Response to Ethan Siegel and Comments on the E-Cat 32-Day Test Report (Guest Post by Michael Lammert)

The following guest post was submitted by Michael Lammert.

10/20/2014

Response to Ethan Siegel and Comments on the E-Cat 32-Day Test Report

Michael Lammert (AKA Dr. Mike)

I hadn’t planned on posting any comments on the recent E-cat Report as I felt the review posted by Michael McKubre and the summary posted by Hank Mills already contained most of my opinions on the report. However, Ethan Siegel’s negative comments on the report do require a response. I will also include some of the comments on the E-cat report that I sent out to my friends when I sent them links to the Report and to Michael and Hank’s reviews.

My response to each of Ethan Siegel’s five points is as follows:

Self-sustaining energy reaction, unpowered by an outside source of any type

Siegel claims that that any device demonstrating LENR must be “a device that demonstrably was generating its own, self-sustaining energy reaction, unpowered by an outside source of any type.” Why should self-sustaining and unpowered be requirements to demonstrate LENR? What is wrong with a device that operates in a mode where you must put a little energy into the device to get a great amount of energy out? Brillouin has presented a theory of LENR whereby energy pulses must be supplied to the Ni lattice to create neutrons that then react with protons to form deuterium, and then have further reactions to eventually produce He. Once energy is supplied to form a neutron, all of the cascading neutron reactions produce a great deal more energy than was originally used to create the neutron. If this theory is correct, it may never be possible to achieve a self-sustaining energy reaction in LENR. All that is required for an LENR device to demonstrate its usefulness is that it outputs significantly more energy that is put into the device. Note that the same is all that is required of a “hot fusion” device!

Closed calorimetery

Siegel’s second requirement of “a quality, closed-calorimeter measurement of the energy output of the device” would make sense if the E-Cat were outputting only a little more energy than the input. The open calorimetery used in the 32-day E-Cat test was quite adequate to demonstrate that a significant amount of excess heat was being generated, but perhaps not to the accuracy claimed in the report. (I’m fairly sure the first operating “hot fusion” device will not have the excess heat measured using a “Bomb Calorimeter”.)

Detection of gamma rays

 Siegel claims that “detection of gamma-rays coming from the device” is a requirement to prove that fusion is occurring in the device since gamma rays are always detectable in fusion reactions. At the present time the physics of what is going on within the lattice of the Ni in the E-Cat reactor is uncertain- even Rossi was surprised by almost all of the Ni being converted to 62Ni in the current experiment. The reactions that Siegel shows of protons reacting with Ni atoms are likely incorrect. (My guess is that the appropriate reactions are low energy neutrons reacting with protons, deuterium, tritium, Ni nuclei, and Li nuclei.) It may be a while before we have a proven theory of what is happening in the Ni lattice, but I will predict that the theory will be able to explain the following:

  • why Cu is observed in the “ash” of the original E-Cat,
  • why almost all of the Ni is converted to 62Ni in the current test,
  • why no Cu was observed in the “ash “ of the current test,
  • why most of the remaining Li in the current test was 6Li, and finally
  • why no gamma rays are observed in the E-Cats.

Verify that a nuclear transmutation took place

Siegel requires that an” examination of products and reactants to verify that a nuclear transmutation took place” should have been made. In my opinion the researchers did a good analysis of both the “fuel” and the “ash” for the 32-day run. I was actually quite surprised to see that Rossi let them do this analysis as it generated some information that was not yet public knowledge. Siegel asks a good question: Where is the Cu in the “ash”? Actually that data is presented in the report. Examining Figures 4, 9, and 11 in Appendix 3 one clearly can observe that there is no Cu in the “ash”. (Figure 10 in Appendix 3 shows that Cu is detectable by the SIMS analysis as it can be seen in the Fe rich sample as the atomic weights 63 and 65.) No Cu in the “ash” was probably as much of a surprise to Rossi as having all of the Ni being converted to 62Ni. The abundance of 62Ni and the relative abundance of 6Li clearly indicate that some nuclear reactions are taking place, even if the anticipated transmutation of Ni into Cu was not observed in the current experiment.

Independence

The final question Siegel asks is: “Is this a true independent test, from legitimate scientists with no outside interference from Rossi?” My response to this question is independent enough! In the first place Siegel has no right to question the integrity of the professors and scientists who ran the 32-day test. It is only logical that Rossi would only let those he trusted run a test on a device that is not yet protected by patents. He also has to trust this group would do a good job of running the test as poor results due to the way the test was run could take a long time to overcome. (Does anyone remember what MIT’s and Cal Tech’s poor experimental technique did to Pons/Fleischmann’s “cold fusion”?) One might question the independence of the test if they hadn’t mentioned that Rossi helped with some aspects, and only later was his help revealed. Why do I think Rossi helped with aspects of the test? He ramped up and down the power of the dummy run probably because he knew that the Inconel coil could be burnt out without proper ramping. He loaded the reactor because it probably took a special procedure to uniformly distribute the fuel over the reactor. The reactor may have been turned slowly to get the fine powder to coat the sidewalls of the reactor before the reactor was sealed. Rossi also probably wanted to verify the reactor was properly sealed as the reactor would not have produced good results if the hydrogen released from the metal hydride leaked out. The temperature ramping of the reactor is probably critical enough that Rossi did not want anyone else to perform this task. Critical issues with the ramp-up may include the rate at which the hydrogen is released from the metal hydride and possibly getting some of the Li to diffuse into the Ni. (Li might help in the initial formation of neutrons or in initial reactions that heat up the Ni.) I can’t think of a reason why Rossi would need to help with the ramp-down. If the experiment was done, turn off the reactor and let it cool down! I assume that Rossi helped with getting the ash out of the reactor because he knew this was a difficult task from previous experience. Those doing the analysis claimed to have very little ‘”ash” sample to work with. Also, my interpretation of the report is that Rossi didn’t take away the “ash” in the test tube and then bring it back for radioactivity testing. It was immediately given to Bianchini for testing.

Siegel accuses Rossi of tampering with the experiment: “So Rossi himself, the person whose device must be tested independently to ensure that he is not tampering with the results, tampered with the only portion of the test that showed a compelling, positive result!” (I believe Siegel is referring to the analysis of the “ash”.) If Rossi had wanted to tamper with the “ash”, would there be any way he would do so by acquiring some pure 62Ni (with a similar morphology to the starting Ni), then add in a little Li that was excessively rich in 6Li, all for the privilege of getting to tell the world that even he could not explain these results? Siegel’s statement also indicates that he does not consider the COP of 3.2-3.6 a compelling result of this experiment since he claims Rossi influenced all compelling, positive results when all of these calculations were done by the professors. Besides the logical conclusion that Rossi would have preferred the “ash” contained constituents that he would have predicted from his current theory (which now needs some revision), it seems doubtful that Rossi had anything to do with ramping up the reactor temperature to ~1400 oC after 10 days operation. I am really surprised that random fluctuations in temperature did not cause some local melting of the Ni fuel, which of course would have been seen as diminished output in the latter portion of the test. (This did not happen!)

Finally Siegel seems to have a problem with scientists that are fooled by poor experimental work: “even the most scientifically literate among us — even those of us who are scientists ourselves — often don’t recognize what differentiates solid, valid science (and scientific conclusions) from studies that are biased, incomplete or wholly invalid”. Well, I have a problem with scientists that don’t bother to seek out the information available on a subject before forming a conclusion. If Siegel believes the E-Cat is a fraud, what does he think of the work everyone else is doing on LENR? What does Siegel think of the results of Pons and Fleischmann from 1989? Does he still believe MIT and Cal Tech’s reports that the “cold fusion” proposed by Pons and Fleischmann is a fraud?

Comments, Recommendations, and Questions on the 32-Day E-Cat Test

As stated previously, I believe Michael McKubre and Hank Mills have done a good job of reviewing the 32-day E-Cat test. I’ll try to avoid going over any minor points that they made, but will address a few of their major points.

  1. Dummy Run Power Level

The dummy run power level should have been run at least as high as the initial active power level for the first 10 days of the experiment. Since Rossi was present for this step, he should have told the professors what power input was expected for the active run. It would only have required about a 30% increase in coil current to raise the power level from the 486W actually used in the dummy run to the 800W level of the first 10 days of active operation. Also, there doesn’t appear to be any need to run this test for any longer than necessary to reach a steady state temperature and then take measurements. It would have been better to run the dummy test at three or four input powers, recording steady state temperatures at each power setting, than to run the dummy test for a long time at a single power level.

  1. Problem with the “Joule Heating” Calculation

The “Joule heating” calculation for the Cu wire for the dummy run on pages 13-14 seems to be fairly straight forward. The “Joule heating” is simply the resistance of the wire times the current squared flowing through that wire. Sum the Joule heating in the 3 Cu wires from the controller and the 6 Cu wires to the device and you have the power that comes out of controller, but doesn’t participate in heating the Inconel coils. This is such a simple calculation, that it seems unlikely that an error would be made in other calculations of Joule heating. However, the “Joule heating” in the Cu wires for the active run has been calculated in Table 7, page 22 as about 37W for the input power at 800W and about 42W for the operation at 920W. These “Joule heating” calculations imply that the current in the Cu wires was 2.35 times as high in the 800W active run as it was in the dummy run (SQRT(37/6.7) = 2.35). The only way for this to be possible is for the Inconel resistors to have a very large negative temperature coefficient of resistance. Although the report did not specify what type of Inconel was used in the coils, the data sheets for various Inconels show well less than 10% variation in resistivity over a wide temperature range. For example, Inconel 625 has a resistivity of 135.9 microohm-cm at 427 oC and 133.9 microohm-cm at 1093 oC. Other Inconels have a slightly increasing resistivity as the temperature increases. Also it should be pointed out that if the Inconel used in the coils in this experiment had a large negative TCR, then the Joule heating as calculated in Table 7 would have been much higher than 42W for the 900W portion of the test. The calculated “Joule heating” powers are directly proportional to the “consumption” powers, indicating no change in resistivity of the Inconel coils as the temperature increases from about 1260 oC to 1400 oC in the two portions of the active runs. Questions for the authors: 1. What is the source of the error in the “Joule heating” calculation for the active run? 2. What type of Inconel was used in the resistor coils? 3. What was the current flowing through the resistors for each of the active power levels?

  1. Fuel Loading

What was the procedure used to insure that the “fuel” was loaded uniformly within the reactor? Does the fine Ni powder stick to the alumina reactor walls, or does gravity cause the “fuel” to form a line at the lower portion of the reactor?

  1. Electromagnetic Pulses

On page 1 of the report in the Introduction a sentence has been “slipped-in” with no further explanation: “In addition, the resistor coils are fed with some specific electromagnet pulses.”   The wiring diagram on page 5 in Figure 4 shows no “electromagnetic pulse generator”, however, the picture of the experimental set-up on page 4 in Figure 3 clearly shows two separate pieces of electrical equipment hooked up to the reactor, one definitely being the controller and one possibly a pulse generator. The diagram on page 5 should be fixed to include this additional piece of equipment. Although I’m sure the output of the pulse generator is proprietary, some calculation of its input power to the reactor must be included in the “consumption” power calculation. The 5 kHz PCE 830 meters will not be measuring any of the input power from the pulse generator (assuming the pulse generator frequency is in the MHz range).  What was the estimated power input to the reactor from the pulse generator for the “dummy” run, for the ~800W active run, and for the ~920W active run?  

  1. Other Elements in the “Fuel”

On page 53 the statement is made: “Besides the analyzed elements it has been found that the fuel also contains rather high concentrations of C, Ca, Cl, Fe, Mg, Mn and these are not found in the ash.” What were the concentrations of these elements found in the “fuel”?

  1. Contamination of SIMS Samples

It appears that the samples for the SIMS testing were contaminated by placing them on a “carbon adhesive sticker”. Although these contaminates were cleaned away with a sputter etch, future sample preparation should not make use of the “carbon adhesive stickers”.

  1. Time Required to Convert the Ni to 62Ni

It would be useful to determine at what point in the test essentially all of the Ni has been converted to 62Ni. My guess is that although this conversion is providing some useful output energy, it is not the primary means of energy production. Perhaps the primary energy production mechanism becomes more efficient once all of the Ni is converted to 62Ni? Could this be the reason the required input energy to sustain a temperature decreased during the first 10 days of the test?

  1. “Ash” Recovery

Was it difficult to recover the “ash” from the reactor? Did Rossi help just because he was experienced in this task? Was the “ash” immediately given by Rossi to be tested by Bianchini?

  1. Decision to Increase the Operating Temperature to 1400 oC

Who made the decision to raise the operating temperature to ~1400 oC? Was anyone concerned about random fluctuations in the temperatures of individual Ni particles causing localized melting? What did Rossi say about raising the temperature this high?

10. Residual Gas Analysis

As an aid to resolving the theory of operation of the E-Cat, I would recommend analyzing the residual gas in the reactor at the end of the run. In particular, it would be interesting to determine if He was present after an active run of an E-Cat.

11. Self- Sustaining Mode

Although I’m satisfied with the resulting COP of 3.2-3.6, this appears to not be a big enough “WOW” factor to satisfy some of the skeptics. I would recommend any future experiment be run with a significant portion of the run done in the self- sustaining mode, even if this makes the output power harder to calculate. Assuming control is more difficult in the self- sustaining mode, it would be reasonable to run the E-Cat at well below 1400 oC.

12. Thermal Imagers

My background does not permit me to do a thorough evaluation of the radiative and convective heat calculations. However, the thermal imagers are only looking at one side of the reactors and the calculations appear to assume a radial symmetry. My recommendation would be to have a second set of imagers directed to the opposite side of the reactor. If radial symmetry is not observed, the output heat can be calculated for each half of the reactor independently.  Also, if the Ni fuel is not uniformly distributed, such as mostly at the bottom of the reactor, it would be expected that the bottom of the reactor would be hotter. The thermal imagers would not pick up a higher bottom temperature based on their position shown in Figure 3 on page 4.

Conclusions

This report should be sufficient to convince most of the “cold-fusion” skeptics that it is possible to create nuclear reactions within a Ni metal lattice. However, it is obvious that much work still needs done to establish a coherent theory for LENR as even Rossi, who had previously claimed to have a theory for what was happening in his E-Cat, was surprised by the result of almost all of the Ni being converted to 62Ni. The key issue for the development of useful LENR devices is maintaining stable operation while extracting maximum heat. A good theory is a necessity for learning to control LENR to the point where it can deliver useful energy with adequate stability. Hopefully this report on the E-Cat will generate enough interest in LENR to get more physicists working on it.

 

  • joker

    Come on buddy, petrol engines are so dependent on electricity that they all come with generators or alternators connected to their shafts to ensure a continuous source of electricity to produce a spark. That’s even true for the most basic models. Diesels being a bit of an exception and assuming no control systems, fuel pumps, electric fuel injectors and/or other niceties are utilized.
    Curbina is right, you are wrong.. .
    Also, you are confusing engines with reactors. It’s like saying that the
    combustor of a gas turbine engine (a chemical reactor of sorts) is the same
    thing as a gas turbine engine, when in fact it is just sub-component of it.
    Please review your ‘facts’ in the future.

  • Dr. Mike

    Peter,

    Let me see if I
    can clarify the issue with the “Joule heating” in the Cu wires and explain why
    an error in this calculation is so important, even if the effect of “Joule
    heating” on the final results is not a big factor (as you correctly state). First the clamp ammeters used to measure
    current really do measure RMS current and can easily measure the ac RMS current
    to better than 1% accuracy if they have been properly calibrated. Therefore, calculation of the power
    dissipated in the Cu wires is the very simple calculation shown on page 14 of
    the report. (Note: In using the average current for this
    calculation, they are telling us that the currents are close enough that all 3
    Inconel coils can be assumed to have about the same resistance (equal lengths
    of wire).)

    About the third
    time I read the report, I noticed that “Joule heating” numbers in Table 7 on
    page 22 appeared to be way too high relative to the 6.7W for the Joule heating
    calculated for the dummy run on page 14.
    Since the “consumption” power was less than double the dummy run, I
    would have expected the Joule heating in the Cu wires to be less than 13.4W for
    the higher powered active runs (files 6-16).
    My first thought was the Inconel wire must have a really large negative
    temperature coefficient of resistance.
    However, when I investigated the TCR of Inconel as reported on the
    manufacturer’s specs, I found that that for various Inconel types (they are all
    about 95% Ni) the resistivity varied by less 5% over the useful temperature
    range of the wire. In fact using the
    “consumption” and “Joule heating” power data from file 1 where the average
    temperature was 1260 oC and from file 6 where the temperature was
    1399 oC, the ratio of the coil resistance at 1399 oC to
    that at 1260 oC can be calculated to be 1.008, indicating a positive
    TRC for the Inconel in this temperature range. Since the calculation of the
    “Joule heating” in the wire is so simple, one would have to assume that the
    measured current for the active runs was equal to the dummy current times the
    square root of the ratio of the active “Joule heating” to the dummy run “Joule
    heating”. Furthermore, if the Inconel
    wire resistance remains constant to within a few percent over a wide
    temperature range, then the measured active power ratio to the dummy power should
    have been nearly the same as the ratio of the active “Joule heating” to the
    dummy “Joule heating” (about 5.5 for the 1260 oC active run and
    about 6.2 for the 1400 oC active run, not the ratio of less than 2
    that was measured).

    It should also be
    noted that the Inconal wire is essentially a resistive load with a very small
    inductance. Therefore, there should be
    no current-voltage phase shift to affect the power delivered to the Inconel
    heaters. What is unknown is how the
    pulse generator was actually hooked up to the controller and heater wires. This may have affected the reported power
    and current measurements. Hopefully,
    discrepancy between the “Joule heating” calculations and the reported
    “consumption” powers will be resolved by the authors when they revise the
    report.

    Dr. Mike

  • LCD

    That’s saying a lot actually. If short lifetime isotopes exist there is really no physical principal I can think of that wouldn’t also create long lifetime isotopes.

  • LCD

    Or any other valuable data they care to share. Since the test was public I’m sure that Rossi wouldn’t mind. 🙂

  • LCD

    Yeah it would have or two identical ecats run simultaneously but really with the ash does it really matter? If you believe the ash is real then it’s not really a giant leap to believe the excess heat.
    I think that is what the testers may have thought because it does now seem they hurried to make the results available.

  • LCD

    In the jonp Vladimir W?? has put a long post about possible holes in the nucleus that could help explain some aspects of lenr. I don’t have the link but it’s worth checking out if you are physics inclined.

  • LCD

    But do you agree that it cannot just be the creation of neutrons? If that were it then we’d also have to explain the lack of radiation when the ecat is shut down.

  • Pierre

    Pipmon it sounds like you certainly live in a wonderland, no doubt in the hallowed halls of (m)academia and far away from the front lines of capitalism, in fact, probably with a salary 100% supported by business taxes.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Bernie777

    Michael Lammert, thanks for the report, very good!

  • Curbina

    Thanks for your answer Dr. Mike! I just was wondering. 🙂

  • Ophelia Rump

    He seems to have made a formal study of ignorance.
    He is impervious to the impact of the obvious.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Perhaps the differences in the ashes between the earlier experiments done in metal tubes and this recent test done in an alumina cylinder have to do with where any accumulated charge (if any) may reside. For example, excess electrons in a metal rod would migrate to the surface. In the
    early version of the E-Cat, any accumulated electrons (if any) would reside on the surface of the metal tube. However, alumina is an insulator so accumulating electrons would reside on the metal powder closest to the inner wall of the alumina tube. I wonder if this somehow (I don’t know how) might have an effect on the pathways of the nuclear reactions.

    • LCD

      You mean like beta minus decay our something like that increasing the e field?

      • Alan DeAngelis

        No LCD, I stop thinking about positions after they said they found no gamma rays. I was just thinking of the simple chemistry. For instance, were might the nickel hydride complexes like [NiH4]-2 resides within the reactor. No eureka thoughts that lead anywhere. Just random thoughts.

  • RKTect

    This may be a really stupid suggestion re: the open air calorimetry and perhaps the wires used just couldn’t provide the power, but couldn’t the dummy be be constructed so that resistance heating from inside would produce the same heat signature as the ecat and then the power required to produce the equivalent heat signature to the e-cat simply be compared?

  • Curious Swede

    Hi.
    I’ve talked with my former colleague Ulf Bexell, and also with Josefin Hall which
    made the measurements on the ash. Both of them say they did not know the origin
    of what they measured, but only got a job on the desk. So it should at least be
    an objective measurement. I know that he’s good at what he does. I asked if
    they knew that they probably became “persona nongrata” when they wrote
    their name on the report, but also said that it arranges itself as soon as the E-cat
    starts selling. No laughs there.
    About the commemt on the helium.
    Because I deal with vacuum systems so I have experience searching for leaks with helium.
    And from the pictures you can conclude that a leak testing should be carried
    out at the tube while the process is running. For as soon as it is stopped, so has
    the helium slipped out through the joints and feedthrues. But the risk is that the
    levels produced are too small to measure in real time.

    • LCD

      Do they still have the samples?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.walker.7140 Ian Walker

    Hi all

    “On the matter of Self-sustaining energy reaction, unpowered by an outside source of any type.”

    Ethan Siegel must therefore think the petrol engine is a scam as it requires a battery to start it and a constant electrical input to regulate it and keep the reaction going.

    I think Mr. Siegel lacks any credibility.

    • fact police

      Actually, once started, a petrol engine can run without the battery. And many petrol engines like lawn mowers, or chainsaws or small motorcycles with kickstarts, or small outboard motors run without batteries.

      Even with the petrol engines that use batteries, the battery maintains its charge from electricity generated by the engine itself. So it really is self-sustaining, including the petrol as part of itself.

      An ecat that operates on a 12 volt battery and produces continuous power anywhere in the range of 1 kW for 32 days would be accepted as self-sustaining.

      • Curbina

        That’s not false but is comparing a mature (I’d say almost obsolete) technology with an industrial prototype. For correct comparison you should build the analogy with a correspondent level of technology development of the internal combustion engine (ICE). A valid comparison would be with a single cylinder able to do a complete cycle, and that would not be self sustaining, at all.

      • LCD

        That’s not actually what he said fact police

  • Robyn Wyrick

    I think my biggest problem with this test is that there were repeated assertions that the results would be peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal. I am not a physicist, so I don’t know much about the merits of the test. But I was pretty sure that if – as appears to be the case – it was simply published on the web, without peer review, it would be hugely subject to attack.

    We have heard many people make the case why scientific journals might be reticent to publish this report, but I had thought, after the first independent test, at least some of these issues could have been resolved. Instead there are more or less the same challenges:

    * not a truly independent facility,
    * same group of testers,
    * reported errors with the means of measurement, and above all,
    * Rossi’s direct hand in the test.

    We had these exact same criticisms in the last test, and now we are faced with the same justifications. I know this is a black box test, and that we don’t get to see the secret sauce. I know the suggestion of a nuclear event appears to contradict the Standard Model, and that the lack of Gamma Rays if an issue. But I wasn’t worried about any of these: if the test was solid, and without significant flaws, that was all that matters.

    This is my major disappointment. I was falling over myself in anticipation of this report; biting at the bit to applaud its release in a peer reviewed scientific journal. But I was prepared to wait while the peers reviewed. Instead, I have posted about it only once, when it first came out. I can’t tell my friends and colleagues of the wildly amazing news that this test has hit the ball out of the park.

    As far as I can tell, it didn’t. We have wonderful measurements – but we already had wonderful measurements in the first test. The goal with the second test was to put to rest the criticisms of the first.

    And so we are left with where we have been. We believe the preponderance of information points to LENR as a true phenomenon. We think Rossi is on the up and up. And we await something more verifiable.

    And frankly, that is difficult.

    • Mike

      I read that it will be published in a journal at the end of Oct. 2014.

      • Josh G

        Do you remember where you read that?

    • LCD

      Well not exactly the same, there is the ash.
      🙂

  • Gerard McEk

    Thank you very much Michael for going so much in the nitty gritty of the report. That is what Siegel should have done!
    To improve for a next test, I would also add a high bandwidth oscilloscope (0- 1GHz) with a current clamp to measure the currents and shape into the resistors.

  • LuFong

    I agree with you that the point of the test was more for patent and marketing purposes than anything. But the patent office clearly is looking for a scientific report (see http://www.e-catworld.com/2014/09/28/rossi-fights-for-his-patent-more-from-e-cat-patent-amendment/ ) and for this report to be considered a science report it must meet certain clear criteria related to the scientific method, one being independence.

    • Mark Szl

      But if that were the case then nothing would ever get patented! Independence is a relative term and in this case the report is independent enough for the patent office. I maybe wrong but think a patent agent or patent attorney would agree. After all, IH is consulting with patent attorneys in this matter.

      • LuFong

        Well I have to disagree with what you are saying but I would agree that we are both just expressing our opinions.

        But note that it will not be the patent office that solely decides whether the report is scientifically legitimate. The patent office will examine the scientific evidence for the E-Cat as operable but to that end we are still waiting for the report to be even published in a science journal. And independence is just one of the foundational issues inherently problematic with this report (black-box test, not repeatable, etc). I say the odds are very long that this report will ever gain scientific credibility. Being published in a peer reviewed scientific journal would go a long way toward this goal.

        And as to the what the patent office will do, who knows perhaps the lawyers have worked out an understanding with the office as to what is required but I truly doubt that as well. No, I think IH will only patent the E-Cat when a) they lose control of the E-Cat such that someone can reverse engineer it b) someone else comes along with a device similar or identical to the E-Cat. Until then it makes sense for IH to just not patent the device.

        • Mark Szl

          Please, correct me if i am wrong but If i remember correctly, publishing in a scientific journal is not a requirement for the patent office. One can hire people/lab to test some IP and that report can be provided to the patent office as evidence. Sure one could get things published and that would be considered as basis that the patent does belong to you but they must run into countless cases where inventors do not want to do this.

          • LuFong

            I do not know the specific requirements of what it takes to acquire a patent for the E-Cat. It no doubt depends on the nature of the patent request as well as common patent practices. But did you read the patent office’s reasons for rejecting Rossi’s patent from the link I gave you? If not here are some relevant items that the patent office gave as reasons for rejecting the patent:

            1. “Specifically there is no evidence in the corpus of nuclear science to
            substantiate the claim that nickel will spontaneously ionize hydrogen
            gas and thereafter “absorb” the resulting proton.”

            2. “There is presently no peer-reviewed evidence to demonstrate the spontaneous fusion of nickel and protons…”

            3. “Additionally the Examiner notes that if the reaction occurred as
            claimed by the Applicant, it would also spontaneously occur in nature..
            not be patentable subject matter,,.” (which the report actually addresses to some extent).

            So it seems to me my view is closer to the truth than what you are saying. You cannot patent a natural process but it seems that if you are going to patent something based on a natural process (specifically Ni LENR of the type IH/Rossi describes) then that natural process must be generally known to exist, either through observation of nature or through scientific discovery. But I could be wrong.

  • LCD

    There are a lot of posters who believe that somehow an SPP or something is shielding the reactor from the harmful radiation. While anything is seemingly possible with the ecat let me just remind everybody that there was also no dangerous radiation in the ash outside of the reactor after it was shut down.

    It would seem to me that even if you can explain away the radiation with a shield it would be almost impossible to conjecture that “normal physics” was occurring behind the shield because then that would almost certainly imply intermediate non-stable isotopes of other elements would have formed along with at least beta decay detectable radiation.

    In my very early opinion, since the complete lack of that was detected whatever the phenomena is has to refrain from ever creating any dangerous radiation.

    Again looking at the evidence at face value.

  • LCD

    I admire Rossi but I don’t think he and his team have a clue as to why the reaction occurs. He said he had a theory and one 32 day run squashed it.

    I hope Rossi doesn’t need to wait for his theory to be ironclad before he releases the IP to the public (backed by patents of course), or we’ll be here forever.

  • LCD

    “Why Cu is observed in the “ash” of the original E-Cat,”
    Rossi has explained this as probable contamination because he filtered out the Ash when he gave it to Kullander in order to avoid leaking IP. Although Godes says that it should have been there. So who knows.

  • LCD

    Taking all the observations and comments at face value it is reasonable to conclude that the reaction becomes more efficient as the Ni62 is purified because a) the COP increased at the end of the reaction and b) Rossi has claimed before that he believed that pure Ni62 somehow makes his reaction more efficient. (here we assume he’s seen this dozens of times)

    So this means that Ni is most likely not the primary fuel source and mostly a catalyst & it would seem to indicate that Ni62 is the best catalyst among the isotopes.

    Again at face value.

  • LuFong

    This is a well-thought out and written response to Siegel and comments on the test results. Things are still being discussed and vetted so some of these may go away and new ones appear.

    I do want to say however that the issue of independance raised by Siegel is a major problem with the test and cannot be underestimated as to its acceptance as proof to skeptics that the E-Cat works as claimed. Michael McKurbre states in the context of the sampling of the results (but could easily be extended to all aspects of test): “A mandatory requirement for an independent test is an effective decoupling of interested parties from significant activities.”

    In a related aspect, I think the authors of the report should also indicate what kinds of restrictions and limitations (if any) they were bound to as a condition of performing the test. I would certainly expect that there should be some given the proprietary nature of the E-Cat but the authors should be forthright and disclose what they were and perhaps how it affected their test. We know of one instance, the ash sample size, was limited. Were there others?

    As to the individual points about the test raised by Michael Lammert, here are my thoughts on selective items:

    1. Dummy Test Power Level: The explanation needs further explanation! It makes little sense to me and quite a few others. And as McKubre pointed out it’s difficult to extrapolate from just one data point. It would have been nice to have multiple dummy test levels even if they are not in the range of actual test. For example it might have been possible to detect the supposed negative resistance of the Inconel resistors.

    2. Joule Heating: The apparent discrepancy between the dummy run and the two E-Cat tests is an issue that needs to be addressed since the calculations are a direct result of measurements of the current in the wires. It would be nice to make all the data, including that from both PCEs (if they exist) and any hand measurements of currents, voltages, etc. I must admit while I understand the basics of measuring current for DC and AC and I also understand the nature of the problem there are subtleties that are beyond me and it seems to me that the more data the better. I also thought Rossi “doth protest too much, methinks” and this is not a issue that only dummy’s have.

    3. Fuel Loading: It’s not clear to me why the Chief Scientist of IH had to be the one to do the lowly tech operations related to operating the E-Cat or loading the fuel. Surely this is a simple procedure and can be written up and communicated to professors involved in the test. If we are to trust the professors in their execution of the test, surely IH can do the same.

    4. EM Pulses: I caught that but I think it’s probably not relevant to the actual power levels being deployed. The professors should have indicated as much (including a better description of these pulses).

    5, 6, 8. Ash Analysis: More detail!

    7. 62N Issues: Rossi seems to be indicating that he might be in the position to explain the 62Ni
    in the ash shortly (see his latest comments) using only the Standard Model. Frankly I am expecting him to say that he has a good idea of what
    is happening but cannot at this time disclose it because it reveals too
    much of the nature of the fuel. I will be pleasantly surprised if he
    gives a meaningful response.

    11. SSM: Albeit at the risk of melting the ash, surely they could have run the test in SSM mode for a while toward the end of the run. That would have put to rest any residual issues with the power levels.

    12. Thermal Images: Surely the professors moved the camara around to verify their assumptions. This should be mentioned in more detail in the report.

    Sorry about the length of my post but Michael Lammert’s excellent post had much to discuss.

    • LCD

      12) They state clearly that they moved the camera around

      “For the rods, we do not have 16 thermography files corresponding to those saved for the reactor, because, as mentioned above, the IR camera’s position was changed frequently. We therefore analyzed several thermography files relevant to different days and positions, from which the two most representative ones for length of time and average
      temperatures were singled out.”

      • LuFong

        Yes, but Michael Lammert’s points related to the temperature distribution on the reactor and not the rods.

        • LCD

          lol you beat me to it. I agree though it’s not obvious when reading the test in a skip around manner like I did. Thank god for CTRL-F (find).
          🙂

          • LuFong

            I think one good diagram of the test setup including the positions of all test instruments, controllers, devices etc would help the report immensely.

            • LCD

              It really would, along with more details on the ash data and simply more data on the ash

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Very useful considerations. From the two devices connected to the reactor, the grey one appears to be the “control system”, since the wire of the thermocouple (“K-probe”) is obviously connected to it. It is indeed difficult to bring Fig. 3 and 4 into agreement. This should in any case be clarified by the testers.

    The alumina casing would certainly not be able to shield intensive gamma radiation. But we do not know if the reactor contains an additional layer of lead, for example. This layer could block at least EM radiation in the X-ray range, which might result from various relevant processes. All the authors who claim that no radiation has been measured seem to overlook that the measurements in TPR 1-3 have been made outside the reactor. Rossi has reported years ago that weak gammas/X-rays had been found inside the reactors.

    Regarding the sleight of hand ‘argument’ of some especially eager critics one could add that Rossi would certainly have added copper to a manipulated sample, since the reaction from nickel to copper is an essential claim in his patent application. It would have been extremely counterproductive not to add copper to the manipulated ash.

  • pierre

    great discussion and summary. but you are forgetting to point out that this report is effectively a business report, that is part of a business process, with business objectives. Along the way, some principles of the “scientific method” are respected, and some aren’t. Who cares? It’s a business process. Business trumps science.

    second, addressed to those “scientists” out there who think their purpose in life to defend the “laws of science” and the “process of the scientific method”. Get over it. Your purpose in life is to break all those rules and processes so you can find wonderful new innovations, technologies, and products for those of us who are funding your jobs.

    third, for those “scientists” out there who think it’s their job protect the world and investors from scams that look like science. Guess what – go apply for a job at the SEC or the Patent Office. We’ve already got that covered. Now get back to work on part 2 above.

    • GreenWin

      Excellent post pierre! Your third point is especially appreciated. Though for dyed-in-wool gumshoes, they could investigate the current salary bilking scam running out of the USPTO: http://1.usa.gov/10oe8YC
      Before Congress confirms Michelle Lee, she needs to detail how she’ll end this kind of corruption on her watch.

      • psi2u2

        I agree.

        “Skepticism” seems to have been redefined as “skeptical of any minority viewpoint.” “Skeptics” seem to ignore the monstrous incongruities around us, such as the billions spent on hot fusion or the other cited examples of official abuses of power or integrity.

        • GreenWin

          psi, I have commented often on the “cleansing” process this technology will force upon many of our old and corroded institutions. Academia, USPTO, certain government agencies and the fossil/fission industries will all need to face their demons. IMO, a perfectly normal and good thing for any system expected to make positive contributions to society.

          • psi2u2

            One may certainly hope so! As you may know, I have my own heresy in the humanities, and follow LENR partly from an interest in the larger dynamics of paradigm shift topics. Surely it would be great if the re-evaluation of LENR forced some massive rethinking. To some extent, I believe the resistance is unavoidably the result of human nature. But I refuse to believe we as a society or a world cannot do better by learning from our mistakes. And this, surely, is a pretty big one.

            Lets hope for a domino effect!

  • Chris the 2nd

    I think Siegels point 1 is because he believes that Rossi is claiming the e-cat is a perpeptual motion “free energy” machine. When in reality, it’s maybe probably a cheaper, if not that just definitely a cleaner form of energy than anything used today. It’s the only rationalisation of the comment that makes it make sense.

  • bitplayer

    Great framework for further discussion. The second part should be a useful checklist for MFMP.

  • GreenWin

    Thanks Mike. Very cogent review of the authors’ work. And some good questions for them to answer. I would add a question for the authors:

    As ArXiv only discusses status of a paper with its authors, can you relay arXiv’s reasoning, if any, as to why this latest paper has not been published. This is perplexing as the ITP1 by the same authors study of a similar reactor device was accepted and published. Kindly share the name of the person representing arXiv as this an “Open Access” project under the auspices of Cornell University and there appears to be no reason the public should not have open access to arXiv decision makers.

  • Buck

    Dr. Mike, thank you for taking the time to organize and write down your thoughts. I appreciate that they are clearly presented.

    The only thing I might suggest is that you forward this review and set of questions to the ITPR2 team . . . it can only add value.

  • Curbina

    Good to see Dr. Mike giving a thorough response. Can I ask if this Dr. Mike is the same Dr. Make that years ago followed Steorn’s excess energy claim?