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The Big Science Chill

  1. Jan 20, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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  3. Jan 20, 2005 #2


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    From the article:
    When businessmen commit fraud, they go to jail. Pons and Fleishman should thank their lucky stars that there are no legal repercussions (just professional ones) for scientific fraud.

    Also, the 3rd paragraph in your quote is emotionally charged and highly misleading. For example, how much research was really being done before P&F made their announcement? How many scientists at the time really considered it a viable field of study? "...on a consistent basis" implies that it actually does work, but on an inconsistent basis - an assessment not shared by leading scientists.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2005
  4. Jan 20, 2005 #3
    No they dont, consider the people of California and the fleecing they got back in '00-'01. Kenny Boy is still on the loose!

    I dont think you even understand enough of the 'cold fusion' contraversy to weigh in on it. Have you personally tried to reproduce the claim they made? Are the Naval Research labratories just blowing a lot of money on research that wont render new means of power for propulsion? That all of this 'cold fusion' is hogwash and there is not a phenomena that is not understood?

    Wow russ, you certainly stick to your guns ,dont you!?!? Perhaps you should put a little more work into your research.
  5. Jan 20, 2005 #4


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    Government labs have sponsored all kinds of crank stuff in the past. The fact that a Navy lab is studying cold fusion is not evidence that cold fusion is real. I continue to say I'll believe it when I see it; and I don't mean the kind of evidence that they print in "Infinite Energy".
  6. Jan 20, 2005 #5
    They sure have! Star Wars, Missle Defense, etc. !

    Apparently the navy has been researching this for a while and I am not saying that 'cold fusion' is real but I am not discounting it either. The articles that they have put out indicates that there is more to it than the junk science it was purported to be.

    The article that Ivan posted does make a good point about researches getting mired in contraversy and thus killing the research. From what I gather from my own small investigations is that there is a fusion like phenomena at work that is not well understood. Thus my conclusion is that it merits further research. That is what science is all about, unfortunately research can easily get caught between cranks and nay sayers, thus killing any potential for investigation.

    Perhaps it is because I am reminded by the buble cavitation fusion research that is currently being investigated more thuroughly. Back in '01 when the first report came out of Oakridge(?) that they thought they had acheived fusion, quite a few people I knew scoffed at it and thought is was bunk. Well that is now no longer the case. I understand that there are quite a few opportunistic cranks out there but that is not always the case. Unfortunately we are all truely limited in our ability to make an judgement, unless of course we get the chance to goto the lab and try it ourselves. Even then we can't always be sure. Such is the life of science I guess!
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2005
  7. Jan 21, 2005 #6


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    Ok, not all, but a great many - several of the ENRON execs (and Anderson, and Tyco) are in jail.
    You're kidding, right? No one who hasn't tried the experiment can comment? Wait, have you tried the experiment?
    Yes! The military is famous for that! Wanna buy an X-ray laser? (edit: that may be possible now, I'm not sure, but it certainly wasn't in 1985)
    That's not a complete sentence, but if you are asking: could there be a phenomena going on in a P&F electrolytic cell that deserves further study? Certainly, yes!! But thats a straw-man and you know it: that does not imply that its cold fusion.
    Maybe you should. I recommend Bob Parks's "Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud." Its a general book about psuedoscience, but it has a lot of good history of the cold fusion debacle. Its relatively short and entertaining.
    And you base that on.... gamma rays? Neutron generation? Reproduceability? What?

    My main objection to cold fusion isn't even the fact that its generally regarded as junk science: its the fact that I don't like to be lied to by people asking me for money(or anyone else, for that matter).
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2005
  8. Jan 21, 2005 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    There does appear to be an anomaly formerly known as cold fusion. Whether or not cold fusion will emerge as the proper explanation can only be known by doing more research. Crackpot can mean several things. Were the labs that you mentioned doing bad science, or were they simply wrong? Were they crackpot because they were taking risks, or because they were on the cutting edge? Of course, if they were wrong, they must have made mistakes, but that doesn't make it crackpot. And between String Theory, LQG, GR, and QM, I find it difficult to clearly define what is and is not crackpot. I find it even more difficult to tell who is qualified to do so. In many cases, it seems to me that crackpot can only be properly applied in retrospect. Until we do the experiment, and assuming reasonable motivation for investigation, who knows? In the grand scheme of things, in science, there is nothing wrong with being wrong. We need a lot of wrongs to get it right. Politically, well, we all know that's another thing altogether.
  9. Jan 22, 2005 #8
    Yeah but some of the big fish are still on the loose. The sad thing about that scandal is it proves, to me at least, that the bigger the crime and the whiter(?) the collar, the less the punishment. Think about it russ, how many people would be willing to give up 5-10 years at a 'privilaged' facility in exchange for 10s or maybe even 100s of millions of dollars? Such is the state of justice in our country. Lesson learned: If you are going to to the crime makes sure you aim really high. Then you can buy off the right people!

    Exactly! nobody should be able to comment unless.....

    Just kidding! :tongue2:

    No I have not tried the experiment, but from what I am figuring it out it does not appear to cost a lot to perform. It seems that analysing the equipment after performing the experiment would be the most costly part.

    Apparently the people down at SLAC are in the process of of using a Free Electron Laser as an x-ray source. Here is a small write-up on the project. Presently I seriously doubt that anyone would be able to get an FEL up in orbit to use it in that now defunct 'star wars' project. Then again....???

    Hey, you forgot to mention the 'black projects' that have no regulation or oversight. I can't even guess how much money gets flushed in that budget. I suspect that a lot of it just changes hands instead of going into real projects. Talk about a racket! Then again, we will never know because all of that is classified!

    I didn't realize I was on an English chatboard where the proper rules of grammmer must apply! :rolleyes: That is petty and sad russ, take your ego out for a walk, will ya!?!

    As for the rest, excellent, you are 'seeing the light' brother russ. I can't belive you actually agree. Yes it does merit more research! As for cold fusion, I can only speculate but I think that the jury should still be out on this one until conclusions can be made. It appears the current model does not apply, if cold fusion is the case. I would suggest going back to the page by Matti Pitkänen and reading through it. He thinks that is the case. The thread started with an article that stated how research can get killed because of a press release such as with the 'cold fusion' claim. In retropsect the researchers should have put a more obscure title to their claim so the community would not have to worry about the clamour that was created by the media.

    Russ, I have sat through enough classes, colloquia, and done enough research to know that it would not be terribly difficult to pull off a scam in the physics community. But I also know that it would not take long for the scam to be figured out. When I was doing my UG QM classes I remember sitting there thinking that a person who had not had the orientation that the other students and I had gone through may quite easily scoff that QM was rubbish. Hell, a lot of the students exclaimed something very close to that but with more vulgarity!

    Once again, go back and read some of that write up by Matti Pitkänen, oh what the hell, here is what he suggests:

    This guys is pretty interesting and he seem to think that current models dont apply to this phenomena. He is also apparently steeped in string/M theory and trying to desribe spacetime manifolds on the the quantum scale, what he is calling Topological Geometrodynamics. This stuff seems to be pretty cutting edge and ty interesting, of course I have been wondering about that since my QM classes. I hope he comes up with something!

    WOW russ, it sounds like you should be pissed off at most of the world! Cant say that I blame you though, but then again there are much bigger fish to fry in that ocean of R&D. The grants it would require to further investigate 'cold fusion' is chump change compared to a lot of projects.
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