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Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight - Guest Speaker Dr. Brian Josephson

  1. Mar 28, 2011 #51
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    I'll just add that Rossi does have a buyer, Defkalion Green Technologies of Athens (where there is less red tape than in most places it seems), and the 1MW reactor will go to them after it has been demonstrated in the US. Presumably there is a contract which does have this clause about money not being handed over until the customer is satisfied that it works.

    Also, there have been occasional reports of large energy releases in LENR expts. (including the Mizuno expt. where water unexpectedly rose rapidly in temperature till it boiled and there was an explosion, with the recording apparatus recording what happened right up to the explosive event). So what Rossi has done is not completely new, just a matter of finding the right conditions. Also, I have to point out that while this development has not been published in the journals, earlier work by Rossi and Forcardi has been.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  2. Mar 28, 2011 #52
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    The details all come from opinion at the moment. Which is all well and good, but I'm not seeing hard facts. Hopefully something new will turn up soon.
    Which facts? Again, as I mentioned before, I have done a bit of digging and it's turned up nothing amazing. Only a lot of almost identical copies of reports and news stories.
    Have you seen their website?

    From their website (well the one page that is it):
    First impression is it's a company set up specifically to sell this product. So it's hardly proof it works and certainly doesn't back anything up. I can 'invent' a PMM and make a company to sell it (as are all over the web), it doesn't prove it works.
    Is it really a good thing they've gone to a country because there's less red tape? Or does it mean they're simply trying to avoid issues? I also note the countries they are selling it to don't include any major players (well the big boys - US, Europe etc).
    I'll take your word for this, but any further on this matter may require sources (wouldn't be right not to check these things, rules are rules).
  3. Mar 28, 2011 #53
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    OK, I have more reading to do, that's clear. One thing that strike me about the boil-over incident... could that be the result of something simpler than a burner, like using a reactive metal to evenly heat the water? I truly don't know if that could replicate the effects seen.

    That there is a buyer is very interesting, and the red tape I assume would be related to safety, not efficacy, so it probably has no bearing on the validity of the device. Thank you very much for sharing this information, and I'd say more, but I really do have to read more of what you mentioned, including previously published results. Certainly cold fusion is nothing I've studied in depth beyond its use as an object lesson, a bit like the boogyman. As I'm willing to research even such topics as religion, this is surely no less deserving of exploration, and unlike religion, seems likely to yield SOME answer within our lifetimes. (bit of dry humor on my part, sorry)

    After all, should this work, we'll be in a fairly brave new world, and shold it fail it would be dissapointing, but still an answer for the time being.
  4. Mar 28, 2011 #54
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    Please note my above on this matter. It really isn't as good as it sounds.

    Their website: http://www.defkalion-energy.com/
  5. Mar 28, 2011 #55
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    Well, if they use this reactor to produce energy and it doesn't work, it could be part of an elaborate scam, but the "why" would be rather large. If it doesn't work, they'll be producing energy through usual means, and forced to sell at a loss. If it's meant to increase funding, that could be pernicious.

    The red tape end, I would guess, is to do with safety more than proof of concept... after all you can buy 'x-ray specs' on the back of a comic book... if they were truly radioactive, you might have to go to another country. The one upside I will say, is that as a guest speaker we don't' have to be concerned about the rules of evidence in the same way. This is more along the lines of information sharing from a highly respectable source (appeal to authority or not) than it is about a conclusion.

    Even if this is a dummy company, once they move from posing to operating, they'd be under enormous scrutiny. Such a company would find it very difficult to resist attempts at industrial espionage in Greece I think, so one way or another the guts of this thing will likely be spilled. Whether that turns out to be a case of fraud, an honest error, or a new and cheap means of generating power would, as you say, take time to prove.

    I would say we're in the rare case where, proof or not, we're essentially talking to a RADAR operator describing their personal experience within the rubric of their expertise. This is a rare chance, and it costs nothing to explore something fully. As claims go, this is a big one, but as scams go it would be equally large, and involve finance... not something you want to be doing in Greece... they wouldn't just laugh it off.

    In short, this isn't quite "too good to be true", nor is it obviously real... it's a black box. When it comes to this issue, and when nobody is asking me for cash... I'd like to keep an eye on the box. It's this rare combination of factors; the source, the topic, and its more demonstrable and physically consistent nature that intrigues me.

    If this was a black box that claimed to cure all illness, I'd laugh. A black box that claims to produce energy without violating local conservation, through previously unproven means is not claiming to break the laws of physics. In short, to me, this is more like sighting a UFO, than it is like claiming to have been abducted by aliens. The former is still an incredible claim, requiring evidence... the latter requires something concrete or bust.

    In this case, time will confirm or bust the notion, and given the speaker, I'm inclined to just listen and learn, wit holding all judgment. Remember, this is not a claim to a PMM, it's a claim to reactions at lower temperatures than we currently expect and believe they could occur at. In some ways, it's the very lack of pretension to PMM that makes this intriguing, rather than amusing.
  6. Mar 28, 2011 #56

    Ivan Seeking

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    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    As a guest speaker, Dr. Josephson is not bound by the standard rules. You are free to ask questions, but I will take care of the moderation.
  7. Mar 28, 2011 #57
    I'd just say, this is a case where I think it's worth the care to ignore the "free energy" crowd; their excitement may drown out the genuine research and discussion; Rossi is not pulling a 'Sarah Palin' and avoiding all contact, just limiting exploration of a potentially high value technology.

    I believe, from checking on this Greek Entity, that they plan on installing the 1MW generator in October of this year, and how that pans out, or not, will be very interesting. Still, this is the murky end of Skepticism... if an alien ever did make human contact, the first and loudest voices would be the nuts... still wouldn't mean an alien didn't land. It's the wait for a second "thermal bloom" of academic and industrial interest that we need to wait for, and watch, to see if this was a "launch event", or just a flash in the pan.

    Yes, I did just mix several metaphors there.
  8. Mar 29, 2011 #58
    @bjosephson Thank you for your thoughts on thoughts on the matter. I saw the Rossi work maybe a year ago but i have read very few valuable opinions about it.

    @everyone else While skepticism is valuable it seems to have reached the levels of religious fervor in the western world, and no one seems to want to make skeptical inquires anymore, only dismiss things as silly without examining them first (thank you Descarte).
  9. Mar 29, 2011 #59
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    Re the request for sources, here is the reference; it is clear that the 'reactive metal' theory (or a hydrogen explosion) can't explain what happened; as noted, the entire 700 ml volume of water was heated from 25 deg. C to at least 70 deg. C in 20 seconds or so:


    By the way, we sceptics do like to check up on things :uhh:, and here is the relevant correspondence:

  10. Mar 29, 2011 #60
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    I see a lot of typical 'denier' behaviour here, though some are responding more thoughtfully.* People are saying this is just opinion, newspaper reports, etc. But published papers usually describe what was done and finish with 'conclusions', where the experimenter's opinion as to what the experiment shows is stated. In the same way. Levi has provided the details of his investigation and concluded with his opinion as to what is demonstrated by the results (in the case of the 2nd expt., that chemical sources are excluded). In the first case there was a formal report. I'm not sure if there is a similar report for the second expt., but the http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3108242.ece" [Broken] does contain direct quotes so it is not just the reporter's opinion of the significance of the expt.

    *I fully understand the difficulty in adapting when one's fundamental beliefs turn out to be misconceived. I myself accepted the story 'it was all an error', until someone gave me a copy of the video 'Fire from Water' in which various experimenters who had been successful described their investigations (if anyone is interested, you can now see it on http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6426393169641611451#" [Broken]).
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  11. Mar 29, 2011 #61
    the skeptic comment was in no way directed at you dr josephson.

    I have read some of your papers and i wouldn't even begin to put you in the category of noisy negativism. I have always put your work more in the realm of Kary Mullis or Noam Chomsky (ie inventive, creative and outside the box)

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  12. Mar 29, 2011 #62
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    what ever happened with you and the journal nature over the horrible article they wrote on Taleyarkhan? saw the article and thought it was being moved to a ts compartmentalized thing so down play it in the media.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  13. Mar 29, 2011 #63
    Re: Cold Fusion Back In The Limelight

    That's an interesting situation. Certainly Nature acted disgracefully, refusing to correct what were quite definitely errors and misleading statements. But then I got the feeling that the people I was dealing with were 'intellectually challenged' and not up to understanding the issues, which were a little complicated.
    My memories are a little hazy at this time, but as far as I can recall my conclusion was that T observed a real effect and was shot down by the attacks (he has a mild disposition and is not really a fighter, and refused to talk with Nature (as mentioned above) because he did not consider he would be treated fairly), which might have had a racial element as well as involving professional rivalry (the latter applies also in the case of Pons and Fleischmann; indeed, assuming Rossi pans out, the people working on the ITER project and also laser fusion are going to be out of a job pretty soon). The problem is that his process (bubbles collapsing and therefore getting very hot so if one is lucky nuclear processes occur) depends on how small the bubbles get and that may be very dependent on getting the conditions right. Some may have had vested interests in doing an expt. and faiiing to replicate the claim, but I can imagine that replication could be very difficult anyway.

    What happens in many cases is that people spend years investigating and finding out precisely the optimal conditions for something (and you can't necessarily explain all the experimental skills in a paper), and then someone comes along with a quick expt., doesn't have good conditions, and announces that the claim was in error. Not to mention a famous journal that investigated a controversial claim as to biological activity in high dilution and sent along a team with no experience of biological experiments!
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  14. Mar 29, 2011 #64
    By the way, I'm now doing an experimental investigation -- which will happen first, pigs flying, or Nature publishing something relating to the Rossi reactor?
  15. Mar 29, 2011 #65
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  16. Mar 29, 2011 #66
    :D lmao
  17. Mar 29, 2011 #67
    To Dr Josephson

    Good day - In my opinion Einstein was lets say 95% correct, the 5% that is incorrect is the reason that theoretical physics stagnated the last 40 years. This 5% is the barrier to fusion techniques that don't use tokomaks or Mega-lasers

    What is your opinion to above statement
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  18. Mar 29, 2011 #68
    Dr. Josephson. Some of us have been lurking on this thread to see what you will have next. Thank you, and please continue to keep us posted.
  19. Mar 29, 2011 #69
  20. Mar 30, 2011 #70
    As far as I can see, no independent evidence has been presented to the public to indicate that the Rossi reactor represents a new source of energy. I would be interested to hear Dr. Josephson's response to some of the following obvious, unanswered objections to Rossi's claims.

    1. Trust. The main objection to Rossi's claims is that they require trust. Ordinarily a scientific discovery is published, so that others, skilled in the art, can test it independently. Since Rossi wants to keep his recipe secret, this option is not available to him. Instead, he chose a public demonstration, which would be fine, except that the event in January was neither public nor a demonstration.

    It wasn't public because it was by invitation only, and the central figure, Levi, is an associate of Rossi's, who is receiving substantial research funding from him. That sort of funding can be useful in applications for promotion, and Levi appears to have a lot of room for promotion.

    It wasn't a demonstration because observers -- even those present -- could not actually observe what Rossi was claiming. All we can see from the video of the event is a large device wrapped in tin foil, and some people milling around. How does that demonstrate power from NiH, let alone more than would be available chemically? Only Levi made measurements necessary to evaluate the claims of excess heat, and regardless of Levi's credentials, integrity, or motivations, a discovery of this magnitude will not be taken seriously if it relies on trust, rather than independent verification.

    And it's not difficult to imagine independent verification without disclosing the recipe. For example, to demonstrate heat from an alcohol burner, one can simply pass around a beaker of cold water, place it above the burner until it is visibly boiling. All observers will agree that the burner is producing heat. Rossi claims far more power than an alcohol burner provides, and it should be much easier to demonstrate convincingly (without relying on trust) as the following objections will emphasize.

    2. Input electricity. Most energy sources can be demonstrated, without ambiguity, to any lay person, because they do not need input energy at all. In cold fusion experiments that use electrolysis, the excuse is always that conversion of output heat to input electricity is too inefficient, or the output is too erratic, or both. Those excuses don't apply here. The input is heat, the output is heat, and it is obviously stable. Why can't the output heat be used to maintain the necessary temperature once the reaction has started? Rossi claims it's about safety, but ducks behind confidentiality instead of explaining why turning the input power *off* is dangerous.

    3. Chemical fuel. Why was the device connected to a 13 kg hydrogen bottle? If it were a nuclear reaction, the amount of H2 consumed would be less than one mg. They could have pressurized the cell, and then disconnected the bottle. Removing the large reservoir of *fuel* would remove the need to measure the input hydrogen, which in any case was foiled by a piece of tape.

    4. Wet and dry steam. The claim of 12 kW relies on the claim that all the water is converted to steam; i.e. that the steam is dry. However, no data is reported to support this claim; it is simply made on the basis of an undisclosed measurement with an "air quality monitor". However, the fact that the temperature of the output fluid is pinned to the boiling point indicates that there is at least some liquid present (as a mist, presumably). Moreover the temperature profile makes it highly implausible that more than a small fraction of the water is converted to vapour: It takes 30 minutes to bring the system up to the point where about 1.8 kW is transferred to the water (just before boiling); it seems unlikely that during the following 40-minute temperature plateau, the power transfer is suddenly 12 kW, particularly since the temperature actually dips below the boiling point in mid-plateau. Finally, no photograph or description of the output fluid is provided that might offer plausibility of the very high velocity output fluid consistent with the claim of dry steam.

    5. Flow rate and volume. For a public demonstration, a single large reservoir of water (like a common 20L drinking water container) could be used for a simple, visible, and obvious indication of how much water has been consumed, rather than relying on someone's measurement of the flow rate. The measurement has raised some suspicion because the pump that appears in the video, according to the manufacturer, has a maximum flow rate of 7.6 L / hour, far less than is claimed.

    6. How much excess heat? Even if the temperatures and flow rate presented by Levi are accepted, they provide clear evidence of only about 1.8 kW power out, with 1 kW electrical power in (the average reported by Levi). That leaves only about 800 W for 40 minutes to be accounted for, which is certainly not enough to rule out chemical sources, given the size and weight of the device, not to mention the connection to a 13 kg bottle of hydrogen.

    7. A real independent check. If Rossi wanted instant credibility, he could provide his device to real independent skeptics for objective testing, in his absence. He could insist on a few burly guards (in his employ) and video surveillance to ensure there would be no peaking under the hood.

    These questions leave aside the equally troubling questions of nuclear byproducts, including radiation, but are sufficient to maintain serious skepticism.

    Rossi's February experiment answers some of the above objections (particularly the question of wet and dry steam), but it is not even claimed to be a public demonstration. And there are many reasons to question the plausibility of those claims as well, which I will leave unvoiced for the moment.
  21. Mar 30, 2011 #71
    It is agreed that theoretically Rossi, Levi, and Forcadi could all be in some deception together, but what would be the point? I gather Rossi's preference was to keep quiet until the 1MW reactor had been completed, but Forcadi leaked the news to the local press.

    I've been discussing with Jed Rothwell the issue of Rossi saying 'if the 1MW reactor is completed in October' or words to that effect. He comments that scaling the process up by combining 100 reactors into 1 unit might encounter unanticipated problems that it would take time to resolve, hence the tentative nature of the statement.
    Check your figures!
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  22. Mar 30, 2011 #72
    There has been discussion of this paper in the condensed matter nuclear reactions (CMNS) discussion group. The conclusion is that if the catalyst acts selectively on the isotopes of Ni the apparent discrepancy can be resolved, though uncertainties remain.
  23. Mar 30, 2011 #73
    Who said Rossi wanted instant credibility? Perhaps he wants something more noble, like to do something great for mankind. Perhaps he wants to get rich. If one is convinced that one's technology works, then time will out, credibility will arrive.

    What you are asking for instant satisfaction for your curiosity - which Rossi is not duty bound to provide. If you want a satisfying demonstration, then why not try it yourself? It seems like this may be the only way you could be satisfied that there are no 'tricks'
  24. Mar 30, 2011 #74
    @bjosephson: I believe that your post #64 indicates that you are actually going to make an attempt to replicate this effect. I think this is the true reponse of a scientist to the situation that presents itself. With the rewards being so high, this possibly being the most important challenge that has ever presented itself to the scientific community, i.e. how to solve the world energy crisis before half the world starves or freezes, then anyone with the resources to do so should be attempting to replicate, then extend the development of, this potential break through.

    I have failed to convince my Unversity Dept to also make an attempt to replicate the effect. They do appear to have a valid reason in that we do not have the necessary resources.

    As for all those in the "let's sit on the fence and not risk our reputation" camp, then shame on you. Where I have great respect for the scientific method (including peer reviewed journals), we should remember what came first, science or peer reviewed journals? Most of the great, paradigm changing scientific discoveries had to battle with the establishment before they were accepted. This is following exactly the same pattern, I think history will prove this to be so.

    Dr Josephson's arguments (that the effect is real and cannot be explained by chemical reactions) in this thread are comphrensive. I did not need convincing, as I have been following the Rossi story for many months, however if you still do, then I suggest you read post 41 and attempt to counter the science.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  25. Mar 30, 2011 #75
    Prehaps the deniers amongst you should consider why you are so resistent, possibly there is some subconcious reaction... think who are the big losers if this break through is allowed to develop - mainly the oil giants, who probably control PR companies, who possibly control your mind (to some degree).
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