New Energy World Symposium planned for June 18-19, 2018
Lewan’s reporting on LENR has become entirely Rossi promotion. I’m commenting on his misleading statements in this announcement.
As originally planned, the Symposium will address the implications for industry, financial systems, and society, of a radically new energy source called LENR—being abundant, cheap, carbon-free, compact and environmentally clean.
Such implications could be as disruptive as those of digitalization, or even more. For example, with such an energy source, all the fuel for a car’s entire life could be so little that it could theoretically be pre-loaded at the time of the car’s manufacture.
While it has been speculated for almost thirty years that LENR would be cheap and clean, we do not actually know that, because we don’t know what it will take to create a usable device. There is real LENR, almost certainly, but there are also real problems with development, and the basic science behind LENR effects remains unknown. There is no “lab rat” yet, a confirmed and reasonably reliable and readily repeatable test set-up known to release sustained energy adequately to project what Lewan is claiming.
Yes, LENR technology could be disruptive. However, it is extremely unlikely to happen rapidly in the short term, unless there is some unexpected breakthrough. Real projects, not run by a blatantly fraudulent entrepreneur, have, so far, only spotty results.
An initial list of speakers can be found on the front page of the Symposium’s website.
I’ll cover the speakers below.
The decision to re-launch the symposium, that was originally planned to be held 2016, is based on a series of events and developments.
What developments? Mats misrepresents what happened.
One important invention based on LENR technology is the E-Cat, developed by the Italian entrepreneur Andrea Rossi. Starting in 2015, Rossi performed a one-year test of an industrial scale heat plant, producing one megawatt of heat—the average consumption of about 300 Western households.
Mats presents the E-Cat and the heat produces as if factual.
The test was completed on February 17, 2016, and a report by an independent expert confirmed the energy production.
The original Symposium was planned to be based on that report, but the report was not released until well into the lawsuit. Was the “expert” actually independent? Were the test methods adequate? Did the plant actually produce a megawatt? Did the report actually confirm thatt? There is plenty of evidence on these issues, which Lewan ignores.
Unfortunately, a conflict between Andrea Rossi and his U.S. licensee Industrial Heat led to a lawsuit that slowed down further development of the E-Cat technology. This was also why the original plans for the New Energy World Symposium had to be canceled.
Mats glosses over what actually happened. Rossi sued Industrial Heat for $89 million plus triple damages (i.e., a total of $267 million), claiming that IH had defrauded him and never intended to pay what they promised for performance in a “Guaranteed Performance Test.” This account makes it look like Rossi was sued and therefore could not continue development. But the original Symposium was based on the idea of a completed, tested, and fully functional technology with real power having been sold to an independent customer. That did not happen and the idea that it did was all Rossi fraud. Rossi has abandoned the technology that was used in that “test” in Doral, Florida, and is now working on something that does not even pretend to be close to ready for commercialization.
In fact, he could have been selling power from 2012 on, say in Sweden, at least during the winter.
In [July], 2017, a settlement was reached implying that IH had to return the license. During the litigation, IH claimed that neither the report, nor the test was valid, but no conclusive proof for this was ever produced.
It appears that all Lewan knows about the lawsuit is the “claims.” We only need to know a few things to understand what happened. First of all, Rossi filed the suit and claimed he could prove his case. He made false claims in the filing itself, as the evidence developed showed. I could go down this point by point, but Lewan seems to have never been interested in the evidence, which is what is real. “Conclusive proof” commonly exists in the fantasies of fanatic believers and pseudoskeptics. However, some of the evidence in the case rises to that level, on some points. Lewan does not even understand what the points are, much less the balance of the evidence.
There was a huge problem, known in public discussion before it was brought out in the filings. Dissipating a megawatt of power in a warehouse the size of the one in Doral, supposedly the “customer plant,” but actually completely controlled by Rossi, who was, in effect, the customer, is not an easy thing. As the plant was described by Penon, the so-called Expert Responsible for Validation (Rossi claimed, IH denied, and the procedures of the Agreement for that GPT were not followed, clearly), and as Rossi described it publicly, the power simply was either absorbed in the “product” (which turned out to be a few grams of platinum sponge or graphene) or rose out of the roof vents or out the back door. Rossi’s expert confirmed that if there were not more than that, the temperature in the warehouse would have risen to fatal levels. So, very late in the lawsuit, after discovery was almost done, Rossi claimed he had built a massive heat exchanger on the mezzanine, blowing heat out the windows above the front entrance, and that the glass had been removed to allow this.
Nobody saw this heat exchanger, it would have been obvious, and noisy, and would have to have been running 24/7. My opinion is that the jury would have concluded Rossi was lying. My opinion is that IH would have prevailed on most counts of their counterclaim.
But there was a problem. The legal expenses were high. While they did claim that the original $10 million payment was also based on fraudulent representation about the test in Italy (Rossi had apparently lied about it), they were likely estopped from collecting damages for that, so they would only have recovered their expenses from their support of the Doral installation (i.e., the contracted payments to West, Fabiani, and Penon).
They had already spent about $20 million on the Rossi project, and they had nothing to show for it. They did not ask to settle; I was there, the proposal came from a Rossi attorney, a new one (but highly experienced). There was no court order, only a dismissal of all claims on both sides with prejudice.
And Lewan has not considered the implications of that. IH had built the Lugano reactor. They supposedly knew the fuel — unless Rossi lied to them and kept it secret. If anyone knew whether the techology worked or not, they would know. They also knew that, if it worked, it was extremely valuable. Billions of dollars would be a drastic understatement. But, to avoid paying a few million dollars more in legal expenses to keep the license? Even to avoid paying $89 million? (The Rossi claim of fraud on their part was preposterous, and Rossi found no evidence of it, but the contrary, and they had obtained a commitment for $200 million if needed). They would have to be the biggest idiots on the planet.
No, that they walked away when Rossi offered to settle, but wanted the license back, indicates that they believed it was truly worthless.
Lewan is looking for conclusive proof? How about the vast preponderance of evidence here? Mats has not looked at the evidence, but then makes his silly statement about “no conclusive proof.” He could not know that without a detailed examination of all the evidence, so I suspect that he is simply accepting what Rossi said about this.
Which, by this time, is thoroughly foolish. What the lawsuit documents showed, again and again, was that Rossi lied. He either lied to Lewan at that Hydro Fusion test, or he lied to Darden and Vaughn in his email about that test, claiming it was a faked failure (i.e., he deliberately made the test not work so that Hydro Fusion would not insist on their contract because he wanted to work with this billion-dollar company.)
Lewan has hitched his future to a falling star.
Meanwhile, Andrea Rossi continued to develop the third generation of his reactor, the E-Cat QX, which was demoed on November 24, 2017, in Stockholm, Sweden. Andrea Rossi has now signed an agreement with a yet undisclosed industrial partner for funding an industrialization of the heat generator, initially aiming at industrial applications.
Rossi has been claiming agreements with “undisclosed industrial partners” or customers since 2011, but the only actual customer was Industrial Heat. (plus the shell company Rossi created to be the customer for the heat — refusing an opportunity to have a real customer, and that’s clear from Rossi’s email. Lewan is going ahead without actually doing his own research. And he isn’t asking those who know. He appears to be listening only to Rossi.
The E-Cat reaction has also been replicated by others. In March 2017, the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan reported such a replication.
Lewan links to a 19-page document with abstracts. The report in question is here. From that report:
In 2010, A. Rossi reported E-cat, Energy Catalyzer. This equipment can generate heat energy from Ni and H2 reaction and the energy is larger than input one. This experiment was replicated by A Parkhomov but the reaction mechanism has NOT been clarified [1-2]
Naive. It’s worse than that. First of all, the Rossi technology is secret, and Parkhomov was not given the secret, and so it could only be a guess as to replication. NiH effects have been suspected for a long time, but Rossi’s claims were way outside the envelope. Parkhomov’s work was weak, poorly done, and, unfortunately, he actually faked data at one point. He apologized, but he never really explained why he did it. I think he had a reason, and the reason was that he did not want to disclose that he was running the experiment with his computer floating on battery power in order to reduce noise, basically, the setup was punk.
I was quite excited by Parkhomov’s first report. Then I decided to closely examine the data, plotting reactor temperature vs input power. There was no sign of XP. The output power was calculated from evaporation calorimetry and could easily have been flawed, with the methods he was using. And even if he did have power, this certainly wasn’t a “Rossi replication,” which is impossible at this point, since Rossi isn’t disclosing his methods.
Given that, I have no confidence in the Nissan researchers. But what do they actually say?
In this report we will report 2 things. The first one is the experimental results regarding to reproducing Parkhomov’s experiment with some disclosing experimental conditions using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (STA-PT1600, Linseis Inc.). This DSC can measure generated heat within a tolerance of 2%. The second one is our expectation on this reaction for automotive potential.
So Lewan has cited a source for a claim not found there. They did attempt to reproduce “Parkhomov’s experiment,” not the “E-Cat reaction” as Lewan wrote. And they don’t say anything about whether or not they saw excess heat. They say that they will report results, not what those results were.
This is incredibly sloppy for someone who was a careful and professional reporter for years.
This appears to be a conference set up to promote investment in Rossi. I suspect some of the speakers don’t realize that … or don’t know what evidence was developed in Rossi v. Darden. Some may be sailing on like Lewan. Rossi looked interesting in 2011, even though it was also clear then that he was secretive and his demonstrations always had some major flaw. It was almost entirely Rossi Says, and then some appearances and maybe magic tricks. Essen is another embarassment. President of the Swedish Skeptics Society. WTF?
The only names I recognized in the list:
- Mats Lewan, conference moderator
- Bob Greenyer
Both have lost most of their credibility over the last year. As to the others:
John Joss, a writer and publisher.
David Orban … no clue that he has any knowledge about LENR, but he would understand “disruptive technologies.” Verture fund. Hey, watch him talk for a minute. I ‘m not impressed. Maybe it’s the weather or something I ate.
Jim Dunn, on several organizational boards, including the board of New Energy Institute, which publishes Infinite Energy, so he’s been around. He wrote a review on Amazon of Lewan’s book.
Thomas Grimshaw, formed LENRGY, LLC Working with Storms. Perhaps I will meet him at ICCF-21. The most interesting, he has quite a few papers written on LENR and public policy, on lenr-canr.org, going back to 2006.
John Michell. Rossi’s eCat: Free Energy, Free Money, Free People (2011) ‘Nuff said.
Prof. Stephen Bannister, does he realize what he’s getting himself into?
Prof. David H. Bailey
(I’ll finish this up tomorrow)
23 thoughts on “Mats Lewan: Losing all balance”
It will not balance if Rossi is successful with the quarkX.
Rossi and Lewan on one side
and the Scientific Establishment on the other side.Fabiani and Hurley add
some weight.Gullstrom ,
Vessy and others.
Still going to be interesting what the thousands of Scientist
are going to think if A.R. has
invented a LENR device.
“if A.R. has invented a LENR device.” ??? Really?
How is it that after all the previous fraudulent scams this man has carried out anyone would assign a probability of greater than zero to this latest Quack X episode being anything other than just one more con?
He hasn’t even bothered to change the song sheet. It is still exactly the same as all the previous. Not one note has changed and this is now its fourth season at least.
As always, if any notes are missing, he drops little hints to the plot on his silly blog so his loyal followers can construct the song that he wants to be sung. They fill in the blanks with the most favorable lines they can think of. That way, later on when the wheels fall off the entire show, as always happens, he can later truthfully say he said no such thing.
In this latest episode there is nothing to suggest that there is any more substance to the Quack X than there was to all the previous versions. Nothing at all except that in this instance, so far it has not reached the most logical and certain conclusion that all the others inevitably reached. And that conclusion is, he has nothing other than a party trick. That is why the previous 1MW power plant with the most amazing results demonstrated for a whole year, has been assigned to the scrap heap. Does that sound reasonable to anyone? In this day and age when the most impossible devices can be made to work by applying sound engineering solutions to the most difficult problems, an elaborate electric kettle with a COP of over 80 cannot be made to operate reliably and effectively? Really? Utter rubbish! If it actually worked with a COP of 80, the really difficult part has been done. The matter of leaking gaskets or whatever the other problems were could be solved by 1950’s technology. And yet, Mr Rossi assigns it to the scrap heap in favour of a supposedly new device with a whole raft of new problems to be solved, taking another five years at least, which he said it wouldn’t when he first announced it. Yeah right!
And to all those who might like to give credence to this latest rendition of the party trick by mentioning that he is working with a Ph.D. student or this person or that person, this company or that company, due diligence, protection of IP, NDA’s, and on and on, we’ve heard it all before. And it has always amounted to nothing. Still not one convincing demonstration or third party verification of any working device.
I remember saying this about the famous hot-cat device some years ago and was shouted down with replies of “What about the Penon report?” Or what about what this supposedly brilliant expert wrote, or the endorsement of some other supposedly very knowledgeable person.
Well, as it turns out, they were all either insufficiently advised, or fooled or whatever. But the fact is, they were all wrong! They allowed an excess of hopeful enthusiasm to outweigh a simple analysis of facts regarding the certainty of logical consequence.
The same still applies now. If Mr. Rossi had anything at all he would have long ago put something on the market no matter how primitive, and would now be the richest man on the planet.
The sad thing is, there still seems to be a loyal following who eagerly hang on his every word to see if they can glean just a small hint on how this supposedly great invention works.
Well, it works on deception. I thought that bubble had previously been burst but it seems to be inflating, yet again.
I can once again confidently predict Mr Ross will never sell a working reactor onto the open market for the market to decide for themselves whether it works or not.
I have made this same prediction for all the previous versions, so far with a 100% accurate result.
That includes the last 1MW reactor which was supposedly operated by a third party customer, who later turned out to be himself. Hardly a valid endorsement by anyone’s standards. Well, almost anyone’s standards.
I am still betting on A.R. Pweet.Would like to
make a wager on Rossi getting to market with the
Quark X .
It is a sign of attachment, the kind that leads to unclear thinking, that one attempts to strengthen a claim by betting on it. All that reveals is that the would-be bettor is attached to being right. I don’t think it is sam’s intention, but this is a form of trolling.
When I saw this, I thought I might offer to escrow a bet. However, it is gambling, because the technology could easily be valid and the product still not reach market. To be fairly escrowed, as well, any bet would need to be very specific and the outcome judged. Obviously, there would need to be a time limit, and a clear meaning for “getting to market.”
I would need to see social benefit from the bet in order to allow my own participation in any way.
If Sam wants to “bet,” the obvious way would be to invest in a Rossi enterprise, and that can be done, I think. Isn’t Hydro Fusion still involved? That would be, indeed, putting his money where his mouth is. It is more difficult to profit from a negative, and there is no necessity.
Sam could also, perhaps, invest in or support Looking For Heat, which is a loose form of betting on Rossi. Or he could support Bob Greenyer’s investigations, perhaps. Or Mats Lewan. Those all have some possible social benefit (in a full view, where society maintains, overall, some kind of presence with the fringe, through individual freedom of choice).
“Right” and “wrong” are fuzzy concepts. One can have all the “right reasons” and still be wrong, and vice-versa, one can believe in a load of BS and it turns out that the lies had a hidden truth behind them. One phenomenon I am sure of: belief in personal rightness leads astray. Key word is “belief.” A deeper stand is recognizing the fallibility of human judgment, but still using what appears as the preponderance of the evidence to guide choices without confining them. Sometimes we bet on a dark horse, with our lives, and this is part of the greatness of being human.
As it happens, I did send a small donation to Looking For Heat. That’s not because I think there’s a lot of chance if they follow what Rossi is doing, but because they will most likely apply logic to what they are doing and because that area needs work simply to prove things one way or the other. There is some chance that the underlying process may succeed since AFAICT Rossi collected the ideas from suggestions on JONP. Alan is not intending to make a massive profit but is sharing what he finds out. Everyone wins.
Otherwise, Pweet has it all to rights. I get the impression that Rossi has found the minimum he can show in order to get money (and adulation) to continue along his merry way. With the Quack X he’s hit a new low in minimum effort required to produce the showpiece, and has also taken notice of the problem of “where did that megawatt go to?” that almost tripped him up with Doral. He’s noticed however that he can get away with spectrographic measurements of the temperature and not measuring the input power, and still gets a sufficient number of believers to support him. In a year or two he’ll drop the Quack X and bring out another design that is about to be mass-produced.
I will invest in Leonardo
when it goes on Stock market.
Had Leonardo gone on the stock market, and continued his behavior, Rossi would be in prison by now.
He will never take Leonardo public, he would gain nothing by it. Hydro Fusion is public, I think, though I don’t know if they are still open to investment. There are other licensees willing to take your money, I think. Do you trust any of them?
Sam, I would really like to know what you see in this latest rendition of the Rossi saga which gives you any confidence that it will end any different from all the previous versions.
There is still no product either proven to work or on the market in spite of claims since 2011 that “We are not making idle chatterings. We are making products.”
Nobody can deny that to this point it has never been proven that any version of his e-cats actually works as claimed.
What makes you so sure this is about to change?
What can you see that I fail to see?
I see a Nikola Tesla type
of a man.
Then you know neither Tesla nor Rossi, nor the relevant subjects. I do suggest becoming familiar with Tesla’s biography. You could start with Wikipedia. I never met Tesla, who died a year before I was born. I’ve met Rossi. Are you planning on going to the Symposium in June, is it? You could meet him, perhaps!
Reading, again, Tesla’s bio, there are resemblances, to be sure, but not laudatory ones. Tesla was indeed a genius, a giant, who accomplished much. But, as well, a screw came loose. It can happen to any of us.
Unfortunately, on consideration of a massive amount of evidence, I have come to similar conclusions. My conclusions were not based — at all — on an a priori assessment of probability. They were not based on Rossi’s prior legal difficulties in Italy. It seemed possible that someone, with diligent experimentation — or even accidentally — might have found an approach to NiH LENR that worked. Rossi played on verious plausibilities. It could indeed have been difficult to protect his technology with patents.
But he defrauded Industrial Heat, taking $10 million in return for a promise to divulge all necessary secrets. He did not accomplish that, and they walked away from a $20 million investment, returning the license and all the devices, including those they had made, retaining no rights — unless somehow they assert them through Ampenergo. That makes no sense if they had any remaining belief that it even remotely possible there was a real technology.
Rossi lied to them, over and over, the evidence was beyond a reasonable doubt, and I’m quite satisfied that they would have been able to show fraud in the trial, had it proceeded. However, the $10 million was gone, a fraud claim about that was estopped (absent very strong proof of fraud in the Ferrara test, not merely a reasonable suspicion.) The damages they could have recovered probably would not have covered their legal fees for continuing with the trial.
No sane investor will give him more money absent far more proof than he has ever been willing to provide. But there are insane investors! And there have always been people willing to continue to believe whatever. There are still Keeley motor followers. There are still flat earth believers, in spite of ample evidence that anyone can verify.
You wrote: “While it has been speculated for almost thirty years that LENR would be cheap and clean, we do not actually know that, because we don’t know what it will take to create a usable device. There is real LENR, almost certainly, but there are also real problems with development, and the basic science behind LENR effects remains unknown.”
I dispute your first statement. Yes, we do not know for sure cold fusion would be cheap and clean, but we have many reasons to think that is likely. We can make reasonable cost and performance extrapolations from existing products such as palladium thin film catalytic converters and NiCad batteries, which resemble cold fusion devices in important ways. We know the tolerances and material purity of cold fusion devices is not especially stringent, and that many cheap industrial products meet the levels needed.
We know that cold fusion can produce the temperatures and power density a nuclear fission reactor pellet, which means it is compact enough with enough Carnot efficiency for most applications other than earth-to-orbit spacecraft. It also means the cost of materials per watt of capacity will be low. Even if palladium is needed, assuming the power density is roughly the same per unit of surface area as the heat that palladium catalytic converters survive, the cost of the palladium will not be too high, and there may be enough palladium to power the entire world. (Martin Fleischmann, who know a lot about palladium, estimated there would be enough for about one-third of global energy.) This high power density is rare today, but it will reached in any device once the reaction is understood and controlled. To take a similar example, any manufactured semiconductor in 1960 was far better than the best laboratory prototypes of 1952.
It is true that the basic science is not known. Cold fusion technology is not likely to be developed until the science becomes known. Granted, many technologies were developed before modern science began, meaning the basic science was not known, but it seems unlikely cold fusion could be.
Yes, Jed, I know that is your opinion. I can basically imagine, however, that creating reliable NAE is beyond our technological capacity, and don’t know when that might change. There may be something about the reaction that destroys the NAE, i.e,. we make it, possibly at high expense — not just in cost of materials and fuel, but in processing them, and so our work lasts only a short time.
Yes, it is also possible it will be cheap. The power density claimed for cold fusion may ben an understatement, if it is a surface effect, as I think, and can be done thin-film. Can it?
If palladium-based cold fusion becomes practical, the price of palladium could be expected to rise dramatically, and supplies are, as you note, limited. We cannot know what practical cold fusion will look like until it exists, but I do imagine structures created using nanotechology. The engineering could be very difficult and complex …. but eventually, sure, very complex structures can be created that even become very cheap, witness microprocessors and similar devices.
But we aren’t there yet, and proclaiming that it’s just around the corner is wearing rose-colored glasses, and the real point is that Lewan has created a Conference about developing a technology that does not exist yet, except he thinks or claims it does, and it looks to me like the Conference is about flogging Rossi technology to venture capitalists.
In contrast, what LENR needs is basic research organization and funding, and the Rossi Fantasy has diverted much attention from that.
I do not think the mechanism need be understood for practical development. In fact, practical development would be likely to lead to understanding. The two are likely to develop together.
You wrote: ” I can basically imagine, however, that creating reliable NAE is beyond our technological capacity, and don’t know when that might change.”
In that case, the technology will not work at any price. That was the situation with transistors just after they were discovered and before zone refining was invented. They could not be manufactured at any price, for any purpose. They were a laboratory curiosity. That is a different situation from the one I described. My working assumption is that the effect will be understood scientifically (to some extent), and the reaction will be controlled. Controlled at least as well as transistors were in 1952 when commercial production began. Given these assumptions, we can predict the price and performance, because we already know how much the materials cost, how pure they have to be, how high the temperature and power density can reach, and other critical parameters.
In 1952, people accurately predicted the likely cost of transistors over the next several years, based on the price of germanium, the cost of the machines used to fabricate transistors, and the failure rate. It was clear that transistors were more expensive than vacuum tubes, but they were falling in price and they would soon be cheaper. What people could not predict was that the cost per transistor would eventually fall by 8 orders of magnitude because of integrated circuits and lithography. That was a different technology. By the same token, we can be sure that if cold fusion works at all, it will lower the cost of energy somewhat. After that, it might lower the cost drastically, because of additional discoveries similar to lithography.
Yes. However, I suggest that we cannot declare this confidently as if fact. It is speculation, which may be more or less reasonable, but in an environment where basic reality remains in question for many, it is distracting and creates an impression of belief based on wishes.
Pons and Fleischmann were not seeking a new energy source. They did not expect what they found, and they misinterpreted much of what they originally found. Bulk effect rather than surface effect, for example, which then had a nasty interaction with the fugacity issue. How could that high “pressure” exist at the surface? Well, maybe locally, a few deuterons at a time in a small trap of some kind. But why not down in the bulk? What is special about the surface that would not exist more deeply buried?
They realized that helium was a big problem for their ideas, because helium formed in the bulk would stay there, yet I suspect that their original Johnson Matthey helium analysis showed no helium in the bulk with their cathodes. So attachment to their own ideas led them to deprecate evidence and divert attention from helium. This all did not escape notice from skeptics, who saw them as evasive.
It really was the Scientific Fiasco of the Century. Huizenga got that right. He only got the half of it, though.
The Morrey collaboration correctly speculated that the effect might be surface, with much of the helium escaping, but the punk, low-performance cathode Pons and Fleischmann supplied, together with the mysteriously helium-implanted “as received” cathode made a confused mish-mosh of what could have nailed cold fusion as a reality by 1990. Ah, what a mess we create when we become afraid of reality!
Not to put too fine a point on it, I would call that a $20 trillion error.
You wrote: “However, I suggest that we cannot declare this confidently as if fact. It is speculation . . .”
Fleischmann and I made it quite clear we did not declare this as if fact.
This is extrapolation. However, it is based on many well established facts such as the cost and availability of palladium, the highest power densities achieved so far, and the history of similar solid state technologies.
“Speculation” is defined at “the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence.” That is quite different from extrapolation or prediction.
Jed, extrapolation of the kind you are explaining is “without firm evidence,” that is, it is analogical. Prediction can be based on firm evidence or otherwise. The same with extrapolation.
I have been, for some time, suggesting a very different public tack for supporting LENR research, from what became common and which essentially failed to transform the overall status of cold fusion.
This tack is to emphasize the science issues, and to validate and encourage genuine skepticism, as understandable, and to join with genuine skeptics in supporting high-quality research.
There was genuine skepticism present in 1989-1990, and pseudoskepticism. There were critics who demonstrated aspects of both. As an example, Huizenga, to his credit, did not attack the Miles reports of a heat/helium correlation, but very fairly noted how significant it was. And then expressed an opinon, a projection or extrapolation, if you will, that Miles would not be confirmed because of “no gammas.”
His argument was quite reasonable, actually, within certain common assumptions. Huizenga apparently continued to show interest in LENR, in spite of being quite stuck in certain ways. Morrison as well, put quite a bit of effort into following LENR. He took the time to critique Pons and Fleischmann, and it’s easy for us to pick apart his critique, but … criticism is essential to science. When I met Jones at ICCF-18, I shook his hand to congratulate him for being the only person to attempt a critique of Miles.
He might have been wrong, he might have ignored — as I’ve pointed out — the damn correlation, instead just saying that either measurement could be flawed, and Shanahan more or less says the same, “garbage in, garbage out,” but …. correlation beats that argument to death.
To bring LENR into the mainstream and the mainstream into LENR — we need each other — we need to be far more sympathetic to skepticism. What I have found among some well-known skeptics, a few of them at least, is that they support the concept of further research to test the correlation and measure the ratio with increased precision.
Telling them they are blind and ignorant and stupid for not already believing in LENR is not going to inspire them, nor will it inspire anyone, and especially not the gatekeepers of research funding.
This community has been massively naive about the politics. The 2004 DoE review represented a sea change in how LENR was viewed, possibly. The review itself, however, was massively flawed, and this was predictable, the process was completely inadequate for creating communication between CMNS experts and a relatively neutral panel. There was no provision for back-and-forth, so a fundamental error in interpretation of the Case data led to unwarranted skepticism about the correlation claim. That document, the Case Appendix, was not well-prepared for the purpose of communication, and the misinterpretation was easy.
It was apparently all rushed, and there was a belief that “beggars can’t be choosers,” and we had to accept what was offered. There was no coherent and specific proposal, it is as if we were looking for some stamp of approval. Scientists, people like Hagelstein, are not trained in public relations and political advocacy. My understanding has been that Storms opposed that presentation, as it was. We went into what could have been an opportunity, poorly prepared, presenting at the same time too much and too little.
The strongest position, my opinion, we can take on LENR theory is that there is almost none, that to develop theory is going to require much more research.
As part of political arguments for funding, yes, the *potential* of LENR can be brought up. *If* this can be developed and applied, this could be worth a trillion dollars per year. With a number like that, the probability of success does not need to be high.
Rosy predictions, though, given the environment, can discredit the predictor. They assume too much, they assume a background knowledge that is missing.
This is about creating effective communication. Do we want that, or do we want to continue railing about how stupid and unfair the mainstream is? I don’t think we can do both.
To communicate with skeptics, we need to allow that we might be wrong. At least for purposes of discussion! We need to be genuinely skeptical, not pseudoskeptical about skepticism.
Speculation is not wrong, it is simply speculation. Positing what may happen “if” is a part of ordinary analysis. But stating it as if solidly established is belief-based polemic.
You wrote: “Jed, extrapolation of the kind you are explaining is ‘without firm evidence,’ that is, it is analogical.”
Fleischmann and I thought that things like the price and availability of palladium and the power density already achieved are firm evidence. He had a great deal of experience working with industry and extrapolating the likely cost of industrial products. You disagree with our analysis.
For reasons unclear to me, you seem to think that an industrially mass produced cold fusion cell might cost much more per watt than today’s laboratory prototypes. I think history shows that the opposite is likely. Mass produced items are usually cheaper than laboratory prototypes. I think that you are making predictions without evidence, but it is no big deal.
“Rosy predictions, though, given the environment, can discredit the predictor.”
I am not trying to convince anyone with this particular extrapolation, and I do not give a damn what the skeptics believe or what they say. They are incapable of thinking for themselves. Scientific evidence means nothing to them. They will only be convinced when Nature magazine and the DoE endorse cold fusion. I gave up on them years ago. I am only interested in communicating with open minded people who are sincerely interested in cold fusion. There are millions of them, judging by the traffic at LENR-CANR.org.
The “power density” is not “firm evidence” unless widely confirmed, and being able to achieve a high power density, without having achieved reliabilty (where is that damned “lab rat”?) does not show that commercialization is possible.
Your attitude toward skepticism, while understandable, is part of what has perpetuated the rejection of cold fusion, postponing the day when adequate research resources are applied to address the basic problems. You cannot tell how many “open minded people” who are “sincerely interested” by traffic at lenr-canr.org. You are guessing at what they think. Yes, there are many open-minded people, but you dismiss skeptics as not being open-minded, ipso facto, and you treat them that way, insulting them indiscriminately.
This does not help the cause of supporting LENR research, and I wish you would, yourself, be open-minded about skepticism. How will we get articles in Nature magazine and the “endorsement” of the DoE? The DoE came pretty close to endorsing LENR research in 2004, and instead of emphasizing that, some of us attacked the DoE because they made mistakes (which they certainly did).
Our attitude has affected the world”mainstream” attitude. We are, here, examining certain disputes, for example the http://coldfusioncommunity.net/morrison-fleischmann-debate/ What were the actual arguments made? One thing that I have noticed is that there seems to have been little followup on the Fleischmann and Pons claims of HAD. The real claim there was a not so much the HAD itself (which was tricky to measure under boil-off conditions, perhaps, but rather the reduction in boil-off time in controlled experiment. That was the “simplicity” claimed. I never realized this until I started to study that paper. I’d certainly looked at the paper before!
A symptom of pseudoskepticism is belief prior to investigation.
That study is not complete. I’ve been distracted. But I will come back to it.
Abd – Jim Dunn has done a lot in renewable energy and has installed some pretty large projects. He’s also pretty keen on Free Energy and he’s gone to see quite a few claims in person, but of course they’ve all been false claims one way or another. Still, someone has to go check them out in case one of these days we missed an honest one through getting fed up with all the scams. He’s pretty level-headed though despite the enthusiasm for magnetic motors and the like, and actually tries to get the data rather than just believe he’s being told the truth. If they can’t prove it in front of him, he walks away. If it happened that they did prove the thing works, then he’d back it with real money and manufacture it (and he’s doing that with various renewable/recycling projects that do work). He’s thus a good person to know, and you’d probably get on well. For Free Energy (or LENR or other cheap energy ideas) he’s obviously seeing that there’s a big profit available if they can be made to work, but that’s the way business works. Funnily enough it’s because I know that there are people like him that I’m more certain that the historical Free Energy claims were false and not just “suppressed”, since suppression of a profitable invention seems impossible to actually do. Even if the original inventor was cut out of the profits, the device itself would get made and sold. Much the same if some lone inventor finds a way to get LENR working – there are people around who will invest if they are convinced it will work, and will also invest if they feel the inventor is honest, has shown something valid, and is on a good-enough path.
Mats Lewan seems to have lost any semblance of objectivity. The evidence Rossi has presented over the years has been exhaustively analysed, and it seems to me that anyone who still believes Rossi can’t have read the evidence and doesn’t know how to measure things. Somewhat surprising since Mats is stated as having an MSc in engineering physics. He should know how to measure things. It also seems to me that the “Rossi Effect” is actually the effect he has on his audience to inspire belief in the unbelievable. I don’t see any reasonable explanation for scientists or engineers accepting a claim of >500 COP when the actual power input wasn’t measured and the power-supply needed a fan to cool it. Pretty obvious…. I can point at quite a few demonstrations of ‘excess energy’ from something where the metering shows a power gain yet it only works when plugged into the wall-socket. BrLP falls into that category, too, since logically if they were really producing that much light energy then it could have been shown self-running over a year ago with very little effort.
Still, there’s a long history of people being promised massive profits providing they invest in *something* before the price goes up, and those people being left poorer when the bubble burst. The Rossi bubble hasn’t yet run its course, by the look of it.
Lewan certainly recognized problems with tests before, and confronted Rossi on his input power measurements in the Hydro Fusion test. At least that’s what he claims in his book. Mats was aware that the QX demonstration was missing actual input power measurement. Possibly because, then, it did not “prove” that the QX did not work, he passes over that, giving the classic excuse of a need for secrecy. There would be ways around that, but Mats simply accepts Rossi explanations of first-level problems and doesn’t then look at the problems with the explanations.
I think this is because if he did, consciously or unconsciously, he knows he he’d lose access. Rossi does not tolerate real critique, only shallow, that he has an excuse prepared for. And he lies. That I would say was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt by the evidence. It is true, it’s not over until the fat lady sings, i.e., until a jury renders a verdict, but it’s clear Rossi was going to lose. Consider, they were a few million dollars away from a verdict, on a technology that would be worth trillions. Why would IH walk away if they thought it was possibly real (and merely covered up by Rossi wanting to get out of the deal)? And why would Rossi walk away if the test proved a megawatt? Even if he could not collect because of the contractual technicalities, he’d be vindicated and free to move foward with many opportunities.
No, I think his lawyer (Lukacs) told him he was going to lose. To do this and not get fired, he’d need to skillfully present it. I imagine, “Mr. Rossi, I know it’s not fair, but the appearance of the evidence that this jury will see, and as it is being presented by Jones Day (those snakes!), you are going to lose and it’s very risky. They won’t collect a lot of money, but there could be perjury charges, again because of how things appear and some impressions from what you wrote. If this settles now, I think I can get the license back, telling them that if matters are as they claim, the technology is worthless. May I present this?” Actually, I suspect that he didn’t ask Rossi, he just asked Pace that morning. I think this was a surprise to about everyone. When he got Pace’s approval, *then* he presented it to Rossi.
My lawyer friend told me this was completely brilliant, precisely because it would allow Rossi to continue to look for suckers, ah … smart investors but who aren’t smart enough to read and understand the effing court record! I am convincing myself, here, that I should continue organizing that and creating better access to the monster pile of documents.
Lewan is assisting in a fraud. It’s tragic. His support for Rossi was understandable, before Rossi v. Darden, even though more or less out on a limb. Lewan does not seem to understand the problems with the “facts” he presents. I saw this in his comments during the trial, on ECW. He was responding within Planet Rossi, allergic to reading actual evidence and studying it. And he did not take advantage of opportunities to discuss it (which is largely how I learn, and if I’m wrong, I have the opportunity to find out if I investigate what others claim, even when they are hostile. Over time, my understanding grows and deepens. It is a never-ending process, because this life does not present “conclusive proof” on the most important questions.
Ah. A project for the coming months! A paper on the Rossi Affair, to be presented at ICCF-21, and designed for journal publication. I’d been thinking I should present. But on what? How about something where I have unusual knowledge? What a concept!?
Abd – you have all the available documents, so people who want to read them can find them. That is a major service. Indexing them and making them easier to access probably won’t win that much for the work involved. It may however be worthwhile having a set of pointers to specific documents and places in them where critical information is exposed. I wouldn’t suggest that you do that, but if you did want to improve accessibility this may help people who don’t have the time to read everything but want to pick up the important points.
Mats may be profiting from being the point of access to Rossi, and he’s certainly still plugging his book about the earlier DPSs. I agree that if he was more critical then he’d lose that access and maybe his current income, and he’d need to find something else to do than organise Rossi-fests. Maybe when it’s all over he’ll write what he really thought about the whole caboodle.
We can’t prove something never worked, only that the likelihood that it failed is much greater than the likelihood that it worked. As you say, absolute proof will not be available. That IH walked away is pretty indicative that they didn’t see anything worth pursuing, though – I’ve gained a lot of respect for the people in IH for making the bet in the first place and how they handled it. There was always the outside chance that Rossi actually had something before they came in and showed he didn’t, and most people wouldn’t have played those odds.
That Rossi also walked away from the E-cat demonstrates that he didn’t believe it worked either. It’s better to look at what people do, not what they say.
I intend to write a definitive article on the affair. Organizing (i.e., indexing and cataloging) the case material is part of that. Yes. The behavior shows with high clarity the reality, for those who look. To think otherwise requires a Rube Goldberg Conspiracy Theory that makes no real sense. So they give up a trillion dollar technology to protect someone else’s billion dollar investments in solar technology? Really? There is no sign in the case documents of any effort to stop Rossi from developing applications and he could easily have sold power in Sweden (a cold climate at times, and steam heat can be directly applied, no issues with energy conversion) from long ago. His Hydro Fusion excuse actually made no sense. His agreement with Industrial Heat wasn’t exclusive in a way that would have shut Hydro Fusion out.
Rossi lies. That is the basic problem. So could a liar still have something real? Sure! But relying on what they say can’t be a part of finding out!
This is why independent testing is so important. A skilled liar — call him a magician, that’s what they do, being expert at misdirection — can fool about anyone, including other magicians, for a time. Rossi simply never allowed independent testing, always with the secrecy excuse. But independent testing can be done with substantial protection for secrecy. It was all bullshit. In all tests, Rossi was in control.