“Every time you look up at the sky, every one of those points of light is a reminder that fusion power is extractable from hydrogen and other light elements, and it is an everyday reality throughout the Milky Way Galaxy.” -Carl Sagan

(This post is coauthored by Dr. Peter Thieberger, Senior Physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory.)

A cheap, clean, efficient and virtually limitless source of energy would be just what our world needs right about now. The cheap sources — coal, oil, and gas — are dirty, destructive, and limited, while the clean sources — wind and solar — are expensive and inefficient. Nuclear power is abundant and efficient, but with the dangers of radioactivity (and Fukushima still fresh in people’s minds), it clearly isn’t an ideal solution either. What would be ideal, rather than the current nuclear fission power we use, would be nuclear fusion, where lighter elements are fused together into heavier ones. Unlike a nuclear fission reaction, neither the original reactive material nor the products are radioactive in most instances of nuclear fusion.

Video credit: an old Soviet documentary, featured in Trinity and Beyond.

Nuclear fusion is responsible for the most powerful release of energy ever generated on our planet: the Tsar Bomba, above. No other known reaction (that doesn’t involve antimatter) is capable of generating as much energy from a given amount of matter as nuclear fusion can, in the entire Universe.

Of course, a reaction like the Tsar Bomba is not what we want when it comes to meeting our energy needs. Perhaps more pointedly, we’d like to have controlled nuclear fusion, where we can control the rate of fusion and harness practically all of the energy generated from the reactions. To accomplish this, all you’d need is two atomic nuclei whose initial states have more total mass than the final fused nucleus will — which is possible thanks to binding energy — and you can, in principle, have nuclear fusion between those two elements.

Image credit: David Darling.

Nuclear fusion happens all around us in the Universe: it’s the very process that powers every single star visible to your naked eye in the sky.

Image credit: Wally Pacholka of TWAN; click for an amazing panorama.

This even includes our own Sun! By combining hydrogen atoms into heavier isotopes and then into helium, one mere milligram of hydrogen fusion in the Sun generates as much energy as over 300 pounds of TNT! Of course, this is hard to do: you need the temperature in the core of your star to rise above 8 million Kelvin in order to fuse hydrogen into helium, and you’d need temperatures even higher than that (on the order of 100 million Kelvin) to fuse helium into heavier elements!

Image credit: Phil Anderson, St. Rosemary Educational Institution.

All of our successful attempts at generating nuclear fusion here on Earth require similarly high pressures and/or temperatures to those found at the core of each and every fusion-powered star. In mainstream physics, there are three types of setups verified to create nuclear fusion, all of which are working towards the (metaphorical) holy grail goal of the breakeven point. If you can reach and go beyond that point, you’ll produce more usable energy from your setup than you put into it in order to create the fusion reaction.

But recently, attempts to create nuclear fusion with a relatively low-pressure, low-temperature experiment — what’s commonly known as cold fusion — have been making a lot of noise.

Image credit: Focardi and Rossi with their e-Cat, retrieved from Brian Wang.

In the past, claims of cold fusion have been unable to be scientifically reproduced under controlled conditions, but it is universally recognized that if cold fusion could be achieved, it would be amazingly useful as a clean, cheap, safe, abundant energy source. Last week, this site expressed some healthy skepticism about the latest sensational claims concerning Andrea Rossi’s claimed cold fusion device: the Energy Catalyzer, or e-Cat.

Briefly, here’s what the e-Cat claims to do.

Image credit: Schematic of Rossi's e-Cat reactor, retrieved from peswiki.com.

They start with nickel powder — ordinary nickel as found on Earth — and combine it with hydrogen gas under modest pressure. You will see claims that this is high pressure, but in the world of physics, the claimed 25 times our normal atmospheric pressure (or even 100 or 1000 times) isn’t anything spectacular. (For comparison, inertial confinement fusion compresses hydrogen to be about a factor of 20 denser than solid lead to obtain fusion, in line with well-understood physics.)

The nickel and hydrogen mix, under pressure, is heated through simple electrical currents in the presence — it is claimed — of a “secret mix” of catalysts.

Image credit: retrieved from nickel + hydrogen = energy.

And it’s claimed that a nuclear fusion reaction takes place between the nickel and the hydrogen, producing copper! The relevant part of the periodic table of the elements is shown below.

Image credit: retrieved, highlighted and cropped from ptable.com.

This claim is made for two reasons:

  • There is anomalous heat/energy being generated by the device, as evidenced by water that has been heated and/or boiled by the e-Cat. This heat is measured by outside observers and cannot be accounted for, completely, by the external power input.
  • A sample of the claimed products of the reaction was made available, which contained some nickel powder, but about 10% of the sample was copper, claimed to be completely generated from an initial sample that was 100% nickel.

Right here, this very site claimed that these results were probably faked, and now we’re going to show you the physics of why these claims are definitely untrue.

Image generated using the free graphing software at nces.ed.gov.

There are five known stable isotopes of Nickel, and here on Earth they are found in the percentages shown in the chart above. These isotope ratios are the same on Earth as they are in meteorites and in the Sun, and are pretty universal to any sample of nickel naturally found here on Earth.

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

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

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

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

Image credit: SOHO/LASCO consortium, ESA / NASA, retrieved from beyondweather.ehe.osu.edu.

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

Image credit: Catherine Michelle Deibel's Ph.D. Thesis.

But it is worth noting that there are stars that form copper from nickel, but they do not do it by adding protons. When our Sun runs out of hydrogen fuel, it will expand, becoming a red giant, and begin burning helium atoms into the element carbon. While the Sun will be capable of creating a few elements heavier than carbon, such as nitrogen, oxygen, and (probably) neon, that’s the end of the line for the Sun. But significantly more massive stars can go farther.

Image credit: the one-minute-astronomer.

If a star is at least eight times as massive as our Sun, not only are copious amounts of neon produced, but the pressures and temperatures are high enough to burn neon into still heavier elements. By combining a helium nucleus with the element neon, these very massive stars can produce the element magnesium plus a free neutron. Those neutrons, since they’re uncharged (and do not have to contend with the repulsive Coulomb force between atomic nuclei), can interact with a nickel nucleus, which can capture it. Two of these cases are very important: where Nickel-62 and Nickel-64 capture a neutron. Here’s why.

Add a neutron to Ni-62 (or Ni-64) and it becomes Ni-63 (or Ni-65). But both of these isotopes are unstable, and will β-decay, forming copper. More specifically, they undergo the reactions shown below.

  • 62Ni + 1n → 63Ni* → 63Cu + β- + γ + ν ̅e,
  • 64Ni + 1n → 65Ni* → 65Cu + β- + γ + ν ̅e,

where ν ̅e is an anti-electron neutrino. This is vital for copper, because these are the only stable isotopes of copper in the Universe, and because this is the primary way the Universe’s copper is made!

Image credit: NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester.

When these stars then go supernova, they eject these elements out across the Universe, and that’s where — to the best of our knowledge — all of the copper on Earth comes from. And it comes in a 70-30 ratio: 70% copper-63 and 30% copper-65, naturally.

In other words, even the most massive stars, at the incredible pressures and temperatures found at their cores, cannot fuse nickel and hydrogen nuclei together. From the point of view of astrophysics, the claims of cold fusion do not hold up.

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

Image credit: Rossi, Kullander, Essen and the e-Cat, retrieved from energydigital.com.

But it isn’t happening, and the above picture pretty much proves that it isn’t happening. Here’s why. Remember the conceivable nuclear reactions we talked about, above, for nickel fusing with hydrogen? The problem is, for all of the five isotopes, the product is unstable (which is why they were marked with asterisks), and will radiate. Let’s finish the reactions, and show how:

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

So three of these hypothetical reactions — which, remember, represent over 95% of the total initial nickel — will decay back into nickel, releasing β+ particles (i.e., positrons), gamma rays and neutrinos, while the other two will produce stable copper, along with γ-radiation.

First, let’s take a look at what positrons do.

Image credit: PET physics.

Since they’re being created inside of normal matter — which is made up of nuclei and electrons — these positrons will annihilate with electrons, producing two high-energy photons of 511 keV of energy (kilo-electronVolts) apiece, or two gamma rays (γ-rays).

In other words, in short order, all of the possible fusion reactions will produce γ-radiation. While the γ-rays from these reactions can come in a wide variety of energies in theory, from as small as a few dozen keV up to a maximum of a few MeV (Mega-electronVolts), we are guaranteed that we will at least be producing copious amounts of 511 keV γ-rays. And what does it take to stop γ-radiation?

Image credit: Cameco.com.

Unlike α-particles, your skin won’t do it. Unlike β-particles, a thin sheet of aluminum (or even lead) foil won’t do it. For very energetic particles like γ-rays, you need a lot of shielding to protect you from them, because the only way to shield yourself from γ-rays is to put enough material between the source of these γ-rays and yourself to sufficiently reduce the intensity.

It normally takes a substantial amount of material — whether it’s a foot of lead, a meter of concrete, or a few meters of water — to sufficiently protect you from high-energy γ-rays. For example, in large nuclear fission reactors, there’s usually a big setup like this.

Image credit: Peter Barendse at Boston University.

Why is all this necessary? A huge amount of shielding is needed so that this high energy γ-radiation doesn’t irradiate you. Without any shielding, γ-rays can travel through many kilometers of air unimpeded. And you know what happens when you get hit by large amounts of γ-rays?

Image credit: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Paul Reinman and Artie Simek.

Right, you’ll turn green with giant muscles!

Or, perhaps, if you don’t live in a comic book, you’ll start experiencing the effects of acute radiation syndrome, an extremely nasty way to go. So in these e-Cat experiments of Rossi and Focardi, how much shielding are they using, and how good is that shielding against γ-rays?

Image credit: Rossi's e-Cat, retrieved from the blog Nickel + Hydrogen = Energy.

With only 2″ of lead shielding, it is true that more than 96% of the γ-rays will be blocked. But that is horrible for nuclear physics; if more than 3% of the γ-rays were to get through the shielding, they would be easily detectable with even primitive equipment, and deadly to a human bystander within minutes. But the expected γ-radiation was not detectedeven with sensitive equipment — during these tests!

So what’s been going on here? After all, they claimed to produce copper from nickel and hydrogen, and they claimed to have detected large amounts of excess heat that cannot be explained by the input power alone. Have the laws of nuclear physics been circumvented on both the reactants side and on the products side?

Image credit: okokChina.com's copper powder.

Or was the whole thing faked, with natural copper powder added to natural nickel powder and passed off as “products” of the reaction? (Remember, from above, that copper is naturally found with 70% Cu-63 and 30% Cu-65 isotopic abundance.) What do you suppose was the ratio of copper “created” by this e-Cat? Analysis of the “final sample” showed that it contained the exact same 70-30 split of copper-63 to copper-65 found in nature. If you’re not convinced that this is very suspicious as well, you may also want to consider that even if 100% of the initial nickel-62 and nickel-64 was fused with hydrogen into copper, you’d get less than half the copper (4.5%) in your products compared to what was claimed (10%). Furthermore, — assuming hydrogen was the fuel — no more than 1% of the total final sample could have been transmuted into copper-65 given any conceivable chain reaction involving nickel nuclei and hydrogen, compared to the claimed 3%.

In fact, the entire “observed” effect of having your system continue to generate heat even after it’s been turned off is remarkably simple to rig.

Much easier than hiding a person inside a mechanized chess machine, don’t you think?

With other companies now trying to capitalize off of this speculative, unverified and highly dubious claim, it’s time for the e-Cat’s proponents to provide the provable, testable, reproducible science that can answer these straightforward physics objections. Independent verification is the cornerstone of all scientific investigation and experiment, it’s how we weed out all sorts of errors from miscalibration to contamination, and how we protect ourselves from unscrupulous swindles. Given everything that we know, as others also demonstrate (thanks, Steven B. Krivit), it’s time to set aside the mirage of Nickel + Hydrogen fusion and get back to work finding real solutions to our energy and environmental problems.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin
    December 5, 2011

    Sometimes it seems like it’s as easy to capitalize on people’s hopes as it is to capitalize off of their fears to get them to believe impossible things. The sad thing is, even after reading this, I still want to hope that somehow, physics is missing something and this is still possible.

    But I’m a strong proponent of “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” and at this point, human error and/or lying just seem far more likely.

    And another one bites the dust :-(

  2. #2 Bob O`Bob
    December 5, 2011

    “Cold fusion” is really just another name for “transmutation” … as in alchemy. If it’s always been fraud before, it’s probably fraud again.

  3. #3 Artor
    December 5, 2011

    Thanks for the awesome explanation. I know significantly more about fusion now than I did 5 min ago. I have a question though. You say;

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

    I’m wondering where we get all our heavier metals? I assumed that everything past iron came from supernovae, but you just shot that down. What process makes fissionables in the first place, since they’re so unstable, and so difficult to produce?

  4. #4 Ethan Siegel
    December 5, 2011

    Artor,

    You are part right. We do get pretty much all of our metals heavier than iron from stars that eventually go supernovae. But they don’t come from slamming charged nuclei together, they come from creating neutrons that interact with the highest mass nuclei (i.e., Iron, Nickel, Cobalt, etc.) that you make by standard fusion.

    So where do you get these neutrons, and what do they do? You make neutrons from fusion reactions in the last stages of nuclear fusion — known as the S-process — where Slow neutrons collide with these nuclei, building up elements like copper, as described above. And the other place you get them is when the star is done with its fusion, and goes supernova, producing neutrons Rapidly, which is what we (creatively?) call the R-process.

    You probably won’t believe this part of it, but I’ll tell you anyway: the vast majority of this physics was worked out all the way back in 1957! So while you are correct to say, “the elements heavier than iron and nickel come from stars that go supernova,” not all of the heavier elements come from the supernova itself, but technically a great many of them come from the last stages of the star’s life before it goes supernova!

    (Here, have another neutron!)

  5. #5 Bernie Koppenhofer
    December 5, 2011

    Simple question, how do you explain all (more than 100) claims from many different scientists that they are getting excess heat from their experiments?

  6. #6 nomuse
    December 5, 2011

    Bernie –

    Chemistry. The way to do good science is always to rule out that some OTHER effect is not behind what you are observing. Heck…I could keep a machine like that running with a positive output for quite a few hours based on just stored kinetic or gravitational potential energy.

    The test for any of these devices remains the same…disconnect it from all outside power sources and run it for a couple of weeks. If it can power its own electronics for that long, you might have something.

  7. #7 daedalus2u
    December 5, 2011

    Each claim doesn’t need to have the same explanation. There is a lot of very sloppy work. There is probably a lot of self-deception and not a small amount of fraud. The e-Cat thing is probably fraud. They did keep the motor-generator running through the whole demo, as they claimed to be producing 0.5 MW of heat. To produce a kwhr of electricity it takes about 10,000 btus of oil. 500 kwhrs would be about 35 gallons. Did the oil consumption of the engine generator drop during the demo?

    The original cold fusion by Pons and Fleischman was just sloppy work. They used unsilvered Dewars as calorimeters and “calibrated” them for heat transfer via radiation and then estimated the heat flux by the temperature difference. They used a “lumped” model where the thermal radiation only depended on the average temperature and they assumed that the radiative properties didn’t depend on temperature and during their “calibration” step they had non-isothermal conditions with radiators that were optically thin.

    They assumed a lot of stuff that they could have tested, and took short-cuts that were not appropriate. They didn’t use enough instrumentation to redundantly verify the measurements they thought they were making. They didn’t have the intellectual honest that Feynman discribes as being necessary to do real science. They were doing cargo cult science, just going through the motions.

    At the time of the first P&F cold fusion hype, there was a joke going around about what is the difference between an electrochemist and a physicist?

    The physicist thinks that fusion is not going on in his reactor, but shields it with tons of lead bricks.

    The electrochemist thinks that fusion is going on in his reactor and shields it with a plastic bucket.

  8. #8 Peter Thieberger
    December 5, 2011

    Bernie, we are not saying anything about the Pons and Fleischmann type of cold fusion experiments which claim fusion between two heavy hydrogen (deuterium) nuclei. The jury is still out for that type of cold fusion. The Coulomb barrier is much lower than for p + Ni and the probability of quantum mechanical tunneling through this barrier is vastly larger. This variety cold fusion at least conceivable.

  9. #9 Paul Anderson
    December 5, 2011

    Some of your info is correct, some of it is wrong. You’ve given a pretty standard explanation of high energy fusion. Lenr claims to be a new thing – there are still new things by the way, even if current scientific thinking can’t explain them. There have been many verified tests of various kinds of cold fusion by reputable scientists. Many of them Do produce excess energy that is unexplainable by chemical or known nuclear processes. It doesn’t take much of an internet search to find them if a person hasn’t already made up their mind on the matter. Even the Patterson Cell was proved to work, dependably, if contaminants were avoided.
    Rossi is only one of many who have put their own time and money into attempting to find a solution to the world’s energy crisis. Even if, unlikely, he’s self deluded, he deserves respect and support for trying. He hasn’t cost me or you a dime. What he is likely going to cost is the reputations of most mainstream scientists who are fighting cold fusion tooth and nail after hounding Pons and Fleishman out of the country. Some types of cold fusion work, and they can’t explain it, and we’ll all pay the price if they’re successful in shutting it down once again.

  10. #10 Alex Besogonov
    December 6, 2011

    “Nuclear fusion is responsible for the most powerful release of energy ever generated on our planet: the Tsar Bomba, above. No other known reaction (that doesn’t involve antimatter) is capable of generating as much energy from a given amount of matter as nuclear fusion can, in the entire Universe.”

    Well, Hawking radiation theoretically can transform matter into energy completely. Also, accretion disks of black holes can transform up to 50% of infalling matter into energy.

  11. #11 Alex Besogonov
    December 6, 2011

    “But when we look at the Sun, we see that there is a much larger amount of nickel than copper, with no evidence that any of the Sun’s nickel has, over the 4.5 billion years of the Sun’s life, been fused into copper”

    That’s actually is NOT a good argument. All fusion in Sun happens in its core. And there’s almost no convection between core and upper layers – energy is transmitted only through radiative transfer. We actually expect the core composition to be quite different than the upper layers – there should be much more helium and much less hydrogen.

    A better test would be to check the spectra of red dwarf stars – they don’t have a radiative core, all energy transfer in red dwarves is only by convection.

  12. #12 crd2
    December 6, 2011

    Just wanna say thanks so much for taking time to write not one, but two blog posts cover this topic. I was one of your readers who suggested this topic in an earlier comments thread. Made me smile when I saw that you had decided to tackle cold fusion. It is always fun to read the cosmology/astrophysics stuff, but a new topic off the beaten trail is always welcome. Cheers and keep on keeping on.

    -crd2

  13. #13 noob
    December 6, 2011

    I am not a scientist, but from the diagram of the red giant you have posted the iron, nickel core doesn’t seem to be in contact with the hydrogen.

    How much hydrogen is within the iron, nickel core of the sun and how did it get there?

  14. #14 Joshua Cude
    December 6, 2011

    After your previous post on this subject, Lewis Larsen commented about the Widom Larsen (WL) theory, which involves electron capture by a proton to form a neutron. If that happened, then neutron capture by the right Ni isotopes could form copper by beta decay as you described.

    Of course, there is a 780 keV barrier to electron capture by a proton, which is much higher than the barrier to useful D-D or D-T fusion. (I don’t know how it compares to the barrier to H-Ni fusion.) This barrier makes electron capture even less plausible than fusion, but you shouldn’t be surprised if someone seizes your pathway to copper as more support for the WL theory, which is Krivit’s favorite hobbyhorse, in spite of his skepticism of Rossi.

  15. #15 Pekka Janhunen
    December 6, 2011

    The gamma argument doesn’t hold if the process is instead a triple nucleon one, p+p+Ni->Cu+p. Some strong interaction cross sections go up when energy goes down, such as n+Li6->He4+T, so it /might/ work directly if there is local metallic or ultradense hydrogen inside the nickel matrix as Arata, Miley have proposed. A triple nucleon process might have gone unnoticed because it was suppressed in stars due to too high temperature.

  16. #16 Burt
    December 6, 2011

    In the sun, nickel is not solid. You cannot assume that all laws are the same regardless if the materia is solid or not.

  17. #17 Peter Thieberger
    December 6, 2011

    Alex Besogonov, the question is not where normal fusion occurs in the sun, but where this hypothetical new process would occur if it existed. There is plenty of pressure temperature hydrogen and nickel both in the core as well as in the outer layers to rule it out.

  18. #18 EveningThinker
    December 6, 2011

    Here is a link to some pdf slide presentations from NASA. They are investigating this. Unlike the author above, they do no limit themselves to ideas that don’t work. The definition of all this is that the mechanism is not the same as the old ways of thinking. The mechanism is not by electromagnetism and not by the strong nuclear force fission / fusion. If the author wants to prove that the mechanisms already discounted are able to be discounted, that is fine. It does not address the alternate mechanisms that are currently being investigated.

    http://blog.newenergytimes.com/2011/12/04/slides-from-sept-22-nasa-lenr-innovation-forum-workshop/

  19. #19 Tom Andersen
    December 6, 2011

    It was proven that super conductivity could only happen below something like 20Kelvin. the Wright Brothers flew their plane, then a year later the NY Times had articles saying flight was impossible.
    There is still no real theory for high temperature super conductivity.

    That said, I have no idea if the ecat or cold fusion works. But the rewards are so high that a $100 million investment in the field makes sense, as the reward is almost incalculable. This article assumes that the only way to any nuclear reaction is through ballistic hot reactions. The arguments don’t hold water because the whole field of cold fusion runs on the hypothesis that it is lattice effects – those same sort of not understood effects that the superconductors are built of. There are no lattice effects in the sun, a point not made by Peter, somewhat confusingly. But if you say that cold fusion does not work like hot fusion, then most of the story disappears, there is nothing left to write. There is something to write, though – a much shorter article that leaves it up to the experimenters.

    Physics has literally achieved nothing in the past 30+ years. Who knows, it may be time to learn something new. As a physics PhD, I am not impresses by the article.

  20. #20 Alecthar
    December 6, 2011

    Tom (#18) – What? Just for starters, observing Gluons 32 years ago. If you include physics related to Cosmology, the acceleration of the universe, dark matter and dark energy. And non of that is even taking into account the work going on at the LHC, or with stuff like string theory.

    Just because we haven’t had a paradigm-shifting advancement like Relativity in the last 30 years doesn’t mean nothing is happening. As a physics PhD, you should be aware of this.

    And you can’t just say “It’s lattice effects, cold fusion works differently!” As far as I know, no reputable labs have been able to actually reproduce a cold fusion reaction, so it’s hardly possible to test the hypothesis that they work on any particular framework.

    I’m not well versed enough in physics to state that cold fusion is or isn’t possible based on “lattice effects,” but I do know that the simple invocation of such effects cannot dismiss nuclear physics. Even if the e-cat somehow could achieve a cold fusion reaction, it would still be fusion, and so many of the points in this post (like those about gamma radiation) would stand.

    Putting money into legitimate research aimed at producing controllable fusion reactions that can be used for power is a good idea, but throwing money at obvious cranks who have a machine that looks like a high school science project is not. That 100 million dollars you refer to can be spent better.

  21. #21 eric
    December 6, 2011

    Pekka @14: The gamma argument doesn’t hold if the process is instead a triple nucleon one, p+p+Ni->Cu+p.

    Not a convincing argument, for a couple reasons. First, if this ‘secret catalyst’ is lowering the (p,Ni) reaction barrier, you would see a whole bunch of reactions, not just that one. And most of the reactions you’d see will produce gammas. IOW you have to hypothesize that none of the (p,Ni) or (2p,Ni) nuclear reactions going on in this machine produce gammas. That is a very unrealistic claim.

    Second, its not convincing because it would be trivially easy to demonstrate and reproduce – just go to an accelerator and run the reaction. They claim to be getting 10% Cu in pounds of natural Ni over the course of a few-day test run; that would have to be an astoundingly high cross-section.

    ***

    Lack of gammas has always been cold fusion’s achilles heel. Sure, it’s theoretically possible that some nuclear reaction is going on which doesn’t release them, but until you see gammas come out of one of these things, skepticism is warranted far more than belief.

  22. #22 daedalus2u
    December 6, 2011

    Peter, to say that the “jury is still out” for P&F-type cold fusion is disingenuous. There has been no reliable data that demonstrates excess heat. The experiments that show positive effects are poorly done, with insufficient instrumentation. When the instrumentation is improved and the experiments done better, excess heat is not observed. There are no results that refute the null hypothesis (that measurements of excess heat are experimental artifact).

    I have a comment still in moderation on P&F type experimental apparatus but I will repeat it. They used unsilvered Dewars as reaction vessels and calculated a heat flux by radiation between the inside and the outside. If the inside and outside were perfect black bodies (what they assumed), their technique might have worked. They assumed that a “lumped” approach for calculating the heat transfer would work. However the inside and outside of their systems are not black bodies. They are optically thin and have non-black-body emissive properties. They were “calibrated” under conditions where the inside was not at uniform temperature (their resistive heaters were a lot hotter than the rest).

    The inappropriate modeling of the system as black bodies with lumped emissive properties will lead to an overestimation of the heat flux at low temperatures and an underestimation of the heat flux at high temperatures (the calibration was at low temperature). This leads to the “observation” that at high temperatures more heat is generated than is being put in. This “observation” is pure artifact.

  23. #23 Pekka Janhunen
    December 6, 2011

    eric @21: I have understood Rossi’s and Focardi’s claims so that the “secret catalyst” is not a nuclear one, but simply a chemical (perhaps alkali metal) that increases the ability of the nickel matrix to dissolve hydrogen, and perhaps do it in some strategic places of the lattice (maybe lattice defects). Many Ni and Pd CF experiments (e.g. ENEA Frascati) have been done without such catalyst, although less than commercial energy output and less then ideal repeatibility.

    Secondly, why would (2p,Ni) reactions produce gammas, because there is always more than one output particle that can take up the energy and momentum? The situation is in that regard completely different from (p,Ni). Agreed, there might be some gamma-producing side reactions, but with some luck their amplitude might remain small enough to be shieldable.

    Thirdly, and this is a very important point, one /cannot/ go to an accelerator and probe for triple nucleon reactions, because the likelihood of getting three nucleons in the same place at the same time is essentially zero under those experimental conditions. In other words, we have currently /no/ experimental way of probing that kind of nuclear reactions (if CF is not counted), especially if their nature is such that the “cross section” gets smaller when energy increases as is the case for many neutronic reactions (of which there was an example in my original post). That kind of interactions (i.e. triple nuclear) are completely different from what we are used to, which is evident already in the fact that one cannot even quantify them with the familiar cross section formalism.

  24. #24 KeepLooking
    December 6, 2011

    Eric, you said:
    “Lack of gammas has always been cold fusion’s achilles heel. Sure, it’s theoretically possible that some nuclear reaction is going on which doesn’t release them, but until you see gammas come out of one of these things, skepticism is warranted far more than belief.”

    Take a look at the recent NASA workshop on Piantelli’s experimental evidence, specifically slides 14-33:
    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/government/NASA/20110922NASA-Nelson-GRC-LENR-Workshop.pdf
    Ni-H reactions look promising with claimed evidence of transmutation, gammas, neutrons, and excess heat.
    I have little to no faith in Rossi’s demonstrations; he has a background for extraordinary performance claims based on real technologies that he fails to deliver on (see PetrolDragon and his DOE Thermo-Electric Generators). That said, he may be bringing attention to a real process.

  25. #25 Joe Catania
    December 6, 2011

    The September E-Cat tests showed equal energy going in and leaving the “reactor.” Enormous energy was pumped in to the E-Cat with an electrical heater. This energy was stored in the metal and water of the device through a rise in temperature. When the power was turned off there was still energy in the device (ie, the temperature did not drop instantaneously to ambient). This was mistakenly reported as a (credulity-straining) self-sustaining fusion reaction. It is simply an effect of thermal inertia. The October E-Cat had similar lackluster results (equal power in and out) until a “device producing frequencies” was switched on. At that point the enrgy out looked to be much higher than inout energy. The problem with that is the clamp-on ammeter used to measure current (and thus power in) cannot respond to high frequencies and so would read low in comparison to actual current. Its possible that the 1MW test use similar tricks.

  26. #26 daedalus2u
    December 6, 2011

    Tom, the rewards from an elixir that would confer immortality are near infinite too. So would be finding the magic words that would turn lead into gold. Or a machine that would generate energy from nothing, or anti-gravity, or time travel. There are many ideas, that if successful would have extremely high value, but there are no theoretical grounds for expecting them to be possible. Should we spend $100 million on each one because the potential rewards are so high?

    There was no proof that superconductivity can’t happen above 20 K, and no competent and knowledgeable physicist ever said there was. The New York Times saying heavier than air flight is impossible is clearly wrong. We know that birds are heavier than air, and we know that birds can fly. That has been known for forever.

    The whole field of cold fusion does run on the idea that lattice effects are important, but there is no datum (note singular) that demonstrates lattice effects are important in fusion, or that cold fusion is even possible.

    The usual way that physics proceeds is by collaboration between experimentalists and theorists. Theorists think up theories and experimentalists test those theories. This type of collaboration/competition only works when scientists are intellectually honest, with the type of intellectual integrity that Feynman talked about when he talked about Cargo Cult science. Being unwilling to challenge your fundamental assumptions (in this case that cold fusion is actually happening) makes it cargo cult science and not science.

    The superluminal neutrino result is a case in point. Neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light is an extraordinary result. What the researchers who found such a result are doing, is going back over their work and trying to find errors.

    Where are researchers in cold fusion going back over their work and trying to find errors? Why has there been no update for many years? Why is there no progress in the cold fusion field? The ideas being thrown about are the same ones from 20+ years ago. Why haven’t any of them been tested in sufficient detail that progress could be made? My guess is that much more than $100 million has been spent on cold fusion, but the field has not made any progress. The problem isn’t a lack of funding, the problem is the lack of scientific integrity and intellectual honesty on the part of those doing the research.

  27. #27 Zedshort
    December 6, 2011

    It was interesting to see how it is possible to fake the zero power in while in fact supplying power but that supposes he was being devious, the instruments to measure power were set up as shown, and the scientists witnessing the demonstrations were a bunch of rubes that wanted to be duped. I don’t believe Rossi is being devious, I’m not sure exactly how the electrical power-in was measured and while I believe scientists are capable of being fooled and very capable of fooling themselves, there have been a great many there at the demonstrations and you cannot fool all the people all the time. With all you have presented, you have totally failed to address the net power out of the experiments that were very substantial. You also persist in talking about hot fusion and not a phenomena that takes place in condensed matter which I assume to be a radically different set of conditions. I don’t think you have to worry about any changes to the laws of physics at the condensed level affecting those at the astrophysical level so you need not thrash about in protest so vigorously. If a thing does something useful, like heat my home, I and 99.99% of the population will accept it and be content to wrap a black box about it just as we have with our cell-phones, computers, televisions, etc. We need not understand how a thing works at the most minute level to enjoy the ride.

  28. #28 James Aach
    December 6, 2011

    A nicely detailed piece. Having worked in the energy biz for years and watched claims of new sources come and go, and I am always hopeful but have yet been ready to invest.

    That lovely blue glow in the Boston nuclear picture, by the way, is Cerenkov radiation, which is basically the water glowing blue because some radioactive particles from the fuel have passed through it at a speed faster than the speed of light in water. It is seen every time used nuclear fuel is moved around in a reactor.

    FYI: If you’d like an inside look at a atomic power funhouse, I’ve called on my 20+ years in that field to write the novel “Rad Decision” – which is available free online with no advertisements or sponsors. Just Google the title. Bonus – it features a Fukushima-like plant dealing with a similar event. Rad Decision’s media presence is rather limited since I’ve been busy doing nuclear work instead of hanging around TV stations.

  29. #29 Steve W
    December 6, 2011

    I think the author of this article should give this information to the NASA scientists who have been working on LENR for years to save them more wasted time and taxpayer expense. It seems they must have all forgotten what they learned in their physics 101 classes all those years ago and is explained so eloquently here. Can you imagine their embarrassment- “Oh Joe (Joseph M. Zawodny), I can’t believe we all forgot about the Coulomb barrier!”, “Oh s**t!“, exclaims Mr. Nelson.

    One more paper on why cold fusion is not possible- when it’s not cold fusion, Rossi says it’s not cold fusion.

  30. #30 Gene Williams
    December 6, 2011

    Well, the “power magic” part of this is B.S..

    I’ve read a lot of posts about the e-cat, and there are those that insist it’s a fraud. Perhaps it is, but it would not be as easy to fake as people suggest.

    For instance, the argument that the diesel gen-set was running during the test. Perhaps many here have not been around one, but you can tell when the load has been switched off and on. You can hear it. You can see it in the exhaust. Kind of like when an 18 wheeler starts up a steep grade. Black smoke out the exhaust…

    Kind of like when you plug your power saw into your Honda Generator, or turn the AC on in your motor home when it’s running on the generator. You hear it when the load is connected and disconnected. It would be obvious.

    No, if you wanted to fake it you would not use a gen-set, you would power it from the mains…

  31. #31 ernie
    December 6, 2011

    Another case of not thinking outside the box.All this information is a rehash of old hash which has been published many times over.To enlighten the author,nuclear reactions and processes occur every day multiple times outside the realm of the stars.Radioactive isotopes produce transmutations,emit all kinds of photonic energy and particles and do this naturally with no apparent outside influence or the need for extraordinary temperatures or pressures.Perhaps as I have hinted in previous blogs,the effect is obtained by distorting the energy fields outside the nucleous by injecting another field(ionized particle)within a suitable distance from the nucleous.This distortion may cause spontaneous decay mechanisms within the nucleous with an emission of photons or particles.So many possibilities,you can pick your own favorite branching decays.

  32. #32 Frank Znidarsic
    December 6, 2011

    This work is possible and good. The rejections offered in this page are based on hot fusion. Cold fusion is different. Read my paper “The Control of the Natural Forces” to Find out why. My peer reviewed papers on the subject are linked below. This is new physics.

    http://www.angelfire.com/scifi2/zpt/chapterf.html

    Frank Znidarsic

  33. #33 Artor
    December 6, 2011

    Thanks for the clarification @#4 Ethan. I took that neutron you offered, but now I feel denser than before.

  34. #34 Ben
    December 6, 2011

    Dr. Peter Thieberger ‘s critique of cold fusion claims is a very nicely done but, as Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, CA, “there is no there there.” While this article lays out a well-reasoned, although hardly new, case against cold fusion, Rossi has never made any claims to such. In fact, it is likely that Rossi himself does not even understand the mechanism of his reaction, as he is an intuitive inventor much in the vein of Edison, not a theorist in any sense of the word.

    Prof. Sergio Focardi (Rossi’s current associate) and Prof. Francesco Piantelli had a similar experience with CERN in the 1990s. They presented a paper and experimental data to CERN regarding “anomalous heat production” and the response from CERN was largely an argument against claims of cold fusion, similar to the above, when in fact the paper submitted by Focardi and Piantelli made no mention and no claims to such.

    Tomorrow, December 7, Dr. Brian Ahern will give a presentation regarding his theory (for which he recently submitted a patent application) regarding what is commonly and erroneously called cold fusion and more accurately described by the term LENR. His explanation does not require a new model of physics, just perhaps a new understanding. Dr. Ahern recently stated “I believe all LENR is just a new and unanticipated form of nanomagnetism.” His explanation negates the assumption that Andrea Rossi’s e-Cat defies the law of physics and thus provides a strong scientific framework for Rossi’s invention, which, ironically, Dr. Ahern himself has been quite a vocal critic of. This is interesting because Dr. Ahern has been working in collaboration with Dr. George Miley of the University of Illinois on a device similar to the e-Cat. But that is a topic for another day.

    Dr. Ahern has been working very closely with the Ames National Laboratory in regards to his research, so perhaps at the National Laboratory Christmas Party this holiday season Dr. Thieberger and Dr. Ahern can discuss their common dislike of Rossi and then move onto their seeming differences of opinion about what the phenomenon of “cold fusion” actually is. Dr. Ahern can explain his theory of nano-magnestism and Dr. Thieberger can present his two decades old critique of cold fusion. It should make for an interesting exchange.

  35. #35 Chris
    December 6, 2011

    Ethan, I like your idea on how one might fake the input power but by what I saw of demonstrations I don’t think that trick could have been played. Also, there are several shortcomings in your argument but I don’t find this type of blog suitable for complicated debate. I’ll only say a couple of simple things:
    - It is false to say that fusion reactions produce no neutrons. Some do (fortunately not all).
    - You specify three kinds of method known to work (aside from breakeven) and you fail to include that of muon catalysis, known to work at low temeratures and which some people still hope might reach breakeven.

    I’m curious to know who has measured the isotopic content of Rossi’s used powder. Focardi claims that in his research the proportions were anomalous, along with the fact that, before Rossi’s two main contributions, he was getting a thermal output only about twice the input. Note that he is a respected nuclear physicist and did pure research before Rossi sought his consultance. He is not the only serious party working on some kind of LENR, here are a couple of interesting links:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16820-neutron-tracks-revive-hopes-for-cold-fusion.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8eIhth8Iw8

  36. #36 Artor
    December 6, 2011

    Another point of curiosity on the subject; Not knowing about the S- vs R-processes, I had imagined that the shockwave & pressure of a super-massive star collapsing into a core that suddenly goes bang, (such a tiny word for such a cataclysmic event) played a part in the fusion of heavy metals. Does it, or is it all about the intensity of the heat and the neutron flux?

  37. #37 Chris' Wills
    December 6, 2011

    The link is to a swedoish site that explains what is happening. It isn’t cold fusion.

    http://cornucopia.cornubot.se/2011/06/rossis-e-cat-debunked.html

  38. #38 eric
    December 6, 2011

    Pekka @24: Secondly, why would (2p,Ni) reactions produce gammas, because there is always more than one output particle that can take up the energy and momentum?

    Its not just energy that is conserved; linear momentum is also conserved in a nuclear reaction. Thus not all of the excess energy due to matter-energy conversion can be converted into kinetic energy of the product particles; momentum is not an independent variable the way you seem to think it is.

  39. #39 James McC
    December 6, 2011

    Of course it would be easy to fake. But to what purpose?
    Of course it’s against the laws of nuclear physics, or we would have been doing it long ago.
    Another thing that’s against the laws of nuclear physics is the creation of the Universe. Which proves it’s not there at all.

  40. #40 Pekka Janhunen
    December 6, 2011

    eric @39: After the interaction, the system has certain linear momentum and certain total kinetic energy, 4 degrees of freedom in total. If there are two or more output particles (3 dof’s per particle in their velocities/momenta), it’s more than enough to satisfy energy and momentum conservation without gammas. This pattern is visible e.g. in all usual hot fusion processes: in processes with two or more product particles, there is no gamma. And processes with gamma are much suppressed, because they are mediated by electromagnetic interaction which is much weaker than the strong interaction. For example, D+D->He4+gamma is an improbable process, much less common than D+D->He3+n or D+D->T+p.

  41. #41 Giovanni
    December 6, 2011

    @ Gene Williams: the power of the gen-set was never set off during the end of October demonstration. Even when it was claimed that the e-cat was working in self sustained mode. Rossi explained this by saying the gen-set was still powering electronics and safety systems.
    So there was no way to hear the gen-set to go on and off during the demonstration.

  42. #42 Chris
    December 6, 2011

    Giovanni, it was mainly powering the circulation pump and the fans for recondensing steam. The customer’s consultant, apparently a retired colonel of the Italian army’s corps of engineers, likely made sure there wasn’t trickery about input power.

  43. #43 Vicki
    December 6, 2011

    Ernie @32: What you describe is fission, not fusion. Nobody is claiming that fission is impossible under ordinary conditions on Earth. However, the e-Cat as described claims fusion, not fission: turning nickel into copper would be a fusion reaction. (Even if no claims are made about how the fusion takes place, they’re claiming a fusion reaction.)

    Chris @43: I’d want something more substantive than “the customer’s consultant…likely made sure there wasn’t trickery” [emphasis mine].

  44. #44 Eric
    December 6, 2011

    I definitely appreciate your effort to engage the claims that are being made in connection with the whole LENR business. It seems that for twenty years, mainstream scientists could not be bothered to do this, but I believe that was an error on their part — hubris, primarily.

    Claims of high energy radiation have been disavowed since the time of Pons and Fleischmann, so I don’t see how your discussion of this topic is relevant; the LENR people claim specifically that, whatever is happening, it does not produce fast neutrons or gamma rays. This part of your blog post speaks past those claims, making your analysis a little less valuable.

    I also don’t see how a very specific environment like the sun would necessarily entail reactions of the purported LENR type. This is another flaw in your reasoning — easy enough for me to identify, and I’m not a trained scientist. In order to better engage their arguments, you will need to set aside this assumption.

    The LENR people claim to be producing anomalous heat well beyond what a chemical reaction could produce. There have been tens or even hundreds of studies showing that the entire power production in the various cells is exothermic, from the beginning of the experiment to the end. If you are to seriously engage in this discussion, you will need to set aside any attempts to discredit this research using existing theory. You will need, finally, to show how *all* of the abovementioned studies are flawed in some systematic way. That does not sound like something that can be done in the scope of a blog post.

  45. #45 Gene
    December 6, 2011

    Giovanni:

    At some point they cut the heaters (or at least they said they did). This is the point where there would be a change in the sound from the gen-set.

    Like I said, it would be obvious that the load had changed. The witnesses couldn’t be so stupid as not to notice. You could fake it in the opposite direction by sequencing each module, but that would be counter productive in that it would indicate that you HADEN’T dropped the load.

  46. #46 Peter Thieberger
    December 6, 2011

    Daedalus2u #23. Disingenuous means lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity. I may be ignorant but I am not disingenuous. I expect an apology. All I was trying to say is that for d + d fusion I don’t know of any arguments as compelling as the ones we have against Ni + H fusion. What you say may be entirely correct, and d + d cold fusion may very well be impossible too.

  47. #47 Juice
    December 6, 2011

    Speaking of fission, not fusion, the vast majority of energy released by a hydrogen bomb (like Tsar Bomba) is the result of fission, not fusion.

  48. #48 eric
    December 6, 2011

    Okay Pekka @41, then get some accelerator time, fire a low-energy proton beam at natural Ni target – mixed with this special catalyst or not, your choice – and show me a 10% transmutation to Cu over several days, without gammas. Heck, show me a 0.01% tranmutation; that’s 3 orders of magnitude less cross-section you have to demonstrate than what’s claimed.

  49. #49 Tom Andersen
    December 6, 2011

    Re: daedalus2u

    You say that high temperature superconductivity was never thought impossible:

    From wikipedia on high temperature superconductivity:

    High-temperature superconductors (abbreviated high-Tc or HTS) are materials that have a superconducting transition temperature (Tc) above 30 K (−243.2 °C). From 1960 to 1980, 30 K was thought to be the highest theoretically possible Tc.

    The wright brothers were thought to be a hoax by the NY Times and Scientific American:
    http://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=wright+brother+history+flight+new+york+times&ie=UTF-8

    The facts are that people were just as smart then as they are now. Sometimes the biggest truths are hard to accept.

    There are people spending far far far more than $100M on the ‘elixir of youth’ – wether they will find it is anyones guess. (My guess is less success as we have had for the past 100 years – a double of the average lifetime)

    It makes no sense to say that something does not work just because it violates known laws of physics. It has happened before and it will happen again. Its experiments that rule. The head journalist at MIT stepped down over cold fusion in the early 90s.

    There are lots and lots of papers from labs that actually do work on cold fusion. To me it looks like they are not all scam artists. Perhaps Rossi and the other company are. I have no idea. If I had to bet I would say the odds are way less than 50-50.

    There are also lots of other under funded private ‘hot’ fusion experiments out there. It seems that experimental science is now ruled by big business and lobbyists.

    Dadelus says:
    ‘The usual way that physics proceeds is by collaboration between experimentalists and theorists. Theorists think up theories and experimentalists test those theories. ”

    What a load of wrong. The next paragraph directly contradicts himself. No theorist would tell anyone to ‘check if the neutrinos are going 0.1% over the speed of light’. They just stumbled on it. There are times where theory leads, but we have not seen much of that for decades.

    Just what experiments are the String Theorists advocating today? They can’t even theory themselves out of their own hole. See Peter Woit – “not even wrong”.

    One other poster seemed to confuse experimental discoveries in astronomy with physics. We are getting nothing from theoretical physics these days. Time to shut that down too?

  50. #50 ernie
    December 6, 2011

    Vicki at 44,
    A decay of a neutron in the nucleous of a nickel atom into a proton and an electron(allowed by observations)produces copper.Call it what you may.It certainly is not fission.Rossi does not claim fusion.He claims LENR.

  51. #51 Ethan Siegel
    December 6, 2011

    Ernie @51,

    Beta decay of Nickel — which doesn’t happen for the 5 stable isotopes anyway, but maybe you’ve imagined something that causes it to do so anyway — is what you’re advocating.

    Note that any of the five copper isotopes that would result — Cu-58, Cu-60, Cu-61, Cu-62, and Cu-64 — are all unstable. See for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_copper

    What’s more is that they all decay into either Nickel or Zinc, not into copper.

    The onus is on their team to either explain the apparatus in sufficient detail so that it can be replicated and independently tested, or to allow a thorough enough examination so that all sources of potential trickery and deceit can be removed. But they haven’t done any of that, a strong indication that the magician doesn’t want you to see what’s up his sleeve.

  52. #52 mithril
    December 6, 2011

    given that every photo i’ve seen shows the E-cat apparently built out of copper piping, could that be the source of the copper in the nickel? heat and pressure would presumably cause the interior to corrode off.

    since the E-cat’s always seem to be wrapped in insulation, continuing to be hot after being shut off could just be trapped heat.

    i find it dissapointing that the government of Greece has contracted Rossi to build a large E-cat powerplant without actually verifying that Rossi’s claims are valid.

  53. #53 MadScientist
    December 6, 2011

    As a chemist I’d just like to add that finely powdered nickel + H2 + 2*O2 = spontaneous (and catalytic) combustion of H2. When you do the calculations it is surprising how little H2 you need to boil water. So without any more than a brief blink at the Rossi setup, I’d say it’s burning H2 to produce some H2O and large quantities of heat.

  54. #54 MadScientist
    December 6, 2011

    Oops .. that should be 2*H2 + O2. See, even old chemists get things wrong.

  55. #55 daedalus2u
    December 6, 2011

    Peter, ok, if you are serious I apologize and withdraw the disingenuous label and replace it with profoundly ignorant. I agree that ignorance is better than being disingenuous and ignorance can be fixed.

    But if you are representing yourself to be a “senior physicist from Brookhaven”, I suggest you are exhibiting the Dunning-Kruger effect and should do a bit more study before you pontificate on things you do not understand.

    The jury is not out on the P&F cold fusion. There has been no data that comes close to falsifying the null hypothesis that what was observed is error and artifact. I appreciate that to many true believers, the jury is still out, but to those who have honestly looked at the data there is nothing to suggest there is something other than artifact and error. It is painful to read the papers of people like Fleischman where they describe what they do, but don’t fix the obvious and glaring errors. I am pretty sure I know why they don’t fix those errors, because when they do, the effects they are trying to study go away.

    The Coulomb barrier for D-D or D-T reactions is on the order of 0.1 MeV.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion

    This is why D-D and D-T fusion doesn’t happen at room temperature.

    To a first approximation, the Coulomb barrier depends on the product of the charges of the two particles.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coulomb_barrier

    H, D, and T, all have a charge of +1, so fusion reactions involving two hydrogens have the lowest Coulomb barrier. The Coulomb barrier for D-D fusion is ~3.4% of the H-Cu (1*1)/(1*29). So if H-Cu fusion has a very very high Coulomb barrier, then D-D fusion has a very high Coulomb barrier.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So far there isn’t even ordinary evidence for cold fusion of the P&F type. The scientific jury has a pretty high barrier of evidence and until that barrier is met, the result is not accepted as valid.

  56. #56 MadScientist
    December 6, 2011

    @Bernie#5: The explanation is simple: a lot of people are easily fooled. What I always find surprising is how many people assume that it must be difficult to fool people.

  57. #57 daedalus2u
    December 6, 2011

    Tom, regarding superconductivity, you said “proven to be impossible”, not “thought to be theoretically impossible”. I agree that it was thought to be impossible by some, but that is gigantically different than proven to be impossible (which is what you said).

    I don’t doubt that the NYT did say it was fraud or impossible. The NYT is not a scientific publication, and heavier than air flight was already known to be possible. If someone says something that has already been observed is impossible, then they are clearly wrong. Heavier than air flight was known to be possible. Birds are heavier than air, birds can fly, that disproves the idea that heavier than air flight is impossible.

    I would not characterize cold fusion as proven to be incorrect, or even proven to be theoretically impossible, just that there is insufficient data to show it is not artifact and error. There are very strong theoretical arguments to suggest that what is being observed is error and artifact and not cold fusion.

    If cold fusion is correct, I will accept it as correct, all I need is sufficient data to falsifies the null hypothesis of error and artifact. Poorly instrumented and poorly calibrated devices that show “results” on the edge of measurement error, or which don’t have independent and redundant measurement of all important variables are not sufficient.

    Maybe poorly instrumented and poorly calibrated devices showing modest energy gains are enough for true believers, they are not enough for me. They are not enough for other real scientists, they are not enough for investors.

    The idea that nothing can travel faster than light is a theoretical result based on Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The experimentalists doing the neutrino work had an experimental setup where they could test that theoretical idea, so they did. The experiment wasn’t originally setup to do only that, which is (probably) one of the reasons they don’t have exactly the right setup to do it.

    There are very good theoretical reasons for thinking that neutrinos can’t travel faster than c. Experimentalists like to measure stuff, even stuff that theorists are extremely sure of. The idea that nothing with mass can travel faster than c is probably one of the strongest theoretical results in all of physics, but like all theoretical results, it is “just a theory”. Experimental verification of that would add incremental confidence in that theory, from perhaps 0.999 999 999 to 0.999 999 999 1.

    There are lots of things that are expected from theory, but which experimentalists like to try and measure. The idea that the electron and the proton have the same magnitude of charge but just a different sign is “just a theory”. No one expects anything else, but it would be nice to verify it experimentally.

  58. #58 Gene
    December 6, 2011

    Ethan Siegel:
    “The onus is on their team to either explain the apparatus in sufficient detail so that it can be replicated and independently tested, or to allow a thorough enough examination so that all sources of potential trickery and deceit can be removed.” Ethan Siegel

    IMHO, Rossi is under no obligation to do any of this. He’s a private person using private funding… If his intent is to sell this thing, why would he want anyone to replicate it or test it? Any customers he has will do the testing, and if it doesn’t work the money will dry up fast. Nobody is going to be forced to buy this thing or fund it.

  59. #59 Bernie Koppenhofer
    December 6, 2011

    Chemistry!? Rossi’s e-cat ran for 5 1/2 hours in self contained mode with the temperature increasing, producing over 400MW of thermo power. Now how can that be chemistry.

  60. #60 Bernie Koppenhofer
    December 6, 2011

    Sorry misspoke, over 400 kW not 400 mW. Sorry.

  61. #61 mike3
    December 6, 2011

    @daedalus2u: “The problem isn’t a lack of funding, the problem is the lack of scientific integrity and intellectual honesty on the part of those doing the research.”

    The problem is that there’s nothing to find here. The items you mention above are instead the tools by which they could realize that, and that may be why they refuse to use them, as they don’t want to admit that it just isn’t possible.

  62. #62 Igor
    December 6, 2011

    Very interesting but somewhat incomplete analysis – the following important info is missing:
    1) availability and cost of different isotopes of Ni
    2) distribution of energies of y radiation energies for each of those isotopes
    Without it your “proof” of impossibility seems incomplete

  63. #63 MadScientist
    December 6, 2011

    @Bernie#61: First of all, I find Rossi’s claim incredulous and doubt that it operated for 5.5H producing 400KW of power while “self-contained”. I would need to investigate the apparatus myself to be convinced of such claims; hearing it from other sources has no value whatsoever to me. A claim of 400KW = 1.4 moles H2 per second, which is a mere 34L of gas per second at atmospheric pressure and room temperature. This is a very low gas flow and is easily achieved. A K size cylinder will hold about 65Kg of H2, enough to provide 400KW power for about 6.5 hours given 100% combustion and 100% use of the gas. Practical flow and combustion considerations would bring that time down to ~5H or so. Hmm … it sounds suspiciously like Rossi has a K size cylinder firing up his apparatus, doesn’t it?

    @Mithril #53: I would say no, the copper tubing used in the Rossi setup is not the source of copper. This is a simple con trick, not an accidental contamination issue.

  64. #64 gene
    December 7, 2011

    MadScientist #64 400KW is over 500 HP even with the inefficiency of an engine that’s still over 200 HP. So what your saying is that you can run a big truck engine at full load on 1.76 cubic feet of pressurized hydrogen for 6.5 hours? Your aware that a K size cylinder of H2 is cheaper than a tank full of petrol… And a tank of gas won’t last for 6.5 hours.

    I think you need to go back and re-think this.

  65. #65 Eric
    December 7, 2011

    @daedalus2u #56: You wrote, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So far there isn’t even ordinary evidence for cold fusion of the P&F type.”

    Are you sure about that? Would you stake your career on it? Or are you just casually voicing a hypothesis that you think is probably the case because it’s possible to get away with this in the relative anonymity of the comments of a blog? Have you looked into the matter, or are you content to risk cavalierly dismissing a lot of people’s hard work?

    No doubt there are crackpots among the people purporting to find evidence of LENR, and beyond them, perhaps a number of second-rate scientists as well. But your argument requires that they all be crackpots or second-rate, which is a much stronger claim, one that I hope you will have been willing to investigate before settling on. With something like UFOs, let’s risk being cavalier. But when we start talking about calorimetric measurements of heat flux, which is surely not as difficult as people such as Nathan Lewis make it out to be, it seems risky to me to dismiss analyses that show evidence of a powerful exothermic reaction out of hand when it should be easy enough to take the actual step of verifying the claims yourself.

    Just sayin’.

  66. #66 LCD
    December 7, 2011

    Nice article on hot physics. Unfortunately this is cold physics and there is no place in the sun where LENR can be compared to.

    The only thing stopping a theory of LENR that’s compatible with current theories is lack of imagination using the known laws of physics and equations.

    Dark matter, dark energy, possibly FTL neutrinos, superfluidity, bose-einstein condensation, should all remind us that physics still has many mysteries.

    Dirac electrons using the Klein paradox to tunnel through large barriers was unexpectedly shown to be true in graphene. That is an example of a lattice effect that would not be reproduced very much if at all in nature, or at least not readily noticed. That Klein paradox may be responsible for electrons overcoming the neutron forming energy barrier I the WL theory.

    Instead of figuring out why things can’t happen the poster should spend more time exercising innovation and imagination. Your at a national lab for goodness sake.

  67. #67 John Holm
    December 7, 2011

    Is there a consensus for the viability of Inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC)? I saw a couple articles on the work bussard was doing with this about 5 years ago. Is anyone currently pursuing IEC?

  68. #68 Pekka Janhunen
    December 7, 2011

    eric @49: With your suggested experiment one would study only p+Ni->Cu+something, not p+p+Ni->Cu+p. By definition, normal accelerators measure processes with exactly two ingoing particles.

    To study triple-nucleon processes one would instead need to fire a low-energy nickel beam onto some ultradense hydrogen target. The problem is just getting such a target. But wait, maybe CF people already have it in their metal matrix. But if that is the case, then one doesn’t need a beam at all because the metal matrix nucleons already form a dense and omnipresent low energy “ion beam”. So the problem is how to study alleged or hypothetical CF processes experimentally by some other technique than CF itself. I don’t know the answer.

  69. #69 Anatoliy V Sermyagin
    December 7, 2011

    The cold fusion nuclear reaction (LENR) conditions are totally different from those that occur in stars.
    According to A. Rossi, with regard to nickel-hydrogen system, the exothermic reaction ceases as soon as the temperature of the nickel powder rises up to the melting point of nickel. One should not expect any elemental isotopic shift in stars due to these reactions. Hence, based on astrophysical observations only, the conclusion E-cat functioning is impossible, is not valid.

  70. #70 Chris
    December 7, 2011

    >I’d want something more substantive than “the customer’s consultant…likely made sure there wasn’t trickery”

    Vicki, when you say “I’d” do you mean that you would, if you were about to pay him a couple million euro for one of the 1MW setups that he demonstrated on October 28th? If so, you are perfectly right, you would sure as hell want to be the same party that chose who to trust in overseeing the demonstration. Say what, it was the customer that chose their consultant.

    If not, you have no point because Rossi is not asking folks to give him any money unless they want to buy e-cats and are satisfied with his demonstration of it.

    It’s another matter if you’re expected to believe folks telling you that aliens landed, just because they say an unknown Tom, who likely doesn’t suffer hallucinations, is quite sure he saw them. No, nobody is being forced to believe it and I can’t be sure either, I was more than a hundred km away from that test and none of the witnesses are personal aquaintances of mine, though I doubt all of them are unreliable and I’ve seen enough to think they weren’t being deliberately deceived.

    What I’m really against is the baseless disbelief. Caution I agree with, but the kind of harsh dismissals that are buzzing around are not all that solidly based.

  71. #71 eric
    December 7, 2011

    Fine Pekka. Then make a version of Rossi’s reactor where the Nickel is sorbed onto a thin window with whatever solution chemistry he wants on one side, and a high energy proton detector on the other. Some fraction less than 50% of the decays will go out the window. Or find a way to put a proton detector in the medium itself. Again, I’ll point out that they are claiming a huge amount of nuclear reactions – on the order of 1E18 per second* – so even highly inefficient detection should easily be able to confirm these results.

    The point is, since high energy protons are the only incontrovertible proof of your claimed nuclear process, find a way to detect them so you can rule out other processes. And if Rossi et al. are unwilling to do that, and even unwilling to share enough of the set-up details with other scientists that nobody else can do it, then he’s going to have to live with the unconfirmed/irreproducible charge.

    *For the reported 1 g Hydrogen used, 10% conversion, 2 protons per reaction, over 5.5 hours)

  72. #72 Vicki
    December 7, 2011

    Gene @59: I can think of three reasons why Rossi would want to explain the apparatus so other people can replicate it, if he believes it’s doing what he claims it does.

    First, the moment someone buys one and finds that it works, they can take it apart, diagram it, and file a patent application. European law is “first to file,” so it would do Rossi no good to prove that the other person got the device from him. If I had a potentially valuable device, I wouldn’t settle for selling one and risking the buyer acquiring sole rights over it.

    Second, from the viewpoint of convincing investors, there are a significant number of potential investors who will want that information.

    Third, if this thing actually worked, we’d be talking about a Nobel prize in physics, which is fame plus 10 million kroner, or about a million and a half US dollars.

    Even an investor who doesn’t feel the need to see how it works might reasonably ask “why doesn’t he want a patent and a Nobel prize?”

  73. #73 Karl Withakay
    December 7, 2011

    “No other known reaction (that doesn’t involve antimatter) is capable of generating as much energy from a given amount of matter as nuclear fusion can, in the entire Universe. ”

    Just to clarify for other readers, “a given amount of matter” refers to a given mass of matter. If you’re dealing in a given number of particles, rather than mass, I believe fission (U-235/U-233/Pu-239/etc) generally yields more energy per reactant particle and per event than fusion (D-T//D-He3/He3-He3/etc)does.

    Also, the most powerful bombs produce most of their energy through the fast fission of a U-238 tamper, which is induced by the fast neutrons produced from the fusion. Indeed, the Tsar Bobma was tested at only half strength (to cut down on fallout) by substituting a lead tamper in place of a U-238 tamper in one or more of the later stages to reduce/eliminate the amount of fast fission in the device. Since you need a massive tamper of some kind whether you need fast fission or not, the highest yield to weight ratio bomb ever built, the US B-41, was a device that produced most of its yield through fast fission or the secondary tamper(s).

  74. #74 Karl Withakay
    December 7, 2011

    In addition to all the issues discussed in the article with why the claim is highly likely to be bogus or fraudulent, consider the appearance of the copper byproduct. Assuming for the moment that it was possible to produce copper in this way, it seems extremely unlikely that the Nickel would be so cleanly 100% converted into copper.

    That copper in the picture is bright red copper, which means it is very high purity relative to nickel content. It doesn’t take much Nickel in a Cu-Ni alloy to whiten the allow significantly. The coin we American calls a nickel is 25% nickel, 75% copper, and has no trace of red color. Even 12% nickel results in an noticeably whitened alloy that is not bright red in color.

  75. #75 ernie
    December 7, 2011

    Siegle@52
    Still cant think outside the box.What about kaon decay,muon formation,S electrons forced into the nucleous by thermalizing the upper electron levels with the ejection of an electron from the nucleous?What other mechanisms can be invisioned?

  76. #76 Pekka Janhunen
    December 7, 2011

    eric @72: I completely agree, it’s fully testable if one gets access to the reactor. I think this was a useful discussion.

  77. #77 Peter Heckert
    December 7, 2011

    I find this power magic cable not convincing. Its too easy detected, if real measuring instruments are used.
    A wireless switch to activate a heater in unwatched moments could do the trick.
    An internal tubing, that presses out hot water, using the steam pressure is possible.
    A vacuum at the wall outlet where the steam hose was inserted, is possible.
    The flow rate of the pump can be reduced by an hydraulic trick. The pump was always running above its specs, this might be the reason.
    A single trick alone will not do it. These tricks must be combined on occasion and when no trick is possible, the demonstration is aborted prematurely pretending leaks.

    Anyway, a lot of thanks for this explanation!
    Peter

  78. #78 bhlowe
    December 7, 2011

    Defkalion claims their first generation commercial products will produce 40kw thermal output with 310 watts electric in. You think they’re going to be able to fake this? Or collect a lot of money before having to do a simple sparge test?

    Gammas for the Rossi-effect are weak at 50-150KeV.

  79. #79 Bruce Fast
    December 7, 2011

    There are 10 separate sources claiming over-unity energy from the Ni + H reaction, each achieving the reaction a different way. They are:

    > Patterson had his product independently tested.
    > Thermacore wrote a formal report which was approved by the USAF.
    > Piantelli is well trusted
    > Chan has published all details necessary to reproduce his approach.
    > Dr. George Miley of the University of Illinois, began with Patterson’s work, but seems to have ended up with something very Rossi-esque. He certainly is well credentialed.
    > SRI has made a 1 hour presentation of their work.

    For more details, links, etc., search the http://nickelpower.org/2011/11/07/if-replication-is-the-holy-grail/ post.

  80. #80 chris bradley
    December 7, 2011

    Just to clarify one thing; ‘high energy’ fusion can also be achieved by accelerating particles to high speeds with electric fields and getting them to react with a target nucleus. ‘High temperature and pressures’ are therefore not strictly essential to fusion.

    Protons can be caused to fuse with nickel reactions by accelerating protons to high energies and directing them to a nickel target. ‘Beam-on-target’ fusion is the method by which science has learned about fusion in the first place.

    For the reaction cross-sections of the p+Ni->Cu+hv reactions, see: C.I.W. Tingwell et al, Nuclear Physics A, Volume 496, Issue 1, 22 May 1989, Pages 127-140.

  81. #81 ernie
    December 7, 2011

    Siegel@52,
    Forgot to add:Ni59=Cu59+Beta+

  82. #82 Rockyspoon
    December 7, 2011

    I can think of very few technological breakthroughs that were spawned from the theory, then the invention, in that order. Typically what happens is that the invention, based on observance of an interesting, provocative, unexplainable phenomenon, precedes the theory–sometimes by decades or longer. I believe that’s the case with “cold fusion”, or LENR/CANR. I simply don’t believe those researchers working in the field are being misled by their own choice. I also take umbrage at the theoretical physicists that, beyond using chalk and a blackboard (or an Internet blog), refuse to do any experiments that would convince them of the reality of new possibilities (I suppose CERN is an exception), since they’re not open to new ideas. Kudos to those experimental researchers (typically chemists, not physicists), who are willing to do the “heavy lifting” and work on determining what it is that researchers have been seeing, but not understanding, for many decades (Pons and Fleischman weren’t the first by any means). I find it annoying that theoretical physicists would claim that the results of LENR are from chemical reactions when it is chemists that are doing the experiments. If it were the other way around (and chemists were making the charge that what they’re seeing is “just chemistry”), such claims would be more believable, but physicists are typically not experts in experimental chemistry, hence such explanations carry little or no weight.

  83. #83 MadScientist
    December 7, 2011

    @gene#65: No I don’t need to rethink this, rather you need to go learn more. A truck engine cannot run off hydrogen; you would need a very different engine design. Nor are engines all that efficient; if a truck has a 450HP engine, it generates that power by consuming a much higher amount of energy; perhaps enough to generate 900HP worth. There are hydrogen fueled cars which burn hydrogen (as opposed to the fuel cell variety) so hydrogen can certainly drive internal combustion engines (at least those designed to burn hydrogen). There are no cheap hydrogen engines and this is only one of many reasons we don’t see commercial hydrogen truck engines. Hell, we don’t even see that much use of natural gas engines in large machines even though they’ve been around ~50 years and they’re powerful and fairly efficient.

  84. #84 LCD
    December 7, 2011

    Well with Dr Aherns slides and patent circulating all over the web, everybody can now go and try to make their own LENR reactor and see for themselves if this is real or not.

  85. #85 Charles Gray
    December 7, 2011

    “Is there a consensus for the viability of Inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC)? I saw a couple articles on the work bussard was doing with this about 5 years ago. Is anyone currently pursuing IEC? ”

    It is currently being worked on and their working up to the WB8.1 for testing improved reactions, possibly including P+B11.

    It’s important to note however, that the predecessor of the IEC reactor was the farnsworth fusor, which is confirmed to be a fusion device– just one that does not produce any net power. So in the IEC case, the fact that fusion has and can occur is not in doubt– the question is can the process be made in a way that will produce energy.

  86. #86 Tony
    December 8, 2011

    UM.. This thing is just a clunky hydrogen fuel cell..

  87. #87 Joannes Van den Bogaert
    December 8, 2011

    Please take notice of Belgian patent with publication number BE1002781 with abstract in Chem. Abstr. 116:12357 (1992). Title: “Energy production by nuclear fusion” and take notice of prior art of cold fusion mentioned in said patent no longer being of force.
    Look especially at the equation bridging pages 3 and 4 and consider its consequences for defining “charge”. Comments and/or questions are welcome also with regard of BE1002780. Copies of said BE-patents in Dutch can be found through “ESPACENET uitgebreid zoeken” (Google).

  88. #88 Technician
    December 8, 2011

    Nice article,
    but it does not explain all the “products” that makes up the used nickel-powder.
    Where is the explanation for the 10%Fe(Iron) in the residue?
    In the sample provided to the swedish there was as much Iron as Copper.
    According to the binding energy chart in the article above all nuclear fusion or fission ultimately ends in the
    “region of very stable nucleids”(That means Fe isotopes).
    To me at least it looks like the reaction is much more complex.

  89. #89 Rockyspoon
    December 8, 2011

    Ethan Siegel may not be taking LENR seriously, but the US Defense Intelligence Agency is:

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

    Or there is this technical piece describing the reaction of nickel and hydrogen in a Phusor cell:

    http://world.std.com/~mica/cftsci.html

    And that’s just a taste of the technical information and summary view on the subject.

    Admittedly, the LENR/CANR phenomena doesn’t follow the “laws” imposed by those processes operating in the sun and other stars, but then, I don’t expect to find nano-scale forces working on the sun because that’s a completely different physical system–there probably aren’t any nano-crystals of nickel interacting with (non-heavy) hydrogen. If there were, they’d be lost in the overwhelming mix of other nuclear processes.

  90. #90 Rockyspoon
    December 8, 2011

    You’ve stated:

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

    And yet there is ample evidence of heavy elements that have been produced in processes that have overcome the “tremendous Coulomb barrier”–just look at the rocks in any mountain range or open the hood of your car and observe the metal that is visible.

    So you’ve got an Epic Fail line of reasoning–you say things that we observe on a daily basis, that we live with and live on, can’t happen and you extend this failed logic to say cold fusion can’t happen. Well, I’m here to tell you that heavy elements have been generated somewhere and somehow in process that HAVE exceeded the “tremendous Coulomb barrier” so that objection to cold fusion is no longer applicable.

    I must admit, I wasted a lot of time reading a paper I thought would be logical but it turned out to be just the opposite. Apparently your “knowledge of nuclear physics” needs to be revised considerably.

  91. #91 NJ
    December 8, 2011

    Rockyspoon @ 91:

    Quotes the OP:

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

    and comments:

    And yet there is ample evidence of heavy elements that have been produced in processes that have overcome the “tremendous Coulomb barrier”–just look at the rocks in any mountain range or open the hood of your car and observe the metal that is visible.

    having failed to read the subsequent paragraph in the OP:

    But it is worth noting that there are stars that form copper from nickel, but they do not do it by adding protons. When our Sun runs out of hydrogen fuel, it will expand, becoming a red giant, and begin burning helium atoms into the element carbon. While the Sun will be capable of creating a few elements heavier than carbon, such as nitrogen, oxygen, and (probably) neon, that’s the end of the line for the Sun. But significantly more massive stars can go farther.

    There is indeed an ‘Epic fail’ here, child, Yours.

  92. #92 schnablo
    December 8, 2011

    @Alex Besogonov: “Well, Hawking radiation theoretically can transform matter into energy completely.”
    But it involves antimatter.

  93. #93 Trebor
    December 8, 2011

    “Please take notice of Belgian patent with publication number BE1002781″

    It should be noted that a patent says nothing about whether some device works or not.
    As the number of patents for perpetual motion machines and reactionless rocket engines should highlight.

    I like US Patent 6025810 for a “Hyper-light-speed antenna”, a no doubt perfectly acceptable method for sending radio signals faster than the speed of light.

  94. #94 daedalus2u
    December 8, 2011

    Eric #66, I have read maybe 30-50 articles on cold fusion, including those by P&F and some in the last few years. I am an experimentalist, and so I know a lot about doing heat balances and instrumenting apparatus to measure heat production and heat transfer coefficients.

    Every well done experiment has been negative, the only “positive” experiments have been poorly done and poorly instrumented. To me, that suggests a pattern that is consistent with the positive experiments being due to error and artifact.

    There has not been a continuous improvement in a specific type of cold fusion device where initial prototypes produce low levels of heat and later experiments measure the same levels but with greater precision. Every time positive heat has been measured, it is at the edge of what is measurable. Often they try to make the numbers sound big by converting them from energy into power, but if you look at the actual measurements, all of them are consistent with error.

    It would be straightforward to have redundant measurements, to used two different sets of instruments to measure the same thing. If this was a real effect, the two sets of measurements would measure the same thing and would measure the same real effect.

    Instrumentation is now trivially inexpensive and has been for a decade. You can buy a 6 1/2 digit data logger for less than $3k which can measure 60 points simultaneously every few seconds. That is 60 thermocouples at 0.001 C precision. There is no excuse for not measuring at least 20-40 temperatures in a system where temperature and temperature gradients (i.e. heat flow) is important.

    It would be trivial to look at heat flow between two reservoirs by insulating them except where they are coupled, measure the temperature across the thermal coupling point and from the temperature and the thermal conductivity calculate a heat flux.

    When a specific technique is trivial in cost to implement, is well known, is known to be necessary, and has already been suggested numerous times to these researchers, why are there no publications with such equipment exhibiting positive effects?

    The observation that all researchers in the cold fusion field continue to use poor instrumentation when excellent instrumentation is trivially inexpensive is to me very good evidence that they are all crackpots.

    This is the data logger that I like to use.

    http://www.home.agilent.com/agilent/product.jspx?nid=-33640.536881544.00&cc=US&lc=eng

    It is cheap, easy to use and has 6 1/2 digits of precision/accuracy. What is it about good instrumentation that causes these effect to go away? I am pretty sure that I know why, but am prepared to be shown to be wrong with good data. No one who is doing this type of research is prepared to use the kind of apparatus that would deliver the kind of data that would be halfway decent.

    Could someone explain why that is?

  95. #95 Simon Derricutt
    December 8, 2011

    Nice explanation from Ethan, and generally good comments. I’m new to the Rossi E-cat (or was that eCat?) and have been looking at the data for a couple of days now.
    It looks like Dr. Rossi is putting his money where his mouth is, and the 1MW generator he’s just sold will not be paid for until the customer has had it working a couple of weeks. It is possible he’s been fooling everyone (his customer, the University of Bologna, the journalists who’ve documented his tests, etc.) but this does seem a little far-fetched. Similarly, if this were a scam he’d be taking money with orders for mini-ecats, not promises to buy and pay when it’s delivered. I reckon that he may be wrong, but if so he is honestly wrong, but if that is so then where did the energy come from to heat the water?
    The point about theories in Physics is that they have exceptions – limits beyond which they do not apply. If an experiment or observation produces results that the theory does not predict, then you make a new theory once you have rechecked all the errors, or at least all the errors you can think of. Strange things happen with nanostructures (the “catalyst” is nanoparticles of Nickel with, I believe, Potassium Carbonate mixed in), and there will be a lot of new physics as people try to make sense of what they see as we become able to build molecule-sized structures.
    Personally, I really hope that Dr. Rossi really has got something that works. It will make an enormous difference to the world both in economic and climate-change senses. Rather than say it can’t work, or that if it does it must emit gamma rays, I would buy one and save money on the power bills. I’d rather know how it works, but that isn’t so important as having it working.
    Best wait a few weeks on this. See if Dr. Rossi either gets paid or goes broke, and then make your mind up as to whether it works or not.

  96. #96 @propagare
    December 8, 2011

    @72 (December 7, 2011 11:12 AM) Eric

    There are evidences for y-rays in this videos from imo a reliable scientists not associated with Rossi.

    So, we _have_ confirmed radiation (Gamma) from a reputed independent radiation scientist (The scientist who made the radiations control is Dr. David Bianchini, from the University of Bologna):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=NhKhGe6ztuc#t=799s +
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Kl6FOVnnIro#t=368s)

    Both video parts above are already fast forwarded to the scene mentioned.

    Update:

    Ah, did I mentioned they lost at least one reactor by explosion? _Exothermic_ reaction!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Kl6FOVnnIro#t=242s

  97. #97 johnhodgson1111
    December 8, 2011

    Its Easy to say NO. In fact this entire Article is to ‘prove’ that Cold Fusion is not possible. The problem with the Article is the FACT that Nuclear Science uses the Gas Model for its reactions. Cold Fusion does not happen in a Gas State. In order to prove a false claim, to say its a Myth, You Must create a experiment to show that its a Myth. In other words recreate the exact output with a different method. The Usage of a Rigged Power Cord, is that an attempt to disprove something. This Author has not reduplicated the experiment with the amount of heated water. This Line of thinking is the problem with Skeptics, the ‘solution’ that this skeptics is more implausible than the Cold Fusion Experiment itself.

  98. #98 Gabe Gottlieb
    December 8, 2011

    This is a very interesting post and I am really interested in the Coulomb Barrier that you mention several times. If hydrogen and nickel are both neutral how would there be an electrical repulsion between them? If the repulsion is caused electrical repulsion between there nuclei, then wouldn’t all atoms repel from each other (because they all have a positively charged nuclei)? Or is the repulsion caused by something other than the positive charge in the nucleus?
    About harnessing fusion’s energy, wouldn’t we have to heat the two atoms being fused to such high temperatures that there wouldn’t be a manmade object that could withstand the heat? I do agree with you that it would prove to be an excellent source of energy, but isn’t it too dangerous? Like you said, it takes a lot of pressure and a lot of heat, so could we contain that? We can contain fission, but are there any advancements in technology that could contain the awesome power shown in the Tsar bomb video?

  99. #99 melior
    December 8, 2011

    There are a great many commenters still missing the obvious with respect to whether this could still be simply honest but mistaken heat or power measurement errors, (e.g. “I don’t believe Rossi is being devious”) and not rank charlatanery.

    That ship has sailed with the “appearance” of the Cu powder. No longer is a degree in physics even needed, The Amazing Randi could bust this guy immediately — simply by catching him at or preventing him from the sleight-of-hand he uses to sneak it in there.

  100. #100 Theodore Rigley
    December 8, 2011

    I don’t think Andrea Rossi deserves the honorific ‘Doctor’.

  101. #101 melior
    December 8, 2011

    The linked article is amusingly frank about which cup the pea is hiding under: “Provided that copper is not one of the additives used as catalyst, the copper isotopes 63 and 65 can only have been formed during the process.”

    So choose one:
    a) Rossi’s (secret!) “catalyst” is the source of the 10% Cu (and oddly, 11% Fe as well) mysteriously appearing during the magician’s trick
    b) Change all teh physics!!1

  102. #102 Eric
    December 9, 2011

    @daedalus2u #95, interesting points you raise.

    I am neither a chemist nor a physicist, so I am at a definite disadvantage in evaluating your efforts at falsifying the LENR claims. I defer to your clear expertise here. I appreciate the fact that you’ve taken the time to read some of the literature, since this shows you’ve done a serious investigation of the matter.

    Of the 30 to 50 papers you’ve read, which among the authors would you consider the top three most credible, who, nonetheless, are probably crackpots?

    Have you had a chance to review Michael McKubre’s or Robert Huggins’s work, or either of these papers?

    http://fireball.izmiran.ru/dagomys/previoussite/MeD.pdf
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/t651645323w37826/

    To write all of the LENR experiments off entirely and the researchers as crackpots or second-rate, it seems to me that we would also need to agree to the following:

    * LENR crackpots (or shoddy researchers) have made it into full positions at SRI International, Stanford and MIT (maybe not very surprising, I suppose, but at least a little).
    * Naturewissenshchaften, a respected journal, was mistaken in publishing a paper on LENR in 2005, with many years behind them since the Pons and Fleischmann episode to judge the suitability of doing so.

    As to the quality of the experiments, David Goodstein, a former Vice-Provost of Caltech and a professor of physics, although a he did not believe in the cold-fusion claims in 1994, nonetheless had this and similar things to say: “I have looked at their cells, and looked at their data, and it’s all pretty impressive.” (Interesting article here: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~dg/fusion_art.html.) Fleischmann himself was a member of the Royal Society and a respected electrochemist, who, presumably, would have known more than the typical academic about calorimetry.

    I personally am reluctant to write these people off. Maybe they’re all mistaken, but it stretches credibility to say they’re all second-rate (let alone crackpots).

    A last note, speaking to the original blog post and other comments rather than your reply #95 — I am beginning to think that the empirical evidence has been sound all along, going all the way back to Fleischmann and Pons, even if it has been sporadic and hard to reproduce; that the results have been written off not due to lack of cogency but to intellectual laziness, or fear for one’s career, or both, on the part of critics; and that for years the cold fusion folks erred in thinking there was a nuclear reaction involving the strong force in which atoms had to overcome the Coloumb barrier.

    I personally am intrigued by the idea that a slow neutron is being absorbed by atoms in the Palladium or Nickel lattice. From the perspective of a layman, this hardly seems like the big deal that people are making it out to be. Because of this perspective, I find the whole discussion of the Coulomb barrier entirely unconvincing; it seems to me that people are raising excellent points about something that is mostly irrelevant.

  103. #103 Bastiaan Bergman
    December 9, 2011

    Nature is the only one who doesn’t have to obey the law.

  104. #104 Eric
    December 9, 2011

    p.s., I think there are three or four Erics in these comments. This Eric has only commented at #66 and #103 — in case you were wondering if there was a troll running about!

  105. #105 Eric
    December 9, 2011

    It’s late, and I have to correct myself — comments #45, #66 and #103 (and #105). And I’m going to bed now.

  106. #106 mano
    December 9, 2011

    I do not know if Rossi reactor is fake or not. Maybe it is a simple fake, likes a lot of other fakes in the history.

    However the author of this article has take no effort to see about the different theories about the LENR. Writting that “In other words, even the most massive stars, at the incredible pressures and temperatures found at their cores, cannot fuse nickel and hydrogen nuclei together”, and the others shows that he/she has a little knowledge about the different physical theories about nuclear reactions in condensed material.

    If one see e.g. the phonon exchange theory of cold fusion, can see that this reaction is only possible in a solid state and not possible in a hot plasma (phonons exit in solids and not in plasma!). That theory also explains why teher is not high energy gamma radiation. And this theory is based on a serious quantitative quantum physic theory. (See “Lattice effect in solid state internal conversion” for this theory.)

    And this is only one theory, there are some others which can also explain why there is possible a nuclear reaction in a solid state (and not in a hot plasma) and why there is not high gamma radiation (maximum only a small radiation ob relatively low energy level). See e.g. Wisdom-Layer theory.

    I am not sure if any above theory is correct. Maybe not. But writing such an article without trying to make a look a little bit deeper into the physic of this area shows that the author of this article is nor a serious scientist nor a science journalist.

  107. #107 Luke
    December 9, 2011

    It seems to me that it should be possible to calculate the amount of energy you would expect the eCat to generate from the low energy nuclear reactions that were claimed to occur. All you need to know is how much nickel was converted to copper. Calculate the mass difference between the input nickel atoms and the output copper atoms. None of the energy was radiated away, so that should simplify the calculation.

    Can anyone on this thread do the calculation?

  108. #108 daedalus2u
    December 9, 2011

    Johnhodgson1111 #98, you are saying things like gas and solid like it makes a difference.

    The energy of protons at room temperature is about 0.025 eV.

    The energy that holds a nickel lattice together is about 4.5 eV (the energy to go from solid to gas). A nickel lattice can’t really hold anything if it is being “pushed” or “pulled” much harder than 4.5 eV because the lattice can’t support that much force without breaking apart.

    The Ni lattice breaking apart is why loading Ni with hydrogen electrolytically will make the Ni break apart. The electrically driven hydrogen has a higher pressure inside the Ni lattice than the Ni lattice can support so the lattice breaks.

    The Coulomb barrier for D-D fusion is about 100,000 eV. To use a Ni lattice to “push” two D atoms together, you would need to line up 100,000/4.5 or about 23,000 of them, in a line, and keep them from buckling in order to exert enough force using nickel to push two D atoms together (this is a crude analogy).

    Could you line up 23,000 marbles and use the cumulative force from those strings of marbles to crush something 23,000 times stronger than a single marble?

    It would be like crushing a diamond (hardness of 115 GPa) between a line of 23,000 rubber balls with a hardness of ~ 5 MPa (the hardness of a tire tread).

    If someone said they had crushed a diamond using a lattice of rubber balls, I would want to look at their results very carefully before accepting them as valid.

  109. #109 daedalus2u
    December 9, 2011

    Eric #103, I usually don’t pay attention to who has written a paper. The paper either stands or falls on its own.

    I have not “written off” all LENR results and have not “written off” all LENR researchers as crackpots.

    If someone has never had an idea that turned out to be wrong, they haven’t been doing stuff at the cutting edge.

    For the most part I accept most everyone’s data. I don’t accept their explanations of their data unless the explanation fits with the rest of science. There are not two separate kinds of physics. There are not two separate types of nuclear reactions, hot and cold. There is only one unified physics (which we still do not fully understand) which all observations need to fit.

    Mano #107, before we can try and use theory to explain data, we need to make sure that the data is real and is not artifact and error. Until there is good data, trying to come up with theories to fit it is a waste of time. There are infinitely many ways that data can be bad and wrong. There are infinitely many ways that a new “theory” can be used to explain bad data.

    Humans are really good at coming up with post hoc rationalizations of events as being “caused” by something. Humans have a hyperactive agency detector which detects things which are not there. This comes from our evolutionary past where a thousand false alarms in detecting a lion were better than a single non-detection.

    Humans also have a tendency to look until they find what was expected. Feynman discusses this in his piece on Cargo Cult science and the charge on the electron. When people replicated Millikan’s oil drop experiment, they didn’t catch the error that Millikan made. Later researchers measuring the charge on the electron would get a result that was too far away from Millikan’s result, and they would modify their apparatus, “fixing the errors” until the apparatus gave “the right answer”, the answer that Millikan had gotten. Millikan was a very good experimentalist, but he used the wrong value for the viscosity of air. It was a clear and simple error, one that would have made Millikan say D’oh!

    When I read these papers on LENR, they always look like the authors have run lots of data and are only showing the ones that give positive results. There is never enough data to evaluate the precision and reproducibility of the results, and the results always seem to be on the edge of what is measurable and never with enough redundant measurements to cross check. I like to always have at least an order of magnitude of signal above the background noise. Levels of excess heat that some are reporting (tens of MJ) should be easy to measure but the measurements are never there. I get the impression that they are “fixing the errors” until they get “the right answer”. That isn’t the way that good science is done.

    I still have an open mind about LENR, but I think the likelihood of there being something there is pretty small.

  110. #110 Michelangelo
    December 9, 2011

    Well, very good and detailed article. But i want say what happens in the whole universe is not the same on Earth. The human intelligence can mix more of the random mixes of matter and energy happening in the rest of universe.
    I want say only the following:
    DO Exsit in the whole universe a Laser built by itself? NO! Only a tool invented from a human brain can realize it. Is very very not probable that two mirrors are so parallel and the right light is between so to create a “natural” laser. SO it mean that the nature “invented” the human intelligence to have more mixes available. Maybe Rossi is one of this!

  111. #111 NJ
    December 9, 2011

    I think the comments at 110 and 111 are a perfect encapsulation of the discussion. One is a careful, clear, grammatical exposition of why the proposed idea is unlikely and the other is a mess, bringing in utterly random concepts and hoping against hope that the idea will save the world.

  112. #112 Joannes Van den Bogaert
    December 10, 2011

    BE1002780 patent contains a theory based on “electrostatic wetting” explaining LANR in a metal crystal grid containing absorbed deuterium smeared out in a larger orbital in the presence of a sea of electrons (negative electrode). Translation in English from Dutch can be obtained on demand on your postal address. Dutch text can be printed from ESPACENET inserting the publication number BE1002780 or by mentioning the inventor JOANNES VAN DEN BOGAERT. Please note that the document has been retarded of publication for 2 years by the Ministry of Defence of Belgium.

  113. #113 NJ
    December 10, 2011

    QED.

  114. #114 Roby
    December 10, 2011

    Good article, this is a scam and Rossi is a crook, Focardi is a fool (who worked on cold fusion for 20 years with no positive results). I always said there wasn’t any need to be a scientist to understand this is just a scam, you do not need to go so deep inside physic. Rossi was called the Scheik of Brianza in the 80s and he used to say that he could convert rubbish and waste into oil (or black gold); while he only found a way to pollute the environment freely making money, just calling a waste as raw material, and avoiding to apply restricted law on high polluting waste storing in Lombardy. (and legally he was right, it was as simnple as to call a waste, raw material, the government needed to change the law). Also Rossi has been in jail for transportation of gold between italy and Switzerland. He is not an engineer, but a doctor in phylosophy, where in italy it is not at all a science degree. He also did a similar (to the e-cat) thing with another technology (called TEG) in 2000/2002, with demonstration always in a university (but in the United states). The Corps of Engineers did a report to certify it didn’t work (good waste of time and money also to write a report)
    http://dodfuelcell.cecer.army.mil/library_items/Thermo(2004).pdf
    and the patent file was never accepted:
    https://register.epo.org/espacenet/application?number=EP01986372
    Rossi is an old crook, but the idiots have very short memory.

  115. #115 Trebor
    December 10, 2011

    @Joannes Van den Bogaert
    “BE1002780 patent contains a theory based on “electrostatic wetting””…

    As with your patent BE1002781, the question is: So what?
    A patent says nothing about whether some device works or not.
    The patent archives are full of fantastic ideas which fail badly.
    As the number of patents for perpetual motion machines and reactionless rocket engines should highlight.

  116. #116 Eric
    December 10, 2011

    There is a difference between skeptics and critics. Critics are useful. They engage a set of claims, ask themselves what is solid, what is tenuous, and what is mistaken, and then make a good faith effort to clear up points at issue as best they can. Critics are critics because they engage the issues rather than approaching the matter in question with a barely concealed contempt for the people making claims and their ability to do good research.

    Skeptics start from some a priori assumption that the question they’re looking at is flawed — it just can’t be true in any respect — and then proceed to talk past the claims at issue. Someone who believes the world is flat will not be able to provide useful criticism to a mapmaker trying to deal with the obvious difficulties of representing a spherical earth on a flat plane. The former will just end up being a troll, talking past the latter. The skeptic has failed to give the claimants the benefit of the doubt that they’re competent and that they may have stumbled on to something interesting, at least on an empirical level.

    So far I have seen little to no real engagement of the claims of the LENR folks in this blog post and in many of the comments — to be expected, I suppose, since the topic is so controversial. People have gone on at length about the impossibility of overcoming the Coloumb barrier, about the lack of neutrons, about the unreliability of the positive results reported on heat flux, and about the sheer zaniness of the LENR proponents, including the ones commenting here. All of this is fine spectator sport, but in the end it does little to clarify the questions at issue. Many of the LENR people do not believe that there is D-D fusion going on. One group of hypotheses posit that heavy electrons are being generated in the Nickel or Palladium lattice and then causing a cascade of reactions. Such hypotheses have nothing to do with D-D fusion and predict few gamma rays. And whatever the specific theory, it should be easy enough to measure the results or take a closer look at existing data sets, which I’m fairly confident few of the people here have attempted to do — some of the LENR people are claiming results well above error. Do we just conveniently ignore these specific data sets so that we can go on taking potshots at the loonies? It’s an obvious copout to say “I’ve looked at all of the data sets, and nothing is convincing.” This is not impressive to anyone but the true believers in the camp of skeptics.

    It would be an embarrassing day if the LENR people turned out to be on to something. On that day, mainstream physicists would have to eat their lunch and would probably end up being told how to do their work by non-specialists. Perhaps some of you are in a position to forestall or prevent that kind of abasement in the credibility of an otherwise remarkable field.

  117. #117 Marcus Ranum
    December 11, 2011

    Skeptics start from some a priori assumption that the question they’re looking at is flawed

    Nonsense. Skepticism has always been concerned with the basis of claims of knowledge. What you’re describing is “dogmatism” of a sort that went out of fashion in skepticism by about 200AD (after having been thoroughly demolished by skeptics like Sextus Empiricus who pointed out that claiming knowledge was impossible was a claim of knowlege and therefore self-contradictory)

    A skeptic absolutely does not start with an a priori assumption! A skeptic starts by asking, “how do you know that?” and keeps digging from there. The pyrronian skeptics, admittedly, never stop digging and are kind of annoying, but modern skeptics generally will dig until the claims of knowledge begin to match what is generally understood as objective reality. In that sense skepticism and the scientific method are identical.

    Shorter skeptic: You appear to think you understand what a skeptical is, but I doubt it – can you support your claim?

  118. #118 Marcus Ranum
    December 11, 2011

    However the author of this article has take no effort to see about the different theories about the LENR.

    Actually, the author has (repeatedly) made the most important observation: absent an explanation from Rossi, or an opportunity for other physicists to examine the apparatus, all speculation is by definition “uninformed” and that the easiest way to understand what’s going on would be for the impediments to understanding to be removed.

  119. #119 Marcus Ranum
    December 11, 2011

    First, the moment someone buys one and finds that it works, they can take it apart, diagram it, and file a patent application

    I think you’re missing the bigger picture. Since it looks like the e-cat is pretty easy to make and doesn’t appear to require insanely expensive components (like plutonium, etc) if it were found to work, the planet would immediately begin to be transformed. Screw the patent issues; they’d be making them in Africa and China as fast as they could throw them together. While it would be a great invention, the patent rights would be sort of useless – only a relatively small number of the devices would ever result in a royalty to the inventor but that also wouldn’t matter because even a relatively small number would make him the king of something. I wouldn’t be worried about patents or nobel prizes, I’d be negotiating to be made emperor of Canada or something appropriately grand in return for giving the world my invention in return. To me, the relatively small scope of Rossi’s apparent ambition strikes me as the behavior of a fairly typical con-man.

  120. #120 Sam
    December 11, 2011

    Any opinions on Defkalion? They have announced they will begin selling “cold fusion” energy generators named Hyperions which produce 5 to 30kwh/h. They have several Patents pending and they say they are building 3 factories to produce the Hyperions. Type their name into a search engine

    Another company named Energetics Technology is having some success with “cold fusion” named “Superwave Fusion.” They use palladium. Type in Energetics Technology, cold fusion

  121. #121 Trebor
    December 11, 2011

    Hi Eric,
    There has been a lot of excellent criticism in the comments here. (especially by daedalus)
    And an excellent analysis on one particular LENR claim in the post.

    “Skeptics start from some a priori assumption that the question they’re looking at is flawed — it just can’t be true in any respect”

    A fine Ad Hom.
    Personally I am of the opinion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    “to be expected, I suppose, since the topic is so controversial.”

    That it is ‘controversial’ is not the problem.
    There are plenty of controversial ideas in science that doesn’t stop them from being researched and in some cases to be confirmed.
    (The faster than light neutrinos for example, we wait and see which way that one goes or Quasi-crystals for another)

    “It would be an embarrassing day if the LENR people turned out to be on to something.”

    I look forward to that day, the world of Physics always needs a regular shake up.
    But currently the LENR people seem to really need to be shown how to do experimental Physics properly.

  122. #122 Mark S
    December 11, 2011

    Your comment that Ni + H1 reactions can’t occur anywhere in the universe due to the tremendous coulomb barrier is false. In fact just a few pictures later you show the traditional onion shell model of a star. The processes forming those layers are even more coulomb barrier limited than the Ni + H one. The Si burning reaction chain
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon-burning_process)
    that creates Ni is Fe + He -> Ni has a charge to charge product of 26*2 = 52 which is much more than the charge to charge product of Ni+H which is 28*1 = 28. It takes about twice the energy to do the Fe + He burning in the Si layer than Ni + H and this does occur in the universe. If it didn’t happen, there’s be no core collapse supernova.

  123. #123 MadScientist
    December 11, 2011

    @eric#117: I think the problem is with your own limited understanding. To a variety of experts, Rossi’s claims are very obviously bogus – so much so that we can infer so much from mere photographs and scant descriptions. “LENR” has absolutely no evidence for it and the claims are utterly absurd as they contradict *all* previous observations and are not even reproducible – sure signs of chicanery. Other lines of evidence also suggest that it is all a scam (see comments by Roby#115).

  124. #124 MadScientist
    December 11, 2011

    Huh … I looked at other articles on the e-Cat and the claimed power output was only 4.5KW, not 400KW as Bernie#61 stated. With only 4.5KW over 6 or even 18 hours, the H2 required for combustion would be far less than what you’d find in a K cylinder and the far lower H2 and O2 flow (0.38L/s) is absolutely trivial. Looking at various articles, there seem to be a few professors of Physics who should never have received a degree (hell, maybe they don’t have a degree in Physics) since they make the absurd claim that the energy developed cannot be from mere chemical reactions. If those folks can’t even understand simple thermodynamics how the hell can they teach anything in Physics (maybe they teach Newtonian motion only?) Even some professors from the university of Bologna seem to have been taken in – shame, shame – if Enrico Fermi were still alive I’m sure he’d set them straight.

  125. #125 Militant Agnostic
    December 11, 2011

    Rossi’s prior conviction doesn’t mean he is wrong about achieving fusion, but it ratchets the level of extraordinary evidence required up quite a bit. Mentioning his prior convictions is not an ad hominen since his results have not been duplicated and he stands to gain financially.

    Let’s see, who do you believe – the consensus of phystcists in the field or a known con man and a few “maverick” scientists.

  126. #126 Trebor
    December 11, 2011

    @Mark S#123
    Hi Mark,

    “It takes about twice the energy to do the Fe + He burning in the Si layer than Ni + H”

    Instead of asserting this could you actually calculate it, or show the calculations.
    Because the coulomb barrier is not the ‘charge product’.

  127. #127 Mark S
    December 11, 2011

    The energy you need to get passed the columb barrier is proportional to the product of the charges of the nuclei, I didn’t say it was equal.
    Also it’s a fact that these reactions are occurring in massive stars (that is the Fe + He reaction does occur in stars and has a higher coulomb barrier energy than the Ni + H reaction)

  128. #128 Mark S.
    December 11, 2011

    @trebor:

    I found a reference

    REF: Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis by D.D. Clayton (1983) on page 339 (4-149) “A good rule of thumb for the height of the Coulomb barrier may be obtained by using this result to evaluate the coulomb energy of two touching spheres”:

    E ~= (Z1 * Z2) / (A1^1/3 + A2^1/3)

    The point is, the energy barrier is proportional to the product of the atomic numbers (Z1 and Z2).

  129. #129 mano
    December 12, 2011

    daedalus2u #110: You are mostly right. All of the theories of LENR is such a hypothesis. But after all, the NASA deals with seriously with the W-L theory. So not to mention this and similar theories in the article is a big mistake, even if the W-L theory is highly disputed. Also to handle the plasma as a lattice is big mistake.

    What I want to say that nobody can prove that there is no possible of practically usable nuclear reaction in a condensed metal. And certainly vice-versa!

    If somebody can write a total QM model of a e.g. nano powder Ni lattice with hydrogen (or Pd with deuterium, etc.) and SOLVE this model then he/she can say that he/she proved that it is possible or not. But nobody can do that.
    Even now there is not a widely accepted theory for high temperature superconductivity which is much well-studied problem and (I think) much easier problem.

  130. #130 Trebor
    December 12, 2011

    @Mark S#129
    “The point is, the energy barrier is proportional to the product of the atomic numbers (Z1 and Z2)”

    And that is incorrect by the ‘rule of thumb’ you reference.

    You stated : “It takes about twice the energy to do the Fe + He burning in the Si layer than Ni + H”
    And where is your evidence for this? Some calculations showing it would be fine.

  131. #131 orjin krem
    December 12, 2011

    Rossi’s prior conviction doesn’t mean he is wrong about achieving fusion, but it ratchets the level of extraordinary evidence required up quite a bit. Mentioning his prior convictions is not an ad hominen since his results have not been duplicated and he stands to gain financially.

    Let’s see, who do you believe – the consensus of phystcists in the field or a known con man and a few “maverick” scientists.

  132. #132 Trebor
    December 12, 2011

    @Mark S
    Can I just add that I am not asking that just to be awkward, I really am after the answer.
    Because something seems very off to me here.

    For example in Darmstadt they make super heavy elements by colliding heavy nuclei together.

    For example :
    Pb + Ni → Ds + 1n

    But if the coulomb barrier was just proportional to the charges than the barrier between a lead and a nickel nuclei should be vast?

  133. #133 daedalus2u
    December 12, 2011

    Mano, no scientist talks of “proof”. I agree there is no proof that LENR is wrong, there is also no proof that magic doesn’t work and no proof that perpetual motion doesn’t work. The “data” surrounding cold fusion could just as easily be explained as being due to some sort of time travel where heat is traveling through time to show up when there appears to be “excess heat”. The time travel idea has just about as much evidence for it (essentially none) as any other explanation of “excess heat”. There is not enough data to reject the null hypothesis that it is just error and artifact.

    There isn’t a well accepted theory of high temperature superconductivity, but the fact of high temperature superconductivity is extremely well established. My brother demonstrated it to me by taking a disk of the ceramic high temperature superconductor, cooling it with liquid nitrogen and it exhibited the Meisner effect by expelling a magnetic field. There is no corresponding incontrovertible evidence of excess heat.

    We know that high temperature superconductivity is real because it is easily reproduced and a zillion people have done so. We don’t know that “excess heat” is real because the measurements are of such poor quality, it is not reproducible even by the same researchers on the same samples.

    Trebor, at Darmstadt they are using a UNILAC which can accelerate ions up to 11.4 MeV per nucleon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNILAC

    For 204Pb that would be 2.3 GeV. That is enough to overcome the Coulomb barrier. That relates to the earlier suggestion to use Ni as a target, irradiate it with protons and measure the interaction cross sections. If you did that, you could measure what the interactions are and see if there is some magic resonance at a few eV that make Ni + H happen.

  134. #134 Juice
    December 12, 2011

    @ #70 – Anatoliy V Sermyagin ,

    That sounds an awful lot like simple catalysis, then. Once the nickel melts, the high surface area of the catalyst is lost and the reaction rate drops commensurately.

  135. #135 Chris
    December 13, 2011

    Clarification: Rossi was accused in the past, but not convicted. His Petroldragon venture was a failure because the produced substance was not good enough but he kept making more of it, in the hope that a suitable refinement process would make it more saleable, and bought up disused refineries to store it in. Leaks sprang, polluting ground water that towns were drinking and the cleanup cost a fortune.

    He had perhaps not been very diligent about authorizations for handling waste and currently he claims that bureacrats had been corrupted by interested parties. The gold smuggling was an attempt to keep his enterprise funded in the meantime, also it was a common thing over here, in those days when matters financial were more overbearingly regulated. He is quite a brazen fellow and was quite uncautious but his records can’t really be called swindling.

    According to the LENR group at NASA he has made a mighty breakthrough but much research is still necessary.
    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/government/NASA/20110922NASA-Bushnell-GRC-LENR-Workshop.pdf
    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/government/NASA/20110922NASA-Zawodny-GRC-LENR-Workshop.pdf
    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/government/NASA/20110922NASA-Nelson-GRC-LENR-Workshop.pdf

  136. #136 Jesse
    December 13, 2011

    A lot of people her who are cold-fusion / LENR / Rossi supporters fall into a common fallacy: “Oh, well, we didn’t know something before / something that looked impossible, so cold fusion must be true because X was laughed at at the time.”

    To quote Carl Sagan, geniuses are often laughed at but that doesn’t mean everyone who is laughed at is a genius.

    One of the things that people forget is that our picture of physics gets better as time goes on. That is, we know more than we did 100 years ago, and that narrow down the possibilities of what could be considerably.

    To give an example, Newtonian gravity is incomplete. But it works. There aren’t any examples in nature or otherwise of anyone completely violating the model. Planets orbit the way they do, and we send rockets into space all the time whose positions are calculated with insanely high accuracy using Newtonian mechanics (and back in the day, a slide rule, pencil and paper).

    Relativity deals with situations in which Newton’s gravity doesn’t work well. And a lot of experiments have been done confirming it. But it wasn’t like anyone suddenly found a brick floating up. Anti-gravity wasn’t invented. We just noticed phenomena that Newtons mechanics didn’t work for. (Maxwell also pointed the way with his discoveries about light, as did the Michelson-Morely experiment).

    But the cod fusion folks are saying that we find a brick floating up. They appeal to new physics, or something that somehow we all missed for decades. But that seems pretty darned unlikely. Fusion reactions, as Ethan explained, produce certain kinds of radiation and isotopic products. Just because the reaction happens at a lower temperature shouldn’t alter that, any more than knowledge of Relativity changes celestial mechanics. Mercury’s orbital anomaly doesn’t change a bit how we launch a spacecraft there.

    The process of fusing nucleons in a device like the one Rossi says he has built — making Nickel into Copper — has to produce certain isotopes and radiation no matter how you do it. Unless he found a way to violate the law of conservation of energy, for one. It’s possible that conservation laws are all wrong, but it isn’t bloody likely.

    Now, a lot of you say “Well, all these reputable people can’t be scammed.” Bull. Reputable people are scammed all the time. Even in physics. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hendrik_Schon

    And that was with peer review.

    (One reason scientists are not always good bullshit detectors is that they assume everyone is being honest, which obviously falls apart in situations where someone is not).

    The idea, BTW, that people thought heavier-than-air flight was impossible (at least among the educated) is simply wrong. Loads of people had proposed such before the Wright brothers. The debate was how to make it work. At the time the materials didn’t exist to make a giant ornithopter, though such existed as a kid’s toy then (and still do). The problem wasn’t a theoretical one, it was an engineering one, which is very different.

    I liken it to building an atomic (fission) bomb. There is no secret to building a Hiroshima-type bomb. Any physics student can design one. Getting the high-precision machine tools and such together (to say nothing of the nuclear material) is the big problem.

    The Manhattan project was tackling an engineering issue, not a theoretical one. While the physics wasn’t quite as well-understood as it is now, it was enough to know that if you put enough uranium in one place you go boom. The big question was how to do that without fizzling and simply irradiating a small area. When the first bombs were tested and dropped and became public, there were no physicists saying it was a scam because the theoretical underpinnings were there and could be shown on a blackboard.

    Rossi hasn’t done this, though it would be simple enough.

    Now, there’s another issue here. Edison was an inventor who didn’t do peer review, and he wasn’t a scientist by any stretch (in fact, supposedly one reason he never understood AC power, despite it’s superiority for a number of applications, was that he didn’t get the math). But in some areas intuitive inventors are unlikely to come to with stuff that is a serious breakthrough. They aren’t stupid, but there is a reason that when you think about the biggest technological achievements of the past 50 years, the Edison-type inventor is a rarity in a way they were not in the 19th century.

    Also, Edison tried many compounds for light bulb filaments, but it wasn’t like he got Tungsten to spontaneously appear out of nowhere from the air, or did anything that violated well-understood chemistry at the time. Edison was just willing to try the empirical route — which is the only way to do it — with loads of different compounds. But it wasn’t like anyone didn’t know exactly how his light bulb worked. Edison was very, very good at figuring out technical solutions to problems. But there was no machine he built that was all that mysterious.

    Rossi doesn’t have that. He has a machine that does something, but he hasn’t laid out exactly how to build one. That raises suspicions right there. The talk of a real customer and someone spending millions doesn’t say much either. There are lots of examples of even big companies putting money into things that didn’t work.

  137. #137 daedalus2u
    December 13, 2011

    Juice, the basic mechanisms for catalysis in chemistry are known. The reacting molecules bind to the catalyst in ways that reduce the energy of formation of the reaction intermediate. With a reduced energy of formation, the activation energy of the reaction pathway is reduced and so the reaction goes faster.

    But for that to happen, the binding of the catalyst to the reacting molecules has to be on the same order as the activation energy. The activation energy for H + Ni fusion is many MeV. Catalysts can only supply a few eV through chemical reactions.

    Chris, the NASA slide shows don’t show any data that supports LENR, they just reiterate the claims that have poor documentation and then say gee whiz, wouldn’t it be great if we had a million times more energy available at zero weight.

    If it were this easy to get energy from LENR via a few eV activation energy, why aren’t there any living organisms that do it? There are enzymes that do a great many reactions at room temperature that are very hard to do, for example the breaking of the N2 bond, one of the strongest bonds there is. The N2 bond is much stronger than any bonding between Ni and H. If organisms could get a million times more energy by fusing H, why don’t they?

    Or maybe that is the source of Hulk’s energy? Hulk is green, so are copper and nickel compounds. There is no way that chemical energy could be the source of Hulk’s energy, it has to be from LENR. What if the gamma rays destroyed every enzyme system that was not resistant to gamma rays, leaving only systems totally resistant to gammas and that could rely on LENR as energy sources. That would also explain his great strength (direct LENR to mechanical work), and the lack of very high levels of metabolic heat (human physiology dissipates ~100 watts as heat, Hulk scaled should dissipate ~100 MW as heat, which he doesn’t).

  138. #138 Klare
    December 14, 2011

    I’ve seen your post cited also here http://cold-fusion.ca/scienceblog-publishes-damning-indictment-of-e-cat-claims-154000 where they did a short resume of your statements, which I completly agree. Only time will clarify if the Rossi’s E-cat invention is an hoax or not.

  139. #139 mano
    December 16, 2011

    deadalus2u:
    Sorry but what you wrote about proof is only a wordplay. If something is against the the current physical laws we can say that there is a proof that it is not possible. It is how ordinary people (e.g. me) speak about proofs according to science.

    The perpetual motion is against the current physical laws, to be exactly the thermodynamic laws (and also the QM). Hence there is a strong proof that the perpetual motion is not possible.
    On the other hand, the W-L theory is not against the current physical laws. It does not state anything which is not possible based on the current physical laws. So the LENR is possible at least theoretically.

    I also think that there are several independent measurement about excess heat and some of them is enough good. But it is true that we should be conservative about such area, so more measurements should be necessary.

    You wrote that “If you did that, you could measure what the interactions are and see if there is some magic resonance at a few eV that make Ni + H happen.”

    This is what I wrote about in my firs post. Based on the W-L theory there is no need for this and there no coulomb barrier problem because the low energy neutrons makes the nuclear transmutations and not the protons…

    For example read the following “proof” why the superconductivity is impossible:
    The theory of superconductivity states that there is an attracion which makes electrons held together in pairs and these pairs can flow thorugh the lattice with zero interaction with metal ions. But it is totally nonsence becasue the electrons have negative charge so they repel each other, while the ions have positive charge so some electons will alway colliding with them.
    OK. The above “proof” is really stupid, but this is what I have spoke about in my first post. The quality of claims in the article is similiar to the above “proof”.

  140. #140 Chris
    December 16, 2011

    Dedalus, do you know that frogs and toads are green too? Why don’t you try doing research on them? Wow, your logic is soooooo awesome.

    Thanks for the pedagogics but I was able to read those .pdf files before posting links to them, you know, I think it’s even good netiquette not to post links without having had a look at them. Where did I say they give conclusive proof? They are just a few of the things I’ve found around, while following this matter, and I’m under the impression those dudes take his claims seriously because their own experience doesn’t make them knee-jerk skeptics. Those docs are not the only things I have found much more informative than all this jeering that circulates.

    It is worth noting that some reports of candidate LENR phenomena come from people who were working on biological materials. Kowalski (who has questioned some details of Rossi’s claims) is one example of this. Another is Piantelli, a biophysicist who observed anomalous heat production in an exeperiment and became a LENR guy; he was one of those who Focardi worked with and is now a rival of Rossi, with his own patent based on a specially prepared surface. His claims are less dramatic than those of Rossi though.

    Another clarification is called for, about the role of Rossi’s so-called catlyst. It is quite clear that it isn’t actually a catalyst in the usual sense for chemical reactions. By following these topics, I found confirmation of my impression that its role is to help increase the concentration of H+ in the metal lattice. Those who are misguided about this should look up what is meant by loading ratio and understand that Rossi’s secret “catalyst” is on the surface of metallic nickel partcles. This is what, currently, appears to be the key thing which is hard to achieve but allegedly happens in the lucky cases… or in unlucky ones where explosions have occured; some have conjectured this as being the cause of otherwise unexplained cases where ordinary laptop batteries went off with a bang.

    Jesse, these claims are not like saying that a brick floats up. Whether or not Krivit calls them fusion, there are folks taking LENR seriously who are not likely swindlers and neither so incompetent as to fall for any old BS:
    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/news/2009/2009DIA-08-0911-003.pdfhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8eIhth8Iw8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1TXv0Ob8Bs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC45cDm66WU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1l4wz-PATc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i5MXRitINU
    http://blog.newenergytimes.com/2011/01/19/rossi-and-focardi-lenr-device-probably-real-with-credit-to-piantelli/

    I think Krivit is doing more harm than good and he should be told that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. At first I thought he was attempting to debunk LENR as a whole, so I fear he is fuelling some of the knee-jerk disbelief because it isn’t always easy to distinguish his wordplay from total skepticism.

  141. #141 Nigel Dyer
    December 16, 2011

    Many of the posters seem to be unaware of the vast amount of work that has been done on F&P systems in the last 20 years. It is possible that they are not aware of it because much of it is being done other than in the U.S. Japan has been holding scientific conferences on this for years. While there is still unclear as to the precise mechanism, there is copious evidence that excess heat and other indications of nuclear events is being generated in a range of experimental conditions. One distinctive feature of the specific Nickel/Hydrogen system used by Rossi is that it appears to generate significantly more heat than has been generated in previous experiments. I suspect that Rossi himself only partly understands exactly why this has occurred, having reached this point by a process of informed trial and error.
    The idea that such a mechanism could not occur because it does not occur in the intense heat and pressure of stars is flawed because stars do not contain the specific conditions in the Nickel/Hydrogen system, such as an ordered metallic Nickel lattice, which creates many possibilities that would not be present within stars. It also creates the possibility of ways other than gamma rays for the excess energy to be carried away from the nuclei other than through gamma rays, which has been explored in considerable detail.

  142. #142 Peter Grombach
    December 16, 2011

    So LENR PD+D is posible, but NI+H not?
    watch this and comment please on the AL findings
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VymhJCcNBBc
    peter

  143. #143 Louis Tengzelius
    December 16, 2011

    Having worked with Henry Gilman at Iowa State College, Ames, Earl J. Serfass at Chandler Laboratory, Bethlehem, I contributed to classified hydride, hydrogen, nickel “filters”, thyratrons, X-Ray tubes and other Ni-H matters. My experience became extensive and without theoretical justification for mysterious unintended consequences. On to Metal Hydrides, Inc. after a tour of classified U. S. Army duty. Again, pesky hydrogen at elevated heat and pressure along with highly reactive metals set the stage for the Navy high energy alkylated pentaborane fuel program which I carried out in the very same building uranium bricks were manufactured for the 1941 atomic pile under the stands of the University of Chicago – Manhattan Project. Again, unexpected results were attributed to possible hydrogen embrittlement, failure of seals and explosive nature of this gas. Now, I see a tide of gibberish except for one perfect comment which Guglinsky’s incredible incite provides all the theory needed. Here is the comment by someone named Chan trying to help open source innovators: “1. RFG essential to HEAT tiny Cu particles which behave as short circuit to supply initial boost to 100 + C. It also acts on Fe by way of movement of particles which become individual magnets. It also aligns nano size Ni particles as if bowling pins ready to be assaulted by oscillated hydride ions.

    2. Always use Cu for chamber. It has a permeability of 1. Steel is a shield.

    3. I buy Mg powder from http://www.americanpyrosupply.com/Products-PYROTECHNIC_METALS.html place in metal container with attached tube for evacuating and pressurizing with H. Heated to 250 C and as it is cooled an uptake of H creates the essential MgH2.

    4. Mix molar % of MgH2 30 (100% excess) Ni 30, Cu 20, Fe 20 in glove box. You might try igniter such as ANTIMONY TRISULFIDE or LITHIUM BOROHYDRIDE in tiny catalytic amounts.

    5. Experiment with RFG to determine sweet spot for initial heating and then sweet spot for maintaining reaction, modulating pulse rate, frequency and power. Wave shape is important. Half wave sweet spots also exist. Key is sending Hydride ion into oscillations (e+p+e => n+e => e + Fusion)

    6. Follow up success with miniature scale oil dispersion method using Delphi FD0009 Fuel Pump and heat exchanger http://www.amazon.com/Plate-Copper-Brazed-Exchanger-Stainless/dp/B0039WRMKC/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1323609048&sr=8-9 from Amazon.

    7. I flush expansion space in larger tube at top with “Barbecue” Propane, shut off from atmosphere and allow slight pressure by occasional venting.

    Hope this is of help.

    I live in tropics and work outside under a tin roof. A large fan is used to cool me and blow away possible combustible gases.

    Concrete blocks are easy to set up for protection.

    I picked plantains for 6 mos to afford a good used glove box.

    Warning, moisture and air must be avoided at all costs.

    Note this experience: “DaleG.Basgall Says: From a totally mechanical perspective it seems with alot more individuals making their own versions of (fuel) the powder mix and developing a re-ocurring steady reaction, the more likely one will develop sooner. The fact that so many have climbed on board so to speak leads me from a mechanical perspective to believe this reaction powder and method will in fact be created due to the indications and comparisons of situations in history which were simular. So mechanically speaking this is fact for me, the reaction works good enough now for me to firmly go forward with the design of the device that will use the “fuel” of whoever develops it and offers it for sale to the general public.

    It appears surface area that the fuel is exposed to is a key factor to optimise an event happening. So I would design an inward star pline cut inside a solid copper cube, not tube. Then design the rest of the mechanical things necessary for a safe reactor. Then figure out what is going to translate the heat energy into useable electricity just as any other power generator currently available does.

    But what about the specific work the reaction is supposed to do? A spa heater, a paloma type water heating system, and so on, the options seem limitless. So the powders to me can be left up to the specialists that handle them. I have been warned by our physicists that they can be potentially explosive.

    My luck on things that explode makes me sure I am no way messing with the powders, I have had two things explode because of my experimentation and one left my eardrums busted and a charred skin leg, with blood. I cried out like a baby and had to be carted off, so no more explosive hydrogen crap for me. In short; if this method is as simple as you have contended to get some heating from the powders then it seems simple to go ahead and design some uses for it.”

    Chan”

    His “Chan formula” was also commented extensively.

    Regards,

    Louis Tengzelius

  144. #144 daedalus2u
    December 16, 2011

    Mano, it isn’t “wordplay”, it is scientist-speak. Scientists don’t talk about “proof” except in the case of mathematical proofs. The term “scientific proof” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Real scientists never use the term. It is a clear signal that whoever is using that term isn’t a scientist and is using it as a marketing ploy.

    Stringing together sciencey sounding words in a science word-salad isn’t a “proof” of anything. What you call a “proof” that there is no such thing as superconductivity isn’t a proof and doesn’t refute the data that there are such things as superconductors. The data of superconductors is incontrovertible. It has been replicated zillions of times. There are very many very large superconducting magnets in operation.

    What do you mean by “current physical law”? The Standard Model? W-L theory is not compatible with things that are well known in physics. It is even called the “theory of three miracles”. Taking miracles as premises is not what scientists do.

    They provide no evidence for the collective movement of electrons other than assertion. They seem to confuse MeV (million electron volts, a unit of energy) with million volts per meter (a unit of electric field). To generate a neutron by reverse beta decay, you need to supply the energy that is released when a neutron decays. That is 0.7825 MeV, that is million electron volts per neutron formed.

    They have no trouble ignoring the electric field of protons when they have electrons moving collectively, but then they ignore the effects of those electrons on the electric field of the proton. You can’t have millions of electrons moving collectively at exactly the same energy over distances of microns while postulating electric fields of 10^11 volts per meter over those same length scales.

    They simply assert that protons and electrons are going to interact on surfaces such that electrons obtain MeV levels of energy and yet there will be no gammas or x-rays produced, not even from the neutrons that are produced and not captured. .

    My hypothesis as to the Hulk’s power was tongue in cheek, but it has just about as much reliable data behind it as these ideas of LENR. That would be none. The data has to be reliable enough to contradict the null hypothesis, the hypothesis that what is being observed is error and artifact.

    At least I thought it was tongue in cheek. Apparently the W-L theory does posit that Earth microorganisms do use these LENR.

    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/news/2010/35/SR35913widomlarsen.shtml

    Where is the data that there is such a thing as heat from LENR? So far there isn’t any reliable data.

  145. #145 daedalus2u
    December 16, 2011

    Chris, I did look at them. There was zero data. There was only the rehashing of LENR claims by non-NASA researchers with no replication by NASA.

    I really want LENR to be true. I would like a flying car and flying boots and a flying jetpack and to terraform the moon and stuff. I really want to stop global warming before it kills hundreds of millions by flooding Bangladesh and making the Amazon into a desert and India too hot to survive.

    But my wanting LENR to be true isn’t going to make it so. Not holding LENR researchers to provide reliable data before accepting claims isn’t going to make it so either. Maybe there is something there but the real results are getting drowned in all the noise and fraud.

  146. #146 Keith McClary
    December 17, 2011

    I’v noticed there are many suspiciously similar websites and blogs promoting this:
    http://andrearossiecat.com
    http://buy-ecat.com
    http://buyecat.com
    http://coldfire-lenr.blogspot.com/
    http://coldfusion3.com
    http://coldfusionecat.com
    http://coldfusionetf.com
    http://coldfusioninvestment.net
    http://coldfusionsecrets.com/
    http://cold-fusion.us/
    http://ecatbuilder.com
    http://ecatbuilder.com/
    http://e-cat.ca
    http://ecatcertifications.com
    http://ECat.com
    http://ecatexport.com/
    http://ecatfactory.com
    http://ecatforum.com
    http://ecatfusion.com
    http://ecathome.com
    http://ecatinfo.com
    http://ecatinvestment.com
    http://ecatmotor.com
    http://ecat-news.com
    http://ecatnews.com
    http://ecatnews.net
    http://ecat.nl
    http://ecatnow.com
    http://e-catonline.com
    http://ecatpatent.com
    http://ecatplants.com
    http://ecatreport.com
    http://ecatreviews.com
    http://ecatrossi.com
    http://e-catsite.com
    http://e-catworld.com
    http://ecat.ws
    http://energikatalysatorn.se/
    http://energycatalyzer3.com
    http://energycatalyzer.blogspot.com
    http://energycatalyzerguide.com
    http://energycatalyzernews.com
    http://facebook.com/energycatalyzer.buzz
    http://freeenergytruth.blogspot.com
    http://fusiondevices.com/
    http://fusion-froide.com/
    http://hydrofusion.com/
    http://leonardo-ecat.com
    http://nickelenergy.wordpress.com/
    http://nickelpower.org
    http://rossicoldfusion.com
    http://rossiecat.com
    http://rossiecatstory.com
    http://rossienergycatalyzers.com
    http://rossifocardifusion.com
    http://twitter.com/energycatalyzer
    http://www.bookcoldfusion.com/e-cat/3197
    http://www.buildecat.com/
    http://www.buycoldfusion.net/ni-hi-hydrogen-palladium/3484
    http://www.coldfusionenergy.net/lenr-cold-fusion/3579
    http://www.coldfusiongame.com/invest-in-cold-fusion-energy/3446
    http://www.coldfusionhydrogen.com/
    http://www.coldfusioninvestment.net/
    http://www.coldfusionitaly.net/cold-fusion-rossi/3358
    http://www.cold-fusion.mobi/
    http://www.coldfusionmovie.net/
    http://www.coldfusionreactor.org/buy-cold-fusion-energy/3454
    http://www.coldfusionvideo.net/
    http://www.cold-fusion.ws/e-cat/3572
    http://www.ecatplanet.net/
    http://www.hnifusion.com/
    http://www.hyperion-ecat.com/
    http://www.hyperion-ecat.com/e-cat/3224
    http://www.nickelhydrogencoldfusion.com/lenr-theory/3425
    http://www.nihcoldfusion.com/lenr-investment/3426
    http://www.rossifocardicoldfusion.com/
    http://www.scoop.it/t/rossi-s-ecat/
    http://www.stockcoldfusion.com/lenr-nuclear/3431
    http://www.videocoldfusion.com/andrea-rossi-e-cat/3387

  147. #147 Yordan Georgiev
    December 17, 2011

    Sorry but you have 1 major flow in your logic:
    From the facts that :
    - The current physics do not know how to turn Ni to Cu
    - Such a conversion does not occur in the stars

    you deduct that the statements of Rossi are untrue.

    1. Even current physics admit that they have troubles explaining the measurements they make
    2. The nature we can observe does not have naturally occurring the conditions which Rossi and Focardi have created artificially

  148. #148 Trebor
    December 18, 2011

    @Yordan Georgiev#148

    “- The current physics do not know how to turn Ni to Cu”

    The post does talk about how it is known copper is produced.
    You should read it.

    Specifically :
    62Ni + 1n → 63Ni* → 63Cu + β- + γ + ν ̅e,
    64Ni + 1n → 65Ni* → 65Cu + β- + γ + ν ̅e,

    “- Such a conversion does not occur in the stars”

    See above.

    Let’s see your points.

    “2. The nature we can observe does not have naturally occurring the conditions which Rossi and Focardi have created artificially”

    Of course it does. If fusion happened at such trivial energies it would be occurring naturally everywhere.

    “1.” Is not a point…

    @Keith McClary#147

    And thank you for spamming every single one of them.

  149. #149 Eric Ashworth
    December 18, 2011

    Is the URL absolutely neccessary

  150. #150 Eric Ashworth
    December 18, 2011

    Considering that astrophysics and nuclear physics are being re-searched by a present day none understanding body of people it is foolish to say why something cannot happen. What we need are new ideas and if they can be embodied then all the better because then they cannot be disputed. Rossis E-cat seems to work but he is at present unable to give a technical explanation or reveal what is inside the reactor due to his immediate circumstances. Does this mean it does not work?, No. Could it be operating outside the present laws of known physics?, Yes, what’s to stop it. What is presently considered knowledge in both nuclear physics and astrophysics could conservatively be said to be 95% pure speculation/theoretical with regards knowable knowledge. That’s what makes these subjects so fascinating. Therefore, lets look at astrophysics from a different angle. There is no reason not to believe that planets exist in chain systems and form independent evolutiuonary systems of existence. What we call the sun could quite easily be recognized as a ‘white hole’ when looking up the chain into the more positive dimensions. The sun could be a focal point of energy caused by an interregnum between two physical planets i.e. where their outer exterior fields touch together. The sun could therefore contain nothing being only a reflector/mirror image of the negative planet that sits lower in the chain than the one above. From the planet above the identical position would be referred to as a ‘black hole’. These planetary chain systems could form macro units of identifiable structure of a six dimensional cubic format with a sun of an Absolute magnitude at the positive pole and a ‘black hole of an Absolute magnitude at the opposite pole. The rays passing down the chain focus in at each interregnum providing directional illumination within the spaces between. The suns of the interregnums could be an aspect of fission due to the fusion of a planet providing a degree of fission that reacts to the other planet in close proximity. This of course is theoretical astrophysics, at the moment. Perhaps with regards to nuclear physics isotopes could form micro systemic systems with regards the evolution of the mineral kingdom. These isotopes could form identifiable units of micro structure with regards an all inclusive established field system. Energy, I believe, does run to the same pattern whether on the micro level or the macro. If you can establish an interacting field of five isotopes of nickel then maybe with the right resonance and pressure hydrogen could break down and enter the structure at its most negative potential i.e. nickel isotope 58. Using Ni58 – Ni60 – Ni61 and Ni62 (4 isotopes plus hydrogen adds up to 5 potentials, hydrogen being the most positive). When the reaction starts Ni58 starts to transmute to Ni59 and this is when the self sustained mode ‘kicks in’ because Ni 62 simultaneously starts to transmute to Cu63. At this point you have an active cube of energy of six dimensions. When the cube becomes neutral i.e. the positive equals the negative, the reaction ceases. One third positive, one third negative and one third neutral. Geometry is tied in to understanding energy. This again is theoretical speculation when you are not involved in LENR. Another point worth considering is that nature contains two major forces, the creating one and the destroying one, between which, that which has been created and that which is being destroyed is a third force, this being the life force of the created form that is in a constant state of adjustment due to progression of the created unit within environmental zones of ever increasing potentials of positivity. Transmutation, I believe, does not occur within the two Absolutes, only within the middle period of existence where it transmutes. For a structure to enter into full fusion and thereby become fully fizzed and re-cycled as that which happens at Absolute with regards a star, transmutation is not due to an Absolute destructible force but a necessary coercive force with regards environment and sustainability of the structure. With regards ‘Starts With A Bang’ this again is pure speculation in astrophysics. Maybe life is the inescapable product of a beginning and an ending that is simultaneously occurring or you could say embodied life is a product of becoming between two opposing dimensions of fizzing energy and fusing energy. Anyway it is something to think about.

  151. #151 Chris
    December 19, 2011

    Daedalus, misunderstanding after misunderstanding, sigh.

    I did not accuse you of not having read those pages, I only stated that I had, before posting them. I stated this due to your reply. There was zero data in those docs because the purpose of that meeting, apparently, was of a summary type and not to report new, specific results. Granting your “zero” that is, despite there being a few graphs and figures repeated from other sources.

    Note that Dennis M. Bushnell is the chief scientists at NASA’s Langley research centre, where Zawodny is a direct colleague of his, while Nelson has been working elsewhere with NASA for 29 years. So much for you having read those docs or even just exercised basic caution before you posted. It was even obvious that these docs were not public and that Krivit had to request them form NASA, under the US law about information freedom.

    Given your diligence, it is not surprising you confused some of my text with Mano’s and missed that my remark about green was just as tongue in cheek as yours. You know, tit for tat, as a way of pointing out your red herring. I think you should try for a bit more diligence.

    I don’t fully agree with Krivit’s attitude. Despite this I have found some of his stuff informative, including the following interview with Levi if you can get past Krivit’s shortcomings. Note that Krivit, while actively promoting interest in LENR, was at first crying foul about Rossi’s claims but has, since, declared his “cautious optimism” about it. In this interview his optimism seems very cautious indeed. Lengthy but interesting:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml-NElJ-Cf0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld7Z1FHupZc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN289NOs6Mk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vYJIG3ymOk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbDgeAz91VM

  152. #152 Yeti
    December 19, 2011

    “No other known reaction (that doesn’t involve antimatter) is capable of generating as much energy from a given amount of matter as nuclear fusion can, in the entire Universe. ”

    Here, I think, you are not entirely right. I believe that mass accretion by a black hole has an even greater efficiency. Admittedly the energy does not come from the mass itself, but from its potential energy.

  153. #153 daedalus2u
    December 19, 2011

    Chris, I concede that people have reported these results and are credulous about them. That some people are credulous is not evidence about whether the results are true or not. I can’t see videos where I am now.

    Yordan # 148 says that physics doesn’t know how to do what e-Cat is claiming.

    Trebor #149 shows that physics does know how to do what e-Cat is claiming (fuse H + Ni), but doing so requires high energies because of various conservation laws (conservation of energy, momentum, charge, spin). These things are inconsistent with the measurements that have been reported.

    The “best” non-fraud, non-mistake explanation is W&L theory, which is a toy idea (actually not a theory) which postulates non-physical things (aka magic). They postulate that millions of electrons will move together in phase and that one of them will acquire enough energy (few MeV) to overcome the Coulomb barrier and/or to do reverse beta decay.

    So far, all we have is some guy (who doesn’t have a PhD in STEM) in an industrial building with no real “scientific stuff” with some hand meters claiming to have discovered LENR, but he won’t tell anyone how he is doing it, and won’t let anyone look at it closely enough to determine that it isn’t fraud or a mistake.

  154. #154 Chris
    December 20, 2011

    Daedalus, why do you insist on equivocating?

    For one thing, the line between observation which is accepted by scientists and claims of witnesses which aren’t considered reliable can be quite arbitrary but I have no intention on getting into this type of discussion, especially on a blog where folks refer to #148 and give no link. Maybe I’m dumb but was there any better way for me to single out those comments without counting from the very first one in this whole blog?

    In any case I have yet to see why LENR would be an outright contradiction of known fundamental laws of physics. I’m aware the W&L is quite conjectural but that doesn’t make these claims impossible. I keep finding more argumentative fallacy on the part of skeptics than on the part of those who make the claims. Trebor’s post is fallacious in dismissing point 2. in Yordan’s post and even point 1. is something to bear in mind. I have seen fallacious points by you too, for instance in this post where you display a fallacious idea of how research in physics proceeds and show that you have not looked into research done after P&F but simply state they must all be mistaken and even frauds. In your last reply to me you use the word credulous where it is out of place. Talking about medieval alchemy goals and various crackpot pursuits does not prove that LENR can’t possibly have anything to it.

    You are not showing me enough competence to change my mind, you have shown no diligence in making statements and you conflate what I said with stating Rossi’s claim as true. Negating “It can’t be true.” is not the same as asserting “It is true.”, at least not in the logic I use. I even said I’m not one of the various witnesses so I can’t really vouch for the measurements of Oct 28th, but I find no reason to scoff and reject them. The university of Bologna should soon have two teams of researchers conducting laboratory tests according to scientific standards rather than enterprise criteria but, meanwhile, one of them who has been closely observing Rossi’s work was unable to find any fraud, even when he pulled the plug while the thing was in self-sustained mode. He tells of an occasion where it rapidly reached a thermal output of 120 kW and Rossi hurriedly damped it because his tests so far don’t reassure him of safety at such high power. It looks like the concern is more on safety than on whether it works at all and I find no reason to think Giuseppe Levi is a fraud, he certainly isn’t a fool. I’m just waiting for increasing evidence and, especially, more guarantees of safety, before thinking about buying one to heat a house with, yet I’m already far past crying fraud and somewhat past accusing them of sloppy measurements.

  155. #155 Trebor
    December 20, 2011

    “the line between observation which is accepted by scientists and claims of witnesses which aren’t considered reliable can be quite arbitrary…”

    What is needed is a repeatable experiment which can be carried out by different labs which give the same results.
    Simple…

  156. #156 daedalus2u
    December 20, 2011

    Sorry for not using a link, in my browser they are all numbered. Links tend to cause the comments to be held up.

    Trebor’s point #2 is correct and I agree with it.

    Native metallic nickel is found in hydrothermal systems which also can have high hydrogen pressures (higher than what e-Cat is using) and at temperatures higher than what e-Cat is using.

    Native metallic nickel should have been even more common for the first couple billion years of Earth’s history, before the atmosphere became oxidizing. If e-Cat can produce a few percent Cu in a few days, then if natural Ni is only 0.0000000000001% as effective as in the e-Cat, then in a few billion years there should be gigantic and measurable effects on the distribution of Ni isotopes. But there aren’t any.

    What is fallacious about my explanation of how physics research is done? What is the search for the Higgs about? It is about a theory that there is this particle that should have certain properties, and the LHC is testing those theories by doing experiments.

    I have read research after P&F. I don’t often look at the journals that are the main place where these things are published these days and don’t follow the research closely because it is mostly a waste of time.

    The LENR reactions proposed violate conservation of energy and momentum by not producing ionizing radiation or radioactive isotopes. If you don’t understand that, then you need to study physics some more. I think this is your problem, you don’t understand enough physics, so you look to someone who you feel is competent to convince you. That isn’t how skepticism and science work. If you don’t understand something you need to default to “I don’t know”. What is needed to convince someone is evidence, not testimony from someone who is competent. What matters is the evidence and data, not the competence of the people talking about the data.

    Credulous was exactly what I meant. I agree that there are people who believe that e-Cat is real. Their belief is not evidence that e-Cat is real. If they have observed data that has convinced them, they have not published that data and analysis in sufficient detail that I may look at it and evaluate it.

    I am not saying that e-Cat has been proven to be fraud, just that it is a lot more likely to be fraud or mistake than LENR.

    There is a quote from Feynman that is similar.

    “Some years ago I had a conversation with a layman about flying saucers — because I am scientific I know all about flying saucers! I said “I don’t think there are flying saucers”. So my antagonist said, “Is it impossible that there are flying saucers? Can you prove that it’s impossible?” “No”, I said, “I can’t prove it’s impossible. It’s just very unlikely”. At that he said, “You are very unscientific. If you can’t prove it impossible then how can you say that it’s unlikely?” But that is the way that is scientific. It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible. To define what I mean, I might have said to him, “Listen, I mean that from my knowledge of the world that I see around me, I think that it is much more likely that the reports of flying saucers are the results of the known irrational characteristics of terrestrial intelligence than of the unknown rational efforts of extra-terrestrial intelligence.” It is just more likely. That is all.”

  157. #157 Chris
    December 21, 2011

    Great novely Trebor, you don’t even get what I was talking about, let alone my point.

    Daedalus, do those hydrothermal systems have nickel in nanoparticles and what else is needed? If you don’t know the secret details that Rossi guards like the recipe for Coke then there’s not much use supplying counterexamples. Your example of the Higgs boson does not make your point about how research is done correct. How do you think the standard model was worked out? How about the gauge theories such as QED and QCD, the RQFT and everything else it is based on? How about basic QM? Electromagnetism? Classical mechanics? Look through the history of physics. I certainly have no intention of discussing it all here, when my points simply get twisted.

    Daedalus, tell me which courses I should have done when I studied for my degree in physics, because I don’t get your argument about energy-momentum conservation. I don’t think I would have had to do nuclear, in order to see your point. These things are occurring in dense matter and you would need to know every term before refuting it by energy-momentum conservation. You can’t. I know there are things about it that nuclear physicists find wierd, but not all of them are saying it can’t be so. Especially the ones that have been there.

    Daedalus, I’m not saying that you must believe it is real. Quit equivocating about what I say. OK? The university of Bologna plans to do exactly what you and Trebor are preaching about. Levi talks about it in the interview I linked to and it isn’t my fault if you can’t watch videos; it isn’t an excuse to be preaching to me as if I were incompetent. Oooops, I suppose Levi is incompetent too, since he doesn’t disbelieve what he sees, he’s too dumb to know that it sooooo obviously violates energy-momentum conservation that it must be an optical illusion. He should be refusing to conduct proper lab research on it. But, ooops, if nobody is eager to do it then people will forever say what Trebor says. Remember the story about the medieval peripatetics? They refused to consider experiments which contradicted Aristotle’s writings, e. g. they said Galileo’s observations must be due to defects of the instrument. How could Aristotle be wrong?

    Trebor, do you have the same excuse as Daedalus, for not having seen the interview?

  158. #158 NJ
    December 21, 2011

    Chris@158:

    The university of Bologna plans to do exactly what you and Trebor are preaching about.

    Excellent. Please do get back to us with their peer-reviewed results.

  159. #159 Chris
    December 22, 2011

    Yes NJ, is is excellent indeed. But, somehow, I fear some people will accuse them of sloppiness too……

    In any case, if it interests you, you are free to stay tuned to them instead of relying on me. It is a research programme that will take quite a while, I hope that meantime enough people will be trying the thing out as a product, and I hope they will find it works reasonably well. I hope folks in China will do so, instead of building yet more fission and fossil fuel plants, as soon as the thing is deemed reliable at high enough temperatures. There are many parties who could well afford risking a few thousand and try it for themselves, for the sake of future climate and energy economics.

    R&D in enterprise is not the same as scientific research, I don’t get why people insist on confusing them with each other a bit too much. It’s a black box anyway, the real scientific interest would be to find out more about exactly how the heat is produced. This would be more interesting than testing an industrial product’s performance, without knowing the manufacturer’s secrets. And, of course, this is also where it makes more sense to bug me about peer review, epistemology and scientific method; I got enough of those by the time I graduated in physics.

  160. #160 daedalus4u
    December 22, 2011

    Chris, I really don’t know why you are upset with me. Of course I am equivocating. I don’t have the data or evidence to do otherwise. What would you have me do, pretend I know something I don’t? Agree with something that I don’t think the evidence supports?

    It isn’t me who is not doing experiments, the proponents of e-Cat are not doing experiments that would unambiguously falsify it. I don’t need to see people talking to be convinced, what I need to see is data.

    I am quite surprised that you claim to be a physicist and yet are unfamiliar with the theorist vs experimentalist division of labor in physics. If you do a google search on it, you can find out about it. Here is a recent post on it.

    http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2011/12/experiment_vs_theory_where_did.php?utm_source=editorspicks

  161. #161 Ethan Siegel
    December 22, 2011

    Look out, world, our daedalus is now +2 better!

  162. #162 Chris
    December 22, 2011

    Daedalus, don’t worry. I’m not “so upset”, I’ve only simply tried to address argumentative fallacy. You’re equivocating so much that you equivocate about what this word means. I’m not expecting you to know things that you don’t, I just pointed out fallacy. For instance: you say you “don’t think the evidence supports” his claims, you don’t even know what evidence there is and isn’t. How then can you judge if it does or doesn’t support them? All you should say is you don’t know whether evidence supports them; instead you think I expect you to know things and agree with his claims. I just don’t get your logic and I guess you’ll say it’s because I’m not a real physicist lol.

    BTW I’m well familiar with the spectrum from experimental to theoretical physicists. Where did I deny the difference? I said you have a misconception about how research “usually” proceeds. Your accusation of me lacking familiarity is yet more equivocation. I’m very familiar with how theories have been constructed according to observation; this comes before experiments being designed specifically to test them (often according to the work of phenomenologists). It tends to be quite chicken-and-egg and the blog you link to says this a bit more than your fallacy I had mentioned. But why should we keep squabbling over these things? Just try not to reply if you can’t avoid misunderstandings and that way I can avoid “getting so upset” with you. OK?

    Now quit burning me at the stake as if I were making Rossi’s claims on his behalf without being a first hand witness. You can accuse lads like Bushnell and Josephson of this, but not me.

  163. #163 MrtinezRR
    December 22, 2011

    About your “Power magic” trick you should had seen that e.g. in the video from http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3264362.ece (min 4:50), the ampere-meter measures the current that flows into the E-cat (the blu box + the electric heater) and when the heater is turned off, it measures anyway the current that flows into the blue box (the control unit) and not a zero value like should be with your power magic trick.
    To make a trick like you proposed, the wire should have internally three wires: two for the heater (able to support a 1KW-2KW load i.e. 5-10 Ampere) and another for the control unit. These three wires should be insulated and externally should look like a normal wire of about 1 mm^2 section and it should be one wire of a commercial three wire cable (blue-brown-green/yellow) with external insulator, labeled with features, identification number and constructor’s name as well as you can see in the video or in this more detailed picture from 22passi.blogspot.comm:
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bWneQO4Fyow/TfkinlfAIlI/AAAAAAAAFOg/GJ1A0VVkSl4/s1600/14giugno_0029.jpg

    Anyone who used an electric wire knows that this is impossible and would be noticed immediately by touching the cable or by watching it, in particular with such zoomed photos.

  164. #164 James
    December 23, 2011

    If the hot water output from the ECat is substituted for the geothermal hot water of a enhanced geothermal generator station the question of whether cold fusion is reality or fiction would be answered within a week.

  165. #165 daedalus4u
    December 24, 2011

    Chris, I got a chance to look at some of those videos. I think the mistake that Rossi is making is that he thinks that all the water he is adding to his e-Cat is turning to steam because it is at the boiling point, but what he is actually getting is a mixture of steam and water. He isn’t measuring the volume of water or the volume of steam that his system produces, he is measuring the volume of water going in, the temperature of what is coming out and assuming that everything coming out is steam because it is at the “boiling point”. The system he is using is not precise enough to determine the state of water simply by measuring the temperature. He needs to measure the pressure too, ensure that the water is highly pure, and wait long enough for equilibrium to be reached (days). The water he is using does have dissolved air, so it would register a “boiling point” below the true boiling point of pure water at the pressure he is using (which he doesn’t measure).

    If he used a clear hose instead of a black one, it would be obvious that water plus steam is coming out and not just steam. If you consider what he is doing, he is taking water at ambient temperature (20 C), and heating it up to near the boiling point, then letting some of the water evaporate into steam.

    Heating water from 20 C to 100.1 C at 1.005 atmosphere enthalpy change = 335.5802 kJ/kg

    Evaporating water from 100.1 C at 1.005 atm to 100.1 C at 1.004 atm enthalpy change = 2256.142 kJ/kg

    2256.142/ 335.5802 = 6.723

    The evaporation at 100.1 is isothermal, there is no change in temperature, but it takes 6.7 times more heat to evaporate the water than it took to raise it from 20 C to 100.1 C.

  166. #166 Chris
    December 26, 2011

    Daedalus, I’m glad you’ve at least put a bit more effort looking into the matter. At least you are now talking about a very legitimate doubt which, however, has long been discussed. It is, of course, one of the obvious questions which has been raised about demos where thermal ouput is calculated by latent heat of vaporization.

    Still, much attention has been devoted to the question and also there have been at least some measurements with no vaporization at all, just employing much more water. If you could watch that entire interview with Levi, you would hear him discussing this very question too and some cases he has already seen with no steam at all. He says the main focus of the research he will participate in will avoid this problem altogether: no evaporation means much more trivial calorimetry. In assessments with steam, they have usually been collecting the liquid water and counting it as simply unevaporated, neglecting recondensation; this assumption goes the opposite way to exaggerating the claims.

    What I don’t get in your post is why you don’t just consider the isobaric part of the isothermal, when the relevant question is the latent heat. You don’t go toward clarifying your point like this. Anyway it appears there have been qualified physicists and even chemists checking these things, better than I can do here at my home, but there is still controversy about it. As James says, the surest thing would be to actually use the contraption and see what tangible energetic benefit you get out of it, with what electric bills. However, this is so far a bit restricted because Rossi does not yet recommend temperatures all that much higher than boiling water. Currently it seems heating buildings would be the most suitable use I would hope we’ll soon see applications that replace fossil fuels in electric generation. Unfortunately I think it will be a while before matters of applicability and safety are clear.

    I am cautious and I can understand people being reasonably skeptical, without having seen convincing coverage. What really gets to me is the prejudice that most are affected with, which does not help to make headway. For instance, Daedalus, you are still assuming Rossi must be mistaken. Perhaps he is, despite the convincing material I have seen, but there is no basis to stubbornly suppose so.

  167. #167 daedalus2u
    December 27, 2011

    Chris, I don’t understand your question.

    “What I don’t get in your post is why you don’t just consider the isobaric part of the isothermal, when the relevant question is the latent heat.”

    The enthalpy of water is a state function, it only depends on the state, not how the state was arrived at. I don’t need to know anything about what is inside his black box, just the state of the water entering and leaving. I have a program with the equation of state of water, so I can calculate all of these state functions to a very high degree of accuracy.

    The interviews I watched was painful to sit through. The interviewer didn’t ask about data, the interviewer asked about the interviewee’s feelings.

    I am not assuming he must be mistaken, I am estimating that the likelihood he is mistaken is somewhat greater than 99.99%. My estimate is based only on the information that I have been able to get. I have a lot of information on the conventional understanding of physics, that information is freely available from many sources and all of that conventional understanding fits together and fits together seamlessly.

    The data that Rossi has provided is simply inadequate to evaluate his claims. He is making extraordinary claims, claims that would contradict much that is very well known in physics. Maybe he is right and all the others are wrong, but I need some data to be able to reject or modify the rest of physics which is based on a very large amount of very solid data by very many independent researchers. Maybe Rossi is right and everyone else is wrong, but he hasn’t even shown a tiny amount of ordinary data that can be checked for internal consistency.

    It would be trivially easy to do calorimetry based on generating steam (you phase separate the water from the steam, condense the steam and weigh it). That would probably be more accurate than calorimetry based on flow because flow measurement is more difficult and less precise than weight measurement. You could also do a heat balance with the cooling water used to condense the steam. That would give you an independent and redundant measure of the heat content of the steam.

    He already has all the equipment he needs to do this type of measurement. Why hasn’t he done it and reported the results? I can think of only two alternatives, either he doesn’t know how to do it, which makes him pretty incompetent and calls the rest of his calorimetry into question, or he has done it but isn’t reporting the results. The only reason he would have for not reporting the results would be if they don’t show excess heat.

    There was a comment in one of the witness statements about how poorly instrumented and configured his apparatus is, and that he continues to use these poorly instrumented configurations even after being told better ways of doing it. This does not engender confidence in his technique. What reason is there for not using better instrumentation configurations? Either he is too invested in his ego and wants to do it “his” way, or the better instrumentation configurations don’t show the positive effects he is looking for.

    The sure thing would be to do accurate and precise measurements with properly calibrated instrumentation. That is all I would need to increase my estimate that he is correct. With proper instrumentation and proper data, I could be convinced in a day. Without it, I will never be convinced.

  168. #168 Chris
    December 28, 2011

    Daedalus, there’s no use telling me what enthalpy is. I simply tried to say you were not proving anything to me by what you posted; the matter of steam dryness has been much addressed, with controversy over method. Anyway the figures of the Oct 28th test were impressive, unless you accuse them of totally wrong measurements.

    If you mean the interview I linked to, I agree it was painful to sit through. This is because Krivit is a bit of an eedjit. He keeps misssing Levi’s points and Levi keeps bearing patience. But I don’t see the point of your objection when Levi can’t yet say more than what he says; this is the attitude I keep finding here. What the hell do you expect, currently?

    Yes you are assuming he must be mistaken when you say “I think the mistake that Rossi is making is that he thinks…”, as opposed to “I think he is likely mistaken, because he thinks…”, and you haven’t shown me how you are able to refute his claims with an actual contradiction of known physics.

    I don’t know exactly which data you are talking about, provided by Rossi. I have seen data which is not up to research standards (with all that sigma and chi-square jazz), it is just reasonably up to technical standards. That’s exactly why Levi et al. will conduct better research at the Bologna physics dep’t. Who said Rossi is a qualified researcher in experimental physics? Quit equivocating my points (and ignoring some of them), it makes discussing the matter with you much more painful than the interview. Far, far, far more painful. I’ve no interest in your ad nauseam repetitions without getting my points straight. Look, they did do steam calorimetry, pretty much as you are now presuming to teach us here. Would you say it is more trivial than calorimetry all in the liquid phase? Did you not read what I said in my post the other day, before attempting to reply to it?

    If you don’t believe his claims, I’m not expecting you to believe them on faith, especially if you have taken less of a look than I did, so quit equivocating. I’m only distinguishing between caution, reasonable skepticism and prejudice and it seems there’s no use pointing out your argumentative fallacies; I can’t afford the time to sort them out. The only reason you keep replying to me is your prejudice and investment in your own ego. You just gotta get me wrong, at the cost of not conducting debate properly.

  169. #169 Terry bollinger
    December 30, 2011

    An excellent and beautifully detailed analysis! Not that it will dissuade True Believers, but that’s nothing new.

    One issue that I don’t recall seeing in your analysis is whether fusion of hydrogen with nickel, assuming normal coulomb repulsion applies, would even give a net release of energy. Such reactions are after all quite close to the iron minimum.

  170. #170 Terry Bollinger
    December 30, 2011

    Looking over some of the postings: ah, LENR is invoked, but of course!

    Had to review that one once to help keep a friend from making an noodle of himself. Dunno if I succeeded, but at least I did my duty!

    LENR sounds all physics-fancy, and its proponents like to prop the idea up by using lots of intimidating-sounding tidbits from real particle and solid-state physics. But alas, the idea boils down to two absurdly non-viable ideas: (1) A solid state quasiparticle can act like point-like particle in a nuclear reaction; and (2) The severely limiting effects weak force can be safely ignored.

    Point (1) is so plain silly that it’s a delight, in a sort of perverse way, just to see someone propose it. Here’s the scoop on that one:

    Imagine that an electron has a “useful diameter” in terms of pulling nuclei together of about the size of a pea. (An electron is actually a point, but quantum effects blur it.)

    A quasiparticle is a tinker-toy construction that involves electrons and vibrations and bonds within a solid crystal lattice. This means that a negatively charged quasiparticle would be many times larger that an electron, say the size of a softball. More importantly, though, it has structure. Poke it hard and it simply falls apart into its constituent components. For a negatively charged quasiparticle, the part that carries the charge when you poke it hard is, well… an ordinary electron. Think again of a tinker toy construction and how it breaks up into individual parts when you hit it.

    Now if you fatten up an electron by about 200 times — such obese electrons really do exist and are called muons — their extra mass makes their effective size smaller, say about the size of a grain of sand. At that point your “fat electron” is small enough to snuggle between two nuclei and pull them close together in a way than an electron never can. Voila — true cold fusion! Muon fusion, to be precise. But alas, alack, you can never quite get muon fusion to reach energy breakeven with it, even using cute and ingenious tricks.

    Now what if you use solid-state tricks to fatten up the effective mass of your quasiparticle? Geometry doesn’t magically change at nuclear scales in this case. You still end up with a quasiparticle that is based on atomic vibrations and thus way too big to insert itself between nuclei. But even more important is the tinker toy breakdown issues. Even if you could make the quasiparticle exceptionally small, when you push it too hard, all you end up with is a pile of ordinary parts — and the charged part that counts for fusion is just an ordinary electron!

    The other huge LENR issue is that troublesome weak force. The weak force is basically why sun no go boom. That is, you have all that tremendously hot and tremendously pressurized hydrogen (protons) at the center of our sun, yet it doesn’t all fuse within a split instant. Why?

    Well, because there is an additional restriction on fusion that goes by the name of the weak force. The weak force is mediated by particles a bit like photons, but these photon-like particles are very, very heavy. In the quantum world, that means they have a very short effective range, even on the scale on atomic nuclei. Without trying to get into all the details, this second level of interactions can be thought of as a sort of “fusion reaction within a fusion reaction,” in the sense that it too must be energized to high enough levels to start taking place at reasonable levels. That is, nuclear reactions in the sun include not just protons to protons, but also a much “smaller range” reaction in which some of these weak-force photon analogs can be exchanged. That second level is astronomically harder to reach even than proton fusion levels! And thank goodness that’s true, since otherwise sun go boom a loooong time ago, and this conversation not take place.

    LENR hilariously ignores all of this, even as it very selectively drags out all sorts of impressive sounding physics sound bites that prove that originators knew enough physics to be aware of the weak force problem.

    (Ah, I just recalled Point (3) about LENR: What happens to the energy if you get a nuclear reaction? At the atomic scale, a launched gamma or neutron is proportionally to chemical bonds a lot like setting off a small nuclear weapon within an ordinary room made of wood and expecting to captures the results without any problem. Or another analogy: Stopping cannon balls with walls made of balloons. Ah… no.)

    So, LENR promoters: Come on, give us a break and stop wasting everyone’s time. A least one or two of you must realize that fusion cannot take place the way you’ve described it. Address the real issues, throw your hands up if you must to admit theoretical defeat, and stop this abysmal snowing of everyone with theories that sound impressive but don’t work.

    And NASA: Come on guys. If you want to fund independently monitored experiments to look for outrageously inexplicable results that violate standard physics, fine, good even. Navy is mea culpa on that point too, I think. But you must surely have some theorists available to you there who can tell you exactly what I just said and more, in excruciating detail and with lots of pointy numbers attached. If NASA really is providing some sort of direct support for LENR, giving bad logic too much credit can make life hard for other federal groups who must then do the analysis. Smart and aggressive sales pitches do not a solid theory make, especially when said set of ideas cherry picks its supporting physics. Please have some good theory guys, e.g. from a national lab like Los Alamos, give you a rundown on issues like the nature of quasiparticles and the intransigence of the weak force. Or if you are in the DC area we could talk some about what pointed questions to ask.

    Cheers,
    Terry Bollinger

  171. #171 Charles
    December 30, 2011

    If the secret catalyst is Copper Oxide then the discovery of metallic copper would not be surprising from the reduction by hydrogen. Could also explain some heat generation.

  172. #172 daedalus2u
    December 31, 2011

    They do make a big deal out of needing to make the reaction chamber out of copper. In air, copper will oxidize. The external surfaces of their copper apparatus shows thick layers of copper oxides (CuO is black). In a slurry of nickel powder, hydrogen will cause copper oxide to reduce to metallic copper. It will come out on the surface of Ni particles because Ni particles do catalyze the dissociation of H2 molecules into H atoms.

  173. #173 Max
    January 1, 2012

    Instead of free power could this thing be used to produce primarily cheap pure copper as it is very costly in the southwest. Folks would no longer need to strip abandon houses for their copper. All they would need is nickel, hydrogen plus Rossi and Focardi’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices and you get cheap copper.

  174. #174 Terry Bollinger
    January 2, 2012

    Ah, mm, those 11 herbs and spices, yes…!

  175. #175 mano
    January 3, 2012

    daedalus2u, Firstly: you should be right, so thank you for teaching me.

    You wrote that “Real scientists never use the term. It is a clear signal that whoever is using that term isn’t a scientist and is using it as a marketing ploy.” Shall I ask you that you are an american? It is so typicall for americans that they cannot imagine that any other language does exist expect english. I am sorry for that, but this is my experince.

    So if it is better for you, you can exchange in all of my comments the word “proof” to the word “evidence” or any other english word which fits to. But after all it will be a “wordplay” for me (and I think for most of the people on the Earth), who is not a native english speaker. Thank you.

  176. #176 Synthesis
    January 3, 2012

    Can anyone provide an experimental proof that our Sun or any other star produce hot fusion? I repeat: experimental, not theoretical! The answer is NO! Any of you may jump to say we have an experimental proof for hot fusion: the A-bomb. Can anyone provide me any hard scientific experimental proof for A-bomb instead of feeding us with (propaganda) videos released by the Army? The answer is again NO!
    Judge for yourself!

  177. #177 Chris
    January 4, 2012

    The pineapple heiress, one of the funniest scenes in the musical Chicago, the murder committed by lawyer Billy Flynn’s latest client: As she points the pistol at her boyfriend, he claims to be alone in their bed. When she screams “Whaddya mean, there’s two girls with you!”, he rebukes “Are ya gonna believe whatcha see or what I tellya?”

    LOL she doesn’t swallow that. She doesn’t seek treatment for hallucinations nor think about solipsism. She just simply pulls that trigger. Once for him and once for each of those girls.

    According to Terry Bollinger’s logic, people should have disbelieved superconductivity, all the way from 1911 until 1957 and even the BCS theoretical model still doesn’t clarify it for the high temperature cases, so perhaps I should disbelieve what I saw with mine own twain eyes in 1987 when I witnessed the Meissner effect in liquid nitrogen; my phys. dep’t must have hoaxed me. Daedalus must say folks were credulous before ’57, they shouldn’t have believed these things when they saw them, especially cuz I’m unsure of how many folks have personally witnessed liquid helium phenomena. But that way, who the hell would have made the effort to find a model for it at all?

    Let’s not even discuss that trite old adage about theory vs. practice, Terry and Daedalus both seem to forget the whole history of physics and scientific method; perhaps their perspective is distorted due to the most recent phase of particle physics being so much focussed on testing the standard model. But how was the SM put together in the first place? Guys, let’s not forget things like this and many others that I couldn’t hope to eviscerate in this blog. Apples were falling and the orbs were whirling long before Newton wrote the Principia and Mercury’s perihelion remained so disobedient until GR magnanimously granted licence for its quirky behaviour. Long before the SM, folks were chasing cosmic rays and exposing photographic emulsions to them, others said “Hey! Let’s try smashing atoms together and see what happens…” and they had no way of vaguely anticipating all the outcomes. But, long before that, a dude named Rutherford placed a thin hunk of gold in the path of alpha rays and found results quite other than Thomson’s theory dictated. Mind, it wasn’t hard to replace that model with a mini solar system wherein the opposite electric charges so conveniently played the role of gravity… until some PITA yelled at them for neglecting that Maxwell don’t let dat happen for too long a time.

    So did they discard Rutherford’s atom cuz it just ain’t possible? No! Those buggers just made it crazy! First Niels, then tweak after tweak to match it up with a whole history of spectroscopists’ unexplained claims, then Erwin made it even crazier, with the help of de Broglie’s stark raving berzerk fairytale. Don’t forget that pair of students either; after writing their outrageous idea of the electron having intrinsic angular momentum (just to force theory to agree with data), they meekly apologized for having been so foolish. Nope, they got hail as heroes, the electron does indeed have a spin (and boy it turned out to have ties with those superconductors and also superfluids and permanent magnets), despite the “impossible” gyromagnetic ratio. There’s more in Heaven and Earth Horatio than your philosophy contemplates. When I was a student anguished by renormalization, I asked one of the Ph. D. guys about handling it and he grinned: “Simple, you get these results that are infinite and you make believe they aren’t.” BTW all this quantum stuff began with Einstein using Planck’s purely mathematical instrument (witchcraft, to make theory match up with reality) for interpreting the totally unexpected results on the photoelectric effect. OMG I wasn’t mentioning how Einstein’s relativity settled so many stomachs over Michelson and Morely’s savage claims that the interference pattern doesn’t budge the slightest fraction of a lambda; people could finally believe them without Daedalus calling them credulous.

    Oh Terry, do you think Josephson is too incompetent to consider the bearing weak interactions have? You jeer at those NASA dudes and perhaps you don’t even know what INFN is, I guess you’ll be jeering at SPAWAR too and several others who take LENR seriously just because some of their folks saw those two girls in the bed with their boyfriend. Seeing how, for some obscure reason, you invite people to Washington D. C. to discuss it, perhaps you could visit some people of the DIA and tell them to wake up and quit being such gullible fools?

    Up until a year ago I thought (like you Terry) that muon catalysis was the only realistic kind of LENR being studied, but when I saw videos of Rossi’s January test I was impressed and began looking it up. Since then I’ve been finding so much interesting stuff and my perspective has changed dramatically. If I had a place of my own to choose installing a new heating system in, I would even consider booking one at €400 per kW although, Terry, I’m not a True Believer cuz I’d want to make sure of a few things first. Meantime I’m planning on a visit to my old phys. dep’t to check up a few things from this somewhat poorly written paper, the SIMS is exactly the kind of thing that Mosier-Boss of SPAWAR complains her boss wouldn’t buy. I know a couple of guys there and I hope they can confirm or deny Rossi having requested that test and maybe they could tell me more details of it.

  178. #178 Jai
    January 5, 2012

    note: 511kev gammas are used for PET scanners and the typical shielding is 30-50mm of lead. the reaction is also taking place in water which provides additional shielding.

    I agree with your analysis though. magically producing copper with isotopic ratios identical to naturally occurring copper via fusion is more magical than having a cold fusion generator in every home.

  179. #179 Robert
    January 5, 2012

    A little known nucleon cluster model of beta stable isotopes by the late nuclear physicist, Ronald Brightsen (MS 1950, MIT), explains the Rossi E-Cat reaction (as well as all so-called LENR that generate excess energy). The model predicts neither a weak interaction nor a typical “hot-fusion” reaction is involved in excess energy observed in laboratory condition LENR experiments, but instead a matter + antimatter interaction between superposed quantum wavefunctions of two nucleon clusters of identical mass, different only in that one is matter and the other antimatter. This type of quantum interaction involving nucleon clusters found within isotopes is not predicted in the thermal conditions within stars.

    Concerning the Rossi E-Cat, the Brightsen NCM makes a simple prediction that can be tested experimentally. The results of this experiment would falsify the claims made by the author of this thread that H and Ni atoms cannot unite under laboratory conditions to produce excess energy.

    Here is the simple experiment to conduct:

    Use replicate tests of Rossi E-Cat tabletop device (all valid experiments use replicates). In one set of E-Cat replicates place ONLY ultra-pure stable 28-Ni-58 isotope (this can be purchased in 99.999% purity). In the second set of replicates place ultra-pure stable 28-Ni-62 isotope. The Brightsen Model predicts no excess energy will be produced using 28-Ni-58 isotope, but significant amounts of energy will be produced using 28-Ni-62. The by-products that will be released from the 28-Ni-62 + H reaction will be pure stable 29-Cu-63 isotope plus neutral pions that will quickly decay (within ~70 nano sec)into low energy gamma ray energy that will heat the water within the E-Cat. Positive and negative pions will also be produced and will be trapped within the walls of the E-Cat before they can decay into matter and antimatter neutrinos and electrons and positrons. Thus the model predicts low energy gamma rays from decay of neutral pions are produced within the E-Cat and that this is the energy that “heats the water”. The energy from positive and negative pions that also are produced within the E-cat is absorbed within the metal lattice structure of the E-Cat device. If the reaction is conducted over extended time, H gas will interact with the produced 29-Cu-63 to form stable 30 Zn 64 isotope. Given that the capture reaction cross section in barns (at ~0.025 eV energy) for interaction of H proton with 28-Ni-62 is ~3x greater than interaction with 29-Cu-63, no mass 65 Zn isotope is expected in the ash of the E-Cat until all the 28-Ni-62 is depleted.

    Impossible you say ! Conduct the above experiment, that is the way progress is made in science. Once the predictions of the Brightsen Model are confirmed, a new physics will result.

  180. #180 Chris
    January 6, 2012

    I agree with Jai’s point concerning plausibility. Further, the nuclear physicists following Rossi are indeed stumped about the conveniently innocuous emissions of his device, requiring only a few mm of lead sheilding. But…

    Robert’s input is very interesting!!! :-D Do you have a direct reference for it Robert, other than the phoenixrising-web.net or gslink.com domains? Seems like it’s becoming unavailable. I found (your?) paper which has reference to papers by him and I’ll be pleased to look into the matter when I can, but it will be helpful to have the starting point, though it sounds like the crux is that beta stable nuclei are all made of diodes and transistors. The attention of those following Rossi ought to be called to this model, although likely it is not be the whole story, because apparently not only the 62 isotope is reacting. I had hoped there might be some such a selectivity mechanism, which would explain the claimed lack of radioactivity in used powder, but later I read contrary info: see the question raised by Kowalski about there being 30% of copper in the powder Rossi claims having used to heat his working quarters for several months, which is also addressable by what he and Focardi say in their paper I linked to. So it would seem that all nickel isotopes are reacting and the unstable copper isotopes rapidly beta- back into a heavier nickel which can react again, leading to the 63 and 65 copper isotopes as Rossi states the SIMS here in Padova detected. This implies that, in actual fact, partly used powder would contain some unstable atoms and definitely should be treated so as to recycle nickel back into the game. In any case it is better to say that Brightsen’s model “does not predict” instead of “predicts no excess energy” with nickel 58.

    So, much mystery remains, until more experiments are conducted and perhaps with consideration of the Brightsen NCM too.

  181. #181 Chris
    January 6, 2012

    Errata Corrige: I should have written beta+ instead of beta-

    Robert, when I found time to figure it, I found that Brightsen’s criteria is rather loose and might be a necessary condition but not sufficient for beta stability. In the end it can be met whenever the number of each nucleon type is no more than twice the other. Does he provide for more in his model than just the counting?

  182. #182 kmax
    January 8, 2012

    Brilliant and thorough de-bunking of this particular “cold fusion” reactor. Bravo! It does however, fail to take into account the infinite improbability engine made famous in Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, which apparently causes imploding sperm whales and such to form in the atmosphere. As we continue to deplete ocean fisheries and denude and destroy more forests in our quest for carbon based life forms to consume, we may find these free Sperm whale remnants useful, both for food such as sushi and also as fertilizer for our surface crops. I’ve also heard tell of inexplicable “crap circles” being formed in business districts around the globe from these experiments, many of which take place at the nano level, inside the never ending stream of suppositories which Mr. Gossi has been inserting in his posterior of late. As E=MC squared proves, the more massage the suppository, the more potential energy released by Mr Gossi.

  183. #183 Enrico Marsili
    January 8, 2012

    Thanks for the excellent analysis.
    However, it was obvious from t=0 that these claims were just false. In order to understand this, you need psichology, not physics. Plus, as an Italian, it is easy to read the personal story of the claimants….
    Anyway, thanks again for your time and for putting together this story. Do you mind if I use in my Environmental ethics class next year?

  184. #184 Chris
    January 9, 2012

    Enrico, che stai a dì? What is your statement based on? I read about Petroldragon and I read about it in Italian too. His product was subpar, having too much water and acidity in it, and his storage sprang leaks that polluted ground water.

    But what bearing does this have? Especially on the work of Piantelli, Focardi and Celani? Why is the university of Bologna interested in conducting research on it? What do youy think, is it only because Rossi will be funding it, or because they can’t read about his past mishaps in Italian? He seems much more cautious this time and I just hope he is being diligent enough, especially about safety.

  185. #185 Robert
    January 10, 2012

    To Chris: concerning the Brightsen Nucleon Cluster Model. First, I am not Dr. Robert Bass, the author of the paper you link. And yes, the phoenixrising-web.net or gslink.com domains no longer function. If you Google Brightsen Nucleon Cluster Model you will find some of his papers online, plus papers of others, such as the one by Dr. Bass, that have written about the model. Yes, it is a new age physics model, very revolutionary because it is a nucleon cluster model that demands the presence of antimatter nucleon clusters within isotopes. Like all models of the atomic nucleus it is only as good as its predictions of experimental results, and for now, based on data reported by Mr. Rossi, the Brightsen Model predicts that there is not a reaction of protons [P] from hydrogen gas with stable 28-Ni-58 isotope in the nickel powder. This prediction would be very simple for Mr. Rossi to test, or others, once they learn the nature of the catalyst being used.

    As you mention, the Brightsen Model predicts that beta stable isotopes are made of 2-mass nucleon clusters [NP](deuterium) and 3-mass clusters [PNP](He-3); [NPN](H-3 or tritium). Halo clusters [PP] and [NN] also possible and discussed by Brightsen. The selection rule of how to form any isotope is 3 [NP] = 1 [PNP]+ 1{NPN], this is why all isotopes can have many different possible nucleon cluster configurations (they are called isodynes). So, for example, stable 28-Ni-62 can be: 13[NP]+9[NPN]+3[PNP] or equally possible is the isodyne 1[NP]+13[NPN]+7[PNP]…they are both valid quantum probability wavefunctions of what we call 28-Ni-62 isotope. Many other nucleon cluster configurations also are possible for 28-Ni-62, including the presence of antimatter for all three of the fundamental 2 and 3 mass clusters. The way I try to understand the physical situation is to use the Richard Feynman ‘sum-over-history’ approach. Thus any isotope is the sum-over-history of all quantum nucleon cluster possibilities, the one we measure breaks the symmetry. So, if you ask, which of the many possible Brightsen nucleon cluster configurations represents 28-Ni-62, the Feynman answer is ‘all of them’. The possible Brightsen nucleon cluster configurations can be determined for all 4400+ known beta stable and unstable isotopes from Z = 1 to 118.

    Concerning the predictions of the Brightsen Model for the Rossi E-Cat, the previous post I made is a prediction based on statements of Mr. Rossi that no radioactive isotopes are present in the ash at the end of any E-Cat reaction. If this is a true statement, then there cannot be radioactive 28-Ni-59 isotope present in the ash, which there must be if there is an initial reaction of [P] from hydrogen gas with stable 28-Ni-58 isotope (e.g., the radioactive 28-Ni-59 would come from beta+ decay of 29-Cu-59, which is the direct byproduct of reaction of proton [P] with 28-Ni-58 in the powder). So, if it is true that there is no radioactive 28-Ni-59 in the ash of the E-Cat, then the Brightsen Model predicts why it is true, it predicts why a reaction of 28-Ni-58 with a proton [P] from hydrogen gas cannot occur, not at a level that would produce significant excess heat in the high MeV range. However, if we found that radioactive 28-Ni-59 is present in the ash of the E-Cat, then I would need to take a second look at the Brightsen Model to see how this might be explained based on the possible nucleon cluster configurations.

    Concerning the 30% copper isotopes reported by some to be present in the ash of the E-Cat. If this is true, the Brightsen Model would predict that it is possible without any reaction of hydrogen gas with stable 28-Ni-58 isotope in the initial powder. We can get ~30% copper in ash from reaction with the four other stable Ni isotopes (Ni-60,61,62,64). The Brightsen Model would predict how each of these reactions would be possible, and the predicted byproducts.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have further questions about how the Brightsen Model explains the physical reactions occurring within the Rossi E-Cat device. The major problem that I and everyone else has trying to apply any model of the atomic nucleus to predict the Rossi E-Cat reaction is that Mr. Rossi has not been much help reporting exactly what isotopes are present in the ash of the E-Cat, nor what radioactive isotopes are present (even if at low levels). It also would be very useful if we had data on the activity of neutrinos and anti-neutrinos being released from the E-Cat during the reaction, the Brightsen Model predicts they should be present.

  186. #186 Chris
    January 10, 2012

    Robert, what exactly do you mean by “New Age” physics model? I hope you only mean not mainstream and it doesn’t have to do with those crystals and the likes… :-]

    In any case, thanks for the clarifications, though I had worked a thing or two out and a did google in trying to find his papers, which I still don’t find. That’s how I found those two domain names actually. I’m somewhat unsure of how isodynes could be predictive, if there isn’t a way to observe which ones a given isotope actually “employs”. Maybe I just need a direct link to his paper, I dunno.

    I would not have thought that available energy would suffice for the Fock space of a nucleus to have significant components with nucleon-antinucleon pairs. I might suggest you viewing it with this approach, rather than the path integral. Not that I’m a nuclear guy, perhaps I’m letting my HEP physics background get in the way, I can’t be 100% sure.

    You are however correct about the 30% copper being reachable without any Ni-58 reacting. It was a while since I had consulted this site with its very helpful section on isotopes; I wasn’t remembering much detail because it was a bit unnerving until I recently upgraded my browser. How neatly the isotopes of nickel and copper match up to the purpose, excepting Ni-59 which however would at least decay into a stable cobalt isotope. According to what you are saying, it would be quite convenient if Brightsen’s model turns out to privide an explanation, and the only one; there would indeed be not even traces of unstable isotopoes although 30% would be approaching the maximum use (slightly under 32%) of the initial nickel and hence a strict quantitative limitaion. Otherwise I would have to expect there must be at least traces of the Ni-59 isotope, according to how the material had been used, and it would decay very slowly into cobalt, esecially when use is highly intermittent. It would require used powder taxatively being treated and never discarded, so I think they ought to be doing tests to focus on these aspects. Anyway, can you be certain that a reaction not explained according to Brightsen cannot occur at all?

    Concerning the composition of the used material, here is a brief excerpt from their paper I had linked to, concerning results from the SIMS here in Padova:

    “In the long period sample, the mass analysis showed the presence of three peaks in the mass region 63-65 a.m.u. which correspond respectively to Cu-63, elements (Ni-64 and Zn-64) deriving from Cu-64 decay and Cu-65. These allowed us the determination of the ratio Cu-63/Cu-65 = 1,6 different from the value (2,24) relative to the copper isotopic natural composition.”

    They then remark how the strong amu = 64 peak supports the idea that lower amu nickel isotopes get boosted upward, since Ni-63 does not occur naturally at all. It struck me only now that this can’t be from beta+ of Cu-63 and so what they say seems odd, unless W&L or other mechanisms are considered. I’m still hoping to enquire soon at the SIMS which is in my old physics dep’t and where a guy or two that I know prolly still work (I’m fairly sure of at least one of them), so I hope they can tell me more. Meanwhile that paper says they will be publishing more details on arxive but so far I don’t find it.

  187. #187 Robert
    January 10, 2012

    Hello Chris,

    Since you have an interest in the Brightsen Nucleon Cluster Model I’ll do all I can to assist you. I have access to all known papers published by Mr. Brightsen, and others, and I am willing to share them with anyone that has a serious interest and to enter into dialog about the Brightsen approach. Send me an email request at brightsenmodel@sbcglobal.net

    By New Age Model, I mean that Mr. Brightsen rejects the widely held view of nuclear physicists for the past 60+ years (since Maria Mayer in late 1940s) that protons [P] and neutrons [N] are independent quantum entities within energy shells of atoms. This hypothesis implies the existence of an average energy potential acting on all nucleons that each have independent motion. Sure, the Hamiltonian generated by this approach is predictive, but, only for light mass isotopes, it fails for heavy isotopes and is the reason why other models are added for heavy isotopes to “make the shell model work”. When Mayer was developing this shell model concept in the late 1940s, Mr. Brightsen, then at MIT, took a completely different theoretical approach to try to explain newly found experimental “structure” within the atomic nucleus. For Brightsen, the predictable structure within isotopes derives from the presence of fundamental nucleon clusters, thus, independent [P] and [N] are a physical impossibility for any beta stable isotope according to Brightsen. He completed the nucleon cluster symmetry rules in 1986, it took him most of his professional career working on the problem. Soon after, in 1989, the first “cold fusion” experiments were reported, and Brightsen understood that his nucleon cluster model approach explained experimental result.

    There are many other scientists in the history of nuclear physics that have suggested that nucleon clusters exist within isotopes, this is not a new concept. A common model is the alpha (He-4) cluster model, which is incorporated into the Brightsen Model and expanded to allow for 2 and 3 mass unit nucleon clusters. You may want to read the thoughts about resonating group structures within the atomic nucleus presented by John Wheeler in 1930′s (Ph.D. adviser to R. Feynman), and the Close-Packed Spheron Model published in 1960′s by Linus Pauling. The Brightsen Model builds on both of these models.

  188. #188 daedalus2u
    January 10, 2012

    Synthesis, yes there is experimental evidence that the Sun produces energy through hot fusion. The best experimental evidence is neutrinos. The age of the Earth and Sun preclude the energy coming from gravitational contraction. The composition of the Sun through spectroscopic data preclude combustion and fission.

    Examination of other stars does demonstrate hot fusion, with the presence of unstable isotopes being observed spectroscopically. The depletion of deuterium, the formation of elements up to iron, the formation of elements heavier than iron is explained by hot fusion in other stars.

    Measurement of reaction cross-sections of various light elements does demonstrate that light elements can fuse and that there are conditions that would cause fusion that are consistent with other observations of the Sun.

    So there is good evidence of hot fusion in the Sun.

  189. #189 Chris
    January 11, 2012

    Thanks Robert, but unfortunately I am not a nuclear guy, though I’ve read a bit about clustering approaches, including papers about dineutrons. I don’t really plan to go into the whole thing much but I really would like to understand the very basics of Brightsen’s model and how it might support the things you have said here; I might email you to have his papers and an outline of how you would explain these phenomena with it.

    Daedalus, I agree with your reply to Synthesis but I suspect you aren’t addressing his actual line, which I would take to be of the epistemologically extreme type as found in metaphysicians such as Descartes, Hume and even neokantians such as Mach. Notice that Synthesis said experimental and not theoretical proof. You have provided examples of indirect empirical evidence i. e. observations which support astrophysical models; IOW experimental proof which goes via theory. There is no way out of the point made by Synthesis; nothing could ever survive diving into the sun and seeing empirical proof of fusion in there. Note that Mach continued to insist that atoms are no more than an excellent model, perfectly fitting observable facts, even in the face of Brownian motion. According to recent biographer Walter Isaacson, that was when Einstein ceased to be a close follower of Mach. In short, there’s no use arguing against Synthesis.

  190. #190 Enrico Marsili
    January 11, 2012

    Chris, please do not use science to evaluate scam. You need an illusionist and a criminology, rather. I do not pretend to be a physicist, only a modest chemical engineer. The steam story is the problem. The fact that Rossi has no CV and a problematic (I do not want a querela) past add to the problem. He was reticent, did not provide a repeatable test, etc. What else you need to start being dubious?

  191. #191 Michael Brown
    January 11, 2012

    Interesting article, but surely most the copper isotopes are radioactive, and would merely return to nickel with a beta emission on a short time-scale?

    That is not true of copper-63, but nickel-62 in only 3.65% naturally abundant, implying 96.4% of nickel is of no use.

    Welcome correction if I’m missing something

  192. #192 daedalus2u
    January 11, 2012

    Chris, if so, what is his point? To set up an impossible straw man? All that does is demonstrate that he is being disingenuous and isn’t interested in reality.

    There is more and better and incontrovertable experimental evidence for hot fusion in the Sun than there is for e-Cat.

    There is no reliable experimental evidence for LENR in e-Cat. There is also no reliable theory to suggest that LENR is going on or has gone on anywhere at any time.

  193. #193 Chris
    January 12, 2012

    Michael Brown, what you’re missing is the first statement you made, plus that the nickel nucleus has one more neutron than before. Also, by the lack of 511 keV gamma emission it would seem as if it decays by electron capture. Exactly what happens and why is unclear; they report a very soft gamma emission with a few mm of lead screening being adequate.

    Enrico, I don’t get your logic. If someone askes me if Bach’s flowers work, I say there is no scientific evidence of it and thus caution them against wasting money on it. On scientific grounds I say New Age crystals are bullcrap and the same about the magnetic memory of water in homeopathy, whereas some of the less dilute preparations maybe just might have a preventive effect by stimulating the immune system. What’s wrong with discussing Rossi’s claims in terms of scientific knowledge? But it is OK for you to mention the steam, a problem which has already been much addressed. Did you watch the interview of Levi I linked to here? BTW, you don’t risk legal consequences by stating that Rossi faced criminal charges over Petroldragon and was eventually aquitted. It simply does not suffice for calling him a fraudster about his ecat, you’d be more likely to hear from his lawyers due to this. Even if he turns out to be mistaken, there is no sign that he is deliberately deceiving people.

    Daedalus, you ask me what’s the point when I had said there is no point arguing with Synthesis. So what was your point? O_O If you like, you can put it exactly that way, he wasn’t making a point about reality. How many of all the experiments and observations concerning astrophysics did you personally witness? Neither you nor I have personally seen Rossi’s contraption working and checked the measuring methods hands on, but I say you are using double standards as far as judging what others report, including researchers and peer reviewed papers on LENR in general (including Piantelli, Focardi et al.). Acceptance of these things began to gradually increase, after having been extremely low due to the utter clumsiness of Pons and Fleischmann and a lack of clear criteria for making it repeatable.

  194. #194 Michael Brown
    January 12, 2012

    daedalus2u
    I’m simply raising a scientific question. You appear to be venturing outside of your comfort zone.

  195. #195 Michael Brown
    January 12, 2012

    Robert,
    Got it. Thanks!

    An unexpected process: but then, so was the photoelectric effect before the formulation of QM. I await future developments with interest.

  196. #196 Chris
    January 13, 2012

    Daedalus, I don’t get which comfort zone you refer to, I’m quite comfortable and you seem confused to me. If you were just raising a scientific question, state which it was and I’ll see if I can answer it. I wouldn’t describe “if so, what is his point? To set up an impossible straw man?” as a scientific question. The answer to it is simply that his argument can’t be defeated and it isn’t the same thing as a strawman; an astrophysicist can only say there is plentiful, good indirect evidence which goes through layers of theory, it all matches up with many other observable facts, but still nobody has been in a stellar core to directly witness fusion there. Even interpreting what happens in a lab on subatomic scales goes through models as well as instruments. That’s all he meant as far as I understood it and I don’t see why you should insist on a fruitless argument with me,

  197. #197 Michael Brown
    January 14, 2012

    Deadalus,
    Thanks for confirming to me that you are indeed well outside your comfort zone. I thought at least that you might have spotted Robert understood my question, and had already answered it to my satisfaction!

  198. #198 Chris
    January 14, 2012

    Er… ooops, I get the impression we’ve been getting confused about who is who here… The post I replied to wasn’t Daedalus and I’m not sure who Michael is talking to… uhm… uh.. ?????

    lol

  199. #199 daedalus2u
    January 14, 2012

    I have no idea who Michael is talking to, or about what.

    I don’t like to talk with people who only want to play epistemological semantic games. The lack of comfort I feel doing so is more about the futility of dealing with the not even wrong than about anything else.

  200. #200 michaelo Brown
    January 14, 2012

    Guess I somehow scrolled back to the wrong place to retrieve the name of the author of the message to which I was referring. So, my thanks should have been directed to Chris (message dated and timed January 12 2012 7.54 am) rather than Robert – apologies Chris & Robert for the mix-up and thanks to Chris for the scientific explanation! My other remarks still stand.

  201. #201 Robert
    January 15, 2012

    If Dr. Frank Znidarsic continues to read this blog, I request that you contact me at this email: brightsenmodel@sbcglobal.net.

    Dr. Znidarsic…I wish to communicate with you because I believe your ideas about antimatter and antigravity may help to explain the quantum dynamics of the Brightsen Nucleon Cluster Model. Both antimatter and antigravity are predicted by the Brightsen Model to be present within the nucleus of all isotopes. And, as I have posted above on this blog, the Brightsen Model makes unique predictions about the Rossi E-Cat that can be falsified experimentally, predictions that no other current model of the atomic nucleus can make.

    My goal is to see how it may be possible to link the new Znidarsic mathematics with the Brightsen Model to explain the nuclear reaction that occurs within the Rossi E-Cat. The Brightsen Model predicts that the Rossi reaction is neither a weak force reaction, nor a classical fusion of nuclei wavefunction. It is an annihilation reaction between matter + antimatter clustered bags of quarks with potential to release large amount of energy, in many 100s MeV range, thus the reason Rossi reports that some E-Cat experiments have resulted in the release of such high energy to result in explosion that have destroyed E-Cat devices.

  202. #202 johnhodgson1111
    January 15, 2012

    Johnhodgson1111 #98, you are saying things like gas and solid like it makes a difference.

    “The energy of protons at room temperature is about 0.025 eV.

    The energy that holds a nickel lattice together is about 4.5 eV (the energy to go from solid to gas). A nickel lattice can’t really hold anything if it is being “pushed” or “pulled” much harder than 4.5 eV because the lattice can’t support that much force without breaking apart.”

    First of all The Gas Model is used for Nuclear Reactions, the Cold Fusion is a Solid and Liquid States. You are using data from a Gas State. It does not apply. You are also assuming that brute force is used in the process. It is not the case. And Frankly you refused to repeat the experiment and have used conjecture about how the Ecat is created.

    You need to show why its false, and show a experiment to proof it. and you have done neither.

    “The Ni lattice breaking apart is why loading Ni with hydrogen electrolytically will make the Ni break apart. The electrically driven hydrogen has a higher pressure inside the Ni lattice than the Ni lattice can support so the lattice breaks.”

    You have assumed that the Ni Lattice is a complete metal structure, that is not the case, it was reported by the inventor to be nano sized Ni Particles.

    Your answers to me proves that you have not understood the process, and not even researched how the device is built. you have conjectured and made up a different structure to prove that you are correct. This is common mistake, you have redefined what was built to suit your prejudiced of how it was made. Do your homework.

    “The Coulomb barrier for D-D fusion is about 100,000 eV. To use a Ni lattice to “push” two D atoms together, you would need to line up 100,000/4.5 or about 23,000 of them, in a line, and keep them from buckling in order to exert enough force using nickel to push two D atoms together (this is a crude analogy).”

    Again you are using force, and a Solid Ni Lattice, this is incorrect, not all physical effects are force in nature. Even Normal Gaseous Fusion skips the quantum effects; they just go ‘when the nucleus strong nuclear force intervenes the Coulomb barrier, it takes over. This is actually skipping the Columbic barrier and not explaining the last parts of the quantum reactions that take place, it is skipped.

    “Could you line up 23,000 marbles and use the cumulative force from those strings of marbles to crush something 23,000 times stronger than a single marble?”

    Again this is a moot and distraction point, you have not proven anything. just throwing in a example that is not correct.

    “It would be like crushing a diamond (hardness of 115 GPa) between a line of 23,000 rubber balls with a hardness of ~ 5 MPa (the hardness of a tire tread).”

    Does not apply

    “If someone said they had crushed a diamond using a lattice of rubber balls, I would want to look at their results very carefully before accepting them as valid.”

    You are still using a example that does not apply

    And As I have said before, you have not researched your opinion at all. Using Ni lattice is not correct, and not used in the experiment, You have not built the device, only conjectured it completely, and incorrectly.

    And you have not removed your notion that the entire reaction entirely uses force as the ingredient of action and motion, quantum effects apply at this level, adjust your thinking from Newtonian Mechanics Physics, to Quantum Physics.

    Your reply is clearly and completely Newtonian in nature.

    And your ability to be a skeptic; is no more than the ability to say NO. Because you have done your own experiment to have the same effects and output. Try Learning from the Show “MythBusters” You have not even done your homework on the construction of the device, when the known materials given by the Inventor. Poor Skeptics do this, and you have proven to be a poor skeptic. (your examples, and even show your own experiment as proof) you have just conjecture, which is worthless as proof.

  203. #203 Revealed
    January 18, 2012

    My only comment is now there are over 17 theories by some fairly prominent physicists trying to explain the phenomena. Why all the interest from all of these people. Why is NASA now making statements. See the blog on newenergytimes(dot)com of January 15th. Seems like people are going to an awful lot of effort to prove something that doesn’t exist! These truly are exciting times regardless either way!

  204. #204 NJ
    January 18, 2012

    johnhodgson1111@203:

    adjust your thinking from Newtonian Mechanics Physics, to Quantum Physics.

    followed by:

    Try Learning from the Show “MythBusters”

    No crackpots here, noooooooo……

  205. #205 Innocent Bystander
    January 19, 2012

    I have a bet on where I am betting Rossi is a fraud. But I am starting to have doubts.

    Your article above does not address the explanation for LENR in this paper http://www.ias.ac.in/pramana/v75/p617/fulltext.pdf

    Specifically: condensed matter physics provides electrons with the energy to allow them to be captured by protons, producing neutrons. The paper goes into great detail into how this happens and how a similar phenomenon may explain the anomalies in the Sun’s corona.

    Once you have neutrons, all the arguments about the need for massive temperatures and pressures no longer apply. It appears you have fallen prey to a classic logical fallacy. “Phenomenon X is observed. I think phenomenon X would work in manner Y. If it works in manner Y then it cannot be true.” Your false assumption seems to be that it is necessary to overcome the coulomb barrier to get extra nucleons into a nucleus. This is not true if the nucleons are neutrons (as shown in nuclear fission chain reactions).

    They also have an argument as to why neutron and gamma radiation is not observed. The neutrons are cold and thus have large cross-section and are readily captured; the charge distribution structure of the hydrides absorbs the gamma rays.

    I only have second year physics so I can’t fully evaluate these claims, but I have not seen any rebuttal.

  206. #206 Trebor
    January 19, 2012

    @Innocent Bystander#206
    “This is not true if the nucleons are neutrons…”

    Rossi is not using neutrons, he is using protons.

  207. #207 Robert
    January 20, 2012

    To Innocent Bystander: Thanks for posting the paper on the Widom-Larsen theory for LENR. One immediate problem I see using this process to explain the nuclear transformations reported within the Rossi E Cat is that 3/5 of predicted reactions of the emitted ultracold neutrons with the five stable isotopes of Ni present in the E-Cat powder (Ni-58, Ni-62, Ni-64) would result in first order nuclear transformations producing radioactive Ni isotopes in the ash, with one having half-life of ~ 76,000 years (Ni-59), another ~ 100 years (Ni-63). However, Rossi reports no signature of radioactive isotopes in the ash of the E-Cat that lasts longer than a few hours after the experiment is stopped. I think it unlikely Rossi would get regulatory approval to market an energy producing device that released energy from radioactive beta decay of Ni isotopes for the next 76,000 years the first time it was turned on. But, this is what the Widom-Larsen theory predicts must happen.

    A second problem is that in his patent application and comments on his blog Rossi makes the claim that stable and very rare 28-Ni-62 isotope is essential to produce excess energy within the E-Cat, and that stable 29-Cu-63 is produced in the ash. Thus, a valid explanation of the energy producing process of the E-Cat must form 29-Cu-63 directly from transformation of the very rare 28-Ni-62 (using a proton) without production of long lived radioactivity. The Widom-Larsen theory fails because it requires that the Cu-63 isotope in the ash of the E-Cat must be produced via a beta decay pathway involving radioactive Ni-63 isotope (which has half-life ~100 years). The predicted Widom-Larsen reaction is stable 28-Ni-62 + n –> radioactive 28-Ni-63, with beta decay to stable 29-Cu-63 + E. However, the experimental data reported by Rossi requires that no such long-lived radioactivity is present within the ash of the E-Cat.

    Perhaps in the future we will find the Widom-Larsen theory has some application to the E-Cat if Rossi releases new information about all the types of isotopes and levels of radioactivity present in the ash of different E-Cat experiments, but for now, the Widom-Larsen theory cannot be used to explain the E-Cat reactions for the simple reason that it makes claims that are falsified by the data reported by Rossi. This is not to say the Widom-Larsen approach to LENR may not explain other types of nuclear reactions as they discuss in the paper you cite.

  208. #208 Robert
    January 20, 2012

    Question to Chris that posts on this blog: Did you recently send an email to brightsenmodel@sbcglobal.net ? If yes, please resend request.

  209. #209 Bob
    January 20, 2012

    “Peter, to say that the “jury is still out” for P&F-type cold fusion is disingenuous. There has been no reliable data that demonstrates excess heat. ”

    Have you really looked? It seems there has been reliable excess heat data published many times over.

    It seems to me that the statement “There has been no reliable data that demonstrates excess heat.” is untenable at best.

    If you are basing that conclusion on your belief that there simply could not be fusion, I would encourage you to separate the belief in fusion from the facts of excess heat. I myself do not assume standard fusion is what is happening but some other nuclear processes.

    There is movement of mainstream science toward acceptance of transmutations based on worldwide experiments over the last decade or so. Major institutions and governments are quietly taking notice. Transmutation mean nuclear processes. Data regarding isotope abundances vs. natural occurrences is the smoking gun.

    Please check into the Widom-Larson theory which purports to explain all the so-called “Cold Fusion” results broadly in terms on the existing Standard Model (no new physics required). The theory posits that nuclear reactions are happening at the surface which are neither Fusion nor Fission but rather Weak Interactions based on ultra cold neutrons being captured and cascading a myriad of reactions ending in stable isotopes, no free neutrons or fast alpha and the interaction of emitted high energy gamma radiation by surface plasmons which down-convert gamma’s to IR.

    All this is independent of Rossi’s claims and E-cat for he may be achieving nuclear reactions believing they are Fusion when they are not.

  210. #210 Bob
    January 20, 2012

    “Every well done experiment has been negative, the only “positive” experiments have been poorly done and poorly instrumented. To me, that suggests a pattern that is consistent with the positive experiments being due to error and artifact. ”

    Is that by definition? If it is well done it won’t show excess heat and if it does it was not well done. Seems like you are directly saying that everyone of the many positive experiments worldwide was poorly done.

    An amazing claim and well beyond statistical credibility to me.

  211. #211 Bob
    January 20, 2012

    “I think it unlikely Rossi would get regulatory approval to market an energy producing device that released energy from radioactive beta decay of Ni isotopes for the next 76,000 years the first time it was turned on. But, this is what the Widom-Larsen theory predicts must happen. ”

    Robert (208). W-L theory is new and a broad approach which involves many complex process details which would vary with the surfaces and elements involved, so how can you state what exactly must happen in the E-Cat if you do not have all the details of the inside of the device? If the E-Cat does involve nuclear reactions, and if the W-L theory is a reasonable theory, then the E-Cat would be explainable by W-L if we had all the information. Do you 1) have all the relevant data on the E-Cat and 2) Do you have an expert understanding of W-L theory (which I do not claim to have)to make this statement? Thanks.

  212. #212 Robert
    January 21, 2012

    To Bob: To falsify a scientific hypothesis (such as the one presented by Widom-Larsen) one does not require all possible information about the circumstance under study, one only needs a single experimental fact that the hypothesis predicts incorrectly. I presented two such experimental facts in my previous post. These facts cannot be negated by additional information that you or I or anyone gain about W-L or the E-Cat (unless we want to conclude Mr. Rossi is not telling the truth about the experimental results he has reported). I do not claim the W-L mechanism of ultracold neutrons may not help explain other types of LENR, but, given experimental data that has been reported by Rossi, the Widom-Larsen theory cannot explain the Rossi E-Cat reaction.

  213. #213 Bob
    January 23, 2012

    “These facts cannot be negated by additional information that you or I or anyone gain about W-L or the E-Cat (unless we want to conclude Mr. Rossi is not telling the truth about the experimental results he has reported)”

    Thanks for the response. At this point then I am not comfortable assuming I really know anything about Mr. Rossi’s purported reactions since he dabbles in “secret ingredients”. Until Rossi’s device is completely and independently tested by an outside party I am skeptical both of his claims and of his own understanding of what he does tell us.

  214. #214 The Tim Channel
    February 4, 2012

    You’ve done your usual good job explaining the actual science behind Rossi e-cat device and debunking it from a position of actual authority that I lack.

    I have used my own personal skill set to evaluate these claims. The beauty of my analysis, vis-a-vis yours (which I agree with btw) is that those folks lacking a nuclear background will find it much easier to digest.

    As an aside to this highly intelligent audience, it’s my usual tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. I thought of going full out POE, but resisted the urge.

    Brief sample:

    All public demonstrations of the E-cat device are to be accompanied by supporting documentation that is as free of conclusive facts as 1970′s porn is free of focus and that’s not an easy task indeed.

    Full:

    http://thetimchannel.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/hot-air-vrs-hot-water/

    Enjoy.

  215. #215 Krzysztof Kosiński
    February 21, 2012

    To blog author: you apparently missed the fact that all nuclear reactions you wrote are actually endothermic. Look up the binding energies of the relevant nuclides on Wolfram Alpha. This alone is sufficient to destroy Rossi’s claim that this reaction is really happening in his device and producing heat, as it would violate the law of conservation of energy.

  216. #216 Krzysztof Kosiński
    February 21, 2012

    Oops, wrong, I forgot those were binding energies per nucleon. If you account for this, all these reactions are slightly exothermic. But the lack of gamma radiation is sufficient proof that they’re not happening.

  217. #217 Gernos
    February 22, 2012

    No. The lack of gamma radiation only proves that no spatially localized nuclear event is occurring, i.e. within a source volume not much greater than the wavelength of the gammas you expect. Since this is “obviously” true of all spontaneous decays and kinetic collisions, no nuclear physicist that I have ever met ever even considers this point. However, since the wavefunction of an interstitial hydrogen nucleus in both Ni-H and Pd-H has a gaussian width of around 0.25 Angstrom, one should be careful in extrapolating the normal (lambda [edited: much less than] source length) assumption to the sort of regimes where “cold fusion” is supposed (by its adherents) to occur.

  218. #218 The Tim Channel
    June 4, 2012

    Some of these Ecat nutjobs are still out there promoting the bunk. Worst of the offenders of late (not counting Rossi) is Defkalion. Continuing claims backed up with nothing but hot air. Enjoy.

  219. #219 california
    california
    August 22, 2012

    suck on my 80mph sustained winds…ha lol jk

  220. #220 Renzo
    May 20, 2013

    Comments on the new indipendent study ?
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913

  221. #221 kutrapol
    May 22, 2013

    62Ni + 1n → 63Ni* → 63Cu + β- + γ + ν ̅e,
    64Ni + 1n → 65Ni* → 65Cu + β- + γ + ν ̅e,

    and later

    62Ni + 1H → 63Cu* → 63Cu + γ,
    64Ni + 1H → 65Cu* → 65Cu + γ.

    I guess, one of these sets is wrong.

  222. #222 Joannes Van den Bogaert
    Belgium
    July 1, 2013

    Have a look at “Cold Fusion Catalyst” on e-Cat Site and read the Belgian patents BE1002780, BE1002781 and BE1003296 for “cold fusion” by Coulomb Explosion and try to use liquid lithium at high positive voltage using a modification of the BLASCON reactor (US inventor Fraas).

  223. #223 Frank Znidarsic
    USA
    July 15, 2013

    Magnetic forces are not conserved. Its an increase in the nuclear magnetic spin orbit force.
    Get my book “Energy, Cold fusion, and Antigravity” at Amazon or Barns and Noble.

    Frank Znidarsic

  224. #224 Alan Larson
    California
    September 23, 2013

    If it really worked, one would expect him to be selling energy by now, even if only to fund his work.

    Alan

  225. #225 jetmech
    September 24, 2013

    Rossi is a scam! Simple!

  226. #226 Axil
    October 23, 2013

    It is natural that you see everything through the training and the mindset that that training has established, but that way of thinking is not applicable to the understanding of LENR. Fusion as it is understood by astrophysics just is off the mark, totally inappropriate and has nothing to do with LENR.

    LENR is a Nanoplasmonic phenomenon.

    Fortunately, many of these optical techniques have been developed over more than 40 years since 1974 in the study of Nanoplasmonics.

    Using Nanoplasmonics as an experimental template, the challenge is separating the nonsense imposed by our common sense from what is quantum mechanical reality. This baseline is done at the experimental setup phase in the process of sub-atomic phenomenal evaluation.

    The ability to accept new LENR based ideas is built into the experimental discipline of plasmonics based science.

    Currently, no more than a few hundred people throughout this world have the required background to understand what is really going on in LENR.

    The ability to properly understand LENR will only come from a comprehensive study of Nanoplasmonics and its optical and quantum mechanical underpinnings. This foundation is centered on the theory of String-net liquid. This background comes as a complete package and a narrow specialization, like the ability to speak new Mongolian languages easily or the ability to play first violin in a symphony orchestra. These abilities can only come from a huge amount of work and study in a highly focused and demanding scientific specialty. I suggest that once sufficient talent is planted on this correct track of study and enlightenment, only then will substantial progress in the understanding of LENR be made.

    =============================
    String-net liquid

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String-net_liquid

    In this theory, electrons are breaks in strings of light.

    Fractional charge of the electron is explained.

    Check out

    http://www.hindawi.com/isrn/cmp/2013/198710/

    Topological Order: From Long-Range Entangled Quantum Matter to a Unified Origin of Light and Electrons

  227. #227 Axil
    October 23, 2013

    In 1998, just after he won a share of the Nobel prize for physics, Robert Laughlin of Stanford University in California was asked how his discovery of “particles” with fractional charge would affect the lives of ordinary people. “It probably won’t,” he said, “unless people are concerned about how the universe works.”

    Well, people were. Xiao-Gang Wen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Michael Levin at Harvard University ran with Laughlin’s ideas and have come up with a theory for a new state of matter, and even a tantalizing picture of the nature of spacetime itself. Levin presented their work at the Topological Quantum Computing conference at the University of California, Los Angeles, early this month.

    The first hint that a new type of matter may exist came in 1982. “Twenty five years ago we thought we understood everything about phases and phase transitions of matter,” says Wen. “Then along came an experiment that opened up a whole new world.”

    “The positions of electrons in a FQH state appear random like in a liquid, but they dance around each other in a well organized manner and form a global dancing pattern.”

    In the experiment, electrons moving in the interface between two semiconductors form a strange state, which allows a particle-like excitation (called a quasiparticle) that carries only 1/3 of electron charge. Such an excitation cannot be view as a motion of a single electron or any cluster with finite electrons. Thus this so-called fractional quantum Hall (FQH) state suggested that the quasiparticle excitation in a state can be very different from the underlying particle that form the state. The quasiparticle may even behave like a fraction of the underlying particle, even though the underlying particle can never break apart. It soon became clear that electrons under certain conditions can organize in a way such that a defect or a twist in the organization gives rise to a quasiparticle with fractional charge — an explanation that earned Laughlin, Horst Störmer and Daniel Tsui the Nobel prize (New Scientist, 31 January 1998, p 36).

    Wen suspected that the effect could be an example of a new type of matter. Different phases of matter are characterized by the way their atoms are organized. In a liquid, for instance, atoms are randomly distributed, whereas atoms in a solid are rigidly positioned in a lattice. FQH systems are different. “If you take a snapshot of the position of electrons in a FQH state they appear random and you think you have a liquid,” says Wen. “But if you follow the motion of the electrons, you see that, unlike in a liquid, the electrons dance around each other in a well organized manner and form a global dancing pattern.”

    It is as if the electrons are entangled. Today, physicists use the term to describe a property in quantum mechanics in which particles can be linked despite being separated by great distances. Wen speculated that FQH systems represented a state of matter in which long-range entanglement was a key intrinsic property, with particles tied to each other in a complicated manner across the entire material. Different entanglement patterns or dancing patterns, such as “waltz”, “square dance”, “contra dance”, etc, give rise to different quantum Hall states. According to this point of view, a new pattern of entanglement will lead to a new state of matter.

    This led Wen and Levin to the idea that there may be a different way of thinking about states (or phases) of matter. In an attempt of construct states will all possible patterns of entanglement, they formulated a model in which particles form strings and such strings are free to move “like noodles in a soup” and weave together into “string-nets” that fill the space. They found that liquid states of string-nets can realize a huge class of different entanglement patterns which, in turn, correspond to a huge class of new states of matter.

    Light and matter unified

    “What if electrons were not elementary, but were the ends of long strings in a string-net liquid which becomes our space?”

    A state or a phase correspond to an organization of particles. A deformation in the organization represents a wave in the state. A new state of matter will usually support new kind of waves. Wen and Levin found that, in a state of string-net liquid, the motion of string-nets correspond to a wave that behaved according to a very famous set of equations — Maxwell’s equations! The equations describe the behavior of light — a wave of electric and magnetic field. “A hundred and fifty years after Maxwell wrote them down, ether — a medium that produces those equations — was finally found.” says Wen.

    That wasn’t all. They found that the ends of strings are sources of the electric field in the Maxwell’s equations. In other words, the ends of strings behave like charged electrons. The string-end picture can even reproduce the Fermi statistics and the Dirac equation that describes the motion of the electrons. They also found that string-net theory naturally gave rise to other elementary particles, such as quarks, which make up protons and neutrons, and the particles responsible for some of the fundamental forces, such as gluons and the W and Z bosons.

    From this, the researchers made another leap. Could the entire universe be modeled in a similar way? “Suddenly we realized, maybe the vacuum of our whole universe is a string-net liquid,” says Wen. “It would provide a unified explanation of how both light and matter arise.” So in their theory elementary particles are not the fundamental building blocks of matter. Instead, they emerge as defects or “whirlpools” in the deeper organized structure of space-time.

    Here we view our space as a lattice spin system — the most generic system with local degrees of freedom. There is no “empty” space and spins are not placed in an empty space. Without the spins there will be no space and it is the degrees of freedom of the spins that make the space to exist.

    What we regard as the “empty space” corresponds to the ground state of the spin system. The collective excitations above the ground state correspond to the elementary particles.

    But not long ago, this point of view of elementary particles was not regarded as a valid approach, since we cannot find any organization of spins that produce light wave (which leads to photons) and electron wave (which leads to electrons). Now this problem is solved. If the spins that form our space organize into a string-net liquid, then the collective motions of strings give rise to light waves and the ends of strings give rise to electrons. The next challenge is to find an organization of spins that can give rise to gravitational wave.

    “Wen and Levin’s theory is really beautiful stuff,” says Michael Freedman, 1986 winner of the Fields medal, the highest prize in mathematics, and a quantum computing specialist at Microsoft Station Q at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “I admire their approach, which is to be suspicious of anything — electrons, photons, Maxwell’s equations — that everyone else accepts as fundamental.”

    Herbertsmithite — a model of a two dimensional universe?

    Other theories that describe light and electrons also exist, of course; Wen and Levin realize that the burden of proof is on them. It may not be far off. Their theory also describes possible new states with emergent light-like and electron-like excitations in some condensed matter systems, and Young Lee’s group at MIT might have found such a system.

    Motivated by the theoretical developments that predict spin liquid states with fractionalized quasiparticles, Young Lee decided to look for such materials. Trawling through geology journals, his team spotted a candidate — a dark green crystal that geologists stumbled across in the mountains of Chile in 1972. “The geologists named it after a mineralogist they really admired, Herbert Smith, labeled it and put it to one side,” says Young Lee. “They didn’t realize the potential herbertsmithite would have for physicists years later.”

    Herbertsmithite (pictured) is unusual because its electrons are arranged around triangles in a two dimensional Kagome lattice. Normally, electrons prefer to have their spins to be in the opposite direction to that of their immediate neighbors, but in a triangle this is impossible — there will always be neighboring electrons spinning in the same direction. Such kind of frustration makes spins in herbertsmithite not to know where to point to and to form a random fluctuating state — a spin liquid.

    Although herbertsmithite exists in nature, the mineral contains impurities that prevent us to study the spin state, says Young Lee. So Daniel Nocera’s group at MIT made a pure sample in the lab for Young Lee’s group to study it. “It was painstaking,” says Young Lee. “It took us a full year to prepare it and another year to analyze it.”

    The team measured the degree of spin magnetization in the material, in response to an applied magnetic field. If herbertsmithite behaves like ordinary matter, they argue, then below about 26C the spins of its electrons should stop fluctuating and point to certain fixed directions — a condition called magnetic order. But the team found no such transition, even down to just a fraction of degree above absolute zero.

    They measured other properties, too, such as heat capacity. In conventional solids, the relationship between their temperature and their ability to store heat changes below a certain temperature, because the structure of the material changes. The team found no sign of such a transition in herbertsmithite, suggesting that, unlike other types of matter, its lowest energy state has no discernible order. “We could have created something in the lab that nobody has seen before,” says Young Lee.

    The unordered state — the spin liquid state — that they discovered is likely to be an example of string-net liquids, since all theoretically known spin liquids are string-net liquids. In particular, Ying Ran, Michael Hermele, Patrick Lee, and Xiao-Gang Wen from MIT proposed that the spins in herbertsmithite may form a particular spin liquid that contains light-like excitations described by Maxwell’s equations and electron-like excitations described by Dirac equation. In other words, herbertsmithite might realize a particular string-net liquid, which mimic a two dimensional universe with light and electrons.

    The team plans further tests to probe the spins of electrons, looking for long-range entanglement by firing neutrons at the crystal and observing how they scatter. “We want to see the dynamics of the spin,” says Young Lee. “If we tweak one [spin], we can see how the others are affected.”

    This intrigues Paul Fendley, a theoretical physicist at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. “It’s reasonable to hope that we are seeing something exotic here,” he says. “People are getting very excited about this.”

    Even if herbertsmithite is not a new state of matter, we shouldn’t be surprised if one is found soon, as many teams are hunting for them, says Freedman. He says people wrongly assume that particle accelerators are the only places where big discoveries about matter can be made. “Accelerators are just recreating conditions after the big bang and repeating experiments that are old hat for the universe,” he says. “But in labs people are creating [conditions] that are colder than anywhere that has ever existed in the universe. We are bound to stumble on something the universe has never seen before.”

    ——————————————————————————–

    Silicon for a quantum age

    Herbertsmithite could be the new silicon the building block for quantum computers.

    In theory, quantum computers are far superior to classical computers. In practice, they are difficult to construct because quantum bits, or qubits, are extremely fragile. Even a slight knock can destroy stored information.

    In the late 1980s, mathematician Michael Freedman, then at Harvard University, and Alexei Kitaev, then at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics in Russia, independently came up with a radical solution to this problem. Instead of storing qubits in properties of particles, such as an electron’s spin, they suggested that qubits could be encoded into properties shared by the whole material, and so would be harder to disrupt (New Scientist, 24 January 2004, p 30). “The trouble is the physical materials we know about, like the chair you’re sitting on, don’t actually have these exotic properties,” says Freedman.

    Physicists told Freedman that the material he needed simply didn’t exist, but Young Lee’s group at MIT might just prove them wrong. The material would be a string-net liquid where ends of strings behaving like quasi-particles with fractional charge or spin. Physicists could manipulate quasi-particles (ie ends of strings) with electric or magnetic fields, braiding them around each other, encoding information in the number of times the strings twist and knot, says Freedman. A disturbance might knock the whole braid, but it won’t change the number of twists protecting the information.

    “The hardware itself would correct any errors,” says Miguel Angel Martin-Delgado of Complutense University in Madrid, Spain.
    If herbertsmithite is described by the particular spin liquid proposed by Ran etal, then it is not suitable to do quantum computing since the excitations are gapless. If, instead, herbertsmithite is described by a gapped spin liquid (or string-net liquid), then it might be suitable for quantum computing.
    — Xiao-Gang Wen

  228. #228 Wow
    October 23, 2013

    TL’DR Axil.

    You need to give in the first short paragraph why someone will want to read your message. Think of it like the abstract of a research article or strapline in a newspaper.

  229. #229 Axil
    October 23, 2013

    The reaction in the E-Cat is not based on fusion. It is based on the factional quantum hall effect.

    See my posts above for background.

  230. #230 Wow
    October 24, 2013

    The reaction for that has been investigated and found ineffective, Axil.

  231. #231 Axil
    October 24, 2013

    Wow

    FQH wouldn’t be the hottest field in physics is that were true.

  232. #232 Wow
    October 24, 2013

    FQH isn’t the hottest field in physics because it “proves cold fusion”. It being the hottest field in physics is why it’s used as a “proof” of E-Cat cold fusion is highly likely, however.

    Rather like the healing crystals still use “quantum fluxes” to “prove” that their bit of quartz works miracles.

  233. #233 Axil
    October 24, 2013

    What FQH shows is that when electrons are confined in an appropriate topological configuration, an applied magnetic field can reduce or eliminate the coulomb barrier.

    The properties of matter such as the coulomb barrier can be acted on by imposing the appropriate topologically ordered on it.

  234. #234 Wow
    October 24, 2013

    And what that shows is that you’ve read a book. Have a bikkit.

    However, as I said, the mechanism is not capable of producing the effects claimed.

  235. #235 Axil
    October 24, 2013

    Yes, I have read books, but I also have looked at experimentation.

    The Nanoplasmonic mechanism is capable of producing nuclear reactions.

    I consider that Nanoplasmonics is the quintessential expression of the electrochemists art, a science conceived and brought into being by progenitor and paterfamilias of LENR, Martin Fleischmann himself back in 1974.

    An experiment not related to the E-Ecat shows how light under the mediation of nanoparticles (provides topological order of the spin net liquid) can produce a nuclear reaction. Laser light alone does not produce the any nuclear effect.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0911/0911.5495.pdf

    Abstract

    Laser exposure of suspension of either gold or palladium nanoparticles in aqueous solutions of UO2Cl2 of natural isotope abundance was experimentally studied. Picosecond Nd:YAG lasers at peak power of 10^^11 -10^^13 W/cm2 at the wavelength of 1.06 – 0.355 um were used as well as a visible-range Cu vapor laser at peak power of 10^^10 W/cm2. The composition of colloidal solutions before and after laser exposure was analyzed using atomic absorption and gamma spectroscopy in 0.06 – 1 MeV range of photon energy. A real-time gamma-spectroscopy was used to characterize the kinetics of nuclear reactions during laser exposure. It was found that laser exposure initiated nuclear reactions involving both 238U and 235U nuclei via different channels in H2O and D2O. The influence of saturation of both the liquid and nanoparticles by gaseous H2 and D2 on the kinetics of nuclear transformations was found. Possible mechanisms of observed processes are discussed.

    Here is another paper:

    I have referenced papers here to show how the nanoplasmonic mechanism can change the half-life of U232 from 69 years to 6 microseconds. It also causes thorium to fission.

    See references:

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Farxiv.org%2Fpdf%2F1112.6276&ei=nI6UUeG1Fq-N0QGypIAg&usg=AFQjCNFB59F1wkDv-NzeYg5TpnyZV1kpKQ&sig2=fhdWJ_enNKlLA4HboFBTUA&bvm=bv.46471029,d.dmQ

    By the way as a point of comparison, the E-Cat can produce EMF concentration in hot spots at or beyond 10^^15 watts/cm2 using nano-lensing. See spasers.

    http://www.phy-astr.gsu.edu/stockman/data/Spaser_Loss_Compensation_30_min.pdf

  236. #236 Axil
    October 24, 2013

    The following current research supports the theory of String-net liquid and the equivalence of light and electrons under emergence.

    In solids, the interactions between electrons and atoms conspire to produce the material’s properties: how well it conducts electricity, how magnetic it is, and the intersection can determine the magnitude and polarity of its coulomb charge characteristics.

    Gedik, postdoc Yihua Wang (now at Stanford University), and two other MIT researchers carried out the experiments using a technique Gedik’s lab has been developing for several years. Their method involves shooting femtosecond (millionths of a billionth of a second) pulses of mid-infrared light at a sample of material and observing the results with an electron spectrometer, a specialized high-speed camera the team developed.

    They demonstrated the existence of a quantum-mechanical mixture of electrons and photons, known as a Floquet-Bloch state, in a crystalline solid. As first theorized by Swiss physicist Felix Bloch, electrons move in a crystal in a regular, repeating pattern dictated by the periodic structure of the crystal lattice. Photons are electromagnetic waves that have a distinct, regular frequency; their interaction with matter leads to Floquet states, named after the French mathematician Gaston Floquet. “Entangling” electrons with photons in a coherent manner generates the Floquet-Bloch state, which is periodic both in time and space.

    The researchers mixed the photons from an intense laser pulse with the exotic surface electrons on a topological insulator. Their high-speed camera captured snapshots of the exotic state, from its generation to its rapid disappearance, a process lasting only a few hundred femtoseconds. They also found there were different kinds of mixed states when the polarization of the photons changed.

    Their findings suggest that it’s possible to alter the electronic properties of a material—for example, changing it from a conductor to a semiconductor—just by changing the laser beam’s polarization. Normally, to produce such dramatic changes in a material’s properties, “you have to do something violent to it,” Gedik says. “But in this case, it may be possible to do this just by shining light on it. That actually modifies how electrons move in this system. And when we do this, the light does not even get absorbed.”

    In other situations, light can modify a material’s behavior—but only when it’s absorbed, transferring its energy to the material. In this experiment, Gedik says, the light’s energy is below the absorption threshold. This is exciting, he says, because it opens up the possibility of switching a material’s behavior back and forth without inducing other effects, such as heating—which would happen if the light were absorbed.

    It will take some time to assess possible applications, Gedik says. But, he suggests, this could be a way of engineering materials for specific functions. “Suppose you want a material to do something—to conduct electricity, or to be transparent, for example. We usually do this by chemical means. With this new method, it may be possible to do this by simply shining light on the materials.”

    For example, a property called a bandgap—a crucial characteristic for materials used in computer chips and solar cells—can be altered by shining a polarized laser beam at the material, Wang says. “You can directly change it, open the bandgap, just with light. It means you can change it from a metal to a semiconductor, for example,” he says.

    Gedik says that while this experiment was done using bismuth selenide crystals, a basic topological insulator, “what we have done is not specific to topological insulators. It should also be realizable in other materials as well, such as graphene.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-10-topological-insulators.html#jCp

  237. #237 Wow
    October 25, 2013

    “The following current research supports the theory of String-net liquid and the equivalence of light and electrons under emergence.”

    F-All to do with e-cat.

  238. #238 Axil
    October 25, 2013

    Suffice it to say, that the reference to astrophysical based fusion as proposed in this thread is a red herring in terms of discrediting the E-Cat concept.

    Unless you know how the E-Cat works in detail, you cannot discredit it.

  239. #239 Wow
    October 25, 2013

    However, referencing your claims as to what is “causing” fusion to the claims by the proponent himself show that not even the inventor agrees with your “explanation”.

    PS fusion happens in stars. That doesn’t make them “astrophysical based”

  240. #240 Axil
    October 25, 2013

    Rossi may have been very lucky, Sometimes its better to be lucky than smart.

    Please excuse my inappropriate turn of phase.

  241. #241 Wow
    October 25, 2013

    Or your explanation is bollocks.

    Occam.

  242. #242 Axil
    October 25, 2013

    In the world of Occam, the simpleton is king.

  243. #243 Axil
    November 2, 2013

    Some background:

    Origins of mass

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1206.7114.pdf

    This reference explains the Higgs field as the origins of mass. Many Physicists see matter as knots of energy localized within the fabric of the vacuum condensed and embodied in something they call a topological defect.

    However, you will find nothing that connects LENR to a process outside of the LENR literature. Knowledge is fungible. Knowledge that is gleaned for one purpose can easily be used for another

    For example, many concepts of the duel superconductive Higgs theory and knots of energy localized in the fabric of the vacuum are applicable to LENR and can be found in this paper, be warned, it is hard to understand.

    Glueball mass from quantized knot solitons and gauge-invariant gluon mass

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0604006v2.pdf

    However, this Doc is most interesting:

    Theoretical Analysis and Reaction Mechanisms for Experimental Results of Hydrogen-Nickel Systems

    http://www.physics.purdue.edu/people/faculty/yekim/ICCF-18-JCMNS-KH-Pre-1.pdf

    The big reveal here is the Bosenova.

    And the huge magnetic fields produced by just heating up some dust.

    To my way of thinking, Localized magnetic traps (LMT) are EMF solitons that amplify and modify infrared photons into entangled spin dominated quasiparticles.

    Through some new physics (maybe String-net liquid), they project anaopole based magnetism amplified to huge levels by dark mode whispering gallery wave resonance.

    When these quasiparticles generate a magnetically mediated nuclear reaction, the associated energy is transferred to them and is shared by the other members of the LMT condensate which use this infrared energy to grow the collective power level of the soliton condensate.

    This magnetically mediated nuclear reaction can be fusion, fission and/or alpha/beta decay, but always produces positive levels of nuclear binding energy as the nucleus(s) are reorganized.

    This infrared energy has been frequency downshifted by the LMT condensate.

    But quantum mechanics absolutely requires that the transfer of nuclear energy break the LMT away from the extended soliton entangled ensemble.

    This energy transfer causes the LMT to collapse into decoherence causing a Bosenove,

    This collapse will transform the light confined in the soliton into many electrons as the Floquet-Bloch state (light electron mixture) is disrupted. This should result in large numbers of excess electrons produced inside the Ni/H reactor as gamma level nuclear binding energy is converted into electrons.

    By the way, Rossi has reported lots of excess electrons coming off his reactor. This is an apparent violation of the conservation of charge since he uses only heat to excite the particle zoo.

  244. #244 Ken
    December 6, 2013

    Axil what you describe sounds similar to Widom-Larsen theory for LENR. It is a neutron capture fusion, not proton. The Coulomb barrier is not involved. There’s a very narrow range of oscillation that allows the H+ to be turned into a neutron with an electron from the current on the surface of the metal. Collectively oscillating electrons have a combined movement (flock of geese). More detail here http://newenergytimes.com/v2/news/2010/35/SR35913widomlarsen.shtml .

    Widom-Larsen also predicts that LENRs happen in stars’ photospheres and coronas. Indeed this might help to solve the problem of not having observed enough supernovae (frequency) to account for the heavy elements observed.

    Pd-D is more difficult, or less likely, because forming two neutrons at the right place is more unlikely.

    For the surface current to oscillate correctly, the metal’s surface has to be very pure. With P&F type experiments, the cathode crack from the 4He production makes it less likely that a neutron will be formed somewhere. The cathodes do crack frequently in runs that show anomalous heat. Which also explains why nano-powders or pellets of metals give off more excess heat. The collectively oscillating ‘heavy’ electrons downshift the gamma-photon into IR.

  245. #245 Jerald Brockie
    April 16, 2014

    This post is worth everyone’s attention. How can I find out more?|

  246. #246 Andy
    May 1, 2014

    This post is outdated, according to Rossi the theory behind the “Rossi effect” has changed and a new (positive) 3rd party and peer reviewed report is coming along with a new theory.
    The fun begins now, soon we’ll see who is right.

  247. #247 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    May 1, 2014

    @Andy #246: “According to Rossi”? The fun begins when you (or anyone) can (a) supply a reference to this so-called “theory”, and (b) when we see exactly in which journal this so-called “peer-reviewed report” is going to be published. A legitimate physics journal (Physical Review, Physics Letters, or even, g*d forbid, Nuovo Cimento), or some scam-artist pay-to-play vanity press?

    Given your apparent inside knowledge, perhaps you can enlighten us with a reference to the preprint?