Rossi's E-cat spoils again the day of standard physicist!
The battle about reality of cold fusion is approaching its unavoidable end. Third party researchers have now verified cold fusion in a version of Andrea Rossi's E-cat (see this).
Tommaso Dorigo comments the latest finding and admits that the methodology looks very sound. Tommaso is not able to find any other explanation than fraud for the unpleasant fact that cold fusion occurs contrary to what text books tell us.
Lubos, who he is ready to accept that we live in the landscape of 11-dimensional M-theory at some brane without able to predict anything as physicists and test this belief in any manner, has attacked vigorously against new nuclear physics using instead of facts all his rhetoric skills to convince the readers that the people involved with cold fusion are swindlers, idiots, etc... - only "communist" and "criminal" seem to be missing from the the list.
I have commented cold fusion several times in my blog discussing also the TGD based views about cold fusion involving dark phases of matter realized as phases with non-standard value of Planck constant. I have also developed alternative variants of the model in my books (see this and this).
The most recent model (see the article) starts from the model of Widom and Larsen reported to explain the observed isotope ratios, and assuming that the basic step of the reaction involves the transformation of proton to neutron by absorption of orbital electron. Contrary to naive intuitions, weak interactions would be involved in an essential manner in the process! To my opinion this is however one of the weak points of the model at quantitative level although I believe that weak interactions are involved. Second weak point is the assumption that neutron approaches the target with extremely low velocity thus making the interaction cross section very large (proportional to inverse of the relative velocity). Here the new dark physics predicted by TGD would come in rescue: as dark variant of weak interaction physics with weak boson Compton scale scaled up to atomic length scale would make impossible possible. Below the scaled-up scale weak bosons would behave like massless particles and weak interactions would get as strong as electromagnetic ones. Also the de-Broglie wavelength of neutron would be scaled up since it is proportional to heff: this is equivalent with having very low relative velocity.
My sincere hope is that hard empirical facts could eventually force the main stream colleagues to admit that something in our standard view about physics is badly wrong as also the failed attempts to understand dark matter and dark physics have repeatedly demonstrated. I do not however expect any fast changes. The natural dynamical time scale for the phychology of face keeping is of the order of human lifetime!
Addition: In his blog posting about latest developments in cold fusion Lubos demonstrates that he has become a parody of himself, kind of a living joke. Lubos talks about scientific method and would certainly agree that objectivity free of non-emotional attitude is one of its basic signatures. Lubos is however exploding of anger and his arguments rely on personal insults instead of contents. The basic tragedy and paradox of Lubos is that he always reacts instead of acting. Instead of realizing that all ideologies are dangerous because they do not allow freedom of thought, he sees communism as the Devil. The irony is that he behaves just like an ideal communist respecting authorities more than anything else and experiencing those who think differently as enemies. Lubos even sees conspiracy against quantum mechanics and blackholes! Lubos has become age-fan of the dying M-theory and - in amusing contrast - extremely conservative believer on the most hardnosed reductionism. Hence for Lubos the physics below TeV energies is fully done and any-one who considers that cold fusion might be something real and that biology might involve some interesting new physics is swindler, criminal, crackpot, communist,.... - there is long menu of options and you can choose whatever you like!
I want to make absolutely clear that I am not a fan of cold fusion. My attitude is different because TGD predicts new physics in all scales and allows to consider models for how cold fusion would happen. TGD is a genuine theory rather than some random model cooked up to explain some anomaly or unexpected observation (say dark matter or dark energy or why supersymmetry is not seen at LHC). If I would still live in the old ontology, I would certainly have a temptation to accept conspiracy theories as an easy way out of cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is what scientist should be able to tolerate and here the problem of Lubos and many others is.