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Wikiversity/Cold fusion/Skeptical arguments/Wikipedia talk/Shanahan

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Original discussion here is taken from w:Talk:Cold fusion, (permanent link)

electrochemical potential difference between H and D[edit]

It is claimed by Taubes that the claimed excess heat in CF is due to ohmic heating due to a isotopic effect of lower conductivity (electrolytic) of heavy water lithium salts solutions compared to those of light water. This has to be verified with tabulated numerical values of conductivity for these solutions, if available. Taubes claims that some values are available for lithium heavy water ionic solutions.--[IP editor]

I wouldn't worry too much about that if I were you. Most of the isotopic effect is accounted for by using the different thermoneutral potentials for H2O and D2O. Slight differences in Li salt solubilities would only be small effects on top of that. Kirk shanahan (talk) 13:55, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I think that the concept named thermoneutral potential requires further details. Are there somewhere data tables to illustrate the smallness of the isotopic effect in conductivity? If the isotopic effect is indeed small, then the source Taubes is not to be considered very seriously as a usable source. --IP editor
See http://www.nrel.gov/hydrogen/pdfs/47302.pdf page 6 for a quick description. The TV for H2O is 1.48 and for D2O is 1.54V (as I recall). That means for a given electrical input, a larger fraction of the power will be used for the electrolysis with heavy water. This is a good illustration of why H2O is not really a good control for D2O. Other chemical properties vary as well. Kirk shanahan (talk) 19:00, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I have left in the user name for Kirk Shanahan because he is notable in the field. He is the last-published overall-skeptical author to challenge the general published consensus about cold fusion. (i.e, published under peer review).
Kirk's argument depends on an assumption that the electrochemical potential, if it is relevant to the heat measurements, will not be correctly used. It is normally electrochemists doing this work, and Pons and Fleischmann were among the world's foremost experts in the field. To suggest that they would overlook such a difference is remarkable. However, Pons and Fleishcmann did not report on light water controls. They found a "problem" with light water, that they were not getting the "clean zero" they expected. Their calorimetry was the most sensitive in the world. We still don't know what happened with their probably minor light water work. Later work showed that even a small amount of light water would poison the reaction, I think the excess heat disappears by about 1% light water. (Storms actually did this work, it's in his book.) Storms also now thinks that light water *does* work, but the reaction is different and presumably the heat is much less. The reaction product he proposes would be deuterium, so this would be extremely difficult to detect! He's writing a new book, we'll see what he comes up with. Back to Shanahan:
If cold fusion researchers are doing open-cell work and the quantity of evolved gases are measured, and then the heat to generate these gases is calculated, and if the wrong values are used, of course the results would be in error. But to suggests that electrochemists would do this is to suggest they are clueless boobs. I've seen a lot of work from Shanahan, and not this particular argument.
But the most important work is the SRI work where helium was measured, and then Miles. Miles collected the gases, and, of course, if he made the error Shanahan was describing, his XP calculations would be off. I'm not looking at his papers now, because we have a completely different reason to consider that the heat measures were at least in the ball park. Correlated helium.
With SRI, the cells had a recombiner, so, except for a small and non-accumulating fraction of still-uncombined gases, this error doesn't matter, it balances out. It would produce a small but non-accumulating offset. And, again, I not checking, but my impression is that this problem was addressed in the EPRI calculations. Shanahan has pointed to nothing specific.
To be explicit about what Shanahan is saying, the only difference between hydrogen and deuterium is in the nucleus, the latter has an extra neutron. As a first pass, it will commonly be said that the chemical properties will be the same. But some values, such as the voltage required to initiate electrolytic decomposition, vary due to the actual mass of the ions. The atoms are twice as heavy with deuterium as with hydrogen! --Abd (discusscontribs) 01:38, 28 June 2014 (UTC)


The key giveaway that you are dealing with pseudoscience is the massive level of denial shown by the CF researchers when any non-nuclear explanation is proffered. They resort to misrepresentation (strawman arguments), personal attacks, and just plain ignoring the facts to maintain their fantasy of a 'nuclear' cause of the effects they observe. Those tactics are not ones accepted by mainstream science, and their belief that those tactics prove their point is the final evidence that they are practicing pseudoscience. Kirk shanahan (talk) 21:01, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Remember, this argument was presented on Wikipedia. Arguments like this are legitimate on Wikiversity (under proper conditions). They are not legitimate on Wikipedia. Sources? Shanahan is referring to his own experience, interpreted through his own lenses. His views have not been accepted either by cold fusion researchers or some presumed "mainstream." We will look at the evidence. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:40, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
What misrepresentations are alluded here? --IP editor
I have published 4 papers in the field. In all 4 I refer to a systematic effect/error I call the Calibration Constant Shift (CCS) as a probable root cause of apparent excess heat signals. In a reply to the last publication, 10 CF authors conclude my objections to their excess heat interpretations are wrong because the 'random Shanahan CCSH' {calibration constant shift _Hypothesis_) is _clearly_ wrong. I never provided a random cause, but that doesn't stop them from claiming I did. That's misrepresentation. My 3rd publication was a response to a 2006 Comment from Dr. E. Storms on my 2002 original paper. I addressed each of his supposed points and showed how they were incorrect or irrelevant in a back-to-back publication with his Comment that he was clearly aware of. In his 2007 book, Storms claimed he had addressed all the issues I had raised, and he failed to reference my reply to him, while referencing my original paper and his comment. That's misrepresentation. Kirk shanahan (talk) 22:32, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
This is all POV, personal opinion. Kirk Shanahan has long proposed that the article reflect his opinions. Here, we have pages where Shanahan may, unimpeded, express his opinion, which may be interlaced with comment or comment may be separate. He has been invited many times to participate here, but has always declined.
Notice the lack of links. He doesn't make it easy to address his issues, he relies entirely on his personal authority. However, we can look these up. In chronological sequence:
  • Storms (2000) ICCF-8, "Excess Power Production from Platinum Cathodes Using the Pons-Fleischmann Effect" This is a strange paper title, because XP with platinum is not the Fleischmann Pons Heat Effect, which is with palladium deuteride. It might be analogous, sure. The paper is in the bibliography for Storms (2010) but it is explicitly cited as a "one-time experience." Storms does not seem to mention the paper in his book (2007), nor the possibility of XP with platinum, but I might have missed it.
  • Shanahan (2002) Thermochemica Acta, "A Possible Calorimetric Error in Heavy Water Electrolysis on Platinum." This paper was a proposal of possible error in the Storms report on platinum. I am not at this point going over the science in this paper. It is not implausible, at all, that some calorimetric error might occur in CF research. Storms himself has, on occasion, pointed out common errors.
  • Shanahan (2003) A discussion of a general review of cold fusion by Storms, possibly on a mailing list. Not published, to my knowledge, outside of lenr-canr.org. Explains the CCS effect and purports to show why objections are incorrect. This includes response by Storms and another.
  • Shanahan, K. Comments on Thermal behavior of polarized Pd/D electrodes prepared by co-deposition. Thermochim. Acta, 2005. 428: p. 207. I have not found any on-line free copy of this paper. I have a copy, so it is still possible to review the paper, but I greatly prefer discussion where participants have equal access to papers (which is why the long-term exclusion of links to lenr-canr.org from the Wikipedia article -- it was there in the Featured Article version -- is so damaging. "convenience links" are not a necessity for verifiability, in theory, but in practice, unreadable sources are often misquoted or cherry-picked.) This paper critiques, not Storms, but
  • Storms (2005) Thermochemica Acta. "Comment on papers by K. Shanahan that propose to explain anomalous heat generated by cold fusion." Response to Shanahan (2002) and (2005). For comparison with below, the abstract:
Dr. Shanahan has published two papers (Thermochim. Acta 428 (2005) 207, Thermochim. Acta 382 (2002) 95) in which he argues that excess heat claimed to be produced by cold fusion is actually caused by errors in heat measurement. In particular, he proposes that unrecognized changes in the calibration constant are produced by changes in the locations where heat is being generated within the electrolytic cell over the duration of the measurement. Because these papers may lend unwarranted support to rejection of cold fusion claims, these erroneous arguments used by Shanahan need to be answered.
  • Shanahan, K., Reply to 'Comment on papers by K. Shanahan that propose to explain anomalous heat generated by cold fusion,' E. Storms. Thermochim. Acta, 2006. 441: p. 210. Again, no on-line copy. Abstract:
Dr. E. Storms has published a Letter [E. Storms, Comment on papers by K. Shanahan that propose to explain anomalous heat generated by cold fusion, Thermochim. Acta, 2006] in which he argues that in a sequence of recent papers, the apparent excess heat signal claimed by Dr. Shanahan to arise from a calibration constant shift is actually true excess heat. In particular he proposes that the mechanisms proposed that foster the proposed calibration constant shifts cannot occur as postulated for several reasons. As well, he proposes Shanahan has ignored the extant data proving this. Because this Letter may lend unwarranted support to acceptance of cold fusion claims, these erroneous arguments used by Storms need to be answered.
  • Storms, The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, "A Comprehensive Compilation of Evidence and Explanations about Cold Fusion." w:World Scientific, 2007. In this book, Storms does mention Shanahan.
In a discussion of a particular flow calorimetric design, used for a time by Storms until replaced by better Seebeck calorimetry, Storms describes the agreement between two different calorimetric approaches, and wrote, "This agreement demonstrates the calibration errors proposed by Shanahan are absent." (page 41, the reference is to Shanahan (2002)
Then, discussing the accuracy of calorimetry, he wrote:
The important question is, are the well-done studies sufficient to demonstrate production of anomalous energy? Of course, what you might consider to be "well-done" depends on which potential error you are willing to ignore. The type of potential error is limited only by imagination, many examples of which are summarized and rejected by Storms in an extensive review.[76][77] Nevertheless, a few potential errors are real and need to be understood. Shanahan[78] has proposed that changes in locations where heat is produced within an electrolytic cell could introduce error when flow calorimetry is used. This error is shown by Storms to apply to neither flow[79] nor to Seebeck calorimetry.[42] [and then Storms goes on to address other possible error sources.]
[76][77] Storms (2000, "A critical evaluation of the Pons-Fleischmann effect," (published in two parts, link is to a combined document) w:Infinite Energy.
[78] is Shanahan (2002).
  • Storms (2010) Status of cold fusion (2010), [w:Naturwissenschaften] (Note that in 2010, Naturwissenschaften was still a full multidisciplinary journal, focused on papers that crossed disciplines -- as cold fusion clearly does. Later they dropped everything that did not involve a life science.) The book does not appear to discuss the Shanahan work, but does include Shanahan in the bibliography, both (2005) and (2006).
My analysis of the above: Shanahan is complaining that Storms did not cover his 2005 and 2006 responses in his 2007 book, and he cites this as evidence that cold fusion is "pseudoscience." In fact, Shanahan does not propose experimental verification of his theories of artifact. He does not review the field to find confirmation or disconfirmation from existing published work. Rather, he takes a paper and finds something that might be wrong with it. That is not science, it is closer to pseudoscience or pseudoskepticism. In fact, Storms acknowledged Shanahan's contributions in his 2010 paper, in quite a positive way, though he clearly was not accepting Shanahan's conclusions. The big offense seems to be that Storms considered he had adequately answered Shahahan. Notice how certain Shanahan is that he demolished Storms, and that Storms is in denial. We may examine the actual arguments on Wikiversity, probably on Cold fusion/Skeptical arguments/Shanahan.
Now, there is also the interchange in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring, which is that last time that an extreme skeptical position has been published in a mainstream peer-reviewed journal, covered below. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:40, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
This would appear to be the semi-official response from several long-time participants in the ICMNS/LENR community : [1]. --Wikipedia user A.
I'll cite and comment on the history of this. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:40, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
(side-comment on this paper. It was flawed in certain ways. The abstract:
This paper presents a new look at low-energy nuclear reaction research, a field that has developed from one of the most controversial subjects in science, ‘‘cold fusion.’’ Early in the history of this controversy, beginning in 1989, a strong polarity existed; many scientists fiercely defended the claim of new physical effects as well as a new process in which like-charged atomic nuclei overcome the Coulomb barrier at normal temperatures and pressures. Many other scientists considered the entire collection of physical observations—along with the hypothesis of a ‘‘cold fusion’’—entirely a mistake. Twenty years later, some people who had dismissed the field in its entirety are considering the validity of at least some of the reported experimental phenomena. As well, some researchers in the field are wondering whether the underlying phenomena may be not a fusion process but a neutron capture/absorption process. In 2002, a related tabletop form of thermonuclear fusion was discovered in the field of acoustic inertial confinement fusion. We briefly review some of this work, as well.
  • "Any sort of inertial confinement fusion." This would have been a bonehead error that was in an early draft that didn't get removed from the abstract. Inertial confinement fusion is a Favorite Topic of Krivit, w:Bubble fusion, probably. It's not cold fusion, by definition. That is, the bubbles that collapse are very, very hot, and the claim is that they can get hot enough to generate fusion. The sign of fusion is allegedly energetic neutrons, i.e., the reaction would be hot fusion. The fact that the liquid is cool is irrelevant, just as the fact that a w:Farnsworth fusor is at room temperature is irrelevant.
  • We do not know that the "Coulomb barrier" is "overcome." We do not know the actual local temperature of the reaction (it might be extremely cold, long story). We don't know the mechanism, so the name "cold fusion" was speculative.
  • However, Krivit is a promoter -- not a neutral reporter -- on Widom-Larsen theory, which is the theory they describe in the abstract. That theory has no traction with experienced CMNS researchers. There are many new approaches to cold fusion theory, this one is very unlikely to play out, it is a farrago of ad hoc "explanations." In fact, the article does cover many other theories, so all that is strange here is the emphasis in the abstract. My own position is that theory is a topic to avoid with cold fusion, generally, because there really are not theories good enough to make verifiable predictions. Some theories, however, make predictions known not to be accurate, and Widom-Larsen is like that. But it can sound "plausible" to people who believe that "fusion" is impossible. Krivit and Marwan covered the critical heat/helium evidence:
In the early 1990s, electrochemist Melvin Miles was at the U.S. Navy’s China Lake facility, working with analysts Ben Bush and J. Joseph Lagowski at the University of Texas at Austin. While there, Miles observed that He-4 is one of the dominant nuclear products from LENR experiments.
Not "one of the dominant products." One of the big skeptical points in the early days was the absence of an identified ash. Tritium had been found, but tritium is easy to detect at very low levels, and the levels of tritium found were a million times too small to be a significant product. What Miles found was that helium is found at about the right level on two assumptions: that the reaction is the conversion of deuterium to helium, and that roughly half of the helium doesn't come off in the outgas, at least not right away. Miles measured the outgas helium content, and correlated this with heat production. It was a stunning finding.
In the following years, several other researchers also measured helium-4 and noted that its evolution was temporally correlated to LENR excess heat production.
Again, he or they are understating the matter. By this time, Krivit believed that major cold fusion researchers were faking data or selectively analyzing it to "prove" that the reaction was fusion, and he was accusing them of that. I know the researchers. They aren't thinking about "proof." They are scientists. Non-scientists think about proof, and look for proof and refute proofs. Scientists note correlations and develop and test hypotheses.
Some researchers have also suggested that helium-4 is the sole nuclear product of LENR reactions, that the measured energy per helium-4 atom produced is precisely 24 MeV and that no other energetic reactions are occurring in LENR systems.
Straw man argument. First of all, this would be my statement of the general understanding in the field. The predominant reaction, by a factor of a million or so, is the production of helium, mechanism unknown. Actual experimental measurements of the heat/helium ratio has never been "precisely 24 MeV," except in one experiment, an outlier in the work of Violante, which Krivit massively attacked, not realizing what he was seeing in the paper. That result was the result with the least heat produced, so the error bars in the calculation were huge. Krivit doesn't understand how to read scientific papers. It's truly embarrassing.
Therefore, based on these suggestions, they have asserted that the relationship between helium-4 and excess heat proves the LENR process is a fusion process because the heat and helium-4 mimic the third branch of thermonuclear fusion, though without the gamma.
Just notice that he doesn't name anyone. He believes that this is what people are thinking. Rather, this is what is obvious. The measurements are consistent with the fusion value, but that value will show up with any process that converts deuterium to helium, it is mechanism independent. Now, what is "fusion"? To Krivit, it is a very particular reaction, so-called deuterium-deuterium fusion, the same reaction as in hot fusion. Nobody in the field believes that this is what is happening. There are a few ideas that suggest that somehow the fusion mechanism produces a halo nuclear state that decays in a BOLEP, Takahashi calls it, a Burst of Low Energy Photons, which would show up as heat. Takahashi, though, doesn't think this nucleus is helium, it could be Be-8, which will decay to helium, and if the decay is delayed long enough such that the BOLEP can jump almost all the fusion energy, the resulting alpha particles *might* have a low enough energy to satisfy the Hagelstein limit. Hagelstein is, to Krivit, one of the bad guys, the "promoters of the fusion theory," and Hagelstein has criticized Widom-Larsen theory in a peer reviewed journal, unforgiveable! But Hagelstein published a limit of 20 KeV for significant charged particle radiation in Naturwissenschaften (2010, I think). For a promoter of fusion, supposedly, he sure made it difficult. Getting 24 million electron volts down to twenty thousand is quite a trick, and nobody has figured how how this can happen, not as far as I've seen.
Anyway, if the fuel is deuterium, and the ultimate product is helium, we can call this a "fusion reaction," as long as we don't confuse that with some specific pathway. There is more than one possible. It's even possible to think of pathways that involve converting deuterium through electron capture to two neutrons, and then somhow adding these neutrons to another deuterium nucleus, to get H-4, which can be speculated to decay to helium and an electron. This is very close to Widom-Larsen theory. But it has some *huge* problems I won't describe. Would it be "fusion." Who cares what the name is! "Cold fusion" is a popular name for LENR and particularly for the FPHE, it is not and never was a mechanism.
All this was to show how the Krivit Marwan review had some problems. However, it was also, in other ways, quite good. It was interesting, I'd suggest. Just not a rigorous scientific paper, thoroughly edited and challenged in peer review. On the other hand, I'm finding that lots of peer-reviewed papers have blatant errors that get through.
  • Krivit's account of the publication of the paper and the responses. By this time, Krivit had alienated almost the entire cold fusion community. You can see the kinds of objections he made to the Shanahan Letter. I think I know why JEM published the Shanahan response, but that doesn't matter here, at least not yet.
Umm...no idea what you mean here. There is no 'official', 'semi-official', or 'unofficial' involved here, except that published papers and books are certainly 'official' representations of the authors' position at the time. In that sense the papers are totally 'official'. And since in the prior comment I was addressing the actions of one person, who are the 'several'? Kirk shanahan (talk) 11:40, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
"I was addressing the actions of one person"--my mistake! I understand now! group of 10 is definitely several...sorry Alanf. Kirk shanahan (talk) 12:38, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Having just read that report, Shanahan's CCSH was basically torn apart on every point, and given the vitriol that he just spouted in his previous comments, seems a little rich to me. Shanahan, did you respond to the aforementioned article? If not then you are guilty of exactly what you just accused Storms of having done. (talk) 07:50, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
It is worse than is being said. Shanahan made a blatant error in his Comment, face-palm blatant, and it was about the crucial heat-helium evidence. I pointed it out to him, when I wrote a review of it, so that he could comment on it. He responded to me the same way he responded to everyone else in the field: it was like "You will do anything to avoid admitting I'm right." Or something like that. He didn't look at the error. Later, in another discussion, he pretty much had to see it, and after roundly denying it, he then said it didn't matter, because, after all, he was right anyway. It was crucial, it was central, it wasn't minor. The error was so bad that the Big 10 may not even have noticed it, they just looked at his conclusions and said, this is totally bogus, what the hell is he talking about here, and it doesn't matter. But I knew what he was talking about, because I've always paid close attention to Shanahan. Realize, folks, Shanahan is the best the pseudoskeptics have got. They claim that nobody is responding to cold fusion papers (like Storms (2010) and many others) because everybody who knows anything knows that cold fusion is completely bogus, so why bother? It's pathological science, so they will eventually go away, they think.
But N-rays and polywater were not rejected, to fade away as they did, by people making up reasons why it might be an error. They were rejected by actually showing, with controlled experiment, the artifact, such that there was no longer any reason to think that N-rays and polywater were real. That never happened with cold fusion. The reverse happened, in fact, and perhaps it's appropriate to cite the Storms (2010) abstract here:
The phenomenon called cold fusion has been studied for the last 21 years since its discovery by Profs. Fleischmann and Pons in 1989. The discovery was met with considerable skepticism, but supporting evidence has accumulated, plausible theories have been suggested, and research is continuing in at least eight countries. This paper provides a brief overview of the major discoveries and some of the attempts at an explanation. The evidence supports the claim that a nuclear reaction between deuterons to produce helium can occur in special materials without application of high energy. This reaction is found to produce clean energy at potentially useful levels without the harmful byproducts normally associated with a nuclear process. Various requirements of a model are examined.
This is the elephant in the Wikipedia cold fusion argument living room. There is no review of cold fusion that contradicts what is in this abstract. The arguments are all, so far, pseudoskeptical. It's true that there is a huge reservoir of opinion out there that, say, the 1989 report was never confirmed. And that the work of Pons and Fleishmann was sloppy, seriously flawed. They did make mistakes, there is no about that, but those mistakes are now quite well understood and not controversial. Their central finding, anomalous heat from palladium deuteride, has been massively confirmed. That includes specific protocol replications.
I had a critique of that abstract, Storms did not accept it, apparently. Instead of "a nuclear reaction between deuterons to produce helium," I suggested, "a nuclear reaction that converts deuterium to helium," even though what he wrote is not incorrect. But "deuterons" implies raw nuclei, which implies ionization, which leads us back to the basic cold fusion problem. There are mechanisms proposed that include the electrons, and, in fact, I think all reasonable theories do, so it's deuterium, not deuterons. But maybe loose deuterons are involved, that's what moves about inside the lattice, and this is a controversy that most people won't understand without a lot of study.
Debate within the cold fusion community is vigorous. The pseudoskeptics seem to think that when a cold fusion researcher publishes a paper, everyone in the field bows to it and praises it. Hardly. Those ten authors, some of them are always friendly and civil, but not all. There have been physical confrontations, threats of lawsuit, from one of them. Yet among them are the worlds' foremost authorities on cold fusion, i..e, those who are still alive and who have built the massive body of experimental evidence and analysis that is the field. And they all came together to sign this paper. It don't think there has ever been anything like it. The 2004 DoE review paper represented only a faction in the community, quite unfortunately. That is, Hagelstein put together a great paper to present to some scientific conference. It confused the hell out of the panel, and that's obvious. There are certain basic results in the field, highly confirmed, not seriously controversial. But they get mixed up with a pile of odd and unexplained and possibly unexplainable results, as if everything odd and unexpected must be reported. Cold fusion doesn't generate neutrons, certainly not itself. SPAWAR detected neutrons, very plausibly, though unconfirmed. The levels were utterly miniscule, they used a technique that was exquisitely sensitive. The experiments did not report on heat, they just looked for charged particle radiation, and, it happens, solid state charged particle radiation detectors can show the presence fo neutrons. There is nothing that connects those neutron results with whatever produces heat in the FPHE, and the levels are a million million times separated from helium. But in over twenty years of research a lot of weird stuff, of some sort of "nuclear nature" has been seen, and it all gets lumped together as if it proves "cold fusion." It does seem to indicate that there is nuclear activity were we don't expect it, where nobody had carefully looked before.
It is like the reverse of the old story about people feeling an elephant. One feels a tree (the leg), one feels a horse (the tail), one feels a snake (the trunk), etc. In the old story they are arguing whether "it" is a tree, horse, snake, etc. But what if there is a tree, a snake, and a horse, etc? Because nobody expected to find *anything* in PdD, it was assumed that if something was found, it must be one thing.
In the end, maybe it is. But until we know what the big thing," whatever is producing the heat, is, we can't really tell if the same mechanism produces, say, rare tritium or rarer neutrons.
Well 75..., obviously you completely missed the point. Let me make it clear. I have NEVER proposed a 'random CCSH'. Yes, the 10 authors DID tear the 'random Shanahan CCSH' to pieces...that's the point of a strawman, to set up an easily defeated proposal, defeat it, and then pass it off to observers as the real thing. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man) My CCS is a SYSTEMATIC effect, i.e. NON-random. The fact that the 10 authors have to resort to a logical fallacy to address my criticisms is extremely revealing. It means they have no other arguments against it, but they are so desperate to put me down that they invent nonexistent proposals, attach my name to them, and then denigrate their own invention while claiming it is mine. It ain't. So, as is the point of a strawman, my original criticism remains unaddressed. As far as responding, the journal editor wouldn't allow me to. Re. 'my vitriol'...I am always amused how pro-CFers go ballistic whenever any criticisms are leveled against their pet beliefs. Stating the facts as I did is not 'vitriol', it's just laying out what anyone can see by reading _all_ of the papers involved, not just one side's POV. Kirk shanahan (talk) 11:36, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Shanahan did not answer the question. He was asked if he responded. He did respond, as I recall, but JEM refused to publish it, they were done. Shanahan does understand scientific objectivity, academic neutrality. He was an internet critic of cold fusion in the 1990s, and he managed to put together some possibly plausible critique enough to get it covered, but in his writing, in the abstracts, and in his comments here, we can see how he is attached to being right, when scientists are trained to attempt to prove that they are wrong. When problems with his theories are pointed out, he becomes irate, he doesn't acknowledge that this or that might be correct, and it all becomes personal very quickly. That's completely obvious from this exchange, and this is the true irony here. He is complaining that cold fusion researchers don't carefully consider his work. He complained, as I recall, that JEM was unfair in not leeting him reply. That's what happened to cold fusion researchers for years, including some of the top scientists.
I rather doubt that Shanahan's comments have been the only ones submitted. It is likely that they were the best, at JEM. At Naturwissenschaften, it's likely that Krivit's comments on Storms (2010) were the best they got. Which tells me that, in spite of cold fusion being called "dead" in the early 1990s, the man who wrote that is dead, and cold fusion is quite alive. It is cold fusion pseudoskepticism that is in very poor healthy, dying, but still running on knee-jerk reflex.
It is funny that the debate on the cold fusion talk page is over whether or not to say what was obviously true, at least at one time. The real disagreement is over whether or not it is still true, and I see one side ignoring a lot of evidence that something changed, beginning a decade ago. Cold fusion publication rates rose. New research efforts were started up, no longer was it just a few "diehards." Patience began to pay off.
Everyone wants that easy, impressive demonstration of cold fusion, i.e, the cold fusion cell that will show excess heat every time. There are designs that may do that (I think of Dennis Craven's sphere that stays hot), but they are expensive. And there are still serious problems with intellectual property, due to the patent office situation (which may be shifting, but the example just pointed out does not necessarily show that. SPAWAR's central claim there was not energy production!
but there is already a single replicable experiment, it has been confirmed, and it has never been disconfirmed. It simply does not require a "reliable protocol," it works fine with one that only generates anomalous heat part of the time. I've described it so many times that I'm stopping here. Why bother unless someone wants to know?
The comment from JJ is intriguing and generates a question. Has some statistical analysis of statements of reliable sources been done in order to asses labeling? And stylistic effects cannot be regarded as belonging to arguments.-- (talk) 21:38, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
There is analysis of reports into positive and negative by Britz, who is skeptical or neutral. But it's self-published. Jed Rothwell took the Britz reports and expanded the analysis. Self-published. And this is the wrong question, for Wikipedia, it will go nowhere. Editors are attempting to decide by vote what is the job of the publishers of reliable source to decide. It's obvious that if a reliable source says that cold fusion is "pathological science," that someone has said that. It's obvious that if a reliable sources claims that "cold fusion has been rejected by mainstream science," that this was claimed. However, does such a "fact" stand forever, in spite of all later evidence?
From w:Wikipedia:RS#Academic_consensus:
The statement that all or most scientists or scholars hold a certain view requires reliable sourcing that directly says that all or most scientists or scholars hold that view. Otherwise, individual opinions should be identified as those of particular, named sources. Editors should avoid original research especially with regard to making blanket statements based on novel syntheses of disparate material. Stated simply, any statement in Wikipedia that academic consensus exists on a topic must be sourced rather than being based on the opinion or assessment of editors.
That policy does not reflect, as stated, the possibility of shift. However, all that is needed is to attribute reliably sourced claims as to date, if there is later contrary source. The Wikipedia article is not badly damaged if the "opinion of most scientists" claims are not up to date, if it is not too out of date. I never attempted to claim, in the Wikipedia article, that cold fusion had "turned the corner," but I did mention it on Talk. Because it's obvious, the 2004 DoE review was a drastic change from the 1989 review. That's been covered up by the fact that the 2004 review actually claimed that the final conclusions were similar, but that is only a literal truth as to the stated final conclusions: modest research under existing programs to answer open questions, no major multibillion dollar program. But we know the history of those reviews, they have extensive coverage and, yes, in reliable source. There is way too much material to stuff into the existing Wikipedia article, but expanding coverage with new articles has been resisted because of the claim that it's fringe, and therefore not worth such coverage. It's circular. There is reliable source, plenty of it. But excluded because supposedly it would take the article out of balance and the balance is not being determined by the balance of what is in reliable sources, but on this other idea, that scientists have rejected cold fusion, blah, blah. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:40, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Have the supporters of low-energy nuclear reactions provided an explanation of how the high potential barrier is lowered, that at the same time explains why it happens under nearly natural conditions but doesn't happen in nature? --Wikipedia editor.
Broken record. I think he asked that question four times on the Talk page. The question, in a few words, manages to express at least five errors or misunderstandings. Editor A tried to answer. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:40, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
Larsen (of Widom Larsen) claims it happens naturally. eg Lightning (and exploding wires), bacteria ...[3]
Sigh. What is "it"? Larsen claims all kinds of things, connected only by his theory that doesn't work with cold fusion and probably doesn't work with anything else other than keeping a few people going with the hope that maybe it isn't fusion. So they can believe they were right to say fusion is impossible. While lightning and exploding wires are not as hot, perhaps, as needed for ordinary thermonuclear reactions at high rate, they do generate plasmas and some very hot particles. This would not be "condensed matter nuclear science," and W-L theory requires those surface plasmons, condensed matter conditions. Is anything Larsen makes up "Widom Larsen theory"?

No, the question was off. Cold fusion conditions are far from natural. FPHE CF requires high purity deuterium, greater than 99 atom percent D. That never occurs in nature. Yes, it could happen that the less than 0.1% of naturaly hydrogen that is deuterium could possibley arrange it self around some structure that would catalyze the effect, but the rate would be ridiculously low. If there were one fusion in your body a day, you would never know. The rate would be a lot lower than that.

Whether or not a reaction would be detectable would depend on the reaction product. The questioner almost certainly has not read the Storms review, because he might know that there is a Russian researcher who has reported credible evidence that nuclear transformations can take place in certain bacteria or yeasts. By credible evidence I mean that the technique reported would be reliable. However, this is not independently confirmed, but it's notable, because of being covered in a peer-reviewed academic review on the topic. Is it covered in Wikipedia?

Well, the topic is covered. w:Biological transmutation. As usual, there is material there not from the strongest reliable sources. The most reliable source is not used. And there is POV language. It's sourced from Skeptical Inquirer, which is a skeptical walled garden. Basically, instead of there being researchers who report results from experiments, there are "proponents." This is not science, it's politics and polemic.

There is, however, a very interesting statement there:

The electrochemistry of cold fusion resembles the alleged transmutations of biological chemistry.[1]

It is sourced to a truly atrocious book,[2], and the author claims that

the day when biological transmutations and cold fusion will be reproducible and when irrefutable evidence is produced supporting creationism, all natural sciences will be doomed.
This is a scientist? First of all, he's probably not aware that there is reproducible evidence, published, and confirmed, that shows that what is called "cold fusion" is real and that it is probably fusion.
I was attracted by his reported comment (which is garbled by the editor) because if cold fusion is real -- and it is -- then it is not impossible that an organism could arrange some protein or structure to create the environment that would catalyze it or something similar. This is very unlikely to involve palladium and deuterium, which are wicked rare. But it might allow some other kind of LENR.
The reason we think that biological transmutation is impossible is that we think condensed matter nuclear reactions are impossible. We think that ordinary chemistry cannot create nuclear reactions. That was never *quite* correct. I.e., there are known exceptions, involving electron capture. There might be others. Kevran is one thing. I have no opinion on Kevran. However, I know that the technique used by Vysotskii is exquisitely sensitive to Fe-57, which is what he detected. Fe-57 was produced in his experiments, though only a tiny amount, apparently from Mn-55, and not in controls. That would presumably be from a single deuteron capture.
So there is some evidence. Why hasn't it been confirmed? A skeptic may say, "Because it's not real." But much more likely, nobody wants to risk their time and career doing some research that they won't be able to publish.
The field of cold fusion was devastated when a doctoral candidate's PhD thesis was rejected because the research he did, solid research, was rejected, not for error or lack of experimental rigor, but because it was about cold fusion, ipso facto. Immediately the normal source of labor for ordinary replications disappeared -- grad students --, and then the claim of "no replication" became circular. Research still continued, but at a vastly reduced level. That is definitely shifting now. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:40, 29 June 2014 (UTC)