Replication failure is not replication

A reader recently mentioned Coolessence. As the linked web site shows

Coolescence LLC was a privately funded research company located in Boulder, Colorado. The company was originally formed to rigorously examine repeated experimental reports of so-called ‘cold fusion’ (low energy nuclear reaction – LENR), generally manifesting themselves in the form of unexpected or ‘excess’ heat, from a number of scientists around the world.  Over the past 12 years the Coolescence team has replicated the most celebrated of these experiments, with no positive results that have not been attributable to measurement artifacts or chemical effects.

This page will introduce the study of the work done by Coolessence. The relevant papers are linked below. If readers are interested, reading those papers before I study them will increase experience and comprehension. If I know anything about LENR, it is because I have studied materials in the field over and over. It’s not magic.

I was quite impressed by Coolessence, in many ways. When I was planning a tour of the U.S. and Canada in 2015, I hoped to visit them … but that trip was cancelled when my Subaru, in the first fifty miles of the trip, broke a timing belt and the engine was destroyed. So, as far as I know, I have never met the principals. Late in 2016, there were private discussions with them on the CMNS list.

From my point of view, Coolessence demonstrates how to take high risk of wasting time and money . I intend, here, to review the projects they undertook. Mostly, these would not be projects I would have chosen for first work. To be sure, this is hindsight, and it took me a few years in the field to develop perspective.

Writing several years ago, I laid out Plans A and B for LENR breakthrough. Plan A was to have Rossi (or someone like him) save us by making products appear in Home Depot, or the like.

As I pointed out, Plan A was risky, but had the benefit of not requiring Any Actual Work by anyone (other than the inventor, of course).

Given the possible importance of LENR, we needed a Plan B, and Plan B was to undertake what had been recommended by both United States Department of Energy reviews (1989 and 2004). Basic science, to nail down and confirm or clearly disconfirm earlier findings.

Plan B began with Phase I. Phase I was to confirm, ideally with increased precision, what had already been confirmed. The point was not to reinvent the wheel, but rather to start with what is far more likely to succeed. Failure is a damned nuisance, unless it leads to learning. I had identified the work showing a correlation between anomalous heat and helium production as not only rather widely confirmed, but as much more strongly probative than simple isolated findings of anomalous heat, or tritium, etc., without correlations.

Looking ahead from there, Phase II would be work to create one or more “lab rats.” I.e., protocols with adequate reliability to be readily reproducible most of the time. This could actually create a “product,” such as standardized, prepared, and pre-conditioned cathodes for FP class experiments or the like. There are indications that these cathodes could be pretested and would later work as tested.

Phase II would study already-reported and, where possible, already-confirmed protocols, not new ones. The reason is, again, to make success more likely.

Phase III would be a wide variety of investigations, using the lab rats where possible, or creating new ones. Phase III would include attempts to replicate isolated reports of interest.

Phase IV would be blue sky. By this time, if the first phases are handled (with Phase I and II being completed), there will be plenty of money for wider explorations and playing hunches, etc.

This proposal did encounter some opposition in the field, because Phase I was considered to be a waste, since “we already knew that helium was being produced.” Tonto: “What you mean, “we”?

Many of us may know this (the evidence is actually strong, though there is much room for improvement), but “we,” i.e., the human and the scientific communities, don’t have this as collective knowledge. Yet. What will it take?

The DoE reviews laid it out: replications with improved methods, published in the “journal system.” The LENR community doesn’t trust the journal system, so there you go. That’s a self-maintained trap.

In any case, Coolessence describes five projects. I will study each in dedicated pages. Here is the list:

Studies
POSSIBLE NUCLEAR REACTIONS MECHANISMS
AT GLOW DISCHARGE IN DEUTERIUM (1992)
Intensification Of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Using Superwave Excitation (2003)
Results
Glow Discharge Loading of Pd (2007)
Update on results at Coolescence, LLC (2008)

Studies
RADIATION PRODUCED BY GLOW DISCHARGE IN DEUTERIUM (2007)
Results
Partial Replication of Storms/Scanlan Glow Discharge Radiation (2008)

Studies
Use of CR-39 in Pd/D co-deposition experiments (2007)
Characterization of tracks in CR-39 detectors obtained as a result of Pd/D Co-deposition (2009)
Results
Search for charged particle emissions resulting from Pd-D Co-Deposition (2011)

Studies
Establishment of the “Solid Fusion” reactor. (2008)
Hydrogen/deuterium adsorption property of Pd fine particle systems and heat evolution associated with Hydrogen/deuterium loading (2009)
Results
MECHANISM OF HEAT GENERATION FROM LOADING GASEOUS  HYDROGEN ISOTOPES INTO PALLADIUM NANOPARTICLES (2012)
Origin of excess heat generated during loading Pd-impregnated alumina powder with deuterium and hydrogen (2012)
Mechanisms for Heat Generation during Deuterium and Hydrogen Loading of Palladium Nanostructures (2012)
Using Bakeout to Eliminate Heat from H/D Exchange During Hydrogen Isotope Loading of Pd-impregnated Alumina Powder (2012)
Effect of temperature gradient on calorimetric measurements during gas-loading experiments (2012)
Measurement Artifacts in Gas-loading Experiments (2012)

Studies
Data from Melvin Miles’ July 2016 experiment and My Recent Kitchen Experiment (2016)
Results
Miles Summer 2016 Ridgecrest Experiment – Coolescence Analysis (2016)

Impressions

According to the classification in my Introduction, Coolessence chose what would be Phase 3 or Phase 4 projects. Given the difficulties in the field, the probability of failure was high. In reviewing this, I will be looking for behaviors and approaches that may have fostered failure. Notice: “failure” means not finding a definitive conclusion. At first glance, the Storms/Scanlan study may have been successful. The others, as far as I have seen so far, did not find the same results as the original reports, so these would be “replication failures.”

“Failure” is not defined as not confirming LENR. If an experiment confirms earlier findings, it is a successful replication, but “findings” does not mean “conclusions.” If the work is left there, fine. It’s a successful confirmation of earlier results.

If it goes on, after that, and demonstrates with controlled experiment that the original results were misleading, i.e., artifact, that is a success (and to be careful, it should, itself, be confirmed. Sometimes, historically, that step has been skipped and premature conclusions drawn). And, of course, if it nails results, eliminating possible artifacts, or increasing precision, it is also successful.

Looking for what is wrong with an experiment or analysis is not the first step. Not ever, except in one way. If one can look at anomalous results and see an obvious artifact, one may not want to put in the effort to actually confirm, and that is a reasonable personal (or organizational) choice. Ordinary skepticism is there to keep us from wasting time. Taken too far, though, it can blind us.

The most recent “Replication” is misnamed. They did not attempt to replicate Miles’ results. Rather, they analyzed his data and came to different conclusions.

Importance

Again, from my point of view, most of this work was of low value, compared to other possibilities. Gas-loading is nowhere near the center of what has been well-confirmed. Glow discharge has always been iffy (and is quite dissimilar to the original findings). There is a general fuzziness that lumps together anything that might be nuclear.

I was originally quite excited over the SPAWAR work, but the neutron results, not the charged-particle results that Coolessence studied, which have always been shaky in some ways (with replicators showing a lack of precision in defining what have been called “SPAWAR tracks). I didn’t like CR-39, it is messy and difficult to interpret, LR-115 might be much easier (but Pam Boss told me that the absorption curve for LR-115 would not be as sensitive as CR-39. Maybe.)

Remarkably, When I opened a box Coolessence sent me (they donated a large cold fusion library to Infusion Institute), stuck in the box was a plastic ziplock bag with what looks like a sheet of LR-115.

No, the neutron findings are more interesting! But still there is a huge problem. The protocols SPAWAR used do not look for excess heat. And you run this experiment for five weeks or more and then pull and develop the detectors. There is no other indication of whether or not the original effect (heat) was present. It’s a small experiment and would not be expected to produce much heat, but this makes a SPAWAR study, even if it shows a radiation effect, close to anecdotal. And from other evidence, if radiation is being produced, it’s at very low levels and has little or nothing to do with the main reaction. All it does is increase the mystery and confusion.

In my 2015 paper, I suggested further study of one protocol other than measuring the heat/helium ratio, and that was the dual-laser stimulation approach of Dennis Letts. It appears that others agreed with the importance of this work. It is known that Industrial Heat worked with this, but that work was discontinued when they closed their lab and released the staff. There was an attempted replication by ReResearch, also published in JCMNS, vol. 20, 2016.

It failed. I notice an acknowledgement from the authors:

we would like to thank Coolescence LLC for the contribution of Pd
material to test in this experimental campaign.

Eek! It is known that the source of palladium can be crucial. There can be unknown impurities or structure present from manufacturing. “Perfect palladium” apparently does not work.

ReResearch showed that replicating Letts wasn’t easy. Letts has claimed high reliability, but that was in his own practice. He might be carrying just the right mojo hand.

McKubre laid out how to run replication; it starts with seeing the effect, where possible, in the original lab and then, step-by-step, this is moved to the replicating lab. As necessary, the original reporter participates in the new lab, the replicators want to see the effect in their own lab. Eventually, the work becomes completely independent and eventually, controls are added. This is painstaking work, done properly.

For future work, my hope is that helium measurement be added. This is difficult and expensive, but … consider the ReResearch work. They clearly did not obtain the FP Heat Effect (or it was not at adequate levels). With helium measurement, this could be confirmed. In the Letts work, the primary study is of the effect of laser stimulation and laser frequency. (This is dual-laser and the effective frequency is thought to be the beat-frequency of the two lasers, in the THz region, as predicted by Hagelstein.)

There are many details where failure is possible.

(One of the supporting activities in the field is and will be the development of more precise helium measurement methods and sampling protocols. My sense is that what already exists is adequate for work where there is significant heat, but if sensitivity and precision can be increased, this will allow the extension of reaction confirmation into lower heat levels.

Other work that might be classified in Phase II would be the identification of additional signals of the reaction. These do not need to be “nuclear” if they are shown to be associated with the nuclear effect. An example: suppose it turns out that the acoustic signals reported by SPAWAR are distinct and associated with reaction “success.” It could then become easier and faster to identify the reaction.

There are fire alarms that depend on heat. (Sprinker systems activate when a plug melts in the sprinkler, and then the movement of water in the piping triggers an alarm. But fire alarms can also detect smoke!)

With a strong signal like helium, if there appears to be heat, and there is no helium, this would then be additional grounds to suspect calorimetry error. Ultimate assessment should be based on extensive experimental series, and hopefully many measures, not just anecdotes and single measures, as has happened too often.

Lewan was there, where was the Pony?

Lewan has blogged a report on the Rossi DPS (Dog and Pony Show).

Reflections on the Nov 24 E-Cat QX demo in Stockholm

Mats has become Mr. Sunshine for Rossi. His report on the Settlement Agreement bought and reported without challenge Rossi’s preposterous claims, and it appears that he has never read the strong evidence that Rossi lied, lied, and lied again, evidence presented in Rossi v. Darden as sworn testimony, Rossi’s own emails, etc.

So what do we have here?

Rossi … asked me if I would take the role as the presenter at the event. I accepted on the condition that I would not be responsible for overseeing the measurements (which were instead overseen by Eng. William S. Hurley, with a background working in nuclear plants and at refineries).

Rossi loves experts with a nuclear background, which will commonly give them practically no preparation to assess a LENR device, but it’s impressive to the clueless. See [JONP May 13, 2015] Mr. Hurley apparently falls into reporting Rossi Says as fact without attribution, I’ll come to that.

Although I would not oversee the measurements, I wanted to make sure that the test procedure was designed in a way that would give a minimum of relevant information.

He succeeded, it was a minimum or even less! As to input power, at least. In fact, there are indications from the test that the QX is producing no significant excess heat.

(I think he meant to write “at least a minimum,” but “minimum” in a context like this implies “as little as possible.” He needs an editor.)

From my point of view, already from the start, it was clear that the demo would not be a transparent scientific experiment with all details provided, but precisely a demonstration by an inventor who decided what kind of details to disclose. However, to make it meaningful, a minimum of values and measurements had to be shown.

Mats compares the demo to an extreme, a “transparent scientific experiment.” Given a reasonable need for secrecy, under some interpretations of the IP situation, that wouldn’t happen at this point, Mats is correct on that. However, by holding up that extreme for comparison, Mats justifies and allows what is not even an interesting commercial demonstration, an indication of significant XP, but only a DPS where XP appears if one squints and ignores available evidence. Mats is making the best of a bad show. Why does he do this?

On one hand, I may think that it’s unfortunate that Rossi chooses to avoid some important measurements, fearing that they would reveal too much information to competitors. On the other hand, I may understand him, provided that he moves along quickly to get a product to market, which seems to be his intention at this point.

Rossi could have arranged for measurement of the input power, easily, without any revelation of legitimate secrets.

Rossi could have been selling power, not to mention actual devices, years ago. Rossi has claimed to be moving to market for six years, but only one sale is known, to IH, in 2012, delivered in 2013, which returned the sold plant (and the technology, which, if real, would be worth billions, easily) to him as worthless in 2017. Rossi is looking for customers for heating power, he claims. If his technology has been as claimed, he could readily have had totally convincing demonstrations in place, delivering real heat, as measured and paid for by the customers, but instead chose to try to fake such a sale in Doral, Florida, essentially to himself, with measurements as arranged and reported by … Rossi.

Lewan here reports Rossi’s motives as if fact. He’s telling an old story that made some sense five years ago, perhaps, but that stopped making sense once Rossi sued Industrial Heat and the facts came out.

Lewan presents a pdf with an outline of Gullstrom’s theory.  This is like many LENR theory papers: attempting to answer a general question, regarding LENR, how could it be happening? There have been hundreds of such efforts. None have been experimentally verified through prediction and confirmation. Such “success” as exists has been post-hoc. I.e., theories have been crafted to “explain” results. This, however, is not the scientific purpose of theory, which is to predict. There is no clue in the Gullstrom theory that it is actually connected with experimental results in any falsifiable  way.

Page 6 of the pdf:

Main theory in 3 steps
Short on other theories
Experiment
Comparision theory to experiment
Future

In “Experiment” he has, p. 34:

Observations:789

Energy production without strong radiation.
Isotopic shifts
Positive ion current through air

He does not title his references, I am doing that here, and I am correcting links:

7. The Lugano Report
8. K. A. Alabin, S. N. Andreev, A. G. Parkhomov. Results of Analyses of the
Isotopic and Elemental Composition of Nickel- Hydrogen Fuel Reactors. The link provided to a googledrive copy is dead. There are similar papers here and here.
9. Nucleon polarizability and long range strong force from σI=2 meson exchange potential, Carl-Oscar Gullström, Andrea Rossi, arXiv.

There is a vast array of experimental reports on LENR. The lack of high-energy gamma radiation is widely reported, but it is crucial in such reports that significant excess heat be present. The Lugano report showed no radiation, and showed isotopic shifts, and a later analysis at Upsalla showed the same shifts, but in both cases, the sample was provided by Rossi, not independently taken.

With the Lugano report, the measurement of heat was badly flawed; there was no real control experiment, and the Lugano reactor was made by Industrial Heat, which later found major calorimetry errors in the Rossi approach (used at Lugano), and when these errors were corrected, that design did not work.

Parkhomov considered his own work “replication” of Rossi, but he was only following up on a vague idea that nickel powder plus LiAlH4 would generate excess heat. His first reported experiment was badly flawed, and the full evidence, (what was available) showed no significant excess heat. He went on, but his claims of XP have never been confirmed, in spite of extensive efforts. And the heat he reported became miniscule, compared with Rossi claims.

And then Gullstrom cites his own paper, co-authored with Rossi, which includes an “experimental report” which was similar to the DPS, making the same blunders or omissions (or fraudulent representations). And all this has been widely criticized, which critiques Gullstrom ignores.

None of this is actually connected with the theory. The theory is general and vague.  The only new claim here is:

Positive ion current

New experimental observation: Li/H ratio in plasma is related to
output energy.
Output power is created when negative ions changes to positive ion
kinetic energy in a current.
Neutral plasma→ number and speed of positive and negative ions
that enters the plasma are the same.
COP: Kinetic energy of positive ions/kinetic energy of negative ions.
Non relativistic kinetic energy:

Σ(m+v2/2) / Σ(mv2/2)
♦ Neutral plasma gives: Σ(v+2/2) = Σ(v2/)

This seems to be nonsense. First of all, he has the kinetic energy of the positive current as the sum of the kinetic energy of the positive ions, which will be the sum of, for each ion, mass times velocity squared divided by two. But he appears to divide this by the kinetic energy of the negative ions. The positive ions would be protons, plus vaporized metals. The negative ions would be electrons, for the most part. much lighter. The velocities will depend on the voltages, if we are talking about net current. The voltage is not reported.

Then with a neutral plasma (forget about non-neutral plasmas, the charge balance under experimental conditions is almost exactly equal), he eliminates the mass factor. Sum of velocities is meaningless. The relationship he gives is insane … unless I am drastically missing something!

♦ COP is related to m+/m i.e. in the range mLi/me= 14000 to mH/me= 2000.

So he is “relating” COP to the ratio of the mass of the positive ions to the mass of the electron. Of course, this would have no relationship to most LENR, because “plasma” LENR is almost an oxymoron. This relationship certainly does not follow from the “experimental evidence.” But then the kicker:

Measured COP in the doral test are in the range of thousands.
Li/H ratio are reduced with the COP.

This is rank speculation on Gullstrom’s part. The “Doral test” was extensively examined in Rossi v. Darden. The test itself was fraudulently set up. Rossi refused to allow access to the test to IH engineering, even though they owned the reactor and had an agreement allowing them to visit at any time. And had the COP actually been as high as is claimed here, the building would have been uninhabitable, if there were no heat exchanger, which would have been working hard, noisy, and quite visible, but nobody saw it. Rossi originally explained the heat dissipation with explanations that didn’t work, so, eventually, faced with legal realities, he invented the heat exchanger story, and I’m quite sure a jury would have so concluded, and Rossi might have been prosecuted for perjury.

He avoided that by agreeing to settle with a walk-away, giving up what he had claimed (three times $89 million). This is legal evidence, not exactly scientific, but it’s relevant when one wants to rely on results that were almost certainly fraudulent. Mats has avoided actually studying the case documents, it appears. Like many on Planet Rossi, he sets aside all that human legal bullshit and wants to see the measurements. Except he doesn’t get the measurements needed. At all.

Before a detailed theoretical analysis is worth the effort, there must be reliable experimental evidence of an effect. That evidence does exist for other LENR effects, not the so-called “Rossi Effect.” The exact conditions of the Rossi Effect, if it exists at all, are secret. Supposedly they were fully disclosed to Industrial Heat, but IH found those disclosures useless, in spite of years of effort, supposedly fully assisted by Rossi.

COP was not measured in the DPS. The estimate that was used in the Gullstrom-Rossi paper is radically incorrect. Indications are that actual COP in the DPS may have been close to 1. I.e.., no excess heat. The reason is that there was obviously significant input power not measured, it would be the stimulation power that would strike the plasma. That this was significant is indicated by the needed control box cooling. There is, then, no support for Gullstrom’s theory in the DPS. To my mind, given the massively flawed basis, it’s not worth the effort of further study.

Back to Lewan:

However, if I were an investor considering to invest in this technology, I would require further private tests being made with accurate measurements made by third-party experts, specifically regarding the electrical input power, making such tests in a way that these experts would consider to be relevant. (See also UPDATE 3 on electrical power measurement below).

Lewan is disclaiming responsibility. He seems to be completely unaware of the actual and documented history of Rossi and Industrial Heat. Rossi simply refuses, and has long refused, to allow such independent examination. He’s walked away from major possible investments when this was attempted. He claimed in his previous Lewan interview that he completely trusted Industrial Heat. But he didn’t. It became obvious.

I would place stronger requirements on such testing by investors. The history at this point is enough that an investor is probably quite foolish to waste money on obtaining that expertise, the probability of Rossi Reality is that low. I would suggest to any investor that they first thoroughly investigate the history of Rossi claims and his relationships with investors who attempted to support him. Lewan really should study the Hydro Fusion test that he documented in his book, there are Rossi v. Darden documents that give a very different picture than what Rossi told Lewan and Hydro Fusion.

Rossi Lies.

And “experts” have managed to make huge errors, working with Rossi.

The claims of the E-Cat QX are:

He means “for,” not “of,” since reactors do not make claims.

– volume ≈ 1 cm3
– thermal output 10-30 W
– negligible input control power
– internal temperature > 2,600° C
– no radiation above background

– at the demo, a cluster of three reactors was tested.

This is all Rossi Says. Some of it may be true. It’s likely there was no radiation above background, for example. In any case, Lewan is correct. These are “claims.”

“Control power” is not defined. Plasma stimulation is an aspect of control power, and was not measured, and was obviously not “negligible.” The current that was actually measured was probably a sense current, not “control.”

If a voltage sufficient to strike a plasma was applied (easily it could be 200 V or more), the ionization in the plasma will reduce resistance (though not generally to the effectively zero resistance Rossi claims) and high current will flow at least momentarily. If there is device inductance, that current — and heating — may continue even after the high voltage is removed. (If the power supply is not properly protected, this could burn it out.)

The test procedure contained two parts—thermal output power and electrical input power from the control system—essentially a black box with an unknown design, connected to the grid.

Always, before, total input power was measured. It was certainly measured in Doral! — but also in all other Rossi demonstrations. (And sometimes it was measured incorrectly, Lewan knows that.) Here, Rossi not only doesn’t measure total input power, which easily could have been done without revealing secrets (unless the secret is, of course, a deliberate attempt to create fraudulent impressions), but he also does not measure the output power of the control box, being fed to the QX. This is, then, completely hopeless.

Measuring the thermal output power was fairly straightforward: Water was pumped from a vessel with cold water, flowing into a heat exchanger around the E-Cat QX reactor, being heated without boiling, and then flowing into a vessel where the total amount of water was weighed using a digital scale.

So far, this appears to be reasonable. I have no reason to doubt the heating numbers. The issue is not that. By the way, this simple calorimetry wasn’t done before. Many had called for it. So, finally, Rossi uses sensible calorimetry — and then removes other information necessary to understand what’s going on.

A second method for determining the output power was planned—measuring the radiated light spectrum from the reactor, using Wien’s Displacement Law to determine the temperature inside the reactor from the wavelength with the maximum intensity in the spectrum, and then, Stefan-Boltzmann Law for calculating the radiated power from the temperature.

These two results would be compared to each other at the demo, but unfortunately, the second method didn’t work well under the conditions at the demo, with too much light disturbing the measurement.

Rossi Says. In fact, the method is badly flawed, even if it had worked. Lewan does not mention the theoretical problems, or, at least, the arguments made. The Gullstrom-Rossi paper has been criticized on this basis.

The method for measuring electrical input power was more problematic. The total consumption of the control system could not be used, since the system, according to Rossi, was using active cooling to reduce overheating inside, due to a complex electrical design.

Understatement. Even if “active cooling” was used — a fan in the control box — total consumption could have been measured, it would have supplied an upper limit. It was not shown, likely because that upper limit was well above the measured power output. All that was necessary to avoid the problem, to reduce the measured input power to that actually input to the reactor — which would then heat the reactor — would be to actually measure input voltages, including RMS AC voltage with adequate tools. If that data were sensitive, this could have been done with a competent expert, under NDA. But Rossi does not do that. Ever.

The “complex electrical design” was obviously to operate in two phases: a stable phase, with low power input to the reactor, and a stimulation phase, requiring high voltage and power. The supposed low input power was during the stable phase, the stimulation phase was ignored and not measured. There are oscilloscope displays indicating, clearly, that AC power was involved, not just the measured DC power.

[Update 4]: One hypothesis for the overheating issue is that the reactor produces an electrical feedback that will be dissipated inside the control system and has to be cooled [end update]

There is no end to the bullshit that can be invented to “explain” Rossi nonsense. It would be trivial to design a system so that power produced in the device would be dissipated in the device (i.e., in components within the calorimetric envelope). Any inductor, when a magnetic field is set up, will generate back-EMF as the field collapses, which, to avoid burning out other components, will be dissipated in a snubber circuit.

This problem actually indicates possible high inductance, which would not be expected solely from the plasma device. However, to imagine a “real problem” with a “real device” that, say, creates a current from some weird physics inside, this could be handled quite the same. Voltage is voltage and current is current and they don’t care how they were generated.

Otherwise the high power supply dissipation is from what it takes to create those fast, high-energy pulses that strike the plasma — and, a nifty side-effect — heat the device, while appearing to be negligible, because they only happen periodically.

At this point of R&D of the system, the total energy consumption of the system is therefore at the same order of magnitude as the released amount of energy from the reactor, and it, therefore, makes no sense to measure the consumption of the control system. Obviously, this must be solved, making a control system which is optimised, in order to achieve a commercially viable product.

Right. So 6 years after Rossi announced he had a 1 MW reactor for sale, and after he has announced that he’s not going to make more of those plants, but is focusing solely on the QX, which he has been developing for about two years, he is not even close. That power supply problem, if real, could easily have been resolved. And it was not actually necessary to solve it at this point! Measuring the input to the power supply would not have revealed secrets (except the Big Secret: Rossi has Zilch!), so this was not a reason to not measure it. Sure, it would not have been conclusive, but it would have been a fuller disclosure, eliminating unnecessary speculation. Rossi wants unnecessary speculation, it confuses, and Rossi wants confusion.

And then actual device input power could have been measured in ways that would not compromise possible commercial secrets. After all, he is claiming that it is “negligible.” (Negligible control power probably means negligible control, by the way, a problem in the opposite direction. But I can imagine a way that control power might be very low. It’s not really relevant now.)

Instead, the aim was to measure the power consumption of the reactor itself. Using Joule’s law (P=UI), electrical power is calculated multiplying voltage across some device with the current flowing through the device. However, Rossi didn’t want to measure the voltage across the reactor, claiming that it would reveal sensible information.

“The aim.” Whose aim? This is one way to measure input power. It is not the only way. In any case, this was was not used, because “Rossi didn’t want to.” A measurement observed by an expert, using sound methods — which could be documented — need not reveal sensitive information. But this would require Rossi to trust someone also trusted by others. That is apparently an empty set. I doubt he would trust Lewan. There are also ways that would only show average power. Any electronics engineer could suggest them. Quite simply, this is not a difficult problem.

He would measure the current by putting a 1-ohm resistance in series with the reactor and measuring the voltage across the resistance with an oscilloscope, then calculate the current from Ohm’s law (U=RI), dividing the voltage by the resistance (being 1 ohm). Accepting to use an oscilloscope was good since this would expose the waveform, and also because strange waveforms and high frequencies would make measurements with an ordinary voltmeter not reliable.

This is simply an ordinary current measurement. The oscilloscope is good, if the oscilloscope displays are clearly shown. A digital storage scope would properly be used, with high bandwidth. Lewan is aware that an “ordinary voltmeter” is inadequate. Especially when they are only measuring DC!

But, as mentioned, knowing the current is not enough. Rossi’s claim was that when operating, the reactor had a plasma inside with a resistance similar to that of an ordinary conductor—close to zero. Electrically this means that the reactor would use a negligible amount of power, but it was just an assumption and I wanted to make it credible through other measurements.

This claim is itself quite remarkable. Plasmas exhibit negative resistance, i.e., resistance decreases with current (because the ionization increases so there are more charge carriers), but it does not go to “zero.” Consider an ordinary flourescent light tube. It’s a plasma device. Normal operating voltage is not enough to get it “started.” One it is started, with a high-voltage pulse, then it conducts. A normal tube is, say, 40W. At 120VAC, this would be about 1/3 A RMS. So the resistance is about 360 ohms. This is far from zero! But a very hot, dense plasma might indeed conduct very well, but how much energy does it take to create that? The measurement methods completely neglect that plasma creation energy.

The basic idea Rossi is promoting is that he creates a hot, dense plasma, and that it then self-heats from an internal reaction. That heating is not enough to maintain the necessary temperature, so it cools, until he stimulates it again. This takes an active control system that may sense the condition of the reactor. And that makes what Lewan suggests quite foolish!

My suggestion, which Rossi accepted, was to eliminate the reactor after the active run, replacing it first with a conductor, then with a resistance of about 800 ohms as a dummy, to see how the control system behaved. The conductor should provide a similar measurement value as with the reactor if the reactor behaved as a conductor. Using the 800-ohm resistance, on the other hand, should show whether the control system would possibly maintain the measured current, expected to be around 0.25A, with a higher resistance in the circuit. At 0.25A, a resistance of 800 ohms would consume about 50W, which would be dissipated as heat, and this could then explain the produced heat in the reactor without any reaction, just from electric heating.

The problem is that this is not a decent set of controls. The control system is designed to trigger a plasma device, which will have, before being triggered, very high resistance. Much higher than 800 ohms, I would expect. Lewan does not mention it, but the voltage he expected across the 800 ohm resistor would be 200 V. Dangerous. Lewan is looking for DC power. That’s not what is to be suspected.

By the way, an ordinary pocket neon AC tester can show voltages over 100 V. I would expect that one of those would light up if placed across the reactor, at least during triggering. Some of these are designed to approximately measure voltage.

Lewan is not considering the possibility of an active control system that will sense reactor current. His test would provide very little useful information. So the behavior he will see is not the behavior of the system under test.

[UPDATE 3]: I now think I understand why Rossi wouldn’t let us measure the voltage across the reactor. Rossi has described the E-Cat QX as two nickel electrodes with some distance between them, with the fuel inside, and that when the reactor is in operation, a plasma is formed between the electrodes.

Right. That is the description. What we don’t know is if there are other components inside the reactor, most notably, as a first-pass suspicion, an inductor and possibly some capacitance.

Most observers have concluded that a high voltage pulse of maybe 1kV is required to form the plasma.

Maybe less. At least, I’d think, 200 V.

Once the plasma is formed the resistance should decrease to almost zero and the control voltage immediately has to be reduced to a low value.

Yes. Or else very high current will flow and something may burn out. This is ordinary plasma electronics. “Almost zero” is vague. But it could be low. Rossi wants the plasma to get very hot. So the trigger pulse will be longer than necessary to simply strike the plasma. However, there may also be local energy storage, in an inductor and/or capacitor. A high current for a short time can be stored as energy, then this can be more slowly released.

Normally, and as claimed by Rossi, the plasma would have a resistance as that of a conductor,

Calling this “normal” is misleading. He would mean “when very hot.”

and the voltage across the reactor will then be much lower than the voltage across the 1-ohm resistor (measured to about 0.3V—see below). Measuring the voltage across the reactor will, therefore, be difficult:

Nonsense. It might take some sophistication. What Lewan is claiming here, is remarkable. This would be difficult to measure because of the high voltage!

The high voltage pulse risks destroying normal voltmeters and measuring the voltage with an oscilloscope will be challenging since you first have to capture the high voltage pulse at probably 1 kilovolt and then immediately after you would need to measure a voltage of maybe millivolts. [end update]

Lewan is befogged. We don’t really care about the “millivolts” though they could be measured. What we really care about is the power input with the high voltage pulse. The only function of that low voltage and the current in the “non-trigger” phase is to provide information back to the control unit about plasma state. When the input energy has been radiated — in this test, conducted away in the coolant — the plasma will cool and resistance will increase, and then the control box will generate another trigger. The power input during that cooling phase is negligible, as claimed.

But the power input during the triggers is not negligible, it is substantial, and, my conclusion, this is how the device heats the water.

That high voltage power could easily be measured with an oscilloscope, and with digital records using a digital storage oscilloscope. (Dual-channel, it could be set up to measure current and voltage simultaneously.) They are now cheap. (I don’t know about that Textronix scope. It could probably do this, though.)

At the demo, 1,000 grams of water was heated 20 degrees Celsius in one hour, meaning that the total energy released was 1,000 x 20 x 4.18 = 83,600J and the thermal power 83,600/3600 ≈ 23W.

The voltage across the 1-ohm resistor was about 0.3V (pulsed DC voltage at about 100kHz frequency), thus the current 0.3A. The power consumed by the resistor was then about 0.09W and if the reactor behaved as a conductor its power consumption would be much less.

I continue to be amazed that Planet Rossi calls “pulsed voltage” “DC.” What does 0.3 V mean? He gives a pulse frequency of 100 kHz. Is 0.3 V an average voltage or peak? Same with the current. And Lewan knows better, from his past criticism of Rossi, than to calculate power by multiplying voltage and current with other than actual DC. What is the duty cycle? What are the phase relationships?

Basically, this is an estimate of power consumption only in the non-trigger phase, ignoring the major power input to the reactor, enough power to heat it to very hot plasma temperatures and possibly to also create some continued heating for a short time.

Using a conductor as a dummy, the voltage across the 1-ohm resistance was about 0.4V, thus similar as with the reactor in the circuit. With the 800-ohm resistance, the voltage across the 1-ohm resistance was about 0.02V and the current thus about 0.02A. The power consumption of the 800-ohm resistance was then 0.02 x 0.02 x 800 ≈ 0.3W, thus much lower than the thermal power released by the reactor.

The power supply was operating in the non-trigger mode. The plasma at 800 ohms is still conductive. What happens as the resistance is increased? What I’d think of is putting a neon tester across the reactor and pulling the 800 ohms. I’d expect the tester to flash, showing high voltage. Unless, of course, someone changed the reactor programming (and there might be a switch to prevent unwanted triggers, which could, after all, knock someone touching this thing on their ass. Hopefully, that’s all.).

These dummy measurements can be interpreted in a series of ways, giving a COP (output power/input power) ranging from about 40 to tens of thousands. Unfortunately, no precise answer can be given regarding the COP with this method, but even counting the lowest estimate, it’s very high, indicating a power source that produces useful thermal power with a very small input power for controlling the system.

Lewan has not considered interpretations that are even likely, not merely possible. His “lowest estimate” completely neglects the elephant in this living room, the high voltage trigger power, which he knows he did not measure. Lewan’s interpretations here can mislead the ignorant. Not good.

At the demo, as seen in the video recording, Rossi was adjusting something inside the control system just before making the dummy measurements. Obviously, someone could wonder if he was changing the system in order to obtain a desired measured value.

His own answer was that he was opening an air intake after two hours of operation since the active cooling was not operating when the system was turned off.

It is always possible that an implausible explanation is true. But Rossi commonly does things like this, that will raise suspicions. Why was that air intake ever closed? Lewan takes implausible answers from Rossi and reports them. He never questions the implausibility.

My own interpretation here of what happened does not require any changes to the control box, so, under this hypothesis, Rossi messing around was just creating more smoke. Rossi agreed to the 800 ohm dummy because he knew it would show what it showed. The trigger resistance might be far higher than that. (But I have not worked out possibilities with an inductor. That circuit might be complex; we would not need to know the internals to measure reactor input power.)

There are many possibilities, and to know what actually happened requires more information than I have. But the need for control box active cooling is a strong indication of high power being delivered to the QX.

[Update 2]: Someone also saw Rossi touch a second switch close to the main switch used for turning on and off the system. Rossi explained that there were actually two main switches—one for the main circuit and one for the active cooling system—and that there were also other controls that he couldn’t explain in detail. [end update].

Clearly this comes down to a question of trust, and personally, discussing this detail with Rossi for some time, I have come to the conclusion that his explanation is reasonable and trustworthy.

That’s it. This is Lewan’s position. He trusts Rossi, who has shown a capacity for generating “explanations” that satisfy his targets enough that they don’t check further when they could.

Rossi appears, then, as a classic con artist, who is able to generate confidence, i.e., a “confidence man.” Contrary to common opinion, genuine con artists fool even quite smart people. They know how to manipulate impressions, “conclusions,” which are not necessarily rational, but emotional.

The explanation for touching the power supply might be entirely true, and Lewan correct in trusting that explanation, but this all distracted him from the elephant: that overworked control box! And then the trigger power. How could one ignore that? A Rossi Force Field?

Here below is the test report by William S. Hurley, as I received it from Rossi:

This part of this report is straightforward, and probably accurate.

Energy produced:  20 x 1.14 = 22.8 Wh/h

But I notice one thing: “Wh/h.” That is a Rossi trope. It is not that it is wrong, but I have never seen an American engineer use that language. Rossi always uses it. An American engineer not writing under Rossi domination would have written “average power: 22.8 W.” Or “energy produced: 22.8 Wh” (since the period was an hour). As written, it’s incorrect. Wh/h is a measure of power, not energy. It is a rate.

But this part of the report is bullshit, for all the reasons explained above:

Measurement of the energy consumed ( during the hour for 30′ no energy has been supplied to the E-Cat) :
V: 0.3
OHM: 1
A: 0.3
Wh/h 0.09/2= 0.045
Ratio between Energy Produced and energy consumed: 22.8/0.045 = 506.66

So this calculation uses the 50% (30 min out of 60) duty cycle stated (which was not shown in the test, as far as I have seen). Without that adjustment, a factor of two, the “input power” would be 90 mW. Again, “energy consumed” is incorrect. What is stated is average power, not energy. This shows lack of caution on the part of Hurley, if Hurley actually wrote that report.

But this totally neglects the trigger power, as if it didn’t exist. One could supply any waveform desired at 90 mW without a lot of additional power being necessary. Hurely presumably witnessed the triggers, they generated visible light. Does he think that was done at 0.3 V? On what planet?

(Planet Rossi, obviously.)

The energy “consumed” was not measured! How many times is it necessary to repeat this?

However, with a power supply with about 60W of active cooling, according to the Lewan slide, that the power supply was producing all the measured output power is plausible.

To sum up the demo, there were several details that were discussed, from the problematic electrical measurement to observations of Rossi touching something inside the control system just before an additional measurement was being made (see below). [Update 1]: It was also noted that the temperature of the incoming water was measured before the pump and that the pump could possibly add heat. However, the temperature did not raise at the beginning of the demo when only the pump was operating and not the reactor. Rossi also gave the pump to me after the demo so that I could dismantle it (will do that), together with a wooden block where a 1-ohm resistance was mounted, which he also advised me to cut through (will do that too). [End update].

The  touching and the pump issue were probably red herrings. But, yes, what where they thinking, measuring the temperature before the pump instead of after? One of the tricks of magicians is to allow full inspection of whatever is not a part of the actual trick. A skilled magician will sometimes deliberately create suspicion, then refute it.

In the end, I found that there were reasonable explanations for everything that occurred, and the result indicated a clear thermal output with a very small electrical input from the control system.

Lewan was aware of the problems, but then fooled himself with his useless dummy. Just a moment’s thought, it would take, to realize that there is energy going into the reactor, at high voltage, occasionally, and then this would make it very clear that the real input power wasn’t measured.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the QUA[R]CK-X!

LenrForum:

Demonstration thread started November 15Start reading here, Alan posted before the DPS (Dog and Pony Show) started.

E-Catworld:

Youtube:

3 hours. As I write this, I have not yet viewed more than a little of it. I will be compiling links to specific times in this video, and will appreciate assistance with that. Above, by the headline and by “DPS”, I reveal my ready conclusion. I will be providing a basis for that, but, meanwhile, fact is fact and we need be careful not to confuse fact with conclusion.

Test methods

From this page:

Here are the slides that Mats Lewan used in the first segement of the E-Cat QX demonstration of November 24, 2017 in which he gave an introduction to the E-Cat QX and explained how the presentation was to proceed.

Unless he hedged this in the actual presentation (and I will edit this if I find that he did), Mats is responsible for this content.

Slide 1:

E-CAT QX

Third generation of the patented E-Cat technology:
A heat source built on a low energy nuclear reaction (LENR)
with a fuel based primarily on nickel, aluminum, hydrogen and
lithium, with no radiation and with no radioactive waste.

The fuel is “Rossi Says” [* is used below] “No radiation” is possibly controversial: many tests, however, have looked for radiation and found little or none.

Claims E-Cat QX:

I have numbered the claims, and brief comments:

1. volume ≈ 1 cm3 [plausible]
2. thermal output 10-30 W [plausible as dissipation in device]
3. negligible input control power [* not plausible]
4. internal temperature > 2,600° C [* unlikely]
5. no radiation above background [plausible]

Today: Cluster of 3 E-Cat QX

Slide 2: (diagram, shows water circulation)

Water reservoir -> K-probe  -> QX -> K-probe -> Water tank on scale

(This looks simple and solid. While a magician or fraud, given control of conditions, can create fake anything, if there is fraud here, it is probably not in this part of the test.)

Slide 3: (calculations)

Thermal output
W = mwater* Cp* ∆T
Cp water = 4.18 J/(g·K)
Pav = W/t

W is, misleadingly but harmlessly, in a common confusion in Rossi presentations, not wattage but energy, in watt-seconds or Joules. Average power, in watts, is then is the energy divided by the measurement interval.

Slide 4:

Thermal output

(diagram, QX light -> spectrometer)

Wien’s displacement law:
λmax = b/T or T = b/λmax
where b ≈ 2900 μm·K
Stefan–Boltzmann law:
P = AεσT4
where
A = area
ε = emissivity
σ ≈ 5.67 × 10−8 W/(m2⋅K4)

This is BS. The QX is allegedly a plasma device, and light from a plasma does not follow the laws for black-body radiation. Light can appear to be intense but the energy will be in narrow bands, characteristic of the plasma gas. This approach simply does not work. However, it is not actually a significant part of the test. A very small spot can be very hot, that does not show high overall power if the very hot region is small, with low mass, and, as well, if it is transient.

(Mats in the video claims that the device is “similar to a black body,” but no evidence is provided for that claim.)

Slide 5: (schematic diagram)

Electric input. [explanation at video 11:28)

Shown is AC line power (unmeasured) feeding a Direct Current source (the symbol for DC is used), incorporating a fan, “active cooling ca. 60 W”. Then the DC output is connected to a 1 ohm sense resistor, and there is a voltmeter across it. Then the other side of the resistor is connected to one terminal of the QX. There are two labels, overprinted, “0 Ω” and “800 Ω.” This refers to two conditions, the zero resistance is to test conditions, allegedly, and the 800 ohms is a Lewan “test” which shows essentially nothing. The other side of the QX returns to the power supply.

I = U/R
P = UI
P = RI2
800 * 0.252 ≈ 50 W

This is utter nonsense. There is no reported measurement of the “power input” to the QX. This is the same preposterousness as was in the Gullstrom paper, widely criticized. What is “U”? Unstated. Perhaps it is in the videos. By the formula it is a voltage, the voltage used to determine the current through the 1 ohm sense resistor. If I is then that current, “P” would be the power dissipated in the sense resistor. The figure of 800 is used, but this is not under test conditions, the QX has been replaced by the 800 ohm resistor. So there is, from the power supply, 50W of power delivered to an 800 ohm resistor, apparently. This means what? It means about 200 V, that’s what!

Mats says in the video that the white box is the power source. Then he says it is a black box. Well, Mats? Which is it, white or black? He describes it as producing “direct current, which is pulsed.” That is quite different from “direct current,” depending on details. Mats says that the 1 ohm resistor is not necessary for the function of the generator. Yet, in operation, the resistance of the QX is described as zero. These descriptions have driven many who know a little electronics crazy. Yes, the 1 ohm resistor is a sense resistor, used only to measure current, but if the QX resistance is actually zero, nothing would limit current other than the supply max, and there would be no control.

The QX is a plasma device. Such devices have high resistance until a plasma is struck. It appears from the video that a plasma is repeatedly struck. At that point the voltage to the QX must be high. There will then be a short period when input power to the QX is high, until the resistance drops and input power with it. Zero resistance is quite unlikely. There is no evidence shown in the video of zero resistance, but the largest missing is any actual measure of input power.

At 13:22, Lewan explains the Rossi insanity that the heat of the reactor is conducted through the cables to the power supply, causing destruction of components. Later, on ECW, Lewan reports that Rossi is “no longer” giving this explanation. But why did he believe it in the first place?

This is said to explain the cooling fan for the power supply.

I later said, during the presentation, that Rossi no longer claims the heating problem is due to heat through the wires, but an internal heating problem in the control box. Fulvio Fabiani, who has built the original design of the control system, confirmed this, and said that it would need investments to and resources to build a control system that eliminates this problem. I agree that this seems strange. However, high voltage, high frequency, and high velocity might be challenging, combined.

The power supply is creating an output with substantial high voltage and frequency, but nothing shown as input to the reactor is high voltage or frequency. There is no consideration in the input power discussion of anything other than direct current, at low voltages.

It is obvious: there is high-frequency power being generated, and there is indirect evidence in the demo that this is roughly enough to explain the reported output power. I was discussing this today with David French, and he said that a test with forbidden measurements of a factor that might be crucial is not a test. He’s obviously correct.

If Rossi were a reliable reporter, we might decide to trust his reports. But there is voluminous evidence in Rossi v. Darden that he is not reliable. For as long as I have been following Rossi (since early 2011), he has put on one demonstration after another where some critical factor was hidden. With some of his early E-Cat demos, it was claimed that the cooling water was all vaporized, that the output was “dry steam,” but a humidity meter was used to verify this, and humidity meters cannot measure steam dryness. The physicists observing these tests had no steam experience and were easily fooled. In the Krivit video, Rossi clearly knows that there is condensed or overflow water in the output hose, because he walks it to the drain before pulling the hose out to show Krivit the steam flow, which was completely inadequate for the claimed evaporation rate. And that little demonstration concealed that water was slowly overflowing, and overflow was never checked. (Overflow is a different and larger concern than steam quality; steam quality itself was a red herring.)

In discussions on LENR Forum, THHuxleynew wrote:

Alan Smith wrote:

[…] The 800 ohm resistor was used as part of the calibration demonstration. Since the Q-X has virtually zero resistance there is not much point in measuring the voltage drop across it, so in order do show that (for example) an 800 ohm resistive heater was NOT present inside the Q-X capsule, the Q-X was taken out of circuit and a low-wattage 800 ohm resistor was put in its place. The voltage drop was measured again over the 1 ohm resistor to show there was a significant difference. This also was used to prove that the PSU was a constant voltage device, not a constant current device.

Anyone with substantial electronics experience would know how crazy-wrong this is. You don’t know that a device has “virtually zero resistance” unless you measure the voltage drop across it at a known current. The resistance of quite good conductors can be measured this way.

In any case, one would measure the voltage across the QX to verify that it is low (or “zero” as claimed, which is very unlikely for a plasma device.) Who there has experience with plasma devices? I played with neon tubes when I was young, great fun. Yes, they show “negative resistance,” i.e., the more current that flows through them, the lower the resistance, but zero? This is a major discovery all of its own, if true. It almost certainly is not. But the resistance of the QX might well be very low, because it is not the resistance of a plasma device, but of an inductor.

The test does not show what Alan claims for it. An ordinary 800 ohm resistive heater was not a reasonable possibility. With no measurement of voltage, this is all meaningless. The power supply is said to be “adaptive,” so conditions for the QX test and the 800 ohm resistor could be different. There was no description of what was actually done. The power measured with 800 ohms, from calculations was 50 W, which would certainly not be a “low wattage” resistor. But then there is more:

That is a weirdly indirect way of showing the QX has a low impedance. Also it is likely wrong! What was the 800 ohm resistor cal current? You also can’t prove CV from a single measurement.

only Rossi would give such indirect and dubious evidence… Why not measure the PSU voltage directly?

Sekrit, that’s why!

THHuxleynew wrote:

Also, these voltage measurements, are they DC or AC? And is the supply DC or AC? Without all these questions answered the word prove that Alan uses is way off beam… Impedance is not a single value independent of frequency. Nor is the QX likely linear.

Indeed. Alan’s response?

Alan Smith wrote:

The QX is stated to have near zero resistance. Which tends to suggest it has near zero impedance. Though after 5 beers I am not looking for an argument about that. Have at it.

After 5 beers, it gets worse.

THHuxleynew wrote:

[…] Suppose it has low resistance when in plasma state but high resistance when off. Driven by AC it would have varying impedance, and maybe absorb much power during these HV spikes some believe exist.

Or, take an inductor in parallel with a resistor. Low impedance at DC, high resistance at AC.

Perhaps I need to drink some more wine to even things up…

He’d have to drink a lot to approach Alan’s dizziness….

Oldguy points to the obvious: [To Alan]

Was the 800 ohm resister inductive or non inductive?

I am still having trouble with the claim that the claim that the device has “virtually zero resistance”.

Was it measured while running? How was that measured for the system as demonstrated?

Sure seem like there IS a “point in measuring the voltage drop across it”. A major point. It is possible to have a device with a low DC resistance but high inductive impedance. If there was any pulses or AC present, it could make a very big difference. -(example: a wire coil around some Ni) If It is to demonstrate the reality of excess then the voltage needs to be measured across with what ever waveform it is running with.

One would think. But Rossi certainly does not think like this. Unless he does. Unless he figured out  a way to make it appear, to those who don’t look or think carefully, that he is putting on low power, when he is putting in much more, there in plain sight and actually obvious and even necessary.

Alan Smith wrote: (about Oldguy’s “device”)

Tell me about this device? A choke perhaps? I think you will struggle to find me a good example.

Weird, indeed, probably the beers talking. He said the word: “choke.” That’s an example.

Oldguy also wrote:

No, again, you can have near zero DC resistance but have a large inductive impedance to high frequency (or spikes). The narrower the pulses the greater the “effective resistance” for an inductive device. […]

A simple wire coil with a nickel or cobalt core would do it. For example, a 10 mH inductor, would appear to have near zero resistance (depending on gauge) but about 4 ohms at 60 Hz and 7.5 ohms at 120 Hz and then about 160 ohms at 2500 Hz. Very fast pulses (single wave of a very high freq in effect) would make the effective R very high and with power going as V^2 you could transfer a significant power. A flyback transformer, cap and a read vibrator could easily be put in the housing of most DC supplies to add high V pulses.

Bottom line – the DC and AC across the device must [be] measured while running or you know nothing about possible power consumption.

Yes. The DPS pretends otherwise, and Mats Lewan, while he is aware of the massive deficiencies, goes along with it. It does not appear that Rossi invited anyone likely to question his claims. Mats seems to be on some kind of edge. Yet, in the end, he’s been had.

THHuxleynew:

All these (dubious even at DC) indirect measurements are no good if the PSU is AC, or has HV AC spikes.

Rossi, remember, has a proven (by Mats, of all people) history of mismeasuring things with meters to show positive COP from devices that are actually electric heaters.

Adrian Ashfield wrote:

Alan Smith wrote:

Tell me about this device? A choke perhaps? I think you will struggle to find me a good example.

The pathoskeptics are just looking for a way to back up their previous firmly held opinions. I doubt you can win against hem short of units for sale.

Even if the setup were perfect they would say the readings were false, or there’s hidden battery, etc, etc. The current and voltage appears to be low enough that would be very difficult claim measurement error would wipe away a COP of 300.

Ashfield has shown again and again that he is utterly clueless. There are certainly pseudoskeptics who will not accept even good evidence, but they are matched by pseudoscientists (i.e., “believers”) who assume what they want without evidence. Here, Ashfield has nothing to contribute to the conversation, but still bloviates about what he has no understanding of.

Genuine skeptics (people like THHuxleynew) are very important for the future of LENR, because they can form the bridge. Genuine skeptics are willing to look at evidence and not dismiss it out-of-hand.

As to Ashfield’s claim, input power was not measured, and easily could be enough for a COP of 1. I.e., no excess power. Mats Lewan even points this out:

‘I think the demonstration today went well, with some limits that depends on what Rossi will accept to measure publicly. The problematic part is that the voltage over the reactor could not be measured, which would be necessary to calculate the electric power consumed by the reactor. In the calculations made by Rossi and Eng. William S. Hurley, who oversaw the measurements, the power consumed by the 1-ohm resistor was used as input power instead, assuming that the plasma inside the reactor has a resistance close to that of a conductor, thus consuming a negligible amount of power since the voltage across the reactor would be very low.

(“could not be measured” because Rossi would not allow it. Then it is claimed that it was “very low,” but the evidence for this is entirely missing. They don’t even try. The power dissipated in the 1 ohm sense resistor would be irrelevant, having almost no relationship to the QX input power. That only shows DC current, not power input, even at DC, and no attempt was made to measure RMS power, and there was very substantial RMS power, it’s obvious.)

[…] it seems strange that the power supply, even if it is a complex design, is such that it needs significant active cooling, resulting in a total system that has a COP of about 1 or less at this point.

That power supply needs cooling because it is generating high voltage pulses to strike the plasma, and with no measurement of these (and it seems that the pulsing was frequent), there is no clue as to input power, but it easily could be enough to explain the “output” power.

William S. Hurley III

Sam provided a list of comments on JONP from Hurley.  It came from LENR Forum, Bill H.  (There appear to be many more comments from Hurley there.) There is speculation about Hurley on LENR Forum, with people doing a search, finding a William Hurley, and then saying that this is the DPS engineer. No. There is more than one Hurley, that much I had. I suspect the DPS Hurley lives in Huntington Beach, California, but I haven’t yet seen any strong evidence. However, his alleged company name, somewhere (I think in Lewan information), was spelled Endeavor. From the JONP comments, it is Andeavor. $6 billion in assets. Web site.

Bruce H wrote:

Alan Smith wrote:

He is Willam Hurley, an engineer who works in the oil business. That’s what he told me. At the beginning of the demo he was introduced as an an ‘overseeing expert’. But he was pretty low key for that role. nodding now and then was most of it.

Thanks. I think he probably has the background he claims. My interest is in his role in the proceedings. One thing that has puzzled me is that a summary of COP calculations was sent to Mats Lewan and then posted on ECW over his name (http://e-catworld.com/2017/11/…comments-from-mats-lewan/), and yet this report is written in Rossi-ese complete with “Wh/h” notation and slightly ungrammatical English.

He strikes me as a pawn who was under the impression that he had an important role in the proceedings, but in reality did not.

I pointed out the Wh/h trope yesterday. There is a history behind this. I once pointed to Rossi’s usage of Wh/h for power as a “trope.” That did not  mean “error.” It is simply relatively rare, i.e., idiosyncratic. I’ve researched it fairly deeply, it may be more common in Europe, and I think Jed said some Japanese use it. I have never seen an American engineer or scientist use this.

In my training, we always reduced units. Working with units like that is an important part of learning science and engineering.

Wh is watt-hour, i.e., 1 watt for one hour. The SI unit is joules/second, but the definition of a joule is one watt-second, i.e., one watt for one second. So an alternate unit for energy is watt-second, and watt-hour is common. The unit for power is simply “watt.”

I explained all this maybe a year ago. Rossi commented on it, claiming it was completely wrong, and his treatment showed that he thinks of “watt-hour” as a unit of energy, and that then power is the obvious rate, watt-hours/hour. He claimed the “hour” cannot be cancelled, and for further discussion, he referred to an well-known book author. I researched this issue in that author’s work, and found that he confirmed that the “hour” would cancel out. I.e., Rossi’s source contradicted Rossi. Rossi never, however, admits error.

It was not the use of wh/h that was wrong, that would be a pedantic objection. Rather it was his claim that “watt” or “kilowatt” was wrong.

(By the way, Rossi called the Plant the “1 MW E-cat.” Not the “1 MWh/h E-cat.”)

The point was not that Wh/h was incorrect, but that this was a red flag that this was not written by an American engineer, unless he was copying Rossi.

There is another clear sign: the company name spelling “Endeavor” is in that text, linked by Bruce H, taken from ECW. Hurley would not make that mistake. Period. Rossi would, easily. Rossi wrote that report. Hurley may have approved it, but even there, I’d expect the Endeavor error would have stood out for him and he’d have corrected it.

Alan Smith wrote:

Bruce_H wrote: “Wh/h”

Don’t start this again or we will have MY banging on about it. Wh/h is power supply engineer shorthand for the sustained load a system can handle. It is however not a recognised SI or Imperial unit of measurement.

Alan doesn’t want accurate information expressed because MY will jump on it? His comment may be misleading, or may be accurate for Great Britain, where he lives. However, “Wh/h” is not how a power supply engineer would express the load a system can handle. They would either state that it can handle X Watts for time T. Or they would state that the system can deliver so many Wh, but they would want to state peak load. Another way to say this is that a supply can sustain a load of so many watts (time not specified, and time is not specified in Wh/h, it’s an average). “Sustained” in this case is about what the supply will do without burning out. It’s a rating.

Bruce_H wrote:

I agree completely. I only use it as an indicator that that it was not Mr Hurley who wrote the report that appears over his name.

This is the DPS Hurley.

Tesoro Senior Project Engineer, Tesoro Petroleum Corp.

(Tesoro became Andeavor, August 1, 2017.)

This is also Hurley, engineer for a radio license with an address given for Tesoro in Huntington Beach., 2101 E PACIFIC COAST HWY, LOS ANGELES, WILMINGTON, CA. Mr. Hurley has a boat.

If it were important, we could contact Mr. Hurley. It’s not. We know what data he worked with, and if he made a mistake, as we think, it is no skin off our teeth. He should know, however, that he is hitching his reputation to a known fraud and con artist.

I finally found his Linked-In profile. It’s listed under Bill Hurley. (there are many of these.) Behold:

 

Mr. Hurley has a decent background. However, he has a conflict of interest. Considering the above, he would want, at this point, to encourage Rossi to deal with him. He gains no benefit by being skeptical in his analysis, as long as he is honest with his employer, and he would know, if he’s researched Rossi history, that any sign of significant skepticism, he’d be history in the Rossi story.

If Andeavor actually buys a reactor — or power — from Rossi, this would become very, very interesting. Otherwise, this is SOP for Rossi.

How are we doing?

As the first anniversary of this blog approaches, some statistics:

As of now, there are 247 published posts and  101 published pages. In terms of the number of comments, so far, the top posts, with 50 or more each:

Continue reading “How are we doing?”

What next? So much meshegas, so little time.

Watching LENR Forum, as well as looking at unfinished business here, there are endless provocations to write. I’m going to list some topics.

Interest?

Continue reading “What next? So much meshegas, so little time.”

How to win by losing: give up and declare victory!

And that’s what Rossi did, in spite of the insanity proclaimed on LENR Forum and elsewhere, and his followers lap it up, even though, like much buzz on Planet Rossi, it is utterly preposterous.

For a year, on his blog, Rossi had been proclaiming that he was going to demolish IH in the lawsuit, that he had proof, etc. Out of eight counts alleged, four were dismissing from a motion (and a count must be really poor to be dismissed at that stage — and what remained was hanging on a thread. Maybe Rossi could come up with some killer proof in discovery. That never happened, all that Rossi found were some ambiguous statements that, if one squinted, could look a little like what he was claiming, whereas the other side was heavily supported. Continue reading “How to win by losing: give up and declare victory!”

Mary Yugo, Sniffex and the Blindness of Reactive Certainty

On LENR Forum, maryyugo bloviated:

When James Randi’s foundation exposed Sniffex as a fraud, he was sued. The suit was similarly dropped before independent technical experts could perform tests on the device. Strange how that works. You may recall that Sniffex was sold as an explosive detector but was really a dowsing rod which when tested by many different agencies, detected nothing. It and similar devices did and probably still do maim and kill many people who rely on them to detect explosives and IED’s, especially in S. E. Asia and the Middle East and IIRC Africa where they can still be promoted and sold. Amusingly, Lomax the abdominable snow man, still thinks these things have merit. I propose giving him one and turning him loose with it in a minefield so he can prove it if he thinks we are slandering the makers.

I know the Sniffex case and have researched it fairly deeply. Much of what Mary Yugo has claimed is not verifiable, but some is. It does appear that the Sniffex was a very expensive dowsing rod (about $6,000, though there are sources saying as high as $60,000).

However, dowsing rods can detect something, this is where Mary goes too far. What they detect is entirely another issue, I call it “psychic.” Meaning “of the mind,” not  meaning woo. A “psychic amplifier” or “sensor” will fail a double-blind test, the kind that Mary considers golden. However, in real life, there are often what are called “sensory leakages,” in parapsychological research. Information that comes through in ways that are not necessarily expected.

In medicine, there is the placebo effect, but, then, are there approaches which amplify the placebo effect? Clinical manner certainly would. Anything else?

I never claimed that the Sniffex “had merit.” This is Mary’s corrupt interpretation, radically misleading, like much of what Mary writes.

And I never claimed that Yugo was “slandering the makers.” Mary made all that up. Continue reading “Mary Yugo, Sniffex and the Blindness of Reactive Certainty”

Is there a survival benefit for stupidity?

Continuing Hope springs eternal.

Is there a survival benefit for stupidity?

Probably not for stupidity itself, but possibly for persistence in the face of obstacles, if the person does know when to fold.

My son was about ten years old, walking in the woods with his friend. Recognizing poison oak, he told his friend to be careful not to touch it. His friend said, “That’s not poison oak!” My son said, yes, it is. His friend said, “Look!” and rubbed his face with the plant. Continue reading “Is there a survival benefit for stupidity?”

Hope springs eternal

Rossi-Blog Comment Discussion on LENR Forum. This starts with Alan Smith’s announcement that he will be attending the Rossi Quark-X demo in Miami (apparently), but then looks at discussion and general insanity around the Quark-X electrical measurements. Many other topics intruded into the thread, but mostly I stuck with the electrical issue. Continue reading “Hope springs eternal”

Paranoia strikes deep

Evil Big Physics is out to fool and deceive us! They don’t explain everything in ordinary language! If Steve Krivit was Fooled, how about Joe Six-Pack?

Krivit continues to rail at alleged deception.

Nov. 7, 2017 EUROfusion’s Role in the ITER Power Deception 

All his fuss about language ignores the really big problem with this kind of hot fusion research: it is extremely expensive, it is not clear that it will ever truly be practical, the claims of being environmentally benign are not actually proven, because there are problems with the generation of radioactive waste from reactor materials exposed to high neutron flux; it is simply not clear that this is the best use of research resources.

That is, in fact, a complex problem, not made easier by Krivit’s raucous noises about fraud. Nevertheless, I want to complete this small study of how he approaches the writing of others, in this case, mostly, public relations people working for ITER or related projects. Continue reading “Paranoia strikes deep”

ITERitation

Krivit continues his crusade against DECEPTION!

Nov. 7, 2017 List of Corrected Fusion Power Statements on the ITER Web Site

What has been done is to replace “input power” with “input heating power.” Krivit says this is to “differentiate between reactor input power and plasma heating input power.” He’s not wrong, but … “Input heating power” could still be misunderstood. In fact, all along what was meant by “input power” was plasma heating power, and it never meant total power consumption, not even total power consumption by the heating system, since there are inefficiencies in converting electrical power to plasma heating.

Krivit calls all this “false and misleading statements about the promised performance of the ITER fusion reactor” and claims “This misrepresentation was a key factor in the ITER organization’s efforts to secure $22 billion of public funding.”

If anyone was misled about ITER operation, they were not paying attention. Continue reading “ITERitation”

Krivit’s ITERation – Deja vu all over again

Krivit must be lonely, there is no news confirming Widom-Larsen theory, which has now been out for a dozen years with zero confirmation, only more post-hoc “explanations” that use or abuse it, for no demonstrated value, so far.

But, hey, he can always bash ITER, and he has done it again. Continue reading “Krivit’s ITERation – Deja vu all over again”

Gateway to Chaos, Confusion, and Complexity

I spent years as a very active Wikipedia editor. My contributions there don’t reflect well the level of work that I did — some users accumulate large edit counts with brief reverts based on immediate appearances, it’s very quick, sometimes even computer-assisted, I once tracked the contributions of an administrator who obviously sat at his computer pressing Save several times a minute for simple edits suggested by a program. He did this for many hours.

You can see the total numbers of my contributions on all WMF wikis on the global account display. Because my “community ban” on Wikipedia has come up recently– the situation being misrepresented in the new RationalWiki article on me — I will cover this on a page here, Wikipedia/Bans/Abd (draft, not complete)

There is a theme, revenge. In theory, Wikipedia is not a battleground. In practice, it is. Continue reading “Gateway to Chaos, Confusion, and Complexity”

An avalanche of sock puppets

The last few weeks I have been investigating disruption on Wikipedia and Wikiversity. This has a peripheral relationship to cold fusion. I’ll get to that.

For years, I was active on Wikiversity, supporting that community to build deep resources on sometimes-controversial subjects. Wikiversity, like all the WMF wikis, has a neutrality policy, but Wikipedia enforces it by, in theory, excluding the expression of points of view by users; rather, Wikipedia depends on “reliable sources,” with editors merely reporting what is in them, with emphasis on the “mainstream view.”

Wikiversity, instead, allows users to create resources and express opinions, and handles neutrality by attribution and framing. It is thus closer to a university library, including lecture notes of seminars and student work, which can be “primary source,” and can include opinion and unsourced analysis.

Some years back, I supported the creation of a Wikiversity resource on Parapsychology, because there were scientists and others interested in the topic.  I designed this to be neutral, and created a subpage for a young user who wanted to create his own list of sources on the topic, this was Ben Steigmann, who had gotten into trouble on Wikipedia and was blocked there. The user happily worked on his resource, and was not, in the least, disruptive on Wikiversity. However, the resource was attacked, a number of times. These attacks were always handled, it is not difficult on Wikiversity, if a resource has been created with care.

(I should add that I’m highly skeptical of many claims called “parapsychological,” but, then again, so are at least some parapsychologists. Parapsychology is a field of investigation, not a body of belief.) Continue reading “An avalanche of sock puppets”

Joshua Schroeder on pseudoscience on Wikipedia

If coming here from the Wikipedia discussion, perhaps read this first.

This is not the original post, which was created October 4, 2017, as private, the same date as the same information was posted on Thunderbolt. It was later made public. I’m guessing, from the blog activity log, that was November 8, 2017. Why this administrivia? Because a sock of Anglo Pyramidologist is claiming that the date on this post is misleading, because it was edited December 2, 2017 but the post shows the original date of October.

This is a blog post, not a “page.” Blog posts appear in date order and I deliberately did not want to make this post very visible. When it was made public, it did not show up in the latest posts display. So, while I have a means of changing the date, I’m not doing it. I don’t want it to show up as recent posts.

This is a response to the fuss made over the original post, which demonstrates the use of charges of doxxing as an attack method. The active person here accusing doxxing, but also cementing in archives it so it is difficult to hide, is known as Anglo Pyramidologist. There may actually be two people. Real names are known but I do not personally have direct evidence. I do have technical evidence linking these socks, aside from what is on Wikipedia, my WMF global study on meta, and a study of RationalWiki socking here.

(Initially) Two IPs, now WMF globally blocked as open proxies, starting November 30, made a huge fuss on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and the meta wiki, attempting to once again attack Ben Steigmann, and, when, once again, I exposed this, they again attempted to attack me. The IPs were:
117.20.41.10
Having asked (last edit but one on Wikipedia) to be blocked (obviously because he knew he would be blocked very soon), and claiming that he was done, his mission  being to stop Ben Steigmann from disrupting Wikipedia, within ten minutes of being blocked, he began again with a new IP, same source of open proxies. He was lying, as usual.
117.20.41.9.
(more IP socking continues, stewards are getting swift at noticing them and blocking.)
dot-9 admitted being dot-10. AP does not care about being blocked (he’s been blocked hundreds of times). In this case, these were expendable open proxies. The user also creates many single-purpose accounts, and just did that as part of this sequence on RationalWiki.
This is not about “skeptics,” as AP pretends. It is about a single person (or possibly two brothers, based on early claims made by the socks) who is highly disruptive, commonly impersonates his enemies, libels them, and harasses them. I have issues with Joshua P. Schroeder (JPS), but he is a saint compared to AP.
You are honestly going to get in trouble for this [http://coldfusioncommunity.net/joshua-schroeder-on-pseudoscience-on-wikipedia/]. You are shaking in your boots abd. You think you can get away with doxing people names, locations and harassing them? Btw your abuse has been archived, no point in deleting it. I also didn’t reveal anything apart from public knowledge. His account name change is public knowledge [link redacted]. It was changed yesterday by an admin [link redacted]. Because of your stalking and abuse he had to change his username. You are a bully abd. More and more skeptics are going to be informed about your harassment and stalking. You are really not a nice guy. You claim to be a devout Muslim but you just sit online all day writing slanderous statements about people on your website and stalking them. Remember cyber bullying is a crime. [[Special:Contributions/117.20.41.9|117.20.41.9]] ([[User talk:117.20.41.9|discuss]]) 05:54, 2 December 2017 (UTC)
The material was hidden out of concern for JPS, not about any threats. JPS has not been particularly appreciative, but he’s not nearly as swift as I’d expect. He may understandMore about that will follow. I’ve taken this material down and I requested moderators where it was originally posted take it down. That’s about what I can do, though I do own copyright on the material, so maybe I can assist him in removing it from archives. However …. he hasn’t asked and is just blaming and angry. He knows a lot about starts and astrophysics, but apparently not much about people. Maybe he will come around.
And dot-9 posted claims about this page in a number of places. “Archived.” Who archived it? He did, of course. There is clear evidence of that. When I saw this I decided to contact Dr. Schroeder (who now has a different last name). I emailed him and perhaps he will respond. I decided to take my page on Schroeder down. There is also a copy of the information that went on a public forum. My guess is that if it were requested,they would take it down. Or maybe not.
In fact, it was all readily available public information. But that is not the same as being easily accessible. That post on the other forum was obscure. My blog post was obscure. Now the information is right in the face of many who might not be friendly. If this was offensive doxxing, AP just made it far more offensive, showing that what matters to him is attacking people — in this case me –, not protecting people like Schroeder.
There are two pages, both archived and clear evidence that both were archived by AP. Not by me. Archive copies are timestamped and that can be put together with other information, public and private. I know who archived my pages, and this is clear enough:
On RationalWiki, user Astrophysics (a reference to Schroeder, his field) began to edit the article on me on November 30. 02:44, 30 November 2017, he added a reference to the JPS mention on the original forum, using an archive copy.
Lomax is known to attack skeptics on forums. He joined the thunderbolts woo forum to complain that astronomer Joshua P. Schroeder is a “pseudoskeptic”.<ref>[redacted]</ref>
That archive copy was created at 30 Nov 2017 02:36:09 UTC
This is obvious: he created an archive preserving allegedly offensive material and then immediately linked to it on RationalWiki.
This is simply SOP for AP. Highly disruptive, and he very personally, attacks anyone who frustrates his agenda, and I did, and he threatened that if I continued documenting what he did, he’d get back.
He has claimed to have created 700 socks on RationalWiki, and from what I have documented so far, which is only the surface, it is believable.
This is not a “conspiracy theory.” However, he has claimed to be supported  (even paid) by a major skeptical organization, and he has referred to other users, and an organization called the Guerilla Skeptics. There may be some level of off-wiki collusion and coordination. My study of AP is not about that, it is about this user who freely creates attack socks, who creates attack articles on RationalWiki and who may have influenced Wikipedia articles toward violations of biography policy.
Skepticism is essential to science, that is one of the themes of this blog. What AP does is far, far from genuine skepticism. It’s libel, and his impersonations (what he did with Ben Steigmann on Wikipedia that got me started on all this) are illegal.
If he’s not quaking in his boots (what he thought I should be), he’s crazy, which is, in fact, plausible. He has claimed to be schizophrenic. Because these socks freely lie, it’s difficult to tell what is true about him. But the behaviors can be seen.
The references to JPS are now in many places, because he put them there. He also notified JPS himself, on his new changed-name Wikipedia account, waving a big red flag to it. And then claims that I was harassing JPS, forcing him to change his name. If I actually were, he just handed me the new account name with no fuss. Normally, JPS has requested name changes on the page for it, but that made it easier to find them. This time he made the request by email, according to the link that AP handily provided.

Open discussion on Wikipedia

This is being discussed on Wikipedia, and by allowing that discussion on his user talk page, started by the now-blocked IP, Schroeder has made it necessary to point to it. (though this could easily be removed here.) Calling public attention to alleged doxxing or outing is massively naive, at best, and can show that the real motive is attack on others. If he deletes that discussion (and he can ask for rev-del), I will remove this reference. Schroeder is not my target or enemy. I am exposing the activity of a massive family of sock puppets who have long disrupted Wikipedia and other sites. libelling, and commonly arranging for others to be blocked when they respond as normal human beings to his outrages.
My only related recent WMF activity has been addressing the disruptions of the two IP users listed above, both using the same provider, with open proxies. Longer-term, originating in the damage at Wikiversity, and to protect users there (and others), I have been documenting the activity of this LTA, documented here as to RationalWiki and here as to WMF socking and locks and blocks. Schroeder had not been mentioned, and my comments about his account history were obscure. No other WMF “skeptics” have been documented, only Anglo Pyramidologist socks, so the IP is admitting to being Anglo Pyramidologist, clearly block-evading, and block evasion is continuing, using the open proxies (four of them so far)  for this talk page discussion.
The original version of this post was written Oct 4, 2017. However, it was private, not public. It was based on a post on the Thunderbolts forum, the same day. I later opened it. Because of that sequence, it did not appear in normal blog display. When attention was drawn to it, I made it private again, then edited it to remove all the personal information and republished. If there are any questions, comments are allowed here, and an easy way to email me is through the WMF interface, global user Abd, accessible on Wikipedia and most WMF sites to any registered user with email enabled. (and autoconfirmation is not required to email, I believe.)

LENR theories, the good, the bad, and the ugly

Personally I’m a fan of (good) LENR theories. Many will say they are at the current state of understanding neither necessary nor sufficient. True. But when scientists have a mass of contradictory experimental evidence theory (or hypothesis) of a more or less tenuous sort is what helps them to make sense of it. The interplay between new hypothesis and new experiment, with each driving the other, is the cycle that drives scientific progress. The lack of hypotheses with any traction is properly one of the things that makes most scientists view the LENR experimental corpus as likely not indicating anything real. Anomalies are normal, because mistakes happen – both systemic and individual. Anomalies with an interesting pattern that drives a hypothesis in some detail are much more worthwhile and the tentative hypotheses which match the patterns matter even when they are likely only part-true if that.

Abd here, recently, suggested Takahashi’s TSC theory (use this paper as a way into 4D/TSC theory, his central idea) as an interesting possibility. I agree. It ticks the above boxes as trying to explain patterns in evidence and making predictions. So I’ll first summarise what it is, and then relate this to the title.

Continue reading “LENR theories, the good, the bad, and the ugly”

Is cold fusion a fraud?

In a recent post here, I documented the temporary ban of Ascoli65 on LENR Forum. As a result, there was discussion of this site, of Levi and UniBo, and of cold fusion, on fusionfredda.

As part of that, one user gave a series of arguments, ignoring what I’d written, that cold fusion was rejected by mainstream science (both true and stupid in context), and one user, after I pointed out that nobody understands cold fusion, claimed that, no, cold fusion was simply a fraud, representing that as an understanding. I’m not going to continue that conversation unless specifically invited. Because these arguments are old, and I haven’t written about them in quite a while, I’m posting this here.

Beyond that, I’m not concerned if some fanatics have weird opinions on a blog that is rapidly becoming obsolete, designed from the beginning to be useless except for transient bloviating that generates no enduring value. Continue reading “Is cold fusion a fraud?”

Lowdown on Lie-bull

I mentioned the other day that Ascoli65 was banned on LF for two weeks, by Alan Smith. Ensuing discussion has brought up some issues worthy of attention. So, first of all, this is the post for which Ascoli65 was banned:

Rossi vs. Darden aftermath discussions

The post — and the subsequent discussion of the censorship — were all off-topic.

Ascoli65
Tuesday, 11:30 pm

@ Alan Smith,

my long and documented comment has been substituted by this words of yours.

Ascoli65 wrote:

The content of this post has been removed, since it contains nothing but thinly veiled attacks on Levi and UniBo, despite your assertions to the contrary. Do ir again and you may well be sanctioned or even banned.

This comment, apparently by Alan Smith, was argumentative, and, as well, was off-topic. A procedure had been established to move off-topic posts to the Playground — or to create a topic for them — and offensive posts to Clearance Items, though I think grossly offensive material was still being deleted, at least I’d expect so. My own practice is not to actually delete anything, but to possibly “trash” a clearly offensive post; it’s still in the database and can easily be recovered by me or anyone with admin privileges. Mildly offensive or irrelevant material may be moved to an appropriate topic or to a catch-all. Personally, I’d want to add notes where appropriate to maintain transparency. These considerations seem to have long been completely beyond the ken of Smith.

If the post was “long and documented” as claimed, deleting it was quite offensive, unless a procedure exists for the user to recover it. (On Discus blogs, like ECW, when a post is deleted, it appears that it is still accessible through the user’s profile, at least by the user.)

I’m very surprised of your decision to completely cancel my comment. Not greened, not moved in the Playground or Clearance Items threads, but immediately deleted. I think, it’s the first time this happen in this abrupt way, and I don’t see any reason for such a reaction. I didn’t used offensive words, and I only reported documented facts.

It was probably quite unexpected. Ascoli may have done more than present “documented facts,” but … the offense in this post was quite mild, compared to what is routinely tolerated when it is not Levi or Unibo being “attacked.” Alan is personally offended, apparently. Darden can be attacked, Dewey Weaver can be attacked, and often nothing is done.

My comment was not a “thinly veiled attack”, it was just a “open plain evaluation” of the apparent behavior of a public researcher at a public university which publicly claimed on many public media of having measured 12 kW of alleged excess heat generated by a table top device during the public demo held in Bologna on January 14, 2011. This conclusion of him was based on a couple of presumed data that I can’t explain otherwise, except for an intentional misrepresentation of experimental data. If you have any other explanation, why don’t you provide it?

Smith greened this paragraph as offensive. “Intentional misrepresentation of experimental data” is, in fact, a serious charge, albeit consistent with Ascoli65’s long-term claim that there was some sort of falsification of data in those early reports. I never found his claims plausible, but, like many who write on LENR Forum, he was quite sure of his evidence.

I’m going to agree with Smith that this was inappropriate, but it was merely a failure of ability to imagine alternate explanations, and was far short of ban-worthy (though any offense can be ban-worthy if it persists after warning). Much more direct claims of false statements have been made about many others involved in Rossi v. Darden, and commonly. Drawing the line here, while not covering more egregious possible libels, is bizarre and unskillful. The effect is chilling.

Apparently one may strongly criticize or even insult, depending on whom it offends.

I think Ascoli65 genuinely did not understand, and because that paragraph was greened and not deleted, it was not a repeat of the allegedly deletion-worthy offense, so blocking him because he questioned the censorship was offensive and a violation of civilized norms — i.e., what Smith below accuses.

My comment was in theme. THH had just accused Levi of practicing “bad science” following a mistake in the emissivity used in the Lugano report. This aspect seems to be quite controversial and has given rise to hundreds, perhaps thousands of comments in recent years.

Ascoli is making a false parallel. I would not like THH using “bad science,” if he did. The mistake was a mistake. The failure to require a full control was worse. Allowing the work to be so strongly guided by Rossi was worse. It gets pretty bad, all right, but I have never seen evidence of actual data falsification on the part of Levi and the other professors. Ascoli did not quite accuse Levi of that, but of “intentional misrepresentation.” That’s close enough to be considered falsification. It’s an offensive claim, and, indeed, in some contexts, could even be criminal libel.

On the contrary, the inconsistency between the pump capacity and the flow rate reported in the UniBo document issued on January 2011 is much more apparent and incontestable. In fact, Levi claimed to have calibrated the pump for 2 weeks, but on the front panel of that pump was clearly indicated a max output of 12 L/h, a value much lower than that one he claimed in his report (equivalent to 17.6 L/h).

That statement is not libelous. By the way, the “label” is, as Rossi correctly pointed out, not a maximum capacity, but a minimum guaranteed capacity at the specific pressure, and under some conditions actual flow could exceed that. This is Rossi’s argument on Lewan’s blog and it is not exactly wrong, except that he then proceeds to use this fact as a justification for making probably false claims.

The word “capacity” implies a maximum!

From 12 l/h guaranteed to 17.6 l/h actual might well be possible for a real pump under some conditions. The current testing being done by Alan Fletcher is showing a pump rated at 32 l/h at 2 bar, actually pumping maybe 40 l/h at low pressure. That is 125% of rated flow. The Levi claim is 147%. Maybe. Different model pump.

I would never accuse a professional scientist of data falsification based on evidence this thin. But, again, libel is fairly common on LF.

I can’t understand why these considerations are not allowed in this forum. Which specific rules do they break?

Smith then adds his comment in bold:

Your comment above breaks the rules of civilised behaviour just for a start.

That is an offensive comment. An experienced moderator will never argue with a person they are sanctioning, it inflames sensibilities. The issue is civility, and Smith’s comment is outrageously uncivil, much more so than Ascoli65’s.

As -despite your denial- so did almost every line in your deleted post which actually contained a criminal liable (in some jurisdictions). Accusing somebody who is not a member here of (effectively) deliberate scientific fraud from behind your avatar is certainly worthy of a 2 week ban. And you just got it. Alan.

I find Smith’s claim likely exaggerated. Levi is a “public figure” in the Rossi v. Darden case. Others not members have been accused of fraud, lying, data falsification, etc. I agree that this could be libel, though generally truth is a defense. There are other defenses as well.

That Smith enforces a rule against libel could actually create risk for the blog owner, if it is enforced selectively. There are also issues around anonymity.

So some discussion ensued:

Alan Smith wrote:

Hi Jed. My interaction with the now banned (for 2 weeks) ‘Ascoli’ had nothing to do with a debate on scientific ethics. The deleted post contained what could be considered – in almost any jurisdiction outside the USA – to be a criminal libel, repeated twice in the thin disguise of a question. If you had been the target of it- or indeed MY or Kirk I would have taken precisely the same action. Since Ascoli hides behind a screen-name libelling somebody on the web takes zero courage on the part of the poster, but does carry risks for other parties involved in publishing this forum.

The question asked by Ascoli was actually what it was about his question that was bannable. He apparently repeated the question in order to ask. He could very simply have been told. Instead he was, himself, insulted, though not libelled. “Hides behind” is uncivil, to be sure. Alan Smith is commonly terse, avoiding clear and complete answers to questions. It was easier to accuse Ascoli65 than to tell him where the border not to cross lies. That might actually take some thought, and, problem is, the border Ascoli crossed — in my opinion — is crossed by many so then the next question would be why was this enforced strictly and rather abruptly with Ascoli — who was being polite — and not with so many others? My answer is “Alan Smith.”

Jed Rothwell wrote:

Libel is never criminal in the U.S. as far as I know. It is always a civil matter. I do not think it is a good idea to have the police involved. This web site is based in the U.S., so U.S. laws apply, and you don’t need to worry about criminal libel.

Alan Fletcher wrote: (in response to Jed)

According to wiki 17 states have Criminal Defamation Laws. In Florida it’s a misdemeanor Florida Statutes Chapter 836

Lots of legal foo, but admins, note : 

836.03 Owner or editor of the paper also guilty.—Any owner, manager, publisher or editor of any newspaper or other publication who permits any anonymous communication or communications such as is signed otherwise than with the true name of the writer, and such name published therewith to appear in the columns of the publication in which said communication any person is attacked in his or her good name, or it is attempted to bring disgrace or ridicule upon any person, such owner, manager, publisher or editor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree

Kudos to Fletcher for providing links. The Wikipedia article includes this:

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 generally immunizes from liability parties that create forums on the Internet in which defamation occurs from liability for statements published by third parties. This has the effect of precluding all liability for statements made by persons on the Internet whose identity cannot be determined.

That is, the web site owner is not liable. (The author of the libel would be liable.) The owner could become liable under some circumstances. The decision to “publish” on LENR Forum is not made by moderators or administrators. However, this may shift if there is a protest. The Communications Decency Act supersedes state laws.

Alan Smith replied:

The server you see may be in the US Jed, but the publisher is in the EU. That’s what counts I beleive.

Alan is sliding down a slippery slope by considering David Nygren the “publisher.” Nygren lives in Sweden, apparently. Sweden apparently has criminal libel laws; this was,. I think, pointed out to Sifferkoll. Sifferkoll’s main protection has been inertia, because he’s written a lot that is clearly libel. But Nygren has not libelled Levi. He simply owns a blog where someone may have done this. I think Ascoli65 is Italian. I doubt there is any risk to Nygren, unless he refuses to cooperate with a libel investigation. I also doubt that any action would be initiated against Ascoli65 for his level of offense.

In any case, there are what may be complex issues of jurisdiction. Nobody commenting so far is an attorney, and neither am I, though I know some.

Being a blogger, I need to be better informed. So: Online Defamation Law.

That’s about U.S. law. There is a source on English libel law, London being “a town called Sue.”

The author of that was asked: Could I be liable if someone uses my blog to post a defamatory message? He replied:

Potentially, yes

As the publisher of a blog, you could in theory be held liable in respect of defamatory material posted by others on the blog.

There are two main approaches to dealing with this risk:

• first, you can review all material before it is published, and refrain from publishing anything risky;
• second, you can seek to take advantage of the provisions of Section 1 of the Defamation Act 1996 and Regs 17-19 of the Ecommerce Regulations.

This second approach is the usual one, and typically involves a publisher doing the following sorts of things:

• prohibiting the posting of defamatory and other unlawful content in the blog T&Cs;
• providing an effective abuse notification procedure;
• not systematically reviewing or editing content posted on the site; and
• removing risky content promptly following notification of a problem.

 “Not systematically reviewing or editing content” would be a reference to the idea I mentioned above, that deleting some libels and not others could create risk that might otherwise be absent. Ideally, there would be a TOS to which users agree, and then clear procedures for dealing with violations of the TOS. LENR Forum never created this, or, more accurately, there was a feeble and naive attempt that proceeded to be ignored.

Very few users like to see their content deleted. If a blog wants to encourage users to write substantial contributions, deleting it without notice or opportunity for recovery is a huge insult to any writer. LENR Forum uses idiosyncratic software, I don’t know what tools are available. This is a WordPress blog, and I can easily and quickly hide any content, without deleting it. That is, if the author wants a copy, I could (and would) send it to him or her. This avoids the worst admin abuses. Others still exist, but, bottom line, the owner owns the site and may delegate authority. But others can also point to abuses or moderator incivility!

When a site comes to enjoy wide public participation, users may come to expect fair treatment, and when it doesn’t seem fair, sometimes they develop a grudge, and Wikipedia administrators created highly offended users that proceeded to engage in sock puppetry that lasted for years, with thousands of accounts created, wasting countless hours of admin time. Some of that was necessary, perhaps, but it was also clear, when I investigated cases, that there had been abuse of users, and it was very difficult to address. The abusers were highly privileged.

I have seen no case of such revenge posting on LF. However, there are some blatant trolls. Activities like that, tolerated, will drive away many otherwise productive participants, eventually. Ever wonder why few real-name users are women? Why actual scientists rarely post on LENR-Forum?

Beyond pointing to that British site, I’m not summarizing libel law for bloggers, though I’ll be happy to discuss it. This is an area of law which is shifting, as one can tell from the EFF coverage.

Update

I found this Pennsylvania site interesting. Pennsylvania Newspaper Handbook – Libel.

Newspapers are held to a stricter standard, in some cases, but libel is libel and this and the pages I have linked above cover the definition and give advice about avoiding libel that any blog, if it is to develop a reputation for utility and reliability, should understand.

Looking at it again, and reviewing all this, the comment of Alan Smith implying that David Nygren was the “publisher” who might be held responsible for libel, was a stretch, particularly since the particular incident he was discussing did not involve a publication decision. As well, deletion is a form of retraction, and does not defend against a libel claim for something published, it may merely mitigate damages.

Rossi, in many posts and filings, and in my opinion, did libel others. However, there are specific exceptions in libel laws for court filings, and for obvious reasons. Nevertheless others, repeating the claims in those primary sources, presenting them as fact (instead of as allegations), also libelled, and may not have had that necessity defense. Is Frank Acland responsible for libels posted to ECW? Not unless he specifically approves of them. Thus by moderating some users, he is creating a (low) risk of a prosecution for libel. He has less risk if the user decides to publish or not.

The internet is still a frontier, and frontiers can be lawless, or, more accurately, law may not be settled. Some risks might exist in theory, but in practice, there is no risk. Until there is a crazy plaintiff! — or one who decides, “enough is enough!” and goes ahead, damn the expense!

The blogger most at risk in what I’ve seen is Sifferkoll. And maybe Rossi, for JONP. (I have not reviewed his JONP posts from this point of view. Many “insults” are not libel. Context matters. Rossi does not seem to have an open blog, I believe all posts must be approved. That can create liability for what those users post, i.e., approval is publication.

Many libel targets will not sue, because it can look very, very bad. Consider Levi. Suppose I call Levi a “blithering idiot.” First of all, not libel, legally, if one studies the sources I’ve given. Just an insult, one which might enrage Levi or his friends. However, suppose I claim that he altered or faked data. And then he sues me. A defense is truth, and truth may be decided by a jury. As well, my state of mind is an issue. I’m media, and Levi is, in this field, a public figure. That’s a defense. I might be able to show truth or, given “public figure” and “influence,” at least reasonable cause to present information. “Proof” in a civil case is preponderance of the evidence, it need not be absolute. I think any sane lawyer would advise Levi to let sleeping dogs lie, and maybe to tolerate some level of barking.

There is a list of “red flag” words on the Pennsylvania site. These words are relatively common on LENR Forum. Alan Smith was not wrong to identify the Ascoli65 post as libelous, but, in context, he had singled out a mild case to enforce a rule that was vague and probably not understood by the user, instead of doing what the user asked, to explain it to him. It is as if the real rule was “if you have to ask, you’re banned!”

Dewey Weaver’s comment about LF moderation was “amateur hour.” Technically, of course, LF moderators are amateurs, but some amateurs become experts. Some don’t. Some refuse to learn, and simply blame others. LF had been doing a better job, with moving comments instead of deletion. I never liked green ink, it’s ugly. However, it is far better than raw deletion. I boycotted LF when Smith deleted *many* comments that he considered off-topic, and I said “until this is addressed,” which could mean that the Staff community restrained Alan (with removal of privileges being the extreme sanction, if the moderator refuses to cooperate). LF Staff does not discuss issues publically, which can make it a star chamber. I was banned, by Alan, apparently — banned users cannot read their own private messages — as retaliation for declaring a boycott, surely a juvenile and amateurish response. But the entire Staff is responsible, it is not just Alan. We are responsible for what we tolerate and allow. I have friends on that Staff. I was basically told that the situation was hopeless.

This incident demonstrates that it’s still a mess. Alan Smith has a high personal conflict of interest. He runs Looking for Heat, a generally laudable exercise, with a problem: it is almost entirely about nickel hydride exploration, which depended for its appeal heavily on Rossi, and, as well, on Levi. There are plenty of attempts to “replicate” Rossi, which is, scientifically, a problem, because a replication is not possible without full information about the original experiment. So at best, independent “replications” without that information, are a kind of “confirmation,” i.e., that something happens. A genuine replication would also be quantitatively confirming. What is often an “indication,” can be the file-drawer effect. Many people try, a few make calorimetric errors…. and often only positive results are published, the rest remain in the “file drawer,” hence the name of the effect.

So Smith, in defending Levi, is promoting his own interests. And he did so in a quite uncivil way, while pretending to be disallowing incivility. Smith does not know or understand recusal, apparently. And in that, he has been, as far as we can tell, unrestrained by the administrative staff (at least one member of which, probably more than one, has the power to assign and remove moderator privileges.) In the end, the highest responsibility is with David Nygren, the owner.

Nygren sells advertising. “Vigorous discussion” — which can be an alternate description of libel and flame wars — can improve traffic, possibly improving revenue. Or that motive is not applicable to him. I really don’t know, because Nygren is mostly silent.

Taken from the list of red flag words, ones that I’ve seen (or close equivalents), on LENR Forum, E-Cat Word, JONP, or Sifferkoll (on his own blog or on LENR Forum) — or here on CFC, for which I am, at present, responsible:

altered records
bad moral character
bankrupt
bribery [or corrupt influence]
gambling den
gangster
graft
hypocrite
illegitimate
incompetent
intemperate
intolerance
mafia
mental illness
mobster
moral delinquency
mouthpiece
perjurer
pockets public funds
profiteering
scam
scandalmonger
scoundrel
sharpdealing
shyster
smooth and tricky
smuggler
sneaky
sold out
spy
swindle
thief
unethical
unprofessional
unsound mind
unworthy of credit
villain

Avoid any words or expressions imputing:

2. a crime, or words falsely charging arrest, or indictment for or confession or conviction of a crime;
3. anti-Semitism or other religious, racial or ethnic intolerance;
4. connivance or association with criminals;
5. financial embarrassment (or any implication of insolvency or want of credit);
6. lying;
7. membership in an organization which may be in disrepute at a given period of time;
9. unwillingness to pay a debt.


Reviewing Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox, as part of an ongoing study, I am drafting a policy for CFC, to govern some legal issues that could arise here, both from the point of view of protecting the owner of CFC, Infusion Institute, Inc. (III) from liability, protecting CFC administration, whether volunteer or otherwise, protecting the interests of the community that CFC attempts to represent and serve, which includes the right of free expression, while at the same time protecting individuals and organizations from libel and claims of copyright violation.

Policy on libel and copyright violation

Comment here or there is welcome.

Update1

A copy alleged to be (and believed to be) the original obliterated post on LF has been added here as a comment.

While this is edgy, it is not libelous in context. It was actually a challenge to Alan Smith, which he removed by censoring it. This is long-term Smith behavior. The real problem is not Smith, but an LF Staff that does not restrain its members. I have seen many bans now. Most of them were well-earned. This one was not, but there is no clear appeal process, and no genuine explanation, so bans do not establish precedent and policy remains unclear.

Ascoli actually asked for an explanation of how his post could be considered libel. Instead of an explanation, he got a ban. This is far, far less than civil and helpful. It is knee-jerk hostile, behavior unbecoming of any site moderator or administrator, if the site clains to represent a community (as LF does) instead of merely the positions and interests of the owner. This could be remedied, but the owner is mostly absent, it is not clear that he pays attention to LF administration. This is, again, not uncommon, but this shows how internet structures can break down.

Ascoli65

{This was originally posted under Is cold fusion a fraud?]

This section was one of a number of copies of and comments on posts on fusionefredda, one of which explicitly called “cold fusion a fraud,” and other of which was radically and blatantly pseudoskeptical. Ascoli 65’s post was not libelous, though it skirts close to an edge, but he  apparently did not want his user name associated with such blatant claims of fraud. He requested that I move that section here, which I have now done. I will leave behind a note. I hope this is satisfactory to him.

Ascoli65 wrote:

[a civil post in which he discusses various issues. I’d reply there except for it being much easier for me to write here, with formatting, etc. So his post:]

@ Abd UlRahman Lomax,
I’m still unable to post on the CFC site (I tried just now), so I reply here to your comments, and, if you don’t mind, I’d invite you to reply here as well.

Thanks. I intend to post a link to this there. I may not continue to monitor that blog. As to the posting problem, something about the user email or identity triggers the spam filter. I have put Ascoli65’s email address on the whitelist here, so, in theory, he could post here by providing that address, and I have confirmed the address (because he kindly responded to my email).

In your comment on CFC dated September 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm (*), you wrote:

– I could not find a source for the pump data and the pump being called “peristaltic.” I’m sure it’s out there, but wasn’t linked by Ascoli65.

And now Ascoli65 confirms that:

The source are the Lewan’s reports of the two tests held on April 19 and 28, 2011. These reports were published on the NyTeknik site, but they are no more accessible. Anyway a copy of the first one is still available on NewEnergyTimes (1).

To give this in-line for convenience: here.

It ends with the list of “Instruments”, where the first one is called “Peristaltic pump”. I don’t know if this definition is correct. Whatever it was, I agree with you, it was a metering pump, a dosimetric pump, an instrument devoted to deliver a calibrated flux of water.

There is a lot in that document. Yes, at the end:

Peristaltic pump NSF
Model # CEP183-362N3
Serial # 060550065
Max output 12.0 liters/h
Max press 1.50 bar

First of all, the pump identification is almost certainly incorrect. The only returns, Googling the Model number, are E-cat or similar discussions taking that number, likely, from the paper cited. One comment cited a manufacturer page. Dead link. I looked at the manufacturer web site. Found no clue, so far.

Years ago, I designed equipment to use a peristaltic pump. It is a particular type of metering or dosing pump, see the Wikipedia article.

Dosimetric pumps, most (all?) types are pressure sensitive. That is, flow will vary with back-pressure (or forward pressure). “Calibration” of these pumps is valid at the calibration pressure (and I would think calibration would be necessary across a range of pumping rates). One-point calibration is only valid if the pump operation is that the same pressure. Which does open up possible artifacts.

The Levi paper appears naive to me, unaware of possible problems, so they were not checked.

Levi claims to have measured a flow of 4.12 kg/hour. He was actually weighing the water, in two sessions, a total of about 8 or 9 kilograms each. This should be accurate, if, as it appears, he was pumping water from a weighed reservoir. The rate is not a problem, being well under the specified flow of 12 l/hr, i.e., about 12 kg/hr, at 1.5 bar.

Is that a maximum flow? A lot of hot air has been issued on this. It is a minimum maximum. That is the manufacturer is, with the specification, is guaranteed that the maximum actual flow at maximum flow setting, will be a minimum of 12 l/hr. Jed Rothwell makes the point that if the pump would pump a *lot* more than that, the manufacturer would increase the claimed number, because they could sell more pumps. Perhaps.

In the cited paper, the problem of “maximum pump flow” does not exist.

– There were many tests and differing conditions and possibly different pumps.

Yes. This is a common problem in review of various claims. There may be many experiments and demonstrations, with differing conditions. It’s easy to get them confused and to think that what is true for one is necessarily true for another. Indeed, Rossi might sometimes be hiding behind that.

In 2011, there have been 10 tests at lab scale whose info appeared on internet (2). In most of them a pump was used to feed the various Ecat devices, and this pump, from the January 14 up to the October 6 tests was the same yellow dosimetric pump, featuring a nominal max output of 12 L/h.

– The measured flux was of 168 +/- 2 g in 45 +/- 0.1 s.
While it is difficult to control a water flow with a precision of 0.1 second, this would be 13.4 liters per hour. That doesn’t seem impossible for a pump rated at 12 liters per hour.

You are talking about the wrong test.

Nope. Not “wrong.” Different from what you intended, and, indeed, I have no clear idea what test you were talking about. Bottom line, Ascoli65, you are not writing clearly and carefully. Some people, believing that it’s all very simple — and very bogus — don’t take care to be clear and complete. It’s work! If we want to assist the full community in coming to choices based on evidence, we need to be clear, or, too often, we are just adding confusion.

The normal blog format and practices encourages terminal sloppiness. What does it matter if an error is buried in thousands of posts that are all over the map? Nobody is going to study these anyway! You’d have to be crazy!

The datum you cited refers to the first test [Test 1] held on December 16, 2010, whose results was reported in the same calorimetric report (3) issued on January 2011, along with those of the January 14 demo [Test 2]. In the December test, whose setup is shown in Fig.1 of that report, no pump was used. The inlet hose was directly connected to the water tap, which was presumably used to regulate the flux. Conversely, the yellow dosimetric pump has been used only starting from the public demo held on January 14, 2011.

So the problem, the inconsistency is where? You aren’t saying, Ascoli65!

– Ascoli’s real point: this early report demonstrates Levi error, which, combined with a lack of later follow-up and correction, indicates that his reports are not trustworthy. With Lugano, we saw different errors, but the same intransigence and stonewalling. I could not find verification of the pump used. He doesn’t provide a source for it, but then makes an argument that depends on the information.

I did provide all the links to the many documents available on internet which clearly demonstrate the many errors (at least three errors only for the January 14 demo: pump’s flow rate, missing steam probe, and doubled test duration) present in the January 2011 report.

Ascoli, all this is next to useless unless I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you mean. I’ll do that to a degree, but if you are not convincing people, the first place to look is not in them, but in your own expression. When I submitted my paper to Current Science for that special issue on LENR in 2015, the reviewer initial comments were basically, “horrible paper.” Instead of getting mad, I took responsibility — which is what I’m trained to do, this wasn’t my “natural good nature.” I can be pretty crabby naturally! So I rewrote my paper, rather extensively, making sure that his objections were addressed. He turned around completely.

That’s how to write, Ascoli65. You can make real contributions if you back up and learn to write effectively and clearly. At the same time, what it takes to be careful and thorough will educate you far more deeply. You might find some of your opinions changing, or even beliefs. That will be entirely up to you!

The problem is that I can’t see how these errors can be interpreted as mistakes.

  1. You have not detailed the errors for me to review.
  2. There are many errors. By focusing on many, you become stuck in an overview (“these errors”). Rossi has long inspired scientists to make stupid blunders (stupid in hindsight). I’ve speculated that he is really good at this. Rossi’s psychology is not necessarily simple, but it is obvious that his presence inspires some people to trust him. That could be the skill of a con artist (they can be amazing in this way, with people continuing to trust they were told long after it became obviously false. And this happens with very smart people, not stupid people. Konnikova, in The Confidence Game, points out that “gullible people” are generally happier. That is, a con artist takes advantage of a very functional human behavior: trust. People who cannot trust are seriously disabled.
  3. Rossi may also be insane, that is, he might actually believe the deceptions he pushes. He might be fooling himself.
  4. Until you can understand these possibilities, as generalities, you won’t understand the specifics, and until we understand each specific example, generalization from the specific to the general can be drastically off and heavily influenced by expectations and knee-jerk reactions.
  5. If you need someone else to invent an explanation, I might be able, but that will not establish what *actually happened.* All I have claimed is that, so far, there is no evidence I have seen sufficient to justify making a public claim of data falsification for any of the scientists involved. CimPy is libelling an entire field, and no wonder he is hiding behind anonymity

(Libelling a field is not actionable until and unless it becomes personal. The courts will dismiss it as bloviation, of no substance. If I were to say, “all liberals are pedophiles,” I would simply be an idiot, I could not be sued for it.)

I did ask many people to suggest me possible explanations, but I didn’t get any answer on the merit, that is nobody suggested a possible chain of events which could explain why, for example, it was erroneously reported a flow rate much higher than the max output of the pump.

Here, we are engaged in a discussion of this matter, and you have not clearly made your case. You keep repeating certain conclusions without providing a clear and connected factual basis.

– He cites a flow figure of 17.5 l/hr. That’s from a Macy report of an “exclusive interview with Levi. Yes, that would be oddly high if it is the 12 l/h pump involved. But that figure is different from Levi’s paper covering those tests.”

The flow rate announced in the Macy’s document (“146 g in 30 seconds” = 17.5 L/h) was the same reported a week later in the final calorimetric report (3) of the demo held on January 14 [Test 2], ie “146.4g +/- 0.1 per 30 +/- 0.5 s”, equivalent to 17.6 L/h. In the meanwhile this figure has been reviewed by many people, in Italy and in the US.

That figure is not so far above the rated flow that it’s impossible. It merely raises doubt. As well, this could be a single error that propagated. I don’t see evidence cited as to what pump was used in that specific demonstration.

As well, what you are doing is focusing on, relatively speaking, a fly, when there is an elephant in that living room, the use of a humidity meter to check steam quality, plus a complete absence of examination as to overflow water, which could make the calorimetry almost completely meaningless. Lack of consideration of alternative hypotheses afflicted all of the apparently successful Rossi demonstrations I know. In the early flow calorimetry, verification of complete evaporation was missing, it was based on some incorrect ideas. In the Lugano test, assumptions about measuring temperature with an IR camera badly afflicted the claimed results, and a calibration at full power — one of the most obvious verification measures, was missing, for reasons stated by the authors of the report, but almost certainly based on Rossi Bullshit, stated by them as if factual and sensible.

None of this, though, shows actual data falsification, merely naivete and error and, later, stonewalling, avoiding the obvious. Be careful! Details matter!

Bottom line, that you cannot understand something shows much more about you than about reality. It’s a failure of imagination, because a free human mind can always find “explanations” for anything. It’s what we do. For better and for worse. The task for adults is to sift through this and come up with sufficient analysis to create basis for action.

Should there be more investment in cold fusion research? How about more investment in Rossi? Industrial Heat? What action can members of the public take or encourage? We need facts, not more knee-jerk reactive analysis.

– I’d trust the paper over the interview, even if the interview was by email (where some will be incautious and errors abound).

As shown above, interview and calorimetric paper reported the same flow rate value (ie 17.6 L/h), whereas the max output of the pump was 12 L/h, that is the same value (12 L/h) mentioned by Levi during his speech before the test (4). The main problem is that, in the Macy’s interview, he also said: “After this calibration period I have checked that the pump was not touched and when we brought it here for the experiment it was giving the same quantity of water during all the experiment.” How do you explain this statement? Was this also an incautious declaration?

I get no impression from Levi of care and caution. The statement, however, does not seem odd to me, yet. That was not a report of an actual measurement, “the same quantity” is a coarse judgment, not a number, the result of an actual measurement. I find it difficult to parse — to understand — the statement you report. The language is confused, unclear. Normally, it is possible to clear these things up, by asking the scientist questions. That totally broke down.

So my own conclusion is that I don’t trust anything Levi says. He is emotionally involved and reactive, read his “unsworn declaration” in Rossi v. Darden, and also read the private investigator’s declaration.

But I have not seen any actual lies, just gross misinterpretations.

BTW, how can you say that the interview was by email?

I didn’t. So that’s an easy question to answer. Read it again.

(*) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/low-down-on-lie-bull/#comment-5420
(1) http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/docs/2011Lewan19AprilData.pdf
(2) http://i.imgur.com/rB93G1X.jpg
(3) http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/LeviGreportonhe.pdf
(4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr0ysNSN9Ng (at 9:46)

Thanks for giving the video time location. Many writers neglect doing that.

Watching that video, I’m impressed by how Levi became an advocate, far from a neutral observer and analyst. He is explaining the demonstration, as if he was working for Rossi. He leaps way ahead, instead of focusing on the critical issue, the heat level, he wants to exclude a chemical source. If we know the actual heat level and various other statistics, then “non-chemical” would fall out rather simply. It’s like the Lugano report, substantial energy devoted to a Rankin diagram, which is polemic and overheated analysis, not fact, while the most obvious facts — how bright was that thing glowing at, allegedly, 1400 C.? — are ignored. And later, when questions are asked, stonewalled.

But how this could happen, how scientists could stonewall, is not such a difficult question. They are human: embarrassed, defensive, or, as well, they might consider themselves bound by non-disclosure agreements, none of which would be at all surprising.

There is some of what Taubes called Bad Science there. So what else is new? What’s the reality? We will not find it by focusing on the errors of so-and-so. There is plenty of work which is not so afflicted, and there is more work to be done. That’s where we can find the future.

Even  if the future is that someone finally identifies the artifact or collection of artifacts that led me to think that deuterium is being converted to helium, in some “cold fusion” experiments, and demonstrates it with controlled experiment (as happened with N-rays and polywater) I’d break out the champagne (hah! just an expression, I’m a Muslim and don’t drink.). I completely trust reality, and my stand is that reality is better than anything I can imagine.

More from Ascoli65

Ascoli65 persists with beating a dead horse, long after reasonable utility. Well, maybe this will have some value. I’m skeptical, but I do lots of things just in case.  He wrote on fusionefredda: (15 settembre 2017 alle 12:12 am)

@ Abd UlRahman Lomax,
you replied to an above comment of mine (*) in your last post titled “Is cold fusion a fraud?” (**). As you know, I didn’t like very much to have been addressed in a post which deals with possible “fraud”, because, as I always said in all and every occasion, I’m not interested in this specific aspect. I would have preferred to read your answer in your previous post on CFC, where the pump issue was treated and a replication of my comment was still present (***).

This was corrected yesterday, per his email request. I’ll say that he might be judged by the company he keeps, it happens in real life.

(*) https://fusionefredda.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/df/#comment-61662
(**) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/is-cold-fusion-a-fraud/
(***) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/low-down-on-lie-bull/#comment-5426

Anyway, being still unable to post on your blog, I post here my answer to your reply.

He could email me, as one possibility. As before, I checked the spam filter. He attempted to post again on 14 September. As before it failed WP-SpamShield code ‘UA1004.’ I have been unable to find the significance of that code, and I have no other reports of failure that did not have a clear cause (the only other failure was a post with four links. His test post had no links. His email address is on the whitelist. The two attempts showed IP addresses from different service providers.

(I think WP-Spamshield does not post the codes because they don’t want spammers to know exactly what tests they are using. Combining the failure with the use of two different service providers makes me suspect some attempt to conceal identity, which I don’t mind in this case, but … there can be consequences. I don’t know that this is the cause.)

Ascoli65 is not providing me with precise information about what is happening. He reported a message that is not what WP-SpamShield allegedly displays to a user whose post is being blocked. There is no way I can test his access. The problem is not yet clear enough for me to file a support request, which I’m reluctant to do for free software (I have not paid for support). Back to the issues under discussion:

While I have nothing to add to what I already said about the pump issue, I’d like to answer these two points of yours.

Abd wrote:

– As well, what you are doing is focusing on, relatively speaking, a fly, when there is an elephant in that living room, the use of a humidity meter to check steam quality, …

I already pointed out many times, even to you (1), the issue of the presumed dry condition of the coolant at the outlet.

That is only one aspect of the issue. The aspect I mention is the use of an explicitly named meter, as reported by multiple sources, that can’t do what is claimed. It is an on-the-face error. However, the real situation is even worse, because even if the meter could measure steam quality, it would be possible to have high quality steam and water outflow at the same time. It’s possible accidentally. If we add the possibility of fraud, it could be even more possible (i.e., if there is a separate water pipe inside the steam pipe). When a technology that could be worth a trillion dollars if real, and with testing that did, in fact, attract investment in the many millions of dollars, fraud must be considered as a possibility, not on the part of scientists, necessarily, but on the part of the one who controls the tests. The magician, as it were.

(1) 

is a post where Ascoli65 begins by quoting me. “Ascoli65 is a troll.” The good news is that he did link to my post, so what I was actually writing about was visible if anyone checks. I don’t call people “trolls” without, at least, some evidence, and merely being wrong or even idiotic does not make someone a troll. It is trolling when someone posts something, without necessity, that one would know, if at all careful, would be offensive, and he had done that — not to me, but another user.

The foundation of Ascoli’s claim is summarized in this faux fact:

– NO Air Quality meter has been ever used to measure the quality steam during the January 14, 2011, demo!

That is not a fact, it is an inference Ascoli65 made, long ago, from the absence of evidence, not evidence. That is, no photo of the necessary probe, as I recall. Photo showing some other probe. A claim that it would be impossible to change probes (which neglects that Rossi claims low pressure — a problem in itself, but a separate one). Given the testimony we have, from Levi and from Kullander and Essen, it is highly likely that an Air Quality probe was used, at least at some point.

Given the sloppiness of other reports, such as the Lugano report, it is possible that Rossi or Levi or someone said that such a probe had been used, and that it was not actually used at the specific time in question. Again, that would not be lying, exactly, it would be terminal sloppiness, which we know happened in Lugano (which also involved Essen), so I can’t say it’s impossible.

But it is most likely, in my opinion, that a probe was used. It’s simple and actually changes nothing, and it is far easier to establish that a humidity meter cannot do what was claimed than it is to claim as if a proven fact that there was no meter, a claim made by someone who was not a witness and who appears to be relying on shaky and indirect evidence.

Ascoli65 is operating on a well-known principle: I was right, and others are wrong. And he is stuck on it, after many years, even while it has become totally useless and probably impossible to resolve. It is impossible to prove a negative, another well-known principle. Did anyone photograph the humidity meter in use? Maybe. Would that satisfy Ascoli65? Maybe.

But I call this a mouse compared to an elephant. The mouse may squeak, but the elephant will break furniture. Reading over that Levi report, it reeks of unexamined and unchecked assumptions, with an effect of promoting a commercial interest and with displayed indifference to error, as to what we have seen in what came after.

I showed you that the real elephant in the living room is that the instrument (the humidity meter) mentioned in the Levi’s report doesn’t appear in anyone of the many pictures available on internet, and taken during the January 14 demo, even in the middle of the boiling phase (2). But I also learned that you are not willing to recognize this real elephant.

Something not showing in photos is not evidence that it was not used, unless those photos were continuous and clearly documented as such. It can create suspicion only, maybe we think it “should have” shown. Reality often, however, doesn’t match what we expect. This is very ordinary, so why is it not obvious to Ascoli65? I think there is an obvious answer: He committed himself to this claim years ago, and is unwilling to let it go. He thinks “It’s true, dammit!” But so what? So what if it is true? I pointed out above how it could be true and not indicate any fraudulent intent, only sloppiness.

If the Ascoli claim is false, which is possible, easily, the test is still badly defective. The humidity meter was actually irrelevant, that’s what was later realized. Kullander and Essen and Levi never responded to those issues, which were not claims of fraud, but of error.

“Steam quality” was actually a red herring, distracting from the major issue, overflow water. In considering steam quality, there is an unspoken assumption, that the only unevaporated water would be suspended droplets, i.e., “wet steam.” Ordinary steam from a boiler is normally wet to some degree. When water evaporation is used for calorimetry, though, there is another problem, bumped water, which looms larger than mere wet steam. And then the Rossi design, as I understood it, basically required that there be some overflow, or he’d be risking the boiler running dry with associated runaway (assuming the thing actually works). Once that is realized, the issue becomes “how much.”

Industrial Heat recognized the problem and installed steam traps on the Doral Plant. (a bit misnamed, they trap liquid water and drain it off.) Rossi removed the steam traps. Not part of the design, he was reported as saying. Indeed.

You’d rather prefer to imagine the most incredible explanations in the attempt to negate its presence (3).

(3).

Apparently, Ascolil considers the use of a product that, were I designing that test setup, I would surely use, to allow quick insertion of probes while the device is operating. He thought such a thing was impossible. That old post show that Ascoli65 is not understanding what he is reading.

The pump issue is the second elephant in the room that you are not willing to see. There is also a third one, which crown the wonder elephant trio (4), but I doubt you will to see it as well.

Yet I have seen all these issues, and have investigated them, considering them carefully. Ascoli confuses my ability to consider alternate scenarios “not seeing” what he is claiming. Let’s say I have dealt with that for many, many years. People think that if I don’t fall over and agree with them, that I don’t “see” what they “see.” Sure. It’s possible that they have seen something that I have not seen, but … they commonly don’t show it, don’t communicate it, and are creating certainty for themselves out of fluff or imagination. People do that all the time, under some conditions. They confuse “seeing” with agreement and understanding.

I have “seen” nothing new here. If there is, anyone is free to point it out. Going over old arguments, that were not accepted, called “beating a dead horse,” is what fanatics and trolls do. I have not seen anyone of weight accept Ascoli’s claims.

I did learn one thing, looking at the links Ascoli65 gave. “cam” on LENR Forum appears to be Camillo Franchine, from an oft-repeated and idiosyncratic argument. If it matters (right now it does not), I may look further.

In science, personal reputation matters. Pseudoskepticism is not science.

Abd wrote:

– Even if the future is that someone finally identifies the artifact or collection of artifacts that led me to think that deuterium is being converted to helium …

Let me doubt this, too.

You can doubt or believe anything you choose.

Sorry, but if you are not able to recognize the three elephants present in the January 2011 demo, ie the most simple, witnessed, celebrated, and documented test occurred in the whole CF history, I really doubt that anyone will be capable of convince you of any artifact presents in any other CF test.

First of all, I recognize all the claims, and the only one I find implausible is the claim that reports of the use of a humidity meter were lies, which is what Ascoli65 has effectively insisted on, in spite of a lack of probative evidence, only a weak ground for suspicion.

I’ll agree that it’s unlikely that someone will convince me of artifact with regard to the best work on heat/helium, but I have identified many possible artifacts in other CF work. Sometimes they may have have been real. I.e., just because an artifact is possible does not show that it actually happened. That takes much more work, work that often was never done.

And it doesn’t matter if I’m convinced or not. What matter is what appears to the editors of mainstream and other journals, what matters is what is actually tested experimentally and reported, what matters is what those who fund research think. They will trust me or not, but what I do, properly, is to present verifiable evidence, not mere claims.

Now that I look back, seeing how much time has been wasted discussing this, I’ll be a little more explicit: I would not present claims like what Ascoli65 is making to any serious investor or in an article for a peer-reviewed journal. I would, instead, flush it down the toilet where it belongs.

(1) https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/3374-Jed-Rothwell-on-an-Unpublished-E-Cat-Test-Report-that-%E2%80%9CLooks-Like-it-Worked%E2%80%9D/?postID=30552#post30552
(2) https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/3374-Jed-Rothwell-on-an-Unpublished-E-Cat-Test-Report-that-%E2%80%9CLooks-Like-it-Worked%E2%80%9D/?postID=30695#post30695
(3) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/if-i-repeat-it-enough-it-will-become-true/
(4) https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/3374-Jed-Rothwell-on-an-Unpublished-E-Cat-Test-Report-that-%E2%80%9CLooks-Like-it-Worked%E2%80%9D/?postID=25650#post25650

Even more from Ascoli65

CimPy posted another response from Ascoli65, plus the latter made some comments in Italian that reveal more of his position, which, in spite of his denials, is quite similar to that of Camillo Franchine. The theme in the English comments seems to be that certain scientists would surely have known better than what they said or wrote, therefore something highly suspicious is going on, which he isn’t going to say, and please don’t mention the “F” word, but he can’t think of any other possibility. No wonder he was banned on LENR Forum…. do that kind of thing for a while, a moderator may well eventually act, and if the moderator is unskilled, there will likely be problems with how that’s done.

This is becoming tedious. It’s all about tests and reports from six years ago, and no matter how many times I point out that that those tests and reports were riddled with errors, “reeking” of them, Ascoli persists in his idea that he’s incredibly right and nobody else has figured it out. Who cares? Yes, there is some sort of ongoing responsibility for cleaning up institutional errors, but the field of LENR is full of examples where this never happened, and that is about “both sides” of the issues. Reading accounts of the people involved, I’m struck by how intense the emotions became, and nobody thinks and acts well when upset (and being certain about the believed errors of others is a kind of upset, it clouds the mind.)

So a few snippets from Ascoli65:

Abd wrote:

– Given the sloppiness of other reports, such as the Lugano report, it is possible that Rossi or Levi or someone said that such a probe had been used, and that it was not actually used at the specific time in question. 

I’m not interest in Rossi’s says, […]

Then he is not interested in understanding how it could happen that certain scientists stated certain things as fact that they did not necessarily actually observe themselves, or the analysis was fed to them and they accepted it because it did not occur to them that it was seriously off.

A general theme of Ascoli65 is that genuine scientists could not possibly make the mistakes the “professors” made, therefore there must be darker forces at work. Genuine scientists can make mind-boggling errors. It’s human. I’ll explain more below.

I am not going to research the claims Ascoli65 makes, unless they are clearly and specifically evidenced with links. If this was about the lawsuit, Rossi v. Darden, I have extensive resources and know exactly where to look. For old Rossi reports, they are all over the place, many different documents, and not a button push away. Ascoli is giving links for some claims, but not all.

nor in those coming from any other people different from the many professors who publicly took on themselves the responsibility to measure the excess heat, that the Ecat should have produced during the public demo held on the January 14, 2011. All of them, I guess, had the competence to distinguish a thermometer from a humidity meter, and all of them knew that such last an instrument is not able to measure the steam dryness.

First of all, nobody became “responsible” for “measuring the excess heat” simply by attending a demonstration. A series of inaccurate assumptions are being made. One cannot necessarily tell the difference between a temperature probe and an humidity probe, just by looking at it from a distance.. The meter was called an “air quality meter” and it apparently had a g/m^3 display, which could seem to someone unfamiliar with steam quality — and how that meter specifically worked — as if it was measuring steam quality. When I discovered the humidity meter issue (I think it may have been independent of others who made the same discovery) there were people arguing with me using the same argument Ascoli65 uses, that professors could not possibly make such a dumb mistake. In fact, Essen acknowledges his ignorance, in a Krivit interview, and it is utterly unsurprising. Any physicist would understand the physics involved, but not be familiar with the specific issues that arise with steam and steam calorimetry. It’s simply not difficult to understand how they made the mistakes.

What is more difficult to understand is why they then stonewalled all questions. Krivit did get some answers at first, then they clammed up. Krivit is a yellow journalist, always looking for scandal, and almost all CMNS scientists have stopped talking to Krivit; however the “independent professors” stonewalled the whole world. They talk to Mats Lewan, perhaps. Why? Mats does not ask difficult questions and does not follow up. Krivit quotes Essen: (my emphasis)

On July 15, 2011, New Energy Times telephoned Essén.

Krivit: What do you know about the calibration of the amount of steam coming out of Rossi’s device?
Essén: The steam amount was not measured. It was taken for granted that it all became steam.
Krivit: In either your experience or your efforts to inspect perpetual-motion claims, has anybody tried to claim anything on the basis of steam before?
Essén: No, I can’t recall that. I’m new at steam, unfortunately.
Krivit: Do you have any training in steam quality or steam enthalpy?
Essén: Just general thermodynamics.
Krivit: For example, like knowing the 1,600 times expansion rate?
Essén: I’d come across that before. I was aware of that.
[Note: Essén wrote nothing about the steam expansion rate in his and Kullander’s April 3, 2011, trip report.]
Krivit: When you pulled the hose out of the wall and saw the steam, did you think about the expansion rate?
Essén: No, I must admit I was thinking that I must check that the water is not draining out. I had this vague feeling that the water inlet flow wasn’t that fast, that the steam could be consistent with it, especially after some condensation in the hose. But we should have looked more into that, obviously, but there was not enough time. When we came, the setup was already there. To make any further studies, it was not possible.

“It was not possible” is a classic excuse. The problem was not that it was impossible to do a better job, but that Essen was inexperienced. Scientists are specialized, and often, operating out of their specialization, they are clueless. The problem was much larger than the humidity meter issue, which would only make a relatively minor difference in the heat measurement. The problem was twofold: there was not nearly enough steam for the claimed evaporation rate, and there was no check for overflow water. At 7 liters per hour, the hose could readily be pulled and checked and it might appear that there was no water flowing. Rossi, for Krivit, pulled the hose. We saw him walk the hose back to the drain, a maneuver clearly designed to drain any water from the hose. There would then be a few minutes in which to display the hose before putting it back.

But the lack of that high steam flow rate was utterly obvious. An electric steam kettle would show far more steam, with far less power than was being claimed to have been generated (about a tenth).

This is similar to the Lugano test: if the device had actually been running at 1400 C external temperature, it would have been blindingly white-hot. Instead, it was dull red. Yet the “scientists” trusted the IR camera and the setting of that camera, probably by Levi. Levi continued to argue that he had done it correctly, when many who have studied the issue know that it was a gross error, and the direct eyewitnessing should have been enough, but … it wasn’t. People can be fooled, sometimes, in ways that later seem impossible. Couldn’t they see?

Consider the Doral test, it’s much the same. Rossi was claiming that the Plant was producing a megawatt. Okay, where was that power going? The problem was out there for about a year, because a megawatt should have killed everyone in the Plant, unless there was a major heat exchanger taking the heat outside. Rossi eventually claimed that, indeed, he had built a heat exhanger, but it would have been noisy and the piping would have been very visible. Nobody reported having seen anything, and the warehouse was comfortable, far from what a megawatt would have done (and there still would have been a lot of heat in the building, unless Rossi could somehow convey the heat with very high efficiency to that upstairs room. Boiler rooms get very hot!)

Any observer who saw that demonstration and who had some idea of what a megawatt means, one would think, would be suspicious. We don’t know the reactions of those who visited during the “test.” Rossi’s original explanations, when asked about the heat dissipation, were completely inadequate, and that was clear. Even his own expert acknowledge that it would have been fatal without the heat exchanger. But when he was first asked, he mentioned no heat exchanger. He claimed the heat was “used” in the secret endothermic process. Then he claimed that it went out the back doors and through a vent in the roof. He mentioned no heat exchanger. Rossi lies. But many people who, we might think, should know better, have believed the lies.

(I often opine that Rossi is not necessarily “lying” in his own world. Rather, he’s insane. If not insane, he would know that he didn’t have a heat exchanger, just an idea for one! My guess, though, is that Rossi does know about the heat exchanger, that he didn’t actually make one, and, instead, he justifies the lies to himself (and some of his followers also invent justifications.)

One more item I came across. This was from Essen to Krivit.

On March 8, 2012, New Energy Times asked Essén for an update: “Considering all that has and has not transpired since [last year] and considering your failure to look for 11,200 liters of steam exiting from the Energy Catalyzer when you were there, is there a revised comment you would like to make on this matter?”

Essén wrote back the next day.

“Considering all the tests (apart from Kullander-Essén) I am aware of, at least two other, rather different, independent tests that give consistent results, either not involving steam or measuring it quantitatively, and other information that I have had since I first came across the Rossi E-Cat, I find it more interesting than ever.

“I am not aware that there have been any measurements of the amount of steam that contradict Rossi’s basic claims. Visual inspection cannot determine amount of steam since only condensed steam is visible.”

This is face-palm stupid. It is not terribly uncommon in people but less common in scientists that when it begins to appear that they made some mistake, they will scramble to invent possibilities that could make them right in the end. So … the Kullander and Essen test was not an “independent test,” and it was clear in Krivit’s earlier interview that Essen claimed the reason he had not made certain checks because it had all been “set up” and they were just observers. In fact, Essen could have noticed certain things and could have checked others, but didn’t, because he really wasn’t familiar with steam. However, perhaps that was harmless, because perhaps the E-Cat really works, and after all, others have confirmed it. However, there is only one substantial body of actually independent tests, those done by Industrial Heat, which was highly motivated to confirm, and, in the end, failed … or we could say, correctly showed that the devices were not working. All other tests were dominated by Rossi, just as was the Kullander and Essen observation.

It’s been noticed that Rossi kept changing the test methods. So with the Kullander and Essen test, there was a possible artifact from overflow water. Instead of setting up the same testing to then confirm that there was no overflow water, the system and test procedures were changed. Magicians do this all the time, they keep changing the tricks, so that one cannot confirm suspicions — or they use an earlier suspicion against the observer, who thinks he knows what is being done, but then the magician turns the hat over, or whatever. It’s different this time, and there are an unlimited number of ways to create false appearances.

Essen is desperately holding on to the idea that the E-Cat he witnessed actually worked. Then he falls into total preposterousness.

Yes. Of course, dry steam is invisible. Yet when dry steam hits room air, it immediately condenses and becomes visible. It does not appear that Essen ever did become familiar with steam. Dry steam is not nailed to the boiling point; if the measurements showed a temperature that was very close to boiling (even if it appears slightly above), the steam is now not at a controlled temperature. Wet steam must be at exactly the boiling point for the pressure (and steam exiting through a hose at some significant rate will be at an elevated pressure, though it might not be much. Just enough to nudge the temperature up slightly.) Dry steam would be very unlikely to be stable at that temperature. Making dry steam involves “superheating” it. So the temperature indications are that the steam, if it was steam, would be wet. And it would immediately condense when it hits the air,

One can readily estimate steam volume by observing the plume from a hose with the same diameter — by comparison. And that has been done. There wasn’t the level of steam flow that was claimed, not even close, and Essen could have confirmed this himself, by looking at how that much steam would appear. He didn’t because he is not looking for the error, he just wants to be right.

For a scientist, sad. Tragic, actually. Unless he wakes up and cleans this up. I can hope.

(Dry steam would also condense quickly, just not as quickly. If we look at the spout of a steam kettle, vigorously boiling, we can see the plume of steam coming out of the spout. It will be invisible as it comes out, for a short distance. If a steam generator is designed to superheat the steam (which isn’t easy, and it takes after-heating, generally, missing from the E-Cats, and this was an issue raised in Rossi v. Darden), that distance would increase, because the steam must cool before condensing. Live steam (the invisible stuff) is very dangerous. Never pass your hand through live steam, major burns would be instantaneous; you can do it with the visible fog kind of steam (though it’s still hot, it is not carrying nearly as much energy).

 

Krivit did very thoroughly cover the issues on this.

Off-topic comments are the bane of useful content creation

I’ve often mentioned the issue of off-topic comments on LENR Forum. Discussion of issues there is often heavily derailed by off-topic comments. Some of these are from trolls (who choose what to claim or evidence by the anticipated — or easily anticipable — emotional responses, or pursuing their Favorite Topic, everywhere, and with the LF access paradigm and the lack of comment threading, this heavily damages the utility of LF.) One might think that if one is researching the stated topic, one could read a variety of opinions or find evidence on that topic, but these can be buried under piles of irrelevancies, personal arguments, etc.

What can be done about this? Continue reading “Off-topic comments are the bane of useful content creation”

Trolling avatar, trolling tagline, writes like a troll. Troll?

The user Henry on LENR Forum is consistently a troll. His avatar is ripped from a book easily expected to irritate anyone at all attached to LENR as a reality, Voodoo Science by Robert Park. He’s change the author name on that image to “Henry Truth” and added E-CAT in large letters below Voodoo Science.  His tagline, shown with every post, is

JoNP means Journal of Null-Physics (the house of hoax,trickery, junk and psychopathological science).

This pushed me over a bridge too far: 

SSC wrote:

What problem do you have with Mr.Cook? Do you think he can not formulate a valid theory for the fact that he is affiliated with the Department of Informatics? Do you think that only a Nobel can deal with science? It is difficult to seriously consider your way of judging Rossi and his associates if these are your judgmental parameters. In addition, Cook has formulated a theory. If you think that every time someone presents a theory should also make an experiment that validates it, then you are showing all your ignorance about these themes. And not just on these issues: what peer reviewed magazines would have buried the TPRs? Tell me their names, please, I’m just curious to see what you invent!

Context: Discussion of the topic “Rossi vs. Darden aftermath discussions.” This is radically off-topic. SSC is making claims that are, to those who know the field, based on assumptions that competent scientists can’t make mistakes. They do. In particular, scientists are not generally trained to detect fraud. They will assume that testimony is true unless controverted. If a scientist presents fake data, and if this is discovered, that is the end of their career, because this can do tremendous damage. In medical or nutritional research, it can cost lives, in this field, it can waste many millions of dollars.

But errors and misinterpretations are not fake data. The best scientists will be open to correction, and will respond with sober defense or correction. Some don’t, and this is a defect in their practice of science, but is not fraud. Nor is it necessarily “Voodoo Science.” It’s just a normal human response to what may be thought of as shaming. Nobody has claimed that the “Swedish professors” or the “Third Party Professors,” which includes Levi and Foschi, faked data, though there are some suspicions about Levi. My own opinion about Levi is that he was duped, himself, and is reactive and unwilling to neutrally consider the matter. We can see his character in his “unsigned deposition” to the Rossi v. Darden court. He is paranoid, like Rossi.

SSC routinely promotes Planet Rossi memes. He is so consistent in this that some have suspected him of being a Rossi sock or “meat puppet.” His language is different from the very likely Rossi socks, the faux commentators on JONP, which, for future readers, is Rossi’s blog, effectively.

JONP was an “alternative journal” that Rossi started with the support of some Names. However, in practice, it is a very undisciplined blog, where the comments generally have nothing to do with the post or paper under which they are placed, they are all communications to or by Rossi. Rossi claims that papers are peer-reviewed by experts. Maybe they are, I have never reviewed this. But JONP is not the journal involved here.

Trolls turn every discussion into their Favorite Topic, which is generally a variation on You Are So Stupid. Some trolls have some redeeming value, and will actually raise issues of interest from time to time. Some are a complete waste of disk space and bandwidth. Henry continued:

In his “paper” (where published? on Nature ? No?) Cook even ignores how works the nuclear fusion he invoked. He wrote a fusion equation for Li+p is:

73Li4 + p → 84Be4* → 2α + 17.6 MeV (Equation 10).

claim the absence of Gamma Rays and Neutrons emission

Henry does not cite the paper. It would be this, published on arXiv, “On the Nuclear Mechanisms Underlying the Heat Production by the E-Cat,” Norman D. Cook, and Andrea Rossi. arxiv papers are not peer-reviewed, but must have an endorser, which is generally someone with a scientific reputation. In theory, Cook could be an endorser, he has the reputation or institutional affiliation, but arXiv says he is not, for this paper.

Henry has misrepresented Cook’s “claim.” Cook is stating that reaction as a possible one which could explain the reported depletion of 7Li, from the Lugano test. Rossi’s co-authorship was a puzzle, because, supposedly, that test was independent of Rossi. In fact, Rossi took the sample, so it might have been fraudulent.

Is Cook correct? I.e., is that reaction possible?

Of course it is! It’s a known reaction. There are two other possible 7LI + p reactions, which Henry hastens to point out:

This is his dream… in nuclear Science (it’s not my invention, LOL) it’s s well known and proved that kind of fusion it’s a lot more complex, just to summarize:

Henry shows no competence in nuclear science. Cook is a published author. He was known for early comments on cold fusion that were, at worst, neutral, as I recall. He knew enough to know that we did not know that an “unknown nuclear reaction” was not impossible. He is also the author of Models of the Atomic Nucleus, Unification Through a Lattice of Nucleons. 2010: Springer. Springer is the world’s largest scientific publisher. Henry is a random troll. So Henry thinks he has found a contradiction. His displayed  image of reactions does not exactly match the file links, but this is what he intends to show:

73Li + 11H → 84Be* [decays through three branches:}

84Be* → 2 84He Q=17.4 MeV

84Be* → 84Be + λ Q=17.4 MeV

84Be* → 74Be + n Q=-1.64 MeV

This is a great example of how a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. First of all, the third branch is endothermic, the Q is negative. This reaction requires that the proton be quite energetic, essentially impossible in the environment being studied. What about the second reaction?

It, like the helium branch for ordinary deuterium fusion, is very rare. The standard argument is that if helium is produced, the gamma is required. In this case, that’s not essential, because, one might notice, Rossi always shields the reactor, and has been paranoid about anyone measuring gamma radiation near it. But he has allowed some. The levels of gammas from his claimed reaction might not be significant outside the reactor. With the helium branch, only about one out of 107 reactions emits a gamma from the 4He*. I don’t know the ratio with 8Be*. Henry does not even realize it’s an issue.

Cook is author of a more recent paper, published in JCMNS. Henry went on.

and the fusion paths are overlapped, the fusion results depend by the proton energy and value of CS.

These are called branches, they are not “fusion paths” but outcomes, and, here, they may be fusion-condition sensitive, particularly the last branch.

What is “CS”? I don’t know. Henry, again, it’s common with trolls, does not cite his source. But, yes, the proton energy is significant. In the Cook proposal, that energy would be very low, far below the level that would allow ordinary fusion, so Cook is proposing an alternate mechanism, and it is also possible that an alternate mechanism would produce a different branching ratio. This argument is often made by cold fusion theorists, but my opinion is that it’s unlikely, rather, the reaction itself is by an unknown mechanism with unknown intermediaries, 8Be being one not-uncommonly-proposed possibility.

The problem with the Cook arXiv paper is that he is using Rossi-touched data without appropriate skepticism (not uncommon with scientists, they are not generally “debunkers”). In his more recent paper, he is speculating on theory based on unconfirmed reports (less shaky ones), it’s common with cold fusion theorists, and I wish they would stop it! But theorists want to suggest theories, it’s what they do!

Could Cook be a good “Informatics” ? Maybe… but a Nobel (ROTFL) for his funny “nuclear theory” is absolutely out of discussion, that’s paper is ticky-tachy.

Cook is a Professor of Informatics, whatever that is. But he has long had a major interest in and publication with regard to models of nuclear behavior. Henry is completely unqualified to review any of this.