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Comments removed

This is to let participants in this discussion know that some comments made earlier today have been permanently removed from this page. That is because one of them included the name and postal address of an editor. I reverted to an earlier version of the talk page and an admin (who responded to a request I made on the WP:helpdesk made the removal permanent). Sorry if this has interfered with the discussion but I thought it was really important to keep to the rule that we don't post our real-life addresses. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:34, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Citations to New Energy Times

Moving on from the "further reading" section and onto citations...

  • What's up with the "cited by Krivit" appearing twice? Why not cite the original paper? Had Krivit not published to New Energy Times, it'd be WP:OR. Since it's published to his e-zine it's WP:SELFPUB. That accounts for two of the links to NET in the bibliography that don't need to be there because they're actually second-hand citations.
  • This citation[1] to NET is questionable because it is likewise WP:SELFPUB[2] and most of it is an excerpt from an article published elsewhere in Infinite Energy Magazine and it's only used to support a statement already supported by two other references. There's no reason for it to be there at all.
  • This citation[3] is to Current Science, not NET, and the link to NET doesn't need to be there. Especially since it's also here[4]
  • Same thing: This citation[5] is to Current Science, not NET, and the link to NET doesn't need to be there. Especially since it's also here[6]
  • This citation[7] is to "Lecture given at the Nobel Laureates’ meeting", not NET, and the link to NET doesn't need to be there. Especially since it's also here[8]
  • This citation[9] is to the Boston Herald, not NET, and the link to NET doesn't need to be there, partly because of obvious copyright issues, and because it can be cited normally without a link.
  • The other two links listed in the Bibliography by Krivit, Steven B. aren't even citations used in the article, so they don't need to be there either.

In short, I didn't find one link that needs to be there at all. Why? Because New Energy Times didn't produce anything used in this article. They are either copies of papers available elsewhere, or not used in the article. Even Krivit's articles are published in Current Science, not New Energy Times.

All of them need to go. There's no justification for any of them. If this is not evidence of (perhaps good faith) linkspam, I don't know what is. --Nealparr (talk to me) 20:28, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Policies asks to say "where you found the citation". That's why NET is cited. I agree it is better to cite the end paper if it can be found. If it was not done, it was out of convenience, not for selfpub, as stated many times already. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:17, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Also, NET have the best credentials in the sites following the topic, as evidenced by their referencing by Wired, among others. Hence a preference to use it for sources here. LENR-CANR.org has issues with the respect of copyright. In any case, I do support your effort to verify content with the original sources. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:01, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
We can sort these out one by one. There are 9 links in the bibliography. Two of them are doubled up (Krivit 2007 & 2007b and 2008 & 2008b) and there only needs to be one each, so we can drop two right there. That leaves us 7. India Academcy of Sciences publishes the Current Science articles, no need to link to NET, so now we're down to 5. According to you, being linked to by Wired means you're a reliable source for documents. Well, in the same article where New Energy Times is linked[10], LENR-CANR.org is also linked (the "integrated an isotope of hydrogen" link) so there's no reason to preference NET over LENR-CANR on the linkage. Now we're down to 4. I'm sure we can both agree on the Boston Herald link. Down to 3. The MIT allegations of fraud statement are supported by two other references. The NET one does not need to be there at all. Down to 2.
If you'd like to keep those two because presumably that's where the information was found instead of in the original paper, I don't have a problem with that, because at least for those two there's a reason they're there. The other ones, there's no reason for them. --Nealparr (talk to me) 12:37, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
To be honest, although your suggested edits will marginally improve the article, I don't really care. I fully trust that you'll do it all right. I just react when you suggest that I'm self-promoting something. Pcarbonn (talk) 12:58, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate that. After yours and Krivit's responses, I'm convinced there's no intentional self-promotion going on. You do understand that there is a potential for a conflict of interest (not interest, but conflicting interests), and sorting out all these links helps resolve that issue. Had there been no potential for a conflict of interest, 9 out of 90 refs (10% of the article, slightly higher on linkage because not all the refs are links) wouldn't normally be an issue. Because there's a potential, the bar on linkage got raised. I'm not trying to bust you guys. You've been very accomodating with my questioning. Just resolving an issue. --Nealparr (talk to me) 13:22, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
No problem. After all these years, I've got used to it... :-) Thank you for your effort to improve the article. Pcarbonn (talk) 13:30, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Response to "Nealparr's" suggestion to remove "Further reading" links to New Energy Times

July 8, 2008

Dear "Nealparr"

I saw that you recently posted the following message on Wikipedia, "I'm no expert on the subject, but I find it very difficult to believe that New Energy Times is the end-all further reading source on this topic..."

I understand that you are an IT professional; this is no secret, as you posted a link to your blogsite on your Talk Page.

For 17 years, I too was in IT. I programmed, setup and performed troubleshooting on LANS, WANS and infrastructure.

You make your living providing Web services, so I thought you might consider that the Web does indeed, create the possibilities for new, reliable sources of information to become available. "Cold fusion" is a stupid name...and as I say in my editorial on July 10, it may not even be fusion, anyway. I wish people on both sides of the argument would put their swords down and talk about it with civility.

I'm going to assume good faith on your part, that you are a "white hat," that you care about S&T and that you are merely surprised that an online resource could be so "unique." I'm going to hope that you might be open-minded enough to consider how cool the Web can be to shed light on a controversial topic like this. After all, isn't Wikipedia a "new media" resource too?

You will not find a lot of public cites for me or my organization's work at this time, that is true. However, I have earned respect from numerous journalists and several scientific publishers. Our work has been published or cited in or by The National (United Arab Emirates), Current Science, Great Falls Tribune, SF Weekly, American Chemical Society, Chemistry World, Chemical & Engineering News, Intute, Nature News, Ecoshock News, Wired, Telepolis, the UPI, and coming this fall, the Journal of Scientific Exploration and Oxford University Press.

If you want learn more about me, my work, or the field, just let me know, I'm happy to help. I think Wikipedia has great potential.

For the record, Carbonelle is not an editor for New Energy Times, he does not own maintain or represent it. He wrote an article on his experience with Wikipedia. He is (or was) a contributing writer for New Energy Times. This is not considered spam or self-promotion according to Wikipedia.

P.S. I'm not sure who suggested this "New Energy Times, a website dedicated to cold-fusion research, has compiled lists of books and recent papers about cold fusion," but it is significantly inaccurate.

If you need a brief description of our site, please use "Original reporting on leading-edge energy research and technologies." Please also note that we no longer call it "cold fusion," for many very good reasons. And note that we report on Fission (particularly Gen IV), Hydrino, MCF, ICF and AICF.

As far as Robert Park, "According to the SFGate, "[Robert Park is] the world's leading debunker of tabletop fusion," well, here's an update. He is now starting to acknowledge that "people may be seeing some unexpected low-energy nuclear reactions." (Chemistry World, 22 March, 2007)


Steven B. Krivit
Editor, New Energy Times
StevenBKrivit (talk) 20:32, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate you taking the time to post that. It helps me to assume good faith. Let me state for the record that I have no bias towards you, your magazine, or the pro side of cold fusion. I am not an expert on this topic, or even the topic of general physics. I have no problem with online sources, I'm a code monkey after all : ) Heck, I love technological solutions to problems, so if the cold fusion thing pans out I would consider that yet another triumph of science and would consider the people that made it happen heroes who suffered on the bleeding edge. But that's just my view. Here at this article, on your website, and everywhere I've read, there's multiple contrasting views of cold fusion.
The problem, honestly, is that there's just too many links to your website. As much as it seems like you're a nice guy and knowlegeable, I hope you'll forgive me when I say I don't want to read your view of cold fusion. I want the complete, all views, wide range of sources, wide range of editors involved view (WP:NPOV) because that's the only way to "feel" like it's reliable, and something you can trust. Your site may be the most reliable in the field for the particular view your covering, but if there's a lot of links to your site, Wikipedia's article doesn't seem like it's a broad coverage of all the different views. It feels like "Wikipedia: Cold Fusion, brought to you by New Energy Times". That's what I'm hoping we can avoid, and it's an easy fix as I outlined above.
No hard feelings. In real life I'd buy you a beer. Here at Wikipedia, though, we have to meet a certain set of standards so that the Wikipedia article is considered a reliable, indepth, all notable views, coverage of the topic. --Nealparr (talk to me) 22:26, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
It's true that there are a lot of sources for this article that could be considered one-sided, but the problem is that we don't even know if Cold Fusion/LENR could turn into a valid energy source ... no one does. When the world gets that figured out, then it will probably be time to go back and examine who was being less objective than whom. Until that happens, we really don't know, and it's probably just best to present all the relevant, well-researched material we've got; hopefully one of our readers will sort it all out some day.
When I made the suggestion a while back that this article might possibly be better off as two articles, this is exactly the kind of thing that I was trying to avoid. If each side succeeds in getting most of the sources of the other side thrown out on the grounds that they are biased, then you won't be left with much of an article. It is the opinion of virtually everyone in the Cold Fusion debate, pro and con, that the other side is "biased". I wish I had more time to help with this, but I am tied up with other WP projects at the moment. - Dan Dank55 (talk)(mistakes) 21:27, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
We have standards for source inclusion. The problem is that with WP:FRINGE subjects, there will always be more sources in favor of the subject than against it. However, the reliability of those who establish the topic as fringe are going to necessarily be higher than those that try to move the topic into a status that is not fringe. The place to try to do this is manifestly NOT Wikipedia. That's why Pierre's article is so concerning. That he is even attempting to make an article that will inspire the press/the public/the teeming millions to think "differently" about cold fusion than the status quo means that he is violating the fundamental premise of Wikipedia being an ultimately non-innovative reference work. The "bias" is not the reason to throw out reliable sources. Fringe accommodation is the reason. We should make the prose, sourcing, and listing of points at Wikipedia as hostile to cold fusion as the environment of an average scientific laboratory. We're not the place to right great wrongs. We're not the place to help future Einsteins and Galileos make their great discoveries. We're the place that presents the world as it is according to the preponderance of experts. The preponderance of experts look at cold fusion with skepticism. Wikipedia must explain that and not unduly provide sources that seek to dismantle this outlook, except inasmuch as such sources are acknowledged by the mainstream. ScienceApologist (talk) 21:37, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I believe the article does a very good job to say that "The preponderance of experts look at cold fusion with skepticism." On the other hand, it would be wrong to say that they reject it as pseudoscience, and we don't. "The average scientific laboratory" cannot be expert on all subjects. Furthermore, they don't publish on the topic in reliable sources: therefore there is no policy that says we must represent them. The policy says we should represent the views of experts in the field, as published in reliable sources. If there is a wrong to right, it is the denial of wikipedia policies. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:01, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi Nealparr, thanks for the "Wikibeer." Is there an official Wiki term? I'll take you up on it. I'm in the S.F. Bay Area, next time you're hitting the valley pubs.

I'm not sure what to say about all the links to NET...it's not my doing, of course. I just make some of the content on NET, and coordinate the production of the rest of it. I guess you Wiki code monkeys will figure out the best way to deal with that. I'm available to help, if I can, though I don't watch Wiki every day.

Every once in a while I will skip through the page to see if there are any blatant errors, and if so, I have and I will, point them out.

It might be helpful to let you know some of what I went through, for perspective.

Gene Mallove was the first "cold fusioneer" I met. That was - if memory serves me- Feb. 2000. To make a long story short, I met a whole lot more of these people in Aug. 2003. And I came to a place of acceptance (I dislike the terms "believer" and "skeptic") of a significant portion of the claims at that time. So I decided to write something about it.

I was confused about the extreme polarity of viewpoints: How could Mallove be correct, saying that there were already commercial devices and Park be correct, saying there was absolutely nothing valid about the science?

So I got my ducks in a row, got the best data that the "cold fusioneers" had to show and started dialing and e-mailing the critics. I spoke with Bob Park on the phone. I asked him to comment on the helium and heat measurements. He didn't know anything from the last 10 years, or something like that (this is all from my memory which is not nearly as reliable as my hard drive). I couldn't even engage in a knowledge-based challenge to Bob - he really wasn't up to speed. (He is now, but that is another story.) It seemed like his knowledge hadn't progressed since Huizenga's book [there's a good index of "cold fusion" books somewhere on the 'net ;) ] So that phone call with Bob was kind of useless. I *really* wanted to hear some hard critique, not just some off-the-cuff wisecrack that he is so famous for. But it was a dead-end.

I contacted Nathan Lewis of Caltech...he e-mailed me back and said he didn't know anything about the field for at least a decade. I later met Nate at a science conference in Los Angeles. He was talking about the global energy scenario and solar. After his talk, I introduced myself and told him that there were still a few questions which I hadn't found answers to regarding his 1989 "cold fusion" work. I kid you not, he said he didn't talk about cold fusion anymore and he turned his back on me and walked away.

Steven Koonin was also someone I contacted early on. He told me that he had seen nothing new that convinced him it was worth paying attention to. Koonin was with Caltech then, he's now the chief scientist for BP (formerly British Petroleum.) I had the chance to meet Koonin too, in person at an APS meeting a few years ago. I asked him again if he wished to comment on current "cold fusion" research. Same answer.

I had an interesting exchange with Will Happer of Princeton (This was several years before I was invited by Michael Lemonick to speak there. Lemonick wrote the 1989 cover story for TIME.) Happer started out by saying he was following the field closely and that it was all still worthless (or words to that effect). So I asked him some questions about which current papers he had read...he couldn't name one....

I contacted Frank Close and had several e-mail exchanges with him. He gave me a lot of so-called reasons why he had not read any current literature in the field. I documented these in my 2004 book.

I contacted Walter Gratzer...despite the fact that he had negative things to say about "cold fusion" in his book, he told me that he really didn't know anything about the field - go figure. He advised me instead, to contact the "experts:" Koonin and Lewis. Bob Park had also encouraged me to contact "experts" Koonin and Lewis. I initiated contact with David Goodstein of Caltech, no response. I spoke with Moshe Gai of Yale. His response to me was nearly unprintable.

I contacted Alan Bard...he declined to engage with me. David Williams also had nothing to say or was unwilling to engage, I don't remember which. I know you don't know the field well, but all of these are *big names* in U.S. and U.K physics and they were the most outspoken critics of "cold fusion" in 1989. Now they are silent...

I also contacted Peter Zimmerman recently. He declined to speak with me.

Richard Garwin is one of the few men who was willing to speak with me about anything close to real scientific issues and I have been in contact with him now and then since 2003. It's true that he didn't seem very happy that I published a secret report of his (without his permission, but that's what's called a "leak") where he audited a cold fusion experiment at SRI that appeared to produce excess heat, but that's besides the point. Garwin has engaged with me and others, he has been willing to read papers. I had the chance to meet Garwin in person at an AAAS conference a year or two ago. If you search NET you'll learn more about this.

My colleagues Bruce Gellerman (NPR) and Sharon Weinberger (Wired, previous contributor to Washington Post Magazine) told me they had similar difficulties finding a prominent, knowledgeable scientist to speak critically - to provide the expected journalistic balance to their pieces on "cold fusion." They both told me that Garwin was *the only* one they were able to find to speak critically, on the record.

If you and your colleagues here on Wiki are having trouble finding prominent, knowledgeable skeptical POVs on the subject of "cold fusion" you may find it heartening to know that you, (Wikipedia), are not alone. It is a most peculiar situation. However, if anyone finds such credentialed critics, I'd love to connect with them. NET has no hesitation to include informed, critical commentary from prominent scientists.

Your willingness (as you have done) to allow yourself to be identified with your RL identity encourages me; I find this respectful and honorable. For that reason, I am willing to spend this time communicating with you.

My first book was written from the perspective of a fraction of what I know now about the science. Because the skeptics had more or less nothing to say, that book was largely the viewpoint of the "cold fusion" proponents. I did not know enough about the science at the time to personally be critical of what the proponents were telling me.

Times have changed. Even though I don't have a science degree and I'm not a scientist, being immersed in this full time for four years and part time for the four prior to that, I've learned a thing or two.

I now know not only LENR's strengths but also its weaknesses. Perhaps it's ironic: I've studied the history and the state-of-the-art such that I probably know more of it's weakness than most of the former science authority critics.

NET #29 will discuss one of these weakness later this week. And I'm not discussing it to be a hard*** on the LENR researchers, but I just have an intolerance for myths and misinformation. I don't think myths do them, or anyone else, any good.

Best regards,
StevenBKrivit (talk) 05:01, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

For ScienceApologist and Nealparr

When does WP:FRINGE become main stream? Does Wikipedia have a mechanism to transition a subject from fringe to mainstream? What’s the criteria? Journal publication; the disappearance of any criticism; Lectures; a Nobel prize; a public apology from the journal’s Nature and Science; or an Invention?
• Cold Fusion (I agree with Mr Krivit the term is and always was wrong) researchers have published thousands of the papers. Hundreds of paper in the very first year. There are only a few sceptic papers to cite. Today many Journals are starting to publish low energy nuclear reactions (just don’t call it cold fusion). Steve Krivit’s link to current papers is very useful there. And many journals are going digital now. Just because the some prominent journals in Britain and the USA are not up to speed does not prove anything. Look where Nature was on greenhouse ten years ago and you’ll see my point.
• The Critics have disappeared, gone silent, don’t want to discuss it, or died. One that I know of has jumped in and is doing work in the field. Second hand critics that 'don't want to read the papers' don't count in any other field why should they count here?
• Patents are blocked so even if you had a working cold fusion technology you can’t show and tell. Only when your able to file a globally accepted patent can you be safe. International treaties and the power of the US market means that patents out side the USA are likewise partly blocked. Even if you had an invention, you can’t ask them to come see it because 'its impossible' therefore they are free to refuse to go and check it out. Since 9/11 getting a sealed box through security at most government buildings is difficult.
• There are lectures now and in some countries like Japan there always have been lectures.
• I believe the Nobel committee has been contacted repeatedly.
• Public apologies are rare in major science journals even when their caught publishing obvious fraud like the Korean embryo work. Often the apology is in very small print in the ads section and never gets reported except by people like Steven Krivit.
The Wright brothers were once fringe. Life on Mars is very fringe but its not classed as that in Wikipedia. Metagenetics is still transition from junk DNA. It's so new there's no wiki page on it.
For several years, before 1983, High temperature superconductors and the Cooper pairs theory was fringe. It could not get peer review! Journal editors would not even pass papers to scientists to review. “Ceramics don’t conduct and could not therefore superconduct." Was the cry. The theory of superconductivity existing in the 1970-80’s worked perfectly. Eventually the researchers went out side the peer review system and announced a recipe and test. It worked and high temperature superconductivity went from fringe to main stream and won the Nobel prize. Note the wikipage on superconductors don’t even mention that there was any peer review problem!?!
I do believe that Nealparr’s point on Lenrcanr.org is valid but Neal do you know that links to it have been up there in the past and got deleted by the sceptics? And Lenrcanr is linked to from new energy times anyway. I agree with neal http://www.lenr-canr.org/ needs to be added to the further reading section.
Neal please take the time to read some papers, we are only fringe because a few DOE people in a committee said it was. The world has learned to disbelieve similar voices, vested interests, on greenhouse. Its gone from fringe to mainstream and yes there was a Noble prize in the process. A good accurate wikipedia page also helps in the transition.
Neutrality is only valid if there is a real dispute. I.E. those calling it fringe do the research, read the papers, show some signs of paying any attention to the data. Even the greenhouse sceptics do that! But the cold fusion sceptics don’t it seems. Read and learn and discover that there’s much more to nuclear reactions than squeezing D2 in together in a plasma. There’s Farnsworth–Hirsch fusors, Muons, Particle accelerators doing all kinds of reactions with all manner of branching ratios and strange or no nuclear ash. Do we even know what the minimum possible size for a 100MeV particle beam generator is? 30 nm, 50nm or 80nm? Its all very interesting and as far as I know that's the best science. Gathall (talk) 17:39, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Q: When does fringe science stop being fringe? A: When the data is impressive enough. Continental drift, oxide high-Tc superconductivity, CFC ozone destruction, and CO2 global warming were all fringe at some point, but when impressive data was shown, people changed their minds. In each case, the data was presented in peer-reviewed publications, and later peer-reviewed publications by other authors confirmed them. They didn't "go outside" the peer review system at all. For example, Bednorz and Muller knew that oxide high-Tc superconductivity was fringe, so they worked in secret and only published when they had excellent data to back up their hunches. They submitted their key paper (Z. Phyzik B 64, 189 (June 1986)) BEFORE publicly announcing a test. What "peer review problem" are you talking about?
So what is the lesson for this field? Tell all of the cold fusion researchers to get their articles published in Physical Review or similar journals. If they don't want to do that, they should apply for patents, do some convincing public demonstrations, or start selling working devices. That is how to change cold fusion from fringe science to mainstream science.
One more thing to remember: The best science is the science that is CORRECT! (talk) 20:10, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Most of what has been discussed by Gathall and 209 is entirely irrelevant here. Our job is not to judge the primary research. As for whatever swelling tide in favor of CF that Gathall seems to be describing, see WP:NOTCRYSTAL. This article will reflect the mainstream opinion that LENR is demonstrated if and when that is the mainstream opinion---which at this point, it clearly isn't. We can of course say that many LENR researchers are convinced, and that some of the newest research is regarded by them as some of the most convincing, but the most recent notable review I'm aware of, the 2004 DOE report, reflected that the mainstream was not yet convinced. Gnixon (talk) 21:39, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Broken link

I'd fix this myself, but the article isn't editable (at least by me) at the moment.

The link to the 2004 DOE report is broken. Since that's a rather important source, that should be fixed. A link that currently works is:


SarahLawrence Scott (talk) 17:05, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, we should fix that when the page is unprotected. Gnixon (talk) 17:51, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Not to that site, though. They aren't trustworthy. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:25, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, come on. Any link that goes directly to the original pdf is fine. Gnixon (talk) 18:33, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
No, I don't think so. That site has been caught altering certain documents or providing commentary inappropriately. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:36, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
You're seriously afraid that the site will modify the DOE pdf?? I find that hard to believe. Gnixon (talk) 18:47, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
All I have to say is WP:RTFA. We've discussed the problems with this site before. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:48, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
A specific link would be a lot more helpful, and WP:RTA would have worked just as well. Gnixon (talk) 18:55, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

(undent) I cannot seem to find it on the DOE site anymore, but Mr. Peabody still has a copy. This seems like a reasonable candidate to be uploaded to wikisource, yes? I am presuming that it is public domain. - Eldereft (cont.) 21:34, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

ScienceApologist said that LENR-CANR.org is not trustworthy. Could some one explain to me why Physics World is using it as a source ? Or Wired (see the second link of the last paragraph here) ? What evidence is there that it is not reliable as a source ? Pcarbonn (talk) 21:22, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Use in Physics World's blog or Wired is neither here nor there. We are talking about whether it is OK as a convenience link. SA has challenged its appropriateness even as a convenience link on the grounds that it may have 1) provided inappropriate commentary and/or 2) interfered with the content. 1) can be verified in this case and if there is no commentary I don't think it is relevant whether there is commentary about other papers 2) I agree with Gnixon that it is unlikely they would have altered the pdf. I hope we will continue to be very aware of the potential for copyright violation, since there was a recent misunderstanding about the copyright status of journal articles. On the RTFA comment - the archives to this page are extremely long and no-one can be expected to remember what is in them. Nor should we have to re-read the whole lot every time we post. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:51, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

In December 2007, Guy reported that this site has in the past inserted editorial content into what sounds like the very pdf we are discussing. The discussion was repeated in April. So, yes, the possibility that www.lenr-canr.org would modify the pdf is a real concern. Linking to a site with copyright violations may also be an issue here. I think we should try to find the pdf at a more trustworthy site. Cardamon (talk) 05:02, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that copyright violation is an issue for other papers, but not for this one. While it is true that LENR-CANR.org had introduced an editorial in the DOE report, it was clearly stated as such, and it has the full rights to do so. So, this is not as sign that the site is not trustworthy. Other reputable sources do consider it trustworthy, as stated above. A challenge to that trustworthiness would require sources of equivalent parity. Let's build wikipedia on facts, not opinions. Pcarbonn (talk) 05:31, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Pcarbonn - In principle, anyone using a link at the LENR-CANR site can edit the link to see what else was on the site, and gain access to the copyright violations. But, would this link http://web.archive.org/web/20070114122346/http://www.science.doe.gov/Sub/Newsroom/News_Releases/DOE-SC/2004/low_energy/CF_Final_120104.pdf from the Wayback machine work for you? (Thanks to Elderft for the idea, but for some reason the link s/he provided doesn't work for me) If so, we should probably ask Seicer to put it in; waiting for the protection to expire on July 19 seems too long a wait. Cardamon (talk) 07:40, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
The link to the wayback machine did not work for me yesterday, but works today. Let's see if it is reliable. Why don't we link to here ? We already use New Energy Times for other quotations. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:49, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
This time I'm glad to have been referred back to the earlier discussion because it has the solution. We just cite the DOE report. It's simply not necessary to have a web link to everything. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:53, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I find it very convenient to have a web link, if possible, so I would be for including one in this case. Given the discussion, I prefer linking to an archive of the DOE website. Gnixon (talk) 20:16, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I have no problem with that either. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:27, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

The link to the archive seems to work reliably now. Would an admin be kind enough to correct the broken link of the "U.S. Department of Energy (2004)" entry in the article page ? Thanks. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:54, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

By the way, the link to Hagelstein 2004 is also broken. It should be replaced by the link to the archive. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:57, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Status of other disputed edits ?

In his recent edits [11], ScienceApologist has removed contents, such as the counts of successful experiments, that were present in the Good Article version, or even in the version resulting from mediation (in which he accepted to participate). These versions are the result of efforts from many editors, after much discussion. His edits have been disputed to the point where the page was finally blocked.

Following the discussion above on Pseudoscience, could ScienceApologist tell us if he still wants his edits to be accepted, and for what reasons ? Pcarbonn (talk) 20:38, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

The discussion above on pseudoscience makes it clear that adding Category:Fringe science is a good compromise. The rest of my edits I have explained above and should still stand as soon as protection ends. Thanks. ScienceApologist (talk) 20:41, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Listing it as fringe science is fine with me. I have given my arguments against the other edits here. I welcome the input of other editors, in particular on whether the article should include these disputed counts and details of experiments. Pcarbonn (talk) 20:47, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I've never thought that a count of experiments added anything useful. Unless that exact count is found in a good secondary source it is OR. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:19, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I would be happy to include a count done by someone who wasn't a cold fusion researcher. I haven't seen such a count. ScienceApologist (talk) 00:00, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that such a count could be useful in indicating the size of the field, but it shouldn't be presented in a way that's intended to imply the results have convinced the mainstream. I would prefer a slight change to the first version in the diff above, where it would go, "Although more than 200 ..., the reports have been met with skepticism by...." If it's not disputed that those results have been published properly, I don't think it violates the spirit of WP:OR to present a count. Gnixon (talk) 21:39, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
The issue is that the number 200 isn't adequately verified. Why enumerate at all in this case? ScienceApologist (talk) 00:00, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

The 200 count comes from Storms' book, a secondary source published by a reputable publisher, and is thus not Original Research. Would this statement from Wired be a possible compromise ? "Presenters at the MIT event estimated that 3,000 published studies from scientists around the world have contributed to the growing canon of evidence suggesting that small but promising amounts of energy can be generated using the infamous tabletop apparatus." Pcarbonn (talk) 11:44, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

No, no, no. Edmund Storms is a reliable source for what Cold Fusion proponents believe. He is not an outside authority and just because he got the book published by a reputable publisher doesn't mean the publisher reviewed his opinions or techniques for obtaining this number. The issue with the wired.com article is it is again parroting the claims of cf proponents. Let's find someone who isn't a cf-proponent characterizing the number. ScienceApologist (talk) 13:19, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
This is not a correct interpretation of policy, SA. A book from a major scientific publisher is deemed reliable as to facts unless it is contradicted by another source of similar standing. If we do not adhere to such standards then we will have no encyclopedia. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:30, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Consider the source is the MOST important rule when you are writing a reference work. Storms is obviously an author who is very dedicated to his cause of promoting the research of cf proponents, but he is hardly the independent source that we need for verification. Just because the publisher is reputable doesn't mean that we can ignore who wrote the book. There is no "ranking" going on here as you are trying to do. I pointed this out on WP:FTN as well. The publisher just lets us know that the book is of a certain quality. It doesn't tell us that it is sacrosanct. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:02, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
The policy you refer to, WP:FTN, says: "WP:NPOV, a fundamental policy, requires fair representation of significant alternatives to scientific orthodoxy. Significant alternatives, in this case, refers to legitimate scientific disagreement, as opposed to pseudoscience." Since cold fusion is not pseudoscience, it deserves fair representation. The best way to do that is to refer to its proponents, with proper attribution. If you think that proper attribution is not there, I propose to fix it, not to remove their statements. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:11, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Just because we're required to follow WP:NPOV does not mean that cold fusion proponents get free reign to include whatever they think is important in the article. No, we have to have some standard of objectivity. My only request is that we include substantiated facts rather than the promotionalist opinions of proponents. Storms may think his list of 200 is substantiated, but we all know that what qualifies as a "good", "independent", "reviewed", etc. can vary wildly. Since the DOE report did not recommend funding a cold fusion enterprise in spite of being made aware of the supposed plethora of reports of cold fusion, I'm not convinced that providing a number invented out of whole cloth by Ed Storms is appropriate in the least. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:19, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
We don't need a standard of objectivity, we just need sources and no OR. Let's hear what others think. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:38, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Generally speaking, our "standard of objectivity" is wikipedia policy & guidelines. So we have that. We do need sources and no OR, which we have in this case. I imagine the paper including the counts has references to the papers counted - thus if a person says "there are 10 apples, see." and shows you all ten apples, when someone then shouts out "you can't trust him, because there's no way to verify that there are in fact ten apples, and after all, his name is sam!", it strains credulity. Point being, the count is clearly verified. Perhaps attribution/wording and balance could be improved upon, per suggestions above. But as I've said before, I personally don't have a strong opinion either way on whether the count should stay/go. Kevin Baastalk 15:04, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Ummh, not much feedback from others... I still insist that enumeration and details of experiments be included, possibly with improved attribution. The reason is that enumeration are cited prominently in sources such as Wired (2nd paragraph) or Hubler (in abstracts). What do we do ? Pcarbonn (talk) 17:28, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm starting to lean more towards keeping them in. They're small and unobtrusive and give the reader a sense of what's been done. (Though it seems to me that "As of 2008, there are over..." should be "As of 2008, there have been over...".) What we should do instead (IMO) is focus on adding skeptical reviews to provide balance, as discussed below. (Though yes, improving the attribution is always good.) Kevin Baastalk 16:14, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Review Paper Clarification

I'm in the middle of writing a report and I just recalled that on the Wiki page, someone wrote that the Hubler paper was a review of the field. It is not.

Yes, the title of the paper is "Anomalous effects in hydrogen-charged palladium — A review." However this is overly-broad and could, by the omission of related and important research, inadvertently misrepresent the broader field of LENR research.

The abstract is more precise as to the scope of the paper: "summarize what has been reported about the production of excess heat in Pd cathodes charged with deuterium." To wit, no mention is made of helium, tritium, transmutation, charged particles, etc.

Thanks for everybody's good work here.
StevenBKrivit (talk) 19:01, 12 July 2008 (UTC)


Pace Seicer's edit summary, the reason SA didn't participation in the (excellent) mediation may have been that he was banned. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:28, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

SA agreed to mediation, but was not blocked for the entire duration. There were numerous, small blocks for various infractions, though. Or is this related to a topic ban? (Sorry, I don't keep up on SA's activities so I may be out of the loop a bit here.) seicer | talk | contribs 14:36, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
You can see the log of his blocks here. I don't think that the has been blocked for a long period of time, even specifically on the cold fusion topic. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:40, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
ScienceApologist, you use the same tactics that were used against Fleischmann and Pons. In March 1990, D. Lindley, editor at Nature, wrote: "All cold fusion theories can be demolished one way or another, but it takes some effort.... Would a measure of unrestrained mockery, even a little unqualified vituperation have speeded cold fusion's demise?" (Lindley, D., The Embarrassment of Cold Fusion. Nature (London), 1990. 344: p. 375). This is a parody of the scientific method. You may be an apologist, but not of Science. Science has never needed such tactics, and never will. Truth will prevail, sooner or later, and your side is not helped by your behavior. Pcarbonn (talk) 13:31, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Herein lies the problem. Wikipedia is not the place to right great wrongs. You are trying to use Wikipedia for that purpose. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:59, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
SA - the only wrong Pcarbonn is trying to correct is your behaviour, and Pc is using the most direct method, by bringing it up in the talk page where it occurred. Don't hide behind a WP principle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:33, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

New Energy Times reported that mediation does work :) A short blurb but pretty cool nevertheless (caught this on SA's talk page). seicer | talk | contribs 13:45, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

It's generally good to get attention for Wikipedia in the press, but I don't think we should be happy about this article. It's not a good thing that Pcarbonn is publishing criticisms of his opponents here---justified or not, it probably tends to de-level the playing field, as it may intimidate SA or others who may argue with PC.
Even more disturbing is PC's published celebration of his success in causing this article to frame cold fusion as "a continuing controversy, not as an example of pathological science." It is especially revealing that he considers this success "a major step forward in the recognition of the new field of ... [LENR]" because it lays bare an extreme conflict of interest in his editing here. Editors here need to be interested in reaching an accurate, neutral portrayal of the topic, not in advancing their own agendas. Gnixon (talk) 14:16, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree totally. Thank you Gnixon. This was beginning to feel like I was in some sort of alternative reality Wikipedia talk page. ScienceApologist (talk) 15:11, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Seicer - I note that Pcarbonn has specifically thanked you, the supposed mediator, for helping him to win "the battle for cold fusion". I don't agree that that is "pretty cool". Cardamon (talk) 21:47, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Didn't know who the author was, but now knowing that (I hardly keep up on the drama that is Cold Fusion), I am remaining neutral on this subject. SA's on one fringe, PC is on the other, and there are very few in the middle. seicer | talk | contribs 22:33, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
You're not planning to make any more edits pushing a credulous point of view, such as this one? --Noren (talk) 05:34, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
And that was a result of incivil tactics that were brought up at WQA. Edit warring is never acceptable, no matter who is at fault; and violating 3RR will result in the page being reverted and the user blocked. That was the case there, if I'm not mistaken. seicer | talk | contribs 15:38, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Don't worry Seicer. A lot of folks were duped. What's really funny is that an article published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics called "Heretical Science - Beyond the boundaries of pathological science" actually mentions the New Energy Times as unreliable![12] (Edit note: it's possible they're not the exact same publication, COI still applies). Pcarbonn shouldn't have been been bragging, especially by some weird coincidence at this exact point in time. I had just used that source on a totally different article and a spark of recognition came when I saw his link on SA's talk page. There's an uncanny six degrees of separation on fringe topics. --Nealparr (talk to me) 05:37, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Seicer - I would say that SA's opinion about Cold Fusion is pretty in the middle of the mainstream scientific opinion, and not at any sort of fringe. Cardamon (talk) 07:41, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
And others have disagreed. There is very few in the middle of this, unfortunately. seicer | talk | contribs 15:38, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm glad that we are talking again about the article, not about editors. Editors should be judged on their edits, not their intent. I have always played by the wikipedia rules. I have never been blocked. I have always supported my edits with appropriate sources. If I have conducted a battle with the help of others, it is against the promotion of unsourced opinions, or incivility, or both, on wikipedia. Pcarbonn (talk) 05:14, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Should the article be placed in the category of "pseudoscience"

;Note: This is not a properly filed Request for comment. Until it is filed as such, the opinions below should be considered in isolation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ScienceApologist (talkcontribs) 23:17, 6 July 2008

This question has been debated many times in the past, but it seems that this question is not settled yet.

  • No. Guidelines for categorisation say: "An article should normally possess all the referenced information necessary to demonstrate that it belongs in each of its categories.". As far as I know, among all the recent sources on cold fusion, none presents cold fusion as "pseudoscience", using that exact word. Why should wikipedia call it so ? Also, we should be wary of original research: we cannot combine 2 reliable sources in a new deductive reasoning to support the "pseudoscience" categorisation, unless that specific reasoning has been presented in a relevant article. So, we cannot say "it is pseudoscience because it satisfies one (of the many) definition of pseudoscience". Pcarbonn (talk) 07:44, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, though Wikipedia:Categorization#Some general guidelines indicates that the subcategory Category:Pseudophysics is to be preferred. Even postulating a sudden reversal by the physics community regarding recent investigations, the article covers a history that is well-described in reliable sources by the term. The purpose of this article is to inform not promote. - Eldereft (cont.) 15:49, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Clarification and expansion: This case is problematic, as cold fusion grew out of the scientific community rather than invading or mimicking it. Let us suppose for a moment that the body of research since 2004 is somehow fundamentally different from that dismissed by the DOE panel and that physicists everywhere suddenly change their minds and state in reliable publications that it all makes sense now. In that case, we would have two halves to this article - one part for the old discredited (yes, discredited - this fiasco represents more than just another observation which failed to pan out in more rigorous experiments) work, and one part for the shiny new work. Of course, a more likely outcome for my little scenario would be splitting the article along those lines to avoid this problem, but bear with me here. People surfing Pseudophysics would legitimately expect to find an article on the history and impact of the discredited part listed; this work is not merely "obsolete" or "superseded", it cut to the heart of the scientific community with lies and pathological failure to perform due diligence. The fact that this fanciful article would also treat science would be irrelevant; c.f. boron, which is in Category:Neutron poisons despite the fact that the dominant isotope has a poor neutron cross section. In the case which actually obtains, wherein the CF community has not managed to separate itself from its origins, the case for categorization is even more clear cut; until mainstream reliable sources indicate a shift in attitude from regarding modern CF work as just more of the same old same old, such a separation should not be reported here. I will not claim policy-wonk status, and remain open to rebuttal of this line of reasoning. - Eldereft (cont.) 09:15, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Haven't you missed what the 2004 DOE said ? "Evaluations by the reviewers ranged from: 1) evidence for excess power is compelling, to 2) there is no convincing evidence that excess power is produced when integrated over the life of an experiment. The reviewers were split approximately evenly on this topic." "When asked about evidence of low energy nuclear reactions, twelve of the eighteen members of the 2004 DOE panel did not feel that there was any conclusive evidence, five found the evidence "somewhat convincing", and one was entirely convinced."
Would you call this "dismissed by the DOE" ? Would you see these statements as compatible with pseudoscience ? Please look at the evidence honestly. (I would agree that, if the article is split, the history one would be categorized in pseudophysics. Without a split, it would be misleading.) Pcarbonn (talk) 09:53, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
The 2004 DOE report says "The preponderance of the reviewers' evaluations indicated that Charge Element 2, the occurrence of low energy nuclear reactions, is not conclusively demonstrated by the evidence presented. One reviewer believed that the occurrence was demonstrated, and several reviewers did not address the question." That sounds pretty consistent with "fringe science" to me. I think the term psuedoscience is not as well defined, so it is not clear whether that label is correct. (talk) 14:33, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No. Following the ArbCom decision that established four useful categories it is clear that cold fusion does not fall into the category "obvious pseudoscience". It is either "questionable science" or an "alternative theoretical formulation". It is very unhelpful to use categorisation to make points that cannot be made in mainspace due to a shortage of sources. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:13, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
For the sake of clarity, I believe you are referring to this decision of the Arbitration Committee. Pcarbonn (talk) 20:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:40, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No. Follow the sources, of course, but they probably reflect "Questionable science" from WP:PSCI, as in some critics may allege that it is pseudoscience, and the article may contain information to that effect, but the topic should not be characterized as such. --Nealparr (talk to me) 20:45, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes. It has generally been considered pseudoscience by reputable sources outside of the Cold Fusion community of believers. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:14, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes. Per Arbcom, "Theories which have a following, such as astrology, but which are generally considered pseudoscience by the scientific community may properly contain that information and may be categorized as pseudoscience.". Per Biberian 2007 from the article's references, "...the scientific community does not acknowledge this field as a genuine scientific research theme." It is clear that the scientific community generally considers this pseudoscience. --Noren (talk) 00:53, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
As has been said before, this is a non sequitur and Original research. This source does not say : "the scientific community says the field is pseudoscience". It just says that it remains uncommitted and skeptical. Pcarbonn (talk) 05:18, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No. By the way, it might be best to move the "Most scientists are skeptical..." to the first paragraph, where it will be more easily noticed. The lead is well-balanced, but the criticism starts at the third paragraph. Some may be concerned that fast readers might miss the criticism; in addition, "pathological science" does not imply for the lay reader dubious science. Just throwing that out there. II 05:41, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No. Cold fusion is pathological science or fringe science, not pseudoscience. --Itub (talk) 15:12, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No. per WP:Category. Kevin Baastalk 15:17, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No. It has generally been considered science (good or bad is not the question as both are covered) with reputable sources.Vufors (talk) 15:26, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No. I agree with Itub, it's somewhere in the realm of fringe science, pathological science, and mediocre science. Calling it pseudoscience seems a bit off the mark to me. After all, you can open up any issue of PRL, and you'll see people proposing stupid theories that contradict known physical principles, doing poorly-controlled experiments, and misinterpreting their experimental results. --Steve (talk) 16:04, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No - I see a difference between the utterly ludicrous and something that can be studied under the legitimate scientific methods. LonelyBeacon (talk) 06:10, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No, I don't think so. There are certainly pseudoscientific aspects of the entirety of the field: many non-scientists and scammers are heavily involved in "research" and promotion, conspiracy theories abound, media releases prior to peer review & replication, etc. But while the periphery is packed with the dregs of anti-science, the core of the issue involves distinctly scientific questions ideas that, have been, and continue to be, addressed by relevant professionals and organizations. Relatedly, I'm surprised there's nothing regarding Sonoluminescence on this page; even if the results have yet to be independently replicated and aren't aimed at cheap energy, it seems relevant as there have been a few real publication with secondary coverage.[13][14]Scientizzle 16:24, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No - The quantity and quality of the published reports, as well as the qualifications of the individuals pursing this work, establish this topic well beyond the boundary of 'pseudoscience'. Ronnotel (talk) 17:36, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
  • No At the time of the announcement by Fleischmann-Pons it could have been labelled safely as such, but ever since there has been too much sound science and too little pseudoscientifics claims by proponents. --Enric Naval (talk) 01:02, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Just a comment The way this article projects cold fusion, it does sound like pseudoscience, but I have another issue, that's not what I had heard and read about cold fusion. From what I know cold fusion is a type of nuclear fusion that occurs at temperature lower than usual (usual being 1 million celcius or kelvin)— something like 100 000 celcius, one to two orders of magnitude lower, but not at "room temperature" as described in the article. Why this is attractive is because usual temperatures and the rate at which fusion reactions occur make them very violent, and the energy produced cannot be harnessed for productive purposes like electricity production. Hence, these reactions are also known as thermonuclear—initiating the fusion reaction by increasing temperature (achieved by a fission reaction). But, if the same reaction could be achieved at somewhat lower temperature and the rate of reaction could be slowed down, it can be "tamed" to extract useful heat, and more importantly in a closed reactor. How this could be achieved is not known, but may be through the use of adsorption surfaces like platinum, etc. And, this concept was to be employed to make fusion reactors. Do correct my misunderstanding. —KetanPanchaltaLK 07:56, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

New Scientist

Here is what New Scientist says about "13 things that do not make sense" : "After 16 years, [cold fusion] is back". Pcarbonn (talk) 05:31, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

The New Scientist isn't a peer-reviewed scientific journal, and several things in that article (tetraneutrons, for instance) have failed to be replicated. I wonder what that reminds me of... HM. In short, the article varies wildly in effects, from things which are well known but unexplained (Dark Energy) to homeopathy, and several of them (the Wow! signal, cold fusion and tetraneutrons) cannot be replicated, and several others are simply things which haven't been (the Pioneer anamoly). Mixing in things which are seen as legitimate with garbage is misleading, but very popular in stuff which popularizes such things. More to the point, they're talking about the 2004 DoE report, which, as noted by this article, is not exactly supportive of Cold Fusion as a real phenomenon. Titanium Dragon (talk) 04:25, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
Worth noting, in another article they talk about "4. 2001, A more rigorous estimate of the "Drake equation" suggests that our galaxy may contain hundreds of thousands of life-bearing planets". Acting as though this is so is silly; as most people familiar with the equation know, many of the variables are completely unknown. Titanium Dragon (talk) 05:04, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
And what is meant by "more rigorous estimate"? I would imagine estimating more of said unknown variables based on available data (however sparse) - if you use a reasonable probability model for the unknown variables, use the available empirical data to better estimate the parameters, and take an ensemble average, you get a good guess at the results - what one might call a "more rigorous estimate". Kevin Baastalk 14:25, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Agreed that the NS is not a peer-reviewed journal. It can emphatically not be used to source claims about whether CF is a real effect or not. The status of the magazine is as trade journal for scientists in the UK, carrying most of the job adverts for scientific posts. Trade journals can be good sources. I would say that this article - by no means the NS at its best - could perhaps be used as part of a balanced description of how CF is currently regarded in the scientific community. Itsmejudith (talk) 10:39, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I'd be careful even with that approach. NewScientist has a tendency to lean towards a lunatic fringe at times. Jefffire (talk) 10:47, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
I just added this link to show that cold fusion is an ongoing controversy. We should not present cold fusion as an issue that has been resolved, one way or another, and the NS article supports that view, just as the 2004 DOE does. We don't need to add the NS reference to the article, in my view. Pcarbonn (talk) 11:37, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

A doubt

The way this article projects cold fusion, it does sound like pseudoscience, but I have another issue, that's not what I had heard and read about cold fusion. From what I know cold fusion is a type of nuclear fusion that occurs at temperature lower than usual (usual being 1 million celcius or kelvin)— something like 100 000 celcius, one to two orders of magnitude lower, but not at "room temperature" as described in the article. Why this is attractive is because usual temperatures and the rate at which fusion reactions occur make them very violent, and the energy produced cannot be harnessed for productive purposes like electricity production. Hence, these reactions are also known as thermonuclear—initiating the fusion reaction by increasing temperature (achieved by a fission reaction). But, if the same reaction could be achieved at somewhat lower temperature and the rate of reaction could be slowed down, it can be "tamed" to extract useful heat, and more importantly in a closed reactor. How this could be achieved is not known, but may be through the use of adsorption surfaces like platinum, etc. And, this concept was to be employed to make fusion reactors. Do correct my misunderstanding. (I have posted the same message in the Request for comment above.) —KetanPanchaltaLK 07:59, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Arara and Zhang claim of 80 watts

The current article states that "Arata and Zhang said that, in one typical run, they observed excess heat power averaging 80 watts and output heat energy equal to 1.8 times input energy over 12 days." and gives as a reference a review paper. This is not appropriate for a major claim of the article since it should point directly to the key document. Here is the direct link to the paper identified by the review paper as including the 80 watts claim:[15].

However, the article should not include this claim at all for several reasons. Firstly, nowhere are values of "80 watts" or a "1.8" ratio reported in the Arata and Zhang paper. Secondly, the authors never claim that cold fusion is occurring in their equipment. Thirdly, the paper is very difficult to read and it is not clear what temperature increase is attributed to possible cold fusion effects. My best guess is that the (Tc-Ts) value mentioned at the bottom of page 108 is attributed to cold fusion effects. However, that seems strange since the authors state that it is only 0.3 degrees C, which is laughably small if that is intended to be a demonstration of cold fusion. Fourthly, the authors do not describe any attempts to measure expected fusion products (helium, tritium, gamma radiation, or neutron radiation). Dank55 has implied that installing a mass spectrometer to confirm fusion products is very easy, which implies that the absence of any detection efforts makes the paper's conclusions suspiciously incomplete.

As a side note, I want to point out that this paper demonstrates an important aspect of cold fusion research which has always troubled me: The authors do not describe any safety precautions to protect researchers from fusion-induced radiation. They imply that they are attempting to generate fusion, which means that it is irresponsible to do so without first installing radiation detectors and shielding. This could be important if later researchers tried to duplicate their results and were successful, since they could be injured by radiation. Any cold fusion experiment which does not have radiation detectors present is clearly irresponsible and "dysfunctional."

Of course, if I have analyzed the wrong paper here, please correct me. (talk) 16:09, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I have removed that claim and many of the other numerical claims which are not strictly verifiable since they must be attributed to specific reports by cold fusion researchers and are not independently verified (see WP:REDFLAG). These claims have been removed now three times. Please provide an independent source that is not associated with cold fusion which corroborates these claims before reinserting them. Thank you. Also, please refrain from using misleading edit summaries such as "per talk" which was used to justify reverting to a version of the article that used a lot of unsubstantiated cold fusion claims as statements of fact. ScienceApologist (talk) 16:54, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Warning to editors: do NOT use cold fusion conference proceedings

Please do not use conference proceedings as sources -- especially not conference proceedings from LENR-CANR or cold fusion conferences. Conference proceedings are very rarely subject to any kind of editorial scrutinty nor peer review. There is no way to verify what the authors who present at scientific conferences are saying beyond the point that they said it. I have removed one reference to a conference proceeding already and will be looking through the article for more.


ScienceApologist (talk) 17:19, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, minus the "warning" and the SHOUTING. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:27, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
No problem with that. Feel free to remove any if more are found. seicer | talk | contribs 00:23, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Moving On with NPOV

The article is much improved over the last time it was reverted to the Aug 2004 version. The only way this article is going to be fair and honest is that it presents both the skeptic and experimenter point of view in adequate detail. The experimenters are using the scientific method, so looking for nuclear reactions in hydrogen-metal systems is science and not fringe science or any other of the terms that are basically just an insult. Wikipedia is supposed to be neutral point of view. Unless both sides are presented it is never going to be NPOV. The problem for years has been that many skeptics have tried to get away with presenting only the skeptics point of view. Skeptics should try to improve their POV or sources as presented in the article and stop trying to nit pick to death the experimenters POV or sources. It also needs to be recognized that the skeptic’s POV is almost static and the experimenter’s POV is dynamic, evolving with new experiments.Ron Marshall (talk) 16:23, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree with representing the CF researchers' perspective without squashing it at every turn, but the fact that experimenters are trying to do good science doesn't falsify the fringe science label. Every source I've seen is consistent with the view that most scientists remain unconvinced that there are any "low energy nuclear reactions." We should be able to keep that clear without stepping on the throat of CF researchers. Gnixon (talk) 17:06, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
The only critic I am currently aware of who has, IMO, sufficient recognition, expertise and is sufficiently informed to have an qualified alternative viewpoint on this subject is Kirk Shanahan at SRS. I will send a copy of this brief note to him and invite him to consider watching this page.
StevenBKrivit (talk) 18:02, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. Thanks Steve. I had already cited his critique, but it's even better if he can watch the page ! Pcarbonn (talk) 19:32, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
SK, what do you mean by "alternative viewpoint"? I'm sure it would be great to have an expert's help on the article, but I don't understand why it's necessary. Our task in writing the article is to summarize the preferably-secondary reliable sources on the subject, not to judge the experiments ourselves. If an expert showed up here and said "LENR is bogus" or "LENR is proven," we still wouldn't be able to reflect that in the article unless it could be reliably sourced. Gnixon (talk) 21:27, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I apologize if I misunderstood the context, I admit I am not reading this whole thing closely. I saw that "Nealparr" wrote "I want outside opinion on this. I think that's a reasonable request." up above. I probably won't be checking back to this page for a while. If you have any questions, please PM me. Thanks
StevenBKrivit (talk) 00:00, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. I think Neal just meant getting outside Wikipedia folk who haven't been involved in these discussions yet. Gnixon (talk) 15:40, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

To begin, I have only read bits and pieces of the main and Talk page here. I did however note Pcarbonn and Dank55 claiming early on that there are no skeptical positions to be found. This only demonstrates their lack of effort. My work is referenced in the main Wiki article. What isn't is my other two publications. Armed with this knowledge, one can go to Yahoo and do a searh on "Shanahan cold fusion" and come up with numerous hits. Most illustrate the ongoing debate between myself and Ed Storms. If one follows up on this, one will eventually be led to the nearly defunct Usenet newsgroup sci.physics.fusion archives, where I again have numerous posts detailing standrard objections/explanations to just about every piece of evidence offered up as proof of CF. I even give leading references in the currently active phyicsworld blog on the issue.

Further, one could look back into the archives of this issue on Wikipedia and see my frustrated attempts to bring balance to the prior CF pages. All of my additions were reverted away. I had email discussions with the reverters, and came to the conclusion it was a hopeless cause to get them to relent and let the skeptical viewpoint be included. I also note that there was some sort of mediation regarding this article this year. Apparently, the principal cold fusion supporters were involved, but no skeptics like me. Clearly an unbiased approach. I suggest you all go back to those versions in your archives and cut out my comments from then and add them back in.

In summary, I have published three papers on a conventional explanation of apparent excess heat (which means no nuclear reactions are needed)in the scientific journal Thermochimica Acta. This was in 2002, 2005, and 2006, clearly 'new' news. This explanation boils down to an analytical method problem, and I see no evidence of excess heat. The specific criticism dealt with one calorimetric method, but the problem is generic to any type of calibrated method, which includes of course any other type of calorimetry. The third of these was a response to an attempt to rebutt my explanation. No answer to that has been presented, so the conclusion is that my rebuttal was sucessful and my explanation stands. Thus in order to claim true excess heat is present, one has to eliminate the 'conventional' explanation I present. That has not been done, therefore there is no clear claim to have observed true excess heat.

Once you accept that there is no excess heat, there only remains claims for various types of nuclear ash. I have commented _extensively_ on those 'CF' evidences in the Usenet newsgroup sci.physics.fusion (spf), and I find no body of evidence that can't be explained by bad analytical chemistry or trace contamination. That implies there is considerable work left to be done to substantiate a claim of a new low energy nuclear reaction occuring in any of the experimental set-ups that are promoted as 'proving' CF (or LENR, or CANR, or...) is real. Of course the CFers violently disagree, but they haven't been able to refute my points because they won't do the work required to do so. Simply saying I can't be right doesn't make it true.

I expect they will react strongly to my comments here, but I am not going to repeat the seemingly endless discussions that occurred in spf here. If some relevant technical point is raised I may respond. Otherwise I will not.

Kirk Shanahan (My opinions...noone else's) Kirk shanahan (talk) 15:49, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you very much for posting. Please, please do not respond to any technical point. We are not here to discuss the substantive issues. You have mentioned three papers and we can cite them in the article. If you would like to summarise them and make the sourced additions then that would be great. Otherwise someone else can do it and you can check that it has been done accurately. If you need a hand with the technical side of editing an article then anyone would be pleased to help. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:00, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad that Steven Krivit has contacted Shanahan, and that he has replied. I also welcome well-sourced addition to our article. It's a pity that we cannot use sci.physics.fusion as a source, but we can certainly use the other papers. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:10, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

"do not respond to any technical point" and "We are not here to discuss the substantive issues." I don't understand, you want to discuss non-technical, insubstantial issues? Not me.

"well-sourced addition[s]"

I see my revisions of Mar. 2005 have been deleted.

My papers concerning why no true excess heat has ever been detected:

A Systematic Error in Mass Flow Calorimetry Demonstrated Kirk L. Shanahan Thermochimica Acta, 387(2) (2002) 95-110

Comments on "Thermal behavior of polarized Pd/D electrodes prepared by co- deposition" Kirk L. Shanahan Thermochimica Acta, 428(1-2), (2005), 207

Reply to "Comments on papers by K. Shanahan that propose to explain anomalous heat generated by cold fusion", E. Storms, Thermochim. Acta, 2006 Kirk L. Shanahan Thermochimica Acta, 441 (2006) 210

Some papers by Clarke and Oliver illustrating that the CFers don't know how to exclude air from their apparati. This means He in-leakage will occur. That means any CFer publication must conclusively show the mass spec results come from an uncontaminated sample. None do, ergo, all CFer claims to have detected He are suspect.

Search for 3He and 4He in Arata-Style Palladium Cathodes II: Evidence for Tritium Production Clarke, W. Brian ; Oliver, Brian M. ; McKubre, Michael C. H. ; Tanzella, Francis L. ; Tripodi, Paolo Publication Date 2001 Sep 15 Fusion Science and Technology; Journal Volume: 40(2) (2001) 152-167

Response toComments on 'Search for He-3 and He-4 in Arata-Style Palladium Cathodes I: A Negative Result' and 'Search for He-3 and He-4 in Arata-Style Palladium Cathodes II: Evidence for Tritium Production' Clarke, W B.; Oliver, Brian M. Publication Date 2003 Jan 01 Fusion Science and Technology ; VOL. 43(1) (2003) 135-136

Production of 4He in D2-LOADED palladium-carbon catalyst II CLARKE W. Brian; BOS Stanley J.; OLIVER Brian M.; Fusion Science and Technology 2003, vol. 43(2), 250-255

Response to Comments on Search for He-3 and 4He in Arata-style palladium cathodes II: Evidence for tritium production? Clarke, W B.; Oliver, Brian M. Publication Date 2002 Mar 01 Fusion Science and Technology; VOL. 41(2) (2002) 153-154

More are probably available from those authors.

'Isotopic anomalies' are claimed by SIMS, but the CFers don't interpret their SIMS data correctly. They ignore multi-atom ions, esp. hydrides. An example of where these species are detected:

International Journal of Mass Spectrometry Volume 189, Issues 2-3, 11 August 1999, Pages 173-179

Anomalous signal formation in secondary ion mass spectrometry of palladium

F. Okuyama, , a, M. Kanekob, S. Sendaa, Y. Katadaa and M. Tanemuraa

Received 9 June 1998; accepted 23 April 1999. Available online 4 August 1999.

Abstract Cesium ions bombarding a high-purity palladium (Pd) target are shown to sputter out negative ions incompatible with stable isotopes of Pd. These unusual ions possess a mass of (Pd + 1), and they may possibly arise from the Pd–H reaction occurring in the ion-bombarded area. It is also shown that dimers of Pd are emitted exclusively as negative ions, with positive dimers virtually undetectable. The process whereby the dimer emission occurs in such a selective manner is still unclear. --- The point of this paper is to illustrate that the mailstream science community knows about dimers, trimers, etc. Why don't the CFers?

I have no intention of editing the Wiki article again. If you all want a fair and unbiased article, you need to point out that all claims of CFers can be explained conventionally, and cite the refs above as answers. In your "Further Reading" you need to note there are 11 years (1995-2006) of extended technical discussions of the issues in the spf Newsgroup.

Kirk Shanahan {[{My opinions...noone else's}]} —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:58, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Excellent. Thanks for adding to the discussion, Kirk. Many of your sources definitely belong in this article. It is too bad that people have been removing them. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:26, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, people should not have removed them. For the record, I'm the one who has added them back, here (or at least the ones that were referred to elsewhere, i.e. with notability). Pcarbonn (talk) 07:42, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
That's news to me. Agreed that this shouldn't have been removed. Kevin Baastalk 15:47, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Say what? I don't see any changes. The correct way to do it it to change the ref. to my work in the "Precision of Calorimetry" secion to a triple ref, and add the refs to the reference list. While you're at it, please correct my name in the one that is already there. Ed Storms did that in his Web page papers and it seems to have propagated to Wiki. You also should add a section to the 'Criticisms' subsection to deal with the bad analytical chemistry issues. These include: inability to correctly measure He concentrations (Oliver and Clarke refs.), inability to correctly interpret SIMS data which leads to erroneous claims of isotopic shifts, misassignment of XPS peaks from copper to praesodymium, and general unwillingness to track down sources of contamination as Scott Little did with the RIFEX kit (I have a pdf of his unpublished report detailing this that I could supply). Kirk Shanahan {[{My opinions...noone else's}]} Kirk shanahan (talk) 11:34, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
The article cannot be changed for the moment because it is "protected". I just showed that I added some of your work recently. We would add your other references if it was not blocked because of a dispute. Please note that there are reliability requirements for the inclusion of sources on wikipedia: unpublished material cannot be included. Would you mind providing published sources for the critique of analytical chemistry issues in cold fusion ? Thanks in advance. Pcarbonn (talk) 11:49, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Because there are several critiques of calorimetry in cold fusion experiments, I would suggest to start a new article "calorimetry in cold fusion experiments". It would briefly explain the different types of calorimeters that are used, and then develop their critique. Any comments ? Pcarbonn (talk) 10:32, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Typically this is a canard to try discredit my conventional explanation of apparent excess heat. It goes kinda like this: 'Gee, there are a lot of calorimeter types. Shanahan only studied one type. We have others that don't show the problem he brings up.' That last conclusion is the false one of course. My analysis was conducted on data from one specific calorimeter yes, but the method is general, and applies to all the calorimeters in use by CFers (as long as they are calibrated that is). There IS a real chemical effect happening, which I like to refer to as the Fleischmann-Pons-Hawkins Effect, that leads to the calibration constant shifts, which in turn lead to apparent excess heat signals. The only impact of the calorimeter design is in how much wiggle room they allow for the calibration constant shift problem. Fully integrating calorimeters like Storms' mass flow one, or Seebeck types, are the best, they tend to minimize the problem. But it cannot be completely removed. (Note that this is consistent with one of Langmuir's characteristics of pathological science.) So as far as a new section in this article, I vote no, as it will just add unecessary technical detail. Have a page on electochemical calorimeters elsewhere if you like. Kirk Shanahan {[{My opinions...noone else's}]} Kirk shanahan (talk) 11:34, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your input. We are not here to discredit any point of view, only to present them from a neutral point of view. We'll present your arguments, in proportion to the notability they've obtained. The 2004 DOE was evenly split on the evidence of excess heat, and that's what we'll represent in the article. Pcarbonn (talk) 11:49, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
You're welcome. Of course the point of my comment in the subsequent section of this discussion is to note that it is likely had my work been included in the review, the split wouldn't have been so even. I do note that the one person I knew in the written part did know of my work independently, and included in his/her review comments that my work should be considered. Kirk Shanahan {[{My opinions...noone else's}]} (talk) 14:09, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I have now started an article on Calorimetry in cold fusion experiments. We'll link it from the cold fusion article once it is unprotected. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:38, 15 July 2008 (UTC)


Do we need a source to say it's on the West Coast? (per Kevin, above) Yes, actually. Luckily, we can find books that tell us a whole load more (the population, economics, history....), that also mention its location. So also here, source for everything please. Itsmejudith (talk) 23:31, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Kevin may be referencing an actual problem that I discussed a while back in WT:NOR and the general consensus was that the issue was something of common sense: that is, if editors agree that something is obvious, it is obvious. To that end, I admit that there are some reasonable "extrapolations" that can be made from reliable sources which do not violate WP:SYNTH. Let's imagine that literally no text says that California is on the West Coast of the United States. We can still make the claim simply by referencing a map of the United States that indicates the West Coast and indicates California. Though the sentence, "California is on the West Coast" does not appear, this extrapolation can be verified by all but the most problematically illiterate. In some sense, this is a "synthesis" just as any paraphrase or any other synonymous point that isn't exactly the same as what the source says is a "synthesis". It's simply an allowed synthesis. Of course, this line-of-reasoning can be taken too far and abused. We cannot say simply because a source has said a particular fact is true that this fact is necessarily true or that all the reasonable facts that can be extrapolated from it are necessarily true. This is especially the case if it has been flagged as possibly biased. No, it is our job to substantiate this fact with impeccable sources (and extrapolations if editorially necessary) that are wholly uncontroversial. ScienceApologist (talk) 00:39, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
In my example above what i meant was that if we have a source saying that california is on the west coast, we don't choose not to put that in the article on account that we haven't all walked over to the west coast and seen it for ourselves. We take the source's word for it. I'm not saying we have blind faith in everything - we use WP:RELIABLE and all that other stuff, and a little common sense. What I meant to say is that we don't arbitrate what's fact or fiction. We just report on the major beliefs and opinions. As verified by their sources. Kevin Baastalk 03:40, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
There is a difference between a substantiated fact and an attributed opinion. This is a distinction we are empowered to utilize. ScienceApologist (talk) 03:43, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
When faced with the question of whether you should cite common knowledge, such as California is on the West Cost, consider how Wikipedia defines a "fact" as "a piece of information about which there is no serious dispute." The sky is blue except when the sky is anything but blue. You don't need to cite something not seriously in dispute, such as the location of California. However, if it is seriously disputed, you should have the citations ready. California, Ohio is not on the West Coast.
The actual question above was whether we should say there were three independent studies if cold fusion researchers say that there were three independent studies. That's a question of the reliability of the researchers to say "independent", which is something in dispute. To that, you simply resolve the dispute. Did the researchers list the studies? Do they seem reasonably independent? Can we simply say "three studies" instead of "three independent studies"? In other words, do we have to take their word for it? ScienceApologist is right. Instead of attributing a potentially biased statement, we can instead substantiate. Instead of saying "X says there were three independent studies", we can list those studies as "X says there were three studies. Study one was conducted at such and such by so and so. Study two was conducted at such and such..." --Nealparr (talk to me) 04:58, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I lean towards presenting it as attributed opinion as it's a balancing rebuttle to skeptics. I would think that assessing the studies individually for "independence" would border on WP:OR. Kevin Baastalk 13:57, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
You seem to think that "balance" is somehow what we're aiming for. We aren't. We're aiming for proper WP:WEIGHT. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:42, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
We are calling the same thing two different things. "NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each." Kevin Baastalk 21:14, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
WP:OR is making things up that are not sourced. Evaluating the reliability of sources that do exist is not OR. It's just WP:RS. I don't know if the source is reliable or not. Just explaining the difference. --Nealparr (talk to me) 16:09, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not publish original research or original thought. This includes unpublished facts, arguments, speculation, and ideas; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position. -- WP:OR Kevin Baastalk 21:09, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia doesn't publish original analysis or synthesis. It also doesn't publish unreliable information. Are you suggesting that any evaluation of the reliability of sources is original research? If so, how does that translate to publishing original research? Geeze. If an editor can't determine the reliability of sources, most of Wikipedia's sourcing policies are moot. --Nealparr (talk to me) 00:04, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
No. That's not what we're talking about (as I understand it). We're talking about evaluating sources within sources. A double indirection or recursion if you will. I'm suggesting that evaluation of the reliability of the sources used in a source that in itself meets the criteria for inclusion is original research - it's the research that the author of the source did, except now we're doing it, which makes it our research, which makes it original research. Kevin Baastalk 00:55, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
You're going to have to give examples of what you're talking about, because I'm not sure we're on the same page or talking about the same things. Original research is all about not publishing things that aren't in sources. I don't think excluding things because they're not reliable (opposite of publishing), has anything to do with Wikipedia's original research policies. --Nealparr (talk to me) 02:36, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Example of what I'm talking about: In a section above titled "three independent studies", ScienceApologist wrote: "It would be better to look at the studies individually and decide if they are editorially fit for us to cite. If we wouldn't cite them, we shouldn't cite someone else who is citing them." Kevin Baastalk 14:21, 21 July 2008 (UTC) ScienceApologist (talk) 20:18, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
My point is that although the sources we cite must meet certain standards depending on the context and how those sources are used in the article, the authors of those sources are free to cite whoever they like. Just as if a paper is published in a peer-reviewed journal, and some editor here has a problem with some of the peers that reviewed it (whether that problem is that they weren't one of the peers or that the peers didn't use wikipedia policies to evaluate the material, or what-have-you), that doesn't give us license to throw it out -- it was still published in a peer-reviewed journal. Kevin Baastalk 14:43, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
Although we have to use wikipedia policies to evaluate the article that we write and the reliability of the sources we use, the authors who write those sources do not. And as we are not peers, we do not -- can not -- peer-review their work. Kevin Baastalk 15:04, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
...Though it has come to my attention that some of us here actually are peers. :-) Kevin Baastalk 15:39, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

A little birdie and a mole

There are some real problems here. Notice how when the discussion started to turn against cf-proponents, a group of cf-proponents showed up seemingly out of nowhere? Why is that? Is someone alerting them to these discussions? The short answer is yes. Never mind how I know, let's just say there is a birdie and a mole who are sharing information with me. However, this is very problematic. Many cf-proponents seem to think that Wikipedia has the potential to open up a new front for them to get their ideas accepted without the headaches of academic peer-review and the scorn that has been heaped upon their ideas by the people who are so singularly obsessed with the idea that temperatures that correspond to lower than the activation energy of nuclear fusion reactions can somehow be environments conducive to nuclear fusion. Anyway, I think some administrator oversight is desperately needed here. The WP:COI and WP:SOAP and WP:ADVERT agendas are almost out-of-control to the point of absurdity.

ScienceApologist (talk) 20:30, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Dear "ScienceApologist,"
If you think any Wikirules have been broken, you should definitely report them at once. By the way, many of the papers here http://newenergytimes.com/Reports/SelectedPapers.htm and here http://newenergytimes.com/Reports/PublishedPapers.htm have been peer-reviewed, as have many of the papers referenced in the July 10, 2008 issue of New Energy Times. I strongly encourage you to read my editorial; it has a lot to do with your concerns about the claim of fusion.
Best regards,
StevenBKrivit (talk) 00:00, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
For information, a notice of conflict of interest has been open a couple of days ago by ScienceApologist here. Should I open a COI notice because he is defending the views of the "average scientific laboratory", on the ground that he may be working in one of them ? Pcarbonn (talk) 07:12, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
It won't get you anywhere. I have no vested interest one way or another as to how this subject is presented. You have stated in articles published elsewhere that you do. That's the difference. That's why you shouldn't be editing this article at all. ScienceApologist (talk) 13:47, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't see any incompatibility between the aim of Wikipedia, which is to produce a neutral, reliably sourced encyclopedia, and my aim, which is the same. I have demonstrated that in all my edits, for which I have provided the proper source, defending both the skeptical and proponent side of the issue by the way. That I have also other aims, which are not incompatible with wikipedia's as you suggest, is not relevant to the content dispute we have. On the other hand, I see a lot of issues with your behavior here. But I won't elaborate on them, because we should be talking about the article, not its editors. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:15, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
They are totally relevant because they cloud your view of what is "neutral" slanting it away from WP:REDFLAG consideration of bad sources. You appreciate cf-proponent sources too much and work to unduly include them in ways that defy WP:WEIGHT. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:24, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
The bad source in this case are the "average scientific laboratory", and the good source is the 2004 DOE Report. I'm afraid your view is slanted incorrectly. Your statements apply to you, not me. You depreciate cf-proponent sources too much and work to unduly exclude them in ways that defy WP:WEIGHT. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:40, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
For the record, when I heard of the 2004 review, I submitted some materials to a member of the DOE Office running the review. However those materials never made it into the review. I know this because I personally know two of the reviewers, one from the written part, one from the oral, and neither ever saw my stuff. I believe if my explanation had been presented to the review Committee, the conclusions would have been radically different, because the CF presenters gave the impression that there was no critics of the field except the outdated fanatics like Robert Park. So, I don't call the DOE 2004 Review a 'good' one, since critical information was not considered. Kirk Shanahan {[{My opinions...noone else's}]} Kirk shanahan (talk) 11:43, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for this clarification. It is unfortunate that you were not heard. Pcarbonn (talk) 12:46, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
What ScienceApologist is talking about above is that subsequent to this article from two months ago[16] and now this article[17], at a online magazine that claims "thousands of subscribers", and both articles essentially saying that a particular point of view needs to be protected at Wikipedia, one can't help but feel that the dice are loaded and we may not be getting an accurate view here since the deck is stacked.
I agree somewhat. This article is slanted quite a bit. There's a lot of talk about cf-proponent sources and cf-skeptic sources, expertise, etc., but let me give you an example that doesn't have anything to do with balancing sources and one that any layman can readily see. We have a section called "Fleischmann-Pons announcement" that goes on for 6 paragraphs in great detail about the project. That in itself isn't so bad except that it was almost universally rejected and its the original one that gave cold fusion a bad name, and when we get to reporting that, in "Reaction to the announcement", we're proportionately unbalanced.
Here we have a significantly shorter section. 5 shorter paragraphs. The first plays up how there was a rush to repeat -- because it was so awesome. The second briefly mentions accusations of fraud and then explains it away as hasty innocent mistake -- because it was so awesome. The third paragraph, no big deal, simple reporting of other attempts to duplicate -- because it was so awesome. The fourth paragraph (from a story arc standpoint) is the big climax with a standing ovation among OMG 7,000 chemists! $25 million bucks in funding! and an invitation from the President!
When we get to how it was actually received, the real impact it had, we have a brief fifth paragraph that tosses out vague references to sessions and reports and very little elaboration. No real content. The most telling example is that it says Nature published papers critical of cold fusion in July and November, but mentions nothing at all about the contents of those papers, what was said, what points they raised, anything. It's severly disproportional to the preceeding paragraphs that talk about how wonderful the announcement was in great detail. Mere mention of critical sources and tucking them away in footnotes is not really neutral, especially on this particular announcement. "Fleischmann-Pons", my understanding, is what gave cold fusion a bad name. It was heavily rejected, with prejudice. I know this from reading off-wiki articles, not from reading our article. It glosses over all that. --Nealparr (talk to me) 17:35, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
It seems to my reading that you are right. I like the chronological approach, as it helps us to explain for readers either favourably or unfavourably predisposed to CF how and why it became such a controversial topic. Would you or someone be able to summarise the two Nature papers in a sentence or two each. By summarise I mean to produce something in the framework "X, Y and Z set up an experiment to .... . They concluded that there was no..... " It would be great to think that the article is fairly well structured and that incremental improvements will reach consensus and move it back to GA/FA. Itsmejudith (talk) 20:26, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
There's a bunch of edits I would be making if the article were not locked : ) I think even a layman can write something based on the summaries provided here [18] and here [19]. The APS session was written about in New York Times.[20]. In our article it's reduced to sound bites, like "dead" "incompetence and delusion" "pathological science", which are fine because they show the extent of rejection, but they're also without the substance of the original article. When I read our article it comes off as grumblings of irrational old science unwilling to accept anything new (easy to dismiss). The NYTimes, however, reported very specific rational reasons why they rejected it (harder to dismiss).
Example, here it reads:
  • Caltech described the Utah report as a result of "the incompetence and delusion of Pons and Fleischmann."
That's not a detailed or accurate summary because there it reads:
  • The most thoroughgoing of the attempts to validate the Pons-Fleischmann experiment was conducted at the California Institute of Technology.[...]Using equipment far more sensitive than any available to the Utah group, Caltech failed to find any symptoms of fusion. The scientists found no emitted neutrons, gamma rays, tritium or helium, although the Utah group reported all these emissions at high levels. And all the cells consumed energy rather than produced it, the Caltech team said.
That's extremely notable stuff left out of our article. --Nealparr (talk to me) 20:58, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't look notable to me. the first example just shows that some guy in caltech is very opinionated and not afraid of publicly insulting people that they know little about. Big whoop. There are too many of those.
Now the second example is very rhetorical - to the point of being misleading. so it's a failed experiment - many experiments failed. that's nothing new and the article already mentions it. the quoted text just happens to have a lot of misleading spin on it that has no actual informational value. Why is it the "most thoroughgoing"? as of when? what does that even mean? what special value would that givn, were it true? What's the significance of using sensitive equipment? why would more sensitive equipment be needed if the excess heat measured by the utah group was already well beyond the sensitivity of their instruments? Kevin Baastalk 01:51, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
And yes, I understand the irony in using rhetorical questions to expose rhetoric. Kevin Baastalk 02:13, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Short answer: The New York Times thinks it's notable and in our article we think it's notable because it's cited here, just not accurately represented. It's not a question of notability, it's a question of whether we're saying what the source is saying, and we're not. Our article leaves out the actual point of what NYT was saying, and leaves out what it felt was most notable. It's NYT that says it was the most thorough analysis. This is what I mean about feeling like the dice is loaded. If you can't even have a conversation about accurate representation of the sources, something's wrong. --Nealparr (talk to me) 02:09, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Well I'd be for replacing what it currently reads w/the part you suggested. I just which it were worded a little less rhetorically and more objectively. I agree that the article needs more balance in the direction of letting the reader know that the mainstream view is skeptical of CF. I just don't know how. This here that you suggest seems like a reasonable way to do it. (and FWIW, i've already done some considerable work on the article and I don't plan on doing much more anytime soon - i'm probably just going to sit back and give my two cents once in a while for a while.) Kevin Baastalk 02:22, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
And I see that I was overly critical of the wording - for instance, the part on sensitivity is there to pre-empt the argument "well maybe their equipment just wasn't sensitive enough to pick any of it up." So whatever, I'll shutup now. Kevin Baastalk 02:39, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
It's OK. You don't have to agree with the sources or like the style they write in. Many sources won't be objective and some of them may be even be rhetorical. We're just here to accurately report what they said, no more and no less. If a reader wants to dismiss the source for whatever reason (oh, it's just those wacky Caltech guys! for example), that's not our thing. The reader just needs to be fully informed. That part is our responsibility. --Nealparr (talk to me) 05:15, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Back to this, I looked at where the "Caltech described..." content was and it's in a small section called "reaction to the announcement". replacting it with "The most thoroughgoing of the attempts..." would introduce two problems: 1. the content is not about a "reaction" (in the appropriate sense), it's about an experiment performed, and 2. the content would give undue weight to caltech, since no other university is given nearly that much space in that section. - indeed it would take up a substantial amount of space in the section for what had previously been one sentence, which roughly matches the weight given to everything else in the section. Kevin Baastalk 14:46, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it has to do with watchlists; I often turn up when there's a bunch of posts because, well, its on the top of my watchlist and that makes me come here. But yes, I agree that it is a problem that this page gives undue weight to CF being real, but I don't know that accusing CF people of meatpuppetry is the best way of solving it. If you DO have evidence of meatpuppetry and them canvassing, present the evidence such that we can deal with it. Simply accusing them of it without evidence will get us nowhere. Titanium Dragon (talk) 22:51, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
While I say it's unintentional meatpuppetry, assuming good faith and having spoken with the publishers, I think it more than meets the definition of accidental meatpuppetry to have published to thousands of readers that an article you're working on at Wikipedia is in peril. From my perspective, let's just fix it (I make specific recommended changes). But I'll also say let's not pretend it's not broken either. --Nealparr (talk to me) 23:04, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I fully support the suggestion of Nealparr to improve our representation of the NYT article, and I thank him for doing it. The way to adjust the balance of the article is to add well-sourced, notable statements from skeptics. There is no justification to remove well-sourced, notable statements from the proponents. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:26, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm confused by the suspicion of meatpuppet. What's the point of a request for comment if it's not to get comments from others, Shanahan included. Since wikipedia is not a democracy, what is the issue ? I have no doubt that all editors above did talk freely, and not under the direction of anybody. (I have not recruited any editors, by the way). Pcarbonn (talk) 17:55, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
Suspicions of meatpuppetry aside, the policy describes the harm of meatpuppetry despite Wikipedia not being a democracy. The one I think is relevant is the "to give the appearance of consensus", because that's not vote-related. Above when I asked is there a consensus to weed out links to NET, what I got was a few established editors commenting (who may or may not be readers or supporters of NET) and a couple of new editors and IP addresses saying "I don't see a problem". It's hard to judge that there's not a consensus when the dissenting voice may just be one voice, that of NET. As I said above, let's just focus on what's good and bad about the content with reasoned, policy based arguments, fix anything that needs fixing, leave anything that doesn't need fixing alone, and the problem that may or may not exist regarding meatpuppetry is resolved. Seems practical. --Nealparr (talk to me) 18:37, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
That sounds very reasonable to me. Thanks for the clarification. Pcarbonn (talk) 19:05, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Each disputed point, one by one

See this diff.

Here are the points. Cheers. ScienceApologist (talk) 17:10, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Controversial nature

The first change adds a sentence which reports on the controversial nature of cold fusion. This is necessary to establish a context for the claims that are going to be documented.

Number of reports

The number of reports is not something that is strictly verifiable. A cold fusion proponents believes that this is the number of reports, but here's the key point: What qualifies as a valid report? Is it something reported in a journal? How do you decide what journal reports to include and what journal reports to ignore? Some of the reports are not published, it appears as well. It is obviously an opinion and not a fact as to how many reports were made, and I doubt we can establish a consensus on how to properly figure out a number. Barring that, just remove the number and let readers find out for themselves what they believe. Wikipedia should not be endorsing a number like "60" just because there is some cold fusion researcher who thinks that's a good number.

This is an important point. The current article states
"Over 3,000 cold fusion papers have been published including about 1,000 in peer-reviewed journals (see indices in further reading, below). In March 1995, Dr. Edmund Storms compiled a list of 21 papers and articles reporting excess heat published in peer reviewed journals such as Naturwissenschaften, European Physical Journal A, European Physical Journal C, Journal of Solid State Phenomena, Physical Review A, Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, and Journal of Fusion Energy."
There should be direct links to the values of 3,000 and 1,000 so readers do not need to scan through all of the further reading to see how they were determined. Also, considering the controversial nature of the field, the article should point directly to the source documents, not just list the names of the relevant journals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:34, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
WP:NOT: wikipedia is not a collection of links. especially not thousands of them. Kevin Baastalk 18:28, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
True, but it is also not a place to make claims that cannot be directly verified. ScienceApologist (talk) 20:34, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
Which might be relevant if we were talking about claims that could not be directly verified. Kevin Baastalk 02:20, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Or, alternatively, we should try to reposition the claims so that a reader can more easily verify them. Using a number like 3000 or 1000 is very difficult to verify and since the source is suspect, we should perhaps aim for a more reasonable statement that can be verified without collecting 1000 links of varying quality. ScienceApologist (talk) 03:41, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Here is a verifiable, notable source for the statement "Proponents say that there are 3000 papers..." : Wired. Please note that we should not say "there are 3000 reports". Pcarbonn (talk) 09:53, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I added the Wired source [21] --Enric Naval (talk) 12:26, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Focusing excessively on the Hubler review

As much as the Navy's research is exciting, Graham Hubler is hardly a neutral reporter on the subject of cold fusion. The article's previous version leans heavily on his "review" which is obviously slanted in one particular direction. A sentence that says "It says that most of the research groups have occasionally seen 50-200% excess heat for hours to days, that observed excess heat events have not diminished in frequency or magnitude, and they have improved their methods." is excessive when we already report what Hubler claims "a third of the experiments reported excess heat." We haven't adequately attributed that point as an opinion, but at least it is just saying that it is a "report" rather than a measurement that has been independently verified. The other sentence is too detailed for us to be using per WP:WEIGHT.

Your interpretation of WP:weight is wrong. Here is what the ArbComm unanimously said about WP:Weight for significant alternative to scientific orthodoxies : "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, a fundamental policy, requires fair representation of significant alternatives to scientific orthodoxy. Significant alternatives, in this case, refers to legitimate scientific disagreement, as opposed to pseudoscience." Fairly reporting on the Hubler review, as we do, is perfectly in line with this ruling. This also applies to most of the issues your raised below. Pcarbonn (talk) 09:53, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, you are unfairly reporting the Hubler review as a neutral source when it is, in fact, biased. You seem to think because you hold cold fusion reports in high regard that Wikipedia must hold these reports in high regard. In fact, Wikipedia must look at third party evaluations. Are there people outside of the cold fusion proponent community who take cold fusion seriously? Very few. We have plenty of mainstream reporting to that effect including wording from the 2004 DOE report which explicitly recognizes that this is the marginalized situation in which cold fusion research finds itself. Until you recognize that, there can be no constructive movement forward. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:48, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I totally disagree. Hubler's paper has everything of a reliable source, since it is published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Whether it is neutral or not does not matter, as long as it is reliable and we properly attribute it. What does a neutral source means in wikitalk anyway ? Nothing. Your argument only reflects your opinion, and is not based on any wikipedia policy. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:29, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
ScienceApologist, have you ever written for the enemy ? I have. I suggest you should. This will help you understand wikipedia policies better. Pcarbonn (talk) 10:41, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Believe you me, if I was writing what I really thought of cold fusion, you would be very upset. ScienceApologist (talk) 15:49, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
C'mon, any of us could write your statement for you. Let me see .... pseudoscience, load of old rubbish, astrology, homeopathy, mumbo-jumbo, disgrace to science, appalling waste of public money, dumbing down, what future for science education, was this the country that got to the Moon .... Have I got any of it? You can still write for the enemy. Imagine you are doing a literature review for a paper on the subject. X set up this experiment, found this, didn't find that. Y set up another experiment, replicated X's method, but didn't find this, found that. Boring but necessary. Give it a go. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:01, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Which would be rejected here as it would be somewhere between a synthesis of primary sources and a collection of trivia..... On wikipedia you need to find secondary sources that assess the relative importance of the studies and do that work for you. --Enric Naval (talk) 16:16, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand WP:SYNTH and WP:RELIABLE. They do not contradict Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view/FAQ#Writing_for_the_.22enemy.22. Nor do they reject attributed opinion from a significant POV. Kevin Baastalk 18:04, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
It depends what attitude we take to papers. In my mind they are secondary sources, but then I am always in a social science rather than a natural science frame of mind. Even if they are regarded as primary they can be cited alongside the reliable reviews of the literature that we have. Of course no one editing on this site would condone including "trivia". When we were discussing with Dr Shanahan we were talking as if we would cite his papers directly. Itsmejudith (talk) 19:13, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

(unindent)Yeah, in social science it's different. Clinical trials on medicine and laboratory experiments on physics normally count as primary sources. I have already seen this discussion on Talk:Homeopathy: there are so many contradictory clinical trials on that topic that choosing some of them over the rest is an exercise on OR, so you need to rely on reviews that tell you which studies are significant and which aren't, and why. Ídem here, how do we know that we are choosing the "right" papers, or that we are not missing an important replication (or lack of it)? Use WP:RELIABLE to find reliable reviews of studies on the field, please, and use the conclusions from the review and cite the studies and replications that the review considers significant. --Enric Naval (talk) 19:51, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Umh. I think that's what we are doing. Hubler's review is, well, a review. By the way, I have put less emphasis on it in the article, moving its summary to the "excess heat" section. Pcarbonn (talk) 20:02, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
(note: I was talking of studies and reviews on general, not specifically about Hubler's source) --Enric Naval (talk) 20:54, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

50 excess power experiments

That cold fusion researchers claim 50 experiments is not a good point to include in our article. There was no third-party of review of this claim, and like the number 60 above there is unlikely to be any in the near future. So removed.

Arata and Zhang report on excess heat

See the above section for more on why this should be removed.

three independent studies

If cold fusion researchers say that there are independent studies, that's already suspect. Claiming "three" independent studies though begs the question of how the number was obtained (what qualifies as an "independent study"?) We need some outside vetting of this point: it's not sufficiently positioned as a questionable claim.

I presume the number was obtained via counting. I presume they can cite the studies, and everying can verify for themselves. I don't see how saying that the studies are independent makes things any more suspect - usually that's a good thing. And I think you should remember that what we put in the article needs to be verifiable, not true beyond faithless doubt. Our job is not to second guess and beg questions of everything said about a subject ("but is california really on the west coast? how do we know that for sure?") Kevin Baastalk 18:23, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
It would be better to look at the studies individually and decide if they are editorially fit for us to cite. If we wouldn't cite them, we shouldn't cite someone else who is citing them. ScienceApologist (talk) 20:18, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
That would be WP:OR. Kevin Baastalk 02:22, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
No... that would be writing an encyclopedia using sources. There is a very big difference. ScienceApologist (talk) 03:36, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Either way would be writing an encyclopedia using sources. Kevin Baastalk 13:27, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Differing isotopic ratios

As far as I can tell, no one has been able to corroborate this point with any confidence. I want to see an independent review that the small number statistics that they quote are reliable. They did not do an error analysis and so regardless of whether cf proponents think this point is "important" it should not be included until verified by an outside expert.

You're making up unreasonable standards and applying them selectively. Kevin Baastalk 18:25, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
If you have objections to other parts that you think do not rise to the standards that I'm outlining (and they're hardly "made up", they are all part-and-parcel to WP:FRINGE, WP:NPOV, WP:WEIGHT, WP:REDFLAG, etc.) then please let us know. However, snide wholesale rejection of my arguments like this is hardly constructive. ScienceApologist (talk) 20:20, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry you felt I was being snide. Or that you feel "You're making up unreasonable standards and applying them selectively." "wholesale rejection of arguments". It was only directed at one of your arguments, and thus the plural on "arguments" isn't appropriate. Likewise "wholesale" doesn't apply since there is only one argument under consideration here. "rejection" isn't quite correct either - rejection would be if i just merely ignored it, but i'm actually pointing out what's wrong with it. And there is nothing underhanded or indirect about what i said - it's straightforward and plain so i wouldn't call it "snide". And it is constructive because it helps determine the content of the article.
I think most everything in the article doesn't rise to the standards that you're proposing. (Or most everything in any wikipedia articles, for that matter.) But I don't have any objections to the rest of the article because, like I said, I think those standards are unreasonable.
And they have nothing to do with any of the policies you just linked to. If they did then I'd have a pretty big objection to that part of the policy. I imagine a whole lot of people would. And it would be removed pretty quickly on that account. Kevin Baastalk 02:36, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Please don't apologize for my feelings. That itself is snide. You haven't really pointed anything out here, you've only made some vague accusation(s).
I admit that the article isn't up to the best of standards yet, but Wikipedia is a work in progress. We'll get there. If you think the standards I propose are unreasonable, I encourage you to ask around for third opinions. I am beginning to think that you may actually have some big problems with policies when it gets right down to it. It might help us all out if you tried to find out if that was the case or not. You're a bit too certain that it isn't the case. I'm thinking I have a bit more experience than you on such matters, however. ScienceApologist (talk) 03:39, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm not about to compare experience - i don't think that would be productive. I am quite familiar with the policies and I don't have any problems with them - I like them, in fact. I do not know of any source on wikipedia, scientifc or not, that includes the confidence levels ("error analysis"). And I've certainly (esp. by that token) never seen anything rejected on account of not having them. And likewise I'm not aware of any attributed opinion on wikipedia "verified by an outside expert". And never seen any rejected for lack thereof. I am quite certain of all this, yes. It strikes me as obvious. And I don't see why one should need a third opinion on the obvious. Kevin Baastalk 13:44, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Check out Lambda-CDM model for an example of such reporting. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:45, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I am not arguing that there aren't any papers cited that have confidence intervals in them. That would be a ridiculous claim to make and there'd be no point to it. You seem to be arguing that it's policy to reject any paper that doesn't have confidence intervals in them. Now if you can show me a paper that's been rejected on that account, that would be impressive. There might be a few, I don't know - there are a lot of different articles and a lot of different contributors - but it certainly doesn't show that all are - or should be - rejected - which is pretty much the position you're taking. If you can show me where in policy it states that papers that do not have confidence intervals in them should not be cited by wikipedia, that would prove what you are saying, and refute what I am saying. Kevin Baastalk 21:50, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
When a paper claims to make some accounting of a measurement "beyond the background" but doesn't include a confidence level for the detection, that's a WP:REDFLAG: it's an extraordinary claim from a source that is not good enough to make the claim. ScienceApologist (talk) 15:49, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) WP:REDFLAG, quoted verbatim:

Certain red flags should prompt editors to examine the sources for a given claim:
  • surprising or apparently important claims not covered by mainstream sources;
  • reports of a statement by someone that seems out of character, embarrassing, controversial, or against an interest they had previously defended;
  • claims that are contradicted by the prevailing view within the relevant community, or which would significantly alter mainstream assumptions, especially in science, medicine, history, politics, and biographies of living persons. This is especially true when proponents consider that there is a conspiracy to silence them.
Exceptional claims in Wikipedia require high-quality reliable sources; if such sources are not available, the material should not be included. Also be sure to adhere to other policies, such as the policy for biographies of living persons and the undue weight provision of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.

please point out the part in the policy, quoted verbatim above, that says measurements "beyond the background" that don't include a confidence level for the detection are red flags. Kevin Baastalk 17:04, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

You know, I recall you taking precisely the opposite stance as you are taking now, but with the same goal of eliminating the content. I said to you "I haven't seen anything that justifies removing "In addition, the isotopic ratios of the observed elements differ from their natural isotopic ratio or natural abundance." - which is very significant and very important.", suggesting that it is highly unlikely for such isotopic ratios (and esp. for lanthanides) to occur by chance. To which you retorted, and I quote: "The claim that the isotopic ratios differ from natural ratios does not source any attempt to characterize the significance or the confidence level on this claim: in fact the claim itself is suspect due to low-number statistics. You might think it is very significant and very important due to you conflict of interest, Kevin, but there is no outside evaluator who has said as much." Now you are trying to argue that the claim that the isotopic ratios differ from natural ratios is an "Exceptional claim". Whereas before you were arguing that -- far from being extraordinary -- the claim was insignificant and unimportant. Kevin Baastalk 17:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
That's a pretty ignorant comment. I have made my views clear here, but unfortunately, amateurs who aren't very well versed in scientific methodology might not really understand what I'm saying. That seems to be the case here. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:40, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
So if I am to understand what you are saying here,
  • My comment is pretty ignorant
  • I am an amateur and am not very well versed in scientific methodology (and you ostensibly are, for to be able to make such a judgement)
    • And therefore I am too stupid too understand what you're saying.
Did I get that right, or am not understanding what you're saying? Kevin Baastalk 19:47, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Analysis and rejection of observational error

This is a subjective point included in the article. Whether the authors were able to analyze the possibility or not is an opinion not a fact. Whether they adequately rejected it is as well. Per WP:NPOV, we exclude this sentence.

So what you're saying is:
  • There is no way to objectively assess or test claims of observational error.
  • Nonetheless, it is okay to make claims that the phenomena is the result thereof
    • Even if you actually have no idea whether this is true or not, and absolutly no evidence to support your claim
    • And it is important and verifiable enough and all that to put in this article
  • But not that it is not
    • Even if you have carefully assessed this possibility hands-on and have evidence to support your claim.
    • And it is neither important enough nor verifiable enough nor whatever to put in this article
  • and when someone claims that the phenomena is not the result of observational error, we should put that POV in the article,
  • but we should not present the other,balancing POV, that there the phenomena is not the result of observational error
  • in accordance w/WP:NPOV.
Forgive me if i'm a little off on the subtleties here, but I'm pretty sure I get the jist of it. Suffice it to say, I don't buy it. Kevin Baastalk 18:15, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
You are a little more than a "little off" on the subtleties. The point is that the opinions of whether the authors have adequately addressed possible counterarguments are irrelevant to the reporting of their finding. Negative results are not informative beyond the simple claim, "I think I'm right" which I'm pretty sure most readers believe anyway unless they're obsessed with unreliable narrators. You are free not to buy it, but I'm afraid Wikipedia is not a place to report promotionalism: it's the place to report notable, attributable opinions and substantiated facts. ScienceApologist (talk) 20:21, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
That sounds all non-sequitor to me; I don't see how it's related. In any case my point is that saying that the phenomena is due to observational errors is, to use your words precisely, "an opinion not a fact". And that opinion is in the article. I do not object to this - nobody is objecting to it. It is included because it is a major point of view and is relevant to the topic. We are also supposed to, per WP:NPOV, present opposing (significant) opinions, in balance. We are supposed to present all major POV's (attributed and described appropriately), and that is a major POV. Kevin Baastalk 03:07, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
First of all, the existence of the "phenomena" is not a given, and secondly NPOV does not mean "balance". There is an issue of weight. Unfortunately, when one person makes one claim that is ignored by the rest of the scientific community, it is often the case that this one person's claim gets ignored by Wikipedia. It's not fair, but it's the way NPOV works. ScienceApologist (talk) 03:35, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
The existence of a "phenomena" is a given. A phenomena is "an observable fact or event". And this article is about a fact or event that is, in fact, observable. Recently, in fact, it has been observed en masse by a large audience in a live presentation. As to what the cause of it is, that is debatable. It could be caused by "observational error", but it is nonetheless "observed" and thus "observable".
The old philosopher's notion that "Our senses deceive us." is put to rest whenever one encounters "phenomena". For with "phenomena", it is always our brain that does the deceiving! Our eyes simply report on the light that hits them, and our ears on the vibrations that strike them. Even magic tricks are phenomena -- it is the explanation for these phenomena that is the cause of error. Kevin Baastalk 14:17, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
NPOV does mean "Balance". read WP:NPOV, specifically the section labeled "balance". This and related policies clearly spell out the way wikipedia works. Kevin Baastalk 13:31, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Your contention that there is an observable fact or event is nice, but it is your own opinion and, frankly, origina research that you support because you seem committed to the cold fusion cause. Balance does not mean equal tit-for-tat argumentation. In fact, WP:WEIGHT specifically recommends against doing this. You need to take that to heart. ScienceApologist (talk) 14:44, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
I am just re-iterating the definition of "phenomena". It is not original research. It is how the word is defined in the english dictionary. And it is how I use the word. So when I use the word "phenomena" I want you to understand that this is what I mean. I have no intention of putting my little explanation of what the word "phenomena" means in the article. That would be ridiculous. If anyone wants to know what it means, they can look it up. I just want you to understand what I mean when I use the word so that we understand each other.
And I don't see how the definition of a word like "phenomena" that has been around for ages has any thing to do with cold fusion, and I certainly have no idea how its meaning could support or refute a position - save of an argument over the interpretation of a sentence that uses the word.
Now if I wanted to I could make accusations that you are hell-bent on eradicating any thing that makes cold fusion seem like anything more than an embarrassment -- but I haven't because I don't think going around accusing people of trying to advance a position is really constructive. And I don't appreciate it when it's done to me.
Now i am quite familiar with wp:weight and if you take a look at my user page you'll see that i've written an essay condemning the "tit-for-tat" interpretation of "balance". what i am saying is that the content represents a significant viewpoint on the subject and as such is appropriate. Kevin Baastalk 21:34, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
Rule #1423: Anyone who references a dictionary in their argument at Wikipedia is generally not doing too well. I didn't criticize your use of the word "phenomena", I criticized your claim that there is a phenomenon we are actually documenting (with apologies to pluralistic interpretations of Immanuel Kant). It's constructive to let people know when their obvious bias is hampering their ability to be good encyclopedia editors. I'm just letting you know. ScienceApologist (talk) 15:53, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Sometimes I think you're just trying to irritate me. If people do not apply the same (or reasonably similiar) meanings to the words that they use, then they won't be able to communicate with each other effectively. (And assuming your rules are numbered contiguously starting at one, I would say you have a few too many of them.) Definitions of words usually become a topic when two or more people don't have a shared interpretation of a word, and one of those people attempts to bridge that gap so that the two can communicate better. Usually this is helpful and appreciated. (And incidentally, that's exactly what a dictionary is for.)
plural phenomena
1 an observable fact or event
a: an object or aspect known through the senses rather than by thought or intuition
b: a temporal or spatiotemporal object of sensory experience as distinguished from a noumenon
c: a fact or event of scientific interest susceptible to scientific description and explanation
a: a rare or significant fact or event
b: an exceptional, unusual, or abnormal person, thing, or occurrence
I have here attempted to dissolve communication problems between us. Twice, arguably thrice. Quite clearly and obviously. And in return you insult me. You are not only talking about my character instead of the content of the article, you are patronizing me and insulting me. And I don't appreciate it. Kevin Baastalk 16:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Might I politely suggest you take a wikibreak? You seem to be suffering here and I can't help you with your search for knowledge. You might want to take some physics classes in your time off. Just a friendly suggestion. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:39, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I am suffering from you patronizing and insulting me after I repeatedly asked you politely to stop. That is the only thing I am suffering from. And that is the only problem I am having here on this page. Kevin Baastalk 19:19, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Kevin, I sympathise with you. Be strong. Don't become intimitated. Pcarbonn (talk) 19:25, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think Kevin belongs on this page. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:10, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Gross incivility. Reporting this to WP:ANI. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:23, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

There is no reason for people who don't understand basic concepts to be commenting on the ideas. It's actually fairly uncivil to those who do understand the concepts to promote ignorance. ScienceApologist (talk) 23:26, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Intro to "evidence for cold fusion"

The introduction to the "Summary for evidence for cold fusion" has these three sentences-

"No experiment has unequivocally produced a particle emission spectrum matching that predicted by observations in nuclear science and high-energy physics. There is still no satisfactory theory explaining condensed matter nuclear science but many explanations have been proposed, several of which do not require new physics. As of 2007, the scientific community did not acknowledge this field as a genuine scientific research theme.[8]"

All three sentences should be removed, first of all because they are not "evidence" for cold fusion. However, they wouldn't help the paper even if inserted elsewhere.

The first implies that particle emission spectrums have been produced in cold fusion experiments that are somewhat close to matching conventional nuclear science, which I do not believe is true.

The second has no supporting reference; also, the phrase "new physics" is so vague it is meaningless.

The third has the phrase "genuine scientific research theme" which is so vague it is meaningless; also it is redundant considering the labels of "pathological" and "fringe" elsewhere in the article.

Does anyone think these sentences should be kept in the article? If so, why? (talk) 21:57, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes. As to any sentence not being evidence of c.f., that is perfectly fine. It would be very one-sided if every single sentence was evidence and no single sentence was lack of evidence or evidence against. The point of the section is to discuss c.f. matters related to/pertaining to evidence, not to be a collection of evidence. As I'm sure one can see by everything else in the section. the first sentence "No experiment has unequivocally produced a particle emission spectrum matching that predicted by..." points out a lack of evidence. although i agree that one really shouldn't expect a thermo-nuclear particle emission spectrum for what is clearly not a thermo-nuclear process. (That's kinda like shining green light on something and seeing that it reflects green, then shining blue light on it and being surprised that it doesn't reflect green.) Still, it's significant.
"There is still no satisfactory theory explaining condensed matter nuclear science..." obviously quite significant, and undoubtedly true. Also material to "evidence" because for one to have evidence that supports a theory, one needs the theory. "...but many explanations have been proposed" quite true and significant. "...several of which do not require new physics". "new physics" is not vague and meaningless. it's meaning is quite definite and obvious. let me give you a few examples: Newton's law of gravity was at it's time "new physics", so was quantum physics, so was einstien's general and special theories of relativity. "new physics" means essentially a new mathematical equation describing the laws of physics. when the standard model of the atom changed, that was new physics. when a new particle is discovered which doesn't fit with the current model, that's new physics (or rather the resulting revised model is). when the different electron shells of an atom were discovered, that was new physics. piezo-electric, mangetostriction, antimatter, the Josephson effect... all new physics in their time. if it's physics and it's new, its new physics.
The phrase "genuine scientific research theme" was taken directly from the the cited source and does not mean the same thing as "pathological" or "fringe". It is essential to express the mainstream view of scientist in a verifiable manner. If anything is missing in this article, it's the sense of the mainstream perception of c.f. and this is coming from someone who has been called an advocate of c.f. by another editor.
So every sentence has a reason for being there and gives the reader important, significant, meaningful, relevant, and accurate information. Kevin Baastalk 14:41, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Though some of the sentences might fit better in another section. "There is still no satisfactory theory explaining condensed matter nuclear science but many explanations have been proposed, several of which do not require new physics." might fit better in a section on theory. "As of 2007, the scientific community did not acknowledge this field as a genuine scientific research theme.[8]" might fit better in a section on research and/or the (american) scientific community. and "No experiment has unequivocally produced a particle emission spectrum matching that predicted by observations in nuclear science and high-energy physics." might fit better in a section on nuclear products, criticisms, or comparisions with conventional thermo-nuclear physics/experiments. Kevin Baastalk 14:57, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Lists of researchers and publications

In the "Further developments (1989-2004)" section there is a list of publications and a list of researchers who have reported excess heat. All of the publications and researchers are missing links to supporting documents, which should not be allowed to continue. However, even if links were present, these lists should be removed because they don't contribute to the article. The evidence for and against cold fusion should be presented in the evidence sections, while the history sections should give quick overviews of the field's developments. Also, this presentation appears to be advocating the pro-CF side because it includes only pro-CF lists, which is not appropriate since this section should be a "news" section. Does anybody disagree? If so, why?

Also, can anyone point to supporting documents for the "1000 papers in peer-reviewed journals" claim or the Ed Storms "21 papers and articles" claim? If not, they should be removed also. (talk) 22:24, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Well I believe these are included in there because they are big names. The fact that any one of these scientists has done research in the field is notable in itself. One might ask: well who has really done research in the field? And at that we'd want to list the big names. Whether their research and experiments end up supporting the idea that there is an unexplained phenomena here (and hopeful help to explain it, in that case), or that it is merely observational error, is (hopefully; in an unbiased experiment) determined by nature, and not the scientists themselves. And nature, as we know, is indifferent to the whims of man's belief. So it's not really pro-CF or anti-CF to say that some well-known and respected scientists happened to be curious and investigated it. It is, however, notable. And material to the history. Kevin Baastalk 15:15, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree with 209 on this one. It's looking a bit like someone is trying to give a snowjob list to make it appear like there's a huge group of people supporting cold fusion rather than a pathologically committed minority of fringe and pseudo-scientists. ScienceApologist (talk) 15:55, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think Giuliano Preparata -- to name but one example -- , who made fundamental contributions to the construction of the Standard Model and advanced our understanding of interacting quantum fields, among other things, would appreciate being called "a pathologically committed minority of fringe and pseudo-scientists", but I must say, you do seem to have a knack for insulting people that you know nothing about. Kevin Baastalk 17:47, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
That's a personal attack on me, Kevin. Keep it up and I'll report you. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:37, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
If it's a personal attack to tell someone that they are making personal attacks, well then you just personally attacked me. You clearly insulted people who you clearly did not know. I just pointed it out. Maybe you consider that a virtue, I don't know. But it's what you did and I just pointed it that out and now you're getting salty at me like it was my fault. I just think you should really be more careful and do more research before you going around calling people names. That's all I'm saying. I don't think I'm being unreasonable.
Now things like "Keep it up and I'll report you. " are not the right way to handle things. If you're offended by something someone says, say what specifically offends you and why and why you think it's unfair. But if it's something fair like "You know, maybe you shouldn't call einstien a flake. I'm really not sure you have the credentials to back that up.", and you did call einstien a flake, than maybe you should take what was said into consideration rather than just being offended by it and attacking whoever said it. On the other hand, if someone really did say something that was directed at you and not your actions, and was just plain mean, and you've asked them to stop a few times and they just keep going, then you should report it. but don't say things like "Keep it up and I'll report you." to people who you're supposed to be treating as equals. Kevin Baastalk 19:34, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Giuliano Preparata has been dead since 2000. Your claim that SA's comment was an insult of him is absurd. SA clearly did not insult Giuliano Preparata, as Preparata is clearly not a member of the set of "people supporting cold fusion." You are being unreasonable. --Noren (talk) 00:30, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Preparata WAS a prominent member of "people supporting cold fusion" (see what Miley said). Does this invalidate all your logic ? Pcarbonn (talk) 06:20, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Your statement has nothing to do with my logic. SA's statement made was in the present tense describing the current set of proponents. A strawman who had made a more sweeping statement about historical CF supporters might find historical figures such as Preparata relevant. --Noren (talk) 14:08, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
If the issue is about current proponents, would you say that Brian Josephson is part of a pathologically committed minority of fringe and pseudo-scientists ? Or Yoshiaki Arata ? Or Dr. M. R. Srinivasan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India ? Please provide a source for any of such opinion. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:14, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't matter because the issue is not about current proponents. The issue is about the list of researchers in the "Further developments (1989-2004)". Of which guiliania is a member.
So no, I am not being unreasonable. And even if the example i used was inappropriate, the point that i was making with the example would still be perfectly reasonable. You don't just go around calling people names like that. Esp. people who have probably accomplished way more than you. Which is going to happen if you don't know anything about the people you're insulting. Does any of that sound unreasonable? It sounds pretty simple to me. Kevin Baastalk 17:49, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

and that most of the research groups have occasionally seen 50-200% excess heat for hours to days.

There are a number of problems with this:

  1. "Most occassionally for hours to days have seen" as any parameter observer will tell you, if most of a minority (in this case a third) of people occasionally see something, it's not exactly a strong detection.
  2. 50-200% what about other numbers? Higher? Lower? Why is this range chosen? If a different range is chosen, is the higher affected? What about 0-50%? This is an editorial comment: not a measurement to take solace from.
  3. "for hours to days" --> which is it and how much fluctuation occurs? Is it always at 50% and then spikes to 200%? Is it at a weighted average of 50% because it is normally at 0% and then spikes briefly over this period for 10000%? What's the integration time? How is the calibration of the calorimeter achieved?

Note that WP:REDFLAG is explicit that if there are problems with the source we should be careful in how we use it. This is not a careful use of this source.=

ScienceApologist (talk) 19:12, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

This statement is sourced from a peer-reviewed journal. Your opinion on it is just that, an opinion. We are not here to pick the sentences that we like from an article, and reject the ones we don't like. Either the source is reliable, or it isn't: we don't have to judge the truth of every sentence, only to report the notable ones. The quoted statement is notable, being the second in the abstract. Pcarbonn (talk) 19:18, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Poorly vetted statements that propose remarkable advances can be excluded per WP:REDFLAG. That's what we're doing here. Don't worry, if it is truly an amazing point I'm sure you can find another source for the claim that isn't so equivocal. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:03, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
WP:REDFLAG says : "Exceptional claims in Wikipedia require high-quality reliable sources". The statement here is "the reviewer says that...". This is not an exceptional claim, and it is provided by a reliable source. WP:Redflag would support the rejection of the more direct statement "most of the research groups have occasionally seen 50-200% excess heat for hours to days", but that's not what we are saying.
Please remember what the ArbComm unanimously said about WP:NPOV : "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, a fundamental policy, requires fair representation of significant alternatives to scientific orthodoxy. Significant alternatives, in this case, refers to legitimate scientific disagreement, as opposed to pseudoscience." This would be incompatible with your understanding of WP:REDFLAG, because one could defend the view that any statement by the proponents deserve a red flag.
Also, the 2004 DOE panel had a fair share of reviewers that found the evidence of excess heat convincing : so, the claim here is not an exceptional claim, only a controversial one. Pcarbonn (talk) 05:54, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I have now replaced "seen 50-200%" by "reported 50-200%". Pcarbonn (talk) 08:01, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Physical Review C article

Here are the arguments to include Physical Review C in the list of journals that have published papers in cold fusion:

  • cold fusion = Low energy nuclear reactions. The article concludes : "the fusion of two nuclei at very low energies are not only of central importance for stellar energy production and nucleosynthesis, but also provide new insights into reaction dynamics and nuclear structure."
  • its author has published many papers on cold fusion
  • he has presented resonant tunneling at the cold fusion session of the APS 2007

Pcarbonn (talk) 21:14, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

This article should not be listed by wikipedia as supporting cold fusion.
-"Cold fusion" is not the same as "low energy nuclear reactions." According to wikipedia, cold fusion reactions are reported to occur at "ordinary temperatures and pressures." The article doesn't state anything about the temperatures and pressures relevant for their calculations.
-In other words, the article does not mention cold fusion at all. Keep in mind that the authors could easily have indicated that their calculations were relevant to cold fusion experiments, but chose not to.
-The abstract and the first paragraph indicate that the calculation is about deuterium-tritium interactions, not deuterium-deuterium interactions.
-Considering the immense difference between "cold fusion" energies and "stellar energy production and nucleosynthesis" energies, the phrase "very low energies" does not necessarily indicate that the authors are discussing cold fusion reactions at all.
-Whether the authors have presented other papers on cold fusion is totally irrelevant to whether this paper merits mention in this wikipedia article.
-Since this article is copyrighted by Physical Review C, a journal which does not post its articles for free, it may not be appropriate to link to newenergytimes.com in a way that points directly to an improperly posted article. I am not sure of wikipedia policy, but it doesn't seem right. Perhaps someone (Pierre?) should contact newenergytimes.com and suggest that they replace that link with "http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRC/v61/i2/e024610" and replace other links where appropriate.
From "Wikipedia:Copyrights": "Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry [1]). Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Here is what New Energy Times say at the top of the page: "In accordance with Title 17, Section 107, of the U.S. Code, (Fair Use) this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. New Energy Times has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of these papers; nor is New Energy Times endorsed or sponsored by the originator."
Maybe we need to check with a copyright specialist. Any idea of how we could do that ?
You have not addressed my argument that selective resonant tunneling has been presented to a cold fusion session at APS meeting. Any thoughts ? Pcarbonn (talk) 05:44, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

What the heck is "selective resonant tunneling" and why would it be relevant to whether this article is mentioned in the cold fusion article? If it existed, whether it was presented to a non-peer-reviewed forum like an APS meeting is ridiculously irrelevant. Pierre, are you kidding???

Regarding the copyright issue, can you send a message about that? (talk) 06:49, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

"Selective resonant tunneling" is the subject of the Physical Review C article. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:07, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
On closer look of the article, I see that it deals with energies in the KeV. I agree that it is not directly relevant to cold fusion.
Feel free to contact the editors of New Energy Times if you believe they infringe copyright. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:13, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Unreliable source

Cold fusion proponents are giving this website as a source for the claim that over 1000 peer-reviewed papers have been written on cold fusion. A brief search through that archive finds hundreds of papers published as conference proceedings transactions and thus are not peer reviewed. This is an obvious WP:REDFLAG. Please advise. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:36, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

The author of that list say that it contains only papers. Furthermore, I could not find any conference proceedings in it. Could you elaborate ? Thanks. Pcarbonn (talk) 18:49, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

For example:

Botta E, Calvo D; Conference Proceedings, Common Problems and Trends of Modern Physics, Folgaria, Italy, 1992, 331--340 "Results of cold fusion experiments on Ti/D22 and Pd/D2 systems with gas loading"

    • Experimental, Ti, Pd, gas loading, neutrons, res+

An improved neutron detector was designed, and some statistically significant neutrons observed, especially for the Ti case, but not as much at Pd.

ScienceApologist (talk) 18:53, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

That's only one, not hundreds. Probably has slipped in somehow. Pcarbonn (talk) 18:56, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
If you want to do your own count, be my guest. I sampled 10 random articles and found three problems... one that was a conference proceeding and two that were from journals with lax peer-review standards. My extrapolation, obviously. I don't have time to read through all of them. Do you? ScienceApologist (talk) 19:06, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
You found only one problem out of 1385 articles. The 2 "lax peer-review standards" is your opinion, and does not disprove the "1000 peer-reviewed papers" statement. Pcarbonn (talk) 19:14, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
You know, that page says "Journal papers" and mentions nothing about "peer-reviewed journals".... where does the "peer-reviewed" claim comes from?
And if search for "Gieryn", you will find that his entry consists on two books. I see that his books have been cited and reviewed on journals, but they are not a journal paper themselves.
I can also 265 entries whose journal is labelled "Fusion Technol.", which probably refers to "Fusion Science and Technology", which doesn't appear to peer-reviewed [22], as it only says "Technical Papers and Notes and Critical Reviews are reviewed for technical content", but it doesn't say who reviews it (I assume it's reviewed by the editors or by members of the society editing the journal? There is no link to apply for being a reviewer) --Enric Naval (talk) 21:39, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
There's a lot of problems. Japanese Academy Transactions is listed too which is mainly conference proceedings for Japanese science conferences. This list is looking worse and worse. Perhaps we should remove it? ScienceApologist (talk) 22:07, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
The Hagelstein et al. 2004 includes some references to "Proc. Japan Acad.", wich is "Proceedings of the Japan Academy" [23] (search for latticequake on the list to find this reference). and, yeah, I picked this one because I find "latticequake" funny. --Enric Naval (talk) 02:28, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Dunno, how about this? Removing "peer-reviewed" and adding "conference proceedings" and maybe "books". But now the sentence does not make clear the difference between the 3,000 figure and the 1,000 figure :( Anyways, where the heck does the original 1,000 peer-reviewed claim come from on the first place? Is it a quote from somewhere or some editor just counted the studies on a list and added it??? --Enric Naval (talk) 01:36, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree that the site owner does not say explicitly "peer-reviewed journals", but he explicitly says that proceedings are excluded from it here (second bullet points). I could not find any "Japanese Academy Transactions" in Britz' list: please clarify. The count of article is at the top of {http://www.chem.au.dk/~db/fusion/Papers this page], so no need to count them. Your inference from "Fusion Science and Technology" is original research, and likely wrong: nothing says that these are the same journal. The 3,000 count includes proceedings, not the 1,000 count. Pcarbonn (talk) 06:10, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
"Fusion Technol." It's trivial to check that "Fusion Technol." and "Fusion Science and Technology" are the same journal. Just search Britz's list for the first instance of "Fusion Technol." and you'll see an article called Heat and Helium Production During Exothermic Reactions Between Gases Through Palladium Geometrical Elements Loaded with Hydrogen. Search for it on scholar.google.com [24], and the very first hit is this entry on Energy Citations Database [25]. It has the exact same title, author, issue, volume and page numbers as the entry on Britz's list. The journal name is listed as "Fusion Science and Technology" and it lists American Nuclear Society (ANS) as the owner of copyright, with the link I cited naming that society as the publisher [26]. On my first comment I used the same method, but with a different paper whose title I no longer remember. This is not inference, this is fact-checking that they are clearly the same and one journal.
"Proc. Japan Acad." As for "Japanese Academy Transactions", I'm sure that SA refers to "Proc. Japan Acad.". On another comment above where I talk about the "Hagelstein et al. 2004" source, I show how the "latticequake" paper is actually a proceeding and it's listed as a proceeding [27]. That proceeding is also listed at Britz's list despite being a proceeding and not a paper. You can check the journal itself, looking at the "Japanese Academy for the series B" proceedings [28]. If you click on the first link for the content of the proceedings, you are sent to "Archive Issues", where you can search for the "Vol. 71 (1995)" header and click on "No. 3 (p.93-)", and you can see the "latticequake" paper as the second entry on the list. Again, the same title, author, volume, issue and page numbers as the entry labelled "Proc. Japan Acad." on the Britz's list, so they are clearly the same and one journal.... unless, of course, you can prove that there is a journal that has that same paper on the same volume, issue and pages,...... and whose name can be contracted to "Proc. Japan Acad.", too,..... and explain the statistical chance of two journals with similar names publishing the same paper with the same volume, issue and page numbers........
Sooooo, I think that Britz's list is an unreliable source for counting journal papers, as we have been able to check that it does list proceedings and at least one book on a list title "journal papers". It's true that his "general info" page says that no proceedings are listed, but we have proved how that statement is unreliable by pointing at 7 entries that have the name of a proceedings publication, and shown how one of them is clearly a proceeding, including a link to the archived issue on the original journal. So we shouldn't take the "1385 journal papers" at face value as it comes from an source shown to unreliable. (maybe it's using a more loose definition of "journal paper" than we are using here? Is he considering a proceedings publication to be a journal?) --Enric Naval (talk) 21:28, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I am the author of that bibliography, and have a few comments. As Pierre has pointed out, there are now 1385 entries in the main biblio. I try, as much as possible, to include only papers from journals. I don't know how well these papers are refereed, but I assume that regular journals, i.e. those that publish papers on a variety of subjects, all use referees to some degree. Clearly, some reviews are more lax that others. This is inevitable. Even within a high-profile journal, e.g. one that I publish in, J. Electroanal. Chem., there will appear papers where one thinks, how did this get past the referees? I wondered about this with all those Matsumoto papers in Fusion Technol. (later to become Fusion Sci. Technol.) and a lot of Russian papers. But if I choose on the basis of whether I am convinced by a paper or not, then I may as well not be doing this. OK, so there are seven entries from the Proc. Jap. Acad.; I looked up this journal and it seems to me to be just that, a journal, accepting submissions from anyone, which I assume get refereed. Anyone can google this journal. The name "Proceedings" does not imply that the papers are reprints of talks given at conferences; there are other examples of journals with "Proceedings" in the name, sometimes for historical reasons. There is supposed to be a book in the biblio; I can only assume that this must be a chapter in a bigger volume. These are also scientific papers, and get reviewed. I have a separate file for books on cold fusion, and have certainly not put any books into the main biblio, as such. How reliable is my biblio? I agree that I cannot guarantee that every single entry is a paper in a strictly refereed journal, but I do my best to exclude news sheets and what I now call enthusiast journals, such as Infinite Energy etc. Sometimes the choice is not easy, and I have probably erred on both sides of the divide. Enthusiasts accuse me of being too restrictive; it is interesting that I am now being accused of not being restrictive enough. I take this as indicating that I have about the right balance. I don't believe anyone can come up with a precise count of cold fusion papers in properly refereed journals; there will always be a gray area where you must decide. But I do believe that whatever that count might be, it is close to mine, 1385 (so far). By the way, I have not read the actual Wikipedia entry for "cold fusion". I don't wish to get into a discussion on this. Feelings run high, and I have had enough of violent arguments with enthusiasts. They now even violently argue with each other. Dieter Britz (talk) 08:13, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Thank you Dr. Britz. Here is the URL for Proc Japan Acad.
Please note that the article says :"Proponents estimate [there are] 1,000 journal papers and books". It does not say "There are 1,000 journals". I would think that this is properly supported by the sources we provided. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:21, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the reasoned and calm answer, Dr. Britz. I can accept that a journal can have "Proceedings" on the name due to historical reasons. I see that the japanese journal was started on 1912 to publish procedings and that it has changed its focus since then. My bad for not realizing that.
looking again at the "Gieryn TF" entry, I see that the first title "The Social Dimensions of Science" is a book, but the second title "The ballad of Pons and Fleischmann: Experiment and narrative in the

(un)making of cold fusion" gets called a paper in at least one source on google scholar [29] (page xviii), altough I'll be damned if I know if it has ever been published on a journal, and on which one. Journal papers and books is ok for me, since it seems that there are really no proceedings. --Enric Naval (talk) 09:38, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

on wikipedia guidelines

You may find this discussion interesting. I would suggest that someone has a closer look at the fringe guidelines : by pretending to represent the "mainstream view", these guidelines may be abusing the WP:verifiability and/or WP:Reliable policies. I would suggest to restate the parity of source principle to work both ways : if a theory is published in a scientific journal, it may be considered as fringe science, but not as pseudoscience until a superior source does say it is pseudoscience. By superior source, I mean another scientific journal or an official statement from a scientific body, but not an editorial elaborating on what most scientists think. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:54, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

For your information, HatlessAtless has started working on it. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:10, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Primary sources vs. review documents

The current version has many links to review documents (including review articles and the 2004 DOE documents), especially in the "Evidence for cold fusion" section. As an encyclopedia, wikipedia should point to the original sources when feasible, so readers can more easily evaluate the data for themselves. Perhaps we should change the article to reflect that, while keeping the links to notable and reliable review documents of course. In other words, instead of saying that "many groups" have seen something, the article should say that "john smith" has seen something. I haven't gone through all the documents, so I am not sure how it would look in the end. Does anyone have an opinion on this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

That would be using scientific studies which are primary sources, while reviews are secondary sources. Please see Wikipedia:No_original_research#Primary.2C_secondary.2C_and_tertiary_sources for recommendations on what types of sources to use, and how to use primary sources.
You could use primary sources to show what a secondary source is asserting about those primary sources, for example. --Enric Naval (talk) 00:59, 28 July 2008 (UTC)


"two peer-reviewed literature reviews" is WP:UNDUE big time. On the one hand, paper sin Nature and one of the most heated scientific controversies in my lifetime. On the other, two literature reviews in low-impact journals by interested parties. This is a perfect example of the way this article has been biased by Pcarbonn to reflect the pro-LENR POV, as documented in his self-congratulatory article in New Energy Times. I tis time for all the NET POV-pushers, especially Pcarbonn, to be topic-banned. Guy (Help!) 13:45, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

The article in Nature was published almost 20 years ago. Since then, the researchers have progressed, as acknowledged by the 2004 DOE panel and the reviews published in peer reviewed journals. Please provide recent and reliable sources for your opinion on cold fusion's due weight. Pcarbonn (talk) 13:55, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
From WP:UNDUE : "Keep in mind that in determining proper weight we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors." For scientific topics, reliable sources are peer-reviewed scientific papers. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:00, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Finally, here is what the ArbComm unanimously said about significant alternative to scientific orthodoxies : "Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, a fundamental policy, requires fair representation of significant alternatives to scientific orthodoxy. Significant alternatives, in this case, refers to legitimate scientific disagreement, as opposed to pseudoscience." Pcarbonn (talk) 14:08, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Here is what Nature India said in 2008 : "Cold fusion hot again". And Katharine Sanderson, journalist at Nature, on her blog in 2007: "As Frank Gordon, one of the cold fusion scientists said to me, 'this actually looks like real science' - and he's right. " And you say that there is no scientific controversy ? I would think that you need a pretty good source for that. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:33, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

I agree with JzG that putting those articles in the lead is not appropriate. But the lead should convey that things have changed since Fleischmann and Pons. And the scientific community is paying some attention, as evidenced by the 2007 American Chemical Society (ACS) conference on the topic[30], a similar APS conference, and the ACS's upcoming (or already published?) book on the subject.[31] Here is a 2008 publication from Nature Publishing Group (India division). One of these more accessible articles would be better than mentioning two very low impact journals. We shouldn't imply that matters are settled, but we should note that attention has picked up just in the past few years. II | (t - c) 14:41, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
That would be fine with me. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:52, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Please note that I was not the one to introduce these reviews in the lead. [32] Pcarbonn (talk) 15:27, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Here is my proposal: In view of the accumulating evidence, several scientists have recently called the scientific community to take a second look. [1]. Pcarbonn (talk) 05:43, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Um, advocates have been trying to get the scientific community to "take a second look" ever since the first look failed to pan out twenty years ago. Per WP:BALL, the article and the lead should not say well sure, but there are some really exciting results just around the corner now. - Eldereft (cont.) 07:16, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Have you read this section of the talk page, or the article, Eldereft? The undeniable fact that cold fusion has attracted attention in the past few years should be reflected in the lead, perhaps by noting the ACS of APS conferences devoted to it. I don't particularly like Pcarbonn's sentence because there hasn't been so much a call as much as, at this point, an actual second look at cold fusion. I'm not sure whether it is fair to say that there is accumalating evidence, either. The Osaka University's claimed working CF reactor is a remarkable as well. Perhaps the simplest thing to do is just say that "Cold fusion has attracted renewed attention in the past few years, as evidenced by ACS and APS conferences devoted to analyzing it." II | (t - c) 08:59, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
The call for a second look has been made by Srinivasan, member and former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India, and is well sourced in a peer reviewed journal. I'm concerned with OR in ImperfectlyInformed's proposal. Here is another proposal: "Recent cold fusion results have been discussed at APS and ACS conferences, and echoed in scientific publication such as Nature and Science Daily.Pcarbonn (talk) 09:57, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
We should not add the obviously false claim that there existed "ACS and APS conferences devoted to analyzing" CF. There were SESSIONS at conferences, out of hundreds of other sessions, which each resulted because one organizer one of the subdivisions allowed them to use a room at the conference. This is not an endorsement or peer review, it's just letting them use a room. In the case of the ACS meeting, this was the environmental division (not physical or nuclear) and the day allowed them was the last day of the meeting- when most people have already left, and which session organizers hate because no one wants that time slot. Grandiose and false claims that these entire conferences were devoted to cold fusion results have no place in this article.--Noren (talk) 14:19, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
These sessions have a place in the lead of the article because they have gotten notability, as the source I gave show. In particular, the ACS got mentionned in : Nature, Science Daily, Chemical & Engineering News, Chemistry World, Intute and Forskning. Not bad for sessions that everybody is supposedly ignored. Pcarbonn (talk) 14:47, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, looking at all these sources, I can safely propose: "In 2007, the American Chemical Society (ACS) seemed to be warming to cold fusion. ", citing Nature:Cold fusion is back at the American Chemical Society as one of the source. Pcarbonn (talk) 18:21, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, I misinterpreted the conferences. The Osaka University reactor doesn't seem to be reported in a very reliable forum. There are still some interesting things happening post-2004, and I think they're worth mentioning, but I've just got my own opinion. If they're worth anything, they'll receive more attention in the future anyway. So we could just use the current lead, with the last couple sentences cut out, and it shouldn't be a big deal. II | (t - c) 19:45, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) We definitely have to mention something post-2004. Either the literature review articles, or something else. There is plenty of reliable sources showing that the reception is warming up. Something like: "As of 2007, the interest for cold fusion is warming up." Pcarbonn (talk) 20:01, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Please explain why presence of excess helium is not conclusive evidence of cold fusion

I just don't understand what the difficulty is in establishing that we have cold fusion. According to this article, people are saying that cold fusion has not been proved because the quantity of helium produced does not explain the amount of heat produced. What? That is crazy. The production of ANY helium is proof that cold fusion is taking place. It doesnt matter if we measure more heat than can be explained by that fusion, if so, then our heat measurement is wrong or there are other processes producing heat as well, and who cares what they are, there are lots of processes which produce heat. But there is only one process which produces helium from deuterium, and its called fusion. So the definitive factor is the production of helium. Full stop. If deuterium goes in, and helium comes out, then we have fusion. If we have helium coming out, the only way we DONT have fusion, is if the gas stream has been contaminated with helium from an external source, so, do some experiments, and rule out helium contamination, and then you've proved cold fusion. Calories are irrelevant.

This question is actually covered in Cold_fusion#Nuclear_products. Pcarbonn (talk) 12:45, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

On the other hand, there is also this discussion about nuclear transmutations. Changing proportions of isotopes etc. Although not such direct evidence as production of helium, transmutation of heavier elements is also is good evidence of fusion. There is no need to work out the details as to how or why some particular isotopes have been transmuted in such and such proportions. Surely we can just say, hmmm, we've started with a mix of isotopes, we've ended with a different mix of isotopes. Chemical reactions don't do that. And we don't normally see chemical apparatus made of normally stable isotopes spontaneously fissioning into lighter isotopes. There is nothing that is going to make them do that, except for high-energy particles... which must be being produced by fusion. There is nothing else that could do it! So, if you can prove some measurable transmutation is occurring, beyond what you would expect due to background radiation and normal decay, then, you've proved some fusion is occurring. There is no need for the details of what exact fusion reaction is going on, there is no need to calculate exactly how the fusion produces the proportions of transmutation that it does. We can work that out later. All you have to do is prove there is some excess transmutation going on. Thats all.

Finally, I have a gripe re the statement "The average distance is approximately 0.17 nanometers, a distance at which the attractive strong nuclear force cannot overcome the Coulomb repulsion. Deuterium atoms are closer together in D2 gas molecules, which do not exhibit fusion.[87]". Who cares about the AVERAGE distance between deuterium atoms in the lattice? Perhaps if the average distance between deuterium atoms in the lattice was less than in a D2 molecule, then we'd have a micro hydrogen bomb, which we don't want anyway. The question we should ask is, does the lattice somehow encourage the deuterium atoms to get closer together SOMETIMES. The average distance is irrelevant. If for example, some deuterium atoms can be concentrated in parts of the lattice, even by just random drift as they're pushed through the lattice, then, we might find that the increased density of deuterium in that area causes a small percentage of those deuterium atoms to be forced very very close to each other, by the lattice AND the other deuterium, or whatever. Perhaps the fusion of the first unlucky pair of deuterium atoms causes a little pressure wave or a little alpha particle that encourages the next couple to fuse, etc. The point is, deuterium nuclei are at a fixed distance in a D2 molecule. In the lattice, maybe, even if the average distance between deuterium atoms is high, maybe the lattice can encourage some to be forced closer.

Sorry if I'm coming across like a know-it-all who is actually ignorant of all the details. I know I'm ignorant of all the details in the research going into this. I am sure all the points I've raised here have been discussed, explained, etc, elsewhere. I only raise these issues here, because, as a general member of the interested (and reasonably well educated) public, who loves physics... well.. I want the wikipedia to answer these questions, because these are the questions which to me, remain unanswered after reading the article! And I don't have time to read all the research on cold fusion, I want wikipedia to answer my questions :)

I think they're good questions though! So, thanks very much to anyone who can squeeze in some explanations into this wikipedia article! IbleSnover (talk) 09:04, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

There's a flaw in your question, which is in the assumption that the evidence for the production of Helium is solid. As the 2004 DoE review put it, "Contamination of apparatus or samples by air containing 4He was cited as one possible cause for false positive results in some measurements." Secondly, the question of energy production is central to be the First Law of Thermodynamics- an experimental result that makes energy disappear would be regarded as even more implausible than a cold fusion claim. Contamination is a better explanation of the results than throwing out the principle of conservation of energy. --Noren (talk) 13:26, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
More precisely, there is a flaw in one of the questions -- and even more precisely, the answer to one of the question is ... Kevin Baastalk 14:08, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
And in any case he wanted the explanations in the article. And I think that's a good idea. I think that kind of feedback is valuable - to have someoen new read it and when their done tell us where they perceive there to be gaps and what questions they have that remain unanswered. And I think we should do what we can to fill the gaps and answer the questions in the article, wherever it's possible to do so w/out introducing WP:OR. Kevin Baastalk 14:12, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
They are good questions, and I can see how a reasonable casual reader could be confused. IbleSnover is puzzled by the fact that some scientists claim to observe cold fusion and yet other scientists don't believe them. Dank55 said something similar, which I will paraphrase as "Can't some established scientists visit a lab for a few weeks and settle the issue?" Unfortunately, the magnitudes and "cleanliness" (for lack of a better word) of the data presented are simply not good enough to convince mainstream scientists that cold fusion is really happening. Keep in mind that these measurements are difficult. In other words, mainstream scientists like me simply don't believe that there is any excess helium, especially since atmospheric helium is always an issue.
Since that is the case, what should the wikipedia article look like? It should describe the most impressive experiments and then describe the reaction of mainstream scientists. I say that the current article does a decent job of both. Unfortunately, there are some questions even wikipedia can't answer  :( (talk) 14:28, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
So you're saying the reason "established scientists [can't] visit a lab for a few weeks and settle the issue" is that "mainstream scientists ... simply don't believe that there is any excess helium"? Kevin Baastalk 15:50, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I've got some excess helium that is produced whenever I eat carbohydrates. I collect my exhaled breath and see that there is far more helium than in the control breath and certainly far above the background. See, there's cold fusion going on in my stomach and the helium escapes. Care to visit me for a few weeks and settle the issue? This is the tenor of most of these claims. What 209 is rightly saying is that people don't waste their time with incredulous pronouncements. Sorry, just because you are in love with cold fusion ideas doesn't mean the rest of humanity is as easily taken in. ScienceApologist (talk) 21:15, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
What SA means is that there are many explanations for those small amounts of hellium, like contaminants on the reaction, filtrations from outside, etc. Generally, scientifics are very scepetic and wary when experiments don't give clear results, the amounts are so near to the error margins, and the results are not replicated consistenly enough. That's because they know how easy it is to make small mistakes that invalidate completely the experiments, like it seems to be the case with most cold fusion experiments, which have this had habit of failing to get replicated reliabily (either the experiment fails, or it gives different amounts of elements than the replicated study). And that's what causes scientifics not to believe cold fusion.
Thanks for the translation.  :-) Kevin Baastalk 01:30, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
We could get into discussion about controlled environments and closed and open cells and all that, but we've already discussed that at length and I agree (w/below) that it would be unproductive and tangential here. Kevin Baastalk 01:37, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

You should all realize that the Clarke and Oliver papers in Fusion Sciene and Technology showed that one of the 'experts' in the CF field submitted 4 sample cells to them (for presumed confirmation of CF) that contained primarily air in the gas headspace. That means the CF 'expert' didn't know how to seal his apparati. In turn that means any report of He detection must prove that it is not coming from air inleakage (the conventional explanation offered up from Day 1 of the CF saga). This is done by testing first for nitrogen and then looking for neon as well, as Clarke and Oliver did. No extant CF-claimimg paper does that to date, ergo no He nuclear ash claim is reliable to date.Kirk shanahan (talk) 16:42, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
And now let's go back to suggesting improvements to the article. Anyone knows of a good source that discusses in deep the problems with replications, and how this has caused wariness on scientific acceptance of cold fusion? --Enric Naval (talk) 22:14, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The F-P issues are going to be very hard to live down. Rightly or wrongly, one wrong move in science tends to scare people off a subject for a generation. See John Lykoudis who did not live to see himself vindicated. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:28, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, someone has an idea or source of how to edit the article to explain how the wrong move by fleischmann and pons scared people in that way? --Enric Naval (talk) 22:35, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The book "Bad Science" by Gary Taubes is an excellent book that I recommend to everyone interested in cold fusion. It describes the less-than-admirable behavior of Pons and Fleischmann and their coworkers at the University of Utah, and many of the reproducibility issues. (talk) 23:21, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
If possible, let's use scholar sources written by authors which are accepted as recognized experts on the field. --Enric Naval (talk) 10:57, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
In this case, I think Gary Taubes' book is a very good source for the point being discussed. We're not talking about the experiments, set-ups, evidence, or theories directly. We're talking about the reaction of scientists to a controversy. In this case, the book in question is an excellent secondary source. ScienceApologist (talk) 18:57, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I just saw Gary Taubes. He is an awarded science writer, so he probably qualifies as an expert. SA is right in that this is social stuff and not stuff about the science. One note: his book was published on 1993, so it was covering the span of time with the most negative publicity for cold fusion, from 1989 to 1993. We'll also need a source for how the effect persisted on time from 1994 to 2008. --Enric Naval (talk) 19:49, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

As an aside, I just thought about the "...Who cares about the AVERAGE distance between deuterium atoms in the lattice?..." comment - and remembered that the AVERAGE velocity (i.e. the temperature) of particles in conventional thermonuclear fusion is well below what is required for fusion - it's only a very small percentage of ions that are traveling much faster than the average which have enough energy to fuse. Since fusion events give off so much energy, this small percentage is enough to make sustain the reaction (in theory). One would think that the same principle would apply to deuterium atoms in a lattice. (I'm not opining on the theory, I'm just noting an analogy.) Kevin Baastalk

Does anyone have good references on whether H absorption by Pd is exothermic or endothermic?

I recall being discussed in CF literature but I don't remember where. (talk) 19:42, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

I found this for electrolytic cells. (I suspect there are some sign errors in this paper: the reaction is spontaneous, so it must be exothermic, and the enthalpy of formation should be negative). Pcarbonn (talk) 05:59, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
I haven't looked at the linked paper yet, but your logic doesn't follow at all. A Gibbs free energy difference is what would drive a reaction, which includes entropic as well as enthalpic terms. In some cases the entropic terms are more important than the enthalpic- a trivial example is the melting of ice, which is quite endothermic and yet occurs spontaneously. When phase changes are involved, as they are in this case, entropy differences can be particularly important. That being said, I would expect that the transition from a gas to a solid would cost entropic energy, so I'm fairly sure that this particular reaction is exothermic. Ignoring some of the types of energy in the system (including entropy) could lead to incorrect conclusions about the net energy balance. Back to the subject, why is a reference specific to enthalpy needed?--Noren (talk) 14:23, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
On second thought, it's more complicated than that, as some or all of the H2 will go from an η2-H2 to a discrete palladium hydride form, so the net entropy is more complicated and I don't think I can say one way or the other on the enthalpy question at the moment.--Noren (talk) 14:45, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
You have to be careful whether the numbers you are looking at refer to the absorption or desorption. Absorption is exothermic, desorption is endothermic. There was some talk as well that that may reverse at the highest loadings obtained in electrochemical Pd loading used in most CF experiments, but that is not a well-established fact.Kirk shanahan (talk) 16:47, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Administrator's Noticeboard discussion over JzG's revert to 2004 version

I took this page off my watchlist since it looked like people were working constructively, but recently came back when I saw rant on AN. JzG appears to have blanked this page, cutting it from the 64k 2008 version to 24k 2004 version, with no consensus or discussion that I can see. He should read through the article carefully and attempt to zero in on things he finds questionable, not revert back 4 years. I suggested that the people working on this article look for recent reviews which have negative results. I'm surprised that there don't seem to be any; is that from a lack of research? Given my past knowledge of how these things work, I would not be surprised if it was. I also suggested moving things around: for example, in the reproducibility section, the DOE panel's conclusion should go before the researchers' claim. I think it might also be better to put the History section below the Evidence and Criticism sections. II | (t - c) 11:50, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

  • For values of constructive whihc equates to all the pro-mainstream people having gone, yes. I noticed that too. The 2004 versionw as featured, this version is the subject of a self-congratulatory article by Pcarbonn saying how successful he has been in getting Wikipedia to lead the way in rehabilitating the reputation of this field. It is wrong on so many levels that if I even have to start explaining it to you, you will never understand. Guy (Help!) 13:46, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
You are mistaken: the July 2008 version is the result of many contributors and reviewers, not just me. Pcarbonn (talk) 13:52, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, but you have declared that you were the one who won the battle for cold fusion!--Noren (talk) 01:26, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
No, he said "with the help of many others..." and his link was to the mediation process. what i think he meant to say is that not a lot of progress was being made on the article for a long time, and the article was pretty bad at that time and there were some obvious improvements that weren't getting made (but not for lack of trying). and ppl weren't accepting mediation for whatever reason so everything was just in a sorry state of affairs. then suddenly everyone accepted mediation and things got done a lot faster and more smoothly -- it's like the disagreement and chaos disappeared -- and mediation finished with a much-improved article -- one that we all agree is much improved. so the battle -- and it was very much a battle before mediation began -- to bring this article up to standard had been won. Pcarbonn played a large roll in this and i think he deserved credit.
In any case, I don't see what that has to do with the validity of the statement "the July 2008 version is the result of many contributors and reviewers, not just me." That truth of that statement pretty much goes without saying. JzG could have leveled the same criticism at me and I'd come back with the same rebuttle and it would be just as valid.
And more importantly: we should be talking about the content, not contributors. (Except when it comes to policy violations or outright obstructive behavior like edit warring, ofcourse.) Kevin Baastalk 03:25, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
That single out-of context-statement is going to haunt poor Pcarbonn for the rest of his life, I see :P How about we stop trying to read his mind to see what he exactly meant? There's that AGF bussiness and all.... --Enric Naval (talk) 04:29, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Don't worry, that statement won't haunt me. I'll stand by it anytime. The recent episode by Guy is the perfect illustration of what I meant. And it's not the first time he did it. The last time he reverted to the FA version, it started a dispute that resulted in the opening of the mediation process. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:15, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
For the record, I have written a timeline of the cold fusion dispute here. Pcarbonn (talk) 07:22, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Interesting that you have nothing in there on my prior contributions... For the record you have not successfully defended cold fusion as non-psuedoscience. It clearly is, based on the cold fusioneers refusal to respond to the literature issues around calorimetry accuracy (not precision please) and He measurement accuracy. It meets several of Langmuir's criteiria for such as well. Kirk shanahan (talk) 15:55, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't follow that CF is pseudoscience. Pseudoscience doesn't mean "I don't believe their explanation is correct." (regardless of the reason). A thing could still be scientific while one or a number of people don't believe the explanation for it is correct -- whether for lack of evidence or what have you. And for the record (and "on" the record), there was an RFC on whether or not cf is pseudoscience and the conclusion was nearly unanimous to the contrary. So from the numbers I would say that it seems to be your position that's lacking the support. Kevin Baastalk 19:46, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

[unindent] Like the CFers, I don’t think voting defines this issue, particularly when critical information has been withheld from the voters. Let's look at tat briefly...

From the Wiki page on pseudoscience we find:

“As it is taught in certain introductory science classes, pseudoscience is any subject that appears superficially to be scientific or whose proponents state is scientific but nevertheless contravenes the testability requirement, or substantially deviates from other fundamental aspects of the scientific method.[3]”

From the Wiki page on the scientific method, we find:

“Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process be objective to reduce a biased interpretation of the results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.”

From my comments in the “Bias on both sides” section on this page we find:

The assertion that published studies on He in ‘cold fusion’ experiments came from air leaks, that this necessitates that the CFers perform ‘full disclosure’ on their experimental results and methods, and that that has not yet been done.


The assertion that heavy metals found in cold fusion experiments comes from a) contaminants or b) improper analysis of data, that this necessitates that the CFers perform ‘full disclosure’ on their experimental results and methods, and that that has not yet been done.

And from my other comments on calorimetry (incl. edits to the CF Wiki page), we find:

The assertion that apparent excess heat arises from an analytical method problem, that the CFers exclude these concerns based on a dislike of a proposed speculative physical/chemical mechanism that might or might not be a source of a calibration constant shift problem, while ignoring the mathematical fact that a 1-3% change in cal. constants can account for the large majority of such heat claims. One fundamental aspect of the scientific method is the concept that if two alternative explanations exist for a given set of observations, then the situation is undefined and more new work must be done designed to test each alternative and distinguish between the two, because two distinct, conflicting explanations for a phenomenon can’t both be correct. Failure to do that substantially deviates from other fundamental aspects of the scientific method. Failure to incorporate a viable alternative into experimental protocols produces a biased interpretation of the results.

Seems to me we need a new vote… Kirk shanahan (talk) 18:48, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

The problems I have with your logic here aside, I don't think a new RFC on the matter would produce a much difference result. Kevin Baastalk 17:20, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, that would be a shame, since I always hope that people, when presented with additional information on a topic, will incorporate new information into their thought processes and alter their conclusions if warranted. That's what science is all about. Kirk shanahan (talk) 15:38, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Recent developments in introduction

Recently someone replaced this sentence in the introduction:

In 2007, a peer-reviewed literature review concluded that cold fusion has been demonstrated by numerous experiments that result in excess heat production and nuclear reaction products such as helium-4. [7]

with this:

The American Chemical Society's (ACS) 2007 conference in Chicago held an "invited symposium" on cold fusion and low-energy nuclear reactions, and thirteen papers were presented at a "Cold Fusion" session of the 2006 American Physical Society (APS) March Meeting in Baltimore.[7][8] The government of India has expressed interest in the research.[9]

I think this is a mistake because the first version points to a published document that can be examined, while the second does not. Also, the second version implies a greater change in the reputation of cold fusion than is actually the case. I say that because information in the introduction is automatically assumed to be "more important" than other information, and the fact that some papers were presented or someone quoted an interest in cold fusion is just not important enough for the introduction. Keep in mind that all of the information in the second version is already in the "Recent developments" section of the article.

Does anyone have any thoughts? By the way, I have previously posted as,, and Olorinish (talk) 15:01, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I made those changes. JzG highlighted the problem with that peer-reviewed literature review -- it comes from a pretty weak journal. WorldCat only listed like 7 libraries which had the journal. Explaining that cold fusion has received more attention recently is neutral -- it doesn't state that they've actually achieved any success, although it might imply that. Also, yes, it is reproduced in the recent developments section. The sentences could be tweaked slightly, but there's nothing wrong with reproducing information from the body in the lead. II | (t - c) 18:18, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Bias on both sides

I would like to know who decided to call Hubler a "cold fusion proponent" when he was brought in to do the NRL review because he had zero experience with it. Also his 2007 review was moved from "recent developments" to "summary of evidence" even though it presents only one kind of summary evidence -- different palladium loading ratios achieved by diferent research teams -- which is not even mentioned in the article text.

And on the to-do list, I see that Pcarbonn has removed a request to describe net power stated in research results as a "request for original research" in his edit summary. The fact is that we are talking about tiny magnitudes which is the reason the field has a reputation for not producing results. A summary of published research is not original research.

I have attempted to address both problems as well as I can in the space of a few minutes. (talk) 17:24, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

The abstract for that paper does not discuss fusion as a possible mechanism for the "excess heat." I have not read the paper, so I am curious, does he assert that it is plausible that cold fusion is causing the excess heat? Depending on how he phrases his support of the cold fusion model this paper might not belong in the cold fusion article. (talk) 18:48, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
I would say that it is relevant regardless because the matter of heat well in excess of what can be achieved by a chemical process in a pallidium cathode of a heavy water electrolysis cell is a very specific circumstance inequivocally and unambiguously associated with cold fusion. And that touches on a correction - we are not talking about tiny magnitudes. It follows that that can't be the reason the field has a reputation for not producing results. That is a matter of reproducability, not magnitude. When it works, it does so by a large margin. If it was a tiny magnitude i'm sure it would have been dismissed as measurement error long ago. Kevin Baastalk 14:50, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
In fact, the large majority of excess heat claims are in the 'tiny' regime. The cold fusioneers attempt to hide this fact routinely by not discussing the impact of the calibration constant shift (CCS) problem, which has the capacity to explain the vast majority of excess heat claims from a 1-3% shift in calibration constant. 1-3% is tiny. The few remaining claims that exceed what one might expect from the CCS can usually be addressed by other errors specific to that study. Please note that I try to allow for the possibility of an exception to this position, but as of now I am not actually aware of one.Kirk shanahan (talk) 16:17, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
I disagree that excess heat "unequivocally and unambiguously" indicates cold fusion. This article is called "cold fusion" and it currently describes the Hubler paper as saying that "cold fusion has been demonstrated." If the Hubler paper says that there are some unexplained heat effects and has little to say about cold fusion, we should change how it is portrayed in the article. Can anyone provide the relevant quotes to sort this out? (talk) 17:18, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Also note that the CCS explanation causes any claim where its potential effect is not addressed to become invalid for conclusion-making. As far as I know, that includes all extant 'excess heat' claims to date. The fact that such as issue was brought to the cold fusioneers attention in 2000 and published in 2002, 2005, and 2006, and is still not addresed in any subsequent pro-CF publications is a clear indication we are dealing with psuedoscience.Kirk shanahan (talk) 16:17, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
The statement that cold fusion has been demonstrated comes from the Biberian paper, not from the Hubler paper, so the lead paragraph should indeed be improved. Here is what Hubler says in http://www.newenergytimes.com/Library/2007HublerG-AnomalousEffects.pdf his conclusion]: "It was suggested that evidence for anomalous heat effects is now strong enough to warrant fundamental investigations of this system." and "A selected list of possible experiments was presented that if executed, may help to reveal the underlying mechanism(s) responsible for the excess heat data."
Nevertheless, it should be obvious that this paper is relevant for the article as it talks about nuclear activity in Palladium, and it has references to several paper on cold fusion. Pcarbonn (talk) 22:59, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
'Cold fusion' has not been demonstrated. Uncontrolled apparent excess heat has been reported many times, and is probably real, but is most likely not really in excess. Nuclear ash products have been reported, but analytical methods used to detect those products have been challenged, and no response to those challenges has been made, making it impossible to use those results to claim a nuclear mechanism.Kirk shanahan (talk) 16:17, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
You say, regarding nuclear ash products, "...but analytical methods used to detect those products have been challenged, and no response to those challenges has been made, making it impossible to use those results to claim a nuclear mechanism." I am not aware of any challenges to the analytic methods used to detect nuclear ash products. From what i recall the "analytical methods" used were standard spectrometry (and in some cases more advanced spectrometry methods). And in any case no such challenges are mentioned anywhere in the article. If there are such challenges as you suggest I presume the reader would be as interested to learn about them as I am. Kevin Baastalk 14:58, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, first to the He claims. As noted in the section "Please explain why...fusion" on this page, 4 samples that were to have 'proved' He was being produced in a cold fusion cell variant were submitted to the world experts Oliver and Clarke for analysis. In all 4 cases significant air inleakage was uncovered, which is where the He was coming from. The CFers who submitted the samples clearly don't know how to keep air out of those apparati, so why should any respectable scientist blindly assume that they can? That is the specific challenge, which is answered by a full disclosure of the full experimental protocol and mass spectral results. They haven't done this. (As noted in the other section, the per-reviewed, published papers can be found in Fusion Science and Technology.) Thus the issue is unresolved and the claims for He detection stand as just claims, not evidence.
Next to the heavy element transmutation claims. These come from two places: a) detection of new elements not found in the starting materials by the same technique, and b) isotopic distribution shifts. The first has been challenged in a couple of ways. First, Scott Little of EarthTech International attempted to replicate the transmutation results obtained from the RIFEX kits sold by James Patterson and George Miley (the kits were a simplified version of the Patterson Power Cell). He did detect anomalous elements, but he went a step further, he tried to track down their source. He took the chart of results produced by Miley showing numerous new elements and computed the probable concentration of those elements in the electrolyte which the cell was exposed to, and he determined that with the exception of a very few, all could have been present in the electrolyte at concentrations beneath the detection level. In other words, the cell was just extracting trace level contaminants from the electrolyte. For the remaining elements, he embarked on a detailed search for sources of contamination in the experimental apparatus, and he found most of them were present as contaminants. Again, the cell was just extracting and concentrating them. Little's report was not published in the literature (even though I tried to convince him to do so), it was just posted to his Web site ( http://www.earthtech.org/experiments/rifex/rifex.pdf ) Similarly, Little has participated in the CR-39 study and concludes most of the pits could easily arise from chemical contamination, see http://www.earthtech.org/experiments/PACA/report.htm ). These are clear challenges to CFers to make an equivalent effort when they see new elements in the experiments. None do so far. Kirk shanahan — continues after insertion below
Wasn't Little's study replied to by the SPAWAR research group? Bow Shock Turb (talk) 10:25, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Not to my knowledge. The first use of CR-39 was by Oriani in c. 2002, and I commented then on two conventional mechanisms that could rpoduce the effect. Scott Little then studied Oriani's materials and found contamination was the cause of the pits. Little then participated in a recent study that Krivit set up, and subsequent to that wrote up some comments (ref'd above) to the effect that he couldn't see any reason to discount the contamination explanation. Kirk shanahan (talk) 13:21, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I should have added that the SPAWAR group participated in the same Krivit study. Little's comments were after the study was complete, at least to my knowledge. There are relatively current events and I may not be totally up to speed. They don't keep me informed...Kirk shanahan (talk) 13:44, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
As well, an interesting comment was made on Vortex (see http://www.mail-archive.com/vortex-l@eskimo.com/msg20731.html in "Section 3. Transmutations") about mistaking S for Mo (at least in this case the CFers themselves found it). Finally, one claim has been made by XPS that Pr is found on the experimental apparatus, but it was recognized at the conference where this was presented by at least one attendee that Cu and Pr are almost indistinguishable by XPS, and Cu is a known contaminant of some of the experimental materials (specifically CaO), as well as potentially being deposited by the experimental sample prep method. Unfortunately I can't find the Vortex ref to this comment right now, but the criticism that Cu is mis-identified as Pr still stands, I just wanted to credit the right folks (apologies to them).
With regards to isotope distribution changes, these claims always arise from Secondary Ion Mass Spectromentry (SIMS) results, since only by mass spec can you get isotope distributions. However, those results are being interpreted as far as we can see in a very amatuerish fashion. The researchers note changes in the primary ion distribution and claim shifts. However, what they do not consider (and what must be considered) is that in SIMS you get more than monoatomic ions. You also get di- and even tri-atomic ions. In the CF case, we are talking about M-H, M-D, and maybe M-DH, M-DD, M-HH species. The simple ion intensities at the isotopes of M mass values cannot just be considered as arising from just M. Thus depending on how much H is on the surface, how much M-H is sputtered off in the SIMS experiment, etc., the relative intensities get all messed up. One has to a) check for H and D in the full mass spectrum, and then b) run standards where such things are known (a very difficult thing to do). No CFer has done this to my knowledge (note that this means publishing it or at least posting a full analysis).
So, the point is that the CFers do not provide enough information in their publications to assure the interested and experienced reader that their analytical methodology is sufficient. This requires that any claims to have detected He and/or heavy metal transmutation products must be taken with a grain of salt. By the way, this lack of information is one of the biggest reasons why they have great difficulty in getting these reports published in independently reviewed journals. After you neglect He and heavy metal claims, and excess heat claims, there's not much left to look at. Ergo, my statement: "...but analytical methods used to detect those products have been challenged, and no response to those challenges has been made, making it impossible to use those results to claim a nuclear mechanism." Kirk shanahan (talk) 17:02, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for that. A lot of interesting info that's not in the article. I wouldn't know how to add it in, esp. w/respect to WP:OR and finding good sources (such as what would be considered "notable", etc.). But in any case i think that, if done right, adding material to this respect would help make the article more thorough and balanced, as well as more interesting and informative. Kevin Baastalk 14:52, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
That's what originally happened in 2006. PCarbonn even created a "Cold Fusion Controversy" page that had all the discussions and references in it (April 19, 2006 16:46 hrs.). So where is it today? Gone. The article that is currently up is pro-CF POV in that it assumes from the start that there actually are nuclear reactions ongoing. There is no proof of that. A better article would start off assuming there might be an effect, but it is undefined as of yet, and then note that 'now' is almost 30 years since the discovery was announced. That's way to long a time to show no significant progress, and it indicates the researchers have been barking up the wrong tree for years. The only way that happens is when they refuse to consider any alternatives, which is the hallmark of a psuedoscientist.Kirk shanahan (talk) 11:10, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
30 or 20 years? Even if all of effects are within a margin of error as you state, does nonscientific intent on the part of the reporters follow necessarily? Bow Shock Turb (talk) 10:25, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, my mistake, 20 years. Which reporters? I'm not concerned with what journalists say. I am concerned with this article, and with the unwillingness of the CFers (who report their results) to follow good scientific practice. The issues are unresolved to date, and any article that implies they are is in error.Kirk shanahan (talk) 13:21, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Kirk, it's good to have your input. I am curious, what changes do you think should be made to the article? Olorinish (talk) 13:28, 21 August 2008 (UTC)
After rereading the page, the basic problem seems to be in the "Criticism" section. First off, the very title is biasing. Nobody like criticism, so the reader is automatically negatively influencd. What i will try to do is add an alternative section to the page and let you look at it and compare. I will call it "Evidences again cold fusion". Give me some time though, I do have a job and a life... Kirk shanahan (talk) 19:01, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, I have dashed out a start at the section. Feel free to comment...just remember it's a rough 1st draft designed to illustrate what I would do with the following section. Kirk shanahan (talk) 19:26, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, we're really not all that interested in opinions and I don't think it's productive to start calling people names. We're here to work on the article. We want input on what changes should be made to it, the more specific the better. And even better would be the changes themselves. Kevin Baastalk 14:17, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
Opinions? Calling names? Please see my edit to the 'bias on both sides topic'. I may have offered you all a few opinions, but what I propose to include in the article is facts, and as far as name calling I assume you mean the term 'pseudoscientist'. Well, if the shoe fits.... The Wiki readers need to know if they are or aren't, don't you think? It radically changes the point of the article. Kirk shanahan (talk) 19:01, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
I was refering to your most recent (relevant) comment, such as your opinion that there has been no significant progress in almost 30 years, which is subject to a lot of counterexamples and debate, hence i call it an "opinion". And a shaky one, upon which you founded your opinion that CF is pseudoscience. (an idea which, as i have mentioned before, was almost unanimously rejected in a recent RFC). But you went further -- you called the people who research it "pseudoscientists", which is quite a different thing altogether than calling a theory or proposition pseudoscience. Most significantly, it is an attack directed at people. You did not call the field "pseudoscience", you called people "pseudoscientist"s. And I imagine some of these people might be in or might have been in discussion on this very page, which makes your attack on people's character border on a violation of policy. And no i don't think the wikipedia reader needs to know your -- or anyone else's for that matter -- opinion on a people's character. I think that would be inappropriate on this, or any other article for that matter. (which the exception of biographical articles in which public perception is relevant, such as political leaders.) And yes, adding it would radically changes the point -- of view -- of the article: it would give it one. That's something we're trying to avoid. Kevin Baastalk 17:08, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Those who do science are called scientists. Those who do pseudoscience are called psuedoscientists. That's basic English grammar. If Wiki has a problem with that I guess I'm in trouble, because I only claim to be fluent in English. I outlined why cold fusion is pseudoscience in the 'Administrator"s Noticeboard...' section above. In brief, in three major cases that constitute the major evidenciary claims supporting cold fusion, with three different sets of critics, those who conduct cold fusion research fail in their response (or lack of) to the critics conform to the scientific method per Wiki's own definition. And per Wiki's own definition this makes cold fusion pseudoscience, and thus those who claim cold fusion is real based on that evidence or do the cold fusion research critiqued above are pseudoscientists. So no, it isn't my 'opinion', unfortunately all one has to do is read the literature to see it is fact. But don't get excited, I am about done here. I was asked to participate as the 'only known skeptic' and I have. I have made my edits and added my points. Now it's up to you to present a balanced article on cold fusion. Just remember that today thousands (possibly tens of thousands) of scientists when polled would call cold fusion pseudoscience (or pathological science, I don't think in practice there's much difference), just as they did in 1992 after all the excitement had faded. And this is in light of the CFers continuing efforts to reverse that trend. They haven't been successsful In the recent DOE re-review of CF, the conclusions were nearly the same after about 14 years, which says that no significant progress has been made (i.e., not an 'opinion'). (If it had the conclusions would have reflected that.) It was a shame that no counterviews of CF were presented at that review. I suspect that if they had, the reviewers would have been a lot tougher on the CFers. For the sake of balance, that viewpoint should be as clear as the fact that a small cadre of scientists still cling to hope that CF is real. Ciao. Kirk shanahan (talk) 16:10, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I understand basic English grammar. In this context, "-ce" refers to the field, whereas "-ist" refers to a person who studies in the field, which is precisely my point. There's more to language than just grammar. There's the meaning conveyed; the thoughts, feelings, and intentions communicated -- which is dictated by far more than just grammar. In this case, "pseudoscientist", unlike "pseudoscience", is a pejorative directed at a person or group of people. So it's a matter of pride and prejudice. And ethics. But perhaps that's something you're not as fluent in as you are in English. Wikipedia -- and society in general (including none other than yours truly) -- does have a problem with personal attacks, quite irrespective of their alternative suffixes.
You clearly have very strong opinions. But take note that your opinions don't meet wikipedia's criteria for "fact". Having said all that, I don't want to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth for a minor squabble such as this. In fact, there is a policy/guideline here on wikipedia that I believe I've just violated: "don't bite the newcomers". I'm sorry for that. Your contributions add information and balance to the article which no other editor has been able to provide, and for that they are much appreciated, just as much by me as by others. Thank you. Kevin Baastalk 14:36, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Also, Kevin, "But perhaps that's something you're not as fluent in as you are in English." is definitely uncivil and a personal attack. I suggest striking out that comment. ScienceApologist (talk) 15:07, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Good call. It was meant to be a response to "If Wiki has a problem with that I guess I'm in trouble, because I only claim to be fluent in English.", but it was poorly worded. Striken. Kevin Baastalk 15:14, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Please could someone provide adequate sources for the unsourced statements in the 'criticism' section, or they risk being removed. By this, I mean a paper published in scientific journals or reliable sources of similar standing. Pcarbonn (talk) 15:53, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Kirk Shanahan additions

Thanks for adding your thoughts to the article. However, I really think this type of information should be in the "Criticism" section. I don't see any negative connotation at all to the word "Criticism," since it an important part of good science. Also, let's try to avoid too much redundancy in the article sections. Am I missing something?

Also, in my opinion the words "evidences" and "extant" are not common enough for use in a general encyclopedia article. Can you substitute something else? Olorinish (talk) 21:45, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

So moved. Bow Shock Turb (talk) 10:46, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Re: "Am I missing something?" Yes you did. My intent was to provide a contrast, mainly in style. The original section was written by a pro CFer, who a) didn't know what most of the objections were, and b) gave short shrift to those he/she did mention. I think the section should forcefully point out that there are serious challenges to the major claims to have evidence of CF, and point out that those claims go unaddressed by the CFers, which is a violation of the scientific method, and thus points clearly to CF being pseudoscience. Kirk shanahan (talk) 13:33, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
refernces for the Clarke and Oliver work -

"Search for 3He and 4He in Arata-Stype Palladium Cathodes I: A Negative Result", W. Brian Clarke, Fusion Science and Technology, 40(2) (2001) 147 "Search for 3He and 4He in Arata-Stype Palladium Cathodes II: Evidence for Tritium Production", W. Brian Clarke, Brian M. Oliver, Michael C. H. McKubre, Francis L. Tanzella, Paolo Tripodi, Fusion Science and Technology, 40(2) (2001) 152 "Comments on "Search for 3He and 4He in Arata-Stype Palladium Cathodes I: A Negative Result" and "Search for 3He and 4He in Arata-Stype Palladium Cathodes II: Evidence for Tritium Production"", Ben Bush, J. J. Lagowski, Fusion Science and Technology, 43(1) (2003) 134 Response to ""Comments on "Search for 3He and 4He in Arata-Stype Palladium Cathodes I: A Negative Result" and "Search for 3He and 4He in Arata-Stype Palladium Cathodes II: Evidence for Tritium Production""", W. Brian Clarke, Brian M. Oliver, Fusion Science and Technology, 43(1) (2003) 135 Kirk shanahan (talk) 12:00, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

references for the misassignment of XPS peaks -

Msg with note on S being accidentally assigned as Mo http://www.mail-archive.com/vortex-l@eskimo.com/msg20731.html discusses a report on ICCF13, so in principle, the paper could be found in the Proceedings.

Msg that comments on equivalence of Cu and Pr XPS signals, i.e. problem known to Cfers vortex-L list , July 12, 2002 confirmed with Free Atom Subshell Binding Energies table in "Handbook of x-ray and ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy" ed. D. Briggs, 1977 (not the latest version) Kirk shanahan (talk) 13:09, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

references for SIMS data misinterpretation:

This is a standard problem in SIMS, so consult any text. CFers report that their SIMS machines filtred out all molecular ions, but given the importance of their claims if true, mere assertion is inadequate, full disclosure is required to prove it actually occurred. (otherwise failure to follow the scientific method can be claimed, and thus, pseudoscience).

For an example of the problem with Pd, see: "Anomalous signal formation in secondary ion mass spectrometry of palladium" F. Okuyama, , a, M. Kanekob, S. Sendaa, Y. Katadaa and M. Tanemuraa International Journal of Mass Spectrometry Volume 189, Issues 2-3, 11 August 1999, Pages 173-179

The references for the contamination study by a private researcher were given in the prior section of this page. They are web refs to pdf documents. Kirk shanahan (talk) 13:09, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Wow. Just took a casual glance through the CF article and talk pages. Kirk, I don't know what you are really thinking but to the outside observer -- well, at least moi -- you really come across as hating this CF stuff, eh? If CF is indeed pseudoscience as you believe, then it will come to naught on it's own. But should there come to light some fire to go with the smoke, you will certainly look silly, don't you think, old bean? I'm no expert in the field (major understatement) but it seems like there must be something going on even if no one seems to have a convenient handle on it yet. Why not give these guys a little more rope -- what the hey, lend a hand if you've a fair amount of scientific knowledge in the area -- and see where it takes everyone. BTW, and it may be just my POV, while it may be a possible indicator of, I doubt that failure to follow the scientific method proves pseudoscience. What if one is so far out on the edge that established scientific method doesn't even exist yet! Does that mean we have to stop looking? Hope not. Of course, I'm still ticked off because we're still expending our resources developing ever more efficient ways of killing each other instead of vacationing on the moon. I want to vacation on the moon d******!  :-) JimScott (talk) 07:24, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I have included a reference to the Clarke and Oliver paper in the article. On the other hand, I have removed the subsequent paragraph, because the sources provided here above are self-published and do not meet wikipedia requirements for reliable sources. As wikipedia policies say, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. Pcarbonn (talk) 19:17, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Using 2004 DOE advocacy document as a source

Recently Pcarbonn used the 2004 DOE document submitted by cold fusion proponents as a source that several researchers have observed excess heat(Arata, McKubre, Preparata, and Storms). It is an important document and should be discussed, but it was not impartially peer-reviewed and should therefore not be used as a main source for such a large section of the article. The current article gives that document too much weight. Unless more substantial sources are used, this section should be greatly reduced. Does anyone have any thoughts? Olorinish (talk) 16:50, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

The document submitted to the 2004 DOE is a secondary source, and has been reviewed and commented by the DOE panel, as presented in that section of the article. We could cite the original primary source directly if you prefer the primary source. Also, the paragraph for which I gave the sources was initially in the history section, and I'd be willing to move it back there if it helps address your concerns. Pcarbonn (talk) 16:57, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

My point is that the 2004 DOE advocacy document is not a reliable secondary source, so it should not be used as the main source for such a large section of the article, but with additional sources a long length might be justified. It is also more useful, IMO, to put all of the best pro-CF references in a single section of the article, so I think the history section is not the best place for this information. Olorinish (talk) 17:03, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure why you would not consider it a reliable secondary source. Certainly, the DOE did select the researchers for their expertise on the subject, and we have the DOE's assessment of the document. Also, I'm not sure which other reliable secondary source you would propose. Are you suggesting we should then use a reliable primary source instead, such as an article published in a peer-reviewed journal ? Or the 2 scientific reviews published by Hubler and Biberian ? I don't think they have the same notability as the DOE review, and should not be preferred, but I'm willing to follow the consensus to change the section, if there is one.
Another point is that the document does not support "researchers have observed excess heat", but does support "researchers have reported the observation of excess heat". I believe that the document is reliable enough for the second statement, and that no reliable sources are available for the first one (yet). Pcarbonn (talk) 17:43, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

The DOE selected those authors because they were advocates, not because they were experts. That document was not impartially peer-reviewed before publication, which means that it should be referenced sparingly. My point, which other may disagree on, is that using it to support a description and several bullet points in the wikipedia cold fusion article gives that document undue weight considering its authorship. For this section, peer-reviewed articles are called for. Olorinish (talk) 19:33, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

So, you would prefer that we base that section on the reviews by Biberian and by Hubler, then. They have been published in peer reviewed journals. There would be too many primary peer-reviewed articles to quote from, so we need to use reviews, as wikipedia guidelines encourage us to do it. I think the issue boils down to a choice between notability and reliability then. Either way, it's fine with me, as they say essentially the same thing. Pcarbonn (talk) 20:21, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
By the way, should we also apply your logic to the DOE conclusions presented in the criticism section ? After all, their report has not been peer-reviewed either. That would significantly reduce the length of that section. If not, why should we apply different rules to the pro and skeptics arguments ? Pcarbonn (talk) 20:42, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, we should apply my logic when discussing the 2004 DOE panel conclusions in the wikipedia article. The logic is that documents which are peer reviewed by experts should be given much more weight than self-published reports (such as the 2004 advocacy document). The current wikipedia article includes lengthy discussion of the 2004 DOE panel conclusions, as it should, since it was reviewed by a panel of experts in the field. Olorinish (talk) 20:53, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

You are mistaken on the DOE process. The 18 expert panelists make individual comments on the 3 questions. From that, the DOE has issued a report summarising these comments. This summary report has not been reviewed by any of the 18 experts in the field. And it has not been published in a peer reviewed journal. Pcarbonn (talk) 21:05, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
You are right about the panel conclusions document, which was written by DOE professionals attempting to fairly summarize the views of the panel of experts. Since it is produced by a peer review process like that, I think wikipedia should give it a lot of weight. Does anyone disagree? Olorinish (talk) 21:45, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I see that you agree that the summary report of the DOE was not peer reviewed. It may thus contain inaccuracies and may not represent fairly the view of the experts. Having said that, I do agree that we should present it. However, I don't see on what basis we should give him more weight than the paper submitted to the DOE panel. But let's see what others say. Pcarbonn (talk) 08:16, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
The fact that a manuscript was the subject of a peer review and failed that review does not grant it verifiability. The results of the 2004 peer review were negative. Most reviewers did not find the evidence for cold fusion convincing, and funding for a focused program was not recommended. This document that was submitted and failed peer review should be weighted similarly to other manuscripts that have been submitted to peer review but were rejected- if anything, a failure in peer review should imply less verifiability rather than more. --Noren (talk) 01:17, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
You have no basis for saying that the document failed peer review. The conclusions of the DOE relates to the science, not the document. If the DOE panel had reviewed the Biberian 2007 paper, it might have come to the same conclusions. Yet, the Biberian paper has been favorably peer reviewed and published by a scientific paper. It is thus part of the scientific body of knowledge, and is perfectly valid for sourcing statements on this unresolved scientific controversy on wikipedia. Just as the DOE's conclusions could not have invalidated the Biberian 2007 paper, it does not invalidate the Hagelstein 2004 one. Pcarbonn (talk) 11:48, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
Also, concerning the weight given to that section, the DOE panel was evenly split on the excess heat effect. We should thus give the same weight on the evidence in favor of excess heat as those against them, as per WP:DUE. Remember also that Cold fusion is not pseudoscience, and thus deserves a fair representation as per this ArbComm ruling. Pcarbonn (talk) 11:52, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
In a peer review process with the purpose of publication, if only one of the reviewers had been convinced that the phenomenon alleged to occur even exists, (see the final paragraph of section 2) and that peer review that generated comments like "Many reviewers noted that poor experiment design, documentation, background control and other similar issues hampered the understanding and interpretation of the results presented." that document would never see publication.
However, you do bring up an excellent point. The DoE's purpose was not to review the Hagelstein document for publication. I'm not aware that that particular document has been published as a result of a peer review, which is WP gold standard for the best quality reliable sources, see the policy. Has the Hagelstein document ever been published as a result of a peer review, and if so, where? If not, it's possible that some of it might qualify as a source under the WP:SPS policy but that would require specific justification and should have a low weight.--Noren (talk) 13:44, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
It would not be difficult to justify our use of Hagelstein per WP:SPS, if asked. Again, it says basically the same thing as Biberian 2007, which we could use if asked.
As discussed above, the conclusions of the 2004 DOE has not gone through peer review either. It is DOE's self-published summary of the individual comments of the panelists. That does not prevent us from using it.
You also seem to mix the question of reliability and weight: they shouldn't. Weight is related to the verifiable prominence of view points, once the reliability is established, as per WP:DUE.
To refocus this discussion, what changes exactly are you suggesting ? Pcarbonn (talk) 14:25, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
  1. ^ e.g. Dr. M. R. Srinivasan, cited by Srinivasan 2008, or Gopal Coimbatore, cited by Science Daily