Posted By Roger Stritmatter on February 14, 2012
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I like to follow websites featuring news about something called either CF (Cold Fusion), LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reaction), or LANR (Lattice Assisted Nuclear Reaction). At least those are the three most common names for this new and (to most of us anyway) highly surprising development in modern science don’t seem to be too scarce.
Have I gone off the deep end?……Reader, you should know that I’ve been in the deep end for a few decades now, so its not really possible that I could have descended to any lower level of gullibility or whackability than I had yesterday.
And yet, something there is that doesn’t love a wall….
And when we get to the whacky world of what I’ll call for want of a clearly better term “Cold Fusion,” suddenly the walls are…..well, everywhere. There are walls inside of walls and across other walls and within ceilings and propping up floors that lead to nowhere.
O ya. There are plenty of living scientists who don’t want the story of the Pons and Fleischman experiments of 1989 to ever be properly contextualized, historically speaking. That’s because given what we now know, based on a multitude of formal and informal studies by top electrochemists around the world, from NASA to SRI, Pons and Fleishman were correct. Yes, it sure looks that way (again???!!!): The guys who presumed to be defending “science” were actually patho-skeptics addicted to a partial view of reality and a cushy government income.
It is true. Put the right combination of elements — usually Palladium and Hydrogen, or Nickel and Hydrogen — in solution, and run an electric current through it. You can release anomalous amounts of excess heat almost as if you’ve tapped into the fabled “zero energy” field where the 2nd law of thermodynamics is suddenly suspended and you seem to be generating energy from…..nothing.
You’ve achieved the impossible of creating an over-unity device.
This is one reason so many otherwise intelligent people resisted the Pons and Fleischman discoveries. The empirical evidence was contradicting what they already knew was true: you can’t get something out of nothing.
Unless, of course, you happen to live beneath a waterfall, in which case, until you understand the dynamics of the hydrological system, you could easily be persuaded your source of power was magic and a form of “getting something out of nothing.” But in that case you would not have learned the second law of thermodynamics and would not know any better.
This is just an under-educated guess, but if my life depended on an answer as to why cold fusion remains such a knotty one in electrophysics — insofar as it is about science and not about politics — I would have to go back to the 19th century debates over the existence of the “ether” — something today’s top “outside the box” researchers are calling the “atomic wind.” That’s an idea that got pretty thoroughly demolished in the early 20th century. I don’t understand all the scientific arguments, but take my word for it, saying that you believe in “ether” or “atomic wind” is not a good thing to put on your physics grad school application.
But there were plenty of other reasons why top physicists hated CF as well. Research funding being an important one.
“Hot Fusion” research was, and still is, big business. You and I have spent billions on it, and seem destined to spend at least many hundreds of millions more, looking at the DOE 2012 funding request, which doesn’t request a penny for CF. Huge checks are written, both for infrastructure and personnel to perfect Hot Fusion. If you like the idea of an energy future in which energy is still generated centrally and put out over the grid, with all of the huge problems, both environmental and social, which are the consequence of such an arrangement, then Hot Fusion is just your cup of tea.
It’s all about superheating huge jets of plasma contained primarily by a magnetic field – since you can’t let the plasma contact a physical barrier without triggering big problems. Very conducive to the propagation of the technocratic elite who will guard everyone else from dangerous filaments and ideas.
Hmmm…..somehow I think that Buckminster Fuller or E. F. Schumacher would go for “Plan B.” See if you can make cold fusion work. Ha! What a bunch of idealists.
Pons and Fleischman were driven out of academia and Fleischman went to work for Toyota in Spain. Both were highly respected scientists, and Fleischman was at the time one of the most highly respected chemists in the field, second to none in credibility. It made no difference. Overnight he became one of the worst of men to be around: an idealist who had been scorned by the powerful and mighty of the world.
So, what gives when we find out a mere thirty years later that the powerful and mighty were full of hot air? CF has been replicated in dozens of labs all over the world? The proof is in. Pons and Fleischman were not “mismeasuring the heat.” Whatever you call it, and whatever the electrochemistry and physics of the thing is — for it stands at the crossroads between those two formerly distinct fields of human inquiry — its real.
Which brings us — with great apology to all those who worked so tirelessly in the interim and on whose shoulders the energy specialists of tomorrow will surely stand — to February, 2011. Why Now?
Well, there seem to be a growing number of signs that CF technology is about to make a giant step for mankind — out of the lab and into the marketplace.
If you are one of those readers who thinks that this is all about a crazy man in Italy named Andrea Rossi who spent time in jail after earning his PhD from a possibly less-than-reputable institution of higher learning and sounds to some people like a megalomaniac, I’ve got news.
Listen to what Gerald Celente was saying in January, 2011 about an imminent paradigm shift in energy production technology. Right now the spotlight — and not without reason — is on Rossi, and his erstwhile competitors, the Greek Company Defkalion.
Rossi’s the guy who in October, 2011, staged a highly successful test of his CF “E-cat” reactor (at least according to most estimates), with a number of very high profile scientists in attendance, most of whom seemed to think that the E-cat passed with flying colors. Naturally doubts remained among some watchers-on that somehow Rossi was gaming the test, but to my knowledge none of those actually in attendance has made such arguments (with the possible exception of Stephen Krivit, editor of a blog called New Energy Times that has expressed numerous complaints about Rossi’s methodology and ethics, but in whom many watchers do not place too much credibility).
Rossi now says he’s through testing and is going into production. The goal? A Florida factory, highly robotized, able to produce a million E-cats a year for the domestic heating and cooling market, sold through…..Home Depot. Cost to consumer $600-800 for a unit that will heat and possibly cool your home (add on some more for plumbing to hook the device up to your existing heat distribution system).
Fuel cost? The fuel is nickel and hydrogen. Perhaps $20/yr – in a cartridge replaced by a technician or a homeowner every six months.
Sound crazy? You aren’t alone.
And it gets worse. As nice as it might be for you and I to heat our houses and apartments for 1/10 the cost we currently pay, we have to stop and consider the economic consequences of what some are already calling “Fire 2.0.” This is not a pretty picture. The economic dislocations that we are in for if CF is indeed on the edge of commercialization are not going to be easy. In the long run, the world will be way better off. But getting there will not be a rose garden either.
Anyway, I’ve been holding off writing this blog to wait and see a little longer what would happen. But at this point, it’s “what they hey.” If you don’t already know about this, you should. The only reason you don’t is that the mass media of the United States and probably the rest of the world is so up to its ass in corporate malfeasance (witness the long overdue dismemberment of the corrupt Murdoch news empire taking place now in England) that they can’t be bothered to report anything like this until its so far gone it can’t be stopped anymore. You can imagine what GE, which has many media holdings, including big chunks of NBC and therefore MSNC, thinks about the E-cat.
By-by nuclear power. By-by $4.00 a gallon gas. By-by war as an energy policy.
Of course, it may all be a mass hallucination. But you don’t have to wait long now to find out. Defkalion is reported to be starting a series of seven independent tests of its Hyperion technology…..next week. Notwithstanding the rumpus between Defkalion and Rossi (they were at one point going to partner, but never made it to the altar), if those tests are positive they will silence the majority of the “skeptics” not only on behalf of the Greek company, but Rossi as well.
Don’t hold your breath just yet, but this could be the best news story of the decade, if not the century….:)