Andrea Rossi has give an interesting reply on the Journal of Nuclear Physics to a question by Tom Conover who asked Rossi if he could disclose any more details, without revealing anything confidential, about his current work with the QuarkX, the current version of the E-Cat that is under development.
Here is Rossi’s response:
September 28, 2016 at 7:23 AM
I understand and sympathize with you.
The work we are making in this period with the QuarkX is a continuous measurement of these kinds: spectrometric, calorimetric, endurance, on/off timing, selection and testing of materials, production of materials that are not in commerce…all this not with a well defined calendar, apart a summary strategy of R&D: it is not classic music, it’s jazz: you start with an idea of the musical theme you are going to play on, then measure by measure notes arrive unexpected and you have to play with them. Another good model is the one of a military battle: you start with an idea of the strategy, but then the battlefield continues to change dynamically and you have to adapt your strategy to the new unexpected events that necessarily arrive.
We had a major problem, basically connected with the reliability and the safety of the apparatus, days ago, emerged after time, and I lacked the knowledge necessary to resolve the problem, so I asked help from a top level specialist I knew 5 years ago and he taught me the science necessary to go through the mud I was stuck in.
I cannot disclose the particulars, for obvious reasons, until the product will be duly protected.
Anyway: I’ll see what I will be able to do to not to be boring…
It’s an interesting comparison and implies that Rossi is dealing with a reaction that is fairly unpredictable and hard to control; control and stability is something that Rossi has been working on for years now. Now at the higher temperatures (over 1400 C) the QuarkX is operating at, there seem to be greater difficulties connected with the endurance of materials.
It’s not clear here whether Rossi is still ‘stuck in the mud’, but it does seem that he is still in the R&D stage, and describing the calendar as ‘undefined’ implies that there is still work to do before the QuarkX can be incorporated into a product.