Science in Society Archive

Science in Society #52 - Letters to the Editor

Science in Society 52

Sceptical about Rossi’s cold fusion demo

In Cold Fusion Ready for Commercial Production?  (SiS 51) you report Andrea Rossi’s claim to have demonstrated energy generation (heating of water) by cold fusion using nickel in an atmosphere of hydrogen, in the presence of a catalyst whose composition has not been revealed. It is suggested that nuclei of nickel capture protons from the hydrogen and are thereby transmuted into copper nuclei. Some of the copper isotopes are radioactive, emitting positrons, whose energy is presumably what would heat the water.

I am sceptical about this claim. One of the most abundant isotopes of nickel is nickel-60, which would be transmuted into copper-61, a radioactive isotope with a half-life of about 3 hours. One would expect this radioactivity to be easily detected in the spent fuel. Yet, according to the account given, no radioactivity at all was detected in the spent fuel. The most obvious interpretation of this (negative) observation is that, contrary to what was claimed, no nuclear reactions took place.

Another source of doubt about the claim is the mysterious catalyst, which makes me think of the `magic dust' that conjurers sometimes sprinkle on their cards to distract attention from the way the trick is done. The best way to convince sceptics like me would be to publish all the details so that other scientists can try the experiment for themselves. If they succeed in reproducing the effect, Andrea Rossi will be well on his way to a Nobel Prize.
Prof Oliver Penrose, Department of mathematics, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, UK

Membrane potential, bioelectromagnetism, & electromagnetic hazards

In the context of  Membrane Potential Rules (SiS 52), it is interesting to mention the work of G.W. Crile in 1926, A Bi-Polar Theory of Living Processes, which was on this very subject. It made a strong case for the electromagnetic basis of vital-force = defence system. In homeopathy, we already use electromagnetic therapy. Boyd of Glasgow (1946) and Abrams of the US (1930s) built machines that could read the signals and provide the matching remedy. Glad to see bioelectromagnetism making a comeback in more mainstream thinking.
Vaikunthanath das Kaviraj, Vice President, World Homoeopathic Association UK Chapter

Re Liquid Crystalline Morphogenetic Field and other articles in the series (SiS 52), what are the ramifications for the exposure to electromagnetic fields, and effects on the developing foetus?
Michael Primero, Director EMR Stop Pty Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho replies
I have pointed out for many years that the quantum coherent electrodynamic nature of life is what makes organisms extremely sensitive to electromagnetic fields. Evidence is accumulating on both cause and effect (although not everyone has connected the two). Brain damage and cancer risks from wireless phones (mobile and cordless) are now well-documented (see Wireless Phones and Brain Cancer, and other articles in the series, SiS 51). The developing embryo and foetus will be extra-sensitive. Years ago, we demonstrated in our laboratory that exposure of fruit fly embryos to static magnetic fields as well as alternating electromagnetic fields results in excess deaths and abnormalities, and the kinds of abnormalities were different, as one would expect them to be. There have been other studies on embryonic development in other species including birds, frogs, mice and rats. Among the most dramatic results (photographs provided) were published in 2010 by researchers at Kebangsaan University in Malaysia (Rosli Y et al, International Journal of Biological and Life Sciences 2010, 6, 3). They exposed pregnant female mice to low intensity EMFs of 1.2 mT or 0 mT (control sham exposure) for six hours per session, on gestation day 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15. They found 5.9 percent still births from abnormalities in the lungs and thorax in the EMF exposed compared to 2 percent in the controls; and over 70 percent of the surviving foetus in the EMF exposed group showed a spectrum of morphological abnormalities, including total absence of hind limbs (18 percent), incomplete fore and hind limb digit separation (25percent) and stumpy tail (12 percent). 

Fukushima fallout much larger than admitted

Regarding Fukushima Fallout , Professor Tatsuhiko Kodama, head of the Radioisotope Center at the University of Tokyo, has this to say: “When we research the radiation injury/sickness, we look at the total amount of radioactive materials. But there is no definite report from TEPCO or the Japanese government as to exactly how much radioactive materials have been released from Fukushima. So, using our knowledge base at the Radioisotope Center, we calculated. Based on the thermal output, it is 29.6 times the amount released by the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. In uranium equivalent, it is 20 Hiroshima bombs. What is more frightening is that whereas the radiation from a nuclear bomb will decrease to one-thousandth in one year, the radiation from a nuclear power plant will only decrease to one-tenth.  In other words, we should recognize from the start that just like Chernobyl, Fukushima I Nuke Plant has released radioactive materials equivalent in the amount to tens of nuclear bombs, and the resulting contamination is far worse than the contamination by a nuclear bomb.” For more updates, go to:
Arthur Jarrett, Newport-on-Tay, Fife, Scotland, UK

Scientists cannot ignore society and community

A Scientist's Earth Music (SiS 52) shows that our present society is very fragmented, and the concept of community living has gone forever. In the so called primitive society, people do not separate songs, dance, cultivation, rowing a boat, drawing a picture or other social activities; these are just part of life. There are several famous scientists who used to play musical instruments, and write popular articles as a pastime.  Albert Einstein was a serious violinist. In India, Satyen Bose (Boson particle, Bose Einstein theory) used to play a string instrument called esraj; and Jagadish Bose (inventor of radio) was a good popular writer. Scientists are a part of our society; they cannot ignore the society and community.
Anupam Paul, Agricultural Scientist, Kolkata, India

Z theory fascinating and thrilling

Fascinating and thrilling are the implications of Znidarsic genial contribution: a new theory of quantum reality that relates all the natural forces including gravity. Thank you Mae-Wan-Ho for the brilliant and thorough exposition integrating all the factors in the global equation: It is delightful to read through. I savoured every word including the specific equations, salivating for more to come. Appreciating the principle radii of the hydrogen atom (rx, equation 3) in understanding its principle energy levels, will enable human beings to harness better the over-abundant energy present on Earth, the Planet of water (H2O) and light (sun). As we dwell in the harmony of these equations, we discover intuitively that the solutions to our food and energy systems on Planet Earth have to come primordially from water-hydrogen and sun-light sources. At this point in time, it is fair to say: we hold this truth to be self-evident. Let us put our best minds to design simple methods of clean (complete cycle) energy systems (renewable, distributed) around the simple code: Return to the Ecological-Organic Garden. In this way we can produce abundant clean food and energy in order to regenerate human beings and Planet Earth, and achieve optimal sustainable development genuinely for humans and other species in this Planet.
Dr. Michael T. Clarjen-Arconada, Natural Health Methods Org, Sag Harbor, NY, USA

Article first published 16/11/11

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There are 2 comments on this article so far. Add your comment above.

Jerome Ravetz Comment left 17th November 2011 02:02:45
Why not tell the story of Daniel Schechtman, whose crazy theory of quasi-crystals brought disgrace on his research group, and was condemned even by the great maverick Linus Pauling. All the best - Jerry

Mae-Wan Ho Comment left 17th November 2011 02:02:53
Jerry, I already did that in the current issue. See Golden Mean wins Chemistry Nobel Prize! Regards, maewan