Januayry 31, 2011
Issue #36


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2. Letters to the Editor

To the editor:

I have perused Issue 35 and could not help looking at your analysis of the SRI International HH experiment series data first.

Please take a look the figures in Attachment 1. This is a plot of the excess power and He4 detected for the Batch 2 Palladium scaled nearly the same as your graph. When I first looked at it, I could see that a reasonably good linear regression line could be fit to the excess mW data. Having done that, I tried the He4 data as well and, as I suspected, got a much poorer fit to a very noisy data set. There is not much data here, but both data sets show an increase over time. The excess power fit is the best, with the least scatter and a reasonable variance of .48 (R^2). The He4 data is very noisy, and my impression is that 1 ppbv was as low as they could measure.  Even with this limit, the linear fit intersects all but one of the data error bars. I believe that, when they stated 1 + or - 1 as an error estimate, they meant it, not 1 +- .5, which you have used.

Because their tabulated data included cell current that also varied over time, I decided to include this in a second plot: Please see Attachment 2. Because there is about an order of magnitude in scale between mA and mW, I switched to a log scale on the y-axis and shifted the He4 to a linear second y-axis. Again, linear fits to both the excess power and cell mA current show very similar slopes and variance degrees of fit. An increase in cell current usually led to an increase in excess power.

I agree with you that it is strange that, with so little data, any would have been thrown out. In addition, had they taken more care in the presentation, a stronger case could have been made for the quality of their data.

I do not agree that there are many uncorrelated fluctuations between He4 and excess mW. There is just one, the second pair. With the He4 production so close to their detection limit, you have to read through the noise and use the whole data set to find the trend of the data.

As a Marine geophysicist, I know all too well the difficulties of dealing with noisy data and the struggle to find what is there. They are working at the limits of detection. I believe ppb reads part per billion of He4. This is the level of precision that geophysicists have to measure gravity, so I am very aware of the difficulties of working at this level of accuracy.

Dave Prentiss
Nova Scotia, Canada


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