Talk:Cold fusion/Archive 21

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Archive 20 Archive 21 Archive 22

State of CF Research

In the previous section Phil153 references a Washington Post article, while talking about the need to reference reliable sources. This comment is somewhat about that, but more appropriate in this section than that one. We perhaps agree that while the WP is not a science journal, it is generally reliable in other ways, and in this case appears to try to present both sides of the CF issue, although most of it is focussed on two CF people who are fairly highly regarded even outside the CF field, Peter Hagelstein and Michael McKubre. I quote from near the end of the article:

" Hagelstein says, he has seen enough cold fusion data to convince him that the science is clearly real. The field's acceptance, he maintains, will be simply a matter of the scientific community's looking at the improved experimental results in the future and coming to understand them. "
" To McKubre, the main reason cold fusion has been belittled all these years is that the mainstream scientists who dug in their heels long ago can't change their minds now: "If it turns out these people are wrong, they're dead. They're scientifically dead. "

OK, in now-nearly-20 years of study, no blatantly indisputable results have come out of the CF field. On the other hand (my opinion, something like Hagelstein's), many points initially raised by detractors regarding the quality of their experiments have been addressed by at least some researchers. Even if 98% of the reported positive results are junk and can be explained by Kirk Shanahan's work, what of the remaining 2%? Does this not sound like the UFO-sightings field, where something like 2% of the reports stubbornly resist an ordinary explanation? Well, if something abnormal is actually happening 2% of the time, then the "something abnormal", of whatever category, deserves study until it is understood, in my opinion. And I'm not the only one with such an opinion; this sort of thinking is ordinary at particle-accelerator laboratories. (Also, let me hasten to add that with respect to CF, the percentage of not-junk experiments appears to actually be more than 2%, but how much more I couldn't say.)

You are on the right track here. Each separate experiment presented for inclusion in the 'body of evidence' must be evaluated independently for accuracy. Those that don't fulfill basic requirements must be dropped. When you examine the current body of evidence, you can eliminate 98% based on this type of thinking, leaving 2% or so (to use your numbers). Two problems arise, first, the CFers don't acknolwledge that 98% can be conventionaly explained. They simply refuse to see that it can be done. (Pseudoscience at its best.) Second, the 2% left are individual experiments or perhaps 2 experiments in some cases, which is an insufficient level of reproduction to be able to 'do science' and come to any conclusion. Yes, they potentially should be studied, but that's not what the CFers are doing. Kirk shanahan (talk) 20:31, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it's the mainstreamers who are "not doing", not paying attention to that 2% or more of good data. Worse, appearances are that they are trying to suppress the CF researchers who are "doing", as if they think the 2% doesn't exist. V (talk) 21:01, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It is not the 'mainstreamers' job to do CF research. It is the job of the CFers to be self-critical, quit claimimg the 98% actually, truly proves CF is real beyond a shadow of a doubt, and get down to studying the 2%. If they did that they might find a more accepting mainstream. As things are today, they just lose credibility every time they don't perform basic, standard checks, like making sure they correctly use XPS and SIMS, or confirm their results aren't covered by the CCS mechanism. Kirk shanahan (talk) 21:08, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
While it is not the job of all the mainstreamers to do that, it cetainly is the job of some of them. For example, I once read a description of the two-slit experiment by a physicist who decided he needed to do it to see the truth of a particular aspect of it for himself. The claim was that even when just one photon at a time is sent through the slits, an interference pattern still forms (suitable time-exposure required!) He succeeded at replicating the claimed result. I will analogize that physicist as being like the mainstream doubters, with regard to CF. I will admit the CF proponents first need to find a particular experiment setup they can point to and say that THIS ONE can be reliably replicated. I will also admit even if they have such an experiment right now, the "cry wolf" problem still has to be dealt with. Which is not entirely a CF problem; if they actually have something that deserves attention, it also is a mainstream problem.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Objectivist (talkcontribs) 22:25, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Next, I'd like to pose a problematic Question for those who insist that only "reputable" publications be cited as sources. What McKubre said can be interpreted as meaning that it is in the best interest of publications whose editors denounced CF early on to continue to only publish denunciation papers. Where, then, can a proponent who has good data get published (and please let's assume for the sake of this question that there might someday be such a proponent)? I may be misreading some History here, but it is my uncertain understanding that the publication called "Springerlink" only became reputable after Einstein published some papers in it AND after Einstein himself became famous. That is, neither were so hot at the time of that publication. So, IF there is some valid CF work published outside the mainstream, and if the mainstream is self-serving, then what basis is there for Wikipedia to prevent references to that work from being included in the article? V (talk) 19:57, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I never had in mind delving into every bit of research. On the contrary, I only want to hit the main points. One main point is the measurement of excess heat. Excluding outliers, there is now a more narrow statement as to when that excess heat occurs and what it looks like.; These reports say CF research over the last 10 or 20 years collectively shows that excess heat occurs only when the D/Pd loading exceeds 0.85 or so, and you can only get to that loading using very high pressure or electrochemistry. The reports agree that heat and other anomolies when observed appear in coherent but apparently random burst periods.

"Heat after death" experimental data, which is the basis of some of the more outlandish numbers Jed throws around, is another kettle of fish. I am unaware of any claimed patterns for that data. We still might briefly explain what these experiments are and what the data is supposed to look like.

There seems less to say about transmuatations, except that every kind imaginable have been claimed, but here I am not breaking ground: the article already reports that there are claims to transmuations.

By "every kind imaginable", I assume you mean the +4 protons +4 neutrons transmutation of metals kind? Kevin Baastalk 16:09, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I am asking Jed not to chime in here with a bunch of unsupportable claims to obfuscate the main points. Pinning down the excess heat claims is good for CF research, not a threat. ~Paul V. Keller 09:13, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Paul V. Keller wrote: "I am asking Jed not to chime in here with a bunch of unsupportable claims to obfuscate the main points." Everything I say is supported by high quality, peer-reviewed data. Anyway, the information you seek is in Storms' book, especially Table 1. It is all there, well organized, with thousands of footnotes. Rather than wondering about this or guessing about that, you should read the book and save the time and effort it would take to learn these things piecemeal from the literature. - Jed Rothwell, Librarian, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
One of the things that needs discussing is this >.85 requirement. Please note that this is for Pd and Pd only. The Storms data I analyzed was derived from a Pt system. I also referenced work by John Dash on Pt as well. Pt does not hydride, so its bulk H concentration is <<.01. Including the >.85 number in the article would continue the CFer bias of not admitting that bulk loading is only a secondary parameter. So if you want to put that number in, to represent the true situation you must immediately note that CF has been observed on Pt and Pt does not hydride. This points out that almost all 'sources' about what the CF field has determined are highly biased. One needs to be aware of the whole field to detect these problems.
Also, the 'heat after death' situation represents the biggest example of a CCS one can come up with. You go from a 'calibrated' electrolysis cell with electrolyte present and electrical current flowing to a dry cell with no electrolyte present, but never do a recalibration. That is just grossly inadequate science. One might expect a 'heat after death' phenomenon anyway since in principle the electrode holding the hydrogen will be slowly releasing H2 which would react with the air in the cell (which comes back through the gas vent). The H2 release rate is very slow because to get that magic >.85 loading one needs low surf/vol ratio forms of Pd, with no cracks. That means the rate of H2 release is minimized, and the apparent excess heat signal could potentially exist for a considerable time (many hours or even days) until the Pd is unloaded.
You wrote: "That means the rate of H2 release is minimized, and the apparent excess heat signal could potentially exist for a considerable time (many hours or even days) until the Pd is unloaded." You should at least acknowledge that everyone in the field knows this, and that Fleischmann and many others have shown that it fails to explain the data by a factor of 1700 or more. See: - Jed Rothwell, Librarian, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

A way to test this hypothesis would be to have a control that uses light water instead of heavy and compare. I know this was done in some cases, but I'm not sure if it was done with this particular experiment or not. Kevin Baastalk 15:57, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Please understand that light water is never a good 'control' for heavy water. Isotope effects are based upon mass differences in atoms that have the same number of electrons. At first glance, the number of electrons determine the chemistry, and with most isotope effects, you can barely see them, the effect scaling with the square root of the mass ratio. But with hydrogen, you have 1 vs 2 for H and D, and the effect factor is 1.414, i.e. a 40% effect. Thus the thermoneutral potentials for heavy and light water are different as are the viscosities, and probobaly several other properties as well. This makes it impossible to conduct light and heavy water based experiments under the same conditions, something is always different due to the isotope effect. Kirk shanahan (talk) 20:24, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I didn't know that, and your explanation seems plausible. I'd say try it with He3 as well then, but that's actually heavier and you can't really make water out of it. And from the explanation you gave it doesn't seem like the isotope effects would make that much of a difference in this particular case. (in fact, you said "H2", not "D2") And even if it would make a difference, that would only mean that the control having different results wouldn't be particularly informative. But if the H2 did the same thing as the D2, that would still be very informative, perhaps even more so considering their different isotope effects. And the basic point is that a hypothesis like the "heat-after-death" one would be a useful thing to test scientifically. (And if I understand you correctly, normal water would work just fine for that.) Kevin Baastalk 21:26, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
And with regard to transmutations, I attempted to point out the problems with the claims in my major section rewrite of Sept. 17, but Pcarbonn block deleted them. Subsequently, on the Talk pages were argued for many days about why he could do this legitimately (I never felt he could). The bottom line is (as I noted above in the 'Cleaing up the Introduction' section) that these claims are based in misintrpreted XPS and SIMS data. The problem is that the criticisms are not published, with the exception that the Mizuno group presented evidence at ICCF14 (from the Abstracts book) that the Iwamura group (2002 pub.) misidentified S as Mo in their XPS work (but the ICC14 source would never have been accepted by Pcarbonn). You do have to do some simple calcs to see what that means to the Iwamura SIMS claims, where the mass 96 peak was claimed to be an isotopically shifted Mo distribution, but instead is most likely (+)S3 (s = 100% mass 32) ions (which Iwamura claims his analytical technique would not have allowed to be present in the spectra). Kirk shanahan (talk) 15:26, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
If it's not published, it's OR, and Pcarbonn was correct in block deleting them. Alternatively, he could have put a citation needed tag on them and waited for a while. But it appears the result would have been the same. Kevin Baastalk 15:57, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm puzzled by the para "Cold fusion researchers have also reported detection of many kinds of radiation: alpha, beta, gamma, proton, and triton. However, neutrons and other energetic emissions were never found in quantities commensurate with the excess heat, as would be expected by established theories of nuclear physics. This has led some cold fusion proponents to conjecture that new processes may be converting nuclear energy directly to heat.<ref name="DOE_2004_7"/>". It seems in the context to indicate that the heat is being borne by something other than the kinetic energy of particles, which contradicts everything I ever learned in statistical thermodynamics. Am I reading too much into it, or is it just sloppy wording?LeadSongDog (talk) 16:42, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
What that statement is saying is that, based on conventional theory, the amount of putative excess heat detected should have produced enough radiation to kill the researchers. It obviously didn't, and this is why a new theory has to be developed to account for the observations of so much heat and so little light (and particles). Kirk shanahan (talk) 20:17, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Kirk somewhat, although I think what he wrote could be phrased better. Basically, nuclear physicists have put a lot of effort into finding out how much matter/mass it takes to absorb a given amount of nuclear radiation (such as neutrons and gammas) and yield heat. There is far too little mass involved in CF experiments. You can take a piece of palladium like they use in CF, and put it near a fission reactor and measure the amount of gammas that arrive at it, and how much of those gammas pass through it --and most of them do. There is no reason to think that just because the palladium is packed full of hydrogen, that measurement would be significantly different. Therefore, when CF researchers measure a certain amount of heat, the implication is, that is only the absorbed fraction, and there also should have been present a great deal of unabsorbed radiation, which would have killed the researchers. An alternate mechanism for the release of the energy of fusion is greatly needed, if the fundamental assumption (that fusion explains the heat) is to be believable. V (talk) 21:14, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, but the paragraph refers to the well known reaction products of fusion. When two deuterium fuse, 50% of the time it will split into 3He + neutron, 50% into 3H + proton, and very rarely into 4He + gamma ray. The process is very well understood and has never been contradicted in any kind of observed fusion. It seems very far fetched that cold fusion would work differently, as the reaction is well understood (this is unrelated to the problem of bringing the nuclei close enough, or the speed at which you do it). The trouble for cold fusion researchers is that the amount of heat generated is far above the number of neutrons detected, so a theory is required to explain why this would be the case. It's strong evidence against fusion unless a viable theory can be proposed. Phil153 (talk) 17:04, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I think you're reading too much into it. Thermonuclear physics talks about single collisions - e.g. one duetrium nucleus "hitting" one trituim nucleus. And the result breaking up into some other combination of the elementary particles (quarks), plus some change in total inertia proportional to the change in total mass. When this change in total inertia is positive that can translate to an increase in heat via statistical thermodynamics. Now the particular products of the reaction - including radiation, and the amount of heat given off, is determined by the "reaction pathway". The reaction pathways and their respective probabilities in a thermonuclear collision are predicted with a good degree of accuracy by current theory. What some people conjecture here is that perhaps there is an entirely different reaction pathway here, since, after, all, the fusion (if there is one) is not in a hot plasma, as thermonuclear theory assumes. An entirely different pathway would, by definition, produce entirely different ratios of radiation and heat. Alternatively, radiation might be absorbed right away (for instance, by the Pd-lattice), and thus converted into heat due to the kinetic energy of the radiationn. Like Phil said, either way they need to be able to figure out what's happening and mathematically justify the results (neutron-to-heat ratios) they're getting in order to have a viable theory. That's why they conjecture that it's a different process - they're essentially recognizing the need to explain this. Kevin Baastalk 17:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
On the contrary, the lack of these products is a big reason the field is dismissed by many. It's as important as not having a known mechanism to bring the nuclei close enough. See, for example, Goodstein 1994.
I don't see how that's contrary to anything that I've said. In fact, I agree with you that that's precisely the reason that many dismiss it. (Even though I disagree with their reasoning on account that it's my understanding that a fundamental difference between science and religion is that science puts more weight on empirical evidence than theory.)
Your point about plasma fusion isn't quite accurate. Muon catalyzed fusion doesn't require high temperatures (kinetic energies), yet its reaction products are as predicted by theory. This contrast with hot fusion is commonly used by cold fusion advocates, but it's a red herring. Phil153 (talk) 17:19, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I won't pretend to know any better. I didn't know that. (I was actually curious about that.) I'm sure theory predicts well reaction pathways for non-plasmas in most cases. Though that doesn't mean it predicts well for all. That's part of the allure of science. In any case, I'm not smart enough to argue one way or the other. :) Kevin Baastalk 17:33, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Muon-catalyzed fusion says:

Each exothermic d-t nuclear fusion releases about 17.6 MeV of energy in the form of a "very fast" neutron having a kinetic energy of about 14.1 MeV and an alpha particle α (a helium-4 nucleus) with a kinetic energy of about 3.5 MeV. An additional 4.8 MeV can be gleaned by having the fast neutrons moderated in a suitable "blanket" surrounding the reaction chamber, with the blanket containing lithium-6, whose nuclei, known by some as "lithions," readily and exothermically absorb thermal neutrons, the lithium-6 being transmuted thereby into an alpha particle and a triton.

Specific particles carry away the KE. We have no equivalent assertion for this article. That's my point. What gets hot?LeadSongDog (talk) 18:24, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to add that in the D+D->He4 (alpha particle) + gamma reaction, the released energy is something over 15Mev, most of which is in the gamma ray. Also, this is an appropriate place to point out that the recently published hypothesis (see the New Guess section above) describes, for muon-catalyzed fusion, the possibility that the muon might sometimes carry away enough energy that the D+D->He4 reaction can occur. There would probably be no gamma in that case, because the muon is carrying its energy. That suggestion is also a kind of key to the overall hypothesis, because if it does occasionally happen, then it should be possible for conduction-band electrons to carry away enough fusion energy for the D+D->He4 reaction to happen. Does anyone here know of any research regarding the maximum observed energy of muons that escape the fusions they catalyzed? (I'm well aware that sometimes they don't escape; there is a range of energies they typically end up with. But what is the upper limit?) V (talk) 23:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Re Leadsong: The references I cite are worried about the problem of getting heat disproportionally to high energy particles. They acknowledge the problem and are trying to figure out how it can be explained. I have the Scaramuzzi report cited above and something by Hagelstein, the MIT guy.; They talk about energy and momentum transfer between distant particles through an unknown mechanism, a mechanism they claim has precedent in a recognized phenomena.
Re theory: The Scaramuzzi report is honest and identifes the three separate "miracles" that CF would seem to require. I think Scaramuzzi would be a relaible source to cite when talking about the theoretical difficulties of cold fusion. The journal is not mainstream, but the statement has greater credibity because it is an admission against interest. I am alluding to an anology from the legal field that might be familiar to Law and Order enthusiasts. Eveyone knows heresay is generally not admissible in court, but there are a number of exceptions to the heresay rule for statements that are considered more trustworthy than generic heresay. One of the exceptions is for admissions against interest. See Hearsay in United States law::Non-Hearsay under the Federal Rules]]
I would add that piezo-fusion also seems to be giving the expected products. These points are relevant and should make their way into the article. They go a long way towards explaining why people are not persuaded there is fusion going on.
I would think carefully before dismissing anything Scaramuzzi says, because this is the friend Goodstein of Cal Tech spoke of. Goodstein obviously respects Scaramuzzi's integrity and could see nothing wrong with Scaramuzzi experiments, although Goodstein is obviously concerned about the potentially corrupting pressure Scaramuzzi is under to show postive results.
Re transmutations: I do not think we need to go far into them. I am not sure we even need to mention them. They are terribly far fetched. Not only are there the plus 8 transformations, there are also claims of all kinds of smaller nuclei in Pd. More to the point, I am not sure that we have relaible sources reporting the claims, nor sources showing these claims have gained wide acceptance among CF researchers.
"there are also claims of all kinds of smaller nuclei in Pd": Are you talking about the spectrometry results near crater-like structure in the co-deposition experiment? I remember some mention of something like that, and some weird-sounding guesses as to their origin. It didn't strike me as a big focus point, though. Kevin Baastalk 21:10, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Re rebuttals: Assuming we can document that there are a bunch of pseudo scientists doing hack work under the CF research mantle, I am not sure how that should fit into the article. I think there is going to be a consensus that we cannot include every different claim along with its own rebuttal. And I think it would be editorial bias to use the straw claims to discredit everything that is being done under the cold fusion research mantle. Some of what you have written falls under the point that peer-to-peer criticism is not functioning properly within the CF community. ~Paul V. Keller 18:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
RE: "what get's hot?" The Pd, I would suppose. Heat dissipates so it would be difficult to narrow down to exact atoms and particles. The point is that the KE doesn't all escape w/high energy particles and radiation shooting out of the apparatus, a lot of it stays in and gets Maxwellianized. In short, "the cell" gets hot. If you want something more specific you'd probably have to look at the calorimetry setups of individual experiments. I imagine most of them measure the temperature of the solution. Though I remember the co-deposition technique had a 2-dimensional-surface-thingy showing the heat to be concentrated on the cathode. (Though the "cathode" was being co-deposited w/the D2 (the entire point of the experiment), so that could just as well be the D2 -- or both.) Kevin Baastalk 19:49, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
This comment applies to remarks both above and below. The purpose of the co-deposition experiment was simply to reduce the "loading" time that it took, to get roughly as many deuterium atoms into the metal lattice, as metal atoms of the lattice. That is, co-deposition both created the lattice and filled it with deuterium at the same time. I think the researchers were surprised to see evidence for fusions of the types that detractors have been referencing/demanding for years (as remarked below), because in a bulk metal lattice, if fusion reactions are happening, the LACK of fusion-product particles like neutrons and gammas has been a major mystery. Per the recently published hypothesis mentioned in the "New Guess" section above, the difference is simply due to the number of nearby electrons available. A thin deposited layer of metal can provide enough electrons to shield deuterons so that they can approach closely enough to fuse, but only in bulk metal are there enough electrons available (thanks to the 3rd dimension) to carry away so much of the energy of the fusion reaction that the reaction can yield He4 and no gammas or other particles. As for the question "what gets hot", just remember that the heating element of an electric stove gets hot due to electrical resistance against the electrons being pushed through it. If electrons in bulk metal get involved in a fusion reaction and are energized thereby, then they will be moving through metal that has significant electrical resistance (most metals are poor conductors compared to pure copper and aluminum). V (talk) 16:22, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Kevin, we have not explained the problem in a way that is easily understood - a situation I would like to see remedied. Briefly, and at the risk of speaking in error, these particles should be escaping the cell with their energy before dissipating much of it within the cell. Julian Schwinger created a novel theory to explain how gamma radiation could be absorbed. I believe these papers are talking about different types of emissions. ~Paul V. Keller 20:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
CF researchers would be livid with you Paul, because you are trying to force conventional fusion theory onto their results. They will clearly and loudly say that CF is not hot fusion. It does not produce particles in the proportions expected from hot fusion theory. They will say that what it does is what it does, and we don't know why today. That's why we need funding to study it more. It's a brand new fusion regime. Most of the theories being advanced today (I think) involve many body interaction esp. with phonons. But the heat observed is massive compared to particles by conventional hot fusion standards. Kirk shanahan (talk) 20:58, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I didn't realize you were being rhetorical. Then by all means, ya, I'd be happy with a better explanation of the whole heat issue in the article. Just as long as it doesn't get too lengthy or esoteric. Kevin Baastalk 21:41, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Major changes to the article

In order to keep tempers low, and to make the article more stable in the long term, it is a good idea to go slow with major changes to the article. People who want to make such changes can discuss them here. Olorinish (talk) 19:57, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

There is a discussion section above Talk:Cold fusion#Proposed New Layout. What part of the new content are you resisting? ~Paul V. Keller 20:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

First of all, I want to emphasize that this article has had a lot of combat in the last 12 months, including an Arbitration Committee case. We should all try to be on our best behavior. Here are some of the changes that I think need to be discussed further:

-breaking the history sections into three illogical sections
-calling the 2004 DOE panel a "theoretical issue"
-labeling the junk science and pathological science issues as not part of the field's history
-calling the pro-CF sections a "field overview" when the whole article is a field overview
-the phrasing of the paragraph starting with "There is, however, group of scientists"
-the substitution of major parts of text with other text

I politely ask Paul to break up the big changes he wants into small changes, and to post brief, clear justifications for each of them on the talk page when making them. Olorinish (talk) 20:20, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

This Schaffer 1999 reference (named Saeta1999) does not work. That needs to be fixed. I like a lot of Paul's changes, as he laid out the theoretical background which was previously neglected. Perhaps the "field overview" section is misnamed, but that's not a big issue -- it should be renamed to something like "Experimental process". Since the junk/pathological science issue continues, it is not technically just a historical issue, and deserves its own section. Note: anytime a reference is removed, or substantive content is removed rather than just changed, that should be highlighted, and probably done in a single edit. II | (t - c) 21:35, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

The history section order is not critical. You can put it back if you like. The main point was to put the fiasco that shaped cold fusion's public profile in one section and put all the work that came after, pro and con, later.
-The 2004 DOE panel is only a "theoretical issue" issue by a self-evident mistake. You could fix that, or ask me to fix it. The order is going to be a mess for a while because: a) it is right now; and b) reshaping the article in stages will involve some temporary disruption to the overall flow and organization.
Ditto next two points.
I did not name the "pro-CF" section "field overview". I would like to see that area fixed too.
As far as "there is, however, group of scientists" and the "junk science and pathological science issues", my plan is to put all these issues in one place and say the minimum necessary to put relevant issues in context. These are mostly matters of opinion and often pertain to workers more than work. There is little room for them in an encyclopedia entry. My goal is to say just enough to explain popular prejudices and the current isolation of the CF community. In this edit, I used these topics to segue into the theoretical issues on the ground that the weight given to theoretical concerns explains a lot about how two groups can look at the same body of informatin and come to diametrically opposed conclusions.
As far as "major substitutions", I hear a loud silence about the most important part of the edit - a triply cited and plain statement of the three miracles cold fusion requires. I removed redundant statements elsewhere. My sources include a prominent cold fusion researcher, another research who is sympathetic to cold fusion research, and a main stream physicist. They all say the same thing, including the point that these issues are core to understanding the cold fusion controversy. Even persons arguing for cold fusion research need to get these points on the table and deal with them.
I also struck a couple of small points that I noticed along the way, like a controversy concerning one scientist's reputation, a resolved controversy, and another concernign the researcher that died. You can put those back for now but you will get an argument later.
Going one section at a time is going to leave temporary imbalances, redundancies, and organizational problems. It will also highlight some that are there already. These are growing pains to making this a better article.
Let's see what a few more people say. Your proposal to make the edit in several stages is reasonable. I would do the theoretical issues section first. It may dangle a little, but I can stick it where it will be least disruptive until complementary changes can be made. And of course I will pay more attention to the other headings. ~Paul V. Keller 21:54, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Many apologies for the last seeming revert. I would not have done it, except that Olornish's last revert intervened while I was typing, and I had high hopes the version I had in hand would satisfy enough of his concerns to make the whole thing fly. As they say, it is always possible to return to an earlier version. I fully intend to resolve difference on this page, and not by edit war. Anyway, the latest version is better for discussion purposes because it fixes problems Olornish pointed out. ~Paul V. Keller 22:43, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

In the spirit of being courteous, I want to say something now that there has been a lull in pro-CF activity. Pcarbonn and Jed may be absent for the moment, but they or people like them will be back. I hope we can build an article that incorporates the proper amount of pro-CF material so that when they do, the article can be defended very confidently as NPOV, not mainstream-only POV. Olorinish (talk) 23:21, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

The major and sourceable points from cold fusion research should be included, as I have argued previously Talk:Cold fusion#Proposed New Layout. I have order Storms book to get a better sense for what is considered mainstream within the CF community and to have a ready reference for where various experimental findings and theoretical ideas might be sourced. And of course other editors can jump in with sourceable material that is entered in a manner that does not confuse or obfuscate. My hope is that if we have plainly and unbiasedly conveyed the facts and reasoning that inform statements like "its complete bullshit", there will be less pressure to qualify the experimental results and fledgling theoretical work.
Getting the layout right may be a bit challenging, but I would hope to present the critical analysis of major cold fusion experiments without disrupting the presentation of the experimental results themselves. ~Paul V. Keller 00:55, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Links that should be removed?

If people think that certain links should be removed, let's discuss it here. Olorinish (talk) 19:20, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

I pulled the reference to
Leggett, A.J. (1989), "Exact upper bound on barrier penetration probabilities in many-body systems: Application to ‘‘cold fusion’’", Phys. Rev. Lett. 63: 191–194, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.63.191
It was used in the sentense:
Fleischmann and Pons were invesitgating[sic] a hypothesis that collective effects in chemical processes, which would require quantum electrodynamics to calculate, might influence nuclear processes more than predicted by quantum mechanical calculations.[12]
I could not find the reference for free online, but I gather it provides quantum mechanical calculations considering all possible configuration of deuterium in a Pd lattice in order to determine an upper limit for the fusion rate. The upper limit set by quantum mechanics, the limit they propose might be exceeded due to collective effects and quantum electrodynamics, is pretty far afield from anything we are trying to convey. Nobody needs a paper on quantumm mechanics to know the predicted rate was low. ~Paul V. Keller 01:42, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Pulled the reference to:
Jayaraman, K. S. (January 17, 2008), "Cold fusion hot again", Nature India, doi:10.1038/nindia.2008.77,, retrieved on 7 December 2008
This referece was not a review by the Indian government as claimed, but a petition to the Indian government. The other use was to quote one man's opinion. I believe the selection of this quote was a POV push. The objective information, that some feel more research is called for, is amply covered, as is the counterpoint. ~Paul V. Keller 02:49, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

An open letter to the editor of the European Physical Journal, Applied Physics

Bernard Drévillon
European Physical Journal, Applied Physics

Dear Dr. Drévillon:

I write in hope that you will join me in this attempt to improve
the English Wikipedia's article about cold fusion[1] because
you have published the most recent pair of peer-reviewed papers on the 
phenomena referred to as cold fusion, both con[2] and pro.[3]

Recently there has been tension between trying to improve the 
article by making it congruent with what a consensus of scientists 
would believe, which is thought skeptical of the reports, versus 
what has been reported in the peer-reviewed literature.

I ask that you follow in the steps of the journal RNA Biology[4]
and require that the Wikipedia article on cold fusion be submitted for
peer review.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

                             Best regards,

                             Joe Thompson

                    (talk) 06:06, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
You might want to read the RNA Biology article you cite again, as you appear to have the process reversed. They aren't advocating a different method of editing existing Wikipedia articles, but rather they are requiring authors to submit new articles to Wikipedia in conjunction with publication in their journal. They aren't requiring Wikipedia to do anything (and how could they?) This is is an endorsement of the Wikipedia editing system rather than a critique. --Noren (talk) 14:25, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
While anticipates that such articles from RNA Biology may be new, there is no requirement that an existing article not be submitted. This is a neutral method of improving both Wikipedia and traditional scholarship simultaneously, and will be worth following. (talk) 04:07, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
It would actually be quite nice if they published an independient review of the article, so that we can correct the errors on it. I know a good number of articles that would benefit greatly from an expert pointing out all the errors and inaccuracies on them. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:10, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


It may seem a little early to undertake another major edit, but I felt the clear presentation of a series of points against cold fusion followed by a disorganized presentation of the remaining material left the page out of balance and with the impression of a POV-driven evolution. In any event, some kind of reorganization was obviously needed. Those who do not much care for my work will be pressed to argue that what I replaced was better than what I created.

If the page is imbalanced because it fails to report sourcable and objectively CF-favorable material, that balance can be restored by placing the missing material in locations suggested by the new organization. ~Paul V. Keller 14:11, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't like your last edit, I think it's worse than the previous version. Wordy and confusing, a bit too involved for the intro and it interrupts the flow. I'd argue that we should sacrifice some minor exactness for readability by a layman. Also, are you sure Fleischmann were not working at Utah at the time? The Martin Fleischmann articles says they were both researchers at Utah and I find it unlikely they'd collaborate on this kind of experimental work a country apart.
Great job on everything else if you don't mind me saying. Phil153 (talk) 16:46, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, I'll try to address the wordiness. I do not want to give up exactness, but I can surrender detail and avoid long sentences.
The work and announcement were definitely in Utah, but the contemporaneous news reports place him at the University of Southampton in England.
I think it is important to mention they reported measuring nuclear byproducts. That was an important confirmation they relied on, and it looked very bad when they had to retract it.
The new distinction is between reports of heat requiring fusion to explain and reports of D+D fusion in particular. The broader claim is more difficult to disprove and may be seen to have a separate life. If a paper comes out saying we were wrong about D+D, but we were right about fusion, I do not want to be forced into a rewrite.
Another part of the edit was citing Voss rather than F&P's paper for the first sentence, because it was the pubic announcement and not the paper that grabbed attention. Pd cathode versus Pd electrodes was admittedly splitting hairs.
Let me know what you think of my attempt to address the issues you raised. ~Paul V. Keller 17:21, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Is it OR or isn't it?

Kevin Baas wrote above:

“If it's not published, it's OR, and Pcarbonn was correct in block deleting them. Alternatively, he could have put a citation needed tag on them and waited for a while. But it appears the result would have been the same. Kevin Baas talk 15:57, 17 December 2008 (UTC)”

{sigh, here we go again} No Kevin, P wasn’t right because he failed to take into account the ‘out’ offered in WP:OR, as you are also doing.

WP:OR states:

“"A and B, therefore C" is acceptable only if a reliable source has published this same argument in relation to the topic of the article.[2]“

This is what you are citing. But notice the #2 note, which says:

“The rule against "A and B therefore C" does not, in general, refer to statements A,B and C that are non-controversial and easily reducible to elementary deductive logic." See also, WP:Verifiability#Burden_of_evidence”

WP:OR also says:

“Summarizing source material without changing its meaning is not synthesis; it is good editing.”

And I would add that explaining technical jargon and criteria for lay readers is acceptable as well, as long as the summaries and explanations are factual and correct, i.e. they express the meaning of the jargon in a nontechnical way.

In the case we are discussing above, the ‘published’ information showing the XPS problem is a) not actually published yet, as the Proceedings of the Conference haven’t come out, and b) is going to be a ‘Proceedings’ which Wiki seems to frown upon, because of tendencies to bias. However, those familiar with XPS know that XPS is a typical spectroscopic technique in that to identify an unknown, a ‘fingerprint’ must be detected. Fingerprint matching is not done based on single point agreement, and likewise in spectroscopy, yet Iwamura does exactly this, citing only one peak used for identification purposes (he is claiming to have identified Mo). The problem is that several elements can produce peaks in that energy region, which coupled with the chemical shift effect requires several peaks to identify an unexpected element. This is a well-known problem to chemists but may be unexpected for a lay reader, and thus would need to be explained in the article. Mizuno, et al replicated the Iwamua results but went one step further and identified the anomalous material as S instead of Mo.

So the article comment would go something like this: “Heavy metal transmutaion evidence to date has been characterized in part by single peak identifications from XPS spectra, which is inadequate identification because of the possibility of several elements producing any given peak, and the concurrent ‘chemical shift’ effect that can cause element peaks to shift somewhat, widening the list of possible source elements. An example of this would be Iwamura, et al’s identification of an XPS peak as being attributable to molybdenum, while a replication performed later by Mizuno, et al identified the peak as being due to sulfur, a common contaminant found in surface studies.” We certainly can source the Iwamura paper, as it already is in the article, but the replication attempt may not be sourceable yet, if at all. And the rest of the facts would be found by boning up on XPS, but most readers aren’t going to do that. Yet everything written above is factual and correct, and I haven’t done anything but explain the results to the lay reader. If this kind of reasoning is not brought up, the reader will only be offered the CFer idea that these ‘transmutation’ products prove CF is real, when the conventional explanation is that they are contaminants whose spectroscopic signatures are being misinterpreted.

Then we move to the SIMS results in the Iwamura article (SIMS being the other primary technique used to support heavy metal transmutation claims). He apparently does have a slight molybdenum contaminant, as he has peaks in the mass spectrum at their masses, but the peak ratios are not normal. The peak is mass 96 is greatly increased over the normal Mo peak structure. Yet, note that S is 100% mass 32 and 3x32=96. Thus the strong suggestion is that the mass 96 excess intensity is due to (+)S3, but Iwamura would not have considered this as he did not recognize he had sulfur present. He also claims he has a filtering tehnique in place eliminating these ‘molecular ions’ as they are known. However, the rest of the Mo mass peaks fit the normal isotopic distribution if the main 96 peak is ignored, which is strong evidence that the filtering wasn’t working as billed. So again, misinterpretation of contaminant signals is key. None of this is sourced, as, as I tried to point out to Pcarbonn, contamination in trace level work (which is always the case in surface science) is always a problem.

To summarize then, to get the balance in the Wiki article, these problems need to be brought up, or else the whole transmutation ‘evidence’ needs to be deleted. Otherwise we give the Wiki reader the idea that this new ‘evidence’ proves CF is real, which is not the correct impression that should be given. Kirk shanahan (talk) 20:14, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

FWIW, i probably won't have time to read all this and respond to it for a while. Suffice it to say, I based my 'OR' comment on the information that you had provided me. Kevin Baastalk 20:49, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I made the transmutation discussion as objective as I could. It should not be seen as proving anything more than certain researcher report they have seen transmutations. Eliminating the Iwamura report does not seem like an editorial option, since it is published, relevant, and not redundant. It is probably better to deal with these claims than ignore them in any event.
I thought about adding that Iwamura's results have not been confirmed by any independent research group, but I do not think I can say that without a supporting citation. (I know there was another group, but it had one of Iwamura's team members). The claims are probably bullshit and I would love to show that, but we will need to respect the OR rules. Perhaps, Dr. Shanahan could add something to the effect that Iwamura uses only two X-ray peaks and cite a source for the proposition that elemental analysis based on just two peaks is not reliable. Ditto for the mass spec. ~Paul V. Keller 22:19, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm restoring something that Paul Keller removed due to a misinterpretation:

I'd like to express the opinion that transmutation does not necessarily involve fusion, and therefore any discussion of it in the Cold Fusion article should be kept to a bare minimum. Certain transmutations are widely known and accepted (e.g. carbon-14 becomes nitrogen-14, potassium-40 becomes either argon-40 or calcium-40, uranium-238 spits out an alpha particle and becomes thorium-234). Other transmutations of a huge variety are acceptable but rare (and are caused by interactions with cosmic rays or ray-showers that happen to penetrate to the bottom of the atmosphere, or caused by an occasional naturally occurring loose neutron, or caused by an occasionally absorbed solar neutrino). I've read that today's instruments are so sensitive that in various top-of-the-line laboratories, the researchers have to obtain steel from ships that were sunk before the end of World War2, because all the steel made since is too radioactive and would interfere with the measurements they want to make. So how many of those claims of transmutation-detection are simply the result of modern instruments discovering a cosmic ray or equivalent event has messed with some of the experimental hardware? One final point is that in MOST atoms, the nucleus is buried under layers of electron shells, that keep nuclei from getting anywhere near each other at ordinary temperatures, and makes classical transmutations like turning base metal into gold practically impossible by any ordinary means short of a particle accelerator. The biggest exception is hydrogen, which only has one electron. That's why transmutation of hydrogen to helium (otherwise called "fusion") is a much more likely thing; under any ordinary conditions you might care to specify, it is far more possible for a hydrogen to lose its lone electron, and have its nucleus exposed for interactions, than it is for any other element to lose its multiplicity of electrons, and have its nucleus exposed for interactions. V (talk) 17:51, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
As I've noted before, the transmutation claims fall into two categories, those based on analytical techniques that are capable of detecting new elements, without commenting on isotopic distribution, and those that note apparent isotopic distribution shifts. Those in the latter case being exclusively SIMS-based to my knowledge. The former are based on several different types of instruments (not radiation detection instruments, these are NAA or XPS, or SEM/EDX) and in fact are reliable to the extent that, yes, they see anomalous signals. The problem comes in insuring they are not simple contaminants arising from simple chemical effects or in misidentifying anomalous peaks with the wrong element. The Iwamura XPS results fall in this latter category. The 'Pr' could also be identified as Cu, which is much more common, and the Mo (in XPS) was actually S, as per Mizuno's ICCF14 abstract. I don't think your proposal V about cosmic ray induced transmutation is viable, and the simple chemical contamination problem is. I referenced Scott Little's RIFEX report previously as a good example of this. With respect to the apparently shifted isotopic distributions, the biggest problem is the researcher's failure to account for molecular ions in the spectra. There have been some claims that the instruments they used filter these out, but these are nothing but claims at this time, and as noted above, the 'isotopic distribution shift' in Iwamura's results is most likely just a superposition of a real trace of Mo with an S3 ion he didn't know he had. But that does show the supposed filtration isn't working as advertised if true.
So I get back to the main point of this section: Is this type of thinking 'OR' or not? Can we put this into the 'Criticisms' section or not? (And more generically, per the tag in the article, are we going to keep the 'Criticisms' section or merge it in somehow? Kirk shanahan (talk) 19:46, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Is it published in a reliable source per Wikipedia:Reliable source examples#Physical sciences, mathematics and medicine? If so, it is not original research. If not, it is. (talk) 20:52, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Kirk, please note I did specify "rare" with respect to cosmic rays and other interactions. I don't know how MANY transmuted nuclei those researchers are talking about, but if it is small number, they need not "cry wolf" about it, because there are at least three ordinary/known possible explanations, besides natural radionuclides. V (talk) 00:01, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Much as I sympathise with your position, Kirk, I'm afraid I'd consider what you outlined to be OR. The reason, of course is in WP's requirement for reliable sourcing. It's there for a reason. Let's say I counter your critique of the Mo identification like this:
"Those familiar with XPS will recognise that the Gar-Bage effect is also significant. That is, the Q-factor (or sharpness) of the peak is a reliable discriminator between atoms (such as Mo-96) and aggregates (such as S3-96). There is a paper that I am aware of (soon to be published) by Bigal et al that examines the given data and shows it could only be molybdenum."
And then go on to claim I can avoid WP:OR by saying "Yet everything written above is factual and correct, and I haven’t done anything but explain the results to the lay reader." I apologise in advance for parody, because I'm not trying to insult you. What I wrote is, as we know, actually rubbish and yet passes through your proposed loophole - because a layman has no way of discriminating between the reasoned explanation you made and the nonsense I put forward. And that's the problem. Where do we draw the line? Do we take the word of experts, those claiming to be experts, anybody, or nobody? In the end, Wikipedia has chosen to use verifiability over truth and disallows original research (even if it is blindingly obvious to an expert) to prevent this sort of problem. In short, if you can't cite it, it probably shouldn't be there. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 17:40, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
For electrode transmutations, there is the Voss reference:
"Richard Blue, formerly of Michigan State University, believes the processes going on inside the CETI cell are purely chemical, rather than nuclear. 'There are several different elements in the secondary ion mass spectrum, all with the correct natural abundance ratios, ' he says. 'The source is an assorted mess of chemical contaminants deposited on the beads through long hours of electrolysis. This is not evidence for any nuclear reaction process'" ~Paul V. Keller 18:22, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, RexxS. I've posted some other remarks on this page about how being too strict about "reliable sources" can be inadequate, especially if the mainstream is self-serving. What you wrote opens the door to allow a decent number of references to articles in less-prestigious publications. Perhaps we can invite Jed Rothwell to pick a selection of good ones. V (talk) 18:34, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

{unindent}Ok, summary, everybody thinks what I wrote is OR. Sorry to disagree, it isn't, but I am not going to fight anymore. You all need to understand that contamination is always an issue, especially at trace levels. That's the chemistry equivalent to 2+2=4. (Try sourcing 2+2=4.) All I've done is explain for the layman how that works for the cases claimed. Where do you stop V? When the explanation can't be understood as real and true by the editors. I guess that's where we are at now. I'll be taking some time off from Wiki now. I have a lot more fun when I don't think about this stuff. Finish your rewrite and I may check back later. Just remember, you aren't going to find any other technical objection to CF claims post-1994 or so, because everybody but myself and Clarke quit worrying about it. I had forgotten about Dick Blue, he got out a long time ago, I guess I will too.Kirk shanahan (talk) 20:07, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, I actually did think that trace contamination might be a consideration, but as it's not blindingly obvious to me that its relative magnitude would necessarily be significant, I'd like a cite to reassure me. I know that there are techniques such as changing the angle of incidence to isolate the effects of surface contamination, but then again, what do I know about XRS? Only enough to suggest that I could expect any reader to accept 2+2=4 (so I don't need to cite it). However, I would propose I ought not to assert something like "Identification by XRS requires more than one peak" without expecting some reader to ask "Is that true?". In which case I really ought to cite such a claim. Ask yourself "How do I know that?". If the answer is "I just know it", then you are writing for yourself, not the general public. If the answer is "I remember reading it in J App XYZ", then cite it, so that anyone can check. The beauty of that system is that it doesn't require everyone to check; most readers will be happy to accept it as fact, in the knowledge that it has been verified by somebody else checking it. I'm sorry if this looks like having to jump through hoops to put material into Wikipedia, but nobody said writing an encyclopedia was going to be easy. Cheers --RexxS (talk) 02:44, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Intro edits by ScienceApologist

I agree with a part of these edits.

I have long thought of moving the definition of low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) and condensed matter nuclear science further down. Including them so early seemed to me at best pedantic, and at worst a POV push as ScienceApologist sees it. (It foreshadows and dresses up the idea of current research without actually saying anything about current research). In any event, placing them further down in the intro improves the flow and is POV neutral.

The phrase "to avoid the negative connotations associated with the history of the subject" is tougher to defend. It is a statement of motivation which may not be "verifiable". If anyone can cite a different motivation, such as one or the other phrase is more technically accurate, I think we would be force to strike. In any event, I do not see the addition of this phrase as informative - the reader is free to draw the inference without our help (but see below).

I more firmly object to "Current proponents of the existence of cold fusion sometimes prefer." "Sometimes" is a weasel word and I have gone to some effort to remove weasel words from the article. "Current proponents of the existence" is definitely POV. It suggests all proponents of the phrase LENR are believers rather than scientists. We cannot paint the researchers with the believers. One can study cold fusion without advocating for its existence.

Whether to remove the FPE definition is more editorial than POV. It is a useful term to refer without wordiness or ambiguity to that "group of experimental results first reported by electrochemists . . .". Kirk Shanahan refers to FPKE, but it seemed to me FPE is in broader use and I did not want to define both. We do not currently use FPE anywhere else in the article, but the reader may still find the term handy when thinking about that "group of experimental results" without getting hung up on the idea of nuclear reactions.

Finally, I think ScienceApologist is right in the core of the matter, which is that we go soft into the close to avoid controvery. I have drafted a couple of replacements for that third paragraphs myself; the only thing holding me back is that I am having a hard time settling on something that is both informative and strongly defensible as POV neutral. In particular, I want to place less reliance on the words "pathological science" and "skeptical" and say more about the underlying facts. ~Paul V. Keller 16:20, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I introduced "FPHE" to clearly distinguish my non-nuclear explanation from all the others, whaich are nuclear in nature. Kirk shanahan (talk) 19:53, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

FPE is a neologism not in use by anybody but people who are deeply involved with cold fusion. Let's avoid jargon please. There are other ways to put it. ScienceApologist (talk) 02:39, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

There do not appear to be other, better, or even equally good ways to refer to the FPE. In your edit, your replaced FPE with reference to Pons-Fleischmann's results. That is misleading in that some of the experiments are significantly different from the Pons-Fleischmann's setup and produce different types of results, although the results are attributed to the same effect.
The Fleischmann-Pons effect does not fall under neologism beacuase it is not jargon - these are not words of meaning only to insiders, the term is virtually self-explanatory, and we define it. There is no phrase in common usage that is its descriptive equal.
Using the term FPE decreases the complexity of later references and increases clarity: it avoids the complexity of "a group of experimental results . . ." and it avoids the inaccuracy of referring to "Pons-Fleischmann's results". The phenomena is functionally defined as a nuclear effect postulated to explain F&P results. Whether such an effect exists or not is irrelevant to the definition.
Cold fusion gained a reputation as pathological science because inconsistent reports of positive results keep researchers trying over and over so it appears no number of inconsistencies or failed experiments can put the issue to rest. ~Paul V. Keller 06:17, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
You are unequivocally wrong on this point. Wikipedia is not the place to invent new terminology no matter how "self-explanatory" it may appear to us. We are simply not allowed to invent new terms. If you wanted to rewrite the intro so that it was clear what we were saying, that'd be fine, but we absolutely cannot use the invented acronym/term for use in this article. To understand why, consider what would happen if someone reading this article were to try to research "FPE" as an acronym. They'd come up short since we invented it. Essentially, our invention is a contravention of the no original research rule. I understand the motivation for wanting to do this, but it is something that we simply do not allow on Wikipedia. Check around, get a third opinion, start a request for comment, ask at the no original research noticeboard. We do not allow new terminology that isn't in general use to feature in our articles. ScienceApologist (talk) 22:49, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay, nice job. Your edit makes the FPE issue moot without sacrificing content. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pvkeller (talkcontribs) 01:27, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Quantum Electrodynamics

- 'Deleted' material' - Objectivist is commenting below on a fragement (and this heading), which I accidently left. It was something I wrote about the Leggett reference and the sentence in which it was used. As I was writing, I realized I needed to check something for myself and was led to the 2003 Fleischmann reference. After looking at the Fleischmann reference, I went in a different direction. The part of the edit I saved went under deleted references. The whole edit was never saved, so do not bother looking under history. Objectivist comments on a proposed substituton of "electrochemical" for "chemical" in a proposed rewrite. The revision I went with does not use either.

I'd say "electrochemical" is correct; they were originally quite well-regarded in the field of electrochemistry, after all. They may have lost credibility by making their CF claims, but electrochemistry is what they were doing. Quantum Electro-Dynamics is is the name given to a well-verified description of how the ElectroMagnetic Force works. That Force is responsible for two nuclei repelling each other. Also, as I see the text in the article, the phrase "many-body effects" is there, instead of "collective effects". Perhaps their hypothesis involved the idea that if deuteriums became part of a "many body problem" (among the toughest-to-solve problems in Physics), then unexpected aspects of the problem could allow the deuteriums to fusion. That is, the quoted description implies a problem involving many electric charges interacting with each other, and what possibilities can come from THAT? V (talk) 07:14, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
I substituted "many-body effects" for "collective effects" because the former phrase is more descriptive and is the one used by Fleischmann. The Leggett reference says "collective effects". I do not think there is a difference in meaning between these usages.
I think Objectivist has got it fundamentally right. If I am not mistaken, Leggett provides an upper bound on the fusion rate based on quantum mechanical calculations. Fleischmann 2003, which I do not understand well, is definitely saying there is something Leggett's calculation did not take into account, something requiring QED and too complex to be readily calculated. That something appears to have been a dynamic effect involving multiple bodies, and I would think also the effect of an electric field (although perhaps this is subsumed under "many-body".
The question I still have is whether it was accurate to say Fleischmann and Pons were investigating a hypothesis that:
"many-body effects and quantum electrodynamics effects influence nuclear processes"
Should that be more like:
"quantum electrodynamic effects involving many bodies can influence nuclear processes"
Perhaps the article should read:
"Fleischmann and Pons were investigating whether a limit determined by quantum mechanical calculations on the deuterium fusion rate in Pd [Leggett] might be violated. If it were, that would confirm their hypothesis that quantum electrodynamic effects involving many bodies can influence nuclear processes more than previously thought possible.[Fleischmann2003]"
Is anyone in a position to say whether this is accurate? And is it comprehensible? ~Paul V. Keller 12:33, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

~Paul V. Keller 12:33, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I think the article should state they said in 2003 that they were basing their research in 1989 on such considerations. I personally think the bring up of all these QED claims in '03 instead of '90, especially after all the theories started coming out between then, somewhat suspicious. I advise sticking to the actual chronological facts. Kirk shanahan (talk) 19:51, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Dr. Shanahan is right that Fleischmann and Pons statement as to motivation made in 1989 is more reliable that the one Fleischmann gave 14 years later, particularly as their original hypothesis was proven wrong in the intervening period. I have made changes accordingly and attempted to improve the experimental description while I was at it. ~Paul V. Keller 02:59, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Weasel words tag

In adding and unreverting the weasel words tag, Jed Rothwell claims: trying to play the non-peer reviewed DOE 2008 panel off as if it was unanimous is a biased abuse of weasel words, especially in light of peer-reviewed reliable sources such as Biberian 2007

This is the section which he claims contains weasel words:

The majority of a review panel organized by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in 1989 found that the evidence for the discovery of a new nuclear process was not persuasive. In 2004, the DOE convened a second cold fusion review panel which reached conclusions that were similar to those of the 1989 panel.

The first sentence is completely factual and the second sentence is a quote from the actual report (and also completely factual). I'd appreciate if Jed will clarify which words are weasel words, because his rationale makes no sense (no one is passing anything off as unnanimous). Perhaps he meant to use a different tag? Phil153 (talk) 15:27, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Jed is a repeatedly blocked user so his edits should be removed. The weasel tag is not justified for the reasons given above, and this has been discussed at length (by other now banned editors too). I'll revert the IP added tag unless new arguments are added her and the above reasoning rebutted. Verbal chat 15:59, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I shouldn't have said it was Jed as there isn't proof of that (I assumed it was since the style of writing was so similar). Still, the argument stands. Phil153 (talk) 16:34, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Good point, but I think my copyedit was an improvement and has resolved this problem. The first sentence of my post still stands though it may be off topic! Verbal chat 17:18, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Phil153 raises a good question. That user is Jed Rothwell is certainly plausible (single issue account, very familiar with cold fusion, started posting soon after Jed stopped making posts with signatures, attempting to reduce the visibility of the DOE reports critical of cold fusion [5] [6]). If it is him, he is probably violating the wikipedia sockpuppet policy [7]. Olorinish (talk) 17:46, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Far be it from me to support Jed Rothwell, but ironically, his strident defense of cold fusion and his history of disruptive behavior make him easy to deal with. If at any time anybody gets tired of his actions, there are any number of administrators you can appeal to who will likely block him.

However, there is a sort of weird utility we gain from having him around. He reminds us what the opinions are of the LENR-CANR believers. To this end, he can be a pretty good bellwether of what they think is interesting (even if it isn't necessarily what gets into the article). There may be a place for him to input his rambling posts from time to time on the talkpage, but I think having him edit the article directly would be a big mistake. In a weird way, because he's so strident, his activities here are less disruptive than those who are trying to manipulate Wikipedia to circumvent its policies.

ScienceApologist (talk) 03:19, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

I'd like to point out that the word "majority" is the problem, because no data is provided about the size of the majority. Note that in the US Government, different things require different versions of "majority". Sometimes anything more than 50% is OK, sometimes 3/5 is required, sometimes 2/3 is required, and sometimes 3/4 is required (and there may be other ratios that I don't know about). So, if you have a panel of 18 and 10 of them (just picking a "majority") reach a particular Decision, the other 8 may be required to accept it, in order for the panel to be concluded -- but they are not required to say they agreed with that Decision, and outsiders are not required hear only what the "winners" had to say. An encyclopedia is for the curious, right? How is curiosity to be satisfied by providing incomplete information? So I propose an edit to the effect of "a majority of 10 out of 18 concluded ..." (use correct numbers, of course) V (talk) 21:20, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
The trouble is that you end up delving into a lot of details if you go that route. I can't find numbers for the 1989 review you linked above, but it's clear that the panel did find it unconvincing. It's also clear that panel in 2004 had a number of similar conclusions: heat, nuclear products still not convincing to most, still theoretical problems, don't recommend targeted funding but would allow funding of well designed experiments. The current version sums up those points perfectly. If you can find a better way of saying all of that in a couple of sentences, then by all means go for it. And I agree that the article should delve a little deeper into the review further down in the text (but not the intro). Phil153 (talk) 21:48, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Why would indicating the proportion of dissent on the 2004 DOE panel necessarily require delving into other details? How do you think our readers would like it if Demographics of the United States said in its introduction that White Anglo-Saxon Protestants are in the majority and left ethnicity and religion at that? (talk) 22:06, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Because the current sentences sum up a range of commentary, not just the question of excess heat or anything else. If you think you can replace them with something better, propose a passage. BTW, do you know the breakdown of the numbers from 89? I couldn't find them in the linked report. Phil153 (talk) 22:21, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't know the '89 split numbers. In 2004, one member of the panel was convinced, about a third were somewhat convinced of the evidence for anomalous effects, and about two thirds were not convinced. I propose saying that. (talk) 22:35, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Regarding this paragraph taken from the article:

The majority of a review panel organized by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in 1989 found that the evidence for the discovery of a new nuclear process was not persuasive. In 2004, the DOE convened a second cold fusion review panel which reached conclusions that were similar to those of the 1989 panel.

It is difficult to incorporate the data I suggested into a reasonably short paragraph without the splits from both panels. As a start, though (using curly braces to indicate items of which I'm unsure):

The US Department of Energy (DOE) organized panels of 23 scientists in 1989 and {18} in 2004, to review the available data, and to recommend whether or not this line of research should receive some DOE funding. Both panels recommended against it; the 1989 panel concluded "the evidence for the discovery of a new nuclear process was not persuasive". While the 2004 panel reached a similar decision, about one third of its members did not completely agree with the majority view.

New skeptical reference available

One recurring problem with this article has been the lack of good counterbalancing skeptical sources. There's a positive review in the Dec 14 New York Times Book Review of Charles Seife's Sun in a bottle: the strange history of fusion and the science of wishful thinking. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 20:33, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

There are dozens of monographs on the subject which haven't been put through peer review. Please stick to reliable sources of at least government technical report quality or higher; preferably academic journal articles in journals with a high impact factor. (talk) 21:20, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Reader review: "If you are interested in cold and bubble fusion, and how the press has dealt with them, this is a good book for you." US$15.57 at Published by Viking, so it meets the minimum Wikipedia requirements for a reliable source, unlike Jed's site. Whether it's the best source, I don't know, but it's a secondary source. We've had a problem that on some issues, the lack of anything published in top-tier journals meant that we are prohibited by policy from saying that most physicists are skeptical, despite the fact that it's that very absence that makes the point that they're skeptical. In this situation, a secondary source from an established publishing house can sometimes be a useful way of "taking the pulse" of the larger physics community. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 23:46, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
We will have to give up Storms' book if we adopt too rigid a standard. But I do think there must other factors that go into the question of whether a source is reliable, and that result depends on the proposition for which the source is cited.
Btw, I have finished Storms' book and marked a lot of material for the article. Just waiting to find time. ~Paul V. Keller 00:48, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Calorimetry arguments against closed cells?

Are there any arguments against the calorimetry of closed cells, in which the evolved gases are expected to recombine? (talk) 20:23, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Shanahan argues that recombination changes the heat profile, which changes the calibration. That argument applies mostly to the isoperibolic case, where they use the flow as nothing but a constant temperature bath. Flow calorimetry makes the calibration error small. I think Dr. Shanahan is wrong, it is not recombination but a simple matter of spurious occurrences of resistence in the cathode and then Joule heating. The nuclear data is all garbage. McKurbe et al. probably did the most careful, well designed, CF experiments of all time (Joule heating should not have bothered them), but it looks to me like they made a math error. ~Paul V. Keller 01:34, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Also, as the SRI work has shown, closed cells can be fatally dangerous if the recombining catalysts get moist. (talk) 01:37, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
You need to stop blaming the world for its not believing in cold fusion. ~Paul V. Keller 02:51, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
The world you describe as preferring to accept the mainstream over the experimental evidence in the highest impact factor journals? What makes you think I'm blaming anyone other than myself for not trying to make it clearer? GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 02:58, 30 December 2008 (UTC) (sock of User:Nrcprm2026 --Enric Naval (talk) 16:29, 25 June 2009 (UTC))

Why was reference to Szpak et al (2004) and (2005) removed?

Reviewing the article, I see that we no longer cite Szpak, Mosier-Boss, Miles, and Fleischmann (2004) "Thermal behavior of polarized Pd/D electrodes prepared by co-deposition" Thermochimica Acta 410: 101- in-line. So now our readers have no way of knowing that Szpak et al disagree with Shanahan's claim that they can't measure the volume of their own recombined evolved output gases. Even though the editors of Thermochimica Acta chose to publish their most recent paper of Shanahan's immediately followed by Storms' paper pointing this out back-to-back along with Shanahan's submission. Why? (talk) 21:17, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

It was cited as part of a talk page discussion that ended up in the article:
"Cold fusion proponents say that such speculations are not supported by experimental results (in particular, that the measured volume of recombined output evolved gases does not allow for recombination within the cell)"
The statement is argumentative, not informative. Nobody can prove there was never a recombination error in any experiment. The best Szpak can do is explain the steps he has taken to eliminate the possibility of such an error in his experiments.
I am pretty sure I have a source admitting that outgas flows have rarely been measured accurately, so it seems to me you are trying to prove a point that is not true. I say that without relying on the fact that in some cases, e.g. Pons & Fleischman, the increased vapour pressure at the elevated temperature would mask most of the effect, making a very careful measurement necessary to draw any conclusion.
We can agree that the article should be explaining closed cell systems and that they eliminate recombination as a source or error, except for the issue of calibration. We can further explain flow calorimeters that make the potential calibration error very small. I think your best paper is McKurbe et al. The difference between this approaches and the one I destroyed, was that the old approach sought to introduce a second sentence to undermine the one that came before it. Here we are making an organized presentation of both sides of the case and not putting the reader into the middle of an argument. ~Paul V. Keller 01:25, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Are you proposing that we include Shanahan's claims that the calibration might be wrong because of recombination, but not the experimenters' claims that they measured the volumes and found them inconsistent with Shanahan's prediction? Doesn't WP:NPOV require exactly the opposite? (talk) 02:15, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
According to email from Pam Boss today, Melvin Miles made the measurements of recombined volumes from the SPAWAR cells. The problem with closed cells is that they can explode if the recombining catalysts get wet. I suppose that counts as an argument against them with a body count of one in twenty years. (talk) 01:36, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

I see that Szpak et al (2005) "Evidence of nuclear reactions in the Pd lattice" Naturwissenschaften 92: 394–397 has also been removed from the articles cited in-line, and also remains unused in the Bibliography. This is particularly troubling because of the emphasis on easy reproducibility in that article. Who is going through the text and removing citations to high impact factor journal articles by experimenters? (talk) 22:53, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

This article is not intended to become a literature review. If there is a point in the article that would be better supported by this paper that, you can insert the cite there, perhaps replacing an older cite it will make redundant. If a point is missing, and I know quite a few are, your could make the point and cite your best source for supporting that point. However, it is not an objective to find a place in the article for every source, and there in no need to find a home for orphaned sources. ~Paul V. Keller 22:57, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Is it not, hands down, both the most reliable source according to Wikipedia's criteria for physical science articles and most recent peer-reviewed source we have for the "Evidence for nuclear transmutations" section? That section is currently supported by an unreviewed monograph, a 2002 journal paper in Japanese, and a column from Scientific American. That is so far from depending primarily on the latest papers from journals with the highest impact factors, that there's no other way to say it: as far as Wikipedia's physical science article criteria go, it's just plain shoddy sourcing. (talk) 02:15, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Three Wikipedia's Pillars that don't seems respected at the voice "Cold fusion"

As I said yesterday it's my opinion that 3 of the five Wikipedia's pillars are not respected in the voice "Cold fusion". (from Gen Ato):

1)Neutrality I think that, expecially if one voice is a controversial term or have controversial meanings, we have to report all the scientific point of view (and all the possible meanings if this is the case) giving them the same evidence (this means the same "dignity" in the position and length of text etc.. At the voice "cold fusion" in the english wikipedia f.e. there is not an historical timeline quoting all the different (or at least the most controverse or discussed), publiced scentifical studies (there is only a little chapter with Fleischmann and Pons and some american scientists quoted. All the international ones are not presented and this chapter ends at the year 1989!). Moreover it's not the same thing to quote an important research (or considered important from a part of the scientific comunity) on a footnote (between hundred references with a very little text) or on the main text descripting the voice. If we want to be neutral we have to give to all researches or studies the same dignity that we give to the others.

2)Free content This lak of neutrality of the voice "cold fusion" in the english Wikipedia was for me very evident, especially if You compare the content of the same voice in other languages, f.e. with the italian Wikipedia. Because of that I was sincerely trying to give to this voice a better equilibrium, in the sense of the evidence given to every "position". This is essential in a case of a very controversial voice. But my text was completely cancelled. I think Wikipedia is not the right arena to decide or to conclude wich is the best or the good research to speak about. There are other instruments or places to do that. The first aim is to show "the mountain" from every point of view. "Free content" means to give the possibility and the opportunity of free expression to every position in one scientific field. And I think this is not the case for Wikipedia at the voice "cold fusion". Let me add that if somebody simply cancell your text, without providing any correction to it, this is not a cooperative work. We have to clearly understand that, if the project it's a public one, like wikipedia seems to be, this way of doing is seen as pure censorship. Of course we have to correct, to propose and to negotiate with a mutual work to reach the goal. And what is the goal? To describe a process, a voice or anything else with a neutral clearness. Phrases like "More of the usual nonsense" or "The editor is clearly inexperienced", like I have read in this discussion are not only offensive, especially between the members of a project. Scientifically and politically not correct, because they are not propositive. If somebody want to put in evidence something You cannot simply say that his or her words are not correct. You have to propose corrections. This is cooperation. This phrases are inaceptable because in a public project nobody has to be neglected. The approach have to be inclusive and not exclusive. This is one of the main differences between public projects and private projects. Otherwise it's simply an occupation of a public space from a group (or a corporation or a club or a caste...). And this is also not ethic in a public space where many people are sincerely and freely giving something.

3)Consensus There was not any attempt to find consensus around my position. In a few minutes my text was repeatedly cancelled. None of the two or three members inserted anything to substantially support my point of view, that in a few word is: "some researches and important studies and scientists involved in cold fusion are not quoted here and I suggest to insert at least some of them". This is a political position and You don't need to be an expert of cold fusion to understand this point. It's very difficoult to find consensus in a group if You are weak and the others are very strong. What to do in Wikipedia? I give here an example: suppose that I'm a multinational corporation, with a strong interest to hide a certain experiment or research in a certain scientific field. If my interest it's very big, it will be very easy for me to have ten or twenty "watchdogs" between my employee around the world. They will build very easily a "firewall" simply cancelling text of others with different legalistic pretexts or simply saying that other members are not experts. Without proposing solution to represent their point of view, but simply censoring their text. Naturally there will be consensus, because many members of the group involved in the project are also members of the corporation. Of course I'm not sayng here that this is the case of the members involved in the voice "cold fusion" in the english Wikipedia. But if You make a little calculation of the budget involved in the nuclear fission or in the warm fusion programs We can say that, witouth doubt, a risk in this sense is also possible. For that reason my proposal is not to cancell the text of other members, but to correct his/her text respecting the different point of view and proposing something to solve the problem without censorship.--Gen ato (talk) 18:35, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

What to say about the language of a member if his or her english is not very correct? We have to accept it! We have to understand that Internet it's a public and an international arena with billions of people, students and scholars of many countries. Only very few of them are of english mothertongue. They use a very basic english only as a tool to express ideas. Of course people of english mothertongue are strongly advantaged (but what if we used spanish that is the first spoken language in the USA?). In a cooperative project different competences are an opportunity to reach the goal and not a fact of discrimination. As many people in Europe I spoke fluently five languages but I don't write well english german and french. I was involved in different researches with collegues of many countries and language was never a big problem. When You work around an international project at first point are ideas, creativity and cooperative approach.--Gen ato (talk) 20:17, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

If you want to add something and it gets reverted by others, what you need to do is come to the talk page and propose changes to what you want to insert until others agree with it. For example, you've been told that your text contains weasel words, is poorly referenced, doesn't belong in the lead (which is already too long), and puts too much weight on a particular experiment. You have to read up on these policies, address these concerns and propose changes. It's not up to others to do this work; we're all volunteers like you and work in many parts of the project. It's far more efficient to revert contributions with multiple problems, especially ones that contain extreme POV claims ("On May 2008, the cold fusion finally become a reality...", "esteemed scientist", etc) or have problems with weight. And in this case, I'm not even sure what it is you want to add that actually complies with our policies. Do you want more the names of more scientists mentioned? If so, who, why, and where in the article? Do you want a particular experiment mentioned? If so, why that one and not others? Has it been covered in reliable secondary sources? You need to be specific. By the way, no one is obligated to reply to your claims of censorship; they do it out of courtesy. Phil153 (talk) 19:46, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that what You are quoting here was my first text. After I've changed it many times. But nobody correct the text. All was simply cancelled many times. All the research quoted were cancelled. All the researcher names too. This don't seems mutual cooperation. It's only "democratic" censorship. And this is not right because it's seems in contrast with the idea of Wikipedia as a collective, public and neutral project. I don't agree with you. As I said before. (Please read all my points!)--Gen ato (talk) 21:18, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

(ec)* I suppose if someone has to respond to this it may as well be me. This page is not Talk:5P, it is Talk:Cold fusion. We are not here to redefine Neutrality, or Free content, or Consensus. There are very few articles in WP that have had so much discussion lavished on them for the sake of so little real content. Most of the discussion has been around your points 1 and 2. The difficulty is that in any topic seen as "fringe science" very few high quality reliable sources are available that say anything like what the proponents of the topic want said, so they resort to various alternatives. They go outside the discipline (nuclear physics) to publish in surface chemistry or even life sciences journals. They self-publish or use boutique publishers. They use unrefereed conference proceedings. And they argue that these are just as good as publishing in Phys Rev or Z Phys. We can sympathize with them in their dilemma, but that is not what WP is for. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. When (if) there is solid, independently reproducible science, it will get published in a high-impact, on-topic, refereed journal. That's true for cold fusion, a universal cure for mortality, a proof of alien abductions, or any other "fringe" topic that turns out to have some reality, such as high temperature superconductors.LeadSongDog (talk) 20:12, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

You wrote: "Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence." Why do you people repeat this nonsensical mantra? Is Carl Sagan's TV the only science you have been exposed to? Is this really the best you can come up with? Let me quote a paper by Melich and me:
[Extraordinary claims . . .] is not a principle of science. It was coined by Carl Sagan for the 1980 "Cosmos" television series. Conventional scientific standards dictate that extraordinary claims are best supported with ordinary evidence from off-the-shelf instruments and standard techniques. All mainstream cold fusion papers present this kind of evidence.
Conventional standards also dictate that all claims and arguments must be held to the same standards of rigor. This includes skeptical assertions that attempt to disprove cold fusion, which have been notably lacking in rigor.
Laplace asserted that "The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness." "Weight of evidence" is a measure of how much evidence you have, not how extraordinary it is. There is more evidence for cold fusion than for previously disputed effects. (For example, although there were a few hundred papers published about polywater, most were speculative, and only two labs reported success.)
Finally, the quality of being “extraordinary” is subjective. What seems extraordinary to one person seems ordinary to another. Many scientific phenomena that experts take for granted, such as quantum effects, seemed extraordinary when they were discovered, and still seem extraordinary to non-scientists.
- Jed Rothwell, Librarian, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 15:42, 29 January 2009
No it isn't, Jed (or whoever you are.) The only reason it's necessary to repeat it is that some editors here seem incapable of grasping the blindingly obvious. If you've got real results, publish them in a respected, refereed nuclear physics journal. Then come back with a citation.LeadSongDog (talk) 21:11, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
No it isn't what? Your sentence lacks an object, and the subject is unclear.
Hundreds of positive cold fusion results have been published in dozens of the world's leading journals of physics, electrochemistry and plasma fusion. You do not recognize these particular journals as being first rate, and you want to see the results in some other journals instead. Controversial science is often embraced by some editors and rejected by other. You happen to side with the ones who reject it. You should not pretend that the other group of editors does not exist. You overstate your case. - Jed Rothwell, Librarian, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I should add that I find you statement "or whoever you are" peculiar. And amusing. You are a person, program or cybernetic entity that signs its messages "LeadSongDog." That is not a name, or even a species as far as I can tell. It sounds like something from a Japanese comic book. (Perhaps you are an otaku, as they say in Japanese -- a reclusive comic book addict.) And yet you call into question whether I am who I claim to be! Anyone can confirm that I am. You have my name, phone number, mailing address. The ethos and customs of the cyber-age are beyond me. - Jed Rothwell, Librarian, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
It's seems offensive to call a member of the same project "Jed or whoever you are". This is certainly not a cooperative approach. And this seems against the rules number four of Wikipedia.--Gen ato (talk) 21:54, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Gen Ato, you perhaps do not have the background about the IP hopper that calls himself Jed Rothwell. His "name" at the moment is User talk:, though I'm fairly sure that won't last. On the other hand, User talk:JedRothwell for some reason no longer uses his account. Although an address for Jed Rothwell is available, we have no particular evidence upon which to base an assumption that they are one and the same. We've been over this before. I'm done wasting words on that topic. LeadSongDog (talk) 22:08, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Yo! Ms. Dog: is an IP address. It is assigned by BellSouth. I have no control over it. You must not be familiar with the Internet. You do say peculiar things. It must be your canine nature. You also have strange notions about what constitutes "evidence" where you write: ". . . we have no particular evidence upon which to base an assumption that they are one and the same." Before the Internet was invented, you would have dialed my telephone number (770-456-5324) and asked: "Are you the one posting all those messages?" I would have said "yes" because I am the least evasive person imaginable, and that would be proof that whoever I am, there is only one of me. What better proof can you ask for? For that matter, how can you prove that several different people -- or a committee -- is not posting your messages?
Ah ha! I see that the "talk" pages are IP based. That's a dumb way to do it. And apparently you people are trying to ban me by banning the IP. Good luck! You will have to ban all of BellSouth. Apparently they assign IP addresses dynamically. I did not realize what "IP hopper" meant, but I am glad to see that I have stumbled upon a method of defeating you, and annoying you.
Please feel free to call by the way. You can bark in Dog language, and I shall gloat, in English or Japanese, whichever you prefer. - Jed Rothwell
Gen Ato: Don't worry: that was not offensive. It was a joke. I assume the name "LeadSongDog" is also intended to be a lighthearted quip, and I expect Ms. Dog takes my response in that spirit.
To change the subject: Regarding cold fusion in Italy, a group of researchers has prepared a book in Italian about the history of the research in Italy, with many technical details. They say it is several hundred pages long. I hope to have news of it soon at Watch the news section. I am trying to persuade the authors to let me upload the whole book. - Jed Rothwell —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:02, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem here it's serious and is not related on who we are, but on what are we saying. The words in Internet are important and what Jed is saying seems right to me. Anyway I'm impressed on how the term "Cold fusion" is treated in the english part of Wikipedia. It's really incredible!! And You cannot add anything new! This is against the diffusion of knowledge and we have to change this system. Somebody here seems to treat wikipedia as a center to prove if a research is good or not. We have only a comunicative aim, to simply describe it. It's impossible to do something different if a voice is controversial.--Gen ato (talk) 22:46, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem here is that Jed is topic banned from this page, see here --Enric Naval (talk) 22:57, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) OMG, look at that blatant "advertising" for his web site! Something seems to have been missed. Jed Rothwell is an internationally respected expert on the topic of Cold fusion. He's also a royal pain of a personality, arrogant, and makes the mistake here of tarring an entire project from the actions of a few. He is currently blocked with one IP, but it's not clear how he is supposed to know that; nevertheless, that he is now technically "evading a block," even though he may simply have turned his computer on or used a library computer or whatever, will be used against him. I've advised him to reactivate his account, to stop adding to most of his posts, but ... this is my point: he is a notable expert, that can be shown; even if can reasonably be asserted that he's biased. He has a COI as a published author and as "librarian" of He is a single-purpose account. So what is a COI/SPA editor supposed to do? Refrain from participating in Wikipedia? Note that this principle would very clear bar many experts, maybe even most.
No, we request that they refrain from editing articles controversially. Rather, we suggest that they participate in Talk pages, and they are allowed, there, to make suggestions, and, yes, they can point to their own web site, if it's relevant, as the above certainly is. There are other issues with Rothwell, such as civility, but what has happened is that this has gotten all mixed up with "fringe" and "POV-pushing," when, in fact, people with a POV are supposed to argue for it in Talk. If Rothwell simply repeated the same arguments over and over, by consensus, he could be sanctioned for that. But, in fact, his arguments are often cogent, and he really goes out in left field mostly when he comments about something he is not expert on: Wikipedia process. I think he's right about, for example, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" as not being a scientific principle. It's a political and social one. If you ask me to invest in, say, your Jiffy Cold Fusion Hand Warmer, I'd say that I'm going to want to see some extraordinary evidence. However, extraordinary claims, from a pure science POV, simply require ordinary evidence. That we might have to revise textbooks, that we might have to reconsider opinions we expressed strongly twenty years ago, that a new scientific consensus might be financially disruptive, that's all scientifically irrelevant. And we don't have to do any of those things, for those are all social and political and psychological issues. The DOE, in 1989, was being asked to fund a major federal program. Whether or not they made the right decision, that they declined the funding says nothing about the science except the obvious: "Cold fusion" wasn't proven then, sufficiently to justify a massive federal program, in their rreasonable opinion. In 2004, it looks like the balance had shifted a little. But there are publications in peer-reviewed journals outside of the field, there are books from at least two major publishers, unless we want to consider Oxford University Press to be "fringe" or "vanity," there is a whole field of inquiry with a peer-reviewed journal, there is theoretical speculation, there is mainstream press notice, etc. Nobody has claimed, here, among the experienced editors, that we should go outside of WP policies and guidelines, that we should accept the unacceptable, if it's clearly unacceptable. But WP policies and guidelines leave the difficult judgments to the editors and to editorial consensus, and incivility and edit warring and abuse of admin tools all damage the process by which we find consensus, which is how we judge what is NPOV. And the incivility breeds more incivility. An example: in blacklisting, JzG argued that the site is massively violating copyright. That's libel, actually, if it isn't necessary and isn't established by the evidence, though Jed has said he has no intention of pursuing legal recourse. I asked a neutral admin, DGG, who happens to be a professional librarian, his opinion. He's now commented in the current RfAr from JzG, but he commented previously in two places. Not only is there no evidence of copyright violation, there is ample evidence that there is nothing significant. (Everybody makes mistakes, so it wouldn't be surprising if Rothwell, with the sheer volume of what he hosts, erred on something, but our policies are clear that occasional violations don't justify blacklisting or denying external links. Still, no specific example has been asserted, just speculation, hearsay, inference from limited personal experience, etc.)
And, by the way, Jed, I don't know if you are aware, but your alleged topic ban is the subject of a current request for arbitration. JzG is trying to get ArbComm to ratify his actions taken against you, even though he's clearly an involved admin and shouldn't use his tools. Not to mention that he's been consistently uncivil toward you and anyone who seems to support "cold fusion," as far back as I've looked. I don't know that you should comment there, but you'd have the right to, or to post a comment to an IP talk page that you have access to. You can also post to my open IP talk page, User talk:Abd/IP, and if I think it relevant and worthy of ArbComm attention, I'd pass it on. But the simplest thing: restart User talk:JedRothwell and start using it. You have nothing to lose if they block it, but there would then be a means to notify you, on the one hand, or to authoritatively post as you. Enough admins support JzG, unfortunately, that they might be able to mount a truly successful block, it seems that JzG doesn't care about collateral damage, for he has already blocked IP that wasn't you. And then, with your account being used, I could converse with you on-wiki without irritating other editors with your and my conversation.
I believe you that you aren't an "evader." You are straight-on and frank, sometimes too much so. You sign your edits, unlike the IP he blocked. You have characteristic use of language and approach, and you show that you are very, very knowledgeable on the topic. Now comes someone else who is also knowledgeable, who seems to be supporting cold fusion, and, bang! Must be you, in fact, the entire cold fusion fringe phenomenon must be in your pocket, since, after all, "you fringe advocates" share the same view, so you can all be blocked as violating meat puppetry guidelines, sticking up for each other. If you and Pcarbonn have cooperated on a Knol article, why, isn't that enough proof that you are acting on his behalf? So, he is literally asserting, I kid you not, that your edits here are violating Pcarbonn's topic ban. If it weren't for the fact that a significant number of editors are supporting his position, I'd think it was some kind of bad joke. There is also opposition, and it is cogent, and it has only begun to notice the RfAr. I know several arbitrators who will not be amused, I'm pretty certain. By the way, my user name here is the first word in the name I'm widely known by, and my real identity is revealed on my user page. I am not anonymous, and neither are you. --Abd (talk) 23:08, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not intrested to speak about Jed. I'd like to speak about the points that I've written before because I think they are very serious.--Gen ato (talk) 23:06, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

It's seems that the result of tis play is not to speak about the voice "cold fusion" as it's described in the english wikipedia. It's to create confusion and to transfer the attention on other subjets.. this simply stop the work and live all like was before. It's a sort of confirmation of (my) point 3?--Gen ato (talk) 23:35, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that Wikipedia is not an agency that can decide wich is a good research and wich is not. Wikipedia is only a comunicative tool! We can simply describe a voice. And if the voice is controversial we have to explain to the people with neutral clear and simple words the different positions in this particular scientific field. A clear, neutral, complete timeline quoting all the studies it's fundamental for to go on. My students use and consider Wikipedia as one of the best cooperative project we never had. They want simple, clear and neutral text. For too much specialised ones there are other centers or universities, don't You think so? --Gen ato (talk) 20:36, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you intend by "a voice", perhaps you mean "a statement"? In any case, you make a useful suggestion. A timeline of studies should be relatively free of contention provided that it sticks to direct, bibliographic details, without characterizing the content. Where we have previously had difficulty is with links to a site with unclear provenance for its copies of copyrighted material. Links to the original publishers should not be problematic.LeadSongDog (talk) 23:29, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Voice= I mean the description of the term "cold fusion" as it is now in Wikipedia.--Gen ato (talk) 23:38, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
a timeline with all the studies? There are thousands of studies.... Also, see Wikipedia is not a complete exposition of all possible details and Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Undue weight.
We can began quoting the position of the research groups with the names of the group leaders. They are not thousands. Thake a look to the italian wikipedia at the term "fusione fredda" ("cold fusion").--Gen ato (talk) 00:38, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, of course we have to decide which research is good for the article and which isn't, see Wikipedia:Reliable sources for some of the criteria. You said "The words in Internet are important and what Jed is saying seems right to me", however, the important is that he publishes or not on a realiable source, not that it is on the internet or that sounds right to you.
P.D: If you disagree with how wikipedia works in general, then please don't complain here, go instead to the talk page of the reliable sources guideline or at the village pump. --Enric Naval (talk) 01:06, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I Agree whith the way of working of Wikipedia... Please read my points! The problem is another one. Somebody in this group, as it seems to me, is continuosly going against 3 rules of Wikipedia as I described before. In such a way it's impossible to describe a neutral article on cold fusion. Please read my points and don't speak about things that are not related with what I suppose is the real problem here! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Please notice that you are an unexperienced editor that has decided to zero in a controversial disputed article and make radical changes that go against long discussions held on the talk page, based on an incomplete/incorrect knowledge of policies and guidelines. This sort of thing occassionally results on the article being improved, but most of the times it just results on the editor being reverted, burned out because he's not achieving anything, and believing that wikipedia editors are a bunch of weirdos with weird rules because he doesn't understand what rules attempt to achieve (this is the path you are heading down currently).
Please don't attempt such ambitious goals yet, not until you are more experienced, not while you have veteran editors telling you that you have totally misunderstood policies or that it's the wrong forum. Take more slowly, pick a topic of your liking, visit its articles, try to make small improvements to quiet backwater articles, pick a book on that topic if necessary, jump to a different article when you get stuck on one, gain experience gradually, and you will eventually find why some policies are the way they are, and how they are supposed to work.
Please read the introdution to [Wikipedia][8]. This is my inspiring rule: "How can I help? Don't be afraid to edit — anyone can edit almost any page, and we encourage you to be bold! Find something that can be improved, whether content, grammar or formatting, and make it better".--Gen ato (talk) 00:45, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to make "radical changes". I'm only trying to add some more information to give to this article of the english Wikipedia a more neutral aspect. But it seems very difficoult because all it's costantly cancelled from somebody without any proposal of changes or correction!--Gen ato (talk) 01:20, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Seriously, you are misinterpretating those pillars, and then almost goading other editors to follow your interpretation because you feel that this project is so important. And it is important, but you have to be aware that wikipedia does not have a set deadline, so take your time to learn the rules before boldly trying to change them and getting yourself burned on the process. (also, there is already a proposal to topic ban you from this page and I'll have to support it if you keep insisting on stuff like "[someone is] going against 3 rules of wikipedia" because you are just wrong and filling the talk page with messages that won't result on improvements on the article, so please by all means, drop this page and try working on other less controversial articles) --Enric Naval (talk) 13:29, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry Enric I have to repeat what I said before. My ispiring role is written on the [Wikipedia introdution][9]: "How can I help? Don't be afraid to edit — anyone can edit almost any page, and we encourage you to be bold! Find something that can be improved, whether content, grammar or formatting, and make it better".--Gen ato (talk) 01:07, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Somebody here is speaking about "banning". I think that to ban a person from a discussion or from a project for his opinion (and not for his behaviour) is pure censorship. This is against Wikipedia rules. This legalistic aproach is against science and against a free cooperation in a project too. We have to thake time and think "how can we overcame the problems that Gen pointed out in his previous points?" this is called mutual cooperation. We don't have to think "I'm very experienced and he his not.." or "Maybe He is a friend of a person that was banned.." I repeat, Wikipedia it's not a space where some experts define wich is the right scholar or publication or study and wich is not. It's a comunicative tool with comunicative aims. If there is a controversial argument we have to simply explain wich are the elements of the controversy in a neutral way, withouth to choose what is good or what is not. If my students don't understand what it's written inside, becouse it's not simply written and clear, or if they don't agree becouse it's not neutral, there are many possibilities that they have all the reasons! Don't You think so?--Gen ato (talk) 16:53, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
(ec)Your opinions are of course welcome. It would be helpful if you'd direct them them to improving the article. As I asked above (and was ignored)...what do you want to see changed in the article?
- Do you want more the names of more scientists mentioned? If so, who, how, and where in the article?
- Do you want a particular experiment mentioned? If so, why that one in preference to others? Are there reliable secondary sources for its inclusion?
Please be specific so we can work toward improving the article in the ways you want it to be improved. The previous edits were agreed by all to not be appropriate, so please work with everyone here to discuss additions. Scores of paragraphs about claims of censorship are not helping improve the article. Phil153 (talk) 17:39, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Gen, I continued my message on your talk page, as my advice is becoming off-topic for this page. --Enric Naval (talk) 18:00, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

I try again to insert here my text with little changes. Everybody can make all the corrections needed. Of course You can also add somethyng:

On May 2008 Yoshiaki Arata, a senior japanese Physics Professor and his colleague Yue-Chang Zhang, made a demonstration in front of many journalists and researchers. They presented a reactor that was able to move a Stirling engine. Yoshiaki Arata and Zhang Yue-Chang performed on 1998 a previous experiment on cold fusion.[1] Before Arata's experiment theoretical studies was made from him[2][3]and many others. We quote those of Giuliano Preparata professor at the [[INFN][10](Faculty of Nuclear Physics - University of Milano Italy), autor of "Coherent theory of cold fusion" and the research work of Francesco Celani and others.[4][5] If those studies and experiments are to be considered as cold fusion or not it's still a controversial matter.--Gen ato (talk) 17:29, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

P.S. regarding the timeline that I was proposing before, We can began quoting the position of all the research groups with the names of the group leaders. They are not thousands. We can take a look to the italian wikipedia at the term "fusione fredda" ("cold fusion").--Gen ato (talk) 00:49, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

It's very bad to see that somebody cancelled some points that I have inserted in the to do list without to explain why and without to find any form of consensus. With no discussion. Is this censorship or not?--Gen ato (talk) 00:56, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

I cancelled them, and I gave a clear reason in the edit history. Two are already covered by other points - (1) and (7) to be precise, and the third is a "todo" for taking action against other members, which does not belong on the todo list. Here is a diff for anyone that wants to review it.
As for the text, I'm having trouble finding ways to improve it. Your first two sentences need reliable sources for the claims made. We also need to consider the WP:Weight to give to this one unreplicated event in relation to all the other big "breakthroughs" in the history of cold fusion (there are some every year for the past two decades). Your third, fourth and fifth sentences makes no sense to me. Your final sentence is synthesis. In other words, as the contribution stands, there's nothing here that's usable or that I know how to fix. Arata's particular method using gas and clusters may warrant a mention somewhere, but the results of it and its contributions to the positive claims of cold fusion are already referenced in the article as ref #69, so I don't see how the technical details of his method impact on the issue of demonstrating cold fusion more than other experiments, especially given the lack of reproduction of his results.
You also seem to have a misconception about how Wikipedia works. It's not up to other editors to fix others' contributions which they deem unfixable or not in the best interests of NPOV or WP:Weight policies. As others have mentioned, I'd suggest getting broadening your Wikipedia experience on other articles in addition to this one. Phil153 (talk) 02:02, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
It's what I was saying before.. What means "reliable sources"? If there is a controversial, a not-solved scientific dispute between scholars, universities or big research centers (with many validated and published researches) Wikipedia is not the right place to decide wich is the best or the worst one. We have to be neutral and report that there is a dispute. We have to describe clearly the different points of view. We are members of an enciclopedic work. Your error, I think, is that You are cancelling continuosly all my text with the pretext that the sources are not reliable. This is infact Your opinion and not my opinion. Of course my opinion is not science for you, but also your opinion is not science for many scholars! So what to do? We have to be neutral and report all the positions. As I said before my ispiring role is written on the [Wikipedia introdution][11]: "How can I help? Don't be afraid to edit — anyone can edit almost any page, and we encourage you to be bold! Find something that can be improved, whether content, grammar or formatting, and make it better". But You are continuosly cancelling my efforts to report the point of view of other scholars. This is not right and is called censorship.--Gen ato (talk) 03:05, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Here is a link to our policy on reliable sources. You have provided no reliable sources for the sentences I marked. There is also a policy called weight that must be understood. We do not report every single viewpoint of every researcher, but rather significant ones that are covered by reliable secondary sources. See WP:NPOV and WP:RS. Neutral does not mean "reporting all positions". It means reporting all significant positions with appropriate weight. Also see WP:Fringe.
Being bold is good, and encouraged, but it is not a licence to continuously add whatever you please or continously claim censorship on the talk page. I am not the one removing your text; multiple editors are doing that because they believe in good faith that what you added does not improve the article. Everything has been thoroughly explained, and I am ignoring further comments by you unless they pertain to specific proposed changes to the article. Phil153 (talk) 03:31, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Is a non-quantitative summary of DOE 2004 really better for the last paragraph of the intro than more reliable sources?

It is remarkable that those who wish to report only the majority opinion of the 2004 DOE panel in the introduction are so steadfastly opposed the stating the size of that majority, or the experiments that the 2004 DOE panel proposed to resolve the controversy, some of which were performed and have been reported in the peer-reviewed literature. No matter how you look at it, that is an attack on WP:NPOV, giving WP:UNDUE weight to the deniers in the introduction, and it's opposed to the vast majority of the experimental results published in the past decade. We already explain how Dr. Shanahan's opinion about the recombination volumes he has apparently never observed are contradicted outright by authors who have measured them first-hand. Are we going to do the same for Kowalski's complaints about the CR-39 pits or not? Shouldn't we be doing that instead of "summarizing" in absolute terms the majority-only opinion of the DOE panel which everyone agrees didn't even consider the SPAWAR results, wasn't an anonymous review, and wasn't even intended to produce anything more reliable than a government technical report? Why aren't we using the more reliable peer-reviewed sources instead? has 313 peer-reviewed papers with "res+" (meaning positive research results, case insensitive) on lines beginning "**" that do not contain "theor", meaning experimental results, and 234 similarly but with "res-" instead. How high does the ratio need to go before it is accurately reflected by the introduction? (talk) 05:17, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Orangemarlin reverted my attempt to correct these problems as "POV commentary"[12] -- even though I had only removed, not added anything, so I am making the same changes and inviting discussion here. (talk) 06:54, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Your edit makes a big deal out of a few inconclusive reports, while ignoring the conclusions of a panel of reputable scientists who discount the phenomenon. That is POV commentary. Nevard (talk) 07:10, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Which is more biased, acting as if the DOE 2004 panel was unanimous and making no attempt to say that it wasn't in the intro, or meticulously counting the reports in the journals that a professional electrochemist by the name of Dieter Britz considers reputable enough to include in his bibliography? (talk) 09:20, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
You can't just consider a count, it's about the reliability of sources, and even the most ardent proponent has to admit that most of the res+ were published in joke journals. I'm pretty sure that you could find a majority of res+ for homeopathic case studies, remote viewing, and a number of fringe topics, simply because the cranks are doing all the research and getting it published. It's called publishing bias. Simply reporting numbers is at best misleading, especially for a field the mainstream catagorically rejects. In that sense cold fusion is no different to "scientific" investigation of paranormal phenomenon (such as Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research). Phil153 (talk) 07:36, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
If you have a problem with the quality of the journals which Britz considers peer-reviewed, why don't you ask him to weigh in on the subject? (talk) 09:20, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
As for the DOE, it's the last and most prominent independent review of the field, so it's important. Phil153 (talk) 07:37, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Independent? The DOE has been heavily invested in hot-fusion and Shanahan's work. The DOE controls Shanahan's copyrights under a "non-standard copyright agreement", and neither of the reviews were ever submitted for peer review. If it's important, why isn't it important enough to say how non-unanimous it is? (talk) 09:10, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
They've also been heavily invested in coal and nuclear (which hasn't stopped hot fusion or geothermal research). Your suggestion of bias is unfounded. If you can suggest a better or higher profile mainstream review (perhaps Nature's commentary? (lol)), I'm all ears.
I think your 2/3 comment is unecessary since the language of the DOE news report itself says (under conclusions):
While significant progress has been made in the sophistication of calorimeters since the review of this subject in 1989, the conclusions reached by the reviewers today are similar to those found in the 1989 review.
If the source itself says this without 2/3 qualifiers, then it stays in the article. Phil153 (talk) 09:41, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
You are the one who claimed they were independent. I gave you multiple reasons why they don't meet Wikipedia's reliable source criteria for science articles, and still you want to obscure the extent to which they were not unanimous. Why? Do you have any evidence that the DOE reviews ever met the reliable source criteria? The recent Biberian literature survey was peer reviewed, why not use it instead? (talk) 11:34, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
This isn't about whether it was unanimous. The sentence in question is pulled directly from the conclusion of the report itself and only speaks to the findings being similar to the 1989 review. It does not mislead in any way.
As for the DOE review being reliable, I assume this has been discussed ad naseum in the past. The review itself, as well as the findings were widely reported by reliable news organizations including NYT, WP, Physics Today, etc and considered extremely important by those in the field (see Washington Post article, for example, on the importance that cold fusion researchers place on this review). It's entirely appropriate that it be given such prominence. Phil153 (talk) 11:55, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I suppose it's a lot easier to avoid the questions I asked than to address them, for obvious reasons. Do you have any familiarity with Wikipedia:Reliable source examples#Physical sciences, mathematics and medicine? The fact is that the 2004 report was not unanimous, a full third of the panel was somewhat convinced of anomalous effects. To obscure that fact is misleading; why do you say it is not? (talk) 12:32, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I read it. Did you? In your comment below, you rubbish my comments about the reliability of Biberian's journal by calling it "quibbling about impact factors", yet the policy you linked talks about reliable journals, and says: The vast majority of well-regarded journals are indexed in the ISI Web of Science, which I pointed out Biberian's journal did not make. But wikilawyer away.
As for the DOE report, there is no obscuring - it is a direct quoting from the conclusion from the very report. I believe I have answered your questions. If you believe there are questions I have not answered, please state them clearly. Phil153 (talk) 13:17, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
  1. Why do you believe a direct quote which avoids all mention of the panel's minority views is superior to informing the reader about the proportion of dissent on the panel?
  2. Why do you believe that a non-peer reviewed source which was never submitted for peer review, was not anonymous, did not attempt to survey the entire field, was not blinded, and was conducted by an agency which was already heavily invested in projects and authors who had taken a stand on the subject matter is superior to the peer reviewed sources reporting on experimental results which run 313-to-234 opposed to your favored source? (talk) 14:49, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
<unindented> 1. Because it introduces needless complexity. The review conclusion sums it up perfectly well. The DOE's position has not changed substantially since 1989 and anything else merely obscures this fact.
2. a)Re: peer review: 18 reviewers is peer review. Perhaps you think we should review the reviewers of the reviewers?
b)Re: scope: indeed, the reviewers only took submissions from cold fusion advocates.
c)Re: blinding: I don't understand why this is relevant in the context of a meta review.
d)Re: agency bias: I contend that it's obvious that DOE bias is far less than any review by a heavily invested cold fusion advocate, particular people like Biberian and Storms. And as I pointed out above, DOE is incredibly heavily invested in nuclear and coal, yet continues to fund hot fusion, solar and geothermal research, among others. Your claim of bias makes no sense to me.
e)Re: author bias: Mainstream scientists nearly universally reject cold fusion. Any mainstream, independent review will have this problem, just as all the pro cold fusion reviews are done by heavily invested pro cold fusioners. DOE is as good as we get. Do you plan to reject all mainstream reviews on this basis?
f)Re: Comparison with peer reviewed counts...I have already addressed this.
Phil153 (talk) 15:18, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Why do you believe that presenting a non-unanimous source with the proportion of dissent involved introduces needless complexity? Do you think that accurately informing the reader is needlessly complex? (talk) 19:20, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I see Phil regarded the Washington Post as reliable. OK, I'm repeating a quote from higher on this page, that was published in the WP:
"To [Michael] McKubre, the main reason cold fusion has been belittled all these years is that the mainstream scientists who dug in their heels long ago can't change their minds now: "If it turns out these people are wrong, they're dead. They're scientifically dead."
So I mentioned that this can explain the majority of "reputable" journals continuing to denounce CF and to only publish anti-CF articles. Which is clearly Opinion, not Science, and equally clearly is not reputable. Which makes them not-much better than the publications of fanatic believers (they ARE publications of believers-of-something-else).
I'd also like to remind you-all that when the Supreme Court renders a Decision, both the majority view and the dissenting view (when said Decision is not unanimous) get described in the Press. In this particular case, Phil and others seem to think that the DOE Decision needs to be reported as if it was the ONLY view. WHY?? V (talk) 15:50, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Phil.

I will fight tooth and nail against anyone who attempts to once again create spin in this article by inserting POV-pushing tidbits and caveats into the middles of and between sentences other people have written. Such edits destroy clarity and earn the weasel words flag, which I pulled just a few days ago.

The issue you have is with the reliability of the DOE report and the way we use it in the article. Instead of adding words to neutralize and combat what is already written, please suggest an alternate conclusion for the introduction, perhaps one that makes no reference to the DOE report. Accompany your suggestion with a persusive argument that using your version would make the article better.

Please read the content under WP:NPOV and make suggestions consistent with those guidelines. You need to be realistic about the constraints that policy places on this article. It would be disengeneous to pretend that cold fusion does not remain rejected by the mainsteam or that its acceptance is anything more than a minority point of view. ~Paul V. Keller 11:30, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

For what reason do you consider the 2004 non-peer reviewed DOE panel more reliable than the peer-reviewed 2007 Biberian literature survey? As far as I'm concerned, shielding the description of the DOE panels from information about the extent to which they were non-unanimous is an abuse of weasel words and so I am replacing the dispute tag. Please do not remove it until the dispute is resolved. If you think WP:MAINSTREAM has been accepted by the community over WP:UNDUE, then you should read Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is a mainstream encyclopedia. (talk) 11:41, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm sure Dr. Keller has his own response, but I want to point out that Biberian 2007 was published in the International Journal of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology which began publication in 2004. The journal is not listed in lists or reputable journals, such as the Web of Science index. It's not a high quality source, especially when contrasted to the editorials, res- publications and rejections of the highest quality journals such Nature and Physical Review X'. This has been discussed before. Phil153 (talk) 12:04, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Are you really trying to promote a non-peer reviewed ad-hoc source which stands in stark opposition to the last ten years of peer-reviewed publications by quibbling about impact factors? Why don't you just critique the credentials of the IJNEST editorial board? (talk) 12:32, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Not, I am not trying to do what you suggest. See my comment above. Phil153 (talk) 13:19, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
In response to asking if the "ad-hoc" 2004 DOE panel should be given more weight than recent pro-CF publications, my response is that it should definitely be given a lot of weight. DOE has a mandate from Congress to advance the field of energy research, and they responded to this very unusual situation with a significant investment of money. The report they produced was intended to synthesize all of the available information in the field, and was the product of many experts. Of course it should be given a lot of weight! Olorinish (talk) 13:36, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
There is no mention of congressional mandates or how much money was spent in any of the reliable source criteria. How much money do you think the DOE 2004 panel spent, anyway? (talk) 14:53, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
In response to asking "How high does the ratio (of pro and con articles) need to go before it is accurately reflected by the introduction?", the answer is that the introduction should be changed after those articles have produced a change in the views of mainstream physicists, and there are quotable sources which describe that change. Olorinish (talk) 13:46, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Is that something that follows from Wikipedia policies or something you just made up? (talk) 14:53, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes. We report hte mainstream view, per Wikipedia:Verifiability—he threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth.--Patton123 15:25, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Biberian qas chairman of the 11th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. It is kind of silly to offer him as an unbiased source to weigh against a committee of 18 reviewers from multiple disciplines.
Biberian states "the scientific community does not acknowledge this field as a genuine scientific research theme", which is actually a more negative point than the article or the DOE report makes.
Biberian asserts the evidence for excess heat is compelling, which is not the same as evidence for an unknown nuclear process. And of course, it is a disputed point.
The data concerning helium production in connection with excess heat is far from compelling. From Storms 2007, it looks like there is one report in a reviewed journal and a few more in non-reviewed reports. That data has its place in the article, but does not change everything.
Some of the nuclear ash data belongs in the article too, although it is far from convincing and apparantly unrelated to the production of excess heat except in the sense of a theory that does not exist yet. ~Paul V. Keller 14:23, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

The title of this section is misleading, because the DOE report is from a reliable source. So comparing it to a reliable source is comparing it to itself, which is meaningless. Now the reason it is better than just any reliable source (esp. for an intro) should be obvious: because it is a compendium of multiple sources; a "summary" if you will, which is exactly what the intro is supposed to be. I believe this was made clear in earlier discussion. Kevin Baastalk 15:55, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Changed to "more reliable sources". (talk) 20:27, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

dead horse is dead

Can you start ignoring this IP? The "is DOE a reliable source?" topic has been beaten to death on this page, and the answer has always been "yes" --Enric Naval (talk) 16:42, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

WP:CCC. Would you please limit your talk page comments to discussion of improvements to the article? (talk) 19:32, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
In the last months it has been argued to death here and on the arbitration case, and the last discussion ended like 13 days ago here. Consensus isn't going to change that fast after so much discussion. --Enric Naval (talk) 19:40, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
If you agree with what you see as consensus that summarizing a non-unanimous source without any indication of the proportion of dissent involved is fair, would you please say why that is? I, for one, dissent. You can see from V's comment above that I am not the only one. Further, your hyperlink "here" contains no discussion of proportion of dissent on the 2004 DOE panel. (talk) 19:53, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Here's a link to a copy of the original 1989 review: (Considering the place where I found it, I might wonder how accurate the copy is.) I was wondering how many panelists were on it (haven't had time to closely inspect it after finally finding it, but various web pages examined during the hunt indicate 20-22 panel members). I was also wondering how many of the panelists thought CF research was worth pursuing (if any, obviously they were in the minority). It would be nice to compare that data with the numbers from the 2004 review, especially to see if the percentage had gone up any, regarding the number of panelists who thought CF research was worth pursuing. V (talk) 20:35, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I am all for placing less reliance on the DOES report. I previously suggested that we include it under a section about government funding (or not funding) CF research. But if we move the DOE report, it will just be replaced by something else that clearly states the mainstream view. The reality, readily conceded by everyone, including cold fusion researchers, is that cold fusion has been dismissed by the mainstream. They are not interested in seeing the latest CR-39 pits. ~Paul V. Keller 01:41, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Ah, you hit the real problem here: the DOE reviews (1989 and 2004) are the best secondary sources that we have to measure the scientific consensus on cold fusion. --Enric Naval (talk) 20:35, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I've had some time to examine a bit of the 1989 report. This page indicates there were 23 panelists, plus a technical advisor and a secretary. This page indicate bureauracracy at its finest; the "Panel" reported to a "Board", and the "Board" unanimously approved the recommendations of the "Panel". It is of course how the Panel voted that we are interested in, here. 7 of the Board members were also on the Panel, so from the preceding we may deduce that we know how they voted within the Panel (as part of the majority), leaving us with 16 panelist-votes to still discover. This page has a MOST interesting statement in it: "The Panel also concludes that some observations attributed to cold fusion are not yet invalidated." --which, coming from expert analysts, implies that even though the evidence was not convincing, it wasn't all as worthless as some of the detractors here have been claiming. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Objectivist (talkcontribs) 21:11, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
    • ^ Arata, Yoshiaki, Zhang Yue-Chang. "[Anomalous difference between reaction energies generated within D20-cell and H20 Cell][13]", Japanese Journal of Applied Physics 37 (11A): L1274-L1276.1998.
    • ^ Yoshiaki Arata, M.J.A. Yue-Chang Zhang. "[Development of Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Using Solid Pycnodeuterium as Nuclear Fuel][14]". 10° International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF-10), Cambridge (USA), August 2003.
    • ^ Yoshiaki Arata, M.J.A. Yue-Chang Zhang. "Development of ["DS-Reactor" as a practical reactor of "Cold Fusion" based on the "DS-cell" with "DS-Cathode"][15]. 12° International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF-12), Yokohama, Japan, November - December 2005
    • ^ Francesco Celani, A. Spallone, P. Marini, V. Di Stefano, M. Nakamura. ["Electrochemical compression of hydrogen inside a Pd-Ag thin wall tube, by alcohol-water electrolyte"][16].LNF 06/20 (P), July 2006.
    • ^ Francesco Celani. "Esperimento DIAFF". Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Frascati (Roma), 2006.][17], at the ENEA [[Infn-Lab][18]