I spoke with Celani about the Rossi demonstration. He attended the demo, as
you see in the video. He will describe it formally but I asked for an
informal sense of it, and whether he found it "convincing." He said a few
things which I describe here along with some of my comments:
The demonstration and presentation were somewhat chaotic, with many people
asking questions and a spirited discussion underway (as you see in the video
even if you do not speak Italian). It was hard to concentrate on the actual
test that was underway. [My comment: that's not anyone's fault. You cannot
do a definitive test in front of 50 physicists, nor should you try.]
They had difficulty starting up the reaction.
Celani was personally disappointed and I think upset that they prevented him
from using the particle detector he brought along. He said, "what is the
point of calling in scientists if you don't let them do independent
He said the vapor regime is complicated and difficult to judge. I pointed
out that with the power input the water should only be 20 deg C warmer, so
even if there was wet steam that is still evidence of considerable excess
heat. He agreed. He said the ability to generate steam means the temperature
is high which is very important from a technological point of view. But for
a demonstration of this nature it would be easier to evaluate the result if
they would increase the flow rate and keep the water temperature below 90
deg C. The calorimetry becomes much more complicated above that temperature.
[My comment: good point, and that is what they plan to do with the 1 MW
I wouldn't say Celani considers that a reason to doubt so much as a reason
to say the results may be a large approximation. You need to know more
before you can conclude it was 4 kW excess or 12 kW excess. [True. I am not
qualified to determine if steam is wet or dry, but I think a reasonable
default position is to assume that Dr. Galantini knows what he is doing, and
he picked the right instrument. If it turns out he does not know what he is
doing, I have committed a Fallacious Appeal to Authority, and the excess is
much lower than 12 kW, but still significant.]
He said he did not look at the end of the hose in the sink in the bathroom,
but he did note that it was making a lot of noise from steam. I think any
noise rules out the "diverted water stream" hypothesis. It is a distinct
noise, after all, and a flow of 0.3 L per minute of warm water makes no
noise at all at the end of the hose.
We will know a lot more tomorrow, but took the opportunity to ask him a few
questions about issues that have been discussed here.
Regarding the academic caution expressed by Levi, David Nagel, and now
Celani in his conversation with me, let me put myself in their positions. I
know how to speak academese even though I am not a member of that tribe. I
might tell a reporter "it is not fully convincing." I would have some
specifics in mind:
* They have not proved beyond any conceivable doubt that it is far beyond
the limits of chemistry.
* They have not allowed independent experts to look at the transmuted
* They have not allowed many independent tests yet.
* There are still a few plausible hypotheses floating around about how it
might be faked. I do not take them seriously, but any plausible hypothesis
deserves to be tested. It would be unreasonable to test every silly notion
that pops into the minds of pathological skeptics, such as the idea that
hundreds of rats drank the water in Mizuno's heat-after-death event, or the
notion that Rossi has invisible hidden wires or chemical fuel in the cell.
You have to draw the line at plausible, grown-up hypotheses.
Those are not complaints. Rossi, Levi and the others did a lot. They are
doing more. All in good time these others steps can be done, and I think
they will be done. But it would be wise to reserve a small slice of doubt
until then. Why should we jump to the conclusion this is real? I can't see
any benefit to that. I would not jump to the opposite conclusion that it
can't be real, so it must be fraud. There is no harm in saying: "It looks
good so far, and I cannot think of any reason to doubt it, but let's go
through a series of steps that will confirm it beyond any doubt."