Cold fusion: Observing researcher wants more tests

2011-02-01 23:00 Mats Lewan  

Whatever the process was, it was not conventional fusion. And the researcher in physics who monitored the experiment with the Italian 'energy catalyzer' does not believe that the energy source is a chemical reaction, either.

“Given the produced power, I believe it is unlikely,” physics reseracher Giuseppe Levi told Ny Teknik.

Levi is a reseracher in physics at Bologna University, who monitored the experiment with Andrea Rossi’s heat-producing 'energy catalyzer' in Bologna on January 14, 2011.

He measured the input electrical power with its own instrument, verified that there were no hidden connections, inspected the connected equipment, measured the amount of hydrogen consumed by weighing the bottle (less than one gram) and attached it himself to the reactor chamber.

He points out that the most powerful battery he could find on the market – a military battery used to power vehicles – could produce the same power for an hour, but weighs 140 kg and measures 1 x 0.6 x 0.2 meters. Something that big and heavy could not be hidden anywhere in the experiment.

“In any case, if Rossi had made a battery with those characteristics he would have solved the problem of the automobile industry worldwide, and he would have been awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry anyway!” Levi said.

He also states that it couldn’t possibly be conventional fusion. A power of 10 kW requires much approximately 10^16 fusions per second, each of which would give rise to a pair of gamma photons.

“We would then have a huge activity that would be difficult to shield, and people around it would fall like stones.”

At the same time he believes that the experiment is unique.

“If you search the literature you’ll find serious scientists – and I do not want to speak ill of anyone – describing that they managed to produce 50 watts in an experiment one day, failed to repeat it the next day and the third day it was 30 watts. These are things that are difficult to repeat and hard to understand.

“What has impressed me, and what sets this work apart from everything I’ve ever seen, is that we have 10 kW of measured energy output, and this output is completely repeatable.”

“I would also like to emphasize that Rossi is behaving as a serious scientist. Anyone who tries to do forgery behaves differently and does not go into a physics department, does not accept that you put up measuring instruments and does not confront scientists.”

Still Levi considers the results from the two experiments, each of which about an hour long, as extremely preliminary.

“I saw this device for the first time in December 2010, and I am very impressed by the high power output.”

“But what I want to do now is an experiment with continuous operation for at least one or more days. Since there are very specific limits on how much energy you can generate from a given amount of mass, I can thus rule out a chemical reaction as the energy source.”

He emphasizes that the experiment must be carefully prepared with a very strict protocol to avoid any doubt. It includes measuring any amount of copper produced – a sign of fusion between nickel and hydrogen.

“I know that Focardi (professor emeritus and Rossi’s scientific advisor) and Rossi have seen copper. I have known Focardi for years and have worked with him (...) and do not doubt his ability or his professionalism – nor Rossi’s, as I’ve had the opportunity to meet him and he seems very serious. But to verify this, we need to use very stringent methods so that no one will have any doubt.”

“I would like to organize it calmly. Next week engineer Rossi will be here and then we discuss the set up. He said he’s willing to repeat the experiment.”

Levi and his colleague David Bianchini made a preliminary report after the experiment in Bologna on January 14, 2011, and an earlier attempt on 16 December 2010. Rossi published this report on his own site – the Journal of Nuclear Physics – on January 23, 2011.

Note that the site is not a scientific journal – all the material was presented and examined mainly by Rossi himself.

“When I say that this is a preliminary report that I sent by fax to Rossi, I certainly do not consider it a scientific publication. Because you can not publish where you do peer review yourself, right?” Professor Levi said.

“Now, there was such a great interest,” said Levi, “that one can send out something that we can call a pre-print or a communication, saying ‘I have done this, and here are the results I have received so far’. But I think that from now on, all the material will have to undergo peer review by established scientific journals.”

Later on, after this interview, Levi added a well-known quote by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in an email: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

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READ MORE: Our complete coverage on Rossi's E-cat can be found here.

Mats Lewan

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