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Focardi Interview Transcript Excerpts
Sergio Focardi Interview by Steven B. Krivit (June 14, 2011) x
Back to Andrea Rossi Energy Catalyzer Investigation Index
Focardi Video Interview Part 1
Focardi Video Interview Part 2
Focardi Video Interview Part 3

Focardi Explains Origins of Research

Krivit: Can you tell me your story with Andrea Rossi and the Energy Catalyzer? How did this begin for you?

Focardi (interpretation by Rossi): Three or three and a half years ago, I received a phone call from Rossi to speak together about a problem, and from the meeting that we had after the phone call, I understood that Rossi was bringing new ideas in the field and it was worthwhile to work together.

Krivit: What was your initial reaction? What was your first thought when he called you and he explained to you what he had?

Focardi (interpretation by Rossi): I understood that the problem of getting reactions had been resolved. Just from the first experiment that we made together, I understood the problems had been resolved.

Krivit: Now, when you say "problems," I know you have been working with the nickel-hydrogen system since 1993.

Focardi (interpretation by Rossi): I do not remember exactly when I began to make my research with nickel and hydrogen.

Krivit: When you thought the problems had been resolved, you mean the problems from the earlier research? Is that right?

Focardi (interpretation by Rossi): Yes.

Krivit: You worked on the nickel-hydrogen system for many years with Piantelli, and you had some success and some failure, yes?

Focardi (interpretation by Rossi): Yes.

Krivit: And this solution, this [new] progress, the problems that have been solved? Specifically, which problems are solved?

Focardi (interpretation by Rossi): The first and the most important problem that has been resolved has been the amount of energy that we have been able to produce. We had obtained some small amount of energy and not in a continuous way, but during our work, we could see that we have been able to produce big amounts of energy continuously and reliably.

Krivit: Large amounts, continuously, reliably.

Focardi (interpretation by Rossi): Yes.


Focardi Explains His Contribution to Rossi's Device
Focardi Interview Part 1 (7:55)

Krivit: What has been your contribution to [the Rossi] work?

Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader): I think the most important thing has been about the security. I always made recommendations to Rossi about the problem of neutrons [inaudible].

Rossi: He is saying that his main contribution has been in the safety issue. He always recommended to us and explained to us how to deal with the very important issue of the neutron emissions, which we did not have but which we anyway have to foresee and be prepared to deal with, and he explained to us all of the secrets of the art regarding the shielding from all the kind of radiations that we can have in these reactions.


Focardi Discusses Internal Pressure of Nuclear Reactor
Focardi Interview Part 1 (9:37)

Krivit: What about the pressure? Is that a concern? The pressure inside the chamber?

Focardi: No, it's no problem.

Rossi (to Krivit): No, because, he says, the walls of the reactor are designed to resist the [inaudible] pressure.

Krivit : OK, because I would think, you have a closed chamber --

Focardi: Yes.

Krivit: -- and you are creating heat, a lot of heat --

(Focardi nods in agreement.)

Krivit: -- maybe several hundred degrees Celsius. That must create a lot of pressure?

(Focardi nods in agreement.)

Rossi: Have you understood? (Hai Capito?)

Focardi : Yes (Si).

(Rossi interrupts Focardi to make sure he understands the question.)

Rossi (to Focardi): I'll translate. Because inside the cell there are several hundred degrees Celsius, obviously we create also very high pressure. That could also be a dangerous problem (that’s what [Krivit] said). (Traduco. Siccome noi abbiamo all’interno centinaia di gradi centigradi, ovviamente noi creiamo anche una pressione molto alta e quindi anche questo potrebbe essere un problema di pericolo (questo è quello che lui ha detto.))

Focardi: Yes, but we never had problems. Nor did we run any risk. Evidently, everything was correctly calculated. (Sì, ma noi non abbiamo mai avuto difficoltà evidentemente, né corso rischi. Evidentemente tutto era stato calcolato correttamente.)

Rossi: He is saying that we never had the problems, and he says, correctly, that evidently, the thickness of the walls has been designed properly to resist the pressures. I must emphasize that he does not know how the reactor is built, so the issue of pressure control was not an issue regarding his research.

Rossi (to Focardi): I explained that the problem of the reactor’s pressure concerns the planning of the reactor and therefore this was something that was outside of your design. (Ho spiegato che il problema della pressione del reattore riguarda la progettazione del reattore e che quindi questa era una cosa che esulava da quello che è stato il tuo disegno.)

[Comment by Krivit: Neither Rossi nor Focardi seems to have a clear, consistent understanding of the underlying nuclear process. Focardi said above that everything was correctly calculated, but Rossi said that Focardi did not know how the reactor was built. Either they lied and Focardi did know how the reactor was built and truly understood the underlying nuclear process, or Focardi was not speaking from his personal knowledge.

None of the Rossi-Focardi experiments had sensors to monitor pressure or temperature inside the internal chamber. Regardless, they regularly operated the device in the presence of the public without explosion safeguards. Therefore, there were three main possibilities for the significance of this fact:

1. The device worked as claimed, Rossi and Focardi completely understand how it worked, and they had thoroughly tested it and knew the safety margins for possible pressure-induced explosions.

2. The device worked as claimed, Rossi and Focardi didn't completely understand how it worked, they had not thoroughly tested it and they placed themselves and the public at great risk.

3. The device didn't work as claimed, and there was never any real danger.]


Focardi Explains His Objective for Jan. 14, 2011, Press Conference
Focardi Interview Part 2 (0:00)

Krivit : Engineer Rossi has said that you wanted to have the press conference you had in January, yes?

(Focardi looks puzzled.)

Krivit : Who wanted to have the press conference?

Rossi to Focardi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader): Si, lui ti sta chiedendo, quando noi abbiamo fatto la conferenza stampa, ehh, ehh, io allora avevo detto questa presentazione — questa pubblicazione è stata voluta soprattutto da Focardi e io sono, sono, sono stato contento di appoggiare, se tu ti ricordi che, ehh, abbiamo fatto la pubblicazione perchè era giusto — quindi io ho sempre detto questa è una cosa che io ho fatto in omaggio alla volontà di Focardi.

Rossi to Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : Yes, he’s asking, when we held the press conference, eh, eh, at that time I said this presentation — this publication was wanted mainly by Focardi, and I was happy to support, if you remember that, eh, we made the publication because it was right — so I always said this is a good thing that I made in tribute to Focardi's wish.

Focardi to Rossi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : Si, parli dell'articolo?

Focardi to Rossi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : Yes, are you talking about the article?

Rossi to Focardi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader): Parlo della conferenza stampa.

Rossi to Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : I’m talking about the press conference.

Focardi to Rossi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : (Stranito) Della conferenza stampa?

Focardi to Rossi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : (Puzzled) About the press conference?

Rossi to Focardi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : Della presentazione di Bologna che, che, che è stata diciamo sollecitata, da cosa io di buon grado ho detto va bene se — quindi lui ti sta chiedendo se questa presentazione del 14 è stata sollecitata, ehh, soprattutto, ehh, da te e, e io ti ho seguito.

Rossi to Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : About the press conference in Bologna that, that, that was, let’s say urged on (by you), from that, I said, willingly, that’s okay if — so he’s asking you if this press conference of 14th was urged on, eh, mainly, eh, by you , and I followed you.

Rossi to Focardi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader): Parzialmente! (Si sovrappongono) Tu eri d'accordo.

Rossi to Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : Partially! (They overlap) You agreed.

Rossi : He answered, 'Yes, I wanted it," and I [Rossi] agreed [with Focardi].

[Comment from a New Energy Times reader: Rossi avoided translating everything. He played with and changed the word “press conference” to “publication.” At the end of the question, Focardi answered, “Partially yes.” Rossi translated to English “Yes,” meaning that the answer to Krivit's question "Who wanted the press conference?" was Focardi. Instead, however, Focardi meant that they agreed that both Rossi and Focardi, together, wanted to do the press conference.]

Krivit : Why did you want to have the press conference?

Rossi to Focardi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader): Perchè si è voluta fare la conferenza stampa?

Rossi to Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : Why did we want to hold the press conference? [Note the "you" turned into "we."]

(Focardi is silent. Focardi shakes his head slightly.)

Rossi: Because —

Focardi to Rossi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : No le so.

Focardi to Rossi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : I don't know.

Rossi to Focardi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader): (Suggerisce) Perchè volevi pubblicare, perchè si voleva pubblicare.

Rossi to Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : (Prompting) Because you wanted to publish, because we wanted to publish.

Focardi to Rossi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : No, avevamo già scritto l'articolo eh! Io ho spinto anche per scrivere l'articolo.

Focardi to Rossi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : No, we already wrote the paper! I pushed also to write the paper.

Rossi to Focardi : Yes.

Rossi: He also has pushed to write the publication, also for the publication, has been my friend Sergio Focardi who wanted to make the publication

Krivit :Publication — you mean the press conference?

Rossi :(Partially overlapped by Focardi) No! Before the paper, exactly —

Focardi :— the paper

Rossi :— because the paper has been made about one year before, no, not one year but 8 or 10 months ago because the paper was made in February and the press conference has been made in October. So the paper was made 9 months before — and also for the paper he wanted, ehh, he pressed to make the publication and I, and I, and I followed and I followed so —

[Comment by Krivit: Rossi misspoke. The press conference was in January 2011, 11 months after they put their paper on Rossi's blog.]

Krivit : I did read somewhere that you said you were 70 years old and you wanted to see, you wanted to tell a little about this —

Rossi to Focardi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader): Sta dicendo che tu, che lui ha letto da qualche parte che, ehh, comprensibilmente tu eri ansioso di dimostrare l'importanza del tuo lavoro perchè avendo, lui dice, una certa età, avevi paura di perdere tempo.

Rossi to Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : He’s saying that you, that he read from somewhere that, understandably you were anxious to demonstrate the importance of your work because you have, he said, a certain age, you were afraid to lose time.

Focardi to Rossi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : Si, anche perchè la comunità scientifica, tipicamente fisici teorici, non credevano la possibilità di questo fenomeno. E secondo me, malgrado il nostro risultato, ce ne sono ancora molti che non ci credono.

Focardi to Rossi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : Yes, also because the scientific community, typically theoretical physicists, did not believe the possibility of this phenomenon. And, in my opinion, despite our result, there are still many who don’t believe.

Rossi :He says yes. He answered yes to the question that you put before, it is also the fact that he was anxious to demonstrate it and also because he wanted the time to rebate to all the skeptics around because he expected that there would have followed the battle after the publication etcetera. Because many people are still skeptical about the possibility to make the LENR and so he wanted to anticipate the battle to have all the necessary time to fight.

Rossi to Focardi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader): Hai capito cos'ho detto?

Rossi to Focardi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : Did you understand what I said?

Focardi to Rossi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : Si, si ho capito. Perchè nel mondo, molti gruppi hanno lavorato su questo problema.

Focardi to Rossi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : Yes, yes I understood. Because in the world, many groups have worked on this problem.

Rossi : In the world many groups have worked on this issue.

Focardi to Rossi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : Ma con l'eccezzione nostra e di pochi altri, hanno generalmente lavorato con il sistema palladio deuterio.

Focardi to Rossi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : But, with the exception of ourselves and few others, they usually have worked with the palladium/deuterium system.

Rossi : And mainly in all the world on the LENR they have worked with the electrolysis based on palladium cathode and platinum anode.

Focardi to Rossi (transcription by a New Energy Times reader) : Ehh, si, che non ha mai dato risultati.

Focardi to Rossi (interpreted by a New Energy Times reader) : Eh, yes, that [work] never did [produce] results.


Focardi's Theoretical Ideas
Focardi Interview Part 2 (7:07)

Krivit : Do you think it is more likely that a) a proton is entering the nucleus of the nickel or b) a neutron is entering the nucleus of the nickel or c) something else?

(Focardi understands the question and responds before hearing the translation from Rossi.)

Interpretation by a New Energy Times reader: It's more probable that a neutron is entering a nucleus. But in our case, we have protons entering the nucleus, as our results show.

Krivit : Let me see if I understood what you said. You said, more likely, you think what is happening is that a neutron is entering the nucleus.

(Focardi nods his head in agreement.)

Rossi to Krivit : No, he did not. Here is a problem in translation. He said, in general [but] not in our system, it is more likely that the neutron enters a nucleus because there are not the Coulombian barriers -

Focardi : Yes.

Rossi to Krivit : - but in our case, it appears that a proton enters a nucleus.

(Focardi affirms Rossi's explanation.)

[Comment by Krivit: Some background may be useful here. Rossi and Focardi proposed the idea that hydrogen and nickel protons were overcoming the Coulomb barrier at room temperature. Rossi was inconsistent. In January 2011, Rossi told me that he thought it was a weak-interaction process rather than a fusion process.

The theoretical problem with their claim of fusion begins with the fact that the probabilities of hydrogen-hydrogen fusion at room temperature are even less than deuterium-deuterium fusion at room temperature. This proposed miracle - overcoming the Coulomb barrier at room temperature - is the primary reason why scientists had trouble believing "cold fusion" discoverers Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischman in 1989. But Rossi and Focardi go even further than proposing hydrogen-hydrogen fusion. They propose that hydrogen-nickel fusion reactions are occurring. The probability of such reactions decreases even more from that of hydrogen-hydrogen fusion. See this information about nuclear binding energy to learn more.

What Rossi and Focardi say above is even more incredible: In the entire field of LENRs, neutron-capture processes are the more likely explanations for all the phenomena except their own. In their work, they say, protons are overcoming the Coulomb barrier at room temperature - in other words, "cold fusion."


Focardi Responds to Questions About Submitting Paper to Journals
Focardi Interview Part 3 (3:55)

Krivit to Focardi : Which journals did you submit your paper to?

Focardi : We submitted it to arXiv.

Krivit : Only arXiv?

Focardi : Yes. They did not accept it. They rejected it, saying that it was written improperly to be a scientific publication.

[Comment by Krivit: Focardi told the Italian media that he had submitted their manuscript to multiple real scientific journals and that it was rejected by all of them. According to Focardi, this was the reason he and Rossi independently published their paper in Rossi's Journal of Nuclear Physics. In fact, arXiv is not a journal; it is a pre-print server. They didn't submit their paper to any journal; they lied.]