In 2013, the seriousness quotient of the discussions regarding LENR tends to sharply increase. If this trend continues, there are good chances for the discussions to become much more realistic too. An example: at this forum:
http://wavewatching.net/fringe/lenr-call-for-the-best-papers/ my Australian friend Doug Marker (who was one of the first to accept the LENR/LENR+ division of the field) when supporting my ideas has received this answer of my long time
This is fundamental research, not engineering. Peter (Gluck) should understand that. (Jed Rothwell)
I cannot agree with Jed, first of all because he and Doug and I are referring to different things. We are speaking about the enhanced systems on their way to commercial applications while Jed is probably considering the entire field, broadly defined and undivided but cognitively dominated by the classic Fleischmann-Pons electrolysis cell.
Second: as repeatedly told, LENR+ is a result of a creative form of the science-engineering symbiosis.
I (and reality) cannot agree with Jed. I will also use this opportunity to answer to some of the implicit questions from a classic LENR “programmatic” document of historical importance- the Hagelstein Editorial http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/Hagelsteinontheoryan.pdf
Let’s start with 3 quotations from my future writings:
Fundamental research? What else can we learn about Mother Nature from the LENR research that (mildly put) She is a cruel and tetchy Stepmother? (I am both polite and feminist here- those who confronted the reproducibility problem can guess exactly what I wanted to say.)
Fleischmann and Pons have not promised: “I will show you great things and difficult which you don’t know” No, they were very specific about ENERGY, a significant new source. Not a word about discovery of some deep secrets of Mme Nature, Cold fusion has started as applicative science and only after the accumulation of a sufficient quantity of failures it was converted in fundamental science to help it survive. And palladium has a special relationship with the isotopes of hydrogen thus creating endless possibilities for myriads of very interesting studies that can be classified as fundamental.
The real Cold Fusion story: reality has imitated but also has messed up Christian Andersen’s fairy tale: a scientific ugly duckling is unable to grow up and become a beautiful technological swan even after 24 years!
But we can say much more. Victor Hugo has revealed us that: “Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” The reverse is also true; an idea that arrives before its time is weak and has to wait patiently in obscurity. I think this can explain the tortuous history of the LENR field. In the very spirit of the initial F&P announcement the time of Cold Fusion will arrive when it will be able become a significant energy source. Not earlier!
The mother of all errors in LENR
I dare to say that an erroneous implicit, axiomatic presumption was made and has persisted: everybody was firmly convinced that the scientific method CAN be applied for cold fusion- at the time of its discovery, but now this seems to not be justified. CF came before its time. It is too complex, too new, to unexpected, too messy, too multifaceted, too dynamic, too non-linear and too weird to be really understood and controlled at the time of its discovery.
The problem was with Cold Fusion per-se not with the science or the scientific method that are developing continuously but have their limits and constrains at a given time.
I remember that the morphology and morphogenesis of PVC (my Thesis) could be understood well only when scanning electron microscopy became available.
Cold Fusion-in order to be made reliable and useful needs advanced nanotechnology, high-tech materials science, hyper-active forms of hydrogen, resonances, plasmonics and probably other novelties inexistent in 1989. Without the new knowledge and improved tools the chances of success were small.
Even today classic LENR has more ambitions than genuine achievements in “serious” fundamental research. Incomplete and inadequate models and partial theories cannot lead to reliable good results.
In retrospective it is easy to put “smart” questions; I apologize, but here there are:
Why “we” have remained so many years so focused on the FP Cell despite failures in understanding and control?
Why the FP Cell was considered as kind of final solution and not an intermediate stage toward a greater, better something?
Why is this cell still mesmerizing so many of our best researchers when it was early discovered that it is something very fishy with it?
A part of the standard answer is that we know so much about palladium. It is huge literature about this; coming from an institute (http://www.itim-cj.ro/) where it was a fine group specialized in Pd, lead by a reputed expert, Dr, R V Bucur I have
a correct image of the subject. Many years, one of my favorite journals was http://www.platinummetalsreview.com/ Unfortunately, it seems Pd is missing just the essential energy generating virtues. One of the possible causes is that Pd’s attraction to deuterium is so “promiscuous”- both at the surface where it is OK and deep in the bulk that competes with the active surface. The very high D/Pd story.
A tragic view of the reproducibility problem in LENR
The heat effect is a certainty, however unfortunately a low quality certainty due the stunning, disturbing, endlessly annoying low reproducibility of the heat release- an over-discussed subject. This trouble calls for a decision, how much non-reproducibility can be tolerated? If we see that this problem is wicked, stubborn, practically cannot be solved, what should we do? How long can we tolerate this situation? This is an issue of professional education and the majority has the right to decide- it is about funds, effort, resources, waste. I am coming from an area with very low tolerance to risks= chemical industry. I cannot accept this reproducibility disaster but I have not lost my techno-faith in LENR. I tried to find a logical cause of this and despite the fact that I am right; I will roll in my grave for long time till my poisoning hypothesis will be thoroughly tested.
An incipient guess – the slow progress of the MFMP can be due to the de-activation of the Celani wires by some form of poisoning?!)
Continuing with nasty questions:
Are people who cannot accept lack of reproducibility, skeptics?
Bad unjust oppressive people? Enemies of the progress?
With allusion to the Hagelstein editorial:
In retrospective, do some similarities exist between Piantelli and an in-community Semmelweis? If in 1994 it had been a mass exodus from the Pd-D to the Ni-H system, then the evolution of LENR could had been entirely different, more positive? (Futile question)
Inspired by the conclusions of the Hagelstein editorial
The author says: “excess heat in the Fleischmann-Pons experiment is a real effect” True, but somehow the usability of the effect has to be built, at a multi-watt scale.
“There are big implications for science, and for society.” The implications for science will be great when the system will be clearly understood and those for society will appear via applications, society want value not truth.
Without resources science in this area will not advance. True! But the most necessary, critical resource is ideas- new, creative, radical, paradigm changing. Not money. This is true for many other cases today, see please this book:
The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet http://www.amazon.com/The-Infinite-Resource-Finite-Planet/dp/161168255X
With the continued destruction of the careers of those who venture to work in the area, progress will be slow, and there will be no continuity of effort. Sooner than you think, the new area of the field, LENR+ will enter a phase of epidemic development and many jobs will be created first of all in LENR+ development.
The relationship between “fundamental” LENR and applicative LENR+
Defkalion has chosen the friendly way and collaborates with classic LENR scientists, strategically this is good.
Rossi on the contrary said things like:
a- his Ni-H system has nothing to do with Piantelli's Ni-H system;
b- the can not learn much useful for his technology from the entire LENR field\
c- the true LENR specialists are not those who we have learned
d- Fleischmann's great merit is that he has given us a dream not the idea or science per se; (Rossi, at his turn has given us nightmare of uncertainty and waiting)
Rossi is paradoxical, he has made the great LENR discovery and this is derived not from the FP Cell but from heterogeneous catalysis, being a special case of support metal interaction (as I have suggested in my Topology paper in 1992).
If you take care to nuances you will remember that Defkalion’s CTO who has, taken LENR seriously first after his meeting with Rossi, has confessed that he has studied the lenr -canr literature first of all to know what to NOT do. And he has decided to build an original technology. He knew that while the “love” between Pd and D is too intense, the love between Ni and H is more moderate and there is always a risk of platonic love, ergo the use of strong love potions and rites is compulsory.
The ideological and praxeological split between the LENR and LENR+ camps is greater than we usually think. Simply told, they think differently, act differently, and have completely different aims. Time will change this, I bet. LENR+ will prevail.
It’s time to finish this paper
Peter Hagelstein speaks about science by vote and scientific method including consensus-in his great editorial. Obviously these are against the very nature of science as PH shows it.
But suppose my ideas presented here will be judged democratically, I hope to receive at least 2% of the votes.
During the ’70-ties when I was head of research at OLTCHIM (
a great unit of the Romanian petrochemical industry- just now in course of assassination by the dark forces of capitalism= see News!) I have intensely practicised post-logical thinking. That is, I took the majority of the decisions re. the directions in our research and development activity. An angry co-worker wrote once on the blackboard in my office: “Gluck ha sempre ragione.” comparing me with the ill-fated Italian dictator. I have not contradicted him.
And will not do it now, because, yes, LENR+ is not like LENR classic.
A popularity index of 2% is oxymoronic; and I have not much time left. Fortunately history has, plenty of it.
Thanks for that nice article and the arguments proposed.ReplyDelete
I've quoted your "mother of all error".
I just feel that you are note severe enough agains the todays MEGA-STUPID common idea that is fomething happens only sometimes (withou any doubt), then it is not real...
this is absolutely incompatible with scientific practice, ethic, and to history...
the problem I agree is that it is always so, so stupid.
It happens for plane, for germanium, for quantum mechanics, for wegener theory of continental drift...
as an simple engineer, having followed (in french sci am) the evolution of science since the 70s (yes I was young), having learnt the history of the science on why my engineering is based (including QM, semiconductors, cryptography, radio, electricity), I AM SHOCKED that any physicist can claim :
-that LENR is impossible (he should have said improbable, requiring situation that is not yet mastered in QM... but there is great space in QM for surprises, provided heisenberg, charges, entropy, energy is respected)
- that is not perfectly replicated, and succeeding all the time, it can be false
- claiming it is experimental artifact, without finding those artifact
any of those claim should deserve a physicist, a scientist, to be fired for life. And I won't accept him in an engineering team either.
They should go to politic, religion, journalism, not so science or technology.
sorry to be severe, it is a bit extreme.
It seems that in such case, we would have to fire most scientist, even in LENR. sadly that unacceptable claims are very very common.
this is why i think that the real problems is that today a community can blacklist and ruin the career of people who disagree.
science today is too monolithic, and we need more biodiversity, this mean more errors, more forecasted errors, so that we can accept the "black swan" when they land in our garden.
black swan series by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
Anti fragile is really a book to read.
you will recognise many of current actors there.
I fully agrees.
LENR is far too complex to try to fully describe it with fundamental research approach.
On the other hand, a scientific + engineering approach could definitely develop LENR+.
As an example, I have quite an extensive background in optics and some good understanding of quantum optics, but I challenge any quantum physicist to mathematically calculate refractive indices of some optical glass from quantum physics equations. There are far too much atoms involved to compute a solution of a microscopic models with photon - electron - proton interactions.
On the other hand on the macroscopic scale, Snell's law has been used for centuries and is still used to design lenses for digital cameras.
A good example of science + engineering success.
Thank you much for your contribution!
Real Solutions to the LENR+ problems need
integration of an broad range of expertises.
Please read the "Axil dixit" paper of today (30 Apr.)
My best wishes to you!
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