On January 14, 2011, a 61-year-old Italian inventor named Andrea Rossi staged a spectacular demonstration.
In a warehouse in Bologna, he switched on a strange contraption that looked like a leg of lamb wrapped in aluminum foil. He called it the "E-Cat," short for "energy catalyzer." It contained a pinch of powdered nickel, a puff of hydrogen gas, and a dash of a secret catalyst. When the mixture was heated with an electrical current, a mysterious reaction occurred, generating large amounts of excess heat—far more than any known chemical reaction could produce. The heat boiled water into steam. The steam could be used to spin a turbine to make electricity.
Here, Rossi claimed, was a machine that harnessed a previously unknown type of nuclear reaction—a machine that could produce nearly infinite energy cheaply and with no radioactive by-products. It would put the oil companies out of business. It would enable humanity to explore space on the cheap. It would change the world overnight.
A handpicked audience of 40 journalists and scientists watched Rossi's E-Cat gurgle steam for an hour. Physicist Francesco Celani, who had traveled to Bologna from Rome, brought along a spectrometer to measure spikes in gamma radiation, which could provide evidence that nuclear reactions did indeed power Rossi's machine; Rossi demanded that Celani turn it off, lest he divine his secrets.
Despite the rebuff, three weeks later Celani presented observations of Rossi's "black box," as he called it, at a special session of the 16th International Conference on Cold Fusion. He also circulated an e-mail in which he estimated that Rossi's E-Cat produced 15 to 20 times more energy than it consumed.
If it were true, Rossi's invention would be a miracle—the boundless energy source that physicists have been pursuing since the dawn of the nuclear age. But could it be true? Could a solo inventor working out of a warehouse in Bologna really have built a fusion device that could power the planet?
Scientists have been captivated by the promise of commercial fusion power for more than half a century. During nuclear fusion, light atoms combine to form heavier elements; in the process, a small fraction of mass is converted into energy. Lots of energy. Fusion is one of the most powerful processes known to physics. "Hot" fusion, in which hydrogen atoms combine to form helium and tritium at temperatures of tens of millions of degrees, lights the sun. Re-creating the 200-million-degree plasma soup necessary for nuclear fusion to take place on Earth requires vast amounts of energy, far more than scientists have been able to squeeze out of multibillion-dollar machines, making hot fusion little more than an expensive lab experiment.
Yet in 1989, Martin Fleischmann, an electrochemist at the University of Southampton in England, and Stanley Pons, a professor at the University of Utah, held a press conference to announce that they had fused nuclei of deuterium (a heavy isotope of hydrogen) in an inexpensive tabletop apparatus—not at millions of degrees, but at room temperature. Their experiment was deceptively simple: Attach electrodes to strips of palladium and platinum. Place the metal in a jar of heavy water (water in which the hydrogen atoms are replaced by deuterium). Run an electrical current through it. The force of electrolysis, Fleischmann and Pons claimed, packed deuterium nuclei into the palladium's atomic-scale lattice structure closely enough for them to overcome their natural repulsion and fuse into helium. In went a modest amount of electricity; out came a thousand times more heat than any known chemical reaction could produce—enough heat, Fleischmann and Pons said, that its source had to be nuclear.
Researchers the world over scrambled to replicate their results. While a few claimed success, most of them failed. They said that Fleischmann and Pons measured heat incorrectly. They said they didn't stir the heavy water in their cell. As the negative reports poured in, Fleischmann and Pons were pilloried in the press and denounced by their peers. Months later, a scathing Department of Energy report recommended that cold-fusion research should receive no public funding. Since then, it has been all but banished from mainstream science.
Nevertheless, a community of a few hundred researchers continues to pursue the energy source that Fleischmann and Pons claimed to have discovered back in 1989. Some of them work in government labs, others in private facilities. A few conduct experiments in their homes. But they don't call it cold fusion anymore. The field has more aliases than P. Diddy: condensed matter nuclear science, lattice-assisted nuclear reaction, chemically assisted nuclear reaction. The current term of art is low-energy nuclear reaction (LENR).
The identity crisis stems from the simple fact that cold-fusion researchers don't understand how these reactions work. All they know is that their experiments produce excess heat, along with neutron fluxes, alpha particles, transmutations, and other signatures of nuclear activity. Sometimes. Some experiments emit a hint of gamma rays; most don't. Some show evidence of transmutation products (one element turning into another, requiring an exchange of protons and neutrons); many don't. One might produce a single watt of anomalous heat; another might pump out 200 watts. There's a lot of evidence that something is going on. What that is, not even the true believers can say for sure.
If you're talking about me -- today, specifically to respond to this article.
I'm Alanf777 on numerous forums -- if you want to see my attempt to get the popsci (and similar) articles into wiki, see :
The Francesco Celani experiment needs some attention in this article.
I've been actively following the Rossi saga since January 2011, initially posting on physorg, and then on the vortex mailing list.
Alan Fletcher -- lenr.qumbu.com
Many kooky designs can cause limited barely detectable fusion reactions because the smallest bits of energy/matter is in fills every cubic femto-meter of the universe. All dark energy and matter, plasma, gas, liquid, solid, and so called empty space are included. It transfers ellectro-matic matter through space and forms all the subatomic matter needed to build everything in the universe. It accounts for all, 100%, of the universe except for a few million scientists and/or experts. Chemical reactions are allowed by fission and/or fusion reactions, exerted energy causes FF reactions. When Planck sized matter surround by energy is split or combined, the energy redistributes to restore equilibrium. These simple? actions results in the "generation" of energy.
Now everyone, before you slam, keep this in mind...
The man was a scam artist, and he comes up with this just out of the blue? I keep an open mind, but this IS fishy.
Now I maintain that he could have done it, unlikely, but he could have and it might be the energy wave of the future. Or not because oil companies will scream bloody murder over it. Why do you think there are so many sanctions against nuclear power? Oil company lobbyists.
Now if he will just allow someone to come near it with a Geiger counter and the spectrometer, and it proves that cold fusion IS occurring, I'll send this man my bottom dollar to fund the creation of these. Other wise.... sorry, proof man, gimme something.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
I won't believe it until I see it on a Ron Popeil infomercial.
I won't talk about Rossi or anyone else. I'll address facts rather than individuals. Just look at the things. Wrapped in foil, anything can be inside. From batteries, potassium or other alkali metals and water, a sterling engine, or even a plain old gasoline engine in there put together in a unique way so it doesn't look like it can be one. Who knows? The imagination could run wild. Seances can be quite remarkable and convincing. All good cons are. At the core of science is reproducibility. (Patents protect invention, while allowing reproducibility.) Otherwise, someone is selling something. Remember the little girl that sells apples for a million dollars each - she only has to sell one.
"...a history as a convicted scam artist..."
Really...do we need to know any more than this???
"We Entertain When It Rains"
10/23/12 at 11:16 am
"So if an Italian scientist fails at something as big as cold fusion will he be sentenced to death?"
And why should he be sentenced to death ? No one ever was.
Most probably he will make money on the film that will be made about him.
Is it a coincidence that this is being done in a city whose name has a secondary slang meaning of BS? I wanted it to be true but gave up on it a year ago. I was hoping that an article written a year later might give me some new news.
There is a new form of nuclear energy generators coming from the US that will be commercially available next year. There is almost zero mention of it in any media. It isn't nearly as glamorous as cold fusion, but much much better than nuclear fission reactors. It doesn't create nuclear waste that is radioactive for centuries and very dangerous, and it doesn't have any potential for being simultaneously used for weapons since there is no need to enrich uranium. And yes this is very legitimate and there is no question over is realness. But, the IAEA will be in charge of determining who is eligible and who isn't. Hence you won't be hearing much about it, if they can help it. How could they possibly reveal an energy source which would nullify the need for any more nuclear reactors necessary? That would give them no choice but to come up with a diplomatic solution to Iran and less chance at forcing a puppet politician onto them.
I am willing to accept that the creation outputs excess energy, so far; BUT, what's inside the thing? I also have a problem with the article associating this creation with genuine cold fusion research. The only connection this creation has with cold fusion is that the guy says it's a cold fusion device; but what's inside the thing?
His invention generates a large amount of excess heat far more than any known chemical reaction could produce! It sounds very dangerous to me.I Know someone that can make the turbine spin and produce electricity using pure clean "CLEAR ENERGY".
10/26/12 at 2:53 am
"His invention generates a large amount of excess heat far more than any known chemical reaction could produce!"
Rossi's energy trick has already proven to be successful. But "the heat" one hears about is of a different kind. You all forgot to notice that the fuss regarding his invention has generated a lot of hot air. Now all is needed now is to find a method to get this hot air to heat up the boilers in the steam engines and the trains will roll.
Follow latest updates for LENR and E Cat / Rossi
For more businesses and startup in Cold Fusion race,
you should look at our Business section.
there are many section for the most active companies, like Defkalion, Brillouin, LENR cars, toyota, National isntruments...
and other like Mitsubishi, SAIPEM are quoted in few post
Rossi is only the most crazy and fascinating entrepreneur in a group of pioneer competing companies.
rossi is now claiming a cop of 2,which is almost worthless,unless it is very cheap to buy and operate
Headline : Rossi--a lone Italian inventor with (a) no real credentials and (b) a history as a convicted scam artist -- and repeated in other posts.
This really requires corrections :
a) He does have a degree from the University of Milan
(plus a mail-order degree from a US diploma mill -- but many others, including senior US officials were taken in by this)
b) He was acquitted:
Google translate : "Acquittal "because the crime does not exist" for Andrea Rossi, accused of conspiracy to commit money laundering of toxic and hazardous waste ... After years of investigation and controversy, Rossi was finally sanctioned only for minor events related to non-compliance with permits that had obtained for the disposal of waste.
(Another matter was still under appeal).
(My links to these link rejected --- see the Rossi entry on wiki)
Alan Fletcher -- lenr.qumbu.com
Why do people insist on spreading disinformation? Petrol dragon was a very sucessful business, it was churning out tonnes of oil! It produced so much that they bought their own refinery because outsourcing it was costing too much! They made many oil based products and even had a race car fueled by their own gas, in fact he was granted a permanent work visa by the current president for his achievments.
As for the thermal couple devices Rossi was contracted by the US Government to do a study on improving them, if you read the report they seem quite pleased about the work Rossi did.
I have done my own research on this subject and my suggestion to all who are interested in learning more, Do your own research and you will find truth, parrots only repeat what they hear.
PS Here's a link to a PetrolDragon that I feel is most accurate.
TESLA had the right ideas, read up on him he essentially says that the entire universe is full of energy now verified by Wilkinson Probe (WMAP)
Planck sized particles are equally spaced through he Universe They all vibrate at an angular frequency of 1.8e43 radians per second driven by the gravity force surrounding them. They combine to form ALL detectible matter
I must reiterate ALL reactions: chemical, mechanical, electrical, thermal, and even emotional require atomic fission and/or fusion.
TESLA found ways to increase the released energy by combining and/or separating the energy from the mater causing the energy to move to restore equilibrium.
Everyone is doing it BUT no one has conceived an economical harvesting technique and I cannot afford millions of dollars to prove it
Forget the criticism and get on with thinking, we are now SELF DISTRUCTING
Scam artist... Scam artist not... Whatever... Once Rossi sells a few items of his product (if he manages), the World would probably know in a few months from his paying customers (the real ones, not those he might get involved to play a role) if it works, or doesn't. Until then, there is no good reason to throw flames at each other.
P.S. OK, I ought to admit, the tone of my remark may suggest I'm in a "non-believer" camp. So what? Rossi's "unorthodox" approach to his development does make me wondering, indeed. If he manages to sell his product in numbers, kudos to him as a salesman. If his clients provide their positive feedback, Rossi's would be praised as a great engineer. Only after Rossi explains how his system works and provides full access to it for verification by the best in the field, he might get a credit as a scientist.
P.P.S Sorry for a "P.S." being longer than the remark above it. :)
The absolute refusal of Rossi relegates him to junk. Nothing has come from this so far and the first thing that must be done is empirical data of any energy by NASA or any reputable testing agency. Until then as was said earlier, move along, nothing to see here.
WWMD - what would mythbusters do?
if they were not allowed to open it up, i would suggest an experiment along the lines of making a circular train track, add a train with a steam engine, load the device, somehow attach the boiler or make a new boiler powered by the device, and let it run
I'm 13 so excuse my noobyness but I think we should give Rossi a chance because if hes not a fraud then this could/will be a huge turn for the century and alot of doors will open up. However first we must see or check if this isn't a joke, by that meaning like vmaldia said run a train with it.If we can't look inside then run some outside tests to see what else this black box can do.
This guy was busted on the 18th of this month, october 2012, for this con game. So this whole article is moot. I would like to know why PopSci even published this thing.
I made the discovery related to thermonuclear fusion in the Sun. The physics for 30 years. Chief scientific research department. I know the theory of LERN, Low-energy nuclear reaction. Create LERN-reactor difficult. Give a prestigious company, for free, under the contract.
I have never heard so many uninformed people on the subject of LENR! Please do your own research. This subject is threatening the status quo of many big money interests, therefore a lot of disinformation is being thrown out there.
Steve Featherstone: On balance a good article, maybe a little rough on Mr. Rossi, in the first paragraph you state he was convicted, but did not state then acquitted until the fifth page, I thought this unfair. You did not bring up the vital subject of why the patent agencies refuse to issue LENR patents, resulting in all the necessary secrecy by inventors/researchers.
PS On Mr. Rossi's conviction, we have to remember the Italian courts just convicted three weathermen to prison terms.
Edison was a BS artist too, but from pure determination and little scientific knowledge, he managed to stumble across some answers and invent things. Just give Rossi his "day in court" like all the others, it won't take long to see if he is lying. For now, investors should keep their wallet in the front pocket where they can keep an eye on it.
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Pump a lot of electricity into aluminum plates while your cryogenically freezing them, I'd do the experiment but unfortunately I don't have access to a lab that can get it cold enough for it to work and the colder I made the aluminum the more electricity I would add to it. This might create a fusion reaction of some sort because the atoms of the aluminum would be vibrating like crazy under these extreme conditions.
While I try to stay logically neutral in most arguments, Rossi's outright refusal to let people examine his e-cat is most suggestive. If he doesn't want the snakes (what he calls skeptics) invading his lawn, why won't he give them "the secret formula"? His credibility is at stake here.
Rossi is leading a religious cult hooked on hopium. The whole charade is a scam. Defkalion is just as bad as Rossi IMHO, and one could easily conclude that the drama created between the two is only generated as a helpful aside to both their scams.
Rossi really lost a TON of credibility when the actual schematics to his ecat were published on the web.