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Are Low Energy Nuclear Reactions for real?

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  • Are Low Energy Nuclear Reactions for real?

    Cornell University is surely a respectable institution. Today I discovered a paper published under its imprimatur: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913

    I don't expect any TWebbers to be able to debunk that, if it can be, but I put that out here anyway.

    I got the link from this website (advertisement-supported): http://lenrweb.com/slide_15.html
    The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

    [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  • #2
    It goes by the more common name of "Chemistry"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
      Cornell University is surely a respectable institution. Today I discovered a paper published under its imprimatur: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913

      I don't expect any TWebbers to be able to debunk that, if it can be, but I put that out here anyway.

      I got the link from this website (advertisement-supported): http://lenrweb.com/slide_15.html
      I see no "imprimatur" of Cornell. The fact that they host Arxiv implies no more imprimatur than does a public library that holds a book or journal.

      The claims sound quite fishy and wrong, almost a repeat of the discredited "cold fusion" claims of the 1980's, as detailed in the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Catalyzer
      "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Ė Albert Einstein

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
        Cornell University is surely a respectable institution. Today I discovered a paper published under its imprimatur: http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.3913

        I don't expect any TWebbers to be able to debunk that, if it can be, but I put that out here anyway.

        I got the link from this website (advertisement-supported): http://lenrweb.com/slide_15.html
        Cornell hosts the preprint server. That's all. It doesn't vouch for the reliability of anything on the server, and preprints have not been peer reviewed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, Cornell is merely the host! Another fiasco of a thread start! But have NASA, MIT, DOE, DARPA et al. publicly disowned the claims of their involvement, to your knowledge? If so, please provide a link or links. And this website claims 1700 peer-reviewed papers worldwide.

          I'll look at the Wikipedia entry now, but I might not comment.
          The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

          [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

          Comment


          • #6
            This looks worthless. The "inventor" of the device (Rossi) has a history with such claims that raises red flags from the get go, and the flaws in the supposed test are legion. (Note that the paper cited is not by Rossi himself, but his restrictions mean that the tests reported by the authors of the preprint can't substantiate the claims.) I suspect the preprint cited here could not get through any serious peer review in a reasonable science journal. There have been a number of blog reactions (which are of course also not reviewed) some of which express cautious interest and others which eviscerate the flaws.

            There is another preprint on the same Cornell server that documents flaws in the study: Comments on the report "Indications of anomalous heat energy production in a reactor device containing hydrogen loaded nickel powder". Also, if you look through the blog references in the original link you find more informally written commentary which might be easier to follow.

            For my money; a good summary from a well regarded source of commentary on science is here: 5 Reasons Cold Fusion is Bunk. (at discovery.com)

            I also like the final word from this blog: More On Rossi's E-Cat: Ericsson And Pomp Rebut "Independent" Test. (By Tommaso Dorigo at science2.0; not as consistently reliable as discovery imo, but still worth a look)

            Source: Tommaso Dorigo at science 2.0

            It remains for me to note, as I think I also did before, that I don't believe that much harm has been done by the E-CAT to the perception of this science by the general public. When interest is raised on otherwise distant and arcane topics, we always win. As Oscar Wilde once noted, it is not important what they say about you; more important is that they talk about you! So let's keep talking about cold fusion and keep by-standers interested: with their help and support, maybe some honest version of Andrea Rossi, somebody with a truly working idea, will one day indeed come out of the woods and change our life...

            © Copyright Original Source



            That is -- I'm thoroughly skeptical about cold fusion; but remain interested and excited about any possibility of something new in the world of science. This isn't it; not so much because of the claim, but rather because of how it was investigated and presented. The preprint cited here describes tests that don't actually show anything because of the many flaws -- most of which follow from the manifestly unscientific approach and restrictions of the "inventor" in question. I personally think the hope expressed in the above quote is far fetched; IMO there's no reason to think a truly working idea is going to come out of the woods one day. But by all means keep looking! If someone more credible comes up with a proper scientific demonstration of such a phenomenon it would be wonderful.

            Cheers -- sylas

            Addendum added in edit:

            Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
            Oh, Cornell is merely the host! Another fiasco of a thread start! But have NASA, MIT, DOE, DARPA et al. publicly disowned the claims of their involvement, to your knowledge?
            I don't know what claims of their involvement you mean. Can you clarify? As far as I can see, those organizations have no involvement at all in the study you have cited, and none is claimed.

            They may have some involvement in other scientific work looking at the possibility of low energy nuclear reactions -- I don't know about that. If so, there's nothing wrong with that or any reason to disavow it: but I'd be surprised if they were doing anything more than giving funding in the usual way for scientists who make a credible case for support of their own research into whatever. I don't think they were involved at all in this study though.

            Cheers -- sylas
            Last edited by sylas; 03-30-2014, 07:59 PM.

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            • #7
              Sylas! Long time no type!

              Comment


              • #8
                There are at least three possibilities:
                1) Rossi is trying to defraud people. Not necessarily for the money, but maybe he enjoys trying to fool people as long as he can or has serious psychologial "needs."
                2) He is fooling himself.
                3) Despite acts and behavior that look suspicious, his work is bearing fruit.

                Neither 1) nor 2) imply that others' work are therefore fraudulent. Now let's assume for a moment 3). People can be malicious or mistaken. Especially, they can be turned off by lack of scientific reproducibility. Also, someone cited Rossi's refusal to let people look at the innards of his invention as suspicious, but I've seen a statement that says Rossi wants to keep details of his invention secret for commercial purpose.

                After reading this Wired article http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...roundup/page/1 I am puzzled about why things are so murky around Rossi, but some parts of the article are quite intriguing.

                I may not post about any fresh developments again until . . . well, when they appear in the news.
                The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sylas View Post
                  I don't know what claims of their involvement you mean. Can you clarify? As far as I can see, those organizations have no involvement at all in the study you have cited, and none is claimed.

                  They may have some involvement in other scientific work looking at the possibility of low energy nuclear reactions --
                  In that link I gave to the series of slides, all those organizations were cited as involved in LENR. I did not mean Rossi's work specifically. Sorry.
                  The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                  [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                    Also, someone cited Rossi's refusal to let people look at the innards of his invention as suspicious, but I've seen a statement that says Rossi wants to keep details of his invention secret for commercial purpose.
                    The main issue for me is not so much that his restrictions as suspicious, but they make it impossible to do a valid scientific test. There's more than only the refusal to look at the innards involved; a number of other restrictions and omissions (whether suspicious or not) mean that the tests performed are simply not able to show what is claimed. As far as I can see, this includes isotope testing of the reaction products, proper control of the AC energy input, testing for radiation; and the curious temperature measurement used (IR imaging). The citations I gave above are more specific and from people with more relevant background and knowledge.

                    If he makes a commercial product; excellent! But over the years the only commercial opportunity for Rossi that is apparent, is winning funding or venture capital from the naive, I'm afraid.

                    Best -- sylas

                    PS. Hi Jon, and others!

                    Addendum added in edit.

                    In that link I gave to the series of slides, all those organizations were cited as involved in LENR. I did not mean Rossi's work specifically. Sorry.
                    No problem. As indicated previously... I don't see any reason for them to disavow involvement in LENR. There's been a fair bit of work done in the past on LENR, generally indicating that this is not likely to be a productive avenue for ongoing research. But it's perfectly okay for folks to keep trying out new ideas and theories and to seek funding for them.

                    Cheers -- sylas
                    Last edited by sylas; 03-30-2014, 08:54 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I see that in post #5 http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/sh...ll=1#post37130
                      that I omitted the link to the series of slides--here it is: http://lenrweb.com/slide_11.html
                      The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                      [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sylas View Post
                        The main issue for me is not so much that his restrictions as suspicious, but they make it impossible to do a valid scientific test. There's more than only the refusal to look at the innards involved; a number of other restrictions and omissions (whether suspicious or not) mean that the tests performed are simply not able to show what is claimed. As far as I can see, this includes isotope testing of the reaction products, proper control of the AC energy input, testing for radiation; and the curious temperature measurement used (IR imaging). The citations I gave above are more specific and from people with more relevant background and knowledge.

                        If he makes a commercial product; excellent! But over the years the only commercial opportunity for Rossi that is apparent, is winning funding or venture capital from the naive, I'm afraid.
                        Maybe Rossi just wants to go commercial. I would indeed take millions of happy customers as adequate scientific proof! Heck, I'd settle for 1,000.
                        There's been a fair bit of work done in the past on LENR, generally indicating that this is not likely to be a productive avenue for ongoing research.
                        But the phenomena is so poorly understood, that's not a reason to quit.
                        The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                        [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sfs1 View Post
                          Cornell hosts the preprint server. That's all. It doesn't vouch for the reliability of anything on the server, and preprints have not been peer reviewed.
                          Correct, and I also agree the work is suspect to the point of being worthless as sylas described.
                          Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-30-2014, 11:01 PM.
                          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeareís Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                          go with the flow the river knows . . .

                          Frank

                          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                            Maybe Rossi just wants to go commercial. I would indeed take millions of happy customers as adequate scientific proof! Heck, I'd settle for 1,000.
                            Originally posted by sylas
                            There's been a fair bit of work done in the past on LENR, generally indicating that this is not likely to be a productive avenue for ongoing research.
                            But the phenomena is so poorly understood, that's not a reason to quit.
                            We seem to be talking past each other. I also would be ecstatic if Rossi did actually go commercial and had happy customers. He doesn't really need a scientific proof of the mechanism for that. He just need to sell something to someone who actually uses it as an energy source in some commercial application, and is happy with the result.

                            ONE such customer would be really exciting news.

                            But so far, he's still just making prototypes and doing tests that don't really stand up as demonstrations that the device does what is being claimed. For years now.

                            Also, I haven't said anything about whether anyone should quit. Indeed, I've said quite explicitly that it's a good thing for scientists to keep chasing up ideas and seeking funding. As said previously, I don't see any reason any organization should disavow working on LENR.

                            What I do say is the work which has been done already suggests that this is not a productive avenue for ongoing research. If there was a real phenomenon here that we didn't understand, then that would be an excellent reason to keep studying. But what the research tends to indicate is not so much that the phenomenon is poorly understood... rather than the phenomenon doesn't exist at all. That's the best supported hypothesis at present. IMO -- and in that of most working physicists -- the research indicates NOT a phenomenon that is poorly understood -- but a phenomenon that doesn't exist at all. Make sense?

                            The slides you link to are much more upbeat about prospects, which is of course their prerogative. But those slides include as positive results all kinds of experiments which have been pretty thoroughly investigated and confirmation invariably fails. This aspect of the research into LENR is missing from the slides. LENR seems to be a small and fringe field of science rife with credulous optimism and frankly pretty shoddy experiments.

                            Now again... this ISN'T a reason for ethusiasts to quit. Scientists are perfectly free to explore all kinds of ideas, including ones running counter to conventional physics. It is a good thing for such ethusiasts to seek and receive funding for exploring their ideas. It's not that anyone is trying to STOP them. It's rather than nothing yet stands as a good repeatable indication of a LENR phenomenon at all. If that changes -- great! But so far: not happening.

                            By all means keep your eye on the news and keep reporting any further results you find!

                            Best wishes -- sylas

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sylas View Post
                              But those slides include as positive results all kinds of experiments which have been pretty thoroughly investigated and confirmation invariably fails.
                              What that says: LENR researchers are either quacks or fools.
                              This aspect of the research into LENR is missing from the slides.
                              I won't ask for an example. Yes, rather frequently researchers could not get scientific reproduction of experimental results. I am unwilling to dismiss the whole field as of now based on that. And why do you dismiss the claim of 1700+ positive reports? Are there that many quacks and incompetents? Have you investigated a substantial fraction of those? If so, where is your detailed critique that would strongly create doubt?
                              LENR seems to be a small and fringe field of science rife with credulous optimism and frankly pretty shoddy experiments.
                              Well, yeah, unfortunately. But to be frank, I suspect you are not as familiar with the LENR field as your replies make you appear to be. Sorry about that opinion.
                              The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                              [T]he truth Iím after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -ó Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                              Comment

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