Talk:Cold fusion/Archive3

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Movie[edit]

Blogs.scientificamerican.com. The "teen" mentioned bought his experimental cell and materials from me. This was an attempt to replicate SPAWAR neutron findings. Results are not yet available. --Abd (talk) 18:01, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

You have hereby disclosed your intense conflict of interest. --Tweenk (talk) 06:44, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Conflict of interest, technically, yes. In substance, no. Made $100 paper profit last year. Total investment is about $5000, mostly in precious metals, i.e., I could make money just selling gold and platinum wire, or in equipment that could also be resold for what I paid for it. The goal of the business is education, not profit. This isn't "free energy research." It's about basic science and the scientific method. --Abd (talk) 15:09, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
To put the nail in this, before I ever edited Cold fusion, in one of my first edits to RW, the "conflict of interest" was disclosed.[1], and that sale was mentioned. Hence Tweenk is to be congratulated for noticing the obvious. If he's a Wikipedia editor, he might think it's Really Important. Dunno. --Abd (talk) 19:41, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I didn't read your talk page before, but it's good that you are upfront about it. --Tweenk (talk) 22:39, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Tweenk. I started out very skeptical of cold fusion, not only because of the various obvious reasons why it would be impossible. After all, it had been conclusively rejected, hadn't it? Wasn't it not replicable? Wasn't the claim based on complete incompetence? Then I spent months (and now years) researching what had actually happened. Mmmm....
I'm not selling cold fusion, but research kits, designed for inexpensive attempts to replicate a famous recent report, the work of SPAWAR, finding substantial evidence for low-level neutron emissions, published by Naturwissenschaften in 2008,[2], and widely covered in news media at the time.
There is a backstory, about how military secrecy inhibited release of related information, and damaged the science, which I'll tell if anyone is interested. --Abd (talk) 23:16, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Trolling for trolls[edit]

Billionaire helps fund MU energy research.

Duncan talks ‘cold fusion’ at Saturday Science. --Abd (talk) 21:50, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Fact?[edit]

We presently say:

  • The experiment was first published in the Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, but on the same day it was published, it was also reported to the media,

My understanding is that Utah want for "science by press conference" before it was actually published. But I could be wrong so I've put in a fact tag.--BobSpring is sprung! 22:49, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

I fixed it. The article was full of errors like this, being written very casually, based on rumors and not by checking sources, by users not very familiar with the field.
The JEC article had been submitted, and was approved the day before the conference, at least according to Beaudette. Since it's not really that important, I haven't checked other sources, I have many with a detailed history. The biggest problem is that copies of the paper were not made available at the press conference, and many scientists rushed to confirm, having only the vaguest idea of what was being done, while the conference made it seem very simple. It was not. Pons and Fleischmann had not revealed, at the press conference, that after 5 years of work on this, they were up to seeing excess heat in about one out of six cells, and those were with runs of over a month. The hasty replication efforts were doomed to failure. Huizenga calls the affair the "scientific fiasco of the twentieth century" and everyone who knows the history, whether they think cold fusion is real or not, agrees. It also became "science by press conference" in the other direction.... Texas A&M also found neutrons, due to a malfunctioning detector, quickly announced it, and then had to retract it later the same week. That incident then became a meme, that cold fusion results were always bogus, due to error, after all.... Fleischmann and Texas A&M's neutrons ....
We'll see if my fix stands. There have been some knee-jerk reversions going on with this article.... --Abd (talk) 00:47, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
How come such a revolutionary result was only published in something apparently obscure like the "Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry"?--BobSpring is sprung! 10:14, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. You'd think word of such result would've spread like a wildfire throughout the scientific communtiy. And I agree that I'd like to see a link in the references to the article in that journal. 11:44, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
Because Pons and Fleischmann were electrochemists - the effect they thought was cold fusion was something they spotted in electrochemical work and thought "that's funny" - David Gerard (talk) 11:56, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
  • It was published in JEC because it was an electrochemical result, by one of the world's foremost electrochemists. The core of the paper is a (sketchy and hastily-written) report of experimental results. "Unknown nuclear reaction" was the conclusion, but conclusions are not what is most important in the first report of an anomaly. And it did spread like wildfire, and would have without the press conference. There are estimates that half the discretionary U.S. research budget was spent on attempting to replicate, in the next few months. When most initial replication attempts failed -- as was inevitable, in hindsight, they were clueless how to make the reaction happen -- the response rapidly became one of almost violent rejection, with claims of incompetence or worse. When replication successes started to come in, they were then ignored. The clearest example is Miles, who was listed as a negative replicator, in the 1989 U.S. DoE panel report. While that was in preparation, he started to get positive results, after months of effort, and telephoned the panel. His call was not returned, and his initial negative report was included in the final report. Eventually, positive reports in peer-reviewed mainstream journals outnumbered negative reports, but ... by then, few were watching.
  • It is seriously deceptive to claim that the FPHE effect (anomalous heat from highly-loaded PdD, popularly called "cold fusion") was "never replicated." But that's what David Gerard keeps putting back in the article, being almost totally ignorant of what actually happened, and apparently being dependent upon the Wikipedia article which his friends have controlled for many years. David Gerard is part of the cabal that effectively controls Wikipedia.
  • Pons and Fleischmann didn't know what kind of reaction it was, they were merely convinced that it was nuclear in nature, by the energy density. It's a very complicated issue, and understanding it is not helped by deception.
  • "Something they spotted" makes it sound accidental. They were investigating to see if they could detect any difference in results from the standard -- but not carefully tested -- prediction, that nuclear reactions could not occur under the conditions they were setting up. They expected, Fleischmann later wrote, to find nothing measurable. Then the "something" happened, a 1 cm cube block of palladium melted and partly vaporized, which takes more heat than would be available from chemistry in their open cell. By far. It burned a hole through the lab table and inches down into the concrete floor. And then they (1) scaled down (wouldn't you? -- but then people say, look at those dinky results! -- there have been several explosions and one death from this research) and (2) spent the next five years trying to get something to happen reliably. They were not ready to announce, they were only seeing excess heat in one out of six cells, but University legal forced them, because of an impending and apparently competing announcement from Steven Jones. All this can be sourced, by the way. If full data had been released with the press conference, it would all have turned out differently. But commercial issues had raised their heads. Uselessly, as it turns out. Commercializing this was in no way close, but they didn't realize fully, in 1989, how difficult it would be. Fleischmann has said that he thought it would take a Manhattan-scale project to accomplish commercialization. Maybe. There were signs, initially, that such resources might be made available, but then the widespread and almost violent rejection, primarily by physicists, resulted in the eventual cancellation of most project plans and proposals. The Japanese continued for some years and apparently gave up when they realized the level of effort that might be necessary. --Abd (talk) 19:05, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Pons and Fleischmann outside their field of expertise[edit]

David Gerard's comment bears looking at.

(→Pons and Fleischmann: early history. Note that Fleischmann was a top-class electrochemist; the trouble came when he started reasoning outside his expertise.)

That's true, in a way. First of all, Pons and Fleischmann got into trouble when they measured neutrons (or thought they were), and made some mistakes that experts in measuring neutrons would not have made. That was outside their field. They erred in reporting these results without review from those expert in measuring neutrons! That, in turn, was caused by the conditions under which that original paper was published, essentially under the gun.

However, they didn't do much "reasoning" outside their expertise. What they did was to claim that the effect they found was not chemistry. That's not outside their field, it's very much inside it. They then briefly looked at some nuclear possibilities, but those were based on the neutron error. They noted that the levels of neutrons they found were a billion times lower than would have been found if the main reaction was one of these fusion possibilities. So they then asserted that the main reaction must be something unknown.

And that's about as far as Fleischmann took it. Was he wrong? He erred in the neutron measurements, and in any conclusions based on that (but later work has, indeed, confirmed very low levels of neutrons, much lower than Fleischmann thought he had measured). There is now some evidence that very low levels of classical fusion reactions are taking place in PdD.

But the central claim, no, he almost certainly was not wrong. It's not chemistry. It's been heavily reviewed (the calorimetry was sound) and the essential conclusion (unknown nuclear reaction) stands, and the process has been confirmed as nuclear by correlated helium. Read that 2010 review!

Electrochemists said that cold fusion heat is beyond chemistry, so it must be nuclear, and nuclear physicists say that it can't possibly be nuclear, so it must be chemistry. Each is making a (negative) claim within their own field, but then challenging the knowledge -- or ignorance -- of other scientists, in the other field.

The physicists had substantially more political clout. And the enormous funding that has been poured into hot fusion research, many billions of dollars, was seriously at risk in 1989. Did that have an effect? If you think it had no effect at all, why, scientists are purely dispassionate, caring only about Truth, well, would you be interested in a bridge I have for sale? Cheap! Some are indeed like that, but some are not. If hot fusion research goes down the tubes, a lot of physicists will be out of work, which will affect salaries, even if the physicist is working elsewhere, it's the effect of dumping many in a field into the job market, it will depress overall compensation. If CF were accepted as worthy of research, some physicist may get the Nobel Prize for figuring out how it works, but that's peanuts compared with the funding of hot fusion research.

Cold fusion research will not employ many physicists, it's materials scientists who would get the bonanza. If certain unconfirmed research is replicated, it might be biochemists. Don't worry! Biological transmutation is so out there that there doesn't seem to be any interest in replication, even though the reports are, on their face, of interest (as Storms mentions in the 2010 review).

Whether it's real or not doesn't seem to be much of an issue, nor does real science, i.e., investigating anomalies to explore the edges of what we know and move beyond it. Too risky. Someone might think we are questioning What We Know.

Was there a conspiracy? I haven't seen any evidence, though, certainly people did talk to each other, and there has obviously been some behind-the-scenes manipulation, some of it came out in a legal grievance hearing some years back. Robert Park was involved. A little mess at the U.S. Patent Office.[3] A vicious little mess, that's what the hearing officer concluded.

Removing the pseudoscience category[edit]

It's blatantly obvious that "cold fusion" is not, per se, pseudoscience. The hypothesis that certain anomalous heat and isotopic effects, as covered in experimental work reported in peer-reviewed journals, are a result of some kind of fusion, is obviously falsifiable, and the scientific method is being used in formal work. That cold fusion has been called "pseudoscience" by individuals writing informally is a fact, but the placement of the pseudoscience category here is a factual conclusion, not based on evidence. Accordingly, I'm taking out the category. Please justify replacement, if that's what you choose to be responsible for. Thanks. --Abd (talk) 16:13, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Don't be ridiculous - David Gerard (talk) 16:17, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Can you direct us to recent/current peer-reviewed research at major universities or other research centers that take the topic as a serious topic of scientific inquiry? 'Cause that's pretty much the standard 'round these parts.P-Foster Talk ""Santorum is the cream rising to the top."" 16:21, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Preferably without being nebulous and long-winded? I checked out this Dieter Britz guy (mentioned above) and look what I found. Seems odd to me that the amount of papers has dropped off to almost nothing, which is the opposite of what I would expect for a subject that yields actual results. Cow...Hammertime! 16:30, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Interesting points are raised. They are off-point. Cold fusion does not meet the criteria for pseudoscience, even if it were true that there were no "recent/current peer-reviewed research...." and if it were simply true that publication rates have fallen. I'll address those issues separately when there are edits relating to them. Those conditions are sometimes asserted as a criterion for "pathological science.". Pseudoscience is fairly well-defined. The position that cold fusion is pseudoscience was creamed on Wikipedia. It's fringe science, arguably, for sure it was fringe for years. As to pathological science, at least there is reliable source for that claim, false or misleading as it is.
  • What characteristics of pseudoscience are met by condensed matter nuclear science, which is what the field calls itself -- avoiding the hypothesis of fusion? --Abd (talk) 17:08, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
It fails to avoid the hypothesis of nuclear reactions, which is just as bad. By your standards creation science does not meet the definition of pseudoscience, because they also have their own "peer reviewed" journals. --Tweenk (talk) 22:38, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
Weird. I haven't made that argument. The field is called CMNS. Yes, there is a Journal of CMNS, but that's irrelevant. Creation science is pseudoscience because it is using and developing non-falsifiable theories. The field of CMNS is not. "Nuclear" in the name is based on clear evidence that could be falsified, and there has been almost twenty years for the falsification to show up.
There are known and accepted nuclear reactions that only take place in the condensed matter state. "Nuclear reaction" was considered a strong candidate for the cause of the FPHE from the beginning, unless the calorimetry of Pons and Fleischmann could be impeached. It never was found to be defective, the contrary, and the Britz database shows 153 peer-reviewed papers confirming the effect. Confirmation has become routine in labs around the world, I'm seeing recent data that is apparently stable and reliable. The evidence for "nuclear" was at first circumstantial, i.e., the energy density was far higher than anything known for chemistry. However, when helium was found to be correlated with the heat, this was direct evidence. The alternate hypothesis is leakage from ambient, but that can easily be ruled out in the actual wor. Leakage would not magically produce the right heat/helium correlation for a nuclear reaction starting with deuterium and ending with helium. This is not anecdotal evidence. It comes from many experiments and studies by independent labs.
I saw no answer to the question, so I'll repeat it: What characteristics of pseudoscience are met by condensed matter nuclear science? Or is the term meaningless, mere perjorative rhetoric?
(Fails to avoid considering a hypothesis that I think wrong is not a characteristic of pseudoscience, if the hypothesis is falsifiable and is so treated.)--Abd (talk) 03:10, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
Cold fusion has the following hallmarks of pseudoscience: 1. Contrary to your claims, this effect is not reproducible under independent verification, or even consistently reproducible at all. It is always some cold fusion "researcher" who claims reproducibility, and even among them excess heat is rare, as shown in the 2010 review. 2. The existence of this effect, and especially the lack of gamma radiation, is contrary to the current understanding of nuclear physics, for which there is massive evidence. 3. Cold fusion proponents propose it as an alternative energy source with imminent practical utility, despite the aforementioned lack of reproducibility. 4. Proponents suffer from a persecution complex. 5. The theories proposed to explain the supposed effect, outlined in the 2010 review, are little more than rationalizations of observations. None of them explicitly make any testable prediction.
This is strong circumstantial evidence that all reports of cold fusion are simply scientific fraud, and the "Pons-Fleischmann heat effect" does not exist. --Tweenk (talk) 22:25, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
I have lifted the above section directly into the article, as the point evidently needs bludgeoning home - David Gerard (talk) 23:32, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
The characteristics asserted are not the primary characteristics of pseudoscience. A falsifiable theory is asserted in the Naturwissenschaften review.
The argument is circular. If someone reproduces the effect, they are a "cold fusion researcher." Therefore it is not independent replication? Miles reported failure in 1989, which was covered in the DoE report then. Then he started to see results. So does he then become disqualified as independent? What insanity is this?
What I meant is that in most cases only the inventor of the given setup obtains excess heat in this setup. --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
That's misleading. The general set-up now works for all investigators, who take the time to learn the state of the art. That's required for all difficult science. --Abd (talk) 17:36, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
The 2010 review is not as stated. There are now techniques that, in skilled hands, produce excess heat 100% of the time (or nearly so). It was only early replication efforts that mostly failed. But that's not the point. The 2010 review points to correlation of excess heat and helium. That came originally from early work by Miles (starting in about 1992) where, eventually, only 21 out of 33 cells showed excess heat. Of the 12 cells with no excess heat, no anomalous helium was detected. Of the other 21 cells, 18 showed anomalous helium, consistent with 24 MeV/He-4. (We could talk about the other 3.) There is no contrary experimental evidence in the whole history of cold fusion research, by hundreds of groups. So what Tweenk is saying is simply this: no evidence is going to be accepted. This is a characteristic of what the RW article calls "true pseudoskepticism."
What are those new techniques that produce heat "100% of the time or nearly so"? --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)


The lack of gamma is not evidence that the reaction is "contrary to the current understanding of nuclear physics," and I can show a recent nuclear physics textbook that says quite the contrary. The lack of gammas is evidence that the reaction is not d-d fusion, but there are other possibilities. Storms covers several. At least one of those possibilities, 2 D2 -> Be-8 -> 2 He-4, which produces no gamma, if it occurs, has been found to be predicted by quantum field theory from a physical configuration that might be possible in PdD. That's "current understanding of nuclear physics," and it's published in peer-reviewed journals, and your opinions are?
The reaction 2 2D2 -> 8Be is a quadrinuclear reaction. No such reactions are known; in fact, even trinuclear reactions were never observed. Even in chemistry, where the energy of activation is orders of magnitude lower, no quadrimolecular reactions are known. Storms' possibilities contain no discussion on how it could be determined which theory is true, and many of them are absurd, such as speculating that deuteron "clusters" are created (and they are held together by what exactly?), though I have not studied them in detail. I invite you to show us the textbook. --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes, it is a class of reactions not previously known to have any significant occurrence, and quite unexpected. However, clear evidence for multibody fusion was found by Takahashi in bombardment studies of PdD with deuterons. He found the fusion cross-section for 3D was increased over plasma expectation by 10^26. Takahashi is a hot fusion physicist, who started investigating cold fusion early on. He went on to study the quantum mechanics of trapped deuterium gas, and calculated, for a particular 4D configuration (which includes the electrons, so this is really molecular deuterium, two molecules) that the four would collapse (into a BEC) and fuse with 100% cross-section. This would produce Be-8, which would decay to helium with no gammas. This theory, however, is not yet accepted because
  • There is no experimental evidence, so far, for the presence of molecular deuterium in the lattice. However, some incidence would be expected.
  • There is no clear study or knowledge about how fusion within a BEC would behave. If many of the BECs decay immediately to helium, however, the helium would have high kinetic energy, which is not observed, there is no substantial charged particle or gamma radiation over 20 KeV (the so-called "Hagelstein limit," after a recent paper by Hagelstein establishing that limit from the experimental evidence).
  • There is no study of the incidence of formation of the configuration Takahashi studied. It is speculative as to whether or not this configuration is possible at the levels required. (Takahashi studied the "tetrahedral symmetric" configuration because it simplifies the math greatly. Which points out that we don't have math adequate to comprehensively analyze reaction rates in condensed matter. I learned that from Feynman in 1963. It's still true.)
  • Takahashi's predictions have been published under peer review. So has the work of Kim, another physicist, on BECs (Bose-Einstein Condensates) and the role they might play in cold fusion. (Naturwissenschaften, again, 2008 or 2009).
  • What is clear is that multibody fusion is being taken seriously by experts. But not by pseudoskeptics, who, as with anything else they choose to reject as a matter of belief, simply say it is impossible.
  • Further, this is really irrelevant. The conclusion of fusion does not depend on any particular theory as to mechanism, but rather upon the relationship between fuel and ash. Had the ash been identified and the correlation shown, before the 1989 U.S. DoE review, history would have been very different. This is the "extraordinary evidence" that was demanded, and it was seen to be that by Huizenga in 1994, he merely expected replication failure. "Mechanism" is the job of the nuclear physicists, not the chemists who discovered the reaction. Unless, of course, a chemical explanation can be demonstrated. That has not happened, period. Why would one expect chemists to come up with physics to explain what physicists had not anticipated, and that involves seriously difficult problems in quantum field theory?
  • As to the textbook, I'll come back with a citation. --Abd (talk) 20:54, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Models of the Atomic Nucleus, Norman D. Cook, Springer, 2010. Chapter on Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions. Cook is on record from something like 1989-1990 as writing that LENR could not be ruled out, because we simply didn't know enough to model the reactions under condensed matter conditions.
  • This will get you the chapter on LENR. A juicy quote:
The glib dismissal of cold fusion as "junk science" from 1989 has been shown to be truly "junk evaluation."
  • Yes, the woomeisters are winning, they have obviously taken over Springer as well as other major publishers. Only a few brave skeptics are holding the line, even though publishers are rejecting their papers. --Abd (talk) 21:21, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately this textbook is not credible. Googling reveals that Norman D. Cook appears to be a psychologist. I read an essay that explains his 'unified model of the nucleus'. It doesn't appear to have any mathematical content. The first equation is described incorrectly: he says it's a Schrodinger equation, but in fact this is a decomposition of the wavefunction into a radial and a spherical part, e.g. something completely different. Moreover, this equation is a common approximation for a spherically symmetrical system such as a hydrogen-like atom, but it is nonsensical for a nucleus. This fundamental error shows that he has no idea what he's talking about. Publication by Springer is not a sign of credibility, since the also publish books about homeopathy, e.g. Homeopathy in Medicine. The site which published the essay, FQXi, seems to be a hotbed of quantum woo. Here is a quote from the abstract of an essay linked from the main page entitled "A Method to Measure Consciousness, and Demonstrations of Worldly Multiplicity":

The role consciousness plays in the classic Young's Double-Slit Experiment (YDS) is represented Symbolically by Boolean Logic, and the resulting equations manipulated in order to interpret the results and clarify the role of the mind in this demonstration of particle duality.

So sorry, but this textbook does not convince me. It looks like drivel of yet another crank.

Regarding Takahashi: "He went on to study the quantum mechanics of trapped deuterium gas, and calculated, for a particular 4D configuration (which includes the electrons, so this is really molecular deuterium, two molecules) that the four would collapse (into a BEC) and fuse with 100% cross-section." If this is a more-or-less direct quote from him, this is enough to qualify him as a crank as well. Bose-Einstein condensate at room temperature? 100% cross section? Looks like he doesn't know what "cross section" means. Fusion in a Bose-Einstein condensate is nonsense. Fusion requires a large amount of energy to overcome the Coulomb barrier, while in a Bose-Einstein condensate nearly all atoms are in the lowest possible energy state. --Tweenk (talk) 01:00, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

No, that was my summary. Your statement about fusion in a BEC is essentially nonsense, you are assuming the result. He calculated it from quantum field theory. A BEC collapses, apparently, to a very small size, and Takahashi does the math. Have you read the paper? You are doing nothing but imagining stuff. "Cross-section" here merely refers to how often the reaction will occur under the conditions he studied. He comes up with 100%, within a femtosecond. Is he right? How would you know? Have you followed the math?
I can tell you I haven't, but that peer reviewers have accepted his papers, and he is, in fact, a hot fusion physicist with a long publication history. You are what?
I'd like you to notice that you are assuming, as a fact, that "fusion requires a large amount of energy to overcome the Coulomb barrier," which is an example of how a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I can show a clear and accepted counter-example, involving a catalyst. What kinds of catalysis are possible? What Takahashi is considering is essentially a form of electron catalysis. Electron catalysis doesn't work in an ordinary state, but might work in a BEC. And it's not only Takahashi proposing this, it is also Kim (Purdue University, published in Naturwissenschaften), and others.
And, once again, this is actually irrelevant to the basic issue of whether or not fusion is taking place in PdD. If Takahashi is wrong, then there is some other mechanism. Your reason for rejecting Takahashi, though, neglects the actual evidence that fusion is taking place. You are placing your shallow understanding of theory above actual experimental evidence. That's a form of pseudoscience, in fact.
Again, as to Cook. Cook has extensive long-term credentials in nuclear physics. Yes, he's also apparently a psychologist. So? You have a problem with someone having competence in more than one field?
I'm not competent to judge his specific math, but ... are you? How would I judge that? Have you published under peer review or in the academic press? What you've claimed is that he made a mistake. Now, I can find mistakes in the work of experts, where I happen to know a field well. That proves? I've edited work for publication, from experts. They make mistakes. That paper you cited looks like it might not have been edited for publication. So, error rates would be higher. If it was an error.


My major point has been that scientific publishers -- and Springer certainly is a major scientific publisher, the two largest in the world are, I believe, Springer and Elsevier -- are publishing work in cold fusion. Springer-Verlag is a for-profit publisher. If there is a field, like "complementary and alternative medicine" -- and that field obviously exists -- then for them to publish something in that field is hardly surprising. The field of alternative medicine studies non-mainstream stuff. But Springer-Verlag would not publish non-mainstream science in a mainstream scientific field, unless as a coverage of a live and significant controversy. A nuclear physics textbook? Nope, not plausible. And, below, I cite Krivit's work in another nuclear physics tertiary source published by Wiley Interscience, and I could also point to his work for Elsevier, in the Encyclopedia of Electrochemical Power Sources.
What you are showing, Tweenk, is that you are a crank, operating in a world that is no longer mainstream, because you are obviously searching for evidence to back up your pre-existing beliefs, that's why you toss in all kinds of irrelevant stuff, like "psychologist" or "Springer has published a book on homeopathy". You are not a skeptic, you are a believer, in particular coming up with ad-hominem arguments, and guilt by association, as examples.
Nothing wrong with skepticism, but it's clear that you've gone way beyond skepticism to defense of belief, and especially defense of belief in the validity of approximations of 2-body quantum mechanics, applied outside of the realm in which they have been experimentally verified.
"Yes, there is a lot of "quantum woo" out there, what I'd agree is real pseudoscience, at least much or most of it. Quantum mechanics raises obvious questions about the meaning of consciousness and observation, and lots of people are struggling with or speculating about that, some with serious knowledge of science (such as Brian Josephson) and some not. Again, so?
I'm pointing out the implications of the position you are taking, Tweenk. Apparently we can't learn about nuclear physics from a nuclear physics textbook, published by a major reputable publisher, sold as a textbook for general use, because .... because some anonymous Tweenk says the author is a crank? Because the author is also a psychologist? Because the huge publisher, about the largest scientific publisher in the world, also published a book on homeopathy (OMG), clearly under the Complementary & Alternative Medicine category, where any sane reader will know they are getting something not mainstream?
Look, I'm seriously skeptical about homeopathy as something that works based on the theory proclaimed. However, I bring up homeopathy with my MD, and he says, "Damn! Yeah, it makes no sense, but I've seen it work spectacularly." Sure, anecdotal evidence. He knows that and I know that, but the point, Tweenk, is that we don't understand the world fully, and especially, we don't understand what's happening in cold fusion. You have a simplistic idea of what's happening, based on what you believe. That is Cargo Cult Science. Go ahead and worship your cardboard cut-out science, but if you ever decide to investigate real science, you might have to let go of those spiders in your mind, your attachments. --Abd (talk) 02:50, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

--Abd (talk) 02:50, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

"it's clear that you've gone way beyond skepticism to defense of belief, and especially defense of belief in the validity of approximations of 2-body quantum mechanics" - again, there is no such thing as 2-body quantum mechanics.
"Cook has extensive long-term credentials in nuclear physics." - No, he demonstrably doesn't. He can't even get something as basic as the Schroedinger equation right. It's like you wanted write a textbook on statistical thermodynamics but couldn't get the three laws of thermodynamics right.
""Cross-section" here merely refers to how often the reaction will occur under the conditions he studied." - This is not what the term means in nuclear physics, which is roughly "probability of reaction expressed in apparent radius of the colliding nuclei". - Cross section is expressed in units of surface.
"He comes up with 100%, within a femtosecond. Is he right? How would you know?" - Because if he gave the result as "100%", he uses wrong units. And cross section is independent of time. I have the impression that you are using sciencey words often without knowing what they mean. --Tweenk (talk) 03:41, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
  • In modeling nuclear fusion cross-section, to simplify the math, 2-body approximations are made. I.e, 2 deuterons, for example. That's what "2-body quantum mechanics" refers to.
  • Cook was published on nuclear physics back in 1990, but I didn't see the citations in a brief search. The textbook is the second edition, so it's publication is not just a fluke. Hey, Tweenk, can you get an opinion from an expert on that paper? But it looks to me like at most you are looking at an error in using a technical term in a way other than what you expect. Was his math wrong? You are making up analogies to support your position. What this looks to me is a beginning student, too big for his britches. That doesn't mean you are wrong, by the way, just that you are obviously looking for fault, and when you look for fault, you can almost always find it, especially in a non-edited paper, as that might have been. Not formally published, apparently.
  • You may be quite correct to criticize my language, and I believe you are generally correct about the meaning of the "cross-section". I'm not a nuclear physicist, I simply studied physics many years ago, with Feynman. Am I using "cross-section" correctly? Not technically, that's obvious. However, I've seen the term used in connection with a probability, which obviously would be using it to mean something by derivation. The normal units of cross-section are barns, which always struck my as physicist humor. The barn is a unit of area. Reading a little, now, I see I was correct about the humor. A microbarn is called an "outhouse". And reading more, I see that Tweenk is essentially being a pedantic asshole, since barns are used to calculate the probability of an interaction, so what I expressed was the result of that calculation rather than the area itself. The percentage is what is actually useful, in context.
  • Takahashi, in his LENR Sourcebook paper (2008), doesn't use the term "cross-section." Here is something from the abstract:
Tetrahedral symmetric condensate (TSC) with 4 deuterons and 4 electrons has been proposed as a seed of clean 4D fusion with 4He product in condensed matter in our previous works. To solve molecular dynamics motion [he describes his mathematical technique].... We found that 4D/TSC got to the TSC-minimum state with 10 fm--20 fm radius in 1.4007 fs and 4D fusion rate was about 100% per 4D/TSC generation-condensation.... Study on 4D/Tetrahedral Symmetric Condensate Condensation Motion by Non-Linear Lengevin Equation, Akito Takahashi and Norio Yabuuchi, Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook, American Chemical Society/Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Takahashi's theory has been cited by Storms in his monograph on the field (The Science of Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, World Scientific, 2007), and in the 2010 Storms review, and in other reviews. It's obviously incomplete. Care to check his math? He's been published, and if you have a cogent criticism, there are journals which would consider it. I asked a quantum physicist to look at it, and it was too difficult for him. He didn't say it was nonsense, he simply could not deal with it ad-hoc. But for Tweenk, why, it's easy! If Takahashi is proposing a possible cold fusion mechanism, he must be a crank. End of topic, right? --Abd (talk) 05:07, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
"Was his math wrong?" - no, because the paper contained almost no math. It had one equation that was incorrectly described and in context was basically irrelevant, like he felt he needed to insert some Greek letters somewhere. It also had a few simple equations that assigned a position in a lattice to each nucleon based on its quantum numbers, typeset in a way that betray his complete lack of familiarity with mathematical typesetting.
I googled and glanced at one of Takahashi's papers. It is nearly incomprehensible, a barely coherent string of QM and statistical mechanics terms, interspersed with equations with unexplained arbitrary constants e.g. 11.85. Here is a quote.

We know that the ground state electron orbit (sphere) of D (or H) atom is the Bohr radius (RB=52.9 pm). The mean kinetic energy of 1S electron is 13.6 eV, the de Broglie wave length of which is 332 pm. And we know 2πRB=332 pm to satisfy the continuation of 1S electron wave function (same with the Bohr’s condition) by one turn around the central deuteron. No other states with shorter or longer wave length can satisfy the condition of smooth continuation of wave function, as ground state, for which we must in addition keep the condition that mean centrifugal force equals mean centripetal force.

  1. The Bohr orbit radius and the wavefunction are fundamentally incompatible concepts. The first is a concept from the classical Bohr model, which postulates that the electron has a definite position. The latter is a concept from quantum mechanics, which postulates that the position of the electron is indeterminate until observed, and represented as a probability distribution in space.
  2. His mention of the centrifugal and centripetal force in this context is nonsensical.
  3. In another place, his equation for Fermi's golden rule is incorrect.
  4. He talks about "Platonic symmetry". There is no such term in mainstream science.
  5. The entire paper is made of two types of statements. There are those which are so impenetrable that they can't be determined to be true or false, and those which are somewhat comprehensible, which are usually wrong and display a complete lack of understanding. --Tweenk (talk) 03:22, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
  • The question about "was his math wrong" was not understood. This was a reference to Takahashi's math, in his papers that cover his calculations of TSC formation and collapse. The paper I've mentioned is in the American Chemical Society Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook, published by Oxford University Press, the first volume, 2008. The question was not about math in Storms. Takahashi is Japanese and his English might be a bit strange.
  • I'm seeing a pedantic approach, Tweenk, you are looking for any error you can assert as a demonstration of incompetence instead of looking for meaning. I predict that if this continues, this entire conversation will be useless. I'm not going to justify Takahashi's usages in detail, just one example of the pedantry, I see more.
  • "Platonic symmetry" refers his tetrahedral state, see Wikipedia. That's all. My understanding of that configuration is that it was picked for analysis because it simplified the math, and because Takahashi had experimental evidence suggesting 4D fusion (6D is also suggested in some work).
  • The math in the paper you point to is similar to what is in the published paper.
  • I must say, Tweenk, that you aren't convincing me. What about Kim? What about his work with BECs? Is it also "nonsense"? If I were confident of your competence, I might approach this differently.
  • The confusion of Bohr model and QM is not a minor error. In the Bohr model, electron is a point with definite x, y and z coordinates. In quantum mechanics, the electron is a complex-valued function of space.
  • I am not pedantic, I simply described the first clear error I found. I have better things to do than to write a detailed refutation.
  • Kim's paper in Naturwissenschaften looks more comprehensible than the garbage from Takahashi. So far I noticed it has incorrect signs in the Hamiltonian. I will reply once I read it. --Tweenk (talk) 00:42, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't see a "confusion of Bohr model and QM" in the paper, because he doesn't use the Bohr model. He merely uses the "Bohr radius," which is a useful mathematical value. He knows very well that the Bohr model is defective, and I knew that fifty years ago, Tweenk. Where were you fifty years ago?
  • You see "Bohr" and you inflate that up to a description of incompetence. That's pedantic, Tweenk. You did the same with "Platonic symmetry." It's just a word, albeit one you hadn't seen before in a physics paper. It has a clear meaning, referring to mutual equidistance. It's obvious. You are looking for errors, any error, whether substantial or not, something you can then use to ridicule. I'm not going to guess why, it would be no more appropriate for me to do that than for you to claim that cold fusion researchers have a "persecution complex."
  • Kim is definitely more comprehensible, to me as well as to you. So? Takahashi is reporting something highly technical, giving a calculation technique and results, and it's intended for specialists, whereas Kim is writing for a more general audience, and has been more rigorously edited, I'm sure. You are comparing what amounts to a conference paper with an article in a major multidisciplinary journal. I have no idea what Kim's raw writing looks like. Some scientists are good writers, some are not.
  • Both Kim and Takahashi are writing about Bose-Einstein Condensates in a room temperature general environment. Something you have claimed is utterly preposterous, right? --Abd (talk) 01:10, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Takahashi's mention of centrifugal and centripetal force, a feature of the Bohr model, as well as the fact that he computes the Bohr orbit radii for various systems instead of using the Bohr radius as a constant or an unit of length, makes it clear that this is not merely some language problem, but that he really mixes up the Bohr model with QM. There's also the issue of using unexplained arbitrary constants and erroneous equations, which would disqualify the work anyway.
  • Kim's papers actually make some sense, as opposed to Takahashi's. So far I don't see any obvious errors, and the fact that Kim published some of his previous work in Physical Review is something to consider as well. As I said before, I need to examine them more closely to see whether the theory is sensible. --Tweenk (talk) 03:14, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Takahashi's comments there appear to me as a harmonization of the Bohr model and QM, I've seen this elsewhere as well. Conservation and force-balance applies to QM, and it seems to me like he treats this reasonably correctly. I'm far from expert, though, I just know enough to get into trouble. When he speaks of centrifugal and centripetal force, he's clearly considering it as averaged over the wave function. I'm not sure about that particular paper, but Takahashi is commonly concerned with the "condensation motion" which would involve inertial forces in the collapse, but his papers are clearly not intended for general understanding. They are aimed purely at theoretical physicists, I've had to figure out a lot of things about them by inference. I wasn't always correct. Perhaps you should look at a published paper, because there may be simple writing and typographical errors in that unpublished paper, as well. If you have specific questions, I could ask Takahashi, he's accessible to me. I'd just want to get the question straight first.
None of this attempt to develop theory would make any sense if there were not strong evidence that fusion is taking place, nobody would even go there. These physicists are struggling to understand the established evidence from the point of view of what they know or could develop of theory. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but when the evidence does turn out to be extraordinary, i.e., adequate to establish the claim as likely, then what made the claim seem extraordinary in the first place has to be re-examined, and probably it means we accepted something that wasn't right. Here, it's very important to keep in mind, the evidence does not establish what reaction has taken place, only the ash, helium, and probably the fuel, deuterium, and the evidence rules out ordinary hot d-fusion. There are some proposed theories that don't involve what would ordinarily be considered d-fusion at all, though. Unfortunately, they are even more preposterous than Takahashi and Kim's theories. I.e., they require multiple miracles. Takahashi's requires one, really, the formation of the TSC state or something like it. Same with Kim and his BECs. There remains the problem of how the energy is distributed, but that's really an unsolved problem, not a miracle, since we know little about what would happen with, say, symmetrical collapse fusion in a BEC. But Widom-Larsen theory, which is somewhat popular now, because it avoids the detested word "fusion," even though it's really fusion by an indirect means, neutron absorption, requires several miracles. First, the formation of neutrons from interactions between deuterons and "heavy electrons," then a series of reactions that would release gammas, then the trapping of the gammas by those heavy electrons. The beginning and the ending of this is utterly unknown and without evidence. But Larsen got a patent on the gamma screening. Not sure what that goes to show. No experimental evidence has been released. And then the W-L process would predictably result in many intermediate transmutations that are not observed. It totally sucks, few in the field consider it a reasonable candidate. But until we know what it actually is, nothing can be completely ruled out. Maybe the basic idea is correct, but something is missing.
If you don't accept the evidence for anomalous heat and for helium, it makes complete sense that you would reject the theoretical work! --Abd (talk) 04:04, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
Proponents showing a "persecution complex" is irrelevant. That's pop psychology. There has been persecution, get over it! It's documented in what Wikipedia considers reliable source, in the academic press, by a sociologist, and your evidence to the contrary is?
You asked "What characteristics of pseudoscience are met by condensed matter nuclear science?" Persecution complex is one of common characteristics of pseudoscience promoters. It has no bearing on the truthfulness of claims of these people, but this is not what your question was about. --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
What is a "persecution complex," as distinct from social phenomena that might be called "persecution"?
  • Have cold fusion researchers been subject to harassment, denial of facilities and funding, and rejection of submitted papers without review, simply because the subject was "cold fusion."?
  • Are patent applications for cold fusion applications routinely denied without examination as "impossible," whereas other related applications that are likely impossible themselves are accepted, as long as they don't mention "cold fusion" or refer to the Pons-Fleischmann research? (And this, then, has the effect of suppressing investment in research, since patent protection isn't available. This is the excuse used by Rossi for not disclosing his methods. It's a set-up.)
  • Have individual physicists used their political positions and connections to deny funding that was otherwise recommended (as in the DoE reviews of 1989 and 2004)?
  • Is there an atmosphere of rejection (not merely suspension of belief) that is not based on normal scientific skepticism, but on firmly held assumptions?
  • Was the huge extended funding of hot fusion research, on which entire major institutions depend, a factor in the rejection of cold fusion out-of-hand, without adequate experimental evidence showing artifact?
The answer to all these questions is "Yes" -- except that the last "Yes" is speculative. It can be inferred, though, from lots of circumstantial evidence.
So if someone asserts one of these factors, is that evidence of a "persecution complex"?
Further, if the ignorant claim that the problem is repression by, say, the oil industry, does this attach the label of "persecution complex" onto actual researchers in the field? I've never encountered one who thinks that. The real competitor here is hot fusion, which has absorbed billions of dollars of funding with no energy release exceeding the enormous energy input. Hot fusion works, that's not in question. The practicality is very much in question. Hot fusion researchers, in 1989-1990, were very much worried that the massive funding they desperately needed might be diverted into cold fusion research.
If cold fusion is found to be real, there could be a whole generation of particle physicists largely out of work. There would be increased demand for materials scientists, for cold fusion apparently depends on nanostructure.
To say this is not "persecution complex," it's simply common sense.
I cannot say for sure that if the billions had been diverted to cold fusion research, that we'd be closer to commercial value. However, it's a near certainty that with far less than that, we'd know the science that is needed to judge the possibility of practical application. We might even have identified the mechanism. Or, on the other hand, we might have identified the "artifact," the error or set of errors that hundreds of researchers around the world have supposedly made.
Armchair critics simply call all of them incompetent, even though many of them have been leaders in their fields, heavily and widely published outside of cold fusion. (Such as Fleischmann and Brockris.) That's what pseudoskepticism looks like, exposed. --Abd (talk) 19:35, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
The demand for theory first, before experimental observations can be accepted, is directly contrary to how real science operates. There is no fully satisfactory theory. The question is whether or not anomalous heat is real, and the measurement of heat is well-known and understood, and then the question is whether or not helium is correlated, and, again, the measurement of helium is well-known and understood. If heat and helium are correlated, at the fusion value, Occam's Razor suggests fusion. Got any other ideas? Sure, you do. Fraud. Once fraud is on the table, why we can make up whatever value we like and fake it. It's beautiful, because it's not really falsifiable, as it is being asserted. Anyone who finds something different is in on the fraud, or deluded. Nice and pat.
You again claim a degree of reproducibility which has not been achieved, and again ignore the fact that these observations are inconsistent with a very large body of existing knowledge. What is more likely: that all of the countless nuclear physics experiments done before 1989 which failed to detect any evidence of low energy nuclear reactions contained some fundamental oversight, and that for some mysterious reason these reactions never happen in nature (which can't be said even about nuclear fission, google "Oklo natural reactor")? Or that a few people are lying or making mistakes in their work? --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
In science, we look at the entire body of experimental evidence. LENR is obviously very rare in nature. As it turns out, effects in palladium deuteride had been noticed before, but because the explanation of "nuclear reaction" was so unexpected, they were not reported in the literature (unless the much earlier work of Paneth and Peters, long forgotten, was not artifact). Pons and Fleischmann, by the time they announced, were only seeing the excess heat effect in about one out of six cells. We now know that loading of about 90% or more is necessary for the effect to show up in PdD. To get that loading ratio requires, with the P-F approach, extreme loading, not merely just any electrolysis. It took months, sometimes. More recent techniques are faster, and codeposition cells are rumored to begin generating effects almost immediately. But most published work has been with bulk palladium. What is "reproducible" is the heat/helium ratio, it is the same in all PdD work (and if there is no anomalous heat, there is no anomalous helium). In the bulk PdD literature, there are groups showing high incidence of heat; for example the work of McKubre and ENEA in reproducing the Energetics Technologies work (published in the peer-reviewed Low Energy Nuclear Reactions Sourcebook, American Chemical Society/Oxford University Press, 2008.) Almost every cell shows excess heat, but the quantity still varies. There is no inconsistency with "existing knowledge." That's made up. With very isolated exceptions -- where heat was, in fact, noticed (see the work of Mizuno) -- the conditions under which Pons and Fleischmann found occasional excess heat had never before been set up. They were looking where nobody had looked before.
And what were they doing? What was the goal of their research? It was an attempt to confirm or falsify the assumption that LENR was impossible, that the reaction rate at low temperatures, as predicted by approximations using 2-body quantum mechanics, was too low. They expected to fail, to find nothing detectable, even though it's quite certain that there is error in the approximation. They were not doing "free energy research." They'd have been thrilled to find any observable effect. As an eyewitness reported it, when one of their cells melted down and burned a hole in the lab bench, down into the concrete floor, they looked like the cat that had eaten the pet bird.
And if the effect was that large, why, then, have later results been so weak? Well, Pons and Fleischmann immediately scaled their work down, way down. If it could melt down the cell, and if this was nuclear, what's the upper limit? In this work, other researchers have attempted to scale up. There have been many explosions and one death (from a failed recombiner). Until the *level* of the reaction is controllable, this is very dangerous work to operate at large scale. --Abd (talk) 16:33, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
The claim of fraud has no basis. N-rays and polywater, cited as examples of "pathological science," were rejected because the artifact was identified, not merely presumed. Nobody claimed fraud. Claiming fraud is the last refuse of those who refuse to actually examine the evidence, it's a cheap shot, if you are anonymous and aren't actually accusing a specific individual of fraud. Hey, David, are you asserting that someone committed fraud? Who? The original primary researcher lives in England. Care to claim fraud as your own claim? And if it isn't your own claim, are you going to ascribe it to Tweenk?
I will correct that to "fraud or mistake", as I do not assume bad will, though there is actually a continuum of intentions between an honest mistake and completely deliberate fabrication. Please stay on topic instead of making personal accusations. --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
There is possible fraud in the field (as with Rossi), but it's rare, and I'm not aware of any fraud in work published under peer review, which is over a thousand papers. "Mistake" has been claimed but never demonstrated, as to the central work on excess heat, in stark contrast to the history with N-rays and polywater, often compared, by skeptics, to cold fusion.
(But there are plenty of mistakes in papers; for example, Pons and Fleischmann announced they had detected neutrons. That was an error. It was quickly retracted. Now, Tweenk, this is RationalWiki, where we may call a spade a spade. I'll cheerfully assert that you are showing biased skepticism, another name for which is pseudoskepticism. Is that a "personal accusation"? Well, I've been called a "crank" here. Is that a personal accusation? I don't take it that way. I'm displaying what, to the writer, seems to be "crank."
In any case, I'm glad you backed down on "fraud." At least that's one step toward science. Science progresses through multiplicity of reports, and individual reports can be mistaken -- or fraud. So what? We routinely, in science, take reports at face value and true fraud is heavily disapproved, in every science, i.e., reporting as observation what one did not observe, precisely because it can waste so much time.
Pons and Fleischmann didn't make up their neutron results, they reported what their instrumentation showed. And they weren't experts in detecting neutrons, for sure. Brockris' graduate student, or someone in his lab, was accused of fraud, through doping a cold fusion cell with tritium. What we know now is that the Brockris results are consistent with other work in the field, by major experts on tritium. Some cells apparently do produce some tritium, with PdD, but the levels are way low, compared to what would be produced by "d+d fusion," and correlation with excess heat has not been shown. That's an experimental fact, by the way, established by preponderance of the evidence. If anyone knows how tritium is being produced, they haven't managed to convince the scientific community yet. There isn't even any consensus on how helium, the major ash, is being produced, and there is much more data. "Fusion" is just a general description, Storms covers a number of possible reactions, and the real reaction might not be among them.
Cold fusion represented an intrusion of the unknown into a world, the world of nuclear physics, that had become very comfortable with the depth and accuracy of its knowledge. (2-body quantum mechanics has been confirmed to a very high level of accuracy -- but it was being applied, in the condensed matter environment, using unverified assumptions.) The FPHE did not -- at all -- contradict actual knowledge, i.e., prior experiment. F&P were looking in a place that nobody had looked before. It contradicted assumptions. It's obvious to anyone who actually studies the evidence, the theories involved, and the history. We'll get there. --Abd (talk) 17:58, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I haven't seen fraud claimed here even for homeopathic studies. So I know that this is getting close to home, if that's what's left to claim.
There is no such thing as "two-body quantum mechanics". The non-relativistic quantum mechanics widely used in chemistry are NOT a 2-body approximation. Condensed matter systems such as crystals can be modeled with QM, and the results are usually in good agreement with experiment. Application of QM to condensed matter is not an assumption, it is a field with a solid theoretical framework and real results. See: [4] [5] [6] --Tweenk (talk) 01:49, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Approximations are made in applying QM to the solid state. Certain simple systems can be modelled, but notice the term "usually." "Usually," if that was accurate, means that sometimes the "results" are not in good agreement with experiment. Yes, QM can be applied to condensed matter without assumptions, but, unfortunately, the math quickly ges insanely complex. However, if Tweenk disagrees, perhaps he could do a little useful work. We have a palladium lattice, and it has been loaded to close to 100%, i.e., there is deuterium at most lattice sites, so that the ration of D to Pd is almost 100%. There is deuterium flux, it's moving through the lattice. Now, remove a palladium atom, and study what configurations of deuterium are possible within the vacancy created, and what would happen with those configurations, through the range of all possibilities. Be sure to consider the possibility of Bose-Einstein Condensates. What conditions would be required for any to form, and how would they behave? Be sure to make quantitative predictions. Inquiring minds want to know. Alternatively, study the behavior of deuterium at the surface of the matrix, under conditions of electrolysis, including possible vacancies there, plus be sure to check on the influence of oxygen and other possible surface contaminants or catalysts.
If Tweenk wants to claim that nuclear reactions are impossible at low temperatures, he could show the calculations on which that is based, and how no simplifying approximations have been made. Other than perhaps approximations of known values, since everything we know is some kind of approximation. He should remember that electrons are present. Alternatively, of course, Tweenk could refer to a source which does that math, but everything I've seen makes simplifying assumptions.
As a minor exercise, simple by comparison, Tweek could apply his superior knowledge of quantum mechanics to the simplified problem Takahashi studied, the Tetrahedral Symmetric arrangement of deuterons with their electrons. Since he believes that Takahashi is a crank, and that his work is total nonsense, then surely he could produce more accurate work, specifically criticizing Takahashi's errors, and submit it to a journal for publication, there are journals that would eagerly publish such analysis. Otherwise the cold fusion woomeisters are winning. --Abd (talk) 05:46, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
"Be sure to consider the possibility of Bose-Einstein Condensates. What conditions would be required for any to form, and how would they behave?" - temperature of a few millikelvins. The question of how would they behave is irrelevant, because they will not form under these conditions. The claim that Bose-Einstein condensates might be involved is an application of a standard pseudoscience tactic: some difficult concept or phenomenon is injected where it makes absolutely no sense (BEC + room temperature conditions) in order to confuse critics by making them unable to understand the argument. Unfortunately, Abd, such tactics will not work against me.
I did the calculation you requested in Gaussian, and the tetrahedral arrangement of deuterium / hydrogen atoms is simply unstable. If I start with a perfectly symmetric configuration, it dissociates into atoms. If the symmetry is not perfect, it dissociates into two weakly interacting molecules of hydrogen / deuterium. You can in fact do the calculations yourself on the WebMO demo server. --Tweenk (talk) 02:43, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
What are the "conditions?" The temperature of a very small confined assembly of atoms is a statistical phenomenon, it's about their relative velocity. Highly transient Bose-Einstein Condensates may commonly form, in confinement, but we would not observe them, they would be evanescent, and the only sign that they ever existed could be fusion, which is obviously very, very rare, if, of course, it exists at all. Tweenk, do understand that the concept of BECs at room temperature is passing peer review? Besides Takahashi, see Kim (Naturwissenschaften, 2009). You seem to think that there is some "tactic" being used against you, perhaps in an attempt to confuse you. That suspicion could be revealing a great deal about you.
About Kim. I'm not going to pretend to understand Kim's work. My point is only that physicists like Kim are working on the problem.
That 4 deuterons (two molecules) in the tetrahedral configuration would dissociate is obvious. You didn't consider confinement forces, from the lattice, and you did not consider time, i.e, could this thing form transiently? It obviously doesn't happen in free space, period. If two molecules encounter each other, cross-wise, with the momentum that would lead to TS, they would be broken apart. The objection you make, by the way, is more or less similar to the objection as Storms makes to TSC theory. I look at it differently. I see the possibility of a transient formation of a BEC through collision; it takes energy to form the TS configuration, but that energy might be available from the normal distribution at room temperature. The position at very low relative velocity only needs to last for about a femtosecond. Kim has many papers on BEC formation and also did work on enhanced fusion reaction rates in condensed matter.[7].
I'll freely admit a lack of competence with theory here. I just know that the theories exist and are being worked on by physicists with credentials and recognition. Cold fusion is basically a chemistry experiment, though. It does not use the normal techniques of nuclear physics, and the conclusion of fusion is based on two elements known well to chemists: calorimetry and the measurement of helium. If the theories are complete junk, so? It's still fusion, from the product, unless someone can come up with another explanation of the extensive experimental results. --Abd (talk) 03:26, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
See above. Homeopathic studies are somewhere on this spectrum. It's not exactly clear how to qualify deliberately ignoring protocols that protect you from mistakes, such as double-blind trials. It this already fraud? --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Apparently, Tweenk, you must know better than the independent panel of eighteen experts in relevant fields appointed by the U.S. Department of Energy for the 2004 review of low-energy nuclear reactions. Half of them considered evidence for anomalous heat conclusive. The other half certainly did not consider it fraud! They unanimously recommended further research -- as had also been recommended in 1989. But you confidently assert "fraud." That's not even asserted by people like Park, or Huizenga, the highly skeptical co-chair of the 1989 DoE panel.
Maybe you could provide a reference? --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm in awe. Tweenk is quite confident about his position, but is not familiar with the major scientific reviews in the field? Tweenk, have you read the Wikipedia article and what is cited there? Ah, well, here it is: [8]. Happy reading.
I can easily show major errors in that review, at least one reviewer radically misinterpreted the heat/helium evidence, and the error was compounded by the summarizing bureaucrat in the report. Garbage in, garbage out. So what I wrote was in spite of that. The error demonstrates the shallowness of response, for if the reviewers had become familiar with the evidence in the field, they would not have made that mistake. --Abd (talk) 16:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You are somewhat misrepresenting what the document says.

Most reviewers, including those who accepted the evidence and those who did not, stated that the effects are not repeatable, the magnitude of the effect has not increased in over a decade of work, and that many of the reported experiments were not well documented.

and

No reviewer recommended a focused federally funded program for low energy nuclear reactions.

The report is actually damning with faint praise. --Tweenk (talk) 03:37, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

You wouldn't think so if you knew the political context, and if you were familiar with the 1989 report. Everything I stated about the report was true, and I agree with the lack of recommendation for a "focused federally funded program." It would just be throwing money at cold fusion, when what is needed is some basic research first. From the evidence available then, it was entirely possible that cold fusion would remain a lab curiosity. The situation has not necessarily changed much. The evidence for fusion is quite strong, but that doesn't necessarily translate to commercial energy production, which is what the DoE is interested in.
You are, by the way, citing the unreviewed opinion of an anonymous bureaucrat. I've read all the individual reviewer reports, and the review was very much inadequate, there was no back-and-forth, and some of the review comments, and the summary, make statements about the review paper that are directly contrary to what the paper actually said. That's what happens in a hasty review!
It's absolutely true that "many of the reported experiments were not well documented." However, there is enough to come to some conclusions, and that's what the 2010 Storms review is about. If we are interested in science, we will look at the evidence.
Thanks, Tweenk, it may not be possible to continue this discussion here, we'll see, I've been promoted and thus have new tasks to handle. --Abd (talk) 17:37, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
If you don't understand it, must be fraud! Way to go, demonstrating pseudoskepticism in action! Thanks for making this clear. I thought you might actually be interested in reviewing the evidence. You now think, it seems, that the publication in Naturwissenschaften is delusion and fraud. What you are doing is asserting your own superior understanding, over the peer-reviewers at that publication, and at the many other peer-reviewed journals now publishing articles in this field. Apparently, the fraudsters have taken over Springer-Verlag, Elsevier, the American Chemical Society, and Oxford University Press. And, of course, CBS News is a "bunch of liars," saw that on a skeptical blog today. Robert Duncan was just deluded, and everybody is deluded except us chickens.


I think the review in Naturwissenschaften was published to avoid the appearance of censorship. Furthermore, review articles are typically subject to less scrutiny than original research. --Tweenk (talk) 07:38, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
An ability to explain away contrary evidence, by making stuff up, is a critical skill for any pseudo-skeptic.
No, Naturwissenschaften started publishing significant papers in the field something like 2004. They began to get so many submissions that they engaged a LENR editor, to have someone who knows it well to filter the submissions before they went to regular peer review. That's Storms, a natural choice because of his stature in the field and his book (The science of low energy nuclear reaction, World Scientific, 2007.) Storms, however, certainly did not review his own paper.
What we have here, folks, is an anonymous user with no known qualifications, who is making up whatever he can to discredit what is actually appearing under peer review, in many mainstream journals, Naturwissenschaften is merely the most prominent. Next, we will hear from Tweenk or someone else that "Naturwissenschaften is a life sciences journal." Let's see if anyone here falls for that one.
The extreme negative position on LENR has entirely disappeared from mainstream scientific peer-reviewed journals, as I showed. The FPHE, and associated effects, are now routinely being accepted as real. What was unusual about the NW paper was its depth and its use of the controversial term "cold fusion," and much of the paper was about the justification for calling it "fusion" (heat/helium), rather than the more generic "LENR." Do you really think that Springer-Verlag would take a chance with their reputation like this if there wasn't solid evidence? That article wasn't buried in the issue, it was on the first page. If their goal were to avoid an appearance of censorship, they could have accomplished that less obtrusively! --Abd (talk) 16:09, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
You seem to persist in the delusion that "peer reviewed" means "true". I once tried to reproduce a reaction reported by Indian scientists to proceed with nearly 95% yield. My result was far below that, and not because I did something wrong. There are lots of peer reviewed chemistry papers claiming unreproducibly high yields.
"What we have here, folks, is an anonymous user with no known qualifications" - great, now you are using credentialism. For the record, I am writing a master's thesis in chemistry this year.
"Next, we will hear from Tweenk or someone else that "Naturwissenschaften is a life sciences journal."" - Well, it is, but it appears to be publishing papers from many different fields. It is definitely not a physics journal.
"The extreme negative position on LENR has entirely disappeared from mainstream scientific peer-reviewed journals, as I showed." - You haven't shown that at all. You just found one guy who managed to get his review published in a journal where he is one of the editors. The extremely negative position has disappeared, because for the critics the case is closed and there's little more to say. Nobody publishes papers critical of homeopathy in medical journals anymore because there is no point. The conspiracy theory you elaborated above would in fact have more grounding if negative papers about cold fusion did appear in mainstream journals, because this would indicate that some people feel threatened. --Tweenk (talk) 01:26, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
What conspiracy theory did I outline?
Contrary to what Tweenk thinks, I have no idea that "peer reviewed means 'true'." It doesn't. Period. Did I claim "truth" somewhere?
However, "peer-reviewed," in a mainstream journal with high impact and reputation, does mean something. Tweenk would have it mean nothing. It's woo if he says so, very smart graduate student that he is. Thanks for letting us know your level of achievement, Tweenk, it's plausible both from your knowledge and your ignorance.
Thought you might fall for the NW "life sciences" thing, and you sort-of did. NW is Springers' "flagship multidisciplinary journal," somewhat like Nature. They file it under Life Science probably because most papers do involve life sciences, in some way, and they don't have a Multidisciplinary division. NW solicits cross-disciplinary papers, and cold fusion is very clearly cross-disciplinary (chemistry and nuclear physics: most chemists say it's not chemistry, and most nuclear physicists say it's not nuclear physics. So, great! What is it?) They have access to serious peer review with high competence in physics, it used to be from the Max Planck Institute, I don't know if that affiliation is active.
There have been about 18 reviews of cold fusion published since 2005 in mainstream journals. Did you look at the page that listed those 18 reviews? (There are many more if we count as a kind of review the introductory material in many papers that are themselves primary sources.) Here is what reviews have been published contradicting them:
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Are you asking me to prove a negative? There aren't any reviews like that in mainstream peer-reviewed journals, all I've been able to find are one or two scattered tertiary sources that refer to cold fusion, off-hand, as something long ago rejected. They aren't actually covering the field, there is no sign of familiarity with the literature. (Same with the blog that was quoted on our article here, regarding the impossibility of NiH fusion. It's just knee-jerk opinion, combined with some true, but irrelevant science.)
If there were 18 positive reviews of homeopathy in mainstream journals, don't you think that someone would get exercised to submit a rebutting review? (Are there any clearly positive reviews of homeopathy in mainstream journals?) As to cold fusion, there was only one rebuttal letter written and published, as far as I've found, in a relatively minor journal, by Shanahan, who also, years earlier, published, in a more significant journal, some critical work with his own idiosyncratic theories. He was rebutted by an extensive response from the review authors, and later complained that the editors wouldn't let him respond again to their "nonsense."
In fact, his original rebuttal was nonsense, and I think they published it as CYA, i.e., the editors knew that some people out there were thinking like Shanahan, so they wanted to give that voice, so it could be rebutted, and Shanahan was the best they could get.
What Storms claims in his review is easily falsifiable. Just do the work and measure helium. If there is a calorimetry error in the CF experiments, reproduce the error. That's the kind of work that dealt with N-rays and polywater. The artifact was identified, by replicating the results. And then showing the real cause.
There is no such experimental work.
This is basic science, how it works. It was bypassed in 1989-1990, and in ensuing years. And why? I'm ask you that question, but it's pretty well-known. Have you looked for Undead science by Bart Simon? Of course, that's a study of the sociology of science, Simon is not a physicist or chemist.
In fact, if we go back, and look at earlier negative reviews, we can find that what they reported is consistent with what is now known; for example, a major review early on showed that there was little or no neutron radiation from cold fusion experiments. That was considered "negative," but it's now totally understood that whatever reaction is taking place, neutron radiation is not being generated. That review was a killer at the time, because it was believed that if it was fusion, there must be neutron radiation. And Huizenga believed that if the ash was helium, there must be gamma rays. But all that depends on mechanism, which is unknown. "Fusion" is a result, not a mechanism. Gamma rays and neutrons are not intrinsic characteristics of fusion, but only of particular fusion reactions.
And the early "negative replications" also confirm that if you have below 80% loading ratio, you see zilch, which is now well-known with PdD.
Science moves on, as we grow in experience.
Yes, Storms is LENR editor at Naturwissenschaften. That you mention it, in the way you do, shows how your point of view can blind you, you can't see the forest for the trees you are so intent in finding. That Naturwissenschaften found it necessary to appoint a LENR editor shows that something drastic has shifted. Supposedly, remember, this is a dead field, that's what's supposed to happen with "pathological science."
This is the fact: the paper was solicited. Storms had written a paper, at my suggestion, it appears, reviewing just the heat/helium issue. He showed it to the managing editor at NW and was told that they would rather have a review of the whole field. So, contrary to your imagination that this was some kind of play to make it seem that they were not censoring cold fusion, it's quite the opposite. They wanted it, and asked for it. But of course it went through peer review.
Remember, Springer is a business. They are betting on the response of their market, which is scientists. If they publish something in Naturwissenschaften that is serious woo, they lose reputation, and reputation is their primary asset. This is what the business management at Springer would think, anyway. What's really happening, my analysis, is that Springer, Elsevier, and Wiley are eating Nature and the American Physical Society's lunch. Those journals promised, long ago, never to publish anything on cold fusion again. Scientific American is a bit the same. Nature has bent a little, they recently published a satire on cold fusion skepticism.
Storms is a scientist, and skeptical as hell, he's not about to accept any of the current cold fusion theories as to mechanism, thinks they are all totally inadequate. You should see him debate with those who are attached to this or that theory. He hasn't been about to cut me any slack on Takahashi's TSC theory, he thinks it's totally bogus (because of the energy needed to create the TSC condition). Why he's bullish on Rossi, I don't know, in fact, but there are two people I know with access to otherwise confidential information who think Rossi's heat might be real. All I can say is ... it sure looks like Rossi is a con.
Storms is older than I am, and has been a working scientist all his life. Tweenk, you might start, it could help your future, to develop a little respect for people with long experience. Sometimes they know something you don't. No matter how smart you are. It doesn't mean you are wrong on any particular thing. This is not an appeal to authority, it's just common sense, but that sense can be uncommon among the young, sometimes. Dismissing someone with whom you disagree as a "crank," you can lose the opportunity to learn.
I've visited Storms. His lab is way cool, in a stunningly beautiful house he built, passive solar, on a hillside in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a killer view. He's got a scanning electron microscope in his basement, and two mass spectrometers. He's funded. It's serious work. And he smiles a lot. If he's a crank, I'd aspire to his position in life. But he's not a crank. He's just someone who was led to become highly knowledgeable in a largely rejected field. Like many cold fusion researchers, he'd seen something that just wasn't explained by the "artifact" theory. It was way beyond reasonable error, but, damn!, it was very difficult to reproduce, the very same cell would work a few times and then not work again .... this drove people crazy for years. They'd use a batch of palladium and get great results, then buy more of supposedly the same stuff and get nothing.
The mother of these mysterious events was the Pons-Fleischmann meltdown, the one that burned a hole through their lab bench and into the concrete floor. That never happened to them again, and they didn't try! Would you? They scaled it all way down.
This is all changing, for if Rossi doesn't change it (blowing the PdD approach completely out of the heavy water), other work I'm seeing, not published yet, will at least establish control, which then makes scale-up safe. If there isn't some error in this new work, that's what's being considered very, very carefully before anything is published. These are scientists, Tweenk, not wild-eyed "enthusiasts." --Abd (talk) 04:20, 1 March 2012 (UTC)
Respect for someone does not mean agreeing with him/her. I have respect for pope John Paul II because of his role in the history of Poland, even though I share almost none of his views. Long experience is not something that makes you immune from error. Linus Pauling was a double Nobel laureate, and yet he promoted a quack medical theory of his own, orthomolecular medicine. Ultimately it's the evidence and scientific consensus that matters, rather than respectability of proponents.
It looks like you know Storms personally. Please understand that nobody here is attacking your friend. We have no personal stake in this discussion, unlike you. --Tweenk (talk) 02:46, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Tweenk, you have completely missed this: Storms reports, in the article, that with the FPHE, helium is produced at a ratio of 25 +/- 5 MeV/He-4. That's based on experimental observation. The theory is proposed, then, as likely, that the effect is a result of some form of deuterium fusion. Deuterium fusion to helium by any mechanism predicts that the ratio is 23.8 MeV/He-4. It's falsifiable. There have been many experiments consistent with this value. None that are far from it, and the more careful the work, apparently, the closer the value is to the theoretical. (It's hard to capture all the helium, so the measured value tends to be higher.) No excess heat, no helium, that covers the famous "negative replications" that were used to claim that cold fusion was a mistake since, allegedly, it was not reproducible. In fact, as pointed out in the sociological study, replication failure was politically converted to alleged proof of error. It was simply replication failure, the experiment was quite difficult to replicate, even Pons and Fleischmann certainly did not have it nailed down, back then. But it was reproducible, in fact, the effect has been observed by hundreds of researchers, after the technology was shared and refined. You can argue confirmation bias, but ... confirmation bias does not explain the heat/helium correlation. That's pure science. And once experimenters are reporting on many cells, not merely one or two, once all the results are being reported (as with Miles in the original heat/helium work), confirmation bias simply doesn't cut it.
Am I wasting time here? I'll watch and see.
I'm interested to see if there are any real skeptics around. Or is this just Cargo Cult Skepticism? --Abd (talk) 04:20, 27 February 2012 (UTC)