On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax
<a...@lomaxdesign.com>wrote:

> At 10:33 AM 2/21/2011, Joshua Cude wrote:
>
>
>  On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 8:49 AM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <<mailto:
>> a...@lomaxdesign.com>a...@lomaxdesign.com> wrote:
>>
>
>  So I'm going to ask, as to cold fusion in general, "what has been
>>> promised" and what do promises have to do with science?
>>>
>>
>> A new energy source has been promised.
>>
>
> By whom?


Maybe you're new to the field. Promises have been made by Pons & Fleischmann
first in 1989 (just watch their interviews on youtube, where they claim it
is the ideal energy source: clean and unlimited and simple) and then by just
about every cold fusion advocate since, including McKubre on 60 minutes
promising cars that don't need refueling, Rothwell's entire book of
promises, and promises from shady characters like Dardik and Rossi. There
are endless promises every time the topic arises.




> And, I'll ask again, "What to promises [and speculations] have to do with
> science?"
>

I'm not sure what you're getting at. Many scientific breakthroughs and
inventions are associated with the promise of benefits to mankind. Insulin
promised to save the lives of diabetics, and delivered; high temp
superconductors promised cheaper magnets, but have not delivered (yet). Cold
fusion promised abundant, clean energy, and has not delivered.


>
> Cold fusion is a natural phenomenon, it promises nothing unless a way can
> be found to make it happen reliably and with sufficient return on energy
> input to cover losses.


Well, yes, but there are many claims of reliability (100%) with huge returns
(10, 20, even hundreds), but still no delivery on the promise.


> Muon-catalyzed fusion, when discovered, was first thought to be a possible
> energy source. That remains as a possibility, but, the problem was, nobody
> knows how to make muons and keep them active long enough to recover the
> energy cost.
>
>
>
Muon-catalyzed fusion was discovered by the associated radiation (neutrons).
Cold fusion was claimed on the basis of excess energy. That's a big
difference. If you start with excess energy, then there's no need to find a
way to get excess energy.



>  And... "convinced of what"?
>>>
>>
>> Convinced that nuclear reactions in cold fusion experiments have produced
>> measurable heat.
>>
>
> Thanks. Now, may I assume that you are not ignorant of the literature?
>
> There are two questions here: the first is "measurable heat."


Actually, I could have made that more restrictive. I am not convinced that
cold fusion experiments have produced excess heat, where by excess heat, I
mean heat not associated with electrical or chemical inputs; so that no
indication of a potential power source is demonstrated.

We have a huge number of experiments, some being repeated series of
> identical experiments, showing "measurable heat." To be clear, this means,
> for most experiments, heat that is not expected from known prosaic
> processes, also called "anomalous heat."
>
> Anomalous heat is heat of unknown origin, by definition. Is there such
> heat?
>

I don't believe there is. Obviously, the temperature readings are not
completely understood by the experimenters, so there is something unknown,
but evidence for excess heat is not compelling.


> The second part of the question concerns the origin of the heat, whether
> the origin is nuclear or not. May we agree that anomalous heat, by itself,
> does not prove "nuclear."
>


Well if excess means not chemical, and not electrical, there are not very
many other options available; it's not likely to be gravitational.



>
> But if we cannot agree that there is anomalous heat, surely we will be
> unable to agree on "nuclear."


Right.


> That's why the 2004 U.S. DoE review panel, 18 experts, was evenly divided
> on the question of excess heat, half the reviewers thinking that the
> evidence for it was "conclusive," but only one-third considered the evidence
> for nuclear origin to be "convincing or somewhat convincing."
>

"[The] reviewers were split approximately split approximately evenly"
between "1) evidence for excess power is compelling, to 2) there is no
convincing evidence..."



"Compelling" is not "conclusive", and if you read the individual reports,
that sentence from the summary is favorable to cold fusion. By my reading,
only 6 or 7 of the reviewers really take excess heat at all seriously, and
only one finds it conclusive.



But whatever, at least half found the evidence lacking. And those who found
it at least somewhat compelling, not a single one was compelled enough to
recommend special funding for the field. That would be criminal if they
thought there was even a slight chance of solving the world's energy
problems. So there is no way you can say the evidence is overwhelming, based
on the DOE panel.



> Right? So, first question, is there anomalous heat?
>
> Given that there are massive reports of it, widely published, from hundreds
> of research groups, 153 reports in mainstream journals as of 2009, there is
> only one sane way for you to deny it, as least as far as I can imagine.
>
> That would be to claim that you know the origin of this heat, or at least
> that someone does. Otherwise it's still an anomaly. Right?
>

I think they are all mistaken. The existence of excess heat is an
interpretation, not a direct observation, and I think their interpretations
are wrong. If there were convincing evidence for excess heat, there'd be no
need to count the reports. The need to count is a sign of weak evidence.
When someone does an experiment that proves excess heat, and anyone in the
world (skilled in the art...) can repeat it with the same result, then you
will stop counting marginal results.



And like most of the scientific community, I feel no need to try to
understand how or why they have gone wrong. It's much too late for that. My
attitude is simply that if they were right, it would be easy to demonstrate
in an unambiguous way, and I'm happy to wait for the demo. They are claiming
energy density a million times that of chemical! If the experiment can't
power itself, don't waste my time. As Rothwell says, show me an isolated
beaker with a half liter of water palpably warmer than the surroundings for
an indefinite duration, and then call Bob Park. Not before.



It's much like a magician. I may not understand how he does his tricks, but
I know that if he could really perform magic, he wouldn't be wasting his
time doing two-bit shows pulling rabbits out of hats, he'd conjure up an
island in the South Pacific, with a harem to wait on his every need.

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