Discovery Article Pours Doubt on Rossi’s ‘Cold Fusion’

The Discovery Channel’s web site has come out with an article by Jesse Emspak (which features a large picture of Andrea Rossi at at its head) titled “5 Reasons Cold Fusion is Bunk”.

The five reasons listed in the article for being skeptical about Rossi and the E-Cat are :

1. The Coulombe barrier — only possible with super high temperatures and massive brute force, such as in the stars)

2. Gamma Rays — two inches of lead shielding would be needed to stop 96 percent of gamma rays from a fusion reaction, and Rossi would be very sick if even only four percent of gamma rays escaped from his device. There didn’t seem to be any shielding in his reactor.

3. Transmutation — there would need to be new elements coming out of the machine if cold fusion was occurring. Rossi said initially that nickel is being transmutated to copper — not even supernovas can do that)

4. Testing — during the test the reactor was never disconnected from the mains power even when their equipment measured no power was being consumed. The team did not test for a hidden DC wire.

5. Catalyst — Rossi has not disclosed the catalyst he is using claiming it is a trade secret and this is a red flag.

My initial response to this article is that Rossi isn’t claiming that what is going on in his reactor is cold fusion as is often described — a desktop version of the sun. He says he prefers the term low energy nuclear reaction, but that is a rather vague term. We really have no idea about his theory. He does say that gamma rays are being produced, but are somehow thermalized in the reactor and produced no dangerous radiation. Transmutation, Rossi now says, is a minimal side-effect of the reaction, and not the main cause of the energy production. As for the testing issue, that has been discussed at length. Torbjorn Hartman said he did thorough checks for hidden sources of energy, but found none. Hanno Essen said he didn’t think of doing so. We know the catalyst is secret, and yes, it’s a problem for people who want to understand and replicate the E-Cat — but keeping a part of the technology secret does not have a bearing on whether it works or not.

My own position is that Rossi has a technology that works as he says, but we know very little about how or why it does. The recent tests go a long way to bear out his claims and only can be called into question on the assumption that deep fraud is involved — and personally, I don’t see evidence to make me believe that it is.


  • elasticbucket

    I would consider the following:
    No.1 is speculative, inasmuch as LENR process has not been identified.
    No.2 Is an assumption there is fissionable a component to LENR.
    No.3 Why, would there need to be new elements coming out of the machine if cold fusion was occurring?
    No.4 The team did not test for a hidden DC wire, untrue.
    No.5 A surreptitious ruse to find out the nature of the fuel cell.
    and, have 2 bob each way. A very weak journalistic performance in my opinion.

  • elasticbucket

    I would consider the following:
    No.1 is speculative, inasmuch as LENR process has not been identified.
    No.2 Is an assumption there is a fissionable component to LENR.
    No.3 Why, would there need to be new elements coming out of the machine if cold fusion was occurring?
    No.4 The team did not test for a hidden DC wire, untrue.
    No.5 A surreptitious ruse to find out the nature of the fuel cell.

  • Allan Shura

    The arguments presented by discovery and others are what is called a conceptual error.

    Most of the points are based on the theories of hot fusion not cold
    fusion and they are entirely different phenomenon.

    The fallacy is apparent if we for example compare heat from a fire (called thermal radiation) and for example another phenomenon like x-ray radiation and claim they are the same as a “proof”.

  • Tomw

    Wait a minute, read the last paragraph. After casting 5 points of doubt, the author says ” my own personal opinion is that Rossi has a technology that works as he says..” Sounds like he’s hedging his position.

    I think his key statement is that we don’t understand what is happening in the reaction. I don’t think anyone, including Rossi, fully understands the physics at work here. Which is why comparing it to the power of the stars is totally misguided.

    Scientists are surprisingly closed minded about new ideas, perhaps because they are so committed to the rigid thinking required by the scientific method. This is normally a good discipline to have until you’re dealing with radically different concepts and technologies. Open your minds!

  • Alan DeAngelis

    This is the same sort of thing Gary Taubes did to John Bockris when he found tritium in his F&P replication experiments in 1989.

    http://www.infinite-energy.com/images/pdfs/MalloveIE32.pdf

    • Joe Shea

      You say, “Rossi has a technology that works as he says,” but he doesn’t have ity anymore. He’s sold it. Since we don’t know who his “Partner” – always capitalized! – is, he may have sold it to another corporate version of himself – in a NDA deal, of course.

  • hempenearth

    Wow! Discover believes an unqualified blogger with a vested interest instead of several highly qualified eye witnesses paid by an energy industry body to produce an independent report. What balance!

    • Miles

      I think going forward, we will see more aggression of the non-believers attacking Rossi.

      They can Deny all they Want, LENR Is Real !!!

      • AlainCo

        Like a condemned in the death row, having his las meal… always moaning on a problem with the meal… just to get few minutes before the cooking.

        hard to swallow the crow.

  • Andrea

    Clap Clap Clap. Great journalism in this story. Jesse received a call from his boss: «hei, what do we think about Rossi?» «zzz zzz oh yes, I’ll send you the story in 5 minutes». Come on Discovery… You can do it better

  • B travers

    These attacks will surely become more aggressive as the full impact of AR’s achievment begin to sink in.
    We all have to continue to give our support to AR, unless you have any doubts.
    I don’t have any, and these attacks help reinforce my belief.

    Regards, Bren.

  • V

    Right, check this guy out.The author of the Discovery article is nothing much but a blogger and a former hedge fund reporter which at some point has build a science section for a website? Really, is this al his experice about science? There are way much more people that could do his job…clearly he knows nothing about physics. Judge for yourself!

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jesse-emspak/5/20a/387

  • andreiko

    Koude fusie? De vrijkomende energie bij (2) H atomen die fuseren is onder alle omstandigheden altijd van de zelfde waarde. Waar het omgaat is de hoeveelheid atomen die fuseren binnen een bepaalde tijd en de afstand die ze tegenover andere exotherme reacties (fusie/chemisch)
    hebben.Het voorgaande bepaald wat wij zullen meten aan energie binnen een bepaalde tijdsfactor.De H atomen die kennelijk in een Ni rooster ingekneld raken worden blootgesteld aan enorme rek en krimp krachten van het nikkel als ook de bewegings energie van fibrerende nikkel atomen
    Misschien kan het voorgaande een beter inzicht geven in de vrijkomende energie van nieuwe configuraties der atomen.Sorry DUTCH.

  • Deleo77

    What is going on with Rossi and the demonstration is reminiscent of the story of D-Wave quantum computers. Their demo was sketchy, the person who started it had somewhat of a checkered past, and established scientists in the field of quantum computers thought their demonstration was flawed, or maybe even a hoax. Scientists from leading universities wanted to replicate the experiment, because that is what scientists like to do. But D-Wave said no because they are a private company that wants to maintain their trade secrets.

    But D-Wave has held successful demonstrations, and to this day not many people know or even understand how it works. This may actually include people at D-Wave as well. What they have begun to establish is that the computer exhibits quantum effects. Many of the long-time skeptics have slowly come around to admit this. So is D-Wave a quantum computer, maybe or maybe not, but the important thing is that it has the effects of one.

    Rossi’s device may fall into the same category. Is it cold fusion, LENR, something else? He may not even know. The important thing is the effect of what it does. If Rossi’s device is the real deal, it may follow the same path as D-Wave. Now D-Wave has the CIA and Jeff Bezos as investors, and has raised millions, and Lockheed, Google and NASA have purchased a D-Wave computer to do quantum computing research. If you see the post below, there are some similarities to the e-cat demonstration. History does have a way of repeating itself.

    http://www.mactalk.com.au/23/22460-quantum-computer-demonstrated.html

  • julius

    This kind of biaised attacks always reinforce my trust in cold fusion.

    I can feel the system being stressed by cold fusion, biaised articles, amazing reactive censorship wikipedia, diffamation, Ad nominem attacks, etc…

    I think, at a certain point, you don’t need knowledge in physic or cold fusion to state if the Technology is true or not, you don’t even need a proof that it works, you can only analyse how they get attacked, by who and how, this gives a clear answer to me.

  • julius

    The title of the article start biased.

    “5 Reasons Cold Fusion is Bunk”

    If the one who wrotes this had a true scientific mindset, he would have titled his article :

    “5 Reasons Cold Fusion could be Bunked”.