Stephen A. Lawrence wrote:

How do we know that all the water ( 8.8 l)  evaporated?

That's what the RH meter is for. (May have answered already.)

This is another example of the disastrous consequences of depending on a "black box" test. The stuff coming out could have been dry steam, or it could have been hot air.

No, for two reasons: 1. You can tell the difference between steam and hot air. 2. The volume of the machine is much smaller than the 18 liters of water injected into it over the course of an hour. There is no place inside it to hide the water. The fact that it is a black box does not reduce the certainty of this particular factor in any way.

In fact, unless the "dry steam" was recondensed and the water which resulted was weighed, all we know for sure is that Rossi has demonstrated a device which made some quantity of water /vanish/.

That would be even more remarkable than cold fusion. Vanish were? How? Into a 5th dimension?

The person presenting the demonstration -- Rossi -- claims he turned it into steam.

What proof is there of that?

The profs who designed the experiment made sure there was proof. They -- not Rossi -- confirmed it was steam.

With a single demonstration, in which only one researcher knows what's inside the box, unless you have rock solid confidence in that researcher, you should take /nothing/ for granted.

Maybe, but you should also not assume that someone can magically make 18 liters of water vanish into thin air.

Once again, this is also probably not the "trick". In fact, I don't know what the "trick" might be; chances are, if there's a "trick", it's something far cleverer than any idea we'll come up with here.

The only people who could engineer a trick would be the profs who designed the experiment. They would do this with something like a secret hose from the device that runs under the table, through the table leg and through the floor, with a secret hose bringing in steam.

I can think of a dozen ways to fake this. If this were a stage trick or a movie I could easily come up with ways to make it look real. HOWEVER, the key point is, the professors who did this experiment have no motivation to set up that kind of stage trick, and Rossi himself is physically incapable of doing it. Do you think they let him into the lab for a week with a team of special effects experts, so they could drill holes in the table and floor for tubes, or so that they could change the electric sockets?

As long as you trust the people who designed, implemented and operated the experiment, the black box in the middle is irrelevant. The whole point of an experiment is to reveal the nature of a sample (or "black box" if you like). Even if you know exactly how the sample works -- for example, if it is a Nicad battery attached to a resistor -- your experiment should treat it as a black box that might yield any answer, even an endothermic reaction. You wouldn't want to make a calorimeter that automatically rejects or hides an endothermic result, even if you have no expectation you will see one. A experiment that requires you understand what the test sample is and what it is doing is not, strictly speaking, an experiment at all.

All cold fusion experiments are block box tests. No one knows how the effect works, or in detail what causes it. This particular test happens to be a single-blind test, where one person knows the content of the device and the others do not. Actually, this is a more reliable way to confirm heat than a test where everyone knows the sample content. This reduces bias, or wishful thinking. The single-blind tests for helium conducted by labs in cooperation with Melvin Miles were more convincing precisely because the people testing the samples had no idea of the sample history, and no preconceived notions about what they might find, or what they were "supposed to" find. Miles sent them blank samples such a laboratory air, to help eliminate bias.

- Jed

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