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January 18, 2011

Discussion of the Rossi and Focardi demonstration at the New Energy Times Blog

The New Energy Times has been covering low energy nuclear reactions (LENR - what was called cold fusion) from the beginning. There is an article which discuses the Rossi 10 KW demonstration.

* The original nickel-hydrogen LENR research was developed by Francesco Piantelli, of Siena, Italy. Piantelli was not involved in the recent Rossi demonstration

New Energy Times received the following first-person report from Francesco Celani, a physicist with the Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, INFN (National Institute of Nuclear Physics)



The experiment started at about 15:30 and ended at about 16:45.

The measurement of energy emission was based on a modified flow calorimeter method (peristaltic pump, small size, about 10-20W of power). They warmed up the water to 102°C, pressurized vapor condition. I estimate that the experiment consumed 12-14 liters of water.

A researcher and technicians from the University of Bologna made all the measurements independently. Rossi only supervised key safety aspects.

The amount of the reactant wasn’t clear, but it could be a few grams. According to Rossi, it is a complex mixture of nickel and one or two secret additives, which are the key for the energy emission. All the material is in the state of nano-particles or colloid.

In the pressurized (about 2 atm) chamber, the volume is 1-2 liters; also inside are the cooling pipe and the reactants. Hydrogen gas was added continuously, at a low flow rate.

According to the authors, the trigger is only heat (at quite high temperatures: T>T_Curie of Nickel???). Other people speculated about ultrasound. The input power was 500-700W maximum.

My approximate calculation, assuming no thermal dissipation from the reactor, gives:

- Input Energy (3600s): (500–700 W)*3600=(1.8–2.52)MJ
- Output Energy to increase the water temperature of 90°C: 4.2* (102°C-12°C)=378 J/g
- Vaporization enthalpy, about 40.6kJ/mole water= 2633J/g
- Total energy (with 13 liter of water vaporized)= 378+2633=3011J/g of water=>39.14MJ

The energy gain is a factor of 15-20, which is really large!

They also had a twin gamma ray detector assembled in order to detect e+e- annihilation. In this run, almost no such results were detected.

Focardi was confident that they were going to get large amounts of such signal, as in previous experiments. This time, the counts were close to background for coincidences, and only some uncorrelated signal was over background.

I brought my own gamma detector, a battery-operated 1.25″ NaI(Tl) with an energy range=25keV-2000keV. I measured some increase of counts near the reactor (about 50-100%) during operation, in an erratic (unstable) way, with respect to background.

I decided to change the gamma detector from “counts” to “spectra” mode. After a few minutes, Rossi realized that I was trying to identify something secret inside the reactor. I was forced to stop the measurements.

New Energy Times has a description of what they understand of the nuclear processes.

A 148 page report describes the experiments and analysis.

Steven Krivit of the New Energy Times describes why he believes that the Rossi and Focardi LENR device is probably real an is an advancement on the Piantelli process.


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