Reply to post: Re: Transmutations are already here.

TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company

Michael Wojcik Silver badge

Re: Transmutations are already here.

there are many LENR and LENR+ researchers who do report transmutations, including ... Mike McKubre at SRI

Sigh.

From the 2004 DoD report "Report of the Review of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions", on which McKubre is the second author:

The hypothesis that excess energy production in electrolytic cells is due to low energy nuclear reactions was tested in some experiments by looking for D + D fusion reaction products, in particular 4He, normally produced in about 1 in 107 in hot D + D fusion reactions. Results reported in the review document purported to show that 4He was detected in five out of sixteen cases where electrolytic cells were reported to be producing excess heat. The detected 4He was typically very close to, but reportedly above background levels. This evidence was taken as convincing or somewhat convincing by some reviewers; for others the lack of consistency was an indication that the overall hypothesis was not justified.

Note: "close to, but reportedly above", "for others ... the overall hypothesis was not justified". Transmutation evidence thus far for LENR is not compelling. (And this is fusion transmutation; SHT is claiming fission, with O->H. O->H transmutation should release enough nucleon binding energy to make a nifty hole in the ground. I'm not going to bother to do the math, since I don't believe any of their numbers anyway, but 8MeV per oxygen atom adds up.)

Here in the world of real science - where people like McKubre work - the standard of evidence is a bit higher than that. Maybe there were fusion products that included transmuted elements. Jury's still out.

Being paradigm nimble is not easy

Man, Kuhn created a fascinating religion. Pity so few of his acolytes seem to actually understand his work. (And pity his work is so inherently flawed, but philosophy of science has always been pretty problematic. Take Kuhn plus Thagard's critique, add Latour and the SKS folks, a solid understanding of Bayesian reasoning, and a broad overview of the variety of unconscious fallacies documented by experimental psychology, and you might have a decent first approximation of scientific epistemology.)

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