At 05:38 PM 2/21/2011, Jed Rothwell wrote:
His strategy might be reasonable. But a consequence of that strategy
is that I'm not going to believe that Rossi is a demonstration of cold fusion.
That's rather short-sighted of you.
Please do not confuse "not going to believe" with "believe that it is not."
You do not know what is going on inside a Pd-D cathode either. You
can look right at it, and learn all there is to know from the ENEA
database, but you still do not know. If U. Bologna publishes a more
detailed, convincing report describing the 18-hour run, there will
be practically no room left to doubt this. David Kidwell told me
that if they could have the Rossi device in their 10 kW-scale
testbed at the NRL, they could conclude within an hour that it is
real, and they would not have to know the first thing about what is
inside it. (The testbed is described in ICCF-16 paper ET01. It is
way better than the U. Bologna calorimeter. It resembles the
industrial-scale testbed at Hydrodynamics, Inc., which was designed
by the Dean of Mech. Eng. at Georgia Tech. That system was
bulletproof as far as I know -- and as far as the Dean knew.)
As is quite traditional, I remain in some level of doubt until there
is independent confirmation. The more confirmation, the less doubt.
That's all. It's simply natural consequences. Lack of confirmation is
no proof of error, you know that. Even independent efforts to confirm
don't prove original error. Failure is failure.
"Failure" *can* be caused by original error, but it can also be
caused, easily, by uncontrolled variables.
So ... we need to wait, sometimes, if we want clarity and certainty.
There is some human discomfort with not knowing, so people rush to judgment.
Kidwell did say he would insist they conduct a test with Rossi not
present. I think this is slight case of magical thinking. I do not
see how a person standing in a room can affect dial thermometers and
The person can insure that untoward "interference" doesn't happen.
It's merely a sign, Jed. Kidwell wasn't crazy.
I'm not going to claim that it's fraud, on the other hand. I'm going
to claim that *I don't know* and that I think I don't have enough
information to decide.
You will soon, if we get a better report from Levi. I think you can
be 95% sure it is real now. The fraud hypothesis is awfully far
fetched, and getter farther fetched with each new test. Frankly, I
don't think it is worth worrying about.
Well, Jed, I respect *to a degree* your judgment. I'm certainly much
more inclined to be friendly to Rossi's report because of your comments.
But that's all I can say, and that's good, otherwise we could get a
domino effect from trust relationships. It's better if we have
Again, depending on so many details about which we know nothing, so
far, and may not ever know.
What do you mean "we" Kemo Sabe? (Quoting the old joke about the
Lone Ranger surrounded by hostile Indians.)
I mean that I think you do not have all the details, though you
certainly have more than I.
I've argued that making a huge fuss over Rossi simply discredits the
field . . .
I don't see why. For one thing, other researchers are not
responsible for what Rossi claims, except perhaps Focardi. Levi is
not a cold fusion research. Or he wasn't before Jan. 14.
It discredits the field because other scientists, reading about this,
and seeing the obvious reasons to be skeptical, if they see the cold
fusion researchers falling over themselves to praise Rossi or to
validate Rossi, see this as proof of their gullibility. I'm
suggesting prudence and caution, that's all.
Some of the damage will be done anyway. People are already using
Rossi as an example of overblown, inflated claims.
I don't see any damage.
I've seen it. Your turn to trust me, Jed.
People will say that it is fraud or inflated no matter who makes
what claim. Heck, they say that about Energetics Tech., even after
SRI replicated them spot on with some cathodes. So far I have not
seen any evidence that Rossi has made inflated claims. On the
contrary, he said it was 12 kW and it was probably closer to 15 kW.
That will not surprise anyone familiar with calorimetry. The method
they used was very lossy, as I said.
You are trusting evidence that has not been *independently*
confirmed. That's your choice! But the problem I'm talking about remains.
That could backfire, for them, but, then, if Rossi doesn't show up
with his 1 MW reactor, we end up looking very foolish.
I doubt he will complete that within a year! I am hoping we can
persuade him to let the NRL and others test the smaller gadget.
That's better than a 1 MW machine. More convincing, in a way.
I agree. However, Jed, Rossi doesn't agree, and can you see how this
increases my skepticism?
I sure as heck would not want to be present in Florida when they
turn on the big machine! The radiation Celani detected lasted for a
fraction of a second. If something like that lasts for a few
seconds, I imagine it might kill everyone within 100 m. It seems
like a stupendously bad idea to scale up to 1 MW at this stage.
I think the same. I wouldn't go near the thing. If it doesn't work,
waste of time, and if it works, it could be phenomenally dangerous.
Game theory analysis: don't play this game, negative sum. Payoff only
in a narrow region, and payoff small.
(I.e., if it works, and if it isn't dangerous, in fact, I'm sure I'll
find out soon enough!)
If someone trusts Rossi, thinks that his work is solid, great.
I wouldn't trust Rossi personally as far as I can throw him. I trust
calorimetry. I trust that no stage magician or con-man can fool a
watt-meter or thermometer.
That is, my opinion, quite naive. Both can be fooled, in many ways.
You've left out many conditions that might be necessary to make your
conclusion clear and solid. I'm not about to list them!
I have never heard of an incident in which a con-man did manage to
fool scientists using their own, off-the-shelf instruments.
And the skeptics in 1989 had never heard of a report of cold fusion.
"Never heard of" is not a proof of any kind, in fact. However, I
*have* heard of "convincing fakes" that did, in fact, run for a
substantial time before they were exposed. I'm not going to go
searching for them.
Believe me, I have seen and heard of a wide variety of con-men and
bogus over-unity energy claims. I am practically an expert on that.
None of them stood up to more than a few days of tests. None were
replicated, and none were replications of previous work (as Rossi is).
Don't forget that Levi et al. conducted tests and calibrations for 6
weeks prior the Jan. 14 test. It there was something like a hidden
thermal mass, they would have seen that in a few hours the first
day. You do not have to know anything about what is in the machine
to see that. Calorimetry alone tells you a great deal about a black
box. As I said, so far, it is the only reliable means we have of
knowing anything about the contents or inner workings of the cathode
black boxes in Pd-D cold fusion.
Just remember, it is possible to fool a small group of neutral
observers for a time. It is possible that an apparently neutral
observer is not neutral, has been corrupted in some way. What gets
really difficult as a con is to set up a fully-disclosed and open
experiment that is independently confirmed, by someone who can take
the thing apart and put it back together.
Rossi cannot make money unless he makes independent confirmation
possible. If he sells the devices, people can and will take them
apart, and if he hasn't fully disclosed the necessary information in
a patent, he has no protection at all. He could even "rent" the
devices, and people would still take them apart, even if they have to
steal them or violate a contract. It wouldn't work.
There is allegedly some device that enhances battery life in golf
carts, I had some discussion with a fellow who claimed to be working
for the company, which he would not disclose. The enhancement is
major, apparently, if I take his report at face value, and he was
explicitly claiming over unity. I remain quite skeptical, because all
it would take is for someone to buy one, take the damn thing apart,
and if it really works, they could become, themselves, rich. They'd
transfer the information to someone apparently independent, and *that
person would patent it.*
Oh! You had prior art? Prove it! Where is your patent? Applied for
and rejected? Was the necessary information fully disclosed? No? Case
closed, dismissed, granted patent upheld. Next time, fella, follow
the patent law if you want protection!
If the patent application were full disclosure, there might be hope
of a subsequent reversal of the patent office rejection....