Ashland, Oregon, USA
A Clear View From the Mountain-Top...
Response to the Correas
Irrational Criticism and Attacks
"Naked Accumulator" To-T Experiment,
with Negative Results. August 2001.
Prepared by James DeMeo, Ph.D. Copyright (C), All Rights Reserved
Copyright (C), All Rights Reserved
The test described here was designed to evaluate a central component of the published experimental claims of Paulo and Alexandra Correa: that a bare-metal box would yield a consistently positive thermal anomaly over the environment, much in the same manner that Reich and others have observed for orgone accumulators, which are composed of a similar bare-metal box but with the significant addition of multiple layerings of organic and metallic materials on the outer wall surfaces. (See Correa & Correa: "The Thermal Anomaly in ORACs and the Reich-Einstein Experiment", S2-05, section on "Outdoors controlled testing of a simple ORAC device" p.19-30, specifically with reference to figures 4A, 4B, 7A and 7B.) This preliminary result, which normally would not be made public, is being made available to counter the public accusations of the Correas that my criticisms of their work lack a scientific basis.
The experiments reported here demonstrated that when the Correa "naked accumulator" experiment is undertaken under a completely shaded structure which excluded solar infra-red radiation, and with measurements being taken around-the-clock through the night, the average bare-metal-box differential is basically zero. The large positive temperature differential in the Correa experiments is therefore likely due to ordinary thermodynamic thermal-lag effects, where negative thermal differentials during night periods were inappropriately not being recorded, and where inadequate overhead shielding of solar infra-red during the day created peaks in recorded temperature due to that source alone.
Figure A below shows the results of four days in 2001, of temperature measurements made every two hours starting on 4 PM of 7 Aug. and ending on 10 PM of 11 Aug., of the average interior and upper-chamber of two bare-metal "naked accumulator" boxes (one 10 cm and one 12" on each side) minus the average of four air suspended thermometers at the same height, under a plywood and celotex outdoor structure located under an outdoor tree canopy. The north side of this structure was completely open, while the roof and other sides had air gaps but in all cases direct and reflected sunlight was totally excluded, with only diffuse sunlight entering the shaded structure. Mercury thermometers calibrated to tenths of a degree and traceable to NTSI standards were used. Sunny to partly-cloudy conditions prevailed, with warm dry days and cool nights. Data readings were interrupted only once during the entire sequence, at 8 PM on 9 Aug. There were minimal differences between upper-interior and upper-chamber measurements (maximum of 0.2 deg C. variable, plus or minus, but mostly 0.1 deg C diff. or less) as well as between the four air-suspended thermometers (again, 0.2 deg C. max. variable, plus or minus), but these differences were less than the differences between any of the metal-box and environmental temperatures, which ranged to as much as a full degree C. Figure A depicts the average of the four bare-metal-box readings minus the average of the four air-suspended temperature readings. The experiment showed positive differentials (box temps warmer) in the afternoons and evenings as the environment was cooling down, and negative readings (box temps cooler) in the morning hours as the environment was warming up, due to thermal lag effects. Similar evaluation graphs were prepared of the data for each bare-metal enclosure separately, using only the upper chamber temperature, or upper chamber plus upper interior temperatures, without significant change or apparent affect upon the results.
The bare-metal enclosures are not, according to Wilhelm Reich's descriptions, optimal orgone energy accumulators, and this preliminary experiment did not yield a constant positive To-T, as reported by the Correas in their published report. The overall average of readings in the experimental trial reported here were an insignificant 0.03 deg. C., or 3/100ths of a degree. Since the Correas did not make temperature measurements from between approximately midnight until 10 AM or noontime the next day, they excluded data which was most likely to reveal the negative component of thermal lag effects. Also, the Correas conducted their experiment outdoors under a double-canvas shelter, with possible exposure to reflected sunlight from the sides of their enclosures; more importantly, it seems possible that the double-canvas shelter they employed would not impose a significant barrier to the downward penetration of thermal infrared radiation which might have given their data an overall "boost" as compared to the data from my own study, undertaken under a tree canopy with the addition of plywood and celotex shading panels which excluded virtually all direct and reflected sunlight. The Correas observed, for example, better than 5.0 deg. and 8.0 deg C. average thermal differences between their bare-metal-box and environmental temperatures (their outdoor experiments, in Fig.4B p.24 and 7B p.30 of the S2-05 document), something that would have been highly unlikely under a shelter fully opaque to infrared, and if they would have included late night and morning measurmements when negative differentials routinely occur. This is suggestive of both a passive infrared heating of the upper box chamber during the daytime, with exclusion of temperatures in the night and morning when negative readings would assuredly be likely to occur. In my own experiment, only fully-shaded diffuse sunlight filtering through the trees, and entering through the northern side of the enclosure was incident upon the metal boxes, which reduced the heating effects (from both solar and orgone-energetic sources) to no more than around 0.8 deg. C. When the Correas undertook similar experiments indoors, they observed even smaller differential measurements, as their indoor arrangement was subject to a much smaller diurnal fluctuation of environmental temperatures as compared to outdoor environments.
What has been learned so far suggests the bare-metal-box method (especially for measurements made outdoors above the top metal plate under daytime conditions with abundant downward-penetrating infrared) is potentially subject to serious mechanical heating from the sun unless exceptionally-well sheltered under infrared-opaque materials. Thermal lag effects also afflict the Correas methodology, making the morning AM measurements most critical of all -- that is the time when, under warming environmental temperatures, a positive To-T would truly be anomalistic. However, in the present experiment, these problems of experimental control rule out the invocation of any separate and anomalous influence of orgone energy, which may not in any case accumulate significantly within a plain metal box lacking the usual exterior orgone-absorbing layerings.
This conclusion is reinforced by an examination of Figure B, depicting the same data as in Figure A, except data between midnight and noontime are artificially excluded, with lines inappropriately drawn across periods of missing data, to reflect a methodology similar to that used by the Correas in their several publications (as cited above, and in Infinite Energy #37). By excluding the morning data, a significant part of the anticipated negative readings are excluded, yielding the false impression of a more systematic positive effect. The effect of data-exclusion on the To-T averages is sensitive to small changes in day-to-day weather patterns: some negative To-T data continues to be obtained from noontime periods on the first and last days (Fig. B), given increased solar heating of air past noontime into the early afternoon, during periods of cloud-free weather. Partly cloudy conditions in the late morning and afternoon of the second and third days yields an earlier peak in daytime temperatures, allowing the metal box to overcome thermal lag and catch-up with peak environmental temperatures before noontime on those days, after which slow environmental cooling yields constant postive readings (box warmer) due to thermal lag. Since the environmental temperature curve can be expected to start cooling down sometime after a peak period between 10 Am and 4 PM (depending upon cloud cover and weather changes), one expects the air within any enclosed structure to cool down more slowly than the environment, yielding a "positive" reading solely due to the mechanical factor of thermal lag.
After noting with excitement the presence of a metal-box/environment temperature differential averaging over 8 deg. C. in a series of outdoor measurements with the bare metal box, the Correas exclaimed, on page 29 of their S2-05 report "Even more surprising is the fact that the metal box keeps its [temperature differential] positive at night" -- which is precisely what one might anticipate solely from classical thermodynamic variations, and assuming you do not make measurements after midnight, or in the morning. Only a morning AM measurement with a constant postive To-T during the period of warming environmental temperatures would, in fact, violate the classical expectation -- but that is unfortunately when the Correas failed to make measurements. When I asked the Correas about this lack of data-taking over the night period, and pointed out the problem with thermal-lag effects, they refused to accept this was any kind of problem. The only response they would offer was "we like to sleep", as if this was a rational excuse for failures in scientific methods. It is not.
The Correas' experiment failed on a number of counts, as described above, and therefore lacks defendable scientific significance. If one is to undertake an experimental examination of Reich's To-T effect, one must firstly structure the experiment to account for the classical thermodynamic expectations, and secondly structure it so that an orgone energy effect can realistically exist (meaning: build a genuine accumulator with a thermally-balanced control), and take measurements around the full 24 hours, noting weather changes as well. Only then can results be considered significant.
A more robust To-T experiment with data acquisition by computer, automatically recording temperatures inside both a strong small orgone accumulator and a carefully-constructed thermally-balanced control enclosure, has been undertaken for several years at the Orgone Biophysical Research Lab, by the author. The positive results of this experiment, fully supporting Reich, were presented at several conferences in recent years, with several new publications on the subject, as given in the lists below.
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