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  #11  
Old 04-22-2009, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Botany Bay View Post
I agree wholeheartedly. Just posted how I have heard the story behind cold fusion. If its real, then peer reviews will account for it sooner or later. Until then every report in news magazines or the world wide web should be taken with a grain of salt. Like all those stuff about antigravitation or the final breakthrough in the fight against cancer, you know the articles I mean.

By the way, "mainstream physics" loooooove the idea of cold fusion. Scientific scepticism and critique are not the same as vilification and ignorance.

Cold Fussion seems to be hype. Our current processes should be able to explain the phenomenon in some way but they don't. We aren't infaliable there maybe something we've missed but the experiment is vague and the ones that have done it are elusive.

I've never put much stock in the idea.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:19 PM
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Cold Fussion seems to be hype. Our current processes should be able to explain the phenomenon in some way but they don't. We aren't infaliable there maybe something we've missed but the experiment is vague and the ones that have done it are elusive.

I've never put much stock in the idea.
I would be very surprised if most people on this site could manage any better than a totally random guess on this subject. I work with a guy with a PHD in particle physics, trust me you can't pick this stuff up as a layperson.
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2009, 01:22 PM
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I wonder how the scientific community reacted to the writings of a physicits who worker in a patent office in Switzerland at the beginnign of the last century ...
Peer review bases journals are a nice invention for quality control; but tell you what, the best scientific stuff I have read in my life was not published in such journals. Perhaps because I have not read enough ... or because in economics researchers who think outside the box have a hard time publishing their ideas. No idea how the world of physics is, but peer review tends to limit the boundaries of a science.

Until now it is just a theory but just because mainstream physics does not like the idea, it does not have to be false.
The politics of publishing aside, I think the larger purpose of peer review is allowing the ability of independent confirmation and consistent recreation of the theory results under controlled conditions.

It's less about getting your paper in a leading journal, and much more about "here's how I did this, get the same stuff and you can reach the same results." That's crucial to scientific confirmation of theories, controversial or otherwise.

There should be no good reason for any scientist to claim a discovery and yet prevent peers from replicating the experiment to confirm the results. Even if the discovering scientist is right... if he/she is the only person on Earth who can achieve the desired results, then such a discovery is not of practical use to the rest of the planet.
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2009, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Scribbler View Post
I would be very surprised if most people on this site could manage any better than a totally random guess on this subject. I work with a guy with a PHD in particle physics, trust me you can't pick this stuff up as a layperson.
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I'm mostly self taught with the exception of my specified degree.
Exposure to everything makes one well rounded by I am no chemist.

That being said I do understand the forces that broker this universe in the sense of quantum physics.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:18 PM
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The theory of Cold Fusion proven.


(A bunch of fireflies in a jar).

The reason Cold Fusion is so unreliable:

(Because the morons keep forgetting to poke airholes in the jar lid).

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  #16  
Old 04-22-2009, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by MissionTrek08 View Post
The politics of publishing aside, I think the larger purpose of peer review is allowing the ability of independent confirmation and consistent recreation of the theory results under controlled conditions.

It's less about getting your paper in a leading journal, and much more about "here's how I did this, get the same stuff and you can reach the same results." That's crucial to scientific confirmation of theories, controversial or otherwise.

There should be no good reason for any scientist to claim a discovery and yet prevent peers from replicating the experiment to confirm the results. Even if the discovering scientist is right... if he/she is the only person on Earth who can achieve the desired results, then such a discovery is not of practical use to the rest of the planet.
OK, I have studied a social science so the procedure might be different in natural sciences, but in my discipline peer-reviewed journals have tight regulations and people who publish their empiral papers there have to limit the size of them such that you cannot even read all their results, not to mention replicating their data sets and estimations.
That's the one problem of peer review, the other is methodological mainstream. Do something unusual and you will have a hard time publishing your stuff in peer-reviewed journals, even when you get the Nobel prize for it twenty years later.

If I understood it correctly, cold fusion is just a theory to explain an empirical anomaly. Seems worth to investigate, even when the mainstream of physicists thinks that it is BS. Even the most unlikely chance to solve our energy problems forever is worth to go after.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
OK, I have studied a social science so the procedure might be different in natural sciences, but in my discipline peer-reviewed journals have tight regulations and people who publish their empiral papers there have to limit the size of them such that you cannot even read all their results, not to mention replicating their data sets and estimations.
That's the one problem of peer review, the other is methodological mainstream. Do something unusual and you will have a hard time publishing your stuff in peer-reviewed journals, even when you get the Nobel prize for it twenty years later.
There is a specific form that is followed in the natural sciences for paper, which just organizes the paper so that you separate the background information on the subject, the methods, the data, assumptions, interpretations of the data, and conclusions into separate distinct sections. Other things like size of the figures, color or black and white, number of permitted figures, text format, etc are kind of dependent on the specific journal. When I did my undergraduate research project and thesis in oceanography, everyone in the class was instructed to use the format guidelines from ASLO: Limnology and Oceanography. Some of the restrictions are really based on how much the author is willing to pay for things like color print. For the paper as a whole the author can be spending 50-75 dollars per page of text and even more for each figure depending on if any are color or black and white. Again within natural science and engineering it's pretty dependent on what venue you're trying to publish in. Some of them have length limitations while some don't necessarily have a solid cap. Most of the limitations that I've seen in terms of publications are really an artifact of printed media. E-journals are probably more forgiving and give the author additional options that otherwise would not be available in printed media. Some journals do offer to make parts of the paper that couldn't fit into the printed version available on their websites.
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Last edited by Akula2ssn : 04-22-2009 at 07:54 PM.
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  #18  
Old 04-22-2009, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Saquist View Post
I'm mostly self taught with the exception of my specified degree.
Exposure to everything makes one well rounded by I am no chemist.

That being said I do understand the forces that broker this universe in the sense of quantum physics.
Er..right. I like to think of myself as reasonably well rounded in terms of education but it's nonsensical to think you can just pick this stuff up and second guess people with doctorates. Are you seriously telling me that you can follow the mathematics involved in quantum physics? I suspect you don't know what you don't know.
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  #19  
Old 04-22-2009, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Scribbler View Post
I would be very surprised if most people on this site could manage any better than a totally random guess on this subject. I work with a guy with a PHD in particle physics, trust me you can't pick this stuff up as a layperson.
We are not Scotty.
Good point. I love this stuff, quantum mechanics, string theory, branes, multiverses, it's great stuff and I've read plenty of books on it aimed at people like me, the layman. For the most part much of it completely exists within mathematics and much of it is simply not testable in a real laboratory. You can read about it all you want, but truly understand it, it's in the math and I ended with calculus which falls a bit too short of the sort of stuff they're dealing with in unification theory. String theory equations, my God it's insane looking stuff. Whole pages of it just to express the idea of gravity at a subatomic level. It's one thing to comprehend it, quite a different thing to actually understand how it works, at least how the theory proposes it works.

As Rodney Mckay once said, "You have no idea how hard this stuff is, it makes string theory look like non-linear dynamics!"



Oh, also I'm not talking about cold fusion here, I'm talking about the most theoretical of theoretical, which cold fusion may delve into a little, but at least with what you guys are talking about here there is lab work. Physicists are doing something in a lab and trying to figure out the unknowns.
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Last edited by Livingston : 04-22-2009 at 10:04 PM.
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  #20  
Old 04-22-2009, 10:35 PM
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Good point. I love this stuff, quantum mechanics, string theory, branes, multiverses, it's great stuff and I've read plenty of books on it aimed at people like me, the layman. For the most part much of it completely exists within mathematics and much of it is simply not testable in a real laboratory. You can read about it all you want, but truly understand it, it's in the math and I ended with calculus which falls a bit too short of the sort of stuff they're dealing with in unification theory. String theory equations, my God it's insane looking stuff. Whole pages of it just to express the idea of gravity at a subatomic level. It's one thing to comprehend it, quite a different thing to actually understand how it works, at least how the theory proposes it works.

As Rodney Mckay once said, "You have no idea how hard this stuff is, it makes string theory look like non-linear dynamics!"

Oh, also I'm not talking about cold fusion here, I'm talking about the most theoretical of theoretical, which cold fusion may delve into a little, but at least with what you guys are talking about here there is lab work. Physicists are doing something in a lab and trying to figure out the unknowns.
Thanks so much for this post. I was a bit worried I was coming off as insulting to Saquist without meaning to be. You put this much better than me. I wish I could follow the maths on the level required to get inside these subjects. We live in strange times. Science is now such a big subject, a person can't just be a gentleman expert across four or five disciplines like they could be in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. It seems to me this is coupled with a perception in the media that the layman has all the common sense answers (usually starting with "it's simple...") - in other words the layman is the smart guy, the scientists could learn a thing or two etc.. No wonder there's even more of a disconnect between science and the public.

To me this feels a it like a cab driver lecturing a neurosurgeon on where he could improve his surgical techniques.

Last edited by Scribbler : 04-22-2009 at 10:39 PM.
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