Michael McKubre Reviews the E-Cat Report

Dr. Michael McKubre is Director of the Energy Research Center of the Materials Research Laboratory at SRI International, and is well known and well respected in the LENR community. He has been over the years a champion of LENR and a strong proponent of research in the fieled and has decades of experience in experimentation and study in the field. Today in Infinite Energy magazine he has written a review of the recent Levi et. al. report of their study of the E-Cat.

McKubre’s conclusion about the test is a qualified thumbs up. He finds plenty of experimental and methodological issues to complain about, but also seems to give the report an overall passing grade.

Some points of concern for McKubre are — what he considers to be insufficient pre- and post- test calibration, incomplete calorimetry, lack of detail in describing key aspects of the test (such as the sampling of the fuel mix), and some minor errors in calculation and notation.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the review which provide his overall judgment of the report:

Is there evidence of excess heat? My impression is “Yes” (but see below). Is this evidence unambiguous? Not as presented. Is there evidence of nuclear transformation? Yes, very clearly, but questions remain to be answered (or, in some cases, asked). Do the heat and nuclear production correlate quantitatively? Yes, possibly. Is the report perfect? No, no report is perfect, but this one is imperfect in little ways and large. There is curious inattention to detail—surprising for a document as delayed, anticipated and important as this. When asked to provide a review (sight unseen) I agreed; this is important. But I also realized that unless the report was perfect in every detail, whatever I wrote would annoy somebody . . .

On the whole I am encouraged. Considerably more work is obviously needed to validate the adopted mode of calorimetry and support better sampling and testing. But we are given something we can sink our teeth into both experimentally and theoretically: testable fuel(s) to products(s) nuclear burn at temperatures that have practical, economic and social potential. These are exciting times and Rossi (and his sponsors) and the research team of Levi, Foschi, Höistad, Pettersson and Tegnér, as well as Hanno Essén, are to be commended for their tenacious pursuit of what at times must have seemed a thankless job. The world looks forward to more.

After reading all this, I feel like McKubre would have made a valuable member of the testing team — he seems to have a keen eye for detail and a thorough understanding of the requirements of rigorous experimental protocol.

  • Buck


    I think McKubre’s tone is a bit unusual . . . very casual and diplomatic about the results. Certainly he recognizes the importance of ITPR2.

    The insight that helps me to understand his tone is his consulting/testing work with Brillouin’s Robert Godes and the Brillouin reactor. Given the positive history and experiences with the Brillouin reactor, it is reasonable to assume McKubre is reviewing familiar territory when he read ITPR2. There is no reason to be fundamentally surprised by the results; he already has accepted that experimental results has turned physics upside down.

    In many ways, it is the exact same tone as Godes’s assessment of ITPR2.

    It was very enjoyable reading McKubre’s assessment. And I agree with you Frank, McKubre would be an excellent addition to the ITPR2 team.

    • Daniel Maris

      Well quite – he didn’t really declare his interest did he?

      • Tom59

        He had earlier tried to get in touch with Rossi, but no reply.

        • deleo77

          Darden has also invested in Brillouin. Certainly there must be a way for McKubre to get in touch with IH.

          • Curbina

            deleo77, can you point us to a source where we can see that Darden invested in Brillouin? That’s completely new for me.

          • Daniel Maris

            New for me too. I’d also like to see the source for that. 🙂

            Not impossible – Darden did reference checking out 2 or 3 LENR outfits if I recall correctly. So there may have been some minimal funding. But I expect he’s got all his LENR eggs in one basket now.

          • deleo77

            I am having trouble posting links here for some strange reason. But it was mentioned earlier this year that Darden invested in them. If you Google “Darden Brillouin” a site or two that mentions it should come up.

          • +1

      • Buck

        Not that I’m aware of. I can’t imagine Darden or Rossi, nor the ITPR2 experimental team, finding fault in the idea though.

  • Daniel Maris

    For me this is the important bit: “no report is perfect”. That goes for Einstein as well as Rossi.

    So, people should debate the report. If they disagree strongly with the way the report was conducted, let them say so. But don’t START with the assumption that there is fraud. Not when you have serious scientists from serious institutes of learning conducting the tests.

    I would like to add – if scientists had been open to the possibility of LENR, I think the whole debate over whether Rossi was a fraud or not would have been settled back in 2011, because big money would have been available to test the claims.

    The skep position is so narrow that it actually creates fertile ground for energy frauds in my view.

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Perhaps there is no sampling problem. I keep thinking about Ni(62) and as you can see below it drove me nuts again.
      As Bob Greenyer pointed out, the most stable nucleus there is is Ni(62). https://www.facebook.com/MartinFleischmannMemorialProject
      Perhaps the “rossion” that I can up with for April 1st, 2013 is real.
      When the core of Rossi’s E-Cat is heated (infrared photons), electron holes (+) (positively charged fermions from the valance band of the nickel) are created. These holes react with hydrides H(-) to form neutral bosons, I called rossions, H(+ -) (that are similar to ecitions). Because these rossions are bosons they can easily aggregate and undergo nuclear reactions with themselves. Perhaps these rossions aggregate to for the most stable nucleus there is Ni(62).

      62 H(-)(+) (rossion) > 64[H(-)(+)] (Bose gas) > Ni(62) + 28 e+

      But then again we see no 511 keV. So I’m probably full of crap.

      • Alan DeAngelis

        Pardon me,
        62 H(-)(+) (rossion) > 62[H(-)(+)] (Bose gas) > Ni(62) + 28 e+

        • Alan DeAngelis

          Back again. No brain no pain. I’m full of crap. The original nickel would still be there and there aren’t enough protons in the Li AlH4 to do the job.

          • Alan DeAngelis


            Perhaps the rossion (being neutral) enters the nickel nucleus and transmutes it.

            H(-)(+) (rossion) + N(61) > N(62)

            OK, enough. I’m going to shut up.

          • Andreas Moraitis

            You might get similar results with the „negatrons“ which were postulated by Peery & Attaie:


          • Alan DeAngelis

            Thanks for the link.

          • Alan DeAngelis


            After the rossion gets close enough to the nucleus for the strong interactions to take over one of its two electrons would have to be capture by the forming new nucleus while the other would drop off before the
            nuclei fuse (in order to have the correct mass for the product nucleus).

            H(-)(+) (rossion) + N(61) > N(62) + e (but not in a beta decay). 9.82 MeV

            Not very likely. Beginning to sounds too much like WLT which
            I’m not very found of.

      • Ophelia Rump

        It seems to me that all these physical transformations which you like to work with deal with discreet packets of energy required to be released during certain transformations.
        If this is all you deal with, then you can describe a transformation which is taking place very accurately. This is very appealing, almost hypnotic.

        The problem with this is that it cannot possibly describe the unknown source of energy which initiates the chain of events. It can only tell you how much was required, and it cannot even tell you if the initial energy was provided in the discreet units you model with.

        Even if you could model the entire sequence, I think the question would still remain, where did the energy come from which was required to overcome the forces which restrain this breakdown under normal conditions?

        You talk of breaking down coulomb barriers and then the equations require less energy for the transformations to occur, as if moving the barrier were somehow a free ride.

        I am fairly certain that there is no free ride permitted. Therefore there must be a compensating source of energy which initiates the events once you move the coulomb barrier. The barrier is not the water, it is the dam. So somthing very important is missing from your modeling. Please correct me if I am wrong here, I plead ignorance and I am found guilty as accused.

    • McKubre set the bar very high, as the skeptics and scientists he faced asked him.
      From his position I understand that the testers used industrial method (Jed report that it is common for engineers) but that it is not strict enough to be precise…
      and yes for most dihonest skeptic, any lack of precision cancel all the result , no less… this is the “hypercritical method” (too bad this term is pure french).

  • Ophelia Rump

    Michael McKubre is a man of extremely studied casualness.
    It is an important technical skill. He wields it like a two edged sword.
    Perhaps it is best that he is on the outside looking in. Who can say?

    I find it reassuring that this report has support from men of reason and renown. I find it almost as comforting that the report’s detractors have shown themselves to be hostile and emotional men of little or no interest in what they see at first site to be amazing.

  • Christopher Calder
    • Fortyniner

      Thanks – a good summary of the current ‘state of play’. You may be rather going out on a limb in the cases of DGT and SHT but I for one share your optimism in both cases.

    • mike

      Loved it. Do one of those articles a week please. 🙂

  • jrainearwills

    McKubre’s analyses of the latest report is excellent. I was able to follow what he said, but I am definitely not able to validate much of what he said. However, I am confident that his assertions demand an answer. He was extremely constructive, as far as criticisms go. I look forward to seeing more in depth, thorough research of this technology.

    • it is good and focus on non critical, but damaging weakness …
      anyway McKubre is used with paranoid calorimetry as he was forced to implement to face LENR skeptics (in vain).

      It seems the test was too anxious on the electric side, but missed some key sequence and measure on the calorimetry side.
      the calorimetry seems industrial grade (insufficient calibrations, , and the electric part seems overly paranoid (thanks the skeptics fear).

      from that, the report is enough for experienced industrial who can manage error bars and common sense, but not for skeptics who don’t accept any uncertainty, whatever is the size.

  • Mcdownunder

    Mckubre follows F&P wet electrolytic cold fusion style. To comment on Rossi work, Pinentelli is more suited. Mckubre and Godes commented negatively on Rossi, who is clearly a leader in dry Ni-H LENR field. They fired cheap shots at Rossi and now starting to regconize his work.

    • pelgrim108

      Did you mean Francesco Piantelli?

    • LCD

      I don’t think Godes or McKubre have fired cheap shots at Rossi. People who talk privately with them don’t say they say anything really negative about Rossi. They are definitely frustrated that they can’t buy and ecat and test it but I wouldn’t say cheap shot.

  • EEStorFanFibb

    McKubre wrote: Although highly interesting, this report has problems at several levels
    that render direct interpretation difficult or impossible without
    further information and clarification. This is a shame and undoubtedly a
    source of great frustration to the CMNS community.

    Yup, I agree. They blew it again. Maybe next year when the customer is known (hopefully) we’ll really have cause to celebrate.

    • Andrew

      McKubre is also on the board of directors with Brillouin a direct competitor to IH. If he was to smash the report it would do disservice to the LENR field and if he gives it praise he would have so explaining to do with the board. It was a very good answer to a difficult question for him to answer. In that context what I got from his review is that it was a good report with some sloppy errors and could have had more redundancy with the measurements. He even said he doesn’t know too much about the IR process that was utilized.


      • mike

        McKubre always seems to walk the fence. We need brave people to proclaim, not politicians being diplomatic. And McKubre should have recused himself. It really does seem like a conflict of interest to me.

      • McKubre anyway makes good point, even if it does not challenge the result qualitatively.

        his strongest argument is that the calibration was not done at target temperature, which may cause imprecision… but not 3.2 effect.

        his advices however are the one irrational stubborn skeptic and the fearfull followers would ask :
        – calibration at target temperature (hard point,seems impossible)
        – power measured at the reactor side (what the tester did at the plug point is to answer the skeptic who imagine fraud, not scientist who want precision)
        – control of the convection… maybe moving to an air flow calorimetry, or like he did himself a temperature stabilized system… very complex but precise

        what he ask would allow good precision, even if it is practically useless. it is however emotionally required , because I observe that most sceptic refuse to estimae the error that they raise, just saying it invalidate the test.

        this test seems not totally finished from McKubre point of view.
        it seems from vortex echo via jed, that this is however quite classic method in the industry for things like reactors piece…

    • Ophelia Rump

      How disappointing, you said you were never coming back yesterday.

      • EEStorFanFibb

        McKubre happens to be my favourite LENR guy. I failed to stay away from this seduction when I was tipped off he wrote a report about the paper. As someone who posts here constantly, all day everyday, I’m sure you can understand how hard it is control the urge to comment.

        Sorry to see that your such a religious fan boy/girl that you cant tolerate any legitimate ecat questioning/criticism without resorting to nasty and juvenile bullying.

        • Ophelia Rump

          Sure, whatever.

          • Gerrit

            I think there is no need for hostilities from both of you.

    • Bernie777

      He also said, ” no report is perfect”.

    • LCD

      Just make up your own mind EE, read the report and think for yourself. I’d be gone if I thought the report was garbage. It’s certainly perplexing. Also McKubre was not dissing the report he was more or less saying that if you want everybody else to believe it you have to clarify some things for us. Which we all expect they will.

  • Dick Hertz

    At this point I say forget the calorimitry. The key finding here is the transformation of the fuel, and as McKubre and many others have pointed out, the details of the fuel sampling and loading and the ash removal and sampling are absent.

    I think the problem, is that in academia, when studying a noncontroversial subject, you simply ask your colleague for samples of something and they give it to you. It wouldn’t occur to you to have an independent witness verify that they are not being dishonest.

    I work in the pharmaceutical industry, so I know what it’s like to have an agency like FDA (in America) scrutinizing your research, looking for detailed protocols, and sampling plans with witnesses. These provide some level of assurance that you did what you said you did and that you are not cheating.

    If I had my way, first I would like to see the details of exactly what happened during fuel loading and extraction and sampling of each. Then I would like to see a repeat of the experiment following a strict protocol for the fuel sampling, loading, ash removal and sampling. With independent witnesses who all understand and agree on the protocol prior to the test, strict chain of custody, and record video of execution of the protocol. Then run the reactors for 30 days, no calorimitry necessary, and test the samples. If you confirm the previous results, transformation of isotopes, then you have changed our understanding of physics.

    • Ophelia Rump

      That is a great idea. You should write up a formal protocol for the next reproduction or test.

    • Andreas Moraitis

      It is not likely that we will see a repeat of the test, at least not very soon. Rossi and his company are following the commercial route; establishing a new field of scientific research is not their primary goal. They will not give away their reactors or confidential information to anybody, which is absolutely comprehensible.
      What we will hopefully see is an independent replication of the effect that matches the usual standards: complete description of the setup, no black boxes, no “left out” measurements etc. The fact that the commercial players are forced to pursue a very cautious policy offers a chance for those who are not bound by business interests. One of the first candidates appears to be the Martin Fleischmann Memorial Project ( http://www.quantumheat.org/index.php/en ).They are also independent from inflexible academic structures and administrations.

  • mike

    I wouldn’t call that a misnomer. That is an old fashioned boo boo. 🙂

  • Bernie777

    I thought they video recorded the entire test?

  • Freethinker

    Sorry, for this exceedingly long post, but I have given this some consideration and I though I’d share.

    When I first started to look into LENR, to see if there was any validity to the claims of Rossi’s device – as he to me seem to be a fraud, back in the spring of 2011, Mike McKubre was one of those in the field that stuck out the most. The work of him and his team at SRI, was clearly on of the pillars in my conclusion that LENR is a real phenomenon.

    Hence, I have come to have much respect for him and his his opinions in this field. I find his review thorough, honest and of high quality.

    My take on the temperature measurements is as follows:

    The thermal imaging cameras used in the test work in the range 7.5-13 microns. For Al203 (sapphire/corundum), the material of the reactor, is opaque as transmission is virtually zero in that wavelength range. The material is however quite transparent in the visible domain, and near IR, up to about 6 micron, but that is not relevant for the thermal measurement of the reactor body.

    The emissivity of Al2O3 is critical for the the correct computations. In the test it appears as though they have trusted the innate ability of the camera to iteratively self adjust the emissivity. This is likely
    fine, and any mentioning of values in this regard seem to be about 0.7, which fit well with the only reference I found that have the emissivity plotted as a function of wavelength for Al2O2 in the operational interval of the camera. Later, when computing the energy, and applying the temperature the camera has yielded, they would use, or so I conjecture, the total normal emissivity, as given from their plot.

    Taking into account the emissivity calibration data presented in the report and the way the camera has self-adjusted the emissivity, that would give that the thermal image measurements of the reactor is OK, as far as I can understand.

    The Inconel cable, not really defined what quality was used, but looking at X750, it has a melting point range of 1393-1427C. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that it was this that was used. It is true that the average temperature the last 4 days was about 1411C. Likely there would have been moments of some high points, but we can only guess what those high values would be.

    So maybe the temperature is slightly off by some systematic error. The only thing that comes in mind is then the emissivity, as start values must be added. The camera will over-estimate the temperature if it thinks the emissivity is lower than it is, or so I conjecture.

    Save the complex convection model, the rods, the joule heating etc, the thermal measurements from the camera alone will be very much indicative to where we are heading. As a sanity check let’s look at the formula

    M= * * T^4

    If we ask the question, with the setup used, what temperature would 900W in input power give us, if it was a dummy – and not charge reactor.

    M1/M2=(*T1^4 – Tamb^4*)/
    *T1^4 – Tamb^4*)

    Using that we know that for the dummy we got 183 W (table 3) giving a temp of less than 450C on average (good enough for a sanity check). The in power in this case was 486 W.

    Assuming we use 900 W into the dummy, and assume the ratio between radiated power to input power is that same in both cases, one could estimate what the temperature could be in the 900 W case:

    T1=[ ((M1/M2**T2^4 – Tamb^4*) +
    Tamb^4*) / ] ^(¼)

    Tamb = 293.16K
    T2=723.16 K
    = 0.65
    = 0.50 (assumed)

    We would get a
    T1 = ((((900/486)*0.65*723.16^4 – 0.64*293.16^4) + 0.64*293.16^4)/0.50)^(¼) = 900K = 628C
    whereas with a loaded reactor we get 1400C, possibly to be corrected for some minor systematic error.

    Still, it is clear, by looking simply at the radiated power, that there is way much more power generated in the charged reactor case compared to a dummy equivalent.

    There is also McKubre’s issues with the really fast ramp-up of the temperature after the input power was increased. The heat conductivity does not vary notably between 1260C and 1400C, nor does the emissivity. So if there is a behaviour that seem unfit for blackbody radiation with increased temperature, it must be something intrinsic to the reactor core such that the response i very immediate in the reactor. It would have been very nice to have the data from the k-probe inside the

    Agreeing that it is unlikely that the input power measurements does suffer from any strange systematic issues, taking into account only the thermal camera temperatures of the reactor, there is sufficient evidence for a significant over-unity energy production. Adding to that the fact that
    the reactor has been running for 768 hours on 1g of fuel in that small reactor, it still give a energy density such that it can only be explained by a nuclear process of some kind.

    I find it refreshing that McKubre treat the isotopic reports at face value, giving critique on content and not disqualifying it because Rossi collected the ash.

    Finally, I conclude, that the last test report, indeed constitute sufficient evidence that ECAT works, more or less as claimed, as I am convinced that the previous report showed the same. The report does not constitute the landmark quality that I, and I guess everyone else here, hoped for, but sufficient evidence to accept, and move on.

    • bachcole

      I feel exactly the same way that you do about McKubre. I first started to believe in LENR thanks to Mike McKubre. And I loved your last two paragraphs. I skipped everything between the first three paragraphs and the last two. (:->)

      • Freethinker


        That’s OK, it was a lengthy comment.

        But if I may: The take away is that the temperature readings are not made on something that is transparent, as some critics claim.

        Also by playing with numbers some making a sanit check, for 900 W in the dummy setup, you do not get 1400C, like when you run it Rossi-style. There is a big diff. I pealed away all things with convection and joule heating and rods etc. Only the temperature. It is satisfying to me at least.

        • LCD

          yes alumina is known to cut off completely at 7.1um and the camera can see only from 7.5 to 13um according to the manufacturer.

          • bachcole

            Does this mean that the camera missed a lot of heat?

          • Freethinker

            No, it means that the reactor is not transparent in how the camera measure temperature, and the temperature registered is from the body of the reactor as it has been heated up, i.e. a black body.

    • LCD

      “The camera will over-estimate the temperature if it thinks the emissivity is lower than it is, or so I conjecture.”

      The camera will overestimate the temperature if it assigns a value of emissivity that is lower than what it really is. That is true. Just had to rephrase it.

      An assigned emissivity of 1 is the most conservative value.

    • LCD

      Well it’s landmark in the sense that for the first time ever we see alleged proof of transmutations with such high SNR, but definitely not landmark in the way they handled the samples.

    • LCD

      Freethinker what did you get for the emmisivity of the real reactor (on avg). That is what value did the testers use? Not sure from what you wrote. I certainly haven’t figured it out from the report.

      • Freethinker

        The emissivity used in the computation of the energy is likely the overall, or normal, emissivity (not sure on the definition). Se their plot1.

        As the camera work in 7.5-13 microns, the emissivity must be valid for that range (to map the levels correctly). I found one such graph in a finnish data collection, and apparently in Morrel 1987, there is such a graph for Al2O3. It does vary with temp, but not much, and an adopted value of 0.69-0.71, that is mentioned in the report in their discussion, seem to fit the bill OK as an average for that spectral interval. (Don’t understand why the emissivity of the caps are so different,0.79, as they are same material; could also be a source of minor systematic error). The camera is apparently capable of iteratively improving on what it consider emissivity for the object as it measures. As I understand it, they calibrate with the dummy and get the values in the table3.

        Those values, to my understanding, is what the camera use in the run. Again as the value of emissivity seem not to vary much in 7.5-13 microns with temperature, it should be fairly OK, but would give a small overestimation of the temperature when running in higher temps, the higher temp, the bigger the overestimation, as I see it. But we talk small values.

        I put some graphs here http://bit.ly/ZnsdEl that can help illustrate what I talk about.

        Does it make any sense?

        • LCD

          That value was adopted for the dummy. But what was the actual value used for 1400C. If it was low like their plot suggests i.e. 0.4 and it is higher because it was e.g. sintered then they will overestimate the temp. If it was indeed 0.7 that they used then they either estimated right or were a little conservative.

          I feel good at the moment that the Alumina is opaque to the heaters as far as the camera goes. The camera can’t see below 7um and the Alumina doesn’t transmit above 7um. All it sees is hotspots and coldspots. With this reasoning the heaters are blocking something hotter coming from deeper in the core.

          • Freethinker

            The 0.7 should be the value chosen for the wavelength range 7.5-13 microns to be used by the camera to find out the temperature. The value of 0.4 is what the literature gives for emissivity i a broader wavelength context (I have not tried to find the definition of the “normal” emissivity) to be used in computing the energy for the reactor black body using the Stefan-Boltzmann formula.

            The over estimation I am talking about is due to the variability (small!) of the emissivity of Al2O3 in the wavelength range 7.5-13 microns used by the camera. See the the graph (fig4) of Morell 1987 in my link.

            “With this reasoning the heaters are blocking something hotter coming from deeper in the core.”

            I assume you the mean in the visible range, in the pictures of the reactor in the report? Yes, I guess so.

      • Freethinker

        As you seem to interested to understand my points here, maybe I can throw another idea at you:

        There have been complaints on the fact that the reactor while running, in visual shine with a orange light.

        My take:

        Al2O3 in the form of Sapphire glass, obviously is transparent. It will too have the IR clobbering as we move to 6 microns. But in visual 150-6000 nm there is a transparency and the refractive index is to some extent dependent on wavelength, higher in blue, than in red.

        Now, the reactor is make out of sintered Al2O3, being made up by a huge amount of fused small granules of Al2O3. They have all kinds or orientations, all vompletely random, and the granules surfaces are rugged, and not clear.

        I suggest :

        The light from the core – as we have transparency, we see the core – is scattered in multiple, rugged granules, as blue light refract most, AND the refractive index is higher in blue, we get a redder image of what is going on inside the reactor.

        Again see http://bit.ly/ZnsdEl for illustrations of my point.

        • LCD

          This is what we see clearly at sunset. But the sintered particle sizes have to preferentially scatter the blue. Also that wouldn’t make it appear orange in all angles, mostly at normal incidence to the surface because the orange is shining through at normal incidence. From a more tangential perspective or at a larger angle it should look whiter.

          So I guess looking at the tube in the visible camera you should see orange with white borders. Do we see that?

          • Freethinker

            Sunset is one example to illustrate that refraction, yes.

            If you look at the sun you have limb darkening, as we are looking at a cylinder the path for the light will contain increasingly more granules as we near the top of the reactor or the bottom of the reactor. It will make us see less in those top/bottom “latitudes” of the curved reactor wall.

            Also consider, that refraction occur in every boundary between the granules. This means that even for the rays of normal incidence the photons will suffer multiple refractions, the blue so much more than the red.

            Wiens displacement law will give a peak wavelength for [email protected] microns and [email protected] microns. Now, Wiens displacement law goes for black bodies and there is no real telling about what the Ni powder is going through and what is the spectral distribution from the light leaving it.

            But for sake of argument, assume it behaves like a black body, then the peak will be in NIR, and paring that with successive refraction in multiple granules and increasing refraction index towards lower wavelengths, I would be very surprised if the light shining through would not be some orange/amber light, no matter at what angle you observe the reactor. In the pictures it seem to be so.

            I think I just managed to convince myself that this is they way it goes 😉

          • LCD

            You are talking about selective scattering in the visible. It doesn’t matter whether it’s reflection , <20%, or refraction 80%. The end result is scattering short wavelengths and not so much longer wavelengths. The net effect is you will see more red shine through at normal incidence.

            Also refraction won't absorb the shorter wavelengths so it's not like you won't see those wavelengths. They have to go somewhere. The net effect is a longer path length so there is some more absorption of blue but probably not that much. Also the index of refraction does not seem to change much between red and blue.

          • Freethinker

            🙂 No, no, you are obviously quite right that the light will not disappear. Also you are right that the refractive index does not change very much. But it does, and is adding to the effect.

            But you still you have refraction in multiple surfaces,, as the photon when leaving the reactor will have to pass a number of Al2O3 granules, with different optical axis orientation, with different sizes. Obviously the part that is reflected in each granule will also suffer scatter in similar way. The blue light will eventually, in some angle of observation, be seen but mush more diffused.

            If the core is treated as black body the maximum of the radiation will be in 1.7-1.9 microns, the amount of blue light flux will be several orders of magnitude lower than for the red light flux.

            I am just saying, if adding those things together, it is to me convincing that the light you will see will be orange, especially if one add the spectral sensitivity of the human eye. (not to mention the camera lens and color handling in the camera etc).

          • LCD

            Okay so there is a source of confusion. First I thought we were talking about somebody taking a look at it closely with their bare eyes. The camera is a different animal.

            The visible camera will be a great instrument for measuring photons and not really radiant power which of course might be the same across the red and blue wavelengths. But I completely agree with you on the blackbody curve assuming ideal etc. Yes blue and red are are going to be like 2-3 orders of mag different. That right there might be enough.

            The preferential scattering part requires knowledge of a the avg granule size and it has to correspond to more blue scattering.

            The refractive mixing would require that imo there is a larger difference in index of refraction but I don’t disagree with you that there would be some scattering although maybe it would be equally accross all wavelenths no?

            Take a look at page 25 figure 12b. A little bit of a white border on the left no?

          • Freethinker

            In figure 12 on the left there is a brighter patch. Cannot say if it is whiter or if it is just higher intensity light, because i do not know the settings of the camera. To me it appear to be same color but with higher brightness, perhaps this is due to some internal structure being inside the reactor.

            I agree that the mag difference in red vs blue is the most important factor. I also think that the multilayer refraction will tend to further dampen blue in the direction of normal incidence. I agree that the refractive index being larger in blue than i red is a small effect, but it still drive this in the same direction.

            To me, here in this context, scatter is an optical property of the granules, their ruggedness, and the multilayer character of the optical path. As such it will always have a wavelength dependence. Blue is refracted more than red.

            But again, this is in the details. I believe that the these things make the light highly diffuse and adding on the Planck curve we will see 2-3 mags more of red than blue, so the orange, diffuse light fits well with what is said here.

            What is important to note about the 0 transmission in 7.5-13 microns and the temperature insensitive emissivity curve in that range, is that the calibration of the temperature measurement should be OK, but may slightly overestimate at 1400C (a small amount).

            These two last paragraphs take care of the criticism of the photos 12a and b in the report as well as calibration of temp measurements when measuring the running reactor.

          • LCD

            I agree. I’m not really that worried about the color at this point. The temperature of the nickel does have me confused though. I can’t easily answer that one.

          • LCD

            If it is diffuse light then the color should change (more white) the closer your eye gets to the ecat.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Positrons are antimatter and would therefore be quickly destroyed. You would see a lot of gamma radiation. But the protons (H+ ions) could of course generate currents. It has been reported by a person who apparently had contacts to Rossi or his company that there are very strong electric currents in the E-Cat. Some of Rossi’s own statements point as well into this direction. I don’t think, however, that the currents are caused by induction heating. It is more likely that they are connected with the reaction itself. Actually they could be the main mechanism for heat production in the E-Cat. One could also expect the presence of strong magnetic fields – it is somewhat odd that the testers did not address this issue.

  • Freethinker

    Yes. Some hydrogen loaded Nickel likely played some role in creating that extra power…

    • LCD

      But freethinker if the temp is at 1400C on the outside what is the temp of the powder core. Has to be hotter no? That puts it way way above 1455C which is the melting point of Ni. The Ni should come out as one piece when the ecat was opened. How do you explain that?

      • Freethinker

        First off, the temperature in the core is regulated via feedback from the k-probe to the control box. It will likely newer exceed meting point temperature as such. (would be nice to have that k-probe data).

        Also when I reason, about the orange/amber color, I use the argument that the core behaves like a black body, but the real spectral energy distribution may be different in the core. Obviously there are melting taking place in the fuel, that is evident by looking at morphology of the ash compared to the initial fuel. That is likely due to the nuclear processes taking place in the NAE. Also, we are not privy to the inner details of the reactor itself, if there is yet another smaller pipe of a different material than Al2O3 containing the powder. To me that is likely. How does that pipe relate to a black body?

        Otherwise, heat conductivity, convective and radiative heating/cooling, etc is what goes into a thermal equilibrium. If the heat transfer is more efficient in the reactor to its inner wall, compared to the heat transfer by convection of the outer surface of the reactor, well then it seems reasonable that the outer surface temperature would be hotter than the core, as radiative cooling would have to increase. It is the radiative cooling that we are measuring with the thermal camera.

        • LCD

          Not sure I can see that.

          • Freethinker

            As always I write too much .. 🙂 Is it all I wrote? Or is it a specific bit?

          • LCD

            I’m not sure I can easily imagine the heat gradient being cooler in the middle than the outsides for a cylinder that generates heat from the inside.

        • Leonard Weinstein


          • Freethinker

            Care to elaborate?

          • LCD

            There is a high probability that the Ni powder is going to be hotter than the surface temperature of the outside of the cylinder which is either 1400C or close to it. That makes the powder likely to be at or above its melting point. The active area is so small that I don’t currently see how it would not be above its melting point.

            I’m not saying it is or isn’t I just don’t understand how the ecat functions internally and all the simple models lead me to a melted nickel powder.

          • Freethinker

            Yes, it is no doubt a minor enigma, as it has always been stated that the reaction would seize if the Ni powder melts.

            Also one should remember that the control box has a k-probe feedback, and likely the control system is setup as to not reach a too high global temperature of the powder – as it would melt and the reaction would stop. Nothing else here would make sense.

            However, there have been speculation if there might be some secondary, endothermic , reaction that is essential in the full scope of things, maybe to create free protons (H+).

            Maybe there are, or maybe there are not.
            Regardless, the question would be, can the core be cooler than the shell? Most here seem to say that it cannot, unless of course the outer shell temperature has a systematic error, an over estimation, which i believe could be possible as well (a small value perhaps max [email protected]).

            My speculation is that intense burst in some wavelengths (e.g. soft XRay, euv; Al2O3 seem to be opaque in euv), that is due to the nuclear reactions in the NAE, would heat up the outer shell in addition to the normal thermal heating. The shell absorbing the burst, and re-emitting slowly.

            The radiative cooling taking time, and new bursts coming and pumping the shell of the reactor. It would then find a thermal equilibrium, convection doing its best to cool, but most would be in the radiative part, which is in fact what we measure.

            It is not alone a black body stuck in the shell, there are an activity that via bursts of massive radiative transfer will heat the surroundings. The core may be more efficient in dissipate that energy, and it will give a small rise to the core temperature, some of that will add on in the thermal energy that also is absorbed by the shell.

            I do not see the problem with this approach. It is a matter how efficient the burst deposited energy is dissipated and how often reactions occur in the NAE’s. The core can be cooler than the shell, or so I conjecture.

            Feel free to punch a hole in my reasoning. Maybe I do need to get schooled. 🙂

          • LCD

            No I’ve thought about that but I just think that in thermal equilibrium it would have to be the same temperature or hotter at the core, not cooler. I can’t figure out what temperature the nickel powder would lose its structural integrity and be as good as melted. The highest temperature is about 1412C or so, so it’s possible that the Ni (which requires about 1455C at 1 bar to melt) is still structurally intact at ?? pressure. Nickel’s melting point does increase noticeably with pressure and copper even more.


          • Freethinker

            Ok, I’ll park that idea for a while. In space the radiative pressure can force surfaces to quite some temperatures. With reasoning similar to the one I described.

            You have a good ref to pressure deep Ni melting point? I can google, but if you have a link that is good, it may be better.

            However, It strikes me that the reactor contraption does not seem to be able to take too much pressure. But looks may be deceiving.

          • LCD

            I attached the reference link. It’s not very high resolution at low pressures but it does show an increased melting point…and we’re only talking a few tens of degrees and that would be enough to make me feel better.

          • Freethinker

            Ok. Yes I guess it would be just a fraction of a Kelvin or so, as those graph seem to cater more to people able to crank out GPa, which is a LOT of pressure.

            It does not sound so assuring to me, as that kind of temperature would not event stick out of the noise in the thermal readings. Sure you do not want to entertain the idea of bursts of euv or soft exray photons that through radiative transfer charge up the shell that it later irradiate, that at longer wavelengths? And the bursts pumping all the time? No?

            But what would happen to the melting point i strong electromagnetic fields? Could the micron size scale of the powder Ni change the melting point? Impurities? Again, some endothermic reaction that take place cooling the core a bit, and there is simply a systematic overestimation of the temperature (which means some over estimation of the COP)?

            All these questions … 😀

          • LCD

            I only found one iconel alloy that could really survive the highest test temperature (on page 17)


            Otherwise the iconel should have melted inside the ecat.

            I agree the case for higher Ni melting point with higher pressure is not very strong. The other problem though is that we don’t know at what pressure the core of the ecat is at.

          • LCD

            I think plot 5 does hint at possible bursts of energy but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Ni is really close to its melting point in equilibrium.

          • Freethinker

            That is true.

          • LCD

            So if the testers had raised the input power just a little bit more, (chances are that the feedback control would have prevented it from happening, but) the thing would have melted and shut down, do we agree?

          • Freethinker

            I agree so much that if the global temperature of the powder would exceed its melting point, it would melt and the reactor would stop working.

          • Freethinker

            On page 16 in that same document you find my candidate, Inconel X750, there appear to one numbered 751 too, both have 1393-1427C in melting point range.

            Rossis latest statement on the Inconel wire was that it was doped. It could be some enhancement that also increase the melting point somewhat, maybe even outside the specs in that document.

        • LCD

          I sent the report to Leonard Susskind to see what he thinks. No response, but then I don’t expect he will.

  • LCD

    simply because the testers had so much time to check and recheck and triple check their setup. What’s in the report is not everything.

  • LCD

    Has anybody tried this?


    I know nothing about it, seems to be quite old.

  • LCD

    Okay so you bypassed the coulomb barrier, but then you are back to 2 body hot particle physics so there has to be something else that prevents dangerous radiation (and now it seems prevents intermediate non-stable isotopes) from forming, even ones with long lifetimes.