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Background Facts on LENRs
- Low-energy nuclear reactions are represented by a significant body of research that has been published in mainstream peer-reviewed journals, presented at mainstream conferences and printed in mainstream scientific encyclopedias. Click on "About LENRs" from the New Energy Times menu.
- New Energy Times performed extensive reporting and videotaped documentation on the Rossi “Energy Catalyzer” topic in 2011. Click on "Andrea Rossi's E-Cat" from the New Energy Times Investigations menu.
- Rossi is not the first person to attempt to commercialize LENR. People have made such efforts throughout the history of the field. Click on "Commercial Index" from the New Energy Times left-hand menu.
Synopsis of Report #4: Rossi's NASA Failures
Andrea Rossi, an Italian man who claims to have invented a practical low-energy nuclear reaction device, will not have his device tested and evaluated by NASA. In the past year, Rossi has had mixed success in gaining support at two NASA laboratories: Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
April 19, 2011, Bologna, Italy: Andrea Rossi's E-Cat.
Photo courtesy Mats Lewan
On July 14, 2011, Rossi asked staff members at NASA Marshall to test and evaluate his device. Marshall staff accepted Rossi's offer. The two parties began negotiating details of the test protocol. NASA asked for a test that avoided phase change of water into steam because steam would introduce unnecessary confusion to the test. A few days later, Rossi withdrew his offer.
New Energy Times obtained this story as it took place; however, in an agreement with NASA, New Energy Times agreed to embargo the story until 2012.
On Sept. 5 and 6, a private demonstration of Rossi's device in Bologna, Italy, took place before a group of visitors: Jim Dunn, the former director of the NASA Northeast Regional Technology Transfer Center and a close associate of Dennis Bushnell, the chief scientist at NASA Langley; John Preston, a Boston investor; and at least one technical expert. The objective of this demonstration was to perform basic due diligence that, if passed, would lead to a second chance at a full-fledged test by NASA.
Despite the team's best efforts, its members were not able to confirm any excess heat from Rossi's device. The demonstrations on Sept. 5 and 6 both failed.
A distinctive part of this story is the difference between the attitudes of two key NASA staff members who have been involved - one at Marshall, the other at Langley. Both people have been enthusiastic about LENR and recognize its potential as a game-changer in the areas of energy and technology. Both know the 23-year history of real science that distinguishes LENR from "free energy" and from "cold fusion."
Dennis Bushnell, the chief scientist at Langley, has been a strong believer in Rossi and his "Energy Catalyzer" and has been publicly and uncritically promoting Rossi.
Michael A. Nelson, an engineer at Marshall who investigates low-energy nuclear reactions and space applications, has been more circumspect. Nelson has publicly identified the key technical concerns about the Rossi device.
Energy Catalyzer Failure, Recorded on Video
On June 14 and 15, 2011, I went to Bologna to film Rossi's device and interview him and his colleagues. When I arrived, I knew of no strong facts for or against his claim, though I was hoping for the best. We published our 200-page " Report #3: Scientific Analysis of Rossi, Focardi and Levi Claims" on July 30, 2011. It comprised scientific and technical analysis of Rossi's device by 20 qualified independent experts. Many were LENR enthusiasts; one was even a Marshall rocket scientist.
Sept. 5, 2011: Andrea Rossi and his colleague Sergio Focardi, retired physics professor from
the University of Bologna.
Photo by Jim Dunn, courtesy of NASA FOIA Administrator
A key aspect of many analyses in this report was the examination of the video of Rossi’s demonstration which I filmed in Bologna. Later, on Jan. 7, 2012, we also published a more concise analysis of the video in our article " The Failure of Rossi’s Energy Catalyzer, Caught on Video."
The analyses in our Report #3 show that the amount and rate of steam that was coming out of Rossi’s device didn’t match his claim of about 5,000 Watts - not by a long shot.
Instead, the steam coming out looked exactly like what you would expect to see coming out of a 1,000-Watt electric tea kettle. In fact, that’s about how much electricity was going into Rossi’s device. There is no ambiguity about the failure; all of the required data was available.
Here's the key fact that I learned only the day before I arrived in Bologna: When liquid water turns into vaporized water (steam), it expands volumetrically 1,600 times. And, because of this expansion, combined with the physical properties of the drain hose, the steam should have left the end of the hose at approximately 67 mph if his device was producing the amount of energy he claimed. But the rate of steam coming out of the hose looked more like gentle puffs of about 10 mph. (See Report #3 for calculations.)
I am certain that Rossi did not understand these engineering factors of steam when he demonstrated his device to me because, if he had, he immediately would have given me a reason the steam was coming out so slowly. But Rossi is neither a mechanical engineer nor a physicist. There is no reason that he should have known these facts from his training. His degree in chemical engineering may have been ineffective, too, because he got it from a diploma mill.
Rossi Seeks Third-Party Validation From Universities
Once I left Bologna, Rossi put things in high gear with his efforts to obtain validation from third parties, thereby creating credibility by association. Four days later (June 21), he signed the University of Bologna research agreement. The university had signed it several weeks earlier. After three more weeks, on July 6, Rossi offered to sell international licenses for rights to manufacture "products based on Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat invention" for € 40.5 million ($53 million) per factory, through his affiliate, Defkalion.
A week and a half later, Rossi was off to NASA Marshall to seek additional validation. His point of contact was Michael Nelson, a systems engineer who has been at NASA for 30 years. Nelson has experience in a wide variety of engineering disciplines. He has worked at NASA in the main propulsion group for the space shuttle as well as with the launch monitoring systems.
Photo courtesy NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
According to Nelson, Rossi contacted him several months earlier. A "free energy" blogger who had brought claims of anomalous energy devices to Nelson's attention in the past introduced Rossi and Nelson. Rossi had asked to visit NASA Marshall when he first made contact, but a meeting didn't take place until July.
Nelson, like many other people, had some misinformation about Rossi. Nelson believed, based on technology journalist Mats Lewan's story in Ny Teknik, that Rossi had an active contract with the University of Bologna and was paying the university to study his device. That was not true. Lewan consistently published information without fact-checking. The contract was never active, Rossi never made the first payment and the university canceled it and terminated its relationship with Rossi on Jan. 15, 2012. The university said that, if Rossi wanted to try again, it would be happy to work with him.
Nelson also thought that Rossi had a research agreement at Uppsala University. Assuming good faith, Nelson believed Rossi when he said he was funding the research out of his own pocket.
"He's paying for testing at two different universities now," Nelson wrote.
New Energy Times dispelled the Uppsala myth on July 12, 2011.
NASA Marshall Prepares for Rossi Visit
Nelson also had the impression, again from Lewan's articles, that Rossi's Greek/Cypriot affiliate, Praxen/Defkalion, had sunk a ton of money into developing Rossi’s devices. Nelson was expecting Alexandros Xanthoulis, a board member of Praxen/Defkalion, to attend the July 14 meeting at NASA.
"Alex is going to be here, and I have several questions for him since they have literally bet the farm on this," Nelson wrote to me. "I would like to talk to his engineers, but nobody is obligated to tell me anything. They may be sworn to secrecy with Rossi. I want to find that out, as well. What kind of relationship do the Greeks have with Rossi?”
But Alex did not bet the farm. The € 200 million, if it ever existed, belonged not to Praxen/Defkalion but, according to Lewan, to unidentified investors.
Before Rossi went to NASA, Nelson wrote to me and explained some of his concerns about the Rossi device.
"My biggest concern in trying to exercise any kind of collaboration with Rossi is the absence of any kind of independent replication," Nelson wrote. "Also, I have a copy of Rossi's U.S. patent application. In my opinion, his patent application is almost guaranteed to fail. I could be wrong, but the claims made in the patent go way over the top as to the potential output of one of his devices. And that is unfortunate because I'm afraid that will prohibit or extremely delay his acquisition of a U.S. patent."
Nelson was equally concerned about what he called the “air gap.” New Energy Times reader Mitch Randall, an accomplished inventor (Doppler on Wheels storm chaser trucks, for example), had independently explained this to me, though in different words. By July 13, I had Randall's diagram, and we published his analysis two week later, on July 30, 2011, in our "Report #3”:
The simple explanation of the "air gap" is that, if Rossi's device allowed for water (represented in the sketch below in blue) to flow out of the vertical pipe, along with steam (yellow), it would nullify Rossi's claim.
June 2011: Diagram of Possible Source of Error in Rossi’s Claims (Drawing: Mitch Randall)
"What people need to know about our forthcoming meeting with Rossi was that it was unsolicited by us," Nelson wrote. "I simply made a comment that I could convert heat to propulsion, and Rossi offered to come and talk to us. Rossi is paying for all of his travel expenses for this meeting as well as all of the people that are coming with him. The meeting is strictly a discussion. Rossi told me that he reserves his demonstrations now to potential customers of his factories. I told him that NASA has no interest in purchasing one of his factories."
"We will offer to test what he has if we can be assured that what he has is safe to operate. In my mind, a simple calorimeter test for a long enough time to exceed any known chemical process, with care to measure all inputs and outputs, would suffice.
“I intend to stress the issue of the abyss he has now created in terms of replication. I don't want to say that he has nothing if it can't be replicated, but there can be no science about what he has until it can be replicated. I don't care how many Nobel laureates sing its praises."
Only one Nobel Prize winner was promoting Rossi: 1973 physics Nobel laureate Brian Josephson.
On July 13, Rossi leaked the news of the forthcoming NASA meeting to one of his bloggers. I mentioned this to Nelson the same day. He was surprised because he and Rossi had made an agreement to remain quiet about the meeting. The news spread rapidly through the dozens of Rossi blog sites that NASA was going to test and presumably validate Rossi's device. Nelson wanted me to wait until after the July 14 meeting.
"You are welcome to know anything about our meeting once it is done here," Nelson wrote.
Rossi Seeks Validation From NASA
I spoke with Nelson on July 15, the day after the meeting. Here is a summary of our conversation:
• Rossi paid his own expenses to attend the meeting.
• Approximately 25 people comprising NASA staff, Rossi's business associates and outside contractors attended the meeting.
• There was no demonstration, only a discussion about Rossi's device.
• Rossi brought nothing with him to explain his device, no photos, diagrams or slide presentation.
Nelson spoke with me on July 15 at length about the meeting. However, he was concerned that the news of the meeting and the expected events in the following week might adversely affect the pending formal agreement with Rossi and the tentative test of his device. Nelson and I agreed to embargo the story until 2012.
Nelson told me about the general discussions with Rossi during the July 14 meeting.
"Anything can be said, and for every single question I asked, Rossi had an answer, a plausible answer," Nelson said. "But without having an actual device that we can look at ourselves, we're basically going on Rossi's word. We didn't learn anything new. It was everything you've already seen and heard, basically regurgitated back to us."
I asked Nelson whether he questioned Rossi about the air gap.
"Yes,” Nelson said. “I asked Rossi, 'How are you ensuring where your water level is? Do you have something that measures how much water you pump into the device?' Rossi's answer was that he has a flow controller on the pump. He also said he knows because he's done the test so many times. He knows how fast it turns on and how fast to run the flow.
"Although he gave me an answer, there's nothing in the device that's measuring where the surface of the water is, nothing that's keeping the surface at a specific point. All he does is turn the pump on to a specific flow rate, and that's how fast he runs the water through the system. I figure that, well, if it's all steady-state, I guess that could work."
Many of the attendees at the NASA Marshall meeting had not been following the Rossi story and knew very little about his device. Rossi brought no presentation materials with him, so someone who had been following the story suggested that Nelson display the video I shot on June 14.
"We showed the video that you made," Nelson said. "We had one fellow that raised a question and said, 'There's not enough steam coming out of that thing to unwrinkle my shirt!' I also made that point to my chief engineer.”
June 14, 2011, Bologna Italy: The small amount of steam was difficult to see. Giuseppe Levi,
a physics professor
with the University of Bologna and an associate of Rossi's, holds up a black t-shirt to show the puffs of steam
coming out of the black hose.
"We were planning on asking Rossi to test his device, and we figured he was going to resist and just walk away," Nelson said. "I kept wondering where the breaking point was going to be.
"I was thinking that the deal was probably going to fall flat. I figured he wasn't going to let us test it. I was planning on saying, 'Why don't you let us do this test for you?' But to my great surprise, it went in the opposite direction. I didn't even have to ask. He made the offer first.
"’I would like to come here and have you test my device,’" Rossi said.”
Nelson explained to Rossi that he must bear the costs of the test, which they estimated at $50,000.
"He's willing to pay for his own test, for us to do it," Nelson said.
"So then my chief engineer looked at the situation. He has no background on Rossi, but he said, 'Well, if this guy's willing to foot the bill and all he wants us to do is collect some data and give it back to him, then that's a no-brainer. We'll do it."
Rossi Drafts Deal With NASA
Nelson explained to me that NASA had therefore begun negotiations with Rossi and that drawing up a formal agreement would take about two weeks.
"We are negotiating," Nelson said. "I want a test that has water going in and water going out. I don't want any steam; I don't want phase change."
"I've got a team here that is set up to do a very rigorous test," Nelson said. “If it doesn't pass our test, it won't pass anywhere. He's really taking a big chance. We are going to run long enough so there is no shadow of a doubt. We're not going to do just a 12-hour or even a one-week test. I think when Rossi finds out we're really holding the line on it, I don't know that he's really going to go through with it. We're not playing around here."
I told Nelson that I had spoken with Hanno Essén earlier that day about the Rossi device. Essén is a theoretical physicist and a lecturer at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology.
On March 29, Essén went to Bologna, expenses paid by Rossi, to see Rossi's device in action. Also traveling with him was Sven Kullander, a professor emeritus at Uppsala University and chairman of the Swedish National Academy of Sciences Energy Committee. On April 3, they wrote a report endorsing Rossi's claim.
March 29, 2011, Bologna, Italy: Andrea Rossi demonstrates his E-Cat to Swedish
Sven Kullander and Hanno Essén. According to Rossi, the steam goes out the black hose.
Photo courtesy Giuseppe Levi.
I had asked Essén during the phone call whether he had been aware of the 1,600 times expansion rate of water to steam.
"I'd come across that before," Essén said, "I was aware of that."
"When you pulled the hose out of the wall and saw the steam, did you think about the expansion rate?" I asked Essén.
"No,” he said, “I must admit, I was thinking that I must check the water is not draining out. I had this vague feeling that the water inlet flow wasn't that fast, that the steam could be consistent with it, especially after some condensation in the hose. But we should have looked more into that, obviously, but there was not enough time."
Nelson was more prepared, as he wrote.
"We have a couple of steam experts here and special instrumentation and can measure the quality of the steam if we have to," Nelson said. "But I am pushing not to go with steam but to keep the system running below boiling point. But if Rossi is adamant about it, I'm going to require these kinds of tests.
"Additionally, the vent for the steam is going to be pointing up, not down. It is not going to run down the side of a table. It is going to run straight up to the ceiling, and then it will have instrumentation on it that will tell you what that steam quality is. We will be able to directly measure the content of the water. However, if that thing fills up with water and we have water running down the steam column, dripping onto the floor, then we're going to have a problem."
A day later, on July 15, Rossi wrote about the meeting on his blog in response to a question from one of his fans.
"Dear Martin, I am not authorized to give this information," Rossi wrote. "I can only say that there is really to learn. I met extremely high level scientists. I have been really surprised and honoured to discover that they have got indipendently throughly information about this technology. All I can say, so far, is that we will work together. Warm Regards, A.R."
During the next few days, Nelson and Rossi discussed the plans for the test so they could establish the formal agreement. One of the main points was the testing protocol. Nelson explicitly wanted to keep the system below boiling. Once the water turns to steam, the calorimetry becomes far more complicated, and mistakes or deception are that much harder to detect.
"If we can mutually agree on the test setup and it's no cost to the government, we are good to go," Nelson wrote. "So far, Rossi seems to be agreeable with my water-in to water-out request. No agreement has been signed yet, though. I've got to get a cost estimate established and the test details drafted next week. The test is very basic in my mind. Rossi still must decide if the price is right, and my management must agree to it. Hope is good as long as it’s not false hope."
Rossi Breaks Deal With NASA
By July 22, Nelson had completed drafting a test protocol, and the design included a control run. This would have been the first confirmed instance of a control experiment - a fundamental principle in science - with Rossi's device. One run would be Rossi's normal configuration with hydrogen; the control run would be with helium.
But on July 22, to Nelson’s surprise, Rossi withdrew his offer. Rossi told Nelson that he wasn't going to pay for the test, and Rossi made a counter-offer.
The rest of the conversation went like this, according to Nelson.
"Don't you have the money from Greece?" Nelson said.
"My business with Greece is none of your business," Rossi said. "If anybody wants to test my device, I want to be paid. If people want to test it, they can buy it for $15 million."
March 12, 20111: Image of Xanthi Times story about Greek Investor's World article about Praxen/Defkalion's news
Rossi stated that he required $15 million in an escrow account before he would permit a test. Nelson made it clear to Rossi that in no way was NASA going to pay Rossi anything. The pending deal was dead. Still, Nelson was not satisfied.
"I would like to do a test to resolve all this controversy," Nelson wrote.
By Aug. 1, Nelson knew that there was no active contract with the University of Bologna or Uppsala University. He knew there still had been no independent replication. He knew that one of his rocket scientists had performed an analysis on the available data and arrived at a very negative assessment of Rossi's device. Yet Rossi’s self-confidence inspired Nelson and many others to share that confidence.
"Our impression of Rossi is that he is not acting like a man that doesn’t have something,” Nelson wrote. "Exactly what he has, we still are not sure. But he seems certain that he has something."
Ugo Bardi, a professor of chemistry at the University of Florence who had watched the Rossi story from Italy, was less impressed. Bardi recognized something familiar, as he wrote to me in an e-mail.
“Typically, companies sign research or validation contracts either because they really want the university to do some work for them or because they want to capitalize – with a third party – on the prestige of being associated with the university," Bardi wrote. "In the latter case, they usually don’t pay anything to the university after they have cashed in with the third party they wanted to impress. It has happened to me: companies signing contracts with my research group, then quietly disappearing when it was time to pay.”
Within days, Rossi had succeeded in impressing a third party who had access to cash.
New Energy Times Publishes Report #3
On July 30, our Report #3: Scientific Analysis of Rossi, Focardi and Levi Claims published. We showed, using Rossi's own demonstration and own calculations, that his demonstration did not support his claim. We identified a precise explanation, as shown in the diagram above, for how Rossi's device, by design, was able to flush out water without vaporizing it.
Rossi said he was feeding in water and producing only steam. Only there wasn't much steam. So where did the water go? The obvious explanation was right in front of us the whole time: feed water into the copper chamber, run it through the black hose, down the table and into a hole in the wall.
June 14, 2011, Bologna, Italy: Four E-Cats in a row. Active device feeds water and steam into hole in wall or plastic bucket. Images: S.B. Krivit
Once the water enters the copper chamber, nobody sees it again; it disappears down the hole. If someone asks to see what's coming out of the hose, Rossi first dumps the water out of the last few feet, then pulls the hose out of the wall for a few seconds, then rushes to put it back in. Alternatively, Rossi provides a plastic blue bucket to catch the "steam."
The hard part for most people was to believe that anyone would be so audacious or so foolhardy as to attempt to pull off a stunt like this. But anybody who knows Rossi's history with his other two energy "innovations" knows that this behavior is entirely in his character.
July 30 represented a turning point. Many people concluded that Rossi was either a fraud or incompetent, or both. Other people continued to have confidence in Rossi, his device and his claim.
Rossi Seeks Money From Boston Investor
During Aug. 2-4, Rossi and his business associates met with investor John Preston of Quantum Energy Technologies in Boston, Mass.
A source who had direct contact with Preston told New Energy Times that Rossi had increased his asking price from $15 million to $150 million. Rossi and Preston developed an agreement and defined test parameters.
With NASA Marshall out of the picture, Bushnell, at Langley, and Jim Dunn, the former director of the NASA Northeast Regional Technology Transfer Center and now a private consultant, became more active.
On Aug. 8, a source who had direct contact with Preston told New Energy Times that Rossi was no longer interested in working with Marshall and was focusing on NASA Glenn. According to the source, Rossi had told people that he thought Marshall did not have the best tools for the job.
When I conveyed this information to Nelson, he confirmed that Langley was now in the picture, as well as Glenn Research Center.
"Both Glenn Research Center and Langley, I believe, have provided cost estimates for testing Rossi’s stuff," Nelson wrote. "I didn’t see Langley’s estimate, but I know our numbers are in line with Glenn’s. Geographically, Glenn is probably closer to [Rossi's American affiliate] Ampenergo than we are. But we are closer than Glenn to Rossi, who is located in Miami.
"I’m confident that all three centers have more than adequate resources for properly handling Rossi’s technology. After all, he just threw this together with a bunch of plumbers’ tools, right? I was not aware of any change in Rossi’s plans to have us test, and I have not confirmed any change with Rossi."
June 14, 2011, Bologna, Italy: Tools Used by Rossi's Plumber/Laboratory Technician - Photo: S.B. Krivit
The money was to flow like this: If Rossi could pass the Preston group's preliminary test, then Preston would pay Rossi his fee, Langley or Glenn would get some cash out of the deal and Rossi would allow NASA to perform a more in-depth test.
On Sept. 1, before any test took place, rumors were flying around the Internet that NASA had given Rossi an ultimatum: NASA had to verify Rossi's claim by Sept. 22. Only people at NASA knew the significance of the Sept. 22 date at this time.
Boston Investor Seeks Evidence From Rossi
On Sept. 5 and 6, Dunn, Preston and at least one other person in their party went to perform the due diligence tests on Rossi’s device.
Sept. 5, 2011, Bologna, Italy:
Left to right: unidentified, Andrea Rossi, Sergio Focardi, John Preston.
Photo by Jim Dunn, courtesy of NASA FOIA Administrator
They saw problems from the moment they arrived, according to one of the witnesses.
“Rossi changed the game totally,” the witness said, “the test plan, the device, everything. There was nothing there that we had agreed on. He had a 30-liter reservoir in there, and he wouldn’t even let us see what was in the box or weigh the box.”
The Sept. 5 demonstration was inconclusive; Rossi’s device sprang a leak. They came back the next day to try again.
During the visit, Rossi was making demands for his first progress payment. The deal had been that, if Rossi could demonstrate a device producing energy with no input for two hours, Preston would pay Rossi $500,000. Preston gave him nothing.
Remember what Rossi told Lewan on March 11, 2011.
"All the money spent up to now has been my money," Rossi wrote. "Furthermore, we are not searching for venture capital; we want to sell our energy, taking on us all the risks. We are paying for all the research and development activity; we are not asking money from anyone. Our customers pay money only after successful testing of our E-Cats. The money, in case of plant sales, remains in the customer's escrow account until successful testing is made. So any stupid trick could only damage ourselves, not the customers."
March 10, 2011 Headline from Mats Lewan story in Ny Teknik
On Sept. 6, the demonstration was inconclusive again because there was no outflow of steam or water. When Dunn asked Rossi whether his device had an internal reservoir, Rossi became enraged. Preston and his engineer(s) decided they had had seen enough and left at 11 in the morning. Dunn offered to come back in a few days to give Rossi time to fix the problem. Rossi, however, declined Dunn's offer and said he was “too busy.”
Thus, a second NASA door closed on Rossi.
The next day, Sept. 7, Mats Lewan showed up. As he told me later, he had no idea what transpired the two previous days. Lewan observed and filmed the new Rossi device. Remarkably, this time there was an outflow and, according to Lewan, excess heat.
An adviser to Preston told me that Rossi already had his next "potential customer" and met with him the next day, at noon on Sept. 8.
On Oct. 7, a month after Preston walked away, Ny Teknik reported that Rossi canceled the agreement with Preston.
“We had a preliminary agreement with a very important party in the U.S.,” Rossi said, “but when we received the final draft, it included conditions that our lawyers said that we should not accept.”
Lewan must have forgotten what Rossi told him on Aug. 7, 2011, after Rossi met with Preston the prior week.
"The launch will take place in the United States under an agreement that we signed last week with one of the most important entities of the USA," Rossi said.
NASA's Sept. 22 Deadline Explained
Now we learn why the Sept. 22 deadline was so important.
On Sept. 22, NASA conducted a LENR Innovation Forum workshop at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Central to the discussions were Rossi and his Energy Catalyzer. The organizers of the workshop did not announce it publicly. I got wind of it only a few days in advance.
On my request, they permitted me to listen in and watch the first hour over the Internet. Most of this time was used by NASA Langley scientist Joseph Zawodny. I recognized some of my own slides mixed into Zawodny's presentation. The meeting coordinators declined my request for copies of the slide presentations, but I was able to obtain them later through a FOIA request.
Here is our full index of the NASA slides:
Only Bushnell, Dunn and Nelson made significant references to Rossi in their presentations.
Nelson's Slide Presentation
In his Sept. 22 slides, Nelson explained that Rossi failed to show conclusively that his device produced excess heat from a nuclear energy source. According to Nelson, Rossi did not run his demonstration long enough to prove his extraordinary claim. In fact, none of the dozen demonstrations Rossi conducted ran long enough, with the exception of the 18-hour Feb. 10-11 test conducted by Levi. But as New Energy Times has reported, Levi provided no scientific report for that test and declined my request to see his data.
Nelson explained in his slides that Rossi “would need to run [his experiment] for eight hours or more with a small E-Cat and much longer for an Ottoman [Fat-Cat] to rule out a chemical reaction.”
According to Nelson, a valid test would take “three or more days for a small E-Cat, two or more weeks for an Ottoman [Fat-Cat] E-Cat and several months for a 1 MW plant.”
Sept. 22, 2011: Slide 12 from Nelson's Presentation at Glenn
On Oct. 6, Rossi ran a test that included a pre-heating phase for the first four hours and a heat-releasing phase for the next 3.5 hours.
On Oct. 11, Italian journalist Raymond Zreick of Focus magazine asked Rossi why he has always limited his tests to three hours.
" Why limit the duration of three hours? Why not push it to 30 or 300?" Zreick wrote. " A public test cannot last 30 or 300 hours," Rossi wrote. "As you have seen, we started at 9.30 and finished at midnight. More than that it is impossible to hold an audience."
Nelson devoted 20 of his slides, however, to the work of Francesco Piantelli, the pioneer of the nickel-hydrogen gas LENR method. We have a list of the Piantelli group’s papers, patent applications and related Ni-H LENR references at this Web page.
Dunn's Slide Presentation
Dunn spoke about and showed photos of Rossi and his experiment, but understanding what he said from looking at the slides is difficult. Also, many of the slides were redacted by the Freedom of Information Act officer.
Dunn’s final slide is an image of the proposed schematic for one of the Rossi devices.
Rossi device as depicted by Praxen/Defkalion
Bushnell's Slide Presentation
I was still listening in on the Glenn workshop by conference call, and I heard Bushnell speak about Rossi.
“We intend to core down on the Rossi stuff and find out what’s real and what’s not,” Bushnell said. “But Rossi’s business is hard to explain other than with some kind of LENR. The Rossi stuff is probably wholly Edisonian and not totally understood, which is an understatement. But we can probably understand it at some point.”
Dennis Bushnell - Photo courtesy of Aaron M. Cohen
I was mystified.
I was surprised to hear Bushnell tell the audience that NASA "intended to core down on the Rossi stuff" when a) Rossi had declined an ideal testing opportunity at Marshall and b) the due diligence efforts by Preston, Dunn and others flopped.
I did not understand why Bushnell thought that "Rossi’s business is hard to explain other than with some kind of LENR," when we had published a video of Rossi's experiment in June that showed it was a failure. I did not understand why Bushnell did not see that the system comprising the air gap, black hose and hole in the wall was an easy alternative explanation for the disappearance of the water going into Rossi's device.
Last, why didn’t Bushnell tell this audience the crucial details of what had happened on Sept. 5 and 6 in Bologna?
Instead, Bushnell, the chief scientist at NASA Langley, said that Rossi had performed many demonstrations in 2011 that were successful.
Sept. 22, 2011 - Excerpt of slide from Bushnell's presentation at NASA Glenn
According to the New Energy Times investigations, none of Rossi's demonstrations provided credible scientific evidence for the production of useful quantities of heat.
I had been in contact with Bushnell. I knew that he was very closely involved with the Preston group’s due diligence attempts. As soon as I heard Bushnell make this comment, I began to wonder whether he was going to tell the 30-person audience at the Sept. 22 Glenn meeting what happened on Sept. 5 and 6.
I sent an e-mail right away to researcher Joseph Zawodny of NASA Langley, who was at the meeting. I asked Zawodny whether Bushnell discussed the Sept. 5 and 6 events in Bologna during the workshop.
Zawodny wrote me back on Sept. 26.
"We had a detailed private briefing that covered all of these points," Zawodny wrote.
Contrasting Approaches: Bushnell Versus Nelson
Bushnell and Nelson both clearly see the potential of LENR.
Two weeks after my trip to Bologna, and a month before I published my Report #3, Nelson saw the vast potential of Rossi's claim, and he recognized the need for a scientific approach, as he wrote to me on June 30.
"If Rossi really has something, it's almost the equivalent of man's first discovery of fire," Nelson wrote. "It's head-spinning stuff. So it's good to have someone approach this whole story as you have, with a level head. Rossi's like Barnum and Bailey. He's good at putting on a show. But, we need some real data to get to the bottom of this story."
Byron New Energy
Bushnell seems to think Rossi has credible scientific support for all of his demonstrations. Yet all evidence is to the contrary.
Many people around the world who do not have the skills to assess the Rossi claim have relied on Bushnell's comments about Rossi.
Solihin Millin is a perfect example. He runs an organization in Australia called Byron New Energy Charitable Trust. On Jan. 13, 2012, he held an investors' meeting and began asking people for money for Rossi E-Cats. Millin's heavyweight reference for scientific credibility: Bushnell. (As we went to press, to our knowledge, Rossi had not denied any association with Millin.)
Nelson understood the problem, as he told me on June 15, 2011.
"LENR is another [energy] avenue. It's not just about Rossi," Nelson said, "If the Rossi thing doesn't happen, then maybe something else will. Hope is good as long as it’s not false hope. False hope is one of the most destructive kinds of forces in the LENR field. The sooner it is weeded out, the better for all."