Is cold fusion a fraud?

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

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

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

Fusionefredda and its owner
Camillo Franchini
Camillo Franchini again
Where from here?

Fusionefredda and its owner

First of all, the blog, fusionefredda. The tagline is “E-Cat & cold fusion.” It’s a WordPress-hosted blog (generally free), started March 29,2011. That first post was the WP “Hello world” post, and the text invites the owner to edit or delete it. This was not done, the title was “fusionefredda,” and there were 694 comments posted. The About page is also, as of today, unchanged from the installation default, giving no information.

Camillo Franchini

The first visible comment was by Camillo, who very soon after posts as Camillo Franchini. At this point, my default hypothesis is that Franchini owns the blog. I saw below the post that a “related post” was titled “Jed Rothwell.” It, posted Sept 22, 2016,  reveals that the unstated author (very likely Franchini) “learned about Jed Rothwell in Alan Smith blog.” That includes some genuine information about Rothwell, mixed with fantasy garbage, the kind of thing that an ignorant pseudoskeptic would think, likely based on shallow and quick observation with a background belief that cold fusion was not merely “ff,” which I’m guessing means “la fisica delle frange,” or in English, “fringe physics,” but not merely fringe, but over the edge, pseudoscience or fraud.

Added: Simon Derricut points out in a comment that ff probably stands for fusione fredda. This would be like some who refer to CF for Cold Fusion. I have no idea why that did not occur to me, other than “brain fault.” Thanks, Simon.

Franchini wrote, about Rothwell and

certainly an unusual character; degree in Japanese language and literature, and interestingly for years dealing with cold fusion, picking up with the Benedictine pique entire ff material it can find on the net. He set up a personal library, a kind of ff database. It has a dramatic temperament.

If I have it correctly, was created out of a database compiled by Ed Storms for use in writing papers. An example of Ed Storms’ work in a peer-reviewed journal, an invited article: Naturwissenschaften, Status of Cold Fusion (2010). (Free preprint.) There was a database of papers compiled by Dieter Britz (very useful, and now hosted here.

The Britz database, however, deliberately only covered publications in “mainstream peer-reviewed journals,” as assessed by Britz. A full research bibliography would include much more: most notably, conference papers and other papers not necessarily peer-reviewed; these would be primary sources and may often be cited in writing papers, including papers being published under peer review (which may even reference “private communications”.

There was a need for a cold fusion “library.” Jed Rothwell created it. Contrary to the expectation of Franchini, he does not scrape the internet for material. There are others who do that. attempts to have a complete bibliography on the topic, with many papers being hosted for quick access where authors have given permission and have provided a legal copy. The bibliography attempts to be neutral, and does not review the papers. Occasionally, in minor material on the site, Jed does comment, or he sometimes writes articles.

Alan Smith does not have a blog. He was appointed as a moderator on, sometime after he registered there Nov 10, 2015 and started commenting Mar 1, 2016.

In Franchini’s second post, the first under that name, he reveals his “belief:” (Google translation, caveat lector; these can be misleading. Correction invited, as with anything I write.)

I believe that laws regulating nuclear reactions are sufficiently known to rule out that in the present case we are faced with such reactions.

This is the statement of a believer, not of a skeptic. Thus “pseudoskeptic,” and one firmly nailed to the belief. He is still firmly holding to it, as can be verified in review of his recent comment below. He is living in error, does not know the necessary physics, nor the actual history and relevant scientific arguments, but just relies on the most superficial of evidence. It is difficult for me to believe that nobody has ever, before, corrected him. He is free to respond.. He is also free to revise his opinions at any time. He is responsible, however, for what holds to as belief.

Genuine skepticism is an agnostic position, not a “believing” position. Genuine skeptics postpone conclusions (or state them as provisional, not as if firm fact.) They are well aware of their own limitations.

It is well known that the “impossibility” of unspecified generalities cannot be proven. Existing theory cannot be applied to something unknown, by definition. We may decide, from the kind of evidence Franchini alleges, to personally deprecate cold fusion or any other fringe or unexpected idea, until and unless better evidence is presented to us, but that freedom of choice does not apply to criticizing others, who may have different experience and reactions, again, unless we are specific and clear.

Something is missing, though, from a person who believes something is bogus or fraud, who then creates a blog on it and devotes 15 years of his life to repeating the same arguments. Sometimes this happens because a person becomes an expert, familiar with a topic, and who then feels an obligation to share what he or she has found. But Franchini has shown that he is not actually familiar. Just highly opinionated.

If we are not careful, we become like drunks in a bar, arguing endlessly and uselessly, only to strut and parade our narcissistic egotism.

So, to the recent comments:

Camillo Francini wrote:

@Abd ulRahman Lomax

Cold fusion is a mystery, my view is that nobody understands it yet.

Nobody understands it why it does not exist.

His English is not good, though it is probably a lot better than my Italian! He likely means “because it does not exist.” Using “why” for “because” is a common error non-English speakers.

Exfor is the IAEA/BNL (Brookhaven National Laboratory) data base of all nuclear reactions. To date (2017-09-04) they have registered 21813 experiments on nuclear reactions. None of them deals with cold fusion. Big names like Martin Fleischmann are absent.

Of course. Does Franchini think this is news? Fleischmann was not a nuclear physicist and did not provide evidence for some specific reaction that could be included in such a database. It is also likely true that none of the reactions covered in that database “deal with cold fusion.” Those reactions do not actually consider the creating conditions, however, and would not be categorized as “cold fusion,” even if they are the actual fusion or consequential reactions. That will not be possible until the mechanism is elucidated, and we are far from that, at this point.

However, there is a form of cold fusion, long recognized as valid and real. Muon-catalyzed fusion. The database does not consider catalysis, as far as I know. MCF has the same branching ratio as ordinary hot fusion, with the exception of a branch that ejects the muon with the energy, instead of a photon (and it is much more common, about 15% of reactions, as I recall, than photon emission, which branches at about 10^-7. Rare.

It is possible that there is an article covered in the database that looks at catalytic reactions. I know of two kinds: MCF and chemically-induced electron capture in certain isotopes (such as 7Be), stable when ionized and unstable when the electrons are present. I’m not looking today.

Franchini does not link to the database. I will come back to this below.

Cold fusion is not MCF, though newcomers who become aware of the physical evidence for a nuclear anomaly often start by looking at MCF. What we get from MCF is that catalysis is possible, but the known basic cold fusion reaction, where the product is known, and which has been heavily confirmed — in my opinion conclusively — is probably not “d-d fusion,” even though the product is helium and the heat ratio demonstrates that the “fuel” is likely deuterium. Something else is happening, and we don’t know what it is, though there are theories proposed. None are, as yet, clearly verfied.

It is common sense admitting that main stream science rejects cold fusion.

As is not uncommon, “common sense” can be shallow and misleading. How do we know if “mainstream science” accepts or rejects cold fusion? Who defines “mainstream science.” It is not a person. We may know if some specific person accepts or rejects, possibly. And what does “reject” mean? Not accept? There are a host of problems with this “common sense” claim.

There is no “Journal of Mainstream Science” that passes judgment on this topic. There are several journals that, before decent evidence was available (that did not really happen until 1991), pronounced editorial judgment. Does the editorial opinion of a journal in, say, 1990, tell us the present position of “mainstream science”? Mainstream science does not have a mind to change. If as a journalist I want to know, to whom do I talk?

“Cold fusion” at this point is a collection of experimental results, not a theory, beyond a vague theory that the reported anomalous heat is nuclear in origin. The reality is that, until 1991, the only evidence for “nuclear” that was not shown to be artifact was heat that certain chemists assessed was not from chemistry, was much more than they, expert in chemistry, considered too much to be possible from known chemistry, so they guessed “nuclear in origin.” Who would one ask? An expert in chemistry or in nuclear physics? And what I know is that the answer depends on specifically whom one asks.

There is another way: publication in “mainstream peer-reviewed journals,” as distinct from specialty or fringe or vanity journals. By that standard, cold fusion (or “Low Energy Nuclear Reactions”) is routinely accepted. In order to negate this, a pseudoskeptic may claim that the “important” journals have not budged. Maybe, but science is not run or controlled by one or two journals. Good thing! Mainstream, reputable journals, published by the largest scientific publishers in the world, are publishing articles. On what Franchini dismisses as impossible.

That would be news in itself.

I live in Pisa, nobody at the University has ever worked on cold fusion.

This may be true for many universities, and is meaningless. The first time a graduate student’s PhD thesis was rejected simply because it related to cold fusion, not because of shoddy work, the supply of graduate student labor, normally how replications are done, dried up. There was definitely a time where to work on cold fusion issues was a career-killer, so most work that continued in the field, in academica, was done by tenured professors, who could not be fired.

This is all politics and history, not science.

Perhaps at the very beginning, but without leaving written tracks, as far as I know.

There is a good book on the sociology of cold fusion, Simon’s “Undead Science.” He describes assisting a professor he knew in some cold fusion research (and he saw what appeared to be excess heat). That professor did not want anyone to know he was working with cold fusion, and never published. There was a tremendous body of research, with both “positive” and “negative” results, that was never published because of the extremely negative views held by some. At one point, this may have been a majority position. Most of the leaders of that reaction are now dead.

If you survey scientists about something where they are not familiar with ongoing research results, what opinions will you find? With some, you will hear what was believed many years ago. Others will be more careful. The honest ones may say, “I don’t know, I have not been following the field.”

Peer-reviewed journals sometimes do much better. They actually read papers and critique them, and publish what passes that critique. Sometimes a reviewer has a knee-jerk opinion and literally refuses to waste time reading the paper. This is all well-known and is a sign of what the sociologists of science call an “information cascade,” where collective opinion, apparent consensus, forms just because of how people communicate and decide what to accept. It is not “scientific” at all, unless we think of science as a social phenomenon, which it is.

There is the strange case of the University of Bologna, but in almost 30 years they have not built a sound cold fusion reactor yet.

The existence of a physical phenomenon is independent of whether or not we know how to create a practical application. Many phenomena have been known for a century before practical applications were developed. There is no successful “theory of cold fusion” yet. The conditions for the reaction were, at first, misunderstood and largely unknown. It is still not known how to create reactions at reliable levels, but there are now techniques — largely developed in Italy, by the way, at ENEA — for making materials that work to generate significant anomalous heat more than half the time.

UniBo got caught in the nickel hydride approach of Focardi and others. This is not widely confirmed, and there is no clear evidence as to the “nuclear product” in nickel hydride anomalies, unlike the situation with palladium hydride. What actually happened in 2011, with the Rossi announcement, was that condensed matter nuclear scientists knew, from their own experience, that nickel hydride reactions were not “impossible,” but I cautioned the field about jumping on the Rossi bandwagon, because even if the reactions were real, practical application could still fail in many ways, and, further, Rossi looked like a fraud in many ways. (Mats Lewan points out that it seems as if Rossi deliberately creates that impression, and that is plausible.)

Moreover, it is not only a matter of lacking a suitable comprehensive theory for cold fusion: cold fusion is outside any accepted theory about nuclear reactions. Let me draw your attention to the most recent work on the reactions we are interested in.

You are considering those reactions, I am not, for the most part. You have invented or bought the idea that if cold fusion is real, it must be the “reaction you are interested in.” You — with others — invented that, then you reject your own invention.

are Ni (p, γ) reactions possible? The sensible question would be “under what conditions?” My basic stand is that cold fusion is a mystery, which includes the necessary conditions. If one knows how to catalyze such reactions, in a practical sense, one has knowledge that could be worth a trillion dollars. My opinion at this point is that nobody knows how to do it, beyond almost accidentally under unusual conditions and as a possibility, not yet clearly confirmed. That’s not worth a trillion dollars, not yet.

A.Simon, A.Spyrou, T.Rauscher, C.Frohlich, S.J.Quinn, A.Battaglia, A.Best, B.Bucher, M.Couder, P.A.DeYoung, X.Fang, J.Gorres, A.Kontos, Q.Li, L.-Y.Lin, A.Long, S.Lyons, A.Roberts, D.Robertson, K.Smith, M.K.Smith, E.Stech, B.Stefanek, W.P.Tan, X.D.Tang, M.Wiescher, Systematic study of (p,γ) reactions on Ni isotopes, Physical Review, Part C, Nuclear Physics; Vol.87, p.055802 (2013)

Here is an actual article link.  From the abstract:

A systematic study of the radiative proton capture reaction for all stable nickel isotopes is presented. The results were obtained using 2.0–6.0 MeV protons from the 11-MV tandem Van de Graaff accelerator at the University of Notre Dame. 

This is utterly irrelevant to cold fusion, just as the known hot fusion reactions for deuterium fusion are irrelevant. That is almost certainly not what is happening. As well, ordinary catalyzed cold fusion with deuterium is not what is happening, because the branching ratio remains roughly the same, and those known reaction products are not observed, other than helium. If it were, should be enough neutron radiation from the reported heat that it would be fatal to observers, the so-called “dead graduate student effect.”

The pseudoskeptical position is a certainty that some “unknown nuclear reaction” — which is what Pons and Fleischmann actually claimed — could not be possible because if it were possible, it would already be known. This is well and commonly recognized as a dumb argument that has afflicted science for centuries. If conditions were common and effects were obvious, yes, it is not actually a proof, but a heuristic for where to invest time and attention. But the conditions studied by Pons and Fleischmann were very rare, something that was not widely known at first. Palladium deuteride was well-known and in common usage for certain experimental work.

However, McKubre, at SRI at the time, had been working with palladium hydride and deuteride, and also knew Fleischmann well. He recognized that if they were seeing a significant heat effect, it was not at “ordinary loading,” which was widely considered to be about 70% maximum (i.e., palladium soaks up hydrogen isotopes, which is exothermic until maybe 60% or 70% loading, and higher loading becomes endothermic and difficult). They must be working in the relatively unexplored territory above 70%. He also knew that they had not disclosed everything, which is a different problem. Remember that “trillion dollar” figure? That can affect how people, including university administrators and lawyers, make decisions!

McKubre was retained by the Electric Power Research Institute to investigate cold fusion, and this became the second half of his career. His work is foundational — and much of it was openly published. His clients were organizations that had a need to know. He was working in an organization, SRI International, that needed to maintain reputation for sober judgment and careful research (but it was the clients that decided what to research).

So who is Camillo Franchini? From the Passerini blog, some photos of him from a post of May 15, 2012. Never mind Passerini’s overheated excitement, he is correct about communication being better in person. The internet can bring out the worst in us.

Passerini has Franchini as a “nuclear chemist,” (which is Storms’ field). As noted immediately by a comment there, Franchini is, ah, “not young.” Some of us get cranky and rigid as we age. I’m 73, and need to be continually vigilant. Fortunately, I have a 16-year-old daughter living with me who keeps me on my toes. And I have other training as well, it was intense. I have learned to love to discover my errors! My friends point them out for me, which includes some people who don’t think they are my friends!


CimPy wrote:

“Cold fusion is a mystery”

No, it is a fraud.

What, specifically, is a “fraud”? To relegate cold fusion to fraud is not — at all — a scientific position. Rossi can readily considered a fraud, it is clear from evidence we have that he, at least, fraudulently misrepresented certain facts. But he was using an existing, known mystery, one that has been engaging scientists since discovery in 1984 and announcement in 1989, and claims of fraud in that are confined to certain individuals. The basic findings are not under any cloud of suspicion as to fraud. Controversy remains as to the significance of some work.

“Fraud” massively confuses the issues. From the beginning in 2011 the blog fusionefredda conflated Rossi (“E-cat”) and “cold fusion.” The major skeptical writers in the field did not claim that the reported findings were fraud, they did claim incompetence or error. That is very different.

CimPy dismisses an entire body of experimental evidence (the reality behind the idea of “cold fusion), but simply states his conclusion as if it were fact. That is not skepticism, it is belief and reliance on personal authority, the personal authority of an anonymous person, i.e., no authority at all, who seems to have appeared on the scene by 2013. In early posts I saw there Franchini seems to have some relationship with CimPy, but I not done thorough research by any means, just a few looks. On LENR Forum, CimPy was claimed to be something not-nice:

As far as I know, Cimpy is a shared nick with a troll-team behind it. As he has repeadltely attacked and slandered me [and also many others obviously] in every possible way, often on a personal level, I constantly ban or ignore him. Have a look here: La dura vita dei troll incatenati alla tastiera!

Claims like this are common. I am not concerned about libelling anonymous users. It is a privilege to be able to post anonymously, but that is not a license to defame. The headline translates to : “The tired life of trolls chained to the keyboard!”

That’s kind, actually, it implies that trolls are not choosing to live in a sewer, they are “chained.” Compelled. Another word is “obsessed.”

To complete this:

(As originally posted, there was a section here covering a fusionefredda post by Ascoli65. At his request, it has been moved to Lowdown on Lie-bull/#Ascoli65.)

Back to the blog page:

Camillo Franchini again

@Abd ulRahman Lomax

Cold fusion is a mystery, my view is that nobody understands it yet.

There are many important nuclear data banks beside IAEA and BNL. Querying them about a particular nuclear reaction is fairly easy, if you have some knowledge of nuclear science.
One must rely on them, otherwise we can only use bare words, express personal views which are useless in dealing with scientific issues.
Let me suggest you some useful sites:

[and he points to nuclear reaction information sites, but without links. If one wants to look at them, they should be found at the end of the post I have linked above. I’m not looking further, because this is like looking for a name in a phone book when one doesn’t even know the name to look up. His argument is completely bankrupt. Pons and Fleischmann claimed an “unknown nuclear reaction,” and Franchini is claiming that this is impossible, because the “unknown reaction” is not in the nuclear reaction databases. Of course it isn’t! It’s unknown!!!]

For frosting on this cake, I’d ask him to find the catalyzed nuclear reactions that are known, in that database.  One of them is clearly a form of “cold fusion,” experimentally, it is observed at close to absolute zero.

Above, in the first post I covered, Franchini had:

Exfor is the IAEA/BNL (Brookhaven National Laboratory) data base of all nuclear reactions.

“All” nuclear reactions? Including unknown ones? Is this a database of all *possible* reactions? I don’t think that’s possible to compile.

This is Exfor.

It does not claim about itself what Franchini claims about it. No surprise.

The EXFOR library contains an extensive compilation of experimental nuclear reaction data. Neutron reactions have been compiled systematically since the discovery of the neutron, while charged particle and photon reactions have been covered less extensively.

With cold fusion, there is no specific nuclear reaction data, generally. The known reaction has unknown mechanism, it converts deuterium to helium, without charged particle emission above 20 KeV (the so-called Hagelstein limit, after Peter’s article establishing it from experimental evidence, or, more accurately, what is not observed. If charged particle products were being produced above 20 KeV, there would have been observations.)

Deuterium-deuterium fusion normally generates, in half the reactions, a fast neutron. Neutron radiation is only observed, if at all, at very low levels. Half the reactions would produce a fast triton. Tritium is indeed observed, but at roughly a million times down from helium. (And neutrons  are on the order of a million times down from the tritium). There is a rare branch that can produce helium, but always with a high-energy photon (about 23.8 MeV), also called a “gamma ray.” Ordinary deuterium fusion is not what is happening, that’s obvious. But that is not the only possible pathway between deuterium and helium, merely the most obvious.

If muon-catalyzed fusion is in the database, I have no clue where to look. it has a branch that is outside of normal consideration, muon ejection with a few MeV of energy. That’s with a reaction taking place at close to absolute zero, certainly “cold.”

Widom-Larsen theory, which I often have on the wall to throw darts at, predicts unexpected neutron formation, followed by a series of neutron reactions. Don’t expect me to defend W-L theory. Most cold fusion theories appear to depend on some kind of electron screening that can only take place in condensed matter, and it is not the simple screening of muon catalysis, it may be some kind of multibody reaction, which becomes plausible in condensed matter (not in a plasma).

I return to this again and again. At this point, cold fusion is a mystery, unsolved. It is certainly not solved by armchair proclamations of impossibility, which generate no knowledge at all. We already knew all this, but experimental evidence…..

fusionefredda and Camillo Franchini — and then CimPy — began with a confusion of Rossi’s claims with the science of LENR. Rossi was not a scientist. Focardi and Levi, and others apparently impressed by Rossi, were, and we can think they should have known better. But the “knowing better” was not some sort of knowledge of the impossibility of “cold fusion,” but rather that a con artist or lunatic might take advantage of the possibility, given that major funding sources had seriously neglected cold fusion research, in spite of many official recommendations that it was worthy of pursuit, with basic research. Not overheated hyped-up enthusiasm over an inventor who never allowed clear and truly independent confirmation.

Where from here?

From the lawsuit documents, we know quite well what happened when serious investors, aware of the possibility of LENR, — Industrial Heat — decided they need to find out if the Rossi Effect was real, and put $20 million into it. They found out. Now they have put maybe $50 million into other LENR research. What do they get from that?

Results. We don’t know of any practical devices yet, they have some leads, but it could take billions of dollars before practical cold fusion applications are ready. What they can do is to develop expertise in vetting research projects for productive value (which includes finding out what doesn’t work). They can develop relationships with scientists such that if anything is discovered to move the field forward, commercially, they will know, perhaps first. They know how to raise far more funding if needed, they demonstrated that.


Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax


15 thoughts on “Is cold fusion a fraud?”

  1. Ascoli65 and I do not share same exact point of view, but he has something more to tell you:

    ” Ascoli65 commented on DF.

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

    (*) “”
    (**) “”
    (***) “”

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

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

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

    I already pointed out many times, even to you (1), the issue of the presumed dry condition of the coolant at the outlet. I showed you that the real elephant in the living room is that the instrument (the humidity meter) mentioned in the Levi’s report doesn’t appear in anyone of the many pictures available on internet, and taken during the January 14 demo, even in the middle of the boiling phase (2). But I also learned that you are not willing to recognize this real elephant. You’d rather prefer to imagine the most incredible explanations in the attempt to negate its presence (3).

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

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

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

    (1) “”
    (2) “”
    (3) “”
    (4) “”

  2. Abd – great article! Some nitpicks for correction:

    “belief that cold fusion was not merely “ff,” which I’m guessing means “la fisica delle frange,” or in English, “fringe physics,””. I suspect he means “fusion fredda” from the context, not fringe physics.

    “Allen Smith does not have a blog. He was appointed as a moderator on…”. It’s Alan Smith and he does have commenting on LFH, which is effectively a blog. Not that many comments on it normally (quite a large percentage are from me) and, given that Alan thinks that Rossi’s technology actually works, his experimentation (the subject of the blog) is logical.

    “are Ni (p, λ) reactions possible?” This threw me for a bit with the lambda and not a gamma.


    Sometimes, dismissing something as a fraud and not investigating that much further is justified. A lot of the Free Energy field can be thus dismissed, after all, and we only concentrate on the people who try to make a lot of money from selling the hope that they’re telling the truth. With Cold Fusion, though, there are a lot of people who claim to have seen positive results who haven’t anything to gain (and a lot to lose) from such a claim. OK, there’s not a valid theory to support it yet, but then it took around 30 years to explain superconductivity when the conditions for producing it were well-known and could be reliably replicated by anyone with access to liquid Helium. It worked every time, but no-one knew why for a very long time. Cold Fusion is a lot harder (and takes a lot more skill) to replicate and even then does not always work.

    History is littered with statements from eminent scientists of something being impossible, which we now routinely do. I hope to add to that list myself…. For Cold Fusion, though, there are too many eminent scientists saying it is possible and showing nuclear products (transmutation, and Helium/Tritium produced) as evidence. Unless we speculate that they’re all mistaken or lying, it seems pretty certain that Cold Fusion happens although we don’t know why. Though you state that “Cold Fusion is not MCF” we don’t actually know that, since muons may after all be involved and the only evidence we have against that is that in MCF we get the normal Hot Fusion branching-ratios. We can have a hunch that it’s not MCF, and that may guide which experiments we do, but an outright statement of what can’t be involved is a little premature. Holding a belief tends to stop people from seeing what is in front of them as what it is, and it’s often a long job in examining one’s own assumptions to see whether they are based on logic and evidence rather than simply “what we were taught” where we simply accept that it is true. I’ve just been made aware of such an issue where I was taught that a projectile under gravity will describe a parabolic path. It is is fact an elliptical path, though the difference is generally not large. I’ve thus been wrong on that for around half a century, through not re-examining what I was taught. Not wrong enough to make a practical difference, and it’s not as if I needed to calculate such a path professionally, but errors in the foundations of our thinking can at some point bite us in the bum.

    From the court documents, we can be pretty certain that Rossi’s claims are not supported by valid evidence, or in other words we shouldn’t believe a word he says. That doesn’t mean that Ni/H is not valid, only that Rossi’s claims to have produced energy from it are unacceptable and that trying to replicate his results is a very high-risk (to one’s reputation…) occupation. Unfortunately, on the blogs it seems that Ni/H is conflated with Rossi, and that people who think Ni/H works must also believe Rossi. This seems to lead to two main camps, with those who believe Rossi against those who think Cold Fusion doesn’t exist. I’m of course somewhere else than in those camps, since I think that there’s solid evidence that Pd/D works, there’s a reasonable probability that Ni/H can work, and that Rossi has telling lies since he started. It’s thus somewhat probable that some experiment based on what what is guessed about Rossi’s methods, together with an inspired fill-in for the information that isn’t available, could actually succeed (why I think Alan Smith’s experiments are not a waste of time). I think it’s not particularly likely to succeed, but it may lead to something that will.

    Given what we know, I wouldn’t trust Levi’s measurements on Rossi’s experimental setups. He doesn’t however seem to have set up his own experiment from scratch (which you’d really expect if he believed his own data, given the possible rewards) or even defended his results. If his name wasn’t mentioned so much then he’d have dropped into obscurity. Just another odd happenstance.

    Tom’s point about “For example, any experiment assumes that there is no way to harness QM randomness and so break normal physics” is relevant here. That randomness certainly appears to be a very basic structure in the universe. However, what is not normally realised is that there are also competing processes that tend to reduce disorder. This can be seen in action with any of the force-fields we know (electric, magnetic, gravity and nuclear forces) which can, if strong enough in a particular situation, lead to order emerging from chaos. If this tendency to order did not exist, and we only had the tendency to disorder, then we wouldn’t exist to be arguing about it. I see therefore a lot of evidence that such a tendency to order exists, even though most of our experiments demonstrate that the tendency to disorder is greater. Yep, those fingerprints are everywhere if you look without bias. Tom’s reply to himself is totally on-target – this is a ripe field for fraud and self-delusion.

    1. Thanks for the nitpicks, they are much appreciated. Every little bit helps. I added a note about ff being fusione fredda. As to the other two errors, I simply corrected them. Duh. I knew that! The lambda error shows that I look at the world upside down, I spend much of my time hanging from the ceiling, and chasing bugs around, besides just being generally batty. The bugs are delicious, though, and I can share them with my friends.

      I sometimes mention that noobs to cold fusion think about muons as involved. There are two major reasons for dunking this idea in cold water: MCF generates the same branching ratio as ordinary hot fusion (this is a major experimental fact with implications for many proposals of cold fusion theroy). As well, muons are quite rare, compared to the reaction rate for 1 watt helium production, which is roughly 10^12 reactions per second. Until we know what is, in fact, the mechanism(s) of cold fusion, nothing can be completely ruled out, but there are, ah, ideas more efficient to pursue. I mostly think cold fusion theory, at this point, a waste of time. Until the specific details of reaction conditions and results are known, theory is largely a stab in the dark. Someone might get lucky, but … more likely, nothing good comes of it, but some people getting excited, Eureka! I have found it! — and then they make idiots out of themselves, too often. Premature theory even if correct can do a lot of harm. It certainly harmed Pons and Fleischmann and the field, by proposing “nuclear” before the evidence for that was anything more than circumstantial. They were right, but not ready to prove it with clear and readily verifiable evidence. Again, a fiasco.

      It’s pretty funny, following this field. To this day, there are physicists (or students of physics) who believe that the “ash” was never found, and give this as their reason for disbelief, and then they ask, “Why didn’t they look for helium?” Basically, the helium story did not get out there, even though published under peer review in a mainstream journal. Physicists don’t read J. Electroanal. Chem.

      When I started looking at the field in 2009, I was investigating an apparently abusive blacklisting of I had no opinion on cold fusion, other than my memories from 1989-1990 (hadn’t the original announcment been found to a mistake?) Early on, I attempted to include reliably-sourced information about helium correlation in the Wikipedia article, and discovered that it was essentially forbidden.

      As I began to research the field more widely, I found the helium correlation strangely not emphasized, often not even mentioned, but this was the *only* confirmed direct evidence that the Heat Effect was nuclear in nature. Why was it not emphasized? I still don’t know, for sure, but suspect that this was due to Pons and Fleischmann themselves saying that they did not want to deal with it, they did not want to “be fighting on two fronts at once,” or words like that, which betray how they saw the whole controversy. It was not a scientific controversy, they were struggling for survival, and, to them, the early helium evidence looked bad.

      All this makes sense per my training. Survival reactivity often leads to poor choices.

      1. Abd – Holmlid claims to have detected a lot of muons in his experiments, so it is maybe premature to dismiss the muons altogether, though I agree it seems unlikely. The point was simply that if it’s an unknown reaction, then everything we know should be on the table until it can be definitively excluded. Branching ratios may after all be modified in the periodic energy-wells of a lattice, though it may need a particular lattice and specific energy-levels.

        It seems that the Helium story didn’t reach the right ears, even though Jed did feature it pretty well. The cabal at Wikipedia probably object to CF on the grounds that it’s obviously impossible and thus bad science, so shouldn’t be given any more air than absolutely necessary in the hope that it chokes. Maybe they had personal and painful memories of the N-ray controversy….

        We know something is possible once we can do it, and we may speculate that other things are possible before we run the experiments. We don’t however know what is impossible, though we may know it hasn’t been done yet. It’s also in the nature of logic that we can’t prove something is impossible, but can only point at the number of attempts to try to do it that failed. Though we naturally have a set of known rules that allow us to decide whether something is worth trying or not, we don’t know all the rules yet. That’s why science is fun.

        1. Nothing can be completely dismissed until we know much more than we do, but …. Holmlid’s work is unconfirmed and has gone far ahead of confirmation. I don’t see evidence connecting his claims with cold fusion. I would not say that muons are off the table, but neither are they on the table. If muons were present, I’d expect many other visible effects. Wikipedia does not follow its own policies, it’s a basic flaw in the structure: great policies, but very weak enforcement, that is very unevenly applied and unreliable, especially if the one violating policies is an administrator. Yes, the anti=fringe cabal routinely violates policies, because it truly believes that the public is too dumb to handle the information that policy would allow, so they filter it for the public to create a likelihood that the public will not be deceived. It’s fundamentally arrogant, but … try to confront it, unless one is very highly skilled, very careful, and even if one actually succeeds in navigating the arcanities of Wikipedia, it’s wiki-suicide. Once the cabal realizes that one is a danger to their agenda, they will apply resources, and they have them. It is not as organized as what I’ve said might seem to imply, but it doesn’t matter. I actually went very far, I got one abusive admin reprimanded, another actually lost his tools, but … then I found out what was underneath the public image. It’s quite ugly. Lord of the Flies. Wikipedia is unreliable, push comes to shove, and the unreliability comes from structural defects present from early on, and the structure became insanely conservative, very resistant to any change. I saw the most experienced, most sophisticated users, including some elected to the Arbitration Committee, burn out and leave, and the structure creates that. Lots of people know this, but almost to a person, they don’t think anything can be done about it.

          Basic problem: decision-making seems efficient, but only when there is no controversy. It then becomes insanely inefficient. The structure was not actually designed, it sort of grew.and the people building it were not organization-sophisticated, they were mostly free software types, where projects consist of like-minded people, working in small groups, where consensus can readily be found, usually — and “consensus facilitation — a skill — wasn’t necessary. They assumed that would happen with the project, and it did in the early days. They were not prepared for the challenges of scale. The structure massively wastes labor. Simple example: detecting and reverting vandalism. I did Recent Changes Patrol. It’s fun. So I would load 50 changes (which is perhaps less than a minute’s edits), scan down them looking for something out of place. If I find something and open it up, it’s usually already reverted. The game is to be the first to find it. There are thousands of people doing this. Yet there is no system for identifying what changes have been reviewed. There was, for a time, Reviewer status, a piece of creating functional structure. Killed. Too bureaucratic. So there is probably ten or twenty times as much labor going into vandalism patrol as necessary, but then there is the other side. The next layer of defense is people who have an article on their watchlist. If they are paying attention, they will see a vandalism edit, if it got through RCP. It is very common, though, for something that escapes RCP to survive for years, because there is no structure for organizing attention. It would be trivial to create it. And I can give many examples like this. To get a single link approved for the Martin Fleischmann article took weeks of dispute resolution for something that should have been a no-brainer (because of an intransigent administrator). What it took to overcome that was establishing genuine community consensus. I went through the process many times. Almost always successfully, but …. horribly inefficient, and, increasingly, the faction notices that you are a PITA and a “civil POV pusher,” i.e., someone with a point of view who follows policies and procedures. That term was invented by a factional administrator. They think all points of view are evil but their own, which they consider “neutral.” I’ll say it again, the policies are great, but implementation sucks. (Many people blame the policies, not understanding them, and if these people irritate the faction, they are easily picked off. What I saw happen when I became involved in dispute resolution and started actually studying what happened, it actually made me cry. It’s like they were shooting baby seals, only they were people who sincerely wanted to help the project but who didn’t understand how policy enforcment looks. I saw weeks of intensve volunteer work undone because an administrator believed the person had a “conflict of interest.” He may have, but it was for a nonprofit and nothing he was doing was actually against policy. They didn’t care. When I began to understand how dysfunctional that community was on a human level, that’s when I began to give up. I didn’t want to spend any more time with them. I look at Wikipedia process from time to time, and it hasn’t changed. The structure *usually works.* But then it crushes people — and they do not actually care about the readers and verifiability policy, making it easier to verify content.

          1. Abd – I believe Holmlid is honest, but I’m not sure he’s right. Measurements of subatomic particles are tricky, since you’re looking for an effect on something else and then those effects need to be translated into something that can be measured. Until Holmlid is independently replicated (all the relevant papers have Holmlid on the author list) there will remain some uncertainty of his results.

            Wikipedia does seem to have been a large part of your life. The problems however are pretty standard whenever you get a group of people that is large and where those people are not well-connected to each other. Human failings – a working group has a limit of around 15 people before things start to fall apart, and people can have a reasonable sense of community up to around 150 people. Where you can’t eject someone from the group for being disruptive, the disruption will continue. When I worked at Xerox, our little group of designers (12-15 people) had a greater output than another group of around 60 engineers – no need for lots of meeting since we could go across the room to sort out any questions. Dispute resolution is easy when people all know the overall objective and can discuss the best tactics to achieve it. Respect is easy to achieve when you can see that a person is doing a good job. That in turn enables flexibility when there’s a problem of conflicting priorities, and in agreeing a solution that satisfies the requirements of all.

            The bigger the group, the more the factions separate and become insistent that their view is the only correct one, so you get wars. It’s the way humans work.

            1. You are correct, the Wikipedia issues were predictable. However, I had developed approaches — generically, not for Wikipedia — to the “problem of scale in democracy” — there is even a book by that name — but very few were interested. Basically, few have experience with process that can move beyond these limitations, and most people who even understand that there is a problem, have long been in despair over it. Yes, small groups can often negotiate genuine consensus. Wikipedia understood the need for consensus, but never developed the tools to efficiently seek and measure it. They use election methods that seem great, for those without experience with election methods. Much of this stuff has been known since the 19th century. Supermajority election, in a large group, guarantees the loss of minority representation, and everyone is in some kind of minority on some issues. There are far better methods. There was a proposal for a voluntary file system that could have pointed to a solution. It was only an experiment, it did not change any policies. It was crushed with astonishing vehemence, and the experienced user who proposed it was banned. He had gotten the idea from me ….

  3. A few comments here.

    Yes, a proper way to consider CF/LENR likelihood is in terms of catalysis. The first requirement is something that catalyses nuclear reactions.

    Yes, muon-catalysed fusion is well known, well understood, and has many times been suggested as a route to cheap commercial fusion. It seems so far never to work because the cost of muon generation is so high, and the catalysis best case does not repay because the muon’s disappear before they have generated enough energy. That is a complex trade-off and you could never bet against some environment, or some new muon generation method, that made this pay off. But, thus far nothing has worked.

    Muon-catalysis is not an example that makes “some new catalytic method” very plausible. It could be generalised into “catalysis by any high energy particle” but such particles are limited and (because must be high energy) costly to produce. Not much likelihood there for something new.

    High energy is a requirement for any nuclear effect. Why? because of the Coulomb barrier, and the short range of nuclear forces, and the fact that we have no feasible low-energy neutral particles. ultra-low energy neutrons are the only option, and they are again difficult to influence, and expensive to generate. Low energy charged particles do not work in catalysis from basic QM. Neutral particles are difficult to influence (obviously – we have no usable long-range forces that affect them).

    Thus the only plausible candidate left is high energy from e-m fields (about the only thing chemical environments can influence). Here there are real ways that local environments can boost energy – essentially through e-m resonances. The problem here is simply that the hyper-high Qs needed are difficult to find. At the small scale needed e-m fields are now well screened and even tiny losses reduce Q.

    Now, on the one hand we know that the world surprises us. It is difficult to enumerate all possibilities. On the other hand the above analysis puts strong fundamental requirements on what is needed which constrain any plausible mechanism for overcoming Coulomb barrier. Not impossible, but no plausible mechanism as yet been proposed. The best bet is a small-scale e-m effect with a Q high enough to boost energies. Plasmons etc. That then does not fit the apparent evidence well (for high Q you would want low temperature, etc). I could never rule that out but it looks unlikely from a “smell test” which can be wrong, but is usually right.

    Exotics – miniature black holes, new tightly bound electron states, just do not look even remotely plausible because they contradict fundamental QM rules, or would be very obviously apparent elsewhere.

    For somone with a limited background in theoretical physics these “plausibility” requirements are not relevant. They are not in a position to judge. From a philosophical POV you can never rule out something new. But scientific hypotheses are about more than philosophy. Scientists routinely make judgements about what is plausible. For example, any experiment assumes that there is no way to harness QM randomness and so break normal physics. If this contaminated the results of experiments nothing could be trusted. We can have no proof ever that such a breaking mechanism does not exist. But also we can have a very high confidence that (at explored energies and spatial scales) it does not exist because it would have fingerprints all over physics if it did.

    I’m trying to explain here why somone like me who (a) would dearly love LENR to be real (b) has a more than superficial theoretical understanding of high energy physics fundamentals, sees the current miscellany of theories and experimental evidence as unconvincing for LENR. The experimental evidence (if you are patient and curious and like mysteries) deserves more investigation. If, on the other hand, you just want to go for what is likely to pay off, you would not chase these mysteries because most likely they will turn out to be dead ends.

    From this I conclude:

    (1) It is noble to chase this stuff, with a small chance of any pay-off.

    (2) Mostly the people who do chase it believe there is a reasonably high chance of pay-off (otherwise they would not do this). They are outliers. My view of them is highly unlikely to succeed but nevertheless noble. Their view is rather different, and I see that as either based on a highly selected outlying judgement, or on a view of the overall problem that ignores theory and therefore does not weight the difficulties as highly as I would. Ignoring theory is very occasionally the way to find new theory, but more often goes nowhere.

    Abd’s He experiment, or any experiment with clear replicable indicative results, would break this…

    +10% heat balance errors in complex systems that cannot be reliably replicated and controlled do not break it. An Unknown mechanism is needed, but LENR does not rate well against the big U.

    1. And perhaps more on topic….

      These characteristics (of LENR) make it fertile territory for both fraudsters and delusional inventors who are just wrong. Distinguishing the two is difficult. I’d hope the scientists chasing this area could distance themselves from the fraudster/delusional end of things. Not all have done this.

      1. Most scientists are apparently indisposed to claim fraud, and sometimes even to suspect it. The history of Rossi reception by scientists, I find fascinating, in a somewhat horrified fashion. The “professors” looked for very obvious fraud modes, such as hidden wires, but overlooked that they might be being led down the rosy path by defective measurement methods, where Rossi could say — as he did — that he didn’t produce these results, they did. The more subtle manipulations or possible errors were overlooked.

        The lack of a control or calibration of the heat maesurements at foll operating power is mind-boggling, such a beginner error, with the scientists repeating a completely bogus explanation that they certainly got from Rossi. It was apparently Rossi who actually stopped the “dummy” measurement, and it must have been Rossi who provided the explanation that they reported as if fact. (And also they minimized Rossi’s participation, i.e., presented the facts of it in a way as to make it seem minimal. Lugano, in the end, was an appalling waste of time, when with just a little improvement, it could have been definitive (if the Effect was real).

        I suspect that the glory of being involved in an invention that could change the world may have distracted them, to a degree. Same for Mats Lewan. “An impossible invention’ is an odd title; the problem with Rossi is not that some LENR Invention is “impossible,” but that his claims were far outside the envelope. Lewan obviously attempted to “keep an open mind,” but lost context and began reporting Rossi Says as if fact. Part of this was not really taking the time to continue to investigate. He seems to be completely ignorant of the evidence in Rossi v. Darden, reporting it as if it were gossip, and reporting Rossi’s claims as if fact — or plausible, not actually examining them closely, following the other evidence and arguments available, basically ignorant, but running on steam.

        To be trusted by Rossi, notoriously paranoid, could be intoxicating. I do know that many people I personally trust as honest were intensely affected by conversations with Rossi. If I did not know historical fact, I’d have been quite impressed by his presence. Rossi is not “ordinary.” He’s also clearly deluded, at least in some ways. Certain kinds of delusion can be infectious, they bypass our critical thinking. Again, I recommend Konnikova, The Confidence Game. It’s an eye-opener. We think of con artists as preying on stupid people. Nope. Ordinary people, even sometimes very smart people. And someone who is not vulnerable to a con artist is … often damaged in some ways, leading to paranoia. Genuine con artistry is relatively rare, and putting up the necessary defenses is characteristic of people who are also generally unhappy.

    2. Thanks, THH.

      A muon is not a “high energy particle.” Creating muons takes substantial energy, but are not carrying most of that energy, and they continue to catalyze reactions, hundreds per muon at best. Unless the “alpha sticking problem” can be resolved, MCF is not practical for power generation. But it shows that the knee-jerk thinking that LENR is impossible is bogus, because of the counterexample. MCF does not make, say, electron catalysis particularly plausible, it merely shows that some unexpected catalysis might be possible. The specific reaction in known MCF is likely not happening. for well-known reasons. While there might be, again, something else unexpected that creates that obvious appearance, I don’t find it likely. Something else is happening.

      Some think new physics is involved. I doubt it. I think it is likely something that does not require revising fundamental physics, only considering the “conditions of cold fusion,” which are not yet adequately known. Just like some would say that LENR is impossible, because they don’t think of the presence of muons, which might as well be called “heavy electrons,” shades of Widom-Larsen theory.

      “Overcoming the Coulomb barrier” is a common expression that conjures up a vision of high energy. Ordinarily, the barrier is not overcome, fusion takes place by tunneling. What conditions would facilitate that? But my opinion is that we don’t have enough experimental evidence, yet, to tackle the theory problem. What I think is the likely Nuclear Active Environment, nanocracks, is not clearly established. The probably low-energy radiation is not yet observed. Beyond heat and helium, all we know is what is not happening: no neutrons except at very, very low levels, no tritium except at quite a low level (though about a million times more than neutrons), no major transmutations other than to helium.

      Personally, I like Takahashi TSC theory, but it is quite incomplete, and only based on QED theory, plus Takahahi’s experimental evidence that rates of 3D fusion in bombardment of PdD by energetic deuterons were enhanced by … was it 10^26 over plasma rates? To my knowledge, that is an unconfirmed finding, and could merely be an indication, since the plasma rate would be extremely low. It is, indeed, plausible that multibody fusion could happen at greatly enhanced rate in condensed matter, that limits the degrees of freedom of particles.

      Cold fusion was very unlikely. Pons and Fleischmann were actually somewhat wrong in their operating hypothesis, which got them stuck in the idea that it was a bulk reaction. This was such a fiasco.

      Without agreeing with some of your details — 10% heat balance errors are unlikely in many of the experiments, depending partly on exactly what you mean by that. Percentage of what? — I do agree with your conclusions. As to heat/helium, I personally consider the evidence strong already, and that is precisely why I proposed the work that was later begun. It was likely to succeed, because this would be tertiary confirmation with increased precision. While there are ways that such an effort could fail without being conclusive, that would be a worst-case outcome. Better: the Master Artifact is found, or at least a collection of demonstrated ones. Even better, the prior work is confirmed, and even better, we come to know the ratio with higher precision.

      We have much work to do, THH. Mostly, this seems to depend on me as prime mover. That is quite limited compared to community effort.

      The value in this work for someone not convinced is twofold: first of all, if LENR is real, the practical value could be absolutely enormous, and “the workman is worthy of his meat.” So there would be collective and personal value. I know I’m doing a bit better than my social security would allow, at least my internet and travel expenses are covered, and I may be able to obtain a treasure trove of early LENR correspondeence, partly because I could offer to pay for shipment expenses.

      Secondly, if LENR is a mirage, finding clear explanations for at least some or maybe even most of the claimed experimental supports would be valuable, because otherwise many millions of dollars and much effort is being expended to chase a ghost. The demonstrations of artifact in N-rays and polywater were quite valuable. As you know, that has never been done for CF, not as to the fundamental work. I watched Coolessence flounder. A noble effort, but contaminated by apparent rush to weak conclusions (basically, finding a “plausible” — to them — alternate explanation was enough. LENR is an extremely difficult field. There is room for amateurs and noobs, but … a little humility — or a lot — is appropriate.

      Remember, by the way, heat/helium correlation is apparently a reliably replicable experiment. Indeed, it is reliable enough that if you find heat in a PdD system and look for helium and don’t find it, you are probably into calorimetry error. One of the amazing lacunae in this field is the lack of heat/tritium study. It is almost certainly correlated — unless there are two independent miracles. I don’t think so. Neither does Storms, but he then jumps to a simplistic and unphysical “explanation,” predicting a specific relationship between the H/D ratio in the “fuel,” and deuterium, helium, and tritium production, that doesn’t seem to match what we know.

      (I prefer “two independent miracles” to overturning basic nuclear physics. After the basic mystery of raw existence, a few radially unexpected phenomena, piffle! Believing six impossible things before breakfast, trivial!)

      1. Abd:

        I was perhaps being confusing: I’m counting mass as energy here. Muons are high energy. Their mass counts as energy as far as the energies required to make them goes, and it is 200 times higher than an electron, the key comparator. That has the effect of making their orbitals 200X smaller and therefore providing 200X better electrostatic sheilding.

        “Overcoming the Coulomb barrier” is a common expression that conjures up a vision of high energy. Ordinarily, the barrier is not overcome, fusion takes place by tunneling. What conditions would facilitate that? But my opinion is that we don’t have enough experimental evidence, yet, to tackle the theory problem.

        The coulomb barrier (to fusion) is correctly understood in QM terms as being the difficulty in getting overlap of wave functions in areas that are energetically unlikely. It combines with the limits on particle bound kinetic energy (also QM) at a fundamental level where unless you have different particles (limited number available) the issues can be computed. The point here is that tunnelling is very well understood (and fundamental).

        Quasiparticles do not solve this issue, since the same ideas still apply to the constituents.

        Quantum coherent assemblies (typically BECs) change this equation, but in specific ways with specific known properties. They remain, together with very high energy photons, or (different) very high amplitude coherent e-m oscillations, the possible broad areas for things to be surprising. Each of these options has its own characteristics.

        Takahashi’s ideas fit into the BEC umbrella. The matter of interest is what conditions would make such condensate formation (a very big ask) more plausible, and do those correlate with the conditions claimed for LENR? In particular the apparent temperature dependence of many LENR results is hard to explain, because the energies that change due to this are so far from those relevant and other dynamic effects should have diffusion-type dependence on temperature (small power) not exponential. Whereas quantum decoherence issues should be negative exponential. So just by lookinbg at temperature dependence of reactions (if we ever have reliable data for this) we can say things about potential classes of mechanisms.

        Equally, given claimed temperature dependence of reactions, we can see which of these proposed mechanism classes might fit.

        1. I was perhaps being confusing: I’m counting mass as energy here. Muons are high energy. Their mass counts as energy as far as the energies required to make them goes, and it is 200 times higher than an electron, the key comparator. That has the effect of making their orbitals 200X smaller and therefore providing 200X better electrostatic sheilding.

          “perhaps being confusing?” THH, you redefined “energetic particles.” That does not refer to rest mass, obviously, since it would then apply to all matter. We won’t say that an electron is carrying 511 KeV just because it was created by photon-photon interaction, requiring that input energy. The creation energy of muons is not relevant, except as to an idea of using muons as a practical energy source, since they will only catalyze a few hundred reactions at most. The catalysis points out that the energy is not used to “climb the Coulomb barrier.”

          Some cold fusion theories postulate a new particle. That cannot be ruled out, on principle. I wrote:

          “Overcoming the Coulomb barrier” is a common expression that conjures up a vision of high energy. Ordinarily, the barrier is not overcome, fusion takes place by tunneling. What conditions would facilitate that? But my opinion is that we don’t have enough experimental evidence, yet, to tackle the theory problem.

          Notice the core message: not enough evidence. Focusing on the Coulomb barrier creates expectations of high energy, that’s the practical effect, and these expectations may be leading away from what is actually happening.

          The coulomb barrier (to fusion) is correctly understood in QM terms as being the difficulty in getting overlap of wave functions in areas that are energetically unlikely. It combines with the limits on particle bound kinetic energy (also QM) at a fundamental level where unless you have different particles (limited number available) the issues can be computed. The point here is that tunnelling is very well understood (and fundamental).

          Yes. And Takahashi uses QED to make those calculations in his TSC theory. Is he correct? I don’t know, I’m not qualified to judge, nor have I seen anyone who is qualified take on the task. Kim proposes something roughly similar (but Kim is general and Takahashi is specific). Kim explicitly refused to comment on Takahashi, when I asked, and Takahashi never mentions Kim, to my knowledge. Welcome to the CMNS community; the only people who survived were resistant to social pressures, which is the good news and the bad news. Takahashi, though, was a hot fusion physicist and should know what he writes about, I’d start with that. He also did not explain it in ways that readily communicated what he was writing about (and I have good communication with Takahashi, perhaps because I have then explained it and he accepts those explanations. I think).

          (he is talking about dual molecular fusion, under a limitation of degrees of freedom, “4D fusion” as he describes it, could imply that four particles find themselves in that TSC configuration, as if they were not already associated with each other. He’s including the electrons, and I don’t think he could expect a BEC without the electrons. Two molecules, then, would be the lower limit of “molecular fusion,” not some extravagantly impossible coincidence. However, the TSC configuration is also tightly confined. This would not happen in liquid deuterium, the molecules approaching the TSC configuration would dissociate before they got that close. Confinement is required, and then energy to enter the confinement, to climb that potential barrier (that explains why the reaction doesn’t happen in liquid deuterium and why the reaction rate would increase with temperature. perhaps.)

          Takahashi theory is quite incomplete, but is the first theory I have seen that actually predicts a fusion rate from tunneling under conditions that might be physicially possible. Or not.

          Quasiparticles do not solve this issue, since the same ideas still apply to the constituents.

          Watch out for impossibility arguments or assumptions from experience, taken outside the realm of experience. I’m not suggesting you *expect* anomalies. By definition, you will not.

          Quantum coherent assemblies (typically BECs) change this equation, but in specific ways with specific known properties. They remain, together with very high energy photons, or (different) very high amplitude coherent e-m oscillations, the possible broad areas for things to be surprising. Each of these options has its own characteristics.

          I think they may not be as well-known as we think, and there are BEC anomalies, such as the “explosions” that sometimes take place. These would be Coulomb explosions, I think. Suddenly the particles find themselves high on a “coulomb barrier” and the repulsive forces “explode” them. But how would two deuterium molecules behave if they form a BEC, starting from the TSC position? I don’t think we know. Takahashi predicts, from apparently standard QED theory, 100% fusion. What’s special about TSC? Well, my guess: this is a multibody problem and difficult to calculate unless it is simplified. TSC simplifies the relationships through the symmetry. That’s all. Kim might be right.

          What will happen with larger BECS that are still being created in confinement? Confinement may make it possible for BECs to form at elevated temperatures. Maybe. I am not qualified to truly assess this, I can just push the words around and see the pretty patterns. Oooooh! Look at that!

          Bottom line, my views on cold fusion are intensely colored by my conclusion on review that the heat/helium correlation evidence is overall reliable, not misleading. That evidence only pushes toward one theory: deuterium conversion to helium, because the result, by the laws of thermodynamics, is process-independent. And endless argument is commonly being wasted on theory, when I find it obvious that we don’t have enough data. At this point, the primary research issues do not much involve theory, except perhaps for the “deuterium to helium” conversion theory, which isn’t about mechanism just about results.

          Takahashi’s ideas fit into the BEC umbrella.

          Yes. I attempted to encourage Storms to allow TSC theory into his “explanation” but he has a series of ideas abut BECs and possibilities that are, to me, “unphysical.” He is not a physicist, and it shows. He’s a “nuclear chemist,” and very knowledgeable about the body of LENR evidence.

          The matter of interest is what conditions would make such condensate formation (a very big ask) more plausible, and do those correlate with the conditions claimed for LENR? In particular the apparent temperature dependence of many LENR results is hard to explain, because the energies that change due to this are so far from those relevant and other dynamic effects should have diffusion-type dependence on temperature (small power) not exponential. Whereas quantum decoherence issues should be negative exponential. So just by lookinbg at temperature dependence of reactions (if we ever have reliable data for this) we can say things about potential classes of mechanisms.

          I can explain the temperature dependence, to a degree (hah!) but that’s not the point. The point is that before attempting to resolve the theory question, we must have clear experimental results to explain. Without those, it’s ungrounded, an exercise in science fiction, a fantasy, which may or may not be entertaining. No theory, as yet, is making predictions that have been clearly confirmed, other than the “Deuterium to Helium” theory. That makes predictions that can be, and have been, confirmed. Lately I’ve been reading historical documents, where, skeptics confidently asserted that “no ash had been found correlated with heat.” Some of these claims were well after Miles announced, and this merely shows that skeptics were not, by that time, familiar with the evidence. Not surprising. Why should one become familiar with evidence in a field that is entirely preposterous?

          Equally, given claimed temperature dependence of reactions, we can see which of these proposed mechanism classes might fit.

          No theory has been elaborated to the extent that predictions of rate become possible. Kim points out that we do not know the velocity distribution of deuterons in PdD. In addition how lattice defects would affect this would be insanely difficult to predict. What defects, precisely? Effects cannot be calculated without specific and clear conditions.

          Takahashi’s theory, on the face, would predict, one might think, helions at 23.8 MeV. (or 23.2, perhaps) I knew about Takahashi’s theory before Hagelstein published the limit on charged particle energies in cold fusion. When that came out, Damn! How the Hell?

          However, Takahashi had, I found when I looked, published a paper, years earlier, that predicted the 8Be excitation energy would be discharged through a series of gamma emissions, he later called this a BOLEP. A burst of low-energy photons. There are still problems. Those energies should be predictable. Can those photons be detected? No answers, so far. The other major possibility: energy dissipation mechanism through phonons to the lattice. Long shot. But all cold fusion theory is a long shot at this point.

          It all seems wildly improbable, so, instead of proposing and arguing for what is, on the face, wildly improbable, how about focusing on what we can possibly understand and test: experimental results. Not theory. Part of the rejection cascade was based on lack of explanatory theory. That’s well-known to be defective, it boils down to something not being understood, which proves nothing other than “this is not understood.”

          However, a major skeptical argument was the alleged lack of evidence for a correlated ash. We can see such comments in the record, long after the correlation was found and asserted. See, for example, Schneider’s introduction to Hoffman (1995). Dead wrong. I find it fairly clear what happened. Hoffman himself did not cover the heat/helium correlation evidence, only helium in isolation, and that work was readily subject to artifact — and there was the Morrey fiasco. Hoffman claims that much available palladium rod was alpha implanted. Really? It does appear that the “as-received” sample in the Morrey collaboration had been ion-implanted. But this was never tracked down, and it seems quite unlikely. Why would this be done. Cold fusion abounds with mysteries, never resolved.

          What is not understood is generically a signal that there is something to be learned, and assuming the data is wrong is short-sighted. Yes, if nothing else, how about possible calorimetry artifacts? But I’m still with this: I don’t understand how the calorimetry artifacts could correlate with helium production as they do, in multiple independent reports, showing a ratio “consistent with” deuterium conversion to helium with no radiation leakage (i.e., radiation that escapes being converted to heat). Yes, there is variation, “consistent with” requires an understanding that, in some experiments, not all the helium is captured, only about 60%. However, there are two experiments, where, on the face, it appears that all the helium was captured, and this moved the ratio to the theoretical value within other experimental error.

          Until Texas Tech and ENEA reveal what they have found, that’s what we have. From it, there is a ready appearance — to me — of “preponderance of the evidence.” That’s all. I live my life based on “preponderance,” not “proof.” Sometimes, in fact, I declare possibilities without “preponderance” and sometimes in spite of it, and … it often works! The human mind is amazing in what it can do, through what might be called “intuition,” and, when I was young, I was told that I had excellent intuition. I said, “that doesn’t meant that I know, but that I do things that work out, without knowledge.” The man … who was then the age I am now, said, “Yes, that’s it.”

  4. Whow, documentation by Passerini…
    That clearly settle questions once and for all, and “Rossi Effect” must be real as Levi sweared personally to his friend.
    For more than 1oo k personal euro as per the self-declared side.

    1. CimPy, you are confirming the reputation that preceded you. You have not pointed to what you are citing, there is no information in this comment, just useless sarcasm and contempt. I don’t know what you are talking about re Passerini. I did not cite “documentation” from Passerini, as I recall, but pointed to photos of Franchini. Are you doubting that those are photos of Franchini? One fact was noted from that page, Franchini’s apparent age. Are you disputing that?

      Trolling. Worse, anonymous troll, which means zero or negative reputation. We don’t need this. It’s worse than Mary Yugo. At least we know who Mary is, and Mary actually has some kind of credentials. But Mary is also a cranky old man, like too many who become obsessed with LENR.

      The Rossi Effect is probably not real, or if it is real it is not as Rossi claimed. You are trying to sell ice to Eskimos by insulting them. Genuine skeptics don’t need your crap.

      Thanks for facilitating covering the Ascoli65 ban issue. If you have any actual corrections or useful comments, they are welcome. Otherwise stuff starts going to the garbage dump.

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