The return of cold fusion?

Back in 1989, during the craze of the “cold fusion” announcement by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, a colleague of mine told me about the theory he had developed. It was based on quantum mechanics, he said, and it would explain everything that had been observed in cold fusion on the basis of an adjustable parameter.

Alas, in the real universe parameters cannot be adjusted at will as in the memory of a computer. Cold fusion proved elusive; I myself spent some months at that time with a home-made contraption that should have produced it; looking for the helium atoms that should have been created. I found none and I was not the only one who was disappointed. At that time, practically everyone who had a physics or chemistry lab available tried. But nobody could reproduce the claims about fusion taking place in an electrochemical cell, not even the authors of the claims themselves. So, the idea of cold fusion died out rapidly; surviving mostly in the dreams of crackpots and conspiracy theorists. A few serious scientists kept working on it; there were more claims scattered over the years and a whole new term “LENR” (low energy nuclear reactions) was coined to describe the field. However, after more than 20 years it seems clear that it is not possible to obtain useful energy by cramming deuterium atoms into palladium, as Fleischmann and Pons had tried to do.

So, it would seem that cold fusion as a way of producing energy is something made of the same stuff dreams are made of. That was my conclusion after having worked on it and the reason of my initial reaction of total disbelief when I first heard of the claims of having attained just that dream by two Italian researchers, Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi. Yet, in physics there are no absolutes: everything known can be disproved and, in the end, it is the experimental reality that counts. So, I noted that Rossi and Focardi, unlike Pons and Fleischmann, seem to be able to reproduce their result according to several reports that appear reliable. Then, a friend and colleague of mine went to visit Focardi. My friend is not an easily duped person and he went there ready to debunk the hoax. He came back rather perplexed, saying something like, “well, there may be something in this story.”

So, what is happening? Have we really made a giant step forward in our quest for a clean and abundant form of energy? Nuclear fusion, after all, is a common physical reality – it can be made to occur in the laboratory in a variety of ways and not just with the giant machine of the “ITER” project which attempts to reproduce the reaction that takes place in the sun. Another kind of fusion is well known and almost commercial: it is the version where a nucleus of boron and one of hydrogen react to form three helium nuclei in a high energy plasma. This system goes under the name of “plasma focus” fusion. It could be used to generate soft x-rays, or neutrons when deuterium is used in the place of hydrogen. But can it be used to generate energy? Some people claim that it can; but surely it has to be difficult because the technology was invented in the 1960s and so far no energy producing prototype seems to be around.

Still, the “plasma focus” technology may be the prototype of a different class of fusion machines which don't try to fuse hydrogen isotopes together. They, rather, try to fuse protons (hydrogen nuclei) with heavier nuclei. Boron is the choice in plasma focus, but there are other possibilities. What Rossi and Focardi have claimed is that they have been able to fuse a proton with a nickel nucleus. It is a reaction that could, indeed, produce large amounts of energy. The problem with this idea is that there is a tremendous electrostatic barrier that prevents the positively charged proton from entering the positively charged nickel (or other) nucleus. Overcoming these electrostatic barriers in a practical device, usually, requires the use of high energy plasmas which need much more energy to be created and sustained than it can be obtained from fusion. Yet, if it were possible to reduce this potential using some kind of “nuclear catalyst,” then one could tap fusion as an energy source. It can be done and it has been done using exotic particles known as “muons,” which act as catalysts, indeed. It is an extremely complicated process which takes a lot of energy to create and maintain. Yet, at least it shows that “nuclear catalysis” is possible.

This is what Rossi and Focardi have claimed to have been able to do with their device that they called “Energy Catalyser”. They don't claim to be using muons but, somehow, they claim to have been able to activate and maintain the nuclear reaction of hydrogen with nickel by providing much less energy than the reaction then generates. They claim that the EROEI of the device could be around 30 or even larger once the thermal energy generated by the reaction is converted into electrical energy.

So, have we found the magic trick to get abundant and clean energy? Could people go back to speak of electric power “too cheap to meter” as in the heyday of nuclear energy? Perhaps, but it is too early to tell. There are several details that just don't click together in Rossi and Focardi's claims (see, e.g., the article by Kjell Aleklett cited below). If we have to reconcile the energy catalyser concept with what we know of nuclear physics, we have to think of some truly exotic phenomenon that takes place in the reaction chamber. In physics, the experiment reigns, but the possibility of the experimental error is always present. That's why no claim can be considered as validated until the relative experiment is independently reproduced. That will take some time, you can't do physics in a hurry, but in the end we will know.

Some references on the “Energy Catalyser”

Kjell Aleklett's article.

Wikipedia has a good page on the story:

More info

Here are some more interesting bits of information to chew on:

1) An 11 minute interview on coast to coast radio with the inventor Rossi:

2) a recent interview with Sergio Focardi one of the retired scientists involved in the project, on how this all came to be, including this weird website (journal of nuclear physics), and the discover process, and some parts on the gamma radiation that is apparently not there (very incomplete description though), and how the Greeks became involved in the stated commercial operation to be started in October 2011.

I should have posted this here first, instead of below, so here it is.

For the benefit of all those OilDrum readers, who would like better answers,
"IF" this device can be replicated by other people, we can then make it much easier to find answers to many questions.

I am interested in "trying" to replicate the device to see what happens.
If there is anyone else who is interested in trying to do this also, and would like to share informaton in the development attempt, please contact me.
docscience at .

Our chances of success may not be high, but accept for an unknown ingredient, this device is not that complicated.
You will need some engineering or physics skills.

One minor point that I should have added.
Ability to safely work with very high pressure of a very explosive gas.
Ability to safely work with high temperatures.
The inventor say he only had 37 devices blow up in development.
Ability to work safely with toxic substances.
Ability to work safely with radioactive particles.

Be careful with the hydrogen:
Work outdoors.

For some background information, a link to a good book by Gary Taubes on the 1989 claim follows:
Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion
By Gary Taubes

Excerpts of Editorial Reviews (emphasis added):

From Publishers Weekly
Science journalist Taubes's chronicle of the cold-fusion episode is an engrossing cautionary tale. In 1989, University of Utah chemist Stanley Pons and his British collaborator Martin Fleischman made headlines worldwide with their announcement that they had created a sustained nuclear fusion reaction at room temperature in a chemistry lab. Their simple device supposedly promised a clean, virtually inexhaustible source of energy. But Taubes ( Nobel Dreams ), who has reported on cold fusion for the New York Times , faults Pons and Fleischman for amateurish, flawed experimental techniques and for offering "virtually no data" to support their claim.

From Library Journal
Cold fusion never existed. Even though its "discovery" by two University of Utah chemists--Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman--was proclaimed with fanfare in 1989, the idea has been thoroughly discredited. As Taubes demonstrates in this well-documented account, cold fusion was "bad science" from the outset. The researchers rushed to announce their discovery to ensure primacy and, by circumventing peer review, introduced political and economic pressures into the scientific process.

And a link to a 2009 interview with Gary Taubes:
Gary Taubes on Cold Fusion, Good Nutrition and What Makes Bad (and Good) Science

Daily Bell: Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (1993) ...

Taubes: This was about the erroneous claim in 1989 of cold fusion by two scientists at the University of Utah and the firestorm that followed. I ended up interviewing some 300 people involved, and described how and why it came about, and how it played out among the scientists, the politicians and in the press. Cold fusion was a non-existent phenomenon. It was the product of wishful thinking and very, very bad science. The catch is that it promised salvation – cheap, clean infinite energy – which is what made it so enticing. As I predicted at the end of the book, that kind of promise would lure people to it long after it became obvious to any reasonable scientist that it was simply wrong, and so interest in the subject would keep going indefinitely, although it would asymptotically approach zero as the years went by. Twenty years later, that prediction was dead on. . .

Daily Bell: You think the inventors of so-called cold fusion are bad scientists. Can you tell us what makes a bad scientist and a good one?

Taubes: In a commencement address that Richard Feynman gave at Caltech in the 1960s, he said that "the first principle [of science] is that you must not fool yourself -- and you are the easiest person to fool." So the simplest way to think about it is that good scientists are the ones who are most aware of this fact: how easy it is to be fooled by their data and to fool themselves. They're the ones who are most skeptical about their own work, not just the work of others. They're also aware that the only way not to be fooled is to work relentlessly to try to disprove your own pet theories, not try to confirm them. Bad scientists do one experiment, get some interesting result, decide they've discovered something new, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to somehow prove that they did. Again, science doesn't work that way. You have to put more faith in negative evidence than in positive; you have to put more effort into trying to refute your own beliefs and hypotheses, rather than trying to prove them. If you fail to refute them, then you can begin to take them seriously. And, yes, the inventors of cold fusion were bad scientists. . .

Daily Bell: Explain the term "pathological science" if you don't mind?

Taubes: It is a term invented by the Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir to describe what he called "the science of things that aren't so." Cold fusion is a classic example of pathological science: it doesn't exist. It's a non-existent phenomenon, but that didn't stop dozens, maybe even hundreds of researchers from studying it or publishing papers about it, etc. And those researchers, as Langmuir put it, were mostly the ones who "are tricked into false results by a lack of understanding about what human beings can do to themselves in the way of being led astray by subjective effects, wishful thinking or threshold interactions." You can find Langmuir's original essay on line.

Note: I started reading Taubes' work after Leanan recommended it.

The Fleischmann and Pons experiment could at least theoretically produce energy. Since Fleischmann and Pons were reputable scientists, other scientists couldn't dismiss their claims out of hand without testing them because there was always the chance they had stumbled over some kind of weird quantum tunneling effect that enabled nuclei to somehow get through the energy barriers without using extremely high temperatures.

As it turned out, there was no such effect and no actual fusion. Fleischmann and Pons had just discovered some kind of weird chemical reaction that made it looked like fusion was going on, and their continuing attempts to promote it just amounted to self-delusion.

The reaction that Rossi and Focardi are describing can't work in theory, even with some kind of quantum weirdness to catalyze it. The nickel nucleus is at the top of the binding energy curve, so any nuclear reaction involving it, especially converting it to copper, is going to be endothermic - it will consume more energy than it produces under all circumstances. It doesn't matter whether it is "cold" fusion or "hot" fusion, it just won't work. The promoters' refusal to release "secret" details of the experiment are the key indicator. The use of nickel and iron sounds a lot like the "secret" ingredient is a secret nickel-iron battery. It has scam written all over it.

The whole concept of "cold" fusion is just too good for the con artists to ignore. Everybody wishes it worked and they will ignore a lot of basic science to believe it can.

The nickel nucleus is at the top of the binding energy curve, so any nuclear reaction involving it, especially converting it to copper, is going to be endothermic - it will consume more energy than it produces under all circumstances.

Actually, what you say here is false. It was my first impression as well considering the binding energy curve. However, it is not telling you what you think it is. You can do the arithmetic yourself. Add the mass of a proton plus a Ni-62 isotope and compare it to Cu-63 and you will find that the copper is indeed lighter.

Edit: One source for masses is this.

Okay, I tried it using data from the NIST:

1 H 1.007825 atomic mass of hydrogen
62 Ni 61.928346 atomic mass of nickel 62
Sum 62.936171 combined masses
63 Cu 62.939598 atomic mass of copper 63
Diff 0.003427 copper heavier

So what this is telling me is that copper 63 is heavier than the combined masses of nickel 62 and a hydrogen proton, and I have to put energy in to make the fusion happen. What am I missing here?

What actually happens in thermonuclear fusion in stars is that the fusion process gets as far as nickel, and the nickel decays to iron because iron is the most stable element. At that point the nuclear fusion process becomes endothermic, fusion comes to a sudden stop, the star shuts down, the star collapses, and there is a massive supernova which destroys the star.

Elements heavier than iron were produced by supernova nucleosynthesis, which is a much more energetic process than thermonuclear fusion - never mind cold fusion.

I would say you are correct about the negative energy of the situation.

Stars explode when they start burning carbon, if they get that far. They never (?, seldom?) get beyond carbon. There are trace amounts of the whole periodic table present in all stars.

Different classes of stars. The Carbon supernova are white dwarfs that have gained mass from a companion until they get heavy enough to ignite the carbon burning reaction. Really heavy stars(like >8 times the suns mass) have a non explosive carbon burning zone, and then a neon burning zone under it, then ..., until you get Iron which is the end of the line. The carbon thermo explosion yields mostly iron, the massive core collapse supernova produce all kinds of stuff (including short lived stuf beyond Uranium) and leave behind a neutron star or black hole.

So what this is telling me is that copper 63 is heavier than the combined masses of nickel 62 and a hydrogen proton

Hmm. Using this reference:

I find,

Cu-63   62.9295975
Ni-62   61.9283451
H-1   1.007825032

which makes Cu 0.0065726 amu lighter. That matches the reference I provided earlier, within limits.

Which NIST reference are you using? I believe you grabbed the wrong numbers.

I was using this NIST page for the atomic mass of copper 63.

It has a different value from the one you used. The one I used appears to have a typographical error on the NIST web page. Disconcerting.

Mine: 62.939 598
Yours: 62.929 597

I would concer with a NIST booboo as Cu63 is shown as a higher mass than Cu65

Let me have a try at goofing this up

Ni62 - 61.928345115
Proton - 1.00727646677
Sum - 62.9356215818
Cu63 - 62.929597474
excess of sum excluding electron

Ni62 - 61.928345115
H1 - 1.00782503207
Sum - 62.9361701471
Cu63 - 62.929597474
excess of sum

Ok, was the excess mass turned into energy?


WolframAlpha is in accordance with your numbers :

We may have to know what is meant by the mass of Ni62 and Cu63. Does it include the electrons? Obviously if you a a Proton to Nickle the atom as gained a change unit, and somewhere earlier the proton was stripped of its electron. So we may be off by an electron mass here (but I think thats something like .0002ish, so it doesn't change the endothermic conclusion). Yes a lot of red flags...... I think it is very very very unlikely.

The electron mass is = ~1/1837 amu, so it could become important at some level. However, if one uses atomic mass including electrons, the # of electrons will be the same on both sides and the mass change of the electrons will be negligible.

The first reference I pointed to had nuclear masses in GeV/c2. From those, I calculate a mass decrease of .0061 GeV/c2

Which is 6 million ev, which is pretty potent as far a nuke reactions go. D+D=>He gives you something in the low twenties. Most of the other fusion reactions are much less (maybe around 1Mev). Fission is a couple of hundred, but from busting up a very large atom.

From what is stated , there is no observable radiation , so no beta , and a charge neutral result ,
so I assume that it would be including the electron from the H-1 atom , in effect a total absorption.
The mass equivalence says it can be done , if only to find a decent way in beyond the Coulomb barrier.

It sounds simple.

Nickel, like the palladium used by Fleischmann, is not directly involved in the fusion process, but "merely" provides the environment ( a very flat effective potential landscape for the protons/deuterons, by virtue of its lattice band electrons).

I would not presume to make opinionated statements about technical aspects of oil wells, and I would advise you to be similarly reticent concerning solid-state quantum physics.

You are very much incorrect. Please read the reports on this cited. This certainly involves Ni in the fusion process (as claimed by Rossi). It is not deuteron-deuteron fusion a la Pons and Fleishman.

I understand why you have got this impression, because it is what Rossi and Focardi themselves tend to believe. However, they are not theorists, admit they haven't the slightest notion of what is going on, and have absolutely no evidence to support Widom's or any other proposed mechanism. Focardi (Rossi is really only the backer) has taken a entirely pragmatic suck-it-and-see approach to this since he first published in 1994. He just claims to produce heat at 400 celsius - lots of it - from a miniscule consumption of H2 and Ni nanopowder.

(circa 250 KWh from a consumption of 0.25g H2 and 2.5g Ni each and every day for around six months)

Having met him a couple of times, I am completely convinced by his honesty. Of all the possible interpretations, this is NOT a scam. For one thing, R&F wouldn't have invited the boss of the physics dept of Bologna from whom they lease the lab space to the public demonstrations in February. Needless to say, he left the meeting entirely convinced by the huge exothermy, in common with all other 50 participants, many of whom are highly qualified scientists.

I have every sympathy with people who see this as yet another free energy scam. Thermodynamics-violating free energy scams annoy me more than most, probably because I studied, researched and taught quantum physics at Oxford University from 1978-1999. However, for a number of reasons that I find compelling, the details of which I will not bore you all with here, I remain convinced that: Its Different This Time.

My impression of what is going on inside their contraption, if I have one, is a different issue. I was just stating what they were claiming, and it sounded as if you hadn't read it. But if you want to claim H-H fusion in this particular setup, I'm not going to stop you.

However, for a number of reasons that I find compelling, the details of which I will not bore you all with here

Please bore us with these details. Despite not agreeing with a lot of what I read on TOD, I lurk here because the participants aren't afraid of getting in to the details -- and that's what makes this site worth reading!

Anyway, I'd like to be "bored" with said details.


Starting with a link to your publication list.

Me too. The background of Rossi screams "scam", some of the demonstrations are promising ... what a time to speculate!

I am willing to believe that Rossi and Focardi do not know what is going on in their experiment. I am not willing to believe it is cold fusion.

It is entirely possible that they have been confused by some weird chemical reaction in their experiment, similar to the one that convinced Fleischmann and Pons that they had cold fusion. I have a degree in chemistry and know that if you start mixing strange things together at random in an experiment, even stranger things can come out.

However, it takes a lot more than, "They really don't know how it works, but it really does work, you can trust them even though they won't let you look inside it," to convince me that an experiment really is a success.

However, it takes a lot more than, "They really don't know how it works, but it really does work, you can trust them even though they won't let you look inside it," to convince me that an experiment really is a success.

This is correct, but the real test is not HOW it works, but the costs of the consumables, vs the Energy created.

Since they claim a large project, using many units, in a short time line (2011), it is very easy to feed them enough rope, and wait and see...
As a double benefit, the large number of units, should give info on the spread of these things.

Or, it disappears in a puff of conjurers smoke. The answer is only a few months off.

The answer is only a few months off.

If you follow these developments in a historical context, the answer is always a few months from being revealed. That is what they intend, the long drawn-out sucker's bet to lure more and more people in.

Why would they say, "I will show this tomorrow" when no one would have enough time to pay attention, instead of saying it will be revealed in a few months? With the important discoveries, the results are revealed with non-chalance and often it is other scientists who get a sneak peak and are able to reproduce the results that spread the word. The real scientists don't care because they realize they have their publication submitted and the scientific culture is honorable enough that they know the credit for the discovery will be acknowledged properly. Or at least that's the way things usually proceed.

So... you think you can bore ALL of us, do you? Pretty big talk...

Clearly unaware of the complexity and contrariness of his potential audience.

C'mon. Try to bore us.

Why, WebHubbleTelescope alone can withstand things that would cause an ordinary head to implode!... hold on, there's a patent here...

Implode, explode, I don't know, to me it's really a case of understanding "Why people believe weird things" and getting insight into human nature from that.

Then presumably hydrogen isn't at the top of the binding energy curve, and could potentially release energy in the process?

More precisely, you gain more total binding energy by tossing in another proton, although the product nucleus has less binding energy per nucleon. But only the former really matters.

Taubes: In a commencement address that Richard Feynman gave at Caltech in the 1960s, he said that "the first principle [of science] is that you must not fool yourself -- and you are the easiest person to fool." So the simplest way to think about it is that good scientists are the ones who are most aware of this fact: how easy it is to be fooled by their data and to fool themselves. T


The first principle of science is independent replication of published experiments. We might argue about what the experiments imply in terms of theory but there is no point even starting that argument without the independent replication of published experiments.

Almost all of physics is suffering from the "big science" legacy of the Manhattan Project. If Taubes wants to attack "pathological science" he should start there.

I'd love for this to be true, but as Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

this is not a case of ET's.

If you put 100 watts in and get 10,000 watts out for days on end, that is extraordinary evidence to me.

I am skeptical. Will wait until it is replicated elsewhere.

I bet it won't be replicated. It's a black box, with "secret catalysts." Apparently, he's willing to sell licenses, but I bet they'll come with restrictions that require secrecy.

Oracle has "secret stuff" and in some of the EULAs state you can not bench mark Oracle.

Yet, the firm still sells its stuff. And one can go take your "SQL Load" and plug it into their 120VAC based "SQL Load Driver". Processes exist that allow evaluation without actual revelation of 'a secret'.

Nothing STOPPING them from being able to tell a 3rd party "take this majik plate/material" and insert this into your own plastic box. Now add water/majik. Connect and watch the power output. The 3rd party has to be in bunny suits that do not leave the building and the 3rd party leaves the building as naked as they came into the world after a shower to keep the magic inside the building.

The process-thingie is verifiable - and will have to be if this majik thing is to be mass produced.

Lets say this works as well as the most optimistic technofixer believes. Ok.
How does that get liquid fuel as under priced as in the past? How does this tech get into the hands of "the 3rd world" or "North Korea" or "Quaddfii" or over a fault line and under a wall of tsunami water? Does this tech-no-mage thing stop the conflicts over resources?

More links: - I've posted this in the past and so has one other TODder - far more wacko than the last one. The reason for the existence of the site? The whole idea of "if you think it it will come true" attitude.

And under "is something going on we don't understand or is it fraud" - I've posted it before only because of the certification of power output by the UL/TUV and one of the people involved.
Now this guy tied to them has a CIA/FBI background and worked in government black programs

That Terawatt thing -

Interesting demonstration of resonance... but can this thing actually create energy?

Typically "magnet motors" either:
1) De-energize the magnets - that is the power seen
2) The measurement of AC power curves as DC (or was it the other way 'bout)

I have no idea if they have something. I find the UL/TUV citations interesting.

And the ex CIA/FBIer who worked in black projects interesting.

If you google "terawatt research llc" you will get lots of links which also lead to people who are skeptical posting their concerns. One such link is Above Top Secret .

There are some comments there I thought were astute. Most were not. I did not see anything on a quickie search of slashdot.

Now, I am no PhD in science. I work a lot with microcontrollers (solar/battery maintenance), and refrigeration.

Go back and look at the Terawatt site carefully. Very carefully.

Let's look at the science. That's where the rubber meets the road.

You will note their device consists of a motor exciting a tuned resonant load.

The motor is driving one shaft, whose energy is measured meticulously by UL and TUV.

Shaft 2 is much like a bodybuilder's barbell. A shaft with a substantial weight at both ends, driven at torsional resonance via magnetic coupling from the motor on shaft 1. There is a torque sensor between the two weights. The other end of shaft 2 terminates in a "magnetic spring".

This is a classical resonant circuit. In electrical parlance, the magnets provide a spring which emulates a capacitor, and the masses of the magnets emulate an inductor, and the motor emulates the excitation source.

They got UL and TUV to measure and certify the excitation energy on shaft 1 and the stored resonant energy on shaft 2.

This is the same as if I constructed a tuned circuit and got UL to measure my drive energy and the circulating energy in a tuned LC circuit. There is nothing magic here. Resonance phenomena vexes darned near every engineering discipline, especially people trying to run power grids, power supplies, bridges, keeping earthquakes from knocking down buildings, or keeping the audio system from squealing in Church.

Yes, I am confident UL and TUV got accurate readings of excitation energy and stored resonant energy. And they look exactly like what I would expect to see.

I am sure you have held a long metal rod in your hand sometime, and noted as you carried it by the center, the ends of the rod would get to swinging so wildly you had to consciously damp it out. Same thing here, except torsional. Now, if there was any energy being powered "from the vacuum" or whatever to a tuned resonant device, it would blow itself up in short order. It looks like it is still there to me.

I guess you noted on their site that neither UL nor TUV did the analysis of the system. They just vouched that the measurements were accurate. They specifically indicated that they did not evaluate this as a system. They only certified the readings, not the science. The readings show to me that they have a mechanical resonance of around 18.9 Hz with a Q of about 4 or so.

That's a bit better than a car needing wheel balancing hitting resonance and being hard as heck to steer.

I get the strong idea that UL and TUV were specifically told NOT to evaluate the system, as I think they would have noted what I just posted. That would ruin the illusion.

Second, I did not see where they were claiming to generate energy. Their mission statement refers to them developing innovative ways to "harness" energy.

From what I see, their system is one of the most innovative ways of heating a room as any I have seen.

I can not imagine anyone with the certs these guys have would put something like this up with serious intentions. I guess to me the idea of a University PhD in Engineering not recognizing resonance phenomena when they see it is just as unlikely as a PhD in electrical engineering being stymied by a malfunctioning desk lamp.

I entertain the idea that maybe this is some sort of recruiting test to see if incoming candidates have any sense of practical engineering skills. If reading this site raised his hackles like it raised mine, and he told me why, I would want to hire the guy on the spot... at least he can *think*!

I know a lot of pundits have been decrying the loss of math and science skills in the United States - I hope this is not serious evidence of their warnings.

With all the "hacker sites" I have seen, one can not rely on what one is shown - one HAS to rely on knowledge of the underlying material in order to make a personal judgement of the credibility of the site. As far as I am concerned, this site shows trickery similar to a cellphone contract where one has no idea of what they are gonna pay and hope for the best, knowing once you sign on, they have you by your legal yin-yang. The science shows a resonance study but the site looks like an energy study. Its not what I see that vexes me, rather it is what has been purposefully left out.

I don't know what's going on here when you throw businessmen trying to make a profit into the mix.. maybe its an "investor trap"?

Edit: Try these links from Google for Brady Perendev. Lots of links on YouTube for Brady's motor. Sorry, I reserve the same skepticism for him.

In my house, I follow the laws of thermodynamics. I have been using them for way too long and I have never observed them not to work or to be violated.

Brady was arrested for fraud last year sometime in Switzerland I think one of the better con artists as he lasted to long.

A couple more past scams... the blacklight power scam and the Steorn's Orbo Technology .

I would not use as harsh of word as "scam" if this stuff was presented as genuine research rather than an angle to get paid and the use of deceptive techniques (not having end-to-end system analysis performed ). Smacks of a very-high admission price magic show only government officials, spending taxpayer dollars, can attend.

Having all these credentialing organizations involved to me just smacks of offering "plausible deniability" for government bureaucrats to fund this with retirement money, so that when it does not pan out, they can cry for the lost retirement funding to be diverted from other government functions ( police, fire, teachers, libraries, and public facilities maintenance ). The presence of all these credentials gives the funding government officials an escape from charges of fraud and misuse of public trust.

I hate to see us spend our precious tax dollars on stuff like this.

At least, in theory, cold fusion has a snowball's chance in h*ll of working. It does not violate fundamental laws of nature.

This magnet-motor stuff has every garage hobbyist in the world tinkering with it. I can darn near guarantee you that if anybody gets this to work - reproducibly - it will be all over the net like Jon's DVD crack. I don't know any way of keeping something like that secret for long.

I have been at times tortured with resonance phenomena trying to drive stepper motors at various speeds, and sent many motors to an early grave because I did not understand what happens when you drive motors with pulse-width modulators. Harmonics. Eddy currents. Mechanical and electrical resonance. Yet, in the end I was quite satisfied with how the physics I knew explained the weird stuff I saw. I never saw any interdimensional energy transfers, albeit for a while I was awfully puzzled over my ruined motors.

Alas, in the real universe parameters cannot be adjusted at will as in the memory of a computer.

At will?

Well if the name of the Sun is Will and the parameter is the rate of radioactive decay as observable on Earth?

Checking data collected at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island and the Federal Physical and Technical Institute in Germany, they came across something even more surprising: long-term observation of the decay rate of silicon-32 and radium-226 seemed to show a small seasonal variation. The decay rate was ever so slightly faster in winter than in summer.

Was this fluctuation real, or was it merely a glitch in the equipment used to measure the decay, induced by the change of seasons, with the accompanying changes in temperature and humidity?

"Everyone thought it must be due to experimental mistakes, because we're all brought up to believe that decay rates are constant," Sturrock said.

The sun speaks

On Dec 13, 2006, the sun itself provided a crucial clue, when a solar flare sent a stream of particles and radiation toward Earth. Purdue nuclear engineer Jere Jenkins, while measuring the decay rate of manganese-54, a short-lived isotope used in medical diagnostics, noticed that the rate dropped slightly during the flare, a decrease that started about a day and a half before the flare.

So what Man might think of as 'unadjustable' may very well be.

Isn't that fun!
The reflexive answer is to invoke the sun's neutrino flux.

But, hey!, let's get Tesla in on this:

Does anyone remember "Scalar Waves"?

The first comment up top links to a "Coast to Coast" interview. Coast to Coast is part of the great dumbing-down of America. It is carried on the monopoly-owned radio stations in every area, along with "The Phil Hendrie Show; both being complete wastes of electrical energy to transmit. They fill the night with aliens and specters and a mindless Punch-and-Judy. These broadcasts truly displace any reasoned public dialog.

What did Ugo Bardi's friend see?

I make it a point to listen to Coast to Coast when driving at night across Kansas. Seems oddly appropriate, and it is good to see how a decent (though hopefully small) fraction of the populace thinks. Most of the callers are completely serious, from what I can tell, and that makes it a unique combination of odd, pathetic, scary, and funny. They don't displace anything, in my opinion -- it's just filling a vacuum. If there was money in reasoned public dialog, such shows would replace this one.

I wait all night for calls like these

The Nightfly, Donald Fagan

My friend didn't see the apparatus. he just spoke with Focardi and he got a good impression of him. Seeing the apparatus, anyway, is rather useless in itself, since you are not allowed to see what is inside.

The thing that bothers me in this whole story is that this thing keeps producing a lot of heat for a long time according to outside observers who seem to be reliable. Now, the apparatus is not so big - where the hell all this heat comes from? There can't be a gas burner inside and, anyway, it wouldn't last for long. On the other hand, if it IS some sort of nuclear fusion, then it does not fit at all with what we know about nuclear fusion reactions should behave.

So, I just wrote down what I know - hoping that the discussion would help clarify things, at least a bit. Interesting discussion, indeed, but it seems that we are all baffled.

Whoa, there, hold on a second, this friend of your is not easily fooled, but didn't actually see anything?!!! He just talked to the guy? He didn't even see it working?

Come on, crobar, none of us is St. Thomas. We cannot test every single device or experiment in the world. Within limits, it is a question of trust. My friend's report was just one of the several elements that made me think that there was something in this story that was worth investigating. Then, we are still far, far away from being transformed from skeptics into believers......

Yeah, ok, but I mean come on, you could have said nothing about your friend but you chose to say that he went to Focardi and came back saying there could be something in the story. You didn't mention he didn't actually see the thing or anything like that. So your friend presumably did not gain any information that is not freely available to everyone, so why bother mentioning that he went to visit Focardi at all? You didn't even mention what his particular area of expertise is (although I accept this is perhaps to protect his identity).

Also it's one thing to trust the results of some paper saying they did a stress strain test on some new material and found the results shown in X. It's something else to trust an experiment which effectively claims to create unlimited free energy and the operation of which is utterly secret. I think more trust is warranted in some cases than others surely?

It is all right, crobar. No secrets, here. I didn't mention the name of my friend just because that wouldn't have told readers anything. But if you like to know, my friend's name is Pietro Cambi; he is a generalist - he started as a geologist but now he knows everything (almost!). It is a personal relation of trust - if someone whom you trust tells you something, then you tend to consider that what he tells you is worth a look. In life, that is the normal way to go.

where the hell all this heat comes from?

Exactly - Hell.

Its the gateway there and its why Sunday morning will be missing some people.


Well, your reference is to the relevant work by Fischbach et al "Time-Dependent Nuclear Decay Parameters: New Evidence for New Forces?", Space Sci Rev (2009) 145: 285–335,
The underlying physics can be found in few references provided by the authors themselves, especially
Y.A. Baurov et al., Experimental investigation of changes in β-decay rate of 60Co and 137Cs. Mod. Phys. Lett. A 16, 2089–2101 (2001)
Y.A. Baurov et al., Experimental investigation of changes in beta-decay count rate of radioactive elements. Phys. At. Nucl. 70(11), 1825–1835 (2007)
Following other basic works by such last author, another interpretation could emerge, that no nuclear reaction such as fusion could occurr, rather the the mass change of other elementary particles (namely electrons) in short lived intense currents (e.g. in some plasma) along some toroidal-shape circuit. That's to be one likely explanation, provided there's any reality around R&F's claims, which to me is doubtful.

"...including fluctuations in the flux of solar neutrinos, and possible variations in the magnitudes of fundamental parameters, such as the fine structure constant and the electron-to-proton mass ratio."

"Scalar Waves" were a wonderful fantasy that climaxed in the generation of a shield against nuclear weapons. It seems to be absent from Google "Web". The idea was that there were variations in the scale of parameters, not in the values themselves. So, as example, a voltmeter's reading would stay still but the scale of "voltage" to the rest of the frame would change.

"Deflagration Guns" are interesting:;jsessionid=4CCE32AAE0567C04...
It is a coaxial traveling palsma device that can produce pulses of neutrons. The term has become rare. Sahlin, HL et al., Con/, on Energy Compression, Storage and Switching. Plenum Press, New York, 1983 is where I first heard of it.

Magic tricks are all about distraction and imperception. The casual definition of "psychopath" in "Mask of Sanity" (Cleckey) is the patient who can talk the doctor into granting a loan.

To deceive; 1: The gadget could be presented as a thin-walled tube connected to an evacuation and pressurizing means through stout plumbing and, further, clamped to a rack or heat-sink, or into something like a calorimeter. Unseen, a sequestered transformer could then pass a high current through the circuit of plumbing, thin-walled tube, and holder. The tube, being relatively resistive, would heat. 2: A highly resistive tube or element could be used hidden inside the chamber. This allows high voltage, low current heating energy, perhaps D.C., to be delivered through a smaller wire (hidden in a hose) and returned through the metal pipework. 3: The gadget could be inductively heated from below and right through the counter-top.

Here is the gadget:

For having made 1000 of them, the workmanship is remarkably, artistically crude. Half the money goes to making more, half the money goes to children with cancer... isn't that sweet! An aspect of memes: the big payoff.

Here is an informal report of a test:
They claim no external connections or alternating fields. Who supplied the "hydrogen tank"?

It would be fun if it was real, but it won't really be really real until it is real.

After a brief search, I found that we seem to have devices called 'neutron generators'.

Apparently they are used for well logging...according to the Wikipedia article...I see that Schlumberger and Halliburton are two of the several manufacturers listed.

Who supplied the "hydrogen tank"?

Well placed quotation marks, I was wondering also.

if only 0.4g of hydrogen was used up, why use that great big heavy tank?

You use the hydrogen tanks that are available. Some companies where I inquired, only carry the largest size tank, because demand is too small for smaller tanks.

H2Incidents is a database-driven website intended to facilitate the sharing of lessons learned and other relevant information gained from actual experiences using and working with hydrogen:


Compressed Gas Association, Inc., Pamphlet G-5: Hydrogen, 1991

Every gas has it's own threaded fitting.

Take care



Some interesting stuff here.

Andrea Rossi was involved in a previous energy scam. It's known as the "Petroldragon affair."

He claims to have a degree in engineering from Kensington University - a diploma mill that was shut down by court order.

One of the scientific advisers listed for his "journal" is George Kelly of the University of New Hampshire. There is no George Kelly at UNH. There used to be one, but he died in 1967. And he was a psychologist, not a physicist.

The preponderance of the evidence would seem to suggest we are looking at what your guy Taubes (excerpt of interview up the thread) called "Pathological science."

"Pathological science."

What about "Pathological Scepticism?"

This is the first time I have been back since being thrown out into the cold street for posting the bit abut Rossi. And then I was lectured behind the stage door about bogus sites by people with lethal doses of Status.

And that bit about "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" has a nice catchy ring to it but is balderdash. How many black swans do I have to produce to convince you that black swans exist? Personally, I just have to read about one in a book and my threshold of belief is reached.
Do you believe in India? So do I. But I have never been there. What an extraordinary place! So I need extraordinary evidence?

I shall leave you to chatter among yourselves.

I believe that Taubes' whole point is that a good scientist should be "Pathologically skeptical."

"Personally, I just have to read about one in a book and my threshold of belief is reached. Do you believe in India? So do I. But I have never been there. What an extraordinary place! So I need extraordinary evidence?"

This is the silliest argument against scepticism I've ever encountered. Have you heard of places like Narnia or The Middle Earth? You can read about them in a book, so does that mean you believe in the existence of these places too?

By the time you have mustered your explanation as to why the belief in India is different, you've probably realised how silly that argument was.

If one, even one of those "black swans" could be verified, I'd lend an ear to you. A tall heap of bullshit does not amount to anything more than.. well bullshit.

This is supposedly the George Kelley that is on the board of "advisors"

Guest: Who is Prof. George Kelly (University of New Hampshire, USA) is
on your board of advisors? (The university doesn’t seem to know him).

Rossi: I do not know him well. I met him ten years ago when I made a
test of a Seebeck Effect apparatus in the UNH. Anybody can enter in the
Board Of Advisers of the Journal Of Nuclear Physics (Rossis egen
websajt, reds anm) so far he wants to make for free (the Journal pays
nobody, is based only upon voluntary free work)a peer reviewing.
Everybody is free to enter and to go out when he wants. It is necessary
to be a University Professor in Scientific matter. Prof. Kelly is
specialized in Environmental Engineering, as I remember.

Wow, no danger of "peak fertilizer" here.

George E. Kelly's bio makes no mention of UNH. He is not a physicist or even an environmental engineer. He's retired. His degree is in mechanical engineering, and his specialty appears to be HVAC - heating, ventilation and air-conditioning for buildings.

Anyone can be on the board of advisors - if they are "a University Professor in Scientific matter." Kelly fails even this low standard. He doesn't appear to ever have been associated with any university (except as a student). He was a federal employee - in the Dept. of Commerce.

It seems that some kind of boobie prize is in order here.

It seems to turn an unstated amount nickel at $17/pound into iron at $5 per ton and copper at $4/pound and produces $1.2 worth of electricity(12 kwh?) minus $.04 kwh of 'energy input.

It's also interesting that the creators provide no explanation of how this 'cold fusion' works.

It seems to turn an unstated amount nickel at $17/pound into iron at $5 per ton and copper at $4/pound and produces $1.2 worth of electricity(12 kwh?) minus $.4 kwh of 'energy input.

It's also interesting that the creators provide no explanation of how this 'cold fusion' works.

And if this process does take Nickel and makes Iron/Copper - then basic research will have to be done to explain it.

At one time no one understood how maggots sprung from meat left out. Eventually, after observation, it was explained. If the process noted actually works - then great, it'll get explained. 3rd party verification is possible without showing the magic of the configuration of the Nickel.

Rossi and company claim a scaled up version sometime in a year or so. Hitting such would seem to show reliable repeatability - something lacking in other efforts. At that point someone will have to be able to take their instructions and replicate.

Others have claimed repeatability - EEStor, Blacklight Power and even Stirling Cycle engines mass produced cheaply. The "acid test" will be a ship date on a unit that can go into your back yard bunker and power your home/provide hot water for the home.

I am not as brushed up on my physics as I used to be, but before they produced the first fission reactor the science was reasonably well understood. To my knowledge there is no good theory into how cold fusion would happen. I assume that all cold fusion stories are frauds, until I see solid, independent evidence from multiple sources to the contrary.

I tend to put this at least one step further down the plausibility ladder than space based solar, large scale algae oil, and hot fusion. My hopes for any of these aren't big, but they are significantly higher than cold fusion.

Producing something in the lab is very different than making something on a commercial scale.

before they produced the first fission reactor the science was reasonably well understood.

And the reactor is a way to test the model.

It has happened before in Science! where something is observed and then a model is created.

To my knowledge there is no good theory into how cold fusion would happen.

What is defined as "good" here?

Plenty of theory has been bantered about. None has resulted in a reproducible experiment. Some has "bad math" or "new science" - things that require a whole new framework to explain things.

Once one ships, then I'll care. A message to Rossi of 'put up or shut up' vs 'UR a fraud' I think is better.

Superconductivity was observed in 1911, but theories explaining it were not developed until the 1950s. At that point, the theorists believed that superconductivity could not occur above 30 °K, which was shown to be incorrect in the 1980s with the discovery of liquid-nitrogen temperature yttrium compounds.

It's not common, but there have been cases where experiments have shown that theoretical physics is incomplete.

And the high temp superconductors are still not understood. Still SC is a collective phenomena, its hard to imagine LENR being a collective behavior, that is a matter of pushing a proton (or alpha particle) through a large electrostatic energy barrier.

More importantly, superconductivity is easy to reproduce and observe.

Get the right material to the right temperature and watch the neat effects that can happen no other way.

But how do you know that the Energy Catalyst isn't also easy to reproduce and observe once you're provided with knowledge of the right materials / conditions?

If it proves to be, I will be persuaded rather quickly.

I have seen too many energy frauds, so many of the same ones played over and over to new audiences, that until it is reproduced from several top tier labs I will hold tight to my wallet and recommend that others do likewise.

If the reaction is as described by Rossi and Focardi, the most likely explanation is the mechanism described in this paper: Widom, A.; Larsen, L. (2006). "Ultra Low Momentum Neutron Catalyzed Nuclear Reactions on Metallic Hydride Surfaces". Eur. Phys. J. C 46: 107-111. 10.1140/epjc/s2006-02479-8.

Perhaps the reason the creator (Focardi) doesn't know why it works is that he has devoted his entire time an energy since 1994 when he first published a paper on Ni-H exothermy into getting it from the shaky lab demo stage up to a level where he could successfully and reliably demonstrate it in front of a large group of largely sceptical peers, including his boss, and a physical chemist guy equipped with weighing scales, thermo gauge, radiation monitor and flow meter etc. In all that time he has been invariably ridiculed whenever he went public, even within the small and rather bitchy cold fusion community. The guy shows real guts. Rossi I don't know about, but quantum solid-state physics I do, having done a doctorate on it at Oxford University.

Well, go for it then. The principle evidence for Ni-H fusion, as described by Rossi, is the appearance of a lot of copper and the production of a big excess of heat. Although the only (reported) evidence of H-H fusion so far is the small consumption of hydrogen and a big excess of heat, I'm still interested in why you think this is possible.

I think we are getting a bit off-topic for TOD, but if you insist, here is one last submission from me:

Why do I think cold fusion is possible ?

Well here is one mathematically rigorous generic explanation:

(requires grasp of basic quantum theory, but is very simple in concept: think hf electric analogue of a ferromagnet. Basic concept has been endorsed by Prof. Kuritzi of the Weizmann et al and Prof Alavi of Cambridge et al)

Peter Hagelstein of MIT, inventor of the X-ray laser and ex-Jason (thrown out because of his obstinate advocacy of Cold Fusion) is working on a theory that involves the host metal atom in the fusion process itself, but has so far been unable to solve the problem to his satisfaction.

Most of the other people to have published a theoretical "explanation" are cranks; competent people were scared off years ago by the high cost in terms of career and peer pressure, as Peter can testify.


A + B => C* => C + hv

The frequency of the radiation produced is characteristic of C. It has to correspond to a shift between two states of C.

Where the radiation is thermal, it indicates that A, B and C are atomic/molecular species and the frequencies correspond to changes in the electron orbital states.

When A, B and C are nuclei, the radiation is gamma radiation and the frequencies correspond to changes in the states of the nucleus.

It should be quite possible to calculate what frequencies of gamma radiation would be emitted by an excited Cu nucleus. When someone does that calculation, and matches up the predicted spectrum against the measured spectrum, then there is credible evidence of fusion generating Cu. When there isn't any gamma radiation, there isn't any fusion going on.

Even if there is some hitherto undreamt of way of getting the nuclei together, the product nucleus can only give up the energy produced by jumping between its possible states.

QM says if hv is heat, its chemical, and if its gamma, its nuclear. This is all based on measuring heat and not gamma radiation, therefore its chemical.

To me, that paper seems hardly explanatory. So there is some coupling between the interstitial deuterons, which would result in some lower energy states due to collective interactions than would not be present at lower loadings in the Pd. But these interactions are very small compared to the repulsive force between protons as you try to bring them close together.

If the electron sea within the metal was able to shield in any significant way the p-p repulsive force, I would expect that you would be able to cram even more hydrogen into the metal. That you can't tells me something.

The author doesn't actually make the key point very clear, but the reason why he predicts fusion is because in the near zone, the dipolar attraction pretty much cancels the monopole repulsion. You are correct that this is a negligible effect and you still have one H in each interstitial cell. There is nothing to see from a classical chemical perspective. But, crucially the (classically non-existent) tails of the quantum gaussians will run into each other without the rapid attenuation you get normally due to the e^2/r monople repulsion. Geddit ?

Geddit , effectively creating a ' backdoor ' through which the H-atom might enter with sufficient initial velocity

More akin to an electron tunneling through an insulating barrier. In this case, QM gives a finite probability that a proton exists close enough to another proton (even though they are occupying relatively distant positions in the lattice) such that fusion can occur. The big question, of course, is whether that probability is large enough result in measurable fusion events. I really can't argue whether or not Brown has established that, and he admits to limited spatial resolution. He alludes to further work, but that paper was not published in the traditional nuclear physics literature. I would be interested in knowing what issues reviewers/editors had with it, or if they even wanted to touch it.

It was eventually published in the journal that Cold Fusion proponents created, in a somewhat modified form (J. Condensed Matter Nucl. Sci. 2 (2009) 1–59).

Beyond the physics of the fusion event itself, there are the issues of what forms, how stable the immediate product is, what is emitted, and how the resultant energy translates into heat. It is one thing to propose new physics to explain surmounting the repulsive barrier, but the more "new physics" gets invoked, the more unlikely it all seems.

Indeed, fusion can be achieved only by tunneling. It is the same also in the sun. The problem is that for a proton to tunnel into a nickel nucleus, well, as far as we know it is very low. Not as low as for Schroedinger's cat (poor critter) to tunnel out of its box where they keep trying to poison it, but low anyway....

...and say, speaking of that cat, the effect (reported in a post above) of radioactive decay rates being altered by seasonal variation and solar flares would seemingly alter the odds of the cat being dead or alive at any particular time. Or more properly, the relative infinities of dead/alive cats in the quantum multiverse.

Fun stuff.

If this isn't a scam, does anyone know how much nickle it would take to power the average home for a year?

I'm also assuming there would be enough nickle to go around and the price wouldn't jump if there is the chance of shortages?

According to Francesco Celani, who did an audit of one of the Rossi-Focardi tubes, one percent of the world's current nickel production (pulverized) would be sufficient to provide every one of the seven billion people on this planet with the 11KW needed to sustain a western lifestyle. The water (H) required is equivalent to a medium-sized river. And Oh yes, you need a large number of steel tubes (but these are not consumed).

Sceptical ? Of course you are. This is much too good to be true, so it can't be.

OTOH, since

i) Focardi has been sticking to essentially the same story since 1994.

ii) the recent public demonstrations appeared to convince a number of people who have hitherto shown no interest in his research

iii) F&R are not asking for anyone's money

iv) F&R claim to be mass producing their 10KW reactors thanks to undisclosed financil backing

v) F&R have announced a further public demonstration in October 2011 of a 1MW device

vi) F&R appear to be largely uninterested in convincing sceptics

- I am at a loss as to how explain this away. percent of the world's current nickel production (pulverized) would be sufficient to provide every one of the seven billion people on this planet with the 11KW needed to sustain a western lifestyle.

I can barely imagine anything more disastrous for the planet.

Let's hope it's not real.

kalliergo wrote:

I can barely imagine anything more disastrous for the planet.

Let's hope it's not real.

So, you are saying that you would rather NOT replace our current energy dependence on fossil fuels with a cheap, clean, low-CO2 alternative?

This development ("cold fusion" or whatever you want to call it) if totally verified and then mass-produced at low cost (a big IF), would presumably lead to a reversal of current CO2 increases, and would put the earth on a new path back to normal (i.e. pre-1800) CO2 levels. This would represent a "best case" response to global warming.

It could eliminate major sources of air and water pollution.

It would enable future economic growth for all societies, which has proven to be the most reliable and effective factor in greatly reducing birthrates among those economically elevated, and ultimately to reducing world population; not to mention a massive reduction in the human suffering and diminished potential, now caused by severe poverty and malnutrition.

It would allow for low-cost desalinization of sea water on a very large scale, thus ending the approaching worldwide shortage of fresh water. And this would allow for productive agriculture to be established in formerly barren areas of the world.

And are you really saying that you hope all of this is "not real" because you would consider it a "disaster"?

When considering what is good for the earth, remember that human life is part of the earth.

I do understand that major environmental concerns would still remain and must be faced, and that with increased availability of energy there may be increasing pressures on other scarce world resources.

But as I see it, such problems are better faced WITH energy, than without it; and with sufficient cheap energy, all things are possible.

If it turns out to be successful, The addition of nuclear energy will not stop the use of the carbon energy sources except for the governments that mandate such.
Most governments , like the US will not mandate it, even if there were obvious sea level rising from global warming. They would merely claim that it was due to other causes.
This you can be sure of.

Ok, I should have specified that it COULD allow for such a transition, away from fossil fuels. And IF it turns out to be as cheap to manufacture as the Rossi device seems to be, then large cost advantages would tend to drive faster widespread adoption, and especially in the face of higher and higher oil prices.

Whether the American people (or people of any country) will force their leaders to follow the best available path on energy is another question altogether. Even so, I hope the option exists.

And one thing I can be sure of is that public opinion often changes quickly in response to extreme events. And sometimes the changes can go in radical and unexpected directions.

So, you are saying that you would rather NOT replace our current energy dependence on fossil fuels with a cheap, clean, low-CO2 alternative?


I'm saying that I would rather see humans live, forever more, in a constrained energy environment than in a world of effectively-unlimited cheap energy.

Much rather.

This debate is of course not new. It has been replayed on various blogs since the January demonstration. Having followed many of these debates and researched the issues as well as they can be from the comfort of my computer, it seems this is either outright fraud or a real nuclear reaction of some type. There are now so many people involved, a Greek company, an American company, two universities etc, that fraud is getting harder to understand.

So the question is, if it isn't fraud what is going on in the E-Cat. I go back to the last paper Focardi was involved in before Rossi tabbed him as a consult. It is found at Now the bar used was a nickel alloy and they really didn't properly assess the possible small copper levels in the bar and of course with the hydrogenation and dehydrogenation copper could have displaced to the surface and pooled, BUT if the results were due to a reaction and according to the paper the results were reproducable, then the reaction was happening in a 3mm section of a 9cm bar. Why? The diffence in pressure and temperature in that section couldn't have been any different (or if different, nothing that we would assume important). Answer that riddle and the mechanism for the reaction may be understood. Again, assuming it is real and not fraud.

Rossi has found a way to generated degenerate hydrogen H(-1). He compresses this metalize hydrogen into fusion via catalytic negative hydrogen ionic compression.

Here is some background, but with deuterium… not the same principle but close and not the same material.

The short D-D distance of 2.3 pm in the condensed material ultra-dense deuterium means that it is possible that only a small disturbance is required to give D+D fusion. This disturbance could be an intense laser pulse. The high excess kinetic energy of several hundred eV given to the deuterons by laser induced Coulomb explosions in the material increases the probability of spontaneous fusion without the need for a high plasma temperature. The temperature calculated from the normal kinetic energy of the deuterons of 630 eV from the Coulomb explosions is 7 MK, maybe a factor of 10 lower than required for ignition. We now report on experiments where several types of high-energy particles from laser impact on ultra-dense deuterium are detected by plastic scintillators. Fast particles with energy up to 2 MeV are detected at a time-of-flight as short as 60 ns, while neutrons are detected at 50 ns time-of-flight after passage through a steel plate. A strong signal peaking at 22.6 keV u−1 is interpreted as due to mainly T retarded by collisions with H atoms in the surrounding cloud of dense atomic hydrogen.

Umm, what is 'degenerate hydrogen'?


You know. Hydrogen that has lost its desirable physical and moral qualities.

The kind of hydrogen you hope your sister doesn't marry.

Or, more precisely, Hydrogen where the electron inhabits an impossible quantum state.

It has magical properties because of this.

It’s not impossible, because it happens. It is more specifically unexpected.

These properties are magical. As a relativistic concept, many manifestations of our current technology if presented without explanation to the common folk of the 12th century back then would be universally and understandably considered there both magical in nature and in scope.

Magic is rooted in a subjective psychological and perceptual persona facilitated by powerful autosuggestion within the unconscious mind as an expression of a deeply needed aspect of human nature to explain and make scene of the unexplainable.

Not helping your case, at least not with me.

The energies of the hydrogen atom

The Many Electron Atom

Can someone explain the idea of degeneracy of orbitals?

Stark Effect

Which sort of brings up the Bose-Einstein condensate... which I like to bring up:

Condensed matter physics: the wave of the future!


But the saddest finding is that positronium only lasts 142 nanoseconds. But I cheered up when I realized Asimov's positronic brain wasn't made of the stuff but, instead, used positrons.


But I cheered up when I realized Asimov's positronic brain wasn't made of the stuff but, instead, used positrons.


i) Focardi has been sticking to essentially the same story since 1994.

This doesn't prove much. The guy who predicts the Rapture that is supposed to begin in a few hours, first announced that time back in 1996, I think. I predict this Ni/proton phenomenon will outlast the coming Rapture ;)

To be a proper Rapture, the event must be at a time chosen by Almighty God, so a
Rapture predicter is constrained in the timing of how his story unfolds. No analogous timing constraints appear to apply to Ni/proton, so a whole host of plausibility issues beg to be addressed.

Believing that it is a scam will save one the money that might have been lost if one were to invest in the 'product'. OTOH, if it is not a scam, and if it does save civilization as we know it, we will all be rich, early believers, and late followers, alike. So why rush to judgement?

Chemistry Explained: Nickel

The abundance of nickel in Earth's crust is 90 parts per million (ppm); in ocean water, its abundance is 2 parts per billion (ppb). In meteorites, however, its abundance approaches 13,000 ppm. Much of the world's supply of nickel is found in Ontario, Canada, where it is isolated from the ores pentlandite and pyrrhotite. Other large deposits are found in Australia, New Caledonia, Cuba, Indonesia, and Greenland.

62Ni accounts for 3.6% of the abundance of nickle in the Earth's crust.

For comparison and copper:

Known worldwide copper resources are estimated at nearly 2.6 trillion kilograms (5.8 trillion pounds), of which only about 12 percent (300 billion kilograms; 804 billion pounds) has been mined throughout history.

The abundance of copper in the Earth's crust is estimated to be about 70 parts per million.

So there is about about 3.3 Pg of nickle in the Earth's crust and about 120 Tg of 62Ni. From above in this thread gernos states, "circa 250 KWh from a consumption of 0.25g H2 and 2.5g Ni each and every day for around six months." From Wiki: Energy Catalyzer:

... test which was performed in Bologna from February 10 until February 11, 2011, and which lasted for 18 hours.

According to Levi the process was 'ignited' by an electrical resistance powered with approximately 1,250 watts for ten minutes. The input power was subsequently decreased to less than 100 watts, enough to maintain operation of the electronic equipment controlling the process.

Total consumption of hydrogen was, according to Levi, at the most 0.4 grams. The output power was in excess of 15 kW, corresponding to a total energy release during the trial of approximately 1 GJ (gigajoule)

If the consumption ratio between H2 and 62Ni stated by gernos is constant, then the demonstration described in Wiki consumed 4 g of 62Ni to generate 1 GJ - 1250 W * 600 s - 100 W * 64,200 s = 993 MJ which is ~1 GJ given the vagueness of the source numbers.

120 Tg of 62Ni / 4 g * 1 GJ = 3 x 1022 J = 951 TW/year to consume all 62Ni in the Earth's crust.

This assumes that all of the 62Ni can be mined economically and with an ERoEI > 1.

World electricity production in 2007: 17,109,665,000 MW·hr/year / 8,766 day/year = ~2 TW/year. Assuming no growth in electric consumption, the nickle would last for about 475 years. Assuming a growth rate of 2% / year in electrical consumption:

951 TW/year = 2 TW/year * Σ 1.02i-1

All the 62Ni in the Earth's crust would be consumed in about 119 years. This does not include the nickle in the ocean. If this reaction is converting nickle into copper, then it is not a long term solution. If it produces base load power for wind and solar, then it would last a bit longer because we would consume it slower.

I can already hear it: missions to iron-nickle asteroids to retrieve the nickle for electric power generation with an ERoEI less than one.

No ! My first sentence was clearly misunderstood.

250 KWh is ( = 900 MegaJoules) obtained from 2.5 g of Ni. This would cover the energy needs of a western lifestyle for one day.

This works out at 1 percent of the current production of Ni, if every one in the world gets 2.5g every day.

At that rate, we will never run out of Ni.

Back to the real world problems of fusion at NIF.

Just need to juggle the instruments a bit and obscure the inputs and outputs.

In case one wants "American made" batteries.

"Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." -Jurasic Park

I'm utterly convinced that humans haven't evolved to the point where they can coexist with a 'controllable' source of unlimited energy, though that's never stopped us in the past....Just sayin',, we need limitations.

Here here. We'd torch the place. No question.

We're not smart enough as a species to handle anything but contemporary solar -- and often not even too good with that.

If this is true, which i highly doubt it is. It would be game over for every other species of life on this planet other then a few 'pet' species and humans. we would utterly consume the planet making it into a world wide city that might look like corasaunt from space but on the surface more like a never ending slum like in blade runner. or from the cut out beginning scenes of avatar.(co-worker showed me it from the blue ray version he bought.) If it is true i will pour what little money i have into the first ride off the planet. even if it means i would die without my meds.

Why is much of the middle east treeless and desert, when once it was lush? Is it because people lived there first and longest?

Why does China have so many nasty animals and crooked little bush-trees? Is it because good-tasting animals were either domesticated or hunted to extinction? And nice, straight trees were all made into nice, straight boards?

Why does the US have almost no bison and no passenger pigeons, when both were once nearly infinite in number? Because we hunted them all down.

Where is the best caviar from Russia? The cod fish from the seas? The massive salmon runs? The elephant herds?

And this damage is just from playing around with the planet rather mindlessly. To date, we've done pretty well in converting energy to food, and food into people. If this falters, it'll be interesting to see what the people do. Will they quietly sit down and calmly starve and quietly freeze?

To date, we've done pretty well in converting energy to food, and food into people.

Well, "pretty well" if one ignores the unintended consequences.

If this falters, it'll be interesting to see what the people do. Will they quietly sit down and calmly starve and quietly freeze?

Oh, no. But I 'm pretty confident that we would do more damage to the planet and the biosphere if the genie granted us our wish of unlimited cheap energy than we will either in a sane transition to PowerDown or, even, in Mad Max death throes.

OTOH, if humans pass the energy torch from fossil fuels to cold fusion, will they suddenly gain the wisdom to reduce their population, conserve other non-renewables, live in peace with the planet and each other? Look at what the fossil fuel age gave us.

Children, playing with fire...

This is an unlimited energy source and there are no downsides. How can the people of earth handle this disaster?

Probably very badly.

Anyone concerned about the biosphere and familiar with the historical behavior of big boys with powerful toys should be worried (if this is somehow true).

If only there were a high-order, low-radiation version of this. Then we could build a better radiation-free fusion bomb.

Probably why they have dept of energy interest......

More info:

The interest Ny Teknik's readers showed to ask questions to engineer Rossi was huge. Last Friday we published all questions that were answered directly during the live chat, along with a video with further questions.

We have now gone through all the questions submitted before and during the chat again, and with these 36 new questions we have selected, we believe that we have covered almost all issues.

Here are Rossi's answers to the 36 questions:

I'm not a nuclear physics expert, but here ( there is a tentative theory for LENR (Low Eneregy Nuclear Reaction) that aims to explain both the transmutation and the heat excess in the "cold fusion" experiments.

I have no comment on "heavy surface plasmon polariton (SPP) electrons", but another qualm I have about that theory is that an "inverse beta decay", in isolation, costs energy. In other words, a hydrogen nucleus (even when confined within the metal) is an isolated proton - i.e. it has no nuclear neighbors. Combining it with an electron to form a neutron costs energy, of the same amount that is produced when a neutron decays into an electron and a proton. A proton plus electron has less mass than a neutron. While it is possibly true that even more energy would be released when the neutron combines with a much larger nucleus, there remains the problem of how to get over the first energy bump of 780 keV with the electron and proton at hand (both sitting happily in the metal).

Surface plasmons are well known, as are surface plasmon polaritons. Energies of a few eV. See:

However "heavy surface plasmon polariton (SPP) electrons" only seems to show up in proported mechanisms for cold fusion.

For a good summary of nuclear decay modes, see:

Joules, quantum mech allows you to violate energy conservation for a tiny amount of time, DeltaE * DeltaT < Hbar. Is there any chance that would allow the neutron to "live" long enough to do anything interesting?

At 780keV, you are talking about 843ys. Nuclear phenomena normaly takes times of the order of fs, converting you have 8,43e-7fs. No, it is not enough time to do anything interesting.

Even within the narrow confines of the cold fusion community, Widom is something of an outsider, and very few give credence to his theory, mainly because its prediction of He3 runs counter to all the mass spectroscopic evidence of He4. His theory, although very imaginative, contains a big error ( it depends crucially on a coherent surface oscillation mode that simply doesn't / can't exist ). In view of the almost 100% scepticism exhibited here, I appreciate that this is a pretty irrelevant arcane academic point anyway.

"To comment ... or to not comment ?... that's the question" ... neeeh, not to comment.

I'll take that as a comment.

I am actually a physicist, and have a PhD in materials science. I have had three different groups of researchers independently ask me to work on LENR. So, I read through the papers to decide if I thought it actually looked feasible. My impression was that it was very, very noisy data and that although it looked like there might be something to it, it was far from understood either experimentally or theoretically. On the other hand, the papers seemed to be written seriously, and be making honest attempts to come up with robust experimental results and a plausible theoretical foundation.

Alas, I'm not much of a theory person, so I can't comment on the theoretical foundation much, but their actual data looked to have been analyzed properly, and to show things which could only reasonably be explained by nuclear reactions. However, I don't have access to the raw data... and in my experience the specific techniques they used could potentially misinterpret noise as signal (specifically x-ray dispersive spectroscopy).

My conclusion was that it was worth researching, and worth funding, but that I had too many lower risk things to study that I think will have very good gains for society -- so instead, I am researching catalysts to improve the efficiency of the chemical industry as a whole. I think that the fusion stuff is worth looking at though, although I would probably sooner direct funding towards alternative hot fusion topologies (besides the tokomak) before spending more than a pittance on LENR.


My conclusion was that it was worth researching, and worth funding, but that I had too many lower risk things to study that I think will have very good gains for society -- so instead, I am researching catalysts to improve the efficiency of the chemical industry as a whole. I think that the fusion stuff is worth looking at though, although I would probably sooner direct funding towards alternative hot fusion topologies (besides the tokomak) before spending more than a pittance on LENR.

The good thing about this claim is the amount need to prove it, is a pittance, and someone else has already fronted with the funds.

So we can simply wait, and watch.

Always interesting to see stories like this. First off, I don't have the right to an opinion on nuclear physics and know it well. But it's fun to speculate. Back in '89 another highschool science teacher and I got palladium and were trying to get some deuterium when the Pons & Fleishman thing was debunked. (Just as well, had it worked we might have taken fewer neutron precautions than optimal.)

And this gang of folks seems to have psuedoscience in their background and many of the trappings of charlatanism.

Still, it may not be impossible to find something we don't yet know about, and that's the fun part. What's intriguing to me is the emergent effects that sometimes crop up - sonoluminescence comes to mind - that you absolutely could not have predicted from even perfect reductionist theories. (Like, you couldn't really derive fluid dynamics from quantum mechanics.) There really aren't usefully predictive theories for emergent behavior, even though such theories would be pretty fundamental to reality. So that leaves the field open to experimentation by people who are halfassed enough that they don't "know" what's impossible. That's a recipe for a lot of dumb patents that can't work. But it also might occasionally uncover something gob-smackingly unexpected.

Now the odds that some such thing as this will happen in the nick of time and be able to forestall collapse... dubious. Moreover, if I stumbled upon such an effect in my own halfassed doings, I'd think long and hard before giving it to the human race. I still see "peak energy" for humans as a feature and not a bug.

Still, if this thing DOES work, I'll try building one.

Moreover, if I stumbled upon such an effect in my own halfassed doings, I'd think long and hard before giving it to the human race. I still see "peak energy" for humans as a feature and not a bug.

Still, if this thing DOES work, I'll try building one.

Of course you will—and then be sorely tempted to capitalize on it—which perfectly illustrates why we should hope it doesn't work (not that it's likely).

Even the most trustworthy humans can't be trusted. ;^)

No, I wouldn't capitalize on it unless I could see a high probability mechanism for using it to lessen the human impact on the natural world. I'm not that tempted by the usual things and I have my delusions pretty well indexed.

I don't ask for trust or permission, and my body of work for the earth is respectable by about any standard.

Still, I'd agree that humans in aggregate will tend to do what they always do. Which is why I explicitly noted that I probably wouldn't pass along energy tech.

Are you stating that YOU shouldn't be trusted? If so, based on your posts to date, I think you're being a bit hard on yourself. There are a few of us who would cheerfully give up our lives on a few seconds' notice on behalf of earthlife and a healthy planet, and you talk like you'd be tempted to be one.


Yeah, you're probably right, Greenish; a few of us might be trustworthy. Comparatively, very few.

Please don't feel attacked when I lump "us" in with "all of us." Other modes of expression tend to be attacked as elitism, and it's hard enough to talk about these things without being rejected for that reason, along with all the others.

Actually, I think you said "of course you would"; which is true on average but not true specifically. And I think the existence of a few folks being in that pro-earthlife pro-future headspace headspace could wind up being more significant than it might sometimes seem.

And embrace your inner elitist... when you're right, you're right. Enlightenment of the masses is not that useful as a mechanism.

Actually, I think you said "of course you would"...

I did. Sloppy writing/thinking. Apologies.

I'm still a big fan of 'bubble fusion.' Despite the story arc of a researcher with extrodinary claims that noone could reproduce (Rusi Taleyarkhan), the early theoretical ethusiasm for posibility of acoustic inertial confinement fusion from sononluminescence remains compelling to me (Star in a Jar!). I've taken some baby steps in that dierection as General Science undergraduate which I show here Serious people are pursuing bubble fusion: I've had a peek behind the paywall at this paper. The reactor and most of the researchers come from a company in Califorina, Impulse Devices, which pursues sonofusion. They cavitate heavy water and deuterated solvents in this study, and claim to have observed the most extreme cavitation events yet recorded.

We will know by November 30th, 2011. If there is a 1 MW plant in Greece then maybe if not then it is a hoax.

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CARRYING OUT NICKEL AND HYDROGEN EXOTHERMAL REACTIONS is the World Intellectual Property Organization international patent application. It includes claims, descriptions, etc.

Nickel powder and hydrogen gas at a set pressure (10bar) and temperature (1000C). Well that is easy enough. Has any one (other than Rossi) tried it?

Surely the best way to find out if this thing works is to ask Kjell Aleklett. From what I have been reading about Rossi is that he has sent a couple of retorts or what ever you call these things up to Upsalla university for testing. Kjell is a Physicist if he not? I am very sceptical but what I did notice that the catalyst is nickel like that used by Black light which seems more than just coincidental so there might just be some form of LNER reaction that we do no know about, or cannot comprehend. I reserve my judgment until later this year.

What did get my interest a couple of years ago was the video on Google tech talks by the late Dr. Bussard now this Guy is no run of the mill physicist. It is a fascinating talk completely Bullshit free and well worth watching. The firm Emc2 was rejuvenated after Buzzards Death and has just received a second round of funding from the American Government for the testing of the WB-8 Polywell Device so somebody must think that there is something in it.

Here by the way is the Google video, don,t miss it the Guy is in his 80s dying of cancer and still as sharp as a button

Bussard. More french bu-sard.

In the US, the patent description must be sufficient to allow someone skilled in the art to make and use the invention.

The Written Description Requirement - An Ambiguous Yet Critical Requirement for Patent Applicants

It's called the "Enablement" requirement, not the Written Description requirement.

In either case, the Patent Office is a paper-pushing organization.
It does not have the resources to test patent applications for enablement.
It usually has to take the inventor's word for it.

It also includes the opinion of the examiner, which is that the application doesn't merit having a patent granted.

According to the patent this thing is has enough lead around it to capture all the gamma radiation that it is producing. This doesn't equate with what people are saying about it being a small piece of kit.

The borated water was what gave me the biggest laugh though.

Just because an Italian patent was granted, doesn't mean there is a patentable invention.

As the article you linked says:

Update: Starting on 1 July 2008 and onwards (filing date), Italian patent applications are subject to an investigation of patentability (see decree here). The patent application for the energy catalyzer was filed in April 2008.

Not all patent authorities check whether or not an invention is patentable before granting a patent. They take the fee, and grant the patent. Too thorough checking means fewer fees.

The checking only happens if someone is prepared to cough up the expenses to challenge it.

Its classic scam. Get a patent from an authority that doesn't check patentability and then use it to convince the gullible that you really have an invention.

“Now I have to think and, based on the effective patent protection, we can decide what to disclose,” Andrea Rossi said.

A patent is protection in return for disclosure. You can protect by secrecy, or you can protect by patent, but you can't do both. This is misrepresentation of the IP situation, and further evidence of scam.

If you want an "indy" fusion project with a nonzero chance of actually working, go here. Not cold fusion, but an interesting approach to hot fusion with some LLNL backers.

This whole subject reminds me of something an old guy of my acquaintance used to say when controversial subjects came up.

He always compared unlikely stories/ concepts/ideas to the sport of "wrasslin", his points being that although the whole "wrassling" business thing is pretty much just show business, the guys who do it do quite frequently get hurt on the job and that they have to be pretty good athletes, in pretty good condition, just to fake it.

His argument was that where there is so much smoke, there is usually A fire, of some sort, although just what the nature of that fire might be is open to question.

Evidently these cold fusion guys have managed to create a "fire " of some sort or another;maybe they have stumbled upon a novel chemical reaction, or maybe they have out Houdinied Houdini, and managed to fake out the creditable observers who have see thier demonstration.

I know next to nothing about nuclear physics, but speaking as a generalist,I can say that at least once or twice in a lifetime, you can expect to see the truly unexpected happen, or see some idea formerly considered to be sci fi turn into sci fact.

Personally I believe the nature of knowledge and knowing is such that we will never possess an ultimate theory of physical reality-new facts will be discovered, so long as serious long term research continues, and existing accepted theory will necessarily have to be modified, expanded, or possibly even thrown out , to accomodate such facts.

We can only know THINGS in terms of OTHER THINGS- regardless of the nature of the THINGS under consideration.

In this case, I would remind any body who asked me to remember that while the contest may not always be to the strongest, nor the race to the swiftest, that's still the way to bet.

I suppose it would be perfectly reasonable to bet a thousand, or ten thousand, to one that these guys are wrong.

HOWEVER, if any body wants to offer me a million to one long shot , I am willing to risk ONE DOLLAR on the possibility that they are onto something profound.

I myself spent some months at that time with a home-made contraption that should have produced it; looking for the helium atoms that should have been created. I found none and I was not the only one who was disappointed. At that time, practically everyone who had a physics or chemistry lab available tried.

I kind of hate relating anecdotes but this time it is justified because I am talking about a single wacko, Martin Fleischmann. I had a run-in with Fleischmann just before the cold fusion fiasco; it was during a conference where I was an invited speaker. I made a presentation and then during the Q&A session he made the announcement to the audience that what I presented was nothing new and that the information was already known in the 1920's. Of course this was pure BS and I knew it simply because the experimental results came from state-of-the-art UHV epitaxy equipment (don't ask how much that costed). So I didn't have to think twice that when the cold fusion announcement came out that it was complete garbage. I had Fleischmann pegged as a scientific gadfly with a pompous streak and everyone with any association with him understood this.

Ugo, how did you decide that trying to redo Fleischmann and Pons experiments were worth the effort? Did you not know of Fleischmann's reputation?

Whenever you see something like these cold fusion experiments, I suggest a visit to the Crackpot Index and rate how the research scores. These guys fail most spectacularly on the last check: "50 points for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions.".

One thing good about studying scams and being able to detect them is that it helps you to determine when something really good comes along. I tend to call out all the charlatans who come across TOD because I know most of the tell-tale signals. When something great comes along I most often recognize it from the clarity of results or simplicity or elegance of the theory. When it is bad all the personality BS and sloppiness shows through.

I was delighted to hear that Ugo tried to replicate the experiment back then.

As helpful as reputation or personality might seem to be, the scientific method is never a bad way to go. Duplicating their experiment and looking for helium was a way to reality-check a testable prediction. The fact that it failed to make an appearance was a success for the method.

Well, don't you remember the excitement of those days? I had never met Fleischmann or Pons; I had never heard of them before. But the whole thing simply made sense - It had been known that palladium is a hydrogen sponge, and it made sense to think that in the palladium lattice hydrogen nuclei would be screened by the lattice electron cloud well enough that they could actually fuse. And maybe they do - in exceedingly tiny numbers. I think that was the gist of the explanation that my friend - the theorist - gave. Also, at that time there had been an Italian group in Rome who claimed to have reproduced the results by F and P, using titanium instead of palladium. So, it seemed to be a done thing.

So, I had an UHV system with a mass spectrometer included and a load-lock system. I also had a chemistry lab available. I don't remember the details, but I bought a deuterium bottle, built a contraption that could pass for a home-made electrochemical cell and I hooked it to the load lock-system - it was standard equipment at the time; I had been doing similar things as a post-doc in Berkeley. The idea was that there should have been a higher He signal if I tried after I had run the cell for a while. Of course, I didn't see anything. I can't claim that I could demonstrate anything with thatgadget - but as I was trying, the excitement died out so I just gave up. The cell may still be somewhere in the lab, but - likely - it has been dismantled to make something else.

I just would never have gone off on a lark based on claims made by what I figured were a couple of buffoonish characters.

The Fleischmann Pons situation was all based on media grandstanding. Dig deeper and you find that another wacko, Stephen Jones, was involved as their main scientific competitor. Jones was later one of the first 9/11 Truthers who claimed that the WTC towers were deliberately destroyed from the ground. It was a race between their two teams to see who could get publicity first.

It really did waste a lot of people's time and money.

Re: "buffoonish characters."

The world might need to invent a prize that far exceeds the Nobel for Fleischmann and Pons which awards science on the heroic level.

I suggest it be called the "Fleischmann Pons prize."

They already have some sort of prize for this kind of stuff. It's called the Ig Nobel prize

for discoveries "that cannot, or should not, be reproduced".

The Ig Nobels are for real discoveries, just not very helpful ones, I don't think it would be quite the same thing.

Well that is not a very helpful discovery if it wastes a lot of people's time.

Oh, yes, Steven Jones... another interesting character. BUt I think these people Fleischmann, Pons, Jones, are not really the worst you can find in science. They are very creative: they can "jump the potential barrier" go for something that seemed to be impossible and strike gold there. All of them have given considerable contribution to science. Don't forget that Steven Jones was among those who demonstrated the existence of muon fusion. Not a small feat. And Fleischmann and Pons discovered the surface enhanced raman effect (SERS). These guys are the shock troops of science - sometimes they do achieve breakthroughs and sometimes they achieve total disaster; especially as they get older and fewer people dare to criticize them.

I can cite another example: Freeman Dyson; great and creative physicist until he decided that he was so smart that he could show climatologists how dumb they are. Another total disaster; another scientific reputation ruined.....

Don't forget that Steven Jones was among those who demonstrated the existence of muon fusion. Not a small feat.

No, it's not. It's impressive, even if not useful.

On the other hand, Jones is also the author of Behold My Hands: Evidence for
Christ's Visit in Ancient America

And the whole "controlled demolition using nanothermite" fantasy is such bad "science" that it wouldn't deserve comment if Jones & Company hadn't hoodwinked millions of clueless followers and created a booming little "9/11 Truth" industry.

It's true, as you say, Ugo, that guys like this sometimes come up with something valuable. But their lack of basic discipline and inability to filter B.S. in their own work leaves everyone else to sort the few nuggets from the pile of crap.

Also Fleischmann stumbled on SERS Raman while completely misinterpreting what it meant.
Like many in similar situations, he had something which gained him some recognition but then revealed what an arrogant boor he turned out to be.

I did too, along with some other post-docs and grad students where I was at. It was a Physics department that had some radiation detectors and lead bricks, and we ran a cell for awhile and saw nothing over a couple days. It was too easy to do not to at least try.

I can contrast this to the High-Tc superconductors that were discovered just a couple of years earlier. Everyone was reproducing this in their labs within short order. I remember going to the Materials Research Society meeting in Anaheim and scientists were spilling out of the conference rooms. In my grad school lab area, one student sputtered some High-Tc material into a ring and had it hovering over a liquid nitrogen bath as a demo.

Also around this time, the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope occurred. At the same conference that I had the encounter with Martin Fleischmann I remember talking to one of Binnig's colleagues from IBM and he told me he had made an STM in his basement! I don't doubt it because I talked to a more recent MIT graduate where I work and he said they were making them in their student labs.

This was good stuff and easily duplicated in comparison to the crap that Fleischmann and Pons were pawning off on the public.

That's the thing: after HiTC and STM, it seemed anything was possible. Lots of hoopla, and it turned out to be real.

Fleischmann had a chip on his shoulder and needed to top these guys, IMO. He was already retired and wanted to make a name for himself with one last stab.

In an interview, Gary Taubes suggested that the principal benefit of claims such as cold fusion discoveries is that it allows one to quickly identify, with a fair degree of confidence, who the charlatans are in a given profession.
Interview With Gary Taubes (part 1)
January, 2008

GARY TAUBES: Well, I’ve spent over 20 years now writing about controversial science. In the mid-1980s, I lived at CERN for ten months, the big physics lab outside Geneva, watching physicists discover non-existent elementary particles. Then I wrote a somewhat infamous story about prions, the supposed causative agents of Mad Cow Disease. I wrote a book about cold fusion: I got obsessed with this question of how it happened, because it was so obviously wrong. After all that, I developed what I believe is a very good feel for who’s a good scientist, and who’s a bad scientist, just by talking to them. There are certain ways that good scientists describe their data, describe the caveats, and describe the conditions by which they may or may not be right. I had also, obviously, with cold fusion, interviewed some of the worst scientists in the world.

I used to joke with my friends in the physics community that if you want to cleanse your discipline of the worst scientists in it, every three or four years, you should have someone publish a bogus paper claiming to make some remarkable new discovery — infinite free energy or ESP, or something suitably cosmic like that. Then you have it published in a legitimate journal ; it shows up on the front page of the New York Times, and within two months, every bad scientist in the field will be working on it. Then you just take the ones who publish papers claiming to replicate the effect, and you throw them out of the field. A way of cleaning out the bottom of the barrel.

So, for hypothetical purposes, IF some new sort of atomic energy is showing up here, and IF its nature is such that it can't be easily modified into high-yield explosions by hobbyists in garages, but supplies clean power sufficient to meet all human needs with no significant pollution....

... then what are the odds we'd actually take advantage of it to stop burning fossil carbon? I think fairly low unless the extraordinary discovery was couple with an even more extraordinary level of international cooperation and human sanity. Coal will still be cheap, cars will still run on gasoline and there's a lot of societal inertia and muddy thinking out there. The hypothetical "perfect energy source" could still be demonized to the point of marginalization.

I raise this just as another angle. I tend to think that the world (and future humans) would be better off if current-day humans were cut 'way back on available energy. However, and non-trivially, we currently face what could be a bit of an existential problem in the global heat-forcing carbon-injection experiment.

So the question is, IF this happened to be the "hallelujah" energy event, what tactics will be quickly employed to block its adoption and continue carbon emissions?

It's not a trivial question. Once an evolving problem-solving system solves problems in a certain way, it can be difficult to change it. Human society is part of a gradient-trapping process which incorporates certain evolutionary dynamics; the quality of an alternative method doesn't always matter. Early windows vs. Mac OS, betamax vs VHS, etc. Evolved connections generally trump quality, showing a counterintuitive robustness as long as the originally-established solutions function at all.

It would be quite possible, and even MORE ironic than our current predicament, if we were to overheat the planet with carbon emissions even having discovered a scalable alternative to burning carbon with no real downside. And we probably would still overheat it.

The discovery of a "perfect" energy source would be the start of a very convoluted bunch of sh*t happening.

This is separate from the valid question of how else we would screw up the planet with more energy - and we certainly would. Here I'm only discussing the rather imminent mass extinctions from global heat-forcing and ocean acidification.

I had been thinking about the promise of the Kitegen, you know, if it were to work as promised it would give us a lot of cheap electric power. The kitegen has the advantage of working on known physical principles but it is not obvious that we know all the physical principles that exist in the universe. So, suppose that we have cheap electric power in abundance; maybe the kitegen, maybe this thing by Rossi and Focardi, then what happens?

Well, supposing a BAU scenario, the simulation has already been performed in the first edition of "The Limits to Growth" in 1972. We grow, we grow, and we grow even more. And then we crash as the result of pollution, just like bacteria in a Petri dish. It is a much worse disaster than the one where we crash because we run out of energy.

Personally, however, I don't think the future will be this kind of BAU. The development of cheap electric power would give us that window of a few decades that will be enough to replace human beings with artificial creatures - it is already happening on the battlefield and it is not going to stop there. I think we won't have a chance to destroy the planet - we will be replaced much earlier.

I agree with Ugo about that: IF and ONLY IF we could get some sort of cheap energy (and I EXTREMELY SKEPTICAL about that), we would go directly to some techno-type evolution where men are soon or later substituted with artificial creatures. First as "expansions" of the human body and then to fully operational separate creatures. There are many SF novels and movies that describe this possible process quite well (just think about Asimov, for example), but my favorite is definitely "Ghost in the Shell":

Again, this would be the so-called "techno-fantasy" described in the TOD many times by Andre' in his staircase model: however, the probability of having such a development is (personal opinion) extremely low, since it would require an almost infinite amount of cheap energy.

Seeing the link in the first post, people might also be interested in this interview translated in English on the same website:

Stremmenos: "cold fusion will solve many problems of humanity"

Professor Christos Stremmenos is the man who brought cold fusion to Greece, and worked with the Greek government to set up the factory that will manufacture the "Energy Catalyzer" reactors which Andrea Rossi and Sergio Focardi invented and tested, and which will produce a 1-megawatt power plant [...]

I forgot to add this which might interest in particular US readers:

Energy catalyzer gets U.S. partner

Andrea Rossi, the energy catalyzer inventor, has reached an agreement with a new company in the United States. The agreement builds on several years of contacts with people linked to the U.S. Department of Energy [...]

I've not managed to follow this story closely and appreciate this overview from Ugo and very good discussion above. I am skeptical. As with the earlier claims of Pons and Flieschmann, the absence of evidence of nuclear reactions going on is a serious barrier to accepting this is fusion. I gather that no radiation - gamma rays etc - are produced. And I seem to recall reading somewhere that the copper analysed from the apparatus had normal isotopic composition - maybe someone can post a link to that?

Copper has 2 isotopes - 63 and 65 with the abundances 69.17 and 30.83% respectively

The 63/65 ratio therefore is 2.244. If we assume that at the start, the apparatus is rich in Ni and has virtually no copper present then any copper that is present following operation should be heavily enriched in 63 and a very high (>>10) 63/65 ratio should be easily measured on a mass spectrometer. It should be very simple to provide evidence of fusion products in this case.*

Also reading stuff like this...

Rossi: Let me begin with the 1 MW plant in Athens, then we will grow up. Let me study and overcome all the troubles I will have with this first plant.

... does not ring true. 1 MW is a very small plant. Why go all the way to bankrupt Greece to build it?

* note that it would also be very easy to forge the required result by doping the apparatus with a 63Cu spike made magnetically in a calutron or some other enrichment process.


You should read a little bit more details of the story, the 1 MW plant is not a power plant but a factory that runs on 1 MW of electrical capacity by these E-cats (at least that's the idea). The choice of Greece is because of the political connections (backing by the government) through professor Stremmenos. It is not build in Italy because of the history that Rossi has with the country with the company Petrol Dragon.


From the various interviews, Rossi now contends that the Cu-63 and Cu-65 isotopes are formed from Ni-62 and Ni-64 respectively (rarer isotopes), adding a proton to each nucleus. From Kjell's calculation, the only way to get the amount of Copper in the spent powder analyzed in Sweden is to start with enriched Ni -- which Rossi claims, although there is no confirmation of this by the Swedes.

Enriched Ni:-)))))))

Why would they want to enrich Ni and how / where would they do it? This would require same process as to enrich U, pretty expensive.

The motivation for doing it is to produce Cu with normal isotope ratio which makes no one believe that you have a fusion reaction going:-))))

Kjell needs to analyse the Ni then to see if it is enriched.


Sven Kullander is doing an extensive analysis of the radio-isotopes of the product that came out of the device (claimed by Rossi). He's also discussing it with hot-fusion physicist Ekstrom who is an entire skeptic of the thing, should be available in a couple of days/week.


It makes no sense to be hunting for a cold fusion machine when there is this giant hot fusion machine near our planet (some call it the Sun) and 99.9% of its energy goes flying out wastefully into outer space.

Why not invest in capturing some of that wasted energy instead?

EROEI, step back, EROEI.......

Psychologically, electricity that only works when it is light out doesn't provide for when we need light.

That, and people want to believe in infinite, easy to access energy.

I have watched less savvy people fall for the old magnetic coupling fraud, this one is at least more sophisticated.

Actually, China installed 29 GW of solar hot water capacity last year (more than 3 times as much as the entire rest of the world):

And China installed almost 19 GW of wind power last year (more than North America and Europe combined):

Just because the US ignores this giant hot fusion machine, doesn't mean that others do too.

Before I go, may I recommend

The reality of cold fusion by Dr. Tadahiko Mizuno.

This was published before Rossi's demonstration.

Dr Mizuno mentions the fact that iron is produced with an unusual isotope profile.

He also points out that the electrolysis environment has extreme pressure gradients.

He notes also that the coulomb barrier is high but the distance involved are small, therefore if repulsive particles are moved even slightly toward each other the coulomb barrier collapses rapidly.

What smells fishy is the way their are handling this.
If it actually worked they would receive a nobel price, be labelled as the savior of our civilization and much more so why are they worring about making a few millions bucks more by having everything ready to be ahead of the potential copy-cats competitors instead of releasing everything to the scientific community ???

Difficult to say, you need to restate that to why would Rossi (as he is the only one who fully knows what goes in the reactor, specifically one of the few thousand catalysts he tried according to him). I think he is afraid that without a patent of the catalyzer he will receive almost no revenue, and is interested in making many tens to hundreds of millions with his invention.

Wind, PV, CSP, tidal, etc..... trillions invested (not to mention many lifetimes). There are alot of folks who have strong incentives to see this thing as a hoax, praying it will fail. I'm sure Rossi, et al, realize this.

243 billion reasons to hope this is a scam, in 2010 alone:

Investments in clean energy sector has been seeing an upward trend over the years. Certain sectors like wind and biofuels had a rough year in some countries, the overall trends in project finance, venture capital and supply-chain investments were very positive. New global investment in clean energy reached $243 billion in 2010, up from $186.5 billion in 2009. Last year's investment figures double those from 2006. The main factors in this growth were the massive Chinese market, the expansion of offshore wind, hot European solar markets and global R&D.

interested in making many tens to hundreds of millions with his invention.

If it actually works, you are off by about 3 decimal points. He'd be in the same league as Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet, or possibly even up with the King of Saudi Arabia.


1) I don't think he sees it as an invention that can make more than a couple of hundred million (from his personal perspective).

2) Unlikely that he can make a billion or more on this invention as it will be replicated and copied fairly soon. He is also having some problems receiving an European Patent for the device because a similar patent was sent in by Piantelli in 1995 (so far because of this he has been denied a european patent) see:;jsessionid=540A3872CC4B88...

So it will be difficult to receive royalties

Here's a great 25 minute English documentary on the E-cat device that covers the origin, personal interviews with the scientists involved (Focardi/levi), some of the personal background of Rossi the inventor, the Swedish scientists

For the sake of discussion:
Let us assume that:
1) The Energy produced in the public experiments is real, as should be consdered for those experiments appear to have been scrutinated by competent people in bona fide.
2) Could someone here imagine a way to produce that given amount of energy ( at least a couple of dozen of kWhs) without using chemical reactions whatever those could be?
I can only imagine, given the volumes involved, a kind of nuclear reaction.
so if iti si not some kind of esotic thing, &/or fusion, it could only be FISSION.
So, I think we could falsify the experiment only allowing some kind of FORGED experiment, using fissionable material.
So the question is: Someone could imagine a fission process ( or SOME fission processes) with the same x g beta and alfa ( uh?) signature of the given case?
if a pill powder or whatever COULD be used to have the same macroscopic effects, we have a point.
otherway we will remain clueless until November.
I see this as the only possibiity to forge the experiment.

The thing that gets me is that they're basing the power output on the amount of water that passes through and is turned into steam. However, they're not being clinical enough about measuring the steam IMO.

There was a video demonstrating the apparatus - the steam outlet was a hose that led into a bucket to collect 'drips'. Steam was being emitted but there was also a lot of liquid water in the bucket. They said this was due to condensation, but it was a lot of water. It could be that some of the water was 'pumped' through the box into the bucket. They would have then erroneously counted this as output energy because they're claiming that it converted the liquid water into steam whereas it would have done no such thing - merely moved it to a different place.

Anyway, the proof will be in the pudding - if they can rig the 1MW plant up to provide useful energy in Oct/Nov then we'll know one way or the other!

Yeah, but they are doing the 1MW plant with OPM.

If this was so, ahem, hot, they could have rigged up a 10KW demo on their own dime quite easily. Or even rigged their existing demo box to a cheap steam pump to show that it generated enough power to drive its own water feed (which I doubt).

Right. It will likely turn out to be a scam. But surely their Greek clients will point this out once they've parted with their hard-earned and have very little to show for it?

As an entrepeneur you have to take the 7 mile steps it you want to get somewhere fast

If you have a real steam source it is trivial to hook it up to a classical reciprocating steam engine that drives a pump that runs the water feed.

Trivial and cheap, like under $100 if you know what you are doing, under $1000 if you don't.

This makes for a very engaging and tactile demonstration, perfect for convincing investors with.

If they aren't doing something like this, it's because it doesn't produce enough energy to drive its own water feed. That or they are incompetent to have produced such a ground breaking energy device to begin with.

They have already found their investors ,
The october 1 MW solution might be the first step in a cascade ( if their goal is energy production)

Yeah, and if they could have had the thing doing real work, how much money could they have in hand?

Steam engines are trivially accessible, and absolutely engaging. If you have a real high power heat source you would be a fool not to use a steam engine as your demonstrator.

So in your opinion they are either fools or frauds ,
but in any case broke .

We have that on record now.

You missed incompetent.

Case 1: they are correct, know what they are doing, and choose to present themselves in a manner consistent with past frauds: fools.
Case 2: the appearance of a fraudulent enterprise is not decieving: frauds.
Case 3: they really don't have a clue whether what they have is real or not: incompetent.

Yet you have never met them or seen the device.
You base your claims on account of secondary information and you have made your case.

Why is your information so trustworthy ?

If you choose not to believe me, don't. You are correct that I have never met them or their device.

If what they have is real, the truth will come out soon enough no matter what my opinion of them or their device may be.

For their sake and the sake of their investors I hope that they are only foolish in how they present themselves.


You need to look at all the different experiments. Here's a comparison:

Thanks, interesting. So it could still be an elaborate hoax.

Nice article.


Another point:

I think that they (Rossi) is not interested in giving absolute proof, he's more interested in building the factory. His original plan was not to go public at all but his friend Focardi insisted upon it (at least that was the claim by Rossi. I.E. the experimental conditions were not set up by Rossi but by the respective scientists from the university of Bologna / Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences/ Mats Leven from MyTeknik. They failed to put up a sufficiently rigorous test.

Well there's certainly a lot of seemingly convenient excuses flying around. To be honest I'm not really bothered what he or anyone else says at this point - the bottom line is whether in Oct/Nov he delivers, the client is satisfied and the apparatus can be shown to work beyond doubt to the countless numbers of scientific bodies who would no doubt be fighting each other to get the first story.

Until then it's impossible to tell whether it's an elaborate hoax or just Rossi being not very professional (or possibly one who enjoys building suspense / intrigue).


Agreed that it will take a couple of months to tell whether this is or is not a hoax, until then give the guy benefit of the doubt.

As to not very professional, I think he's handling it relatively professionally, you also have to take into account the cultural background. For example, I read a comment on a Swedish site that because the website of Deflakon Green Technologies is not elaborate it is not professional. Most Greek company websites don't pass that standard of professionalism (different culture on how much you care for how good your website looks). Things have to be seen from the right cultural/environmental/evolutionary angle.

it could only be FISSION

I was also thinking along those lines.

Applying Occam's razor at every step, here is the simplest possible explanation of what might be going on:

1. Rossi has a history of energy scamming (Petroldragon). The other characters, Levi from the University (sole witness to the longest test) and Focardi are financially connected to Rossi, directly or indirectly. Therefore according to Occam's razor, this reactor is also a scam.

2. Continuing with the scam presumption to see where it might lead, we know from the experiments that:

a - there is plenty of radiation-inhibiting lead and water in the apparatus
b - gamma ray spectroscopy was forbidden during experiments
c - so was looking inside the black box
d - the trigger for the large heat release is an electrical reistance heater
e - that much energy output from so small a reactor volume is not chemical but must be nuclear in origin

3. Working within the constraints of points a - e above, and staying with the scam presumption, the reactor may be housing some kind of radioactive heat source whose level of activity is somehow significantly moderated by water and lead, and the function of the electrical resistance (which is turned down after the reactor "ignites") could be to melt lead inside the unobservable reactor core, resulting in a reconfiguration that would cause or permit large scale radioactive heat release into the now-circulating water via a heat exchanger. How could a man such as Rossi get his hands on radioactive material? No idea, but there are Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (pdf)

4. All other parts of the apparatus not necessary for the operation of the above design serve the function of smoke and mirrors.

I would search for a cleverly hidden inductive or resistive heater and faults in the measuring equipment.

Cleverly hidden inductive or resistive heater is not out of the question either. I excluded that particular avenue of fraud because one would have thought that with all those tests with skeptics present, someone at some point would have raised a great big red flag about being unable to rule out a hidden electrical source...


That has been ruled out (the heater) as all the electricity flows have been measured in at least one (I think two) of the experiments

But then, reading elsewhere, those observations were made by an interested party. A whole fan-club website has been created:
With links to these articles claiming scrutiny.

@ Rembrandt

Do the test results also rule out a concealed fission-based heat source?

Recall that all the tests were done in premises controlled by Rossi, that the apparatus is mostly piping, insulation and lead, and that in one of the tests the initial heat output rate was estimated at 130KW before it stabilized at the lower typical rates as water flow continued.

Interview with Craig Cassarino of the U.S. company Ampenergo who have purchased a license for the production and distribution of the e-cat in the U.S. As stated in the interview the sum is not divulged:

From the interview:

Cassarino: Obviously we still don’t understand what’s going on inside, but he has something, and we believe that.

I guess we could call this faith based science, or more precisely in this case, faith based investing.

I am reminded of Bernie Madoff's magical black box investment approach. People didn't understand how he achieved his claimed investment returns, but his investors chose to believe him.

Then I think we can put the argument "it can't be a scam because they are not asking for investment" to rest. They are clearly sourcing funding even if it is in the form of licensing.

If this is a scam there are already plenty of victims here, from every investor, through to every individual person who has spent time and effort researching into the device. I hope this is real, and in which case these guys become rich beyond their wildest dreams, but if it is a scam that they are knowingly perpetrating they should spend the rest of their lives in prison.

So he is asking for money after all.

So, IF this thing is real, this company will have to get it "approved" to use in the US. Since it involves a nuclear process, I assume that the NRC will be the approving authority, and I imagine the pathway to get from here to market/implementation will be neither straight nor smooth, - nor fast.

It's not like you could just sell this thing at Home Depot.

But if nobody accepts that it is nuclear, then just go along and claim that it extract energy from the ether. Or from dilithium crystals.

I was sadly disappointed when I searched Google Groups for: Uncleal Rossi "Cold Fusion" and found nothing..

Not having the Chem/Physics education to do serious debunking myself, I always look for his take on developments before believing them.

Here's his take on the Palladium electrode Cold Fusion of Pons/Fleischman:

I know ( also from reading Uncleal's posts ) that Nickel, and Aluminum powders will alloy giving off lotsoheat. I don't even know where to look up what Copper/Nickel and Hydrogen/Nickel give off when they alloy. I do know that Nickel means demon in German ( PumperNickel = FartingDemon ). Also, Nickel got it's name because it often contaminated Copper Ore.

What if the 'other electrode' were copper. It would explain the 'transmutation'....

I dunno. I just wanted an excuse to link to Uncleal since he's one of the most colorful internet personalities I know of.

"The reaction occurs in solid and liquid phase only, without releasing any gas."
"The energy released is approximately 1200 to 1300 joules per gram."

Who knew?

CuNi doesn't seem to evolve heat. Cupronickel:

Pumper Nickel... not on Google Translate... would have been fun!

"How can 30% of nickel in Rossi’s reactor be transmuted into copper?"
With bland replies by Rossi... "Warm regards".
The site is a Rossi fan-club.

The gadget's chamber is copper pipe.

I'm afraid Unkleal is off his meds again.

Google translate doesn't turn Pumper Nickel into fart demon for me either. However it comes from the Etymology section of

Instead of energy coming from Cu/Ni, what about H2 and Ni as in ? Are we 'maintaining H2 pressure' as H2 is somehow being oxidized to power this thing? What about oxygen from the air? If it were being oxidized by moving though the walls of the apparatus then the water would evaporate off the surface leaving no trace. Perpetual motion machines usually have hidden parts concealing a hidden input somewhere.


It would then be the world's best battery ever. A primary cell, one that consumes its reactants, that could power cars and weighs nothing.

The most amusing batteries are the pyrotechnic molten salt batteries used in missiles. They are ON FIRE when operating. They can be stored, unused, for fifty years.

Books of the coming century will all be printed leaves of nickel, so light to hold that the reader can enjoy a small library in a single volume. A book two inches thick will contain forty thousand pages, the equivalent of a hundred volumes; six inches in aggregate thickness, it would suffice for all the contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica. And each volume would weigh less than a pound.

Already Mr. Edison can produce a pound weight of these nickel leaves, more flexible than paper and ten times as durable, at a cost of five shillings. In a hundred years' time the cost will probably be reduced to a tenth.

"We are already on the verge of discovering the secret of transmuting metals, which are all substantially the same in matter, though combined in different proportions."

Already, Mr. Edison tells us, the steam engine is emitting its last gasps. A century hence it will be as remote as antiquity as the lumbering coach of Tudor days, which took a week to travel from Yorkshire to London. In the year 2011 such railway trains as survive will be driven at incredible speed by electricity (which will also be the motive force of all the world's machinery), generated by "hydraulic" wheels

The E-Cat is real for actuarial purposes. What I mean by actuarial purposes is the expected value (probability of being real multiplied by the conditional magnitude of the value) is enough that resources need to be invested in anticipation of it being proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a skeptical stance that is not pathological skepticism.

This actuarial investment is valid for individuals in their own lives as well as policy planners and global strategists (such as global change environmentalists).

For instance, as an individual living in the country with propane heat, the priority of a corn-burning furnace just went up quite substantially because the outdoor, underground plumbing for heat exchange is the same as would be required if I had an E-Cat buried in the back yard, ADDED to the fact that I could use the corn burner as a backup for the low reliability of a new technology.

At the other extreme, a global change environmentalist wants to look at things like the so-called "demographic transition" theory of standard of living as determinative of both total fertility rate AND ecological footprint. I see a lot of knee-jerk reactions around here about how this will destroy the planet but I suspect in other contexts these same people see no problem with opening the borders of the US to third world immigration because by raising their standard of living, their total fertility rates will plummet to the point that even with the much larger ecological per capita footprint of US consumers, the total footprint will be smaller. In other words, very little rationality applies in this area due to fashion trends.

Hi folks .. I spent a lot of time here during the BP spill. My login still works!!

I've done an extensive (ongoing) analysis of whether Rossi's ecat is real or fake: is a placeholder page -- the current version is

Right now, my conclusion is "probably" -- although no ONE experiment has eliminated ALL possible fakes, at least ONE experiment has done so.

In my opinion the best thing to concentrate on right now is whether the Excess Heat is real or fake.
If the excess heat is real, then the THEORY of how it works can be worked out later.

Aleklett (and some of the observers) has got it completely wrong -- they say that because it doesn't produce X (eg Neutrons) it CAN'T be real. But if current science can't explain it, then the science is wrong.

ps Rossi is WEIRD. But that doesn't mean the eCAT is fake.

Edit : I reread the whole thread, and see that someone already pointed to my paper

Rembrandt on May 20, 2011 - 10:58am
You need to look at all the different experiments. Here's a comparison:

[-] iagreewithnick on May 20, 2011 - 2:42pm Permalink | Subthread | Parent | Parent subthread | Comments top

Thanks, interesting. So it could still be an elaborate hoax.

-- - --

It would have to be a VERY elaborate hoax. If Rossi knew in advance what kind of experiment was going to be performed than he could produce a particular fake to pass THAT test. But he just brings the eCAT, and the observers bring the test equipment. It's not clear who imposed the time constraints -- only the February test (with only Levi and another observer -- Bianchi, I think) ran long enough to eliminate everything.

The fact that any particular experiment didn't eliminate all possible fakes reflects poorly on the experimenters, not on Rossi.

I hope you get the credit you deserve for your discipline here, Alan. While such credit is limited to what I refer to, above, as "actuarial purposes", that value is still very high compared to other analyses that have wide-spread implications.

Thank you.

At the present, the unusual production of heat and the transmutation of nickel have not been independently demonstrated. In the absence of this, it is reasonable to question the results claimed as well as any theories proposed on the basis of current scientific understanding.

Correct. Alan's use of the word "Prove" is unfortunate but does not seriously detract from his work's actuarial value.


Thanks for doing the analysis, it's great stuff and thoroughly done.


Keeping the design secret seems counter-productive at this point. There has been enough publicity and there is a patent issued, so nobody can steal their work.

Additionally, as soon as there are public deployments, somebody is going to peek and the secret will be out anyway.

In the past when this sort of secrecy has been invoked by inventors with improbable energy technology it has always been to keep people from looking closely enough to see what was really going on long enough to get an interesting amount of money. It might be different this time, but would you be willing to put your money down on it?

It is my understanding that Rossi intends to disclose the secret catalysts via additional patent when he has been paid the $140M that is due him once the 1MW hot water plant (being entirely financed by Rossi himself) is in operation. That $140M is not for the hot water plant but for the rights to manufacture and sell into a limited number of countries. The current patent application is for the rest of the device which, of course, is insufficient for someone skilled in the art to replicate the beneficial use of the E-Cat, given the "non-obvious" nature of the additional catalysts.

Pattern fit to a 'T'.

In what other investment scam has the con-artist received money only after verified delivery of the claimed product?

The strongest argument I can come up with for a con here is Greece's current rocky relationship with the EU and the Euro. That would provide sufficient potential conflicts of interest and hidden channels of compensation to pay off Levi to report the 18-hour no-phase-change results he did. However, it is also reasonable to suspect that the announcement of Greece's intention to depart the EU was precipitated by the expected value of the E-Cat to their economy via exclusive distribution rights to some territories.

Really, you _have_ to explain away Levi's report.

So he's building this 1MW plant with his own money?

The size of the bonus doesn't really matter, he doesn't need to collect the $140M, but it makes the money spent on production look smaller.


No he is building the devices that fuel the 1 MW plant with his own money (500.000 euro), and he will be paid in terms of the energy delivered to that plant, and probably royalties IF it operates.

A quote from Jed Rothwell:

If it passes the tests, they will pay him $140 million for full rights to manufacture the machines in Greece and the Balkans. They will not pay him any more royalties in the future. It is a one-shot deal.

Of course, this doesn't mean that he won't be paid for energy delivered but my impression is that he is being paid only the $140M upon successful tests of the 1MW plant and that he is receiving no income from anyone until that occurs.

PS: Arguing with the vast majority of self-declared "skeptics" is a little like an Olympic athlete walking into a sports arena and finding himself surrounded by participants in the Special Olympics arrogantly challenging him. It would be pathetic if it weren't so revolting.

Banging on the table now?

Real results don't need to be accepted to be real. If they can produce a 1 MW plant on their own dime with their process they don't need the adulation or even the acceptance of mainstream science to profit from it. Heck, they didn't even need to admit to having an unusual process until they were challenged on it.

So why seek that approval?

Why even go public with something they wish to keep the details of secret when they could have quietly approached a small manufacturer with their "no risk" project and had inarguable results before seeking public recognition of their achievement?

It doesn't make sense, and in the face of something that 1. doesn't make sense and 2. follows a tradition of existing con jobs in the relevant market, is it any wonder that the first thing that people think is "Oh no, not again!"?

So he didn't need to go public with an incomplete demo yet.

He *could* have just quietly gotten his patent, put the plant into production, and sold the power, revealing the process after he was putting significant kWh into a production process.

A process that works doesn't need scientific validation, after all.

It's the seeking of scientific validation without revealing the details of the process that is most suspicious. The validation can't be done without all the details, and it isn't necessary if the process works.

To be fair, he couldn't quietly get his patent because almost no country accepts patents on cold fusion devices.

So he could have skipped the patent and invoked Trade Secret rules, since he is doing so anyway for the catalyst.


You haven't read this in sufficient detail,

1) First, there is not a good patent for the device (no European wide patent) as this is still pending. See:;jsessionid=540A3872CC4B88...

2) Secondly there is patent in preparation for the catalysts which is the key to the invention (the idea for the device is not new itself and it will probably be difficult because of this to get a European patent, see the link above and the documents).

3) Thirdly, if he has the patents then he can go to court for copy-cats and win. If he doesn't then the secret being out doesn't earn him any money.

4) There is no money being put down in case of the Greek factory as he is using his own money to construct the devices for this.

There is another good reason to think it's not true, the estimated cost of 500'000 euros for a 1MW one-off prototype plant is way too low. A 1MW wind turbine will be at least 1'000'000 euros installed, and the prototype plant will have many of the same components, i.e. a 1MW generator set etc.

Just because it's not obvious where he's making the money on this, doesn't mean he isn't. I can think of several ways to make money on such a scheme without selling anything to anyone. Are you positive he's fronting the whole 500'000 euros for the plant, or just for the 'devices', which may just be metal boxes of an unknown size.

There is another good reason to think it's not true, the estimated cost of 500'000 euros for a 1MW one-off prototype plant is way too low. A 1MW wind turbine will be at least 1'000'000 euros installed, and the prototype plant will have many of the same components, i.e. a 1MW generator set etc.

I thought the first project/customer was for purely heat, (ie hot water), so there does not need to be any Generator Set components.
That seems the best customer to engage with.

Someone who buys bulk heat, will know how to quantify what they are getting.

AlanF777 and some others raise a good point. We all tend to have preconceived notions of what is "real" or not. Yet even as science advances, old science is still being taught in schools to children who then grow up with bad ideas. A good example of this was the 20th century shift from slow millenium long climate shifts to catastrophic climate shifts within a few decades and within even a few years. By the late 20th century, when this paradigm shift was complete, climatologists all commented about how the data had been right under their noses for the last 100 years but that it had been ignored over and over because the conclusion was considered preposterous. Eventually though, the accumulated data finally destroyed the myth of slow climate change. It was Feynman who said "If you thought that science was certain - well, that is just an error on your part."

Let's look at our civilization in terms of Tainter's complexity theory. Tainter doesn't argue that our civilization must fall, which is what many people have misinterpreted him to mean. What he has argued is that our civilization will fall, unless we can take the next step up the complexity chain.

I will also note that as the complexity of our civilization has risen, our scientific view of reality has changed, quite steadily. Just 120 years ago, physicists all believed in the "ether", yet Michelson and Morley disproved the existence of the ether in 1887. Likewise, many physicists are fond of noting that current theory has begun to "show cracks". And while it has not been replaced yet, who is to say that we won't find experimental data that forces such a change?

I have NO opinion on this particular cold fusion discussion. Yet I would caution people to remember that powerdown or collapse are not inevitable. They may appear inevitable but in fact they are not since the possibility continues that an alternative theory may arise that leads to development of other energy sources. People who know me know that I am in the "doomer" camp because I don't believe that such a discovery will occur before we reach other limits that begin to compromise our society. I happen to agree with Sir Fred Hoyle, who said "It has often been said that, if the human species fails to make a go of it here on the Earth, some other species will take over the running. In the sense of developing intelligence this is not correct. We have or soon will have, exhausted the necessary physical prerequisites so far as this planet is concerned. With coal gone, oil gone, high-grade metallic ores gone, no species however competent can make the long climb from primitive conditions to high-level technology. This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned." Where Hoyle says "intelligence" I believe he means technological intelligence and technological civilization.

However, having said the above, I am also aware that the other outcome, of increased complexity due to new/better energy sources, is not out of the realm of possibility either. And most of you should keep that in your heads as well. Our civilization is at a cusp. I believe that the direction is going to be towards collapse, but I also recognize that this is a belief, and further, that it is simply one possibility amongst many. Because of the way I see the data, I believe it is the most likely possibility, yet I must recognize that there are other possibilities, even ones I cannot personally envision.

Coming back around to the cold fusion debate, and again quoting Feynman "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." So the key issue here will be whether this experiment can be reproduced reliably. If it can, it does not matter one stinking bit what current physics says about why it's not supposed to occur. The data makes the rules, not the theory.

My personal inclination is going to be to disbelieve this report until it is very much verified by other scientists. But I'll remain open to being proven wrong. I've said the same thing about other supposed energy advances in the past - "Show me." When it comes to science, we all should be from Missouri and say "Show me."

Well I am from Missouri - and wonder just how much it would cost to "show me" the new cold-fusion process.

I really am too ignorant to offer an intelligent comment - but if someone could entertain me anyway I would appreciate a reply.

First of all - how is it or why is it - that theoretical or laboratory physics studies seem to be so damn far away from any applicable role in commerce. In other words, where and when would this latest cold fusion process be applied in a real-world manner that return$ dollars on its implementation? SHOW ME the profits!

Second - since science is supposed to be so analytical - why is it there is no agreed upon global protocol to submit theoretical concepts and experiments for well-funded scrutiny amongst the world's best available resources.

Why is it that research seems fragmented and collective collegiate platforms for experimentation are supported in piecemeal fashion?

Finally - for what it's worth - my own theory is that human civilization is already past that point of no return in terms of "dirty" energy consumption. And as hydrocarbons of lesser energy densities are increasingly employed by larger populations across the globe; negative-global-feedback-loops will set in motion irreversible climate change that will render the Earth's atmosphere resembling that of Venus. (perhaps by 2200)

So it's not like there is any time remaining to decline any possible alternatives - but i digress.


That makes a lot of sense what you say, and it is more or less my modus operandi in a rational sense (as far as that is possible). The proof is in the pudding. We'll see whether we have to alter our reality in a number of months. So far as I understand there will be the following more detailed tests:

- Isotope test of the compounds that came out of the reactor after 2.5 months of operation (by Sven Kullander, Royal Academy of Sciences)
- 12 months rigorous tests by the University of Bologna that probably started in January 2011??, paid for by Rossi (500.000 euro)
- Tests to be done by the university of Uppsala (Kullander) who is supposed to receive an e-cat somewhere in the next months (possibly end of June)
- Startup of factory in October/November in Athens, Greence which would be a showcase with 300 of the devices operating (250 continuously, 50 on back-up).

Off topic, but-many years ago there was an article in the journal of the AAAS, where a scientist published an account of the low temperature fusion of tritium and deuterium, by bombarding them with mesons, I have not seen anything more about this, does anyone know what was the result?

That may be the muon-catalyzed fusion noted by Ugo. I recall when the article on that came out some years ago in Scientific American.... I think muons used to be called mu mesons....

Wiki: The term "cold fusion" was used as early as 1956 in a New York Times article about Luis W. Alvarez' work on muon-catalyzed fusion.

Then there's this SF story : The Pod in The Barrier (Theodore Sturgeon - 1970)

Edit: I saw the book's date as 1970 -- but the story's from 1957, hot off the press!!!

ps : The article has been gutted down to nothing -- the Pathological Skeptics / Reliable Source Police have been chopping away at it for days -- and now they're removing anything calling it 'science'.

Not much on meson:

Highlights of Papers Presented^ the
Workshop on ColdFusion Phenomena
Santa Fe, New Mexico
May 23-25,1989
the paper from Meson Science Laboratory, University of Tokyo (UT-MSL) Hongo, Bunkyoku, Tokyo, Japan

Interesting stuff:
14th International Conference on
Condensed Matter Nuclear Science
and the
14th International Conference on
Cold Fusion (ICCF-14)
10-15 August 2008

Getting a charge out of dark matter
"If there are stable integer-charged baryons or mesons (or even "nuclei," i.e., ... not to mention providing a catalyst for low-temperature fusion." But the article costs money.

"In particle physics, mesons (pronounced /ˈmiːzɒnz, ˈmɛzɒnz/) are subatomic particles composed of one quark and one antiquark. All mesons are unstable, with the longest-lived lasting for only a few 100-millionths (10−8) of a second."

"The muon (pronounced /ˈmjuːɒn/; from the Greek letter mu (μ) used to represent it) is an elementary particle similar to the electron, with a unitary negative electric charge and a spin of ½. Together with the electron, the tau, and the three neutrinos, it is classified as a lepton. It is an unstable subatomic particle with a mean lifetime of (2.2 µs)"

--> Muons were previously called mu mesons, but are not classified as mesons by modern particle physicists.

Lots more on muon:
Developing an Efficient Low-Temperature Nuclear Fusion Reactor

"Note that in muon catalyzed fusion concepts for low temperature or warm fusion, a single muon might catalyze as many as 1 million fusion reactions before decaying. The muon can catalyze fusion because it has a mass of 207 times that of the electron and therefore can approach nuclei much closer than an electron."

"The existence of the muon was confirmed in 1937 by J. C. Street and E. C. Stevenson's cloud chamber experiment.[3] The discovery of the muon seemed so incongruous and surprising at the time that Nobel laureate I. I. Rabi famously quipped, "Who ordered that?""


Sounds like a scam to me. I'm a little surprised it made the list on TOD site. Just my own opinion, but a discussion on Joule Unlimited might make a better topic?


The number of times that the device has been demonstrated and allowed to be tested by different scientific groups, and potential importance IF this turns out to be real warrants a post.

You haven't looked in-depth and are a priori concluding that this is a scam, while there is insufficient information to conclude whether it is or not. You can take a look at for more details on that.

No, you can't go look at a captive site to learn any truth.

h t t p://
h t t p://

Are fan-club sites, to use the least libelous wording.

"qumbu" makes these ridiculous "proofs" that the power can not be delivered by batteries contained within the gadget. Lots and lots of detail goes into these silly "proofs" when, just on the face of it, a 600 pound battery pack from an electric car would be needed.

The existence of these sites, alone, facilitates a conclusion of fraud.

I believe it has been discussed in the past in drumbeats - it does seem to lack a Front Page Post.

Any of the biological systems have to be kept a monoculture and to get the high yields you need a 100% CO2 source to make the bio-based product.

Having a 100% CO2 source and making a "Fuel" just kicks the can down the road as the "Fuel" will just be burned in most usage models.

Photons -> biology -> energy is not the best photon conversion path.
Photons -> pv -> energy is better
Photons -> heat energy (passive solar, evacuated glass tubes, et la) is the best Man can do.

No, Photon -> pv is the best man can achieve. There are just two problems, our current technology isn't as efficient as it could be, and our current technology is too expensive.

If it is real then the big energy companies would be all over this, either trying to rip it off or knocking it flatter than a pancake in a hundred ton press.


Yeah. Maybe the best way for us to determine if there's anything there would be to forget the physics and find out who has agents lurking in corners wherever Rossi and Focardi go.


Have you ever spoken to someone from a large electricity, or oil & gas company?

Probably not otherwise you wouldn't be putting out such nonsense.

As a silent follower of Rembrandt for a couple of years now on and TOD, I was very curious about his feeling and ideas about this invention/discovery. So It seems to have a high level of "this is it !". Or am I wrong ?


I wouldn't say this is it, my take is give Rossi and his team the benefit of the doubt and research it carefully. There is no proof to say it is a scam and there is not proof to say that it is not a scam. However, if it is true then this will be a new technological revolution and solve a lot of big problems (at least for the foreseeable future). Also the situation is so far very different then other scams/hoax inventors etc.

As a small side note, you and many others may not be aware that DARPA has been pursuing cold fusion since the original cold fusion episode. There have been rumors within the defense community of some sort of breakthrough there as well. This is all third hand information so take it with a large grain of salt, but apparently some very bright (and well funded) people have been pursuing this non-stop for about 2 decades now.

The Navy hired Fleischmann as a consultant apparently. Likely nothing came out of it.

The Navy hired Fleischmann as a consultant apparently. Likely nothing came out of it.

Cheap insurance ?.
Better inside the tent pissing out, etc, and the 'hire' clauses are bound to prevent disclosure, so just in case there was something useful buried in the work, no one else could get it.

Interesting to see this raised on OilDrum.

My friend is not an easily duped person and he went there ready to debunk the hoax. He came back rather perplexed, saying something like, “well, there may be something in this story.”

The good thing about this claim is, it will be reality checked this year, as last I read they claim to be producing ~1MW of Energy, from Multiple units, in 2011.

No matter how this exactly works, (or even if), with multiple units, operating continuously, you get both great comparative tuning information, and an absolute litmus test.

Random thoughts:

If I were a Saudi, Iranian, or Russian I'd have a huge price on this guy's head whether the invention is real or not. Think in terms of risk adjusted return.

I've spent the past 48 hours reading everything I can about Rossi, the "energy catalyzer", cold fusion (aka LENR), hot fusion, and nuclear physics in general. Fun times! Somewhere in that reading I recall Rossi saying that he had tested "tens of thousands" of catalysts. I'm not sure how long it takes to synthesize and test a catalyst but consider that if one were to test one catalyst per day since 1994 you would have 365 x 17 = 6,205 catalysts. I guess it is plausible that he tested "tens of thousands" of catalysts but I'll label it as improbable for now. Then again, if I tested >5,000 catalysts over the course of nearly two decades I would probably also respond "tens of thousands" so this could well be a mute point.

We need an energy miracle but not one this good. Mankind is far from responsible enough to use such vast sources of energy. The beauty of a solar revolution is that solar power is diffuse and limited enough to make large scale war very economically undesirable, if not altogether logistically impossible.

Perhaps I should register the domain "" so we can all start talking about "peak nickel"?

As a final not, someone posted a video of an older gentleman giving a presentation to Google about fusion energy. His insights into how the government works is fascinating and, as an economist, a verification of the tenants of agency theory.

With allmost free engergy to heat the house and fuel the electric cars, we can afford 500$ oil to make high-tech and other stuff, so the grandchildren of the Saudi may also be happy.

Good point

Nope. Economics 101. Reduced demand = lower price. True enough, the Saudis have the lowest cost of production, so they may still be able to sell crude as chemical feedstock at $8 a barrel. All the other producers - North Sea, Gulf, Iran, Iraq are gone. Australian coal. Alberta tar-sands, gone. Even Russian natural gas. All of which will make for interesting times, geopoliticly speaking.

Not necessarily. If supply is reduced greater than demand the price will rise. Supply/demand is a dynamic and is only looked at in the ceteris paribus condition for sake undergraduate students who are otherwise too distracted by booze and coeds to handle mildly complex theories.

As the quantity supplied falls, economies of scale (and probably scope as well in this case) diminish in the aggregate (though they may remain constant or even rise for certain firms). This drives up production cost which shifts the supply curve to the left.

I doubt (assuming this "energy catalyzer" is real) we'll be able to put them into cars or planes anytime soon. What are the odds that the government would allow citizens to posses such a lethal source of radiation? Remove the shielding and, viola, a potent machine to irradiate a whole shopping mall full of people. Then you run into considerations such as power density: with all of the shielding and then an appropriately sized steam engine, is it even possible to run a car off an "energy catalyzer"? Keep in mind that the steam temperature is fairly low. What about a plane?

If we have stationary "energy catalyzer" power plants and go the electric route we still have the problem of adequate batteries for cars (forget about planes). Sure, electrified rail and a total elimination of natural gas and oil demand for heating would free up some supply for the transport market, but, at the end of the day, we've just kicked the can down the road a little ways. Even with ridiculously cheap electricity, GTL is still very expensive.

Coal and gas are the only entities threatened by such a technology, at least in the short term. With that said, I retract my earlier statement about Saudi, Russian, and other interests having a price on Rossi's head. Instead, I'll insert Arch Coal, Peabody Coal, anyone who produces a ton of natural gas (Russia and Iran again, along with some integrated oil majors), and anyone who's dumped a ton of money into solar and wind power (GE and Siemens to name just two).

A Rossi power module can be fabricated about the size of a gallon in volume that is completely enclosed with a covering of protective tungsten. That volume would put out about 20Kw thermal. Tungsten is a good covering material and can be removed only with great difficulty. Tungsten stops x-rays very well and can tolerate very high temperatures. And all Rossi reactor materials are of course recyclable.

A key enabling technology that would be nice to have for the Rossi reactor is direct heat to electricity conversion. Such nano-technology is in development now and has an potential efficiency of up to 90%. This will allow for the utilization of the Rossi reaction on module platforms. The future is indeed made bright through research.

If the 1 gallon container were made entirely of tungsten (for simplicity) it would weigh 161lbs. Now add a steam engine. Cyclone Power Technologies makes the most power dense steam engine that I'm aware of that operates. CHE-25 weighs 18lbs without its condenser and produces 9hp at 750f at a steam pressure of 3000psi. Let's assume that you'd need 50hp and that you're looking at around 150lbs for the engine and its condenser. Said engine would need 2.5 "energy catalyzers" but the reactor volume scales cubicly so a 50kw unit would probably only weigh ~200lbs with shielding....

.....sorry for the rant but at least we can say that we're in the ballpark.

So light enough to fit in an aluminum fishing boat and get hooked up to a hydrojet.

That would make an awesome demo.

Yeah, that would make an awesome demo as well, but I doubt anyone would have the physical endurance to fly one of those long enough for a proper demonstration, where with a boat you can tool up and down a busy river as long as the contents of your cooler hold out.

GreenPlease: Not necessarily. If supply is reduced greater than demand the price will rise.

Huh? So what's going to reduce the supply of oil other than marginal high-cost producers being forced out of production by lower prices? Even if Saudi Arabia is the last man standing at $10 a barrel, they still maintain their economies of scale. Like I say, Economics 101.

Another beneficial effect of cheaper feedstock: much cheaper plastics, chemicals and agricultural fertilizers. Lower input costs for agriculture (energy, fertilizer, chemicals) = cheaper food.

Hypothetical: global demand falls to 20mbpd 10 years hence. The KSA's production is 5.38mbpd (~9mbpd presently x 0.95^10) at a marginal price of $15. Russia's production is 5.98mpbd (~10mbpd presently x 0.95^10) at a marginal price of $35. Let's just say that the rest of the oil demand is satisfied with oil sands and deepwater oil production at $85/bbl (I know some in the Canadian tar sands produce at $45/bbl). What's the market price of oil? $85. Adjust for "inflation" at 3% per year: $85 x 1.03^10 = $114/bbl.

It's not that radical to think that we'd maintain high oil prices even with a "limitless" supply of electricity. Don't forget, oil byproducts are used extensively in areas other than transportation as you mention. Let's assume that we currently use 30mpb of our oil production for plastics and other materials/chemical inputs. If no additional capacity is brought online and at a 5% decline rate, our output falls to 50mbpd in 10 years and 38mbpd in 15 years. Let's not forget that one can't just flip a switch and change the output characteristics of a refinery.

Peak oil is still a very real problem even in the context of cold-fusion being a reality.

BTW: the KSA may maintain its economies of scale but consider a producer like ExxonMobil. Let's say their average production cost is $40/bbl, that this production is split into groups of $36/bbl and $44/bbl, that $5/bbl is a fixed cost due to financing and r&d, and that they produce 3mbpd. Let's say that, suddenly, half of their fields are no longer economic and they have to be abandoned because oil prices have plunged to $43/bbl and are expected to stay their for an extended period of time. Suddenly the group that once produced at $36/bbl is now saddled with the additional fixed costs of the $44/bbl group. Thus, Exxon's average cost of production is now $41/bbl even though they're now producing from lower marginal cost wells.

That's just a simplified example but I'm sure you get the point. The problem is a far cry from static horizontal summation of supply curves. It's a dynamic.

Blind 'em with science, eh? Lotsa numbers, and the slack-jawed yokels are confounded. What you're saying in effect is that Peak Oil abides, and that diminishing resources will continue to hold up prices, mattheradamn about any substitution effects from an energy source effectively without supply constraints in the long term and with a cost-of-production an order of magnitude less than that of fossil fuel energy.

Long-term, nope. If Rossi is kosher (and that's just the for-the-sake-of argument assumption here - I'm not asserting that he is) then oil-for-energy is doomed. All that remains is to consider the time-scale. You're hypothesising a loss of a third of total demand in ten years. That's reasonable, sure, as existing vehicles and plant continue to operate to the end of their useful lives; and there's always the lead-time for new technology to come on the market (though with as big a cost differential as we're talking about, there's plenty of incentive for industry to turn on a dime; your Cyclone link is interesting in that context). Then, at 10-15 years, oil demand will fall off a cliff, outpacing any Peak Oil supply considerations and knocking the price to the canvas.

Except for one thing, which I haven't seen addressed anywhere so far: tax. Gubmints world-wide have a combined take of several trillions on fossil fuel use. You may be sure they're not about to give that up, particularly if the carbon-tax / cap-and-trade golden goose suddenly goes tits up because nobody's emitting CO2 any more. Look for lots of panicky, rent-seeking regulation and taxation measures as soon as it's clear that this thing is a commercial reality. You can trust a governments to foul it up, whatever it is. Watch 'em make a mess of this one.

Instead of the I would consider as more appropriate. Note that the latter domain name is already taken.


This is more or less comparable to the invention of Haber (of the Haber and Bosch process to produce Ammonia) who tried approximately 8000 substances before finding out the required catalyst. I don't believe the tens of thousands and at another point he says thousands (Rossi is not very precise in his statements, he's not interested in science but in inventions). So probably a number of thousand

Does anyone remember the 'Hafnium controversy'? (Induced Gamma Emissions using Hafnium-178-m2)

Some guy has managed to bilk DARPA out of some of our taxpayer coin to pursue this idea...

"IF" this device can be replicated by other people, we can then make it much easier to find answers to many questions.

I am interested in "trying" to replicate the device to see what happens.
If there is anyone else who is interested in trying to do this also, and would like to share informaton in the devleopement attempt, please contact me.
docscience at .

Our chances of success may not be high, but accept for an unknown ingredient, this device is not that complicated.
You will need some engineering or physics skills.

Just about everyone and everything in this sorry mess seems to have the unpleasant whiff of scam about it. It follows a recognisable pattern for 'alternative energy' scams and I would be prepared to bet that there will be extensive hyping of the shares of the company which ends up with exclusive rights to this device.

There isn't any credible scientific basis for the claims and no credible published research that suggests new science has been discovered. Every search one does ends up in a dead end or some non-committal waffle about jam tomorrow.


Interesting how the vast majority of commenters cannot bring themselves to look at the evidence objectively before dismissing "Cold Fusion" as a hoax or scam purely on the basis of personal bias.

After spending some time looking at the theoretical work by Peter Hagelstein at MIT I am impressed by the tremendous progress that he has made in developing a theoretical model which is capable of quantitatively predicting some of the experimentally observed Cold Fusion results.

After being a die-hard skeptic for many years, I'm now convinced there is a good chance that so-called Cold Fusion will emerge as a legitimate new science.

That is good. Could you you provide some simpler explanation of Hagelstein's work?

As an engineer, I spend lots of time deconstructing theoretical work by mathematicians and physicists to make it somewhat practical. This is often hard because even after I deconstruct it and try to present it in a simpler or more informal setting, lots of people still don't understand it. But you can always give it a shot, because it may be at a level that at least some of the tweeners (inhabiting that realm between physics and engineering) can grasp.

Sorry for my English, I help with google translator.
Two times I have heard Mr. Rossi speak of the consumption of
hydrogen and nickel.
He once said about 1 gram per day of hydrogen and about 50 grams of
nickel in 180 days, a second time said about 1 gram per day of
hydrogen and about 100 grams of nickel in 180 days. If I'm not
mistaken, this means that 216 hydrogen atoms react with one or two
atoms of nickel.
It remain 215/214 hydrogen atoms (if the nickel is consumed in part the
numbers are even higher).
Rossi knows what he says or knows what happens inside the e-cat?
He's hiding something?

see min 5:00 min 3:00

in italian

Scusate per il mio inglese , mi aiuto con google translator.
I ho sentito per due volte il sig Rossi parlare del consumo di idrogeno e nichel.
Una volta ha detto circa 1 grammo al giorno di idrogeno e circa 50 grammi di nichel in 180 giorni , una altra volta ha detto circa 1 grammo al giorno di idrogeno e circa 100 grammi di nichel in 180 giorni . Se non mi sbaglio questo significa che reagiscono 216 atomi di idrogeno con uno o due atomi di nichel.
Resterebbero 215/214 atomi di idrogeno ( se il nichel si consuma parzialmente i numeri sono ancora maggiori).
Sa Rossi quello che dice o sa quello che succede dentro lo e-cat ? Sta nascondendo qualcosa ?

Although most people doubt it, if hydrogen can react with the nickel, maybe some hydrogen is also turning into helium. When the device is opened, they would lose all trace of helium.

Another statement of Mr. Rossi (not true or in error), is that after the
reaction there is an isotope of copper not found in nature. I checked
Internet ( and I found that the only stable
63Cu isotope (69.17%) and 65Cu (30.83%) cover 100% of natural copper, all others are unstable (the longest-lived 67Cu has a half -life of 61.83 hours).
Why say such things? Well, it does not dominate the field? Maybe he was confused between Ni and Cu?

see at 39:51 min

I hope in cold fusion but failures may damage it.

This is getting weirder and weirder. Each proton (hydrogen atom) would release on the order of 6MeV when (and if, a very big if) fused with a nickel isotope. A gram of hydrogen would produce about 0.6TJ of energy, so at a gram a day that would make it around 7MW. Even if half of that disappeared down some neutrino rat-hole, it would still be one helluva lot of power for a tabletop apparatus that's not turning itself into molten slag. Not remotely enough hydrogen consumption for a chemical basis; way, way too much for a fusion basis.

One problem with the original palladium-based "cold fusion" thing IMO was that calorimetry can be much more difficult in a practical sense than investigators starstruck with fashionable modern quantum theory and the like, and correspondingly disdainful of old-fashioned (quasi-) classical stuff, sometimes may imagine. So I wonder whether history is repeating itself.

There are about 40 other elements transmuted in the ash product of the Rossi reactor besides copper. Those elements need a vast number of neutrons to round out their nuclei. All these neutrons must be fabricated from energy produced by the Rossi reaction before they can be created. In detail, they need 1.3 MeV of energy for each neutron to be supplied from the energy surplus. Details….you got to get deep into the details.

A gram of hydrogen would produce about 0.6TJ of energy, so at a gram a day that would make it around 7MW.

Cold fusion. A relative term.

I suppose we'll know more about this very strange story before too long. Unless Rossi is "raptured" first. The new date has been revealed:

Harold Camping now says end is coming Oct. 21

This is getting weirder and weirder. Each proton (hydrogen atom) would release on the order of 6MeV when (and if, a very big if) fused with a nickel isotope. A gram of hydrogen would produce about 0.6TJ of energy, so at a gram a day that would make it around 7MW. Even if half of that disappeared down some neutrino rat-hole, it would still be one helluva lot of power for a tabletop apparatus that's not turning itself into molten slag. Not remotely enough hydrogen consumption for a chemical basis; way, way too much for a fusion basis.

At least it is between those reality-check-points. ;)

If you take their claimed power, that's perhaps 0.2% of the "100% fusion" datum point you give here.

This reminds me of the first LEDs, they too were very low Efficiency, and it has taken decades to push them to where they are today, which is closing on the theoretical ceiling. { 231 lm/W @ 350mA reported this month }

On the first LEDs they had no idea where that ceiling even was.

"If you take their claimed power, that's perhaps 0.2% of the '100% fusion' datum point you give here."

Right, that's exactly the problem. With LEDs we're after light, and early LEDs only converted about 0.01% of the electricity put into them into light. But the rest of the electricity, the other 99.99%, got converted to heat. It didn't disappear. 100% of the energy in the electricity is accounted for, it all gets converted to something, almost all of that being heat.

With this Rossi thing, on the face of it, 0.2% of the energy is accounted for while 99.8% is simply dropping out of this universe, else the tabletop apparatus would quickly become a heap of white-hot slag. Or if we use Ausgang's 1.3MeV number, then only a mere 99% of the energy is vanishing, and, all right, maybe we only get yellow-white-hot slag. Or else Ausgang's neutron majik is so finely balanced as to be beyond belief. Or else the calorimetry or volumetry or who knows what else is seriously messed up. Whatever, but energy doesn't just disappear unless we've got "new physics" here that's far, far beyond mere nuclear fusion.

IOW the thing strains credulity since the numbers don't seem to come even come close to adding up, irrespective of the details of the supposed process. Oh, and it's not helpful to the cause, if there is one, that the conspicuous parade of strident secrecy shouts "fraud" (whether truly or falsely) at top volume. Hence, at the end of the day, it still seems weird.

Hence, at the end of the day, it still seems weird.

Yes that is true, but your Logic about "a heap of white-hot slag" seems flawed.
You seem to presume if some energy process is occuring, then it must be applied to ALL converted consumables.

There are many manufacturing processes where efficiency started low, and they do not magically reach ideal levels. It can be quite common that only a small portion of consumables are properly used.

If we assume this is not a pure con, then the first steps in any new manufacturing is to first make it consistent, so you understand the variables, {even if not the entire physics} and then work to raise the 'conversion factors'