Moulton Lava

Moultonic Musings

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Location: New England, United States

Monday, January 03, 2011

Classical Gas

A few days ago, we were musing about opium-induced dreams as a metaphor to illustrate the pipe dreams of the Cold Fusion enthusiasts.

This morning, on NPR, science reporter, Joe Palca, told us about smoking a variety of southwestern sage called Salvia Divinorum. Like smoking other opioids, Salvia brings on hallucinogenic dreams in which the subject experiences an altered reality.

Thinking about Salvia and Ions reminded me of Ian and Sylvia, a Canadian folk music duo from the 1960s. They came to mind partly because of their top song titles.

Ian & Sylvia

Four Strong Winds - Four Strong Winds - 2006 - 4:25
Early Morning Rain - Best Of The Vanguard Years - 2006 - 3:58
You Were On My Mind - Northern Journey - 2006 - 2:47
Some Day Soon - Northern Journey - 2006 - 2:21

Each of these song titles has a connection to my recent conversations with Abd ul-Rahman Lomax on his favorite subject of Cold Fusion.

Abd and I were reviewing a particular set of experiments, carried out by a chap named Zhang, who ran his Cold Fusion cell in steampunk mode, at or near the boiling point. In these cells, you need a safety valve to vent the gases if the pressure gets too high. The safety valve kicks in if the catalytic recombiner gets wet and stops working. In that case, there are four components in the steam bath. You have water vapor and steam, plus gaseous Deuterium and Oxygen. These are the "four strong winds" that are vented. The problem is to figure out how much of each one is being vented. It occurred to me that putting a steam whistle on the vent (thereby turning Zhang's Cold Fusion Cell into a Steam Calliope) would do the job. Just as inhaling Helium will change the timbre of your voice, the mix of gases will change the timbre of the Steam Calliope. It occurred to me that Zhang could assay the vented gases by analyzing the audio spectrum of the whistle from his Steam Calliope.

As to the other three songs from Ian and Sylvia, obviously Abd has been on my mind the last few weeks, and we've previously talked about how there is a little raincloud in operation in the cell. And of course, Abd and the Fusioneers expect to demonstrate Cold Fusion someday soon.


Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Hey, great idea. In fact, some experimenters do examine the exhaust gases, using various techniques. It would probably be more accurate to measure some simple parameters of the exhaust gas, and sound speed (which is what would vary the whistle frequency) should do it, but sound speed is very easy to measure and could be measured at much lower flow rates.

However, the correction involved here is not important to Zhang, it's too small. If he needs to wring the last joule out of his excess energy results, maybe he'll do something like this. It could be simpler to put a heated recombiner in the calorimeter, to convert all the deuterium, period. Easy to account for the recombiner heat added. Clean.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

The most important thing to measure is the fraction of D2O in the vapor phase and the fraction in the liquid phase.

You can't just collect it and measure it later. Fog dissipates (absorbing energy from the environment as it does so).

2:29 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

On the other hand, amateurs with no history of experimental work and very little knowledge of the literature are not automatically enabled to set the agenda for experimenters, who are volunteers, often working with their own money. The work is already difficult and expensive. But I like the steam whistle idea. Why not add a steam whistle anyway?

Now, as to the hopes of Storms and myself. Storms doesn't "expect" to demonstrate cold fusion, he did so long ago. Demonstrate for whom? You? Why should he do that? Apparently the peer reviewers and publishers agree with him. Do any of these care what you think?

As to myself, I intend to replicate some experiments. I suppose they may be a *little* more fun if they demonstrate a nuclear reaction, but I won't be demonstrating fusion with the first work. Just a few neutrons, if I'm lucky. If I'm not lucky, I'll report that, too. Will neutrons "demonstrate fusion"? Hardly. Just something nuclear going on, might as well be "unclear reactions," but if you can figure out how one would get a few neutrons with a chemistry set, by all means. I'll be listening. Literally. With piezoelectric microphones, very high frequency response.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Barry, any "fog" has already condensed and released its heat to the atmosphere, and this will still be inside the calorimeter. Please take a better look at how this calorimeter works. You've got a radical misconception operating, it appears. As you imagine it, this calorimeter plain wouldn't work, there would be lots of negative excess heat, given the cell operating conditions. Remember, the dead cells and the hydrogen control are also operated under "steambath" conditions.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Demonstrate for whom? You? Why should he do that?

To discover what it's like to have his patience tried?

Do any of these care what you think?

See A Pack of Cards, A Moiety of Trolls, and Thou.

I intend to replicate some experiments.

Hook up a penny whistle to the vent.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Barry, any "fog" has already condensed and released its heat to the atmosphere, and this will still be inside the calorimeter.

Correct, and then when some of this condensed fog is vented as moisture in the liquid phase, the Miles-Fleischmann model will plug in the lost mass and erroneously treat it as if were gaseous water vapor, presumably carrying away more heat than it really did. So the heat of condensation left behind will now drain through the heat sink of the calorimeter and show up as "excess heat" in the calorimetry model.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

"Hook up a pennywhistle to the vent." No, if I'm going to do anything, I'd set up a microphone and a speaker, with the exhaust gases being conducted through a tube, and some electronics to constantly measure conduction time, which would be recorded, so later analysis could determine the exhaust gas composition, if this would really work (I've not done the math at all). But since I'm not expecting to see a lot of excess heat, if any, and I'm looking for neutrons, I'm unconvinced that this would be worth the trouble and delay involved. My cell will probably leak in multiple places, and I consider that a safety feature....

2:54 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

"when some of this condensed fog is vented as moisture in the liquid phase" This calorimeter will not do that, Barry, which is why it shows no effect from vented moisture, which will only be water vapor dissolved in hydrogen/oxygen mix. The recombiner has inflow oxygen, you have noticed that, right?

You are thinking only of the cell itself, which vents excess gas at some pressure. That goes into the outer chamber, with walls maintained at relatively low temperature, 26 degrees or so, by a heater/refrigerator with high heat capacity. There is a fan which constantly circulates the atmosphere inside the outer chamber, and to escape, vented gases from the experimental cell will need to come into intimate contact with the walls, so if there is excess vapor pressure, it will condense.

The effect you describe would show up with the dead cells, which are operated at the same cell temperatures -- or very close. That effect is missing, or, if it exists, it's below calorimeter error.

Unfortunately, I don't see that Zhang has documented the venting arrangements. It's implied the outer chamber is sealed. I rather doubt that, but maybe. What pressure does the internal pressure rise to?

3:04 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

He used four different calorimeters. And they all have safety valves that vent the cell if the pressure rises above a set point (typically 800 torr).

They vent precisely when the steam pressure is high.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

And they all have safety valves that vent the cell if the pressure rises above a set point (typically 800 torr).

"Vent the cell," not necessarily the calorimeter. Steam escaping would lower excess heat results, right? Your point is?

If it condenses and/or circulates inside the calorimeter, that heat is partially or fully recovered.

How about citing your source? Are you using Earth Tech? 800 torr is the pressure at which *their* calorimeter vents. Their calorimeter, MOAC, is a quite different design.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Steam escaping would lower excess heat results, right?

Is there some reason you keep getting this backwards? When steam escapes, the D2O mass that is lost carries away less heat than the same mass of gaseous water vapor. So the Calorimetry Model would have (erroneously) reported higher "excess heat" retained in the cell.

Think of it this way. If you have a pot of hot water, it cools rapidly by evaporation. If you remove the same mass of liquid water, it doesn't cool.

Your point is?

I didn't have one until you demonstrated that you didn't understand that water vapor carries away more heat than an equivalent amount of liquid water at the same temperature.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

You have this image of the calorimeter with steam escaping from it. Barry, what is the temperature of any gas escaping the confines of the calorimeter?

You have all the confidence of someone absolutely confident that his fantasies are reality, pouncing on what he sees as an error, while, in fact, he's ignoring experimental evidence of accuracy under "steaming" conditions, the very design of the calorimeter.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

The temperature of any gas is given by the Ideal Gas Law.

PV = nRT

The Ideal Gas Law is independent of the design of any calorimeter.

See also Boyle's Law and Charles's Law.

No matter how you slice, it, Abd, Thermodynamics is a steaming pile of math.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Barry, you avoided the issue again. What is the temperature of any gas that escapes from the calorimeter? Remember, this thing is a large temperature-controlled heat sink, closed, and the flow rate of any gas is very low. If water vapor from the cell leaves the cell, it will be cooled by the atmosphere in the calorimeter and reach the temperature of the inside, which is only slightly elevated from the outside wall; it is heat flow through the thermocouples in that that wall (which has high thermal conductivity) that generates the heat measurements. There is no "escaping steam." Further, the cells are not being boiled, it appears. They are operating below the boiling point. These are not in Dewar flasks, you know. The cells are Pyrex cylinders.

Your image is completely inconsistent with the experimental data they show. (They do show some "pre-electrolysis" with peak temperature above boiling. I'm not sure what they are doing there, but that's not part of the actual run where they are finding (small) excess heat, it seems. Or not. Inadequate data.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

The kinetic energy of any individual escaping molecule is governed by Boltzmann Statistics.

Remember that the lucky escapees are more likely to be drawn from the right half of the distribution.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Is that how you escaped?

So, here is where the excess heat comes from. The faster molecules escape, cooling the contents of the calorimeter. What remains collapses into Schroedinger's cat, who farts. The recombiner ignites it. Why didn't we think of this before?

The Captcha is pyrouram. The cat doesn't fart. He pees.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Is that how you escaped?

It's important to know how to escape from someone who has a mind like a steel trap.

So, here is where the excess heat comes from.

Precisely. It apparently comes from an obscure error buried in the Pgas term in the Miles-Fleischmann Calorimetry Model.

Lavoisier would have found that error in a femtosecond or less.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

To find an "error" in a "femtosecond or less," one's mind must already be made up. It's just like the arguments against transfer of energy from a nuclear reaction to the lattice: there is no time for it.

Barry, you are now criticizing the work of a series of world-class electrochemists, work that has been extensively reviewed by skeptics and other critics, and found to be solid.

Does that mean it's totally free from error? Of course not! But a tiny bit of humility might be in order. Like, when you propose yet another of your preposterous flights of fancy, as if it were an obvious fact, check it out with others and review the feedback before chewing so strongly on your shoe.

This "error" is about a non-phenomenon, almost certainly, something with no measurable effect on the calorimetric results. But we can and will look at it on Wikiversity, if Barry is game, if he's not looking for a reason to bail due to excessive egg-on-face.

Taking breaks is allowed, even encouraged.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Barry, you are now criticizing the work of a series of world-class electrochemists, work that has been extensively reviewed by skeptics and other critics, and found to be solid.

Well, found to be gassy. It needed to be more liquid. There probably weren't any ice crystals in the steambath. I posted a note to Melvin Miles, asking him to clarify this issue.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

The topic here is "classical gas." Accurate.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Yes. The analytical models from Thermodynamics, and the Calorimetry is all classical, going back to Lavoisier.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Troll farts are that old? I guess that's not surprising.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Speaking of troll farts, have you ever noticed how bubbly effervescent beverages "spritz" as the bubbles pop at the surface?

In those CF cells, as D2 and O2 evolve and bubble up, you have a nice example of Schweppervescence, spitting moisture into the air.

So in addition to steam, fog, and mist from condensation, you also have droplets from the spritzing bubbles of O2 and D2.

And yet, in the gas flow model of Miles and Fleischmann, they assume that all the gases conveyed away are free from any water in the liquid phase.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Could it be because these people have observed perhaps thousands of these cells and haven't seen the drops spraying out that you imagine? Perhaps the venting arrangements don't allow liquid water to exit. Sure, hot liquid water spraying out would cause a problem. But that's easy to avoid. Don't you think they'd have avoided it? The bubbling happens in the cell, way below any vent. The only froth here is around your mouth, Barry, the only fog in your mind.

Boiling cells, sure, above the boiling point, cells that boil away, definitely some special concern would need to be shown. Easy to avoid having water spray out, though. Trivial.

CF calorimetry has been criticized six ways till Saturday, and surely, if there were any such phenomenon, it would have been mentioned. As a question, as you asked Miles, it's reasonable. But you are asserting these "droplets" as if they were facts and that it would be preposterous if they don't exist.

The vast bulk of CF work is not done near boiling, Barry. How about starting to look at the main show, instead of all these side-shows?

Captcha: chowgie!

11:14 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Here is my next question, for someone who has actually observed one of these cells.

Once D2 begins to evolve (after the Pd electrode is fully charged), the amount of gas bubbling up triples. Twice as much D2 is evolving as O2, so instead of 1 mole of just O2 evolving per unit time, you now have 3 moles of gas (2D2 + O2) evolving per unit time.

Also, D2 is much lighter than O2, so more buoyant. Do the more buoyant bubbles of D2 rise faster than the denser bubbles of O2? Is there more spritzing and effervescence from the exploding bubbles of D2 as they break the surface?

Can you see the spritzing? How high do they shoot as they burst out of the electrolyte?

There is a diagram of an NHE isoperibolic calorimeter here, and a diagram of a China Lake isoperibolic calorimeter here.

Perk up, Abd
You Geyser
Not Seeing
What you Mist

7:11 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

what matters with this, for high gas evolution rates or vigorous boiling, would be the exact design of the vent, and what the vented gases go through, and how this is related to the calorimeter.

In the China Lake calorimeter, venting is manually controlled. I doubt that this thing would cause liquid water to exit.

The other diagram is more sketchy or schematic. Looks like no control at all. I very much doubt that this shows the experimental arrangement. I.e., that's the "cell," but perhaps they stick a glass tube in the stopper and run the exhaust gas through some process. One would have to look at the detailed experimental reports.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

As you no doubt appreciate, the issue of venting did not address the problem of mist being mixed in with the venting gases.

The fact that there is no Pmist term in Pgas (nor any discussion about it) tells me that this issue was never considered. Perhaps it was never even raised.

More to the point, if the presence of mist had been included in the calorimetry model, then it would have been required to measure the fraction of condensed moisture in the "four winds" comprising the vented species.

At this late date, I don't see how to salvage the data from twenty years of experiments, short of re-evaluating to see whether setting Pex = Pmist + Pvapor gives realistic proportions for moisture lost through venting.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Mist is like a thief who would leave behind some poop. The thing is, mist is visible, if present in significant amounts. Your question is a real one. Your excessive concern over it is just that, excessive. If mist were visible, it would have been mentioned and addressed, and, most importantly, prevented. Allowing misting from a CF experiment would be just plain stupid. So, effectively, you are assuming stupidity. Bad Idea.

But the question, I'll say again, is real. And it's even possible that, yes, someone was stupid, somewhere.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

The thing is, mist is visible, if present in significant amounts.

Under suitable lighting, such as bright sunlight.

You can't prevent misting, because if you are gonna have lotsa bubbles of D2 and O2, you are gonna have a proportional amount of misting. To a first approximation, misting is directly proportional the amount of bubbling gas breaking the surface.

You will recall that if the cell is fully loaded, but the current is dropped to a trickle charge, so there is no bubbling, the "excess heat" also goes away.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

You are correct you can't prevent misting, at the electrolyte surface, if you have bubbling. But you can easily prevent mist from leaving the cell, except as vapor. In closed cells, nothing leaves.

2:22 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

"If the current is dropped the excess heat goes away."

Sometimes. Sometimes not. Sometimes excess heat increases when you shut off the electrolytic power.

This isn't going to be resolved by trading general claims, we will get closer by the actual work of examination of what reports exist in the literature, in detail.

2:25 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Sometimes excess heat increases when you shut off the electrolytic power.

Yes, it's almost as if there was some kind of mysterious energy storage going on, which then discharges when the battery charger is turned off.

This isn't going to be resolved by trading general claims, we will get closer by the actual work of examination of what reports exist in the literature, in detail.

I agree 100%.

What does the literature say about double-layer capacitance arising from a thin film of bubbles on the surface of the electrodes?

6:50 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

"Yes, it's almost as if there was some kind of mysterious energy storage going on, which then discharges when the battery charger is turned off."

Right. Very reasonable general hypothesis. Does the data match it? How much energy could possibly be stored in the experimental apparatus? When the energy that then appears is much greater than the chemists say is possible, they start to look for non-chemical explanations. But maybe one could be found, in which case, wouldn't we have discovered an amazing new kind of battery?

As to double-layer capacitance (from bubbles over the interface layer), this is a total nonstarter, irrelevant. It would do nothing. Do the math.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Following your approach, there is a huge gap in the literature. I find no examination of the possibility of telekinesis explaining the excess heat, which is almost certainly due to the overheated imagination of CF believers. To rule this out, all CF believers would be confined, and kept far away from experiments, so that they don't know when experiments are being done.

Damn. They'd know by telepathy. We'll have to kill 'em.

Damn. How would we know that the results showing that there is no excess heat weren't produced by the negative opinions of the pseudo-skeptics, who sucked the heat right out of those cells, using it to fill their empty hearts?

Do you know that Miles' helium was analyzed by a lab that did not know what samples were from cells showing excess heat and what ones were not? While this does not rule out the null hypothesis here, it does require that the telekinesis operate over much larger distances.

But, wait, if telekinesis can produce that heat, there is the energy source we've been looking for. No?

Ah, right, telekinesis still would not violate conservation of energy. So, the hunt should be on. Where is the telekinetic heat coming from? Do CF believers fart less than non-believers?

How come nobody has studied the diet of CF researchers? Do successful researchers in the field eat more beans? It's shocking how nobody has examined this, and without that critical data, all prior work must be tossed out.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Check their receipts for office party celebrations with ice cream, cake, and helium balloons.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

There you go. How come nobody noticed these prosaic explanations?

9:00 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Um, they were too busy partying?

10:49 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Here is a graph of the solubility of Helium in water.

What happens to dissolved Helium when the water in which it is dissolved is dissociated into Hydrogen and Oxygen?

4:37 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Ah, I'd missed this, or only saw it on my i-Phone.

If helium is dissolved in the heavy water, it will be released in the exhaust gases, steadily, with electrolysis of the water. It will be released with control cells that use the same water source. It will not be correlated with excess heat, except as excess heat is correlated purely with electrolysis, not with loading ratio, for example, or the surface quality of the palladium. Further, this possible artifact could not occur with gas-loading, whereas helium remains correlated with excess heat in gas-loading experiments. Nice try, but no cigar.

Perhaps you should try looking at the actual experimental data, instead of just guessing.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

What is the source of heavy water?

What is the source of ordinary water?

What was the manufacturing process of heavy water?

What was the manufacturing process of ordinary water?

Why would you expect them to have the same amount of dissolved gases in them?

When water is purified by distillation, what happens to dissolved gases? Are they left behind with the dissolved solids, or do they travel along with the vapors?

What happens to dissolved noble gases when water is purified by plating out metallic cations? Does Helium get plated out, or is it left behind in solution with the purified water?

Is excess heat correlated with AC noise power? Is AC noise power correlated with the bubbling of gases? Is the bubbling of gases correlated with the dissociation of water into gases?

Perhaps you should try looking at the scientific theory that explains why heat is produced, joule for joule, by AC noise power. Perhaps you should look at the scientific theory that AC noise power is produced, bubble for bubble, by perturbations in the ohmic resistance by the formation and release of gas bubbles on the surface of the cathode. Perhaps you should look at the scientific theory that dissolved gases are released, mg for Kg, as the solvent (water) is dissociated into gases, evaporated, or carried off as mist, and vented away.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Barry, you aren't reading clearly, you are responding to what you imagine. Control cells include dead cells, in this work. Same heavy water. Hydrogen cells, otherwise identical, rule out certain possible error sources, but, obviously, not others. Dead cell controls -- and also platinum electrode cells, as another kind of control -- rule out contamination of the heavy water.

I think I wrote that we'd need to look at specific studies. You are not familiar with the overall work, and you simply imagine what has been done and not done. That's typical of pseudoskeptics in this field. You don't know how boringly common you are, among the ignorant who imagine themselves to be experts or competent to judge what experts have done!

2:14 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

If I am boring you to tears, why are you paying attention to me?

It is customary to stop paying attention to bores.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

I didn't mention tears.

Why am I responding? Maybe it's like an itch, I'm allergic to arrogance from smart people who should know better.

For how long did you sock at Wikiversity, with a community that either rejected you or, at least, wouldn't stand up for you?

4:03 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

You're feeling itchy?

For how long did you sock at Wikiversity, with a community that either rejected you or, at least, wouldn't stand up for you?

Are you feeling alienated or rejected? Is that it?

4:06 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

No. I don't feel alienated or rejected. I feel accepted and involved. Involved with you, accepted by the people I more deeply care about. Any more Bad Guesses?

Your history was mentioned because you persevered in spite of rejection, where a normal person would have gone on and done something else. However, you aren't rejecting, exactly, you are, rather, engaging, ridiculing, discounting, all with Seriously Stupid Arguments, and an occasional decent one.

Previously, when you engaged in conflict with Wikipedians, you were banned precisely because you wouldn't take No for an answer, so to speak. You kept arguing beyond all reason, inventing Atrocious Song Parodies, etc.

And, here, you parodied a friend of mine who didn't deserve it, at all. So there's the reason. You want to understand, think Rosalind Picard. You did good with her, but then you joined the dark side.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Any more Bad Guesses?

I guess you don't want to level with me and disclose your affective emotional state.

Do I make you feel seriously stupid?

Or are you simply angry at me for writing an atrocious song parody about Ed Storms?

4:21 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Any more Bad Guesses?

I guess you don't want to level with me and disclose your affective emotional state.

That's another Bad Guess.

Do I make you feel seriously stupid?

Spectacularly Bad Guess.

Or are you simply angry at me for writing an atrocious song parody about Ed Storms?

Like, duh! Didn't I tell you this more than once? You wrote him and asked him questions. He gave, actually, quite generously of his time. You responded with ridicule.

Nothing wrong with criticism, but you attacked his professional integrity, as you have that of others in the field.

You've been replicating the whole dysfunctional response of the fusion physics community to the CF research. Maybe it's time you did read Beaudette, but there are many others, such as, say, Goodstein, formerly of Cal Tech. And if you think that Goodstein was dumping on cold fusion, in his recent book, you are just as unable to read clearly as the others. Goodstein was, as he did in the 1990s, pointing out the problem, basic communication failure, coupled with belief in theory as trumping experiment. Feynman would have recognized this in a flash, once the matter became clear, as it had by the mid 1990s.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

I have received your anger.

Theory doesn't trump experiment.

Theory explains experiment.

The physicists offer no theory.

Ed Storms has no theory to offer. He's mad at the physicists for not coming up with one.

And Hagelstein tried and tried and has not been able to come up with one, either.

I offered a dull, boring, mundane theory, that the energy budget models left out some obvious terms (like mist and AC noise power).

And it's undeniable those terms were left out. Those were just two of the terms discovered to have been left out.

And it's undeniable that those terms can readily account for a good portion (if not virtually all) of the otherwise unexplained heat.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

A theory that "something" was left out isn't a theory at all, it's not testable.

A theory that the excess heat in P-F cells is coming from an "unknown nuclear reaction" that fuses deuterium to form helium is testable. The heat/helium ratio is predictable from the laws of thermodynamics and the lost mass when helium is forms, and that ratio is well-known from hot fusion.

Whether or not there is excess heat requires no theory of mechanism. Nor does a theory that excess heat and helium are correlated, and that's been tested, extensively.

Your two allegedly missing terms are this:

1. Mist. Not relevant to closed cells. Almost certainly not relevant to P-F cells either. You simply assume that there is mist escaping from the cell, you have no experimental observation reported of that. Mist as a source of apparent excess heat is inconsistent with much of the data.

2. Unmeasured input energy due to AC noise in the power supply. You have missed the point of high slew rate. The resistance noise from bubbling is almost certainly limited to not more than 10 kHz or so. This noise is due to relatively slow bubbles, the decreased resistance when the bubble releases is probably the major component. The slew rate of the power supply is adequate to keep the current quite constant during these transitions, therefore, as McKubre stated, the current is a scalar, and there is only voltage noise, tracking the random resistance bubble noise, which can be averaged and multiplied by the measured constant current to get average input power.

You fooled yourself with excessively complex calculations of non-existent noise, demanding that I follow you down that rat-hole.

The calorimetry, in addition, with "dead cells," confirms our analysis (mine and McKubre's), within the limits of calorimetry accuracy.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

You are conflating my suspicion that something important was left out of the energy budget model with the specific theoretical components (mist and AC noise power) that I subsequently discovered to have, in fact, been left out.

Because I was in Quadrant II of my own learning curve, and because I was intrigued and perplexed by the dramatic disparities in the beliefs (fusion or not) and emotions (the associated level of doubt), I suspected a gap or error in the respective models of the two camps ("true believers" vs "skeptics"). I found two notable gaps (mist and AC power were missing components in the proposed energy budget models), and these gaps corresponded to errors in the analysis put forth by the believers, because they were attributing those unaccounted portions of the energy to an entirely different cause.

The "excess heat" is defined as the heat not accounted for by all the other terms in the energy budget model. It was probably a mistake to call it "excess heat." It's really "unexplained heat." When I looked at the energy budget model, and saw that the books didn't balance, I wondered what might have been left out of the accounting, or what might have been counted incorrectly. Then I looked at the clues. The unexplained heat was proportional to the drive current, after the cathode was loaded, and therefore correlated with the bubbling of evolved gases. I found that bubbling introduced two overlooked phenomena — mist and AC noise power, and both of these missing terms increased the amount of otherwise unexplained heat, roughly in direct proportion to the over-charging current.

So, was there experimental observations of misting? Yes. The mist carries along with it the dissolved salts (which are left behind by vapors). The concentration of dissolved salts in the recovered moisture from the venting of vapors and mist is your measurement of how much mist was entrained with the gaseous vapors.

As to AC noise, you will either have to do the math yourself or consult someone else who knows how to do the math. The amount of AC noise power from the bubbling is not a function of the slew rate. Even if the voltage steps up and down with no slew, the same amount of energy is injected at the instant the voltage rises or falls. It's easier to do the math if you let the rise and fall be linear with a rise time as brief as you like. Let it be a femto-second if you like. The energy in the instant of transition is the same.

But don't take my word for it. You can consult someone else who knows how to do AC circuit analysis, or you can expressly measure burst noise, or you can turn a blind eye to it, and deny it because you somehow know in advance (perhaps from years of experience) that it can't possibly exist.

The choice is yours, amigo.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

So, was there experimental observations of misting? Yes. The mist carries along with it the dissolved salts (which are left behind by vapors). The concentration of dissolved salts in the recovered moisture from the venting of vapors and mist is your measurement of how much mist was entrained with the gaseous vapors.

Barry, that's interesting. You have just claimed experimental observation of misting in a CF experiment, I assume. But you have not cited it.

Experimental details will matter. Some cells and conditions may be subject to mist lost, and not others.

Are you blowing smoke, or will you allow others access to your privileged information? Will this turn out to be just one more of your smokescreens? I'm waiting.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

It's in Kowalski's work, and it may also be in Shanahan's work, as well.

I'm pretty sure both Kirk Shanahan and Ed Storms were in the conversations with Ludwik Kowalski where this was discussed. Michel Jullian gave the general method, which Kowalski agreed with (jump to Comment #81 in the above cited link).

1:00 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

That was plasma electrolysis. You are repeating yourself as if it were something new, not discussed. To whom are you trying to prove your position?

I thought you might have found something interesting. I'm not interested in pursuing Naudin, or Naudin replication attempts. I'm not following Rossi, though Rossi may either be engaged in fraud or he's found IT.

I've been discussing solid, replicated, "conventional" cold fusion. You've been applying misting concerns absolutely necessary in dealing with plasma electrolysis, to all cold fusion. Bad Idea.

Blowing smoke again. You should get those rings checked.

8:01 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Naudin was probably unaware of the mistake in the energy budget model when he first developed his web site. I don't know if he's since attended to the problem of accounting for the geysering mist.

Rossi is an enigma. He doesn't disclose enough information about his AC/DC power drive to discern what is going on. I won't go so far as to say he is a fraud, because he might simply not know enough AC circuit theory to appreciate how to reckon AC noise power.

Given that McKubre overlooked that (or talked himself out of it), I imagine others might well make the same sophomoric mistake without realizing it.

Dieter Britz is now looking at it, and I've raised the issue to the attention of a few other people who have the chops in AC Circuit Analysis to appreciate the problem and to correctly work out the associated models.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

I presume you are aware that this wasn't a "sophomoric mistake" if McKubre ever looked at the real current noise, right? It wasn't a "mistake" if the constant current supply can handle bubble noise without significant variation in current, right?

You are hanging an awful lot of arrogant certainty on your ignorance of the actual current noise values, especially when the experimental data shows, clearly, that if there is current noise, it isn't enough to seriously affect the conclusions.

By looking only at data that appears to confirm your hypothesis, and ignoring the rest, you have done exactly what Feynman warned against, you have fooled yourself.

I've explained this way too many times, but you don't read the explanations, you have acknowledged. You just persist repeating your errors and ignorance.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

It's an inexcusable sophomoric mistake. Anyone with a sophomore level of knowledge of AC circuits would know better.

Arthur C. Clarke was right.

It's a scandalous failure on the part of McKubre and EPRI to fail to account for the AC noise power.

12:56 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

I now have response from McKubre and Storms and some others. Summary: they did look at the current noise, The current is stable. They have also looked at this AC noise possibility six ways till Sunday. And the calorimetry data, which you have elsewhere cited, for SRI P13/P14, all by itself, shows that they correctly estimated input power, within calorimetry error, which is, after all, the point. You could already see that, if you were to look. I've told you where to look many times, you just ignore it.

You have again misrepresented what Arthur C. Clarke wrote. You are, yourself, manifesting the scandal he was talking about, which is the rejection of cold fusion without experimental evidence to back the rejection. You have simply made up evidence, you haven't found any, but you imagine that you have, by interpreting, for example, a scope display as showing AC noise when the display has a time base probably in the hours, rather than the milliseconds that would be needed, and by assuming that current is shown, when it most certainly and definitely was not.

I now have some actual recent LabView recordings from an active CF experiment. Current is shown. It's a straight line, totally flat. As expected, of course. And that worker has used a long list of methods to determine power, in the past, and since they all came up with the same results, he's now using the simplest method, what the power supply itself reports.

It is your ignorance of the field that allows you to come up with your speculations, yet you are quite ready to condemn the experts, who are working within their expertise, and who have produced work that is widely accepted and confirmed, also by experts.

You would not have a prayer of seeing your wild ideas published under peer review. They only seem sensible to you because of your willful ignorance, and because they confirm what you imagine is "scientific consensus. These guys publish all the time. Their view is now the real consensus, the contrary position vanished over five years ago, defeated.

You must have lost your humility somewhere back, assuming that you ever had any.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Where has McKubre published the raw data, together with his AC circuit analysis of P12-P16?

3:38 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Where has McKubre published the raw data, together with his AC circuit analysis of P12-P16?

I think that raw data was published as a supplement to the EPRI reports. As to AC circuit analysis, McKubre reported that current was constant, and that covers the question. If current is constant, it operates as a scalar on the voltage to produce power, and power may then be estimated by recording average voltage, multiplying it by the constant current, the voltage noise produces no excess AC power term.

You've consistently failed to respond to this, and you have, without any evidence, insisted that there is current noise, implying that it is at significant levels.

Nobody has observed this noise, I've asked. They looked. They didn't report it in their publications because "constant current power supply" adequately covers it.

Basically, Barry, you took the report of an expert and treated it as if it were from some ignorant bozo. Bad Idea. And when it was pointed out that the experimental observations -- which you have cited! -- contradict your theory, you have simply ignored that and have continued to repeat your theory like some mantra, apparently to ward away the Dread Being Wrong.

By the way, the experts in the field repeated, privately, the same arguments that I'd developed on my own, discussing this with you. And they confirmed that they had considered the possibility of AC power very, very carefully. After all, that's about the first place any expert would look!

When it was found that assuming constant current produced results that were confirmed by other approaches, such as using power meters, high-bandwidth oscilloscopes, etc., as well as calorimetry, they used the simplest method.

They pointed out one thing that I knew but had not connected with this topic. Controls are also done with platinum cathodes. Same bubbling, no excess heat.

Barry, it isn't power supply noise. Get over it!

Now, are you ready to slink away and shut your stupid mouth, perhaps allowing some intelligence to develop, or are you willing to continue to sacrifice yourself, as the goat of entrenched belief, in the face of evidence?

You are not obligated to play this role for the rest of your life.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Where is the raw data for McKubre's runs?

On that scope graph, what are the two traces?

As you know, the current is not an exact constant, but slews at the specified rate of McKubre's Kepco 400-Watt Model BOP 20-20M power supply.

Moreover, even it it were a theoretically ideal constant, there is still the same amount of AC noise power, because when you take the limit as the slew time goes to zero, you just end up with Dirac delta-functions.

As you know, the area under the curve for a Dirac delta-function does not vanish as the time-width goes to zero.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Where is the raw data for McKubre's runs?

You mean the work from around 1991-1992, published by EPRI, that you and I have referred to? It was issued as part of the package, on microfiche. What data do you need? There was enough published in the report to totally impeach your power supply noise theory, but you still haven't look at what is there, why do you need more?

On that scope graph, what are the two traces?

I described it in a post on the international crossing discussion board, you should have seen it there. That is, if you are referring to the CBS scope image.

I assume, if this was real cell data, rather than just something set up for the show, and I'm not about to ask, because it's pretty obvious, and doesn't really matter, that the two traces are, on the bottom, voltage, and the top is a calculated power based on voltage averaging.

If you are referring to the labview data I now have from a researcher, it's current and voltage. The current is a step function, you can see a transition from the programming. You can see the voltage response, and the voltage is noisy. It's a constant current supply. The display, however, is in minutes horizontally, this isn't high-frequency and it's labview, which won't be continuous at high bandwidth. I have been informed that high bandwidth examination shows no high-speed current noise. It's flat.

As you know, the current is not an exact constant, but slews at the specified rate of McKubre's Kepco 400-Watt Model BOP 20-20M power supply.

If you will read the definitions for those specifications -- and I've already covered this, Moulton, you aren't paying attention -- "slew" refers to the rate of change of the output when the programming changes. You've been reading the specs wrong, and I pointed that out on the discussion group. (I'd made the same mistake!)

But this is moot, because only rapid change in resistance would push the response capability of the supply, and the resistance noise isn't rapid, it's relatively slow. My own EE experience made me expect that right away, but apparently yours did not. It's not what you have called it, "burst noise." Remember, the bubbles "burst" at the surface, where they would have practically zero effect on resistance.....

8:44 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Moreover, even it it were a theoretically ideal constant, there is still the same amount of AC noise power, because when you take the limit as the slew time goes to zero, you just end up with Dirac delta-functions.

Word salad, Barry. What did you call it? Take the limit of *what*?

You assumed a square wave resistance variation. That means infinite slew for the resistance, so, of course, all your complex math predicts AC noise that the power supply could not handle. Real-world, bubble noise isn't like that at all, the changes are slow, by comparison with the capacity of the supply to respond.

This is very simple, Barry. If you don't get it, ask for help.

And *all* theories of power supply error, large enough to affect the results, are conclusively falsified by the calorimetry data, both in the chart you have referenced for P13/P14, and in the rest of the description of that series.

What it seems you want to do is to now dig through all the raw data to find the piece of crap. You are convinced that there must be some piece of crap there, right? After all, those fanatics who told you do do your homework, that you were ignorant, couldn't possibly be right, eh? How could this happen? What has gone wrong with the world?

Barry, I keep hoping that you'll laugh and tell me, "fooled you!"

As you know, the area under the curve for a Dirac delta-function does not vanish as the time-width goes to zero.

I know nothing of the kind, nor do I believe that I need to, since much simpler analysis ices this. However, let me suspect that what I acknowledged before covers this.

A change of state involves a certain change of potential energy, and the time that the state change takes is irrelevant. That's something like one of the laws of thermodynamics, right?

But you've missed something. Power is energy per unit time. When we are measuring power, how many state changes take place in a time is very relevant.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

For any waveform that models the fluctuating resistance, model the response of a constant current power supply as a rapidly rising/falling adjustment, and take the limit as the speed of adjustment goes to zero. The AC noise power remains fixed, even as you take the limit, going to an arbitrarily fast power supply.

You can't wish away the noise power by making the time interval arbitrarily brief. You just end up with the Dirac delta-function in the limit.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Barry, you have missed something, it's a sophomoric error.

If current is fixed, i.e., the adjustment of the power supply is perfect, which means zero response time, there is no current noise at all. There is only voltage noise.

Nobody has said that the noise power is zero. The noise power is not zero.

However, that's not the issue. The issue is whether or not the total input power is accurately determined by multiplying the average voltage during a time period, by the constant current during that period. I.e., the total input energy is this average input power multiplied by the time.

If the current is constant, it operates, as McKubre states, as a scalar on the voltage to determine power.

If you accept zero response time, you accept, I assume, that the current is constant.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

I don't understand where you get the belief that McKubre's Kepco power supply has zero response time, when the specs (which you you've seen) gives the response time.

But more to the point, the burst noise from a perturbation in the load has the same energy no matter what the response time is, even in the limit as the response time goes to zero.

If it helps, keep in mind that electrical signals propagate slower than the speed of light, and that the noise burst propagates as a traveling wave, just like any audio signal. In this case, the audio signal is a click or pop.

1:50 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

1. Moulton, it does not have zero response time. You agreed to treat it as if it did, numerous times, claiming that the response time was irrelevant. What the supply actually has is the ability to respond quickly enough to low-frequency changes in resistance, such that current noise is very low.

2. Burst noise is a misleading name for the bubble noise. It is a specific term that refers to high-frequency noise. Look it up. Yes, I know what, for example, D to A glitch noise sounds like, I've designed telephone circuits where a data error would produce this noise.

3. There is a certain energy for any transition. You seem to think this is being denied, because you aren't paying attention. It's been acknowledged and considered.

4. Power, however, is energy per unit time. A specific resistance transition creates an energy, but the change in power depends on how long the transition takes.

5. This has all been stated to you, though the statement evolved as I came to understand just what error you were caught in. Most people would not have the patience for that.

6. It's frustrating, this interchange, because you seem to have some serious difficulty understanding what's going on. You referred to what was an assumption explicitly allowed by you -- zero response time -- as if it were my "belief."

Barry, we all get older, and sometimes that makes us slower to understand what's going on. I'm older than you. Please be patient with me, and I agree to be patient with you. But if we get stuck in believing that we must be right, well, I found myself so stuck a few times. It started twenty years ago.... I learned to think twice and check three times. And, maybe, still....

11:52 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

1. The current noise is not a function of the response time. It's a function of the fluctuation in the ohmic resistance.

2. Burst noise is the name of noise arising from a rapid change in the number of charge carriers at an interface between two conducting materials. It's also called popcorn noise (because that's what it sounds like). It's also been likened to the noise of a crackling fire or the noise of bacon frying.

3. Where is the data showing the AC noise power, as a function of the over-charging current?

4. Each bubble, as it forms and sloughs off the cathode, dissipates a characteristic amount of energy, which depends on the size of the bubble and its buoyancy. The power from this depends on the number of such bubbles per unit time, which goes directly as the overcharging current.

5. Gradually, I notice that Ed Storms (and perhaps a few others of remarkably stubborn and obstinate disposition) have begun to revise their public remarks about mist and AC noise power.

6. I am relieved to hear that you are experiencing some frustration. That brings us a notch closer to being in a state of mutual empathy as we search for insights to solve this perplexing mystery in the annals of science.

Abd, you are 66, and I just turned 66 four days ago. We're not that far apart in ages.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

1. The current noise is not a function of the response time. It's a function of the fluctuation in the ohmic resistance.

Barry, that's a preposterous statement. Supplies are generally voltage controlled or current controlled. If the voltage is well controlled (the most common situation), resistance fluctuation will produce current noise and very low voltage noise. If the current is well controlled, that fluctuation will produce voltage noise and very low current noise.

This is basic and simple. I now have response from Dieter Britz. I'm not passing it on yet because there is still discussion going on. Barry, you don't understand the situation. He does. His response shows that he understands precisely the issue you have raised. As do I, by the way. But you don't!

To place this in your terms, if the response time is slow (maximally infinite), there will be high current noise. If it is fast (maximally zero response time), there will be low current noise.

This is what "constant current" means, Barry. It means that the current stays the same. You are denying, essentially, that this means anything!

Does the current stay *perfectly* the same? Of course not!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Abd, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

It doesn't matter if you are stabilizing current and letting the voltage fluctuate, or stabilizing voltage and letting the current fluctuate (as is done in telephony). When you multiply the two waveforms, the quadratic term of the Taylor series is going to be the dominant contribution to the AC noise power, no matter what.

You can write all the words you like, but you cannot repeal the laws of nature. Not even God can repeal the laws of nature.

Telephony (which is the easy case) has been around for 120 years. And for a century, the voice signal was obtained by putting a stable 48-V battery across one of Edison's carbon button microphones, to modulate a DC loop current.

Alexander Graham Bell could have used a Van de Graff generator to power the telephone loop with a constant current instead of a battery with constant voltage. It still would have worked as a telephone circuit.

Did Mike McKubre find himself an old desk telephone with a carbon button microphone and hook it up to his Kepco power supply? He can run the telephone loop in either mode — driving it with a constant voltage (and modulating the current) or driving it with a constant current (and modulating the voltage). The telephone circuit will talk either way.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

It doesn't matter if you are stabilizing current and letting the voltage fluctuate, or stabilizing voltage and letting the current fluctuate (as is done in telephony). When you multiply the two waveforms, the quadratic term of the Taylor series is going to be the dominant contribution to the AC noise power, no matter what.

So, for instantaneous power, we have (I+dI)*(V+dV). this expands to IV + dI*dV + I*dV + V*dI.

dI*dV* is the quadratic term.

If the current noise value, dI, approaches zero, the total power approaches I*(V+dV). The quadratic term, dI*dV, approaches zero. AC noise power, indeed, remains, as I*dV. However, it comes out in the wash.

That is, if dV varies randomly, within some limit, equally positive as negative, with average value of zero, the integral of dV is zero. So if V is the average voltage for a time, sufficiently long, the average power is simply I*V, and the energy for the time is simple as well. (I*V*t, where t is the averaging time.)

I forget the technical terms, I just understand the basic principles. Watch out for basic principles, Barry. It's hard to snow people who understand them.

Apparently you don't realize how preposterous a position you are now taking. I've taken the basic questions here to experts, and I'm getting expert answers.

You did raise a cogent question, but, defending your position, you have become incoherent.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Abd, you can't repeal the laws of nature with a blizzard of words, nor can you repeal the laws of nature with sloppy math.

The quadratic term, arising from a fluctuation in resistance, does not go to zero. It goes to a positive value which is proportional to the square of the fluctuation in R.

If it went to zero, as you erroneously hypothesize, telephony would not have worked.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Barry, the quadratic term is proportional to the change in current. If that change is zero, that term is zero. You've made this far more complicated than it is, confusing yourself no end.

Don't trust me? Ask someone who knows electrical theory to help out here.

Do understand that what I'm telling you is exactly what McKubre wrote in his EPRI paper.

Is the current constant? You acknowledged that it was okay to allow infinite slew rate. That would mean that the power supply would adapt instantly to current changes, i.e., it would prevent them entirely, the voltage would adjust exactly as needed.

In reality, of course, there is some adjustment involved, there must be some lag. But with slow changes in resistance, and, Barry, the changes are slow from bubble noise, the supply can keep the current quite constant, and that's what's observed.

You made up this whole thing, and you are now taking it all over the place. You are increasingly looking like a Compleat Idiot, it's obvious. And you can't blame abusive administrators any more. You've done this to yourself.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

The perturbation in the current and voltage is not zero. That's why it's called a perturbation.

The only way to get no perturbation is to have no bubbles forming on the electrode.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

If it went to zero, as you erroneously hypothesize, telephony would not have worked.

I think you are making the same mistake over and over. The noise power is not zero. (You have misrepresented my position over and over, and you do not repeat the arguments that are said to you, you ignore them.)

There is still voltage noise. It is only the current noise that is clamped to zero (or close enough!).

But, bottom line, Barry, and this cuts to the core of the cold fusion conflict, you are arguing a theory, a theory of power supply power estimation error, when experiment clearly confirms the estimation, under the same conditions, i.e., high bubbling.

I'm truly worried about you, Barry. I'm not joking.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

The perturbation in the current and voltage is not zero. That's why it's called a perturbation.

Where did you get the idea that there is a perturbation in current? That is probably why you misread the scope traces, thinking one of them was current. No.

By the way, I was correct in my guess about the noisy trace. That's SuperWave. Very complicated waveform, not normal constant current voltage noise. That scope display provided no information at all about the actual noise.

The only way to get no perturbation is to have no bubbles forming on the electrode.


You've conflated "no variation in current" with "no variation." No, the voltage varies, and McKubre said that it was significant.

If a constant voltage supply were used, the voltage would be constant and the current would vary.... And under other conditions, both would vary.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

There is perturbation in the current because there is perturbation in the conductivity of the electrolyte, arising from the formation and release of bubbles on the surface of the cathode.

When the current is the parameter being regulated, then the voltage perturbations will be large. When the voltage parameter is being regulated, then the current perturbations will be large.

When you multiply these two correlated perturbations, you get the noise power, which doesn't depend on which of the two drive parameters is being regulated.

In telephony, you typically have a 48-V battery in the central office, a loop that may be several miles long and may include loading coils. For all intents and purposes, the 100 mA current that passes through the 4-Ω carbon button microphone is a constant current. Speaking into the telephone sends a voice-modulated voltage signal down the line. This is a traveling wave that can propagate for some milliseconds before it even arrives at the central office, where the battery is located.

The same thing happens in McKubre's cell. The transmission line is considerably shorter, but the voltage pulse still has to propagate along the power cable before it arrives at the power supply, where it perturbs the terminals of the Op Amp, triggering a recovery cycle. In telephony, this would be the desired voice signal. In McKubre's cell it's just a noise burst. And it's there no matter how the power supply responds to it.

Either way, you have signal energy traveling up the line and back. This signal (or noise) energy is there whenever there are fluctuations in the ohmic resistance of the cell, just as there is a voice signal whenever there sound energy vibrating the diaphragm of a carbon mike.

In telephony and in audio broadcasting, this audio frequency energy is measured in decibels with a dB meter or a VU meter. 1 mW at 1 KHz, working into a 600-Ω load is defined as 0 VU. It's real energy. You can ignore it if you like, but the signal will still be there on your telephone call, and at the end of the month, the phone company has to pay its electric bill just like every other customer.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...


No visible current noise, the current will operate as a scalar, as McKubre says. Sure, there is actually some noise. There will be some nonzero value to the quadratic term. But so small that, my guess, it would be difficult to measure. It can't be seen by casual examination with an oscilloscope. Magnify the trace until you are looking at millivolts out of volts, you might see something. If that.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Have you read Compton's 1910 paper yet?

It's a fascinating read.

I'm discussing it elsewhere with Jed Rothwell.

5:16 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

I'm sure it's interesting, but it is not relevant. There is power supply noise. Under the experimental conditions involved in normal CF experiments, it does not damage the estimation of input power through determining average voltage. That's confirmed by experimental results, as you've been shown, over and over, but you keep up your chorus, simply repeating the sound bites you have crafted, not responding to contrary evidence.

You are not about doing science at all, and you are pretending to study the gap between "believers" and "skeptics," but you are not a neutral observer, you are highly involved and attached. Basically, you are your own subject, but you are unable to objectively observe yourself. An old problem.

It's remediable, but you are not interested in remediation. You'd rather be Right.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

A blizzard of words is not evidence of anything other than a tragic failure to do the math and to honestly report the true measurements.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Okay, Moulton, how about you "honestly report the true measurements," based on the evidence available to you, which is plenty. There is a huge pile of evidence on the accuracy of cold fusion calorimetry, review by independent experts, reports from controls, and all that. You cherry-pick from it to prove your hypothesis, you refuse to accept the responses of the actual researchers, you just continue with, indeed, a blizzard of words, spread all over the internet, repeating the same blatant errors, and ignoring cogent expert response, not to mention my responses and information.

I really didn't think you were this stupid. Even though I've learned a great deal from this debate, the end of it is sad to me.

There is noise from bubbles. That noise is voltage noise under the experimental conditions. Given this experimental fact, given that the current has been examined with high-speed oscilloscopes, that power has been measured with power meters and calorimetry, under high bubbling conditions, confirmed by many who have observed these cells, average voltage times set constant current equals average power. Period.

It's not legitimately controversial, and it's not a "tragic failure to do the math."

It is as if you went to court and asserted that failure to consider time dilation from the speed of a car was proof that the state had not established that you were speeding. And then, when the prosecutor sputters a bit, you point out that he's refusing to do the math.

The fact is that *you* have not done the math. You have not taken the specs of the power supply and anticipated the level of current noise. The problem is that you can't really do this without having some estimate of the resistance noise. But you allowed various assumptions. You allowed, for example, that the adjustment of power supply voltage to maintain constant current could be instantaneous. That vastly simplified the problem, but you continued insisting on current variation then, relying upon what amount to thermodynamic arguments (which were true, but you didn't do the math to show the actual impact of the fact on input energy estimation).

You looked at scope traces and radically misinterpreted them and paid no attention to correction from me. After all, I'm supposedly a "believer." Those traces were not at all showing what you imagined, but you even continued to confidently assert what they "probably" were even after I had confirmation from McKubre of what they *actually* were.

And you've done this kind of thing over and over. From the point of view of following the scientific method, you are insane.

How many people have to notice this before you wake up? Some people never wake up. Is that you?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Here is an example of the true measurements.

Scope Trace from André Blondel as reproduced in Karl Taylor Compton's 1910 paper, "A Study of the Wehnelt Electrolytic Interrupter" as published in Physical Review.

The period of the interruption cycle is typically 1 msec. You can see that the voltage spikes dramatically as the current drops to zero for a brief instant. The current then rises to its steady state level, whereupon (as soon as the surface of the electrode becomes encased in a thin layer of gas), the current is suddenly interrupted once again.

In that trace, Blondel has carefully tuned the parameters of his cell to get a regular frequency of interruptions at a nominal rate of 1 KHz.

There is substantial energy in those spikes, which the investigators a century ago both measured on their scopes and noted as a warming of the electrolyte.

Reading further into Compton's 1910 paper, we learn that he credits Jules Louis Gabriel Violle with the discovery of the effect in 1892, leading to Wehnelt's invention of a practical device in 1899. Leading experts of the day were divided on the underlying theory. In the Scientific American Supplement No. 1223, the authors note they have "a very complex phenomenon in which the condenser of variable capacity and the self-induction of the circuit play the leading parts." Elihu Thompson says, "The cause of this remarkable phenomenon is the rhythmic sealing and unsealing of the anode by the liberated gas." Henri Armagnat (who wrote the book on Tesla Coils) suggested the variable high resistance in the vicinity of the bubbles was the source of liberated heat. André Blondel hypothesized, "The energy of the inductance coil charges the variable capacity to a high potential. When this discharges, it drives the gas away and again lets the liquid back to the wire."

Abd, there's your true measurements and correct analysis of the effect of bubbles forming on the electrodes, carried out by pioneering luminaries in the field.

Can you tell me if Bockris covers this in his text on Modern Electrochemistry?

And can you show me where, in the CF literature, Compton's model is discussed and determined not to be the cause of heat from AC transients?

5:18 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Simple, Barry. No I can't answer about the text. Don't have it. I'm not an electrochemist.

However, the interruption that happens in the circuit you describe is nothing like what happens in a CF cell, and from other evidence, we have confirmation of the accuracy of, say, McKubre's estimate of input power.

You are grasping at straws. There is nothing relevant that I've seen in the interruptor experiments you have described. Independent experts have gone over and over this work, it's been subjected to even hostile criticism for almost twenty years.

You have ignored the basic situation: bubble noise will be low frequency, unless abrupt transitions, as happen in this earlier work occur (evolved gas was allowed to totally interrupt the current)r.

Notice, as well, this was not a constant current power supply, obviously. Entirely different circuit conditions. Irrelevant.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Modern Electrochemistry is more than one volume. This volume by Bockris is on Google Books. There is no mention of Violle, Wehnelt, Blondel, or Compton in that volume.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Strategy of a troll: ask irrelevant questions and see if your target jumps. Avoid the basic issues, and avoid answering questions. Avoid addressing opposing arguments.

Ask new questions, raise new arguments, keep them off balance.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

If you're not interested in doing science, just say so.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

I am interested in doing science. Besides cold fusion -- and, there, I'm working on experimental science, not theory -- I am studying trolls. How does it feel to be a troll, Barry? You've been doing it for years, surely you can tell us a great deal.

Inquiring minds want to know. Or at least one does.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

I see no science in the questions about what is in Brockris. I see no science in "blizzard of words," only denial. I see no science in the repetition of arguments in other fora, after basic errors have been exposed here, such as the fantasies about those SRI scope traces.

What I see is trolling, with increasing confirmation of that hypothesis. The hypothesis predicts that there will be no movement, that you will not accept and admit the most basic and simple facts. I'm attempting to falsify this hypothesis, by giving you many opportunities.

You are accustomed to people giving up much more quickly. That's what's unusual and frustrating about me.

I'm not seeing the kind of confirmation from others that would result if your hypotheses were correct. Nobody has confirmed your claims, but you are arguing outside the bounds of accepted science and in blatant contradiction to experimental facts, facts that make your objections moot, because your objections would predict behavior that is not observed, by those looking for such effects and reporting their results, as in the McKubre paper from EPRI almost twenty years ago.

You are visible as a troll to others, and if you don't realize this, you haven't been paying any attention at all.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Have you asked anyone outside the CF Cult to check the models and math?

4:20 PM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

You are proposing a new theory, countering what has been published in mainstream journals under peer review, and in other authoritative works. It's up to you to check your math.

If what you were saying were correct, you'd have made a major discovery, debunking hundreds of papers already published under peer review, and it would be important for you to write it up and submit it. Good luck. Be sure to check your math.

There is no CF cult, not that I'm in communication with. These aren't "believers," i.e., people who are simply running on belief in an idea, rather than on conclusion based on experience and analysis.

You are. You've utterly failed to apply the scientific method to your own ideas, to check them against experiment. Your ideas are falsifiable, they make predictions of experimental behavior, but you have not searched the experimental data to try to falsify your theories. The opposite. You search for anything that might seem, shallowly, to support them.

Such as scope traces off a screen capture that are showing something completely different from what you think.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

It's not a new theory, just a new application of a theory that was published over a century ago.

I can't claim credit for a discovery that was first reported in 1892, turned into a practical device in 1899, thoroughly analyzed in 1909, and published in Physical Review in 1910.

Besides, I didn't even know about the Wehnelt Electrolytic Interrupter until Rob Duncan told me about it. Nor did I know about the related work of André Blondel and Karl Taylor Compton until I looked up the peer-reviewed literature on Wehnelt's device.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Moulton, that's ridiculous. The interrupter is radically unlike a CF cell. In an interrupter, the current was totally cut off. You might as well compare the CF cell to a machine gun.

Really, if you've found the artifact, you could be famous. Why not try to get it published? If you really want to waste your time!

12:01 AM  
Blogger Moulton said...

If you look at Andre Blondel's model, or Compton's model, you can see that they were using the same techniques of AC circuit analysis that I (necessarily) adopted for the case where the bubbles don't go all the way to a total eclipse of the conduction path from the electrolyte to the surface of the cathode.

Sure a total eclipse is more dramatic that a spotty one from a scattering of bubbles, but drama aside, the underlying mathematical physics is the same.

It's not a new effect. Edison employed it to devise his carbon button microphone, which supplanted Bell's microphone. As you may know, Bell's microphone worked by varying the amount of surface area of an electrode that was in contact with an electrolyte. Bell's microphone is an even better analogy than Edison's carbon button mike. But fewer people are familiar with Bell's microphone, since it was never a very practical device.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Abd ulRahman Lomax said...

Famous, I tell you, famous! And here you natter on about carbon microphones. What a waste of talent!

3:53 PM  
Blogger Moulton said...

Theory first, atrocious song parodies later.

And maybe someday, a well-crafted narrative account.

7:54 AM  

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