Italian inventor Andrea Rossi claims to have discovered cold fusion. There is a history of dis-proven discoveries in this area. How were they debunked and are the arguments applicable to the new case either?


  • I've asked the same question on physics: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/3799/… – Sklivvz May 11 '11 at 12:17
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    I don't think this question is appropriate for Skeptics. It requires detailed knowledge of nuclear physics to answer appropriately, and some knowledge of nuclear physics to judge whether the answer is credible. Physics.SE is the place for it. – Rex Kerr May 11 '11 at 13:37
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    @Rex So no Skeptic (1) knows nuclear physics so that he can lay down an Argument and (2) all Skeptics rely only on their direct knowledge and do not validate the truthfulness of an argument by investigation and debate, thus learning more about the argument and coming to a sensible conclusion and deeper insight? Were is the forum for these kind of people I will post it there ;-) – Roland Kofler May 13 '11 at 17:21
  • Some skeptics do know nuclear physics (myself among them, though at a rather amateur level), but you're likely to get a much more robust discussion and appropriate audience at Physics. Most physicists should have the capacity to skeptically evaluate claims about nuclear fusion, while only a small fraction of skeptics will have the capacity to evaluate the physical basis of claims regarding nuclear fusion. – Rex Kerr May 13 '11 at 18:46

Is the Rossi Focardi LENR true?

They have kept the details secret. I refer to sufficient detail to attempt to reproduce in a scientific research laboratory. From http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4212428/Italian-scientists-claim-cold-fusion-success

It is reported that Focardi and Rossi have had their paper refused by peer-review publications.

Both their effectively refused WIPO patent application and accepted Italian patent lack meaningful detail. Note the Italian one was submitted just before stricter technical requirements were brought in.
see also http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/energi_miljo/energi/article3173090.ece

For example claim 6 of the WIPO patent refers to "catalyzer materials" with no further details.

How were they debunked and are the arguments applicable to the new case either?

They (like any other claim) cannot be definitively scientifically debunked by argument alone, only by multiple independent experimentation trials. Disclosure of full details is a prerequisite for this.

Please beware that there have been numerous professional scams for many years involving claims of cheap or free energy.

If you are more interested in the theory of cold fusion et al then I recommend Physics Stack Exchange

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