The Promise of Controlled Nuclear Fusion, Part VIII

In part VII, at the end of last year, I predicted that 2014 would (at least) see steady progress in all aspects of LENR. With only a month gone, there already are promising signs of this.

Firstly, Industrial Heat Has Acquired Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat Technology. Industrial Heat, LLC was incorporated in 2012, is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and is managed by JT Vaughn, who is the founder of Cherokee McDonough Challenge, which is described as “an accelerator for environmental startups, and a leader in the startup community in the Research Triangle”.

Andrea Rossi is continuing on as their Chief Scientist. To me, this is a very wise step for Rossi to have made. It means he can be free from all the business, financial and related concerns and simply concentrate on the science and technology of the eCat itself.

However, it is clear that the eCat’s biggest competitor, Brillouin Energy has also been busy. Sterling Allan’s interview with Michael McKubre  is well worth a view in itself. McKubre does not prefer any particular theory of LENR at this stage but, as an experimental chemist, that is not really his call. As we have seen, physicists like Widom and Larsen have more definite views.

During another, roundtable discussion, McKubre comments on BlackLight Power, founded by Randell Mills, observing that their generator would surely compel all physics and chemistry textbooks to be rewritten! There, I must entirely agree with McKubre and only note that, while Mill’s theory simply cannot be right, the phenomenon he claims to have achieved – that of producing huge power densities from small samples of water – may yet be explicable using known physical laws which have yet to be organised into a coherent theory. This is basically what went wrong with Fleischmann and Pons – they discovered an excess heat phenomenon but offered the wrong theoretical explanation. As experimentalists, they could and should have rested on reporting the phenomenon itself as well as emphasizing the fact that there were still many puzzles to be solved before the effect could be consistently replicated. Granted, that modest and qualified approach would have been difficult in the context of the science politics of the day.

Notwithstanding that glimpse back at the history, which surely threatens to rhyme if not repeat, BlackLight Power apparently staged an invitation-only demonstration of its generator on the 28th of January. Reports of the meeting are sketchy but one attendee has recorded his views and, unsurprisingly, attracted a large swarm of comments. So, for now, at least, the jury on BlackLight Power must remain out and that goes for a large number of other “new energy” projects which Sterling Allan tirelessly continues  to follow via his Peswiki site. All credit to him for that. He obviously reasons that, while most of them will prove to be unsound or even hoaxes, one or two might just change the world!

P W Power
31-Jan-2014

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