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This video comes from a .nasa.gov domain. It talks about Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), also known as Cold Fusion.

On this site it is claimed that this is proof that LENR works and that there has been a previous cover up by e.g. Big Physics and Big Energy.

I am super skeptical that if NASA had found a way of generating almost free energy it would announce it with a strange video like this!

What is the real background of the video?

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I found the answer already while researching the links for the question. I think though that it's a useful question to have on the site :-) I will self-answer in a couple of days if nobody else bothers... –  Sklivvz Jan 17 '12 at 0:58
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Sorry, I was too tempted to answer this! I've been fending off a lot of crazies today about this as it was. –  Larian LeQuella Jan 17 '12 at 2:59
    
The video says that they are "working on it", not that they "have already found a way". –  vartec Jan 17 '12 at 13:46
    
The problem with this whole field is it's considered a matter of "belief", when it should be a simple matter of skepticism. Finding fault with positive results is widespread and a good thing. Finding fault with negative results should also be encouraged, because if there's a way forward, that's how it will be found. –  Mike Dunlavey Jan 17 '12 at 14:03
    
"I am super skeptical that if NASA ... would announce it with a strange video like this!" - NASA producing fake videos? Where would you get this idea? –  Andrew Grimm Jan 18 '12 at 13:03
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4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

As the link stated:

"Every attempted demonstration of a LENR device that I am aware of has failed to meet one or more of these criteria.”

While there is something hard to pin down going on, the "cold fusion" mechanisms proposed are not it. They were at least viable theories, in that they were falsifiable. Also, this isn't cold fusion, but rather colder than the sun fusion, but still plasma (emphasis mine).

Excess heat generated in the glow discharge plasma electrolysis, first reported by Mizuno and Ohmori (1), has been studied by several researchers, both in Japan (2, 3, 4) and in other countries (5, 6, 7, 8). Most reports, but not all, confirmed generation of excess heat. Facing this situation we decided to replicate the most recent experiment in which excess heat was found to increase with voltage (8). The planning for the design of this project was described in (9). Considerable progress has been made toward the building and testing of a cell able to operate at high power levels. This work, still in progress, should either confirm or contradict the results reported in (8).

Furthermore, LENR is not actually cold fusion anyway, just a bad job by the media. The scientist, Dr. Zawodny, whose words are being mangled by the press states:

While I personally find sufficient demonstration that LENR effects warrant further investigation, I remain skeptical. Furthermore, I am unaware of any clear and convincing demonstrations of any viable commercial device producing useful amounts of net energy.

Too many people are attempting to equate this to the Pons/Fleischmann experiment, which was thoroughly debunked.

There is still legitimate research to do, such as Dr. David Koltick at Purdue. However, the claims are vastly different than the Pons/Fleischmann claims.

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Larian, head over to the JREF. There's some good info to cull from this thread: forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=198040 –  Brightblades Jan 17 '12 at 12:38
    
+1 for the Koltick link. –  Mike Dunlavey Jan 17 '12 at 13:43
    
I can't emphasize how shoddy this answer is--- first LENR is the exact same thing as Pons/Fleischmann cold fusion, any attempt to say otherwise is just an attempt to steal credit. Further, the NASA claims are absurd--- they are using metal hydride systems, which have a much higher threshhold for belief, because they aren't deuterium, so no fusion. The Pons/Fleischmann method is what this is, and the debunking was just an exercize in fraud by people who should have known better. –  Ron Maimon Apr 6 '12 at 7:25
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I wrote an article that gives links to a good number of NASA documents on LENR.

Many of them do mention Rossi and Pons and Fleishmann by name. I really don't think there can be any doubt, based on this volume of information, that LENR is related to the Pons and Flesihmann effect.

However, support for Rossi seems to be somewhat more equivocal. For example, the Bushnell GRC 2011 slides states that the:

Rossi device possibly producing useful energy but wholly "Edisonian." not "scaleable," not "optimized."

That is neither a ringing endorsement or an outright dismissal of Rossi's claims.

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Ben, your gravatar matches that of the Admin of that page. Would you like to declare whether you are the author? To avoid link-rot and to make it clearer for the readers, could you please cite at least one of the NASA documents that links Rossi's LENR research with Cold Fusion and/or Pons/Fleischmann? (I note Wikipedia links Cold Fusion with LENR.) Also, please give a more direct reference for your quote. –  Oddthinking Feb 3 '12 at 16:15
    
The Nelson slides from GRC 2011 talk extensively about Rossi. The quote however is from the Bushnell GRC 2011 slides under the slide Current LENR SOA. To be exact, the slide says" "Rossi device possibly producing useful energy but wholly "Edisonian." not "scaleable," not "optimized." Right under that, in the same slide, Bushnell mentions Zawodny. The Zawodny slides mention Pons and Fleishmann. –  user6059 Feb 3 '12 at 22:52
    
Per the Zawodny slide, entitled The Cold Fusion Debacle, regarding P&F Zawodny writes: "Actually did good work but the work was very hard to replicate" and "Should have stuck with what their paper said "Unexplained Nuclear Reactions." All this is fairly obvious if one takes the take to review the material, as is the fact that the article is from my site. True skepticism really does not involve laziness or failure to read the literature. –  user6059 Feb 3 '12 at 22:52
    
Thanks, Ben. To demonstrate I am not lazy (and therefore a candidate to be a "True Skeptic"), I edited your answer to include some of the bits you left out. –  Oddthinking Feb 4 '12 at 1:11
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The publicity that Rossi's ecat demos engendered certainly contributed to the current follow-up research in LENR. The old NASA experiments were inconclusive.

If been following Rossi for some time now. While the initial demos were somewhat promising and convinced some Swedish physicist in attendance, every subsequent demonstrations was more scripted and less convincing.

The site ecatnews.com started out optimistically covering this story but the admin there recently threw in the towel after concluding that Rossi's ecat is a scam. You can follow the entire story in detail perusing the old post: http://www.ecantnews.com

Recently the Swedish defence forces tried to replicate a Rossi like LENR reaction but came up empty: http://wp.me/p3cfMd-5Q

There is much LENR research out there, but very little is top notch. NASA's involvement will hopefully settle the question once and for all if there may be a subtle real nuclear effect there.

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The title of the question is "Is this video from NASA proof that LENR is a real effect?". The obvious answer is "Of course it isn't!" IMHO, all this LENR stuff reminds me of aviation before the Wright brothers. Lots of people were fooling around with various experiments, but before somebody nailed it, it all looked like a lot of foolishness, especially to professors whose living depends on not sticking their necks out too far. –  Mike Dunlavey Feb 27 '13 at 1:54
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this research is direct result of Pons/Fleischmann experiment but with a lot of improvement in experiment you can search Lattice-Assisted Nuclear Reactions in google for more information. Pons/Fleischmann used palladium (lattice metal) with deuterium (heavy hydrogen) for experiment .but after a lot of improvement in experiment now scientist use nickel powder( lattice metal) + potassium carbonate as catalyst + hydrogen gas +RFG AND HEAT for experiment.this pdf file is nasa official opinion about Pons/Fleischmann and cold fusion.

http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/sensors/PhySen/docs/LENR_at_GRC_2011.pdf

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Sorry -- not an answer to my question. Are the claims I linked valid or not? –  Sklivvz Jan 18 '12 at 8:50
    
Are the claims I linked valid or not? yes –  NIMA Jan 18 '12 at 15:08
    
claims are valid many respected scientist replicated this experiments and achieved different level of excess heat. –  NIMA Jan 18 '12 at 15:22
    
You haven't read my question accurately. Is that video an announcement of NASA's support of Rossi or Fleischman/Pons cold fusion or not? I don't care whether it is right or not, I only care if it is correct to say that NASA is supporting it. –  Sklivvz Jan 18 '12 at 16:55
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