Rossi's E-Cat: A Black Swan Event?

Interest in cold fusion among the establishment science has always been lukewarm, to say the least.

Nobel-winning physicist Brian Josephson left a comment about Rossi’s test on Nature Magazine’s Seven days: 21–27 October 2011, that failed to report on the 1MW E-Cat test (on the 28th).

The real news is happening today in Bologna, where Andrea Rossi, as per schedule, is demonstrating his 1MW Ni-H nuclear powered reactor. This event will be ignored as usual by this journal*, but reports can be expected in the Swedish technology journal Ny Teknik , and the Italian science magazine Focus .

*as predicted with >99% certainty, on the basis of Bayesian statistics

To continue, following the event: the demo appears to have been successful; you can read a report “here”: http://pesn.com/2011/10/28/9501940_1_MW_E-Cat_Test_Successful/. It is anticipated that there will be an AP report in a few days’ time, after which event it may be difficult for Nature to continue to maintain its deafening silence over this development.

Dr John Wright, an advisor to CSIRO’s Sustainable Energy Partnerships, previous Director of the CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship and Chief of CSIRO Energy Technology, described Australia’s energy strategy as plodding:

Now, I never discount the possibility of a disruptive technology – I often dream about being a developer of a disruptive technology, but I haven’t managed to do it yet, even though I spent a number of years in my shed trying to come up with something – something that will change the picture completely. Just look at what has happened over the past couple of decades. You just couldn’t imagine some of the changes that have occurred.

I must say that in the energy field they haven’t been all that quick and stunning, but perhaps its time is yet to come. There is something like a fourth generation nuclear technology that doesn’t produce any dangerous materials and is cheap – a variation of cold fusion, maybe. A method that turns water into its components, hydrogen and oxygen, cheaply using sunlight. There is a lot of work going on around the world on that at the moment. We have proponents of things like zero point energy, exploiting the weirdness of the quantum dimension.

Who knows what is going to come along. And perhaps we are going to need something like that to really get us to where we want to be. So pick your own energy breakthrough that will change the world. But I’m afraid in the meantime we’ll plod along with what we know now to push the edges of existing technology.

Things stand to get a lot more interesting.

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0 thoughts on “Rossi's E-Cat: A Black Swan Event?

  1.  Really?  The fact that the amount of power generated over 5 hours is probably just under the amount of power of that big noisy diesel genset that was running continuously during the test doesn’t tickle your skeptic bone just a bit?  How much diesel was consumed during the test?

    • I think because I focus on evidence there is a difference between scepticism about AGW and ECAT.  There is no evidence of a climate crisis, and effects are small in magnitude, and obscured by other factors.  when I have checked the assertions they are based on naive applications of statistics that give the impression of an effect.

      The ECAT shows an abundance of an effect, that has been verified without the need for statistics.  The difference, then, is that the theory of AGW is known while the exact theory of ECAT is not.  Ergo, my personal bias is towards evidence.

      For the ECAT to be a fake would require a ‘malicious error model’, that is the perpetration of a difficult, elaborate set of deceptions.  Its not impossible, but highly unlikely. 

  2. the conditions of the test are somewhat strange, to say the least. The pdf with the conclusions of the test show a lot of unpreparedness (worst than, .. hard to qualify).
    i’m not biased by “theory” because experimentalists guys gave us so much. The human race will have to search for imagination, and the world will progress. If not with Rossi with someone else. It is a question of time.
    Hiting the nucleus with laser light and a transmutation happened already. As you I hoped for a sucessful demonstration. If I’m wrong, good, and if I’m wrigth dont loose the hope.

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