That was a bit... strange.

Huw Price, a professional philosopher who happens to be one of the founders and the Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (the one in Cambridge, UK), wrote a piece which is quite optimistic about cold fusion in general and Andrea Rossi in particular.

I don't follow LENR research closely, but Rossi seems like one of the least trustworthy people in the field, which speaks poorly of Huw Price's judgement, since he especially emphasizes the plausibility of E-Cat.

I'm very OK with using "sociological" factors to make judgments about these things. Rossi has been involved in a number of extremely suspicious operations and did a stint in prison for fraud. Here's a skeptic's look at the "independent tests" verifying Rossi's device.

1Gunnar_Zarncke5yLENR is under-populated. Independent of whether it is valid or not the social effects dominate the scientific ones. Also interesting: The Fleischman-Pons-Effect may be unreliable in general but the heat/helium ratio is claimed to be stable []. Added: I don't think the paper by the swedish physicists is smelly either (except in so far as it mentions the E-Cat): Nuclear Spallation and Neutron Capture Induced by Ponderomotive Wave Forcing [] - note that the specific resonance frequency of the effect could explain the unreliability of the experiment. It may appear strange that one of the authors Rickard Lundin [] is an astrophysicist but he well established there (look at the citations) and does have significant experience with interactions of ions in strong fields.
0RomeoStevens5yIndeed strange. Following up on the linked citations finds things that smell pretty dubious.

Open thread, Dec. 21 - Dec. 27, 2015

by MrMind 1 min read21st Dec 2015233 comments


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