Cold Confusion

This is a page that will accumulate common confusions about cold fusion, Rossi v. Darden, and other related issues.

Many people get their news from social media, discussion fora, etc., and memes arise and propagate. There are some that I have seen repeatedly, so here is one place to cover them and, hopefully, clear up some confusion, amid a profusion of rumor and misinterpretation. As always, comment is open and notice of errors is appreciated, or even error about errors! After all, if a reader thinks something is wrong, it either is incorrect or I, quite possibly, have poorly expressed what I know or think I know.

Did Industrial Heat demand that Andrea Rossi provide them with IP at the same time as they were declaring it worthless?

I have seen this several times. In a recent incarnation, on Lenr-forum, kevmolenr wrote:

Why did IH countersue to get Rossi’s IP if it was worthless?

IH did not do that. There is a  “prayer for relief” from the final version of the Answer and Counterclaim. There is nothing there about “getting IP.” Kevmo also asks:

IH countersued asking for his IP. Did they or did they not obtain transfer of the IP after it was Validated according to that first report?: They obviously paid for it. What IP was IH countersuing for?

The “prayer” is where a plaintiff asks the court to determine and order something. This is it:

WHEREFORE, Counter-Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court enter judgment in
their favor and against Counter-Defendants and Third Party Defendants as follows:
i. For compensatory and expectation damages and/or restitution in an amount to be
determined at trial;
ii. For costs of suit and for attorneys’ fees and costs;
iii. For pre-judgment interest; and
iv. For such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper.

Others have explained the sequence of events. “IP” refers to “intellectual property,” and has two aspects: knowledge (“know-how”) and licensed rights. Industrial Heat was not happy with the conditions of the Validation Test, but it appears to me that they had decided to pinch their nose and go ahead, because they very much needed to know if Rossi had a real technology, Rossi’s claims were depressing investment in other LENR research. Why fund something that might produce a few watts if Rossi was producing kilowatts?

It is quite clear that IH essentially gave Rossi what he wanted, including allowing his friend Penon to be the “Engineer Responsible for Validation.” So though the Validation test stank, they accepted it, and the escrow transfer took place, which included an alleged transfer of what was needed to make the technology work.

IH claimed that, following instructions, and with the active assistance of Rossi, they were never able to show confirmed positive results.

In the settlement that ended the trial, reached after opening remarks and Rossi’s attorneys were setting up to begin their presentation, IH walked, giving up the IP, and no further exchange of funds either way. Often Planet Rossi has wondered why they had not accepted Rossi’s (alleged) offer, before he sued, to return the $10 million paid for the IP, to cancel the Agreement.

First, it is not clear that there ever was an offer. Second, they had invested, not just the $1.5 million for the reactor and $10 million for the IP, but perhaps a total of $25 million, including what they had paid Ampenergo, if I’m correct, as part of that, $5 million to surrender the U.S. rights. They considered it possible that Rossi did, in fact, have a technology, but had not disclosed it. If the technology were real, it could be worth a trillion dollars. Even a very small possibility of that would be worth holding on to the licence.

However, it appears that Rossi’s attorney convinced Rossi to walk as well, and then he could point out to IH that it was going to cost them millions of dollars to win, if they could win, and they might not recover their expenses. The $10 million payment was a done deal, Rossi’s attorneys would have argued estoppel , and to prove actual fraud in that validation test would have been difficult. The fraud that IH was claiming was over Rossi’s machinations to create the Doral fake guaranteed performance test, the fake customer, etc.

IH needed to decide to go ahead, very likely losing money (even if they “won”), or accept their losses and move on in LENR research with Woodford support. If they had believed there was even one chance in a thousand of Rossi Reality, I don’t think they would have let go of the license,  they would have negotiated some compromise.

They concluded, I infer, that there was not even that much chance that the technology was real. In mercato veritas. The real market decided that Rossi’s E-cats were, with high certainty, worthless.

Many have claimed that they were foolish. I don’t think so. They needed to know, it was important to them, and they paid to find out, and they found out, to their satisfaction. My sense is that their boldness in investing in Rossi impressed Woodford Fund, and they obtained $50 million, so they doubled the money they could put into LENR research, and Woodford committed another $150 million if needed.

Rossi was angry that IH was investing in other approaches, calling them “competitors.” IH was actually interested in the science, and has funded research, including LENR theory. IH had no obligation to work exclusively with Rossi. Rossi also believed that they were disclosing his “secrets” to others. In fact, they had the right to do that, there was no non-disclosure agreement by IH. (The settlement agreement cancelled that right.) But Rossi’s secrets were worthless.


41 thoughts on “Cold Confusion”

  1. Interesting on LENR forum. The thread about IH offering Rossi a buyout elicited a “not unusual” thumbs up for Rossi and a bit of shade for IH from Alan Smith. My “to the point” response to him, but not derogatory or insulting, got me a threat of a ban if I did not drop the subject. Again, no insult nor derogatory language or intent was involved in my post.

    I had been previously informed that I was not to broach the subject of Alan’s refusal to provide a report on his visitation of the Stockholm event. His visitation that was at least partially funded by contributions from posters, albeit donations Alan did not ask for, but none the less did accept.

    So when this threat of ban was given me, for reason far exceeded and abused by others on the forum, I was a bit shocked and considered the subject must be very fragile. I did not agree to be censored and in a polite reply requesting exactly why the threat of ban was given, I was banned.

    No statement has been given that I was banned (or reason) so several posts have been made by others in response to my last posted statement. I am now unable to respond to those due to the ban and so now it will appear I have disappeared or am ignoring respones.

    This is quite sad. My posts had factual foundation and were logical. Even admitted so by the mod who evidently banned me. The only reason given was that I had been given a warning and that
    “We just can not have that anymore from you. I suggest you move on permanently as you suggest.”

    They cannot have that from me? Really? There are literally hundreds of posts far, far worse, more insulting, baseless, clearly without fact and trollish than mine. Yet “they cannot have that from me”! I am truly amazed.

    So alas, LENR Forum is morphing into another ECW clone. You follow what the mods want or get banned. They want to stoke silly debate to keep up the post count. But apparently one thing the mods do not want, is to be held accountable for their own posts! The very thing I was posting about was hypocrisy and this is a prime example.

    I just wish they would man up and state that I was banned so others do not think I am ignoring them. Oh well! If this is the worse thing that happens to me today, it has been a good day!

    So I join you in the banned from LENR Forum Club! :0

    1. Welcome to, that has, as a goal, the creation of genuine community, not yet another private, secretly-dominated star chamber that hosts apparently open discussion, that isn’t. At least you were warned, though.

      For reference, Bob’s last two posts on LF. His member name is shown with a lock. is Shane D.’s warning.

      When I was banned, no explanation was given.

      I’m not going to allow fully-anonymous administration here, and posts and pages created by anonymous users will require approval, but people who are willing to stand by what they write, may be granted author privileges and more. At this point, I’m the Owner, so I am ultimately responsible for what I allow here. I do allow anonymous comments, but there is no promise that all will remain visible. I will protect privacy, but there are also limits (it’s really the same with Wikipedia). I will look at what happened on LF. Your story is not surprising, though.

      You are better off. LF cannot be used to build useful content. It’s like hanging out in a bar, having “meaningful conversations” — or arguments about “important issues” — with the other habitues. There are far better ways to spend time that can actually build value, extend education, and support engaging others in supporting LENR research, building genuine consensus or at least clarifying issues.

      Alan Smith is to be congratulated for getting his hands dirty with real work, but never should have been allowed to dominate moderation at LF. He is radically unsuited for it. But positions like that attract people like that, and the real responsibility is with the Owner, who would see him as a valuable asset. And there you go. If the community tolerates it, it succeeds, for a time.

      1. The full text of Shane D.’s comment:

        Bob wrote:
        Is truth to be squelched or should it speak for itself? If truth is to be censored here on this forum, then I will move on permanently. I have no desire to live on Planet Rossi such as at ECW. Is this forum to become “Planet Atom Ecology”? Yes, Ackland banned me from ECW for the very same reason… not insulting nor baseless posts, but posts with supporting evidence that was critical of Rossi and could not be offset. It appears the same law is being applied here to A.S.

        I am equally disappointed in you Bob, for putting me in this situation. All I asked was to lay off a fellow Mod. He has been a good sport about it, even after repeated dredging up of the same two complaints you have against him. Yes, when first mentioned, they were legitimate. Just regular conversation. Even the second time, but you admittedly are well past that, and added yet another just now. It is at a point where it is no doubt personal. You seem to want to want to martyr yourself over this, as some type of champion of free internet speech.

        We just can not have that anymore from you. I suggest you move on permanently as you suggest. I am willing to leave this as a soft ban, where you exile yourself. You will be able to stay a member, but no longer comment on Stockholm, Alan S., directly or indirectly. If those conditions are unsatisfactory, I can make it an official ban. Your choice.

        My opinion. I did this many times on WMF wikis. If I had seen the conversation, usually I would see it after the user was blocked, I advised the user to realize:
        1. common allowance of relatively free speech does not indicate that it is always free, nor should it be, there are better ways to support reality and honesty than through blatant defiance of authority.
        2. full expression can be better found in another place (for example the Wikipedia critique sites, though most of them suffer from arbitrary censorship as well.)
        3. if you want almost total freedom, start a blog. And if you want to lose the blog, if the host asks you to remove material, argue with them without developing rapport.
        4. if you want to be unblocked, in your unblock request, never argue that the block was wrong. It is a losing argument, always! Instead, identify the behavior that was considered offensive, show that you understand the issue, and commit to avoiding the behavior. And keep the commitment.
        5. then follow process to gain consensus for what you want to do, if process exists. Support others. Better: do it and connect off-site. Warning: free speech is dangerous to the speaker.

    2. One more suggestion: create an alternate account on LF, and do not use it in any way that can be considered disruptive. In fact, best if you do not post with it at all. But you can use it to contact other members whom you believe would welcome contact. (They can detect IP, but I don’t suggest hiding at first. They are unlikely to even notice, if they care. What most moderators will care about is disruption and they are unlikely to go after you with a vengeance, but if they do, you can repeat it using an open proxy or library or other independent access.) The LF structure is primitive, compared to, say, MediaWiki. WordPress is not all that sophisticated, either, but I am committed to the creation of genuine community, which requires freedom of association. As with any assembly of people, if the group grows, unrestricted speech can and will create noise problems, but there are ways to deal with that without becoming fascist.

      1. Thank you for your thoughts.
        I believe it best for me, at least for now, is to put this whole subject and blog participation in LENR behind me.

        I see nothing on the brink of significant discovery in the near future. At one time, the project Alan Smith was involved in appeared to be significant.
        However, it now appears to be smoke. Russ George exhibits many traits of Rossi and after some reading of his history, does not appear to be viable in this area. Alan Smith has proven not to be trustworthy in reporting negative findings or presenting scientific reality in certain situations. I predict that the project will fade just as his others have.

        I was facinated by the wide variance of views associated with the Rossi drama. A seemingly clear case, several intelligent people were taken in by Rossi’s machinations or refusing to admit they were fooled. This was fascinating

        Then this last ban, when Shane, a relative new moderator on LENR Forum banned me, it made me realize little benefit was to be gained in staying.

        Shane is a long time LENR follower and former Rossi believer. He seemed to be a level and open minded thinker. But now being a mod, evidently he has either been pressured by Alan and/or LENR staff or has had his vision clouded by the position.

        The ban I was given (and reasoning) is laughable compared to the large volume of direct insult, attack and guile posted by others. The difference was that my posts called out Alan and they could not be disputed. If one cannot defend ones position, ban them!

        This was unexpected from Shane. He compromised his integrity of truth and trust of logic.

        While sad, it made me realize there is little on LENR Forum that has value. The continuing Rossi blather, while a bit of entertainnent, is of almost no value. I believe the Atom Ecology project is delusion. Little else is reported.

        So, no, at this point I believe my time is better spent on other interest. Life is too short to spend time on Rossi or LENR Forum. Especially if it causes people to lose thier objectivity such as Shane.

        “People do not want to hear the truth because they do not want thier illusions destroyed” – Neitzsche

        A rampant example is the LENR saga in many cases.

        Best wishes on your pursuits. Your commentary over the past few years on LENR and the Rossi fiasco was appreciated and highly superior to 99.9% of other posts on the forums. Job well done!


        1. Thank you. I must say, however, that in his shoes, given what I saw, what I’d have done you might not also have liked. (I probably would have repeated the warning. But admins dealing with many disruptive users have a tendency to lose patience.) Basic rule, for forum survival, when an administrator or moderator says “Shut up!”, STFU! I understand that it seems (and probably is), “unfair.” But what would be the harm in simply stopping? and letting the smoke clear? If you want to write about the situation, do it elsewhere! You don’t know what is going on behind the scenes.

          The Forum has an Owner. It is obvious that the Owner supports Alan. Should Shane blow the whistle! I don’t know and it is not my decision to make. As to Alan reporting on the Stockholm demonstration, he did. He saw nothing worth reporting on! He was not impressed, obviously. What did you want, for him to wax eloquent on Andrea Rossi’s socks? It’s is privilege to report more than that or not.

          Alan Smith has certainly been an asshole, and he’s never cleaned up the mess, but, I’m going to repeat this, LF is not owned by the community, it is owned by Nyberg, and he has ultimate authority. The admin and mods do all the work for him. Few people are willing to do what it takes to create a forum, and LF has inertia. It’s horrible, always has been, it’s a terrible way to build content of value. But that’s not what it is. As I wrote, it’s like the neighborhood bar. If the owner of the bar says “Shut up!”, argue with him or her and you will be out on your ear.

          It’s that simple. When I was banned, I made inquiries. I was simply told that the situation was hopeless. As a result of the first ban, I created this blog, and with the second, I put much more energy into it. All that was good news for me! Instead of focusing on how unfair those assholes were, focus on why you might have created the ban? What would be the purpose for it, if we imagine you have some guiding force. How is the ban Good News?

          All this says nothing about the field of LENR. People I trust say that we are likely to see some very good news this year.

          Meanwhile I am also expanding into nutrition and health, a field also covered by Gary Taubes (and attacked by some of the same people), it is where he went after writing Bad Science. This is another example of an Information Cascade, where bad science propagated socially, not through definitive controlled experiment or clear and unbiased analysis.

          In any case, thanks for your support.

          1. Bob –

            I was not aware of this issue with you on LENR Forum. It seems weird to me, when you have always been one of the more polite posters there, and also one of the ones whose posts are well argued and transparently honest, something I appreciate. I hope you are not lost to us online and stay here.

            I agree with Abd that there is an unfortunate pro-Alan Smith bias there. I like it because I enjoy robust argument – but that is now becoming hard to find. The only user there who looks to put up a good fight is RobertBryant. Unfortunately he seems to dislike me personally, which makes arguing with him less fun from my POV – personal insults get in the way of good argument, and he is less good at arguing the counter-case than he could be because of this.

            So perhaps I will spend more time here! When something interesting comes up. The google stuff deserves careful attention, and that has not been done on LENR. I’ll contribute to it here perhaps.

            PS – Abd: you’ll need to be v careful not to let this site get derailed onto climate change where SD has views which many including me would strongly disagree with.

            1. THH – on the assumption that SD is me and not Shane (who is the only SD on this string), I’d suggest looking at the actual data on climate change. Chiefio has spent a while analysing the “unadjusted” data on that at and other postings for other parts of the world. Since I know you take care with your own data, and try to get to the truth, these analyses may surprise you. In order to produce good predictions of the future, you need true data of the past and models that match the physics. That said, I also do not want to derail Abd’s CF discussion so apart from pointing you at the data I’ll leave it at that.

              Up until around 2011 or so I accepted the consensus that our CO2 emissions were causing warming, which is the main reason I was looking at LENR in the first place. Then a friend pointed me at the data and I spent a while working through it. Now I see LENR/CF as a solution to a different problem, which is the cost of energy (both in money terms and pollutants). Various other gains if it can be made commercially viable, of course. I’m thus also looking at other methods of getting cheap and non-polluting energy. It’s the big problem that needs solving, since with that cheap energy we can raise the standard of living of everyone, have water and farming anywhere in the world, and maybe fewer wars over resources because recycling becomes cheaper than mining new stuff (and of course the wars over oil would not be needed either).

              I don’t share your or Abd’s opinion of Alan Smith, and it’s possible that his collaborations with Russ and Jürg are having some successes. Still maybe a too-large reliance on thermocouples, where it’s possible that diffusion of H and D into them may cause temporary changes in output, and maybe that needs several alternative ways of measuring temperatures to be certain that the measurements are real. Possibly the only certain method of measuring heat in these experiments is to make a cup of tea, but that obviously will be a while yet. Not enough details yet, so it would not be possible to have any opinion yet except that it looks hopeful, and that’s largely based on my opinion that Alan tells the best truth he knows and measures things to a good standard.

              I’m also still hopeful that Abd’s Plan B will give “good” results, though the data from that should have been published a while back. I don’t know if that’s a good sign (they had success and are going commercial whilst staying black) or a bad one (they failed dismally and are ashamed to tell us). As Abd says, success is worth a trillion dollars or so per year, so it’s maybe unlikely to hear of a roaring success until they’ve got the legal stuff tied down.

              There’s not a lot I read on LF now. I do however read new comments from you since they are logical. A lot of other comments are adversarial though, so I don’t learn much.

              1. If Texas is getting dismal results, then Rob Duncan deceived me. Rather, there are other issues, I suspect. He was not able to disclose them to me, but he did talk about the difficulties of measuring helium. The general mood of his comments was that they may be publishing soon. We’ll see.

                  1. It might be great to work on a page covering heat/helium on the wiki. In fact, I will start one. Done, Excess_heat_correlated_with_helium, and it links to the old Wikiversity study. I had forgotten how much work I did on this back then. My summary of what happened on Wikiversity: those assholes! They freaking lied!

                    Please do register an account there. I suggest real name (or “real pseudonym” as you are using here.) Don’t worry about format, it’s a wiki and I will fix anything. You are fully trusted.

                    (This blog is intensely watched by hostile eyes who will create impersonation accounts. If an account has been registered impersonating you, register under some random name and drop a note on User talk:Abd and we can arrange for validation and fix the name to whatever you want. “Will the real THH please stand up!” It’s easy and quick.)

            2. Thanks, THH. Communities get what they create and deserve. If they tolerate abusive administration, that’s what they get. It is true that a site belongs to the Owner, but what happens is that a site sitting on a crossroads happens to develop traffic, and people pay no attention to the man — or his puppets — behind the curtain. Alan Smith was not exactly the problem, and I’ve concluded that the Owner is a problem. There are similarities to the Wikipedia problem, in fact. There is always an excuse to get rid of whistleblowers. I declared a boycott of LF because of deletions of comments, because to a writer, that’s a step short of murder. So I was banned, no other reason visible, but even that not explained to the community. This fact, then, has been used by the enemies of LENR to support the claim that I’m banned as a troll, everywhere. That is in U.S. Federal court now, though LENR-Forum is not mentioned there, and what LF did would not be actionable. I’ll be blogging about that situation, I have mostly kept it out of blog posts (though there are many pages). It turns out that it is much more related to cold fusion than I thought.

            3. As to Google. The good news here is that Google has been seriously looking at LENR. In addition, Nature actually published anther article on LENR! Yeah, they lathered it with dismissive editorials, as before, but . . . this is the big news: Google did not confirm PdD excess heat, but, for the first time with such a negative replication, they confirmed that they had not found the required loading, so this was far from conclusive, and, because of that admission, an important step toward cleaning up the Scientific Fiasco of the Century (Huizenga’s term for it, and it was). (And, in fact, high loading appears to be necessary, but not sufficient, other difficult conditions are required as well, generally produced by the aging of the cathode under stress.)

              1. Abd,

                i find it depressing that LF people sem not interested in the google stuff except to say that the google guys must be trying to undermine LENR. Extraordinary. When clearly they are not.

                They have made some good positive contributions:
                Better high temp calorimetry
                More looking at lattice shielding at < 10keV
                New ways to measure Pd/D loading (they say that previous work here has errors). Interesting question: there relatively low loading results may be because they are applying revised criteria – the same samples perhaps tested as in the literature would give much higher loading? Frustarting we do not have all the detail here yet.

          2. Thanks Abd and Simon for comments in this thread. Simon you tempt me to discuss climate science but I’ll leave that now, it would be a long discussion and maybe not appropriate for this site.

            Re Alan,

            I’m actually quite neutral about his experimental work: I’m just suspicious because he has never reported results that merit the type of hype he generates. Of course he might be as you say going commercial. I don’t think so though, partly because he has in the past said that is not his goal.

            Re the theoretical stuff: I have seen no merit in it yet but will happily fall at W’s feet as a devotee if he can publish. What I’ve seen is well below the level of coherence needed for that, and in the theory space waffle is awfully cheap.

            Mizuno/Jed have posted a paper with eye-watering results. If you believe this it is commercial LENR, and also easily replicable. I can’t see any error in this work, but that would be impossible because it is so very incomplete. I’ve commented on what needs to be tightened up but on LF no-one seems to want to engage with that. Really it is some work to look at papers and do this, and while my comments can be wrong, it least I’m starting a process of critique that any decent author would find helpful. Mizuno will not get this from mainstream scientists so surely it is helpful to do this informally here?


            1. THH – Mizuno also built himself a heater for his room, and when powered with 300W it kept the room as warm as a 3kW heater would have done. This is the sort of thing I’d have done as a test, since whereas there may be problems with thermocouples and airspeed measurements in the air-calorimetry this design needs, when you’re replacing a standard room heater you can’t fool the liquid-in-glass thermometer on the wall, or your skin. A dumb-measurement demonstration that the thing actually warms the room, and you could tell if it was only outputting 300W because you’d need another jumper or two.

              I’ve downloaded the papers and will spend some time on them, but it’s looking like this may be the lab-rat that’s been required as well as being commercially-viable after a bit of further development.

              Worth reading the Vortex discussions on this too at if you haven’t seen them.

              For Alan, I’ll note that Russ has claimed quite a lot in the past that hasn’t been generally accepted as real, and it may have been. Alan, I think, regards the ideas as belonging to Russ, and thus will not release full details but instead defer to what Russ wants to release. Russ probably wants to get things fully-sorted before telling people, since he’ll want vindication for all those years in the wilderness. What Alan can tell is hints of success, but not enough detail for replications. Given the history there, I wouldn’t expect much more until they’ve got it absolutely nailed and where every reactor they build works to specification. Mitch Swartz tried to sell NANOR devices before he could guarantee they all worked, after all, and that’s a footnote in history by now even though it appears they did work. Hard to be certain here, but I suspect only around 1 in 10 of the NANORs he built actually worked. Russ and Alan will wish to avoid that happening with their Atom-Ecology devices.

              An interesting point here is that Mizuno is using very low pressure gas – it’s a totally different system than others. Alan and Russ are seeing radiation (those “lovely gammas”), so again this is different than most observations. It seems there are several processes possible that result in nuclear-level output energy at chemical energy-level inputs. Maybe looking for a single explanation for why they happen is the wrong approach. Still, it’s looking like we’re going to have a few undeniable experimental results that can be replicated where current theory still regards them as impossible. That may give the theorists the clues they need to work out why it happens. The next few years are going to be interesting.

              1. Yes, I noted that. I’m wary of anecdotal evidence. Also, it was powered from a 100V 500W lab PSU. You’d want to add in the PSU power dissipation to the reactor dissipation when considering the overall heating effect – I don’t know what this is.

                I actually like the setup here, but I have serious reservations that could all be dispelled by more precise description of the experiment, but would not be dispelled by subjective impression of room heating.

              2. Re alan:

                I was paying attention when the lovely gammas were first discussed. They were close to background and non-controllable. Something real, but not necessarily what you’d think. Since then, after they have done much more investigation, I’ve not heard more rumours which leads me to think that on careful examination they are less lovely.

                But this is all speculation: should Alan come out with something substantive I’ll be the first to be interested and wish him luck.

              3. THH – maybe another suggestion to your comments on LF about the air calorimetry. The problem with air calorimetry is in making sure that the airflow measured is actually correct. However, that air could be fed into a reverse-flow heat-exchanger and heat up a known flow-rate of water by a measured delta-T, and thus have a second way of measuring the heat. You’d of course also need to measure the output air temperature from the heat-exchanger as a correction to the total heat produced, but this would be a small correction and the heat transferred to the water-flow would be the minimum actual heat produced.

                Basically, you get two bites at measuring the heat produced, and no-one could argue with the slightly-lower amount of heat transferred to the water even if they jibed at the air calorimetry. The flow-rate can be checked with a bucket and stop-watch, and the temperature measured by liquid-in-glass thermometers as well as TCs. Dumb measurements, so no way they can be fooled.

                With a factor of 10 between input and output power, and a very small amount of D2 where the chemical energy of burning it is way below the energy-gain shown, it should be possible to show an undeniable result.

            2. Extensive discussion in a comment thread should generally be restricted to the topic of the thread. But that is loose. This is a blog, and posts are quite visible, and as well there is a recent comment display on the front page. However, having said that, there is a loose connection between cold fusion and climate change. THH, you have author privileges here and may create pages. Pages are listed as pages on the front page, but it’s a very long list. Simon, I don’t think you have author priveleges, but they would certainly be granted if you permit it. If you two have a discussion on a page, it’s tucked away. It will still be visible and you can allow or disallow public comment. If any problems arise, that’s my call and my job. Ultimately, Infusion Institute will have a board or other supervision. I consider myself a trustee for the community of interest in LENR, so my activity is to serve that community. I’m comitted to that.

              The community includes skeptics willing to participate cooperatively. I was encouraged years ago by Michael McKubre to ensure that there was critique within the field, and that is what genuine skepticism is. A “believer” may also take on the role of skeptic, the Church called it the Devil’s Advocate, which is a bit harsh out of the box, I think. But in science we want the Devil’s Advocate to do his or her best to prove the null hypothesis or disprove the primary. Within the rules and no use of the common debunking attacks, such as ad hominem argument, straw man arguments, and the like. Those all readily boil down to civility.

              Civility is properly enforced through reminders and encouragement to focus on common goals, with warnings if necessary and then stronger measures only if absolutely needed. Under standard parliamentary procedure, the chair may order a member conducted from the room, but that is not a ban, it is temporary, generally until the member cools down. To actually expel a member takes a supermajority.

              I expect no problems at all from the two of you.

              I will look at the structure to make sure or make it possible for the two of you to edit the same page. You may then work on this page together as an exploration of the topic. If you do that, your work should be individually attributed.

              There is another possibility, I just realized, the CFC wiki. It has open registration and a page on climate change may be created there. That may be better suited to collaboration. CFC was created to hold material from Wikiversity, which was collaborative. You could also create a discussion on climate change there! I can’t, because I am globally banned by the WMF, see Lomax v. WMF.

              However, I learned not to trust the stability of WMF wikis, and that was later proven as a real problem.

              1. Abd – there are more than enough places to discuss climate change on the net, so it would seem unnecessary to add one more. Since I started by accepting the consensus, but changed my opinion when I looked at the data, then pointing THH at the data should really be enough, and he may likewise reconsider his opinion. The climate in various locations has changed considerably in the past, and at times pretty rapidly, and we aren’t at unprecedented levels of either temperature or CO2, and there are other possible reasons for the changes that better match the historical record. At base, though, we don’t know the reasons for certain.

                Given the current state of technology on renewables production and energy storage, trying to power our civilisation on 100% renewables (solar, wind power, and some hydroelectric where available) would be a crippling cost and would still have blackouts. There are also problems with EOL recycling/disposal of the “green” solutions that are not being taken into account. The logical solution with current technology is nuclear power, but that is largely rejected.

                Where LENR/CF can cut this Gordian knot is that it may produce cheap power that the anti-nuclear faction cannot complain about (no nuclear waste to dispose of, and no radiation problems). It won’t fix the climate change problem – the climate will still change and we may in fact be getting colder again. It will however make it far easier to deal with the changes.

                My attitude to climate change is thus that people are in general fixed on reducing the CO2 produced and missing the land-use changes that, by changing the amount of water-vapour in the air, have a much larger effect. Water-vapour is after all the main greenhouse gas in our atmosphere (at around 100 times the effectiveness of the CO2 in there), and because of the phase-changes transports far more energy around.

                Prosperous people have more resources to react to changes, and it’s pretty certain from looking at history that things will change. Temperatures will change, rainfall will change, sea-level will change – it’s happened before and will happen again. High energy costs will impact prosperity. The logical course is to find a way to get cheaper energy, and we also want one that is non-polluting and uses a low quantity of resources that are easily-available.

                Still, having said I wasn’t going to discuss that here I’ve written quite a bit. It’s a good reason to pursue CF research, and there may be successes now.

            3. I feel similarly. I’m reserving judgment on the Mizuno work until it is confirmed. I have not studied it in detail, sometimes that reveals what is not immediately visible. However, Mizuno is a real scientist with substantial credibility. Key will be reliability. There are two layers of approach to LENR. First is identifying a phenomenon, which might be unreliable, but if it occurs in correlation with conditions at some reasonable frequency, that is not a reality question, it is a practical one. The two often are confused. If the effect is confirmed by others, confidence will increase. If it is reliable, and substantial, well, the fireworks start to appear. Don’t light those rockets until there is confirmation, preferably two independent confirmations. That will take time.

              Smith is working with Russ George, who is about as disreputable as one could imagine without the person being convicted of felony fraud. Again, as I wrote about Rossi years ago, doesn’t mean he’s wrong. He is flamboyant. See Russ George and the D2Fusion team

              1. The latest (R20) results are so clear that i find this interesting.

                previous results (last year) not significant
                R19 results – + 50% significant but questions about methodology. Mizuno’s setup should be good enough to make this definite, but there are gaps in the description and I don’t trust it.
                R20 results – + 600%. This is extraordinary. I will be interesting to see what happens here, you would think that no-one could mistake such an output. But, people are often surprising (and more often so than physics) so I will await further information with some interest, but no expectation.

                1. From my point of view, you are wasting your time on LENR Forum, compared to what you could do with similar effort here. Mizuno’s report is of obvious interest. There, you are struggling with Lilliputians (with a few exceptions). I would love to see a study of Mizuno’s work, organized here, including, of course, skeptical questions or issues. Skepticism is essential to science. Genuine skepticism is not certain of interpretations. This field became highly reactive to skepticism, especially, of course, pseudoskepticism, but I do not think you are a pseudoskeptic. And even if you were, pseudoskepticism is common, simply the flip site of “belief.” LF, by the nature of its structure, cannot build useful content, or rarely, transiently, and with high difficulty of access. There are no organized summaries and conclusions. Here, we can refactor content to increase coherency and accessibility. There is also the CFC wiki, which can harness collaborative content creation. How to do this for controversial subjects was worked out on Wikiversity, until all study of “fringe science” was whacked there by a bureaucrat acting as part of a civil conspiracy to attack both cold fusion and me, and academic freedom in general. See Lomax v. WMF. The result of all that was that I formed CFC wiki to host content rescued from Wikiversity, good news in the long run.

                1. Jed is very accurate and insistent on the truth, from his viewpoint. That is often, IMHO, a bit partial. Still, the possibility that his viewpoint might be partial is not one that Jed will entertain.

                  1. Yes. I have a lot of communication with Rothwell, private and semi-private. He rarely admits error, sometimes even when it becomes obvious. But he has also paid his dues as lenr-canr librarian, from attending most major conferences, for many years, and from his actual support of research, with real money. It takes all kinds to form a genuine community, and he belongs in it, though a sensible chair at any meeting might ask him to STFU occasionally. All of us might need that from time to time. What I brought to the field, as a relative newcomer in 2009, was a capacity for looking at situations from more than one point of view at a time. My favorite trope: what do you get when you view a situation from more than one view at the same time? The answer is obvious, but, remarkably, I don’t recall anyone answering the question.

                    I was strongly encouraged by Ed Storms, but especially Michael McKubre, in generating skeptical commentary within the community. While I have concluded that the preponderance of the evidence supports that the FP Heat Effect not only exists, but is nuclear in nature, that’s a provisional conclusion, adequate to justify funding for more research, which is what matters most at this time.

                2. That is normal Jed Rothwell. He knows a lot, and he is also opinionated as hell. He definitely has redeeming qualities. As to RobertBryant, though, what an irritating troll. LF encourages and enables that. It all becomes personal. LF is a bar-room conversation or argument. Mostly, it goes nowhere fast. The real scientists mostly stay away, and sensibly so.

                  1. Yes, Jed does not personalise: he says it as he sees it, strongly. You cannot ask for more than that. RB personalises so much that his cogent points, where they exists, get lost. I feels he loses them himself…

            4. Congratulations on that comment. Excellent. I suggest creating a page that neutrally presents the paper and anything related to it. Then a subpage with issues and critique, and there can be many subpages. Opinion should be attributed. Authorship gives general attribution for page content and even pages here can be opinion, because of that. But if there is conflict, I’ll neutralize it (by moving a page to a subpage from a top-level page that is rigorously neutral. That is what I used to do on Wikiversity, before I was so rudely interrupted).

              Ah, but I wanted to disagree with one thing. With LENR, and with an original experiment, with many factors possibly influencing results, the first step in confirmation is exact replication, SRI established the protocol for this. Yes, including the method for measuring heat, as much the same as possible. Increasing precision, if it can be done without affecting the experimental conditions in any way, great. It is better, long-term, to be extremely conservative on this. Then, if the effect is seen, it can be tested for artifact. One variable at a time, and with high caution. Starting out with something “improved” was a formula for failure in LENR, again and again. In electrolytic experiments, using any material in contact with the electrolyte could cause a variation, because even tiny traces of some cation can affect the surface, which is where the effect takes place.

              Absolutely, increasing precision is desirable, but one step at a time. Using a higher data rate with more digits of precision, sure. But you gotta have the effect first before you can rigorously test it. This is the good news about Google: they announced that, yes, they could not confirm PdD excess heat, but . . . they did not reach the required loading! The world might be a quite different place today if Cal Tech and MIT had noted that! Those were replication failures, very understandable because it was an effing difficult experiment, not the simple “battery with two electrodes in a jam jar” as often presented. And, yes, “they did something wrong” was a cracker-jack excuse, but . . . sometimes the dog actually did eat the homework.

              Good science often is a reservation of judgment while continuing to investigate. Closing off investigation because of early failure, understandable and personally allowable — we decide where to put our time and resources! — but when it is used to collectively suppress an entire field, very bad news for expanding the frontiers of science. Google obviously has realized the problem, and this is what I find interesting about that publication. Had they started with positive results, it is entirely possible that Nature would have refused to publish the paper. But because they appeared to confirm the house point of view at Nature, they got that paper through. And then what happens. Popcorn, anyone?

              Reminds me I need to (1) get a new passport, mine expired for ten years a few days ago, (2) raise funding to fly to Italy for ICCF-22. I already tossed my hat over the fence, registering, and (3) buy the tickets if someone doesn’t buy them for me. Will Google be there this time? I don’t know. But Mizuno or someone representing him will be.

              Are we having fun yet?

              1. The google work we have seen is well written. One of the issues hanging is have they achieved comparable D2 loading of Pd to that claimed in successful LENR experiments.

                Why is this open, given their low figures? Because the main contribution they have made here is to cross-check ways to measure D2 loading and note that some of the ways used in the past have overestimated loading. Thus, tested more rigorously, do we know how the higher loadings claimed in earlier work would test?


                1. Well, it’s like many things. It is possible to make many mistakes. However, some of the work in the field measuring loading did confirm their methods with independent measurements. For example, a cathode may be weighed before an experiment, and then quickly weighed on being removed, loaded. It will then lose weight from loss of gas. It can be heated to drive off all the gas, then weighed again.

                  What we do know is that with methods used, XP did not appear until very high loading and this has been consistent; however, that is not a sufficient condition. There are other issues, apparently involving the aging of the material, conditions affecting flux. It’s complex. This is one reason why I emphasize heat/helium so much. At this point heat is not reliable, probably because of poor control of conditions.
                  What has become clear is that not all palladium is created equal, and even once created, subjected to electrolytic loading, it grows, changes, warps, cracks, this is far from a ideal playground for nice, controlled physics experiments. Electrochemistry can be wicked complex.

                  Heat/helium cuts through the noise. Heat is unreliable, but if helium tracks heat, and especially if the ratio is consistent with nuclear transmutation of deuterium to helium, this is very strong evidence that there is a real effect, nuclear in nature, far stronger than some unreliable heat.

                  Heat is still important, and much work in the field is aimed at increasing reliability. Reliability is the issue more than “Big Heat.”

                2. I don’t get much excited any more by unconfirmed results. I like it when I see work that is simple, cleanly and clearly reported, and, on the face, readily reproducible. That a report may seem to be missing some of this is not a cause for condemnation, merely something to be noticed, not the Big Banana yet for this monkey.

                  As much as possible, I want to see complete documentation. If it can’t be published immediately for some reason, at least it could be kept and made safe. A lot has been lost because of inattention and lack of any organized effort to preserve data. “Negative results” are just as valuable as “positive” ones, at least in some ways.

                  1. Perhaps I should add that the M results are, on the face of it, all that. (With the caveat that replication for IH did not work, but perhaps there were other reasons).

                    I’d like replication admitted by all to be very close so that negative results, if they were obtained, could have value. Positive results from competent replication here would be transformative.

              2. Re Mizuno results.

                I don’t see much point in discussing these now, for the following reasons:

                (1) Having looked at them a bit there are no obvious smoking gun errors. Sure, a few issues but on investigation none of them seem to be overly problematic
                (2) There is however a lack of rigor in how the results are reported. Each set of results references work done earlier, it is not precisely stated under what conditions results are taken, when were corresponding calibrations made, etc. this, together with the “slight issues” gives room for real errors to slip through.
                (3) These results are so large (R19 or R20) that if real they could be trivially proven real by for example IH having a look. Surely both IH and M know this? I’d expect them to be picked up if real. IH have looked, and I’d expect them to keep on at M unless they were pretty confident his stuff does not work.
                (4) the R20 results are too good (COP=6-10) to be believable if some reaction is temperature dependent as M suggests. This system would be unstable and M has notesd nothing like that.
                (5) The output power vs temperature graph that M suggests is not very believable. Why does it go to zero at room temperature? More investigation of this would clarify the mystery.
                (6) Overall – M’s results could easily be confirmed or invalidated with more skilled investigation. It would not need more equipment.
                (7) The many people who no doubt will replicate these experiments will (I predict) find nothing. Also (I predict) there will always be possible differences in setup, reactant, etc that might explain that. The LENR hypothesis here is weak in the sense that it is almost impossible to disprove. I hope my predictions are wrong; but don’t hold your breath.

                So: what do I think of these two new papers?

                R20: results too “sample” to pay much attention. Get it written up with proper deatils. Results so large that for other reasons there is a red, though not fatal, flag.
                R19: results look solid if the paper plus the various amplifications made by Jed are to be believed. But I think this is not clear: jed works from notes from M, much of the work references earlier studies of the calorimetry – maybe something has changed with the new reactors. Also anomalous is water mass flow cal not working. Reactor temperature can easily be modulated higher with insulation, why does this give different results?

                1. THH – we’re assuming that it’s the temperature of the reactor that is stimulating the reaction, and this may not be true. If it was temperature, then of course making it hotter (with the reaction heat added to the resistor heat) would seem to provide positive feedback and thus an unstable reaction which is not seen. This is your objection to the measured results, as far as I can tell.

                  See Jones’ idea at which suggests maybe a different reason for the necessity of the heater wire. If it’s true, this would produce a reaction somewhat exponential with heater power and a stable output because there is no feedback from the heat until your Nickel mesh is glowing red-hot too. Thus we’d expect to see a relationship between heater input and reaction output until we reached that point after which there would be runaway and the mesh would self-destruct.

                  Could be that the reasons the reaction happens are not what we expect.

                  1. It is quite possible for temperature to be a necessary but not sufficient condition for a reaction. Within a certain range of temperature, a reaction may show a correlation to temperature, but that correlation may decline with further increase in temperature, and it is even possible that at a higher temperature, the reaction declines. When looking at Rossi claims, he did claim runaway and so we are accustomed to thinking of that. However, that is far from the only possibility. As an example, the reaction may take place in an NAE that is not ubiquitous in the material; in fact, it may be rare. To enter the NAE, let’s suppose, the fuel must have kinetic energy, so rate of entry to NAE may increase with temperature. However, the reaction is still limited by the rate at which fuel can enter NAE (as well as the rate once in that environment, which might decline with temperature!). To understand what is happening with LENR, we need lab rats; until we have them, we are stumbling around in the dark, guessing.

                    1. Abd – it’s easy to fall into a situation where, though its an “unknown reaction”, we expect it to follow rules we’ve learned from other reactions. Thus THH expected it to be unstable where the experimental data shows it to be stable, for example. He thus questions whether the experimental data is in fact correct.

                      Mizuno, with the help of Jed, has given a precise description of what Mizuno did in order to achieve the results he did. As far as I can see, the possible error in the calorimetry is far lower than the measured excess heat, and I can’t see any nits to pick in the measurements – they are as good as we can expect for the situation Mizuno was in, with no temperature control of the room the experiment was in, and they are more than good enough to be certain that that heat was produced.

                      This may indeed be the lab-rat you’re looking for. However, it still can’t be done by anyone, since it does need some expensive kit that most people won’t have, and also requires a high degree of skill and attention to detail to do. I doubt if many of the replication attempts will be true replications, but more of a derivative of Mizuno’s ideas with various modifications. It’s possible that some will work, but also pretty likely that most if not all won’t. More like lab-mice or hamsters….

                      However, there’s a chance that someone will do a true replication and that it works. That will start to add to the real data on this, and hopefully people will accept the experimental evidence rather than rejecting it on theoretical grounds. If it’s experimentally stable, then that’s an important clue as to what’s actually happening. The heat out versus heat in over time and temperature will also give clues as to what’s happening and what’s important.

                      It’s possible that the delay between the final rubbing-down/cleaning of the Nickel mesh and the burnishing with Palladium could be important, since the thickness of the NiO layer will grow a bit over time after cleaning and we don’t know if the burnishing lays on top of the NiO layer in the first place or whether the Pd bar pushes the NiO off the surface and gives metal-to-metal atomic contact between the burnished Pd and the Ni substrate. Variables as regards time and contact pressure, and because the contact pressure will vary with hand-burnishing anyway. Though the NiO is reduced to Ni subsequently, if it was cracked/distorted then it’s likely the Ni produced from it will also have those distortions. We may thus expect different people following the same instructions to achieve different results on the atomic/crystal structure level. Just pointing out that even a “perfect” replication may well have some real differences to what Mizuno did…. Over time and enough experiments, those can be ironed out, but it will likely take some time to do that.

                      Personally, I accept Mizuno’s results as being real, but even though it seems to be simpler than other methods it’s still not either easy to do or foolproof. It’s possible that someone who’s got the techniques right could produce reactors for other people to test, though they’d need to be shipped after fully conditioned and cleared of both Hydrogen and Oxygen, and that could be a little dangerous. There’s however a possibility of such lab-rats being produced and hand-carried to where they are to be tested.

                    2. Exact replication is, in fact, generally impossible. With a new report, what conditions are necessary and what are not may be quite obscure. Serious problems arise in conclusions from “negative replications,” when it is assumed that necessary and sufficient conditions were set up, the reported effect was not observed, and therefore the original report was incompetent, erroneous, or downright fraud. I will call that a “trillion dollar” incompetency in analysis. It may have caused far more than that in lost opportunity cost, all through a seriously defective understanding of the scientific method and sane scientific process.

                      It is normally assumed in science that actual fact, measurements made, etc., in experimental reports are reported properly, and it is the job of publishers to require adequate reporting so that, at least, it becomes possible that an experimental result can be confirmed. However, to actually reject a published work based on replication failure is a bridge too far, because there are many possible causes for failure. A claim of incompetence is utterly rude, outside of normal scientific courtesy. To properly question a claim, one should first replicate the results. In other words, replicate the artifact, and show results consistent with the original report. Then show through controlled experiment that the apparent effect is caused by the artifact. This is what happened with N-rays and polywater. The effect was actually not proven to not exist, but there rug was pulled out from under the reasons to suspect its existence.

                      The question of whether or not to attempt a maximally exact replication, or merely a more general confirmation, is, in my view, up to the researcher (and the funder of the research). Fully-exact replication may be very difficult, for example, whereas a general confirmation might be far simpler. It has more chance of failing, but such results are not actually “failures,” because we can learn from them. They merely don’t win the prize, but, if well-done, they do have a possibility of creating a far more powerful confirmation.

                      Obviously, with a first effort, one will sanely reproduce whatever one can of the original conditions, without introducing major delay or major expense.

                      One step at a time. If Mizuno is confirmed by another competent group, whether the replication was exact or not, it doesn’t really matter all that much, because for me, the question then becomes whether or not the second group’s report can be confirmed. Have they created a reliable protocol? If so, this protocol is lab-rat, and then the issue becomes, to maintain proper skepticism, can anyone find the artifact, because it is almost certainly, then, systematic, thus it should be replicable and detectable.

                      Notice that from this point of view, a more general confirmation that is simpler to run (which is why they might deviate from exact replication) is actually a more powerful result, if it shows the effect. On the other hand, for quantitative analysis, what is needed is a series of experiments, a collection of results that can be compared. The two inexact matches are not necessarily good for this, an exact replication is better. But . . . in the end, what will be needed is many experiments, showing how results vary with conditions, showing correlations. For that, it is better that the experiment be simpler, as well as more reproducible. Mizuno’s approach is rough, manual, subject to many uncontrolled variations, it appears. Yes, he got results that look good. So this is promising, but is not yet a realized and delivered promise.

        2. As someone who once worked with Russ George, I can say this. Everything Russ George says falls into one of 3 categories;
          A) Exaggeration
          B) Falsehood
          C) Red Faced Lie

          Russ George is a con man, plain and simple.

          If Russ George says it’s true, then the opposite is true.

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