pursue them? Get a life!

      Perhaps you are another Cude, a legend in his own mind. He suffers from the delusion that he knows more about physics that Nobel laureates do, and more about electrochemistry than the people who wrote the textbooks on that subject. He has never actually found a technical problem in any paper, or published anything, but he has this peculiar notion that he is a sublime genius, and he feels a compulsion to tell this to people on the Internet whenever this subject comes up. It is a strange hobby. Believe me, he has no influence over any professional scientist. I have read and edited hundreds of papers on this subject, for proceedings and for peer-reviewed journals. His name has never come up. He is a non-entity.

      • Joshua Cude says:

        On February 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm, Jed Rothwell says:
        “J. Electroanal. Chem., Jap. J. Applied Phys. and the others in the bibliography are peer reviewed mainstream journals. You may not think so, but they are.”

        J Electroanal Chem appears to have stopped publishing cold fusion articles (with the possible exception of negative ones) around 2000. And its impact factor has increased ever since, though still just shy of 3.

        The Jpn J Applied Phys has an impact factor of 1.06. That’s a little short of mainstream.

        Anyway, it’s not that all the journals that publish cold fusion are insignificant — they’re not. It’s just that the effect, if real, would deserve so much more. If there were a compelling experiment, the reports would not languish with single-digit impact factors. A lot of pretty lame stuff survives peer review; if you submit something often enough, you’ll luck out with lazy referees in a small time journal eventually.

        Even polywater — a far less significant phenomenon (potentially) — was published in Science and Nature and JACS, and it turned out to be completely bogus. That means that the evidence for it was much stronger than the evidence for cold fusion is currently.

  23. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    OK, so now it’s time of your excuses?

    Just give me the study references, there is no copyright problems in that, they are free to use!!! What is the problem?

    I’m not going through all the hundreds of trash papers to find if I can prove your claim. You say you have read them, if they exist just provide them as I requested.
    You made the claim, it’s your burden of proof.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      I gave you the references! Here they are again:

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

      http://lenr-canr.org/wordpress/?page_id=455#MaterialSubmitted

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHisothermala.pdf

      See also:

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHcoldfusionb.pdf

      http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEhowtoprodu.pdf

      They are not trash papers. If you think they are, you are free to ignore them. No one is asking you to learn about this. No one cares what you think about it. I offer these papers as a public service, not to pick fights. 10,000 people visit every month. If you are not among them, we won’t miss you.

      I suggest you stop insulting scientists you have never heard of, and stop attacking research you know nothing about. You are exceedingly sophomoric.

      • Joshua Cude says:

        On February 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm, Jed Rothwell says:
        “I gave you the references! Here they are again:
        […]”

        I guess it’s safer to give lists of hundreds of papers, because if you just give the best one, the danger is that it will get read, and then the poor quality will become obvious.

        But Jussi asked for papers in this millennium, of a single setup widely replicated with positive results. There is nothing like that in your lists.

        Of the 3 individual papers you list, the only one from this millennium is not peer-reviewed. You always boast about peer review, and then cite non-peer reviewed results.

        The McKubre paper, which holds pride of place on your web site home page, is from 1994, which should give an indication of the absence of progress in the field. And it kind of proves P&F’s results were bogus. A few years earlier, P&F claimed tens of watts with a COP of 4. Those results were challenged in refereed literature as using poor calorimetry. McKubre’s calorimetry was much better, and as a result he claimed less than a watt excess power, and a COP of 1.1. Those effects are small enough to be attributed to typical calorimetry artifacts, but in any case, suggest that most of P&F’s results were artifact. That is also consistent with their failure to publish anything better after spending tens of millions of Toyota’s money.

        There are other problems with the McKubre results. When the current is turned off, the power disappears much more quickly than one would expect the deuterium to diffuse out of the Pd. Especially when you consider the many claims that heat continues for days after the input is turned off.

        McKubre claimed at the time to have cracked the reproducibility nut, but then in 1998, he admitted that “with hindsight, we may now conclude that the presumption of repeatable excess heat production was premature…”

        The Storms paper likewise claimed to have solved the repeatability problem in the 1996 paper, when he wrote in the abstract “This difficult to accept effect can now be produced with a high probability for success using the described procedures.” It’s kind of a joke considering what McKubre said 2 years later, and that the IMRA lab in Japan failed with 27 of 27 cells. I guess they were not able to use the described procedures. It’s especially funny considering that 15 years later NRL’s “irrefutable” results claim a reproducibility of 5%.

        This sort of a comedy of errors is why the mainstream pays it no mind.

        The list of submissions to the DOE contained only 3 refereed papers after 2000, in journals with impact factors that *sum* to less than 4. And none of them are about excess heat. The Arata paper is about loading Pd powder. It shows a graph of excess heat, but gives no experimental information on how it was measured. Interestingly, when he finally reports a reactor in detail, it’s in Japanese. *That’s* gonna sweep the world off its feet.

        The list you compiled in 2009 has 9 papers since 2000, but they include some with pretty dubious connections to cold fusion, one named earlier. Only one is published after 2003, and that one’s in Japanese. That’s a moribund field for you!

  24. John Milstone says:

    And yet, after almost 25 years, and according to estimates I’ve read, something like $200 million, researchers in the field still can’t make a prediction about what results to expect.

    Does LENR produce gamma rays? If so, at what energy levels? How about neutrons? What transmutations? The answer is: “Maybe, sometimes, depending on who’s doing the experiments”. That’s not credible science, it’s magic.

    The only compelling reason to initially believe Rossi is that the theory he and Focardi cobbled together made sense. If one assumed that he had found a way around the Coulomb barrier, everything else fell into place.

    Unfortunately for Rossi, the analysis of his and “ash” failed to show any signs of transmutation at all (just common Nickel, Iron and Copper), and Kullander’s promised “detailed isotopic analysis” is over a year overdue. And, of course, Rossi has abandoned his “theory” and now claims that any transmutation is only “incidental”.

    And, the only reason I’m bringing Rossi in at this point is because you have tied your credibility to him. You’ve stated numerous times that you are absolutely confident that Rossi has the real deal. Given this ridiculous position, we have no reason to take anything you say seriously.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      Where on earth did you get the idea $200 million has been spent on cold fusion? You have a vivid imagination!

      • Joshua Cude says:

        Not made up. The estimates come from advocates.

        One of them used the $200M figure in a review; possibly Nagel. But Storms, in his latest cold fusion for dummies, or whatever he called it, estimates $500 M has been spent.

        It’s not hard to go well beyond 100M for research on excess heat from metal hydrides: 60 M at BLP, 40M Toyota in France, and some more in Japan, 10 M from EPRI for McKubre, 5 M for Utah Centre, 5 M for Missouri center, and then all the money that’s floating at least a dozen cold fusion companies, none of which have a product, and that doesn’t touch the Italian ENEA, the Japanese government funding, or China or India.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      If you do not find any reason to take me seriously, and you do not wish to read any of the 2,000 papers I uploaded, I suggest you ignore what I say. I also suggest you stop making things up and posting them here, such as this imaginary $200 million. That adds nothing to the discussion. I think we should agree to disagree and leave it at that.

  25. Joshua Cude says:

    On February 28, 2013 at 11:42 am Jed Rothwell says:
    “I have provided you with peer-reviewed scientific proof published in mainstream journals.”

    Publication in peer-reviewed journal is not the same as proof. This is especially the case when they are small-time journals with impact factors below 3, and are in inappropriate fields. And when the subject, were it real, would have enough importance to be automatically published in journals with impact factors north of 20. And most especially, it is not proof when expert panels review it and are not convinced by it; when the scientific mainstream continues to dismiss the field.

    Rothwell:
    “I have proved that this effect was replicated at high s/n ratios in hundreds of major labs.”

    No. Excess heat has been claimed in many labs. That’s not the same as replication. Just as thousands of sightings of the Loch Ness monster, or hundreds of thousands of claims of alien visitations, or the many publications on dowsing or homeopathy or other paranormal effects are not replications. They are all different in magnitude, different in set-up, different in nature.

    The mainstream does not accept those publications as replications, because many experiments are quite different, and the results are all over the map, without any coherent picture to tie them together. McKubre has admitted that quantitative reproducibility still eludes the field. And a cold fusion researcher was quoted in NewScientist saying: “For close to two years, we tried to create one definitive experiment that produced a result in one lab that you could reproduce in another,” Saalfeld says. “We never could. What China Lake did, NRL couldn’t reproduce. What NRL did, San Diego couldn’t reproduce. We took very great care to do everything right. We tried and tried, but it never worked.”

    You compiled a list of 153 refereed publications claiming excess heat. Surely some of those groups published several times, so it’s hard to see how you’d get even 100 major labs publishing claims in refereed journals, let alone hundreds.

    And you seem to have lowered the bar pretty far to bring that number up, by including papers with titles like: “Heating of deuterium implanted Al on electron bombardment and its possible relation to cold fusion experiments.” That hardly sounds a replication, by any definition of the term.

    In any case, the need to count papers is characteristic of pseudoscience. As with alien sightings, more marginal claims makes them *less* credible, not more, because the likelihood that so many pictures are all blurry is too small to consider.

    If there were a single credible experiment in cold fusion, that gave a predictable result (even on a statistical basis), there would be no need to repeatedly point to the thousand journal papers.

    When you have a real phenomenon, understood or not, like high temperature superconductivity, people don’t list the number of papers to support it; they cite a single seminal paper that describes how to get the phenomenon. (And by the way, this phenomenon, even though it is less revolutionary than cold fusion would be, has seen more than a hundred thousand papers in the same 20 year period, and in the very best journals, like Science and Nature.)

  26. Joshua Cude says:

    On February 28, 2013 at 11:42 am Jed Rothwell says:
    “In the history of experimental science there has never been an effect replicated more than a handful of times that turned out to be a mistake.”

    Pure nonsense. N-rays and polywater are both examples with many claimed replications, and there are many example of claims of paranormal effects or of dowsing or homeopathy over a century or more that are still not accepted by the mainstream. Listen to this argument about homeopathy in the Gaurdian:

    “By the end of 2009, 142 randomised control trials (the gold standard in medical research) comparing homeopathy with placebo or conventional treatment had been published in peer-reviewed journals – 74 were able to draw firm conclusions: 63 were positive for homeopathy and 11 were negative. Five major systematic reviews have also been carried out to analyse the balance of evidence from RCTs of homeopathy – four were positive (Kleijnen et al; Linde et al; Linde et al; Cucherat et al) and one was negative (Shang et al).”

    And yet it is largely rejected in the mainstream.

    But cold fusion is not an experimental result as such. It is a theory to explain a lot of erratic calorimetry results. The ether was another theory used to explain 100 years of experimental results in the 19th century. Here’s Lord Kelvin in 1891: “The luminiferous ether, that is the only substance we are confident of in dynamics… One thing we are sure of, and that is the reality and substantiality of the luminiferous ether.” But the current dogma has dispensed with it, and the 19th century scientists are now regarded to have been wrong about ether; every single one of them.

    It seems like cold fusion advocates, of all people, would admit that many scientists can be wrong, because their entire world depends on the entire establishment being wrong about cold fusion being impossible.

    Rothwell:
    “Polywater, for example, was only claimed by one lab, and briefly by another before they retracted.”

    That claim differs from every other account of polywater I’ve seen. According to Ackermann in 2006, 450 papers were published on polywater in 12 years, with more than 250 over 2 years. That would be difficult for one group. Here’s what he writes indicating prominent Soviet and American groups were involved:

    “The Polywater seminal papers include an initial group of four papers by Soviet scientists N.N. Fedyakin and B.V. Deryagin that experienced delayed recognition due to being published in non-English language (Russian) journals during the Cold War era of American–Soviet political rivalries. Only when the fourth paper was published by a group of American scientists (LIPPENCOTT et al., 1969) confirming the discovery of Polywater did the original Russian papers began to receive increased notice and the period of epidemic growth began (FRANKS, 1981).”

    Here’s what Henry Bauer wrote in 2002 (with reference to Franks), indicating a great many people claimed evidence for polywater:

    “Unlike with N-rays, scientists all over the world reported the preparation and investigation of polywater; indeed the very name is owing to a prominent American spectroscopist, Ellis Lippincott. The renowned British physicist J.D. Bernal called anomalous water “the most important physical-chemical discovery of this century” (Franks 1981, p. 49). Polywater was discussed at several of the prestigious annual Gordon Research Conferences (Franks 1981, p. 124).”

    Here are abstracts from 5 papers in the Garfield library, of them, all with different authors:

    1. Page Tf; Jakobsen Rj; Lippincott Er,; Polywater . Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrum; Science 167(1970)51
    Abstract: In the presence of water, the resonance of the strongly hydrogen-bonded protons characteristic of polywater appears at 5 ppm lower applied magnetic field than water. Polywater made by a new method confirms the IR spectrum reported originally.

    2. Petsko Ga; Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectrum Of Polywater, Science 167(1970)171

    Abstract: With the aid of a time-average computer, the proton magnetic resonance spectrum of anomalous water (polywater) is obtained. The spectrum consists of a single broad resonance shifted approximately 300 Hz down-field from the resonance of ordinary water.

    From the text: Samples of polywater, prepared in the manner described by Lippincott (2) in capillaries of …

    3. Castelli.Ga Ra; Grabar Dg; Hession J; Burkhard H; Polywater . Methods For Identifying Polywater Columns And Evidence For Ordered Growth; Science 167(1970)865
    Abstract: The refractive indices of polywater columns in glass capillaries have been rapidly and accurately measured with an interference microscope. Polywater has been detected by this method in both quartz and Vycor glass capillaries…

    4. Middlehu. J Mv; Fisher Lr; A New Polywater; Nature 227(1970)57
    Abstract: We have made a form of polywater (which we shall call fluorite polywater) with an infrared spectrum similar to that observed by Lippincott et al. [4] but with the frequencies of the peaks somewhat displaced…

    5. Brummer Sb; Entine G; Bradspie.Ji G; Lingerta.H G; Leung C; High-Yield Method For Preparation Of Anomalous Water; Journal Of Physical Chemistry 75(1971)2976

    Abstract: An experimental method for the preparation of anomalous water and its in volatile residue “polywater” in large glass tubes is described. […] In contrast to previously reported results, *every tube*, up to the largest explored (23-mm id), *successfully produces material* [emphasis in original]. The material thus prepared has an IR spectrum similar to that reported of “polywater” …

    Summary and Conclusions: The present data indicate that the erratic nature of the “polywater” phenomenon may be overcome by use of large flamed and sealed glass tubes…

    There are many more, but that should be enough to make the point. Many different groups in dozens of papers reported not only the preparation of polywater, but measurement of its properties, variations in the material, and in the methods of preparation.

    And look at the journals they published in: Science and Nature and JPC, but also Phys Rev and JACS and so on — journals cold fusion can only dream about appearing in. So not only were a lot of people claiming a bogus phenomenon, but it was considered respectable among a large fraction of mainstream science. And still it was wrong. It wasn’t that the specific measurements were wrong, but the controls on impurities were not as good as they thought, and the interpretations of the effects were wrong.

    Like cold fusion, there were also many papers on theory, and several tentative theories that were claimed to be consistent with a new polymeric form of water. In 1970, the papers started coming out suggesting that the properties were simply caused by impurities.

    Of course, you can say *now*, since we know polywater is bogus, that none of them actually observed polywater, but then, in the view of most scientists, none of the cold fusion researchers have actually observed cold fusion either; they just think they have. In the unlikely event that an experiment ever convinces believers that CF is bogus, then the retractions will come from there too.

    So polywater is not so different from cold fusion, except in degree. But then polywater was bigger than N-rays, and they used that as evidence that it was not like N-rays. But it was. And CF is like them too.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      Let me explain Cude-speak for the audience here. Where Cude says there were “many claimed replications” of polywater he means there were no claimed replications. None. See F. Franks, “Polywater” (MIT Press).

      Take every statement he makes and negate it and you may come up with some semblance of the truth. Or not. It is basically whatever pops into his head.

      • Joshua Cude says:

        Well, now I have to assume you just can’t read. Franks contradicts you, but it’s irrelevant. I cited 5 different groups published in Science, Nature, and JPC, and quoted their claims of making polywater. And that’s from a list of many more. They’re in the public record, and denying them won’t help.

  27. Joshua Cude says:

    On February 28, 2013 at 11:42 am Jed Rothwell says:
    “Replication is the only standard of truth in experimental science. When you reject it, you reject the scientific method itself.”

    You don’t have a clue about the scientific method. And talk about arrogance! A computer programmer with no training in physics is telling Murray Gell-Mann and Douglas Morrison and John Huizenga, all accomplished and decorated physicists, that they don’t know the scientific method.

    Of course replication is an important part of science, but some phenomena can be believed without it. The bending of light by gravity was accepted after one observation during the eclipse in 1919, and it made Einstein an instant celebrity. Likewise, phenomena like superconductivity, and aviation, and fission bombs, can be accepted with a single demonstration.

    The problem with cold fusion is that it has neither a whizz bang demo, nor replication. Mainstream science does not regard those many marginal claims as replications. They regard them as delusion.

    And the best definition of the scientific method is “the method that scientists use”, and in particular, the method that the best scientists use is the best scientific method. Any attempt to codify it is *descriptive*, not *prescriptive*.

    So when the best scientists engage their wit and experience to judge the validity of a claimed phenomenon, then they are using the scientific method by fucking definition.

  28. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    Did you even read what I requested??
    Recent peer-reviewed papers of device which results are positive and replicable (independently). Also with clear signs of fusion.

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

    Again references to International Conference on Cold Fusion etc trash.
    Not independent paper, or even paper about replicating cold fusion experiment.

    http://lenr-canr.org/wordpress/?page_id=455#MaterialSubmitted

    This is negative result review.
    Not what I asked.

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHisothermala.pdf

    Excess heat, but no signs of fusion.
    And not even recent.

    http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHcoldfusionb.pdf

    Again, not independent paper.
    Not peer-reviewed, or even attempt to replicate cold fusion.

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEhowtoprodu.pdf

    Not recent paper, and not even replication, only discussion.
    And in conclusion, they state that replication is difficult and happens only occasionally.

    You asked what is wrong with cold fusion experiment setups,
    and seems that the answer is depended on what setup we are discussion about.

    Here are some common problems:
    – Isotopical impurities (in used water, electrodes and hydrogen)
    – Various statistical errors
    – Noise from neutron counters
    – Cosmic-ray background variation
    – Calibration errors of calorimeters

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      You wrote: “Here are some common problems:
      – Isotopical impurities (in used water, electrodes and hydrogen)
      – Various statistical errors . . .”

      If you examine the literature carefully, you will see that many of the experiments were performed by world-class experts a places like Los Alamos, BARC, China Lake the PPPL and so on. These people did not make the kinds of errors you cite. For example, the Reactor Safety Division at BARC did not make errors measuring tritium because — as they said — they have been doing that for 50 years and their lives depend on doing it right.

      You assert there are errors, but merely asserting something does not make it true. You and Cude assume that you know more about tritium detection, calorimetry, electrochemistry and these other fields than the world’s leading experts. This is hubris. You do not know about these things, and you are making wild, unsupported assertions based on sources such as Wikipedia, which is a sewer of misinformation.

      If you are seriously interested in a field of experimental science, you will read authoritative sources published by major journals and institutions. You will think carefully about these reports. You will not jump to conclusions and make unfounded assertions on the Internet about errors in calorimetry or statistics.

      A scientific question is settled by instrument readings taken by experts, such as tritium measured hundreds of times at high signal to noise ratios. It is not settled with a barrage of verbiage, hand-waving, false statements, imaginary nonsense about $20 million budgets, and other irrelevancies from a fanatical Boy Wonder such as Cude, who has delusions that he knows more than experts about every subject under the sun. Since you will not read the facts about this research, you are wasting your time and making yourself look foolish. Do yourself a favor and shut up.

      That is the last thing I have to say to you. I do not mind helping people who are seriously interested in this subject, and willing to do their homework. I have no patience with know-it-alls who parrot nonsense from Wikipedia, and who are too lazy to read anything and unwilling to think for themselves.

      • Joshua Cude says:

        On March 2, 2013 at 8:28 am, Jed Rothwell says:
        “If you examine the literature carefully, you will see that many of the experiments were performed by world-class experts a places like Los Alamos, BARC, China Lake the PPPL and so on.”

        Big deal. Working at Los Alamos or BARC does not make you invincible. And the people who think cold fusion is bogus, like Huizenga and Morrison and Lewis and Koonin, where do you think they work(ed)? At McDonald’s?

        Rothwell:
        “These people did not make the kinds of errors you cite. For example, the Reactor Safety Division at BARC did not make errors measuring tritium…”

        And yet the high levels they reported weeks after time zero were never repeated by anyone, including themselves. The tritium levels vary by about 10 orders of magnitude, and never come high enough to account for the claimed heat. And it seems by Storms’ review, that no one is even looking for it anymore, even though no reaction has been identified to account for it.

        Rothwell:
        “You assert there are errors, but merely asserting something does not make it true.”

        True, and asserting that there are no errors, doesn’t make that true either. The inconsistent reports, the abandonment of attempts to measure it, the failure to get reported in any prominent journals suggest the results are erroneous.

  29. John Milstone says:

    After 5 minutes of searching, I found:

    Wikipedia article on LENR, which specifically lists almost $90 million in LENR funding, and a reference to $20 million for Brillouin Energy.

    I didn’t bother looking beyond those two articles, and I found over $100 million in LENR funding. I seriously doubt that I found all of it. But even if I did, over $100 million make the case just as well as the $200 million number others have used.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      I am in contact with the people at Brillouin Energy. They do not have anything like $20 million! Believe me, I would know.

      The Wikipedia article on cold fusion is not a reliable source of information. I suggest you stick to document published by mainstream institutions, signed by people, rather than anonymous articles by people who name themselves after comic book characters.

  30. John Milstone says:

    If you do not find any reason to take me seriously, and you do not wish to read any of the 2,000 papers I uploaded, I suggest you ignore what I say. I also suggest you stop making things up and posting them here, such as this imaginary $200 million. That adds nothing to the discussion. I think we should agree to disagree and leave it at that.

    As both Joshua Cude and I have demonstrated, the $200 million quote is not imaginary.

    And, I’m sure you would love nothing more than to no longer have people correcting your false and often ridiculous statements about your misplaced passion.

  31. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    You don’t seem to know how wikipedia works.
    Did you even check the sources used by wikipedia?

    The information is not invented by anonymous people,
    instead all non-obvious information must come from external references.

  32. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    “If you examine the literature carefully, you will see that many of the experiments were performed by world-class experts a places like Los Alamos, BARC, China Lake the PPPL and so on. These people did not make the kinds of errors you cite.”

    Yes they did and it’s well known fact.
    Read the papers and you will see that many times it’s exactly what they themselves were suspecting.
    And yes, real scientist doesn’t do it anymore, they have learned,
    and that is why there are no recent peer-reviewed papers anymore!!!

    “You and Cude assume that you know more about tritium detection, calorimetry, electrochemistry and these other fields than the world’s leading experts. This is hubris. You do not know about these things, and you are making wild, unsupported assertions based on sources such as Wikipedia, which is a sewer of misinformation.”

    Actually my source was Nature and Physics Letters.
    And yes, I’m not expert in this field, and so I read what the real experts say about this.
    I just do it from real peer-reviewed journals.

    “If you are seriously interested in a field of experimental science, you will read authoritative sources published by major journals and institutions.”

    As I do, where are your claimed peer-reviewed sources?
    Sending again and again same links to not-peer-reviewed sources doesn’t make them peer-reviewed.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      Regarding Nature, I suggest you read:

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJhownaturer.pdf

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/LindleyDtheembarra.pdf

      You can find other papers on your own. I will not spoon-feed you this information. I find that seldom works with closed-minded people.

      • Joshua Cude says:

        On March 2, 2013 at 11:56 am, Jed Rothwell says:
        “You can find other papers on your own. I will not spoon-feed you this information. I find that seldom works with closed-minded people.”

        Translation: I don’t know of any papers that contradict you, but they must be out there somewhere, and you’re to lazy to find them.

        Certainly the two things you cited don’t prove anything.

        • Jed Rothwell says:

          Here is a paper I have cited many times that proves you are wrong:

          http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHisothermala.pdf

          Here is another:

          http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/WillFGtritiumgen.pdf

          There are hundreds more. You are not debating me; you are debating the experts who wrote these papers.

          • Joshua Cude says:

            On March 4, 2013 at 7:05 am, Jed Rothwell says:

            “Here is a paper I have cited many times that proves you are wrong:

            lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHisothermala.pdf”

            It proves that there are claims of excess heat in (old) refereed literature. No one disagrees with that. But it certainly doesn’t prove cold fusion. It goes a long way to proving the opposite.

            A few years earlier, P&F claimed 20 to 40 times more power and higher COP, but with inferior calorimetry. McKubre’s improved calorimetry wiped out all but a watt or so of the excess power, and all but 10% gain over the input. Now, this is above his statistical error, but is well within the sort of systematic error or artifacts common in calorimetry, as you have emphasized when you wrote that “calorimetric errors and artifacts are more common that researchers realize”.

            And there’s no a priori (or plausible) reason that the reaction rate should fall so close to the input power rate, considering the 30 or more orders of magnitude it occurs above conventional expectations. It’s another cold fusion miracle!

            Also, when the current is turned off, the power disappears much more quickly than one would expect the deuterium to diffuse out of the Pd. Especially when you consider the many claims that heat continues for days after the input is turned off.

            Taken together with P&F results, it suggests no nuclear effects are present, but a lot of wishful thinking is.

            But the biggest criticism of this citation is its date (1994). You were asked for some recent papers. McKubre scarcely published anything after this paper, and it seems the EPRI cut his funding soon after, and I couldn’t find him listed on the SRI site anymore. Likewise P&F did not improve on the excess heat claims in refereed literature.

            And going by your list of excess heat papers, and Britz’s bibliography, there is nothing in the refereed literature in the last decade that claims more than a watt or so of excess power (and I think only 2 that claim about a watt; one in Japanese). Surely, if the effect were real, some improvement would be observed, even if only by accident.

            These days, McKubre spends his time endorsing what appear to be charlatans like Dardik and Rossi and Goldes (not to mention Papp), none of whom have published under peer review.

          • Joshua Cude says:

            On March 4, 2013 at 7:05 am, Jed Rothwell says:

            Here is a paper I have cited many times that proves you are wrong:

            lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHisothermala.pdf

            I just wanted to add that McKubre’s paper failed to convince the mainstream of the reality of cold fusion, as evidenced by Garwin’s report, who examined the results, and that of the DOE panel, which examined those results and many more, and by the absence of cold fusion acceptance in the most prominent journals. A proof that does not convince experts is much more likely to be a delusion.

            Here is another: lenr-canr.org/acrobat/WillFGtritiumgen.pdf

            This one is even older, and recent measurements of tritium are even scarcer, and less consistent. And what’s happened to Fritz Will? From what I’ve seen, he’s doing research on conventional battery technology. Not the sort of thing someone would do if he believes he’s contributed to a revolution in physics that could save the world.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      You wrote: “As I do, where are your claimed peer-reviewed sources?”

      As I explained above, I cannot upload the peer-reviewed versions of most of these papers because of copyright restrictions. You will find them in the index. Go to a library and read them.

  33. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    “Regarding Nature, …”

    And now I’m supposed to be convinced that it’s Nature where the error is!?
    How about every other peer-reviewed journals?
    Is it just all big error that they don’t publish cold fusion papers anymore?

  34. JNewman says:

    What a wonderful capsule summary of the past two years of internet wrangling over LENR!
    Nothing summarizes the nature of the debate better than Joshua Cude patiently deconstructing the unsubstantiated claims of the faithful while Jed Rothwell resorts to calling anyone a fanatic if they don’t surrender to his arguments by quantity over quality.

    As was pointed out, cold fusion is not going to get any more real by having more people believe in it or be fans of it. Conversely, it is not going to get any less real no matter how many people “dislike it”. Physical phenomena do not respond to popular demand. If cold fusion is real, then it has to actually work. And even if Jed has 10,000 documents in his database, at least one of them has to be good enough to prove it.

  35. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    “As I explained above, I cannot upload the peer-reviewed versions of most of these papers because of copyright restrictions.”

    That is just lousy excuse.
    There are not copyright restriction for linking abstracts.

    “You will find them in the index. Go to a library and read them.”

    Yeah right.
    There seems to be 3769 references, and no way to filter out trash (powerpoints, International Conference on Cold Fusion, etc).
    (And with quick look, only recent real papers I found were negative results.)

    I think the reason for this (and for why you don’t show your evidence) is that the evidence is so weak that it’s better to hide under all those trash.

    That way you can always just call skeptics lazy.

  36. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    “Here is a paper I have cited many times that proves you are wrong: …”

    Proves what and how?
    They are not recent papers, only one of them is peer-reviewed and it doesn’t give any evidence of fusion. Only excess heat.

    And this setup was investigated and criticized by Richard Garwin. False signals and measurement errors.
    His conclusion was “Did not support any finding of ‘excess heat.’ ”

    That is one example why you should read recent papers, no old already corrected mistakes.

    • Jed Rothwell says:

      I have Garwin’s report that he wrote after visiting SRI. He had no complaints. He found no errors. Later, in on “60 Minutes” he claimed that he found errors. He asserted that there may be an error measuring input power, and the excess heat might be an artifact for this reason. This is ruled out for several reasons, most notably:

      1. The excess heat has been measured when there is no input power, in heat after death and with gas loading.

      2. As McKubre pointed out in his response on “60 Minutes,” “A very large number of people have been making these measurements and a measurement of current, voltage, temperature resistance is some of the simplest measurements that a physicist or a physical scientist will measure.”

      3. Garwin himself, in his 1993 report on his visit to SRI wrote: “We have found no specific experimental artifact responsible for the finding of excess heat . . .” In other words, he does not know any specific reason to doubt the power measurements. Unless he can cite a specific reason his claim cannot be tested or falsified and therefore it is not a valid scientific assertion.

      • Joshua Cude says:

        On March 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm, Jed Rothwell says:

        I have Garwin’s report that he wrote after visiting SRI. He had no complaints. He found no errors.

        Anyone with internet access has access to the report. And he did have complaints. He suggested several possible sources of error.

        And he said that he and the authors would “like to see a larger effect, and one that can be more reliably exhibited”. But like I said, McKubre didn’t get a larger effect, and 4 years later, he admitted that the reproducibility got worse: “with hindsight, we may now conclude that the presumption of repeatable excess heat production was premature…” .

        He asserted that there may be an error measuring input power, and the excess heat might be an artifact for this reason. This is ruled out for several reasons, most notably:

        1. The excess heat has been measured when there is no input power, in heat after death and with gas loading.

        Not in that experiment, it wasn’t. The heat disappeared rapidly when the input was turned off. Which suggests that whatever the nature of the claims of excess heat in heat after death experiments, they were not relevant to this experiment.

        As for the heat after death experiments, what would be easier to prove than to place a cathode exhibiting this phenomenon in a completely isolated calorimeter, and watch the temperature rise. Why didn’t they pass one around to the DOE panel members? If only 5 % of them work, then prepare 50 cells, and pass around one that does.

        In fact, the claim of heat after death without an unequivocal demonstration is one of the things that makes the field difficult to take seriously. As you have said, “It is utterly impossible to fake palpable heat…. I do not think any scientist will dispute this. …An object that remains palpably warmer than the surroundings is as convincing as anything can be…” But surely that’s what a piece of palladium deuteride experiencing heat after death is. And since your sentence is hypothetical you are admitting that such a demo does not exist, which is also consistent with this statement: “Gene Mallove and I used to say that if we only had a demonstration kit we could persuade the world that cold fusion is real.”

        3. Garwin himself, in his 1993 report on his visit to SRI wrote: “We have found no specific experimental artifact responsible for the finding of excess heat . . .”

        The rest of that quotation is “, but we would like to see eventually (as would the experimenters) a larger effect and one that can be more reliably exhibited. Alternatively, a larger number of light-water cells might more readily exhibit the phenomenon if it not “real”, and this would seem to be a relatively easy way to challenge the hypothesis that the peculiarity is specific to heavy water.”

        Elsewhere in the letter, he writes: “We are concerned about a number of possibilities for producing apparent excess heat where none exists.” And then went on to describe several of these possibilities.

        It would seem that his concerns were never adequately addressed, because in 1999, he is quoted as saying: “It’s as dead as ever. It’s quite unbelievable that the thing has gone on for 10 years. But it’s the same group of people and they don’t want to take no for an answer.”

        • Joshua Cude says:

          Sorry, the last quote is Huizenga, not Garwin. Garwin’s continued skpeticism is clear from the 2009 60-minutes episode.

        • Stefan says:

          troll on duty… it’s funny… I guess you have failed to make a splash; it’s Ok 99% people did not even try; yet, there are more alive people then dead it is the main P-reason you get to existence; enjoy your life do not make it so miserable…

  37. Jussi says:

    @ Jed Rothwell

    You missed the big picture.
    Garwin did wrote “…no specific experimental artifact…”, but if you read the whole paper, you will see that he did suggest several possible sources of errors.

    Example:
    “However, there are a number of potential
    confounders (dirt effects) that could mimic such an excess power. One would be an increased apparent temperature of the output RTDs, which are nominally 100-ohm platinum resistors.”

    And guess what, no recent successful replications!

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