Laura Chao, 24. Nuclear researcher at D2Fusion, a Foster City company working on generating clean, renewable energy from solid-state fusion.
This page (October 1, 2006) was linked from the defunct D2Fusion web site.
Russ George has been popping up in LENR circles again, so I decided to check out the history (which I knew mostly as rumor from people he had formerly worked with, in circles where he had apparently become persona non grata), and I found the image above, which I put here as eye candy. Nice, eh? I hope her experience with cold fusion was not a total bust and that her life has been productive and worthwhile. I don’t see that she has been mentioned anywhere else on this topic. Great photo, though!
Some comments from the article on Chao:
75912 Posted 10.25.06
“Too bad Chao didn’t read the expose on D2Fusion in the May, 2006 New Energy Times. “
75913 Posted 12.19.06
“Too bad ‘75912’ was taken in by the New Energy Times attack on d2fusion.”
Laura later blogged about cold fusion (March, 2007) and about the fun she was having at work. And more.
And even more, an embarrassment of riches. “My professional life is not progressing as planned.”
She is a fantastic blogger. Her response to an actual question about cold fusion is priceless. And then:
Lies Lies Lies (September 1, 2007) (my emphasis added)
“Your CEO says that your lab is melting,” JB whispered into my ear.
For the purpose of the 7×7 Hot 20 Under 40 party, my company had printed me brand new business cards that read “Nuclear Physicist,” despite the fact that my official title was actually ‘science technician.’
In light of my situation, I decided to enlist support. Showing up with my friend JB, the CTO of Tesla Motors (who used to be a fusion researcher himself), would help me obtain the outrageous amount of publicity my company was expecting me to generate, and also satisfy the magazine, which had advertised me as the up and coming genius of the year. (Geez, no pressure.) My CEO, unfortunately, failed to inquire into JB’s past before lecturing him about our runaway success in cold fusion.
“Apparently, the fusion is so out of control,” JB said, barely able to hold back his laughter as he repeated my CEO’s claims, “that your laboratory instruments keep vaporizing. HAHAHAHAHAHA!”
I should have known right then that eventually (read: very soon) the company would no longer be a company.
The job has evaporated by December, 2007. (Laura Chao had a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.) I assume the CEO was George.
January 10, 2008, the link to her as a “D2F scientist” was still up. The D2Fusion.com site went “down for maintenance” February 10, and stayed that way, until it vanished after July 8, 2008. In 2012, Godaddy put the domain up for sale. It’s now a strange spam-y site.
Laura Chao’s last blog post was in March, 2013. Brilliant, actually.
So … the New Energy Times “expose.” Steve Krivit is a yellow journalist, it’s his shtick. He’s also done a lot of work, and what he has written about Russ George appears to be well-supported.
So Russ George on LENR Forum. His own thread.
Here is the very RAW geiger data one can see some excursions well above the long duration ‘background’ counts. Given the relative insensitivity of Geigers to gamma (or x-ray) photons the Androcles deuterated fuel mixture is doing something quite extraordinary as there is only a fraction of a gram of fuel mix, about the volume of 5-10 grains of rice. https://www.lenr-forum.com/attachment/5106-andro-may7-pdf/
What is immediately noticeable is that the “excursions” are occurring at 24-hour intervals. No evidence is presented connecting the counts with the fuel mix. The LF user who questions what had been done is banned on LF, by Alan Smith, who is sponsoring George’s current research. George reveals his thinking about Andrea Rossi:
Is the above cryptic statement intended to mean that you still think Rossi has demonstrated LENR? If so, why on Earth would you think it, given all the evidence to the contrary over the past 7+ years?
No number of blowhard armchair trolls is worth one iota of real data, so what is your point. Rossi has shown plenty of interesting data that speaks to those skilled in the art.
The art of the con, indeed. It takes one to know one.
Russ George took research possibilities and turned them into personal promotion, he was more blatant in this than Rossi. Both managed, for a time, to impress, in some way or other, real scientists.
There are real investors looking for opportunities to support cold fusion, and they tested Rossi’s claims, and his devices, to the hilt, and found nothing but lies, damn lies, and no statistics.
One LF user (Dewey Weaver) actually represents them (though not officially on that forum). These people have invested on the order of $70 million in LENR over the last few years, they literally put their money where their mouth is. They don’t talk much, in fact.
Russ George is a big talker, talking big, always sure of himself. And then there is Alan Smith.
4 thoughts on “Russ George and the D2Fusion team”
In theory, I would hope they succeed. But it would destroy my belief in the truth fairy. (Psst… Abd, it’s the “tooth fairy”!) Ah, never mind.
As to Rossi wanting to look like a fraud, that’s a speculation that allowed some form of suspension of disbelief, since he was doing such a good job of it. Indeed, the appearance was totally obvious, and some of our resident pseudoskeptics keep thinking that IH was s o d u m b to invest when it was so obvious. But it was actually obvious and they invested to find out the tooth, ah, truth of the matter. They have claimed that the result they obtained was worth the investment.
In fact, the investment literally paid off. One commentator seems to think that Woodford was also fooled. But Woodford did not invest in Rossi at all, they invested in IH, and, besides the $50 million that is well-known, there may have been more, and they did commit an extra $150 million in case it was needed. So … by risking — and spending — $20 million on Rossi ($11.5 million directly to him and perhaps the rest on other expenses) they gained $50 million for LENR research that was *not* Rossi. That’s way cool. They were aware of the severe difficulties involved in commercializing LENR, they know that it might take billions more before anyone makes money, aside from licensing possibilities, which are not seriously available at this point. They are focusing on the science, which is also smart. When something does show up, with such possibilities, they are very likely to know about it first.
As to Alan, he can be charming, but also vicious. What he is up to now with Russ George, I don’t know, but Russ George worked with a lot of people, for short periods. It always blew up, and not in a good way! Alan has played cute for a long time about his real positions, often claiming secret knowledge. Maybe. Maybe not. He is abusing LENR Forum at this time for an extended tease on his latest and greatest, while, at the time time, Looking For Heat has apparently shut down. It’s not looking good.
That Geiger Counter record was spectacularly misleading. A real LENR radiation report would look very different, but, of course, they disclaim this being a real report. It’s hints, revealing the game they are playing. In any case, Russ George’s history is quite clear, and the resemblances to Rossi are striking. So … birds of a feather flock together, etc.
None of this proves that they don’t have anything, but the history is a pretty solid reason to stay away from anything that looks like approval. I warned LENR researchers, in 2011, against appearing to approve of Rossi’s claims. It was obviously dangerous. I did not “know” that it was unreal, but the pattern became clear very quickly: Rossi was not going to allow real verification. He did the same with IH, in fact, even though he had promised full cooperation. He lied, and someone who lies as thoroughly and as persistently as he has, there is simply no reason to trust anything they say, and they will be quite clever at manipulating you into thinking what they want you to think, so I’d even suggest avoiding listening to them. But, overall, for lots of reasons, someone should pay attention, watching their wallet and their reputation, carefully.
Thanks for this post. I did not know anything about Mr. George except what he has posted on LENR forum. At first, this “story” seemed to be quite significant. A repeatable, “at will” reactor that is being measured by a simple method, gamma detection. Must more to the point and verifiable that excess heat.
But then the warning signs… puffed up posts that were condescending to others. “Bob Greenyer” type of cryptic allegories such as “lovely gammas”. Perhaps an attempt to be poetic. But the story seemed to be taking a familiar turn.
Promised openness was turning to secrecy. What was being presented as 100% positive was being hedged by Smith to some extent. Their stories did not quite match up. To me, things simply did not “feel right”. Looking at how Bob Higgins and Magicsound operate, this venture was too much like a page from Rossi’s book.
Then there is Rossi… Both players in this drama have openly expressed their belief and support in Rossi. This casts a long and dark shadow on their ability to evaluate facts with blinders. I cannot put too much faith in a person’s ability to judge objectively their own work if they judge Rossi’s work to be valid and honest! It is bewildering to me. It must be because they see Rossi’s show validating their own work.
I know nothing of Mr. George or his capability and ability. It seemed that Alan Smith had significant aptitude, experience and education. I used to have placed a fair amount of confidence in his opinion or statements. Now, I have lost confidence in his ability to see clearly. His refusal to critique the Stockholm event in an objective manner is actually somewhat scandalous. It proves he cannot be trusted to report within the scientific framework of peer review. I am extremely disappointed and it has damaged his credibility with me anyway.
McKubre was correct in his assessment of secrecy. If I had to make a blanket statement (something I probably should not do) is that those researchers who actually have something do share it! Those who are self deluded keep everything secret because they know (consciously or subconsciously) that they have nothing. So they must keep it “secret” or their folly will be exposed.
But then who am I to say? Interesting that both George and Smith have recently made remarks that “they are not anonymous” when pressed with certain questions. Like having your real name on some blog post makes any difference in the world! A weak defense for sure! More likely a feeble distraction to avoid the question!
Those who are not anonymous have a higher level of basic credibility compared to those who are fully anonymous. But basic credibility is not everything, and there are non-anonymous con artists, aplenty.
D2Fusion has an entry in PESN – always a worrying sign, and what’s worse it’s even somewhat negative. https://peswiki.com/directory:d2fusion-inc-
The 24-hour cycle of gammas looks a bit odd. Not really enough detail to speculate on the reason for the cycle, but it may not be CF. Of course, one of the hallmarks of CF is the distinct lack of gammas in the first place, so this is in any case *something else*.
There has long been speculation that Rossi was intentionally looking like a fraud so that his competitors wouldn’t catch him up. In that, he’s of course been very good, and whether it is intentional or not he certainly looks like a fraud with no real technology. If all you have is a Geiger counter to count gammas, then you can’t tell what energy they are, and even stripping tape will produce X-rays sufficient to count and there’s also EMI that will trigger it. Seeing counts on a Geiger isn’t good evidence.
Alan’s belief in Rossi seems unfounded to me. However, it’s still possible that Alan’s experiments (which are different than Rossi’s but based on reports of them) will be successful, and that he’ll get the measurements well. Personally, I like Alan anyway, and he has a very English sense of humour that maybe our American friends just don’t get. One thing that is maybe important is that people generally don’t try an experiment that they don’t expect will give the expected results. This can lead to problems with confirmation bias (getting false positives), but can also at times produce real results that were previously thought by others to be impossible. I hope Russ and Alan succeed.