Friday, March 27, 2009

LENR or "Cold Fusion"--same charlatan

Just change the name and the "pie in the sky" rhetoric flows again. Just like 1st and 2nd Century BC Jews, modern man is looking for a "messiah" "energy messiah".

"Navy Scientists Zip Lips on Cold Fusion Tests"


David Hambling

March 26th, 2009


The first rule of cold fusion club is… you do not talk about cold fusion club.

Twenty years ago this week, physicists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced that they had replicated the fusion reaction which powers the sun, paving the way for endless free energy… in a laboratory test tube. The resulting debacle, which ended with their claims being scorned and ridiculed, left cold fusion research about as scientifically respectable as astrology. The small club of cold fusion believers still working in this area know that funding would be slashed if anyone found out.

Danger Room's own Sharon Weinberger has been tracing cold fusion for some time; five years ago she reported in the Washington Post on the extraordinary secrecy around the Department of Energy's cold fusion discussions, noting that, "to some, the meeting would seem no less outrageous than if the DOE honchos had convened for a séance to raise the dead."

The Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) has long been known to harbor cold fusion enthusiasts; they've often managed to fit in their experiments in down time between other projects, and without official funding.

Now analytical chemist Pamela Mosier-Boss of SPAWAR has broken the silence. Speaking at the American Chemical Society in Salt Lake City (the site of the infamous Pons/Fleischmann press conference) she described "The first scientific report of the production of highly energetic neutrons from a LENR device."

LENR means Low Energy Nuclear Reaction, a euphemism that has been adopted since the words "cold fusion" tend to provoke bouts of metaphorical heretic-burning.

However, unlike Pons and Fleischmann, Mosier-Boss has had her results accepted by a peer reviewed scientific journal, Naturwissenschaften. This will make the results much harder to challenge – but other scientists still question the interpretation of those results.

"In its analysis, the research paper fails to exclude other sources for the production of neutrons," Paul Padley, a physicist at Rice University told the Houston Chronicle.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and it will take more than a few stray neutrons to shift the balance in favor of cold fusion when there is a formidable array of theoretical reasons to doubt that it is possible. Build a laboratory fusion reactor which generates endless free energy and people will sit up and take notice. Until then, the cold fusion club are better off keeping their heads down and avoiding attention.

Darpa may be home to many crazy ideas, but they don't talk about cold fusion, either. At least not openly. However, a close look at their budget documents under "Alternate Power Sources" reveals that in 2007 they "Completed independent evaluation of recently reported experimental protocol for achieving excess heat conditions in Pd cathodes."

Excess heat being generated by Palladium (Pd) cathodes is a signature of cold fusion. And in the 2008 research budget we find that Darpa are set to "Determine the correlation between excess heat observations and production of nuclear by-products."

This sounds suspiciously as though Darpa has been getting involved in the cold fusion club – without mentioning it in a way that might attract undue attention. (They learned their lesson the hard way over the isomer triggering issue )

Perhaps the extreme case of embarrassment about cold fusion comes in the Iron Man movie. The fictional power unit for the armor is a tiny nuclear reactor generating an amazing 3 gigawatts (more than a large power station); and the crucial component Palladium scavenged from missile parts. It sounds exactly like what Pons and Fleishmann had in mind. But although it gets referred to casually as a possible future power source, the device is always referred to as an "Arc Reactor." Clearly, any mention of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, never mind cold fusion, would have audiences shaking their heads in disbelief.

Cold Fusion: still too ridiculous for Marvel Comics. Scientists, take note.

Cold's back!

"Hydrinos" energy source????

Rusi Taleyarkhan--falsified research?

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