Last week saw another flurry of attention about the Rossi Focardi Cold Fusion apparatus with a new demonstration in Italy.  This time the eminent observers came from Sweden’s Skeptics Society (This link is to the English translated page and is a worthwhile read).

First, this demonstration was much more forthcoming than the one back in January.  The demonstration was performed on a much smaller version of the reactor. The previous reactor had an internal volume of about one liter. The latest system has a reactor volume of only one twentieth of a liter. Four reactors were shown with one tested. The other three apparatuses had the shielding and insulation removed allowing for the interior construction to be seen.

Rossi Cold Fusion Apparatus Revealed. Click image for the largest view. Image credit pesn.com.

This new reactor consists of a stainless steel reactor vessel, which is placed inside of copper tubing. Water flows between the copper pipe and the steel reactor vessel. There are provisions for inlets for of the water and hydrogen gas. The reactor is activated by current flowing through a resistor that is wrapped around the outside of the copper pipe. When a certain temperature is reached the reaction begins.

The Swedish Skeptics or Vetenskap och Folkbildning (VoF) is an organization set up as a Swedish non-for-profit.  The group is set upon promoting popular education about the methods of science and its results. By engaging in open debate, the organization particularly sets its task to discredit false ideas about matters that can be resolved scientifically.

An important part of this educational process is to make clear what questions can and cannot, respectively, be resolved through scientific means. The organization tries to investigate what science-based arguments there are for – or against – controversial phenomena such as astrology, healing, homeopathy, dowsing, telepathy, UFOs and so forth. The organization is open to anyone who supports its purpose. All work is conducted on a voluntary basis.

To get to the facts in defining science and pseudoscience VoF uses the following definition: “Science is the systematic search for such knowledge that is independent from any single individual, but that anyone could rediscover or verify. Pseudoscience is statements not based in science but presented in such a way that gives them the impression of being so.”  The target it seems, is to get to the facts by the scientific method.  All well and very good.

No counter commentary to the Rossi Focardi Reactor is to be seen as of April 10, 2011.  That absence may signify some bit of credibility.  Let’s hope so.

What happened was Mr. Rossi and Professor Focardi with Dr. David Bianchini, and Dr. Giuseppe Levi of Bologna University had two guest observers. One guest observers was Hanno Essen, associate professor of theoretical physics at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, who is the chairman of the Swedish Skeptics Society and the other guest observer was Professor Sven Kullander of Uppsala University, who is also chairman of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Energy Committee.  One will think the Swedes take the Rossi Focardi Cold Fusion reactor seriously, now.

Kullander and Essen were permitted to examine the setup, check for hidden power supplies, and then fill the reactor with hydrogen, calibrate the volume of water flow, monitor the temperature of the water flow in and out of the system, and observe the entire experiment.

The reactor contained 50 grams of nickel powder and .11 grams of hydrogen. In their report (a pdf file) they state, “We had free access to the heater electric supply, to the inlet water hose, to the outlet steam valve and water hose, and to the hydrogen gas feed pipe. The total weight of the device was estimated to be around 4 kg.”

The experiment’s results are an averaged constant production of 4.69 kW (4690 watts or about 47-100 watt light bubs) of power for almost six hours.  The input was on average 330 watts, of which 30 watts was used by the electronics controlling the setup. This calculates to about fifteen times the energy produced by the device in comparison to the energy input.

As for scale, at 1/20th the size the output seems to be 1/3rd of the January demonstration, while the consumption of energy is at about 75%.  It seems the development continues raising the question if increasing reactor size is also improving.  Or perhaps Mr. Rossi has already learned the optimum size is what was seen in January.

Rossi Cold Fusion Central Fuel Container. Click image for more info.

Kullander and Essen have also ruled out that the energy could be coming from a chemical source. They stated, “Any chemical process for producing 25 kWh from any fuel in a 50 cm3 container can be ruled out. The only alternative explanation is that there is some kind of a nuclear process that gives rise to the measured energy production.” This is a noteworthy statement coming from a report written not only by professional scientists, but also by the Chairman of Sweden’s VoF.

To cap it all, Rossi provided Kullander and Essen a sample of his fresh nickel powder and a sample of nickel powder that had been in an active reactor for two and a half months. Elemental and isotopic analysis has been performed on the samples utilizing both X-ray Fluorescence and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. The reported result shows that the fresh nickel powder was almost totally pure nickel and the reactor used nickel powder contained 10% copper and 11% iron. The two copper isotopes detected were Cu63 and Cu65. Kullander has stated his understanding this qualifies as proof of nuclear reactions is taking place in the reactor.

Things are moving along.  What’s new is the iron found.  The missing is still the catalyst.  What isn’t finished and of perhaps the greatest interest to experienced inventors and developers is the progress on the patent application.  Let’s hope this sort of demonstration wins the co-operation of the patent examiners – that’s the next big step.

The Rossi Focardi Cold Fusion reactor isn’t making much mainstream news.  Which as a practical matter might be a good thing.  In the Internet age mainstream attention is less likely to help, and may be a terrible publicity and public relations problem.  The time of both Mr. Rossi and Professor Focardi are really better spent on the development and demonstrations to qualified professionals than coping with the press.  But we’re sure happy to get the news we are seeing.


Comments

19 Comments so far

  1. BFast on April 11, 2011 2:17 PM

    Thanks for keeping us abreast of Rossi’s technology. I must admit he has gone into territory that I have never seen a charlatan go. I can find no other explanation than that his technology is for real. As such, it will be revolutionary, far beyond what we currently understand.

  2. Wm. Scott Smith on April 11, 2011 11:27 PM

    How can we rule out that the iron and the copper come from the catalysts.

    Why assume this is nuclear. Perhaps it is Zero-point energy. See my website, z-pec.yolasite.com

  3. BFast on April 12, 2011 12:37 AM

    I suspect that the iron came from the catalyst. (I have conjectured that it might be coming from the walls of the reaction chamber. The chamber is made of stainless steel which is iron + nickel. I conjecture that the nickel in the chamber is reacting.)

    What I did note was that Rossi was energized when he wrote about the 10% copper. This appears to be a better finding than he expected. As such, I doubt that it comes from the catalyst.

    Though the prediction of copper was made based upon a nuclear reaction, I don’t necessarily care what the reaction is. (I read another person conjecturing that it involved antimatter and annihilation.) It remains that the reaction is definitely not chemical. The reaction is stable. And Rossi has the formula that makes the thing happen.

    More importantly, it is a shockingly clean reaction with incredible power to weight, power to size, and power per $ ratios. It is going to revolutionize the world because oil, coal, solar, hydroelectric, electrical grids, anthropocentric global warming and many other ills are all becoming obsolete.

  4. Cross on April 12, 2011 5:21 AM

    Sorry, but the Swedish sceptical society Vetenskap och Folkbildning isn’t so prominent as it sound; it have been involved in a lot of controversies the last years, and Hanno Essén is regarded as a crank scientist, with a lot of unkonventional ideas (push gravity, an own cold fusion theory, superconductivity at normal temperatures, and so on).

  5. BFast on April 12, 2011 10:27 AM

    Cross, please point me to an article where Hanno Essén or the Swedish sceptical society validates something as working even though it is “crank science”.

  6. Daniel on April 12, 2011 10:29 AM

    Although Hanno Essén(http://www.mech.kth.se/~hanno/)
    is a chairman-member of the board (chairman until April 2) of the Swedish Skeptics Society, the SSS were NOT involved in any validation of the demonstration.

  7. Rossi Cold Fusion Update With a Confirmation | New Energy and Fuel | jazy.net's blog on April 12, 2011 11:19 AM

    [...] via Rossi Cold Fusion Update With a Confirmation | New Energy and Fuel.  [...]

  8. Cross on April 12, 2011 5:27 PM

    BFast, for example:

    http://www.vof.se/folkvett/20073incidenter-i-fysikens-historia (Hanno Essén mention his own push gravity theory – use google translate)

    http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0607138 (Essén’s cold fusion theory)

  9. BFast on April 12, 2011 9:54 PM

    Cross, I have hardly fully digested your links. However, both links seem to put forward theories. While these theories are clearly not mainstream, this is not a technology that is working. It is a comparison of apples and oranges.

    Certainly Dr. Essén thinks outside of the box of traditional science. However, this is the first time that I know of that he says that one of these theories has been proved, or that one of these theories is in play in a machine that works.

    I fail to see the fact that he would be willing to consider a non-status quo explanation proves that he can’t measure output power from a device, or that he would be hoodwinked by a device that is really powered by batteries or a hidden wire.

  10. Cross on April 12, 2011 11:15 PM

    I don’t understand what you mean. The only thing that have been said here, is that Essén is regarded by many as a crank scientist, with a lot of non-mainstream ideas. And the links are examples of this.

  11. Skeptical on April 13, 2011 11:32 AM

    Input power was 330W and output power was 4690W, so energy balance demands 4360W to have come from somewhere. The 4360W appears to have come from a reaction in the chamber, but that may be an illusion. For example maybe there was an induction coil under the table, or built into the table? Maybe another heater hidden inside the insulation/shielding with power wire hidden inside the water supply pipe? You should see the lengths to which magicians go to conceal their tricks. We only have Rossi’s word that the used sample came from the old chamber and hadn’t been purposefully mixed up. Healthy skepticism is still warranted until somebody gets to break down this apparatus and prove definitively there is no other power source. This is the sort of evidence that we should be demanding.

  12. BFast on April 13, 2011 7:56 PM

    Cross, “The only thing that have been said here, is that Essén is regarded by many as a crank scientist, with a lot of non-mainstream ideas.”

    However prior to you posting your links, I asked you, “Cross, please point me to an article where Hanno Essén or the Swedish sceptical society validates something as working even though it is “crank science”.”

    My assumption was that you were responding to my request. Was this not a reasonable assumption?

    I agree with you that Dr. Essén has non-mainstream ideas. That is clear. (Actually, I consider this to be a positive trait in the head of the skeptic society, at least he is not blowing off every quack idea that comes along, but giving it an honest ear as a skeptic society should.) However, to the best of my knowledge he has made a major leap by stepping beyond proposal, beyond theory, into stating that he has witnessed one of these non-mainstream ideas validated in a working machine.

  13. BFast on April 13, 2011 8:03 PM

    Skeptical, we are all entitled to our threshold of skepticism. However, if Rossi is a “magician” he is a darn brave one allowing two top physicists to spend hours exploring his technology opened up. They seem to have had full access to everything except a 50cc container. Either he has what he says or he is pretty darn brave.

    btw, as Rossi is asking for no investment as he is reasonably wealthy, what does he have to gain from his magic show — the embarrassment of a few physicists, two of which are clearly his friends?

    Just sayin’

    check out nickelpower.org to engage in the dialog about the technological, economic and social ramifications of this technology.

  14. Cross on April 13, 2011 8:05 PM

    BFast: “However prior to you posting your links, I asked you…”

    Your question was not clear at all. Push gravity and cold fusion are regarded by many as “crank science”, and Hanno Essén validate Rossi & Focardi, and have his own ideas in this way.

  15. georgehants on April 14, 2011 11:46 AM

    I see there are still some sceptical cranks who believe man will never fly.

  16. Permanently Skeptical on April 14, 2011 10:56 PM

    If Rossi & company won’t break down the apparatus to prove it isn’t a hoax, then I’ve lost interest. There are a million ways to hoax this demonstration, if nobody is prepared to prove it wasn’t hoaxed then it is no different than a hoax. Thanks for wasting my time – jerks.

  17. Rockyspoon on April 15, 2011 2:11 PM

    Bruce, you state on NickelPower (good site, by the way) that there are just two types of people–pessimists and optimists. However, optimists look at the glass of water and with glee state it is half full! Pessimists, on the other hand, look at the glass of water and complain that it is half full. Engineers, on the other hand, look at the glass of water, think about it, and state matter-of-factly that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be. So there is a third type, actually. :)

    But to answer Permanently Skeptical about his lost interest, you remind me somewhat of the US government’s state of mind 4 years after the Wright’s first demonstration of flight. The US government asked their pre-eminent scientists if flight was possible, and they said definitely not! Yet there were the Wrights over in Paris–giving successful demonstrations of their “flying machine”. It was the US Army that saw the potential and realized it was something they could use, even if the most respected government scientists of their day emphatically maintained it couldn’t be done. (And may I suggest that while you’re wasting your own time, it isn’t anybody’s fault but your own.)

  18. Rockyspoon on April 15, 2011 10:41 PM

    Correction to the above: “Pessimists, on the other hand, look at the glass of water and complain that it is half full.” should read “Pessimists, on the other hand, look at the glass of water and complain that it is half empty.”

  19. LOL on August 22, 2011 8:52 PM

    THE ILLUMINATI ARE THE COMMUNIST NAZIS

    THEY WILL CRASH THE ECONOMY TO SAVE US WITH THE NEW DIGITAL CURRENCY AND TURN US INTO SLAVES

    WE OUTNUMBER THEM AND CAN PUT THEM ON THEIR OWN ISLAND TO DESTROY EACH OTHER INSTEAD OF THE WHOLE WORLD

    LISTEN TO A VIEW FROM SPACE AUGUST 20, 2011 TORRENT IS AVFS 0820

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