LENR and the Scientific Community – my perspective

By Michael Edmonds 09/11/2013 84

One of goals of science related blogs is to encourage enthusiasm about science. However, sometimes this enthusiasm can be misdirected, for example, when people such as intermittent poster Derek Syms/Electrickiwi misunderstand the scientific communities reaction to areas  of research such as LENR (low energy nuclear reactions), also known as cold fusion.

Derek often makes demands that the scientific community should be doing more research in this area and claims this perceived disinterest is due to cover ups and corruption. I’ve written this blog article because I think such claims are worth unpicking in order to better explain how science works.

However, a good starting point is for me first to consider my own position on LENR. Science is not often as simple as being “for” or “against” a particular idea – it is about deciding what you think the best interpretation of the evidence that is available.

LENR/cold fusion first came to the public and the wider science communities attention in 1989 after Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann revealed their preliminary observations of an experiment which appeared to release anomalous amounts of excess heat, and suggested that it might be the result of nuclear processes which could potentially be a source of cheap, sustainable energy. Unfortunately the release of these results directly to the media prior to peer review and publication was not looked upon well by many in the scientific community and when there were difficulties replicating the work in other laboratories there was a lot of criticism of these two researchers.

Since 1989, a number of researchers have continued research in this area, now often referred to as LENR , and there is still debate about the nature of the anomalous heat produced. There are those who contend that it is a genuine phenomena, while others suggest that it is arising due to mis-measurement of the energy input/output or due to other problems with the apparatus.

Not being an expert in this area, I am happy to accept that there might well be a genuine phenomena here, but it seems to me that there just isn’t enough evidence to conclusively prove that this is the case, or that it is nuclear related. Nor is there any evidence that, should this phenomena exist, that it can be applied to the benefit of humankind – if the amounts of energy are so hard to measure that there are debates over whether it exists or not, I fail to see how this could benefit us.

However, I quite willing to be proved wrong (with scientifically verifiable evidence).

Another reason I am skeptical about the existence and potential applications of LENR is that research has been carried out for almost 25 years and there has been little advancement in understanding. It has been my observation that when a unusual idea is first discarded and/or laughed at by the wider scientific community, the proposers of the idea usually are able to provide enough evidence within a few decades to have it reconsidered and accepted by the scientific community – this does not appear to be the case with LENR.

In suggesting that the scientific community should do more research into LENR, Derek also overlooks the realities of doing scientific research. Funding is not unlimited (unfortunately) and there are a wide range of research subjects which can benefit humanity. In terms of our energy needs it is not a choice between using oil derived products and finding a magical solution with LENR. There is excellent research into solar and wind power, for example, research that has made much more progress over the past 25 years than LENR research.

Would I suggest that all research on LENR be stopped? – No, if researchers feel that they still have areas to explore, then fair enough they need to use the evidence they have so far to convince funding bodies to support them. But should we throw lots of funding at an area that is still unclear after almost 25 years, when there are other priorities and research areas providing much better results.

And consider the possibility that LENR does exist, but we do not have the technology to make it work yet. By investing in research in other areas, the technology required to make it work and be useful, might be more likely to arise than funneling huge amount of resources into the one area.

And note I said the “possibility” that it might exist. I would not take this as a given based on existing evidence. One of the exhilarating (and frustrating) things about science is that we are exploring the unknown. Io paraphrase a talk I heard  recently “science is like hunting for a black cat in a dark room, with the possibility that there is no black cat.”

Of course there is other information confusing the issue – there are websites and youtube videos which purport to describe functional LENR devices. I must admit I’m skeptical of such claims as they come across more as advertising than as science, but if they do in fact work, then why would we need to to invest more time and money into researching LENR? When science/technology makes it to working prototypes this is usually where industry will typically take over.

In the meantime claims of conspiracies, cover ups and insults are inaccurate/have no value.





84 Responses to “LENR and the Scientific Community – my perspective”

  • Thanks for looking at this issue.
    Proof well you only have to look at the more recent posts to see that some people in the science community are taking this very seriously indeed.
    Look at these papers these are all open source, I think you will agree with me that these meet scientific parameters and as you can see by the sheer abundance of information this subject is hot in the world at the moment.


  • Derek,
    It makes a more convincing argument for LENR if you are able to refer to specific examples of evidence for LENR rather than referring to a list of papers.
    It is also worth noting that just because there are papers written on a subject this does not mean that they prove a particular hypothesis. One of the frustrating things about scientific research is that it can take years to produce a single paper which provides only a small piece of the puzzle.
    (And don’t forget there are also hundreds of papers published on subjects such as homeopathy, the fact there are so many papers does not mean that homeopathy works).
    Given the number of papers cited in the link you provided then it seems like there is enough research going on to see if LENR is a true phenomenon. If it is, then time will tell.

  • Walker,
    Remember that one of the issues that caused many doubts over LENR was that Pons & Fleischmann release results before they were peer reviewed and published. The link you provide describes an experiment that sounds more theatre than science.
    Experiments are far more convincing when they are peer reviewed, published and then repeated successfully by other scientists.
    There are too many examples of theatrical displays of “science” such as those demonstrated by those claiming psychic abilities, water powered engines and spiritual healing to accept such demonstrations as reliable

  • Ha ha your funny Micheal putting LENR in the same category as psychic healers.
    I am sure if you actually looked at those papers and referenced the authors you would see these people are real scientists.
    That’s me for now, but I will be back.

  • Derek,
    Psychic phenomena wwere considered quite seriously and scientifically up until the 1970’s, however, eventually rigid application of the scientific method revealed that most supposedly positive evidence was due to trickery.
    I’m not putting LENR in the same category of psychic phenomena – just pointing out that if people claim something is true by relying on theatrical demonstrations rather than carefully documented and peer reviewed demonstrations, then they are leaving themselves open to supsicions of charlatanism – even if the phenomena were genuine)

  • you cant have it both ways derekiwi. Either the scientific community is neglecting LENR, or vast and well resourced arms of the industrial military complex are knee-deep in its research.

    Which is it?

  • Derek,

    The military did take psychics quite seriously for a while, until they realised there were no useful results. It will be interesting to see how their LENR plays out.
    And Ashton has a good point, the military can throw a lot more resources at this than the civilian scientific community, so lets just wait and see what the military come up with. They will be very results focused in their approach.

  • It appears SPAWAR ceased it’s investigation into Cold Fusion/LENR type experiments about two years ago.

    I couldn’t find any primary sources for this so I can not speculate as to the full story behind this – whether the research was not fruitful and so quitely scuttled or if there is some other reason.

    One would assume that a very promising avenue of research that would give the US military a major advantage in energy production would be shut down just as things were getting really good though.

    I expect the miliatry must have bowed to preasure from the scientific community, we all know what push-overs those military types are.

  • Thank you Darcy yes the funding was pulled .
    Ashton you have no understanding of the politics of this situation.
    More pyschic talk Micheal ?
    Honesetly if you guys looked into this as much as you rubbish it you will see the light
    For twenty years the results , compelling, sometimes huge, but erratic and unusable, discouraged research in this area. Some, such as CEA, CNAM, EPRI has stopped all work, but others like Toyota, Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, ENEA, NASA, the U.S. Navy SPAWAR, continued discreetly and more or less steadily …

    Recently researchers (Miley, Piantelli, Celani, Focardi, …) followed a stranger path, yet ultimately successful, involving light hydrogen with nickel, at high temperature, and using nano-structured materials (micron powders, nanoscale treated foams, nanoscale treated wires).

  • Tadahiko Mizuno (水野 忠彦 Mizuno Tadahiko?, born 1945) is a Japanese nuclear-chemist known for his work on cold fusion.[5] He was a former assistant professor teaching the Atomic Power Environmental Materials program at Hokkaido University

    . Mizuno, T. Ohmori, K. Azumi, T. Akimoto and A. Takahashi: Confirmation of heat generation and anomalous element caused by plasma electrolysis in the liquid, Italian Physical Society, 70, 75-80, 2001.

  • so why was the funding pulled from the US military work, Derekiwi? After all, they are hardly pushovers. Perhaps it was because they found it was going nowhere?

  • No it wasn’t going no where you can figure that out it is not science but politics.
    But hey look at that T Mizuno confirmation of heat generation and elements (transmutation)

  • While NASA doesn’t seem quite ready to throw Einstein under the bus just yet, they have been forced to concede that the reactions first postulated by Mills are indeed real and that they have no known source within the current framework of Einsteinian relativity. Both Mills and Rossi’s reactors use nickel as the catalyst for a special kind of hydrogen reaction to produce heat energy.

  • Derek,
    So again you have shown that there are a reasonable number of researchers exploring LENR, so I assume we won’t see any more demands that more scientists need to work on it? We just have to wait to see the applications pour forth?
    There are a lot of other important areas of research that are important and that NZ researchers are involved with.
    Your seem to have a problem that some scientists are skeptical of this because over the past 20 years the evidence has been quite fuzzy. This is the standard scientific position – scientists must be skeptical in order to maintain scientific rigour – if scientists did not expect solid, convincing evidence from each other then it would be difficult to separate science and pseudoscience.
    I’m happy to keep an open mind, but I don’t see any incontrovertible evidence so far that nails it for me. Some interesting results and ideas for sure, but more substantial results are needed for the whole scientific community to be convinced.
    Also, assuming it is a genuine LENR phenomenon there is no guarantee that it will evolve into a practical form of energy development. Not all scientific discoveries develop into the practical applications we wish they would

  • Derek,

    “As you can see universities around the world are looking at this while sadly in New Zealand we place it in with pseudo-science psychics and the like.”

    I’d like to see your evidence for that statement. I don’t think the scientific community in total in NZ dismisses LENR.
    I personally don’t dismiss it outright – I think you are misreading my comments regarding psychics and early research in this area.
    It is historical fact, that scientists seriously considered and researched psychic abilities because there appeared to be early evidence, which later turned out to be misinterpretations and outright fraud.
    I’m not saying that LENR automatically fits into the same category, just pointing out that scientists can be mislead, by others and by their own biases.

    Also to suggest that NZ should be involved in a technology such as LENR, because other countries are (and who can through significantly more resources at it) doesn’t make sense to me, when there are many other areas of science we can (and do) get involved in – anticancer drugs, earthquake related engineering, wind power, etc . We are only a small country, we can’t do everything.

  • re,

    “scientists seriously considered and researched psychic abilities because there appeared to be early evidence,”

    and more generally the whole issue of ‘early findings’ –

    Examples misleading early conclusions/results abound, to the extent that it’s just the ordinary thing. It’s why holding up early studies as ‘done deals’ or even just ‘highly likely’—either by media or proponents—is a nuisance. Another (priceless!) example is the ‘polywater’ that Lynley mentioned in response to a piece Alison wrote a few days ago. (You’ll have to wander down the comments to see it.)

  • Thank you Micheal, yes there has been controversy surrounding this subject.
    I find it amazing that we have this technology today (potentially world saving) and instead of embracing it and researching it, we try to poke holes in it and say it doesn’t exist. It shows the press up to be totally corrupted by big business(I am sorry if you do not agree with this but logic dictates people to fill in the gaps between the lines). This is the story with energy politics there are many more examples but cold fusion is the easiest one because of all the evidence in it’s favour.
    I understand science is meant to be sceptical until proven otherwise but the balance has tipped in favour of cold fusion despite a 6 panel(from anonymous people) review from the department of energy in USA in 1989 (yet some 24 years later it is almost ready to be commercialised).
    When you realise we live in a world dictated by monetary interests and run by corporate enterprises that use politics and regulations to stay on top and that they will often stop at nothing to maintain their power, even subverting science to their own interest (like what has happened with LENR). You get a better understanding of what it is to be human on the rock(world).

    There is more evidence but if you need more than this you have your head in the sand go and find it yourself, or keep on denying and end up eating your words.

    • Derek,
      The challenge I have is your arguments are full of inconsistencies.

      You say

      “instead of embracing it and researching it, we try to poke holes in it and say it doesn’t exist”

      You have already pointed out that there is research being carried out on LENR. Also, it is the job of the scientific community to try and “poke holes” in any new theory or hypotheis. That is how we understand it better.

      Also, the scientific literature describes detection of small anomalous amounts of energy being detected, while the marketing/commercial world makes claims which go far beyond this in the commercial websites you list above – that is a very strange combination – supposed LENR products being developed when the scientific evidence seems to be at such an early stage.
      And it is because I am very wary of big business interests that I put little reliance on such commercial websites.

      With regards to your comment

      There is more evidence but if you need more than this you have your head in the sand go and find it yourself, or keep on denying and end up eating your words.

      At no stage have I denied that LENR exists, I’ve just suggested that I do not find the scientific evidence completely convincing yet, and that there is a disconnect between what is being done in the academic labs and what commercial businesses are implying/selling.

      I’m more than happy to change my views but that will take convincing scientific evidence, not sales pitches from websites.

  • Derek Sym(e)s/electrikiwi,

    “I find it amazing that we have this technology today (potentially world saving) and instead of embracing it and researching it, we try to poke holes in it and say it doesn’t exist.”

    Science pokes at everything that comes out in science.

    Every last thing. (Well, everything someone makes the time to or thinks worthwhile tackling. There is pragmatics too.)

    This especially true for extraordinary claims. As an(other) example, there’s the ‘arsenic DNA’ claim of a few years ago.

    Why? Because initial reports are only arguments for a case. That is true of all research papers.

    If after being poked they don’t stand up well they tend to be put on the back-burner as unlikely or something of lower priority – as you’d expect.

    (A lot of the time the pokes result in the initial claims [eventually] being shown to be wrong. That’s routine, ordinary, as it goes too.)

  • Sorry Micheal I wasn’t getting at you mate it is a statement in general to skeptics who do not look at the evidence. I have been banging my head against the wall trying to speak about this and sometimes I just get frustrated.
    I appreciate you covering this subject.
    Rossi is the one making waves, but he is also the one who brought the whole LENR to our attention. I make no statements than this about him, there has been independent verification of his work by Swedish scientists. But if you put Rossi aside you will see Brillioun energy who have been helped by SRI labs are also at the stage with their boiler, it is nearly ready for release. This is an American company. So whilst Rossi takes the spotlight there are other companies working away at it, quietly almost in the background.
    The thing about Cold Fusion is it is such an easy concept to get your head around (as long as your not a stickler for relativity). An electrical arc under water KISS.
    Its about time we abandoned theories that stop us from thinking we can achieve real practical science.

  • Those who want to understand the status of cold fusion research should read the peer reviewed review paper “Status of Cold Fusion” Published in Naturwissenschaften, 97 (2010) 861

    download available: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/StormsEstatusofcoa.pdf

    Michael Edmonds writes: “Would I suggest that all research on LENR be stopped? – No, if researchers feel that they still have areas to explore, then fair enough they need to use the evidence they have so far to convince funding bodies to support them. But should we throw lots of funding at an area that is still unclear after almost 25 years, when there are other priorities and research areas providing much better results.”

    Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

    Scientists who have worked in this field for many years note: Our Catch-22 is that both DoE and DoD have unequivocally stated that until “first-tier” journals, like Science and Nature, publish papers in this field, they will not fund programs. But, editors of these journals have stated they would not publish papers without DoE acceptance of the phenomena: a Catch-22.

    source: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/BiberianJPjcondensedk.pdf#page=6

    Like Michael Edmonds most people do not have the background to understand what is going on in this field. Over the last 25 years only shoestring budgets were available. Considering the tiny funding, the advances made are remarkable.
    Unfortunately almost nobody is aware of that and because nobody is aware, people wrongly assume that no advances have been made.

    Under these conditions one cannot rely on “the others”, but must read the actual papers and consider for himself. Only then it is possible to assess the field correctly.

    • Gerritt,

      Would you care to summarise what the “remarkable advances” in the field of LENR are?

  • to name a few from the peer reviewed literature:

    – the replication by Toyota R&D (http://jjap.jsap.jp/link?JJAP/52/107301/) of the transmutation experiment by Mitsubishi R&D (http://jjap.jsap.jp/link?JJAP/41/4642/).
    – The results from different groups for D+D fusion rates in metals during low energy accelerator experiments. Let’s see, there is J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 23 (1997) 1459–1464, Phys. Rev. C 78 (2008) 015803, J. Phys. G 35 (2008) 014012, Nucl. Phys. News 16 (2) (2006). , J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 31 (2005) 1141; ,Eur. Phys. J. A27 (2006) 79. These all indicate that a metal lattice has an influence on nuclear processes. Or as Julian Schwinger explained: “The circumstances of cold fusion are not the circumstances of hot fusion”.
    – the replication by Kitamura et al (Physics Letter A 373 (35): 3109–3112) of the gas loading experimental results of Arata (Journal of High Temperature Society, Vol. 34 (2008), No. 2, pp.85–93 and Vol. 33 (2007), No. 3, pp.142–156)

    Over the years the field has introduced different experimental set ups and gained a better understanding of the environment where these reactions can occur. All done on shoestring budgets.

    Surely one shouldn’t compare these advances with billion dollar funded projects like ITER and LHC and scientists spoiled with big physics announcements might not think much of it. One can only speculate how much more could have been achieved had only a minor share of the pie been available for LENR research.

    • Gerrit,

      What you have described I would categorise as interesting rather than “remarkable advances”
      Just quoting papers and a brief description of what they involved does not equate to an argument on why you tihnk these are “remarkable”.
      It would be great if you could expand on why you tihnk the results of these papers is remarkable.

  • I think it is remarkable that transmutation experiments have been replicated by independent teams, that D+D fusion rates in metals are higher than those in hot plasma experiments and that gas loading experiments show anomalous heat and have been replicated by independent teams. And all these results have been published in peer reviewed journals available to anyone who would care to read them.

    I think it is remarkable that these results have been achieved when one considers the tiny budget that has been available. And it is also remarkable that most people who like to discuss cold fusion are not even aware of these papers and when confronted with them, but without having actually read them, argue that these results are interesting at most.

    Maybe instead of asking me why I think this is remarkable, you could expand why you would classify this as interesting.

  • I think its remarkable that commercial organisations are pursuing research into energy options that are, on face value, far less exciting than this, and leaving what is, in your opinion, a remarkable and promising option relatively unattended.

    Sans conspiracy theory, why would a well-funded organisation (such as Mitsubishi or Toyota) with a commercial imperative choose to do this in the face of “remarkable” results?

  • advances in LENR research do not mean it can already serve as a reliable commercially viable energy source.

    Toyota spent several million in the early 1990s in their Technova lab in France, where Fleischmann and Pons tried to scale up the effect for commercial exploitation. Although they did get results it was not ready for commercialization.

    You may have noticed that the Toyota replication was published October 4, 2013. We can only speculate if there is any increase in activity in Toyota R&D.

  • Curious. I read the paper cited that claimed a Catch 22 situation regarding DoD/DoE and top tier journals and while the quoted conclusion is accurate, the paper itself does not support this conclusion with quotes from either the journal editors or reviewers.

    It appears that the Catch 22 exists mainly in the authors heads. That’s not to say that they are not being discriminated against – I don’t understand the technology that was the main focus of the paper well enough to determine that. But the conclusion is certainly not warranted by the information provided and seems tailored to play into LENR conspiracy theories rather than report the actual state of affairs.

  • There are several accounts that editors from top tier journals have flat out refused to consider cold fusion papers for peer review.

    The top tier journals do not help scientific advance. See this http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/09/how-journals-nature-science-cell-damage-science

    Many observers have already understood this.

    There is no need to mention conspiracy theory, they are only in the heads of people who don’t understand the situation and who chose to bring up conspiracy theories to discredit the people active in the field.

  • Gerrit,

    You are picking unrelated things and trying to make them out to somehow say something else.

    For example your latest comment tries to relate editors not wanting to accept cold fusion papers then somehow linking it to Schekman’s article, which has nothing to do with that. (You’re invoking a conspiracy, too.)

    Firstly, while I have suspect editors might be tired of some authors pitching cold fusion papers to them and thus might react skeptically towards those authors’ efforts, I’m wary of the idea that they’ve dismissed the topic itself entirely out of hand. More likely is that they’ve been burnt once (or more) and want a better standard of evidence before they’ll consider it. (The early papers drew a lot of fuss and in the end made the journals look a bit silly; I imagine the editors don‘t want to travel that road twice – once bitten, twice shy and all.)

    Secondly, Schekman’s article mostly relates to the journal ‘hierarchy’, the impact factor score as a merit score (it’s flawed, especially on a per-paper basis) and closed-access v. open access. None of that has anything to do with editors’ stance on particular scientific areas.

  • I am not invoking any conspiracy theories. On the contrary, I argued that the images of conspiracy theories exists only in the heads of people who have not understood the situation. There are no LENR conspiracy theories.

    I can maybe agree with your view of “one bitten twice shy” editors, but implied in that view is the acceptance that shy editors are in the position to withhold a whole field of emerging science from getting exposure. Regardless of the actual merit of the papers.

    You do not believe the possibility of editors dismissing a whole field out of hand. Well you probably are not aware that in the early 1990s only few journals were accepting cold fusion papers, most journals refused to touch them (for whatever reason, possible “once bitten twice shy”, this is not a conspiracy theory)
    You could argue that it must have been the quality of the papers itself that caused this widespread refusal, but then you would have to actually read all the papers that were published in those years and evaluate all of them.
    You could argue that all these refusing editors were waiting for the “paper of the century” that would fully explain the theory and all the experimental evidence in one go and that they were simply not interested in publishing papers dealing with step by step advances of a pariah field.

    Fact is cold fusion papers have not been published in top tier journals, for whatever reasons. Schekman discussion a few.

    Schekman explains that not being able to get papers published in the top tier journals will inhibit getting funded for further and better research. I do not understand why you think that is unrelated to Pamela Mosier-Boss’ comments. They are basically saying the same thing.

  • “I am not invoking any conspiracy theories.”

    Sorry, Gerrit, I wasn’t saying you were invoking a LENR conspiracy theory, but you do seem to be trying to say that the scientific publishing industry are, essentially, ‘out to get them’.

    E.g. you write: “implied in that view is the acceptance that shy editors are in the position to withhold a whole field of emerging science from getting exposure. Regardless of the actual merit of the papers.” (I didn’t say or imply this, and wouldn’t.)

    For what it’s worth, I wrote of a similar view of publication in climate change, about a journalist considered that a few editors were holding out a field.

    “ I do not understand why you think that is unrelated to Pamela Mosier-Boss’ comments.” – you have not mentioned this person — whoever they are — anywhere in this thread. (There’s no reason I’d relate anything to them.)

  • In my first comment here in this thread I replied to Michael Edmonds suggestion that LENR researchers should “convince funding bodies to support them”.

    I replied with a quote from a paper by Pamela Mosier-Boss, a researcher from SPAWAR who has co-authored multiple peer reviewed papers on cold fusion / LENR over the years. See a list here (http://newenergytimes.com/v2/reports/SSC-SD-Refereed-Journal-Articles.shtml)

    You will note that the top tier journals are not amongst the journals in that list.

    Mosier-Boss relates that the funding agencies will only consider funding LENR research when top tier journals will publish papers on the topic. And the top tier journals argue that unless the funding agencies think this research is worth funding, they will not publish. The catch-22.

    The link to Schekman is to show that this general problem is recognized by high ranked scientists too.

    So, while some science journals are willing to publish good papers on cold fusion, the top tier journals aren’t.

    No papers in top tier journals -> no funding agencies will consider funding -> ad inf.

    Also with tiny (mostly discretionary) funding available to LENR researchers, it is very hard to get great results on the table, which will make it very hard to get great papers written.

    That is why the comment from Michael Edmonds might sound good, but doesn’t work for some unfortunate fields of research.

    And still today most science folks think cold fusion is bunk and are completely unaware of the real situation, because the top tier journals don’t publish LENR papers.

    Too much of science is relying on what gets published in the top tier journals.

  • Gerrit,

    Leaving aside that the only person you quote in your first comment is Michael. I’m leaving this as it is as you seem to be just repeating yourself regardless of the points others (including me) raise.

  • Grant,

    my first comment contained:


    That was the quote by Mosier-Boss in my first comment, but I see that I actually forgot the ” ” around it, sorry for that.
    Luckily, I did include the source though.

    Darcy Cowan understood that it was a qoute:
    “Curious. I read the paper cited that claimed a Catch 22 situation regarding DoD/DoE and top tier journals and while the quoted conclusion is accurate, the paper itself does not support this conclusion with quotes from either the journal editors or reviewers.”

    The points others were raising were, and I dare to paraphrase:
    – Ashton Dempsey: why don’t we have working generators yet ?
    – Darcy Cowan: the LENR researcher invoke conspiracy theories

    The point you were making was: “You are picking unrelated things and trying to make them out to somehow say something else.”

    And I have replied why I think these things are not unrelated.

    Maybe you are willing to answer these simple questions:

    – Have top tier journals published papers on cold fusion ?
    – Have other mainstream refereed journals published papers on cold fusion ?
    – Does Schekman in his editorial link “papers in top tier journals” with “getting funded” ?
    – Does Mosier-Poss in her paper complain about “no funding” because “no papers in top tier journals” ?

  • interesting parsing ….

    My first comment contained:

    Scientists who have worked in this field for many years note: Our Catch-22 is that both DoE and DoD have unequivocally stated that until “first-tier” journals, like Science and Nature, publish papers in this field, they will not fund programs. But, editors of these journals have stated they would not publish papers without DoE acceptance of the phenomena: a Catch-22.

    source: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/BiberianJPjcondensedk.pdf#page=6


  • Gerrit, “And I have replied why I think these things are not unrelated.” – actually you repeated the error it in spite of my pointing it out, try reading back. (‘Demand trolling’ as it’s known won’t help your cause either.)

  • Grant,

    there is nothing much to say really.

    You refuse to acknowledge that failing to get papers published in the top tier journals will impede funding agencies to fund research.

    I know that Schekman complains about more things and goes deeper into the problems of top tier journals’ influence on science, but maybe if you read his editorial again slowly you might find these parts interesting:

    “Because funding and appointment panels often use place of publication as a proxy for quality of science, appearing in these titles often leads to grants and professorships.”

    “Like fashion designers who create limited-edition handbags or suits, they know scarcity stokes demand, so they artificially restrict the number of papers they accept.”

    “It builds bubbles in fashionable fields where researchers can make the bold claims these journals want, while discouraging other important work, such as replication studies.”

    “Funders and universities, too, have a role to play. They must tell the committees that decide on grants and positions not to judge papers by where they are published. It is the quality of the science, not the journal’s brand, that matters.”

    But as I am linking this to cold fusion, I must be the one who is mistaken.

    I can’t be you who is wrong Grant, no, surely not !

  • “Michael McKubre, PhD, is an electrochemist in the forefront of cold fusion energy development[1] and one of the most respected scientists in the field.[2] McKubre was director of the Energy Research Center at SRI International in 1998.[3] He is a native of New Zealand.”

    Yay there is a kiwi involved, SRI labs are working with Brillioun energy.

  • Cool, visiting lenr-canr.org and seeing all the mentions of Jed Rothwell triggered nostalgia.

    Around 20 years ago, Jed Rothwell made claims of excess energy from Grigg’s pump device in Usenet’s sci.physics.fusion discussion group. IIRC, Jed claimed it was one of the first devices to produce excess energy via cold fusion.

    A group of participants each contributed US$10-20 to fund the late Tom Droege from Fermilab to visit and observe the device in action in late 1994. An early crowd-funding endeavour?.

    His report highlighted the poor experimental methodology and inadequate measurement equipment. The claims were produced by wishful thinking and selective data.

    Looking at some of the recent literature suggests any effects are still close to, or within, measurement errors. Still no practical device with independent validation. Not much has changed in 20 years.

  • Yes. No, but I’ve read a little about the Brillioun work. Fits with the measurement issues mentioned 20 years ago ( eg measuring the power from synthesized high frequency electrical feeds is not trivial ), combined with the potential for unaccounted effects from the chemically reactive materials ( eg palladium, nickel hydride, water, hydroxide etc.).

    Having spent time using a calorimeter to quantify the heats of combusion of alternative fuels, I know precise calorimetry is very hard, but 20 years should have produced unequivocal data. When the data is peer-reviewed, published, and replicated elsewhere to produce the same conclusions, then that would reduce my concerns.

  • Thank you, yes here is a quote.
    “We have run over 150 experiments using two different cell/calorimeter designs. Excess power has always been seen using Q pulses tuned to the resonance of palladium and nickel hydrides in pressurized vessels. Excess energies of up to 100% have been seen using this excitation method”
    From here http://coldfusionnow.org/a-closer-look-at-brillouin/
    These guys are doing this scientifically sure results aren’t always the same, from what I understand it has something to do with Palladium quality and also each reaction has different effects on cathode/anodes. This is only one of the many different groups that have found excess heat.

  • The the main thing I think to remember here is something is happening that can’t yet be explained properly using conventional physics (this is a different reaction from hot fusion).
    The other thing to remind people of here is a media blackout on this (considering most educated people would find it very difficult to doubt the science once shown it), given that it could have very beneficial effects on our environment and way of life.

  • The mind of a skeptic when confronted with the real science that goes with LENR
    ” We can be less interested in the truth and more interested in finding facts and stories that fit preconceived narratives and ideology”

    • Derek Syms

      If you are going to use a quote in a post it is appropriate to say who you are quoting and if possible provide the context

  • The first criticism is that “LENR is not allowed by today’s physics and quantum mechanics”. Huizenga summarized that rebuttal with the concept of the “three miracles of cold fusion”: lack of neutrons, gamma rays, and not enough energy to overcome the Coulomb barrier.

    This claim erroneously applies the knowledge acquired in plasma science to the inside of an unknown condensed matter environment, such as a lattice, a surface, or cracks… There is no doubt that the usual reaction happening in plasma is improbable. However if one observes how different quantum mechanic function in semiconductors or superconductors, then experts should be modest about definitive claims of impossibility.

    What quantum mechanics and thermodynamic says is simply that global mass and energy have to be conserved, that global entropy cannot decrease, that quantum numbers and momentum have to be conserved, and the Heisenberg inequality is respected.

    LENR as observed today may be some nuclear transmutation, yet what and how it happens is not understood. LENR mays also challenge the usual way physicists make approximate computation of quantum mechanics. Maybe we should abandon some assumption, like the two-body independent computation, the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, relativistic simplification, to name a few.
    Basically, today there is no theory, and we don’t have enough data to propose a precise mechanism, and to know how it actually challenges current physics. This should not be a problem as one can still accept facts. After all, we accepted fire and cooked food before understanding it.

  • But there is a technological development brewing that could easily eclipse the shale revolution. That is in the fledgling and little-discussed field of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR or cold fusion). To many people, research in this field is considered pseudoscience, an activity reserved for cranks and crackpots who are chasing an impossible dream. When cold fusion is mentioned, most people remember the Pons and Fleischmann announcement 25 years ago which ended with the scientists’ humiliation after their ‘desktop cold fusion’ experiment proved famously difficult to replicate. Since that affair, many people refuse to take the topic seriously.
    But there is something going on almost under the radar that could eventually send huge shockwaves around the world. It turns out that evidence strongly suggests that cold fusion/LENR is not a pipe dream after all, and we could be on the cusp of a world changing energy revolution far more significant than shale.

  • Derek –

    Best to stick to one username, or you’ll be sock-puppeting eh?

    “LENR is real, Cold Fusion is real.” – you’d be a lot more convincing if you quoted the primary research literature not the scattering of (non-scientist) websites you point to.

  • something “almost” under the radar (sssshhh, no one knows!)

    could eventually send shockwaves around the world (or, might not, we aren’t sure because its soooo under the radar)

    evidence strongly suggests (so strongly, its under the radar and only could send shockwaves)

    could be on the cusp (how many qualifying terms can you put in a sentence? Is this the homeopathy school of science reportage – you know, dilution strengthens, that sort of thing?)

    I breathlessly await a single solid fact…

  • Who is Micheal McKubre ? He is a kiwi involved in the pioneering stages of LENR.
    Who are SRI labs ?
    “McKubre and co-workers (1994, 1998) at SRI set out to make measurements of heating power so carefully that issue of error in the method would be eliminated. They used a flow calorimeter, shown in Fig. 1, that captured 99.3% of the energy produced in the cell. This high recovery allowed power to be measured based on the flow rate, the heat capacity of cooling fluid, and the change in temperature of the fluid when it passed through the calorimeter, without making corrections for heat losses from the cell.
    Nevertheless, the calorimeter was periodically calibrated using an internal resistor and the maximum error was determined to be ±50 mW. In addition to observing abnormal energy
    well above the expected error from 19 different samples, two important variables were discovered. They observed that the rate of heat production is determined by applied
    current (Fig. 2) and by the average D/Pd ratio of the cathode (Fig. 3). A similar correlation between these variables and energy production has been observed in every subsequent study done world-wide when such measurements are made. This consistency in the behavior of two independent variables shows that, in many cases, the anomalous energy is not the result of error in measurement.” From a previous post I have done on here.

  • “Cold Fusion” Is Getting Hotter
    Nuclear fusion—the fusion of atoms or atomic nuclei to
    form heavier nuclei—could provide a virtually unlimited
    source of usable energy if the reaction can be controlled.
    Unfortunately, fusion is generally considered to require
    extreme conditions of temperature and pressure, such as
    those found in the cores of stars. After more than 20 years of
    controversy, however, near-room-temperature “cold fusion”
    appears to be gaining acceptance in the scientific community
    as a valid topic for research.
    Once derided as “junk science” when some early claims
    that nuclear fusion had been achieved at room temperature
    could not be verified by other researchers, cold fusion was
    the subject of nearly 50 presentations at the March 2010
    annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in
    San Francisco. Among the presenters was Mike McKubre,
    Senior Staff Scientist and Director of the Energy Research
    Center in the Physical Sciences Division’s Materials Research
    Laboratory, who provided an overview of research in the
    field, now commonly called “low-energy nuclear reactions”
    (LENR). He reviewed progress in LENR research, focusing
    on experimental work by SRI and its collaborators on
    new physical effects in metal deuterides, particularly the
    generation of nuclear-level heat and nuclear products.
    Among other reports at the conference were descriptions of
    a new type of battery based on a new cold fusion process,
    evidence of a cold fusion process in bacteria, and new
    theoretical models of excess heat production in cold fusion.
    According to McKubre, the potential for commercialization
    of the technology depends on a better understanding of the
    science behind the reactions, which he and other researchers
    continue to pursue.

  • “According to McKubre, the potential for commercialization
    of the technology depends on a better understanding of the
    science behind the reactions…”

    When your science fails and you want to still make noise, try statements of the bleeding obvious.

  • Excuse me Ashton there is no fail here. What a mud slinger you are.
    If you actually look at what these people are saying is there is real science and effort going on here.
    He is working with Brillioun Energy to commercialize this..
    You fail to see the research and work done on this.

  • “Well, if there really IS an effect, as more and more evidence seems to be piling up that Cold Fusion effects ARE real, that would mean that these scientists who ridiculed and mocked Cold Fusion back in the 80′s and 90′s and even today can be blamed for setting all of our technology back 20 years. Just imagine that today we might have hover boards, flying cars, and a booming space tourism business, had history gone a bit differently. And don’t laugh, there was a guy from Terrafugia at the IAP course last week at MIT, and he is serious about using cold fusion power to build flying cars.”

  • then he’s an idiot. Beyond powering the car there are so many collision avoidance and other issues with flying cars that any reasonable commentator would not mention them in the same sentence as “credible research”.

    Since you love youtube as a source, here’s your hoverboard – it already exists*


  • hard ot see research that isn’t published btw. Care to point to any research output from Brillioun?

    Their corporate history indicates the only heat generated is in the boardroom.

  • Ashton ever the skeptic until you hear it from the 6 oclock news.You aren’t going to hear about this on the mainstream news even though this is a solution to global warming.You wont hear about this because people like Ashton who refuse to look at the evidence and analyse scientifically. Yet anyone with a 2nd grade education will see the data pilling up.
    So for the skeptics here is something I would like to see you rubbish, yes the successful repetition of cold fusion experiments. This is something the skeptics holla at the top of their voices not repeatable, this is another lie by lazy skeptics disinterested in understanding real science and motivated by funding and profits.

  • There seem to have been some issues with some comments making it through to this blog post. Not quite sure why.

    Looking through the last few comments it seems that post have largely been reduced to personal attacks so this seems like a good time to close this blog, particularly as it does not seem to be functioning well.

    Research into LENR is continuing around the world so the proof of its viability/existence will rely on what evidence accumulates in the future.

  • While we are at,Lenr yes cold fusion which has been rubbished by the press and labeled Junk science. Yes this potentially world saving technology that nobody seems to be interested, has been verified by a major university in new york.
    Since money is what gets people talking listen to the money people.
    Yes there is no arguing now about the over unity in the E Cat system. Rossi is no longer a fraud as this is real legitimate science.
    Still very little press about this considering all the talk about global warming, apparently carbon dollars is what all the talk is about as no one seems to be interested in the solution.
    Pons and Fleischmann deserve a Nobel prize.

  • and yet, over a year on, nothing. As you so nicely say, listen to the money people.

    A different article, also from Forbes, sets out a non-physics rationale for doubting Rossi and his device – he would not need external investment if he merely hooked it up as a feed in to the power grid and accepted the income that would roll in.

    He hasn’t.

    That would imply that the device is either nowhere near ready for sale as a workable device or, it is a fraud.

    It bears repeating with a little grammatical change – listen to the money, people


  • Absolutely amazing hearing cold fusion now being called “kooky”physics, good to see the Junk science tag has now been dropped. People like this probably believe in the big bang and gravity theory which apparently is fair dinkum physics.
    So ok we will drop the speculation from the Pr spinners and got straight to the scientists.
    Cornell Universitry verification of over unity. Maybe by not including over unity into it’s teachings physics is being kooky.
    This same guy goes on to say that cold fusion needs to throw out gamma rays. Well this should be enough to anyone who has done research into LENR, to seriously doubt anything he has to say. Cold fusion does not produce gamma rays. This is a serious error and he obviously hasn’t done any reading into the thousands of papers that have researched cold fusion. This guy is an amatuer and a spin doctor.

  • Ok for the skeptics you have no ground to stand on, this is real.
    I have found a peer reviewed article the Bose-Einstein Condensate to explain the LENR reaction, from the Journal of Nuclear Physics. However I am not a super nerd so have some trouble understanding the nuts and bolts of it. But if anyone can translate this, it would be appreciated.

  • Well it appears that last mention might not be correct after doing research have found it may be questionable.
    But what I have found in the latest news on cold fusion is Brillouin Energy Corp are coming in leaps in bounds.
    For those of you who are not confined to the box and can think outside of it this is their website
    Of course it is not PC these days to call it Cold Fusion and is called LENR
    This technology is developing and hopefully one day will break the chains of the energy barrons.