If it blew up, it must be LENR!

I’m writing this because I like the headline. It does bring up some more, ah, fundamental issues.

THHuxleynew wrote:

kirkshanahan wrote:

The results of doing this is to come up with an excess heat signal that is a) large and b) occurring when no current is flowing, meaning you essentially have an infinite instantaneous COP. The problem is that this comes out of applying the same calibration equation used for ‘normal’ operations. The steady state is so radically different in a ‘boiled-dry’ cell that everyone should know you can’t do that. But not the CFers…it shows excess heat…it must be real…and is certainly must be nuclear!

“The CFers.” Classic Shanahan. Classic ad-hominem, straw-man argument, one of the reasons he gets no traction with those who would need to understand and respect his arguments, if he has a real basis and actually cares about supporting science.

Below, I go into details.

“COP” is not particularly a CMNS argument, rather the concern is anomalous heat — and, in the best experiments, correlated conditions and results. There is a gigantic red herring being waved about, that glosses over why boil-off cells would be of some considerable interest; instead, Shanahan focuses on his same-old same old argument, calibration error, which may or may not be significant in the boil-off experiments. But I understand why THH isn’t impressed.

Right. This is a more nuanced case of the it blew up so it must be LENR argument. Explosions are pretty usual in systems with reactive chemicals, particularly hydrogen and oxygen in stochiometric ratios! Or, heater elements can easily explode when local heating alters impedance so increasing power input.

There have been a few explosions, but I have never seen explosion claimed as a proof of LENR, with one possible exception, where it was not “proof,” but the cause of further investigation, which was the original Pons and Fleischmann meltdown in 1984. Sometimes pseudoskeptics pooh-pooh that F&P scaled down as a result of that early meltdown, because they claim that being able to reproduce that explosion would be proof, which may or may not be true at all, for exactly the reason THH gives here. (Though maybe it could be better instrumented.) Still, that explosion was not under control, obviously. And if it was as big as it was, how would one know that next time it wouldn’t be bigger? After all, fusion is suspected here. What’s the limit? I’d rather not find out, personally!

Working out whether any such explosion actually represents significant excess energy is inevitably difficult because it is transient and the instrumentation to catch the transients accurately is not available.

Right. That is with unanticipated explosions. This could be addressed, but why? There is much other work to be done that would generate higher value. For basic science, measuring what is actually happening in cells showing anomalous heat, studying correlated results and conditions, is far more informative. And, yes, perhaps, checking out proposed artifacts.

I’d have a time of it, myself, right now, trying to convince researchers to pay closer attention to Shanahan and test his ideas, because of the history. But perhaps. That’s why I want to look at Shanahan’s ideas more closely here. If we can come up with a cogent and clear explanation and comparison with what is known about the conditions of cold fusion calorimetry, and what has already been tested, maybe I can take this to those who could actually test it. Shanahan has never done that work, nor has he ever successfully inspired others to do it. He has merely sat in his chair and figured out what could possibly be wrong with what others claim, and it is always possible to do that, there could be no clear end to it.

Still, we can create value from the process of examination. Now, some other LENR history was brought up here, so, proceeding….

Such experimental misadventures should not be used as evidence of anything. Cells boiling are problematic in any case – boiling dry completely unhelpful.

THH is presenting one side. I don’t like boiling cells, it’s messy, even messier than normal electrochemistry. But why would it be of interest? “Unhelpful” only looks at one side of this issue. What’s on the other side?

  1. The evidence is decent that the Fleischmann-Pons Effect (FPE) increases with temperature, so the effect would be maximized at boiling. (this would suggest, by the way, operating under pressure, though that might be disliked because of safety concerns, it complicates the experiment.)
  2. When the electrolyte has boiled away, cell conductance and input power go to zero. If the cell stays hot in spite of controlled cooling pathways (FP cells have that), there is obviously a heat source. With a HAD experiment, calibration error would generally not create an appearance of anomalous heat, but might mismeasure it.
  3. While there is an obvious possible heat source (the “cigarette lighter effect,” i.e., deuterium recombination, that would be seriously limited by lack of oxygen. In an FP cell, the oxygen mostly escapes, it’s gone. If the cathode evolves deuterium, as we expect with the end of electrolytic pressure, some of it might oxidize from limited oxygen in the cell, but all this would continue gas flow out of the cell (now including heavy water vapor). The small amount of oxygen would rapidly be depleted, no more being generated. (The volume of deuterium stored in the cathode is very large, the cell would continue outgassing deuterium for a long time.)

Those seriously claiming FPHE has a nuclear mechanism need more than this.

Of course. But we get ahead of ourselves. Step 1 is showing that there is a heat anomaly. Because Pons and Fleischmann could not explain what they were seeing with chemistry, they suggested that there might be an “unknown nuclear reaction.” But the evidence they had for that was weak. They had seen tritium, but not correlated with heat. They had seen helium, but this was essentially one measurement, perhaps it was leakage. They reported neutrons, some, but that was artifact. Later work only confirmed the helium as correlated with heat. Tritium probably is correlated, my opinion, but this has never been well-studied. Neutrons have never been correlated with heat. (Correlation work requires multiple studies, not just single anecdotes.)

The issue here is only with heat, not with “nuclear mechanism.” Bringing in “nuclear” at this point creates massive confusion.

McKubre’s M12/M13/M14 data, when taken in context, look very unconvincing to me for reasons too long to justify here, and that in any case I’m not sure about: it is complex.

THH, I’d love to know what “context” means to you here. The widely published chart for P13/P14 (I think that’s what you meant) is only “convincing” — a highly subjective standard, by definition — if the context is known, and it has normally been published without the context. Really it should be three charts, what we have normally seen, plus the prior runs. I have called that appearance of XP in P14 the “chimera,” that in the middle of that experiment, the chimera walked into the lab and licked McKubre in the face. And then left. What needs to be known is that the same conditions (the current protocol) were repeated, I think three times. The first two times, the deuterium cell (P14) tracked the hydrogen control (P13) ; the increased input current only increased noise, as would be expected. Then came the chimera.

Of course, maybe some screw came loose somewhere, and I’m not joking. However, that would be unlikely to produce something that looked like P13/P14, my opinion.

The other part of the context is that SRI and McKubre were retained to investigate cold fusion by the EPRI, initially. That was about as authoritative an investigation as could be imagined, at least for a single lab with a highly interested customer. They spent years, exploring the parameter space. That should, I’d think, count for something.

But analysis of that type of high quality data is what you need to show a real anomaly, not cells boiling dry or explosions.

Those are not the same. Explosions are generally out of control. (“Exploding wires” is a different story, by the way. These are highly controlled.) Boil-off could be studied, and was. But I understand why it looks suspicious. Storms now has a HAD demonstration without boil-off. It’s nice. Unconfirmed, to be sure.

The superficial case against LENR is that from experiments like McKubre’s high precision calorimetry the apparent signal is so low as a fraction of power input, and has all the hallmarks of a calorimetry artifact.

McKubre’s calorimetry, by the way, was not “high precision,” compared to Pons and Fleischmann’s. As I recall, the PF precision was about a tenth milliwatt, and SRI was about five milliwatts.

This comment is confounding two issues: low power and artifact.  “All the hallmarks” is probably a bit of hyperbole.

I will say that were it not for the heat/helium evidence, I’d be far less convinced that LENR is real, but there would still be the circumstantial evidence of anomalous heat and other nuclear signals. In the end, I would much prefer to nail the direct nuclear evidence, i.e., the heat/helium correlation and ratio, to arguing endlessly over multitudinous possibilities. (Tritium and other nuclear evidences, if not correlated with the main effect — heat — are circumstantial in nature. In some ways, they create more mystery, not less.)

And the strongest argument is that of the 5 experiments he quotes D gives positives and H negatives – but as evidence that needs further analysis to determine its strength and in any case a coincidental physical effect that only existed for D not H is possible and surely a simpler candidate than LENR if the data allows this.

These things can give “preponderance of the evidence” conclusions, if fairly weighed. Key would be what decision is being made. Different possible actions require differing levels of evidentiary strength, The most basic level is “indication of possibility for further research.”

By looking only at one area of evidence — here, the heat — it can seem that other explanations are “simpler.” I would question that, this “simple” idea requires experts be making major mistakes in their area of expertise. But, sure, it’s possible.

Before committing billions of dollars to a massive research program, all this should be nailed. Agreed?

Encouraging basic research though existing programs (or modest new ones) should be encouraged. Agreed?

Update

There was much discussion below. Many points of interest were raised, but these discussions tend to go nowhere. What’s missing? Let’s find out.

I have begun to create structure to allow collective study and analysis of the Pons and Fleischmann boil-off work, focusing on their 1993 paper in Physics Review A. See  Morrison Fleischmann debate.

It’s about time that this work and critique, of it, receives full and careful attention. Beaudette has some coverage, which I will review later. What is in the original work? Is Morrison’s critique normal skepticism or is it pseudoskeptical? What was the purpose of the original paper, and was Morrison’s critique of something else, other ideas?

First step is to stop tossing rhetorical bombs, but to actually see what is there.

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax

See http://coldfusioncommunity.net/biography-abd-ul-rahman-lomax/

100 thoughts on “If it blew up, it must be LENR!”

  1. A lot of the discussion here is about HAD. Part of the idea here, I think, is that the movement of the absorbed D2 out of the Palladium cathode may in some way trigger the reaction when there is no longer any electrical stimulus. The Toshiba experiments, IIRC, involved layers of Palladium between layers of CaO and simple diffusion to produce the results, though I’ll need to re-read that to be absolutely sure. This is thus an idea to chuck at the wall and see if it sticks.

    If the cathode is made as a hollow receptacle with a feed-tube to the cavity, when the boil-off is complete and HAD is noted it may be interesting to feed pressurised D2 into the centre of the electrode, to attempt to both increase the heat available and to extend the period over which it can be measured. The de-absorbed D2 would thus be replaced by new D atoms diffusing through the cathode and thus presumably keeping the NAEs actively producing the reaction.

    This does presume that (a) some sort of NAE exists mainly at or near the surface of the cathode and they are produced during the loading phase, (b) that D atoms will during the loading phase diffuse further in than the NAE and will diffuse out through the NAEs once loading stops and (c) it is possible to achieve HAD with a hollow cathode, given the manufacturing steps required.

    Since the energy-flow into the cell will be pressure times volume of the D2, and thus pretty small, if this works then the energy out should be a sufficient multiple of the energy in to be absolutely sure of the heat produced, given that the gas-flows can only be out of the cell at equilibrium (no Oxygen ingress to burn the D2) and that this will be almost equal to the gas-flow in, assuming that a small amount of D2 gets lost in production of Helium and heat. The gas exhausted from the cell should thus be a mixture of only D2 and He. If the NAEs are not destroyed by the reaction, then the reaction may be able to be sustained as long as desired.

    1. The concept of feeding deuterium into palladium, by internal gas-loading, is interesting. However, this could be a difficult experiment.

      There are two basic kinds of HAD: first, one where heat evolution appears to continue after electrolysis power is shut down, the other where it appears on shutdown. Examples of appearance on shutdown would be the original Pons and Fleischmann melt-down, likely, and, as well, the Mizuno report. (At least that’s how I interpret these at this point.)

      The other kind is where temperature or XP do not fall when electrolysis power is shut down. An example of this would be Storms’ relatively recent work, as yet unconfirmed. I found his experimental approach to be sound, and something that I’d thought would have been common. Because XP appears to vary with temperature, it would seem obvious to control temperature! However, very often, temperature is allowed to float, creating somewhat of a moving target. To control temperature, ordinarily, there is a separate heater that maintains a set temperature (elevated above ambient; ideally, it would be elevated to not far below boiling). The power necessary to maintain an elevated temperature is a measure of heat release (including input electrolysis power and calibration pulses).

      Storms found that, for an extended time, XP remained constant when electrolysis power was shut down, and as deuterium loading declined. This, obviously, should be reviewed very carefully, but if confirmed, this has major implications, currently under discussion among CMNS researchers.

      In most experiments, when the input power (electrolysis) is shut off, the temperature will decline, thus tending to shut down the reaction as well. Distinguishing between the effects, the maintenance of temperature, and the maintenance of loading, is what I’d call basic research.

      One of the limitations of the field is that there is rarely extensive experience with the same experiment, repeated many times and with minimized variables. This takes time and patience — and funding. Pons and Fleischmann ran many cells in France, but my impression is that most of their data has not been published. The field is still afflicted by secrecy and reticence.

      1. You wrote: “There are two basic kinds of HAD: first, one where heat evolution appears to continue after electrolysis power is shut down, the other where it appears on shutdown. Examples of appearance on shutdown would be the original Pons and Fleischmann melt-down, likely, and, as well, the Mizuno report.”

        I do not think so. As far as I know, there is always excess heat during electrolysis before HAD. If there is no excess heat during electrolysis, there will be no HAD. Mizuno’s cell was definitely producing excess heat before electrolysis was turned off, as I wrote the description here:

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

        In all of the F&P boil-off experiments, HAD only appeared in cells that produced heat during electrolysis in the days before HAD. High heat and the boil-off were always triggered deliberately, by heating with a pulse of increased electrolysis power for a while. Around 3 to 10 minutes as I recall.

        Having said that, I do not know about the original Fleischmann-Pons melt down. Very little information about it has been revealed.

        Note that Pd in HAD mode tends to return to the same temperature. After you cool it down, it may go back up to the same temperature it was at before. It has a “memory,” as Pons put it. I described this in the Mizuno book referenced above. As I said there, this is not surprising.

        1. Yes, though the report is fairly unclear about the level of heat before input power was terminated. I’m hoping to compile a list of HAD reports, with whatever details are available. Thanks for corrections, as always.

          1. Jed’s statement ” If there is no excess heat during electrolysis, there will be no HAD” matches my impressions as well as being logically consistent with the NAE hypothesis.

            Maybe an important thing to note is that when the Pd has reached an equilibrium in its loading of D, those D atoms will not be staying where they are in the lattice. They will be moving around in a dynamic equilibrium, where as many are entering the lattice from the electrolysis as are leaving the lattice through diffusion. Once the electrolysis stops, then we can state the average diffusion outwards by measuring how much D2 is produced at the surface and thus exits the cathode, but within the lattice it’s logical that this is a random walk and we don’t necessarily know the velocities or mean-free-path of the D atoms. It seems reasonable to me to assign a Boltzmann distribution for the speed (equivalent to temperature) of the D atoms, so there will be a proportion with a much higher speed/energy. If a certain number (maybe 2 or 4) arrive together at an NAE with such a high velocity above a certain trigger-level then maybe the reaction will happen.

            It’s also worth noting that in a container of D2 at a certain pressure/temperature we can calculate from the Boltzmann distribution the rate of fusion that will occur – the rate never reaches zero though at room temperature and 1 bar or so the probability is extremely low that the trigger energy will be achieved in a random collision. However, the effective pressure of the D in the loaded Pd is going to be extremely high, and fairly close to the absolute limit that the Pd will sustain before shattering. There is data on the internal H pressure in Nickel-plating, which is why Nickel-plating solutions are not simple – there we try to avoid H being co-deposited with the Nickel since it makes the Nickel very brittle and flake off. If anyone requires it I’ll go find where I put that data for Nickel, but though the same principle will apply to Pd the numbers will be different.

            In the Pd, therefore, we have effectively a very high-pressure D gas, and so the proportion of D atoms that have sufficient energy to reach the trigger level for fusion will be a lot higher than it was at 1 bar. Such fusion will however not be a two-body interaction but will have many bodies to absorb the momentum and the energy. It’s thus pretty reasonable that there is also a dependence on temperature as well as loading.

            The Johnson-Matthey A-type alloy that MF used was developed to withstand this internal pressure so that they could use it for filtering Hydrogen without it failing after a few months of use. It seems reasonable to suggest that the internal D pressure would be able to go higher without large cracks developing, with the crack ends being pinned by the alloying atoms so they are stopped from propagating. AFAIK the J-M method of producing the alloy (specifics of the heat-treatments and process) remain proprietary, and it is only produced now to special order in a large (and somewhat expensive) ingot. Metallurgy is more an art than a science, and it’s possible that the original alloy was made by one person (maybe now retired) and the knowledge was not completely transferred, so the special order may in fact not be identical to the samples that MF used. Also AFAIK the alloy they currently use for Hydrogen filtering is somewhat different, and does not sustain LENR as well. It may be important to know why it doesn’t work as well – is it because the loading does not get as high (so the internal D pressure is not as high), or that the cracks are the wrong size for the NAE to develop?

            Here I’m just putting up points that seem important to me. The movement of the D atoms when equilibrium is attained is maybe the most important, since there seems to be a natural tendency to treat equilibrium situations as static since you can’t measure any changes. The running temperature ought to be important for the heat effect to occur, though it seems logical that there will be an ideal temperature where the Pd hasn’t lost too much strength and the thermal energy is sufficient to produce a high reaction rate.

            Applying the same sort of logic to Ni/H, it seems that a specific alloy would probably work better than the pure Nickel people tend to use, and that again you wouldn’t want to run it so hot that the Nickel alloy would soften. Knocks out Rossi’s ideas, then….

            Fairly obviously I think that Ed Storms’ idea of the NAE being produced, and being a crack of a certain size, makes logical sense given the available experimental data. Producing the right material that is conducive to producing those correct-size cracks (where we don’t have data yet on precisely how big they are or what shape they are) may take some thinking. We do however have one stake in the ground that the J-M Type A Pd alloy does produce NAEs after sufficient electrolysis time. Maybe these days, with Atomic Force Microscopy and other interesting techniques available, we can get more data about the physical details of a working cathode. Comparisons between working and non-working cathodes cut from the same original block may be illuminating.

  2. What is actually in the damn paper! THH, it appears to me that you are avoiding looking carefully at that. Show that I’m wrong, I’d love to be wrong about that.

    I read it and Morrison and the reply to Morrison in some detail a few years ago. And have reread bits from time to time. There is, in fact, very little in the paper to support claims of excess heat for HAD or boil-off. There is a lot of discussion of methodology. So, I was addressing Simon’s point, stating that in fact the possibility that these reported results are due to entrainment was real for the experiment reported in this paper, because no checking was reported, and when pressed by Morrison MF still did not report such checking.

    I then elaborated, asking whether in this case the stated fact that such checking could be done – and had on occasion been done – we cannot even conclude that it was habitually done – would be enough. My view is that there is that lack of such checking is more likely than a nuclear anomaly, or anything else unexpected. If asked to quantise that I’d say that lack of checking in a way that matters, so that checking on comparables in fact is not for one reason or another comparable, is 10% or greater chance. My reason for this high probability is lack of a bulletproof write-up of an experiment with results like these and all the checking explicitly done.

    Now, there is a lot of other stuff in the paper, and I’m happy to go through it bit by bit, rather than deal with specific points. Best to do this in terms of looking separately at each of Morrison’s phases, which I find a useful summary.

    1. Tom – You may well be right that the full crosschecks for entrainment were not done each time, and that therefore you can’t be sure that they were done on any particular experiment.

      I’m pretty sure you have a lot of practical experience in running experiments. My experience is not academic but instead industrial, where the nitpicking is not so severe – my management wanted to know what the problem was and how to fix it, so I had somewhat more leeway in discarding the need to check everything since getting the answer faster was more important to saving money (often large amounts of money). This was also electronics and not chemistry/electrochemistry, so not directly comparable.

      I would however always have been aware of what I expected to happen and whether it actually happened – looking for departures from expectations is essential in any tests. If MF had checked a few times for entrainment by weighing the remaining LiOD then unless he saw evidence of entrainment I would suspect he’d have missed that step after a while. As I noted, the evidence of entrainment would have pretty obvious. Though I was thinking LiCl at the start, and the deliquescent spots that would produce, LiOD spots would have been even more obvious – if you wiped them up it would have hurt your fingers and maybe damaged the cloths used as well (it’s very caustic). Such an event would definitely have been noticed and most likely also noted, and the problem fixed because it’s not safe for health.

      I’d thus expect that even though the full checks for entrainment were not done each time, if entrainment had happened then it would have been obvious and unmissable. In practical terms, the lack of evidence that the LiOD was outside the calorimeter should be enough to show that entrainment didn’t happen. To a large extent, the lack of comments about LiOD being where it should not have been (outside the calorimeter), with someone of the experience of MF, says that entrainment did not occur.

      This is maybe too soft an analysis for you, since you’d like to have it nailed down for each experiment. Instead I’m relying on standard professional observation, and the awareness of anomalies that anyone running such experiments would need to have. It does seem after all that Parkhomov probably had entrained water in his steam and thus got the calorimetry wrong, but then he wasn’t using salty water and thus there would have been no evidence afterwards – if he didn’t note the problem at the time he wouldn’t have had a second chance to realise he’d made a cock-up. MF would on the other hand have had permanent evidence of entrainment (until he wiped it up) and would thus have been aware of it.

      With only the records still to work from, this is the best argument I can offer that entrainment didn’t occur even where it wasn’t specifically tested for. It would have been noticed.

      1. Yes,

        My background is a bit mixed so I’m Ok with nit-picking or getting stuff working. In this case I think nitpicking is needed because of the context.

        (1) MF was well funded, did a lot of work, had time and equipment to do things properly
        (2) A bulletproof experimental paper making the case for an anomaly tying up every possible loose end is surely to his advantage
        (3) At very least you’d expect a paper that was his best stab at saying here is an experiment that hand on heart convinces me, and is strong evidence for you. Such a paper would be definite, have the precise results and conditions of the experiment described, etc.

        This paper is not quite that, which is what makes me feel nit-picking is warranted. It id a reflective paper reviewing experience gained over many experiments. A bit like a survey. The actual data presented does not have the feel of a single experiment, and you get the impresion it is MF telling his side of the story.

        But – what skeptics need is the raw experimental results – maybe from a selected run – with the analysis and nit-picking needed to answer questions. That can also be put into context. McKubre does this pretty well with his stuff. Maybe I’m missing an earlier paper but I’d not expect Jed to miss this, so I guess what he gives us here is the best there is.

        When the best there is leaves out crucial info that you’d expect MF to be well able to present the question is why? And until that question is resolved I’d say nitpicking is called for.

        Abd: I’m not sure this thread is the right one – but I can’t add comments to the MF experiment threa so this is the only place I can comment…

      2. Yeah, that is how I’m thinking about entrainment at this point. The videos show some boil-offs. They are far easier to interpret than the nearly useless photos. The comment above will probably be moved or copied to the study. There are several possible artifacts that readily come up when a skeptic looks carefully at cold fusion experiments. In open cells, entrainment is a fairly obvious issue, so I was first discussing this in 2009 or so. Parkhomov had what I’ve called a “ragged boiler,” with variable heat transfer from the reactor to the metal box immersed in water. He eventually did calibrations but they essentially failed. He kept changing the conditions, creating “better” insulation. His water evaporation calorimetry conflicted with the temperature evidence. I was originally quite excited by Parkhomov. Being excited, I studied the paper, and it fell apart. So I wrote to him, asking a series of questions that I first vetted with McKubre. Parkhomov only replied that he was too busy.

        (As I recall, a visitor reported seen water on the edge of the pot that was the Parkhomov water bath. During the critical parts of the experiment, that pot was close to boiling, and there was definitely boiling at the bottom of the metal box, and that arrangement would show frequent bumping. It was a set-up, quick and, unfortunately, dirty. He never actually acknowledged the problems, another unfortunate aspect.)

      3. Yes, that is a correct summary of my approach, though I’m not quite as legalistic. What I wish guarded against is the assumption that because everything has been checked sometimes, therefore the specific runs with positive results have everything checked. If I have a precise statement from the author that yes, checks were done of the type written up elsewhere and acceptable for the specific case in hand, that would be enough, as long as the tests so specified were precise enough. Otherwise I’ll reckon unanticipated changes that break assumption can happen, and if everything is not explicitly checked those changes can end up making the (few) tests with working product.

        That does not happen when you have a replicable system which always works the same way. But, if each electrode only seems to work occasionally, care must be taken to check the hits for every single possible error, otherwise you could be mistaking an occasional error for an occasionally active electrode.

        1. Stated as general advice, this is correct. Stated absolutely as if a neglect of the advice is reason to discard results, to consider the proposed artifact as probable, is to introduce substantial warping of judgment. These experiments produce a collection of results. Reducing them to possible errors is blinding. What I see in reviewing old discussions of this is that both sides “straw man” the other, exaggerating arguments, neglecting possibly valid points; this is not a claim that either “side” is correct or incorrect. This effort, on Morrison Fleischmann debate will seek to clarify the issues, resolving them where possible or at least delineating what questions remain. This is piecemeal and stepwise; my own opinion is that the heat/helium evidence makes much of this moot, but that’s a separate discussion. There are two main possible artifacts asserted: entrainment and unexpected recombination. These would have differing effects in differing experimental environments. Entrainment is moot in closed cells, and unexpected recombination in a closed cell can only effect heat location within the cell.

          (But the advice about checking all the hits is not sound as a general principle; this only seems reasonable if the result is considered so extraordinary that full checking is needed. Otherwise statistical checking would be adequate. One can then determine probabilities for a coincidence. That “extraordinary claim” argument is quite old, and is essentially obsolete and creates bias. It allows errors in negative replications to slide (since those results are not “extraordinary”) and selectively looks for errors in the positive). Better: consistent checking for an experimental series. All elements in the series, including controls, treated identically. It’s simpler, in fact. But just because it wasn’t done doesn’t mean that results can, ipso facto, be thrown out. In the FP study, we will look at the effect of possible entrainment: how much apparent heat could be explained by this, and at what stages of the experiment?

    2. THH, perhaps you have better and clearer memory than I, but … perhaps not, as well. Depending on your impressions from years ago will blind you to what is in front of us. Here, “Looking carefully” takes on a special meaning: actually going over every detail. The paper is about methodology, explicitly and then it gives some experimental results as examples. Your speculation about motives and what he should have done — which may not have been as easy as you think, given the conditions that prevailed then — will again, handicap your clarity.

      However, will you sign up as a reviewer? To do that, comment on Morrison Fleischmann debate. Jed, I’m sure you will be able to make useful contributions. I may also invite scientists. In reviewing the paper itself, our concern will be what is actually in the paper, though other sources may be linked. I may also create a seminar page on Wikiversity for this. The signup is important to be a part of a decision-making process which will report consensus (or lack of it).

      We will turn to Morrison after reaching a level of completion on the original paper. Reading Morrison first would be an error, in my opinion, because it could bias the examination more than is already likely. Instead of looking at what is there — which can be clearly seen and shown, we might be looking for what is not there.

      1. Abd – the site does not let me comment!

        As for my accuracy, I’m not prejudiced – I’m happy to go over this stuff in detail, here I was replying to other people’s IMHO over-hasty comments and conclusions.

        1. There is much straw-manning going on. As well, there are certain authors with a tendency to hyperbole, to overstatement, using words like “always” or “never” when reality is something different. Then those arguing against them seize on the exaggeration and present it as the fundamental claim. This is all a clue to a toxic environment. The medium of on-line comment tends to create this, I’ve seen this since the 1980s.

          (This has gotten so intense on LENR-Forum that I’ve stopped commenting on even face-palm stupidities, though maybe on a slow day ….) One issue at a time, we will take up some of these topics. We can cover more than one at a time, but I’m only one person. If more become more seriously involved, it will all accelerate.)

          As to commenting on the blog, there is a glitch that causes pages to be created with comments turned off. I’ve been around and around trying to fix it. When I find what page is not accepting comments, I can quickly fix it. I can also explicitly allow comments when I create the page, but ya gotta rememba, 73 years old. Old dog, new tricks. Yes, possible, but it takes patience.

          I think I fixed the comment problem you ran into. You did find the subpage for signing up for the Review Committee. Thanks.

          I attempted to do some things like this on Wikiversity. The basic problem: extremely low participation. It’s more fun here. Someone else can link this from Wikiversity of they want (and I was saying for years that if anyone showed up to work on cold fusion educational reasources there, I’d assist. Generally, no takers. They would rather trudge through the swamp on Wikipedia, mostly not understanding how Wikipedia works, and dodging alligators and wrestling with pythons.

          1. Abd – you are collecting some good people for the analysis. Tom is excellent on the details, and so is David. You should end up with a list of what has been fully pinned-down and also those statements that are reasonable but depend on “normal practice” and thus not explicitly tested for. My attitude is shown by the discussion on entrainment – I reckon it would have been unmissable if it had happened and that MF would have remarked on it and quantified it if it had happened, but Tom is not happy to accept that entrainment didn’t happen unless it was specifically tested for and that test was documented each time. Tom is thus more likely to produce documentation that will satisfy the most sceptical people (if they read it, of course).

            As such, I’m not the right person to join in this precise analysis. I’ve also got somewhat of a shortage of time, since Phil has just got CSIRO backing on his project and I’ve got some fabrication to get done urgently. My time is more usefully spent on getting proof of something new rather than detailed analysis of the old papers in order to produce data that will convince even the sceptics (plan B should be doing that anyway). Convincing sceptics is only useful if it gains us practical benefits (more research), and I expect plan B to do that. I don’t see a need to persuade other people to see things the same way that I do just so I feel my beliefs are acceptable to the majority. Better to do the practical work and prove it undeniably. Or prove it’s wrong, of course….

            One problem with analysis of MF’s papers is that you can’t ask him further details, though maybe SP might respond if asked nicely. It could therefore be worth trying to contact Pons and get his input.

            1. Thanks, yes.

              Step by step. First step is a thorough analysis of the paper, first goal is that every participant understands the paper, understands what is being stated and claimed. The goal here is not to “convince skeptics.” It is to understand, and genuine skeptics will seek that. First step is to create some fresh air, so we can breath. The atmosphere has been toxic for almost thirty years.

              We may, in this process, come to aspects of the paper that we don’t understand. We will then seek advice from the larger community, and, yes, an outreach to Pons is possible, but there are also many others who had extensive discussions with Pons and Fleischmann. Jed has tossed in some cookies from that. Our understanding should dovetail with the understanding of the larger community.

              Thanks for your support, Simon. We have an opportunity here to create comprehensive reviews, not just of the original paper, but of the debate that ensued, and the extended debate over the decades. Properly done, such a review should be publishable in the peer-reviewed literature. But, again, one step at a time. It occurs to me to contact Simon, of Undead Science.

              As to your own project, it is your own time, and one of the strengths of the human community is diversity, because it allows the fringes to be investigated. I suggest, for your own success, that you leave off “right” and “wrong” and looking for “proof.” The first step in science is careful observation, not explanation. The second step is sharing of observation so that it becomes collective observation. Step One is an individual project, Step Two starts with …. “2.”

              (Explanation is a creative and obviously useful faculty that suggests details to observe, but it’s dangerous because it can lead to the hallucination that the explanations are real, creating a feedback loop that strengthens the illusion, to the extent that we literally cannot see evidence that does not fit the story.)

              1. Abd – the atmosphere in LENR has been toxic for a long time, so anything to clear the air is to be welcomed. Despite being unsuited to the sort of nitpicking you’ll need to be doing here, I will still be following it and may comment from time to time if I think such comment could be useful. Though I accept Tom’s reasons for insisting on the tests being duly noted in order to accept that they were done, I still think my point about the LiOD spills being noticed if they happened is valid from a practical point of view. Tom’s point about the need for a person to justify their conclusions is however also unfortunately valid, so it is possible that such evidence of entrainment could have been simply wiped away and not mentioned.

                Tom’s attitude of “never trust the people in white coats” is most likely the best one to take. I retain such trust to a large (and probably misplaced) extent.

                The discussions over the years seem to have been mainly driven by people who haven’t had the experience to actually do the job. That is at least my impression. The people who could actually do the job (and were allowed to) got similar results. If you get the cleaning wrong, or indeed touch the cathode with bare hands after cleaning, you won’t get the results you want. There is likely a lot of detail missed from the reports, where “best practice” is assumed. I remember missing out a lot of details in my reports where I considered them non-essential to the audience and would have been done by any competent engineer.

                Hopefully your review will settle the old arguments. As Tom says, this may become moot with the results of Plan B.

                On my project, I’ll update you via email rather than taking space here. Since CSIRO accept the logic, the bar for “sufficient proof to proceed” got a lot lower which makes life easier in the fabrication side.

                1. If the world had not gone insane over cold fusion, this would all have been resolved years ago. Morrison actually makes the point, if I recall correctly, that cold fusion researchers faced extensive ridicule (he thinks it was deserved and is complaining that they don’t mention it). No grad student was going to work on LENR experiments, for many years, it would have been career suicide, once it was known what happened.

                  This all happened. But … the LENR research community had no clue how to handle it. They were divided and often at odds with each other. There was an intense reactivity to skepticism, to the point that the community became very reluctant to internally criticize work. Normal scientific process broke down, too often. Morrison’s story of delivering an invited paper at ICCF-3, and of being attacked, and, as well, the paper not appearing in the proceedings, is telling. (I’ve found no confirmation of this, though, other than Morrison’s own account).

  3. The problem of entrainment should be pretty easy to put to bed. The water is after all salty, and in this case it’s a Lithium salt so will be hygroscopic (LiCl is deliquescent). The spots of water that would be emitted by entrainment would thus stay constantly wet. You couldn’t miss them.

    Added to that, Jed has mentioned that the weight of Lithium salt was checked after wards and was (presumably, though not mentioned) the same as was started with.

    Given these observations (or the lack of observation of the wet spots) then the boil-off to dryness does have a required amount of energy that can be easily defined, since it is only water-vapour that is emitted. I can’t see any reason to argue about it.

    The only way that the amount of heat produced could be measured wrongly is thus if the calorimeter reacts differently to heat being produced in a different location in the cell than that it was calibrated for. This can be tested for. If the difference in this calibration constant (bit of a misnomer if it’s a variable…) turns out to be less than the shift needed to account for the measurements, then the heat was really there. Speculating that the calibration constant could suddenly change by a larger amount and then shift back again is somewhat of a stretch, and would be more astounding than LENR.

    I don’t expect a report to include all the standard things that are done, where someone skilled in the art would normally do such things. I’d expect that the experimenter would to a large extent only mention things that were abnormal, not observations that were expected. In the reports I used to have to write, I didn’t include the cross-checks of the kit that I needed to do to ensure that my observations were accurate – it would have made the reports a lot longer and in any case the management would not have understood them anyway. I trust a professional to get things right, unless there’s something obvious where they’ve screwed up in which case I’d dig deeper. MF earned his prominence by getting the detail right, and I suspect we’ll find he had good reasons to trust his measurements once this dissection has been completed.

    1. Thanks, Simon.

      What “should” be easy might not be. But, yes, the salt should be carried with the water, it would not be pure, and would behave as described. We may make a reasonable inference, then, that significant loss of unevaporated water would not escape notice. In an ideal world, we would interview those involved. We would have access to the lab notebooks and raw data.

      We will see what we find. I have nothing to prove, other than perhaps the power of careful examination of fact. It’s frikkin’ tedious at times!

      You referred to the salt as LiCl. I could have made the same mistake, so accustomed am I to the use of lithium chloride, but … it was LiOD. That should also be deliquescent. But a non-deliquescent salt might be even more visible from the evaporated deposits. As the boil-off event neared completion, the liquid would be high concentration, practically none would evaporate (after entrainment and emission). What is the boiling point of water containing saturated LiOD? LiOH should be about the same, and I’d expect similarity to NaOH.

      This could also be tested. There are many claims and counterclaims in CF history that could be tested, by students or amateurs, even where excess heat is not verified, the boil-off behavior would be relatively simple to investigate. Has it been done?

      At this point, I will put my state of mind like this: I am much more impressed by the HAD work than I was before editing the paper for import. The point is not that Fleischmann was right and Morrison was wrong, and I don’t expect conclusions like that. The point is that what was being claimed was not as stupid as some pseudoskeptics have claimed.

      There is a parallel in present discussions: Rossi claimed, in his Lewan interview, that the Smith argument that the pumps could not have pumped the claimed water flow, that this was completely stupid, that Smith hadn’t read the manual, etc. What was fact, underneath the Rossi claim, was that the nameplate flow rate was a guaranteed rate at 2 bar. That is a “minimum” value, not a maximum. The description by Smith was not “nuanced.” However, it was a great sell in court! But what’s the reality? At this point, given the Alan Fletcher data, it looks like the Smith argument (presented by Pace in his opening statement to the jury) is cogent.

      In order to overcome this, additional pumping would be needed, and it is not yet clear that this would work, because the flow might need to bypass the Prominent pumps. Rossi’s “recirculator,” if it created high pressure in the return flow line, would create a host of problems, such as leakage. It would also have been a major factor in the understanding of the system, demonstrating that the Penon claim that it did not matter what happened in the customer area was naive.

      Penon’s task and protocol did not include the elimination of possible artifact or fraud modes. He was not an independent expert, cautious and thorough, and it is quite possible that if Penon had been different, he would not have been retained. Rossi never allowed neutral and careful experts to see his devices, they were excluded. All with his Swiss-Army Knife excuse: spies!

      The genuine question for us now is what was actually reported, and what can be inferred from it? What is the predominance of the evidence? We tend to want “proof.” Outside of mathematics, that’s not a reasonable standard, though sometimes evidence is strong enough that we may consider a matter “proven.” We also seek “the Truth (TM),” but with complex situations, claiming “truth” is dangerous. As evidence accumulates, and over time, social consensus emerges.

      And that creates a conservatism that is itself dangerous, even as it usually works.

      This is especially dangerous if the consensus is created through an information cascade, which can be founded on some original error that nevertheless was propagated through social conditions.

    2. The problem of entrainment should be pretty easy to put to bed. The water is after all salty, and in this case it’s a Lithium salt so will be hygroscopic (LiCl is deliquescent). The spots of water that would be emitted by entrainment would thus stay constantly wet. You couldn’t miss them.

      Added to that, Jed has mentioned that the weight of Lithium salt was checked after wards and was (presumably, though not mentioned) the same as was started with.

      Given these observations (or the lack of observation of the wet spots) then the boil-off to dryness does have a required amount of energy that can be easily defined, since it is only water-vapour that is emitted. I can’t see any reason to argue about it.

      Simon. Details matter. The paper we consider here is a bit strange, because it is mostly describing methods, reflecting on practice over many years, rather than results. in as far as it does describe specific results we need to be clear what checks were done for those results and what done habitually, but perhaps not in this case. MF, in his reply to Morrison, does not say this checking was done for these results. For me that makes them unsafe, when you remember the context, which is that MF having been vilified by the science establishment, and nevertheless supported with big funding to do high quality research, was trying to show that his initial hypothesis was correct.

      The possibility of self-deception here (of a modest and very normal sort) is high.

      1. “Simon. Details matter. The paper we consider here is a bit strange, because it is mostly describing methods, reflecting on practice over many years, rather than results.”

        You noticed! That is a major point. Why is it “a bit strange”? It is a bit strange because it is expected that surely Pons and Fleischmann would be intending to impress the world with their amazing claims! Instead, they write a dry paper about boring methods.

        “in as far as it does describe specific results we need to be clear what checks were done for those results and what done habitually, but perhaps not in this case.”

        As has been amply pointed out by Jed, it is completely common that not all observations and facts are reported. For example, nobody was observed peeing in the cells. Jed may appreciate that….

        We will consider the report in detail. What is in it, what can be reasonably inferred, what is not in it, what questions remain? Were any of these questions addressed in other reports? Eventually, we will look at all that, it’s what we are about here.

        Meanwhile, some claims are made in the paper that are not supported by actual measurements, or perhaps measurements were made but not specifically reported. What are they? What reasonably possible error do they introduce? And some unstated conditions may be, as you point out, THH, habitually known, but not specifically tested in this case. Again, what are the bounds of possible error, and then what are the probable bounds? By ignoring specifics, argument can continue forever.

        “MF, in his reply to Morrison, does not say this checking was done for these results. For me that makes them unsafe, when you remember the context, which is that MF having been vilified by the science establishment, and nevertheless supported with big funding to do high quality research, was trying to show that his initial hypothesis was correct.”

        What “initial hypothesis”? Reading this paper in that context — supplied by you, THH — can lead us to miss what it is actually stating and claiming. These comments are fluff, then, ultimately, premature, outside of a serious investigational process.

        “The possibility of self-deception here (of a modest and very normal sort) is high” The adjective “high” in a context like this is a way of claiming probability without claiming probability. Self-deception is always possible. How likely is it here, and with regard to what, specifically? I have not yet given the kind of attention I have given to the original paper to the Morrison critique and the Pons and Fleischmann response. I have read them, so I have impressions and reactions, but I am generally setting them aside.

        What is actually in the damn paper! THH, it appears to me that you are avoiding looking carefully at that. Show that I’m wrong, I’d love to be wrong about that.

        I have not set up the full examination structure. The goal is to create a consensus document that covers the paper and what is in it, first, and then what is not in it. There is no kitchen sink, for example. Obviously, there is no limit to “what is not in it,” and so we will need to be parsimonious on that level. Then we will look at the Morrison critique, now being thoroughly familiar with the original paper. We will accord to Morrison the same courtesy we accord to Pons and Fleischmann, which amounts to an expectation that he’s making some kind of sense, an expectation that is used to parse the text.

        1. You wrote:

          “For example, nobody was observed peeing in the cells. Jed may appreciate that….”

          Ahem. Yes. No doubt you have in mind the use of thiourea in cold fusion cells by Hasegawa and others. Nope. I don’t think F&P used it.

  4. There are two papers about the Morrison critique:

    Morrison, D.R.O., Comments on claims of excess enthalpy by Fleischmann and Pons using simple cells made to boil. Phys. Lett. A, 1994. 185: p. 498

    Fleischmann, M. and S. Pons, Reply to the critique by Morrison entitled ‘Comments on claims of excess enthalpy by Fleischmann and Pons using simple cells made to boil. Phys. Lett. A, 1994. 187: p. 276

    At LENR-CANR.org I have both in one file, in the manuscript format, to avoid copyright issues:

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmanreplytothe.pdf

    I have both papers from the journal on my disk, not uploaded. They look similar in content to the manuscript format. For example, Morrison’s still says:

    “A complicated non-linear regression analysis is employed to allow a claim of excess enthalpy to be made”

    In the manuscript Fleischmann points says, “[Morrison] has failed to observe that we manifestly have not used this technique in this paper.”

    In the paper he tones this down to: “. . . that [Morrison says] we used non-linear regression fitting to derive the results in Re£ [2], we did not do so.”

    The copy of Fleischmann’s response was dated August 1993, but it circulated earlier than that.

    Morrison’s Phys. Lett. A paper was received 5 October 1993, so I think he had an opportunity to see Fleischmann’s response.

    1. Thanks for noting the difference between ms and as-published. If I remember to do it, that will be noted, though the difference is not large. Another factor here would be that Morrison would probably be thinking, “Why am I wasting my time with this crap?” So he may not have bothered to review what he’d written in detail. We are not thinking well when we think like that. One might think that a reputable scientist would be more careful, but it happens that they are not. In many fields. They are human, like the rest of us.

      1. You wrote:

        “Another factor here would be that Morrison would probably be thinking, “Why am I wasting my time with this crap?” So he may not have bothered to review what he’d written in detail.”

        Morrison was very keen on the subject. He had strong opinions, and he was very political. I believe that if he thought he was wasting his time he would not have written the paper. Writing a paper for a peer-reviewed journal is a lot of work, as you know.

        I am sure he was aware of many of the problems in his paper because Fleischmann told him, in person, in front of a large audience. Also, McKubre, I and others told him. He was the sort of person who did not hesitate to distort or lie about a subject. I am sure that is what he did in this instance.

        1. We will see how much work was incorporated in that paper. Jed, people frequently hold contradictory opinions or reactions, and this may create erratic behavior or inconsistencies, depending on what dominates at a given time.

          Again, being “told” of a problem does not mean that one has recognized it. What may be lost to history would be interactions, unless someone graces us with detailed reports (ideally, reports written down soon after the events).

    2. Note that Fleischmann’s 1993 Phys. Lett. A paper is similar to the one published in ICCF3:

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

      Calorimetry of the PD-D2O System: from Simplicity via
      Complications to Simplicity

      I did not upload the Phys. Lett. A version because of copyright issues.

      The two papers have the same title, which means that my LENR-CANR.org indexing system cannot distinguish between them. It brings up ICCF3 version whichever one you select. This is known glitch that I have not bothered to fix.

      1. Yes. You could decide to add a code to one version or the other. You may be talking about the later version from ICCF-4, was it?

  5. The comments below expose major differences in epistemology, and these arguments will never be resolved without far more careful approach, either by all parties, or with facilitation. The discussion required to resolve the like of these is typically very extensive, and without facilitation, so inefficient that resolution is never found.

    The 20th century developed methods of facilitation of consensus, but these remain largely unknown except to specialists.

    Yesterday and today, I have been engaged in importing the Fleischmann paper that was then critiqued by Morrison, and without a careful study of that paper before addressing the Morrison critique, we will likely go nowhere. The process of import is a bit tedious, because WordPress has no math editor (at least not that I have installed, and every installed plug-in increases the possibility of bugs and conflicts). I am, at least, using an advanced editor that provides access to super and subscripts, though, annoyingly, it gets them backwards somehow (but the actual generated HTML code is correct, so the page is viewed correctly.)

    The tediousness also serves a purpose, I have to look at everything carefully, and this is, historically, how I learn. Eventually, that paper will have internal links to every figure and equation, and external links to whatever is cited. Then our study will begin. There was a major political error that the CF community made, and it continued to be made, it can easily be seen in the 2004 DoE review. That is, papers (and the DoE review) were made using an assumption that they could be written as one would write for highly motivated scientists, willing to slog through details, willing to do the work involved in thoroughly understanding a paper. They were not written for general audiences (and scientists, outside of relatively narrow specialities, are general in at least some ways). They were not designed for a general audience, especially, in the presence of high Bayesian prior that what was being described was all a mistake. I have elsewhere looked to some degree at how that prior was created, but there is no doubt that it existed (and still exists in the general scientific audience).

    The approach I will be encouraging in the study of this interchange starts with understanding the Fleischmann paper, thoroughly. That can include noting what is missing, but a focus only on what is missing can suppress understanding what was being communicated. Fleischmann has a reputation in the cold fusion community of having done the most precise calorimetry ever. This paper supports that. Obviously, if there was some systematic artifact that they overlooked, this would affect their conclusions, but would only mean that some correction would need to be made — unless they were completely wrong, and that has never been shown. Morrison will mention the Wilson review. If needed, we will look at that, but my impression is that Wilson found some possible errors, but they were not large enough to impact the conclusions.

    One detail at a time; we tend to rush forward to conclusions, impatient. Right now, the Rossi claim that Smith was completely stupid to point to a total flow problem from the Prominent pumps is being examined in the best possible way: by experiment (when experiment is also combined with expert testimony). There is a Rossi supporter leaping ahead from one result out of many to a conclusion that the Rossi claim is “within range” or something like that. This is obviously focusing on conclusions rather than fact. There was no controversy that pumping rate would increase as back pressure is lowered, the issue was always “how much,” and an offhand comment in a Prominent brochure was being used, probably out of scope, to claim massive increase. These argument predictably go nowhere unless there are standards and process for resolution. What is quite clear, which gets forgotten, is that the original discussion was about a Rossi claim of absolute Smith stupidity. That was an error. Rossi’s arguments were misleading (such as arguing from the behavior of a centrifugal pump, as well as manual data), and completely ignored the contrary position. That’s a clue to attachment and firm belief in personal rightness.

    As Fletcher lowers backpressure, (into positive forward pressure), it is to be expected that the flow values will increase. He is beginning to realize the complications, and I hope, by the time he is done, that he is quantifying measurement errors and giving error bars on results. This is all a real opportunity to learn how science works.

  6. OK – so for the MF paper and Morrison reply and MF counter-reply.

    Considering the boil-off phase, note that the large excess heat comes from the assumption that the boil-off water all emerges as vapour. Yet there is no check that this is true, and usually in chaotic boiling systems this is not true. Morrison makes this point (it is for me the most salient of his 3 points).

    Secondly, there is the assumption that ALL the liquid present in the tube 600 seconds before
    dryness, was boiled off. That is none of it was carried out as a liquid, from the test tube. Now the
    video shows that there is highly turbulent motion. And as Kreysa et al. [3] showed, 74 seconds
    after the palladium becomes dry, temperatures of a few hundred degrees can be reached. Thus it
    is reasonable to expect that with such a chaotic system, some fraction of the liquid is blown out
    of the test tube as liquid and therefore should not be counted. The existence of such a fraction is
    omitted from the simple Fleischmann and Pons calculation.

    Unfortunately I can’t find MF’s reply to this from your page – could you give a link? From my admittedly rather vague memory of MF’s reply I don’t think he answered it – which would be damning. I also can’t find, reading the report, any check that the boil-off contained no entrained liquid. But it is very possible he did – needs checking.

    1. I listed above the four methods of checking for entrained water that I recall from the papers. There may be some others, but these four should suffice. Morrison was well aware that these methods were used. Fleischmann, I, and others told him this many times, in person at ICCF conferences, and elsewhere. Despite that, he repeatedly published this bullshit. Fleischmann, McKubre and others also repeatedly told him how and why his other assertions were wrong. He ignored them and published these claims again, and again, and again.

      Many so-called “skeptics” do that.

      One of my fond memories was the sight of John Huizenga confronted by the data and the researchers themselves from Amoco. They were formidable people. Not the kind you browbeat with bullshit. Huizenga turned green and more or less fled the room. Naturally, he never mentioned this data in his paper or in the second edition of his book, any more than he mentioned Miles. (Miles is a mild-mannered Mormon who would probably chuckle at the antics of Huizenga and Morrison, although he would never be buffaloed by them.)

      1. We are going to look at a specific example of Morrison’s critique, that should be enough. Perhaps some day you will tell stories, giving more specifics, such as when and where that meeting with Huizenga and Amoco researchers happened. Meanwhile, Huizenga did more than mention Miles in the second edition of his book, he thought that the Miles heat/helium correlation report was amazing, and clearly understood the significance. p. 243.

        1. You wrote:

          “Meanwhile, Huizenga did more than mention Miles in the second edition of his book, he thought that the Miles heat/helium correlation report was amazing, and clearly understood the significance. p. 243.”

          Ah, yes, you have mentioned this. I forgot it. I have only the first edition, signed by him.

          Huizenga was a jerk, but he was not an infamous liar and scoundrel like Park and Taubes. I have the impression that he sincerely believed this:

          “Furthermore, if the claimed excess heat exceeds that possible by other conventional processes (chemical, mechanical, etc.), one must conclude that an error has been made in measuring the excess heat.”

          Beaudette raked him over the coals for that.

      2. Jed – following up my comment elsewhere.

        “Methods were used”. The issue is not what is generally done, but what was done in this specific experiment with unusual results. MF is vague about that in his reply to Morrison. Details matter enormously and assuming that because something is sensible and has been done in many other experiments, it is also done in an experiment with anomalous results, or that the other experiment data can be extrapolated, is dangerous.

  7. It’s not a question of what I know. I wanted you to lead the discussion by being specific. As it is, however, I went ahead before seeing the above and began a study at http://coldfusioncommunity.net/morrison-fleischmann-debate/ . I will be creating structure for a study of this, that page is top-level, at this point simply linking to copies of the debate that began with the publication of the Pons and Fleischmann paper you mention now. I will also look at the Pons paper, apparently http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/PonsSheatafterd.pdf but the study created will first look at details of the discussion with Morrison.

  8. You wrote:

    “While there is an obvious possible heat source (the ‘cigarette lighter effect,’ i.e., deuterium recombination, that would be seriously limited by lack of oxygen. In an FP cell, the oxygen mostly escapes, it’s gone. If the cathode evolves deuterium, as we expect with the end of electrolytic pressure, some of it might oxidize from limited oxygen in the cell, but all this would continue gas flow out of the cell (now including heavy water vapor). The small amount of oxygen would rapidly be depleted, no more being generated.”

    This is not a potential source of heat, for the reasons you gave plus some others:

    1. After a boil-off event there is no air or oxygen in the head space of a cell. There is only water vapor and a small amount of hydrogen (deuterium) that emerges from the cathode. This was confirmed by researchers at the National Fusion Science Lab in Nagoya. So there can be no recombination within the cell.

    2. Looking at Fleischmann’s cells and cathodes, at 140 W, the power level at the end of a typical boil off, if all of the hydrogen were to emerge rapidly, it would be used up in 4.5 seconds, not 600 seconds which is the duration of the boil-off event. There would be none left for the following heat after death. In point of fact, if there were any oxygen or air, given the rate at which the hydrogen emerges, it could produce no more than 5 mW. See:

    http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmanreplytothe.pdf

    QUOTE:

    “We observe that at a heat flow of 144.5W (corresponding to the rate of excess enthalpy generation in the experiment discussed in our paper [2] the total combustion of all the D in the cathode would be completed in ~ 4.5s, not the 600s of the duration of this stage. Needless to say, the D in the lattice could not reach the surface in that time (the diffusional relaxation time is ~ 10^5 s) while the rate of diffusion of oxygen through the boundary layer could lead at most to a rate of generation of excess enthalpy of ~ 5mW.”

    Regarding explosions, most of them are caused by known chemical reactions, but a few cannot be explained by this because there is no chemical fuel, or because the total energy release from the explosion greatly exceeds the limits of the available chemical fuel. The energy release is difficult to estimate and it is only approximate. This is obviously not a good method of calorimetry.

    Here is one of the better papers describing an anomalous explosion:

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

    1. Thanks. Truly.

      Please be careful, Jed. Worlds have labile meanings. “Potential” means “possible” which is a reference to how we think, not reality itself. Uncombined deuterium has chemical potential energy, if oxygen can be found. If we are dealing with skeptics, who won’t have all those arguments at their fingertips, we do well to acknowledge the obvious thinking. (This is actually a known public speaking technique.)

      As well, actual measurements of oxygen might apply to a particular set of conditions, not to all. It is futile to attempt to test all possible artifacts or unexpected conditions, and far more sensible to focus on the more probable, at least first. It is probable, my assessment, that there isn’t enough oxygen there. Oxygen was being generated up until the shutdown of electrolysis, so to say “there is no oxygen” is not quite correct, and precision of language is important in dealing with these issues. There is only a little oxygen, and then, if our discussion becomes specific, as it should ideally become, we could specify how much, both from expectation (derivable from electrolysis current, I think), and measurement (if available). Then we come to what you claim (from the papers).

      There is a chain of logic there, and I hope to see it examined skeptically. Identifying possible errors in a logical chain does not prove the conclusions incorrect, and my goal is to establish discussions — and a community — that firmly care more about reality than about who is right.

      THH considered “boil-off” experiments useless. So this is one of a number of possible fruitful discussions. My position on boil-off is to acknowledge the same “messiness” as probably bothers THH, but that then accepts that we have a body of what is effectively “attested evidence,” that is, formally published in a peer-reviewed journal. What can we see in that evidence? Are there *specific problems*?

      My general sense has become that Pons and Fleischmann made major errors, not so much scientifically, as socially and politically. An example: Fleischmann, in an informal comment, rejected measuring helium because “it was too expensive.” In fact, they almost certainly had early helium results from Johnson Matthey. Why didn’t they publish these? Had they measured helium in those boil-off experiments, they would have, we now can think, created definitive evidence with more precise measurements of the heat/helium ratio in the outgas, and if they had then used reverse electrolysis to capture all the helium, quite simple to do, they’d have given us, more than ten years ago, more precise measurement of the underlying creation Q.

      Instead, the IMRA investment was considered a failure, and Pons, effectively, went into hiding.

      From other comments, they “didn’t want to be fighting on two fronts.” That shows that they had become caught up in a war, losing their objectivity. Results are results. Those results probably did not match their expectations (helium is not found in the bulk). Hiding inconvenient results is almost as offensive to the scientific method and science, as reporting known errors without qualifying them.

      If Pons shows up at ICCF, I’d be among those giving him a standing ovation. I would also be hoping that he says, “Shimatta.” Even better, in fully colloquial English, “we fucked up.” We often have it backwards, caught in shame and resisting shame: admission of error is extremely powerful, it has transformative power. “Error,” in fact, in this situation, only means something like “we did not do what would have created powerful results, adequate to transform opinion about what we allowed to be called, prematurely, “cold fusion.” Admitting error does not negate what actually became known, it would only help distinguish it from noise.

      1. You wrote: “Uncombined deuterium has chemical potential energy, if oxygen can be found.”

        I know the meaning of potential energy. But there is no oxygen or air in the cell. So the deuterium gas can only recombine outside the cell, where the heat from it will not be detected. That was Fleischmann’s point, which was also made by Ikegami (Nat. Fusion Lab, Nagoya).

        “As well, actual measurements of oxygen might apply to a particular set of conditions, not to all.”

        It applies to this cell configuration, which was tested at IMRA, and by Ikegami, Lonchampt and others. This is an open cell with a small, restricted orifice at the top. Air cannot get into the cell after the boil off. I suppose you could inject air with a blower or a syringe. (They add heavy water during the test with a syringe.) In normal circumstances there is only water vapor and deuterium gas in the headspace after boil-off. I suppose over time most of the vapor is displace with deuterium gas.

        Anyway, the power level would be 5 mW according to Fleischmann. That would be for this particular cell with space for a cathode of this size. There were palladium cigarette lighters in the 19th century that produced much more heat than this, but they had more palladium in them. Storms says they probably had a few ounces (50 to 100 g) and they were probably gas loaded in the alpha phase, meaning the gas comes out quickly when you let it recombine and ignite in air. You stop the reaction by putting an air-tight cover over the palladium. Whereas I believe these cathodes were ~0.04 cm^3, and Pd is 12 g/cm^3, so that’s ~0.5 g. Much less than the cigarette lighter. I have heard (and seen, in the form of bubbles) that the initial deloading of highly loaded cathodes is slow.

        I do not know how much power the palladium cigarette lighters produced, but I doubt it was 50 to 140 W, which is what cathodes in heat after death sometimes produce. The heat from the lighters was from combustion in a small surface area where the hydrogen emerged. A wooden match produces about 1 BTU and it burns for about a minute, so that’s about 18 W. That’s more than enough to light a cigarette, when it is at a high temperature.

        1. Jed, you are missing the point. You stated “there is no oxygen in the cell,” and you repeated it here. That does largely become true, later, but it is not true at “death.” At that point, there is a mixture of water vapor, deuterium and oxygen. As long as the electrolysis is active, deuterium and oxygen are being evolved, in a ratio of two molecules of deuterium to each one of oxygen.

          There is a contrary effect: As that atmosphere contacts the cathode, the palladium will catalyze recombination., generating some level of heat and water vapor as well. This will remove oxygen. Ultimately, the water vapor, plus evolving deuterium as the cathode deloads, together with recombination, will remove all oxygen from the cell. Almost all the oxygen from earlier electrolysis has escaped during the electrolysis, there is only the ending atmosphere, quite a small amount by comparison with all the deuterium held in the palladium.

          (I worry a bit about the formation of water. If not for the generated heat, this would reduce pressure in the cell. But there will be heat.)

          I think it unlikely that air can get then into the cell until deuterium evolution slows adequately. Another factor toward air entry would be cooling, which would cause a lowering of pressure in the cell and consequently increased inward flow in the vent.
          Overall, the general argument you give appears sound. It is just that overenthusiastic and absolute claim of “no oxygen” that I see as a problem, and skeptics will certainly notice this.

          As to the measurements of oxygen, references would be appreciated. And thanks.

          1. You wrote:

            “You stated “there is no oxygen in the cell,” and you repeated it here. That does largely become true, later, but it is not true at “death.” At that point, there is a mixture of water vapor, deuterium and oxygen.

            Nope. The boil-off phase vaporized electrolyte drives all the oxygen out of the cell. (When I say “all” I do not mean to the ppm level.) There is no deuterium gas either, at first, but it gradually replenishes as the cathode de-gasses. This continues to drive out any air that enters the cell.

            This was confirmed experimentally.

            1. Jed, I asked for source on that. I’m skeptical. We should be discussing a specific paper. What you are describing could happen if the cell was continuing to boil from other than electrolytic power. But what were conditions at “death,” i.e., to the point of loss of electrolyte conductivity? At that point, oxygen is being evolved. You are describing later. How is the cell physically arranged? Is contact lost first with the anode or cathode? (I’d suspect cathode). If the cathode is not in contact with the electrolyte, and yet cathode-generated heat was boiling the electrolyte, below it, how is the heat distributed through the electrolyte? To address this will take a lot of detail, and one of my points is that if that much detail, not necessarily easily anticipated, must be communicated, it may be a poor example pedagogically.

              We agree that evolving deuterium will likely prevent air entry, though there is a possible rate issue (if the rate is low enough, there would be a level of diffusion of oxygen in, though I doubt it would be enough.)

          2. You wrote:

            “It is just that overenthusiastic and absolute claim of “no oxygen” that I see as a problem, and skeptics will certainly notice this.”

            Oh give me a break. Anyone can see I don’t mean no oxygen to the ppm level. I mean there is not enough to produce measurable heat that could be detected with this equipment. I meant it would be orders of magnitude less than the ~140 W sometimes measured in these tests.

            What did you think I meant? Have some common sense. This “overenthusiasm” you describe is a figment of your imagination.

            As for the skeptics, who cares what they “notice”? No amount of parsing or care will prevent their endless bullshit. They will find an imaginary reason to distort, ignore, or dismiss any result. Mary Yugo, for example, will claim she does not know what a boil off means, she can’t understand the maths, so whatever a boil-off may be, it must be wrong. Anything she pretends not to understand is wrong by her rules. Or she will claim that only a result at 100 W is meaningful, and when you show her such a result, she will come up with some new absurd excuse to declare it is not meaningful.

            You cannot win when you play by the skeptics’ rules. You have to ignore them and stick to doing science.

            1. Jed, you have collapsed “skeptic” into “pseudoskeptic.” Mary Yugo is a pseudoskeptic, what MY thinks is irrelevant. You also are avoiding addressing a single argument, basing that on a pile of different arguments. This is a losing strategy, in the end. You have paid your dues, and, frankly, I’m grateful for what you have done. You get to lose if you want, it’s up to you. Cold fusion prevailed, Beaudette was right.

              I asked for a source for the oxygen measurements. No source. On LENR forum, you made a claim about sustained power production that may have been overblown. You were called on it. You did not admit error. What you did was to restate the claim to make it more accurate, but never acknowledged the overstatement, so it looked like you were reaffirming the original claim. The result is endless argument, now in favorite pseudoskeptical territory, YOU WERE WRONG AND YOU WON’T ADMIT IT! (if any so-called Believer has every made a mistake, it will be repeated ad nauseum; the functional way to deal with this is to promptly admit errors or inaccuracies. You might ask yourself why you don’t do that: it could be fertile ground for self-transformation

              And if it is not an error or inaccurate, provide source, and if the source is challenged, be very specific: cite page and quote exactly. Do this in person, with a detached presence, you would slaughter a pseudoskeptic in debate.

              Where is Simon (Undead Science) when we need him? Reminds me to attempt to contact him. The sociology of cold fusion is fascinating and understanding it, or, more accurately, applying the understanding, can lead to major breakthroughs.

          3. You wrote:

            “I asked for a source for the oxygen measurements. No source.”

            Fleischmann and Ikegami told me. I don’t recall if they put that in a paper. Fleischmann’s papers do show that the maximum power from recombination would be 5 mW, in cells that produced ~140 W, so even if there were pure oxygen in the headspace it would make no difference.

            “On LENR forum, you made a claim about sustained power production that may have been overblown. You were called on it. You did not admit error.”

            It was not a bit overblown. I made no error.

      2. IMRA was not a failure technically. I think you can see that in the paper by Roulette. The project was derailed and finally shut down by politics, stupidity and greed. As the test results got better and better, Toyota increasingly fought Johnson Matthey for control over the IP. They finally said they wanted the whole enchilada, so JM told them take a walk and “don’t let the door hit you on the bum on your way out” as a certain Englishman described it to me.

        Stan complained that IMRA did not give him the freedom to explore the problem. He thinks he would have done better if they had not been so anxious to commercialize quickly. That was another problem.

        1. “Failure” includes all aspects, and does not deny the existence of some successes. What strikes me so strongly in CF history is that few are saying, “I (or we) made a mistake.” It’s always someone else, which is an intrinsically disempowering stand. “The buck stops here,” as Truman famously said, is far more empowering. If we make a mistake, we may be able to fix it. If someone else made one, we can yell and scream about it, hoping they will straighten up and fly right. How well does that work? Where did we learn to do this?

          1. You wrote:

            What strikes me so strongly in CF history is that few are saying, “I (or we) made a mistake.” It’s always someone else, which is an intrinsically disempowering stand.

            In this case it was someone else’s fault. The managers at Toyota were a bunch of jerks. I met them, and I can vouch for that.

            It often is someone else’s fault, after all. Don’t blame the victims. It is indeed disempowering to know that stupid, evil bastards lie to you and destroyed your hopes. But knowing that, and saying it clearly, is not what disempowers – what hurts you is the evil they do. Denying that or having a panglossian attitude will not change reality. It will just leave you vulnerable to the next evil bastard.

            When you are oppressed, exploited and wronged it does you no good to deny that, or to pretend that you had some means of changing the situation. That would be like telling black people in the Jim Crow era that their plight was their own fault.

            Martin Fleischmann understood all of this quite well, since he was driven from home by the Nazis and saw his father beaten to death by the Gestapo. He understood evil. Beaudette and others assigned a small fraction of the blame for the cold fusion travesty to Fleischmann. I assign none. No one could have handled it better than he did. None of the mistakes that you point to should have affected anyone’s judgement of his results, and in any case, everyone makes mistakes. Fleischmann himself said on the day that cold fusion was revealed in March 1989 that he would hounded out of the establishment, and disgraced. He knew how history works. And even if some share of the blame went to him (which I do not believe) surely he was more sinned against than sinning.

            I sometimes sense you have the notion we are somehow to blame for the evil and stupidity of other people. We collectively share the blame. I find that notion morally reprehensible. Disgusting. I utterly reject it.

            1. You do reject it and that rejection is what keeps you from being fully effective. The “notion” that you reject, you invented. The entire ontology of evil and victim is invented, as is blame. There is a different concept, also invented, called “responsibility.” The powerless blame others for their powerlessness, which maintains it. This is not about reprehensibility, it is about the stories that we invent, stories which either empower us or disempower us. Taking responsibility is powerful, blaming isn’t. Blame is useful to mobs, it is part of how the amygdala “thinks.” “Reacts” would be a better word.

              This might make my stand more clear: Consider the interpretation, “We are responsible for the evil and stupidity in the world.” If not us, who?

              Your interpretation of the history is missing extensive fact. Park claimed that his extreme skepticism was a direct result of the failure to release the JM helium test results, contrary to promise. Later, I’m sure, the failure to honor commitments to the Morrey collaboration would have confirmed that. It remains a mystery; to my knowledge the only thing that F and P said about it was the comment about not wanting to fight on two fronts. So they put up a stone wall on one?

              It is clear that you are holding a history of Great Wrong, with “if we sinned, their sin was worse.” This is all disempowering, a doomed stand.

          2. You wrote:

            “Your interpretation of the history is missing extensive fact. Park claimed that his extreme skepticism was a direct result of the failure to release the JM helium test results, contrary to promise.”

            What nonsense. Park accused the researchers of being lunatics and criminals in the Washington Post long before he heard of the JM helium test results. It was probably before they were even performed, although I do not recall the dates. He and others savagely attacked cold fusion within days of the announcement.

            Park is an accomplished liar. You should not believe a word he says. He is also a cunning, vicious evil bastard whose modus operendi is destroying people’s reputations and lives, pulling strings and getting them fired. You can be sure of that because he brags about it. He brags that he rooted out cold fusion and had people fired.

            1. Jed, you have become highly vulnerable to trolling that will make you look like a fanatic. I’m aware of much of what Park did. Consider, though, how Planet Rossi looks when accusing Darden and Cherokee of a pile of crimes. They only convince “believers.” Park is not the issue. He is old and probably not very functional now. The issue is the future, but you are stuck in the past, and it’s obvious. Park’s account on this point rings true (even if it’s a lie, which I suspect would mostly be post-facto justification, if we could study the timing). Pons and Fleischmann apparently did promise results and apparently they did not publish them. Later, what happened with the Morrey collaboration is also well-known, but, of course, you could impeach the witnesses for this or that reason, because you are sure that the difficulties of cold fusion were all the doing of “jerks” and “stupid skeptics.” And, of course, this view excuses every failure and does not allow us to move forward, because those jerks and enemies are still alive, or have been replaced by new idiots. It’s time for this to end. My work with Rossi v. Darden was somewhat impaired by my opinions, but I’ve been open about them and have attempted to clearly distinguish between fact (Rossi did claim to have faked the Hydro Fusion test failure in 2012, as an example) and conclusions (a pack of lies! Rossi has nothing! — and, in fact, I don’t know that, but have some opinion about probabilities).

              From a first glance, Morrison’s critique was very badly flawed. But the ideas expressed have legs, and it’s important that all these arguments be soberly addressed. Including Park’s.

              My hope is that very soon much of this will pass into the realm of social science studies of how scientific consensus can be damaged by information cascades. Who has written extensively about that?

              Gary Taubes, Jed.

          3. You wrote:

            My hope is that very soon much of this will pass into the realm of social science studies of how scientific consensus can be damaged by information cascades. Who has written extensively about that?

            Gary Taubes, Jed.

            Ah. Well, I don’t know what an information cascade is, but if Taubes recommended it, I suppose it must be nonsense. Taubes is a character assassin and technical imbecile who has no clue how electricity works. See:

            http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJcoldfusion.pdf

            His notions about diet and carbohydrates are batshit crazy, as anyone familiar with the Asian diet knows. I know many traditional Japanese people who eat mainly rice, in large quantities, three meals a day. They are not fat. Most of them at age 50 weigh the same as they did at age 30.

            1. Q.E.D.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_cascade
              http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/09/science/09tier.html
              https://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/09/how-the-low-fat-low-fact-cascade-just-keeps-rolling-along/

              The rejection of cold fusion, as it became established, was a classic information cascade. “Facts” that may have had some truth to them for part of 1989 became established as “truth,” repeated often, to this day.

              You have no idea what Taubes'”notions” are, and no clue about his more recent topic, the science of nutrition. Instead, you respond to your own cartoon image of it, based on your ideas from two decades ago.

              You cite yourself, not Taubes, and I’ve gone over this before in detail. What you show does not demonstrate what you claim, merely that Taubes made a mistake. But this is not the place to cover diet, nor are we currently examining Taubes; the point here was that a single word can set you off, and if anyone knows about Taubes, you will stand exposed as ignorant and highly opinionated, and that will be visible even to others.

              You matter, but you are incorrigible, and rarely admit error, even when it would be easy. You could do so much better, but you would need to learn to listen and not react based on prior opinion.

        2. Thanks, Jed, that is a source, though then subject to the vagaries of such sources.

          Thanks for the opportunity to cite “There ain’t no flies on us.” http://www.songsforteaching.com/andrewqueen/s/aintnofliesonus.mp3

          This is sufficiently fun to warrant a blog post.

          I like questions that can be answered, and interpretations like “no error” that can be examined with fact. (“Error” or “no error” are not actually fact, but complex comparisons and judgments. Fact could be exact quotations, as an example.) Too little of this is done, instead there are endless arguments. “I was right, you are wrong.” “No, I’m right.” Wrong! Right! Wrong! and this can go on absolutely forever. Years later, ‘I proved you were wrong.” “No you didn’t!” Did so! Didn’t!

          I’ve been seeing this on the internet (and pre-internet, on the W.E.L.L., where I was a moderator) since the 1980s. I found that very few were interested in actual evidence, even though, for the first time in history, exact transcripts of the entire communication were available. Yelling at each other was preferred, and people took sides, based, not on fact, but on affiliation, creating unresolvable flame wars.

      3. THH considered “boil-off” experiments useless. So this is one of a number of possible fruitful discussions. My position on boil-off is to acknowledge the same “messiness” as probably bothers THH, but that then accepts that we have a body of what is effectively “attested evidence,” that is, formally published in a peer-reviewed journal. What can we see in that evidence? Are there *specific problems*?

        Boil-off experiments introduce many extra uncertainties, and require more indirect analysis to get clear results. When we are in anomaly-territory all indirect analysis is dangerous, because assumptions may be wrong. Hence positives from boil-off data are inherently weaker than positives from non-boil-off data. Nor is there any obvious reason why FPHE would be significantly stronger at 100C (boil-off) than say 95C (non-boil-off). So for these reasons I view the boil-off evidence as much less useful than the non-boil-off evidence.

        1. THH, your analysis is incomplete, one-sided. I agree that boil-off creates a level of possible confusion. But it also creates some clarity, that’s the part you are missing. These discussions tend to remain abstract, avoiding fact. The boil-off claim is not that heat is much more strong at 100 C than at 95 C, though from general results, I expect that, at that point, XE is, in fact (not because of “reason”), increasing. How much? I don’t know.

          In these discussions, we can choose what experimental results to focus on. You don’t like boil-off, and I sympathize, because I felt the same way, and for that cause, probably did not investigate those papers as deeply as they might deserve. The entire mode of thought, dividing results into positive and negative, is scientifically defective. Rather, the deeper and useful issue is what is actually shown by the subject experiments. Specifically, what doubts? What is known? Rothwell claims that oxygen was measured, which is surely relevant. If input power is due to electrolysis and Joule heating from the electrolytic current, that should cease when electrolytic conductivity is lost. That would leave recombination as a source of heat. If there is no oxygen, as he claims, recombination is ruled out. We may worry about calibration constants, some precision may be lost under the conditions of boil-off, I don’t know the exact details. However, the overall cell, in the FP design, has an established heat conductivity to the water bath. There could arise extensive temperature variability within the cell, I’d expect it if the heat is coming from the cathode. It, being above the electrolyte, would get hotter than the electrolyte remaining or the bottom of the cell. How much hotter I don’t know. If it does actually get hotter, though, where would that heat be coming from?

          Hydrogen desorption is endothermic, just as the absorption is exothermic. If the cell temperature is maintained or increased after “death,” in the absence of oxygen, this is prima facie evidence of XE. So what are the known facts here?

          Don’t you think this is an interesting question?

          1. OK – so I agree that we need the details here. True (as Jed points out) boil-off – correctly done – is secure calorimetry with minimal assumptions.

            But boil-off has two problems: badly done (with entrained liquid phase droplets) it massively over-reads. And it alters the state of the system thereby changing calorimetric assumptions relating temperature and heat. In a steady-state system your assumption above that temperature implies excess power is correct. In a non-steady-state system it needs careful examination.

            I think the type of critique above will be familiar to you and Jed. With some justification you will point out that dotting every I and crossing ever T is never possible and preponderance of evidence is on the side of this being a non-chemical real anomaly. And those who dismiss it are pseudoskeptics.

            So I’ll offer a different critique. I’m happy to examine, in detail, and specific experiment. Boil-off or not. So for MF’s work I’ll happily look at the boil-off evidence. I don’t think it reasonable to assume that MF’s arguments embody no assumptions. He was a famous and clever electrochemist – but that says nothing as to how carefully he will analyse these experiments where he desperately (I think a fair assumption) wants to find evidence for what he believes. In such a state, and all honesty, people will make surprising errors. Therefore the way I look at his publication is that when something is not explicitly stated as checked, I will not assume it has been checked.

            I’m not confident that MF’s work can be helpful here. McKubre revisited the same experiments with much more careful methodology. His results are therefore inherently clearer and therefore better to argue from. His work does what is expected in science – replication under better more carefully controlled conditions. Had he found even 10% of the effect that MF claimed then the history of this subject would be very different.

            Hydrogen desorption is endothermic, just as the absorption is exothermic. If the cell temperature is maintained or increased after “death,” in the absence of oxygen, this is prima facie evidence of XE. So what are the known facts here?
            Not quite that, since temperature is not always a good proxy for power. In the case here experimental conditions have radically changed so we need to check your implicit assumption as well as the other conditions (no O2 etc). I do think its an interesting question and will happily consider it. I remember rather vaguely looking at this as described by MF and thinking the whole HAD evidence was too anecdotal to be useful.

            Abd: you and I both share a decent understanding – based I suspect on personal evidence – that people can deceive themselves. This is not some aberrant condition of psychopathology. People regularly deceive themselves in all walks of life, and resist attempts to correct the (obvious to other people) error. Intelligence is no protection. Shakespeare was well aware of this and study of his plays is at least as helpful as study of psychology in understanding human nature.

            Science deals with matters that are objective. Scientists manage to factor out human errors and foibles – but this only happens through the modern process of peer-critique and requirement that results are replicated. On an individual basis no scientist can be trusted. Not because (usually) they are deliberately dishonest, but because they are human. We have thousands of years of scientific myths to show that good arguments alone don’t cut it.

            1. Hydrogen desorption is endothermic, just as the absorption is exothermic. If the cell temperature is maintained or increased after “death,” in the absence of oxygen, this is prima facie evidence of XE. So what are the known facts here?
              Not quite that, since temperature is not always a good proxy for power. In the case here experimental conditions have radically changed so we need to check your implicit assumption as well as the other conditions (no O2 etc). I do think its an interesting question and will happily consider it. I remember rather vaguely looking at this as described by MF and thinking the whole HAD evidence was too anecdotal to be useful.

              Thanks. Yes, you thought that. I had similar impressions. However, I had not actually studied the evidence, and found the papers a bit forbidding.

              Boil-off experiments can be divided into phases. My comment was based on a settled cell after the electrolye has boiled away. The cells were calibrated, the heat transfer cofficient was known accurately. Once the electrolyte is gone, and after any initial oxygen that has not been expelled by water vapor has been recombined (should there be any, Jed is claiming that there is “none,” which means not a significant amount), there is no other source of heat, so if a temperature difference is maintained across a controlled barrier (as in a PF cell), it is quite a good measure of dissipation. There are many details to look at, but some of the readily-asserted possible artifacts aren’t plausible. Droplet entrainment is implausible after the liquid is gone; they consider foaming, which didn’t happen with pure heavy water. They have multiple measures pointing to the conditions necessary, but, as I said, HAD under these conditions appears to be prima facie evidence of XP.

              I don’t know if anyone has replicated those results, and I don’t know of replication failures, either. Boil-off is messy, all right, but not after “death,” when all input power shuts down. I don’t like that transition, the actual boil-off, and find it easy to mistrust heat measurements in that period, I worry most about temperature non-uniformity in the cell.

              Something else worth looking at is their set of platinum control experiments. They studied boil-off behavior.

              Now the work starts on the papers. http://coldfusioncommunity.net/morrison-fleischmann-debate/.

              I will be looking at two things in this: one is the science, what was actually claimed and what was critiqued, and what of this was unfair or overreaction or the like? Did Morrison fairly present what Pons and Fleischmann had claimed, and vice versa? That is, I’m interested in the science and in the interpersonal psychology and sociology.

          2. You wrote:

            “That would be true – except excess heat is not a scientific hypothesis.”

            Right. It is not a hypothesis; it is an observation. There is excess heat with no chemical fuel and no chemical changes. There are orders of magnitude more heat than any chemical reaction with this mass of reactants could produce.

            “It is an acausal correlate: if there was excess heat it would explain the observations, but then we have a regress: what explains the excess heat?”

            We do not have to explain an observation. This is an observation, not a theory. It has no explanation.

            “Now, if the evidence for excess heat is strong enough the burning question becomes that.”

            That is an interesting question but there is no need to answer it before accepting the observation.

            “But, excess heat on its own, is not a hypothesis. Therefore lots of excess heat does not simplify.”

            It is MUCH simpler than your hypothesis – which is:

            There was heat before the boil-off, and again after it, but during the boil-off the heat vanished and there was an entrainment error, even though that error did not show up during calibration with Pt-H, there is no sign of it in the video, and the lithium inventory proves it did not happen. That is highly implausible, to say the least.

            “If the need for some anomalous phenomena (like excess heat) is shown in one phase of this experiment you would not have the same barrier to choosing . . .”

            There is no “need” for an anomalous explanation. Or any explanation. The heat without chemical changes is a fact. It is an observation. If you wish to explain it, you may need a nuclear hypothesis or some other anomalous hypothesis such as zero point energy. But an observation never needs justification, or explanation. It always works the other way around. Theory must explain facts or fail, but facts never need theory.

            To summarize:

            The excess heat is a fact. The entrainment hypothesis fails to explain this fact because there is so much evidence against entrainment, and no evidence in favor of it. We do not need to explain the heat to be sure it is real. Calorimetry and the laws of thermodynamics ensure that.

            1. In reply to Abd ulRahman Lomax.

              You wrote:

              “That would be true – except excess heat is not a scientific hypothesis.”

              Right. It is not a hypothesis; it is an observation. There is excess heat with no chemical fuel and no chemical changes. There are orders of magnitude more heat than any chemical reaction with this mass of reactants could produce.

              “It is an acausal correlate: if there was excess heat it would explain the observations, but then we have a regress: what explains the excess heat?”

              We do not have to explain an observation. This is an observation, not a theory. It has no explanation.

              It is clear what happened here. Jed did press Reply to my comment, linked above, but was actually quoting THH. That is why Jed thinks the comment system here is “terrible.” He erred using it. Heh! Just an observation!

              On the substance, THH was correct in that Excess heat is an interpretation, not a merely observation. Key is the word “excess.” What is observed is instrumental readings and other visual or sensory data. Excess heat is not ordinarily directly observed. One of the points being made in the Fleischmann paper pushes this to an edge, but it is still an interpretation, not an observation. The paper looks at time-to-evaporation for cells, and then makes “observations” regarding the analysis of the cell’s behavior. There is raw data given, for which “observation” is justified. The difference in time-to-boil is also an “observation.” How this becomes “excess heat” is then a product of analysis, including various assumptions.

              Whether the assumptions are reasonable or not is what we will be looking at.

              Excess heat as an “explanation” is an oxymoron. If there is an explanation, it is not “excess,” i.e., anomalous. “Excess heat” essentially means “with no known prosaic explanation, and what “prosaic” means depends on our mind-set.

              There is, however, an experimental question: is there a heat anomaly? This is a question that exists in relation to our present knowledge, it is not a question in reality itself. One of the problems of LENR is that the “heat anomaly” fails some tests of reality through the difficulty of replication. However, that can be overcome, and this is again an ancient skeptical argument, thoroughly skewered by another of Jed’s friends, Nate Hoffman.

              (The “in reply to” I quote above is a field visible to me as admin, from the Comment interface, but not apparently to ordinary users — nor to me when I look at the Post display.)

              1. You wrote:

                “What is observed is instrumental readings and other visual or sensory data. Excess heat is not ordinarily directly observed.”

                Heat is never directly observed. It is always detected indirectly by temperature, or by an effect it has on materials. Such as melting a pyrometric cone in a kiln. Or, in this experiment, melting the Kel-F plastic in the cell, which you cannot do with electrolysis heat, because it cuts off before the water level falls to the plastic.

                “One of the points being made in the Fleischmann paper pushes this to an edge . . .”

                No it does not. The boil-off method is one of the oldest and most reliable, going back to the 18th century. Actually, I expect it goes back thousands of years.

                “. . . but it is still an interpretation, not an observation.”

                Then everything is an interpretation, including the observation that it is day and not night, or that a rotting corpse is dead and not alive. This is pushing the definition of “interpretation” to absurdity. We know how much heat it takes to boil water. This is one of the fundamentals of everyday physics, like the acceleration of falling objects at 1 G. As long as you ensure there is no entrained water, there can be no rational doubt that at 1 atm, it takes 2260 J to vaporize 1 g of water. It might take more heat, given heat losses, but it never takes less. That is a fact, if anything in the textbooks can be called a fact.

                And we can be sure there was no entrained water. Fleischmann gave abundant proof of that. Not to mention the abundant proof of excess heat before and after the event, which makes the notion that there was not excess heat during the event seem ludicrous.

                By the way, it is “excess” heat because it exceeds the input energy. That is the only reason it is called that. There is nothing mystical or mysterious about it. Chemical heat would also be “excess.” We know this is not chemical heat because there was no chemical fuels and there were no chemical changes.

                It is called “anomalous” because we cannot explain it.

                “The paper looks at time-to-evaporation for cells, and then makes “observations” regarding the analysis of the cell’s behavior.”

                The heat is a fact or an observation. Calling it an “interpretation” stretches the definition far from common sense. You might as well claim it is an “interpretation” that when wood is flaming and too hot to touch it is on fire; when a corpse is rotting it is dead; and when an object is falling through the air at 9.9 m/s^2 it is under the influence of gravity.

                Heat is dead simple to confirm by measuring the amount of water that boils away. There is no better method. To quibble about that and to pretend it might be something else when there is abundant proof there was no entrainment is to make a mockery of the scientific and experimental methods.

                1. You wrote:

                  “What is observed is instrumental readings and other visual or sensory data. Excess heat is not ordinarily directly observed.”

                  Heat is never directly observed.

                  Yes, clear. “Heat” is this sense does not mean temperature, but is an abstraction.

                  It is always detected indirectly by temperature, or by an effect it has on materials. Such as melting a pyrometric cone in a kiln.

                  My old favorite, I’ve wondered why the hot NiH people don’t appear to use it.

                  Or, in this experiment, melting the Kel-F plastic in the cell, which you cannot do with electrolysis heat, because it cuts off before the water level falls to the plastic.

                  Yes, though you are now getting to interpretation. The way I’d put it is that to explain the melting bottom plug, if that is what melted, another source of heat is needed. The obvious one is recombination, so the issue becomes one of how much oxygen is in the cell, as well as the rate at which deuterium could be oxidized and how much heat that would release if there is enough oxygen. Those are arguments, not observations, they are conclusions from actual or inferred observations, assumptions, and interpretations, and a skeptic coming along doesn’t have that data available, which is why this argument, as presented, doesn’t convince skeptics. It is possible that it could, but it is essential that skepticism be respected, not arrogantly condemned, or else the stalemate remains.

                  “One of the points being made in the Fleischmann paper pushes this to an edge . . .”

                  No it does not.

                  “Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don’t criticize what you don’t understand.” Jed, you have not understood — at all — what “edge” means here. It must be understood in context: I was, in effect, saying that the point almost is an observation; it is closer to observation than other arguments being made.

                  You have a habit of make-wrong argument, that then parses what is being said to make it wrong, instead of what is functional in communication: parsing it to make it agreeable or sensible.

                  The boil-off method is one of the oldest and most reliable, going back to the 18th century. Actually, I expect it goes back thousands of years.

                  I’m not sure how old it is, but it seems decent to me. Error still remains possible, and we will get to a possible examples.

                  “. . . but it is still an interpretation, not an observation.”

                  Then everything is an interpretation, including the observation that it is day and not night, or that a rotting corpse is dead and not alive.

                  For many people, most of what they routinely attend to is interpretation, not observation. Ontology 1A. It seems to be difficult to move outside that, so heavily are our habits established. But it’s possible. I’m currently exploring “floating,” what used to be called “sensory deprivation,” when Feynman did it. Fun.

                  “Day and night” can easily be fooled, by the way. It is the application of these interpretive labels that is interpretation, not the sensory basis, so your examples are clearly interpretive. “Rotting corpse” calls up a large set of observations, but those can be in error — though we can easily imagine circumstances where error is very unlikely. “Dead” and “alive” are interpretive. Pull someone from a frozen lake, they were under water for an hour. Dead or alive? Better not guess!

                  I delivered a breech baby, after cord compression in delivery, blue, no breathing, limp, but … my wife found a pulse about one-fourth of normal, but I wasn’t waiting for that, it was hard to discern. I’d started mouth-to-mouth immediately, and the baby pinked up. That baby looked totally dead when I’d turned it out. This was very early in our work as midwives. Later, we carried oxygen and an Ambu bag.

                  This is pushing the definition of “interpretation” to absurdity.

                  Not at all. However, that you think so reveals much.

                  We know how much heat it takes to boil water. This is one of the fundamentals of everyday physics, like the acceleration of falling objects at 1 G. As long as you ensure there is no entrained water, there can be no rational doubt that at 1 atm, it takes 2260 J to vaporize 1 g of water.

                  You have learned that, it is not, in itself, controversial, and it is not in question here. However, “entrained water” might be, and that issue deserves to be addressed quantitatively, not with shallow or ad-hominem or arguments from authority. In that case, what is in question is not the enthalpy of evaporation, but how much water is evaporated (or not evaporated), and that might not be directly measured, but inferred from other observations. Consider the Rossi evaporated water “observations” from Doral. There are questions at many levels.
                  From Planet Rossi we see arguments almost exactly like yours.

                  It might take more heat, given heat losses, but it never takes less. That is a fact, if anything in the textbooks can be called a fact.

                  It can be called that, but this is an example of what, in my training, is called “social reality.” If it is a “scientific fact,” it would be so because it is not only verified by many, but can be verified by anyone, through personal observation and reasonably clear interpretation. In fact, it still never becomes anything other than a very successful interpretation with high predictive value.
                  Interpretation has high function, but it can also lead us astray when we lose the distinction between observation and interpretation. And that loss is quite common!

                  And we can be sure there was no entrained water.

                  The old Tonto joke: “What you mean “we,” white man?”

                  Fleischmann gave abundant proof of that. Not to mention the abundant proof of excess heat before and after the event, which makes the notion that there was not excess heat during the event seem ludicrous.

                  Lost performative. You describe a “seeming,” but that is an interpretation, bey definition. By whom? What is too often missing in your discussions of LENR, Jed, is allowing space for someone, perhaps skeptical, to come to their own conclusions. My own opinion about this is that probably the evidence for substantial XP here is quite good, but I don’t want to make that claim until this has been thoroughly examined. (The same is true about Shanahan. I think it very likely that Shanahan is up a creek without a paddle, but … I strongly prefer that, where possible, all the arguments are thoroughly examined, not dismissed with variations of “that was proven long ago,” which, one might notice, is an argument often advanced against cold fusion.

                  The answer is not to yell about how stupid it is, but to actually create documentation, or point to it, and then let interested people see it for themselves. I’m not going to be yelling “Rossi Fraud! Read All About It!” because I don’t want to insult the reader, and the readers include people strongly attached to Rossi claims being Reality. I strongly prefer that these loaded conclusions be left to those with a need to decide, and each of us have that right of personal interpretation, and sometimes it is a responsibility as well.

                  By the way, it is “excess” heat because it exceeds the input energy. That is the only reason it is called that. There is nothing mystical or mysterious about it. Chemical heat would also be “excess.” We know this is not chemical heat because there was no chemical fuels and there were no chemical changes.

                  There are various ways to interpret the terms. The effect is called, however, the Anomalous Heat Effect in some recent publications, and that’s decent. Shanahan agrees, there is an anomaly, something unexpected.

                  There are various ways to test various hypotheses explaining the effect. But, first, what is the effect? Where is it seen, and under what conditions? What is known? And, here, what exactly did Pons and Fleischmann report? Too often, the arguments rage over ungrounded claims and misrepresentations on both sides. It is about time we move beyond that, and since that’s my own interpretation of what has been happining, it’s what I’m standing for.

                  It is called “anomalous” because we cannot explain it.

                  More accurately, there is no broadly-accepted explanation. I can explain the heat in the FPE. It is released by the conversion of deuterium to helium, pathway and mechanism unknown, but the ratio is required by the laws of thermodynamics, it is mechanism-independent. That’s testable, has been tested, long ago, and extensively confirmed, with reasonable clarity. Then people argue about details, so I proposed testing it again with increased precision and taking advantage of clearer interpretations of the extant data.

                  This explanation does not cover all the effects considered to be evidence of LENR, but some of them, at least, become more plausible. Because I have that experimental history reasonably well-digested, I do not consider anomalous heat, under FPE conditions, an “extraordinary claim” any more, and so I don’t demand “extraordinary evidence.” For me, the preponderance of ordinary evidence is enough, but I also don’t expect those not thoroughly familiar with that history to agree with me without going through some process. There are many commonly-held misconceptions and it takes time to deconstruct them.

                  “The paper looks at time-to-evaporation for cells, and then makes “observations” regarding the analysis of the cell’s behavior.”
                  The heat is a fact or an observation. Calling it an “interpretation” stretches the definition far from common sense.

                  Jed, I know enough to know that “common sense” in matters like this can be next to useless. I am dealing with an ontology that works spectacularly in daily life and in countless interactions. You are using “common sense” as a synonym for “how I think,” imagining that it’s ‘sensible.” It isn’t, not to me!

                  On the other hand, I have not been “common” since I was a child. It actually took extensive training for me to become more effective in communication with “ordinary people.”

                  My immediate reaction to what you have written here is, “OMG, he has not paid attention to anything I have written to him for eight years.” Ah well, my failure. Obviously I have not done what it takes to communicate with Jed Rothwell. Or have I? Jed has certainly supported my work at times. So maybe this is just another mystery.

                  You might as well claim it is an “interpretation” that when wood is flaming and too hot to touch it is on fire; when a corpse is rotting it is dead; and when an object is falling through the air at 9.9 m/s^2 it is under the influence of gravity.

                  Those are examples of simple and reasonable interpretations. They are still interpretations, just very basic ones. To understand this requires looking at how the brain works; it is an association engine. If that is understood, the possible failures of interpretation, and they are very common, can also be understood. For purposes of training, “interpretation” is not considered bad or wrong, it simply is what it is, a brain faculty, distinct from the underlying observations, which are sensory and memories of the sensory, as distinct from reactions to it. Well-known effect: we tend to remember our reactions to what we have observed, more powerfully in terms of their effect on us, compared to what we actually saw (and what we see can also be strongly affected by our reactions). People with “traumatic experiences” — I have seen this personally — can recover when the distinction is made, and what actually happened can be stated clearly and distinguished from reactions. It makes little difference if the reactions are “reasonable” or “not reasonable,” indeed, the idea that they are reasonable tends to suppress recovery, by strengthening the reactions. And if one attempts to declare them “not reasonable,” natural defenses will kick in. That’s not the path.
                  It’s like inflammation that creates ongoing damage even after the causal trauma is gone.

                  Heat is dead simple to confirm by measuring the amount of water that boils away. There is no better method.

                  it’s a great method, but without careful calibration it can go seriously astray. Parkhomov. The problem with Parkhomov? I don’t know, but probably entrainment of water in uncontrolled boiling, there is some evidence for that.

                  To quibble about that and to pretend it might be something else when there is abundant proof there was no entrainment is to make a mockery of the scientific and experimental methods.

                  If there is “abundant proof,” surely we will see that, right, Jed? So why all the rants about this?

                  I remember when I suggested revisiting heat/helium with increased precision, and how some argued that this was completely unnecessary, a waste of precious funding, because it was already certain. While others were suggesting that McKubre and Violante were wrong and merely trying to prove their “fusion” theory. I didn’t wait for that community to approve, because that community has no established mechanisms for finding genuine consensus, it is all ad hoc and quite unreliable.

                  Then I look at science in general and see the same missing structures. Okay, who is going to create them? Santa Claus?

                  My answer: we are. Wanna join us?

            2. Jed,
              We have spoken before on something not related to this “above” but it’s is the most clear explanation that I have ever seen describing CF. I admire it. I would make a joke (like I always try to) but in a week or so I am driving down to the Eclipse if you or (anyone else hmm..) that want to try to crash Deweys I am in. I will be in South Myrtle. I will provide a place to stay. I promise it. And I would love to see the Dew. But really I want to try to find the truth and it now seems the conversations here on this website are heading that way. I don’t watch a lot of tv but Joe Friday said one epic phrase ‘just the facts’ you present them whatever anyone thinks and I admire it and others also should.

              And my offer stands.

        2. You wrote:

          “Boil-off experiments introduce many extra uncertainties, and require more indirect analysis to get clear results.”

          I do not think so, and neither did Martin. I suggest you read his analysis more carefully. He and Stan wrote several papers about this. It does not seem inherently weak. On the contrary, it is a first-principle method of elegant simplicity. It depends only on input power measurements and the heat of vaporization of water, which is well established. The only major error in this technique might be unboiled water leaving the cell. As you see in the paper, they took steps to ensure that only pure vapor left the cell, and to confirm that is what happened.

          Like flow calorimetry, this first-principle method that does not depend on calibrations, although calibrations were performed (as they always are with flow calorimeters). There is a dramatic difference between the behavior of the cell in these tests compared to when it a cell is driven to boiling with only electrolysis heat. For one thing, the heat balance is clearly 1 in the latter case. For another, the moment ordinary heating stops, the cell begins to cool down monotonically, following Newton’s law of cooling. Whereas in these tests, it stays hot and sometimes gets hotter over the next several hours or days. In Martin’s opinion, and in mine, that is irrefutable proof of anomalous heat. The power level is somewhat tricky to establish, but it is far greater than 5 mW, which is the most you could get from recombination even if the cell headspace had oxygen or air in it, which it does not.

          Anyway, if you don’t like that technique, look at the reflux calorimeter paper by Roulette.

          1. Jed, I’ll be happy to read a paper, and even a few papers, carefully, but I’m asking you to specify them more clearly than just “several papers” by Pons and Fleischmann or even by Roulette. It’s not a question of what I like. I mentioned both the problems and the strengths of the boil-off approach, and my goal is understanding how to deepen wide understanding of LENR, which is about human process, not as much about specific experimental claims and facts; but, exploring process, we will use claims and facts.

            If my explanations are ignorant, the correction of ignorance generates knowledge.

            The same would be true of what THH wrote, which is what you quoted at the beginning (“extra uncertainties.”); I responded to that with an explanation of how that might not be as reasonable as it obviously seems to THH. So we can explore this, which is my goal. This is not LENR Forum or some other forum where arguments ontinue forever, creating smoke and confusion — and burn-out — , but no light.

          2. You wrote:

            “Jed, I’ll be happy to read a paper, and even a few papers, carefully, but I’m asking you to specify them more clearly than just ‘several papers’ by Pons and Fleischmann or even by Roulette.”

            The paper we are talking about is right here:

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

            I thought you knew that.

            If you don’t understand this one, there is no point to reading the others.

            The other one most relevant is probably Pons, “Heat after Death.”

          3. The only major error in this technique might be unboiled water leaving the cell. As you see in the paper, they took steps to ensure that only pure vapor left the cell, and to confirm that is what happened.

            I’m following Abd and ATM looking at the MF paper: “from simplicity via complications…”. I don’t see checking for entrained liquid phase H2O in this?

            If your comment relates to some other paper then that is a different matter, we’d need to look at it to see what are those issues.

          4. You wrote: “I don’t see checking for entrained liquid phase H2O in this?”

            Ah, maybe that was not covered in this paper. The methods were:

            1. Close attention to cell geometry. There is a small, narrow orifice well above the highest point the boiling water bubbles reach, as you see in the video.

            2. Null runs with Pt-H and electrolysis power driving the boiling. There is no excess heat and only a small deficit from heat losses unaccounted for. If entrained water left the cell there would be an apparent positive balance of excess heat.

            3. They looked for droplets of electrolyte around the cells.

            4. Most important, after the tests they inventoried the lithium salts remaining in the cell by various methods, including rinsing the cell repeatedly and evaporating the water. The amount of salt recovered was very close to the amount added initially, so no salts left the cell in entrained water. There was a little salt embedded in the glass which they could not wash out. I think they said the glass was discolored by it, which is how they could tell.

          5. OK Jed,

            I can’t know which of these things were done for the results described here, because it does not say. Perhaps there is another write-up with the results somewhere? MF here does not actually say which, if any, of these procedures he follows. I guess the geometry can be seen from the video but that does not convince – there is obviously the possibility of tiny droplets entrained and moving with the vapor flow, and no check from excess heat since he has found excess heat here.

            1. The issue of entrained water was brought up by Morrison, see http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmanreplytothe.pdf#page=4 . Pons and Fleischmann answered this at http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmanreplytothe.pdf#page=4. What is correct, as far as I know, is that the issue is not addressing in the original paper. This is, however, a quite common claimed artifact. The response acknowledges that some small entrainment may occur. Entrained dropets would carry the salt (LiOD) used in the electrolyte, and this would cause two effects: a loss of the salt, which is not observed, and deposits of the salt around the vent, which are not observed at any significant level. Jed does cover a set of reasons to think that entrained water is not a large issue; and, further, there are limits to how much error would be introduced. The real bottom line with boil-off cells is not the heat involved in the boil-off, but continued heat generation after, as the temperature apparently rises substantially. Morrison assumes that the heat is coming from recombination, but if the boil-off is as violent as he thinks, perhaps it would carry away the oxygen along with water. We will also look at oxygen, I assume.

              Pons and Fleischmann are here arguing with Morrison about a cell with which they had high familiarity. That argument about LiOD loss would properly be presented with quantitative data, rather than a qualitative argument; such data could then create an upper limit. From my point of view, the debate appears shallow, on both sides. Each party was arguing for their own position, losing capacity to sympathetically read the other side and respond clearly. I have a bias toward Pons and Fleischmann here at the same time as I can find defects or missing elements in their arguments. What I intend to do when we are done covering the papers is to then take what we find to additional experts, something I have done with success in the past. In some cases, we may find, tests were done that were not reported. In other cases, information is simply missing. Some reports may be obscure, etc.

              Jed here has acknowledged that his comments about tests for the presence of oxygen being based on “private communication.” Pons and Fleischmann claim that the oxygen question has been previously addressed. Eventually, we will look at that, but one debate at a time! This is actually a similar issue as with Shanahan, though Shanahan is not looking at boil-off experiments.

          6. You wrote:

            “I can’t know which of these things were done for the results described here, because it does not say.”

            You do know, because I just told you.

            All four methods were used. You can see for yourself that #1 was used from the schematic and video.

            This was described in other papers, lectures and powerpoint slides. I probably uploaded them, but if I did not, you will have to take my word for it, because Fleischmann is dead and Pons does not communicate often. Or, you might ask an electrochemist. These methods are so widely used and well-known, they hardly need to be documented. They are equivalent to saying:

            “Wash the glassware before an electrochemical experiment. Rinse repeatedly and be sure to leave no detergent (surfactant) or it will cause foaming and it will interfere with the electrochemical reactions and prevent loading, and thus prevent the cold fusion effect.”

            I doubt you will find any cold fusion papers that say that. Because every electrochemist knows that. They know hundreds of other things you must do, or you must not do. If you were to include them all in a paper, it would be as long as an electrochemical textbook.

            Unfortunately, many plasma physicists and others who did not know these things tried to replicate in 1989. They did not consult with electrochemists, so they failed for reasons that were readily apparent to the electrochemists. Such as generating foam in the cell from left-over detergent, or confusing the anode and cathode, and thus loading the palladium with oxygen while bouncing deuterons off of the platinum. That doesn’t work. I described some of these failures as “trying to tune a piano with a sledgehammer.”

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

            1. Jed, are you deliberately offensive, or is it accidental? It’s claimed that such and such and so and so is in a paper, and it’s not there. You then provide a true but irrelevant argument, I’m going to call it an excuse, even though I know that scientists are not going to write everything. There are so many useless arguments. and you have a host of favorite arguments. I get it, the story of a physicist not knowing the electrochemical conventions for “anode” and “cathode” is attractive, but how often did this happen? The way the story gets told, they were all that “stupid.” (By the way, is it documented, or is this just another rumor that was passed around? There is the story of the electrochemist who asked the physicist, “and did you pee in the cell?”)

              Someone does not “know” something because you tell them. They may know nothing, or they may know that you told them. That does not make it knowledge for them, that takes more effective communication, which mostly you don’t care about. Too much work, requires patience and sympathetic understanding.

          7. You wrote: “. . . there is obviously the possibility of tiny droplets entrained and moving with the vapor flow, and no check from excess heat since he has found excess heat here.”

            Okay, some questions arise:

            Why would that not happen with a calibration run with Pt-H driven to boiling with electrolysis? How could the choice of Pd plus D cause entrainment?

            Why was this entrainment always accompanied in the week before the boil-off with massive releases of excess heat, far in excess of the limits of chemistry, measured by entirely different calorimetric methods? That seems like an extraordinary coincidence. When there was no heat in the week beforehand, why would there be no entrainment?

            Why was the entrainment always followed by hours or days of heat after death? That is to say, why didn’t the temperature fall immediately after the power was cut, following to Newton’s law of cooling, the way it always did during a calibration run with Pt-H? What is it about entrainment that nullified Newton’s law and the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Or, if the entrainment did cause these two violations, what other factor caused all three?

            Why were there no entrained droplettes found around the cell?

            Why didn’t the entrained water include the lithium salts? How did the salt separate from the droplets and remain in the cell?

            I think you have a lot of explaining to do if you want seriously propose this hypothesis. I will go along with Fleischmann’s hypothesis. Because of Occam’s razor; conventional science; when you hear hoof-beats it is probably horses not unicorns, and all that, y’know. I don’t believe in Second Law violations.

          8. I meant: if the entrainment DID NOT cause these violations . . .

            It would be a big help if you could enable an edit function here.

            I think it is highly unlikely entrainment causes a violation of thermodynamics, or that any such violation can occur. I think that THH is trying to nibble away at the evidence one bite at a time. “This tiny suggestion might be plausible,” “that might just happen,” “we can imagine the other” . . . Yes, yes, there might be droplets despite the precautions that F&P took, and that any electrochemist worth his lithium salt would take. But you have to look at all of the evidence and procedures, and ask yourself whether entrainment might somehow explain the heat before death, heat after death, lithium remaining in the cell and the rest. Obviously it does not. So the hypothesis should be put aside.

          9. You wrote:

            “Pons and Fleischmann answered this at http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Fleischmanreplytothe.pdf#page=4. What is correct, as far as I know, is that the issue is not addressing in the original paper.”

            Ah, thank you for finding that!

            Your link to page 4 is wrong. It is on p. 9, where it says:

            “Stage 4 Calculation. Douglas Morrison first of all raises the question whether parts of the cell contents may have been expelled as droplets during the later stages of intense heating. This is readily answered by titrating the residual cell contents: based on our earlier work about 95% of the residual lithium deuteroxide is recovered; some is undoubtedly lost in the reaction of this ‘aggressive’ species with the glass components to form residues which cannot be titrated. Furthermore, we have found that the total amounts . . .”

            (I should add page numbers to this document.)

            You cannot address every issue in the original paper, or indeed in any paper, or it will be as long as an electrochemistry textbook, as I said. This issue was raised by Morrison and others, so Fleischmann answered it here and in his lectures. Perhaps he should have addressed it in the big paper: “Calorimetry of the PD-D2O System: from Simplicity via Complications to Simplicity.”

            That paper is pretty long and unwieldy already, but I guess adding a few details about lithium salt left in the cell would have improved it.

            You can always think of ways to improve a paper.

          10. You wrote:

            Jed here has acknowledged that his comments about tests for the presence of oxygen being based on “private communication.”

            It may also be in a paper somewhere. I did not say it was only in a private communication.

            It may also be in papers from Biberian, who has experience with this type of cell, and who knows what is in the headspace after a boil-off.

            You may not be able to find this detail or some other at LENR-CANR.org because unfortunately there are many papers I cannot upload. If you spot one that you think is relevant to the discussion, ask me for a copy, or look in the Britz collection.

            The papers I have from Ikegami are in Japanese, and not electronic, so I am not going to go searching through them. Many papers in the Britz collection are also not electronic. That is to say, they are images, not machine readable Acrobat text.

            Anyway, as Morrison pointed out, this was an itty-bitty piece of palladium. I have seen the actual cells and Pd samples, and I confirm that. Morrison should have figured out that an itty-bitty sample producing maximum recombination even with oxygen available cannot produce ~140 W. It is more like 5 mW, as Fleischmann pointed out. There is no way it could produce measurable heat after death. The cooling curve would look very close to what you see with Pt-H. Maybe a little slower, which you would ascribe to noise. I would, anyway.

          11. This is
            readily answered by titrating the residual cell contents: based on our earlier work about 95% of
            the residual lithium deuteroxide is recovered; some is undoubtedly lost in the reaction of this
            “aggressive” species with the glass components to form residues which cannot be titrated.
            Furthermore, we have found that the total amounts of D2O added to the cells (in some cases over
            periods of several months) correspond precisely to the amounts predicted to be evolved by (a)
            evaporation of D2O at the instantaneous atmospheric pressures and (b) by electrolysis of D2O to
            form D2 and O2 at the appropriate currents; this balance can be maintained even at temperatures
            in excess of 90 degrees C [7]

            MF’s reply to Morrison, here, does not substantiate what you say, Abd. MF specifically does not say this checking was done in this experiment. he notes his past experience that when it is done these are the results. You will see that for me that is nowhere near good enough to remove this as a possible error mechanism. From personal experience I know that assuming past experience stays correct is dangerous: MF should knbow this too, and not advance this argument.

            1. I am aware of the possible ambiguity, and the dangers of that assumption. However, this does not necessarily make the artifact plausible, we would need to look much more closely at details. What I noticed first is the absence of quantitative information. To me, all this is example of dysfunctional communication, in both directions. Without quantitative information, bounds cannot be determined. how much LiOH was lost? And you are correct to suspect that boil-off conditions might be different. Morrison also asserts possible artifact without quantifying it, and is basically insulting. “The cigarette lighter effect has been forgotten.”

              I see this all the time in offensive debate, “You have forgotten ….” And then what the debater thinks is a killer argument is presented.

          12. You wrote:

            “Jed, are you deliberately offensive, or is it accidental?”

            Deliberate.

            Are you being deliberately obtuse? Does excessive nit-picking and your demand that I spoon feed you the data come naturally to you, or does it take some effort?

            “It’s claimed that such and such and so and so is in a paper, and it’s not there. . . .”

            Goodness gracious! I got it wrong??? It wasn’t in that paper, but another by the same author? How could it be that I do not remember thousands of details with perfect recall in papers I have not read for 5 or 10 years. I must be slipping. It is unforgivable. A thousand pardons!

            “You then provide a true but irrelevant argument, I’m going to call it an excuse, even though I know that scientists are not going to write everything. . . .”

            If by that you mean the argument that every paper cannot recapitulate every aspect of electrochemistry, I consider it both true and relevant. You ask too much of the authors. They cannot answer every argument that might come up. A skeptic can always come with another argument, or a dozen more, or a hundred more. But I think it should be clear to you from the calibrations, the heat before death, the heat after death, and other evidence that it is unlikely entrained liquid can account for this. I think there is enough information in this paper to make that hypothesis implausible, even if it cannot be written off completely. The lithium salt inventory does write it off completely, in my opinion, which is why I said that is the most important fact to consider.

          13. I am aware of the possible ambiguity, and the dangers of that assumption. However, this does not necessarily make the artifact plausible, we would need to look much more closely at details. What I noticed first is the absence of quantitative information. To me, all this is example of dysfunctional communication, in both directions. Without quantitative information, bounds cannot be determined. how much LiOH was lost? And you are correct to suspect that boil-off conditions might be different. Morrison also asserts possible artifact without quantifying it, and is basically insulting. “The cigarette lighter effect has been forgotten.”

            I see this all the time in offensive debate, “You have forgotten ….” And then what the debater thinks is a killer argument is presented.

            So we agree on much of this. Perhaps one area of disagreement is this. My view: when the results of an experiment are anomalous it is normal for experimenters to check every possible issue and potential error, because these become likely, in view of the anomaly. So with the issues raised here: they do not have to be intrinsically likely – they just have to be unchecked possible explanations of the anomaly. All such must be investigated and found wrong before an extant anomaly is seen as the best explanation.

          14. You ask too much of the authors. They cannot answer every argument that might come up. A skeptic can always come with another argument, or a dozen more, or a hundred more. But I think it should be clear to you from the calibrations, the heat before death, the heat after death, and other evidence that it is unlikely entrained liquid can account for this.

            I don’t believe that is true. Morrison did a good job of raising the points which any skeptic would raise. Not all are equally plausible. Obviously, only one of them needs to be actually correct or this to be error not anomaly, and we cannot say which that would be.

            Finding more arguments against MF’s conclusions other than deliberate fraud from him (which no scientist would be likely to advance) seems a tough job. Equally, each of the arguments advanced by Morrison is such because of a lack on the experimental write-up and therefore, it must be presumed, the experiment.

            1. THH, what you are writing here doesn’t match what I’ve seen so far. Morrison seems to be critiquing something different from the subject paper. It’s true that the paper doesn’t cover some details. You are also incorporating an assumption about anomalies and how they are “supposed to be” addressed. To Pons and Fleischmann, excess heat was something they had been observing since 1984. What was the purpose of that paper? Was it to convince skeptics? If so, did it succeed or fail, and how would we know?

              These discussions take place in an atmosphere of smog, generated by years of ungrounded debate, where one side commonly misrepresents the arguments of the other sides. Where on each point there can be a host of arguments, and no process is present for examining each one, for building agreement or clarifying disagreement, based on mutual understanding. To “understand” an argument does not require agreement with it, only an ability to demonstrate understanding by being able to present the argument such that the other “side” will say, “Yes, that’s what we think.”

              Two desired outcomes of the process beginning: an increase in the number of people who understand what happened in that debate, and who can present the arguments found in it, fairly and neutrally. That is the beginning of building a community of people who may be able to resolve issues and take the world into the future. Otherwise it’s all happenstance and accident. Maybe it will happen and maybe it won’t.

              The other outcome: I will learn these things even if nobody else does. And that, as well, might make a difference, though not nearly as much difference as is likely if it is more than one person, nor if it becomes an entire community that cannot be so easily segregated into “believers” and “skeptics.”

          15. @Jed
            But I think it should be clear to you from the calibrations, the heat before death, the heat after death, and other evidence that it is unlikely entrained liquid can account for this.

            Sorry, I did not address this. just as, for each phase of the experiment, just one error mechanism not eliminated makes the results unsafe, so also if any one phase of the experiment has a genuine unexplainable anomaly that is enough. But, for the boiling phase, entrained water remains a plausible reason for the results and the evaluation of that cannot be changed by the other phases. If they are proven, separately, then the anomaly is no longer (for this experiment) an anomaly and one would revisit likelihood about the boiling phase.

          16. You wrote:

            “Equally, each of the arguments advanced by Morrison is such because of a lack on the experimental write-up and therefore, it must be presumed, the experiment.”

            I think you have the chronology wrong. I am pretty sure Morrison had all of the details presented in the big paper “Calorimetry of the PD-D2O System: from Simplicity via
            Complications to Simplicity.” Or he should have had them. This paper was presented at ICCF2 October 1992. Morrison was present. A version of the paper was published in Phys. Lett. A, 1993. 176.

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03759601/176/1-2?sdc=1

            The debate between Morrison and Fleischmann began when that was published. Morrison’s first message is from May, as you see. I remember that drafts of the big paper were circulating.

            The details in the big paper defeat most of Morrison’s claims, in my opinion. As I said, it might have been improved with some mention of the lithium inventory. For that matter, Morrison might have asked Fleischmann after the lecture or by e-mail later on. When you critique someone’s work, I recommend run a draft of your paper by the author before circulating it.

            Morrison’s part of this exchange was later published in Phys. Lett. A, unchanged. He saw Fleischmann’s responses before that. He knew about the lithium inventory. He knew about the other problems, such as the fact that recombination can only produce 5 mW and Pt-H cells cool down immediately:

            “It is certainly possible to choose conditions which also
            lead to ‘boiling to dryness’ in ‘blank cells’ but such cells cool down immediately after such ‘boiling to dryness’.”

            He said nothing about any of these problems in the published version. He ignored Fleischmann’s responses. It is one thing to make such mistakes in an e-mail exchange, but quite another to publish mistakes in a major peer-reviewed journal after the world’s leading electrochemist and FRS sets you straight. That’s hubris!

            1. Jed, it seems to me that you assume Morrison knew the FP response before allowing the paper to be published in that journal. I think it quite likely that the response was submitted before FP responded. Should Morrison have retracted it? Only if he was convinced. But real human beings do not lie down and play dead like that. Morrison, from other discussions, was not convinced, and Fleischmann Says probably didn’t impress him any more or at least not much more than we are convinced by Rossi Says.

              The end of this in the journal was that Fleischmann’s response was published last, if I’m correct. Who judges who “won” in that debate? To assess that, we need to know goals, which weren’t necessarily declared. The Morrison critique led to Fleischmann explaining some things that were not explained in the original paper, apparently. That indicates that the critique served a valuable function in scientific process. A critique can do that even if “wrong.”

              That is why I went up to Steven Jones at ICCF-18 and shook his hand, congratulating him on his critique of Miles. Even if he was wrong, even if his errors in 1989 caused damage, criticism is essential to science. Being ignored is far worse than being criticized.

              That was then. This is now. Morrison died. Fleischmann died. We are left holding the bag. What are we going to do with it? My goal here is that we read the papers involved very carefully, with the primary goal being to find what is there. When we are done, participants will have a comprehensive knowledge of what is in the paper. And as well, what is not. We will have, I hope, a comprehensive knowledge of the old and discredited arguments and the ones that might still be standing, or at least limping, still alive. And, armed with this, we will be far better prepared to be involved in creating the future.

                  1. Jed, apparently you are not following well here, since I have referred to this more than once. See Morrison Fleischmann debate
                    The papers are listed there with links, and a draft study of the original Phys. Lett. A copy of that paper is being edited, as can be seen. It will be broken down, probably, into subpages for each point to be examined. I have never studied Fleischmann like this before, it’s fun.

          17. You wrote:

            “Sorry, I did not address this. just as, for each phase of the experiment, just one error mechanism not eliminated makes the results unsafe, so also if any one phase of the experiment has a genuine unexplainable anomaly that is enough. But, for the boiling phase, entrained water remains a plausible reason for the results and the evaluation of that cannot be changed by the other phases.”

            I don’t buy your methodology. I think it violates the scientific method, and Occam’s razor. We have one hypothesis fits all the facts pretty well:

            Excess heat, before, during and after the boil off.

            You say there is another hypothesis that might defeat the boil off phase:

            Entrained water.

            A hypothesis that might explain one fraction of facts, which is contradicted (or at least counter-indicated) by the other facts is inherently weak. Entrainment does nothing to disprove the heat before and after the boil off. Do you think the heat was there, but it magically turned off for 10 minutes while the cell boiled, and then it turned on again? If there was no heat after the boil off, why didn’t the cell cool down immediately? The sequence of physical events following closely in time indicates real heat. It does not indicate real heat followed by an entrainment error with no heat, followed by real heat again. That makes no sense.

            Furthermore, there is abundant proof that no entrainment occurred. There is visual proof, in the video. The bubbles don’t reach that high. The shape of the cell and size and position of the orifice would not allow entrained water out. Morrison saw that video and schematic, and so did you.

            That’s pretty strong evidence already, and we have not even gone into the other evidence, such as the fact that Pt-H and other calibrations showed a heat balance. Morrison knew that. Everyone knew that at ICCF2. Furthermore, both you and Morrison now know about the lithium inventory. Any electrochemist will tell you that is how it is done. You have no reason to doubt it. So, you need to take it into account. Take all of this into account and the “entrainment” hypothesis becomes so implausible you should dismiss it.

            It seems to me you are trying the nibble-it-to-death technique, where you raise doubts about one aspect of an experiment, then when someone points out you are wrong, you point to some other aspect. If this disproves entrainment, what about that, and if that is wrong, what about the other? And on and on. Not only do you ignore the major reasons why entrainment should be ruled out, you ignore the best hypothesis for the experiment as a whole, with the most support, which is that excess heat developed for a week, intensified, and then hung around for hours.

            A person can always come up with some hand-waving hypothesis that explains one small part of the overall data, ignoring the rest, but that is not how you should do experimental science, in my opinion.

          18. I should add that if you read the papers carefully, you find additional evidence I did not describe here. Such as:

            The plastic holding the cathode and anode melted during the anomalous heat events, but not during blank run Pt-H boil-off events. You cannot heat up the plastic that much with a blank run.

            Some water was left at the bottom of the cell after the blank runs, but not after anomalous heat. It is left after the blank run because the cell immediately begins to cool as soon as the power is cut by the falling electrolyte.

            There is more. I am confident that the closer you look, the more you will find that the “real excess heat” hypothesis best fits the facts, and the competing hypotheses such as “entrained water” do not fit the facts, or they fit only a small subset of the facts. No hypothesis is perfect. You can ALWAYS think of reasons to doubt one. But you should pick the hypothesis that best fits the facts.

          19. I don’t buy your methodology. I think it violates the scientific method, and Occam’s razor. We have one hypothesis fits all the facts pretty well:

            Excess heat, before, during and after the boil off.

            That would be true – except excess heat is not a scientific hypothesis. It is an acausal correlate: if there was excess heat it would explain the observations, but then we have a regress: what explains the excess heat?

            Now, if the evidence for excess heat is strong enough the burning question becomes that. But, excess heat on its own, is not a hypothesis. Therefore lots of excess heat does not simplify.

            If the need for some anomalous phenomena (like excess heat) is shown in one phase of this experiment you would not have the same barrier to choosing it as explanation for others, because the acausality of the excess heat would only count against it once.

            Replace there is an all-powerful creator who made the world 12300 years ago for excess heat and the same argument would transfer to evolutionary theory. Some apparently very implausible jump in the fossil record could simply be explained by the creator, but that gives a (scientific) regress because we have no secure explanation for the creator or why 12300 years was chosen. OTOH, if some geological feature is shown that means the earth, backtracked 13,000 years, would split into two and become uninhabitable, we would be forced to accept (something like) the creator hypothesis.

          20. A response to this message somehow ended up above, I think. It is dated August 11, 2017, 12:11.

            This is a lousy message system.

            1. People make mistakes in what they press “reply” to (which happens, and happened here), and then the system has a limited thread depth as well. I could increase that. However, extended discussion is not the primary goal here. Building content is. I can also move comments to new posts or pages, to organize them. The main thing happening here is not this discussion, but the study of the Morrison-Fleischmann debate that has been started. That is not ready for comment yet. One preliminary observation; at this point, it appears to me that the alleged deficiencies of the Fleischmann paper were not deficiencies of the paper, since the paper was not about the areas and claims that Morrison is critiquing, for the most part. The paper is pretty clear about its purposes, and includes substantial detail relating to those purposes. It is not claiming, as an example, “nuclear heat.” It does not use complex analysis for the heat claims in the article. It does outline the older (complex) methods. If my preliminary impressions are valid, we will see this, it will come out clearly.

              To me, deep in reviewing the gory details of the Fleischmann paper (having to reformat almost everything), the discussion looks to me a bit like discussions between Planet Rossi and those skeptical but who don’t know the evidence in the case except superficially. Most assumptions being relied upon are defective in some way, sometimes they are just plain wrong. Such discussions are a collision between the set conclusions of one group vs. those of another. It is entirely typical that they remain ungrounded and so, where consensus might be difficult at best, it becomes utterly impossible because reality is irrelevant, what matters is who is right.

              Jed has a lot of experience with this material, has spent time in conversation, face-to-face, with the principals, but that fact — which can be very useful — also can work against him, because his familiarity doesn’t necessarily remember where he got an idea from. Experts on Wikipedia often got into trouble because they asserted “fact” from their own body of general knowledge on a topic, instead of fitting into the wikipedia model that only respects expertise if published in a “reliable source” to establish notability and some level of review. I knew solutions to the problem, but … the factions dominating Wikipedia did not want solutions, but rather to maintain their own power. Old problem, eh? Not at all surprising, once one understands organizational sociology.
              Personal reports can be powerful, but that depends heavily on the “state” of the person, because that is what others will generally judge first, not the “factual content.” A personal report presented as a detached witness can be extremely powerful. Presented as one with high emotional involvement, moral outrage — which is difficult to conceal even if one wants to — it will commonly be severely deprecated. Unless one is a populist, appealing that an already-established moral outrage in one’s base. Then you can get the base fired up, perhaps, and if the base is large …. stuff can happen.

            2. I have now changed settings so that newer comments are on top, and I have increased threading depth to 10 levels. I don’t know what this will do to existing comments, and “most recent top” may defeat threading…. I will look into comment plug-ins. Or anyone can research this and make recommendations for me to check out.

            3. Threading does seem to be working now. The response you wrote above, Jed (It can be found by searching the displayed page for “August 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm”), probably was using a Reply button for the higher-level post, which would then put it above other replies. I have searched for a way to fix a threading error, I could find nothing. I’d bet it could be done by direct editing on the domain host, but I am not about to monkey with those files. So, at this point, if a comment is threaded incorrectly, too bad. The world will not end. If you want to make that comment again, however, you may do so, and you may reply to the original comment with a request to delete it, and that I can do, easily.

  9. Another great post Abd. I mean that. There must be some history on kshanahan that I do not understand. I have asked him questions and he provided answers without snark. Also just because I believe in something does not mean others need to. He seems genuinely concerned with safety.

    I guess I do not see the difference between he and THH. I enjoy learning new things. I have now given up on Mary as ‘she’ just wants to insult not educate. This was hard for me, trust me on this. I am not sure where this field is now going but think ‘there is something there’ (so to speak)

    1. I’d rather see a detailed and careful examination of Shanahan’s concepts here than take them apart personally. The behavior is relevant in that, in general, our behavior influences how the world reacts to our claims. This blog is only partly about coldfusion, it is more about community and empowering community. How the community reacts to Shanahan is, in part, a reflection of how Shanahan — and the mainstream — react to cold fusion “believers.”

      Shanahan is not necessarily clear about what he thinks. In fact, he is claiming an anomaly, something unexpected by the knowledgeable. It is merely that this anomaly is not nuclear in nature. He thinks. How would he know? This is his general defacto hypothesis, and what I have noticed is that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Faced with unexplained experimental facts, we create explanations, and in a case like cold fusion, someone’s ox is going to get gored. Which ox? Storms prefers to gore the ox of established theory of nuclear structure, and preserve his ideas of thermodynamics in chemistry. The mainstream prefers to gore those ignorant electrochemists and their fancy calorimetry, on the idea that “they must be making some mistake,” (Garwin) which is about as clear an expression of pseudoskepticism as I can imagine. This is all, expressed in the language of certainty, pseudoscience.

      So far, it’s untestable. Some of Shanahan’s ideas are testable. In fact, some have been tested. Shanahan ignores or deprecates those results. There is no end to this, if we think in terms of “proof.” However, we can do better, by careful experimental design — and that work has been done. So we have an educational problem.

      You can help, Rigel. Support the creation of resources here that examine these things with reasonable neutrality. If something is inadequately explained, explain it, if you can, and if you can’t, ask. Acknowledged ignorance is a key to learning, if it takes responsibility and does not blame.

      Two ways to support: participate here through comments and questions, and support the attraction of others by pointing to pages here. Nobody has ever been sanctioned on LENR Forum, for example, by pointing to a page here. (Be careful about outing, that could create an exception!)

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