Friday, June 6, 2008

Gullible (part 2)

Looks like we have discovered the next cold fusion. Do these people neglect to consider basic physics out of ignorance? Or is it spite?

42 comments:

  1. You wrote:

    "Looks like we have discovered the next cold fusion."

    Incorrect. Arata's results are in line with previous cold fusion results, which have been confirmed in hundreds of world-class laboratories, and published in about a thousand peer-reviewed mainstream journal papers.


    "Do these people neglect to consider basic physics out of ignorance? Or is it spite?"

    "These people" include hundreds of distinguished scientists such as the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Physical Chemistry; Dr. P. K. Iyengar, director of BARC and later chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission; Prof. Melvin Miles, Fellow of China Lake; Prof. Julian Schwinger; three editors of major plasma fusion and physics journals; a retired member of the French Atomic Energy Commission, and many top researchers from U.S. national laboratories. Also please note that Prof. Arata, who did this experiment, holds dozens of awards including an international award established in his name, and a building named after him on the campus of Osaka National University. He is one of Japan's most distinguished scientists. I expect that he, along with the others in this field, probably know as much about physics as you do.

    I suggest you review what they have discovered and written before jumping to conclusions about it. See:

    http://lenr-canr.org

    - Jed Rothwell
    Librarian, LENR-CANR.org

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  2. First, let me acknowledge that "these people" are legitimate scientists who do legitimate work. That being said, they are emphatically not nuclear physicists. They're chemists and material scientists. Second, I have reviewed several of the papers (which, I might add, are published in journals of scientific "ill repute;" publish your results in Nature, or Physical Review, or Nuclear Physics A, or Nuclear Instruments and Methods, and then I'll take you seriously), and it is because of this that I am struck by the lack of basic understanding.

    Let's just do a quick calculation. Based on Arata's most recent paper, a Pd lattice spacing of a few angstroms was measured. Ok, let's be liberal and call it one angstrom. He said in his 1992 paper that the Pd crystal would absorb up to 760 times its own weight in deuterium. Ok. Deuterium has a mass of 2 amu, stable Pd has a mass of 106 amu. Order of magnitude, that means the Pd lattice absorbed 760*(106/2) deuterons, or about 40,000 of them per Pd atom. Now, in order to achieve fusion, the deuterium nuclei must get to within a few fermi (10^-15 meters) of one another. An angstrom is 10^-10 meters. If we assume that the deuterons that have been absorbed by the Pd lattice arrange themselves roughly homogenously, the number of deuterons in any linear dimension between Pd atoms is the cube root of those 40,000 that we placed inside that volume. That's a mere 35 deuterium atoms in the linear space between Pd atoms... so about one atom per tenth of an angstrom, or (at most) 10 atoms per tenth of an angstrom (so one deuteron per 10^-12 meters). But we needed one deuteron per 10^-15 meters in order to achieve fusion, remember? We're still three orders of magnitude too far away. Three orders of magnitude is huge. That's the difference between traveling from Denver to Boulder and traveling from Denver to Anchorage, Alaska.

    This is what I mean when I refer to a neglect of basic physics. They may very well be generating "excess" heat, but the fact of the matter is, it's chemical energy, not nuclear. The fact that they call it "low energy nuclear reactions" actually sickens me. I do low energy nuclear reactions. With a 25 million volt tandem accelerator. That's what "low energy" means in nuclear physics.

    Shouldn't it be some kind of indication that we have yet to construct a working tokamak reactor? That in order to achieve fusion, one needs something like - say - the sun? You can't get the energies required out of chemistry. It's just not possible. There is a lot of energy in chemical processes, don't get me wrong. Anyone who has witnessed hydrogen burn, or seen potassium explode in water, or watched thermite cut straight through a car knows that there is immense power in the chemical properties of things. But it's not nuclear. If these scientists can't yet explain the "excess" heat they're generating, it's because they don't understand the chemical model completely, not because they've achieved tabletop nuclear fusion. I'm not saying (as I mentioned previously) there isn't good science to be done here. Obviously, they should know what's going on in their experiments. But - again, and I can't say this strongly enough - it's not nuclear fusion.

    I know personally several of the intelligent, reputable scientists who tried to replicate the original cold fusion experiments of Pons and Fleischmann, and were unable to do so. I also know that, if you would read a nuclear physics textbook like Krane, you too would determine that getting nuclear physics out of chemistry is just not feasible.

    Although I appreciate your comment, I must admit that I have trouble being lectured on science by a non-scientist. You can keep your 3,500 articles (which, I might add, is really peanuts compared to mainstream scientific publishing); I'll hold out for a Mr. Fusion a little longer.

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  3. My apologies... my example is only two orders of magnitude (had you fooled there for a second, huh?). Three orders of magnitude would be the difference between a trip from Denver to Anchorage and a trip from my parent's house to the park three miles down the road.

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  4. You wrote:

    First, let me acknowledge that "these people" are legitimate scientists who do legitimate work. That being said, they are emphatically not nuclear physicists. They're chemists and material scientists.

    Actually several of them are nuclear scientists, including leading plasma fusion scientists and tokamak experts at U. Illinois and U. Nagoya and BARC. They have collaborated with leading nuclear scientists at LANL and dozens of other major institutions.


    "Second, I have reviewed several of the papers (which, I might add, are published in journals of scientific "ill repute;" publish your results in Nature, or Physical Review, or Nuclear Physics A, or Nuclear Instruments and Methods, and then I'll take you seriously) . . ."

    Several papers have been in Physics A, including some by a contributing editor (deceased). They have also been published in J. Fusion Energy, J. Electroanal. Chem., Fusion Sci. & Technol., Jap. J. Applied Physics and Naturwissenschaften and many other journals which are every bit as good as Nature. The editors at Nature reject papers on cold fusion because they have very peculiar notions about experimental physics, as you see from this letter:

    http://lenr-canr.org/Collections/Lindley.jpg

    (If you do not see several glaring errors, you need to do your homework on cold fusion and the experimental method.)


    "Let's just do a quick calculation. Based on Arata's most recent paper, a Pd lattice spacing of a few angstroms was measured. Ok, let's be liberal and call it one angstrom. He said in his 1992 paper that the Pd crystal would absorb up to 760 times its own weight in deuterium. Ok. Deuterium has a mass of 2 amu, stable Pd has a mass of 106 amu. Order of magnitude, that means the Pd lattice absorbed 760*(106/2) deuterons, or about 40,000 of them per Pd atom. Now, in order to achieve fusion, the deuterium nuclei must get to within a few fermi (10^-15 meters) of one another. . . ."

    Stop right there! If these calculations predict that fusion cannot occur, they are wrong. Fusion has been confirmed by experiment. The cells produce thousands of times more heat than any chemical reaction with the same mass of reactants; they consume no chemical fuel; they produce no chemical ash; and they produce helium in the same ratio to the heat as plasma fusion does. Therefore they are undergoing a fusion reaction. If your theory predicts this is not possible, then your theory is wrong. When theory conflicts with widely replicated, high-sigma experimental data, theory always loses, the data always wins. This is fundamental to the scientific method.

    You CANNOT cite theory to disprove replicated experiments. If you do that, no new finding will ever be accepted. Also no dispute will ever settled, because I can cite dozens of counter-theories by people like Schwinger and Hagelstein that prove cold fusion CAN occur in Pd-D. There is only one standard of proof in physics: the experiment.


    "I know personally several of the intelligent, reputable scientists who tried to replicate the original cold fusion experiments of Pons and Fleischmann, and were unable to do so."

    I know 135 people who were unable to replicate:

    Number
    First author Of People Institution
    Albagli 16 MIT
    Anderson 11 Yale
    Campbell 2 Lawrence Livermore N. L.
    Deakin 5 Florida State U.
    Dignan 4 San Francisco State U.
    Ewig 4 Sandia N. L.
    Faller 3 Env. Monitoring Systems Lab.
    Fleming 5 AT&T Bell Labs.
    Guilinger 9 Sandia N. L.
    Hayden 10 U. British Columbia
    Hill 11 Iowa State U.
    Kashy 10 Michigan State U.
    Porter 8 U. California Berkeley
    Rehm 3 Argonne N. L.
    Roberts 12 U. Michigan
    Rugari 7 Yale/Brookhaven
    Schirber 8 Sandia N. L.
    Silvera 2 Harvard U.
    Southon 4 McMaster U.
    Wiesmann 1 Brookhaven N. L.

    Totals: 20 groups, 135 people

    I also know why they failed, what they did wrong, and why roughly 2000 others subsequently succeeded. The fact that some people fail to replicate an experiment has no bearing at all on whether the effect is real or not. As Schwinger explained:

    “The National Cold Fusion Institute has provided a clearing house for reports that bear on the reality of cold fusion. As of August, 1990, 78 other groups, from all over the globe, have reported positive evidence, as conveyed by the detection of one or more of these indicators: excess heat, tritium, neutrons, γ-rays, 3He. The standard response to such a list is: “Yes, but what about the much larger number of failures?” Does anyone really think that the scientific judgement is like an election, in which the majority carries the day?”


    "I also know that, if you would read a nuclear physics textbook like Krane, you too would determine that getting nuclear physics out of chemistry is just not feasible."

    A textbook cannot overrule an experiment that has been replicated thousands of times at high s/n ratios in hundreds of laboratories. One good experiment overrules all of the textbooks and all of the assembled experts on earth.


    "Although I appreciate your comment, I must admit that I have trouble being lectured on science by a non-scientist."

    Then I suggest you read Schwinger, Fleischmann, Miles, Storms or some of the other scientists in our library.

    In any case, if you reject replicated data by pointing to theory, then you are not a scientist. You are practicing a form of holy-book based religion, not science. In science all questions must be settled by experiment.

    - Jed

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  5. Rather than waste a lot time speculating, I suggest interested people read the book "The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction" available from World Scientific. There you will find the experimental information summarized with citations and many proposed explanations analyzed. This information will make intelligent comments possible.

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  6. I'm an experimentalist, not a theorist; I well understand the symbiosis between theory and experiment. I also know that physicists are taught the ability to perform "back of the envelope" calculations in order to determine whether something is physically feasible or not.

    The TUNL Nuclear Data Evaluation Project amasses information from thousands of experiments (www.tunl.duke.edu) and combines the information into a database on nuclei. This database is used by nuclear physicists around the world on a regular basis. Examine the level diagram for 4He (determined solely by experiment). The Q-value for the d+d -> 4He reaction is around 24 MeV, meaning that almost 24 MeV of energy is released, should you find a way to fuse the two deuterons. How that 24 MeV of energy is released has also been determined by experiment. About half the time, the 4He, in its excited state, decays via proton emission. A little less than half the time, it decays via neutron emission. The remaining decay channel is to break apart into two deuterons again. States in 4He near the d+d threshhold do not decay via a gamma. How, then, do some of the experimenters detect a gamma ray? Detection of protons and neutrons is much, much, much more likely, but even the Georgia Tech scientists admitted to not fully understanding the behavior of their neutron probe under the large temperature range of their experiment. Neutron detection is notoriously difficult as neutrons interact so weakly with matter.

    Additionally, the explanation (from Chubb) that cold fusion within a lattice somehow cools slowly, by transferring energy bit by bit to the surrounding electrons, seems to indicate that the experiments either don't agree with one another or with the theory. If, as is considered, the newly created 4He slowly diffuses its energy to the metal's electrons, you will not detect any gammas, protons, neutrons, or the like (things which are reliable signatures of nuclear processes). But many of the papers in your library suggest that detection of just such particles is touted as the "proof" of cold fusion taking place. A theory is no good if it can't predict experimental results.

    In other words, either the process of cold fusion is a nuclear process, in which case you will reliably detect nuclear byproducts, or it's not, in which case it's not fusion.

    One last "experimental" argument. Nuclear fusion - as in stars - occurs naturally. Nuclear fission, as well as the typical modes of decay for nuclei, also occurs naturally. The Oklo natural reactors are an interesting case of this. But if palladium is naturally occurring, deuterium is naturally occurring, and there must surely be somewhere that the two occur together - why haven't we seen naturally occurring cold fusion? ;-)

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  7. I appreciate your tone, which is more professional and thoughtful.

    You wrote:

    “I'm an experimentalist, not a theorist; I well understand the symbiosis between theory and experiment.

    I also know that physicists are taught the ability to perform "back of the envelope" calculations in order to determine whether something is physically feasible or not.”

    But if their calculation indicates it is not feasible, and yet it does occur, they are taught to ignore calculations and theory and accept the facts. That is the traditional approach, anyway. They still do in other areas, as Schwinger described:

    “A totally unexpected phenomenon has been discovered in a certain field of science. It could have significant implications for the future of mankind, and especially for the Japanese. The overwhelming reaction of the experts in the field is rejection, based on the absence of other effects that are considered to be necessary companions of this new phenomenon. To quote one expert: “We know a lot about what happens. . . . We no longer have the latitude to say ‘Well, some strange event occurred and generated those things.’” Nevertheless, this new possibility seems to have enough validity that one skeptic said: “It’s hard to believe it. But there seems to be something to this.” And he went on to say: “It should not be necessary, however, to understand the mechanism before embracing the concept. If a proven track record can be established . . . you have to believe it.”

    To which scientific field does all this refer? In view of the title of my lecture, the question may seem surprising. In fact, the object is seismology. . . .”


    “How, then, do some of the experimenters detect a gamma ray? Detection of protons and neutrons is much, much, much more likely . . .”

    No, it is not. Neutrons occur in cold fusion at least 10E11 times less frequently, and probably not at all. In my opinion they are probably a side effect of some other reaction, or perhaps from fractofusion.

    Again, you cannot assert that it is “much, much more likely” to happen when experiments prove beyond doubt that it DOES NOT happen. You cannot dictate to nature. The reaction is what the instruments reveal it to be. As an experimentalist, you should know this. It should be your creed.


    “Additionally, the explanation (from Chubb) that cold fusion within a lattice somehow cools slowly, by transferring energy bit by bit to the surrounding electrons, seems to indicate that the experiments either don't agree with one another or with the theory.”

    Please note that cold fusion is based on experiment, not theory. So even if Chubb, Hagelstein and the other are wrong, that does not prove cold fusion does not exist. It only proves that nobody understands it.


    ”In other words, either the process of cold fusion is a nuclear process, in which case you will reliably detect nuclear byproducts, or it's not, in which case it's not fusion.”

    Either that, or it is an unknown, unanticipated phenomenon that does not fit into our present knowledge. The experimental evidence indicates that is the case. I do not think can argue with excess heat beyond the limits of chemistry and helium. I have not heard any valid arguments yet, after 19 years.


    “But if palladium is naturally occurring, deuterium is naturally occurring, and there must surely be somewhere that the two occur together - why haven't we seen naturally occurring cold fusion? ;-)”

    Perhaps because we have not looked. More likely because it occurs infrequently, in domains too small to observe. My guess is that it is about as frequent as naturally occurring transistors, or naturally occurring high temperature superconductors. Transistor and cold fusion devices are both surface effect devices that are extremely difficult to make in the lab without skill and proper materials.

    - Jed

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  8. I would like to point out one more thing. The theory-based objections you raise, such as the lack of neutrons, were obvious to all of the researchers the moment they heard about cold fusion. I am sure you realize that people like Schwinger and Fleischmann are quite familiar with conventional high energy physics. Your first message sounds as if you imagine it never crossed their minds that this is a tremendous anomaly. Frankly, it is absurd that you imagined they "neglected to consider basic physics." Even if you meant that as joke, it reflects badly on you. People like Schwinger were careful, thoughtful people and you should not ridicule or denigrate them.

    If you read their papers, you will see that they acknowledge this is an anomaly, but they feel that replicated experimental results have absolute primacy and cannot be denied no matter how much they appear to contradict theory. This is, apparently, an old fashioned point of view, but these are old fashioned people.

    - Jed

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  9. You said yourself: "It only proves that nobody understands it." Precisely my point! If nobody truly understands it, what right do any of those researchers - or you, for that matter - to call it cold fusion? You don't know the mechanisms, you don't understand the results, and therefore you can't just call it what you like. That's as presumptious as me saying that, outside of any consistent, reliable and physically feasible mechanism, that my thesis data alone (though it is reproducible and purely experimental) constitutes some vague and unexplainable "stellar nucleosynthesis." I can't, in all good conscience, make that leap outside of the proper (ie, theoretical) context. My results would be published as standalone. No matter how many times I was able to, experimentally, repeat the one or two measurements I made, that wouldn't give me license to blithely create some far-fetched and, as of yet, unphysical and inexplicable concept which I see as producing the entire thing. Do your experiments, come up with theoretical explanations, combine the two into some coherent and logical whole with reproducible results and predictive power, and then maybe you can give it a name, keeping in mind both what it is, and what it is not. Whatever it is, it's a subject still very much in its infancy, and there is absolutely no reason to hock it as a proven technology (something that the researchers themselves seem to realize, even if the outspoken proponents of cold fusion do not).

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  10. You wrote:

    "You said yourself: "It only proves that nobody understands it." Precisely my point! If nobody truly understands it, what right do any of those researchers - or you, for that matter - to call it cold fusion? You don't know the mechanisms, you don't understand the results . . ."

    That is incorrect. We do not know the mechanisms but we do understand the results, and they are indisputable. The process inputs deuterium, and outputs heat and helium in the same ratio to the heat as plasma fusion does. It does not consume any chemical fuel or produce any chemical ash. Therefore it is fusion. If that is not certain it is by far the best working hypothesis.

    We do not understand the mechanism of high temperature superconductivity, but the Meissner effect proves that it is superconductivity. Before 1939, no one understood what nuclear reaction occurs in the sun, but it was obviously a nuclear reaction and hydrogen was obviously the fuel.

    As Beaudette put it: “Pierre Curie announced his empirical evidence for anomalous power discharge from radium and was awarded a Nobel Prize. Similarly, the empirical evidence for an astonishingly rapid expansion of the universe is recognized as requiring explanation by the cosmologists. There was no assertion from scientists that these two examples were pathological because of the lack of causal information. The empirical data in these two examples was not hidden from view pending some additional knowledge. Science requires only that there be no procedural error in the measurements.”

    You would impose a new an unprecedented burden on experimentalists: that all new or anomalous observations must be explained before they will be accepted. Any result without a theory attached will be ignored. This is a dangerous idea that flies in the face of tradition and common sense. It will stifle progress. It will also increase the number of absurd theories in circulation, because (in my experience) experimentalists make bad theory. We should not demand they make any theory. It isn't their job.

    - Jed

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  11. You wrote:

    "Whatever it is, it's a subject still very much in its infancy, and there is absolutely no reason to hock it as a proven technology (something that the researchers themselves seem to realize, even if the outspoken proponents of cold fusion do not)."

    Who on earth are you talking about?!? I do not know anyone who "hocks" or promotes cold fusion as a "proven technology," and I know just about everyone in the field. I have never said remotely like that, and I wrote a whole e-book on cold fusion and technology. (It was recommended by Arthur Clarke and many distinguished profs -- have a look.)

    Cold fusion reactions tend to go out of control and cause explosions. Only an idiot would call that "proven technology." If you scaled it up it would be a proven way to blow your head off. People have been seriously hurt by explosions from samples weighing less than a gram.

    There may be people out there who know nothing about cold fusion who promote it the way you describe, but you cannot hold the researchers responsible for this. You can't hold me responsible either, because everything I have written contradicts this absurd notion.

    Here is what I know about the prospects, based on discussion with top experts at NRL who know way more about cold fusion and industrial R&D than I do: there is no way cold fusion could be developed into a working device without an investment of something on the order of $300 to $600 million, and several years. The likelihood of such funding is zero to five significant digits, at least in the U.S.

    - Jed

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  12. Jed said:
    "Arata's results are in line with previous cold fusion results, which have been confirmed in hundreds of world-class laboratories, and published in about a thousand peer-reviewed mainstream journal papers."

    Jed said:
    "Fusion has been confirmed by experiment. The cells produce thousands of times more heat than any chemical reaction with the same mass of reactants; they consume no chemical fuel; they produce no chemical ash; and they produce helium in the same ratio to the heat as plasma fusion does. Therefore they are undergoing a fusion reaction. If your theory predicts this is not possible, then your theory is wrong."

    Jed said:
    "One good experiment overrules all of the textbooks and all of the assembled experts on earth."

    Jed said:
    "The experimental evidence indicates that is the case. I do not think can argue with excess heat beyond the limits of chemistry and helium. I have not heard any valid arguments yet, after 19 years."

    Jed said:
    "We do not know the mechanisms but we do understand the results, and they are indisputable. The process inputs deuterium, and outputs heat and helium in the same ratio to the heat as plasma fusion does. It does not consume any chemical fuel or produce any chemical ash. Therefore it is fusion."

    Jed then said:
    "Who on earth are you talking about?!? I do not know anyone who "hocks" or promotes cold fusion as a "proven technology," and I know just about everyone in the field. I have never said remotely like that, and I wrote a whole e-book on cold fusion and technology."

    I'm tired of this. Is it a proven science or is it not? Does it require explanation or does it not? How does "one good experiment" overrule the sum of mankind's collected scientific knowledge, most of which is (imagine that) experimental? Especially when, as you say, a few good experiments are enough to indicate that the mechanism of cold fusion is real? Doesn't that mean the thousands of good experiments which indicate it's not feasible should be given sway? Yes or no?

    If your argument is solely that we have here a strange and anomalous, sporadically repeatable result which we don't understand and should therefore spend more time studying, you're right. I agree. That's science.

    If your argument (as it appears to me to be) is that we have here a strange and anomalous, sporadically repeatable result which is proven beyond a scientific doubt, despite all experiments and theories to the contrary and all attempts amongst its own proponents to properly explain it, to be nuclear fusion within a chemical context, which is somehow being held back and trod upon and otherwise unrighteously persecuted by the bulk of the scientific community, then I adamantly disagree. At that point, you sound more like an intelligent design supporter than someone with a true understanding and appreciation of science.

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  13. shraderll2@comcastbusiness.netJune 11, 2008 at 11:53 PM

    Kelly said:
    ====
    First, let me acknowledge that "these people" are legitimate scientists who do legitimate work. That being said, they are emphatically not nuclear physicists. They're chemists and material scientists. Second, I have reviewed several of the papers (which, I might add, are published in journals of scientific "ill repute;" publish your results in Nature, or Physical Review, or Nuclear Physics A, or Nuclear Instruments and Methods, and then I'll take you seriously), and it is because of this that I am struck by the lack of basic understanding.
    ======

    Quiz: There's an old saying I'm fond of.

    "Determined souls will accomplish more with a rusted monkey wrench than a well funded institution with the most expensive equipment in the world and no concept of creativity"

    - definitely applies on the above blog comments, and the Ptolemaic foundations you are unfortunately building your future career upon touting the party line.

    Please say hello to your fellow lab partners sitting in the chair next to you at work. :)

    sam
    "we built this lab"

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  14. You wrote:

    "I'm tired of this. Is it a proven science or is it not?"

    It is proven experimental science. It is far from being a practical technology.


    "Does it require explanation or does it not?"

    Of course it requires explanation. I have made that quite clear, repeatedly. There is no doubt it is fusion, but how and why fusion occurs in this manner, in this domain, is a mystery, just as plasma fusion was a mystery before 1939.


    "How does "one good experiment" overrule the sum of mankind's collected scientific knowledge, most of which is (imagine that) experimental?"

    This experiment does not overrule the sum of collected knowledge. It appears to overrule some aspects of some theories relating to plasma physics. Many experts feel that it can be explained with conventional physics, and it does not overrule anything.

    Hypothetically, an experiment that proves ESP is real, or the discovery of "fossilized rabbits in the Precambrian" would overrule a large fraction of accumulated knowledge. Cold fusion is nothing like that.


    "Especially when, as you say, a few good experiments are enough to indicate that the mechanism of cold fusion is real?"

    Yes, a few good experiments would be enough. We have many good experiments at hundreds of labs, which is even better.


    "Doesn't that mean the thousands of good experiments which indicate it's not feasible should be given sway? Yes or no?"

    No, it does not mean that. First, there have not been thousands of good experiments. There were 20 flawed experiments in cold fusion in the U.S. that failed for reasons that can be explained. Experiments in plasma physics are in a different domain, and evidently the results do not apply to cold fusion. (I mean “evidently” in the literal sense: the evidence proves this.)


    "If your argument is solely that we have here a strange and anomalous, sporadically repeatable result which we don't understand and should therefore spend more time studying, you're right. I agree. That's science."

    It is not “sporadically” repeatable. Replication rates now vary from 60% to 100%, which is far higher than for many other physics experiments of this nature, and higher than transistor production rates in the early 1950s.


    "If your argument (as it appears to me to be) is that we have here a strange and anomalous, sporadically repeatable result which is proven beyond a scientific doubt, despite all experiments and theories to the contrary and all attempts amongst its own proponents to properly explain it, to be nuclear fusion within a chemical context, which is somehow being held back and trod upon and otherwise unrighteously persecuted by the bulk of the scientific community, then I adamantly disagree."

    On what basis do you disagree? How many oppressed researchers have you spoken with, or read? How many books about cold fusion have you read, or books about the suppression of other unpopular academic research? Have you read the ridicule and attacks against cold fusion published by the Scientific American, the Washington Post, the APS and others? They accuse the researchers of being criminals, frauds and lunatics. These accusations have destroyed the lives and careers of many scientists. I suggest you read what Schwinger wrote when he resigned from the APS to protest their suppression:

    "The pressure for conformity is enormous. I have experienced it in editors rejection of submitted papers, based on venomous criticism of anonymous referees. The replacement of impartial reviewing by censorship will be the death of science."

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

    The Science Policy Administrator of the APS responded in character, calling cold fusion scientists "a cult of fervent half-wits" and claiming: "While every result and conclusion they publish meets with overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, they resolutely pursue their illusion of fusing hydrogen in a mason jar. . . . And a few scientists, captivated by [Fleischmann and Pons'] fantasy . . . pursue cold fusion with Branch Davidian intensity."

    You seem to believe that academic science is free of politics and human emotion. No institution is. People in all professions and all walks of life are inclined to be nasty, cruel, closed minded, and oppressive.

    You yourself contributed to the suppression of cold fusion at the beginning of this thread, because you dismissed it and ridiculed it without knowing anything about the subject. This is a violation of academic ethics. When thousands of people make ignorant, snide comments, it has a cumulative effect, just as a few decades ago "innocent" throw-away racist remarks poisoned the atmosphere. Words have consequences.

    Beaudette explained:

    "There has been virtually no controversy in the science itself, while at the same time there has been great controversy in the public domain. A scientist performs the electrolytic cell experiment after the example of Fleischmann and Pons, and successfully demonstrates the generation of excess heat. He submits a report of his experiment to an established journal of science where it passes peer-review and is published. During subsequent years the publisher receives no assertion of procedural error to invalidate the published paper. The report is established as valid science. However, let that same scientist try to use a government auditorium to discuss his results with a peer group, or let him try to patent his innovative cell configuration, or let the government try to award a research grant to this scientist to extend his experimental work, and it is likely that the sky will fall down. The arousing cry from the skeptics will be “almost all scientists agree there is no such thing as cold fusion.” With that demagoguery and follow up efforts, permission to use the auditorium will be revoked, the patent office will refuse the patent, a select panel will be appointed to revoke the grant award. In this strange fashion, the controversy has been played out for twelve years, violating the most ordinary, well-established scientific methodology. Thus peer-reviewed publication counts for nothing, and demagoguery counts for everything."

    - Jed

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  15. Isn't it a bit snide and ignorant of you to assume what you have about me? Do you think that, educated as I am, I can't possibly be capable of researching a topic (how do you think I happened across the story on Arata's demonstration in the first place)? Do you think that, as a woman in a male-dominated field such as science, I've somehow been shielded from the inherent (and often nasty) politics? Do you think that, as a researcher, I've never received a truculent comment or poor review of some aspect of my work, or that I've never had an experiment fail or the results end up differing from what was expected? Do you think that you can lecture me on the capabilities and the flaws of the scientific method and somehow tell me something I don't already know?

    You refuse to concede on semantics because you don't know the science; you attack my credibility because you can't explain the mechanism; you call in your friends as reinforcements because you can't brute force me into believing you're correct merely because you've quoted from a few things you've read.

    I have said already that I believe there is something worth studying here. I've also said that it's not fusion, and you've failed to convince me otherwise. Instead, you echo scientific-sounding buzz words and drop lists of names to make yourself seem like an expert, contradict yourself by citing from the various incompatible attempts at a technical explanation that you compiled incoherently, then accuse me of being narrow-minded, unimaginative, naive and unethical because I'm not touting your party line.

    Funny, that sounds a bit hypocritical... but then again, maybe it's just me.

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  16. I’m an experimental nuclear physicist and have been following this discussion for a few days, and have at last succumbed to putting my two penn’th.

    By and large, physicists love new and novel ideas, and genuinely want to be convinced by them. The pervasive attitude within physics is “prove to me as best you can that you have something interesting, I’ll try to discredit it, and if it still stands after I (and those whose opinion I have come to respect through past experience) have exhausted my arsenal, I’ll accept it.” What is being suggested in the ‘cold fusion’ debate is, in the scheme of physics throughout history, not that great a leap. Compared with the revolution of quantum mechanics, this is an extremely minor claim. Physicists were rapid to accept such a significant overthrowing of the fundamental nature of the world, in light of the plethora of experimental agreement for the new description – this attitude is still central to the vast majority of physicists I know.

    One has to appreciate that when such significant claims are made, it is the nature (and responsibility) of scientists to be skeptical. Skepticism is fundamental to the scientific philosophy, and when a result is obtained that is claimed to warrant a significant revision of an extremely versatile, well-tested and predictively-powerful description of the world, it is the responsibility of scientists to throw every projectile to hand at the result, to ensure its integrity. Experiment is powerful (I am an experimentalist myself), and indeed does ultimately dictate (provided the experiment is well designed, that the systematic and statistical uncertainties are well accounted for, and the phenomenon is repeatable in multiple experiments with different systematic uncertainties). However, the role of theory is not to be understated – it is the light by which experiments are guided. Without collecting data together and developing a robust and testable model based on first-principles, we are no better than engineers, for we are simply cataloging empirically [I don’t mean to be derogatory to engineering – but it is a vastly different pursuit, intellectually]. Consequently, one has to be very wary when results are obtained which contradict existing well-established theory. If the results are sufficiently robust, new reliable theory has to be proposed and validated before it is established as a working scientific description.

    With regard to ‘cold fusion’, there are clearly three issues under debate, which have become disturbingly mixed. These are:

    1) whether ‘excess’ heat is repeatably produced which cannot be explained by any mechanism currently described by theory,
    2) whether this excess heat is of nuclear origin, and if so,
    3) what ‘nuclear’ mechanism is responsible.

    Until all three of these criteria are fulfilled, its ridiculously arrogant to assign it a name which describes a mechanism already defined.

    Historically, there has been significant trouble in convincing the scientific community of the first point in this list – something that was no doubt initiated by the difficulty in initially reproducing the early experiments. This may well be solely because the lack of understanding of the details of the materials effects inhibits the repeatable fabrication of the experimental setup. However, it is apparent that there are numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals describing well conceived experiments to measure the heat produced by these setups. I don’t think at this stage there is cause for contention here.

    The second point is tougher to concede. It is a very large and arrogant step to go from “I can’t conceive of a chemical mechanism that explains the results” to “it is clearly a nuclear phenomenon”: lack of evidence is insufficient evidence in itself, without an accompanying water-tight theoretical explanation which has predictive power. Until that is achieved, it is scientifically irresponsible to be naming it as a nuclear process, for it suggests that it is a theoretically understood phenomenon. Ultimately, it is the theoretical model that allows us to categorize and understand phenomena. There are numerous issues that need to be explained before such an explanation can be given scientific credibility (such as the mechanism for the dissipation of nuclear (ie MeV) scale energy release, the inconsistent reports of nuclear reaction products, that the results interpreted as ‘cold fusion’ are contradictory to the observables of the wavefunction of states in 4He, which have been very thoroughly studied).

    The third issue is even more tenuous. Given the case that it is concluded that there are nuclear reactions occurring, the term ‘cold fusion’ is still in no-way appropriate until it has been proven unambiguously that fusion is occurring. I’m not an expert in weak interactions, but assuming that nuclear reactions are occurring, it seems that the explanation of Widom and Larson (http://newenergytimes.com/Library/2006Widom-UltraLowMomentumNeutronCatalyzed.pdf) sounds like a more convincing explanation (published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal (Eur. Phys. J C), no less ;) . See also http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/nucl-th/pdf/0608/0608059v2.pdf ). This explanation is emphatically NOT fusion. It is a weak interaction followed by neutron capture. It may result in the same final products, but the proposed mechanism has nothing to do with fusion. By brandishing this ‘cold fusion’ label, proponents of the research are shooting themselves in the foot. Until there is agreement as to the mechanism behind the experimental results, such terminology as ‘cold fusion’ is entirely inappropriate. No one does themselves any favors by putting the cart before the horse.

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  17. You wrote:

    "Do you think that, as a woman in a male-dominated field such as science, I've somehow been shielded from the inherent (and often nasty) politics?"

    If you have not read accounts of the politics and history of cold fusion then you cannot be aware of the extent of the suppression it has suffered from. Knowing that in general science is political gives you no specific information on this particular case. You need to read Beaudette, Mallove or some other history.


    "Do you think that you can lecture me on the capabilities and the flaws of the scientific method and somehow tell me something I don't already know?"

    If you have not read this history of cold fusion then I can tell much that you do not know.


    "You refuse to concede on semantics because you don't know the science; you attack my credibility because you can't explain the mechanism . . ."

    No one can explain the mechanism, as I mentioned. There is no need to explain it, for the reasons given by Schwinger and Beaudette. We need only show that the effect converts deuterium into helium and produces heat to prove that it is fusion.

    Perhaps you disagree, but these are the traditional views.


    ". . . you call in your friends as reinforcements because you can't brute force me into believing you're correct merely because you've quoted from a few things you've read."

    I have read hundreds of papers, and I edited Beaudette and Storms. I call in reinforcements because Schwinger knows more about science than I do (and possibly as much as you), and because Beaudette writes well. Normally, it is considered more persuasive to cite experts such as Schwinger. I am a little surprised you consider it a sign of weakness on my part. More new age science, I suppose.



    "I have said already that I believe there is something worth studying here. I've also said that it's not fusion, and you've failed to convince me otherwise."

    I am not trying to convince you, but only to show why others are convinced that it is fusion. To compare and contrast our views, in other words, not to prevail. You have your way of doing science, and we old fogeys and dead professors have our way.


    "Instead, you echo scientific-sounding buzz words and drop lists of names to make yourself seem like an expert, contradict yourself by citing from the various incompatible attempts at a technical explanation that you compiled incoherently . . ."

    I have made only one technical assertion: that an effect which converts deuterium into helium and produces heat (in the same ratio as plasma fusion) is fusion, by definition. I can't think of what else it might be. Perhaps you can offer an alternative hypothesis.

    - Jed

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  18. "I have made only one technical assertion: that an effect which converts deuterium into helium and produces heat (in the same ratio as plasma fusion) is fusion, by definition. I can't think of what else it might be. Perhaps you can offer an alternative hypothesis."

    This is the bulk of my entire argument - there are any number of things it might be, and the list of possible explanations (other than nuclear fusion) has certainly not been exhausted. Perhaps the introduction of interstitial deuterium displaces interstitial helium which was present in the palladium crystal lattice at formation or during transport. Does a palladium sample produced and stored within a vacuum chamber yield the same results? Perhaps it is a weak interaction (weak = involving the electroweak force), wherein a proton from the deuterium and free electron from the palladium react to form a neutron (and an antineutrino), as occurs within a nucleus during beta-decay. Are antineutrinos produced? Perhaps the affinity of the palladium is great enough that the Coulomb barrier of the two deuterium nuclei is screened, and they interact chemically within the crystal lattice to produce an abnormal (ie, unexpected) deuterium molecule and release energy. Could the detection of a new configuration of deuterium molecule be mistaken for helium in the setup? Perhaps on the timescales of the electrical pulses used for D-Pd electrolysis, the electronic structure of palladium is such that an atomic resonance is hit and the current is discharged into the medium in a different manner than the heat-transfer models used surmise, causing "excess" heat. Is the result repeatable, and with predictable dependence, with different electrolysis techniques? Perhaps the deuterium and palladium themselves are reacting (cold-welding, in a sense) and releasing energy. Is the palladium sample examined at the end of the experiment for other possible "reaction" products? Perhaps, as helium diffuses so readily through anything (hence its use as a leak detector), the measured helium during the experiments could come from anywhere. Are the results reproducible in a pressurized argon or nitrogen atmosphere? Perhaps, because of palladium's unique chemical behavior with regard to hydrogen isotopes, the palladium crystal lattice is actually disturbed or altered by the deuterium, such that much of it is not actually interstitial. Is the palladium crystal examined for damage after the experiment?

    This is what physicists are trained to do - postulate questions and then find ways to answer those questions. Your "one experiment" is never enough to determine something absolutely, no matter how elegant it may be.

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  19. You wrote:

    "This is the bulk of my entire argument - there are any number of things it might be, and the list of possible explanations (other than nuclear fusion) has certainly not been exhausted."

    In my opinion, and in the opinion of the researchers, this list has been exhausted. They have made great efforts to exhaust it.


    "Perhaps the introduction of interstitial deuterium displaces interstitial helium which was present in the palladium crystal lattice at formation or during transport. Does a palladium sample produced and stored within a vacuum chamber yield the same results?"

    Most of the helium is produced on the surface and released into the effluent gas (open cell) or headspace (closed cell). It is not present in the palladium before or after the experiment. Hundreds of reserved palladium samples and used have been dissolved completely. There is no significant helium in the samples before, and not much after.


    "Perhaps it is a weak interaction (weak = involving the electroweak force), wherein a proton from the deuterium and free electron from the palladium react to form a neutron (and an antineutrino), as occurs within a nucleus during beta-decay."

    I do not think this could explain the heat. As I said, this occurs in the same ratio to helium as it does with plasma fusion.


    "Could the detection of a new configuration of deuterium molecule be mistaken for helium in the setup?"

    I do not think so. They make considerable efforts to remove deuterium before measuring helium, by various filtering and cryogenic techniques. Many different types of mass spectrometers have been used, in many different labs. Even if one type could be fooled by a D2 molecule, others would not.


    "Perhaps on the timescales of the electrical pulses used for D-Pd electrolysis, the electronic structure of palladium is such that an atomic resonance is hit and the current is discharged into the medium in a different manner than the heat-transfer models used surmise, causing "excess" heat.

    This is ruled out. The heat has been observed in the absence of electrolysis, in heat after death and in gas loaded samples, ion-beam loaded samples, with electromigration and so on.


    "Is the result repeatable, and with predictable dependence, with different electrolysis techniques?"

    Yes. Except that there is only one kind of electrolysis. But different methods of loading the sample have been successful used, as I noted.


    "Perhaps the deuterium and palladium themselves are reacting (cold-welding, in a sense) and releasing energy."

    This would release a fraction of 1 eV per atom. The effect has released more than 10,000 eV per atom in some experiments, in continuous bursts at very high signal to noise ratios, at power levels up to 100 W. Chemical and mechanical sources of heat are ruled out. No chemical reaction can produce more than ~8 eV per atom of reactant, as far as I know.


    "Is the palladium sample examined at the end of the experiment for other possible 'reaction' products?"

    Yes, of course. Extensively, using every technique available, at Los Alamos, the NRL, Mitsubishi and dozens of other labs. Material analysis is the main effort and expense in cold fusion. Materials are the key.


    "Perhaps, as helium diffuses so readily through anything (hence its use as a leak detector), the measured helium during the experiments could come from anywhere."

    No, it couldn’t. In some cases helium has exceeded atmospheric concentration. In the China Lake experiments, where only a tiny amount is collected from the effluent gas in a set amount of time (20 minutes I think it was), a leak would produce random amounts which at times would be far higher than the amounts detected. These samples were sent out to three different labs for confirmation in blind tests, along with samples of lab air and so on. See Miles, M. and K.B. Johnson, Anomalous Effects in Deuterated Systems, Final Report. 1996, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.


    "Are the results reproducible in a pressurized argon or nitrogen atmosphere?"

    I do not recall tests of this nature. (There are hundreds of experiments so I may have forgotten.)


    "Perhaps, because of palladium's unique chemical behavior with regard to hydrogen isotopes, the palladium crystal lattice is actually disturbed or altered by the deuterium, such that much of it is not actually interstitial. Is the palladium crystal examined for damage after the experiment?"

    Yes, of course! Damaged palladium is a major problem, and a major focus of the research. It does not produce excess heat. It doesn't load.


    "This is what physicists are trained to do . . .

    You realize, I hope, that the people doing these experiments include many distinguished physicists. They are aware of the issues you raised. Every question you brought up was addressed in detail by 1991, and subsequently in greater and greater detail.


    ". . . postulate questions and then find ways to answer those questions. Your 'one experiment' is never enough to determine something absolutely, no matter how elegant it may be."

    I did not say there is "one experiment." On the contrary there have been many different kinds of experiments. They use different types of instruments, based on different physical principles, such as flow and Seebeck calorimeters, in order to eliminate the possibility of systematic errors.

    - Jed

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  20. Some corrections:

    I meant to say: Hundreds of reserved palladium samples and used SAMPLES have been dissolved completely. There is no significant helium in the samples before, and not much after THE EXPERIMENT.

    I mean they are dissolved for mass spec analysis, freeing up any helium trapped inside. Various other destructive and non-destructive techniques are used. As a friend of mine in the Navy puts it, “what we do to these cathodes would make the angels weep.”


    I wrote: “Except that there is only one kind of electrolysis.”

    Come to think if it, I know of three kinds: Liquid electrolysis, gas electrolysis with proton conductors, and electrolysis with particles squished together to form a cathode. I can’t remember what that’s called.


    "Are the results reproducible in a pressurized argon or nitrogen atmosphere?"

    Perhaps I misunderstand this question. Are you asking whether cells are purged with these gasses, to eliminate atmospheric helium? Yes, they are. D2 is also used for this purpose.

    Open cells are self-purging, but people still run boil-off nitrogen through them.

    - Jed

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  21. Another correction.

    I wrote:

    "In the China Lake experiments, where only a tiny amount is collected from the effluent gas . . . a leak would produce random amounts which at times would be far higher than the amounts detected."

    Not "at times." I think Miles indicated that in every case a leak would produce a concentration much higher than the ones he observes. In a lecture I think I remember he said they could not devise a method of leaking in such small amounts of atmospheric gas. Plus, they do extensive testing for other atmospheric gases that would leak in with the helium, and they do not find them.

    Please see the papers by Miles and especially the report I referenced earlier, which, if I can devise a hyperlink, is here:

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

    There have been other studies, in Italy and elsewhere, in which they do find other atmospheric gases, which calls into question their results.

    The same concept applied to tritium, by the way. At Los Alamos, TAMU, Nagoya U. and some other places (BARC?) they deliberately contaminated cells with tritium from outside sources. The results look completely different from the events in which tritium appears spontaneously in the cell. You cannot reproduce the curve by accidental or deliberate contamination.

    The other reason tritium contamination is ruled out is that if the laboratory had enough tritium in the atmosphere to contaminate the cells to the extent that has been observed, this tritium would trigger alarms in the laboratory.

    - Jed

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  22. Jed quotes and replies: “"Perhaps it is a weak interaction (weak = involving the electroweak force), wherein a proton from the deuterium and free electron from the palladium react to form a neutron (and an antineutrino), as occurs within a nucleus during beta-decay."

    I do not think this could explain the heat. As I said, this occurs in the same ratio to helium as it does with plasma fusion.”

    Come on. This is getting ridiculous – this is precisely the mechanism proposed by Widom and Larson (see my earlier post). Of course, in relation to your argument, it could explain the heat (by which I mean that the energy release per deuteron pair would be the same as fusion). Whether you combine 2 deuterons directly to form He, or whether this end is achieved via the production of slow free neutron, subsequent neutron capture and beta decay, the Q value for the overall reaction, and hence the energy released, is the same. This is simply energy conservation. You’re not proposing that ‘cold fusion’ is suggesting we should abandon that part of our world view also, are you? ;) However, the mechanism is distinctly NOT fusion.


    However, on the subject of energy release, Jed states: “This would release a fraction of 1 eV per atom. The effect has released more than 10,000 eV per atom in some experiments, in continuous bursts at very high signal to noise ratios, at power levels up to 100 W.”

    The energy released by your proposed mechanism (fusion of d+d -> 4He) is ~24MeV. That’s 24,000,000 eV per atom: a factor of 2400 higher than you are suggesting. Even if this mechanism was present, how this energy gets deposited in the system, rather than ejected in the form of energetic neutrons and photons requires significant and testable explanation before it can be reliably accepted, named, and branded as ‘fact.’

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  23. Jed says “One good experiment overrules all of the textbooks and all of the assembled experts on earth.”

    Kelly says “Your "one experiment" is never enough to determine something absolutely, no matter how elegant it may be.”

    Jed says “I did not say there is "one experiment." On the contrary there have been many different kinds of experiments.”

    Kelly was clearly referring to you philosophical statement, which does not fit with scientific method, which involves both repeatability and numerous experimental approaches to eliminate systematic error.

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  24. Dr. Pain wrote:

    "Jed says 'I did not say there is 'one experiment.' On the contrary there have been many different kinds of experiments.'

    Kelly was clearly referring to you philosophical statement, which does not fit with scientific method, which involves both repeatability and numerous experimental approaches to eliminate systematic error."

    Well, I do not think she took me literally. One experiment performed one time does not prove anything, unless it is the first test of the atomic bomb. The literature and my other statements make it abundantly clear that many different tests have been performed and replicated. Anyway, let me point out that:

    These are not my assertions. They are made by Fleischmann, McKubre, Storms, Schwinger, Srinivasan and ~2000 other professional scientists. I would not want to take credit for their work.

    These scientists believe that their assertions do fit with the scientific method. For example, they think that heat and helium in the ratio of 24 MeV/atom is proof that fusion is occuring, even if you do not know the mechanism. Perhaps they are wrong.

    The effect is repeatable.

    Numerous experimental approaches have been used, in order to eliminate systematic error, as I pointed out.

    Finally, I was not making a philosophical statement. I meant it literally. One good experiment can overturn existing physics. Of course it must be replicated! The discovery of the x-ray is a good example. The discovery of massive excess heat far beyond the limits of chemistry from Pd-D at room temperature is another example.

    When this was first discovered it was obviously a nuclear reaction. But it was still unclear whether it was fusion, fission or some completely unknown reaction. This experiment was replicated by roughly 100 laboratories within a year, using a variety of different instrument types. That established beyond doubt that it was real and not experimental error. It was later determined that the effect also produces helium at the same rate as plasma fusion does, so that meant it was fusion, rather than some other reaction.

    Elsewhere you wrote:

    "The energy released by your proposed mechanism (fusion of d+d -> 4He) is ~24MeV. That’s 24,000,000 eV per atom: a factor of 2400 higher than you are suggesting.”

    Ah, I did not make myself clear.

    The amount of heat per helium atom is measured at 24 MeV, as I noted several times. This is what Miles, McKubre, the Italians and others have found.

    The 10,000 eV per atom refers to atoms of Pd. This is how the figure is usually expressed in the literature. The reason is a bit involved, but to make a long story short, the only chemical fuel in the cell is Pd-D, and therefore total chemical fuel available depends upon mass of palladium, not heavy water. In other words, we rule out chemistry by estimating chemical fuel. There is no point to counting the number of D2O molecules in the electrolyte, because water is inert.

    The 10,000 eV was after ~3 months as I recall. If the experiment had been left running for years instead of months, the energy per atom of Pd would have been much higher.

    In any case, some cells have produced hundreds of megajoules, without producing a milligram of chemical ash. You could burn the cell, the table it is on, and the books on the shelf next to it and still not generate this much energy.

    - Jed

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  25. If I may quote the Naval Historical Center:
    "Between 1945 and 1962, during the atmospheric test series, the U.S. Government conducted 235 nuclear weapons tests, principally in Nevada and the Pacific."
    Looks like, despite your suggestion, even that one first test of the atomic bomb wasn't enough.

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  26. Jed: "It was later determined that the effect also produces helium at the same rate as plasma fusion does, so that meant it was fusion, rather than some other reaction."

    This does not prove that it is fusion. See my previous posts.

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  27. Dr. Pain wrote:

    "Come on. This is getting ridiculous – this is precisely the mechanism proposed by Widom and Larson (see my earlier post). Of course, in relation to your argument, it could explain the heat (by which I mean that the energy release per deuteron pair would be the same as fusion)."

    Sorry. I did not mean to slight that contribution. I know nothing about theory, but I consider the W&L model to be "fusion." Any model that starts with deuterium and ends up with helium is fusion, as far as I am concerned. Atoms fuse together and generate heat. Usually theorists say 2 fuse together, but others say 4, and still others postulate a whole group are fusing. The details do not matter to me, as long as they produce copious heat and no neutrons.

    I do not think that W&L are widely accepted by other theorists.

    - Jed

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  28. nuclear.kelly wrote:

    "If I may quote the Naval Historical Center:
    "Between 1945 and 1962, during the atmospheric test series, the U.S. Government conducted 235 nuclear weapons tests . . .
    Looks like, despite your suggestion, even that one first test of the atomic bomb wasn't enough."

    You misunderstand. I meant it was enough to convince everyone that fission bombs actually do work. A few people still had doubts before the test.

    Specifically, it proved beyond doubt that Pu implosion bombs do work. People had legitimate doubts about the ability to trigger and focus the implosion successfully. Oppenheimer was greatly relieved when the bomb went off, so he must have had some lingering doubts.

    One test proved that it can work because the signal to noise ratio was high, to say the least.

    Obviously, even after they proved that bombs work, they still needed to do additional testing. All technology requires testing for as long as it is used. We are still doing tests on new types of internal combustion engines.

    There have been many definitive tests of cold fusion, which in my opinion are as convincing as the Trinity explosion. However just because these tests were definitive, they have not eliminated the need for more tests. More and more and more. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth will be needed if cold fusion is ever to be developed into a practical source of energy.

    Incidentally, there is no reason to think it cannot be made practical, given huge sums of money. It has already produced temperatures and power density as high as a conventional fission reactor core.

    - Jed

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  29. Jed says: "Any model that starts with deuterium and ends up with helium is fusion, as far as I am concerned."

    Terminology is a very serious part of the problem, and it's no wonder that you get such negative reactions from the physics community if you are so very indifferent to accuracy in your terminolgy.

    Fusion is a very definite mechanism (based on the strong interaction), whereby two nuclei (which are sufficiently close) combined to form a (usually highly excited) state in a compound system (the wavefunction of which has no memory of how it was formed), which subsequently de-excites by the 'evaporation' of particles (protons, neutrons or photons) to a stable state. It is a single-step reaction that requires the two nuclei to get sufficiently close (ie overcome the Coulomb barrier) that their wavefunctions have sufficient overlap that the compound system has a chance of forming.

    The mechanism suggested by W & L is in no way similar to this. It is multi-step, and involves the elecro-weak interection to produce neutrons, which have no Coulomb barrier with a charged nucleus.

    They are wildly different processes. In trying to sell such concepts to physicists, you cannot be sloppy with your description. Physics does not allow for 'black box mechanisms' that turns some 'input' to some 'output' without understanding the process. If it did, it would be no better than alchemy.

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  30. jed said: "Specifically, it proved beyond doubt that Pu implosion bombs do work."

    No, in fact, it proved that one bomb worked, not that bombs (plural) work. I'd just love it if one of the researchers present at the Trinity test exclaimed, "it could be a fluke! Try another one!" Now that's science.

    jed continued: "There have been many definitive tests of cold fusion, which in my opinion are as convincing as the Trinity explosion."

    The bulk of the published papers on "cold fusion" have been reports of negative findings, even in your own cherished library! The papers which do argue for the existence of "cold fusion," in addition to the horrible error of failing to report experimental uncertainties, contradict each other as well as any theories for the mechanism, plausible or not, as to what reaction products are to be expected, what reaction products are actually detected, in what ratios, and at what energies. Imagine mixing HCl and NaOH and sometimes not getting water and salt!

    In the end, I stand by my original statement. I remain unconvinced, and even if the proponents of "cold fusion" aren't necessarily neglecting basic physics, they're certainly playing very losely with it.

    Perhaps one day you will find yourself vindicated. I, however, suspect that the majority of the scientific community believes, as I do, that you haven't quite made your case, and that, until you irrefutably do, it is "no better than alchemy."

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  31. nuclear.kelly wrote:

    "No, in fact, it proved that one bomb worked, not that bombs (plural) work. I'd just love it if one of the researchers present at the Trinity test exclaimed, 'it could be a fluke! Try another one!' Now that's science."

    No, that would be pathological skepticism, like questioning whether a 747 can actually fly, or whether a baby animal with DNA exactly like an adult is actually a clone or not. The energy release from the first bomb obviously exceeded the limits of chemistry for an object of the same size by many orders of magnitude. There could not have been any rational or scientific doubt about that. The same can be said for the cold fusion cells at Toyota, Amoco and elsewhere.


    "The bulk of the published papers on "cold fusion" have been reports of negative findings, even in your own cherished library!"

    The number of negative findings has no bearing on whether an effect is real. It only indicates the difficulty of replication, or the lack of skill of the people who failed. An effect that has been replicated hundreds of times is real, even if thousands of attempts have failed. The success ratio for cloning is still less than 1 per 1000 attempts, but no one suggests that animals cannot be cloned for that reason.


    "The papers which do argue for the existence of "cold fusion," in addition to the horrible error of failing to report experimental uncertainties, contradict each other as well as any theories for the mechanism, plausible or not . . ."

    Contradictory or inadequate theory has no bearing on the validity of experimental results. Hundreds of steam engines were successfully built and operated long before Watt made a science out of steam technology. The theories of operation offered by engine builders such as Savory from 1690 to the 1760s were completely incorrect. They described things such as “incensed and inflamed air” and “the intercourse of two contraries.”


    "In the end, I stand by my original statement. I remain unconvinced, and even if the proponents of "cold fusion" aren't necessarily neglecting basic physics, they're certainly playing very loosely with it."

    They are not ignoring basic physics. All experiments are based on classic 18th and 19th century physics: calorimetry, x-ray detection and so on. The results are all predicated on thermodynamics. They are ignoring some aspects of high energy particle physics. You, on the other hand, are ignoring most of physics from before 1920, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics in particular. You seem to think the people are unable to measure heat flow.


    "Perhaps one day you will find yourself vindicated. I, however, suspect that the majority of the scientific community believes, as I do . . ."

    What the majority believes or does not believe has no bearing on the issue. The only standard of truth in science is the rigorously replicated and peer-reviewed experiment. An effect that is widely replicated is real by definition, and it would not matter if every scientist on earth refused to believe it.

    High s/n ratio thermocouple readings and autoradiographs ABSOLUTELY OVERRULE all opinions. No one, anywhere, can rationally argue that calorimetry does not work, or that thousands of darkened autoradiographs do not show x-rays. Skeptics who deny this evidence are not acting as scientists.

    - Jed

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  32. Jed: “No, that would be pathological skepticism, like questioning whether a 747 can actually fly, or whether a baby animal with DNA exactly like an adult is actually a clone or not.”

    A sense of humour is no more common than a sense of scientific rigour, it seems.


    Jed said: “The number of negative findings has no bearing on whether an effect is real. It only indicates the difficulty of replication, or the lack of skill of the people who failed.”

    Stand away from your agenda for a moment and consider these words. Take it to the limit: say one experiment shows a positive result, and all others do not. Does that mean that we should believe it, and thus weigh positive results over negative ones? That’s biased science. By that standard, one could also argue the corollary: “The number of positive findings has no bearing on whether an effect is real. It only indicates the ease of replicating experimental mistakes, or the lack of skill of the people who succeeded.” Take care – you can’t validate one stance and not accept the other. Until an effect is understood, and is unambiguously repeatable, it has to be considered neutrally.



    Jed: “You, on the other hand, are ignoring most of physics from before 1920, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics in particular. You seem to think the people are unable to measure heat flow.”

    What a completely ridiculous statement! Of course, in this instance, she is ignoring most of the physics before 1920 – because it’s not relevant! Are, for example, the Young’s modulus of copper, Newtonian gravitation, Maxwell’s EM equations, optical refraction of solar light, Kirchhoff’s current rule and Keppler’s laws in any way relevant? Seriously ;) She did not argue that the heat release from these experiments couldn’t be measured. She did suggest that the signatures (in both quality and quantity) are undefined within the literature, and that there is no consensus as to the mechanism. This is hugely disturbing for a quantum mechanism. Whether there is excessive heat generation or not, until there is a satisfactory explanation for the process, which makes reliable quantitative predictions, and gives insight into the mechanism, it is nothing more than conjecture. Calling it “cold fusion” is vastly premature. So far, the only thing that can be claimed to have been proven is that there is unexplained heat generation.

    Jed: “Hundreds of steam engines were successfully built and operated long before Watt made a science out of steam technology. The theories of operation offered by engine builders such as Savory from 1690 to the 1760s were completely incorrect. They described things such as “incensed and inflamed air” and “the intercourse of two contraries.”

    You’re destroying your own argument here. That’s exactly the point – up until steam engines were scientifically understood, the theories of operation were completely incorrect. It was just engineering. Even if you have repeatable excess heat generation from these setups, until they are theoretically understood, brandishing the term “cold fusion” is the same as your example of Savory.


    Jed: “An effect that is widely replicated is real by definition, and it would not matter if every scientist on earth refused to believe it.”

    This depends on your definition of ‘real’. Again, step away from your agenda and consider: a result obtained by an experiment which has a significant systematic error is ‘real’. No one would suggest the scientist dreamed it, for example; everyone performing the experiment would get the same result. However, an interpretation which does not account for that error would be flawed. Science requires both experiment and interpretation. Relying solely on the first and you are, at best, only engineering. Relying only on the second is purely philosophy. Neither are science.

    Jed: “High s/n ratio thermocouple readings and autoradiographs ABSOLUTELY OVERRULE all opinions.”
    What if the opinion is by the manufacturer, stating that the thermocouples were made with flaws? Such blanket statements are unhelpful – all experimental science is reliant on human opinion. Furthermore, autoradiographs are used for x-ray detection. X-rays are of atomic, not nuclear, origin. They are not a characteristic signature of fusion specifically (neutrons, protons and gamma rays are, which are dependent on the properties of the nuclear states in question). You have yet to address Kelly’s point about the experimental discrepancies. In some cases, significant reproduction of tritium is reported [http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/WillFGtritiumgen.pdf], but in other cases the mechanism is reported to be direct d+d -> 4He fusion. It states on the lenr-canr website:


    “When fusion is initiated using conventional methods, significant tritium and neutrons are produced. In addition, when other elements are generated, they tend to be radioactive. This is in direct contrast to the experience using low energy methods. These products are almost completely absent and, instead, helium-4 is produced.” [http://www.lenr-canr.org/Introduction.html#AScienceTutorial]

    Finally, the reporting of experimental uncertainties is of paramount importance. As a great physicist once said: the number 2 is completely meaningless; 2 +/- 1 means something, 2 +/- 0.1 means a lot more, but 2 means absolutely nothing. Uncertainties are central to experimental physics.

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  33. One more thing, which bids me laugh every time I see it.
    jed said (at the very beginning of this whole discussion):
    You wrote:
    "Looks like we have discovered the next cold fusion."
    Incorrect.

    The statement I made in the original post referred to the previous post, which was actually poking fun at "pixie dust."
    Don't chastise me about an apparent lack of acknowledgment of the relevant background material. Perhaps you should do a little research. ;-)

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  34. Dr Pain wrote:

    “Jed: “No, that would be pathological skepticism, like questioning whether a 747 can actually fly, or whether a baby animal with DNA exactly like an adult is actually a clone or not.”

    A sense of humour is no more common than a sense of scientific rigour, it seems.”

    Believe it or not, there were people who questioned whether Dolly the sheep was actually a clone or not even after independent tests showed that her DNA was identical to the mother’s.


    ”Stand away from your agenda for a moment and consider these words. Take it to the limit: say one experiment shows a positive result, and all others do not.”

    I have repeatedly said that results must be widely replicated before we can believe them. One experiment is not widely replicated. Please do not use strawman arguments.


    “Does that mean that we should believe it, and thus weigh positive results over negative ones?”

    We know what caused most negative results. The causes are mostly prosaic, such as cracked cathodes or dirty electrolyte. They do not call into question the positive results.


    “Until an effect is understood, and is unambiguously repeatable, it has to be considered neutrally.”

    Understanding has NEVER been considered necessary to accepting an effect, nor has easy replication. Replication of cold fusion is not easy, but it is not ambiguous. Ambiguity is a function of the signal to noise ratio; a cell that outputs 100 W with no input, producing 1,700 times more energy than a chemical reaction could, is unambiguous.


    ”What a completely ridiculous statement! Of course, in this instance, she is ignoring most of the physics before 1920 – because it’s not relevant!”

    On the contrary, physics before 1920 are the only thing that is relevant. Cold fusion is based on calorimetry, x-ray detection, mass spectroscopy and other instruments and techniques perfected before 1920. In order to disprove it, you would have to show that these instruments do not work.


    “She did not argue that the heat release from these experiments couldn’t be measured. She did suggest that the signatures (in both quality and quantity) are undefined within the literature, and that there is no consensus as to the mechanism.”

    The heat release and lack of chemical products prove that the effect is nuclear (or possibly ZPE or something unknown to science). The helium in the same ratio as plasma fusion proves it is fusion. There is no other plausible mechanism. No skeptic has ever suggested an alternative explanation.


    “This is hugely disturbing for a quantum mechanism.”

    That’s neither here nor there.


    “Whether there is excessive heat generation or not . . .”

    There is. Unless you think that all of physics going back to J. P. Joule is wrong.


    “. . . until there is a satisfactory explanation for the process, which makes reliable quantitative predictions, and gives insight into the mechanism, it is nothing more than conjecture. . . .”

    That is completely incorrect. If that was how science worked, no one would have believed Curie or given him the Nobel prize for radium. A satisfactory explanation has NEVER demanded of any previous discovery. That criterion was invented by skeptics to deny the reality of cold fusion, and it has been applied to cold fusion alone.


    “Calling it “cold fusion” is vastly premature. So far, the only thing that can be claimed to have been proven is that there is unexplained heat generation.”

    Heat is not “claimed to have been” proven. It HAS BEEN proven, by replicated calorimetry. Or if you say it has not been, then nothing has ever been proved in any field of science. Helium, transmutations, x-rays, gamma rays and so on have also been proven; therefore the effect is fusion. Deny it all you like, but you can’t make replicated data vanish just because you don’t want to admit it is real.


    “Jed: “Hundreds of steam engines were successfully built and operated long before Watt made a science out of steam technology. The theories of operation offered by engine builders such as Savory from 1690 to the 1760s were completely incorrect. They described things such as “incensed and inflamed air” and “the intercourse of two contraries.”

    You’re destroying your own argument here. That’s exactly the point – up until steam engines were scientifically understood, the theories of operation were completely incorrect.”

    My point is that the steam engines functioned, draining water from mines. Savory could demonstrate the water flowing out of the mine, and thus prove his machine worked, even though he did not understand thermodynamics.


    “It was just engineering. Even if you have repeatable excess heat generation from these setups, until they are theoretically understood, brandishing the term “cold fusion” is the same as your example of Savory.”

    Cold fusion cells definitely fuse deuterium to form helium, and they produce heat in the same ratio to helium as Tokamak reactors do. Therefore they are fusion reactors. That is as obvious and undeniable as the fact that Savory’s machines lifted water from mines.


    “Jed: “An effect that is widely replicated is real by definition, and it would not matter if every scientist on earth refused to believe it.”

    This depends on your definition of ‘real’. Again, step away from your agenda and consider: a result obtained by an experiment which has a significant systematic error is ‘real’.”

    As I said before, systematic errors are ruled out because many different systems based on different physical principles have been used. For example at BARC x-rays were confirmed with x-ray film and with various solid-state gadgets, and with multiple layers of x-ray film, and x-ray film in different configurations. There is no chance that dozens of different systematic errors have occurred, but they escaped the attention of thousands of researchers and peer-reviewers for 19 years. If that could happen, experimental science would not work, and we would still be living in trees.


    “Jed: “High s/n ratio thermocouple readings and autoradiographs ABSOLUTELY OVERRULE all opinions.”
    What if the opinion is by the manufacturer, stating that the thermocouples were made with flaws?”

    Another strawman argument. Obviously I did not mean one set of readings from one thermocouple. I said “replicated.” I am sure you realize that more than one set of thermocouples from one manufacturer have been used, and extensive calibrations and testing are performed. Or did you imagine that thousands of scientists in hundreds of laboratories have been passing around a single thermocouple all these years, and no one thought to check whether it is working or not? Heck, I personally have calibrated thermocouples used in cold fusion experiments, in ice slurry and boiling water. That’s junior high level physics. Are you seriously suggesting that thousands of professional scientists forgot to do that?

    As you see in the literature, the heat has been confirmed with hundreds of different thermocouples from different manufacturers have been used, as well as thermistors, mercury thermometers, IR cameras, first principle measurements such as the amount of water boiled away, and in some cases, sense of touch.


    “Such blanket statements are unhelpful – all experimental science is reliant on human opinion.”

    Are you suggesting that calorimetry and x-ray detection are a matter of opinion? There are no objective standards? Expert cannot possibly agree that a 100 W reaction with no input energy is real? No doubt opinion plays a role in all experiments, but only rational opinions count. People who question whether Dolly was really a clone or not, or whether the moon landings really occurred, or whether it is possible to measure a 100 W reaction with confidence, are not expressing rational opinions.


    “Furthermore, autoradiographs are used for x-ray detection. X-rays are of atomic, not nuclear, origin. They are not a characteristic signature of fusion specifically (neutrons, protons and gamma rays are, which are dependent on the properties of the nuclear states in question).”

    I suggest you read Rout et al. and Iyengar and Srinivasan.


    ”Finally, the reporting of experimental uncertainties is of paramount importance.”

    This is true. The good papers in cold fusion report these things. You should ignore the bad papers.

    - Jed

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  35. "The good papers in cold fusion report these things. You should ignore the bad papers."

    Then you should ignore the bad papers, too! Don't quote from them, don't cite them, don't reference them, and don't list them in your library. Additionally, news reports and magazine articles hardly count as scientific publications; you should probably lose those, too. To be fair. The rest of the scientific community doesn't list their "letters to the editor" on their CVs.

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  36. Dr Pain: "Until an effect is understood, and is unambiguously repeatable, it has to be considered neutrally."

    Jed: "Understanding has NEVER been considered necessary to accepting an effect, nor has easy replication. Replication of cold fusion is not easy, but it is not ambiguous. Ambiguity is a function of the signal to noise ratio; a cell that outputs 100 W with no input, producing 1,700 times more energy than a chemical reaction could, is unambiguous."

    For crying out loud! I'm not saying not to believe the effect exists - just that you can't give it a meaningful name based on a well-understood and modelled mechanism without an unambiguous theorectical description.

    Jed says: "On the contrary, physics before 1920 are the only thing that is relevant. Cold fusion is based on calorimetry, x-ray detection, mass spectroscopy and other instruments and techniques perfected before 1920. In order to disprove it, you would have to show that these instruments do not work."

    Fristly, this was a response to your wildly exaggerated statement about "most of the physics before 1920". Now, I don't know when you last read a classical physics textbook, but that's rather a lot of irrelevant physics (as I tried to flipantly point out in my previous post - have you no sense of humour?). Secondly, how in your right mind can you say in seriousness that pre-1920s physics is the only thing that's relevant? You're claiming that the mechanism is quantum mechanical! None of these techniques record a quantum signature of the effect you are claiming.

    Jed: "The helium in the same ratio as plasma fusion proves it is fusion. There is no other plausible mechanism. No skeptic has ever suggested an alternative explanation. "

    But it states on the lenr-canr wesite:

    "When fusion is initiated using conventional methods, significant tritium and neutrons are produced. In addition, when other elements are generated, they tend to be radioactive. This is in direct contrast to the experience using low energy methods. These products are almost completely absent and, instead, helium-4 is produced." [http://www.lenr-canr.org/Introduction.html#AScienceTutorial]

    A plasma fusion reactor produces all its energy from either "d+d-> 3He +n and d+d->3H + p" or "d+t -> 4He + n". The energy released by these different reactions is different. With what exactly are you claiming the comparison?



    Jed says: "That is completely incorrect. If that was how science worked, no one would have believed Curie or given him the Nobel prize for radium. A satisfactory explanation has NEVER demanded of any previous discovery. That criterion was invented by skeptics to deny the reality of cold fusion, and it has been applied to cold fusion alone."

    Pierre Curie won the Nobel prize for physics jointly with Marie and Becquerel for the work on radioactivity. Look at the ambiguity their early terminology has induced. "Radioactivity" is used to describe three independent phenomena (alpha, beta and gamma emissions). The first is charged particle emission via the weak force, the second is particle emission via the strong force, the third being electromagnetic radiation. These three vastly different processes are hardly worthy of the same title. I'm not discrediting their work at all, but this is what happens when things are described before they are fully understood. There's nothing wrong about reporting an effect you don't understand - just don't go naming it until you do.



    Dr Pain: “Calling it “cold fusion” is vastly premature. So far, the only thing that can be claimed to have been proven is that there is unexplained heat generation.”


    Jed: "Heat is not “claimed to have been” proven. It HAS BEEN proven, by replicated calorimetry."

    "Unexplained heat generation" does not equal "heat generation."



    "My point is that the steam engines functioned, draining water from mines. Savory could demonstrate the water flowing out of the mine, and thus prove his machine worked, even though he did not understand thermodynamics."

    Then it's still only engineering. Explain it, or admit you don't have a reliable functioning explanation and report it as a curious (as yet) unexplained effect, for it to be science.


    Jed: "Cold fusion cells definitely fuse deuterium to form helium, and they produce heat in the same ratio to helium as Tokamak reactors do. Therefore they are fusion reactors. That is as obvious and undeniable as the fact that Savory’s machines lifted water from mines."

    I've been over this argument about "fusion." Please stop using this word, as you clearly have no concept of what it means. Please direct me to a single quality publication which reports these findings with well-determined uncertainty analysis.



    Jed: "Another strawman argument. Obviously I did not mean one set of readings from one thermocouple."

    No - I'm merely trying to eliminate sloppy arguments. Say precisely what you mean. "ABSOLUTELY OVERRULE all opinions" is surely not what you meant.


    Jed: "I suggest you read Rout et al. and Iyengar and Srinivasan."


    I have. They measure x-rays. X-rays come from atomic electrons, not nuclear emission from fusion. The x-rays are from excited Ti/Pd electons - this is hardly direct evidence! Roth also reports fim fogging for hydrogen (no deuterium) environments, and rules out x-rays, and reports not understanding the film fogging process.

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  37. Dr Pain wrote:

    "'Unexplained heat generation' does not equal 'heat generation.'"

    What is the difference?

    (Serious question.)


    I've been over this argument about "fusion." Please stop using this word, as you clearly have no concept of what it means."

    In that case, Schwinger, Fleischmann, Miley and the other other scientists in this field. clearly have no concept of what fusion means. I doubt that. I suppose they define it differently than you do.

    I will stick with their terminology. I think it is clear what they and I mean, and I think you are splitting hairs.

    - Jed

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  38. Dr Pain wrote:

    "But it states on the lenr-canr wesite:

    'When fusion is initiated using conventional methods, significant tritium and neutrons are produced. . . .'"

    By the way, please note that was written by Edmund Storms, not me.

    I agree with him in this case, but I emphatically do not agree with or endorse every statement at LENR-CANR.org. Nobody does. We have papers covering the full range of opinions on this subject. This is a library, not a journal. We welcome all points of view.

    In the history of this field (which begins in 1927, by the way) there have only been a dozen or so peer-reviewed "skeptical" papers published. We have four of them. LENR-CANR is the world's largest anti-cold fusion web site. See Morrison, Jones and the ERAB panel for examples.

    When I say "skeptical papers" I mean papers that attempt to show errors in the experiment. I do not mean papers that report null results. I think there are roughly 100 of them.

    - Jed

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  39. And by the way again, if you think I am partial to cold fusion researchers, and I give them the benefit of the doubt, you should see the review I writing at this moment of the latest Arata paper. (The paper is in Japanese, so I am doing an in-depth, tell-all review for English-speaking readers.) Here is part of what I say:

    "I feel this paper is inadequate for several reasons:
    1. Calibration is not described.
    2. The estimated heat of formation of Pd-D (and Pd-H) is apparently wrong by a large factor.
    3. The Zr-Pd material is not described sufficiently.
    4. Many critical details about the experimental instruments and techniques are missing, making it difficult to evaluate the work.
    5. The graphs do not appear to show the recorded room temperature, but only the initial value.
    6. The anomalous heat appears to be too steady to be cold fusion.
    7. The cell volume is not given, which prevents calculation of reaction rate.
    8. The manner of outgassing the cell is not described. If purity is important, as Arata claims, this issue becomes important.
    9. The method of measuring the He-4 and its growth with time is not shown. Because this is the only part of the claim that demonstrates a nuclear process, this information is very important.
    10. Was the same 7 g sample used for the deuterium test in 2007 (Fig. 2) also used for the hydrogen control run in 2008 (Fig 4)? If this was the same sample, was it used again at any time? A table listing all samples and all tests would be helpful.

    In my opinion, these problems would make it impossible to replicate this experiment based upon this paper alone. . . ."

    I do not know of any "skeptical" papers that point out this many problems in a cold fusion paper. All of the mistakes that Morrison though he discovered were actually on his side, as was Hoffman's famous conjecture that Ontario Hydro sells used CANDU moderator water for cold fusion experiments.

    The only thing comparable to what I am writing is the Storms review of calorimetry, which points out several problems with some cold fusion experiments.

    So, not only have I uploaded the world's largest collection of anti-cold fusion papers, but Storms and I are the the only credible skeptical reviewers of this field. Take that, skeptics! Take that, sloppy researchers! A pox on both your houses.

    - Jed

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  40. "...Storms and I are the the only credible skeptical reviewers of this field."

    I hardly think that's true, and if you are convinced of it, you must think much more highly of yourself than anyone else does. What would Beaudette say to that?

    In addition, everything you're pointing out are things which we have also been asking. How was the setup calibrated? Have all of the sources of error been accounted for? What are the experimental uncertainties? We've been asking these questions since you started this discussion.

    "Take that, skeptics! Take that, sloppy researchers! A pox on both your houses."

    For shame. Take that, librarians with eight-year-old mentalities.

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  41. nuclear kelly wrote:

    "'...Storms and I are the the only credible skeptical reviewers of this field."

    I hardly think that's true, and if you are convinced of it, you must think much more highly of yourself than anyone else does. What would Beaudette say to that?"

    I was kidding, for goodness sake. Perhaps you realize that, but I think "librarians with eight-year-old mentalities" is a little acid for a joke.

    For the record, McKubre, Fleischmann and Miles have also contributed good skeptical analyses of various experiments, especially the false negatives at Caltech, MIT and Harwell (which actually produced excess heat).

    If you define "skeptic" as one who does not believe the cold fusion effect exists, then as far as I know only ~10 papers by such people have been published. As I said, we have 4, by Morrison and so on.

    There are probably other skeptical papers that I have not heard of. Since I have collected 3,500 papers it is not likely many have escaped my attention, but if you know of one please let me know.

    I mean skeptical papers that attempt to explicate errors in the experiment. Not papers that find fault in people's theories, or papers that that attempt to prove that cold fusion is theoretically impossible. They don't count.


    "In addition, everything you're pointing out are things which we have also been asking. How was the setup calibrated? Have all of the sources of error been accounted for?"

    In the Arata paper these questions are not answered well, as I indicated. Fortunately, the people who replicated Arata had done a good job and wrote good papers. Arata and his colleagues often do good work, and it has always been successfully replicated up until now, but they write lousy papers, in my opinion. The lecture was not much help, as I told Cartwright at PhysicsWorld:

    http://physicsworld.com/blog/2008/05/coldfusion_demonstration_a_suc.html

    Arata is a genius with dozens of patents, dozens of awards including an international one in his name and one from the Emperor, a building at Osaka Nat. U. named after him, and on and on, but he does not speak or write well, alas. I have known some other genius scientist and artists like that.

    Even if you read Japanese, you will probably be able to learn more about his work from my upcoming review than from his paper. Any tech writer could explain it better than he did. Cartwright did a pretty good job here:

    http://physicsworld.com/blog/2008/06/coldfusion_demonstration_an_up_1.html

    - Jed

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