Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cold fusion irritates again

Lubos has been raging several times about the cold fusion gadget of Andrea Rossi and returned to the topic again. The claim of Rossi and physicist Fogardi is that the cold fusion reaction of H and Ni producing Cu in the presence of some "additives" (Palladium catalyst as in may cold fusion experiments gathering at its surface Ni?) .

Lubos of course "knows" before hand that the gadget cannot work: Coulomb barrier. Since Lubos is true believer in naive text book wisdom, he simply refuses to consider the possibility that the physics that we learned during student days might not be quite right. Personally I do not believe or disbelieve cold fusion: I just take it seriously as any person calling himself scientist should do. I have been developing for more than 15 years ideas about possible explanation of cold fusion in TGD framework. The most convincing idea is that large value of Planck constant associated with nuclei could be involved scaling up the range of weak interactions from 10-17 meters to atomic size scale and also scaling up the size of nucleus to atomic size scale so that nucleus and even quarks would like constant charge densities instead of point like charge. Therefore Coulomb potential would be smoothed and the wall would become much lower (see this and this).

One must say in honor of Lubos that at this time he had detailed arguments about what goes wrong with the reactor of Rossi: this is in complete contrast with the usual arguments of skeptics which as a rule purposefully avoid saying anything about the actual content and concentrate on ridiculing the target. The reason is of course that standard skeptic is just a soldier who has got the list of targets to be destroyed and as a good soldier does his best to achieve the goal. Thinking is not what a good soldier is expected to do since the professors in the consultive board take care of this and give orders to those doing the dirty job.

As a theoretician I have learned the standard arguments used to debunk TGD: logic is circular, text is mere world salad, everything is just cheap numerology, too many self references, colleagues have not recognized my work, the work has not been published in respected journals, and so on. The additional killer arguments state that I have used certain words which are taboos and already for this reason am a complete crackpot. Examples of bad words are "water memory", "homeopathy", "cold fusion", "crop circles", "quantum biology", "quantum consciousness". There is of course no mention about the fact that I have always emphasized that I am skeptic, not a believer or disbeliever, and only make the question "What if...." and try to answer it in TGD framework. Intellectual honesty does not belong to the virtues of skeptics who are for modern science what jesuits were for the catholic church. Indeed, as Loyola said: the purpose sanctifies the deeds.

Lubos has real arguments but they suffer from strong negative emotional background coloring so that one cannot be trust the rationality of the reasoning. The core of the arguments of Lubos is following.

  1. The water inside reactor is heated to a temperature of 100.1 C. This is slightly above 100 C defining the nominal value of the boiling point temperature at normal pressure. The problem is that if the pressure is somewhat higher, the boiling point increases and the it could happen that the no evaporation of the water takes place. If this is the case, the whole energy fed into the reactor could go to the heating of the water. The input power is indeed somewhat higher than the power needed to heat the water to this temperature without boiling so that this possibility must be taken seriously and the question is whether the water is indeed evaporated.


    1. This looks really dangerous. Rossi uses water only as a passive agent gathering the energy assumed to be produced in the fusion of hydrogen and nickel to copper. This would allow to assume that the water fed in is at lower temperature and also the water at outlet is below boiling boiling. Just by measuring the temperature at the outlet one can check whether the outgoing water has temperature higher than it would be if all input energy goes to its heating.
    2. This is only one particular demonstration and it might be that there are other demonstrations in which the situation is this. As a matter fact, from an excellent video interview of Nobelist Brian Josephson one learns that there are also demonstrations in which water is only heated so that the argument of Lubos does not bite here. The gadget of Rossi is already used to heat university building. The reason why the evaporation is probably that this provides an effective manner to collect the produced energy. Also by reading the Nyteknik report one learns that the energy production is directly measured rather than being based on the assumption that evaporation occurs.

  2. Is the water evaporated or not? This is the question posed by Lubos. The demonstration shows explicitly that there is a flow of vapor from the outlet. As Rossi explains there is some condensation. Lubos claims that the the flow of about 2 liters of vapor per second resulting from the evaporation 2 ml of water per second should produce much more dramatic visual effect. More vapor and with a faster flow velocity. Lubos claims that water just drops from the tube and part of it spontaneously evaporates. This is what Lubos wants to see and I have no doubt that he is seeing it. Strong belief can move mountains! Or at least can make possible the impression that they are indeed moving!;-).


    1. I do not see what Lubos sees but I am not able to tell how many liters of vapor per second comes out. Therefore the visual demonstration as such is not enough.
    2. I wonder why Rossi has not added flow meter measuring the amount of vapor going through the tube. Second possibility is to allow the vapor condensate back to water in the tube by using heat exchanger. This would allow to calculate the energy gained without making the assumption that all that comes out is vapor. It might be that in some experiments this is done. In fact, the gadget of Rossi has been used to heat the university building but even this is not a real proof.
To sum up, Lubos in his eagerness to debunk forgets that he is concentrating on single demonstration and forgetting other demonstrations and also the published report to which his argument do not apply. I remain however skeptic (I mean real skeptic, the skepticism of Lubos and -sad to say- of quite too many skeptics- has nothing to do with a real skeptic attitude). Rossi should give information about the details of his invention and quantitative tests really measuring the heat produced should be carried out and published. Presumably the financial aspects related to the invention explain the secrecy in a situation in which patenting is difficult.


At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Orwin said...

Heat and pressure added to a sonoluminescence set-up where electrons gather inside bubbles which then collapse at very high temperatures. Large electron clusters are claimed by Dr Claude Swanson to be unknown to science and controllable by mind:

but a new phase of (hot dense) matter is the word from sonoluminesence. And Swanson picked up a dud guru in India, which breaks his argument just where he gets to 'mind control'. But a way of preventing epileptic fits would be selected if it existed.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger ThePeSla said...


As I understand the issue looked at by chemists in Minnesota at the time, cold fusion is a real phenomenon which can be justified by quantum theory.

The problem has always been in such claims for energy breakthroughs is that so far we get less out than we put in. The argument usually goes that we take it from parallel universes for example. But this for now is outside of the general idea of physics- as well the evidence Orwin of what can happen in the sonoluminesence.

Knots of space as with real knots reach a point where they burst. As a general principle for me to post today- whatever the nature of the vacuum it is structured and we use the primes to show it in arbitrary models. So we have deep laws of particle decay and interaction- How else even from this outside virtual space would particles arise consisently from a diffuse vacuum?

Also, Orwin, In a sense the quadrants of Wilbur are a contained space which all such spaces appear scientific despite the coloration and analysis of how they apply to limit and integrate the totality.

The PeSla

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Orwin said...

By the way, topology on a (electron crystal) surface has been (cyber)squatted by quantum computing interests, who absolutely require the Coulomb force for non-Abelian solutions. Experimental realization now awaited. But if the crystal acts as a whole, any perturbation causes a Bessel wave with unexpected effects.

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous said...

To Pesla:

Cold fusion is *not* allowed by standard model. Also modification of standard quantum theory by bringing in the hierarchy of Planck constants might be necessary as in TGD.

Coulomb wall prevents cold fusion. Somehow Coulomb wall must be circumvented. Hierarchy of Planck constants and weak interactions becoming long ranged below scaled up weak scale could make this possible.

For instance, one can imagine that proton could exchange dark W boson - effectively massless within atomic length scale rather than below 10^-17 meters as for ordinary hbar- with Ni nucleus or catalyst nucleus making it temporarily neutral so that it could overcome Coulomb barrier. This is one possibility.

The information about Rossi's experiments does not convince me totally. The measurement of energy production should be measured without any assumption about whether evaporation occurs or not and how complete it is.

All that is needed is to use heat exchanger to transfer part of heat energy to a cold liquid so that the hot output becomes a liquid and measure the temperature of both and from this deduced the produced energy.

It might be that this is done and the article suggests that this is the case. But I cannot be sure. This point should be articulated with maximal clarity and this is not done.

At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Orwin said...

Correction: a seizure is an organic state, not a state of consciousness. A quick scan of arXiv finds: a power-law cascade asking for p-adic solution; viscomagnetic Prandtl number; evaporation is 1D.

The Prandtl number could index or signify hallucination state, since this can prejudice genome (LSD hazzard).

Nuclear chemistry suggests electron trapped to meson state which decays, but this introduces new entropy factor, which could subvert quantum computing bandwagon.

Internet sticky/viscous today.

At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Orwin said...

ThePesla, Lexi Neale finds Wilber's implicit epistemological subject hiding in his social interior.

Yes, Wilber's J Consc Stud paper from 2004 deploys logos to define quadrants, assuming social meaning. So science is IT, which is nominalism, labeling water H20 (ions? dissolved gases?), like Dave Chalmers. Give me alchemy any day. Or Tarot with ancient star-charts.

Neale comes out at the Vesica Pisces symbol which is unbroken carbon ring symmetry - balance of life, not consciousness. But Chalmers washed his hands of the problem - philosophy as void!

At 3:44 AM, Blogger Ulla said...

Unbroken carbon ring symmetry ?? Quadrants? This was new to me. From its 8 states? This would make the C an CD-diamond?

Yes, the living matter, the living web, not Life nor consciousness, which I think is in the massgap. Note water is essential too.

At 4:02 AM, Anonymous Orwin said...

OK I concede Lexi Neale exactly pi grade of proto-consciousness (radian measure: R/C is dimensionless). Signifying in history the organismic philosophy.

Matti, your WCW would challenge Chalmers on philosophical ground - but that's another language-game.

At 4:21 AM, Anonymous said...

Chalmers only demonstrated that dualism reduces to materialism if one requires consistency with physics assumed to be deterministic. Ironically, he did not make the obvious conclusions from his arguments and decide to try something else.

In TGD framework the ontology is tripartistic: geometric existence, existence at the level of quantum states, and subjective existence. Subjective existence-consciousness- is in the quantum jump replacing quantum state with another one.

Consciousness is between the objective realities, not a property of objective reality. This is why the objections, which kill the materialistic and dualistic approaches to the theory of consciousness hopeless, do not bite in TGD framework.

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Orwin said...

Ulla, the organismic biologists - Paul Weiss, Conrad Waddington, Jean Piaget, were the heroes of developmental biology. Piaget in Behaviour and Evolution found watersnails changing with the turbulence of the water - it must be an epigenetic effect. Is this 'thread of life' superstring? Or something in mind?

The mass gap - that's interesting - I see the Higgs boson covering that in Standard Theory - new evidence now expected next month.

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Orwin said...

Matti, Coulomb forces get masked by inner orbitals and then act like dappled sunlight. In thermalized molecules with many motions, effectively random, and a mosaic of 2-surfaces. Hence Nielson's random dynamics - but what about a 'virtual string' interpretation?

At 12:15 AM, Anonymous said...


Coulomb forces get masked above atomic size scale by electrons but not in nuclear scales where the potential of electrons are very small as compared to that of nucleus and this is the problem.

At 1:16 AM, Anonymous Orwin said...

Newton knew the problem from alchemy and proposed finite-element analysis to get the effect at a point.

arXiv:nlin/0611057: Fermi-Thomas model fails.
arXiv:1004.1765: linear scaling > Poisson solution for diamond
arXiv:1110.1280: computational procedure > Coulomb singular potential fields

Complex temperature zeroes intrude similarly in electron crytstal.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger S.Penttinen said...

There is better video out of Rossi`s device. Steam temperature is higher, and device is running itself without external energy.

And this is a list of cold fusion researchers

Papp`s plasmaengine is very intresting. He says, that the engine works with cold fusion of hydrogen. Reaction needs also other substances, suchs as a helium ionization. If the engine specks are placed into Carnot`s formula, efficiency is very high.Therefore engine is running colder than normal Ottomotor.

If Papp`s engine works very well, I think it is advanced cold fusion device.


At 7:42 PM, Anonymous said...

Thanks to Samppa for a good link.

The core of the debunking argument of Lubos was that Rossi is cheating because the temperature is 100.1 C in the particular demonstration he had managed to find.

As so many times earlier, Lubos was wrong. But as a straitht-backed conservative he never admits it! I do not know whether Lubos cheats purposefully or whether he is so phanatic that sees only what he wants to see.

It might well be that colleagues admit cold fusion to be real only after people are using cold fusion to heat their homes and manufacture technologically important elements. They are like opponents of Darwinism at their time: completely immune to any rational argument.


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