Reproducibility of Excess of Power and Evidence of 4He in Palladium Foils Loaded with Deuterium

This is a slide presentation from 2005, authored by M.Apicella(1), H. Branover(2), E. Castagna(3), I. Dardik(4) A. El Boher(2), S.Lesin(2),
G. Mazzitelli(1), M. McKubre(5), F.Sarto(1), C. Sibilia(3), E. Santoro(1), F. Tanzella(5), V. Violante(1), T. Zilov(2)
(1) ENEA Frascati Research Center V.le E. Fermi 45 00044 Frascati (RM) ItalyV. le E. Fermi 45 italy
(2) Energetics, Ltd, Omer Industrial Park 84965 Israel)
(3) La Sapienza University, Via Scarpa, 14 00100 (Roma) Italy
(4) Energetics LLC 7 Fieldview Lane, Califon, NJ 07830 USA
(5) SRI International 333 Ravenswood Ave, Menlo Park CA 94025 USA.

I’ve uploaded the file here. The occasion today is that Kirk Shanahan posted a commentary on this presentation on LENR Forum, in response to my suggestion that he read my 2015 Current Science paper — I had cited this document for a small part of it. Kirk commonly turns every conversation into his favorite topic, this was no exception. Perhaps we will learn something here.

Abd said I should read his paper, so I did. Nothing but recitation of what others say.

Indeed. It’s a review, not something new, and most of what is cited was quite old. However, what I wrote in that paper was considered significant by McKubre, enough to be mentioned in his 2016 ICCF-20 keynote.

In his review of helium-4 and heat correlations in 2015, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax[10] states: “Miles was amply confirmed, and precision has increased. While there are outliers, there is no experimental evidence contradicting the correlation, and only the exact ratio remains in question. In this, we have direct evidence that the effect is real and is nuclear in nature; the mechanism remains a mystery well worth exploration.” For an experimental result of earth shattering importance, first reported publicly in 1991, it took until 2015, 24 years, for this conclusion to be stated with such clarity and conviction. Why? And even now not every researcher in the CMNS world would agree that helium-4 is the primary product, or even a nuclear one!

What was largely new with the paper was the title, “Replicable cold fusion experiment: heat/helium ratio.” This, unlike most LENR experiments, is quantitatively replicable.

He referenced a Powerpoint presentation by a group of authors whose primary CFer is McKubre that details some positive CF experiments (http://www.lenr-canr.org/acrobat/ApicellaMreproducib.pdf) that I’d like to comment on.

“Primary CFer” is standard Shanahan insult. Because of language like this, I’m not about to take any issues that are legitimately raised here to the CF research community for comment, but if such consultation becomes appropriate, I’ll restate it all, leaving out the load of carp.

Many of the authors are familar names to me. Then again, I actually study the field instead of just throwing darts at it occasionally. Links added.

At the end in the background material there is a slide that actually has a calibration equation on it for their isoperibolic calorimeter. It gives electrolyte temp as a function of input power. The equation is: Telec = -0.1649 * Pin2 + 5.3636*Pin + 24.337, and it has a multiple R2 value of 1, implying it is a very highly precise equation.

The document doesn’t actually say “Telec” but it is probably the electrolyte temperature. It is the average temperature of two PT-100 sensors. The caption does not thoroughly explain what this is. “By electrolysis in LiOD” is vague.” It is presumably a D2O solution of LiOD. But calibration by electrolysis, if that is what they mean, would be problematic. It gets complicated with deuterium evolution, etc. I’d think they would calibrate with a resistor. So this is a question that could be asked of Violante.

That is a curve fit for calibration data, not precisely, only plotted. I’m not thrilled with the claimed R2 = 1, but it may simply mean that the behavior was within measurement precision. This wasn’t a scientific paper, it was a presentation at an APS meeting, by multiple authors working at different institutions. It was not peer reviewed, I expect.

“Their” refers to ENEA Frascati, i.e., Apicella, Santoro, and Violante, and to their Laser-triggered work using isoperibolic calorimetry. that also measured helium.

This can be reversed to predict Pin given the Telec values. I did it by computing Telec for Pin values of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6W, and then using the Excel fitting routine for a quadratic. I got this equation: Pin = .0022001*Telec2 +.0060493*Telec -2.6978, with an R2 = .99997 (I’m not sure why it didn’t give 1.0, probably round off error). Of course excess power (Pex) is given by Pex = Pout – Pin, and in calibration we set Pout = Pin.

The question is what a small change in calibration constants would do to apparent excess heat. So I started with the McK equation to compute Telec for the Pin’s given above, then changed the linear and quadratic term constants in the reversed equation by +1%, and recomputed the ‘new’ expected Telec.

A small problem. This is not a “McK equation.” This is for ENEA Frascati work. There is much more information on this specific work in Apicella et al, Some Recent Results at ENEA, 2005.

Then I went back to the original McK equation and computed the Pout values for those new Telec’s. At 6W Pin, the shifted equation gives an apparent excess heat of ~78 mW. In my Storms’ reanalysis, I found a +/- 2.5% shift, which translates here to a 195 mW 1 sigma value (for 2.5% shift). Thus the 3-sigma band is +/- 585 mW, which can be rounded up to 600 mW band. Thus theoretically the excess power signal needs to exceed 600 mW to be ‘out of the noise’ if a 1% CCS has occurred.

A signals has no need. We do, as humans. Need for what?

I would certainly not assert that the ENEA results are “major heat,” however, a 1% calibration constant shift would be large. Shanahan’s work and conclusions have never been confirmed. I have not verified his calculations here, but I have no reason to doubt them, they simply are not surprising, in themselves, i.e., Shahanan has been writing this for years.

In careful work, calibrations are not just done before an experiment, they will also be done after. Calibrations do shift, though the magnitude he is proposing seems high. Most electrochemists dismiss Shanahan out of hand, his CCS has been called “random.” However, in fact, he is proposing a systematic shift. If it is systematic it should not be difficult to confirm.

Shanahan’s complaints, though, are not likely to lead to that.

McK, et al have several slides claiming excess power. For example, their 3rd slide shows an excess power peak from a flow calorimeter of ~90 mW in a spike, smoothed I say more like 70 mW. This is approximately the same magnitude as the 1% CCS effect.

This presentation is not “McK, et al.” The lead presenter, by which the paper is cited, is Apicella of ENEA. Slide 3 should be compared with slide 2, which with H2O and 0.1 M LiOH. Notice how the cumulative energy out remains below the cumulative energy in, showing apparent calorimetry capture of 97.5%. There are lots of aspects I don’t like about the presentation. Slide 3 may be mislabeled, at least in the ICCF conference paper this is captioned as isoperibolic.

So … a 1% CCS effect is imagined to appear in the middle of an experiment like this, and then disappear? I do understand the irony: excess appears in the middle of an experiment and then disappears. However, Shanahan’s CCS is an anomaly that has not been confirmed by anyone. He then ignores most of the rest of the evidence.

Slide 6 show]s] “Excess Power at SRI”. They seem to plot an excess power (very noisy) and a smoothed version that apparently uses the right Y-axis based on the figure legend across the top of the graph. Those plots show peak values of ~55 mW (guessing at the units, since they stated ‘Total Power = 214mW’), which is within the 1% CCS 1 sigma.

I don’t know what we are seeing there, the plot is not familiar to me. Many SRI reports do show this kind of noisy power plot. To understand this, I’d want to see the history of this cell and run. It’s simply not there. Whether Slide 6 made for an effective presentation would depend entirely on what was said about it. I’d rather not guess.

Their 8th slide shows more calorimetric results for laser triggered experiments. They plot energy and power on the same graph. Of note is at the start the output power slightly exceeds input power (i.e. positive small excess power signal) but it basically tracks the input power, which is a good indication that the calibration is off or there is something else going on (Storms’ first data set for Pt-Pt F&P cell work showed negative input power feedback due to ground loops). Later on, they get spiky output power when input power is constant. The spikes are about 190 mW peak values (~2.5 times the 1% CCS effect (or just a 2.5% CCS as found in Storms’ results)).

First, see Slide 2. This is a hydrogen control. This is what zero XP looks like, for a few hours. I’d really want to see much more to be thoroughly satisfied, but this is what they have. Hydrogen does not present this messy power output.

Slide 8 does not show more than two days of startup. The scale for this plot was not designed to show what may have been early excess power, but the accumulated energy has deviated early on. The plots of total input energy and total output energy are confusing; cold fusion researchers don’t seem to recognize the communication problem. However, the XP they are concerned with mostly shows up in the last days of this experiment. This is not impressive power, for sure, but it becomes more impressive when compared with the helium measurements.

So my point is that the apparent excess power/energy values shown in these slides could *easily* be a very small CCS. It seems important to me that the reality of these signals need to be determined and not just assumed to be real excess energy.

I don’t assume it’s real excess energy. It is a set of real measurements; unfortunately, we don’t have them. We have calculations done from them. It would be enough for the most important purposes that these measurements are handled consistently. “Very small” is Shanahan’s own view, not some reliable measure. 2.5% CCS hardly seems small to me, for something routinely observed to be much more stable.

Since I am looking at the Apicella, et al, slides – some other points:

In Slide 7, they state some conclusions which I find contradictory. In the first line they say: “(D/Pd > 0.9 in some cases also with less loading) have been observed at ENEA.” Then in the 2nd line they say: “We can conclude that high D loading is a necessary condition for excess of power production during loading of Pd with D.” But if one can get apparent excess power at <D/Pd=0.9, then it is incorrect to conclude that that is a requirement.

Yes, and this indicates poor editing. However, this is the reality: for a very long time, high loading was considered completely necessary. Experiments without that high loading normally did not show excess heat. The apparent contradiction goes away if we think that, say, 85% loading is high, and, historically, it used to be thought that anything above 70% loading was impossible. And that is why the early failed replications stopped loading at 70% or so, and why, now, we can look at those and see the failures as highly predictable.

However, there is recent work by Ed Storms that indicates that once conditions showing XP are set up, the loading may decline and XP may continue, quite a distance below those high numbers. This is unconfirmed, so far, but … it does make sense, given some of the odd events that have been reported, such as the original FP meltdown in about 1984.

Of course they don’t specifically say right there that >0.9 is the requirement, but in Slide 12 they do. These slides were presented in 2005, and today in 2017 the mantra is still “>0.9”. I disagree, it simply takes a little more work to get the effect when the Pd loading is <0.9.

I suggest not confusing initial conditions with what is necessary for a maintained effect.

In slide 10 they show some 4He results for laser-triggered experiments. I note that the indicated background level is ~0.55e16 and the strongest result is 1.05e16, i.e., less than 2X background.

Helium is very energetic. So sue God.

I find that to be ‘working in the noise’, and I require much more replication to be convinced this plot shows anything of value. There’s also no way to evaluate if these signals come from leaks or not.

Leaks would be unlikely to match an otherwise irrelevant and minor excess heat calculation. That is a “way to evaluate.” If Shanahan isn’t convinced, I’m not offended. He has a right to not be convinced. However, how much funding should be allocated to convincing him? What has happened is that the heat/helium evidence was considered by those who fund research to merit replication with increased precision, the classic way to test “pathological science.”

Much weaker evidence was seen by Huizenga in 1994 to be astonishing. So Shanahan’s assessment of that nothing “of value” has been shown is itself without value, worthless, exaggerated polemic, a broken record that he’s stuck playing out, maybe for the rest of his life. Ah, what a dismal prospect!

Slide 11 shows results from the SRI “M4” experiment. I’ve noted elsewhere that I have looked at the calorimetry of this run, and determined that it could well be affected by a CCS. However, there is some *very* fancy data workup going on here, and I require a full explanation of that to be able to evaluate the data’s validity. I asked McK twice for that info and never got it. The He values plotted here never exceed the usual outside air value of 5.22 ppm, and there is no report of what the 4He concentration was in the lab at the time the experiments were run, so we can’t honestly reject leaks once again.

What did Kirk ask? The data in that slide presentation is skimpy. The full report is as shown in my paper. The chart shown is not the original calculation; apparently McKubre found an error in the headspace volume and recalculated. (Which drove Krivit bonkers.) I still consider this work more or less seat of the pants and approximate. I have far higher expectations of Texas Tech and ENEA this time around. I’m hoping they use more of the Miles approach, but Shananan’s ascription of his CCS hypothesis to SRI flow calorimetry is problematic.

If he can convince THH that this is worth taking further, I’ll support that. But, bottom line, the heat/helium data almost totally demolishes Kirk’s argument. It becomes very, very unlikely that bogus heat and bogus helium data would match as well as has been observed, as often as has been observed.

Their 4th slide shows excess power from the Energetics lab that uses the “Superwave” on the input, and they don’t explain the calorimetric method. The excess is about 2.5W on an input of 4W. This clearly needs to be explained further, and the accuracy and precision clearly established, especially when the “Superwave” is being used. Ditto on the 5th slide, which is another Energetics lab results slide showing even greater apparent excess power.

The Superwave work was later replicated by SRI and ENEA, with extensive experimental series; this was published in the ACS LENR Sourcebook, 2008. I haven’t heard much about Superwave lately. The ET work went to the University of Missouri, the SKINR lab there.

None of the scientific approaches, so far, show promise for commercial power generation. Cold fusion at this point is a scientific curiosity. However, sufficient potential is there to justify exactly what both U.S. DoE reviews recommended: further research to address fundamental questions. Originally, it was thought that neutron radiation was important, it is now know that this was a complete red herring. Helium is the identified ash, there really isn’t another candidate with serious support. So measuring helium does become a method of verifying the heat, if that is considered necessary. Because measuring helium is difficult and can be expensive, finding other correlated measures would be of high value for the research.

Aiming at “convincing skeptics” is an obsolete concept that can backfire. Nailing down what is known is of high value, increasing predictability and clarity..

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Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax

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

11 thoughts on “Reproducibility of Excess of Power and Evidence of 4He in Palladium Foils Loaded with Deuterium”

  1. A hypothesis that can’t produce a prediction of what you’ll measure isn’t really worth that much. That’s likely why Shanahan isn’t getting much notice – he hasn’t made any solid predictions.

    That is true of all hypotheses for anomalies, LENR or CCS, except the 4he/excess heat suggestion.

    I actually agree that these new experiments, if the resources and expertise is available for them to be done carefully and comprehensively, can provide much better evidence. Not only can they do the 4He/heat correlation issue, they can using best understanding now revisit the excess heat question. That should involve a proper analysis of CCS and ruling it out as significant contaminant of the excess heat signature.

    Shanahan could strengthen his argument by making it much more concrete. I currently reserve judgement because he has not done that. I think it might be relatively straightforward to show that for possible values of recombination movement in a closed cell the effect is much less than the results.

    But it is really not Shanahan’s job to do this. He has identified a potential explanation for the excess heat data which is predictive and can be tested. LENR, as a potential explanation, is less predictive (again with the 4H4/heat caveat) and therefore cannot so easily be tested.

    Personally, and this would be true of many, I’d view a predictive, testable, mundane explanation like Shanahan’s as more likely than a non-predictive, untestable, extraordinary explanation, when both are on the table. So were I looking for LENR evidence, or were I wanting to get published with LENR evidence, I’d take Shanahan’s idea seriously and test it when doing a new excess heat experiment.

    The testing would be of interest either way.

    Only somone actually doing these experiments, with the ability as you say to measure calibration changes with heat sources in different positions is in a position to do this test.

    I can understand Shanahan’s frustration because he has helped the LENR guys by identifying a whole class of potential hypotheses for their data. His idea can relatively easily be tested by anyone redoing these experiments. But then I’m curiosity-driven. I like anomalies to be explained and whether the explanation is some new nuclear reaction, or unexpected recombination interacting with imperfect calorimetry, it interests me. Emotionally, I would rather not close down possibilities without evidence when the questions are real and can be answered.

    So: here is what I think about the new experiments:

    (1) With new careful calorimetry, maybe they will get no clear excess heat signature. That is what would be likely if CCS and other mundane anomalies explain excess heat. In that case maybe they keep changing things till they get excess heat. Maybe the only setups actually showing excess heat, while not bad, have some question-marks in calorimetry. Or maybe they accept relatively poor excess heat indications within the experimental noise and hope that 4He correlations will provide solid data. That is however not ideal, and will make definite results less likely. This set of possibilities is expected if LENR is not real.

    (2) With new careful calorimetry they get results reproducing past good results, but equally susceptible to ATER/CCS. No analysis is done of this as a possible mechanism – or at least it is dismissed without careful consideration. 4He results might still be strong showing low noise and the predicted correlation. In that case there they have additional work. They must show that ATER cannot generate the measured 4He, perhaps by altering electrode characteristics and facilitating outgassing of 4He. That does not seem likely, but nor does LENR.

    (3) With new careful calorimetry they get results reproducing past results with no possibility of ATER/CCS errors. For example, they use a mass flow calorimeter with < 3% heat loss and the results are in the 15% range. CCS would be bounded by 3%. Or an 80% efficient calorimeter but with good explicit checking and bounding of CCS, rather than implicit arguments that it is not likely. This is what I'd expect if LENR is real and they try hard enough to generate decent evidence. The excess heat evidence alone would be highly interesting indicating some real above normal chemical reaction anomaly. Correlating 4He evidence would then motivate LENR strongly as a hypothesis.

    (3) may seem a tough benchmark but it is what you would expect to be able to get if LENR is happening. Effects that are real get easier to measure over time as understanding of the effect parameters and the experimental setups improves. The meta-argument against LENR is that this would already have happened were the effect real. Well, maybe, or maybe not. But here is another chance.

    1. Tom – by now the preparation process for the Palladium (and all the gotchas involved) have been published by Dennis Cravens (and confirmed by Martin Fleischmann) and so it seems to me that the likelihood of having enough “working” cells and enough excess heat, in order to satisfy your requirements, really ought to be expected from the Plan B tests. Of course, the descriptions probably don’t contain all the necessary instructions and experienced electrochemists are also needed. There’s often quite a bit of art involved in science at the edge, before it becomes a technology that can be automated.

      The codification of the preparation stages do to some extent imply that it was found that if one was missed then the experiment would should no or poor excess heat, and that therefore there’s an inbuilt implication that there is a difference in the results if the preparation is in error. This isn’t hard evidence, since some “traditional” methods of doing things may have no valid reasons for some steps, but nobody tried systematically checking each step – a bit of magical thinking in some traditions. A barn is not complete without an upright horseshoe nailed to the ridge, but you don’t abandon the barn if the horseshoe loses a nail and tilts down (though that might warn you that other nails had possibly rusted, which could be a good use for that old horseshoe). The Pd preparation, in contrast, has reasons for each stage.

      As such I really expect (3) to be the result, and that the results (or at least several of them) will be far enough above any calculated limits for CCS to be definitive. As I noted, ATER cannot be a problem for the energy-sums. The reduced amount of gas produced would be noticed (and measured), and thus the excess energy due to ATER can be calculated and subtracted from the apparent excess heat to leave the true anomalous amount. I’d hope that the CCS problem was taken care of at the beginning so that we know for sure that heat in any place in the calorimeter will give the same signal, but I also think that the calorimeter design has been refined over a long time and that this proposed extended calibration will not turn up any unexpected errors. If nothing else, such calibration will improve the confidence in the repeatability of the heat measurements. Still, the decision as to whether to spend the extra time in calibration will be up to the people doing the work. As you say, it is a question that is real and can be answered. I would thus hope that it is done.

      There is always the possibility of no excess heat at all. Maybe J-M’s modern way of making their alloy does not produce the same properties, and maybe the process that was written down for how it was made was not actually what was done, and the old guy who used to do the job has retired by now. The Palladium Uncle Martin used was after all a trade-secret alloy invented for J-M’s use in filtering Hydrogen. AFAIK we still don’t know exactly what was in it or the sequence for making it. It’s also possible that there’s some odd chemical reaction that is non-nuclear and that the Helium is released in this process, but I consider that much less likely than a nuclear reaction (Helium compounds will likely have an extremely low energy yield if you can even get them to stay together). Of course, there’s still that correlation to worry about (and around 18-24MeV per helium atom is an interesting chemical reaction if it exists)….

      Since I expect you are actually fairly representative of the people who will need to be convinced of the reality of LENR before it gets taught to students as a problem that needs solving, then if you require the CCS to be beaten to death I’d say get out the sticks. We need young minds who are not yet sure of what is or is not impossible, in order to get new solutions. On the other hand, if LENR is really found to be a calibration error and there’s a reason for the Helium correlation, then we could stop wasting time on chasing a dead end. Either way, Science gains.

      1. Yes, it will be interesting to see these results. Abd – any idea when anything is likely to emerge from this?

        1. Well, it was recently suggested to me not to expect the work to be public soon. I expect to be in contact with the Texas group shortly, and I hope to be able to visit them before the end of the summer.

  2. Hi Simon,

    I like to consider one thing at a time, even though I realise it takes a long time – I’m not sitting down and doing this in a full-time concentrated way because have other stuff and this for pleasure.

    You raise an important point: that a clear 4He / excess heat correlation needs some explanation and you can’t think of one other nuclear.

    So: I agree to the first part, but not with the second. Obviously I need to say more about my reasons for this – my view needs justification – and I will do that in due course. More analysis may mean I do agree with your second point here, so I’m not ruling that out. I do think the case for it has not yet been made – and that I will justify.

    There is also perhaps a more philosophical point about whether the onus is on Shanahan or on nuclear excess heat 4He supporters to do additional work. That must necessarily be influenced by overall judgement and probably can’t simply be answered. I’ll leave that open for now.

    1. There is also perhaps a more philosophical point about whether the onus is on Shanahan or on nuclear excess heat 4He supporters to do additional work. That must necessarily be influenced by overall judgement and probably can’t simply be answered. I’ll leave that open for now.

      That is a “philosophical” question that leaves out context. “Onus” is burden. It implies some moral obligation. By what standards? According to whom? “The burden of proof is on those who make extraordinary claims, to provide extraordinary evidence” is a reasonable example of how this is often raised. Evidence is not extraordinary, that is an interpretation. It is just evidence, all evidence is like this. Those with an axe to grind attempt to place moral obligations on others. It is all part of common habits of asserting one’s own rightness and the error of others.

      “Extraordinary claim” is also an interpretation. Who makes it? It is apparent, and Simon pointed it out, that Shanahan considers a nuclear origin for the heat an “extraordinary claim.” However, the primary scientific issue is not that claim, but the evidence! What evidence exists? The same is the case with Shanahan’s own claims about CCS. He often doesn’t emphasize it, but ultimately he is claiming an anomaly. Something extraordinary, unexpected, merely non-nuclear.

      The alleged “nuclear anomaly” is not understood, dealing with, from what evidence we have, something unexpected and not a known nuclear reaction. What cold fusion evidence does is point to something not being understood. Now, how extraordinary is that? Who is expert on “unknown nuclear reactions”? Hah! Trick question, right?

      What Shanahan’s claim boils down to is that there is a non-nuclear explanation, perhaps some unexpected chemistry, not visible to chemists who have been staring at it for over 25 years. To me, this is more “extraordinary” than “unknown nuclear reaction.” But that’s really a personal choice, it’s not objective. This affects the choices I make, and I have a right to make those choices, basically, I am responsible for where I put my time. Those responsible for funding decisions make their own choices. My goal is to see that they have adequate advice, not to control their choices. That, in a word, is my training. I am not the judge of my work, of my own success, except in one way.

      I get to declare that it’s fun.

    2. Tom – I’m also somewhat short of time at the moment too, since I’m getting the kit together for something even more outrageous than LENR. The reason I’m spending time here is because I think Plan B is the most important thing in LENR since P+F discovered it, and should cut through the stale arguments that have been going on for years.

      Abd clarified my statement about Shanahan, in that Shanahan is claiming an extraordinary occurrence and is giving no evidence for it except that it’s not actually impossible, whereas LENR is impossible. Sherlock Holmes would have been proud of that….

      We have a lot more experience in measuring heat than we do in LENR. That’s of course the Royal We, since I certainly don’t have that knowledge. Still, I can look at a design and see where the heat would go and how well it will be distributed, and the cells can be tested for what happens when the location of the heat source is moved around within it. There is after all a physical limit on where that heat source can be. I’d expect that the cells were tested for their response with the calibration heat-source in several places, and to satisfy such hypotheses as CCS they can test in a wider range of locations of the calibration heat-source.

      I think Shanahan should put some work into predictions of where the heat-source would need to be placed to produce the calibration shift he specifies, and thus give the experimenters something to actually test out. The prediction will be either right or wrong, but either way it will settle the question of CCS. As the challenger, it appears to me that it’s up to Shanahan to do the work in precise calculations, and since he’s spent a long time talking and writing about it, then a bit of time pinning it down to a testable prediction would seem to be worth it for him.

      As previously noted, ATER seems to be something that would be noticeable by the anomalous dearth of evolved gases. The total number of joules would still tally, though, and real anomalous heat would still be able to be extracted from the data (energy in, energy out and gas volume out).

      Even then there’s the problem of why the measured Helium is correlated to that calibration shift – maybe even more difficult if it’s a quadratic relationship since the heat/Helium correlation is linear.

      Though I trained as a scientist a long time back, I worked mainly in computers and electronics, so I’m definitely not a pure scientist. I aim for a result, and tests of the predictions from the hypothesis under consideration. Both CCS and ATER should be capable of solid predictions of the measurements that would result from them. As noted, ATER seems to be null as regards excess heat, since the location of the energy release is simply changed a bit. With a well-designed calorimeter that will have no effect, providing that the calibration constant of the calorimeter does not shift with the location of that heat. That calibration shift can however be tested for. The only logical cause of CCS would be a point-source of heat, since a larger source would be more likely to overlap a volume where the calibration heat-source had been tested. We thus need a prediction of where that point-source of heat would need to be placed in order for the calorimeter to over-read it by 2.5% or so.

      A hypothesis that can’t produce a prediction of what you’ll measure isn’t really worth that much. That’s likely why Shanahan isn’t getting much notice – he hasn’t made any solid predictions.

      Whereas Miles took around a year to do his experiment, the CCS hypothesis could be tested as part of the setup simply by having a movable calibration heater. Maybe as interesting as watching paint dry but for around a day’s work it could be put to bed definitively.

  3. I would certainly not assert that the ENEA results are “major heat,” however, a 1% calibration constant shift would be large. Shanahan’s work and conclusions have never been confirmed. I have not verified his calculations here, but I have no reason to doubt them, they simply are not surprising, in themselves, i.e., Shahanan has been writing this for years.

    In careful work, calibrations are not just done before an experiment, they will also be done after. Calibrations do shift, though the magnitude he is proposing seems high. Most electrochemists dismiss Shanahan out of hand, his CCS has been called “random.” However, in fact, he is proposing a systematic shift. If it is systematic it should not be difficult to confirm.

    This matter can be resolved. But it will require a bit more work than either you or Shanahan have done here. Shanahan proposes a systematic change in calibration constant caused by dynamic conditions in the cell. Specifically, that a change in conditions results in a different temperature distribution and therefore different heat losses and temperature measurements.

    It is necessary to work through, quantitatively, for the calorimetry proposed here, what sort of CCS is plausible from this mechanism. Percentage on a calibration constant is not enough, especially in a quadratic equation. However the fact that this is a quadratic equation should be noted, it makes issues significantly more likely.

    Till this work is done I reckon Shanahan has a valid point – that these results could be due to CCS – although one that is refutable.

    I always see refutable hypotheses in science as being inherently better than ones that are irrefutable. they have a tougher time and therefore if they survive it have more merit.

    This one has not yet been properly examined.

    I’d agree with Shanahan here that it is the job of those whose ongoing work depends on this specific work (if anyone does) not being CCS to establish this by refuting this.

    It is somewhat moot, I’d hope very moot, due to the ongoing experiments Abd mentions. If they are done carefully their results will supercede any other indication, and the work of resolving this does not matter. Otherwise, if current results are ambiguous, the work here would need proper defence against Shanahan’s argument for it to be reasonably accepted as evidence of any LENR hypothesis.

    1. Tom – if we boil it down, what Shanahan is saying is that the calibration constant of the cells shifts because the heat distribution is different within the cell, and that the Helium leakage is greater in those cells that have this calibration shift (that disappears when the cell is recalibrated afterwards) so that they appear to produce excess heat in proportion to the Helium inward leakage. The systematic shift is correlated with the Helium inward leakage (or in some cases with the increase of Helium over atmospheric concentrations).

      OK, I can’t think of any non-nuclear mechanism that would produce this shift that was correlated to the Helium increase in the cell, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one we just haven’t thought of yet. Until there is a mechanism specified by which this can happen, though, there is no way to figure out how to stop it happening. Shanahan has not specified a mechanism, just that one is possible.

      Since this is obviously a repeatable problem, as it is found in all the heat/Helium correlation studies noted, then it should also be identifiable and fixable. Shanahan should be able to predict what configurations of cell will produce this error, and what needs to be done to stop it happening, and as far as I can see he hasn’t actually done that. What he has done is say that the error is possible and that if it happened then the heat measured is unreliable. This is not precise enough. It leads to a game of whack-a-mole where the experimenters fix all the problems they can see, then get the heat/Helium correlation again, and Shanahan will say “there’s still a CCS and you haven’t found it yet”.

      In order to gain traction, Shanahan needs to specify exactly what the problem is and how to fix it. He also needs to put forward a mechanism by which the CCS is correlated with the Helium concentration measured. Until that point, I consider it hand-waving and based on a refusal to believe the nuclear explanation, purely on theoretical grounds. The inference is that, because a nuclear reaction cannot be occurring, then any other explanation is preferred.

      I’d expect that the Texas Tech tests will attempt to cover all known problems, and that the increased accuracy will put the argument to bed. It won’t silence all the critics, though, in the same way as we still have people today who believe that the Earth is flat (though no-one has produced photographs of the Great A’Tuin).

    2. Thanks, THH, your comment is quoted here in italics. But first, a note about the context. This post is a response to a Shanahan comment on very summary shallow slide show presentation, where finding sources and deeper explanations is in itself a bit of work — that Shanahan does not do, he just complains about what is missing, which would necessarily be missing from the slide show. As well, the relatively legitimate points that are raised have been addressed before, many times. Finding those discussions would itself be a piece of work, and my personal issue is whether or not it is worth the effort. What’s the point? Who wants to know? I have already established what is truly important, it’s been funded, it’s under way, so how much more of my life am I to invest? Time I spend writing about this here is time I don’t spend setting up a trip to Texas or communicating with them about what they are doing. Opportunities to make a difference abound.

      This matter can be resolved. But it will require a bit more work than either you or Shanahan have done here.

      That is correct, the operative word is “here.” Who is going to do this work?

      Shanahan proposes a systematic change in calibration constant caused by dynamic conditions in the cell. Specifically, that a change in conditions results in a different temperature distribution and therefore different heat losses and temperature measurements.

      That seems a reasonably cogent statement of it. Shanahan has, however, reasoned backwards, I suspect. He looks at how much calibration constant shift is required to explain a result, so then he posits that this much shift can occur. To what extent is this based on knowledge of electrochemistry and calorimetry? In one paper where he asserts a high shift, as I recall, Storms did independent calibrations that matched. This was a closed cell with a recombiner. One calibration was with heating in the electrolyte, one with heating near the recombiner. They matched, quite closely. I believe I wrote about this on lenr-forum, perhaps it can be found.

      Shanahan tends to assume that because he has written something — even if it was not clearly accepted by anyone knowledgeable — he has “proven” it. That doesn’t mean that we should pay no attention to what he claims, for he has, in my view, a special status as the last standing published skeptic, unless we want to call Thomas Clarke’s study of the Lugano test that of a “skeptic,” — but that wasn’t published. My opinion would be that it should have been, in JCMNS, and I’d have strongly supported that.

      (The fact is that McKubre raised some of the objections Clarke raised, only Clarke got specific and mathematical about it.)

      It is necessary to work through, quantitatively, for the calorimetry proposed here, what sort of CCS is plausible from this mechanism. Percentage on a calibration constant is not enough, especially in a quadratic equation. However the fact that this is a quadratic equation should be noted, it makes issues significantly more likely.

      Right. Shanahan cites “1%” as if this were a small shift. Then he nudges this over to “2.5.” Unexpected recombination could indeed cause problems with cold fusion calorimetry, under some conditions. It gets more difficult with flow calorimetry where calibrations have been done from various cell locations, and flow calorimetry has often been designed to be location-insensitive. So Shanahan’s theory more or less requires that experts be bunglers within their field of expertise. I can’t rule that out, completely, but it is unlikely. And it is likelihood and preponderance of evidence that are of concern to me, not “proof,” which is the province of fools.

      Shanahan just wrote:

      This thread is about the idea that there is a heat-helium correlation ‘proving’ CF exists (Abd’s favorite idea), and about the new Storms’ article showing his failure to incorporate any of my criticisms, starting with my 2002 publication,

      This was in response to Wyttenbach, who was referring to utterly irrelevant work, merely because it shows helium in a very different context, but then Shanahan shows that he is not willing to state my ideas in a way that I could say, “Yes, that’s what I think.” I don’t think that the heat-helium correlation “proves” anything; rather it is obviously evidence, and to use it requires interpretation, and the strength of evidence required would vary with the importance (read “cost”) of the decisions to be taken. Shanahan appears to be most concerned about who is right, and about how much attention is paid to his personal ideas.

      Till this work is done I reckon Shanahan has a valid point – that these results could be due to CCS – although one that is refutable.

      Behind your comment is an unstated assumption, and you repeat that. Yes, it is refutable. Has “this work” been done? You appear to assume it has not been done. Now, I am unaware of any experimental work done very specifically to address Shanahan’s CCS and ATER. However, the stability of calibration and the levels of recombination have been studied. As pointed out by Simon, there is a regress: Shanahan can merely claim that the special conditions did not exist in those studies. This is akin to the standard protest of cold fusion researchers with regard to negative replications: the special conditions did not exist.

      Heat/helium study moves beyond that problem. It sets up whatever conditions are required for excess heat, in at least a few experiments, and studies helium levels, preferably in all experiments. (Similar experiments could be designed to study other possible correlates, some have.) Ideally — this hasn’t generally been done — actual measurements would be reported, which are numbers, not judgments like “none.” If helium is below detection level, should that be the case, the result wouldn’t be “0,” but “below detection level of X.” All results would be reported with error bars based on statistical study, not seat-of-the-pants estimates. I’m sure you can understand the importance of this. Cold fusion research has often been published in less-than-rigorous ways, and since 2012, it’s been my task to shift the field toward what is necessary for mainstream acceptance; the serious social pathology of the rejection cascade caused internal harm, and the researchers were not equipped and trained to handle that.

      Until then, we have what we have. What does it show? This is what we can study here.

      I always see refutable hypotheses in science as being inherently better than ones that are irrefutable. they have a tougher time and therefore if they survive it have more merit.

      This one has not yet been properly examined.

      Again you make that assumption. My impression is that it has been examined, though I have noticed possible defects in the examination. That’s all. Until you are familiar with what has been done before, you are likely to rely on impressions like what you have just stated. It’s human, but if you can recognize it and let go of it, we can then proceed to find or create what we need. Ready?

      I’d agree with Shanahan here that it is the job of those whose ongoing work depends on this specific work (if anyone does) not being CCS to establish this by refuting this.

      Statements like this are common, where context is missing. I’ll point something out. The researchers did their work, often, long ago. It has been published. I have seen, as an example, Pamela Mosier-Boss defend her work, providing details. It’s radically different from, say, the response of the “Lugano team.” When someone presses insistently, sometimes her fuses blow. She worked for years, on her own time. She paid her dues, and is sometimes criticized by those who have paid none, and who have no respect. I have questions for her, still. I have every expectation that if these become important to me, and I ask her, she will answer as a scientist.

      We can study the record, both the scientific journal record and the discussion record. As a mass of data, it can be heavily confusing, so the basic task that I, on occasion, take on, is to organize the data. I have a deep understanding of Rossi v. Darden as a result. I am familiar with the evidence, and there is no substitute for that familiarity.

      I am also sympathetic to genuine skepticism. Where I think it’s “wrong,” i.e., ignorant, I do not convert this to a moral failure. There is no “should.” However, behind what you have stated here is a “should,” about “burden.” Who suffers from the burden, who needs something to be done, and whose responsibility is it to do that?

      This boils down to “who has the problem?” Step one in the generation of power is owning the problem and taking responsibility. Step one in the loss of power is assigning the responsibility elsewhere, which, at least outwardly, you just did. Who is doing “ongoing work,” that is in some way suffering from lack of something that could be supplied? Who decides who owns the problem? The researchers, in general, don’t want to revisit something they already studied years ago, unless strong reasons are provided.

      One strong reason is someone they respect asking questions. I have learned a great deal by placing myself in that position. One gains respect through respect, it’s a human thing. It’s really, my sense, an animal response, we have a “respect detector.”

      It is somewhat moot, I’d hope very moot, due to the ongoing experiments Abd mentions.

      Yes. Whether or not they improve the work as I would hope. I want the work improved because of an old principle: “If you are going to shoot the King, don’t miss!” I want to see it be as bulletproof as possible. Bulletproof for what? Proving cold fusion is real?

      No. Measuring the correlation between heat and helium in FP class experiments with palladium deuteride. For this, more important than complete freedom from any possible artifact — there is no end to that — is precision of measurements, repeated calibrations, controls, all that good stuff. Yes, of course, background helium should be measured, and more than once. Yes, helium measurements, or at least some of them, should be blind. CCS, so far, I do not find high on the list, nor ATER. But where it’s easy to test, yes, I will recommend it.

      If they are done carefully their results will supercede any other indication, and the work of resolving this does not matter.

      What I’ve been saying. Now, what about what already exists? Certainly it was not done perfectly, though in some cases it was done better than was reported. Essentially, papers do not disclose everything that was done, one has to ask. Nicely, preferably.

      Otherwise, if current results are ambiguous, the work here would need proper defence against Shanahan’s argument for it to be reasonably accepted as evidence of any LENR hypothesis.

      Watch out for that lost performative. The work already stands as evidence, and it was considered evidence when the data was much weaker than it became. This tendency to reject evidence because it is not flawless is dangerous, it can lead to major error.

      However, if the work underway turns out to be ambiguous, I may revisit my entire position on cold fusion. There would still be a pile of anecdotal and circumstantial evidence, but, then again, mysteries abound in life.

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