Huffington Post Covers E-Cat — Authors Concede that Rossi Could Have Made a ‘Very Important Discovery’

In the Huffington Post Blog today, contributors David H. Bailey of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (retired) and University of California, and Jonathan M. Borwein, Laureate Professor of Mathematics, University of Newcastle, Australia cover the latest news in the world of nuclear fusion in a post titled “Fusion Energy: Hope or Hype?

They first talk about the latest IPPC’s warnings about the threats of climate-related disasters if we don’t cut carbon emissions drastically, and mention that current alternative energy technologies, while promising, are not able to provide the power the world needs to function. Then they look at the prospects for fusion energy technology to help us with clean and abundant energy.

They admit that the major fusion research projects that have been carried out over recent decateds do not provide us with any near-term prospects for energy production, saying, “The bottom line is that while significant progress has been made in both approaches [tokamak and ITER], even the leaders of these projects acknowledge that we are decades away from commercial realization.”

They cover the recent announcement by Lockheed Martin about ‘compact fusion’ reactors but say, “Sadly, no technical details are yet available, so the scientific community has no way of assessing the merits of their approach.”

Then they move onto the E-Cat, and go into quite a lot of detail regarding the results of the latest Lugano test including the measurements of excess heat and the changes in the isotopic composition of the fuel during the testing.

In terms of this E-Cat test they state they face “three stark and perplexing choices” which are: 1) Rossi and the testers are involved in fraud; 2) Rossi and the team have made ‘multiple, serious, experimental or data-analysis errors; 3) Rossi and the team have made “a very important discovery that may revolutionize the production of energy worldwide. (But how can we square these results with known nuclear physics?)”

The present bloggers are as concerned as anyone that the Italian-Swedish experiment does not have any solid theoretical foundation, has no detectable radiation, and in fact seemingly contravenes conventional physics. We also caution against anyone taking these results too seriously until they can be replicated by completely independent research teams. We are aware that Rossi has a somewhat checkered past, although so did the mathematician Louis de Brange until he proved the Bieberbach conjecture in 1985.

But, on the other hand, we see no point in rejecting, much less vilifying, a new research result simply because it departs from mainstream thinking, provided that 1) it is performed by well-qualified researchers using reasonably sound methodologies and up-to-date equipment, 2) it is documented in sufficient detail to permit third parties to reproduce the results, and 3) the researchers have at least submitted their work for proper peer review.

So we will continue to monitor both of these developments. At the very least, they are certain to make an interesting chapter in the sociology of science.

I find this to be quite a fair-minded assessment of the E-Cat test — something that I hope will cause people to take it more seriously. Drs. Bailey and Borwein should be commended, I think, for maintaining an open mind and allowing for the possibility at least that ‘cold fusion’ could be the answer to many of our most critical energy problems.

  • ecatworld

    In the Acknowledgements at the end of the paper:

    “Lastly, our thanks to Industrial Heat LLC (USA) for providing financial support for the measurements performed for radiation protection purposes.” (p. 31)

    • fact police

      Yes, I’ve seen that. Omega Z claimed much more detail than that.

  • Omega Z

    “and science should not depend on trust”

    And yet, it does & always has. Which is why they came up with peer review. Trust but Verify. However, So many papers are published today that many are not peer reviewed & many inadequately or by those without the expertize to do so when they are.

    As to the ITP test, Those performing the test have a much higher obligation to Elforsk then any other. They were the primary funders of this test & the holders of all the test data.

    IH/Darden did provide funding. The cost of the product, Rossi’s multiple trips, room, & eats. And They paid for the Radiation detection/monitoring of the test. Not for those conducting the test itself. That would be a strike against their own self interest.

    Those conducting the test are not going to throw away their reputations for a few thousand dollars. And with the IH Marketing plan, there is no financial gain to be had unless it works. If the E-cat doesn’t work, the customer doesn’t pay.

    Those who complain it is not a valid test, because it can’t be independently replicated by any University, Get Over It. It was never intended to be. This is a little Science with the Priority of the E-cat being taken to market.

    People can’t Grasp why Rossi would be present for the Loading & Removal of the Fuel/Charge. Must be up to no good.

    Try a different Scenario for a Minute. The E-cat Technology Works.
    WHAT Is this Technology Worth??? Who would be interested.
    Now, Tell Me you wouldn’t be present for the loading/unloading of the Fuel/Ash.

  • LCD

    In what way is it not met?

    • fact police

      It is not “documented in sufficient detail to permit 3rd parties to reproduce the results”.

  • http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/ AlainCo

    where di you get that BS ?
    they are paid by their university, and funded by Elforsk, Royal University of Sweden and few similar “client”…

    not by rossi…

    moreover it is no more rossi story, but Tom Darden baby.

    it is easy to find problem in a test protocol if you modify the reality.

  • deleo77

    I think #2 is the least possible scenario. First, the COP is high enough at 3.5 that even if measurement errors occurred, it is probably too big of a gain to be the result of measurement errors. That wouldn’t be minor error in measurement, it would be a massive one. And it would be a massive error that occurred over a long period of time and with testers who were not new to the process of measuring the reactor. This was their second attempt at this.

    Even less likely would be major errors by the spectroscopists stating that there was a transmutation to Ni62. These scientists are specialists in looking at what is there and what isn’t. Did they completely misread the isotopic ash that came out of the e-cat post reaction? Again, possible, but not likely.

    Measurement error can’t be ruled out completely, but we are most likely looking at the choice between fraud and real. Even most of the hardened skeptics believe that is the choice to make.

  • Buck

    This article shows another interesting upside. The HuffPost comment section does not easily allow for aliases . . . there is no MaryYugo or other anonymous skeptopaths making comment. >90% of the comments are positive.

  • Bernie777

    I disagree, it is the big time, read by many progressive thoughtful people.

  • psi2u2

    Yes, and with principles, I would suggest, in each case.

    • Alain Samoun

      “Just not enough of them, imho.
      Or too many without…


      Reply

      Share › ”

      Or

      • psi2u2

        Both.

    • bachcole

      Yes, and there aren’t enough human beings with principles. I would suggest that everyone can have principles and their lives would be so much better. My wife’s family was desperately more poor than any Westerner can imagine, and they lived principles, and they were happy.

  • ecatworld

    This article is still not good enough for Wikipedia, where they still have not allowed any mention of the Lugano test. I tried to make a note on WP using this article as a reference, but it didn’t last a couple of minutes.

    • Dods

      All one can conclude is if Wikipedia was a real world print you would be reading it off the roll next to your toilet.

    • psi2u2

      In my own field of Shakespeare studies, wikipedia thought police led by Mr. Tom Reedy, “Nishidani” and Paul Barlowe, have (among other censorious acts) removed with impunity references to articles in a number of peer reviewed journals simply because the conclusions of those articles ran contrary to their protected beliefs.

    • georgehants

      CRAIG WEILER SHOWS HOW CLOSED MINDED SKEPTICS HIJACKED WIKIPEDIA:
      Dean Radin writes about Craig’s book: ” It describes a world where the most widely accessed factual encyclopedia is actually a work of fantasy written
      by anonymous amateurs; where organizations that purport
      to support scientific inquiry in fact do the complete
      opposite; where a celebrated science prize is actually
      an impossible-to-win publicity stunt; and where an entertainment
      outlet with a mission for sharing ideas instead acts
      to censor them. And this is just the beginning.”
      ‘PSI Wars: TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet’.
      http://www.amazon.com.au/PSI-W

      • Alan DeAngelis

        Yes it’s “argumentum ab auctoritate”.

    • psi2u2

      That’s interesting that they won’t let you even mention the test. Typical Wikipedia. We don’t like the results (we, after all, have to keep Wikipedia safe from the taint of the unconventional), so we will not allow anyone to talk about them. Its strange how it never occurs to them that maybe the best way to handle this sort of thing is to let each side have a say?

  • Andreas Moraitis

    „3) the researchers have at least submitted their work for proper peer review”.

    This is a very important point, since it implies that having passed the selection process is not an indispensible precondition for a scientific study to be taken seriously. A really heretical thought! These authors seem to be clever in every respect. They are surfing on the Climate Change and Lockheed waves to speed up before they touch on the Rossi story. Publishing SIMS data in a popular magazine would normally be a taboo since it will certainly scare off many readers. But the numbers they provide should electrify those who know at least a little about the subject.

  • BroKeeper

    The comment “MIT’s own Alcator C-Mod Tokamak device had been earmarked for closure in the 2013 budget and was only saved by Congress following aggressive lobbying by Massachusetts politicians”

    and

    “The FESAC subcommittee was told to devise a plan that assumes the US remains a member of ITER, with funding ranging from a flat budget to modest growth of about 2% above inflation…….and for C-Mod to be axed” is telling. The sifting from costly US nuclear fusion programs is following ‘the wake of several years of belt-tightening for the US fusion community.’ This is very good news for IH.

    These news whispers, with the current world’s woes of water borne diseases, toxic fossil fuel emissions, oil resource battlefields, economic disequilibrium, and lack of opportunities provides accumulated winds of opportunity and hope the E-Cat can offer and magnify for the MSM sails.

  • GreenWin

    Looks like just another mathematician with a bunch of sour grapes.

  • Curbina

    At least they refrained to put it in the “weird news” section where I was thinking they might have put it. That alone speaks volumes.

  • Andrew

    A little off topic but maybe the DoE has heard some news… Strangely it’s a similar 10 year time frame that LM announced.

    Excerpt:

    The report was commissioned by the US Department of Energy (DOE), which asked its Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) to come up with a 10-year plan under several very constrained budget scenarios.

    And

    The make up of the committee itself has also come under fire as the DOE stipulated that it should not contain any members from the major fusion labs.

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2014/oct/21/critics-attack-new-10-year-us-fusion-plan

    • Buck

      It was good to see a bit of justice, when MIT was slated to lose all the fusion funding. It was only due to fevered politicking by their elected state representatives that the money was saved.

    • Omega Z

      And this is where the major resistance comes from towards LENR.
      It’s all about the money.

  • Christina

    I hope the article in the HufPost encourages the rich to seriously finance IH because if the government gets involved it’ll just be as skewered as everything else touched by Uncle Sam.

    • Christina

      I’m talking about rich people who have principle, not those willing to exploit the technology for war.

      Christina

      • Alain Samoun

        “rich people who have principle”
        ???

        • hempenearth

          They are like camels that can get through the eye of a needle

          • Charles

            Hey hemp, how about telling us exactly what “needle” Jesus was speaking of when he used that expression. I’m betting you don’t know. Surprise me.

  • Ophelia Rump

    It reads more like a disclaimer for any relationship to negative sentiments.
    Luke warm non-support, or tepid tolerance.

    The centering of chromosomes before cell division.

    • Bernie777

      Right, but I will take it!

  • Daniel Maris

    I don’t think anyone can quarrel with this assessment. If only the rest of the MSM were equally open to the possibility that Rossi might have made a genuine discovery.

    • Ophelia Rump

      The silence is deafening, someone had to whisper first. There it is.

      • http://www.thinktankreport.com/ Phillip Power

        Quite so, and this endlessly parroted meme/mantra – that there is no theoretical explanation for LENR – is, IMHO, simply not true!

        To start to see why, you only need to watch this one video from 2012:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkboynxTWR4

        – In which Dr Yogendra Srivastava (along with Dr Celani) gave an invited paper at CERN. Yes – that’s right – in the “Cathedral of Physics” itself! And it was in the wake of the very “neutrinos faster than light?” debacle that Bailey and Borwein referred to (I set the scene in part four of my “The Promise of Controlled Nuclear Fusion” series at http://www.thinktankreport.com/2012/04/05/the-promise-of-controlled-nuclear-fusion-part-iv/).

        Anyway, I urge everyone to study the Srivastava lecture. There’s a rather rambling introduction by the chairman before he actually starts (at the 3min 30s point) but its really a “must see”. And note that the Widom-Larsen theory that Srivastava introduces is the also main plank of Steven Krivit’s website (http://news.newenergytimes.net/) . Yes, I know that Krivit is an implacable foe of Rossi and vice-versa, but you need to get past all that and look at Krivits very clear thoughts on LENR and W-L. Historically, it is precisely the fact that people who don’t like each other have, nonetheless, collaborated that has produced many of the greatest advances.

        • Bernie777

          Nice advertisement for Krivit’s web site, but nothing new.

      • Otto1923

        As others have pointed out, this could change if/when the report is published.

      • Omega Z

        Still waiting for the wise men to show up…

      • georgehants

        Ophelia would an honest scientific report/editorial of the Evidence in one of the premier science comics make a difference to it’s acceptance by the media, politicians etc. do you think?

  • Gerard McEk

    This is exactly how real scientists should react on a development like this. Let’s try to replicate and make some money available for it. Rossi/IH should be acknoledged for the IP rights, but get it out of the speudo-science corner!

  • Buck

    Wow . . . I couldn’t be more pleased with Bailey and Borwein’s assessment of ITPR2 and LENR in the Huffington Post. Very open and even handed, even including McKubre’s critique of ITPR2

    And, I especially enjoyed the quick witted quote from Ben Franklin “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead”, essentially dismissing the charges of fraud.

    Very nice. Excellent job Frank

    • GreenWin

      It was fairly even handed. And the HufPost has a decent readership. It may also be that the report which has nearly 100k downloads is starting to sink in. After a while people cannot avoid the elephant size stack of papers and studies in the room. Which is just fine.

      • Buck

        People have to adjust their “Reality” . . . it takes time & patience. This is good day.

  • Bernie777

    Yes, it could be a crack in the first major media coverage of the E-Cat. Good reporting, Frank.