Apparently, Manju Rao and Rustum Roy are busily working on the results from their Intention Experiment, where people all over the world concentrated on changing the Raman spectrum of a beaker of water. However, some preliminary results are filtering out for our entertainment.
According to the Intention Experiment blog, "Although the scientists are not finished examining their data, they have told me one thing: they’ve seen results they’ve never seen before with their equipment". This suggests to me that there was a problem with the experimental set-up, which of course has not been described in any detail.
Then "One reason it is taking so long is that our water had a great deal of variation an hour before the experiment was run. This could mean that our anticipation of the event began to affect the water. Or it could mean that our hypothesis is wrong. Or it could mean that with intention, we are emanating an energy like a Qigong master, which is being picked up by the spectroscopy before the event". Or could it mean that the impurities in the water are changing through time as it sits in an open beaker on a lab bench? Obviously, emanating energy like a Qigong master is a much more plausible explanation, but might it not be a good idea to control the experiment just in case? Also, looking at Rao and Roy's previous work on homeopathic remedies, it seems that 'stray light is eliminated by turning off all the room lights whenever data are being collected'. Unless they are in a proper darkroom, that isn't going to be enough to keep out all the ambient light. Raman is also noisy and highly sensitive to impurities.
There's also some weirdness going on here, as this page talks about taking a Raman spectrum with the 'laser turned off'. With the laser off, there is no incident beam to undergo Raman scattering, so I'm simply not clear what they could be talking about here at all. A 'member of the Penn State team' also says that "The laser light is absorbed by the water molecules, depending on how they are energetically configured or arranged, and then reradiated at a different wavelength". As I understand it, this isn't quite right: the incident beam is scattered, with a wavelength shift of the scattered beam. There is no absorption and re-radiation in Raman scattering. Do the Penn State team have any idea what they're doing?
I can't wait for the final results...