What is Happening at the University of Bologna?

One of the currently interesting questions surrounding the E-Cat is what is going on at the University of Bologna in connection with it. There have been a few clues dropped recently which make the subject all the more intriguing.

First a little background. Andrea Rossi had said last year that he was going to be hiring the University to do some private research for him there. In January of this year, the physics department there issued a statement saying that a contract signed between Rossi and the department was terminated since Rossi did not make the agreed payment. However, in the same statement, the department said:

However, the Department of Physics has made ​​available its experience and its equipment to carry out independent measurements on the production of heat by the equipment’s e-cat in order to provide an answer to the entire scientific community and the general public about the phenomenon. The measurement results will be published.

At that time, Mats Lewan of the Swedish science magazine NyTeknik published a quote of Andrea Rossi who said ““the work of the University of Bologna has already started with meetings together with National Instruments to prepare the whole system analysis.”

Fast forwarding to this week, we learned from Stefano Concezzi, director of National Instruments’ Science and Big Physics Segment that NI has sponsored a lab at the Bologna physics department for the study of LENR (maybe specifically the E-Cat). When Rossi was informed about Concezzi’s statement, he responded, “As I always said, we learnt from them and they have been very generous”

So there is seems to have been some kind ongoing relationship between NI, UniBO physics dept. and Andrea Rossi. I found the following analysis posted on this site from one of our readers, AB, interesting. Some further clues are provided.

I believe that University of Bologna is secretly conducting R&D on e-cats in collaboration with National Instruments.

A series of clues led me to believe this:

1) The first was a series of posts on facebook on the Sergio Focardi fan page in which a student at UniBo mentioned that radiation detection equipment was being calibrated in preparation for e-cat testing.

2) I then read some comments on an Italian skeptics blog frequented by some UniBo staff where a poster admitted there had been a second, secret e-cat R&D contract after the first contract fell through. He wasn’t sure whether it had become active but assumed so since there wouldn’t be a any point preparing the detectors otherwise.

A couple of months passed.

3) Stefano Concezzi from National Instruments stated that they have sponsored LENR research at UniBo. Passerini claimed that this research was directed by Prof. Levi, who was closely involved with Rossi in several e-cat tests.

4) On the same Italian skeptics blog, a poster claimed that Stefano Concezzi was lying in regards to LENR testing at UniBo. A second poster then responded to him “You don’t understand, there is no general LENR research at UniBo but research on … specifically.”

5) All this made me curious, so I asked Rossi directly whether there was e-cat R&D at UniBo sponsored by NI. He deleted my question from his blog, which suggests that it is sensitive. The only way this question differs from Stefano Concezzi’s statement however is by the word “e-cat” instead of “LENR”.

What comes of all this remains to be seen. It is not clear whether there is any connection between the 600C E-Cat testing and what might be happening in Bologna. But there does seem to be something afoot. We will be watching and waiting for sure.

  • Frank

    Second try – this time without links, because the first reply with links is still waiting for moderation:

    If you don’d believe me, then for example just ‘google’ for ‘national Instruments donates’.
    On the first search result pages you will already find links to NI donations for MIT, Virginia Tech …

    PS: This comment was meant as a reply to Ged.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    However, the Department of Physics has made ​​available its experience and its equipment to carry out independent measurements on the production of heat by the equipment’s e-cat in order to provide an answer to the entire scientific community and the general public about the phenomenon. The measurement results will be published.

    At the time, I read this as simply indicating a willingness on the part of UB to run an independent test, the publication of the results being a condition for their doing so. I don’t really see a need to modify that view, but it may be that the English translation of the Italian original is misleading.

  • georgehants

    No more dams needed with Cold Fusion, the rivers can be given back to Nature.

    Discovery News > Earth News > China’s Three Gorges Dam Opens: Big Pic
    China’s Three Gorges Dam Opens: Big Pic.
    http://news.discovery.com/earth/china-opens-three-gorges-dam-big-pic-120706.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

    • GreenWin

      George, this will delight the enviros and terrify the big engineering project people. But returning our rivers to their natural states – sans dams, can only re-align the planet to a place where its natural order is not sacrificed for energy.

      The discovery of clean abundant energy is encoded in the evolutionary genetics of mankind. There is little the old school and “insane oligarchs” can do about it (except whine.)

      • Omega Z

        Once harnessed for space, It will make cleanup of LEO objects cheap/feasible.

  • Karl

    A lot of positive and convincing news is obviously gradually sipping out like the information given to the European Commission and many other bit and pieces. It is perhaps about time to review Wikipedia current projections of Cold Fusion to give the history of CF/LENR a correct and honest view.

    • AB

      The cold fusion page is infested with skeptics who don’t allow positive news about cold fusion to be included. Their goal is to maintain the 1989 view that cold fusion has been fully discredited and should be seen as junk science with no validity whatsoever.

      • Methusela

        Yes, that’s true. And their main opponent has now been topic banned.

        It’s common practice for a group of other editors to join forces using IRC or other means, and aim to get users who threaten their world view either topic or site wide banned.

        Can be an awful place.

      • GreenWin

        So, as much as the “closed” encyclopedias (e.g. Britannica, World Book, Encarta) are questioned, so too must Wikipedia as being no better than any other.

  • http://www.shake-speares-bible.com psi

    Nice summary. The circumstantial evidence would be explained by a secret contract carried out at Bologna in concert with NI. Whether this is the correct interpretation of course remains to be seen.

  • Renzo

    One of the skeptics at the blog mentioned before, posted a message from Capiluppi, head of the physics department at Unibo:
    “It was an order at National Instruments, quite important, at least for us, to upgrade teaching laboratories. Apart from the educational discount, following the order National gave (as a gift) a bit of material to the department without any condition of use i.e. not for education, not for cold fusion, not for anything else. The “free” material was distributed among the various research laboratories. The fact that there is new National material in the department of physics at Bologna has thus nothing to do with cold fusion, no matter what they think at National.”

    Again we have a conflicting versions and we must try to square the circle 🙁

    • GreenWin

      No conflict at all far as I can see. National Instruments sponsored the presentation by Dr. Robert Duncan – University of Missouri. His presentation makes it absolutely clear – LENR is a real, repeatable effect and Univ Missouri’s new Kimmel Inst. for Nuclear Renaissance is studying the underlying science.

      Curious though, if Capiluppi has accepted equipment donations from NI “…not for education, not for cold fusion, not for anything else.” What WILL they use the equipment for?? Is University of Bologna’s Dept. of Physics not in the business of education??

      • Ivan Mohorovicic

        I think he meant that the Department of Physics at Bologna is free to use the donated NI equipment for whatever reason they see fit.

        • GreenWin

          Ivan, I think you are correct. But you see the trouble caused by statements made to soothe the angry skeptics.

          • http://extropolitca.blogspot.com Mirco

            The point being, when for profit entities give costly stuff away for free without any reason?

            Usually when they are a payment for something else but must not result as a formal payment.

    • Ged

      Why is that a conflict? No one said the physics department at Unibo has anything to do with the work going on between NI and Levi. Notice how no mention of Levi is made.

      Also, kinda hilarious for this guy to try to malign NI if he believes NI donated equipment out of the kindness of their hearts. Talk about ungrateful.

      • Renzo

        The wording of the january statement and the words by Concezzi suggest that the physics department is involved with the tests but Capiluppi denies it. Perhaps the tests are a private agreement between Rossi, Levi and NI withouth any official involvement by the department of physics. A think at the end everything will be made clear but at the present I’m not sure what to think

        • Ged

          Indeed. Since the lab was sponsored, it sounds like Levi is renting the space at Unibo, rather than Unibo initiating the use of the space themselves. Thus it isn’t an official Unibo project, so the department of physics can deny it all they want. Still, what an ungrateful way to speak of NI, no matter what view one takes of these statements.

          It’s more or less a giant argument about semantics at this point. Political posturing.

    • AB

      It’s possible that NI is trying to ingratiate itself with the CF community by portraying their donation of equipment as “sponsoring LENR research”.

      It’s also possible that Capiluppo wants to appease the skeptics with a comforting explanation. It wouldn’t be surprising, after all they have already caused him trouble for being willing to make a contract with Rossi.

      • un passante

        yes, IMO capiluppi is covering UniBo’s physics department from the annoying attention and pressure coming from a well known group of italian pathoskeptics. as you said they did already cause trouble.

    • Frank

      Actually it’s quite usual that comanies like NI give some free gifts to universities or engineering schools etc.
      The purpose of this free gifts is, that the students get familiar with that equipment, so that they will buy and use the same equipment later when they are in a job-contract.
      It’s like Microsoft giving big discount for software used in schools, or PLC manufacturers spend some PLCs for educational purpose in engineering schools.

  • GreenWin

    Apparently, an ecat is under afoot.

    • Ged

      You know, looking back at the statement when Rossi and the University’s first contract was terminated, in light of what NI has said, it actually sounds like NI came in and replaced Rossi on the contract. As in, NI paid for the contract (sponsored) rather than Rossi. That would terminate the official contract with Rossi, while making available through NI’s sponsorship, all of the Univeristy’s resources, as the University states.

      The pieces all kinda fit if we think of NI now calling the research shots on the E-cat at that university. This also means that NI gets all the information and research results. A clever move for a company looking to become the de facto leader of LENR R&D.

      • http://www.shake-speares-bible.com psi

        This is a nice theory.

      • Omega Z

        Ged

        This gives National Instruments a big foot in the DOOR.
        It appears their involved with multiple parties involved in LENR.

        They don’t need to sell E-cats or LENR devices. Just all the Controls & Software that goes with each one.

        Even after market addons will require their expertise & most likely components for integration.

  • Ivan Mohorovicic

    Yesterday a translation of un passante’s partial transcription of Stefano Concezzi’s presentation got posted on Vortex-l mailing list. Un passante’s efforts haven’t been wasted 😀

    http:[email protected]/msg67147.html

    I speculate that the University of Bologna isn’t officially involved with Rossi/Cold Fusion anymore directly, but prof. Levi and his team are, privately. This would make sense as it appears that the directeur of the UniBo physics department is denying any further involvement with Lenr/cf research. Here we could use AB’s help as the source is the Italian skeptics’ blog he mentioned in his analysis and I don’t know Italian well enough to be able to confirm this.

    • Ged

      That makes perfect sense. A contract with NI for research on Rossi’s E-cat, rather than a contract with Rossi for research on Rossi’s E-cat. A sponsored contract, and not an actually research initiative started by the University itself, giving the U plausible deniability.

      Win win for everyone, but especially for NI. Means they’ll know just as much about the E-cat as Rossi himself, if this is the case.

      Coincidentally, this also makes sense of everything NI and Rossi were saying about eachother back then. NI and Rossi don’t have an official relationship through this agreement, as it’s bridged by Levi’s lab, but both are still learning from eachother, again through Levi’s lab.

  • AB

    The Italian skeptics blog I mentioned is this one: http://fusionefredda.wordpress.com

    • AB

      It’s run by the former director of a facility that housed a Nuclear Research Reactor and part of an agency called “Centro per le Applicazioni Militari Energia Nucleare” ie. Center of Military Applications of Nuclear Energy”. He is an influential man and tirelessly tries to get all funding cut for cold fusion and other innovative projects.

      • GreenWin

        “Delay is the deadliest form of denial.”

        Hot fusion, nuclear fission, coal, gas, oil, standard model physicists, new world order, grumpy old men… all threatened by abundant, low cost energy.

        • Ged

          Standard model of physics… Who knows, maybe LENR is really mediated by the Higgs Boson 😀

          • alex

            Considering they believe the Higgs mediates everything with Mass, I’d say so.

            • GreenWin

              Hey, LENR could use yet another theory. However since Higgs is still statistically flawed, I won’t hold my breath.

        • alex

          The only reason, the public knows about Hot Nuclear Fusion is because the US made a horrible moral choice by blowing the crud out of a bunch of unintended people. It was the fart that made everyone notice. Otherwise, fusion research would have stayed secret like many of the governments black projects. The A-bomb is also the reason Fusion research gets so much funding. They need to stop waiting our time and money, because we won’t have a facility large enough to contain and sustain a reaction here on the planets surface. It will have to be contained at a Lagrange point between earth and the moon, and the resulting energy beamed to a collection point on earth. The 30 Billion spent so far could have bought that capability already. When will the public educate themselves and stand up and say no, your waiting our resources chasing something so fundamentally flawed.

          • GreenWin

            alex, while I do not disagree with your assessment, kindly learn the difference between the English word “waiting” and “wasting.”

      • Ivan Mohorovicic

        Sounds like an italian Bob Park.

        • Methusela

          Don’t mention that name.

        • robiD

          He is by far worse.
          In his opinion every scientist that works on cold fusion is an incompetent, every paper or work that has been done until now about CF or LENR is either a bad work (usually full of mistakes) or a mystification. Every heat excess reported seems a fantasy or an erroneous measurement.
          Transmutations? Pure inventions, all fakes, samples contamination, erroneous use of the instruments, and so on.
          Science is only that one which you can find on scientific books, if some experiment reports effects that you can’t find on books, it doesn’t need further analysis because the experiment is wrong and the scientist is incompetent.

          • alex

            This guy sounds like he needs to be reminded that energy from hot fusion can not be harnessed. It’s not in the books, so it must be bad science. I know he supports his slice of grant work he gets though.

          • AB

            His main argument against cold fusion is that no such nuclear reaction is recorded in data banks, therefore it cannot be real. It’s astounding how he can delude himself to such a degree as supposedly intelligent scientist. No new discovery was in textbooks and data banks when it was discovered, it’s pure dogmatism to demand that it be in order to be valid.

      • http://www.health-answers.co.uk Peter Roe

        I think the individual concerned should be named: he is prof. Camillo Franchini.

    • alex

      The moderator of that blog deletes all posts that attempt debate or to him cause altercation. He openly replies on some, “I delete posts above?” or “I just deleted posts that do not follow science”. And several of the blogs supporters cheer afterwards. A few of them are pretty funny though, one response to Celini’s Arata1 post, was about the high pressure and currents Celini reports. Talking about wanting to see a cable the size of a Christians’ torso to handle such a load. It’s all sorts of madhouse over there.

  • http://www.american-reporter,com Joe Shea

    If you read “The War onm Cold Fusion,” which is on the American Reporter Web site today, you’ll understand that not all the goings-on with respect to academic research on cold fusion is on the up-and-up.

    • JBJ

      Made me think of Dick Cheney on GW Bush’s energy council…at which point the reality of active suppression of cold fusion seemed all too likely. Add in the fact of Nixon’s dirty tricks crew, and sure, the oil companies, or heck, just a single major shareholder in the energy sector could easily finance a crew of paid skeptics, or let it be known that certain university donations were contingent on certain faculty staffing decisions. We know something like this is happening with global warming (very close to the LENR space as it turns out) so why not with LENR itself, which is clearly much more threatening to energy portfolios. Ewww…