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330) Validations and relying on authority

Ludwik Kowalski; 5/25/2007
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ, 07043

1) Trying to educate myself on the subject of “burden of proof,” I went to Google and found <>. Scrolling to “Science and other uses, I found this short paragraph: “The less reasonable a statement seems, the more proof it requires. The scientific consensus on cold fusion is a good example. The majority believes this can not really work, because believing that it would do so would force the alteration of a great many other beliefs about thermodynamics.” The author is wrong; validity of the laws of thermodynamics is not being challenged by cold fusion claims; it is a matter of using a new form of energy. In that respect cold fusion does not differ from fission already used to generate electric energy. The word ‘thermodynamics” should be replaced by “nuclear physics.”

2) A scientist who claims to discover something is expected to provide evidence for the validity of the claim. Other scientists evaluate the evidence and often challenge it in one way or another. That is how mistakes, when they exist, are discovered. A claim might be withdrawn, or additional evidence is provided before it is accepted. That is how things are supposed to work. Mother nature is not capricious; similar results are obtained when the same protocol is used in different laboratories. Suppose a controversy develops. Experimentalists from the camp A believe that pits are due to nuclear particles while experimentalists from the camp B believe that pits are due to a non-nuclear artifact, for example, a chemical effect. On whose shoulders is the burden of proof in this situation? We have two conflicting claims. The side A is expected to validate the nuclear claim and the side B is expected to validate the non-nuclear claim. The burden of proof is not on one side only.

Now consider a situation in which the team A claims to discover something potentially important and valuable while the rest of scientists, team B, prefers not to be involved. Those in team B say “it is not our claim and therefore it is not our obligation to show that the claim is not valid. The burden of proof is on A.” I tend to disagree. Scientists are serving society; most often society supports them in one way or another. Evaluation of claims made by recognized experts is expected from all qualified scientists, not only from those who announced a discovery.

3) Another issue, related to the controversies in science has to do with faith in what experts say and write. The ongoing controversy about global warming triggered a debate, among physics teachers, about reliance on experts. In my opinion, one has no choice but to rely on experts, especially in dealing with topics with which one is not sufficiently familiar. A good example is Colorado2 experiment, described in unit #300. A clear explanation with references was needed to convince readers that our measured excess heat could not be attributed to a chemical reaction. I was not able to produce such demonstration. That is why help from an electrochemist was sought. The paper was not submitted because the expected help did not materialize.

The issue of relying on authority should not be confused with the issue of who is the authority. Some people think that newspaper articles and market analysis brochures are written by knowledgeable people. But this is not always true. What follows is an example of a nonsensical report about a scientific claim made by an ignorant writer. (How do I know that the writer is ignorant? Because s/he did not realize that the iESi technology would violate the law of conservation of energy. If s/he did s/he would address the issue. And also because s/he writes kW/hr. At first I thought it was a typing error. But the same "typo" appeared twice. The unit implies that the quantity described is the rate of the rate of the use of energy. This would probably be noticed by many high school students. But the author is obviously not aware of this.)

Norwood Foundry, Innovative Energy Solutions agree to power up for clean energy facility.
Publication: Modern Casting
Date: Dec 2004
Subject: Internal combustion engine industry (Alliances and partnerships), Metal castings industry (Alliances and partnerships)
Location: United States

Norwood Foundry Ltd., Nisku, Alberta, Canada, and Innovative Energy Solutions Inc. (iESi), Las Vegas, entered into an agreement to begin the engineering, development and operation of iESi's first power generation plant utilizing iESi's clean energy technology. The new clean energy plant will enable Norwood Foundry, which employs 75, to generate six times (12 MW) more electricity than it consumes (2 MW).

iESi's technology will eliminate the need for fossil fuel-fired equipment, such as boilers, to generate super-heated steam required to drive turbines and generators to produce electricity. This will benefit Norwood, which currently uses induction furnaces to cast both ferrous and nonferrous green sand and nobake components.

The finished plant will apply iESi's clean energy technology to generate a power capacity of 12 MW/hr. for Norwood, which expects to market approximately 10 MW/hr. to external entities. The revenue created through the joint venture project is expected to exceed $6 million annually.

Under the joint venture, iESi will be responsible for the implementation of its technologies, while Norwood will finance the project. ACS Engineering, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has been retained to provide engineering, procurement and construction services to the project. The plant is slated to be fully operational by the third quarter of 2005.

"As one of the largest consumers of electricity in the Nisku area, the implementation of iESi technologies will allow us to save money and continue our leadership position in the metal casting industry," said Norwood Foundry Director Bart Dornan. "iESi technologies will help us realize incremental income on the surplus power we generate, while being environmentally responsible, since no greenhouse gases will be emitted."

As far as In know, it was a fraudulent claim. The company no longer exists and millions of dollars were lost by naive investors.

Appended on 7/27/07:
What follows is a piece, probably more than two years old, that I found quoted over the Internet. The author is a Canadian nuclear scientist who was working for iESi.

Whitepaper On Plasma Heat and Hydrogen Generator

By Dr. Norman L. Arrison

iESi has acquired the most significant technology of the 21st century through Dr. Hyunik Yang and his team from around the world. Their technology draws on the energy of the atom and converts that energy into useful energy in the form of heat in one device and the splitting of the water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen in another device. Dr. Yang's team has varied in size and composition over a ten year period of research. The consistent aspect of the team has been their international stature and dedication to hard work under the leadership of Dr. Hyunik Yang. Dr. Hyunik Yang is 47 years of age and has a distinguished record beginning with his B.Sc. in Engineering from Korea followed by his Ph.D. and post doctorate degrees at Columbia University in New York. He then had a successful career with Hyundai where he was contracted out to NASA and where he won the Eastman Kodak Award for the best paper and an ASME conference. Dr. Yang then went to Russia where he became a member of the Russian Academy of Science. With the distinguished scientists Dr. Yang had worked with, they decided to build a unit to produce power for mankind based on the energy in the atom.

The approach they used was brilliant. They used resonate harmonic frequencies to expose the nuclei of atoms so they could put the nuclei together to obtain the energy from the fused product. Their system is inexpensive, safe, and easy to operate and construct. The first plasma device will produce heat by taking water and converting it to steam. This device is expected to be working by late 2004 and an early prototype is already functioning. the early prototype produces 14 times the energy put into it and the final product is expected to produce 200 times the energy going into the unit. The second plasma device is expected in early 2005 and it will use it's energy to split the water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen. This device is already working in an old prototype which produces the hydrogen and oxygen and immediately recombines the two in a hot hydrogen and oxygen flame. The old hydrogen-oxygen device was the first proof that the team had successfully tapped the energy of the atom. It only produced 50% more energy out than went into the device but showed that the energy of the atom was being drawn upon.

iESi got control of this techology through the special relationsip which exists between Dr. [removed] and Mr. [removed] the founder of iESi. Mr. [removed] is married to a Korean attorney and through her got to know of Dr. [removed]'s work. Mr. [removed] was so fascinated with the techology that he helped Dr. Yang with his funding which up to that time had been carried by Dr. [removed] and his immediate family. Because of Mr. [removed]'s assistance for Dr. Yang's work, a close relationship blossomed which has resulted in the formation of iESi as it exists today. We at iESi feel very proud that we are the ones bringing this historical changing technology to the world. Plasma heat generation alone guarantees that the cost of electricity will be stable for all mankind. The hydrogen and oxygen producing technology guarantees a clean planet for humanity. the result is that iESi should be the most significant company of the 21st century.

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