Welcome to the age of diminishing returns

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ethics of the E-Cat


I said in a previous post that the story of the E-Cat has lost all interest for me in scientific terms. However, it is still interesting as a probe of the way the human mind works and for the several ethical and professional issues it raises. So, here is a letter from professor Guglielmi of the University of Bath which addresses some questions to the authors of the latest E-Cat report. It is published here with professor Guglielmi's kind permission.


From: Dr. Alessio Guglielmi
To: Drs.  Giuseppe Levi, Evelyn Foschi, Torbjörn Hartman, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson, Lars Tegnér, Hanno Essén



Dear Doctors Levi, Foschi, Hartman, Höistad, Pettersson, Tegnér and Essén,

I have read your recent manuscript `Indication of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder´ on arXiv and I am very perplexed.

You are aware that several alleged technical mistakes have been pointed out, such as omitting control on DC current input (which has been acknowledged by Prof. Essén in a recent interview) and assuming that the output heat is released by a perfect black body (this assumption is contested by Prof. Gianni Comoretto, for example). The picture that emerges, and I am sorry if this sounds offensive, is that some crucial measures have not been taken seriously enough on a discovery that, if genuine, would alter the history of mankind.

However, I have an issue that appears to me even more important, because it concerns the very essence of your continued activities on Rossi's device. Our job as researchers is to advance knowledge, and to do so whatever we investigate must be reproducible by other researchers, so that the knowledge we generate becomes established and we can move forward. This seems at odds with your behaviour. You went to the workshop of a private individual who claims to be solving half of mankind's problems, and performed measures on a device that you could not fully control and that is not available to other researchers. Therefore, your manuscript does not contain any reproducible experience. So, how does it advance knowledge? What do we learn?

This brings me to asking another natural question: who will profit from the release of your manuscript? You do realize that Mr Rossi sells distribution licences and that he needs to convince customers to order some of his plants. There is no doubt that your manuscript will help that market, but is this something that academics should do? Is our job to help a private sell his stuff in the absence of solid, reproducible evidence?

In other words, I wonder whether you are adhering to the scientific method and I wonder whether what you are doing is legitimate for academics. Others questioned your technical ability, but I think that the ethical questions that I am posing here come before, also because they are more understandable by the layman. I trust that you appreciate my frankness, and I hope that you can prove my concerns unjustified.

I am forwarding this letter in copy to several persons who are following this matter: Ugo Bardi (Professor of Chemistry, Univ. Florence, blogger), Dario Braga (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Bologna), Sylvie Coyaud (Scientific Journalist, Il Sole 24 Ore), Camillo Franchini (blogger, former Supervisor of the CAMEN nuclear plant) and Giancarlo Ruocco (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, La Sapienza, Rome). Whoever wishes to publish this letter is welcome to do so, of course, and I hope that also the answer could be given public form.

Could you please forward this letter to Dr. Foschi, whose address I could not find?

Best regards,

Alessio Guglielmi
University of Bath
http://alessio.guglielmi.name

67 comments:

  1. Dear Dr. Guglielmi,

    I hope my comment finds you well.

    Your (open) letter is valuable. It addresses a serious issue and it does so in a way many of the commenters can or should use as an example. Your concern is indeed frankly put, yet raised in an elegant manner. This is how a discussion should be held.
    /
    However, it also points out that the elite in Science, and i am sorry but i cannot think of another way of putting this, can be naive at times.

    Your letter is a symptom of a dangerous virus. The kind of virus that Ayn Rand described thoroughly in her magnus opus; Atlas Shrugged. The virus is a hybrid of naivety (if there is no scientific explanation it does not exist) and supremacism (good science can be done in one way only).

    Mankind is and will be tremendously helped by men (or women for that matter) that are not only pushed by a pure scientific incentive. Who cares if Rossi will sell a few more licenses due to the report? We have so much more to win than we have to lose. Please let go of old fashioned mores and make a contribution to what can possibly be the biggest invention in a few hundred years.

    Your truly,

    JB

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  2. One question for Mr. Guglielmi.

    If the paper had exposed a fraud, would you still consider the test unethical?

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://coldfusionnow.org/trends-journal-taps-new-energy-again/

    Gerald Celente has once again brought new energy to the attention of investors and policy-makers by including a story on Defkalion Green Technologies in his Trends Journal...

    Defkalion’s CEO, is quick to emphasize that the company’s products differ sharply from Rossi’s. An unnamed “major US organization,” he says, has compared Rossi’s and Defkalion’s devices on 14 points. “It found only two the same – the use of hydrogen and the use of nickel,” he says. “Otherwise, the two are completely different...


    In contrast, Defkalion’s machines reportedly produce heat at precise temperatures that customers require and can be shut off within a few seconds. The devices also produce energy up to 10 kilowatt-hours, not single watts as others have. The nickel-hydrogen fuel modules can easily be pulled out and replaced when depleted...

    ...Does appear that many spectators to this drama confuse the two rival technologies and distinctions must be made...

    Hopefully, Defkalion’s first public demonstration planned this August at National Instruments NIWeek 2013 will make those distinctions clear..."

    The human mind certainly works best when it ponders ALL the evidence available, rather than just one aspect or one portion of that evidence or information.

    Rossi is not the only contender in the LENR race. Go ahead and treat him as if he were, but it only makes you look foolish and highly biased.

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  4. Something which wondered me (and made me very suspicious indeed) from the very starting of the e-cat experiment is why Rossi is keeping the details of the experiment secret. I mean, Rossi is on this business from a couple (?) of years now and it does not seem to me that he has become the new Bill Gates. And we are not talking here about some kind of industrial innovation (i.e. a new cpu technology or whatever). We are talking about the biggest scientific revolution of the last 60 years, and one of the biggest in history. If he had revealed the details of the experiment to the world, he would (in the case his results were genuine, of course) have become the new Galileo or something like that. He would have surely got the Nobel prize ($1 millions is a not so bad prize...), presented well paid conferences around the world, got a good position at a top university, and so on... Does someone have an explanation for this behavior (except the obvious explanation of his results being a scam). Any other?

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    Replies
    1. I'm amazed about naive proposes such that the inventor should make public his discovery in every detail! In the next moment a big corporation would apply for a patent. There are cases when corporations (ex: Philips) stole ideas for basic devices used in homes from individuals and were granted patents. To fight in court such a company would required great amount of money (millions $) and at least several years. For academia the way Rossi proceeds is not ok, but from the point of view of businessman it does the right thing: don't feed any technical info about your product.

      Delete
    2. First most data are already public, and Rossi is not alone.

      The problem is incredulity of mainstream, supported by terrorism against the dissenters, forbidding of publication, and many bullying acts that are clear and usual.
      Xanthoulis, Preparatta, Hagelstein clearly show example of hidden backstab by honest believers of the Truth... like What is happening on Wikipedia.

      Defkalion found many data, in order to make his version of the reactor. It tooks June to November, so there is data.

      The problem also is that PdD is a dead-end, yet very popular for theoretical reasons. Even LENR scientist work in a paradigm. they ridiculed Miley for his NiH experiments.
      http://www.lenr-forum.com/showthread.php?822-Miley-8W-for-100sec-how-LENR-community-ridiculed-NiH

      Rossi in only one of the few NiH innovators.
      With Defkalion and now Brillouin he is one of the only really funded like an industrial.
      For Toyota and Iwamura they are well funded, but inside a huge corp, maybe not enough hungry (read Nassim Nichoals Taleb : Antifragile , to see what I mean), and locked to existing paradigm.
      They try to prove LENR, not to be a billionaire. They try to respect the rule, and it is stupid.

      Rossi and Defkalion (maybe Brillouin?) were ignorant in that domain, and just read the data with a fresh brain and no theory. theory block innovation (Read Taleb to understand - history rewritten by the losers).

      LENR is anyway expensive, need team-work. That is the weakenss of rossi. Brillouin is too focussed on theory, that is a weakness... Defkalion have the best structure. Team, engineer, businesman, few phenomenologica theory, desperate in June 2011... all to win.

      PdD have success because it is tabletop (yet expensive), despite that it is hopeless. It is based on the dream to show evidence. But even 50 sigma evidence are rejected, so there is no hope.

      Again Kuhn shows it's reality.

      Funny to see color-blind people in a sea of red-flags.

      Delete
  5. Date: Tue, 28 May 2013 10:11:37 +0100
    To: Giuseppe Levi
    Torbjörn Hartman
    Bo Höistad
    Roland Pettersson
    Lars Tegnér
    Hanno Essén
    Ugo Bardi
    Dario Braga
    Sylvie Coyaud
    Camillo Franchini
    Giancarlo Ruocco
    Gary Wright
    Steven Krivit
    Peter Ekström
    From: Alessio Guglielmi
    Subject: Re: Ethics of your recent work with Mr Rossi

    Dear colleagues and friends,

    I had an exchange with Prof. Essén and received two emails from him in response to my initial message reproduced below, and to another one where I repeated to him the two questions:

    1) How does your paper advance knowledge?
    2) Who will benefit from it?

    Unfortunately, Prof. Essén refuses to answer these two questions, and at this point I am even more perplexed, because I believe that a senior researcher should always be able to answer those two questions without hesitation and with pride in his or her work. It is a pity that this seems not to be the case for the manuscript on arXiv, and I still hope that the other co-authors will be able to find convincing answers to those two very basic questions.

    The only response for which Prof. Essén authorises publication is the following:

    "In the intervju I answered that there was no direct measurement of dc (since the clamps could not detec such). This was a bit hasty. In future I will not answer such technical questions without conferring with all coautors. After analysing what we checked and measured (which were many more variables that those from the clamps) we can definitely exclude dc-current. (This is what comes from being nice to journalists.)"

    Prof. Essén wrote this paragraph as a comment to this piece of interview that appeared on http://www.pureenergyblog.com/?p=1232 :

    --------------------------------
    Interviewer: Have you tried to test the output of the power supply to exclude that also a DC current is supplied to the device, which clamp amperometers could not detect?

    Prof. Essén: No, we did not think of that. The power came from a normal wall socket and there did not seem to be any reason to suspect that it was manipulated in some special way. Now that the point is raised we can check this in future tests.
    --------------------------------

    Could somebody please forward this email to Dr Foschi?

    Anybody please feel free to publish this message wherever they see fit.

    Best regards,

    Alessio Guglielmi
    University of Bath
    http://alessio.guglielmi.name

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  6. John Bull writes:
    Your letter is a symptom of a dangerous virus. The kind of virus that Ayn Rand described thoroughly in her magnus opus; Atlas Shrugged. The virus is a hybrid of naivety (if there is no scientific explanation it does not exist) and supremacism (good science can be done in one way only). [...] Please let go of old fashioned mores and make a contribution to what can possibly be the biggest invention in a few hundred years.

    Dear JB, actually, I completely agree with you that there exist many more phenomena than scientific explanations for them, and that as scientists we should keep a very open mind.

    I also agree that there are many ways to do science, in particular there are many ways to be creative and come up with ingenious ideas. There aren't so many ways to check those ideas, though. So, I'd say that while for the invention phase there is no prescription and indeed no method, we do have to be methodical when we try to validate our intuitions and discoveries.

    I understand that my letter can be interpreted as an attack against Rossi, but it is not, because Rossi has every means to bring his invention to success without any help from the academia. My letter is simply about checking whether somebody is abusing academia.


    Anonymous writes:
    If the paper had exposed a fraud, would you still consider the test unethical?

    Let's wait some more for responses, before considering the manuscript unethical. Anyway, I would consider the test unethical if the answers to my two questions:

    1) How does your paper advance knowledge?
    2) Who will benefit from it?

    would come out as something like: 1) It doesn't; 2) Rossi and his associates.

    Obviously, if the test exposed a fraud the answer to question number (2) would become `Nobody´, and this would somehow mitigate the lack of ethics. Still, the answer to question (1) might be the same, and we still have to consider that these scientists did make experiments in a commercial facility and without being in control.

    So, I would say that, regardless of the outcome, this situation seems dangerously close to unethical to me, and possibly outright unethical.

    ReplyDelete
  7. John Bull writes:
    Your letter is a symptom of a dangerous virus. The kind of virus that Ayn Rand described thoroughly in her magnus opus; Atlas Shrugged. The virus is a hybrid of naivety (if there is no scientific explanation it does not exist) and supremacism (good science can be done in one way only). [...] Please let go of old fashioned mores and make a contribution to what can possibly be the biggest invention in a few hundred years.

    Dear JB, actually, I completely agree with you that there exist many more phenomena than scientific explanations for them, and that as scientists we should keep a very open mind.

    I also agree that there are many ways to do science, in particular there are many ways to be creative and come up with ingenious ideas. There aren't so many ways to check those ideas, though. So, I'd say that while for the invention phase there is no prescription and indeed no method, we do have to be methodical when we try to validate our intuitions and discoveries.

    I understand that my letter can be interpreted as an attack against Rossi, but it is not, because Rossi has every means to bring his invention to success without any help from the academia. My letter is simply about checking whether somebody is abusing academia.


    Anonymous writes:
    If the paper had exposed a fraud, would you still consider the test unethical?

    Let's wait some more for responses, before considering the manuscript unethical. Anyway, I would consider the test unethical if the answers to my two questions:

    1) How does your paper advance knowledge?
    2) Who will benefit from it?

    would come out as something like: 1) It doesn't; 2) Rossi and his associates.

    Obviously, if the test exposed a fraud the answer to question number (2) would become `Nobody´, and this would somehow mitigate the lack of ethics. Still, the answer to question (1) might be the same, and we still have to consider that these scientists did make experiments in a commercial facility and without being in control.

    So, I would say that, regardless of the outcome, this situation seems dangerously close to unethical to me, and possibly outright unethical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is good that Dr. Guglielmi answered this question.
      If the paper had exposed a fraud, would you still consider the test unethical?



      1) How does your paper advance knowledge?
      2) Who will benefit from it?


      Obviously, if the test exposed a fraud the answer to question number (2) would become `Nobody´, and this would somehow mitigate the lack of ethics.
      ***You neglect all the people that Rossi was intending to scam, if he were caught.

      Still, the answer to question (1) might be the same, and we still have to consider that these scientists did make experiments in a commercial facility and without being in control.
      ***Such a fraud would be very sophisticated, and the knowledge advancement would help many others in the future who have to deal with such things.


      So, I would say that, regardless of the outcome, this situation seems dangerously close to unethical to me, and possibly outright unethical.
      ***I would say that you're nitpicking, pulling flea hairs out of pepper. Your response is very disingenuous. It is obvious to most observers that you are engaging in some kind of academic politics.

      Kevin O'Malley
      Vortex-L member

      Delete
  8. It appears the author of the skeptical open letter isn't at all schooled in LENR research, as there have been many experiments that find heat from metal and hydrogen experiments that don't even involve Dr. Rossi. So, basically, organization folks like SPAWAR, NASA, and others have a huge collection of published experiment reports that show LENR works. To focus questions only on Rossi's efforts shows a tunnel vision, more than an insightful vision.

    While, I think the Deflalon control methods are better, the Hot-CAT designs shall also have their place in energy methods using LENR methods. Experimenters have been tripping over the excess energy from hydrogen / metal reactions since the invention of the underwater hydrogen cutting torch findings of excess heat.

    Rossi has to protect his design secrets and also allow for some research to show it all works and there isn't any terrible radiation or pollution issues to deal with. Questions always arise from each researcher's reports and it is fine to ask if the DC components were checked. This will certainly be addressed in good time, and it is premature to attempt to fire brand researchers and discovery persons for not covering every angle so prematurely. I really doubt Rossi or anyone would go so far as to use DC excitation for the heating elements, when the design works fine with AC and is much easier to control using AC controller methods. I also doubt that Rossi is playing shell games by adding in DC components to the heating element drive. Such is very easy to check for the Rossi design, and all will turn out fine.

    But, certainly every researcher that has written a report on LENR successes has not been put to like test, with pointed questions, that appear to want to point out fraud on science methods. The balance of data from credible research and several efforts to commercialize these LENR units allow there is no question the method works.

    The only question is why are there those few that seek to attempt to paint so negative a picture of one researcher? Imho

    Jim Phelps

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  9. Gulglielmi is confused. He wrote:

    "You are aware that several alleged technical mistakes have been pointed out, such as omitting control on DC current input (which has been acknowledged by Prof. Essén in a recent interview) and assuming that the output heat is released by a perfect black body . . ."

    These are not mistakes.

    1. It is not possible to do one test in which you check for every skeptical notion that people might come up, such as DC input. You have to do a series of tests with different power meters. That is what Levi et al. intend to do.

    2. Assuming the device is a perfect black body is the most conservative assumption you can make. It reduces estimated output to the lowest level it might be.

    Guglielmi's other assertions about the ethics of investigating anomalies are academic politics.

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    1. Hi Jed,

      I gather that Francesco Celani exhibited a table-top working LENR reactor at the ICCF-17 Convention in Korea. I don't know much about this, but did it or did it not prove the heretofore unexplained phenomenon of anomolous heat in a LENR device?

      I would have thought that Celani's experimental set-up would have spurredjust as much global interest in LENR as as the Rossi E-Cat, even the output wattage was very low compared to the claims or Rossi or Defkalion.

      I cannot understand people who say the science of this is uninteresting whensuch demonstrations are occurring.

      Delete
    2. > I cannot understand people who say the science of this is uninteresting whensuch demonstrations are occurring.

      When theory and experiment contradict each other, the experiment must be faulty.

      Delete
    3. Well, for openers, it's possible to do an experiment which does not involve a close friend and associate of Rossi, namely Levi. Levi is the same person who botched an earlier and much easier demonstration of ecat power using liquid calorimetry. He was interviewed by Krivit about this and basically he said he lost the data. OK, then why did he not repeat the test? But with proper data collection, controls and calibration to rule out thermocouple placement errors? It's quick and cheap. Levi did not reply when Josephson emailed him the same question a few months ago.

      A credible validation of the ecat would not involve Levi or Essen, who demonstrated his gullibility when he failed to require Rossi to provide "dummy" (control/calibration) runs for the steam ecat and the heat exchanger ecats in 2011. Proper validation would be done by a major university department officially, or by a major government laboratory or testing agency such as SANDIA, ORNL, CERN, or Earthtech.

      Questions about the power source for the experiment are easily resolved. Neither Rossi nor Levi should be supplying it! The experimenters should have furnished their own power in their own lab. None of that would endanger Rossi's intellectual property. If he has any which I very much doubt.

      Delete
    4. Celani's demonstration was far less convincing than this. His methodology and instruments were poor, partly because of the inherent difficulties of making an experiment small and portable. The MFMP people have not been able to replicate his results, whereas other people have replicated Rossi's results, albeit not at such high power density or high absolute power.

      Delete
    5. Mary Yugo wrote: "Well, for openers, it's possible to do an experiment which does not involve a close friend and associate of Rossi, namely Levi."

      They do not seem particularly close to me, but I wouldn't know.

      If you do not trust Levi, and you think he is being duped or he is collaborating in a fraud, I suggest you ignore this work.

      Someone else objected that this is not an "independent test." My response:

      It is what it is. Call it independent, semi-independent, or a friendly visit. You can read the details in the report and judge for yourself. Some of the other participants have no connection to Rossi. That does not prevent them from knowing how to use instruments or comparing the IR camera readout to a thermocouple. . . .

      If knowing people and being friends with them precludes scientific independence than no such independence exists. Science is a small world. Everyone knows everyone else. In 1989 and 1990, researchers in roughly 100 labs replicated Fleischmann and Pons. Just about every electrochemist who did that was on a first-name basis with Fleischmann and Pons. There is not an electrochemist in the world who did not know their reputations. That is the only reason they took the claims seriously in the first place.

      Delete
    6. Dear Mr Rothwell,

      1. Contrary to what you say, it is perfectly possible to make convincing experiments in one go, and especially after several months or years of planning as in the case we are dealing with. This is routinely done in very many laboratories in the world and it leads to peer-reviewed publications of replicable experiences. It requires researchers who adhere to the scientific method, of course, and sceptical and competent.

      2. Contrary to what you say, assuming that a device is a perfect black body means that for a given temperature it releases maximum energy, so it is the least conservative assumption you can make. Most likely, you are confusing the thermal camera calibration procedure (which is conservative for e = 1 as a parameter to its software) with the black body assumption (which is not conservative for e = 1 as a parameter in the Stefan-Boltzmann law used to compute power).

      I don't know whether my two questions are academic politics or whatever else. Does it matter? Do you want to try and answer?

      Delete
    7. You wrote: "Contrary to what you say, it is perfectly possible to make convincing experiments in one go, and especially after several months or years of planning as in the case we are dealing with. This is routinely done in very many laboratories in the world and it leads to peer-reviewed publications of replicable experiences."

      I have a collection of about 1,000 mainstream, peer-reviewed journal papers describing cold fusion replications. I copied these papers from the libraries at Los Alamos and Georgia Tech. These experiments have been widely replicated at more than 200 major laboratories, often at high signal to noise ratios.

      I am quite familiar with this literature, because I have read it, attended meetings with the authors, and visited several laboratories. I think I can state with some authority that there has seldom been a single experiment that answered all questions in a totally convincing fashion. What is convincing is a body of work taken as a whole. For example, Miles not only demonstrates that he can produce the effect once. By repeating the experiment he shows that he can reproduce it often, on demand, using some materials but not others. He shows what the control parameters are. He does blank experiments which -- as predicted -- do not produce an effect. He sends samples of the effluent gas to three different national labs for a helium analysis in blind tests, and their results prove that the effect produces helium in the same ratio to the heat as plasma fusion does.

      As I see it, the totality of the evidence from several of Miles' experiments is more convincing than any single experiment he published.

      Delete
    8. Let me add that my bibliography and many of the papers I refer to can be found here:

      http://lenr-canr.org/

      Delete
  10. Mr Rothwell, it's not exactly true that "it is not possible to do one test in which you check for every skeptical notion that people might come up". If you're in control of the test under every aspect, like every serious test should be, then you don't need to check for hidden DC input, fake on/off switch or some other forgery, since you did the setup yourself.

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    1. It turns out they did check for hidden DC. That was a misunderstanding. Essen wrote:

      "In the interview I answered that there was no direct measurement of dc (since the clamps could not detect such). This was a bit hasty. In future I will not answer such technical questions without conferring with all coauthors. After analysing what we checked and measured (which were many more variables that those from the clamps) we can definitely exclude dc-current. (This is what comes from being nice to journalists.)"

      I meant that no test can answer every question. That is why you need multiple tests, with different instruments. A problem that eludes one instrument will be caught by another. You cannot always use multiple instruments at the same time. Also, planning a test that answers all skeptical objections in the first round would be unwieldy if not impossible.

      Levi et al. did the setup themselves. Fraud is extremely unlikely, unless you believe they are part of the conspiracy. I do not see how that would be in their interests.

      Delete
    2. If the test had been done in Sweden, all the skepticism regarding a possible fraud would be lifted. Only doubts regarding methodology would remain. That's what I meant.

      I think that the test purpose wasn't stated clearly, and some confusion arise from that. First, the test should establish clearly that no forgery is done in ANY way. The easiest way to do this is to control every aspect of the apparatus, except the cell itself (a sealed cylinder) and the "waveform" which should be protected by NDA, so that measures could be done between the control box and the ecat.

      Then only should the test focus on the actual efficiency of the ecat. If these two "tasks" were stated clearly and separately, than there would be less confusion.

      Delete
    3. You wrote: "If the test had been done in Sweden, all the skepticism regarding a possible fraud would be lifted. Only doubts regarding methodology would remain. That's what I meant."

      I doubt that. There have been more than 20 years of tests at major laboratories world wide, such as Mitsubishi, Los Alamos and China Lake. These results are published in mainstream, peer-reviewed journals, in hundreds of papers. No skeptic has ever published a paper describing an error in any of these papers. Yet people still claim that this entire body of work is the product of "fraud, criminality and lunacy" as Robert Park of the APS puts it.

      I do not think the quality or quantity of the evidence will sway hard core opponents such as Park or Guglielmi. Park told McKubre, me, and others that he has not read any of these papers. He says he does not need to. He is certain they are wrong. He wrote several chapters in a book attacking cold fusion, and it is obvious from his comments that he has read nothing and he knows nothing. Such people are not rational and cannot take part in a scientific discussion.

      The editors of the Scientific American also told me that they have read nothing, because "reading papers is not our job." Their assertions about this subject are completely incorrect, so I am sure they have read nothing -- as they say.

      Regarding the methodology used by Levi et al., it is based on conventional physics discovered in the 1880s, and off-the-shelf instruments. Elforsk, the power company trade organization that paid for the test, has no doubt the results are real:


      http://www.elforsk.se/Aktuellt/Svenska-forskare-har-testat-Rossis-energikatalysator--E-cat/

      I cannot imagine any experienced electrical engineer would quarrel with them. Only theoretical physicists and people who know nothing about calorimetry or HVAC equipment will have doubts. The only way these doubts can be reduced is for these people to learn something about this subject. It is hardly likely they will do this! As Schiller put it, against stupidity the Gods themselves do battle in vain.

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    4. Elforsk concluded that cold fusion is real in this test because they are engineers and they made a serious effort to look at it. Engineers know that when theory conflicts with experiments, the experiments win and theory loses. When other engineering oriented organizations have looked at cold fusion, they have also concluded is it real. The closest thing to Elforsk in the U.S. would be EPRI (The Electric Power Research Institute). They supported McKubre's research in the early years and concluded that cold fusion is real. Quoting their final report:

      "EPRI PERSPECTIVE This work confirms the claims of Fleischmann, Pons, and Hawkins of the production of excess heat in deuterium-loaded palladium cathodes at levels too large for chemical transformation. However, the phenomena were obtained in only about half the cells. From the conditions of loading, initiation time, and current density on the successful observations of excess heat, it is understood why the phenomena are so difficult to attain."

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/McKubreMCHdevelopmen.pdf

      That is unequivocal. They withdrew support because of politics, not because of any technical issue.

      Elforsk has not endorsed the nuclear aspects of cold fusion probably because they have not read the literature. I can't imagine they would look at the tritium results from Fritz Will or Bockris and then express doubts that the effect is nuclear. That would be out of character for an engineer. The people at Amoco Production Company are also engineering oriented. After they observed heat and tritium they had no doubt this is a nuclear effect. See:

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Lautzenhiscoldfusion.pdf

      "The calorimetry conclusively shows excess energy was produced within the electrolytic cell over the period of the experiment. This amount, 50 kilojoules, is such that any chemical reaction
      would have had to been in near molar amounts to have produced the energy. Chemical analysis shows clearly that no such chemical reactions occurred. The tritium results show that some form
      of nuclear reactions occurred during the experiment."

      That is about as unequivocal as a chemist can be.

      Hundreds of researchers have reproduced this effect thousands of times, sometimes at very high levels that are easy to detect, such as with hundreds of watts of heat output and no power input, or with tritium at millions of times background. Every one of these people is certain the effect is real. They would have to be crazy not to be certain.

      Every week, people download 5,000 to 10,000 from my website. I have heard from many of these readers, usually when they want a paper not on file. I have never heard from a scientist or engineer who expresses doubts about the reality of cold fusion. There are such people, but they have not contacted me. I conclude that the vast majority of people who understand chemistry and physics and do their homework and read the literature are convinced. The people who claim the effect does not exist have not published any papers showing an error in any experiment. So their views do not count.

      Delete
  11. It's plainly evident mr. Guglielmi that you are raising strawmen arguments because you have run out of the technical ones. I find it a shame and I'm looking forward to the day that you and your buddies will receive the long deserved recognition. My bet is that such recognition will consist in being remembered for centuries in the footnotes of history as king-sized assholes.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think that the technical questions have been adressed and will spur debate in the coming months. However, the questions about the advancement of knowledge and who benefits are really interesting per se: I'd like to state clearly that the paper does contribute to the advancement of knowledge: Those of us following the development of what is currently known as LENR are aware of the experimental evidence of the reality of the phenomena, but are also aware of what it implies for energy production if the phenomena ever gets to be well understood and engineered to be of practical use. The research on replicatng and understanding the effect is ongoing, and while there are some theoretical approaches, the practical utility is still in development. Along the way, comes an Italian inventor claiming mastery of the phenomena for practical purposes. We all want to know if this is a reality at least in part. But then arises the problem of the science vs the economic interests: the inventor does not want to reveal the exact mechanism, as its publication would mean the gift of his efforts. Hence, he performs public demonstrations and picks the curiosity of academic researchers (Mr. Levi and Mr. Essen among them as we all know). But these demonstrations of something alleged impossible only raise flags of fraud and scam. As the academics want to know, they propose to subject the new invention to scrutiny. They achieve an agreement with the inventor to test the device under the most independent conditions possible, without releasing to the mainstream the critical, yet unprotected, intelectual property. Then the scientists perform the tasks and publish their findings. Here there is a net advancement on the knowledge for everyone with access to nternet: There seems to be an invention that produces energy in a way that falls within the LENR field theoretical capabilities, but at a level that allows engineering for practical uses. I am happy to know that, as probably many more are. ANd for that, I thank the scientists involved in the realization of the report.

    Now, Who benefits: In the short term, off course Mr. Rossi, who is the inventor. But also all the people that is in capability of licensing his trade secret for developing applications of this new thermal energy source to everyday and industrial applications. In the mid and long term, all the world benefits of the availability of a new technology that allows cheaper energy and far less environmental impact for the production of this energy.

    I have to disclose that I am personally interested in developing applications of this technology for industrial applications, and that's why I'm folowing the LENR saga since I was a teen ager in March 1989. So please Mr. Guglielmi, stop acusing this people of unethical behaviour and realize that the advancement of science is not restricted to the academic world, but is a matter of utmost importance for the common citizen, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is your moment.
      Defkalion may have already enough partner, Rossi is quite selective and emotional about partners, ...
      Brillouin, Toyota, MHI are in "manhattan project" mode.
      LENR-Cities, with Kresenn, LENr-Invest may help you if you are an industrialist ready to harness LENR for a practical application.
      And there are other companies still in free-mode.
      Time to network on linked-in.

      Delete
    2. Hello Alain: I'm aware of what you mean about the timing, and the need for networking. I'm precisely on that. Thanks!!!

      Delete
  13. Why is it that every newspaper is referring to Steven Krivit just because he is a member of ANS and was ONE out of THREE editors of Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia?

    Krivits Academic Background
    1981-1982 Industrial design coursework University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport
    Connecticut & Art Center College of Design, Pasadana, Calif.
    1988 B.S., Business Administration/Information Systems National University, San Diego, California

    These are the facts. Does this make him an authority on LENR?

    Speaking of ethics....what about Gary Wright who tried to extort Bob Rohner?
    http://revolution-green.com/who-is-gary-wright/

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear Dr. Guglielmi:

    Your own ethics will soon be called into question if you move forward without answering the simple question:

    "If these 7 scientists had determined Rossi to be a fraud, would you still consider the test
    unethical?"

    Pursuing one ethical side of a story while ignoring the other suggests you are following some kind of biased political agenda.

    best regards

    Kevin O'Malley
    Vortex-L member

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have already answered that question. The answer is `probably yes, to a lesser extent´, please see above. The conditional is due to not having yet received an answer to my two questions (except in private, and I am trying to get permission to publish it).

      Delete
    2. Anonymous,
      on May 28, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      you wrote:

      "If these 7 scientists had determined Rossi to be a fraud, would you still consider the test unethical?"

      Let me ask you a similar question:

      If these 7 scientists had been determined to be Rossi's partners in a fraud, would you still consider the test ethical?

      So to speak, of course.

      By the way, have you heard of Defkalion? A great demo, wasn't it? Surely more ethical than the Rossi & friends ones

      Cold regards.

      Delete
    3. The demo was fair, and better tha Rossi's previous demo, but it was just a demo with an independent witness who was allowed to check all he wanted... not yet enough to convince brainlocked skeptics.
      The report of Nelson on Defkalion reactor was much better, yet there is no detail for skeptics to check. Just the opinion of someone who have proven to be asking for freedom to test all he wanted. Defkalion seems less secretive but the testing done by Elforsk team (Essen was hired by Elforsk not by Rossi, and each member bet his career on e-cat reality. ) was much better.

      Given the level of brainlocking I'm afraid it is not enough. Given how clear evidence have been long ignored, howe replication are denied, how evidence are denied, how lied are printed, broadcasted, republished and rebroadcasted, written in Nature, in sciAm and Wikipedia, and defended like the Catholic Dogma, the you can imagine that convincing is nearly impossible. You have also to consider the huge bullying done against dissenters, the hiding of fraud, of incompetence, of absurds and anti-scientific arguments, and thus the fear by any honest actor to admit the truth. It is collective delusion in sociological context of terror.
      See how Bockris have been treated, Miles, and many others... see how the muddy paper of pomp&Ericsson is accepted despite the conspiracy style, samek for taubes and shanahan... and how weaker accusation of conspiracy are not tolerated by the mainstream.
      Asymmetry is clear, and blindness is clear. Note how critics denies the recent facts, like around national instruments Uni Missouri, NRL, ENEA.. they only talk of old stories from 89, done in 6 week, by incompetent team, and by clearly hysterical half-scientists, not even able to clearly understand material physics.


      Greed and hope of recognition and revenge, is the only energy that may push people to fight that terror.
      This is what i

      Delete
  15. Oh-la! E-Cat warriors were on the watch and now feast here

    Well, Ugo, we see once more what happens when someone tries to be polite and goes step by step, trying not to assume fraudsters are on the run.

    For those of you that think that there's no technical arguments to reject Levi et al's paper, please carefully read this piece of rebuttal: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/05/21/the-e-cat-is-back-and-people-are-still-falling-for-it/

    Don't cry too aloud, I'm not returning.

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Mr Guglielmini,

    Can you state clearly your position ? Is it an hoax, a scam, a joke, fraud, incompetence, conspiracy against "serious cold fusion researches" or what ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure, but I suspect that there might be incompetence on the academic side. I hope that my letter helps understanding whether this is the case.

      Delete
  17. I think the flaws of Mister Guglielmi's text are obvious even to uneducated people, or, how Adorno put it, are probably even *more obvious* to uneducated people than it is to so called half-educated people like the writer of this letter. Mister Guglielmi is talking about matters he has no clue about (theory of science, philosophy, ethics) but acts as if he was an expert. That makes half-educated people look more stupid than uneducated people, because latter know that they lack knowledge, but can compensate it with intuition, whereas half-educated people make silly errors without noticing it because they think they are "experts".

    So:

    1. It's not the very essence of science to make experiments and then to reproduce them. That would be a methodological mistake of immense magnitude. If that was true, then the existence of the universe could not be considered a scientific fact, because its beginning is not reproducible.
    This is a very crude empiric approach to science, and has been dismissed as pseudo-science centuries ago.

    2. The questions the author is raising are laughable at best. Who would benefit from such a report? I don't even know if this is irony, because I can't take it seriously... Is this guy really asking how such a report is extending our knowledge?
    To state the obvious: Well, everyone is benefitting, cause we now at least know how the E-Cat is not tricking us. That means, if it's a scam, there are fewer possibilities left because of that test (falsification of scam theories, ever heard of Popper?).

    3. And lastly: Now that we have seen that the behaviour of the researchers (Levi et al.) was ethically right, the tide is turning: Where is the ethical justification to insinuate misbehaviour in an open letter to people who have done nothing wrong? How does this act advance our knowledge?

    Maybe you should think twice before you embarass yourself in public, hypocrite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous, you are quite right that I am uneducated in philosophy, but I do have a clue about the two questions I posed because we researchers have to answer these two very same questions every time we assess research and every time we apply for grants. I have been doing both activities for more than two decades so I can prove that I am an expert.

      Unfortunately, I cannot recognise you as an expert because you are making a basic mistake: contrary to what you think, the observations on the beginnings of the universe are available to all researchers and each experience is reproducible. Even the observations on an ephemeral event such as a supernova explosion can be reproduced because the collected data are made available. So, sorry, but reproducibility is indeed the essence of science and if some of your philosophy books tell you otherwise I suggest you smoke them, this way you would get more benefit from them.

      Speaking of benefits: also what you say about everyone benefiting from the manuscript of Levi et al. is wrong, because we still don't know anything about Rossi's device. Nothing at all. Perhaps you think you know, but you won't be seeing any other researcher build on that manuscript, because the information it contains is not reproducible, it is not scientific knowledge.

      Coming to my letter: it is not supposed to advance knowledge in any scientific way, in fact I didn't send it to a scientific journal but to a blog. It is simply supposed to ask two questions, just that, and its moral justification is curiosity and the desire to preserve academia's dignity. Even if the answers will turn out to be satisfying, as I hope, it is important to ask my two questions when commercial interests get close to science.

      Of course my opinions above are still provisional, I could be persuaded otherwise, but the arguments should be a little more stringent than yours. Anyway, after much asking I did receive two answers to my two questions, but still I haven't received the permission to publish them. This begs another question: why are the authors of the arXiv manuscript so embarrassed?

      Delete
    2. You ask: " This begs another question: why are the authors of the arXiv manuscript so embarrassed?"

      They are not even slightly embarrassed. What makes you think they are?!?

      People in the cold fusion biz do not embarrass easily.

      Delete
  18. Personally I think that some of these effects such as supposedly utilized in the E-CAT could be real, notably Prof. Hagelstein's nanor at MIT.

    But I was wondering if anyone could help me with this: if we were to do a thought experiment and were to start of with the assumption that this cold fusion effect was real and that e.g. the nanor or ecat really worked, would it make a real difference?

    ECAT/NANOR Fuel Cycle:
    You would need to produce hydrogen gas to be used as a fuel. This would need to be done via electrolysis which if I recal correctly from my college days is not very efficient. The ecat only gives excess heat with a cop greater than one, but this heat would then have to be used to heat water to produce steam to then drive a turbine to generate electricity which in turn would be used for electrolysis to generate more hydrogen to keep the devices going. If one were to take this entire fuel cycle into consideration would an ecat still give sufficient net energy?

    Would it prevent the Mobility problem caused by a lack of liquid fuels?
    And from following a number of independent reseachers on the topics related to our energy predicament over the years, I remember that our first and foremost problem will be one of a lack of (affordable) liquid fuels to power transportation and that there really is no good substitute for oil that would keep the party going. An ecat would only provide heat which would need to be transformed into electricity (or maybe steam, but I don't know if a steam powered car would be viable), so it would not help with the liquid fuel problem that we will face first in the coming collapse. The researchers I follow also clearly showed that electric cars are not really a viable solution/replacement, and they say the same about fuel cell powered cars. We should still have sufficient non liquid fossil fuels to produce electricity for the remaining lifetime of most of the readers of this blog but after that it will be back to the 1800s. The ECAT could give us a source of electricity then, although I don't know if you can run things like blast furnaces with electricity to produce the metal and silicon we would need for solar cells and such. PV modules and wind turbines require heavy fossil fuel inputs for their production and later maintenance and installation.

    There was also a good article on the tyee.ca by Mr. Nikiforuk about solar power in Spain, in which an expert was cited who said that we could not run our civilisation on solar and wind power on the scale we are doing now with fossil fuels due to various reasons.

    A significant drop in mobility would probably greatly reduce the amount of economic activity possible, even if you have sufficient electrity with ECATs for other purpoese.


    Then, suppose that the ECAT could solve all of the problems present above, it would still need to be introduced and upscaled (infrastructure, etc). Something like this would take 30 years or so if the economy and financial system are in good condition. Would such an introduction be able to prevent a huge crisis and partial collapse before our civilisation has switched over to the ECAT?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Mr. X.

      You ask a legitimate question. The short answer is "Yes!" providing the following two requisites being met:

      1) The e-cat working, as claimed by Rossi (or something as least as good as his claimed performances)

      2) Enough of them being made and operated, in proportion to the global energy demand.

      As for the second point, Rossi has a severe IP protection problem and he won't be selling to the Chinese any time soon. I say the overall demand because fossil fuels are currently the main factor in determining energy price; anything that makes a significant dent in replacing them brings down the prices in general. Expensive sorces would just cease to be worth their game (and I doubt PV being the real future anyway). So it could make a huge difference, even if we ignore road transportation and, in any case, ypur reasoning would need to be revised with complex considerations about the economics.

      Don't worry about the availability of hydrogen! Absolutely, it is a negligible factor, even if you could only strip it out of water with very poor efficiency. According to the claims, in terms of the Ragone plot and whatever process may be going on, this bugger is totally outside the scales of chemical sources. The hydrogen employed to heat a family home for a freezing winter's day and night would scarcely make you an espresso by burning it under your moka.

      As for point one, we can only wait and see, but I have increasing doubts that Rossi has monkeyed all these people and I don't think they've made huge errors in measurement. It appears the COP is way above unity and that reasonably good thermoelectric generation is pretty soon feasible, apparently with the help of Siemens.

      Cheers, Chris.

      Delete
  19. I fully understand dr. Guglielmi's letter and I have long said that tests of this type are hardly the material for peer reviewed articles. I have doubts about the report being accepted as such, at least by the most serious of such journals. The main mistake by dr. Guglielmi is to make it a matter of ethics, this is what I really disagree with.

    Firstly, Guglielmi is not distinguishing academic research from industrial R&D, which is also one reason this article is not a likely candidate for most physics journals; it is a blackbox test and hence a more technical matter than scientific. This only makes it unusual to submit it for peer reviewed publication, but I wouldn't say unethical.

    Second, this study was commissioned and paid for by two enterprise entities: ELFORSK and Vattenfall, which are a backbone of the Swedish energy industry and important in the EU too. It certainly wasn't conducted in an academic context and this frees it somewhat from compliance with those criteria, including any reserves about it helping to market the product in question. Actually, it is not even uncommon for marketing to boast academic research publications as vouching for the worthiness of their wares.

    IOW, this report could hardly be considered a publication as far as the academic research curriculum of its authors goes. I agree with the substance of objections about it not offering other researchers all that is needed to match up with the experiment, without the device being available to them as well. This clearly differs from conducting an experiment having the aim of investigating the natural phenomenon in itself. This has already been done, both with Ni-H and with PD-D, with many results being peer review published despite caveats of repeatibility. The study in questioned is therefore not of academic but instead industrial purpose.

    All in all, I think that much of the harsh criticism circulating is due to confusion and even neglect of facts. Unfortunately, there is also plenty of ongoing disinformation and much of it appears to be deliberate. I keep finding this much more disappointing than the shortcomings of Rossi, who is an entrepreneur and does not owe anyone anything about his so called e-cat, unless they have concluded a contract with him. Many academic researchers have seen it with their own eyes and understand the distinction between their profession and his. Some of them, apparently, are able to be nigh on certain that his claims are not bogus.

    I keep finding it unfortunate that Rossi's IP protection relies, so far, on industrial secret rather than patent protection (two things antithetical to each other) because this (and NOT the behaviour of these authors) is what prevents the furtherment of whatever knowledge might be gleanable from Rossi's method. Still, both Piantelli and Celani have been working on the same thing in a much more open way, albeit with lower COP (and perhaps less repeatibility in Celani's case). Academic researchers who complain about these problems have only to lift their arses from their comfy chairs, take a broader look at the whole scene and get cracking on it themselves. Who knows, they might even find some method better yet than Rossi's. BTW I disagree with those who think these claims are in contradiction of the Standard Model or more fundamental things. I hope the event of June the 3rd will help to get more resources assigned to these studies.

    Cheers, Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, your distinction between technical publication and scientific publication is spot on and very valuable. The existence of a vast body of Industrial technical publications, that are normally performed by engineers and other technical professionals, is something that academic scientists tend to simply ignore, overlook, or dismiss as not of their interest. I often say that engineering is the art of applying the scientific knowledge to the solution of technical problems of the everyday human life.

      I myself, being a mixture of industry engineer and applied science researcher, keep getting invited to peer review scientifical papers in my field (removal of unwanted inorganic contaminants from water), in spite that I always make clear that my comments are focused under the perspective of industrial usability of the research, and even from the economical point of view, as I consider that research has to have real world focus even in early stages of development of new science (i.e. you have to keep asking if this is ever going to be possible to develop into a product or system of use in industrial and commercial applications).

      The e-cat report fits the bill of technical publication, it's descriptive of a phenomenon in technical terms that we engineers can understand and appreciate in their practical significance, with the caveat that the scientists that performed it ended more intrigued by how this can work than with the fact that it works. I'm far more interested in the evidence of a very powerfull source of thermal energy that can be harnessed for practical purposes. We were using fire for practical purposes millenia before we understood how fire worked.

      Delete
  20. Mr. Rothwell,
    you wrote “Levi et al. did the setup themselves.”

    Dr. Levi was to organize, setup, and report measurements for the January 14th, 2011 demo, in Bologna, too. Could you, please, give us a convincing explanation of the deficiencies identified in his calorimetric report? They are described here: http://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=3219628&postcount=83 .

    Regards.
    Ascoli65

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I presume you refer to this report, by Levi:

      http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/LeviGreportonhe.pdf

      I cannot display the figures in this message at physicsforums. The issues raised in this seem trivial, probably misunderstandings on the part of Ascoli65. The points raised are:

      "1. HP474AC probe mentioned in the calorimetric report does not correspond to the probe used during the test . . ."

      I wouldn't know about this. Part numbers are unreliable and ever changing. I suppose it was the same kind of probe or one with the same characteristics, or perhaps they had two probes. It seems like a trivial issue. I suggest you look up both probes and see if there are any relevant differences.

      "2 - Dosimetric pump is very similar to LMI J5 pump whose maximum flow is only 40% of the water flow written in the calorimetric report . . ."

      They measured the flow, so that is what it was. Again, I would not trust manufacturer's specs. They often change. I used to write equipment specifications for a living at a large corporation. The tech documentation department is usually several steps behind the product engineers. The manual often describes last year's model.

      "3 - In calorimetric report, a duration of 40 min for boiling condition is assumed, but it lasted only the half (duration.jpg)."

      I suppose this image was taken halfway through the run. It seems unlikely to me that these researchers cannot tell time, or that they wrote down the wrong duration. But it is hard to judge on such scanty evidence.

      Anyway, I suggest you judge this 2013 report on its own merits. I believe it was written mainly by other members of the group, rather than by Levi, even though he is the principal author. I think it is better than the January 2011 report. Elforsk, which paid for this work, is convinced by this report. That is a good sign. This is engineering-style HVAC-scale calorimetry. They are experts at evaluating that sort of thing.

      Delete
    2. Sorry. You're right. Until recently, the images were accessible without registration.
      Now you can find them here:
      1 - Probe: http://i.imgur.com/YC4W0Ax.jpg (you can see that the probes are VERY different)
      2 - Pump: http://i.imgur.com/vu0bW93.jpg
      3 - Duration: http://i.imgur.com/kaHK3GV.jpg
      Ascoli65

      Delete
    3. Mr. Rothwell,
      yesterday it was too late for me, I had just enough time to post the links to larger pictures. Now I can answer more extensively your comment.

      1 - Probe: Figure 1 shows clearly that the probe indicated in the calorimetric report of Dr. Levi and the one actually used were completely different. The probe with the yellow wire is just a thermometer, because the plug has two pins only. It cannot be an RH probe. The probe with the yellow wire, the thermometer, has remained in his position before and during the boiling phase, as shown in this figure http://i.imgur.com/8cwR9Gf.jpg (sorry, it's in Italian, but the images are self-explaining). There is no misunderstanding, and this topic is far from trivial.

      2 - Pump: Figure 2 (posted at the end of March) shows a J5 pump having a flow rate of 7.6 L/h, it was not the one of the demo, but … In April, Lewan reported that the nominal flow of the jellow pump was 12 L/h, which corresponds to the P18 model (here you find an Italian version with the updated data http://i.imgur.com/2GanyYO.jpg ). We also know, from a movie of the demo, that that pump run at 60% of its maximum speed, that is 7.2 L/h. This value is only 40% of that one indicated in the Dr. Levi report (17.6 L/h). There is no misunderstanding, and this topic is far from trivial.

      3 - Duration: I hope that the enlarged Figure 3 has allowed you to better highlight the error in the Dr. Levi report: it was declared a duration of boiling phase double than the actual. There is no misunderstanding, and this topic is far from trivial.

      The same person who signed the calorimetric report of January 2011 demo is the main author of the last report appeared on ArXiv. He is the only academic who participated in the December test, the person who procured the measurement equipment and probably the one who wrote most of the text (since it has been translated into English by an Italian). So, I see no reason to loose time in judging the 2013 report in his merit.

      Ascoli65

      Delete
    4. Sorry, I still cannot see the photos. Regarding the pump I think that testing with a graduated cylinder and a stopwatch is an irrefutable method of measuring the flow rate. It is better than quibbling about the manufacturer's specifications.

      The main point I would make is that the present set of tests are much better. Not only that, but the 116-hour test was a big improvement over the earlier one, for several reasons. Such as: they used standard emissivity samples; they confirmed the IR camera reading with a thermocouple; they calibrated a blank through the range of temperatures used in the live test. In short, they did just about everything the skeptics have been demanding. It seems to me you will not take "yes" for an answer.

      After a few more rounds of testing with different instruments, the results will be even stronger. So what's not to like here? Why do you dwell on what was done years ago when it has now been done better? You say that Levi did poor job in 2011. For the sake of argument assume that is true. Evidently, he learned from his mistakes and improved his work. Do you have some objection to people who admit they did not do a good job, and then improve their work?

      You seem to be saying you have not read the report where you wrote: "So, I see no reason to [lose] time in judging the 2013 report in his merit." Do you really mean you will not examine the present report? Even though there are several new authors, and the findings were endorsed by Elforsk? If you refuse to look, you have no right to any opinion, positive or negative. There is nothing more unscientific than a dogmatic refusal to examine the evidence.

      Delete
    5. Mr. Rothwell,
      >Sorry, I still cannot see the photos
      It is quite strange, I see them. I would ask someone else, if he can kindly check their visibility and tell us.
      Anyway, you can find here again the links to all the cited figures:
      1 - Probe: http://i.imgur.com/YC4W0Ax.jpg
      2 – Pump (J5): http://i.imgur.com/vu0bW93.jpg
      3 - Duration: http://i.imgur.com/kaHK3GV.jpg
      1a – Probe stay: http://i.imgur.com/8cwR9Gf.jpg
      2a – Actual pump (P18): http://i.imgur.com/2GanyYO.jpg

      I hope you can better examine the two figures of the probe, and tell us how it was possible having declared a wrong model in the Levi’s report.

      > It is better than quibbling about the manufacturer's specifications.
      I do not think so.
      This document (http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/MacyMspecificso.pdf) reports that shortly after the test Levi said: “There was a pump putting in a constant flux and what I have done is – with the reactor completely off take measurements – we spent two weeks of the water that flowing through the system to be certain of our calibration. After this calibration period I have checked that the pump was not touched and when we brought it here for the experiment it was giving the same quantity of water during all the experiment.”
      At 9:43 of this movie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr0ysNSN9Ng) Levi said: “Right now I think 12 L/h but after I give you the exact number.”
      So, Levi knew very well the manufacturer's specifications of the pump, and checked it was perfectly calibrated.


      >Do you have some objection to people who admit they did not do a good job, and then improve their work?
      No, I have no objection. Have you read somewhere that Levi admitted he did not do a good job in the demo of January 2011?

      >Even though there are several new authors, and the findings were endorsed by Elforsk?
      The involvement of Swedish people and Institutions is indeed an interesting news. But the best one, from my point of view, would be the disengagement from this field of all Italian people and Institutions.

      >There is nothing more unscientific than a dogmatic refusal to examine the evidence.
      I agree. Let’s start from the most evident ones.

      Ascoli65

      Delete
    6. Mr. Rothwell,
      for some strange reason the 7 links of the previous comments all point to an error page of this site. However, as I verified, they work perfectly when they are transcribed in the address bar of the browser. I kindly ask someone to confirm it.
      I apologize for the inconvenience
      Ascoli65

      Delete
  21. Dear Dr. Guglielmi,

    over a year ago, on March 16, 2012, Ugo Bardi posted a blog titled “The sinking of the E-Cat” on this very site. You must be aware of that, you have certainly read it.

    In that post Bardi expresses this opinion: “So, the E-Cat has reached the end of the line. It still maintains some faithful supporters, but, most likely, it will soon fade away in the darkness of pathological science, where it belongs.”

    Do you share the opinion of Bardi that the E-cat belongs to the realm of pathological science ?

    You give two reasons why you question the ethicality of the investigations. The first reason is because the physical principles of the claimed effect cannot be discovered with this black box test and the second reason is because the inventor would commercially benefit from a positive report. Well undoubtely these two reasons are true by themselves, but does it make the testing unethical ?

    In the history of scientific advance there must have been many cases where reseachers started out with a simple validation test to check if what they were seeing was real or not.
    Isn't it is part of the scientific method to start with excluding possible mistakes ?

    Even when a black box validation of the ecat would not give us the immediate answer to the underlying mechanism. The scientific value of a successful validation of the ecat would be tremendous. Suddenly the larger scientific community would delve into the peer reviewed literature produced over the last 24 years that describes similar experiments. A successful validation would reposition the field from the current fringe into the heart of science. With such dedication we would surely find the physical principle within a few years without any help from Rossi and we would probably understand it much better. I think it is completely valid to scientifically examine a black box, when all you have is a black box.

    Now to the commercial question. I think science is very often tied to commercial interests. Nobody questions ethics when a commercial company directly or indirectly benefits from the outcome of scientific endeavour. It is unavoidable, it is even necessary. After all it is mainly through commercialisation that the public gets the benefit from scientific research, isn't it ?

    I assume most people will answer your question with a plain and simple no. They will probably say that the sooner we know if the ecat works or not the better.

    To tell you the truth I am a bit troubled by the possibility that you raised this question because you pre-assume without any evidence, just like Bardi, that the ecat doesn't work.

    Have you ever read one of the peer reviewed papers that I mentioned above ?

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  22. I'm not a scientist, nor and engineer, but on the merits of the article, (and others I have read) I would say this is another attempt at getting piles of grant money to play with an idea that cannot work. In other words, a scam. Even IF it works, can it be scaled up to be profitable? If it can, why isn't it on the market?

    Getting 'experts' to back you claim is only a matter of money, not truth.

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  23. Jed Rothwell writes:
    I think I can state with some authority that there has seldom been a single experiment that answered all questions in a totally convincing fashion.

    I haven't asked for answering all the questions, I have asked for replicability. It is possible, and necessary for a publishable paper, to come up with a replicable experience, no matter how small and incremental the knowledge advancement is. What Levi et al. wrote is not replicable.

    Anonymous writes:
    The main mistake by dr. Guglielmi is to make it a matter of ethics, this is what I really disagree with.

    You seem to think that it is ethical for university researchers to associate the name of their prestigious institutions to a simple measurement that involves no research and no high level expertise, on a device that is not under their control, in a way that is not reproducible and that has been deemed sloppy by experts, and all this to the exclusive benefit of a private individual. OK, let's agree to disagree.

    Jed Rothwell writes:
    I have never heard from a scientist or engineer who expresses doubts about the reality of cold fusion. There are such people, but they have not contacted me.

    I wonder why.

    Gerrit writes:
    Do you share the opinion of Bardi that the E-cat belongs to the realm of pathological science?

    Yes. Until there are no publications on Nature or similar high profile journals, and until there are no replications, all claims of extraordinary discoveries that drag along for years, whose setup changes continuously, whose measurements are unnecessarily baroque, and so on and so forth, should be considered pathological science. The pattern is typical.

    Nobody questions ethics when a commercial company directly or indirectly benefits from the outcome of scientific endeavour.

    Of course not, knowledge feeds into the economy. Still, universities advance knowledge. For example, when they test a drug, the test is under the full control of the researchers and it can be replicated, this becomes common useful knowledge. Of course if the test is positive the drug manufacturers earn money. This is OK because other researchers can replicate and possibly find mistakes, etc. The problem with Rossi's case is that the researchers didn't have full control and the test is not replicable. If Rossi gave his device to a couple independent universities for testing in their own labs, then there would be no problem.

    I wrote:
    This begs another question: why are the authors of the arXiv manuscript so embarrassed?

    Jed Rothwell writes:
    They are not even slightly embarrassed. What makes you think they are?!?

    The fact that they only answered my two questions after I asked twice, and then they didn't allow me to publish their answer. Two days have passed now and several other emails have been exchanged, but still no publishable answers. If it's not embarrassment, what is it? There are at least three persons in copy of these emails who write on national newspapers and influence policy, it's no small matter for the authors, especially for Levi, so I think embarrassment it is.

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    Replies
    1. " Until there are no publications on Nature or similar high profile journals"

      I remind you tha Nature explicitly, and it is validated by facst, exclude all cold fusion paper from any consideration.

      They rejected a paper from ENEA (DeNinno, report41), pushed by Nobel Price Carlo Rubbia, proving the reality of LENR by correlating He4 and heat produced, because of "no room"... other similar journals rejected for valueless reason. It is clear that they don't even dare to say the Cold Fusion is banned.

      They rejected Oriani paper, after it was positively peer-reviewed

      They refused to update the error is Caltech paper bashing LENR, and of cource to admit the fraud that Eugene Mallove have witnessed as the editor of the late-tweaked paper of MIT pretended failed experiment.

      An that is only about LENR.
      On other subject we have case of proven rejection and acceptance of papers purely on political/networking reasons.

      And please, don't deny those fact, it is public.

      So you ask an impossible thing as a prerequisite.

      I assume that you don' trust Naturwissenschaften+, because there are Cold Fusion review and papers in that Scientific Journal.

      Note also that if you were in anyway competent in quantum physics you would know that LENR is not impossible based on the laws.
      One physicist more competent than you, Einstein, facing the evidence of LENR in hydrogen filled x-ray tubes, by Sternglass
      http://www.lenr-forum.com/showthread.php?673-Sternglass-X-ray-tube-LENR-experiments-(1951-)&highlight=sternglass ), have concluded that
      - he could not find how it could happen
      - that it may be a effect linked with coherent behavior of particles.
      the same vision as Preparata facing LENR in hydrides.

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    2. Thanks for sending all these comments, folks. But let me ask just a question to the enthusiast. If you are so happy about the E-Cat, why do you gang up here? Why don't you just pester Mr. Rossi until you have the privilege of buying one?

      Mr. Guglielmi is not trying to convince anyone that the E-Cat doesn't work. He is only worried (and correctly so) about the behavior of people who are paid with public money and, as such, they should maintain certain standards to avoid damage to the institution they belong to.

      As I said in a previous comment, personally I very much encourage believers to put their money where their brains are. If you are right, you'll make a lot of money - at worst, you'll learn something useful. So, by all means do it!




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    3. Guglielmi wrote: OK, let's agree to disagree.

      No, I disagree to disagree. Giving these credentials for this purpose is a matter to be judged solely by those prestigious institutions themdelves. I don't judge on their behalf and why should you.

      I'm aware that their commissioned task was only a measurement... as well as avoiding being fooled by anything deceptive. This is why I said it isn't material for the usual peer reviewed process; it isn't their research and perhaps you overlooked what I clearly said and think about these aspects (and not only lacking replicability).

      You are also doubting their expertise; I think it is very well for other experts to offer constructive criticism, but some of the mud slinging that's circulating doesn't qualify for such (and you should avoid it too). Some did offer it, e. g. asking if there could have been a DC component; this was addressed and in the end, reasoning on the setup of their electric measurements and Hartman's diligence, they concluded that such a trick can be ruled out.

      I pointed out that it was done for two entities and funded by them. Talking about "the exclusive benefit of a private individual" was quite out of place. I even gave reason for this which goes way past these two entities. You seem to be overlooking a lot (these and other things) in what you're replying to.

      Notice that I use the anon progile but I sign myself in the end.
      Cheers, Chris.

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    4. Ugo Bardi wrote: He is only worried (and correctly so) about the behavior of people who are paid with public money and...

      It has salready been clarified that the test was commissioned and paid by ELFORSK and Vattenfall. You're objection about public mony comes crashing down to the ground. What damage? Are you able to say that Bologna and Uppsala universities and the RIT of Sweden have any objections to them giving these credentials?

      Now don't count me into the rest of what you say. I have been addressing Guglielmi's points as they are. Here and elsewhere, I get irked by the various fallacious attacks which have no scientific merit, especially when they are enacted by professionals who give high resounding credentials. Talk about behaviour.

      And don't count me into the talk about where to put my money. I'm free to shove mine up my very own, as long as it's myself that so chooses.

      Cheers, Chris.

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    5. You don't get it: it is not a question of money. It is a question of personal integrity.

      Delete
    6. I believe scientific enquiry starts with observing what appears to be a new phenomenon, followed by excluding the possibility of observational mistakes. It's only then that one can start to research how the phenomenon works.

      Strangely you don't agree to that, because you argue that without being able to take the last step, taking the first two is unethical.

      I assume you have never read any peer reviewed literature on the "anomalous heat effect", which has been replicated numerous times.

      Incidentally the inventor of the ecat states that similar effects are happening inside his reactor. Yet you readily admit that you believe the ecat is pathological science. You offer some indications as evidence "so on and so forth".

      I think that the typical pattern here might well be: ignorance, bias, wrong conclusions.

      You are an expert in proof theory. I am not sure if it is possible, but could you try to apply it to your reasoning ? We would all be interested in the outcome.

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    7. Ugo Bardi,

      it was you that very much encouraged believers to put their money where their brains are, after having complaint about the behavior of "people who are paid with public money". So why did you rebuke that it isn't a question of money? You accused me of not getting this, but I could almost say that it's the other way around, I was telling you it isn't.

      Cheers, Chris.

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  24. "Thanks for sending all these comments, folks. But let me ask just a question to the enthusiast. If you are so happy about the E-Cat, why do you gang up here? Why don't you just pester Mr. Rossi until you have the privilege of buying one?"

    This is happening indeed, but more professionally.

    That it is real does not change the fact that running a business in a gold-rush like now is risky...

    Some people already prepare to buy license, others prepare innovation fund to fund applications development (LENR-Invest target that), consulting groups...

    Some more classic entrepreneur prepare to propose their technology to build a product, or try to develop their technology with a scientist of the domain.
    And who knows what the Japanese corps, and the Chinese universities are doing.

    However I agree that buying a e-cat through crowd-funding, just to test it, is stupid. LENR is clearly profitable, and best method is to use the classic method for profitable business : investment, partnership, R&D, acquisitions.

    At worst buying an e-cat for a local community may be useful. I don't know if it is what will be proposed to Neuchatel.

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  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry,Ben. Insults and paranoia are all right, but that you use this thread to promote sales of bathroom furniture is really too much.

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  26. > You don't get it: it is not a question of money. It is a question of personal integrity.

    1. Testing the e-cat, without being able to look inside, is unethical only if the test reports a false positive result, because it will help a fraudster.

    2. Testing the e-cat, without being able to look inside, is ethical if the test reports a true positive result, because it is a great invention.

    Similarly for false negative obscuring a genuine great invention, and true negative results exposing a fraudster. The test reported a positive result, but we don't know for sure whether it is a false or true positive result. Personally I'm leaning towards true positive result because I'm not aware of any technical criticism that can challenge the conclusions.

    In any case, the ethics depend very much on our personal outlook. The pessimist will say that the test is unethical because he expects a fraud or inconclusive results. The optimist will say that the test is ethical because it will either expose a fraud or a great invention.


    A.B.

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  27. Alain Coetmeur writes:
    I remind you tha Nature explicitly, and it is validated by facst, exclude all cold fusion paper from any consideration.

    I don't believe you. Please refrain from posting anything else than a link to an official written statement that justifies your `explicitly´. Otherwise, I'll ignore any hand waving about conspiracies etc.


    Anonymous Chris writes:
    It has salready been clarified that the test was commissioned and paid by ELFORSK and Vattenfall. You're objection about public mony comes crashing down to the ground.

    There is no contract between Elforsk and UniBO, and this means that at least Levi's salary has been paid for by UniBO. This is by far the biggest expense, given that the instrumentation is trivial.

    In any case, this value is in turn trivial compared to the value of loss of reputation. If you were a scientist you would know that reputation is the biggest asset for every academic institution. It also directly translates into money, for example when it is assessed for assigning grants.

    To the rest of your arguments I simply answer: why are the authors of the manuscript so embarrassed by my two questions?


    Curbina writes:
    The e-cat report fits the bill of technical publication

    No, it doesn't, it's neither scientific nor technical because nobody can reproduce the `experiment´ it describes. It cannot be used for anything else than propaganda.


    Gerrit writes:
    I believe scientific enquiry starts with observing what appears to be a new phenomenon, followed by excluding the possibility of observational mistakes.

    We can agree on this, but how can we exclude that in the case of the `Rossi phenomenon´ there are no observational mistakes? We cannot trust the researchers who observed the `phenomenon´ because they were not in control, by their own admission, and we cannot reproduce the observations. Science on the Rossi device can only start if the device is subjected to normal scientific experiments under the full control of experts. So far we have only seen marketing gimmicks.

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  28. The issue of friendship would be far less of an issue were it the case that Rossi did not have a lengthy criminal record. Occam prevails, any way you slice it. So does common sense. Caveat Emptor for those who take the word of a convicted criminal.

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