Minds open brains not falling out?

First of a sequence of comments on Lomax’s recent blog here on Shanahan’s review of Storms posted in LENR Forum.

Lomax writes:

Ah, Shahanan, obsessed with proof, lost science somewhere back. Science is about evidence, and testing evidence, not proof, and when our personal reactions colour how we weigh evidence, we can find ourselves way out on a limb. I’m interested in evidence supporting funding for research, and it is not necessary that anything be “proven,” but we do look at game theory and probabilities, etc.

I agree with Lomax’s second statement here. Science is exactly about weighing evidence. And I understand the explicitly acknowledged bias: Lomax wants more research in this area. I disagree with the statement that “Shanahan is obsessed with proof”. It would be accurate to say that Shanahan, both implicitly and explicitly, is looking for a much higher standard of evidence than Lomax. There is no proof in science but when evidence reaches an amount that overwhelms prior probabilities we think something is probably true. 99.99% and we call it proof. The numbers are arbitrary – some would set the bar to 99.9999% but this does not matter much because of the exponential way that probabilities combine.

Let us see in detail how this works. Continue reading “Minds open brains not falling out?”

Reviewing Shanahan reviewing Storms

A New Source of Energy using Low-Energy Fusion of Hydrogen

On LENR Forum, Alainco posted an abstract and link to a new Storms article on LENR. Kirk Shanahan promptly reviewed it. This post will study the Shanahan review. It is possible that we will review the article itself more intensely. But first, a little on the journal itself. Continue reading “Reviewing Shanahan reviewing Storms”

It was an itsy-bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot error

A comment today pointed out a post by kirkshanahan on LENR-Forum.

zeus46 wrote:

KShanahan. What’s that story about the time you were trying to dispute some ‘cold fusion’ findings by showing a non-correlation between two factors, but ballsed up the analysis, and ended up unknowingly proving it? Or something. Abd used to write about it. Never heard your side of it. Maybe something about a horizontal line on a graph?

In my 2010 J. Env. Monitoring paper, there is a slight error in my discussion
of a specific figure. Abd has tried to use that to discredit everything I write
in a ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ style. I replied to him here on
lenr-forum, but in brief… Continue reading “It was an itsy-bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot error”

Mats Lewan buys condo in Cloud Cuckoo Land

Well, that headline is perhaps a bit dramatic. But, I’ll confess, I was shocked by seeing the following from someone whom I had treated as a friend, long into the past (back in my Wikipedia days), and with whom I had positive correspondence.

I had been considering writing a post about a Lewan blog entry that was mentioned in a comment here.

Rossi’s engineer: ‘I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe’ (November 25, 2015)

After an interesting interview, which reveals that Fabiani clearly believes that Rossi’s work is real — and that he has seen amazing things — Lewan gives this:

Since mid-February 2015, Rossi and his US industrial partner Industrial Heat are running a one-year commercial trial on a customer’s site with a heat plant producing 1 MW. The plant is made up of four 250kW modules, each based on E-Cat technology. Unless something unexpected happens, the trial, which is controlled by a major independent third party certification institute, should be concluded by February or March 2016, and the results should then be presented.

In the comments, Lewan explains a bit:

November 25, 2015 at 11:25
@Slad
Everyone I have talked to confirm that a major independent third party certification institute is involved in the control of the 1-year test and that this institute will also be able to confirm the results when they are presented. I have no further proof though.

Mats does not tell us — at all — who “everyone I have talked to” is, but we know he talked with Fabiani, who would know of the involvement of a “major independent third party certification institute,” and we know he talked to Levi, who might have known of such. And did he talk with Rossi?

Since there was no such institute involved, only Penon, we know that Lewan relied on unreliable sources. He does acknowledge having no “further proof,” but that’s weak. It implies that the evidence for what he wrote was strong. That’s not the only problem.

IH allowed the installation, but as a sale of power, and only secondarily as a trial, with the idea that if Rossi clearly demonstrated to IH that there was substantial power generated, they might voluntarily pay him $89 million on that basis. The Doral demonstration was not the “Guaranteed Performance Test” of the IH-Rossi-Ampenergo Agreement, because Ampenergo explicitly refused to sign the Second Amendment allowing the GPT to be postponed. Rossi covered up this fact in his Complaint, though it was obvious from the start that the Ampenergo signature was missing. The Rossi attempts, in his pleadings, to convert some kind of vague consent to a test into the specifics of a GPT, even though there were obvious elements of a GPT missing; and not only signatures, but matters of substance, such as the ability of IH to actually observe the “test” in detail. Rossi excluded IH experts, twice (in July and in December).

The whole thing stunk, from lies about the customer at the start, to what appears now to be a hastily-invented “heat exchanger” that nobody saw, and that would have been very visible. Yet Mats is still stuck in his glorious past, where he was the world’s foremost confidant of Andrea Rossi. He wonders about conflict of interest, but has a huge one, a subtle one. When people criticize Rossi, or threaten his interests and plan in some way, he cuts them off, and he had done this over and over, and Mats knows this behavior. If any of the Lugano team had questioned what Levi and Rossi were doing (and Rossi was apparently there the whole time, and the Swedish team, not, not what the Lugano Report implied), they’d have been history.

Mats has never cleaned up that mess. Believe me, if I find a major error here, even years later, I will at least annotate it. That is what a responsible journalist will do, if he or she can.

So then we have this sequence on E-Cat World:

Critique of the Smith Report from the JONP

Mats LewanSunday, April 9, 2017 9:54 AM [post time extracted from HTML]

I think there’s a list of advisors to IH somewhere. Anyone remember where it is?

Andreas Moraitis Mats Lewan • a day ago

214-23, p. 7.

That is here. It was actually a list of potential places for investment, and then included a list of advisors. None of this was a description of actual payments. Jed Rothwell is on the list of advisors, and has continually maintained that he has received no payments from IH, but this was used to, once again, accuse him of being paid by IH. He is known to have visited them in North Carolina, and that was then misinterpreted to indicate that he had visited the Plant in Florida (which he has always denied, and which would then make a certain IH response to interrogatories into perjury — unless Rossi arranged the visit, which seems a tad unlikely, given that Rossi excluded Rothwell from visiting him in Italy years before — and in spite of that, behind the scenes, Rothwell was a supporter of Rossi, arguing that people he trusted had seen the technology and it was real). Rothwell later reassessed that opinion, apparently after seeing data from Penon, which had all the obvious defects that have become public now, with the court filings.

Lewan is clearly not using the Rossi v. Darden resources here. They may be searched. The core page is the Docket page. Yes, it’s a huge amount of information. So resources are being created for analysis. That takes time. We just had a huge amount of data dumped on us. Much of it is redundant, but then, much is not.

The best organization is probably found in the Motions for Summary Judgment, where each party puts its best and strongest case forward. I was going to start with an analysis of the Rossi MSJ, but the exhibit references were such a mess (almost all incorrect), and it depended so strongly on a legal claim that has failed, the attempt to exclude all IPH claims based on an allegedly defective corporate deposition, that my opinion became that making it the core of a study would be a waste of time, so I started with RvD: Study of 203:IH Motion for Summary Judgment

This document also includes all the support paragraphs from DE 207. This is the case as it appears from the IH Motion. Anyone who actually wants to understand Rossi v. Darden would do well to study this. But it’s huge, still. I will be going through it, point by point and the first analysis will be looking for what is clearly established as fact, and what is not, what might remain legitimately controversial. At first impression, some of the IH claims are that, not as clear as required for Summary Judgment, they might require determination of fact by a fact-finder, i.e., a jury. However, there are many layers to this IH strategy, and the strongest aspects are likely to blow the Rossi case out of the water, leaving only the counterclaims active. At that point, settlement becomes far more likely.

Now, to come to what astounded me, though I’d certainly seen signs a year ago, that Mats was falling for a conspiracy theory, in spite of his warning to Sifferkoll.

Mats Lewana day ago

Anyone knows what the rules are for presenting evidence that hasn’t been brought up earlier, when the case goes up in court in June?

Josh G Mats Lewan • a day ago

Go ask Abd. Double dare you. (-;

Mats Lewan Josh G • a day ago

BTW do we know if Abd works for IH or not?

Once upon a time, Mats was a reporter and would have asked me that question directly. Now he asks with a “we” that is a narrow group of people. IH would obviously know if I work for them, and so would I, so, for starters, I’d be excluded from “we” or the question would be meaningless. This question was brought up many times, and Rossi himself accused me of being a paid puppet.

At one time, Mats was officially staff at LENR Forum. That disappeared. This blog is open for anyone to comment, and author privileges will be granted to real people, and Mats is real. Even if a bit deluded. This went on.

Josh G Mats Lewan • a day ago

Not sure but I don’t think we’ve seen any evidence to support it other than his quixotic behavior on IH’s behalf. But I stopped following things for quite awhile until the mid-March filings. So not sure.

SG Mats Lewan • 19 hours ago

I think he claimed that he has been paid to blog by somebody, but not IH.

I am attempting to respond there, the editor keeps locking up. But this would be it:

I suppose I should correct this. I have not been “paid to blog” by anybody. I was collecting documents and putting them in the filespace for the newvortex list, and an attorney, not connected with IH at all, offered to pay my PACER expenses. I have received a total of $50 so far, I may ask for more, and another person, also not connected with IH other than being long-term interested in LENR, has offered additional support, enough that I will probably be able to go to Miami to cover the trial if it happens. Enough to cover my travel, I may still need more to cover details like hotel.

I later started the blog when I was temporarily banned on LENR Forum, and then got serious about it when the newvortex archive became unusable (a yahoogroup problem) and LF banned me “permanently.” (Fun question: for what?)

One of the functions of the blog is to build analytical resources, as distinct from endless debate that goes nowhere, i.e., Blog Normal. This is intended long-term for general cold fusion issues, but is currently being used for Rossi v. Darden.

Mats would be most welcome as a participant, but he lost his status as a neutral analyst some time ago. He could recover, if he chooses to. It would take some work, and his excuse has been that he is too busy. It would be fun to guide him through the maze of documents in the case. One step at a time, which is rarely done. Mostly people start with conclusions (on more than one side — I hope that readers realize there are more than two “sides” here).

As to Mats’ question, others have answered reasonably, but not necessarily addressing the point clearly, and Mats himself summarizes it incorrectly:

Mats Lewan GiveADogABone • a day ago

In fact, I don’t interpret it as a blanket ban. Rather that most of the evidence is presented during discovery. But it doesn’t exclude some evidence to be presented in court, as long as it doesn’t contradict earlier depositions or testimonials, I guess.

It’s somewhat shocking that Mats will guess, but he declared previously that he did not have time to do actual research, the kind expected for a journalist.

The reality is that witnesses will be on the stand, and either side may ask them questions, and they may answer outside of what they said before. However, if what they say is new, an attorney may object. To introduce new evidence will require the permission of the Judge. It is not exactly a “blanket ban,” but failure to disclose evidence to the other parties can result in sanctions, all the way up to total dismissal of a party’s case.

“Contradiction” is not a characteristic of evidence, but of the assessment of evidence. Evidence could not be excluded based on contradiction. Rather, if there is contradiction in admissible evidence, there can be a question for a jury to resolve.

However, what may not be realized here is that the Motions for Summary Judgment do not necessarily disclose all the evidence. Rather, there is a huge volume of evidence — truly enormous — that was disclosed in discovery. As long as it was disclosed, it may be introduced at trial. What is disclosed in discovery is generally attested under penalty of perjury.

IH has adduced enough evidence, my present opinion — remember, I am in process of studying the materials — to obtain summary judgment on the core claim of Rossi, breach of contract re the $89 million, and if that claim is gone, so is the rest of his lawsuit. Because, then, there would be no trial on that claim, we can expect Rossi to go all-out in his Reply. We do have that Reply at this point, but I have not studied it. I will, comparing each point with the evidence we have.


Drama ensued. See the comments below. Someone apparently spoofed Mats Lewan, using his name and, most importantly, his real email address, so that the avatar displayed would be picked up from Gravatar, which we have enabled. The second post of this user started out more or less innocuously, but then the user edited it to add a gross sexual reference. Mats complained on LENR Forum, which is a bit odd, since I’m banned there and don’t necessarily see everything. However, THHuxleynew pointed out that post here. There are some aspects of possible interest in what ensued.

On LENR Forum, Mats Lewan wrote (creating a new topic)

ALERT:
Abd ulRahman Lomax yesterday posted a blog post at http://coldfusioncommunity.net…ndo-in-cloud-cuckoo-land/ commenting some of my actions and reports.
Under the blogpost there are comments made by Mats Lewan.

These comments are NOT made by me.
They are false and fraudulent, made up in short, and if Abd ulRahman Lomax reads this, I expect him to delete those comments immediately.

Apparently I read the second remark before it was edited to add the truly offensive remark. The rest of the material in those posts matched, at least to a degree, what Mats had posted elsewhere. Impersonation is still a major public offense, not to be tolerated. I might have some view that I might express in one context, but may not want to express it in other contexts, and that should be my right. But trolls may disagree.

THHuxleynew wrote:

Mats – perhaps you could post this on Abd’s site. It will immediately let you do this – I think. Then he would certainly get it, and also he could check IP etc… Furthermore the correction gets seen faster than if you wait for Abd.

THH was completely correct. Mats’ response was relatively unskillful. The basic harm — someone thinking that was him — could be most quickly addressed by Mats himself posting a comment exposing the impersonation, and confirming this by email from his known email address. Because Mats has not posted, his first comment would need to be approved, though it might be approved simply by using that same email address. (It was on his personal domain, and he obviously uses it wherever the gravatar shows up.)

Posting on LENR forum then drew more attention, exactly what trolls often want, and the obscene comment was then repeated there, and obviously was read by moderators who didn’t care.

Alan Smith wrote:

THHuxleynew wrote:

Mats – perhaps you could post this on Abd’s site.

I don’t expect that to happen in a hurry.

Classic Alan Smith, useless snark. Why not? I used to have direct email communication with Mats. Has Mats fallen into a Krivit hole? I will agree in one way, it is odd that Mats did not communicate directly with me. Maybe the fumes on Planet Rossi finally created too much mind-rot. It would also have been somewhat effective if Mats had responded to my comment on E-Cat World, in reply to his question there, since I get notification of responses.

THHuxleynew wrote:

Alan Smith wrote:

I don’t expect that to happen in a hurry.

I’ve done it for him. Though why he should not be able to do it himself is beyond me.

And indeed THH did post here, something actually useful. Alan Smith continues to emit smoke:

Able but unwilling I expect. I would be too.

Yes, Alan would be. Why? For the same reason that Alan Smith banned me from LF: he can’t stand my presence, he knows I can see what he does. So all this does come up:

AlainCo wrote:

Abd answered and leaked the IP of the fraudster

http://coldfusioncommunity.net…cuckoo-land/#comment-2382

[This link is a bit better, juicier. –Abd]

If there is disagreement with Abd, I estimate it is more about Doxxing/Transparency/Shaming vs Privacy than about tolerance to fraud.

Thanks, Alain. Zero tolerance here for fraudulent posting (which is not about disagreements, nor would it be about ordinary socking. Socking that impersonates another is generally illegal, and Mats had good reason to expect me to correct the situation. He wanted me to delete it. Because there were responses, I elected to not delete, but changed the user name to “(spoofed) Mats Lewan,” and used strike-out for the text, only actually deleting the obscenity. I think it is of interest that someone would spoof Lewan, and I think that it could be useful to find out who that would be.

And that is why I revealed the IP. I also have more data, obtained from the server logs. True administration at LENR Forum would very likely be able to identify the fraudster, at least with other accounts. However, what I found was that not only do moderators there not have access to IP information, neither do administrators; someone has server access, and that is probably Barty and the Owner. So if Barty wants to address this, he could. I’d happily correspond with him. I have also provided the information directly to Mats.

This is all standard stuff for WikiMedia Foundation administrators, and I was one. Privacy is respected, but the right to privacy is lost when one commits certain offenses. (Access to normally private IP information is confined to Checkusers and others with that level of privilege on WMF wikis, but any stand-alone blog owner, running on their own domain, has access to that information, it is in the raw server logs.)

LENR Calendar wrote:

THHuxleynew wrote:

I’ve done it for him. Though why he should not be able to do it himself is beyond me.

Abd wouldn’t be able to tell which user is the real one. Mats here has been verified.

Oh, I was able to tell. I already had been suspicious about the IP, but Lewan accessing the internet from student housing wasn’t impossible, so I didn’t reject the post on that basis. Yes. The LF Lewan account is long-standing, thus verified, which I immediately knew; however, at the first plausible allegation of spoofing, I’d have quarantined that post so that it could do no harm, pending resolution. I also have had direct email communication with Lewan, and verification would be trivial.

There is no rush, but perhaps, out of this, Lewan will start to help clean up the mess that he helped to create. I’d be happy to assist. One easy step at a time.

Is cold fusion possible? Myths and facts with Bill Nye

Emphasis on myths, or, even simpler, just plain nonsense. The video.

Bill Nye is asked about cold fusion. What does he come up with? It’s fairly obvious that Nye has no fact checker. The blurb on this video:

In 1989, Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons reported that their apparatus could produce anomalous heat by fusing neutrons at room temperature. Essentially, this was a demonstration of cold fusion. Though hyped by the press, the experiment proved faulty because of bad measurement, but to this day cold fusion excites our imagination. In a Big Think production, science communicator Bill Nye explained what’s the deal with ‘cold fusion’ and whether or not it could be possible to reach the same kind of nuclear reactions seen in the core of stars in a device that works at room temperature.

“Neutrons.” No. They did not report fusing neutrons. They actually did not report fusion, but rather anomalous heat, and speculated that it might be an “unknown nuclear reaction.” Fusion was simply a candidate.

“Proved faulty.” No. That never happened as to their heat measurements. Generally, their calorimetry was sound. It should be realized that hundreds of scientists have confirmed the basic finding. In 2004, there was a panel to consider the phenomenon, and the panel was evenly split, half of the 18 experts considering that the evidence for a heat anomaly was was “conclusive,” and the other half, not conclusive. Yet a general and very common opinion is like that of Nye: that this was all a mistake.

With N-rays and polywater, the artifacts were identified through replication in controlled experiment. With cold fusion, replication failure — this was actually a very difficult experiment — combined with speculation, was thought by some to be conclusive, but that was not a scientific conclusion, just a guess. There never was a replication with controls that demonstrated artifact in the original work.

Later work identified the ash, the fusion product, helium, and many experiments, done by many research groups, have correlated the anomalous heat with helium production, see my 2015 paper in Current Science. Cold fusion itself is a mystery. There is no theory of mechanism that can, as yet, claim success. However, the phenomenon is real. Let’s look at Nye’s video. Continue reading “Is cold fusion possible? Myths and facts with Bill Nye”

Get out of the new road if you can’t lend a hand

Among many other things, I was a folksinger, and strong in my repertoire was The Times They Are A-Changin’. The words are worth reviewing.

Yesterday, I published Age, the New Age, Believers, and Peter Gluck. It was a series of observations about LENR-Forum and the interaction there of Dewey Weaver and Peter Gluck. Dewey was frank with Peter, and Peter didn’t like it one bit. I was also frank with Peter, here, and ditto.

We are both aging, as are others, and there are some who hate being reminded of it, especially as age begins to affect how we relate to others. None of this should be any surprise. None of us get out of this place alive.


The aging of LENR scientists, and the effects of that, is a no-touch issue, and because of that, nothing is done, it being believed, apparently, that aging is like race, nothing can be done about it, so bringing it up is terminally rude. But plenty can be done, often. I have not been willing to give up. Not surprisingly, this post stirred up a shitstorm on LF. All of this reveals community dysfunction (and a few hints of function). Instead of starting a new post, I will document the response on LF: Get out of the new road. The original post, so far unedited:


Continue reading “Get out of the new road if you can’t lend a hand”

Focardi’s TedX talk

Translation from E-Catworld.

(The video may also be viewed with CC translation on YouTube, cursor at the bottom of the screen, press the CC button.)

My comments are indented.


The following Transcription and Translation of “TEDxBologna – Sergio Focardi – L’E-cat e la fusione nucleare con il Nichel e l’Idrogeno “ is released under Public Domain by its author Mirco Romanato its author.

Anything wrong in the transcription and in the translation is my fault. 

I have often pointed out that there is work that can be done to support investigation of LENR, and that deep knowledge is not required, only some level of effort and attention — and it can be fun. Translating a video can seem like work, but, in fact, one who does translations will learn a great deal. Ask Jed Rothwell. Or me, for that matter: I don’t do translations, but I often reformat and copy-edit documents. Seeing the text, even if I don’t “study” it, creates exposure and exposure creates familiarity, and familiarity develops understanding. Those who are interested in following this path through the wilderness, ask me! There are millions of entry points, you can find your own, but having some guidance can help you get started. My thanks to Mirco, and as to any errors, we wisely never let the possibility of error stop us, trusting that our friends will point them out. In fact, our enemies also will, so, if we frame this usefully, our enemies can also be our friends, provided we pay attention.

00:24 The talk I want to do, I’m starting from the origin, is about what today is called Cold Fusion.

The term can lead to confusion. Martin Fleischmann regretted mentioning it. It was premature, and in some ways it is still premature, until the reaction is clearly understood based on verified confirmation and strong evidence, and it is not. We may be close to clear and unmistakable confirmation of what the reaction discovered by Pons and Fleischmann does, but not how it does it. With NiH reactions, Focardi’s primary subject here, we don’t know the ash, what he states was an error, possibly a result of deceptive diversion, but no longer claimed even by Rossi.

00:30 It started around 22 years ago when an American researcher, an American chemist, stated to have produced energy using a nuclear fusion process obtained using Palladium, a metal, and Deuterium, a heavy Hydrogen.

The “statement” was an error, in that it was premature. Fleischmann was not an American chemist, but was working with one, Stanley Pons, and the work was done at the University of Utah, which is, of course, an American university. Martin was British. In fact, the first paper did not claim fusion, though the title was misprinted; Martin claimed. In the rush to publish, Electrochemically induced nuclear fusion of deuterium? dropped the question mark. However, that may have been a later rationalization, because the second document published, 29 June 1989, had a title claiming cold fusion. Fleischmann, M., et al., Measurements of gamma-rays from cold fusion. Nature (London), 1989. 339(622): p. 667.

The gamma ray findings were blatant error, and Petrasso, in that issue, apparently demolished the argument. What Pons and Fleischmann actually found was anomalous heat, which, as chemists, they considered implied too high an energy density to be chemical in nature. The first paper actually claimed, in the text, after some speculation about known fusion reactions — all an error, unwarranted (in hindsight) — “an hitherto unknown nuclear process or processes (presumably again due to deuterons).” The “presumably” was probably misleading as well, certainly it was premature. Using circumstantial evidence when exploring something totally new is … weak, useful only for speculation and creating questions to be addressed experimentally. What seems likely to me — we still do not know for sure — is that molecular deuterium is involved, the electrons are crucial to the process, but “deuterons” implies the ions and the reaction being located inside the palladium lattice, which, AFAIK, Fleischmann continued to believe, another probable error.

01:00 After this, many started to work on his path, and after 22 years  they have not obtained big results.

“Big” in the sense of high power. However, most experimental work has not been aimed at high power, it is aimed at studying the conditions of the reaction and how to control it. Until the reaction is controlled, high power is dangerous and can be counterproductive. Big, though, is impressive. If one is reacting to skepticism, one may want “impressive.” Much cold fusion research was diverted and damaged by this goal, which is essentially unscientific, it is a polemic purpose requiring motivation toward some particular conclusion. This has affected some otherwise excellent scientists, and the motivation can be visible, which then feeds pseudoskeptics grist for their mill. They can smell it.

01:11 For what regard me, with a friend of the Siena University, decided to work in the same way but using Hydrogen and Nickel and obtained a number of results: production of energy by interactions between Hydrogen and Nickel.

NiH is sometimes called “Piantelli-Focardi.” From lenr-canr.org and newenergytimes.com, with some corrections:

1993 F. Piantelli, Atti Accad. Fis., Serie XV, Tomo XII, pag. 89-96 (1993)
1994 Focardi, S., R. Habel, and F. Piantelli, “Anomalous heat production in Ni-H systems.” Nuovo Cimento Soc. Ital. Fis. A, 1994. 107A: p. 163.
1996 S. Focardi, V. Gabbani, V. Montalbano, F. Piantelli, S. Veronesi, [title unknown], Atti Accad. Fisioc, Serie XV, XV 109 (1996)
1998 Focardi, S., et al., Large excess heat production in Ni-H systems. Nuovo Cimento Soc. Ital. Fis. A, 1998. 111A: p. 1233.
1999 Focardi, S., et al. On the Ni-H System. in Anomalies in Hydrogen/Deuterium Loaded Metals. 1999. Bologna.
1999 A. Battaglia, L. Daddi, S. Focardi, V. Gabbani, V. Montalbano, F. Piantelli, P. G. Sona, S. Veronesi, Nuovo Cimento A 112, 921 (1999).
2000 E. G. Campari, S. Focardi, V. Gabbani, V. Montalbano, F. Piantelli, S. Veronesi, [title unknown], ICCF8, Conference Proceedings 70, F. Scaramuzzi editor, (2000) 69E.
2002 E. G. Campari, S. Focardi, V. Gabbani, V. Montalbano, F. Piantelli, S. Veronesi, Atti [sic] TESMI Workshop, Lecce, december 6-7 2002, A. Lorusso and V. Nassisi editors, 35-42 (2004).
2004 Focardi, S., et al. Evidence of electromagnetic radiation from Ni-H Systems. in Eleventh International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. 2004. Marseille, France.
2004 E. Campari, S. Focardi, V. Gabbani, V. Montalbano, F. Piantelli, S. Veronesi, “Overview of H-Ni Systems: Old Experiments and New Setup,” 5th Asti Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen- / Deuterium-Loaded Metals, Asti, Italy, (2004)
2004 Focardi, S. and Piantelli, F., “Produzione Di Energia E Reazioni Nucleari In Sistemi Ni-H A 400 C,” XIX Congresso Nazionale UIT, 2004 (PPT)
2010 Focardi, S. and A. Rossi, A new energy source from nuclear fusion. www.journal-of-nuclear-physics.com, 2010.01:30

What I immediately notice is the dramatic shift. In 2010, now with Rossi as co-author, Focardi is making a fusion claim, but has no strong fusion evidence, only anomalous heat, “too high for any chemical process.” Before that, he followed scientific prudence in his article titles, at least, only the 2004 slide presentation refers to “nuclear reactions”. I have not reviewed the articles themselves, yet.

Following this I restarted the work with the Engineer Rossi and we started to work on the same path: building system able to produce energy using hydrogen and nickel
01:54 Now, what we can see are the results of this work.
02:07 There are, this is the first picture, this is one of the first experiments done with Engineer Rossi
02:20 And you can see, at right, there is a small red bucket, containing water and some materials and left the hydrogen canister used to put hydrogen inside this capsule where we had put the nickel.
02:50 Heating together nickel and hydrogen we obtained energy and, as result the heating of the water.
02:58 The experiment is, obviously, very crude, because it was not worth, for this experiment to build more refined objects.
03:10 This is the next experiment. This time, instead of the bucket of water, there is that donut-like object to the right where some water circulated and there was the capsule containing nickel and hydrogen.
03:35 The tube you see at the lower right is to bring hydrogen, at the center there is a canister of hydrogen, and in this way we obtained a confirmation about the previous experiment with a cleaner system than the previous.
03:53 The third picture, it is another, third, method to measure. This time there is a closed circuit. You are able to see well, in the background at the right, the tube, where is inserted the cylinder, again at the right. In the tube some water was circulated. In this cylinder happen this heating process and it is a nuclear reaction between nickel and hydrogen
04:30 and what we observed experimentally was the difference of temperature between the two extremes of the cylinder
04:37 So, the three experiments confirmed that the system was really able to produce energy under the form of heat. We obtained the heating of the water.
05:00 This it was one of the latter objects built by the Engineer Rossi, that take the name of e-cat, where “cat” is a shorthand for catalyzer, that is used usually and currently, to experiment with the reaction between nickel and hydrogen and produce heat. And the heat produced is demonstrated heating water with various devices and this is one example.

None of this is going to be strongly convincing in itself, because there are many ways in which demonstrations can be faked, and some where the illusion can fool even the inventor. However, Focardi was no dummy, and it would be unexpected that major error would escape his notice. However, major fraud might. Scientists are not trained to recognize fraud, generally.

Science is heavily based on trusting experimental reports; a scientist who fakes data loses all credibility and may have demolished his or her career. Errors are made, yes, lots of them. But Focardi might not be looking thoroughly and carefully for failure modes. We saw Sven Kullander miss the obvious, that a humidity meter cannot measure steam quality, and, then, that there could be overflow water, not evaporated, under the observed conditions. We saw the “independent professors,” with the Lugano test, overlook what was clearly visible, apparent color temperature showing that their temperature calculations were far off, indicating a need for a strong calibration, which they did not do, believing a story that made no sense. Scientists, in general, are not trained to deal with skilled deception. As well, some forms of insanity are “high-functioning” and such people can be extraordinarily convincing.

It is totally understandable why anyone seeing this talk could become highly interested and even convinced that the Rossi Effect must be real. From ordinary considerations, regarding scientific testimony, the burden of evidence shifted. I still do not consider the matter closed entirely. From evidence not available in 2011, however, the burden has shifted back.

However, even then there was cause for caution. That Focardi published with Rossi in a faux journal, created and controlled by Rossi, was a red flag. That, without clear evidence, he shifted from careful scientific presentation to a dramatic claim was a red flag. His behavior with Steve Krivit was a red flag. His avoidance of true independent testing was a red flag. All of these had possible “explanations,” as long as direct evidence was missing.

05:50 Now, this is the next product built by  Engineer Rossi, again based to the same process, similar to a train wagon (NdR a shipping container) but smaller. Inside we see some boxes and everyone is a generator producing the same effects I described before.

That was the idea, yes. However, the project was crazy, part of a plan to create something dramatic. It made no real business sense. The idea would be that a megawatt plant would demonstrate reliability, and that it would be difficult to fake a megawatt. Nice big round number. but suppose COP were 6 — as actually claimed. That would then require 160 KW power input. With electrical power, ordinary service is perhaps 20 KW. I think 40 KW or so is available. The thing could not be powered to produce an actual megawatt, at that COP. So … when Rossi demonstrated this, he needed a 500 KW or so genset on site. And what power did he measure? About 500 KW. Focardi was not, in his TedX talk, claiming that the megawatt plant had actually been tested.

A sensible plan would have been to test individual reactors more thoroughly, generating reliability data. Much easier to handle, and much easier to measure the output heat, and if that measurement is done independently, which could have been arranged, even with a “black box” reactor, data actually needed to confidently design and manufacture a megawatt plant, or a plant of any capacity, would have been developed.

Something else was happening than ordinary business sense. This was all visible by the end of 2011. I do not know how much of this became known to Focardi before he died, June 22, 2013, not quite 80 years old. At that point, the Validation Test was about to be performed under Rossi supervision, by Fabio Penon. IH had, the previous year, bought that megawatt plant, apparently. (Skeptics generally assume there was only one plant. I do not know the fact.) Focardi would have been happy to see the recognition, knowing that the truth would come out. At my age (72), I find that kind of impression comforting. I don’t have to know the truth, I only need to trust it.

06:31 making work together all these elements, we would have 1 MW of power produced
06:45 This was not already started with all the generators together; it will be before the end of this month. At this time we can say there is a change in the sizes we are talking about. But every box we can see is like the old generators we used to react hydrogen and nickel to obtain heat.
07:17 This is clearly a nuclear reaction as in the experiments we did – we are doing them by two years, two years and half, I don’t remember the exact date we started. At the end of the experiment, when we analyze the materials used, the material put in the capsule, that originally was nickel and hydrogen we find again nickel but also copper.

Unfortunately, “clearly” was subjective and personal. The copper finding, he considers important evidence here, was abandoned and may have been deliberate deception, I am not documenting that here, only that this claim did not persist, and that this idea shows Focardi jumping to conclusions, losing his objectivity. To come to a scientific conclusion about this alleged transmutation, one would need many samples, and for something so remarkable, independent confirmation. Yet Forcardi talks about this being “proof.”

07:57 Now, the copper is the element following nickel on the periodic scale. It is at its side and the nucleus of copper differ from the nucleus of nickel only because it have a single proton more. Proton that was introduced, captured, by the nickel in a process of nuclear reaction. So when we affirm this is a nuclear reaction between nickel and hydrogen, this is another proof it is not a fantastic statement. We have the proofs, because as result in the end copper is formed.

That would be a great reason for dropping some copper in, wouldn’t it? Focardi befriended Rossi or did Rossi select Focardi as someone easy to fool? Once again, listening to the talk, not knowing the later fact of the claim being abandoned or acknowledged as error, this is very convincing!

08:43 Now, one of the problems when we talk about these topics is the problem of safety. And, in this case the danger for the safety is the radioactivity, because being a nuclear reaction people foresee radioactivity emitted in the reaction. This is real, but we are lucky this process produce only gamma rays and not neutrons.

Does it produce gammas? If confirmed, that would be “nuclear evidence.” It could be faked, by the way. In the original Rossi-Focardi paper, “no radiation was observed at levels greater than natural radiation background.” This is somewhat in contradiction with what Focardi claims in the talk about Bondeno; this, then, reveals a certain lack of precision and clarity. No careful testing, using control experiments, is described. He saw some elevation above background, so the claim in the paper was incomplete, at least. It looks like he never followed up. Gammas from neutron activation, if that is what was happening, have characteristic energies, which can be measured. Rossi prevented Celani, was it?, from using a portable instrument at the first 2011 test that could have measured gamma energies.

I must say I pointed to the danger of neutrons from the start with the collaboration with Rossi; and Rossi, obviously, took the measures needed because, if there would be neutrons, the things would be difficult, because neutrons can be shielded but it is not a simple problem. Luckily there are not neutrons. But there are gamma rays. The presence of gamma ray I have experienced directly, in the first experiments in the laboratory Rossi had in Bondeno, because often I did the measures when Rossi was occupied doing his bidding. I, in the first measures used an instrument detecting radioactivity and measured the gamma rays. Not very dangerous, not big compared to the normal background, but anyway present. And it is obvious there was no reason to raise the natural radioactivity level.

So from a single observation, Focardi makes a definitive claim, “there are gamma rays,” instead of merely noting that there was one measurement, with no details given, that indicated the presence of gamma radiation.

10:40 But we never detected neutrons as this was my main fear because neutron are difficult to shield. But hey never showed. The problem of the gamma rays was solved simply adding, around the generators, small sheet of lead that are able to shield the gamma ray. So we can say, there is no risk of radioactivity when we work in this way. This is good not only for us but for when there will be commercial applications.

In a more careful study, a gamma detector would be designed together with the reactor, so that it could measure the unshielded gammas. As a precaution, researchers do often have neutron detectors around, but the evidence for neutron radiation in LENR experiments, aside from muon-catalyzed fusion, a different animal that resembles hot fusion in its behavior, is that if it exists, or when it exists, it is at extremely low levels, not harmful.

Krivit continues con-fusion

See Krivit’s con-fusion re power and energy for last month’s take on this situation.

Krivit has “withdrawn” but saved the original articles, and has continued beating the “lies” drum, only with slightly more subtlety.

The original articles are at NET Discrepancies and NET Lie, both now after a disclaimer document that denies any identified error.

Here, I end up reviewing Krivits entire new article, which is full of errors and misrepresentations, all supporting his basic theme: other people are wrong and misleading, when what is actually going on is that Krivit does not understand what is being written to him. Continue reading “Krivit continues con-fusion”

Britz cold fusion bibliography

The Britz cold fusion bibliography and brief review site has been, with permission, mirrored here.

This is as the site was a few days ago, Dieter has made a few changes which will be copied here. The plan is to integrate this with the main WordPress installation here, so this access is temporary. There were difficulties with running the HTML importer.

The original site location is http://www.dieterbritz.dk/fusweb/index.php

Dieter is a skeptical or neutral electrochemist who listed papers and books based on being in journals or peer-reviewed sources or equivalent. He did not include the specialty journal JCMNS. He wrote brief summaries of each document.

The plan here is to expand this as a selectable subset of a full archive and research resource, with links to actual journal publications and readily accessible copies, or, in some cases, local copies, where legal.

(As a nonprofit host, under U.S. law, content may be hosted here under a Fair Use claim for various purposes. Subject to practical considerations, we will ordinarily respect take-down requests from lawful owners of content. We will also note that content that was hosted was taken down upon request. We will not remove live links to content hosted elsewhere, unless legally compelled.)

 

Krivit’s con-fusion re power and energy

This is about two recent Krivit articles on his blog, New Energy Times, that showed his too-common misunderstanding of power and energy (crucial to understanding LENR research), combined with his yellow journalism that interprets conflict with his beliefs as “lies” and attempts to explain this to him as “cover-up.”
Continue reading “Krivit’s con-fusion re power and energy”

Sympathy for the Devil, part 1

This is a DRAFT. I’m publishing it in case some corrections might appear, but this has not been put into final form, necessarily.

In this case, the “devil” is the late Douglas Morrison. I have seen a cold fusion advocate express the opinion that Morrison is roasting in hell. However, of course, if Morrison is the Devil, he would simply be sitting beside a fire at home…. or in it, and not suffering, since Satan is made of fire.

I don’t wish hell for any human, because … what if I make mistakes myself? What if am as stupid as a flounder? We all can be seriously stupid when we become personally involved, the attachments make us stupid.

I’ve read that discussion before, but I found it confusing. Why? Idiotic ideas can be confusing, to be sure, but did Fleischmann’s arguments stand out as the soul of clarity, clearly visible against the backdrop of Morisson’s alleged  stupidity? Apparently not. Why not? Is it because Fleischmann was wrong? I don’t think so. I think there were other causes, and that’s what I will be looking for, here.
Continue reading “Sympathy for the Devil, part 1”

Scientific American hoaxed

Krivit is a co-author of this Scientific American article, but this is mostly about Krivit’s point of view. Ravnitzky is relatively unknown, he is an editor for Krivit’s new book series. The new books are published by Pacific Oak Press. I find no books other than Krivit’s published by this publisher. All it takes is money.

It’s Not Cold Fusion,…But It’s Something

This is a review of the article.
Continue reading “Scientific American hoaxed”

Discussion on C&EN

In Chemical & Engineering News, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

Cold fusion died 25 years ago, but the research lives on

Scientists continue to study unusual heat-generating effects, some hoping for vindication, others for an eventual payday

Original article and comments. … Krivit reaction. … And more from Krivit.

Reaction on lenr-forum … and more on lenr-forum.

My interest being community process, always, I decided to study the comments on this article as they stand today. I may update this. Italics indicate quoted material. I have quoted the comments in their entirety, because cherry-picking (even if motivated without intention to bias) could create bias.
Continue reading “Discussion on C&EN”

Financial Times slapdash knee-jerk reaction passes for journalism

I guess I give it away by the post title. This later was the subject of a reaction: The most bizarre article

Kadhim Shubber

So, Neil Woodford invested in a cold fusion company

Continue reading “Financial Times slapdash knee-jerk reaction passes for journalism”