A Language Upgrade Needed for LENR?
|June 3, 2013||Posted by Jack Cole under Uncategorized|
Right from the start, the field studying “cold fusion” has produced labels that have tended to increase skepticism among scientists. Personally, I can look past labels to realize that a real effect can exist behind potentially problematic labels. When we look at labeling a phenomena, we may take a few approaches. One approach is to apply an inferential label and another would be to apply a label descriptive of the known behavior of the system and its purpose.
Cold fusion is an inferential label implying that the process is known to be driven by fusion. There does seem to be evidence that this is indeed what is taking place, but the label evokes comparison’s with what is known from hot fusion research. The label Low Energy Nuclear Reactions suffers less from this tendency to compare with hot fusion, but it is still an inferential label implying that the mechanism is known to be nuclear.
At this stage in the game, I don’t think it is known for certain that the heat produced in LENR experiments is due to a known type of nuclear reaction. I might suggest a few more possibilities for naming the phenomenon that may cause less difficulty with acceptance.
NiMH-HPS – Nickel metal hydride-heat production system (a material and function name).
HPPI – Heat producing particle interactions (functional and inferential without the nuclear inference, but does not exclude nuclear possibilities).
Other labels used in the field are potentially problematic: excess heating and anomalous heating. The label of excess heating tends to evoke notions of over-unity devices and is not very precise. It may be better to refer to this as heat attributable to joule heating vs. metal hydride system heating. It is not magical “excess heat” but attributable to the metal hydride system. Additionally, the phrase “anomalous heat effect,” is problematic as the effect is now less “anomalous” and more expected under the right conditions. Again, “metal hydride system heat effect” may be more appropriate at this point.
In my opinion, the use of less inferential labels may facilitate broader study and acceptance and reduce resistance among patent authorities for the protection of intellectual property. Metal hydride systems are broadly accepted for their ability to store energy so it takes less of a mental leap to accept the notion that metal hydride systems can result in enhanced heating effects through material/particle interactions.
Serendipitous, Frank Acland of E-CatWorld.com just published a post in which he asked Andrea Rossi if the phrase Low Energy Nuclear Reactions applied to his system. Mr. Rossi’s response is interesting, and he feels that LENR may be appropriate, but not Cold Fusion or the Fleischmann Pons effect. He also feels the phrase “anomalous heat effect” is problematic.