Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Professor Clive Randall Follow Up

In a prior post, I mentioned that a reader had brought it to my attention that Clive Randall who is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University had expressed concerns about the information found in the eestor patents. I was able to speak with Prof Randall today. First, for the time being, he will take a pass on posting information here in regards to EEStor. Second, Prof Randall has reviewed portions of this blog and specifically comments on some of the posts. He believes that some of the persons who have posted comments laying out the scientific community's concerns with EEStor's claims, specifically as read in the patents are "bang on." To frame this appropriately, Prof Randall recognizes what may not be obvious to many, ie, that patents are not scientific articles with trappings such as peer review. But again, from Randall's view some of the commentators on this blog have laid out accurately what the challenges are for Weir and team from a scientific point of view.

We had a good conversation and covered related topics but Randall's views on anything other than the above will need to come from him unless he changes his mind. For the record, I politely as possible tried to repeatedly draw him into further discussion here. He understands that this is an open and ongoing invitation....which actually, since he declined is open to any and all.

I can appreciate Randall's situation and in general, anyone's apprehension with taking part in a blog forum such as this. I'm sure I share with many this similar apprehension.

But again, if you're a skeptic and think some information about EEStor is not receiving enough attention, don't be shy. contact me: eestorblog@gmail.com ....especially if you think you are the person Randall believes is "bang on."

66 comments:

steve said...
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steve said...

I guess Mr. Weir starting get the respect he desrves.

steve said...

I think it's kind of lame that the Professor wouldn't go on the record with his views while stating that nebulous board posters have illustrated the concerns of the scientific community.

That seems like a big cop out to me.

I don't know if it's true that the professor mocked EEstor in a previouslecture, but he sure doesn't seem to be mocking them now.

ricinro said...

EVERYTHING THAT WILL BE INVENTED HAS BEEN INVENTED!

Anything to add to this Clive?

Who wants to get remembered as the person who was certain the EESU could not work? The best experts are almost forced to have an open mind.
I would not press the good Prof. He probably has classes to teach soon and he may need to update his course!

OntarioInvestor said...

test.

Marcus said...
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Marcus said...

Steve when you rave and rant about hidden messages in press releases from his highness and genius Mr Weir, its enough to put most reasonable people off. Notice how quickly people stopped responding to your repeated efforts to discuss your crazy "potential" theory? You are getting so bad that occasionally we all just have to laugh at you. To your credit you provide some new information and take erroneous things back eventually but its usually after such a painful process that it really isn't worth arguing with you in the first place. Too bothersome for me and probably too bothersome for Prof Randall.

"Permittivity shmermitivvity... blah blah blah"

Well that about sums it up.

steve said...

Hey Marcus,

Kiss my tookus. You are a coward for needing to rely on other people.

Have some self respect.

I was right about the PR and the existence of prototypes. Confirmed by Mr. Weir today. Victory is sweet.

Manthan said...

seriously i have a headache from this.

all i care about is that

a) it works
b) its efficient
c) its safe

can anyone give me in English with some math/science on those things up there ^^^.

Marcus said...

Steve, remember even morons can win coin tosses.

steve said...

Marcus whined:

probably too bothersome for Prof Randall.

Yes, the esteemed Prof Randall, he who you cried out for incessantly to come here and hold your hand in the deep dark EEstor night.

Where is the false prophet of doom?

Hiding in the shadows not coming to your emotional rescue. Woe, the heartache.

Marcus said...

ps not to say I wasn't hoping for the same side of the coin you were hoping for Steve. You keep forgetting that.

steve said...

It was never a coin toss for me, man.

I made a decision to believe in Mr. Weir, trusted my research, my analysis, my gut and the facts.

It was never anything close to 50/50, not for me. And my posts reveal that level of confidence.

Marcus said...
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steve said...

I'm the wacko who said they had prototypes all along, you're the wacko who said they weren't there.

I put my faith in Weir, you put yours in Randall, who's hiding somewhere and suddenly not ridiculing EEstor any loinger.

Are you allergic to eggs, Marcus You seem edgy tonight.

Marcus said...

You forget Steve, I never had faith in anyone.

Its sadly ironic that you are so pro this apparent invention and yet you are so ignorant and negative of the scientific process that led to its discovery (if it is real). Any critical skepticism in your view is somehow anti- EEStor. I can only hope that one day you will understand that science - and therefore all technology that stems from it, is based on skepticism before published data. Being angry at people such as myself for maintaining a healthy skepticism works against the very kind of breakthrough you are so obsessed about.

steve said...

Marcus,

I was never worried about the scientific issues. Rules are meant to be broken. Barriers are meant to be overcome. The story for me was the level of expertise and the integrity of the players involved.

Weir had the goods for a long time. That became obvious to me quickly. Having the goods brought the right people and money to the cause, Zenn, KPBC, LIonel Liebman - Lockheed Maritn and I'm sure many more will follow.

If believing in these guys makes me ignorant, than I am guilty as charged. It's going to be one of the biggest American success stories of all time.

Peace be with you.

Y_Po said...
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Y_Po said...

Steve,
I am confused about prototype thing.
Weir in the phone interview with b pretty much admitted that they never had a working (with claimed specs) prototype.

Anonymous said...

Who is NELSON CARL WALTER?

Christine said...

Do single domain micron size particles of BaTiO3 exhibit the same permittivity and dielectric saturation as does bulk polycrystalline BaTiO3?

nekote said...
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nekote said...

NELSON CARL WALTER

listed as co-inventor

Y_Po said...
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Y_Po said...


Do single domain micron size particles of BaTiO3 exhibit the same permittivity and dielectric saturation as does bulk polycrystalline BaTiO3?

Well, answer is yes, but don't think you can get far with mixing BT with something else.

Christine said...

Can you give a reference for that?

Christine said...

What is the physical mechanism for dielectric saturation?

Christine said...

In bulk polycrystalline BaTiO3, why does the disorganization at the grain boundaries not cause the bulk material to follow the rule of mixtures? Obviously the grain boundaries are a non dielectric phase.

Christine said...

Do all perovskite dielectric materials exhibit dielectric saturation?

Y_Po said...


Do all perovskite dielectric materials exhibit dielectric saturation?

Yes, every dielectric saturates, otherwise we would have been driving electric cars already.

Christine said...

Not specific enough. Are all perovskite dielectrics also of the class of materials called Ferroelectrics? What material is an example of a linear dielectric?

Y_Po said...


Not specific enough. Are all perovskite dielectrics also of the class of materials called Ferroelectrics? What material is an example of a linear dielectric?

How could I be more specific? How does classification can change the outcome ?
Well, perovskite are ferro-electrics.
Liner dielectrics? low-k dielectrics are linear, but only because nonlinearity is reached at extremely large voltage.

Christine said...

So all Ferroelectrics are nonlinear dielectrics. Can you comment on why bulk polycrystalline Ferroelectrics do not follow the rule of mixtures? Or do they?

Y_Po said...


So all Ferroelectrics are nonlinear dielectrics. Can you comment on why bulk polycrystalline Ferroelectrics do not follow the rule of mixtures? Or do they?

Why would it follow this "rule" ? You mix stuff with the same stuff :)

Christine said...

But the disorder at the grain boundaries renders a different non dielectric phase. Therefore it must follow the rule of mixtures. I would propose that the permittivity of a micron size single domain of BaTiO3 is much higher than the polycrystalline bulk. Maybe as much as two orders of magnitude higher. Call it a nano effect. Surely someone must have measured permittivity of a single crystal.

Y_Po said...
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Y_Po said...

So, what exactly are you trying to prove?
that smaller grains will give higher permittivity ? Even if it were true it would make the whole thing worse, because it would saturate faster and result in lower energy density.

BTW: I am pretty sure domains are much smaller than 1 micron. Not that it matters much

Christine said...

So I saw your next comment before you deleted it. In unadulterated BaTiO3 sintered at 1200 C, single domains can be large enough to easily see with the eye. You can suppress grain growth with additives, for example Nb.

Christine said...

So we still haven't answered what the physical mechanism for dielectric saturation is. I think this is important and I suspect that in a single domain micron size crystal that dielectric saturation and dielectric saturation will occur at the same point.

Y_Po said...


In unadulterated BaTiO3 sintered at 1200 C, single domains can be large enough to easily see with the eye. You can suppress grain growth with additives, for example Nb

What exactly do you call "domain" here ?


So we still haven't answered what the physical mechanism for dielectric saturation is.

Well, You have not asked it yet. I answered this question in other thread "Beyond Permitivity"

Christine said...

So what I am trying to understand is if there exist a mechanism by which EEStor and other preeminent scientist can both be right.
I find it extremely hard to believe that Dr Weir would spend an entire lifetime building credibility and a brilliant career to throw it all away near the end. People in his position tend to be very conservative just like science is very conservative.

Y_Po said...

What do you know about his "brilliant" career?

And no, they can't be both right, and it is not even "both" it is more like Weir against all the relevant scientists.

Christine said...

A domain can be a single crystal or have multiple crystals that are highly oriented. In one micron size particles you would be hard pressed to find multiple crystals.
So I did ask the question as to what is the physical mechanism for dielectric saturation. I do not think I have seen a satisfactory answer yet anywhere.
I have an opinion.

Marcus said...

So Weir has a doctorate?

Y_Po said...


A domain can be a single crystal or have multiple crystals that are highly oriented. In one micron size particles you would be hard pressed to find multiple crystals.


You are way way way way way off.

Marcus said...

christine perhaps I can point you to the previous discussion on the theoretical bounds of energy storage.

See about 4/5 of the way down this page.

http://bariumtitanate.blogspot.com/2008/07/eestor-beyond-permittivity.html

Christine said...

You are way way way way way off.

Uh, No I am not.

Y_Po said...
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Y_Po said...


You are way way way way way off.

Uh, No I am not.

You mean just "off" ?
It is still off :)

Marcus said...

While you two are trying to guess what each other is talking about I will mention that there are a number of papers documenting permittivity differences due to grain size.

Y_Po said...
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Y_Po said...


While you two are trying to guess what each other is talking about I will mention that there are a number of papers documenting permittivity differences due to grain size.

I already commented it:
1. does not help a bit
2. Probably has nothing to do with grain size itself but more with the way film turns out for different grain size.

Christine said...

Marcus, am assuming that you mean Mihkel post. Very good and you can get all of this in 3rd quarter engineering physics. Why don't you go back and read it again and this time substitute word effective for actual and think about what the difference is.

I did my Masters and my PhD on perovskite single domain materials. Are you telling me that I failed?

I am going to sign off now. Still waiting for an explanation of the physical meaning of dielectric saturation.

Marcus said...

Y_Po, did I do that?

Sorry for trying to help.

Y_Po said...


I did my Masters and my PhD on perovskite single domain materials. Are you telling me that I failed?

Well, lets see, you have no clue what "domain" is..... So Yes, you badly failed (in reality you don't have any experience with ferro-electrics)

Anonymous said...

The wikipedia discussion page on Eestor contains a new comment which might be relevant to this discussion. Go have a look for yourself but the main relevant extract is:

"If the method for calculating the change in capacitance due to the Alumina and PET given in the above para were correct, the eestor cells would be roughly equivalent in capacitance to the capacitance of a 20-30nm film of PET. This is orders of magnitude lower than they claim. They'd have to be incompetent to try to build something that worked this way, and they'd have to have filed fraudulent patents and obtained their outside investments fraudulently (the world patent contains experimental results of measurements of the capacitance of the devices they've produced). I expect they're not idiots, and the patent demonstrates a better working knowledge of the subject than I, for one, have. I believe the error in the para above is that it assumes that the PET and alumina form their own films above/below the layer of BT. But the patent is very explicit that the capacitors are compressed at 100 bar (about 1500 psi) at 180C for 45 minutes after screen printing. The bulk properties of the dielectric produced by this method won't just be a 'capacitors in series' product of the constituents (as above para assumes). The breakdown voltage of thin films of BT is highly dependent on film quality; very small pinholes in the BT are the usual breakdown initiation sites, along with areas of lower than desired film thickness. I believe that the point of EEstors technique is that under heat and pressure, the alumina and PET will mobilise to create a dielectric matrix with a very uniform thickness and no pinholes. We would expect this to give a capacitance less than the pure BT (12% lower, as they claim, sounds believable to me) but with much improved breakdown characteristics. I wish I'd thought of this."

Make any sense?

Marcus said...
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Anonymous said...

My uneducated guess is that the barium titanate does break down, but the dialectric does not, because the electrons bunch up against one side of their alumina shells. Electrons move a lot farther in this model than they do when confined to a single atom, allowing greater energy storage.

mrjerry said...

for the SME
has certified, can have a voltage breakdown of 1,100 volts per micron. The target working voltage of EEStor's chemical processes is at 350 volts per micron. This provides the potential for excellent protection from voltage breakdown.

I understand know one else has accomplished such votage per micron in fact reading from others the largest votage per micorn he has (see below) seen is 120v. So doesn't this give credibility to richard weir, if he done this, and no one else has, he in an area know one else has been.

Re: Re: EEStor update: Is there a materials engineer in the house?
by Anonymous on Tue 29 Jul 2008 03:40 PM EDT | Permanent Link
I can say this: while we're all disappointed about the lack of an announcement about permittivity... those dielectric breakdown numbers are freaking huge. Typical plastics are about 30V/um. When I build a Wimshurst machine, I used HDPE because it got around 50V/um. The thinner your layers, the better the dielectric breakdown strength; the best I've heard of was around 120V/um for 2 mil LDPE. But 1,100? Yow! Shows the importance of tiny layers and high purity powders, ne?

OntarioInvestor said...

I really don't understand all the people on here that are speculating about the science working...both for and against. EEstor has repeatly said there are additional patents that hold the key. Again, why release them until you reach commercialization...to please a few day traders that they have no responsibility to.

i am not going to restate why i think the tech works, as i have in previous posts, but i can attest to some institutional buy in today causing the price to go up. I have talked to a few friends at a couple of the "Big 5" Canandian Banks"..and there are a couple of sci&tech funds that have taken positions.........Due to the fact that there aren't really that many shares outstanding, it causes the price to fluxuate up considerably.

What i would encourage is people that are selling the shares, is to sell them at "limit prices" 15c to 25c higher than the current "last price". What institutional investors love to do is wait for people to sell at market price, then they buy in a large volume getting the price to move lower. Trust me you will get your order filled. There really is a very limited number of shares that are out there, and they want to take positions of certain percentages of their funds. The other good thing to note is that mutual/pension funds usually piggy back off one anothers investment choices, so look for continued run-up over the next couple of months.

Y-Po....on Wier being Hitler, grow up. I mean i am all about healthy skepticism, but it is sounding more and more like you are disgruntled that an engineer came along and possibly came up with a great discovery in your field right under your nose. Or the other possiblity, is maybe you work for an oil or car company, and know you will be out of a job in the near future...or the most likely possibility...you don't work for anyone at all judging by the frequency of your responses, and just like to argue.

I personally am glad Wier is working on building a company, and not trying to satisfy day traders that he really doesn't give a rat's a_ss about to begin with. His investors are reputable company's and engineers, and have stated with their pocketbooks that they believe.

Marcus said...

We comment on the science because for quite a few of us here that is just as if not more interesting than talking shares or speculating on hearsay. Remember this whole thing is either about a scientific discovery or a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Hey Aaron, go tell your buddy Yi Cui that he has a nice idea, but it's going to be a day late and a dollar short. Too bad, nice development that would have made him a millionaire if he came up with it 10 years ago. Every time he starts up his EESU powered car he can think about that.

johng said...

Christine

Welcome to this discussion, it is nice to have someone with your background.

Dont get discouraged, there are a lot of emotional as well as scientific opinions, it is good practice for separating the wheat from the chaff.

Marcus said...

I am glad you are back johng. Any comments on zawy's thoughts on the latest press release?

Marcus said...

In fact there was a somewhat useful discussion between Y_Po and zawy you might be interested at the end of the "Richard Weir on EEStor's announcement" post.

ultra said...

steve,

You say that prototypes do exist? I'm unable to confirm. Please explain.