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I am a trusted user on Daily Kos and a lifelong DFL er from Minnesota.  I read Jed's diary on Mitt's "cold fusion"  comments with some trepidation. I suggest any serious students of the subject visit "Cold Fusion Times"  website  by Dr. Mitchell Swartz and/or read Pulitzer nominated "Fire from Ice" by the late  Dr. Eugene Mallove out of MIT.

Mitt Romney is showing preppy loyalty in citing this area of science and is doing science and himself no favors getting into this mudfight..

In 1989, when Fleischman & Pons were forced by UU patent attorneys to came forward with a  glorified lab report. I was working as a consultant with a team of European scientists out of London (Commercial Space Technologies LTD ). We were the chief open literature sources on the Russian Space Program and "Janes" technical consultants.  Dr. Anders Hansson out of Sweden was coordinating  the interface of the Russian and British space program. Two of our group had day jobs in Europe's hot fusion labs. I was 'the american friend. a political economist   from the "Mars Underground". Also in the loop was  NASA's space policy wonk Dr. Andrew Cutler (Editor of "Space Power" who in 1988 was Dukakis's advisor on Space Policy. We were tracking the press on this emerging science and soon concluded that the science was real, but in the judgement of most overseas observers would never be commercialized due to demogogic suppression.

Tracking the original  cold fusion press boomlet and the furious response of the American Physics Establishment  from 1989 on was  the most demoralizing experience my 40+ years in American politics. By 1992 the leading Journal in the field "Fusion Technology" (University of Illinois,   Dr. George Miley)  had tracked over 392 valid replications of the original experiment, while the  press campaign of the American Physics Society and Bush's DOE had driven the proponents of this science almost completely out of the American media, academia, and most importantly, the US patent office.  

Counterplay came from Dr. Arthur C. Clarke out of Sri Lanka, Sen. Paul Wellstone and a host of other dissidents.  Real science has been outgunned in this area by what  Dr. Andy Cutler called "Occams Chainsaw Massacre"

It is important to note that the first published replication of the 1989 experiment came from the original proponent of the "Hydrogen Economy" at Texas A&M.

Also, on the advice of his R&D scientist  the founder of Toyota  gave Fleischman and Pons carte blanche support in the Toyota/IMRA lab in Nice France. As some have said "if that is being discredited, I'll take it".

The 1991 paper/replication by Dr. Richard Oriani of the University  of Minnesota Department of Materials Science in "Fusion Technology"  is well  written and convincing. But then, I am partial to the U of M and spent a good deal of time in the good  doctor's lab.

I share Jed's disgust with Romney's chatterings in this subject, but I feel we have done this area of  science  a disservice.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Rmoney should stick to CON-fusion. (7+ / 0-)

    Instead of cold-fusion. It's his area of expertise.

    (romney)/RYAN 2012 - Look at those clouds. It's beautiful. Just look at those things!

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 09:23:35 PM PDT

  •  the original reports were over twenty years ago. (7+ / 0-)

    Can you share a link with us for a current review if the field has developed?



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 09:26:20 PM PDT

    •  1,000+ papers and 3,500-citation bibliography at (9+ / 0-)

      We've been wondering how to get through the clutter and reach low-information voters. Mitt haz it.

      by Crashing Vor on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 09:32:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Try this to get started (5+ / 0-)

      http://world.std.com/...

      In 2000 the APS had its convention in Minneapolis and I covered it for this blog/publication.

      A cold fusion IPO was in the works by an outfit called Blacklight Inc.  The CEO called what he was doing something other than fusion, and managed to get patents which would have led to an IPO to do (what looked to me to be) "lightwater" cold fusion. The APS went on the warpath and the patents were cancelled, hence the IPO.

      When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. HST

      by Rotegard on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 09:37:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eh, Blacklight. (5+ / 0-)

        I was interested in them about a decade ago, and it always seemed like "soon" they'd have their product. And I checked about a year ago, and it was the same thing.

        Yes, there were hefty public figures seeming optimistic about the Blacklight claims, but is it just because of chronic opposition to the new that it's never "made it."? I don't know.


        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:14:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ummmm... Blacklight... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        subtropolis, Wee Mama, Nowhere Man

        I recced and tipped your diary.  I would be a little careful about Blacklight, though.  The CEO is a hardcore Objectivist kook (but that doesn't make him wrong about science) who had his own strange private quantum theory.  I kind of like strange private quantum theories, so I like to poke around in things like that with an open mind.  But I had trouble taking him seriously.

    •  I've had this 'Blacklight Power' argument before (16+ / 0-)

      Here's the wiki link.

      Dr Mills, a medical doctor, with some training in electrical engineering claims a grand unified theory of physics (The Grand Unified Theory of Classical Physics) which obviates the need for quantum mechanics. Besides the obvious disregard that pretty much the entire theory hasn't been tested empirically it purports to be a model that would, or should if Dr Mills is to be believed, supplant the Standard Model which is one of the best tested and successful the theories of all time.

      I've personally found mathematical inconsistencies in the theory (but I will not offer that as refutation because that's not my job), but there are more than a few people who's job it is have refuted if not all major portions of said theory (see the Wiki link).

      I'd like to note that no theory that can be shown to be experimentally or mathematically inconsistent can stand. Now the sheer volume and breadth of the Dr Mills' treatise makes it both difficult to empirically and mathematically validate. There may even be portions that are sensible and may, in fact, advance the science, but like a candidate for office who lies constantly what bits should we believe? What bits should some bright grad student alight upon to glean what truth may exist when it has already been refuted elsewhere.

      My personal opinion is that Dr Mills is a charlatan, quite a brilliant charlatan.

      •  then toss it to the undergrads. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        palantir, Bonsai66, subtropolis

        Let them know in advance, "we think it's bunk, but if any of you find something viable in there, you'll reap serious rewards that will help your careers."

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

        by G2geek on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:30:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And LENR is dang near a CT... (17+ / 0-)

        website.

        I can't believe that this is even being discussed here as a remotely valid scientific concept.

        It's dang near a scam.  Now, I'm don't have a PhD in physics, but I've had many classes in nuclear engineering as part of my B.S. in engineering, as well as spending a decent amount of time working with the Navy's light water reactors.

        I have followed fusion research since the time I was in high school, (for about the last 30 years now), and I coincidentally got my undergrad degree in engineering a year before this announcement.

        I followed it very closely, both during the original excitement and for the several years of debunking afterwards.  And what has always been missing from duplicating their results has been a verified confirmation of neutron emission levels that would validate that fusion is taking place.

        See, you can't get around the physics.  Fusion takes place, high neutron emissions will be seen.

        So far, nobody, and I mean nobody, has documented elevated neutron counts that would indicate the possibility of fusion.

        It's just not real.  And many non-scientists get taken in by it.

        Nothing worth noting at the moment.

        by Bonsai66 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:31:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, but there have been a lot of experiments (5+ / 0-)

          that show anomalous extra heat. Something is going on there, but nobody has a solid explanation for it yet and it isn't fusion.

          •  Anomalous heat? (7+ / 0-)

            Sorry to be blunt here, but that is scientifically worthless statement.  What does that even mean?

            That's sounds more like a bad or sloppy experiment to me.  The experimental methodologies that show these type of things have never been consistently reproduced.  And that's the biggest problem.

            And even, big giant reputable institutions have experimental problems that give anomalous results.

            Remember the FTL neutrinos?  

            Trust me, in the world of Physics, reproducibility trumps all, and even the best can make mistakes.

            Nothing worth noting at the moment.

            by Bonsai66 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:53:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It means unexplained extra heat (6+ / 0-)

              Don't know why you want to fight with me. I've agreed with you. I said  that fusion is not the likely mechanism and yes one way you find unexpected heat is lousy experimental design, bad measurements, or wishful thinking. I was suggesting that if hundreds of experiments report the same or similar results saying that all of the scientists performing those experiments are bad at their jobs isn't likely to be true, but if a particular experiment or apparatus does not reproduce the same results in a replication attempt, then you are absolutely correct and they are.

              Really, did you not read me write above that I actually spent the time at some considerable effort, by the way, to refute one of those very results?

              Let me say, however, that I do appreciate your passion about this. I've had it myself on that other occasion I mentioned.

            •  It means it's unreproducible (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama

              Many, many experiments with no excess heat.

              A few experiments with excess heat, that can never be experimentally reproduced, even from the same batches of materials (structure of the Pd deemed to be a critical variable).

              Many experimental results withdrawn after finding experimental problems or computational errors.

              You may note that, funded by Toyota, the original researchers burned through $40m of research funding without producing proof.

              The predominant consensus is that fusion has not been proven or even adequately explained.

              This is not to say it's impossible, but absent proof the excess heat is a product of fusion it when it randomly occurs, there could be multiple explanations, so there is no scientific proof.

              What we have is an unexplained, randomly occurring phenomena.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:55:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I made this same comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bonsai66, eztempo

          about the necessary emissions in Jed's original diary.  So it puts F&P's results in question.  F&P think that, whatever happened, even if it's not cold fusion, it still shows a net energy surplus, even if it only comes from some unspecified contaminating chemical reaction.  That's still very interesting.

          But I take it that without the right emissions, you probably don't have cold fusion.  Okay, let's accept that.

          The PREMISE is still one that -- I think -- should be explored further.  The premise that it might be possible to create fusion at lower temperatures through some as yet unknown means through some kind of chemical coercion rather than through raw kinetic energy.

          The diary author here is right that in the wake of F&P, there was a real Lord of the Flies academic piling on against F&P.  It was both amusing and saddening.  

          I find it easy to believe that the whole area of cold fusion research may still have some promise but is career suicide at the moment.  That's sad.  I'd like to have a cold fusion car some day.

          •  I can do nothing but judge the science... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wee Mama, Paul Rogers, merrily1000

            of the situation, and there is very good reason for the "piling on."  It's because it's pretty much hokum.

            It violates the laws of thermodynamics in classical physics.

            And if this isn't cold fusion, then there is no other known explanation that would provide a possible mechanism for creating more heat that you're putting in.  

            None.

            Not chemical.

            Not nuclear.

            And if it's neither of those, then it amounts to a magical unknown mechanism that is entirely outside of any scientific domain or explanation.

            That's not science.  That's pretty much on par with intelligent design.

            Nothing worth noting at the moment.

            by Bonsai66 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:03:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A chemical contaminant (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bonsai66, RandomNonviolence

              could explain it quite well.  Some experimenters got similar results to F&P.  Others did not.  Of those who got similar results, they got them with some palladium substrates and not with others.  With the substrates that did produce a net energy surplus, the output gradually died out over the course of weeks.  A logical possible explanation is that there is some contaminant in the palladium substrate or some other part of the experiment which is reacting with the water, possibly through normal oxidation.  It would explain a lot of things, although it's not very interesting by itself.  It also obviates arguments about the first law of thermodynamics.  I don't know how that came into this.

              •  A chemical reaction... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Paul Rogers, merrily1000

                that evolves heat, involves the conversion of potential energy, (energy stored in the electrons involved in the reaction), into macroscopic kinetic energy at the atomic level.

                Energy is neither created, nor destroyed.  That's how this came into it.  

                Where is this anomalous heat coming from?

                A chemical reaction involving the oxidation of some type of contaminant?  That's pretty uninteresting and mundane.

                And if it isn't chemical, (and it isn't nuclear since no neutrons), then it violates the laws of thermodynamics.

                It's bunk.  The Navy is spending their money on the Polywell series of reactors, which I think is money well spent.

                The rest of this weirdness may attract some private funds, but shouldn't get any Gov't funding until the science shows something reproducible, which it has not.

                Nothing worth noting at the moment.

                by Bonsai66 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 01:05:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh, okay, so we agree. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bonsai66

                  The heat produced can be done without falsifying the results, without there being cold fusion, and without there being a violation of the First Law.  Possibly caused by an unidentified contaminant  That could be what is happening and it could be happening without anybody being dishonorable or false claims being made.

                   

                  •  Yes, you're right. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Wee Mama

                    All of this can be the result of wishful thinking and bad experimental design...and not nefarious intent.

                    But until consistent result can be achieved, with a plausible scientific hypothesis to back it up, I don't think the government should put one penny into it.

                    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

                    by Bonsai66 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 08:36:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  The event was mostly justified. (5+ / 0-)

            The pile-on probably had to do with the distaste scientists have for the way in which the pair handled the event.  I was young at the time and only half remember the details of the event, but it seemed like they were making a discovery claim.

            Similar to how some folks waving NASA credentials about were recently claiming they found a bacteria that could substitute  arsenic for phosphorous.  They claimed discovery, and if you're claiming discovery, you better have damn good evidence.  Science don't tolerate no delusions.

            The people talking about the neutrinos seeming to travel faster than light handled things better.  "Hey, guys?  We're seeing something odd and we don't know what is causing it.  Does anyone have any ideas?"

            When a scientist makes a statement that is wildly out of bounds, they should receive a smackdown from the scientific community.  We have enough idiots saying stupid shit, we don't need scientists feeling like it's okay to do that too.

            •  But should a whole line of research (0+ / 0-)

              consequently be labeled hokum and become a career-killer for any new scientists who want to investigate along the same lines?  That's the problem here.  It's not a matter of whether F&P got a raw deal.  I don't care about any of that.  That's their problem.  But there have been articles written about how the whole subject of OTHER lines of research involving cold fusion through different methods is tantamount to committing academic career-suicide.  That's not scientific.  That's just social pettiness.  The taint of F&P (and a lot of that taint came not from their being wrong, but from their not publishing first in the usual peer-reviewed academic journals, so there's even more pettiness associated with that) shouldn't also taint new research.

              •  As a witness to the events, it is hard to tell... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                merrily1000

                ...but I think the whole point is that it's not a line of research.

                •  The line of research I'm talkin about (0+ / 0-)

                  is "cold fusion" which is now labeled as hokum.  F&P had one idea for achieving it, which is now not really disproven but is not reproducible in a consistent way and as so is not acceptable science.

                  But the idea behind cold fusion as a line of research is to investigate ways of fusion hydrogen without requiring the massive heat of colliders.  The root of the F&P idea was that there might be a chemical way of forcing protons close enough together that they could sometimes fuse through quantum probability.  F&P tried to do that with palladium and their process.  Okay, fine, let's call that hokum.  But research into other methods of achieving the same thing with a fresh start shouldn't be subject to the same taint and shouldn't be a career-killer.

                  And, for what it's worth... the massive heat solution to fusion, as it's used in tokamaks, etc., has very low probability of ever being utilizable as a clean source of energy.  I say that as somebody who used to just take it for granted that it was and got a private lecture on the subject after a physics class from a teacher who used to work at Lawrence Livermore on the tokamak reactor there.  Her opinion: it's not a matter of time and money.  It will just never happen in such a way as to be practical.  They can probably get more juice out than they put in, but not in a sustainable practical way that makes it worth it.  It was quite a bummer to somebody like me who grew up believing in a Jetsons future, and I didn't give it up easily without a lot of argument.

                  Given that, that hot fusion research is important and very expensive and probably with a limited probability of ever giving the world a source of clean sustainable power, it seems reasonable that there should be other lines of research into colder fusion processes.  Right now, hot fusion sucks up huge, huge, HUGE amounts of research money and yet is not getting much closer to a useful process.

      •  Objectivists hate Quantum Mechanics (5+ / 0-)

        since it makes Ayn Rand's pompous little screed 'An Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology' even more obviously ridiculous than it would be if it were judged simply on the basis of 19th century physics and philosophy.
        If one is looking for funding from dumb money that thinks it's smart, appealing to the randroids is not a bad way to go.

      •  That was pretty much the APS party line in 2000 (0+ / 0-)

        The press room at the 2000 APS convention was filled with APS denunciations of the man and his company. He did have granted patents, which made whatever he was building a viable prospect for an initial public offering to take his hardware from the demonstartion to the commercial level. Merryl-Lynch was backing the IPO.

        The conference  designated one small room upstairs a symposium on Cold Fusion. I attended, and noted that one member of the general membership popped in to see what SRI and the rest of the cold fusion movement were doing.

        The next day a seminar was held on "Voodoo Science" attended by over 700 APS members. The whole presentation  was right out of Orwell.

        What was significant was that the patent office  pulled Dr. Mills patents after pressure from the APS and DOE and his appeals were not allowed into court.

        I find the argument that there are mathmatical inconsistancies in Mills' Theory  a trifle moot.  

        When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. HST

        by Rotegard on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 05:04:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Max Planck's true but sad saying, iirc, (6+ / 0-)

    "Science progresses one funeral at a time" in reference to how establishments -- yes Virginia even of scientists -- decide "this is reality and no other" and hold back inquiry.

    If I were to make a list of the things that we were told was "scientific fact" in the last forty years, and then later told "oh, no, it's different than that," it would take a long time, and be a long list.


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:19:14 PM PDT

    •  And if I were to review that list (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RandomNonviolence, Wee Mama

      I bet I'd find a lot of entries that were never considered to be facts by scientists in the field. There's much that gets lost in translation between the lab and the popular press.

      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

      by Nowhere Man on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 05:58:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And you'd still be left with a lot that was, (0+ / 0-)

        and for which people pointing elsewhere were pilloried and shunned by the scientific community. It's often like a priesthood.

        Hence, Max Planck's saying.


        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 07:55:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Clarke's First Law (0+ / 0-)

      When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

      If you play Microsoft CD's backwards, you hear satanic things, but that's nothing, because if you play them forwards, they install Windows.

      by Unit Zero on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 09:09:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cold fusion is complete and utter bunk. (5+ / 0-)

    Fleischman & Pons jumped the gun solely for the publicity factor.

    The experiment has never been successfully reproduced, (at least not with any verified neutron flux that would indicate that fusion is occurring.

    Sorry, but cold fusion is complete bullshit.  

    Please provide a link to a peer reviewed paper in a reputable journal that shows a reproduction of their experiment, which also reliably documents the expected neutron counts indicative of fusion activity.

    Just one.

    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

    by Bonsai66 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:20:52 PM PDT

    •  the US Navy is funding LNER research. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, susakinovember, montecristo

      I'm agnostic and tend toward skepticism, but I do believe it's worth keeping up a modest but sufficient funding stream for this stuff, on the chance that there might be something interesting to be discovered, even if it's not what people set out to find.

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

      by G2geek on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:34:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not they're not. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama, Nowhere Man, docmidwest

        They're funding Polywell fusion research, which is not "cold fusion" at all and has absolutely nothing to do with the F&P work.  It's a promising new type of magnetic containment and looks nothing like what F&P did and should never be lumped together.

        See, it's just this kind of sloppy rumoring with incorrect information that keeps this type of thing alive.

        Nothing worth noting at the moment.

        by Bonsai66 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:41:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and/both. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bonsai66

          They've been funding Polywell for a while now, and I know enough about it to at least recognize the language when it pops up.  

          But last year the Navy released a video where they claimed that they were in fact also funding LNER, and they did in fact say LNER.

          FYI, some friends & I did a detailed workup on a wide range of "anomalous energy device" claims about a decade ago and found exactly zero: goose-egg.  Most were honest but misguided garage inventors with unrecognized errors, a few were outright fraudsters, and a decent handful were deluding themselves grandly.  

          So I know the routine about companies such as Steorn with their super-duper hushy hush proprietary tech, and all that jazz.  I know that when I see that kind of thing, I should turn up the gain on my BS detector to max.  

          None the less, there is no harm done by keeping up some kind of research funding via legitimate channels.

          And another thing the US Gov could do that would immediately separate the wheat from the chaff, is offer a $1 billion (with a "b") prize, tax-free, to whoever can successfully demonstrate over-unity output under controlled conditions, provided that their device can be replicated by an independent engineering team composed of government scientists, engineers, and technicians.  

          That would cut through the crap about proprietary blah-blah, right quick.  

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

          by G2geek on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:07:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, but the US Navy is emphatically... (0+ / 0-)

            not funding LENR.

            Not one penny.

            Please cite your source, or stop making this claim.

            Nothing worth noting at the moment.

            by Bonsai66 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:13:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  um (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, eztempo

              U.S. Navy Cold Fusion Research [LENR-CANR]

              New Cold Fusion Evidence Reignites Hot Debate [IEEE Spectrum]

              25 March 2009—On Monday, scientists at the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in Salt Lake City announced a series of experimental results that they argue confirms controversial ”cold fusion” claims.

              Chief among the findings was new evidence presented by U.S. Navy researchers of high-energy neutrons in a now-standard cold fusion experimental setup—electrodes connected to a power source, immersed in a solution containing both palladium and ”heavy water.” If confirmed, the result would add support to the idea that reactions like the nuclear fire that lights up the sun might somehow be tamed for the tabletop. But even cold fusion’s proponents admit that they have no clear explanation why their nuclear infernos are so weak as to be scarcely noticeable in a beaker.

              Twenty-Year History of Lattice-Enabled Nuclear Reactions (LENR) - Hiding in Plain Sight

              At the University of Missouri, on May 29, 2009, scientists from the US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) lectured on twenty years of verified research involving anomalous heat and mini-explosions on deuterated metals, reported by various governmental and international research laboratories.

              I won't embarrass you by posting the very brief string i passed to the google.

              All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

              by subtropolis on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:25:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  thanks. (0+ / 0-)

                You did the Google, I would have done Startpage (a surveillance-free front end that anonymizes Google searches), and you got there first.  

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

                by G2geek on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:29:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nice try. (0+ / 0-)

                That's an article from three years ago advocating for possible funding.

                It was never approved.

                There is no current funding of US Navy fusion research that is not related to Polywell.

                And that is not "cold" or "LE" fusion.  It's magnetic plasma containment.

                Nothing worth noting at the moment.

                by Bonsai66 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:34:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  IEEE Spectrum: good enough for you? (0+ / 0-)

              Subtopolis beat me to the search, and he could probably bring up a lot more where those came from.

              The point here is not that we believe anomalous claims.  In case you skipped this part in my previous comment, my friends & I spent a couple of years investigating & debunking anomalous energy device claims.  

              The point is that basic research is worth pursuing, because it may yield something of interest, even if it's not what we expect.  Since Bell Labs was destroyed during deregulation, the military is probably the best institution to carry out that kind of research.  The Navy has high credibility due to its track record of using nuclear fission reactors safely, so clearly they have solid scientific & engineering talent onboard.  

              And no, it does not suggest that the Navy believes that a Mr. Fusion device is around the corner.  I'm very patient about the pace of research.  

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

              by G2geek on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:40:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, please lecture me on Navy nuclear... (0+ / 0-)

                reactors.  Considering that I starting working with a sub-critical reactor at the US Naval Academy when I was about 20 years old during my first nuclear engineering class.

                I even got to meet Hyman Rickover right before he died.  Google him.  He basically invented the light water reactor.

                G2, an article saying the field might deserve some exploration does not, and did not, mean it got funded.

                Do you understand the distinction here?

                Nothing worth noting at the moment.

                by Bonsai66 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:52:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Fusion Technology (0+ / 0-)

      The comment is ridiculous. The first replication came from Texas A&M. Dr. John O Bockris.  Check out Dr. Ed Storms   Los Alamos over 392 replications cited by 1992.

      When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. HST

      by Rotegard on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 05:25:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I respectfully agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, subtropolis

    LENR is going to change the world.

    Can't stop it.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  Fusion power would be spectacular advance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis

    I was excited by the prospects of Cold Fusion because I realized that the limitless energy provided by fusion would be the most spectacular advance in human history.  Think of what we could do if we could turn a couple of kilos of mass into energy to run the whole world for a year.  To begin with it would turn the concepts of power, economics and class inside out.  I'm 64 now and sincerely doubt that I'll see it but one day, if we haven't otherwise destroyed ourselves it will happen.  The basic process is just to fundamental to the universe for it to be otherwise it's just the engineering that's a booger.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:29:50 PM PDT

    •  though, we should be careful to recognize... (7+ / 0-)

      .... that removing the effective limits on energy supply, does not remove the limits on other essentials for civilization, such as certain minerals.  

      Abundant clean energy buys us time to fix our ways, and reduce our population & consumption levels to within sustainable limits.  But if we treat it the same way we've treated every other advance since the Fisher-Tropsch process for producing nitrogen fertilizers, then we'll just run into another limit with a larger population, leading to a larger dieoff.

      Really: our species needs to grow up, and then we can reap the real benefits of our scientific and technological advances.  

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

      by G2geek on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:39:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  History is packed with examples of change. (0+ / 0-)

        I suspect we'll just treat it like every other boon we've ever received via technology.  Eat up the gains and move on, never giving much forethought into the consequences of our own actions.

        But at the same time, it will eventually let us do some pretty cool things.  Space travel would be (slightly) more feasible with it, for one.

  •  Not for nothing... (9+ / 0-)

    ... but until proponents of LENR can provide independantly verifiable results of the effects they're investigating, "cold fusion" is still going to be synonymous to snake oil. Highly dubious "demonstrations" of devices that don't allow third parties in to fully investigate the device, don't allow for independant calorimetric readings, etc only add to that perception. Get a device, drop it down in the middle of a lab at MIT, feed it some hydrogen and whatever your reaction metal is, flip the switch and lock the door for a week. If it's still chugging along under its own power after that week, and the predicted result products are happily sitting in the post-reaction hopper, I'll be the first person running down the street shouting about how the energy crisis is solved and we've all got a Mr. Fusion on the way to our garages.

    That said, despite my skepticism regarding the viability of LENR as science, I completely agree that the fallout from the P+F announcement has made the subject radioactive in the mainstream, and in my opinion that does a disservice to science as a whole. There may well be an exotic or previously undiscovered reaction of some sort going on there, but the vitriol associated with those explorations by the mainstream really makes it hard to determine what, if anything, is genuinely being observed. Let things stand or fall on their repeatable, observable results.

    --
    Plot your political compass scores at KosCompass

    by Hatamoto on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 10:30:15 PM PDT

    •  right on. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      susakinovember, subtropolis, semiot

      Exactly right.  All this proprietary secrecy is doing nothing but harm, what's needed is independent empirical testing, and the media reactions are also doing harm.  

      The media and most humans, feed on emotions.  So it makes sense that they'll stir up a lot of false save-the-world hope on one hand, only to smash it to smithereens later: the "distance" between the "high" and the "crash" is analogous to an entropy gradient from which energy can be harvested.   The stronger the emotions stirred in each direction, the greater the distance, and the more energy can be harvested in the form of money earned from eyes glued to screens for commercials.  

      Enough with that; what's needed is a calm and fact-based approach to reporting, and no more milking the emotional binge/purge cycle.  

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

      by G2geek on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:46:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ?? (0+ / 0-)

      At the 1st Intenational Conference on Space Power  1989 it was noted from the podium that the APS would refuse to look at any cold fusion device until it had been on the street for 5 years.

      American Physics is the despair of science on this subject.

      When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. HST

      by Rotegard on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 05:34:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  UFO Sightings and Cold Fusion (7+ / 0-)

    Not all UFO sightings have been adequately explained but that doesn't mean they are flying saucers.  The same is true of cold fusion experiments.  Proving that it works is as simple as constructing a working generator and power your lab.

    It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged. G. K. Chesterton

    by redbaron on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:05:55 PM PDT

    •  Wellll ..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis, Paul Rogers

      there exists the possibility that something interesting is happening that reveals gaps in our knowledge of chemistry or physics. The "cold fusion" result may be not real, but there maybe something else going on that is worth investigation (in the sense that the "swamp gas" that is invoked as an explanations for UFOs may itself be worthy of investigation.

      "The Obama Administration has been an unmitigated disaster" - Osama Bin Laden

      by Explorer8939 on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:34:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  good analogy. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis

      Puzzling objects in the sky that used to evoke fear and more recently evoke derision: another case in point of emotionalisms getting in the way of studying the subject matter objectively.  

      Objectivity requires treating these types of things as curiosities that deserve adequate research support so they can be solved.

      The Air Force was on the right track with UFOs in the late 1950s, and the US Navy is presently on the right track with LNER.  Open-minded skepticism and appropriate funding and staffing are the way forward.  

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

      by G2geek on Mon Sep 24, 2012 at 11:49:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but let me be clear: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        owlbear1

        The Navy is not funding LENR.  At all.  

        They are funding Polywell fusion research, which has nothing to do with LENR, or F&P's work.

        Please, stop spreading this incorrect information.

        And the Polywell reactor is not cold fusion in any respect.  It's a new type of magnetic plasma confinement.

        Nothing worth noting at the moment.

        by Bonsai66 on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 12:11:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is Nobel Prize worthy material. (0+ / 0-)

    I expect the Nobel Prize for physics and peace will go to the same people for the discovery of cold fusion.

  •  Based Purely Upon What I Read (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jim in IA, Wee Mama

    And it wasn't much, it sounded to me like Mitt Romney was mixing up superconductivity with fusion.

    I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

    by superscalar on Tue Sep 25, 2012 at 06:02:31 AM PDT

  •  I miss the free energy guys on AM Coast to Coast (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    One guy got carried away with Lenz's Law and thought that you could get more energy out of a transformer than what you put in if there are enough windings on the secondary side.

    Another guy spun something over his head and thought that he had invented anti-gravity propulsion because his weight decreased by one pound when he stepped on his bathroom scales.

    I don't know why they don't have those guys on any more.

    I miss them.

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