Scientific Conduct, MFMP, and LENR (Thomas Clarke)

The following article was submitted by Thomas Clarke

I came across an educational web site from Berkeley that provides an interesting mainstream science perspective on the original F & P Cold Fusion experiments.

You can see, from this account of events, how important openness patience before publication is in the scientific process. If there had been some real anomalous effect F&P, through their own behaviour, would have made finding this more difficult. You can read the link above, whatever your views on the reality of LENR, and see how F&P could have behaved differently with more positive results.

Where this is relevant to the world today is that thus far MFMP is showing a very different pattern, that should be a model for anyone else wanting to collect evidence for an LENR hypothesis. Of course MFMP is not unique – but they have popularised techniques:

  • Openness
  • Care and multiple checks before announcing positive results
  • Balanced consideration of positive and null hypotheses

As an example look at their investigation of Celani wires, and how they discovered the importance of ambient temperature control:

This shows how openness and willingness to consider and test alternate hypotheses (in this case from Rick Cantwell) can help differentiate between false positive results and real positive results.

This attitude towards experimental results allows science to progress. It should be celebrated as an indication that it is possible to do LENR research in a way compatible with mainstream science.

Although thus far MFMP have no significant positive replicable results, they are in the best possible position to validate any of the Rossi/Parkhomov LENR+ effects that many here feel are now likely to exist. Or, if in fact these effects do not exist, to demonstrate the negative. Unlike F&P, open science has the ability to accept critical scrutiny and test it, thus making experimental results stronger. With such a protocol in place a positive result that survived repeated scrutiny would be strong enough to withstand the rigor of mainstream publication, as well as easy to replicate.

LENR+ today has the same glitter of commercial pressures that led F&P astray. If LENR+ exists, it is of extraordinary commercial value.

History shows that the commercial pressure holds dangers in terms of lack of scientific rigour. MFMP should be celebrated for standing up for greater rigor, and higher standards, in spite of any temptations.

My own views on the likelihood of LENR as a hypothesis would not be of interest to readers here. However I’m hoping that the views expressed here on the importance of scientific rigor and openness will be more palatable. Parkhomov, unlike Rossi, should be commended on having enough openness to allow his results to be replicated.

More importantly, the MFMP guys should be supported with patience and the understanding that though getting scientifically rigorous results takes a long time, and is not as much fun as announcing strongly anomalous results before they have been carefully checked and scrutinised, it is the only way to cut through the Gordian knot of LENR claims and counter-claims.

  • Warthog

    Enough. Not interested in hearing you repeat the same bogosity over and over and over. I will not respond further

    • EEStorFanFibb

      LOL good for you Warthog!

      tom your walls of text are as appreciated here as they were on IOW, not very.

  • Obvious

    I have no idea how you get a factor of four for any of the currents. The basis of all the current calculations are RMS measurements or derivatives of RMS measurements. So peak currents in our models, wye or delta, have to respect the measurements or their derivatives based on those values. So peak currents should not exceed sqrt(2) times any current we use properly. This means that phase modified waveforms will be less than the peak, and less than the RMS of full conduction by a factor related to the reduced conduction period, since the average relates the RMS to a full wave value due to time averaging.

    • Thomas Clarke

      If you look at the current shown in the report waveform picture it is a typical scr switched waveform with a small duty cycle – which we also expect because we know the black box is an scr controller. From which I get my approx factor of 4. A sinusoid would give sqrt(2) peak/RMS – but this is far from a sinusoid. The peak is a lot higher than typical for a sinusoid – but how much higher is debatable. One thing i don’t understand is why the current waveform seems to have slow edges – you’d normally expect the triac switching to be fast. But maybe this is an artifact.

      For example, for a square wave duty cycle D we have RMS value sqrt(D) times peak value. the wave form here is a bit more complex but same idea.

      • Obvious

        The RMS of a Square wave is 1 times peak. A duty cycle of 50% is 0.5 times RMS. maybe with a super Guassian crest factor something extra might happen.

        • Thomas Clarke

          The waveforms they show look like half-sinusoid pulses – don’t ask me why.

          a duty cycle of 0.5 (0 for 50% of time, +1 or -1 for 50%) is sqrt(0.5) RMS. Maybe we were talking about different things?


  • Warthog

    And why should there be. Scientists are expected to actually READ the paper AND the references, not be led around by the hand (or nose)..

    But you exhibit another characteristic of the pseudo-skeptic here….complete refusal to actually study the subject, other than when presented as a “critique” that fits your prejudices.

    You’re not worth the time wastage to continue with. Bye!

  • Obvious

    I posit the wye only for the dummy.
    The power controller is only capable of 80 A.

  • Warthog

    “I have an engineer’s understanding that things go wrong, and that any
    variable not tied down tends to bite you unexpectedly. And I’m aware of
    the care and precision with which scientific papers need to be written.”

    Then perhaps you should have given a bit more credence to Beaudette’s analysis, as he is also an engineer with excellent credentials in his field.

    “The more extraordinary and important the claim the more care is needed.”

    Standard skeptopath comment “…extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof….”. Sorry….no. REAL science has no such requirement.

    “The paper is badly written in one sense. It presents excess heat in
    these experiments as a known phenomena, without either referencing where
    this fact is established, or establishing it.”

    REALLY??? You have now read and understood in depth all the references in the paper???

    “This is an incidental criticism because when you read the paper it is
    clear that whether or not excess heat exists is not the question being
    answered here.

    Well, at long last you get something right. The point of the paper is to show the precision of the calorimetry..

  • Obvious

    1.2323 /3 = 0.4141 ohms (Delta div/3) at 480.906 W within the delta
    Wye = 0.4074 ohms with 480.906 W in Wye.
    Best fit, with C1 losses subtracted, which total 5.094 W in each case.
    I subtracted the C1 losses in each case to examine the effects within each configuration separately, even though in the wye, the c1 cables are in series with the c2 cables, which are in series with the resistor.
    The difference I think is the phase current, rather than line current going through the delta C2, compared to wye C2 getting line current.

    The resistance still ends up ~10% lower in the active runs using my calculations, so a perfect match isn’t happening. I have a range of 0.35585 ohms in Run 1 to 0.36626 ohms in Run 16, delta configuration. Lots of decimal places retained since the equations are seemingly excessively sensitive to them, even if they are not actually significant figures properly. At least the resistance climbs slightly, instead of dropping over the Active Runs.

    • Obvious

      Run 1 seems to be a bit wonky in every analysis I did, BTW.

      • Obvious

        Dummy as a wye.

  • friendlyprogrammer

    Can you say the above with a straight face? I find it puzzling that non scientists such as yourself can contradict the Chief Research Scientist at NASA Langley amongst dozens of equally eminent minds.

    You say 1% of scientists would endorse anything, but they would not be claiming they have seen it work experimentally.

    We also have affirmations from The US Navy, US department of Defense, National instruments, European Directorate-General, as well as leading scientists and professors worldwide.

    If you seriously wish to deny LENR as a possibility then you are way on the wrong website because 99.99% of people here are not ignorant enough to doubt any longer.

    Feel free to guess at the mechanisms behind LENR, but denying it or even suggesting it might not be real is very silly and goes against common sense to a high degree.

    I apologize if it is just your lack of information on the topic, but you seem to be a bit behind in understanding atm.

    Your posts are reminiscent of 2011 when there was a lot of confusion, but nowadays I’d say most everyone here has accepted LENR as a reality. We have followed replication after replication from High School Classes to Universities to corporations.

    Roughly 1700 Peer reviewed papers and hundreds of replications since 1989, so take your picks. Dozens of books are also available on LENR.

    Brian Josephson is (was) a Physics professor by the way.. Best known for his pioneering work on superconductivity and quantum tunneling.


    How is he better than Nature Reviewers? He won a Nobel Prize for his understanding of the atom and the quantum world. How many of Nature reviewers can make such a claim?

    That was when he was only 22 years old. He has since taught physics at a University level for the remainder of his life.

    You said, “Josephson shows a lack of judgement here in making a critical comment about something well outside his field which he has obviously not
    carefully studied himself. Why is he better than Nature reviewers would

    “Well outside his field”?
    Here is his wikipedia link.

    Odd comment considering he has openly studied and endorsed Cold Fusion and has been criticized for it, despite the fact his track record has proven he is within his field of study.

    I don’t think you will find many here who will convert to doubting LENR. LENR is a given as far as I’m concerned.

    • bachcole

      Lately, when asking authority figures questions, I find myself saying, “Why have you come to believe this”. There are just too many authority figures who say things because it is the “common” knowledge, because it is in their interests, because some other authority figure said so, because it seems logical, etc. etc. etc.

      My questioning like this is an example of the coming epistemological revolution that I seek.

      • friendlyprogrammer

        Without there being any current accepted understanding of LENR then the only method to come to accept it would be viewing it. When one person had viewed it I was a skeptic, but with each claim of replication the doubt leaves more and more.

        Now with dozens of claimed replications from people who seem to be involved and responsible (NASA employees for example) doubt has gone from my mind.

        With R&D we normally are privvy to the tip of the iceberg in details so I’m wondering if the underground research is panning out while we bicker over Rossi.

        Part of me doubts that though because Rossi sort of aimed LENR towards the Nickel versions.

        I don’t know if Ive ever questioned anyone’s belief or how they reached it. The question I normally ask is if I agree with them.

        • bachcole

          This whole cold fusion trip has been a helpful and challenging course in practical epistemology, the wing of philosophy of how it is that we know things. Your coming to believe in cold fusion is pretty much the same as mine.

          Even Rossi needed Focardi to assure him that he wasn’t crazy.

  • Warthog

    LOL. You dance nicely….all around the issues, addressing none. I’m glad you belatedly managed to realize that, in scientific papers, details are usually found in the footnotes/references.

    I’m no more familiar with this specific paper than you are. Since “I” haven’t had time to work through either the paper OR the references, I know you have not.

    And yet your only comments were to criticize, without taking the time to familiarize yourself. “Understanding” is to be gained from actually reading the paper itself, not from asking for “critiques” or “asking questions”.

    “I” consider it “unkind” for people to criticize work with which they haven’t bothered to familiarize themselves.

    I posted the link to this specific paper because 1) the paper directly involved P&F’s work, 2) it directly referred to calorimetry (which you have previously claimed expertise with), 3) because it was obviously a well-written paper, 4) it was a paper derived from an ICCF talk, and thus illustrative of the high quality of the published papers from those conferences, despite your disparagement of conference papers as a source of “good science”, and 5) because the link had just popped up on my radar screen, and I found the juxtaposition of this paper interesting in that it demolishes most of your “arguments” about conference papers being “poor quality science” and thus not worthy of being given credence.

  • Warthog

    So…you’ve looked at the paper “a little”. Perhaps you should do something like look at it “in detail”. You’ve barely had time to read it, much less digest it. And certainly not enough to to even glance at the references.

    Do you “really” believe that if the authors are correcting for such a minor variable as atmospheric pressure, that they would miss a major variable like particulate water escape?? Seriously???

    You exhibit the same rush to judgement that you displayed with Beaudette’s book…scan it quickly, find something you object to, and dismiss it all. That pattern of response is absolutely typical of the crowd of pathological skeptics, including your “search” for “critiques”, which basically amounts to “I want to find which track the skeptic response is on so I can climb on the train.”

    Bah…..a waste of time…..but so very typical of responses I have gotten from other “pseudoskeptics” in other fora.

  • Thomas Clarke

    I note the posted F&P paper:

    I agree with Warthog that this paper has a lot of interesting detail, and looks very well written. I’d like to ask who (perhaps in the LENR community) has made a serious scientific critique of it? Given its iconic status I’d hope that has been done in which case rather than critiquing it myself – a big job with a lot of needed learning for me in the process – I can read other critiques, compare with arguments in paper , and start from a more informed position.

    A small challenge. If I (not very expert) can find valid serious lack of detail not considered in the paper, or valid serious issues with the paper, not discussed in literature by other LENR researchers, I’ll take that as evidence of lack of helpful criticism in this area, and an example of why MFMP is needed specially here.

    Perhaps such critiques – not lay person summaries but serious quantitative analyses of all the assumptions and their validity – could be posted below this comment?

    My initial reaction is simply that any result that requires so much analysis to determine its validity is unfortunate, because even very good criticism may miss subtle errors at some point in the analysis. Sometimes all we have is these very complex results, so I’m not knocking them, but they do need especial care and checking by multiple people.

  • Warthog

    “The weight of evidence for CD increased, and also the theoretical and empirical issues got very well thrashed out.”

    Which is precisely the case for CF. The picture of scarcity of results you paint is simply false.

    ” I think though that I am interested in a whole load of details (for
    example different control runs needed to answer questions about
    potential calorimetry errors) that you would maybe not consider

    I’m an analytical chemist. Calorimetry and thermal methods are stock in trade in what we do. The people who are largely ignorant of calorimetry are physicists, as it is a tool not normally used in their work

    “Conferences provide some scrutiny but proper analysis needs to be done off line and takes time. It also needs details to do, otherwise all you
    can do is point to gaps.”

    Which is why all the conference proceedings are PUBLISHED! Much more detail is available in the printed proceedings than is given in the oral presentations. I’ve participated in a number of conferences (non LENR) where the proceedings were published as regular journal article full papers. .

    • Thomas Clarke

      Yes, some conferences have submissions up to near journal quality. Published conference papers can indeed be properly reviewed.

      Just one correction. I’m not compalining about scarcity of results. I’m complaining about scarcity of followup, one group analysing and commenting on results of another group, checking them, etc.

      Or, in theoretical field, proponents of theories noting which experimental results they are/are not compatible with, which other theories they are/are not compatible with. This sort of analysis helps sort out the wheat from the chaff. It is doemn in LENR field much less than I’d expect.

  • Dr. Mike

    It would really be great if you could even make a stab at correcting the Lugano power out calculations based on using proper emissivity data.. I was thinking that the authors are afraid to make any corrections to the report because they don’t know what to do with their incorrectly measured temperatures. Unfortunately, I believe it would be impossible to retake any measurements unless Rossi provided another reactor, but it sure would be nice if they could use the existing data and correct their reported results. Of course it would also be nice if the Lugano authors can give a verifiable reason why their calculated joule heating results in the active runs were so high, either through additional data or perhaps characterizing the heater wire that they cut off the reactor at the end of the final active run.
    Hope you are able to find the time to look into scientific issues surrounding the F-P results and replications! Your comments would be very valuable.
    Dr. Mike

    • Thomas Clarke

      I’ve got code that computes the correct temperatures, and then the correct powers, for the two active runs. It uses some manually input points for the emissivity curve they used, for the real alumina spectral emissivity, for the bolometer band sensitivity (which is not uniform over 7-13um).

      Before I release it it needs enough prettifying so that all steps are clear and the code is well documented. That takes a long time.

      1250C and 1400C runs have adjusted COP = 1.07 with < 1% difference between the two COP values.

      The COP is highly sensitive to the exact 7u – 13u band emissivity of the alumina. I compute 0.88 – 0.9 (over the temp range) if you push it up by 0.05, as per MFMP measurements, you get COP = 1.01. Down by 0.05 COP goes up by 0.07. However the COP for the two runs (1250C and 1400C) still matches.

      I'm approximating convective loss as T^1.25. This is what the authors do and because this is near to T, an approximate value for temperature can be used without large errors. I also make some approximations in the active runs, assuming that radiant heat is dominated by the reactor body, etc. There are a whole load of such approximations, because I cannot do the adjustment calculations on every single separate different temp element, and I guess in theory I should estimate each one. I'm pretty sure the overall error from approximations is less than 5%, and less than the uncertainty from alumina emissivity values not being precisely known.

      The dummy run does not match with the active runs. It has COP = 0.77 or thereabouts. However the approximations used for this run are different than those used for the active runs. Also, I'm not happy about comparing the runs because of the unexplained Joule heating difference. I believe it is unlikely the heating wires are not Inconel or something similar.

      Finally, I am assuming the alumina stays opaque which is clearly not true. The temperature adjustment is not affected by this but the power out could be affected. It is entirely unclear whether the adjustment for this, a larger error at higher temperatures, should be + or -. Ignoring it is the best thing to so, but with the realisation that this introduces a possible error.

      PS – Bob Higgins did the (large amount of) work finding spectral sensitivity and emissivity values, and pointed out the issue. GSVIT did something similar with less detail. My work is similar to Bob's except for the final step where I calculate adjusted temperatures from emissivity data – Bob makes an assumption here which is wrong.

      • Obvious

        Ignoring the alumina transparency is a problem, since the metals transmit mostly at the shortest wavelengths, where the alumina is transparent. Therefore very large amounts of heat can be emitted in this range, possibly as much as the alumina itself in its peak emission spectral range, and maybe even more than the alumina due to the short wavelength.

        • Thomas Clarke

          Yes, there are a number of problems. The alumina transparency problem is uncertain and could result in significant extra radiated heat, but not “very large amounts”. You can fairly say we cannot prove COP=1! But then with no measurement at all we also could not prove COP=1, it is a weak statement.

          It is not true that metals radiate a lot at short wavelengths – the Planck Law always dominates over changes in spectral emissivity, and that can never be higher than 1 so you cannot get more than a black body of that temperature. It is true most metals have higher emissivity at short wavelengths then long.

          You should note that if the heater is a metal then we have certain anomalous Joule heating current – either this is an error or the power measurement is an error or the dummy and active reactors are different. Take your pick.

          (1) the heater cannot be a much hotter than the alumina since the latter conducts well and the heater wire is wound near the edge (or, if not, the hotter radiant surface is smaller area and less effective for that reason.

          (2) Only the power in the BB spectrum at lower wavelengths is transmitted directly, this is not more than half looking at graphs.

          (3) The extra radiance could be zero, we have too many unknowns.

          The real problem is that this was meant to be a test showing excess heat. It could have been that (if there is > 1 COP) had it followed recommended practice calibrating the thermography. Because this was not done it means nothing. A real shame. But not surprising to those following the story of Rossi’s tests.

          On the subject of this thread – that is why peer review and scientific dialog is so important. It will detect gaps in tests and (normally) the testers can either correct them or retract. In this case, presumably due to the commercial aspects, there is no retraction and no correction which annoys me. The known errors in the analysis should really be admitted and corrected.

          • Obvious

            What I mean is that if the emissivity values for alumina is taken to calculate output, heat output may be calculated low, since the metals generally have an entirely different emissivity spectrum, outside that which the IR camera detects IR. Alumina and sapphire are actually used as an IR selective bandpass filters for measurements of metals.
            The IR probably camera emissivity setting needs to set initially near ~.95 for heat measured, because it only sees at the main region of alumina emissivity. This value may need to be lowered due to the ridges (triangular profile fins), which cause multiple geometric reflections, decreasing apparent emissivity by increasing reflectivity to some degree.
            When calculating heat output, the emissivity value needs to be adjusted higher than the simple charted spectral values for alumina for output at various temperatures, again because heat is radiated at frequencies where alumina is transparent and therefore not accounted for in the alumina emissivity broadband spectra.

            • Thomas Clarke

              Obvious – thanks for a thoughtful reply raising many salient issues. I agree with a most of what you say but not quite all, and will comment at some length.

              OK – yes I agree (possibly) with 0.95 for band emissivity. My code looking at this used 0.89 computing weighted average from the graphs in Bob’s report (but some error here from manually entered points linearly interpolated) and showed COP=1.07. I’d get COP=0.97 or so with 0.95. I think my lower value comes from the higher frequency end of the bolometer response that has higher BB radiance and so counts more than you would think – here the alumina spectral emissivity starts to decrease. But I have not included another error, the fact that alumina spectral emissivity goes up slightly at higher temperatures so I’m comfortable with 0.95. Overall effect is COP maybe 10% lower than my estimates.

              I also agree that at higher frequencies the alumina is mostly transparent and the radiation will come more from some internal surface – presumably the heater wire. This will make tital radiant power estimate higher than my calculation. See below for comments.

              For ridges (COP higher) and wye/delta (COP n/a) see below for comment and estimate.

              The effect of ridges is I believe not as you say. There is a lot of work on radiation from non-flat (opaque – as is true for the temperature measurement though not for all radiant power calculation) surfaces. Ridges have the same effect as a rough surface, which is to increase emissivity by the view factor. For this surface (90 degree apex ridges) the view factor is 0.279 (1-sin(45)) and the emissivity change is then:
              0.4 -> 0.48
              0.9 -> 0.93
              and so on.

              So you get maybe a 20% uplift from higher emissivity and a 5% reduction from lower actual temperature, because the band emissivity is a little bit higher and the calculation is quite sensitive to this.

              I have not been including this because it seems one step of complexity too far but it must be considered as a known error – as far as I can see the uplift is clear. I’m less sure what is the effect over frequencies where the alumina is transparent and reflective but I have no information the analysis is different?

              Transparent alumina analysis
              If we suppose heater wire and surface alumina are nearly the same temperature reasonable given the geometry) we have a maximum increase from 0.55 (alumina) to 1 (wire) total emissivity. Looking at the BB spectrum at this temperature (765C) a lot of the power is at lower frequencies where the alumina is not transparent. We could estimate maybe 50% of power in the “transparent” window as a rough approximation to the real complex case, but it could be much less, or a little more.

              From which we get a maximum radiant power uplift of 0.77/0.55 = 40%. That is supposing the wire total emissivity is 1 (probably close to true) and that the wire is 100% of the visible surface area (false). I’d put the increment lower at 20% due to the fact that the wire does not cover all the reactor body visible area. There is then a reduction for caps (no wire but lower temperature) and convection. Maybe 15% uplift would be my best guess.

              There is a lot of hand-waving here which is why I prefer to note this issue as real rather than try to estimate it, but this shows that although it is a significant possible uplift in COP it does not outweigh experimental errors which due to the indirect nature of the calculations I’d put at 50%.

              Wye vs Delta connection.
              That is a very sensible speculation. I had not considered it as feasible but should have. If so it explains exactly (with 10% which can be resistor tolerance) the change in resistance. The dummy is described and analysed as being Wye, and I can’t see how the reactor could be rewired for Delta without changing the external wiring. Still I agree, it makes sense of everything and I’ll go with it. While it does not directly change power measurements I’d reserve judgement about some second order effect. The 3.3 change in current implies resistor imbalance which if the power is calculated from one phase assuming symmetry would be an issue leading to up to 20% error. Add this to the list of experiment known possible errors.

              • Obvious

                Looking back at the page for Bob Higgins paper, I see that I had found the ridges to increase Emissivity. So I mixed that up somewhere, and agree with you here. Wide angle ridges and oblique view angles might cause a drop, but is probably not meriting too much consideration at present.
                0.89 emissivity for the camera is probably a reasonable value. I suggested 0.95 as starting point, which is much higher than used for Lugano.
                Why 0.7 worked for the camera calibration is an interesting problem.

      • Dr. Mike

        Thanks for the explanation of the work you are doing and the preliminary results. I believe that it is quite acceptable to present the final results for the COP as a probable range rather than a fixed calculated value.
        I am concerned with your COP calculation of 0.77 for the dummy run. Does this mean that the authors are under estimating heat losses from conduction and convection? How would this impact the COP calculations for the active runs? I believe that one important thing demonstrated in the Lugano work for all others working on LENR experiments is the requirement to run the “control” of the experiment close to the expected operating temperature of the active run.
        One other concern that I have is that of all the data in the Lugano report, the most important is the data showing all of the NI in the reactor (0.55gr) was converted to NI62. This result was established by two measurement techniques, both a surface analysis (ToF SIMS) and bulk analysis (ICP-MS). I haven’t attempted to do the calculation, but it seems that just this single nuclear mechanism of converting of all of the Ni to Ni62 should set a lower limit on the expected minimum active run COP.
        Dr. Mike

        • Thomas Clarke

          0.55g Ni58 will release 3e10J on capturing H, based on isotopic mass delta.
          That is 12kW for a month by my reckoning.
          Ni60 delivers half the energy, and is maybe 20% of Ni mass, so there is a 15% reduction.

  • friendlyprogrammer

    Yeah. But even hardliners will switch eventually. Too bad it will only be a month prior to it appearing in the grade 11 textbooks.

    Not everyone was gifted with common sense or even reasonable intelligence. I believe LENR is believable based upon available evidence such as presented on lenrproof(dot)com (linked in my last comment).

    We must learn from the mistakes of others, life is too short to make them all yourself, although this seems like what mainstream science needs to accept LENR.

    I can understand some scientists refusing to look at the topic because of its history, but I cannot make any excuses for those who are looking at the current situation and denying it. Those are the true bad scientists in my opinion.

    I am not naming anyone here or directing these comments, except in general.

  • Warthog

    So tell me how you do a lab experiment that proves continental drift, and allows the sort of “scrutiny” you appear to want.

    Certainly, all the individual geology research that eventually proved CD was correct was subject to such scrutiny in geology journals, but CD itself is proven only by “examining a phenomenon from different perspectives”.

    LENR has lacked “scrutiny” not because the researchers didn’t WANT scrutiny, but because “some” science journals have simply refused to allow LENR researchers to publish. Not because of any lacking on the part of the LENR researchers or the quality of their research, but because of dirty science politics and gamesmanship (and don’t tell me such doesn’t go on….I’ve seen too much of it, and not just in the field of LENR).

    That embargo by “some” science journals is precisely the reason that the ICCF conferences were started. Or perhaps you think that conferences don’t provide “scrutiny”. Wrong. Conference critiques provide some of the most stringent “scrutiny” that exists….because those participating are the real experts in a topic. I should also point out that the LENR scientists have NOT excluded their critics from the ICCF. On the contrary, they have specifically invited them.

    And there are other publications, including peer reviewed ones, that HAVE published LENR papers. Naturwissenschaften is one that HAS published LENR papers. There are others.

    The fact that you claim “details are lacking” is simply either ignorance of the literature or bad faith (i.e. pathological skepticism) on your part. Read the ICCF conference proceedings, or some of the (many) other DETAILED science papers at

  • Josh G

    What you’re basically saying is that mainstream science won’t take LENR seriously because of the way hypotheses are formulated and the way research is conducted. But the problem is that you are equating the Rossi tests with research on LENR more broadly. That is either ignorant, tendentious or both. Yes, we agree that the test of Rossi’s device is inconclusive. But in a year’s time it won’t matter. Rossi is not LENR and LENR is not Rossi. Can we move on please?

    Mainstream science (and you) won’t even look at the research that has been done on LENR. When on occasion scientists actually do examine the evidence (with an open mind), they find it compelling. Robert Duncan is one example but not the only one.

    At this point I feel like I am talking to a wall, so I am not going to write more to you on this subject and will let you have the last word. The evidence is there to examine, if you are willing to do so.

    I will say one more thing with regard to your claim that LENR is not a ‘real’ hypothesis: LENR is not a hypothesis at all! That would be like saying superconductivity or quantum mechanics is a ‘hypothesis.’ LENR is a body of research and theories aimed at investigating and explaining a new phenomenon that was discovered experimentally. Hypotheses guide LENR researchers in individual studies. Do you think that F&P just decided one day to stick some palladium in a salt bath, flip a switch and see what happens just for fun? It wasn’t even something they discovered ‘accidentally’ in the course of other research (something that happens all the time in science.) Their work and the work of other LENR research is obviously guided by hypotheses. They might be wrong. They might stumble as they find their way. Or they might find something, as did F&P, even though the theory guiding their hypothesis was wrong.

    Think about Godes’s work at Brillouin. The design and testing of that device is clearly guided by his CECR hypothesis, which is informed by theory. Has the theory been proven? No. Is there a clear and widely accepted theory that explains LENR and guides all research in the field? No, not yet. There are many theories. And sometimes the hypotheses are clearly guided by theory and sometimes they are more like hunches and intuitions.

    I don’t know your qualifications or your backgrounds, but I find it unlikely that you are more qualified than Hagelstein, McKubre, Miles, Miley, Kim, Fleischmann, Preparata, Violante, Srinivasan, Li, Arata, Mizuno, Storms, Bockris, Ikegami, Schwinger and others to assess whether hypotheses in the field of LENR/CMNS count as good science.

    • Thomas Clarke


      I’ve obviously annoyed you, for which I am sorry. It was not my intention in this thread to go into matters that I expect would never be agreed between us, and know would take a very long detailed examination before any one of the issues could be considered enough to see where we have different assumptions or judgements.

      That is not the purpose of this thread.

  • Dr. Mike

    Thank you for your post and your many replies to the comments that everyone else have made. I would like to make a few comments on both your post and your replies and will try to put all my comments here rather than spread them through the other comments. First i would like to say I agree with you on a desire for openness and likewise commend the openness of Parkhomov and MFMP. However, I also can see Rossi’s need to protect his intellectual property, and understand why he is reluctant to release any information before that property in protected with patents. He deserves the rights to the work he has done over the past years.
    Someone below suggested that you read, rather than skim Beaudette’s “Excess Heat”. I would make the same recommendation (if you have the time). After reading “Excess Heat”, then re-reading the Berkeley article, I find that it is the Berkeley article that actually does a disservice to science in failing to point out that both of the proposed reasons for the F-P data to be incorrect (lack of stirring and gas recombination) were fully addressed by Pons and Fleischmann. If someone doesn’t like the calorimetry method they used, all they have to do is look at one of the many other papers that reported excess heat in Pd-D systems since each researcher used a different method of calorimetry. These results were in all peer reviewed papers where their calorimetry procedures were accepted by the reviewers. One other thing that should be noted in essentially all of the Pd_D experiments is that the calorimeters ran from 4-12 weeks in an equilibrium mode (no excess heat produced) before any excess heat was detected. This made for relatively simple detection of excess heat even if there might be a question of the absolute amount of excess heat. Excess heat is not due to subtle errors in measurements!
    You have brought up two interesting points- lack of a good theory and poor quality peer review. Why after 25+ years do we not have a good theory for LENR? I would put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the physicists that tried to kill “Cold Fusion” back in 1989. With funding at even 10% of what has been put into “Hot Fusion” over the last 25 years, I think LENR theory would be a fairly well established by now. My guess is that we won’t have a good theory until university funding increases dramatically. Also, any lack of quality peer review in the literature is the result of many top journals refusing to publish any articles on LENR. My belief is that the quality of peer review in journals now publishing LENR articles is at least adequate, but perhaps not quite to the standard that we provided here on this forum for the Lugano report. (I’m still waiting for a revised report that addresses the issues we raised.)
    Dr. Mike

    • Warthog

      Two recent postings by Jed Rothwell to the Vortex-L discussion list bear directly on P&F’s calorimitry (full paper from proceedings of ICCF3 (1992)):

      And an interesting accompanying video (time-lapsed view of electrolysis CF cells):

      watch in real time as the cells boil themselves dry.

      • Dr. Mike

        This paper demonstrates just how much effort would be required for a nuclear physicists to learn enough about calorimetry to make any scientific judgment on the validity of the calorimetry in a paper written by electrochemists. It’s too bad there wasn’t at least one notable nuclear physicist that made that effort back in 1989.
        Dr. Mike

        • Warthog

          Having read through this paper, do you detect any lack of “openness” or detail in this “conference proceeding”?

          And here is one key line from the conclusion:

          “We note that excess rate of energy production is about four times that of the enthalpy input even for this highly inefficient system; the specific excess rates are broadly speaking in line with those achieved in fast breeder reactors.”

  • bachcole

    “Most science advances via peer-reviewed publication of competing
    hypotheses, evidence for/against them, theoretical work expanding one or
    other, etc.”

    NOT if the proposed advancement is a paradigm shift, something too big of a jump that most scientists cannot get their minds around it. Like some meteorologist saying that the continents drifted, or two bicycle mechanics saying that they mastered heavier than air flight.

  • Mark

    “Here we assume here that LENR/cold fusion is a valid scientific phenomenon…”

    The quotation above is from the rules section, and it is painfully obvious that Thomas Clarke does not assume “that LENR/cold fusion is a valid scientific phenomenon.” He should be banned. If he doesn’t get banned, then I will refuse to continue to come to this website. I mean, not that anyone cares about whether or not I’m here, but I like to mouth off, sometimes, and that’s what I’m doing, now. Although, there does seem to be some other dude posting under the name Mark, as well, so you might still get his posts, even if I leave. Well, whatever. I hope that Frank will start to follow his own rules. If not, I’m out. I’m one of those few internet folks who actually does “foot vote,” instead of hanging around and whining. Perhaps it will be appropriate to post this link, as a possible final link that I will post on this website:

  • friendlyprogrammer

    @ Thomas Clarke,

    It is nice that you commend MFMP for their openness, but their profit motivations (if any) come from crowdfunding and keeping their progress quiet would soon stop any donations flowing in. The other 25+ corporations who have successful LENR claims are not reliant upon donations and giving away their research might upset shareholders even if it might please you.

    Pons/Fleischmann did react quickly when they made their discoveries, but they could only replicate the experiment 1% of the time themselves in 1989, and any chemist trying to replicate their results quickly became discouraged.

    Toyota hired Fleischmann after he was tarred and feathered in the USA, and it is of no surprise that Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Honda are among some of the many companies claiming they can replicate LENR with ease. We know from the CERN conference that Toyota Labs verified Mitsubishi LENR using their own labs, equipment, and supplies.

    Let’s look at the article you linked to for a some humour.

    “The scientific community is responsible for checking the work of
    community members.”

    Yes, but if they do not get positive replications with ease then they obviously just give up and condemn the idea for decades.

    “Through the scrutiny of this community, science corrects itself.”

    Scrutiny should come, but there is a difference between Scrutiny and Mockery.

    “Scientists actively seek evidence to test their ideas — even if the test is difficult. They strive to describe and perform the tests that would prove their ideas wrong and/or allow others to do so.

    This may be true inside various companies but should we expect every company to publish their expensive R&D as quickly as discoveries are made?

    “Scientists take into account all the available evidence when deciding whether to accept an idea or not — even if that means giving up a favorite hypothesis.”

    Bull. I definitely call “Bull” here. I challenge anyone to go to any science forum on the internet and try to find someone willing to even look at LENR evidence before writing it off as pathological science.

    “Science relies on a balance between skepticism and openness to new ideas.”

    No. Most scientists would fit into the 90% skeptic, 10% open categories. If you know the history of this subject then you would know less than 1% of serious scientists would even bother discussing LENR at the moment.

    “Scientists often verify surprising results by trying to replicate the test.”

    Or they just ignore the entire field until they can read about it in grade 11 textbooks.

    “In science, discoveries and ideas must be verified with multiple lines of evidence.”

    Yes. We have a lot of evidence

    Okay Thomas Clarke… Let’s examine existing evidence.

    From the standpoint of common sense or when considering future investing in science do I need to replicate the experiment myself? This would seem like your “scientific” stand point. Replicating the experiment myself would indeed convince me, but is it required?

    If a single company endorsed LENR and claimed it was real then that would make LENR more suspicious.

    If two companies endorse LENR then that could simply be a few scientists on crack.

    If three companies claim LENR results then it adds to the statistical likelihood that perhaps someone is getting results.

    Now that we have DOZENS of companies claiming success with LENR the statistical likelyhood of them all being liars is almost non existent.

    I am unsure of your qualifications as a scientist, but let’s look at that.

    NASA (National Aeronautic and Space Administration) is an American company known to be on the cutting edge of research and space exploration. These guys have landed cars on Mars.

    Dr. Dennis Bushnell is the CHIEF RESEARCH SCIENTIST AT NASA LANGLEY, and he tells us quite clearly and emphatically that LENR is real.

    Here is him saying that,

    We also know NASA is budgeting LENR research from the FOIA, and is actively exploring the ideas of using LENR in aircraft and space. The George Miley LENR (did I mention there were dozens) device is one such space energy alternative.;_ylt=A2KLj.spLDlVdRQAa_ztFAx.;_ylu=X3oDMTIyY2VxbGE1BHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM1MDcwZDFhN2E2YTBhNmNhMjExYjNhNGM4ZmU3YTJjOARncG9zAzkEaXQDYmluZw–?.origin=&

    A single “appeal to authority” argument might not convince me on its own, but we are facing a lot more than just the ones from NASA.

    MFMP is trying to find the most replicable “proof of concept” experiment for “scientists” like yourself who need to see LENR before considering it within the realm of reality. I will admit I originally thought they were a fundraising fly by night scam, simply after donations, but I’m growing on them. I can be skeptical also.

    The book you perused is badly out of date. LENR breakthroughs seem mostly to follow the newer Rossi style Nickel reactors of which was popularized in 2011 after that book was written for the most part.

    I understand that you wish to represent the scientists who need to see it done before they can accept it, but many scientists are acting badly concerning this.

    Nobel laureate Brian Josephson has accused The Journal Nature of ignoring LENR, and claims “PIGS WILL FLY BEFORE NATURE PUBLISHES THE ECAT REPORT”. Quite a statement from a Physics Noble laureate.

    So is LENR getting a fair shake in the science community?

    I have been following this story for years. I am an Engineer so have a science background, and I must say that from a probability stand point I am convinced 100% LENR must be true. We have seen this replicated in High Schools (Leopoldo Pirelli High School) in Rome and Universities (See Peter hagelstein)

    Fringe Science and cutting edge research often provides science known only to those who have signed all the Nondisclosure agreements. Toyota likely does not share all of its LENR secrets with Mitsubishi and vice versa.

    One day we will ALL know for sure, but if (it will) LENR is proven then todays science community should be embarrassed beyond repair. They will need to add some rules concerning skepticisms, as a healthier attitude might have brought us LENR decades sooner.

    • Warthog

      Good post, And I pretty much agree with all your points. Beaudette’s book “is” a bit out of date (which I pointed out when I recommended it). But it is still the best commentary on LENR for those starting out to examine the field for the first time.

      It is sufficiently well written so as to be understandable to an educated layman, as well as containing sufficient detail and references to be convincing to the non-skeptopath scientist. Also, it comments on the historical context and science sociology (more accurately pathology).

      I recommend that folks start with Beaudette, then Storm’s book to get up to close to current date, and the LENR-CANR bibliography and repository papers after that.

  • AlainCo

    you are a good example of modern science as JF Geneste explained.
    You cannot think without a theory.

    LENR is not a theory, it is a group of anomalies, observed.
    What is refuted, is the hypothesis that LENR don’t exist.

    now, this phenomenon have no theory be we start to bound some of it’s characteristics.
    The most common version happen in transition metal hydride.
    for electrolysis loading avec to exceed some value, as current density. data are coherent with that.
    Some experiments show that crystallography have some impact…
    Some impurities seems bad, some good… D works with some, H with some other metal…
    Heat improve the reaction.
    Change of equilibrium often helps…
    He4 is produced with heat.
    Tritium sometime appears, and increases near 50% mix of D/H

    This is early science…

    With your logic the finding of excess heat produced by radium by Ms Curie would be rejected.

    The finding of fire too.

    anyway this kind of early science with theory that seems to oppose (in fact QM does not oppose LENR, it is just not mastered enough in lattice and surfaces), is quite uncommon today, because we have theory for all, or just complex systems based on basic science that seems respected.

    Sand is very hard to understand, but it does not seems to violate chemistry and mechanic.
    LENR seems to violate nuclear (2-body) physics and that is the problem.

    • Thomas Clarke

      Neither fire, nor excess heat in radium, are indistinguishable from subtle experimental errors. The evidence is direct and compelling, requires no interpretation.

      • AlainCo

        for a competent chemist, the measurement done in many LENr experiment were clear.

        I agree that for incompetent people, LENr or radium prove nothing.
        most people cannot be convinced by mass calorimetry by Curie, if we say it is violating all rules of physics as we know it today.

        note that McKubre used recently mass calorimetry with liquid nitrogen…
        it seems nobody more was convinced.

        this is the heart of the problem.

        there is a myth that calorimetry is not convincing.
        it is not convincing for physicist, and similar non chemist.

  • Warthog

    Basically, your entire post simply displays your ignorance of the data. You “skimmed” the book. WOW, I am NOT impressed. Get back to me after you have actually read it, and checked out the relevant references (most can be found at ).

    “Excess Heat” only covers to 2002….much of the best research was done after that date. But Beaudette’s book certainly provides more than sufficient coverage of REPLICATIONS to prove the case.

    And Beaudette certainly sufficiently documents the illicit science war on LENR that began only a few months after the P&F announcement and continues today.

    And examining a phenomenon from multiple different perspectives “is” a valid method of science proof. If one researcher detects tritium (multiple researchers have), another measures He4 (and multiple researchers have), yet a third measures transmutations (and multiple researchers have, including organizations like Mitsubishi and Toshiba). ALL of these, though different, point directly to an unknown nuclear phenomenon (which is what P&F called their discovery).

    To that end, let’s examine the science of geology. No one doubts that geology is a science, yet no controlled experiments have been done to prove, for instance “continental drift”. But enough data has been collected from “multiple heterogeneous experiments” that CD is now known to be true.

    And even your “point” about the Lugano experiment is wrong…..the researchers analysis of the data was based on data immediately in hand. It is stated plainly that they had obtained a sample of the Al2O3 specifically to MEASURE THE EMISSIVITY.

    • Thomas Clarke


      They did however not measure the alumina emissivty. The sample, tested for purity, does not much help because as all the books say, emissivity of alumina can vary considerably dependent on microcrystalline structure and surface condition. None of which is determined by chemical analysis of purity. In any case the issue about emissivity is just that they confused band emissivity with total emissivity, described elsewhere. They would not have made this mistake had they actually measured emissivity.

      • Warthog

        Again, your comments unmask your prejudices. The report says specifically that they obtained a sample of the tube in order to measure the emissivity at a later date.

        Neither you nor I know (and we will not know) whether or not they made said measurements until they publish a follow-up document. It is obvious to a NON-prejudiced observer that they knew that the numbers they had in hand in the interim report were an estimation….which is precisely why they took the sample.

        Which is why all the “modeling” done by you and Higgins and all the rest mean precisely zero, and are simply a red herring to justify ignoring the test results.

  • Josh G

    “You would get a definite answer by doing what MFMP do – releasing results, collecting criticism, adding instrumentation to address the criticism.”

    Thomas, the point you are trying to get across is largely unobjectionable. More openness in science is always desirable. Scientists have to address criticism in future research. Who would disagree? In fact, the process you describe in the sentence I quoted is what happens in normal science (except it happens in journals and conferences and colloquia and lab rooms, not on facebook). It could have happened in the case of F&P if they had not been vilified and railroaded out of establishment science. And in fact it did happen, but only among the small group of scientists who risked their careers and reputations to keep this ‘pathological science’ alive. But to say that the degree of openness displayed by MFMP is necessary to prove LENR really imposes a severe double standard. Unless you think all science should be done this way. But then why pick on LENR research?

    • Warthog

      LOL….the “hot fusion” community have indulged in MANY breathless press releases and conferences over the years, most well before the peer-reviewed papers have appeared, announcing some minute improvement as a great breakthrough. Yet after fifty years and in excess of $100 Billion spent, no working power plant exists.

      It is NOT uncommon across ALL fields of science to address the press before peer-review. Nobody has ever “gotten in their face” for that behavior that I know of (other than P & F). Heck, that is the whole basis of “R&D” magazine…..reporting such “breaking science”.

      The thing that has happened in all such cases is that the science community WAITS for the peer-reviewed paper to issue, then experiments and judges accordingly. Quite frequently, colleagues eager to start experiments will ask for preprints, or even call the researcher on the phone to get more details.

      I note that the Berkeley “article” claims that P&F “refused to share” information, yet I know for an undeniable fact that they DID share information…Bockris’ case proves that (and disproves that portion of the Berkeley article).

      • Josh G

        That is a good point about premature press releases, etc. I can think of two off the top of my head from the last few years with the CERN group. One was the Neutrino measurements that were off due to some technical error and the other was some measurement cosmic radiation that turned out to be due to unmeasured dirt. Oops.

        While it may be true that F&P shared with Bockris, they may have been unwilling to share with others. But the article offers no indication of why. It also offers no citation to back the claim that they wouldn’t share. They clearly trusted Bockris. But maybe they had a good reason to keep it from others. Or maybe they were waiting for publication. Or maybe they were protecting IP, which they are not the first nor the last to do…

        • Warthog

          I suspect it is as simple as not wanting to work with folks who are actively vilifying you and your work. Rossi has a similar attitude, and not unreasonably.

          • AlainCo

            It is what appear after readin Charles Beaudette”Excess Heat” and Eugene Mallove “Fire From Ice”, and some articles by jed.

            To get details on a colleague experiment, the minimum is to ask respectfully, especially if the author is medaled like Fleischmann and quite mature.

            Lack of respect for chemist, chemistry, calorimetry is the main problem of that tragedy.
            Still today there are people who cannot understand that calorimetry can be made reliable by competent scientists, as much as isotopic measurement and particle detection can be made reliable by competent experts.

  • Josh G

    The revisionist history is right here in Thomas’s link, something along the lines of: “F&P didn’t follow protocol and didn’t have convincing results. So their work was denied. But scientists still worked on cold fusion and now some 25 years later we have a major breakthrough because there is *only now* enough extraordinary evidence necessary to support this extraordinary claim. That’s how science works.”

    Anybody who seriously thinks that anybody is going to lose credibility as a result of cold fusion denialism or suffer any other negative repercussions (let alone getting put in jail, losing their job or being the subject of some kind of public tribunal or hearing) is just not realistic. There will be no hearings, no tribunals, no apologies, no accounts settled. At most there will be an article in the New Yorker or the New York Review of books. The discovery will be quickly accepted, mainstream science will offer a collective shrug, and the world will move on its way to the next industrial revolution.

  • Alan DeAngelis

    Perhaps I’m drifting off topic but the famous Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887 was pretty shabby compared with the meticulous experiments that Dayton Miller conducted in the 1920s yet it’s widely cited for its claimed “null” or “negative” results.
    Michelson-Morley were treated civilly when they announced their against the paradigm discovery yet F&P were immediately dismissed as “incompetent boobs” when they presented theirs. It seem like the physics
    community has a double standard for anyone who’s not in their small circle of friends.

    • AlainCo

      the period is not the same.
      In 1900-1925 there was a huge list of accepted anomalies, that fueled new theory, in a big move…

      since 1925 theory was so efficient not only in explaining, but in predicting,, that today people cannot imagine that an experiment disagree with theory and don’t have even a new theory.
      This is what Jf Geneste explained at LENRG conference in Milan (April 10th).

      • Alan DeAngelis

        “…the 1919 eclipse observations were flimsy, indeed, and were in no sense a validation of General Relativity. But from that point on, it was impossible to stop the Einstein juggernaut, even in the face of alternative theories to relativity and experimental observations which contradicted it.”

  • Alan DeAngelis

    The source of palladium vs. the source of silicon.

    It’s the perfect analogy.
    It’s the essence of material science.