Narrative on my 1964 paper accepted for publication in the AIChE Journal, but never published there.

 

 

Overview

This narrative describes my thirty-year effort to arrange the publication of an article that was accepted for publication in the AIChE Journal in 1964, and also the efforts of those who succeeded in preventing its publication.  The article demonstrated that induction methodology widely used in engineering is not rigorous.  It also described and applied induction methodology that is rigorous, but is not widely used in engineering.  The article was easy to understand and obviously correct, but it met stubborn resistance because it conflicted with mainstream thought. 

 

In later years, I tried several times to arrange for the American publication or conference presentation of the article, always without success.  Finally, in 1994, thirty years after the article was accepted for publication in the AIChE Journal, the article was published in the International Journal of the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers, Series B, under the title “A Critical Examination of the View that Nucleate Boiling Heat Transfer Data Exhibit Power Law Behavior”. 

 

When the article was published in 1994, it was just as current and just as important as it had been thirty years earlier when it was accepted for publication in the AIChE Journal, but not published. 

 

 

 

CONTENTS

 

How I happened to write “Nucleate Boiling—The Relationship Between Heat Flux and Thermal Driving Force”

 

The true importance of the article

 

Induction methodology widely used in engineering

 

Rigorous induction methodology

 

The inception of nucleate boiling

 

My relationship with Harding Bliss, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Yale University, and Editor of the AIChE Journal

 

Professor Bliss’s experience with boiling heat transfer

 

The first draft

 

The review by Professor Warren Rohsenow (MIT), and his challenge to “show us”

 

I challenge Professor Rohsenow to select the data that would “show us”

 

My follow up letter to Professor Rohsenow

 

Professor Rohsenow’s reply falsely accused me of cheating

 

Professor Rohsenow’s chart to support his nonlinear view

 

Professor Rohsenow’s explanation of “why log log paper is employed”

 

My low key response to Professor Rohsenow’s accusation that I had cheated

 

Professor Rohsenow’s error of omission in his letter dated 4/27/64

 

Professor Rohsenow’s error of omission in the copy he sent to Professor Bliss

 

I requested Professor Bliss’s judgement of Professor Rohsenow’s chart

 

Professor Bliss’s judgement of Professor Rohsenow’s chart

 

The second draft

 

Two disparate reviews of the second draft

 

The “extremely favorable” review

 

The extremely opposed review

 

A favorable review by Professor Seban

 

The third and final draft is accepted for publication

 

The article is submitted for presentation at an AIChE meeting

 

My suggestion to the review referee, Dr. David Miller, on learning that I would soon receive a rejection notice with regard to my presentation at the AIChE meeting

 

The rejection notice stated that my article was unanimously rejected for presentation.  It also accused me of dishonesty and incompetence, and forewarned journal editors of my dishonesty and incompetence.

 

Professor Bliss received a “vigorous complaint” from a “responsible person”, and “put a temporary stop” on publication

 

My response to Professor Bliss’s “temporary stop

 

The “critical points made by the critic

 

My response to the “critical points made by the critic

 

My challenge to Dr. David Miller, review referee

 

The editor and the “extremely favorable” reviewer changed their minds, and decided against publication

 

My reaction to Professor Bliss’s change of mind

 

The galley proofs of my article were sent to me

 

I “published” my article in a paid advertisement in Nucleonics

 

The impact of other publications that reported a linear relationship

 

My 1973 attempt to arrange publication in the AIChE Journal

 

My unsuccessful 1990 attempt to present the article at an engineering conference

 

My successful 1994 attempt to arrange publication in a Japanese journal

 

 

 

How I happened to write “Nucleate Boiling—The Relationship Between Heat Flux and Thermal Driving Force”

 

In 1963, I was the senior engineer in charge of a heat transfer test facility at GE in Cincinnati.  The test program was funded by NASA-Lewis, and its purpose was to obtain data on the heat transfer behavior of boiling potassium.  (The intended system application was nuclear power generation in space.) The data indicated that, in forced convection heat transfer to nucleate boiling potassium, the relationship between heat flux (q) and temperature difference (DT) is highly linear. 

 

In order to compare my results with those obtained by others, I examined the literature on nucleate boiling.  I found the following:

 

·  For several decades, it had been generally agreed that nucleate boiling data in the literature indicated the highly nonlinear relationship between q and DT described by Expression (1):

 

q a DTn                                                                                                  (1)

 

where n is usually a value of 3 or 4, but can be as small as 1 (in which case the data indicate linearity), or as large as 25.

 

·  The induction methodology that resulted in the nonlinear view was (and still is) widely used, but is not rigorous.

 

·  Rigorous induction of literature data revealed that, during nucleate boiling, the relationship between q and DT is generally highly linear.

 

I described the above results, and the rigorous induction methodology I had used, in an article entitled “Nucleate Boiling—The Relationship Between Heat Flux and Thermal Driving Force”.  I enclosed the article in a letter dated 1/16/64 to Professor Editor Harding Bliss, and requested that he consider it for publication in the AIChE Journal.  (Professor Harding Bliss (Yale) had been the editor of the AIChE Journal since the publication of its first issue in 1955.)

 

 

The true importance of the article

The article is important because it demonstrates that the induction methodology widely used in engineering is not rigorous.  It also describes and applies the rigorous induction methodology that should be widely used.  (Rigorous induction methodology is also used in engineering, but not widely.)

 

 

 

Induction methodology widely used in engineering

The induction methodology widely used in engineering is described by the following:

 

·  Plot the data on a log log chart.

 

·  Fit the best straight line through the data.

 

·  Note that straight lines on log log charts are power laws—ie are equations of the form

 

y = mxn                                                 (1)

 

·  Conclude that the data are best correlated by a power law, and establish the values of m and n from the coordinates of two points on the line.

 

(In the computer form of the above, data are computer fitted to the best power law, and it is not necessary to plot the data.)

 

Note from Eq. (1) that all power laws of positive slope include the point 0,0.  Therefore the above methodology is based on the assumption that the data are best correlated by a correlation that includes the point 0,0. 

 

The assumption that the best correlation includes the point 0,0 may, or may not, be reasonable.  For example, correlations that describe the relationship between q and DT in one phase, forced convective heat transfer would be expected to include the point 0,0 because, as the temperature difference approaches zero, the heat flux approaches zero.

 

Conversely, many engineering phenomena do not occur in the vicinity of 0,0.  For example, turbulent fluid flow ceases long before the fluid flow rate approaches zero.  Therefore, rigorous induction of data that relate pressure drop (DP) and turbulent fluid flow rate (Wturb) must allow that the best correlation may, or may not, include the point 0,0—ie may, or may not, indicate that DP = 0 at W = 0.  Since the correlation does not apply in the vicinity of W = 0, the correlation prediction for DP in the vicinity of Wturb = 0 is of no significance.

 

 

 

Rigorous induction methodology

Rigorous induction methodology is quite simple.  It is described by the following:

 

·  Plot the data on linear coordinates.

 

·  Fair a line through the data points.

 

·  Select whatever correlation form is suggested by the line faired through the data points.

 

·  Select the arbitrary constants in the correlation form so as to give the best agreement between correlation and data.

 

 

 

The inception of nucleate boiling

It has long been known that boiling does not commence until the temperature difference reaches a finite value.  For example, Nukiyama (1934) stated:

 

In the early stages of my study, I found that the temperature of a metal wire easily reached as high as 105 C without the water boiling.  I was in the skies because this was contrary, or so I thought, to the invariable principle that “Water boils at 100C.” . . .  However, when I happened to read an old textbook, Theory of Heat, written by Clerk Maxwell, Lord Rayleigh, and others, it was lightly described that water boiled when it reached the pertinent boiling temperature for a certain pressure plus the temperature at which the cohesion of the water and its contact surface was overcome, and I realized they had already known the phenomenon.

 

In other words, boiling does not occur in the vicinity of DT = 0.  Therefore, since boiling does not occur in the vicinity of DT = 0, it is neither rigorous nor reasonable to require that boiling correlations include the point q = 0, DT = 0. 

 

 

 

My relationship with Harding Bliss, Professor of Chemical Engineering at Yale University, and Editor of the AIChE Journal

I graduated from Yale University in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.  Professor Bliss taught two of my chemical engineering courses, and I considered him the best professor I had at Yale.  He was confined to a wheelchair, and he used an overhead projector in place of a blackboard. 

 

After I graduated, I had no contact with Professor Bliss until August, 1963, when I called him to say that I had made important progress in engineering science, and to request his advice on how to best arrange the publication of my work.  We had a long and pleasant conversation during which he suggested that I join the AIChE, and submit articles to journals of the engineering societies. 

 

My letter of September 18, 1963 initiated our lengthy correspondence—94 letters over a period of about 3 years.  Correspondence summary includes dates and cryptic summaries of our letters.  Our correspondence concerned:

 

·  Topics of general engineering importance.

 

·  The proper administration of engineering journals.

 

·  The acceptance/rejection of several manuscripts I submitted to Professor Bliss for possible publication in the AIChE Journal, particularly the manuscript on the relationship between heat flux and temperature difference in nucleate boiling.  (Throughout our correspondence, Professor Bliss was the editor of the AIChE Journal, a post he had held since its inception in 1955)

 

 

 

Professor Bliss’s experience with boiling heat transfer

In my letter to Professor Bliss dated 10/26/63, I elaborated on my linear view of the relationship between q and DT in nucleate boiling.  In his letter dated 10/31/63, Professor Bliss noted that he had considerable experience in nucleate boiling heat transfer:

 

As I first read (your view that the exponent on DT is one), I was in substantial disagreement with you, because I well remember the work of Cryder and Gilliland and some work of my own (Insinger and Bliss) in which an exponent on temperature difference appreciably greater than one was certainly established, I thought.

 

I was happy to have an editor who had himself addressed the subject of my article, and who was in agreement with the generally accepted nonlinear view.  I felt that with his background, he would be able to ensure that my reviewers were competent, and that their reviews were rational and unbiased.  (I had previously had articles reviewed by persons whose reviews reflected both bias and little understanding of the subject matter.)

 

 

 

The first draft

The first draft of the article (1/15/64) explained the lack of rigor in the induction methodology that led to the nonlinear relationship, and stated that rigorous induction of literature data indicated a linear relationship.  Charts to support my linear view were not included in the article because I felt that readers would suspect that I had carefully selected only the small fraction of literature data that described a linear relationship.   Rather, I recommended to the reader that he verify the accuracy of my linear view by plotting literature data of his own selection on linear coordinates.

 

 

 

The review by Professor Warren Rohsenow (MIT)[1], and his challenge to “show us”

Professor Warren Rohsenow (MIT) was one of the reviewers of the first draft.  Since he had not requested anonymity, Professor Bliss sent me a copy of Professor Rohsenow’s review dated 2/29/64.  The review stated:

 

. . . I would suggest that the author . . . attempt to show us and himself a comparison of plotting accepted boiling data on log-log and linear-linear paper and compare the two types of equations in question.  This might show us something interesting.

 

I was amazed by Professor Rohsenow’s unwarranted complacency and his lack of curiosity.  (Lacking the time or inclination to plot the data himself, he could have had a student prepare the plot.)

 

 

 

I challenge Professor Rohsenow to select the data that would “show us”

I wanted to respond to Professor Rohsenow’s challenge “to show us . . . “, but I did not know whether writing directly to him would embarrass Professor Bliss.  So I wrote a letter dated 3/1/64 to Professor Rohsenow, and enclosed it in a letter to Professor Bliss dated 3/1/64.  My letter to Professor Bliss stated:

 

I enclose a letter to Rohsenow because I would like to give him the benefit of my review of his review.  Since I do not know whether this would violate a trust, I am forwarding the letter on to you that you may either return it to me or send it on to Rohsenow as I request.

 

A letter from Professor Bliss dated 3/5/64 stated:

 

I see no harm in transmitting your letter to Rohsenow since he did not suggest anonymity.  I will do so.

 

My letter to Professor Rohsenow dated 3/1/64 was my response to his challenge.  In the letter, I wrote that I had in fact plotted data from the following benchmark reports that presented nucleate boiling data in digital form[2]: 

 

·  Experiments on Pool-Boiling Heat Transfer from a Horizontal Surface, P. J. Berenson, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, (1962), 5, pp 985-999

 

·  Heat Transfer to Boiling Liquids Under Pressure, Cichelli, M. T. and Bonilla, C. F., (1945), Trans AIChE, 41, pp 755-787.

 

The letter states:

 

It will no doubt amaze you as I myself was amazed, but I was unable to find any non-linearity in the data from the above reports.  It is true that the data plots up quite well on log-log paper, but as my manuscript points out, this is simply a mirage and the same data plots up beautifully on linear paper.  I showed such plots to Dr. Bonilla[3] and he shared my amazement, although he seemed inclined to believe that both methods are correct.

 

My letter did not include any charts to establish linearity.  Instead, I challenged Professor Rohsenow to select the data he felt established nonlinearity:

 

If you will send me the coordinates of five runs of Berenson’s which you will select, I will plot them up and send you copies that we may reach a rapport in this matter.

 

I had plotted all of the data Berenson had reported, and I was quite certain that Professor Rohsenow would not be able to find even one run that would indicate nonlinearity. 

 

Moreover, I was certain that Professor Rohsenow had ready access to Dr. Berenson’s data because Professor Rohsenow was active in heat transfer at MIT at the same time Dr. Berenson obtained the data used in the publication cited above.  Also, Dr. Berenson’s adviser was Professor Griffith, a colleague and former student of Professor Rohsenow.  Therefore I felt quite certain that Professor Rohsenow knew Dr. Berenson, and was quite familiar with his experiments and results.

 

 

 

My follow up letter to Professor Rohsenow

Since Professor Rohsenow did not soon respond to my challenge to select the data that would “show us”, I sent a second letter dated 3/13/64 directly to him, with a copy to Professor Bliss.  (I kept Professor Bliss in the loop in order to increase the likelihood that Professor Rohsenow would respond to my challenge.)  Enclosed in the second letter was a chart that I felt would “show us”.  In order to preclude the possibility that Professor Rohsenow would claim that I had carefully selected data that indicated linearity, the letter states:

 

. . . I have plotted the same runs you did on page 119 of your contribution to Modern Development in Heat Transfer by Ibele. 

 

Certainly Professor Rohsenow must have felt that the runs he had selected supported the highly nonlinear relationship described by the widely used correlation that bears his name.  With regard to the enclosed chart, my letter states:

 

The important thing to note in the enclosed graph is that every point falls with one or two degrees F of a straight line on linear paper.  Moreover, this one or two degrees is the error Berenson set on the temperature difference alone without counting the error in heat flux!  If you will look very closely at the graph you included on page 119, you will notice that:

 

1. Due to the vagaries of log-log paper, the points are themselves sometimes ten degrees F wide—i.e. it is sometimes ten degrees from one side of your point to the other side of it.

 

2. In spite of the above, a number of your points fall five or ten degrees off the straight line you have drawn through the points.

 

The letter further states that a high degree of linearity “is common to all the nucleate boiling data I have found”. 

 

My letter and the accompanying chart should, in my opinion, convince any competent and open-minded person that the widely accepted nonlinear view resulted from induction methodology that is not rigorous, and that the data in the literature indicate a high degree of linearity. 

 

 

 

Professor Rohsenow’s reply falsely accused me of cheating

In his letter dated 4/27/64, Professor Rohsenow falsely accused me of cheating!  His letter stated:

 

. . . if you had included all of the points from the graph on page 119 of Modern Developments in Heat Transfer, instead of only those lying in a narrow range, the non-linear character of these points might have been apparent even on linear paper.

 

I had NOT included “only those (points) lying in a narrow range”, and I was certain that Professor Rohsenow knew it.  I was amazed and perplexed by his false accusation.  Amazed that he would falsely make such a serious accusation, and perplexed because there seemed to be no reason to make the accusation.  His letter had the appearance of a private communication, since no distribution was listed.  Therefore I reasoned that his false accusation could not have been made for someone else’s benefit, and I could not imagine why he made it.

 

 

 

Professor Rohsenow’s chart to support his nonlinear view

Professor Rohsenow’s letter of 4/27/64 contained the following postscript:

 

I have enclosed a complete plot of Berenson’s data on linear paper and samples of power law curves which are appropriate to the data.

 

Professor Rohsenow’s “complete plot” was obviously intended to support his nonlinear view.  This too I found amazing and perplexing—amazing because the plot obviously supported my linear view—perplexing because it did not seem reasonable that Professor Rohsenow could examine his plot and conclude that it supported his nonlinear view.  Consequently, I had no idea why Professor Rohsenow indicated that his plot supported his nonlinear view.

 

 

 

Professor Rohsenow’s explanation of “why log log paper is employed

Professor Rohsenow’s letter of 4/27/64 explained “why log-log paper is employed”.  The letter stated:

 

A cubic or even a quadratic equation will appear linear over a short interval, particularly as one gets far from the origin.  It is precisely for this reason that log-log paper is employed, i.e., to point out the non-linear relationship even in ranges where it might escape notice on linear paper.

 

Professor Rohsenow’s stated reason for employing log-log paper is so illogical that I seriously doubt that he would publicly espouse it or defend it. 

 

 

 

My low key response to Professor Rohsenow’s accusation that I had cheated

My letter to Professor Rohsenow dated 5/2/64 downplayed his accusation that I had cheated.  (Note that, since Professor Rohsenow’s letter had indicated no distribution, I likewise did not send copies to anyone including Professor Bliss.)  My letter stated:

 

You indicate in your letter that I analyzed only a narrow range of Berenson’s data in the graph I sent you.  If I did overlook some of the data in that rough graph, I assure you that in the final version of that manuscript, I included each of the points on each run that Berenson published in the Int Jour Heat & Mass Trsfer (for those runs which also appeared on page 119 of Modern Developments in Heat Transfer).

 

With regard to my article, the letter also stated:

 

I had hoped to get someone other than myself to pick out the data to analyze, but finally I went ahead and revised the paper without this extra degree of freedom.

 

(I had asked several disinterested persons to select data that they felt supported the nonlinear view, intending to write the article around the data they selected.  For example, see my letter to Dr. Richard Gaertner dated 11/11/63, and Dr. Gaertner’s letter dated 11/20/63 that explained why he felt that he should remain “neutral” and not get “involved”.  (Dr. Gaertner was the AIChE Symposium Chairman for the 1964 Annual Meeting of the AIChE.  It was in this capacity that I had written him.)  I fail to see why selecting data would violate neutrality, or how selecting data could be construed as getting “involved”.)

 

The letter discusses my Nucleonics article that was then about to be published, and states:

 

. . . the article disproves so much of what is presently accepted without question that it will either become a classic or it will be totally ignored. . .

 

. . . I am not so naïve as to think that my article will gain instant acceptance.  I know that unless you and the other leaders of the heat transfer world subscribe to the theory I present, then the results will not be widely used and the article will do little more than take up space.

 

Unfortunately, through what I regard as no fault of mine, my Nucleonics article has not yet become a classic, and to date has done little more than take up space.

 

 

 

Professor Rohsenow’s error of omission in his letter dated 4/27/64

As noted above, Professor Rohsenow’s letter dated 4/27/64 appeared to be a private communication, since no distribution was indicated.

 

I was therefore surprised and chagrined to read the following in the letter from Professor Bliss dated 5/5/64:

 

I have received a carbon copy of Professor Rohsenow’s letter to you of April 27. . . . I also note that Rohsenow charges you with the selection of data which selection was not complete.

 

Professor Rohsenow’s letter had not indicated that he was sending Professor Bliss a copy of the letter.  That error of omission seemed to explain why Professor Rohsenow falsely accused me of cheating, and why he indicated that his “complete plot”supported his nonlinear view, when in fact the plot supported my linear view. 

 

Professor Rohsenow had not written his letter for my benefit.  He had written it for Professor Bliss’s benefit!

 

 

 

Professor Rohsenow’s error of omission in the copy he sent to Professor Bliss

Because Professor Bliss’s letter of 5/5/64 did not mention that Professor Rohsenow’s plot documented my linear view, I felt reasonably certain that Professor Rohsenow had made a second error of omission—that he had not enclosed his “complete plot” in Professor Bliss’s copy of the letter!  

 

On 5/7/64, I telephoned Professor Bliss to ask whether he had received a copy of Professor Rohsenow’s “complete plot” along with the blind carbon copy of the letter he had received.

 

Professor Bliss said he had not received a copy of Professor Rohsenow’s chart.  I told him I would send him my copy, and I did.

 

 

 

I requested Professor Bliss’s judgement of Professor Rohsenow’s chart,

The primary purpose of my letter to Professor Bliss dated 5/7/64 was to request his judgement of Professor Rohsenow’s chart.  The letter states:

 

I feel it was quite unfair of Rohsenow to send you a copy of his letter of April 27th without so indicating on the copy I received.  His charge about my selecting the data from a narrow range was without foundation and I was sure he was as well aware of that as I was.  Therefore, in my reply, I did not even bother to discuss that rough graph other than to say that in the final version I had indeed covered the full range reported in Berenson’s article. 

 

Since there was no distribution indicated on his letter, I did not feel moved to discuss the matter in detail with him.  Moreover, since I had two months previously offered to analyze whatever data he should select, I would think he would be wise enough not to make such a charge. 

 

I wish to hear no more about the possibility that I judiciously selected the data.  You have my graphs and Berenson’s data is clearly presented in the Int Jour Heat etc.  I suggest you have someone check my graphs against Berenson’s reported data and let the matter end there one way or the other.

 

I enclose the graph I got from Rohsenow.  I ask you the following question and hope for an answer:

 

Can you honestly look at this graph which Rohsenow had made up and not agree that I am correct—that the data do not at all indicate any non-linearity?

 

 

 

Professor Bliss’s judgement of Professor Rohsenow’s chart

Professor Bliss’s letter of 5/18/64 stated:

 

I return herewith the graph prepared by Rohsenow, since it is your property.  You asked my opinion, and I can state that the points of this graph appear to me better represented by straight lines than by the curved ones.

 

In my view, the episode with Professor Rohsenow should have firmly convinced Professor Bliss (or any reasonably competent engineer) of the validity of my linear view.  Professor Rohsenow was the leading authority on nucleate boiling heat transfer.  The chart that he claimed supported his nonlinear view in fact denied his view.  And supported my linear view

 

As I would learn later, Professor Bliss was convinced that the linear view was correct, but he was not firmly convinced.

 

 

 

The second draft

The second draft dated 3/13/64 was enclosed in a letter to Professor Bliss dated 3/16/64.  The letter states:

 

(This draft) is a revision of a manuscript I submitted earlier, and the revisions are intended to bring it into line with the adverse reviews it received at that time. 

 

. . . If you do read the enclosed manuscript, I would be much more interested in your reaction than in Rohsenow’s.

 

 

 

Two disparate reviews of the second draft

Professor Bliss’s letter of 4/3/64 stated:

 

It is a pleasure to transmit to you 2 reviews of subject paper, one of which is extremely favorable.  The other is just about as much opposed, but I incline to weigh the favorable review more because I feel that you should be heard in this matter.

 

Note Professor Bliss’s statement that “I feel that you should be heard in this matter”. But as I would learn later, he did not firmly feel that I should be heard.

 

 

 

The “extremely favorable” review

The extremely favorable” review stated:

 

This is possibly the most stimulating and exciting article I have ever been asked to review.  It will be highly controversial, and people with axes to grind will try to disparage it, but the truth of the author’s contentions is unquestionable.

 

. . . I feel that the article should be printed in the Journal as a strong reminder to researchers.

 

. . . most of the data from our laboratory have generated straight lines on linear coordinates and yet my thinking is so accustomed to presenting the curves on log-log paper with slopes close to three that I have been lulled into doing so.

 

The author has done a great service in pointing out the logical errors often brought about by the use of log-log coordinates.

 

I strongly recommend this paper for publication, and the author is to be commended for his fresh approach to boiling heat transfer . . .

 

In my view, the “extremely favorable” review appears to be an unbiased and informed appraisal of my article.  It indicates that the reviewer is firmly convinced that the linear view is correct, and that my article should be published for the benefit of other researchers.  (As I would learn later, he was convinced that my article should be published in the AIChE Journal, but he was not firmly convinced.)

 

I was particularly gratified by the reviewer’s statement that the paper “(points) out the logical errors often brought about by the use of log-log coordinates” because he correctly recognized that the main thrust of the article was not nucleate boiling heat transfer—the main thrust was induction methodology.

 

 

 

The extremely opposed review

The extremely opposed review reflects the incompetence of many reviewers, and should have been rejected or scrapped by the editor.  The review indicts the current system of Journal administration because it demonstrates that neither reviewers nor editors are held to any standard.  (See also Narrative on my futile efforts to publish “A Transformed Moody Chart that is Read Withou Iterating”, including the mind-boggling rejection by the Editor of the ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering.)

 

The reviewer lists the following objections to my article:

 

1. He presents no experimental data of his own.

 

(The fact that I analyzed data obtained by others is not a liability—it is an asset!  It adds credence to my analysis because it eliminates the chance that I faked the data.)

 

 

2.  He cites a very limited amount of data to prove his point.  These could easily have been selectively chosen from the large mass of available data on nucleate boiling to prove his point.

 

(The data analyzed were not “very limited”.  The data were obtained by two different investigators in two different laboratories using two different boilers, 3 different fluids, 4 different pressures, and 5 different surface finishes.  It would not have been easy or even possible to select data obtained over such a wide range of conditions if linearity were uncommon.)

 

 

3.  He does not prove that his approach applies to most of the available literature on nucleate boiling.

 

(I do not have an approach.  I simply observe that rigorous analysis of the data in the literature indicates linear behavior.  Rigorous analysis requires merely that the data be plotted on linear coordinates, and inspected to induce functionality.

 

The real lack of proof lies in the literature itself—it has never been shown that the data are nonlinear.  It has only been shown that, if the data are plotted on log log coordinates and the best straight line is drawn through the points, the exponent in the power law described by the line is oftentimes 3 or 4.)

 

 

4.  He presents no physical reason to support his argument that the relationship should be linear.

 

(Nowhere does the article claim that the relationship should be linear.  It would be idiotic to maintain that a Natural phenomenon should exhibit a certain type of behavior.  The article claims and demonstrates that the data indicate that the relationship is linear.)

 

 

5.  It is generally accepted that there is no physical reason to assume a linear relationship.

 

(Has this reviewer actually read my article?  Nowhere in the article is the linear relationship assumed.  The linear relationship is induced from the data.  Period!)

 

 

 

A favorable review by Professor Seban

Professor Bliss’s letter of 4/9/64 transmitted a favorable review by Professor Seban (who had not requested anonymity.)   Professor Seban was well known in the heat transfer world, and his favorable review added considerable credibility to my article.

 

 

 

The third and final draft is accepted for publication

My letter to Professor Bliss dated 4/9/64 transmitted the third and final draft dated 4/9/64.

 

Professor Bliss’s letter dated 4/21/64 stated:

 

Subject paper is much better now, and I accept it for publication.

 

I was elated!!!

 

 

 

The article was submitted for presentation at an AIChE meeting

The letter to Dr. Richard Gaertner (the symposium chairman) dated 4/9/64 transmitted the final draft of the article for presentation at the 1964 Annual Meeting of the AIChE.  As noted in the letter, I also sent copies to Dr. David Miller (Argonne National Laboratory), the review referee.

 

Of the papers presented at engineering conferences, only a few are normally judged to be worthy of publication.  It would be unheard of for a paper to be too poor for presentation, yet sufficiently worthy to warrant publication.  Therefore I was confident that the article would be accepted for presentation.

 

 

 

My suggestion to the review referee, Dr. David Miller, on learning that I would soon receive a rejection notice with regard to my presentation at the AIChE meeting

I did not receive a written notice that the paper had been rejected until 8/18/64.  However, as noted in my letter to Dr. Miller (the review referee) dated 8/14/64, I learned from Dr. Gaertner (on or about 8/7/64) that my article had been rejected. 

 

My letter to Dr. Miller dated 8/14/64 noted that I had not yet received a written rejection notice, and stated:

 

. . . I am surprised that your committee has rejected (my manuscript on nucleate boiling heat transfer) . . . since it has been accepted for publication in the AIChE Journal.

 

. . . I would suggest that you send copies of the negative reviews to Dr. Bliss in order that he may reconsider his decision to publish subject ms.

 

It did not occur to me that Professor Editor Bliss could be coerced into rejecting the manuscript he had accepted for publication several months earlier. 

 

It should have. 

 

 

 

The rejection notice stated that my article was unanimously rejected for presentation.  It also accused me of dishonesty and incompetence, and forewarned journal editors of my dishonesty and incompetence.

Dr. Miller’s letter dated 8/6/64 did not arrive until 8/18/64.  It was the awaited rejection notice, and it offered the friendly advice that my work was so bad it would damage my reputation.  Dr. Miller sent copies of the letter to Professor Editor Harding Bliss (AIChE Journal) and Professor S. P. Kezios (ASME Heat Transfer Journal), presumably to warn them that my work did not meet high standards.  His letter stated:

 

On the recommendation of three reviewers and my own judgement this paper has been rejected.

 

It has been difficult to get a thorough review of your paper as several competent reviewers have returned it with the simple, qualitative statement that it was obviously incorrect and should be rejected.  However, we bend over backward in the review of a paper which proposes to overthrow any of the universally accepted relationships and I have taken special care in the case of your paper to insure that we are correct in its rejection.

 

The sixty-two experimental points represent a very small fraction of the data available . . . However, even the points you have so carefully selected do not prove your point , , ,

 

Although the paper can be rejected on purely technical grounds the incoherence of the arguments presented and the overly wordy and personal style would be additional grounds. I suggest you get assistance in preparation of future manuscripts to check the technical content and style before submission.

 

I suggest you will do more damage than good to your reputation by presenting and publishing work which does not meet high standards of accuracy and of presentation.

 

(The rejected paper was the final draft of my article—the same draft that had been accepted for publication by Professor Bliss on the basis of favorable reviews by Professor Seban and the anonymous reviewer who had stated:  This is possibly the most stimulating and exciting article I have ever been asked to review” and “I strongly recommend this paper for publication”.)

 

(In my view, Professor Bliss should have sent a strong reply to Dr. Miller stating that, in his view, I was competent and honest.  Also, both Professor Bliss and Professor Kezios should have sent strong replies to Dr. Miller stating that they did not request or desire his appraisal of my honesty and competence, or his implied editorial advice.)

 

 

 

My response to Dr. Miller’s accusation that I am incompetent and dishonest

My letter to Dr. Miller dated 8/18/64 was my response to his accusation that I am incompetent and dishonest.  The letter stated:

 

Thank you for your letter of August 6 in which you express the opinion that I am both incompetent and dishonest.  I sense that your mind cannot be changed on this point, and that any attempt to do so would prove to be an exercise in futility.  Nevertheless, I would remind you that these same qualities were attributed to Galileo, Darwin, Pasteur etc ad nauseum.  It is historically true that their work also failed to come up to the “high standards” of their colleagues.  For that reason, you may forgive me if I am not overly concerned about the standards you would set for me.  Like the aforementioned, my only standard is simple honesty.  If that is not sufficient to place me in good stead, then I prefer to be placed otherwise.

 

With further regard to your letter, I sense that you have written it for the benefit of Messrs. Bliss and Kezios, and that your advice is intended for their benefit rather than mine.  Even so, since I had not requested your advice, it was rather presumptuous of you to proffer it.  Therefore, you may forgive me if I choose to disregard your advice and continue publishing my work in an honest and sometimes impolitic manner.  The politic view has an ample outlet in the Congressional Record and has no need of space in the scientific journals.

 

Also in response to Dr. Miller’s letter, I sent a letter to Professor Bliss dated 8/18/64 in which I enclosed the negative reviews from Dr. Miller.  The letter stated:

 

You will note that (the reviewers) are unanimous in their opinion that I am an incompetent liar.  Now, perhaps I am incompetent, but I am no liar.

 

 

 

Professor Bliss received a “vigorous complaint” from a “responsible person”, and “put a temporary stop” on publication

Professor Bliss’s letter dated 8/17/64 arrived after I had sent him the negative reviews I had received from Dr. Miller.  His letter stated:

 

I must acquaint you with the fact that I have had a vigorous complaint about my acceptance of the above paper.  The responsible person[4] making this complaint states that you are wrong in your contentions.  He is going to send me his documented case, and I think I should check this with the reviewer who was so favorable.

 

I have never gone back on my word with regard to an accepted paper, and I do not do so now, at least.  However, if you are wrong, then this would be adequate reason for such a reversal.

 

All I am going to do at the moment is write you again, enclosing the complaints when received, contact the favorable reviewer, and put a temporary stop on publishing the paper.  I will write you again when I’ve heard from the favorable reviewer.

 

I am sorry about this, but my job as editor is a tough one.  Let us see what the favorable reviewer says.

 

 

 

My response to Professor Bliss’s “temporary stop

My letter to Professor Bliss dated 8/19/64 contained my response to the “temporary stop”.  The letter stated:

 

It may surprise you to know that I am not at all bitter about your reappraisal of my paper and the likelihood that it will not be published.  You may feel I am being politic, but that is not at all the case.  While I have not been altogether happy with your performance in the past, I am forced to admit that you have acted in a more manly fashion that any of the other so-called men with whom I have dealt.  I am well aware that you could have used any of a number of my letters as an excuse to terminate our correspondence and the further consideration of my manuscripts.

 

From your letter, I get the impression that the other side is about to prepare some kind of formal case.  Actually, I think Rohsenow unwittingly prepared the case already when he wrote that letter to demonstrate I was wrong and in which he overlooked including a graph in the copy he sent you.  I think nothing else can so clearly demonstrate that I am right in that we take the same data and reach opposite conclusions.  It is also my recollection that, in spite of his letter and graph, you agreed with me that the straight lines gave a better representation of the data.

 

 

The “critical points made by the critic

Professor Bliss’s letter dated 8/19/64 stated:

 

There are two critical points made by the critic who has objected to my acceptance of this paper.  These are:

 

1.      That you selected a very small number of data from an enormous amount available.

 

2.      That you made a mistake in saying that certain data (your Figures 1 and 2) were free convection and not boiling; this is the point made by Hsu[5].

 

The second is much more serious than the first.

 

What are your views on this?

 

 

My response to the “critical points made by the critic

My letter to Professor Bliss dated 8/21/64 replied to his letter of 8/19/64.  The letter states:

 

With regard to the two points in your letter of the 19th, my views are as follows:

 

1.  Small number of data: 

As I have said many times before, the main contribution of the ms lies in the methodology of log log paper, and there can be no dispute about the fact that this paper has been used incorrectly.  It is my contention that, even if there were no data selected and plotted, the value of the ms would hardly be impaired. 

 

If you will refer to Costello’s[6] review, he recognized this point.  However, to really answer the question, I have said many times[7] that there is essentially no data in the literature—only log log graphs from which it is impossible to determine the coordinates with any reasonable accuracy.

 

It is also germane to this discussion that I asked Dick Gaertner (Symposium Chairman) to select the data which he felt demonstrated the power relationship.  He politely declined.  I made the same offer to Rohsenow.  He did not even reply to my request, except unwittingly when he used the same data I did to conclude that the exponent was 4 for Berenson’s results.  Everyone talks about the exponent being 3 or 4, but no one ever refers to any specific experiments or data to back up this contention.

 

To put an end to this game, I make you the following offer:

 

If you can get Hsu to pick out the data which he feels demonstrates the accuracy of an exponent of 3 or 4, I shall be happy to rewrite the ms around the data he picks and I shall enter an acknowledgement to him for his help in doing so.

 

The only thing I stipulate is that the data he picks must be available in the literature in digital form and must be dated prior to the preparation date of the ms.

 

If my offer does not put an end to subject criticism, then it must be because you would rather go on debating than to find the real answer.  Mark Twain noted:  “Supposing is good.  Finding out is better.”  Let us put an end to supposing.

 

 

2.  My mistake in labeling some points free convection:

I submit that neither Berenson nor Bonilla had the means to visually detect the presence of bubbles in their experiments and thus it was not possible for them to determine when boiling was actually taking place, except by conjecture.  When it comes to conjecture, I reject theirs and use my own.  However, in this respect, their own conjecture was by no means complete—I suggest you refer to Berensons’s report in the Int Jour and try to determine whether he distinguishes between those points which were boiling and those which were not.

 

. . . . The above are my views—I have nothing to hide.  I have the right answer and the truth can only serve to prove it.  I will say that you have me confused.  From your earlier letter, I sensed that you had no interest in the truth, and now I don’t know.

 

 

 

My challenge to Dr. David Miller, review referee

Professor Bliss’s letter to Dr. David Miller dated 8/24/64 relayed my challenge to Dr. Miller.  The letter stated:

 

(Adiutori’s) answer to your criticism of his selection of only a few data points is that he can prove his point on any data.  He volunteers to do this with any data you select.  Would you be good enough to pick a reference for him to work with in which tabular data are presented and let him try to prove his point in such data of your selection.  It should be remembered that the data Adiutori used to show his linear relationship were exactly those used by Rohsenow to show a non-linear one.

 

Please note that Dr. Miller was the fourth highly qualified person I had asked to select the data he felt validated the nonlinear view.  All four were experts in boiling heat transfer.  Not one of them would select the data.  The other three were:

 

·  Dr. Richard Gaertner.  (He was the Symposium Chairman of a conference at which I proposed to present my article.) 

 

·  Professor Rohsenow.  (He was one of the reviewers of the first draft of my article.)

 

·  Hsu.  (He had been identified by Professor Bliss as the author of one of the negative reviews transmitted by Dr. Miller.)

 

 

 

The editor and the “extremely favorable” reviewer changed their minds, and decided against publication

Professor Bliss’s letter of 9/7/64 makes no mention of my offer to rewrite the article using data selected by Hsu or Dr. Miller, so presumably they both ignored or declined my offer.  Professor Bliss’s letter explained why he was reversing his acceptance of my paper (although I concluded that the real reason for the reversal was coercion rather than conviction). 

 

Attached to Professor Bliss’s letter was a highly negative re-review written by the “extremely favorable” reviewer, Professor Charles Costello.  In reference to the re-review, Professor Bliss noted that, after reading the negative reviews transmitted by Dr. Miller, the “extremely favorable” reviewer “has distinctly reduced his enthusiasm for this paper”.

 

It is mind-boggling and nauseating for me to compare Professor Costello’s highly negative re-review with his highly positive review.  I hope that the reader will make the comparison, and will share my nausea.

 

 

 

My reaction to Professor Bliss’s change of mind

My letter dated 9/12/64 to Professor Bliss presented my reaction to his change of mind with regard to publishing my manuscript.  The letter states:

 

With regard to your several letters dated 9/7, I make the following observations:

 

3. I did not mind the thought of your rejecting my paper when you became aware of how politically inexpedient publication would have proved.  I recognize that the function of your journal and your role as editor is to please those people who make the most noise.  However, when you say I have not proved my point that there is no evidence of non-linearity, I reply in one word—BALONEY!!  I agree with Rousseau:  My duty is to tell the truth—not to make people believe it.

 

4.  . . . I would remind you that I once asked you by telephone whether you (would) admit to anyone that you agreed with me against all the rest—and that your reply was in the affirmative.  Yet, the very first time the question was put to you, you apparently had no opinion in the matter.  I can excuse you for being politic—no one enjoys making enemies.  However, I find it very difficult to excuse those persons who pretend to be what they are not.  To me, that is a much graver matter.

 

(I regret writing the last two sentences.)

 

 

 

The galley proofs of my article were sent to me

In September, 1964, I received the galley proofs of my article from the printer. My letter dated 9/12/64 to Professor Bliss stated:

 

You may be surprised to know that I just received the galley proofs on my article which has now been rejected.  It is my guess that had I proof read them and sent them along as instructed, there was a reasonable likelihood that it would have been published after all.  I would be interested to know whether my guess might have worked out.

 

 

 

I “published” my article in a paid advertisement in Nucleonics

It is an understatement to say that I was frustrated by the exercise in futility that my effort to arrange publication in the AIChE Journal had proved to be.  I finally concluded that the AIChE Journal was not going to publish my article, and that I should look elsewhere.

 

I “published” my article in a paid advertisement that appeared in the April, 1965 issue of Nucleonics.  The ad was an abridged version of the galley proofs, and ostensibly advertised the services of my company, Stability Consultants.  The ad offered to send free copies of the galley proofs to readers on request.  Approximately 30 requests were received and filled.

 

 

 

A surprising response to the ad in Nucleonics

Professor Russell B. Mesler’s letter dated 4/7/65 was a surprising response to the ad in Nucleonics.  The letter stated:

 

I enjoyed reading your advertisement in the April 1965 issue of Nucleonics.  I would very much appreciate a copy of the manuscript with the figures (ie a copy of the galley proofs).

 

I sympathize with the suggestion to use a linear graph instead of a log-log graph to report nucleate boiling data.  I am enclosing a reprint of a paper which bears on this.

 

The enclosed paper was “Effect of Superatmospheric Pressures on Nucleate Boiling of Organic Liquids” by Russell B. Mesler and J. T. Banchero (The University of Michigan), and was published in the March, 1958 issue of the AIChE Journal, pp 102-113. 

 

·  The paper presents a great deal of nucleate boiling heat transfer data obtained by Mesler and Banchero. 

 

·  Their data are presented in digital form, and are plotted on linear coordinates.

 

·  The charts demonstrate that their nucleate boiling heat transfer data exhibit highly linear behavior.

 

·  The paper presents nucleate boiling heat transfer data obtained by other researchers plotted on linear coordinates.  The charts demonstrate that the data obtained by others exhibit highly linear behavior.

 

I found it amazing that the paper by Mesler and Banchero was published in the AIChE Journal—the same journal that accepted and then rejected my paper because the reviewers failed to acknowledge that my linear view was supported by the data!!![8]

 

 

 

The impact of other publications that reported a linear relationship

In my letter to Professor Bliss dated 9/8/65, I pointed out that recent publications reported a linear relationship, and therefore Professor Bliss’s statement “The simple fact of the matter is that no competent reviewer believes you.” was no longer accurate.   (The quote is from Professor Bliss’s letter of 9/7/64.)  My letter cites two such publications, and states:

 

I think you will agree that the publications (cited) are sufficient to demonstrate that it can no longer be said that “no competent reviewer believes you”.

 

I hope you will agree that (my nucleate boiling manuscript) should now be published without further ado, and I trust that you will so inform me in the near future.

 

PS  If it would be convenient, I would appreciate your forwarding this letter to your colleague, Professor Westwater.

 

My letter initiated more correspondence with Professor Bliss, but the fact that other publications also reported a linear relationship had no impact on his decision to not publish my article in the AIChE Journal.

 

 

My 1973 attempt to arrange publication in the AIChE Journal

The January, 1973 issue of the AIChE Journal contained an editorial by Professor Editor Robert C. Reid (MIT).  The editorial stated:

 

. . . papers which are truly advances are few and far between.  In fact, they are not often even recognized as milestones in the sense that they must, by definition, diverge from the existing mainstream of thought.

 

Since Professor Reid’s editorial suggested an open mind, I sent him a letter dated 10/22/73 in which I described the background of my accepted and rejected manuscript, and stated:

 

My purpose in writing you is to determine whether you would be willing to reopen the question of my accepted but as yet unpublished article.

 

Professor Editor Reid’s letter of 10/30/73 stated:

 

Your recent letter to me was quite interesting.  Since Professor Bliss left me no files, I have no prior record of your paper.  I would certainly be amenable to receiving three copies of it  . . . and I shall have it reviewed.

 

My letter of 11/9/73 stated:

 

What would be the use of reviewing any article which had already been favorably reviewed and accepted for publication?

 

. . . my article does not require another review decision . . . What is now required is an editorial decision.

 

I have sent you one copy—a reproduction of the galley proofs—in order that you may base your editorial decision on the article itself.  What I actually desire is that you publish the article with the original acceptance date—April 21, 1964!!!

 

I called Professor Reid on 12/3/73 to find out if he was taking any action on my manuscript.  My notes state:

 

He (Professor Reid) said the matter was active and that the AIChE Heat Transfer Division was considering the matter.  He said he expected to have the matter resolved and that he would notify me within a week.

 

Professor Reid did not notify me within a week, or even within a month!  However, he did send me a letter dated 1/9/74 that stated:

 

I have received a review of your subject manuscript . . .  I honestly do not feel that there is sufficient new material to justify publication in the Journal at the present time. . . . .

 

My letter to Professor Reid dated 1/16/74 stated:

 

In my letter of November 9, 1973, I believe I made it quite clear that I had no interest in having my previously reviewed-favorably-and-accepted-for-publication-in-the-AIChE journal manuscript reviewed again.  In our telephone conversation of Dec 3, you indicated that you understood this, and that the AIChE HTD was considering the matter and that in fact the HTD would make the editorial decision with regard to publication of the subject manuscript.

 

You will therefore understand my utter amazement at your non sequitur letter of Jan 9 in which you forward some reviews and indicate that the editorial decision with regard to publication was made by yourself and not by the AIChE Heat Transfer Division!!!!

 

Since you find these reviews “fair and reasonable”, I am returning them to you.  They do not indicate a sufficient understanding of the subject to be useful to me.

 

In short, another exercise in futility was complete.

 

 

 

My unsuccessful 1990 attempt to present the article at an engineering conference

My letter to Professor Ralph Greif (University of California at Berkeley) dated 10/5/90 submitted an abstract of my linear view for presentation at the 1991 ASME/AIChE National Heat Transfer Conference.

 

Professor Greif’s letter of 2/11/91 was a rejection notice, and enclosed several negative reviews.

 

The reviews reflected so little competence that I sent the letter dated 2/27/91 to Professor Greif.  The letter described the 1964 episode with the AIChE Journal, and enclosed a copy of the galley proofs.  It also cited a number of reasons the reviewers gave for rejecting the manuscript, and explained why the reasons were unsound.  For example:

 

The power law is implied by theoretical models and “fundamental studies” and dimensional analysis.  (Don’t these reviewers know that the scientific method is induction BEFORE deduction?  Don’t they know that nature dictates behavior—not models and theories and studies?)

 

Demonstrating that the data are linear is not sufficient “to fully refute the power law”.  (This statement is patently ridiculous.  Data is both necessary and sufficient to establish behavior.)

 

The letter goes on to state:

 

I am sure your advice to revise my nucleate boiling article in line with the reviewers’ comments was well intended.  But I will not do that because the manuscript in its present form is correct, and I will not make it less than correct.  I would rather it went unpublished for another 30 years.

 

 

 

My successful 1994 attempt to arrange publication in a Japanese journal

My article was finally published in 1994, but not in the AIChE Journal.  It was published in the International Journal of the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers, Series B, Volume 37, No. 2, pp 394-402 (1994).

 

It was just as current and just as important in 1994 as it was in 1964 when it was accepted, but not published, in the AIChE Journal.

 

The article is seldom (if ever) referenced in American engineering literature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] In 1963, the “Rohsenow correlation” was the most widely used and recommended correlation for nucleate boiling heat transfer. (It is still (2005) the generally recommended correlation.)  Professor Rohsenow was recently honored by the ASME on the 50th anniversary of his nucleate boiling correlation.

[2] It is mind-boggling to note that, in spite of its paramount importance, there was and is very little data presented in digital form in the literature.  Generally, the data are “presented” in the form of dimensionless groups plotted on log log charts.  From such charts, it is identically impossible to quantify the underlying data.  See my letter to Professor Bliss dated 9/18/63.

 

[3] I met Professor Bonilla (Columbia) while working at GE in 1963.  I was in charge of a boiling liquid metal heat transfer experimental facility, and was working on a NASA space power program.  Dr. Bonilla was a consultant to GE.  After I left GE, we continued to correspond, and I was visiting him at his home in 1963 when I showed him the linear charts of the data he had published in 1945.  As noted in my letter, he was amazed that the data indicated linearity, but he considered both the linear view and the nonlinear view to be correct.  I was unable to convince him that only one view could be generally correct.

[4] I later surmised that the “responsible person” was Professor James W. Westwater (University of Illinois-urbana)

[5] I never learned this person’s title or first name.  That is why he is referred to simply as “Hsu”, in the manner of Professor Bliss.

[6] Professor Charles P. Costello (University of Washington).  He was the anonymous, favorable reviewer.  Via Professor Bliss, I had sent him a letter requesting that he reveal his identity to me, and he did.  We exchanged several letters.

[7] For example, see my letter to Professor Bliss dated 9/18/63.

[8] The letter embarrassed me because I did not find the article by Mesler and Banchero in my literature search on nucleate boiling heat transfer.  By way of explanation, there were no computer databases at that time, and literature searches were generally conducted by reading the current literature, then reading the references in the current literature, and then reading the references in the references.  If an article was seldom referenced by other researchers, the likelihood of finding it years after it had been published was remote.  Because the 1958 article by Mesler and Banchero was seldom referenced, the likelihood of finding it in 1963 was remote, and I presume that is why I did not find it in my literature search.