A guy named Andrea Rossi has been promoting this device call the E-Cat that produces huge amounts of energy by nuclear fusion: specifically, that it fuses hydrogen and nickel to produce copper and energy. And now there is a claim that this amazing result has been verified, in a remarkably gushing and credulous review.
I am not a physicist, not even close. I am at best a moderately well-read layman. I also understand the general principles of fusion -- it's how stars work, it's how heavier elements have been built up over the history of the universe from lighter ones. I might be willing to naively concede that maybe you can get two elements to fuse under conditions present on earth...but then I would ask, in my charmingly simplistic understanding of nuclear reactions, what about the left over bits? You say you've brought these two atoms together in a high-energy reaction, you've got oodles of power flowing out of this, don't these reactions always spew out a few subatomic particles? And if there really is all this energy available, aren't they going to be flying out of the collision with tremendous power, producing what we civilians call deadly radiation?
You're running a small nuclear reactor, you claim, on a table top…and there doesn't seem to be any shielding at all. And you're claiming phenomenal power output.
To put this into perspective, the E-Cat tested by the researchers has an energy density of 1.6×109 Wh/kg and power density of 2.1×106 W/kg. This is orders (plural) of magnitude higher than anything else ever tested — somewhere in the region of 100 times more power than the best supercapacitors, and maybe a million times more energy than gasoline. In the words of the researchers, “These values place the E-Cat beyond any other known conventional source of energy.”
Again with my childlike understanding of these kinds of processes…if I were in a room with something burning with a million times the intensity of gasoline, even if it was a tiny quantity, I'd be worried about containment. Why aren't these guys? They all seem to be assuming that there is 100% efficiency in the conversion of hydrogen plus nickel into electricity…but where does that happen in the real world?
Not being a physicist, though, I could be missing something, so I looked for someone who knew these things better than I do. Here's Ethan Siegel confirming my intuition about cold fusion -- not only would all the possible nuclear reactions from these components produce lots of γ radiation, but the reaction is so improbably and requires such high energies that it doesn't even occur in supernovae.
There are photos of the old device there that look like they've been wrapped in a layer of tinfoil. To block γ radiation. Right. And the new version looks like a bit of pvc pipe.
I think I'm satisfied that this new cold fusion thingie is fake. They didn't provide the evidence that would satisfy a biologist: the investigators aren't all dead.
Here is something else biologist weren't satisfied about.
Biologist A was wrong 200 years ago, therefore biologist B is wrong now. Is that the argument?
For what it's worth, I have a doctorate in theoretical physics, and I concur with Ethan Siegel and his physicist co-author. It's not credible that there would be no dangerous radiation.
You are right that the "classical" laws of nuclear physics can not explain such things happening.
However, the "classical" way of doing nuclear fusion is to use huge amounts of energy to boost particles and throw them at each other.
If you want an analogy, it is like shooting with a gun on a pile of nails -sure that parts of these will swirl around. As the name indicates, all those "low energy" nuclear reactions do not have enough power to create such boosted particles at all, so the magic is NOT that they do not show radiation, but the magic is that inspite of that low energy, a fusion happens AT ALL.
And no, I don't believe Rossi & et al that they succeedes: Rossi is a convicted fraudster and he was present and involved in that "independent prove" of the e-cat.
It seems people here are still in 1989.
the evidence of the dead intern is a joke of that period.
Now (since 1991) cold fusion is massively replicated and this is visible by more than 150 peer reviewed papers showing excess heat in LENR experiments.
there are also many tritium evidence, a dozen of studies of Helium4 and heat, some on transmutation (recent replication of Iwamura at Mitsubishi are done in Toyota by Takahashi, and both published in refereed journal JJAP)...
I send you to this article published in Naturwissenshaften for a review of the domain
Ed storms made few article for various population, from student to dummies, a book called "the science of LENR", and recently he write "the explanation of LENR" where he mostly explain while current theories are mostly impossible, but after identifying what it have to be, he propose a naive theory based on :
- the reaction is aneutronic p-e-p fusion, d-e-d
- the reaction is neither in the Pd bulk, nor on the clear surface but in a complex localized structure in a zone where the composition is very complex : the NAE.
- the NAE is a multi-body coherent quantum object with many energy states which can absorb huge energy and dissipate by tiny quantum not bigger than x-rays
whatever it is ed Storms as a scientist base his reasoning on the evidences, and on some conservatism about physics laws. finally he conclude with a proposal to check. this is the good procedure, but it is exceptional today to have people who both consider that evidence are real, and that theory probably don't have to be revolutionized everyday.
In fact his idea is simply a nuclear variant of the breakthrough observed in laser or superconductor physics.
now E-cat arrive in that domain.
there are work done by Piantelli, Focardi, Miley on NiH...
gas phase permeation is experimented by Fralick in NASA GRC, replicated in Uni Tsinghua and by JP Biberian.
there are work on powders, thermal shocks...
Read "the science of LENR" by ed storms to have a good review of what was experienced... experience looks different but the same pattern of behavior was observed, while the triggering was different.
In all case the material structure and composition, like in semiconductors or HTSC, seems the key to the success.
ENEA have recently identified some parameters
this test is the second one, and some complication are simply the consequence of demand of skeptics, especially on the electric circuit which is now bullet proof and really independent.
the measurement of heat by colorimetry is also a consequence of the many critics of skeptics on the details of all flow and phase calorimetry ever tried, sometime for good reason (with Defkalion, debunked precisely by a LENR scientists, not by skeptic who were moaning on all without distinction).
this method, as you can see was calibrated on the blank and works well. even if the exact measurement are not perfect, the only important question is whether the active reactor produce more heat than the blank.
there is many critics most are not serious :
- isotopic conspiracy theory that have no interest for an hypothetic scammer who would prefer to show a tiny isotopic shift; a measurement error is however possible, but this is not important as the heat is the main nuclear ash
- , electric incompetence fuel some conspiracy theory about HF and power meter ... despite the many cross checking to close those hypothesis
finally only one question looked serious, even if the author lost all credibility by saying he was sure...
not only he was wrong being sure, but he is sure wrong.
He proposed that the alumina which makes the body be transparent to the IR and have fooled the IR cam.
there was indeed some visible heat that passed through the alumina body, but the literature on alumina explains that the transparency of alumina is negligible above 7um of wavelength, in the domain that the IR cam is using to estimate the temperature. It is confirmed by the observation that the apparent temperature according to the IR cam does not change between dark and white zone of the body, proving that the light is not interpreted.
note also that the boss of Industrial Heat group, Tom Darden said in an interview that they (Industrial Heat) build the reactor (not Rossi) and one employee on IH told clearly that accusing the e-cat to be a fraud is accusing Cherokee fund (2bn fund) to drive a fraud.
The boss of Elforsk , the Swedish research consortium equivalent of US DoE or French CEA, said they funded part of the test, and are happy of the result, to the point that they will launch a research effort.
of course as an executive he stay cautious but this is the second time he defend the test agains skeptic attacks
I think that it is time to document.
for those who are interested I advise few books:
- Excess heat by Charles Beaudette (free as pdf); a good historical summary, with clear epistemology and calorimetry for beginners
- the science of LENR by Ed Storms ; the reference book about the methods, the results, the challenges , the pitfalls, and even the spectrum of theories
- Fire From Ice by Eugene Mallove : written by an insider at MIT this book explain well the first 2mont when all was frozen. a complement of Beaudette which is more general.
- the explanation of LENR by Ed Storms : a recent book that start by an experimental review, a theory review, then identify the problems with each family of theory, the constraints on good theory demanded by experiments and known physics and chemistry laws. finally it propose an interesting theory, to test...
- an impossible invention by mats Lewan, describe the saga of Andrea Rossi and the e-cat, his personality, his behaviors, the various test, troubles, ... it not only make an historical survey , but also describe the dark side of his personality, not as the conspiracy fantasy of most skeptics, but as a story of an entrepreneur with a strong personality.
of course there is many small documents , but with google you will find where they are, or where to ask questions... Up to you to judge who is in groupthink, who follow observation, evidences, scientific method, who propose conspiracy theory to avoid considering positive evidences.
One should not expect that to came from any authority, as it is hard for most authorities and lords to admit an error so gigantic in managing scientific method.
Cool article. I hope you don't mind if I add a couple details about the test. There is much more to this story and it as causing quite a buzz online. All of the details below can be checked out on the web. You can google Rossi and Ecat to research it.
1. The test was conducted by a small group of respected, well known European scientists. One of them used to be chairman of the Swedish skeptics society.
2. The test was conducted in a lab at the company Officine Ghidoni SA. in Switzerland.
3. The test was funded by the Swedish power research company Elforsk.
4. The report is peer reviewed by multiple scientists.
5. The inventor, Rossi, was not involved in the power measurements.
6. Rossi's technology was bought by the American company Cherokee Funding in 2013.
7. There have been other tests, demonstrations and reports since 1/2011. None of the scientists with personal experience with the device are claiming it to be a fraud. There has been a considerable amount of inaccurate reporting on the subject.
8. The scientists where very careful and very conservative in their power measurements.
9. The test lasted 23 days. The reactor ran continuously at 1200-1400 degrees C. An enormous amount of output energy was measured.
10. The fuel in the reactor is one gram of a powder consisting mostly of nickel. It also contains hydrogen, lithium and iron. The fuel was analyzed before and after the tests using many scientific instruments. It was found to have a undergone a change in the isotopes, which is evidence of a nuclear reaction. The fuel and the process are industrial secrets.
11 The scientists conducting the test are baffled by the lack of radiation and offer no explanation. According to the known laws of physics there should be radiation emitted during a nuclear reaction.
12. The reactor used in the test was built by the company Industrial heat, owned by Cherokee Funding.
13. There is much more to the story. There is a book out, The Impossible Invention, by Mats Lewan.
14. A one megawatt showcase plant is being installed at an unnamed company. The output heat in the form of steam is used for an unnamed industrial process.
15. The patent office declined the patent application saying there was no peer reviewed evidence that the process works as claimed. One of the main purposes of the test was to satisfy the patent offices requirement that the technology be tested and peer reviewed.
16. In 1903 it was a well known fact that machines could not fly. Prominent physicists of the time accused the Wright Brothers of being a fraud.
17. The right brothers were initially unable to obtain a patent because their claim was thought to be impossible.
18. The inventor, Andrea Rossi, has dedicated decades of his life working on this invention.
Rossi is a con man, with several previous cons under his belt. The largest problem with this latest "demonstration" is that he was responsible for handling the reactant at two crucial stages, without "reviewers" observing.
Nothing to see here folks, more of the same scam of stupid investors.
ANother way you can tell this sort of thing is a scam is that it has been around for years, yet somehow they aren't selling generators built around this device, or powering their house or something, or selling it to the Pentagon, who I am sure would love a power source that would make them independent of hostile locals.
The skeptics need to make a similar device to show how the "fraud" is done. There would be unlimited government funding to do so to defend against the possibility of using the same technique to make a bomb. Those who know are not talking except to cover up.
Analysis of the Assumption of an Ideal Isothermal Black Body Radiation Model
In the iconic photo of the device under test, one can see the apparatus with the red-hot glowing wires visible through the translucent 3mm thick alumina casing.
This is a significant observation, because it's the principle source of evidence that the thin alumina shell is translucent and not 100% opaque.
Why does that matter? It matters because the IR camera equipment that is used to reckon the heat coming out of the device assumes that the alumina shell is an isothermal black body radiator operating at the emissivity of alumina at a specific temperature. But that conveniently simple energy budget model breaks down if the alumina casing is not 100% opaque. As can be seen in the photograph, some of the photons from the interior apparatus are being transmitted through the translucent shell, rather than being absorbed by it. When those directly transmitted photons impinge upon the IR camera, which is calibrated for the emissivity of alumina, the calculation model incorrectly assumes the alumina shell itself is glowing red hot in accordance with a black body radiation model. This results in a sizable systematic error in reckoning the heat being produced by the device.
Imagine looking at an ordinary household light fixture with a typical translucent shade around the bulb. The filament inside the bulb is at an incandescent temperature, but it also has a very small surface area. When you look at the light fixture with the translucent shade in place, you see those same photons, but now they appear to come from the large surface of the translucent shade. If you imagine the shade to be the originating source of those photons, in accordance with a black body radiation model, you (incorrectly) deduce that the shade itself is glowing at that same incandescent temperature. Since the shade has orders of magnitude more surface area than the filament inside the light bulb, you end up concluding (incorrectly) that an enormous amount of heat is being produced.
In short, the experimenters have to reckon the translucency of the 3mm alumina shell that encases the apparatus, and adopt a corresponding energy budget model. Since that's probably not practical in their laboratory setup, they instead could encase the entire apparatus in a fully opaque isothermal shell, so as to be able to properly apply their isothermal black body radiation measurement technique to the system.
"The fuel and the process are industrial secrets."
"A one megawatt showcase plant is being installed at an unnamed company."
Color me completely unsurprised.
On the other hand, assuming they get their patent, and/or other protection, and are willing to run similar or larger tests where the entire process is revealed in detail and showing the efficacy of the process I look forward to singing their praises.
Until that time this is, IMHO, just another in a long string of investment scams put on by hucksters to squeeze money out of credulous investors.
The details of the actual report paints a different picture and details extensive procedures to ensure that the equipment was making accurate measurements. Because this is a very important and controversial nature of the test they used multiple instruments to measure energy in and out. The instruments where calibrated by the manufacturers and checked against other instruments. The casing material of the ecat was checked to confirm that it was actually alumina. It sounds like there where many experts involved. I addition, they ran ran a dummy test using the alumina reactor to make sure all the numbers added up they way they should with known values. These guys have their reputations on the line.
In 2013 a 7 day test recorded a similar range of excess heat being emitted by the ecat. In that test the ecat was in a steel case.
@12: But again, twice, at key points, Rossi alone handled part of the equipment with no oversight. Kills any legitimacy for impartial viewers.
So you know all the sources of energy in the universe!
Mankind doesnt have a handle on Gravity, the most influential of all energies , constantly wearing out our joints,, yet you KNOW that this is a hoax????
Come on Man --- hopefully there are many more energies to be found,, I remember that there were riots in London when Gas lighting was introduced -- Electricity was a "Hand of Satan" closed minds all seem to think alike,,
However small,, there is the possibility that Rossie has stumbled on something ,, Pons and Fleichman are now repudiated --? Right??
I wonder.... In our current understanding of physics that fusion occurs at high temp/high pressure. This could be considered a "rape" of the coulomb barrier with all the backlash that occurs with such a reaction(radiation). Maybe cold fusion is a "seduction", softer, gentler and persuasive. We know lots about a lot of things but we don't know what we don't know.
Go away Galileo. Go away Robert Fulton. Go away Thomas Edison. Go away Wright brothers. Go away Albert Einstein.
Thankfully, not everyone in the world today is so small minded.
If Rossi has "stumbled on something", why is he unable to describe in technical scientific language the nature of this radiation-free reaction?
Asking us to believe Rossi for no reason other than "hope" would be at least an intriguing idea, if it weren't for Rossi's career as a purveyor of similar hoaxes.
You seem to know nothing about Rossi or his life. Why are you so eager to slander someone you obviously know little about? Rossi does not own E-Cat technology. Industrial heat now owns all E-Cat technology and Industrial Heat, LLC is run by Tom Darden, a passionate environmentalist, whose company built the E-Cat tested in Switzerland. Rossi will reveal his own theory after he gets patent protection. Brillouin Energy Corporation has an interesting YouTube animation video showing what they believe is the underlying mechanism of the E-Cat, which they call a "Control Electron Capture Reaction."
Hi PZ Myers,
There are many studies of LENR with similar claims, similar devices, excess heat and non dangerous transmutations are common in this field.
If people knew that - they would probably not be surprised that others make these claims.
I am an old (20 years older than you) admirer of the pharyngula writings and in your constant disputes I was on your side all the time. Plus I like how you write.
Now I am am amazed and i am asking if the bee colony collapse has extended to hornets too? Are you not more satisfied by your own hornets' nests and you need this new one, Cold Fusion?
Exactly as in disputes regarding deism/atheism, intelligent design/evolution the position are irreconciliable due to different premises so they will remain hornet's nest for ever.
Now I am waiting anti-cold fusion paper from Mike Shermer in tomorrows skeptics than later from Sam Harris too.
Your opinion is base on Ethan Siegel's - his article has a perfect logic, just, again, the premises are not real.
Cold fusion is a matter much too complex to be let to physicists.
They are good in logical and postlogical thinking but deficient in supralogical thinking see please:http://egooutpeters.blogspot.ro/2011/03/modes-of-thinking-my-taxonomy.h…
Just FYI , Cold Fusion is something very different from what
the physicist imagine, see: http://egooutpeters.blogspot.ro/2013/09/everything-i-knew-about-cold-fu…
As regarding Ethan Siegel I will answer him on my blog this evening he has much too many comments to read them all.
Vivat, crescat, floreat Paryngula - but away from Cold Fusion!
I'm a bit disappointed by the comments like 'Rossi is a con man' or 'He was involved in the experiment', because it doesn't matter (be it true or not) for the outcome of the experiment:
What matters is that
Collaborators claim that they measured energy (heat) in excess of that delivered inside, and
a). it's impossible to generate such amount of energy from the object of a given size (volumetrically or gravimetrically) by any known chemical process
b). it's impossible to store and release energy in the object of a given size (volumetrically or gravimetrically)
So, it's either
1). True or
a). collaborators falsified the results of the experiments
b). collaborators erred in their measurements
c). Rossi fooled them by delivering energy to the device in an undiscovered way
So, we can use argument of this man's past to adjust our expectations (they suggest it's probably a hoax), but we cannot use to to explain results of the experiment.
Rossi continues to be a major disappointment and a waste of my time. He should either be ignored or arrested for keeping the salvation for all mankind a "secret" for so long.
I suggest you just ignore him and he will eventually go away.
Luckily, there are new fusion concepts coming up around the corner. http://youtu.be/u8n7j5k-_G8
‘He was involved in the experiment’, because it doesn’t matter (be it true or not) for the outcome of the experiment:
It does matter because he was allowed to change something in the experiment without oversight or monitoring.
> It does matter because he was allowed to change something in the experiment
> without oversight or monitoring.
In my opinion it doesn't matter as it's irrelevant to the conclusions. I.e. if by doing "someting" (at the beginning and end of experiment) he can make the box to produce (or store and release) energy in those quantities, it's still energy production or storing-releasing process beyond our current capabilities (excluding making use of nuclear processes) for objects of this size and weight.
I believe you're applying too much weight to the ideal methodology, while the deficiencies in measurement practices shown in the document cannot account for those "unnatural" amounts of energy released.
I still think it's some kind of measurement error on their side, or the Rossi was able to fool them (probably by exploiting weaknesses in their measurement equipment with regard to measurement of the input electric power) using the design of his black-box, but if it ever turns out that it's a hoax, it's not because they allowed him to operate the device at those fixed points in time.
"It does matter because he was allowed to change something in the experiment without oversight or monitoring."
Where in the report does it say he wasn't monitored or no oversight took place? Regardless of the fact that he could have hoodwinked the samples did he exchange one miracle fuel for another? The data and measurements made while running are unexplainable. If there is a problem with their measurements which is fully detailed in the paper. Find a problem with that and you have found your error. Other than that it's either scientific fraud or true.
So an independently monitored experiment can go on not only with the originating "scientist" there but with that scientist interfering in the experiment?
Sorry, not if you want legitimate results.
So if I claimed to have a car that could run for 30 days with no fuel added and I showed up turned it on and left you to watch it and came back 30 days later to turn it off the results are invalid and it didn't run for 30 days?
@28: That's not what happened - read the report.
Remember - Rossi is a crook - he's been in jail for stuff related to this, so he needs to be watched carefully. He's promised to publish why this works - then has provided two different explanations, neither peer-reviewed. He then is allowed to intervene in the experiment, without allowing anyone to see what he does. That means it is verified? No, it means he is just as shady as he always was.
Let's forget Rossi for a moment and go back to the fundamental question of whether transmutation of nickel to copper might be possible in a way that generates energy without excessive radiation.
Peer reviewed Widom-Larsen theory suggests that there is and it does not involve fusion but rather neutron capture via nuclear weak interactions and no new physics. Lewis Larsen's slideshare site is extensive with accessible content and links to relevant journal articles. See http://www.slideshare.net/lewisglarsen/
See slide #23 of for the particulars of nickel-> copper. http://www.slideshare.net/lewisglarsen/lattice-energy-llcnickelseed-len…
This was entirely the wrong test. They should have repeated Levi's test from February 2011 on the original ecat except that they should have done it correctly. That would mean proper data recording, a blank and a calibration run -- none of which Levi did.
Why that one? Because it made much more power (15kW average and 130kW peak) vs. not even 4kW for the current test. And because it did not require measurement of radiant heat, IR measurement of temperature nor a three phase power cord, all areas of contention and argument in the current work. Instead, that test used simple, elegant, liquid flow calorimetry with water as the coolant. And it stayed in liquid phase at all times.
Why has this never been repeated and correctly done? Probably because Rossi is a trickster, a crook, and knows full well that the ecat and the hot cat do not and can not work.
"@28: That’s not what happened – read the report.
Remember – Rossi is a crook – he’s been in jail for stuff related to this, so he needs to be watched carefully. He’s promised to publish why this works – then has provided two different explanations, neither peer-reviewed. He then is allowed to intervene in the experiment, without allowing anyone to see what he does. That means it is verified? No, it means he is just as shady as he always was."
I did read the report and no where does it say he was alone and not watched in the lab. If I have missed please point me to the paragraph and page. Rossi was convicted of tax fraud. He was charged with many more counts of defrauding the public but was let off because the people who he apparently defrauded testified in HIS defense. Here is a link to that story on one of his biggest detractors websites. http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/RossiPetroldragonStory.shtml. Frankly I for care if it was Charles Manson that made this device. The measurements and methods were sound, it produced an abundant amount of heat that is unexplainable. Both these reports were not written by him by by other scientists that have put their reputations on the line for what gain? If it is a fraud they won't get money, they will get thrown in jail and have their PhDs stripped and shamed in history books forever. All the risk and no reward. If Rossi is truly the con man you think he is don't you think he would have chose a different area to con than cold fusion, something that was seen as a myth and would be taken with serious criticism out of the gate. The thing about cons is you keep them simple, small, believable and involve as few people as possible. He has a PhDs along with all the testers that could command a 6 figure salary along with Tom darden of IH (who has stated that he built and shipped the reactors) who is CEO if a largish investment group(couple billion dollar company). LENR deserves to be investigated further. The biggest crime I see is the continuance of the scientific community to ignore things that they can explain or goes against how they think things work.
"October 13, 2014
So if I claimed to have a car that could run for 30 days with no fuel added and I showed up turned it on and left you to watch it and came back 30 days later to turn it off the results are invalid and it didn’t run for 30 days?"
It may have run for 30 days but what if it had a fuel hose hooked to the engine the entire time? That's what Rossi's connection to the mains through an improperly metered set of wires is.
As of today, no one has proven any source of nuclear power to be safe (fission or fusion, hot or cold). I know! Here I am 93,000,000 miles away from the most awesome nuclear reaction in our solar system, and I still get burned if I stay out too long on a nice day.
The power of our sun, the heat or our Earth, and the creativity of our minds is where we will find the ultimate supply of energy we require to perpetuate humanity.
Understanding the sciences and the building blocks of the universe are essential elements of knowledge for all societies, yet simplicity and harmony might be what gives us all a chance at longevity.
Can we do that?
#14: Gravity is a force, NOT a form of energy. You are confusing it with gravitational potential energy.
There are several wires leading to the setup - could one of them be plugged into an electricity socket? This would explain the so-called excess heat.
The fact that Rossi was able to manipulate the sample during the test invalidates the whole thing.
Some incredibly bad logical from people who think they are scientific.
1. Crooks can't make scientific breakthroughs.
2. This must be classic fusion, which can't happen on a desk
3. I can think of ways he could have conned people, so it must be a fraud.
A proper scientist would say interesting but "unproven", and here are some additional ways to test the set-up. The scientific method will show whether this is real, not people's opinions and biases.
> It may have run for 30 days but what if it had a fuel hose
> hooked to the engine the entire time? That’s what Rossi’s
> connection to the mains through an improperly metered
> set of wires is.
These are reputable scientists (as far as I understand) that were looking whether there's any hose connected to the car, and they hadn't seen it. There are some explanations for why it could be a hoax, like:
- He used electrical wiring, so the devices measuring the electrical input power were showing incorrect data (I'm an eng in electronics, and as far as I know falling for sth like this would be a big mistake on the scientists part, or Rossi did something amazing anyway) - I agree that the description of the measurement setup for the input part in the doc is not satisfying
- He delivered energy into device in some other way (e.g. additional electrical wiring... the rest is sci-fi: like delivering it with electromagnetic radiation or so..)
- They're all conspiring
- The measurements of the output heat are incorrect (bad calibration, bad method, bad calculations etc.)
These are all not implausible assumptions, but none of it has anything to do with the fact that Rossi was observed switching some switch on/off and replacing fuel at the beginning/end of the experiment. There's no "possible" way of how it can make the box deliver that amount of energy within the period of 32 days.
As somebody above already said: "What did he do? Swapped one kind of miraculous fuel for another type of miraculous fuel?"
these work pretty well ? why pissf#around ... Instead of wasting your time critiquing this Bulls#itt why not give a tried and tested technology your support. Vermont Yankee shut down - hang your head in shame America.
#38 because this is scalable, portable and doesn't produce radiation or radioactive waste as far as we can tell. Even if it's used to supply hot water or desalinate sea water for consumption it could be a big boost to the standard of living in many underdeveloped countrys.
Well, I'm glad your satisfied. But most of your posting is simply a rehearsal or your prejudice. I think you will very surprised by what happens next. See the excellent comment by Helio spheric above. While Andrea Rossi is not a "crook," he did spend time in prison, just like Nelson Mandela.
@dean I think you're incorrect on the lack of supervision of Rossi.
PAGE 7 P1: The dummy reactor was switched on ... by Andrea Rossi who gradually brought it to the power level requested by us. Rossi later intervened to switch off the dummy, and in the following subsequent operations on the E-Cat: charge insertion, reactor startup, reactor shutdown and
powder charge extraction. Throughout the test, no further intervention or interference on his part occurred;
moreover, all phases of the test were monitored directly by the collaboration. [monitered]
PAGE 7 P3: The powder had been previously
placed in a small envelope, weighed (about 1 g), and then transferred to a test tube so that Bianchini [scientist monitoring radioactivity] could perform radioactivity measurements on it, after placing it in a low background lead well. Lastly, the contents of the test tube were poured inside the reactor, in the presence of a member of the experimental team. [monitored]
PAGE 8 P3: After cooling, the E-Cat was again opened by breaking one of the caps, and the powder was collected and
put in a test tube. After Bianchini's readings [to check for radiation], performed in a matter similar to those in the first phase, the test tube was handed back to us for further analysis... [monitored]
So if Rossi is a crook, here is the sinister looking resume of his partner in crime:
Mr.Darden is the Chief Executive Officer of Cherokee Investment Partners, a private equity fund that invests in brownfields. Cherokee made its first brownfield investment in 1990 and has since raised five funds: $50 million in 1996, $250 million in 1999, $620 million in 2003 and $1.4 billion in 2006. Beginning in 1984, Mr. Darden served for 16 years as the Chairman of Cherokee Sanford Group, a brick manufacturing and soil remediation company. From 1981 to 1983, he was a consultant with Bain & Company in Boston. From 1977 to 1978, he worked as an environmental planner for the Korea Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul, where he was a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar. Mr. Darden is on the Boards of Shaw University and the Institute for The Environment at the University of North Carolina. He was Chairman of the Research Triangle Transit Authority and served two terms on the N.C. Board of Transportation. Mr. Darden serves on the Board of Governors of the Research Triangle Institute. Mr. Darden earned a Masters in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina, a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He and his wife, Jody, have three children.
Sigh....PZ was once my hero....now I can't even read what he writes about pseudoscience....you have disappointed me PZ....more than anyone ever has.
"While Andrea Rossi is not a “crook,” he did spend time in prison, just like Nelson Mandela."
Free-ee-eee, Andree-aa Ros-si!
The main problem with the tests as described is that they "calibrated" the IR cameras at 500W, and then "measured" (by only looking at IR color at a non IR opaque device) at 1300-1400W.
Simply hiding an IR light emitter inside the "reactor" will completely skew the results with this setup.
Until a calorimetry test has been done, with all the energy emitted captured and measured this is at best inconclusive, and there exists no reason to take the device seriously.
Rossi has been working with this for seven years. Why hasn't he claimed his Nobel prize for completely reinventing physics by now?
There seems to be almost panic from those who criticize Rossi and his e-cat. Could it be that they are employed by or paid by companies in or tied to energy related business? I am convinced that they have much to loose should Rossi prevail and take significant share from the existing producers of energy. The team that tested the e-cat are serious men of science, with impressive credentials who have much to loose if they are wrong. It's highly unlikely that they are far off in their evaluation.
Isn't it strange that someone like Krivit would have us believe he is qualified to challenge the scientists who did the tests on Rossi's e-cat?. I sense a huckster who has gone so far out on a limb in his criticism of Rossi, that he has to somehow convince someone- otherwise his reputation will crash an he will loose subscribers to this site. Obviously, Mr Krivit is in fear of Mr Rossi and his achievements.
Now if we we could only learn to generate electricity with Crank Magnetism!!
The panic I see here is from people defending Rossi. No-one even attempts to provide any support for how it actually would work, or for Rossi's credentials as a ground breaking nuclear scientist, but instead the defense is credulousness and pats on the back of the scientists performing the tests - without addressing the basic complaints about lacking protocol, calibration disparity, and why on earth they're not using a calorimeter instead of an IR camera for testing an alleged machine which is not IR opaque.
And yeah, the ones standing to make money on this are definitely the people writing a few comments and blog posts about the problems with the tests and the underlying science.
Tell me, why hasn't Rossi published his nuclear science, which completely shatters all our current understanding, so that he can get his Nobel prize?
While I am clearly at a loss what the Rossi-fuzz is all about, I am quite surprised not one comment mentioned that strange Lockheed news outlet from yesterday. Seee, e.g., here:
I believe all that stuff when I can buy one. ^__^
> Tell me, why hasn’t Rossi published his nuclear science,
> which completely shatters all our current understanding,
> so that he can get his Nobel prize?
He clearly states that he doesn't understand what's going on. But, it doesn't scratch results of the experiment. True, it wasn't perfect, but it is what it is, a preliminary experiment under problematic conditions (black-box), by scientists with technical degrees and of a good reputation.
Therefore we need more further experiments, that's all.
You might as well say that Faraday was fool because he had no idea what theoretical basis his inventions had.
If this were anywhere even close to being real it would be being patented and developed for commercial purposes with a research budget of billions. A commercial product would be produced, nobel prizes would be awarded, and the inventors hailed as the saviours of mankind.
If, on the other hand, its dodgy nonsense, there would be mysterious and problematic 'experiments' like this one.
Its a bit like magic - if its not a trick then why put the girl in a opaque box before sawing her in half?
Doesn't matter if he knows what's going on. What matters is the way he gets a nuclear reaction going without any of the known artifacts of a nuclear reaction. His method of achieving this. That would be enough to get him a Nobel prize.
And what we need is not further experiments. What we need is a FIRST experiment under actual controlled forms.
What scratches the result of the "experiment" is the ludicrous forms it was performed under. An IR camera measuring as if the generator was a blackbody when even the "researchers" know it isn't. That's utter incompetence, and enough to invalidate any results of this "experiment".
> That’s utter incompetence, and enough to invalidate any results of this “experiment”.
The problem is that whoever and however performed an experiment, there's always a way to criticize it. I mean, there are always better conditions, method and devices to be used.
There was even a critique in one of the Swedish scientific journals regarding that (written by a few fellow researchers to thos who conducted the latest experiment), but I didn't like it at all:
Instead of saying: OK, your experiment gave puzzling results, so here is a design for a better and more precise experiment which would settle the thing with more confidence, it was just shouting 'utter incompetence' all over the place. Typical scientific jerkoff and moral-high-ground drama.
Probably except Rossi himself nobody claims it's 100% sure the fusion on an useful scale took place. In my personal opinion, it's highly unlikely to achieve in the modern era a success of this scale on your own desk. But the reaction of many to this announcement is troubling - it's ignorance ("I don't want to hear about that") and dismissal ("It's surely fake, I don't want to hear about that, and besides, he was in JAIL"). Let's behave at least like wannabe scientists, shall we?
No need to even look at it since we already understand the physics completely. It cannot work since it goes against everything we "know" and Rossi is more of an engineer, less of a "scientist", and was even accused in Italy of trying to turn garbage into oil - another supposed impossibility. Ergo - impossible - fraud.
No scientific curiosity whatsoever... Absolutely none...
Science has become ridiculously more about protecting the bastions than expanding on what is not known. Its' shameful the treatment this has received.
As Sagan said "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"; claims bench-top safe cold fusion would would require bucketloads upon bucketloadsof independently verified evidence.
Without knowing anything else what is more likely:
A) A fraud, committed by a proven fraudster
B) A proven fraudster cold fusion?
Option A) is unfortunately disappointingly commonplace.
Option B) would be momentous occasion in human history that will require full reevaluation of 100 years of theoretical and experimental physics.
"To put this into perspective, the E-Cat tested by the researchers has an energy density of 1.6×109 Wh/kg and power density of 2.1×106 W/kg. This is orders (plural) of magnitude higher than anything else ever tested — somewhere in the region of 100 times more power than the best supercapacitors, and maybe a million times more energy than gasoline. In the words of the researchers, “These values place the E-Cat beyond any other known conventional source of energy.”
Yes, let's put this into perspective — an engineering perspective. The story claims a power density of more than 2 MW per kg. What material can hold together at that level of power density?
One Watt is one Joule per second. In chemistry and nutrition, a Calorie is defined as the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water through 1 °C, and equals 4.1868 Joules.
Two million Watts is two million Joules per second, or almost 478,000 Calories per second.
A thought experiment: Imagine that amount of energy applied to an actual kilogram of water. If it holds together, it would reach a temperature of 478,000 °C. But of course it cannot hold together; it will explode into steam. (For a real-world reference, consider the incident that wrecked SL-1 at the NRTL in 1961.) Other materials would last longer — but not enough longer to matter.
Note that it does not matter if Rossi's experiment did not produce 2 million Watts. Power density is what matters. Whatever the size of his apparatus, at 2MW/kg that apparatus will disassemble itself with extreme rapidity. Since that did not happen, there is reason to doubt that Rossi has achieved what he claims.
> Whatever the size of his apparatus, at
> 2MW/kg that apparatus will
If I remember correctly the document says the "device" weight was around 0.5kg, and its power output was 2-3kW or so.
Nowhere close to 2MW/kg :)
You may be right. But if so, whoever wrote the caption PZ used under the photo in this post screwed up, because it claims a power density of "2.1x106 W/kg."
Probably “2.1×10E3 W/kg" - in any case, the output power density is probably not that important. If it'd be even 10W/kg (but with high energy density) one could live with that - it'd simply require a bigger box to power up an average household (with the assumption that such box would last forever), in this case a 500kg box or so. In other words, a 500kg box to power-up a house almost indefinitely (with 5kW power) seems also fine to me given that there are still many places in the world where people buy a few tons of coal per year per household (just to heat it).
I watched every video and article I could find on the e-Cat and finally came across his history (http://freeenergyscams.com/the-e-cat-thermoelectric-scam-of-andrea-ross…). I remembered a video where he didn’t want to discuss his past. That was the first alarm bell right there. I went back and watched (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-8QdVwY98E) and can see how easily he could fool people. Little things don’t add up which make me very suspicious. The Ammeter shows 3.4A. He doesn’t show the voltage we have to take his word at 220V for Italy. It could be 660V. The wiring inside the control box just look like he has thrown a pile in there to look complicated when the real power cable goes in at the back on the bottom and probably goes straight back out to the running e-cat. I suspect it’s just a heater element in the e-Cat. The pump is on a different circuit (the power board runs to a different GPO) and is not included in his calculations. The amount of steam is less than my kettle. We have to take his word that they are going through 7kg of water an hour. I smell a rat. As for his 1MW plant why was there a massive diesel generator running and making it hard for people to hear their own thoughts. Whats it powering? Is it because mains can’t supply what he need to run the 1MW plant? He should be investigated before any other big businesses are sucked in. I think I read he has experience in thermoelectrics which makes me think it would be simple for him to hook up a TEG (http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313…) and run it stand alone and really knock the socks off everyone. To many questions and not enough answers. I bet he put in the Cu in the night before the test. I wonder who else is in on it. I’m done with Rossi. I’ll look for LENR elsewhere. I say he’s a snake oil salesman and I’m confident it will eventually be shown he has wasted mine and your time, and hard earned $$$ of the investors if they are real (who knows they may be in on it).
The skeptics need to make a similar device to show how the “fraud” is done. There would be unlimited government funding to do so to defend against the possibility of using the same technique to make a bomb.
How exactly could anyone make a bomb from that? The only thing you could make is a gamma-ray source, which is bad enough but not a weapon of mass destruction.
Let’s forget Rossi for a moment and go back to the fundamental question of whether transmutation of nickel to copper might be possible in a way that generates energy without excessive radiation.
Peer reviewed Widom-Larsen theory suggests that there is and it does not involve fusion but rather neutron capture via nuclear weak interactions and no new physics.
Have you read Ethan Siegel's article? That's exactly how stars do it, except γ radiation of course comes out in huge amounts, because the first law of thermodynamics leaves no other choice.
Rossi, on the other hand, says he's fusing nickel with hydrogen – with protons, not neutrons.
OK, OK. Several people above have pointed out that Rossi doesn't claim to understand what's actually going on; all he really claims to know is that nickel, hydrogen and some heat go in and copper plus huge amounts of heat come out. But if neutron capture is what really happens – where do those neutrons come from? Where's the neutron source? What is the hydrogen doing in there? The trace amounts of deuterium in it are way too little to explain anything.
And again, where is the γ radiation?!?
While Andrea Rossi is not a “crook,” he did spend time in prison, just like Nelson Mandela.
That's called the Galileo gambit.
"They laughed at Galileo!" Yes, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
So if Rossi is a crook, here is the sinister looking resume of his partner in crime:
Nothing in that resume says he's unable to be fooled.
a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He and his wife, Jody, have three children.
It's outright painful how irrelevant this is.
There seems to be almost panic from those who criticize Rossi and his e-cat. Could it be that they are employed by or paid by companies in or tied to energy related business? I am convinced that they have much to loose should Rossi prevail and take significant share from the existing producers of energy. The team that tested the e-cat are serious men of science, with impressive credentials who have much to loose if they are wrong. It’s highly unlikely that they are far off in their evaluation.
Wow, the projection is strong in this one. But first the important point:
Scientists are not trained to recognize fraud. We're not even trained to expect fraud. We expect all kinds of accidental sloppiness, but not deliberate lies. When we're sent a manuscript for review, we scrutinize how the conclusions are supposed to follow from the data, but we hardly ever try to generate the data anew to see if anything's wrong with them. (Hey, peer review isn't paid. We do it for free, as a service to each other and to our CVs.) This is how fraud passes peer review. The credentials of a scientist say nothing about how good they are at recognizing fraud. I don't think they're in on it; I think Rossi has fooled them exactly as he has fooled you.
Now to your accusation. :-D :-D :-D Oh man. How exactly do you imagine that a development biologist like PZ could be paid by an energy corporation? Or take me – I'm currently not paid at all, I'm a "Visiting Researcher" while I'm waiting for a decision on my grant proposal, which I have submitted not to a corporation but to the Federal Republic of Germany.
I bet he put in the Cu in the night before the test.
Yep, and wired things as suggested in Siegel's blog post.
Too bad an independent test is impossible: if one is attempted and fails, Rossi will just say that's because his secret magic catalysts were missing. But somebody should check if those "catalysts" happen to contain lots of copper with the natural distribution of isotopes – because that, and not what would result from the S-process, is what came out of Rossi's show last time it was tested.
... it would be simple for him to hook up a TEG ...
I haven't paid enough attention to know his claimed ratio of output to input for his reactor, but a TEG would seem reasonably plausible for keeping a started system going. TEGs are grossly inefficient (well under 20%; I'd have to check with an expert I know, but the number 7% comes to mind), so there might not be a lot of usable power remaining. The little thermopiles to which you linked are really dismal - if you use a compact system with a fan for the cold side, you are lucky to get more power from the TEG than it takes to run the fan.
Was his reactor running when he measured 3.4 amperes from the AC line? If it was not, there is opportunity for a major fudge. The meter is simply measuring current (I haven't watched the video much beyond that point). Without knowing the power factor, it doesn't mean much. He assumes unity power factor in his calculation. If the power factor were very low, the actual power delivered would be correspondingly low. By correcting the power factor (several possibilities exist, depending on what was "wrong" in the first place), the real power delivered could rise from nearly zero to the calculated volt-ampere product without any change whatsoever in the measured input current.
For someone who has been working on this thing for years, he certainly has a dismally equipped lab.
The amount of steam is less than my kettle.
This is more than a little problematic.
He claims 7 kg/h of water is converted to steam.
(all numbers in the following are approximate)
Steam at 100°C at 1 atmosphere has a density of 0.6 kilograms per cubic metre. At a rate of 7 kg/h, that works out to 11.7 cubic metres of steam per hour, or 3.2 litres per second. His steam discharge hose is pretty small. At that rate of steam production, it would be blasting out of the hose at a pretty substantial velocity. It would be very irresponsible to point the flow toward someone holding up a t-shirt.