Bill Nye on Cold Fusion

Thanks to Veblin for posting a link to a short video published on January 10, 2017 by well-known science television host Bill Nye who answers a question about whether cold fusion is really possible.

The video and a transcript can be seen at this link: http://bigthink.com/videos/bill-nye-on-cold-fusion

His answer seems to confuse hot fusion and cold fusion somewhat, as he mentions that an aircraft company has announced that they will be able to make fusion at room temperature. He says is McDonnell Douglas, (it was actually Lockheed Martin), and they do not claim to be working on cold fusion, but rather on a compact ‘hot’ fusion reactor that they hope will produce 100MW be able to fit on the back of a truck.

He talks about the Pons and Fleischmann announcement as an example of where the media became out of control because they were not scientifically literate enough to question the announced result.

However he’s not entirely negative about the subject, ending by saying, ” However, it is reasonable that you will be alive when people really do figure it out. It’s exciting. It’s a great question.”

  • sam
  • Gerrit

    I think we can agree on many topics.

    The case for LENR could be much clearer if null results would get published, but as it is right now they are not even performed. And the positive results that do get published are deemed irrelevant or go unnoticed all together. From this you conclude that LENR is most likely based on noise and it is not worth to research further.

    Luckily some research is taking place. Let’s see what comes out of SKINR (since 2012) and Tohoku (since 2015) for instance. So far they haven’t published much, which does support your assumption of null results. I am aware of that.

    On the other hand, the Mitsubishi transmutation experiment and the Toyota replication of it, to me, is a clear enough signal to push harder and get more evidence. To you it isn’t, but you haven’t read those papers.

  • Gerrit

    Fermilab holometer found no evidence of holographic noise. There exists no empirical evidence at all that supports the idea of the holographic principle just as there exists no empirical evidence that pink unicorns are real.

    The rules you apply to LENR would now cause further research into the holographic principle to be halted until a clear signal is produced. The scientists that keep working on this topic can be ridiculed for not following the rules of scientific inquiry and justly outcast of the scientific community, The papers they produce would not even be up for peer review, but dismissed out of hand.

    Please explain the fallacy of circular reasoning and why it doesn’t apply to you.

  • sam

    [email protected] research cold fusion for years
    and all Bill can say is they had the thermometer is in the wrong place.
    I wonder were Bill should put the
    Thermometer.

  • sam
  • Sam

    Actually people of merit lines up to have him speak about whatever science product related there is to speak about.

    And comparing him with Pee Wee is a bit harsh, as for what we know happened with Pee Wee.

    • Well now we know from both Pee Wee and Bill Nye that not only doing it too much makes you go blind but also stupid!

  • Bruce__H

    Most people posting on this site are obsessed with the potential importance or LENR and fail to realize what a backwater this field is. It forms a tiny tiny part of ongoing scientific inquiry and I don’t see why someone like Mr Nye needs to be familiar with the details. After all what would you say if you were asked about what recent research on the allometric relationships between beak sizes in Darwin’s finches tells us about the relative roles of nature and nurture in speciation? This is more or less what Mr Nye has been asked as far as he is concerned.

    He answers basically by asking people to try and get past press headlines and pay attention to the evidence as best they can. He also tries not to prejudge the issue although one must keep past successes and failures in view. I think this is exactly the right advice. People are upset with it here because they have politicized the situation such that curiosity and open-minded inquiry aren’t good enough if you end up allying yourself with the forces of evil (as Engineer48 once claimed).

    I would encourage everyone to adopt a more balanced approach to LENR. If it is true it is true … and if it isn’t true then that is interesting as well!

    You will have much more fun that way.

    • Gerrit

      “I don’t see why someone like Mr Nye needs to be familiar with the details.”

      I fear you apply this rule to yourself too.

  • sam
  • Gerrit

    you know nothing Bill Nye

  • Gerard McEk

    How deep has ‘science journalism’ sunk? Hearsay….

  • LilyLover

    “In contrast to this adventurous attitude, you, and other LENR supporters on this site, are so unreasonably and enthusiastically in favour of LENR that you won’t hear anything against it. And so you blind yourself to the adventure.”

    Collective wisdom and knowledge of the people of this website dwarfs that of Brian Josephson. This website is not a representative social-debate level-of-evolution. Here, those of who support Rossi without “proof” are experts who have done their homework. Rossi opponents are new learners, old entrenched interests or simply belligerent ignorants who refuse to even look at the homework. Just as much useful is the PhD in mathematics from top school debating with 5th grader about Fourier transform, so much useful is the engagement with “belligerent ignorants”. Pure vanity. There is not a 50%/50% chance that this is true. Half and half is a false spit.

    Put equally competent efforts before we can take you seriously. No debate till then.

    Mother nature’s truth doesn’t depend upon opinion polls.

  • Yeppers.

  • Steve D

    Better get used to it. Once LENR/Cold Fusion overcomes the respectability barrier (the Coulomb barrier challenge is a push over in comparison), multitudes of self appointed overnight experts will come crawling out of the woodwork to “educate” the masses.

    • we want LENR Fusione Fredda

      Well said!!

  • Jimr

    Bill Nye on con-fusion would be a better title. I used to watch Nye with the kids and he was good at explaining science to kids. One example I recall was how the earth recycles water. said today you are most likely drinking dinosaur spit. Kids remember things like that, at least I did.i

  • Albert D. Kallal

    He not second rate – that IS THE WHOLE problem!

    Actually, Nye is MUCH WORSE than a fool. He is worse than the worse since he WELL KNOWS what he is doing. Since he is a huge supporter of the global warming scam, then any technology that makes the whole carbon tax and carbon trade movement fall apart will ALWAYS be ignored by Nye. With LENR, then catastrophic global warming is dead on arrival.

    Anyone with one shred of intellect, and above average intelligence can spend a few minutes researching LENR, they will find:

    The LENR effect is real – this a position of any reasoned person.

    The energy is at the nuclear level.

    The energy is not traditional fusion.

    However for Nye to THEN state that because it not “cold fusion” then it not a big deal? (How insane! – how dishonest!).

    Anyone with a brain simply has to state:

    Metal Lattice devices statured with hydrogen are able to produce nuclear energy on the table top and they exist today. How soon and how close we are to commercializing remains in question, but LENR as an energy source holds much promise.

    ANY and I repeat ANY other statement then the above in regards to LENR is sheer lying, sheer dishonesty and sheer two-faced with full knowledge and full intention to mislead the public.

    In the above light, this means Nye not only dishonest, but is on the level of famous history monsters such as Stalin, Hitler, Charles Manson, Idi Amin and any other history monster that is will to sell out our society for a few bags of coins by being politically correct. I consider Nye the worse of the scum that roams the earth for his constant selling out of any science issue by political correctness issues.

    A very dangerous and evil person – one that you have to have full guard up when Nye utters any words – since 9 out 10 times they are political based – not science based.

    In fact Nye done demos I which he 100% been caught doing fraud and has refused to correct himself. Any science person is MOST happy to be corrected if they believe in the science process, but not Nye. (there is a link to one such fraud experiment posted by someone else in this thread).

    There are bad apples in our science community, and then there are iconic monsters like Nye that break the mold. Such people are the worst because they ARE intelligent, but they use that intelligence to deceive mankind – not help mankind!

    Imagine what your life is like in that you get up day after day with the FULL KNOWLEDGE AND INTENTION to deceive people on a daily basis – what a horrible way to live one’s life! Every morning you get up thinking how to betray the public and how to lie to that public – such a mentality starts to take its toll when you do this DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY.

    When you get up every day with full knowledge to deceive and lie everyday of your life? Then such lying and deceit quite much becomes your OPERATION SYSTEM and after years your brain becomes HARD WIRED to think this way ALL THE TIME. So lying becomes your natural state.

    Truly a sad individual Nye is. In some ways I have sympathy for his lack of character and no ability for him to fight his tendencies that have turned Nye from one of endorsing enlightenment to that of a person that prefers to spread darkness and ignorance for all of mankind.

    Such people are really the devil made incarnate roaming the earth destroying truth at every turn.

    Regards,
    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

    • Bruce__H

      I don’t accept the reality of LENR because I just don’t see enough replicated evidence. Does that mean that I am in the Hitler et al group?

      • Albert D. Kallal

        Well, if you’re a public scientist or figure and using that credibility to sway public opinion? Then yes!

        So does it mean you are Hitler because you disagree? No, of course not!

        Now of course if you don’t have the skills, training and intelligence as compared to Nye, then your doubts and position have little meaning, little sway, and you have little accountability based on your training and thus your position in public does not amount to much, does it? And maybe you are smarter and better trained then Nye – but you don’t hold public sway with anyone.

        The issue becomes responsibility in public and what public position you been given. So how much the academic community has given one such a position in public matters here.

        So if you disagree with the many replications and testimony of heat from Hitachi, China, Russia and in this case SRI labs? No big deal. That don’t make you bad or good nor make
        you Hitler.

        And your position does not mean you are smart (or are not smart). However, if you going be a public awarded figure with influence in the science community and in public then you have a far greater responsibility – in fact a GRAVE responsibility to use correctly in which you can sway public opinion.

        Regards,
        Albert D. Kallal
        Edmonton, Alberta Canada

        • Bruce__H

          Truly, the biggest problem for LENR research is the LENR community itself.

          • LilyLover

            No, it’s systematic depletion of funding, willpower and life of the good LENR people by the entrenched interests.
            And ignorant yes-men hypnotised by “rationality” of “High Priests”.
            And patent system.

          • Albert D. Kallal

            Rossi done a lot of good in terms of awareness of LENR. However Rossi’s troubles with IH are unfortunate. Due to this the MSM does not want to touch Rossi. Rossi’s redemption will live or die by his success. If Rossi don’t get something working in the public hands, then he will go down much like how Keely motor scam went:

            http://scripophily.net/keelmotcom.html

            Rossi has played loose with facts – I still give him a chance – but only when he delivers.

            And I wondering if I was too harsh on Nye? The problem is I firmly believe that Nye knows better – perhaps I am wrong I this regards. Perhaps I am giving Nye too much credit, and thus am rather harsh on him.

            If information arise that shows me that Nye is simply a fool, then I would in public kindly and graciously offer him an public apology here for my above harsh comments.

            I guess, I consider MOST of our troubles today are the result of leaders with intelligence and using that intelligence to mislead the public. I believe that Nye is using his mind on purpose to deceive people – so I am VERY harsh on him.

            In a way, Rossi is much in the same position – Rossi has to deliver at some point in time, or have rather good reasons for his claims that never bear fruit.

            Regards
            Albert D. Kallal
            Edmonton, Alberta Canada

          • Gerrit

            So you think it’s the “LENR crowd” who are the biggest problem and not the guys like Bill Nye who get the story completely wrong, have no idea of ongoing research in the LENR field and the body of work in peer reviewed papers published in scientific journals.

            Well Bruce, I think it’s more like Huw Price, Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy and a fellow of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, put it in “Why do scientists dismiss the possibility of cold fusion”

            But you may have not read that article, like most people, and maybe that’s the biggest problem for LENR.

      • roseland67

        Bruce,
        Maybe You’re just another guy that doesn’t believe everything he reads on the internet.

      • Gerrit

        You won’t see replicated evidence if you don’t bother to read the peer reviewed papers published in scientific journals.

        • Bruce__H

          I certainly haven’t read everything on the subject but few have. I’ve plowed my way through some papers and read abstracts and summaries of others. I am assuming that my overall interpretation of the state of work in this field differs from that of most people posting on this site because I am a working scientist and so am better placed to know about the usual course of scientific inquiry. It also helps that I am in a field (neuroscience) which has been extraordinarily in terms of new discoveries over the past 4 decades. So I have had a chance to see, close up, what research in a healthy field looks like.

          It looks nothing like what I see in LENR. Even in a healthy field, researchers are familiar with going down blind alleys and things not turning out as they would like. This is not a knock on the researchers, it is just part of the game. But I also know, as a sometime journal editor, that much published work never ends up going anywhere because it turns out it can’t be replicated. And this is amplified in a publishing climate in which null or negative results are difficult to publish. The signature of a phenomenon without reality is a scatter of published papers with weak results that show no sign of becoming bigger or more solid over time. This is exactly what I see in the LENR field I am afraid. I see papers being published on what is essentially the noise around a zero signal. Sometimes the noise happens to be large to look like ar real effect. And these are the ones that get published. Rossi, of course, is a different thing altogether. Apparently that is the way he wants it.

          Could I be wrong? Sure! I would welcome it because it would be fascinating. But my current negative opinion is based on a more extensive insider’s knowledge of science than most here. So I think it is in play.

          • Gerrit

            I think we can all agree that LENR isn’t like any other healthy field of research.

            If you want to understand why the “usual course of scientific inquiry” that you by your own account are so better placed to know about doesn’t apply to LENR, you should start by reading “Why do scientists dismiss the possibility of cold fusion” by Huw Price, Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy and a fellow of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. I assume that you’ll agree Professor Price is at least on par with you when it comes to understanding the usual course of scientific inquiry.

            Now back to LENR research. Researchers from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries published a peer reviewed paper in Japanese Journal of Applied Physics (JJAP.41.4642). They reported transmutations when D2 was permeated through Pd layers. Later researchers from Toyota replicated that experiment and came to similar results (JJAP.52.107301).

            I assume that in the field of neuroscience there would be enough groups willing to go and get funding to further experiments when results from a first peer reviewed paper get replicated in another peer reviewed paper from a independent group. More research would at least produce reports to find out if the first two papers were faulty or spot on and scientific inquiry would march on. That’s what we all want.

            It is quite unscientific to jump to conclusions that any paper that gets published with positive LENR results is just noise that looks like a real effect without reading the actual literature. It is also unscientific to assume that just because the conduct looks different that what you’re used to, the science must be wrong.

            • Bruce__H

              I think I am better placed to comment on the usual source of scientific inquiry than Huw Price simply because he is not an empirical scientist. I note, though, from what I read in the article you mention, that he and I see eye to eye on all this. You may have been misled by the title “Why do scientists dismiss the possibility of cold fusion” which I don’t think is the one Price originally published under. Scientists don’t dismiss the possibility of cold fusion. They just think it is improbable based on the evidence. Price states this over and over.

              Sociologically this means that they are wary of publishing anything that isn’t really really good evidence .. an attitude that is reinforced by journal editors. Unfortunately, this is exactly the breeding grounds for the file-drawer phenomenon that I mentioned in an earlier post. That is where negative or null results never see publication leaving by default only a scatter of positive results to see the light of day.

              I healthy fields generating genuine findings what happens is that initial discoveries turn into replicated studies which then turn into into standard operating procedures for new research. this means that once people realize there is an interesting effect out there they say to themselves ‘well if I can do that then it means I can use the phenomenon to look at this’. So they ask some hotshot postdoc to replicate phenomenon in their lab so as to push on tto the next step. I don’t see that at all in LENR. I wish I did.

              I don’t think, as an absolute, “that any paper that gets published with positive LENR results is just noise that looks like a real effect”.. I think that the conditions to produce this sort of thing are present in LENR and that what we see in the field — is a sort of idling along for decades with no real successes — is exactly what you would expect if the published results are not real. It is my hope that someone, someday produces are really exciting result that can be easily taken up by replicators. To this end I suggest that people work on the “heat after death” runaways that so many people claim they have (but cannot replicate).

              • Gerrit

                „Scientists don’t dismiss the possibility of cold fusion. They just think it is improbable based on the evidence. Price states this over and over.“

                No he doesn‘t, the message Price tries to get across, but apparently went over your head, is that scientists don‘t look at the evidence, _because_ it is a know fact that cold fusion isn‘t possible _and_ touching the topic of cold fusion is dangerous to their scientific careers.

                Once able to understand that simple concept, one might agree that LENR research can‘t be assessed or judged by the symptoms as if it were any other regular research topic.

                The assumption that for LENR „negative or null results never see publication leaving by default only a scatter of positive results to see the light of day.“ is an indication of bad science is not correct, you must also account for the fact that noone outside of the tiny LENR research community is looking at the topic at all. There are no replication attempts, because noone cares to replicate.

                Which clearly shouldn‘t imply that LENR is real. I firmly think it is still a possibility that LENR research is indeed just based on „noise [which] happens to be large enough to look like a real effect“ and research bias. However, after going through a substantial amount of peer reviewed papers, I think it is more likely that eventually a new physics insight will explain (some of) these phenomena.

                As a biologist you may find it difficult to comprehend the physics involved here, which is unfortunate as you won‘t be able to recognize the amount of unknowns that leave room for something like LENR to be real.

                I think we can agree that much more research has to be done before we finally know what this is. It would be spectacular to find a whole new field of physics waiting there. If LENR hadn‘t fallen into the reputation trap, as Huw Prices explains, it might have been LENR research that „has been extraordinarily productive in terms of new genuine discoveries over the past [3] decades“.

                I hope you now understand why many of us are following this forum and that there is no need for any feelings of superiority.

                • Bruce__H

                  My background is in biology, physics, and applied mathematics. My BSc is in physical chemistry and my PhD was jointly in applied mathematics and neuropharmacology. But that was many years ago. I now concentrate on using the results of electrophysiological measurements to constrain mathematical models of biophysical changes in the conformation of membrane molecules that control the electrical activity of neurons. I don’t find it that difficult to comprehend the physics here.

                  From Huw Price’s article … “what physicists actually say (in my experience) is that although LENR is highly unlikely, we cannot say that it is impossible”. Exactly. It is highly unlikely given the data. At this point one needs really solid evidence to counter the overall lack of performance in the field so far. And I don’t see it. That is why people are skeptical. Price calls it a reputation trap but it is just being careful.

                  Why not go after runaway meltdowns as I said before? THAT would be persuasive. It is a big effect so should be easy to work on. Show off a meltdown with calorimetry and the production of particles requiring nuclear processes and you are golden. Many people in the LENR field say they see these meltdowns and that they are common enough that they pose a big stumbling block to producing a commercial product. And yet no one has written up a really persuasive paper on them. How come? I think it is because these researchers don’t have what they claim. I would love to be proven wrong though.

                • Gerrit

                  You are arguing the point that more research is necessary to produce conclusive evidence on the reality of the phenomena and at the same time that scientists need not bother to perform replications at this point of time because they justly can assume (as it is a “known fact”) that the signal is too low to warrant any investigation. Obviously if the signal had been high enough they would have heard about it in their favourite Scientist’s Digest Journal already.

                  It basically boils down to scientists waiting for the breakthrough to happen first before risking their careers, time, dedication and funding on further investigation. You call this “just being careful”. Price, who in my humble opinion certainly outpeers you on this matter describes it as the reputation trap.

                  If only Rutherford and Curie were here today to witness this state of affairs.

                  It’s much like policemen running away from criminals because they may do them harm and instead spending their careers rescuing cats from trees and publishing their stories in the acclaimed International Cats Rescues Journal.

                  But I am all with you on other points and I may add to them: Why not go after the transmutations the team at Mitsubishi reported and the team at Toyota replicated ? What is being done at SKINR (you know this effort?), Tohoku (you know this ?), TTU (?) and what are the results ?

                • Bruce__H

                  The “reputation trap” serves a function. What is your opinion of homeopathy?

                • Gerrit

                  http://harvardmagazine.com/2013/01/the-placebo-phenomenon

                  Neuroscientists like yourself are trying to figure out how placebos work.

                  Kaptchuk is a good example of a real scientists who is not satisfied by just repeating the obvious “Homeopathy is no better than placebo” over and over again. He actually did what scientists are supposed to do and started figuring it out.

                  Fascinating that you bring this topic up, you must be really convinced that most on this forum are scientifically challenged. It does seem you were hoping I would bite on the topic of homeopathy so you could prove what a silly sod I am.

                  But then again, maybe I should not attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by something else.

                  And no, the reputation trap does not “serve a function”, keep out zones belong to dogmas and are contrary scientific enquiry.

                  I really wonder why you are on this forum ?

  • bachcole

    The usually unspoken assumption that people like Bill Nye must make is that people who believe in the possibility or reality of cold fusion must necessarily be profoundly stupid. This is an easy assumption to make when one is socially, epistemologically, and emotionally retarded.

    • Bruce__H

      You had better watch the video again. Nye explicitly leaves open the possibility the cold fusion is real.

      Watch it again. Open your mind.

      • Gerrit

        I watched it again and opened my mind very very much and I see it this way: Bill Nye knows absolutely nothing about ongoing research in LENR, he completely misunderstood the Skunk Works Compact fusion effort. He ends his meaningless ignorant talk with an upbeat message which is just as meaningless as the rest.

  • Christina

    Unbelievable!

    If this is the state of knowledge of our scientific community, we’ll scientifically be the dumbells of the world.

    Disgusting.

    Christina

    • kenko1

      Never attack the messenger. Attack the message!

  • Wohoo
    What was he talking about?

    I met this guy (Yeah I meet a lot of people), but at that point I did not know who he was. All he was doing was namedropping different names of brands, when asked questions.

    Apparently any question can be answered by refering to sponsors.

    I’ll write him an email and see if he remembers me.

  • MasterBlaster7

    Jesus Christ…and kids get science info from this guy? Pons and Fleischmann used magnets? The thermometer was in the wrong place? Some time in 88 or 90?………………………..GTFO.

  • SG

    Wow, that was kind of painful to watch. Amazing how uninformed the supposedly “informed” of our society are on this topic.

  • Private Citizen


    Paper proves Bill Nye’s faked ‘greenhouse effect’ experiment is also based on the wrong ‘basic physics’

    Basically, Gore and Nye shine sunlamps on glass jars in attempt to prove greenhouse effect. Glass transmits very little IR light, and so the outside glass just warms and transfers heat to the denser gas. Had they substituted non-greenhouse argon for CO2, the argon would have warmed even more in the fake science experiment.

    • Bruce__H

      Good link!

  • cashmemorz

    This is what happens when you “know” so much that you can talk off the top of your head and get the right answer, but based on insufficient “updated” information. The man is just too sure of himself. Very mainstream, it seems and also a bit arrogant to not have checked a few facts. Maybe he’s getting too long in the tooth (just plain too old and careless or carefree).

  • Bill Nye is a part of the organized pseudoskeptic movement. He can’t stand it that there are people who are questioning mainstream science, so he participates in organized efforts to harm those who think that there is a chance that mainstream science might be wrong, like letter-writing campaigns, and stuff.

  • sam

    Anonymous
    January 9, 2017 at 7:47 PM
    Dr Andrea Rossi,
    Do you think that spinpolarizability could help to explain the so called Rossi Effect?

    Andrea Rossi
    January 9, 2017 at 9:51 PM
    Anonymous:
    This is a thread that is worth to be studied carefully. I am studying it with a new member of our Team.
    Warm Regards,
    A.R.

  • Bob Matulis

    Sounds like Mr. Nye demonstrated a sloppy command of the facts.

  • He needs to ramble better.
    And stick the thermometer where the sun don’t shine.
    The man may be a sage and pundit….. but we are still alive.

  • clovis ray

    Not an adventurious bone in his head.