Tom Whipple on the Current State of LENR

Tom Whipple of the Falls Church News Press, a weekly newspaper published in northern Virginia, has done a good job over the years covering developments in the LENR field. He has just written another article on the topic, this time focusing on Brillouin Energy who he considers a significant player along with Andrea Rossi and Defkalion. He does a nice job of summarizing the Brillouin brand of LENR:

While Brillouin’s Controlled Nuclear Capture Reaction may or may not ultimately prove to be correct, it is remarkably easy to understand. Hydrogen is loaded into a metal matrix, a controlled proprietary electro-magnetic pulse is sent through the metal and a series of reactions take place which ultimately result in the production of helium, lots of heat, and almost nothing else.

Whipple is one of the few newspaper journalists who has taken LENR seriously, and unfortunately he is not writing for a wide audience. His paper is a free regional paper that isn’t of great national influence. He considers the technology to be of great significance, and anticipates that engineering and development of the technology could be much more rapid that that of early aviation and automobile manufacturing which he notes took around 20 years to come into widespread use.

  • Roger Bird

    Without profits there is no innovation. No, no, no, I am not talking about profit after innovation as a form of incentive, which I also think is a good thing. Rossi has been able to work the past 7 years or so thanks to someone’s profits, his or someone else’s. The people who developed the wide screen television (and are still developing improvements) needed a LOT of profits before they started selling wide screen television in order to fund the research and development of LCD, LED, and plasma, and perhaps technologies that I am unaware of. So, if we knock profits, we will be stopping innovation. We will stagnate. Yes, there are jetsetters in the world who deserve a kick in the a$$. My generation skipping wealth confiscation taxation plan will encourage investment and end jetsetting.

    But my main point is that profits fuel innovation, and there is NO other way. Even garage tinkerers have to have enough stored wealth to fund their projects.

    admin, there is a label to the left that is on top of the comment writing box. It is right now as I write this on top of the word “admin”.

    • Jim

      Imagine the ROI for the guy who invented the wheel! And weaving? Talk about license fees!

      • cliff

        Both of these were invented multiple times and anyone could build them once they saw them. It’s not the same thing at all. Of course, I expect you’re making a joke, but a lot of folks take everything so seriously.

      • Iggy Dalrymple

        I know the descendants of both. Tom Wheeler and Jeff Weaver. Neither seem to be especially wealthy.

    • cliff

      Roger, you are so right.

      I have another comment. How many times in the last year have we had people rail about the “monopoly” that Rossi has, which is bad for getting the tech out to the world. It looks to me like he has at least two viable competitors. Competition drives innovation and getting something to market at least as much as profit, but without money, you are correct, nothing happens. The money for start ups comes, often, from the “evil” venture capitalists.

      • cliff

        I just re-read the comment and it was not clear that by using “quotation marks” I was implying that there is no monopoly and that the people who are worried about it keeping the tech from being distributed don’t know what they are talking about. Also, I don’t believe venture capitalists are evil, hence the quotes. They are necessary to get new things to market.

        • Roger Bird

          For VC, the money is like a tool to get things done. Just how much happiness can a person garner with excess money. At some point you have to use the money for other things besides babes, cocaine, trips to Monte Carlo, big boats, etc.

          • cliff

            Yeah, VC is a tool to get things done. That’s all it should be.

            I think that anyone who tries to use money to buy babes, cocaine, trips to Monte Carlo, big boats, etc. doesn’t understand their own human nature.

            If someone’s main goal is to become filthy rich, and spend it all on themselves and their pleasures, they will destroy both their life and many other lives as well. Bernie Madoff comes to mind, although he was running a Ponzi Scheme, the principle applies, I think.

            Rossi seems to be focused on creating something that nobody ever did. He works 16 hour days because it’s HIS BABY and he wants to see it grow up. He’ll make a pile of money, but that was not his main goal, in my view, from his posts. He wants to get product into the hands of users in the most efficient way possible. He wants to do that to 1) serve humanity 2) get a leg up on competition 3) get some return on his investment of time and money.

            Some people, particularly communists and socialists, think he could get it done faster and better by giving the “secret” to the world, so everyone can work on it, but they can never can give a good example of that ever having worked. For example they bring up Rossi’s argument about Linux. Linux didn’t work as open source for very long. Once it had to work consistently and reliably, it stopped being open source. I, personally, like the example of the SR71 Blackbird. A small, dedicated, highly motiviate team made something that nobody else could. I think that’s what Rossi is doing.

            On the other hand, I’d really like to see an operating plant on the CBS Evening news.

      • catbauer24

        Everyone should be working together, it should be a ‘credit union’ of research, so that everyone can benefit without the posh ‘bankers’. A-la MFMP, they are the real player in the reality of what is to come, regarding the model of collaboration.

        It’s an argument of ‘standards’ really [1]… the little ‘nuts and bolts’ everyone needs to make all of the products we use. In the least, Rossi is extremely discriminatory, translated: unfair and unreasonable for the standard that is to come.


        • cliff

          Would you mind giving an example of when a new idea that required a large investment of time and effort worked using your “credit union of research”. In other words something new and great made it to market quickly with your approach.

          I think, like communism, it sounds great, but doesn’t work in reality, because it ignores human nature.

          And please don’t use the example of Unix which required no more than a couple thousand dollars investment to work on and it didn’t take off until it was sponsored by a major corporation.

          Give me an example where you couln’t do it in your basement or garage.

          • catbauer24

            Your argument implicitly suggests that, when history of a beneficial idea is not known or considered, one must settle for the injurious idea / model (which is to say, Rossi in this case).

            Rossi’s explicitly stated argument against Linux (and yours) is pure nonsense, consider:

          • cliff

            Please, don’t say I’m implying things that I AM NOT and then argue against them. That’s a straw man argument. I didn’t, in any way, suggest that when history of a beneficial idea is not known or considered, one must settle for the injurious idea / model. I never said anything like that. I argued that there are very few new economic ideas, not that there are none and that we’re doomed to use only old ideas. That’s nonsense.

            By the way, I have been a computer programmer since 1980 and I have experienced the development of Unix and Linux and Xenix for that matter. Unix started in universities as a main frame OS. Xenix was Microsoft’s version of Unix that they provided to mini and micro computer manufacturers. So, why not just put Unix on your computer? Because, due to the fact that it was developed all over the place by all kinds of different developers, it was unreliable and lacked standards. Later Unix was standardized by Bell Labs and a standards group. Linux was open sourced and lots of people used it, but it suffered from the same problems that Unix originally did. Red Hat Linux became the standard because a company (Red Hat) decided to clean it all up. Notice that you have to buy Red Hat Linux.

            Your 1 billion Linux investment link proves my point rather than yours. The Linux that IBM is using is not open source. Look it up.

            So, you say that Rossi’s and my explicitly stated argument is pure nonsense out of your ignorance of how software, particularly OS’s developed over the years. The advantage of open source is that lots of people get to put their ideas into something with very little investment. The disadvantage is that lots of people get to put their ideas into something with very few standards. Why do you think that most corporations are very disinclined to allow developers to use open source software? It’s because of the problems it causes.

            What I was explictly arguing is that almost every economic system has been tried before. You might have something new, but for students of economics and history, what you were saying sure sounds familiar.

            My examle of something that sounds good but has never, ever worked is communism. You can try and debate that if you want, but don’t try and debate me on how an operating system has developed over the last 40 years. And to throw up a straw man argument and then shoot it down by saying it’s pure nonsense shows that you don’t understand logical discourse. Or maybe you don’t think that I do and you think you can get away with it.

            Rossi’s arguments are based on human nature and history. Which he seems to know quite well.

          • catbauer24

            Wrong cliff. Linux is GPL, and a derivative is also GPL. Consider when Linksys had to release their source, IBM will have to do the same. Granted others (I’m sure more capable than both of use, being programmers) pointed out some things will be specific to the power architecture, but it really is open-source and any general improvements can be used freely in Linux.

            If not Linux, then BSD. Apple sure seemed to like that, being that FreeBSD is their basis (and THAT they don’t have to make derivatives free, can be proprietary, being BSD license)

          • catbauer24

            “If you want to really diffuse a technology you need real backing, and no backing has ever been given to open source stuff. You have a paradigmatic example if you make a comparative analisys between Linus [Linux] and Microsoft. Should we give away the IP we would lose all the serious backers and should have a Brancaleon’s Armada of clowns playing with it.”
            – Your boy, Rossi

            He really did call all linux ‘hacks’ clowns. Those ‘clowns’ are experimenters and inventors, many making millions. IBM is not spending $1 Billion on Microsoft. Actually, not even a penny really.

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          All made possible by Paul Hunt, who kicks in up to $500,000/yr.

          Gosh, never knew he was a communist.

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      Roger, here’s pic of undersea cable my neighbor is salvaging. It’s smaller(2″) that I previously thought. He was also salvaging a larger size but I haven’t seen it.

      • Roger Bird

        And you expect me to calculate it’s value? For one thing, we don’t know the actual size of the copper. But I bet it’s a good deal, or else he would not be doing it.

      • cliff


        Think about how much your neighbor could salvage if he could stay under for hours, days, even weeks with a submarine powered by an e-cat! There is a bunch of stuff on the bottom of the ocean that is no longer used.

  • Chuck

    Whipple writes for peak oil and post-carbon issues and is a retired CIA analyst. His degrees are from LSE and Rice, so I don’t know if he’s qualified to write about any of this stuff other than from a political and economic perspective.

    Does anyone have more detail on Mr. Whipple’s background? Is there a nuclear physics-related degree in there somewhere? In other words, is he qualified to talk about the science of the matter?

    • Gerrit

      when it comes to making an informed assessment on the status of LENR, a degree in nuclear physics is a burden, not a benefit.

      • artefact

        yes, it is multidisciplinary

      • Alan DeAngelis

        Yes, déjà vu. The Wright brothers.

    • Roger Bird

      The question should have been does he have the credentials to convince others that he is qualified to speak with authority. Any dolt who can maintain a skeptical attitude until he sees proof (that would be me) is qualified. But said dolt may not have the credentials to impress others that one’s conclusions amount to more than a small hill of beans.

      • Chuck

        Well, my concern was having someone who could speak with authority on the matter, without any seeming bias.

        Most of what I’ve seen is coverage by those who were doing simple reportage or those who had a particular ax to grind (i.e. they were part of the LENR community).

        Part of being convincing in this matter is being able to speak the language others use. For example, a reporter who writes about electrical theory breakthroughs but who has no mastery of Maxwell’s equations is scarcely to be viewed as an authority figure by those involved in the science.

        I’ve seen too much “pop science” reporting with those weasel words “could”, “might”, “ought to”, “potentially”…

        If wishes were horses and all that.

        • Roger Bird

          I think that we agree. We just had to clear up the semantics. I am qualified. But I am no authority figure.

          But, this brings up in my mind the issue of why should being a big fan of LENR disqualify one. I am a big fan of LENR because I have been convinced, not because I am easily convinced or a true believer. Unfortunately, people don’t see my commitment to skepticism, but they can see someone’s else’s PhD’s. So I guess I answered my own question. (:->)

          • Chuck

            Basically, there’s a difference in a belief and a “compelling” belief–and what’s really needed is the latter.

            For example, I can choose to believe or disbelieve a lot of things (grassy knoll, alien abductions, etc.) and even have some evidence one way or the other.

            But a “compelling” belief implies that there really is no logical choice remaining. Sure, I can choose to disbelieve in gravity, but the foolishness of that can easily be dispelled by jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet without a parachute–doubting won’t change the outcome.

            Right now, LENR isn’t in the “compelling” category yet.

            That’s about the best way I can phrase the situation.

          • Roger Bird

            Chuck, the difference between “belief” and “compelling belief” is a matter of opinion sometimes. For me, LENR+ is very compelling. I worked 19 months reading and commenting on several different sites every freaking day before the May 2013 Levi et. al. tests happily pushed me over the edge.

          • Chuck

            There are plenty of non-compelling beliefs in Physics; string theory for one. You can choose to believe it or not–it’s doubtful that it can ever be proven. On the other hand, you have to be really in the fringe area not to admit that there’s something to theories of nuclear fission.

            In our everyday world, there’s the matter of religion. Some would say that various religious tenets are compelling, but the fact is that everything works just fine if one chooses not to accept them–or accepts a different set altogether.

            So, you may find the evidence personally compelling, but clearly everything works just fine if one doesn’t accept the evidence as conclusive. And indeed, the general body of those who work in physics largely have chosen to deem the evidence far from compelling.

            What would help clarify the situation is open general application of the technology. There’s plenty of proprietary technology in a modern nuclear power plant, yet I don’t doubt for a second that the technology works and is as its supporters say it is.

            Weren’t we supposed to get a 1MW unit operating in a setting where almost anyone could inspect it? That would certainly help.

          • Roger Bird

            “the general body of those who work in physics largely have chosen to deem the evidence far from compelling.” Only because they refuse to look at the evidence. I am, even as I type this comment, in the midst of conversing with physicists who refuse to look at the evidence.

            So your contention is wrong. But I am glad. The more that they refuse to look at the evidence, the worse it will be for them when LENR becomes just too obvious to deny.

    • Bernie Koppenhofer

      If Krivit can write about LENR with a sixth grade science education and many believe he is a physics genius, Mr Whipple by comparison is over qualified.

  • Iggy Dalrymple

    Watch out, Mr Whipple! Remember how your daddy got in trouble for squeezing the

  • Chris I

    A Capella on the Sorry State of Modern Physics.

  • georgehants

    Could I suggest Admin put up Topics connected to Cold Fusion such as below, partly explaining why after 24 years science is still showing it-self to be incompetent and corrupt in many areas.
    We may then get some more comments that are worth reading.
    Could I just say that some comments, full of opinion being made out as if they are some kind of Facts, as on this page, are part of the reason why science and the World is in in such a sorry state.
    Would anybody like to discuss the merits of not following the Truth as best one can.
    The Guardian
    Science: the religion that must not be questioned
    Henry Gee: Scientific experiments don’t end with a Holy Grail so much as an estimate of probability. The Truth, with a capital T, is forever just beyond one’s grasp