In just a few weeks, the whole landscape of cold fusion and LENR has changed significantly and, as many have noted, 2015 might bring a breakthrough for LENR in general, with increased public awareness, scientific acceptance and maybe even commercial applications. This is great news.
For those who haven’t followed the latest events, let me summarize.
Most important is the apparent replication of the E-Cat phenomenon by the Russian scientist Alexander Parkhomov. On December 25, 2014, Parkhomov, a respected and experienced physicist, published a short report on an experiment where he had used a reactor similar to the one used by the Swedish-Italian group in the Lugano experiment with Rossi’s E-Cat, and with similar materials in the fuel.
This kind of replication, based on the information in the Lugano report, was what I predicted in the second edition of my book.
Parkhomov reported significant excess heat from a very small amount of fuel, just like in like other LENR experiments, and the amount of released energy was in the range of kilowatts just like with Rossi’s devices, which sets them apart from most other LENR experiments. Although the report was more of research notes than a scientific paper, the method was so simple and straight forward that it was quite convincing. Obviously it was also important that Parkhomov had performed his experiment without any contact with Rossi or the experimenters at Lugano.
A review of Parkomov’s report is made by long time LENR researcher Michael McKubre in the magazine Infinite Energy. Meanwhile Parkhomov has held two seminars in Russia on his findings, and he has released a second, updated report.
Parkhomov’s report has inspired other groups to attempt a similar replication of the E-Cat effect. Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project, MFMP, which I report on in my book, had already planned a similar experiment, and the group is now ready to start this work, with support from Parkhomov.
Renowned LENR researcher Brian Ahern has also plans for a similar experiment.
I also know that the Swedish-Italian group that performed the Lugano experiment is working on continued investigations of the effect, although I cannot report any details of their work.
Apart from these, there are most probably many others who are trying the same thing without giving notice. It must be stressed though that such replication attempts should only be initiated by trained personnel in proper labs with rigorous safety equipment. The nano materials used are hazardous and unexpected effects, included radiation, cannot be excluded.
One reason for believing that many attempts are being made is that the Lugano report which was published by the blog Sifferkoll.se just a few hours before I published it here, has been downloaded from Sifferkoll about 150,000 times by now. Torkel Nyberg who runs the blog recently told me this.
Apparently the interest is great all over the world (let me expand on Nyberg’s views on a possible connection between the Lugano report and the falling oil price in a separate blog post). The increased interest has also been reflected in more media reports than before. One of them is a recent piece in Wired UK, noting that “if Parkhomov’s work can be copied, the Chinese may not need a licence.”
Apart from attempts at replicating Parkhomov or building on the information in the Lugano report, I would also expect more and more researchers to do other experiments within the same domain.
Some useful knowledge of this kind might come out of the collaboration between MFMP and the Italian researcher Francesco Piantelli, who used to work together with late Prof. Sergio Focardi before Focardi started to help Rossi (read about Piantelli and Focardi in my book).
MFMP went to see Piantelli in his lab in Tuscany, Italy, in January 2015. I joined them for a few days to take part in the discussions, and found out that MFMP had a good contact with Piantelli, learning a lot from his long experience of LENR systems with nickel and hydrogen, which are different from the kind of system Rossi, even though the main elements are the same.
I have no direct knowledge about Piantelli’s experiments or results. As you can read in my book, he has strong opinions on how scientific work should be performed and reported, and it’s not easy to access his work. But he could very well have gained substantial amounts of knowledge which could show to be useful. On the other hand, also Piantelli warns for unexpected effects, including radiation.
It’s a good thing that MFMP sticks to the idea of open science, publishing results and experiments in real time, and that the members have declared that they will never sign any kind of NDA. In this way, there’s good hope for new knowledge being communicated to other interested researchers, and that the this knowledge might grow significantly over time.
All in all, things are starting to move, and they might move very fast now. On the other hand, as I note in the second edition of ‘An Impossible Invention’, it seems that we will not get much information from Rossi and his industrial partner Industrial Heat during 2015.
Rossi still claims that he and IH are working with a 1 megawatt plant installed at the premises of a customer on commercial terms, but that they will not be ready to show the working plant until it has been running for a year.
There’s no way to confirm this, but let me just say that I have reasons to believe that the megawatt plant exists and works and that the collaboration between Rossi and IH goes on.
In any case, this year might be decisive, and I invite you to talk about this with friends and colleagues who have not yet discovered what’s going on (for anyone who wants to know a little more, An Impossible Invention is now available both as e-book and paperback through Amazon).