Tonight, Thursday October 9, I’ll be interviewed by Sterling Allan on his radio show Free Energy Quest, at 3 pm PST, midnight Central European Time (CET). You can listen live here. We will be talking about my book An Impossible Invention, and about the recent third party report on the E-Cat.
I will also participate in the radio show Coast to Coast tonight October 9 at 10 pm PST, which is tomorrow October 10 at 7 am CET, talking about the same subject. Update: There have been changed plans and I will not participate in Coast to Coast this time.
The shows will be available for listening also afterwards.
This blog post was originally published on Animpossibleinvention.com.
A new scientific report on the E-Cat has been released, providing two important findings from a 32-day testrun of the reactor — together leading to the clear conclusion that the E-Cat is an energy source based on some kind of nuclear reaction, without radiation outside the reactor.
The first is an energy release which puts the reactor way beyond conventional (chemical) sources of energy.
The second is a dramatic shift in isotopic composition in the fuel after the testrun, meaning changes have occurred in the atomic nuclei of the elements present in the fuel.
The report is entitled “Observation of abundant heat production from a reactor device and of isotopic changes in the fuel” (Download here) and is written by Giuseppe Levi, Evelyn Foschi, Bo Höistad, Roland Pettersson, Lars Tegnér and Hanno Essén, all of whom also wrote an earlier third party report on the E-Cat.
In the concluding remarks they write:
“In summary, the performance of the E-Cat reactor is remarkable. We have a device giving heat energy compatible with nuclear transformations, but it operates at low energy and gives neither nuclear radioactive waste nor emits radiation. From basic general knowledge in nuclear physics this should not be possible. Nevertheless we have to relate to the fact that the experimental results from our test show heat production beyond chemical burning, and that the E-Cat fuel undergoes nuclear transformations. It is certainly most unsatisfying that these results so far have no convincing theoretical explanation, but the experimental results cannot be dismissed or ignored just because of lack of theoretical understanding.”
The authors are very careful not to make any decisive conclusions on how the reaction occurs. Yet, they make some interesting remarks, among them considerations on similarities with observations in astrophysics.
Without any optimization with regard to input power, the reactor produced between 3.2 and 3.6 times the input power, and a total energy of 1.5 MWh from about 1 gram of fuel. The reactor was switched off according to plan, with no signs of the reaction slowing down. As I point out in my book An Impossible Invention — an energy source of this kind will have huge consequences for humanity, possibly solving a series of global issues.
In order to avoid doubts that were presented with regard to their earlier report, several things have been changed: The measurement was performed during 32 days in a neutral laboratory in Switzerland, electric measurment on the input power has been improved, a 23-hour test of the reactor without charge was done in order to calibrate the measurement set-up, and chemical analysis of the fuel before and after the run has been performed with five different methods.
The report has been uploaded to Arxiv.org which, however has put it on hold, without specifying any motive for this. It has also been sent to Journal of Physics D. I got the report sent to me by Hanno Essén who said that he now considers it to be public, although not supposed to be published in any commercial journal until further notice from Journal of Physics D.
I asked Professor Bo Höistad, one of the authors, a few questions on the report:
Mats: What do you consider to be the most important take-away of the report?
Höistad: That we have been able to do an isotopic analysis of the fuel before and after running the process, and that the results indicate the presence of nuclear reactions in the process.
Mats: What have you done differently this time, based on the experiences from your last measurement and report?
Höistad: An accurate measurement, particularly the control of energy balance without fuel in the reactor, and a isotopic analysis of the fuel.
Mats: What reactions do you expect on the report?
Höistad: Hopefully that the interest in the possibility of achieving LENR reactors get a decent boost, and that critical overtones in the debate are downplayed in favor of scientific discussions.
Mats: What do you personally feel facing the inexplicable observations you have made?
Höistad: As pointed out in our paper, we face a phenomenon without explanation. However, we can not categorically reject the clear experimental results just because a credible theory is currently lacking. We need to relate to the actual experimental results and continue the investigations to gain more knowledge about the LENR phenomenon.
(This blog post was originally published on Animpossibleinvention.com)
Lots of people have asked me to make ‘An Impossible Invention’ available on Amazon in order to reach a broader audience. So I did — now there’s an e-book version in Amazon’s Kindle format listed here.
The paperback version will get there later for a simple reason:
I’m now working on a second edition of the book with minor updates and corrections. A more detailed examination of the legal saga of Andrea Rossi will be added, as well as an update reflecting the findings about the company Defkalion’s technology, revealed in early 2014.
I’m also waiting for the upcoming third party report on Rossi’s E-Cat, which is expected to be published shortly, in order to include this report and comments on it in the second edition.
As soon as the new edition is ready it will be available on Amazon, initially as an e-book, and later also as a paperback through a print-on-demand service.
The support I have received from all those who have ordered the book so far, and through all emails, phone calls and overwhelming reviews, has meant a lot to me, and I’d like to offer everyone who has read the first edition a free download of the second edition as an e-book. If you ordered the book through Animpossibleinvention.com you will receive an email with this offer, once the second edition is published.
Thank you all!
In the last months I have been immersed in exciting projects, while also keeping up with how the story told in my book An Impossible Invention continues to evolve.
There’s been so much on the theme of The Biggest Shift Ever that I would have liked to share in blog posts, so much fascinating science and tech news flowing towards me every day in the newsroom, depicting a world in accelerating innovation and change. But I just haven’t had the time.
Meanwhile I try to share parts of this flow on Twitter, so please follow me there if you would like updates more often. Hopefully I will be able to be more active here in a few months.
Today I just wanted to share one of the most intriguing pieces of research I’ve come across lately — an artificial simulated toddler learning to talk while interacting with its ‘caregiver’. Just watch this amazing video:
The project which involves computational models of the face and brain, combining Bioengineering, Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Computer Graphics Research, is being developed at the Laboratory for Animate Technologies at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
I wouldn’t claim that AI has reached the point of a human baby mind just yet, but I think this is another clear sign that we’re on our way to get there.
(This blog post was originally posted on Animpossibleinvention.com)
The scientific newsroom of Sveriges Radio, the national Swedish Radio, has dedicated four months of research and a whole week of its air time to the story of Andrea Rossi, the E-Cat and cold fusion (part 1, 2, 3, 4), and I’m honored that it has made me one of its main targets.
The result, however, is not impressive.
Ulrika Björkstén, head of the scientific editorial staff, has chosen freelance journalist Marcus Hansson to do the investigation.
Hansson apparently likes easy solutions. Black or white. I won’t go into detail of his analysis of Rossi’s background since I have no reason to defend Rossi. I’m just noting that Hansson believes he can sort out the truth in the twinkling of an eye in Italy, which is known as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe where the mix of powerful interests, politics and the judiciary is not always easy to penetrate.
I’m also noting tendentious conclusions such as being sentenced to prison implies being an imposter, and non-proven claims such as storing toxic waste in leaking cisterns equals the Mafia’s way of dumping such waste in secret pits.
After his analysis of Rossi, Hansson adds a group of Swedish researchers and the Swedish power industry’s research entity Elforsk, depicting them all as a bunch of gullible fools being used by Rossi for his purposes, and pointing at me as the one who got them involved in the first place. I’m flattered.
Hanson considers all this obvious, basing large parts of his report on the testimonials and opinions of Italian-French writer Sylvie Coyaud, scientific blogger for the weekly Italian style magazine D-La Repubblica.
But all this is only half of the problem.
Hansson starts his reportage by stating that the famous claim by Fleischmann and Pons in 1989, of excess heat compatible with a nuclear reaction, was wrong and later explained by erroneous measurements.
I believe he’ll find that hard to prove, given that there in 2009 were 153 peer-reviewed papers describing excess heat in experimental set-ups such as the one used by Fleischmann and Pons. And that’s only one of many reasons.
I discuss this in the beginning of my book. Hansson says he read the book and found it to be a tribute to Rossi. Coyaud says it’s a story where Rossi is Messiah and I am the Prophet. That’s poetic, but it’s an opinion.
Among those hundreds who have read it, about fifty persons have written reviews, most of them giving it the highest vote. A series of highly competent people with insight in the story thought it was well balanced.
I do discuss Rossi’s problematic background in the book, and when that’s done I discuss his problematic personality.
But the main focus I have chosen is another, reflecting the title of the book, discussing what is considered to be impossible and asking why more resources aren’t dedicated to investigating this strange phenomenon that could possibly change the world, providing clean water and clean air, saving millions of lives and solve the climate crisis.
Not because I wish this to be true, but because there are abundant scientific results indicating that the phenomenon might be real.
It’s insane that curious researchers are hesitating to enter this field for fear of ruining their careers (yes Björkstén, this is why most of them are old), and it’s insane that poorly researched media reports like this help scientific critics to continue attacking those researchers.
Marcus Hansson says he has read my book, but maybe he hasn’t understood what he read. In fact I’m worried that neither he nor Coyaud have the competence to evaluate this complex story from a scientific perspective. I might be wrong, but from Hansson’s reportage I’m not convinced.
What I find more problematic though is the position of Ulrika Björkstén, head of the scientific editorial staff at Sveriges Radio, holding a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. I agree with most observers that it’s not proven whether Rossi’s E-Cat works or not, and Björkstén might of course be convinced that it’s not working.
But in a concluding comment Björkstén discards the whole area of cold fusion/LENR as pseudo-science, stating that it is based on belief and group thinking, and that university researchers should discern such research from real science and stay away from it.
I find this alarming both from a journalistic and a scientific point of view. Such opinions have often been expressed regarding disruptive discoveries, and if we took advice only from people like Björkstén we would probably not have any airplanes or semiconductors today.
I welcome serious critic of my reports and of my book, but this reportage does not qualify. I’m not impressed, and I hope that the next scientific news team that decides to evaluate this story and my book will set the bar higher.
You might agree with me or not. If you have an opinion, I would suggest that you write an email to Ulrika Björkstén who oversaw the production of this reportage. Marcus Hansson probably just did his best.
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N.B. This is my personal opinion and not a statement from Ny Teknik. UPDATE: Here’s an official op-ed by Ny Teknik’s chief-editor Susanna Baltscheffsky. And here’s a piece by the Swedish researchers who have been involved in tests.
(This blog post was originally posted on Animpossibleinvention.com)
The measurement setup that was used by Defkalion Green Technologies (DGT) on July 23, 2013, in order to show in live streaming that the Hyperion reactor was producing excess heat, does not measure the heat output correctly, and the error is so large that the reactor might not have worked at all.
This is the conclusion of a report (download here) by Luca Gamberale, former CTO of the Italian company Mose srl that at that time was part of the joint venture Defkalion Europe, owned together with DGT.
The report is based on experiments, performed mainly after the live streaming, using the same setup but without the reactor being active. Yet, the experiments showed that it was possible to obtain a measured thermal power of up to about 17 kW, while the input electric power was about 2.5 kW.
I asked Gamberale if this erroneous result could have been present without DGT realizing it.
“To obtain this effect it’s necessary to operate two valves in a certain way, so you need to have the intention to do it,” Gamberale told me.
Those of you who have read my book ‘An Impossible Invention’ know that Defkalion was an early partner to Rossi, supposed to build applications using Rossi’s reactor as a heat source. When Rossi ended the agreement with Defkalion in August 2011, Defkalion stated that operations continued, and later Defkalion claimed to have developed its own similar technology, producing heat from a reaction involving nickel and hydrogen.
Test results and measurement data were never disclosed, but in July 2013 Defkalion finally decided to make a public demo, live streamed during the cold fusion conference ICCF 18. I was present at the demo on July 23 in Milan, Italy, and referred my impressions in two blog posts here and here, trying to be as objective and neutral as possible, since I believe that my readers should draw their own conclusions.
“If you believe the values presented…”, I wrote, and that was also the main problem. It was not easy in a short time frame to verify possible errors or hidden mechanisms, specifically since Defkalion didn’t accept changes in the setup, and therefore it was not evident that you should believe the values. I reported them as presented though.
Gamberale describes in the report that before the demo, Mose had proposed a series of improvements to the measurement setup in order to make it more reliable but that DGT did not allow these changes. He notes that the lack of cooperation made it necessary to carry out independent verification tests.
The tests focused on a possible malfunction of the digital flow meter used to measure water flow in the setup. It was shown that by decreasing the input water flow to almost zero, the flow meter started to make fast movements back and forth, and since the direction of the flow was not registered by the flow meter, these fast movements resulted in a reading corresponding to a relatively high flow, although the flow was almost zero.
Since the calculation of thermal heat was based on how much water was heated by the reactor, this measurement error resulted in a large calculated thermal heat output, while the actual thermal heat was much lower.
The explanation is thoroughly discussed in the report. Most important, however, is the fact that Gamberale with the experiment has proved that the setup could produce readings of large amounts of excess heat, without the reactor running, and that any result from the setup showing excess heat therefore is unreliable.
Gamberale explained to me that he presented these findings to Defkalion’s president Alexander Xanthoulis, and to Defkalion’s engineer Stavros Amaxas who was operating the setup at the public demo.
According to Gamberale, Xanthoulis said “Ok, we don’t know, this could be possible, but in any case we are sure that the reaction exists”.
Gamberale described Amaxas’ reaction to be much stronger. Defkalion’s CTO John Hadjichristos was not present at that meeting.
In his report, Gamberale also notes that Mose srl has given DGT some time to provide evidence that its technology is real, despite the findings presented, but that after several months, no answer has been given.
As I write in my book, Gamberale and the president of Mose srl, Franco Cappiello, who told me that he had invested €1 million in the joint venture, decided to put all commercial activity on hold until Defkalion could carry out a measurement that dispelled their doubts. They later closed Defkalion Europe altogether.
I called Alexander Xanthoulis and asked for a comment. He didn’t dispute the result of the report but pointed out that the calorimetric set-up at the Milan demo was not made by Defkalion but by Mose. Gamberale confirmed this but explained that the set-up was made according to strict instructions from Defkalion, and that when Mose added some component, such as another independent flow meter or another method for measuring thermal heat output, these additional components were immediately removed by Defkalion personel without discussions.
Xanthoulis also said that he didn’t understand why Gamberale hadn’t asked these questions earlier during months of contacts and visits by Mose at Defkalion’s offices in Canada, and by Defkalion in Milan. Gamberale explained that he had tried to get the information he needed but that he was never allowed to make the measurements he asked for. Instead he described his role as one of an observer.
Finally Xanthoulis pointed out that the flow calorimetry measurements (measurement of thermal energy output by heating flowing water) were not important, but that the most important measurements were on the bare reactor, calculating the output thermal energy by measuring temperatures on various points of the reactor without heating any water (you then use a law called Stefan–Boltzmann law). He told me that these measurements had been sent to Gamberale twice.
“He sent an Excel spreadsheet with no explanation including a couple of incomprehensible graphs in which it was not even written what it was about. I felt almost offended. I’m asking a justification of an abnormal result regarding a claim of a nuclear reaction that would change the history of the world, and I get an Excel sheet without any specification of what it is,” Gamberale commented.
I got the spreadsheets from Gamberale. They contain temperature measurements in degrees Celsius on various points of the reactor and can be downloaded here (sheet 1 and sheet 2). I know they are accurate since Xanthoulis sent me one identical document, asking me not to publish it.
I have studied Gamberale’s report and I find it both detailed and convincing. It should make Defkalion’s case difficult.
Gamberale doesn’t accuse Defkalion openly for fraud, but he makes it clear that the Milan demo presented no evidence that the technology is working.
The doubts I have had towards Defkalion, described in my book, are obviously increased through the report. Some wondered about the uncertainty regarding Defkalion’s technology that I expressed recently in an interview by John Maguire at Q-niverse. One important reason was Gamberale’s report, which I had already received by then.
And while I write in the last chapter of the book that it’s hard to assess Defkalion, but that if its claims can be trusted, Defkalion might have made the most progress among those working with LENR technology based on nickel and hydrogen, I now find it less likely.
Alexander Xanthoulis still claims, however, that the development of the new reactor is on track and that according to the plans it will be certified with regard to safety and security by a Canadian certifying body corresponding to US Underwriters’ Laboratory within the next months. After that, Defkalion could start licensing the technology to partners. National licenses were previously offered at EUR 40.5 million, and though Xanthoulis told me that five contracts have been signed he also said that no money had yet been transferred.
But Defkalion will now have to present solid evidence to convince anyone that its technology is valid, and also let those people make changes to the test protocol and to the measurement set-up, if it’s necessary in order to eliminate uncertainties.
Gamberale told me that the findings he describes in the report could bring damage to serious research activities within LENR, but he also told me that he personally still believes that LENR is an important scientific and technological area and that he is getting involved in two other projects in this domain.
(Added on May 16): Gamberale has a PhD in theoretical high energy physics from the University of Milan, and at the Milan based Pirelli Labs he has further developed the theoretical work in coherent electrodynamics by his countryman, late Dr. Giuliano Preparata. Among his experimental work he has been assessing the technology of Black Light Power. He has also made studies on electrochemical loading of palladium wires.
(This blog post was originally posted on Animpossibleinvention.com)
As those of you who have already read my book ‘An Impossible Invention’ know, it’s written in memory of Martin Fleischmann (1927 – 2012), Sergio Focardi (1932 – 2013) and Sven Kullander (1936 – 2014). All these three persons were important for my work, and they all left us while I was working on the book.
Sadly enough, several other researchers within the field of LENR and cold fusion passed away during the same period, and I would like to commemorate them too in this post (click on their names to get further information about their lives and their careers):
Again, if LENR/cold fusion turns out to be an important energy source that might bring fundamental change to the world, which you probably know by now that I personally believe, none of these researchers were ever recognized for their important contributions to the knowledge in this field.
If my book can contribute to raising public attention for LENR, and increase the possibilities to build on these researchers work in order to find out as soon as possible if there’s a way to make this technology useful for humanity, I would be more than happy.
So far I have been overwhelmed by the response to the book. Many have given me strong support, for which I’m very grateful, and a few have criticized me, which has given me the opportunity to go through the arguments for bringing this story to public awareness.
Nobel Laureate Brian Josephson made a short review of the book at Nature.com, and you can read his review on the start page of Animpossibleinvention.com.
Frank Acland at E-Cat World made an interview with me, which is published here.
Several persons have written reviews that you can find at the book shop An Impossible Invention — Shop (you’ll find the reviews under each version of the book).
An intense discussion has been going on on my personal blog — “The Biggest Shift Ever”.
And many of you have emailed me directly with wonderful personal support. Thanks!
I’ve also found a few errors which have now been corrected in the e-book version:
The Italian words cappuccino and colazione were misspelled, as was the name of the road Viale Fulvio Testi in Milan, and also the name of the Italian steel mill company Falck (which I at one occasion called Salk). Due to an error in translation from Swedish, I put a binocular in the hands of Galileo Galilei, but of course he used a telescope.
As you know, this story is still unfolding and I’m receiving information that I will share in this blog, and that will also be added to both the ebook and the paperback in upcoming editions.