Straw houses and straw men

People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.

I think I read that story in Astounding Science Fiction when I was in high school.

The occasion for this post is a thread started by the old standard, Mary Yugo, who created a LENR Forum thread entirely based on a possible overstatement by Jed Rothwell, I’m not entirely certain yet.

Is there evidence for LENR power generation of 100W for days without input power?

He starts with:

Jed Rothwell has repeatedly asserted that there is significant and credible evidence for an LENR device which sustains a 100W output for days without any input power.

I’ve been seeing this go back and forth for days. Mary says “you said,” and Jed says “something else.” Often there is no link to the prior discussion, a particular LF peeve of mine, users who don’t use the quote facility when responding, so tracking conversations back can be tedious.

Yes, a 100 watt power release for days from LENR without input power would be remarkable. Has this ever happened? I don’t have any example in mind, setting aside the claims of Andrea Rossi, which are, to say the least, unconfirmed, hence not answers to Mary’s question.

I think Jed may have been referring to the IMRA HAD work, which had sustained power of 100 W for a time, not for days, I think. But maybe I’m wrong. I miss stuff sometimes.

So Zephir_AWT wrote:

For example Cravens spheres generated more than 100 watts on their own. There are many similar examples (Patterson, Piantelli, Cellani, etc cells).

What is two orders of magnitude among friends. From the IE source, 1 W, not 100 W.

Jed Rothwell makes this claim and won’t tell us where it came from

Jed Rothwell regularly links his sources. But you won’t read them, because you’re a pathoskeptical troll.

Jed may often link sources, but also often doesn’t bother, and also has a habit of overstating things a tad. What happened here, I’m not sure yet. Zephir’s comment was unwarranted, though, and a bit surprising it wasn’t sent to Clearance Items.

The link provided is to a tally of papers put together by Rothwell. It is not relevant to this discussion, so this is …. trolling. My condolences to LF mods.

Zephir_AWT also posted this irrelevancy. Mary’s question is very specific. The high power claims in the paper linked were mostly about Rossi. However, there is a claim repeated there of XP over 100 W for some days. However, this was not without input power. As well, it is not particularly credible, due to various experimental problems, such as thermocouple failures.

Jed Rothwell finally shows up and says something:

I do not recall any cells from Fleischmann and Pons that ran for 10 days without input power (heat after death — HAD). They showed an example that ran for 3 hours in the paper I pointed you to, and other papers show a day or two. They published other experiments with over 100 W, lasting 3 months continuously, but these had input power. The best example they show produced 294 MJ of excess heat. Other people have seen HAD lasting anywhere from a few hours to 20 hours at power levels ranging from 10 to 50 W. I do not recall examples of HAD below 1 W.

However, even 3 hours of HAD in the paper I pointed to is far beyond the limits of chemistry. This can be shown many ways, most notably:

The cells that produced HAD also produced massive amounts of energy before heating up (phase 1), and during the boiling event (phase 2). They did not store any energy during phase 1 or 2. The calorimetry shows this clearly. Cells that do not produce heat in phases 1 and 2 never produce it in HAD (phase 3).

Blank cells such as Pt-H driven to boiling by conventional electrolysis never show excess heat. The balance is always close to 1; output = input, minus some losses. In phase 3 they always cool down, immediately and monotonically, exactly according to Newton’s law. Whereas HAD cells stay the same temperature or in some case get hotter after several hours.

There is no chemical fuel in the cell, and no chemical changes are detected.

What I notice here is not so much what Jed says (which is reporting what he has read), but what he doesn’t say. He is not confirming that he said what Mary Yugo claimed, but he is also not explicitly denying it, and a simple way would be: “I don’t recall saying it, but if I did, it was an error. I don’t know of any example just like that.” Or whatever matches the truth. Where does this go?

Mary Yugo replied:

Could you please provide a link to those other papers for the devices that ran unpowered for a day or two? Also one of the papers (hopefully the best one) showing excess heat of >100W sustained for 3 months with input power? Thanks.

The first sentence exaggerates Jed’s claim. The second is based on “other experiments with over 100 W, lasting 3 months continuously, but these had input power.”

Did the experiment last 3 months with excess heat continuously, but varying in level, or was the 100 W XP level maintained continuously?

There were some references by Rothwell that might be worth following up, but the conversation degenerated rapidly into ritual trading of insults.

Perhaps I’ll come back to this post with a list of high-power claims.


Well, not yet. I saw a clear demonstration of trolling on LENR Forum in this thread. This is what happens when quality writing appears there.

THHuxleynew wrote:

(apparently quoting kevmolenr)

I dislike the dialog being put into characterizations of belief. But this aspect of not accepting perfectly good scientific data until it is commercialized is another threshold to consider about skeptopaths

Have you ever done a doctoral Literature Survey? Or supervised others doing this? I have done both.

It is a weird process but valuable in one very important way. It teaches you how to critically appraise other people’s work where there is no consensus, and can be none because individual contributions are unique and in some cases have not been followed up by anyone else.

Every (well – almost every) doctoral student starts off reading papers and, as you, accepting perfectly good scientific data. Only after they have read around the subject, done some of their own work (whether experimental or analytic) can they come back to the original stuff and have a mature judgement of what the original papers really mean. That will in nearly all cases be much less significant than it seemed when first read.

So your unconditional acceptance of certain data, together with the lack of detailed analysis in your appraisal of the work you accept, leads me to think that you are at this first starting-out doctoral student stage in your understanding of this subject. The fact that you seem unaware of the subtlety in interpreting scientific research, and the way that individual work will always seem more convincing than it really is until you have a rounded view of the field, makes me think you are not qualified to judge those you call skeptopaths whether your judgement is right or wrong.

Alan Smith wrote:

You seem perfectly happy to accept Kirk’s theories of how the anomalous heat effect in Pd/D can be explained by something other than LENR, despite the fact that AFAIK he has never performed any experiments to test his hypothesis directly, but reluctant to accept the truth of Jed’s often cited ‘hundreds of experiments’ that demonstrate LENR.

Some inconsistency there, shirley?

Alan Smith is the troll with a moderator hat. Classic trolling: misrepresent the position of the target, claim inconsistency. There is a vast difference between Jed’s claims and those of Shahanan, they are not equivalent. I haven’t seen THH denying the 153 positive papers information (which is based on the Britz database of peer-reviewed publications, but which is not quite as simple as is being presented). (The issue of the number of experiments is also very complex. Do we count all the “failed cells”? Numbers of “successes” and numbers of “failures” are actually irrelevant to basic issues.

And THH has only said that Shahanan has not received a full and proper response (which I tend to agree with, at the same time as I understand why CMNS scientists haven’t bothered, largely due to how Shanahan presents himself and his ideas). wrote:

[first repeating his comment that THH quoted, then:]

I was objecting to the word “belief” because of how scientism is becoming its own belief system, a religion if you will.

That’s offensive in context, and irrelevant. “Scientism” is by definition a belief system, a kind of religion. How about egotism? Should we mention egotism here? How about the particularly offensive kind of egotism that functions by trying to make others look bad?

You have an interesting perspective, that anyone without a PhD is unqualified to assess 150 replications by the top electrochemists of their day.

But that is not his perspective. For starters, THH has always been respectful toward me, and I have no degree at all, much less a PhD. However, as he has been doing for some time, Kevmolenr is just repeating an argument from authority, when he’s quite clueless about the reality. What “150 replications.” Kevmo is likely referring to the 153 papers considered “positive” by Dieter Britz in his database, as counted by Jed in his own paper. Only a few of those papers would be “replications.” That word has a meaning in science, but kevmolenr is clueless about science, while ridiculing someone who actually is a professor and who is writing from real experience. The authors of those papers include some highly experienced electrochemists, but are not exclusively from such.

This is a story that kevmolenr probably picked up by misinterpreting what Jed Rothwell has written, and I hope Rothwell will set him straight.

Perhaps you should submit this as a proposal to the moderators here on this panel so you can whittle down discussion among PhDs or PhD candidates. I know Ed Storms wanted something like that with Vortex and quit vortex when they didn’t bend to his will, choosing to spend his time discussing his theories with other PhD dudes.

And with me. One might notice that real CMNS scientists rarely comment on public fora, and one reason would be the intense trolling and useless arguments that abound. I don’t trust kevmolenr’s account of Ed’s alleged abandonment of Vortex, though. It is not a terribly efficient place to discuss LENR.

In the absence of your submitted proposal, I highly doubt you ever will submit such a proposal and that your elitist approach to the data is pure, unadulterated bovine excrement. Perhaps your Piled Higher and Deeper background eminently qualifies you to identify your own backyard pile of excrement, but I doubt that as well.

I’ll not be surprised to see this moved to Clearance. It’s insulting someone who is clearly a valuable contributor to the Forum, based on his education, and is the kind of anti-elitism — which is really anti-intelligence — that has become all too popular in some areas. In Maoist China, they’d send THH out for “re-education” on a collective farm if he dared say anything not fully respectful of the party line, which kevmolenr would have be, what? Whatever he believes?

And as long as you’re berating those who are unqualified to assess the data, you should look through what Interested Observer has to say and how well he represents that skeptopath tradition.

THH is not responsible for what IO says, and this kind of stereotyping is highly offensive, as well. And I haven’t seen THH “berating” anyone, and no example of that was before us. THH was describing the situation of someone relatively ignorant, new to a field, who adopts an enthusiastic position, perhaps, before being deeply informed. It’s a real problem.

When people like this go out into the world and attempt to represent LENR, to someone with, say, some knowledge of physics, they are very likely to damage educational outreach rather than further it. We don’t need more ignorant supporters, we need people willing to do the hard work to become informed. It takes time and the accumulation of a great deal of experience, not merely repeating the myth: “153 replications by the top electrochemists of their day.”

Kevmolenr clearly does not know the literature that he is taunting THH with, or he would not write as he does. He’s just trolling.

While you are at it, perhaps you know of some PhD who started reading all those 153 peer reviewed replications by the top electochemists of their day? And perhaps there is just even ONE peer reviewed paper that dismantles the replications, similar to what happened with Polywater?

There is no equivalent to the polywater controlled experiment, but it would also be quite difficult. Start here: how many of those papers were actually replications, instead of some sort of general confirmation?

And also, perhaps you could take a look at that Arata experiment that I posted upthread, and show where the peer reviewed replication of that experiment was unworthy of the result, that I should not have gotten paid for it passing peer review.

With no link, I’m not going to bother looking for it. Trolls don’t deserve the effort and the returns are too low. Were I THH, with much better things to do, I’d ignore kevmolenr. There is no sign that he is teachable, or wants to be teachable. LENR Forum is not a mission-critical site, such that it is required to refute all the garbage that shows up there (nor is E-Cat World, or Rossi’s blog, etc. — and what really matters is identifying specific research issues and facilitating attention and funding for them.)

And when you’re done with all that (which we all know you won’t do) then you can cast your glance at how you forwarded scientism as a religion, complete with its high priests who have PhDs and look down their noses at people without them.

Lack of respect for education is typical of what?

This is not seen among serious supporters of LENR research.

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax


15 thoughts on “Straw houses and straw men”

  1. I did not “finally show up.” Mine was one of the first responses to her comment, an hour and and a half after she made it. I have told her and other on many occasions that Fleischmann and Pons reported heat after death (HAD) typically around 100 W, lasting 3 to 6 hours in their Phys. Lett. A papers, and a day or so elsewhere. Dardik reported 4 days of HAD at around 0.6 W (it looks like 3 W to me), and about 20 hours at 20 W as I recall. See Fig. 6:

    The longest example I know of was Mizuno at 10 days, starting at about 100 W and gradually declining. This was probably the longest example because the cathode was 100 g. Most cathodes are much smaller. Fleischmann’s was 0.5 g as I recall. It is widely thought that HAD is connected with degassing, and a 100 g sample will degas a lot more deuterium than a 0.5 g sample.

    Mizuno’s HAD event is described here:

    Yugo could have found all of this herself. So could you, for that matter. Just go to and the custom search box at the top of the screen and enter “heat after death.” She does not need to pester me for information. She seldom reads the links I give her. She demands information just for show.

    The high powered continuous heat is in Roulette:

    Storms made a graph of power distribution for 124 tests. See:

    1. Sunday, 7:48 am Mary commented. Then there were 12 comments, more heat than light.
      Then you commented at Sunday, 9:30 pm.

      You took over one and a half hours to reply to being trolled. What is this world coming to? Can’t even count on Jed Rothwell, OMG!

      The reference was not to actual time, but to how it looked. The blog is not a scientific journal, it’s more for fun than anything else. We get serious on pages. Meanwhile, Jed, thanks for your contributions and thanks for pointing out the problem with the spam filter. If anyone else is blocked, the log only runs for a short time when I turn it on, and I was unable to check the log for Jed’s rejection, but it was probably due to four links to his web site in a single post. That might give a spam filter indigestion. Jed is posting ad hoc, which is relatively insecure; it might be better to register an account and be logged in. First posts will still need approval. Reports of problems with the site are greatly appreciated.

    2. I do not understand the Dardik paper. It says “0.6 W” in the text but it looks to me like 3 W in the graph (Fig. 6). I don’t get it.

      Regarding Mizuno I said “starting at about 100 W and gradually declined.” The ~100 W starting point was well established. Or, at least, the temperature was. The thermocouple was attached to a pen recorder. I have a copy of the trace. Unfortunately, in order to put the cell into the bucket of water, Mizuno had to disconnect the thermocouple from the pen recorder. During the rest of the event, he measured the TC directly with voltmeter, two or three times a day, as I recall. He also felt the cell and confirmed it was still hot. The heat was declining gradually but there is no continuous or detailed record of it. I guess you can estimate it from the amount of water evaporated, which is listed in the reference above.

      The cell with TC, bucket and pen recorder are still in Mizuno’s lab. The Pd cathode is long gone. It was destroyed in destructive testing. What they learned from that testing I do not know.

      1. I don’t understand plenty of LENR papers…. The event is described starting at the bottom of the first page of the Mizuno document Jed linked to. What I see in this is a general picture of something drastically missing from a great deal of scientific publishing: a distinction between reporting of experience and then the interpretation of the experience. If the experience appears anomalous, better not report it! Maybe one is making a mistake and would Look Bad.

        But experience is experience. What Mizuno witnessed is fact, that is, his experience, what he saw, touched, etc., is fact. Then we can look at implications and speculate on causes. The obvious one, in this case, would be the “cigarette lighter effect.” However, I think the chemistry of that would be inadequate, or would it? There is nothing wrong with taking a skeptical look at this. What errors in estimating generated heat would be possible? If none can be found, this doesn’t “prove LENR,” but would be circumstantial evidence for it.

        “Farther along we’ll know more about it,
        Farther along we’ll understand why;
        Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
        We’ll understand it all by and by.”

        There is discussion of Mizuno in the Murray deposition. See also p. 69

        As to Dardik, I have lots of questions about the paper. Some may be obvious, but I don’t see the information in the paper. For example, open or closed cell? If it is closed, where is the recombiner located?

        What I see is anecdotal description, framed as if a single event “proves” something. This kind of writing is larded through many cold fusion reports. That doesn’t mean they are wrong. It means that the field is infected with defensiveness. I would suggest that we would never properly report that our own work “proves” something. We should report the work, honestly and as completely as possible, and let the world respond to it, hopefully replicating it, generating deeper data, to the point where, someday, we might be able to talk about proof.

        The work itself looks interesting. I see no indication that alternate sources for the HAD were considered.

        I can answer the question about Fig. 6, though. The “0.6 W” refers to the period after the input power was shut off, on day 55. Jed, with “about 3 W,” you are referring to the period before that, where there was input power shown as about 2.3 – 2.6 W, with XE shown as maybe 300 mW.

        Now, a point I’ll make: that data is confusing, isn’t it? This could be quite important work. But Why T F did they decide to turn the input power back on, on day 39? They had, at that point, nine days of increasing power output with no input, seemed to have stabilized at about 600 mW. How long would that have continued? We may never know. What happened to this work? That was being done in 2007, apparently. I would call this exploratory work, they were more or less thrashing about. Okay, but the next step would be coming back and being far more tightly controlled, with predetermined protocols that are not decided on-the-fly. What’s reproducible? What are common factors between experiments and what are varied?

        1. You wrote:

          “Then we can look at implications and speculate on causes. The obvious one, in this case, would be the ‘cigarette lighter effect.’ However, I think the chemistry of that would be inadequate, or would it?”

          Yes, I think it would be inadequate. I think you could have estimated this yourself. The mass of Pd is 100 g, which is 0.9 mol. Assuming it is loaded at a 1:1 ratio with deuterium (which is actually higher than is possible), and assuming all of the deuterium emerged and recombined, it would form 0.45 mol of water. The heat of formation of water is 286,000 J/mol, so that’s 129,000 J. Before the heat after death event, Mizuno’s cell produced 30 MJ, and during the event it produce 84 MJ more, for a total of 114 MJ. I think you can estimate that 114,000,000 is more than 286,000.

          To be a little less sarcastic, why did you even ask that? What is the point? The description I wrote says output was ~114 MJ, which is 32 times more energy than 100 g of gasoline can produce. Surely you realize that 114 MJ cannot be stored in 100 g of palladium.

          Regarding Fig. 6, I see my mistake now. The HAD is mainly form day 32 to 38, when output is indeed down there at 0.3 W.

          1. Thanks.

            I know this may seem like strange behavior, but I ask questions or raise issues to generate possibilities or answers. Yes. I assume that I could calculate what you calculated, but you have done this many more times than I have. You are less likely to err. But now what I’ll do is check your calculation and see if there might be anything missing. Do not take that as a claim that something is missing! As well, others may check it. And then it will become, having been checked and validated or corrected, part of our collective knowledge base. In the future, if someone wants to challenge it, they can be referred to our consensus process. If they think there is something wrong with it, there will be means to ask questions or raise the issue, but they will not be allowed to create general confusion, only to find possible defects that could then be addressed. Eventually, this kind of objection will only come from flat-earthers or the like.

            Science — real science — does move on, it does not argue that the earth is not flat, forever, except in corners of the internet, where anything goes. Once in a while, for fun more than anything else, I have commented on flat-earth theories on Quora, because people ask questions. Sometimes the flat-earthers raise issues that can fool people, commonly by misrepresenting fact in “plausible”-sounding ways. For example, why does the artificial horizon instrument in an aircraft not show a shift in attitude as an aircraft allegedly moves around the earth? (Answering that with more than “Poppycock!” took a bit of research, but … I’ve actually measured the size of the Earth, it is not difficult. More accurately, I set up conditions that allowed me to measure distances that then allowed the calculation of the arc deviation of the vertical from location on the surface. To my mind, basic science education would include lab work that measures reality like this. Feynman describes encounters with a different philosophy….

            Without calculation, I don’t know how much energy 100 g of palladium can store. However, I don’t see any error in your calculation. Maybe someone else can, but I don’t expect it. Skeptical challenge of the Mizuno claim — let’s call it his “memory” — will likely focus elsewhere.

            Since I don’t consider excess heat in PdD “extraordinary,” not any more, I’m not sympathetic to demands for “extraordinary evidence.” However, Mizuno’s “experiment” — it’s a bit naive to call it that, this was an accident — was not replicated, so it joins the Library of Mysteries that we may or may not ever understand. It is a piece on the pile of anecdotal and circumstantial evidence for LENR.

            1. You wrote:

              “I know this may seem like strange behavior, but I ask questions or raise issues to generate possibilities or answers.”

              That’s not strange. What is strange is asking a question when I have already given you the answer. You can easily estimate that the heat produced by Mizuno’s cell exceeded any possible hydrogen cigarette lighter effect by a factor of ~880. That is, 114,000,000 versus 129,000. That is such a large difference that even asking the question is ludicrous.

              If you saw a boulder weighing 265,000 pounds, would you ask: “Do you think that man over there picked up the boulder and carried it here?” No, because that is roughly 880 times too heavy for a man can pick up.

              “Yes. I assume that I could calculate what you calculated, but you have done this many more times than I have. You are less likely to err. But now what I’ll do is check your calculation and see if there might be anything missing.”

              You should have checked it in the book. There is no need to have this discussion. You are only casting doubt on an aspect of the event where no rational doubt can exist.

              You should run the numbers. But you don’t even need to do that. Common sense alone suffices. You know approximately how much firewood or gas it takes to evaporate 37.5 liters of water. People have known this for millions of years, from cooking. You know approximately how much gas there might be in 100 g of palladium. Or, if you don’t you know, you can look up how much energy there is in 100 g of gasoline. Just assume that a hydride is no better than gasoline, which is the best common chemical fuel, at 4.6 MJ/0.1 kg.


              It is obvious that much hydride hydrogen gas or that much gasoline could not evaporate 37.5 liters of water.

              What you are doing is gratuitous questioning. You resemble THH who speculates that there might be entrainment during Fleischmann’s boil off event. Fleischmann gave a long list of reasons why that is ruled out. THH has not even commented on these reasons! He hasn’t even tried to address them. Instead, he keeps on repeating “entrainment, entrainment” as if it were a real possibility. No, it isn’t. There are other example of this.

              THH said first that McKubre got only 5% excess heat above electrolysis. I pointed out that correct number is 300%. THH countered that the 300% is not “highlighted” by McKubre. I pointed out number comes from document published by EPRI, Development of Advanced Concepts for Nuclear Processes in Deuterated Metals, TR-104195.

              THH then came back and said he did not take into account the 300% because he hasn’t read it yet. Then he said it was transient. It went on for 120 hours.

              What he is doing here is making up once excuse after another to dismiss the results. That is what you are doing as well, consciously or unconsciously, when you oh-so-carefully ask whether an effect that produced 129,000 J might produce 114 million joules.

              1. Jed – what seems obvious to you may well not be to a sceptic. This is amply evidenced by the lack of influential people being convinced by the papers so far. Your method of persuasion and pointing people at the data obviously doesn’t work for such people. For much the same reason, I realised that I’m also not going to be able to convince anyone that entrainment (for example) may be discounted since the evidence for it would be unmissable, so we need to allow that MF may have missed it where he didn’t both specifically test for it and also write the results of that test in the report. My reckoning is that no-one will get to the top of any experimental profession without being able to notice all anomalies, and spilt LiOH is such an anomaly that really couldn’t be missed, so a specific test is actually unnecessary in this case. Much the same reason I discounted the gas-lighter effect for the HAD – you’d need much bigger cathodes and a fair flow of Oxygen into the cell to do that, and such anomalies would have been noticed (those thin cathodes would have been glowing). That is the reason I won’t be joining in the analysis of those papers – it needs to have someone who doesn’t accept the data unless it’s been specifically written down.

                Tom will do a good job of that (as will Abd), and thus the end result should be a report that will actually convince people who read it because all the data has been triple-checked for source and accuracy. Of course, you still can’t force people to read it, but that has applied for a long time.

                The aim is to produce a definitive document that can’t be gainsaid. In the course of that, a lot of questions will be asked where the answer seems obvious. A lot of reasonable assumptions will be checked to see if there is actual evidence that supports them. I suspect a lot of evidence will be discarded as insufficiently documented. What’s left, though, will be solid, and only Flat-Earthers would challenge it.

                1. You wrote:

                  “I realised that I’m also not going to be able to convince anyone that entrainment (for example) may be discounted since the evidence for it would be unmissable, so we need to allow that MF may have missed it where he didn’t both specifically test for it and also write the results of that test in the report.”

                  Fleischmann did test for entrainment, and he did describe the steps he took in his reports. I listed the 5 main reasons here:


                  All of the reasons I listed – and more – came from Fleischmann’s three reports.

                  The evidence is unmissable. Since this information came from Fleischmann, he did not miss it. The only argument THH might make against it would be that these 5 steps are insufficient, and there might be entrainment despite them. To support that claim, he would have to describe a scenario in which all 5 of these steps might fail. I cannot think of one. For that matter, I cannot think of any other steps Fleischmann might have taken to ensure there was no entrainment. I doubt THH can come up with any other steps or tests.

                  This is not a difficult problem. Chemists have prevented entrainment with glassware retorts since the Middle Ages.

                  “I suspect a lot of evidence will be discarded as insufficiently documented.”

                  All three of these reports were peer-reviewed in major journals. You don’t get any better documented than that. (#3 is listed in a proceedings but it was repeated in Fusion Technology.)

              2. Jed, you don’t notice when you are shooting yourself in the foot, because you have done it far too many times over the years. Your style of argument and your assumption that a question was asked “to cast doubt,” are factors that have caused you to be ineffective in dealing with the general scientific community. It’s a product of years of far-too-much useless debate. It’s become a habit.

                What I did was ask an obvious question that certainly has been asked before. I asked to get an answer, which you supplied. Instead of being happy that you were able to explain something, you are very negative that the question was asked. There are apparently Forbidden Questions. Stupid Questions. You have no idea how to communicate with ordinary skeptics, apparently assuming they are all pseudoskeptics. And, further, pseudoskepticism is merely an extreme in normal behavior. It is natural to assume that our existing ideas are right. But what leads someone to become so pugnacious in debate?

                You are accumulating examples where you think people were Wrong. So? THH is, in my view, over-assertive in the other direction. However, this is the Real World. My goal is to work with real people, perfection is not required. People can be wrong, and we often have to be wrong before we can be truly right. I cannot take a position that I know and some supposed skeptic does not know. That is totally ineffective in communication, it guarantees failure, almost always. Even if I know and they don’t.

                Jed, we have opportunities here. Unfortunately, you have often expressed the opinion that failure is certain. It’s no use. The opponents of cold fusion will have to die out before progress can be made.

                I don’t think so, and I expect to see the breakthrough into the mainstream within my life, possibly in as little as a year, but I don’t know more exactly yet.

                As you know, there has been a prediction that when that happens, those who opposed cold fusion will be saying, “We said so all along.” I.e., they will frame this as “at last they provided the necessary evidence.”

                Is something wrong with that? Should we tie them up and beat them with sticks for being Wrong for so long, for insulting The Truth (TM)?

                I imagine meeting Morrison and saying to him, “Come on in. Tea?”

  2. Craven’s balls were a fun demo that if real would be remarkable proof of some non-chemical anomaly…

    Controls are not easy to find in general. CCS/ATER cannot be controlled for, though extra instrumentation can disambiguate it.

    1. Morrison suggested a “veil” of nitrogen bubbles between the anode and cathode. If the heat effect turns on when the bubbles are not there, that would be a kind of control. …. except that the bubbles might defeat a real heat effect from other than oxygen and deuterium bubble mixing.

      The metal balls were reportedly palpably hotter, I think 4 C was stated, but I’m not sure. They stayed hotter. That resembles Arata.

      As you know, I don’t like the word “proof,” but this is getting close. Arata was “scientific.” (I don’t think Cravens disclosed what was in the balls.) It was fun, that’s it, perhaps fun with a point. Cravens has a decent reputation.

  3. Yes, and re Cravens I commented on the TCs used somewhere on LF: given the detailed write-up there seems to have been no check for TC contamination, and every reason to think TC contamination possible and likely to make calibration shifts that would mimic the stated results.

    The TCs used are thermistor-based and easily contaminated by reducing atmospheres, the packaging on the device speced in Craven’s write-up is not industrial-robust.

    As always the use of D vs H as a control is not very helpful, because physical properties greatly differ (including, relevant here, diffusion).

    1. “As always the use of D vs H as a control is not very helpful, because physical properties greatly differ (including, relevant here, diffusion).”

      This is historically hilarious, since the lack of H controls was an early and oft-repeated criticism. Control experiments always carry some risk as described, because they are clearly different conditions, that the conditions will be the same with a controlled variation is an assumption. Pons and Fleischmann, in the work we are studying, if I’m correct, refer to both hydrogen (in place of deuterium) and platinum (in place of palladium) controls.

      On thing is becoming obvious to me, so far: the assertion that boil-off experiments are too complicated (“chaotic”) is ironic. As if electrolysis were this simple, uncomplicated thing. For far too long, debates ranged with participants having clear agendas quite distinct from finding agreement.

      (I am not clear what Cravens work is being cited. His “balls” were a fun demonstration. I had suggested something like that, as a curiosity product, a “cold fusion hand warmer,” when I read Arata’s work, from gas-loaded Pd alloy, showing a 4 C sustained temperature elevation with no input power. The initial loading exotherm was clear, and disappeared reasonably rapidly, as would be expected.)

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