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I've been following this story for some time now.  It appears that various media outlets are starting to write about the E-Cat.  

If this turns out to be "for real", then this is likely to have unbelievably profound effects on the way everything works, industrially, politically, and socially.

If you've not heard of the E-Cat, the short version of the story goes like this:

A physicist and successful energy businessman from Italy appears to be ready to demonstrate a 1Megawatt power generating system that uses Low-Energy-Nuclear-Reaction.

"L.E.N.R" is the slightly less laughed-at cousin of Cold Fusion.  Cold Fusion was dismissed by the world's scientific community shortly after Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons dramatically announced it as the savior of the world's energy needs from their podium at the University of Utah, 22 years ago.   L.E.N.R is the phrase used to avoid saying "Cold Fusion"

Andrea Rossi has teamed up with a physicist named Sergio Focardi at the University of Bologna in Italy and they claim to have developed a kind of power generating station that uses powdered nickel, and outputs lots of energy and a little bit of copper.  Mr Rossi has given lots and lots of interviews, and he does not seem like a crank.  A closed demo of the system on October 6th in front of a group of scientists appears to have confirmed that energy appears to have been generated by the device.

October 28th is the day when he unveils a 1Megawatt power generating system.  The location of this event has not yet been announced, but they claim to have a large number of important people coming to witness this machine.

It sounds outlandish and completely impossible..I know.  

I became interested in this several months ago because I found it to be an interesting and bizarre story, (and saving the world has always been a secret co-dependent dream of mine).

My expertise is in social work, not physics.  My analysis is that Mr. Rossi believes in the legitimacy of his work.  I am quite sure that this is not an elaborate fraud.  I do not speak for the physics.

I will definitely be interested in what gets unveiled on October 28 though.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't know if I believe yet. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly, G2geek, Shaviv, martini, willrob

    I've read excited and disappointed accounts from people very close to Rossi. Going to have to wait and see with everyone else, I guess.

    We need an energy game-changer. Don't know if this is it yet.

    •  me too. open-minded skeptic about this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, Crashing Vor

      Let's be good empiricists and observe.  If his device works, splendid!  If not, no big surprise and we're still where we were yesterday.  

      I don't go getting my hopes up before an experiment (unless there's decent theory to support it and it's likely the results will clarify the theory one way or the other; hey we can all root for the home team!).  I'd sooner wait until after the results are in and then speculate about the implications.  

      I'm not a physicist and I don't even pretend to play one on TV.  But the fact that the Naval Research people are funding some LENR projects demonstrates that there are mainstream scientists who think a long-shot or two might be worth pursuing.  So we'll see.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:05:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rossi's a scam artist drumming up investment funds (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Note that none of his work on cold fusion has been published in a peer-reviewed journal.   Rossi claims that the "" is independent, but it's actually just his blog.

    Don't get your hopes up.

    •  my hopes are pre-crushed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      pre-crushed by stilettos larger than Rossi could ever imagine

      •  ten days and then there'll be news. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Either it works or it doesn't, or it's still iffy.

        I'm not staying awake at night over this, and I don't expect it's going to work, but it's worth doing the proverbial experiment.

        The prospect of cheap clean energy is always good but the prospect of something wild in physics that needs an explanation is in some ways more exciting to me personally: like the whole thing with the "faster than light" neutrinos, clearly it's unlikely they really were moving faster than light, but whatever is going on will be interesting to find out.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 09:11:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Very skeptical (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, JeffW, G2geek, SCFrog

    His public tests have been anything but open. They won't show what's inside the e-cat, and the measurements are only semi-complete.

    Certainly not the actions of someone who wants to prove that they have a new technology.

    If they are really onto something, the public demonstrations would have gone out of the way to avoid any criticisms of the demo -instead they pre-heated the thing, ran it for 3 hours and said it worked.

    I smell a rat. I hope I'm wrong, but technology has to be peer-reviewed.

    As Carl Sagan said...

    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"

    The claim is certainly extraordinary, the proof is very nuch not so, and in fact very flawed.

    I hope I am wrong, I suspect I am right.

    Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary Proof.: Carl Sagan

    by zipn on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 07:33:58 PM PDT

  •  Look at the Polywell reactor (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, DawnG, G2geek, martini

    Now that one shows real promise. Very methodical development, funded somewhat by the Navy. Reactor that generates electricity directly (not from heat/steam and a generator)


    Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary Proof.: Carl Sagan

    by zipn on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 07:39:09 PM PDT

  •  I do not believe it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buddabelly, Shaviv, martini

    But I would be happy to be proven wrong.

    Help me raise money for Breast Cancer research. I will shave my head if we raise $10,000 by 11/11/11.

    by DawnG on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 08:04:27 PM PDT

  •  I'm reminded of the guy who built a desktop (0+ / 0-)

    fusion reactor that "really works". What that means, he explains, is that it fuses hydrogen into helium and releases energy. He also explains that the energy output is vastly dwarfed by the energy input (to start with, the reactor's surface-area-to-volume ratio is quite high and it loses energy very fast as heat), making it completely useless as a generator.

    Like others, if the E-cat works, I'll toast the guy, but I'm not holding my breath.

    "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

    by Shaviv on Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 10:35:38 PM PDT

  •  I'll fly over in my Moller sky car to check (0+ / 0-)

    it out :-)

  •  Total Scam (0+ / 0-)

    From a person with a history of scams.

    There has been a slew of 'but what if it works?" stories.

    Here's an even shinier vision: what if magic works?

    Wow, free everything! Let's talk about that!

    If it worked, it would have been easy to prove. Eleven swings, eleven misses.


    Every flower that you shatter; we will plant again!

    by merrily1000 on Wed Oct 19, 2011 at 04:57:07 AM PDT

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