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.
Mary Yugo has made many false or misleading comments about NanoSpire in the past. Her comment about Serge Lebid and I's radiation sickness not being properly documented is a lie. I do not take kindly to suffering through three years of radiation sickness and have thugs like Mary Yugo call our radiation sickness into question. We had SKY radiation dosimetry performed by McMaster University that showed we both had multiple chromosome breaks and translocations from radiation exposure. Yugo is a friend of the NRL group and has repeatedly tried to help cover up for their wrongdoing. They invited us to an experiment at NRL that was rigged and we received a second radiation exposure from an experiment that we were led to think wasn't working when it was. None of the things NRL promised were delivered. They claimed they would have a gamma ray spectrometer ready after cooling it down over the weekend preceding our visit. This never happened and they produced a cheap hand held gamma detector instead. The gamma ray spectrometer would have proven the creation of transmuted material because of the specific gamma signature of each isotope produced. We were never given dosimeters either, a violation of Federal Law on their part, we were told other radiation experiments were going on besides ours in the lab where dosimeters are always required. The promised radiation shielding, but this wasn't provided either.
Yugo also falsely claimed that the Navy tested our device for comparison against Rossi, this isn't true either. We were doing basic research together with no intent of making any comparisons.
Yugu also claims I'm somehow against the Navy, this couldn't be further from the truth. I'm a former top hydrodynamicist at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company who worked on the underwater launch of the Trident Missiles from nuclear subs. I received commendations from both the Navy and from Lockheed for my work with the Navy on their most sensitive technology. I'm a trusted member of the defense community, that's how I got invited to do the experiment at NRL in the first place. Ed Pope, a famous former Naval Intelligence officer who is NanoSpire's advisor, backs our claims and has stated publicly that the staff at NRL and others at the Navy know and respect our work.
Popular Science and other main stream media continue to ignore the large body of evidence we have presented that we ignited fusion in ordinary water with the LeClair Effect (see www.nanospireinc.com)and push Rossi and others, who have shown nothing. Rossi was not invited to do experiments with NRL, but NanoSpire was.
I recently presented my work, “Discovery Of Macrocationic Crystalline H2O Cavitation Reentrant Jets & Their Role In Cavitation Zero Point Energy, Fusion & The Origin Of Life” at the 7th Annual Conference on the Physics, Chemistry and Biology of Water, as an invited speaker. The audience included a Nobel Laureate and physiscists who work at CERN. It was very well received and nearly everyone who saw our data presented came up to me afterwards to tell me that they were overwhelmingly convinced that we ignited fusion with cavitation. People got to see and inspect the reactor core transmuted material and other hard evidence for themselves. Not the black box approach Rossi and the others use to cover up either their lack of technology or to hide technology stolen from NanoSpire and handed to them by rogue members of the Navy.
Even if this guy is a complete fraud, I enjoyed reading this article more than any other on Pop Sci for a long time. Isn't this what the magazine is about - a equal mix of science/unknown/entertainment? The comments, which are sometimes the most interesting part of the articles on this site, are pretty boring to me for this article. Anyway, that is just me....
Good God, everybody bickering back and forth waving their credentials around, name calling, arguing over this point or that... Would somebody just buy one of these things and test it out already...
I don't understand why the pseudosceptics are so adamant in assuring all that Rossi is a liar, con-artist, and psychopath.
10/25/12 at 3:05 pm
"Venture capitaists understand the need to be tight-lipped. They rarely invest their money without evidence of what their money is buying."
and that is what will tell the tale; there is only one test that indicates success/failure in our culture. It is not whether 'mainstream' science will publish your research. It is not whether or not you can convince critics who have nothing better to do than criticize what they have not seen, seemingly ignorant of the fact that it is generally accepted that it is impossible to prove a universally applicable negative condition.
What it IS is whether or not someone will pay you for what you're offering, repeatedly, over and over again.
And the point where soi-disant cold fusion will have to put up or shut up is rapidly approaching.
Well one thing I think everybody can agree on is that if Rossi does prove out, then something is clearly wrong with the way we do science.
And a lot of people should be fired.
Credentials don't always mean everything. Cold fusion would be a huge new breakthrough, no matter who it comes from. I find it just as intriguing as how energy and matter can allow me to think about it, freely.
Whether or not this is real, cold fusion is a possibility that should not be neglected. While there are things that the laws of Physics disallow, there are usually loopholes too, like the Cosmic Speedlimit and compressing/decompressing space.
Like any other board, I see a ton of sniping and name calling going on here. With respect to Mr. Rossi, I hope he is onto something new. The Petroleum Institute along with Los Alamos would more than likely love to see him dead than to lose trillions of dollars from the Feds here, not to mention warhead capability from fission reactors. And to think Popular Science once had an issue talking about everyone having a small nuclear thermo electric generator buried in their basements...not far fetched at all. Our whole grid would be altered if only Thorium substations were localized. What held that up? Wanna ask the NRC why they won't license thorium reactors. Oh I forgot...they don't produce waste in large amounts.
Sorry to have to mention this but it is the 21st.century and anyone with a nano-brain knows the world doesn't run by teletype and a 3pm newspaper anymore. NSA = No Secrets Anymore. To be honest, most of the innovations that we have were tripped over, not by a massive undertaking of highly educated scientists. When a kid in middle school can gather up smoke detectors, take em apart, and have a "hot" garage to be carted off by the Feds, then the science community is lagging in the innovation department. It's hard for me to believe anyone with a degree would walk into an unknown situation without a dosimeter. I'm well versed in RF myself but I wouldn't stand in front of a radar while it's operating. From what the author mentioned here, someone at Rossi's demonstration did pick up some gamma radiation on a device so Mr.Rossi is up to something. I can comprehend why he couldn't achieve a patent too. The laws today are skewed by the people with the most to lose.
How many people thought Einstein was "out there" ? I never did but I still wonder why nothing can't go faster than the speed of light yet X-rays can escape from black holes. Maybe if an asteriod hits the sun at the right angle, something will hit the earth in less than 8 minutes...that would screw up a few people's observations.
Good luck Mr Rossi. Buy some lead shielding.
Mark LeClair is, as usual, completely confused. I never said ANYTHING whatsoever about his company or him and NRL. I have no connection and have never had any connection with NRL. I never said anything about the Navy testing his claims against Rossi's. In short virtually everything he says I wrote is completely incorrect. If not, please Mark, show the quotes and links. Otherwise it's bullsh*t from you as usual.
What I said is that you never presented medical records or investigation records or other adequate evidence of radiation sickness. I still claim that. Again, if it's not true, show the medical records and the results of investigations. Radiation exposure sufficient to harm health in the United States is reportable. It doesn't just happen in a vacuum. It's always thoroughly investigated. Yours wasn't. I think you made it up.
As for your claims for fusion, far as I know, those claims have never been independently tested or replicated. Like most such poorly documented and unproven claims, they are most likely false.
The only thing I know about Ed Pope is from the reviews of his book on Amazon. Most are dismal. Here is a typical review: "If Ed Pope was not spying, the Russians should have locked him up for profound manifestation of delusions of grandeur. This guy has an extraordinary ego ... . When I get the stomach to finish this book, I want to go back and count the number of times Ed declares himself "right" when everyone else was wrong.
Did our military really approve 126 top-secret clearances for this guy? If so, this issue raises serious questions about our national security. I suspect the navy was as sick of Ed as you will be (if you buy this book), and to pacify his passion for intrigue, declared any trivial tidbit of knowledge Ed possessed as "top secret."
I still maintain (and that's all I said before) that your story of radiation exposure isn't credible and that there is no evidence that you have produced table top fusion, LENR, cold fusion or anything like it. When you get proper replication and peer reviewed mainline journal publication, let us know. Until then, please stop misquoting me. It reduces your credibility even beyond the low level it is now.
One more thing, Mark. You claimed on your web site that "Mark LeClair and Serge Lebid discovered that the scaled-up LeClair Effect reactor was triggering intense fusion, fission and large scale elemental transmutation using ordinary water. The 1.25” ID by 12” long reactor produced 2.9 kW of hot water using only 840 watts of input, a coefficient of performance (COP) of 3.4 times more energy out than in..."
That was in 2009!! Why has this not been commercially developed in the ensuing more than 4 years? Why has it not been independently replicated and published (if it has, please say when and where and provide a link)? Same questions for the experiment you claim produced millions of neutrons.
Do you really expect people to believe that you performed work in 2009 which would have won you a Nobel prize and nothing has happened to that work since then?
I have to wonder why all these 'black boxes' are both black and cube-like in shape. I feel, like most perpetual motion machines, this one runs on a nine volt battery. I, like moist people, feel this techknowledgly (whoops, spellt wrong) is long over-due and much needed in our time of fossill-fuel expenses, and ever-increasing carbon feetprints. Let us collectively pray this is no hoax, that our future may be positively enhanced by the hard and devoted effort of these gifted men and women. Personally, I want to see one work.......though I have a hard time saying that about myself these days :)
n A. Rossi, the result is or not??
Who tells the truth?
"Dennis Bushnell, Chief Scientist of NASA Langley, who says that LENR is one of the most promissing future energy sources."
In the 1990s Dennis Bushnell told me and my associates that:
1) The Chinese had installed remote-controlled kill-bots which were lying in wait under water on our continental shelves, and
2) Americans had already walked on Mars.
During this speech the other NASA people in the room were trying to pretend they weren't there.
This sound like a visionary to you, or something else?
How I wish someone would write a fair, balanced, complete, and accurate article about this controversy. When an author repeatedly gets mW mixed with MW I question their abilities. What ever happened to editors?
The article repeats the usual blather. Rossi committed fraud. In fact he produced bio-diesel that he sold and those who bought the products were also entangled by the laws that were written to come down on him as he and they were horning in on the Italian Mafia's lucrative business of waste disposal. The definition of all the products as toxic waste gives less honest people the option of saying he produced toxic waste not useful product (Rossi's prosecutor speaks with forked tongue). He was acquitted after a review of the case by a less corrupt judge.
If this is a hoax it is a very elaborate one the involves much more openness than the average hoax or fraud, and the use of the inventor's money. I understand Rossi is taking money from those with deep pockets but they have the means to preform due-diligence and are responsible for their shallow brains.
I took a real interest in this after hearing of the participation of Drs. Essen and Kulandar of the Swedish Skeptics Society and whom declared it to be a nuclear process. I parsed the published data and feel there is something there and am doubtful that Rossi could have jiggered the wires and such to produce bogus results (certainly not with so many people checking things, which they did in fact do). The story about water going down the drain is perfectly correct as you would expect steam a 101 C to condense as it travels down the hose toward the drain. I've seen the other "analysis" of the results and they are shamefully amateurish. When Drs. Essen and Kulandar throw in the towel on this story so too will I.
I am puzzled by Rossi. I suspect he was severely damaged by his persecution and imprisonment and what he says should be taken with a grain of salt. As for the cast of commentators on this board they are: those who have just now heard of this need to be skeptical, the pathological posters need to get psychological help, and the rest of us should try to get along and have an open, honest discussion.
For those who have been following this for a while you might enjoy a bit of humor about the whole affair: deadstickarizona-zedshort.blogspot.com/2012/03/waiting-for-e-cat.html
I think I will need to write a third act soon.
Excellent scientific summary report of the 20 years of research into LENR - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VymhJCcNBBc - Uploaded on Apr 28, 2011. 63 minutes. Presentation slides: http://www.bisbee.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/SPAWAR-MAY-9-2009.pdf
Dec 17, 2012 Swedish television show on LENR and Rossi translated to English - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHXc7NNMiWo. 29 minutes.
I have a real perpetual motor that is 100% green to make & operate. Mine is no scam. I have seen other motors, but they barely make enough torque to run themselves. Mine produces plenty enough to run any device you hook it too.
Ha ha ha, a re-posting of an old article, because a new article via the local new female writers feelings are to delicate to allow comments.
Dare to be skeptical! Dare to have a contrary opinion! Dare to point out the articles mistakes! We will have none of that on PoPSCi ! The public at large has been deemed all TROLLS !
We the PoPSCI will not push for better writing from our writers or fact checking. We will protect our precious writers from embarrassment and therefor remove comments.
The whole public at large is declared to all be TROLLS! TROLLS! TROLLS!
~ Narissic Supreme Leader of PoPSCi.